Monday, November 25, 2013

Happy Monday Morning! ~ Thankful

Hi friend!

Happy Monday Morning !

Yes, He is forever faithful and His love for me never ends. 
How can I not praise Him?!

* ~ * ~ * ~ *
These last two weeks I've been talking to the kiddos in my Sunday School class about being thankful.

Here are a few things that these four year olds are thankful for:

~ God
~ mommy & daddy
~ grandma & grandpa
~ my cat, gerbil, fish and rat {one child, a girl}
~ food
~ E-pass at Disney
~ toys
~ teachers {awww, melts my heart}
~ Jesus
~ my dogs - Turbo & Riley {so I ask, "Does Turbo run really fast?" "No, he has a hurt leg, he's slow." "Oh, ok. Next."}
~ church
~ friends

* ~ * ~ * ~  *

Wonderful things to be thankful for, don't you think?

Hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving! May you enjoy special time with family and friends, good food and football. And if you're at Disney an E-pass.

Giving thanks to the Lord for He is good!
And thanking Him for you, dear friend.

Love ya, 

Friday, November 22, 2013

5 Minute Friday Fun: Fly

Hi friend!
Happy Friday to YOU!

Every Friday for nearly four years writers have gathered over at Lisa-Jo's place in blog land for something she calls 5 Minute Friday. It's a linky party / blogger flash mob / free writing exercise. Whatever you want to call it, I say it's just plain fun - blog land style.

Everyone spends five minutes writing on the same topic. If they have a blog, they link up to Lisa-Jo's post on that week's topic. No blog? No problem! Just leave your five minutes of writing in the comments section at Lisa Jo's place.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~
and GO!


Sometimes it feels like I'm flying through life at supersonic speed.

I'm very goal oriented and hate to sit still. My mind is always going. Many times I'm thinking of the next thing to do while I'm still doing the first thing.

In fact, one evening when my boys were young, I told them - "I'm gonna get supper in the tub, so go jump in the oven". True story.

Yep, I was at warp speed after ball practice and before dinner and homework. Glad the kiddos were used to my craziness on these evenings and just giggled at their silly mom and got in the tub.

I don't really think this is the best way to fly live life.

I probably miss a lot of stuff. I mean, how much can get noticed and enjoyed traveling that fast. It's all just a blur as I whiz by.

Maybe I'll never just be gliding along. That would be too slow for a gal like me.

But, I do realize that this is truly not how I want to do life. I need to slow down.

I want and need to slow down enough to enjoy the moments that make up the minutes that make up the hours that make up the days that will add up to my life.

and STOP!

Five Minute Friday

Love ya,

Thursday, November 14, 2013

be yourself

Hey there friend!

Well, this has been a very frustrating post to write.
I'm trying to write something fabulous and inspired,  yet encouraging and witty. Ha!

All I wanted to do is write a post to link up with Bonnie at Faith Barista.
It's her first Thursday Faith Jam in months and I want to be a part of it.

Between yesterday and today I've spent a few hours trying to get it typed out and just right.

But now it's all gone. Like deleted gone. And there's no getting it back.
And now I'm whining keeping it real by telling you what's happened. 

So, this is me - I'm being myself.
Not a writer, bothered by my own dumb mistakes, but never a quitter.

I'm taking a deep breath and whispering a prayer that hubby won't mind if it takes a while longer. Hope the game he's watching is a good one. Maybe he won't miss me. *wink*

Anyways, Bonnie's prompt for this week is - be yourself.

So here's plan B - I'm giving myself five or ten minutes to write and if it's worth hitting that publish button than great. And if not, than I'm hitting delete and calling it a night.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ 

Sometimes it's hard to be yourself if you don't know who you are. Or what you're supposed to be doing with your life. Or where you're going in life.

But, I don't really think being yourself has as much to do with your journey in life as it has to do with who God created you to be.

Did you know God counted and named each and every star in the sky?
They all have names - so they know who they are.
They do what they're supposed to be doing - lighting the night sky.
And I don't think they wonder where they're going in life because they're already fulfilling their God-given purpose and just follow the plan God laid out for them. {ummm, is that spinning or orbiting? definitely twinkling}

All throughout the Bible we see that names and their meanings are important to God.  And since He did name the stars when He hung them in the sky, I'd say yea, names are really important to Him.

I recently looked up what my name means and was pretty amazed at how it's meaning matches up so well with my God-given personality. 

Here's some of what I found:

Debra - bee

Ann - graceful
favored by God

It got me to thinking that maybe when my mom & dad were trying to think of the prefect name to give me, God placed in their hearts Debra Ann.
It went something like...
Victoria Lee? umm, no
Donna Jane? nope
Debra Ann? Yes!

And God smiled at that name because the person He was creating me to be was going to be....
- busy as a bee {I hate sitting still}
- may sting at times {can be sarcastic and speak the honest truth when needed}
- helpful {LOVE to help others}
- graceful {oops! guess I should have taken those ballet classes; not a klutzt; I'd say  more of a tomboy}
- gracious {try to be; very difficult when I'm hungry or tired so just get out of my way during those times}
- giving {Love to give to others - goes with helping}
- favored by God {always and all ways}

If I look at it from this perspective then, by the grace of God, I'm doing pretty good at just being myself.

So friend, I believe now more than ever that being yourself is not about what but who.
Who has God created you to be?

Have you ever looked up the meaning of your name?
If not, please do. You may be pleasantly surprised like I was at what you'll discover.

If you have a personal relationship with God, than one name you hold for sure is beloved daughter.

I'll end this with sharing a simple prayer I sometimes say ~
Dear Lord, 
Please help me to be
the person You created me to be
when You first thought of me and
placed me in my mother's womb. 
Your daughter, 
Debra Ann

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Please stop by Faith Barista and see what Bonnie has to say about being yourself.

Since I obviously hit the publish button I'm hoping that there is something here worth reading and somehow God speaks to your heart.... which has always been my main purpose of writing here at FH&J. Thanks again for stopping by.

Love ya,

Monday, November 11, 2013

Happy Monday Morning! ~ Choose Joy

Hey there friend!

Happy Monday Morning!

 "I will celebrate and be joyful
because you, LORD,
have saved me."
Psalm 35:9

Choose Joy! 
Just two words.

Two words made "famous" in bloggy land by sweet Sara (aka Gitzen Girl). And if there was ever someone who had a reason, actually more like a half dozen reasons, to choose anything but joy it was that Gitzen Girl.

I'm choosing joy today... how about you?

Love ya,

Monday, November 4, 2013

Happy Monday Morning! ~ The Best Path

Hi friend!

Happy Monday Morning!

 The Lord says, "I will guide you 
along the best pathway for your life.
I will advise you and watch over you."
Psalm 32:8

My prayer most mornings is -

Dear Jesus,
Thank You for this new day.
Please lead me, guide me and walk beside me. 

Simple, but heartfelt. 

What better path to be on than the one chosen by Him.
What better person to walk it with than my Jesus. 

Love ya,

Friday, November 1, 2013

5 Minute Friday Fun: GRACE

Hey there friend!
And a Happy Friday to ya!

I'm joining the Friday fun once again with another Five Minute Friday writing exercise.

These one word prompts and writing for five minutes -
free and easy..... no pressure to get it just right.... just write
- have been a joy.

You see, I usually stress forever over just the right words to say and how to say them so that a normal post takes a bazillion edits before I'm ready to hit the publish button.

Tonight I'm reliving some of a conversation hubby and I had just the other day. As soon as I saw the one word prompt Lisa-Jo had given us, I knew what I'd write about - my wonderful grace giving guy. 

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

and GO!


I tell him, "I'm sorry."

"What for?", he asks.

I try to explain, "Not always understanding. About your pain. But, since I pulled the muscle in my back I've realized a few things. It hurts! And it's not fun. And it's tiring being in pain all day."

"It's ok." is his reply.

"No, I'm not as helpful or patient or kind. At least not like you've been to me. I don't give you much grace."

Always the grace giver, he says, "I said it's ok, and it really is."

So I try to explain a bit more, "I mean like when we're out somewhere and you maybe get a twinge of pain and groan out loud. I teasingly tell you not to do that in public because you'll scare old people and children. Well, that's not grace, that's being embarrassed."

He takes my hand and now it's his turn to explain.

"I get it that you don't understand my chronic pain. Now that you've had some yourself, you can understand better. Nobody can understand if they haven't experienced it themselves. And as far as me scaring people- I know it's your weird sense of humor when you feel self-conscience. It's ok. I understand and I love you."

I guess that is grace..... understanding and loving even if I don't deserve it.

and STOP!

Five Minute Friday

Besides having a quick, fun and stress-free writing time on Friday evenings, I love one other aspect of FMF just as much, maybe even a bit more. And that would be Lisa-Jo's rule of visiting our FMF neighbors {person who linked up right before} and leaving a comment to let them know we stopped by. I enjoy reading what others have to say about our one word for the week. Of course, getting a few comments and some bloggy love in return makes my heart sing.

Love ya,

Monday, October 28, 2013

Happy Monday Morning! ~ Live It Well

Hi friend!

Happy Monday Morning!

"My greatest fear is not that I will fail, 
but that I will succeed in something 
that doesn't really matter."
~William Townsend

Thank You Lord, today is a brand new day.
May I not fear.
May I follow You.

Help me to know what really matters.
May I live it well. 

Live it well my friend.
Live it well.

Love ya,

Friday, October 18, 2013

5 Minute Friday Fun: LAUNDRY

Hi friend!

Do you know what day it is? Do ya? It's Five Minute Friday!

Don't know what FMF is all about? Click HERE to hop over to Lisa-Jo's place and see.
{you can play along even if you don't have a place in bloggy land}

The one word prompt for this week's Five Minute Friday party is "laundry". 

Thankfully, my hubby does 99% of our laundry. Yes, he's definitely a keeper.

The best part is - I know he doesn't do it because he absolutely loves this weekly chore, but because he absolutely loves me.

Like I said - I'm holding on to this guy.

Anyways, it's getting late so I better get started with this post. 

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~
and Go!


Hoping my favorite old t-shirt that's so faded, worn and a bit torn can handle one more washing and drying.

It's oh so comfy and hugs me just right.
I've had it for years.
Put it on with an old pair of jeans and just relax on a Friday night.
Add some ice cream with chocolate syrup
{don't have to worry about drips on this old shirt}
and..... ahhhhh! pure bliss.

It's like my dear friend I've known for years.
Being with her is so very comfy.
We've laughed at the same things, hugged away each other's sadness, prayed for each other's kids.

So yea, maybe we're both a bit faded, worn and torn. Life does that ya know.

But, unlike a worn t-shirt, I know our friendship will last forever.
Add a bit of chocolate when we're together and .... ahhhhh! pure bliss.

and STOP!

Five Minute Friday

Hope you have at least one BFF to share life with... and a comfy t-shirt, too.

Love ya,

Monday, October 14, 2013

Happy Monday Morning! ~ Faith, Hope & Joy

Hey there friend!

Happy Monday Morning!

"Now may the God of hope 
fill you with all joy and peace in believing, 
so that you will abound in hope 
by the power of the Holy Spirit."
Romans 15:13 

He is my hope.
He fills my heart with joy 
and my mind with peace.   

Yes, Jesus loves me!

Love ya,

Friday, October 11, 2013

5 Minute Friday Fun: ORDINARY

Welcome friend and a Happy Friday to you!!

It's time for another Five Minute Friday. Today's word is: ordinary

My first thoughts when I saw what word Lisa-Jo gave us to write about was ..... 
...... blah, plain, dull.

 Is that what you thought, too?

Well, let's just see if that is so.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

and Go!


There is beauty in the ordinary moments of life.

The moments I cherish the most are the living-life-minute-by-minute ones.

Hubby and I holding hands and saying "I do" before God, family and friends 38 years ago.

Holding my babies as they slept.

A surprise boquet of flowers just because he loves me.

A surprise red rose just because he loves me and learned it from his daddy.

Son #1 making a base hit and turning to give me a little wave and make sure I saw him.

Going to McD with son # two. Him giving me a hug good-bye and telling me "lunch was good, thanks mom. I really liked spending time with you".

Remembering the sound of my boys laughing together.

Ordinary moments are meant to be lived, cherished, and remembered.
and Stop!

Five Minute Friday

Now, stop and think for a moment of some ordinary moments in your life.........
........ yep, that one.
........ and that one.

They're sweet aren't they?
Bring a smile to your face maybe?

Hoping you have a wonderful weekend full of ordinary moments to be cherished.

Love ya,

Monday, October 7, 2013

Happy Monday Morning! ~ Sunrise / Sunset

Hey there friend!! 

Happy Monday Morning!

 "May every sunrise bring you hope
every sunset bring you peace."
~ Vicky Westra

I love sunrises  - the freshness of a new day. 
I love sunsets - counting my blessings of another day done.

Especially at the beach!
Ahhhhh - that just makes my soul sigh with happiness. 

Can you tell if this picture is a sunrise or a sunset?
Which do you prefer?

Love ya,

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

News Flash

Hey there friend!

A number of weeks ago, right about in the middle of the PS31 online Bible study I was participating in, God gave me a heavenly news flash.

Just to clarify here - I'm talking more of a little smack upside the head than an Aha! moment.

As I was talking to Him about where He is leading me, I once again mentioned about "this whole blogging thing".  Just kind of a general inquiry. Up until now He really hadn't answered when I asked.

To blog? or not to blog?
That is the question.
Or is it?

Yea, well, God being God, knew exactly what I was truly asking.

My  "innocent" question of  
".... and Lord, what do you think about my blogging? Please guide me."
really meant:
- will I ever make it big in bloggy land?
- are my words reaching anyone?
- will  my following grow? 50 followers? 100?
- will anyone miss me if I close up my blogland home?
- will this maybe lead to speaking? an ebook?

So, He decided to let me know exactly what He thought.

This time instead of me not hearing anything, I heard Him loud and clear.
I got the distinct impression in my spirit that He was actually shaking His head and saying to me - "News Flash - blogging is not at the top of my list."

"Say what, Lord?!, was my response as I sat up a bit straighter. "Ummm .... OK ...."

As I thought about it some more, I went from shock to hurt feelings.
Soon I was feeling confused and a bit upset.

In fact, I had to go to my journal and get this mapped out.

Don't worry, I'm ok now and of course God is right.  Because, you see in the grand scheme of life, blogging matters about as much as whether I choose to get an iced coffee from McD or DD.

Ha! That makes me think of someone I knew who would pray about whether to stop at McDonald's or Burger King. Really!? It's a fast food burger people.

So, I guess I should just enjoy sharing and writing here in blogland. Or not do it. Whatever.
It's only a blog. 

Now that it's clear what isn't at the top of God's list of important things in my life - what is?

In the final chapter of the book "What Happens When Women Say Yes To God"
Lysa TerKeurst says -

"Our hearts search for deeper meaning in life, and radically obedient people find it in loving the Lord, loving others He brings in our path, and continually seeking to become more like Jesus."

Yea, that Lysa gal is pretty smart. That's what my heart is searching for. Not more followers of my blog or making a name for myself in blogland.

After completing this six week online Bible study - reading Lysa's book, digging deeper in God's word, spending time in prayer, and journaling - I can tell you that this statement of Lysa's is true.

And that this is the it. This is what's at the top of God's list for my life.

So friend, have you ever been given a news flash by God?

Love ya,

Monday, September 30, 2013

Happy Monday Morning! ~ Believe

Hey there friend!

Happy Monday Morning!

"I've commanded you to be strong and brave.
Don't ever be afraid or discouraged!
I am the LORD your God, 
and I will be there to help you wherever you go."
Joshua 1:9 

As I begin a new week I'm so very thankful that God is with me wherever I go.
There's no need to be discouraged.
There's no reason to be afraid.
He is forever faithful and by my side.

Love ya!

Friday, September 27, 2013

5 Minute Friday Fun: TRUE

Hi there friend!

Hope you've had a great week!

Got the one word prompt for this week's Five Minute Friday Fun and I'm not sure how this one's gonna go. 

It's not that I have a lot to say this week. {surprising, I know}
It's just that I'm not sure how to explain what I want to say. {not a surprise}

So, I'll just get started and see how it goes.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

and GO!


Did you know that "true north" is only a geographical direction?
Something you can find on a map or globe.

I think of God's word as our map to the "true north" in life.
The Bible shows us, from beginning to end, how to get from here {as in planet earth} to heaven.

The words of the LORD are true,
and all His works are dependable.
Psalm 33:4

Did you know that a compass doesn't point to the north pole?
It points to the magnetic north.
If you only follow that little needle you may never get to the north pole.
You've got to figure in the magnetic declination for where you're starting from.

And I think that God's Holy Spirit acts as our compass when we get off track of true north. 

If you wander off the road to the right or the left, 
you will hear His voice behind you saying, 
"Here is the road. Follow it."
Isaiah 30:21

God's word and His voice - best map and compass there ever will be!

and STOP!

Five Minute Friday

So I'm gonna go put myself in "time out" now. I kinda broke the "just write/no editing" rule.
I couldn't help myself and admit there was just a teensy bit of editing this week. *hanging my head*

Have a blessed weekend friend!

Love ya,

Monday, September 23, 2013

Happy Monday Morning! ~ The One who knows.....

Hey there friend!

Happy Monday Morning!

 "O Lord, You have examined my heart 
and know everything about me. 

You know when I sit or stand. 
When far away You know my every thought. 

You chart the path ahead of me 
and tell me where to stop and rest. 

Every moment You know where I am. 
You know what I am going to say before I even say it. 

You both precede and follow me 
and place your hand of blessing on my head. 

This is too glorious, too wonderful to believe!"
Psalm 139:1-6

I'm praying these words to God this morning - for me and for you.

I hope you know how much He loves you.

Great way to start the week don't you think?
Love ya,

Friday, September 20, 2013

5 Minute Friday Fun: SHE

Hey there!
Woo Hoo it's Friday folks!

Once again I'm linking-up blog land style over at Lisa Jo's for some Friday fun.

The third time doing this and I think I'm hooked!
I really must be because it's Friday, I'm tired, fighting a head cold {or maybe allergies} and I still want to par-tay. Well, at least for five minutes of writing fun.

It's so simple.
Very, very early each Friday morning Lisa Jo gives us the one word prompt.
Sometime during our day, when we find a quick five minutes, we just write.
It's like : Go - 5 mins - Stop.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~
and GO!


She pulls in and drives slowly down the winding drive.
She looks to see if others are there today and is relieved to see no one else.
She smiles a kind of bittersweet smile at the crepe myrtles in bloom this time of year.

She came today to spend time with him. But, she knows he's not there.

Oh how her heart yearns to tell him one more time how she loves him.
How much she misses him. Every. Single. Day.
She just wants one more hug, one more smile.

She gently touches the cool stone bench where his ashes were gently placed in years ago. That's all that's left of him on this earth. That's why she goes to this place .... peaceful and quiet, yet painful.

She is not sure that those that have gone before can hear us. But, she knows her Jesus always hears.

So she asks Jesus to tell him she loves him.
She misses him.
She is so sorry.

She is so thankful to have been his mom for 25 years 6 months and 1 day.

and STOP!

Five Minute Friday

Not sure about you, but I need a tissue.

Hey friend, I want you to know something.

Because of Jesus I know I'll see my wonderful son again one day. In fact, we had promised each other when he was young that whoever got to heaven first would wait by the gate for the other. I'll get that hug and see that wonderful smile again. Some days it just seems like it can't be soon enough.

Love ya,

Monday, September 16, 2013

Happy Monday Morning! ~ Blessed by the grace of God

Hey there friend!

Happy Monday Morning!

"But blessed are those who trust in the LORD 
and have made the LORD their hope and confidence."
Jeremiah 17:7

Can I get an "Amen!"?

Love ya,

Friday, September 13, 2013

5 Minute Friday Fun: MERCY

Hey there friend!
Yay it's Friday!

I'm ready for some Friday fun! But, I'm exhausted.
So, I think I can only manage about five minutes worth of fun tonight.

Yep! You guessed it!

I'm gonna join in the fun with the other gals over at Lisa-Jo's place for ~ 

Even though Lisa Jo has been hosting these bloggy parties or as she calls them "a kind of writing flash mob" for over a year (or maybe two by now) this is only the second time I'm joining in.

So, deep breath.
and GO!


The dictionary says that mercy is a noun.

However, all day I've been humming.... when mercy found me.

It's the main line or catch phrase in the Rhett Walker Band's song When Mercy Found Me.

I love that song. Really, really love it.

"In one moment everything changed 
and who I was got washed away. 
When mercy found me."

Yea, I think mercy is more like a verb than a noun.

God's mercy finds us ....
.... washes us,
.... fills us with peace,
..... gives us joy,
..... and brings healing for our broken hearts.

Maybe the word mercy is a noun, but I'm telling you God's mercy is a verb.

If you haven't experienced it just ask Him. He'll be glad to show you.

and STOP

Whew! OK. I think that's a bit better... or at least less stressful than last week. Yay me!

Hope you have a blessed weekend!

Love ya friend,

Monday, September 9, 2013

Happy Monday Morning! ~ Cherish the day!

Hey there friend!

Happy Monday Morning!

"This is the day the LORD has made. 
We will rejoice and be glad in it."
Psalm 118:24

Whatever your circumstances may be, I pray this picture and verse speaks to your heart in some way.

Love ya,

Friday, September 6, 2013

5 Minute Friday Fun: RED

Hey there friend!

I'm trying something new today. It's also something a little out of my comfort zone.
However, it sounds like fun and a great exercise in writing so I'm giving it a try. If nothing else I'll quick add it to my bucket list and than cross if off. Ha!

Anyways, it's called Five Minute Friday and Lisa-Jo hosts it. It's a link-up, bloggy land party type of event held each Friday.

Five Minute Friday

What happens is you get the week's one word prompt (at least I think it's always one word) which Lisa-Jo chooses {I wonder how she comes up with them?}. You go to your blog, set a timer for five minutes and write. No fancy editing or re-dos or do overs. {that's the part that this perfectionist, type-A personality gal is having a bit of a problem with}.
Whatever you end up writing you post at your blog home. Then link-up over at  Lisa-Jo's place. The best part is you must be sociable at this party. The one rule is you must introduce yourself to the person who linked up before you and say "Hey there friend" in their comments.

So I guess I'm as ready as I'll ever be. Telling hubby to set the timer on the microwave.

Deep breath.....
And GO!


On my way to work this morning I was thankful for the red stop lights. Even though I was running a bit late.

It's amazing how a little red light will make all those cars and trucks stop and wait their turn.

Sometimes, I wish I had a red light in front of me during the day. It could blink a warning that only I could see to help me navigate through my day as a better person and light for Jesus.

Red light - stop & listen to that person who's trying to share with me something important that's going on in their life
Red light - stop! no gossiping zone!
Red light - pray for that one who just found out a loved one has cancer
Red light - just plain stop. rest. relax for a few.

Well, friend, it's a great idea. And in a way I do have something with me every day, although it's not a red light. Actually, it's Someone. Jesus in me helps me navigate through each day.



So I guess it wasn't exactly an epic fail.

But, I confess I gave it two tries. And maybe the second time I went like 30-40 seconds past when hubby called time. *wink*

Hubby thinks I'm either nuts or a cheater. I'm not sure which. But, I'm not a liar and in fact sometimes too honest for my own good. So, I bent the rules a bit on my first try. I really don't think that the bloggy land police are gonna be banging on my door any minute. Oh yea -and I'm a bit sarcastic, too.

But hey, it was fun! I think I'll do better next time, now that I know how short five minutes is in "writing time".

Now to go link up over at Lisa-Jo's and say "Hi!" to the person who got to the party right before me and see what they thought about RED.

Love ya friend,

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Lowering My Nets Like Simon Peter

Hey there sweet friend!

OK, so no, I'm not feeling called by God to start fishing. Thank you Jesus.
Except for an occasional tuna salad sandwich I don't like to eat fish.

Today is Thursday! That means it's blog hop day!  Yay!

Those of us that have blogs and are participating in Proverbs 31 Ministries OBS (Online Bible Study) choose one of the topics for the week and write about it. I've only been able to be a part of the first week's hop and I'm so happy to be doing it again.

Here's the fun topic I chose:
Lower Your Nets – Simon Peter had no idea that his obedience to something that seemed so small and insignificant could help him discover his calling in life, but it did! What little thing is God asking of you today?

Actually, I do have a few "nets" that the Lord has asked me to lower.

Lowering my nets = obeying what Jesus is telling me to do or not to do as the case may be.

Net number one -
time with God is first each morning.
No more jumping on Facebook first thing in the morning. Not even for a quick peek.
Yea right. Just a "quick peek". *smirk*
We all know how those two minutes of FB time is like thirty minutes real time.
It ends with me thinking: "Oh my! No time for Bible reading or prayer." And praying: "Sorry Jesus. I gotta go shower. We'll chat as I drive to work. oh-kay?"

Net number two -
limit the number of blogs I follow.
I recently subscribed to follow another blog. This one is focused on writing and being a writer. What harm could there be? However, as soon as I hit the subscribe-by-email button something felt wrong. Maybe even a bit stinky. I guess like eating a bad piece of fish? {I wouldn't really know since, again, I don't eat fish} This is a perfectly fine blog which I enjoyed visiting. Maybe I'd learn a few tricks so I won't struggle with my own writing here in blogland. Honestly, sometimes it feels like I've been trying for hours and not caught written a thing. Yet for some reason, I felt the Lord telling me to unsubscribe. Just a little thing? Yes, maybe. Only God knows for sure. All I know is that as soon as I hit the unsubscribe button my yukky feeling subsided.

Net number three -{I wonder how many nets Simon Peter had} one OBS at a time please.
The same day I subscribed to the writer dude's blog, I signed up to be a part of a mini-online Bible study. What?! Am I crazy? Again, I felt a nudge in my spirit that this was not what Jesus wanted me to be doing. And so I hit that unsubscribe button once again. It's for the best - I mean since you can only steer one boat at a time, I figured one OBS at a time is enough to navigate through as well. Plus, I'm learning some amazing things through this Bible study and want to stay focused on it. I wouldn't want to be distracted by some pretty little fish in the bloggy sea.

Net number four -
To be honest with you friend, this net I've not lowered yet. I'm holding onto it and keeping it right here in my boat. You see I just need to be sure before tossing it overboard. But I think Jesus& is asking me to give up the dream for my "Miss Maribel's Place" esty shop. Yep, I may end up letting that net sink down, never to be seen again. For now I'm asking for confirmation from the Lord.

So you can see I've been busy lowering my nets like Simon Peter. Like him, some of what I've done seems small and insignificant. Maybe even a bit silly.  I'm fine with that.

You see friend, I'm following the One who loves me like no other and living each day with true joy and anticipation for what He will do in my life.

There's no better way to live the life we're given!
 Love ya friend,

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Seek and Find and Seek

Hey there sweet friend!

I've been sitting here thinking on the Bible verse from week two of the OBS "What Happens When Women Say Yes To God". Letting each word sink in some more -  15 words that had an impact on my life last week.

        "You will seek me and find me   
      when you seek me
       with all your heart."
Jeremiah 29:13

When I first started to meditate on and memorize this verse, I confess that I didn't like how this version read.

Why does it say seek and find and than says seek again?
It was actually that first seek (third word) that felt all wrong.

It may sound kind of bold to be stating that any part of God's word feels wrong. Yikes! 

But no, no lightening bolt has dropped out of the sky to strike me dead.  And hey, I'm not taking this too lightly - so please don't take it too seriously. Hear me out friend. That's what friends do ya know.

I read and reread the verse a few more times.

Each time trying to figure out - "Why in the world would God have Joshua write it this way?!"

I couldn't help but think that if this verse read "You will find me when you seek me." it would make a bit more sense.  Simple and to the point.

Yet, I don't think God wastes words and He pretty much means what He says. So there must be a deeper meaning.

Hmmm ..... I'm still not sure .....

That is until ......  And wait for it .... yep, that little light bulb over my head lit up.

If I take the second half of the verse first and the beginning last it begins to make much more sense. Does that make sense?

Well, at least to me it does. But hey, I'm blonde and sometimes tend to over think things.

Now to try to explain.

By taking the last part first -                 

..... when you seek me with all your heart.

 - Jeremiah tells us to seek with all our hearts. That's pretty straight forward and I believe it means we are to actively seek Him.

Seek Him like ....
.... you mean it.
.... your life depends on it.
.... He is your first and only desire.

As for the first part of the verse -

You will seek me and find me ....

- let's look at it as if  "seek and find" go hand-in-hand. Don't think of them as two separate actions.

As I thought about this, I remembered back when my son {not saying which one to protect the innocent} was around four years old and how he'd try to "seek and find" his shoes. He'd stand at the doorway to his room, taking maybe one step inside and declare "I can't find my shoes!".   Ahem! You didn't even try.

We won't seekandfind one single thing seeking that way. Nada. Nothing. Zip. Agreed?

To sum it all up and put it all together -

 - it's only when we actively seek God with all our hearts that we will truly seekandfind Him.

Now guess what friend!

I found a translation that's worded pretty much the way I'm trying to explain it. I've underlined the two key words that help to make it clearer.

"You will seek me and you will find me 
because you will seek me with all your heart."

Anyway you look at it, after studying this verse, I have a happy heart knowing that because I'm seeking Him with all my heart I'll certainly seekandfind Him.


Monday, August 12, 2013

Seeking Him With All My Heart ~ Jeremiah 29:13

Hey there friend!

It's the start of a new week and the next two chapters in the OBS "What Happens When Women Say Yes To God". Woot Woot!!

Since I'm just getting started this week, there's not too much to share. At least not yet. If it's anything like last week it should be amazing and a time of growth in my walk with the Lord.

I can't wait to share some of the things I'll learn and experience this week. But, until then here is a picture with this week's study verse.

I made it just for you friend!
Hope you like it!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Saying Yes When.......

Hey there friend!  Happy Saturday to you!

Today ends the first week of the online Bible study (OBS). What a wonderful week it's been!

I've learned sooooo much.  

And let me tell you - it's all been amazing!!!

What Happens When Women Say Yes To God

I don't know if every week during this OBS I'll be able to write a little something to share and kinda sum up my week. I'd like to, but we'll see.

Today I really feel the need to share. So, I'm saying yes.

I figure either I need to get my thoughts written down or perhaps you can be encouraged.

This week the biggest impact from Chapter One was learning to be aware and ready each day for those moments when God was asking me to say yes.

Saying yes when ..... it's a "yes".
When I first read about Proverbs 31 Ministries' next online Bible study I thought it looked great. However, I had already let a book and workbook from Christmas lay by the wayside after the first couple of chapters. Would I stick with this one?

"Oh Lord, should I sign-up and try this one or restart the other one?"

I'm so thankful that I said yes and signed up for this particular OBS. And I'm convinced, after just one chapter, that I wouldn't be getting as much out of it if I had put it off and just read the book on my own.

Saying yes when ..... it's a "no".
There are two dreams of mine that I haven't wanted to give totally to God. I mean He might tell me no. I haven't been ready to listen if He did. {just keeping it real here my friend}

One is being a "real" blogger. You see, I started to blog about 14 months after my son went to live in heaven with Jesus. I thought I had a story to tell. I figured at the least I could encourage others with examples of God's faithfulness to me. Not to mention my own wit and casual style. Ahem. Yet, I love my little place here in bloggy land. And if only a few people are ever encouraged or blessed by my sharing than that's great and praise God. But, does it take up too much of my time? {hubby would probably say yes} What would God say?

The second thing is what I've labeled my "God-sized dream". It's called Miss Maribel's Place. MMP is my etsy shop where I'll sell quilts, totes, pillows and wall hangings. Once it's up and running, I'll use some of my profits to help families who are adopting. Well, I've discovered it needs to be more than a hobby to be successful. There are like a gazillion shops on etsy! There's a lot more to it than making a few things, taking a picture and posting it in my shop.

Maybe I'm being stubborn, but I don't want to let either one of these dreams die. And I haven't really wanted to know what God thinks about my dreams becoming a reality or if they're a part of His plan for my life. {that whole He may say "no" thing}

Today as I drove to work I spoke to God about both these things. I realized I'm ready. I need want to say yes to Him in all areas of my life - including two special dreams.

"Lord, I don't know for sure what your will is for my little place in bloggy land. And I'm having doubts about my cute little esty shop ever opening. So God, if your will is a "no" to one or both of these, than my answer is yes."

Deep breath and a little sigh. It feels so great to finally leave these things in His hands.

Saying yes when .....  it's "???".
On Tuesday hubby went to the doctor for a follow-up appointment. The doctor took blood work and ordered a few tests. The reason being that blood in the urine, even a small amount, could mean cancer.

My brother just had a kidney removed due to cancer. My uncle is fighting liver cancer that was very recently discovered. My puppy, Lacey, just had two mast cell (cancer) tumors removed about two weeks ago.

No more cancer!! No. More.

My hubby told me his news when I phoned him on my lunch hour. It brought tears to my eyes and a knot in my stomach.

 "Dear Lord. Please help us. We don't know what we'll face. But, no matter what, we need You to walk beside us down this road. Perhaps it will be a "dead end" and all will be well. If it is to be a journey of fighting cancer...  then please, dear God, be near every step of the way. I pray it is not cancer, Lord. But Lord, know that right here and right now I say yes to whatever You have planned for us. I say yes to You Lord and will not turn back. I know you are forever faithful and love us."

I don't know if I could have prayed that prayer before starting this study. Leaning on the Lord  - yes. Asking for His help - yes. Taking a firm stand right at the beginning of  this journey where ever it leads - no.

So we wait.

Again I'll say - it's been a pretty amazing week!

I can't wait to start on next week's reading and see what the Lord will speak to my heart and teach me.

Living life, as a Yes Girl, for Him!

Loving you friend,

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Saying Yes With All My Heart...and some flowers maybe

Hey there sweet friend!

I've been thinking about what it means to love God with all my heart and Deuteronomy 6:5 gives me a pretty good idea.

 "You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might."
I wanted to discover what this verse means in a practical way in order to make this a part of my everyday life as a "Yes Girl".

I've been thinking about this verse all week.
I've looked it up in different Bible translations.
I've made notes in my journal.

I've written the verse out big and bold. And drew a couple of girly pictures by it to help me remember what the Lord was showing me.

I drew a pretty pink heart around the word "love".
Ha! Bet you could have guessed that.

I drew a flower by the word "heart".
I'm pretty sure you would not have guessed that one.

So let me explain -

You see friend, if you truly love someone with all your heart you want to please them. You want to say yes to pretty much whatever they ask of you. Not that you always will do it, but you sure love making them happy and seeing them smile. So you do whatever you can.

An example of this is how my hubby brings me a bouquet of flowers every now and then as a surprise. He does it because he loves me with all his heart.

So, I figure that if I love God with all my heart I'll bring Him flowers.

Yea, I know that may sound kinda strange.

I have it all pictured in my head. Now I just need to get it out and into words.
{not always the easiest thing for me to do}

The way I'm seeing it is that when I say yes to God it is like handing Him a sweet little daisy or two.

So my day would go something like this.......

I've been getting up extra early in the mornings to have a special time with Him by reading and praying. Getting up early is like.... let me see......a big sunflower. And I'm handing it to God as I stumble {literally some days} out of bed.

When I tell God I love Him and thank Him for His faithfulness - I bring him a few beautiful red roses.

When I say yes to God and walk away from gossip at work - I hand him a fragrant carnation.

When I praise Him for the beautiful sunset that I see as I drive home from work - it's a sprig of lavender that I hand Him to match the beautiful purple in the clouds He's painted for me.

And when I lay my head on my pillow at the end of the day, thanking Him for being by my side throughout the day - it's a bunch of delicate baby's breath.

Just think, at the end of the day I've given God a beautiful bouquet of flowers. I do it  because I truly love Him with all my heart.

So there you have it friend. It's either a look into the sometimes weird funny way I see life. Or a great example of what it means to say yes with all my heart.

Loving Him with all my heart.... and some flowers!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

I'm A Yes Girl

Hey there friend!

Something exciting is going on in my life and I'll be sharing this journey with you over the next six weeks. Actually, since I consider this only the beginning of a true life change I'm sure I'll keep sharing even after the six weeks are over.

I'm becoming a "Yes Girl". 

Ummm... not sure what you think that may be, so I guess I better explain.

It's week number one of a new online Bible study (OBS) at Proverbs 31 Ministries.

Proverbs 31 Ministries Online Bible Studies

The book we're reading is -

What Happens When Women Say Yes To God

There are a few pages I've bookmarked and quite a few lines I've highlighted and made notes by. And that's just the first chapter.

Here's one of my favorites -
"God, I want to see You. God, I want to hear You. God, I want to know You. God, I want to follow hard after You. And even before I know what I will face today, I say yes to You."
 ~ Lysa Terkeurst   

I absolutely love that!
What a great way to start my day... focus on Jesus and say "Yes!" to Him and whatever my day may bring before even getting out of bed.

And guess what!
It was probably the third or fourth time reading it that I saw that one word - follow. Yep, that's my word.  As in my One Word for 2013.

Now that's pretty cool!

Tomorrow begins the weekly Yes Girl blog hop party. Woot Woot!

P31 OBS Blog Hop

Hope you'll stop back by to hear more. God is so good!  I can't wait to share with you what He's teaching me and how He's changing me as I continue to say yes to Him.

btw - it's not too late to join the OBS with me.
Come on! Let's be Yes Girl sistas!!!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Some Truth That's Guaranteed

Hey there sweet friend!

Have you ever said  - "Nothing in life is guaranteed."
If you haven't said it maybe you've at least thought it at some point in your life?

I know I have. I've said it more since my Kyle died than ever before. Actually, I don't think I said it very much at all before that day.

Up until that day I had always had faith that things in life work out because God loves me. I knew that "prayer changes things'. Yep, I even had a magnet on my refrigerator door that declared it.

For me that day was a defining day that changed me in so many ways. Some of those things I'm only now recovering from 5.5 years later. Some have changed me forever.

Life can do that to us. Sometimes the pain and trauma from events rock our world. Our balance is off and our focus unsteady - emotionally, spiritually and maybe even physically.

For such a long time after Kyle went to live in heaven with Jesus I've struggled with the notion that you can't count on stuff in life to work out or always have a happy ending.

Nothing in life is guaranteed  - that thought has hindered my own personal prayers and even my offering to pray for others.

Well, that is until recently. Once again I found myself thinking "there are no guarantees in life".

This time however, I felt a little nudge in my spirit saying -
"Oh really? What about all the promises in My Word, sweet daughter?"

"Well, nothing personal Lord. But, You know what I mean."

And again that still small voice spoke to my heart.....
"I want you to think about it.  Is there any truth in that statement? Let's settle this and straighten out your thinking. Let me heal a little more of the hurt in your heart."

"OK Lord. I love you. I want to trust you more. I want to truly believe again that prayer changes things."

And here, sweet friend, is what I've rediscovered:

Truth - Sometimes it simply comes down to our choice to believe or not.
"With all my heart, I am waiting, Lord, for you! I trust your promises." Psalm 130:5 (CEV)

Guarantee -  Circumstances do not change who Jesus is.  He is always the same. If I believe He loves me today I will believe it tomorrow no matter my circumstances. If I believe His promises today - I will also believe them tomorrow.
"Jesus Christ never changes! He is the same yesterday, today and forever." Hebrews 13:8 (CEV)

Truth - There really are no guarantees in this life. There is a lot of joy in life. However, there are many heartbreaking things as well.
"I have told you this, so that you might have peace in your hearts because of me. While you are in the world, you will have to suffer. But cheer up! I have defeated the world." John 16:33 (CEV)(CEV)

Guarantee Everything about Jesus - His character, His Word and His promises are guaranteed.
"God made the heaven and earth; He created the sea and everything else. God always keeps His word." Psalm 146:6 (CEV)

Well, I guess I was kind of right after all. This life offers us no guarantees.

Nevertheless, what is written in my Bible is truth and is guaranteed by God Himself.

So next time instead of saying, "There are no guarantees in life.", I will choose to say -
I believe God and His word! That's the only guarantee I need.

Sweet friend, I hope you are encouraged.
Jesus loves you!
He keeps His word.
His promises are true.
He offers us His peace.
He never changes.

And it's all guaranteed by God Himself! Wow!

Now, I wonder what I did with that magnet? Think I'll go try to find it. I have a perfect spot for it on my refrigerator door.

Love ya,

Sunday, June 2, 2013

FOLLOW: Step Three ~ When You Hit A Slump

Hey there friend! I'm so glad you stopped by.

Happy beginning of summer to you!

Yep, here it is, the beginning of June.
So how is that whole One Word for the year thing going?

Well,  I confess that by the middle of April it seemed that I hit a slump in following my One Word for 2013.

And yes I admit it's a bit ironic since my word happens to be:

I was off to a great start the first few months of the year.

So what has happened?
Is there even another step to take in this One Word journey?

I'm not sure. But, I'll tell you this is exactly why I don't make New Year Resolutions. I've never kept one for more than a month or two.

And really? Do you know of anyone who keeps them for the whole year?!

No, me neither. 

As I sit here and think about it a bit more - because I like to figure stuff out {and besides it would be rather awkward to just end here}- I believe my problem comes from......
.... getting too busy with other things in life
.... not following through on Step One
.... not focusing on Step Two
.... maybe even getting somewhat complacent

You know all the normal stuff that are the various reasons why we never seem to be able to keep those resolutions for a whole year.

Since I titled this as my "Step Three" and have admitted that I've hit a slump I believe there actually is a next step. And this step is called grace.

Yep, I'm gonna extend a bit of grace to my performance-driven-perfectionist-self. I'm not going to get down on myself for not being as on track with my One Word journey as I had planned.

It's all ok. Sometimes I just get off track. Never meaning to. But life happens. I forget. Distractions come.

Hey friend can you relate to any of this?

I kinda am guessing that we can all think of some kind of commitment, something good and important to us at the time, that we started out to do, but hit a slump. Gave up. Got distracted.  Whatever.

You know what friend? I'm thinking that maybe a slump is a good thing after all.

A bloggy friend of mine once commented that sometimes we can get busy doing something good only to miss out on what's better.

You see a slump just gives us a chance to slow down and figure out if it's a good thing. Something we want to continue. Or maybe not so much and there are the better things to focus on.

Either way, once you realize you're in a slump or have gotten off track - give yourself some grace and figure out what's good and what is maybe even better.

Grace is a beautiful thing in life. And those slumps that happen along the way maybe aren't so bad either.

Love ya friend, 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

He Tenderly Asks Us To Follow

Hey there friend!

Today I'm joining in the fun at Faith Barista. The topic of faith that Bonnie's serving up is a one word prompt and just happens to be my One Word for 2013. 

How cool is that!? 

Have you ever read something and the words seem to reach out and grab you?

Yea? Well, about two weeks ago, while I was on Facebook, a chat message popped up from someone that I rarely chat with. {I checked and it's literally been years.} So, this was totally out of the blue. 

I believe it was more than a random FB message. It was something God knew I needed to hear. 

The message was only a few Bible verses. Matthew 11:25-30 typed out and sent. Nothing else, just these verses. 

Here friend, let me share verses 27-30 with you - 

"Jesus resumed talking to the people, but now tenderly. 'The Father has given me all these things to do and say. This is a unique Father-Son operation, coming out of Father and Son intimacies and knowledge. No one knows the Son the way the Father does, nor the Father the way the Son does. But I'm not keeping it to myself; I'm ready to go over it line by line with anyone willing to listen. Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me - watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly.'The Message translation 

Right away what touched my heart and grabbed my attention was that Jesus spoke tenderly to the people.

As I read and reread these verses, He began to speak tenderly to my heart. 

I read that Jesus wants to teach me how to have an intimate relationship with Him - if I'm willing to listen. He'll patiently take it line by line. I guess that's good because sometimes it takes me awhile to catch on.

Reading a little further I was so excited to read that Jesus invites me to walk with Him, work with Him and watch Him. As I read, my finger pointed to the words - walk, work, watch. And I whispered to myself, "That's follow, follow, follow".

Hey friend! That's a whole lot of following He's inviting me (and you) to do. He desires that we follow and walk with Him.

There's a bonus to following, because He gives me grace for the journey. Actually, unforced rhythms of grace. One of the things I've learned since choosing my one word this year is that it's ok to have a lull in the action. The word follow is an action word. However, it's ok to stop and wait. It's ok to take a bit of a rest right where I'm at. You see - stopping, waiting, and resting are all part of the rhythms of any journey. 

Next, I read that He won't ask me to do anything that is too heavy or ill-fitting for me. Anything like that would surely bring me undue stress. So maybe when I feel all stressed it's something I bring on myself? Hmmm.... probably. I do try to do too much sometimes. Guess at those times I'm not following very well.

To sum it all up, Jesus says if I keep company with Him, as in follow Him, I'll learn to live freely and lightly. That's for me! I want to enjoy this life I've been given.

So friend, whatever your One Word is this year, whatever journey you're on at this season of your life, I hope you will listen as Jesus is tenderly asking you to follow Him, too. 

~ ~ Perhaps you'd like to visit some of the others that have shared their take on the word follow. Jump on over to Faith Barista by clicking on the link at the top of this post - Faith Barista. Or click on the badge below if you'd like to know more about Faith Barista's Thursday Jam linky parties. 

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~ ~ I almost forgot! Tomorrow Melanie has her monthly One Word linky party over at her place. I'm gonna join in the party over at Only A Breath, too.


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Praying your life is filled with grace, hope and joy as you follow Jesus.
Love ya friend!