September 28, 2015

When You Are Lacking Time, but Abundant on Small Wonders... kick it old school with a post reminiscent of #1000gifts!

Yeah. That.

October is arriving in just a few days and my day planner is packed, y'all... and yet - this weekend, I found small wonders or gifts, if you will, all over the place! So instead of completely not posting today due to lack of time and the ability to do the words-putting-together-in-sentences-part very well, I decided to try one of those Count-Your-Blessings, Ann-Voskamp-inspired-#1000Gifts, Listy kind of posts!

So... here we go:
I count on... listing gifts, -blessings... one after another...

September 26, 2015

That Thing I Do Now - Volume 115

Hey y'all! Happy Weekend!

I don't know about where YOU are... but around my little corner of the world - Fall is arrived --inside and outside, this week! It's got me all swoony and romantic feeling!

Grab yourself something yummy to sip on and curl up to read this Gathering of Awesome, hand picked from the interwebs this week... purely for your enjoyment and encouragement!

Featured posts by Morgan Strehlow, Lori Harris, Jennifer Dukes Lee, Shelly Miller, Lore Ferguson, Annie F. Downs, Erika Morrison,  plus 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?)

September 24, 2015

Doubt, How It Creeps Right On In, & How To Make It Flee... a Five Minute Friday Post

So I had a super full (not busy... see how that shifts it just a little bit?) week but I managed to block out a little writing and Twitter Partying time on Thursday night to reconnect with the #fmfparty crew! As an introvert, some times Self Care looks like an empty house and a good book... but sometimes it looks like a laptop and my online tribe instead... (or after... because, you know! Both!)

This is Five Minute Friday (- a five minute timed free write) and our One Word Prompt for the day is: DOUBT


Here's the thing about Doubt:

He's persistent, right? 

Doubt whispers worry and shouts second guessing at the top of his lungs, in a shaky, panicked voice. He's always laying blame on anyone else and throwing accusations all over the place with reckless abandon.

And yet... he's not flashy.  

Oh no. He is cloaked in darkness and shrouded in fear and He sneaks right on in and cozies up close. Before you even know it, you're nodding your head in agreement and allowing your heart to entertain all kinds of questions and concerns.

It's been a tough few weeks, battling some unknowns and Oh My Goodness, if Doubt doesn't just keep trying to slip in under the radar.

For it is when he slithers in unnoticed that the real damage begins...

September 23, 2015

Seasons of Change

My feet are cold.

I hate it when my feet are cold, chilled to the bone.

But this morning, this fact makes me just a little bit giddy.

It means that Fall has officially arrived and as much as I love flip flops and tank tops, now is the season of layers and scarves. And all God's people said "Praise His Name!" and "Hallelujah!"

Now is the Season of Change...

September 21, 2015

And so I Cry Out... "Let It Rain!"

A poem as an offering this morning, because we are counting gifts and looking for small wonders...

I sit outside dressed in light layers,
watching as fervent prayers rally
...they beckon dark clouds to fill the sky
and roll in to cover this Valley.

The breeze is cooler
and carries a hint of Fall
as it gently blows
and ushers in a new season.
A frog... --a frog?--
 is singing out his praise
and all the birds are sleeping
and are silent for some reason.

Or maybe they are just Listening,
--leaning in and waiting for an out pour...
Longing for the nourishment it will bring
and wanting a fresh start that is hard to ignore.

September 19, 2015

That Thing I Do Now - Volume 114

I don't know about where YOU are, but around these parts, it has actually felt a bit like Fall this week! #Swoon (and #BringOnAllThePumpkinSpicedThings!)

After a long, hot summer... Autumn is being welcomed with open arms and doors and fresh air blowing through the house instead of the A/C! And everyone said Amen!

Today, we are featuring posts by Colleen Mitchell, Shannan Martin, Emily P. Freeman, Allison Vesterfelt, Michelle DeRusha, Lori Harris, 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?)

September 18, 2015

There is Always a Reason to Celebrate... aka Light is Coming for You, My Friend!

Somehow, once again, we planned a church meeting for a Thursday night? You guys, I know? But it was a great meeting, throwing out some out of the box ideas on how to better love our City... still, you know I missed y'all over at #fmfparty!

This is Five Minute Friday (- a five minute timed free write) and our One Word Prompt for the day is: CELEBRATE


Celebrations are often limited in our minds to special occasion events.

We wait... we plan... we tend to go all out, Pinterest-style, when we can... we are intentional in celebrating, whether it be a birthday, a wedding, a promotion, or a job well done.  

Celebration normally comes at the end.

I don't know about you... but I know for me, it's often times in the midst of a thing when I am really needing to find a reason to celebrate.  In the middle of a hard season, we can believe the lie that darkness overwhelms and that we have no power... no hope... no light within us to dispel the shadows that taunt us.  

We don't think we can wait until we get to the light at the end of the tunnel, because - you guys - the tunnel is DARK.

It is heavy and makes it hard to breathe... we are feeling our way around in blackness and we begin to question all the things we once knew for sure, back when we were walking around in the brightness of day.

Here's the thing... 
There is ALWAYS a reason to celebrate.

Let's not wait... Let's not think we have to push our way through and claw and crawl our way through to the end before we can have a glimmer of light to lead the way.

That, my friend, is a lie...

September 15, 2015

When You Feel Less than Wonder-Filled...

It's not a big secret that the last week or so has hit us hard. It took our breath away, and knocked us off balance for a step or two (or eight... whatev's!)

This blogging/living authentically/being vulnerable gig is pretty sweet when life is moving along right on track, but it gets a little trickier when things begin to derail.  Even more so when we long to be real, yet all the while we are covering and praying in faith for a different reality.

I have purposed to be honest around here but refuse to do that at anyone elses' expense. So I ask for grace as I write/work/process my way through a few things and still remain somewhat vague.

I will say - we are all fine... good even, but you know how growing pains can hurt.

All of that to say this:
I spent a good part of last week pouting.  You know, like a grown up.  I pulled back, complain-prayed, hid out, slept in, Netflixed for days, and cried in the shower... as one does.

But by the weekend, I was getting tired of arguing with God about some very specific things. I tire of Him bossing me around, making me more like Him, and you know - ALWAYS being right all. the. time!

know it's just a matter of time and I will give in and just go ahead and do whatever He says. I know we will all be better for it. But last week, I let this battle take all my energy, steal my joy, and rob me of my peace. I was running on empty on all the good stuff and I was feeling awfully low on Wonder...

And when you feel less than Wonder-filled,

Well then, you simply must go hunting for beauty and searching for grace!

September 12, 2015

That Thing I Do Now - Volume 113

Happy Weekend, Sweet Friends!

I hope you enjoyed a great week - and pray you are ready for a little R&R this weekend... which, of course, should include a bit of reading time!

Today, we are featuring posts by Deidra Riggs, Anna K. Pasquale, Lisha Epperson, Amber Haines, Katharine Barrett, Tammy Hendricksmeyer, Karina Allen, Holley Gerth, 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?)

September 10, 2015

When Change Looks The Same... a Five Minute Friday post

Oh my how I have missed my tribe! Life got a little crazy, and hard, and crazy hard and it was near impossible to sit in this chair and tap out words... but it was so great to be back at the #fmfparty over on Twitter tonight! I have missed those friends and the community there!

This is Five Minute Friday (- a five minute timed free write) and our One Word Prompt for the day is: SAME


Oh My! It's funny how I can write about Change and how I am learning to embrace it, but what I really mean is that I am learning to not be too caught off guard by it and I am embracing it when it's something I can clearly see is Gods' doing.

But what about those unwanted changes? What about the ones that you are more than convinced are from the opposite of God and you are not at all interested in going along with the possibilities it may bring? 

What about the changes that look the same? They are oh so familiar and they revisit those old scars, threatening to pick them apart, to cut deeper and wider this time around?

Yeah.  What about those?

September 9, 2015

Choose Wisely...

I close my eyes,
as is my morning practice now.
I close them all the way to black,
lean back, and breathe in slow.

Suddenly, there is an abundance of noise.
Traffic sounds, machines beeping, and birds...
-- Lots and lots of birds...

I drown it all out
(Inhale.  Exhale.)
...and focus in on the chirping.

There is a wild conversation
going back and forth
with many birds,
with lots of chatter
and squawking about.

And then, there is the lone cooing of a dove.

God whispers soft that I have a choice...
I can listen to the noise and busy, bossy talking,
or I can lean in to the calming, peaceful call to
Just. Breathe.

I read it the other day... 

Something about a Nobel Peace Prize from long, long ago where a doctor discovered how a lack of oxygen contributes to cancer.

And I smile. 
Not because it's funny,
but because God is good.

September 7, 2015

It's Just That Sometimes I Forget...

Sometimes this world, --it comes at us hard
and it leaves us tender and breaking.

Not a one of us is spared.

Can I just whisper it soft and shaking, 
"I know..."

I know how the temptation is strong
to pull away, to isolate and self-protect.
I know how it can sound like wisdom and feel like grace
to build those walls, high and erect.

Oh, I have played that game...
Simply ignore and smile through the pain... 
To pretend that everything is fine...
Hoping it may hurt less, 
given enough time...

September 5, 2015

That Thing I Do Now - Volume 112

Can we just all avoid the conversation about how it is SEPTEMBER already? 

Y'all know how much I adore Fall... and yet... I'm not so sure I am ready for September, and yet - here he is - hanging out like he lives here already!  I know it's been a busy week, with many things starting anew! New classes and new routines, less chill time and more bossy lists of things to do! Still - you know how I love to hook you up with a little reading material... Posts from here and there that I think you just shouldn't miss!

Today, we are featuring posts by Crystal Stine, Kris Vallotton, Holley Gerth, Lisa Murray, Logan Wolfram, Alyssa J. Howard, Annie Barnett, Lisa Jo Baker, Jennifer Dukes Lee, 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?)

September 2, 2015

The Rhythm of the Sway

I wrote about it earlier this summer --about how I have not been a fan of the wind.  

In addition to our smoke filled skies, and triple digit heat... the wind, y'all?!  Oh my! It's been crazy! We are surrounded by wildfires and the wind has not been a welcomed friend.

And yet... in this landlocked Valley, it's the wind that is the visible way God catches my attention and reminds me that He is here.

And Oh how I need that reminder every once in awhile!
I need that visual because some times... 
well, some times I forget!

I stay inside, out of the smoke and soot 
--you know, so I can breathe.

I've been fighting off something... some symptoms or virus or unknown allergies that result in not feeling well. It could be the new contacts, the poor air quality, or it could be something else all together. It's probably a little of all of that!

So I fight off worry and lean in to grace.
I pray for wisdom and plead for release. 

I stay inside... continue to quiet myself, breathing in deep,
so I can soak in slow and practice peace.

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