They were popping up at every turn... little gifts in disguise. It was Saturday afternoon and I had unfinished work... the last thing I wanted to do was go for a hike. The day was gray.  The only thing that got me out of my chair was knowing I needed to get my body moving.  Small reason... but it was enough. I tied on my walking shoes and off we went. You know how I love nature... but I wasn't into it. And then I spied a little nest of mushrooms.     And then there were more...     White ones with flat tops and frilly … [Read more...]

This morning I was reading some writings of C.S. Lewis, when these words leaped off the page at me: It is the difference between paint, which is merely laid on the surface, and a dye or stain which soaks right through. He was talking about how we start our days. If we were meeting each other for coffee at Starbucks in the morning, I might ask you, "Did you have a good start to your day?"  It's an innocuous question.  Purely conversational.  And of course, I would hope you had a great start. Because we're friends, you won't cloak your answer with the usual dismissive remark. Instead, you'll tell … [Read more...]

  Put yourself in this story... The man whom you believed was going to liberate you from the tyranny of the Romans had just been cruelly tortured and hung on a tree to die. A few of your friends also truly believed that this man, Jesus, would rescue you. But instead, they are helping you take his dead body down from the cross to bury him in a borrowed tomb. All hope is lost. Not only was Jesus, your leader and friend, dead but surely this would turn to the worse considering all that transpired the last few days. You're consumed with hurt, grief, disappointment. To say you are devastated would … [Read more...]

How's your day? I'm hoping that today's been a good day, or at the worst, something we can call normal. Do you mind stopping a second to look back over the past several hours? We've had numerous blessings... A bed to sleep on, a bite to eat, dishes to wash, places to go, people to see... And so much more!  Consider each a blessing. Give thanks for each one.   We often take these common, everyday blessings for granted. Tomorrow, things might change and we may or may not have one or more of these blessings. When that happens... our worlds just might come undone. Or will … [Read more...]

Do you have any rituals in your daily routine? For some of us, a daily ritual might include fluffing all the pillows in the family room and pushing the start button on the dishwasher before going to bed, or picking up a personal electronic device and checking email first thing upon waking.  Those rituals are important to keeping our daily lives moving in a rhythmic fashion.  We need them to help us function effectively in our super busy, fast-paced lives. As much as we need those functional rituals, we also need personal rituals too.     Most of us don't take time for ourselves.  As women, we … [Read more...]

  Here we are three quarters of the way through the first month in the New Year. Can you feel it?  The pause and quiet that we felt the first few days of the New Year are gone. You know that sensation you have as the airplane lumbers down the runway, picking up speed, bump by bump, and all of a sudden you're thrust firmly into your seat as the rumbling ceases and the plane lifts off the ground?  I feel we're in that part of the year where we feel the speed and that pressure of take-off. Before the year runs away with us on our individual jet planes... and it will... let's pause for a moment. … [Read more...]

  As we enter this New Year there is no doubt, we will face unexpected challenges, disappointments, and heartaches.  I wish it weren't so, but the Bible tells us to expect it. That doesn't mean that we need to live in fear, looking around every corner, or expecting the "other shoe to drop." We need to look forward with great expectation. God has great things planned for us.  He knows where we'll be going, what we'll be facing, and even our opposition. He will provide us with every ounce of strength we need. He wants us to walk victoriously, without stumbling or wavering. The Lord God is my … [Read more...]

I cannot believe Thanksgiving is just about here! Did someone push the accelerator button?  Because time seems to be whizzing by at warp speed. All the more reason to take a few minutes to slow down... breathe... and acknowledge our blessings. I love this quote and printable from the archives... “When it comes to life the critical thing is, whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.” Gilbert Chesterton I know you'll want to download my free gratitude printable, to post at your work station, on the fridge, or even frame and place in a vignette for a constant … [Read more...]

Whatever happens. Keep thanking God. Seriously?     Yesterday I received an email from a sweet friend asking me to pray for her.  She works from home and the company she works for had not sent any work all week.  So, she emailed them to find out why.  Their cold response was, "You are no longer working for us." What would be your response?  To go back to bed, pull the covers over your head, and sob? That's a natural response.  And it is perfectly okay. When jobs and people and homes are taken from us... it's natural to grieve.     Whatever happens, keep thanking God … [Read more...]

We're in the season of gratitude. Don't you feel it all around you?     Okay...I've exaggerated a little bit. When we're out in the marketplace we often get the opposite sense of that don't we? Like the person at the car wash who is just coming in behind you and sees that you're in a broken bay, and as you are backing up to switch bays, whips around you to be next in line at another bay, before you. Or what about the child who has a tantrum in every aisle because he isn't getting something he wants. Or, ________  you fill in the blank. We see selfish behavior in … [Read more...]

During my reading time this week, I came across a quote from a renowned preacher of the late 19th century, Charles Spurgeon. I struggled with sharing it with you for the Joy Day! post. The quote doesn't feel very joyful.  It's even a bit stern.  But, I couldn't shake myself from it.     With that in mind...let's imagine that we are sitting at a lovely table drinking our favorite fancy coffee or tea and enjoying a tasty treat. After the usual pleasantries, indulging in the delicacies from the table, and conversational catching up, I look you in the eye and say, "I think it's time we … [Read more...]

This week I went exploring in a new neighborhood. The area is rural and wooded. And overflowing with poison ivy.     I had a bad case of poison ivy two summers ago, and now I know to stay clear of leaves of three. [wink] Here it mingles with wildflowers and joins the multitude of leaves to make a magical tapestry of greens. As I walk the roadside I'm continually noticing the beauty and stopping to take snapshots of the lovely wildflowers. It's a beautiful place. How lovely is your dwelling place,  Lord Almighty! Psalm 84:1       When I need to … [Read more...]

What was the best Christmas gift you have ever received? I would need to think long and hard about that one. As a child there were too many gifts under the tree for me.  I'm not quite sure what my parents' thought process was on Christmas gifts.  Most kids get some new clothes to start off the school year.  Not me.  Sometimes I got new shoes....in the first few weeks or months of the school year.  My parents were not into starting off the school year all shiny and fresh.  For all the picture-taking, I never remember, one time, a first-day-of-school picture.  But, always, there was a new wardrobe of clothes … [Read more...]

Several days a week I walk past this church. This day, the sun was beginning to set.  It was what I call the golden hour.  The sky was an intense blue and the church, which seems to usually be shaded, was illuminated. I wanted to share this golden moment with you.  The photos were edited and ready to insert into this post.  And then I struggled.  Wrestled, really.  Today something happened that I had to continually stand against with the shield of faith and the sword of the spirit. It involved a church.     I believe in the church. Ideally once we choose to follow Christ we need to be … [Read more...]

  In the stillness of the early morning, I opened the Word. Thirsty.  Hungry.  Needy. And I came upon this: Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving. and extol him with music and song.  Psalm 95:1-2   We sit in the quiet.  We wait on the Lord. We are such people of doing. Yet....here David...the psalmist....gives us something to do. Sing for joy. Shout out loud. Thank HIM. Play music and sing for HIM.   Okay...it's really early.  It's really quiet. I may not be … [Read more...]

I can hardly believe it! TODAY is the anniversary of the very first day I hit 'publish' and entered the world as an official blogger. You might say that I am slightly excited.  This is a milestone.  Maybe even a standing stone. Now I am probably going to sound like every celebrity or sports star you have ever seen on TV when they give their words of appreciation.  [grin]   Thank YOU for choosing to read and following my tappings into the cyberworld each week. You give what I do purpose and meaning.   You make my day when you respond and tap back your sweet thoughts.  I love reading and … [Read more...]

  Filled with Joy....   Psalm 126 A song of ascents. 1 When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dreamed. 2 Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.” 3 The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. 4 Restore our fortunes, Lord, like streams in the Negev. 5 Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. 6 Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with … [Read more...]