Moving Day!

I am packed and ready to go...kinda!

The new home address for 
Beneath the Surface: Breath of Faith:

I'll be there, doing what I did here...but just in a new .com! 

I have restored the Tabs (feel free to check out the changes) here so that the content is still accessible. This place here has been home to me for the past couple of years, and I just did not want to leave it a mess. In some ways, I'm not leaving at all, since all of the conetent will still be here- at least for the forseeable future. So, if you have a button, feel free to keep it up as my new address will be available here with all of the content we've shared remaining. Yay! It will be like visiting an old hangout! 

Here's to continuing the journey!

Thank you for walking with me, I pray I see you there. 


When It's Time to Move On...

photo credit: weegeebored via photopin cc

I am here today to say that it is official. I am moving on... from Blogger. I am still in the process. Moving is a process after all. So much to sort through, pack up and leave behind. What stays, what comes with, what's to be released...Ah, that word "Release", my One Word last year. But, dear ones, this year is my year of "Renewal". How could I stay, when I am being drawn toward new horizons...can't you smell it in the air?

But back to the topic of moving on...

Then, of course, one does get sidetracked while stumbling upon a random memory. Do you remember what it's like to move? Can you recall the circumstances prior to the prompt that pushed you clear over the edge and destiny spoke loud and told you, clearly, "It's time to move on."

Well, maybe I didn't hear a voice, but I certainly have been pondering and playing with this idea for awhile. While I love Blogger, as well as all things Google; really I don't think I'd prefer to live without Google. And while I also adore this sweet, wonderful place I have been kicking the sand around in for the past couple of years, I'm antsy for change. Here's a few reasons why I am moving...

1. This beautiful and lovely custom design which was gifted to me by a fellow Christian Blogger, (who is no longer available!) only a few months into blogging! It truly was like a Blogger's dream comes true. However, it is unchangeable, beyond the minor things I can change, like sidebars and content. ACK!

2. That being said, I have wanted to elimintae and change the Tabs, as well as other features, like the width of my center bar (where the writing content goes) and am unable to do that. It is starting to feel claustrophobic to me and very limiting.

3. Some of you already know, I have only worked intermittently for the past couple of years, with Boot Camps and a couple of clients, but my Fitness Career, and income was set back since 2011 with my hip injury, and my blogging, is a non-paying, although joyous journey; it's hard to justify spending a couple of hundred dollars on a hobby when our family has other priorities and medical bills at this point in time. I did put a shout out for a trade in services, which has often been an awesome thing for me in the past with a few local clients. But, for whatever reason, this was not received.

 However, maybe God just wants me to stretch further and learn how to do it myself...sigh. He is good and always works things together for good, so I trust Him. He has a purpose! Plus, you all believe in me. Right?

4. This year my One Word is Renewal. I feel the winds of change blowing. Plus that owl reminded me, that I would be soaring into this year on Eagle's  Owl's wings after all!

Some loose ends still are being worked out. I am communicationg with a couple of potential "helpers".

 I am trying to decide whether to keep this site and content as is, with a link to my new place or to have all the content moved to Wordpress ($$$?). 

 I am prayerfully seeking for the best answers and options for me! I will put up a post with the new home address tomorrow. Here it is if you want to have it now. Don't cry...it will be fine. Really. Right?

If you have any imput, leave a comment! I value your thoughts and opinions. 

You know, moving is never easy. 

But, a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do. 


Friday: Coffee Talk with Barbie Swihart (join us for an interview-and coffee or tea with Barbie!) 

Saturday: Whispers of Hope Journey begins (so excited to start this journey, it's not  to late to grab the book, and meet us here (or there) this weekend! 

Linking with:
 Cozy Reading Spot 

         photo credit: One Way Stock via photopin cc


No New Normal

This pic goes back a few years, but it is one of my faves.
We were goofing off in the back yard around our firepit,
being silly while my mom snapped a few pics.

We are a bit dysfunctional
in our own functional way

certainly we have our flaws
yet our hearts we won't betray
learning the ropes as we go
come what will, come what may

and in the end will it matter
what other people say?

We parent graciously-
mistakes we have made
tightly woven, still are we
this little family of three

No new normal
not for us
though we are not perfect
somehow we trust

that God will finish what he began
for when we think we cannot
He certainly can.

I wrote this for an impromptu Family prompt over at Christian Creative Writers.

It's Tuesday, the day I serve up some poetic justice...kinda! 
(Doors open at 3)


Your Social Media Diet (How's That Working For You?)


If you're like me (if you're here- you are), you like your share of social media. However, if you really are like me (stop resisiting the admission), you will admit, that sometimes you overindulge.

The question is: how can we have our Social Media cake and eat it too?

Well, I have been contemplating this question, long and hard, between status updates, tweets, YouTube clips and Instagram moments, of course...and I think I have a few snippets of really useful  somewhat practical tips to share.

We must admit we are powerless....

Wait, no. What I mean is, we must take hold of our Social Media behavior by the only thing it understands and responds to: Self-Control. Wait, don't click away...hear me out!

Grab your calendar, or the three of them if you have ADHD (like me). Now, write down the things that you know must ge done and the places you know you need to be. It's Sunday or Monday, depending when this posts, so go ahead and look at the week ahead. Take that pencil and whatever needs to get done, at this point, gets written down. OK, I'm waiting.

Kids appointmenets, your haircut, the grocery shopping, dinner preparation, housework etc.

Now, those things that you also need to do concerning work, blogging, additional writing or creating.

Any other committments for church, friends and families birthdays, Sherlock etc. (or Downtown Abby, I suppose). If you're like me it's Sherlock, Baby!

OK, now...

Portion your allowable Time Blocks for Social Media and commit to ONLY partake of SM interaction at the designated times. Just as an exercise or nutrition plan has specific components and portions, so do our Social Media diets! But, let's use a user friendly term, Social Media plan of action.

If you're like me (give it up already, YOU ARE!), then you sometimes occasionally frequently get sidetracked by Social Media interaction. Remember, all things are acceptable (for legalists) but not always beneficial (all is filtered by grace and wisdom)...

So, what does one do?

Determine the details and  portion it out across the week. How often, How much, How long.
Ask yourself,  when will you allow yourself to use Social Media and the parimeters to which you want to adhere, just as if you were on a strict but wonderful (HA!) diet   Nutritional Plan. So, perhaps you want to be on Social Media twice a day. Choose the times, and add them into your calendar. If you have SM apps on your phone you will need an extra measure of self-contol or just elimate them until you are feeling empowered to "just say no!"

A Social Media diet, puts you in the driver's seat. It is better than a complete fast if you want to continue sharing blog posts, pictures and also staying connected to certain friends and groups.

So, repeat after me, "My name is (your name in blank) __________________."

Hi, __________________________.

In real life I am always trying to balance my in person, and online life. If you're like me, you are too. I'm here for you. Well, in a portioned kind of way.

What do you think? Are you in need of a Social Media Diet? How can you plan your time in a way that helps you feel good about your choices with Social Media. Let's encourage and support one another! Do you have an idea or tip that helped you use more self control with your SM interaction? Please share in the comments! 

For those of you who are like me, you proabably contemplate things a lot, and then come up with really snarky status updates and tweets while you are driving or in the shower. Sometimes you even dream in live streamed, edited video clips. Occasionally you come up with a ridiculous blog post masquerading as useful, when in reality is just one, incredibly silly endeavor. For no good reasun except...you can.

Happy Monday, Friends! May your week be full of tweet worthy moments, blessed status updates and picyure worthy instagram moments...of which you have the good sense to share or NOT share with discernment, sensitivity, and good humor.

Linking with:


When Words Fail You (5 Minutes for Faith)


There you are in the quiet of the morning, ready to meet the Lord for strength for the day. Your Bible is open and perhaps you've already studied, read or done a devotional.

It's a little bit like an appetizer to a good meal. But, if all this is appetizer for the quiet time meal,  what's the main course? Prayer.

But, what about those times when your prayer conversation falls short? What when words fail to come? What when the heart sighs, and the voice is too weary to articulate even the one word prayer, "Help."

Please, join me at 5 Minutes for Faith for an encouraging word for those times words fail you...

Click RIGHT HERE to read the rest.


The Visit (5 Minute Friday)


What do you desire,
but this one, specific thing?

That which lies within 
will make your heart sing...

It is in the desire
to feel the presence near

of those we love and who love us
and all we hold dear

I long for you to stay
and spend some time alone

not distracted by your thoughts
or with your fancy phone

Not making your to do list
or dishing out demands

But with an open heart 
that yields to my commands

The one that sits and visits
will know me very well
I promise to reveal myself 
John 14:21 does tell

Whom receives my instruction
sees the Son of Man

In the stillness, sees me
and my Fathers Mighty hand. 

Poetry is my default! Join us at Lisa Jo's where we write for 5 minutes on Friday, and sometimes Thursday, but last night I hit the hay at 9 PM, folks! 

Five Minute Friday




There is a moaning
from within
a gentle droning

a future when
from my bones

It groans...

home, home, home.

It carries me
through the day
a memory-
I cannot stay

I long to be...

 home, home, home.

Snow wisps
by my naked face
tarries not
here with this grace
I hold my own
in this place

bearing all...

Still, I hear the call
of that which is to come
I gaze upon the water
remembering all that I have done

You might not recognize me,
I feel my soul expand
 I'm not easily offended
just a stranger in this land...

and as we pass each other by
this ordinary day
I'll look you in the eye
though from my path I will not stray
but, I'll hold you in my heart
even though I cannot stay

The road ahead is long
my head's no place to lay
but I'm carrying on the journey
sharing hope along the way

and I feel again the moaning
from within a gentle drone,
my bones ache with the longing

soon I'll journey on alone,
I'm not really lonely,
just longing for...

home, home home.

Each Tuesday I head over to this great place of poetry and friendship,
dVerse Poet's Pub...come on over!


Morning Beach Walk With My Nokia Lumia Phone and a GIF(t)

OK, so I still am trying to figure out how to use my new toys. One is my Surface Tablet, as many of you know. The other is my new best friend phone

I wanted to share the photos from my beach walk today, but I so love the one below, which I was able to download as a GIF. It's just as if you are with me here in Narragansett, RI! 

I so love to be able to share the local Rhode Island beauty with you!

"The ocean stirs the heart, inspires the imagination and brings eternal joy to the soul."

— Wyland, Marine Life Artist


Whispers of Hope by Beth Moore: An Online Prayer Journey

I invite you to join me starting February 1, 2014 in working out with this wonderful prayer devotional tool: Whispers of Hope- 10 Weeks of Devotional Prayer by Beth Moore

How would you like to go deeper in your prayer life?

Could you benefit from a weekly check in as you attempt to grow in your personal prayer time? 

Do you wish you could be more faithful in interceding for others? 

Do you sometimes forget to pray for yourself?

Do you wish there was a way you could fit in Bible reading and prayer instead of feeling like you skim on one to accomplish the other?

Then join me in the journey!

Make no mistake about it, our personal prayer time is crucial to our spiritual lives. Although I believe there are no formulas, there are effective tools that help us to grow in the discipline of prayer. Not unlike training at the gym for health, we will follow plan of action for 70 Days and allow God to use Beth Moore's simple prayer acronym PRAISE to grow us into the faithful women of prayer we long to be. 

If you want to read a really great review of this book, please check out this one on Goodreads by Abby. 

How will we do it?

1. Hopefully you will let me know that you are joining in by commenting "I'm in" on the first post, which will go live Saturday, February 1. 

2. We will be individually going through the daily readings and praying privately, in our own prayer closets. 

3. Each weekend I will post a Check In blog post dedicated to...well, checking in! We can share what we are learning, challenges, praises and obstacles along the path. This will be a great opportunity for you to chime in, get support, or encouragement from one another! I really want you (and me) to commit to this journey. It is a ten week journey, but we will be on the path together. That means 10ish meetups via the weekend blog post. 

4. E-mail me at any time with questions dawn.paoletta@gmail.com

5. I want to have a special celebration at the end of the 70 days for those who commit and stay the journey. I am still pondering this but if you join me on this journey, all the way through I will have a special something for you at the end. Details later. Consider it a participation/accountability reward! Allow yourself to participate weekly and be held accountable and help others be encouraged and held accountable (we need each other to get through!) and I will share a very special something to celebrate and commemorate the journey at the end! 

What do I do in the meantime?

1. Check out and purchase Beth Moore's book "Whispers of Hope". There is space to write in the book itself. If you prefer you can buy it on Kindle, and use a journal or notebook for the prayer space you need. The spaces are a few lines in the book, so consider that. Perhaps, take a peek inside before you determine what will work for you. 

2. Pray about the upcoming 70 days and ask God to bless your commitment. Pray for those who will be on the journey with you, that God would help us all in the same way and grow us in the process. 

What if I'm not sure if I can do this?

First, I would say, pray and see if this is the right time and opportunity. Examine your own spiritual life and schedule to see if this is a time that you might work out that spiritual prayer muscle! If not, that's OK! 

We need your prayers! 

 I am asking for anyone who is willing to pray for this online endeavor. If you are willing to do this will you please let me know either through e-mail or a comment? Just say " I'm praying". 

If you will pray as God leads maybe on a specific day for us, that would be a tremendous gift, sacrifice and blessing. 

I so appreciate it, friends! 

I am looking forward to this journey! 

*I want to note that I actually won a copy of this book and just love the format, and look forward to going through this journey with you! I am not ahead, as I have tucked it away to start on February 1! I I did not receive any compensation for promoting this book; I just think it will be a great opportunity to experience and share it here with you all!

 Linking with:
 Friendship Friday at Create with Joy


Motherhood: Gavel or Grace


But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: "God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble." ~James 4:6

My cell phone rings from the bedside table, morning still has not peeked in through the blinds yet. I reach  into the dark, pressing the phone to me ear.

"Yes?" I reply, knowing who is on the other end of the ring.

"I just wanted to let you know it's icy, and to be careful. I don't want you to fall when you take the dog out."

I am almost 50 years old, she's 71. Actually, today, at this writing is her 71st birthday. Yet, here we are connected by a phone call. One in a continuum of calls made that sound similar. Warnings. Advice. Newsworthy tidbits. Concerns. Outright worry.

When does one stop mothering?

We have shared a lifetime of bittersweet and beloved moments, yet here she is still mothering me. Because that's what mothers do. We can't help it.

 She's never believed she was a good mom. She worked two jobs, a single mom. She did the best she could, and yet, somehow felt it was never enough. Because that's what moms feel. Like it's never enough. Never right. Somehow incomplete.

Who can measure the circumstances that God allows and determine the way perfectly? Who guarantees outcomes? 

Who holds the gavel to motherhood?

How moms want to extol their children, raise them high on pedestals, when they do well.
But, what when a mom has parented, loved, and done the best she could, the best she knows to do, and is met with pain, grief, heartache, betrayal or rebellion?

Do you, Mother, slam the gavel down on the bench and judge or take her into your arms and remind her that He is the only one who holds the gavel. 

Do you remind her that she is loved; beloved, despite her daily failings. 

Beyond the disappointments of her own childhood needs unmet, yet still she is upheld. 

 He alone promises to lead those with young. Do you remind her that whether her children are well behaved, good students or great athletes is really not all to her credit? Not that it is wrong to be proud of our children's accomplishments, but perspective is needed. Clarity, sensitivity and discernment is needed in how we see and express ourselves with regard to these things. 

What then do you say to the mom, who is struggling with a special needs child or child who rebels? Do you analyze and compare? Do you assume you did a better job at your mothering because your children happen to fare well in the confines of society? Oh, you might not say it out loud, but is it implied? Do you think it?

What grace then, to the mother who is unavailable, negligent, unknown to herself and others, a victim of her own lack of nurturing in childhood? 

Will you choose the gavel or grace for your own imperfect mother, the imperfect mother you are and for all of the other moms who cross your path?

But he gives us more grace...

Lord, this journey of motherhood is beyond me. You show me again and again how much more I need to depend on your grace, instead of my own limited understanding. I need to do this for myself as a mom, and I need to be gracious with other moms, not assuming anything. Because, you alone know the  unique struggles within our souls. Lord, keep me from making snap judgments and conclusions based on what I see in others, in their mothering. Only you know the hidden and secret things- You alone will bring all to light in your time. Let me instead be a shoulder to a despairing mom, an encouraging word to a weary mom, and a present grace in a time of trouble for hopeless mom and a light shining you to a mom who can't see the light at the end of the tunnel, right now. Remind me, I have no idea the hard battles that another might have overcome or currently be enduring. Let me be gracious, for you, Lord are gracious to me. Thank you that no matter who judges, or rejects me, You call me your own. That no matter how many times I mess up, you clean me up, and set me straight. Thank you that I am loved by You, and your desire is for me. I am your beloved. 

I belong to my beloved, and his desire is for me.Song of  Solomon 7:10


Root: 30 Day Journal Project (Update)

Well, we are about halfway through this month's 30 Day Journal Project over at Lisa Sonora Beam's place. This journey continues to remind me to slow down, and go gently. I need that- it resonates within me. Making time for an Art Journal, is something that I have wanted to do for awhile. Although this is not just an art endeavor, but a true journaling journey, where expression is whatever you need it to be. I find writing and creating to be therapeutic. It recreates us as we give ourselves over to it. God shows up, in the process, as always, and I feel this amazing oneness with Him, even in the scribbling and smearing of pen, and paints.

Here, I will share the pages of my first 15 Days. So thankful that my dear friend Stacy, of I Carried a Watermelon, prompted me to check out this journey! 

Well, there you have it: Days 1-15

I will post days 16-31 the first week in February. 

Happy creating, friends. Just absolutely enjoyable fun!

It keeps the creative juices flowing. Remember it doesn't have to be Rembrandt to be good. You just have to enjoy the process. Then it becomes special, inspiring and good! 

Good? Good. Not perfect, but good enough for me. 

For more Journaling inspiration, visit Lisa's Blog. And as a note, many others are writing MORE, since writing is my thang, I actually am playing with the artsy side more. Whatever comes. Happy whatever comes, Friends! Go create something...a blog post, journal entry, painting, book chapter, a pot of soup-anything!

Creating is good for the soul, and it's all good!


Her Soul's Prison



built big enough
to protect her from pain
strong enough
tough enough

Surrounding her heart


Courageous Armour
to hide

the teary eyed princess child
peering through

she's created...

Walls of protection
become a

for the soul...

A note: I came across this poem while de-cluttering this weekend. I wrote it when I was in my 20's- like a hundred years ago. Does anyone else just write poems everywhere? Slips of paper with scribbled words are not an uncommon discovery around here! Poetry is both art and more importantly to me, (inexpensive) therapy!

Linking with dVerse for OLN! 
Poets and Prose lovers welcome. 

#1000 Gifts and Counting - New Journal Reveal!

My 2014 Joy Dare- counting blessings daily. 

My (not so) Secret journal is one I began with many, along with Ann Voskamp. I dedicated a small notebook to the exclusive task of the counting. 

By my bedside is where I prefer it. But, on a bad day, or a desperate one, I'll grab it and take it with me. I toss it in the book bag, or purse. Because when I feel least grateful, and the storms are kicking up, and when I lose sight of God. I do this one thing. I look hard and seek. I start my counting and it saves me. It is this continued practice...that keeps me, and my eyes heaven-bound, instead of bound by the things on earth that bind me. 

Yes, I'm a little late in my jumping back into this particular journal activity, but after looking at the fancier ones, I set my feet to the drugstore and once again purchased a simple Cambridge-Mead Notebook- This particular one is just the right size for me to hold and write in anywhere. It has a heavy card-stock cover which is great for my ModPodge collage cover. It also has a pocket, although I did not use it much, but one never knows. It has 140 pages and measures 7 in x 4 3/8 in. 

I actually also kept an online count separately- on Mondays, but I am unsure if I will continue. The Monday post, that is, not the counting!

I don't do the three a day that Ann prompts, but I just count away as they come! 

Here is the first journal dedicated exclusively to the counting to 1000 and beyond. 

After perusing many fancier journals, this habit gently nudged me to stay with the simple spiral bound notebook that escorted me through my first counting of thousands...

Side by side, new and old.  

The first gifts...

My last counted gift...onward! 

Will you be keeping a Blessing or Gratitude Journal this year? 

Will you count your blessings?

Will you take this Joy Dare- right where you are?


Knowing My God and More by Callie Grant (Children's Books and Parenting Resources)

Who doesn't love a good children's book? Better still, a good children's book that shares the deeper things of God, in an age appropriate manner. Who doesn't remember there own favorite book illustrations? Books that are both beautifully written, illustrated and profound are a rare treasure. Callie Grant and Graham Blanchard are doing an amazing service by bringing forth books worth owning for families who value their faith and the power of story.

I am very impressed with the quality and makeup of these books, as well as the resources offered on their website for parents. I want to share a bit about the three books I received and let you see why you will be excited to own your own copies to share with our little ones.

The collection of board books are as durable and well made as they are beautiful. Perfect for taking the wear and tear of sticky fingers, drools and loving round of sibling tug of war! There are three primary categories for the story books: Learn, Absorb and Praise. You can lick on the links bellow to read learn more details about each category and also to get a peek into each book. Each offers a unique perspective for encouraging conversations about God.

Jesus Saves Me is for ages 0-7 and is from the "Knowing My God" series, and is a Learn book. The book focuses on Jesus as the Good Shepherd and introduces Jesus's mission on earth to save and care His sheep. It is based on the verses in John 10:14-16, and illustrated with beautiful images. This book was hit with my Sunday School class, aged 5-7 years old, and they like to take turns taking it home!

Little Seed: A Life  is for ages 0-6 and is a Praise book. I really adored this story which takes the reader on a journey through the life cycle of a seed. Perfect for teaching in conjunction with a Homeschooling science with younger ones, incorporating the spiritual and physical aspects. Gorgeous colors and details, to allow little ones to share among themselves as well.

Close as a Breath is for ages 06 and is an Absorb book. This story pictures a daughter and father taking a walk, as the daughter asks one question after another. Adults and children will relate, and enjoy this little story that prompts some of those bigger questions, that lead to more questions, ultimately resting on the sovereignty of God. Beautifully affirming and lovely illustrations.

If you are looking for quality books, worth re-reading and enjoying with your young children, these books and all I have seen from this publisher, have been excellent. The site offers a number of excellent Parent resources, downloads and tips!  One PDF download available on the site, A Parents Guide for Children Growing Up in God: 5 Things for the First 5 Years, is worth a look.

Check out my review of Jesus Invites Me , also by Callie Grant. 

I had the pleasure of receiving these books through Shelton Interactive in return and for the purpose of review. The opinions I express are my own.

Reading List: Cozy Book Hop


Join me for Coffee Talk with Jesus - Turbo!

Last month I was blessed and surprised to receive  my very own, signed copy of Coffee Talk with Jesus- Intimate Chats with the Savior by Barbie Swihart. I won a copy during the book launch giveaway she held at her blog-Hooray for giveaways! Having gotten to know Barbie, over the past few years, through blogging and also in her position of Managing Editor at 5 Minutes for Faith, has allowed me to enjoy her friendship, leadership and mentoring all online! Imagine the joy of Jesus, when His own kiddos use the internet resources available to glorify Him in these ways! 

This devotional is a gentle invitation to ease your way into an intimate time of fellowship with Jesus, right now. It is a 31 Day Devotional, but I am proposing that you can read through it at your own pace, or like me- two readings a day, finishing up by the month's end. I checked Amazon today, and the Kindle version is just 3.99*, while the paperback is 8.09* (If you have Prime, shipping is free).

Well, the best way to enjoy a good book, aside of snuggled up in your comfiest PJ's and favorite reading spot - with a cup of something hot, is to know that you can share your favorite parts, and reflections with a friend as you go, or when you finish! 


On January 31st, we will gather here for a very special time..."Coffee Time with Barbie"! We will share insights, reflections and any thoughts we had about the book, or reading, right here on the blog -via the comments. 


This devotional readings are short and grace-filled reminders of God's presence, faithfulness and love, followed by some questions for you to ponder, pray and reflect upon. Also included are a few lines for your own thoughts, responses, and prayers. Consider it a turbo shot of espresso for your faith this January- deliciously perfect for sipping slowly, and enjoying with a friend.

Oh, and for those who love coffee, there are some wonderful coffee infused recipes for you to try! 

I hope you will grab the book, or if you already have it -join me for two readings a day, or reading as you feel led. Also, there will be a special additional surprise on the 31st. No, I can't tell you what it is, because it's a surprise. Silly! 

*Prices subject to change- as you know. I am not an Amazon Affiliate as they do not allow RI residents to be affiliates at this time. Boo! However, I do enjoy Prime membership. Please check your favorite bookseller for availability! 

Love this kind of mail!

Reading List: Cozy Book Hop