Monday, March 29, 2010


It's spring!

The roses and azaleas are blooming. 
Tiny lizards have come out of hiding to play tag on my front patio.
Green is showing up everywhere.  
I love it!

Thanking God for these gifts. . .

205.  Waking up to the sound of rain
206.  Planting a garden with my girl
207.  Spoken words that make me think
208.  Coming home from the library with lots of books
209.  Warm cinnamon rolls for breakfast
210.  His whispered reminders that I can trust Him
211.  Listening to my boy tell stories of his weekend adventures
212.  Spring break and slow unhurried mornings
213.  His peace
214.  Knowing He is my dearest friend

But as for me, how good it is to be near God!  I have made the Sovereign LORD my shelter, and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do.
Psalm 73:28

holy experience

Sunday, March 28, 2010


This 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 an atmosphere of grace looks like to you and how it's affecting your life.

Monday, March 22, 2010


The one thing I ask of the LORD -- the one thing I seek most -- is to live in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, delighting in the LORD's perfections and meditating in his temple.
Psalm 27:4

Delighting in You. . .

195.  The way You expose my fears to set me free
196.  Your beauty that heals me
197.  Knowing I can talk to You any time I want and You always listen
198.  That when I ask for wisdom, You give it freely -- as much as I need
199.  Your tenderness and affection as You re-father me
200.  The ways I see You loving me through other people
201.  How You whisper words of encouragement to my heart
202.  You show me wonders I've never seen before.
203.  You are faithful and true.
204.  You offer Your strength on my behalf.

I love being with You!

photo: I Will Trust in You by Virginia

holy experience

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


For the record, this woman is not me!

But I think sometimes I expect to juggle all the various roles and responsibilities of a single mom as happily and successfully as she does.  Looking around at the condition of my desk, my house, my pantry, my whatever. . . it's obvious to me that I'm not cut out for juggling.

I've lived most of my life in hiding, ashamed of where I fall short of my own expectations, or what I think other people, including God, expect of me.  The past few years have been a gradual shifting into grace.  

Grace is God coming into the mess and chaos of my life and being with me.  He sees where He will bring His beauty and order and freedom.  He is patient, with wisdom knowing that He is growing me in some areas, leaving others to remain in seed form for now.  

I tend to get frustrated when I see places where I need to grow and change.  I'd like it to happen yesterday.  God is more gracious with me than I am with myself.  He doesn't just see what is, He sees what will be.  And slowly, I'm beginning to see that too.  

This abundant life that Jesus offers is not a juggling act.  Nor is it behavior modification. He grows me from the inside out, working His grace deep into my soul, changing patterns of thinking and beliefs, releasing vision and freedom.  Then gradually, change becomes visible on the outside.   His way produces fruit that lasts -- love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, meekness, self-control, faith. 

I want that.  I'm going to trust Him to make it happen.

He has made everything beautiful in its time.
Ecc 3:11

Monday, March 15, 2010


Details get missed from a distance.  

Stepping closer, leaning in and gazing deep, I see.  Really see.

This tiny, perfect beauty is a reminder.  God cares about the details.

He draws me closer.  Pulling me into His arms, lifting my head, looking deep and seeing me.

And I see Him.

Seeing His grace in the details of my life. . .

185.  lovely new blossoms on my rose bushes
186.  a song I've never heard before
187.  friends that feel like home
188.  hard, strong words of love that make me grow
189.  a glorious sunset 
190.  watching Him care for the hearts of my children
191.  words of encouragement reminding me I can trust Him
192.  desperate needs being met with unexpected and abundant provision
193.  feeling His presence with me, even when I'm busy with life
194.  His strength laying my fears to rest

The LORD directs the steps of the godly, He delights in every detail of their lives.
Psalm 37:23

photo courtesy of

holy experience

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


The day comes with its gifts of challenges and delights. 

My mind has slipped into a habit of dwelling on difficulties, uncertainties, the things I cannot control.  These thoughts grow into anxiety, worry, distress, discouragement and unrest in my heart. 

Jesus invites me to a different path.

To look in His eyes, see His compassion for me, trust in His goodness and loving care.  To let my thoughts linger on His beauty and strength.   To fill my mind with His words of life and truth, and let my heart be quieted with His peace.

"Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."  Matt. 11:28-30

Reflecting on what it means to walk in step with Jesus, side by side, I see Him living in trust with the Father, thinking His thoughts, letting His life flow out to others.  In the same way, He wants me to surrender my heart and mind to Him, letting Him live through me today.  

These difficulties I face are specially-wrapped gifts that He asks me to trust Him to work out.  They are designed to draw my gaze to Him, trusting Him to come through for me.  So with gratitude, I can thank Him for the very things I have been worrying about.  And let them go.

holy experience