March 29, 2016

Nurturing Your Nest All the Way Through

Ahhh - the sweet life of Empty-Nester-hood!

Whether that is far (far...-wait for it... FAR) off, or you have already adapted to the whole quiet house/less chaos/more breathing room lifestyle, there is something mystical about Empty Nesters.

Something Unicorn-like and wistful, right?

I mean, what do they DO all day?

(Whatever they want.  The answer is they do almost whatever they want!)

I'm honored to be over at talking about our mostly smooth transition into Empty Nester Life and how the secret is Nurturing Your Nest all the way through the parenting years! (If you build it, they will leave...)

Join me over there...

(Click HERE.)

P.S. Don't forget to enter to win our TEN YEAR BLOGIVERSARY GIVEAWAY!

March 28, 2016

Celebrating TEN YEARS of Blogging with a Giveaway

Ten Years, y'all! How crazy is that?

When I first starting tapping out words here at Abiding Love, Abounding Grace - I did it out of sheer obedience. The Lord asked me to give Him a year of Tuesdays and, well-- I know a good thing when I see it and so we just kept on going! 

I started writing just once a week but typed hot and cold for quite awhile.  I didn't really think many people were reading along and it was simply where I logged my thoughts and encounters with the Lord.  I was never really blogging to be a 'Big Blogger', or get a book deal, or build a platform. Way back when I started, I don't think anyone was blogging for those reasons! Still, even today, I pretty much do it all wrong and pay no attention to numbers or hits or followers, etc. That was never my goal. (Insert "Not that there's anything wrong with that.")

It was back in the Fall of 2012 when I felt the Lord ask me to be consistent with this whole thing and to treat it like it counted - because, according to Him, it does.  

This little corner of the interwebs is, to Him --for Him, a ministry of sorts.  We partner together and tap out words and stories and offer friendship and prayers and He gathers a community and we love and encourage each other and it counts!

March 25, 2016

Alive - A Five Minute Friday Post

So last week I mentioned that I was extremely overbooked. I also mentioned how I realized that I needed to not do this to myself again... this over-scheduling and doing too much. So this week I have stepped away from the blog a bit... and all other forms of Social Media... and I have read books and watched Netflix and painted and napped and oh my goodness! It has taken me until Thursday night to start to feel like myself again! Some seasons are just like that right? You just have to push through and keep up and get 'er done... but I know for me --I can't live my life like that! It's not how I am wired. I am wired for slow... for quiet... for poetry and jazz music and summertime on the patio in a breezy sundress and sipping on something yummy... and while we are not quite yet THERE --I have found freedom this week in not letting anything or anyone Boss me around! This can't be my life either - not every day, but it was my life this week - and my soul is oh so thankful for it!

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


Alive... because, of course! 

It's Easter season and as much as we know that the hard, lonely, brutality of Friday had to happen... we like to look beyond the Cross and for the joy set before Him/us... we remember that, truly, we are Alive!

Today is Good Friday and so often we get stuck on the heaviness and brokenness of what this day represents... it was violent, horrible, evil... It was the devils' shining moment: when darkness overtook the sun and light refused to filter on through... When he thought, "Finally... I won!"

March 23, 2016

What He calls Good...

Good... The freewrite word prompt was "Good" and doesn't it just figure! Because here we are again, just days away from Good Friday and oh my how this holy week can cause shifts and longings deep within us!   

As this Holy Week is unfolding and life around us feels chaotic and out of control --from Presidential campaigns to the Brussels attacks to whatever is going on in your own world personally-- 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 to everywhere!

March 18, 2016

When the enemy comes in, it really shouldn't be a Surprise... A Five Minute Friday

Y'all! This last week has been busy... not just 'full' - but busy! Man... mostly good things but still! If you recall, last week the Lord told me that I am a resting place... that I am a carrier of His Presence and a releaser of His Kingdom... but I glanced at my calendar and could only muster up a deep, exasperated sigh! Next week... next week I will rest!  

I missed out on the party last night but it was so worth it... because we got to do some pre-marital counseling with a young couple and ministering side by side, sowing into marriages and families - yeah... that is our jam!

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


I mentioned above that this week, y'all... I mean - come on? I did it to myself but I need a nap... or a chick flick... or -well, really - I need some down time with the Lord -just me and Him! That is what I really need!

Then again... that is how I am wired - to need quiet... to be quiet! And I know this about myself, but oh how I forget! I let myself get busy and over scheduled and I know that I can do it... but I'm not always clear halfway through if I am called to do it, ya know?

Here's the deal... this past week has been hard.  Heavy in ways I anticipated and in ways that I did not.  Add that heaviness to a bossy calendar and your normal run of the mill spiritual warfare and, well... like I said... A nap, man!

But this is what I know:

The enemy may be 'crafty', but he is not creative!  When he comes in with an attack, we really shouldn't be surprised, right? I mean - by now, we should see him coming... and yet...

March 11, 2016

To Share is Simply To Show Up... - A Five Minute Friday Post

I made it to the party again last night and oh my goodness if we didn't have some visitors and old timey partiers pop in and say hey! (By old timey I do not mean old... I mean... writers who used to join in on a regular basis back in the olden days of 2011 and 2012!)  This tribe... it grows and shifts and changes but it offers the same thing to all who gather: encouragement, support, love, sister- (and brother-) hood... recipes, prayers, laughter, grieve, ... this tribe is all in and goes all out as they tap on keys and type out on offering, all in five(ish) minutes flat!

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


I have been teetering on a very thin line lately, because growing a family (church) is hard work sometimes. Well not necessarily hard work - it's good work... but it can take a lot of pouring out in ways that are often draining and unseen --especially if you are not operating out of your true identity. Then, it is just exhausting.

I found over the past few weeks that I was trying to DO more than I was letting myself BE and here is what the Lord reminded me of a few days ago:

I am called to be a Be-er more than a Do-er.

Not that I don't DO... not that we all aren't called to both the Doing and the Being

We are.  (I believe even the Mary's DO and BE...)

But I think sometimes habit takes over and we are unaware and before we know it (or maybe it's just me) our habits or routines or going through the motions of how things get done can choke the life out of us in ways that make it hard to be who we are and still feel like who we are is enough.

March 7, 2016

He's Going to make us Marvel in March.

Here we are, a full week into March, and I decided to share a little secret with y'all.

Just a little something that I can't quite shake each day as I am praying. I shared a little glimpse of this on facebook last week and, oh my goodness, if God hasn't been whispering this soft and low to many others too!

Here's the thing: As I pray, I just keep hearing the Lord say:
"Look for things that make you Marvel in March!"

I know, right?

Marvel... It sounds so dreamy!
Who doesn't want to do a little of that right about now?

March 3, 2016

When Everything Feels Hard and All the News Seems Heavy... A Five Minute Friday post

I made it!  I finally made it for most of a Thursday night Five Minute Friday Twitter party (aka #fmfparty).  It's been awhile and it's truly one of my favorite gatherings online! In a world seemingly spinning out of control, we chat about some of that stuff but we also hit on bloggy things (Hint - check out Fistpump Media... Dan King will hook you up!) books, movies, chocolate and other food groups, coffee shops, sports, kids, marriage, prayer requests, vacations, name it, we will touch on it - all while waiting to get the One Word Prompt!  It was so good to be back!

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


News... that is our prompt and at the risk of seeming head-in-the-sand-ish... I literally can't even.

I know it's an election year and I'm a grown up and I need to care.  I know that it matters... I mean, it matters a LOT! I know I need to jump on board somewhere, and vote for someone... and yet - it's still only March and honestly, I just don't have the bandwidth for it all quite yet!

So instead of the news... or the drama... or 'entertainment' of debates and campaigns... instead of the hard realities of growing and loving and nurturing, you know, humans... 

We interrupt your regularly scheduled program with this:


Our girlie was never one to wish for a dog growing up. We are cat people. (I know.  But we are.)

But a couple of years ago, she fell in love with Corgi's.  I mean - right? They are adorable!

March 1, 2016

When You Embrace a Little Mystery, You Learn to Lean In to a Curious Faith - a book review.

So y'all know how I love me some books. (#ermagherdberks!)  And if you have been around my little corner of the Interwebs at all, then you know that I have some seriously amazing friends who just so happen to write books.

It's always a bonus when the two converge and I love both the book and the author.

Curious Faith by Logan Wolfram falls into that category from cover to cover!

I 'met' Logan online before I met her in real life at Allume.  She is one of the most genuine, authentic people I've ever met and she makes you want to live that kind of life!

Reading Curious Faith is like enjoying a slow meal with a close friend, with only a table between you.

Logan writes the way she talks, with all of that Southern charm and laugh out loud honesty. But don't be fooled... she can make you cry with the best of them, too!  

Her candid style of telling it like it is when it comes to living out a faith that has learned to embrace a bit of the unknown, that is bold enough to doubt, and brave enough to hold on when all you want to do is let go and give up --well, reading her journey just may enable you to live out yours with a little less fear, and a bit more freedom!

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