Ten things I learned (again) about God this year


    Even though I’ve known the Lord most of my life, it still amazes me how exceedingly, awesomely good he is. 2023 was a year of highs and lows for me, and now on this last day of it, I’ve been recalling his faithfulness. Many lessons of the year should have been old hat to me, but it seems it was important to learn them again.

Here’s what I learned (again) about God…

He answers prayer, specifically, at just the right time. We started the year having just lost my Dad and were under a time constraint to clean out his home and 60-year art career. It was daunting, but each day as we prayed for guidance and help, just the right answer or person would show up at just the right time. Truly, we were not on our own, and it all got done, on time.

He sees what’s coming and has a plan for it. From the time my Dad was hospitalized and throughout the ensuing months, it was just incredible to come to each situation, each need, and find that God had already gone before and arranged an answer—or a miracle. Why do I ever worry? He already has everything covered!

He heals my body. I suffered covid-related paralysis in one eye just before Christmas last year. It was terrifying, especially because the doctors couldn’t help. I had a Bible promise quickened to my heart from the Lord that I would recover—and I did! One day, a couple of weeks later, my eye opened and my sight began to return, fully restored not long after. Thank you, Lord!

His comfort is real. I miss my Dad and the loving presence he was in my life. Other things—changes in friendships, loss of relationships, things not happening when I thought they would, disappointments—God has been there to comfort and reassure me that his plan is good and purpose sure. 

He really is my Shepherd. There have been days I’ve been tired, discouraged, frustrated, or overwhelmed. But so often God intervened to cancel events, or have a friend text with an encouraging word, or he gave me the perfect, right word from the Bible to lift my spirits. He knows when I need rest and quietness and has scheduled the stops along the way. It’s been wonderful to know such care.

When I don’t know what to do, he does. For some reason, this year has been the year of challenging tech—computer problems, new programs, steep learning curves with complex processes (virtual conferences, anyone?)…you know how it goes. But over and over, he’s directed me to the right information or helped me figure something out. There’s just nothing like his wisdom.

He defends me. This year brought some targeted persecution because of my faith, and at one point, I just had to cry out to the Lord to intervene. Suddenly, it ended and I knew he had done it. I truly felt he had moved between me and the attack, standing as my Defender. He said, “Enough!” and it was.

When he asks me to wait, it doesn’t mean no, it means wait. As a type A, ducks-in-a-row person, I usually see little reason to wait if I’ve got things figured out. Seize the day! But a very keen lesson the Lord has been revisiting this year has been the importance of waiting on him. Most things with him are a process and I’ve needed to surrender my heart and thoughts daily to his Lordship. His timetable is different than mine—and his results are always better.

His Word is true. The theme God gave me at the beginning of the year was, “Man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD” (Deuteronomy 8:3 NIV). In the craziness of the world and its darkness, God’s Word is the unchangeable rock of Truth I can count on. I’ve learned again that if I believe what he promises, he will do what he says.

Jesus loves me, this I know. In a million ways this year, I’ve seen his tender, personal love. It has reduced me to tears many times just knowing I’m that cared for. This is the God we belong to, the One who calls us his own and has held nothing back to save and bless us.

I’m sure you have your own list of God’s blessings on your life this year; I wish I could hear them all! May we take these fresh reminders into 2024 and by them, learn to trust him more. 

A happy—and blessed—New Year!

Photo by Kostiantyn Li on Unsplash


How to stay at peace

I rolled over in the dark and looked at the clock. 3:30. I sighed. Likely I would lay there wide awake for a couple more hours, longing for sleep. Then, right on cue, my mind started down the grim track of the calamitous and terrifying state of world affairs...the political mess...family troubles…disappointments…memories of difficult times (why can’t those stay in the past?!)...

Familiar? I’m sure you’ve had your own troubled nights when you feel the dark weight of despair and fear grip your heart. Why are things always worse in the night? The new day doesn’t always bring improvement and it’s hard to shake off the cloud of gloom.

It tells us in the book of Daniel that in the end times the enemy will ‘wear out the saints’ (Daniel 7:25). Pretty well describes it, don’t you think? We get worn down from the battles, and long for clean, simple times of peace.

So what do we do? I’m reminded of David in the Bible. It tells us that when things were dark and dire, he ‘encouraged himself in the Lord’ (1 Samuel 30:6). Pretty amazing considering his whole army was ready to kill him and he needed an answer right now.

So in my quiet time this morning, I realized I had to take myself in hand and get back to what was true. Get myself refocused on the Lord and use the tools he’s given me to stay in his peace. 

Here’s what he reminded me:
to fear not 
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 NLT)
to trust Him
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV)
to keep my mind focused on Him  
You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! (Isaiah 26:3 NLT)
to rejoice
Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! (Philippians 4:4 NLT)
to thank Him
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1Thessalonians 5:18 ESV)
to pray
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7 NLT)
to know that today will be filled with new mercies
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23 ESV)

If you’re struggling to find peace today, take these wonderful promises as God’s personal word to you. Encourage yourself in the Lord with them, and I think you’ll find fresh strength and a renewed perspective. It’s his promise!

Image by sun flower from Pixabay


New look, new vision

If there’s anything sure in life, change is one of them. Just when you think you have it figured out, it’s on to the next thing. Part of the adventure of living, isn’t it?


You may have noticed that my blog has taken on a new look—and a new focus. I’ve loved the message of God’s ‘still waters’ to me these last few years; it was much needed. I could picture that quiet, green retreat by a stream and refocus my heart on his peace. That was this blog’s focus.


But…time for a change!

When I really began following Jesus in my young adult years, I fell in love with his Word. There I found answers and wisdom I desperately needed to navigate the challenges before me. As each season unfolded—single life, the work world, relationships, marriage, motherhood, homeschooling, eldercare—I discovered how alive and practical the Bible was. The principles I read each day truly changed my life. What a gift he’s given us!


“Kingdom Keys” comes from a devotional book I’m writing for kids and parents to do together. Kingdom Keys for Kids introduces Bible truths about God and his Kingdom to build children’s lives on. My heart is especially to share with women who are seeking to grow in the Lord and know him better, whatever season they’re in. He gives us an amazing promise as we learn:


Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.    
~ Joshua 1:8 NLT


Thank you for reading! I hope you’ll join in the conversation and come back again.