Tis The Season

We are always in a season or about to face another one like winter in a couple of days.  Each season has its purpose and is God’s creative way of cleansing the earth. I can not imagine the earth refusing the purge of each season. I have found that what matters most is the condition of the heart and how we juggle the season at hand. ‘This is a time to reach out and pull the family close and flow with God’s plan for this season.

Everyday is a blessing and planned by You, oh God.  Help me to always  trust in You even when the days are uncertain and painful.  You remain sovereign and King of my heart.  ❤️

So, for now I will worship You, no matter what season we are in,  I choose to rest in You.

I love You Lord, and I lift my voice to worship You, Oh my soul rejoice.  Take joy my King in what you hear, let it be a sweet, sweet sound in your ear.”  (Petra)

Jer. 29:11

The Red Coat

It was mid-calf length with a cute round collar and buttons.  Boy, did I ever love that coat?  My mom would say “red is your color, Judy.”   She thought I was beautiful in that coat.

I remember the day my sweet Dad brought it home.  It was my first wool coat and to this day I can wear wool without any problems. I guess you are wondering what department store he bought the coat from. Well, he worked for people that had plenty and would recycle clothing by putting the discarded items at the mailbox or curbside. So,  this particular day after work he picked up the items as he did often because he had his girls in mind.

Well, you guessed it, my sweet, sweet Dad came home with arms loaded and asked me to try the red coat on. I don’t remember the other items, but that coat was mine. I didn’t have fancy accessories to wear with it, but that red coat meant the world to me.  It was priceless. My dad was always thinking of his family just as our Heavenly Father is thinking of us. God is always for us and never leaves us to do without. He is constantly drawing us near to Him.

How fortunate I am to have a Dad of such treasure. His heart’s love is priceless just as the red coat he gave.  He is my earthly father that loves his family deeply.  God’s love is priceless and is waiting for us.

Today, my treasure of a Dad met his Heavenly Father after a long life of ninety years.  He laid down to sleep in his earthly home but woke up in heaven. He is “home where the streets are golden and every chain is broken.” I can imagine him whispering to God, “oh, I wanna go, oh, I wanna go home, where every fear is gone, I’m in Your open arms where I belong, Home.” (Home, Chris Tomlin, paraphrased)

I’ll always remember that red wool coat.  That’s  just one great memory I have of my selfless dad.  He is home. Until we meet again, my sweet daddy.  ❤️

With My Whole Heart

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”  Jeremiah 29:13

You know the story where King Uzziah was so blessed and highly favored of God, right?  2 Chronicles 26:5 reveals that Uzziah continued to seek God during Zechariah’s days of encouragement and was greatly blessed as long as he did so.  Well,  as you can see, his success didn’t just happen but came because of an encourager who inspired the king to seek God throughout his reign.  Who wouldn’t want someone in their life to push them to truly seek with their whole heart?

If we ever needed help and encouraging it is now.  Zechariah is a good example of a spiritually minded friend that we all can use.  From my own experience, I have found myself holding on to my pain instead of sharing with a prayerful friend in Christ.  Yes, indeed, I have needed a Zechariah in my life.  I remember hearing an old friend pour out her heart by shouting a call out to the prodigals to come home.  The moment I heard her shout, she had my undivided attention because I could identify with the prodigal child.  In the past I had heard the hearts of judgemental christians, I had rubbed shoulders with cold-hearted christians, and had christians tell me to turn my back and walk away from my prodigal.  The list could go on.  Because of these responses, I began to keep silent, pray silently, cry silently, and feel alone.

That day I heard my friend praying, “prodigal, come home,” and as she continued the appeal by quoting 2-Cor. 5:18-21, my heart began to swell with the anointing to pray for my prodigal whom I had been praying and grieving over for nineteen years.  Nineteen years is a long time but that’s what happens when you stay silent or feel that you have to. Yes, everyone knew my story but,  when I tried to share and ask for prayer I was always bombarded with questions and whys instead of a prayer on the spot. This girl’s prayer pushed me to pray out like I had never before.  In 2-Cor 5 Christ is giving us the task to rescue, not to be angry at the actions and behavior of our prodigals.  We are ambassadors for Christ and have the power in us to speak the word over our children until they look like the word, talk like the word and walk like the word.  Whether they are in the will of God or a prodigal we still have the power in us to pray over them.  His appeal to us is to go get them.  This prayer shook me in my tracks.  We all need that one encourager from time to time.  The key is to continue seeking God and do it with all our heart.  I knew in order for me to continue seeking, I would have to fix my eyes on on Him and not my pain.  Seek – Him – with – your – whole – heart.  Do you need a Zechariah in your life?

As long as Uzziah’s eyes were fixed on God he prospered.  Why would he ever want to change his blessed life?  That’s exactly what happened, he began to get relaxed and comfortable in his blessings, and little by little slipped into an ideology state of mind. Zechariah’s wisdom and encouragement were no longer enough.  Uzziah slowly started losing control, lost possessions, lost his reign, and integrity.  He ended up with leprosy and when he died, instead of many accolades, all that was spoken over Uzziah was, “he had leprosy.”  Like we do so many times, we make a plan and we think that we have all the answers.  Uzziah was so blinded by his idol worship that he couldn’t see what was ahead.  God had a plan when He told us to seek Him and do it with our whole heart.  He meant it for our good.  No, No, my friend, God just smiles when we try to take control and allows us to continue until we have learned to stop worshiping our idols.

Because of this great bible story, I have been reminded of how big God is and how he knows everything about me.  He knows who to send by to encourage me, and He knows who I should encourage.  Most of all, I have learned that I should never get trapped in my hurt, my trials or my tears, but run with all my might to the throne with my petitions. I know that being trapped in my “stuff” will only lead to some type of leprosy.  We don’t have to choose leprosy, or whatever takes us out.   I have been encouraged to continue to seek with my whole heart and trust God’s plan.


Hidden Idols

Well, I have missed writing over the last few weeks and wanted to catch up and share my heart.  Sometimes as we deal with life it can take us away from where our heart wants to be, but we can always find a way of escape and move on out of the rut we find ourselves in.  With that being said, I want to share something God dropped into my heart during Sunday School a few weeks back.   ( 1Cor. 10:13)

Motherhood is a season in one’s life that takes them to a place they didn’t plan to go.  That newborn is the most important being during this time.  Many times a mother will open her eyes to a chapter where all the efforts and devotion is for that child, their clothing, social parties, sports, dance, college, and success. Family and friends may suffer along with becoming bitter in deeply rooted unforgiveness for lack of attention from the mother during this time.  It is never the intent of a sweet loving mother to cause pain and emotional stress to the ones she loves.  Emotional people make little emotional people.  How is it that blindness can set in when a young mother is playing the new mother card?

Her goal is to show the world what she can accomplish on her own.  While participating in the community activities and events like church, PTO fundraisers, mission projects, voting and all those things that make up a village, she finds herself falling apart with teenagers and a tired working husband who is gone all the time, then wonders how she got to this place.  Sometimes during this part of the journey, she will blame others for her stressed out schedule of daily events, causing her to become angry or maybe sick.  Some will seek counsel and accept the fact that they made some wrong turns along the way and then move on to getting things back in order.

What would you do if this person just happens to be you?  How free do you want to be?  How healthy do you want your journey to be?  How can we make the journey spiritually, emotionally, physically stable and stay balanced?  I believe there is a way to escape all the things that drag us down and hold us hostage.  There is no place for idols in our lives. Deep rooted hurt and anger will lead us to more of the same.  Seek God, identify the problem, be accountable, lose the pride and be Christlike.  Thank you, Jesus, for making a way of escape for us as we love our children without worshiping them.

“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able: but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”  1 Cor. 10:13



Wildflowers From Heaven

Today I’m sharing a sweet card from a teacher that I worked with a while back.  I have read this card numerous times over the years since the year 2003.   You know the kind of cards that just hang around in your Bible because they have such an impact on your heart?   My heart is warmed every time I read it, not for the content in the card, but for the heart from which it comes.  Today I say thank you for always reaching outward to touch others.  You have touched me for a lifetime.  Thank you Donna Taylor.

Dear Judy,

Just a note to let you know I am praying for you and your precious son.  How hard it must be for your son to face these days of recovery again, and yet how precious it is that he has these days.  I can only begin to imagine his discouragement.  But even without knowing him, I know that he is truly adored by our Father.  While the enemy would want him to think otherwise, just as with Job, the Lord’s face is turned fully towards your dear son.  The Lord is not letting go of him.  I will continue to pray that he will look to the love of the Father above and daily turn from the lies that the enemy is most certainly pouring on him.

Though through the world’s eyes it may not look as though God is watching over all that is happening.  In God’s eyes is the reflection of your sweet boy.  “What the world may see as weeds to be destroyed and cast aside, we, his children see as wildflowers from heaven.

Much Love to you,

Donna Taylor

Faith Filled Helplessness

The moment I acknowledge helplessness, the Lord becomes actively engaged in my crying needs.   “He stoops down to hear me.  Our helplessness is one continuous appeal to His Father-heart.”  Halleby

Our helplessness is the foundation and the sustaining power of our prayer life.  John15:15, Jesus says, “Apart from Me you can do nothing.”  Take Him at His word.  Sometimes it takes a lifetime to learn.  This knowledge puts us in a position to be helped.

Nothing can overtake us when we know where our help comes from.  (Psalm 121). We must not lose consciousness of our helplessness.  As we cry out helplessly lamenting to the Father, we are humbling our hearts in faith that leads us to believe His word.  Our faith causes us to see our need, turn to God, leave it to Him, and know He is in control.  He will help our unbelief and convince us to leave everything with Him.   We are helpless without Him.

That leads me to believe that we must take Him at His word and hang on.  I  feel that we as Christians would not suffer as we do if we could just take God at His word.   Think of a big winding roller coaster that we would jump on when we were youngsters and how we trusted it to stay on the track while moving at a high speed.  Remember throwing your hands up in surrender and screaming as you coasted to the end of the track and finally getting to the end laughing with relief?  We trusted the person in control and took him at his word that we would make it to the finish line.  We can trust even more so with God.  Faith filled helplessness is just that; taking God at His word while acknowledging we are helpless without Him.  He is big enough for anything we will ever face in life.


My Dad, My Father

When did it set in that fatherhood was evident and that he had an unknown task before him?  Did he have someone modeling the roles of a father to help him get ready, or did he have it all together naturally?  I wonder if he thought about me before I was born?  Well, I don’t know those answers, but I do know that he is my dad and God planned our lives before we knew anything at all.

Psalm 139 declares that He knew my dad from the beginning and was with him when he was such a young child walking to school every day and carrying a pail for a lunch box.  He was with my Dad when he had to drop out of school in fourth grade to work on the farm. All of this seems somewhat harsh, but I guess it built character and great work ethics for the future.  My dad has never complained about his humble upbringing.

Great work ethics is something he gained for sure from his childhood.  He has worked all of his life and still working little jobs that satisfy him.  He married my mom when she was seventeen and he was twenty-two years old.  My Dad always had a goal in mind and was constantly working to succeed.  He and my mom had three girls and two boys putting me in the middle of a boy and girl.  I don’t know how my siblings felt but I often wondered if he thought of me.

I would think so because it was snowing early that Tuesday morning when mom went into labor.  While driving to the hospital they ran out of gas, wouldn’t you know it.  So, he got out of the car, left mom on the side of the road and ran to the gas station which was over two miles and then back. WOW!  He made it to the hospital that morning but I waited until eight o’clock p.m. to make my entrance.  I love to hear him tell that story.  That’s enough for me to know that he was looking ahead and was ready for baby number three.

My Dad gave me the name Judy Ann Carter.  I will always cherish that gift.  I see my dad as an extension of my Heavenly Father.  He is kind, tender, strong, loving and giving at all times.  Psalm 103:13 says,  “A father is tender and kind to his children.”  In a few days, he will be ninety years young.  He has been constant through the years and like some will say, set in his ways.  It just proves that what’s in his heart is solid.  He’s unshakable.   I can’t put a price on the riches in my heart that he has bestowed on me throughout the years.  He provided a wealth of love, honesty, and everything I ever needed.  Happy Father’s Day, Dad.  “You’re a good, good father,  it’s who you are, it’s who you are, it’s who you are,  and I’m loved by you,  it’s who I am,  it’s who I am, it’s who I am.  You’re a good, good father.” (Chris Tomlin)


It Still Shines

“As the light appears again and I begin to win, there is no greater presence than YOU, my friend.  I know that YOU are here whether I am far or near as the light appears again.” (quote unknown)

Heavenly Father, I know YOU are here for me.  You are and have always been my keeper.  In every situation I have faced, YOU alone always beat me there.  YOU seem to show up and remind me not to worry because YOU have the ultimate GPS.

I will not fear even though it is pretty dark at times.  I realize that the first light was spoken into existence from out of darkness.  So, I will be patient as the light appears.

Yes, YOU and only YOU keep reminding me that the first light is still here.  It still shines.  John 1:5, John 8:12,  Ephesians 5:14

Pay Day

“Good morning students.  How are you today?” With big smiles on most of the responding faces said it all.  But one response was a stern face and no comment at all.  O-kay, instantly the day is set for the whole class.  The sour look did not match his sweet face but was not the first time we had to redirect our thoughts about the daily plans for him.

Morning routines are in progress all over the classroom except for one sitting with his arms crossed refusing to move.  Mind you, this is a fourth grader and he knows better.  He finally asks to leave the room for the restroom and water, the reciprocative response was, “finish your morning work and we will talk.”  With arms crossed and lips poked out still refusing to cooperate.  The whole day was nonproductive for this one student as he tried to get the attention of the other students to follow him.  He totally refused to ask for help in all the tasks the class was engaged in.

So the day is about over with a short recess left before the bell rings.  All the students are playing, sliding, swinging, running and doing what students do on the playground.  It was awesome and felt food to see smiles and students playing together.  Of course, it was hot and students screaming with laughter when all of a sudden we heard this curling voice screaming, “Help, Help, Mrs. R, help”  He is crying and couldn’t move.  Needless to say, it was our student that had not been cooperative during class and had not answered the teachers positively at all during the day.  His wrist is stuck in the jungle gym and beginning to swell because he was moving it back and forth.  Staying still is key but he was moving nonstop.   At this point, I called the front office nurse and gave a description of what had happened and was able to get him to stop moving and kept him calm.

I thought it was ironic that he had to call for help after being a sourpuss all day.  He realized that I was his friend and that I would not let anything happen to him from this point on.  He was calm and relaxed as I removed his arm with no problem and then the nurse comes out.  All is well and we are smiling with relief.   We call the students to line up and go back to class before the bus call.  WOW, what a day!  Yes, it was a little chaotic but I think a lesson was well learned.  He had to ask for help and he learned something he knew all along.  Teachers care no matter what.  Needless to say, after the students left we had a big laugh, not because of the accident but because we didn’t have to reprimand the student.  I am sure he remembers that day even though it was many, many years ago.   Like families, a classroom of students are together all the time and need to stay close and trust each other.  Ugh, imagine that.


Bring Them to Me

Emma Lazarus was famous for the inscribed words on the statue of Liberty which depicts the Mother of Exiles.  It was a symbol for the melting pot opportunity.  What an incredible accomplishment her writing posed for our country.  The last two lines quote, “Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door?’  Like with God’s promise of heaven,  made for all to have a life of opportunity if we choose,  do we lean on Him as the early Americans did the Statue of Liberty’s symbol of freedom?

I’m a member of a group of moms that share stories privately with each other in hopes that we help ease the pain of those that are hurting because of a son or daughter that may be struggling with addiction. Some of the stories I’ve read just bluntly say, “Well I’ve lost my son or daughter today, or that they lost the battle to an overdose,” and it simply breaks my heart.  It breaks even more to hear very little about their faith in God.  These precious lives matter and some do get better.  Yes, they get better.  I just wonder how many could make it if we were more equipped spiritually to bring them in?   Please remember “The Addicts Mom.”  So, while praying today these words popped into my heart and head.

Bring them to me.  Bring me the hungry, the homeless, lonely, the abused, the murderers, the drug lords, thieves, the prideful, the prisoners,  the addicts, the lost, the saved.  Bring them all.  I died for every sin under the sun.  I am here.  They only need to reach for Me, hunger for Me and seek Me.  Just call my name.  There’s power in my name.  Demons scatter when my name is spoken.  If you only knew the power and authority you already have.  Oh, if you only knew.  You’ve been through enough and I’m big enough for anything you will ever encounter.  Time on earth is closing.  I’m gathering those for that new city where there is no shame.  Oh people, don’t you want to go to that place where you will never have to beg, hide, or be mocked, shamed, misunderstood and stepped over as if you were nothing?  Oh, I have big plans for you, my people.  I have promised that the old would pass away into the new.  Come to me, stop running.  Find rest my son, my daughter.  The promise is yours when you reach for Me.  Bring them in.

Ephesians 5:1-8