Mother’s Day Can Be Difficult

Mothers Day is not all flowers and candy. The day does not always look like a Norman Rockwell magazine cover. To some it’s a dreaded day for good reason.


Those who want to celebrate the day need not feel guilty, but in our hearts we should be sensitive to those who struggle on this day. Each of you has your own stories, I’m sure there are many reasons for hardships.
Possible scenarios which can make a Mother’s day hard:
• A woman who was abused in some way-maybe even at the hand of a mother who was supposed to love them. Their childhood memories are mostly painful.
• A woman whose mother has passed away-don’t judge if it’s still hard after 2 months or many years, it was still their mother.
• A woman who has lost a child in some way, miscarriage, illnesses, accidents, an infant death.
• A woman who had a mother that had mental illness, such as depression, anxiety, or schizophrenia.
• The mother-child relationship was a strained one and didn’t heal in adulthood.
• The father of the child left with the kids, the mom has no contact with them. The mother or child long for a relationship.
• The incarcerated mother.
• A woman who wants to conceive a child but for whatever reason they have not.
• A woman who longed to marry and have children, but it has not yet come.
• Adult children could be out of their mother’s life, maybe the mother or child have forgiveness issues to iron out. Pride keeps them apart.
• A daughter who has to watch her mother sink behind the veil of Alzheimer’s Disease.
• An adopted child who has a wonderful loving family, but also desires to find their biological roots.
• The mother who gave her child up for adoption and wonders where her child is.
• A child who is holding vigil on a mother tonight, knowing she’ll be walking through the pearly gates soon.
• Fill in your blank____________________________. What is your particular issue about motherhood?

Many of these issues could happen with a son just as well as a daughter. Let’s just remember to keep our eyes and hearts open to those who struggle. Be a listening ear where you can.
If you have reason to celebrate, then by all means do! If you have a step-mom, a mother-in-law, aunt, grandma or mentor, show them your appreciation. If you have children, be thankful you can celebrate being their mother.
Take it one more step:
If you know of a person who is a mother, send them a card, email, or text to let them know they are thought about, or that they’re doing a great job. It could be your mom, a neighbor who is a mom, a friend who is struggling, a mentor, or a lonely mom. Put your thinking cap on and take a few moments to encourage someone today. The few moments you spend could make a world of difference to someone else.
I would love to hear about how you celebrated or brought some light into someone’s day. Blessings to all!

In hope and joy,


Posted in Family, Grief and loss, making a difference, Mom, mother loss, Mother's Day, mother-child connections, Motherless Daughters, Mothers and daughters | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Come to the Water

As a kid, I was deathly afraid of water. When my parents sent me for swimming lessons, I fought and hung on to the doorposts in fear. Unfortunately, I was forced to go and none of it ended well.

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In my teenage years, I got accustomed at my own speed. As an adult I’ve loved being in and around water. Amazingly enough this “chicken of the sea” has appreciated boating with my husband for 30+ years. When I heard an illustration about a pool of water it resonated with me.

We’ve been attending meetings to learn and be encouraged to share with others about growing in the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The teacher, Pastor Dan, brought up the following example, which I’ve gained his permission to share. Some of these metaphors were birthed in a prayer group he recently attended. I was so inspired that I took liberty to bring the storyline farther along.

He told us to imagine the whole stage area as an outdoor heated pool on a warm day. The deep end has a high dive with the required 12-foot-deep water, and also a springboard for diving. On the other side is the shallow end. There are sloping stairs in the corner which provide entry into the water. People can sit in lawn chairs on the deck.

Use your imagination to relate this to how people can learn, grow and live in the power of the Holy Spirit. The floor and walls of the pool represent the foundation of the Word of God, the Bible. The water is the Holy Spirit of God.

On the shallow end, some sit on the side dangling their feet in the water. Maybe one is sitting on the top step and only allowing their toes to get wet. Some step down the stairs one at a time carefully getting used to the water. Some are walking around in the familiar part of the pool. A person could enter the shallow end and ease themselves into the deeper water. When he’s ready he can let himself float a bit or tread water.

In the deep end people can lie back in the warm water, relaxing in the warmth of the Holy Spirit’s presence. When they’re comfortable, they might not be afraid to attempt new swimming strokes and don’t mind if their feet never touch the bottom. They enjoy the peace of the Holy Spirit surrounding them. Someone could do jumps and flips off the springboard delighting himself in the Lord.

Some are uncomfortable with change and stay in one place at all times, or even get out of the pool. You could be the person who wraps a towel around their shoulders and listens.

Spectators are sitting in the lawn chairs watching. Some are not willing or able to get into the water. Others frown, cross their arms or fall asleep. Many others will decide to go into the water for refreshment.

People are at various stages cooperating with the Holy Spirit and understanding how he works in our lives today. No person is better than another. We who are enjoying the deep end should never go grab someone from other positions and push them into the pool. God will work in them in His perfect timing.


We should be respectful and let others go at their own pace. No one would ever want to be pushed off the end of the high dive. A person who’s thrown in might get injured or maybe they can’t swim. All the positions are okay. Let others get used to the water and don’t push.

The more we become like the Lord in our character, the more people are attracted to the warmth in the pool of the Holy Spirit.

The heater’s on. The sun is out. The sign on the pool gate says, “Welcome.”


Posted in fear, gifts of the Holy Spirit, God's Holy Word, Holy Spirit, listen, love, Spiritual gifts | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Fast and Pray

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I revised this guide I made a few years ago, for a presentation about fasting. It’s my prayer you will be encouraged to find a time soon to fast and pray. Have you felt called to something deeper?

What is fasting: Refraining from food for spiritual reasons. It’s a powerful spiritual discipline for a season of time, to seek God’s will and purpose.

Why fast?: Personal revival, pray for others, revival of the nation, the world, fulfillment of the Great Commission, seek God’s will to glorify Him.

Examples of fasting in the Bible—Old and New Testaments.

David:  Ps. 35:13; Ezra 8:21

Daniel:  Dan. Chap. 1; 10:3

Joshua:  Josh. 7:6—fell face down till evening, dust on heads—walls of Jericho

Elijah: 1 Kings 19:8

Moses:  Ex. 34:28

Esther:  Es. 4:14-16

Paul and the Apostles:  Acts 13:2-3

Jesus:  Matt. 4:1-10, 14; Matt. 6:16—Jesus said, “when you fast,” not if you fast; Luke 4:1-13.

Modern day: John Wesley, Martin Luther, John Calvin, Jentezen Franklin, Francis Chan


Fast safely: Research different ways, talk to doctor, consider your situation, medications, occupation, etc. Some people should not fast from food.

How long and what type is right for you: Absolute fasts are no food or water. Partial fasts of various methods, such as skip a meal once a week, 3 days long, liquids only, etc.  A Daniel fast is “No meats, no sweets.” Nutritional balance option–a liquid diet based on fruits/juices in the mornings, vegetables in the afternoons, and broths in the evenings. Lots of water. Various ideas on the websites below.

Spiritual preparation: Examine your heart, detect any unconfessed sin. Ps. 66:16-20. Exhaling the impure and inhaling the Holy Spirit.

Managing your schedule: Consider your occupation–how long, what kind, adjustments, weekends, time off, etc. You work out a time. Start small. The important thing is that you spend time in prayer and Bible reading. Don’t distract yourself with errands and busy work. Build up your spiritual muscles.

Managing reactions of friends and family: Saying things like “I have different plans for lunch today,” or drinking water at a luncheon. Family– explain, educate, they can participate. Children could refrain from video games, TV, desserts, etc.. We shouldn’t keep it from people, or lie. Satan can use fear of reactions to keep us from fasting.

How to make your spiritual experience the best it can be: Devote yourself to seek God when you’re weak. Sing, read the Bible, pray, listen, prayer walk, music, get away alone, etc. Avoid social media or TV, limit texting and emails. Satan will try to discourage, make you hungry, grumpy, or trouble stirred up in your family, etc. He’ll do anything he can, because he knows God may reveal something special.

*Keep a journal of prayers and answers.

*It helps to have a fasting buddy–to check in occasionally for accountability, support, and sharing what the Lord has been impressing on your hearts.

Evaluation: After a fast, open your eyes to what God has shown or taught you. Adjust and plan for your next fast.


Fasting can transform your prayer life into a deeper personal experience.

Don’t fast to manipulate God. Seek His face and not His hand.


Additional verses:

Habakkuk 1:5— “…I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told.”

Eph. 3:20—“….He is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.”

Matt. 6:16-18—“when you fast….wash your face….”

Matt. 6:33— “But seek first the kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given unto you as well.”

Romans 12:1—“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.”

Matt. 17:21—“This kind only comes out with prayer and fasting…”

Isaiah 58 — “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen….”  (Full of wonderful reasons for fasting.)


Helpful links:

Francis Chan:

Jentezen Franklin:

Campus Crusade for Christ site—Bill Bright


Posted in Bible, fasting, listen, listening prayer, prayer | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Gaze Upon His Beauty

The word beauty is the prompt. I’m writing a story along with my Five-Minute Friday friends today. You can check out stories by people all over the world here. (2) woods


I often complain about late winter/early spring being brown and drab. I’m kind of an all or nothing girl. I like the mounds of beautiful white snow, full-blown spring flowers, summer’s sparkling waters, or fall’s bright colors. I dislike the in-between, 40’s weather we get in Michigan. There’s dirty piles of snow in parking lots, mud wherever you look, and dormant gray trees still sleeping. Rotting leaves lay along the fence-row, grass is brownish-green, and the sun rarely shines.

A couple weeks ago on a walk, I tried the prayer game of colors. Yes, a prayer game! You know, the one where you ask God to remind you of something every time you see a certain color. I like to imagine at times, that God enjoys playing a little game with me. I don’t think he’s a boring Father who sits on his throne frowning all day. I believe He must have a sense of humor.

I asked the Lord to remind me to thank him for his presence and healing for a good friend every time I saw yellow. I thought there probably wouldn’t be much yellow in the middle of winter, but immediately He proved me wrong. It was on street signs, lines on the road, yellow houses, jungle gyms in yards, recycling bags, a garage wall, bushes, gas line poles, children’s bouncy balls left outside, surveying flags, a flasher on top of a car, fire hydrants. The color yellow popped out everywhere! Each time, I said, “Thank you Lord for your presence and healing.” Most of these were man-made objects but it was so interesting that God kept showing me the color yellow!

It was so encouraging, as if Jesus spoke straight to my heart saying, “Hey Myrna! Look! Here’s yellow!” He loves me and made His presence known. It’s harder to see beauty in His world during a Michigan winter, but it’s all about opening your heart and mind to the beauty instead of concentrating on the gray skies.

The psalmist David says in Psalm 27:4-” One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.”

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Posted in beauty of nature, Five Minute Friday with Kate Motaung, focus and being mindful, healing, healing prayer, listen, listening prayer, nature's beauty, prayer, seasons | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

You’re In The Whisper

Mighty miracles of God were happening in Elijah’s day.

The ravens fed Elijah bread and meat in the desert.

The widow’s flour and oil did not run dry during the drought.

The widow’s son was raised from the dead.

Fire of the Lord consumed the water-drenched sacrifice, wood and altar.

Elijah had 450 prophets of Baal slaughtered.

Heavy rain came after years of drought.

Elijah was empowered to run faster than Ahab’s chariot all the way back to the city.

So many awe-inspiring miracles were displayed.

But when Jezebel threatened to kill Elijah, he was afraid and escaped to the desert.

He sat down under a broom tree and told the Lord, “I have had enough.” He just wanted to give up and die.

There God again miraculously supplied for his needs with baked bread over hots coals and jars of water. He wandered 40 days and 40 nights.

The Lord asked him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

He complained that he was the only one left who believed in God, and people were trying to kill him. He had lost confidence and just couldn’t see the point in all the effort.

A mighty wind tore the mountain apart and shattered the rocks, then an earthquake, and then a fire. But the Lord was not in any of those.

Finally a gentle whisper occurred which caused Elijah to pull his cloak over his face.

God asked him again, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” he answered the same way, distraught that the Israelites had rejected God’s covenant, and he was the only one who still served the Lord.

Elijah was discouraged and felt that his work had been a wasted time, and that his life wasn’t worth living. God demonstrated that he could destroy people and nations, but he chose to speak in the gentle whisper to his depressed servant.

He provided for Elijah throughout his travels with food, water and rest. Later the Lord even showed Elijah that he had preserved a large remnant of people, and he wasn’t the only one who had remained faithful to God and not bent a knee to Baal.

Do you ever feel discouraged? Do you ever want some proof that your efforts and fervent prayers have not been in vain? God doesn’t always show himself with dramatic winds, earthquakes or fires. Listen for the Lord’s still small voice, the whisper of God.

We don’t know what God is doing just beyond our senses. He is moving in the unseen world.

Watch, listen, keep praying! The healing you desire might be a slow process, and not a big one-time miracle. We don’t always see answers when we want to, or it manifests differently than we expected. Things are happening in God’s timing, not ours. He’s not limited by our linear time constraints.

I long for an earth-shattering miracle to heal a friend’s disease.

I’d love to see a windstorm blow away the stress on another friend.

I pray for an outburst of fiery change in a loved one.

Surely, God performs miracles in our day too.

Most times, I need to listen for the gentle whisper of the Holy Spirit and trust His timing, His purposes, and His sovereignty. He’s working in and through all the situations I’m praying about.

When I can’t hear or see His hand moving, I pray that I’ll trust His heart. He works all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.

Thank you Lord, you’re in the whisper.


Refer to:

1 Kings 17-19;

Romans 8:28

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Posted in God's faithfulness, God's Holy Word, God's omniscience, healing, healing prayer, Holy Spirit, listening prayer, prayer, trust in God | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Sweet Hour of Prayer

Prayer is a discipline that is difficult to follow through with because we’re human. I have good intentions but it’s not easy to stay consistent. There are many ways to pray and no wrong way to pray. It’s a great privilege to be able to come into conversation with the God of the Universe. I suspect I’m not the only one who has a hard time sticking with it. Here are a few thoughts and ideas.

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Prayer is work:

If you expect it to be fun then you’ll quit the first day it isn’t fun. Jesus sweat drops of blood in the garden praying. Paul recognized that it’s work, as in Romans 15:30, “strive with me in prayer to God.” Don’t let it be boring or a drudgery, with creativity it can be enjoyable for you and the Lord will also be pleased.

Keep a prayerful mind:

Hundreds of thoughts pass through your mind daily. You may think negative or gossipy thoughts. Turn those thoughts into prayers. Ask God to help you think positively, or ask him to forgive you for thoughts that take your mind places it shouldn’t go. Turn daydreams and other passing thoughts into moments to recognize God’s transforming power. Keep prayer on your lips throughout the day. Ephesians 6:18, “pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying….”

Remember, it’s good to keep a special time reserved for concentrated prayer besides the constant prayer phrases during the day.

Prepare Yourself:

  1. Clear a time: Prioritize a certain time every day. Jesus prayed often in the morning, but that doesn’t work for everyone. If you are a night person, carve out a time and use it. You may have to give up something, such as sleep, a TV show, etc. The shower or car can be very useful spaces for concentrated prayer.
  2. Be alert: Out of bed, or you might fall asleep. Reward yourself with coffee or yogurt. Use your voice—sing, shout, yell, whisper, speak aloud, read scriptures aloud. Walk around the house or take a walk down the street.
  3. Isolation: Don’t let the phone control you, put it in another room or turn it off. If there’s children in the house, talk with them beforehand, busy them with something, spouses can take turns alone with God, or include the kids in some creative way.
  4. Clear distractions: It’s ok to have a pad of paper. When you think of something you have to do that’s distracting you, write it down for later, get it off your mind, then you’ll be able to forget it and return to prayer.
  5. Fasting: Occasionally refrain from things such as food, Social Media, or your phone. This draws you closer to the Lord into deeper concentration on prayer.
  6. Body posture: A special prayer chair. Standing up prayer. Kneeling. Laying prostrate. Raised hands in prayer. This could change throughout your prayer time.

Methods to try:

  1. A prayer wheel is a great tool, go around the circle and it takes about an hour….5 minutes on each section- you could shorten or lengthen the sections. Click here.
  2. A doodle drawing with people names in it. Click here.
  3. Art journaling: Many people draw in their bibles, as an expression, to memorize scripture or as praise, prayer and worship. You can buy bibles with space set aside especially for this. Markers, pens and pencils are made for this purpose. Click here.
  4. Photographs of people on your wall as a reminder to pray.
  5. A prayer walk: Hike in the woods praising God for the beautiful creation, pray for families in houses you pass, walk around your church or school, alone or with another person.
  6. Keep a written list: Who to pray for, situations, requests, missionaries, friends and family.
  7. Journaling: Write out struggles, requests, heartaches, praises, and healings. Write down words, pictures, verses, visions, or words of knowledge that the Holy Spirit gives. It’s easy to forget if not written down. You might write poems, or a letter to God. Keep track of answers to prayer, promises fulfilled, guidance given, healings received. You’ll see His faithfulness and love for you when you reflect after days or years. This can be done on paper or on your computer, color highlighting can be used for answers, miracles, or when God is speaking to you. Remember that healing is sometimes a one-time miracle, but more often a process, so don’t give up.
  8. Color reminder: Whenever you see purple, you pray for your friend Mary.
  9. A-Z praying: Things to pray about, names of people or situations, the attributes of God, or praises through the alphabet.
  10.  Prayer Partners: Prayer walk with a friend, texting with ongoing requests, email, phone, Face time, meet together at homes, pray with spouse, meet a friend at a coffee shop once a week. Prayer in partners is great accountability and brings friendships to a deeper level.

Parts Included in Prayer: (not exhaustive)

  1. Praise Him for who He is. Names for God – Almighty Father, Wonderful Counselor…
  2. Praise Him for what He does/Thanksgiving.
  3. Confession and Forgiveness.
  4. Petitions and Intercessions.
    • Travailing prayer: Some intercessors groan or weep uncontrollably. (Romans 8:23, 26) It’s as if God is bringing about his kingdom through labor pains and birth. Other times he allows us to experience firsthand the grief he feels over the sin and pain of the world. Times when you are deeply grieved about something.
    • Prayer for the community, world, and news reports: When you hear a siren, pray for the people and personnel involved in an accident or illness, your church leaders, your community and city leader’s decisions, national and world leaders and issues involved. Much of the news is disturbing so commit it to prayer.
    • Prayer over your calendar and schedule: Meetings you’re a part of, lunch dates, leadership responsibilities, time spent on hobbies, groups and clubs. There might not be anything wrong with your activities, but sometimes we say yes to too many things. Ask for guidance and balance in your family, work, school, ministry and church responsibilities.
  5. Read the Bible. Free reading, devotionals, research for Bible study questions.
  6. Pray the scriptures: Put your name in the verse, the name of your child, etc. It might go a little like this: Ephesians 6:10, “Help me to be strong in you Lord, in your mighty power, help me to put on the whole armor of God to take a stand against the devil’s schemes.” Use passages that express needs, fears, joys and praises. Personalize them. It’s ok!
  7. Singing: Hymns, songs, new melodies which may come to you. Put bible verses to music.
  8. Praying in the Spirit: The prayer language of tongues is a gift given at times in order to edify you, (1 Cor. 14:4), wells up to encourage you when you feel spiritually dead or discouraged. Enables you to pray according to the will of God. (Romans 8:27) Especially important in spiritual warfare. (Ephesians 6:18)
  9. Listening! Be still to hear and see what the Lord gives. Meditate. Expect him to tug at your heart, move your conscience, or give revelation about what you need to do or change. He might surprise you with words of knowledge, bible verses, guidance, pictures, visions, or songs. Our God is creative!

Keep pressing on!

Please share other ideas that you’ve found helpful or useful in prayer! I’d love to hear them.

*Some of these ideas were inspired by the teaching manual, “The Dunamis Project, The Power of Prayer,” by Bradford Long, Presbyterian-Reformed Ministries International.



Posted in Bible, gifts of the Holy Spirit, God, God's faithfulness, God's Holy Word, healing prayer, Holy Spirit, listening prayer, P.R.M.I., prayer, saying yes or no, time organization | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Capture Your Thoughts

As I spooned the browned hamburger into the strainer, steam billowed up in a white cloud. What was that? I remembered to capture the thought and held it for a moment before it evaporated.

I was jealous of someone.


Do you ever think these types of things?

Something really bad is going to happen.

I will never get and stay healthy.

My kids won’t be okay.

This anxiety will never completely go away.

I’m not good enough. (strong, skinny, pretty, etc.)

I’ll make a fool of myself.

I’m not adequate or educated enough to write a book. (insert your activity)

I won’t sleep well tonight.

I’m still angry with him and he doesn’t deserve my forgiveness.

I don’t want her to succeed.

My husband or kids might be in an accident.

My faith is weak and I don’t have enough.

Someone hurt me by what they said or did.

When you think these things, who is talking?….   Right.    Satan lies to us all the time, distracting us with negative thinking patterns. He wants to pollute our minds and influence us to carry out sinful actions. Your actions flow from the state of your attitude or heart.


My ears have been perking up lately when I hear a verse from the Bible about the mind.

Here are a few:

Eph. 4:22-24  “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”

Phil. 4:6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition and with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your heart and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Psalm 19:14 “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock, and my Redeemer.”

Phil. 4:8-9 Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think on these things…and the God of peace will be with you.”

1 Cor. 2:16 “We have the mind of Christ.”

Isaiah 26:3 “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.”

Romans 12:2 “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

Matt. 22:37 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind…second is like it, love your neighbor as yourself.”

2 Cor. 10:5b “Take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”


I need to constantly clear my mind so I can think more like Christ. It’s impossible on my own, but He gives His Holy Spirit to fill me.


After pouring the hamburger back into the pan, I placed it on the stove. All the access water and grease had been discarded. As I shook the spice container over the meat I sucked in a slow deep breath through my mouth and nose. My mind felt completely renewed once more. Instead of jealousy, now I had the desire to send a card of congratulations.

Do you know a bible verse about having a healthy mind? Please share it.

Posted in Bible, focus and being mindful, God's Holy Word, Holy Spirit, mind of Christ, new beginnings, old self/new self in Christ, Renewing of your mind, word of God | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments