6.28.2013

No Bad Beach Days {The Requirements of Friendship}



To myself I am only a child playing on the beach, while vast oceans of truth lie undiscovered before me. ~Isaac Newton


It was a grey day following a stream of hot, sunny days that bore down on our little state sticky and relentless. But, it was the day we had planned to go to the beach. The official Beach Day. 
This one grey day, with 70 percent chance of rain threatening our anticipated plans.

Yet, there was beauty in it.

When you live this close to the ocean- a hop, skip and a jump away,
others from everywhere do like to come and play.
But not on a grey day. 

Not on a day when sweatshirts and blankets from Fall will make an impromptu appearance in June. And although the concession stand was closed, the bathrooms were open. 
What do brave and crazy children care if the sun is beating, or not, because once they arrive they pick up as if the sun is shining anyway. Into the chilly water, back out, rolling in sand, and digging in coolers looking for more and still more. Ball throwing, walking, wrestling and talking. Surfing and soaking in salty air. Minus the sun.

Minus, sweat and sunshine and sunburns.
Minus forgotten reapplication of sunscreen.
Minus overcrowded beach sand.

Yet, still this.

Beach chairs, blankets, books and conversation.

Friendship does not miss what it does not need.

And what does friendship require...
but present, willing, available hearts.

Friendship does not require sunshine and better still, there really are no bad beach days.

Life is better when we roll with what we get and make the best of it.
Because there is beauty to be had in it.

And in the end the rain never came. 


"Giving thanks to God is what ushers one into the very presence of God. And this is why He asks us to always give thanks. He comes to those with open, grateful hands. ~Ann Voskamp

 (From One Thousand Gifts Devotional -pictured above-which I will be reviewing soon but will tell you this. I am really enjoying these short but beautifully profound devotions from this best selling and dearly loved author!)

Linking with:

Christian Mommy Blogger for Fellowship Friday!

Reading List: Cozy Reading Spot
1-Minute Bible Love Notes
Missional Women


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Between the Tween and a Hard Place (5 Minute Friday-In Between)




*******

Just right now, I am between leaving one dream behind and waiting to see another unfold.

Releasing old goals and allowing new goals to emerge.

In between all of the dreams and goals is one reason to step back and renegotiate.

Her curls drop down heavy and I see miraculous.
Her eyes look back at me, reminding me of Junior Mints...dark chocolate brown.
I'm enraptured with her smile and at twelve I still am in awe of her feet and toes.

See, I am still amazed at this miracle, baby girl, on the brink of woman.

All of my between is reserved for this one tween.

As I hope and pray the days away allowing myself to be remade for this day, this time, this need.
Right here, right now.
This child won't remain...
in this brief period of my life called in between.

********

I write for 5 Minutes with the rest of these crazy ladies at Lisa-Jo's Place:
Then it takes me 15 minutes to actually pick a picture...


Five Minute Friday


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6.27.2013

An Important Question For You: Will We Stay Connected?

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I don't want to lose touch with you!

I am sad to see Google Friend Connect discontinued as of July 1, 2013.

GFC is my primary way of following most of you and reading my favorite Blogs. 

My question is, how do you follow me?

If you want to continue following my writing through Beneath The Surface Breath of Faith and keep current with all that is coming in the days ahead, like my upcoming Series: Morning Stones: Short Devotionals for Long Summer Days, I hope you will be sure and seek an alternative way to stay connected!

Personally, I am grateful for each of you who takes the time to do any of these: read, comment, share my posts or just drop by the blog now and again. 

I recently signed up and transferred the blogs I follow over to Bloglovin'.
You can also find and follow me there. I really love it and hope you will join me there!

There are multiple ways you can choose from to continue to keep up with me here-and you might know a few I don't! 

Here's how you can stay connected:

Twitter (@breathoffaith)
Pinterest (dawnless7)

E-Mail and RSS Feed-located in the sidebar 

Please find a way to stay in touch!

Meanwhile I would love to know (in the comments, if you would) your favorite ways to follow and keep up with Blogs you love and how you are planning to keep connected.


Let me know how I can help!


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6.26.2013

She Dreamed Herself A Rose




One summer evening

the kind where the breeze blows through 
open windows
and
white sheers dance a hypnotic dance...

she dreamed a dream

moon peeking 
eyes squinting

blue-black sky 
star splattered canvas
lulling her
to the never-never place

tree branch scritch-scritching
the roof

 night time melody
toad symphony
wait
shh.


eyes heavy

satisfied,

gently squeezing tight 
shutting out the day 
and dancing curtains

her body still
window sill
witness

as she took root from seed and grew
small
but unafraid
ever reaching 
upward
toward light
unseen

but still known

trusting the light
budding
blooming
blossoming full
she became the rose
awakened to morning
dew kisses -

she dreamed herself a rose
and became the beautiful flower
glorious
radiant
bringing smiles 
and joy
 to all who
 came into her presence
and in her season
she was known
to have grown
from the small
skyward
from earth 
into the unknown
all the way
to Heaven.




Linking with:
dVerse Poets Pub

and Wordless Wednesday (for my Rose pic- but with words!)



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6.25.2013

Don't Wait - A Post on Friendship, Eternity and Assumptions of Tomorrow



I replay the last time I saw him over and over in my head.
 Standing in the check out at Stop & Shop.

 We had been communicating over the phone and e-mail and only had been in touch after many years. Such was this friendship. It was the kinds of friendship that had the weathered storms of teen years, lifestyle changes and lives apart. It was the kind that had seen good times, bad times- some shared together, many more apart but then shared in catching up conversation. It had been close, distant, then close again. Although just prior to my dear friend Steve's passing in 2010, life seemed to have delivered us back into our easy going friendship. I did not realize on that day at the market, it would be the last time I would see him, this side of eternity.

I called him, but not until a few days later. I e-mailed him and got no response. It bothered me because he had told me much about his recent struggles and challenges. I assumed things got busy. It was not like him to not respond at all.

It was one year later almost to the date of that encounter that I found out.

I was laying in the backyard when my mom walked around newspaper in hand and mentioned a memorial for Steve Harrison. "Is that your Steve?" she asked. I shot back "Of course not, it couldn't be- I saw him awhile back. He's busy. Lots going on with work, life and family stuff." 

Upon further observation, to my complete shock, the reality was confirmed. My heart could not comprehend it. There are people in life somehow we just assume will always be there. Even if we are not always in touch, right? There are friends I fear, we believe will live forever. Loved ones who we feel are guaranteed to stay the course here with us. We live parallel lives in different worlds trusting there is always tomorrow.

There are days when you realize that the people who you miss most in this life are the ones who make you long for eternity. 

Steven Harrison - you are missed by this one, and many. June 25th will never be the same- but always a reminder of your smile and life. Always.

Today my friends, I have one message for you:

Don't wait.
Don't wait to say I'm sorry, or I love you.
Don't wait to reach out.
Don't wait to forgive, or let go of that one thing that holds you back from forgiving.
Don't wait to be the bigger one. Or smaller one.

Really it doesn't matter in the end.

Don't trust you have tomorrow.

OK?

I was going to write a whole new post ...as I think of him today -
but really I said it all at the post I wrote when it happened.
I hope you will take the time.

Here it is if you would like to check it out:
A Grief Observed With Hope

With continued love and prayers for the Harrison family and friends.


Linking with Emily:


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6.24.2013

Our Momentary Troubles (When Life Feels Messy) - Guest Post at Encourage 24/7



Today, I am sharing over at Encourage 24/7!

I know you will be blessed upon your visit there and I encourage you to check out Tracy's watering hole of grace for women and find out where you might fit in and share some encouragement as well!

Encourage 24/7 offers a  a Blog Directory, Bloghop Directory, an opportunity to share Testimony Posts, and also a chance to be a Featured Encourager! So get over there, be blessed and bless!

Meanwhile, here is my featured post:

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
James 1:12

I walked the beach this cloudy morning, noting the beauty and changes as beach season makes its debut. The sand is combed, less rocks under my feet, and the new lifeguard chairs stand stark awaiting the busy-ness of Summer days. Morning acknowledges few walking the shoreline, I can walk and talk aloud and look like a crazy person to none but the gulls. And for the most part they are too busy to bother themselves with the solo conversationalist infringing on their breakfast buffet. I have...Continue Reading. 






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6.22.2013

A Simple Plan To Follow Your Man (or "Walk With Your Man" -for the unsubmissive translation)

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Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.
Romans 12:10

No, he 's not perfect. Neither am I. We are alike in imperfection yet opposite in many ways as individuals. We are united in marriage, in Christ, who has given us everything, despite our personal preferences and differences. Today I want to take a moment and  tell you that your husband does not need to be perfect for you to learn from him. You see my hubby and I are as opposite in personality, background  and make-up as you can get. But I want to tell you I still learn from him. God desires that I do. Even though sometimes I make it difficult for my sweet husband, God has blessed him with patience and humor which make the journey somewhat easier for him. Hopefully. Ahem.

Today, I will to share three ways we can follow our husbands regardless of their choices. I say this because we can tend to be distracted by the various splinters our husbands sport, while we stare through beam filled eyes the size of telephone poles. OK, maybe I am preaching to the choir, but at least now you see a clear image in your mind, yes?

God has a simple plan and when we follow it, even somewhat reluctantly, He blesses each step and encourages us in His ways. What I lack in domesticity, I make up for in my heart to please God and willingness to allow Him to conform me to His image. God is patient with me and He will be patient with you. We can do it, through Him who does indeed promise to PROVIDE when we DECIDE in our hearts to commit and follow Him.

Commit to the Lord whatever you do,
    and he will establish your plans.
Proverbs 16:3

1. Commit:  I used to train for competition and once I was committed to a certain date to compete, regardless of my feelings, it meant I was committed to my training plan. Some days I would not feel like going to the gym. I learned that if I wanted to remain competitive or potentially win, I needed to train consistently whether I had the warm fuzzies about my training on that particular day. Sometimes I had to push myself to get to the gym, or through the workout, BUT in the end the commitment carried me on to progress and victory. It's the same with marriage (and most things in life). But Christ will empower us as we rely on Him. Don't wait for the feelings, the feelings may or may not follow. But your continued trust and reliance on something- in this case some-ONE- outside of yourself will get you through and carry you to victory. One day at a time.  

2. Lay Down: So often that which seems good can undermine a marriage. I am talking about "rights". I know this is not popular and I do not have it all down, but marriage is a continual laying down of my rights to myself. Period. The minute we forget this, we are going down roads that lead us far from God and His plans for our lives as women and Believers. I know there is a balance and uniqueness in each circumstance. But this reality should be a reminder that we always can choose. We must weigh carefully in light of His words and our commitment to Him and others. Last night my hubby came home tired after a hard day at work. He sweetly brought home two boxes of dye and became my hairdresser, because I was whining about my grey hair and a presentation I needed to make. In this he modeled, once again his own laying down of his desires that my needs may be met. This is what we do. Now don't get all upset because your hubby would never do this for you. Instead consider the way he uniquely serves you that you may not even be recognizing. Of course, most of all learn to lay down. I know I am learning. Slowly. 

3. Decide and Delight: Decide to trust God and delight in Him. Decide to delight in your husband's strengths, uniqueness and positive attributes as opposed to his perceived shortcomings. I know earlier, I said I was reluctant. God knows our true heart's desire. Sometimes we think we know best. This must be balanced by the wisdom of His word. He knows my reluctant heart and is the process of transforming and conforming it to His own. He will make me into that cheerful giver, I long to be. He is doing the same for and in my husband. This  does not always work out in the same manner and he uses our marriage as a grand arena for it all to be won or lost.


Decide, Delight and Fight for God's plan of victory for your marriage!

The LORD makes firm the steps 
   of the one who delights in him; 
 though he may stumble, he will not fall, 
   for the LORD upholds him with his hand.
Psalm 37:23

Hope this makes sense!

There you have it, my simple plan for following your man!
By the way: My secret to getting my hubby to read my BLOG is by writing about HIM! Hi Honey! Love you!

Originally posted: 4/3/12-A Simple Plan To Follow Your Man






*For Sits Girls link  - Click Here:
 I broke the link with the Titus Tuesdays addition somehow



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6.21.2013

ICAD Update



Continuing with the ICAD Challenge with Daisy Yellow and all of the wonderfully creatives who are participating...Days 10- 20. I have been experimenting with paint, although my favorite  creative endeavor is collage. Having fun with all of this, and look forward to treating myself to my very first canvas at the end of the challenge! I loved trying Zentangles aka Doodles! 

I would love to know which one you like best!
Scroll to find my fave...


Power

Bought with a Price

For Better and Better

4th of July

Miami

Zentangle in Color

Accidental Zebra

Acrylic Butterfly

Full of Promise

Zig Zag

Zentangle 1

Zentangle 2

Zentangle 3

Courage

Every Day

Zentangle 4

Scallop Shell

Vacation

Philosophy

The Best Plans
Celebrate

Renew Your Mind

Ice King (for my Girl!)


I am especially fond of "Every Day"! 
But each one of them is part of a creative continuum that reflects a process...so they are tiny treasures to me! You should see some of the great cards shared on the Facebook page, daily- as well as consider jumping in for some creative adventures for yourself!


Linking with Christian Mommy Blogger for Fellowship Fridays
and Create with Joy for Friendship Friday

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