Saturday, June 30

reach for the bells.
grab each others' hands.
turn your faces to the sun-kissed
sky. and smell the good earth under
your feet.

life is a Race.
it has to be run.
each of us on course.

put bandaids on your toes.
toss a bite or an orange in your mouth.
laugh hard. feel deeply. run inspite of
every obstacle.

all "for the joy set before us..
for the joy, He endured the pain. for the
joy, He suffered the shame..and He'd do it
all again..He'd do it all again...for the joy....."

(author unknown)

today, i pray for you.
i run with you. i cheer for you.
today, i love you. and Jesus loves
us. so when the clouds come...the storms
shake our souls....just remember the joy.

Friday, June 29

my friend says there is a bus in Heaven
getting ready to come and take us there.
and there is a bus here, on earth, preparing
to take the overflow.

i had my 12-step meeting tonight. one year
with eight other women. digging as deeply as we
can. unveiling things so hidden inside us...
so God can reach down and place His hands
on all our wounds, and make us well.

i'm standing in line. waiting for the bus.
and i'm piling things on the table with my 8
partners. refusing to be too afraid of what any
of them think that i hold back. the bus is coming,
and my heart is pumping hard and fast. Heaven
is my Home, and i want to be ready.

today, looking tacky in sweat pants and shirt,
i headed for the gym. melting heat outside.
wondering what it would be inside with alot of
other sweating bodies. i climbed on the eliptical.
my usual. bowed head. earnest prayer.

"i'm listening, Jesus. speak to me as i run.
keep your Hand on my shoulder. it's been
hard, Jesus. really hard. please help jan.
she is everything to me. everything!!!"

and i slowly start to pump. then i pick it up.
the rhythm building. suddenly, i'm working the
machine so hard that it begins to rumble. i don't
lift my eyes to see what others are thinking. i'm
running for my Partner. for peace in my soul.
it was so fast and hard that i couldn't do more than
four miles. peanuts to me. but not today.

why do i love Jesus so? why?
because...."a bruised reed He will not break...
and a smoldering wick He will not snuff out." isaiah 42
He won't break me if i am weak and bruised and
a little mixed up and lost. huh-hu. Jesus is ALL about
love and compassion and walking the agonizing road
to the Cross. He paid the price. He endured. He sang
a song of deliverance and wept "great drops of blood".

don't forget!
make it to the bus.
on time

Thursday, June 28

years ago,
i wrote a book specifically
for my four, treasured sons.

"the dreamer's club"

about a little girl named madison
who wanted to have a dream. it was
awarded the c.s. lewis award that year,
but it's been out of print for years. many
years. at the close of the story, i invited
other children to join madison and dream
for their neighborhoods, too.

still today, i receive letters, asking to
join the dreamer's club. these came
recently. from eugene, oregon.

"my name is keyton. i go to hayworth Christian
school". i want to join the dreamer's club. do you
have a girl or a boy or both? i will love the world
for Jesus, and i love your book."

"dear mrs. anderson...
my name is ethan. i want to join the
dreamer's club, and i will love the world for Jesus.
love, ethan"

children are so open.
so clean of thought and brave
in what they believe they can do.
rarely does some mountain scare them.
they run toward seemingly-impossible
challenges, and take God's hand and
embrace whatever He is calling them to do.

the little boy with the loaves and fish.
Jesus in the temple confounding all the
pharisees. Jesus called the children,
and smoothed their hair and quietly spoke
just to them. and held them on His lap.

grab the hand of a child
and lick ice cream cones.
laugh and play and remind them
that Jesus has dreams just for them.
today, may God show you His child for
you to teach how to dream.

Wednesday, June 27

i want so badly to be like Jesus.
and i KNOW it is impossible to truly
remain faithful unless i wear His words
across my forehead, and seek Him to
please lead me beyond myself.

"whoever desires to be first
shall be slave of all..."

"in lowliness of mind let each esteem
others better than himself.."

let's just take these two.
i confess that i like being at the front of
the line. and there are moments, with
certain people, that i barely have enough
esteem myself to get down on my face and
honor them; acknowledging they are better
than i.

what a journey we are on.
what a Savior we have to follow.
what a world that, in love, we are
empowered to change.

my knees are skinned.
my face is smeared with sweat and tears.
my shirt is torn, and has grass stains.
living for Jesus today is a constant battle.
a war against the enemy.

let's stand up and be counted.
let's always look beyond ourselves.
let's bow before the Throne....and wait
until He issues His next assignment.
and may we be prepared.

all for Jesus.
all for Jesus.

Tuesday, June 26

first, i just want to thank all of you
for the incredibly loving and touching
words you send to me. i post my blogs
feeling so badly that i can't do better.

please know that as i read each one,
my heart is so touched. and i am amazed
that Jesus can take anything, and if He
puts His hand on it, it is transformed and
annointed. again, many blessings to you.

well, i did it again today.
i sinned like i do every other day.
oh, if i could just be perfect one day for
God. if my thoughts could always be
honorable. and my responses. if i could
only see people's hearts and NEVER
judge them by appearance or off-kilter

yes, truly Jesus died for me.
and all my imperfections and

jan called this morning. every morning
she awakens with a terrible fear that
she is dying, though she remains in
remission. every now and then, while
we are talking (and we do this every single she will start saying things
out of left field. completely different from
what we've been discussing. she's been
through so much, so i don't know if it is her
medication or sadness that draws her to

my sins creep out of my heart. not overt
emotions, but little pieces of irritation or
impatience. thoughts and words are so
powerful. cleansing or damning. careless
and selfish.

"there is a River that flows from Calvary..."
oh, River, flow. in me. my deepest parts.
wash me. that i can be "whiter than snow".

Monday, June 25

cont. of blog...
i began to stumble around.
lost my bearings in the heat!
began to pray.  to look for a house.
there were at least 7 houses on the
what was wrong with will?
didn't he remember i had no liquid to
drink. not a nibble of shade anywhere for
miles.  and then, in the far distance, i
thought i saw a house.  wasn't sure. so
far away.  hoped it wasn't in my imagination
and desperation.
but the horizon focused more and more on
something ahead of me.  a log cabin!!  i ran,
half sobbing.  half delirius.  pounding on the
door.  praying...pleading that someone was
a very nice latino woman opened the door.
i told her i was will's (her husband's boss) wife.
was there any way she could try to get ahold
of him?  she brought me a glass of water, and
suddenly, i saw will riding up in that haywire
pick-up.  laughing.
"hi, honey......did you have a good run?"
"you mean the two-plus hours out in the fields
where you were going to come get me in 45 min.
to an hour?"
he thought it was all in great fun. the reality
was .... he got busy checking on all his crews,
and 'shooting the breeze', and just put me out of
his mind.  it was a dangerous thing to do re: the
elements and no water, but once again, he got me
to laugh.  to think it was an adventure.  i just silently
vowed to never go along with this idea again, and life
went on.
for many years, this kind of thing was just life for
the children and me.  always off-balance.  never sure
what the next offense would be.  i can tell you that we
struggled for years.  where will failed, i did, in another way.
a sick, co-dependant, i just couldn't stand up for myself.
and i was losing pregnancies.  getting abdominal infections.
taking pain pills.  something i had NEVER done in my
but, in the end. all of us broken and hurting,
will and i were faithful to our vows before God in
our marriage, and before will died...the last five days...we
were touched by God.  will finally saw himself.  genuinely
asked forgiveness for all the years, and held the boys' hands,
and talked to them in a way he never had before.  yes, i
truly believe he deeply loved us, but everything was lost
in the translation because it was somehow missing.
maybe between him and his father.
God has a powerful way of reaping joy out of
sorrow, and promise out of seeming  hopelessness.
neither will or i were really ready to marry each other.
but all the wrong turns and twisting bends in the road
were redeemed.  something the Lord is a pro at.
maybe your stories didn't turn out like ours.  maybe
your marriage didn't make it.  it's okay.  Jesus mercifully
covers us all, and works good in EVERYTHING if we
let Him.

Saturday, June 23

several experiences stand out in our
very first year. i decided to ride with will,
in his old pick-up, to his huge, seed-potato
ranch. it was millions of dollars in debt, but it
looked significant. miles of fields with seed
potatoes growing.

a huge mistake for will and me
was that we never talked money before
we married. i didn't have a clue what he made,
or what his philosophy was re: money. i
had stacked up wealth (truly, i spent most of it
to love my world to Jesus). today, i understand
money can be a HUGE issue in a marriage.

back to going with will to the ranch.
"you could have a good run in the fields, ann,
while i check on things. i won't be long."
he smiled. gave me a kiss. and dropped me
off in a field so large i couldn't even see a
road. a house. hear cars going by. looking
for miles around me,. i only felt the burning
sun on my skin and potatoes.

i was a seasoned runner.
had qualified for three, boston marathons.
won the women's division at cape cod's
marathon. and many others. most
marathon runners are tough. resilient.
blood and guts. but NOT on this day.
after two hours in the near 100-degree
heat, with no liquid to drink, and hopelessly
lost, i began to feel afraid and angry,
and i started to cry.

continued tomorrow...

Friday, June 22

shut the doors.
close the windows.
turn out the lights.
the blight of my marriage was
too dark for air to breathe and

will and i were idealistic.
we were both passionate about Jesus.
wanted a tranquil home. children. but,
quickly, our dreams were smeared across
the walls, extinquishing our peace. our
hopes and promises lay dead under the
surface of our bravado.

professionalss say we marry those who
are about as healthy as we are. that was
the first blow. without realizing it, i was the
world's finest co-dependant. i had no clue
who i really was; only what the world wanted
me to be. God greatly blessed me because
i truly believe my love for Him was pure
and profoundly earnest.

i reached around all my fears and became
shamelessly impassioned for the world to
know Jesus. built a gymnasium for poor children.
took candy via cabs to them. i sang little songs
to cab drivers, pilots, businessmen on the street,
the jewish neighbors. waitresses. anyone.

a little song said more than anything
i could think of to paint God's love for
everyone to understand.

will could do anything, and i would smile.
trying to be positive for him. i had never taken
care of myself. as a child, i spent all my energy
working to keep my father, a pastor, happy
inspite of my brother's rebellion.

smiling and working to make my marriage look
impressive. so everyone, especially my readers,
who i felt needed me to be perfect. no one ever said
that. it was a disease planted in my brain for success.

continued tomorrow....

Thursday, June 21

hot.  heat  sizzling on
our skin.  flowers in bloom.
and our children all home from
while my children were growing up,
especially in california, i LOVED having
them home.  water parks and picnics and
friends over.  swimming almost every day.
our skin turning brown. our hair naturally a couple
shades lighter.  skate boards and roller blades
and taylor and his best friends played board games
and star war competitions at the university.  taylor
always took colson to these so he could learn.
brock tracked every concert he could find, and i'd
drop him off.   brandt was always about friends.
and saying "no" to him when he wanted to sleep over
was just absolutely unthinkable to him.  he would
hammer me with phone calls until i would turn my
phone off, and pick him up as i had directed in the
first place.
when school was on, i was up EARLY.
i would get ahold of colson's and brandt's feet and
literally pull each one right out of bed.  taylor and
brock were a little older and accepted school as
fate, with no possible way out.
i want life to be like summer.
God's warmth hovering over us.
His presence always a time of  adventure
and blessing.  hiking to high places where we
can feel His breath on our hearts.  canoeing
down the rapids that life seems to throw at us,
and watch the Savior of the world calm our troubled
hearts the way He does with oceans.
ring the bells.
stick your feet in flip-flops.
open wide your heart to all God has planned
for this summer,  and watch the joy as He restores
all of us for the winters of life ahead.

Tuesday, June 19

brandt called at 10:00p.m. last night.
"mom, we are just driving back from fresno,
and we wondered if we could stop by.
maybe spend the night. you could see

i was so tired.
such a long day.
a hard work-out at the gym.

please know....i LOVE them coming.
it was just late. i opened the door, and there
was my darling,, precious, adorable, smartest, most-
precious baby on earth. this is a grandmother speaking.
you know: obnoxious! smile.

colben fell into my arms.
sucking on two fingers.
wild, black curls everywhere.

he slept in my room. in his bed there.
and brandt and jasmine and her cousin
slept downstairs. in almost minutes, every one
of us was gone. out. deep sleep. they were up
early because they have two dogs to tend to, and
they had two more hours to go to get home.

special ones.
they bring joy to us; wipe our tears
away, and and soon, the whole world
looks better. check your neighborhood.
look for God-ordained places where He is
just waiting for you to whisper happiness to
someone all picked out. you watch! God has it
all cooked up for you.

Monday, June 18

father's day always makes me sad
because i have four sons without their dad.
when they were younger, i always tried to do
something..whatever i could think make
the rude reality of loss softened.

then i think of all the men who wish they COULD
be fathers, and can't. and those separated by divorce.
when my children were younger, almost without exception,
their friends all came from broken homes. one week
with father and one with mother. i really didn't notice
that the children were unhappy. it was just life for them.
the norm. always amazed at the resiliency of children.

will had some great pieces. he would load the car,
and announce we were going fishing. poles in the car.
and we were headed to places unknown. dragging our
gear down ravines with four, small children always made
me nervous. or we would go to the highest mountain
lake where almost no one feared to go. beautiful and
magnificent. on warm week-ends, will would rent
one of the flat boats. i'd fix sandwiches and treats,
and it was just fun being together.

the children started with b.b. guns we got taylor
and brock one Christmas. we'd take turns trying to
hit targets. at a dark, encased building in chicago,
will would rent a couple of different guns, and we
would go to the dark firing range.

in chicago, you never mentioned guns. it is NOT the
wild west. one night we were there, and a woman and
man walked in with brief cases at their sides. they
looked at no one. very slick and sharp, and a tiny, bead
of moisture ran down my spine. i was positive they
were a hit team. will was fearless, so we just proceeded
with our plan.

will really loved all of us, but i don't think he had a father
to model after. thus, we were all scared. i didn't know
what he might make the children do if i wasn't there to
keep them safe. and yes, i had my own level of failures.
but i believed in fun and kindness, and helping the
children feel safe.

will would line the boys up 2,3,5,and 6 yrs. old, and
announce they were going to practice hand-shakes.
it's something alot of fathers need to do. i wish i had
more adventures to share, but they kind of got lost
amidst all the craziness around us. for some, translating
love was a natural, and for others, it was chinese and
russian and beyond grasp.

i do believe children need a mother and a father.
sometimes that is not possible. so take off your
hats. bend and bow and smile at the corners of
your mouths and eyes. and enjoy the amazing
and beautiful world small people bring to us. from
the very beginning of time, God understood how much
we needed to learn from children. blow a kiss.
take a lazy walk and pick some flowers off shrubbery.
and never, ever forget that children know far more
about life and joy than any of the rest of us.

Friday, June 15

what happens when you are a single mother
and you really, truly don't have enough money to
go around?

be BOLD!
tell Jesus thank You, over
and over and over. thank you because you
know He never forsakes His own.

and if the fringe underneath your hair,
on your neck, begins to rise in terror every
so often, find someone you know who is REALLY
special. and doesn't forge , for widows, the admonition
from Jesus not to forsake us. someone who really knows
Jesus....and quietly, humbly ask for a little help. i have.

no matter what you don't have, always remember to pay
Jesus first. whatever the amount. and stand, and dare
the enemy to try and sway you over to his side packed
full of lies.

i can smell a single mother clear across a room.
and if i have anything in my purse, i share it because
i know we stand together and must help each other.

Jesus is our Husband. our Father. our Provider.
the Father to the fatherless. as sure as the sun rises
over the ridge tomorrow morning, you can know the
Savior of the world is busy watching over us. stirring
up miracles for our day.

Thursday, June 14

in one room,
in any restaurant,
there are broken people.
in EVERY room,
ANYWHERE, there are
shattered people.
cast your eyes around.  everyone
looks normal.  there is laughter. 
giggles.  but the most troubled have
learned the best way to pull the masks on.
gulp down the fear.  and the transition
is smooth.   subtle.  quiet.
i have truly fallen into some really deep holes.
i, number one best-seller of inspirational books,
found a man that actually began to think he liked me.
it was a university where i was dean of women,
and i threw out the idea that any keen man would
like me.  and besides,  he was much older.  smart in
how to win a 27yr. old's heart.  BUT, he was MARRIED.
he was suave and brilliant, and snatched me
right from the gathered robe of Jesus that was so
but i was so scared.  i wanted to be God's. i didn't
believe in crazy foundations.  no, Jesus was solid.
truth is truth.  and this 40 yr. old man took my virginity
away.  spoke in a way that made me crazy.  where i lost
my way.  27 yrs. old in a hole i saw no way out of.
i would speak to maybe 10,000, and as soon as i
got to my hotel room, i would instantly fall on my face.
forget what had  happened there. i would sob
and finally crawl up on the bed.  broken and hopeless.
(more in next blog)

Wednesday, June 13

i was at tom and jan's in downtown sacramento.
running little errands for my sister. came back up,
pulled out my running shoes and sweat pants and teeshirt,
and headed down to third floor in their building to workout
before heading home to lodi.

even for me, it is often
a mind-over-matter deal.

i crawled onto the eliptical.
bowed my head. asking my Partner for His help.
to talk to me. and for me to listen carefully enough
that i don't miss what He is needing to tell me.

i start. pushing rather slowly throuth the first few miles
when a young couple blast through the door. the guy gets
on the treadmill and the girl on the other eliptical. these
guys were serious. they started pounding out a pace that
caught my attention, and no way josé, was i going to let them
take over that little gym.

i picked up my pace. moving faster
and faster. way beyond even an upper-level
effort. i started to fly. it felt wonderful. no matter
what, suddenly, this young couple could not keep pace
with me. and after awhile, they tossed in the towel
and walked out.

it's so hard to run like this with Jesus.
i just seem to be someone who falls into holes
deep ones. and i begin to believe that even with God,
i'm never coming out. can't climb high enough to pull
myself over the lip of the hole. oh, i've suffered alot
trying to help God get me out of fixes. finally, after a
fierce battle, i learn to let go. knowing ONLY my Higher
Power can win this battle for me.

today, i've slipped a little over the edge in an issue,
and if i hadn't lived long enough, i'd be SCARED.
but i'm betting on God. i'm counting on Him. and i
tell my children there is NOTHING God can't do
to pull us out of messy holes.

hang on, valiant warriors. hang on.
God, alone, knows the ways we must travel
to make it. and HE IS FAITHFUL. don't give
up. the battle is to the strong and the mighty.
we'll make it. together. you and Jesus and i and love.

hear the music.
listen. dance and know we're heading down the same
Heavenly road to Glory.

thank you for all your loving messages.

Tuesday, June 12

racing through target to pick up some groceries.
one check-out line was suddenly free, and i pushed my
basket there as fast as possible.

tall, handsome, winsome young guy was checking me through.

"sorry if i seem in a hurry, but our church has a sunday night service
and i'm trying to get there."

he asked, "where do you go to church?"

"bear creek community church."

"wow, i go to a community church, too."

i looked at this kid about one of my boy's age, and
smiled. "oh, knowing Jesus is EVERYTHING, isn't it?!!!"

"oh, you cannot even imagine what Jesus has done for me," he said.

"really? like what? i want to know."

"well, i was in so much anxiety that i could barely function.
literally, m'am, Jesus took it all away!"

"wow!!! what a story. you need to be telling others of this
life-giving miracle. there are probably alot of people around you
with just the same problems."

in. out. target store in my rear-view mirror , fading.
but i was lost in wonder and awe. beautiful, amazing Savior!

"if you touch the one next to you...
and i touch the one next to me....
we'll all stick
all kinds of see what can be done"

hear the whistle of the wind.
look at all those around you who are wearing
beautiful smiles. and just know, right now, that
the music is just beginning to start. listen for it.
know God loves celebration. with flags in the air,
run and watch what the power of the wind/love can do!

Friday, June 8

there are so many beautiful comments,
and i read them ALL. if i don't personally respond,
it is only because i'm overwhelmed by the time element.
but i feed on your words. i chew them and trace them in
my memory bank. over and over and over. thank
you so much for touching my life.

i'm a part of a 12-step program.
one night a week for a year.
i need it and i trust the small group that
i'm in. so many vulnerable things that each of
us lay on the table. out of hidden, dark places in
us....and setting them in the light where nothing can
fester and grow.

i really should never, ever say a negative word
about ANYONE after all the mistakes and lost places
that i've let life take me. it is so easy to look away from
myself and give all my attention to the imperfections
and disappointments of others.

last night,
i lay, face down, on my
bedroom rug for a long, long time.
silent. still. before Jesus. evaluating
the many twists and turns ...and holes
i've fallen into. praying for grace. though
undeserved. yearning for more grace. for
more forgiveness. i promise you that there
is not one day that i don't fail somewhere. you face a beautiful, sun-drenched
week-end, now and then allow your thoughts
to wander. let the great God of the universe
check your hearts, and may we all, side-by-side,
run a faster, cleaner Race so that every day, the
world will be kinder and more courageous in our
confessions and celebrations. remember,
we are warriors. not a light assignment. we
must be listenting and aware always.

thank you, again, for your love.
we stand. side-by-side. warriors for the Cause.

Wednesday, June 6

i pulled on my sweats.
my tacky, cut up top.
tied my running shoes that
are beginning to lose their worth.
but.....beat-up running shoes are
sentimental to me because they
have carried me through thousands of
Jesus, my running Partner, was on time
and waiting for me at the gym.  i always know
because,  as i bow my head and ask for strength,
i can almost see Him.  touch Him.  a Hand on my
shoulder. starting really easy, i begin to challenge
my body to stick close to my Partner,  and slowly
increase my speed and encourage the endorphines
to kick in.
running begins to close out the world.
even all the troubling things in each of our
lives.  and Jesus has our full attention.
i learn many things from my great Partner
if i am silent enough to listen as the miles
and time clock in.
today, i  heard Jesus reassure me that
jan is going to be okay.  that the pieces
are being lined up in such a way that
her terrible pain will subside.  it means
so much to us that so many of you all
are praying for her.
a clear sky.  slight breeze.  and two
hours later, i crawl off the,
more like peel myself off...and chalk up
alot of good miles.
i want to run
and feel the wind  
at my back...and know that
God loves me and He needs me and
there is NOTHING that He and i and you
can't do.  feel the sun on your skin and
know that it is God's way of reminding us
that He is magnificently and wonderfully
made.  and ALL He is is ours because
we are His kids. 
take a hand and squeeze it.
make cookies and share them.
love your children unconditionally
because that is what Jesus demands:
unconditional love.   nurture their hearts.
remind them that life is ALL about the heart.
and we know that God will take care
of the rest. i really love you all!

Tuesday, June 5

thank you for sending me so many
loving and kind words this last week.
they've just soaked and soothed all
the dry places in me.  beautiful thoughts.
and the rough edges that kind of begin
to run havoc around all the organs of
my soul smoothe out , and again, i
can see Jesus clearly.  put my eyes
and heart on Him and NOT my circumstances.
recently, i called an organization
and asked them to please send me the dvd
of my keynote address.  in response, they said
they couldn't do that.  that it was their property,
so to speak.  i responded with shock.  why
couldn't i, who did the speech, have a copy?
trust me, i never care about copies of anything
about me or by me, but was doing this because
some people helping my website requested it.
the next response from the head of this international
group shocked and broke me.
"ann, to be honest with you, we weren't happy
with your presentation, and not one attendee
ordered a copy of that hour."
though i had received a stout, standing ovation,
this was the real truth.  in all the years of speaking
to thousands and thousands of people, this was a
first.  i responded by thanking them for their candor,
and saying i was devastated to have failed them and
now, surely God, too.  the final response was so kind.
"ann, we ALL fail at times.  and in front of others.
but we love you, and have no regrets."
the real deal.
that is what the world
is yearning for.  no one really cares
about our great successes, because we are
all broken. "God's strength is made perfect in weakness."
begin to speak more openly about your struggles.  your
weaknesses. your losses.  you will be amazed.  suddenly,
others will feel safe enough to tell you their hurts.  and once,
again, we are changing the world.  not because of who
we are, but because we are reminding others that Jesus
died for the broken.  He lives for our healing.  and everyone
has a past.  scattered failures.  absolutely EVERYONE.
may Jesus truly be glorified this next week by our authenticity.

Monday, June 4

"red and yellow...
black and white...
all are precious in His
sight...Jesus loves the
little chidren of the world."

i'm not sure what red and yellow
look like on skin, but God
does.  everything about
creating us and growing us up
is clearly understood by God.

will you remember to smile at
every child who passes your way 
today? to allow his parent to feel
proud by just the way yo look
at them.?

babies are powerless.  they wear
things their mothers put on them.
they may never get their hair combed
that morning.  often one sock falls off.
they are so at our mercy to keep them
half-way decent when they go to the
store with us. or the library. or anywhere.

everything about God's creations is
magnificent.  the flowers when they bloom
exactly at the right time.  the seasons that
sort of hiccup into place.  and if we are quiet
enough, we can hear birds far away,  and they
sound happy because they almost always
are singing something.

but children.
back to beautiful, earnest
little children.  they loved sitting on
Jesus' lap, and He was NEVER too busy
for them.  remember, at least for today,
to smile at them.  they have no concept of war.
or evil.  or flat-out meanness. they are tiny,
little mortals that need a hand to hold.  and
a smile that reassures them that they going
to be okay for one more day.  whatever that
is.  smile.  Jesus wants us to.

Sunday, June 3

i can see things i once never even noticed.

i can sing a new song. write it like a ballad.

i can look up into a tree. a huge redwood.
see God's handprint higher than the stars.

i can cry, and not be so ashamed and embarrassed.

i can love better because i have lived 66 years.
there aren't so many mysteries as before.

i can tell you, no matter HOW impossible it looks,
that it is going to be okay. you watch. you'll see.
it is all going to work out.

i can just tell you today that i wish i could get
a spray-tan. that i just look so much better
with a little color on me. and i turned a corner
too fast and hit the corner edge, and have a purple
knot on my forehead, and i'm afraid to go out.
today is one of those 'hard times', and i just have
to get through it. because tomorrow brings new
hard and easy things and i have to be ready for them.

i just want to so thank you for being a facebook member
with me. and sharing your hearts until i can feel the ocean
depths with sand between my fingers. every single kind
word you have sent me i have read, and been really touched.
and i just want to remind you, at least this one more time....
that we are warriors. and we need, at all times, to be ready.
i love you. ann

p.s. please pray for jan.
she is in alot of pain.

Saturday, June 2

however deep the valley,
just that much higher is the sky.
when you are eating dust, and
flat on your face, so much greater
is the air on your skin as God lifts you
out of cold, hard, rugged places we
somehow get ourselves into.

i love and worship Jesus.
He's more than everything to me.
and the four sons He gave will and me?
i love every capillary and artery and
muscle and toe and molecule in their
bodies.  huh-uhhh.  don't mess with
mothers.  smile.

may the warmth of your heart spread pure
and unaltered across the deserts in others' lives.
Jesus is counting on us because we are all He has.

i almost lost the war because i was too scared
and terrified, and didn't will need shaping up, too?
yes, God did His own work on will, and He got me
through the trenches and beyond so He could be
glorified in us.  and it all began with herb and dona
who laid down their money (alot of it!!), and have stuck
with us 'til this very moment.

hallelujah, amen.
hallelujah, amen.
amen.  amen.

Friday, June 1

the doctor in charge of this rehab. center
told me i was hopeless.  that he was just going
to send me over for a year of in-house help.

hey!! wait a minute!!
a YEAR?!!!
are you kidding me?!
no way. huh-ughhhhhhh!
i was crying and more scared than
ever.  i dreamed of...longed
children..  they were everything to me.

if i hadn't had jan with the boys, i could
not have made it.  wouldn't feel they were
safe.  but i could count on her.  oh, yeah,
she was my team leader.  she and God.

little did i know that NO one believed i had a
chance.  i was stamped "HOPELESS"!
every bad and horrible day i began to fight
with God.  His strong arm against my tiny,
skinny fist.  i would NOT quit!  would NOT
walk away.  would NOT disobey Him, but
where the h___ was HE??!

oh, i learned alot about God inside those
doors.  how He loves all of us and has no
preferences.  that He can take hopeless
and build a tower of promise.  i'm running
with Him.  He's my ROCK.  my Strong Tower.

they used  all kinds of jargon on me.  i'd call
jan, and she'd tell me the word was worth nothing.
to pay no attention.  i sat in a tiny room with a
phd. psychologist.  Christian.  and i swore and
yelled and chewed him out and He never blinked.
he was compassionate, and i had to have
someone to knock around because i was in
such agonized misery.

when i sat in front of the doctor,
hair pulled back. gaunt,  and utterly
empty, i quietly said, "i think i get it.
if i was an addict to performance and praise,
i am naturally a pill addict waiting to happen."

thirty days in hell for me to get it.  but i did.
no, Jesus and i did. He pushed and i crawled.

the doc stared at me.  eyes big. and whispered
because he felt i was so frail he might lose me.
"you are a miracle.  i NEVER believed..ever..that
you, of all people...would get it."  shaking his head.

the sun rises fresh every morning.
clean and new and i feel covered with
joy.  well, dark days do come, but that is
just what you call "life".