July 25, 2014

Finish - FIve Minute Friday

I missed out on the twitter party last night, but I found myself saturated in His Presence while attending a local conference with my Honey and oh my goodness... He is the ultimate Gathering of Awesome, right? What He spoke to my heart? Well - no surprise, it fits in nicely with our one word prompt today!

Oh but - first - the fine print: if you don't know what FMF is!  Five Minute Fridays are hosted by Lisa Jo Baker.  It is open to anyone, so to learn more about it - and to jump in yourself (the more the merrier!) or just to find a linky to see what everyone is writing about today - click HERE!  The idea is to simply write... for Five Minutes flat... no editing, no deep thinking - or at least REthinking, no spell check - just write! Let it flow! We all write using a prompt that Lisa posts at 10pm Thursday night (EST.)  I'm loving the community of amazing bloggers and the creativity that flows from these magical Five Minutes!

So - here goes: Five Minute Friday - The Word Prompt is: FINISH

{GO}

So, I missed out last night over on Twitter with the Thursday night gathering of awesome... the flashmob of writers/encouragers who know how to write raw and real and live brave... or at least we are all learning, right?  I missed out on the fellowship - but this is what I was saturated in:


Worship. Powerful, lingering, waiting on His Presence (and oh my how He loves to show up and show off in that atmosphere!), hands lifted high, hearts laid low, bowing down and rising up, worship.  

And my, how it feeds my soul.  And my, how He is calling me back to this.  He is speaking to me through worship and through water.  

This is nothing new, really.  He always speaks to me while sitting seaside, toes in sand, breathing in deep.


 I feel tension leave, a refreshing spilling in and pouring out and it never fails... I walk away renewed.

I have written about here in this space - how we are Empty Nesters and how He is refusing to let me push right through that into what's next.  It seems there is an In Between and while it feels like there has been a bit of a death to a dream, He keeps reminding me:

You're not finished yet!

For the whole of my life, since I was 5... what I wanted most is to be a Mom. To stay home, to nurture, to raise up a life and I am blessed - BLESSED, I tell you - that I have been able to do that.  And yes, I know - we never stop being Mama's... it's a job never finished.  And yet - my days are wide open and while I can choose to fill them up with all kinds of good things, He is speaking to me about just being, once again.

Just sitting... quietly... waiting...

Not so much for an answer to a question, but for a refilling to an emptiness that I hadn't even really noticed was there.

And in the midst of worship last night... in between "Oceans" and singing of His Kingdom Come this is what my heart sang out:


Your Grace is like the tide,
crashing into me!



His Grace... His Love... His Tender Kindness... His Goodness... it crashes into me... washes over me... I can't stop it. I can't really run from it... if I want to walk on water, and I do, I must lean in and trust that the waves washing over will not overtake me... they will once again pull back out and leave me clean... refreshed... filled up to overflowing once again. 



A new day is dawning... a new season lies before us. Unfolding and unfurling and saturated in His grace. 

I am simply reminded that no matter what is going on in my life - in your life, friend - we are not finished yet!

Let's not try to rush it.  Let's walk along the water and sit by the sea... let the sun warm us and watch as the tide rolls in!


Let's let Him crash over us! 

{STOP}

I will be away next week, at the sea (well - not quite - but 'at the Sound' doesn't quite have the same ring to it!) but I hope to be 'here' because it will be Lisa-Jo's last week hosting Five Minute Friday and oh my goodness how I have fallen in love with her and this Community of writers who can't help but pour out words and love and sisterhood (brotherhood too, from time to time!)  The Five Minute Friday link-up will go on with a new host, Kate Motaung so we will continue to share and grow and support each other! But next week - well, I will attempt to be in two places at once because, Lisa-Jo! (Read: All the Feels!)





Five Minute Fridays gives us the chance to dive right in and share what He puts on our hearts! Click here to read what others have to say about "FINISH"  




July 21, 2014

Be Overwhelmed...


This is not your usual invitation, right?

I mean - who wants to be overwhelmed... who chooses that?

But here is the thing... Being Overwhelmed isn't always a negative thing!  The very definition of Overwhelm, according to Websters, is:
1 :  upset, overthrow
2 a :  to cover over completely :  submerge
b :  to overcome by superior force or numbers
c :  to overpower in thought or feeling




In this little mini-bloggy break, He is calling me back to worship... back to sitting silently in His Presence and waiting... back to being submerged in Him, covered... and who couldn't use a little more of being overpowered in our thoughts or feelings from time to time, right?

So this morning, as I rested in Him, this is what He said to me:
"Be Overwhelmed!  Be overwhelmed by My Goodness... by My Lovingkindness towards you... be overwhelmed by My Beauty!" 



He is an overwhelming flood...  As I listened to this worship song, I saw in my spirit a Waterfall... flowing over rocks - making the sharp places smooth, and falling over cliffs as if nothing could stop the flow... He, like the waterfall, rushes in and over and all around... and oh how I want that!

I felt Him whisper to my heart, "If you are going to be overwhelmed, choose Me!  Choose to be overwhelmed by Me... by My Presence, by the washing of the water of the Word, by My Power and Refreshing.  Be overwhelmed by all the lovingkindess and goodness and beauty that is all around you!"

So I invite you in. Join me! If you are going to be overwhelmed by something (or Someone) - let it be Him!   

Click this song, turn it up, and let it sink in... 

Alberto & Kimberly Rivera - "More"                                 

Here's to 'so much more'!


P.S.  I'm linking up with these lovely writers this week:

Jennifer Peterson for #NoWordsAreNeeded

Holly Barrett for #TestimonyTuesday

Jennifer Dukes Lee for #TellHisStory

Holley Gerth for #CoffeeforYourHeart





July 19, 2014

That Thing I Do Now - Vol 53 (+ Winners announced!)


I can't believe we had over 400 entries to win the Giveaways in celebration last week of our One Year Anniversary! (...turns out EVERYONE loves Books and Coffee, I guess!) 



Technically, I am still on a Summer/Semi-Bloggy Break but mostly that means I get to be the boss of me and I decide when I want to write and when I don't!  Well - that is sort of how it goes... mostly, really, I stop deciding and get back to letting God decide! We are still (re)learning this balance and most days I love the freedom and unplugged-ness of it all! But then there are the other days when I long for routine and the tapping out of words, forming thoughts, and bringing clarity and preaching to my own self here, in this space.  But I force myself to not sit in this chair on those days and I am remembering how He loves to just spend time with me... just to spend time! Not always with an agenda or something that needs to be shared and typed out!  

Still... you know I love to read All The Things... so here is a Gathering of Awesome, in case you too have been sitting in front of a screen a little less lately! (Oh how I hope you have!)

Happy Reading!
Enjoy! (Ya'll know to click on the authors' names to read their whole posts, yes?)

* This one by Barbie Swihart over at My Freshly Brewed Life on Journey To The High Places: The Invitation*...
"Going from the known to the unknown is often very frightening.  The idea of being changed though difficulty and danger can make us tremble. However, God promises that He will help us and that His Word will make the necessary provisions in our hearts so we can walk the way He chooses for us."

*Barbie is leading her readers through a book study of  Hinds Feet on High Places over at her place and so you are invited to re-read along or discover for the first time... she will be sharing what speaks to her as well as opening up some conversations! I highly (ahem) recommend this! 


* This one by Kelli Woodford over at Chronicles of Grace on Being Prayer...
"I believe I will sit here until the light becomes the dark. A little longer, maybe. And watch it all go by. Because is it ever okay to just practice the art of being? Not remembering, not focusing. No solving or communicating. Without decisions and free of plans. Words hushed, silent before the invitation

just to be."


This post by Logan Wolfram on the Dog Days of Summer...
"Mostly, I have had a zillion things to write about, but have given myself the freedom to just not.  Sometimes our “no’s” make way for more “yesses.”  And when I’m old and gray, I feel sure that the things I’ll remember most, are the yesses that I say to the people around me…" 


* This post by Jennie Allen on No More Dismissing Your Power...
"SO HOW DO WE USE POWER WELL?

It’s not about you. Whether it is feelings of inadequacy or a power trip- both shut down the building.

Take Initiative. Because we have been given much. Use your voice, resources, freedom, grace.

For Others. What are the needs you see? We are given power for the good of others."


* This post by Jen Hatmaker answers the question "Are You Taking My Message?" - A post from Rwanda...
"The correlation between poverty and lack of justice is astronomical – it shakes the foundations of human security, fostering abuse, fear, victimization, and despair.

But like the IJM team explained, no community need convict every crime to affect change. Engineer one, then four, then ten convictions, and you If predators begin to fear prosecution from their legal system as well abegin changing the equation of fear: Who will be afraid? The abused child? Or the perpetrator? If predators begin to fear prosecution from their legal system as well as outrage from their community (IJM educates churches, local leaders, healthcare workers, and parents toward this end), then justice for the oppressed is absolutely within our reach.

These victims will rise up to tell a better story."


* This post by Jennifer Dukes Lee At the End of a Long Week, A Bit of Encouragement For Brave Souls...
"Brave isn’t always about adrenaline rushes, or power trips, or life-defying leaps into the unknown.

Bravery isn’t about being fearless. It’s about being less controlled by your fear.



* This one right HERE where I join in with Lisa-Jo Baker and the Five Minute Friday crew, writing on "Bloom"...
"I loved how a simple change in perspective made us see these flowers differently. I had to prove to My Honey that there were from our garden.  They look so big... and so amazing, wrapped up in glorious morning light... standing up tall and giving praise.  It's a reminder that this is how He sees me... us... wild and free, and yet planted and in full bloom!   Let it be so, Lord!"


And of course... the video... because that's how we roll... now... now you can not hate it when this tune gets stuck in your head! (You're welcome!)


LAST BUT NOT LEAST...
Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!!!

Our Giveaway Winners:

(1) $25.00 Amazon Gift Card:
Fruit Bearer

(1) $25.00 Amazon Gift Card:
Laurie Byrne

(1) $10.00 Starbucks Gift Card:
Kaitlyn Bouchillon

(1) $10.00 Starbucks Gift Card:
Jennifer Westrom Peterson

Congratulations to all of our Winners!
So did you find any Awesome posts or articles that you read this week? Please share in the comments below!


July 17, 2014

Bloom - A Five Minute Friday Post


I have been itching to write all day - but even more than that, I have been waiting for the #fmfparty to start! This Gathering of Awesome that happens first over on Twitter, and then all around the Blogosphere every Thursday night into Friday... it's just the best, ya'll!

Oh but - first - the fine print: if you don't know what FMF is!  Five Minute Fridays are hosted by Lisa Jo Baker.  It is open to anyone, so to learn more about it - and to jump in yourself (the more the merrier!) or just to find a linky to see what everyone is writing about today - click HERE!  The idea is to simply write... for Five Minutes flat... no editing, no deep thinking - or at least REthinking, no spell check - just write! Let it flow! We all write using a prompt that Lisa posts at 10pm Thursday night (EST.)  I'm loving the community of amazing bloggers and the creativity that flows from these magical Five Minutes!

So - here goes: Five Minute Friday - The Word Prompt is: BLOOM

{GO}

"Bloom Where You're Planted..."

This is the phrase that pops into my mind as I see the prompt tonight and I have to laugh because, of course... 


This is all part of the reason why He is calling me to step back and to slow down and to really pay attention to where it is, actually, that I am planted.  To fully be present in the wrapping up of one long wonderful, terrible, blessed season without rushing out and looking for somewhere new to bloom!

That has been my bent... my survival, maybe.  To clean things up all nice and tidy and move right along to whatever is next.

Some months days, in this last season... I felt like I was wild and unrooted... a wildflower blowing in the wind.  Only some could see the beauty that I unfurled... others couldn't get past it, holding onto a weed mentality and who among us hasn't fallen prey to that?

And yet in this midst of the hard season... the dry season... the season where no wind or rain would carry me... I leaned in.  I chose to trust anyway... I chose to seek and find beauty. Who could know where I would end up and what would happen.  All I had was Him to cling to and, as it turns out, He was is enough!

My Honey... he has taken to planting wildflower seeds in our Garden.  We love the surprises... the unexpected blessings and the way they feel wild and free, while being firmly planted and blooming among the planned for.


We are learning a sense of adventure and it starts in small spaces, with seeds recklessly flung into the wind... trusting that the One who is never reckless will carry them and water them and cause them to bloom wherever it is that HE desires to plant them!*

{STOP}

I snapped these two photo's last weekend on my iphone... a Challenge from an online class I am taking and I loved how a simple change in perspective made us see these flowers differently. I had to prove to My Honey that there were from our garden.  They look so big... and so amazing, wrapped up in glorious morning light... standing up tall and giving praise.  It's a reminder that this is how He sees me... us... wild and free, and yet planted and in full bloom!  

Let it be so, Lord! Let it be so!

I reached my Five Minutes at the "*" but wanted to share about the photo's used because they so tied in with my frame of mind and where my heart is resting these days! Resting in the fact that we are being called to be wild and free, and planted all the same!




Five Minute Fridays gives us the chance to dive right in and share what He puts on our hearts! Click here to read what others have to say about "BLOOM"  





* All photo's taken by me on my iphone... no filter... thanks to David Molnars' iphone only photography online course!

July 15, 2014

Stepping Back, Breathing Deep, Letting Go, & Counting On...


So it has been since APRIL! ...April, ya'll - since I have done a Counting Gifts post and I have to be honest with you... life got busy, and good, and hard, and I fell back out of the practice of daily writing them down.  I would remember to count the blessings, one by one - but I skipped out on the writing them down on paper part. I forgot about the spelling them out and how it makes you reflect back over them as the ink dries and it helps to let the blessings sink down deep.  It's in the scribbling across pages that also etches them deep in my soul... tattooing my wandering heart with thankfulness and marking it to remember to testify of His goodness... all day, every day.

Now - Ann with no 'e' used to host Multitudes on Mondays and I would link-up there and I don't remember if we are breaking for the summer or if I have simply lost track, but as I picked up my One Thousand Gifts journal once again, and flipped through some photo's - I felt a stirring to simply share some of the beauty and gifts that I have been drinking in during this time that He has called me to step away a bit from this space!

So - this is how I am Stepping Back, Breathing Deep, Letting Go, & Counting On...

#2056 - Cards in the mail... old school, handwritten encouragement!

#fmfpartysnailmail

#2057 - A Day Trip out of Town with my Girlie... (her idea... her invite... #swoon!)

#2058 - Flowers in the Garden... and in my Chair!







#2059 - Mom... Giving... She just can't help herself!
#2060 - Birthday Dinners with the fam'!

...#2063 - Mother's Day at Cascade Gardens and then spending some time with my girlie after work.






#2065 - Co-leading #ArtinYourLife - a new Incourager Community Group... thus resulting in also...

#2066 - Making more Art... and Seeing more Art!


 


#2071 - Our Girlies Happy/Sad reaction when she found out that she got the house... which meant she'd be moving out in a couple of weeks!

#2074 - Asked to participate in The Prayer Mosiac, teaching prophetic art and also being asked to create a piece of Art for the whole event (that now hangs in the church prayer room!)



#2075 - Our JonahBoy - so chill and relaxed and lovey!
#2076 - A Saturday afternoon on the patio at Northtown Coffeehouse... with a stack of books, my poetry journal, my sketch pad, and my Honey!

#2079 - Our Girlie moving out into a safe neighborhood, not too far from home with a good group of girls.


Taking the last load to her new place!

#2080 - Meeting Baby Henry... (#swoon!)



#2085 - Casual birthday celebrations... lunch out with my Mom and my Girlie... and a family walk and Frozen Yogurt with a couple of friends!




#2086 - Doing Spoken Word at the Coffeehouse night at Grace - despite not feeling 'ready' or 'brave'!

#2088 - Morning walks followed by time spent on the Patio with coffee and books...


(...and afternoons, too!)

#2090 - Finally just jumping in to Art Journaling




#2092 - A trip to roam the Love of Junk show and visiting with my sissy!








#2093 - Our Whidbey Island trip to see my other sissy... including the gorgeous hike with breathtaking views!



I'm thinking of you, Jennifer Lee, because... Y!                        





(...and then stopping off at the gorgeous Snoqualmie Falls on our way home!)

#2097 - Playing with my deck of Go cards! (I keep 'em in the car now, so I can pull one out randomly and see how I can be a blessing!)




#2098 - Finally learning to sit back and enjoy this semi-bloggy break!

#2099 - Also... with all this 'free' time... finally playing around a bit with some illustrations


#2100 - Summer Drives... with no destination in mind...











 #2101 - Lately, ya'll, I have been winning all the things!? I won a Dayspring Giveaway...



and a Map Necklace from Krafty Kash...




and a couple of books by Jennie Allen... (in the mail!)
and I won a lifetime membership to David Molnar's iphone Only Photography Online Course... 

I think it's working:



   




Count on, my friends! Open your eyes to the gifts all around you! I pray you are drinking in summer and leaning in to a slower pace of living!

Remember to:


P.S.  I'm linking up with these lovely writers:

Jennifer Dukes Lee for #TellHisStory

Holley Gerth for #CoffeeforYourHeart

Jennifer Peterson for #NoWordsAreNeeded


Holly Barrett for #TestimonyTuesday









What are some of your gifts? What have YOU been counting lately? I'd love to hear in the comments below!

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