November 23, 2010


Thanksgiving stirs a desire to let hymns glide over me and mellow my soul. I want to soak their wisdom like a dehydrated sponge. My heart longs to overflow with their undiluted praise.

Oh to put golden words like these to music...Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness {Lamentations 3}

Alas, I do not possess that talent. But Thomas Chisholm and William Runyan did and their outpouring of love to the Lord is one of my favorite hymns.

How about you? What's your favorite come?

Great is Thy Faithfulness
Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not;
As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be.

Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

*Chris Rice

And here's one by Sara Groves{with a twist} because, know I love me some Sara Groves!

November 22, 2010


But be sure to fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you. ~1 Samuel 12:24

Let us remember the loving-kindness of the Lord and rehearse His deeds of grace. Let us open the volume of recollection, which is so richly illuminated with memories of His mercy, and we will soon be happy.
~Alistair Begg

Right off the bat, I want to say this is not a 'woe is me' post. There. Done. Okay, read on...

I'm church-homeless. I've tried to find a new one. With heart-and-soul, I warm First Presodist's pews one week...then Second Baptyterian's the next...then it gets old and weary. Different faces, smells, worship styles: they're not 'home,' ya know?

Since embarking on my search for a new church home, I've felt:
Friendless {dramatic, but true}

But today was the first day I felt homeless. Maybe it was walking through the bundles of friends pealing comfortable laughs. Maybe it was adjusting to the preaching styles of yet another unfamiliar pastor. Maybe it the five wrong turns, 15 minute tardiness, and inability to find the front door (Note: following the crowd always leads you to the nursery. Church leaders: pa-lease invest in "Front Door" and "Sanctuary" signage. Please.)

I suppose hopeless holds homeless' hand. Throw in a {hefty} dash of self-pity and voila! God's goodness and grace that I live in a free country & have the right to visit the 10 bagillion churches in the Bible Belt scurried out of memory. I cried.

All the way down the highway. All the way home. All the way through the Wendy's drive-through.

I avoided eye contact with the girl taking my debit card best I could. But bloodshot crimson eyes caught her attention. {I'm not a pretty crier; nothing like Julia Roberts in "Stepmom."} She paused. Leaned out. Looked me right in the eye. And asked: "Are you okay?"

I had gulped my tears enough to place my order. But something about her mercy. Her pause. Her care. Released my floodgates. I mean, I sat in the drive-through and heave-hoed some Big. Ol'. Sobs.

Now, I've cried in some unusual places. Before this go-round, the oddest place was a Pawn Shop {but that's a story for another day}.

Finally I blubbered, "I've ju-ju-just had a har-hard d-d-d-day."

"I hope you feel better."

Simple, small act of grace.

Why share this? Not for the sympathy vote. No. Not to badmouth churches. In fact, the one I visited today was great. {plus my friend Shelley was there...double bonus!} My goal of this blog is to raise my Ebenezer. To rehearse, if you will, the ways God's been good to me. That gesture in a crowded after-church lunch drive-through was a small stone I placed on my altar of remembrance. Until I find a church home, I know He will continue giving me grace, in unexpected, tender ways. Thank you Wendy's cashier. Thank You God.

Where has His grace surprised you recently? How can you show His grace to someone, anyone, today?

November 20, 2010


Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens.
~J.R.R. Tolkien

Be strong and courageous
Do not be afraid or terrified because of them
for the LORD your God goes with you
He will never leave you nor forsake you
~Deuteronomy 31:6

He remains faithful
~ 2 Timothy 2:13

November 18, 2010

Embracing Accusation

Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right side to accuse him. The LORD said to Satan, “The LORD rebuke you, Satan! The LORD, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you! Is not this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?” ~Zechariah 3

Satan is a fantastic preacher.

No typo there. I mean it. The only problem is he "forgets" to preach the rest of the sermon.

Listen, how many times have we heard…

*You are a filthy so-and-so.

*That's scriptural. But here's the other half of the sermon...

Zechariah 3:3-5, Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel. The angel said to those who were standing before him, “Take off his filthy clothes.” Then he said to Joshua, “See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put fine garments on you.”

*Your life is such a mess.

*Maybe it is. But that's okay because...

Romans 3:22-24, For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

*God sees every. one. of. your. sins.

*Thank God He does. He knows where to put them, and it's not in our face every five minutes.

2 Samuel 12:12-14, David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD." And Nathan said to David, "The LORD also has put away your sin.”

*Anxiety. Anxiety. Anxiety. Consumes you.

*How convenient to leave off the other half of this verse...

Psalm 94:19, When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy. And when I was burdened with worries, you comforted me and made me feel secure.

*You are unfaithful, scandalous, dirty…

*Sin does stain. But God beckons us and says...

Isaiah 1:18, “Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.

*You’re worthless and you’ll never overcome this.

*He's right...we won't overcome anything. Unless....

John 15:4-6, I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

The enemy is a fantastic preacher. Fantastic. It's so easy to believe accusations he berates us with 24/7 till they run like hamsters in our mind's wheel. That is why it's so vital we read, memorize and mediate on the Word. The Word is powerful. Living. Sharper than anything Satan can preach to us. As we abide in the Word, it will spread and flourish within us (Acts 12). The Word alone {not Satan} {not others} {not even ourselves} has the right to judge our thoughts and attitudes of our heart (Hebrews 4). Next time the enemy preaches you a sermon, preach the Word back, for...

The Word is flawless (Proverbs 3)

The Word is living (Hebrews 4)

The Word is Jesus! (John 1)

Get ready for a treat with Shane & Shane's Embracing Accusation {plus, there's a bit by Piper!}

November 17, 2010

Where are You Going?

Little by little, one travels far. - J.R.R. Tolkien

My very core thrills at the mere thought of traveling. Be it by car, plane or boat {n-o-t train though...ugh!}

Warning: awful cliche coming up.... Ready?

It's about the journey, not the destination. Hey, quit were given fair warning!

My college roomie used to say, "they wouldn't be cliche's it they weren't true." Well said oh wise sage. And so, I agree with that cliche because it is true. Not just a grain worth true, but really really true.

Is there anything quite like cruising down the byways, wind do-si-do'ing with your hair as the Allman Brothers serenade the balmy afternoon?

Or how about soaring on an adventure that sweeps your feet 35,000 off the ground at a swift 550 miles an hour.

Ahhh, or my favorite...cascading along a glassy surface, cutting through white capped ridges, rewarded with stingingly refreshing wet bouquets.

This year I have been to the mountains, beach, Central America, a few different states. Oh, but the list goes on...

Spiritually that is. Through peaks and valleys. With myself and others. These kind keep me a tad closer to home...usually on my knees. And I never go on them without my traveling companion...He's attentive and a delightful conversationalist. Here're a few trips we've taken...

I've waded through thick muddy adoption paperwork & rocketed to the moon when sweet one came home to her family.

Crept along the dark recesses of depression with a new mom.

Glided to the heavens on the wings of long-awaited pregnancy news for college sweethearts.

Helped man the helm for a friend threatened to capsize in a tumultuous storm of death.

Ran the ridge of hope with my sister starting a new business.

Speaking as one in the midst of several travels, the journey adds to the exhilaration and thrill of the destination.

Where have you traveled this year?

If the trials of many years were gathered into one, they would overwhelm us; therefore, in pity to our little strength, He sends first one, and then another, then removes both, and lays on a third, heavier, perhaps, than either; but all so wisely measured to our strength that the bruised reed is never broken.

We do not enough look at our trials in this continuous and successive view. Each one is sent to teach us something, and altogether they have a lesson which is beyond the power of any to teach alone. ~
HE Manning

November 11, 2010

Mad Skillz

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. ~2 Corinthians 5:17

Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?
And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. ~Luke 15:3-6

Here's the dealio. Upon saying, "I'm yours Lord," things change. I mean, inside turns out. Upside turns down. Black turns white. Cold turns hot. Winter turns Spring.

Things change. It's just the crazy, incomprehensible, relieving way God does things.

Old becomes new. Broken becomes restored. Ashes become beauty.

Perhaps that's why I jadore this girl's vision for turning trash into treasure. She roves garage sales, thrift stores and flea markets, scouring for a castaway to give new life. Changes it forever. It's never ever ever the same. It's a She then proudly wears it for the world to see. Sound like anyone else we know? Check out her whimsical, clever, neato transformations! This girl's got mad skillz.

And he who was seated on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new." Also he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true." And he said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. ~Revelation 21:2-6

"I will make you like my signet ring, for I have chosen you," declares the LORD Almighty.
~Haggai 2:23

November 10, 2010

Is That Really Neccesary?

Friendships intrigue me. Mixing demeanors, disdains and delights of two people into one friendship is precarious business! Now throw living together in to boot and things could get dicey.

In roughly 30 years I've lived with roughly 30 people. That's plenty many if you ask me! Over the years I learned it's wise {read: selfish self-preserving} to set some "ground rules" at the start or...well, things could get dicey.

From the start of Elizabeth and I nesting in the little brick ranch on Cornish Place, we laid down throw rugs and boundary lines.

Three laughter & {good} tear filled years later, we swept the kitchen floor for the last time, turned off the porch light, and closed the door of living together {with our dear superfun lovable Lydia!}.

Casting my sights back on that season, I can't help but ponder if the boundaries were necessary. Not once did we argue, fight, bicker. Not once. Dirty dishes, piles of boots in the hall, slews of paperwork on the coffee table didn't faze us. Taking the trash bin out, raking leaves, dusting {just kidding...we collectively agreed that's a waste of time!} were shared duties, not ones we hemmed and hawed over because we had just unloaded the dishwater the last umpteenth times!! Nah, none of that. A natural rhythm simply flowed through our home in every way.

Did laying out boundaries make living together simpler? I can't say for certain. Perhaps they helped, but overall I believe it was the mix of demeanor, disdains and delights (the 3 Ds) that made our trio work.

Elizabeth lavished sweet balmy words about me on her blog today. My heart couldn't hold each one, and as I type even now, I am overflowing with gratitude for her and our friendship. Now that I can finally see through the tears, I want to splash some of her {and Lydia's...'cause we love us some Lydia!} refreshing beauty on you!

Both of these girls....

Demeanors are {easy going} {fun loving} {aimed upward} {hard working} {peace filled} {joyous} {caring} {intentional} {minded toward others} {generous in spirit} {lovely} {safe} {merciful}

Disdains are {waxy chocolate} {blase music} {bad wine} {cheap potshots} {gossip} {not loving well} {closed hands towards God} {injustice} {too few Christmas tree lights} {not enough laughter}

Delights are {sunny days} {beauty unseen by others} {live concerts} {runs that induce j-e-l-l-o legs} {listening well} {living well} {loving well} {adventures by land, sea or sky} {friendships like deep wells} {cozy fireplaces} {quality time} {Pride&Prejudice 100 times over} {worship spilling from their very pores} {soaking in the Word} {Jesus} {abundant Christmas tree lights}

So I ask again...did the boundary lines set up to separate us indeed hold us together? A quick review of E and L's 3 Ds tell me otherwise; I believe it was Elizabeth and Lydia themselves, not any far flung rules, that created an atmosphere of peace, camaraderie, and togetherness. I love these girls. I love the years that melded us together under the same roof. I love the pruning God gave me through them simply being them. I love that our memories are soft places to land when the world is hard. And I love how our friendship has spread its wings, soared to vast and higher heights. Far above the boundary lines. That, in hind sight, probably were unnecessary in the first place.

Elizabeth captured my home in such a beautiful way recently. My sister is an interior designer and needed photographs of my home for her website. Seriously, I can't believe I live here...It's like seeing it for the first time all over again!!! If you need a brilliant, life-inspiring photographer, run, don't walk, to Almond Leaf Studios!! If you need an interior designer who brings life, cheer and charm to everything she touches, look no further than Grace Interiors Design!!

November 9, 2010

Tie a Ribbon 'round Your Little Finger

Remember me with favor, my God. ~Nehemiah 5:19

Remember, LORD, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old. ~Psalm 25:6

When the waters rise and you've waited long for rescue & you feel God's forgotten, remember... Genesis 8:1: But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded.

When dust and debris threaten to replace passions, dreams and callings & you feel God's forgotten, rememer... Genesis 9:15: I will remember my covenant between me and you.

When the pitter-patter of little feet is silent & you feel God's forgotten, remember... Genesis 30:22: Then God remembered Rachel; he listened to her and enabled her to conceive.

When fearworrydoubtfaithlessnessanxiety enslave & you feel God's forgotten, remember... Exodus 2:23-25: During that long period...The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out, and their cry for help...went up to God. God heard their groaning and he remembered his covenant...and was concerned about them.

When guilt consumes & you fear God will never forget, remember... Isaiah 43:25: I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more. Jeremiah 31:34: for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.

When all hope is lost, remember... Luke 24:6-8: He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you...‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’

When God answers, pulls through, rescues, & redeems, remember... Deuteronomy 8:2: Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the wilderness.

When dreams come true and you're thriving in your calling, remember... 1 Chronicles 16:12, 15: Remember the wonders he has done and that He remembers his covenant forever, the promise he made, for a thousand generations.

In all things, remember God is their Rock, that God Most High is our Redeemer. ~Psalm 78:35

p.s. you can download Sara Grove's Christmas album for f.r.e.e. at !

November 8, 2010

Ante What?

Antediluvian, "before the deluge" – the period referred to in the Bible between the Creation of the earth and the flood. In popular culture, the term is used to refer to any ancient and murky period. {Thanks Wikipedia!}

Truth? Did you know what antediluvian meant before you clicked on this post? As a self-proclaimed word-nerd, I racked my brain before I bowed out and Wikipedia'ed it (so adore verbing a noun!)

This six syllable wonder scattered into my thoughts. I bumped into it all day. But why? I didn't even know what it meant or where I heard it. Why today has it been tripping me up?

Here's what I think. Sometimes we keep a tight grip on things which we need to let go. Much like the people in Noah's day, holding on to their sin and doubt, we're invited to walk away from {fill in the blanks} and leave it all behind. There comes a time when we know the Creator just gave us a nod of encouragement and blueprints for an ark.

I felt that nudge today with my increasingly repetitious word antediluvian. Time to pick up my hammer and nails and build in faith. Time to build a float of hope. With one eye on the sky for the elusive cloud. I know He'll send the healing rains to accumulate and flood into the ancient, murky past. They will wash away my {fill in the blanks} and when I step out of my ark, I'll be stepping on a clean slate. A fresh start.

How about you?

Know therefore that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments. ~Deut. 7

November 5, 2010

Where We Live

"It is in the shelter of each other that the people live."~Irish Proverb

Everyone needs shelter. If I recall correctly, it's up there with food, water, air and love. Sounds pretty major, huh? If we correlate shelter to people, we must be vulnerable and authentic in order to give others something to 'shelter' us from. Self-imposed isolation is a no-no.

Unfortunately, isolation comes a little too natural to me. Think: armadillo. I curl up inside my hard shell and roll into the sunset, right outta Dodge. But real life requires real conversations and real emotions. Keeping these out of the shelter equation leaves our lil' armadillo selves in a bleak desert, alone sans the howls of the ki-oats {Insert shiver}. I headed back to Dodge this week and found shelter in some sweet tweets, convos, emails and messages...

Hi Sam , called but no answer. Leaving at 6am tomorrow morning. Have a good week and I will fb when possible. Love ya ~Mom

He begins to guide them by day in cloud and fire at night. God did all these things to show them who HE WAS and that HE could be trusted. He cared for them. I pray that today God will show more of Himself to you and know He is trustworthy; He is more trustworthy than we are to ourselves. love you ~Joni

My heart is hurting for you. I have prayed for you this morning. I love you and I'm here if you need me. ~Melissa

Call if u need anything. I know what its like. Ur never alone girl. Never.

What can I be praying for you? Let me know if there is anything, okay! ~Donna

How are you? ~Jenn

Hey girl, praying for you. ~Stephanie

Sometimes we have to choose to accept shelter. We can't always make a go of it solo. As I unrolled my tightly balled-up shell, I recognized once more the safe warmth of resting in the shelter of others. Thank you Jesus for these amazing gifts!

Leaving this post with two thoughts:
First, are you heading out of Dodge this very moment, cutting yourself off from others for whatever reason? Stop, drop and roll back to the shelters in your life. Take it from a ridiculously independent girl. You need them. Really; you do.

Second, do you see someone you love boogying away from you, receding into themselves, isolating from others? Run after them! Whether they know it or not, they'll be grateful.

Take It

Take the first step in faith.

You don't have to see the

whole staircase,

just take the first step.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

November 2, 2010

C&E No More!

My friend Javier's words, "The King of all kings would send His only Son to die for ME and forgive all my sins. I still love thinking about that," made me realize oft times I'm a C&E christian. But no more. Uh-uh. Enough.

From here on out, I am going to reflect, marvel, remember, awe on Jesus' life and death and life again. How?

Mediate on His Word.
Clean out my heart.
Sit in silence and listen, really listen.
Pray, pray, pray.
Open my mouth in praise.

Nichole Nordeman's song Why {see below} is one such song of praise. The passion in her lyrics narrows my spastic attention span and broadens my view of God's wide love. Oh, and it gives me a swift kick in the badunkadunk right out of C&Eville. This is just the beginning of my journey out...stay tuned for more in the upcoming weeks, months, years...

November 1, 2010

Couldn't Have Said It Better Myself

I had a hard day today. The gentlest breeze could've knocked me over. I wrote a post about it. But before hitting 'Publish,' I caught up on some blog reading.

Much to my heart's delight my friend Stephanie's words capture my day and aims it right back to the hands of God. She fashions my feelings with hope and honest words., instead of publishing my post, I'm linking to Stephanie's post The Other Side. Because, I couldn't have said it better myself! I don't doubt her words will touch you too, as her writing {hence, her love of the Lord} reflects this passage...

The Lord GOD has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him who is weary. Morning by morning he awakens; he awakens my ear to hear as those who are taught. ~Isaiah 50:4