with him

I love photographing nature, especially flowers, berries and vines. I couldn’t resist turning this one into a meme.

Just a little reminder to myself: Without my Father, I can do nothing. With Him, and as He leads, there is nothing that I cannot do!

 

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’til next time,

Betty Jo

“pursue me”

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My son’s latest article has been published on Shattered Magazine.

“My wife and I have a great marriage. We rarely fight, we make each other laugh, and we’re a great team when it comes to raising our two daughters. I will admit a rough patch several years ago that nearly changed everything. But God’s eternal grace and mercy beautifully blanketed the situation, and our marriage came out of it stronger than ever.

There has been something missing in our marriage, though—the vital ingredient to a healthy, sustained marriage. A word that makes women smile and men cringe in utter terror: intimacy.

Intimacy. It’s also a word that means something different to a wife than it does a husband. Husbands automatically think sex, while the wives think honesty, trust, conversation, simple touch, cuddling and so on and so forth.  It seems a universal truth that all men struggle with the non-physical aspect of intimacy in marriage. I know I do.”

Read the entire article by clicking: Pursue Me – The Missing Link In My Marriage

’til next time,

Betty Jo

happy new year

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This beautiful poinsettia was one of my Christmas gifts from Chris, Jen, Emily and Ashlee.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. In spite of all the rain and flooding, I made it over the mountains to be with family and friends. We had an enjoyable, fun-filled time together. I’m so very grateful.

I pray that each of you, and your families, have a truly blessed New Year.

‘til next time,

Betty Jo

my cup is overflowing

Father God is soooo INCREDIBLE!

He recently allowed me to be a teeny part of what I’m calling “A Thanksgiving/Christmas Miracle!”

My son became aware of someone in need, through social media. He sent along the info and asked me to pray with him about the situation, and how we might be of help.

The person in need lives at least 900 miles from us. If they had lived closer, we would simply have gone to this person and helped in any way possible. But, distance prevented that.

(For the rest of the story, I’ll refer to the friend in need as “Peter.” Not his real name.)

My son was also able to contact a Christian sister who lives in Peter’s area, and she indicated that she might be able to help.

As I was praying about the situation, I sensed I was to contact friends who live 1,000 miles or so, in the opposite direction from Peter. My first thought was something like, “Goodness, they live even further away; how can they possibly help?”

When I receive such clear direction during prayer, I try not to entertain human reasoning; at least not for long. Simple obedience is always best. So, I contacted the friends so far away.

After over forty years following Jesus, I’m still dumbfounded at the way He connects and brings His children together to help others.

Amazingly, our friends so far away have a relative located in the city next to where Peter lives! They contacted the family member, and in just a few days, he had given Peter much needed assistance.

In the past few days, the sister my son contacted also visited Peter and was able to help him with several pressing needs.

This week we have soooo much to be thankful for, little miracles and big ones. Nothing is too hard for our Lord! As one Facebook friend put it, “I’m drinking from my saucer because my cup is overflowing!!”

Happy Thanksgiving my brothers, sisters, and friends.

Last today, but definitely not least, please pray for Joey, Rory Feek, and their family. Joey has terminal cancer. You can read about this wonderful family by following my link to Rory’s latest blog post, and please be sure to listen to the video of Joey’s song. It is an extraordinary blessing. Please, while you’re there, read other articles on Rory’s blog concerning their situation. http://thislifeilive.com/manna-from-heaven/

‘til next time,

Betty Jo

life is crap

She was angry.

She had walked up to the cashier from the opposite direction of those of us waiting in line with our grocery carts. She clearly didn’t care she was stepping ahead of several people.

The young cashier was courteous and a true gentleman; although I’m sure it wasn’t easy for him.

I was too far back in the line to hear exactly what the problem was, but the body language was easy to read.

As I observed the scene through the tunnel created by the M&Ms on the right, and customer elbows to the left, I could see she was wearing a tee shirt that read “Life is Crap!”

I instantly thought; Perhaps life is crap for her because she works overtime to make it crap for those around her. She should be more grateful!

Would I have challenged her to wait her turn, or calm down, if I had been closer? I’m quite timid when it comes to confronting angry people, so probably not. Besides, in her state of ire, that might have been as healthy as trying to floss the fangs of a rattlesnake.

It only took a couple seconds after my initial thoughts for Holy Spirit to nudge me. I silently confessed my judgment of the angry stranger and then prayed for her, the cashier, and the whole situation. It was soon resolved, the waiting shoppers continued moving forward, and all seemed right in grocery land once again.

But; it wasn’t right in my heart.

Although I’d never make such a fashion statement with “Life is Crap!” stretched across my chest, haven’t I been just as guilty of saying the same thing in various other ways. Rather than being grateful during difficult times, thanking Jesus for providing for my needs; an inexpensive home to live in, food to eat, clothes to wear, heat, the fact that I can still walk, the ability to help others, and most of all, the love of family and friends. Haven’t I often grumbled and complained, not only internally, but to others willing to listen?

I read this recently: If you have food in your fridge, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep you are richer than 75% of the world. If you have money in the bank, your wallet, and some spare change you are among the top 8% of the world’s wealthy. If you woke up this morning with more health than illness you are more blessed than the million people who will not survive this week. If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the agony of imprisonment or torture, or the horrible pangs of starvation you are luckier than 500 million people alive and suffering. If you can read this, you are more fortunate than 3 billion persons in the world who cannot read at all.

Those statistics put things into perspective; don’t they?

Even though, it can sometimes feel like crap, Life, is incredible!!

‘til next time,

Betty Jo

life

 

Spring, here in the mountains, seems to last for a day and a half! But, it was indeed welcome after a long cold winter.

I discovered some gnarly fruit trees in a nearby park late last year. I made a note to return this year in the spring. I was rewarded with beautiful blossom shots from the old apple and crab apple trees.

 

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It’s nice to be back in the land of blog. I spent months nursing a severe bout of carpal tunnel syndrome, which almost ended my online endeavors. But, with a lot of prayer from family and friends, plus a two-month entirely raw diet, I was healed.

 

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The last couple of months brought a severe tragedy into our family. My son’s beloved father-in-law went to the doctor with flu-like symptoms and was diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer. Austin passed away about a month later and is now with our Lord.

I was privileged to be asked to help fulfill one of Austin’s last wishes; group photos of his family. God worked miracles to make that happen. First it was a miracle that all the family members were available, and came together one beautiful afternoon. And unbeknownst to all of us at the time, it was the last day Austin was able to be out of bed. God’s timing is always perfect!

It was also a miracle that I was able to get some excellent photos since I’m a nature photographer, not a people photographer. One of my favorite pictures of the day is the following candid shot of Austin and his beloved wife, Brenda.

 

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Although weak and in pain, Austin was such a good sport throughout the long ordeal. By the time the shoot was over, there were a lot of tears flowing. But, I managed to lighten the mood a little by having everyone give me their best silly faces for a few of the shots.

 

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Please continue to pray for the family as they adjust without their husband, father, grandfather, and father-in-law. My precious daughter-in-law, Jen, is the youngest of the siblings, so it’s been especially hard for her. Also, Austin was the primary caregiver for his handicapped son, Johnny. The family is working together to ensure the 24-7 care of this young man.

Lamentations 3:22-23 The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;  his mercies never come to an end; they are new  every morning; great is your faithfulness.

’til next time,

Betty Jo

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Summer Whites

I’m not sure what these white flowers are, but they were beautiful mixed in with the other summer blooms.

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Another mystery white flower I found this morning while walking out by my stream. It grows on a large bush and I’m guessing is a weed. The texture I used was created by Clive Sax.

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Here is a reminder of another extremely important white! This one is no longer a mystery to me at all; how about you?

Psalm 51:7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Hope you are all having a wonderful Sunday.

’til next time,

Betty Jo