Monday, September 30, 2013

Hold Tight: Life is like a Roller Coaster! Day 1

As I said on the 31 Days page, I’m doing this crazy thing called a 31 Days Series this month.  Pick a topic. Post something related to it every 31 days in October.  Some days I think I’m crazy doing it and other days I think I’d go crazy if I didn’t.   There’s just something fun about joining in with a community of others who are crazy like me.
Although I know everyone, including me, has work to do, chores to mark off the to-do list, dishes to wash, times to volunteer, kids to school, soccer and dance, those are just the basics for most people.  Then there’s the many other things unique to each person that hollers out, demands or calls your time and energy. 
Life can be like a roller coaster where you just have to hold tight as you feel like you’re swirl around and around and going up and down and sometimes upside down.  Sometimes it feels like this ride will ever end.  You just cry out for it to stop but it keeps on going.
Well, I often feel that way with much on my calendar too, but I’m still drawn to this challenge.
Last year I discovered at The Nester the 31 Day Challenge, so I gave it a try since I was new to blogging.  I wrote 31 Days of Little Revelations
So, over the past few months I’ve been asking myself what would I write about for 31 days this year?  What could I use - or even more need - for encouragement these days?  Can anything uplifting be guaranteed in today’s darkened world where every day lies the thickening tension of uncertainty and “what’s to come” of our own little world that’s part of the big world we live in on this planet?   
Or closer to home, how about needing a glimpse of hope on days where you’re so dizzy with stress or you feel discouraged or plain ‘ole blah.                     . 
I believe there is.
There’s promises of hope.  Promises of restoration.   Promises of revival.  Promises of joy. 
Where are those promises?
How about joining me this month in finding some promises that can encourage, teach, shape and form us to be more of who we were made to be. 
I’ll spent some time digging up some promises guaranteed and post them each day.  I plan to do that through His Word, personal stories, pictures, quotes and songs.  It’s all to thank God for the promises He’s freely given us with love. 
  “My aim is to raise hopes by pointing the way to life without end. This is the life God promised long ago—and he doesn’t break promises!”        Titus 1:2

Will you hold on tightly and join me this month to discover or rediscover promises that have  never been broken?
I’d also love to learn from you what you hold tight to and why.  Feel free to join in by making comments at the end of my posts this month! 
God doesn’t break promises.  As I’ve been working on this series, God’s promises have become pretty powerful to me. 
I want you to experience this gift that I've been unwrapping, too (and still am)!
So, hold tight with me!
Hope you’ll visit back for Day 2!
See all of my Hold Tight 31 Days posts.


Monday, September 23, 2013

What does autumn bring?


The leaves are already falling off the trees and we spent time raking piles already over the weekend.   It was the first day of autumn yesterday and that means October is very near.  

Yes, it’s my favorite time of the year with temperatures cooling off, leaves falling down and pumpkins being decorated but it’s also a special month for bloggers…and hopefully the readers…including you?

So, for the rest of the month, I’m going to take the little bit of time I do have and get ready for next month.  That means I probably won’t be posting much until then but I do hope you’ll come back to visit at the end of September as I share what I’ve learned this month and then jump into a pile of promises in October!  I hope you’ll join me.

I did read this prayer and it reminds me of the wonders we have to give God thanks for:

Dear Lord, grant me the grace of wonder.  Surprise me, amaze me, awe me in every crevice of Your universe.  Delight me to see how Your Christ plays in ten thousand places…to the Father through the features of men’s faces.  Each day enrapture me with Your marvelous things.  I do not ask to see the reason for it all: I ask only to share the wonder of it all.

Abraham Joshua Heschel


Still delighting in counting and giving thanks for the thousands of places to find joy…


#1654  our dog making a turn around and getting better after the vet was concerned he might not make it.

#1655  our impromptu neighborhood street football game of all ages


#1656  son inviting 2 friends to youth group after the challenge to was given and then returned on their own the next week

#1657  being part of a friend’s special 16th birthday celebration

#1658  blooming hostas shining bright in sunlight


#1659  learning more about faith in the book of Luke

#1660  excitement and anticipation of preparing to launch a new women’s ministry

#1661  messy cheeseburgers

#1662  5 loads of laundry complete!

#1663  a bright morning encounter with a bumble bee


#1664  opportunity to tell our son our lifetime goals we have for him for a class assignment…first and foremost to be a Christ-follower.

#1665  reminder of Rahab’s story

#1666  a revelation that was humbling and even makes my heart hurt

#1667  “Rather than dying to my need for approval, I died to the clear callings God had put in my soul and the clear gifts and equipping he had given me.”  Jennie Allen from Anything  I can so relate.

#1668  visiting with friend from the other side of the USA

#1669  laughing so hard with your daughter it makes your underarms itch

#1670  a beautiful Saturday to spend outside

#1671  breakfast and lunch with friends

#1672  chicken pie someone else made and baked apples

#1673  “Jesus loves me this I know.  Jesus knows me, this I love!”   A friend told me that and I love it!

#1674  first day of autumn


#1675  enjoy the Lego Art of Brick exhibit at the Alamance Co. Art Council with family



#1676  daughter inviting friend who doesn’t attend church to church with us…and her friend enjoyed it.

#1677  SMC preteen ministry rocks! 

Friday, September 20, 2013

She said she’s really concerned


Just an hour ago after stumbling with the right words to say, she said she’s really concerned.  She said it’s very serious.

With my hands on the cold, aluminum counter in the veterinarian’s patient room and looking at an x-ray on the screen, I didn’t know what to expect but not necessarily what we saw.

So this is what’s on my heart right now.  Today.  These five minutes.

And it’s just a dog.  But he is part of the family even though he’s been a handful sometimes.

So, now we’re just waiting to hear back from the vet to hear the next step.  I know there’s decisions that will have to be made. 

Lord, please make them easy.

Blogging this moment is a distraction or maybe a prayer, too.  I guess blogging is - more than not - filled with words that are pressing on the heart and mind. So if that’s true, you know what’s on mine today.   


Sweet Levi…


Today is Five Minute Friday and today’s word is SHE


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

My adult version of the game Pin the Tail on the Donkey


On this day of remembrance that we wish we didn’t have to have, I still remember and am still thankful for all those who fought for lives that day.  And there’s still so many questions that may not be answered this side of heaven about it all.  Today must be a day that I have questions on my mind.  Maybe because the frailty of that day, of our country now and my heart recently.  But today questions just poured in (or out) and with my heart beating a little faster, I’m shaking a little to keep typing…even more to click “Publish”.

Lord, what is this ambiguous feeling I have these days where I feel like I NEED to do something but I DON’T KNOW what it is?  It feels like I’m blindfolded and playing that childhood birthday party game Pin the Tail on the Donkey where you can hardly see a thing, yet try to peek through the crack of the bandana to get at least a glimpse that you’re possibly going in the right direction but still getting way off the mark. 


Yet in this time in my life called adulthood, maybe I’ve matured a little bit and it would be better to call this game “Nail the Questions on the Cross”. 

These questions that suddenly poured out of me today are all over the board and I just hope to make at least one of the marks right square in the heart that will win the prize of an answer.

What am I supposed to be doing?

Am I doing it now and don’t realize it?

But why do I have this anxious feeling like I’m missing some point…or I’m about to hit it square on?

It just feels like there’s something MORE.

Why did I take what I learned the past 18 years and just tuck it safe and sound only for me to know in my journal book, notebooks, scrap pieces of paper, and scribbles and highlights in my bible and books by Christian authors? 

Why have I kept my mouth shut?

Why haven’t I done more to serve You?

Why haven’t I been bold enough to speak out?

Have You wanted me to be that way to prepare me?  Or have I been wasting time?

What are the important things I’ve learned through the past 20 years that I can use for You?

How do I have the time to go back and find a pattern, or the milestones, or ah-ha God Moments when I’m trying to juggle pre-teenagers activities, a part time job, to-do lists and answering bible study questions?

Am I doing what You want me to be doing?  (have I already asked this question?)

How do I balance and manage my time?

What do you want me to do with my blog or writing?

Why do I have so many questions?  Have they just been building up?

Will you ever answer them all?  Have I asked too many?

Why is it sometimes hard to believe the impossible is possible?

Why do ones dear to my heart, and even those I don’t know, have to suffer so much?  (Please give some relief to them!)

Am I just going to have to wonder forever?

Wonder can be beautiful but it can also be frustrating when you don’t know the answers NOW – or especially when you’ve been waiting for months or even years.

What am I don’t right?  What am I doing wrong?

What do you want me doing NOW? (OK, I think I’ve asked this three times now…)

Do I need to be sitting here waiting to hear the answers to those questions or jump into doing something by a leap of faith?  If that’s what You want me to do, I’d like at least some direction of where to start, please.

He quietly answers:


Your kingdom must fall…including the wall around it that you’ve been adding bricks to each day for years.


So that’s the one that hit the nail on the cross heart.


I’d be humbled for you to share some questions you’re asking yourself and God so I can lift you up in prayer about them.  Do you have one of the same questions I do or different ones?   Feel free to comment below!

Friday, September 6, 2013

My Scarlet Cord


Joining in today with Five Minute Friday and today’s word is RED.  It’s one that has made my red heart beat a little faster…


The scarlet cord is frayed and has been re-knotted I don’t know how many times.  It’s the cord that hangs down from the edges of my almost 20 year old book to signify the risk I should dare myself to take. 


That red ribbon, which was given as a gift from someone unknown, has been in my bible for several years.  It was made to be a reminder of Rahab’s story.   Have I lost some of my vision?  

God’s vision? 

I’m now realizing that each year since then, that bright color has seemed to fade into the color of dullness that surrounded that bright, scarlet cord Rahab hung from her window in that almost-everything-brown and dusty city of Jericho.  


There was a battle.  It was coming. 

She had heard about this almighty God and His people and was probably scared to death in fear of the unknown and the battle that was known-coming. 

Rahab CHOSE to risk everything she had for a God she barely knew.  God CHOSE and WANTED TO give her grace. She CHOSE faith and as she made that decision, God redeemed her.  Then two spies showed up.  The only thing Rahab could do was dare to tell them her story, her idea, her dream to be rescued, redeemed and restored…and used in a new way. 

Her faith started off the size of a mustard seed…maybe even the size of a piece of dust in that desert city. 

Recently, that cord in my bible has become brighter to me.  It honestly kind of scares me to think that a battle or a flood or a bolt of lightning could come anytime.  But if that cord has become ruby red to me, then what am I waiting for?  Am I willing to hang my scarlet cord down from the window in order to take the risk to have people God puts in my life rescued, redeemed and restored as well?

What is your scarlet cord?




Wednesday, September 4, 2013

For the One who longs to hear it and to the ones who need to hear it

Oh goodness…I just realized it’s been two weeks since I’ve recorded my joys and thanksgivings.  It’s been a whirlwind the past couple of weeks.  It’s so early in the season and so much filling the calendar space already.

My word for the rest of this year is BALANCE.


Yet at the moment, it’s beginning to look like I have a thin balance beam to walk across.

I need to balance so I can make time to thank God

In the once-again quiet house now that school is in session, with a joyfully quiet sigh, I plopped down on my quiet time sofa and just took in a deep breath of quietness.  The fingers felt good flipping through the thin pages and the crinkly sound of the gold rimmed paper turning, and I find Luke 17:14-19 in The Message.  It’s about ten lepers who saw Jesus and his disciples walking down the road. They all cried out for mercy to Jesus, asking for healing.  And Jesus did.  Nine ran into the nearby city filled with happiness to show others Jesus’ holy healing power, yet only one turned around and ran the other way

He turned around to thank Jesus.

    “One of them, when he realized that he was healed, turned around and came back, shouting his gratitude, glorifying God.  He kneeled at Jesus’ feet, so grateful. He couldn’t thank him enough.

Am I like the one or one of the nine?

Am I stopping in my tracks before I run into the world each day, thanking Him for simply showing up, for answering my cries for mercy and forgiveness, for my family, for the opportunity to wash dirty clothes in our clean washing machine, for a sink piled high with dishes that need to be washed, for a mini van that gets us around town, for the time I have to read and write?  

Or am I one who might take for granted the gifts God gives me?   Or am I still thanking God if the healing doesn’t come or if struggles just won’t go away or hope is hard to hold onto?

Remember though: “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  (1 Thes. 5:16-18)


Yes, let’s go out and share the good things that happen in our lives, but take the time to THANK GOD FIRST…for everything

 I want to be like that ONE who can’t thank God enough in the middle of this world, our country, and my community.  In the balance beam of life today, we MUST make the time to “shout our gratitude” to the One who longs to hear it and to the ones who need to hear it.   I challenge you to be like that one who thanked God first.


And here’s the list of gifts I’m thanking God for from the past couple of weeks:

#1616  wearing a light jacket on morning walk…in August

#1617  open windows… in August

#1618  Libby’s love to have a bake sale for Feed The Hunger




#1619  $105 daughter raised to buy school supplies for other kids in need.

#1620  back to school!


#1621  good teachers for our kids this year

#1622  a long weekend beach get away with family

#1623  16 month old grins

#1624  rusty things that make you wonder the stories that go around them


#1625  not having lost the desire to ride the waves on the boogie board (or what used to be a raft)

#1626  surviving after an out-of-control tumbling under the water in powerful waves

#1627  the power of God in a wave literally takes your breath away and teaches you a lesson

#1628  the next day calm waves to lie on the board and float in the water

#1629  revising Margie and Rays restaurant

#1630  our in-laws gift of inviting us to a weekend at the beach

#1631  finding a perfect sand dollar which isn’t easy to do


#1632  crumbles of broken seashells


#1633  waking up naturally each morning at the perfect time to see the sunrise

#1634  different sunrises every morning over the Atlantic Ocean.









#1635  the heart cloud as the sun rises that’s God’s way of saying to me, “I love you”.


#1636  flying a kite on the beach


#1637  feeding seagulls


#1638  the surprise visit from a horseshoe crab


#1639  fun in the ocean!






#1640  on the beach, catching up from the past year with with a dear friend

#1641  Beach umbrellas



#1642  Sand underneath your feet and water rushing around them

#1643  Starting the study Good Morning Girls

#1644  over 70 people from our church baptized at the lake and celebrated with a party



#1645  hard eucharisteo -  opportunity to share  from the heart even though I don’t like to.

#1646  recommitment

#1647  last minute conversation meeting with a beautiful woman of God at the coffee shop.

#1648  Before this friend knowing what I was going to tell her, she pulled out a book that was just. right. for me to read.

#1649  the book: Anything by Jennie Allen and the pages are more highlighted than not.


#1650  thoughts that Christ puts in your heart that could be a calling

#1651  seeing the shadow of a hummingbird flying by on our sunroom wall as if it was the shadow of a little fairy like you see in Peter Pan.

#1652  finally stepping out of my comfort zone, which has been a fear of mine.  It strangely feels good.

#1653  the excitement of starting a new bible study with a beautiful group of women.


What can you thank God for first today?  How about sharing it below in my comments?