He Cares

Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
It’s after midnight and the night is very calm. All I can hear is the constant fog horn on the other side of the hill. This has to mean there must be a lot of fog on the river. The horn signals the way of safety for the big ships.

The Lord knows when we experience the fog of confusion or turmoil. He signals a way of safety


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Hanging on to Memories

Spanish MossSome things begin to fade with time. But there are some memories that hang on like Spanish moss clinging to the oak trees.

And I will remember my childhood with…

Scorching hot beach sand burning my feet
Chameleons darting between the bushes
The deafening sounds of summer thunderstorms
Long, lazy hours dreaming in the porch swing
Sweet, ripe mangoes ready to be picked
Windows opened to the sounds of neighbors’ laughter
Smells of rich Cuban coffee
Clean sheets and towels drying in the sunshine
Mountains of old tires to conquer at daddy’s shop
The moon rising over the Miami skyline
Clover blossoms made into crowns and necklaces, bracelets and rings
Paper dolls with all their colorful paper dresses
Lightening bugs flashing underneath the old pecan trees
Backyard tropical flowers of every color and size

Each memory brings enough smiles for a lifetime!

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Looking Forward

imageSometimes I want to live where Dr. Welby makes house calls, where Jessica Fletcher solves all crimes, where Andy Griffith patrols our streets, where we can meet the Fonz at the diner, where MacGyver can fix everything, and where Mr. Rogers welcomes us to his neighborhood! And while I am dreaming…Ronald Reagan would be President, we could watch the newest Billy Graham Crusade on television and Paul Harvey would daily tell us “the rest of the story”!! Anybody else want to go? Let’s ride the magic school bus!

What seems like perfection is only an illusion!

But one day…perhaps soon…we will be walking on streets of gold! And it won’t be a dream! And it won’t be magic! And it will last forever!

Could this be the year?

Will this be the year we have long awaited?
Will God be ready to say, “Enough!”?
Will He then look to His Son and say, “Now!”?
Will we look toward the Eastern sky and hear the trumpet sound?
Will the church be ready?

Will we be focused on Him?
Will we be caught up in the world’s turmoil?
Will Christians be fighting with other Christians?
Will the world be mocking us because of our hypocrisy?
Will the church be ready?

Will this be the year every tongue has heard?
Will this be the year we will be asked to deny Christ?
Will this be the year governments crumble?
Will this be the year the world unravels.
Will the church be ready?

Lord, as I face a new year, help me stay focused on You!
Help me stay in your Word!
Help me gain strength and courage and boldness!
Help me hunger for only You!
Lord, help me be ready!

…Penned late after the worries of the day seemed to creep past the midnight hour.


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A Gift of Joy


The Lord looked down one day and saw His handmaiden who was downcast and weary and hurt.

He began to speak gently into her heart. He encouraged her with words of strength.

He breathed into her a desire to be an overcomer.

He offered her a gift. He offered her a journey of JOY!

So instead of discouragement, she chose JOY.
Instead of hurt, she chose JOY.
Instead of abuse, she chose JOY.

She knew JOY because of the faithfulness of His promises.
She knew JOY because she was supported with encouragement and bathed in prayer.
She knew JOY because she could remember His constant blessings.

She learned to breathe JOY deeply even when it was only a gasp.
She learned to wear JOY even when she did not think it would fit.
She learned to think JOY when other thoughts wanted to creep in.

Others saw JOY on her face.
The world saw JOY in her confident steps.
Her husband saw JOY in the strength of her hand.
The Lord recognized His handmaiden’s JOY and smiled with pleasure.

                                                                                                           Ruth Packard

Posted in Journaling, Life lesson | 4 Comments

Finding Direction

Six years ago cancer rocked my world. Two years later, I began a new journey after another traumatic experience. My heart and soul felt like a cluttered debris field. I needed clarity. I needed calm. I needed courage. My faith in The Lord reminded me to ask for His direction.

The first stop took me on an adventure with Kelly Rae Robert’s “Taking Flight” book and online motivational class. I met an amazing community of encouraging artists and writers. Loved it! But I was too frightened to share what I was creating. I did, however, discover my voice and began to blog.

The road map continued with Jennifer Lee’s online class “Right Brain, Left Brain.” I discovered a fascinating business plan but lacked the courage to implement anything. I was deluged by self-doubt and defeated by fear. I still look at my life board that lists all sorts of directions I could go and I know…one day!

I discovered the freedom of online teaching videos and began to create my art journal pages. I turned our loft into an art studio! Once again I was too frightened to share my art. Am I noticing a pattern here?

Enter a rest stop on my creative journey with a sisterhood of kindred souls all over the world who paint, write, and create. Hmmm. Here I am able to use my art and my words…and find healing.

I am reminded of the scripture, “Whatsoever your hands find to do, do it with all your might.” Ecclesiastes 9:10  I have found my courage to share something I’ve created.

Listen…it’s calm!

Look…I can see clearly now!

Posted in Creativity, Journaling, Life lesson | 2 Comments

Guard My Heart

Guard My HeartThere is an old grist mill near our home in Washington State. It was built 126 years ago along the shore of Cedar Creek, near the winding Lewis River, and it is still in operation! Our recent excursion there was exactly what my senses needed.

My eyes quickly took in the beauty of the falling leaves and the old covered bridge. I watched photographers searching for the perfect shot.

The background of the mill stirred my love for history. I studied the old flume and tried to analyze how it was built. The hand hewn timbers showed years of wear.

The air was crisp and filled with the smell of old wet leaves. We could smell wood smoke from a nearby chimney.

We could hear the hum of the belts running inside the mill as the flour was being ground. But another sound was mesmerizing. In fact, I recorded the sounds of the rushing water just so my soul could be stirred again and again.

I walked away from the path but found myself returning just to watch that water.

It reminded me of a Bible verse I had memorized years ago. Proverbs 4:23 says

Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.                      

Just recently, I wondered if I really understood these words. Here are two definitions that helped me analyze what the Lord was saying.

Watch over“: to guard, to protect, to cherish.
Diligence“: persistence, constant effort, concentration.

Those words began to speak volumes to me. If I am watching over my heart with diligence, I don’t need to have the last word just to prove I am right.

Because…surprise! The Lord might just be showing me where I am wrong! Conviction leads to repentance and that opens the flood gates to the springs of life!

If I am constantly guarding my heart, I am able to speak words of encouragement. If I concentrate and cherish my heart, I realize I am created in His image…and my heart is one of love for myself and for those around me.

The sound of the rushing water echoes in my heart…and I will be reminded of springs of life.


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The Old Fishing Net

photo(2)It’s amazing how a photo can trigger old memories.

My thoughts begin to wander.

This fishing net reminds me of the hours I spent fishing with my father. We didn’t always catch anything for dinner but he caught my heart! I see my father with his look of determination and patience. It stirs my memories of the ocean and I suddenly feel the salt air.

I still shudder as I remember the salmon boat excursion David and I took off the coast of Washington. Unused fishing nets were hanging on the side of the cabin. After a few hours at sea, we were caught in a storm.  I hung on to the fishing nets as we were tossed by every high wave.

The net reminds me of my boat trip on the Sea of Galilee. I can imagine the disciples mending their nets. I think about Jesus as He told the disciples to cast their nets on the other side of the boat. I laugh when I imagine their surprise to see the largest catch they had every had.

I look at the intricate design of the net and see hours of labor in the weaving and knotting. Who fashioned the wooden floats? I wonder where this particular fishing net came from and in what waters it was thrown. What fish were gathered within the cotton grid?

I love the memories and I love to imagine…just from one photograph!!

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