digitI’m visiting family in Wisconsin. Meet Digit, the cat. His eyes tell it all. He is not happy to have intruders in his territory. Here he was sitting guard to keep me from coming through the dining room. Amazing how a tiny cat can keep a grown person at bay, but believe me he is intimidating.

Often I see members of our church opening their arms to welcome visitors into our gathering. But I’ve also seen members, especially those who have grown up in the church, evaluating visitors.

What if someone walks in the door who is dressed shabbily, hair unkempt? What if they don’t “smell” right?

Lifting my cup of tea this morning and thinking how Jesus didn’t hesitate to welcome even the most pitiful of beggars. He placed his hands on those with leprosy and healed them. If we are to be like him, we have a long way to go!

Have a blessed day,

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There, But by the Grace of God, Go I


Working at the church has been such a blessing! We have a homeless community almost directly across the street from us.

There is one gentleman, named Wayne, who used to do some handyman work around the church and help with unloading groceries for the Food Pantry.

Haven’t seen in in a while, but Monday he came in and asked if I could look up an address for someone in Florida. So I went to the White Pages online and wrote down the information. He was so sweet and appreciative.

Yesterday, he came again and this time he had a list of three people in Florida he wanted to find. Knowing he was from Jacksonville, Florida, which was the place where all these people lived, I was glad to help him.

Wayne needs prayer. He needs God’s help to lift him out of the situation he is currently living in. I pray he reaches some friends and relatives and that God can lead Wayne back to a more productive life.

I realize that I’m only one step away from becoming a “Wayne.” All of us are. And the grace of God is the only thing keeping me in a warm, safe home. God owns everything, but we can become prideful and thinking we have earned our way in life.

This morning, as I lift my cup of tea, I think about Wayne and offer a prayer for his safety and security as the winter months are moving closer. Please join me in thinking about the homeless communities around you and praying for them. We often close our eyes when we see homeless people, but we don’t know the circumstances. There, but by the grace of God, go I.

May your day be paved with love and your heart be filled with gratitude for all the things God has loaned us for our temporary life on earth.


Carol Ann

Believing You Can Do All Things Through Christ

When you see the smile on the face of a little child of around two feeding herself with a plastic spoon between her TOES because she has no hands, how would that make you feel?

This is one of the first things I saw this morning via a video on a friend’s Facebook wall. My first thought wasn’t about praying for her, but about asking God for forgiveness for all the times I have thought or given voice to the words, “I can’t.”

Most of us know the words and have even repeated the scripture, “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13) Do we really BELIEVE them?

God put this on my heart after watching this video so today I am going to keep that thought in my mind. What does Philippians 4:13 mean to me? I believe it takes more than faith. God gives us a way, but often I wear blinders and fall into the trap of taking the easy way out and giving up. What about you?

The picture I included is one of how my clothes looked after working to clear out our man made fish pond in preparation for doing something new. I don’t like to get muddy and dirty. I don’t like outdoor work. But when my hubby was unable, I stepped out in faith and the strength of Christ to do the things I didn’t think I could.

Lifting my cup of tea this morning as I think about the determination of a little child and the smile on her face because she is able to feed herself.

Have a blessed day,
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Living Into Changes

aug2016fbcoverChanges aren’t always welcomed in our lives. In fact, there is a book all about how differently some people approach change. Check out “Who Moved My Cheese”┬áif you want a quick read. I remember when my boss asked everyone on her team to read this book. It was an eye opener for me. But I digress.

I’m not writing this post to promote a book. My life has been filled with changes, as I’m sure yours has been, throughout my journey. Many changes have occurred in the last few years. The biggest change was learning how to live alone after my husband died. It was a huge life change.

I’ve been an author for thirteen years now. My last book was released almost a year ago. I loved writing. I still do. But God called me back to a day job working in the church where I’m a member. I am so involved in God’s work now and feeling fulfilled at a level, I cannot even explain. As an author, I felt I was working for God, but there was some “pride” involved there, too. God has shown me a new path He wants me to walk, and I look on this new opportunity as a ministry. The passion to write books has dwindled.

Weaving words is something I love to do. However, I had found myself caught up in the “rules” of writing and in doing so, my natural voice was getting lost. I found myself following a formula, and feeling like part of an algebraic equation. Perhaps it is burnout. I don’t know. God knows though, and He is directing me in a path to bring me closer into a relationship with Him. What this will lead to, only God knows, but I trust Him. I trust Him and I’m passionate about following His will.

Every morning for the past three plus years, I’ve been writing a post on Facebook to bring a smile and a bit of inspiration to help people get through the day. I’m feeling led to leave Facebook and move this morning inspiration to my blog. Saying yes to God is freeing and it brings change.

This will be a big change, not only for me, but for those who do follow me. If you are one of those Facebook friends who wants to receive a morning message as I lift my cup of tea before starting the day, please click the link to subscribe to my blog via email. You can always just visit the website daily, but by subscribing you won’t miss your morning message from me.

I ask that you pray for me as I live into this new change!


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The Difference Between a Busy Life and a Fulfilled Life

broken heartWhen I retired from my day job, I didn’t have time to think about the change this made in my life. My mother had just passed, my husband was terribly ill, and my job became one of caring for him, and pushing back the grief of how these events changed the direction of my life journey.

The quiet times of sitting with my hubby in the living room watching his favorite shows were filled with crocheting prayer shawls through a new group formed in the church I attended. We stitched together one afternoon a month, sharing new patterns and techniques, while making beautiful shawls filled with prayers for those who were stricken with illnesses, suffering losses, or even celebrating new life.

I was still writing, too. And President of one of the writing groups in my city. The hours of my days were filled, so retirement meant nothing to me, but having time to pursue things that gave me pleasure.

My husband’s condition continued to worsen, even to the point where he couldn’t attend church with me on Sunday mornings. God had answered a prayer the week before I retired by allowing my husband to remain with me for a few more years. During these three years, I watched his decline and knew God was going to call him home at any time. When that happened, it came suddenly, and I felt in my heart when the ambulance rushed him to the hospital, he wouldn’t come home again. He didn’t.

The following three years were a time of adjusting to a new life. A life where I had no one to care for. A life where I couldn’t find a purpose for being left behind. I still crafted prayer shawls, spent time with friends and family and wrote. I had more hours to spend in God’s Word. I attended Bible studies and church. But there was something missing. Something I couldn’t define. I prayed a lot. Cried some. Healed some. And still felt a little lost.

Then came a nudging from God to apply for an advertised position as part-time secretary to a new Pastor at my church. I’d been considering looking for a part-time job hoping to fill the “void” in my life, but I hadn’t really committed to doing anything about it. The position remained in the bulletin for several weeks. And God kept nudging me to take action. Finally, after a time of prayer, I grabbed my phone and texted the person in charge of hiring. Things went super fast after that. I interviewed three days later and received the news that I had been chosen that Sunday morning before church service.

There were a few hitches regarding start date and I began to feel maybe this isn’t what I should be doing. Yes, Satan, nudges me, too. Sometimes it is hard to distinguish the difference in the voices because Satan is very good at deception. So I prayed. And God humbled me by telling me He called me to the position at church, not to bless me in the way I’d expected, but to bless others and through that blessing to bless me. Wow.

This was so clear to me and I looked on the position He’d opened for me in the way He expected. As a ministry. God doesn’t make mistakes! That missing something in my life has been filled in exactly the way God planned all along. He gave me time to heal from the immediate grief of loss, then moved me along the path He’d chosen.

I am truly blessed and grateful.