What is your “whether” forecast?

 (not a typo)

DSC_1339Basically the question is whether you will trust him or not?  When you have done all you can do.  When you realize it is not up to you…will you trust that God can help you weather the storm?

I’ve walked the cancer journey with a friend recently and some of her family members put their trust in the doctors, science and alternative therapies…while the patient put her trust in her Heavenly Father who could choose to bring about a healing or not.

DSC_1340Despite the cancer that ravaged her body…she never gave up the notion that God could heal her.  She believed that we were all given a certain number of days from the day of our birth to live out.  She chose to live them out with reckless abandon in her early years where she was young and carefree.  With age comes wisdom and she began down a road of restoration in her later years which included coming to the real knowledge of her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

During her cancer valley she prayed with people, and sought comfort in the scriptures. She continued to put down spiritual roots and invest in those around her.  There was a light that shined from her that people were drawn to.  Though most of her days were cloudy with storms always hovering around the edges, she chose to focus on the glimpses of the SON.

She chose to praise God whether she was healed or whether she wasn’t.

I ponder my “whether” forecast.  Whether I will trust him or not….regardless of the storms in my life.clouds

One of my favorite shows is Storm Stories.  I love to hear about people’s preparations for a storm, what they clung to during the storm and key things that made them successful in weathering the storm.  But if there was no storm, there would be no story.

Our lives are like that.  The story…is in our storms and how we whether them.  Whether we trust God to deliver us and protect us or not.  When we allow Him to truly reign in the midst of it … He gets the Glory.  The decision whether to trust or not, I believe happens before the first drop of turmoil or trouble.

My friend made a commitment before her diagnosis to trust God in any type of weather.  As I watched her lingering between both worlds; with cancer exiling her from earth while her citizenship in heaven was being finalized, I realized she had weathered a storm no one would ever want to face.   And while she didn’t control the weather…she was still living out and controlling her “whether”.

Her storm preparation was a grounding in the word.  She was successful by keeping her eyes on Jesus and filling her mind with all things regarding Him. Each day she Put on the Full Armor:

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;”   Ephesians 6:10-18

double rainbow on cliffShe focused not on man’s diagnosis but on what the Great Physician’s prognosis was.  The doctors were amazed that she eeked out as much time as she did on earth, beyond their expectations, and though she was not healed on this side of eternity…she was healed. She is out of the storm.

Her storm story is a beacon for others, yours can be to.

What’s your “whether” forecast?  Will you trust him Whether or not?  Have you weathered a storm?  People need to hear your storm story.  Ponder sharing it here or with someone.  If God brought you through something, give Him the glory and share the story, it could make and eternal difference in someone’s life.  Wondering about your “Whether” forcast?  I’ll be happy to pray with you.  Connect with me over at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kissed-by-the-Creator/141769015852210 or here and I’ll be glad to help you shore up a storm preparation plan.


37 Degrees and Sunny

101_9325The other day I walked out of the house into a bright sunny day, surprised to see the temp in the car read 37.  Car was frosted over but the thought of a coat or jacket was far from my mind as the sun blinded my eyes.   My spirits were high and I felt ready to tackle the day.

Flashback to a week earlier it was 47 degrees and cloudy with a chance of rain and I was bundled up like a mummy wearing a turtleneck, a jacket and a coat!

Pondering the difference of that day and this, I realized it was all about the Sun.  ~ Have you noticed what a difference the sun makes?


Recently I experienced a beloved friend transition from earth to heaven.  In observing the family surrounding her, I saw the ones walking in the SonShine – making plans to release her to Jesus.  They focused on her pain free life ahead and being grateful for each moment.  While others, seemingly remained cloudy in their acceptance of the inevitable and were unable to relinquish her into the heavenly realm.

DSC_2232Just like navigating a ship, plane or boat in the sunshine; there is a sense of clarity and a vision beyond the end of your vessel.  So too is operating in the SonShine.  There is a clarity and an abilty to think long term and a vision of how the Will of God is at work.

Operating a vessel in cloudy or foggy conditions, leaves room for error in judgment, mistakes and missed opportunities, operating your life away from the Son..yields the same misfortunes.

Are you facing a challenge? Are the Clouds too thick?  Let your forecast be for the Son to shine and  God to reign in
DSC_0881your life.  The Son can make all the difference.

Point to Ponder: What area of your life needs SONglasses?  How can you change what you are doing so that the Light of HIS wisdom mercy and grace can illuminate your cloudy situation?





What I learned at Camp ~ Whitehall REVIVE!

Whitehall Retreat-Center.1

Things I learned at Camp…

Whitehall Camp: Revive Our Relationships April 25-26

  1. Church of God sisters are a super audience
  2. This group knows how to rock the door prizes
  3. They know how to do a coffee house! Great music and eats.
  4. Soaking in Good for the Soul.
  5. Red cars + sunshine + loud music = tickets.
  6. Angela knows biscotti.
  7. God is the author of Restoration!
  8. Trials and Tests, make for great Testimonies.
  9. Every church camp has four legged ambassadors.
  10. Always take an umbrella to camp.

100_5401It was a pleasure to get to know you and share with you what God put on my heart about Relationships.  I pray that you will continue to grow your relationship with Christ and to strengthen your Godly Girlfriend Relationships that you may hold one another up when the storms of life hit!

For those of you who wanted the passage I read on Friday night.  See below:


Be Not Afraid

by Frances J. Roberts (Come Away my Beloved ~ Revised)

O my child, rest in Me.

Yes, quietly settle down in My care, as a bird settles in a nest.

For I am watching over you, and in love I will care for you.

There is no danger with which I am unable to cope.

There is no enemy too formidable for Me to handle.

I am able to carry out all My purposes, and to keep you at the same time.

Be not afraid;

Neither allow terror to strike at your heart.

My power is at your disposal.

My presence stands around you,

And nothing can harm you so long as you are in My care, and that is forever

POINT TO PONDER:  What one thing can you do now to grow your most important relationship…the one with your HEAVENLY FATHER?

Frozen : The Lenten Challenge

We drive through the crowded parking lot, mountains of gray snow at the edges hogging up much needed DSC_0277spaces.  Rachel says, “look at that disgusting snow its so gross and dirty. I am so ready for spring. I hate wearing coats, hats and gloves.” 

Quietly I pray for a new layer to cover up the gray.  White to cover the black.  It was Ash Wednesday. I thought of the significance.  It was the ashes on the plowed lot that made the snow mountains gray and dirty.  Ash mixed with winter white.

Our denomination doesn’t celebrate Ash Wednesday but my Methodist roots and the Catholic neighborhood I grew up in filled me with memories and meaning of what that day commemorates.  Like advent…it is a time of preparing our hearts.

It’s been a long winter here in Western PA.  I heard someone say the other day it had been a long winter in her heart. blog heart ice

Ironically one of the hit movies this year is called Frozen.  I pondered all these icy metaphors and thought about the cold heart.

DSC_0260Like the tiny shoots of grass and daffodils beneath the layer of snow, the cold heart harbors tiny invisible seeds of hope.  What does it take to melt a cold heart?

Love. Forgiveness. Grace. Mercy.

These are all things we can give or offer to someone who  is frozen



People ask “What are you giving up for Lent?”  I ponder is it really about giving something up or pouring something out?   What if we use the 40 days to try to thaw the frozen hearts around us? Bathe their hearts in the warmth of mercy. If they are brittle from bitterness … foster them with forgiveness.  Love the lonely and wrap the stumbling with grace.  Take a 40 day challenge to thaw the frozen.  What will you give up for lent?  A bit of yourself?  A bit of your time?

Is your heart the one that is Frozen?  Are you chilled to your soul, unable to pray, seek or ask?  Are you wrestling with the ashy dirty feeling of sin, fear, or regret?  Are you brittle from reaching out and being rejected? Are the windows of your soul frosted up ~ blocking out the SON ?  Do you long to bathe in the warmth of … something…anything?

James 4:8  “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”

Take a 40 day challenge to thaw your frozen heart. Write one thing each day that you are thankful for. Do one small kind gesture for someone else. A smile, open a door, … gratitude will help thaw the edges.

Comment to me or message me and I will commit to pray for you during lent. Let it go.  Allow God to resurrect your life before Easter Sunday.  Are you up for the challenge? Your Creator is waiting to make your story HIStory and your time of testing, your Testimony. Remember, you were worth dying for…that is what Easter is really all about.


One of my favorite Easter Hymns: For Those Tears I Died.

You said You’d come and share all my sorrows,
You said You’d be there for all my tomorrows;
I came so close to sending You away,
But just like You promised You came there to stay;
I just had to pray!

And Jesus said, “Come to the water, stand by My side,
I know you are thirsty, you won’t be denied;
I felt ev’ry teardrop when in darkness you cried,
And I strove to remind you that for those tears I

Point to Ponder: Seek out the Frozen. Look in the mirror. Is your soul ready for spring?DSC_1006




Have you settled for less?

The leaves are gently falling to the ground and softly settling under our trees and it is beautiful.DSC_0306  This weekend I learned a lesson about settling and it was ugly. 

My second born has always been handy, she’s a fixer, a peacemaker and problem solver.  Maybe that’s why the colleges and the Armed ForcesDSC_0359 keep calling nonstop. When my scissors, glue, foil or anything else is missing, I usually find it in her room.  She fashioned a way to turn off her light with string and a pulley so she wouldn’t have to get out of a nice warm bed to do it. Who needs a Clapper?  She was 9.

McGyverThis weekend we hung out on Saturday evening.  The lights in my room had been less than stellar for months, and I got used to the substandard.  I mentioned it to Hannah and within moments, it was fixed. This is how she rolls.

We found a beloved necklace I hadn’t worn in years because the chain got horribly knotted. She asked about it, and 15 minutes later placed it on my neck.  I settled for not wearing it again after futile attempts at the chain.  I did not ask the fixer.  We came across a lovely silver bracelet I stopped wearing because it tarnished badly.  I tried jewelry cleaner but it didn’t help so I settled into the habit of not wearing it.

Hannah grabbed her silver saddle polish and shined it to the glimmer it had when I bought it in Mexico 10DSC_0293 years ago. My jewelry was in disarray. I needed a way to hang some bracelets, “Leave it to me mom, I got this.” In moments, I had a super solution.  The fixer was at it again.

I went to bed thinking of the things, I had settled for that were substandard and easily fixed by the right person with the proper tools. They were fixed quickly and efficiently.  I pondered the time I spent bemoaning their lack in my life or my frustration over them.  How quickly I settled for less than perfect.

Was settling a result of Apathy? Fear?  Fatigue?

Had my tendency to settle on small things carried over into more significant areas? I thought of my spiritual life and my ministry and a variety of other ways I settled instead of taking this issue to the true FIXER- God! How many opportunities did I miss?  How does settling hinder me?

DSC_0373Our pastor today ironically (or not) talked about Satan telling us lies and how when we believe them, we change.  When we lose sight of the truth and how God defines us, we allow ourselves to be falsely defined by others and ourselves.

Does settling mean we are not worth more or that we have enough?  We are worth dying for. Can we ever have enough Jesus?  Can we ever have enough Grace or Mercy?

My prayer today is that none of us would “settle” especially in our spiritual life.  If you are struggling, take it to the fixer…he’s the Creator after all and has the blueprints for…well….everything.

POINT TO PONDER: Have you settled?  Have you been hindered? Is there something in your life that needs fixed – something material or spiritual?  Can you find the right person to help it get fixed? Is there something heart related you can turn over to the Lord in prayer?

What I Learned at Camp w/Ladies of Mt. Carmel


Seneca ChapelWell its been a week and I am detoxing from the sugar shock brought on by the Sweet Ladies of Mount Carmel (CARAMEL) Presbyterian Church in Aliquippa.

What a blessed time with my new sweet sisters.  Such a loving eclectic group of ladies.  I am now taking bookings for the Mt. Okra or Mt. Broccoli Church.  It was subliminal CARAMEL cravings all weekend!  Sweet describes the weekend in every sense of the word.  I learned a lot at camp.  Several blogs to follow were born during my time with them and with Thee ~ the Anchor of my soul.  But here is just a glimpse of what I learned this time:

1.Fog can make some things clearer.

2.Scrabble champs are not humble just ask June!

3.Some gals aren’t afraid of snakes and even great grandmas can zip-line.

4.God can bring an eclectic group of gals and make them sisters in 48 hours.

5.Do not book groups with Carmel in the name…its bad for your waistline.

Peek 26.They are from Mt. Carmel for a reason: Caramel Dip, Caramel Bark, Caramel Chocolates…..

7.You can never have enough Kayaks or Judi’s salted caramel Bark.

8.Good things come in 3’s especially Connie’s and Amy’s.


9.Gnats are not good in a cheering section but I hear they are low Calorie- good thing.

10.Chippies love church too!


But the Anchoring truth remains the same ~ that Jesus is the Anchor of our souls.  He loves us more than Anchor Propwords can express. He grows us through our hurts.  He heals our Hardened Hearts and if our HOPE is in Him, we will not be tossed in the stormy seas of this life.   Drop Anchor with the one who can steady your Soul.

Point to Ponder:  What is something you learned at camp or a retreat? A nugget that you squirreled down deep in your heart?  Share it with us!


I Forgot My Phone: missed by the creator?

The other day I was about 5 miles from home on a mission of a day full of errands.  I was at a stop light and I thought, “I should call my mom”.  I reached into my pocket for my cell phone.  I gasped, it was not there.  After frantically patting all of my pockets and a quick look into my purse, I realized my phone was at home.  I thought of going back, but the light turned green and I pressed on!

I was mad at myself as there were calls to make, people to connect with.  But then I decided to make the best of it and realized, I couldn’t be interrupted, asked for anything, or otherwise bugged.  So it freed me up to connect with my Creator all day without interruption.

It turned out to be the best day of errands in years.  Totally stress free and wonderful.  I didn’t forget one item on my list because of talking on the phone.  I didn’t have to hurry to get home to deal with something instead of completing all my errands.  I was at peace all day long.  I let people in front of me in line because by not being on the phone I was AWARE they had fewer items that I.  I struck up conversations with those around me because I was not distracted with a call or text while waiting in line.

When I thought of calling someone I prayed for them instead.  I prayed for many people that day. It was freeing physically and spiritually to leave the phone behind.  (Ironically the model name for my phone is EXULT)  I truly felt “missed by the creator” and he blessed me all day long.

DSC_2296Connecting with our creator is so crucial to our well being.  Our prayer life depends on the connection.  So much in our daily life interrupts that connection including our communication devices.  The techno-distractions of today rob us of time around the altar with God that Abraham, David, and Moses enjoyed.  I wonder how much God misses those intimate connections?

It is easy to hit LIKE or type the word “Praying” under a Facebook status that is requesting prayer…but do we REALLY pray?  We tweet prayer requests but do we tweet answered prayer?

I am not knocking technology because I have seen it initiate prayer, donations, help and support…but we need to be mindful NOT to let it become a distraction for true communication with our CREATOR.

OH and by the way…. I plan to leave my phone behind a lot more.  So if you are trying to reach me,  leave a message because I might just be busy talking to the Lord…perhaps it’s about you!


Do you find yourself distracted by the contraptions that were supposed to make our lives easier or better?  If you lost electricity and internet do you think the quality time you spend with God would be different?  Would you consider a cyber Sabbath of sorts where you’d refrain from social media to reconnect with your Creator?  If so, why or why not?


Ode to Mother’s Day….

Surprise 75th Bday Party. No one messes with her hair!
Surprise 75th Bday Party. No one messes with her hair!

While going through several decades of mementos this weekend (centuries? Found stuff dating back to the 1830’s) I found this Mother’s Day poem that Ann Lee Schlegel wrote for her mom.  As I sat on the back porch reading it, I thought how perfect it was for a mother’s day post…so let me share it with you.

To My Mother


I’m writing this in school and though you are not near;

Your face is still before me always Mother Dear;

I love you very much all though you may not know;

For there are many , many things that one just cannot show.

I’ve hurt you many time, I’ve seen it in your eyes;

And yet I’ve found a mother’s love never dies.

You have always taught me to do right, though often I have strayed;

And when I’ve really done a wrong, in your heart you’ve paid,


It’s church on Sunday morning, League on Sunday night;

And with the passing of the years, you’ve made me see the light.

The light that quenches all our fears and turns our doubts to love.

The light that God shed on our way from heaven up above.

So he put them here on earth we just call ours “mum”.


When I’ve laughed you’ve laughed and when I’ve cried you’ve cried.

And when I’ve told you all my hopes your pride you’ve tried to hide.

I’m just an average girl, no better than the others,

Yet one thing I know, I’ve got the best of mothers.

In closing I would like to say what’s often said before;

That as the days and years go by, I love you more and more.


Your loving daughter,

Her 75th Birthday!
Her 75th Birthday!

AnnLee Snowden  (Now AnnLee Schlegel – My mum)


So on this mother’s day – decades later…I say “Back at ya Mum”  I love you more and more!Meck flowers


POINT TO PONDER:  What is your favorite Memory of your MOM:

What I learned at Camp

Seneca Chapel1.Bring several warm layers even in April

2.The “Heavenly Storehouses Laden with Snow” can pour out…even in April

3.Don’t forget the sleeping bag or the camera.

4.Camp food is tasty –  don’t start a diet before you head out.

5.Women Rock at Paintball.

6.Lack of outward appearing response has no bearing on INWARD Impact – YAY God!

7.A Zipline can make your age 40 + body, feel older the next day.

8.God not only calms the storms in your life, but your stomach as well.

9.Audiences love a good Super Hero story…especially when it involves BAT GIRL!

And the best thing?



This weekend was the Anchor of the Soul:  Women’s Retreat at Seneca Hills. Anchor Prop I continue to be blown away by the awesomeness of God and how he can take willing and broken vessels who serve and pour into them until they overflow on others.

We explored who God is and How he loves us.  We examined how the hurts we go through grow us. We looked at things that can harden our hearts which hinders our relationship with God and we learned about how essential hope is to our prayer life and how to be a hope giver.

We UNTIED the knots in our lifeline which keep us from being tethered to the Anchor of our souls and we became UNITED with the only sure thing to keep us from drifting in this crazy mixed up world.

Several ladies came to the true and life saving knowledge that they are daughters of a King.

We sang, journaled, prayed, pondered…did zumba, PraiseMoves and Paintball we ate and learned how to eat Biblically…we shared…we cared…we chatted…but most of all…we worshipped.Worship at Seneca

It was a memorable weekend. Thanks be to God!  If you were there comment on what you took away from the weekend.  Hope to see you again soon!

If you missed it.  Learn how you can schedule the An Anchor for Our Souls Retreat for the women at your church by leaving your query below.  We look forward to serving you!


BLESS A BUDDY! – Retreat Scholarship Give-a-way!

 Bless a Buddy Contest!

FREE Registration GIVE-a-WAY for the Anchoring our Souls Retreat at Seneca Hills!

April 19 – 21, 2013
Friday 5:00 PM – Sunday 1:00 PM

DSC_0903Kissed by the Creator is offering a scholarship to the Anchoring our Souls Retreat!  Do you have a buddy you would like to bring but finances are an issue?  Well nominate your buddy to win the “Bless a Buddy” scholarship.  All you have to do is write a comment below about why your buddy is special and why you want them to come to the retreat!

Here is an opportunity to Be a Blessing w/o it costing you a thing but a little time! (Prize is transferable for one registration for the Women’s Spring 2013 Retreat! – $90 Cash Value)Seneca Chapel

This weekend will encourage and equip women to ANCHOR their Soul in Christ. It’s a weekend to focus on the true value and worth of a woman. How we are a treasure to God and how to remember and live this truth out even when those around us don’t see us that way. We will discuss Hope, Healing our hearts and a variety of other truth tools that will enable us become tethered more tightly to our Savior.

For more information or to register: http://www.senecahills.com/#/conferences/womens-spring-retreat

Under conference tab: Select the Womens Spring Retreat!

Registration is limited! Call today!  814-432-3026

ENTER The “BLESS A BUDDY” contest below by commenting on why your Buddy is a blessing and /or why you want to bless them with a girls weekend @ Anchoring our Souls!  Winner will be drawn April 8th!