Wednesday, September 27, 2017

just breathe

Wednesday, September 27, 2017...

My Problem:
I realized this week that the word chronic has all but consumed my life.

Chronic pain.
Chronic fatigue.
Chronic headaches.
Chronic insomnia.
Chronic debt.
Chronic clutter.
Chronic congestion.
Chronic heartbreak.
Chronic weight.
Chronic depression.
Chronic disappointment.
Chronic brokenness.
Chronic helplessness.

Chronic occurs persistently, recurrently, habitually for me. It attaches itself to my health, my heart, my home. It lengthens itself across my horizon so that all I see are it's chains of hopelessness tightly bound around me.

My Prayer:
Lord, please free me from this stronghold. Please set my ways to know your wisdom and understanding. Please create in me a clean heart. And mostly, dear Lord, please use my life to bless and glorify your Name.

My God's Answer:
Dear One... just breathe. Just stop and take one deliberate breath, then another.

Breathe in.
Breathe out.

And as you do this, realize that these breaths are my gift of life in you. For I am who oversees your every heart beat. I am who rises and sets the sun every day. I am the one who controls all storm surges and life changes... not only on this planet, but throughout the universe. I am your Creator. I am your Redeemer. I am the one you can cling to and count on always. Yes, I am here. I am with you. Even through the worst, I will never, ever leave. I will not forsake or fail you. I am faithful and completely in love with you.

Yes... YOU, my love!

So, just as you are... just stand still right here, right now.... and breathe.

I will fight for you. I will uphold you. Inhale my Word. Exhale your prayers. I hear you. I am listening. And I promise, I will give you rest. I will bring you delight. I will escort you into more. Breath, and allow me to lead you to my good. Breathe and be still. Breathe and know me. Breathe and meditate on my promises. Breathe, so that I may restore your soul... so that I may renew your strength.

Psalm 41:1-3... Blessed are those who have regard for the weak; the Lord delivers them in times of trouble. The Lord protects and preserves them - they are counted among the blessed in the land - he does not give them over to the desire of their foes. The Lord sustains them on their sickbed and restores them from their bed of illness.

Psalm 25:4-5... Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.


© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

praising through my prayers

Tuesday, 9/12/17: Well, today has been a day of praises and prayer requests. First, it has been a VERY expensive year for me and my family medically, and today was the first day in quite some time that we were able to restock our pantry and freezer again. God is good. God provides. However, as I type this, the "other" prayer requests on my long list still swirl in my head. God will provide.  I know this. I do. But these burdens seem heavier than anticipated. These trials seem more difficult than ever before. God always provides. Every bill. Every sorrow. Every trouble. He invites me to go to Him for restoration and peace. Do I always accept His generous invitation? No. Sadly, my stubborn, worrisome will gets in the way. Today, for example: as quickly as I had praised Him for stocking our kitchen shelves, my computer completely died.... and I felt a little bit of my heart sink. For I have no means to purchase another computer. Yet I have orders to fulfill, you see. Customers waiting on me to come through with commissioned artwork and specialized Bible Tabs. I can't do that without my computer. So my productivity wings have been clipped! O Lord, can I trust that you will take care of this matter? Yes, I've made an appointment with a tech desk. But they cannot see me until Monday. Monday!!! Sure, I've followed all instructions they've given to the letter. But now... now all I can do is wait and pray on this one of many prayer requests. And waiting is the hardest, isn't it? Waiting for answers. Waiting for solutions. Waiting for relief. Waiting for Jesus to intervene. I hate waiting! But... Scripture tells me that if I wait on the Lord, He will renew my strength. He will ultimately allow these clipped wings to mount up and soar like an eagle under the steadfast grace of His glory. How I hope for that this hour. How I pray for His answers to come quickly. So yes, I will wait. And as I wait, I will praise Him. God always provides. He always takes care of us. God is always good. Even if this life is full of hard moments. I will wait, for my God is able. Let's all praise Him through our prayers!!! ❤️~V

Monday, September 11, 2017

because of you

Monday, September 11, 2017: Today, I've been playing my own quiet appreciation game in my head. I like to call it "Because of you..." The rules are very simple and go like this: Whenever I think about someone I know, I take a sec to remember a positive aspect about them that only exists in my life because they exist in my life.

For example...

Because of Chuck Anderson, I am blessed with a happy marriage full of love, humor, and respect.
Because of Beverly Drong, I see Jesus' love in person every day.

And so on!

On this difficult day of remembrance, might I encourage y'all to also take time to remember what you love most about those nearest and dearest to you today. Really, what better way to honor those lost than to generously love those still alive?

Because of _______, fill in the rest with some heart-felt lovin'!!!



© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

Sunday, September 10, 2017

hurricane irma

Sunday, 9/10/17: Watching all the hurricane Irma news coverage for Florida and thinking about how just two weeks ago my own city was living out the worst of hurricane Harvey. Remembering the selfless heroes who showed up to help rescue and rebuild after Harvey hit... some, my own Texas neighbors, and some, sweet travelers from churches and families originating from other states throughout our beautiful nation! So many dear hearts who packed up whatever supplies they could gather, and without planned agenda or confirmed destination simply showed up to provide aid where it was needed most. God is good. Love is real. Let's remember to extend the same courtesy and hope to those affected by Irma. We love you and are praying, sweet Florida brothers and sisters. God is with us! ❤️ ~V

Saturday, September 9, 2017

prayer with hebrews 1:8

Heavenly Father, I have many things going on in my head.
Many thoughts.
Many projects.
Many people, places, things, possibilities, and pursuits.
But Lord, I want you most.
I need you most.
Help me to intimately know you most.
Focus my lens to see only your Way... Your proven path. Your healing presence.
Keep my heart aligned in your Truth... Your wise commands. Your instructed peace.
Give me the fullness of your Life... Your promised hope. Your immediate and eternal holiness.
Continue to change my very flesh into a living representation of your grace.
Draw my soul near.
Keep my heart close.
Use me.
And as you cover my sinfulness in your loving kindness,
Help me to throw my selfishness on the fire of your altar.
Give me the strength to trust you in each moment.
For you alone are my glory.
You are my lifelong goal.
You are my all-in-all.
You are the answer to every distraction and dream.
Blessed is your Name, dearest Jesus, my Savior and Lord!
Blessed is your living council, Holy Holy Holy Spirit of the Most High!
Blessed is your Majesty and kingdom, omnipotent and omniscient Abba Father GOD!

"Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom.” (Hebrews 1:8)



© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

Friday, September 8, 2017

psalm 145:1-21

Psalm 145:1-21... I will extol thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever. Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever. Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts. I will speak of the glorious honour of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works. And men shall speak of the might of thy terrible acts: and I will declare thy greatness. They shall abundantly utter the memory of thy great goodness, and shall sing of thy righteousness. The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works. All thy works shall praise thee, O Lord; and thy saints shall bless thee. They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power; To make known to the sons of men his mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of his kingdom. Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endureth throughout all generations. The Lord upholdeth all that fall, and raiseth up all those that be bowed down. The eyes of all wait upon thee; and thou givest them their meat in due season. Thou openest thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing. The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works. The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth. He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them. The Lord preserveth all them that love him: but all the wicked will he destroy. My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord: and let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

be the change

Thursday, 9/7/17: Short and sweet... do something nice for another human being today. Love a little more than you did yesterday. Give a portion of yourself (time, money, resources, etc.) to those who would definitely benefit from it. Be the change. Bring the hope. Look for God's miracles!!! And don't waste your energy fighting the ungodly, the sinners, the scoffers, or the scornful. The Lord will fight for you. Instead, delight in the goodness of our great God and love love love like Jesus always! Become His blessing, peeps! ❤️ ~V

© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

the Spirit of Truth

Wednesday, 9/6/17: John 14:15-19 “If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live."

The Spirit of Truth... I've been thinking about this. How the Lord gives us His Spirit to show His people what is really certain, accurate, correct. We get so much distorted news, so many opinionated details of men... so much "political and social corrected'ness" that spiritual holiness is regularly defamed, defaulted, desensitized, devalued.

But if we know God... meaning, if we make it our priority to know and obey His Word and believe and receive His Son as our Savior and King...., well, God will actually live with us! He will take residence in our lives. He will reveal to us what this world of disaster can never, ever know. Peace. His eternal peace. No matter the storm. No matter the sorrow. No matter the trial. No matter the horror. The Spirit of Truth will bring us His clear, perfect peace and a living hope with a secure future.

I have been praying for some time about the condition of our country. I have quietly lifted up the many debates of topics that have monopolized the condition and rising tone of our society. It saddens me to watch so many people ignore and defy what I read in my Bible. When did God's instruction become optional for any of us? We need His Truth, folks. We will die without His love. When did this "one nation under God" stop accepting God? I pray that we will repent soon. I pray that He will bless us. I pray that we will humbly turn away from our selfish desires and surrender our care to the Most High rather than continue to saturate ourselves with sinful folly. Only His Word brings peace... not our urges or feelings or comfort levels. No, only God's Word is certain, accurate, correct for life.

Proverbs 1:22-33 “How long will you who are simple love your simple ways? How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge? Repent at my rebuke! Then I will pour out my thoughts to you, I will make known to you my teachings. But since you refuse to listen when I call and no one pays attention when I stretch out my hand, since you disregard all my advice and do not accept my rebuke, I in turn will laugh when disaster strikes you; I will mock when calamity overtakes you— when calamity overtakes you like a storm, when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind, when distress and trouble overwhelm you... Then they will call to me but I will not answer; they will look for me but will not find me, since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the Lord. Since they would not accept my advice and spurned my rebuke, they will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit of their schemes. For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them; but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.”

John 14:23 Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them."

Do you know God's Spirit of Truth?



© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

ed newby

Tuesday 9/5/17: My friend Ed Newby and his lovely wife Sarah Newby lost so much this past week due to hurricane Harvey. I know they are one of many here in H-town who are in the same horrible predicament, but I still feel led to share this with y'all today.

I know Ed because he is my air conditioning guy. One week while Chuck was out of town, he came to Momba's and my rescue in 100 degree Texas heat. (Why does a/c always decide to die on the hottest days?). Anyway, in less than a day, Ed had obtained the unique part we needed for repair and had us running smoothly, comfortably, quickly and at a reasonable cost.

I also know Ed because he is the President of a wonderful non-profit here in Houston called Operation Snowstorm. Operation Snowstorm provides children battling terminal cancer the rare opportunity to experience the miracle of a snowstorm in Houston. Ed and his team do this by dropping 10,000 pounds of snow - providing gloves, toys, shovels and even snow sleds for sweet "Snow Warrior's” to escape cancer and enjoy just being a kid for a day. Seriously....Priceless!!!

This gives these kids and their family and friends the opportunity to gather together and create treasured memories which are captured by a professional photographer and given as keepsakes to remember their special snow day. (Some of my dear friends lost their sweet grandson to cancer and I can assure you that Ed's ministry made a lasting impression to them all.) Mind you, both Ed and Sarah do this because they can, btw. No profits or agendas.... They just want to make these kids, who have been through so much, smile. Ed told me once that he couldn't change the world, but he could make snow... and that's exactly what he does. Snow that blesses!!!

There is no way I can tell you in a short post how much I love and respect Ed and Sarah Newby. They are walking love. They visibly wear Jesus throughout their whole life.

This past week Ed, Sarah, and their children evacuated from their home when flood waters began to engulf their street. Once they reached shelter, they bravely rallied with other neighbors to insure safe rescues for the rest of their community. As their own home remained underwater and inaccessible, Ed and Sarah served by helping others any way they could. Heroes, plain and simple.

Since returning to assess and address their own flood damage, Ed and Sarah still have made time to advocate on behalf of fighting childhood cancer. They have helped flood victims find a hot meal. They have served and served and served in more ways than I can type.

When Chuck couldn't get our a/c running after the power returned in our home this week, we called Ed. Of course, Ed offered to drop all he is currently dealing with to come help us with our not-nearly as important problem. Fortunately, that wasn't necessary and they were able to figure it all out via telephone... at no charge, mind you. Sooooo soooo generous and sweet.

I could go on and on about the Newby Family. But I'm more inclined to paint this small picture of their wonderfulness and simply ask all my friends and family if y'all could pray for them as they are really struggling to get back on their feet.

If you'd like to learn more about Operation Snowstorm, here is the website link:

If you or your church would like to help the Newby family directly, shoot me a private message and I will help you get connected with either Ed or Sarah.

Let's love on these heroes, shall we? Let's give back to those who have selflessly continued to give all of themselves, making our world a little brighter in Christ's love.

Thanks all for your support and God bless!!!



PS.... please share if you feel led.

© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

Monday, September 4, 2017

labor day: work

Monday 9/4/17: Today is Labor Day in the United States. I'm certain you already know this. I'm hoping most of you are using the day to pause and relax with family and friends. I know such a time is much deserved for so many. In fact, I've been thinking a lot today as to why we actually labor? Why do we work? The answer for most, of course, is to provide for ourselves and our loves. To put food on the table, shelter over our heads. Sure, some work for notoriety. Some work for fun. But most work long and hard hours... the givers that give. Sadly, some don't work enough or at all... the takers. But those that take actually lose because they don't understand that they are missing one of the greatest of gifts from our Creator. For work is such a blessing when you really look at it. A gift to better all our lives. With it, we gain and grow in speciality. We progress and improve as a society, as an era, as a whole. We are blessed if we have work, aren't we? Of course, the Lord also calls us to times of rest. And to always trust our future to His ultimate care. We are to tend to the garden... but walk through it with His wisdom while always abiding in Him. You see, too much work can damage us; too little can hurt us. But overall, balanced work in His Name allows us the greatest honor to serve one another. And this brings me to my real point today... How DO you work when you work? Do you give your all. Do you consider it a gift? Do you take to heart how your efforts are actually helping the whole of mankind? Or is your work centered around selfishness? Are you in it only for yourself, for your bottom line, for your advancement? Do you even care if future generations will benefit from what you give of yourself each and every day? How DO you work? As you rest this Labor Day, I encourage you to recharge your batteries so that you can return tomorrow with the goal to work well, work balanced, and work in God's love for one another. Happy Labor Day, y'all!


Congressional committee report bill, S. 730, to Congress proposing Labor Day May 15, 1894:

"The use of national holidays is to emphasize some great event or principle in the minds of the people by giving them a day of rest and recreation, a day of enjoyment, in commemoration of it. By making one day in each year a public holiday for the benefit of workingmen the equality and dignity of labor is emphasized. Nothing is more important to the public weal than that the nobility of labor be maintained. So long as the laboring man can feel that he holds an honorable as well as useful place in the body politic, so long will he be a loyal and faithful citizen.
The celebration of Labor Day as a national holiday will in time naturally lead to an honorable emulation among the different crafts beneficial to them and to the whole public. It will tend to increase the feeling of common brotherhood among men of all crafts and callings, and at the same time kindle an honorable desire in each craft to surpass the rest.
There can be no substantial objection to making one day in the year a national holiday for the benefit of labor. The labor organizations of the whole country, representing the great body of our artisan population, request it. They are the ones most interested. They desire it and should have it. If the farmers, manufacturers, and professional men are indifferent to the measure, or even oppose it, which there is no reason to believe, that still would constitute no good objection, for their work can be continued on holidays as well as on other days if they so desire it. Workingmen should have one day in the year peculiarly their own. Nor will their employers lose anything by it. Workingmen are benefited by a reasonable amount of rest and recreation. Whatever makes a workingman more of a man makes him more useful as a craftsman."

President Grover Cleveland signed the bill into law on June 28, 1894.

Sunday, September 3, 2017


This is Jerry. Jerry is one of my many sweet Texas neighbors. A gentleman. A quiet man. Also, Jerry loves to barbecue. Nothing more, nothing less. So today, Jerry donated his time, money, and heart to BBQ for his neighbors who have been affected by hurricane Harvey. His love, of course, created a domino effect and suddenly Jerry also had a lovely group of neighborly volunteers donating their time, money, and hearts to others also. When it was all said and done, Jerry gave out close to 100 meals today which he home-smoked/bbq'd himself. I'm not a newsworthy person or anyone in particular of importance... but in my book, Jerry is! What would our blessed country look like if we all chose to love a little bit more like Jerry? Thanks Jerry!!!! ❤️❤️❤️

love & service

Early Sunday 9/3/17: Today my older brother of two years turns fifty. Phew, fifty. When I really think about that I'm amazed. Amazed that we are both getting so old, and amazed that we are both still so very very young. 
On one hand, life has lasted too long for me. You see, I always thought I'd die before my forties. I can't say why. It was just something I always thought since I was small. And in a way, I did die a little. Because since turning forty and making it through some major accidents and health scares, the residual chronic pain and frustrations it all brings has made my once huge world continually get smaller and smaller. Sometimes in depression I ask God, why? Why not just take me rather than have me suffer like this? Why make me a nuisance to those I hold dear. What more is there that I could possibly do? What more could this life hold for me? 

It is usually then that God reminds me that He alone knows the plans for me. That every breath I take actually belongs to Him. Every step ordained by His will. And mostly that my focus should be directed outward toward loving and serving rather than viewed inward at life and self. For an abundant life cannot be had if we do not first know and share His love. Self cannot be satisfied without first understanding the necessity of His glorious service. Yes, how young I truly am compared to His grand omniscience. How small my age seems compared to the presence of The Ageless Almighty. 

This is where I ponder on my big, brother's 50th. Here is where I sit quietly - early... before the doors of my Church officially open and invite me in to worship, to give thanks, to take communion beside my other spiritual siblings. Oh, God is so good. How many of my brothers and sisters have blessed me this difficult week. How important each of our gifts are to benefit and help one another. How valuable and powerful we are equipped to stand under the authority and grace of The Master's wise counsel.

Yes, this last week has taxed us all in one way or another. And yet, soon we are blessed to pause together in congregation, praising the One who promises to see us through all adversity and trouble. The One who brings with Him lasting peace and salvation. The One with whom I truly love to live for... whom I have surrendered my broken self to serve.

Blessed Sunday to all who believe in The Lord. Let me encourage you to get yourselves to church with your families... to worship alongside your eternal family! May we each draw close and abide in His Word together, pausing from the many storms, and celebrating this precious moment to live full and with hope toward our future!

Much love!!! ❤️

Ps... Happy Birthday Big Brother! I love you!!! 

Saturday, September 2, 2017


Saturday 9/2/17: A week without power. I know in the grand scheme that really is nothing. Compared to those who have lost everything... my sweet neighbors who have layers of mud and debris covering the walls and floors of what once were lovely homes. Just like that so many have had to face the hard truth that life will be different for some time. Can you imagine losing all your earthly belongings in one day? Just like that. The freight train of Hurricane Harvey will be felt for many weeks, months, years to come here. Sigh. As I sit watching the large impressive hawks circling above my neighborhood, I find myself overwhelmed and appreciative for all we still have. One week without electricity has re-tuned my internal antenna to better hear my Spirit's gentle whisper. The only noise present are the chirps of geckos, the hum of a much appreciated generator, the breathing of my love sitting beside me as we regroup this hour over a cup of fresh hot coffee. We have learned to base all our activities around the "when"... when light is present. When the sun rises and falls. When we can see each other, then we progress together. We are blessed with a like-minded community. We have all reorganized our priorities and schedules. Because let's face it, tragedy elongates our time. This week has felt overwhelmingly like a month. And doing without has brought us a very different kind of agenda and comfort together. Lessons and hopes are more visibly seen without electricity, in true daylight... in the brightness of God's love. Yes, praying for power to be restored as the hardworking crews work outside our home today. They have given so much of themselves to help so many this week. May we all continue to give as well. May new transformers transform us. May new equipment equip us. May new electricity electrify us all to nourish the love we have found in serving one another.  ❤️. God bless, sweet peeps and Happy Saturday! ~V

Sat #2: Ok, so our electricity is running, but our a/c isn't working now. (Chuck already brought back the units to our neighbor too.) Could y'all pray with me on this as my hubs is worn out but still trying to figure out what's wrong. We do have fans running, but it is hot/humid. Lord, help!

Friday, September 1, 2017

be the change

Friday, September 1, 2017:

Early this morning, I decided to read some of the headline stories outside of our local Houston news. Quickly I realized that nothing much has changed in the world outside of hurricane Harvey. People are still behaving mean, angry, defensive, hurt.

So today, as me and my community continue to help one another get back on our feet, I thought I would step outside my comfort zone to formally ask the politicians, the news media, the business leaders, and the network executives to please stop reporting against one another. Stop telling us that headline "news" should be about who twittered something first. Or who won the last argument according to so-n-so. This is not news that helps anyone. This is not news that matters. Stop pointing and judging and arguing with the hopes of dethroning, destroying, and shutting anyone down. I can personally attest... we have lost enough. Haven't we?

Instead, let me suggest that you choose today to do good... that you report and support what builds each of us up as a nation. That you decide, despite our differing opinions and wonderfully eclectic diversity of talent, that name calling is simply not ok. That we are not at war with each other, but rather simply in disagreement on some issues but always working toward solutions together. How about making our news, our politics, our business, our airway-coverage focused on choosing to behave in love... always! Even if your so-called foe does not behave the same. Even if you have to take a hit, or two... or twelve... before the other side actually believes your commitment to simply care first about one another.

You are responsible for your words and behavior. You are the only person you can control and change. So today, I'd like to ask each of you to choose to act presidential and extend grace to one another. To govern yourself to be kind first, deciding to do all things in love. If you don't have anything uplifting to say, really... hold your tongue and start counting all the blessings and freedoms we share in this gorgeous country. We are so richly blessed. We are wonderfully talented. We have the capacity to give so much to one another and to grow stronger and healthier together. But twitter wars and destructive headlines won't get us there, friends. So, please... be the change. You control you. Elevate and live in the gratitude that we can stand united. And if you need some actual news to report... if you are looking for places to govern and help others... feel free to contact me. I have so many examples of love and leadership occurring before me this week... too many to count. God bless my sweet America. Land that I truly do love!!!

God Bless!!!

Victoria Anderson

© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

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