One Word 2015: Accept

  I've prayerfully chosen a word as the theme for my year since 2009. 2009: Gratitude 2010: Giving 2011: Grace 2012: Confident 2013: Well 2014: Share and now, 2015 will be the year to accept. defines accept like this: 1. to take or receive (something offered); receive with approval or favor: I'm going to accept compliments and constructive criticism with grace and gratitude. 2. to agree or consent to; accede to: I'm going to accept apologies at face value and not hold on to grudges. 3. to respond or answer affirmatively to: I'm going to accept invitations to spend time with friends and family whenever possible.  Relationships are priority this year. 4. to undertake the responsibility, duties, honors, etc., of: I'm … [Read more...]

Just do the next thing ~ A God-sized Dreams Post

I love to dream.  I love to brainstorm.  I love to see the big picture. There is a downside to being the big picture girl.  The downside being those darn details. As a dreamer, the details can easily overwhelm and, at times, paralyze me.  And my enemy, the one that pounces on weakness, he knows it. One thing I have learned that has helped me on my journey of following my dreams, big ones and small ones alike, is to just take the next step.  Sometimes its a scary step, sometimes it is a seemingly meaningless step but it counts.  Any step toward your dream is a step that counts. Whatever you are facing in your life, sweet friend, is not insurmountable.  We serve an amazing God who is able to do ALL things for those He loves.  He who spoke the world into existence and gifted us … [Read more...]

An Anecdote of Fear and Angels

When I realized that the only parking available was in a several story parking garage, I felt sick to my stomach.  Parking garages and I do not get along.  I feel like the top of any vehicle I am in is going to be shorn off or that the entire thing is going to collapse on {just} me at any given moment. Irrational? Yes. Something I fear anyway? Absolutely. The venue for the Allume conference in Harrisburg, PA was nice, tucked in a busy but quaint feeling city. A city with parking garages. My usual behavior in a parking garage is to simply close my eyes until the vehicle is parked.  However, when you are the driver that tactic doesn't work so well.  As I pulled in to the parking garage {and I really didn't have a choice because it was a narrow road and there were people behind me … [Read more...]

Grateful not proud

Our country is the world, our countrymen are all mankind.  We love the land of our nativity, only as we love all other lands.  The interests, rights, and liberties of American citizens are no more dear to us than are those of the whole human race.  Hence we can allow no appeal to patriotism, to revenge any national insult or injury.  ~William Lloyd Garrison, Declaration of Sentiments, Boston Peace Conference, 1838 I am beyond grateful to live in a country where I am free. Free to worship my God without fear of persecution. Free to raise my children according to what my husband and I believe. Free to be a woman who can pursue higher education and have an identity separate from my husband. Free. I am grateful that God chose America to be my homeland.  But, pride of country is a … [Read more...]

Sweet Tea, Lent and Gratitude

I've written about sweet tea before. It is funny how a drink can be fodder for so much growth and insight in my little 'ole life. I gave up sweet tea for the first week of Lent. It has been more difficult than you would think.  {It's only a dollar at Mickey D's and often a pick me up during a long day} Tea is always in our big gallon pitcher at home as well {sweetened with stevia, that is good stuff!} I have been praying every time I go to the fridge to reach for it.  I have been amazed at how much more often I find myself talking to God throughout the day {almost embarrassing to admit}. I am thankful for the small reminder that has impacted my life in a significant way this week. Next week, I will be adding a category of food to my Lenten fast.  Dairy will probably be it, as I am a … [Read more...]

He is There

Sometimes the pain in this world leaves my heart heavy. Hope seems lost in the flames of house fires, hard to find for the friends that lost their job and face homelessness at the time of year when home means the most, hidden from friends who discover the sex of the heart beating in the womb and discover his health is in question at the same moment. Children who may die before finding their forever family. Where are You, God? I have asked this question at many different times in my life. Thankfully, the whisper of doubt does not turn Him away. He is there. You hem me in--behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me....If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. ~Psalm 139: 5, … [Read more...]

31 Days to a Clean Heart

Submit yourselves, then, to God.  Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  Come near to God and He will come near to you.  Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.  Grieve, mourn and wail.  Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom.  Humble yourselves before the Lord and He will lift you up. ~James 4: 7-10 This is the message that reached out and grabbed my heart when reading James chapter 4.  My heart's desire is to live a life pleasing to Christ and in submission to His will.  Listen to the words from the Message Bible. So let God work His will in you.  Yell a loud no to the devil and watch him scamper.  Say a quiet yes to God and he'll be there in no time.  Quit dabbling in sin.  Purify your inner life.  Quit playing the field.  Hit … [Read more...]

The Monster

The imperfections of a man, his frailties, his faults, are just as important as his virtues.  You can't separate them.  They're wedded.  ~Henry Miller I remember well the days that perfectionism consumed my life. I suppose I came by the desire quite naturally.  A father who demanded more than the best.  Raised by grandparents whose accomplishments lined the walls.  Perpetuating the "family hedge"...that no matter what was truly going on, we put our "best face" forward to the world. Every mistake I made was punctuated by the fact that I was, yet again, incapable of grasping the elusive perfection that seemed to come so easily for others. I carried this knee buckling burden into adulthood for many years.  Perfectionism twisted itself into a suffocating need for control at all … [Read more...]

It is all good

Non-eucharisteo, ingratitude, was the fall--humanity's discontent with all that God freely gives. ~Ann Voskamp Heart laid bare in the last post I wrote and I have had nothing to write since. God and I have been wrestling about my present circumstances.  I have failed.  My attempt at giving up grumbling and complaining {Philippians 2: 14} for Lent falls pathetic at the feet of my Savior. My heart, my attitude, my spirit have been pointed inward.  Selfishness and self-pity have nibbled away at my resolve and my Bible sat closed for days.  With each day of refusing the Light, the darkness took a deeper hold. Then, I needed to prepare for a talk about sin to a group of teen moms.  I had to pray about what to say...I had to open my Bible to write out a speech. And, as soon as eyes closed and … [Read more...]

True Fasting

This is only the second year that I have observed the season of Lent. Attending a Baptist church since being saved in 1999 has not provided an opportunity to learn much about the tradition.  Last year, I studied the traditions and history of Lent.  This year, I am more focused on the verses in the Bible that relate to why Christians observe Lent in the first place and to prayerfully discover how I can live out this season in a way that glorifies God and draws me closer to Him. A significant part of the tradition of Lent is fasting.  Many people abstain from a particular food or fast on particular days during Lent, such as Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.  I view fasting in a different light {and couldn't fast from food if I wanted to due to my medical conditions} with Isaiah 58 being my … [Read more...]

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