Not Afraid of the Dark

This was a water color picture I made in an art class that I took with a friend who was undergoing cancer treatments at Morristown Memorial Hospital.

“I’m so psyched I had a great quiet time this morning and I’m ready to take on the day!” Said the 50-something mom and wife of three kids who’s been a Christian for over 25 years. “I feel God’s love and know the direction he’s calling me to.” She said, but by night fall, the worry, anxiety and even depression began to set in and the intimate relationship that she just experienced earlier in the day began to wear off like the disappearing sunset she just watched outside her window.

Wait a minute, now. Does God only show up in our day when we’re having our quiet times, when we have our Bibles and notebooks out? Or is God only available to us in the early morning of the day when we’re enjoying our cups of coffee? Or is our coffee just making us more alert to the truth that God is always with us?

Psalm 139:7-12 says:

Where can I go from your Spirit?
    Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
    if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
    if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
    your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
    and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
    the night will shine like the day,
    for darkness is as light to you.

You see, God is omni-present. Unlike a good friend we get to hang out with for a short period of time, our God is capable of being everywhere at the same time, day and night, with and inside every person in the entire universe! Since Jesus is part of the Trinity, Father, Son and Spirit, He must also be able to be with us everywhere we go, whereever we are, especially when we’ve got His Spirit in us.

So how can we make Jesus more tangible during the lonely times? Think about Him being there, with us in our present moment. Think of him in our souls filling us up with all of the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Think of Him hemming us in, walking before us and behind us and taking our hand, walking with us or leading the way.

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and beyond cure.” It says in Jeremiah 17:9. “Who can understand it?” Our feelings of fear, loneliness and discontentment do not have to rule us. When we are in Him and He is in us, we can have the peace (and contentment) which surpasses all understanding.

And if that doesn’t help, He might just be nudging you to reach out and talk to someone who He’s put on your heart.

Have you ever felt nudged to call someone?

Listen to their Pain

Experts Say (the picture on the right) is What Jesus Really Would Have Looked Like courtesy of

“Leave me alone!” The White mom said speaking from her family room couch, while sitting in her paid off home in her affluent neighborhood in which she lived. She and her husband sacrificed much to pay off their home and they were finally reaping the rewards for which they worked so hard.

The coronavirus was already too much for her saturated mind to handle but now to add on to it the anxiety she was feeling watching the news with the ‘Black Lives Matter’ protests and riots that were happening in many major cities across the globe.

“When will this be over!” She said to herself. “I have enough to deal with caring for my elderly aunt, mom and dad as well as my son who just got out of drug rehab.” She is trying to figure out how often she will be able to drive the hour and a half down the Parkway to visit them while learning how to set boundaries with her son and still let him live his own life. “I have enough to deal with!” She said again in her heart. “This doesn’t involve me, I didn’t do it and I want nothing to do with it.”

But the Zoom call from earlier that morning as she talked with her Black friends from church regarding their feelings about the injustice done to George Floyd continued ringing through her mind as she recounted the pain she heard in their voices on the other end of the call. When it was her turn to speak she continued, “No, I don’t know how you feel” she said but neither do you know how I feel.” She justified herself enough to continue to ignore the pain that they and millions of people across the globe were feeling at what was done to not just a man named George Floyd, but what the death of George Floyd represented; the continual injustices being done to the Black population as a whole.

As she hung up the Zoom call, she put on her sneakers to go for her usual walk around the neighborhood. But this time, as she walked past the huge mini-mansions that lined her streets, she suddenly realized that if she were a Black woman she would have been watched like a hawk by the residents of the neighborhood or even had the police called on her to make sure she wasn’t planning to rob their houses.

You see, it’s not just about George Floyd. It’s about the racial injustices that we’ve been dealing with for way too long in this country that nobody has been exposing until now. We can stand up for racial injustice if we each do our part together.

How are you standing up for the injustices of racism, sexism or LGBT?

The waiting is the hardest part

Sunrise 7:04 am

I’m waiting. Waiting for what? I’m waiting for life to pass me by. You see, I wake up, have my coffee, log my meals, do my exercise, plan my activities for the day, go to work, make the dinner, spend the time with friends and family, but I sense I am doing this all wrong.

Usually, I do these things with the goal to finish the activity, eat the meal, pass the time and go back to bed. Today, this mindset is not sitting well with me. Why? This mindset is robbing me of the moments and relationships in my life that matter most.

I’m a planner, a mover and a shaker. Everyday, I make things happen to reach my goals at work and in life. But somehow I’ve forgotten to be mindful in those moments. My fear is that life is going to pass me by and I will not have noticed it.

I will not have sat on the bench in my vestibule first thing in the morning with my hot cup of coffee to watch the 15 minute display that the artist creates as He picks and chooses his palette in the sky.

I didn’t sit with my sons in their bedrooms at night and ask them how their days went. How many customers did Harry serve at the gelato shop where he works because the coronavirus has put restrictions on how many people can gather at restaurants.

And what kind of vegetables should Hunter and I grow in our garden this year? I like green onions, dad likes cucumbers and Bob, our bearded dragon, likes green squash.

I haven’t made the time to get with my husband, putting work and tv shows aside, to look into his eyes and ask him, “how is life going for you so far?” And “I appreciate you spending time talking with our 17 year old son yesterday. Do you want to go get take-out gelato on Thursday night between 4-8? Harry’s working.”

Hey, it’s not too late now to begin again. And again.

How are you doing experiencing the moments in your life?

An Easy Yoke

I named my blog “Sugar Free, Easy!” because once I started listening to my body’s hunger signals I could then figure out what I really felt like eating at any given meal.

Do I feel like having chicken? whole grains? brown rice and beans? rye bread with butter? vegetables? low sugar fruit tart with walnuts and yogurt? There is so much freedom! It’s really so EASY! The key is making sure you have the ingredients to make these foods on hand and prepared for when hunger strikes.

In Matthew 11:18-20 (NIV) it says,“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is EASY and my burden is light.”

Wow! Have you ever felt weary and burdened after going on and off a diet or by making the wrong food choices time and time again? I have! Jesus says, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me.”

When two oxen are made to carry a load, a yoke is fitted around their necks in order to ease the load of the weaker ox. In this example, I am the weaker ox and Jesus is the stronger one. My plowing will be much EASIER with him beside me. If he is the stronger ox it would be wise for me to follow him and let him guide me.

The same could be said about letting him guide me in every area of my life including making healthy food choices. Even when I stumble in this area his grace covers me and I know the way back up. Thank you, Lord!

In what area of your life do you need to yoke yourself to Jesus?