Monday, April 30, 2012

joy dare...counting 337-357

By taking the time each week to not just count the blessings but to record them allows me to really see how full my life is. There are troubles but by focusing on the positive, those troubles may not disappear, but they fade, the become manageable. Are you counting your blessings? Join me and many others over at Ann's in the "Joy Dare"

3 gifts reflecting
the morning sun through the window...splashing colour across the floor, her intent little face in the mirror as she brushes her own hair making it 'just right', glimpses of myself in her

3 gifts fragile
the little lives that are entrusted to me daily, the tiny rose bush which survived the winter months, letters and poems found on scraps of paper in an old family Bible

a gift cloth, steel, wood
clothes....some new and some "new to us", a new washer and dryer to keep those clothes clean, the hand-me-down dressers that house all those clothes

3 gifts moving
the clouds in the sky bringing the springtime rain, the trees in the wind that gets warmer as the months pass, the swings with happy children playing

3 gifts 'ugly beautiful'
the wilting lily that is a reminder of a glorious celebration of Jesus' death and Resurrection...saving me! the boys and girls that hang out at the YFC center who's home life is rough and so they become rough but ache inside and we have the opportunity to plant seeds of love, a life that God transformed...that only He could transform

3 gifts orange
the morning glass full of vitamin C, his favorite colour which matches his bright personality, the evening sky as the sun sets

3 gifts in dirt
flowers beginning to bloom as we move into May, knees after afternoon outdoor play, dandelions which become 'bouquets' for anyone willing to accept.

Friday, April 27, 2012


In the words of Lisa-Jo, The Gypsy Mama:
"Let's spend our five minutes of writing today, sharing about community. Fight it, love it, hate it, hurt or healed by it, we were certainly built for it.
Set a timer and just write. Don't worry about making it just right or not.
Go all in with you words."


defined as a group of people 

who share cultural or historical heritage

government or locality

but it's deeper than just this

it's not just people who live close together


people who live closely together

people that you live life with 

people who "do" life right along side of you

it's coming together 

to eat break bread

to share, laugh, cry, pray

it's closeness that allows authenticity

it's being real 

even if the real is raw and ugly

it's people who are ok with the ugly 

with the dirty and the messy

life is's messy

 it's people 

community is people

people who live and love together

people who love together

who love each other

 Now it's your's the guidelines!

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. Please visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

photo-a-day: april 19-25

This week was a busy one for me! However, I was still able to snap some pictures and many of them showcase some of the things I have been up to. As always, I encourage all of you to come and try this challenge of a photo a day, using the prompts given (you can find them at the bottom of this post). So, here we go:

this is "Bubba's" room which we just finished painting
the piece of art on the wall is a self-portrait painted by "Bubba's" great grandee!

our church has just purchased property and will be building at some point this year
i am part of the facility team and so i have been playing around with the floor plan
this is my "sketch" of a possible floor plan

this is my downfall...this is my 2nd choice drink...right after coffee

i have been working on quilts for both "Bubba" and "Boo" as well as my granddaughter
this is some of the fabrics and the batting to finish up one of them

mmmm...salad with strawberries and creamy poppyseed dressing

oh how grateful i am for these sweet boys (and all of my kids and grandkids)
"j" my grandson (left) and "Bubba" my baby boy (right)
how darling are these guys??...i just want to squish them!!

this is the rug that sits just inside my front door
i love the bright colours....a great welcome when you come in

So as you can see...I have been busy, between sewing/quilting, painting, helping plan a building project, eating and drinking and loving up on my babies and grandbabies but there was still time to pull out the camera. 

I love that this challenge reminds me to snap pictures of all these wonderful things. Memories only go so far, have them captured on film allows me to pass those memories on. 

Join me? Here are the prompts  --->

Then come link up with me over at my friend Barbie's blog, My Freshly Brewed Life and check out how others interpreted these prompts.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

wlw: on the run

( source )
Life is busy...sometimes too busy! It seems that there are days where it is non-stop go-go-go! Appointments, activities, commitments, friends, family and everything in between! Trying to balance it all can be difficult, especially when you are trying to also include balanced meal times! Planning ahead is always the best option but in this household, not always what happens. Sometimes our "fly by the seat of your pants" approach isn't so conducive to healthy meals and so this week as I join Alicia of Confessions of a Snowflake, I will probably gain more information then I will give with the following questions being posed:
  • how do you eat healthy during busy seasons of life?
  • what are your go-to meals when you are short on time?
I find that the warmer weather seems to have a positive affect on our healthy meals on the run. It is easier for me to whip together a salad and some fruit to munch on right before we head out the door or to take along with us. However these are not food choices I make when the weather is cooler. I like hot food on cool/cold days and so if we are out and about on days like that then a restaurant may be our choice. I am pretty good at choosing the "better" meal on the menu but I don't always do that! I still find it difficult to always make that healthy choice....especially when a favorite is staring at me on that menu. 
To be perfectly often seems to be "on-the-run" for me lately...even when there are no evening plans going on. I have found myself a little off track lately and so meal planning has fallen by the way side, last minute pull from the freezer or cupboard dinners is what we have been doing. It has been a tough month (or so) for me....and I am not even sure why! I haven't lost hope....but I did lose sight of the goal for a bit.
Interesting that next week we will be talking about motivation...because that is exactly what I need!! I have always loved the verse that Alica used today in her post!
I can do everything through him who gives me strength.  
Philippians 4:13
I can....I CAN do this! Giving up is NOT an option! 

So...give me all your tips on eating on the run...I could use some ideas!!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

my shepherd

Last week, we dove into Psalm 23 and concentrated on the name David used in this passage, the LORD, translated, Yahweh, our Eternal, Omnipotent, Sovereign God...the "I am". He always has been and always will be present. He is our everything and in this Psalm David wrote He is our shepherd.

( source )
1b. is my shepherd,

David was a shepherd and therefore understood the relationship a shepherd has with his sheep and so he chooses to refer to his LORD as such. For us to understand this intimate relationship we need to identify what a shepherd is and what he does.

dictionary meaning
  1. a person who herds, tends and guards sheep
  2. a person who protects, guides or watches over a person or group of people
  3. a member of the clergy
  4. the Shepherd, Jesus Christ
  1. to tend or guard as a shepherd: to shepherd the flock
  2. to watch over carefully
thesaurus meaning
  1. protector
  2. guardian
  3. defender
  4. guide
  5. teacher
  6. pastor
  7. leader
  8. pilot
  9. caretaker
The Hebrew word for shepherd is "rohi" and can also be used in both a noun and a verb context. It means "a shepherd" or "a pasture", as well as "to shepherd" or "to pasture". There is also an extended translation of the word meaning "friend" or "companion" indicating the intimacy YHWH desires between Himself and His people but also demonstrating that David felt that connection with his LORD. To better understand this relationship let's compare it to that of a shepherd to his flock.

A shepherds job is to protect, guard, care for and lead his sheep. Shepherds watched these animals 24 hours a day, living with them in the fields. This dedication establishes a degree of closeness and familiarity with each of these animals. He can call them each by name and they know his voice and listen to only his voice. The shepherd protects each of them from enemies....thieves and preying animals. The shepherd also provides the sheep with pastures of grass for grazing and pools of water to be replenished. He will die for these sheep. This relationship is built on trust and creates a level of intimacy. 

( source )
It is this bond of the shepherd to his sheep David is speaking about. The LORD is my shepherd, my guide, my teacher, my defender, my friend, the only voice I will listen to, my Yahweh Rohi.

The Shepherd who will lay down His life for a friend, for David, for you and for me! 

What a beautiful relationship of sacrifice, dedication, compassion and trust. This is the relationship our LORD desires to have with each of us. He loves us so much that He sent His son Jesus to this earth to lay down His life for us. Jesus' death on the cross is a true sign of the dedication and compassion He has for us, His sheep. When we trust in Him we "lack nothing" and this is the piece of verse one we will pull apart next week.

A Simple Princess
Now it's your turn to share your thoughts on "the shepherd". Grab a button to the right and link up your post or just share in the comments below. I look forward to reading what God has laid on your heart! Come back again next week as we continue "Finding Peace in Psalm 23"

Monday, April 23, 2012

joy dare...counting 316-336

It still amazes me that when God calls us to serve in a place that just seems to be "scary", He always reinforces that call with affirmation. Over the last few weeks...even before I was officially asked, I knew it was coming. He had made it apparent to me even before I was approached and yet even then I was making an "I'm not good enough for that", "I get too nervous", "but if I do this, then I can't do that" and of course the "there has to be someone else that is better suited". I had all the reasons why it shouldn't be me and then in prefect God timing...the sermon that spoke right to my fear...the reminder that it's not about me at all. So with butterflies in my tummy and six weeks to call upon Him to settle them down, I continue to count the blessings...For in my weakness, He is made strong!

"The practice of giving thanks...eucharisteo...this is the way we practice the presence of God, stay present to His presence, and it is always a practice of the eyes. We don't have to change what we see, only the way we see"   ~Ann Voskamp

using prompts from goes my list!

3 hard eucharisteos
a call to serve that pulls me out of the comfort zone, reinforcement in more than one way that this call is where I am supposed to be, acknowledging and accepting the call...remembering that God does not always call those who are equipped but rather He equips those that He calls

3 gifts woven together
the lives of family and friends, a blanket pulled out on the cooler nights to snuggle in, multi-coloured dishcloths knit up of the leftover yarn  

3 gifts inherited
a hand painted self portrait of a grandpa "grandee" dearly missed, cross stitch pieces passed on through the generations, that belonged to my uncle with his name embossed on the that belonged to my aunt with jot notes in the margins and on scrap pieces of paper throughout and one that was my moms which I believe she carried on the day she married my dad.

3 gifts square
the plates we eat from, the home we live in, the yard we play in

a gift stacked, stashed, stilled
a pile of hand-me-down quilts that I just received...thanks mom, fabric remnants that create new quilts, the sewing machine after a day of stitching fabrics together

3 gifts found in Christ
He is my strength when I am weak (Psalm 18:32), no need to fear because He is with me (Deuteronomy 31:6), that I am never alone (Joshua 1:9

3 gifts close
the man that God placed into my best friend, my husband (close to my heart), my best girlfriend that God also placed in my life...who offers encouragement and support, who makes me laugh and spurs me on in many facades of my life (close in age...but also close to my heart), my mom and dad...who's lives I was placed into by God...they raised me in a faith based, God fearing home which helped guide me to where i am...with many detours that I chose to take...but they always kept praying (moving closer...but again, also close to my heart)

holy experience
So, will you join my in this dare to count the find the joy, even in the midst of the fearful and out of the comfort zone places? Will you choose to see things in a different way...finding the grace gifts in the hard times and the rough spots? Join me and many others over at Ann's in this Joy Dare!

Friday, April 20, 2012


It's Friday and that means a chance to just write...5 minutes, one word prompt with only a few editing, no over thinking and no back tracking...and so I write right from the heart! 

Lisa-Jo puts it this way: 
"We write because we love words and the relief it is to just write them without worrying if they're just right or not. So we take five minutes on Friday and write like we used to run when we were kids."
Today's Prompt: Together

and let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another on, and all the more as you see the day drawing near.
Hebrews 10:24-25

It seems that we have settled into a beautiful routine

Sunday...we head off to church

we mingle with friends

...our God family...

we sing praises and worship His name

we often linger after

chatting, planning the remainder of the day

sometimes lunch with a few

often the afternoon or dinner with one family in particular

not so long ago we were strangers

but God has a way of bringing what we need

they touch our hearts

they bless our lives

not only have they opened their doors to us

but their lives, their hearts

we share life, live life




do you have 5 minutes?

let today's prompt inspire you to just write!

...then link up with many others over at The Gypsy Mama and check out the hearts of others who write in 5 minutes flat!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

photo-a-day: april 12-18

So here we are again, with another weekly photo challenge. Each picture is inspired by a daily prompt (which can be found at the bottom of this you can join in too!!) and is left to the photographer...picture taker, in my interpret. I am joining up with my friend, Barbie @ My Freshly Brewed Life with others to share. Here is what I came up with this week:

these are a set of stairs at one of the parks we like to hang out at. 
we actually had  our wedding photos taken in this park and on these stairs.

see those cheesy scalloped potatoes...yummy!!
found that recipe via the internet...gotta love "google"

yes, this is me...dozing
i often feel tired
...right now it is due to lack of sleep because my allergies are so severe this year...
even on a double dose of meds

sorry this photo isn't better quality
i captured this on my iphone in the parking lot of Walmart
it was just so beautiful seeing the pink sky in the setting sun...the hand of the True Artist
it's times like this i wish i had my "good" camera with me at all times

these little beauties just started popping out this week

ok...I'll be honest...I don't often take pictures of things I don't like
I took this one this morning and after some thought I wondered it the dust I don't like...or the dusting??!!!

this prompt was easy...I mean look at her hair
the colour, the curls
and then her beautiful freckles, dimples and smile that go with it!

Now it's your turn...I keep telling you how fun this is and how easy. 

Come on....just give it a shot...

Here's the prompts  ----->

and don't forget to link up over at Barbie's!

Go on...grab your camera and get snappin'!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

wlw: stress

Interesting that as I journey this year with a focus on peace the affects of stress still rears it's ugly head. Yesterday was a perfect example. I wasn't feeling so hot, my head was pounding and my eyes hurt as a result. It seemed that anything and everything that I did or said was just not right. The kiddos were getting under my skin, I was clutzy and spilled coffee all over the stairs and then I lost my temper. That afternoon I consoled myself with a bowl of ice cream. (I did make up with my children first)

This week my Snowflake friend, Alicia has posed the following questions regarding stress:
  • how do you handle it?
  • how do you stick to your determination and not give into temptation?
Well, I clearly answered that question already....I DON'T handle it well. I guess that's why God has me on this journey to finding peace through His word.

When I was in my late 20's, early 30's I dealt with stress completely different....of course I lived a completely different lifestyle. I was a smoker and the 1/2 - 3/4 pack a day would increase in stressful times. I rarely ate when I was stressed because of the increased smoking and I also upped the coffee intake...boy, caffeine and nicotine...oh, and beer was usually included in that remedy...hhhmmm, not the best coping mechanism...

I am working through what seems to have become the substitutes of the old days....chocolate...still coffee and any salty snack as well. I don't think that I will ever eliminate's just who I am...but the amounts and the reasons why I go to these is what I am working on changing. It is important to me that I learn to identify the triggers of stress eating and cope with them in a different manner. 

On a good day, I can redirect my attention, find a quiet place to read and pray. I also use my exercise time to let out some of my pent up stress. Nothing beats a good work out, sweat pouring down my face and back, hair soaked and the burn of the muscles at work!!

So, how do you cope with stress?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

i am who i am

For the next 13 weeks, I want to share with you what I have been learning and what God has been revealing to me through my study of Psalm 23. As I began striving to find His peace for my life this passage was brought to the forefront and I have spent quite a bit of time picking it apart and really seeing David's heart for his LORD and how it translates to my life and to yours. Please join me in this study each Tuesday by posting your thoughts on your blog and linking up here or just sharing in the comments below. I look forward to seeing how God reveals Himself to you in your journey to "Finding Peace in Psalm 23". 

Psalm 23 (NIV)

A Simple PrincessA psalm of David.
1 The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
   He leads me beside quiet waters,
3 He refreshes my soul.
   He guides me along the right paths for His name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
   I will fear no evil, for You are with me;
   Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. 
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
   You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
6 Surely Your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,
   and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

1a. The LORD

As I began reading and then rereading this passage I found myself lingering on these two words and wondering what the difference was between the name "LORD" used here and "Lord". Both are found throughout scripture, so I was intrigued to know the distinction between the two. Here is what I found: "Lord" which is interpreted from the Hebrew word Adon speaks of relationship and means master, owner and can also be interpreted as father. Adonai, the plural form of the word, defines itself as "The Lord" or "Lord, God" and Adoni creates a personal connection, "my Lord" whereas the name "LORD", also from the Hebrew language, translates YHWH or Yahweh meaning "I am" or "I am who I am", a reference to God's eternal, omnipotent sovereignty. 

"Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come"

Revelation 4:8
I love this verse as it speaks not only of the omnipotent quality but also the omnipresent attribute of the LORD. He is, always has been and always will be present. In Exodus, God revealed Himself as eternally existent, telling Moses, "I am who I am"...tell the people "I am" sent you.

( source )
With this translation of LORD, we can find many scriptures that use the "I am" to describe not only the character but the very being of YHWH.

Revelation 1:8  "I am the Alpha and Omega...who was and is and is to come, the Almighty."
John 10:9  "I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved."
John 14:6  "I am the way, the truth and the life..."
Psalm 46:10  "Be still and know that I am God..."
John 6:51  "I am the living bread...whoever eats this bread will live forever." 
John 15:5  "I am the vine, you are the branches..."
John 11:25  "I am the resurrection and the life..."
1 Peter 1:16  "Be holy, because I am holy."
John 8:12  "I am the light of the world..." 

( source )

You see, Yahweh is exactly who we need Him to be, exactly when we need Him...He is everything at all times for anyone who calls upon His name. 

If we are sick, He is our physician (Jeremiah 30:17)
If we are mourning, He is our comforter (Matthew 5:4)
If we are weak, He is strong (Isaiah 40:28b-31)
If we need companionship, He is our friend (John 15:15)
If everything around us is changing, He is constant (James 1:17)

The LORD is our "I am"...our everything! He is my everything...He always was and always will be and I rest assured in this promise and so can you! He brought me out of a place of sadness, darkness and loneliness and filled the void with His love. He wrapped His arms around me and carried me to a place of hope and He continues to lead me to a place of peace. 

Who is Yahweh to you? I would love for you to share your thoughts on the LORD...the "I am" in your life! Grab a button from the sidebar and link up with your own post or share your thoughts in the comments below. Next week we dive into "my shepherd". What is a shepherd and how does this relationship apply to the life of David and to us? 

Monday, April 16, 2012

joy dare...counting 295-315

Everyday there is always reason for celebration, reason for thanksgiving, reason for joy. We just need to open our eyes to the wonders that go on around choose to see that joy does not just come in the happy moments but in all the moments of our day. Today I join Ann and many others jotting down those "joy" moments, those moments of thanksgiving, those moments of celebration. Count with me? 

using prompts from goes my list

a gift hiding, held, heard
little frogs in the pond that my children enjoyed watching, beautiful yellow "flowers" they picked fresh from the yard, a twittering song from the birds as the night turns to day

3 gifts opened up
a new Bible study...digging into well known characters of the Bible, an email...words of encouragement, an opportunity...stepping out in faith and out of my comfort zone

3 gifts budding/blooming
the large trees that line both sides of our street, the Rose of Sharon in the backyard, their love for Jesus even at a young age

3 gifts worn
her beautiful smile that lights up a room, the knees in his pants after a hard day at play, a new pair of shoes in my favorite shades of turquoise

3 gifts bright
my oldest daughter...beautiful and intelligent, the one lone star that shines in the clear sky, his blue eyes that look at me like no other

3 gifts found looking up
pink skies, grey clouds, warm sun peaking through

a gift in a bag, in a box, in a book
workout pants, new running shoes, the reminder that "I am made for more"...all gifts reminding me that this health journey is worth it!!

what joys are you counting today?

Just a reminder:
beginning tomorrow 
Tuesday, April 17th and every Tuesday for a 13 week series on 
"Finding Peace in Psalm 23"

*grab a button from the right and link up your thoughts each week...more information can be found here*

Friday, April 13, 2012


( source )
It's Friday and that means a chance to write with no inhibition...we just write, right from the editing, no backtracking, no over thinking. 

Gypsy Mama says:

"We set a timer, throw caution to the winds and try to remember what it is like to just write without worrying if it's just right or not." 

Today's Prompt: Goodbye


he heads out the door
every week day morning
around the same time
7:30 am
with a quick kiss 
and a 
"have a good day"
my response
"you too baby, love ya!"

she heads off to school
every afternoon
only gone for a few hours
a hug and kiss
an "I love you" and 
"have a great day"

a typical goodbye
a typical day
it's routine
not that it doesn't mean anything 
but the ritual is the same
but what if...?

what if it was the last goodbye
would i do it differently
would i hold him closer, tighter, longer
would i say "I love you" with a little more affection
would i add anything to the "have a good day"?

would i hold her a little longer
place my hands on her cheeks 
 look into her eyes when i speak
would i say things with a little more intent?

what if it was the last goodbye?


now it's your turn!

take the one word prompt
....write for five minutes up with Gypsy Mama and many others and then check out others who have shared the hearts in 5 minutes flat!

Just a reminder:
join me Tuesdays beginning next week, April 17th for a 13 week series on 
"Finding Peace in Psalm 23"

*grab a button from the right and link up your thoughts each week...more information can be found here*

Thursday, April 12, 2012

photo-a-day: april 5-11

This weeks prompts have got me digging into some pictures taken in the past...which means that some of them may not have been taken by'll understand why when you get to the 9th prompt. Anyway, it still is a ton of fun, not just to capture things on film but to reminisce with the pics of the past! Join me and others with Barbie @ My Freshly Brewed Life. The prompts are found at the bottom...try it, you'll like it!!!

tiny toes are so stinkin' cute

i believe this is the leftover of a peanut butter sandwich

i love her little shadow tagging along behind her

i actually have cash in there...that is not often the case because i use debit for everything
oh, and a picture of my hubby and i back when we were dating...just as things were becoming serious

this is me and my daddy...i guess it wasn't abnormal for me to put my dress on daddy's ensure safety, maybe??!!??

well, it doesn't get any colder than ice or icicles...bbbrrrrr!!

now of course, anyone who knows me well, knows i don't usually eat breakfast...but if i did, this would be where i would sit 

So, now it's your turn...if you didn't get a chance to snap some pictures, it is never too late. You don't need to get them all...just a few. This is for fun, so go ahead...take the chance to snap something. The prompts are right here  --->

Once you have a few shots, link up with Barbie and check out all the other photographers (or in my case, picture takers!)

Just a reminder:
join me Tuesdays beginning next week, April 17th for a 13 week series on 
"Finding Peace in Psalm 23"

*grab a button from the right and link up your thoughts each week...more information can be found here*
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