Not Forgotten

Can a mother forget her infant,
be without tenderness for the child of her womb?
Even should she forget,
I will never forget you. ~ Isaiah 49:15

I love this precious promise.  We as humans tend to forget things…especially difficult things that we don’t want to remember, we tend to shove them to the back of our brain, maybe intending on dealing with them later, maybe sometimes, not.  But not God.  Our Heavenly Father knows what we have need of.  He sees our plight, He understands our weaknesses, and He never pushes us to the back of His priorities.  In His time, He provides for our needs, He comes alongside to comfort us, and strengthen us, encouraging us to continue on in our journey.  Often, he sends companions for us along the way.

This has been one of those weeks.  In my entire walk with God, I cannot remember another time when I’ve had as many peaks and valleys in my faith.  I know He was telling me to take courage, and watch for His hand, to be still, to rest from my anxieties and trust Him to do what He promised.  I know I heard Him say “it’s done, thank me”, and “objects in mirror are closer than they appear”, and I did thank Him, and I did believe Him.  With all my heart, I believed what He was whispering to my heart.  But the pressures of the day, and my impatience to make my walk of faith one of sight, and my frustration with a God that wouldn’t be put into my little box got the better of me, and I wavered in doubt and unbelief,over and over again.


And, because God never forgets, and because I needed a little encouragement, He introduced me to St. Therese of Lisieux.  (If you’ve never heard of this sweet young saint, I encourage you to get acquainted with her.  Wikipedia  is a good starting place with lots of links to follow if you’re interested.)  Learning about the childlike faith in her “Little Way” was just what I needed, and my heart is strengthened by her example, even through loss, sickness, and death.  And I have this sense, in what I have learned of her, that she is aware, and praying for me, a new friend, with her now perfect childlike faith.

A couple interesting trivial points, St. Therese shares my mother in law’s name “Mary Teresa/Marie Therese”, and Therese’s childhood home was named Les Buissonnets, which is translated “The Hedges” (which happens to be my name).  I’ve heard it said that saints sometimes pick us, I’m starting to get that sense here.

Meaty Spaghetti Sauce

I’ve made homemade spaghetti sauce since early on in my marriage.  I just could not justify the amount of money that a little jar of pre-made stuff in the stores requires.  It’s not terribly complicated, but it’s one my most requested and highly complimented family dishes.  Here’s how I do it:

In a heavy sauce pan, cook 1lb lean ground beef until barely pink.  Add one diced onion and 1-2 cloves garlic, and cook until onion is translucent.  (I’ve also been known to sneak other vegetables into my sauce and cut down the meat.  Shredded carrots, and zuchinni are easy, healthy additions, as are green or red peppers, mushrooms, and olives).  Drain off  fat and return meat mix to pan.

Add two large cans of diced tomatoes and two large cans of tomato sauce, 2TBSP sugar and 2-3 TBSP Italian seasoning mix.  Cover and simmer for 1-2 hours.

This sauce is wonderful as is, but we LOVE garlic at our house, so about 30 minutes prior to serving, I will sneak in another clove of garlic for a little more kick.

See?  Easy.

We use this sauce as a dipping sauce for garlic french bread, as pizza sauce, or as regular spaghetti sauce in our favorite Italian recipes.    It makes enough to serve a family of six with leftovers for lunch the next day, or a family of four two times.  Leftover sauce can be frozen and re-heated later for a quick and easy meal instead of dining out.

The Sign of the Cross


I found a great post explaining the sign of the cross that we Catholics use in our worship and prayer time.  As a new Catholic, I find this article very helpful, and would love to see a pamphlet made with this information in it.  In fact, I may copy the little chart to carry along with me in my Bible.  What a beautiful picture of our faith in God and our consecration to Him and His will.

Essentially, the author lists six truths about the sign of the cross over a child of God. (I’m paraphrasing because it helps me remember when I’ve put it in my own words.)

First, it is a profession of faith in God.  I love how the author of this article refers to it as a “mini creed”, a statement of belief in the Godhead; “In the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit”.

Second, it is a reminder of our baptism.  The day we died to sin, and were raised to life in Him.

Third, it is a declaration of our loyalty to Christ, and our recognition that we are not our own, we are bought with a price, and we now belong to Christ.

Fourth, it is a picture of taking up our cross and following Him.  A visible declaration of our understanding and affirmation that suffering is part of the process.

Fifth, the sign of the cross is a defense against the devil, and an offensive move against the enemy’s advances.

Sixth, it’s a sign of putting off the flesh, and putting on Christ.  (Reminds me of this post), it’s a picture of Christ’s victory over the devil, and our victory over the desires of the flesh.

I plan to use this little list in my personal prayer time, as a tool for meditation, and a way to firmly set the mental images of these six wonderful truths on my mind and heart.

Go read the whole article.  You will be blessed, and may find it helpful for your own prayer time.


Through a glass darkly


My daughter took this picture, and I think there is something profound about it. 

Right now, happiness seems elusive, like we’re watching it in the rearview mirror.  Our recent circumstances cause us to look back to a happier time, wishing for those carefree, sunshiny days.  It reminds me of 1 Corinthians 13:12, seeing things through a glass darkly.  Longing for the day when we’ll see our journey with that 20/20 perspective that is hindsight.

I’m getting a sense though, that God put a little message into this picture for us, and I believe it, with all my heart!  Look at the words on the mirror; Objects in mirror are closer than they appear.

Thanking Him while we wait!  Come quickly, Lord Jesus.

One year ago this weekend

I can’t believe it’s been a year since the day we should have died.  I didn’t know how to post pictures back then, so you can see the wonder of it all now.  (Plus, it’s a little bit less traumatic looking back on it, than it was being there).

We hit the poor guy pretty much head on, causing him to roll up onto the hood, and smash right into the passenger side window.  From the inside I watched in fright as the window bowed in, bending and crackling.

  I don’t know why this picture is so little, but here you can see the bowl shape of the windshield.

Side view…he was a big animal.

Here are a couple pictures of the hair he left embedded in our car.  I wish I’d have taken a picture of the elk, he was a big guy for sure.  We hit him with such force that it split his antler and threw it off in another direction, the vet student found it aways off from his resting place.

front of the car with elk hair.

Thank God for airbags!  This is what my side of the interior looked like after.  I cannot believe we walked away from that without one scratch!  At one point, I noticed glass in my mouth (!), but no cuts, no bruises, just very wobbly-kneed right at first then a little sore the next day.

I wrote two blog posts about this incident, you can read them here and here if you’re so inclined.

Leaning on the everlasting arms

“Child of My love, lean hard,
And let Me feel the pressure of thy care;
I know thy burden, child. I shaped it;
Poised it in Mine Own hand; made no proportion
In its weight to thine unaided strength,
For even as I laid it on, I said,
‘I shall be near, and while she leans on Me,
This burden shall be Mine, not hers;
So shall I keep My child within the circling arms
Of My Own love.’
Here lay it down, nor fear
To impose it on a shoulder which upholds the government of worlds.
Yet closer come: Thou art not near enough.
I would embrace thy care;
So I might feel My child reposing on My breast.
Thou lovest Me? I knew it.
Doubt not then;
But Loving Me, lean hard.”

This poem was included in the devotion from Streams in the Desert devotional.  Of course it brought to mind that sweet old hymn from my childhood, and the song resonates in my mind today.  I can trust those arms to hold me up, I can lean in hard, depending on His strength for the day, the hour, even the moment of trial.

“Safe and secure from all alarm.  Leaning, Leaning, Leaning on the everlasting arms”

“Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved?” (S. of Sol. 8:5).

Renewed Like the Eagle – Psalms 103:5

Very timely, beautifully written post about waiting, resting, renewing, and soaring; my life’s song this year.  Enjoy.

Insights With God

One of my most favorite sections of scripture is found in Psalms 103, which lists many of God’s benefits to mankind. Let’s look specifically at verse 5.

Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Who doesn’t want youth? I sure like the idea of being youthful!

Let’s read this verse in the Amplified Version:

Who satisfies your mouth [your necessity and desire at your personal age and situation] with good so that your youth, renewed, is like the eagle’s [strong, overcoming, soaring]!

Wow! This truth really communicates the availability to maintain youthful vigor and vitality. No matter your age, situation or how you feel, it’s available to not be burden down, overwhelmed, or tired like people of the same age. Now this is a truth worth dwelling upon!

The eagle is a powerful bird that represents strength and the ability to overcome. An eagle can fly…

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