Sanctuary Ridge Faith Stories

Keeping Guard


Sometimes we need to slow down and just observe what is around us to hear God speaking.

Contemplating the awesome wonder of God’s creation this afternoon. Listening to nature praise Him for this beautiful day. I wonder how loud and glorious the praise was when Noah’s family and the animals finally left the Ark?!!! I am constantly reminded of His goodness as I observe this world God created. As I stared into the waters I saw that the bass had spawned! A million tiny fish swimming under their mother. With the Father fish- a nice size bass keeping guard at a distance. He swims back and forth. He chases any danger away. Isn’t that how God is with us- we may not always see Him but he is there guarding His children.

On the Battle Front

Even as I was surrounded that day with peaceful sights and sounds, I realized that I was on the battle front. There is a constant war going on, a war for our attention, for our affection, for our time, for our souls and for our family. That is why we must put on the armor of God every day. Armor protects us, but only if we wear it. It does no good if it is hanging in the closet or if we are driving around town with it in the trunk of our vehicle.

Here’s what God’s word says about it:

The Armor of God (Ephesians 6)

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.  13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist on the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand firm therefore, having belted your waist with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having strapped on your feet the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.  17 And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18  With every prayer and request, pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be alert with all perseverance and every request for all the saints, 19 and pray in my behalf, that speech may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

Notice that in each verse the armor is God’s. It is not even our own, but it is HIS! In verse ten “be strong in the Lord” and “in the power of His might”. Everything we need to fight the battles that we face, it all comes from HIM. We can’t do any of it on our own, yet HE has provided for us everything that is necessary to fight the battles before us!

What I See…

We may not always see the battles around us. Sometimes we are sleeping. We are not on guard. We miss it. It feels like it may be too late. Maybe the enemy has already taken some territory and you feel like you aren’t brave enough or strong enough to take it back, but HE is. God is enough! He is on your side- on the winning side! Don’t ever give up! I love this translation from The Message Bible:

  • Deuteronomy 20:1 (MSG)When you go to war against your enemy and see horses and chariots and soldiers far outnumbering you, do not recoil in fear of them; God, your God, who brought you up out of Egypt is with you. When the battle is about to begin, let the priest come forward and speak to the troops. He’ll say, “Attention, Israel. In a few minutes you’re going to do battle with your enemies. Don’t waver in resolve. Don’t fear. Don’t hesitate. Don’t panic. God, your God, is right there with you, fighting with you against your enemies, fighting to win.”

My prayer for you today is that you will be on guard. So many times I miss what is happening to those I love, even to myself, because I am not on guard. I become distracted by the business of life. May God help us to see what is around us, to put on the full Armor of God and take back ALL of the territory that the enemy has tried to steal. I pray that every thought that it’s too late for you will be taken captive. I pray that every doubt will vanish, that every fear will bow in the name of Jesus. I pray that you will be encouraged today as you stand guard over your family. May the peace of God be with you.

Sanctuary Ridge Faith Stories

Giving it All

All About Perspective

Making Sacrifices

In January of each year, instead of making resolutions that I will surely break, I choose to fast and pray about something specific. Sometimes I feel led to fast for certain days or even weeks at a time. This year, I felt impressed to fast something I love for the entire year. I know that may seem extreme, but I am reminded DAILY of what I have given up and WHY I felt impressed to give it up every single day for a whole year. It reminds me to pray and seek God even more. A fast is not about making a deal with God, it’s about making a sacrifice TO Him and drawing near to Him.

So What is a Sacrifice?

When you think about the word “sacrifice”, do you think of stories from the Old Testament? One that stands out to me is when Abraham was commanded to take his only son, Isaac, and offer him as a sacrifice. This is his only son and they waited a really long time to have him in their lives. But, Abraham obeyed and God stepped in and provided a lamb for the sacrifice when Abraham was obedient.

Definition of sacrifice from Merriam-webster

1: an act of offering to a deity something precious especially  the killing of a victim on an altar

2something offered in sacrifice

3adestruction or surrender of something for the sake of something else

b: something given up or lost the sacrifices made by parents

What are you willing to sacrifice?

God has really been dealing with me about false gods lately. We all have them. Just look around your home and think of something there that you can’t do without. Where does your “treasure” lie? Is it your family? Your time? Your money? Maybe it’s that car you always wanted. Or that big investment. I recently re-read a book “Gods at War” by Kyle Idleman (you can find it here and it has me thinking a lot about what I have placed the most importance on in my life.

I’m not saying that if you shouldn’t care about anything except God, I’m just asking you to ponder on this question:

Are you willing to do ANYTHING for God? What are you willing to sacrifice?

Giving it all

In Matthew 19 we read…

The Rich Young Ruler

16Just then someone came up and asked him, “Teacher, what good must I do to have eternal life?” 

17  “Why do you ask me about what is good?”   he said to him. “There is only one who is good.  If you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.”

18“Which ones?” he asked him.

Jesus answered: Do not murder; do not commit adultery; do not steal; do not bear false witness;  19honor your father and your mother; and love your neighbor as yourself.

20“I have kept all these,” the young man told him. “What do I still lack?”

21  “If you want to be perfect,”   Jesus said to him, “go, sell your belongings and give to the poor,  and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

22 When the young man heard that, he went away grieving, because he had many possessions.

See, the Rich Young Ruler was willing to follow all the “Rules” but he still felt there was something missing, something that was keeping him from eternal life. The truth is, anything we put before or above God is holding us back from our full potential. It keeps us from a closer walk with Him.

My prayer for you is that you will surrender fully to God. I’ve been guilty of placing my kids, my husband, my family, even my own selfish desires above the one and only true God. The truth is, it is a daily sacrifice to lay down the need to control situations, the desires of my own heart and surrender it all to God. But see, no one loves us like He does. So no one can love my kids better than He can. He is so, so good. He’s the same yesterday, today and forever.

Sanctuary Ridge Faith Stories

Confession Time

A sweet gift from my student!


Lately God has been dealing with me about my attitude.

I am going through the dreaded menopause and my emotions are so raw. My family is constantly telling me how I am always mad. I keep saying the wrong things. I try to be funny but end up hurting my husbands feelings. I am constantly being criticized and it is just awful. I find myself building walls and keeping to myself more and more just to avoid saying the wrong thing or coming across mad. It makes me feel so lonely and sad. It’s a vicious cycle that I am desperately trying to find my way out of.


Last week my husband worked on screening in our back porch. He had the worst attitude about it. He was grumpy. It was obvious that he did not want to do this project. He resented doing it. He wanted to be out hunting or on the tractor or putting fences around the property. Anything but screening in the porch. His bad attitude made me realize that I have a confession to make.

I am doing all the things to take care of my family: cooking, cleaning, laundry, stocking the pantry, teaching Noah, helping with projects around the farm and absolutely anything else I am asked to do.

I do all these things because I love my family.

But I have not been doing them in Love.

I have been doing all the things begrudgingly. Grumbling under my breath while I go pick something up at the store. Throwing dinner together with a bad attitude, “Why do I always have to cook” or “Why can’t someone else do this” or “I just want to go out to dinner”. The laundry- who even cares if there are wrinkles? No one even notices that the clothes are clean!

I have let the mundane chores become a bitter place for my bad attitude to dwell.

The Plank

As I watched my husband work so hard on screening in the porch, I wanted to tell him how ridiculous his behavior was but there was this still, small voice that had me look at my own attitude instead. The Lord reminded me of a scripture that deals with confronting another person.

Here’s what the Bible says about his bad attitude in Matthew 7:

3 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?  4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.


I confess that one hurt a little! And that reminds me of my favorite coffee mug…


Every morning I drink coffee from this mug that one of my precious students gave me last year. It’s pale pink inside and has 1 Corinthians 16:14 written on both sides.

1 Corinthians 16:14 “Let all that you do be done in Love”.

It’s such a simple reminder!

So HOW do I fix my attitude? Drinking more coffee might help, but that alone will not work! Trust me, I’ve tried.

I began by confessing in prayer: “Father God, I am sorry for my bad attitude. Somewhere along the way I have lost my joy in these mundane tasks and stopped doing them IN LOVE. Please help me to do these things IN LOVE. I know that I am not only doing them for my family, but I’m doing them for YOU as an act of worship. I’m thankful for this family you blessed me with. I’m thankful for the washer, dryer, running water, refrigerator, pantry, stove to cook on, dishwasher, vacuum, broom, mop, beds to make, clothes to wash, and people to love. I am blessed beyond measure! I will praise you as I prepare our meals, as I clean our home, as I shop for food, and do all the tasks you have set before me. Please remove any bitterness, any anger or resentment that has rooted itself in my mind or heart. Amen.”

Next, I apologized to my husband and my kids. Just a simple apology and acknowledgement can go a long way in making things right again. It will take effort to purposefully do things in love again, and I am sure that I will mess up along the way, but I am going to try my best and let God do the rest!


It’s so easy to get burned out in this life. Our routines become roots of bitterness instead of themes of thankfulness.

My prayer for you today is that somehow my confession will help you get the speck out of your own eye. Perhaps your “speck” is not a bad attitude. Perhaps it’s jealousy or anger. Perhaps it’s unforgiveness or sin. Whatever it may be, there is One who loves you and want’s you to confess, apologize and give it over to Him. More coffee won’t fix it. More business won’t fix it. Only God can fix these broken places in our lives, and only if we let Him.

I am reminded of this song by Steven Curtis Chapman I heard on the radio a few years ago. It was so relevant to me then, with the craziness of 3 children in the house. It really helped me change my view of motherhood and how I can worship the Lord in all that I do. Here’s the cheesy video:

© Copyright 2020– or current year, Sanctuary Ridge. Unattributed use of this material is strictly prohibited. Reposting and links may be used, provided that credit is given to Sanctuary Ridge with active link and direction to this original post.

Sanctuary Ridge Faith Stories

A Million Miracles

A beautiful old tree stump

Raw and Real

A hundred times I have tried to write this update.

If you have been following our progress on the farm, you know that we just finished our farm house. It was quite the project, in the middle of the pandemic with the added stress of hurricane landfalls that affected the supply chains all across the United States. When we finally received our windows, it was a whirlwind of crews onsite each day. We waited anxiously for our turn to take over and complete the interior of our little dream home.

Most people don’t know, but just as we working in the final weeks, I began having some serious medical problems. I am nearing the age of menopause, so at first I was not concerned at all. The Lord kept speaking to me throughout this time, reminding me of the woman with the issue of blood. Its such a well known miracle.

To understand the context, we need to go back in time to the Old Testament. In Leviticus, we can read about all the rules for being “clean” or without sin. There were steps you had to take in certain situations. These were the laws and they were followed strictly for generations. Here is what it says:

Leviticus 15:25“ ‘When a woman has a discharge of blood for many days at a time other than her monthly period or has a discharge that continues beyond her period, she will be unclean as long as she has the discharge, just as in the days of her period. 26 Any bed she lies on while her discharge continues will be unclean, as is her bed during her monthly period, and anything she sits on will be unclean, as during her period. 27 Anyone who touches them will be unclean; they must wash their clothes and bathe with water, and they will be unclean till evening. 28 “ ‘When she is cleansed from her discharge, she must count off seven days, and after that she will be ceremonially clean. 29 On the eighth day she must take two doves or two young pigeons and bring them to the priest at the entrance to the tent of meeting. 30 The priest is to sacrifice one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering. In this way he will make atonement for her before the Lord for the uncleanness of her discharge. 31 “ ‘You must keep the Israelites separate from things that make them unclean, so they will not die in their uncleanness for defiling my dwelling place, which is among them.’ ”

So back to the New Testament when we read about the woman in Mark 5, we know that she has had an issue of blood. She has been bleeding for 12 years. For 12 years, she had been suffering physically. She had spent everything she had in search of a cure. But so much more than that, she had been suffering emotionally. See, according to the Old Laws, she was unclean. No one was allowed to touch her or even touch anything that she had touched. It saddened me so much when I realized this.

How incredibly lonely she must have been.

She must have ached for a hug.

Just to reach out and touch someone.

So when we read in Mark 5, we know that she was truly desperate to go into the crowd and attempt to touch the hem of Jesus’ cloak.

Mark 5:24 A large crowd followed and pressed around him. 25 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 26 She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. 27 When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28 because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” 29 Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering. 30 At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”31 “You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’” 32 But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. 33 Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. 34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”

What a moment that must have been for her! See, Jesus didn’t rebuke her for touching him when she was unclean. There, in the crowd of people, HE said “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”


For seven long weeks I had irregular bleeding. Some days I couldn’t even go anywhere, it was so bad. At one point, my doctor ordered an ultrasound and based on those results we scheduled a biopsy to see if it was cancer.

It was scary.

It was raw.

It was real.

And lets face it, it was embarrassing. How do you even ask people to pray for you when the issue is blood? So I felt alone. And yet, day after day, the Lord reminded me of the woman with the issue of blood. I read the scripture over and over. It wrecked me. I realized that there must be so many who feel alone. Who feel “unclean”, “unworthy”, or “unloved”. And it wrecked me for women everywhere.


In Hebrews 9 we read again about the Laws of Moses and the New Covenant with Jesus:

 1Hebrews 9:9 When Moses had proclaimed every command of the law to all the people, he took the blood of calves, together with water, scarlet wool and branches of hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll and all the people. 20He said, “This is the blood of the covenant, which God has commanded you to keep.”  21 In the same way, he sprinkled with the blood both the tabernacle and everything used in its ceremonies. 22 In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.23 It was necessary, then, for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made with human hands that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence. 25 Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. 26 Otherwise Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But he has appeared once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27 Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, 28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.

Although I was wrecked by the revelations I discovered in my study, I was overjoyed at the outcome for this precious woman with the issue of blood. She was healed and she was publicly validated. Jesus could have just let her be healed but he made her speak up in the crowd. He made her admit that she was the one who had touched him. I’m sure everyone knew of her. To not touch her because she was “unclean”. But he validated her right there in the crowd. He redeemed her!


Her miracle was not just the physical suffering but it was so much more than that!

Let that soak in. Jesus cares about your physical suffering. He cares about your financial suffering. He cares about your emotional suffering. He cares about it all. He paid the price to redeem all of it, if only you will ask him.

Million Little Miracles By Elevation Worship

Test Results and Answered Prayers

On Monday morning, I went to our homeschool co-op and taught my 8th grade class. I left at lunch to go have the biopsy. Before I left, some of my dearest friends prayed with me for a miracle. The procedure went well. The doctor gave me a prescription to help alleviate the bleeding, because I had to go to the ER it had gotten so bad and they were concerned that my blood count was getting too low. I never had to take that medicine. My results came back negative. Praise the Lord for no cancer! And the day the results came back the bleeding completely stopped. All the pain was gone. All of the issues were healed!

I’m not sure why we suffer. What I do know is that it is in those moments we see God, we get to know HIM for who HE is.

Our Healer.

Our Redeemer.

Our Provider.

He truly is all we need.

My Prayer

Oh dear friend, my prayer for you is that you would have an encounter with the Lord. One that will change you and redeem you. One that will heal you and restore you. Whatever it is you are suffering from, I pray that the Lord himself will meet you where you are right now. I pray that your eyes will see a thousand little miracles- they are everywhere if only you will look for them.

Copyright@ 2021 or current year, Sanctuary Ridge. Unattributed use of this material is strictly prohibited. Reposting and links may be used, provided that credit is given to Sanctuary Ridge with active link and direction to this original post.

Sanctuary Ridge Faith Stories

Defining Reflection


As I was driving out to the farm this morning, I was praying and spending a little time going over the events of the past few months since we bought our property. I love to stop and remember where we were and where God has brought us. There is a beautiful unfolding of a story that continually repeats the unfailing love and faithfulness of God that amazes me. The morning was full of remembrance and reflection.

Reflection is a word that has multiple meanings. Here is Miriam-Webster Dictionary definition:



Definition of reflection

1: an instance of reflecting especially : the return of light or sound waves from a surface
2: the production of an image by or as if by a mirror
3a: the action of bending or folding back
b: a reflected part : FOLD
4: something produced by reflecting: such as
a: an image given back by a reflecting surface
b: an effect produced by an influence

The photo above is from the time we lived on a small lake. I loved to kayak the lake in the early morning when the water was smooth and reflected everything so beautifully. The morning I took this picture, the reflection was amazingly clear. Almost a mirror image of our little boat. The reflection is not actually a boat, but it LOOKS like a boat. When people look at me or you, what do they see? Do they see a mom? Do they see a friend? Do they see a father? What is it that you look like? We were created in the image of God.

  • Genesis 1:27 (NIV)

    So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

So we were made to look like God. And we are supposed to look like Him in the everyday, little things in our life.

  • Matthew 5:16 (NIV)

    In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

I love water and its reflective properties, but do you know what HAS to happen for the water to reflect an image? It has to be still and there has to be light. The more calm and still the water is, the more clearly the image is reflected.

On one side you can see a photo of a bright, beautifully calm day. On the other side you can see water that is full of movement. Which one has a better reflection?


Sometimes we just have to be still. It is good to remember the goodness of God and what He has done in your life. To be still and simply be with Him.

My prayer for you today is that you will know God’s faithfulness and love. That it will be a part of who you are so much that you become a reflection of Him. Oh what a wonderful thing that will be, when people look at you and see Jesus’ love reflected in your life!

  • 2 Timothy 2:7 (NIV)

    Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this.


© Copyright 2020– or current year, Sanctuary Ridge. Unattributed use of this material is strictly prohibited. Reposting and links may be used, provided that credit is given to Sanctuary Ridge with active link and direction to this original post.