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
283.  Pandora.com
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