Category Archives: Uncategorized

And Then They Were Gone…

All photos by A. McCormick

Last week I shared that we had an Uninvited Guest, a house finch with 5 blue eggs. We found them nestled in the curve of our front door wreath.

It’s been an interesting journey, keeping watch over the new family. I began feeling responsible for momma and babies, so I posted a sign blocking the path to our front door,

STOP – Birds Nesting in Front Door Wreath!! Leave packages here or call.

A bird feeder was placed in the center of the front yard, I didn’t want momma to have to travel too far for food, and our dog was kept clear of the front porch.

Neighbors walked by staring at the sign and then asked the obvious question, why are birds nesting at your front door? Unfortunately, I was asking the same question. And then a friend shared that she knew of a similar situation. A morning dove had taken occupancy on a neighbor’s front door wreath.

My curiosity got the better of me so, I started doing some digging on the internet and found it is a very common occurrence. Evidently, the doorway provides protection and a wreath offers the makings of a fine nesting place, a safe cozy home to raise a family.

Over the next few days, the babies went from beautiful blue eggs to fury fledglings.

If you look closely, you can see one unhatched egg.

And then as quickly as we found this family, they were gone. The nest was empty – mom, babies, eggshells all vanished. Leaving only twigs and leaves to remind us of their stay.

As I was dismantling the sign and removing the wreath from the door, I have to admit I was disappointed. I had missed mom and babies practicing leaving the nest and the final flight to their new home. I didn’t get a chance to hear the little ones chirping for food and thankfully they were gone so fast that there was no mess to clean up.

But my disappointment was soon turned to joy!

I spotted a new nest. Newly constructed in the tree just outside my home office window. This time a lesser fence and her babies.

I have promised myself not to get too attached, there will be no signs keeping people off the sidewalk but I will keep my hears attuned to the song of the babies and my eyes open for fledgling’s first flight.

I love all that God’s creation teaches us.

Momma finch knew exactly what she was doing and no sign or bird feeder was needed to help her do what innately she knew had to be done. She instinctively built her nest, in a safe protected place, keeping watch over it night and day. And when the time came, she quietly taught her little brood to fly. All skills given to her by her Creator.

God used this little family to remind me that I am not in control. Not of the birds that visit our home, the circumstances that occur in my life, or the pain and challenges that happen in the lives of our family members and friends. Sometimes, I just need to get out of the way and let God do what He does best – orchestrate the details. I can rest in knowing that His timing is perfect, His awareness complete, and His love limitless.

Just as we are reminded in Matthew 6:25-28,

25 “I tell you this: Do not worry about your life. Do not worry about what you are going to eat and drink. Do not worry about what you are going to wear. Is not life more important than food? Is not the body more important than clothes? 26 Look at the birds in the sky. They do not plant seeds. They do not gather grain. They do not put grain into a building to keep. Yet your Father in heaven feeds them! Are you not more important than the birds? 27 Which of you can make himself a little taller by worrying? 28 Why should you worry about clothes? Think how the flowers grow. They do not work or make cloth.

New Life Version (NLV)

Be encouraged, BeLOVED, God is aware of exactly what you need and be on the lookout for His loving choreography of all your days.

Be Blessed,

Uninvited Guest

All photos by A. McCormick

Front doors tell a lot about the people that live behind them. Some are adorned with beautiful words that invite us to share life with the occupants – “In this house…We love unconditionally.” Others wear wreaths, changed as the seasons dictate. Some doors remain bare, leaving us to wonder what’s contained within.

The wreath on our door is meant to invite people to come in and rest. It tells our guests you are welcomed here, we care about you, you are home.

This month we had an unexpected guest. She knocked gently on our door, so softly we never heard the sound. Yet she was drawn by our front door wreath. She knew she had found a home.

By the time we recognized our visitor had arrived, she had moved all her belongings to the door. Making it very difficult to navigate from the front porch to the house. In addition to her personal belongings, she brought her 5 little ones, all decked out in light blue. Each one looked just like the next, making it a little difficult to recognize who was who.   

I called my husband, come meet the family, and has he rounded the corner of our garage, she unexpectantly swooped in. She wanted to thank him for the home we provided for her and her flock.

Our porch was suddenly full, my husband and I, momma and 5 babies, and how can I forget our dog.

My husband gathered his composer, repositioned the furniture to accommodate the new family, and smiled my direction. We made certain everyone knew where the food was kept and pointed out the blue bath. And as the family settled into their new space, my husband and I discussed a few changes we would need to make to assure our guests were comfortable and felt safe. We will keep the dog away, and be careful not to use the front door – too much noise for the babies.

We don’t know how long this beautiful family will be with us but we are so excited that they picked our house, our front door. We will watch over them until they are ready to leave and then we will miss them – perhaps they will visit to let us know how they are doing.

So many changes to accommodate this brood. But what joy they have brought. Each day we check-in to see how everyone is doing and encourage momma, it’s a tough job to have 5 little ones under your wing.

Just when you think life has settled down, a nice routine hum to your day, God gives you a little drama to challenge you. Six new lives under our roof, His gift to show us the beauty that surrounds our lives.

Even during times ravaged by a pandemic or set ablaze by anger and frustration, He still finds ways to reassure us. He whispers, “You are not doing this alone. I’ve got you.”  

For us, he sent a family. Just the reminder we needed. They took up residence in our wreath, a fitting home for a house fence and her 5 eggs. Nestled in the curve of our front door wreath, a gentle reminder that life goes on. God’s creation goes on, unimpressed by the drama of the moment.  

Momma was not available for this picture, but her 5 babies are doing great. All resting safely in a nest in the curve of our front door wreath.

I will never doubt that God isn’t aware of our circumstances or that He doesn’t care about His creation. He gives us opportunity after opportunity to see Him in the simplicity of our days if we keep our heart and eyes open.

Look at the birds. They do not plant seeds. They do not gather grain. They have no grain buildings for keeping grain. Yet God feeds them. Are you not worth more than the birds?

Luke 12:24 New Life Version (NLV)

Be Blessed His BeLOVED and never forget, you are loved, cherished by your Father!

What a Garden Taught Me About Fear


There is something so inviting about the feel of warm earth between your fingers. It tugs at our agrarian roots, reassuring us that the cycle of life continues – seed, seedling, plant, produce, seed.

 In Central Oregon, late May to early June are safe times to consider planting a garden. But, many veteran gardeners enter heated debates as to whether one should wait until the snow is off the peaks of the Black Butte Mountain. Something about the magic of that mountain gives protection for the gardens resting in its shadow.

This year, I felt brave, put spade to dirt, and against all reasonable advice planted – tomatoes, broccoli, bell peppers, squash… A banquet of vegetables and herbs.

I meticulously covered each raised bed and pot with warming cloth, confident that I had taken every precaution to assure gardening success, until…

The nightly news revealed a storm lingering off the coast, warm air meeting cold resulting in potential thunderstorms. Now the thing you may not know about Central Oregon is that thunderstorms are often accompanied by significant hailstorms. And when I say hail, I don’t mean a few little hailstones falling to the ground. I mean there is so much hail that it looks like it snowed. The ground is covered, the deck is covered, and yes – your raised bed garden is covered. But not just covered, it is destroyed! Pitted leaves, broken branches, young shoots shred. For a gardener, it is devastating – your heart sinks with the forecast.

Luckily, the storm was forecast for the following afternoon giving me enough time to insulate the garden against its formable enemy. I called a friend to borrow drop cloths, plastic sheets, or vinyl tablecloths- anything that could act as a barrier against the potential insult of frozen stones.

And then it happened, my mind raced to that place of looming disaster. The place where fear taps you on the shoulder and claims defeat. Instantly I was taken back to the last time a hailstorm destroyed my garden. I was 7-days post emergency surgery. It was a time of vulnerability, a place of weakness. And now I was reliving the situation, fear was winning.  

My mood shifted from peaceful joy to panic. What if the storm wipes out the garden? Why did I plant so early? How could I let this happen again?

That evening I planned and strategized how to protect my crops, how to defend against the looming storm.

The next morning brought with it a beautiful sunrise and a sweet revelation – what if the thing I was the most fearful of never happened? What if the storm passed, no hailstones – just a gentle rain that nourished the ground?

I took a deep breath, released the tension in my shoulders, and chuckled. The revelation brought an indescribable calm and then a somber thought. Even if the storm strikes, the garden is pelted, the loved one dies, the healing never comes, the career, reputation, possessions are all wiped away – God remains God.

He’s still in control.

He continues to love me.

My relationship with Him never changes.

Satan will lie to you, hoping you believe the story he has contrived from the memories of your past. The story is filled with half-truths, distortions of reality, and just enough facts to keep you engaged. But his goal is to keep you fearful, fretting that something may happen, anticipating the unknown. And as long as he can keep you focused on him, you lose sight of your Father.

Isaiah 43:1-3(a) tells us,

1But now, this is what the Lord says — he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior…

New International Version (NIV)

A soft rain fell on and off throughout the day, the sun played hide-and-seek, and then grey clouds gave way to a beautiful blue sky. The storm adverted for today. My fear never recognized.

I don’t know what you are facing. But I am confident that God stands with you. Fear does not have to cripple you, it has no power over you. In fact, most of our fears will never be recognized. But when we do have to face them, remember we never face them alone.

God promises to:

Still the waters.

Extinguish the fire.

Never leave, forsake, or abandon you.

You can trust Him.

Be Blessed His BeLOVED,

God Never Promised Easy

Photo by Unknown

Margie has been a part of our family since I was a child. She was my mother’s best friend and the grandmother I never had.

She was a big woman with a round face encircled with tight gray curls. She was most frequently seen in public with a wig pulled neatly on her head, short brown hair going in every direction. Yet in the comfort of her home, her wig would be quickly pulled off and tossed on the kitchen table.

I think Margie was my mom’s only friend, the one she would call sister. She was a confidant, the person my mother could rely on when everything around her was falling apart.

When my father lost himself over another love, Margie helped to bring justice – an icepick does wonders to car tires and the angry wrath of a dishonored wife. When it was time to celebrate birthdays, Margie helped to plan surprises, wrestling oversized birthday cakes in the back of her small car. And when my dad found his senses, Margie was the first to encourage mom to forgive.

Margie was a stable force in my family.

Reflections of her through the eyes of my childhood mind always bring memories of her hands. I know it is a strange focal point but you have to understand, her hands represented so much to me…

They were large and powerful from years of manual work, wrinkled and weathered from time spent in the sun. They told her story, each line, freckle, and crack.

She would envelop you when she gave you a hug but those hands…

They provided direction, one placed on each shoulder, making certain you were not losing track – carried off your path. Their strength helped to reassure you when you were off balance. They were weighty and a constant reminder that she was available, ready to support, a fixture in your life.

Margie raised her children alone, worked hard to provide for her family and her children’s families. She scratched, saved, and sacrificed to make ends meet, and yet each day she woke early, faithfully, determined to make the most of each minute.

Her life was not easy. Yet, she had an inner joy. A peace that was consistently visible, even during sickness, recurrent delays, and frequent hardships.

As a young woman, I spent time with Margie. We would sit on her front porch, drinking tea from her favorite plastic glasses, and she would teach. Not the type of stuff you learn from the halls of academia but the curriculum that life experience brings, suffering brings, the lessons that you can only know when you’ve been pushed beyond yourself.  

One afternoon while she was shelling peas, recently picked form her garden, I asked Margie, how do you do it? How do you get up every day, face the struggles you do, and still have a smile?

She looked up from the bowl nestled between her legs, peaked from under her sunhat, and said,

God never promised easy!

He told me He would be with me, through it all, and that’s all I need.

Sisters, life can be so hard at times. Whether from personal crises, poor choices, or natural catastrophes.

It is hard being human.

But we have to be honest, God never promised easy. He never promised our dreams or desires were going to materialize. He never guaranteed wealth, status, or professional success. He promised us that he would be with us through our lives, despite personal disappointments, in the face of our struggles. And, He assured us that he would never leave us, never forsake us. 

John 16:33 tells us,

I have told you these things so you may have peace in Me. In the world you will have much trouble. But take hope! I have power over the world!…

New International Version (NIV)

And Matthew 28:20 adds,

… And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.


Margie trusted that God’s power would prevail in her circumstances. Her faith was demonstrated in her attitude, the way she walked through the world.

But how about you and me? Do we believe that God will provide? Do we trust that His power is sufficient for our challenges, that He loves us enough to come through, that His plans are the best?

I encourage you to take time this week to search your heart and determine what you believe about your Father. Challenge yourself to face what you are placing your trust in and wrestle with what you’re allowing to direct your life. You may be surprised at what you discover.

BeLOVED, God never promised easy but please don’t forget,

You are loved,

You are His daughter,

You are His BeLOVED!

Be Blessed,


Photo by T. Colomb

As women, we deal with an ongoing dialogue in our minds, a struggle of the heart. Our conversations may use different words but they all cause us to question our sense of worth, our positions in the world, our value.

Take a few minutes to watch this video by Jeremy Anderson and when you’re done come back and join me here.

Jeremy uses a dollar bill to drive home his point about true value.

No matter what we do to the dollar – crumple it into a ball, stomp on it, or rip it in two, it never loses its innate value. It will always be a dollar.

He goes on to shares that life can throw some hard blows; our circumstances can take a real toll. But regardless of what we face, what we have experienced – we remain, YOU remain valuable.

Powerful words!




At the end of the clip, Jeremy shares a few steps we can take to recognize our merit,

Pick yourself up… dust yourself off… and keep on moving.

These are all encouraging statements. Yet, I can’t help but feel that he may have left out something important.

Jeremy fails to share how we are to accomplish these tasks. How do we recognize our significance by picking, dusting, and moving?

I want to suggest that it isn’t enough to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and move especially if we continue to face the same old direction or continue to look for meaning in our careers, possessions, or status. Merely hoping our broken thinking or Satan’s lies will no longer influence us is not an effective plan. We have to change the scale by which we measure ourselves.

When it comes to a dollar bill, it has worth because, at some point in history, our founding fathers said a dollar is worth a dollar. It is more than just ink and paper, it can be spent.

In the same way, we have value, not because of our form and features, our possessions, or our cleverness. We have value because our Father has deemed us valuable.

 In Genesis 1:27, we are reminded,

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. His creation, in His likeness, His image. And that truth is unchanging.

New International Translation (NIT)

We are created in God’s image, an unchanging truth. And because we bear His image, our identity, our purpose, and futures are orchestrated by God’s great hand. We can rest in this truth regardless of our pasts, faulty thinking, or Satan’s lies.

So the next time you are tempted to doubt your value. When the challenges of life attack your very core, please remember…

You bear the image of your Farther and in Him you are valuable. It is an inherited trait, a gift from God.

Be Blessed,

Pride Comes Before a Microwave Fire

Microwave fire
Photographer Unknown

I’ve always considered myself an intelligent person. Not a brainiac by any means but someone that exercises good judgment, can organize a plan and can see my way clear to plan completion.

That was until last week!

Last week provided a new perspective on my abilities and judgment.

Here’s what happened.

My friend was making fabric surgical masks. You know the kind you can put a filter inside to give greater protection from our invisible viral enemy. She made them from fun cotton fabric and gifted me with a blue floral one.

She had neatly tucked a filter into the pocket and reassured me that it would protect me from all that attempted to assault my respiratory system. What I failed to recognize was the filter had been constructed from a vacuum HEPA-filter made from polyurethane.

Okay, you may already be jumping to the conclusion but just hold on…

My husband and I grabbed our masks and ventured out to our favorite grocery store, a brief trip to a local superstore, and a final stop at the gas station. We headed home and once there unloaded the car, put away our treasures, and washed our hands. And then it dawned on us. Our masks!

We heard we were supposed to clean them after each use so, after a little internet research and a consult with my microbiologist friend; I tossed them into the microwave, set the temperature to “high” and the timer for 2 minutes.

I had moved out of the kitchen and down the hall when I noticed an odd smell. I followed it back to the kitchen and to my shock, smoke was billowing out of the microwave. I opened the door and a cloud of white filled the kitchen. (Just as a side note, it is VERY hard to get the smell of burnt fabric out of your hermetically sealed virus protected home.) Our masks sat in the center of the turntable, a singed pile of smoldering fabric. I grabbed the masks, tossed them in the sink, turned on the faucet, made my way back to the microwave, and turned the fan to high. The smoke was still lingering as my husband rounded the corner, “What happened?” he asked. I responded with uncontrollable laughter “I sterilized the masks!”

He responded, “You microwaved the masks?!!” This time his question caused me to pause and I took a better look at the charred remains. And there it was the answer right in front of my face, the filters! I had forgotten to take out the filters!

Polyurethane does not hold up well when you microwave it.

Mystery solved!

So, that’s my story.

Okay, if I’m being completely transparent there is just a little more…

And here is where the story turns from laughter to humble admission.

If we back-up to the discussion my husband and I had about cleaning the masks, I failed to share that he had challenged me about my proposed cleaning technique (that was the reason for his questioning after the incident).

He had learned all that was needed to kill the virus was a quick spin in the dryer, a short stent hanging in the sun, or a spritz of disinfectant. But, my science-y friend had given an expert response and I was going to follow it.

Proverbs 16:18 reminds us,

Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall.

New Living Translation (NLT)

In my case, pride came before a microwave fire.

Looking back over my life, it has been filled with times when self-importance came before harsh words that hurt my husband. Smugness came before decisions that resulted in devastating outcomes eroding my self-worth and value as a woman.



Egotism drove me to actions that forced a wedge between God and me.

Pride leads to destruction, every time, all the time. And the outcomes can be life-altering.

Our microwave was fine. All that was required was a little all-purpose cleaner and eventually, the burnt smell left our house. My friend gave me a second mask, a sweet puppy print.

But sometimes in life rebounding from our prideful behavior and their outcomes are not as easy. We can’t just sanitize our souls, air out our hearts and walk away. Sometimes, we have to get face down in front of our Father and repent of the attitude that keeps us trapped.

I encourage you to take a few minutes today to look at your heart. Do you harbor pride, cling to conceit, vanity, or an inflated ego? Are their outcomes in your life that you can trace back to your stubbornness?

God offers freedom from pride’s bondage.

He waits for you to reach out and confess. And every time we genuinely repent, He forgives and restores.

Andrew Murray, in his book Humility: The Journey Toward Holiness, shares,

Pride needs to die in us for anything of heaven to live in us.

BeLOVED, I am praying that pride is banished from your life so the blessings of heaven can overflow.

Be Blessed,

Signature - Allison

Distance is Not Isolation

Photo by Unsplash

Sixty years is a long time to share life. A lot of time to build memories and recognize dreams.

Few couples reach this milestone, but that’s exactly how long Harold and Grace have been married. Their celebration coming right in the heat of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Such a beautiful remembrance amid a time of great sorrow and pain.

But that was Harold and Grace’s life, a love shared during times of great challenge. Harold served in WWII, the Korean War, and the Vietnam Conflict. Grace was an elementary school teacher and both lived in a world of racial unrest and discrimination. They rose above the limitations of that day and created a life filled with memories – the birth of their girls, their weddings, the birth of grandchildren, and vacation experiences that brought insight about the world around them.

When asked what kept their marriage strong, Harold responded,

I did whatever Grace told me to do.

Harold is a strong 90+-year-old. He drives, walks several miles a week, and continues to be involved in his church, the lives of his grandchildren, and his veterans’ group.

Grace is a feisty chocolate-loving-80-something. She loves to craft and can often be seen following her man as he logs his miles. She is the cornerstone of the family, gently influencing her daughters and fussing over the lights of her life – her grandchildren.

There had been a discussion of a trip for this milestone anniversary. But the pandemic was threatening to derail any plans for a celebration.


Their oldest daughter stepped in. She was not going to allow a virus to isolate her parents during one of the most important days in their lives.

Thankfully, virtual meeting technology saved the day!

From around the Northwest and across the street, we gathered to honor Harold and Grace and recognize their special day. A slide presentation filled with family memories graced the screen. Their wedding stories meticulously shared. Reflections of their first home and the construction of their current home all laid out like it happened just yesterday. And every facial expression, every teary eye was shared, live-streamed on the screen.

The virus required us to be distant, separated for our safety, but we were not isolated. We shared life, we exchanged laughs, we felt loved – we were physically apart yet together.

We are learning through this season of social distancing and self-quarantine, that there is a significant difference between distance and isolation.

Space and time can keep us apart, distance us from one another, but it does not hinder our ability to form relationships, to share our hearts, our thoughts, and our lives.

Seclusion, protection, loneliness are all synonyms for isolation. These words paint a picture of the outcome when we stand-alone. No one to speak truth into our lives, share our victories or dispel the lies. No one to hold on to when life gets tough, just separated, and alone.

Proverbs 18:1 tells us,

Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment.

God created us, from the very start, to be in communion with Him and one another.

So, as we continue to create safe spaces to fight this invisible enemy, don’t let Satan’s lies keep you isolated. Remember to,

  • Reach out to loved ones, neighbors, friends (through technology, a note, a wave, and a smile)
  • Spend time with God, reading His word and reflecting on His goodness
  • Consider small acts of kindness (a chalk message of encouragement scribbled on the sidewalk or notes of “We Can Do This” attached to your neighbors’ doors)

And if you start feeling like the four walls of your world are going to completely close in, take a deep breath and be assured,

You are not alone.

Distance is not isolation.

God is with you.

(38) For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, (39) nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:38-39 (ESV)

Blessings His BeLOVED,

Signature - Allison

A Taste of His Miraculous

Photo by A. McCormick

I woke this morning with this nagging sense of sadness. It sat with me as I ate breakfast, followed me throughout my morning, and then nestled close as I sat to read.

I wrestled to identify a reason for the emotion. Until, I stopped and reflected on our new reality – a world of imposed limitations, social distancing, forced confinement. And now, experts are telling us it could be weeks before we flatten the curve and move towards our post-virus norms.

Certainly, a reason to be sad.

A friend shared,

We are relational people.

And as relational beings, we mourn the loss of our freedom, the touch of a friend, the interaction of our tribe. If we are honest, we are all a little sadder, a little out-of-sorts, as we adjust to the rhythms of today.

I continued to sit curled in my office chair until I noticed our dog, Titus, pacing the floor. A clear indication it was time to go outside for a walk.

We made our way out the garage door into the sun peeking through gray clouds and the wind swirled in the trees. We headed down the street and crossed the intersection when I caught a glimpse of the trees lining the normally busy street.

The trees had buds gracing the ends of their branches. Some ready to open while others tightly closed waiting for warmer weather. We moved from tree to tree, admiring the uniqueness of each.

And as we moved, I noticed something had changed in my heart. The sadness had shifted and in its place was an overwhelming sense of calm. A peacefulness in my world despite all that was wrong in the world.

Titus finished all he needed to do and we turned the corner to head home.

Photo by T. Galler

A single bird’s song could be heard in the distance. The dirt in the flowerbeds adjacent the sidewalk disrupted by the crowning of crocus and daffodil. The earth was coming alive.

Such a contrast – the beauty of God’s magnificent creation on display despite the circumstances of our world.

We made our final turn towards home and I realized, this simple walk had helped shift my sadness to overwhelming satisfaction and peace. My perspective changed to focusing on the creator instead of the brokenness.

Sadness, fear, and anger are all natural reactions to our new lives. But, we can’t allow these feelings to hold us captive in a world that still contains so much beauty – God’s masterpiece revealed in such personal ways.

  • A surprise discovery of children’s artwork on the sidewalk.
  • A hummingbird, motionless on a branch.
  • The silence of early morning – void of the noise from cars and trucks.
  • Lingering over a warm cup of tea, no demands, an opportunity to just be present.
  • Time, unscheduled and unhurried, spent with loved ones in person, through technology, and in the memories of our minds.

These are all gifts our new reality offers us. Wonderfully orchestrated by our Father.

Frank Peretti, author of This Present Darkness shares,

God does not waste an ounce of our pain or a drop of our tears; suffering doesn’t come our way for no reason, and He seems efficient at using what we endure to mold character. If we are malleable, He takes our bumps and bruises and shapes them into something beautiful.

I am confident that God is going to use the outcomes of this virus to mold our character, shaping us into something beautiful. But only if we are malleable. Only if we are willing to see beyond our limited perspectives to His amazing plan. Only when we surrender to His authority and love.

Today we may not be able to comprehend what beauty can come from such devastation but God asks us to trust Him. Trust that His ways are not our ways and that He remains in control – even in the face of the chaos we are experiencing.

Philippians 4:6-7 reminds us,

6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Sisters, how are your hearts, your attitudes, your mindset?

Has sadness, fear, or anger overcome you?

Do you need to experience God’s amazing perspective-shifting love? A little taste of His miraculous in the face of the mundane of your days.

I encourage you to spend time with your Father today. Settle into a comfortable chair, plug in your favorite worship music, and prepare your heart to be moved from anxiety to calm. God is waiting for you to surrender those things that keep you wrestling. He offers in their place His peace, a peace that is beyond our mind’s ability to understand.

BeLOVED, you can trust your Father!

He loves you,

He cares about you,

He provides.

Be blessed my sisters and know that I am praying for you,

Signature - Allison

Do you need some encouragement today? Consider listening to this song by Jeremy Riddle.

We Are Not Alone

Photographer Unknown

A doctor had to give a painful shot to a four-year-old girl. When she learned what the doctor was about to do, her face showed anxiety and her body tensed. As the doctor picked up what looked to the little girl to be a needle large enough to kill an elephant, she turned her eyes to her father, who then took her hand and fixed his eyes on hers. An expression of confidence and calmness came on her face. She knew she was not alone and found comfort, not in her father’s spoken answer, but in his presence with her in her time of need. (1)

Dear friends, it is no surprise that we are living in difficult times. The burdens of life are inescapable. Our lives, careers, families, and faith are being tried and challenged daily.

But as the story illustrates, we are not alone.

Despite the painful shots of life that come and pierce our hearts, we have a loving Father who is by our side who is willing to take our hand and comfort us in our time of need.

“Let your steadfast love comfort me according to your promise to your servant.”

Psalm 119:7


“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”

Psalm 46:1


“I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.”

Psalm 121:1-2

These truths are but a few of the many anchors that keep us moored when the burdens of life blow upon us. But they only serve their purpose when our eyes are fixed on the One who calms the waves of the sea (Mark 4:35-41).

“But my eyes are toward you, O GOD, my Lord; in you I seek refuge; leave me not defenseless!”

(Psalm 141:8)

God calls us to look to Him, trust Him, and lean on Him daily.

Let me ask, when trouble strikes, where do you go or to whom do you trust?

Do you trust in self-reliance or do you trust in the LORD who holds all things in His hands?

Do you seek shelter in self-pity or do you take shelter in the Most High?

When darkness falls, do you walk in the light of your own counsel or do you seek out the word of God to light your way?

Let us search our hearts and answer these questions because if we don’t, the burdens of life will come and they will answer them for us.

May the LORD bless you and keep you.


Jim is a former Marine and retired California police officer. He has a passion for sharing his love for Jesus through writing and teaching.

(1) Green, Michael P., Illustrations for Biblical Preaching, page 21

Discovering The Blessing

Photo by D. Hudson

She sat legs crossed in the middle of the sidewalk. Her two daughters’ chalk drawings encircled her. She was a young woman, possibly late 20s, cell phone in hand but her eyes, they remained lovingly focused on her girls.

As we walked passed, I complimented the children’s artwork. The oldest girl looked up and thanked me. I smiled at mom and that was all that was needed to start the conversation.

She shared she was laid-off last week due to the virus. She was a nurse at a local clinic but still, she was let go. At first, she was scared at the thought of not having a job, the uncertainty of no paycheck, the desperation that comes when your world is suddenly, uncontrollably turned upside down. But it’s been a few days, she’s had time to reflect, and today she counts it a blessing.

The virus has given her a chance to love on her girls, quality time to home school, draw sidewalk figures, and demonstrate for her girls how to stand strong in the face of an unknown future.

She offered,

I will never look back at this time and wish I had worked more. I will always look back at this time and know it was the best for my children.

In late December, when the first words of Covid-19 were echoed, we thought it was a faraway illness. By mid-January, it had taken grip of the world and we, like this young mother, were faced with uncertain and fearful times.

But we’ve had time to adjust to our new reality. We’ve learned to navigate social distancing and shelter-in-place orders, financial downturns and upswings, even the closure of our favorite restaurants, bookstores, and movie theaters.

For some, you’ve had to navigate sudden illness and even the death of loved ones. It is so hard and please know that I’m not trying to minimize the pain of your current reality.


Perhaps, just as this young mom, it’s time for us to stop looking at this invisible enemy’s power for destruction and start refocusing on God’s continued blessings.

Maybe we can move from what we’ve lost, our pain and suffering and start looking for the unfolding of God’s miraculous purpose.

God’s power and strength are available to heal, restore, and provide the clarity we all need.

(1) … Don’t be afraid, for I have ransomed you; I have called you by name; you are mine. (2) When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up—the flames will not consume you. (3) For I am the Lord your God, your Savior, the Holy One of Israel…

Isaiah 43:1-3a Living Bible (TLB)

As we walked away from mom and her budding artists, she said,

There really is a blessing in the midst of all that is going on! I get time to spend with my girls, we can slow down, we have a chance to focus on what really matters.

I encourage you Sisters, don’t allow this virus, the world’s fear, or the devil’s lies distract you from the truth of God’s love.

You are not alone,

You are fearlessly loved,

You are God’s BeLOVED.

Please consider seeing this forced slow down as an opportunity. A chance to take walks hand-in-hand with those you love. A time to share your heart, encourage the weak, love on the lost.

Maybe we can view it as precious time, given to us by God as a respite to refresh our souls, grow our faith, and renew our strength.

Let’s take our eyes, our minds, and our hearts off the invisible enemy and get them keenly focused on the hope of our future, the provision of our lives – Jesus.


Signature - Allison