paintingWhen I walked into my office yesterday I was overcome with surprise. In my chair was this beautiful hand painted picture of my husband and me just a year ago on top of the Rocky Mountain National Park in Estes Park, Colorado. All of my emotions of that special day came flooding back to me. My husband and I had been given a 2nd chance at life together. Just days before we took this trip, we were in a hospital room for 3 days after my husband suffered a stroke. I was so scared to lose him, and he was so tired and stressed from life’s blows that he had lost sight of the blessings he had been given.


Our year had been hard and difficult. Nothing was easy. Every day seemed to be more difficult than the day before. I was trying to encourage. I was trying to stay hopeful. I was preaching to myself the good news by reading God’s word every morning. It’s the only thing that was keeping me going. I would weep and cry out for help. There was no reprieve in sight. We were in a pit of despair.

Have you been there? Maybe you are there now and you don’t think you can do it one more day. You’re ready to quit. DON’T! Keep going. Keep persevering. Keep putting one foot in front of the other. I promise you it’s worth it. Your life is worth it. There is so much value to who you are and what your life represents.

Do you remember George Bailey in “It’s a Wonderful Life?” He was ready to throw in the towel too. Life had gotten hard. He prayed this prayer, “Dear Father in heaven, I’m not a praying man, but if you’re up there and you can hear me, show me the way…show me the way.” God heard him and sent an angel named Clarence to show George what would have happened if he had never lived. George sees the impact that his life has had on the whole town and discovers what a wonderful life he has had.

Friends, it really is a wonderful life. I can attest to it. My husband was released on December 23rd, 2017 from the hospital. Praise The Lord! We came home to unwrapped presents scattered, unmade beds, an upside down kitchen where Christmas goodies were being baked right before we left to the ER, and I had never been so happy to be home with my family. Christmas was coming, and I was so grateful. I didn’t care if we unwrapped one single present under a tree. My presents were right in front of me already. My perspective had shifted. I could see again. My gaze was no longer fixed on the woes of this world, but on the real blessings I had been given.

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Under that tree last Christmas was one last unwrapped gift, and my girls were so eager to see me open it. It was a photo book of the memories we had made in Estes Park the year before. When I turned to the last page I read, “Pack your bags, Fancy, we leave tonight to our cabin in the woods.” I had no idea that I would be on top of that mountain taking in all of its majesty and beauty with the one I love. He didn’t know, while in the hospital, if he’d ever be able to give it to me. We both had been given an amazing gift from above, and we are not going to take it for granted. We are going to do our very best to live this life we have been given well. I hope you will join us in doing the same. There are people whose life will be impacted by the way we live! Let’s live it well!

I leave you with one of my favorite promises Jesus made to us, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Merry Christmas Family and Friends…our God has OVERCOME THE WORLD!!!

A special thank you to our gifted friend, Doug Peak, who made this moment in our life a forever reminder to LIVE WELL! We love you and will cherish this for always.  Ryan Coe, thank you for having this painted for me. I love doing life with you and can’t wait to see what the next 20 years bring! I love you!!!

By clicking on Doug Peak, you will see his amazing art gallery. Go check it out today! You can order a special painting too. He’s amazing!