December 30, 2018

A Year in Review... the Top Ten posts on the Blog.

 (according to stats, anyway!)


I hadn't really planned on doing a Year in Review post because --well, because I haven't really been as active on the blog as in years' past, and I'm allowing myself short sessions in front of a screen, pre-surgery!

And also because some of MY favorite posts didn't get much traffic or comments at all. Yet, it's always interesting for me to look back and see which posts created the most views or interaction.  I will say I miss the olden days of Blogging when the comment sections were full(er) and filled with community and back and forth conversation! I so value when you take the time to add a comment - short or long. It's such an encouraging reminder that these words we tap out here matter... and they make a difference!

So - without further ado, 
here are the TOP TEN posts of 2018:

December 27, 2018

When You Really Need a Do-Over... or more like a Do-Better! A OneWord365 post.

It's nearing the end of the year and if you've hung out around here in late December or early January, then you know that we do a few Annual posts...

* One is the post where I discuss All the Books... I already wrote that one and you can find it HERE.

* Another one is usually posted on January 1st or 2nd, and that is a Prophetic post revealing a Word (or phrase) and a Book in the Bible that I feel the Lord is highlighting for the year to come! This post comes after spending the first few hours of the New Year alone and cuddled in close, asking Him for His heart for what is to come. (So that will come soon!)

* And then there is this OneWord365 project that we have done for several years and counting now! (This is that post!)

Listen,  here's the deal:
2018 has been so full of Heavy and Hard (even more so than 2017... which was pretty terrible, if you recall!) and somehow I completely forgot about my OneWord... 

Well, it seems it forgot about me, too!
Or at least that is how I felt
when I went back to look it up!

December 21, 2018

God With Us... A Five Minute Friday post.

With only a handful of days left until Christmas, I hope and pray you are all done with all the madness and chaos... but I know chances are good that at least some of you are running around down to the last possible moment!

As Advent winds down, and our waiting is met with the fulfillment cries of a newborn King, this is our final Five Minute Friday link up of the year!

Here we go:

This is a Five Minute Friday post... which simply means I set a timer
and free write for five minutes flat on the one-word prompt: WITH


With Christmas being literally just days away...
of course, my mind and my heart go immediately
to the verse in Matthew 1 where we are told
that Jesus will be born and
His name shall be Immanuel,
God with us.

God WITH us... 
I mean...
Come on!

After all the waiting... 
the lamenting and longing through Advent
(and through those 400+ years of silence!)
God promises that He is about to
break through the darkness and
break through the dawn
and He is coming to cram Himself
into flesh and blood and
He will be known as Emmanuel
--which means, 'God with us'!

And all of Creation heaves a sigh of relief...

Because -even before we knew Him...
we've missed Him!

December 18, 2018

Ermagherd, Berks!!! (Books I Read - The 2018 Edition)

Hey Sweet Readers! 

Here we are at the end of another year!  Many of you know that 2018 was full of unexpected twists and turns for our little family and as much as we enjoy reading those in a Story... we don't always love living them so much in our own story, right?  Between all the changes and challenges, I also found myself grounded at home without the ability to strain (read: use!) my eyes for months at a time -- so these things all kept me off my reading game! Still,  you also know how I love me some books... (or 'berks!' as in, "Ermagherd! Berks!")

So this is the post where I take time to reflect back over the year and revisit some of my favorites! 

Honestly, I thought this list would be shorter but I did seem to up my reading during the months I was able to! And after a couple of surgeries in January, I hope to get back on track on reading all the things!

Here is a random list of books I read and loved this year! 


December 15, 2018

Be Still and Know... A Five Minute Friday post.

I see the word and think of something we just chatted about for our latest episode, "The Christmas Story - Gospel Edition" on The Changing Our Minds Podcast... and I also think about how I keep wishing all of this Stillness and Waiting would move along already!

Here we go:

This is a Five Minute Friday post... which simply means I set a timer
and free write for five minutes flat on the one-word prompt: STILL


When I see the one-word prompt,
my mind goes to an all familiar phrase...
one that we say often and one that has
felt oh so bossy as of late: 
"Be Still and Know that I am God." (~Psalm 46:10)
I mean... I used to love this verse!  
I used to relish in entering in a bit of
Stillness and Silence.  

I'm sure I will come to love it once again,
but over the past month or so
I have grown weary of waiting.

I've been pondering the 400+ years of silence
and it is not lost on me
--how my impatience is so silly
in light of my (relatively 'short') wait.  

And also there is this: 
I know deep down in my bones and my soul
that --always!-- He is worth that waiting...
He is worth the wait!

December 8, 2018

When Your Spiritual Equilibrium is Out of Balance... a Five Minute Friday post.

Hey there, sweet readers!  

I know this is December and the Christmas season
and this is the time of year where this little corner
is normally full of festive thoughts and good cheer.
However, I see the word prompt and I know
the chances of this post getting around
to Christmas Joy is slim... 
but Truth can always be found here... 
as well as honesty! So, here we go!

This is a Five Minute Friday post... which simply means I set a timer
and free write for five minutes flat on the one-word prompt: BALANCE


We were talking in our home group just the other night...
it was after spending an hour in prayer together,
where we simply speak out
whatever God puts on our hearts
and others come alongside in agreement
and lift our arms and hearts and heads.  

Oh, how we need each other!

We are a small band of brothers and sisters
with kindred hearts and we all have found ourselves
this year in some sort of an In-Between season...
a bit unsettled, and feeling a tad unsteady!

We shared how we seem to be
missing the Thrill of Hope... 
We are most definitely all
feeling the Weary World... 
yet we're still waiting for
the Rejoicing to begin! 

But isn't that Advent?
  It's the waiting... the hoping... 

And even though we know He came... 
even though we know He is still here now... 
we feel a bit out of balance and we are
longing for a bit of Wonder & Joy!

December 5, 2018

When You Need a Visual...

  and for Wonder and Joy to Abound!

I hope this holiday season has arrived for you with plenty of wonder and joy.

Maybe, for you, this really IS the most wonderful time of the year... or maybe Bah Humbug (rather than Merry Christmas!) is what is on repeat in your head.

Or maybe... just maybe... this season is slowly unfolding and you haven't (yet!) felt the presence of Peace or Goodwill! Perhaps Wonder and Joy haven't shown up and shown off, but I assure you --much like Advents' message... they are coming! 

Sometimes we just need to look for them... 
to seek them out... to ask the Lord to
open our eyes to see them!

Wonder and Joy... 
They tend to go hand in hand.

December 1, 2018

In Oceans Deep My Faith Will Stand... A Five Minute Friday post.

Hello there, sweet readers!

Can you even believe that today is the beginning of December? DECEMBER, people? 

I don't know about you, but I'm not so sure I'm ready for all that tends to come at us during this month! That may be because I am still 'grounded' awaiting surgeries in January, and we will not be doing many of our 'normal' December things this year because of that.  (Some of this makes me happy... and some of it, not so much!)

Anyway, December is here whether we are ready or not! So let's welcome it and kick it off together... This is a Five Minute Friday post... which simply means I set a timer and free write for five minutes flat on the one word prompt: DEEP


I see the word and immediately hear
the lyrics to one of my favorite songs... 
"You call me out upon the waters The great unknown where feet may fail And there I find You in the mystery In oceans deep, My faith will stand..."

"My faith will stand..."

I sing it over and over... 
Sometimes as a statement or declaration.
Other times, as a plea and a prayer!

Because through the last few years, --you guys!!!--
I have felt the 'Oceans Deep' part, for sure!

He has called us out upon the waters... He has!
We talk about it all the time
--how He calls us to be water walkers
and how we believe... 

November 21, 2018

The Difference of One Little Word - a Five Minute Friday post.

Happy Thanksgiving, sweet readers!

It's been quiet around here, I know.  Between taking a little break after All the Days in a row of writing posts in October, and battling some eye issues yet again that limit my screen time, I have gotten a bit quiet.  However, it's Thanksgiving and you KNOW this is my favorite holiday and I've missed Y'all. 

So... here we go... a Five Minute Friday post... which simply means I set a timer and free write for five minutes flat on the one word prompt: ONE


All I can think of when I see the word is how easy it is for us to lose focus and to forget... to exchange one little word that skews our perspective and affects our attitude!

We can let the Heavy and the Hard press against us and knock us off center --but never off-course.  

We can accidentally listen to lies that feel more like truth than to the Truth that feels so far away and impossible... 
But God... remember?

But God...

So as Thanksgiving approaches and right after it, all the crazy chaos that has somehow become Christmas, I remind myself to count blessings, one by one. 

To slow time, as Ann said, and to count gifts listing them off as I close my eyes and open my heart to all the ways He is Present and Thick all around me!

He is Present and Thick
all around you too, sweet friend!
I promise it is true
--whether it feels true or not!

November 9, 2018

When You Need a Break from all the Heavy Burdens... A Five Minute Friday post.

When You Need a Break
from all the Heavy Burdens... 
You head for the sea! 
(Well, if you are like us, anyway!)

This is a Five Minute Friday post, which simply means I set a timer and free write for five minutes flat on the one word prompt: BURDEN


As I am tapping these words out, I am ever so thankful that I don't really need my eyes to see where the keys are... I've been at this long enough to be able to type with my eyes closed - which is basically what I am doing right now.

I haven't been super quiet about this long(er than we thought, hoped for, or desired) In Between season and I've hinted at some of the Heavy and Hard that we have endured over the last few years.  

My natural bent towards counting gifts and focusing on the blessings... on the positive and not the negative... on the abundance and not the lack... can make it seem like our life is charmed (it is) and that everything goes our way (it doesn't... but we trust that somehow it goes HIS way and we know He tells us again and again that His ways are higher and better anyway, right?)

But you guys... 

This is a hard season packed full with heavy burdens and if we are not careful, we can forget that those --well, those are not ours to carry!

October 31, 2018

DAY THIRTY ONE of 31 Days of Becoming Queen of Giving the Benefit of the Doubt

The Wrap-Up & Release...
I can't believe we made it! 

I hate to tell you this... but
now is when the hard work truly begins.  

Now, the call is to take what we have been learning here,
and be intentional in putting it into practice out there!  

Sidenote: You know that after all of these words, for all these days in a row... Imma take a little break for a few days! However, I wanted to let you know that I'm oh so honored that you have joined me on this journey toward Becoming a (King* or) Queen of Giving the Benefit of the Doubt! (*I see you male readers!)

It's counter-cultural... and it doesn't come naturally to us, I know! But if the world is going to know us by our Love... man, you guys, ...we've got to get better at majoring on the positives and what we DO have in common, rather than pointing out the negatives and focusing on all the ways we are different!

I will never tell you this will be easy. 

It is always a choice... and not one that our fleshly heart
pushes us towards. But the more we choose it... 

October 30, 2018

DAY THIRTY of 31 Days of Becoming Queen... Links & Inspiration

Links & Inspiration... 

Yesterday on the blog, I posted a ton of ideas and tips on how to be kind... We separated it out in categories, but really... a lot of it should easily overlap!

Ermergherd... Berks!!! Yes, today we are talking BOOKS, people! (Well, books, and a few blog posts and songs) because, of course!  

Y'all know I love books and I have quite the collection so this, as I stated for yesterdays' post, this is in no way an exhaustive list, and I would love your input in the comments below if I left off an obvious Must Read when it comes to learning how to put this series into action in our real, actual lives! 

So... here goes! But I am counting on you, sweet readers, to add to this list! 

October 29, 2018

TWENTY NINE of 31 Days of Becoming Queen of Giving the Benefit of the Doubt

Tips on Being Kind...

I know?!  It doesn't seem like we should need this, right?

I mean... Kindness is always a good idea and it seems like we should have a running list of ideas on how to show kindness to family and friends and strangers alike! 

We have been talking all month long on how to become queens and kings of giving the benefit of the doubt and a huge part of this journey is simply remembering to be kind.  Some of the best ways have already been covered here! However, I thought maybe I could get us started on some fun ideas and then, my hope is, you can add to the list in the comments below!

Kindness simply means: 
"the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate."
See? This should be easy... Being friendly, generous, and considerate should be a no-brainer! 

It's the following through and actually DOING it that can be slow to start! 

October 28, 2018

DAY TWENTY EIGHT of 31 Days of Becoming Queen...


Sunday: Our Sacred Gathering to Pray!

By now, you know how this works! 

I hope you are enjoying these times of prayer together!  

October 27, 2018

DAY TWENTY SEVEN of 31 Days of Becoming Queen... Scriptures & Pictures


Happy Saturday, Sweet Readers...

We made it to another weekend and I hope you are enjoying our time together as much as I am! 

These Saturday posts have been intentionally written to slow you down and give you the opportunity to ponder on a scripture and a quote and to drink in some beauty!

Hunters of Grace... Finders of Beauty...

October 25, 2018

DAY TWENTY SIX of 31 Days of Becoming Queen... a Five Minute Friday post.


This is Day Twenty Six of the #Write31Days series, 31 Days of Becoming Queen of Giving the Benefit of the Doubt. Let's see where this goes! 

This is a Five Minute Friday post, which simply means I set a timer and free write for five minutes flat on the one word prompt: MOMENT


This week we have dealt with some of the heavier and harder aspects of Becoming Queens (and Kings) of Giving the Benefit of the Doubt... topics like Forgiveness, Making Amends, and Letting Go... all necessary parts to work through if we are going to Be Kind and be less offended.

As we reflected back over these issues, it's quite possible that there were Moments that rose up to the surface! Snapshots frozen in time and somehow they seem to carry with them all the pain and sadness and a sense of loss in some sort of amplified way! But they're not real.

Like a mirage that is not really there, with the passing of time and the offering of the benefit of the doubt, those old wounds should no longer be bothersome. They may still be there... but they are no longer gaping open or bleeding out.  

They are scarred over... faded... healed. You can see them and remember the whole reason why they are there but you don't have to relive the pain of the moment every time you look down!

DAY TWENTY FIVE of 31 Days of Becoming Queen of Giving the Benefit of the Doubt

Letting Go...

We wrapped up yesterdays' post on Making Amends saying that sometimes, after forgiveness and after attempting to repair the brokenness of a relationship or situation, we are called to simply let it go!  

This can be regarding a person or simply an offense...
and if we are doing it right, letting go of the offense should be the easier choice!

I mean, right?

We've all been in the flesh and it felt easier to just write off the person rather than the problem! But if we're letting Love lead us and if we're putting into practice all that we have covered so far (like not jumping to conclusions, not making up stories or ascribing intent, not being unwilling to listen and hear...) then we are acting on the high value that God puts on relationships.

The best solution is to release the Hurt,
not the Human... 

But there are times when you have done all you can do and in order for you to move on
--you have to let go!

October 24, 2018

DAY TWENTY FOUR of 31 Days of Becoming Queen of Giving the Benefit of the Doubt

The Follow Through of
Making Amends!

This week we have already covered big topics like the importance of forgiveness and also the need for healing prayer (for ourselves and for those who have hurt us.) 

Today, I want to touch on the idea of making amends but I want to be clear from the very beginning: this is not always required or even advised.  

While our God is a God of relationships and He wants us to live in Community and unity... while He does graft us into the family, He doesn't always insist on us making amends with broken relationships --especially if they have included unhealthy boundaries or abuse.

Of course --the verse that I immediately think of is found in Romans 12:18 and reads:

"If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men." (NASB)
In The Passion Translation, it says to "Do your best to live as everybody's friend." and in The Message, it reads, "If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody."

Sometimes we are called to work at repairing that relationship after forgiveness has begun its work, and the ministry of making amends must begin. 

Sometimes, however, I don't have it in me! 

Now, God can help me to do it... to tap in to His peace and His love and I can do it. But there are also times that God gives us peace after we have done the forgiving (because, as we discussed in an earlier post --that is required!) and He frees us to let go and move on without making amends!

October 23, 2018

DAY TWENTY THREE of 31 Days of Becoming Queen...


Yesterday we dug into the importance of Forgiveness and how it is so vital for our own healing and health! (...for our own forgiven-ness, even!) 

My hesitation in writing the post yesterday was, more than anything, I didn't want to make it seem like I'm saying Forgiveness is easy. 

It's a choice... yes. It's not a feeling... 
but it stirs up ALL THE FEELS, am I right?  
It's not easy! 

It's one of the hardest things He tells us to do,
yet doesn't give us any wiggle room in not doing it!

We know that unforgiveness can quickly turn into bitterness and resentment... and that can make us sick --literally physically and/or emotionally. 

It weighs on us and can seemingly re-wound us over and over and holding on to it does us NO FAVORS!!! Even if/when we know/remember this, it's still no easy task to forgive when we've been wronged.

Enter the need for the power of Healing Prayer!

Because... he doesn't give us a choice NOT to do it!

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