What you and I might rate as an absolute disaster, God may rate as a pimple-level problem that will pass. He views your life the way you view a movie after you’ve read the book. When something bad happens, you feel the air sucked out of the theater. Everyone else gasps at the crisis on the screen. Not you. Why? You’ve read the book. You know how the good guy gets out of the tight spot. God views your life with the same confidence. He’s not only read your story…he wrote it.   ~Max Lucado

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Isn’t this a comforting view of life? I sometimes wonder if I’ll ever get to the place where I don’t gasp at the ‘crisis on the screen’ as my life story plays out. But, think about the great stories you’ve read. Isn’t there always conflict and challenge to overcome? Isn’t that very conflict and challenge what makes the story great?  Conflict in your life? Challenge to overcome? Be encouraged, God’s got the pen. He’s not finished writing!

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©Brenda Pace, 2011

Discovered on my iPad:

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Makes it worth every penny paid for that device!

Summer is the perfect time for lemonade, but often it’s too sweet or too tart. Well, this lemonade from Trader Joe’s is the perfect balance of sweet and tart. For a bonus, it’s low-cal. Our family is on the last bottle, so it’s time to find a TJ’s and stock up to get us through the end of what is proving to be a very short summer!

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What’s your favorite summer refresher?

Today the Chaplain and I are visiting Fort Bragg, NC. The Chaplain’s two favorite tours of duty were here at the home of the All American 82d Airborne. There are so many memories of this place etched in our hearts.

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People ask me what was our favorite military assignment and I tell them without doubt it was the times at Fort Bragg. For all you natives of Fayetteville, NC–I have to be honest and say that it wasn’t the town of Fayetteville we particularly liked. Sorry! It was the professionalism of the airborne soldiers. It was the comaraderie and esprit de corps that permeated the place. It was the mission and purpose of these soldiers that brought with it a sense of community and cohesion as they worked together toward excellence.  It was the life long friends we made as we served soldiers and their families together. It was the faith lessons we learned as we exerienced God’s grace and mercy in the midst of tragedy and war.

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It was all these things and so much more–not the least of which–the Chaplain looked pretty good in a maroon beret.

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Airborne!

The Chaplain and I are getting excited about our house being close to completion.

It could look like this…

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Or this…

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Or this…

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Or this…

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Nope, it’s not like any of these interesting houses–with the exception of having a great view.

I don’t need to live in an interesting and unusual house–I just want the one I’m going to live in to be filled with love, laughter, family and friends.

We’ve almost reached the destination–home!

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To the loved, a word of affection is a morsel; but to the love-starved,

a word of affection can be a feast.

~Max Lucado

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Know anyone who needs a feast today?

There hasn’t been Internet connection for a couple of months at the temporary place I live during the time our house is built. Most of the time this is okay, especially since I have a phone that alerts me to email. That teeny tiny screen is not the same though.  Short and succinct should be sufficient. But, I have a hard time using my little phone for an email device.  I’m getting better at it, though—out of necessity.

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The feeling of being disconnected when I have a whim to be connected has made me think about how quickly I have become dependent on technology. I like being able to Google whenever I want, Facebook when I’m in the mood, and contact whomever, whenever.  I don’t like to let email pile up, or have a thought to blog and not be able to post. Then I think, what did I do before there was this amazing ability to connect? I managed to connect with others just fine. In fact, there may be some ways in which I managed to better connect with others.

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What about you—how would you manage with limited ability to connect? Are your connections better or worse–deeper or more shallow, because of today’s technology?


©Brenda Pace, 2011

Well, the nagging cough that has been part of my nocturnal routine has turned into bronchitis. The official diagnosis from my doc is acute bronchitis. Can I just say there is nothing cute about this? There is nothing cute about this cough and shortness of breath!

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Apparently, this is what is going on inside my lungs.

Disgusting and uncomfortable. I’ve heard people say they had bronchitis and I didn’t think much about it. Let me tell you, I will think more about it now! I will have more compassion when I hear of someone dealing with this illness. It’s not fun.

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Isn’t that the way of life? I don’t always have an understanding heart about someone else’s struggles, because I haven’t experienced them myself. I want to be a caring and empathetic person whether I have experienced the specific struggles of others or not. I’m reminded of the words of St. Paul in 1st Corinthians 1: 3-4, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”

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Blessings and comfort to all my fellow bronchitis sufferers, (she wrote as she coughed).

©Brenda Pace, 2011

Today is this boy’s birthday. Where do the year’s go?

My first born.

Now he is a husband, and a father of his own children.

I remember clearly the day he was born.

He was crying and a nurse put him in my arms and he stopped. I was a MOM!

I am proud of him and pray God’s blessings on him today as he continues to grow

into the man God created him to be.

My firstborn and his family today. Love these people!

Happy birthday, my son.

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Last month was this boy’s birthday. Where do the years go?

My second born.

This boy was born 6 weeks early and was teeny tiny.

Today he is a husband and a father and a football coach. Yep…the boy didn’t stay  teeny tiny.

I am proud of him and pray God’s blessings on him  as he continues to grow

into the man God created him to be.

My second born and his family. Love these people!

Happy birthday two weeks late, my son.

Sleep is escaping me tonight. It could have something to do with the venti coffee I had this afternoon. I should know better, but I had a coupon that ran out today and at over $4.50 a pop it seemed like it shouldn’t go to waste. (It reminds me of something I probably read on a Starbuck’s cup, “Sleep is a symptom of caffeine deprivation.”) So…I’m wide-awake when I should be sound asleep.

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It really could be the coffee, but I also have a nagging cough that won’t be stifled. Between the coffee hangover and the nagging cough–I can’t fall asleep.

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Then there are the speaking and writing deadlines that are on my mind. Two major speaking engagements, school and freelance writing assignments are all due within the next several weeks. Between the coffee, the cough, and the deadlines–I can’t fall asleep.

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What’s more I’m thinking about house details. We’re reaching the finish line and there are many little details that must be crossed off the list. So, between the coffee, the cough, the deadlines and the details–I can’t fall asleep.

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Dale Carnegie is noted for saying, “If you can’t sleep, then get up and do something instead of lying there worrying. It’s the worry that gets you, not the lack of sleep.” Well, I don’t know how accurate Mr. Carnegie is with his pithy comment, but I guess blogging is doing something, right? Praying is also doing something, so I’m making a list of all these little nagging worries and making it my prayer list. Scripture tells me I can’t add a moment to life by worrying, but I can add praise and inner rest as I use this time to commune with my Father in heaven.  I must admit that most of the time when I can’t sleep I tend to turn on the TV until my eyes won’t stay open. I can’t say I won’t ever do that again, but tonight the need calls for transferring the worry into prayer.

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What do you do when you can’t sleep?

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Night ya’ll.

©Brenda Pace, 2011