A Quiet Place

photo credit: Lindsey Fair
photo credit: Lindsey Fair

This blog has been rather silent lately. The last few months have been a time of quietness and drawing closer to God in as much stillness as life would allow. It’s been a truly humbling time.  Many life issues have come and gone.  Some were handled well. Some were not.

I felt as if my life was moving off center. Suddenly it was as if my Savior placed His hand on my shoulder and gently told me to sit down.  I was looking to others for approval and affirmation.  My feet were on shaky ground.

But, now as time has passed, I feel myself getting full. There are many devotionals rolling through my head.  In everything I do I see God’s fingerprints.  Everything I hear brings a message from the Father.  He has been teaching me something in practically every moment of the day.  I’m on the verge of overflow and trying to carve out time to write.

I’ll be sharing soon.



To Know Your Ways



“Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me in your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for I wait all the day long.” ~Psalm 25:4 &5

I often hear young women say, “I don’t know how to cook.”
My response is always the same. I look into their sweet, youthful eyes and ask, “Do you know how to read?”
Then with a puzzled expression I get reassurance that they, of course, can read. I reply, “then you can cook.”
It really is that simple. Basic cooking requires only that you can accurately read the recipe and follow the directions.
My daily Bible reading brought me to the opening scripture the other day. As I read it, I couldn’t help but think of that cooking conversation. It was fresh in my mind because I had very recently had that exact conversation with a young single friend.
As I meditated on those verses, they began to unpack themselves before my eyes.
Knowing God, knowing His will, His ways, really is simple.
Do you want to know God? Do you know how to read?
Read His Word. We see that in verse four. “Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths.”
But…isn’t it funny how often we come across the word “but” in declarative statements?!
But, the whole truth is that just being able to read a recipe will never instantly transform you into a GOOD cook.
That takes time, effort, experience, and desire.
We can say the same about really knowing God…intimately knowing God.
It takes time, effort, experience, and desire.
“Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all day long.”
Sweet friends, I’m pressing into my relationship with the Lord!
I’m stepping beyond just reading His Word.
Let’s put in the effort, gain the experience, and deepen our desire for Him!

During this crazy, busy season of the year, among all the sports, concerts, recitals, plays, spring cleaning, and outdoor work, let’s wait on Him all day long.
He is our salvation.

On This Day, Seventy-Four Years Ago…

canstockphoto9100017[1]My mom would be celebrating her seventy-fourth birthday today had she survived her battle with cancer four and a half years ago.

As I shared on the blog before ( http://deniselfair.com/remembering-my-mom/), she did not receive Christ until very late in life. The second half of Mom’s life was riddled with challenges that led her down a dark and difficult path emotionally. But, in my early childhood my mom loved life.

She was vibrant, loving, nurturing, and amazing!

My Mom Margaret E. Kellander March 24, 1942 - November 23, 2011
My Mom
Margaret E. Kellander
March 24, 1942 – November 23, 2011

As I celebrate her on her birthday, I chose to remember her that way.

Indulge me briefly while I reminisce about the top three indelible marks she made on my life.

~ She had given me a love for homemaking. I love to garden and preserve fresh fruit and vegetables.  I remember summer days spent by her side as we picked garden fresh tomatoes, climbed ladders to pluck tart green apples, and shucked endless ears of corn.  We’d then prepare jams, freeze corn, and can tomatoes for days on end.  Nothing tasted better in the dead of winter, with snow up to my belly button, than Mom’s sweet strawberry jam slathered on warm bread.  I think of her every time I look at my pantry shelves with neatly arranged canning jars, full of tomatoes, apples, and grape jelly.  A love for sewing, knitting, crocheting, and creating through craftiness were also passed down in this love for homemaking.

~ She instilled in me a love for animals. Mom had a soft spot for critters large and small.  Growing up we had ducks, hamsters, gerbils, mice, cats, dogs, and fish.  I’m certain, if we would have had the space, we would have had goats and horses too.  We keep the animal population in our house to one small dog due to space.  But, we’d have a population explosion of the four legged kind if we lived in a more rural setting.

~Lastly, she left me with the overwhelming desire to sing out loud no matter how bad I sound! Mom loved to fill the air with her out of tune melodies…so do I!  My children chide me just like I had often chided her.  Unfortunately, I also inherited my not-so-great singing voice from her as well.

“The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.”     Psalms 16:6

Happy Birthday, Mom!



P.S.—to my sisters, Beth and Sarah (who also inherited all three traits), I’d love for you to add your thoughts in the comment section!


Why Do I Talk to My Husband Like That?



It felt like my heart was in my throat as I swallowed a hard, cold lump of air. I turned to my daughter, as we sat at a red light and asked her what she was talking about. She went on to explain to me that I seemed to be upset with her daddy all the time lately.  She looked at me with her big blue eyes and ask me if something was wrong.

Was I mad at Dad because of something he did?

Was I feeling sick and didn’t want anyone to know?

Did I still love Daddy?

My answers were quick and short as we turned the corner and pulled into the drop off zone at school…



Of course, I still love Daddy!

The conversation made me weep the whole way home. It was crushing.

I had been short on patience with the man I love more than any other human on this earth.  The excuses were numerous and valid.

I wasn’t sleeping well.

Some extended family issues troubled my mind.

He was worried about work and not as emotionally available for me.

I’ve often felt like the only woman in the world that had so much trouble displaying the love for my husband that I have in my heart.

Have you ever felt that way?

When I’m not with him, I think about how wonderful he is, how well he cares for us as a family, and all the wonderful aspects of his personality that I find so attractive.

Then he comes home and tracks mud across my freshly polished hardwood and stinks up the powder room and I turn into a completely different woman!!! Words fly from my mouth before I can stop them and condemnation floods my soul.

My husband and I have been married for almost nineteen years and for all those years, I have thought this struggle was uniquely mine. Yes, there have been a handful of friends who confided in me that they share similar struggles with their men as well. But, overall I thought that it was a sign of a spiritual weakness in me, a struggle that I alone battled.

My eyes were opened to a greater truth two weeks ago when I started taking a class on biblical counseling at my church.

The first topic was marriage.


We looked at Genesis chapter two. Man needed a helper.  The animals were brought to Adam. None were suitable helpers.  God made woman from man’s rib. Man had dominion over woman. Everything was blissful.

Then in chapter three everything changed! The chapter is entitled, “The Fall of Man”.

“To the woman He said, ‘I will greatly increase your pain in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.’”     Genesis 3:16

If you have been in church for any length of time, I’m sure you have heard teachings on the fall of mankind from this very passage.

Presented in a different context, God opened my eyes and I saw for the very first time why I struggled to communicate my love to husband in the midst of certain circumstances.

In chapter two, Eve, as she represented womanhood, was content under her husband’s authority. She was astutely aware of the fact that she was created from him and for him.

After the fall, as a consequence of the fall, it was determined that the harmonious relationship would no longer exist without struggle. “Her desire will be for her husband” would become her desire to challenge his authority.  “He will rule over you” would become his tendency toward harshness or insensitivity, and perhaps unawareness of her needs.  So, the battle began.

The struggle is real, my friends.

We now live in a new age.

“For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.” 1Corinthians 15:22

“So it is written: ‘The first man Adam became a living being; the last Adam a life giving spirit.’” 1Corithians 15:45

Jesus is the answer.

Knowing this, I no longer feel condemnation during those moments of struggle. I know why I struggle and I confess those struggles to Christ, repent, and turn to Him for life-giving help. The more quickly I do this, the more loving our relationship becomes. The more I grow in my love for Christ and from Christ, the more His grace changes me and my expression of love for my husband.

I can then echo Paul’s words in 1Timothy 1:14, “The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.”






Supreme Sacrifice

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Happy Supreme Sacrifice Day!

Yes, today really is Supreme Sacrifice Day according to the website, holidayinsight.com.  The word “happy” may not seem appropriate for a day called “Supreme Sacrifice”.  But honestly, how can we feel otherwise?

In his book, The Discipline of Grace, author and Bible teacher, Dr. Jerry Bridges, wrote an entire chapter entitled “Preach the Gospel to Yourself”.  He reminds us that because of the atoning sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ we are saved, justified, redeemed, and made holy.

Eternal life is our’s through the precious blood of Christ!

“This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”        1John4:10

Is there any better day to preach the Gospel to ourselves and live in the reality of His grace?



Remembering a Saint


Are you sipping a shamrock shake while wearing a green shirt, staring out your window at a green river, with a four leaf clover in your hand? If so, I would say that you are a hard core fan of Saint Patrick’s Day!

But, who was Saint Patrick and why do we honor him on this day, March seventeenth?

It is assumed that he was born in Bannavem Taberniae (thought to be in England, Scotland, or Whales) in 386 A.D. into a wealthy family. His given name was Maewyn Succat.

At the age of sixteen he was kidnapped and taken to Ireland to herd sheep. In Ireland, some years later, he heard God tell him to return to England.  He set out on foot and walked mile upon mile, jumped on a boat and returned to England.

While there, an angel told him in a dream to return to Ireland. He then spent many years studying and growing in faith.  He became an ordained priest and changed his name to Patricius Daorbae which translated, “Patrick who was once a slave”.

He returned to Ireland spreading the Gospel among the Celtic pagans (Druids). Persecution raged. On March 17, 461 A.D. Patrick was challenged by a Druid magician to a trial by fire ending his life in a magician’s death.

This is by no means an exhaustive account of his life. There is much more written with great historical accuracy.

There was no limit to the legends that were birthed after his death. Ridding Ireland of snakes was one of them.  If I have whetted your appetite for more, if you are a trivia buff, or if you’re sitting in a dentist’s office waiting room for hours today, google Saint Patrick and enjoy finding more tidbits!



Spring Cleaning



Hello Friends! Have you started your spring cleaning yet? I have! Nothing feels better than a freshly cleaned room.  I love to get into all the nooks and crannies and scrub away the dirt and dust.

I thought the blog could use a little sprucing up as well.  I chose a simple clean theme.  My only concern is that I think it may look a little masculine. Please comment here or on facebook and let me know what you think.

I’m also going to change up the content a bit.  I’d love to hear more from you!!! Is there anything in particular that would pique your interest?



The Ox, The Deer, and The Bird

My four-year-old cockapoo loves to take walks every morning. Yesterday when we were walking a sudden loud, “caw, caw” grabbed our attention.  Up on the corner of the roof of the house we were passing was a crow almost as big as my poor frightened puppy dog.  Startled, she turned and left out a yippy bark.  That, apparently, was an invitation to the crow to swoop down right in front of her and land on the road only a few feet away from us. At the end of the leash was a distraught little puppy while the nasty crow strutted beside us, right down the center of the road.  It was taunting her! It kept saying, “Caw, caw. Caw, caw.” The whole scene was pathetic!

Isn’t that the way temptation can be? We’re moving through life, minding our own business and it swoops in and torments us.  Distracting us to the point of ineffectiveness.

Let’s look at this passage in Proverbs that speaks of temptation:

“All at once he followed her (temptation) like an ox going to slaughter, like a deer stepping into a noose till an arrow pierces his liver, like a bird darting into a snare, little knowing it will cost him his life.”   (Proverbs 7:22-23)

As we look at these two verses, the Lord reveals through Solomon’s words three ways that temptation can enter our lives.




Picture the ox going to slaughter, tied up, yoked to his master. A slave to whatever the master wills, even on to death.  I see this as the temptation attached to addictive sin—drug use, alcoholism, eating disorders, etc.  Are you in this kind of struggle, my friend? Are you fighting this enslaving temptation to sin? Take heart God has the answer. We’ll look at it in a few moments.


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I can relate to the deer probably most of all. Our poor deer was careless. Walking through the woods, our friend, Bambi, stepped right into a noose and was snared by the enemy.  Had our deer been more careful to watch his step he could have avoided that trap and not suffered the life threatening consequences that resulted. Can you relate as well as I can?  Our answer to this type of temptation is also coming soon.


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The third critter in this passage is the bird. Our little bird darted right into a snare.  He was clueless. I imagine it was probably an invisible type of net.  He had no idea what he flew into and how he got so tangled up! Is this speaking to you? Can you relate?

God is so good! He provided the answer to how to avoid all three of these temptations in the next chapter of Proverbs.

Proverbs eight talks about how wisdom calls out and how the “fear of the LORD is to hate evil.” Verse ten says, “Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold…” Verse twelve says, “I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence; I possess knowledge and discretion.”  

Are you a slave to the temptation of an ongoing sin?

Do you find yourself unprepared, carelessly stepping into sin?

Are you so busy, and disheveled in life that you find yourself dealing with sin, clueless as to how it happened?

The wisdom of God is in His Word.

Let’s make more time for Him.

Let’s make more time for His Word.




Reflecting on Parenting…Our Journey Through Asperger’s Syndrome, Part Two



The rain was coming down in sheets as I sat in my car and watched one of my kids’ teachers hold up a little stop sign so the passing cars wouldn’t plow through a gaggle of freshly released school students. He was wearing a bright yellow rain poncho and animated in his motions. I watched for a few minutes and then Devon coming bobbing down the steps toward the crosswalk.

The teacher started yelling something at him. He seemed to be straining as he discussed something of seemingly great importance with my son. Even from the distance of my vantage point, I could see veins popping out of the surface of his forehead.

My heart sank a little. I was hoping with great fervor that Devon hadn’t done anything wrong for which he was receiving a scolding, right there in the pouring rain.

He was fourteen and we had come a long way in those eleven years that passed since the journal entry I had talked about in the last post (Tuesday, January 26, 2016).  We’ve had years of occupational therapy, conversational speech therapy, social skills classes and abundant prayer!

Devon was surrounded by a family who loved and cared for him. We came to understand his condition better as we went through family counseling and read a copious amount of books on the subject. We homeschooled Devon and Lindsey through seventh grade and placed in a loving, encouraging, academically challenging Christian school for the past few years.

But most importantly we prayed! We prayed that Devon come to know God and Jesus Christ and that his relationship with the Lord transform his mind, body, and spirit into the person that he was created to be.

As Devon sat himself down in the car that rainy day, I held my breath and asked what his teacher was yelling to him. He responded to me with smile that lit up his entire face.  He said that he had written a word puzzle that this man, his logic teacher, could not figure out and it was driving him crazy!

I exhaled deeply with a prayer of thanksgiving on my breath.

God is so faithful!

“See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.”    Matthew 18:10

Do you have a child with emotional, learning or social issues?

Press into God in faith through prayer! Hear His voice and feel His love.

I’m praying for you!

Please share as you feel led.



Reflecting on Parenting…Our Journey Through Asperger’s Syndrome


The tears flooded my cheeks. My heart swelled with emotion. It felt like the words were written only yesterday.

Monday, May 9, 2005

You have given me four beautiful children. Lord, I thank you for each and every one of them and ask that You give me the love and understanding I need to be a good mother to each of them. Help me to allow Nick and Michael to grow into manhood, to love them and accept them as they are and not as I want them to be.  Help me to nurture Lindsey as a young lady, setting a good example for her as a God loving woman. Help me to better understand Devon. Father, does he need a firmer hand, time to mature, or is something really wrong with him?  I beg of you, Father, in Your infinite wisdom and understanding as the ultimate parent help me to understand him and to know what to do to help him behave as he should. I am clueless. Is it me?  Am I doing something wrong?  Help me, Father, as I search for answers.  Grant me wisdom, understanding, and strength.

There was such a desperation in my words. I remember the helplessness of not knowing how best to handle my fourth child. I had three older children.  The older boys were lively and challenging at times. But, they always responded well to correction.  My youngest son, Devon, came with a different set of rules.  All the methods of training, correcting, guiding, and disciplining my three older children were useless with him.

He was super bright. Reading at three. Popping off math equations at four.  Memorizing square roots at five. But, he was insensitive to others and off in his own world, doing his own thing much of the time. We couldn’t get him to understand how to relate to others even though his heart was full of love toward everyone.

I prayed and prayed for help!

James says, “If any of you lacks wisdom he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”   (James 1:5)

God answered my prayers just a few short months later when Devon was at the doctor’s office for a check-up.

We were referred to a specialist who diagnosed Devon with Asperger’s Syndrome.

Thursday we’ll talk more about how that impacted our family over the past eleven years and I’ll share some of the wisdom that God granted to us in His vast goodness along the way.

Hope to see you then!