New Year Hope Breathers

Were you devastated from heartaches or losses of one kind or another as you closed out 2022? Has it continued into 2023? I’m so sorry. No matter what you’re suffering, I pray God strengthens you with His measureless grace and pours His peace into Your hurting heart.

🦋 “God has a heart. And it hurts.
Not with just a few drops of ache,
not just with a slow drip of sadness —
His whole massive heart fills, swells,
burns with this raw, relentless pain.”
Ann Voskamp

God’s Grace Is Immeasurable

“So here’s what I’ve learned through it all:
Leave all your cares and anxieties at the feet of the Lord,
and measureless grace will strengthen you.”
Psalm 55:22 TPT

As I look back to 2022, God truly has been generous with His boundless love and His all-sufficient grace. Does that mean it was free sailing without any struggles? Not at all.

There will always be trials on this earth, but God has promised His measureless grace to get through them. I am such a worrier and feel so helpless to “fix” things, but God is infinitely patient with me. I continue this life-long learning process of more deeply trusting God and leaving all worries and troubles in His Hands. To repeatedly surrender my heart and past, present, and future life and that of others to Him and His faithful love and infinite and powerful grace. To remember to relinquish the things I can’t change and to believe they are better off in God’s hands than mine. But also to seek His wisdom, guidance, and strength to have courage to make a difference wherever He places me.

The Lord Himself goes before you
and will be with you; 
He will never leave you nor forsake you. 
Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.

Deuteronomy 31:8

Nature Retreat

I’m so grateful to receive photos from warmer climates during these cold and snowy winter months! The first 6 photos are of Arizona birds from my brother. 🙂 The rest of the photos are ones my niece took recently on her trip to Hawaii to visit her daughter who lives on the Big Island and studies and rescues sea turtles. 🙂

American Robin
Bridled Titmouse
Hermit Thrush
Arizona Woodpecker
Acorn Woodpecker
Burrowing Owls
Love this view with the lighthouse!
Another Ocean View
Sea Turtles
Green Sea Turtles
Waimea Canyon

God Is Greater Than Whatever We Face in 2018

Are you discouraged or afraid of what awaits us in this new year? Perhaps while others are singing “Happy New Year,” you are entering this year with worry about what’s around the corner for us in this journey of life.

I think being a worrywart is my life’s default mode. It can weigh my heart down so much that I have trouble remembering how strong God is to overcome the giants blocking the way. I compare myself with the giants instead of comparing the giants with God.

I’m learning step by step to trust God and His all-sufficient grace more than the giants. And more than my feelings. My feelings can sway with the wind and can be misleading. They can cause me to cower and curl up in a ball of defeat when the giants overshadow me. They tell me that God has forgotten to be merciful in this world.

Not true! God’s Almighty power, love, and faithfulness never sway or change. God is loyal, constant, and steadfast. He was faithful in the past, He will be faithful today, and He will remain faithful in our future. He still has this whole world and every single heart in His hands.

So does He condemn us when we do worry? Never! There is NO condemnation in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1) Others may tell us worry is a sin and we should “just have faith,” making our burdens even greater. But God knows how weak and frail we humans can be. He understands us more than anyone. His patience with us is bottomless. His love for us never lessens when we slip into worry or distrust of His plans.

Isn’t His love amazing?! No matter what we do or don’t do, He just keeps on drawing us into His love and inviting us to surrender our anxiety and burdens into His Almighty Hands and His all-sufficient grace.

“Come to Me,
all you who are weary and burdened,
and I will give you rest.”
Matthew 11:28

We cannot know what will happen this year, and it’s a good thing we don’t. But God always knows. He has plans for each and every one of us. Plans to prosper us and not to harm us. Plans to give us a hope and a future.

Does this mean there won’t be struggles, losses, or pain in our lives? Definitely not. Here we will have trouble. But the wonder is that even when it “feels” like God’s designs are against us, the absolute truth is that He is still working out everything towards our good.

The hope and future He plans to give us may seem a long time coming. But it will come, because He is a faithful Promise-Keeper. Someday our journeys here will end in a most glorious conclusion.

Meanwhile, may we take His hand and follow Him wherever He may lead us in this year, remembering that He has promised to be our refuge through all the storms in life and our Almighty strength in all our weakness. We are safe in His hands. He has proved that in the past, and He will continue to be our help today and in the future.

“God is our refuge and strength [mighty and impenetrable],
A very present and well-proved help in trouble.”
Psalm 46:1 AMP

“You Raise Me Up”
by Josh Groban

“When I am down and, oh, my soul, so weary;
When troubles come and my heart burdened be;
Then I am still and wait here in the silence,
Until You come and sit awhile with me.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong when I am on Your shoulders;
You raise me up to more than I can be…”

It All Starts With Jesus


Hi Everyone. I hope you had a hope-filled Christmas, even if you’re in the midst of grief, loneliness, or confusion. Perhaps even burdened with shame or fear. Life isn’t always easy, is it? I have been thinking of you all, whether I know you in person, online, or not at all. I hope each of you may find this place a safe haven and a harbor of hope. Know you are always welcome here. I continue to pray for you, knowing God knows each one of you and not one of you is out of His reach. May 2017 be a year filled with the unconditional love and the sufficient grace of Jesus for each of you!

For three years now, I have chosen a “One Word” and tried to focus on it throughout the year. To trust God more fully. To follow Him more devotedly. To open the broken places in my heart to His healing love and grace. Each action is not confined to a single year but is a continual learning process in life’s journey.

Now it is the beginning of another year, and I prayed about what word I should choose. So many words fought for my attention. As I struggled as to which one God wanted me to choose, questions pummeled at me. Why do I always pick words that involve something “I” need to “do?” Yes, we are called to be active, not passive, in seeking for God, but… Why don’t I concentrate more on just resting in God’s arms of love and grace? Why don’t I focus more on Jesus who is the only source of grace that enables me to do anything at all?

“Not because of who I am
But because of what You’ve done.
Not because of what I’ve done
But because of who You are.”
(Casting Crowns in “Who Am I?”)

So I decided not to pick one word this year. I just want to focus on my life being more about Jesus and His grace. Not about what “I” need to “do” for Him, but about what He has done for me. With John the Baptist, my desire is:

“He must become greater and greater,
and I must become less and less.”
John 3:30

Jesus is the Source of all hope, healing, and freedom. He offers us a bottomless pool of His love and grace. When our hearts are filled with His living water, hope replaces despair. Our wounds are soothed and the ointment of His grace heals our hurts. The chains of shame and insecurity that hold us captive must fall away to the freedom to fly in Jesus.

As I looked back over this past year, I found the most visited post for 2016 was God’s Love Can Shine Through Our Brokenness. We so easily see ourselves as cracked pots that are good for nothing, but we need to remember that more light can shine through a cracked pot than a whole one.

So as we head into 2017, let’s remember God uses the broken. And it all starts with Jesus.

Perhaps you are entering this new year with a heavy heart. So many troubles that overwhelm your soul. Hurting? Rejected? Alone? Does it feel like your hopes are crushed and your prayers go unanswered?

God’s heart aches for you even though He may seem so silent and so far away. He has promised to be with you. It may not feel like it sometimes, but He is faithful to His promises.

“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”
Isaiah 41:10

Courtesy of Darrell Creswell

A Child's Trust

Who Am I?
by Casting Crowns