Monday, April 29, 2013

Creative Communication


Creative Communication.  That’s what I scribbled on a piece of paper with many numbers circled and words all running together.  It was a blur.  Maybe because my eyes welled up a little bit.

Communication.  That word and I don’t get along very well.  We never have. 

When it comes to sharing from my heart, it can be a struggle.  I feel uncomfortable talking in front of a group of people…small or large.  I can even have trouble talking with just one person, even my husband sometimes.  I keep my heart and spoken words guarded inside. I let busyness become an excuse.  I‘m good at casual conversations and I especially like to take advantage of my joy listening to others.    


Last week, I had to take a spiritual gift test thanks to the disciple study group my husband and I are in.  I took a similar test about 15 years ago and some of the results were basically the same but I think part of those gifts have been hiding.  This test showed that my #1 gift was Creative Communication…to "communicate God’s truth through a variety of art forms.” Hospitality, faith, encouragement and teaching were close seconds and third.  I’m OK with believing hospitality is correct and even encouragement because I do enjoy using those gifts, but communication and teaching?

When I was in college studying to teach high-school English, to my surprise, I clearly heard the Lord tell me He did not want me to teach children.  But I think I took the “not to teach” and applied it to anybody not just high schoolers.  And I was fine with that because communication, or weakness in it especially after my brain surgery, was not my cup of tea.

So this past week I’ve kept thinking about these test results, trying to understand them.  And God is holding his hand open with the gift of confirmation.  Over this past weekend,  {in}courage hosted a {in}RL (RL=Real Life) event for women to join together and speak encouragement to everyone who listened.  And this year’s theme was “STAY”. 

I heard women sharing the importance of staying together with the people God has specially put in your life.  Stay in communionAnd in order to be in communion, or commune with others, there must be communication.  And during those times, there’s fun and fellowship and just-sharing-what-we’re-up-to-these-days, but there also needs to be times where we’re vulnerable and expose the heart.  Those stories I heard confirmed a couple of different things I’ve been praying about lately. 

Not only stay in communion with the special people in your life, but also, and most importantly, stay in communication with Jesus.  And then share that communion with others.

God’s gift of His Word is to spur us on, and that He did to help confirm some of my questions in 1 John 1:3-4 Message and The Voice emphasis added:

We saw it, we heard it, and now we’re telling you so you can experience it along with us, this experience of communion with the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ. Our motive for writing is simply this: retelling this story fulfills our joy. We want you to enjoy this, too!”*

God wants us to commune with Him daily so we can hear over and over the story of his immeasurable love and grace for us.  John and the other followers who knew Jesus and eye-witnessed his resurrection just had to let others know about it!   They wanted that experience to be communicated to everyone, however God gifted them, so all can experience that joy through Christ.

I want you to enjoy the gifts God gives you, too.

I’m being reminded that God, with His own creativeness, has gifted people to communicate in other ways than just talking out loud.  So, here I am being exposed, guarded only by Christ, and communicating…in written words instead of spoken words.  Writing is an art that takes a lot of practice, along with photography, and speaking out about your faith.  So, I guess I’ll keep on practicing (because I really need it) and keep on trying to communicate through different forms of art…including practicing hospitality with the special people God puts in my life, and through writing for Simply Remind Me…and who know what else because that’s where the gift of faith comes in.

{And you’re welcome to communicate here anytime by leaving a message below!}


Thanking God for:

#1357  azaleas in bloom



#1358  spiritual gift test

#1359  confirmation

#1360  studying bible in sun light outside

#1361  Jesus walking on in the sunroom one morning as I opened my Bible. The door that wasn’t latched literally blew open when I opened the Word.  Come Holy Spirit, come.

#1362  daughter’s boldness to audition for talent show

#1363  listening to {in}RL  Importance of STAYING connected…with others and God.

#1364  watching helicopters fall from trees



#1365  planting flowers and veggies

#1366  long overdue family night

#1367  husband grilling Aussie Chicken just like Outback

#1368  invited to friends’ home for dinner

#1369  honor of being trusted

#1370  talking out loud to Jesus on walk

#1371  aching feet from working in yard all day

#1372  rain holding off until the end of the soccer game

Friday, April 26, 2013



I have just 5 minutes to write today because it’s a crazy busy one.  And lately, I’ve had more and more of those days, which means less and less time for more important things than driving to soccer game after soccer game, school volunteer things, and errands to run.  It’s less time to have quality time with a friend.  I feel blessed to stay at home, which allows me to seemingly have more time to spend with special people in my life and to make new friends.  How does time get away?

I’m so glad today is in{RL}  (RL means real life) where a bunch of gals get together and share stories about life, God, joy, laughter and even tears, I’m sure.  And the talks are about FRIENDSHIP…a reminder I need and we all could never get too much of.

If you have a moment today friend, come over here and join in with {in}courage in a webcast that will be worth every minute.  It’s not too late to register!  But it’s today!

Blessings to you this weekend, friends!



Monday, April 22, 2013

Where is He?


What a gift to see the spring day wake up over the ocean.  Breathtaking.Beauty.   The deep and rich colors were God’s way or reminding me of the deep and rich love He has for us.

God… “set the heavens in place, when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep, when he established the clouds above and fixed securely the foundations of the deep, when he gave the sea its boundary so that waters would not overstep his command, and when he marked out the foundations of the earth.  Then I was the craftsman at his side,.  I was filled with delight day after day, rejoicing always in His presence

Proverbs 8:27-30


This week, let’s rejoice in His presence when looking outside in the new life of spring, or at the beach, at the mountains…wherever you are… HE IS THERE.





Thanking God for these gifts this past week:

#1334  to see the spring day wake up over the ocean

#1335  safe field trip to the Outer Banks with my daughter’s 4th grade class

#1336  running and rolling down a huge sand hill



#1337  the majesty of the ocean

#1338  the excitement the children show

#1339  girls running on the beach


#1340  girls giggling on the beach as the water chases them


#1341  flowers growing in the sand


#1342  imaginations of children playing marbles 200 years ago as kids made them on field trip

#1343  beauty of lighthouses



#1344  birds singing loudly on the beach




#1345  soccer team playing in championship game

#1346  giving husband and surprise, early father’s day present to see Alton Brown

#1347  this text from my hubby: “at Cracker Barrel where my breakfast dreams come true”

#1348  beauty of spring flowers in bloom


#1349  WMS Battle of the Books team my son is on coming in 5th place at regional battle

#1350  My sister’s family taking care of our family

#1351  weekend with girls scrapbooking at the lake

#1352  the warmth of sun on your face

#1353  making others laugh

#1354  being asked to link in with another blogger

#1355  sharing my story with someone who has a similar one

#1356  starting a new book with an 80+ year young man and his stories of being raised on a farm

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Joining in with artists

OK….so I said I was taking a week break on posting, but I just saw this and couldn’t resist.

The creative and talented graphic artist from Studio JRU is making things fun on her blog this week with showing ideas of how you can decorate around your home with Show Offs Art.  She’s asking people to link up and share “fun ways to show off your show offs art!”

What I like about show offs art is how it gives simple and creative reminders of God’s Word.   Reminders of His promises are especially needed in our busy days and all the unrest in the world around us.

We need simplicity in the complex.  It’s this simple: God’s love for us is woven throughout His Word.  In the midst of our busy family calendar, where we’re running in and out and all around, I want His Promises all over our house to remind us of His Word! 

I haven’t necessarily done anything different or unique with these pieces of art (although these have been great ideas I might try!), it’s always fun to see His Word in bright colors to grab your eye and heart. 


I love bright colors in our sunroom…where I spend so much of my time!   “Trust the Lord with all your heart…”. (Proverbs 3:5)   Trusting Him is what I need to be reminded over and over, so that verse is displayed in that room I’m in so often!




My daughter likes the “peace” sign that can be found everywhere these days.  There’s no better peace than the peace we have through Christ. (Philippians 4:7)  I love this canvas to remind her of the true peace we can have.  And there was no better place to put it but right over the bookshelf in her room where she spends much of her time…in a book (or looking outside for caterpillars and bugs!)  It’s the first place and thing you see when you walk into the room.  Focal point!


Joshua 1:9.   That’s one of my life verses. so of course it’s a verse I want my family to also remember!  So why not put it in the kitchen where we’re together as a family the most. 




The way I see it, if we have His Word throughout our home, it can help bring encouraging reminders daily.  It’s been fun showing off show off art!  I hope you find joy in His promises!!

Monday, April 15, 2013

A fog of yellow pollen and needing to breathe

Do you sometimes feel like you’re in a cloud of fog…just like the fog of yellow pollen I saw outside this past weekend? 



We can’t hold our breath forever.  We don’t want to breathe it in but we have to at some point.  We have to be, in order to breathe, and to just be, we need to make time to listen. But during times when we need to the most, we don’t.  The to-do list gets longer and our life purposes get foggier.

Praying, asking to breathe in fresh clarity and wisdom and breath out peace and direction.


“God, listen to me shout, bend an ear to my prayer.  I call out, ‘Guide me up High Rock Mountain!’  You’ve always given me breathing room, a place to get away from it all, a lifetime pass to your safe-house, an open invitation as your guest.  You’ve always taken me seriously, God, made me welcome among those who know and love you.” 

Psalm 61:1–5 (MSG)


Taking a break this week with blogging, and praying in the midst of this time off, that there will be moments where the fog lifts and the beauty underneath it all can be seen.


Still counting those joys that God so freely gives:

#1319  watching birds build their nest

#1320  seeing grandfather taking his grandson for a stroller ride on a beautiful spring day

#1321  my book reviewer…thanks Barb!

#1322  the unknown tulip in our natural area that opened out


#1323  opened up a little bit of vulnerability

#1324  opened a cabinet to start making dinner

#1325  dogwood flowers opening out



#1326  the reminder of the cross when looking at a dogwood flower



#1327  visit with life-long friend and her family…very last minute

#1328  completed and ordered book I made for 93 year-young gentleman

#1329  received an email of Romans 15:13 at just.when.I.needed it


#1330  the surprise gift from my sister-in-law…a joy ring!  Thank you Jake!

#1331  daughter reading book on a blanket on the beautiful spring afternoon



#1332  Son (who plays defense) scored a goal at the soccer game!

#1333  the CD that skipped repeating “I’ll always love you, always love you.’

Friday, April 12, 2013

The song that kept skipping


With this ring, I promise I’ll always love you…always love you.” 

I hear that classic beach music song as I’m sitting here waiting for my hair to magically turn into different colors.  There’s so much chatter in the room beside me and the music streams down from the speaker overhead into both rooms.


Because of the laughter and conversations about various things, the people in the other room don’t seem to hear that song skipping on the CD.  Those words keep repeating, “I promise I’ll always love you, always love you…” over and over.  Honestly, when I realized the song was skipping, I instantly thought, “This can quickly become annoying.” 

But should it?

What if I heard those words repeated over and over every day?   

They could if I listen closely to the quite Voice singing inside, but are often muffled.  This is such a good reminder I wouldn’t mind hearing over and over playing in the background of a busy day cluttered with conversations, running kids here and there, and all the other little and big things that need to be done. 

And playing overhead God’s saying over and over again…. “I’ll always love you, always love you.”


Joining in today with Five Minute Friday and today’s word is HERE where you just write for five minutes and stop.  Quickly glancing at emails before I ran out the door this morning, I saw the one Lisa sent and what today’s word is.  Not having time to join in then, I went on with my list of places to be today.  I’m thanking God here for the daily moments when we can hear His Voice, even when you’re getting your hair done.  (BTW…they realized the skip after a while and fixed it!)


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Camera-happy on a spring afternoon

beauty dwells


After sitting staring at the computer screen for two days straight finishing a book, I had to get outside on this most beautiful day.  I had to pull my flip-flops out of the closet, put the camera around my neck and stroll around the neighborhood…without the dog this time.   I saw Jesus’ beauty in the midst of the spring blooms and remembered His promises of new life. 

This is what I saw this early afternoon…