Fear filled her. Unknown fear. Nameless fear. Fear she couldn’t connect to a source. All she knew was she was afraid.

“Lord, speak to me. Tell me what I need to know to relieve this fear.” she prayed.

“We are one.” came the swift reply.

We are one? She frowned. She and God were one? What did that even mean? How were they one? She wasn’t God. It sounded nice, but she couldn’t figure out what He was talking about.

He broke into her thoughts. “Listen. We are one. You and me. Forever.”

OK, she got the ‘you and me’ part. She knew when she gave her life to Him, she became His – His property, His follower, His friend, His daughter, etc.  And the forever part – she knew she would be with Him forever. So maybe that’s what He meant by ‘we are one’, that they were joined and would never be separated. That was good for the future. The problem was now. How was knowing that going to help her with the present day fear problem?

“Don’t you get it yet?” He asked gently. “When you hurt, I hurt. Come to Me with your problems, your pain, your fears. I can take them from you. Do you understand?”

She shook her head. In her head, she understood what He was telling her. But in the nitty gritty of everyday life, she wasn’t so sure it worked like He said. All she had to do was go before Him with whatever problem or fear she had, and He would take it from her? She had tried that in the past without success.

“Do you believe me?” He asked.

She wanted to. And to a degree she did. But deep down? Did she believe He could take her fear from her? Thinking of her attempts to believe her fear away in the past, she wasn’t so sure.

“Do You trust Me?” He asked, getting to the root of the issue.

Oh no. Not that question. She knew He was trustworthy and that she should trust Him.  And she WAS working on it. But she had been let down or betrayed by everyone in her life – family as well as friends. And there was still so much doubt clouding her heart and mind that she was sure she didn’t trust Him like He wanted her to. And that made her feel bad.

“I love you. I will not hurt you. Ever.” He reassured her.

She wanted desperately to believe that. Maybe deep down, where He had planted His Spirit, she did. But it was covered with layers of fear and pain and distrust.

“Oh, God, help me!” she cried out. “I want to trust You!”

“Follow Me. We’ll walk this path together. ” He invited. “Take it one step at a time. As I prove my trustworthiness to you day by day, your trust will grow. And when you can trust Me, when you can believe Me at My word, when you know My love for you and all that means, then your fears will be gone. For perfect love casts out fear.”

“I’ve read that scripture,” she told Him. “It says fear has to do with punishment. I don’t think that’s the same kind of fear I struggle with. I’m not afraid that You will punish me.”

“The bottom line is the same. Let’s look at your fear. What are you afraid of?”

“That’s just it. I don’t know.”

“OK. Let’s say it’s about feeling you’re in danger. Would that be realistic?”

“Yes, since I live and travel alone, I do fear for my safety at times.”

“Why would being alone make you fear?”

“There’s no one to protect me.”

“I’m there to protect you.”

“I know You can but I’m afraid You won’t for whatever reason.”

“So it’s a trust issue.”

“I guess so.”

“What if your fear was in having to do something outside your comfort zone? Like speaking in front of hundreds of people? What would you be afraid of?”

“I would be afraid I would mess up, or make a fool of myself.”

“Would it help if you didn’t have to do it alone? If someone was standing there with you, giving you suggestions and reassurances?”


“I would be standing there with you.”

“But would I be able to hear You.”

“So it’s a trust issue again. You don’t trust that I could make myself heard by you. One more example. What if your fear had to do with illness. What if you were just diagnosed with cancer. What would you be afraid of?”

“I would be afraid of dying. Of what would happen to my family if I did die. Of not knowing how bad it would get. Of the side effects of the treatment I would have to have. Mostly, I would be afraid of not having control.”

“What if you knew dying only meant being with Me? What if you knew your family would be taken cared of? What if you knew someone would be there every step of the way with your treatments? What if you knew someone who could not only control it all, but do so in your favor?”

“Yeah, I see what You’re saying. It does come down to trust.”

“The same goes with other fears. They all boil down to trust.”

Thinking about it, she saw that He was right.

“And why can’t you trust Me?” He asked her.

“Because I see and read about people who got hurt even though they were Your followers. If You let them get hurt, You could let me get hurt.”

“So your faith is in what you see, not in Me. Why is that?”

“Because I know what I see better than I know You.”

“Do you really know what you see? Do you really know why they got hurt? Why it appeared that I let them get hurt?”

“No,” she had to admit.

“So knowing is not the issue. It’s trust.”

“So how do I learn to trust You?”

“Like I said. Walk with Me one step at a time. As You experience My faithfulness, your trust will grow. As You experience My unconditional love for you, your trust will grow.

What really gives fear a handhold in your heart is your fear to let fear go. The thoughts IMG_20180430_181558737and reasons you have about why you need that fear make you take it back every time I try to take it from you. But over time trust in Me will grow until it’s bigger than your fear. Then all you’ll need to do when a fear appears is to ask Me to take it and I will. And your belief, your trust in Me, will make it possible for you to let go of it for good.

Got it?”

And she did. And He was right. Over time, her trust in Him did increase, and the fears in her did decrease. Amazing.

Too Much of a Good Thing

IMG_20180418_195632421It had only been a few days since her encounter with Jesus and she wanted to know everything there was to know about God and about being a Christian. She wanted Jesus to be pleased with her so she worked hard at learning what that entailed. For six months she read every book she could find on God, Jesus,  the Holy Spirit, and the Christian walk. They were all good books –  sermons and teachings and testimonies and autobiographies. She took notes and made lists.

And totally confused herself. Everybody seemed to have their own ideas and methods that worked for them. How in the world was she supposed to figure out how to please God and be a good Christian? She became stressed trying to figure it out, adding more and more to her daily and weekly to-do lists. And finding that they didn’t work for her like they did the people in the books.

Then she began to be convicted.

“Daughter, why don’t you just ask Me?”

She was looking everywhere, except towards God. He wanted her to ask HIM what she should do.

So she asked Him. “What do You want me to do? How can I please You?”

“You don’t have to do anything to please Me. You already do just by being My child.”

“But what about all those things I read about, the things people say I need to do?”

“Do you know why I let you read all those books these past months?”

“To confuse me?”

“No,” He laughed. “Not to confuse you, but to make you understand that I deal with everyone differently. What and how I work with other people is not the way I’ll work with you.”

“So You’ll tell me what to do and when? I can get rid of my to-do lists?”


And she sighed with relief. Her Father was in charge of her spiritual life. All she had to do was listen. This new spiritual life was going to be amazing!

A Conversation With Myself (or Can We Get Some Feedback?)

Me: We have a problem.

Myself: What kind of problem? Are we out of keyboard strokes?

Me: What? Never mind. We’re going to need to change our blog posts. Do you think our readers are aware that our stories are based on real life events from the journals we kept in our earlier life?

Myself: Maybe. But I bet few would know that genre is called creative nonfiction. I had never heard of that before we began writing in it! I wonder how many other genres are out there that we’ve never heard of.

Me: Focus, man! We’re not talking about genres. We talking about our blogs! We need some information.

Myself: You mean, like what our readers like to read?

Me: Yes. If you haven’t noticed, we’re pretty much done with the journals from the 1970’s.  We need to move on to the 80’s.

Myself: So?

Me: So there’s a problem with that. Our life changed more than a few times during the 80’s. And so our journal entries changed also.

Myself: How? The handwriting?

Me: No, you fool. They went from event based to thinking based. More about what we thought about things than actual events.

Myself: So? I still don’t see the problem.

Me: Really? How can we write about events when there aren’t many to choose from?

Myself: Oh, I get it. So what do we do?

Me: There’s several directions we can go, but I just can’t decide.

Myself: Well, maybe if we figured out why we’re writing in the first place, it might help us figure out which direction to go.

Me: OK. At first we wrote to practice our writing skills. But that changed over time after we began getting feedback. So we need new goals.

Myself: I have one! How about to brighten our reader’s day with a little entertainment?

Me: That’s good. We definitely want to do that. But that seems so trivial. We need to think deeper. Like maybe to inspire our readers to keep on keeping on with their own walks with God.

Myself: Ooo, I like it! But I have one even deeper than that! To glorify God by acknowledging, and in a way thanking, Him for all the ways He has been faithful to us!

Me: Perfect!  So we have three new goals. Now how do we reach them?

Myself: Get readers to read them of course!

Me: Duh! And how do we do that when we don’t know what they like?

Myself: Now who’s being dumb. Ask them!

Me: Their time is precious with so many daily demands on their lives. And there’s so many great blogs they could be reading. I always feel honored when they choose to spend some of that time reading what we write.  I don’t want to ask even more of their time. I want them to be glad each time they visit us.

Myself: Well, it won’t hurt to ask them. Maybe a few of them would be kind enough to answer.

Me: Wow! If they would, I think I would jump with joy!

Myself: That I would love to see!  I don’t think I’ve ever seen you jump, except for when you see a roach. lol

Me: Very funny. Let’s write a letter to our readers with our questions.

Myself: Good idea. Here’ s what I think it should say:

“Dear Readers,

We love you! Thank you so much for spending some of your valuable time with us! Could we please ask you a few questions? It would help us out tremendously as we contemplate the direction we want our blog to take.”

Me: Tremendously? Contemplate?

Myself: Shhh… big words might make them think we’re smarter than we are.

Me: sigh

“Here are some questions, but any comments or suggestions would also be greatly appreciated!

Which of our stories had the greatest impact on you?

What kinds of stories would you like to see more of? Humorous, thought provoking, emotional, chapters (where one long story is divided into several blogs), etc.?

Are there any type stories you don’t like?

Would you be interested in other kinds of writing such as our commentary as we studied different scriptures? Or pictures we drew that told a story all on their own (with maybe just a caption when necessary)?

Do you prefer daily short stories or fewer longer stories (like 2-3 per week)?

What else can we do to make our blogs more inspiring, entertaining, and/or worthwhile of your time?

Very gratefully yours,

Me and Myself”

Me: Sounds good. Let’s post it!


I hope this blog brought you a smile or two! The dialogue was meant to be humorous but the questions are serious. I really would like feedback. When I was still teaching, I used to ask parents as well as my students for feedback from time to time in order to evaluate my performance and make changes when necessary in order to become the most effective teacher I could be. I would like to use that same strategy to help me become the most effective, inspiring, impactful blogger I can be. I would truly be honored for any time you spend providing this feedback to me! And I truly do love you!


Baby Steps

She read Ps 37:23-24 in The Living Bible (TLB):

“The steps of good men are directed by the LORD. He delights in each step they take. If they fall, it isn’t fatal, for the LORD holds them with his hand.”

Hmmm… she thought. Who are these good men?

Paul says when we are saved, we are washed of our sins and we become good in the eyes of God. So these good men must be the saved. That means I’m one of the good guys.

“He delights in each step they take.”

The thought of a baby came to mind – one that was just learning to walk. And the delight on the dad’s face as he watched his son take each hesitant step.

God, as my Father, delights in my steps? That’s hard to believe because I sure don’t delight in them. I’m a baby in my faith and am just learning to walk. The steps are slow, often painful and awkward. But God delights in them, and He will always delight in them no matter how old I get.

“If they fall, it isn’t fatal…”

Wow, good to know. Because I fall a lot! My salvation does not depend on how well I walk, but on how well Jesus walked.

“for the LORD holds them with his hand.”

Jesus is right here, all the time, holding my hand as I continue taking steps.  I’ll never be separated from Him because it’s Him holding my hand, not me holding His.

Whew. This takes a lot of pressure off me!

She thought for a few minutes. So what I think God is saying is…

Relax! Don’t beat yourself up for your failures, but enjoy the whole spiritual learning process, because I do! I’m with you every step of the way!