Who Me? {5 Minute Friday-Change}

photo credit: Joe Plocki (turbojoe) via photo pin cc

So today Lisa- Jo has given us the word, change to write for 5 minutes on. One prompt, five minutes, unedited (OK- I confess, I always hit spell check at the end, it's a habit-sorry Lisa-Jo), uninterrupted.
It is my Friday five minute Bliss. And sometimes I have to guard it as if it were 5 million dollars. Because really, if others are awake, it can turn into 5 minutes of frustration, guilt and quitting until later. So I sneak into the office in the quietness of morning and here I am! 

I always wait for the computer clock to give me my time: 7:21- Go

Change. It's God's way of reminding me he will not let me live a life of complacency. It's our secret code where He seems to say: Gotcha. I feel like He enjoys doing these things to me. Bringing me into change seems to be the way He shows me things I never knew before. About myself, others, and most of all His power in my life. 

I open the e-mail and feel that feeling. What? You want to know if I am interested in leading the Ladies Bible Study once while you are absent? I love the study! I love the Ladies! I love to hide in my seat and occasionally add a joke, a thought or some other interjection. Safe.

I remember the day I walked into the new Christian school my Girl would attend, two years ago. I was so excited to know there was a Moms In Prayer group and I had heard the leader was wonderful. I ran into her upon exiting and she said to me on that fateful day. "Oh, I will not be here next year". 

God again, leading me into that dreaded word. Change.
Which in the end, stretches and brings joy and confidence in Him and His ways. 

Stop- 7:26- Darn- I was just getting going! 

Join us? 

Five Minute Friday


Joy {Wordless Wednesday}

A post on Joyfully Serving Him
and the power behind it found HERE.

Joyfully linking (a little late) with Ramona!

The Power To Do All Things

Joy equals: Jesus, Others and lastly Yourself!

"What we do as followers of Christ flows out of who we are in Christ"  
Scott Savage, Minister to Young Adults, North Phoenix Baptist  Church

Sometimes I forget, that the roles he has allowed for me to live out here
are not lived out in an unholy vacuum, that would suck up all my time and energy.
He empowers me for each one.
He is the River that begs me to come drink,
so that out of me, even me, would pour forth Living Water;
His grace, truth, holiness and mercy.
That as I drink from His life-giving, pure water,
I am made pure and clean and holy.
Ready for the day.

That these specific roles are not overwhelming as I prayerfully lean on Him.
Abide in His presence.
Accept His invitation.
Receive His new mercies, daily.

When I acknowledge that it is He and not me,
I can love and serve my husband, joyfully.
I can love and teach my daughter, patiently.
I can keep my home, graciously.
 I can lead the prayer group, faithfully.
I can teach the Sunday School, joyfully.

It is out of His abundance and His strength and His grace that
I am able.

 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Philippians 4:13

"For in him we live and move and have our being..."
Acts 17:28

Please drop by Deb's place as she hosts
Writing Canvas with the above prompt!

Heart Choices

Writing Canvas

Sharing at Laura's for this weekly Link!
Beholding Glory


Hanging On To The Precious

Therefore thus says the LORD: 
“If you return, I will restore you, and you shall stand before me. 
If you utter what is precious, and not what is worthless, you shall be as my mouth. 
They shall turn to you, but you shall not turn to them.
Jeremiah 15:19

I put my fingers to the keyboard. 
I listen.
I pray, stumbling upon His holiness.
Confessing, my unholiness.
Trusting in forgiveness He provides.
I choose the precious.
There are times it is not so. 
There are times I engage in fleshly battles- 
He has not ordained for me. 
I choose the vile, and realize I stand alone.
Obedience, cast aside like an old, worn garment. 
I seek something new.
Foolishness greets me.
I am naked.
Longing for the clothes He graciously gave me,
I stumble into grace.
He takes hold of me in my dark place,
illuminates the corners of despair
sanctifying me again,
setting me apart-
caressing me gently 
with his righteousness,
restoring me to 
His table-
reminding me of His call
His Spirit empowers me,
ignites my heart
with passion
to share -
His Truth
As He leads.
His mercy, His sacrifice.
His undying, dying love 
that lives forever.
Leading me to bid farewell to the temporal
for the Kingdom
unseen by many, 
even His own.
But I see, it.
I see it.
I see it full well.
Keep me from being blind to that which is precious,
while pursuing what will be in the end,
In Your Sight.


Linking and visiting with these great communities:


intentional me


More Reasons My Hubby Is Awesome {Why You Need To Make A List}}

Awhile back I wrote a post titled  The Top Ten Reasons Why My Husband Is Awesome.
You know, marriage is not easy. 
We all have our own little quirks and life can leave us a little nearsighted
 with regard to those who are closest to us. 
Specifically our husbands. 
But the beauty of our relationship with Christ is that we have the power, possibility,
and provision to have a marriage that glorifies Him, because 
He makes all things possible, for those who believe and are willing to 
lay down their own rights to themselves for something so much more divine. 
(Philippians 4:13, 2 Peter 1:3, John 3:33)
But still, I prefer he brushes his teeth in the morning before 
my morning kiss even though that does not always happen. 
Moving on.
I felt I needed to update my list with a picturesque fun addition.
My hubs is on vacation this week and he is working on an
 extreme room makeover for our Girl!
Another reason he is awesome!

He Rocks My World
I love rocks. I see so much God in them. It's just my thing.
So this year while in Maine visiting Coos Canyon, my hubby
 hid this away in his pocket for a full 24
hours before showing me his special find!
That is big for him, he barely can contain himself when it comes to giving
 things to his loved ones! And he wrote the little love note on it , too.
I know, say it: "awwww".
He Enjoys My Goofiness
We laugh a lot. About ridiculous, silly things.
Since I am an expert goof, this is good.

He Adds Beauty To My Life
& Sweet Surprises 
(which I sometimes don't notice until he tells me)

Case in point. I had picked some flowers and put them on the table.
The next day my hubby added the two small glasses with Black Eyed Susans.
As I putzed around the kitchen he finally asked if I had noticed anything.
 Um, no, course I did not.
But when I did, I was reminded of his 
thoughtful touches of beauty
which he is always adding to my life.
 He's Patient With Me
and Doesn't Mind The Occasional 
PB & J!
Sometimes he gets this in his lunch.
And he is OK with that.
Seriously, he puts up with this

 Give that man a HALO! 

Now I have an assignment for you, ladies:
Make your own list of the reasons why your husband is 
the awesome and sweetest guy 
God gave you and relish it and him. 
Let's bring glory to God by making sure we 
enjoy the husbands God has given us.
Even when our eyesight is a little off.
Maybe even More so then. 
Go, make your list!

My Sweet Stack of Books {What's On Your Nightstand?}

Well, the slowest reader in the Blogosphere is creepy crawling her way through her giant book piles and looking forward to cold days ahead snuggled up with a few good books.

Currently I am enjoying:

  The Jesus Calling Storybook 
by Sally Lloyd Jones-I have heard wonderful things about this beautifully illustrated,
award winning children's Bible and it is living up to it's theme "Every story whispers His name".
I am looking forward to sharing it with my Sunday School class.

A Sudden Glory
(God's lavish response to your ache for something more) by Sharon Jaynes- From the publisher's page: "In A Sudden Glory, Sharon uses Scripture and story to help you erase the line between your “spiritual life” and your “daily life” as you enter the sanctuary of God’s presence even in the middle of your busy, messy day. Here you will find your eyes opened to moments of sudden glory in which the Creator assures you of His love as you live and move and have your being in Him. Here you will discover true freedom—the freedom of experiencing God in a deeper and more intimate way than ever before."
I am reading this one for review but already love this lady's take 
on our God's glory and passionate pursuit of us. 

Tough Guys and Drama Queens
(How Not to Get Blindsided by Your Child's Teen Years)-by Mark Gregston
Have not started but am looking forward to this one from my friends at Booksneeze!

"Parents of preteens and teens can move from scared to prepared with a new approach to parenting their adolescents.Parents of preteens intuitively know that no matter how good their kids are, there is turbulence ahead. Many feel lost and unprepared as they watch the damaging effects of culture collide with their child's growing pains and raging hormones.For the past 35 years Mark Gregston has lived and worked with struggling teens and knows what it takes to reach them. He says, "A parent's success has little to do with either the validity of their words or their intent as messengers, it's more about how they approach their child and engage with them."

31 Days of Praise by Ruth Myers
This is one of those books I have been pining to get for a while.
I will use it for my quiet times in the New Year or sooner.

Praying The Names of Jesus by Ann Spangler
I really enjoy this writer and have a couple of other books by her that I employ in preparation for
leading my Moms In Prayer group and also for my personal quiet times.

Recent Reviews:

Bringing Up Girls by Dr. James Dobson for Tyndale
How I forgave My Molester by Melinda Todd (This was the first book review I had written.
I wanted to share with my readers and those who may be interested in
this excellent book on difficult topic)

What's On Your Nightstand, Friends? 
Join in and check out some great reads!

What's On Your Nightstand


Stop The Insanity, It's Monday!

You know things are chaotic when your calendar is upside down!
Seriously, that was my desk recently. It's not better, yet. But I am working on it. It seems when I try to get organized or clean, I tend to make a mess. It just works that way. I kinda 'splode. Everywhere. Sometimes I find my way back to sanity. Other times I just close the door. Did you ever just wish that one of those Home Improvement Extreme Makeover Shows would knock on your door and say "Poof", and all of the clutter  would be gone? Friends, that horrifies me, all my ideas are in that mess!

Last week my life felt full.
I just raised my hands and face to Heaven, receiving graciously.
Every single gift as it was poured out, like oil, spilling over my head.
Running down my cheeks.
I felt no shame, as I licked my lips, smiling.
Thank you, Lord.
Thank you.
One year older.
One year more blessed.
One year wiser. 

Tomatoes and Basil from our garden.
Thank you, Lord.
Peaches (gently tossed with a touch of lime and sugar)
served in Martini glasses with fresh Mint
(from our garden)
Thank you, Lord. 

My sweet Moms In Prayer friends from New Hampshire. 
I love these ladies and am loved by them
Thank you, Jesus! 

Thank you Starbucks-
I look forward to my free drink each year!

So I took it here and had myself a fabulous morning.

 I brought a Good Book! 

My Girl gave me a wonderful pedicure
and my Amazon book order had just arrived!
Talk about divine timing. I finally got my hands on
The Jesus Storybook Bible
 and because of this combination enjoyed the pampering
of my feet from the soles
right to the soul!  

but be warned- he feels that the person who wrote this recipe, 
perhaps is not familiar with recipe writing or something to that degree.
It was delicious but I felt I should give you fair warning if you want to try it!  

281. Sisters in Christ who pray faithfully for me
282. A husband who never ceases to amaze me
283. My sweet friend and SIC Pauline who spoke this beautiful truth:
"Fellowship IS worship" 
284. The daily surprises of God
285. The beauty of 4 seasons in New England
286. His Creation- continual source of inspiration, hope and beauty.

On this last note I leave a quote of encouragement from the amazing
  Dietrich Bonhoeffer journey
I am on from Bible Gateway:

When people are deeply affected by the Word, they tell it to other people. God has willed that we should seek and find God’s living Word in the testimony of other Christians, in the mouths of human beings. Therefore, Christians need other Christians who speak God’s Word to them. They need them again and again when they become uncertain and disheartened.
D. Bonhoeffer

May your week be full of fellow Christ - Followers
 who speak words of life into your life, Friend!

New links and friends and old ones as well:

miscellany monday at lowercase letters


The Final Countdown {Last Summer Days}

Vitality shows in not only the ability to persist but the ability to start over.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald

Does anybody else look at the last week of August the same way 
that they do the last week of December? Or is that just me? 
I'm not sure if it is because of the timing of my birthday so near Summer's end 
or that September is the time for routines to return.
 Oh, glorious routine! How I long for the structured days ahead. 
The return of My Girl to school and Sunday School to start back up. 
My Moms In Prayer group meetings every 
Thursday and the joy of praying shoulder to shoulder with those moms who come. 
For me balancing a new work schedule will be wonderful, at last.
 Already I have a number of requests also for Personal Training 
which means the balancing act could be challenging. 
Praising God for that- he knows what's best for me!

The days ahead are looking bright.

I get the same feeling I did as a schoolgirl anticipating the first day of school!
I could easily be overwhelmed the same way I get at the start of a New Year.
I'm thinking of My Girl going into 7th grade.

I am excited with anticipation for the most wonderful time of the year in my opinion.
The Fall and Winter with holidays, family times and the pristine beauty of the seasons.

New goals and experiences.
Hopes and dreams that He may nurture or revive.
Some that may be released, left behind.

What are you looking forward to in the days ahead?

Here's a few of the things I am looking forward to:

A family Barbecue
I am looking forward to our Pastor teaching through the book of Acts.
Teaching Sunday School.
The return of routine. Hallelujah! 
Fall leaves.
Snow (don't hate me).
The End of Summer Festival (on the beach)
Shorter days and longer books.
Bundled up beach walks.
Catching up on crafts and projects at home.
Organizing my new Planner  (The Detailer) 

If you want to share in the comments or write about it on your blog then
- share your link here in the comments!

For I know the plans I have for you,” 
declares the Lord, 
“plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give
 you hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11

Bringing Up Girls by Dr. James Dobson {Book Review}

If there is one name synonymous with Christian family values, parental advice and influence, that name would be Dr. James Dobson. With titles which are mentioned in churches, mom's groups and Christian circles everywhere, one anticipates a title such as Bringing up Girls to be loaded with the plethora of helpful information and wisdom that has made Mr. Dobson famous. The front cover of the book states "Practical advice and encouragement for those shaping the next generation of women". This would have to be the long awaited companion to Bringing Up Boys, from the man who has fathered his own daughter and son, hosted his own talk show and brings his background in clinical psychology and practical faith to all he shares.

On one hand I really did not love this book overall. I think that a lot of it was information overload, and it felt like I was back in one of my Early Childhood Education classes for a bit. We know these are perilous times for girls and children in general. But as a parent, a mom to be specific, I am looking for practical encouragement and advice without an overload of research to back it up. It's not that I do not want any, it  can be discouraging as opposed to encouraging. I think it's hard to avoid the reality that the days are frighteningly evil and getting worse. 

On the other hand, Dr. Dobson delivered a thorough perspective and viewpoint of raising girls in this conflicted culture. I would suggest reading through the chapters that really speak to you, as opposed to reading right through. It is a book I would refer to again and again so I certainly am glad it's in my current library and would say that if you have profited from Dr. Dobsons prior books you will appreciate this resource for your Christian library!

There were a couple of parts of the book that I thoroughly enjoyed. 
Chapter 10 is one of my favorites. It is a list compiled by another author and titled "Fathers To Daughters".
Parents are whisked from childhood right through the teen years in this list of suggestions, wisdom and tips for cherishing each moment and gaining a clear perspective in light of the bigger picture. This was encouraging and challenging. Tender and painful! 

I also loved a part where the good Doctor gives his perspective of the monthly cycle and I will just say it is the most perfectly profound perspective I have ever read. That alone is worth the read in Chapter 18 which covers Puberty and Adolescence. 

Last but not least the question and answers are really one thing that he does well. He was not as detailed at times but reiterated from other instances he has addressed some of the topics in his previous books. 

All in all I think if you have a daughter (s), and respect Dr. Dobson's 
wisdom and insight you will not be disappointed.
I warn you though, it's not all sugar and lollipops.
But you knew that anyway. 

I received this book for the purpose of review. 
All opinions expressed are my own.
Tyndale Blog Network


How I Forgave My Molester by Melinda Todd {Book Review}

The subject of forgiveness is difficult enough for most people to grasp but even more complicated is it when dealing with what would seem to be the most unforgiveable of all sins, that of sexual abuse of a child. Melinda takes us through her journey of healing by the grace of God and the power of His word. 
This is key and instrumental in Melinda's book.
 She does not pretend it is easy or ask us to put on rose tinted glasses while she shares. 
She is open and honest without crossing the line of "too much information." 
She doesn't bog us down with too many details but gives us just enough to connect, relate and empathize. She also does not let us just stay there, that is not her goal. 
Her goal is to bring us into nothing less than the truth and in this short but very powerful book she does just that. Loaded with empowering scriptures, tenderness, sensitivity and authenticity, 
Melinda delivers hope and healing by the word of her testimony and the power of God's Holy Word. 
I wholeheartedly recommend "How I Forgave My Molester" to anyone 
who feels led to the title and wants to know how they can learn to forgive, 
and move on toward wholeness and healing.

You can visit  Mel at her Blog: Trailing After God.
The book is available as Paperback for $6.99
and on Kindle for $2.99
as of this publish date.
Prices subject to change. 

Sharing The Sunrise {Beach Morning Walk}

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, 
    for his compassions never fail. 
They are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness. 
Lamentations 3:22-23

It's the day after my birthday and I am awake though the sun is not up yet. The sweet memory of a blessed birthday is lingering in the back of my mind. Sleep is still visiting my husband and daughter. I take the dog out and see two stars shining brightly out of the dusky morning. I am longing to walk in the cool of the morning, greeting the day, beholding the Creator's morning canvas. How I love Sunrise. I love it more than a beautiful sunset. It is the beautiful reminder of those new mercies promised every morning, by a faithful God, after the darkness of night. So consider this my Post-Birthday Gift to you. Be refreshed and blessed in the new mercies of the morning. Regardless of the time when you read this, embrace the idea, the belief, the gift of His grace, forgiveness, love and beauty. Right now. No hesitation. It's for you, my friend. With love.

Walk with me in the cool of His grace, in the gentleness and strength of His presence.
Let's go... 

There is none like this Artist,
my friend.
May He bless you today. 

Linking up with: