cupboardI’m glad you stopped by my blog.  Make yourself at home.  Start meandering by scrolling down…and you can peek into all my cupboards and closets by clicking the side bar.  I know you’ll find some strengthening articles, encouraging resources, fabulous-but-forgotten hymn texts, and perhaps a heartening smile or two.  Most importantly, I hope you’ll be strengthened in your walk with the Lord for the time you spend here with me.  If you do not yet know Him, please click here for a beautiful invitation.  To learn about how He changed my life, click here, and by clicking here you can find out a few more fun and forgettable snippets about me.🙂

If I can do anything to be a further blessing to you, in prayer, or by improving my site, please let me know…or just write to say “Hi”!  Please click here for an email form.

Blessings ~Diane

Keep Pounding the Door


I read a devotional this morning about the parable of the importunate neighbor. You know…that guy who wakes up his neighbor in the middle of the night for help, and just won’t go away?
Our heavenly Father is much more patient and willing to help us…and He has every resource we need in superabundance, ready to distribute according to His great wisdom.
You really don’t need to get His attention. You’ve had it since before you were born. From that moment until now, He has loved you with an everlasting love, and He’s been drawing you with His lovingkindness. 

 “How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!

If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.” Psalm 139:17,18

I once used those verses to illustrate God’s care to a group of children in a government housing project. Many of them lived lives of neglect. I asked for a volunteer, and I asked that little girl if she would be willing to count the sand I had in a small plastic container. She agreed enthusiastically, and began taking pinches of it and making tiny mounds to count. I explained that I would like for her to count every grain. Her eyes got big as saucers.
God’s thoughts toward us number more than the sand on every beach, dune, desert, and ocean floor. I’m finding more and more that prayer is not about His interest in me…it is about my acknowledging that I need Him.

I Want to Look Like Love.

whatwouldlovedoIt’s so easy to go through a day, or week, or year…with an “edge”. We can blame illness, fatigue, financial status, discouragement, and so many other things.
When I consider that God’s love is unconditional, almost always I think of that meaning it has “no strings attached” regarding the receiver (us). No matter what we’ve done, where we are, what our history is, God’s love is offered without reserve. Don’t we revel in that?
Today I’m thinking about something different. I’m thinking about this from the giving end. Nevermind how much sleep I had last night. Without regard to how empty or full the fridge is, what aches, or whether or not things are going my way today. Will I still choose love?
“I can’t do that,” I tell myself.
And God’s reply is, “No, you certainly can’t…but My strength is made perfect in your weakness.  I would have you to resemble Me more and more every day. I offer all you need today to make this possible– all things are possible with Me.”
Today, I will choose to believe, act on, and claim His promises. I will try to love instead of judge. I will make my best effort to act instead of react. I will determine to do the hard thing and deny self. I will give up the exhaustion that comes from mustering this up from my own meager resources. For His glory. To beautify His name. So I can look like Him.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things,endures all things. 1 Cor. 13:4-7
Who revels in that? Our heavenly Father.

Hope for a Fragile, Fearful Mom Heart.

springgrowthThis committed-to-holiness-whatever-the-cost, parenting thing. It can be wearisome. It isn’t popular. It doesn’t come naturally. It requires strength in every way. Strength I don’t have. It’s challenging enough for me, to keep my own “living sacrifice” from wriggling off the altar. Weak and selfish human beings, entrusted with the care and nurturing of other weak and selfish smaller ones? How on earth do we begin to believe we can do this alone?

The aches and struggles I experience as a parent help me realize just how fragile the human heart is, how impressionable and fickle, how needy and desperate. I mean mine…not just those of our kids. Especially mine. It truly is the greatest wonder of all wonders when a heart turns to Christ, of its own free will.

Free will is a beautiful thing. It is the thing which makes us so much more than puppets, merely performing God’s bidding. Free will is also a formidable thing, because the heart is deceitful and desperately wicked. Free will is a strapping, robust thing which is governed by whatever is held closest in the heart. For better, or for worse. What we treasure holds our hearts. 

There are lots of times and ways by which we release our children to the Lord…again and again…for God to do with them according to His perfect will. We feel trepidation because our hearts are flesh. We forget His goodness and all His perfections. He knows it. God mercifully calms my heart again and again through this ebbing and flowing of motherhood.

I read these words (Hannah’s prayer in 1 Samuel 1) this morning. Perfect for my heart:

“Oh, my lord! As you live, my lord, I am the woman who was standing here in your presence, praying to the Lord. For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to him. Therefore I have lent him to the Lord. As long as he lives, he is lent to the Lord.”

The Bible says “we are not our own“…everything about ourselves was given to us…physical bodies, personalities, talents, aptitudes, gifts–everything. Our kids are not “ours” either. They are His, lent to us…to give back to Him. Shot out into the world as arrows. This implies skill, aim,  and purpose on the part of the archer. That’s you and me. We do our best to hone, straighten, and then point those arrows in a good direction.

springgreenHow refreshing and healthful it is, when I remind myself of this often: He chose me to be their mom. God doesn’t make mistakes. He can use me as their mom, an earthen vessel, for His great glory. I’m that tender, delicate, vulnerable little offshoot, abiding in Him. The Bible uses the word “branch”, but the meaning is actually this…brand new growth, the color of a “Spring Green” Crayola. I need Him. I must hold onto the Vine day by day, moment by moment.

What enabled Hannah to “keep it together” when she took her precious boy to the temple? It was the condition of her own free will…bolstered by what she held closest to her heart. It was God Himself. Loving Him. Loving who He is. Loving what He does. Loving His purposes. Loving the security she knew she had, because He always keeps His promises. A bit of her prayer in the second chapter grabbed me:

“There is none holy like the Lord: for there is none besides you; there is no rock like our God.”
And then a verse from my sophomore Bible Doctrines class comes washing over my spirit:
He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.” Deut. 32:4
Ask Him, the perfect Rock, for strength today. Ask Him for the courage you need. Ask Him if you might catch a glimpse of what He, the God of hope, the God of all comfort, sees for your life, your home, and your kids today.

“Tune My Heart”: Calm in the Midst of Life’s Storms

I love writing. Words are my love language (to me, that statement is not redundant). For years, I kept a journal. Then life got busy, and my personal, just-for-me writing…stopped. It was a way for me to “come apart and rest awhile“. I forgot how much I needed it.

God impressed on my heart a few days ago that I needed to begin again. It has been so good for me. So calming. So grounding. Do you need some of that? Read on.

Our oldest daughter has a journal/blank book addiction.🙂  Every once in a while, she’ll share a pretty new volume with me. So I grabbed a beautiful one with gilded pages, and the words “Sing and Make Music from Your Heart to the Lord” on the front, and I started writing again. For my heart.


Inside the front cover, I wrote out a list of ladies I pray for: family ladies, all of our dear church ladies (I’m coming to believe that this is the most important thing I can do for them, as a pastor’s wife), some ladies from our little community, and missionary ladies I know. It’s been pressing on me for some time– this need to pray specifically for the souls who set the tones in their homes and shape our next generation by their influence there.

scripturewritingmarchThen, I decided that I would undertake Heidi St. John’s Scripture Writing Challenge. On each left hand page, I write out the day’s scripture. Sometimes the passages are lengthy– but OH, how wonderful this has been for focusing giving me focus. Praise chases away the cares and fears of our earthly lives, because it reminds us of the bigness of our God!

On the right hand page, I wrote the heading “Quotes and Prayers”. I come across so many wonderful quotes in looking for encouragement for the Mom’s War Room Facebook group (very soon to be renamed “Strength for Today Women’s Group” so we can include all women who want to be a part). Remembering the healing, restful effect they had upon my spirit I decided to write them all down. I also love the prayers from Valley of Vision.  It is rare for me to complete a day’s reading without finding some thought which resonates deeply in me…something I don’t want to forget. So those prayer snippets go there too.

sing3Maybe something like this might help you today. Our days are so noisy, with phones we can no longer leave at home hanging on the wall, social media which clamors for our attention and can so easily shape our outlook, and all manner of other “voices” which turn our hearts into noisy places.

I don’t know about you, but my heart is “prone to wander”. God has called us “sheep” in His word for good reason…we meander, we become distracted, we cower, we follow, and sometimes we can be stubbornly defiant. I need “tuning” all day long.

Tune our hearts, Lord!


“Old Things Are Passed Away”: The Day I Left the Laundry on the Bed.

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted. I’ve been thinking a lot. I’m going to share some things here that I am finding are true for me. Maybe you’ll relate too. This is going to be candid. I’m finding I don’t help anyone by keeping life lessons to myself, so please bear with me.


My husband just came back from a conference, and he remarked about meeting people who learned he was my husband. People who had known me “back in the day” when I had a prominent, very public persona at a well-known Christian University. Back in those days, I taught multiple groups of (mostly freshman) students, held meetings with hundreds of students in attendance, and spoke for ladies events. There was a lot going on to make me feel “significant”.

Fast forward a couple decades. I’m living a much less commotion-filled life in rural Wyoming, largely spending my days in the house, homeschooling kids and doing housework. Anticlimactic? It could be. If I let it be. And I had.

Real Me.

I was feeling full of angst. I was defining my “usefulness” by my past. I was allowing my sense of worth to be attached to the person I was. But that very public person had such a needy heart. No one ever knew it. I was strong for everyone else, seemed to have the answers, but was so weak inside. I hope and pray I am a better person today than that woman was.

yayruthMy flesh seeks accolades. Does yours? You know…the pat on the back that says we’re worth something. Life was full of that back then. And it was dangerous for my heart.

Today I find myself mostly doing the average stuff. Fixing meals. Writing lesson plans. Supporting my pastor husband. Keeping the laundry rolling, searching for rogue socks. Satan whispers, “You used to be ‘somebody’…you used to make a difference.” He’s a liar, and I know it. But, I’m ashamed to say, I still wondered.

Dear lady, if this is you, please hear me. The answer is yes. You make a difference. You are fearfully and wonderfully made, and loved with everlasting love. And, the quiet stuff, the daily routine-y things…they mean much more than we realize. They only “burn us out” when we do them for the wrong reasons. Have you heard/read this quote before:

Those who think that a woman detained at home by her little family is doing nothing, think the reverse of what is true. Scarcely can the godly mother quit her home for a place of worship; but dream not that she is lost to the work of the church; far from it, she is doing the best possible service for her Lord.

Mothers, the godly training of your offspring is your first and most pressing duty. Christian women, by teaching children the Holy Scriptures, are as much fulfilling their part for the Lord, as Moses in judging Israel, or Solomon in building the temple.

~Charles H. Spurgeon

I’ve read these thoughts and ones similar to them before. But I honestly can’t say I believed them…not for myself, anyway. Because when I try to do those things Spurgeon mentions, I fail so often. I’m not perfect at them.



This is what I’d forgotten. Again. Jesus is my perfection. He is Jehovah Tsidkenu, the “Lord my righteousness”. He is that. I’m not. I knew that the day I trusted Him as my Savior…and then I forgot it when it came to every day life. So I became exhausted. I convinced myself the answer was to do more. If I couldn’t do it right, at least I’d kill myself making more and more attempts at it. More is better! That’s spiritual, right?

It was killing me. It was erasing me from the lives of my kids, I was becoming so preoccupied with getting it right. I was so overwrought with my failures that I was becoming weighted down and joyless…and that feeling, that drudging, dragging outlook, was all I had left to tap into when it came to my role as a wife as well.

This life lesson has been a long time in coming. He’s been trying to teach me, but my life had become so noisy seeking significance and satisfaction outside of Him, in me, trying harder. Battling with chronic pain and health issues only added more shackles (and truth be told, the stress I was creating for myself very likely made things worse). I believe the adversary was rejoicing, because I’d been floundering for so long.


laundry-basket-webYesterday, I decided to simplify (which was my “buzz word” for 2015, ironically…but I complicated my life even more trying to see it defined in my life…what a mess). I had laundry to fold. I wanted it all to be done for my husband’s return from a pastor’s conference, so the house would be neat, and he’d have what he needed to pack for a men’s retreat which starts today. Meanwhile, our teen daughter sat in the living room alone, watching “Catching Faith“.

I looked at that pile of laundry on the bed. I knew my husband was not due to be home until hours later, and I made a radical decision. Don’t laugh. My perfectionistic nature likes to expedite things. I’ve written about this before.

I’d told our daughter that I might come watch with her…when I was done with the laundry.

“Yay!” she exclaimed.

And I stood there…absurdly weighing things. I realized that checking stuff off my to-do list had become a god to me. I had convinced myself that if I got stuff done, if I achieved my goals, I had worth. I had a sort of epiphany moment when I saw that HIS goals were much more realistic, lasting and worthwhile than mine….and His list was much shorter. And I left the pile on the bed. Just left it, and had a lovely time sharing that movie with her, chatting, laughing, making observations about life.


My response to my husband’s observation from that conference was, “And now the tables have turned, and I’m happily known as “the Baptist preacher’s wife”…and I meant it. The people in our home…they are first. If “Mom” and “Sweetie” are the only titles I hold for the rest of my days, I’d love that. Old things are passed away (even good or great things which have just become, well, old), behold, all things are become new. I am a “new creation” in Christ, every day. His mercies are new each morning. His faithfulness is great! (Lam 3:22,23) I want my heart to be satisfied, not with labels, titles, or accomplishments, but with my new name as His child. That is enough. No, it is “exceeding abundantly above all that [I] could ask or think”. I want this to be fresh in my mind, every day. I want to continue to be a better person than I was…not only those many years ago, but also better than who I was yesterday…or this morning. Growing up into Him.


There is rest in this. I have a hard time resting. Do you? Even when I seem to be, I’m not. I’m planning, thinking, always on the watch for something else to do. Jesus said to His disciples, “Come apart and rest awhile”. It’s a spiritual thing to rest. Now, to get caught up in the “me time” mentality is unhealthy; but a life with balanced seasons of rest and service is wise.

Remember Elijah? I’ve studied his story. I’ve referenced it frequently. I’ve blogged about him. Now I’m ready to own the truth of his story for myself. In my heart, I was ready to run. Overwhelmed. To the point of a magnificent melt-down a few weeks back.

Burning his candle at both ends, we would have called Elijah “stressed out” back there in 1 Kings 17. God forced him into rehabilitation. God’s answer wasn’t “Do more”.  It wasn’t even”Do something else”. God’s answer was “Stop. Sleep. Hydrate. Nutrify.” Simple. Needful. Noteworthy for us. We tend to ignore the obvious. My husband could see my need for this. I wouldn’t. He’d take the kids out and tell me to relax…and I’d clean the house. After all, when else could I clean it, and have it stay clean for any span of time? Shame on me for not listening to his loving leadership.

I’m looking into doing a review on The Elijah Project which was featured in “Catching Faith”. Here is the author, describing it.

I’m corresponding with the publisher right now. If you are with me, on this road to Cherith, keep an eye out.