Monday, December 13, 2010

Cold hands, thankful heart

It's getting very cold.  I've been tucking in my roses and flowers every night to protect them from the frost.  

Yeah, I realize that for most of ya'll, my Florida winter is nothing compared to your frigid temperatures and all the snow you've been shoveling.  And though I'd love to go visit and let my kids experience snow for the first time in their lives, it still is nice to live in the Sunshine state and eat fresh-picked grapefruits in December.  Which brings me to my gratitude list...

Thankful for these gifts:

356.   Pecan chocolate caramel pretzel treats.  (Yum!)
357.   Curling up with a blanket and a good book
358.   Next to a blazing fire (sigh)
359.  Getting my first marriage proposal less than a week after being officially single again (okay, so it was a joke -- but it was still nice to hear. LOL!)
360.  Catching glimpses of what it means to be enjoyed by God.
361.  A nice long phone call from a dear friend.
362.  Pancakes for dinner
363.  The freedom of forgiveness
364.  Sharing life with my favorite people
365.  Candles & coffee with Jesus in the morning.

With Joy,

Monday, October 18, 2010

Wide Open

There have been steps outside my comfort zone lately.  This has surfaced insecurities, doubts, fears -- those nagging, pesky critters that I like to think I've shaken for good.  But seems like when I let myself be seen, inevitably...later...the inner questions come and with it the temptation to pull back in my shell and hide.   

But Jesus leans in close and draws my gaze to His.  Looking deep, He calms my heart's little anxieties with His warm tenderness.  It's hard to hang on to fear in the face of such overwhelming love and delight.  Before long, I'm laughing with Him and holding out my hand in trust.  

Following Jesus is always an adventure.  

Seeing His love in these gifts:

346.  A quiet Saturday spent cleaning house, reading and contemplating. 
347.  Candles
348.  A package of fresh-baked cookies
349.  Laughing at British comedies with my sister.
350.  Meeting some wonderful people - kindred spirits
351.  Warm hugs on a Sunday morning
352.  Driving with the windows down and the music up.
353.  Blue, blue sky and even bluer ocean
354.  Peanutbutter
355.  Discovering a sweet note from my daughter

Being brave,

holy experience

Saturday, October 16, 2010


i thank You God for most this amazing
day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun's birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any--lifted from the no
of all nothing--human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

-e.e. cummings

(Photo of Andes foothills I climbed and explored as a child.)

Monday, October 11, 2010

My Strength

The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.
Psalm 118:14

Thanking Him for these gifts. . .

336.  Breezy afternoons
337.  Chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream
338.  Giggles and practical jokes
339.  Freshly mopped kitchen floor
340.  Roses, impatiens and marigolds
341.  Worshiping together with a new church
342.  Knowing I am never really alone
343.  On a whim, spending an evening at the beach with my kids, making memories
344.  Hearing the word that refreshes the weary
345.  Seeing videos of my childhood home, remembering the beauty

In His strength,

holy experience

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A repost

I was meandering through some older posts and ran into this one.  It's a favorite.  Anything about grace tends to capture my attention.  Because I need to think about this again, I'm reposting. . .

Sunday morning, my pastor used a phrase that captured my attention.
He said we live in "an atmosphere of grace."  

Atmosphere of Grace
This is more than just a cool phrase.
What does this mean?
What does it look like?
How does it feel?

Quite honestly, I'm still trying to understand this concept.  
But I know it's true.  This is something God has been impressing on me for a while. 

This is reality:  I live in grace.

After spending years in performance-based religion, an atmosphere of grace sounds so inviting.  Like you can lean back, relax, let go of fear and just be yourself.  
It's safe.  No one is going to get mad at you and reject you for failing.  Your immaturities and imperfections are noticed, but not magnified.  You are loved through them. You are seen wearing His righteousness.

You are trusted.  You are believed in.  Your life matters.  

"In Him we live and move and have our being."  Acts 17:28

Living in an atmosphere of grace is really just living in Jesus, because He is grace.  
But the "living in" part is what I'm slowly discovering.  Not mere words or abstract ideas, but what it truly means in the daily reality of my life.  I want to understand what it looks like, how it works.  I want to see and touch it, to experience this fully.

If you have experienced this, then I invite you to share your stories of what living in grace looks like to you and how it's affecting your life.


Monday, September 27, 2010

Filtered Light

Sometimes the sun gets blocked.  There are only glimpses of light shining through.  Often I find myself frustrated, wanting to know more, wanting wide open spaces where I can see everything laid out in front, making it easier to control.  Or so it seems.

But control is an illusion and God loves me too much to lay such a  heavy burden on me.  So He gives light for one step only, just for today.  And when I relax and trust Him, I begin to see the beauty of filtered light.  

Resting in these gifts. . .

326.  Roses blooming outside my kitchen window.
327.  Enduring and faithful promises that hold true day after day, year after year.
328.  Encouraging words from saints of long ago
329.  Food in my pantry and fridge
330.  Being reminded that the most important things in life are invisible
331.  Affectionate hugs from my kids
332.  Clean dishes
333.  Tiramisu 
334.  Smiles from a kindred spirit
335.  Joy that bubbles up in a heart at rest.

"The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever."  Isaiah 32.17

holy experience

Monday, September 20, 2010

Still Waters

"You lead me beside still waters.  You restore my soul." 
Psalm 23:2,3

In the hectic, busyness of the day, taking a quiet moment to lean in hard against His strength and grace, I breathe.  

" quietness and trust is your strength."  Isaiah 30:15 

Peace flows in with the Living Water.  And as my soul quiets down, trust grows and I gain perspective.

Seeing His love through these gifts. . .

316.  Meeting new friends.
317.  Mango-darjeeling tea.
318.  Praying with a sister.
319.  Arepas con queso and a movie
320.  Pouring out and receiving back more than I have given
321.  Having the house all to myself for one night.
322.  Being greeted at the door by a bundle of furry affection
323.  Laughing till the stomach aches and the tears flow.
324.  Leaving a heavy burden in His hands and hearing His word to me, reminding me He cares for even these.
325.  A long drive on a quiet, moonlit night.

Being still,

holy experience

Monday, August 16, 2010


For  he satisfies the longing soul,
and fills the hungry soul with good things.
Psalm 107:9

Giving thanks for these good things:

306.  Gifts from another country
307.  Tax-free weekend for school supply shopping
308.  Dark chocolate
309.  The hope and confidence of a good future
310.  My girl's generosity in donating her long hair to Locks of Love
311.  The smile in her eyes seeing her new cute hairstyle
312.   New friendships
313.  Affectionate touch when it's most needed
314.  Air conditioning
315.  God's gentle answer to the unasked question of my heart

Tasting His goodness,

holy experience

Art by I. Lilias Trotter

Sunday, August 15, 2010


(In)courage is having some awesome giveaways to celebrate their first anniversary.  For the next month, they are giving away a gift each day.  Fun!

Monday, August 9, 2010


You have made known to me the path of life;
You fill me with joy in Your presence
With eternal pleasures at Your right hand.
Psalm 16:11

Enjoying His presence and these pleasures. . .

295.  Strawberry-banana-mango-blueberry smoothie
296.  Sharing laughter with a good friend
297.  An unexpected cool breeze in Florida in August
298.  The smell of coffee brewing early in the morning
299.  Songs that make my heart sing
300.  Scent of my girl's freshly-washed hair while I brush it
301.  Encouraging words from my sister
302.  Feeling God's favor and affection
303.  Flowers on my kitchen table
304.  Working things out to the hugs and laughter.

With joy,

holy experience

Monday, July 26, 2010

In the blue

The LORD, your God is with you, he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing.
Zeph. 3:17

Seeing His delight in me with these gifts. . .

285.  Silvery moonrise over the Atlantic
286.  Tossing a frisbee in the waves
287.  Enjoying an evening with good friends
288.  Sunday morning coffee with Him
289.  A really fun chick flick
290.  Yellow butterflies dancing outside my window
291.  Waking up with hope
292.  The freedom to lay down fears and receive peace
293.  Sitting in the blue darkness, listening to the ocean
294.  Not getting hopped on by that toad in my driveway!

Quietly being loved,

holy experience

Saturday, July 24, 2010


My daughter was baptized today.  

It's something she has wanted to do for a long time.  But I asked her to wait until her dad could be there.  

This morning on the beach, at sunrise, she demonstrated her faith in Jesus in the presence of both her parents, her brother, family, friends and church.

It was beautiful!


Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Seventeen years ago this coming Saturday was my wedding day.  
July 24, 1993.

Yesterday, I reviewed the final draft of the "marriage settlement agreement" for our divorce.  

There's not much to settle.  We leave the marriage empty-handed, just like we entered it.  The only treasures are two beautiful, precious, amazing children and years of memories. 

This was not how I wanted it to end.  Watching the relationship crumble quickly before my eyes, I fought hard to keep it going, to keep it alive.  For 3 long years I waited, praying and hoping, begging God for restoration.  

And God restored me.  

In a few days, my husband and I will sign a document, just like we did 17 years ago.  Then he will go his way and I will go mine.

It's strange, I thought it would destroy me to go through all that I've experienced.  I thought divorce would be the worst thing that could happen.  Yet here I am on the very threshold and I feel peace.  A little sadness.  But mostly peace and a sense of anticipation for what God has for me.

I am thankful.  Thankful for 17 years as a wife.  I grew so much as a person being married to him.  I'm thankful for the past 3 1/2 years of heartache.  Walking those dark paths, I have learned the faithfulness of God and how deeply the Lord loves me.  I have learned to trust.

"Your righteousness reaches to the skies, O God, you who have done great things.  
Who, O God, is like you?
Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up.  
You will increase my honor and comfort me once again. 
My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you -- I, whom you have redeemed."
Psalm 71:19-21, 22

In hope,

Monday, July 19, 2010


Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.
Psalm 90:14

Seeing His unfailing love in these gifts. . .

275. discovering a new song that speaks straight to my heart
276. fun and laughter on a Friday night
277. hearing from a long-ago friend
278. a hand reaching out to hold mine in prayer
279. quiet solitude and time to think
280. peppermint oil in my mop water
281. a good conversation with my dad
282. the joy of making new friends
283. three favorite books from the library
284. a 10 year old boy inviting me to play marbles

With joy,

holy experience

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Praise the LORD.

Praise, O servants of the LORD; praise the name of the LORD.
Let the name of the LORD be praised, both now and forevermore.
From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the LORD is to be praised.

The LORD is exalted over all the nations, his glory above the heavens.
Who is like the LORD our God, the One who sits enthroned on high, who stoops down to look on the heavens and the earth?
He raises the poor from the dust, and lifts the needy from the ash heap.

Psalm 113:1-7

Some days are spent in dust and ashes.  But looking up and seeing His face, seeing His glory changes everything.  The sight of Him fills my heart with wonder.  His grace and holiness cleansing my dusty soul, refreshing my spirit.

Who is like the LORD our God!

In worship,

Monday, June 28, 2010


Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me.  By day the LORD directs his love, at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life.
Psalm 42:7,8

Receiving His love in these gifts

265.  The laughter and warmth of friendship.
266.  My girl's hand slipping into mine during Sunday worship.
267.  Listening to someone I barely know pray for me.
268.  Sweet southern ice tea on a hot day.
269.  Discovering my cantaloupe vines are growing melons.
270.  The freedom to laugh at myself when I realize I don't remember how to spell cantaloupe. (giggle!)  Thankful for
271.  Early morning coffee in His presence.
272.  My boy cooking homemade pancakes for breakfast
273.  Listening to my kids laughing together.
274.  The fun of getting wet in an unexpected rain shower.

Enjoying the adventure,

holy experience

photo courtesy of

Friday, June 25, 2010


This is me.  My life.

The past few years have been one long, furious storm.  Sometimes it was so hard to see through the pounding rain.  Dark days where the sun seemed a distant memory.  It was all I could do to huddle down with my kids praying God would just get us through. 

And He did.

The storm slowly eased off.  Light began to peek through the gray clouds, giving glimpses of hope that maybe life could be good again for us. 

Now I look around me, amazed.  Surprised.  The landscape looks very different than I imagined.  It always is after the big storms.  But there's beauty here, more than I ever expected.  I see God's glory shining through the fading storm.

We are changed, my kids and me.  There is a heartache we will always carry.  Loss does that to you.  But there's joy here too.  And today, I find myself thanking God for the storm.

In His arms,

Monday, June 14, 2010


We were looking forward to school winding down and the first relaxing days of summer.  But unexpectedly, my daughter ended up in the hospital. 
This was not how we planned the summer to begin.  
It's rare that life goes according to plan.
That's what makes it an adventure!

In the midst of the stress and worry, God placed His small touches throughout the days reminding me that He was there with us.

Thanking Him for these unexpected gifts. . .

255.  A friendly and helpful ER staff
256.  Her dad being there and spending that first night with her. 
257.  Hearing friends and family were praying for my girl.
258.  A spacious room with a view on the 14th floor
259.  Seeing my girl's courage and endurance.
260.  Coffee and yummy frosted cinnamon rolls
261.  Discovering one of those wonderful nurses is a sister
262.  Free parking.
263.  Watching a movie together and laughing
264.  Seeing that beautiful sunrise with her from the hospital room.

Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the LORD has been good to you.
Psalm 116:7

holy experience

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


I haven't had much to say.  

God is up to something.  I don't know what it is exactly, only that it's good. 

But the mystery is wreaking havoc with the lingering control freak side of me.  
When I ask Him, He only grins and says, "Trust Me."

Transition is not easy.  This shifting of paradigms makes me dizzy.  It's hard to focus, hard to understand what it is I see.  I'm at a loss to know how to be, how to feel, what to think. 

My old, familiar ways are dissolving and I have nothing left to hold onto.
Except a scarred hand that holds the world, and holds me.

I don't know where we're going.  But I trust Him more today than I did yesterday.  
I guess that's enough.

For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you,
Do not fear; I will help you.
Isaiah 41:13