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

We’re Going to the World Series!

RoyalsIt’s been said to me and I’ve said it myself, “We’re going to the World Series!”

Truth is the Royals and Giants are going, the greater lot of us will watch from afar.

I’m a fair weather baseball fan. Our blue guys have not been so good in recent past and it hurt too much to watch. I remember 1985 when our team won the flag-rimmed trophy, it sat where my husband worked for all to see. That year in particular everyone in Kansas City was super proud of the Royals.

Twenty nine years later, it’s the same song second verse and our city is singing it loud.

Why do so many of us include ourselves in the we of who’s going to the World Series? Because each of us have a need to succeed, belong, and be a part of a group. Living vicariously through our home town’s team is one way to strike all three of these reasons out of the park.

It’s up to the Royals to help us feel successful; we the fans pull up the rear feeling like we belong when we display team paraphenalia like decals, car flags, mugs, banners, shirts, hats, jackets, socks, flip flops, necklaces, tie clips, baby bibs, boots, bows, sunglasses, and I actually saw with my own peepers…Royals Crocs.

It’s difficult not to hop on the band wagon with our team. I feel attached to these players in a motherly kind of way. I want them to do well and feel proud of their so far good behavior. They are just out having fun and it’s rubbing off on the whole town.

So tonight. What’s for dinner? Hot diggity dogs with all the fixings’ (of course), BBQ beans, chips, dip, and a piping hot flat screen suspended on the living room wall.

It’s good to be going to the World Series!

A Time to Praise

PathIt’s been a month and a half since our baby girl went to be with our Lord. Life is different down here; a new normal that enables us to get out into the world. Since it’s time to close the pool our yellow Lab will need daily walks to exercise his arthritic hips. I made a casual commitment to walk him each day even if only a jaunt around the block.

As I walked “Blondy this morning it dawned on me that blessings abound even on short outings. Things like:

  • How great it is I am physically able to walk Ecclesiastes. I need to move just as much as he does, I’m glad I can.
  • Walking amidst God’s grand creation is prime time for praise. It lifts my spirit, softens my soul, and perks my ears to hear His gentle whisper.
  • Treks are perfect to fill with prayer for myself, family, friends, the ill, grieving, depressed, and unsaved. I even pray for those driving by because I know all to well how trying a day can be.
  • Walks removes me from home’s controlled setting to the outdoors that stimulate the senses and awaken my lazy parts.
  • Lastly, little journeys tend well to the grief. I find myself truly thanking God for the time He gave us our queen Dani. I inevitably smile up into the sky thinking about how proud I am of her. Oh, the immeasurable joy knowing she is in the presence of our Lord. I never grow tired of the thought. She deserves the very best and she has it, she has God!

Though the Holy Spirit lives inside each who believe in Him through Jesus, we cannot see God down here on earth as Dani sees Him now. We must wait. It doesn’t mean we cannot see Him at all however. God reveals Himself through His Word in the Bible, through the life of Christ, through other believers, and through Creation.

Perhaps that is why walks and prayer go hand in hand.

Guide me in your truth and teach me, 

for you are God my Savior, 

and my hope is in you all day long.” 

Psalm 25:5 (NIV)

 

October 20, 2014 - 8:11 am

Cheryl Barker - Nancy, being out in God’s creation ministers to us in so many ways — so happy to hear He is ministering to you through it in your grief. What a tender Father we have, huh? Much love and continued prayers!

October 19, 2014 - 6:47 pm

Nancy - Thank you Annette for your faithful prayers. They are so powerful in God’s hands. I can honestly say I have never loved God more than now, after such loss. It is supernatural, something not of human strength. We appreciate your intercession. Much love!

October 19, 2014 - 6:43 pm

Nancy - Kay your prayers continue to be answered faithfully. We feel God all around, close, loving us through each day. I do not ever want to experience pain without the prayers of saints such as yourself. Blessings sweet friend.

October 19, 2014 - 4:26 pm

Annette Bartle - Nancy, you and Jimmy remain on my daily prayer list. Your faith and perseverance amazes me! May God hold you closely and shower you all with blessings. BIg hugs.

October 19, 2014 - 4:25 pm

Kay - So blessed to be able to read your posting. Your words are beautiful. I pray our Lord has His arms around you and your family.

October 19, 2014 - 2:44 pm

Nancy - Thank you Leah. I can honestly say I’ve never loved the Lord more. In the worst of pain He gently revealed more of Himself to me. I appreciate your prayers. Blessings!

October 19, 2014 - 2:39 pm

Leah Adams - Bless you, my friend. How often you have come to my mind these last few months. I pray the Lord is holding you closely, just as He is sweet Dani.

Art Journaling

ArtJournalingMy Bible study teacher is wonderful in every way. I love her studies because she is creative and thinks outside the box. Yesterday, in passing, she mentioned Art Journaling.

“What? What’s that?” I asked.

Out of her bag of wonders she pulled, Art Journal by Stampington and Company, a curiously beautiful magazine. Before it escaped back into her satchel I was wholly hooked. After class I traipsed to Barnes and Noble to purchase the exact magazine and a tin of colored pencils.

Kandy (don’t you love that name) explained the whys of it all. She likes to expand the ways she learns, sticking not solely with words on a page but includes listening, watching, and doing. Art Journaling taps into the creative side of the brain, further enriching intake. The idea of it all quickened the doodle bug inside me.

Today’s first attempt was rudimentary but understandably so, my brain was cold and stiff from never having done it before.

I didn’t know where to begin so I took my phone’s daily verse, My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26 (NIV) and contemplated it visually. Up popped a road sign pointing in different directions. This verse warns my heart that when I go off on my own away from God, I become weak and sure to fail. But when I remain intimately tethered to God’s side, my heart is strengthened forever.

Nutshell: Alone I’m hopeless. In Him, cared for in full. 

Assessment: I’ve fallen in love with art journalling.

Are you interested in giving it a try?

 

October 17, 2014 - 11:09 am

Nancy - I must remember to show you my magazine and let you visit it for a while. It gives me ideas and it’s beautiful:)

October 17, 2014 - 10:44 am

Debbie Williams - Nan-I used to draw pictures for Natalie and Clint when they were memorizing verses for Awana. I do it occasionally when I’m trying to memorize a verse , but I’m now very curious about the magazine and ready to dig out my colored pencils. I just remembered years ago we attended a conference and the teacher did chalk art to illustrate scripture. It so helped in remembering the principle being taught.

October 17, 2014 - 9:21 am

Nancy - I love the idea of topic journaling too. I’m not artistic either but do try to come up with something that represents what I’m writing. My journalling primarily consists of choosing scripture, writing it out, looking at it more in-depth, praying it into my life and for others, and then drawing some representation of it. Sometimes a doodle is good enough as I pray for those I know in need. It’s very calming in this busy world.

October 16, 2014 - 10:05 am

Cheryl Barker - Nancy, I love journals and keep several topical journals already. I am definitely not artistic, but this idea is tempting since it involves a journal :)

Perhaps Not So Mad at God Anymore

Smirky FaceDefinition: Mad (adjective) • unable to think in a clear or sensible way.

Some things just naturally irritate. Like really needing a restroom while stuck in traffic, hitting my head on an open cabinet door, our 95 lb. Labrador stepping on my foot, or a stride through steaming dog poo and smelling a hint of it the rest of the day.

Then, there’s things that make me so angry I can’t see straight. I was there not so long ago.

Our daughter’s health was taking a frightful nose-dive. Her body hurt so badly even narcotics could not bring relief and she succumbed to one life-threatening infection after another accompanied by multiple hospitalizations. She suffered terribly. It was exhausting. Nothing helped. The doctors were stumped.

After one particular night with her at the hospital I came home mad as a hornet and let God have it.

“Why won’t you help her! I am but dust yet seem to care more for her than you. You won’t heal her and you won’t take her. You allow endlessly suffering offering no answers or relief. You are supposed to care! How can you watch and do nothing? Where is your love?”

My fists hurt from clenching them so tight, leaving crescent fingernail marks in the palms. Pacing the carpet in her room, I yelled at the top of my lungs and pounded on her empty mattress shuddering wildly out of control. It was beyond comprehension. How could a loving God allow the suffering of this innocent child. The very idea made me livid. It was beyond logic.

Later, as I shared with my husband the miracle of being spared a lightening bolt from heaven, he offered insight.

“Dear, I don’t think you are so much mad at God as you are at sin and it’s affect on this fallen world.”

I paused, speechless, suspended, pondering this truth.

Finally, something made sense. It’s true. God never designed pain, sickness, or death, that was man’s choice. Our heavenly Father offers only the best for His children including our Dani. Her Autism, illness, and death was a result of this fallen world not failure of God’s love. After all, it is because of His grand mercy and through His Son Jesus Christ she is now healed in heaven. He cared so much for her that He reached down from His throne, touch her little heart, and reveal Himself to her. Now she is with Him whole and complete for all eternity!

God loves you and me just as much. Discomforts of the world do not diminish this truth. Some trials are allowed while others held at bay all according to His will. Having Dani for 26 years honed significant servanthood in my husband and me. We learned the lesson of self-sacrifice so that we could serve her in joy. It was a trial custom designed to mold us into His image.

Are you by chance mad at God, perhaps furious as I was with fists in the air? If so, let Him know. He understands. Ask for greater insight then listen for His still small voice. Remember your trials are not a barometer of His love. Don’t let the enemy trick you into believing God does not care about you. Your Creator is alive, active, orchestrating a plan set to unfold with your best interest at heart.

Trust Him.

God really is love!

“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, 

I will fear no evil, for you are with me; 

your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” 

Psalm 23:4 (NIV)

 

 

October 20, 2014 - 8:17 am

Cheryl Barker - Just now seeing your reply here, Nancy. Thanks so much for praying for me. Love the thought of your sweet Dani and my precious Mom meeting in heaven. Makes me smile, too :)

October 8, 2014 - 2:19 pm

Annette Bartle - Precious words! Praying God will hold you all tightly as you continue to grieve the loss of your beautiful daughter. Love you all, AB

October 8, 2014 - 10:39 am

Nancy - Oh Cheryl how I pray God continues to use Dani’s life to share His love and compassion. She was such an inspiration, so graceful in death. Her hope and faith in God was admirable to say the very least. Oddly we cherish these recent dark days even though they can be most difficult to reflect back on. I pray for you too as you continue to adjust to the loss of your mother. Praise God she is in heaven! Do you think your mom and my Dani have met already? I think likely. It makes me smile:)

October 8, 2014 - 10:14 am

Cheryl Barker - Such great insight, Nancy, learned through the crucible of suffering. God is going to use you and Jimmy and your testimony in wonderful ways to be a help and comfort to many. May He continue to comfort you! Hugs!

Confidence in His Goodness

Utah039A dear friend messaged me this morning thanking me for our lunch date along with the assurance she was praying for our family. Unless it’s a tick or an extra few pounds loss is difficult. The loss of a child garners no words. Without prayers from the saints and faith in God I have no idea how anyone recovers enough to carry on.

I thanked my friend typing the words below which unexpectedly ushered my grief-heavy heart toward much needed worship.

Thanks for your prayers. The grief is definitely beginning to hit me. Of course this is normal and there is no way out, only through. I do, however, try to always end each episode with the real truth that she is healed and whole in heaven with our heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ. Oh, how I love saying that! It makes me smile because He is so faithful and I’m so proud that our baby girl knew Him in spite of all disabilities. It’s really true, He makes Himself known to everyone. My spirit lifts at the thought.

It’s unusually easy to cry these day. I miss my little girl something awful. I want to touch her soft white skin, stroke her shiny long hair, and inhale her soft girly scent. I can’t have her back this side of heaven and even if I could I wouldn’t want to send her back into MRSA’s ravishing grip. The pain she endured rips at my heart and leaves me breathless if I don’t carefully contain it within the bounds of God’s truth. The truth that our heavenly Father loves, cares, comforts, protects, and provides for all of His children. He hears our prayers, even in our darkest moments, and is perpetually at work on a plan that strategically involves our ultimate best interests.

I didn’t always see or feel these truths over this last year with Dani but now that it’s over, even already, I have a glimpse of what He was doing. These insights deepen my faith and grow my love for Him a little more each day.

Are you suffering loss? If so, hold tight to the truth that He loves you more than you realize. He isn’t distant and uncaring. He’s intimately near working for your utmost wellbeing. Go to Him, be honest, and allow Him cradle you in His arms.

Psalm 27:13-14: “I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”

 

October 3, 2014 - 5:01 pm

Annette Bartle - Praying for you in a special way today, Nancy. I’m so sorry you can’t reach out and hug your sweet Dani. May God wrap you in HIs peace and love. Hugs, Annette

October 2, 2014 - 6:32 pm

elaine @ peace for the journey - You’ve been on my mind, Nancy, over these past few weeks. At different points and time, I am reminded of the pain you must be feeling – the deep well of emotions that come with a ‘letting go’ at this level. Thank you for sharing your heart. I promise to keep you on the front edge of mine as you continue to walk through this tremendous grief. May God’s peace be full and alive in your heart in this time of mellow mourning.

October 1, 2014 - 10:13 pm

Cheryl Barker - Nancy, you’ve been in my thoughts and prayers so much. I’ve been wondering how you’re weathering such a deep grief. With my mom’s car accident and death last fall, I’ve experienced a measure of the grief you describe here — the tears that come so easily and the breath-stealing grief that hits while thinking of the pain and trauma our loved ones endured. My heart still aches. I can’t begin to imagine the depth of the grief that comes through your loss of your precious child Dani. May God continue to see you through and bind up your hurting heart. Much love.

October 1, 2014 - 9:49 pm

Cheryl G - What a beautiful passage of Scripture. Love you.