"The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion — to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair."~from ISAIAH 61 Bible verse for this Blog

APOLOGY to READERS who followed a SEARCH to HERE & didn't find it

On July 18, 2017, I drafted almost 3000 blog posts that I had published since 2008 when I began blogging, rather than edit each one. So if you clicked here from somewhere else and ended up with the post unavailable or error, I am sorry but this is why. It'd be too much work for me to go back and fix them. There's an explanation on 7/19/17 as I'm still learning.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


The song "Nocturne" that I shared yesterday was meant as a prelude to this. But not because of the darkness that lurks, yet the HOPE in HIS Light and Forgiveness; Lord, Help me to be a forgiving person, to move in forgiveness~  YOURS, mine to others and others toward me. Reveal areas in me that need this!

Today, I entered the Secret Garden and as you can tell, I turned back to seek refuge in another place away from the garden, a path that leads to the "pines" in my life. They have surrounded me and shaded me, towered over me for far too long. There is a cool, fresh, darkness as I walk back down these paths of the past, places of forgiveness. Some that I dealt with immediately, some that have taken me a while to confront. Others that I truly felt I had "forgiven" yet the wounds or the scars are still there. I know that I have shared here different times of "forgiveness". 

More rocks in my path but you can read two of my 15 "forgiven" here and here so on this walk I will not belabor you with them. Here in His "aMazing Grace", I share the power of being forgiven and forgiving others, not quite the 7 X 70 of the Bible with any one person except maybe myself (490 times in my life, I am sure I have surpassed) I usually am eager to forgive and get beyond the problem. But again, "was this a situation of just the words and not a matter from my heart?" I pondered over some of the monumental ones. I pretty easily will ask, "will you forgive me?" for not so serious messes. And many offenses against me, I quickly would run to God and tell Him, I forgive so and so... for this or that. At least it seems to be the start, to speak it forth with hopes that the heart soon follows. Yes, I need to move in forgiveness, God's and mine.

The light that shines through the "pines" of  any unforgiveness quickly shed His Light to remind me how He forgives me as I come to Him and confess. Many times, my confession is reluctant because I fail to admit that though I was wronged, I need to forgive. Reluctant at other times, because I fail to see where I was wrong. The hardest forgiveness is one of regret, one of not forgiving oneself. Yet I was reminded that if God can forgive me, "am I greater than God?" to deny forgiving myself. If God forgives us as far as the east is from the west, should we not also find a way to forgive.

"...To enjoy the freedom, wholeness and true success God has for us, forgiveness has to flow like liquid in your heart." S.O.

Harboring unforgiveness, stops the flow of the Spirit in us and also can keep your prayers from being answered. 

(1) We need to turn any unforgiveness into FOR-give-ness be-FORe we even PRAY. Jesus gives to us so that we must give to others. "Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” 

(2) Being in this unforgiven status with someone, will eat away at our mind and body, straining our relationship with them and God, even our own conscience, which causes us to loose all peace. It is not worth it. I know someone who says they forgive but there seems to be signs that he's hanging on to a few moments of inner revenge. It surfaces every once and awhile, and God's light shines on it.

"Forgiveness doesn't make the other person right, it makes you free." - S.O.

To find wholeness and true success, we have to be FREE! Forgiveness  enables us to move on with our life.

RECEIVE GOD'S FORGIVENESS... this is one of the best ways to become a forgiving person and understand God's forgiveness of you.(3)

"The only way to receive God's forgiveness for our unforgiveness is to forgive others completely." - S. O.

Unforgiveness is rooted in hate. 
(5) When we choose not to forgive, we end up walking in the dark.

THREE REASONS TO FORGIVE: (from "Life's Healing Choices" by Jon Baker) Another book I have been working through since this summer when I was home with a small group from my home church. I was up to this step when I left; the
RELATIONSHIP CHOICE ~ Repairing Relationships (which I need the most but not just for me but to help others as well)

1) God has FORGIVEN me. Colossians 3:13
2) RESENTMENT doesn't work. Job 5:2; Job 18:4; Job 21:23-25
3) I will need FORGIVENESS in the future. Mark 11:25

1) I REVEAL my hurt.
2) I RELEASE the offender.Matthew 18:21-22
3) I REPLACE my hurt with God's peace. Colossians 3:15

1) Make a list of the people I have harmed and what I did to them
2) Think how I would like someone to make amends to me.
   ~Do it at the RIGHT time. Ecclesiastes 8:6
   ~Do it with the RIGHT attitude. Ephesians 4:15
   ~Do it without EXPECTATIONS. 
   ~Do it in an appropriate way. Proverbs 12:18
   ~Make RESTITUTION wherever possible.

REFOCUS my life on DOING GOD'S WILL in my relationships starting now! 
Job 11:13, 15-16 

"GOD NEVER WASTES A HURT! He can use the painful lessons to touch others. You'll find it easier to forgive the hurts of the past if your focus is LESS on yourself and more on helping others. This is not about denial; it's about being "being transformed by the renewing of your mind." Romans 12:2 and choosing to LOOK FORWARD so your past looses its power over you."

I think it's time I head out of these pine trees and into the Light, return to the beauty of allowing Christ to show me FORGIVENESS in the Garden. I will always choose to forgive and seek forgiveness from God and others. I did not linger long  enough here. 
"Forgiveness in no way requires that you trust the one you forgive. But should they finally confess and repent, you will discover a miracle in your own heart that allows you to reach out and begin to build between you a bridge of reconciliation …Forgiveness does not excuse anything... You may have to declare your forgiveness a hundred times the first day and the second day, but the third day will be less and each day after, until one day you will realize that you have forgiven completely. And then one day you will pray for his wholeness…” ~ William P.Young 
Bridget Chumbley reminded me of the above quote from "The Shack". [She (Bridget Chumbley) hosts a theme blog carnival every other week, and just last week the topic that many great writers shared on was: RECONCILIATION ~ to be restored in harmony with another may need to start with forgiving and being forgiven... gotta get to the ROOT of the problem here in my garden...

Lord, help me to be a forgiving person. Show me where I am not. Expose the recesses of my soul so I won't be locked up by unforgiveness and jeopardize my future. If I have any anger, bitterness, resentment, or unforgiveness that I am not recognizing, reveal it to me and I will confess it to You as sin.

Specifically I ask You to help me fully forgive (name anyone you feel you need to forgive). Make me to understand the depths of Your forgiveness toward me so that I won't hold back forgiveness from others. I realize that my forgiving someone doesn't make them right; it makes me free. I also realize that You are the Only One who knows the whole story, and You will see justice done.

Help me to forgive myself for the times I have failed. And if I have blamed You for things that have happened in my life, show me so I can confess it before You. Enable me to love my enemies as You have commanded in Your Word. Teach me to bless those who curse me and persecute me. Remind me to pray for those who hurt or offend me so that my heart will be soft toward them. I don't want to become hard and bitter because of unforgiveness. Make me a person who is quick to forgive. 

Lord, show me if I have any unforgiveness toward my mother or father for anything they did or did not do or say. I don't want to shorten my life by not honoring them. Where there is distance between me and any other family member because of unforgiveness, I pray You would break down that wall. Help me to forgive every time I need to do so. Where I can be an instrument of reconciliation between other family members who have broken or strained relationships, enable me to do that.

I don't want anything to come between You and me, Lord, and I don't want my prayers to be hindered because I have entertained sin in my heart. I choose this day to forgive everyone and everything, and walk free from the death that unforgiveness brings. If any person has unforgiveness toward me, I pray You would soften their heart to forgive me and show me what I can do to help resolve this issue between us. I know that I cannot be a light to others as long as I am walking in the darkness of unforgiveness. I choose to walk in the light as You are in the light and be cleansed from all sin.

(1) Psalm 66:18
(2) Mark 11:25
(3) Luke 6:37
(4) 1 John 3:21-22
(5) 1 John 3:15
(6) Matthew 18:32-35
(7) Matthew 5:48
(8) 1 John 1:7

Hebrews 8:12
Ephesians 4:32

Luke 6:37
1 John 2:10-11
Ephesians 4:32
Matthew 5:23-24
Matthew 6:14-15

Luke 6:37
Proverbs 19:11
Matthew 5:44-45
1 John 2:11

THINKING ALOUD and sharing my thoughts and plans (or lack):

My dear SECRET GARDEN readers, I pray that you FORGIVE ME because of my lack in these "walks" being together and now that I am choosing once again to not continue with them, though I have some setup in draft... I "FEAR" I am not able to continue with these and the one for tomorrow would have been FEAR, followed by God's Will then PURPOSE, then I was going to break again until December 14th, with the 14th SECRET GARDEN POST. 

I wanted to keep these in order... so for now I FEAR that I will not be moving forward in the GARDEN (we are only through a third of them)... but God willing, I will find my way back to HIS GARDEN and HE to my Garden to search my heart on the 'paths' yet to be: BASKING IN GOD'S LOVE; Hope; God's Way; Control of our Thoughts; Negative emotions; Treat Your Body as a temple; Healer; Say "no" to temptation; Destructive relationships; Speak Words of life; Be Holy; Recognize the enemy; Fast and pray; Stand strong in God's power; Move in God's Power; Refuse to Give up...which sounds where I should venture next... but my mind is flooded and I must WAIT on the LORD. Please FORGIVE ME. 

The lesson in this: take one day at a time and try not to plan out a series unless you can commit to completing the entire WALK. I have had many other opportunities that have prevented me from staying in my Secret Garden. I must confess I have grown weary and lost my footing for right now. It may be some time before I'm able to dig deep and continue planting or weeding in my Garden... the HARVEST is not yet over nor the time of growing, but I need to take serious time to gather my thoughts and life, so what I plant bears fruit.

I love my Secret Garden and times here in it... yet to wander through without much change or commitment to 11-30 of the chapters left would not make this a POWERFUL LIFE of Prayer. And that is the purpose of time well spent in the Garden.

Many diversions and other paths to follow at the moment, but God wants us to stay focused to present Him in the best Light and clearly as the Only Way. 

So I will WAIT and trust Him as I wait for the inspiration to continue in My Secret Garden with the same JOY I began. Keep planting good seed, water well and watch for growth, new blooms and beauty flourishing in your garden.

(10) More in forgiveness - God & yours (S.O.) PPL ~ Help me to be a forgiving person (S.O.) PPW

Thursday, October 28, 2010


I have not joined Dogs On Thursday (DOT) since I first began and wrote on Bravo, Chiminito, Toby & Chiquitita, although I have mentioned all of them throughout my posts... I never wrote specifically on Lucky or Chispita. They were also from the litter of Chiminito (Chimi) and Toby. All of them are located on my right sidebar way down near the end if you'd like to see their individual photos... but they are ALL here with me that way and really help me with God's aMazing Grace and realizing constantly grace in  each day

The reason I have not shared on them is because they were not living with me. Chispita was given away to a family here but had been living on their rooftop, so she was brought back here because they say the neighbors did not like her coming to their homes or rooftops. Personally, I wanted her back when I found out that she was left on the roof. I really don't like that, especially with small dogs and moreso with mine. Look how precious she is and loved when I gave her a bed the Christmas she came back to live with her family and me. She looks so lonely here.

Recently, my sweet friend Amanda's Secret Garden chose to read the Camera Critter posts and this made me aware that I never finished writing on my family of dogs ... oops, excuse me, Chimi never finished telling his TALES of his tail ... snips and snails and puppy dog tails ... so he told me ... he was ready ... to bark it, tell about these two, because he misses them (yeah, right). 

When we went home this past spring/summer, I left both Chispita and Lucky there in Minnesota. Trust me traveling with 6 dogs almost 3,000 miles is not easy, returning with the 4 suited me fine. Lucky had lived in MN since her first summer of life so it was only right for her to stay.

You see Lucky often, she's in the photo with my profile photo. She is one of my favorites, and she's very special the way she sits up...

"I taught her that"... Chimi woofs to me.... "No, Chimi, you didn't, she does this all on her own." I let him know.

"You know why she was named 'Lucky' don't 'cha?" Chimi inquires. "because she was so lucky to be born from me and have the colors of my dad, opposite of mine."

"No Chimi," I reply, "that's not right at all, though it does have to do with her coloring in part. The black shape on her back looks like a shamrock of luck of the Irish. That's from my grandmother."

"And also because she was able to stay in Minnesota the first summer she was born. 3 of us went home that year, Chiqui, Lucky and me... usually I would stay, or Bravo would stay and we'd take turns. But this year, you decided one of my daughters would be left behind. Since Chiqui snipped at Blake and ran after the heels of Sam, biting them... you decided to make Lucky, the lucky one..."

"Yeah, now that's a little closer to the truth. It was also because she was so well liked and got along with everyone including Tano, the other dog that was living there already. Since Tano was male, it was best to leave him a friend that he could take care of... you had your paws full."

"Ohhh, yeah, I just don't get as much attention or treats as I use to get." Chimi complains. "You played ball and threw toys with me more before these 6 showed up here."

"She's so lucky, she even got winter Christmas stuff like the sweater and my winter jacket and this silly looking hat. It's a reindeer hat. Plus she has that nice fuzzy blanket and gets to sleep on the bed. She really is spoiled, ya' know. I remember how much she cried whenever you left home so you started bringing her with you." 

"Oh, Chimi, there was a time when you did also. And you have made sure that you get to be up on my chairs, my couch and even sneak up on my bed when I'm gone and you know better."

"Oh and by the way, the 6 extra little dogs showing up here was yours and Toby's fault. But you remember we took care of that for both of you...so there should be no more surprises from you two, so you can stop fooling around, besides you're getting kinda old."

 I let Chimi think that and that he's a BIG boy ... shhh, don't let him know that he's not. 

I just wanted to remind you of this from a previous post

Remember, if a dog was the teacher you would learn things like:

When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.
Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.

Take naps.
Stretch before rising.
Run, romp and play daily.
Thrive on attention and let people touch you.

Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.
On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.
When you're happy, dance around and 'wag' your entire body.
Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.

Be loyal.
Never pretend to be something you're not.
If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.

Which lesson do you need to learn?
(maybe you should consider rescuing a dog from a nearby shelter to teach you)

The Animal Rescue Site

Thursday, August 26, 2010




Larnelle Harris

(hit start and continue to read, no video to see, just a great song to hear)

Yes, as the words of this song say:

"I can begin again..."
I am so thankful
I am
I can


(the personal testimony of my steps of faith)
is really not complete
the greatest part
just begun

So the
is actually the
of more

of course, the real end, I believe
will be when I am at the feet of my
Precious Lord Jesus
and even then
it will be the BEST & REAL END of this story
I cannot wait until the
Author & Finisher
completes this


It is in these last 15 years that my life and passions have really come to be and I know that God willing, if He tarries much longer, the best is yet to be! My journey from so many MAZES and MESSES; bondage to freedom, brokenness to wholeness; failures to true success did not just happen overnight or in one conversion experience. I am still on the path to becoming more and more complete and free in Him; because it's a lifelong process. Wrong habits, unhealthy choices and hang-ups, feelings, thinking and acting take time to change and be transformed. And it all happens because of Jesus Christ & the Holy Spirit in me, step by step... these are STEPS of FAITH!

And the end of this story...well, we'll all see how that turns out...



It's a never ending story... I'm hopeful in that!

[THESE POSTS are in the 
so the start is at the end of this list as

Still awake in the early hours, in prayer for so many on my heart over at The Lighthouse of Prayer and throughout blog land, when I was ready to shut down my laptop, this song just rose up from within me so, of course, I had to have accompaniment and I quickly rushed over to YouTube, not getting the right song and finally... well, it's posted over at a different blog:  THE POWER of YOUR LOVE!!! {when I recently tried to follow link I did not arrive there, so perhaps it's best not to follow} 

Tuesday, August 24, 2010




(The Message) says:
your very life is a letter...
that anyone should be able to read by just looking at you.
Christ Himself wrote it ...
...with God's Living Spirit...

and we publish it
right here

This next part of my life is very endearing to me. Once more I cannot share as much as I would like to about this because it involves our precious daughter. However, God used this time of a critical health situation for her, to bring us together in a bonded relationship like a real mother and daughter. His touch upon her life was a profound MIRACLE! Because of her undiagnosed situation for one year, after an emergency hospital near death situation; because her hemoglobin levels had dropped so low, followed by weekly doctor after doctor to specialists and frequent hospital visits, blood draws and infusions, much trial medicines, her body took a toil. It was at this time, an angel of the Lord in the form of a person, and a special family from our church, took us into their home to be closer to the hospital, but frankly, we needed the family support and love. I was homeschooling our daughter and this beautiful woman friend was homeschooling her two kids. This was a real growing time for both of us and seeing God in this family as well as how a family centered in God works. I truly could never say enough about how this dear saint, her husband and children encompassed us with God's love and made us family that moved me beyond gratitude and indebtedness.

After a year of healing, both our daughter and I moved on: our daughter back home for that summer to be with her brother, who she missed more than he missed her, AND I moved out on my own.(Yep you heard me right. My husband and I had agreed, had a talk, that this was best for now. Me coming home now was not good for either of us)(as of recent summer visit after 15+yrs., that is still the response).

Later in the fall, our daughter came to live with me so I could continue her schooling besides working 2-3 jobs to make ends meet. At this time, my husband, resigned to me being away and began to help me out financially to support our daughter being there. He also had retired at the end of the last school year & was now home full time but planning a trip to Mexico, where we had talked about moving to upon his retirement, so that I could begin working on a mission field I felt I had waited for since 6th grade to make real my calling in life. He knew of this and at one time had considered living part time elsewhere, but that he would travel to see which part was best so that we could go there and he would come & go from there. But all this would not happen until after both kids graduated.

It was while he was gone that our daughter hit the biggest crisis in her health due to the effects of her medicine... her back broke in 3 places and she needed to be put in a body cast, needing to have constant therapy and relearn many basic skills all over again. It was in this time, that she needed to come to rely on me, like a newborn child. So we grew closer together. A bond that deepened both of us in our FAITH. I became a constant prayer warrior. I became dependent on God. She became dependent on me believing in God and her faith like a child touched Him (and me). It was when my church family rose up once again and came together to not just help us by serving, being there but once again, another family took us in with a hospital bed & all the inconveniences of having two people live in their walk in basement. Our home had too many stairs. But when we were able to do so, we made our living room at home into our daughter's bedroom for her hospital bed. During this time, I learned all that I could about her medical needs and how to care for someone around the clock 24/7. My husband was not there, but my church family and God Almighty, the greatest Healer and Divine Great Physician came to live with us.

When my husband returned, with the news that he would never move or go back to Mexico, I told him that I had taken care of our daughter for 6 months alone without him and now it was time for me to go. So I left for a special Holy Week in Mexico... and not only was it the best price ever for a week away, but God met me right here and spoke to me, confirming that urgency, that desire to "go and teach others" about Him. I met a wonderful messenger of God, 108 year old Susana, who had a Word from the Lord she said for me... which was John 14:6 (I shared about SUSANA a long time ago on this blog). It was clearly God speaking...

This trip, just like one I had made before, with a short term mission group to Monterrey, Mexico, was too short for me... and I needed to come back and determined after my encounter with Susana that I would for an entire month to see if I could live in Mexico alone. I came home, ready to return that fall. That summer, my husband and I came to a new agreement. We would separate but remain married unless... so we drew up separation papers but they would not be filed unless... to this day they have not been filed. Yet we have definitely parted our ways.

I know that this is not God's plan for marriage, but I have stepped away, freed him and myself, by removing me from being his obstacle. Yes, I took myself out of being his problem, decreased our stress filled relationship, but left many conflicts unresolved, probably never to be resolved ...YET I believe that God is at work. Yes, I should be under my husband's headship, yes, I do know what God's Word says and Yes, some even believe until this is resolved there will be no fruit in what I do... but God is still working on me...on him and yes, even in the lives around me.

AND I BELIEVE that SALVATION is more than a prayer... and God's Spirit is at work." It is not by Power, nor by Might but by His Spirit... " and He is gentle, never forces, but beckons us to DRAW CLOSE and COME, HUMBLY, Just as we are and that message still needs to hit home and SO, I PRAY and I STAY until HE MOVES ME... and I have HOPE that as He refines me, HE is at work at home... I go home each year with an open heart and mind, ready & willing but it takes two and Jesus being in their midst, actually right in the center, as it should have been at the very beginning, if it is not God's will or God's plan, it will not be done, if it is... IT WILL BE DONE but salvation is for everyone... and it is our CHOICE because of our FREE WILL and Jesus offers this to each one of us with the same love; an eternal love; a forgiving love; a perfect love; just where we are... I have that kind of love for those that have crossed my life's journey.

...end of Part VII...
Do you know Jesus Christ as Savior and have you made Him Lord?
Do you have loved ones that you are praying for their salvation?
Have you witnessed to them,
opened the door
to Jesus
His love
for them?
I do

SEE them as SAVED


claiming them for God's Kingdom.

filled by HIS SPIRIT



How I would like these words to be
in me
from me
through my life

from one ugly duckling
one godly swan
made in His image

Can I pray with you? or for you? or for your family to know Jesus? I'd love to have the honor. Let me know right in the comments.

HERE are the other parts of "THIS IS MY STORY" (under the label testimony,too)

To my faithful visitors;
all of you who spend your valuable time here with me
I do appreciate you so much!

Thank you for taking your time to visit!

Love, Sweet blessings & Hugs!