Answered Prayers: Hospice Patient Witnesses Daughter Say “I Do”


Writer’s Note: The following is a true story of God’s faithfulness and kindness in the face of a difficult time in life. It is a true story of answered prayers and of people allowing God to use them. If you ever feel a nudge from above or have a thought that perhaps doesn’t exactly make sense, follow your gut. There is no telling what story God wants to write. Amen and Ehmen. –Brenda.


Erin had long dreamt of her mother seeing her walk down the aisle in her wedding gown. She dreamed of her mom sitting on the front row and watching as she said “I do” to the man they have both grown to love so much.

But there was one huge problem. Her beloved mother is terminally ill and likely won’t make it to the October wedding they have been planning.

Enter Serenity Nurse Case Manager Erica and CNA Nicole. A week earlier, they both were at the patient’s home to check up on her and, as she showed more signs of decline, they discussed her situation with Erin. Seeing the devastation that registered in Erin’s eyes as she realized her mom probably wouldn’t get to see her get married, Erica and Nicole made a suggestion.

“Why not get married next week here in the living room,” Erica inquired.

With Erin’s agreement, Erica and Nicole got busy planning the July 1 event. They shopped for decorations and flowers and called in Robbie, Serenity’s chaplain, to officiate the ceremony. They also called me, the office’s volunteer coordinator,  to arrange for a wedding cake which volunteer cook-extraordinaire Barbara was happy to bake.

Everyone was thrilled to help make this special day happen, but no one more than me. Afterall, I had already seen first-hand as God divinely intervened to match this beautiful family with Serenity in the first place.

Rewind to a Friday morning just a few weeks earlier when my phone alarm twirped and tweeted a reminder that I had a long overdue eye appointment later that day in Macon. Realizing I had completely forgotten and already booked my day with patients, I made a mental note to call and cancel and went about my day.

After visiting patients in Byron and Lizella, I made my way to Macon to see my next patient, but on the way, that patient’s wife called and asked if I could delay my  visit by an hour. About that same time, a second reminder for my eye appointment popped up on my phone, reminding me not only of my impending appointment time, but also that I had forgotten to cancel it. About that same time, I also realized that I was just a few minutes away from the doctor’s office. Fate seemed determined to get me into that exam chair.

I headed over to the appointment and jumped out of the car to head inside. After closing the car door, however, I felt a nudge to reopen the door and grab my Serenity nametag. I always take it off in the car because it makes the seatbelt more bothersome and, though I obviously didn’t need to wear a name tag to go into a personal appointment, something just told me that on this day, in this office, I indeed needed it. Not one to ignore such nudges, I obliged and clipped it onto my shirt as I walked inside.

After being shown to the exam room, I was soon joined by one of the doctor’s assistants. The assistant, who introduced herself as Erin, sat at a nearby desk and began asking questions to gather information. She paused, however, when she turned and faced me.

“You work with Serenity,” she asked softly. The question consisted of only four words, but her tone made it obvious that there were a lot of feelings behind it.

“Yes, I do. Do you know us?”

“Well, I, I guess you could say that,” she stuttered quietly. “My mom has cancer and her doctors feel it is time to call in hospice. They suggested either Serenity or another hospice here in town.”

“I have been reeling ever since they uttered the word hospice, and I had no idea which one to call. In fact, I prayed all night last night, pleading with God to give me a sign and help me take the right next step,” she continued, tears welling up in her eyes. “You are obviously that sign.”

As I listened to Erin’s words, I knew at once that the events that brought me into the office and the still, small voice that led me to put on my nametag, was far from coincidental and I eagerly shared with them with Erin.

“And you weren’t supposed to be my patient, but the other girl had to leave,” she said, exhaling a deep sigh of relief as she experienced her prayer being answered in real time.

Erin signed her mother up with Serenity the next day and, as is so often the case, the Serenity team quickly became like family to her and her mother. They care for the patient’s every need and aid and advise Erin all along the way, including helping throw her this beautiful impromptu wedding so that her sweet mama could see her say “I do.”               

And what a perfect ceremony it was.

Though disease has diminished Erin’s mama’s ability to communicate verbally, it was obvious that she was deeply touched. There was a glisten in her eyes and an almost palpable air of love that circled bride and groom as they took her hands into theirs.

“We can never thank you all enough,” Erin said, leaning in to kiss her mama on the cheek. “Thank you for letting God use you and for being the answer to my prayers.”

Happy HIMdependence Day!


Happy HIMdependence Day! Final

The older I get, the more and more truth I find in the old saying, “time flies.” In fact, every year the old tick-tock seems to sprout bigger and faster wings, hijacking the moments and carrying each one of them far, far away.

If we’re lucky, the good ones land somewhere in the recesses of our memories to be retrieved and enjoyed many times in the future, while the not-so-good just keep floating into the dark abyss of time never to be recalled again. Better yet, they wind up in God’s toolbox where He repurposes them and turns each into something useful.

Actually, the truth is, God promises to always use our stuff. He says so many times throughout the bible and most expressly so in Romans 8:28: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him and who have been called according to his purpose.”

I hope you’ll notice that He says ALL things; not just some things, but ALL things. All He really wants in return is our unwavering love, another fact that He reminds us of throughout His word, such as in Matthew 22:3, when Jesus himself spoke the greatest commandment of all: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.”

My prayer today is that all of us learn to love God just like that—with all our heart, soul and mind—for I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that it is that kind of love that leads to full trust, obedience and dependence on Him and full dependence leads to guaranteed fulfillment of the purpose for which our Father created us.

And that, my dear friends, will ultimately lead to the words we all long to hear straight from the lips of our Awesome God: “Well done, good and faithful servant. Well done!” Oh, how incredible that will be! I know it’s July 4th weekend here in the United States, but this year, I say let’s forget Independence Day and start celebrating Himdependence Day!

Amen and Ehmen!

A Father to the Fatherless…


Father to the Fatherless

June 16, 2019

Dear Father,

Thank You for promises kept. All of them. So many promises since the genesis of time, all of which You honor, never letting a single one fall by the wayside.

But, while I thank You for all of those promises kept and for all the fulfilled promises to come, the one that touches me most deeply today–Father’s Day 2019–is found in Psalm 68:5—“A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.” Oh, how this promise has impacted me as You so carefully wove it into the lives of my earthly family when we lost our patriarch at the hands of a murderer.

But, not only is it a personal promise that covers me and my family, it’s a promise lovingly written in broad strokes to cover all of us who for, whatever reason, grew up with anything less than a good earthly father—whether that father was absent by no choice of his own or one who willfully ignored and disregarded what his children needed most of all: to be loved, cherished, protected and valued.

Still, if I am completely honest, I still sometimes struggle with feeling loved, cherished, protected and valued. Deep down I know that I am, because not only do You say that I am, but You have proven it time and time again throughout my life.

Help me with this, Father, and thank You for always being there no matter what and for standing in the gap for my earthly dad who I miss deeply even all these years later. Amen and Ehmen.


Dear Child,

I always address you as child, because no matter how old you are or what you have or haven’t done, you will always be just that–My child. I chose you before you were born and will continue to choose you every single day of your life throughout eternity. Nothing and no one can every change that.

Brenda, I am sorry that you did not have the opportunity to truly know your earthly dad. He is a wonderful man who also loves you very much and with who you will one day be reunited. He eagerly awaits this ultimate family reunion and, in the meantime, keeps busy enjoying His many heavenly rewards of which you are one.

We are both very proud of you and the way that you are learning to lay all the twists and turns of life at My feet so that I can make your path straight. Keep your eyes on Me and, together, we will walk heart-first into My will and your purpose.

But, be careful, My Child, not to let your feelings disrupt what you know in your spirit to be true. Feelings can be fickle, a product of the flesh which, by human nature, is weak. Just like the words of a self-professed prophet, you must always test each and every feeling against My Word, the place My truth—and yours—live and breathe; the place where love–My eternal love and affection for you, My child, resides and awaits the moment you allow it to be etched on your heart, never to be forgotten again. On this Father’s Day, I give you this gift. Drink it in. Trust it. And, know, Child…

I have searched you thoroughly and I know everything about you ( Psalm 139:1), even the very hairs on your head are numbered (Matthew 10:29-31). I know when you sit down and when you rise up (Psalm 139:2) and I am familiar with all your ways (Psalm 139:3).

For you are My offspring (Acts 17:28) who I knew before you were ever conceived (Jeremiah 1:4-5) and who was made in My own image (Genesis 1:27). I chose you when I planned creation (Ephesians 1:11-12), My child. You are not a mistake, for all your days are written in my book (Psalm 139:15-16) and in Me, you live and move and have your being (Acts 17:28).

It was Me who knit you together in your mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13) and Me that determined the exact time of your birth and where you would live (Acts 17:26). Yes, Child, you are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14) and it is My desire to lavish My love on you simply because you are My child and I am your Father (1 John 3:1).

Know this, too, My Child, I offer you more than your earthly father ever could (Matthew 7:11) for I am the perfect father (Matthew 5:28). Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand (James 1:17), for I am your provider and I meet all your needs (Matthew 6:31-33).

My plan for your future, Child, has always been filled with hope (Jeremiah 29:11), because I love you with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3). My thoughts toward you are countless as the sand on the seashore (Psalm 139:17-18) and I rejoice over you with singing (Zephaniah 3:17). I will NEVER stop doing good to you (Jeremiah 32:40), for you are My treasured possession (Exodus 19:5).

I am your greatest encourager, child (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17) and I am also the Father who comforts you in all your troubles (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). When you are brokenhearted, I am close to you (Psalm 34:18), for as a shepherd carries a lamb, I carry you close to my heart (Isaiah 40:11).

I am your Father, and I love you even as I love my son, Jesus, (John 17:23) who came to demonstrate that I am for you, not against you (Romans 8:31) and tell you that I am not counting your sins (2 Corinthians 5:18-19). He died so that you and I could be reconciled (2 Corinthians 5:18-19) and His death was the ultimate expression of My love for you (1 John 4:10).

Don’t you see, Child, I gave up everything I loved that I might gain your love (Romans 8:31-32). If you receive the gift of my son Jesus, you receive Me as well (1 John 2:23) and nothing will ever separate you from My love again (Romans 8:38-39).

I have always been Father, and will always be Father (Ephesians 3:14-15). My question is…Will you be my child (John 1:12-13)?

Just beyond the waves…


Sometimes it feels like I’m standing heart-deep in the ocean. I see the horizon, the keeper of hope and dreams, in all of its glory. Below it is sparkling waters beckoning me to come in. Above it is a vast expanse of clear blue sky, Heaven’s doorway, it seems.


But just underneath the surface, there is an undertow so strong that it sometimes feels like I can barely stand, much less move forward. I know it is the work of the enemy, life’s antagonist, and yet I still sometimes let it take me under.


What I have to remember is that it doesn’t have to. All I really have to do is breathe in purposefully and deep, take the hand of my Father and face that fear head on, sometimes standing firm, sometimes powering through and sometimes dipping just below the surface and re-emerging in that sweet, glassy calmness that lies just beyond the waves. For our Father knows that once He gets us far enough out, to the point that we can longer touch bottom, to that that place where we are no longer fastened to the world, the undertow has no more power over us.

The horizon, the keeper of hope and dreams, awaits our arrival as the doors of Heaven fling open wide and the glory of God shines for all to see.


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Present In His Presence


Writer’s Note: From the most recent entry into my Dear God Journals. I’m so glad He never gives up on us and is always willing to teach us if we’ll just be present.

April 15, 2021

Dear God,

Here I am. Finally. I know you must surely feel a lot like a parent calling a kid away from a video game. I can be so stubborn and yet you just keep calling me. Thank You for never giving up on me and for continuing to call me back to You. I have known for over an hour when I first woke up that You were yearning for time with me and, as I do so often, I just rolled over and immersed myself in other things to occupy my awake, but sleepy mind. Idleness is indeed a friend of the enemy as he loves to turn it into distraction to catch us up in a whirling, twirling cyclone of disobedience. So, again, thank You for not giving up on me; for continuing to call out to me and grabbing hold of my hand and pulling me out of the storm for a close-up and personal chat with You, my Father, my Lord and Savior. Speak to me Father for I am finally here.

Dear Child,

Did you know that you have an army of people who pray for you regularly? It delights Me, that even when I don’t have one-onone time with you that others are speaking to Me on your behalf. I have missed our early morning times together as I know you have as well. Your spirit has been thirsting for connection with Me, but have struggled to make the space and time. You are correct that an idle mind and spirit is satan’s best friend. It creates a fertile ground upon which he can sow his evil seeds and, for you, that is distraction. You must fight back and do, just as you are now, show up and turn your focus to Me, the one who loves you unconditionally. As you have just read in 1 Corinthians, Chapter 3, you are My temple and in My temple I dwell. At all times. Every minute and every hour, you can find Me here in the most inner room. You just have to step inside for full access. I AM yours for the taking.

Just remember that stepping inside means to give Me your full attention; to enter the silence where you can fully hear that quite whisper in the wind…My Still Small Voice.  Why do I whisper? I whisper so you MUST draw near. You see, Child, connection happens when there is two-way conversation and two-way conversation can not happen unless you enter this Holy space reserved for you and me alone. Come inside, Child. Close your eyes and listen.

Child, I know you worry that you are not completing the assignment I gave you, but I want you to remember that I only let you see small bits of your assignment at the time as the big picture would be too much for you. If you focus on Me and stay in constant communication with Me, if you focus on Me and are obedient to My Voice, you never have to worry about missing an assignment or letting me down. Just because something doesn’t look like what you envisioned, it does not mean it’s not what I envisioned and what I envision is ALWAYS the best for You. Remember that, Child.

Yes, you have taken some detours over these past couple of years, but you are exactly where I want you during this season. Talk to me every day; about every decision; about every desire; about every thought. For when you are with Me, the enemy has no power. I love you, Child. Welcome home.

Define L-O-V-E


Today’s musings: If I had written the dictionary, this is what it would say about love: The all-powerful ingredient that dwells at the center of God’s existence and the founding ingredient of the earth and all that is in it; the very reason that we’re here. Happy Weekend! 🙂

It’s a God Thing!


Read 1 Corinthians, Chapter 3, this morning before I headed off to work. Verses 16 and 17 hopped off the page.

“Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you? God will destroy anyone who destroys this temple. For God’s temple is holy and you are that temple.”

God lives in me! Why in the world do I worry about such trivial things? Perhaps that phrase, “in the world,” is a clue. I must quit thinking so small and acting as if it is all up to me or the people around me. It is a God thing. I am a God thing. I have nothing to fear. Thank You, Jesus. Amen and Ehmen.

Silent Night, Holy Night


clockAs I sit in the silence, I’m soothed by the ticking of the grandfather clock in the foyer. It’s a welcomed sound, one that I could hear as often as I’d like, if I just took the time. But, I don’t.

Indeed, this beautiful time piece has been ushering the minutes in and out of my home for more than a decade now and yet I rarely hear its sweet, rhythmic voice simply because I allow the noise of everyday life to drown it out.

I come home and turn on the television. I listen to the radio or talk on the phone. I dial up videos on my computer. I create noise. Any kind of noise. Silence, after all, would mean I was doing nothing, wasting time.

The irony is that silence is far from a waste of time. It’s a most beautiful thing; that time and space in which we get to know ourselves and allow our own hearts to synchronize with that of our sweet, sweet Savior.

Shhhhhhhh. Turn off the television. Turn off the world. Quiet. Can you hear it? Beautiful, peaceful and holy silence. The heartbeat of God. It just doesn’t get any better this side of Heaven.

Amen and Ehmen.

Father, hear our cries…


Lord, I come to You now in the presence of every person whose eyes land on these words. I know that it is not by accident. Lord, we NEED you now more than ever. Our friends and family members are sick and dying, but YOU, God, have the ability to heal them and to obliterate this virus from the face of the earth. We know that nothing happens without Your knowledge and we know that You are ultimately in control. Help us to sit in that truth and remain good stewards of Your Word and Your Church. Help us to be kind to one another and to put other people—even those we don’t agree with—first. Help us to take care of one another the way that You intended. Help people see past the political party lines and remember we are all made in the image of You. Help people to not put personal freedom over compassion for their fellow man and help those worried about this virus to be met with understanding and compassionate responses rather than fighting and mocking. Help me God with my own fear as I lean on You and trust You while using the sound mind you gave me to make safe choices that are right for me and those closest to me. Touch our world and our country, Lord. Heal us from border to border, every family, every person. Eradicate COVID 19 and make it disappear as quickly as it came. Hear our pleas, Lord. It is in Jesus’ mighty name we pray. Amen and Ehmen.

Don’t let the desert become satan’s sandbox…


Writer’s Note: As I have mentioned on this blog before, I often “record” my personal God and prayer time by opening a blank page and typing the two-way conversation that ensues. It amazes me how much I get from it as it happens as well as later when I re-read it. How do I know His part of the conversation is definitely His part?Well, simply put, I am just not that smart. If anyone finds it helpful, I will continue to post some of these “blank page” conversations on Amen and Ehmen! Feel free to comment and let me know if any of my posts ever help you. And, remember, prayer is just talking and listening to our sweet, sweet Father in Heaven. Talk to Him. He’s always ready and waiting. Amen and Ehmen.

January 23, 2015  7:32 AM

Hey, God.

It’s me. I really am going to try and do better about spending uninterrupted time with you in the mornings; time when I can dear godrecord on paper my observations and thoughts as well as your answers and teaching. It still amazes me, when I only give you a few minutes of my day, just as I did earlier this week, you still spoke and shared with me such wisdom and love. As you know, I shared what you told me on Facebook, and it obviously helped others. I love this about our “blank screen” conversations and I love you, wanting nothing more than to do your will. Why, then, oh my Lord, do I not sit in front of this page more often? Why am I not going bed earlier so that I wake up earlier and have this time with you? It’s always fruitful. Always. Lord, I pray that you help me overcome any satanic attacks or even just plain fleshly laziness, so that I spend more time learning from you, taking instruction and then sharing that wisdom and love with others. I know that this is your will for me and I want nothing more than to please you and bring your lost children to you so that we can all one day live in the heavenly realms with you as one big, happy family. Amen and Ehmen.

Dear Child of Mine,

You are learning. Just keep your eyes trained on me. Keep your heart and your ears tuned to me. Together, we will overcome the temptations that threaten to steal the mission that I have assigned you. You can do this, if you just stick we me. That is the key, however; sticking with me. Apart from me you are nothing. And, in sticking with me, you must fully and completely trust me. This is where most of my children, including you, go wrong throughout life on earth. You say you trust me, but then you don’t listen to my instruction; you don’t obey my word. Do you not see how hypocritical this is? Now, don’t be deceived. You are not the only one who lives like this. It began with Adam and Eve and has continued throughout history. Even those after my own heart fell and still fall prey to this. I say this not to offer you an excuse, but to make you understand that this is not unique to you. And why is this important to understand? It is important to understand, because Satan will unceasingly and unfailingly try to convince you otherwise. Satan will tell you that you are a failure; that your disobedience is a sure sign that you must not love Me or believe in Me like you should. Or, even worse, that I, your Creator, could not possibly love someone like you. This is a lie from the deceiver; from the enemy. I love you unconditionally. No matter what.

This, however, does not mean you won’t be tested.

Everyone, my child, is tempted and tested, because everyone who has and will ever live has a purpose and a part to play in fulfilling my plans. Absolutely everyone. Satan, on the other hand, seeks to kill and destroy; not because he hates you, but because he hates Me and will do anything to try and thwart my plan. You are just a toy to him, a tool to be used and discarded. He even tried it with my own Son. Why, on earth, do you think you’d be immune?

Note what I just said, he “TRIED” it with my son. To try is to attempt and his attempt failed miserably. My son is pure and my son died for you, giving you the promise of eternal life and the ability to also fight back and come back. You can’t lose with Me on your side. Together, we turn temptations into failed attempts. And, I do one better than even that; for, if Satan is successful at tripping you, I will be there, not only to help you back up and to dust you off, but to use the dirt, the muck and the mire into which you fell to build something more; to teach you and those who witness or hear your story how to move even closer to me. I will never turn my back on you. Ever.

But, know this, too, My child, Satan is the quintessential deceiver and once he gets you down, he will use every trick in the book to keep you there. He is a master of smoke and mirrors and will turn every human weakness into a tool to keep you in bondage; to keep you wandering in the desert and as far away from your mission and path as possible.

Do you remember when my people wandered in the desert for 40 years on their way to the Promise Land? It took 40 years, a whole generation, to traverse a section of land that should have only taken a few days, had they followed my lead and direction. And, because of that, the majority of the generation that left Egypt for the Promise Land, died before they were able to enjoy the promise. This is to be a warning to you. Your life is a journey to your final destination, the promised land of heaven where you will live in peace and joy with me for all of eternity. But, you must follow my lead and fulfill your purpose of leading others into this glorious kingdom. If you don’t, you, too, may very well spend a lot of unnecessary years wandering in the desert where you are easily swayed by Satan, perhaps convinced that you are lost forever when, in reality, you are on the fringe of where your heart longs to be, with me!

You are close enough to touch me; to grab my hand. Don’t let the deceiver use your weakness, your hunger, your own personal pride to convince you otherwise. The desert, you see, can be simply a place you pass through on your way to Me, a place of training and learning. Or, counter-productively, you can allow it to simply become Satan’s sandbox.

May we all reach for His Hand today and stay far away from satan’s sandbox. Amen and Ehmen!