At My Post, Praying for You

The high Wednesday was -10° Fahrenheit with a windchill factor down to -53° Fahrenheit. Of course, all three of my children had to work.

Our boys have their wives looking out for them. Our daughter is an independent woman.

The owner of the company where she works was on vacation. No one wanted to bother him to see if they could close. Her boss had the day off to take her son on a college visit. (The University of Iowa, Iowa State, and the University of Northern Iowa closed today.)

There’s no mail delivery and FedEx would not be picking up boxes. I told her it was worthless to go in.

But she’s the supervisor of her department and 3 other employees were coming in. Those who could work at home did and the rest took a personal day.

She would caravan with 3 friends and wear coveralls. She assured me that she was taking every precaution. She promised to text when she left for work and when she arrived.

I received the first text at 6:05 a.m. It took her 30 minutes to drive 13 miles.

“I’m here.”

“Thank you, Jesus!”

“Jennifer says you had better put extra in the collection plate this Sunday.”

* * * * * * *

Derek works for a plumbing supply company. They stayed open for when a plumber needed a part for a broken furnace. He only had to drive across town. Rachel’s office closed. If he didn’t show up at work or make it home, I was sure she would call.

Luke won’t be home. Soldiers don’t get snow days. Firemen don’t get snow days. Farmers don’t get snow days. Luke is all three! I have to choose not to worry about him every day!

David talked to him on Tuesday night. Yes, he would be working and on call for a fire. Yes, he would be doing chores.

“Don’t worry,” he assured us, “I have the proper clothes. I’ll be fine.”

Luke and Bethany live in a small town. It is a close-knit community. When someone is missing, everyone looks for them.

All I could do was pray.

1 Samuel 12:23-24, “…I’m staying right here at my post praying for you and teaching you the good and right way to live. (24) But I beg of you, fear God and worship Him honestly and heartily. You’ve seen how greatly He has worked among you!” The Message


* * * * * * *

I got a taste of retirement today. The trucks at the lumberyard run on propane. You damage the engines if you run them when it is this cold. David’s boss closed for the day.

We decided to take advantage of the day off to update our budget. (There’s nothing warmer than being “hot under the collar.”)

“Let’s agree to use all our energy in getting along with each other. Help others with encouraging words; don’t drag them down by finding fault.” Romans 14:19-20, The Message (Today’s verse in “Hugs – Daily Inspirations for Women)


We finished the budget and I went to the kitchen to make hot chocolate mix. David, who was paying bills, kept calling my name. On the sixth trip, walking the length of the house, to answer another question, I thought…

“This is worse than a snow day with the kids!”

Then I started muttering, “I will not get angry. I will not get angry. I will not get angry.”

Laura forgot to text me when she got home from work. But she texted David. Relief – she’s safe and warm. And no text from Bethany or Rachel. The boys are safe and warm, too.

What did you do on this cold winter day?

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Whatever Job You’re Given

Weather forecast: High of 5° and low of -19°.  

I wore 2 long-sleeved tee shirts, a sweater, a vest, and a scarf. When my hair dried, I removed the waterproof vest.  

God turned on the sun! I took the scarf off. By the time it reached my desk, I had peeled off the sweater.  

My goal was to move the TV and hutch 3-1/2 inches to the right. Why? Because last year I switched side tables and moved the couch 3-1/2 inches. It was no longer centered on the TV. We both wanted the seat on the left.

1 Samuel 10:7, “…Whatever job you’re given to do, do it. God is with you!” The Message

First, I took the pictures off the wall and filled in the nail holes. It was hot up on the step stool. The sun was pouring in the big window warming the room to 72°. I took off one long-sleeved tee-shirt.  

I moved the TV and hutch and started sweating. I took off the long-john pants and dug out a tank top. Then I moved the chair, drum throne, and column holding the lamp.  

Cutting open a paper bag, I lay the print I wanted to hang on it. I cut out the outline. Then put the paper on the back of the print to mark the hooks.  

Measuring from the ceiling to the top of the TV was 29 inches. I put a piece of painter’s tape over the chair 29 inches from the ceiling. I held the paper on that mark and leveled it. Then I pushed down on the tape in the corners to adhere it. I hammered nails through the marks and removed the paper and tape.  

After hanging the print, I leveled both mirrors. I put Velcro dots on the back of them to keep them from moving.  

I moved a ceramic column next to the hutch. On it, I placed the “Conica Spruce” my brother sent me for Christmas. Then I moved my largest plant and table east 2 inches. That centered it on the wall in the corner.  

I plugged everything back in and…the TV wouldn’t turn on! I heard the garage door opening. David had to take an early lunch. I thought he would be mad. But we worked together checking connections and got the TV back on.


I sat down and admired my work. I felt chilly. I put one long-sleeved tee-shirt on and made a salad. I pulled the second one on before I ate. By the time I typed my post I had shrugged back into the sweater.  

“Life is best lived on purpose, not by accident – the sooner we discover what God intends for us to do with our lives, the better. …” Hugs – Daily Inspirations for Women

What projects are you working on during this cold snap?  

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Who Can Stand?

A polar vortex is coming. Cliff, a farmer south of town, reported on Facebook, “The temperature dropped from 37° to 14° with a windchill factor of -2° in two minutes!”  

They predict a windchill factor of -53° on Wednesday! Facebook was full of posts telling us how to prepare for this arctic cold. I spent the day preparing.

  1. I shut all the sheers, blinds, and drapes on the north and west sides of the house. (Yes, I dress my windows in layers., see here.) I won’t open them until this bitter cold passes.
  2. I opened the cupboard doors under the sinks. I want them heated up now. (I insulated behind my north kitchen cupboards, see here.) 
  3. I set the thermostat at 70° and pushed “hold” on my programmable thermostat.
  4. I made sure all the vents were open. I placed step stools against the drapes next to the registers to keep them back.
  5. I took the allergy filter out of the furnace and replaced it with a regular one. The furnace has to work harder to move air through the allergy filter.
  6. I stapled white towels over the curtains in the basement windows.
  7. I filled 2 buckets with water. If a pipe burst, either here or a city pipe, I can use this water to flush the toilet.
  8. I removed the dryer vent and stuffed it with a towel. I braced it against the back of the dryer with a small table to stop any cold air coming in.
  9. I put a pair of pantyhose over the dryer exhaust and used duct tape to secure it. I checked it after each load.
  10. I washed clothes right before David came home from work. The dryer warmed up his bathroom in the laundry room.
  11. Half of my clothes are in the guest bedroom. I got out long underwear, sweaters, and scarves. I made outfits for the rest of the week. I’m writing this post at 5:00 a.m. I’m wearing long john pants, jeans, a long-sleeved crew neck tee-shirt, a long-sleeved v-neck tee-shirt, a sweater, a scarf, and a vest! I will remove layers as needed. I dress based on the temperature each day. (You can read the guidelines here.)
  12. When the sun went down, I shut the register in the guest room. I moved our wedding picture to the office because frost could form. (Frost makes pictures stick to the glass.) I moved the guitar to the kitchen. You have to protect your instruments. I shut the door and won’t open it until Friday or Saturday.
  13. I got out the 2nd pair of lace-up shoes, my slippers, and my robe. I hung the robe on the back of the door. My shoes and slippers are under the piano and my outfits are on the bench. I won’t open my closet door until this weekend, too.
  14. I started filling empty pitchers with filtered water. They are for drinking and cooking if we lose water.
  15. David is using the door to our attached garage to enter and exit the house. We will not open the front door. 

My plan today is to finish filling the pitchers. Then I will move all liquids out of the north cupboards. I don’t want to wake up to frozen food. I will get out my “butter bell.” It keeps the butter soft even in a cold room.  

It will be colder than a body can stand. I pray for the workers who will have to go out. I pray for the farmers with livestock. I pray for the elderly who have trouble maintaining body heat. I pray no lives are lost.  

1 Samuel 6:19-20, “God struck some of the men of Beth Shemesh who, out of curiosity, irreverently peeked into the Chest of God. Seventy died. The whole town was in mourning, reeling under the hard blow from God, and questioning, ‘Who can stand before God, this holy God?’…” The Message 


I’m taking this forecast seriously. I’m making potato soup, chili, and spaghetti sauce over the next three days to keep moisture in the air upstairs.  

What have I missed? Do you have any suggestions?  

©2009-2019 All Rights Reserved.


She Pulled Herself Together

I am struggling. I had such hopes for this blog. I wanted people to start reading the Bible who never have before:

  • Those who didn’t have time.
  • Those who get bored in the Old Testament.
  • Those who don’t understand how the books of prophecy related to the events.
  • Those who don’t think the Bible is relevant today.
  • Those with questions whose answers are in the Bible.
  • Those who just started this “Faith Walk” with Jesus.

Each day I share something I learned. Or how a verse directed me. Or how the verse related to an event in my day.

Some days, God corrects me. Some verses are too personal to share publicly. I won’t share them just like I don’t write about my love life. It’s intimate and just for me. I hope you understand the missing days.

I keep thinking I’m doing something wrong. So, I take another “blogging course.” They usually depress me. I’m called to write without ads and affiliate marketing. That is how bloggers make their money.

Saturday, I started yet another course. After the first lesson, I was ready to quit altogether! I went to the WordPress Reader and typed in “Faith-Based Writers.” I found “Living Our Days,” at

“I’m tempted to be still, to shut down, and to believe the lie that my words don’t matter – that, I am, somehow, unqualified.” “Driven by Fear to the God Who Casts Out Fear,” Michele Morin


I’m not the only one who struggles! Clarity came when I read the introduction to 1 Samuel on Sunday.

“…our ego-bound experience is too small a context in which to understand and experience what it means to believe in God and follow His ways.” The Message Introduction to 1 Samuel


I started reading about Hannah. Her husband had two wives. Her rival wife had children. Hannah was barren. Her rival wife was a bully who taunted her. I love how Hannah reacted.

1 Samuel 1:9-10, “So Hannah ate. Then she pulled herself together, slipped away quietly, and entered the sanctuary. …(10) Crushed in soul, Hannah prayed to God and cried and cried – inconsolably.” The Message


I ate breakfast, pulled myself together, and went to church. While there I visited with a sister in a more depressing situation than mine.

The pain was crushing her, and like Hannah, she cried and cried. That put things with my blog in perspective. Even more amazing? She is the sister I looked for to pray for me! She did! She prayed against discouragement and depression. Even in her brokenness, she gave to ease my hurt. I prayed for her situation, too.

Neither one of us can see the big picture of what God is doing for us. We both know He has a plan and is working in the background. But waiting is sometimes downright painful. We want God to fix it now!

“I’ve been stepping into my prayer closet and asking God to save the day, Superman-style, to provide the quick fix, the happy here-and-now. But God looks at the long-term, what’s best for eternity. An easy life produces flabby souls. Temporary trouble can be a stepping stone to godly character.” “Praying Like a Super Hero,” Shirlee Abbott, at Proverbs 31 Ministries


So, I keep going. This is post number 3755. There are 661 posts over at I meant to celebrate when I wrote my 4,000th post. That was sometime in 2017. (Oops.) I’ll celebrate my 4,000th post here.

How should I celebrate?

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Stay With It

“Winter Advisory – temperatures in the teens…wind up to 27 mph…blowing, drifting snow…reduced visibility…wind chill factor dropping to -22°.” National Weather Service, 1-24-19

It was not the weather I hoped for when I made my hair appointment. But we hadn’t been to Aldi for two weeks. The forecast for next week is even colder. We decided I should go and then come right home.

I dropped David off at work and left for Mt. Pleasant at 7:30 a.m. The roads were mostly dry – except in town.

I buzzed through Wal-Mart. When I exited, I couldn’t tell if it was snowing or just blowing.

The hourly forecast put 9 a.m. as the warmest and calmest hour of the day. Aldis was my next stop.

I parked on the south side of the building – out of the wind. I found 3 great deals on clearance and bought a month’s worth of groceries. The sun was shining when I pushed my loaded cart to the van.

I put the full bags into the large coolers David had put in the van. I didn’t want the produce and dairy to freeze over the next few hours. I had to scrape the frozen snow off of the windshield. 

I stopped at the “Quarter Store” and found another large, gilded print for $3.00. I like to support this store. The proceeds help the poor in the area.

Lunch was at a new place – “Central Park Coffee.” Derek told me about the family who opened it. Their “Turkey/Gouda with Cranberry Cream Cheese” is like Thanksgiving in a sandwich! “Frosty’s Favorite,” flavored with graham crackers and cinnamon, was the coffee of the day.

I ate at a wood slab bar next to the front window. I watched the city crew scooping up piles of snow. They filled 6 dump trucks in a half hour.

She finished my haircut at 1:30 p.m. The temperature started dropping at noon and the wind speeds would peak at 2 p.m.

I drove into Mt. Pleasant on a dry highway. Now the passing lane was snow-covered in places. While in Aldi, I overheard a woman say black ice was forming on the bridges.

The snow was blowing across the road in places. I turned slightly to the right as I entered those areas to counter the wind.

A semi-truck passed me. At the top of the hill, I lost him in the blowing snow. I prayed for Sarah who would be driving this road in a few hours.

I wasn’t frightened because we took precautions. David’s old coveralls were warming on the front seat. I wore my snow boots with thick socks. I had extra water and trail mix. There are sweats pants and a jacket sealed in plastic bags stored under the floorboards. Our emergency kit has an air compressor, jumper cables, and a heat blanket.

But I was happy to turn off at the Fairfield exit. Highway #1, which runs through Fairfield, was dry. The library is on Highway #1. I made a detour to stock up on books.

I picked David up. He took a break from work to help me unload. After I put away the perishables, I settled into my office. I turned on the space heater.

As I typed up my post, I thought, “I’m grateful I do not have to make that drive every day.” I’m staying at my post here.

Matthew 24:13, “Staying with it – that’s what God requires. Stay with it to the end. You won’t be sorry, and you’ll be saved.” The Message

How do you prepare for winter driving?

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February 2019 “Relevant” Bible Reading Guide Chapters

  • 1 – 1 Samuel 16; Psalms 23; 1 Samuel 17
  • 2 – 1 Samuel 18, 19; Psalms 58, 59
  • 3 – 1 Samuel 20, 21; Psalms 56, 34
  • 4 – 1 Samuel 22; Psalms 52, 36, 37
  • 5 – 1 Samuel 23; Psalms 63; 1 Samuel 24; Psalms 57, 142, 7
  • 6 – 1 Samuel 25, 26; Psalms 16
  • 7 – Psalms 17, 22, 54; 1 Samuel 27, 28
  • 8 – 1 Samuel 29, 30; Psalms 35, 109; 1 Samuel 31
  • 9 – 1 Chronicles 10; 2 Samuel 1-3
  • 10 – 2 Samuel 4, 5; 1 Chronicles 11
  • 11 – 1 Chronicles 12, 14; Psalms 133; 2 Samuel 6; 1 Chronicles 13
  • 12 – 1 Chronicles 15, 16; Psalms 24, 26-28
  • 13 – Psalms 29, 96, 101, 103-105
  • 14 – Psalms 106. 108, 123, 124, 131; 2 Samuel 7
  • 15 – 1 Chronicles 17; Psalms 1, 86; 2 Samuel 8; 1 Chronicles 18; Psalms 60; 2 Samuel 9
  • 16 – 2 Samuel 10; 1 Chronicles 19; 2 Samuel 11, 12
  • 17 – Psalms 51, 25, 32, 38-41
  • 18 – Psalms 69-71; 1 Chronicles 20; 2 Samuel 13
  • 19 – 2 Samuel 14, 15; Psalms 9
  • 20 – Psalms 10-13, 31, 55; 2 Samuel 16
  • 21 – Psalms 3-6, 8, 64; 2 Samuel 17
  • 22 – 2 Samuel 18; Psalms 61, 62, 89
  • 23 – 2 Samuel 19-21
  • 24 – 2 Samuel 22; Psalms 18-21
  • 25 – Psalms 65-68, 138, 139
  • 26 – Psalms 140, 141, 143-145; 2 Samuel 23
  • 27 – 2 Samuel 24; 1 Chronicles 21, 22; Psalms 30
  • 28 – Psalms 91, 92; 1 Chronicles 23-25

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Stay at Your Post

I loved my former job. My nickname was “Radar.” (Like the company clerk on the TV show “M.A.S.H.”) I know how a church works. I anticipated the Pastor’s requirements before he asked. Sometimes, I look in the rearview mirror and sigh.

Then I see a post from my friend, Sarah. She works in our church office and has a half hour commute. She posted a picture of the roads on her commute. The roads were snow-covered and the temperatures were in the teens and below.

I looked out my front window. I’ll be in my home office all day. The space heater keeps it toasty. I have all the food and drinks I could want in the kitchen.

I took a picture of the sun sparkling on the untouched snow. The ice droplets on the trees sparkled like crystals. I like being stationed at this post.

Mark 13:37, “I say it to you, and I’m saying it to all: Stay at your post. Keep watch.” The Message

Tell me about your last post.

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A Promise is a Promise

When I took down the Christmas decorations, I put them in trays and boxes. I put each tray or box on the tote where it belonged. I promised David I would pack up one tote a day.  

I gleefully set out Valentine’s Day and snowmen decorations. The Valentine wreath wasn’t my design. The surfaces in my house looked cluttered. I took down all the Valentine decor and started over.  

Meanwhile, I had only packed up 2 totes. I got into one tote and took out stars and snowflake ornaments. I designed a winter wreath.

My kitchen centerpiece confused Pinterest. I posted it on a “Winter” board. They thought it was a wedding centerpiece. Now I am getting wedding pins!

I decorated my picture window with lights, stars, snowflakes, and flocked pine cones. I finished it in time to watch a major storm come in last week.

I asked David to bring the quilt frame upstairs. I planned on setting it up in the guest room The room is 6 inches longer than the frame. (Sigh.)  

The only place I can set it up is in the basement. But – you guessed it – the big room is still full of Christmas decorations and totes! I slid the frame under the dining room table. 

I packed up 2 of the Christmas totes. After all – a promise is a promise.  

Matthew 23:21, 22, “What difference does it make if you make your promise inside or outside a house of worship? (22) A promise is a promise. God is present, watching and holding you to account regardless.” The Message

* * * * * * * * *

Isaiah 50:4-5, “Every morning He wakes me. He teaches me to listen like a student. The Lord God helps me learn.” New Century Version  “We need to ask ourselves what we will allow to guide us through the coming day: our own desires…Or will we allow God to lead the way?” “Hugs – Daily Inspirations for Women, January 22

The quilt will have to wait.  

What promise are you procrastinating over?  

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Past the Marriage Business

I measured wrong! (Sigh.)  

I asked for a navy blue valance for Christmas. I had a Colonial blue one hanging in my guest room. It didn’t exactly go with the sky blue walls and navy bedding.  

I had the correct length but used the blind measurement for the width. The valance hangs on a wrap-around curtain rod. I felt sick when I held it up to the window.  

Seeing my distress, my daughter-in-law, Rachel offered to buy a matching one. I received the second one this weekend and sewed them together.  

I love it! The fullness from the extra material looks better than one stretched across. I was so excited! I took a picture of my window and sent it to Rachel.  

When David came home for lunch, I took him to the guest room to see it. It did not delight him like it did me.  

* * * * * * *

Marriage is full of intimacies and ecstasies. What brings you joy may not impress your spouse.  

“Ecstasies – intense joy or delight.”

* * * * * * *

Mark 12:24-25, “You’re way off base, and here’s why: One, you don’t know your Bibles; two, you don’t know how God works. (25) After the dead are raised up, we’re past the marriage business. As it is with angels now, all our ecstasies and intimacies then will be with God.” The Message

* * * * * * *

Proverbs 18:30, “Then I was constantly at His side. I was filled with delight day after day, rejoicing always in His presence.” New International Version

What brings you joy?  

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Become More Than Yourself

Yesterday, I typed up my post in the new editor. The Bible verses ran off the page! I tried again in the classic editor and the same thing happened. After the third attempt, I decided to wait until today to try again. I won’t quit.

Matthew 18:1, “Jesus told them a story showing that it was necessary for them to pray consistently and never quit.” The Message

* * * * * * *

I like to make people laugh. Not everyone gets my dry humor.

We didn’t have a guitar player for worship. The director decided to cut one instrumental.

I objected, “I get one piano solo and you cut it out.” I didn’t get a laugh.

Instead, the bass player said, “Sounds like someone is doing this for the wrong reasons.”

I burst out laughing. I thought he was funny.

Later, I shared this with a friend who “gets” my humor. I told her I should just keep quiet.

She disagreed, “You can’t stop being yourself.”

Luke 18:14, “…If you walk around with your nose in the air, you’re going to end up flat on your face, but if you’re content to be simply yourself, you will become more than yourself.” The Message

I’ve spent more time flat on my face than I care to admit. I’ve also spent time with my foot in my mouth. God loves me anyway.

“You’re an original, and it didn’t happen by accident. God designed your DNA. He made you the way He wanted you to be. He gave you your voice, your smile, your freckles, your curly hair, all those things that make you who you are.” The Word for You Today, January 21, 2019

Does everyone get your humor?

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