Monday, August 1, 2011

Being Quiet

Not much to say these days.  Lots of activity in the externals.  But every now and then I take some time to sit and read and ponder.  In these quiet moments, God is slowly shifting the way I see life, see Him, see myself.  The hidden roots of my soul growing deeper into the soil seeking out Life-giving water. 

Thanking Him for these gifts. . .

336.  Soul-reviving solitude
337.  Rose bushes blooming in abundance
338.  Thunderstorms
339.  The "E.M. Bounds' Complete Works on Prayer" find at a used book store
340.  Fresh paint
341.  Phone calls to my kids in Arizona
342.  New pair of sunglasses
343.  Words of encouragement from an unexpected source.
344.  Beach time
345.  Visit from a dear friend I haven't seen for years. 


Friday, July 29, 2011



Not what my life has been like this past month.  
The days have been full of activity, details, hurry, decisions, stress.
Packing, sorting, tossing out stuff and all that goes with moving to a new place.
I'm tired.
My body is tired.
My soul is tired.

Last night I finally stopped the anxious hurry in my head and poured it all out before God.
He listened and then asked me to give up control of all these things that I've been carrying.
Letting go of the burden, the weight of responsibility.
Leaving it in His very capable and much stronger hands.
Why is it that I have to get to the point of complete exhaustion before I catch on that I've been carrying the whole load and not letting Him have any of it??
Who knows?
But I was done.
So I let go.  "It's all yours,  Lord."

And then....the peace came in.  That stillness in my spirit, knowing that He is God and He is handling it.

"I have stilled and quieted my soul.  Like a weaned child with its mother." Psalm 131:2
The anxious, hungry striving replaced with peace.

Just being still...with Him.

Friday, April 29, 2011

If I knew I could, I would...

I'm getting addicted to thegypsymama's 5 Minute Fridays.  There's something freeing about writing on a topic for 5 minutes without holding back or editing.  Come join in the fun.  


If I knew I could, I would:

Set free all those exploited children trapped in the sex trade and carry them to Jesus and see Him heal their wounded souls, hearts and bodies and restore their lost identity.

Adopt a bunch of orphans from around the world, bring them home, hug them and love on them day after day till I saw their eyes light up with joy and the security of knowing they finally have a mama and a home.

Tell everyone I know how amazing they are and all the ways they reveal the fingerprint of God.

Watch the final launch of the Endeavor from the space center.  I'll have to content myself with seeing it from my front yard.  (Still spectacular, just not as close.)


Okay, now it's your turn.  Go for it!  :-)

Monday, April 25, 2011


Easter Sunday was more meaningful for me this year because my 88 year old grandmother was preparing to cross over to Heaven.  She'd been in ICU battling pneumonia with complications for nearly a week.  Most of the family was there, saying their goodbyes.  I spoke mine over the phone from 5 states away.

Early in the morning, my kids and I headed to the beach for our Easter tradition of watching the sun rise, eating Dunkin Donuts, and reading the Resurrection story.  I sat on the mat while my kids played in the waves, remembering her life and legacy, and thinking how comforting it is to know that she is going to live with Jesus, the One who made all this possible.  

There is sadness mixed with hope.

"I am the resurrection and the life.  He who believes in me will live, even though he dies."  John 11:25

Monday, April 18, 2011

When I am weak...

It was a hard night.  Wide awake, I wrestled through my deepest fears and doubts.  

I never chose to raise my kids alone, without a man's help.  It's too big of a job for any one person.  There is so much I don't know about raising my kids well, and even the things I do know, I don't always know how to do them.  I see so many areas that are lacking and need attention.  Most days I am so preoccupied with trying to survive that I fear some key things are falling through the cracks. 

Four years ago, a few days after I learned about my husband's affair, his parents took our family to Sedona for the day.  They were unaware of what was going on between us or how my heart was dying inside.  We spent the day hiking and enjoying the beauty of Oak Creek Canyon.   At the end of the day, as I stood on the hill looking out over those huge red rock formations, God whispered His truth to me."My plans for your life are stronger than those rocks.  They cannot be moved or shaken."  
I clung to that promise through many dark days.

"Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the LORD and rely on his God." Isaiah 50:10

As last night became today, He reminded me that He is a Father to my children.  I don't do this alone.  Just as He's been with me and helped me, He will be with them.  He wants me to simply trust Him.  Peace and sleep came with surrender. 

This morning at my daughter's bus stop, we sat in silence -- too tired to speak.  I remembered my wrestling in the night.  While we waited, God reminded me that it's okay to be weak.  
"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." 2 Cor. 12:9

Counting these gifts of weakness. . .

326.  Tears in the night
327.  Not knowing
328.  Death of my dreams
329.  Heartache
330.  Loneliness
331.  No one to talk to
332.  Sadness
333.  Feeling inadequate
334.  Weariness
335.  Empty

"For when I am weak, then I am strong."
2 Cor 12:10

In His strength,

Friday, April 15, 2011

On Distance

It's time for 5 Minute Friday with thegypsymama.  This week's theme:  On Distance.

(I confess it's a little unnerving to write for 5 minutes straight about whatever comes into my brain -- just shooting straight from the hip.  But hey, it's Friday.  Time to let loose and live a little.) 


I've lived with distance my whole life.

Saying goodbye to my parents and little sisters at the age of 8, going to boarding school for missionaries' kids, 2 hours flight away from home. 
Saying goodbye to my friends and classmates, flying out to the remote jungle village to spend Christmas and summer breaks with my family.

I spent my most of my childhood at a distance from those I loved.

Physical distance can be hard.  Emotional distance is a killer!

Distance that silently grew between my ex-husband's heart and mine until we became an ocean away from each other.  I fought with all my strength to keep us close but it didn't change anything. 
Now we are as distant as two people could ever be.  But I'm finally at peace with that.

The sad part is this means my children live over 1000 miles away from their father.  Still more distance than anybody would want.

I'm tired of living at a distance from people.  Sometimes it feels safer to keep everyone at arms' length, not letting anyone really in to see me, to see my heart.  But living fully alive means taking steps to bridge the distance, even if it's scary and risky and makes me feel extremely vulnerable. 

God refuses to let distance grow between us, and I'm glad.  He pulls me in close to His heart in the deepest kind of intimacy.  And He's safe, so it's okay. 

Monday, April 11, 2011


"You will keep him in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in You."
Psalm 26:3

Thankful for these treasures. . .

316.  Getting in and out of a clothing store in under 20 minutes with 5 amazing bargains. (grin!)
317.  Adorable baby making eyes at me over Sunday lunch -- nothing beats a baby smiling at you.
318.  Delightful weekend with friends
319.  Kettle roasted jalapeno potato chips (addicting!)
320. Hearing my son's favorite new song -- and liking it too.
321. Planting flowers
322. Watching my kids play in the waves 
323.  Lying on the beach, being still, listening to waves, laughter and sea gulls
324.  Catching sight of a huge owl in my tree, then watching him fly gracefully into the night sky.
325.  Enjoying lunch at a bistro with 2 great friends and a rooster -- he even crowed for us!  (No, I wasn't eating any chicken but my friends were -- the nerve of them!)


Monday, April 4, 2011


I love hiking through a forest (especially in the mountains.)  You never know what adventures and beauty may await around the next curve in the trail.  

If only I could bring that sense of adventure into my normal life.  Most days I'd like for life to stretch out like a hike through the desert or savannah - where you can see for miles ahead with few surprises.  But I suspect God knows that despite my tendency to play it safe, there is a little adventurer inside me that wants to come out.  She's the one who loves surprises and refused to sneak under the Christmas tree and shake the presents.

There are some bends approaching up the road.  I'm excited and scared at the same time.  God keeps reminding me that He only asks me to trust Him and live today.  And when those bends come, He'll be with me in the next adventure.  

Grateful for these gifts . . .

306.  Brazilian buffet and guarana
307.  Beginning a favorite Mary Stewart mystery
308.  Catching up with good friends I haven't seen in 7 years
309.  A lovely new quilt for my girl's bed
310.  Purple and white alstroemerias & tulips
311.  Getting my laptop back after a 2 day absence (smile)
312.  Nutella on a spoon
313.  A quiet morning spent contemplating
314.  The opportunity to go on a missions trip to Nicaragua (YES!)
315.  Kind words from a coworker

Enjoying the adventure,

Friday, April 1, 2011

Five Minute Friday - Favorite Things

I'm linking up with thegypsymama for her 5 Minute Fridays - where you write for 5 minutes without overthinking or editing -- just for fun and creativity.  This week's topic is Favorite Things. 

Here are few of mine. . .


The smell of earth after a heavy rain.  
Quiet hush of foggy mornings.
Sharing laughter with kindred spirits.
Friendly customer service.
Driving with the windows down on a sunny spring day.
Trying out a new recipe and discovering we all love it!
Sitting in my green recliner early in the morning with a cup of hot something, listening to my Daddy tell me sweet things, leaning my heart on His and just breathing.
Lying on my beach mat, hearing my kids laughing in the waves, looking up into that blue, blue sky and letting my worries and fears drift out with the tide.

I could write more, but my timer went off.  Dang!  
Okay, now I want to go to the beach.  Maybe tomorrow. :)

It's your turn.  Come join in the fun!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


I heard this classic Phillips, Craig & Dean song on Pandora today.  Some things are timeless -- this is one of them.

Monday, March 28, 2011

This Moment

"Because You are my help, I sing in the shadow of Your wings.  My soul clings to You; Your right hand holds me up." 
Psalm 63:7,8

Reading Ann's book has made me more aware of the moment.  I find myself stopping and just enjoying simple things, holding close that one moment and treasuring it as a gift.  

Praising Him for these gifts. . .

296.  Girl time with my sister
297.  Watching hilarious youtube videos with friends and laughing till we nearly cry
298.  Early morning walk seeing the sunrise
299.  Cardinal singing his lungs out at the top of a lamppost in the post office parking lot
300.  Lovely, fragrant gardenias (did I mention they're my favorite?)
301.  Seeing my son's heart touched by another boy's story of meeting Jesus
302.  Rides when my car is in the shop
303.  Hearing my kids tell me, "Mom, you're so cool!" =) 
          (They also tell me I'm weird, but I just agree.  Weird is fun!)
304.  A rainy day
305.  Mug of steamy spiced chai

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Being the Beloved

"I forgot who I was, and found me in God, who seems to be quite literally giving me my desires back – maybe not to fulfill them, but to let me know I am still capable of desiring, instead of living in the cautious netherworld I chose to be safe." - Kelly@{A Restless Heart}

"I kept running around in large or small circles, always looking for someone or something able to convince me of my Belovedness.
Self-rejection is the greatest enemy of the spiritual life because it contradicts the sacred voice that calls us the "Beloved". Being the Beloved expresses the core truth of our existence."- Henri Nouwen

"As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you. Now remain in my love" 
- Jesus, John 15: 9

I'm not sure how this all fits together.  Just some words I've been pondering lately and asking God about.  

I'm beginning to see that living fully alive means not putting up barriers between me and God.  It's risky to stand in open-hearted vulnerability and receive His love.  To let Him show me my "Beloved-ness". 

I think it's easier to go seeking love and acceptance somewhere else, because then I can feel like I've earned it.  Or at least control it in some way.  

But not with God.  There is no taming His wild heart.  And I'm glad -- even if it scares me too.

What would it look like to own my heart's desires, to trust Him, to receive His affection and live in the reality that I am His Beloved?

Monday, March 21, 2011


Reading Ann Voskamp's book "One Thousand Gifts." 
I love it!!!
I joined her Gratitude Community in June, 2009, and began counting gifts every week. 
This counting changes me. Changes my attitude, changes my focus, changes my heart.

#286  Birds soaring in the blue

#287 Looking up into radiance

#288  I never tire of seeing this

#289 Brother and sister, best friends

#290 Making music

#291 Tiny flowers in the yard

#292  Plenty of paper and ink

#293 My small group - such wonderful friends. Love them!!

#294 Knowing the Father is always holding my hand.

#295 Chocolate in all its luscious forms. :)

"The LORD has done great things for us and we are filled with joy."
Psalm 126:3

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

All I Need

Left my fear by the side of the road
Hear You speak
You won't let go
Fall to my knees as I lift my hands to pray

Got every reason to be here again
Father's heart that draws me in
And all my eyes wanna see is a glimpse of You

All I need is You
All I need is You, Lord
Is You, Lord

One more day and it's not the same
Your Spirit calls my heart to sing
Drawn to the voice of my Savior once again
Where would my soul be without Your Son
Gave His life to save the earth
Rest in the thought that You're watching over me

All I need is You
All I need is You, Lord
Is You, Lord

Oh what I need is You
All I need is You

You hold the universe
You hold everyone on earth
You hold the universe
You hold
You hold

All I need is You
All I need is You, Lord
Is You, Lord

Monday, March 14, 2011

Though the earth...

"God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth gives way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging."
Psalm 46:1-3

The images from Japan are mind-numbing.  It's overwhelming to see the complete devastation of cities, homes and lives.  I can't get out of my head the idea that just a few short days ago, people were going about their daily business unaware that deep underground, the earth was beginning to tremble and give way, that seas would rush in and destroy everything familiar, everything they held dear.

We think we have so much control -- we have none.  We are such helpless, fragile creatures held together by the One who made us and keep us breathing. It is sobering to remember that life could change in an instant.  

Today, I hold my loved ones close a little longer, breathe in the fresh spring breeze and thank God for His precious gifts...

276.  White daisies and fiery orange alstroemerias on my kitchen table
277.  The sound of my kids' laughter, enjoying their spring break
278.  A lovely Sunday afternoon spent canoeing with friends
279.  Zapata's Fire Roasted Salsa Verde with corn chips (can't get enough of it!)
280.  A soft bed to sleep in at the end of a long day.
281.  The satisfaction of a job well done
282.  Watching my kids make new friends
284.  Knowing I have been given all I need for today
285.  Hope that does not disappoint

My heart is heavy for the people of Japan.  God has His way of bringing incredible beauty and glory out of utter devastation.  I pray He will do this for them.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


I'm reading a book called "Practicing His Presence" which is a compilation of excerpts from the letters of Frank Laubach and Brother Lawrence.  I'm reading Frank's letters now.

Frank Laubach and his wife were missionaries to the Moro tribe in the Philippines during the 1920's-30's.  They lost 3 of their 4 children to sickness -- malaria, I think.  At some point after this, Mrs. Laubach left with their remaining child, but Frank stayed to continue learning the tribal language.  (If I was Mrs. Laubach, I think I would have left after losing the first child.  But I digress....) These letters to his father were written during that season of his life while he was all alone. 

He writes, "I have been so desperately lonesome that it was unbearable save by talking with God.  And so every waking moment of the week I have been looking toward Him, with perhaps the exception of an hour or two."

Out of his loneliness, Frank began an experiment of attempting to stay in contact with God all day long.  In the midst of his busy days, learning the language, helping the Moro people, facing the challenges all missionaries encounter, Frank continued turning to God in his spirit and yielding his will to the Lord as often as he could throughout the day.  

"I find several things happening to me as a result of these two months of strenuous effort to keep the Lord in mind every minute.  This concentration upon God is strenuous, but everything else ceases to be so."

"For a lonesome man there is something infinitely homey and comforting in feeling God so close, so everywhere!  It is difficult to convey to another the joy of having broken into the new sea of realizing God's "hereness."  It seems so wonderfully true that just the privilege of fellowship with God is infinitely more than anything God could give.  When He gives Himself, He is giving more than anything else in the universe."

Reading Frank's experiences and discoveries as he makes this attempt to think of God all day long (although he readily admits his failures in the process), I find myself inspired to do the same. Even if I never get to the point of thinking about the Lord, talking to Him and surrendering to Him every hour, it still is worth the effort.  

I started this new journey earlier this week.  So far what I've discovered is that as much as I want to focus on God as often as I can through the day, HE is even more eager for me to think about HIM.  And so He has been interrupting my focus on other objects by doing things designed to draw my gaze to His.  I've realized that this is not a mere spiritual discipline -- this is more like a romance.  

Monday, March 7, 2011

Little Things

I remember hearing Jesus called the Lily of the Valley when I was a child.  I always pictured that flower as a large white lily, like an Easter lily.  It was a surprise to me to discover these flowers are such tiny, delicate beauties.  Even more surprising was how fragrant they are being so small and unassuming.
I love how God comes alongside us in so many small, ordinary ways, bringing His gifts of love, winning our trust and affection by caring about those little details of our lives.

Thanking Him for these small and treasured gifts:

266.   Watching a movie with my kids.
267.  Joey Jr. burritos at Moe's  
268.  Fragrance of spring blossoms on the evening breeze.
269.  Little books packed with deep truth.
270.  A quiet, restful weekend spent doing very little.
271.  Cup of coffee on the front patio, listening to the birds, feeling the morning sunshine.
272.  A clean kitchen floor
273.  Listening to my girl singing worship songs 
274.  Considerate words from a friend.
275.  A package in the mail.

"One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD,
and to seek Him in His temple."
Psalm 27:4