My sentimental journey

An ordinary girl's walk with an extraordinary God.


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You’ve Got Mail

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When our boys were 5 and 7 yrs old one of my prayers for them was to have a dog. Growing up my brother and I had a lot of fond memories of Herbie our little poodle mix.  As parents my husband and I wanted our children to have some special moments similar to ours growing up.  Although we now wrestled with the fact our money was tight and our cottage home small… a tight situation on both ends. I began praying asking God with these specifications….for a little dog that was also CHEAP.  Trusting in a God who loves to  give us the desires of our heart.

One day while answering the phone I was delighted to hear my bubbly friend and mentor, Michelle on the other end. In her trademark cheerful tone mixed with  passionate zeal, she exclaimed… “Guess what Lisa !?”,  to which I replied,  “What”  trying to reach her level of enthusiasm. She chimed in with such exuberance it could have motivated a failing football team into the state championships.
“God says you’ve got mail” she said eagerly making me laugh at her perky statement. Being a routinely self confessing Eeyore from time to time, I greatly appreciated having a Tigger bouncing around to lift my occasional drooping spirits.

After our conversation ended there was a new found spring in my step faintly resembling that of “T  I  DOUBLE  GER” throughout my day’s errands. Finishing up that afternoon with a trip to our neighborhood post office, I amused myself while waiting in line by reading the signs below the counter. An unfamiliar sign was posted that caught my eye which  simply read “Lost dog ask clerk”.  When it came time to step up to the counter my casual statement to the clerk was , “Oh how’s the lost dog doing?” trying to engage her in a brief exchange of pleasantries, She didn’t miss a beat by saying, “Would you like us to bring her over to your house today?” I’m like whoa!.. that was not what I was expecting to hear, neither was I expecting  to hear myself blurt out an unwavering “Yes.” Walking away from the counter wondering what just happened.

That same day at 3.00 p.m a sweet lady mail carrier brought over a puppy cute as a button. A Blue Heeler–Boarder Collie– with a splash of Corgi in the mix.  All dressed in a striking black and white coat.  Upon opening the front door she wasted no time cleaning up a bounty of cheerios the boys had spilled the living floor.  This act alone sealed the deal for me, her efficient clean up worked better than any vacuum cleaner I ever owned… making Kerby, Hoover, or Dyson completely fitting names if my husband agreed to keep this loveable pooch. A petite four legged creature she  became fast a friend with the boys and I,  waiting only for a quick nod of my husband’s approval… and that is exactly what he did.

Within  24 hours we had our little, cheap (free!), and I might add, cute dog I had  been praying for. God is so good, He gives us exceedingly, abundantly more than we could think or ask for. When petitioning for a family pet my prayers never included asking for a new collar, or for our new dog to have all its’ current shots from the vet.  However, the kind woman that brought us our new doggie, provided both as a gift.  Through the generosity of this woman God added in all the bells and whistles for good measure.

I Corinthians 2:12 God says He wants us to realize and comprehend and appreciate the gifts of divine favor and blessing so freely and lavishly bestowed on us.   More appropriately than naming her after a vacuum cleaner we decided to name her Buttons because she truly is as cute as one.  Currently we have had our precious little dog for over 14 years. She has been sweet and dear companion to all of us.

“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.”  Ephesians 3:20

Today, God is saying to each of us,  “You’ve got mail”,  and we can be sure it’s definitely not junk!


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When the cherry trees don’t blossom

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During the past few weeks I could not but help notice the cherry blossoms that were in full bloom at the Portland Adventist hospital where mama was staying.  Nor the trees yielding showy pink blooms along the route charmingly called Cherry Blossom Drive. Choosing  this quaint direction from time to time to mix up the daily mundane freeway scenery that I viewed during each trip to the hospital.  My spirit yearning for abundant splatters of joy in the midst of my grief stricken senses. Regardless, it didn’t matter how stunning  those cherry blossom trees were, still my heart was painfully  heavy not being able to hear my mother’s joyous comments about their frilly radiance. Never failing to do so when nature showed her spring splendor.  My childhood home was a showcase of these fair trees framing our corner lot , edged with God’s breathtaking creation. Though show stopping with filigree elegance, they were hard work keeping them that way. When properly maintained, the mailman was ridiculously happy being able to drive his truck up to the mailbox with ease. Once, there was a time that my mother was extremely weary with these beastly beauties threatening to severely prune them down .Wasting no time to beg her to “save the trees”  allowing  for the spring time blooms to appear. Solemnly promising to help her prune them when  she needed to. Thankfully she agreed to hold off her certain plans waiting to prune them after their bloom season had ended.  When that day came I watched out our living room window as my selfless mother trimmed  all the trees while I cozied myself our champagne velvet sofa for a nap. Looking back, not one of my prouder moments!

It’s no surprise why the book of Habakkuk resounded in my spirit as I sat  reading it next to my mother’s hospital bed.  “Though the cherry trees don’t blossom and the strawberries don’t ripen, Though the apples are worm-eaten and the wheat fields stunted, Though the sheep pens are sheep less and the cattle barns empty,  I’m singing joyful praise to God. I’m turning cartwheels of joy to my Savior God. Counting on God’s Rule to prevail, I take heart and gain strength. I run like a deer. I feel like I’m king of the mountain!  Habakkuk 3:17–19 The Message Bible
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Slowly losing my precious mother to dementia and a severe infection;  taking a toll on her fragile body.  This being her third time in the hospital within the last five weeks  lessening her ability to bounce back after each return visit.  Yesterday, I watched my mom peacefully sleep while the family gathered to meet with hospice, discussing her care for the days that lay ahead. Feeling numb as my husband and I left her room;and seeing we would be greeted with blustery rain and hail if we decided to head to our car. Instead drawn to wait out the storm in the hospital chapel.  A picture of Jesus painted larger then life on the wall, a box of tissues saying, “It’s my grief and I’ll cry if I want to.” Sitting on the pew, my husband’s arms and prayers consoling me. The cherry blossoms are fading, the rain and hail knocking the last bit of bloom the tree had to offer.. and God’s word rings true…

“To everything there is a season, and a time for every matter or purpose under heaven.”

A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance..” Ecclesiastes 3:1-4

Lord, help me to trust in you at all times,even if the cherry trees don’t blossom and the strawberries refuse to ripen.  When I’m frightened, heartbroken, or grieving; help me trust in you even though life does not make sense.

Counting on your rule to prevail, so I take heart and gain and strength in knowing you are good all the time.


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When Life Is Not So Ducky

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Life can throw you a curve ball  when you least expect it causing you to feel more like a “Sitting Duck” than a lucky one.  No longer being able to count your “ducks all in row” because it appears they have declared a mutiny breaking rank and file.

During the past month I have encountered some challenges that have increasingly escalated. I’ve been on an emotional roller coaster watching my precious 80 year old mother almost succumbing to pneumonia while also having a staph infection.  Landing her in the hospital for almost a week.  Barely recovering from this, only to return to the same hospital a week later for confusion coupled with undeviating restlessness. Her determination to continually get out of bed made her a high risk for falling. Even though she had a “call cord” to pull her dementia prevented her from remembering to use it.  Her new hospital stay would reveal she had a distended bladder from her new medications.  Added to the mix was her  mysterious new state of not talking in full sentences…just a word or two at the most.  Mom’s inability to communicate what she needed and the confusion of the changing environment, resulted in her grabbing at anything she could. An arm to be pulled on, clutching her gown to remove it , or pulling on her  iv.  She would repeat this over and over again until she would fall asleep. Only to awaken shortly to start the whole process all over again.
My heartbreaking over my limited ability to comfort my mother’s suffering and fearing she may never recover. Every day  finding myself at her bed side, reading her scripture , holding her hand  and praying for her healing. Rejoicing in any glimpses of  improvements we observed throughout this whole process. Counting my blessings with  profound gratefulness  for family, tireless nurses, doctors and caregivers  all working towards a common goal of getting mom well.

Gleaning from all the current resources that I had to best help my mama, there was one particular idea from her caregiver that struck a chord in my heart.  She suggested perhaps a soft plush animal might be the solution….her thought was that my mom could hold onto it, thus distracting her from pulling on her gown or anything else like her iv. blankets, etc..

Taking action on her idea while I was shopping at Fred Meyer I went directly to the Easter section looking for a cheery stuffed animal.  I was saddened  that this fluffy friend would not be sitting on my mom’s dresser, nor hearing her comments on how cute it was, but instead clenching it in a state of toil and angst.  After carefully looking over the selection, I settled on a bright yellow ducky even if the chances where slim of it cheering her, it  might ever so slightly do so for me.

The next morning it was time for my daily visit, anxious to see mom and in a rush with the days demands.  Hastily retrieving the bag with my Bible, journal, and assorted snacks to aid me while I sat by mom’s bed side. Swooping up the ducky from the sofa table, my hand was surprised by a damp feeling on its’ plush  head, quickly  pulling it back to take a look at what was causing this abnormal sensation. Within seconds it occurred to me that our dog Buddy thought the ducky was his new chew toy. Not only sucking on this poor duck’s head, but nibbled off one of the eyes in the process. My guess was our son Trent had rescued the duck from his total demise. Continuing in the spirit of rescuing  I whisked it off for a speedy fluff of hot air from my blow dryer. Desperate times deserve desperate measures!.

Looking at that poor disheveled duck reminds me of how I feel at times. One minute cheery, full of promise and purpose, the next minute chewed on, battle worn and dogeared feeling like a duck out of water.  However….
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What a blessing when we call to remembrance  that God understands everything and nothing comes as a surprise to Him. Allowing Him to enter into our deepest pain, sorest frustrations and shattered dreams. Being a God of all comforts He is able and ready to bring needed consolation to our hurting lives. Even when our days are less then ducky we can trust in Him at all times, pouring out our hearts to Him to ease our pain and worries. Reassuring us he is in control even when our ducks are not in a row.
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“But this I recall and therefore have I hope and expectation:
It is because of the Lord’s mercy and loving-kindness that we are not consumed, because His [tender] compassion’s fail not.
They are new every morning; great and abundant is Your stability and faithfulness.
The Lord is my portion or share, says my living being (my inner self); therefore will I hope in Him and wait expectantly for Him.”  Lamentations 3:21–24 AMP