Saturday, December 31, 2011

GOLD: 2011


2011

God taught me a priceless lesson in 2010: the value of Gold. By prompting me to record the little nuggets of wisdom that came my way--either written or spoken--I now have a great glimpse into the thoughts He illuminated for me for that day, week, month and even (last half of the) year. I'm carrying that lesson into 2011 (and beyond) because I recognize the 'priceless value' of wisdom snapshots ... or golden nuggets, as I like to call them.

Great peace have they who love the Word of God, for nothing shall offend them or make them stumble or confound them. Psalm 119:165 [Jan 1]

"Planning is great, but our future comes down to what we do with the Word of God and the promises he gives us." Jack Hayford [Jan 1]

"Be guarded never to let external circumstances and the way things look distort your internal standard of believing what the Word says!" Arnita Taylor [Jan 5]

"I want to learn the heart of sacrifice and the returning gift of a joyful heart because of sacrifice; that my sacrifice may be a fragrant offering to God, just as Jesus offered himself for me." Me to my Husband [Dec 7]

"God wants us all to grow in seeing and hearing Him and in choosing to be obedient in spite of our circumstances, which I believe unveils the condition of our hearts." Kerrie Oles [Jan 7]

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when dreams come true, there is life and joy. Proverbs 13:12 [Jan 11]

Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. Matthew 11:28 [Jan 18]

"It's the grace of God that keeps us, but it's obedience to God that moves us forward." Stovall Weems [Jan 30]

"This is what I know: God always has a way of bringing to light what's hidden in the dark. And it's not to punish us (for what we did) but protect us (from what could be). God reveals because He loves." Me to my kids. [Feb 2]

I don't mind clothes, but I hate cover up.
I don't mind independence, but I hate isolation.
I don't mind maturity, but I hate pretension.
I don't mind privacy, but I hate secrecy.
I don't mind make-up, but I hate make-believe.
Jason Holdridge [Feb 3]

"Words carelessly thrown out from a selfish heart are some of the most damaging to those they land on." From my thoughts [Feb 3]

"Sometimes I wonder if, in my own discipleship journey, I settle for "fish on Fridays" by assuming that simply because I do the right things that my heart will automatically lean towards God as a result." Marcus Brecheen [Feb 3]

"A woman who knows her value knows she has something incredibly valuable to give and something important to protect." Nancy Houston [Feb 7]

"Scars remind us where we've been. They don't have to dictate where we're going." Anonymous [Feb 8]

"Real love is not having a human reaction to failure." Coli Jones [Feb 11]

"Will she learn to love again? Will she get her miracle, too? Love hopes all things." Borrowed Words [Feb13]

"The part of your story that will help people the most is the part you least want to tell." Preston Morrison [Feb 15]

"A dream reminds us of what's possible. It's like a balloon that lifts us from reality. It gives us somewhere to go when we feel grounded by discouragement." Coli Jones [Mar 7]

"What if you woke up today with only the things you thanked God for yesterday?" Borrowed Words [Mar 9]

"You can't be hidden and survive." Bob Hamp [Mar 10]

"If you have no joy, there's a leak in your Christianity somewhere." Billy Sunday [Mar 14]

"He really is as dependable as this morning's sunrise." Kate (McDonald) Andre [Mar 14]

"The wife is not anointed to lead a family with the same anointing as the man." David Smith [Mar 23]

"God never promotes manipulation." Robert Morris [Apr 3]

"Hope is not deliverance (from) my circumstances; it's knowing that God will walk with me (through) my circumstances." Robert Morris [Apr 3]

"Dead things are going to be resurrected!" Christine Caine, Prophetic Word from Pink Impact [Apr 6]

"Anointing is always given to fulfill a specific purpose or to carry out a calling on my life. And the whole purpose of any anointing is for God to get the glory." Lexa Brecheen from Pink Impact [Apr 7]

"HolySpirit only reveals what's inside us so that He can heal us." Nancy Houston from Pink Impact [Apr 7]

"My destiny is not about me needing to feel accomplished. It's about fulfilling the purposes of God on earth." Mary Faulkner from Pink Impact [Apr 7]

"Only a strong woman can fight for God's justice on her knees in humility; not fighting for her rights, but taking on the burdens and offenses of others by choice." Mary Faulkner from Pink Impact [Apr 7]

"The enemy understands the power of the influence of a woman; it's why he went to Eve first." Charlotte Gambill from Pink Impact [Apr 7]

"Dreams drown in doubt." Debbie Morris from Pink Impact [Apr 8]

"Prophecy speaks to a passion in our hearts only like HolySpirit can." via Pink Impact [Apr 8]

"The greatest temptation a woman faces is to close herself off (her heart) due to pain." T.D. Jakes from Pink Impact [Apr 8]

"Change requires me to embrace a stranger (a new version of me) and let go of the familiar." T.D. Jakes from Pink Impact [Apr 8]

"Identity is not a label; it's a journey." Charlotte Gambill from Pink Impact [Apr 9]

"We confuse 'position' with 'place'. We often sacrifice our place (where God wants to use us) in search of position (being out front, in the position of recognition)." Christine Caine from Pink Impact [Apr 9]

"I am learning that marriage isn't all about romance and passion and ideals that the media pushes on us. It is not even about happiness or having an increasingly better marriage as much as it is about the potential for real transformation in our own lives. Marriage can make us better as people, even when--or maybe especially when--it is hard and things don't go as planned and it is not easy and the demands on us feel unfair. Maybe marriage is at its best when it restricts us, defines limitations, exposes our sin and calls us to die to ourselves in favor of becoming what God has already declared us to be: ONE." Kate (McDonald) Andre [Apr 10]

"A burden has never been placed in God's hand that He dropped, nor have you ever leaned back and He's not caught you." Marcus Brecheen [Apr 10]

"Destiny = Destination (a place of arrival). Destinations often arise after a season of disappointment." Brady Boyd [Apr 10]

"It is the character of very few men (or women) to honor without envy a friend who has prospered." -Aeschylus [Jul 16]

Ask the Father to help you desire the thoughts, feelings and purpose of His heart. He’ll give you a new heart—His. You’ll begin to have His perspective and a supernatural love, compassion and righteous indignation that will stir you to pray on behalf of others, our government, families, nations, for Israel and so much more. This is the gift of intercession. It’s in this place of partnering with God— asking for His will on earth to be released as it is in heaven—where great joy is found.

What I Was Not Too Long Ago

april 24, 2007

april 25, 2007

january 2008

never [skinny], but {Healthy} for my height and build. i WILL be there again. april 23, 2012 is my 5-year wedding anniversary. i want a photo shoot to remember it. but i will only do one after 4 months of hard work and commitment. here's to GOALS in 2012!

Beautiful Things (2011 Song)

Beautiful Things (by Gungor)

September 10, 2011- This song was performed by Matt Birkenfeld and Misty Presley as a musical drama duet at Gateway Southlake in honor of the 10 year anniversary of September 11th. Today, because of this song, I was "introduced" to the original singer/songwriter Michael Gungor... better late than never. Beautiful Things resonates in me because it encapsulates my 2011 scripture and all that God has been doing, and is continuing to do, with this year.

All this pain
I wonder if I’ll ever find my way
I wonder if my life could really change at all
All this earth
Could all that is lost ever be found
Could a garden come up from this ground at all

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

All around
Hope is springing up from this old ground
Out of chaos life is being found in You

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

You make me new, You are making me new
You make me new, You are making me new
You are making me new

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

You make me new, You are making me new
You make me new, You are making me new

Thursday, December 1, 2011

30 Thankful Tweets

 
Since November marked the month we celebrate Thanksgiving, I decided that I wanted to make this year's holiday more meaningful by purposefully embracing a month of Thankfulness. I vowed to tweet a moment from each day for which I was thankful, because moments not captured somewhere tend to get lost in the shuffle of life.

These are my thankful moments as they were tweeted each day:

Day #1: Something small, but its joy is not lost on me. [TheRedCup]. Welcome November!
Day #2: Soooo NOT feeling healthy; just icky sick. Today, I am THANKFUL that I get to be home.
Day #3: Tonight I am thankful for @yepthatslindsey driving @teighlorelissa home from @GatewayPeople's Pretty In Pink. Allowed me to rest.
Day #4: Feeling better today. Yay! On another note, slept w windows open last night. The home dropped to 62. Burrr. Thankful for heat&health.
Day #5: What a great moment watching my husband freak out in excitement over his first earthquake.
Day #6: With 3 out of 6 struck by a stomach bug this w/e, I am thankful that I'm healthy to do the cleanup&care and that it's only 3 out of 6.
Day #7: Sitting in my living room lit by twinkle lights. I'm thankful for twinkle lights. They're my favorite!
Day #8: After watching Teighlor suffer harshly from this [flu] bug, I'm thankful she's able to get rest tonight.
Day #9: 6hrs + Red Cups + Pinterest + Lemongrass+PeiWei +Words&Laughter + Yes! + Bestie = Lots of Thankful Moments.
Day #10: Thankful for Thursday, Titus 2, Teaching and Prayer Growth.
Day #11: Thankful for a fun/full night hosting friends from South Carolina: Babe's Chicken to FW twinkle lights to D-town Dallas drop off.
Day #12: God spoke the same message to Anthony and me re: get debt free.
Day #13: Thankful that Mr. Budget allowed for pizza take out. It's delish.
Day #14: RT @TeighlorElissa: It's official. I'm hooked. Pinterest.com // Just introduced today. She asked, "Why?". Now this. Gotcha!
Day #15: Spontaenous Day + Her 1st Dream Unveiling + Bestie = My Today Gift
Day #16: WOW. WOW. and WOW! God is amazing. Super-splendiferous. Crazy in His ways. A wonder maker! He makes ways where we just can't see.
Day #17: Titus 2. Removing labels. A treasure chest of gold and Jesus. Kids giving Christmas away and getting it back. Thankful for so much today!
Day #18: Thankful for purposed friendship and Marci Harper.
Day #19: Thankful to have in our home Lilli Love Jones. The soon to be adopted daughter of Jason&Coli.
Day #20: Awesome morning service at Gateway, followed by an afternoon full of family, soon to be followed by Habitation. A good Sunday.
Day #21: A generous man will prosper. He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. Proverbs 11:25-28 // Truth. Soul food.
Day #22: RedCups. Conversation. Truth. Wisdom. Dreams. Ministry. Chips&Salsa. Friendship. All part of my day. Thankful for Brittney Nelson.
Day #23: Ending a long day in the kitchen with a glass of red wine and a hot bath. Today was filled with all kinds of homemade fun. Thankful.
Day #24: The Days of Thanks is finally here! From family & friends to food & fellowship, I have much for which to be thankful. BLESSEDBEYONDBELIEF
Day #25: The Black Friday trip wasn't that bad. Gotta couple really good deals. I can feel Mr. Budget smiling.
Day #26: A relaxing day [mostly] at home. Chilly outdoors. Fire going. Twinkle lights on. Comfort food cooking. Sipping Cab-Merlot. Thankful.
Day #27: RT @anthonycoppedge: A fire on a cold morning makes for a happy living room. // And a a happy me!
Day #28: Spent hours online searching for the best CyberMonday deals. Very successful! Mr. Budget and I were both very thankful.
Day #29: Sweet morning of uninterrupted, long over due, 12 hours of sleep.
Day #30: A night of food, recipes, stories, new friends, old friends & laughter. Thankful for memories made!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Shut Up and Pray

HolySpirit has been whispering a theme to me for the past few weeks. His words came nicely the first time, "Talk less. Pray more." WisdomWords spoken through a Titus2 leader that hovered over my heart and seemed tangible enough for me to chew on. Simple statements speak volumes to me, and God knows me best.

I was frustrated. Tired. Worn out. Life was not being fair and I wanted people to know it. I didn't desire to spill all the beans, just enough to make me feel better.

When I didn't exactly heed those words in full embrace, HolySpirit was kind enough to deliver them again with a bit more punch, "SHUT UP and PRAY!" And sometimes simple statements have to be backed up with strength [because] God knows me best.

Do I think my God to be rude and lacking in love to say 'shut up' to me? Absolutely not. Quite the contrary, I know Him well enough by now to understand His intent. He loves me too much to [not] shout a declarative statement of safety. Wouldn't I shout at my child about to run into a street, all in the name of protection? Absolutely.

My God is protecting me while at the same time teaching me. That is what a [good] parent does.

Evening, morning and at noon will I utter my complaint and moan and sigh and He will hear my voice. ~ Psalm 55:17

Monday, November 7, 2011

Christmas and Coffee Cups

October 31, 2011. Christmas Cheer Day. Buffalo Wild Wings. Lunch. Family. Christmas Conversation.

"What's the one thing you absolutely do not want to miss out on this Christmas season?", came the question.

She answered first, "Host a women's party (like a cookie swap)."

"Attend a candle lit Christmas Eve service", daughter chimed in next, and then snuck in a second request, "and have Luke 2 read Christmas morning like Grandpa used to do."

I paused long. One thing. ONE thing? Several options ran through my mind: The Nutcracker Ballet. Hunting for light-adorned neighborhoods. Baking cookies. Making ornaments. All memories from past Christmases. Each sounded good and could stand true, but none settled as the ONE.

Moments. Moments matter greatly to me. Individual snapshots of time that, when strung together, create a montage of one's life. BINGO!

"I don't want to let one day go by of this Christmas season without experiencing at least one moment of Christmas in that day."

Seven days have passed.

The [red] Starbucks ornament hangs from my rearview mirror.
Christmas music fills my iPod.
The sounds of Holiday and Crystal Lewis accompany me wherever I drive.
Christmas boxes are unpacked.
Walls are splashed with muted golds, greens and reds--the color theme inspired by our Christmas Cheer Day trip to Decorator's Warehouse ["60,000 sq. ft. of Christmas"].
Sounds of the Season music channel is our new daytime favorite for Christmas classics.
The magic of The Polar Express is already experienced. "I believe. I believe. I believe ... this is yours."
Twinkle lights hang on green branches.

and ...

Christmas coffee mugs have replaced the year-round staples.

A lover of order in my home, I cannot have odd-man-out dishes ... unless I'm purposely muti-coloring for theme. If one of a pair breaks, the second goes in the trash too. Evens. No odds. It is my little quirk.

... except when it comes to Christmas cups.

This is the only time you'll find one-offs in my cupboard. Each mug represents a piece of my heart. A memory. A person. A moment. Even a character of HolySpirit I was being taught that year; hence the 'joy' mugs, my 2011 favorites.

"Coffee is my favorite!", I say with the same enthusiasm of Buddy the Elf referring to smiling.

The cup I use each morning means something to me, and during the Christmas season it is no different. For two months I daily choose a Christmas cup for what it represents.

This morning I grabbed the long, thin one encircled with twinkle lights, and a cute-as-a-button stocking on the backside that you can't see in this photo. It reminded me of the very thing that I did not want to miss: a day without experiencing something Christmassy.

"It only happens once a year", the cup reads.

"Remember this moment", my heart instructs me.

To many, it is insignificant. A Christmas coffee cup is a moment. Really?

Yes. Really.

Each time I hold a particular cup, I'm reminded of who, of when, of where, and my heart smiles. And let's not forget that magical reason I'm holding the cup in the first place. Coffee!  Any walk down Memory Lane is more delicious with the black elixir.

Yes. It is a moment. And moments matter to me.

Let me encourage you this season not to miss the moments. Because they can "happen once a year" or "just once".

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

[PLEASE] steady my heart

JEHOVAH knew what I needed today. HOLYSPIRIT led me to this video, to this song. that's why i'm posting it.

my life is messy. it is not easy. and pain is a part of it. we are all the same in that sense.

but right perspective is a part of His plan. today, [this] was YAHWEH righting my perspective. and when i see differently, when my eyes are drawn off of me and rightly focused on Him, i am changed.



steady my heart [kari jobe]

wish it could be easy
why is life so messy
why is pain a part of us
there are days i feel like
nothing ever goes right
sometimes it just hurts so much

but you're here
you're real
i know i can trust you

even when it hurts
even when it's hard
even when it all just falls apart
i will run to you
cuz i know that you are
lover of my soul
healer of my scars
you steady my heart
you steady my heart

i'm not gonna worry
i know that you've got me
right inside the palm of your hand
each and every moment
what's good and what gets broken
happens just the way you planned

you are here…

... you steady my heart

and i will run to find refuge in your arms
and i will sing too cuz of everything you are

you steady my heart

even when it hurts...

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Am I Willing?


"This line soaked deep into me. It made me wonder how many moments we experience on a day-to-day basis are arranged by God - for us - for our refreshment and strengthening. How many do we miss? Surely He is bigger than just one interaction. We praise Him for the one. But if we were willing, would we be more overwhelmed by His care for us than our concerns?" [coli jones]
One comment to what was already written stirs a continuation of thought. Causes me to pause and ponder.

If we were habitually obedient to write for the naked eye what HolySpirit purposes to write on the flesh of our hearts, how would our sight be refocused and refined? How much more would we find ourselves in the state of partnering with the Source of Inspiration to inspire the same in others?

... if we were willing - not just to see - but to ask to be shown.

And then He stirs again. "Define. Wholly understand. Don't assume you've mastered the words I chose to whisper. Knowing will both help you recognize their worth and affect your appreciation of the 'why' behind them."

Inspire: to affect, guide or arouse by divine influence.
Habit: a recurrent, often unconscious pattern of behavior that is acquired through frequent repetition; an established disposition (tendency) of the mind or character.
Obey: to fulfill or carry out the command, order or instruction of.
(re)Focus: a condition in which something can be clearly seen … (re) again.
Refine: to reduce to a pure state; purify.

Can you see it? The common thread woven from the first word to the last? [divine influence. unconscious pattern. fulfill. see clearly. purify.]

Not everyone would define themselves a writer; one who writes. A lover of the written word, both to take in and pour out. I write because I listen with my fingers. But don't allow the verb to trip you up. Communication into us and out of us is the focal point; not the specific way in which it is expressed. 

HolySpirit chose 'write' for me because words are, to me, like the time signature to the composer; the empty canvas to the painter; the lens to the photographer; the musical key to the singer. 

Too artsy? 

How about the baseball grip to the pitcher? The syllabus to the teacher? The soil to the gardener? The fabric to the designer? The wood to the carpenter? 

The verb is the action of what we do naturally. The way in which we see. The language used to inspire and drive and compel. The essence of desire. The push and pull of purpose. The beginning of vision and the motivation of fruition.

It is how we communicate because it is the way in which communication was first spoken into us, creating who we are and the way we see, hear, feel, touch and sense. 

"How many moments ... do we miss?", she wonders. I wonder, too. 

Maybe the real question is: Am I willing?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Casting Cares

This blog showed up in my email inbox just as I was beginning to seriously feel completely overwhelmed by too much life, too many circumstances, and too many decisions ... all pouring in within the past five days. Coincidence? I don't believe in coincidence.

The moment we are able to finally let go and let God work is one of the most liberating and peaceful moments we will ever find ourselves in.
Today as I opened my inbox, and looked at the number of questions and issues that I had to deal with, I seriously had a moment where I thought, "This is all too overwhelming, too demanding, too time consuming, and altogether too much."
Then I breathed and remembered that God was not waiting on me to do, decide, or handle it all; He wanted me to trust Him in the midst of it all. For when I am weak, He is strong, and when I am at the end of myself, I can totally lean into, trust, and rely on Him. When I don't know what to do HE DOES. When my heart is overwhelmed I am led to the rock that is Higher than I. This isn't a nice theory, but is an available reality to us all.
We can know in our heads that we can cast our care on Him for He cares for us, or we can allow it to permeate the very fabric of our being and actually believe it in our hearts...and then do it.
So today I have decided to practice what I preach and "cast my care." And you know what? I now feel that I can face any giant and scale any wall. It is not because anything externally has changed, but because I have chosen to lift my gaze off my circumstances and inadequacies and instead to "fix my eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith." He has our back.
Try casting your cares on Him today, for He does care for you. [Christine Caine]
It's God. Knocking on my heart. Reminding me that He knows, in the midst of when the whole of who I am is beginning to feel the weight of everything.

Casting the [c]whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, [d]once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you [e]watchfully.(B)
    8Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [[f]in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour.
    9Withstand him; be firm in faith [against his onset--rooted, established, strong, immovable, and determined], knowing that the same ([g]identical) sufferings are appointed to your brotherhood (the whole body of Christians) throughout the world.
    10And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace [Who imparts all blessing and favor], Who has called you to His [own] eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will Himself complete and make you what you ought to be, establish and ground you securely, and strengthen, and settle you.
    11To Him be the dominion (power, authority, rule) forever and ever. Amen (so be it).
1 Peter 5:7-11

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

OneWord

“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid." John 14:27




Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Strong Enough

Strong Enough [Matthew West]
You must, You must think I'm strong
To give me what I'm going through
Well, forgive me, forgive if I'm wrong
But this looks like more than I can do
On my own

I know I'm not strong enough to be
Everything that I'm supposed to be
I give up, I'm not strong enough

Hands of mercy won't You cover me?
Lord, right now, I'm asking You to be
Strong enough, strong enough
For the both of us

Well, maybe, maybe that's the point
To reach the point of giving up
'Cause when I'm finally, finally at rock bottom
That's when I start looking up
And reaching out

I know I'm not strong enough to be
Everything that I'm supposed to be
I give up, I'm not strong enough

Hands of mercy won't You cover me?
Lord, right now, I'm asking You to be
Strong enough, strong enough

'Cause I'm broken down to nothing
But I'm still holding on to the one thing
You are God and You are strong
When I am weak

I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength
And I don't have to be strong enough


Psalm 28:6-9 [Mixture of The Message and New Living Translations]
Blessed be GOD-he heard me praying.
He proved he's on my side;
The Lord is my strength and shield
I trust him with all my heart.
I've thrown my lot in with him.
Now I'm jumping for joy,
and shouting and singing my thanks to him.

GOD is all strength for his people,
ample refuge for his anointed king;
Save your people and bless your heritage.
Lead them like a shepherd;
And carry them in your arms forever.

Monday, October 10, 2011

And Speak HE Has!


There was no way for me to know it. How HolySpirit was writing through me the very thing He knew I would need to cling to just nine days later. He knew the challenge that was just up ahead and provided a word to show me then, and remind me now, that 'God knows'.
"With arms open, wider than they were before, because space taught me something. That [this space] should always only be temporary, never permanent. And that arms were never created with the intent to push away out of rejection or misunderstanding but to take in and speak love without words."
And so, with a desire in full bloom to understand, to find the purpose, to heal all hearts involved, but especially just to be filled with enough courage for today, I asked God to speak [a] word to me. To remind me that He's got this; because even though my faith is strong, I don't ever claim to be so full that I don't have room for more.

And speak He has!

Here's everything He has spoken to me since last night, not even a full day ago. I purposely did not include the individuals' names from which these words came as I believe it's more important to recognize TheSource, HolySpirit, as the giver of LifeWords.

[If you recognize your tweet or text or spoken word here, know that I received it and that I know your name and have already prayed blessing over you for being a vessel used by God.]

"A single seed can grow a tree. There is an identifiable root to all of this. That one lie, welcomed in, dwelt on, invited to consume, can cause brokenness that cannot be measured. That one seed has been allowed to grow into a [fruitful] tree. It's being tended to. Watered. If this can be shown, can be stopped, there will be freedom to become free."

"Fear is unbelief. Know that God can work anything out for those who Love the Lord! He's got it under control."

"Once something is exposed, it loses its strength."

"Once the Lord gives you a Word, a Promise ... stand firm on it! And don't move."

"Flesh and spirit are at war. Until this is fully grasped, a very divided human will be seen. Like two people. Revelation needs to come that the two are connected, and that the spirit controls the flesh."

"When we allow God to be our defense, we have all of the resources of heaven at our disposal."

"How can we claim we have forgiven someone and yet not make allowances for that person's imperfections in our lives? How can love ever be expressed by making a choice to do what is best for "me" in a situation over someone else's needs?"

"Many times in life, when someone commits an offense against us, it is because they don't know what they are doing. I do not mean that they are not aware of their actions, but they might be in a different place in their own understanding of love."

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid. Do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9

"Don't quit. This is your part in the Christian life. Growth and victory are assured if you will not give up."

"One drop of water helps to swell the ocean; a spark of fire helps to give light to the world. None are too small, too feeble, too poor to be of service. Think of this and act."

I know that God's Word is the only word that can multiply because most of the above words were not written or spoken with 'me' in mind. Well, except in God's.

I asked Him for [a] Word today, and He gave me "more than I [had] asked for or imagined". (Ephesians 3:20) He just continued pouring out little droplets of HolySpirit encouragement and wisdom.

If you need a Word today, feel free to borrow one of mine. :) Or just ask God for a fresh one just for you. There is no shortage of words in heaven!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Wilderness, Work and Water

Tonight, after Anthony and I unexpectedly found ourselves pulled into an unexpected situation involving a family member, I sat down in my living room to decompress. My house is quiet. All beds are filled with their familiar nighttime guests, except for mine. While my body is tired from the emotions surrounding the evening, my mind and heart need ... something.

A welcoming warmth is radiating from my log-filled fireplace, while orange flickering flames softly light the living space boundaries hemmed in by caramel colored, corduroy couches. Much needed rain is still falling outside. Has been for most of the day.

Opening my laptop, I catch up on the latest 140 character thoughts published since my last check of Twitter hours prior. I think about blogging. "What's the purpose in blogging about this?", I purposely ask myself, not from a negative point of view but from one that is seeking. Seeking purpose.

Instead of launching into writing, I peruse the list of writers on the right side of the screen. Writers that have this way of moving my heart, or inspiring me, or tweaking my perspective. Perspective is what I got tonight. Much needed perspective. Confirmation really.

"I truly don't know what tomorrow will bring, but God has moved me to a place of faith for the miraculous like I have never known." Connie Swain

These are the words I couldn't quite see holding onto the tip of my tongue as I tried to describe to a friend the sense of calm in the midst of our storm as I thanked her for covering us in prayer. But when I read this statement that followed a testimony of multiple physical miracles for another friend's husband, I knew that the same words HolySpirit wrote on her heart to infuse faith into her unknown tomorrows were also multiplying the faith God had already imparted to mine. God's Words multi-task. I love that about Him.

And as I write, I am again reminded by HolySpirit of God's Promise spoken over our 2011.

Forget about the past. Can't you see? Be alert. Be present. I am doing something new! I'm making a road through the wilderness. And rivers in the desert.

New doesn't always come easy. That's not part of the promise. Making a road requires work. And the wilderness isn't the easiest place to live or from where to forge a new beginning. But He did promise 'rivers in the desert'.

The wilderness and the work will be accompanied by the Water.

The current work in this wilderness could take a day, a week, or months. But with life-giving water--rivers of it--promised, my heart is at peaceful rest ... like Jesus' was in the midst of the storm on the Sea of Galilee.

I rest because I know that God knows. And with one word, winds can be halted ... and hearts can be healed.


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Keep Walking

Six weeks ago I did something out of pure obedience to God's calling: I signed up for a year-long commitment to attend the Titus 2 Women's Group at Gateway. This comment on a friend's blog post gives a glimpse into the reason why I use the term 'pure obedience'.

Three weeks ago I attended my first gathering. I entered somewhat anxious and a bit overwhelmed, hoping that my you-can-do-this smile belied the faster-than-normal beat of my heart. Ninety minutes later, I more than breathed a sigh of relief that I had made it through my first meeting without prematurely bolting; I gave God a mental high five for loving me enough to encourage me [fill me with enough courage] to step out of my comfort zone (my home) and take the first step into our next season together. A season of unknown challenges and growth opportunities that I've never been fearless enough to say 'yes' to in the past; a step closer to living out my destiny and purpose and calling that God has in addition to being a wife, mom and home school teacher. 

And you know what? I walked away from that first meeting excited--pumped even--for what God has in store.  

Two weeks ago, as I got ready for my second Titus2 Thursday morning, that all too familiar voice began whispering: Are you sure about this? What if you're the only one there sitting alone? What if you're assigned to a small group that doesn't work for you? What if...? 

I'm really beginning to develop a nasty distaste for that question--when presented in the negative, of course. It will always remain a part of my favorite Freedom question, "What if it's not?".

Instead of listening further, I shut my ears to fear and doubt and opened my mouth to God declaring my trust and belief over His purposes for this new season. I spoke His truth, even though I hadn't walked it out yet; even if it came strictly from that place in my 'knower' that had faith in Him and His plans to prosper me and not harm me, to give me a future and a hope.

And then He reminds me of a portion of my 2011 Scripture Passage:

"Forget about what's happened; don't keep going over old history.
Be alert, be present. I'm about to do something brand-new. It's bursting out! Don't you see it?" Isaiah 43:18-19


And you know what? Fear and doubt were replaced by an overwhelming peace and a renewed excitement; and a deeper understanding that the only reason I'm being whispered to is because while the enemy doesn't know those plans of God's, his sole desire is to keep me from them no matter what they are. NO MORE, I declare!

Titus 2 is not just about obedience, a new season and destiny, it's just as much about healing. Healing that place in me that fears fellowship with women. That fears stepping out. That fears achieving as much as failing. God is up to something big and daily He's filling me with the courage to say 'yes'.

Today I read a blog by Christine Caine that encouraged me in this daily journey: "Healing is a [daily] process." 

And then HolySpirit whispers: So is Destiny. Keep Walking!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

A Story Continued

There are seemingly random moments when I am drawn backwards through my days and thoughts and feelings and rantings preserved here. In black and white. For my memories. For your indulgence. That word indulgence chosen with the best of intentions. With sincerity, not sarcasm.

Today is one of those seemingly random days where my past called out to me and I went looking for its voice. I found it. It's in all of these writings. But one in particular caught my eye this morning. Made me realize that the reason HolySpirit draws me back is so I can update a story still unfolding. No story is ever complete. Is it?

Four months ago I lamented about change. Change that made my heart gasp. Out of fear. Out of hurt. Out of not understanding. Out of the unexpected and unprepared. It made my fingers feel like they weren't strong enough to hold on. Made my heart wonder if I really had followed HisVoice. If I'd heard correctly or just listened long enough. Long enough to assume what I thought I needed and then run off to do what I thought best.

These are the words that were gripping my heart on that day:

"Too many questions swirling around. Not enough answers."

And life went on.

This same change lament stirred my heart a month later. So I did then what I'm doing today. I unfolded the story as it stood on that day. These are the words that HolySpirit spoke to me--helping to move me forward on that month-later-day; words that stirred hope from what I didn't understand when I lamented:

"Love cannot be forced, it must be chosen.
And a heart is not yours simply because it lives with you
or shares your name
or even has history attached to you.
A heart is won through pursuit and wooing."

And now.

Six weeks have just been marked off the calendar. Of high school classes taught from a building, not my home. Of lunches packed the night before, instead of when his belly stirs, usually around noon. Of  student cafeterias instead of our kitchen table. Of morning alarms and commutes to and from. Of flexible days replaced by bell schedules. Of daily discipline unknown or imagined. Of physical discipline that is building a man; building strength, power and character. Of the foundation that is built for the sport he loves not on the field with bat and ball but in the gym, through sweat and circuits. And of adaptation to a lifestyle that was foreign and even scary. For both of us. Of him stepping out and me letting go. Of listening to my 'knower' and obeying what God had called us to. And then having the courage to say 'yes'. Yes is really all that's required when God calls. I usually find it's the hardest part.


And now.

Four months have ticked by for her and for us. God spoke space. At least I believed He did then. I still do believe that now. Sometimes space is what God needs so we'll get out of His way. Stop trying to control what He wants to change. And change has happened. Somewhere along the way change happened. Smiles have replaced frowns. Light has swallowed up darkness. Hugs abound. Fingers reach out to hold mine. A glance is given and not missed. I see change even though I don't fully understand how it happened. But do we ever really understand the metamorphosis that takes place in that cocoon when an unseemly caterpillar goes into hibernation only to emerge a beautifully exquisite butterfly?

I want to believe that God works when we are willing to temporarily let go. I'm watching. I'm listening. I'm asking. Doubt wants to speak--wants me to listen to [him] instead of believe in HIM.

But I see change. And that is what I'm choosing to nurture. With eyes wide open, not from fear, but from the understanding that He gave them to me so I could watch, and see. With ears attuned not by a desire to catch untruth but to listen to a heart and help lead it, always loving it. With arms open, wider than they were before, because space taught me something. That it should always only be temporary, never permanent. And that arms were never created with the intent to push away out of rejection or misunderstanding but to take in and speak love without words.

And so, for now, this is a story continued.

And I am confident of this, that He who began a good work will carry it on to completion until the day of Jesus Christ.  [Phillipians 1:6]

Friday, September 30, 2011

Simple Pleasures

Today marks the fourteenth day that we've walked the indoor, carpeted stairs up into the rooms we now call home. Having not fully settled in but inching closer with each passing day, I'm stopping to reflect briefly on what we gained anew when one door closed and another opened.



















A front door with an outdoor entrance--not an enclosed hallway of multiple doors hiding neighbors you only see by chance--is so refreshing. It makes our ApartmentHome feel like a house. To some? Insignificant. To me? A small touch that's not overlooked by my heart.


Fresh air breezes, natural light and the sounds of life outside are just a few of my favorite things, and all are provided by a large window next to our balcony door. In our former place of rest, a lone balcony door was all the access we had to these gifts. Here, a single window, properly placed, delivers revelation on how many of these simple pleasures I took for granted.

In each city I've called home since moving to Texas in 2006, a fireplace has filled a portion of our living room. When moving to NRH--our place of financial protection--a fireplace was one amenity we had to choose to go without because it was an additional cost we couldn't justify when downsizing our budget. And now, in a season of expansion in so many areas of our life, we're blessed beyond measure to once again enjoy this gift of warmth, beauty and romance.

For me, sitting on our balcony is akin to taking a bubble bath. It's my place to read, relax and take refuge for fifteen minutes or an hour. Where others are rejuvenated through human contact, my heart and mind are recharged in moments of solitude. This secondary door to the balcony from my bedroom allows me private access . With living room blinds closed, I can sneak outside and find solace in my red recliner.

Warm colors are as much comfort to my soul as a steaming, black cup of espresso roast coffee on a chilled morning. I smile every time my feet touch the spaces where carpeting ends and hard floor begins. It looks like nature. Nature pricks my heart with joy.

Simple pleasures. They are just a shift in perspective.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

[Heal] this


I’m not sure why I’ve not read this blog until today–considering it was written so many months ago–but today HolySpirit drew me here … [here] to this specific blog post.
My spirit perked up as I began to read, but my soul immediately became unsettled as I continued. While the details are not the same, the theme of this testimony is achingly close to my heart. I can feel HolySpirit’s gentle touch on my wound, still yet unhealed, being exposed through your words. I’m uncomfortable as I write this because my wound has been exposed before, but I’ve always found a way to replace the old bandaid with a new one with fresh adhesive.
“My every waking thought, conscious or not, was how to keep you out, and how to make you see that I was valuable anyway, despite what I looked like on the outside. If you haven’t tried that, let me assure you, it’s quite tiring. A constant push-pull of keeping you at arm’s length while trying to show you how cool I am. Protecting my shell.” Nancy Smith
I have lived this. I still live this. My soul cringed and my spirit ached because I see myself in these words.
God has used the wisdom and knowledge and hearts of pastors at Gateway to bring me so much further down my road of healing than I can even list. I know I’m not who I was when I started attending Gateway four years ago. But this … [this that you've written about here] … is a wound I have yet to let God really get to. It scares me.
I know He’s spoken so much to me about who I am in Him and who He has created me to be. And my head understands this. Really. It does. But I know, especially this morning as I read this, I know my wound keeps it from settling in and opening me up to experience and be a part of everything else that’s waiting for me.
I stay away for fear that I won’t be accepted. Or I get involved only to back out somewhere down the road because I don’t feel adequate enough to stay involved. I don’t fully join in because “what if I don’t fit in?”. What if I’m not? … [fill in the blank].
Gosh, as I write this I’m even thinking, “What happens when Nancy reads this comment? IF she reads it? Will she think I’m pathetic for vomiting up all my stuff right here on her blog commenting space? She didn’t ask me to divulge my crap here. Didn’t even invite me to.”
See the mind games?
And yet, I’m still writing. Writing because I feel that if I finally am vulnerable enough to admit to someone other than my best friend or husband that I don’t dive into fellowship–especially with women–because I’m afraid I’ll be “seen”, then maybe it’s the step of faith that will finally allow God access to the one place that keeps me hidden. Because somewhat hidden is safe. Safe to me, anyway.
But I know God so desires to heal [this]. It’s the only reason I signed up for Titus 2 on Thursdays. Because I know I had to obey the nudge to “put myself out there” … especially in a room filled with women. My spirit says “go!”, but my soul begs me to say “no!”.
And then I read this. And I know even more surely. God desires to heal [this].

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Home [Again]

It's been just over a week since life as we know it was packed into boxes, loaded into the back of an orange and white truck and transported from one city to another. Our family unit has known three moves in just as many years; and Teighlor, Alec and I have lived in ten different cities within two states over the past sixteen years. I'm beginning to believe that we may be drawing closer, mile by mile, to earning a "gypsy" notch on our life belts.

As a kid growing up, the majority of my years were spent in a two-story home on Olive Street in a county named for the brightly colored and most beloved breakfast juice fruit. I vaguely remember the sight and scent of orange groves before homes allowing for the influx of families were built on top of the dirt once formerly inhabited by trees.

Year after year, my birthday photos show me blowing out candles in front of the sliding glass door that led to the yard that was home to countless barbecues and endless games of tag, capture the flag and baseball played with wiffle balls and plastic bats.

Christmases were celebrated with a sentimentally decorated tree that moved from one corner to another, depending on the arrangement of furniture, but always filled the same living room lit by a log in the fireplace that was home to our stockings every December.

Meals were prepared in the kitchen that saw changing appliances, flooring and cabinet doors, but always held the familiar window next to the sink that framed the faces of friends and family as they showed up on the front doorstep.

Bedrooms held both children and parents; and even were home to almost every grandchild at one time or another.

Time passed. Days became weeks, became months, became years. Children became adults. And one by one we all stretched our wings and ventured out into the world. Each of us said "I Do" and God filled our arms with the next generation.

As life would have it, one by one we all were hit with situational curveballs and found a place of healing within the comfort of those same walls, made possible by the two home-filled-hearts we called Mom and Dad and the younger generation called "grand".

My grown-up dreams held visions of the same kinds of memories. Where wall colors changed but the walls themselves did not. Where old carpeting was replaced by new cherry laminate flooring covered by area rugs where feet made cold by winter months could find solace. Where hot pink or camouflage teenage comforters replaced Winnie-the-Pooh baby blankets once nuzzled by sleeping toddlers. Where nail polish and lip gloss replaced Barbie dream homes, and slumber parties of giggling girls replaced tea parties served at a small table surrounded by stuffed animals. Where a driveway once littered with hot wheels propelled by chubby, little boy fingers was now home to the clamoring feet of sweaty boys playing game after game of basketball on long, summer nights.

Home was defined by the square footage within the walls topped with the roof that never changed. And I was determined to provide my family with those same types of memories to tuck into their hearts and pass onto their children.

And then...

From one move to another, one year after another, God challenged my grown-up dream and taught me one of my most cherished and valuable life lessons:

Home is not about the walls that make up the rooms that hold up the roof that was supposed to never change. Home is about the love that fills the hearts that are held by the people that fill those rooms.

And memories? They may be birthed in a particular city but they are not held captive by a street address. They will always remain in the home of our hearts.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Ann's Gifts


This page is inspired by One Thousand Gifts written by Ann Voskamp. I was introduced to the existence of this book through an article on Destiny In Bloom and purchased it to read at the end of August 2011. Every sentence is worth soaking in. The loveliness of language worth languishing over. And the idea of seeing beauty in the routine and often harsh moments of life caught my attention. That of choosing a different perspective allows our eyes to see God in everything. And looking long enough to behold the gift in the tiniest moment captured my heart. This is "my life story in freeze frames of gifts" (pg. 82).

Walking below, man's laughter echos. {9.5.11}

Morning's cool breeze. Balcony's solitude. Coffee, warm and welcoming. Words of One Thousand Gifts beckoning my heart. {9.5.11}

NRH2O chimes ... ding, ding, ding, diiiing. A sound I will miss when this balcony is no longer mine. {9.5.11}

Wind's breath rustling leaves. Crackling sounds of summer's drought. {9.5.11}

Autumn debuting with a 70 degree morning sun. Crickets still chirp. Birds sing joyful. Tires whir on black asphalt. Wind whistles through branches swaying. Leaves crackle, racing along blades of grass burned brown, parched for cloud's gift of rain tears. I soak in every sound. Treasuring each one, unique in its language of life ... God given. {9.6.11}

Two sisters, about 4 and 2, hopping madly with excitement in the parking lot, waiting for mom to lead the way into NRH2O. {9.6.11}

The scent of fresh air touched by the incoming swell of Autumn's arrival. {9.6.11}

A family of oak trees with white picket boards marking home boundaries rise out of sunlit covered expansive fields of green. A gift of wide-open peacefulness now anticipated with our early morning school journeys. {9.8.11}

Tricolor peppercorn found in the mix of spice jars when pepper mill was running low. {9.9.11}

Watching from my balcony, mom and son clipping yellow wild flowers on a cool and quiet 9/11 morning. Seeing beauty in a weed most others would pass by. I believe this is how God sees. While others see a wild weed, He sees a radiantly golden bloom with faces always upturned. Flower or Weed ... it's all in the perspective. See Differently. {9.11.11}

Streaming rays of morning sunshine filling the expanse of field and sky. {9.14.11}

Falling drops of quench-thirsting, long-awaited rain. {9.14.11}

Picking her [Ann's] gift of words up again and being reminded of what is so easily forgotten. {6.12.12}

A hawk soars in the same sky as a plane. From this distance they visually appear to be traveling at the same speed. Dynamic Perspective. {6.24.12}

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Contradiction

"The contradiction [of difficulty in the midst of purpose] IS evidence that God's with you. Because in the difficulty of purpose, you won't make it without Him. Difficulty requires faith to believe I was chosen for a purpose beyond my capabilities. And that this purpose is mine because God chose me to accomplish it. [Chose {ME}!] A burden in purpose is not always what we make of it. Glory is heavy. Don't confuse Glory with burden. Every purpose requires God to fulfill it."
This is revelation Pastor Marcus delivered before we headed into Pastor Robert's message yesterday morning. It was so heaven-sent for me. So needed.

I've been questioning [and complaining, whining and tantrum-throwing] a specific purpose of mine in marriage since having {this} purpose revealed to me in a conversation with Marcus. Hmmm ... interesting that the revelation of purpose and revelation of difficulty of purpose was spoken through the same man. Coincidence? Hardly.

But, in true focused-on-my-circumstances fashion, with the thought that God CHOSE {me} for this, came the questions, "What about me? When's it my turn?" Oh, I think about what my natural reaction would be if this was the response of my child after receiving revelation and am THANKFUL that God is not like me. And then I ask, in full understanding, that He continue to work on my heart to become more like Him.

If godly purpose was easy to fulfill--easy according to my flesh--then it wouldn't be of God.

I'm shaking my head today realizing that even after receiving this revelation in the morning, I still didn't chose to walk in the truth of it throughout the day.

"Truth [revelation] that is not applied will never change you." Mike Guzzardo from All In


Seeing a Sliver

"From where we stand, we can’t see whether it’s something good or bad. All we can see is that God’s sovereign and He is always good, working all things for good. ... Our heart optics are not omniscient."

Those are words taken from Ann Voskamp's today blog. Another really good read! But I also had to pull from it the wisdom in the story she shared of the White Horse:

How a white stallion had rode into the paddocks of an old man and all the villagers had congratulated him on such good fortune. And the old man had only offered this: “Is it a curse or a blessing? All we can see is a sliver. Who can see what will come next?”
When the white horse ran off, the townsfolk were convinced the white stallion had been a curse. The old man lived surrendered and satisfied in the will of God alone:  “I cannot see as He sees.”
And when the horse returned with a dozen more horses, the townsfolk declared it a blessing, yet the old man said only, “It is as He wills and I give thanks for His will.”Then the man’s only son broke his leg when thrown from the white stallion. The town folk all bemoaned the bad fortune of that white stallion. And the old man had only offered, “We’ll see. We’ll see. It is as He wills and I give thanks for His will.”
When a draft for a war took all the young men off to battle but the son with the broken leg, the villagers all proclaimed the good fortune of that white horse. And the old man said but this, “We see only a sliver of the sum. We cannot see how the bad might be good. God is sovereign and He is good and He sees and work all things together for good.”

This story made me recall all the times I've wavered like these villagers. From good to bad, from blessing to a curse, all because I could only see a sliver.

This tied in with another blog I read today from Nancy Smith on Destiny in Bloom. Below is my comment that sums it up:
"There’s a magic word in Ted’s world: uncle. As in, Uncle David. Uncle David gets Ted, understands him pretty well. At that moment, he understood something I couldn’t see. He walked over, quite nonchalantly, and told me to go ahead and get on the ride and he would take care of the boy." 
First impression: Uncle David was Jesus to your Ted in this moment. He "understood Ted and saw something you couldn't see". How awesome to see Jesus in that exchange! And high-five to Uncle David for being discerning and seizing the moment in obedience! 
"Yes, I learned something from my eight year old son. I learned that I get to choose how I respond to the curves life throws at me." 
This hit my heart today. Yesterday was a day full of 'response choices' and I did not make all of them wisely. It's a reminder that I'm still learning how to hit that curve-ball ... and thankful for grace in the process of learning. 
"As a reasonable adult, I know why Ted shouldn’t ride a roller coaster when he’s not tall enough: safety. ... That didn’t stop the tears, though. He was disappointed." 
I know your point didn't stop where I chose to end your quote. I just wanted to pause on the reality and truth of those words combined. You understood the reason your son couldn't ride, but that didn't cover his disappointment. Just like Jesus understands the "why" behind our closed doors, and yet we still cry tears of disappointment in veiled understanding. 
Until HE uncovers... 
"Something better was around the corner, just out of reach. But at the right time, through the perfect process, we walked into the place we were meant to be." 
Oh that we would have eyes to see what's just around our corners when our hearts are disappointed at what we didn't get today ... that thing we wanted so badly, when in truth, it wasn't the BEST we believed it to be. I want the ears of my heart to be so sensitive to the whispers of Jesus saying, "It's okay. I have something better waiting to give you. Something that's better than what you came in for. Something you can take home with you." 
My takeaways: 
There is wisdom contained in a sliver, but it's not the whole truth. 
[AND] 
Disappointment is not truth. For around the next corner waits our BEST. 
[AND] 
Don't be so quick to judge what's lost today as actually lost. It may not have been ours to begin with.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

become INSPIRED

There are painters ... and then there are those who create masterpieces.
There are photographers ... and then there are those who capture lifeANDart with every frame.
There are singers ... and then there are those who open heaven's gates with angelic voices.
There are writers ... and then there are those who wax poetically with every word.

Ann Voskamp is a poet who just happens to also write. She has a gift that is not teachable or passed on through a "Writing For Dummies" book. Her words flow off her fingertips, fusing beauty with every day life as naturally and unforced as our bodies inhale and exhale the very breath that keeps us alive from one moment to the next.

Simply lean back and relax into the opening sentiment of her latest blog:
"When love slips up from behind unannounced, who can do anything but just surrender to happy grace?"
Or the way she records this heart-memory. The simple act of her father surprising her with a bouquet of gladiolas, hand-delivered in a recycled, Cheez Whiz glass jar:
"I'll happen to remember this forever. How you never know when love might come knocking unannounced at your door. How you never know who loves. How you mustn't ever stop believing. How he even blushed, boyish, shuffling in his boots."
Or the poetic simplicity of describing tomatoes as "summer's largest berries". Painting a detailed picture in our imaginations with three words in place of the stock photograph our minds would have recalled had she left us with that single red word ... tomato.

I am inspired and motivated by anything creative ... as I wrote about in a recent blog titled Inspiration. But words have a distinctive way of capturing my affections and tucking themselves into my soul like songs that braid lyrics and melodies with memories ... flooding my heart with all the life and emotion of specific moments, no matter how many years have passed since they were lived.

Maybe it's because all of creation was initiated by Words: "And God said...".
Maybe it's because God left his heart, his history and his future for us through his Words breathed into the authors of the Bible.
Maybe my heart is inexplicably pulled to that form of expression because it was spoken into my unique DNA as my creator knit me in my mother's womb.
And maybe, just maybe, it's due to the comprehensiveness of the letter "D", which is perpetually reserved for that "all of the above" answer on every multiple choice test.

Whether A, B, C or D, it does not matter. Words are woven into the very texture of my soul. They are my gift of expression ... the same way that the sweet scent of jasmine is woven into the delicate, white plumes of the vine that blooms on warm nights and gifts us with its essence of summer.

Every one of us has creativity coursing through our cells, like a river winding down the slopes of a mountainside. We are drawn to that which was spoken into us. It may be covered by time or the pace of life. But just like creation was meant for us to discover, so is your unique gift. If your soul feels desolate or unvisited, brush off the dust to your heart and allow HolySpirit to uncover -- again or for the first time -- that which makes you ... YOU!

become INSPIRED.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Isaiah 44:1-5

1 “But now, listen to me, Jacob my servant,
      Israel my chosen one.
 2 The Lord who made you and helps you says:
   Do not be afraid, O Jacob, my servant,
      O dear Israel, my chosen one.
 3 For I will pour out water to quench your thirst
      and to irrigate your parched fields.
   And I will pour out my Spirit on your descendants,
      and my blessing on your children.
 4 They will thrive like watered grass,
      like willows on a riverbank.
 5 Some will proudly claim, ‘I belong to the Lord.’
      Others will say, ‘I am a descendant of Jacob.’
   Some will write the Lord’s name on their hands
      and will take the name of Israel as their own.”



These words continue in the chapter that follows the PROMISE that God gave us for 2011. I've been praying for my kids and about my kids, for next steps and for continued Words. I read these words this morning after reading through our promise again and they settled peacefully on my soul. 


We are Israel. He has promised water for this year. And now I will move forward declaring His promise for my children. 


Yes and Amen!