Sunday, October 1, 2023

My Birthday Poem. Three-Quarters of a Century

I love my birthday!
 Every year I write a silly poem (for I am not a poet) 
to celebrate the miracle of life God has given to me.

Woo Hoo! Whoopie!

Happy Birthday to me!

Today I'm three-quarters of a century!

How, oh how could this ever be?

Doctors expected I would never see   

Three-quarters of a century.

But God controls my destiny 

And He has more years for me, 


So, don't put me out to sea. 

Or think that I've gone up a tree! 

I think that we can all agree 

The best things in life are free. 

I don't need a shopping spree 

To enjoy my salvation which is free!

Believing in Jesus is the key 

to spending life in eternity.

One day my birthdays will be Heavenly.

Until then, I celebrate with glee 

The joy of living three-quarters of a century. 

 And thank God He's allowed me to arrive  

To the ripe old age of seventy-five.   

"Gray hair is a crown of glory" 

(Proverbs 17:6) 


Happy Birthday to me! Happy Birthday to me!


Wednesday, August 9, 2023

Prayer: More Than Flowery Phrases or Deep Theology

"Would anyone like to pray?" 

We all know the awkward feeling. 

Hoping someone prays before grandpa begins a blessing longer than the mashed potatoes remain hot. 

Looking down and hoping you aren't volunteered by a brother smirking in the next seat. 

Would anyone like to pray? The answer seems to be we don't "like" to pray after all. I'm guilty. Talking to God for the world and the family to hear can be intimidating. What will I say? I remember my first out-loud prayer. Tears of love for Jesus filled my heart and eyes as I prayed, "Thank You, God. Amen." Oh my. Four words were all I could say, and I cried! Tears fell on my food. How embarrassing! No flowery phrases or deep theology on my tongue. Just four words. And tears. Looking back, I am confident God loved my prayer because God saw my heart.

I imagine another table. Jesus sits at the right hand of God. 

God asks, Would anyone like to pray for Elaine?

Jesus jumps up. Me! Me! I will pray for Elaine!

And Jesus does — all day — every day — interceding for me and for you.

Imagine what life would be like if Jesus responded, "Nah. I don't want to pray for Elaine today"? Jesus would never say those words, but do we when we are lackluster in prayer?

Oh Jesus, forgive me for prayerlessness. What a gift you gave when you allowed us access to your ears and your heart through our prayers. What a privilege to pray — all day — every day to the One who prays without ceasing for me.

 Jesus "is at the right hand of God . . . interceding for us"
 (Romans 8:34)

Prayer is a splash of serenity God grants to all. Jump right in and enjoy the living water He gives when He refreshes us through our prayers to Him and His prayers for us.


Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Don't Let Your Marriage Go Down the Drain

My husband Dan is well aware of my passion for a hot soak at the end of the day. Wherever we travel, he asks for a bathtub in the reservation. Such was the case at the VRBO we recently rented.

"How was your bath?" He asked as we kissed goodnight.

'I didn't get a bath. I got a shower.  It was great."

"What! Why a shower?"

"Well, there was no plug in the bathtub drain, so I got a shower. No problem."

In the morning, Dan said he had an errand. He returned with a bathtub drain stopper.

Maybe not a big deal to you, but to me Dan's purchase was a picture of his love.  Every day he is kind, thoughtful, and seeking opportunities to make my life better.

That's what love is. 

"Love is kind" (1 Corinthians 13).

Love is "not looking at your own interests but each  of you to the interest of the other" (Philippians 2:4).

Why has our marriage not gone down the drain? Some days it seems to, butost days Dan cares for me and I care for him. Always looking for ways to be kind and make our life together better.

Splashes of Serenity prayed for your marriage!


Thursday, June 22, 2023

Hope for the Emotional Eater

"You are not fat. You are zoftig." a friend told me years ago.

"Deliciously plump!"

Oh wow! Not sure if that was a compliment or not. 

Today, in the second half of life and living with leukemia, the effects of taking a daily chemo pill (not complaining! those pills keep me alive!), and permanent lung, heart, (and I swear brain) damage from covid, my focus isn't on being delicious, but in keeping my body healthy. I really love the thought of being a grilled salmon and not a hot-fudge sundae!

"I've had you dead twice, yet here you are!" my doctor smiles in wonder.  

Yes. Here I am and since I am here I want to be healthy, active, useful, joyful, fun, lively, energetic. My damaged lungs don't need to pant from excess weight. Leukemia and chemo don't need help making me tired. My illnesses got my attention and motivated me to become healthy. 

So, with my doctors' approval, I joined Weight Watchers, and over two years lost 20 pounds more or less. I feel great! Weight Watchers filled my tummy with fruits and veggies and protein — the three foods my doctors say are essential for my recovery. 

In January while I was seeking the Lord's direction in 2023, I was struck by the question: Why would I rely on a secular (albeit healthy) weight loss program when I have the power of God within me? My goal for 2023 was to glorify God in every area of my life, including my health. 

A book appeared on my facebook page which intrigued me. A New Life Promise: How to Heal Your Body, Find Joy, and Bring Glory to God by Isabel D. Price. Bring Glory to God sealed the deal to my decision to purchase Price's book. Her heart touched mine. With love and understanding and practical help, she guides the reader through the trials of being an emotional eater: grief, pressure, anxiety, inadequacy, anger, shame, guilt, anger, fear. Can you relate? I sure could! A New Life Promise encourages us to live a full life as well as enjoy food. We really can have our cake and eat it too and remain healthy. 

A New Life Promise ends with 90 days of scripture and journaling. Recite a prayer, listen to a worship song, read the one scripture verse, and write how God spoke to you. 

Over the years I've enjoyed many daily devotional plans. Reading a chapter of the Bible each day, reading through the Bible in a year, Bible study books, etc. The most powerful has been Price's suggestion to read and meditate on one scripture a day. Focusing on one verse and asking God to speak to me through it has brought such joy and power in my days. 

FYI, for a fee, Isabel D. Price offers a New Life Promise diet plan. I haven't explored her plan, so I am not yet endorsing it. You can decide for yourself and gain more information on healthy living on her website and facebook posts 

Meanwhile, my heart is free to obey, heal my body, find joy, and bring glory to God without counting the points or the calories! Hallelujah!

May the Lord guide us all as we seek to glorify Him in 2023. 


Thursday, May 4, 2023

A Prayer That Transforms Our Marriages, Our Families, Our World

The world is a mess! Marriages are crumbling and families are falling apart. Governments are collapsing while citizens die in the streets they called "home." Who is to blame for this? Well, if you listen to politicians or to a domestic dispute; it's, most likely, "the other guy."

People are so quick to point the finger at someone else instead of asking God to point the finger at them.

The Psalmist David got it right when he wrote Psalm 139: "Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life."

As we ask God to search us, know us, test us, point out what offends, and lead us, we'll change and so will our marriages, our families, and our world. Now, that's a splash of serenity we could all use! Thanks, David. Thanks, God.

Do you know a prayer that transforms or have a testimony of how prayer transformed your marriage or family? Please share what God did for you.  

Splashes of Serenity prayed for your day!


Friday, April 28, 2023

God's Not Done! Check Out My Speaking Schedule for a Location Near You

I love telling audiences about my Jesus. After cancer and severe covid, I wondered if I would ever have the energy or the breath to resume public speaking. Well, after two speaking events in Connecticut, I am thrilled to say I have energy and breath and enthusiasm! God worked powerfully in my life during my illnesses and now I have the joy of giving Him the glory for the peace and joy and His Presence during what should have been difficult days. But, they weren't difficult because Jesus had never been so close and so real. Hallelujah!  

I'd love meeting you at one of my speaking events. Check out my schedule below:

May 8, 2023, Northeastern District C&MA Retreat, The Y at Watson Woods, Painted Post, NY, 3:30 p.m. workshop, "Our Most Important Writing Tool: A Pure Heart." Closed to public.

May 9, 2023, Northeastern District C&MA Retreat, the Y at Watson Woods, Painted Post, NY, 3:30 p.m. workshop, "Writing a Story People Will Read," Closed to public.

May 13, 2023, Wellsville Bible Church, Wellsville, NY, 6:00 Banquet, "Splashes of Serenity." RSVP by May 7. Information below. Thanks, Kim Merritt for the sweet promo poster.

May 16, 2023: Christian Women's Connection, Harts Hill Inn, Whitesboro, NY, 11:30 a.m., "The Suite Life." Contact Bonnie at 315-737-8611 for reservations.

May 17, 2023, Christian Women's Connection, Ilion/Frankfurt V.F.W., Frankfurt, NY, 11:00 a.m.,"The Suite Life." Contact Hope at 518-568-3457 for reservations.

May 18, 2023: Christian Women's Connection, Theodore's Restaurant, Canastota, NY, 11:00 a.m., speaking twice, "An Author's Journey" and "The Suite Life." Contact Carol at 315-761-9514 for reservations.

June 10, 2023, "Extravagant Joy Conference," Cato Christian Fellowship, Cato, NY, 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Speaking twice, lunch provided. Walk-ins welcome.

October 12, 2023: Christian Women's Connection, Tashua Country Club, Trumbull, CT, 11:30 a.m., "The Suite Life," 11:30 a.m. Contact Jan at 203-405-6573 for reservations.

Thank you all for your prayers! Pray God brings many to belief in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. 

"Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved . . . "
Acts 16:31


Thursday, April 27, 2023

Two Covid Journeys — Miles Apart

My oncologist encouraged me to write my covid journey. "People need to read what happened from the  point of view of someone who had and survived severe covid. It's history that needs to be told" he said. 

I've been unable to write a book of my experience. The closeness of God too precious and the pain of this disease to raw to find words. 

Penelope Childers wrote the book my doctor hoped to read: A Window of Hope: How We Survived COVID-19. 

Here's my amazon review of A Window of Hope

"The history, the heartbreak, the hope of a global pandemic that brought both unity and division. Penelope Childers takes us into her heart of peace as she determines to survive covid-19 from her ICU hospital room. Her daughter, Megan Pascual, writes of the frustration and horror in the hearts of family shut off on the other side of the hospital walls. A Window of Hope is a brilliant account of the facts and the feelings of life during the covid-19 pandemic."

Penelope's story and mine are similar, but different. We are close to the same age and suffered with covid at the same time. She was in ICU in a big-city California hospital. My ICU bed was in a small hospital (some would call rural) upstate New York. I was in a pleasant isolation room on the covid floor where I watched the sun come up every morning. Penny began her hospital journey in a curtained cubicle with other covid patients nearby. I brushed my teeth daily. Health care workers washed my hair and provided water and soap and lotion for me to take care of my daily needs. Penelope's teeth were not brushed for weeks. Nor was she able to bathe. Yikes!  Penny's husband and daughter were present through a window. Three stories up and unable to walk, I communicated with my family through facebook. Penny suffered severe constipation. I did not. Penny went to rehab. I went home. 

Hospitals treated covid patients differently, but always with great care and comfort. Dear healthcare workers did their best with this mystery disease, as they tried to sort the mess of covid attacking each patient in a variety of symptoms, side effects, and sicknesses. covid survivors live with heart, lung, and brain damage, while others do not.   

 Although separated by miles and different symptoms, 
One truth was sure.
Penny and I both experienced the overwhelming presence and peace of our loving Jesus. 
God consumed us as He healed us. 

"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever"
Hebrews 13:8

May His presence bring you a splash of serenity every moment of your life,