January 31, 2015

That Thing I Do Now - Vol 81

How are ya'll?  Have you braved the Winter storms... are you snowed in?  We have been fogged in and while we are spoiled around these parts with days and days of sunshine... (nearly 300 per year actually!) - the fog has been a nice companion! 

It's mysterious and romantic and it begs for more couch time with a blanket and a(nother) cup of coffee... but I am ready for some blue skies and sunshine!  A little warmer temps would be welcomed as well, but I wouldn't dare complain!

Featured today are posts by Don Miller, Ann Voskamp, Amber Haines, Ashley Hales, Shauna Niequist, Emily Freeman, Holley Gerth, Jennifer Lee, a post from right here... and - of course - a video* to wrap it all up! (* A few videos in honor of our Super Bowl bound RePete-ing 'Hawks!)

Happy Reading! 
(Ya'll know to click on the authors' names below to read the entire post, yes?)

January 29, 2015

WAIT - A Five Minute Friday Post

It's Thursday night, ya'll... you know the drill!

(It's Five Minute Friday... in case you actually DON'T know the drill and you're new around here! Read on to learn what it is, but know that what it is is Awesome! A flash mob of writers who pour our love and encourage and uplift... who take five minutes and write brave, whatever starts flowing... unedited and published real quick like, without over thinking it!  We'd love to have you join us!)

Here is our Word Prompt for the day: WAIT



Why is it that we rarely do it well?  Or at least, for me, I rarely hear "Wait" and think, "Oh goodie!"

Lately... (as in - since my Summer of Silence) WAIT has been my call.  Don't go forward... don't fall backward... just stand still and, (wait for it...)


January 28, 2015

When Fog Looks Like Glory and It Helps You Remember...

For me, the fog always reminds me...

I wrote about it a bit the other day --how we've been shrouded in fog lately... how it unfolds in layers and is constantly moving around and shifting, but it is not lifting. It's not completely burning off.

For us, well-- this is not normal.  We are a Sunshine-for-290-days-a-year kind of town, and too many days without blue skies can play tricks on your mind and press heavy on your heart if you let it.  

It can make you feel alone... hidden... unseen.

But for me... the fog looks like Glory and it helps me to remember that I am never truly alone.  

January 26, 2015

How Wonder just keeps showing up...

It's no secret... how my #OneWord365 is Wonder.  I've been working it into my daily life by participating in Ali Edwards' online class One Little Word and following the prompts of finding quotes and definitions... of looking for inspiration and processing what I will need to let go of in order to invite Wonder in in full force this year.

Isn't Wonder just like our God? He is just waiting to be invited in... just waiting with baited breath and a racing heart for our attention to but shift toward Him... He's so lovesick and contagious, it's wonder full!
(Ya see what I did there?)

January 24, 2015

That Thing I Do Now - Vol 80

Happy Weekend, ya'll!

I didn't really realize it as I gathered these posts this week, but as I put them all here, side by side, I see that many of them are a bit intense... but each of them spoke to me in such powerful ways, I pray they do the same for you!

Featured today are posts by Lori Harris, Kelli Woodford, Laura, Dana Butler, Amber Haines, Christie Purifoy, Deidra Riggs, Lisa-Jo Baker, a post from right here... and - of course - a video to wrap it all up!

Happy Reading! 
(Ya'll know to click on the authors' names below to read the entire post, yes?)

January 22, 2015

SHARE - Five Minute Friday...

It's Thursday night and ya'll know what that means! Before Parenthood (which tragically only has ONE MORE WEEK... what the what?) - there is #fmfparty and the Twitter party where a Flash Mob of writers gather to encourage and inspire and then write for five minutes flat on one word and link up our Brave (unedited) offerings over at Kate's place!

Here is our Word Prompt for the day: SHARE
Yep... I guess I am still chewing on the interview with Tony Kriz that I blogged about last FMF!


I know... 

I know I wrote about how I listened to Tony Kriz in this interview last week. I wrote about what he said in the last ten minutes about how we must stop being commuters and we must start being communicators... (my interpretation of his words there!)  He talked about how we must get out of our homes and cars and really meet our neighbors... I'm still thinking about it.

But I read words by him earlier this week and oh my goodness... they are just keep rooting down deeper in my heart!  

In his book, Neighbors and Wise Men, he said this: 
"What if sharing the gospel was not so much like sharing a chocolate cake, where one person has privileged access and the other has not? What if sharing the gospel was instead like sharing a sunset?"

Yes. That.

January 21, 2015

On Access... Both Freely Given, and Completely Denied... and How It's Really Up To You!

Last night, amongst our people, My Honey and I stood side by side, eyes closed, palms open, head back... and we collectively, intently slowed our thoughts by slowly breathing in deep - the whole group of us.  

Fully inhaling... holding on while letting go, inviting Him to come in and spill out and to linger all around us.

We gathered to talk of how we host His Presence.

What tools we use... how we tangibly pay attention to the fact that we are carriers of His Presence and our desire is to leak Him out wherever we go.

We are a Kingdom People... a Royal Priesthood... worshipers and lovers of God... We are Community and Communion and One with Him, while being wildly for each other. 

January 19, 2015

In searching for an Authentic Life and Who You Really Are, Don't Forget That You Were Once Darkness

Oh, but we like to forget, don't we? It's not that we mean to, it's just that presenting only Light seems easier... better... like a complete story.

We are all searching... stretching and growing and becoming who He intended for us to be!  We want to know who we really are... we want to have confidence in our calling and live an authentic life.  

We want to --or at least we want to want to!

We talked about it last week here... about how we are called to put down our Masks and be who God created and gifted us to be! We have talked about how we need to stop comparing and competing... how you don't have to wait to hit your 40's to walk in freedom and care more about the big things, and less about all the little things!

But in all our searching... in all our laying things down, let us not forget this:
"For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light."  (Ephesians 5:8)

We were once darkness... before we saw the Light - we were darkness.

I am a lover of Light!  As an artist, a photographer, a believer in Christ - I LOVE the Light! I love how it comes in and shifts... how it just takes a little light to cut through a world of darkness.  I love how in any given landscape, situation, or circumstance, Light floods in and changes our perspective!

Nothing has changed, but everything changes.

January 17, 2015

That Thing I Do Now - Vol 79

Hey ya'll! Happy Weekend!

We woke up to snow on Friday morning... Snow! (We haven't had any of that yet this Winter! I know... haters gonna hate and all of that but just hold on -it gets worse better... by Friday afternoon - it was GONE! Mostly melted away!) 

Anyway - Welcome to the Weekend!

Usually what that means around here is a bit more down time to read all the things, which is why I am always more than happy to hook you up with some of the best reads I have found from across the interwebs this week!

Featured today are posts by Emily Freeman, Shauna Niequist, Erika Morrison, Ann Voskamp, Hannah Boning, Kaitlyn Bouchillon, Michelle DeRusha, a post from right here... and - of course - a video to wrap it all up!

January 15, 2015

SEND - Five Minute Friday

I know, I know... I'm a broken record but man I love this Five Minute Friday Community! If you are in need of encouragement, friendship, support, nutella, or prayer... come hang out with us on Twitter on Thursday nights and join us in a Writers Flashmob of sorts, writing free and unhindered, for five minutes flat!  You can find us at #fmfparty on Thursday evenings on Twitter, and always - on Fridays, over at www.katemotaung.com!

Without further ado...
Here is our Word Prompt for the day: SEND


When I hear Send... so often, I think far away!

I think, "Here am I, Lord. Send me." with sweaty palms, shaky knees, and a reluctant heart.

I think Africa, or Haiti, or Guatemala...

Funny, how time can change a person...  

January 14, 2015

An Invitation to Put Down Your Mask, and Ask God a Question...

(and then WAIT, and Listen for the Answer.)

Don't you love it when you are digging in to something, and suddenly, that 'something' is all around? It seems like out of the blue, everyone is talking about it... you see it show up wherever you go, in whatever you read or listen to or watch? I know there is a scientific name or phrase for it (Baader-Meinhof) but really, to me it is God pouring out confirmation... 

For me, lately - it's been all about Identity.
   ~Who and Whose we are.

I have written about it all over this little corner of the interwebs and I will never ever stop shouting it from the mountain tops and whispering it soft into hair and hearts and tears... It is a vital message... and in order to answer the call to be real and live authentic and be vulnerable, well-- we simply must know who we are.

Too many of us... quite probably all of us -at one point or another- play act and put on masks and we will be whatever we think you need or want us to be... in all that pretending, we lose sight of the real us. But I am excited to tell you that those days are nearing an end!

Can I get an Amen?

For over a decade, God has been reminding me of who I really am... He sings it over me, He loves it in to me, and when I am tempted to believe old lies, to revert to old ways, to put on old masks, He laughs at me with wonder... because He knows...

He knows the truth.

January 12, 2015

For When We Need To Really See (and not necessarily Do!)

We are now a full week in to this shiny New Year.

Maybe you, like me, got caught up in a bit of the bossy return of all the things... all those To Do Lists pushing you around and making you feel like you are behind already.

Maybe you, like me, felt all those hopeful, wonder-filled New Dreams and Goals and Wishful Longings start to lose their sheen... Just a little.

Maybe we were both fighting off a bit of cynicism and trying to remember to take every defeated,-nothing-ever-changes thought -- every I-have-GOT-to-learn-the-lesson-this-time-around-the-mountain thought captive!

We had some great days... you and me. But then maybe we had some not so on track days, too. Even if we pushed through and stuck with it all, the joy in the journey was at least fading a bit, for sure!

Thus comes the unfolding of the real brand New Year! Right?

Here's my deal... I have this thing

January 10, 2015

That Thing I Do Now - Vol 78

Happy Weekend Ya'll!  I don't know about you, but this first full week of back to real life was bossy and full and went by so fast!  I am here to give you a little something to read... a gathering of a few of my Favorite Finds from across the inter webs!

Featured today are posts by Jeff Haden, Emily Freeman, Tonya Salomons, Jen Hatmaker, Shauna Niequist, Robin Dance, Jon Acuff, Jennifer Dukes Lee, a post from right here... and - of course - a video... a little Jimmy Fallon and Jerry Seinfeld to wrap it all up!

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

January 8, 2015

WELCOME - a Five Minute Friday post

A brand New Year... a fresh start... a clean slate... It's wonderful and yet exhausting, right? 

I was so ready for my Five Minute Friday community tonight... some chatting and catching up, some laughing, foodie talking, prayer requesting, Gilmore Girls quoting, Encouragement Super Powers on display over on 'the Twitter' as they say... (and then I was off to the gym to workout before my scheduled melt down aka watching Parenthood as it nears it's big finale!) Join in as we all gather in a crazy fun flash mob of sorts and write for five minutes flat on a one word prompt... 

After three weeks off, here is our Word Prompt to start off the New Year: WELCOME




Just the word alone exhales Home to me!

Welcome... This is the cry of my heart and at the heart of all that I do!  My desire, my call in life, is to create space where first - HE is invited in... to give room for Him to settle in and abide, and then second - to make sure that you know that you are welcome, too!

We have been talking a lot of Welcoming around here lately. 

January 7, 2015

Hope - It's What We Want... What We Really, Really Want...


(We're gonna ignore that ya'll were just singing a SpiceGirls song in your head.  We'll just leave that one alone for now...)

Hope. Joy. Peace.

I know.  I know it's after Christmas and the boxes are (getting) put away and all the festive Advent talk can be pushed aside... there is an exhale that we made it through. 

We survived. And it was good... In this weary world, Christmas - Christs' coming - it is always good.

We catch our breath, and then comes the New Year with all it's Clean Slates and Righteous Ambition... with all the new ways we are going to be Nailing it in 2015 and whether we say it loud and proud, or pencil it in quietly, we are just praying that it's true.

January 5, 2015

Aaah... the Glorious, Tedious Return of Mondays in the Real (post-holiday vacation) World!

This is the day that the Lord has made... sure - but it's also the day when Real Life hits us hard and reminds us that this New Year is here and unfolding already and we once again must (re)learn to juggle All The Things and pay attention to those Bossy Lists of Things To Do again!

For most of my adult life, this day - this Monday, has meant the glorious return of an empty house after the holidays and the vacations have all come and gone... the hubs and the girlie go back to work and school and I have quiet time... as in - pure, blissful silence.  (This is the Monday that I was always oh so thankful for school teachers... bless it.)

While I am not in that season anymore, and I am getting used to a quieter, emptier house for most of all of the days... this Monday still comes at me strong, with all kinds of Bossy vying for my attention!

My calendar and day planner are already bossing me around today and I am filled with thoughts of nailing it on so many new fronts that I am tired before I ever let my feet hit the floor and stretch up tall to standing!

January 3, 2015

That Thing I Do Now -vol 77

Happy New Year!

Sure... I thought of taking a week off because - well, the holidays and who has time to read anything else... but then I thought, maybe that is EXACTLY what we all need! An excuse to sip on something yummy and browse through some posts to unwind and get back a sense of normal -even if just for a few moments!

Featured today are posts by Jennifer Dukes Lee, Emily Freeman (and seriously - check out the link up! It is filled with great posts!), John Pavlovitz, Lisa Jo Baker, Emily Wierenga, a post from right here... and - of course - a video over at Logan Wolframs place!

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

January 1, 2015

Happy New Year 2015! My Annual Prophetic New Years Day post

I have this standing date...

I started this years ago, in the wee early hours of the brand new year.  The house is still festive from all the holiday fun but it's quiet... peaceful... a bit emptied out after all is unwrapped, and yet brimming with hope for what is still to come!  

So, as is the routine, I grab a cup of coffee, a blanket, my Bible and a journal, and I meet with God all cozied up on my couch on New Years Day.  It's just us two... (or 4, because Those Guys always travel in 3!)

I spend a little time praising Him, thanking Him and counting gifts and then I get down to the task at hand:  I reflect over the last year and how the prophetic word or phrase played out.  Next, I ask Him each year, on this - the first day, for a prophetic word or phrase as well as a book in the Bible that will be significant in the year to come.  He is faithful to meet me and to give me insight in reflecting back, and a glimpse into what lies ahead!

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