Thursday, October 3, 2013


Family, Friends, and Those Readers who graciously open their emails, turn on their Kindles, turn on their phones to read these words and open their hearts to share in this journey for joy...


I am switching up, flipping over, swagging on...

(Okay, I feel like I do when my husband plays softball and I try to cheer for him and I use

I am moving!  In fact, we are moving!  You, me, all of us...we going to a land beyond.  A land where there is not the LONGEST.URL.EVER.

So you might have seen we have been gone for a bit.  We will be back.  There are big things happening here. Things like new addresses, new adventures, new places where God is shaping, and changing, and whispering His dream for each of us...

the dream to inspire,
and love on those in our lives.

This new leg of the journey is taking me to a place where I will be stretched, pulled into the uncomfortable, and yet I know I will be amazed at His beauty in ways I have never dreamed of before.  I will be opening my heart like never before and praying for His grace to be displayed in the shouts of praise and the whispers of the night.

Join me?  The new website is  and will be up the second week in November!

Check back then, pretty please?

source of image:

Thursday, August 29, 2013

What is Worship? {Five Minute Friday}


He didn't care who was watching.  He just wanted to worship Jesus.   Tiny hands clasped. Clutching at the hope that this big God would hear this little boy.  And he does.
This eyes -closed -alien- headband wearing little boy lifting his head to God.

Opening his heart
Holding out his tiny prayers
Knowing His Father's love.

Oh, that my worship may be like a child.

Opening my heart
Holding out my tiny prayers
Knowing my Father's love.

For with each breath I may have...
may I worship Him.

Join others here for five minutes of amazing writing and a community of writers that will bring you in with grace and encouragement.

Monday, August 5, 2013

The thing about women is that no matter how very happy we can be for somebody, this little thing called jealousy can pop-up.  And it can happen at big things like friends who go on vacation to hotels that cost $1000 a night when your special family time is camping in a pop up. And it can happen when a virtual friend gets a book deal that you have been dreaming of and writing for since you turned eight and wrote a story called The Mystery at Legend Lake.  And it can even happen when you are alone just reading a magazine and you see someone who you want to be.

This might look like I am just reading a magazine relaxing on the beach, but if you could see behind the scenes, you would see someone who longs for a time when she felt beautiful. Not beautiful on the inside, but on the outside.You would see me wanting to be this woman.  Now, I know good Christians are perfectly content with who God created them to be because God has a purpose for everyone, so I would not ever want to actually be this beautiful woman with the piercing blue eyes and high beautiful cheekbones and the 4.5 million dollar home, and the one child who never misbehaves in public, and has access to all the Godiva chocolate she wants...  No, because that would be not being content.  I would never feel that (please hear sarcasm).

 But since we are behind the scenes, that is what you would see....Me wanting earthly beauty.

Me not wanting Heavenly beauty and the promise of wisdom because I fear the Lord, you would see me wanting this outward beauty so I could feel good about myself.  So even though my husband says he thinks my body is amazingly beautiful, I would not feel the need to cover the places that I question.

Because this thing called envy hits when we compare to others, but it drives an even more burning clench on my soul when I compare to myself.  What I looked like long ago, what my life was like, what I could have if I had only not made the choices I have made.

I know it is wrong.  But sometimes, just sometimes, I want the confidence of not questioning my face, my body, my hair. The confidence that my thirteen year old daughter feels playing volleyball in her bathing suit. And my prayer for her should be the same as for myself:

God, may I take care of my body, but may I be okay with it not being 100%, for beauty is fleeting and truly I know a woman who fears the Lord shall be praised. And at the end of the day, that is the praise that I truly seek, because I am reminded that only that praise will fill my heart and if I listen very quiet.  I can hear my Creator whisper, You are that beautiful to me. I created you and I gave you each freckle, and grey hair, and body that gets sometimes gets tired.

I can put the magazine down now, for I see his face instead.

And when I give me him my desire to be pretty, He promises to make me beautiful. 

Beautiful in Him.

Sometimes I think I am all alone in my feelings...maybe you have it all together?  

But if not, May you feel His beauty soak deep the open parts of your souls today.

Linking up with other beautiful writers going Behind the show His marvelous in our mess. Please join us.  

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Such a Long Day {Story} - Five MInute Friday

He asks me a question.

I was tired.  It had been a long day.  One too many nights going to bed late because we were "on vacation" and you just can't go to bed early if you are spending time with your cousins. But when little bodies get weary from the waves and little minds play tricks on the souls during the night, it doesn't seem worth it.

And yet, as I tuck him in after a day full of new freckles and captured crabs, the taste of salt still on his lips, I see the content look in his eyes.  Happy because he did get one more chance to body surf and that one more Twizzler stick, and we got to sing one more song.

And so even though I am tired, and I so want to just go off and read (and perhaps join a late night party myself), I say, "Yes. Yes, I will read you a story..."  And it is all worth it.

My photos are not loading, but may these words encourage you to say yes to being a part of His story today.

So excited to link up with Lisa Jo for Five Minute Friday! Please come join us here for a wonderful community.

Monday, July 29, 2013

A Man, His Dream, and a Little Bit of Green Paint {Behind the Scenes}

Lincoln: This man. Us : This family. Both having dreams of a better life. A better time. 

Or even just a better day.  

That can happen sometimes when you travel with your family.  What starts out as a day full of promise and anticipation ends up being a memory that you would rather forget.  And you ask your spouse, "How can they fight when we are spending so much money to give them these experiences?!" And you shake your head, yet also knowing that they will never appreciate the history of this kind of trip the same way I did not appreciate all of my college classes on writing and the Bible (Seriously, there were SO may kings!). 

So the memories will come even in the tiring times: The endless game of Tag Back that results in tears. Hearing, "How much longer?" so many times you are tempted to say, "We get there when we get there, so cool it!" and you will have just become your father in the wood sided station wagon so many, many years ago.  

I find that I actually understand and forgive my family for many things that happened on my childhood vacations.  There was the one time when I was seven that we climbed Pikes Peak, our family of five, and my father bought us two cookies and one glass of milk to share.  We laugh about that story to this day.  Yet, there we were, last week,  in our Nation's Capitol and I heard myself saying, "No, you do not need your own lemonade, you can share with everybody." (Beverages in DC and on any type of mountain are very expensive!)

And yet, we still have these dreams.  These dreams of perfect vacations and perfect moments that we can fill our scrapbook with Pinterest ideas. And we pray that we can at least get one picture that is Christmas Worthy:

What gives us away as tourists?  
Hmmm, could it be the matching shirts?! 
Please note the lemonade in my son's hand.  Thankfully, they were all sharing!

This place of honor and history and hope. This monument gives people this hope.
We were there just hours before this Lincoln was vandalized. (We had nothing to do with the green paint.  I promise...).  That is what we hope for...not liberty and the pursuit of happiness, but just a vacation that our children will remember fondly. A vacation that will bind us together with a loyalty and love that will stand the test of  time of junior high tween years and high school teen independence.

But as I think back on those moments of my family vacations, I have found that some of the ones I most remember are the ones that we struggled through.  That is what shapes us, that is what binds us, not only for the character that becomes embedded as we have to share, and give for one another, but also because we don't  want to tell anyone else what actually happens during some of those vacations. Those stories get told only to family who understand who we are or maybe to really good friends.  

A gal I have known since high school shared a story when her family visited Gettysburg and her high school son actually said the words, "This is why I like going on mission trips better than family trips, so I don't have to deal with this stuff." and stormed away from the picnic bench after a particular stimulating growth opportunity (read: Big fight).  Yet, this same young man just a few days later was laughing while playing water polo with seven little cousins.  I like to think God designs our minds with the capacity to remember that which will change us - hopefully for the better.

A little twist on Lincoln in his Gettysburg Address eloquently describes a perfect family vacation motto: The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but {we} can never forget what {we} did here.

So behind these smiles, is hope.  A hope that these kids will stick up for each other, call each other for their birthdays, ask each other to stand up in their weddings. And, as Chesterton said, hope  is the power of being cheerful in circumstances we know to be desperate. Lincoln had that hope.  I have that hope.  And I pray that my children will have that hope.

Because let's face it, we know our kids will face much more desperate times as they get older, but at the age of seven, it seems pretty desperate if your mama will not buy you a taser at the Old Post Office Gift Shop. 

Now, your turn:

What are some vacation moments that you still remember from your childhood??

Linking up with some wonderful ladies that get real and encourage at Behind the Scenes. Join us here.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Strawberries, Smiles, and Snuggles

My Sweet Strawberry Blond Baby Boy.
Born almost exactly two years after my Blondie Blond Baby Girl.
This picture shows the touches and smiles and giggles of two best friends who love to snuggle.

And if you look closely, you can see that Sunshine is not just patting Jammer's head.  She is not just lovingly making sure everyone knows that he is hers.  Although she did often do that as well, but on this particular occasion, she was looking for something.

"Mama, where are they?"

"Where are what, Sweetie?"

"Where are the strawberries?"

"The what?"

"The strawberries. Everyone says he has strawberries in his hair."

And so I learned the value of words to a little child.  How they listen to everything you say.  They take it in even when you do not think they are listening and they let it steep.  May God remind me of that and may my words be like honey to my children and to those around me.  May they be sweet strawberry honey to the hearts of others.

I am linking up with a dear community that desires to go deep.  To share with each other, to encourage each other.  And to let everyone else know that behind the scenes may not always be pretty, but God is working there just the same! Check out other wonderful photos here.

Monday, July 1, 2013


I am linking up with One Girl for another Chasing History Link Up.

Here are the directions:

"Just pick one of your favorite women in the Bible and then write about her. Do a little research, read the chapter(s) over again. Dig in deep or span out wide. Just learn.

And then come back and tell us all about her - and you. Share how God is using a woman's story from long ago to challenge you, teach you, or encourage you.

It doesn't need to be fancy. It doesn't need to be long. Write however much you feel comfortable. This isn't a bible study - this is community coming together to talk about Him and the Stories He has written."

And last week, I picked Leah.  And we talked about comparing.  Leah and her sister Rachel.

Now, this week, I am going to pick...



Yes, but this week, I am talking about blessing~ an unexpected gift.

Her whole life might have been spent comparing to her sister Rachel.  Her husband had to work seven years for her hand in marriage and the another seven years for Rachel who he really wanted to marry.  

The names that Leah gives her sons show her journey to blessing. First is Reuben whose name means "son provided in my affliction." Then comes Simeon whose name means "gracious hearing of the Lord"; next is Levi, which means "my joining"; then Judah, meaning "the praise of God; next comes Issachar whose name means "a reward"; and finally, Zebulun whose name means "a joyful habitation." So, ultimately, Leah is fulfilled.

So all of these sons, and yet Rachel had no children. So blessings come in different forms for every person.
Jacob's family continued to grow until he had twelve sons and one daughter. Rachel would finally have a son named Joseph, and later a son called Benjamin by his father. While having Benjamin,  Rachel dies in childbirth.

And what about Leah? After Rachel's death she, no doubt, becomes Jacob's chief wife. 

God saw the suffering Leah endured and he blessed her above her  sister. Leah held a special place because of the sons she had. Her son Levi became the father of the priestly tribe of Israel and his descendants include Moses, Aaron, Elizabeth the mother of John the Baptist, Barnabas and Peter. From the descendants of Judah came King David and Jesus, the Son of God.

At the end of their lives, it was Leah who was buried with her husband Jacob in the Cave of Machpelah.

It might have taken a while, but Leah become content with what she had. Remember her name means content, and not only that, she was blessed.  

At first it did not look like she was blessed for she did not have the full love of her husband, but God is bigger than a husband's love or lack of love.  God is bigger than infertility. God is bigger than not knowing where you are going to be working next year. God is bigger than a dream unfulfilled. God is bigger than where your child will go to college. God is bigger than a family torn apart.

These are earthly prayers that long to be answered, but God desires to bless us even more than we could ask or imagine.

We are content asking for basic things like protection and security.  Those are the things that he gives even to the unbelievers.  As children of God, we have the amazing power to not only ask for those things, but to ask for even more blessings. Deeper blessings.  Deeper gifts from His hand of grace.

We can ask for the blessing of wisdom, the joy of knowing Him better, the power to overcome affliction.

Leah couldn't see it at first, but little by little, she saw the hand of God and knew she was blessed.  Her greatest blessing came at the end of her life ~ being part of the line of Jesus and being buried with Jacob.  Our greatest blessing will come at the end of our lives when we see the face of Jesus, but as our Heavenly Father wants to give us good gifts, if we seek to glorify Him, He will be faithful to give us mighty blessings on earth as well.

And we will be blessed.  Maybe not always how we think, but He is faithful and we will be blessed.

How have you been blessed this week?

Check out even more beautiful stories of women in the Bible. This community of writers sharing what they know, what they feel, what they dream.  They share how His story becomes a part of their own.