Olive Leaf Ministries » Nancy Douglas is a Christian speaker and author. She is the mother of an Autistic child and breast cancer survivor

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  • Nancy Douglas

    Nancy speaks and writes through the Olive Leaf Ministries where her testimony of God's mercy and grace amidst life's trials touches the heart of her audiences. Familiar with life's challenges, Nancy raised her Autistic daughter for 26 years, battled breast cancer and only recently lost her daughter to an immune disorder. Nancy and her husband Jimmy also have a son, Drew. They have been married for 31 years and currently reside in Kansas City, Missouri.

    "Thank you so much for your ministry. I continue to receive very positive comments from our ladies. Your tremendously transparent blend of testimony and applicable scriptures are so effective in your teaching." Joyce Cowell, Fayette, MO

Water Works

Ice1OLM’s blog has been on the fritz for nearly a month. A good solace is nice but it’s good to be up and running.

Speaking of running — a couple of weeks ago my feet and back hurt something awful. Stiff and sore, every move screamed. It seemed to get worse each day.

Jimmy asked, “Have you been drinking enough water?”

Hmmm. Two liters a day? No.

Why? I know to do it and I’m usually good about it.

Then it dawned on me — it’s winter, I’m cold, I prefer iced water, so I unconsciously avoid my allotment. Come to think of it I’ve been thirsty lately. Fewer trips to the powder room too.

Priorities get arranged.

Winter tap water is rather nice come to find out. I fill up my one liter “strawed” jug first thing in the morning, drink it by noon and then dive into the next (last) one, finishing it around 6pm. I might have to don an extra layer of clothing but tis the season.

After a day and a half of doing things right, WHALA, my back and feet quieted down.

Are you drinking enough water? Does your body hurt, feet ache, perhaps more than ever for some odd reason? You might need hydration. I never thought I could be dehydrated in the winter but my avoidance of ice apparently makes me prone.

Don’t wait till your body cries out. Pick a jug, fill it up, and commence fueling.

Blessings!

 

 

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January 15, 2015 - 3:10 pm

Cheryl Barker - I know I don’t drink enough water. I know muscle cramps can hit if we’ve not had enough water, but I never would have guessed about aches and pains. I better get with it! :)

January 15, 2015 - 2:59 pm

annette ford harper - Wise Words!

What God Honors

“For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom,

and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.”  

1 Corinthians 1:25 (NIV)

Years ago I learned God does not need me, He wants me. There isn’t one thing I can do for Him He can’t call another to do just as well, however obedience, especially one that require sacrifice, He’ll honor every time.

Sometimes you just have to do the right thing even when it seems impossible and illogical. Like when my mother was terminally ill. Caring for both her and our daughter was more than I could handle so Jimmy took off work for four months to watch Dani so I was free to help mom. Going without the income seemed foolish but the fifth commandment to honor my mother and father overruled. We obeyed and God provided ample.

2014 was the same. Dani’s health declined to the point I couldn’t handle her on my own so Jimmy took off work until she died.  Now, after seven months off, God true to form has provided a job. Seven months off sounds ludicrous but has been vital. It gave us time with Dani during her final months and three months alone together learning how to live without her. No job could offer this benefit.

God allows certain trials into our lives because they hold great potential to teach precious obedience. They challenge our logic. Will we honor a parent, give up more for a special needs child, or follow human intuition. Will we rely on God’s wisdom or cling to our own, follow in faith or follow the world.

Of course our walk with God must be consistent. We can’t pick and choose when to follow. The Lord prepared us for many years ahead of time so that we would be able to lean on Him fully in order to endure these hardships.

Is God calling you to obey in a way that seems crazy? How can you know what the right thing is to do?

Turn to His love letter, the Bible. It was written for you. Read it with an honest open receptive heart. Ditch your own wisdom and ask Him to help you follow His. Then let Him guide you.

Trust my friend.

You are safe in Him!

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Balancing Balance

Before my Bible teacher mentioned it I never realized the importance of silence and solitude. In older days men and women worked in fields or at home often alone. To get social stimulation they’d go into town for church, shopping, and gatherings. Today the tide pushes us in the opposite direction bombarding us with stimulation from every possible angle. Rather than seek out stimulation we must intentionally get alone to wind down and realign with God.

Farm or frenzy, balance takes effort.

This year Jimmy and I balance life’s tightrope by celebrating Christmas —-just a little. A few lights on the fireplace, no more. After losing Dani our focus is on rest and recuperation, something that comes from juggling the fewest demands. We aren’t sending out cards and it feels fabulous. We’ll make turkey dinner on Christmas but I’ll likely be in sweats as we sit to dine. Later I’ll deliver homemade Peppermint Latte soap bars to the neighbors, wish them a Merry Christmas, and head back home to watch good movie.

Peace. Quiet. Calm. It sounds perfect to my husband and me.

Christmas bells ring and to-do lists grow as the calendar clicks down to the 25th. If you feel the pressure you might be drifting off balance and unless you live on a farm you probably need some silence and solitude. I get mine sitting in a coffee shop reading or working on my winter journal. Sometimes I drive to the cemetery in the middle of town and go for a walk with my dogs, and almost every night I head to bed an hour early so I can read, relax, and rebalance from the day.

Your Christmas plans are likely more than ours and I hope you enjoy every moment that comes your way. Most of all I pray you squeeze in some silence and solitude with Jesus, the reason we celebrate this season.

Be balanced and have a Merry Christmas!

 

 

 

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December 23, 2014 - 10:51 pm

Cheryl Barker - What a wise approach you’re taking to the holidays this year, Nancy. I pray that you and Jimmy are experiencing the rest and recuperation you need. Hugs and prayers!

December 22, 2014 - 8:45 pm

Kay - You always put words together so well. Always blessed by them. I also love the quite moments I can get.
So many friends have seen their family and friends leave this world to be with their Heavenly Father. Prayers and rejoicing this special time of year.

December 22, 2014 - 12:02 pm

Cheryl G - I agree. A good way to embrace God’s “Peace on Earth” is quieting ourselves and consciously seeking solitude blessed by His Spirit and the refreshing rest only He can give.

December 22, 2014 - 10:56 am

Kim - Nancy, this sounds like a perfect way to celebrate Christ’s birth this year. Enjoy the silence! Hugs!

Winter Series: The Start

XPRO8741

“Seeing My God in the Winter Time”

Readers…this is my winter journal.

Winter journal…these are my blog friends.

Now we’re introduced, let’s get to know one another!

Never bought one before, a spiral art book that is, but I love it and wish I’d dived off the end of this pool long ago.

She binds 80, 8″ x 11″ creamy textured sheets and offers tons of room to roam with, get this, not a single line to tell me where to stop or go. The only limit is my imagination. It’s spiral bound so I can flip it open flat, a permanent feature I’ll want from now on. Just too way handy!

The girl in me decorated the cover and the ADD part of me titled it “Seeing My God in the Winter Time” to remind me that my focus this season it to purposefully look for God in each windy day. I can tell you the assignment alone has already opened my eyes significantly. About the time I begin to voice or even think a complaint about the inconvenience cold, my heart is convicted to not settle for this age-old default but instead dig below the surface to find God in the very season He created.

Journaling with or without doodling is a bit of work at first till you get the hang of it. I don’t sit down and draw or journal instantly. It takes precious effort, but it’s important and worth it. Next time I’ll begin sharing what God has only begun to reveal and how it’s warmed my heart in what has always been a very cold and desolate season for me.

Till next time.

Blessings!

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November 29, 2014 - 9:29 pm

Cheryl Barker - Looking forward to more!

Grief Does Not Apologize

Utah004Until you grieve you don’t know how you’ll respond. It can slither in and tip your cart before you know what hit you. We learned this recently when our son, Drew, contracted MRSA, the same wicked sickness that killed our daughter.

He was in a lot of pain, had to go to the Emergency Room, and needed help, so Jimmy and I loaded up the dogs and traveled the trek. We’d done it a million times but this time something was amiss. Jimmy seemed cold and distant, almost, dare I say — uncaring.

How could he not be scared to death? We’ve just lost one child to this infection and now our only one left has it too. What’s he missing?

I was angry with Jimmy and the further he pulled away the madder I got. When it bled into the next day I was beyond ticked and tossed it up to God. — “He’s being weird and I don’t understand why. I am not apologizing to him. I didn’t do anything wrong. “

Heaven whispered — “Grief does not apologize” 

Confusion settled. It became clear.

Jimmy had no idea what he was doing. He didn’t not care about our son, he was swallowed in grief.

Compassion replaced anger.

With our family rule to “get out of the house and do something fun every day” in mind, I gently approached him with the only errand we had, “All we need is milk. How about we run to the grocery store for some today?” My approach was all it took for him to topple. Tears flowed, he apologized, and another increment of sorrow’s road was covered.

I am grateful God revealed this hidden aspect of grief. It’s easy to miss. Logic set my heart on getting an apology. I wasn’t about to cave first because I hadn’t done anything wrong, but if I’d kept a hard head it would have surely injured our relationship at a time we were both already wounded and in pain.

Instead God, in His merciful grace, preserved.

I wonder many times we expect these same impossible things from those around us too ill-equipped (for whatever reason) to fill the bill.

Grief does not apologize and it is ok.

 

 

 

 

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November 13, 2014 - 10:12 am

Cheryl Barker - So glad God whispered that insight to you, Nancy. May you two continue to be there for one another!

(p.s. fyi, you have an extra “p” in apologize in your title, but it’s correct in the rest of the piece.)