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Shutters

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I pray...that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know the hope to which He has called you! Ephesians 1:18 Shutters When my hubby Rey and I were newly married, we found ourselves living in the south of France. Rey had been recruited to play semi-pro basketball in the quaint little town of "Valence sŭr Bäise", just 90 kilometers from the Pyrenees Mountains and the border of Spain. As one might expect, there were innumerable adjustments to be made in a culture quite different from our own. The first and most prominent was getting used to the seven-hour time-zone change. But it was not just our internal clocks that needed tweaking; our taste buds had to learn to acclimate as well. Being typical American's, we were accustomed to eating hamburger, but not to eat...
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Woman, Why Are You Weeping?

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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 the front teeth had been knocked out. I slowly got out of the car and walked over to where the front door had been. I stood there, in that gaping black hole surrounded by emptiness and burnt trees. I remember falling to the ground...
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In the Garden

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"Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song." —Pope John Paul II In the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden containing a new tomb in which nobody had yet been laid. Because it was the preparation day and because the garden tomb was conveniently near, they laid Jesus in this tomb. On the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene arrived at the tomb, very early in the morning, while it was still dark, and noticed that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. Mary stood outside the tomb weeping. As she wept, she knelt to look into the tomb and saw two angels sitting there, dressed in white, one at the head, the other at the foot of where Jesus' body had been lain. They said to her, "Woman, why are you crying?" "Because they have t...
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On the Cross

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By Joy Lenton brought down to dust his body pierced and soul crushed never more alone trapped in the deepest darkness no wriggle room on the cross his weakened voice cries out nevertheless to the Father desolation reigns supreme in this hour becoming sin his heart broken as his father turns away cannot look at him at his glorious Son ingloriously undone the skies weep the darkness closes in like a curse as heaven watches, waits with tears and bated breath it is finished groans and silent sighs escape they rent the air as dividing curtain tears heaven's rejoicing occurs © joylenton *This is posted on GODSPACELIGHT.com it's a beautiful site... 
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Meet Sarai with an "H."

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Sarah said, "God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me." —Genesis 21:6 Meet Sarai. She is ninety years of age. Abram was nearly 100. Well past childbirth. But God had a special surprise up his sleeve, and Sarah would bear a son in one year. I forgot the story… "No longer will be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father to many nations of you, kings will come from you. As for Sarai you wife; her name will be Sarah. I will bless her and will give you a son. Abraham fell facedown; and laughed and said to himself, will be a son be born to man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a son at the age of ninety." —Genesis 17:15-17 The Hebrew letter "h" is the letter symbolizes breath. The Hebrew people felt that writ...
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Wave Battered But Faith Filled - Naomi

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Death, like ocean waves, surrounded me, and I was almost swallowed by its flooding waters. 2nd Samuel 22:6 I have heard it said that trouble comes in threes. I know it's just an old wife's tale, but oddly enough it happens from time-to-time. It's happened to me. How about you? The first time it happened I was a freshman in college. The troubles started when my parents divorced and sold our home. A couple months later I was involved in a rollover car accident that completely totaled my car. Then three months later, after a constant struggle with neurological issues, I discovered that I had broken my neck in the accident. Surgery, a month-long hospital stay and six months in a metal body/neck brace followed. Fragile and unable to care for myself, I was released into the care of my precious G...
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At Every Moment

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 At every moment and every situation, God is the intimate, attentive and encouraging friend. — John O'Donohue/ Anam Cara I love my precious Savior… You are acquainted with all my ways… —Psalm 139:3. He walks so intimately with me, on this journey I am on. A journey with dementia and primary progressive aphasia. I love this quote by Frederick Buechner, "If we keep our hearts and minds open, if we listen with patience and hope…then I think we come to recognize, beyond all doubt, that however faintly we may hear him, he is indeed speaking to us...his word comes to each of us is precious beyond telling." "Like singing on a boat during a terrible storm at sea. You can't stop the raging storm but singing can change the hearts and spirits of the people who are together on that ship." ― ...
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Happy Valentine's Day!

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We love our readers... thank you so much! Emilie, LuAnn, Julie and Sally
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Count Your Blessings

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Faith is the strength by which a shattered world shall emerge into the light. - Helen Keller Throughout the years, it has been my habit to keep a Faith Journal. I call it a Faith Journal because what I have written on those pages... when my faith is firm and the eyes my heart are open to see the various blessings that God has touched my life with, have been the greatest source of encouragement to me when my faith is especially thin, and my eyes so clouded with tears that I have a hard time seeing God's presence anywhere. As I flip through that journal, I am reminded that yes! God has walked with me through every twist and turn along life's way. He has whispered my name on the wind and touched my innermost being with beauty. He has embraced me through the hugs of friends and spoken dee...
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A Recipe for 2021

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Our Pastor at Genesis East Covenant Church has challenged us to write a Recipe for the New Year. To leave the past behind, one needs to remove something in order to move forward. It as if we crossed the river… never to return to the other side. This is what our Pastor said was the beginning of recipe: The first thing he told us is to remember. In Joshua 4:1-9 they set up a memorial of twelve stones, so they could remember where they been, what they overcame and where they are headed next. The next thing he told is to be still. From Exodus 14:14, "The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still." The following thing he told us… to be filled with courage. Joshua 1:9, "because God is with you." Let go of your burden. "Come to me when you are weary and I wi...
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Happy New Year's Blessings

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We wish you a blessed Happiest of New Year's!! We truly hope that God gives his guidance this year... and embracing spiritually will create beautiful changes and may the Lord find his way to your heart. Emilie, LuAnn, Julie and Sally 
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Merriest Christmas Blessings

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We want to thank you, dear readers, for following us this year...  We love you!   Emilie, LuAnn, Julie and Sally 
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Christmas Memories

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These people we once knew are not just echoes of voices that have years since ceased to speak, but saints in the sense that through them something of the power and richness of life itself not only touched us once long ago, but continues to touch us still.—Frederick Buechner It happens every Christmas. I get nostalgic. Perhaps it is the music. Whenever those old familiar carols play, sweet memories come flooding over me...like the year that my family decided to surprise my grams and gramps in Pennsylvania with an unexpected Christmas visit. I can still remember it like it was yesterday. Scurrying around the house like Christmas mice in the darkness of the early morning hours, packing the car with gifts, travel games and suitcases. It was such delicious fun! When the long stretches through I...
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Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

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Sending you much love at Thanksgiving! We are so thankful for our readers, Emilie, LuAnn, Julie and Sally 
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Gratitude

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Before you get started, find a comfortable spot where you can sit quietly with your Savior. Spend a few minutes in silence. Ask God to meet you there in the quietness of this moment and to speak His heart to you as you sit with Him. Have a journal and pen/pencil ready to jot down any thoughts that come to you during this experience. Take a moment now to read through the following Scripture passage slowly. You may want to read it out loud. As Jesus continued on toward Jerusalem, he reached the border of Galilee and Samaria. As he entered a village there, ten lepers stood at a distance, crying out, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!" He looked at them and said, "Go show yourselves to the priests." And as they went, they were healed of their leprosy. One of them, when he saw that he was healed...
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Powerlessness

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Embrace uncertainty. Some of the most beautiful chapters in our lives won't have a title until much later. —Bob Goff I was at Mayo recently and the Neurologist told me that I'm in the early stages of Primary Progressive Aphasia. It's progressive and at some point, along the line, I will not be able to speak. I've struggling to find words since early April 2019. I needed a PET Scan when I was at Mayo, but I couldn't find the words. So, Rey stepped in and said the words for me. My speech pathologist said that I need a journal when I make phone calls. I write out the things I need to say, and voila, it works. I wish I had it at Mayo that day. I am powerless against this disease. I can take supplements, but I am still helpless against this disease. It's hard to be powerless.&nbs...
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Monday Meditation

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I’ve been inspired by Christine Sine’s Facebook columns on Christian Poets and Writers page. Her actual website is www.godspacelight.com  Tom and I have just returned from a very wet neighbourhood walk – such a contrast from a week ago when the dry smoke-filled air carried toxic chemicals and was hazardous to breathe. It is so good to breathe fresh air again and be able to enjoy our beautiful neighbourhood walks. I have found myself gasping in awe at the patterns of raindrops on flowers, leaves and even spiderwebs. The rain has invigorated me, and, not surprisingly, had me searching for my post on rain walking from last year where I talked about how good rain is for us in body, mind and spirit. This year, however, my daily rain walks have made me hyper aware of tho...
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The Fragility of Passing Beauty

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For everything there is a season... Ecclesiastes 3:1 We have left summer behind and now it is autumn. The yellow of the birch trees, the different shades of red and orange of the maples, and the green of the willows is startling. My orange maple is shedding its leaves on this late September day. Sorry to see them drop to the ground. But it is the fragility of passing beauty… from summer to autumn, from autumn to winter. Repeating itself all over again next year, and the next. It is hard to confront winter again. I love spring, summer, and autumn. But winter, it's so cold here. It feels like it’s never ending… But that's where faith comes in. Knowing that spring may be just around the corner. Faith is not an effort, a striving, a ceaseless seeking as so may earnest souls suppose. ...
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Have a Blessed Labor Day!

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To our precious readers, we wish you a blessed Labor Day...  Love to you,  Emilie, LuAnn, Julie and Sally
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A Bright Field

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Our besetting sin is to hurry, and the remedy is to turn aside: I have seen the sun break through to illuminate a small fieldfor a while, and gone my wayand forgotten it. But that was the pearlof great price, the one field that hadthe treasure in it. I realize nowthat I must give all that I haveto possess it. Life is not hurrying on to a receding future, nor hankering afteran imagined past. It is the turningaside like Moses to the miracleof the lit bush, to a brightnessthat seemed as transitory as your youthonce, but is the eternity that awaits you. R. S. Thomas (1913–2000) was an Anglo-Welsh poet and Anglican priest who lived in Wales and served in small rural parishes with his wife, the artist Mildred "Elsi" Eldridge. Yet Thomas insists that life is found when we, like Moses, turn a...
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God Knows Best

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Poem by Helen Steiner Rice Our Father knows what's best for us, So why should we complain We always want the sunshine, But He knows there must be rain We love the sound of laughter And the merriment of cheer, But our hearts would lose their tenderness If we never shed a tear... Our Father tests us often With suffering and with sorrow, He tests us, not to punish us, But to help us meet tomorrow... For growing trees are strengthened When they withstand the storm, And the sharp cut of a chisel Gives the marble grace and form... God never hurts us needlessly, And He never wastes our pain For every loss He send to us Is followed by rich gain... And when we count the blessings That God has so freely sent, We will find no cause for murmuring And no time to lament... For our Father loves His child...
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He leads beside still waters...

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He leads me beside quiet waters… he restores my soul. —Psalm 23:2 I am sitting by still waters today, but there is a party on the lake. People having fun; diving in and dive-bombing into the water. Someone is tubing on the lake as well, and jets skis too. It is not exactly quiet, but it does restore my soul. Just when I was going to write that it is calmed down now, there is another whoop from the party boat. It is so peaceful here by the water, despite the party. I took my shoes off and dangled my feet in the lake. I love the sound of water lapping up on the shore. It is so soothing. It reminds me of the Allegheny river when I was young. My Grandpa Simey would take us out on the rowboat. We would pack a lunch and I remember the waves lapping on the shore of the river as we parked our boat...
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Summertime Fun

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We Heart Matters gals are taking the month of July off as a writing hiatus. We'll be back in August!!! Emilie, LuAnn, Julie and Sally
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Flowing Grace of Now

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Consider how parched wasteland can become a blossoming meadow after a good rain. The challenge, of course, is to live mindfully so that we do not miss the lessons hidden in the seasons. Hold each season up against your life. Consider the little flowers growing up through the deadwood. The deadwood is a source of life for them. It is their mulch. What can this teach you about the apparent deadwood in your own life? What is your mulch? What helps you grow? What can the seasons teach you? —Marcrina Wiederkehr I have been diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia. It effects my speech. I want to LEARN from my struggles, my questions, and my unrest. The first thing that the seasons teach me is that it is always changing. Spring blossoms in crocus, daffodils, and tulips. Late spring produces the lo...
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In Honor of George Floyd

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"Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness. " Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  We are lamenting with our brown and black brothers and sisters.  And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Look! God's dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 'He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." Revelation 21: 2-4
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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 62 this year. 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 finishing my degree in relational communications and plan to graduate in the spring of 2020!! I am thankful I have had time 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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