Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

6 weeks

I went back to the surgeon yesterday.

It was music to my ears when Dr. K said “you are healing up nicely!”  He gave me some new instructions.  Then he said he wanted to see me in six weeks.  — not four weeks but six weeks!!  He also told me that if I was all better, I could cancel that appointment.


BIG SMILE — even the Dr. was smiling.

You might remember my last two visits where I barely made it into the elevator before  the tears started falling.  Click here for part one 

click here for part two

I couldn’t wait to share this with Curt and started telling him right away.    At one point I told him, I think I could cry.  The difference  this time is that it would be tears of joy!

I still have some pain but there are times when there isn’t any pain.  Those times without pain are increasing.

As I look back over the past three months I see how much my life has changed.  Changes that I wouldn’t have made if I wasn’t forced to slow down.

The reading for today in the devotional book Jesus Calling by Sarah Young says this:

I am life and light in abundance.  As you spend time “soaking’ in  My Presence, you are energized and lightened.  Through communing with Me, you transfer your heavy burdens to My strong shoulders.  By gazing at Me, you gain My perspective on your life.  This time alone with Me is essential for unscrambling your thoughts and smoothing out the day before you.

Be willing to fight for this precious time with Me.  Opposition comes in many forms; your own desire to linger in bed; the evil one’s determinations to distract you from Me; the pressure of family, friends and your own inner critic to spend your time more productively.  As you grow in your desire to please Me above all else, you gain strength to resist these opponents.  Delight yourself in Me, for I am the deepest Desire of your heart.  (Psalm 48:9, Deuteronomy 33:12, Psalm 37:4)

“By gazing at Me, you gain My perspective on your life.

Reminds me the message yesterday.  “God’s people – following God’s plan – will have God’s power.”  Pastor C

What distracts you from spending time with God?  When was the last time you just ‘soaked’ up His Presence, allowing His peace to fill your heart?

til next time


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July 1, 2014 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

eight weeks

Eight weeks ago I started a daily devotional on our PAC facebook page.   I gave it some serious thought and prayer before starting it.  A daily commitment is big deal.    Yet it was right along with what God has been leading me to do when I left  my job at the eye clinic.

Here are the daily topics:

  • Sunday Special
  • Memorization Monday
  • Tuesday’s Teaching Moment
  • Wonderful Wednesday
  • Thirsty Thursday
  • Fabulous Friday
  • Saturday’s Song

I try to keep it at 175 words or less which is a great discipline for me.  It forces me to schedule study time  into my day.  This is in addition to my own devotional time.   Who would have thought finding time to study would be an issue?  God is so good.  He knows my heart and my desire.

He gave me the push I needed.  He does that, we need only to pay attention.

Eight weeks — It sure doesn’t seem like eight weeks.

Today,  Tuesday’s Teaching Moment (my 57th post) was a bit of a challenge.   It had me wondering if I had truly counted the cost.  When I realized that with God’s help I had already done 56, it made me pause in Awe of the daily help that comes from God.

I am in Awe of His Word and how life changing it is.  I am in Awe that God would continue to use me.  Me – with all my imperfections and hang ups.  I am in Awe that God’s unending love continues to mold me.  Because of Jesus, I can share the hope, love and joy that I know is mine and available to all.  To God be the glory,  in my weakness He is strong!  (2 Cor 12:9-10)

In the beginning, I opened it up to the other four ministers at our PAC church.  While I would most certainly welcome the help, I am grateful that God enables me to do what He puts in my heart to do.

We are not all called to do the same thing but we are all called to represent Him.

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”  Matthew 5:16 (NKJV)

til next time,


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April 12, 2016 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, ministry, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

february 6, 2011

This week I found myself in the nursery for both services.   That makes it a bit difficult to do sermon notes.

However, there are two lists that have come across my desk recently.

Grab your Bible, as I won’t be posting all of the scriptures.  I  feel that it is important to look the scriptures up in your own Bible –  to stay familiar with the love letter that God has given to us.  (If you don’t have a Bible let me know.)

The first list has to do with our mental outlook!


1.  Start the day with faith – read Psalms 5:3

What comes out of your mouth?  David and Goliath — all the others were saying –just too big, I can’t kill him.    David was saying –He’s too big I just can’t miss!.

2. Look for good in the situations – read  Romans 8:28

3 Give our problems to God – read  2 Corinthians 1:8-11

4. Eliminate negative words  – read  Ephesians 4:29

5. Associate with positive people  – read 1 Corinthians 15:33

Paul was an optimist.  Philippians 1:20   When  we expect the best we honor God.

6. Remember your future -read Ephesians 3:20

The second list has to do with how we handle our money.

Financial difficulties?

Want to be debt free?  Lucy Swindoll from Women of Faith shares her 12 steps to getting out of debt and staying out!

1.  Tithe on the gross

2.  Live within your means

3.  Take care of what you have

4.  Wear it out

5.  Do it yourself

6.  Anticipate your needs

7.  Research value, quality, and durability

8.  Make gifts

9.  Shop less

10.  Buy used

11.   Pay cash

12.   Do without

There you have it for this weeks sermon notes.   If you want to check out last weeks – click here.

til next time

February 9, 2011 Posted by | ministry, sermon notes, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

God is greater than my struggle

6 more weeks — trying to wrap my head around 6 more weeks.

You know that moment when you realize that the outcome you believed, with all your heart, is not the reality you are in?  Two weeks ago I started on prednisone.  Click here for the start of the journey.

I went back for blood work fully expecting my sed rate to be in the acceptable range.  With God’s help, I managed to navigate the two weeks keeping Godzilla at bay.   To God be the glory!

My sed rate is down but still too high.  Instead of a prescription for two weeks, I picked up  one for six weeks.  The thought of six weeks was enough to put me in full force tears.   The edginess, the nausea, the insomnia, the tiredness, the hunger, the headaches, the tears, the emotions all over the place — 6 weeks – which happens to include some mighty big things:  Easter, twins birthdays,  district council meetings, motorcycle blessing and show and the day to day life filled with loving God and loving people.   I can’t possibly hibernate for 6 weeks, can I?

    “when my heart is overwhelmed.
Lead me to the towering rock of safety,
    for you are my safe refuge,”  (Psalm 61)

Where do I go when I don’t get the answer that I so badly thought was coming?  I go back to God’s Word.  I call upon my Savior.  I lay my disappointment at His feet – knowing He loves me, will be there every step of the way, and He will use this for my good.  How?  I don’t have to know.  I just need to trust.

“God is our refuge and strength,
    a very present help in trouble.
 Therefore we will not fear…” Psalm 46

God is my safe place.  In my weakness, He is strong.  He is with me all the way.  I will not fear:

  • how my body will handle this medicine
  • how my emotions will respond
  • that six weeks won’t be enough to lower my sed rate
  • that I will fail miserably (God’s grace is enough)
  • that I can’t do this
  • the changes this will undoubtedly produce
  • what the medicine is doing to my organs
  • the withdrawal after six weeks
  • But most of all, I will not fear period because God is greater.

I may have to remind myself of this daily.    A great reason to be in the word daily.   It amaze me how God knows just what I need when I look to Him.

til next time

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April 5, 2019 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

not my friend

I thought I  was done with you.  I had said my good byes.   You are a horrible ‘friend’.   You cause nausea, headaches, sleepless nights and make me feel on edge All The Time.

I thought that I was all better without you.  I thought I no longer needed you.  And then I got the call.

When the doctor informed me that he was putting me back on prednisone (this time for six weeks) I knew it was a challenge that I did not feel I was up to handling.   Prednisone you are not kind.  Your friendship is certainly a challenge I do not want.   Many of you know that it really doesn’t matter when your body has issues.

So I do what I know works. When in the midst of a challenge I don’t want to face, I fall on my face before God. I stay there and return there every time that peace seems to be outside my grasp. Becoming aware of His presence brings a calmness that is much needed.

Nothing takes Him by surprise. He specializes in giving His children peace that goes beyond our ability to understand the why’s and how’s. (Philippians 4:6-7)

When I give in to the frustration of this ‘friendship’ I take my eyes off of Jesus.  My awareness of His presence is hindered by my focus on the reaction my body is giving to this drug.

Luke 6:45 is my battle cry!

“The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” Luke 6:45 ESV


No photo description available.


So I fill my heart with more and more of God’s Word and I meditate on His goodness.  I hold tightly to this scripture that says out of my heart is what my mouth will speak.  It is not out of my pain or out of my edginess.  I’ve asked God to set a guard over my mouth – to keep watch over the door of my lips.  (Psalm 141:3)

Will I get it right every time?  No!  I can tell you that I have had to apologize and I have no doubt that I will need to apologize again.  Yet, that does not mean that I just give in to the medicine and be a jerk.


What challenges are you facing? Let God arise and scatter fear and doubt. Let God fill you to overflowing with hope. (Romans 15:13)

God’s got this!  More important God’s got me and He has you too if you will just lean on Him.

til next time

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April 12, 2019 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, relationships, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


I woke up this morning and I knew before I ever got out of bed that I was emotionally depleted.  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  It is what it is.

psalm 61It can be the result of  a good thing as it can mean that I have had a schedule filled with all sorts of wonderful activities and been traveling on an emotional high.  I am reminded of Elijah in the Bible – 1 & 2 Kings.   This weekend my victories were not on the same enormous scale as his were, but there are similarities.

It can also occur due to a torrential downpour of “issues”  bombarding me.  Those things that try to squeeze the life out of me and never seem to come one at a time.  Instead they seem to come out of nowhere or where I would least  expect there to be a problem.  I am reminded of Paul addressing his troubles in 2 Corinthians 1:8 & 11:26-28.

Physical pain/sickness can also cause emotional depletion. Some days it seems like I am on the top of a teeter totter and the other person has just jumped off the bottom.  Other days the pain doesn’t even phase me.  Personally, I am so ready to have my life back.   The longer pain lasts, the greater toil it can have on your emotions.  Yet, greater trial – greater victory!

Then this morning I go and read this in Mark Batterson’s book “The Grave Robber”

“A few months ago a friend of mine was diagnosed with cancer, and we’ve been praying for spontaneous remission — the medical term for miracle.  Unfortunately, further tests were trending in the wrong direction at his first follow-up visit.  When my friend called me, it was tough to know what to say.  And the truth is, it’s better to listen than to talk.  But then I felt like I needed to remind him of a simple yet difficult truth.  “I’m going to keep praying for your healing, but healing isn’t the ultimate goal.  The ultimate goal is God’s glory.”

The goal is God’s glory!praise  (see John 9)  Sometimes I forget that.  Sometimes I act as if the goal is pain free, problem free, financially free…

Last night we had a powerful praise service.  Kneeling before the Lord is one of my favorite positions.  Yet, it’s been almost 11 weeks since I messed up my knee and have not put any weight on the top.

During this song  my desire to kneel before God was strong.  (to listen to the song – click on the title)   This is my desire   

I did a one knee kneel at first but then it was as if God was prompting me to ‘go ahead – kneel with the other knee too’  So I did.  No pain!   Still numbness but no pain!

restIf your heart is overwhelmed please recognize that you have a choice.  You may try to ignore it but that won’t help.  Blaming something or someone won’t help either but you can choose to go that road and stay miserable.


You don’t have to remain overwhelmed.  You can recognize it for what it is and then go to the Rock (Jesus) and wait in His presence.  Take the time to immerse yourself in His Word.  Allow Him to fill you up again.  Take time to quiet your soul.

flower message

“May the God of HOPE fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you will overflow with HOPE by the power of the Holy Spirit.”  (Romans 15:13)

In closing, remembering God’s goodness is vital to dealing with the sense of emotional depletion/exhaustion/being overwhelmed.  A tool available to everyone is to start a gratitude journal.  I recommend it highly.  I don’t write in it every day but I try to regularly write in it.  The key is to not repeat something – be looking for treasures.    It does open your eyes to the beauty that is all around and the big and small ways God works in our lives.  (A great book to help you get started is “One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voscamp.)

I am confident that nothing takes God by surprise.  My life is in the palm of His hand.  He has a plan that will turn ashes into beauty, give me joy instead of mourning, and my praising Him will overtake any heaviness that tries to rest on me.  (Isaiah 61:3 my paraphase)  He will do the same for you.

til next time


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August 31, 2015 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

rest – a four letter word

For busy people, rest can seem like a four letter word.  You know right up there with diet and other unmentionable words.

After years of ministry, I have found that rest is one thing that can easily get pushed back.  It seems there is always something that can occupy your time and attention.  Some Christians even wear their busy schedules as a badge of honor.

In my opinion, overworking and over-committing are two tools that the enemy uses to tire out Christians.  Ministers are right at the top of this list.  Learning how to live a life of balance is vital to living an abundant life.


If you ask  Christians about a Sabbath rest, you are sure to get an assortment of answers.  Some will tell you that on the 7th day God rested and He set  the example for us.  Some will tell you that Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.  (This one will be used both to support observing a Sabbath rest and to support the idea that one does not need a Sabbath rest.)

Rest – sleep, freedom from work or activity, state of inactivity, something used as a support  (Webster)

I grew up with parents who took very seriously a Sabbath Rest.  Sunday was all about church and resting.  I have fond memories of the Sunday afternoon drives that mom, dad, and I would take.  As a kid, it was so much more fun than taking a nap.   Yet, many a Sunday would find me reading a book and nodding off to sleep.

Fast forward to me as a newly married woman and the surprised look on my face as my husband was going out to mow the lawn Sunday afternoon.  He grew up with parents who worked every day of the week.  (They owned a couple of mom and pop grocery stores.) Sundays were the day you got all the work done around the house.

It took some convincing, but I was able to get him to agree to ‘try’ a Sabbath rest for one month.  He was humoring me.  But after that month was up, he was a firm believer in the benefits to taking a day of rest.  He accomplished more in those six days then he ever did in working seven.

A day of rest gives support to the other 6 days of the week.  Rest enables you to stick it out for the long haul.  This thing called life isn’t a sprint but a life long marathon.  Resting is beneficial, especially if you are prone to workaholic-ism.

God’s Word has a lot to say about rest.  (519 references in the NASV and 545 references in the NKJV)

I am so looking forward to tomorrow.  As ministers, Friday is our day to observe a Sabbath rest.  I have not done so well in guarding my Sabbath rest the past few weeks.  My body is loudly protesting.

Even though I have daily devotions and rely on God as I encounter each days challenges, there is something powerful about ‘coming away with Him and resting’ –  sitting at His feet like Mary.  (Luke 10:38-40)  A day of relaxation and rest!

How do you answer the call of Jesus?  “Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while.”

til next time


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You are not alone!!

May 14, 2015 Posted by | ministry, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

mother’s day done different

This year we did a couple of things different at church. First, we changed our Mother/Daughter Banquet to Daughters of the King luncheon.  Not having daughters, the death of my own mother (a little over a year ago,) and losing my daughter-in-law this past year, I just personally couldn’t do one more Mother/Daughter anything.


Daughters of the King

ChristyJoanPatWhat I didn’t know when we changed the name was that my mother-in-law would go to be with Jesus a couple of weeks ago.  Considering that I was in charge of the food for this event, God knew how important a name change would be to my heart.

Our speakers were fantastic.  God took each one and weaved a beautiful theme of value and love.

Mother’s Day Sunday – we did another new thing!

flowers ready for first service!

flowers ready for first service!

We acknowledged all women.   It is kind of long, but here it is if you want to read it.

To those who are in the trenches with little ones every day and wear the badge of food stains – we appreciate you
To those who experienced loss through miscarriage, failed adoptions, or running away—we mourn with you
To those who walk the hard path of infertility, – we walk with you. Forgive us when we say foolish things. We don’t mean to make this harder than it is.
To those who are foster moms, mentor moms, and spiritual moms – we need you
To those who have warm and close relationships with your children – we celebrate with you
To those who have disappointment, heart ache, and distance with your children – we sit with you
To those who lost their mothers – we grieve with you
To those who have lost a child – we mourn with you
To those who experienced abuse at the hands of your own mother – we acknowledge your experience
To those who lived through driving tests, medical tests, and the overall testing of motherhood – we are better for having you in our midst
To those who are single and long to be married and mothering your own children – we mourn that life has not turned out the way you longed for it to be
To those who step-parent – we walk with you on these complex paths
To those who envisioned lavishing love on grandchildren -yet that dream is not to be, we grieve with you
To those who will have emptier nests in the upcoming year – we grieve and rejoice with you
To those who placed children up for adoption — we commend you for your selflessness and remember how you hold that child in your heart
To those of you who are single moms – we come along side you recognizing that you are both mom and dad to your child. You are not alone. We are here for you.
And to those who are pregnant with new life, both expected and surprising –we anticipate with you
This Mother’s Day, we walk with you. Mothering is not for the faint of heart and we have real warriors in our midst. We remember you.
To those who serve as role models to young girls, remember that little eyes are watching. We encourage you to live for Christ and set a good example.
We would invite all women, ages 16 and up, to come forward, select a flower and candy as a small token of our appreciation for you.
(This letter was originally written by Amy Young ( but has been tweaked just a bit.)

So to all the women out there, know that you are valued.

God rejoices over you with singing.  (Zep 3:17)

As for the men in my life.  They rocked the whole mother’s day thing for me.  Last year was rough.  God does turn our ashes into beauty. (Isaiah 61:3)  We have so many things to be thankful for.

We learn from the past, we live in the present, and we have hope for the future.  Our life is in God’s hands.  Our hearts are in His keeping.  He is for us!!!

from hubby - no I am not his mother, but I am the mother of his children.

from hubby – no I am not his mother, but I am the mother of his children.

corsages take me back to my childhood and my own mother.  Such wonderful memories!

A corsage take me back to my childhood and my own mother. Such wonderful memories! Thanks Babe for remembering.

waiting for me from Andrew - he had to work after first service

waiting for me from Andrew – he had to work after first service

from Chris - venison steak - mmmm the best!  And a beautiful card.

venison steak – from Chris.  mmmm the best!  And a beautiful card.  A new tradition has been started.  Thank you Chris!

To all my women friends out there, please know that you are valued.  God loves you.  He is an ever-present help in trouble.  (Psalm 46:1)

 She is clothed with strength and dignity;  she can laugh at the days to come.”  Proverbs 31:25

til next time,


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May 10, 2015 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, ministry, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

when I sit in darkness

I was sitting in the church office last Saturday night after everyone had left the Bike Show when I sent out an SOS to God.  I was to preach in the morning and I had nothing.  I had all sorts of topics floating around in my head earlier, but now I had nothing.

It has been a rough couple of weeks.  My mother-in-law went to be with Jesus.   The Bike show had to be rescheduled due to rain. I was drowning in paper work.   I am still dealing with tennis elbow.  I was physically and emotionally exhausted.

That is when I felt the nudge to pick a card out of my bread basket.

bread basket

(I bought this box when I worked at the eye clinic. After a phone call with an insurance company, I would reach for a scripture to redirect my thoughts.  It worked beautifully.)

just so happenedMicah 7:8b “When I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me.”

The room wasn’t dark, but my soul (will, mind, and emotions) felt surrounded by darkness.

Darkness can come in many forms.  Here are just a few forms.

pressure of deadlines
health issues
situation that looks bleak
tough situations with no good options
seeing your child hurting and knowing you can’t fix it

God uses circumstances in our life to open our eyes to a deeper awareness of His presence.  It seems in my life, the larger the trial – the greater God’s grace, goodness, and strength is being poured into my life.

Sunday morning before church I received a text from a dear friend.  All it said was Rom 15:13.  It was a big warm hug from God and a reminder that I am loved.    See that is my go-to scripture.  I was about to preach on hope and hadn’t included it.  God doesn’t leave us hanging.

“Now, may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you will overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”  Romans 15:13

I shared Psalm 130.  I encourage you to read the whole thing as it is powerful.  For this blog I am centering on the key verses I addressed.

“1Out of the depths I have cried to You, O Lord.

I wait for the Lord, my soul does wait,
And in His word do I hope.
My soul waits for the Lord
More than the watchmen for the morning;
Indeed, more than the watchmen for the morning.
O Israel, hope in the Lord;
For with the Lord there is lovingkindness,
And with Him is abundant redemption.”  Psalm 130 NASB)

On Spring break I took the opportunity to see the sky before the dawn.  Sometimes there was the light reflecting off the moon. The gulf was stunning.   Sometimes it was pitch black.   I could hear the waves but I could not see them.  Other times there was such a thick fog that the buildings security light could not even be seen.

When I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light to me!

Sometimes it can seem like morning is never coming.  Keep holding on to God.  He is an ever-present help in trouble.  (Psalm 46:1)

“I waited patiently for God to help me; then he listened and heard my cry.  He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out from the bog and the mire, and set my feet on a hard, firm path, and steadied me as i walked along.”  Psalm 40:1-2 (Living Bible)

Sometimes it seems like we are crossing a mud pit.  Keep holding on to God.  He will steady you.

“Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield.”  Psalm 33:20 (NASB)

Wait  –  I love Webster’s first definition.  “remain in readiness or expectation”

How do we wait patiently?  We do it with God’s help.  We are given plenty of opportunities to practice the discipline of waiting patiently.

Our God is not hindered or limited by the things that we see that make us feel helpless.  Let that sink in.  Then pray.  Maybe there is nothing we can do physically but we know the One who is able to do more than we can ask or think. (Eph 3:20)  Our God is greater than whatever it is we are facing, our children are facing and/or our nation is facing.  Prayer is powerful!

“When I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me.”

God uses circumstances in our life to open our eyes to a deeper awareness of His presence.

til next time


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May 9, 2015 Posted by | ministry, sermon notes, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

hiding in plain sight

I found a treasure the other day.  I had thought it was gone for good.  I had searched hi and low.  I had finally given up.  It was then that I found it hiding in plain sight.

What did I find?  My devotional journal.

Here is an excerpt from it.

  “that the proof of your faith…..may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. ” 1 Peter 1:7

Our faith can be put to the test and it is.  However, that is the time of proving.  In the fire of trials is Jesus lifted high – given glory, honor and praise?

I believe – I believe!  All things work out for my ultimate good.  Acceptance with joy — faith is an action — believing in what the Word says.

You are in control.  My life is in Your hands.  My heart is in Your keeping.  Trusting in You, I know I can make it.  Let my words, thoughts, and actions – please and glorify You.  You are in control.  My Redeemer – my Firm Foundation.  I TRUST YOU!

“For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does He withhold from those whose walk is blameless.  Psalm 84:11 NIV

{I started my devotional journal in 2001.  There are entries from 2001, 2002,2003, 2006, 2008, and the last date was 2010.   It is like a long-lost friend returning.   It is my plan to blog more often and now I have material for those weeks when time is in short supply.  Although I do look forward to writing in it again.}

til next time


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February 5, 2015 Posted by | ministry, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment