What Are In Your Spaces?


What we allow in our spaces has a tremendous influence over the victories or the failures we experience in our daily lives.

I have been attending Weight Watchers for a few years and one of the principles they encourage is to examine what (food) you have in your spaces.  If your pantries are full of chips and chocolate you will be finding the struggle is much greater to maintain healthy eating choices. We are encouraged to fill our spaces with those food items that fall into those healthy categories like whole grains, fruits and veggies. The struggle has been real for me as a mother of teenage sons (and all of their friends). My pantries have been stocked full for years with those tasty treats that boys, whose metabolism is faster than a speeding bullet, can enjoy in large quantities. The trouble is that my ears are attuned to the call of the Tasty Cake in the midnight hour. Interesting how the carrot sticks and celery  do not call to me!

My spaces have gone through an overhaul over the past few years and I am happy to say that I did hit my lifetime goal for Weight Watchers…one choice at a time. You cannot eat what is not in your space!

This picture above was taken last week while on a mission’s trip in Tinca, Romania where we were ministering to women and children in the Gypsy population. I witnessed poverty at a new level and am still processing this experience. We were not to drink the water in Tinca because our bodies are not used to the bacteria in their water and we  would find ourselves living with the porcelain chair in the bathroom. We were not able to eat the fruits and vegetables (washed in water) that my body is so accustomed to consuming. I had to drink so much more soda as the bottled water availability was greatly reduced. I just did not have as many healthy choices in my spaces.

Today I returned to Weight Watchers and the scale reflected what was in my spaces for 8 days! How true it is that what you fill your spaces with has a direct impact on the consequences in your life.

Philippians 4:8,9 reads, “Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me-put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”

If we would be diligent to take this scripture and challenge it against what we allow in our spaces (our conversations, our entertainment, our social media, what we read and think about) we might be surprised to find that we need to do some serious cleaning out/throwing out. So many times we struggle to walk in victory in areas like our thought life, our speech and our relationships. This struggle would greatly reduced if we removed anything that does not align itself with Philippians 4:8,9. On the flip side, as we fill our “pantries” with “foods” that are true, noble, right, admirable, excellent and praise worthy we will find that we experience victories much more consistently.

Look at the end of verse 9…the result of filling our spaces with God’s excellent choices…is PEACE.

And how we need His PEACE these days.

So, I ask you…

What’s In Your Spaces?

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Lining Up…Settles Me Down

plumb-line  One of the coolest things about my life, is that it changes constantly. One of the hardest things about my life, is that it changes constantly!

As a boater, I appreciate how on any given day, a body of water can be a still as glass,  then develop gentle waves and then suddenly whip up a storm that rocks everything. (One time those sudden stormy waves caused my cantaloup to roll off the counter and explode on the floor! That is just how life is sometimes…the sudden storms can cause some mess…in our minds, our emotions, in our hearts.)

There is a scriptural principle that I have come to appreciate so much over the years; it has been a tool to help me navigate my thought life, my emotions and my actions when those sudden storms have arisen…”rocking my peaceful boat.”

Amos 7:7,8 “This is what he showed me; The LORD was standing by a wall that had been built true to plumb, with a plumb line in his hand. And the LORD asked me, “What do you see, Amos?” ” A plumb line.” I replied. Then the LORD said, “Look, I am setting a plumb line among my people Israel; I will spare them no longer.”

A plumb line is just a weight on the end of a string that builders use to assist them to make sure that the wall they are erecting is perpendicular to the ground. Gravity has the final say as opposed to someone’s “eyeing it” or  their “opinion”. The position is established quickly and the work on the wall can begin without much argument.

The Word of God is a plumb line for us. It is TRUTH. It never changes and it never becomes “outdated”. God’s guidelines for how we are to navigate through life are clearly written in His Word. He tells us how we are to handle a barrage of emotions (like anger, grief, frustration, confusion) or decisions we need to make that will impact many. His Word addresses our friendships, our marriages, our finances, our ministries, our health and so much more. The more we really study what His Word says, the greater our ability to anchor that plumb line up against the rough seas that rock our boat.

The faster I  align my attitudes and my choices with God’s clear instruction in the Word (His plumb line), the sooner I settle down. His Word helps to narrow down my choices by eliminating so many that are contrary to His instruction. His plumb line anchors me. My emotions calm down, my thoughts become less scattered and my joy returns. His Word does not necessarily give me the “easy or more appealing” choice of action many times, but He gives me the right choice. His way is always best. 

Father, as I begin this day not knowing what the seas will bring me, I establish in my heart that YOUR Word, will be my plumb line. I choose to align myself according to Your Word and I thank you for how this Truth settles so much deep within me.




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The Secret Place


Several years ago, on my last ski trip to Vermont with the family, I had an epiphany with the LORD.

It was with great excitement that we layered ourselves in clothing, strapped on our boots and hung our ski lift passes on our ski coats. The weather was perfect for shredding down the mountain! Three hours into our first day of skiing, my husband’s skis became lodged in an ice mound and the bindings did not release. He broke his fibula and sprained his ankle badly. For the two of us, our big ski adventure came grinding to a halt.

We returned to the condo while the boys continued to ski and spent the next two days relaxed on separate couches.  It was there, on that comfy sofa, that I had an encounter with Jesus that has profoundly changed me.

I was meditating on Matthew 14:22-23. Let me highlight some key insights the LORD impressed on me…the journaling pages were with much greater detail…I will leave you to discover what the Father would say to you, personally, from this passage.

*Jesus modeled the need to be away, alone with His Father. Why? Ministry is draining. Loving others and pouring yourself into their lives causes you to become weary physically, emotionally and spiritually. Being alone with the Father allows us to recharge.

*Jesus dismissed the crowd so He could have some alone time with His Father. He modeled that it is ok to set a boundary around His activities. Do I protect my time with Him?

*Jesus went up on the mountain. He had a special place that He regularly went to be alone with His Father. While meditating on this section of scripture, the LORD showed me a vision that changed my life.

I saw in the Spirit a beautiful wooded landscape, with rays of sunshine streaming down between the openings in the canopy of green leaves. I could hear in my Spirit, Jesus’ voice beckoning me to come deeper into the woods. I saw myself walking along a small dirt path deeper and deeper into this peaceful forest. There, seated on a fallen log, was Jesus, motioning for me to come and sit down with Him.

We sat quietly on this log for quite a while, listening to the sounds of the forest and just enjoying being together. The blanket of peace that settled over me was amazing. I didn’t want this moment to end. Then he looked at me and impressed very clearly into my heart the following message.

“Debbie, this is OUR SECRET PLACE. I want you to make coming to this SECRET PLACE a priority in your week. There will be things that I will only share with you here, information that you will need for this next season of ministry in your life….things that I will not share out in the hustle and bustle of your normal life. You will not want to miss what I have to share. Go home and make it a priority to come visit me here, on  this log, several times a week. Do not come here to work on teaching lessons. Come with your heart, ears and eyes open. Bring only your journal and My Word. Don’t forget, Debbie. I cannot stress to you how important this is…OUR SECRET PLACE”.

That day the LORD planted a desire for that SECRET PLACE TIME that has never gone away. I have a picture of a beautiful wooded scene in my kitchen, the busiest room in the house…to remember.

May you discover where your Secret Place Time is to be with the Father. Let Him show you…

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More Than A Band-Aid

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He Offers More Than A Band-Aid I have been studying Mark 2:1-12 this week…where Jesus heals the paralyzed man who is lowered through the roof by 4 friends. This passage is rich with insights but there was something that really … Continue reading

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