The gift of family

I have been gifted with some wonderful family members. While we certainly don’t all agree on everything, there are common bonds of family history and relatives. There are various degrees of genetic connection to these “relations” and, of course, there are some who have no genetic relationship but we are connected “in law”. There are some “in laws” who really know how to be family. What a blessing.

I am thankful to be surrounded by such diverse and wonderful people.

And then there are other folks who are not related to you by blood or law and yet they feel like all the good things about family. They are in your life because they choose to be. And, sometimes, they know us better than family. There is not an obligation to connect, it just is such a natural thing. A relationship so natural and frequent that sometimes the kids think they are cousins because of the amount of time together, and it just seemed easier to have them referred to using something more familiar like “Aunt Mary” and “Uncle Don” instead of the more formal “Mr. ________ or Mrs. ________”.

I am thankful for the people I love in my life, whether or not we are technically related. God seems to bring just who I need in my life at just the right time.


A while back I noticed something that I had liked to wear was nowhere to be found. When I tried to recall the last time I wore it, I couldn’t remember. When did it disappear? How could something I wear on the regular just vaporize? What a mystery!

Off and on I have thought about this item, but not ever long enough to stop what I was doing and go on the hunt for it to track it down. It just popped in my mind and seemed to leave almost as quickly. But then I really started to get curious about it. Where could it be? So I asked my youngest daughter. She remembered it — it was just a sweater — but she hadn’t seen it.

At this point, my desire to pinpoint the location of this item stepped more into the limelight. I went through the hanging clothes in my closet, one by one. I looked on the floor of the closet to see if it fell off the hanger. And I checked my coat-turned-sweater rack. Nope.

But, the other day, I was packing for an event and went hunting for some tablecloths. Thankfully, I had remembered seeing them while doing something else so I knew exactly where they were. But while I was gathering that stuff, I noticed something else that I could use for the event and then, low and behold, there was that missing sweater. Woohoo! I retraced how it got to that spot and it made perfect sense. Another person was involved and it boiled down to I was going to deal with that box later and later was much later than I intended.

This is just a little example of how my brain works and it really isn’t the main focus of the story. The human brain is buzzing with so many things and keeping something and someone “top of mind” is often a challenge.

But God….

He doesn’t get distracted or waylaid in His search for His sheep. He is not forgetful. He is not late. He is always available, eager to communicate. There is no need to make an appointment or “get ready” to meet with Him. As much as a human loves and cares for you, God operates at another level. The process of me seeking this crazy sweater just happened to remind me that God is and has always been there.

Thank you, Father, for meeting me, wherever I am!

Danke Thank you

I enjoy learning about the flavors, styles, and sounds of other ethnic cultures! I was around a lot of people originating from other nations throughout my childhood and it made such a positive impact on me.

And, since I married a guy with Dutch and German heritage, I am blessed to learn more about that part of our family’s history.

So, thank you, Lord, for all the people around the world. I have so much to learn about how and why different cultures do the things they do. And there is a world of food and folk art out there to explore. You have gifted us with amazing minds that can invent creative solutions, celebrate, communicate, and find beauty where it might not be immediately evident.

And thank you for the gorgeous sunrise this morning! Your creative work is all around me!

Köszönöm – Thank you

There are so many ways to express thanks. Köszönöm means “I thank you” in Hungarian. And with that, I thank God for my ethnic heritage.

I hope you are able to thank God for yours as well! It’s fascinating that we carry our ethnicity within us — it’s passed to us through the generations in our DNA and those cultural habits that have survived life in a busy world. And we often end up passing these on within our family line, too

Sometimes we try to deny, avoid, or ignore our ethnic heritage. And that may be because of how we have been treated because of it or our own feelings of disdain for it for whatever reason. But, do a DNA test and you will see the facts.

You have been uniquely crafted by an amazing God. Your ethnic heritage is woven into you and shows up in your appearance. If your family maintained any ethnic traditions in your family then you might be drawn to certain accents, foods, music, or folk art. Maybe you grew up hearing the sounds of another language in your home due to your heritage.

My Hungarian heritage has absolutely contributed to who I am today. God can use anything and everything to deepen our understanding of who we are and why we are here. Start by thanking Him for His creative work — and that He created you!

🎶 And I just thank you Father for making me ME! 🎶

Thank you!

This morning I woke up at a decent time after sleeping through the night. My house has power. I had coffee to brew. I have running water. And I had 1/2 and 1/2 for my coffee! I often forget to appreciate these little things that have become so a part of my routine – I expect them to be there when I want them. Whatever would I have done if I lived 100 years ago? A lot more than I have to do today! I would be collecting the wood for the fire, drawing water from the well, and milking the cow for the cream in my coffee. Those activities are all blessings, too, they just aren’t a part of my day. But a good chunk of my day has been freed up by not doing those things, so what am I doing instead?

Heavenly Father,

It is so easy for me to get carried away by the tasks and responsibilities of this life and simply forget to thank you for the new day and the new possibilities that are a part of it.

Help me to notice all of your provisions today and give you thanks for them. Help me to use my time wisely!


I’m always learning

There are learning opportunities all around. Sometimes, what looks like one lesson for you is an entirely different lesson for someone else. It all depends on perspective.

For example, I have just been processing a situation where I was not “present or available” for a friend a few years ago during an extremely difficult time. It’s a long story, but I was privy to some information about one of her kids that was public information but, you know how that goes, just because it is technically “public” doesn’t mean that everyone knows about it and it often means that you sure wish it was private because it is so dang personal and gut-wrenching and you know people you love and care about are struggling with a difficult situation.

I was aware. And for whatever reason, I did not call. Of course, I know some of the reasons. As I look back on that time, life was pretty chaotic for me. When I learned of the struggle I thought “Ohhhh my. This is a toughie.” And I committed to praying for them. I don’t feel like I rejected God who pointed me towards her at every turn. I just committed to praying for the family. But, I do wonder if my awareness was an invitation to be involved — in fact it bothers me to think that I blew God off. However, I was quite oblivious. And the world was just beginning to shut down due to Covid. And, you know, life was crazy at our house. But, I should have at least reached out.

But what does one even say? I know, “I am so sorry. How can I pray for you?” might have been a good start.

While prayer was something they needed, for sure. They also needed people surrounding them and speaking God’s Truth into their lives.

I was not that person.

And still, they had a core group of people who helped carry them through. Why? Because God orchestrates and utilizes and provides in ways we do not always know or understand.

The right people were there and they became the hands and feet of Jesus for them.

There are so many takeaways here, but the main one is that God will provide. He will make a way where there seems to be no way. God is the one to count on.

So, whether you are the friend who is unable to be there during a critical time for another due to finances, distance, or emotional capacity or you are the person in the middle of a crisis and you are looking around for those who know and love you and you cannot figure out why certain people are not there for you, you need to trust that God knows you. God knows your capacity. God knows your needs. God will provide you with the resources that will help you take the next step. Those you expect to be there may not be the ones God wants in the mix. In the end, it is always God who provides at the right time in the best way. He calls and enlightens us through His Word and the Holy Spirit. And He provides beyond our expectations.

It is always God who provides.

Grace, grace. God’s grace. May you see God’s grace and provision in your life. These provisions may not look the way you expect them to, but you can be sure God will give you the tools you need to move forward. The road may be difficult. There will be days you are discouraged. But God is by your side every step of the way.

I can’t always be there

As much as I would love to be that person who can rush in and be present for every high and low, I cannot commit to that.

And I cannot expect others to be, either. There are times when we have to go it alone or accept the help from those that are right there at the moment of need. Our situations are no surprise to God. And He often places those people who can love and serve us directly in our space for reasons we cannot understand, except that He is God and He knows what He is doing.

He is always there.

Even when we have to “go it alone”, God is right there. And often leaning into Him is the way to make progress, even if that feels counterintuitive.

God with is – Immanuel. He guides and protects and sustains us. He gives us what we need. His grace is all sufficient. Accept His presence and His gifts.

I can’t do it all

And, furthermore, I wasn’t designed to. What a relief!

Our culture and sinful nature pushes us to be independent. And that often even means independent from God. It isn’t sustainable. And the isolation becomes unbearable.

Being in community means being connected to others. There is beauty and vulnerability in sharing burdens and blessings, disappointments and joys.

A community doesn’t need to be a huge group of people. It can be just a couple people you can share your heart with. They might be family members, but not always. They might live close by or they might live far away.

But even better than the human community is communion and connection with God! He is always available. He always hears us. He has shared His wisdom through His Word and can transform our hearts and minds and experiences.

I have no desire to do it all. I am only here to do my part. I seek God’s wisdom and grace and gentle leading in the paths I should go.

I can be insensitive

I have noticed lately that I my tolerance for people has dropped a little. It might be the space I am in, but I usually can give the benefit – of – the – doubt to most people, until I can’t. It is at that point I know I am stretched too far and need some rejuvenation from God’s Word and time in prayer.

If I don’t heed the warning signs: hasty judgements, snappy comebacks, a feeling of general agitation, I am bound to misunderstand, misinterpret, and fire back a woefully insensitive, and probably rude, statement.

I have seen it happen before. And then there is the cycle of feeling terrible about it when it happens. The key is to head these types of things off way before they are able to take root and grow like crazy.

Being in close communication with my Creator helps quite a bit. But it isn’t just at the start of my day — I need close communication throughout the day. Given the pressures of the day and this life, it is easy to slip into a unbecoming attitude. The closer I am tethered to God, the greater the grace that comes out of my life.

I “drop the ball”

You can count on me to let you down. In fact, I sometimes even let myself down.

For example, technology has not been my friend the last few days and that has led me to not have PrayerPoints for the last couple of days. I thought things were working and they weren’t. Of course, it wasn’t my intention. And I don’t see it as an excuse, but it is an explanation. It has taken me until today to figure out that there was a problem. And it will take me some time to figure out the solution.

So, I dropped the ball on my goal. I am probably more disappointed in myself than you are. When things don’t go the way we think they ought to go, there are a lot of reasons. But one thing is for sure —

God never drops the ball!

When we rely on humans and man-made systems, we might end up delightfully surprised (in a good way) at the outcome or we might be devastatingly discouraged. It’s the nature of living on Earth. Nothing is perfect here — even if it looks that way on the outside.

But God sees and knows our struggles and He covers the gaps we leave. I take great comfort in that. God has brought people in my life for me to love, support, and encourage, and I am so thankful. But I do this imperfectly because I am me. I will forget the date that is important to you. I will be so deep in the middle of my stuff that I might not see you and your needs. It is not only possible, it is probable, and it has happened more than once.

Humans will always let you down. You can count on that.

But God. Well, that’s another story. He is always on time.

God sees us. He knows us. He is dependable.

I am so thankful for this Truth!