Wednesday, April 25, 2012


I just love this picture--wish I had a church like this right around the corner from home!

But, alas, we don't!
I miss church! I haven't been able to go to our church for many weeks...
Between car issues
 (at one point, we had 3 vehicles out there--and all of them had the check engine light on!)
also, tire issues etc...
And then of course, there is my unpredictable digestive issues that have
kept me home from church--and other things as well.

We did have the opportunity to visit our former church (which is closer) and fellowship with those sweet friends a few times - which I really enjoyed!

But, my heart longs to live in an area that has a good, family-integrated,  Bible-believing and preaching, solid
church with like-minded believers. (That we don't have to drive almost an hour to!)
I really miss the fellowship. And, when you witness to people, it would be nice to be able to ask them
to church with you--not many will drive almost 2 hrs every week...

That is on my prayer request list, and has been for a while.
But, for now, God has us here, and we are driving when we can to our little church in a neighboring state.

One thing I'm really glad of, that God is with me, no matter where I am!
He will never leave me, and walks with me all the day long!
I can fellowship with him throughout the day, and night too!

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 8:38-39

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


In March 2011 I was blessed to read the book
 One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are
by Ann Voskamp

I don't know if you have heard of, or even read this sure-to-be classic book, but if you have, you know that it is not an easy read.
The author's life has not been an easy one, nor are the principles set forth in this book-about having gratitude and thankfulness no matter what your circumstances.
The author asks hard questions, and addresses the difficulties in life, while drawing us
to the conclusion that we are to imitate the life of Christ --and be full of gratitude in every thing.

This soul searching book which basis it's principles on scripture, shows us how we can
experience a life of JOY!

The book encourages us to start making a list of gratitude--actually 1,000 of them!
Today, I reached my 1,000th entry!
I chose God's Grace Gifts as the name of my list

What I didn't know when I started this, was how much my life was going to change during this time.
I didn't know that some of the hardest days of my life were going to be faced as I was writing this list.
I didn't know that I would face cancer, financial struggles, & a potentially debilitating illness.
But, God did.

What a perfect time to search my heart daily for gratitude.
For the blessings of that day.
Some days I just was happy to be drawing my next breath--so, I listed that.

This was such an excellent tool to train my heart to look constantly for things that bring joy.
(even on the days I was in pain, or afraid)
I learned to look more closely at the blessings that surround me constantly-that I might have otherwise overlooked!

A Butterfly
Tiny Violets
A smile from a stranger
An unexpected kindness

God's thumbprint on all of His Creation cries out His glory!
This journal helps me to see it--and note it!

I intend to keep on adding to my journal, and hope that I will continue to
cultivate a spirit of thankfulness and gratitude to God.

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him,
 and bless his name.Psalm 100:4

Vision Forum - Extra 20% Off Code!

Redeem your coupon at while viewing your shopping cart. This offer ends at midnight (CST) on April 20, 2012, is valid only online, and may not be applied to past orders.

You can click on the link above, or use my Vision forum button to the right. :)

Monday, April 16, 2012

The LORD bless thee, and keep thee

The LORD bless thee, and keep thee:
   The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:
 The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.
Numbers 6:24-26

Just yesterday in my devotions I read that the priestly blessing given in Numbers 6 was commanded to be given to the people- by the Lord.
22And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
 23Speak unto Aaron and unto his sons, saying, On this wise ye shall bless the children of Israel,
saying unto them...

It went on to say that they offered this prayer with trembling, because they
knew the power of it when God fulfills it.

What a thought! I have always loved that blessing, but even more so now!

May this blessing be yours today, and may you feel the power of it being
fulfilled in your life as you serve Him!

Have a blessed week!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Nightime Trip to DC

A few months ago I had a brainstorm...
I thought it would be neat to take the train (my husband's job enables us to do so for free)
 to Washington DC during the Cherry Blossom Fesitival and see the fireworks.
So, Saturday, we did it!

We caught the train close to 5 pm, when we got there it was around 6:30, and we had several
blocks to walk to get to the waterfront.
(It was maybe about 10 blocks--but it felt like 100!) lol
We (of course) snapped random pics along the way--here are some of mine and Brad's
 (Bri didn't download hers yet)

(this is not photo shopped-the light was just gorgeous!)

When we got down to the waterfront, it was fun to see these boats all decorated!

Taking pictures in the reflecting pool was so neat!
We didn't get home until midnight, but,
it was such a fun treat--and, I am so thankful to God for good health that day!
I haven't been feeling well at all, but did really well that day!
The days of my two young adults both being home are flying by...
What a nice memory for us all to carry with us now :)

Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
Isaiah 41:10

In a previous post I mentioned that I was reading a bit more these days, and that I was reading through the Love Comes Softly series.
 I love how God uses even small things like this to encourage my heart!
The verse above is the central one in the book I am reading, and everytime I read it throughout the book it was a blessing to me!
I hope it brings some encouragement to your heart today as well.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

For when I am weak, then I am strong

My sweet friend sent this to me yesterday and it really blessed me, hope it is a blessing to you as well!

April 2, 2012

Strong One

T. Suzanne Eller

"That's why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Corinthians 12:10 (NLT)

The wind blew through my fingers as I held my hand outside the window. The bright sunshine seemed foreign after several days in the small hospital room.

My husband had insisted that I go home. "Take a long bath, babe. Take a nap in a real bed. I've got this."

After four weeks, my world had shrunk to my son's bedside, X-ray rooms, the therapy wing, and a dimly lit cafeteria in the basement. I had no idea how long my son would be in the hospital, or what awaited us when he was released. The doctors used phrases like, "It's uncertain at this time."

Before the drunk driver hit my son, I was strong. It wasn't that my faith hadn't been tested; it had. But this was my child, broken and battered at the hands of another, and I couldn't fix it.

As I drove home, I heard these words deep in my spirit:

When you are weak, you are strong.

That didn't make sense to me. I felt anything but strong.

When I arrived home I took my bath and a nap. Afterwards, I pulled out my Bible and flipped to the verse. And there it was. Paul's words:

"For when I am weak, then I am strong."

The apostle suffered with a "thorn in the flesh." Scripture doesn't tell us what that was exactly, but we do know that it was something he couldn't fix on his own. When he prayed, God reminded Paul that His power comes through when we are at our limits.

There was no mistaking it. Like Paul, I was at my weakest point. As a mom, I wanted nothing more than for my son to be okay and the wreck to be behind us. I wanted my son at home. I was exhausted by long nights on a too-small, too-thin cot, and days of caring for my child as he battled extreme pain.

Yet God was trying to tell me something. Something I hadn't realized until that moment.

I didn't have to be the strong one all the time. While I was caring for my son, God was caring for me.

It took a year of therapy and prayer to make my son well; there were many more weak moments ahead for this momma.

But in each, I paused and I whispered these words:

"When I am weak, then I am strong."

My strength was not found in my own abilities or even my staying power. Instead, I was strong because God sustained me and filled me with His grace in the midst of the battle.

Sometimes, when that period of my life is brought up, friends remark, "Suzie, your faith was so real during that time."

I can't help but remind them that I was far from having it all together. What they were seeing was God's grace and love poured over my weak places.

Are you struggling today? Do you feel weak? Whisper it with me:

"When I am weak, then I am strong."

Dear Lord, thank You that Your grace is all I need. Thank You for Your power in the midst of my weak places. I offer up my need to be the "strong one" and replace it with the knowledge that Your strength is sufficient. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:

Do your weaknesses ever make you doubt you can fulfill God's calling or purpose for your life? A Confident Heart, by Renee Swope, is a great resource to help you stop doubting yourself and start living in the power of God's promises. In it you'll learn how to rely on God's strength and truth in every area of your life.

Reflect and Respond:

Your emptiness is but the preparation for your being filled, and your casting down is but the making ready for your lifting up. ~Charles Spurgeon, Morning and Evening (November 4, Morning).

Today, exchange feelings of defeat for praise. Thank Him for doing what you cannot.

Write down one way that only God can lift you higher than the weak places.

Power Verses:

Isaiah 40:31, "But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." (NIV)

Philippians 4:13, "I can do all this through him who gives me strength." (NIV)

© 2012 by T. Suzanne Eller. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries

616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road

Matthews, NC 28105

fyi-I prefer King James version, but left this as it was due to copyright :)

Monday, April 2, 2012

Disguised Blessing...

“Blessings sometimes show up in unrecognizable disguises. ”
Janette Oke
I have been in the mood for reading recently-mostly due to having to rest more with
this illness. I realized today that it truly is a blessing to do it! (whatever the reason)
I get my work done in the morning, and read in the afternoon...
(helps me work faster knowing the rest period is coming!)
I have been reading a mix of books, some of them for research, and some for fun.
For fun right now I am reading through Janette Oke's Love Comes Softly series.
I have read it several times, but love them so!
I was thinking about what I love about them today...
I love the characters--they are so real I can almost picture them
I love the lifestyle they lived--although hard work, they spent a lot of family time together
Also, I love Marty in her homemaker role!
I love the spiritual emphasis of course, and the way the lived out their faith daily
I find them inspiring, and something to encourage me!
What are you reading these days?

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Keeping my Focus

Those of you who know me, know that I have had some pretty big health challenges in the last few months.
In October 2011 I was diagnosed with lymphoma of the spleen, which I had removed in December.
Then, I was recently diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis, and have had some pretty interesting digestive, I started the Gaps Diet to try and heal my colon.

I have really had to struggle at times to keep my focus during some of these challenges...
It has certainly caused me to increase my prayer life
 (not only for my needs, but for the needs of many others who are struggling with issues too)
and, it has made me really grateful for the blessings I have as well.
My heart is full of compassion for dear friends who are struggling with health, finances,
wayward children, and aging parents.
But, my heart is also full of thanks!
Thankful to God for walking with me as I travel this new path. Thanks to Him for my family and friends who
have blessed me over and over during this time.

Yesterday I was working around my home, and my heart just sang because I am blessed
to have a home, and to serve my family.
I thank God for the days when I have the energy to do these things,
 and treasure the mundane things I used to take for granted!

What a privilege it has been to be a wife and a mother in this homey little nest of mine!
How I treasure my moments now, and savor each one.
We never know what a day will bring, and which one will be our last.
My children are young adults now, and the days that we spend together now are
so meaningful to me-because they are quickly coming to an end as these
"Arrows" will be making their own lives and homes someday in the not too distant future.
So, I am trying to keep my focus on what is important, and on my blessings!
May God bless our moments together--and yours too as you share them with your loved ones.
God setteth the solitary in families..Psalms 68:6a