New Year Thoughts – So Long 2011, So Long Max

Saturday December 31 2011 10:42 pm | Comments (0) Tags: , ,
It is Saturday, December 31, 2011 and the New Year is an hour and a half away here in Hayden, Idaho where Steve and I are visiting with our Aunt Nina. She cooked us T-bone steaks and we enjoyed a quiet meal together.

We took a spur of the moment road trip to comfort her after her son Max died earlier this week.

So we end this year on a rather sad note – yet my thoughts are on eternity where Max will suffer no more.

He was diagnosed with an aggressive form of lung cancer in November and he took his last breath on Tuesday, December 27th.

My son Zane with Cousin Max Krakenberg

Max was larger than life.

His voice boomed loud and strong.

His smile was wide and beautiful.

He served his country in Vietnam.

Max will be missed by his family who loved him.

Nancy, Kathy, Dennis and Max

As we say “Goodbye” to 2011 we also say “See you on the other side” to cousin Max Krakenberg.

I look forward to celebrating Max’s life with our family on January 13, 2012 where we will share memories of a man who lived a BIG life and will be missed.

I think about this Scripture tonight as I pray for all who are grieving the loss of a loved one this year. For all of us who look forward to when Jesus returns.

Revelation 21:4-5  New International Version (NIV)

4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

 5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

As I contemplate 2012, I look forward to the New Year when the book I co-wrote with my son, Gabe, is released. (My Message is C.L.E.A.R. – Hope and Strength in the Face of Life’s Greatest Adversities – see for updates on the release date.)

I look forward to a continued season of personal growth and change.

Growth of my faith and love for God through the study of His Word.

Growth in my marriage and family relationships by continuing to seek God’s best in all areas of my family life.

Change of my body as I try to get back in shape and take better care of myself!

As you say goodbye to 2011, what are you looking forward to in 2012?

I pray you will achieve your goals in the New Year and that the Spirit of the Living God will set you on the path of God’s will.

God's Blessing on Your 2012

God Bless Your New Year!



Peace Be With You

Thursday December 29 2011 12:25 am | Comments (0) Tags: , ,

With the hustle and bustle of Christmas that sometimes causes stress and strain on relationships, I think we all could use an extra dose of peace.

So in God’s perfect timing, I received this message today.

I’m sharing a devotional from Dr. Charles Stanley – one of my favorites!

How to Experience Christ’s Peace
John 14:27-31
“My peace I give to you” (John 14:27).

Jesus spoke these amazing words just hours before His crucifixion. His peace isn’t dependent upon external circumstances, but rather, it transcends them. Although He gives His peace to every believer as a gift, our experience of it is related to our faith in the following truths:

God is in control of everything. Without this assurance, the world is a scary place.

He loves me and will see me through every circumstance, no matter how difficult or painful it may be.

 To have Christ’s peace, I must surrender my life to Him. When I hold onto my ways and plans, I’ll experience turmoil.

 I have a limited perspective and understanding of my circumstances and God’s purposes for allowing them. His goals for me are greater than my immediate comfort.

 The Lord promises to work all things out for my good. He is continually working to transform my character into Christ’s image.

 I must live in sync with God, walking in the Spirit and promptly confessing and repenting of sin.

Scripture is my foundation for peace. It increases my trust in the Lord’s goodness, assures me that He keeps His promises, and reminds me of His sovereignty over every situation.

Sadly, many Christians live their whole lives without consistently experiencing this incomprehensible peace.

Perhaps faith and submission are the most challenging issues.

But only as we surrender control of our lives to Christ and trust in His plans for us will we discover tranquil rest for our souls.

Washoe Creek – Anaconda, MT One of my favorite peaceful places
For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit
God Bless you with PEACE in your heart,

My HOPE Tree

My HOPE Tree


May the God of HOPE fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him.

I love the lights on our Christmas tree.

We have two trees in our home but I’ve especially enjoyed my HOPE tree.

After we established Gabriel’s Foundation of HOPE (, we let people know of our desire to bring HOPE to individuals and families living with the effects of disability.

As a kind gesture of support, we began to receive ornaments and other gifts displaying the word HOPE.

I created this tree to display the gifts and it remains in my formal living room all year long.

I also decorated my cubicle at work with the overflow of gifts.

Now, four years later, we have quite a collection of HOPE objects.


Because HOPE gets me through the difficult times in my life.

Of all the forces that make for a better world, none is so powerful as hope. With hope, one can think, one can work, one can dream. If you have hope, you have everything.” Sloan Kettering Memorial

My hope is found in Jesus.

  • the one we are celebrating each Christmas.
  • the one who came as a baby
  • the one who broke the chains that held me bondage to ugly sin
  • the one who gives me life everlasting
  • the one and only

Hope lights up the horizon in my dark nights.

Where would I be without HOPE?

I took photos of the ornaments on my HOPE tree as well as the gifts I have displayed throughout my home and at work too.

I added them to my photo share site. Enjoy!

Click here to view these pictures larger


HOPE reigns in my heart. HOPE shines in my home. HOPE defines my eternal destiny.

God Bless your heart with HOPE



I Love Tulips!

Although it is nearly winter, I’m thinking of tulips.

Why? Because I found the most amazing scarf created from a painting by Joni Eareckson Tada!

Buy this scarf at

It reminded me of why I love tulips.

My first official outing after our son Gabe was born was a trip to Mount Vernon to see the tulips. Oh so beautiful!

Around the same time, my mother-in-law shared a clipping from Ann Landers that contained a story written by Emily Pearl Kingsley. It was her explanation of what it is like to raise a child with disabilities. I share it often when I speak to groups about how we can change our perspective and survive surprises that come our way.

Tonight I made a card on sharing Emily’s story, a photo of Joni’s scarf and a photo of Gabe smelling the tulips a few years ago.

Here is a link to the card on Shutterfly. I have way too much fun making gifts on Shutterfly!:

5×7 Folded Card
View the entire collection of cards.

On the inside of the card you’ll find the story that warmed my anxious heart twenty-one years ago and helped me change my perspective.


by Emily Perl Kingsley

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability – to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It’s like this…

When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous vacation trip – to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It’s all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, “Welcome to Holland.”

“Holland?!?” you say. “What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I’m supposed to be in Italy. All my life I’ve dreamed of going to Italy.”

But there’s been a change in the flight plan. They’ve landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven’t taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It’s just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met. 

It’s just a different place. It’s slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you’ve been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around…. and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills….and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy… and they’re all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say “Yes, that’s where I was supposed to go. That’s what I had planned.”

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away… because the loss of that dream is a very, very significant loss.

But… if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things … about Holland.

I pray that whatever you might be facing today, God will help you see tulips and find your way through your unfamiliar place.

I’m so glad I landed where I did. I’ve learned to love the tulips in my life.

God Bless Your heart.