Writer and theologian Thomas Merton penned this... We receive enlightenment only in proportion as we give ourselves more and more completely to God by humble submission and love. Last week, my small group was discussing options for our next study.  A list of possibilities was presented by our leader.  As the list was being read, one after the other got checked off the list until the topic of knowing God's will was suggested.  Immediately a man commented that he really needed to know God's will.  And with that, a new study was chosen. This morning I opened the new study guide in … [Read more...]

      Most Friday nights as Tim works, my good friend and I go out on the town.  We live it up big.  We split a plate of chicken nachos and she did a little shopping for a Mother's Day gift as we continuously talked and laughed. In between bites at the restaurant, we chat about all kinds of things. Often my friend talks about her sons and her grandchildren.  A real prayer warrior, she covers her family with prayer daily, sometimes even asking me to pray for them, too. I'm impressed with her practical love for them, how she exercises wisdom in staying out of her adult children's … [Read more...]

  Sigh! I just wasted two hours of a perfect day.     The kind of day you wait for because it's sunny and energizing and everything you need to get a lot of work cranked out. You should have seen my goals for the day. I even gave myself permission to take care of all the after breakfast chores at lunchtime today, just so I could knock out my work. But, it didn't happen. Instead, I allowed myself to easily be distracted.       Once I get focused on a project or my day, I can accomplish a huge amount of work. But if I get distracted... … [Read more...]

  My writing chair faces north. Through a wide expanse of windows, I have a beautiful tree top view.  And even though I can't see the sun rise from my spot this morning, I do see fingers of golden light reaching... reaching around as gentle wisps of radiant color into my narrow view.     From this vantage point, my field of vision is limited.  The branches of the tall oaks are silhouetted against the dawn like a line drawing.  The intricacy is incredible... but it is only a glimpse of a bigger world.  For as far as I can see... beyond the trees... are more trees.  Off to the side... … [Read more...]

  Have you had a weary week? Are you running on fumes?     Often we are incredibly busy with demands of work, family, and home.  We feel we can hardly breathe, let alone sing. Yet, our Creator God, the One Who keeps our world and our galaxy precisely spinning, the One who counts every hair on your head, He sings over you in JOY! The Lord will take delight in you,     and in his love he will give you new life. He will sing and be joyful over you... Zephaniah 3:17 (GNT) There is something so sweet, so loving, so powerful in those words.  Just by reading them I feel loved, … [Read more...]

    Here we are the week AFTER Easter and I find myself reflecting on some of the events leading up to Jesus' death and resurrection. I think that's the way it was for Jesus' friends and followers, too.  Sometimes we see things in hindsight that were right in front of us but we just didn't see them. Jesus said a lot of things that night of the last supper.  If it wasn't enough that he humbled himself to wash his disciples' feet, he also told them about things to come that were unfathomable and challenging even for us to process when we know the whole story.  You can read all about it in … [Read more...]

  Have you ever had a hard day and out of the blue a stranger flashed you a big smile as you entered a building?  Have you sent a friend an encouraging text or message? Have you lent a helping hand only to have the person you assisted express overwhelming gratitude for your small kindness? When I came across these wonderful life words by Zig Ziglar... Among the things you can give and still keep are your word, a smile, and a grateful heart. immediately I remembered that the best things we can give are not only FREE for us to give... but those gifts return to us in double measure. So in the spirit of … [Read more...]

  He is risen! He is risen indeed!   I love this greeting exchanged by believers of the early church.  In our home, when we awake on Easter morning, those are the first words we exchange. It's a wonderful remembrance that Jesus came with a purpose and did exactly what he came to do and said he would do. It lifts our hearts, gives us hope, and reminds us that we can trust and believe our loving God and Savior, Jesus Christ.   But, what about those first followers of Jesus?   They walked and followed and listened to Jesus speak about this new kingdom he was preparing.  They heard … [Read more...]

  Years ago there was a comedy showing at the theater that was uproariously funny to most of the movie goers, yet I slid further and further down in my seat. All the hilarity and crazy antics were blanketed with impending doom. That was the day that I discovered that it doesn't matter what the situation is, light-hearted, funny, or dark... I have an issue with impending doom.     Maybe you relate.  I'm guessing that you have been in a spot where you were overwhelmed with dread.  You had to face something that you absolutely did not want to face. When we think about Jesus' last … [Read more...]

    Right now I feel like I'm in the midst of a teaching moment. One where I am the student. It started when I was chatting with my husband about the blog. I have a sense that I need to step up my game.  Improve some technical aspects of the website, educate myself on a few areas where I lack expertise, and overall, be more diligent and purposeful in my work.  And then I said, "But I don't think God wants me to hustle."   There wasn't anything earth-shaking about that conversation or my statements. I'm guessing that when we are in the process of being molded by God, the process is pretty … [Read more...]

  Each day I read a few devotional meditations as part of my time with God in the morning. One of them has music videos that are included, but it is rare I ever view them. This morning, for some reason I was nudged to click the music video open.  It was good.  And I was grateful to have engaged in worship to God with it.  When it was finished, as always happens on YouTube, a collage of other music options came up.  I noticed a song we sing in church, at least I was hoping it was the same song and decided to listen to it as … [Read more...]

  Are you settling for second best? God intends for us to live life fully. He doesn't want us to settle for second best. Sometimes it's really good to read scripture out of context. It's then the Ah-Ha moments can come. That's what happened when I read this verse.... God did not keep back his own Son, but he gave him for us. If God did this, won’t he freely give us everything else? Romans 8:32 As we make our approach to Easter, we're contemplating this amazing love that God has for us and the significance of Jesus giving His life to pay the price of our sin. When God sent Jesus to earth to be … [Read more...]

  First... I have a little announcement. A little more than three years ago, I embarked on a fun weekly adventure called Project Inspire{d}. I have so enjoyed seeing what you create and share each week and believe me, choosing features is the hardest thing ever.  It is with sadness I announce, this is the last time I will be joining my dear friends and co-hosts of Project Inspire{d} as a co-host.  The weekly link party will go on without me.  I've decided to step back from hosting for various reasons (and yes everything else here on the blog will go on as normal).  The hardest part of my decision was … [Read more...]

    This evening we sat at a red traffic light.  My husband is usually a very patient man, but tonight, he was very tired and commented several times as we sat under the heavy gray skies about how the light was slow, that the timing must be off, and then finally, it turned green. I, the typically impatient one, wasn't bothered by the length of time the light remained red. Remember, I said Tim was tired.  He is usually quite busy on the weekends with his work and we also volunteer at church... so we don't have much time together. I had some errands to do and he offered to come with me. … [Read more...]

  You can create fun, whimsical, home decor for St. Patrick's Day for pennies.  And it's quick and easy, too! I've been having the most fun transforming this wall and cast-off table for the different seasons and holidays.  All on a super small budget. You're going to love all these super easy ideas that you can duplicate, too.     Let's start with the items on the table top. Books are a great way to frame objects that would otherwise seem to be floating in space.  They serve two purposes.  One... to give some additional height and two... to give substance or weight to the … [Read more...]

  March is the month that winter and spring collide.  And boy do they collide.  With unseasonably warm weather followed by whipping high winds and then snow. (I'm sorry to hear some of you are going to be walloped with a foot or more.)  March is definitely the month when the sun shines warm and the winds blow cold.  That's why I created this lovely printable quote on March for you.  It would look perfect framed alongside a pretty floral arrangement somewhere in your home. I hope you like is as much as I do...I created a FREE 8x10 printable version of this Spring QUOTE by Charles Dickens on March for you … [Read more...]

  Are you been in that spot where you are looking for answers but can't seem to find any? There I was in that very spot, trying to make things happen, and being completely frustrated when I came across this verse.... This is what the SovereignLord,     the Holy One of Israel, says: “Only in returning to me     and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength." Isaiah 30:15   The morning I read that verse I had no idea that it would be a day where I would encounter an obstacle at every turn.  Nothing seemed to go the right way. It was the culmination … [Read more...]