How was your week? Sometimes, we arrive at Sunday, the fresh squeaky first day of the week, all used up and worn out.  We look ahead and sigh, already worn down with not-so-positive anticipation. Sometimes, we cannot wait to greet the new week and joyfully zoom off at full speed. Where are you on the continuum?   Lord, you are my God;     I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness     you have done wonderful things,     things planned long ago.                            - Isaiah 25:1 NIV   This week as I came across this verse I had a big … [Read more...]

This week we had a tough decision to make.     If we decided one way....people would applaud us and cheer. If we decided another way....people would think we were being foolish. We were pretty certain in our hearts what the decision should be. And then we read this verse.... 15 Listen! The Lord, the Eternal, the Holy One of Israel says, Eternal One: In returning and rest, you will be saved. In quietness and trust you will find strength. But you refused. 16     You couldn’t sit still; instead, you said, “No! We will ride out of here on horseback. Fast horses … [Read more...]

The deeper your love, the higher it goes; every cloud’s a flag to your faithfulness. Soar high in the skies, O God! Cover the whole earth with your glory! And for the sake of the one you love so much, reach down and help me—answer me! ~Psalm 108:4-6 The Message     One of my favorite things to do is to go for a walk and take in the beauty. Today, the sky was brilliant blue, the sun was intense, and the white crusty ground reflected both. Though the wind was biting I was warmed by the glory all around me.   Do you ever go for a walk expecting to see the earth filled … [Read more...]

In a few days the calendar will turn to the 14th. Valentine's Day. The day when the florists' couriers have the best job in the world. The day when we all have an excuse to do something amazingly kind and loving for our co-worker, our neighbor, our parent, our spouse, our child, our significant other, the person in line before or after us, almost everyone with whom we brush shoulders. Or not.   It's a day that makes it abundantly clear that how we live our lives is all about choices. On this day, we can choose to receive the love of God and in turn, demonstrate it to others.   Especially … [Read more...]

Faith. It's a complicated word. For some...it has great spiritual meaning. For others...it's a bit nebulous.   A long time ago, when one of the girls from my youth group got married, I created some counted cross stitch art for her as a wedding gift.  I stitched these words from Hebrews 11:1....Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.  Why in the world was I so enamored with this verse that I created cross stitch art?  And for a wedding gift, no less. I can't answer that. One thing I do know.... In order to navigate through life, faith is a … [Read more...]

 Taste and see that the Lord is good. Psalm 34:8a   If you don’t slow to count the gifts in the moments, God in the moments — when exactly will you taste and see that the Lord is good? The losing of every battle begins when there is no time to taste and see and savor that the Lord is good. When you don’t have time to taste and see that the Lord is good — you begin to taste and believe that life is bad. Ann Voskamp, A Holy Experience   My days are pretty full. I get up early and go to bed late. I'm an early bird and a night owl. Would that make me an early owl? No matter what I do, or … [Read more...]

Do you choose a Word for the Year? Lots of people choose a word rather than make resolutions. Last year my Word for the Year was JOY.  You can read about it here.   If you've been following on Facebook you might have picked up that I decided to skip on choosing a Word for the Year and choose a Verse for the Year.   Okay....I changed my mind. Instead.... I decided to do both. Sorta. The verse isn't just a verse...it's several verses...okay....a whole section of scripture. But before we go there let's visit my Word for the Year.     Restore. It isn't what you … [Read more...]

Are you observing Advent with a daily reading or a weekly candle lighting? If not, it really is not too late to begin. It's a very special time of anticipation. I shared some ideas for observing Advent here.  And I created a not-so-typical-version of an Advent wreath here?     Today we light the second Advent candle.   The candle of Peace. Click here to read about God’s promise of peace from Isaiah 11:1-10.   In the second chapter of the Book of Luke in the Bible, the writer tells us all the details surrounding Jesus' coming to the world, including the census which … [Read more...]

It was interesting to me to listen to other shoppers when I was in the stores earlier this weekend.  I was amazed at how intentional and sometimes intense people were in finding and deciding upon their purchases.  Most of us have a plan in mind when we go shopping, or even when we begin our Christmas decorating. How many of us have a personal plan for the Christmas season?   Often we are so busy doing....that we don't take time to be in the moment.  We don't take time to ponder the reason for the season.  We just go.  And I am very experienced at getting into that mode.  So... Last week I invited you to … [Read more...]

Are you feeling grateful? What about when there's snow on the ground and it messes up your plans? What about when you've been working like crazy, putting in extra time, and someone else gets the promotion? What about when your head hurts, your family is counting on you, and all you want to do is collapse?   Giving thanks with a grateful heart is much easier when the sky is blue, the sun is shining, and you're comfortably sipping your lemonade at the pool on a perfect 75 degree day. Giving thanks with a grateful heart is much easier when everyone notices your hard work and you get an … [Read more...]

How was your week? Today I was standing in line at Kroger with my husband. He asked me if I was okay.  I mumbled something. But I wasn't okay. I had been running a grocery list in my mind on the drive over. It wasn't the grocery list of things I needed to pick up from the store. As I was standing in line, I let the weight of that list come down on me. I guess it was written across my face.     At that moment I knew that I needed to start a new list.... a list of blessings. And I did....right there in line at Kroger. And then I found myself telling my husband the … [Read more...]

Reading portions of the Book of Psalms in the Bible is something I do almost every day. It's full of wisdom and pain and gratitude and praise and fear. Today's passage included this verse...Psalm 111:10, from the New Living Translation: Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true wisdom.     All who obey his commandments will grow in wisdom. Praise him forever!   I don't know about you...but I want wisdom. People who are wise seem to navigate life more gracefully. They are the ones others seek for advice. People who are wise are more thoughtful, less reactionary, … [Read more...]

Obedience. That's sort of a prickly word for many of us. If our parents were strict disciplinarians we may have felt the price of disobedience. But, have you ever thought about the joy of obedience? Here are some verses from the Book of Hebrews, chapter 12, in the New Testament: 2 We must focus on Jesus, the source and goal of our faith. He saw the joy ahead of him, so he endured death on the cross and ignored the disgrace it brought him. Then he received the highest position in heaven, the one next to the throne of God.3 Think about Jesus, who endured opposition from sinners, so that you don’t … [Read more...]

Welcome to Day 27 of 31 Extraordinary Days to Be...  Or...simply: Be... Together, we will learn to Be… to live fully and beautifully in our “skin” and in our homes and beyond.  If you missed The Introduction or you'd like to follow the entire series, you can find each post listed here.   In my reading early this week I came across this verse....    This image is available as a FREE 5x7 printable.  Download it here.   Light-seeds are planted in the souls of God’s people, Joy-seeds are planted in good heart-soil. Psalm 97:11  The Message   I love the idea of God planting … [Read more...]

Welcome to Day 20 of 31 Extraordinary Days to Be...  Or...simply: Be... Together, we will learn to Be… to live fully and beautifully in our “skin” and in our homes and beyond.  If you missed The Introduction or you'd like to follow the entire series, you can find each post listed here.   Last Sunday we took a drive with some friends to visit a local university's gardens in the country.  On our way home we drove past a small lake and were totally blown away by the awesome color. Four excited adults exited the car and quietly shouted for joy, exclaiming the glories of the beautiful colors, and … [Read more...]

Welcome to Day 13 of 31 Extraordinary Days to Be...  Or...simply: Be... Together, we will learn to Be… to live fully and beautifully in our “skin” and in our homes and beyond.  If you missed The Introduction or you'd like to follow the entire series, you can find each post listed here.   Do you live in a spot where you can view a sunrise or sunset? Right now we're living at the beginning of a private cul de sac.  It's a half mile from beginning to end.  This little road runs from east to west.  Or west to east depending on your perspective.  The beauty for me is that each morning I can sit in … [Read more...]

Welcome to Day 6 of 31 Extraordinary Days to Be...  Or...simply: Be... Together, we will learn to Be… to live fully and beautifully in our “skin” and in our homes and beyond.  If you missed The Introduction or you'd like to follow the entire series, you can find each post listed here.   ...You direct me on the path that leads to a beautiful life. As I walk with You, the pleasures are never-ending, and I know true joy and contentment. Psalm 16:11  The Voice   Really? Is that even possible? When life throws a knuckle ball, followed by a curve ball, it sometimes feels like there will … [Read more...]