Monday, June 23, 2014

A summer confession and dare

Confession:   I enjoy summer with days lighter longer, seeing lightning bugs at dusk, picking a ripe - bigger-than-your-palm tomato off the bush in our back yard and eating it on a piece of bread with a little mayo, hearing the recorded children's songs in the distance becoming louder as kids holler for some money as the ice cream van approaches, along with some vacation time and reading a good book.

It can be a refreshing break from the routine I'm used to the other 10 months of the year.  Most of that is a good thing, but there's one thing that's not so great about it: In the summer I struggle…

{I’m still taking a little rest from blogging, but today I’m writing for SMC Women here, if you’d like to finish reading my story.  And even though I’m taking some time to rest, I can’t stop giving thanks and giving God the glory for them all.} 

Still taking the Joy Dare and giving God thanks for these…

#2101  organizing an “outreach” and coordinating our street cookout for first time


#2102  getting to meet neighbors for the first time

#2103  broccoli salad

#2104  inviting neighbor to read Restless with me

#2105  her accepting the invitation and asking if a friend can join in!

#2106  God’s perfect timing…she stayed on my mind for a couple of months and she’s been praying for a mentor.  We finally meet face to face.

#2107  kids having fun on a golf cart driving around the neighborhood

#2108  the butterfly in the grass


#2109  the text from a neighbor afterwards saying thanks for the cookout and included 1 Peter 4:8-10

#2110  kids having fun at the 5th grade celebration


#2111  photo booths

#2112  dancing on a field


#2113  husband playing a game on daughter’s field day at school

#2114  watching kids squeal with delight when sprayed with water

#2115  for the many ways the Holy Spirit speaks to me and has been ministering to me

#2116  opening the Bible asking God for a verse for encouragement.  I opened to Psalm 32:8  “I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go.  I will counsel you and watch over you.”  It.Was.Perfect.  I.So.Needed.That.Reminder.


#2117  gardenias blooming

#2118  days getting closer to when sis leaves for China!

#2119  friends back to small group who have been gone for so long

#2120  our small group

#2121  the lady beside me at Chick Fil a who told me her story about moving to a new state.

#2122  Helping plan the Splash party to celebrate the past 6 years together.


#2123  pool party for daughter’s Splash class…together for 6 years and counting.

#2124  so grateful and appreciative of daughter’s 5th grade teacher

#2125  hard eucharisteo (thanksgiving) – the word WAIT showing up everywhere, every day...and mostly used the way telling me to.



#2126  Hearing Lysa TerKeurst interview on Compel Training talk about being a writer.  She said not to give up writing like I said I was doing last night.

#2127  wearing sweatpants and a jacket for the morning walk on June 2

#2128  Knowing God pursues me


#2129  Smelling gardenia while making lunches for kids on the last day of EOG

#2130  Seeing the to do list get smaller and smaller

#2131  seeing friends from years ago unexpectedly at local restaurant

#2132  My husband’s parents giving us the Christmas gift a week with family at the beach being used!

#2133  fried shrimp

#2134  Psalm 19 on the lifeguard stand at 6am


#2135  digging holes in the sand


#2136  afternoon beach sea shell walks with daughter


#2137  family beach photos





#2138  looking up to my 14 yr son (and we’re on level sand)


#2139  visiting with college friend


#2140  building sandcastles

#2141  rainbow over the ocean…and capturing a picture of our kids and a sailboat in front of it


#2142  early morning sunrises with Jesus on the beach






#2143  watching sunrise with my husband on Father’s Day

#2144  so grateful for my Dad

#2145  so grateful for my husband, the father of our children

#2146  so grateful for Abba

#2147  laughing so hard at beach game night

#2148  seeing dolphin jump completely out of the ocean 3 times (boy I wish I got a pic of that)

#2149  guys going to see fighter jets

#2150  huge red moon rising over the ocean

#2151  My sis and her family got to hug and hold their new, adopted son for the first time!!!! 


#2152  Face Timing with them in China!

#2153  sitting down after timing at the summer swim meet that lasted for hours

#2154  taking niece and nephew to the Children’s Museum

#2155  Dad and niece painting


#2156  loving rivalry


#2157  celebrating my dad’s 70th birthday

#2158  my dad’s smile

#2159  the smile-lines surround his eyes the prove his smiles

#2160  his quiet spirit

#2161  his love for our family


#2162  husband grilling burgers and making homemade potato chips for dad’s birthday dinner

#2163  making golf cake with daughter



#2164  niece and nephew spending a few days with us


#2165  going to eat snow balls on a 100* summer afternoon

#2166  finishing the book “A Million Little Ways: Uncovering the Art You Were Made to Live” by Emily P. FreemanWords cannot describe how beautiful, challenging, artistic, heart-stirring, tear-making and confirming that book is for me…and anyone who reads it.  I HIGHLY RECOMMEND reading it.


Thursday, June 5, 2014

All done...



I just didn’t know how to express it.  I didn’t know if I should even bother to bring it up.

But it’s about to be a new season…summertime…and for the first time since I was a kid in school, I’ve been looking forward to summer.  I don’t really care for the heat, humidity, sweat and mosquito bites.  I’d take autumn any day.  It also throws me off the track of having a “regular schedule” which I seem to like.

For some reason I need something different, even though change isn’t always easy for me.

Honestly after a little meltdown the other night this hot-mess frustratingly told herself she was done.  All done.  Done blogging and done writing.

But a couple of days after that not-so-joyful-moment, I was reading a post from Chatting at the Sky as Emily wrote about the importance of having spiritual whitespace, referring to a new book on the bookstore shelves. 

That’s exactly what I was feeling…needing space… but had been wrestling with it. 

I was wrestling because it’s hard to let go of some things sometimes…and hard for me to say “no”.

I’ve been wrestling with all the busyness of spring events that have finally wound down but left me a little frazzled.

And honestly, wresting with the evil one who’s been trying to make me quit.  Quit writing.  Hang up my hat.  “All done” as I hold my hands up and shake them, all fingers stretched out – what I did in front of our babies as I taught them what “all done” means in sign language.


I know though I need to put on my big-girl pants.  I’m not going to let the evil one win this one. I’ve come to realize I need to give myself some spiritual whitespace to breathe. 

I don’t know exactly how much space I need though.  It might be for a couple of weeks or a couple of months.


I need to clear the clutter. Create some whitespace to leave space for other things.  I often read other writers who say the best things to write about are simply “real life” experiences and how God is in the midst of it.  Lately I feel my head has been so cluttered, I haven’t had time to take notice of how God is working and speaks in every day things in my life.

That late night when I had that little “come-to-Jesus” moment, I told Him I needed to read something to ease my struggle.  I wanted a Psalm.  I didn’t know which one but I opened my Bible, praying it be one that’s Just.Right.  And Just.Right. it was.  

The pages fell open to Psalm 32.  Years ago I had underlined verse 8, which I had forgotten so I looked to see what was written for me that night. 

“I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go.  I will counsel you and watch over you.”

It left me word-less.

And ever since then words have been appearing in all sorts of places – books, computer screens, post office doors and Target stores -  that have to do with resting and waiting.

I read just yesterday a post about needing rest from writing that pretty much confirmed I’ve made the right decision.  The writer said, taking seasons of deliberate rest are critical for the creative soul’s restoration and rejuvenation.

And that can be for any area of life…for anyone.

She also said,

“…when I finally surrendered to the quiet, I started to hear things, words began to gather again in my mind. God reminded me of stories I have yet to tell. I also began to dream again. I had visions. Fresh ideas percolating. Inspiration glowed at the edges of my mind–a new dream unfolding.

So, here I go.  Taking a deep breath and exhaling it slowly and excited to see what I’m going to do with a little extra time and what I’ll learn the next…I don’t know how long. 

May each of you who’ve taken the time to visit my little corner of the blogosphere, thank you.  My heartfelt gratitude goes to you and I’ll be back.  I think I’d go crazy if I didn’t.  

This summer I hope you will also make space to breathe, to rest and to rejuvenate yourselves from the inside out.   

Trusting Him,


{It’s Five Minute Friday and today’s word is HANDS.  I know it did take a little over five minutes to write this post, but I wrote it yesterday and *it happened* to include today’s word “hands” already so I thought I’d join in the invitation…}