Grace to You and Peace From God

I already miss the beautiful women of Mountain View Community Church.

We had an amazing time at the weekend retreat at Cedar Springs Christian Retreat Center in Sumas, WA. This camp is tucked in amongst lucious farms and snuggled in the mountains and foothills near the Canadian border. Absolutely beautiful.

The grounds are landscaped with perenial gardens still hanging on to summer.

Check out the beautiful photos on their website!


One of the many ponds at Cedar Springs Christian Retreat Center

As wonderful as this setting was, it was not nearly as precious as the women with whom I had the privilege of sharing my story.

This morning when I opened my Bible to Philippians 1:2-12, I prayed this Scripture to God in honor of these new friends.

Philippians 1:2-12

2 May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.

3 Every time I think of you [Sweet sisters of Mountain View], I give thanks to my God. 4 Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy, 5 for you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now. 6 And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.

7 So it is right that I should feel as I do about all of you, for you have a special place in my heart. You share with me the special favor of God, both in my imprisonment [my struggles of life] and in defending and confirming the truth of the Good News. 8 God knows how much I love you and long for you with the tender compassion of Christ Jesus.

9 I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. 10 For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return. 11 May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ—for this will bring much glory and praise to God.

12 And I want you to know, my dear brothers and sisters, that everything that has happened to me here has helped to spread the Good News.

I truly believe God ordained this weekend to be a time of refreshing and developing a new trust and intimacy with Him. He showed us how to live with a grateful heart.

I will cherish this time.

Thanks God. I received so many kisses on the cheek from you all weekend that I feel the sweet touch of your love.

Lipstick kiss on white background

Sweet Kisses….

God is good. All the time.

Bless you with grace and peace from God.


Choose Joy!

Thursday October 10 2013 6:41 am | Comments (4)

This month I joined a women’s Bible study group with the theme “Choose Joy.”

Couldn’t come at a better time.

I choose JOY when my back pain won’t go away.

I choose JOY when my heart aches for some family members going through difficult financial times and I can’t fix it.

I choose JOY when I’m overwhelmed with the convergience of many deadlines and I’ve overbooked my schedule.

I choose JOY when the government is at a stalemate on our budget.

I choose JOY over worry and fret and heart palpatations.

It is raining here in Phoenix where I’m traveling with my son Gabe.


How do I choose JOY?

It’s right here in the Book of the Bible we are studying for this Flourish in the Word study.

This is a favorite from Philippians 4:4-6

Final Exhortations

4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 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.

I pray you will choose joy today too, my friend.

Bless your day with JOY


Celebrating Birthdays

Saturday October 5 2013 12:40 pm | Comments (1) Tags:

Is there a month where you celebrate several birthdays of your friends and family?

October is one of those months for my family

Celebrating Birthdays

Celebrating Birthdays

This is what we will be celebrating this month:

October 2nd – Nephew – Greg Devine and Friend Aleta Lander

October 5th – Great-niece McKenzie Pepin

October 8th – Nephew Jon Devine

October 9th – Pastor Judah Smith and Friend Ben NystromIrish Birthday Blessing

October 12th – Niece Heidi Clemes

October 14th – Daughter-in-law Kelsey Murfitt and Friend Ray Clavero

October 17th – Friends Marty Nystrom and Wendy Anderson

October 20th – Sister Patti Devine

October 25th – Granddaughter Avery Murfitt turns ONE!

October 28th – Niece Rochelle Wolfe

October 29th – Sister – Judy Devine

I love to celebrate birthdays. With a family as large as mine, it can be quite the party.

How do you celebrate birthdays in your house? I hope you’ll share your traditions. I am planning a blog of helpful birthday ideas for a future post.

Here’s blessing each person on my list and yours.



Retreat: Living with a Grateful Heart

The photo on the cover of the retreat brochure. I love it!

The photo on the cover of the retreat brochure. I love it!

I am excited to speak at a women’s retreat for Mountain View Community Church later this month.

We will be in Sumas, WA the weekend of October 11-13, 2013.

The leadership team chose the theme “Living with a Grateful Heart.”

The retreat verse is Hebrews 10:22. I love the NLT translation of this verse.

22 let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water.

Such a wonderful reminder of laying our guilt at the cross and trusting God with a sincere heart. This is my story!

As I prepare my four talks, I’m amazed at the sweet ideas God has given me for sharing my story and speaking into the lives of these beautiful women.

Whenever I am asked to speak for an event, I find other areas of my life line up with the theme I’m asked to share.

Beth Moore calls them “God Stops.” I call them “Kisses on the Cheek.” Simple reminders that God is in it.

Maybe a sermon speaks to the topic I’m studying.

Or someone recommends a book that relates to one of my topic ideas.

A new song might have the perfect words I need to express a thought.

All this and more have happened as I seek God for what to say at the retreat. That is the power of a daily walk with God.

Here is an example: This week we started our Choose Joy Bible Study. We are keeping a gratitude journal – recording five things we are thankful for each day.


One of my talks at the retreat is titled “An Attitude of Gratitude.” In that talk I plan to share my gratitude journal.

Coincidence? Nah – That’s just how God works things out!

Here are a few questions for you. I hope you’ll answer one or all in the comments section below!

Do you have some sweet “coincidences” to share?

What are you doing in your life to live with an attitude of gratitude?

What are you thankful for today? Have you written it down?

With a grateful heart, I bless you.




Throwback Thursday

Thursday October 3 2013 10:30 pm | Comments (0) Tags: , , ,

One of the things I love about social media is the opportunity to stay connected with friends and family.

Often times, Thursdays are set aside for sharing old photos and the memories that go with that photo.

It’s called Throwback Thursday.

I can’t even count how many photos I have taken in my lifetime.

I have boxes and boxes of photo albums and gigabytes of online photos too.

Searching for a few to share on this Thursday evening I found these gems.

Zane - the Texan

Zane – the Texas Ranger-  Age 6 months

Gabe the pumpkin

Gabe the pumpkin – Age 6 months

My how it seems like yesterday. Now Zane is 26 and Gabe is 23!

Lord, help me treasure these precious days!

Do you have a photo you recently found that stirred a memory for you?

I hope you’ll share!

God bless you on this throwback Thursday.


Remember That Date?

Wednesday October 2 2013 12:00 pm | Comments (4) Tags: , , ,

Do you remember certain dates in your life?

Does the memory play in your head like an old movie every year when that date pops up on the calendar?

It happens to me every October 2nd.

This date changed the course of my life in many ways.

The words that come to mind when I think of October 2nd are tragedy, miracle, healing, disability, HOPE, birth, aunt, first date, roller-coaster, detour

Tragedy – Miracle – Healing – Disability – HOPE

On this date in 1935, my beautiful Mom, Helen, was a senior at Anaconda High School. She was full of life. It was just an ordinary fall day with football excitement in the air. The pep assembly was an hour away. She sat on the stage with a few friends from the orchestra preparing to tune her violin. It was nearly showtime.

And then it happened.

The heavy stage fire curtain fell from the ceiling. It slammed her to the floor.

Crushed Spine. Paralysis. Surgeries. Rehab. Hopelessness.

BUT God!

She was told she would never walk. After six months, she stood to walk again.

She was told she would never bear children. She gave birth to TEN!

She was told she would not dance. She danced at her Senior Prom.

So for me, October 2nd means HOPE for the HOPELESS.

It was the hope I held on to when my son , Gabe, was born with multiple physical birth defects.

Growing up with Mom taught me about living life with a disability.

She helped Gabe see the possible in the impossible.

Mom holding Gabe

Mom holding Gabe – her 20th grandchild

Birth, Aunt, Miracles

Another significant life event happened on October 2, 1971.  I was in Junior High.

My nephew Gregory Steven Devine was born. I was absolutely thrilled to be an aunt.

Such a beautiful baby, Greg grew to be a very tall (6’ 5”) and handsome man.

Greg has an incredible story of miraculous healing too! So does his beautiful daughter Kena. I’ll tell that story on another day.

So Happy Birthday Greg!

Greg Keri and Kena

First date, roller-coaster, detour

October 2, 1976 I had my first date with a college football player. This relationship was a roller-coaster ride of emotion for six years. It wasn’t a pretty story.

That October 2nd was the start of a painfully significant life-changing detour.

And for sure, that is a story for another blog.

God knows the way to our destination

God knows the way to our destination

What about you? Do you have one of those dates that drum up old memories for you?

If so, I hope you will share in the comments section.

Bless you on this date, October 2, 2013. May it bring a happy memory of Hope and Healing and Miracles…in spite of detours.


Yesterday’s question

What is your favorite thing about the fall season?

My answer: Snuggling near a warm fire drinking a hot cup of chai tea. When I was a young girl, I loved jumping into big piles of colorful leaves. I also enjoyed the yummy crab apples from our backyard tree. But I didn’t like getting in trouble for throwing them at cars. Hitting a police car was a BAD idea. Oops! A story for another time.



October Blog Month

Tuesday October 1 2013 12:00 pm | Comments (10) Tags: , ,
I promise not to put you to sleep!

I promise not to put you to sleep!

I’ve been challenged to write a blog every day during the month of October.

It’s called NaBloPoMo

No that isn’t a trecky new language – but it stands for National Blog Posting Month

It is similar to NaNoWriMo which stands for National Novel Writing Month. That happens every November in the novel writing world. Some day I will participate in NaNoWriMo so I can get this novel out of my head and onto the page.

There are all sorts of groups and sites and prompts to keep us writers writing.

NaBloPoMo gets the blogger’s fingers dancing on the keyboard. It’s especially good for someone like me who gets too busy to blog. The challenge to meet the goal will keep me going.

Check it out!

During my own personal NaBloPoMo journey, I may not post every blog entry here at because I also maintain a blog for Gabriel’s Foundation of HOPE at

So check out both to get the latest about what’s going on in my world.

I’m excited (and a little nervous) to be more active on my blog.

I hope you’ll meet me here for a chat or to be inspired as I write from the heart.

I’m thinking it may be as simple as posting a question to start a conversation.

It’s a new season.

It’s a new day.

So here is the question for October 1, 2013

What is your favorite thing about the fall season?

Please post your comment below.

Let me know if there are topics you’d like to see on my blog.

Here we go!

God Bless your heart


PS – Come back here tomorrow for my answer to the question!!