"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, November 24, 2019


... Knowing God is Holding Me (YouClose

Part 4: 
His Calling
to be Transformed

Devotions #91 - 95

91. "I Want What She Has" Proverbs 14:30

..."I am not equipped to handle what they have, both good and bad." ...

92. "But, Lord, I Can't Do That!" Exodus 4:10

..."The exact way God made you is in keeping with how He will use you."

93. "Feeling Guilty?" Psalm 139:14

... "Sometimes I feel more guilty for what I'm not thankful for than what I am."

94. "Even When I Fall Short" Proverbs 24:16

... "When circumstances shift and we feel like we fall short, we should ask, 'How can I see Jesus, even in this?' ...

95. "The Friendship Challenge" Ecclesiastes 4:9-11

... "The Lord knew we would need each other to get through this life." ...

Now, in retrospect, I should have gotten "Embraced..." in Kindle, but it really is a beautiful book and I love to hold a book in my hands still. The reason I write this is because sometimes I could be reading the devotion, if I could read in Kindle, so linking these devotions, ends up helping me too. However, sadly I have noticed they're either not available or the same. My apologies... missing 1 this time #94


I really don't like doing this, but as you can see there are still 5 devotions left to finish in this last part of "Embraced ..." AND November is over by next weekend, after Thanksgiving Day. ADVENT begins on Sunday, December 1st, 2019... SO, I have to hold off doing those last 5 until probably after Christmas Day, for the last week of 2019. {or I could add them on to this post} I already have a plan for December during Advent to EMBRACE ... and some over at You Version as well as continue with "One Thousand Gifts" (for 4 more weeks/sessions} ... so that's far more than enough for me. You'll have to hold on and see the rest ... later or ... in the last week of the year 2019!

Sunday, November 17, 2019


... Knowing God is Holding Me (YouClose

Part 4: 
His Calling
to be Transformed

Devotions # 86 - 90

Truthfully, I'm already falling behind in reading these devotions from the first two weeks, but will share this next week anyways - because the 'new' Ann Voskamp with FaithGateway obs starts this week of "One Thousand Gifts" study guide and book make for alot of reading, yet still can watch the weekly video teachings of this ... and hopefully stay caught up with "EMBRACED..." this week. I need these all as I continue "being transformed".

86. "God, Give Us Self-Control" Isaiah 55:10-11

..."The answer to keeping God's power with me and working in me to produce self-control is letting His Word get inside me."...

87. "What to Do with Tough Relationships" 1 Peter 5:6

... "The truth is, we have an Enemy, and it's not each other." ...

88. "You Don't Like Me" Philippians 4:6

... " In the absence of truth, lies reign." ...
{tell me about it}

89. "Comparisons Stink" Galatians 6:3-5

... "Satan will always try to point out what's "wrong" to block out all that is right." ...

90. "Her Success Doesn't Threaten Mine" Luke 10:2NLT

... "All tides rise when we see a sister making this world a better place with her gifts." ...


I leave the box below, in case I find more to share after reading the devotions.

So, I'll be starting to EMBRACE 'One Thousand Gifts'
November 18 - December 22

which will deepen my
attitude of gratitude
which I started to
back here
it just so happens
that in another devotional
"365 Devotions to EMBRACE what Matters Most"
this week 47 is
"Your Attitude Matters"

Looking forward to
"being transformed"
in my

Sunday, November 10, 2019


Perhaps you read my title and wonder why there's a question mark, as part of this last part of Lysa's book "Embraced ..." (which is the reason for the 4-2, 4th part and 2nd post)... but if you were able to read or understand my 4-1 rambling, you'd better understand the reason for the (?) ... I'm just not sure that one readily "embraces" being transformed or "embraces" transformation, even when it's realized that there's a definite need for transformation in all of us. However, I put the (?) because I was not sure if Lysa's Part 4 is about "Embracing His Calling" or "Embracing His Calling to be transformed" (which is how it's written). I'm hoping as I read more of these devotions in this final part of her book, I will know ...

... Knowing God is Holding Me (YouClose

Part 4: 
His Calling
to be Transformed

Devotions #76-100

this week

... no matter which way I look at this last part, as calling or transforming, I'm thankful that I know God is holding us close and that Lysa's devotions, draw me closer to being "embraced" as I read and learn more about "embracing" His Calling, and my need to be transformed. 

Last weekend, as I prepared that blog post, my mind was kinda in a fog a week ago, since November 2nd is a day, I remember and grieve the loss of our youngest brother, many years ago now, yet still thought of often, so I had and have been listening to some of his favorite music. As I mentioned last week's blog post, I am finishing up Laura Story's "I Give Up: The Secret Joy of a Surrendered Life" and that week was on "Being Transformed", so when this song played from a random playlist, it was not only  timely, but a moving reminder of "Surrender to Jesus"and I'd like to share it this week, to honor my brother before moving ahead with this next week's devotions. 

Here's another "Surrender" with an intro filled with so much meaning by the artist, my brother, Gary enjoyed, John Michael Talbot along with Michael Card


Devotions #81 - 85

81. "Receiving Grace " Psalm 34:1 KJV
{could not find to link, see list below #83}
... but I, too have a problem giving and receiving grace with humans

... "In the midst of my mess, God is there."...

82. "The Treasure of Thrown-Away Food" Phil. 4:7

..."The truly thankful is a truly peaceful person."

83. "Giving Grace" Ephesians 6:12
{could not find that one but here's a few others by her on "grace"}
"A Space for Grace"
"Pinches and Grace"
"Grace in the Middle"
or "When Giving Grace Feels Hard"
... "The secret to healthy conflict resolution isn't taking a you-against-me-stance, but realizing it's all of us against Satan - he's the real Enemy."

84. "Something to Consider with Criticism" Luke 21: 13-15 HCSB

... "Remember, behind every harsh critic is usually a brokenhearted person desperate for love."

85. "I Had the Perfect Comeback" Philippians 3:16

{not me, ever}

... "Why would I want to trade the peace of partnering with God for a few cheap moments of putting someone else in their place."


I shared a Gratitude Challenge last week by
Maree Dee
actually it's the name of her blog & one of her categories
that really intrigued me
Embracing Life in the Midst of the Unexpected (blog)
neither of which
I do very well
I won't even attempt
to add this to all I need to
because this year is almost over
and I've just tipped the top of this 'iceberg'
{I think that's the expression}

I'm still searching
for what God meant when
He whispered
as my One Word in 2019
learning to
as much as I can

sounds almost as vast as
1000 GIFTS
I hope to at least start
Ann Voskamp & FaithGateway

{I've got (actually had) the book & just got the study guide, so we'll see}

Ann Voskamp
her books
FaithGateway & the many studies they make available
Lysa TerKeurst
her books, ministries & team at
P31 & First 5
{that's a good start on "gifts" and gifted blessings}

Sunday, November 3, 2019


When I originally headed to my laptop with the idea to share a blog post, it was not at all for the one, previously posted. I came here with the intention of continuing with ...

... Knowing God is Holding Me (YouClose

Part 4: 
His Call to be Transformed
Devotions #76-100


The reason was simple - the year's almost over and the topic this past week (Session 4) in the Laura Story (OBS with Faith/Study Gateway

"I Give Up: The Secret Joy of a Surrendered Life"

(with only one more week left)

... and truthfully, I'm just not finished with this at all. In fact, it appears like I'm just getting starting again and have much still to work through and do. Then I remembered that this last part in Lysa's book "Embraced..." had to do with "being transformed" (or perhaps, without having read these last 25 devotions in Part 4, it may be about Embracing His Calling). Either way, with so many studies and plans, I really dislike leaving Lysa's book unfinished or God's work in me in 2019 ... so I need to press on and tackle reading these devotions (at least 5 a week) so I can find out which one it may be - help to "be transformed" or to "embrace His call". 

Looking at this more clearly, it looks like it's about "Embracing His Call to be transformed" ... because most of us do not easily want to embrace being transformed. We know we need it. We know we should. We even realize the benefits, but getting right down to answering His Call or letting His Spirit transform us ... (well?) I kinda think "transformation" is a life-long process; some parts more easily done than others (I could be wrong) but I don't think it's complete this side of eternity. 

I've been observing the caterpillars getting ready for their big transformation to becoming a butterfly, getting into their metamorphosis and they look pretty slow about making this come about, creeping slowly, not really settling on any one spot, reticient, and often I find them just curled up in a ball or ring (not on any branch-ready to go). Just saying. They're ready to blame it on the weather or other conditions for not proceeding. Maybe they're afraid of the change or giving up crawling around. They most definitely do not seem to be embracing, even a twig.

Nonetheless, I have much to learn just in the 'surrender' part and much more in being transformed. I'm ready (Laura Story) for your last part on "The Ripple Effect of Surrender". And all Lysa TerKeurst has yet to share in Part 4: Embracing His Call to be Transformed:

Devotions #76 - 80

76. "The Beginnings of a Miracle" Psalm 77:11
"A God who still does Miracles"

..."I knew my progress would be imperfect, but it could still be miraculous." ...

77. "Is My Pain Talking?" 2 Corinthians 10:5

..."Our Lord doesn't whisper shameful condemnations. Spiritual cnvictions, yes. Personal condemnations, no." ...

78. "Getting Unstuck from My Thinking Rut" Rom. 12:2

... "If we change the way we think, we'll change the ways we act and react." ...

79. "The Root of My Rot" Psalm 139:24 NLT

... "How we react is a crucial gauge of what's really going on inside us." ...

80. "I Quit" 2 Corinthians 7:10

{I'm pretty sure this isn't the same as "I Give Up"}

... "There is a big difference between being sorry and being changed." ...

" "

{Not enough time or eye strength for all this reading, but I'll give it my best}

and all along I will try to continue to




more gracefully than 
the caterpillar until it's a butterfly
but imagine the joy in flying and flittering 
about instead of crawling or rolling up into a ball

it's not so easy to die to self
even when we know it's to be someone better

*if you don't see a post next week, it only means I'm running a little behind ... or poor to no connection ... certainly not because I'm too busy (ahem) reading here and there ... and everywhere.  Maybe I need to Embrace ... less reading more leaning into Him and trusting! Less doing and more being. Less of me, more of Jesus. 

Friday, November 1, 2019


It's NOVEMBER already, when many of us look forward to Thanksgiving Day at the end of the month (the last Thursday), a day set aside to "give thanks" to God and others. There are also some, who begin the beginning of November, focusing on "giving thanks" daily. Then, there are quite a few that have made this a daily habit of having an attitude of gratitude, looking for "things" - "gifts" in each day.

It's been said that if you begin a new discipline and do it regularly it can become a new habit, but truthfully "on average, it takes more than 2 months (66 days)  before a new behavior becomes automatic" contrary to the 21 day myth ... I guess it depends on the behavior, and the reason for this 21 days was to inspire and encourage you to make any change feasible. 

We try to teach our little ones to say "thank you" when given something when young so that this habit becomes part of their response throughout life. And, of course, the needed response of "you're welcome" forms and develops the beginning of understanding that daily we can find at least one thing, one time, to say thanks, and multiple this a thousand times to our Lord, God Almighty that has provided EVERY THING to us! For me, it's counting His blessings ... our daily blessings from our first breath when we awake to every little and big thing that happens throughout our day. I want this attitude of gratitude so much to be a part of me, that I just don't want a day or a month, I really want to EMBRACE Gratitude as part of who I am, as a child of God! I desire to follow Ann's example in her well-known book "One Thousand Gifts" and the habit that many started upon grabbing hold of this beautiful, heart-felt book to "dare to live fully right where 'we' are". Here's what the book description begins with and over a million copies sold:

"New York Times bestselling author Ann Voskamp invites you to embrace everyday blessings and embark on the transformative spiritual discipline of chronicling God's gifts."

Ann Voskamp and Faith/Study Gateway
even decided to make this available as an
Online Bible Study
November 18th through December 22nd
(5 weeks)
{with book, study guide and weekly video teachings plus freebies for joining}
Session 1 Attitude of Gratitude
Session 2 Grace in the Moment
Session 3 All is Grace
Session 4 Trust: the Bridge to Joy
Session 5 Empty to Fill

On November 4th
Ann Voskamp
will be giving a Premiere of
on her Facebook page
9 PM (EST)

There is so much left to
and definitely not enough days


I'm thankful that GRATITUDE is an important one
to embrace and carry forward in my life journey
so that I'm wanting to approach this
Thanksgiving and Christmas
my eyes on Jesus
counting my blessings
seeking JOY in what
really matters

I couldn't find a better example than
Ann Voskamp 
to show me, lead me
help me

So now

How do I go about embracing gratitude?

I've read and heard that by:

  • Starting a gratitude journal. ...
  • Being grateful for life's hardships.
  • Making gratitude a lifestyle. ...
  • Being intentional with appreciation. ...
  • Living in the now. ...
  • Focusing on the positive. ...
  • Clearing my mind. ...
  • Realizing that gratitude is not dependent on “stuff” ...
are the first basic steps

I've learned only one of these (maybe two) as part of my life
so it looks like I have much to do still
Hope it's not too late
to make gratitude my lifestyle
Accepting Ann's Invitation!

and look what else I found besides the 
Bible reading plans at You Version

30 Days Prayer Challenge of Gratitude
Jesus Calling/ Jesus Always
10 Day Gratitude Challenge
and many
others, I'm sure

I have the ones above, however, I'm very intrigued in the one with Maree Dee (although I don't know her and it's from 2018), she certainly has what I believe I need to EMBRACE ... gratitude in the midst of the unexpected so that's where I am headed until November 18th ... 

Now that's enough to fill your calendar and few spare minutes

yet it doesn't take any time 

to find at least one thing

and whisper

Thank You, Lord!

every day

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!