Sunday, January 1, 2017


Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow." --Mary Anne Radmacher

 I stopped to absorb the meaning of the above statement. The encouragement  moved across the table, at our GriefShare meetings, is an acknowledgement of everyone's courage.  For some individuals, just getting out of bed after the death of a loved one takes courage. Coming out of a comfort zone to attend a GriefShare meeting with people you don't know is a big step. Starting up a new friendship, knowing that death is always a possibility and hurt may again follow, is frightening. To actually re-marry after the death of a spouse, is a big life changing step. Moving ahead with life; taking a risk; putting yourself on the line;stepping out of your comfort zone and then hitting a devastating disaster; will bring you to your knees. This can and does happen to people. This is "Life".

I was there every step of the way, living this, looking for hope, feeling crushed all over again.  How would I ever recover now; when it appeared everything was lost, again.  I am moving forward slowly but steadily in God's time.  "In God's time," That is the hardest thing to work with. When we learn that there is a reason for these happenings, it helps to understand but doesn't make it any easier. I have discovered some wisdom that comes with age.

As I was growing up, my parents always displayed a giving & helping attitude. We were always going to help others from church, the neighborhood or family. Nothing has changed in my life except people have come and gone. Now our daughter Christa continues the with the same attitude and reaches out to help.

For myself and many others: it could be the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."  Please encourage those you know or don't know, young and old to keep on keeping on so they all will try again tomorrow.  Acknowledge courage in any situation for young and old, it will make a big difference and the cost is zero.

Have a great day in the Lord,
your sister in Christ Maryanne

Sunday, January 24, 2016

My current blessing (left over from last year) is the encouragement to see the movie "War Room".
Knocked my socks off, it really spoke to ME! I already pray so what's the big deal. Let me tell you,
I was lifted up out of my seat with encouragement that's the BIG deal! I made a purchase of the book called Fervent, A Woman's Battle Plan for Serious, Specific and Strategic prayer.
This book that will prepare a woman to shoot BEAR! Or be David with a sling shot and knock down Goliath. We each need something that will get our attention and motivate our focus and movement.

I needed to know who the enemy is! I needed to get serious and specific in my prayers. This movie took the heat off every else and put the blame to the one and only Satan. I have to remind myself, I work for God, every day all day long. I am a child of God saved by the blood of Jesus Christ!

One important thing I struggle with is "God's time" not my time.  When I think about all the things I wanted at God's Cozy Acres farm to help others and struggled to make them happen by MY strength. Oh my, who did I think I was??? I lost sight of the fact that this is "Gods" cozy acres not mine! I had to wake up to reality of who IS in charge. That would be GOD!  

I had to stop and smell the roses and allow God to be in charge.  You know how hard that is! With the devastation of the water disaster, gutting the entire lower floor -put me into a depression. However, in God's time; walls came down, furniture, books, special posters, pictures, tools were dumped in the large trash receptacle. Pipes were replaced, electric rewired, insulation went in,  new walls went up, drop ceiling was put in, new cupboards and a large island were installed, new refrigerator, stove and microwave installed Now this lower half section of the retreat center will provide enough space for a large group of people, unlike the earlier configuration.

I grieved the work Dennis and I accomplished in this section of the retreat center and accepted the new changes by God. I stand in awe but not surprise of the great job GOD can do if we let him! We are truly blessed!

I was asked to give my little 2000 Toyota Tacoma truck away for a someone's greater need. I knew things would be fine but wasn't expecting to receive another beautiful white 2009 Toyota Tacoma.
Nine years newer really makes a big difference! This one is titled to Gods Cozy Acres, Inc., our first
company vehicle. We are truly blessed!

My life activities seem to be exactly what I promised God, when Dennis died. I work for God. My joy comes from helping others; who have lost loved ones to death, but more than that. Being an integral part of someone's life, just for a moment in time. Helping someone, on their new path in life, find the joy, only Jesus Christ can give.

I will be volunteering for to many things this year, yet again. This will break my new years resolution! I will certainly spend time with my artwork this year, since I am an "Artist" it's time to get some joy in my artistic heart.

Note to share: 1.GriefShare starts March 3, 2016 and runs to May 26 for the first session and then August 4th through October 27.  2.God's Cozy Acres, Inc. will have a re-dedication the last part of August 2016. 3. February 10 showing War Room at my home to friends.

It's time to raise the roof and PRAISE THE LORD FOR ALL HE HAS DONE FOR US!

Your sister in Christ Maryanne Jerome Whitlaw

Friday, October 23, 2015


How's my new life going? Well, the answer is out and beyond. That seems to express what is happening and perhaps why I neglected my blog for a while! Some time actually. 

As you know my new partner in life Joseph T. Whitlaw (Tom or Tommy to some) is a worldly man who likes to travel, or moreover likes to cruse all over the world. No 7 day trip for him! Absolutely not 24 days or more is more like it. Holy cow! I mean these trips are so extravagant to wonderful places I never would have dreamed to visit in person, but rather was quite happy sitting on a couch watching the DVD travel log. Oh my gosh by the time we return home  I am not sure if I actually went to these places or not. Seeing the many thousands of pictures I took reaffirms the facts. I actually did travel all over the world.

The last cruse which went from Montreal to London by way of Greenland, Iceland, Farrow Islands, and so much more was mixed in with a 24 day bus tour of the UK.  The entire trip took 45 days or so. Outstanding, however depressing.  My Joseph developed a blood clot on the bus tour just before we left Limerick, Ireland. That was four days in the hospital for him and I stayed in the hotel at night. This blood clot went through his lung, his heart and out the other side into his lung. My faith was challenged, to say the least. I was not sure if I would be flying home in the upper part of the plane and he would be in cargo.

We missed four days  of the tour in Ireland, managed by the grace of God and new medicine for Joseph to be freed from Limerick.  A good Samaritan  came down from Dublin picked us up and drove back to Dublin; where we picked up the tour again. With the special stockings on his legs now we continued the trip into Scotland.

I kept an eye out for the farms and how they built their barns. Ireland had round tops, Scotland had peaks, but non were like American barns. My very best favorite was the Bulls that looked like 800# sheep dogs. Oh my I would have loved to raise some of them as calves. The country side was green and beautiful.

So much I will have to get another 80 page picture album done in the large book on line. The day before we were to head back Joseph fell and cracked his head open. This was  a day in Oxford England. The tour bus came by the hospital and dropped one of our suitcases off and went on to England. When the bus pulled away I waved and the tears flowed like Niagara falls. This was also serious. He could have bleeding on the brain, tests needed to be done. Again I wondered if I was going home with Joseph in the cargo area of the plane. By the end of the day it was determined he was good to go and a cab picked us up from the hospital and delivered us to London. We flew back to American the next day.

That was a quick version of the last part of the trip. The actual cruse was really wonderful too. The best part of that was the Artist in Resident Suzanne Stohl. I have not had time to do anything really artsy or creative for such a long time it was like Christmas every day in the class. It felt so great, I started drawing in the cabin as well. Hey, I used to be good and I still am, if I give myself a chance.
I was so motivated, even Joseph was impressed I think.

Upon our return to American we attended a Whitlaw  family reunion with two great grandchildren and their families. This was the picture I wanted in the worst way. Joseph T. Whitlaw holding his two great grandchildren surrounded by his grand children  (most of them) and his three children. This was the greatest outcome from this event! Sebastian the great grandson and Farra the great granddaughter, both just a year old. What a blessing for me to be a grandmother and great grandmother. This takes the heat off Christa.

Joseph and I facilitate GriefShare and had to be back to start a new session. Everything started well and we are back in to the swing of things there. A need for us at the house was an elevator, since Joseph is slightly handicapped and stairs and not his friend. Well, I am typing in joy right now because the elevator is finally complete and working well! It was a real special event when He came up the third floor to drop in, His "man cave" is in the basement (first floor) Now, if I was going to leave the house I don't have to worry about him falling down the stairs.

I managed to get back into God's Cozy Acres and see the kitchen cupboards installed and a great island as well as new refrigerator, stove top , microwave and new oven. The walls need another coat of paint as well as the beams. But overall it looks like a million. God's plan was much better than mine that's for sure. Only one catch was the termites that feasted on the wood around the front door . I never remembered that Dennis used to take care of spraying the buildings for bugs. After 6 years (he has been gone 6 years now) the bugs have done a number. So I have been taking down wall paper and actually pulling out drywall to add new wood and new door. Boy, that takes lots of time. I keep reminding myself that the only way you can eat an elephant is ONE BITE AT A TIME. With nice music playing in the background and the dog with me our day is good!  I brought out the tractor but I didn't have time to mow. 

Monday is my visitation to the nursing home, where I drop off 35 home made cards to the residents at lunch and talk.  From there to Miss Ruby's for my favorite widow! At 91 she is a picture! A beautiful woman inside and out. Some times we go for a ride or out to lunch or nothing at all just sit and talk.
So back on track now so to speak.  Try to be a good caring wife ; work at the farm and house and out in the community. We wont be going out on any trips until 2017, or that's what I'm telling him right now. I need to get Gods Cozy Acres up and running again. Renovation should be just about done.
I just need the volunteers to help finish. This is all Gods time so I'm not worried but I do get anxious.

Well this is my update. Its quick, as my life is quick or fast. I need to slow down and smell the roses and the art work I can do. I also hope to learn how to play Dennis' guitar. So we will see what happens.

I thanks God for my many many blessings and pray for good health for all! Have a great day in the Lord every day, He is an awesome God! M!y new life is a gift from God my boss

Your sister in Christ, Maryanne Jerome whitlaw

Sunday, September 21, 2014

In God's Time....

Everything is IN GOD'S TIME. Get excited, anxious, upset, or whatever we do when we are not please with any outcome. So, where are you when your done, right back where you started, faced with the fact, " No matter how hard you try you will not be able to change God's plans."

Can you admit you have NO control over your life? Are you kidding? You say I have all the control, I do what I please when I please and no one controls my actions, decisions but me.

How about when someone dies. YOU have no control over that. GOD has control of Life and Death.

I found when my husband Dennis died, I had no control of my life, so I gave it all to the Lord. That meant I allowed Him to direct my feet, hands and brain. Oh I didn't do it right away. I belonged to the Lord but I kept control, or so I thought. I learned to prioritize. The net value of everything in life on this earth was $00.  So with that in mind I just allowed my life to go with the flow and help others who had the same experience

Well I spoke of that in the past, however as I have been so blessed every day beyond my new husband Joseph and our work. The renovation for God's Cozy Acres was not to be the downstairs area. But, God's wisdom has allowed that to become the new and improved area.  I was allowed to learn I can not do this work alone.  Waiting for help is very hard to do. Patience is something I have been in short supply of. In God's wisdom the transformation of myself and the retreat center is coming along quite well!

I have that to do list and I keep on adding things on it until the list is to long for me to complete ever. So I have to go back to basics and do one thing at a time. However, I am an artist and miss not working on any art projects, so I sneak them in once in a while.  I am heading for burn out and the Lord has taken care of that also.  I will be going away on a trip with my wonderful husband Joseph. This should provide rest because I will be to far away from home to spin my wheels for a while.
God's Cozy Acres is a wonderful large property with so many possibilities to build and share with those who have lost loved ones young and older.  Also, share with others in the community for special meeting needs. This was dedicated to the memory of my late husband Dennis Leroy Jerome, and as such we want this to become the best for everyone.

So as we move forward, whether fast or slow (in some eyes) God is at the helm and this wonderful God's Cozy Acres will be what God wants in His time.

Well, now back to my dear Husband Joseph,  GriefShare, visitations, church things, home duties, other family needs, pets,  farm duties and miscellaneous stuff.

Happy in the Lord. Have a great day in the Lord
Your sister in Christ

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

In The Lord's Time.......

In the Lord's time is repeated over and over and rightly so.  We have no choice but to let go and let GOD be in charge of our lives. As small as we our in the big scheme of life, we are everything to God. We are HIS children (even the bad guys & gals). The sooner we accept that and keep that on the front of our minds the better for each of us.

I can always allow myself the feeling of "I am in charge" Only I can handle this" etc. However, the reality is God allows me to work on HIS plans, on HIS earth with HIS children for HIS children. but HE will make the decisions totally.   When I can keep this right in my mind things move along just fine. However, when I get anxious and expect results the way I want results, challenges arise.

So, I said all that so I could read it back to myself again.

I am heading out to the farm Friday (hopefully it will not rain) I need to get ready for Plumber & Electrician by taking down shelves and moving things around. So, even now I know the moving things around will not be something I should do alone. Asking for help is still hard to do.  I know everyone has a life and I hate to bother them. However, I know if I try to move things alone, I will most likely hurt myself.  My new best buddy Nancy and her honey Bill may be the some ones I should contact.  Glad we could work this out.

Note to self: write down what you plan to do and read it back so you can see what you really should do.

OK so silly me..... I thought I was having symptoms of a stroke Sunday.  Well, just to check it out I sent a text to my girlfriend a nurse. She suggested I see a Doctor immediately. On Monday morning I called my doctor and went to see her. Better safe than sorry was her comment. So perhaps the blood work will show something interesting that I may be lacking. But, as an eye opener, I started a review of my "office room at home". Working on to many things at one time (my normal) and my dilemma.

Note to self:  Stress is the major cause of  "stroke" Heart Attack" etc.  I am causing my own stress. Perhaps I should bottle the stuff. I have enough stuff to do now I am working on causing stress.
Well, feeling a new path being opened I started, once again, organizing my room. Stacks of paper, things I was saving for some day, things that had to be done by Thursday and Friday and Sunday.
 I'm free again. Still more piles to go through but I know have found what it is I must bring for the next two dinners for six from church. I have found all my GriefShare papers and they are all in order on one table. I still have the sewing table to de-clutter and the drawing desk to de-clutter but we can see the bed now. Down to three stacks minimal. The closet had things removed and tossed that really don't matter. What this exercise did was free me from the feeling of being over weighted down. I have breathing room, so to speak. Yea and congratulations once again to me! Good JOB.

Note to self: don't get a big head you have lots to go yet. but you can at least see the path. Thank God for the inspiration, once again.

Well I accomplished  getting a little more sleep with my husband and then got some thank you cards out, GriefShare program for Thursday ready, taking of pictures for the surprise for Ruby by going to a lunch, helped my board member Vivian with her lines for a cute play, went to dinner at KFC (husbands favorite) with friends, came home and got rid of all the jelly bellies I didn't need and finally emptied my stomach of everything I had eaten today (not planned). I feel like I can start tomorrow fresh, empty and plan not to eat anything I shouldn't. I will teach those extra 5 pounds a thing or two. I will wipe them out!

Well, its time to hit the sack or read a book in bed so I will do that. Busy day tomorrow, another women's lunch, no nonsense in the food area tomorrow. I will  be good! I promise!

Note to self: Be serious and keep your promise, you will be all the better for it.

Thank you Lord for instilling humor in my veins, I love to laugh at me! You are an awesome God! 

OK one quick quote: my husband, Joseph noted my cat, Tiger, was walking on my  visiting friend's lap and  looking at her and Joseph said, " You do realize, you have just had a "cat scan". Now is that great or what! I love this guy! Thank you Lord for my new husband! He is a hoot!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

What Happened To You? Where are you?

Life happens to all of us. We move forward, backwards or ahead, it's our choice. Now the speed we travel is our choice the guiding force in the Lord's Hands.

A new life partner is a blessing and with that blessing comes responsibilities. One responsibility is to respect the fact that I have two others to think about now. The Lord comes first in my life, as I work for the Lord. My husband has the Lord first in his life also. The new blend can sometimes be a challenge, but we try (with the help of the Lord) to speak with the Love of Christ in all situations. Next, I ask for forgiveness and guidance as I mess up all day long. I am so glad the Lord loves me and will keep correcting the direction of my path.

Have you been counting your miracles? I forget to put on  my miracle glasses most of the time, but when I have them on I can see clearly!

February to September 2013 preparation for fundraiser and helping facilitate GriefShare program.

September 2013  fundraiser at God's Cozy Acres. Such Love from people and businesses in the community and churches.With that we were able to start renovation of the donkey barn into the Tractor Barn October 2013.Structure change was made and the start of moving appropriate tools and equipment was slated to begin.

November 2013 preparation for thanksgiving guests at home, Gods Cozy Acres and Grief Share Holiday Special. Holiday Decorations pulled out of storage and placed all around the house in great anticipation of the celebrated birth of our Lord.

December 2013 preparation for visits of friends from Chimes and others, the close down of the farm for winter and being gone.

One special wish of my new husband Tom, was a trip that would start from Tennessee December 26 taking animals (dog and two cats) to Maryland celebrating Christmas with family and friends, leaving animals for care. January 4, 2014 leave Dulles Airport (Washington DC) for Munich Germany, than to  Cape Town, South Africa.  Packing for "two" this trip included cloths for temperatures from 0 to 90 degrees. This was a trip I never expected to take in my lifetime and it was the trip of a lifetime for me (Tom had done this and loved to go again). What an experience! We shared the Lord with everyone we met and found a number of couples who had similar life changes as Tom and I.

My heart and mind were forever connected to the faces of God's children around the world, who's faces, living conditions, and customs require prayer!  I am so blessed have been born to two wonderful Christian parents and live in the USA.

February 2014 returned to Tennessee to find a new challenge at God's Cozy Acres. Record freezes had caused terrible damage in the retreat center down stairs (kitchen, sitting room, laundry, office, storage room and pantry. The furniture, books, walls, ceilings, carpeting all damaged from water, were all pulled out in the initial clean out and mold was sprayed. We were planning renovation to the other area of the downstairs not the water damaged rooms.

The Lord allows plans to change for His purpose. Walking into this devastation with a mask on, coveralls, jacket with hoody, gloves, a sprayer (defective)with bleach and the attitude that "I" can take care of everything is what God wanted to show me.  The reality was "I" could NOT take care of this situation ALONE.  Still trying to move a large heavy wet cardboard box by pushing on all fours, pulling with ropes around my waste, using a dolly, sitting on the wet floor and pushing with my back against the box until I gave in crying and said," LORD I CAN NOT DO THIS" I'M NOT STRONG ENOUGH!" To which He replied, " I  KNEW  THAT! TO BAD YOU'RE SO STUBBORN!"


I went home broken, talking and crying out to the Lord all the way! Have you been there? By the time I got home I let go and turned it back over to the Lord. It is GOD's Cozy Acres not my cozy acres.

I forgot who was in charge of my life and HE reminded me in a way I could really understand.

February 13, 2014 the new GriefShare program started and I needed to Lead with Faith and Love as an example of what the Lord has given me! My joy (as well as Tom's) comes from helping others find their joy through Christ. My energy needed to be here helping others right now.


The TRACTOR BARN now is filled with the many tools and supplies in a mostly organized fashion. Still need to do more sorting, get the tractor exhaust pipe cut down 2", move in the last big equipment in the new Tractor Barn, and bring the benches from the storage room up and install.

Each step I take, on my work days there are also a closure to my past life with Dennis and what we built together by the grace of God.  My blessing being I have a husband at home waiting for me with open arms.

I thank and praise the Lord for His forgiveness, grace, tolerance which is actually HIS LOVE!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Make Sure Every Moment Counts

Make sure every moment counts as the sands of time move forward. Again, look at the time November 26, 2013 and where did those moments go and were they well spent?

The September Fundraiser was a success because; we learned so much and accumulated equipment that will make each additional program and fundraiser more spectacular for those participating.  We raised a good deal of funds and still have items to offer on our web site.

When you evaluate performance plus and minus overall,  we found that the leader (this is me) was not asking for enough help even though starting early on this event.. The check list was made and contacts were established but the leader fell short because of loosing participation of volunteers available.  However, volunteers appeared from new contact programs attended by the leader.

So, to that end the PR work is most important. Well, the best thing of all was the new board members that live locally.  Redeemer Lutheran brought us new blood and Christ Our Savior Lutheran Church volunteers were back again helping.

We have been able to change the donkey barn to the tractor barn and free up the bottom of the retreat center to be completed. We still have to cut the pipe down on the tractor but the old posts have been moved and there is room for all the equipment to fit in the tractor barn. MORE Progress has taken place.

We have a movie projector, access to old and new movies, movie screen and the desire to start movies on the ridge. That comes with a marshmallow roasting fire and popcorn.
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Helping others who have suffered a loss is our job. With Joy in our hearts my husband of one year and I share our story as we see those in need.  We are trained facilitators of GriefShare. We encourage others as we speak of hope found by our faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. At our October Church function "Harvest Fest" we spoke of help available to everyone the Lord lead to us. On our October anniversary cruse we spoke to many of our joy and how they can find the same. Those hurting who came to the GriefShare program Surviving the Holidays  at our home were in the company of others who understand. Grief is what we recommend for a loss as a beginning.

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Gathering pictures and making memory books is on my list of to do's. Keeping up with emails is on my list as I added a new email making my list four!
Learning how to cook is falling to the end of my list for sure, I wish I felt bad about it. I am just getting tired of tossing food out. It was fun but it didn't work and that part is discouraging. I like painting or drawing food better than actually cooking.
I made cookies from frozen cookie dough that didn't work out. I made great frosting and covered most of the bad cookies with frosting that was thicker than the cookie.  As a sacrifice I ate about two dozen of the cookies, to save anyone else from  eating them.  Five pounds later someone said they liked the cookies crisp like that.  I guess eating my mistakes is not a good thing.
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I have a list of things to accomplish on my white board and try to accomplish them.  I keep finding more things to add to the list. I will say that starting every day with prayer and ending with prayer is a great thing to do. What I have found that making new traditions is a good thing and laughing is the best for your health!  Make sure you get a hug at least 2x daily. 

I have a wonderful daughter and other family. Now I am blessed with more family: step-daughters, a step son and lots of step-grandchildren and many new friends. Check out all your blessings and you will see they are coming faster than we actually claim.  Smile this is the day the Lord has made be sure to thank Him! I am making sure every moment counts!

Happy Blessed Thanksgiving to all!
Your sister in Christ
Maryanne Jerome-Whitlaw, President
God's Cozy Acres, Inc.