Today is the 15th Anniversary of one of the most dreadful days in American history... 9/11. So much has been written and read... I don't know that I have much to add other than my personal story and my personal call to action.     My story is one of a distant bystander. That fateful morning I had a lazy morning at home.  I had the day off and was lounging in my pj's, reading the latest home decor magazines, enjoying a cup of tea, and watching the "Today Show" on TV. It was a most spectacular day with the brightest blue sky and I had plans to get outside and enjoy every … [Read more...]

    Like it or not... growth comes through hard times. When you've been knocked down it takes courage to get up and start over again. And then there is that thing called fear.  It's paralyzing... it kills your hope and dreams.   Whether you've been knocked down, overcome with fear, or are in the midst of a hard journey... you need encouragement. You need to know the secret for getting back up... having the courage to stand strong... and the confidence to believe for tomorrow.   So what's the secret?     My husband and I have been going … [Read more...]

  I'm sure you've noticed, too. This week has been filled with vitriol and gall.  Anger and hate.  Worry and distress. It makes my head and heart hurt.     In the midst of everything... this verse has been swirling around in my head. “Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.”  John 13:34-35 This verse is directed to Jesus' followers. Those who were traveling the countryside with Him when He was alive and … [Read more...]

  Do you believe that God cares about the details you care about? Not long ago, my husband and I were having a conversation about my dream studio. The list included these must haves... nice sized windows and good natural light for photographing, high and low work surfaces and plenty of space for creating, a great view of either a lovely garden or tree tops. Fast forward a few weeks when we were in the midst of settling into an apartment... with just an inflatable bed and a card table and chairs... when I said to my husband, "You realize that our apartment windows provide us with a beautiful … [Read more...]

  Yesterday, while working on a project, I thought about and prayed for some friends who have had one unpleasant surprise after another.  The guy said to Tim, "I feel like Job, only I still have my wife and kids."  No doubt you relate.  All of us go through days, weeks, months, and sometimes years, of challenges. As I attempted to encase a mound of fiberfill pushing to be free while applying just the right amount of pressure to the sewing machine pedal, this verse came to mind... Always be joyful and never stop praying. Whatever happens, keep thanking God because of Jesus Christ. This is what God … [Read more...]

    Joy is the serious business of Heaven. C. S. Lewis   We talk a lot about joy around here. Joy is a funny thing. It can completely engulf us and yet be entirely elusive. It all depends on us.   You see, Jesus not only made a way for us to have joy... big, bright, unbridled joy. He wants us to have the very same joy that He has.   I’ve told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature. John 15:11 As Jesus was entering His final hours here on earth, He prayed for us. This prayer to the Father, … [Read more...]

    Do you start your day with a spring in your step and a happy expression on your face? Maybe you find yourself plodding through the day with a fake smile awkwardly affixed to cover what you're really feeling? No matter where you are on the spectrum, I sure you want to know... How to Put More Joy in Your Day   Each week here at An Extraordinary Day we have JoyDay! Over the past four years (Yes... I just celebrated my 4th blog anniversary.) I've chatted with you about joy and living a joy-filled life.  But, what I haven't done is put some of those thoughts together in one spot … [Read more...]

  Sometimes we just need a little perspective...   Just as the heavens are higher than the earth, my thoughts and my ways are higher than yours.   Isaiah 55:9 Those days when things aren't going my way... this is a good verse to ponder. It simply reminds me that I don't know the whole story... see the whole picture... or have the wisdom to know what's best for that situation.  What I need to do instead... is trust God. You have looked deep into my heart, Lord,     and you know all about me. You know when I am resting or when I am working,     and from heaven you discover my … [Read more...]

  The Lord’s love never ends; his mercies never stop. They are new every morning; Lord, your loyalty is great. Lamentations 3:22-23 If there is one truth that we can and should remember every single day it's this.... God's love never ends.  This intimate personal love He has for each of us never stops.  So much so that every morning when we awake... God has more love to greet us in the new day. When my husband speaks to children, there is ONE thing he always wants to be sure they know.  "God loves you."  He repeats it often.  When he was growing up his family sat at the front of the church... … [Read more...]

  Lord...  I will exalt you in praise... For you have done extraordinary things. Isaiah 25:1 NET Download this frameable 5x7 graphic for personal use HERE.   3 Ways to Overcome Overwhelm It's a brand-new squeaky-clean week.  Are you excited for what lies ahead? Sometimes we cannot wait to greet the first day of the week!  We're full of joy, ready to zoom off at full speed. Other times, we feel used up and worn out and it's just Sunday.  We look ahead and sigh, already worn down with not-so-positive anticipation. Where are you as we begin a new week?   Not long ago I came … [Read more...]

Something happened on Good Friday. I was preparing my Facebook posts for the An Extraordinary Day page... it wasn't something I wanted to do... I was just going through the motions... and then I found myself going from being detached... to totally desiring to speak and share Truth.  God's Truth.  Jesus' sacrifice. Something happened to my heart in the midst of writing and preparing those posts. Our church had a Good Friday service which we attended.  For several weeks I had struggled to join in the corporate singing.  But that night, I easily sang those songs.  I sang Truth.  And worshiped.  Really … [Read more...]

    Wouldn't you like to have God's blessing? One morning, because frankly, things have not been going as we hoped and prayed, I asked the Lord for a word of encouragement. As I opened my Bible it fell open to Jeremiah.  I'm not sure why, but God has often used passages there to speak to my heart in big ways.  I read a few chapters and came to these verses... But I will bless those who trust me. They will be like trees growing beside a stream— trees with roots that reach down to the water, and with leaves that are always green. They bear fruit every year and are never … [Read more...]

  Is there something going on in your life that you're praying about and seeking God's help to see you through? Maybe you're like me. When I'm facing something big... I pray like crazy... I ask my close friends to pray like crazy... and when things don't seem to be moving along... I enlist others to pray... and possibly even seek advice. You know what my problem is? I lack faith.     Recently I read a story about an elderly woman's exchange with a young man.  He asked her what he should do to get God's help with his need. Her reply might surprise you. She told the … [Read more...]

  When I was in college I traveled to Europe.  I saw and did some amazing things.  One memorable event was to see "Carmen" performed. Don't be jealous.  I watched it from the nose-bleed section of the Vienna Opera House in the standing-only section. Have you ever stood in one small spot to watch an entire opera?  Let's just say it was extremely difficult.  I wanted to sit down.  It was painfully tiring to say the least.  There I was, watching this incredible opera after spending a day of sightseeing, shifting from leg to leg.  I remember the standing to see "Carmen" much more than anything from the … [Read more...]

  Have you been facing many challenges and difficulties in your life? Do you resist them?  Do you get angry and frustrated with God?  Especially when circumstances don't change, no matter how hard you pray? My week was full of small challenges... on top of big ones that are already enough. Maybe you identify? Somewhere in the midst of my troubles I have come to realize that my role is not to wiggle out of these situations... but instead to move gracefully through them in God's strength and power. I'm not saying that there aren't ugly moments.  Because there are. I have my melt-downs.  I … [Read more...]

  Did you step into the new year with a new planner and a new plan to make this the best year ever? The success experts encourage us to set goals, to map our days, our work, even our relationships. As you penned those good intentions into your life planner have you set holiness as one of your goals? What?     Who in this day and age, talks about being holy, let alone list it as a life-goal? That's a good question. Most of us would agree God calls us to holy living, but really, making that a penned-on-paper life-goal... whom among us is that purposeful? As obedient … [Read more...]

Praise God for this incredible, unbelievable, indescribable gift!  2 Corinthians 9:15 The Voice Most days are filled with the common, the ordinary, nothing spectacular happens.  And we just keep rolling along in a field of gray. As I write this on Christmas Eve just a little more than an hour before the 11 p.m. service at church, I'm reminded that incredible moments come in the midst of pain and ordinariness.  Early this morning I awoke with a terrific pain in my stomach.  I am pretty sure it was that glass of egg nog cut with some Vernor's, in addition to the chocolate truffle I enjoyed earlier in the day. … [Read more...]