Category Archives: Reflection

Passing of the Prayer Journal

With much nudging from my heart—I am re-posting something I had written after Thanksgiving last year for the Cafe`.

Hope [it] feeds your soul.

This week has been bittersweet. Our first Thanksgiving has come and gone without my sister, Wanda. She is with the Master—basking in His divine love and care! Happy and whole.

On Monday night of this week, Aimee, mother and I met with Mark at his house to, once again go through some of Wanda’s things. He had asked us to go through her books and pick out what was special to us. Well, of course, all of them were! He gave us carte blanche.

Among the books was a prayer journal. I have to tell you that night when I arrived back home, I sat for more than an hour, just reading. Meditating on what she had received from the Word, and marveling at the spiritual growth I saw in her life. And, of course I cried a bit. Especially on her entry for January 7, 2006. Please allow me to share it with you.

Philippians 1:21 “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”

Can we say of our lives we live wholly for Christ as the apostle Paul did? “For me to live is Christ”…Yet, this alone is the love life of a Christian–it’s source, it’s sustenance, it’s fashion, it’s end. All gathered up in two words—Christ Jesus.

For me to live is Christ. Lord, burn that in my heart and mind. Lord, accept me; I here present myself, praying to live only in Thee and to Thee. Let me be as the bullock that stands between the plow and the altar, to work or to be sacrificed; and let my motto be, “ready for either.”

From the prayer journal of Wanda Jakelsky.

She lived that motto. I can testify to that. She worked with a willing heart and devoted spirit—and with just that same devotion, she left this life with her hand neatly clasping His. Her release of the mortal shell that bound her with sickness came with much praise from our aching hearts. As we stood around her bed, and the line on the heart monitor became straight, I felt her take her gentle leave. As a conductor holds his arm for the musicians to reach the highest note, I felt her spirit soar up off the bed and into His waiting arms. And His love held her secure. And His love comforted our pain.

I can tell you with complete certainty—there is no pain in this life, that Jesus Christ cannot see you through.

The complete total desire of our hearts in this coming year—for the remaining days of our lives should be just that. Use us Father for Your glory. For Your work. In whatever manner You chose. Your ways are best. Much higher are Your plans than ours. May the desire of Your heart become the desires of our hearts. May we too be like the young bullock—ready for whatever service You chose.

Points to ponder~

Start a prayer journal if you never have. Write it out in your own hand. Your handwritten thoughts will mean much to those who follow in your footsteps.

Take some time these next few weeks and list out some things that you feel are hindering a closer relationship with Christ Jesus.

Also, call by name some areas where you want to see growth in your relationship with Christ.

Lastly, give the passion of your heart it’s name and place in the front of your own prayer journal. Seek His will and direction in that calling of your heart.

Then stand by and watch what HE gloriously does in your life! And keep us posted!


Hope you didn’t mind reading it again. It poured more concrete in my resolute stand.

As a prayer request from our extended family, a young niece on my husband’s side of the family, passed away during the night. Please be in prayer for the Ford family. I believe with all my heart she was met at the gates by her granddad Tom Ford. A man of huge faith.

God be with this dear family.

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Sisters Retreat 2007

Standing by the window, high up on the fifth floor of the hospital in Central Florida, looking out at a day that was sunny and bright. Behind me though, coming in fast, were dark clouds of life. I could sense them in my spirit. They were threatening. The driving force was death. But our driving force was Life. And faith.

Just behind me lay Wanda, with mother by her side and Aimee seated in a chair at the foot of the bed. We were listening to praise music from a CD I had made especially for Wanda with some of her favorite songs. Songs we had sung, learned, and worshipped our Lord at our last Sister’s Retreat.

“We have come to worship the Lord, we have come to worship the Lord, bow down before Him, love and adore Him, we have come to worship the Lord.”

Although, the words were not exactly true, in the sense that the reason we were at the hospital, was to worship the Lord; however, they were true in the fact that we have learned to worship Him in all circumstances. This was not an easy circumstance in which we found ourselves. Nevertheless, we worshipped. Turning the small hospital room into a veritable temple of God.

As our tears flowed, and my mother’s hands rose toward heaven, I knew without a doubt that God’s heart was touched. It was this picture of faith and worship, that Mark brought Victoria in to love on her mommy. She was such a brave girl. Even at the young age of “almost” five, she knew there was something seriously wrong with mommy. Yet, she put on a brave face and smiled as she leaned down with daddy’s strong arms holding her tight she kissed mommy’s cheek.

Wanda felt that kiss and her tired face smiled up at her sweet girl. I know her heart ached. Even more than ours did. She knew in her heart she would soon be leaving the care and raising of this little child to other hands and hearts. It would not be her hands that tucked her in at night, nor her ears that heard her prayers. But she had an incredible faith in God and complete trust in Him to see the job done.

More to come…

Be sure and click on the collage for enlarging the photos!

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The Table He Prepares

The following devotion is from the archives, originally written and posted on November 3, 2007. So very long ago. Or so it seems. Much has happened—and God continues to watch over our lives.

I will be back over at Sisters of Faith this week along with my baby sista, Aimee. She will get us started again in the morning with day 8 of our Bible Study! It has been so uplifting to fellowship with the other precious ‘sisters’ in the LORD that have joined us on this journey! You are invited over. Come and sit with us every day if you get the chance! Comment to let us know you are there!

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Psalm 23 NIV

I want to focus on two sentences here. “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.”

I heard this complete text read several weeks ago and a clear mental picture formed instantly in my mind. I became so excited as it unfolded in my mind and heart. I thought about it during the night and even called my sister Aimee the next morning on my way to work. Still excited, but not able to adequately form the words to such a degree as to get my “picture” from my mind, over to her, she asked me to blog it. Easier said than done at times. Several other devotions came to my mind and heart between that morning and this. I blogged those, unable to wrap my mind around the exact way I wanted to express my thoughts from that heart message. But here goes—

Let’s break it down. “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.” When we prepare a table for our loved ones, what do we put on it? If you said “the best”, then you are right, the very best. In speaking of food, we prepare their favorites. I know when I am going to my dear mother-in-law’s house, and it is a “planned” meal, she always has rutabagas. For me. Because she loves me and she knows that they are one of my favorite vegetables, and one that I rarely cook myself. In fact, I can count on one hand the times I have prepared them (probably using only 3 fingers!). It is a lot of work! Since I am the only one with a great love for them, I don’t go to the trouble at home for just me.

Do you see the picture here? We prepare the favorites. We use the best dishes. The best glassware, the best serving dishes, the best of everything we can find in the house for the special guest. We try to find out what their favorite dessert is. If it’s a cake…then of course I track down the recipe for my sweet Jeff. If it’s a pie or pudding, then that would be my delight. I love the look on my son-in-law David’s face, when April tells him that “daddy” has made a “German Chocolate Cake”. We know it’s his favorite. We delight in pleasing our children.

God delights even more so in pleasing us. In Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 7:9-11) He shares this insight of the Father’s love for us. “Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gift to those who ask him!”

That is plain “as the nose on your face”. It is clear that God loves us more than we can comprehend. So if He is “preparing a table” for us, what do you suppose is on it? His best!

Let’s look somewhere else. In Joel 2:25-26 we read, “I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpillar, and the palmerworm, my great army with I sent among you. And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed.” (KJV)

I used the KJV here for a reason. It gives particular names of the types of locust. They are all in the locust family. Simply put, locusts are swarming grasshoppers and they devour crops and vegetation. Sound familiar? Sounds like the work of the enemy in our lives. We are very aware that he comes to “kill, steal, and destroy”. However, God promises to restore. To give back—in plenty—go back and pick up verse 24 of the same chapter. He will “overflow” our restoration!

Picture this: A long banquet table covered with a crisp white linen cloth, of the finest quality imaginable. This is the table He prepares for us….on my table I see all the things that the enemy of my life has taken from me. All the things in my life that the enemy has damaged or caused me to suffer pain from are laid out for all me to see that my Father is now “restoring to me”.

Gilded ornate frames, with pictures of my dear loved ones that have wandered from the most holy path of our Father sit among the various dishes on the expanse of white. I see a big platter of “joy” that the enemy continually tries to steal. I see “compassion” in a delicate porcelain bowl. For it is in the busyness of our lives we tend to lose our compassion for others.

“Peace”, pouring from an endless silver fountain sits firmly in the center of the table. “Trust” is plenteous, for my Father knows that bit by bit the enemy has wrecked havoc in my life regarding trust. Vision is clear in the crystal goblet on the right hand of my filled plate. Our “vision” to see the lost come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, many times, has been stolen right before our very “eyes”. Hope is brimming over, along with purpose. Distinct, clear purpose.

Our purpose and His calling are now restored with clarity as never before experienced! As I stand at the table, He has so lovingly prepared for me….in the presence of my enemy, I am overwhelmed at the fullness of joy I now feel. I see the enemy, but I am not afraid. For my Father has him completely bound and subdued.

The enemy in my life is the same enemy that you have faced. He may have worn different clothes, but his purpose was the same. His actions were the same. Bit by bit, things have disappeared in our lives that God has so lovingly given to us. Maybe we didn’t even notice.

If your couch suddenly went missing, you would notice right away. But if someone took only took one cup from the cabinet—-would you notice? If one sock went missing—would you notice? Probably not until you “needed” it….hmmm. I see that now you have the picture.

We neglect protecting our valuables that have been bestowed upon us, until many times, it is too late. We don’t have what we need—-at the very time we need it!

However, He is a restoring God! He will cover your table with every nic-nac that has disappeared from your life. Look around your spiritual house. What has gone missing? As I fall down on my face before the throne, the Father begins to “set my table”. He has anxiously been watching the driveway for me to seek Him out. To seek out His company. His divine Presence.

As I am seated in His Presence, He “anoints my head with oil; my cup overflows.” His lavish blessings overflow my life as His Holy Spirit is pouring on my heart, mind, body and spirit. His anointing represents my life dedicated for service to Him. As kings and priests of old were anointed for service, so does the Lord desire to anoint each of us for service to Himself.

My heart overflows with the love of my Father as He tenderly cares for my needs. We will share in this table of plenty that He has set before us….and we will remember—-to carefully guard all that He has restored in our lives!

Tears of Sunday

Today feels like one of those days where I may just spend the day at the bottom of the falls. A waterfall of tears.

Why? Why do we go through spells like this? I suppose I need a good washing. No, perhaps not the outside, but maybe—the inside. The impurities washed away as my eyes are filled and spilled.

Yesterday I sat in the floor of my little study room sorting through papers, cards, handwritten notes and carefully typed pages. At one point all I wanted to do was cry. And I did for just a bit. Couldn’t wallow long though. There was, after all, a youngster in the house. Do you ever have those days?

Then Sunday dawns and every scripture passage I read sends a wave of emotion all over again. Then the choir sings and the boy misbehaves, distracting to those around us and out we go. He has bad timing. Just before communion. So we sat, the youngster and I, in our version of silence–which is not silence at all. I try to understand because I know he has some difficulties with understanding.

I think sometimes the Lord tries ever so hard to be understanding with us…because He loves us, and He realizes that sometimes we have some difficulties that we just can’t cope with. That’s where His grace and mercy comes in. Where would I be without it?

Probably on the floor of my little study room in a heap of tears. I Peter 5:7 says “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” KJV

Some days it feels like I am a fly fisherman. Constantly casting. There are days that they seem to overwhelm me. I suppose this was one of those weekends. But I know that after time spent alone with Him, in prayer and in His word, I will be renewed in my spirit and heart.

And that, dear friend is where you will find me for the next while. With Him. Casting my cares, fears and tears. He cares for you too. I know you have some of your own. Cast away…..

Do You Pout?

Well, do you? I know I have. Puffed up and pouted. This is not exactly the best picture of Zackary….but it seems to be one that we see frequently. He is going through a stage. Lower lip out…you could sometimes walk a mile on that extension! Jason’s lip can take you even further! I have never seen such pouting. But it makes me wonder what God sees when He looks at us. When we don’t “get what we want”. You know….

Like the job…the house…the car….the truck….the vacation….the boyfriend…the girlfriend (if you are a guy reading this)…the perfect dress…the right shoes…I could go on and on….pouting covers a wide range of possibilities.

I think there may even be a preacher or prophet or two in the Bible that had pouted—a bit. I will get to that another time. But when I saw this picture…I had to stop and wonder if God had snapshots of me looking like that….or worse. Reflection of anger on my face? Rage—instead of gentleness….

I have to confess…I am certain He has seen me at my absolute worse. And after I got over it….whatever “IT” may have been….I am certain I fell on my face at His feet…feeling ever so horrible.

These next few days I won’t be “out and about” as much…really haven’t much in the past few days….I have a writing project I am working on….and I am so aggravated with myself—-okay—–do you hunt up things to do just to KEEP FROM DOING the very thing you NEED to do??? Well???

Just like today. I stood back in the laundry room—dreaming up a way to “rearrange it” for crying out loud! I know you are thinking—what would you rearrange? Switch the washer with the dryer??

Well, actually–our laundry room is three-quarters of a single car garage. I know that only because it used to be a single car garage. The front portion is a “closet” the back portion is the laundry room. And I want my “sewing stuff” in there. But we have a refrigerator and upright freezer…and 3 “storage closets”–not to mention the ironing board and the water heater–(this little old house we live in had NO CLOSETS when we moved in–Jeff has built me one closet for my clothes) And since it is not ours—but belongs to the District—there is only so much we can do.

Do you see what I just did? I am STILL focusing on the silly laundry room and NOT THE PROJECT! So—-I am asking for your prayers. I need my mind to “sit down” with me and work. I need my heart to follow the leading of the Lord. I need my fingers to fly over the keys as my mind—-which is listening to the LORD—type exactly what HE WANTS!

I need to be still and know that He is God.

Aimee and I both read from Psalm 62 last week. During a particular day of trials—it brought peace and comfort to us…I leave you tonight with this passage. Maybe when the fiery darts are whizzing past yours head next week—you will remember these verses.

I am at rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I will never be shaken. . . . .Rest in God alone, my soul, for my hope comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I will not be shaken. My salvation and glory depend on God; my strong rock, my refuge, is in God. Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts before Him. God is our refuge. Psalm 62:1, 2, 5-8

Pray—sisters pray….

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