Live Well

Buffalo near Emerson, Nebraska

It seems like forever since I have posted a blog and I am so very much behind on all your blogs but I will do my best to play catchup. I do keep many of you in my prayers.

My trip to Nebraska was so interesting…stressful…fun… and God is in control, first and foremost.

So, let us start at the beginning.

Wednesday I drove Joey to Sioux Falls to meet with the AIM team heading off to El Salvador. The night before we were to leave the waterpump in my SUV died so I had to take Joey’s Sunfire instead and it is a nice little car and gets great gas mileage, near 30 mpg. As I drove to and through Rapid City it seemed to be doing fine. Larry had checked all the fluids, the tires, etc. before we headed out.

But, once we got on the interstate I noticed that the car seemed to shimmy at about 65 mph. Then when the speed limit switched to 75 and I sped up the car began to shake and shimmy. It was like being in one of those massage chairs that loses control and we drove like that for hours…. Yes, I was seriously rattled by the time we got to Sioux Falls. From Sioux Falls to Wayne, NE I drove rather slowly as my head was pounding.

Wayne Chicken Days Chickendale Dancers
Yes, an embarrassment ‘o’

I called a dear friend and old classmate in Wayne who serviced our vehicles when we lived there. His secretary said he was booked solid and there was no way I could get the car in to be checked and then we got disconnected. When I called back Roger was on the phone with a “drop it off as soon as you can…” and I did just that and the next morning I woke up and the fixed car was sitting in my MIL’s driveway. Now that is a great friend and excellent service! I had a bent rim and whoever put Joey’s new tires on did not align the car. So, problem solved and very, very cheaply. Then another surprise! There was a mechanic at the camp for the week and he fixed my SUV for free and the church bought the part! God and people are so good and kind and generous! We are blessed!

Horses at the Chicken Days Parade

Once in Wayne I drove straight to my Dad’s house and he is not doing very well and although my sister Shannon had warned me it was still a surprise. He has lost so much weight and is in constant pain due to the pancreatic cancer but he is in good spirits, Praise the Lord. Dad has such strong faith and that sustains him. I am blessed with a good Dad.

I didn’t realize it when I got to Wayne but the infamous Chicken Days was in the works. It is an annual event but it seems to be dying out a bit. There were a lot of people there but not the numbers they have had in the past. My sister Shannon and I spent the day at my Dad’s which is right by the park and watched the parade. She was selling raffle tickets for her library. We chatted a lot, visited with neighbors and took a nice walk around the park. I bought a large birdhouse and Shannon bought a wonderful birdhouse sculpture for my Mom.

My two beautiful nieces on Grandpa’s porch

During this time there are a lot of class reunions and the class above me was holding theirs. My brother-in-law Dan and his wife were in town as was my sister-in-law Joyce and her husband so Shannon and I journeyed to the local hangout to meet all the people who came into town for the reunions and had a nice time. Small town hospitality I guess you could say can be wonderful.

I also visited my Mom-in-law. She moved into The Oaks, assisted living apartments about a month ago and she really likes it and it gives us all peace of mind. It is such a nice place and a lot of her friends live there.

Alexys and Grandpa at the park

My ride home was as smooth as can be…No shimmying from a rattled car. One of my favorite sites is when I cross the Missouri River at Chamberlain. Chamberlain is also were the time changes from Mountain to Central Time.

The Missouri River, Chamberlain, South Dakota

I did not weigh myself when I got home from my trip. After I logged in all my food I thought, “why torture myself” so I gave myself a break and today I am beginning anew…fresh and with no regrets.

Please pray for Joey while he is in El Salvador on his missions trip. It is really lonely here without him. I hope you all have a great day and God Bless You!

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Grandma’s little helper

I am getting ready for a somewhat unexpected journey to Nebraska. Joey’s ride to Sioux Falls fell through so I am taking him today and since I will be only two hours from Nebraska and family I visit my Dad, sisters, MIL, etc. I thought I would be picking Joey up in two weeks but actually, this is just fine. I think I need to get away for awhile.

To be honest, life has been super stressful lately and I do so very much appreciate all the prayers. I only wish my dear hubby could take off and go with me but we will have a fun next weekend as we journey to Rapid City for Hills Alive.

I also ask you to continue to pray for Joey and my Dad and also our ministry here at the camp. It has been super, super busy but all in all things are going great and I think your prayers are a good part of the reason why. We continue to learn more each year as this ministry is fairly new…Our fourth full year.

Also, thank you for all the prayers for my hero son Luke. He is healing and doing pretty good overall. Prayer changes things, heals, protects, covers, ministers, etc… The power of the Holy Spirit is unsurpassed.

I can tell things are stressful I think based on the amount of chocolate I eat… I am not sure that is true but this week I did enjoyed a few sa’mores… about 9 WW points each! Ouch! I did cut back in other areas so did not go over my points limit but still, ouch! In spite of the sa’mores I still lost 2 lbs…made up for in veggies I suspect. I do love fruit and veggies.

I have been keeping Exodus 14:14 close at hand along with other scriptures and songs.

The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (NIV)
Or as the Amplified states,
“The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace and remain at rest.”

The Lord is my Shepherd, my Shield, my All in All… God Bless and have a great day. ☺

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Two of my “neighbors”

My life has been so topsy-turvy lately that I am not sure where to begin. But, all in all my faith in my Savior does not waver. Only the Lord Jesus will have the victory and what a comfort that is.

My dear hubby and I were reflecting a little on what life was like before we gave our life to the Lord. We were both a bit older, I was 27, almost 28 and he was 32. We were both pretty wild, living without a care in the world, which means we had so many cares and worries we tried to escape them any way we could. And that is the real truth of the matter.

Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall. Psalm 55:22

It is so nice to be able to cast our cares upon the Lord instead of running, hiding and trying to escape from life. There is no true freedom except that which comes from the Lord.

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 1 Peter 5: 6-8

This past week I did really well at first then found myself hungry the last few days. I think I need to be more diligent about taking my vitamins. I often find when I am hungry that I am either very thirsty for water or lacking in some nutrients… So, I need to listen to what my body is saying to me.

I also need to get a different scale. Mine only works once in awhile and I can weigh myself three times in a row and get three different weights. My guess is I didn’t lose this past week but I don’t think I gained either but I really don’t know. I’ll weigh myself tomorrow when I go to physical therapy.

And tomorrow I will have a new PT for awhile because my PT Moon had a baby girl, Camden Moon. I think that is such a cute name AND my niece Olivia had her fourth baby, Tavius Jax I believe his name is. I can’t wait to see him.

You all have a great day and thank you so much for the prayers for my family. God Bless!

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Living By Faith & Live Well

This week has flown by and much of it has been spent in prayer and warfare. But God is victorious in all situations. I think anyone who thinks or believes in things being resolved in certain ways as strictly a coincidence is shallow. Shallow thinking, living without faith in the one true God, Jesus Christ is a lonely and sad place to be in life. You have no guidance from the Holy Spirit, wrong choices are made because you are no longer listening to that “still small voice”. I don’t understand how people can choose, because it is a choice, to live without faith and hope.

My Dad has a quote as part of his signature on his emails, which I have borrowed from time to time. It makes me smile because it is so true, “”It’s the first effect of not believing in God that you lose your common sense” (G. K. Chesterton). I don’t want to live a life without common sense, without reality because my God is real. He is truth.

God is so present, so all around us. I mean, you can feel Him, hear Him, see Him in so many things, in so many ways. He comforts the heart and soul. He sends his ministering angels to be with us. “For it is written: ‘He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully…’” (Luke 4:10). His love is everlasting and it is the only true good.

We cry out to Him and He is there. It is a promise from Him that He will “never leave nor forsake” us, even if we abandon Him for a time. Faith. That is what it is truly all about. Faith is knowing in your heart of hearts what is true, what is real, what is holy and set apart.

And this amazing God has given us free will, the right to choose to believe. He does not want puppets on a string, mindless dolls following Him like some cult leader. He wants alive, thinking, creative people who choose of their own free will to trust, love, serve and believe in Him, by Faith. By faith we are forgiven, healed, lifted up. Through faith we believe and trust.

“My heart is purified by faith…” Acts 15:9 and The righteous live by faith… Romans 1:17

My husband woke up the other morning and the scripture came to him, “Some trust in chariots, some trust in horses, but I will trust in the name of the Lord my God”. By faith we trust, we believe, we live steadfast and hold on tight.

As for those who lack faith or lose their faith, there is always hope, “What if some did not have faith? Will their lack of faith nullify God’s faithfulness? Not at all! Let God be true, and every man a liar” (Romans 3:3).

So, my hope and my faith are steadfast. My walk with my Savior does not waver. When I am attacked by doubtful thoughts I cast them into the pit of hell where they belong. I thank all those who pray for me, my family, our ministry. “Where two or more are gathered…” in spirit or in person we are believers and we have faith in the One True Loving God who is full of mercy, compassion, love and kindness.

One of the saddest things is when I hear people put Christians all in one category as judgmental radicals who are full of hate. I have rarely if ever in my life met a truly mean-spirited, judgmental person who calls themselves a Christian but I know they are out there. Every faith has those who give their belief a bad name and it is so shallow of people to put all Christians in one category.

I think one of the hardest things for a parent to experience is when they have raised their children in a loving Christian home – full of love, praise, prayer, hope and faith. It is so hard to understand just how their children can go out into the world and turn their backs on their only true everlasting love in the world? How they can cast aside all they have known as truth is a wonder but what is more wonderful is that God does not turn his back on them (Romans 3:3). So as parents we have true comfort

So when I am attacked by thoughts of doubt, when despair at times seems to overwhelm me, I know in my heart that my God is with me. He is faithful. “His love is everlasting and as far as the east is from the west”.

When my husband and I married we were given a photo with a picture of the sunrise and the scripture “But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:15b). That is a scripture that we live by to this day and it brings comfort and joy to my soul.

My God is with me and once again I thank you my sisters and brothers in Christ for praying for and with me.

If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer. Matthew 21:22

I think my above thoughts pretty much state where I am right now without going into a lot of unnecessary detail. My hope is in the Lord who loves me. I can’t get through anything without Him and I praise Him for blessing me with a husband of such strong faith who prays with me daily. I know I am blessed.

I am still very much doing Weight Watchers. I was so blessed by my sister Kelly sending me a little Weight Watchers kit for my birthday…The Complete Food Companion, Dining Out Companion (forever in my purse) and more. I lost 1 lb this week so have officially lost 10 lbs! Yeah!

God Bless You All!

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Grandma’s Little Helper

My Mom arrived on Thursday and left Monday afternoon. We had a full weekend and I shared some of it all ready. We did a lot of walking, a lot of talking and a lot of dining out…Fun stuff. I didn’t do to bad overall.

Yesterday I fell in a mudhole, on my birthday. Can you imagine? I just tripped and fell flat on my face in a huge pile of mud! ‘o’ I was mud from head to toe. I am a bit stiff today and the doctors words to me, “Whatever you do, do not fall“, rang in my ears. I sat in the puddle and said, “Well, happy birthday to me!” I thanked the Lord I could get up and walk.

I eventually made it home and got cleaned up. As the day wore on I found myself feeling rather stiff. Hubby and I arrived home near midnight and simply crashed after working the snack shack for 250 middle schoolers and staff. I woke up this morning to rain and a bit of hail.

My fabulous sister Kelly sent me Weight Watchers Complete Food Companion and Dining Out Companion along with a three month journal, a little recipe book and some coupons! I was just thrilled! This will help me a lot.

My daughter and I went to Cold Stone Creamier and I discovered that their fat free cream ice cream is fabulous. I have them add half a banana and strawberries and it is just the most perfect treat. So, I feel I can splurge once in awhile.

I didn’t lose any this past week but didn’t gain either. We ate at a Chinese Restaurant in downtown Deadwood, at Olive Garden in Rapid City where I had salad and one and a half breadsticks, we bar-b-cue at home, and visited the Chubby Chipmunk plus my Mom made chocolate chip cookies two nights in a row… Yummy! I did enjoy a couple.

But overall I was pleased with how the weekend went. I feel I have great support from my husband and family and I know the Lord is with me every step of the way.

You all have a fabulous day!

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Live Well – Bird Watching ☺

The hint of a rainbow

There is nothing more wonderful than the warmth of a spring morning, the fresh breezes wisping through the windows, the smell of flowers… Now this is the way to live! But, where I live it is a very short season so every moment must be treasured.

Lunchtime! Junco and flowers

I was out planting flowers and the birds seemed to really enjoy the new foliage. I do cheat and sprinkle a little extra bird seed around ☺ I have been outside a lot, walking, planting flowers, doing a few simple things…wonderful!

Rockin’ Robin
(I opted not to show the one with a worm in it’s mouth — gross!)

Physical Therapy and Weight Watchers are going well. It is amazing the muscles I didn’t know I had. Yesterday I had a longer than normal PT session and Moon added two new exercises so today I am a bit sore but I can live with that. I do enjoy walking in this wonderful weather. Plus I have my little munchkin’ of a grand-daughter here so we will be heading off to the camp playground.

A Female Junco

My cat Rez was just dying to make a snack out of this little Junco. I was planting flowers and ran a bit short so placed this little nest in the planter. The birds loved this idea of mine and Rez just knew he would finally get his catch…

Still waiting…hehehe

So for me, spending time with the Lord, walking, eating right and enjoying the spring weather all help me focus on Living Well. Be sure and stop by Darlene’s Live Well at CWO for more posts. Have a wonderful day!

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Apple Blossoms from my sister’s yard in Nebraska
The scent was heavenly ☺

It has been overall a good week despite the SNOW! Yes, I said snow, four inches of it yesterday. I admit I did get a bit depressed (actually I had a huge pity party ‘o’) when I woke up and saw it but we are promised a very springy weekend by the weatherman.

I did a lot of walking (and chasing) with my little granddaughter this past weekend. We had around 150 international Chinese students and their families here. It was a super blessing for many. We both loved being outside although it was a tad bit chilly, in the 50′s.

Other good news is that I was down 3 whole pounds this week so I had to re-evaluate my weight watchers points so am down from 26 to 25 points per week.

Our exchange student– our “son” from Bangkok leaves today so I find myself a bit weepy. I will post pictures when I get back from the airport.

God Bless!

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Flowers for Mommy

My scripture verse the past few days has been “Pray Without Ceasing”. I recall years ago upon first hearing this scripture that this concept was impossible. I mean, who could pray without ceasing? Night and day, 24-7? It seemed completely impracticable and almost silly. But I have come to realize that as a Christian my life should be a prayer. When people see me they should see a vision of Christ. They should see love, kindness, peace, hope and a spirit of faith among many other wonderful attributes.

The arrangement

But too often people look at me and see a person of the flesh but I am slowly becoming more like my Heavenly Father as he does a “good work in me”. The Lord has also been teaching me to enjoy life, to stop and smell the flowers like my little granddaughter Alexys. The Lord wants me to have childlike faith and joy.

Take time to smell the flowers ☺

This past weekend I went to Nebraska to see family… Precious family. I saw my Dad who seems so at peace with God and his faith. It was such a comfort to me. My sister Shannon is to have her first novel published (more on that later ☺). My precious niece graduated from high school. She looked so beautiful and happy. She graduated with honors and we are all so proud.

Flowers for Mommy

I ate a little more than normal – and realized that I won’t be doing that again. I simply don’t need an 8 oz steak to get full, a 4 oz will suit me nicely. I did stay within my Weight Watchers points, I didn’t gain but I didn’t lose either. And that’s OK. I did walk but not as often. I did have a LOT of fun, and that is good. I feel good. I enjoy Living Well.

For more Live Well visit our guest hostesss Lori.

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Spring Thaw, Bridal Veil Falls, Spearfish Canyon

(If you haven’t yet you may want to listen to the song on the previous post as you read this.
You will be so blessed ☺)

There is one thing that I have come to know as an absolute positive and for those who have lost their common sense by denying there is a God I am here to tell you… Nothing in your life will be truly happy, no relationship truly complete and trustworthy, no career truly satisfying, and the list will go on and on, until you know and accept the true unconditional love of the one saving God.

Until you not just believe but accept his love, mercy and grace by faith your life will never be complete and satisfied. You will always be a bit disgruntled and never sure why, something will always feel like it is missing but you aren’t sure what, relationships are such that you can’t be completely sure until you have that faith and peace that surpasses all man-made logic.

I am not saying your life will be perfect as a follower of Jesus Christ, as we are infallible human beings and we make mistakes, but what I am really talking about is inner peace, that peace that can only come from knowing a loving Savior and that faith that only comes from having a personal relationship with your Heavenly Father.

“Chase me Ga’mommy!”
Sometimes I think we are just like my little granddaughter and we want our Heavenly Daddy to chase us… And he does ♥

On my journey toward good health I have come to rely even more upon my Heavenly Father. He will not let me down. I may let myself down but He won’t. He loves me… And how do I know? I have common sense that tells me so. I also have His Word and if I need more common sense, not wordly man-made slogans and sayings such as all the “I, ME, MY” slogans that pervade and bombard us daily, I just read His Word (and I really like the books of Proverb and the Psalms).

Just try being truly satisfied with your life on your own. You won’t get far without God. Oh, you may reach the top of the corporate ladder, graduate at the top of your class or win that 10K run but there is still that empty void that tells you something is truly missing. And if you don’t hear it now, trust me you will.

God is always calling his children back to Him just as a parent is constantly concerned for their children. You just can’t get your kids out of your heart and neither can God get you out of His.

O LORD, You have searched me and known me.
You know my sitting down and my rising up;
You understand my thoughts afar off.
You comprehend my path and my lying down,
And are acquainted with all my ways.
For there is not a word on my tongue,
But behold, O LORD, You know it altogether.
You have hedged me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is high, I cannot attain it.

Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the morning,
And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
Even there Your hand shall lead me,
And Your right hand shall hold me.
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall on me,”
Even the night shall be light about me;
Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You,
But the night shines as the day;
The darkness and the light are both alike to You.

For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.

How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How great is the sum of them!
If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand;
When I awake, I am still with You.

Oh, that You would slay the wicked, O God!
Depart from me, therefore, you bloodthirsty men.
For they speak against You wickedly;
Your enemies take Your name in vain.
Do I not hate them, O LORD, who hate You?
And do I not loathe those who rise up against You?
I hate them with perfect hatred;
I count them my enemies.

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.
Psalm 139 NKJV

Yesterday was my day for weighing in. I have lost another 2 lbs ☺ and I thank my Lord for walking with me on this journey toward good health. I asked for prayer in church on Sunday as I felt myself feeling a little depressed about the whole ordeal, the surgery, the physical therapy, etc… and he answered my prayers. I am so Amazed by my God!

For more Live Well posts please visit Darlene at CWO. Have a beautiful day!

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This Dark-Eyed Junco is so light in color. Or maybe it is the sunlight?

God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good? Behold, I have received a command to bless and He has blessed, and I cannot reverse it. “He has not observed iniquity in Jacob. Nor has He seen wickedness in Israel. The LORD his God is with him, And the shout of a King is among them. Numbers 23:19-21

When I first saw my Bible Memory verse for this week I knew I had to do a bit of research and a bit of prayer for understanding. My pea-brain doesn’t always comprehend and my brain at times tries to make things more complicated then they are… hence the thought of people talking themselves right out of their salvation… Stupid to say the least to think that man is above God in any way, shape or form.

Men change their minds, and break their words; but God never changes his mind, and therefore never recalls his promise. If the Lord sees that we trust in his mercy, accept of his salvation, live in obedience, and endeavour to serve and glorify him; we may be sure that he looks upon us as accepted in Christ, that our sins are forgiven. God’s grace, love, and mercy make us a new creation.

“But though there are many devices in man’s heart, God’s counsels shall stand. Let us, who have a promise that the vision at the end shall speak and not lie, continue earnest in prayer”. (

So, I have been pondering these scriptures during my week and what a busy but good week I have had overall, despite the blizzard ☺ God’s Word and promises are faithful and that simple thought keeps me on track.

It is so nice to see spring finally arrive here in the Hills and I pray it is here to stay. We have been known to have snow into June… no kidding. That is just they way it is when you live a little over a mile high.

I had my precious granddaughter from Sunday until Tuesday morning – now that is a workout in and of itself! What a treat that was. She is such a joy and talks all the time. I did notice Sunday morning in the church nursery that she was a bit shy with the other children. She hadn’t been there for awhile so I stayed with her because she wanted to play. But, then she basically just watched and sat on my lap most of the time.

Alexys playing on the deck. She kept trying to hug the kitty.

Yesterday was my first week of Weight Watchers online and what I discovered was I couldn’t eat all my points and what are those other points they give you? I mean, I found myself trying to find something else to eat then realized, I’m stuffed, what am I thinking!? So, I just got another glass of water instead. I lost 2 lbs and a few oz so was very happy about that.

I have also been doing more walking and yesterday was my first physical therapy appointment. They did a new evaluation, I got more exercises and the whole ordeal took about 2 hours. Needless to say I was a bit sore but I felt really good about it all. I know at times I get frustrated with myself.

My main thought lately is I just want to feel “normal”, whatever normal is. I guess I think of normal as being able to dance around my house without pain. That may sound funny but I long for the day.

Visit Live Well with Darlene for more encouraging posts. God Bless!


On another happy note our foreign exchange student from Thailand, Jetanant “Jett” went to the Junior-Senior Prom with his date also named Jett. They made such a beautiful couple. We are so dreading the day, coming up way too soon, when he will return home to his parents in Thailand. At the same time I am so happy for them as I know they have missed their son and only child. It has been such a joy having him as part of our family and he will always have a place in our hearts and home.

Jett and Jett
Be sure to sign up to win Brock and Bodie Thoene’s The Twilight of Courage in my Pay It Forward book Giveaway and please visit Overwhelmed With Joy for more book giveaways.


And last but not least…
What I would LOVE for
May I be bold? (lol) The new dvd’s of Sense and Sensibility and Cranford. I have been watching Cranford on Masterpiece Theatre and I personally think the new Sense and Sensibility (also seen on Masterpiece Theatre) is better than the Emma Thompson version. The cast is amazing and it is definitely more like the book.

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