April 29, 2016

Ages Pass and Seasons Change... A Five Minute Friday Post

I was in and out last night at the party... but it was so good to check in and connect with the most amazing online community of flash mob writers around! Ya'll are my people!

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


I went for a walk this morning with my girlie and it only rained a tiny bit. 

She texted me last night, asking if I would walk with her everyday. Early(ish).  I told her I would walk with her on most days but I have a life and I have a routine... 

But always - when she calls, I will be there.  

She will be 21 in just a couple of weeks.
How can this be?

I remember 21. 

My life experienced a lot of change during my 21st year. Two of the biggest and best were meeting both Jesus and My Honey. I remember feeling like everything and everyone changes and for this girl who loved to think everything could remain the same - that was a hard truth to take.

And then I met Jesus and in the midst of everything spinning and leaving and changing, He promised to hold my heart still, to stay... He promised remain the same. 

He is the ONE THING (--ahem, Person!) that will. not. change. 

There is no shadow of turning with Him! He can be trusted and counted on like none other.

April 26, 2016

For the Love of Kicking Out Hesitation...

Remember back when I gave up Hesitation and Doubt for Lent? It was a couple of years ago now and what I remember most is that it was so freeing!  I remember that somehow, I was able to actually do it... and oh my, if only I would remember to do it all. the. time.

I should start off by saying up front that even though I have had this revelation on the power of hesitation, I am not in any way nailing it every day!  Oh no... but I wish I was! 

And here's why:

When we pause and hesitate... it opens wide the door to fear and doubt.  They actually tend to travel in a pack... you know, roaring about like a lion, seeking whom they may devour.

And no matter what form the enemy tries to come at me in, I remind him that he is NOT the Lion, and he may NOT devour me!

I am part of an online community started by Jennie Allen over on facebook.  In the beginning, there were maybe 50 of us, however it grew to over 5,000 in a matter of days. One of the answers to a question asked early on was consistently, bravely, "Yes!" to whether or not they battle feeling like they are not enough.  

It seemed to be a theme in this group of women from all walks of life, in all seasons of living... married, single; young, old(-er); in 'ministry', in the workforce, or working at home... it didn't seem to matter where they were or what they do - many if not most of them shared battling this feeling of not enough.

Apparently, this fight for feeling like we are enough (or not too much) is an actual thing.  It's something we all kick against from time to time.

April 22, 2016

Let's Unite... A Family Reunion

I missed out on the party last night because, well... you'll see!

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


Unite... to come or bring together for a common purpose or action.

Yes, please. Let's unite!

This week was tough... our city lost a woman who felt strongly and passionately the call to unite. She and her husband ministered and spent years trying to bridge the gap between cultures and races in this Valley.  Her loss was quick, unexpected, shocking.  It also felt a lot like highway robbery and injustice... and yet even in her last remaining hours on this side of heaven, she was uniting our Community while preparing to be united with her King!

Why is it that we most often feel the longing for family when faced with the uncertainty of the number of our own days? Why is it that it sometimes takes the passing over into (or through) death to remind us of the preciousness and value of life (or living?)  In the midst of great loss... we count our blessings and desire to unite and to hold close.

Lucky for me... I had been looking forward to a visit from my sisters for weeks and they are arriving for a weekend with no real agenda other than to simply unite.  To come together, to gather, to spend time with each other --reflecting back over the years, catching up on what's current, and dreaming together for what may come.  

Aren't we all called to Unite --to be Uniters? 

I know we all have our own family disfunction... but these sissys of mine? Yeah... we are always, always, always stronger together! 

We link arms and hearts and we stand united together.  Sure - as kids we did our fair share of fighting and fueding, but now we love and we laugh! We live in three different cities, spread across this state, but no matter what life throws at us, we stand together! We are fierce and we are favored.

April 18, 2016

Of Mondays, and Spoken Words, and the Winner of our Giveaway...

I shared last week about how I spend my Mondays. (Hint - it's pretty much doing nothing, if I can help it!)

This particular Monday has found me even more exhausted and depleted than normal, but that is because the weekend was filled to the rim with good extroverty things and my week ahead is also filled with good somewhat extroverty/family things (which should read introverts gathering to introvert together!) This simply means that looking back makes me tired, and looking ahead makes me wish the days away sooner so the week flies by.  

However I know the value and necessity of staying present in the present! Sometimes it is work to remain, yes?

The discipline of staying in the right here, right now takes intention and purpose and we must check in with our soul from time to time just to see how we are doing! For me, that is what Mondays are for!

So, my body is speaking louder than my spirit today and what it is telling me that I want is a nap... (and I may grab a short one soon!) but what my soul knows that I need more than actual sleep, is a bit of silence. I'm fixing to enjoy a little self care via quiet patio sitting... I'm planning for a little trade up, if you will! I'm going to let go of striving and grab hold of some Sabbath instead! (Yes - Sabbath is available, even on a Monday! Praise God!)

There's also this... I was honored to give a Spoken Word yesterday at church and I talked about one of my favorite things... one of my favorite 'weapons' = Worship!

April 15, 2016

You Make It Easy... a Five Minute Friday post.

It was great to be back in the swing of things tonight over on Twitter for the #fmfparty! If you write for Five Minutes and link up - but have not yet made your way over to Twitter... well, that is really where this Tribe, --this Community, thrives! Twitter parties aren't as hard or confusing as you may think! Join us on Thursday nights for fellowship and fun, while we wait for Kate to give us the one word prompt!

This is Five Minute Friday (- a five minute timed free write) and our One Word Prompt for the day is: EASY and this one is in honor of my Mama...


I'm the baby of the family... the million dollar baby... the miracle that survived.  I've written about my early arrival before...  I am also the only one of my siblings still living in our hometown and I am blessed to live right next door to our parents.

I know.  I know that I take this for granted and I should be more intentional in spending time with them. I think when the option is so readily available, we forget to take advantage of it. Next week my sisters are coming to town and I can. not. wait.

Yesterday was Moms' birthday and we will celebrate when we are all together but here's the thing: God has provided for her and my Dad in ways that while they would not say they are rich, they are definitely not wanting.

She is so blessed... she is kind and giving and funny.  She draws people in and is charming and infectious and warm.

This is all wonderful. It makes it easy to want to shower her with gifts, but it makes it hard to actually pick out a birthday present!

I don't know about your parents but my mine are at the age where they are already giving things back to us... cleaning out the house and old photo boxes and regifting things we gave them years ago.  

I think this is a normal thing, right? Either way, however, it makes giving anything new tricky.

What I want to give her is the assurance that her one life matters... that she is loved and honored and cherished.  That she has done amazing things with her life --even though so often we can feel small and ordinary... we can feel invisible and insignificant.  

April 11, 2016

Finding Lovely Everywhere I Look... a Book Giveaway!

So, if you know me in real life... then chances are really good you know that Mondays are my Introverting Days. 

I plan nothing.

If I am winning the day,
I go nowhere.

I know. Don't be jealous! It's divine!

And add in the glorious return of Sunny Mornings and Patio Time... aahhh - I have come to LOVE Mondays! And I need them! And here's the thing... whether you are an introvert or an extrovert or somehow a little of both... you need yourself some Mondays, too! (Resisting urge to hashtag #treatyoself... #andclearlyIfailed.)

Or whatever day of the week that you can pencil in some down time and create a little space for your soul to breathe!

April 8, 2016

Bringing Your Whole Self - A Five Minute Friday post

I didn't mean to sneak out early on the #fmfparty Twitter Party but I didn't want to risk accidentally seeing the winner of American Idol on Twitter while chatting away! (Ask me how I know not to hang out on social media on nights like that? Experience... and finding out who wins before anyone else in the room knows, that's how!) Anyway - I missed y'all - but I wanted to fully enjoy the last ever ('for now') American Idol with the fam'!

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


I'm not sure why it is that I tend to have to repeat this cycle of learning and relearning a couple of core truths. Core things that I know that I know... until it seems I need a refresher!

Rest and Identity, man.  Those are my two things.

Thankfully, with each relearning, I build a little higher and stand a little taller. 

There's not so much a Crash and Burn that forces me to heal anymore. It's more of a feeling... a pulling that weighs me down until I remember that I am made to be a resting place and that I know who I am... it's just that sometimes I forget!

(For those of you who have been around here for awhile... you'll see what I did there!)

God whispered it soft to me, yet again... and He is just so loving and consistent.  He reminds me over and over of how He has made me to be Slow... to Soak and to Savor... to Rest and Refresh first, so that I can carry that with me wherever I go. 

April 7, 2016

Create vs. Copy... an invitation to lean in and let go! A Book Review

I know? Two Book Reviews in one week!  I guess you know what I am doing when I step away from the blog a bit more... reading all. the. books. -that's what!

Still, you know how I am! When I find a good read, I like to share the wealth!

When I first heard that Ken Wytsma was writing a book titled Create vs. Copy I was intrigued because it has only been a few years that I have honestly stood up and claimed 'Artist' over 'crafty' and embraced igniting imagination instead of playing it safe. I'm still figuring out what this looks like and how it works.

Then I joined his Book Launch Team and Moody got a little crazy and sent us TWO copies! (One of which will be on it's way to our Giveaway Winner LaRae this week!)  When it arrived, I saw the Bob Goff endorsement and the subtitle: "Embrace change. Ignite creativity. Break through with imagination."
Yeah. That.  We want to do that, right?

But maybe you're like me and while you want to embrace change and ignite imagination and all that jazz... you just aren't sure how to engage and break through. Well, in his new book Create vs. Copy Ken gives us extremely helpful steps, tips, and the freedom to do just that!

April 5, 2016

If you are "Looking For Lovely", Annie will help you find it - a BookReview

Ahh... For the love of Annie Downs, am I right?

I mean, come on! If you know her, or just 'know' her like me... --if you have had the privilege of reading her words either in book form or blog form or in articles... --if you have had the pleasure of hearing her speak in person or live streaming... --if you have encountered Annie in any way, chances are good, if you are a friend of mine, well then --you are a fan of hers!

She is kindred.  She is one of those blessings who make you feel like you are BFFs even if you haven't (yet) met in real life!  It's because she is real... brave (even if not all the time)... she is the kind of friend who makes you want to be better more you... --the kind of friend who makes you want to be more alive, more full of joy, more full of adventure, and more full of --well, Him! 

I wrote last month about how I have some seriously amazing friends who just so happen to write books, but Annie and I --well, we haven't met face to face (yet.) 

But heart to heart, we are sisters.  

She is may be louder to my quiet... I am may be introverted to her extrovert ways... but spirit to spirit... well - what you will find in her new book, Looking For Lovely, is that she and I? We are former quitters... and we are determined to be more than just finishers, but to also finish well!

April 2, 2016

What I Learned in March (Plus the Lucky Giveaway Winner!)

Here we are again, at the start of a fresh new month and even though it's been awhile, for most of you - you can guess what that means around here!  It means it's time for my favorite monthly link up over at Emily Freeman's place! I didn't write a post for February... all I remember about February really is just how over Winter I was... All. Month. Long!


12 Random Things That I Have Learned...

1. I learned that, it turns out, this cat lover is surprised at how much she is LOVING having a Grandpuppy! 

I mean, come on! Isn't he adorable? He's a Pembroke Welsh Corgi and his name is (Mr.) Bentley!

April 1, 2016

Decide... A Five Minute Friday post

So I missed the party last night because we had a meeting but you know I was thinking of y'all! I love my tribe over at the #fmfparty on Twitter on Thursday nights, where we gather to encourage and uplift... we talk about life and all that that involves while we wait for the one word writing prompt! I'll be back next week, friends! Until then... let's write!

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


It's such a final word, right?

It should come as no surprise that I am, we are, slow deciders.  We are not so much big risk takers or cliff jumpers and we like to weigh and balance things out before deciding.  

My Honey and I... we are Let your Yes be Yes people.  

Once committed to something... well, for better or worse - we are committed.  

Because of this fact, it took us a long while to realize that God moves in seasons and some things we are called to do are not necessarily from here to eternity.  Still - when we say yes - we mean it with all of our hearts!

So - because that is true, it can take us awhile to decide!

However avoiding or putting off decisions is, as it turns out, a decision in and of itself sometimes, right?

We want to be intentional in how we live.

Intentionality requires deciding things on purpose

Often times, people tend to let their emotions boss them around, and they come to 'decisions' without ever really deciding on purposeWe jump to conclusions and make assumptions and sometimes the strain and the stress we feel or sense is simply due to a lack of Deciding. 

We (or maybe it's just me?) let things unfold and happen around us and sometimes to us... but it's not always because we decided on a thing but because there is just always motion... forward or backward. Time very rarely (read: hardly ever!) actually stands still!

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