“…more than we can handle…”


“Every test that you have experienced is the kind that normally comes to people. But God keeps his promise, and he will not allow you to be tested beyond your power to remain firm; at the time you are put to the test, he will give you the strength to endure it, and so provide you with a way out.” 1COR 10:13

There are days when we want to crawl back into bed and pull the covers over us. We just cannot face the day. I know this. I had a rough night with very little of that restorative sleep we all need to keep going. My eyes are stinging and, well, frankly, I am cranky. But the Lord apparently wants me to keep on keeping on, because if I try, I cannot sleep. Just remain tired.

I love these quotes above about this topic; they give me hope. If Mother Theresa felt she had days when she would prefer to stay in bed, then who I am to expect more from my days? The Lord promises us He will allow us to be put to the test, but He will also give us the strength we need to endure, as well as a way out.


So today was a heavy day…and it’s just past noon! Ha-Ha! I was told of a marriage ending; a child lost; a sickness being borne; illness taking hold; weather wreaking havoc on lives; government tussles; and so much more . But on the other side, a mother is preparing to go home with her newborn today, and my mother-in-law is going home from the hospital. There are good things, too. It is balance. Unfortunately, when in the middle of it, it is hard to see the other side. But God promised us a way out; he promised us the strength to get through whatever we are facing. And sometimes how we do that needs to change!


God allows trials, but He does not create evil; evil is a thing on its own. Our salvation lays in learning to combat evil, in all its insidious forms, every day. When we are beat down, we clammer back up to the top. We do not allow evil to keep us pinned to where he wants us…despairing, immersed in misery and sadness. And each day when we awaken, we are given a new day to dedicate to the Lord and His will in our lives. We need to praise His covenant over us each and every day. We need to smile in the face of all that can destroy our faith. We need to cling to all He has promised us! Keep praying; remain strong in the faith; and hit your knees as often as you need to!! And when our numbered days are at their conclusion, so much of what we have conquered will make complete sense to us. Never doubt, never waiver, never give up…and never allow evil in where peace and love reside.


“Let our prayers rise as incense before You.”



“The soft life…”

I am pretty sure there is a lesson here for me, somewhere. I really dislike being laid up.  I injured my back (3 diagnoses, same treatment) and have been given 3 medicines, had a shot in my backside twice, been subjected to ice packs and heating pads, and prescribed bed rest for 3-6 weeks.  I decided to back off the pain pills for today, and have made it until 3:30pm, but I think I am going to have to give in and take them. I hate not being “present” and yet I know I need to be still.  It is hard to find a comfy position other than laying flat in bed or standing up.  So lucky for those who actually read this, because it will be short!!


“The Didache  (Διδαχή) or The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles (Didachē means “Teaching”]) is a brief early Christian treatise dated by most scholars to the late first or early second century. The first line of this treatise is “Teaching of the Lord to the Gentiles (or Nations) by the Twelve Apostles.”  The text, parts of which constitute the oldest surviving written catechism, has three main sections dealing with Christian ethics, rituals such as baptism and Eucahrist, and Church organization. It is considered the first example of the genre of the Church orders.” (Orthowiki)

I have used this photo and quote in quite a number of posts, and it seems to be cropping up, again.  I am looking for the whys in my current situation and pretty much have decided that God is telling me to stop, allow what is happening to happen, and to trust in Him.

Without too much detail, I have had problems with my spine for years.   I felt a pop and experienced searing pain last Wednesday, and sought the advice of a doctor here in town (as well as the ER and a third visit for a second spinal injection).  A big, wonderful, and good thing that has come out of this was meeting a new doctor, whom I liked right away, and finding out why I have so many back issues.  When this acute issue has been taken care of, I now have a health plan to get me where I want to be, and someone to walk me through it.  What a total blessing.  As I left his office, he told me his entire staff was praying for me.  How often do we hear those words out of the mouth of a doctor?  Thrilled!

The other thing is that I have had to just sit and not allow myself to over-worry about things I have no control over.  I laughingly thought of a comic drawing of a mom, laid up, with the house running amok (dirty laundry, dishes in the sink, messy home).  And I seriously cannot worry that our clean clothes are almost all used up. I have a healthy teenager who is going to assist me with that. They will more than likely not be done according to my standards, but they will be clean! I can do this! I can let things go!  (And not go crazy looking at it all day long….I’m trying!!!).Elder PaosiosElder Paisios the Athonite, quoted above, knows that living a soft and easy life makes us all useless.  We need to have that struggle, and we need to work towards our sanctification.  There is no way I consider myself holy or sanctified, but rather a work in progress. And I think God is slowing me down a little bit so I can have my attention focused, and pay greater attention, to what He wishes for me in my life.  The world is such a loud, confusing jumble of noise, that many of us forget that God walks next to us throughout our lives.  At the very least, one of His Angels walks with us.  I often imagine what my angel must look like; I am pretty sure she is tired! LOL!

Orthodox Notes.4And so I can opt to use this time of quiet and isolation to still do battle for my soul and for the souls of those I love. I can choose to pray.  And I have been praying, in between naps brought on by medication.  It feels good. I thought of starting with my phone, looking at my contacts, and praying for each person in there.  And my Facebook friends; my email contact list; people who follow my blog.  These are all people I can diligently pray for.  Which makes being laid up and in pain useful for something!  And prayers are never wasted.  Pope Benedict XVI used his weekly General Audience to explain that there is no such thing as wasted prayer.  “We can be sure that there is no such thing as a superfluous or useless prayer. No prayer is lost,” said the Pope to over 8,000 pilgrims in the Vatican’s Paul VI Audience Hall Sept. 12.  “When faced with evil we often have the sensation that we can do nothing, but our prayers are in fact the first and most effective response we can give, they strengthen our daily commitment to goodness. The power of God makes our weakness strong.” (9/12/12).

Sometimes I think God has to hit us with 2 x 4’s to get our attention.  For me, it is the nerve cluster in my back! Boing! Pain can really get your attention, can’t it?  God has my attention and I am turning to Him for comfort, but I am also using my time for prayers…that’s all I can pull out of this for now.  Back to ice pack and meds!


St. Ambrose of Milan2

“…strength in every storm.”

Mothers Day Tulips

It is amazing how one small thing can put life into perspective.  Our grand daughter arrived, healthy and happy to two wonderful parents and adoring family and friends.  She is pretty much perfect.  What a day that was, full of waiting, wishing, praying and finally, thanksgiving!

We have been struggling over our choices and decisions to make this monstrous move.  We have many regrets and are second-guessing some of our choices right now.  And we are firmly in panic mode. That does not mean that we are not trusting, or we are not praying.  We are praying almost constantly.  I was showering this morning and praying, and I realized how much supplication I had been doing, with very little thanksgiving. And God likes us to acknowledge our many, many blessings, in amongst our trials. And I received the most beautiful photo from our son…a picture of his daughter’s feet! (The photo below is stock; it is not the photo my son sent…but it is pretty much the same).

baby-feet8When my husband and I looked at our grand daughter’s adorable toes, being cradled in her mommy and daddy’s hands, it made us stop and look at one another.  We are so very blessed!  We then had this amazing conversation, with tears running down our cheeks, about the gift of life; the gift of family.  And how our grand daughter chose her perfect time to come into this world and lift the spirits of her grandparents.  God gifted us with the joy of her birth, in amongst all this angst and trial.  What a glorious blessing; God is so good.

Yesterday my youngest son and I went to visit my daughter-in-law and grandson. We spent a playful afternoon, just enjoying each other’s company and the love of family.  The men arrived later on and we all had dinner together.  My husband romped with his grandson and the pure joy in that little boy’s laughter brought a tear to all of us.  My oldest son said, “This is all I have ever wanted; to watch my dad play with my son,” as a tear went down his face. And then, my youngest son whispered to me, “Isn’t it weird, Mom, to see Dad so happy? He’s laughing!”  And it brought me up short to think our youngest son, the only one still at home, is seeing up close and personal how we handle the stress of relocation and job-searching.  And somehow, in some ways, I think we are being miserable witnesses for him of the power of prayer; the perseverance of a life lived with faith; and the complete trust in God.  We have short-changed him in many ways, because he feels the stress and he knows what is happening.  On the other hand, we are also showing him that we can hang in there, through these rough times, and still find moments of pure joy and laughter, and love. And we also are continually praying and demonstrating that when it does get rough, we resort to and rely on our faith, and our family.

Every storm