Release {One Word 2013}

So I have to confess again, that when I began to consider the One Word challenge for 2013, I found myself faced with a word I really would not choose. Whereas with the word "Less" from last year I admit I would not choose it but could see immediately the wisdom and also a verse came to my mind clearly (John 3:30).

This time I was driving my car and chatting with Jesus (please tell me I am not the only one who talks to God in the shower and while driving) and sharing with Him how I could see that Less could be my word for two years because it really is ongoing...this business of Him being greater and me being less. Instead He seemed to impress upon me that He had a different word and it was Release. Now I know He is my Lord. He is God. But me being mortal (even with immortality seed within) turned to that invisible but present passenger and with my best "your will not mine" attitude (which is not hidden to him by the way) thought to myself, "Um no", and said nothing. I felt the Him, impress upon me, it was His will and word. Someday I know He will speak and I will say "Yes, Lord". It is my heart's desire. Yet, I still am mostly a kicking and screaming kind of disciple. I still in the deep areas of my inner most being resist Him. But I am also still willing. And He takes that willingness and molds it. So here we go again. I know there is wisdom in His choice. I surrender the many words I would choose that are swimming around my head and I lean and trust on the One who really is trustworthy and knows best.

I currently have no verse that comes to mind. Does one pop into your head for me? But instead of playing Bible  roulette, as I sought to write this post, I went to the dictionary, my second favorite book and hoped for enlightenment.

Below as appeared in The Free Online Dictionary I was immediately humbled. I am not sure what is ahead for me, but only know God has something good in it. For 2013 God has revealed to me my One Word will be Release. I surrender my will to His and say...Bring It!

re·lease  (r-ls)
    tr.v. re·leased, re·leas·ing, re·leas·es
1. To set free from confinement, restraint, or bondage: released the prisoners.
2. To free from something that binds, fastens, or holds back; let go: released the balloons; released a flood of       questions.
3. To dismiss, as from a job.
4. To relieve of debt or obligation.
5. To relieve of care and suffering.
        a. To issue for performance, sale, publication, or distribution.
        b. To make known or available.
7. To relinquish (a right or claim).
1. A deliverance or liberation, as from confinement, restraint, or suffering.
2. An authoritative discharge, as from an obligation or from prison.
3. An unfastening or letting go of something caught or held fast.
4. A device or catch for locking or releasing a mechanism.
    a. The act or an instance of issuing something for publication, use, or distribution.
    b. Something thus released: a new release of a software program.
    c. The condition of being available, in use, or in publication: a movie in wide release.
6. Law
    a. Relinquishment to another of a right, title, or claim.
    b. The document authorizing such relinquishment.
7. Linguistics The movement of a vocal organ or organs so as to end the closure of a stop consonant.

On my desk a Scrapbook Page Stand ( I love this!) 

My Planner for 2013- I made a Page Holder
 with the verse Ephesians 2:10.

Today I am consecrating my planning calendar!
If you missed that wonderful guest post by Kim Jackson, please see this post:

Happy New Year, Friends!

May your One Word be His good and perfect word for you this year and may it lead you closer to His good and perfect will for your life while He is glorified and magnified! Amen!

A special thank you to Bonnie @ Faith Barista, Alece @ One Word 365, and Melanie @ Only A Breath who make this Bloggy World a whole lot smaller in a really BIG, wonderful way! Thank you, Ladies!

Aiming to link at these places: 
On, In and Around Mondays, 
Create With Joy,
 A Holy Experience, 
The Better Mom
lowercase letters,
Mommy Moments Blog Hop

January 10th @ Bonnie's for the first 
Faith Barista Jam of 2013! 


A Last Word on Less {Goodbye 2012}


I remember the initial challenge. One. Word. A word that sets your intention for the year. I am not one who struggles to find words. Words are the chariots of fire that roll through my mind in the dark of night. Words are the fuel that propel me onward through days that become one in a never-ending story. Committing to one word for me was like asking a kangaroo to lasso a great white shark, from a boat...during a blizzard...at night. On another planet. OK, maybe I exaggerate. Just a little. I think knowing that others were setting there intention and focus through these communities helped me feel less alone. But still...when God whispered to me in that still small voice the word Less, I was really not thrilled  exactly open to the idea. Yet, I knew there was wisdom in it. Though my flesh did protest, I listened and accepted this One Word for 2012. Less. 

He must become greater; I must become less.
John 3:30

So I pondered, prayed and wrote up that post and joined my one word with many one words and became one with a whole bunch of others...and asked God to answer me the question Could Less Be Best?
Because you know I tend to be a little slow and sometimes I don't hear so well...that is when God is talking to me anyway. Fortunately He is fairly patient with me. I mean sometimes I get a little nervous and think He might just have the earth split and swallow me, but so far He shows me grace and mercy despite my stubborn sheep tendency. He does faithfully lead me beside the still water but occasionally He will also Take Me To The River  (so I can hear him better). 

I'd like to say I have it all together after walking a year with this word looking back at me from my desk, blog and heart. Instead I recognize it is this Living Word, very real Savior and Faithful Guide who leads me to His ultimate destination His way, in His time and by means that amaze and humble me. I know not the way He goes, but I know that there is no turning back. In all of it I learn to yield, trust, submit to that which I still do not fully grasp. In this process there is transformation, reconciliation and true salvation. All being worked together without my effort, acknowledgement or often, awareness. This holy path from which I will not depart but walk at exactly the right pace, as He allows it to widen or narrow before me. 

I still have much to learn...but this year as I pondered how much more Jesus needs to reign within my heart I was led to the verses which exemplify what love looks like so well. The timeless verses of 1 Corinthians 13. The Love chapter. I realized that less of me and more of Jesus might mean that love would be magnified in me. That Jesus would reign and be revealed. 

My paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 13 with the help of "The Message" Bible:

Never gives up.
Cares more for others than self. 
Doesn't want what it doesn't have.
Doesn't strut.
Doesn't have a swelled head.
Doesn't force itself on others.
Isn't always me first. 
Doesn't fly off the handle. 
Doesn't keep score of the sins of others.
Doesn't revel when another grovels.
Enjoys truth's growth.
Is never offended.
Trusts in God completely. 
Always sees the good.
Does not look back. 
Perseveres til the end.

This is a portrait of Christ. He lives within you and me and ultimately He will have His own look just like Him! Oh, Lord, I have so far to go. But I do hope in you!

The pursuit of Less led me to Love and authentic Love always leads to the One who is love and that is God. (1 John 4:8)

The Women's Bible Study I participated  in wrapped up in December, and when I missed a class the leader  made sure to save me a special "challenge" card that each lady had received. On the front there was a bible verse and theme; on the back a specific directive to follow. It was no surprise to me that I got Ephesians 5:21. Submit to One Another. On the back: "Specifically this week consider where you fit in in the body of Christ or in family relationships. We are not always #1!" Ouch. Less of me Lord, more of You. I have always struggled with the fitting in. As a matter of fact, I mostly go through life feeling pretty much like I don't fit in! But God says we all have a place and it comes in the submitting one to another that begins with considering where we fit in, only after we submit to Him. If we are not submitted to Him, we will not be ready to submit to those we love or others in a healthy, balanced way. Selfishness  reigns and He is dethroned. But if we submit ourselves to Him, He enables us to submit to one another. He is glorified.

 "Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ."
Ephesians 5:21

Less of me and more of Him...
I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.
Still learning.
Abba, Father, into your hands I commit my spirit, as I learn to fly...
I thank you for these lessons, your patience and your promises. 

"Take these broken wings and learn to fly
 All your life 
You were only waiting for this moment to arise..."
Paul McCartney

A special thank you to Bonnie @ Faith Barista, Alece @ One Word 365, and Melanie @ Only A Breath who make this Bloggy World a whole lot smaller in a really BIG, wonderful way! Thank you, Ladies!


Calendar Consecration (A Special New Year Guest Post by Kim Jackson)

God’s handwriting is on your calendar. 

Well, not literally. But ponder this: 

“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do”  (Ephesians 2:10). 

If it’s true God has plans for me,  I want to know what they are. Don’t you? 

One way to show God we’re serious about discovering His handwriting on our calendars is to have a calendar consecration. I've been doing this every December for a decade. It's always meaningful and powerful. Why not join me?

Here's how to consecrate your calendar: 

·   Set aside a block of uninterrupted time. 
·   Write Ephesians 2:10 somewhere in your new calendar. (If you use a technology-based calendar, tweak these ideas as needed.)
·  Place your calendar before God. 
· Pray. 

I pray along these lines: 

Dear Jesus: 

I praise You for giving me life. Thank You for the promise in Ephesians 2:10 that says You have good works for me to do. I want to know what those good works are and be faithful to perform them. 

I’m looking at all these pristine squares on my calendar. Soon they'll be covered with scribbled appointments and reminders. I believe You have good works planned for me, so don’t let me miss Your handwriting on my calendar because I've already filled up my days with my plans.

I commit the days You have given me on this planet to Your purposes. I want to live a life that makes You smile. I want to be on Your schedule, fulfilling everything You have in mind for me to do in the minutes and months of my life. 

I ask that You would guard my heart from distractions that would hinder me from doing the good works that you prepared for me to do. Keep me aware and awake to Your Spirit’s promptings. 

Jesus, if I run ahead or behind of Your perfect plan, I claim the promise of Romans 8:28 that even in my missteps, You will work all things together for good. 
Please teach me what it means to“number my days that I may gain a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12). Jesus, empower me by Your Spirit to live my life with my eyes focused on what matters to You. 

Lord, if You tarry and I am still walking this earth on January 1, 2014, may I be able to look back over the filled-in pages of this calendar and rejoice, knowing that I have lived well for Your glory. 

I love You, 


I want to give Kim a very special thanks and shout out for allowing me to share her writing here today! My prayer is that you will be as blessed as I was when I read her Calendar Consecration Post. She has been officially inducted as an Honorary Member into the Inspiring Women Series based on this wonderful New Year Post which will help us all start and end our 2013 well. 

Kim Jackson is a writer, speaker and advocate for homeless elderly in Romania. Her Wow Dee Wow blog, from which this post is used with permission, is a weekly Brag on God Blog. Follow links within her blog to learn more about her work, Elder Orphan Care, and her speaking ministry,Kimmunicator.

Missional WomenBlog Post Hop


Finding God In The Hobbit by Jim Ware {Book Review}

If I had to choose one word to describe Jim Ware's "Finding God In The Hobbit", I would have to say the word that fits best would be delightful. As the movie "The Hobbit"  which was released earlier this month claims to be "An Unexpected Journey" so I found this read to be wonderfully unpredictable in conclusions and insights along the spiritual path.

Each chapter brings us a portion of the journey from J.R.R. Tolkien's epic tale of adventure. Mr. Ware brings us to a pivotal moment of the tale and whets the appetite even to know more about Bilbo, Middle Earth, dragons, Hobbits, Elves and the Shire. He leads us along a perilous road and in the end right into the light of a serendipitous moment, and the undeniable "Ah - ha!" of God's permeation, power and presence throughout the story. I found myself continuously surprised and delighted by the ultimate "reflection" and conclusion or insight that was shared. I have often appreciated the ability of this story to convey such powerful truths- the reality of good and evil, the beauty of divine providence and the impact  and influence people have on one another. But the fact is I loved that each of the short chapters had a delightful insight or conclusion I had not so keenly perceived myself as is presented in this book. It is like going off on a mini adventure with the author to see what one might see...your own unexpected journey, so to speak. I also appreciated the perceptive peeks into the characters- as we are introduced to them again or for the first time.  You do not have to have read The Hobbit to enjoy what is offered in this rich treasure.

Full of quotable quotes (which I am a fan of for sure!), fresh insights on revealed truths, encouragement, wisdom and inspiration throughout, I would encourage you to read this book in January as a start to the new year. If you are a fan of The Hobbit, I believe you will find it a refreshing endeavor. If you have not read the Hobbit, you will appreciate it just the same, but may come away with a strong desire to read the original adventure for yourself!

I would say this has to be my one of my very  favorite books from my 2012 reading! Perfect way to end the year or start the next!

I received this book for free for the purpose of review. All opinions expressed are my own.
Thank you Tyndale for the opportunity!

Tyndale Blog Network

Not A Christmas Fairy Tale {but maybe a tangled tongue tale}


The holidays. 
You prepare, anticipate, agonize the details and hope all will go smoothly on the day all come together to celebrate. Often we see people we may not see all year, but through family or friendship we find ourselves in their company once, may be twice a year. Although we love our family, there may be one or two people who just challenge us. Like nails on a chalkboard, they offer the opportunity to smile and not cringe, despite the level of discomfort they bring us. Well, this is a story about one of these. Bear with me if you will, and I will share a bit of holiday pain, which may turn out to provide a lesson for you as it did me. Unless of course you are already so pious. If so, move along, move along. I am here to be authentic, and those of you who know me already know, sometimes it just ain't pretty. But God can work with the mess of me. And you too... if you will allow Him.

As we drove home from visiting family this Christmas, the words I wanted to speak about a certain person were swirling around my mind just waiting for the opportunity to emerge. I knew these words would not have passed the Ephesians (4:29) or Philippians (4:8) litmus test for proper conversation, so I tried to keep my tongue. You know that thing behind the lips that speaks murderously and betrays the heart. Our words reveal our heart AND furthermore, if it is in the mind, it is as good as said aloud. However, this is one of those things that if it's not said you can confess and deal with it discreetly with God before you damage and poison those around you. Unfortunately, I was not wise with my tongue and I went ahead and gushed forth my complaints about the person before my family. I was stopped when my daughter called me out. I knew she was spot on, too, especially after my defensive response was spoken. The fact was, even if what I said had some validity, it was not loving. It was not kind. It certainly was not gracious, to the person spoken of nor to my family, who had to hear it. Oh, I was guilty as charged and I did not like it...I knew I had chosen poorly and sinned. My tongue had turned against me and now I was tangling with my own child over it!

 I was reminded this holiday that God loves those who I might otherwise find rude, annoying, difficult or just plain mean. I know this, already, right? Yet apparently I needed yet another reminder. 
How about you? Can you think of anyone for whom you can relate to what I am saying?

God has called me to a life of prayer, not complaining about the un - lovliness of others. He has called me to kindness, not criticism. Even, if at first glance it appears justifiable. Jesus spoke the truth, in love.The truth should not be spoken, when it is not laced with grace, but instead accusing attitude and critical spirit.

One of the ways I glorify God is by sacrificing my preferences for His, through yielding my will concerning others. There is no greater challenge to the core of my Christian faith than when I say not my will but Yours, Lord. This is the first and final battle in the walk of faith. It does not come easy, but it has already been won, for we who believe.

What is God's will for me concerning this person? Firstto recognize that despite my annoyance with the person, that Jesus loves them completely and is pleading for them before the Father. He wills that they should not perish but have everlasting life. Jesus calls me his friend. Friendship requires humility, grace and submission. I must consider that my "friend" Jesus,  laid down His life that I might not only gain eternity but learn to live life with a holy order, rising above petty annoyances which distract me from His divine purposes and  plans. SecondlyI need to pray for this particular family member and ask God to change my heart attitude, which is wrong, and let God deal with it through the intimate time we share in holy conversation. When I do this He may lead me to pray more specifically, once I get beyond the superficial, raw prayers like:
"I confess I can't even stand this person, Lord...but you tell me to pray for others and because I love and esteem your will more than my own - or at least desire to- I confess my lack of love and likeness to you and ask you to allow me to pray with your heart and mind for this person, teach me your ways, Lord."

Yes, I really sometimes start there. I'm honest with God because he already knows my yuckiness. Now you know. Aren't you lucky! If you can't be real with God, dear one, I fear you are not real with anyone. And that is much worse than just being a little rough around the edges. He knows all, friend. Keep it real with Him. He will take care of the rest!

We talk in cliches all through the season.
The fact is that Christ came that lives would be transformed, and that we would be born into a Kingdom of Righteousness, one heart at a time. 
By His Grace, for His Glory.

PS: On a side note I apologized and was forgiven by my family! My daughter patted me on the shoulder after I reluctantly admitted my sin and told me so.
God is good. 

Originally shared on December 26th, 2011 as A Twisted Tongue Tale.

*This post is the final of The 12 Days of Blog Posts, Weekends and Wednesdays in December!*


Behold The King!

Behold the King!

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. 
We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, 
who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
John 1:14

The winner of the Receiving God's Love Bible Study is quietspirit!

Merry Christmas!


When What You Need Is A Way Out (Dealing With Holiday Expectations)

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6

Each year the whole world pauses to acknowledge the birth of one tiny baby boy born 2000 plus years ago in Bethlehem. There really is no hiding or denying that Christmas will come again and again and with it a plethora of meaning, memory and emotion for many who are struggling to discover the place their faith holds in their own life or in a particular season of life. Over the years in my own life Christmas has meant different things to me at different times. As I have walked through the years I can say that I have resented the season and adored the season. I wonder if there is any other time of year that holds more power to inspire joy and cause great sadness simultaneously.  One day that does unify and divide, regardless of where you are on your own spiritual journey. One that causes many to stumble or be sidetracked, distracted or distant.

We who celebrate the birth of our Wonderful Savior and know of His gracious love, tenderness, compassion and mercy would do well to consider walking softly through the season and the holiday with a supernatural portion of gentleness, kindness and patience. Ask Him, he will supply it.  

During our last minute running around, watch for Him to show up as you interact with every single person. 

The cashier, the postman, the banker, the local merchant. The weary widow, the lonely friend, the new church member, the displaced relative. Usher them into His presence with the Peace you bring. Look into their eyes, and silently pray for whatever you sense the Spirit reveals. Maybe a smile, or just a word of encouragement or your listening ear. Don't be so busy as to not looking into the eyes of those you meet. 
The eyes are the windows of the soul. See every person and pause to hear the Lord speak. 

If you are the one who is weary or brokenhearted this season, remember, He is near.
Be assured of His presence.
Be still and rest.

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Psalm 34:18

Our own expectation of others, the holiday and ourselves so often leads to stress that is not beneficial or healthy. You can recognize your expectations of the day are super-sized when you:

A. Start to sweat the small stuff (remember it's all small stuff- I know hard to grasp but...)
B. You find yourself emotionally responding to the choices of others which are beyond your control.
C. You're cursing through the kitchen (as opposed to dashing through the snow?)
D. Feel like you want to curl up a ball and suck your thumb in the corner until all this Christmas stuff is done.
E. Are secretly hoping there was a back up date for the Mayan Apocalypse and it will be soon (like before the Christmas credit card bills are due) 
F. All of the above

"I am leaving you with a gift--peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don't be troubled or afraid."
John 14:27

A prayer:
Lord, I pray that by your power you would bring a spirit of gentleness and peace to all who need it today and are not sure how to tap into it. Lord help us to recognize when we are having expectations that are not measured by your grace. Give us a generous portion of your Spirit that we may serve up fruits that are pleasing to you and that bring you glory. I pray that your Holy Spirit Lord, would minister grace and truth in the quiet places within. Let your voice whisper "Peace be still", to the heart of those who need to know your peace and may your glorious name be exalted throughout every nation. Today and Forever. Amen.


The Day She Prayed For A Brother {Guest Post at Beautifully Rooted}


There I stood, tripping over Tupperware containers strewn about the floor. She sat at the table coloring. These are the days of Play-Doh, crayons and finger -paints.  The times of wooden spoon drumming on upside down pans. She turned to me as I scurried about the kitchen in my busy mom mode, interrupting my momentum abruptly by the one simple request. "Mommy, I want a little brother or sister."

Would you stop join me over at Beautifully Rooted where I am sharing one of my favorite exchanges with my sweet girl? 


I am including this post as part of the 12 Days of Blog Posts for December!


Rise And Shine {Your Redemption Draws Near}


There I am watching from a distance.
I’m watching myself as a stranger.
I am like one who seems aloof. 

I've done my list today.
The dishes have been done, bed made, laundry washed, dried and folded.
Phone calls and e-mails have been returned.
I've done all of the things that needed to get done this day.

I am sitting with my family at the dinner table.
My dear husband is serving me a portion of the dish he has made for us.
I look around the table.
I realize I have been watching myself all day but not fully aware. Not really present.
I am surprised at my awakening.
I ask, “Did we pray?”
The looks of surprise on the faces of my husband and daughter speak clearly.

I ask, “What is my problem, Lord? I am tuned out today”
I know part of the answer lies in the way I jumped into the day.
It’s not that I wasn’t thinking about Him nor He me.

His grace and faithfulness never leave me, yet I can surely distance myself from Him.

Perhaps you have done this, too?
The song “The Motions” by Matthew West comes into my mind.
I agree that “just Okay is not enough”.

“I don’t wanna go through the motions
I don’t wanna go one more day
without Your all consuming passion inside of me
I don’t wanna spend my whole life asking,
‘What if I had given everything,
instead of going through the motions?’ ”
~Matthew West

I want to be fully alive and present in the moments of this life, and the “nothingness of life” seems to sneak in like a snake, strangling my heart with subtle apathy and passionless moments. 
But our God is a compassionate and passionate Being.Not complacent. He is fully alive and active in the lives of His own.

The awareness and acknowledging of Him and His very real presence bring intimacy and connection.  
I am convinced that Jesus didn't keep a To Do List or a Bucket List.  
Sometimes our long lists keep us from His right now, in this present moment, good and perfect will for us. To be in that will we must have tune our ear to the One who promises to be present with us always.

Are we turning a deaf ear to the Savior of our souls?  Are we drudging through the days, checking off our lists without checking in with the One who hears our heart’s cry?  If so, it’s time we wake up and smell the spiritual coffee, and take a good long drink from that steaming, hot, rich brew.

Let’s stop in our tracks, shake off our slumber and praise Him for who He is; drink Him up! Certainly He does great and mighty things for us and should be thanked accordingly.

But consider that He is a Great and Mighty God who deserves our full attention all the time and is worthy of our praise every moment of the day. Oh, praise Him that He is patient with our dullness! There is nothing wrong with having To Do Lists, Gratitude Lists, Bucket Lists, the list goes on and on.

Trust me I am a fan of lists. But the power of praising Him for who He is more than what He gives, ushers us into His Holy presence! Let’s not be just list makers or sleepwalkers going through the motions.  Instead let’s be people who praise our Mighty God and Deliverer daily. 

Let’s be connected, present and available in the time called today, right now!

And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.
  (Romans 13:11)

"Are We Just Going Through The Motions?"  was my first offering as a regular featured contributor and team member at 5 Minutes for Faith

*This post is part of The 12 Days of Blog Posts, Weekends and Wednesdays in December!*


Merry Milestone Giveaway {Celebrating 500 Blog Posts}

Dear Friends,

This weekend I will be posting my 500th blog post and with that milestone, thought it to be rather merry to  send a little love to your doorstep just in time for the New Year! If you are looking for a Bible Study to kick off 2013, I think starting with Receiving God's Love will be a blessing and beautiful way to do it! It is spiral bound, with room for notes and answers! I wish I could send you all one, but I will choose one random recipient on December 25th. Winner will be announced the 26th (unless I can't wait!).

Thank you for joining me in the journey! Thank you for welcoming and receiving  His heart in me expressed through  my imperfect but abundant words. 

Just leave a comment below for a chance to receive this gift.

If you have a favorite verse that has ministered to you well about His love, I would love for you to share it below with all of us, that we may feast together on it and be encouraged! 

*If not just leave a comment to count yourself entered!
 No pressure!
All Love for you!

My prayer for you for 2013 comes from Ephesians 3:18-20
 "I pray that you, being rooted and firmly established in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the length and width, height and depth of God’s love, and to know the Messiah’s love that surpasses knowledge, so you may be filled with all the fullness of God."  
In Jesus Name, Amen.

Women who are new believers and women who have been friends of God for years will benefit from this reminder that they are precious to God.  In this study guide you'll discover the height, width, and breadth of God's amazing love for you!

Published by: Thomas Nelson

Giveaway Directory


A Sleepless Night and The Ultimate Shut Up

 “In your anger do not sin” Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,  and do not give the devil a foothold. 
Ephesians 4:26-27

It was a bad night. Everything I planned backfired. I was feeling discouraged, defeated and a tad angry to boot. When I walked into our home I wasn't planning on a confrontation with my dear husband. I'm convinced he wasn't planning on it either. Sometimes when we least expect it we find ourselves in confrontations anyway. So there we stood face to face. Whatever it was he said in response to me is unimportant now. But at the moment it may as well been a knife. I felt pierced, wounded. I shot back angry words and retreated to the bedroom; he to his chair. I decided to escape reality by turning in early.

After all it had been a bad day.

I wanted to drift off on a peaceful boat of sleep.
Of course that boat eluded me.
Instead I found myself drowning in a sea of unforgiveness.
My mind reeled and raced - I was as mad as a cornered  porcupine and as stubborn.
I'm pretty sure there's no sleep for angry, cornered porcupines either!
I tossed, I turned. I refused to let go.
It was a long night, no doubt.
Did I mention my stubbornness?
Finally after a sleepless night, my restless heart and mind began to realize the choice. I had to forgive.
Don't think I did not have a long talk with my Lord, giving every honest thought, emotion and argument to His patient, listening ear. I did.

In the end I had a choice.

I had to choose whether I would turn my back on Jesus and continue to walk in disobedience or turn back to Jesus in obedience and trust. It took one sleepless night as well as one long dialogue telling God (boldly and honestly) all of my rationalizations, justifications and excuses about why I was right and my husband wrong.

Then He gently reminded me of my Lord and asked me to consider all of these things I shared in light of His love, His sacrifice and His example.

The ultimate shut me up.

I chose to follow Jesus.
Forgiveness is not always easy.
It's a choice.

Jesus made a choice too... it cost Him everything.
It secured forgiveness for all and
the freedom to choose.

Oh, that we would walk likewise.

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Ephesians 5:21

A fellow blogging sister asked if I would write a post for her blog.
My own stubbornness provided meat for the post.
God was faithful to give me the words once I repented and accepted the lesson.
I hate love when that happens!
There is no hiding in His classroom.
He is faithful!

*This post is part of The 12 Days of Blog Posts, Weekends and Wednesdays in December!*

Linking with some favorite places:
Winsome Wednesday @ My Daily Walk In His Grace
Friendship Friday @ Create with Joy
  Faith Filled Friday @ Beholding Glory
Fellowship Friday @Christian Mommy Blogger
Weekend Blog Hop @ Mommy Only Has Two Hands
Weekend Wonders @ The Thriftiness Miss


Blogger Day of Silence for Sandy Hook

Click to Donate/Visit Newtown Youth and Family Services



A Flicker of Hope {Praying for Sandy Hook Elementary School Community}

Image Credit by George Ascencio Designs

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.
Romans 15:4

In light of the events of that took place last Friday in Connecticut, I find myself moved to share a few thoughts, links and scriptures that have given me hope. Although I have managed to stay away from all television coverage, I did read two news stories, one on Saturday, the other tonight as I felt compelled to know the names of the victims. I also read a few of my fellow bloggers posts who shared their hearts as we do here in this fellowship and community. I have tried to steer clear of the media with minimal pops onto Facebook as well. 

I wanted to dedicate a post to the victims of Friday's tragic shooting. I know there are many tragedies throughout the world. I do not mean to take away from anyone or anything but just to allow a pause and acknowledgement in this particular one. It seems so close to home, in many ways beyond geography and has gripped my heart. 

Below are two fellow Bloggers who have have offered hope in their own ways.

Amy Sullivan shares a number of links that are helpful for those who'd like to offer hope/help: When You Want To Help The Sandy Hook But Don't Know How

Wendy over at Saved Sister is coordinating a  Blogger Day of Silence on Tuesday, December 18th and also attempting to raise money for The Newtown Youth and Family Services.

Also Moms In Prayer Connecticut State Leader, sweet Pat Kenney,  has created a very helpful prayer sheet for her praying moms (but perhaps also for those who long to pray but can't quite find the words or where to start)

I am grateful to belong to Moms In Prayer, and today I will be praying with other moms for our children, school and teachers.We will also be praying for the families of Sandy Hook Elementary School and the community of Newtown, Connecticut. Praying for hope to be restored to those who are feeling the hopelessness that comes in times such as these. Praying for hope to return for us all. 

If you have passed this way today, will you hold up the family of each one taken in this tragedy?
Would you pause with me for a moment and pray for hope to be restored to their hearts?

"Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
    and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.
 Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
 but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint."
Isaiah 40:28-31


Charlotte Bacon, 2/22/06, (age 6)
Daniel Barden, 9/25/05,  (age 7)
Olivia Engel, 7/18/06, (age 6)
Josephine Gay, 12/11/05,  (age 7)
Ana M. Marquez-Greene, 04/04/06, (age 6)
Dylan Hockley, 03/08/06, (age 6)
Madeleine F. Hsu, 07/10/06, (age 6)
Catherine V. Hubbard, 06/08/06,  (age 6)
Chase Kowalski, 10/31/05,  (age 7)
Jesse Lewis, 06/30/06,  (age 6)
James Mattioli, 03/22/06, (age 6)
Grace McDonnell, 11/04/05,  (age 7)
Emilie Parker, 05/12/06, (age 6)
Jack Pinto, 05/06/06,  (age 6)
Noah Pozner, 11/20/06, (age 6)
Caroline Previdi, 09/07/06,  (age 6)
Jessica Rekos, 05/10/06, (age 6)
Avielle Richman, 10/17/06,  (age 6)
Benjamin Wheeler, 9/12/06, (age 6)
Allison N. Wyatt, 07/03/06,  (age 6)

Rachel Davino, 7/17/83, (age 29)
Dawn Hochsprung, 06/28/65,  (age 47)
Anne Marie Murphy, 07/25/60, (age 52)
Lauren Russeau, 1982, (age 29)
Mary Sherlach, 02/11/56,  (age 56)
Victoria Soto, 11/04/85,  (age 27)
Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: 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.I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; Lamentations 3:21-25