He Is For Me

Psalm 56:9 says, “This I know, that God is for me.” He is for me. Those four little words have made such a difference in my life over the last several years. I’ve always known and counted on the fact that Jesus is with me, but realizing that He is FOR me has drastically changed my thinking. You see, when Greg was diagnosed with melanoma I knew that God was WITH me, but it really didn’t feel like He was FOR me. When the disease returned to Greg’s body a year after the initial diagnosis, I knew that God was WITH me. But FOR me??? As I watched Greg struggle in his battle against the ugliness that is melanoma, I knew that God was WITH me. I even thanked God for His promise that He would never leave me or forsake me. But I wasn’t really feeling the FOR me part. And as we gathered around Greg’s bed and said goodbye to him, I knew that God was WITH me, but I sure didn’t feel like God was FOR me. Nor did I feel like God was FOR me as I faced the fact that I was now a widow at the age of 48. I didn’t feel like God was FOR me as I faced the fact that my children, ages 20, 18 and 14 were now fatherless. I have struggled to feel like God is FOR me, as I have had to navigate this road of widowhood, this road of single parenting. This road of loneliness.

My thinking has been flawed though. Did you catch it? In all these instances, I didn’t FEEL like God was for me. But that’s not what God’s Word says. It doesn’t say, “This I FEEL, that God is for me.” It says, “This I KNOW, that God is for me.” Just as there is a big difference between the words WITH and FOR, there is also a big difference between the words FEEL and KNOW. I don’t always have to FEEL something to make it so. Just as I claim the promise that Jesus is WITH me and will never leave me or forsake me, I must also claim the promise that He is FOR me…..even if it doesn’t FEEL like it.

Over the years, as I have started to claim the promise that He is FOR me, I have begun to FEEL that He is FOR me. Sometimes the FEELING comes as a result of the KNOWING! The Lord continues to reinforce this promise in my life in many different ways. A couple of ways is through books and songs. I want to close by sharing an example of each with you, with the hope that you will be encouraged in the fact that He is FOR you…even if you don’t FEEL it.

This is an excerpt from a great Bible study that I am currently going through. It’s actually the second time that I have done the study and both times this paragraph really spoke to me.

“Knowing that God is for me does not mean that nothing bad will ever happen to me. Most people really do believe that if they don’t do anything terrible, nothing really bad will happen to them. They may not confess this with their mouth, but it is how they function. Our problem is our definition of ‘bad’. What we see as bad is often a gift. The problem is we aren’t willing to receive it. It takes away our pseudo security. When ‘bad’ happens it forces our eyes off the shifting sands to search for something steadfast. In that is the gift.” (from Steadfast by Lauren Mitchell)

And this is a wonderful song…You are FOR me, by Kari Jobe. It is beautiful and I love the lyrics!

KNOWING that He is FOR me has made a huge difference in how I FEEL! He is FOR me! And He is FOR you, too!!

This I KNOW, that God is FOR me!!

Trusting His Plan,

Two Years

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How can two years feel like two days and at the same time feel like twenty years???  Yesterday was the two year anniversary of Greg’s death.  Some days the pain and emotions are so raw that it feels like it all happened yesterday.  But at the same time, it seems like I’ve been without him forever.   I don’t know why, but this year was harder for me than this date last year.   My heart still aches for him…every day I find a new thing to miss about him.  My heart is still broken as I watch my children continue on without their Dad.  My heart still yearns for the things that will never be.  My heart is still sad that my life as Greg’s wife ended way before I had planned for it to end.  I always pictured us being one of those old couples that died within hours of each other…because one couldn’t live without the other.  :)

As I stood at Greg’s gravesite yesterday, remembering the hardest, most heart-breaking day of my life, the Lord gently reminded me that even though it was the WORST day of MY life….it was the BEST day of GREG’S life.  It was the day that all the other days of his life were leading up to.  It was the climax of his 49 years on earth.  He had reached the end of the race that had been marked out for him.  And he ran that race well and he finished victoriously.  And he received the prize…the very Presence of Jesus!  Because Greg had put his faith in Jesus as his Lord and Savior, death did not win that day!  Greg was the victor, through Jesus!  And for this, I rejoice. I rejoice…but through tears of grief.


My life has changed tremendously in the last two years.  This is not the story that I would have written for my life, but then again…I am not the author of my story.  But, I personally know the Author and I know that the story He writes can be trusted.  His plan, although not alway understood, can be trusted.


We do not grieve like those who have no hope. Our hope is in Christ. Our hope is secure.  Two years without you, two years closer to seeing you again.  We love you Greg!

Trusting His Plan,                                                                                                                                                           Sandra

Thankful for Sweet Memories Today

One Thing


Since I haven’t posted anything in quite awhile, I thought I’d share this post from one year ago today.

Originally posted on Trusting His Plan:

“But that’s not fair! It’s the ONE THING that I REALLY want!” That was a lament that Greg and I often heard from one of our children when they were younger and didn’t get what they wanted. Maybe it was an item they wanted, something they wanted to do or somewhere they wanted to go. But whatever it was, if we said “No”, we were often met with this response. As if, had we agreed to it, all would be right with this child’s world……at least until the next “One Thing” came along!

There was quite a bit of drama included in these little episodes, and we joke about it now. But how many of us, as adults, have that ONE THING in our lives? How do we feel when we want something so badly, but we can’t have it? Maybe we stand shaking our little fists at God and…

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It’s Official…

Well, it’s official…..I am now the mother of a teenager! The key word here being “A”. “A” meaning singular; one. Yep, last week Emilie celebrated her 20th birthday and just like that, I went from being the mother of two teenagers, to being the mother of one teenager. How did it happen so fast?? I remember when my children were all so little and I could not even imagine being the Mom of a teen. Then it happened…Katie turned 13. And two years later, Emilie hit the teens. As Jake approached the big 13, I remember thinking, “I am going to be the Mom of THREE teenagers! How can that be? Just yesterday, I had three babies!”

Well, I survived the years of having three teens at one time and two years ago, I was back to being the Mom of two teenagers and now….here I am again…the Mom of “A” teenager. If you might have forgotten, may I remind you…time is fleeting. It doesn’t stand still. It never stops. At times it makes me sad to think about all of my children growing up and beginning independent lives of their own. But isn’t that what our job as a parent is all about? Raising, nurturing, teaching and instructing our children so that they will grow up to lead successful, independent lives. It’s exciting to see what the Lord is going to do in each of their lives! This is what it is to be a parent.

The Lord has used this example to show me something else about life. With the condition of our world right now, it makes me sad to think about all that is to come in the days ahead. I truly believe that we are entering into the Last Days that the Bible speaks of in Revelation. It’s scary and sad to think about all of the things that the Word says is going to take place in these days. But as I have been studying and pondering these things, the Lord has shown me this: Isn’t that what being a Christian is all about? Isn’t that what we, as Believers, are living for? Isn’t that the purpose of our journey here on earth….to get to the end? To come to the end of this life as we know it and to live for eternity with our Heavenly Father. It’s exciting to see God’s plan unfold. This is what it is to be a Christian.

So, just as getting to the end of parenthood (although we never really get to an end :) ) is scary and somewhat sad, getting to the end of this life as we know it is also scary and somewhat sad. But that’s the way God designed it..it’s His plan. And His plan can ALWAYS be trusted!

Emilie and I celebrated her birthday, by taking a trip to Nashville. The weather wasn’t the greatest, but we still had a great time and I enjoyed spending one on one time with my favorite Middle Child! Here are a few pictures from our time away.

First order of business...a treat from King's Donuts!

First order of business…a treat from The King’s Donuts!

We enjoyed visiting the life-size replica of The Parthenon.

We enjoyed visiting the life-size replica of The Parthenon.




Enjoyed some awesome BBQ at this little hole in the wall!

Enjoyed some awesome BBQ at this little hole in the wall!

Had fun walking around the beautiful Gaylord Opryland Hotel

Had fun walking around the beautiful Gaylord Opryland Hotel




Enjoyed some beautiful views from the pedestrian bridge.

Enjoyed some beautiful views from the pedestrian bridge.




Can't go to Nashville without spending an evening at the Grand Ole Opry!

Can’t go to Nashville without spending an evening at the Grand Ole Opry!


The Willis Clan

The Willis Clan

Thompson Square

Thompson Square

Ricky Scaggs

Ricky Scaggs

We also went to two different McKays and got many (like our trunk was full) books for free or low-cost.  Yes, we are book geeks...we both love to read!!

We also went to two different McKays and got many (like our trunk was full) books for free or low-cost. Yes, we are book geeks…we both love to read!!

Happy 20th birthday Emilie!

Happy 20th birthday Emilie!

A Word To All The Dads On This Father’s Day

Are you a Dad? Do you love your children? Do you really? A better question might be…..do your children KNOW that you love them? If you were taken from this world today, could your children say without a doubt, “I know my Dad loved me.”

Today has been a hard day. Today is the second Father’s Day that my children have gone through without their Dad. My heart breaks for them as they look around at all the other kids celebrating with their Dad and all the pictures and posts about Dads.

But the thing that I am thankful for today is that all three of my kids will tell you with certainty that their Dad loved them and was proud of them. No having to wonder….they knew. They knew because he told them all the time. But more than that he showed them. He spent time with them. He talked to them. He listened to them. He did things with them. He laughed with them. He taught them. He instructed them. He disciplined them. He played with them. He went to their events. He sent them emails and texts. He talked to them on the phone. When he was at work…he was 100% at work, but when he was home…he was 100% at home. He made it a priority to spend one on one time with them. He played ball and tennis with them. He rode bikes with them and hiked with them and swam with them. He played in the ocean with them and made sand castles with them and surfed and boogie boarded with them. He played in the snow with them and made homemade ice cream with them. He put their needs and desires above his own. When they were babies, he fed them, he rocked them, he changed them, he read to them, he bathed them and dressed them. As they got older, he guided them and advised them and taught them about the things that were important in life. He shed tears over them. He shared his love of music, and baseball, and the outdoors, and humor with them. He marveled at stars and sunsets with them. He would discuss things with them and challenge their thinking. He helped lead all of them into a relationship with Jesus. And always, always….he prayed for them. He loved them and was proud of them…and they knew it.

He was never too busy for them. He was never too tired for them. He never had too much work to do that he couldn’t spend time with them. He chose not to take better-paying jobs that required more time away from the family..he chose the family over the money. He gave up golfing and hunting to spend time with them. He wasn’t perfect, but he loved them and they knew it.

So Dads, I ask you again….do your children know that you love them? If you were suddenly taken from this world, would they know with certainty that you loved them, or would they wonder? Would they wonder if you loved your job more than them? If you loved your sleep more than them? If you loved your television more than them? If you loved your drink more than them? If you loved your money or your toys more than them? If you loved your hobbies more than them? If you love yourself more than them???

Yes, today was a hard day. But, praise God my children know that their Dad loved them.





Jake, Katie, Dad and I

Trusting His Plan,

Who Is Your Travel Companion?

For the last 18 months or so, I have felt lost. Like I’m wandering aimlessly, not really knowing where I’m going. I’m traveling a road I don’t want to travel….a road that is leading me through a place I don’t know and I am not comfortable with; unfamiliar territory that is often lonely and frightening. And the really hard part is this: I don’t even know where this road is taking me. I don’t know the purpose in taking this road, this journey. Do you ever feel that way? Like you’re on a road that you aren’t comfortable being on, but there’s no way to turn around and take another way? The only way to wherever you’re going is down this frightening, lonely, frustrating road. We all find ourselves on these roads at times in our lives. Maybe you’re like me, and the death of your spouse has put you on this road. Maybe it’s the death of a parent, or child. Maybe it’s a failed marriage or relationship that has you on this lonely road; or maybe the lack of a marriage or relationship. It could be difficult financial situations that has you on a road filled with hardship and frustration, or a physical condition that has put you there. Our lives are made of up many of these difficult, scary, lonely roads. I believe that the only way to get safely to the end of these roads is to travel with a companion. That companion’s name is Faith. Faith to know that there is a purpose, there is a reason, there is an end. Faith to know that we are not alone and that Christ has already gone down this road ahead of us to prepare the way. Faith to know that even though the whole world may seem like it’s against us, He is for us. Faith to know that everything that happens to us is for our good and His glory. Now, don’t misunderstand what I’m saying. I didn’t say that our companion’s name is Understanding. Because I don’t understand the purpose or reason for being on this road. Nor do I understand how traveling this road can be for my good. What I did say is that our companion’s name is Faith. Faith to believe all these things, even when I don’t understand them. Faith to believe that even if I never fully realize the purpose of my journey this side of Heaven, one day I will understand. I was reminded of this in my time with the Lord this morning. I was reading Hebrews 11….often referred to as the “Hall of Faith”. I was reminded of how Abraham was called to travel a road that he knew nothing about and to go, not knowing where he was going. God called him to leave all that he knew and was familiar with. It wasn’t an easy road for Abraham…it was a long, difficult journey. But, Abraham was blessed for his faithfulness. I feel just like that. I’ve been called to leave a place that I never wanted to leave, a place that I loved and was comfortable with and secure in, to go to a place that I know nothing about. But just like Abraham, I am choosing to take Faith as my companion, trusting that the Lord is leading me into the land of promise! I pray that if you are one of the many who are on a road you’d rather not be on and you don’t even know where you’re going, that you will also choose to take Faith as your companion! By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he went to live in the land of promise. Hebrews 11:8-9 Trusting His Plan, Sandra

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