A Diagnosis

Don’t you have a love/hate relationship with WebMD?  I do.  I can scare myself to death when trying to self diagnose what ails me.

I have been trying to find out what has been making me ill for the past few months– well probably close to two years now.  At first, I thought it was burnout.  I thought it was depression.  I thought it was a number of things.  So, of course, what do I do but Google each ailment and came up empty.

But on Sunday morning, God opened His clinic.  He had an x-ray and was prepared to share it.    I haven’t been spiritually active in quite some time.  I have had a bad case of the “Eh’s”.  I thought it was a symptom of a overly busy schedule or even burnout.  But this morning, God was wearing His heavenly white overcoat with a stethoscope and I was His patient sitting in the pew.  His diagnosis was spot on–I was heart sick.

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life.   Proverbs 13:12 NLT

The “Eh’s” are not the result of my self diagnosis at all.  My dreams are not being fulfilled.  I have always dreamed of being a writer.  I know God has laid upon my heart to speak and to motivate.  I have envisioned me being  more than just a teacher.  My dream of being a bakery owner passed away that one fateful day in May of 2015–the day I lost the feeling in my right hand.

But those pesky doubtful thought of my own and others have altered each pathway I took.  I have a bad cause of discouragement coursing through my veins.  But how am I going to fit it all into my already jammed packed schedule?  See the self doubt is already taking over.

So God graciously handed me a few prescriptions:

  1.  A daily dose of COURAGE to keep trying and to stay on track.

God pointed out that when I try I will be risking failing.  I agreed.  Then He looked at my chart.  He explained that I am good at trying but once a tiny hint of failure or disappointment of my own or even at the mention of a discouraging comment from someone else, I stop trying.  I quit.  With each time I quit, I add to the regretful symptom which makes the heart grow sicker.

2.  It takes FAITH to keep going.

My heart is depleted of faith.  This goes back to the quitting.  Each time I quit I take a little bit of faith out of my dream and heart.  Without faith, I doubt, I regret, and I give up.  God explained that his direct line is always open and He will always be there to refill the faith prescription.


To prevent the heart sickness, I need to look for the Jesus moments in my every day life.  Each time I encounter Him I am actively making my heart stronger.  Opening the Bible and actually reading His Word, praying, and listening pumps the good stuff into my heart and it pushes all the sickness out.

So I left the “Clinic” feeling stronger and healthier holding onto the prescriptions that were written just for me.  Hopefully, if I keep taking these dosages, God won’t have to use the defibrillator on me!!


The Wonder of Applesauce

There were those dog days of summer in late August when my younger brother and I were trying to put the thought of going back to school out of our minds.  School began in September the day after Labor Day– sometimes I wish we could go back to those days.

So I have fond memories of sweat pouring off my brow as we picked up the fallen apples under Grandma Cannon’s apple tree.  She always complained that they were small and puny but in the end she made the most wonder desserts from those apples.  We would carry in those apples straight to her kitchen sink.  She had a water bath waiting for them.  Our job was to keep bringing in those apples while she washed away the dirt and bits of grass before putting them in a dishpan filled with water to await cutting off the areas where a bird or a squirrel enjoyed a tasty sweet treat.

She sat at her kitchen table and peeled each apple.  Now our job was to feed the peels to the pet parrot, Polly.  Maybe it wasn’t a job per say but it was pure entertainment watching that old bird tear away at the apple skin.  Next she would cut as much flesh off those apple cores.  She didn’t have the fancy gadget I have in my kitchen drawer.  She would of course be listening to the radio the entire time she was in the kitchen.  If memory serves me right it was KARN news.  And of course her favorite was Paul Harvey.

She would put the diced apples in a big pot and added just enough water and lemon juice to do the trick.  Of course she added brown sugar and cinnamon.  But her secret was allspice.  She added just a bit of it and would tell me how much she hated nutmeg.  Nutmeg doesn’t belong in her kitchen.  Then we would let the heat of the burner do its job as we waited.


Oh the house would smell like something wonderful–some might say Christmas.  For me it was the best anticipation of the season.  Fresh Applesauce.


I can still see the white Corningware bowl sitting in the middle of her kitchen resting on a trivet.  The steam drifting upward carrying the sweet apple cinnamon aroma into the kitchen air while that applesauce cooled.  Grandma never used a blender.  She used a potato masher so her applesauce was filled with chunky apple bits.  My kids balk at a chunk.  Praise God for blenders!!

Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.  Philippians 4:8

Bread and Prayer

In 2014, my best friend passed away.  She was being treated for lung cancer.  Her faith and mine were strong that she would overcome this horrible cancer.  She had so much in her favor–finding it early, chemo shrinking the small tumor, otherwise she was strong and healthy.  But most of all she had the power of prayer.  Everyone was praying:  our church family, Pam, her family as well as me and my family.  We even laid hands on her in church.

My personal prayer was simple:  Don’t let the cancer take her.  Heal her.

God answered my prayer.  The cancer didn’t take her but a seizure and a fall ending in a broken neck did.  He healed her with a heavenly healing instead of the earthly.

A “Loop Hole” is what I have coined it–which after a lot of soul searching was the first brick laid in the foundation of my bitter brick wall.

My intent this morning was to blog about bread and Jesus being the Bread of Life.  I have been experimenting with a refrigerated dough and have been inspired.  But then I Googled bread bible verses and found this:

You parents–if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead?  Matthew 7:9

It kinda just leaped off the screen.  I scrolled through so many verses but this one stuck.  I knew it was a message.  At first, I read it thinking it was a verse about giving the best to those who love and know you.  However, I like always went to commentaries to find the meaning.

My findings floored me.

One commentary explained that in biblical times often bread looks like a stone.  Round in shape, the color often tan to a grey or a darken brownish black, and depending on the bake can be hard as stone.  Obviously bread is good for you and should be consumed.  Unlike the counterpart of the verse.

After studying my photo of my bread I made the other night, I can see the stone resemblance.

Trust me I would rather eat the bread than a stone. It was delicious by the way.

You parents–if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead?  Matthew 7:9

You parents– as a parent I want what is best for my children.  Often times enough they don’t realize or want to accept my answer to their request is exactly what is best for them.  God, being the parent, in this verse, is doing just that–He is given a request and He responds with bread (what is good for them) versus a stone (a mockery).

So this left me this morning thinking–in my prayer for Pam was I given the bread or a mockery?

Now, I know what you are thinking–Regina, why would you think God would every give a mockery?  Terrible thought isn’t it.  But again, I have placed God in the hot seat for the loop hole for a few years now.  So this attitude doesn’t surprise me a bit.

Then it hit me like a stone–

My request wasn’t for me OR was it?  Originally, it was 100% for Pam; but I somehow twisted it to be for me.  I made the mockery out of God’s response to my prayer FOR Pam.  Pam didn’t have to suffer the ugliness of lung cancer.  She was healed.  She has been given a new body with no pain.  She is in the presence of our Lord.  Her death overcame the hideousness the earthly life endures.

Stunned in my thoughts……. God gave me the answer that was best for Pam not what I selfishly wanted.  I just need to accept the fact that it wasn’t about me at all.

Well, I think the foundation of the old bitter brick wall has been shaken and is beginning to crumble.

Praise God!!

Recipe Challenge

As we were deep cleaning the kitchen a few months ago, I was shocked at the number of recipe boxes and books I actually own.  Most were acquired from my granny and mother.  I just love old fashioned everything…..

Anyways, it was discussed that perhaps I should use the recipes more frequently.  So yesterday, I created my menu based on my mother’s recipes.  One dinner will consist of Parmesan Fish, Savory Brussels Sprouts, Roasted Red Potatoes, Homemade Bread and Happy Squares.

I can’t help from smiling at the name Happy Squares.  How can you go wrong with graham crackers and chocolate?  Those two alone make me happy. So the thought of putting them together just makes me as giddy as a school girl.

Sweet memories of sitting around the kitchen table with my mother and grandmothers exchanging recipes flooded my mind.  I remembered, as a kid, how my Grandma Cannon sat at her kitchen table and jotted down the recipes a neighbor or her cousin called to give her.  I can recall later that evening my mother would get a call from her saying she had tried the recipe and wanted her to have it as well.  And in turn, my mother would sit at the kitchen bar and scribble out the recipe.   Granny Cornett would rate her recipes with a “VG” for “very good” and a “NG” for “not good”.  I have run across some recipes where she wrote notes of what she added or lessened to make it better.  Granny also added from whom she received the recipe.  She had a system that should have been patented.

A trip down memory lane has given me such joy.  Seeing Mom’s handwriting made my heart glow.  I can still see her in the kitchen stirring and calling me to set the table.

I currently have the Happy Squares baking and the smell is heavenly.  Hopefully their taste will live up to their name……..Happy Squares…… just makes me happy saying it.

The Happy Squares are done and cooled……. they taste just like a Chocolate Chip Cookie!!

So tasty!  Hard to believe just three ingredients and a simple delicious dessert is made.

My heart has grown three sizes bigger today with the visit from the treasured memories……

May God bless you today.

Philippians 4:8

A New Year With a New Set of Words

Each and every year, I get a journal.  And that journal is my go to place to jot down anything that crosses my mind, quotes I hear that makes me think, and my deep dark secrets that has caused me to woe.

Last year’s journal was pretty bare.  Seems like the bitter brick wall had taken the joy out of writing in my journal.  Even the busyness of my week of work, college studies, and being a wife/mom has taken me away from the writing I love.

But like the new year brings new hope it also comes with a new journal…..

Don’t you just love it??  It is really screams– REGINA!!

Come on…. you knew it had to have chickens on it.

I can’t wait to start writing in it.  I have been under some major writer’s block behind this old bitter brick wall and busy lifestyle.

As usual I wrote a little note to 2019 on the first page.  Trying so hard to stay focused on Philippians 4:8 as I jotted a quick verse.

I pray that I have at least loosened a brick.  It feels as if I have.