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Catching Lemons

So…I promised I wouldn’t flood your email with blog post notifications and I believe I have kept that promise to date.

Life has thrown lemons at me lately and while I have tried to catch them all, a few have actually missed my hands and hit me square in the chest.

When I first started this blog, I was thinking about all the people who were in the throes of Covid-19 and all of my readers who just might need a little bit of hope. THEN…the rioting and protests started happening in May and I just didn’t have words. I was, for lack of a better term, grieving. Grieving for life as we knew it, pre-Covid, for people who were being hurt by others through no fault of their own and grieving for us as a nation for being told half-truths and outright lies with nowhere to turn to find out who is telling us the truth and for the millions of people being seduced by the evil one.

That was the first lemon I took to the chest as summer approached…

The second lemon didn’t actually hit me in the chest, I stepped out to catch it and I fell and broke the radius head up in my elbow on my right arm over the Fourth of July weekend. I had to have surgery to replace 40% of it. So, there was about a month and a half of summer, I couldn’t put a decent sentence together, let alone type.

It seems like it has been slow, but I am on the mend both emotionally and physically. I know we are still dealing with the virus and I am still dealing with the residual effects of having surgery. And even though these two things still make me want to curl up and stay home, I am putting my hope in the fact there is a God in Heaven and He is Omniscient (all-knowing), Omnipresent (ever-present) and Omnipotent (all-powerful) and in control of the universe and He is watching over me (Psalm 121).

And get this…HE IS WATCHING OVER YOU TOO! Take hope in that also, my friends!

PS…Pop on over to your IG account and follow Plain Blain Design Co and enter the giveaway I am doing with some new friends!

A New Day, Thank You Mr. Buble’!

“It’s a new dawn

It’s a new day

It’s a new life

For me…” 

–Michael Buble’

Ahhh…the soothing sound of Michael Buble’ encouraging me with his smooth, buttery voice that it’s a new dawn, a new day…

However, when I wake up each morning, I think to myself “It’s a new dawn. It’s a new day…” and then I attempt to get my aching self out of bed and wonder if someone is playing a cruel joke on me.  What in the world? Did someone spike my water with something to make every joint in my body ache?

The longer I am on this earth, the more I realize how much I didn’t think about turning 50 or what life would be like once the “chicks” left the “proverbially” nest.  I guess maybe I didn’t think about it because my parents made it look easy. 

Over 50 and an empty nester, with some menopausal issues thrown in and this  “new life”  is totally not what I expected!  

After a brief interlude of self-evaluation, I decided my “new dawn, new day, new life” attitude needed to be as smooth and buttery as Michael’s voice.  

Here’s what I discovered:

New dawn– Give God the first light.  Pray, read Scripture and quietly listen.  Let the Holy Spirit speak to me in the first light of the new dawn.  Let Him guide and direct.

New day-As this new day unfolds remember to thank God for it.  It’s a new day, I am determined not to live my old yesterday in the new day.  What is past, is past.

New life-Don’t settle for the aches and pains, past hurts and disappointments.  God has given this season, this “new life”, to be taken advantage of.  Do it!  

So for me, I will continue to listen as Mr. Buble’ sings his tune with the mission impossible background music “It’s a new dawn, It’s a new day, It’s a new life, For me…” and forge into the next half a century of  empty nesting and menopausal mishaps with a renewed attitude.  

A New Dawn

Another Confession

My delay in posting comes with yet another confession.

My confession is this: my heart hurts.

My heart hurts for each person dealing with their own confusion and sense of security in light of the events of the past week and a half in America…

So…the advice I was given was this…

” Go to the Scriptures.”

And that’s what I did!

I know this is cliché, but seriously, JESUS IS THE ANSWER!


“Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” “(Matt. 22:36-40 NIV)

There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28 NIV)

Words like Jewish and non-Jewish, religious and irreligious, insider and outsider, uncivilized and uncouth, slave and free, mean nothing. From now on everyone is defined by Christ, everyone is included in Christ. (Colossians 3:11 MSG)

And I pray that I may have eyes to see everyone through the eyes of Christ and not through the opinions of others.

Marching On

A four-day work week…isn’t it amazing! For most of us, we love that. There are those who are in professions that require them to work no matter the day of the week or the holiday of the year but I think they would agree to a four-day work week every now and then is lovely.

This week our short week is attributed to Memorial Day. To remember those who have gone before us and particularly those who have fought for our right to enjoy the freedoms we have in America.

Now that I have a soldier in my family, it was particularly thought provoking for me. We had the privilege to attend graduation from basic training. During the ceremony, the emcee referred to the men and women who were graduating as “your soldier”.

And of course, it got me thinking…

Soldiers. Warriors. Mighty men.
They are Loyal. Brave. Disciplined. Sacrificial.

-Loyal to the country they serve.
-Brave in the midst of chaos and confusion.
-Disciplined physically and mentally.
-Sacrificial for the greater good.

Some are trained for specific duties in the field. Some bear a rifle and are out in front. Some are carrying radios to let those in charge know what is going on. Some are hanging back so they can administer medical attention with the first aid kits they are carrying in their backpacks. Some are leaders and the rest are trained to follow.

Those soldiers go marching into battle with immeasurable strength to face the unknown. They carry the weight of all they are guarding and fighting for. All the while, standing at attention ready for their next orders. They are highly trained for combat with known and unknown enemies. And those soldiers committed to the cause.

There were some soldiers out on that field who are soldiers in another army– a heavenly army. My son is one of them and I am too. And Gideon was one, King David was one, and the Apostle Paul and the Disciples were as well. We are all soldiers of the Cross.

Paul and David received their marching orders and then they trained. They used some of the knowledge they had before they were “officially” trained to help those who didn’t “know” anything. Both men wrote down the instructions they were given so we could lead and follow their example of loyalty, bravery, discipline and sacrifice.

Being a soldier of the Cross requires a Christian to be loyal to the Name we bear. “If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.” (Mark 8:38 NIV)

And just as a soldier has to be loyal to his country, he has to be brave to defend it. “Be strong. Take courage. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t give them a second thought because God, your God, is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; he won’t leave you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6 The Message)

Being brave also means being disciplined–”But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.” (1 Pet. 3:15-16 NIV)

We may also have to sacrifice for the greater good–
“In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God,did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!” (Phil. 2:5-8 NIV)

As soldiers of a heavenly army, we are not fighting against flesh and blood but against principalities and unseen forces not of the earthly world. And as we are called to be loyal, brave, disciplined and sacrificial may we remember there is hope in an eternal reward.

“Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war,
With the cross of Jesus going on before.” (John Newton)

The Land of Algebra

So I have a confession…I am not good at math.  In fact, I barely passed Elementary Algebra in college.  

When the letters show up alongside a number, it throws my brain into tornadic activity, swirling around and destroying any hope of solving the problem. Pretty soon the Wicked Witch of the West, with her smug “I knew it look”,  shows up riding her bicycle and laughing wickedly at my inability to process the letters with numbers. To top it off, she knows she is going to get Toto, because my brain won’t be able to hang on much longer.

There are, however, some math skills I do remember.  Like “is” means “equal to.”  And let me tell you, knowing that has come in handy when reading the Bible.

Did you know there are two “equal to” statements in 1 John? 

  1. Sin=Lawlessness (3:4)
  2. God=Love (4:16)

Knowing these “equal to” statements has helped me through periods of “unequal to” circumstances, when I didn’t think life was fair and I didn’t have much hope it ever would be.

When I remember sin is lawlessness, I can put temptation behind me.  As an Enneagram 1, I prefer to be “law abiding”.  My sense of right and wrong doesn’t hover in the balance when I approach sin as lawlessness.  

AND it prompts me to remember James 1:14-15 (NIV), “…but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.  Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin when it is full grown, gives birth to death.”  Sounds frightening doesn’t it?  And then to add some more to the equation, Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death.” (NIV)

It doesn’t seem like there is a solution to this sin=lawlessness problem.  If I am tempted and go my own way and continually give in to lawlessness,   I just keep spinning around in the tornado of  hopelessness.

Hallelujah!  There is a solution!  As I continue to work on the problem, I find that God=Love.  He is the solution to my sin=lawlessness problem, and He solved it by sending His only Son to die in MY place for MY sin.  (Talk about life not being fair!)

Because God is love and because He is perfect, I don’t have to be afraid.  Perfect love drives out fear. (1John 4:18 NIV).  He loves me perfectly and is the solution to every spiritual math equation (sin) I find hard to solve.  He gives me hope in the midst of the E5 tornado spinning my life and losing grip on Toto.  

When I find myself in the whirlwind of self-pity and life-isn’t-fair moments, I simply look  the old wicked witch right in eye and tell her to take her smug little self and her bicycle and pedal her way back to the land of Algebra because God has solved my problem of letters with numbers.  

So if you are like me and have an E5 tornado coming at you, be brave, follow the path God has set out for you in His Word.  Look the wicked witch in the eye and tell her to pedal her way out of your life. 

Remember God has the solution and He loves you perfectly!