"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.

Sunday, August 18, 2019


At least I'm trying ... reminding myself

Image result for embracing joy in his presence
so then I'm

as I prepare and read

Image result for embracing joy in his presence

{I just finished the sample 7 day devotional and will continue with the 5 day.}

Day 1
Choosing to Rejoice

starts out with

..."REJOICE Always! ...
1 Thessalonians 5:16

I don't know about you, but to "rejoice always" (evermore, continually) seems like a very difficult task in this world more and more, especially in any adversity, hardship or challenge. I mean "always" is a long time and counts every second of every day, all the time, so how is this possible? With this in mind, I decided to look at other versions, what this means, and choose to look more closely at the word "rejoice". Here are two versions that helped me somewhat:

"Be happy [in your faith] and rejoice and be glad-hearted continually (always); " AMPC

What helps me here is the part in brackets "in your faith" along with be happy and be glad hearted, yes ... even in adverse times I can be happy and thankful in my heart for or in my faith. But the following from TPT, let's me come to feast in JOY

"Let joy be your continual feast." The Passion Translation

... so this I like and can do a bit better ...

actually believing God's promises
is what gets me through
tough times

A perpetual state of rejoicing is only possible through or with the supernatural joy of the Holy Spirit - a fruit and gift - that bubbles up from the inside, when we battle or encounter adversity ... God enables us with this power and strength that comes supernaturally by the Holy Spirit and our precious salvation of Jesus Christ. In this, I can rejoice! Our joy is not determined by our circumstances BUT inspite of them, nor is our ability to rejoice based only on happy experiences. Focusing on "Jesus Always", even when we may not feel like it ... reminds us of our Lord's goodness, grace and redemptive sacrifice for us.

I did not think I had this ability when it seems like day after day is an uphill struggle and battle against the forces of evil yet I so need to EMBRACE some JOY ... ok, Rejoice always ... and surprisingly, when I recently met a new addition to our family, married to a dear cousin, who knew little about me or my story, as I poured out facets, this sweet sister (cousin-in-law) mentioned how she noticed so much "joy" still coming forth through me, even with my adversities and tribulations ... another dear cousin, who I see as having so much "joy" also agreed, which frankly astounded me and I was relieved to know that the Holy Spirit still shines through in my darkness or tales of woes. So very thankful! And I will hold on to this and treasure this and her words always as I continue on with "Jesus Always" and really EMBRACE the JOY within me and around me, because of His Spirit within me. Now, there are others, who may not see this emanate from me, however I will keep trying to shine Jesus always on their darkness and inability - so it's on them.

I will be continuing with the You Version 5 day plan now, still debating whether to get this as an ebook or a real book or at all, but I did download a 52 week discussion guide (pdf) of "Jesus Always" ... and the book is 365 days of devotions, maybe it's meant for me for next year, we'll see. I do have others by this author (but lately, I've been seeing so many *authors I like being ostracized by other Christians, deemed as 'false' teachers, etc. which I don't like at all, especially because I have liked and read or listened to them for so long, gotta wonder about myself{I read and listen to quite alot of them that have been put in this category

The first discussion in this "Jesus Always" guide is the "Fullness of Joy" ... this is what I choose to EMBRACE so even though I was in the middle of Part 3 in "EMBRACED..."{by another *favorite in that category} and should be continuing with "Embracing Him in the midst of hurt and heartache", I will be, only by Embracing Joy or Embracing His Presence, which undoubtedly brings Joy! with "Jesus Always" ... so just a reminder that the EMBRACED one is only on pause - not forgotten, plus tomorrow that author is starting at FaithGateway, a study on her other recent book that I shared here before ... 

Here's the rest of "Embracing Joy in His Presence" 5 days:

DAY 2 - Blessed by Jesus "Seek to live in the present - with Me!"

DAY 3 - Led by Jesus "Seek to become..."

DAY 4 - Seek Him First {as always}

DAY 5 - His Unfailing Love "I am Your Joy!"{Yes, You are, Jesus}



JOY brings Healing, too

don't you think so? 
(like laughter)

Saturday, August 17, 2019



... Knowing God is Holding Me (YouClose

Part 3: 
in the Midst of Hurt & Heartache
Devotions #49-75 
(This past week's #58-65 are in this post)
August 10th - 19th, 2019

{I post these ahead and try to link the ones I can so you can read along with me,
then I come back afterwards and add.} Boxed quotes are highlights written by Lysa TerKeurst from each devotion.

58. "The Sting of Disappointment" Habakkuk 3:17-19

The one linked has a different title but pretty much the same.
Although this isn't the same, it's close and good

"Holding on Through Heartbreak"

Proverbs 31 had quite a few good ones on disappointment.

"I'd rather rejoice in what is and what will be than wallow in what isn't."
{Really great advice for me!}

59. "Why Would God Let This Happen?" Isaiah 54:10

"We must process our hurts through the filter of God's love, not through the tangled places of our hearts."

{oh, yes ... yes, Lord, thank You!}

60. "What Makes Rejection So Awful?" John 12:46

"Just because I've been hurt doesn't mean I now have to live hurt."

{I so agree with "rejection is awful" and receive her words, now to live them.}

61. "If You Ever Feel Lonely, Read This"Psalm 25:16-17

"There is something wonderfully sacred that happens when a girl chooses to  look past being set aside to see God's call for her to be set apart."


62. "The Girl Called Loser" Hebrews 3:1

"No amount of outward success can give you inward acceptance."

{Although I don't recall any story like Lysa's of being called a 'loser', I'm sure I felt like one often but overcompensated frequently and struggled with being such a people pleaser, and in my early life, I was quite a confident, little person until ... then I remember have that stripped away from me.}

{the one linked is the same, just different title}

"Rejection always wants to steal the best of who I am by reinforcing the worst of what's been said to me."

{Oh my, although this quote is for this devotion, it certainly fits with #60 as well, these words ring loudly with truth and power and I can't even begin to write about how "yesterday's hurts" infiltrate and impact "today's relationships, or in my case, have destroyed so much in one relationship, changed significantly others. Without a doubt, it has stolen the best of who I am and was, especially in that one relationship, and worst is reinforced causing the worst being said to me and about me to others. Deep rejection. However, I know One who does accept me and so thankful that He loves me so much as I cling to who He says I am in Him.} *Insert my favorite song by Lauren Daigle here.

64. "There's A Lady at the Gym who Hates Me" Zephaniah 3:17 ESV

"Live from the abundant place where you are loved and you won't find yourself begging others for scraps of love."

{such wisdom in these words for my younger self and even now}


65. "Because I am Loved" Philippians 2:3-4

"Are you doing this because you are so loved or so that you'll be loved?"

{Once again, good self-check question with wisdom about one's motivation.}

After looking at "grief and loss" momentarily this week while EMBRACING HIM in the midst of hurt and heartache ... I decided to wait and put this Part 3 on pause* temporarily!

Meanwhile over at You Version, I will pick up another plan for EMBRACING ... with "Jesus Always" ... Embracing Joy in His Presence, much better than hurt and heartache. A heart can only hold so much of hurt and ache at one time so the remedy is to change course with Jesus, add some uplifting and encouraging word then I promise I will return to the rest of Part 3 of EMBRACED because Lysa TerKeurst's devotions do this too by ending with prayer, which of course, makes these a bit more positive then the 'rabbit hole' of my own thoughts, emotions or writings, even through some tears. Tears are good, refreshing and cleansing. Most definitely, EMBRACING HIM is the key ... 

Also, because I plan on redoing "It's Not Suppose to be this way" with Lysa and FaithGateway, starting on August 19th - September 29th (however, I noticed that FaithGateway posted yesterday "The Birthplace of Disappointment" and Session 1, a bit early, perhaps to wet our appetites ... ) which definitely fits in with this Part 3, #58 so, on second thought, I will go ahead with this week's reading of these devotions but add a little JOY in His Presence too, with Jesus Always over at You Version.

Then I will go on a break from "hurt and heartache" ... yes, I realize that avoiding or running from these won't bring the healing needed, but there was some reason that God allowed me to find  Jesus Always:  EMBRACING JOY at this time, it's not because it's a new book to sample nor a divergence, perhaps it's a new One Word for me (hmmmm) . Really, It's NOT Suppose to Be This Way"! not for any of us ... however EMBRACING and being EMBRACED is ... 

After reading all these devotions this past week, so well-witten by Lysa with personal stories from her, I really could not pin point one to share from my own life, although they all seem to apply and connect with me, I don't have one similar story. I most certainly have felt "the sting of disappointment" and rejection, maybe even a bit of lonliness (but how can I be lonely with all the critters that surround me). I'm also sure I have wondered frequently "why God allows...?" whatever but I don't think I've dared utter those words to Him aloud because I know I am loved by God no matter what I've faced or will face. I inserted a brief comment after the devotional quotes above. From the looks of it, although I chose not to write on any, or a bit on all of them, #63 seems to have come the closest for me that must have hit an inner chord the most, with #64 the least, mostly because I don't go to the gym (lol) and #62 as I already commented. Truthfully, I guess, my mind really wasn't on these as I read somewhat mechanically, thinking of two dear sisters: one with her husband facing such medical difficulties and the other, no longer this side of eternity, like another dear sister. (sigh) So it's these heart aches that remind me of others and others' hurts or losses that bring me to that melancholic place and to my knees ... EMBRACING HIM in the midst ... for all He's worth, and all I'm not, yet because of Him, I live, so I reflect, perhaps grieve some or try to search for an outside distraction instead of an inward work, where healing must begin, for me, for others, for them ... and for so many in this world. I just shake my head and really wonder, "how long, O Lord? how long?" I reach for that EMBRACE and find that I'm not able. But, remind myself ... HE IS!!!God loves us and He will not leave us.

*and with this, I will pause 

[reposting August 17th]

Saturday, August 10, 2019


in the Midst of
Hurt & Heartache

#55 "Dealing with Deep Grief"

Psalm 34:18

I have read quite alot on the topic of 'grief' and recently on 'lament'. I've even shared on this blog about some of mine and a GriefShare Study I did "Help for the Journey". Yet I'd be the first to tell you that I don't deal well with grief, and deep grief would be even worse for me. I believe God knows this about me because often He arranges things to prepare me or help with dealing with grief in advance, but since I don't deal with normal grief, He certainly knows deep grief is beyond my coping mechanisms, just not His. Although both of my parents, all our aunts and uncles, some cousins and friends, our youngest brother, and many more, have left this earthly home for another, I am not just speaking of grief/loss by the death of someone, but other losses that I have faced in my life journey.

All this is to let you know, I'm the least likely to help anyone or write about grief. Experience, in this case, does not qualify you, it only allows you to understand on some levels the grief others go through and sympathize. I hardly know what to write or say to someone in deep grief, as some of my dearest friends have experienced but I hope in some way, I was there for them to listen and perhaps comfort in some small way. Being an encourager, usually, you'd think I'd have this down by now. {Not} 

So, even though, this blog title is "Embracing Grief" or loss, as I first had written ... I don't believe I have a grip yet, nor am I ready to "embrace grief or any loss" but I do think I'm learning and getting better. It's just that in no way can I share any valuable personal stuff to help you go on and move forward through the stages of grief, like Lysa TerKeurst does or what I'm about to share from Pastor Rick Warren's 'Daily Hope' email, which arrived this past week, a couple of days ahead of this devotion (again, this is God and how He prepares me). I may have to delete this because of sharing his devotion, that is probably copyrighted, but I'm only trying to offer this to help you and myself with embracing grief ... however, even if we can't, we can rest and find comfort in God's Word and through the Holy Spirit, know that we are EMBRACED by God as we face our grief, lament and deal better with whatever loss we face.

In a Season of Loss, Release Your Grief

“Pour out your heart to Him, for God is our refuge” (Psalm 62:8 NLT).
"Tragedy always produces strong emotions—anger, fear, depression, worry, and sometimes guilt. These feelings can scare us, and we often don’t know what to do with them. When we have experienced a major loss, these enormous feelings bubble up within us. If we don’t deal with them now, it will take us far longer to recover.
Some people never directly deal with grief in life. They stuff it. They push it down. They pretend it’s not there. They act like it doesn’t exist. And that’s why they’re still struggling with emotional stress from losses that occurred 20 or 30 years earlier.
There’s a myth that says God wants you to walk around with a smile on your face all the time saying, “Praise the Lord!” The Bible doesn’t say that anywhere.
In fact, Jesus taught the exact opposite. In Matthew 5:4, he says, “God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted” (NLT). It’s okay to grieve. When people are Christians, we know they will go on to heaven when they die, so we need not grieve like the world. Our grief after a loss can be different. We grieve because we’re going to miss them, but we can also be at peace because we know they are with God.
What do you do with your feelings? You don’t repress them or stuff them deep inside you. You release them—you give them to God. You cry out, “God, I’m hurt! I’m grieving! This is a tough one to take.” If you want a good example of this, read through the book of Psalms, where many times David spills his guts and says, “God, I’m in a tough time right now. I am really, really hurting.” You cry out to God, just like David did.
If you are going through a loss right now, please understand that if you don’t release your grief, it will pour out eventually. Feelings that are pushed down fester, and eventually they explode in a much worse situation.
Release your grief first so that God can begin to heal your heart." Rick Warren

As Rick Warren has said so well, "in a season of loss, release your grief". Allow God to begin to heal us and our hearts by EMBRACING God even closer and voicing our hurts and heart aches, He can take it, He's listening, He'll bring peace, comfort and bind up those wounds. He knows what it's like. He weeps with us, especially in the wake of all the senseless tragedies happening. 

I think that this 'hurt and heartache' is one that needs more healing or continual healing and I'm so thankful that I know "The Healer" and that He knows me. He is, and has been healing me as I remember each loss, fondly the loved ones, and letting go of the other ones as I deal and face them daily along with God's healing touch.

Friday, August 9, 2019


[this is a repost of 8/3 with empty boxes completed]


... Knowing God is Holding Me (YouClose

Part 3: 
in the Midst of Hurt & Heartache
Devotions #49-75 
(just 50-57 in this week's post)
August 2nd-9th, 2019

I heard Lysa speak on #50 & #51 at the
2018 "Set Apart" Conference
I attended to see and hear her and Liz C.Higgs

50."Is God Good?" Psalm 96:13 The Voice

...For the Eternal is on His way:
    yes, He is coming to judge the earth.
He will set the world right by His standards, and by His faithfulness, 
He will examine the people. (The Voice)

Why would a Good God allow Hurt? | Lysa TerKeurst

"God is good. His plans are good. His re-quirements are good. His salvation is good. His forgiveness is good. His restoration is good."

51."Is God Good to Me?" Romans 8:5-6

"I have to keep my mind focused on what the Holy Spirit whispers, not what my flesh screams."

I'll be back at the end of reading these this week to share more

52."Do I Trust God to be God?" Isaiah 26:3-4

[the link isn't to that specific devotion, but covers it & #50]

"Our identity must be anchored to the truth of who God is and who He is to us."

53."The Crushing Times" 2 Corinthians 4:8-9

"We need both the winds of hardship and relief to sweep across our lives if we are to be truly faithful."

54."What I Never Noticed about Jesus" Mark 6:51-52

"I get so focused on the mess, I miss the miracles."

55."Dealing with Deep Grief" Psalm 34:18

"Dear Lord, thank You for assuring me that You promises hold true even when life seems to betray me."

56."Why Isn't God Answering My Prayer?"1 Samuel 1:20 

{I know I have asked this even though I realize He's answered or is answering me just like the quote says, His timing not mine. I finally learned about the "no" and "wait" answers. Mostly it's the when for me for long-time prayers.}

"God loves us too much to answer our prayers at any other time than the right time."

57. "A Little Mad and a Lot Confused" Psalm 61:2

{if I'm truthful with myself (and you) this is me}

"Our God is big enough to handle our honest feelings."

Obviously if you're familiar at all with my life, or me from blog posts I've shared, then you'll already know that #55 definitely holds much of my heartache and some hurt ... because I have not dealt well with the many situations of grief in my life - loss that I must not have grieved the Christian way or well at all, not learning how to lament, grieve and move past the loss. I'm not saying forget the loss, but it's the way you let go and deal with your grief over the loss. I'm also not just referring to grief in relation to the death of a dearly departed loved one. Clearly, I am grieving other losses in addition to death: my health, my spouse's health, our marriage or all of years of an unhealthy relationship, the total loss of our home to a fire, my career and my life mission, friendships, identity, self-worth, etc. 

I'm sure I'll have much to EMBRACE in this week of devotions  and know the verse for #55, all too well! No matter what our hurt and heartache may be, we can trust that EMBRACING Him in the midst of each one will draw us closer and see us through bringing some healing and closure each step, every day, His way

HE truly is with us
in the midst of our
hurts and heartaches
let's trust
to be
and in
HE cares so much
HE loves us so deeply
HE is more than enough

When I came back and filled in the quotes, I decided that if I was to write on one of these, it would need to be a separate post, since this is far too long. Now I just need to select which one. {naw, I have and it will publish in the morning, then another preview one for the next week later tomorrow}

Sunday, August 4, 2019


has posted many great prayers 
{as the one I shared in the comments of my last blog post}
and then I found out that Debbie Kay not only has a book
but a ministry website blog and a You Tube channel
with some very beautiful prayers by her
like this one


which I thought about just adding to one of my blog posts
but as you can see I didn't because it's perfect
for today
the Sabbath

In fact, I also am going to share one of her video
among many that
go perfectly with

Part 3: 
Him in the Midst
of Hurt & Heartache

A Prayer for Hurting Hearts by Debbie Kay
{she probably has Facebook and other social media too}

If I don't have problems with sharing her videos 
then you can look forward to me sharing more.
Otherwise I hope you check out her book, website and YouTube videos!

Please keep Marsha Harwood's husband, Mike in your prayers (major stroke?), and of course, Marsha and their family. Also the people in El Paso, Texas! Heavy hearts everywhere ... from hospital to fatal shootings once again. How tragic!

Thursday, August 1, 2019

EMBRACING TRUST ... the start of Part 3

... Knowing God is Holding Me (YouClose

Part 3: 
Him in the Midst
of Hurt & Heartache


49. "I Have Trust Issues" Hebrews 13:5-6 NLT

{Yes, Lysa, I have trust issues, too! should I say "who doesn't to some degree?"}

As I look at today's date, it is so appropriate that I begin this 3rd part, on this day ... and wow, with the title of this devotion, it's a God-incidence, and God purposed, and God ordained for the topic to be trust. Sadly, as I have aged and experienced life, this has become a BIG issue for me, but not with God... but with most others, and even with myself. I went from being trusting, perhaps too trusting, to not trusting (in) myself, and ultimately (in) not trusting practically any one. 

Today, we (I) should be celebrating our anniversary, but this day has not been celebrated for decades, although it's more than 40 since we married and 50 since we knew each other. I trusted this person with my life and at that time, a personal secret that only my 2 best friends and my closest cousin (all my age) knew ... he was the first adult I trusted with this ... and as difficult as it is to write or admit this, I believe that going back to this part of my life, is where my broken trust began and my issue with this. I also think that in the years since we married, I am the one person that broke his trust in me, and yet I think he trusts too many other people ... strangers, in fact ... more than me. I wish I could say this is our only conflict or the reason we don't celebrate our anniversary, but it is clearly much more and much deeper. Although we are still married legally, it has been years (decades) since he considers us married. Truthfully, our marriage was never meant to be or should have been and actually, I don't believe we ever had a real marriage. So how can you celebrate that? 

The year after I came back from Mexico, I bought my 1st car on this date to mark this anniversary with something good, since my previous '96 van barely made it home from Mexico (it broke down completely 2 hours from the border and I waited 10 days with 3 dogs in a motel, as it was being repaired and rebuilt). As I think about this, it was our marriage (my life) that was what really needed to be repaired and rebuilt, as it had before I left twenty years ago ... it wasn't then, and basically does not look like that is possible anymore. Nor am I sure I want it, and I know he doesn't. Yet I believe in a God who specializes in impossibilities! However, even more than restoration of our relationship, I truly desire first and foremost to see my spouse come to Jesus and have the relationship with Him that I have had the privilege of knowing. This is God's will that not one of us should perish ... so this is my anniversary wish! 

Back in the 80s, I went to a small Christian home group called "Rebuilders" ... it was for rebuilding marriages. I learned many biblical marriage principles from this group but decided that it took 2 to rebuild, although I certainly acknowledged my our failings and worked on me. In the late 80s, God began showing me many truths and shone light on some parts of my life and began to reveal these truths to me. In the mid 80s is when we adopted our 2 children from a family member of his, and I began to see my life in a fresh new way and was committed to loving these children and giving them what they needed. Our son (at 5) and myself were baptized in the St. Croix River! It was indeed a new start; for him a new family and for me a renewal of my Christian beliefs, faith and life. Both of us had been baptized as infants, yet this was our own choice to follow Jesus and accept Him as our Lord - to be born again. Now this is what I've prayed and waited for to celebrate ... for their 'dad', my husband to do this.

So how does this relate to trust? or better yet my 'trust' issues?

I trust God has a purpose in this and for all these years, I trust my husband and household into God's hands and by God's Spirit and power, it will be ... I repent of my failures and breaking his trust and I forgive him for everything (things he probably does not feel he needs forgiveness) but in my heart of hearts, I know that what was wrong to begin with, cannot be made right ... my trust was broken and I was deceived by thinking it was love when in retrospect, it probably never was ... especially from what he shared when I took him back to the hospital ER this past end of June, with what was determined to have been yet another stroke, and we were forced to be together alone with each other for hours as we waited for results... this is the most time we have spent together since I moved back home. True, with all he's facing physically and mentally with the additional diagnosis of having Alzheimers for the past few years, how can I believe what he said? because it was some of the hurt coming forth from within him, which that night as many nights in all these years, God and I have been dealing with for my own healing, so I know ... that I can EMBRACE God (only) in the midst of hurt and heartache, hoping that one day soon, he will also. 

And how does this relate... well, it has to do with whether trust can be rebuilt? {I'm giving just brief glimpses into this 'trust issue' and lasting hurt and heartache of a lifetime. So if you don't completely understand, no worries, it's because I'm not divulging it all, or enough to get the full picture. I'm not too good at writing about revealing stories of my life yet.}

In some ways, I felt that trust has to be earned, but I've learned that trust is granted. Yet I strongly believe that trust is critical in a healthy relationship. The problem is that I don't think my marriage has ever been a healthy relationship, and because of this, I also believe that I have not learned how to have a healthy relationship, and how to trust. I hardly trust anything or anyone, any more, but I wasn't this way always. So, of course, I have trust issues, and that's not easy to admit. Some of these come from people I trusted that hurt me and also with different incidences that have caused PTSD in me.

Trust is the right place to begin this 3rd part of EMBRACING Him in the Midst of Hurt and Heartache; I trust God with my hurts and many of my heartaches. I learned long ago that God will go back with me to those past hurts and heartaches to walk me through them with knowing He's there, yet I already knew HE was with me, and that's the only reason why I got through them. 

{I knew I did not have to convince you that I have 'trust' issues, if you know me at all. However, I do need to begin to sort through all that I shared above, of some of my hurts & heartaches that go back to my early life.}
I will do a new blog post for this upcoming Part 3
since I wrote so much on 'trust'
before I even read what
Lysa wrote.

(but because tomorrow is Friday, you'll have to wait)

just like I do

Thinking that perhaps this blog post title should have been:
"My Hesitation in Embracing Trust"

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!