Browsing Tag


Blog, Faith, Marriage, Parenting, prayer, Spiritual Gifts, Writing

Lessons From a Garden

purple petunias

purple petunias

Recently I created a rose and flower garden, for the first time in my life. I found out quickly that gardening is hot WORK, but I’m very pleased with what I accomplished and love looking at the beautiful flowers from my sunroom, as I drink coffee in the morning.

Here are some lessons I’ve learned working on my gardens:

  • It’s hard, hot work.¬†The Christian life isn’t easy and Jesus never said it would be a “rose garden.” (Pardon the pun, but I couldn’t resist!) In fact, He warned us that we would have trouble in this life, even persecution and suffering if we followed Him, but we don’t need to feel afraid because He has overcome this world. (John 16:33) I’ve had my fair share of trials and heartaches, and then some. What about you? Let’s face it, marriage is hard (really hard!). Parenting is hard. So is having a ministry, grandparenting, paying the basic bills, staying healthy and fit, dealing with people at your job or church, not losing your temper in traffic, speaking at conferences, writing your book, blogging, taking care of pets, finding life’s real meaning, simply getting out of the bed in the morning, and any number of things we face in this world. But one thing for sure, Jesus will never leave or abandon us. (Hebrews 13:5) He will help us to do what we need to do each day, if we ask Him. He will help us get to that finish line! Just don’t quit.
  • Have a vision. The Bible says in Proverbs 29:18, “Without a vision the people perish.” You need to have a vision for your garden. Before I started shoveling dirt and buying a bunch of flowers, I thought about what I wanted my two gardens to look like. I googled online and drove around cities to see what other gardeners had done and theirs pretty gardens looked like for inspiration. You can ask your family and friends for their ideas, too, like I did on Facebook. My friend Rose on Facebook and others were a great help to me, since I’ve never done this before and told me how they had made theirs with very helpful tips–what to do and what not to do.
  • Dig deep. You can’t just go throw seeds on the dirt, or plop some flowers from the bucket on top of the soil to create a beautiful garden. You have to prepare the soil first and dig! My friend Rose encouraged me to first clear the area where I wanted the garden of grass, pebbles, and what appeared to be “Creeping Charlie” weeds that were in abundance by the patio and garage. Then she said to lay down cardboard flat on the dirt, which is biodegradable and works better than landscape fabric, and put bark mulch on top of it for my rose garden. For the annuals and perennials, I cleared the area, spread out compost and potting soil, and mixed them together to prepare the soil for the flowers to take root. In order to plant the roses and my flowers, I had to dig–in some places deep. One of my favorite scriptures is Psalm 42:7: “Deep calls unto deep at the noise of Your waterfalls;¬†All Your waves and billows have gone over me.” God doesn’t want you and me to have a shallow, superficial relationship with Him, but a deep, intimate one each day. Go deeper with God in prayer, worship, and studying the Bible every day. Choose to grow closer to God.
  • Water and weed daily. I’m treating my rose and flower gardens a little like I do my kids and grandkids, worrying over them. My grandmother Moore had a green thumb and could grow anything, but I’ve never done this before and don’t want to kill my flowers! They need sunlight, watering and weeding daily. I need to give them enough water, but not too much. Sometimes it’s hard to tell what exactly they need and want (again, like our children!). I have to watch vigilantly for weeds and pests. They both can destroy a garden. In our lives, we need to watch for pests that can destroy and weeds that can quickly overgrow in our hearts and minds, such as unforgiveness, bitterness, anger, jealousy, envy, gossip, pride, resentment, discouragement, depression, unbelief, and more. These can cause great spiritual destruction in our lives and cause us to get off God’s plan and path for our life. We want to yield eternal, good fruit for God, not waste our lives or have sins choke out the good fruit (flowers). Ezekiel 17:8 says, “It was planted in good soil beside abundant waters, that it might yield branches and bear fruit and become a splendid vine.”
  • Fertilize. Sometimes plants and flowers need a little extra boost with fertilizer–replenishing lost nutrients, ensuring they have the food they need to flourish, stimulate root growth, helping the plant set buds and flowers, and improving vitality. I bought rose food for my roses and applied it the first week, per the box’s instructions. As believers, we face times of crisis (much like strong winds and relentless rain to the flowers) and need to apply the principles of spiritual warfare, being sure to keep on the armor of God, which you can read about in Ephesians 6. I recommend my book, The Hands of a Woman: Everyday Women in Everyday Battles, available for sale at Amazon, which is about 8 women’s greatest spiritual battles. Another great book is Priscilla Shirer’s study on The Armor of God, also at Amazon. I also recommend watching the movie War Room, in which Priscilla starred with Karen Abercombie and T.C. Stallings. Staying grounded in God’s word and prayer will be the fertilizer we need to stay strong through faith in Christ.
  • You’ll get tired.¬†When I started working on the gardens, I used muscles that I certainly had not been using in awhile, so I felt it in every part of my body afterward—I was so sore! What I needed was a hot shower, good food, and to sit down and relax watching a movie! Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-30, AMP, ‚ÄúCome to Me, all who are weary and heavily burdened[by religious rituals that provide no peace],¬†and I will give you rest [refreshing your souls with salvation].Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me [following Me as My disciple], for I am gentle and humble in heart, and¬†you will find rest (renewal, blessed quiet)¬†for your souls. For My yoke is easy [to bear] and My burden is light.‚ÄĚ God wants to give your soul rest–peace and quiet from the hectic, busy, noisy pace of today. Sometimes a garden is the perfect place to do that. As my friend Rose reminded and encouraged me yesterday on Facebook, Jesus spent a lot of time in gardens. At other times, it’s watching a chick flick, eating chips and salsa with Mexican, taking a bubble path, getting a mani or pedi, ordering pizza and laughing with family and friends, going to the beach (my place of peace!), or just getting a good night’s rest. God wants to refill and restore you when you’re tired and weary.
  • Enjoy the view. I was worn out making these gardens. I had to go to a lot of different nurseries and garden places to find the supplies and flowers, in 90+F degree, sweltering heat. I’d never done this before and, frankly, I’m out of shape! It is WORK! I sweated a lot and had to take breaks, since I was planting quite a bit of flowers. But once I finished (I just have one rose shrub left to plant, which hasn’t arrived yet but it’s ordered online!), I was pleased with the overall effect. I love it! It makes me happy to look at the pretty roses and flowers from my sunroom, drinking coffee in the movie. I am praying I can keep them alive and they will thrive; please pray, too! But remember to enjoy the view. Savor the moments in your life. Love your family, friends, and others. Glorify God in all you do. Humankind began in a garden. It is a place of beauty and life.

“When I’m writing, I think about the garden, and when I’m in the garden I think about writing. I do a lot of writing by putting something in the ground.” ~ Jamaica Kincaid

Althea flower

Althea flower

What lessons have you learned from gardening? Please share and leave your comments below.

Blog, Faith, Homeschooling, Marriage, prayer, Writing

Only God can fix the wreckage of our lives



I saw this picture on Pinterest today, saved it, and posted it on Facebook saying, “Then I must have fodder for lots of stories!”

Wreckage. The word sounds dangerously close to “carnage.” Let’s look at the definition of both.

wrecked car

wrecked car


The remains of something that has been badly damaged or destroyed.


The killing of a large number of people (slaughter, massacre, butchery, bloodbath).

Both mean ruination, obliteration, annihilation.

heart of ice Source:

heart of ice

Recently someone I love very much deeply hurt me and I felt very rejected in the situation. My heart felt broken into a million pieces. Shattered. I’ve cried each night going to sleep, and then often awake in the middle of the night with insomnia.

In looking at the situation, I’ve realized my life is in wreckage. And that I have often caused the lives of those I love to be wrecked.

And that the only One who can fix me is God.

“He heals the brokenhearted¬†and binds up their wounds.” (Psalms 147:3)

Debbie McDaniel writes in her article, Finding Beauty in Brokenness: Christ Came to Heal and Redeem:

“We have a Healer. One who repairs. Who can fit the broken pieces that no longer seem to fit right into a perfect design. He works, often behind the scenes, mending, fitting together, creating a better work of art, more than we ever dreamed possible. He makes all things beautiful. Especially in the broken. All from His grace. It is real life. Jagged edges and all. They have such meaning.”

hurting woman

God can take the brokenness of our lives and turn it into something beautiful. We’re all broken.

Image source:

Broken hearts. Broken lives. Broken marriages. Broken children. Broken families. Broken churches. We all desperately need Jesus.

Hurting people hurt others. We have to come to the foot of the Cross with our hurts and give them to Him.

Only God can heal us and make us whole. Only God can fix the wreckage of our lives. 

He is Jehovah Rapha, the God that heals. 

“Then Moses cried out to the LORD, and the LORD showed him a piece of wood. He threw it into the water, and the water became sweet. There the LORD made a decree and a law for them, and there he tested them. He said, ‘If you listen carefully to the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, who heals you.‚ÄĚ‚Äô (Exodus 15:22-26, NIV)


The Power of Names Copyright 2017

The Power of Names
Copyright 2017

I’m writing a new book now , which is the third and final book in The Cinderella Story series, called The Power of Names. It’s about the importance of your name and the many different names of God in the Bible, including Jehovah Rapha, the God that heals. Stay tuned for more details coming soon.

You can find my other books at my Amazon Author Page by clicking here.

If you’re not already on my personal mailing list, sign up at the top of the page on the right hand side, and get your free gift and my bi-monthly newsletter. My valued subscribers are first to know about my new books, speaking engagements and other exciting news.

Blog, Faith, prayer, Spiritual Gifts

Refreshing Rain: Repent of your sin

cherry tree after rain

cherry tree after rain

Yesterday we had a sudden thunderstorm here: heavy rain, loud thunder, and lightning. It stopped as suddenly as it started, and reminded me of the thunderstorms in the south where I grew up.

Afterward, everything looked so fresh: the emerald-green grass, the tree’s leaves, and the beautiful flowers like our neighbor’s cherry tree, pictured above.¬† This reminded me of Acts 3:19-21, NIV:

Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Messiah, who has been appointed for you‚ÄĒeven Jesus.

The word “sin” isn’t very popular today. We like to call it by other names: mistake, weakness, or “I just screwed up.” (If we even admit it; sometimes we blame others, hide, justify, or make excuses for our sin.)

¬†But God, who is holy, calls a spade a spade: it’s sin! And He knows that sin will destroy our lives and hinder your purpose and mine.¬†

Thunder and lightning

Thunder and lightning

God is not an angry Deity ready to just zap you with lightning and send you to hell every time you mess up a little! Hell was created for the devil and his demons, not man. God loves you and has a good plan for your life. (Jeremiah 29:11) God wants you to repent of your sin, so that nothing will stand between you and Him. He wants to be as close to you as possible.



When we repent of our sins, we are refreshed. We feel relieved. We don’t carry around that guilt, and worse, condemnation for our sins. Jesus died on the Cross over 2,000 years ago for you and me, as a sacrifice to God and a substitute for our sins, so we wouldn’t have to carry the burden of them. His death and resurrection sets us free.¬†When we repent, we are in right relationship with God and others. We are forgiven–forever.¬†

Today, ask the Holy Spirit to search your heart for any sin. Confess it to God. Ask His forgiveness. Let nothing stand in your way of intimacy with God. and fulfilling your purpose.

woman in rain

woman in rain

Receive the refreshing rain and the beauty, like the flowers after the rain, of His forgiveness, love, and power in your life.


Promises In The Dark: One Woman's Search for Authentic Love

Get your copy at:

Do you feel that you have sinned too much and that God can’t and won’t possibly forgive you?

He will forgive if you repent. God is faithful, even when we are not!

Read my¬†encouraging life story about my childhood abuse, adulterous affairs, and three abortions, Promises In The Dark: One Woman’s Search for Authentic Love, and how God forgave and delivered me by clicking here.