My Pic

My Pic

Welcome to my little Corner

I am Barbara.

An introvert masquerading as an extrovert, a backyard gardener with a farmer's heart, a nurse by day and a dreamer by night. I am passionate about Jesus, spicy food, puppy dogs, words, compost and the aroma of desert rain. Music is chocolate to my soul but solitude feeds the deepest part of me.

And you need to know:

I have been rescued.

Several times actually. Right out of the mud and mire. My writing began as whispers between me and my God and it will always be rooted in that soil. So the plan is simple: I write. Out of the overflow of my heart, the place He has so generously chosen to dwell.

Though I am all grown up, I feel as if the handsome Prince has finally found me and the glass slipper fits. And a living breathing fairy tale has ensued.

So pull up a chair and "sit a spell", as we would say from my West Virginia roots. I hope you find His Footprints here.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Hymn Nuggets

I’m a praise song girl. The entrance into worship is easy and I love where it takes me.   It feels really good to sing “I am Yours Lord” and “I give it all to You”.   And I really mean it… at least at the moment.  Ten minutes later I may be deciding which church door will get me out more quickly or what lunch food I’m hungering for.  The change from praise to the practical happens as easily as a light switch.   Maybe it’s just my problem but I find it so easy to slip in and out of worship.

Ironically, I grew up with hymns.  The traditional church of which I was a member was one where ladies wore fancy hats, men were decked out in suits and the pews were lined with velvet.  I didn't meet Jesus there, at least not as I now know Him.  Yet I experienced a reverence and an awe for worship in that sanctuary.  Admittedly, the hymns contained words that were stilted and seemed fashioned after another time.  But something else was different that I think was a good thing. 

The hymns didn't focus upon what I felt, but Who God was and what He had accomplished. 

There seems to have been a subtle shift from praising God for Who He is to praising God for what He does for us and how good He makes us feel.  And I fall into this trap so easily.  Yes, God has done great things for me but I must be careful to not place myself as the center as if it all revolves around me.  Our God is an awesome God, with or without me in the equation.

This Advent season I am planning to tackle the hymn.  Instead of an Advent calendar, I discovered a dust covered hymnal in my collection.  As I prepare my heart for the Christmas season, I want to focus anew upon the Godhead through hymns written by men and women over the ages.  Though some of the terminology may be unfamiliar they are sure to encompass some real gold.  I'm going to study them, sing them and enter into praise of the One who never changes or goes out of fashion.. 

So if you happen to wander through my neighborhood over the holidays and hear the strains of an old fashioned hymn sing instead of a Christmas carol, you've got the inside scoop..

Friday, November 22, 2013


I have often admired the trajectory of birds as they migrate across the horizon in flight.  They seem so purposeful as they grace the skies with their artistry.  When something fearful on the ground disrupts their peace, they soar gracefully toward the heavens. 

We would do well, I think, to emulate their movement.  When life here on earth erupts into trouble as it often does, we tend to stay grounded in the messiness of our suffering.  We may confer with others, even those we respect spiritually, but we spend most of our efforts replaying the options in our minds, tossing to and fro in frustration.  We keep our eyes downward instead of upward.  Why not, in the power of the Spirit, let our thoughts and fears take flight to the Lover of soul?  It is upward where our comfort and reassurance lie - in His arms and His wisdom.

Our human parents, Adam and Eve, have predisposed us to the ground.  We spend much of our time working the ground.  We cover our nakedness and shame while relationships are frequently fraught with sorrow.  But when Christ died and rose again, He offered us another path.   He took flight to the side of the Father and He promised that He would prepare a place for us as well.  Knowing this, why do we not soar to His side at the least provocation?

Scripture says that “we are worth more than many sparrows” who frequently seem to know the right direction better than I.  Today and always in the future I will face several potentially difficult situations.  The challenge remains: will I follow my feathered friends in flight?

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Pitfalls of Excellence

There are few things more frustrating: I am on the hunt for something I have misplaced.  I'm always sure that the item sprouted wings but in the end I discover it right where I left it. 

Unfortunately, it’s a bit more complicated when something is gone and we don’t realize it.  The church at Ephesus in the book of Revelation comes to mind.  The constituents were hard working and full of good deeds.  They had persevered and endured hardship in the name of Christ without growing weary.  They were even able to discern true apostleship.  All of these are signs of a healthy, vibrant church.   And let’s face it, they looked pretty good.  But before we are quick to say “sign me up” you may remember that there was one critical ingredient that was missing. 

They had lost their First Love. 

And I wonder.  Isn't the greater tragedy not that it happened, but that they were unaware and functioning well without knowing it?  And this thought terrifies me.  

Because it means that a church can look good while relying on the strength of man but be a counterfeit of the living breathing Bride of Christ. 

The church here in North America is equipped in so many ways.  We have wealth, education, and giftedness.  There are programs to fit every need, multiple pastors to minister and support groups for our dysfunctions.  While these are all good things, I wonder if we are too fat... too well cared for.   Have we begun to lean upon our own understanding, upon the  "institution" of church rather than upon our First Love?  Has our excellence surpassed our Love?  The Bible says what we treasure will also be the location of our heart so perhaps that's the place to start looking.

As a nurse I know that one of the signs of impending death in a terminal illness is often an absence of hunger.  The body shuts down, quietly closing its doors to the sustenance of life.  Likewise, when the Bride loses her appetite for the Bridegroom, the perils of death await us. 

May God save us from ourselves and renew our love for the true Bread of Life..  

Friday, November 8, 2013


In reality I didn't know the truth.

I didn't know from where he hailed nor at that moment did I care.  The morning had gone from bad to worse and the responsibilities of the day hung over me like the stethoscope around my neck.  I knew I was in trouble when his wife accompanied him to the clinical testing area.  And then the communication debacle began.  His native language and mine did not jive, instructions had to be repeated and I could tell that the understanding was limited by the pauses between us.  The usual quick start to our testing stretched into time I didn't think I had.  I confess, I felt annoyed.  

However, once the testing ensued, I began to ask questions.  I really listened to this man instead of making a snap judgment, depriving him of his beauty and worth as one of God's creation.  I discovered that though his English was limited, his intelligence and life experiences far exceeded mine.  He was gracious and appreciative in a manner that I did not deserve.

And I was so convicted.  I began to see how easily I view others as obstacles to move about in my day.  I am pretty sure that Jesus, The Truth, would tell me those people are my day.

Today I am going to start my routine based upon the Truth.  That God so loved the world that He gave... And I pray that my perspective will be His.