November 30, 2015

Aaah Advent... The Glory of Slow and Waiting and Wonder.

We welcome December tomorrow, y'all!
Can you even believe it?

Sunday was the start of Advent.  Advent is something new to me.

I know? I'm still learning about the traditions and deep meaning of it. I've been in love with Jesus for over half of my life now, but never knew much about what Advent was or why people were talking about it. Honestly, I thought Advent was simply a calendar countdown to Christmas, with a bonus of tiny chocolates hidden behind little doors.

It turns out the bonus is better than chocolate.
Wait. What?

It's true! The true bonus of Advent, as I am just now discovering, is the glory of slowing... of waiting... and of wonder. 

November 24, 2015

When It Comes To Entertaining for the Holidays, This is What I Know...

We woke up to snow today...

Everyone else was taking down Autumn decor early and putting out all things Christmasy, but I was not ready!

I love Fall... my wish is that he would hang around until... well, you know... until almost Spring! 

But still... 

This is nice too! 
 (and now maybe I am ready... but my Christmas decorations will have to wait until after next weekend anyway!)

Even when the temperatures are falling outside, the invitation is open to go out, enjoy that crisp Fall air (or crisper Winter chill), and then retreat to some place warm and inviting!  

I think it is easiest in the Fall to create a space that is nourishing and welcoming.  All the lit candles, and yummy scents of the season - maybe it's just me, but there is something special in the atmosphere around this time of year that seems to beg for Community!

November 21, 2015

That Thing I Do Now - Vol 117

Can you even believe that next week is THANKSGIVING?

At least here in the States it is! That is crazy! This year, which has been full of change and wonder, has flown by! Some of the change and wonder has been great... some of it has been heavy and hard, right? I think that is true for all of us!

There was a LOT of heavy and hard around the interwebs this week... I pray this little Gathering will give you room to process and to be encouraged!  Read on, my friends!

Featured posts by Emily P. Freeman, Jennifer Dukes Lee, Sarah Bessey, Bri McKoy, Jeremy Courtney, Graham Cooke, Lori Harris, plus a post from right here, the winner of the Giveaway announced, 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?)

November 20, 2015

Dwell... A Five Minute Friday Post

I was in and out of the #fmfparty over on Twitter last night.  I was fighting off not feeling well and walking that thin line between pushing through and giving in.  I'm sure we are all aware of that line. Battling that for me yesterday looked like hot tea, reading, and half-napping through Netflix through out the day. Today, however, is a new day... so let's dig in!

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



It's one of my favorite words. (And you know me and picking favorites!)

I love it for so many reasons... to me Dwell releases Peace and Joy, Safety and Security, Blessing and Belonging.

Try it! Just say it out loud... 
Inhale deep, exhale slow.
Close your eyes and say it again.

See?  To Dwell, as the Bible defines it, means to abide (another favorite word around here, obviously!)  It means to settle down, to stay, to inhabit.  The Lexiconcordance (a Hebrew Dictionary) defines Dwell as something to seek hospitality with. I love that.

Who are you seeking hospitality with? 

Immediately, when I think of Dwell, I think of all the psalms... but specifically, Psalm 37.
So how do we cultivate faithfulness? It's by dwelling in the land... by dwelling in His Presence!

November 18, 2015

Muscle Memory or Phantom Pain?

Lately, the Lord has been unfolding a new thought to me...

It's something beyond my understanding,
but I feel anointing and wisdom and breakthrough all over it. 
So I wanted to share it with you because, of course!
Who couldn't use a bit more anointing... increased wisdom... 
and some breakthrough in one area or another (or 12!), right?

This is what He keeps asking me when pain arises from within... 
"Is that muscle memory, or phantom pain?"
We have ALL been hurt... we've all had things not work out, hearts broken, been wounded and left unattended... 

We are human, living in a fallen world and oh my goodness how we let each other down.

November 16, 2015

How to Sync Your Heart to His... and other Small Wonders.

Happy Monday, my friend!

I wrote a bit about exhaustion last week... of the desperate need for Self-Care, of how quickly we forget this is needed and how fast it slides to the bottom of our To-Do Lists... 

Sometimes it is easier to write about or talk about than it is to DO it, right?

Well, on Friday - in the midst of a crazy full week and upcoming full weekend ahead, I found made the time to grab a coffee and my camera and take a stroll around the Arboretum, because for me... well, sometimes that is all it takes to find the calm and quiet... and to feel the refreshing and realigning once again.

Sometimes a little Self-Care is, in itself, full of Small Wonders... if we will but slow and look! 

November 14, 2015

The Return of That Thing I Do Now - Volume 116

Hey y'all! Happy Weekend!

Oh MY how I have missed you!  We took a little break (#wewereONaBreak!) for October due to #Write31Days but I missed all the hunting and gathering that this little post allows me to do, all in the name of 'work' or 'research'! 

Hopefully, we will ease right back in to a rhythm where I highlight some of my favorite blog posts found around the world wide web this week, just in case you missed them!

Grab yourself something to sip on and settle in to read the Gathering of Awesome that I have hand-picked from the interwebs this week... purely for your enjoyment and encouragement!

Featured posts by Jennie Allen, Alia Joy, Allison Vesterfelt, Amanda Hill, Jeanne Takenaka, Emily Freeman, plus a post from right here, the winner of the Giveaway announced, 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?)

November 12, 2015

Rest Your Weary Heart... a Five Minute Friday post

I missed y'all last week! I was in California at a conference and it was wonderful. It was filled with a lot of people and noise and great content, but for an introverted slow processor, I would have preferred to have a few quiet days to ease back in to my normal life. Instead, every day was filled with plans upon returning and it's all great stuff - but I don't see an empty day until next week. (God help the person who tries to fill that day... That would be me... God help me!)

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


Oh man... Weary.  That's a good word, right there! Well - not necessarily 'good' - but definitely timely and spot on for this season.

We can feel just the hint of it around all of our edges, right?
...and this is before the holidays even start!

Last week at the conference I attended, it came as no surprise that someone felt led to pray for those who had been battling an UNUSUAL sense of being weary and worn out. This was a conference for church leaders - of which I shockingly find myself to be now, and no one was shocked at the number of people who stood up for prayer.

I mean, we are tired, y'all.

It starts in our head... our thoughts are non-stop and exhausting and before we know it - it's our hearts that are worn out thin.

When weariness sets in, there is this haze that settles over our vision. It clouds our ambition and drive and it whisper-lies that everything is too hard and that nothing is possible.  It tells us over and over and over again that we just can't (even.)

It woos us and wants us and my how we give in to the sleepy desire for nothingness.

Just a break, please. 

November 11, 2015

Every Little (Everlasting Shiny) Thing - A Dayspring Giveaway!

As the holidays quickly come for us and all the busyness and bossiness of the season threatens to take over, can I assure you of this one thing?

Every Little Thing Matters...
   It all adds up and it all counts.

We think so much in our culture of the Big and the Bold and the Beautiful...
Of the flashy and fancy and Pinterest-worthy...

And it can make us feel less-than, and defeated before we even start... 
It can make us feel a bit overwhelmed and over our head and, let's be honest, just over it all already, too!  ...and tired. It can make us feel tired, right?

We fall for the hustle and the rush and we push aside time to settle and to hush.

So before all of that sneaks in and whispers lies, I just wanted to remind you of this truth... 

November 9, 2015

When You Find Small Wonders That Lead You Home...

You guys... I have missed y'all oh so much, but we were on a break, remember? 

Still, I can't tell you how many times I thought of you and now that I am back home... well, the words are coming slowly as I am still digesting all that happened over this past week!

We went to the Leaders/Advance conference for church leaders at Bethel last week and it was wonderful... or, more accurately, wonder full!

I am a slow processor so those words about what we learned will come --you know, slowly, but for now... I thought I would share just a few of the Small Wonders that I found along the way!

Here's the deal, y'all...

I am an introvert. (I know... this is not new news really.) I am also an Empty Nester. (Again, I know...)  But I say those two things to paint a picture of what a week in my normal life looks like - which is mainly this: Quiet. It looks quiet!

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