December 31, 2015

The Blog Review for 2015

Happy New Years' Eve, ya'll!

I started doing this Year in Review several years ago and I love it because it gives me the chance to look back through the blog and see which posts either got the most traffic or stirred up the most conversation in the Comment section! 

We have all heard and read (and felt) about the decrease in Commenting and interacting on blogs in the past year or so... but I am so in love with the Community that God has gathered here and I love it when you take the time to read, and to comment! 

I keep asking New Years' Eve questions like this one: 
"Are you doing anything fun to celebrate?"
Yeah... we used to be fun.  We used to make plans and do stuff... but then we got older and tired... and by New Years Eve we are kinda partied out, so we tend to spend NYE all cuddled up and cozy, watching a movie in pajama's, and flipping through the channels at midnight to watch all the festivities... you know, from under our fleece blankets. It's really quite exciting!

Last year, I decided to do the Blog in Review a little differently and I really liked it because - well, y'all know what I hard time I have with picking favorites!  So this year I'll do the same thing. I will simply share a link and a portion of the post that got the most traffic and the post(s) that got the most interacting for each month.

Feel free to browse through!


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

"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.

And Oh how we love that! We love a dramatic turn around... a powerful testimony... a story of redemption and transformation!  We love that stuff... it's what greatness is made of! And yet...

And yet, when it comes to our own testimony... our own redemption, our own stories of darkness, predawn... or our lives, not even before Christ, but of our lives last week, when darkness surrounded us... oh - those stories go mostly untold. 

We forget... We want to be authentic, but we also want to look like we have always been in the Light, --like we are always abiding where shadows never fall. 

Oh friend... I am preaching to myself here. For I know how much we love to tell redemption stories after they are all wrapped up and tied with a bloodstained bow.  But we live our every day lives in the midst of the stories we are writing, and play acting our way through it does nothing to shine the light.  

The only thing it does is save face.  But in all this earth, where we are to pull down heaven and shine the Light... we don't need to save face, we need saving grace - and how will they know, if we don't always just point to Him?"

WAIT - A Five Minute Friday Post

"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...) Wait! 

Don't just jump in and run from one season to the next. 

No, "Wait!" He says... "Let's let this one end with grace and let's Rest and Breathe and just Be for awhile before we move right along now."

I am learning to live in the in between.  In between what was, and what is to come. In between how it used to be, and what it will be like next... because whatever it will be, it will be different!"


It's All About LOVE...

"I can't help it... I love me a good love story!  Romantic comedies and cheesy TV movies that play on my emotions like a pro... yeah. I love them. (I know?)

If you have been hanging around this little corner of the web, then you already know I am all about "Being Love"... I swoon at the Romance of our God.  Me and Jesus... we are tight and I was easily convinced of His great love for me from the very beginning of our courtship!

It took many years longer for me to believe that the Father's heart was all in, as well! --That He was for me and crazy in love with me, too!  It took some healing and building of trust to believe that He was happy to see me when I would approach Him in prayer, in worship, or in the Word.  It took time... but I got there!"

Lent: the Giving In, the Giving Up, and the Giving Thanks

"Last year I gave up Self Doubt, or laid it down, maybe... or tried to, anyway. It was hard... and it was freedom.  It was encouraging and empowering and oh how I wish I had just left it there, at the altar... at the foot of the Cross.

I couldn't believe how bossy Self-Doubt and Second Guessing had been until I kicked them out and refused to let them back in!

I can honestly say those 40 days last year... wow!
Those were just the best days!

But Lent wrapped up and Easter happened and slowly, sneakily, little by little, they moved back in.

Oh - when I would notice them I was quick to call them out --throw them out, even! But it turns out I didn't make them pack their bags. 

I could go on and on about that... about how it went wrong or what I coulda/shoulda done differently, but here's the deal:

This year, I am giving up NEGATIVITY!
So, this looking back with regret is thin ice over a deep well..."


GATHER - A Five Minute Friday Post

"They are mine... although technically only one of them... and really - more than mine, they are His!  But I have claimed them all as my own and loved them through all these growing years!  

I have heard their laughter and held their tears... listened to their giggly whispers and their angry screams... I have pulled them close and prayed them through.  All as they learned to walk and talk, and run and fall (and get back up again) in all the fun and not so fun ways. They learned it all, together. 

They have been up and down, full of joy and full of somethin' else, broken and healed!  They have had good times and hard times and through all of their times, they have gathered -sometimes in tight dark corners and sometimes in wide open spaces full of light.  
And now they are (technically) all grown up and I find I pray for them still... and I know that I always will!"

We are Living in a Pinterest World... and I am a Pinterest Girl...

"I wrote the week before last about how I was in over my head with all things Baby Shower, both attending one and then planning to host another with my girlie for her BFF (Truly... they have been side by side since they were buckled in to carseats in the midst of home group meetings, road trips, restaurants, and such!)

But now, they are all grown up and one of them is expecting her first Little Man within the next month(ish)!

I mentioned last month about how I had placed self-imposed boundaries when it comes to party planning and Pinterest because, you know, sanity... (and budget!)

But still - I love me some Pinterest time... just scrolling and scrolling through menu ideas, decorating themes, ...Crafts and Gifts and Chalkboard signs, oh my! (You get the Pin picture!)"


How Small Wonders Add Up to Something Big...
( A Poetic Offering: )

"It's Springtime... when all that growth
  --all the pushing & pulling, --the stretching & stirring,
when all the death & dying feels like maybe it's done.
When suddenly: Breakthrough & we're all searching for sun.

It's the Season of New...
  --of more Light & less Night,     --of more Bold & less Cold
of New Beginnings, New Growth, New Direction, of New Hope.

It's the Season of Finally...
Winter has passed & a new day is found.
  --Rise Up, Lean In, Abide, & Abound,
--Seek Wonder, Show Grace,
      & look full in His wonderful face.

It's the Season of Much Fruit, Growth Spurts, 
& Flowers in Bloom...
  --of Tilled Soil, Fresh Rain,
    & of Giving Him Room.

It's the Season of Bended Knee,
  --of Hearts Bowed & Hands Raised...
    --of head back with eyes wide open,
Of searching for His Glory, of meeting His Gaze.

It's Springtime with all that growth,
  --all the pushing & pulling,
    --all the stretching & stirring,
When you think that maybe it's over,
you find it's only just begun.
And finally: Breakthrough
& oh, how we see the Son...

What Small Wonders have you stumbled upon?
They are everywhere, once you start to look!
At first they start small, few and far between
  --but the more you find them,--the more you hold them,
...and the more abundant they seem!"

Because, of course... "Good" - A Five Minute Good Friday Post

"Good... The word prompt this week is "Good" and doesn't it just figure!  

As this Holy Week is unfolding and life around us feels chaotic and out of control... as pain and agony and desperate prayers rise up, this week - this year --this life... it can feel anything but Good!

Darkness can trick you into thinking that Light doesn't shine there... but oh, the Light - it shifts and bleeds, and filters down everywhere!

Yes... when life is hard and the answers are not clear... when the reality of this fallen world weighs heavy on our hearts, let us remember that what we call good and what He calls good are very often not the same thing!

For even on a dark and dreary Friday, when life has beaten you down, justice and truth are hiding, when even your friends have backed away leaving you to battle on your own, and there is not. one. thing. that you can grab hold of and say, "This is good!" ...yes, even then - Light filters through and God lays down, bleeds out, and in three days, He rises up again.

All the while - through it all, He says, "This is good!"

He saw it from the beginning... 

And He saw it in the Manger, the Desert, and the Garden... 

He saw it from the Cross, the Grave, and the Empty Tomb!

He saw you and me... He saw our moments and our days and our lives unfolding, and He said, "This is good!"

and He sees it still!

It may be Friday, y'all... but Sunday's comin'!"


#SmallWonders... How They Add Up Fast! (A Mini Recap of How We Got Here!)

"Here we are... the day after.  {And honestly - after all the excitement and hype of our first Sunday, we crawled into bed last night happy but exhausted and were all, "Wait? We have to do this all again next week... like, for the 2nd Sunday... and so on...? ...AND SO ON!!!?  This is like a JOB?"  LOL! Yeah... seriously... we're slow like that sometimes!}

I know, I know.  I said this would not turn into the Church Plant Blog... and it won't, I promise. But this has all happened so quickly and our heads are still spinning a bit and there have just been all sorts of big and small wonders unfolding all around us and many of them were all leading up to yesterday.

So - ever so briefly, we will recap how we got here (...)

I don't really remember if I even told the whole story here, but basically this is how it all went down:

A month or two ago, if someone would have asked us if we were starting a church --or if we would consider starting a church... we would have laughed a little (you know, like in their face) and then said, "No!" As in, emphatically, No Thank You.

It's not that we don't love the church... we do.  It's just that we have spent a long time, years even... trying to squeeze ourselves in to places that we didn't belong, because - well, you should go to church, right?

We stayed in fellowship and we got involved in several great places - but with each of them, we just knew... We had small groups and we pressed in and we were growing and not wounded (anymore) but honestly, we were not even going somewhere on Sundays consistently for a(long)while. Our 'church' was in many places, on different days, and we loved it - but we longed for a place to belong... to pour out and to see the Kingdom grow.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago. (Don't even think that I am kidding. I am not.) One of the couples who had been attending our home group for a few months asked us to consider something.  They said it over the phone to My Honey and asked us to pray.  As Dave was saying the words, I thought it was so strange that I was not screaming "No!" from the inside.  We looked at each other, heads tilted, confusion (and maybe a little fear and trepidation) washing over us and we both said, "Hmm? It's weird that we are not saying no, right? That might be something?"

We prayed and it was clear - SO very clear... (which y'all may need to remind me of at a later date, Mkay?) ...and we said "Yes."

You guys... we are slow. We are older and do not jump in or dive off without some deep thinking and planning and praying... so when we said yes - we thought we were entering in to that cycle of how we tip toe into deep waters, but God (and the other couple!) were all like, "Alrighty then... Let's DO this thing!"

Gulp. What the what?

And so, 'do this thing' we did... in a matter of days we had a website, a building space rented, all the paperwork filled out and filed, a sign ordered, a board of directors, and we were meeting with locals who saw the announcement and who had also been longing for a place to call Home. 

I even tried to be fearful... it wouldn't work.

God met me in Nebraska to remind me that we are doing it differently... so it's OK to expect different results.  He also reminded me that He's called us to it... so He has plans of doing it with and through and in us. We are not on our own. He's all for our team mentality, our love for community, and our family vibe. We sort of get that from Him.

So yesterday - we opened the doors, and poured out our hearts in worship... in prayer... in laying a foundation of what our vision and mission is... and the people came."

(This post both had the most traffic in May, and had the most comments as well! Thank y'all so much for all of your support in this whole church planting thing that we are doing!)


When Fear is No Longer the Boss of You... A Birthday Post.

"I will be 45 this week. This means that I may have already lived approximately half of my life. I mean, you know, not to sound dark or lamenting or anything...
That is not how it is. It's not how I feel.

Age has never meant much to me. It's most often held me back. I rejoiced at thirty. ("Finally, I'm a grown up!")

But God has been whispering things like, "Second Act" and "Launching Season" and my, how He has us stepping up and stepping out and living into the beginning of Dreams Come True lately. I find strength in the sense of excitement that is bubbling over. I find hope in promises and prophecies yet unfulfilled - oh, but how they are unfolding!

It feels like (finally) "Next" is happening all around us...

We can attempt to live a safe life and it will keep us small and --really, there are no guarantees.  You can do all the things right, but life still comes at you.

I lived for nearly half of my days, thinking that I could live small and quiet... simple and free of heartache if I was just careful/good/smart (fill in your own blank) enough.  

I know... (Well, I know now!)

What I was was delusional.  I tried to stay small and blend in and fade out... to not attract attention or cause (too much) of a stir... 

Those Good Girl Days are over and more than Safe and Sound, I want Big and Loud!

I am quiet by nature and I suspect that won't change, but I want to find brave rising up more often!

I want to stay present in these moments and bring all of me to every day and this is the gift that I am giving myself this year: To be me, wherever I go!

When I allow myself to fully show up and to stay present, I am able to make the moment last... it slows just a little, weighted down with an authentic life lived out in the open.

It will mean a little less talking and more listening and hearing.

In real life, it will require less screen time and more eye to eye, heart to heart connecting.

It will take practice and intention and a bit of forgiving myself when I blow it! But I will get up and move on and keep trying, because It is worth it!  

For when I remain aware and all in, I am able to taste and see... to savor the life that He has given me.

It enables me to offer my best self to the others in my life...
to share and live and celebrate... to weep and mourn and comfort...

I want to Live Big and Laugh Loud, to Rejoice and Lament, to find Quiet in the Stillness and in the Midst of a Crowd.

He whispered of the importance of learning to maintain our Quiet and Peace in all of our circumstances... for when we hold on to that, we lean in to living a peace-filled louder life..."

This post had the most traffic and comments!


All About Mercy... or really, All About a MercyHouse Home Party & the Fair Trade Friday Club

"When I found out that you could host a Home Party either through Mercy House (with various products, individually sold) or through Fair Trade Friday (with items to pack your own FTF Box to purchase) --well, I signed up right away!

They send all that you will need in one box, with an inventory sheet, brochures and cards, a few videos to show, and lots of beautiful items to display for sale.  All merchandise is marked, no sales tax needs to be added, and every piece of jewelry comes in it's own gorgeous handmade pouch. 

Honestly - it couldn't have been any easier!  You could host a party and go all out, Pinterest-style with fancy menu and shmancy venue... or you can keep it casual and make it laid back - Open House style. (I chose the latter this time - but next time I am thinking I will host it at a church event/retreat or have a fancy brunch!)

Just look at how lovely it all came together... I simply cleared off my dining room table and started unpacking... 

People stopped in throughout the Open House times (and a few late comers, too!) to learn about MercyHouse and do a little shopping!  I was able to pack up some of the items and took them with me the following day to church and brought some this morning to Bible Study, too.  

Everyone loves to see the products in person, and to hear the stories.  It's so encouraging to know that God takes our little, and makes much of it!  

The price ranges are affordable and many said that they would not only attend another party, but that they would look into joining the Fair Trade Friday or Earring club!  Once the party is closed, you simply return any unsold product along with the proceeds, and if you are like me, you start thinking of the best time on your calendar to sign up to host again!"

These Are The Days Of Small Wonders...

( A Poetic Offering: )

"These are the Days of...
* Slowly Waking Up to a Cool Summers' Breeze
* Coffee Drinking, Caffeine Dripping, Bringing Focus & Ease
* of Barefoot Lounging on Shadowy Patio Floor
* of our Sweet Old Cat Moving, Ever Slower and Slower

These are the Days of...
* Multiple-Book Reading, of Texting & Facebook scrolls
* of BBQ Dinners, watching as the setting sun rolls
* of Dice Games playing without keeping scores
* of Triple Digit-A/C grounding, of hiding indoors

These are the Days of...
* Sports shorts and Tank Tops or cool Summer Dresses
* of Ponytails or Up-Do's --of Curly Headed Messes
* of Gilmore Girls watching, with my very own Girlie
* of Laughing and Loving, of Living Life with my Honey

These are the Days of...
* Church Planting as we Learn the Way,
* of Sowing and Weeding on Purpose Every Day
* of Watering and Reaping and Watching it Grow
* of Fresh Starts and New Moves (of what, we don't know!)

These are the Days of...
* Everything's Changing but Oh how Grace Abounds
* of the Homeless finding a Home, of the Lost-Being-Found's
* of New Dreams Being Dreamt, New Prayers Being Prayed
* of Hearts & Hopes Being Bent and His Presence Displayed

* Family getting Smaller and Family growing Deep
* of Old Love Renewed, Awakened from Sleep
* of an Empty Nest with Dates every single night
* as well as a Full House filled with everything right

* Feet Up on Tables & Quiet Unwinding, 
* of Side by Side Reading & Jazz Music Finding
* of Head Back Relaxing, of Contemplative-Filled Air
* of Sexy Low Talking and Sleepy Whispered Prayer

These are the Days of...
* Parents getting Older and Siblings Far Away
* of Doctors and Supplements, of Holding Sickness at Bay
* of Aches and of Pains and the Sneaky Entrance of Worry
* of the Wisdom & of the Joy of Not Being in such a Hurry

These are the Days of...
* the Right Here, Right Now
* of Giving up the Questions of Why and When and How
* of no more rushing past priorities or wishing away the years
* of Slowing Down to Stop & Listen --no, to Stop & to Hear!

These are the Days of...
* Counting Gifts that are Abundant
* of Saying "Thanks" & "I Love You" --no matter how Redundant
* of Writing and Posting, of Pouring Out my Heart
* of Painting and Dancing and Sharing my Art

These are the Days of...
* Sunday Church, of Monday morning Resting
* of Cleaning, of Encouraging, of Loving & Investing
* of Tuesday Bible Study, and Walking with friends
* of how our Home Group never seems to want to end...

These are the Days of...
* Weekends Open for whatever He needs
* of Saturdays relaxed and unplanned
* of willing to go to wherever He leads,
* of letting Him show us how to love this land

* Seeking and Finding
* of Wonders both the Big and the Small
* of Decreeing and Declaring
* of finally Hearing and Heeding the Call

* Bench sitting and Deep Breathing
* of Knowing just what We are Worth...
* of Kingdom Building, of Grace Finding
* of Pulling a bit of Heaven down Toward Earth!"

Also, there was this - a Guest Post that I did over at Incourage, where I talk about letting Him make us...

"As I fight the busy life and bossy lists that our culture forks over and masquerades as ‘normal,’ God assures me again and again that slow is the new fast and calm is the new chaotic, that His Presence is the peace everyone is looking for.

When we pause to breathe Him in and exhale slowly, we let Him fill us up in the moments of quiet stillness, and we enter into this beautiful partnership of letting Him make us.

Oh, how He loves it when we let Him make us . . .

When we let Him make us lie down in green pastures.
When we let Him make us step out of the boat.
When we let Him make us walk on the water with Him.
When we let Him make us, and remake us, and remake us again.
He loves it when we let Him make us be still long enough for Him to fill us, refresh us, and make us new, to be more like Him.

In the stillness and the quiet, we learn to be more like Him.

I believe this whispered promise is for all of us.

You’ve felt it too, right? This call to slow . . . to be intentional and make room for a little Sabbath rest. To set aside a few minutes and quiet all the noise. For He meets us in all of our moments, but when we seek the still small spaces of silence, we find Him already waiting there.

No matter what season of life we find ourselves in, we could all use a little more quiet, a little more rest, a little more letting Him make us."


Never Alone... A Five Minute Friday Post

"My heart has felt heavy and tired this week... not so much for myself, but for others.  I have felt a heavy burden that is not mine to carry and I have found myself praying often under my breath... sometimes I know who I am praying for, and sometimes I do not... and yet, this call to pray has not lifted all week long.

Instead of writing right away, I log on to Facebook and scroll around.  I know, I know... but this has become my habit, for better or worse. I scroll a bit, I look at my Notifications, and I pray for the Friends I see in my newsfeed.

I see a post in a new group that I joined, and the leader felt the Lord wanted the members to pray for each other this morning. It's a rather large group, so she laid out some instructions on how to know who to pray for. I clicked over following her instructions and wouldn't you know it - but the faces of friends filled my screen. 

Real life friends.  

Friends I have met in person. Laughed with, prayed with, broken bread and taken communion with.

Friends who I love... and a few whom I have actually been praying for off and on all week long already! (Because, of course! God is just so smart!)

I hadn't yet reached out to them. I hadn't told them that God had placed them on my heart and that He and I had been chatting about them, loving them, and praying for them. But this group leader led me to pray once again - and then, to let them know.

Now I don't know if they were feeling alone or discouraged... if they were overwhelmed or stressed out... but I do know that immediately after I sent off a little prayer, I heard back from most of them and they all said similar things... 

"You can't know..." 
"On today, of all days..." 
"I needed that prayer and that word..."

You see, we are never alone.

We are one Body, one Bride... 

We are family... brothers and sisters and mothers and fathers and oh my goodness, how we serve a God who loves us so and who speaks to us and through us to encourage and uplift and to remind us over and over and over again:

You are never alone! 
Not ever."

Time is a Gift that God Lavishes Upon Us...

"I sit in the quiet... drinking in the stillness of a Monday morning on the patio.
I breathe in deep... slow... relishing this one more day of vacation with My Honey 
before we completely return to 'normal' life.

I ask God what He wants to speak to me, through me, today. 
I ask, "What Small Wonder do You have in store?"

Immediately, this is the whisper on the wind that I hear:

Time is a Gift that God Lavishes Upon Us...

We are free to spend it, to invest it, however we want.  
But we can. not. save it or store it away!

It's like manna, only good for one day..."


Seasons of Change

"You guys... you see it, don't you? The irony. 

For all of my days I have fallen in love with Autumn... and yet I have so often resisted the beauty, the glory, the dying and laying down of Fall. 

Fall makes room for deeper growth. 

Growth that is so often underneath the surface and unseen to the naked eye.  Growth that only looks unproductive, barren, cold... dead even.  And yet... 

God is the God of all seasons and He is always stirring, sowing, seeping Truth down deep. God is a God of Resurrection power, and we cry out, "Rise Up, in Jesus' Name!"

There is a bright and glorious display when we hold on until we simply must let go... 

Can I encourage you to do it... to just let go.  To truly lean in - all the way... losing your balance and your seeming ability to control, and instead just fully trust Him. 

I know... I promise that I know this is no easy thing that I am asking of you! 
I'm asking it of me, too!

Let's purpose this Fall to Embrace Change... for Change is happening for us all.  I'm only half way through Kristens' book but I can tell you that it is full of confirmation of things He has already taught my heart.

* It's just that sometimes, I forget!"

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!

I 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!

So I shook off the heaviness and put an end to the lies I was listening to and I reminded my soul to praise the Lord anyway, and I went out looking for Wonder.

As Glennon says, we can do hard things... it's just that sometimes we forget... and sometimes we don't want to. And as Ann has taught us, once we start looking for gifts, we begin to find them everywhere..."


So - as most of you know, October hosts the 31 Days Challenge and so there were A LOT of posts... 31 to be exact... This year, I wrote 31 Days of Truths We Know... It's Just That Sometimes We Forget!  Here is the landing page with the links to every post:

Here are the posts with the most traffic, and comments... but I encourage you to bookmark the landing page above and read through the series at your leisure!
31 Days of Truths... BACON (yes, Bacon!... a Five Minute Friday post) DAY THIRTY
(I know... it figures! This post got the most traffic because, well - bacon!)

"This is Five Minute Friday (- a five minute timed free write) and our One Word Prompt for the day is: BACON (Yes... Bacon!?)


Really? Bacon?  Well - we know the Truth about's just that we would all rather forget, right? And not just sometimes... but all of the times!

All of the breakfasty times, all of the brunch times, and all of the lunch and dinner times, too!

I mean sure - it's delicious. Most would agree on that truth... but even before the medical research and recent 'findings' about Bacon, we all know it's not good for us!

We can try to act like it's something different. 
Dress it up and call it salad by another name... 

But we all know that Bacon is not good for us.
Or are we talking about "Bacon"?

Bacon (and "Bacon") = not good for us. 

It may seem like a good idea, but once you give in to the urge for bacon, you know what follows? More urge for more bacon! You can't stop. (#YouWontStop  #SorryNotSorry  #OhNoIveStartedWithTheHashtags?!)

"Bacon": Something 'delicious' that you know is not a healthy choice but you choose it anyway.

Bacon, unless you really do have some super power self-discipline and are able to limit the amount of bacon you partake of, --in the end, it's dangerous, my friends!

"Bacon" is flirty and savory and will lure you around empty alleyways and slow dance with you in the dark. Bacon makes promises and smells delicious and calls you up at all hours of the night.

Bacon is everywhere and everyone loves him... he can't be tied down because everyone wants a piece of him (or twelve!)

Bacon seems to compliment anything... Bacon makes everything better --or so that is what he tells you. Bacon always talks in third person.

But the truth is, bacon (read: any temptation that lures you away from what you know is good for you) lies... 

It tastes great for a moment, but the nutritional value is small and the trade off will cost you more than you think!

Sometimes, it's better to go without than to tempt fate and let Bacon have his way with you!  Besides, the truth is that Bacon is greasy and messy and he leaves a mark.  Bacon will break your heart --as in, for real. 

Sometimes we think just a little bacon (or fill in the blank with your own weakness) won't hurt...

But the truth is we know better
  ...It's just that Sometimes We('d like to) Forget!


You guys... all I can say right now is #YoureWelcome... "

31 Days of Truths We Know... Trust - DAY FIVE

"We can CHOOSE to Trust... even when we cannot see! It's just that sometimes we forget!
This one is so hard, right?

I mean - for me... this is one that I forget time and time again because - gah! I like to see stuff! I like to think that I know how things are going to turn out and while I am a crazy faith girl, there are those curves around the bend that seem rocky and --well, less traveled, and I don't always trust Him along the road...

I don't always see or remember or feel that He is right there with me. Often times when the path takes an unexpected turn or climbs steep and my steps are shaky, I'm pretty easily convinced that He is, in fact, not right there with me!

I give in to the doubt and I begin to wonder if I went astray, if He abandoned me after all, or if He is sending me uncovered, alone and vulnerable... just to teach me a lesson.

I know in my head that this is not who He is.  I mostly know it in my heart too, but doubt and fear only need a tiny little opening and they just barge right on in and take over.

I forget that I have a choice in what my heart believes and what my thoughts recite over and over. I can CHOOSE to trust Him. I can choose to take Him at His Word, reminding my soul to praise Him anyway and to remember all the ways He has never let me down! 

Not once has He ever abandoned me or left me on my own.

Oh sure... there have been times that I have felt like that was true! But once clarity of thought returns, Scriptures come flooding in..."


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

"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. 

Five minutes! Five minutes would do it... (it's just that sometimes we forget!  Ya see what I did there?)

Here's the deal... we are busy doing good... doing Kingdom work and it is blessed and His favor is all over it and yet, we are given the choice to allow weariness to take root or not.
"Let us not grow weary or become discouraged in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap, if we do not give in." (Gal 6:9)

Self-care is a real thing, my friends! And it is a real thing that we so often neglect!  
There are times and seasons to push through... there are. 
There are times when weariness is trying to slow you down or mess you up and stop whatever good you are doing and you just have to keep on keepin' on.  

Sometimes weariness comes at us and we must remember that there is a spiritual battle in a realm that we cannot see.  We wage war in the heavenlies and weariness has to go.  We build ourselves up and stir up our giftings and we speak life and we live by faith and it is good.  We remember that victory is ours and sometimes we just have to take it by force! We do.

But there are other seasons and some times what is needed more than pushing through is laying down. As in - for real... just go lay down!  

Take five minutes and be still and be quiet and let His Rest be a gift to you..."

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These Are The Days Of... a Poetic offering of Small Wonders

"I breathe in deep and close my eyes. I whisper pray the heavy burdens back over to His shoulders. I relax and unwind and I listen for His heart... for His plans for my day... my week... my life.

And as my shoulders lighten, the tension loosens, and the stress pulls out like the tide... I reflect back over the season that I desire most in December... one of Sabbath and Advent and Christ-our-Savior-is-born... one of Hanukkah lights and Christmas lights and the Light of the World shining bright in the midst of a weary world rejoicing. 

Yes. That.

That is the season that I am longing for. 

I remember Emily Freemans' practice of making lists to help herself stay present, so let's do that!  In the middle of all the lists of the season, let's make a list of what is happening, right here and right now, that won't stir up our hurry - but will stir up some Holy instead!

Let's give the gift of being Present... with family, with friends, with God.  

So before I scurry off to scratch off busy things from my list, let's list off the blessed things by sharing what these days are made of!  (I'll go first!)

These Are The Days Of...

Whew... that was a lot.  As I browse through the posts written in 2015 I realize that I have forgotten much of what I poured out.  I write so much and once I hit publish, often times I release it completely in prayer - trusting that it will land wherever He wants it to.  Rereading some of these posts were like preaching to myself and I wonder how much of this blog is really just for me!  

And yet I am oh so thankful for each of you! I just want to thank you for hanging out around these parts with me this past year! It has been full and good and hard and blessed... it has been real, and I so appreciate you being Brave and Authentic here with me!  Here's to the New Year!

May we continue seeking Wonder and embracing Change in 2016, and may we all remember to Speak Life... to Be Love... to Shine On.

Happy New Year!

Check back a little later on January 1st... I'll be writing my annual post, after my date with God, where I share what I believe is a Prophetic Word for the New Year!


  1. I love your poetic offerings my friend. Love the beauty of those words. So many wonderful posts. And light...oh the light.

    1. Thanks so much, Tara! Your friendship and support this year has meant more than you know! xoxo

  2. Hi Karrilee I am so glad that we have had a chance to get acquainted through posts. I just wanted you to know that I really enjoy your posts and want to nominate you for the Liebster Award. You can find the nomination here at the bottom of the post.

    1. Jaime, thank you so much! What an honor! I am praying about my blog schedule for this coming year and making a few changes (which may include posting a bit less... even as that pains me to type that out!) but I will look over the link! Thans again for nominating me! (I am snowed in today --but plan on mailing out your Giveaway prize tomorrow!)


Thanks so much for stopping by! I always love to hear your thoughts! Remember to: Speak Life - Be Love - Shine On!

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