It’s a Good Thing…

As much as we try to hang onto it, the world can sap the Joy right out of us. It’s a good thing God’s Joy is unchanging and unaffected by the tumultuous happenings of this crazy world.

So, when you feel as though your joy is gone, lean on the Lord. He has enough for us all.

And His Joy is our strength!!

Look Up!

Have you ever been to the dentist? What a traumatic experience it can be! You’re lying back in the dentist’s chair with mouth open wide. You have no where to go. You can’t speak and your discomfort is certainly not being eased by the dentist’s off-key rendition of Broadway show tunes. You could close your eyes and imagine a gentle brook babbling in the midst of a lush green field but the thought of sharp metallic instruments prodding your teeth and gums encourages an alertness like you’ve never experienced. You have nothing to do but look up.

There are many times in life when we find ourselves in the dentist’s chair – vulnerable and helpless while being prodded by the antics of the world. We search for escape but the realities of the situation seem to hold us hostage with no where to go and no where to look … but up. 

What better direction to look! 

Look up to the One who already knows our troubles and needs.

Look up to the One who can give us comfort and relieve our pain in times of distress. 

Look up to the One who holds tomorrow and all of life in the palm of His hand. He is our answer. He is our help.

So when you find yourself in the dentist’s chair of life, 

Don’t stress.


Isaiah 41:10 – So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Psalm 33:20 – We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield.

Psalm 46:1 – God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

John 16:33 – “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – Jesus

Reason to SMILE #381

Crisp, cool air;
Warm, comfy sweaters;
Gently falling leaves -
What could be better?

Shorter days;
Long, chilly nights;
Soft, glowing candles -
It’s these things I like!

New tastes and smells;
Soups, pumpkins and spice;
New wardrobes to wear -
Now isn’t that nice.

Snuggling close;
Coffee and blankets;
Taking life slower -
It is what we make it.

Shifting times;
The autumn winds blow,
Nudging us softly -
“Relax and let go.”

Reason to SMILE #380

It’s raining; it’s pouring.

The winds, they are roaring.

Mustang Sally is out for a ride –

Her fun”, there’s no controlling!

I’m so thankful for umbrellas today as the effects of Hurricane Sally are beginning to be felt in our area.

And I’m praying for all those in the direct path of Sally to be sheltered under God’s great umbrella of protection!!

Meatloaf, Anyone? - My attempts at a classic recipe - 20 years apart! |

Meatloaf, Anyone?

Believe it or not, in my first year of marriage, I actually did cook.

OK, OK, I microwaved. But if you have to stir something, it’s cooking, right?

One evening, after discovering that my husband’s favorite meal was meatloaf, I decided to surprise him with a meatloaf dinner. And no, I wasn’t going to pop a pre-made frozen entree in the oven or nuke it in the microwave. I was going to prepare a homemade, get your hands gunky, follow a recipe and savor the yumminess meatloaf.

How difficult could it be??

Psst… You’re about to discover one of the many reasons I put down the spatula and stepped away from the kitchen.

The cooking was going well, I thought. The recipe was simple enough and I had all the kitchen supplies and ingredients that were needed. After mixing everything and baking as instructed, I set the table and proudly served the gorgeous meatloaf to my husband. (Can a meatloaf be gorgeous??)

Excitedly, I waited for my hubby’s reaction as he dug in. My excitement, however, was short lived for across the dinner table, there appeared the most awful grimace on my husband’s face.

“How much salt did you put in this?” He exclaimed while reaching desperately for his glass of tea.

I assured him that I used only what the recipe required but I quickly ran to the kitchen to double check. I scanned the list of ingredients. Yep, there it was – 1 1/2 teaspoons salt.

I looked over at the measuring spoon which was still sitting beside the sink. I picked it up to inspect. Oops!

I had added 1 1/2 TABLESPOONS of salt to the meatloaf.

That’s a whole lotta salt!

Needless to say, we couldn’t eat the meatloaf. I was devastated and I haven’t attempted to cook meatloaf again until…

“What’s for supper?” My husband asked over the phone.

“I don’t know.” (My usual response.) “What do you want?”

“What about meatloaf?” he suggested.

I searched Pinterest for a recipe but my search was taking too long. Suddenly, I remembered the cook book I used in my first attempt at meatloaf.  It was a cookbook passed on to me by my mom not long after I was married.


Yes, it is a children’s cook book! It’s full of all sorts of cooking basics for kiddos wanting to learn how to cook like mom or dad (or for a grown woman who didn’t pay much attention to anything going on in the kitchen while she was growing up!). It’s perfect for me, I suppose.


As I was cooking, my husband walked through the kitchen and noticed the cook book on the counter. Realizing it was a child’s book, he inquired about it and I explained who gave it to me and when. With a smirk on his face, he asked,

“And you’re just now using it?”


Snide remarks aside, my second attempt at meatloaf was a success. I used just the right amount of salt and everyone loved it. Well, except for my husband –

He didn’t get to eat!

Leftovers, anyone?  I have plenty! 😉

Want to try this classic Meatloaf recipe? Here you go:

(P.S. I left out the evaporated milk, dry mustard and green peppers. And I added ketchup on top.)

Reason to SMILE #246 - When troubles await at home, this is the perfect way to find a refreshing SMILE. |

Reason to SMILE #246

Some days, home is not the place to which you want to rush. Home is where bills need to be paid, chores need to be done and decisions need to be made. Home is where troubles await – troubles you tucked away to address upon your return, troubles you were glad to be without for a day or two. Yes, sometimes, home can wait a little while longer.

So go ahead. Take the scenic route.

Veer off the beaten path. Take the old country roads. Enjoy the countryside. Take in the breathtaking views of God’s handiwork. Ingest the serenity and store up the peaceful moments of your journey. Convert the rejuvenating energy you gain from the miles of God’s beauty into SMILES that can be called upon when…

… you are facing the troubles life throws your way,

No Fear

… decisions must be made but directions are unclear,

Adobe Spark (10)

… bills must be paid but finances are tight,

Adobe Spark (9)

… the weight of your burdens seems too great to bear,

Adobe Spark (11)

… you’ve finally made it home.


The Case Against Worry

The Case Against Worry - Why there just isn’t need for it |
There is no where I go that God is not there. In my home, at my job, on the streets, in my car – He is there. No matter my situation, He is there. When I am enjoying life’s mountaintop, my God is there. When I am grieving in life’s valley, He is there. When I choose to walk away, He is there. I cannot outrun Him. I cannot hide from Him. I am never and will never be alone.

He knows my thoughts. He knows my words even before I speak. He knows my dreams. He knows my fears. He knows my prayers before I pray. He made me. He carefully and skillfully crafted together all that makes me, me. He knows me better than I know myself. I cannot fool God.

I am wonderfully made by the Master of all Creation. I am His masterpiece! I am constantly in the thoughts of the Lord of all the Universe. I am His treasured love! I am held by the hands of the Mighty Protector and Defender. I am His precious child!

I have no need to worry!

Psalm 139:1-18

Reason to SMILE #378

Reason to SMILE #378 - Sometimes the SMILES are right under our noses - literally! |

If you live in the big city, you may not understand but there’s just something refreshing about the smell of freshly cut grass.

In my neck of the woods, where summer lasts most of the year, rain storms pop up in an instant and grass grows at least 6 inches every night, we truly appreciate this summertime SMILE. The air is filled with the crisp fragrance of grass clipping scattered about and the lawn is looking pretty sharp, too – at least until tomorrow!

If you don’t have a lawn, you’re missing out!! But you’re welcome to swing by for a visit. While you’re here, take some time to stop and smell the freshly cut grass. It’s a SMILE you have to experience.

Unless you have hay fever. Then you may just want to take my word for it. 😉