Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Ephesians 5:2

And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.
1 Chronicles 16:29
Give to the Lord the glory due His name; Bring an offering, and come before Him.  Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness!

Not only is Daisy my grandmother’s name, it is also my favorite flower!  This flower brings an instant smile to my face with its welcoming outstretched petals!  Whether it is the ones with the soft white petals and a yellow thumb print center or those with a splash of vibrant color, they all speak to me as if to say, “Hello there!  Look!  Pick me!”  These are details of God’s hand of creation for all who will seize the moment to pay attention to this beauty of sheer enjoyment.  God is in the details, as should our worship to Him also be; to draw into His presence as we walk the road on which He has placed us, looking for the “daisies”; learning from the details.  As each one is gathered it leads us closer to where the Creator awaits.  It is truly at that moment of understanding His awesomeness that every part of our being shouts, “Hello God, my Savior!  I adore You!  Pick me!”…

This week began another part of the Briley FAITH journey.  Through much prayer Josh, Crystal and I know God has led us to write a book about this journey of faith.    It will be about His faithfulness and what happens when we follow His commands.  The beginning stage includes gathering information through interviews with some of many individuals who were on the journey with us.  While preparing the questions that would be asked during the interviewing process, my mind had to take a walk back down the road already traveled.   It was then I began noticing and picking “daisies”, the details, along the side of this hard traveled road.  They seemed enhanced; maybe more recognizable because the fog was gone… many questions answered.  Here are a few that I picked.

Many cards of concern hung as a blanket of love surrounding Briley FAITH and those who entered the room.  Minnie Mouse became a quiet “It’s going to be okay”.  That gift came all the way from Disneyland delivered to Briley by one of her nurses who was thinking about her while on vacation.  Thoughtful details.

For mommy/daughter day there were several who helped transform the hospital room into the enchanting land of “Getaway”.  A new friend named Katie included many details within this transformation.  God sent her.  He is in the details.

Still traveling that road again one daisy after another pops up!  Hugs, smiles, visits of encouragement, phone calls, a beautiful Thanksgiving meal brought to the hospital for the family, pictures, videos, colorful drawings from big brother, Jude, many cups of coffee, a hand shake passing on a twenty dollar bill or more, handwritten notes, and of course many prayers from our prayer warriors.  I slow down, smile and add each one to my bouquet! With “daisies” in hand walking that road has prepared me for the next…

It is now time to start interviewing.   I expected tears but what I didn’t expect were details that were new to me.  How did I miss them?  Was I walking too fast?  Did I turn my back?  There were more daisies to pick!  It has made me realize if I focus on the details I will have a fuller, more beautiful bouquet.

Thinking about the details of our journey with Briley FAITH has me looking at my life as God’s child…

There is another road that is lined with “daisies”.  It is the road of worship; detailed with adoration to our Lord and Savior.  On this road I have allowed many distractions to cut me off, to travel too fast and ignore the rest stops.  By doing so, there is no  sweet smelling aroma to my bouquet that my Heavenly Father so desires because the daisies are few.  But, God’s grace allows me to keep walking.  I now try my best to not only pray but listen for His voice!  I don’t want to just sing praise songs or hymns; I want to taste the words I sing!  I don’t want to just smile at a neighbor; I want to tell them why I smile!  I don't want to know God from just reading but from being.  I want all the details!  I want a full bouquet of daisies!

If we knew our life was short, would we pay more attention to the details?  Briley FAITH’s life was for only 61 days and there were more daisies gathered during that time than many of us ever will.  Her bouquet was nothing but petals of purpose, a fragrance of faith and details of His deity.

At the end of my journey I don’t want to have left one daisy behind or detail unfinished.  For when I take notice of God’s hand and add daisies to other's bouquets with details of His love, I have fulfilled His purpose for me and fully experienced true worship.  “Hello God, my Savior!  I adore You!  Pick me!”

Heavenly Father,

As I look out my window I see so many details in Your creation; down to the impressions on the leaves and the bark on the trees each having its own shape!  I pray others see Your “thumb print”, Your indention on my life as I am continually being shaped to Your will. 

Thank You for using Briley FAITH to slow me down, breathe in Your promises and embrace Your purpose for my life. 

I pray I find all the “daisies” You have for me!  In this world full of distractions please give me the strength and endurance to push through the crowd into Your presence. 

Through the blood of Your Son, Jesus Christ, I come.  AMEN!

If you would like to know Jesus Christ, our only answer, our only hope, please email me at and I will be glad to share the story.  It's my FAITH ASSIGNMENT.

John 3:16

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Saturday, January 12, 2013


 Hosea 6:3
 Let us know, let us pursue the knowledge of the Lord.  His going forth is established as the morning; He will come to us like the rain, Like the latter and former rain to the earth.

Revelation 11:17

“We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty, The One who is and who was and who is to come,
because You have taken Your great power and reigned."

It’s house cleaning day!  Not that cleaning is something to get excited about; it is just a fact of dread.  I could frown and procrastinate or proceed with expectation of the great feeling I will have when the last thing is marked off the list.  So, I put on a smile, start the praise music, and get out the cleaning supplies.  This begins an unveiling of unexpected cleansing…   

Yesterday was not easy for several reasons, one being Briley FAITH’s 3-month birthday.  We celebrated here.  She celebrated in heaven; the better place, a constant celebration of God’s glory.  SONshine all day long! 

Though today it is rainy, dark and gloomy outside, as I clean, the pictures of Briley FAITH surrounding me radiate reminders of God’s faithfulness.  There were days when it rained harder than others; He was there through it all, rain or shine.  He let me cry and ask the “whys”.  His strength carried me when I could not stand.  He gave me comfort as I traveled the “road of mixed feelings” to the hospital praying and praising.  The walks down the empty halls continued to fill with His peace.  In Briley FAITH’s hospital room there was no doubt He reigned.

Even in while scrubbing the yuck and wiping down mirrors, reflections of God’s faithfulness become my worship for today…

There is a song I sing every now and then called “Bring the Rain”.  One phrase in this song is “If that’s what it takes to praise You, Jesus bring the rain!”  I want more of God each day!  But, to get there I have to weather the storms of life in dependence on Him.  The pain we grandparents endured was so great when we lost our grandbaby, Briley FAITH.  I can’t imagine the depth of the pain Josh and Crystal have had to endure from the loss of their child, their beautiful baby girl!  Oh man, could I do it again?  Can I say from my heart, “Bring the rain?”  Believe me, there are days I want to say “No”.   But, the reflections show God’s greatness behind the “Yes”.  So, the answer, though hard to type, is “Yes”.  It is “yes” because I am never alone.

The rain pours down outside, I praise inside…

One of my favorite house cleaning CDs is from Hillsong.  “Can’t Stop Talking” is the song now playing.  Singing, cleaning and washing clothes I have to stop and giggle… I notice the washing machine shaking in sync with the beat of the music!  My soul shouts, “I want to be like that with You, Lord!  I want to be in sync with You, Your will, Your way!  When the rain comes I want see Your glory in the middle of it all!  When life tries to shake me down, I really do want to be praising You up!”

The pause of a chuckle links me to the next chore on my cleaning list…

Dusting, I’m standing in front of shelves holding memories and love; pictures of family and friends.  My mom, a woman of great faith smiles behind the glass in the frame.  No matter her pain she always stands on God’s promises.  Missing being close in miles to her, I put in her CD.  She sings a song called “Praise His Name”.  God uses this beautiful song to push away the clouds.  My eyes then fall upon a picture of my father, another soldier who marched boldly for Christ in the rains of life up until his final breath.  My earthly examples; praise and pain all in sync as my rain can be with His reign.

In the memories of rains of past, I see God.  The cleaning continues as I feel my soul is also being cleansed.  Another CD begins to play as I realize what God is doing… My rain, my pain, draws closer to His reign, His glory…

A song now playing is called “You Were There”, then another one, “In the Presence of Jehovah” both sung by my dear friend, Darla Hildebrant.  God has used this CD of hers called “Worship Him” to shed His light on some of my darkest moments.  Then, “You Raise Me Up” to more than I can be… He does raise me up, He really does!  It is not me, it is all Him!  If God did not reign in my life I would drown!

Today I am different.  I am stronger, I am bolder, I can do this!  So can you!  Whatever rain is your pain, give it to the One who will hold you in the storm.  Release it to the sovereign King who understands your cries and give you peace in the midst of it all!  He was there before and He is there today.  Wherever you are just keep talking about Him, praising His name, knowing He’s there.  Then, rest in His presence, and become who He sees in you, to more than you can do alone.   Together we can share with the world His truth in us!

Outside the rain has ceased and the birds are singing again.  The house cleaning is complete and my soul is cleansed and in sync with God’s glory!



Heavenly Father,

Thank You for Your forgiveness through the blood of Jesus!  I’m a sinner and yet You give me mercy, You give me grace, You call me Your child and love me through it all!  Thank You for this day!  Thank You for hope in the rain! 

The days past show You have always been there so why should I doubt today?  I know You can provide!  I know You can heal!  I know You give strength and endurance!  I know You are greater than the rain; greater than my pain!

Father, I pray Your glory reigns in my rain!

In Your holy name I pray.  AMEN!

If you would like to know Jesus Christ, our only answer, our only hope, please email me at and I will be glad to share the story.  It's my FAITH ASSIGNMENT.

John 3:16

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


Joshua 23:10
“…for the Lord your God is He who fights for you, as He promised you.”

Today I received another reminder of the sufficiency of God’s grace.  My grandson, Briley FAITH’s big brother, Jude started back to preschool today.  As we drove up and parked in front of his preschool, an adorable house that is a picture of love inside and out, we noticed some “tree trimming” going on across the street.  The trees had been weighted down from the snow and freezing rain we had on Christmas Day.  The heaviness was too much for this tree to survive as is.  Since Jude and I got there a little early we sat in the car and watched this big crane lift up with a man in the bucket, saw in his hand, ready to trim the limbs.  The tree trimmer would gently lift one limb at a time, cut off the weight and release it to the ground so the tree could eventually stand once again.  Of course, this fascinated Jude!  But, it was another picture story God gave me to share with you today.

As I was watching one limb after another fall to the ground it reminded me of the pains of life.  The limbs represented loneliness, death of a loved one, sickness, disappointments, heartache, depression and many other pains; a heaviness that seems too great to handle.   But, God… yes, but God.  In all His love and power gently holds us through it all as we release those burdens one by one to Him, the caretaker of our soul.  Before you know it, the weight is gone and we are standing again!

The door to Jude’s preschool opens and it is time to go in.  He marches in to a familiar place he has not been to since his little sister was lifted to her heavenly home.  His teacher was one of the prayer warriors during the most difficult time of our lives.  The 61 days of “tree trimming” of heartache and brokenness resurfaced for both of us as our eyes locked and filled with tears of remembrance.  She bent down and hugged Jude with arms of God’s love extended and said, “I missed you so much!”  Then, turns to me and our embrace is secured by God’s strength.  The weight is lifted and again we stand!

The tree trimming continues across the street and I get in my car and head home.  The very first song that flows from the radio is “Redeemed”.  There are six words in the song that immediately causes my heart and mind to leap into the memory of God’s faithfulness in our struggle.  Those words were, “The fight has already been won!”  Pictures of the first day, October 11, 2012 begins a slide show of pain.  The unexpected… she was not breathing.  The unexpected… to see my grandbaby with the cooling cap on her head and hooked up to so many machines and monitors.  The unexpected… Sitting in a little room at Children's Hospital with Josh and Crystal who are sharing with me the news that our Briley FAITH has SMA/Type 0 and will not be going home from the hospital.  She would not survive.  The unexpected… I’m standing in a beautiful church with stained glass windows looking down on my grandbaby girl, beautiful in white surrounded by pink, she looks like an angel.  No more monitors, no more struggling to breathe.  She is so much better and so am I because of her.  But, I never expected I would be at a funeral service for my grandbaby.  The curtain closes.  I find myself listening to the song again…

“THE FIGHT HAS ALREADY BEEN WON!  I AM REDEEMED!”  Yes!  It was already won before October 11, 2012!  Now the pictures in my mind are a slide show of grace showing all the favor and goodness that came during that time!  This was a reflection of the weight of the world that was weighing us down being lifted; being “trimmed off” by encouraging words, helping hands and many prayer warriors!  The heaviness disappeared and we were standing!  We were still standing!  How could it be?  Only God can take away the pain of the unexpected because nothing surprises Him.  He was already there!

It could be the Lord is having me share this today because you may be going through the “unexpected”.  There might be thousands of miles between you and me.  We might not know each other.  But, God knows where you are and that you are overwhelmed, weighted down and unable to stand.   It is time you release your heaviness to God.  He is the only one who has been where you are.  He understands.  Let Him walk with you in your battle.  It is not a fight you can win without Him.  He is waiting to hear you call upon His name and say, “Heavenly Father, I want you as my Savior, the only One who can give me hope and eternal life.  I come to You through the blood of Your only begotten Son, Jesus Christ and ask forgiveness of all of my sins.  Cleanse me! Redeem me!  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen!” 

Then there are those of you, like me,  who already know the Lord as your Savior.  Every now and then we need to be reminded that He said not “if” you go through trials, but “when” you go through trials He will be right there with us.  Once we became a child of God it did not mean we were going to be free from pain.  It means we have a Savior who brings peace in the midst of it all.  We have a Savior to carry us when we can’t walk and to give hope in the unexpected.  It is easy to share God’s promises with others.  Those promises are for you, too!  Hope is never lost because God is always with you!  He is your hope!


Something else I have learned is that obedience is part of the battle with “self”.  “Self” wants to give up, throw in the towel, and continue to failingly fight the battle alone.  It doesn’t matter whether it is a struggle of losing a grandbaby to SMA or the power going out like it did as I was writing this blog today; the battle cannot be won without our obedience to God.  When the news was received that Briley FAITH would have very few days with us, Josh, Crystal and the family were obedient in dependence on God.  It’s not about us; it is about God’s faithfulness!  The 61 days we had with Briley FAITH was worth it all because we knew God had it all in His hands!  Therefore, the fight was already won. 

Whatever your struggle, whatever is weighing you down; trust God, step out in obedience and ask Him for help.  Then you will experience a victory!  Because… THE FIGHT HAS ALREADY BEEN WON!

Heavenly Father,

Wow!  That’s all I can say is wow!  You are beyond any earthly thing I could ever do or say to magnify Your name!  Your greatness exceeds my efforts in serving You.  I want to give so much more!  Help me in my obedience to You!

Thank You for carrying our burdens and fighting our battles.  Thank You for these reminders of Your power when the weight of the world becomes overwhelming.

Thank You that nothing surprises You; that You are already there ready and willing to give all we need!  Thank You for Your faithfulness! 

Please help those who might be encountering the “unexpected” today.  I pray they say “Yes” to You and find You are the answer that leads to the victory!

Through the blood of Jesus I come asking forgiveness and laying the weight of the world at Your feet.  AMEN! 

Sunday, January 6, 2013


Proverbs 3:6
In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.

Have you ever been to the symphony or a band rehearsal hall while they were all tuning up?  If you have you would have experienced orchestra chaos and band instrument mayhem!  Nothing sounds right!  The room is full of unruly musical notes bouncing off the walls!   Broken noise!  It is a train wreck of utter confusion!  And then… the conductor steps upon the platform.  There is a hush; a quiet reverence in the room, the instruments take their place… Tap, tap, tap comes the sound of the conductor’s baton.  He lifts his arms to direct.  A concert of unity and grace begins.

Sometimes our life plays a similar story…

Fear opens the door.  Confusion and chaos meet us there.  Then we are swept away into a day of decisions, doubts and disappointments.  Loud, unsettling noise!  Unanswered questions and prayers become a daily journal.   All alone trying anything to find the answer but nothing makes sense.  Hands over ears, “I can’t bear this anymore!"  Now frantic, the way is lost. 

There have been times in my life I have been in that “orchestra pit”.  Playing my own tune became a valley I could not crawl out of.  Nothing worked.  Nothing made sense.  Even now as I write there are things that can be a disappointment if I let it.  But, I choose to not let it interrupt the flow of a peaceful melody.  Throughout my journey I have realized when I allow the greatest Conductor of all, Jesus Christ to take over, there is a beautiful peace.   No confusion.  No loud noise.   Life makes sense. 

There was a pause at the beginning of life with Briley FAITH.  It included questions, fear, brokenness, and sometimes stuff that didn’t sound right or make sense.  In the midst of all the confusion instead of giving up hope, we waited in faith and listened.  The Conductor would soon direct the path.   

Right now you might be at a similar place of chaotic unknown.  Don’t give up.  Don't lose hope.  You see, if you just wait, soon you will hear a tap, tap, tap; a knock at your heart’s door.   Replace your fear with faith, open the door and look up.  Then, like we did, you will find God in the pause; the Conductor in the hush.  Watch for His direction and your concert of unity and grace will begin.

Briley FAITH’s life was a performance of God’s mercy and faithfulness as her mommy and daddy set an example for us all in continuing to follow the Conductor of Life. 

In our brokenness, God used Briley FAITH to settle the unsettledness, calm the confusion and to bring peace in the pause.  Those beautiful long fingers so gracefully played His story of forgiveness bringing unity to the world.  A performance of a lifetime!

Heavenly Father,

Thank You for the greatest display of Your mercy and grace when You sent Your son, Jesus Christ to die for all!  His unselfish performance upon the cross gave me a lifetime with You!

All glory to You for Your faithfulness that even when I try to do life alone, You wait for me.  Not in quietness, but, with a gentle knock until I finally open the door to Your greatness.

Thank You for a life of goodness and grace that comes as I follow You, Your direction.

I pray for Your peace to fall upon those souls who are in need and call upon You, the Answer, the Conductor of life.

In Your precious holy name I pray.  AMEN!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


Ephesians 1:17-19

"...having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which He has called you, what are the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His great might."

Hundreds maybe even thousands of times I have looked into the beautiful “angel eyes” of my granddaughter, Briley FAITH; when by her side at the hospital, gazing at a picture or thoughts of her come to mind with a photo attached.  Looking, hoping, yearning…  So, as soon as her beautiful bright eyes closed for the last time here on earth, it was hard to open mine.  I didn’t want to look at the pain staring me in the face.  My desire was to close the door and shut out the noise of helplessness… hopelessness.  She was gone.  A blanket of tears covered my eyes as if trying to hide from the dark.  What now?  Weak and tired of standing, my faith shield comes down.  An opening allows fear to step in, steal the light of day and shut the door in the face of “Purpose”.  Fear hangs a sign on the door of my soul that reads, “She’s Closed”.  But, the sign didn’t hang there for long… 

Though Briley FAITH is now in heaven our eyes continue to meet.  Her love, kindness, urgency, focus, gentle spirit, determination, grace and faith left a permanent imprint on my soul.  It seemed the more I wanted to close my eyes, the louder and more often her eyes spoke.  So much so, it gave me the faith that shattered any fear that shut me in.  The sign hanging on the door now reads, “She’s Open”. 

God has used Briley FAITH to build my trust in Him, change my way of looking at life and be open to His plan.  This change became more evident this past weekend when we celebrated my mom’s 70th birthday!  It was during the preparation for the celebration that change announced itself and I saw the unseen…

The morning of mom’s birthday celebration, with dust rag and furniture polish in hand I began to “merry maid” the house!  As I dusted the pictures on the wall I stared at them longer than before.  My eyes looked at the faces and brought forward the memories.  While dusting the piano in the music room, I could see mom’s fingers glide so gently across the keys that sent a beautiful melody to my ears.  Room after room I visited and left with a smile.  Then down the hallway I stood at a shelving unit that holds books, pictures and more memories.  I lifted off one of the shelves a picture of my grandson, mom’s great-grandson, Jude.  As my dust rag swept over this beautiful smile in a frame, my eyes became fixed on another memory.  To some, it may seem childish, some may shrug their shoulders as to indicate it’s not a big deal; not me.   In this memory I could hear my dad laugh like it was yesterday as he watched the “Energizer Bunny” commercial advertising "Energizer" batteries!  He liked it so much that my mom bought him this wind-up "Energizer" bunny!  Behind the precious picture of Jude, proudly stood this plastic bunny waiting for someone to wind him up so he could beat his drum!  If my eyes had been focused on just dusting, something unseen might have been overlooked.  God used my intention that day to remind me to keep my eyes opened to Him and that we all have a purpose greater than the obvious.   My purpose wasn't just to dust objects, it was also to reveal urgency in change.  Life is short.

You may have challenges, struggles, heartache and disappointments that are on your doorstep right now or may come in 2013.  Like mine did, your eyes may want to close in fear of facing the pain.  Briley FAITH’s purpose was greater than the obvious.  She obviously was my precious granddaughter, a beautiful gift.  But, she had a greater purpose; without one word God used her to speak truth!  The truth is… Jesus loves you and has a purpose to fulfill through you and me like He did Briley FAITH.   He has something greater than the obvious for you!  Just get rid of the dust, open your eyes and trust God’s plan!   You see, 2013 is just another year, but eternal life is forever.  Is your heart ready?  A long time ago I heard someone say, "Nothing changes if nothing changes."  That is so true.  Are you ready to change, fulfill your purpose and bask in God's blessings?

“Purpose” is knocking at your door!  Guess what?  When opened, your eyes will see the unseen.  Colors are more vibrant and stars are brighter!  Life’s rain is welcomed because the sun stays longer!  Joy echoes in the valleys and smiles dance all day long!  Choirs of birds sing away the gray clouds!  A dusty rag unveils masterpiece memories and eternal change!  Why is life so bright even if you lose a granddaughter?  Because "Mercy" always joins "Purpose" at the door.

The year 2013 is not going to be new and different because of 365 “start over” days; it’s not the year that needs changing, it is me.  My eyes have been opened to celebrating life daily and fulfilling the plan God has for me.   Through the pain and challenges of my life, I pray eyes will be opened to God’s grace and faithfulness. 

Briley FAITH fulfilled her purpose so that when her eyes closed, many had been opened.

Heavenly Father,

Thank You that You saw we needed a Savior and sent Your only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to take on the sins of the world!  I am sinner saved by grace!  Praise You!  Glory to Your name!

There are things of this world I don’t like to see.  There is pain I don’t want to face.  But, I do because of what You can do!  You can give hope, healing, purpose, grace, mercy, strength and everlasting joy!  I trust You with each day of my life and what that day brings.

In 2013, I surrender all.

In Your holy name I pray.  AMEN!

If you would like to know Jesus Christ, our only answer, our only hope, please email me at and I will be glad to share the story.  It's my FAITH ASSIGNMENT.

John 3:16

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.