Author Archives: Denise W. Anderson

No is Not a Four-Letter Word

“No” is not a four-letter word. Now really, that sounds a bit absurd to think that when we say “No” we swear and use God’s name in vain or don’t care. Rather “No” is a way to protect our own worth that we were born with here on this earth. It is a way to keep others from taking advantage of us or throwing us under a passing bus.

We say “No” when others try to step on our toes or we don’t like the way a situation goes. If our calendar is full and a request is made, “No” keeps us from thinking we must make a grade and saying “Yes” just to please another when we really don’t have the time to muster. “No” is simply the easiest way to keep that hounding temptation at bay.

“No” helps us stay pure and clean and white while others are having to suffer from blight that came into being when they said “Yes” instead of holding up under duress. It’s the easiest way to arrive home on time to family and friends, and clocks that chime, with all your money still in your hand, you see, rather than spending it on a shopping spree.

We all know, however, there will come a time, when we cannot say “No,” as we will be in that line that enters the great towering clouds above, and we will be surrounded by those arms of love. Then we will look through tears of joy and know that we said it enough when we were down here below. We kept ourselves free from temptation and snare, and now we are ready to happily share!

©2018 by Denise W. Anderson, all rights reserved. Subscribe todayfor your emotional health!




Like fingers of fire shooting through my veins, the pain comes around again and again. How can I make it through this day when the pain I feel never goes away? How can I rest when the night comes around when my heart cries out and my agony abounds?

Like a hammer pounding upon my bones, the throbbing pain makes me writhe and groan. I shift my position or change my chair hoping the pain just won’t be there, but no matter what I seem to do, it follows me the whole day through!

Like a vice grip squeezing around my head, the pain and the pressure fill me with dread. I wish that the world would just go away, then I wouldn’t have to endure today. Dear Lord, please help me, I cannot go on! Take this pain away! Oh, Thy will be done!

Then to my mind’s eye there comes anew Christ carrying His cross with Calvary in view. They laid him down on the beams that day to end his mortal tabernacle of clay. Oh, how can I witness this awful scene? Please spare me, Lord, wipe the slate clean!

They spread out his hands and they pierced them there. The fingers of fire, Him did not spare. They nailed his feet to the cross and again, the throbbing pain through his bones did send. The crown of thorns slammed upon his brow, a vice grip the pain must have been, and how!

My heart cries out and the teardrops fall. He died for me! For one and for all! He knows how I feel, the tears that I’ve cried, the long lonely nights and the things that I’ve tried! And still He says, “Come, follow me, I will take you there, then set you free.”

Forgive me, Lord, for my complaints this day. You have suffered much more than I can ever say! I thank Thee for giving Thy life for me. I can go on now. Yes, I have strength, I see. The pain that I feel for a moment is gone, because of the war you have fought and won!

©2017 by Denise W. Anderson, all rights reserved. Subscribe today,  for your emotional health!



Thorns, thistles, crab grass, and oh, yes, creeping Jenny, or morning glory. Let’s see, what other names can I find for it, that weed that winds around the other plants and chokes them to death before it can even be seen!

There it is, sticking its tendrils above the caraganas. They call it the “hedge bindweed.” That’s just what it does! It binds the plants so they can’t grow right. If I follow it down to the roots, maybe I can get rid of it. Oh, no! There is another one, and another! Will I ever get rid of this insidious predator?!

What, it has flowers? You mean something so unsightly and annoying has a redeeming quality? How can it be? The article I read says that I must be vigilant if I want to get rid of this plague. Ok. I will check the hedge each time I water the garden. Let’s see, that will be every other day, all summer long!

If I add that to everything else I am doing, the washing, the cleaning, the visiting, the taking care of the sick and infirm, the supporting of my spouse and children in their endeavors, and last, but certainly not least, my own employment and taking care of myself. The list keeps getting longer and longer!

Oh, Lord, help me! I can’t do this alone! It is too hard! It takes too long! There is too much to do! I am overwhelmed at the very thought of it! I will never be able to have the strength to do all that needs to be done!

Oh, my precious child, you were never meant to do it alone. I am here. I will always be with you! My angels will be round about you to bear you up. They will go before you to prepare the way. They will be by your side watching over you and aiding your every step. They will come after you to soften the blows of your learning processes.

Lean on me. Learn of me. Love me! For I love you! I always have and I always will! You are never alone!

©2017 by Denise W. Anderson, all rights reserved. Subscribe today,  for your emotional health!


Once again on my hands and knees, scrubbing the dirt from the cracks and the seams. I thought that the floor was clean when I mopped, but then I noticed the flecks and I stopped. I grabbed a sponge and got down on all fours, and there it was around all the mop boards as if little tractors had deposited their grime when they marched through the house in double time!

I groaned and I fretted until the mopping was done, and determined that before the day’s setting sun I would take the time to clean it all out and make the floor shine. It would be clean, no doubt! Little did I know what lie in store, and the lesson I would learn from a simple floor. My heart must have been right for the teacher appeared, the message delivered, my conscience cleared.

I started in the easiest spot that I found by the bedroom carpet, there I put my knees down. With my nose as close to the floor as I could, I noticed the tracks across the edge of the wood. Like flecks of tar that came in from the street, they stuck to the floor and I sprayed on a sheet of chemical to loosen them so I could scrub and then took a rag and began to rub.

It didn’t come loose unless I pushed with my hands, my fingertips ached, my muscles like bands, my shoulders hunched forward, hard to the task, my back sinews taught as time marched on past. I moved down the hall to the dining room, under the table, each crack I did groom. The sweat poured like rain from my brow up above so I wiped with my sleeve and wished for a glove.

Then somewhere, somehow, in my simple mind’s eye, the sweat became blood where my Savior did cry. He, too, was down on his hands and his knees, the sweat there did pour, his muscles pain seized. He was determined to stay strong to the end, to finish the work, God’s will not to bend. He prayed and he bled from every pore, when he thought that he could not take any more.

For a moment I watched him, my heart opened wide, wanting to hold him, aching inside. I felt as if I was there in the flesh, his spirit and mine were one, enmeshed. Tears fell down my face as I prayed silently. “Thy will be done,” he said quietly. Only then did my eyes see again the floor and the task that I faced was no longer a bore.

What he did there that day for you and for me, we will never know, we will never see. All that we know is that when he was done, we were no longer ours past the setting sun. We were bought with a price that he paid then and there, no matter what we’ve done, whether or not we do care. He simply says “Come, follow me, I will take you there, then set you free.”

By the time I was finished, I knew in my heart, that a clean floor may be important, if I do my part, but there is something that I cannot do for myself that he did for me, not just a book on a shelf. He gave me a chance to be clean through and through, much past the surface, my heart and soul, too. He paid the price that I might live. His blood washed me clean. His praises I give!

©2017 by Denise W. Anderson, all rights reserved. Subscribe today, for your emotional health!


Once again, I see your face, a gentle reminder of God’s good grace. I take your hand and hold it close, then look in your eyes, I see the most reveling part of my own heart, as if it has been opened wide and for a moment, I see inside. A part of me has become its own, growing and changing, like a seed that was sewn.

For years, I watered and fed it with care, the daily deeds, the work that was there, the ins and outs, the ups and downs, the hurt and the pain, the smiles and frowns. The life that we lived, forever a part, the time that we ran and jumped and played, the late nights where we wept and prayed, the days when we laughed and rejoiced in the sun, the moments we tumbled around and had fun.

Now I see the seed grown so straight and tall, with branches spread wide, holding one and all. The shade provided to all around has come full circle, back to my own ground. Who would have known back when we did start that one day new life would come back to me and give me eyes with which I could see the small hands and feet, a spirit now given, a part of me has been blessed from heaven.

Tears of joy fill my eyes and fall down as I hold my posterity in any size of gown, the weddings, the blessings, the graduations, the race, the moments that are laced with heavenly grace, the daily tasks, the shopping, the cart, the times we were afraid, the night of darkness and fear when we didn’t know how long we would hold them near. For as our posterity grow and move on, our eyes grow dim, and we prepare to sing a new song!

©2017 by Denise W. Anderson, all rights reserved. Subscribe todayfor your emotional health!





“No, I cannot help you, I am not available then,” but in my mind I am saying, I will not do that again. You stepped upon me once before and left me injured there. I will not be in that place again, although you say you care.

Assertiveness is a skill that I am learning how to use. It gives my heart protection and keeps me from being abused. It means that I will say how I feel at the time the event takes place rather than waiting and trying to please, or rather than saving face.

“Do you have a minute? We need to talk,” I said to my colleague and friend. “Just a moment, I’ll be right there,” she said as she rounded the bend. We went into a private room and there discussed the scene that had unfolded just moments before leaving me embarrassed, it seemed.

I will stand and hold my ground, I am just as important as you. I need not cower or run and hide, to myself, I will be true. For I am strong, and I am free to choose how I want to live. And God, He will be with me. For me, new life He did give.

“You say I did this thing to you, you may feel rightly so,” but in my mind I am saying, Your choices you made, you know. I cannot take the credit for making you what you are. The things that you have done before are bringing you this far.

©2017 by Denise W. Anderson, all rights reserved. Subscribe today,  for your emotional health!

Forgive Yourself


Forgive yourself. You can, you know. The pain is not worth the scars that grow building walls of hate around your heart that keep you separate, from being a part of the love that God sheds abroad on mankind for all who would see it without being blind.


Forgive yourself. It is balm for the soul. It helps you heal so that you can be whole. It gives you a sense of worth to yourself, and keeps you from being left on the shelf to wither and die of loneliness there, a burden no being need ever bear.

Forgive yourself. You deserve a break, for life is not just made out of fate. There are choices we make in and around. We all make mistakes, but we can rebound. There will always be lessons that we can learn, there is always another dollar to earn.

Forgive yourself. Let yourself live! There is plenty of time for you to give. It isn’t necessary to put yourself out to the point that you want to grumble and shout. Let yourself breathe, take some time to relax, you needn’t be burdened and overtaxed!

Forgive yourself for that’s what Christ would do, if He were here and in your shoe. Accept the gift that He gave on the cross, the price that He paid so that none would be lost. Embrace Him now, feel of His love, and let the sun shine, a gift from above!

©2017 by Denise W. Anderson, all rights reserved. Subscribe today,  for your emotional health!

Moving Mountains



I cannot move this mountain, Lord; it is way too deep, too wide. I’ve toiled until my bones do ache, ‘til way past eventide. I cannot go around, dear Lord, a chasm’s in the way. There is no bridge for me to cross, no ferry in the bay.

I cannot climb, it’s way too steep, the rock face sheer and bare. There are no trees for me to grasp, no foot holes anywhere. How can I fill this mission, Lord, for I am but a man? My strength is not enough, dear Lord, I need a helping hand.

Oh, my son, you did not hear, when I called for help today. You were too busy toiling to hold a light and show the way. You were more concerned about the matters nigh at hand, the mountain right in front of you, than the needs of your fellow man.

How can I lend a hand to you when you have turned your back on those who need my love through you, who daily needs do lack? Go and serve them, then come back, and you will surely see, that we can move this mountain together, you and me.

I left my shovel at my feet and went away from the mountainside. I found another I could help on my way home that eventide. I saw them rested and refreshed and encouraged them to see the light at the end of the tunnel, for He said, “Come, follow me.”

As I turned to leave the simple words came ringing in my ears, “What can I do to help you, you’ve been so kind all of these years.” “I’m trying to move a mountain,” I said with faltering tone, “But it really is not important, I just can’t do it alone.”

“Let us go together,” he said, “I know there is still hope. I’ll bring a spade, a ladder, and plenty of braided rope.” Once again, the mountain we faced, but this time with the strength of ten. The Lord, me, and my brother, but now, for the salvation of men!

©2016 by Denise W. Anderson, all rights reserved. Subscribe today, for your emotional health!



The knock came unexpectedly. I really didn’t hear. But when it came again, I knew, it sounded much more near. I looked out through the window, not knowing who I’d see and there were four big fear-filled eyes looking back at me.

I quickly opened up the door and asked what I could do. The girls said they were playing ball, and in my yard it flew. “Will you please get it for us, and then we will be gone. We’ll be more careful next time, our grandma’s watching on.”

I told the girls to go on back and get the ball themselves. I gestured to the path to take, they ran like little elves. I looked out through the other side, my feelings in suspense, and noticed grandma standing there, beside the neighbor’s fence.

I went outside to greet her. She apologized and smiled. We shook hands and exchanged our names, our information filed. I assured the girls and her right there that if they needed to, they could come into the yard for ball, or bat or shoe.

As I walked back to the house, I hung my head and sighed. They’d lived there now for quite some time, my neighbors home inside. We had seen each other once or twice but never really known the truth about each other, or seeds of friendship sewn.

How things can change so easily, in a moment all is gone. The unexpected turns us round and we find we’re not alone. There are others all around us who need a helping hand. As we reach our hands out to them, the dove of peace will land.

©2016 by Denise W. Anderson, all rights reserved. Subscribe today, for your emotional health!




The girl pointed her finger at me, her brows knit together in scorn, then to the “Angry” icon on her assistive technology device. Though she spoke no words, I could feel the distrust emanating from her. I was there in the place of her regular teacher, and she did not know why.

I voiced the words that she could not, saying to the paraprofessional that was helping her, “Her teacher is not here and she does not know me.” The woman’s eyebrows raised, and she said to the girl, “You are sad because your teacher is not here.” The girl stopped pointing at me, found the “Sad” icon, and was able to move on.

Later, as we sat together and watched a video book presentation, the girl reached her hand over to mine and held is softly. I put mine on top of hers, and together we watched in silence. There was no need for words to express the poignant feelings shared. I could tell. She trusted me!

I had prayed that morning that my first day on the job substitute teaching would be a successful one, that I would feel God’s love for the students, and that I could share his love with them. It had happened in a way I never thought possible.

At the end of the class period, the girl gave me a hug, and we walked hand in hand to the door. Still, no words were spoken, but I knew that I was in the right place at the right time. My purpose had been fulfilled in that small moment.

Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us to “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” This was my theme song when I left the mental health unit years ago. Now, it has become my lifeline.

When I decided to leave my employment as an office manager, I felt that God was directing me to go and serve his children as a substitute teacher in the public school system. At first I was frightened. So many things had happened in my past that had taken me from that realm of the world.

Now, here I was, stepping back into it, having the very experiences that called me in that direction in the first place. Surely, a way will be provided, and I can go forward with faith, trusting that all will be well!

©2016 by Denise W. Anderson, all rights reserved. Subscribe today,  for your emotional health!