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Chaos, Social Justice, and Facing Fear in order to Seek God's Face

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in You.  Isaiah 26:3 A warning in advance-in...

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Monday, January 30, 2012

just for "Gayle"...

This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
Ephesians 4:17-19 (NKJV)

My Gayle is hot like fire.  She called me today fussing.  I mean good ol fashion, spittin cussin mad.  If I hadnt recently been where she was about one trivial thing or another, Id have laughed out loud.  Thats the thing about friendship.  What they are, you arethey feel joy, ergo you are happy.  They suffer heartbreak-you cry too.  I knew there was a lesson for her, and as usual, for me, in her vent.  Being a Gentile is easy.  When you dont know better, youre not responsible for doing any better.  Howeverwhen you do, you must. 

Im usually reading several things at a time.  I know, I just blogged about multi-tasking, and Im going to do better.  Im not doing anything but writing, at the moment.  Um, I digress.  I am reading the Four Agreements, by Miguel Angel Ruiz. You can find all you care to about it here. The one I seem to be tarrying over, and the thing that occurred to me as I listened to Gayle vent, was the second...

Dont Take Anything Personally

Be present…

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what Gods will is his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Romans 12:2 (NIV)
Do not conform…” whew, thats good advice.  Thankfully, I was present this morning.  I was non-conformist. I was walking the dog, winding down, making my way back home.  I was not chatting on my cell phone.  I was neither texting, nor reading emailsthough there was one message I dearly wanted to check forI confess to listening to Coltrane on my iPod, but I use music to clear my head of everything else when I walk or run.  I was being non-conformist. 

Had I done what we so easily do, allow ourselves to become distracted, multi-tasking. I mightve gotten hit by the SUV backing out of its driveway this morning, going really fast.  God had his hand on me.  I waited patiently, as I try consistently to do when walking my dog, in case motorists and others who share the road arent paying attention to me.   I am important to me, but not so self-important that I disconnect from the present when I need to be there.  I was being non-conformist.  Im not always non-conformist. 

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Write a love story in 33 words...

Anna over at http://universalgibberish.blogspot.com/ published in a writing challenge from http://www.trifectawritingchallenge.com/.  The challenge is to ...write a love story in 33 words.  According to the rules, you may interpret the prompt anyway you choose, but your response must be 33 words precisely..  I decided to give it a try.  Hey, If you want to walk on water, you've got to get out of the boat (or so says author John Ortberg.)  Finding a new challenge everyday is just more evidence that God is good….

I was infatuated. 

He was pursuing. 

We were kids. 

We grew up. 

He proposed. 

I said yes. 

We got married.  

We love.  
We made babies. 
I will love you till my heart stops.   

Friday, January 27, 2012

Write your plans in pencil....

My flesh and my heart may fail, 
   but God is the strength of my heart 
   and my portion forever.
Psalms 73::26 (NIV)

“Write your plans in pencil, and give the eraser to God.” That’s today’s FB status.  I use my status as a declaration--my plea to the Universe, a statement of intentionality, a prayer for all my FB peeps (not that large a circle, I’m a rather private person.).  On this day, I am asking to be empty.  I am intentional about not having a plan.  I only want to be open. What may happen, what might happen, is, as always, entirely up to God. 

What makes today different is that instead of relying upon my own creativity, strength, drive, or fortitude, I go quietly.  I go gently.  I may gain an appreciation only of the beauty of acquiescence, but that too is a lesson.  I spend so much of my life running to, planning for, anticipating what should, or might be. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

another one of those messages from the universe....

So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place..
1 Samuel 3:9 (NIV)

I was walking the dog yesterday before meeting a friend for breakfast.  (Yesterday was my birthday, and the one gift I always give myself is a day pass from cooking anything on that day.  My birthday blessings included a girlfriend taking me to breakfast, another to lunch, and my family outing to a lovely Cuban restaurant where we know the owner and often enjoy a meal.)  As usual, my iPod was both tracking my steps and serenading me as I took them. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Making something out of nothing…

But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”
Joshua 24::15 (NIV)

Quietly, with no fanfare, announcements, not even special snacks, we made something out of nothing last night.  We had a really cool family night.  I’m almost afraid to say it aloud.  Now, it’s not like we don’t spend quality time together.  We spend more time together than a lot of families I know, but we do have a teen and a tween, a reasonable number of activites, school, time with friends and a lot of technology.

After checking in with the GPs (grandparents who live close), we came home to watch the Giant’s game.  We’re not even huge football fans..  There we were, smushed on the futon with the dog at our feet.  No plan, no fuss, much love.

still sleeping...
We spend so much time planning to… get together, planning to spend time, planning to have fun and failing to execute.  This was delightfully spontaneous.  We just did it.  And it was wonderful.

Friday, January 20, 2012

An excellent wife…

 An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who brings shame is like rottenness in his bones.
Proverbs 12:4 (ESV)

We’ve been married nearly 19 years.  He truly is the love of my life, and Lord, you know, I do everything I can to be a good and loving Christian wife, all Proverbs 31.  Friends and family have heard often heard me say, “absolutely, I’m an obedient wife.particularly when it suits my purposes.”.  Today, obedience is easy.

(today’s blog is dedicated to my new friends Ashley from Wannabe Green http://wannabegreenash.blogspot.com/ as well as Fawn at the Happy Wives Club http://www.happywivesclub.com/.  I hope people come discover you both.)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Time to do a new thing…bloghopping!

Time to do a new thing…bloghopping!

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is
         For brethren to dwell together in unity! 
Psalms 133:1 (NKJV)

I’m trying something newI joined BlogFrog and am learning all sorts of new things, including how to link up and share.  Here goes nothingwhat about my new blog design? Much like me, the site is a work in progress.   

seven great things in your life.
1. My abiding and ever growing Faith
2. 18 years of marriage to the most extraordinary man
3. two children who challenge and amaze me
4. my friends
5. my mommy
6. my granny
7. the unwavering love of sando (my dog)

seven things you lack and covet
1. Time.
2. patience
3. rest
4. a vacation
5. a bigger house
6. a professional kitchen
7. Better discipline

seven things that make you angry
1. mean people.
2. people who lie
3. government gridlock
4. ignorance
5. impatience
6. lack of courtesy
7.  laziness

seven things that you neglect to do.
1. remain silent
2. not procrastinate.
3. exercise everyday
4. always pray upon rising
5.  talk to granny more
6. write more letters
7. be better prepared

seven worldly material desires.
1. a trust fund
2. a personal trainer
3. new laptop
4. scheduled vacations
5. a published book
6. a spa on retainer
7.  a hairdresser on standby

seven guilty pleasures.
1. Revenge (on TV)
2. Grey’s Anatomy (on TV)
3. a really good martini 
4. a phenomenal meal
5. heels
6. my fur coat.
7. unlimited time to read and good books

seven things you love about love
1. falling in love with the one you love over, and over, and over.
2. kisses
3. dancing
   4. smiling across a crowded room
5. making and raising babies.
6. our wedding day
7. knowing they already know
Please join the fun, and go learn something new about my new buds.  Every new experience is evidence that God is good.  

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All you need to do is copy and paste this list, link-up, and enjoy learning about somebody else's guilty pleasures.  How long will this linky remain open? 7 days...

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Another message from the Universe….

He Treats Me to a Feast; Notes from my Abundant Life

Another message from the Universe….

“Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!  Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”
“I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”
Luke 19:38-40 (NIV)

I do not believe in luck.  I do not believe in coincidence.  I do not believe in horoscopes.  I do, however, believe that God speaks with many voices, and if you are present and paying attention, you might very well be surprised by from whence a message comes.  This is my time of rediscovery. I am reborn, refined, re-imagined (these are the things one says when she is in the midst of a major seismic shift or career transition over which she has little, if any control).  
Message from the Universe, originally published 1/31/11

The sacred and the profane co-exist for a very good reason….if the Lord himself declared that the “stones will cry out” if men are silent, and if God put words on the mouth of Balaam’s a~~, then certainly I can hear a Word (or several) on my iPod while walking the dog.  Lord, You are awesome, and I thank You for finding ways to draw me to You.  Continually.  Powerfully. Undeniably.

I must have been a little down this morning and though I didn’t feel much like it, I walked the dog in the icy cold.  I deliberately traced my route, walking on grass to minimize the likelihood of falling.  I was not so deliberate in the programming of music on my iPod, which for me is not the norm. 

an interlude from "say yes to grace"...

Dearly Beloved,

You are cordially invited to flow light and easy in my Spirit, this day and each day.

Gracefully Yours,

Monday, January 16, 2012

Double your pleasure, double your fun…

Double your pleasure, double your fun…
For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing what is right and just, so that the LORD will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.”
Genesis 18:19 (NIV)

Double your pleasure, double your fun,
With Doublemint, Doublemint, chewing gum!
~Paul Severson, jingle writer, circa 1950

There's a sweet sweet spirit in this place
And I know that it's the spirit of the Lord
There are sweet expressions on each face
And I know they feel the presence of the Lord
Sweet Holy Spirit
Sweet heavenly dove
Stay right here with us
Filling us with your love
And for these blessings
We lift our hearts in praise
Without a doubt we'll know that we have been revived
When we shall leave this place
Sweet Sweet Spirit
~Doris Akers

A sweet, sweet spirit inhabited my weekend; no meltdowns, no clenched teeth, nothing difficult.  It may seem more than passing strange for a small home to hold twice its usual capacity, but as usual, when these guests leave, I am wholly satisfied; only a little sad.  Whoa there….I am wistful when they leave, but since it’s always good visit, there is no place for sadness. I am not sorry to see them leave, rather, I am so very thankful that they came.

Two daddies, two mommies, four children, ages 14 through 2.  We had a houseful. 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Four women…and a card review

Four women…and a card review
Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. 
1 Peter 3:3-5a (NIV)

I sent cards to four beautiful women today.  I used to be very good at sending cards and writing letters.  In fact, I have a fountain pen collection as affirmation that I love to write, but enough about me.  (I have some great pens…)

I was inspired by   to return to a really good habit-written correspondence.  In exchange for a blog reviewing DaySpring products, I received a collection of encouragement cards.  What follows are my personal opinions.  It was nice to have the opportunity to review the materials, and a joy to share them with people I love.  I hope a)somebody feels moved to let someone special know the wonderful blessing they've been, and b) DaySpring finds my feedback useful.

When the cards arrived, just the box alone made me smile.  It also made me consider the joy that recipients might experience upon opening up and reading their cards…
My four beautiful women inspire me; encourage me; challenge me to be better, and I loved letting them know. 

Perusing my collection, from the Holley Gerth Hope & Encouragement Assortment, led me to each of the women I selected.  One of my girlfriends is really going through something, and continually reaches out to me, confident that I have the resources, or the answers.  I seldom do, but I know how to pray.  I know the encouragement that I have received, and the value of a sincere word, so I challenge myself to meet her need, as best I can, with what I may have available.  Her card had a tiara and sparkles, a reminder from her and Our Father that, as I mentioned to her yesterday when we spoke, that it was really going to be alright. 

My second card, for mommy, opened with “If we could have coffee today, I’d sit across the table from you and say…” It spoke to my missing her, it spoke to my pride in the way she is primary caregiver to her 93 year-old mother , to how much I miss her, to how much we appreciate percolating a pot of coffee (she still has the pot I remember from my childhood AND it still works), sitting and savoring, sharing everything and nothing and just being together.  We talk a lot, sometimes more than once a day, but I am certain she will savor this card, probably cry, and likely show me where it sits on her desk or her dresser when we are together again.  The interior message got me…“So until we’re together again I’m sending these words (and prayers) to hug your heart in my place.” All I needed to do was sign it.

My BFF, who just celebrated a birthday, got the one that says “You’re simply wonderful.” I’ve learned that there is never a reason not to tell someone how much they’re valued; how much they mean to you.  For her birthday this year, I wrote her a blog; it made us both cry.  As I’ve gotten older, I’ve decided to say what I feel and mean what I say.  She wondered into my life and made it better.  I found a card that said, “thanks for begin who you are…doing what you do…being a blessing wherever you go.” 

Finally, my “Gayle” got the Thank You card.  She thinks she’s depends upon me…ha! “I’ve been thinking about you, right there in the middle of the ordinary…” She and I generally usually catch up while dropping kids off in the morning; one of us routine;y talking the other off the ledge (it’s not always me…).She is quietly awesome…and I found the perfect excuse to remind her. 

I do wish that DaySpring’s product lines were more diverse.  There wasn’t anyone who looked like me, or any of my recipients, in any available collection.  Neither the Peanuts nor the So True collections really spoke to me, so I was left to choose what I found least unappealing (I liked the collection I received, I just wish there'd been broader options).  We live in a diverse world, and I feel better when the products I select validate my presence…when I see myself. 

At any rate, I’m glad I took a chance, and spent a moment reminding four very special, very beautiful women in my life that they are just that….special and beautiful.  In a world where there is no lack of ordinary and ugly things, I find just another reminder that God is good.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Lavender, Lemons, and Love…

Lavender, Lemons, and Love…

For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”
Matthew 12:50 (NIV)

 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 
Galatians 5:22-23 (ESV)

Yesterday was my BFFs birthday.  She is an extraordinary woman; fierce, funny, protective, wicked smart, insightful and very wise.  Although it was her birthday, she is my gift, mi familia.  The second time I saw her, she came bearing gifts, in the form of pastries from a local Italian bakery.  Usually when a new family moves into your neighborhood, the welcome wagon welcomes them.  She’s been flipping the script, much to our family’s delight since that very day.  You’d think we’d known each other longer than the four years it’s been.  It doesn’t feel right to imagine my life without her, so I won’t. 

I wanted to do something special, something particularly elegant, to honor her special day.  My daughter and I were out shopping, and brought home a cathedral bundt pan, a bottle of purple Diamond Shimmer Sugar, and an idea…Lavender Lemon Pound Cake…I thought the batter was the best I’d ever tasted, until one of my tester cakes came out of the oven.  The cake, much like my BFF...legendary…

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New every morning…

New every morning…

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”
Lamentations 3:-22-24(ESV)

I am nearly recovered from my NYD party.  For the last 19 years, my husband and I have hosted a Kwanzaa dinner party on New Year’s Day.  Friends of mine have become friends to one another independent of their relationships with me hanging out at our party.  The blessing of a home full of friends is the first gift I give myself each year, and sets the tone for the year to come.  Sunday night, when we closed the door behind the last guests, I was exhausted, but happy.  I knew that a night’s rest would restore me, so it was all good.  Suddenly, I remembered a portion of Lamentations 3:22, “His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning….” That’s what I want…a year full of “new every morning.”

We place so much emphasis on each New Year, its first minutes, its first day.  Just this morning, while dropping the children off at school, I heard a radio commentator grieve over already breaking her New Year’s Resolutions.  We set ourselves up for failure, throwing in the towel the moment things (things generally not well planned, or unrealistic) don’t immediately work out as planned.  What if we could re member to reset, like the sun, like the unending mercies of the Father…“new every morning?”

OneWord 2015

OneWord 2015

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