What you might have missed (or the 3 most read devotionals)

5:30 am Wendy van Eyck 0 Comments

I’m taking a mini-break this week and enjoying time away with my husband. So I thought I’d share the three most read devotionals so far this year. 

As a bonus I’ve also included the three guest posts that have received the most shares in last five months. 

If you think I missed one, or if you’d like to share the most read post in the last five months on your blog, leave a note in the comments.

The Top 3
forgivenessLetting things go and learning to forgive (or the story of forgiving my father and mother)
I don’t want to write this post, but I have to, because sometimes it’s the things that are hardest to write that others most need to hear.
I’ve always known that my parents love me and only want the best for me. Which is why I never thought I'd have to forgive them for disagreeing on who I should marry.

Be perfect as I am perfectWhat if Jesus called us to be imperfect?

I’ve wondered at the scripture in Matthew 5:48 that says, “Be perfect, as your Father in heaven is perfect.” It seems impossible. And sometimes it feels like unnecessary pressure. 


When you’re wondering if God can really see the future (& a free printable for the days when you think he can’t) 
I look at my husband who is driving and wonder how he sees the road ahead. I am tempted to tell him to pull over. There is no way he can see where we are going. I try to focus out his side of the window... 

Guest posts you loved:
Mary DeMuth: When you have to forgive someone you hate
I have had enemies. Two enemies in particular were hard for me to forgive because for many years, I hated them. HATED them. They were two teenage brothers who violated me for several months during my kindergarten year. I tried to protect myself, but I could not. I told my babysitter, but she chose to let those boys continue to rape me. (She was an enemy too).  

Dabney Hedegard: The One Thing I Wish I Believed Sooner
I’m about to share something that can transform your thoughts, something more powerful than disease itself.
At 25-years old and six-weeks-pregnant, a football sized tumor blanketed my lungs. 
Life changed with one x-ray and an oncologist telling me my odds would improve by terminating my pregnancy.

Kelli McIntosh: How to find contentment in difficult circumstances
A few years ago, I never imagined I would get to this point; I never thought it possible. 
I was angry that the life I had planned was not turning out the way I thought it would (thinking of a future in which one of my children would need my help into adulthood). 

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Finding God in the hard things (like cancer)

5:30 am Wendy van Eyck 0 Comments

Bible verse 1 Timothy 4:4-5
Everything God created is good, and to be received with thanks. Nothing is to be sneered at and thrown out. God’s Word and our prayers make every item in creation holy. 1 Timothy 4:4-5 (MSG)

We were driving back from visiting the oncologist when Xylon said to me, “I have a pretty good life. Except for the cancer stuff I can’t complain.” 

I smiled at my husband, and I nodded my head, because I understood what he was saying. 

Our lives aren’t perfect but God’s blessings are evident everywhere I look. 

God’s goodness outweighs the bad things.

I see God’s hand in my house that feels like a home to me. This house that gives me more than shelter, it offers me a safe place to rest. 

God’s thumbprint is on the leaves of the trees I see from my windown, the limbs where birds come and sing their songs of praise. 

Christian quotes about God and sunsetsIf I care to look each morning and night God paints a new masterpiece to fill my soul with gratitude. (Tweet this)

Xylon and I are surrounded by people who love us, who share their lives and hearts with us, and help carry our burdens before we collapse.

It is easy to forget that I am blessed all the time and that God is present in the good and the bad times. 

I sometimes need to be reminded that everything God has created is good and to be received with thanks. 

When I realise that God’s blessings are not (necessarily) dependent on the situations we find ourselves in, it’s easier to find God’s presence in hard things.

Ponder: What can you thank God for today?

Prayer: Lord, open my eyes to see the good things you are surrounding me with. 

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{Get my book}
In my free e-book Life, Life and More Life I share thoughts on how to make every moment count gleaned from my experiences of loving my husband through 18 sessions of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant. If you would like a free copy please subscribe below to receive my devotionals every Monday and Friday.

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Photo Credit (Creative Commons): Notebook: rob.knight  Mountains: jasohill Letter: Pink Sherbet Photography | Design and modifications: Wendy van Eyck 

How to pray for those who are afraid (even if that means praying for yourself)

5:30 am Wendy van Eyck 0 Comments

Tell those who worry, the anxious and fearful, “Take strength; have courage! There’s nothing to fear. Look, here—your God! Right here is your God! The balance is shifting; God will right all wrongs. None other than God will give you success. He is coming to make you safe.” Isaiah 35:4 (VOICE)

I have known others who are afraid. 

They have whispered their fears to me in coffee shops and over office desks and huddled on the couch. As they share their worries about the future I push my lips together so my own fears don’t become the topic of conversation instead of theirs. 


Some days I am still afraid. Afraid to even voice my deepest fears. Fears about my husband’s health, his next set of test results and what the future may hold. Fears that I am scared to write incase somehow tapping them out brings them to life. 

I have sat with those who are afraid and wondered how to pray for them, with them. 

How to pray words that comfort but also speak hope, words that appeal to God’s mercy but also declare his sovereignty?

The other day as I read my bible I found the words that I was searching for tucked into Isaiah 35:4:

Tell those who worry, the anxious and fearful:
Take strength; have courage! 
There’s nothing to fear. 
Look, here—your God! Right here is your God! 
The balance is shifting; God will right all wrongs. 
None other than God will give you success.
He is coming to make you safe.”

I read those words again, absorbing the truth that there is nothing to fear because God – my God – is right with me. 

I love that Isaiah lifts my eyes from my fears to my God. 

There is freedom from fear when I realise God is with me. (tweet this)

No fear I have is bigger than my God who is right beside me. (tweet this)

Ponder: How do you pray for those who are afraid?

Prayer: Take strength; have courage! There’s nothing to fear. Look, here—your God! Right here is your God! The balance is shifting; God will right all wrongs. None other than God will give you success. He is coming to make you safe.

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{Get my book}

In my free e-book Life, Life and More Life I share thoughts on how to make every moment count gleaned from my experiences of loving my husband through 18 sessions of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant. If you would like a free copy please subscribe below to receive my devotionals every Monday and Friday.

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When you need a safe place to shelter

5:30 am Wendy van Eyck 0 Comments

bible verse about God being a shelter
For the Eternal will be a shelter for those who know misery, a refuge during troubling times. Those who know Your name will rely on You, for You, O Eternal One, have not abandoned those who search for You. Psalm 9:9-10 (VOICE)

My parents have a big, black dog. He is large and scary looking. 

His name is Melchezidek but he answers to Mel.

Anytime a storm rumbles in the distance Mel puts his tail between his legs and searches for a safe place. 

Funnily enough his safe place is not a location but a person. In Mel’s mind he safest place he can be is shivering against my father’s leg. 

My dad has an endless amount of patience for his giant dog. My father has been known to sit up late into the night riding out a storm with Mel. 

prayer
When I read Psalm 9:9-10 I think of my dad sitting with Mel while the thunder shouts down the rain and the lightening wars with the stars. 

For me, this image of my dad huddled with Mel is how I imagine God shelters me in my times of misery. If my dad would go to such lengths to provide a safe place for a dog, how much more would God do for me? 


It reminds that God sits with me through out my longest, loneliest nights. 

It reminds me that when I am afraid God will not abandon me. 

Ponder: Where do you go when you want to feel safe?

Pray: Lord, thank you that I can rely on you. (tweet this)

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{Get my book}

In my free e-book Life, Life and More Life I share thoughts on how to make every moment count gleaned from my experiences of loving my husband through 18 sessions of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant. If you would like a free copy please subscribe below to receive my devotionals every Monday and Friday.


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When you're wondering if Jesus really guides your footsteps

5:30 am Wendy van Eyck 0 Comments

Come, follow me (quotes of Jesus)
“Come, follow me…” Jesus said. Matthew 4:19b (NIV)

We climbed uphill for over an hour. I struggled and sweated and slipped my way through sand that could only have been made of ash. 

I don’t know why but I never expected that climbing a volcano would involve wading through ash.  

We spent a while at the top and then we started descending. It felt like trying to grab a glass with a hand covered in dishwashing soap.

I almost slipped. I caught myself. I took another step and my feet slid out from under me. 

I looked at our guide and wondered how he could be so steady on his feet. I decided that I would follow in our guide’s footsteps.

I would literally put my feet where he had stepped. 

As he lifted his foot, I placed mine in the displaced soil. 

Our guide wore rubber flip-flops but his feet were as steady as a mountain goat.

It worked. I stayed upright.

I was about half way down, when I decided if I just put my feet in the vicinity of his I’d be safe and I wouldn’t slip and fall.

I stopped being so careful, stopped walking in his footsteps, and the ground slid out from under me. I just managed to stop myself from landing in the dust.

prayer to follow Jesus
I returned to the rhythm of placing my feet in the guides’ footsteps.

That day as I walked down the volcano I thought about all the times I’ve wondered about how Jesus invited people to follow him. 

I have always been fascinated that Jesus walked up to the men who became his disciples and simply said, “Come, follow me”. 

I’ve wondered why Jesus didn’t say, “Walk with me” or “Come along for the party”?

That day I as followed the guide down the mountain it made sense to me that Jesus would beckon me to follow him. 

As I put my feet in the hollows left by the guide I imagined that if I’d met Jesus that day he would have said something like, 
“Come follow me…come put your feet where I have trodden and I will show you a new life, I will show you a new way of living. Even when we things get slippery you can trust that I know the path and that I won’t let you stumble and fall.”

Ponder: How will you respond to Jesus’ invitation to “Come follow me”?

Prayer: Jesus, help me to see where you put your feet so I can follow where you lead. (tweet this)

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{Get my book}

In my free e-book Life, Life and More Life I share thoughts on how to make every moment count gleaned from my experiences of loving my husband through 18 sessions of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant. If you would like a free copy please subscribe below to receive my devotionals every Monday and Friday.

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Photo Credits (Creative Commons): follow Jesus: Creationswap.com Seagull: eschipul Sea: Wendy van Eyck | Design and modifications: Wendy van Eyck 

When trusting God to do his best is hard

5:30 am Wendy van Eyck 0 Comments

Trusting God
If your heart is broken, you’ll find God right there; if you’re kicked in the gut, he’ll help you catch your breath. Psalm 34:18 (MSG)

The last few months have been difficult on my husband and I. 

It is hard to live in limbo while we wait for medical results.

I’ve found myself praying a lot: prayers of healing for my husband, petitions for miracles, and pleas for a cancer free scan this time. 

And I’ve found myself trying to take control of the situation. 

So many times I’ve found myself bending to pick up what I’ve already laid down at Jesus’ feet.

broken heart bible verse
Instead of living with open hands stretched out to God I’ve been living with hands clutching my husband and saying, “Lord, make him well.”

My fists are clenched so tight in insistence that I’ve struggled to pray, “God, do your Best!”


Over the last two years we’ve been disappointed with medical results too many times. My husbands heart has been battered three times by the phrase, “You have cancer.”

It has become hard for me to trust that God has my best interest at heart, tough for me to believe that cancer is his best for my husband. 

I wish I could “unlike” every post I see that says something like, “This pain you are going through is God’s opportunity to shine”.

It makes me angry that pain could be part of God’s plan

Over the last few months as I’ve sat with my broken heart and asked God some honest questions I’ve also known that God is big enough to handle my them, that he isn’t insecure. 

I’ve taken God my biggest questions. I’ve taken God my heartache. I’ve taken my demands and my hopes to him.

Jesus forgive meSometimes I’ve found answers and sometimes I’ve just sat with my questions. 

Today, as I flipped through the bible looking trying to figure out why sometimes trusting God, in this situation that I really have no control over, is hard, I saw this verse in Psalm 34:18:

If your heart is broken, you’ll find God right there; if you’re kicked in the gut, he’ll help you catch your breath. (tweet this)

This verse felt like letting my breath out, letting go, unclenching my fists. 

God will find me with my broken heart. He will find me right here. And he will give me the time and space to catch my breath and figure out how to live with open hands. 

Ponder: When have you found it hard to trust that God will do your best? What helped you to trust that he would?

Prayer: Forgive me for picking up what I’ve already laid down at your feet. (tweet this)

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{Get my book}

In my free e-book Life, Life and More Life I share thoughts on how to make every moment count gleaned from my experiences of loving my husband through 18 sessions of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant. If you would like a free copy please subscribe below to receive my devotionals every Monday and Friday.

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Photo Credits (Creative Commons): HeartTim Pirfält Wooden Wall: Lianne T Fabric: slightly everything | Design and modifications: Wendy van Eyck

A Mother’s day blessing (Mom, this one is for you)

5:30 am Wendy van Eyck 0 Comments

[A note from Wendy: I wanted to write a post about Mother's Day. I didn't know what to write till I found this verse in Proverbs and decided to stand up and bless my mom by writing what she means to me and why I love her. So mom, this one is for you.]
mothers day verse her children rise up and bless her
Her children rise up and bless her. Proverbs 31:28a (VOICE)

I have a mother who taught me to give God glory no matter what happens

She didn’t just teach me with words, she showed me with her life. 

I watched as she hung onto God when doctors said she wouldn’t live to see the end of the year. How she hid herself in scripture and songs and praised him through the uncertainty. 

My mother taught me how to pray, and how important the armour of God is, and what to say when we come up against a battle waged by Satan. She allowed me to see her studying the bible, journaling prayers, and praying for others. 

My mother loved me when her arthritic hands couldn’t ice a cake and she loved me when I came home after school spilling my aching heart out in salt water. 

I learnt how to forgive from mother when after a fight she would tell me to go back to the person I’d hurt and tell them they were forgiven. 

I watched her struggle with anger. A battle she at times lost. And I saw how she sought forgiveness when she did. 

I’m still learning from my mother. 

What love looks like
I’m learning the strength of praying instead of speaking. 

I’m learning how small acts of love can lift a person mood: a welcome note left on a bed or a small parcel in the post.

I’m learning about openness and honesty and being the person you say you are, not the one you want everyone else to think you are.  

From my mother I am learning what love looks like when worn by a person. 

I’m realizing more each day just how much like my mother I am. I hear her in my voice, sometimes in my words, other times in a glance at the mirror. 

Each time I catch the resemblance I pray that like my mother I will live a life with courage, with hope and with consistency; a life that reflects Jesus. 

Ponder: What did you learn from your mother?

Prayer: Dear God, bless all mothers. Bless them when they feel joy and when they feel bewilderment. Help each mother to know that she is seen and loved by you especially when she feels like no one sees her. Let her know that she is never alone – you are always with her. Give her the strength to trust you to look after her child better than she ever can.

{Links I like about Mother’s Day}

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{Get my book}
In my free e-book Life, Life and More Life I share thoughts on how to make every moment count gleaned from my experiences of loving my husband through 18 sessions of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant. If you would like a free copy please subscribe below to receive my devotionals every Monday and Friday.

Enter your email 
to receive my free ebook
and a NEW devotional in your inbox every Monday and Thursday

Photo Credit (Creative Commons): TulipAaron Burden Fabric: shaire productions  Mom and daughter: Edgar Barany | Design and photo editing: Wendy van Eyck 

Can I relax and enjoy what God has done?

7:22 am Wendy van Eyck 0 Comments

romans 10:9 pictureSay the welcoming word to God—“Jesus is my Master”—embracing, body and soul, God’s work of doing in us what he did in raising Jesus from the dead. That’s it. You’re not “doing” anything; you’re simply calling out to God, trusting him to do it for you. That’s salvation. Romans 10:9 (MSG)

I love travelling. 

I try to take a trip to a new country every year. 

I like to see a country the way a local does which means taking a bus or a train, it means sampling Balut or Baklava or whatever else the delicacy of the area is. 

I used to think that to travel like this I needed to go it on my own. I needed to wear my backpack like a badge of honour. I would wander trying to discover which train to catch when I couldn’t even decipher the alphabet of the country let alone speak the language. 

When I backpacked on my own I spent more time figuring out where I was, and how to make my way to the next place, then I spent taking in the sights. 

This kind of travel felt like hard work. 

Then Xylon and I accidentally discovered what I term “assisted backpacking” where you travel like a local with a local guide and around six other travellers. 

The guide does all the work. He bargains for bus fares, and sorts out places to sleep, and translates my order so I get lamb instead of intestines.

It’s backpacking without the stress. 

Basically all I need to do is show up and follow the guide. It sounds to good to be true.

Jesus + nothingSometimes salvation sounds too good to be true too. 

Is it really possible to just say, “Jesus is my Master” and then do nothing? (tweet this)

Romans 10:9 says Jesus has already done everything to make me right with God. 

From the moment I embraced Jesus and said, “Yes, I’ll follow you anywhere,” my salvation was complete. 

Sometimes I make my relationship with Jesus complicated. I add all kind of good things (like praying three times a day or reading through the bible) to try and be a “better” Christian. 

Before I know it living and loving Jesus is salvation plus prayer and bible reading and feeding the poor. These are all good things but they don’t save me. 

I’m learning that like trusting that my guide knows a country better than me that I can trust Jesus to take care of my salvation without my help. 

Jesus will take care of everything all I have to do is follow him. 

If it sounds too good to be true that is Jesus + nothing. (tweet this)

Ponder: Do you believe that Christianity is Jesus + Nothing?

Prayer: Thank you Jesus for doing EVERYTHING for me. 

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{Get my book}

In my free e-book Life, Life and More Life I share thoughts on how to make every moment count gleaned from my experiences of loving my husband through 18 sessions of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant. If you would like a free copy please subscribe below to receive my devotionals every Monday and Friday.

Enter your email 
to receive my free ebook
and a NEW devotional in your inbox every Monday and Thursday

Photo Credits: New York: Wendy van Eyck | Design and modifications: Wendy van Eyck