The human body is a mystery, to many people – even some doctors, I imagine. God is a mystery as well. As some of you may know, via Twitter and Facebook, I had to make an unexpected trip to the hospital on Sunday, after a weekend of sudden stomach upset, sleeplessness and other strange symptoms.

I went in early morning, as the hospital ER can get quite backed up. I was taken back immediately and praying the whole time that I hadn’t wasted my time coming. I am never sick and I always feel like other people are in far more serious condition that I am. So I was just hoping that it was serious enough to justify a trip to the ER. I went through the usual tests and all. I had quite a difficult time eating, drinking and keeping anything down for the past few days, so I was given a saline IV. I also needed to drink much, much, much of this ‘yuck’ to prepare for a CAT Scan. It was difficult and just took a long time. After two hours I was ready to go down for my scan. I was worried/still that I had come for nothing. I waited in discomfort, praying that God had an answer for this strange string of events happening to me. My head swirled with worries and thoughts, Why is this happening? What caused this? etc etc.

After my scan the wait was not long – the doctors came by and indeed confirmed my suspicions. I had a perforated appendix and was going to be in surgery in the next hour or so. WOW. I knew after two days of pain, discomfort, sleeplessness and nausea that I must’ve had appendicitis. But why? There is no answer. I was just mad – mad that I was sick and had to be in the ER, mad that now I had to be out of work for two – three weeks and go into SURGERY for the first time ever. WAIT! WHOA! WHAT! I knew when I went in, I was just in denial and worried and focused on the after effects of the hospital stay – paperwork, medical bills, phone calls, follow-up appointments, work and being dependent on others for errands and such. This is just not me. I am the one who is focused, hardworking, never sick, go getter, up early and always doing something. I DON’T have time to be sick, let alone do this surgery and hospital stay thing. Come on really?

I know this is common and it happens a lot – but I wasn’t thinking it would happen. No one does. Admittedly, the symptoms were going on since Friday night and I told the doctor I was going to wait another day to come in and they were glad I hadn’t waited any longer. I remember praying all night Sat – Sun for the pain to pass and go away and now I was glad that it had led me to the hospital. My denial and procrastination would have led to more serious illness and prolonged hospital stay. I still have no idea why God allowed this to disrupt and come into my life and why now when I needed to get so many things  done.

I am here, home, healing, waiting, trusting and at the mercy of the mysteries that God had put before me. And I still have no idea why. I know I need to wait and trust God and not try to always figure things out. I am at His mercy, His will and waiting and hoping that something meaningful will come out of all of this.

Lots of Love and Prayers,

Okay, so I am not hiding out…lately. I am accepting things as they come…but I am still anxiously waiting for some relief to all this madness.

After and upside down week, some changes have been made things are going better and I am “trusting” that I am not being naive about events, should they arise. I am waiting for the calm cool spring to show its face and stay, so I can bask in the warm sun. I know the rain will come I am just trying to be prepared for it. I pray that I can be not “better” but more aware, more thoughtful, more insightful, more meaningful as a person, a woman, a friend, a sister, a daughter, a writer, a girlfriend, a teacher and a child of God.

I am walking on eggshells, as I walk through the valley, yet God is holding my hand and yet I still am weary that I can make it through.

Keep praying. Keep trusting.

The unexpected rains have fallen. The optimism for the year ahead is fleeting. The stress is building and more and more bad news comes every week.

It seems things have taken a turn for the worst and it seems like I’m losing my control.The last four weeks have been like a long, pointless journey – I am wandering in a dry desert and I pray for relief. I have turned off, tuned out and hid away. No matter how long or how far I try to run I know that nothing remains secret from God.

Yet I feel major pressure to react, change cirumstances, DO SOMETHING, seek answers but nothing comes — silence. The silence is deafening. I know I’ve lost control maybe to God – but I wish he’d answer me and let me in on some of these forth coming events.

 It is so hard to wait in the silence.

Still buried in snow...paperwork...tasks...

Last week, I had a chance to catch-up on some things – a snow (and icy pellets falling from the sky) day came my way. I had the opportunity to get cleaning done, writing, organize goals, reading etc. Just a day to put everything into place. 

This year thus far, has been a little off. Lets just say I didn’t start off on the right foot – directionless, in a funk and just out of it. However, I have come to realize that everything is a learning experience. Almost immediately, I went on a task doing craze – yet I spent most of the day at my desk and  my prioritizing goals were thwarted. Hence the Christmas decor still hangs and I had realized that my devotional time was way behind. WAY BEHIND.

I had neglected my time and devotions. By the time Saturday had arrived I was so strung out. The events of the day only served as more stress and aggravation. Earlier in the week, my car tire had gone flat and Wednesday afternoon was spent in annoyance and frustration. By Thursday my computer had decided to throw another temper-tantrum and more time was wasted on fixing that issue (which is on again/off again).  While Saturday looked up – a day to get things accomplished and working out a way to get a new pc system 🙂 Yay! The events of the new computer hook up only further frustrated me and monopolized time with friends and family.

Late, Saturday night I tried to sleep but couldn’t. I was totally consumed with why the computer wouldn’t recognize the internet connection, why why why???? I was obsessed and throwing all of my time and energy into it. After only a few hours of sleep. I awoke early, headed to the store to get some coffee and gas for the car. I returned home and tried to hook the old computer back up in an attempt to get some configuration info out of it. But it wouldn’t and still won’t start up windows grrr total frustration. I broke down and cried. I felt helpless and stupid and just useless. This was the dumbest thing ever. I decided to take a break and I opened up my Jesus Calling book only to find it had been unread since TUESDAY what???? What happened? I was determined to spend the morning reading through the past week – I am so glad I did. And I wished I had done it earlier. It was exactly what I needed (Jan 17 – Jan 24) each day to focus my time on God and prioritize tasks and events. If I had done my devotions earlier I may have been better prepared to handle the frustrating events of Saturday. After some time with God and some new fresh eyes and a clear mind. I called my ISP people and the problem was solved in ten minutes and I was given further info as well. It was like the answer was so close and simple. And I missed it and I obsessed over it. I never asked for help – I wanted to do it myself. I was stubborn. I need to realize my limits and when I need help. Jesus was and is calling me, He is calling you and if you will let Him – He will lead your path, guide your steps and give you the peace you need.

What are you focusing your time and attention on? What is monopolizing your days? Family? Life?

As always, Grace and Peace be with you,

It’s refreshing scene, the crisp and clear day after the snowfall. This is last year February 11, 2010 after a big storm that left two or so feet of snow on the ground here in Emmaus and the Lehigh Valley. I love snow days, even as an adult I have always loved snow days. It is that calm quiet day that gives you the excuse to rest, relax and take it easy. Or to catch up on those things that you have not yet done. That is exactly what I need.  Mind you and I am a procrastinator, totally. I am scheduled and rigid with some things but I often like to go with the flow and see where the day’s events lead (now I work with toddlers, twos and threes so that explains a lot – often times our days are dependant on each moment or the teachable moments). I have just spent the whole weekend at home and I am wondering what I even accomplished?

1. I did get all the laundry done. 2. I learned a lot about our wood stove and how to keep it hot during the day (would love any advice on that too – shoot me a comment :-)). 3. I cleaned my desk – somewhat organization is a constant battle with me. 4. I learned that my motivation runs so low – when I am not scheduled. I am working on this and I would ask you dear readers to pray for me on this. Sunday, Northpoint Ministries‘ Andy Stanley talked about the “cumulative” time that we must all put in to achieving goals – ie time with our Lord, devotional time, prayer, exercise, study etc. And I believe that is one of my many faults. I have not given my little bits of time when I should have to many things.  In all my fury, frustration, procrastination, haste, waste and disorganization….there is something constantly in my line of view…

Everytime I look at my desk, cluttered or uncluttered, my Jesus Calling devotional is always in view. No matter how messy things get God is never completely out of reach. I can always grasp those moments with my Saviour.

My days can be filled with one big task or I can steal away for those moments a little at a time to get to those goals. Instead of feeling defeated and unmotivated I can use my time wisely (also in the NI section of my grade school report cards :-/). My time with my Lord can always “need improvement”. Living fully within the grace the Saviour is all anyone needs.

As cliche’ as it sounds all I am counting on this year is “hope” – the hope that I can put in my time to live my life fully to the glory and honor of God. No matter how hard it will be and those times that will try my patience, faith and self-worth my Lord and Saviour is behind me, beside me and ahead of me guiding and guarding my way.  Jesus is calling me to set aside that time each day with Him to hear his voice and will for each day. My hope and faith is that I can catch up, use my time wisely and richly.

Now, I HOPE I can tackle this icy mess....

...not deep, but see its got an icy cover on it...its gonna be tough.

I am sure I can get it all done today…along with the other stuff – writing, taking the Christmas decorations down, dinner, etc. Pray with me that we all can put those important things first or give those moments each day to achieving our goals and making time (quality time) for God.

Love and Blessings for each moment of your day,

I’m not going to lie, this past year was just dreadful. Nothing really in particular happened that was awful – but this past year was just full of negativity, pain and anxiety. I never remember ever feeling like I’ve wanted a year to be over as soon as 2010.

The year started off well – with hope or denial – I can’t decide which one yet. I refused to let the negative vibes enter as 2010 began. I turned 3o in February and thinking of the past I started to reminisce and reflect – I began to blog, kind of :-). I had hopes of making 2010 one to remember. Things started well. Then the spring set in with ALOT of work, stress and anxiety. I began to worry how I would juggle all that I  wanted to do. I admit, I bit off a little too much and I became bogged down with work and stress. I held in alot of my stress and became bitter, angry and regret set in.  With all the stresses in my work and personal life – I began to shut down and give up hope.

I became frozen – like a lone soul in the “bleak mid winter”. The summer was blazing hot and my heart was cold and frozen. I was so upset that it had taken me a year to come to terms with the previous year’s let down {Post on Sanctification} and here I was again in another funk and dreading the dawn of each day. Dreading work, family and personal stresses, finances, church, yes even – writing. And it had, and has,  been some time since I had seen my love and best friend, things were just not looking great. With stresses there and here I had been wearing thin – how was I supposed to hold everyone up when I felt so drained?

Through the summer I braved the heat, long hours at work, late nights, early mornings – trying to carve some time for myself and trying even harder to feel comfortable enough to go to church. The summer ended just as quickly as it began and the bite of fall set in. I managed to make it through my father’s open heart surgery, my uncle’s funeral and a new job prospect (which is one of the best things going right now 🙂 – I love it!!).

The anxiety and worry have still remained. The holidays were very hard – I love Christmas and forcing myself into the holiday was so unnatural to me. All I could do was hang on to what I knew best – faith. The faith that I have still remains even in the midst of this awful mess. God has been good even if I still feel so far from the “grip of His grace” – He knows that I am hurting, He knows that there are worries that I cannot easily relinquish.  Sometimes the cares and worries that I hold onto are my connection to God – I feel that if I were to stop worrying and caring that it would make me cold, numb and unsympathetic. I try to be and show my concern and conciousness of others needs – a lot of the time neglecting my own. My faith is all that I can hold on to get through, especially during times when I feel alone. So what is next? What is ahead? I don’t know.

The road is long. Scary. Uncertain. Uphill. Downhill. Twisting. Turning. Through bad weather and clear sunny days. I will have to take it one step at a time. One day at a time – sometimes minute by minute. And though it seems cold and solitary – my Saviour walks with me. This year, this journey – I have no idea what lies ahead on this road. I have to take it and I have to rely on my faith and communion with my God to make the journey.

I know that I will look and I will see the miracles, the grace, the joys and the hope. Through the hard times and the pain – I will still see Him and I will rejoice. I know I won’t understand everything but I haven’t given up and I know I am not ready to.
During this “new year” I am determined to rely on my faith and my God to guide my steps.

Where is your “road” leading you this new year? Is it certain or uncertain? I pray this year for your journey and mine. I pray that this year brings blessings even in the midst of the troubles and strife, they seem huge and unbearable at times. We must bear them and get through but they are never too big for the Lord to take.

May the New Year be a blessing to you and those you love.

The third week of Advent is upon us and the theme is Love. In A Family Advent by Thomas Nelson Publishing, we have followed through Hope and Peace and now “Love is what we need”.

It is because of the great heart of God that we celebrate the Advent season and Christmas. We are so grateful for the gift of our loving God and the sacrifice that was made for all mankind! Yes all. Advent and Christmastime are not meant to be exclusive holidays to just Christians – no the gift of the Saviour Jesus Christ was a gift to the world. And that is LOVE! Jesus was sent for all – all those who hurt, all those who are poor, all those who are struggling, all those who are shameful, all those who are righteous, all those who don’t believe – ALL. Christmas is about Christ the gift of a loving God concerned for his creation, his world, his children.

He came so long ago – humble and quiet and to the lowly shepherds the great angel hosts proclaimed the birth and in the simple stable the birth of the Saviour took place. His birth made headlines – at least in the Bible – and today we are still baffled by the mystery, the joy, the hope and the LOVE of the greatest gift.

May you be blessed this Advent and may the LOVE of God surround you!


Ah yes, Friday. Its your favorite day of the week too, isn’t it? 🙂 Yes, I like to say that I am best friends with Friday, Saturday and Sunday! I don’t know why. It’s just something I say.

But lately, Friday has just been another day filled with fiascos, faux pas and freak incidents. You may wonder why am I including this in Sundays’ Sentiments – well I now think I may have a Friday phobia – not just Friday the 13th – just end of the week debacles that seem to be repeating themselves. Why? I don’t know. But I wish it would stop. Seriously.

A few months back, I saw the financial need to take on another job. The fall season was setting in and the hours were getting fewer and fewer. That was even a stressful time as well – there were many many things happening at that time – and interviewing for a new job was the last thing I had the energy for. But I did it anyway – scared at how I was going to do it all (three blogs, kids books, cakes, and three part-time jobs) – I took on even more responsibility. I was hoping that my family and friends would be of support in this time of transition and new experiences.

There were times when I was just so tired that I could do nothing else but just collapse. This schedule took a long time to get used to – early mornings, long – busy days, short nights. The weekends and FRIDAY were my only respite and release and they turned into insane, task filled, (sometimes fun-filled), stressful, angry, rushed fiascos and faux pas. I was becoming so tightly wound that I could feel it building.

After a few Fridays, filled with wasted time, headaches, groggy mornings, computer crashes, and freak accidents I lost it. Yes, last Friday – I lost it, along with all of my computers hard disk information. I was devastated, emotionally drained, tired, and I lost my composure, control and collective attitude. It was building for a while and I had a meltdown. It was too much and time for a fresh start. Sometimes you just have to start over. Sometime you just have to give up the reins and let someone else handle the situations – Let go and let GOD!

"....soar on wings, like eagles...."

It’s hard to know how to handle these intensely stressful situations with a calm, collective and mature attitude. That only comes from God – yes I need fruit – the fruits of the spirit come to mind here. However, it is still draining. It still takes time to recover from these kinds of situations. But it didn’t kill me, it may have made me stronger – and wiser to remember to back up files ;-)! I will get through it and remember to take that time to just “be”. Be still and know that God is near and hear Him calling. I hope and pray that I can enter Friday’s with fresh eyes, full spirit of joy and faith and trust – at least until the next meltdown – I know it will probably happen again ( I know “oh ye, of little faith” but I know me of little faith sometimes) but I know when the time comes I will hear him saying – just “be still and know that I am God.” Just be. Be what? Be you. Be the you that I created you to be! ” For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

I know that when I cannot pray I hold onto certain verses for comfort and healing this past few weeks has been rough and all I could do was read this over and over.

Romans 8:28 The Message
Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.

What is your prayer? What is your plea? What do you do when you lose control? I pray that you look to God and call on His name?

Life is like a beach…caotic and stressful, strewn with litter – emotional baggage, heartache, sin, stress, pride, anger – it is so overwhelming.

With schedules and bills, appointments and jobs, school and careers life seems like it would be fulfilling. But instead is messy and stressful there is too much trying to distract us from finding the purpose that God has planned for us. We get too bogged down with the world’s wants and needs and we struggle to fit God into our lives.

My life was like that beach – strewn with litter after the summer season – I was weary and worn to the core. I needed the comfort of my God, to calm my anxiety and stress. My Redeemer sent His Waves of Grace to cleanse my beach.

The giveaway has ended and the results are in. CONGRATULATIONS to Melissa on winning the Journal and Starbucks Card. You are right “there is something good in every day”.

Thank you so much for tweeting, Retweeting and commenting on this giveaway I hope I can do it again soon. (Results were randomly chosen using number generator)

So the children have headed back to school; they are busy at work all day, learning new things and having so much fun. It seems after a summer of fun, family, friends and bonding – the family house is quiet and empty. This may be relaxing for some and lonely for others. This back to school fun has even called for a We Love School Giveaway at Miss Shari’s Storytime. But I thought it might be nice to offer something for the ladies. So reflection, relaxation and respite – in those quiet times without the family.

Yes this will be the FIRST GIVEAWAY for Shari’s Sentiments – Everyday Promises Journal: Spiritual Refreshment for Women along with that is a Starbucks Gift Card. This journal is set up for a bit of daily journaling. It has a daily verse and  commentary for some reflective guidance. With some prayer and time alone with God – this could be a very rewarding experience. The best part is there are no dates in this journal so you can start it when ever you want – no pressure.

I started this journal some weeks ago and admittedly sometimes I do not get to it – but when I do the reflections are so through provoking, yet not too complex to jot down thoughts, prayers, thanksgivings. feelings whatever comes to mind. It’s great to get it all out and still feel refreshed and ready to embrace grace.

So if you’d like to be entered to win do one of two things (or both):

1) Please Spread the Word about this little giveaway, @ShariCakes Copy and retweet  This:        
 Journal and Starbucks Gift Card #Giveaway on Shari’s Sentiments

2) Just comment below and tell me one of your most inspiring phrases that has given you hope and encouragement.

Lots of luck and blessings. Please enter to win from now until Friday, October 8th at 11:59 EST.