Tuesday With Teri

Devotions from lessons I'm learning from God

Hurricane March 29, 2012

Filed under: devotionals — tlmiller82 @ 8:20 pm

          The other day I went for a jog.  It was not complete drudgery since it was when the hubby and I were at Spanish Cay Marina in the Bahamas.  I have been trying to jog a bit whenever possible since sometimes it is hard to exercise on boat trips like this.

         Spanish Cay is a privately owned place, which simply means there is not a lot there in terms of development.  However, it is beautiful, like a nature preserve.  I was trudging along the only road/path on the island, headphones blaring Mercy Me music, when a shape came up behind me and startled my heart to a whole new  aerobic level…it was Hurricane.

        Hurricane is a potcake.  Potcake is a term used for any kind of wild dog in the Bahamas.  The islands are almost overrun by dogs of mixed breeding.  There are even rescue groups and organizations trying to encourage neuter and spade practices in the local culture.  Some of these dogs are sad sights and severely neglected, others are thriving and happily wandering the streets and finding handouts and attention.  I think the word “potcake” comes from the practice of feeding them with scraps from the dinner pot.

         Hurricane came to Spanish Cay as a foster rescue dog.  During Hurricane Irene one of the marina’s managers received a call from friends running an animal rescue.  They needed a foster home for a puppy.  There was an interested owner, but due to the weather, they could not return to the island for a few months.  No surprise that once the folks at Spanish Cay had little Hurricane in their midst they fell in love and he would eventually call it home.  He is now much bigger and certainly healthy.  Hurricane has known grace and love.

         Hurricane pounced alongside me with typical puppy enthusiasm.   I’ve never had a dog run with me, it was kind of cool.  I’ve seen other runners out for a jog with their dog and always thought it looked fun…just not likely to happen for me since my porky yorky, Hughie,  not much of a runner,  even if I am slow enough for him.

        Hurricane kept pace with me for a while before moving on ahead.  He stopped and looked back over his shoulder at me several times before disappearing over a hill.  I appreciated his company and that he seemed to care about what I was doing and where I was going.  That matters.

       I thought of Hurricane when a loved one of mine was sharing about a very difficult time she is going through.  In the midst of having a lot to complain about, she was quick to say how much support and love she had around her through family and friends.  That matters.   God knows we all need people around us who care what we are doing and where we are going.

        We’ve  met other boaters who shared they had been friends for over 40 years….met in 2nd grade and had seen each other through every aspect of life it seemed.  At our current marina, I met a woman who has been meeting the same group of friends here since 1975!  I watched them gather for dinner at a table near ours, and thought of the friends God has set by my side.  I am thankful God has placed people in my life who care about what I am doing and where I am going.  That matters.

        Hurricane was a frolicking furry reminder of the importance of knowing someone cares what you are doing and where you are going. 

Lord, thank you for those you have placed in our lives that care what we are doing and where we are going.  Help us to be that person for others, to care for our loved ones and friends in such as way that they too know someone care what they are doing and where they are going.  It matters.



Of Hope and Hair March 21, 2012

Filed under: devotionals — tlmiller82 @ 8:28 pm

The hubby and I are on a bit of a trip.  As most of you all know we embarked on an adventure to take our boat down the ICW to the Bahamas this month. (www.boat2bahamas.wordpress.com)

With so much beauty all around us as we travel I began to feel overwhelmed…so much to share, so few words to describe.  Everyday I am humbled by the handiwork of God and reminded to thank God for every new morning as a gift.  Funny how when the days began last week I so quickly launched into my “things to do” that I seldom thanked God for the day even starting.  I had thought my first post here would be a reflection of the wonderful things I am seeing…but no, instead God placed a lesson in my life and on my heart that has to do with hair.

This afternoon, as Scott and I spent a bit of time in a pool at the marina dock, I bemoaned to my hubby about my dwindling hair supply.  My parents blessed me in many ways, but genetically hair is not one of them.  I have fine and rapidly thinning hair.  I am probably more aware of it at this time since I must keep it covered with a ball cap to prevent a sunburned scalp.  When my head gets wet it pretty much melts away like cotton candy and I look bald.   Sigh, I don’t mean to be vain, honestly normally I don’t mind too much…I could have much worse problems and I know this….but for some reason today I was complaining.

Later, when we were back at our boat, we met a few residents of a nearby condo community out walking their dogs on the dock.  A couple and their friend.  As we listened to their stories and got to know them a bit, Deb, the wife, said, “Tomorrows the day!”   Apparently she has been battling cancer.  She is in her second chemo treatment and the prognosis is very good…but she was told she would lose her hair and now it was happening.  “I was able to be pretty okay about everything, I even already have the wigs, but yesterday when the hair came out in handfuls, I sort of freaked out.”  She said this with a smile that I am certain has been plastered on her face throughout this ordeal.  She is genuinely upbeat and grateful for her loving husband and supportive family.  “Tomorrow is the day I go to the hair dresser and have my hair cut off,”  I looked at her thick mass of curly blonde hair poking out from under a ball cap, “it’s pretty much gone on top now anyway.”  She was still smiling at her friend, but it was obvious this was not an easy time for her.

Tonight as I walked our dog, Hughie, out past the docks and over by the condos, I couldn’t help but look up at the lit windows and wonder which was hers.  I thought of her brushing her hair for the last time tonight, of her maybe trying on her wigs one more time, of her husband telling her how beautiful she is and reminding her it will grow back.  I prayed below the condo windows, asking God for continued healing and grace for them, and also asking for forgiveness for my petty concern about my follicle challenges.

I pictured this sweet couple as a well anchored boat.  Even when anchored, a boat will swing with currents and feel the pulse of the waves around it.  They may be weathering a swinging boat, but they are anchored in hope.  I am reminded that we too have a great anchor of hope in the savior whose life death and resurrection we celebrate this coming month(and always)…..so let life swing us, waves come around us, or weather grow foul…our anchor will hold.   Now, when I see my thinning hair, I will challenge myself to not think of the loss, but thank God for the reminder of the lesson of hope.

“We have this sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone a forerunner on our behalf..” Hebrews 6:19&20



EEEEEK! March 13, 2012

Filed under: devotionals — tlmiller82 @ 4:42 pm


The other night, as I sat on the couch watching TV with my little dog Hughie asleep by my side, I heard a noise in our kitchen.   It was the sound of dog food being moved around the bowl.  Let me pause here so you can refer back the first sentence…oh, and by the way, we only have one dog! 

After stalking the ghost like movement of the culprit, I was finally able to snap a blurry photo of a not so cute mouse squeezing himself under the laundry door and helping himself to some Kibbles & Bits!  We even found quite a stash of dog food piled behind the washing machine, ick.  It was battle time!

Armed with no mess mouse traps, peanut butter and a few kibbles for bait, I set out to protect our domain.  When I woke the next day, one of the traps was tripped.  I like the new no mess traps,  they have a tab that moves positions when there is a mouse inside.  I simply plucked it up by the little handle and tossed it in the garbage outside.  I felt victorious!  I felt empowered!  I felt like a big girl who handled her crisis with grace and courage, without having to call on my hubby!….until the next night.

I continued to set out traps.  One evening, just before bed, I looked at one of the traps and noticed the tab had shifted.  “Hmmmm,” I thought, “I just put this down, maybe it just tripped accidentally.”  I held the plastic container up to the light to see if there was a critter inside, didn’t see anything…so I decided to reset it…MISTAKE!  As I pushed it down a bit, I heard the panic filled squeal of a live mouse!  I dropped it on the table and joined in the squealing!  Oooo, ick, ick,, ick….creepy, creepy ,creepy, even as I type this the goose bumps run up my arms at the memory!   I almost let the mouse out as it was in my hands….let’s just not try to imagine what would have transpired had the mouse leapt from it’s trap and into my arms!  It was bad enough as it was…. I yelled like the girl I am for the hubby who was upstairs, grabbed a hanger and snagged the trap by the corner and carried it outside.  The entire time I was emitting those embarrassing sounds we usually only make when no one sees how truly repulsed we are by something…”eewewewewewewewe, ahgahgahga, eeeeeeeeeeek, yuuuuuuuuuuuuck” combined with shuddering and convulsing dance like moves.  Yep, not my finest hour.

I am happy to report we have not seen any mouse activity these last few days.  Of course this got me thinking….this is not the first time we’ve had to “deal” with mice in our home.  Several years ago we saw evidence of their existence and actually hired professionals to handle them for us.  THEN the next year we had what one professional reptile exterminator referred to as “not quite” an infestation of snakes.  Those of you who follow the blog may recall this time in our lives as it was an issue that inspired a few posts.  Apparently our snakes, which NORMALLY stay inside the house walls(I know, yuck right) or around the perimeter of our home, were having difficulty finding dinner since we did such a good job of ridding the house of mice.  Apparently, this resulted in them actually getting in to our living areas a few times.

Sooooo, now the mice are back since we kindly got rid of their predators.   Now I wonder if I get rid of too many mice, will the snakes become more evident?    One day I am asking God to help me get rid of mice, next, I am asking God to take away the snakes; then again, for Him to rid our place of mice…so now I am thinking, maybe I was a bit hasty in my requests.  God knows what He is doing….he knows what I desire, and what the snakes and mice need for a balanced environment.

 I certainly would not think of snakes as a gift from God, nor would I think to be thankful for the inconvenience of mice, and yet they had purpose.  What a great example of how God’s ways may not be my own…sometimes I do not understand why God allows things to happen in our lives, or even why He keeps certain things from taking place as we desire….but I am humbly reminded by my mice that in ALL things He has a plan and His ways are best.

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways declares the LORD.”  Isaiah 55:8

Lord, help us to trust Your ways and to understand Your thoughts that we may obediently follow you.


Lost Happens March 8, 2012

Filed under: devotionals — tlmiller82 @ 6:57 am


I’ve seen it in the news before….“Couple Found, Safe After 30 Minute Hike Became a 30 Hour Ordeal!”, “Man, Survives 5 days on Trail Mix and A Single Bottle of Water After Getting Lost During A Late Afternoon Jog.”,  “Day Trip Turns Into Nightmare as Hikers Veer Off Trail, Found by Local Scouts 3 Days Later!”

          I always thought it a bit odd that these wayward wood travelers never seemed to be remotely prepared for an unexpected extended journey.   After all, who goes traipsing into the woods with little more than a bottle of water?  How hard is it to stay on a trail in broad daylight?  How can a 30 minute hike turn into a news worthy, life threatening event?  Well, I think I have the answer to these questions now.

         Yep, the hubby and I went for another hike the other day.  The sun was shining and he was anxious to try a new trail and his handy new backpack/camera case.  Having learned a bit from our previous hiking misadventures, we were careful to dress appropriately for the chilly weather and dodgy terrain.  We loaded Scott’s new camera bag/backpack with one energy bar and some water.  I had tissues in my pocket for the inevitable drippy nose that accompanies early morning, chilly weather, pre-Spring hikes.  We both had our cell phones and a good pair of sturdy shoes.  We were ready to hit the trail like Luis and Clark, or Lois and Clark, or maybe more like Lucy and Ricky Ricardo.

           The trail was clearly  marked with blue lines painted on various trees.  As part of an old civil war trail, it is maintained with great care.  By maintained I mean, someone saws logs that have recently fallen onto the path and the rickety wooden bridges that span small gaps where the trail crosses water or ravines are never missing important boards.  It is still a natural trail, and as such is prone to variations caused by time and weather.

          When the trail changes direction, or if there are various paths to choose from, the trail is marked with two blue lines on the nearest tree.  We were feeling confident in our ability to spot such marks; after all, we have hiked at least two of these trails before…we were practically experts! ( In hindsight, I can almost hear God giggling at our misplaced confidence.)

         About an hour into our journey, we realized we had not seen any of those blue marks in a while.  Matter of fact, we could no longer see the well worn trail we had been on…it was as if the path just disappeared into a pile of leaves, rocks and tree branches.   “Are we lost?” I asked my hubby/trusty trail guide.  “Not at all, just follow me” came his reply, and I did.

          I followed him over tree trunks, under thickets, past thorn-covered plants and deep into a tangle of tree branches, vines, and piles of decaying leaves.   “Are you sure this is the way?”  I asked, not just once, but with every step I took.  “Yes!” he would respond in an ‘I can’t-believe you don’t trust me’ tone.

          As I teetered over a rather large fallen tree and struggled to catch up to my ‘sure he knows where he is going’ husband, I began to envision the headlines.  “Wife kills Husband for Last Energy Bar Only to Die Herself from Starvation a Day Later on Remote Trail” or “Local Couple Found After a Early Morning Hike Turned Into a 10 Day Ordeal!” ….. “So THIS is how it happens!”, I thought to myself.

          We were not lost for too long,( according to my hubby/trail guide, we were never actually lost), but it was humbling to see how quickly we could lose our way.  How did we miss the marks?  How did we manage to veer off the intended path?  I was reminded of how beneficial a well walked; marked and planned path is to those on a journey to an unfamiliar place.

Lord, as I follow the path you have set my feet on, help me to keep my eyes and heart open to the things You use to guide me,  to follow the trail worn down by the “cloud of witnesses” you have lead before me and to surround myself with co-journeyers who will do the same.

“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race set before us…” Hebrews 12:1