Monday, October 29, 2012

My biggest revelation yet……Little Revelations….Day 29

So, I took this challenge at the beginning of October.  “31 Days of…” and you fill in the blank.  It’s a challenge from the creator of Nesting Place, a blog I love to follow.  I was just trying, or wanting, to be more visible and trying to stretch myself, and teach myself a little more about blogging.


Yes, all of those things were accomplished…but maybe not the way I was expecting them to.  I was thinking more for my benefit and what I could learn.  But it I see that it taught me many other things I didn’t expect.

Yes, I was challenged.  I knew before I took the challenge I already had little space to add anything else to my calendar.  I had a full plate in my hands for the month of October.  It was a challenge to keep up with the challenge.  Most days, the only time I had to write was after the kids went to bed at 9:00 or 9:30pm.

Yes, I stretched myself.  I stretched myself pretty thin.  I was in charge of a big book fair at our school for several days, changing my blog before I went to the writing-blogging conference and once I finished counting to my goal of 1000…all of which happened to be within a week of each other.  Family birthdays and regular activities after school already on the calendar, homework,  packing and preparing to go out of town and writing for the 31 day challenge.

Yes, I taught myself something.  I did teach myself a little something about creating a blog, but I’ve learned even more that I took a bite too big to chew.  All along in the back of my head I knew I probably shouldn’t have taken the challenge…or I didn’t need to.

But I listened to mySELF  instead of my heart.

I could’ve gotten a few more hours of sleep, cooked more cookies with my daughter, listened more to my son’s details about what he learned at soccer practice.  I should’ve shut the lid of my laptop after the kids went to bed to have a real conversation with my husband.  I could’ve called a friend or family, I could’ve talked more with Jesus.

And then I got to this conference and I was excited to hear the challenger herself, The Nester, speak about her journey.  She shared real life stories of lessons learned from experience.  She said to know and write your purpose and why you’re blogging.  Know how much time you have to commit to it, and focus on what’s most important…you can’t do everything!

“The problem with doing everything is that you have no time for doing nothing.”

And I know it’s not a bad thing to set a goal and take a challenge to help you grow, become more skilled, more confident, but when it wears you tired and worn out and even pretty stressed, then maybe that wasn’t the best choice.

Well, I gave my confession out loud in person…to The Nester herself…and it made me feel better spitting out all that I was still trying to swallow.  We laughed and

So…I’m letting it go.  I made it to 29 days…just two short.  I’m going to take these two days and carve a pumpkin with my family and spend time with friends, make time to hush and process all I’ve absorbed over the past weekend…and I’m OK with that, now.

OK…I’ll be back November 2nd recharged and hope to “see you then”!



31 days

Sunday, October 28, 2012

God-fidence……Little Revelations……Day 28


It’s been a gift and I’m so refreshed, refilled and renewed vision.

I learned a little about platforms and the nuts of bolts of making a blog, but I learned even more about the impact other women are making in the world to reach out to those who are in need in their little worlds and our big world.  It was a gift to hear other women’s stories.

It was a gift to hear so many amazing speakers this weekend.  We were (in)couraged to be real, to be obedient, to be disciples and fishers.

Last night, the conference was ended by listening to joy-full Ann Voskamp, from whom I took this crazy dare and started blogging 10 months ago, speak in person.  She dared us to be Jonathans and to be broken and to not have confidence but God-fidence.

God-fidence to tell our stories.

Tell your story.  Write it down.

Ann told the story of how Jesus was mostly known for telling stories.  But in Scripture there is one time where he wroteIt was when the Pharisees threw a woman who had just committed adultery in front of Jesus asking him if and  how they should punish her.

Jesus stooped down and wroteHe wrote with his fingerin the dirt.. in the dust.

We are that dust. God created us from the dust (Genesis 2:7). 

13 As a father has compassion on his children,
so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
14 for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.                                                                                    (Psalm 103:13-14)

God wrote His Story on dust.  That dust wrote the greatest Story published in history…and continues to in each of our lives.

Jesus can write on me with his finger…dust… and on you, too, as he is stooped down to our level.

So, I’m taking that with God-fidence and thanking Him for the gift of opportunity, thanking Him for the community I was with this past weekend, thanking Him for (in)couraging believers in Christ, thanking Him because all is grace and love from Christ.

I am dust and HE is God.










Thank-full for:

#1026  refreshed, refilled and renewed from Allume

#1027  new community friends

#1028  delicious dark chocolate cupcakes

#1029  learning about focus

#1030  learning about purpose

#1031  hearing so many stories from women at Allume

#1032  the “Give up the fork” story by Darren Rowes

#1033  hearing Ann Voskamp share her words

#1034  getting a hug and conversation with her

#1035  hotel king size bed

#1036  the bumpy airplane ride is OVER!


31 days

Friday, October 26, 2012

A new domain at age 40…..Little Revelations Day 26

Today’s little revelation…the older you get the more you’re blessed and the easier it is to be worn out by 10pm at night!

This “milestone” day of mine I’ve felt surrounded.   Surrounded by birthday wishes on facebook, text messages, phone calls, cards and prayers from friends and family.  Surrounded by a new community who wish me happy birthday after only knowing them for a few hours.

The gift of hearing other writers’ stories that gave wisdom, vulnerability, honesty and loveliness.   The gift of hearing that “Jesus was local”.  It was the gift of reaffirmation that I need to be like Jesus by being local. 

Just as Moses had a 40 day mountain top experience…why not ask, why not dream, why not believe that God can give His 40 year young daughter a mountain top 40th year?  That’s being pretty bold and dare-full to ask, even think, and much less type on this screen!  But why not?!  Hey, you only turn 40 once!  I think I’m going crazy.

I’m feeling blessed and loved and ever so full of gratitude.  A gift given to me for my birthday last year led me down a new path…one I wouldn’t want to back-track and go the other way.  It’s been a path filled with exploration and adventure into a new domain.  Who would’ve known that a year ago? 

I’m learning that even though my dreams can seem unrealistic (to me) and might be different than what HE knows, all I need to do is be like Jesus in my local domain, in my small world, in my little community.   

Thanks to all for my well wishes and birthday prayers, gifts, surprise party, trip to the Allume conference so I can be here on the day I turned 40 (and the HUGE and AMAZING swag bag!)… and mostly thanks to God for his never-ending grace and for all of you!


So thankful for:

#1017  My parents

#1018  God’s grace and radical love for me for 40 years

#1019  Surrounded by birthday wishes on facebook, text messages, phone calls, cards and prayers from friends and family. Surrounded by a new community who wish me happy birthday after only knowing them for a few hours.

#1020  A gift given to me for my birthday last year led me down a new path…one I wouldn’t want to back-track and go the other way. It’s been a path filled with exploration and adventure into a new domain.

#1021  I’m learning that even though my dreams can seem unrealistic (to me) and might be different than what HE knows, all I need to do is be like Jesus in my local domain, in my small world, in my little community.

#1022  the birthday gift of Allume

#1023  my husband being stay-at-home dad for 4 days for me to go to Allume. 

#1024  our children praying for me

#1025  a huge and amazing swag bag!


31 days

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Finally!…..Little Revelations Day 25


It’s day 0…finally!  I’ve been counting down since about 140 days ago!  All along continuing to count gifts and joys God has given every day. 


If it’s anything like tonight, the rest of the time, it’ll be amazing!  I’m so thankful for HIS amazing grace.

I pray Scripture for this time for me and every women here:  

Thank you, Jesus, for this gift of Allume.   Be with me, guide me, lead me, nudge me, push me to explore who I am and the work You’ve given me so I can sink myself into it.  Help me not to compare myself to others.  I know You’ve given me the responsibility for doing the creative best I can with the gifts You’ve given me.

I ask You, my God and Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory – to make me intelligent and discerning in knowing You even more personally.  God – I desire for my eyes to be focused and clear so that I can see exactly what it is you are calling me to do and help me to grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life You have for me – oh the utter extravagance of work in me – who will trust You –with endless energy – boundless strength!

(based on Galatians 6:4-5 and Ephesians 1:17-19  The Message)


31 days

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

writing at 4am?……Little Revelations Day 24

I’m sitting here awake at 4:15am…I’ve been awake since 2:15am. 

So many thoughts are darting back and forth in my mind and I can hardly keep up with them.

I am overwhelmed by the gifts I’ve been given.  Literally.  Dear friends and family, and even friends whom I wish I stayed more in contact with, but still dear to my heart, have given me gifts to go on this journey.  (so thank you).   It just blows my mind.  It gives some confirmation and reassurance. (like Gideon needed!) And I know even more are praying and cheering me on. (so thank you)   But I still ask myself “WHY?”  I ask Jesus, “why me?”

I can’t remember the last time I’ve been so excited about something where I couldn’t sleep!  I can think of other times I couldn’t sleep because of stress or burdens in my mind but just simply out of excitement and anticipation?

I have thoughts of learning from the speakers for motivation and inspiration about doing what I’ve started doing and loving what I’m loving more; going to writing labs.  I hear there’s delicious food and a lot of chocolate!  Getting to meet other women who love to write about real life all to give Jesus the glory.  Hey, sleeping in a king size bed in a nice hotel is an added bonus!  I wonder why this gift was laid in my lap.  I wonder what I will do with this gift.  I wonder if my story is “good enough”.  What’s the story I’m going to tell others, anyway?

Being filled with little revelations…or maybe big ones. 

Well, it’s 4:45am and I really should try one more time to get at least one more hour of sleep before the alarm goes off.  In 14 hours it begins!



31 days

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Ready for filling up…….Little Revelations Day 23

The leaves are brilliant in the trees now.  Leaves are beginning to fall off the trees now.  We’ve already pulled out the rake once, knowing there’s many more times in the near future.

The trees will be empty of leaves before we know it.  I’m already empty though.  I’m empty and ready to be refilled.  I’m anxious and excited and everything in-between.   But I’m emptying myself of doubt and fears…only filling with hope for unexpected joys. 



“So often in autumn I want to go lean my head against a tree and ask what it feels like to lose so much, to be so empty, so detached, to take off one’s shoes that well, and then simply to stand and wait for God’s refilling.  It sounds so simple, so easy.  It isn’t easy.  But it is possible.

I think I’ve met one person in my lifetime who was truly empty.  I didn’t ask her what it felt like, but I remember a quiet joy that seemed to permeate her spirit, and she looked free.

We autumn struggles must try hard not to wear discouragement as a cloak if we can’t wear enough emptiness to make us free.  It takes a long time to get as far as even wanting to be empty.

Our hearts are hungering for the Sacrament of Letting Go.  Once we discover that we already possess enough grace to let go, trust begins to form in the center of who we are.  Then we can take off our shoes and stand empty and vulnerable, eager to receive God’s next gift.” (emphasis added)

Seasons of the Heart by Macrina Wiederkehr


Thanking HIM for

#1013  ears to listen and heart to pray

#1014  beginning to pack

#1015  reminded of Hebrews 10

#1016  colorful autumn leaves


31 days

Monday, October 22, 2012

Prone to wander

It was a beautiful day to spend in the bright sunshine lost in a corn maze with hundreds of children under the age of eight.

My daughter’s class went to Maize Adventures for a field trip.  It was out “in the middle of no-where” and it was a little community with the setting being an ‘ole timey town” back in the 1800’s.  The main attraction was a 12-acre corn maze.


So, me, along with another mom and dad and 4 girls including my daughter set off to find the clues to help us discover who captured the Farmer (like the board game Clue). 

As we began to search for the clues, we hear music playing…good ‘ole bluegrass music with the banjo blaring on the loud speakers perched on the tall tower at the end of the maze.  (It reminded me of one of my suitemates in college who played her banjo for us at night…Rocky Top Tennessee our favorite!)


As we tried to keep up with the girls who were running through the stalks, I still enjoyed listening to it but the farther we went into the maze, the music got softer and softer until we could hardly hear it – plus the squealing of the kids being lost and finding clues took over the music.  It was fun to see the kids give reason for the decisions of whether to go to the right or left and work together until it got to the point when the dad  became the leader – on a mission- to find the way to the end or it might have never ended!


As we got back half way through the maze and closer to the end, we could hear the banjo calling out again.  There’s just something about bluegrass that puts me in a happy mood.  I started clapping my hands.  Then as we walked through thousands of stalks of corn 12 feet tall, I began to hear the banjo playing a familiar tune.  And then I heard myself singing… “bind my wandering heart to Thee; prone to wander, Lord I feel it…Here’s my heart, oh take and seal it; seal it for Thy courts above.”   I sang that hymn many times as my mom played the organ at the church I grew up in. 

But the words that stuck out to me which was relevant to me… “WANDER”.  I was wandering in the corn maze – not really knowing where I was going- leading a group of children.

I’m so prone to wander in my life, to turn on roads that lead to no where, that seem to go in circles…and not know where I’m going.

But there was a little comfort knowing others were with me and I was not the only one.  And then there was the music that brought me joy and made my heart dance and sing – in the midst of wandering.

What a gift…Jesus giving us the opportunity to have hope and joy in the midst of the times we are wandering and feeling aimless in life.

Jesus…dwell and be in the midst of me because I’m still prone to wander in the maze of life.   Here’s my heart, Lord, take and seal it – seal it for thy courts above.


Oh to grace, how great a debtor.

Daily I’m constrained to be!

Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,

Bind my wandering heart to Thee

Prone to wander, Lord I feel it,

Prone to leave the God I love;

Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,

Seal it for Thy courts above.

Come Thou Font of Every Blessing”    Robert Robinson in 1759




Thanking God for:

#1006  laughter with friends at Tim Hawkins

#1007  being prone to wander and God redirecting

#1008  in a corn maze with Libby

#1009  clear blue sky on an October day

#1010  silence in a sun room

#1011  starting a new blog…not by my strength but HIS alone!

#1012  Simply Remind Me

Saturday, October 20, 2012



It’s still me, Beth from Beth’s Joy Dare blog.  It just has a new look with a new name!

At the beginning of the year I accepted a challenge. The challenge was to count and record 1000 gifts God has given me in 2012.  I was given the challenge from Ann Voskamp, author of the book One Thousand Gifts.  On her blog she gave any and everyone a "Joy Dare."   I don’t normally take dares, but this one I did. 

That dare has reshaped me.

So, starting back in January, I got a little notebook and started writing down my daily joys.  But shortly into it, my husband encouraged me to start a blog and post my joys on it.   With no expectations, no idea what I was doing or what I was getting myself into, I said, “Well…OK.” but all I was doing was keeping a personal record of counting so I could thank God every day.

But throughout the past several months, it’s just become.  It’s become something new.  It’s become something unexpected.  It’s become an outlet for me.  It’s become a way to get me out of my comfort zone.  

It’s become a gift to me.  I guess deep down, even though I’d never admit it to anyone, including myself,  to write.  I still don’t consider myself “a writer”.  I’m just an ordinary mom and wife that wants, needs and (has the calling to???) share the simple reminders of God's goodness and grace that renew my heart.  I need that accountability!  I simply need to give myself reminders every day, whether it’s a to-do list or reminded of promises from HIM.

My prayer is for me not to think that life and writing on a blog is more about what I’m doing than about who I am becoming.  And while I’m becoming, if God can use what I write to help you become reminded and renewed, then I want Him to use me…all for HIM.

Laughter Little Revelations Day 20


My stomach hurts and the cheek bones on my face are sore.  I love it!  Those muscles were used for two solid hours tonight.

Isn’t when you decide to go back to exercising when you haven’t for a long time, you use muscles you haven’t in a while?  Then afterwards,  those muscles feel a little tight?

It must have been a long time then since I’ve laughed that hard for that long…out loud (pretty loud if you know me!) and tears rolling down my face, and no more make up on my eyes!

What a fun evening with dear friends celebrating our sons’ October birthdays at a Tim Hawkins show!  (and getting to meet him afterwards!)