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Dear Jesus, Do Something

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​ " Dear Jesus, do something." ― Vladimir Nabokov One of my hubby's favorite movies is Bruce Almighty . Bruce is a down-on-his-luck TV reporter who complains to God that he is not doing his job correctly. But, then God offers him the chance to try being God himself for one week. His first response was to answer all the prayers of the people with a simple yes. However, he soon learned it was not that simple after all. He thought if he answered yes to everyone's prayers it would all go smoothly. But instead it made a huge mess of things…fast. Sometimes we believe God isn't doing his job correctly either. Especially when he doesn't answer our cries for help in the way that we think he should. Or when it drags on for weeks, months or even years. Have you ever felt as if your prayers were bounc...
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Two Four-Letter Words

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​ Don't give up before the miracle happens.  ― Fannie Flagg There are two four-letter words that tripped up folks in Jesus' day and they continue to trip up a good many of us today. Oh, I'm not talking about swear words, I'm talking about two little words that can literally change the course of one's life . The first word is can't and just saying this word suggests to us limitations, defeat and resignation. The second word is ​ won't ​ , and it can render us unapproachable and unbendable. When Jesus stepped into the lame man's world, he found not only a broken body lying there by the pool, he found a broken soul. Although the man lies by that pool in Bethesda looking for a miracle, he believed in his heart that it would never happen to him.Because he felt that no one cared about him, ...
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Wonder Woman?

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We all have a Wonder Woman inside us. — Diane Von Furstenburg I used to be a Wonder Woman. I used to juggle leadership roles, writing, working, being a mom and wife well. Somewhere along the way, I seemed to have lost her. And I've been struggling to find her ever since. I don't know if it's hitting the 60's that's doing it. Or if it's the medication I'm on. But I can hardly juggle a single ball well. I know women who have gone back to school at my age. Maybe I just need to stimulate my mind a bit more. I know that winter has a chilling effect on me. I kind of do what the bears do… hibernate. Now that it is spring perhaps, I can find that rhythm again. I've come to the prayer cabin to rediscover that person that's down deep inside of me. A time to be alone with God and hear his heart for m...
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Guilty

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Whenever the Lord raised up a judge...he was with the judge. The Spirit of the Lord came on them. — Judges 2:18 and 3:10 I was downtown St. Paul the other day and drove past the courthouse. Although it's been over a couple of decades since I was selected to sit on a jury for the murder trial of a sixteen-year-old, just driving by the place brought memories flooding back as if it were yesterday. I had been selected by the defense because I had a sixteen-year-old son at the time. It was one of the most surreal experiences I've ever had. We handled the gun that was used in the shooting. We saw horrific pictures and videos of the victim sprawled out on the ground. Heard stories from both sides. It was nauseating. I felt torn in two. And I couldn't share anything with anyone. Yet, during the pr...
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Woman, why are you weeping?

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Many of you are familiar with our guest writer, Hannah Fordice, if you've been reading us for the past year or two. She has had a difficult journey through grief and loss. Yet, this precious devotional is so full of hope.  The last time I went home was in early spring. It had become increasingly obvious that it wasn't feasible for us to keep the property any longer. After all, there was nothing on it anymore. My husband and I drove down the familiar dirt road in silence until we came to the mailbox I had passed a million times throughout my life. But that's where the familiarity ended. When we turned in the driveway, I was met with… nothing. That place where the log house my dad built stood nestled in pines like a postcard was now empty. It looked like a hockey player's mouth where th...
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Unlikely Friendship

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Friendship can be found in the most unlikely places, if you are willing to open your heart. — Unknown Lately, I have found myself flipping through catalogs filled with peonies. I know there is still snow on the ground, but a girl can dream, can't she? My friend Lynn and I have made our way out to Swenson Gardens in Cokato to walk through fields and fields of peonies. There is every variety, from simple single-petaled ones to big puffy ones that look like roses. And there is every hue, from pale yellow to peach, from bright red to a beautiful shade of burgundy. We each pick out our favorites, pay for them, and then make the trip back out in September to pick up our plants. This may sound odd to you, but the thing I love most about peonies is that if you plant a peony bush, ants will be sure...
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What Luck?

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Now that it's the month of March, that means that many of us will be celebrating St. Paddy's Day. The luck of the Irish and all that. So that got me thinking...  If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have any luck at all. —Booker T. Jones When it comes to playing card games, I'm usually the one with the highest score. Which translates…last place. Some folks have all the luck when it comes to drawing the right card at the right time. Others of us don't. Is life just luck and happenchance? Or is there more to it than that? Some people fall into their careers naturally. Others of us flounder around and can't seem to find the right path. Does that have to do with luck or something else altogether? According to Serena Williams she believes it is all about hard work. Luck has...
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Love is... a Valentine for you

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This  is how God showed his love to us: He sent his one and only Son into the world so that we could have life through him.  ― 1st John 4:9 To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything. It liberates us from pretense, humbles us out of our self-righteousness, and fortifies us for any difficulty life can throw at us. ― Timothy J. Keller God  loved  the  world  so much that he gave his one and only s o n so  that whoever believes in him may not be lost, but have eternal life. ― John 3:16 To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly b...
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Frozen

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How cold is it? It's so cold... We don't clean the house — we defrost it! It's so cold... We wear layers of clothing so if we fall and can't get up, we can stay there until somebody finds us and rolls us home! Just a few days ago, we experienced blizzard conditions. A flurry of white. Now we are in a deep freeze. With below zero temperatures that drive you inside. But we Minnesotan's try to make the best of these cold temperatures. We like to experiment by blowing bubbles outdoors or throwing a cup of boiling water off our decks and watching them instantaneously freeze. If you haven't tried this, you must! It's super cool. We are hardy types. We build ice castles, make snow sculptures, throw a winter carnival, cross country ski, snowboard, skate, and even snowshoe. If you can't beat the we...
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Finding Wholeness

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For the month of January we Heart Matters gals are going to be writing about brave women... women who had courage, women who faced into whatever life offered them. Women like you and me. Women from the Bible. We pray that their lives will be a blessing to you... She packed up her potential and all she had learned, grabbed a cute pair of shoes and headed out to change a few things — Leigh Stanley Have you ever been so desperate that you were willing to risk everything, even your reputation, to find healing for all your broken bits? To finally find the wholeness you've been longing for? Most of us are timid to share the truth about ourselves. Our secret struggles. The ugly stuff lurking just under the surface. I think that's why I love the story in Mark 5:24-34 so much. The character in...
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A Blessed Christmas and Happy New Year to you all...

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We are praying that you, dear ones, will experience the very near presence of the Savior in all of your gatherings and celebrations. That you will know his peace despite your circumstances, his joy although you may feel despair and His deep, abiding love... for He loves you beyond words...for  that is why He came to earth... for the love of us. The Heart Matters gals, LuAnn, Sally, Nicole and Julie  
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Gifts: For Your Friends and Family

Gifts: For Your Friends and Family
Discovering God in the Ordinary: Four Women. Different Journeys. Same Pursuit. We often expect to feel God's presence in joyous mountaintop experiences or when walking through the darkest valley, but we mustn't forget that God can surely be found in the ordinary moments of our lives. In this devotional, we seek to inspire you to find God in your everyday life, whether it's dropping your kids off at school, waiting in the checkout line at your local grocery store, or meeting a friend over coffee. Because here's the truth: God wants to invade every part of our lives, but sometimes, it's just a matter of us opening our eyes to see his hand moving all around us. About our Authors : Heidi is a young wife and mom balancing two toddlers and an infant. Jo is busy balancing the many different roles...
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The In-Between

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Distressing as these in-between times of the season may be, they can also be nourishing for the soul. —Macrina Wiederkehr Walking in the woods lately I've begun to spot signs of this in-between place. Many trees have long lost their coat of many colors and stand naked against a gray sky and chilly wind. It looks like winter. But it isn't quite yet. Although there is snow on the ground and the temperatures are falling, we have another few weeks before winter sets in in earnest. I can feel the seasons change as I continue to walk the woods. The air is brisker than it once was. Squirrels are fattening themselves for the months to come. And a layer of ice has formed on the nearby lake. There are fewer bird songs in these quiet woods. The trees groan as they relinquish themselves to this i...
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God Sees You

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If you sold a few sparrows, how much would you get? A penny perhaps? Yet, your Father in heaven knows when those small birds fall to the ground. Beloved, you are more valuable to God than even these. God knows everything about you, even the number of hairs on your head. —Matthew 10:29-30 Tucked into the Wisconsin woods at a prayer cabin one afternoon, a sweet little bird flew into the picture window where I was sitting. The sickening thud stopped my heart for a second. I instantly jumped up, looked out the window and saw that little bird sprawled out on the leaf-covered ground. I grabbed a towel, like my mom always does when a bird hits her window, and went out to investigate. The little bird lay motionless with its tiny wing bent backwards. I thought it was dead. But, when I rea...
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When Blustery Winds Blow

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I am like a deaf man who cannot hear…  Be not silent. Do not be far from me, O Lord. Psalm 38:13a / 35:22b The wind blew strong all through the night, rattling windows… and my nerves…and today it blusters still.Even as I sit here, it howls and hollers. Our neighbor's screen door slams open and closed, being pushed and pulled with each stiff gust. Leaves scurry and scatter across our lawn in every direction. The typical sounds of a neighbor's dog barking or of traffic hurrying along the nearby highway are muffled, if not silenced, by the wind's boisterous behavior. But, it is not just the wind that has been blustering of late. My mind feels tumultuous as well. Unsettled thoughts have been clamoring noisily in my head; yet, the more I try to pull them together, the more strewn they beco...
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When you lose your child's future

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​We have the very sweet privilege to share the following story by ​ Hannah Michele Fordice ​ . When she lost her dad to a house fire, she also lost the precious child she was carrying. If you've experienced miscarriage or someone close to you has, you will blessed and encouraged by what you read today.  Although 15-20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage, I don't often hear about the effect this kind of loss has on the women who've experienced it. Its like society has gagged 1/4 of the female population into silent, invisible grief. And to be honest, I'm guilty of holding the gag in place. Its not that I haven't wanted to write about my miscarriage… I have. I just honestly didn't know how. Because how do you describe what it is to miss something you never got to have? I remember when my...
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The Art of Listening

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Listening seems to be a lost art these days. Most folks in today's culture would rather debate than dialogue. And we're rather an opinionated lot. Instead of being quick to listen and slow to speak, we tend to be quick to speak our minds and slow to bite our tongues and listen. It's so easy to talk over each other without really hearing what is being said. If we're honest with ourselves we are often formulating our response (or rebuttal) before the other person can complete their thought.  Listening is  truly an art form. Art, true beauty-filled art, requires skill. And skill is cultivated with hard work and study. The more time spent practicing one's skill, one's art, the more one develops an eye, ear, and feel for it. With time and practice art becomes ...
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The Desert

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The desert is lovely in its restfulness—the great brooding stillness over and through everything is so full of God. —Lilias Trotter Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert...where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days... When the devil had finished all this tempting...Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Holy Spirit. —Luke 4:1-2, 14 It's hard to imagine going without food for forty days. Experiencing the darkest of temptations. And not only overcoming them, but, stepping out of the desert full of the power of the Holy Spirit. Yet, that is exactly what the New Testament account states. I've never been to a desert. The closest I've come was out on the western range of Colorado and eastern Utah. It's considered to be semi-desert shrubland. B...
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A Blessed Labor Day to you!

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This summer flew by quickly... I'm sure you all feel the same way. And now autumn will quickly be upon us in all it's colorful beauty. It's chilly temps. The smell of fires in the fireplaces.  But, until then. We pray that you will enjoy these last fleeting moments before school begins and life shifts into high gear. God bless you dear readers - we are so very grateful for you! LuAnn, Heidi and Julie
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When Tensions Run High

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​ Peace is the result of retraining your mind to process life as it is, rather than as you think it should be. —Dr. Wayne W. Dryer It's always a little harrowing to drive into a city that you're unfamiliar with. As I am the navigator or the directions person in our vehicle and my hubby the driver, invariably that can lead to high tension. I hadn't been to Pittsburgh in over twenty years. Besides that, whenever we did go we always drove down with my aunt and uncle, who knew the city like the back of their hand. But, Pittsburgh was precisely where the American Cheese Society Conference was being held this year. As we approached the city and crossed over Veteran's Bridge, we desperately searched for our exit into downtown. It wasn't until we passed the exit that we realized it went by another...
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Nourished

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  I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water. —Psalm 63:1 It was raining in Big Sky the day I had all to myself to write. From our condo in the treetops I watched the pine trees sway to the rhythm of each gusty wind that blew. Rain splattered large sloppy drops across the window pane. Lone mountain was obscured from view in heavy gray clouds. And it was chilly. Sometimes the raindrops looked more like snowflakes. And it was July. But, oh was it green. We had traveled to Big Sky from Colorado. A state that hadn't seen a drop of rain in months. And it was parched dry. The fire risk has been at high alert. Several fires are still burning acres of land, homes and possessions as I write this. Oh, what they...
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Sum...Sum...Summertime

Sum...Sum...Summertime
​ Summer afternoon, summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language. Henry James   Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time. John Lubbock I walk without flinching through the burning cathedral of the summer. My bank of wild grass is majestic and full of music. It is a fire that solitude presses against my lips.  Violette Leduc Sweetest blessings on your summer! We Heart Matters girls are taking July off to soak in the summer sun, drink in the wild air and wade our toes blissfully in the cool lakes and streams! See you in August! LuAnn, Heidi and Julie
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Your Letter to Your Younger Self

Your Letter to Your Younger Self
We’d love to hear the letters you would write to your younger self, if you could bridge the span of time. What counsel would you give yourself? What do you wish you had known when you were a child, teen or young adult?  Please post your letters in the Comment section or on our Facebook page! We really would love for you to share them with us! ❤️
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Dear Me...

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We are beginning a new series for the month of June called  A  Letter to My Younger Self . We pray that it will both resonate with you and encourage you. Dear Me, If I could impart some wisdom to you from this my 60th year, I'd like to tell you something you were never told growing up. You is kind. You is smart. You is important.* You is kind. Kindness is the gift of a tender heart. A heart of which you have. It is a heart that has experienced it's share of pain and trauma and yet sees the world as good, as beauty-filled. Because you are tenderhearted and a bit of a romantic, you will not fare well with the rigidity of your upbringing. You will feel the need to be molded into an acceptable version of you. The thing is...God made you YOU. So even if y...
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Hello June!

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​As long as the earth lasts, there will always be a time to plant and a time to gather the crops. As long as the earth lasts, there will always be cold and heat. There will always be summer and winter, day and night. Genesis 8:22 June is the gateway to summer. Jean Hersey I wonder what it would be like to live in a world that was always June. L.M. Montgomery  And since all this loveliness cannot be Heaven, I know in my heart it is June. Abba Woolsen It was June, and the world smelled of roses. The sunshine was like powdered gold over the grassy hillside. Maud Hart Lovelace  Summer is a promissory note signed in June, its long days spent and gone before you know it, and due to be repaid next January. Hal Borland  Spring being a tough act to follow, God created June. Al Bernst...
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We Heart Matters Publishing gals care about women. Their joys. Their struggles. Their everyday, ordinary lives. We write from those very same places hoping to uplift, challenge and encourage your soul and deepen your faith.

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The Heart Matters Gals

  • Julie

    Julie

    I’m turning 60 next month. I can hardly believe it myself. But, I’ve decided that I no longer want to live comfortably. I want to live with a spirit of adventure like I had in the past. To be unafraid of what’s new or different. I want to remain so open to the Spirit of the living God that his love compels me to go wherever he leads me.
  • LuAnn

    LuAnn

    I am passionate about people leaning into all that Jesus is. You. Me. Us. Journeying together with God. This is my greatest blessing. And now that my kiddos are out on their own, I’m learning to navigate my new normal. And I am finding there is life after little ones and teens after all!
  • Emilie

    Emilie

    I am currently a full-time nanny and will be returning to school in the fall of 2019 to finish mydegree in relational communications and graduate in the spring of 2020. I am using this break from school to grow, heal, appreciate a slower pace of living, and to invest more time into relationships with family, friends, and God. Through this process I am learning what I want to prioritize in my life and figuring out ways to make that happen. Most of all, I am figuring out that life is all about process, taking steps closer to where I want to be and celebrating the little victories but also accepting that there will be setbacks and disappointments along the way.
  • Sally

    Sally

    Sally Cranham is a singer and writer from the UK. She uses biblical narrative and her own experience to write deeply into the heart of the human condition. She currently works as a volunteer for SourceMN as their Arts Outreach Coordinator and has lived as a Residential Volunteer at Source’s anti-trafficking transitional annex alongside women who have come out of the life of prostitution.
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