Friday, November 30, 2007

The countdown begins...

Tomorrow officially begins the "countdown to Christmas" in my mind, even though I know many have already fought the crazy Black Friday crowds, getting to stores by 4:00 a.m. to save big money and get all their shopping done before the Thanksgiving weekend is done, with time to spare to decorate the house from inside out! I have to tell you, there is nothing on God's good earth that I covet badly enough to go out and stand in line for at 4:00 a.m.! Hmmm... okay, MAYBE if Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin BOTH came back from the dead and were doing a concert, I MIGHT stand in line at 4:00 a.m. for that! But then, I'm an old earth mother hippie who still loves the scent of patchouli.

I really had a case of the Scroogies this year, which is unusual for this normal Christmas-a-holic. I didn't even think I was going to put up a tree. The thud you just heard was the people who know me fainting! But yesterday, my friend Allison brought me this teensy little purple tinsle Christmas tree. Now you may think a purple tinsle tree is tacky, but being a purple glitzy glitter freak, it was the most wonderful, thoughtful gift! It's so "Charlie Brown"-ish and was just the spark that warmed the coldness in my holiday spirit and tugged that stake of holly out of my heart. I even found myself humming a Christmas carol.

And with that one simple act, my whole outlook has been refreshed. Thanks, Allison, you really blessed me in a very special way.

Her act also reminded me that my heart and outlook should be focused on others, and doing all I can do to bless them, especially at this time of year. So starting tomorrow, I am going to try to find some way to bless at least one person each day - that's my living advent calendar life act for this Christmas. I encourage you to join me. Maybe it's something as simple as opening a door for someone laden down with packages. Perhaps it's paying for the coffee of someone behind you at Starbucks. Maybe it will mean inviting a single person and/or single parent to join you and your family at the holidays. Think and pray about it, and I'm sure you will think of many ways to bless someone. Do it as a family, and keep a "blessings journal" together, as a record of what you did together -- it might start a whole new holiday tradition! What better way to honor Him who gave up so much to give us the gift of eternal life?

I'm off to put on some Christmas music and bake some cookies from the recipes I found here: Have a blessed day!!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Feelin' Flaky!

Grab the hot chocolate and mittens – it’s snowing outside! While I’m not a winter enthusiast, the little kid in me always gets excited at the first snowfall. Now I will tell you, my idea of winter sports is being the designated hot chocolate maker and cookie-baker while watching from a warm kitchen and giving my best “Donna Reed’ wave to the crazies scampering about, tossing snowballs and making snowpeople. Toss in a fireplace, and I’m ready to nestle down until spring. (And, dear readers, if you don’t know who Donna Reed is, well then go Google her, because I probably have socks older than you.)

There’s just something fresh and clean and wonderful about lifting up your face to the Heavens and feeling the snowflakes drifting down onto your cheeks and eyelashes. In my head I hear the song “Snow” from one of my favorite movies, “White Christmas”. Once the rush is over, though, I’m happy if it snows (lightly) on Christmas Eve (see aforementioned movie reference), and then I’m satisfied for the rest of the season. Truth be told, the last time I seriously played in the snow was with our women’s ministry leaders at a retreat during an unexpected snowfall, and we wound up making a snowwoman in the retreat leader’s front yard that seriously resembled Dolly Parton. Yep, yep, yep… we didn’t add those pictures to the next PowerPoint presentation at church, as I recall!

As I’ve blogged earlier, I’ve been going through a valley recently. But I feel a change in this “season”, and I lift my face to Heaven as God gently showers me with His love. It’s time to heal, and laugh, to dance, (see Ecclesiasts 3:1-8). So I’m breathing deep with a renewed smile on my face, a new lightness in my heart, and blessings on my lips to the God who loves me. And who knows? I might just go take a walk in the snow!


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Post-menopausal late mid-life "pregnancy"

The last six months have been a whirlwind of activites, life changes, relational changes, educational "reginnings" (starting agains), and basically having my liferug pulled out from under me on practically a daily basis. I've been trying to keep my eyes on Christ (Hebrews 12:1-2) and have been asking Him for wisdom and discernment, because I want with everything in me to learn the lessons I know He has for me in this classroom of chaos and confusion.

I have cried more in the last six months than I have probably in the last six years combined, and then some. I have a tile that I purchased a few months ago with a crucible on it, and sometimes I just sit in my room and hold it in my hands while I pray, or just quietly weep, trying to make sense of it all.

In an odd way, I feel as though I'm life pregnant. It seems like God has something in the works for me, something big, really big, but I have NO idea what it is just now. So I wait, and wait, as He grows and develops me and His plans for me. Days like today I ache inside, with the negatives of hurt and despair, but also with a sense of curiousity and anticipation. Call me crazy (trust me, you wouldn't be the first, and I'm sure not the last), but I feel like I'm on the horizon of some new birth in my life. So stay turned...

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Ephesians 3:20 “Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us…”

In Ephesians 3:20, we are told that the Lord is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think. The words FAR MORE ABUNDANTLY in Greek are “huperekeina” (5238), and mean beyond – in one of the notes I read it means “the regions lying beyond the country of one’s residence.”

Come with me for a moment to someplace you know where you can see – someplace scenic, where the view goes on for miles and miles. Maybe for you it’s a mountaintop, or the top floor of a skyscraper, or standing at the ocean’s edge, staring out into the blue-grey horizon where the water meets the sky. That doesn’t even begin to encompass FAR MORE ABUNDANTLY. In the best view to our natural eye, we certainly can’t see the regions lying beyond the country of our residence. Even if you go on the internet and are able to find the site where you can see the earth from some satellite, you still can’t see beyond the regions lying beyond the country of our residence – because this is not our home, our residence is in Heaven. (Hebrews 11:13, 1 Peter 2:11, John 18:36). There’s a song entitled “This World is Not My Home” and the beginning says, “This world is not my home, I'm just passing through. My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue.”

We can be very short-sighted sometimes, especially when we’re hurting or waiting on God. We want what we want when we want it! We get an idea in our head/heart that this person, this possession, this job - whatever it is that we’re clinging to so hard – is exactly what we need in our lives. It becomes our focus, that which we dwell upon and on which spend our time, energy and resources as we pursue it wholeheartedly. Just like in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, it becomes our “Precious”. We are taking our “Precious” and looking at it so closely, obsessing over it until it blocks out everything else from our spiritual sight… including all that God wants to give us.

It’s time to stop. It’s time to close our eyes and open our hands and let go of our “Precious”. As you kneel before the Lord, ask Him to forgive your short-sightedness (and short-heartedness), and to give you Jesus eyes to see His vision for you. As you hear the clatter and thud of your will/wants, your “Precious” tumbling out of your possession, open your eyes – to His FAR MORE ABUNDANTLY. We are unable to imagine/visualize or wrap our minds around all He wants to give to us, all He has in store for us, if we will but surrender our wills to Him. His dreams are bigger, and better, His plans more glorious and grand that we can even dare imagine for ourselves.

Let go. Place your heart and your life in His hands, and give Him authority over all you ask or think, over your plans and dreams.

Look and live BEYOND.

This World is Not My Home - Words and Music by Albert E. Brumley, © 1965 - Albert E. Brumley & Sons, All Rights Reserved

Greek definitions from

New Beginnings

POSTED Thursday, September 6, 2007: My first "blog" entry -- I'm finally in the 21st century! My word today is the Hebrew word tranliterated as "Chayah" (khaw-yaw'), a verb defined as "to live, have life, remain alive, sustain life, live prosperously, live forever, be quickened, be alive, be restored to life or health. What a wonderful word, and how applicable as I begin this blog's "life", as it were. As I share thoughts, ideas, and any insights here, my goal is to have fun, quicken brainstorming, thoughts/ideas with readers, and most importantly to honor and glorify our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in all that is "blogged"! So does that make this "blogging for Jesus"? :)Chayah!

It's That Time of Year

POSTED Thursday, September 13, 2007: I had one of those pressing days today. Squeezed by the alarm clock that didn't go off this morning. Crunched in bumper-to-bumper traffic delays in my morning commute. Pressured by deadlines at work. I felt like Uncle Fester, one of the characters on the old 60’s TV Show, The Adams’ Family, when he used to rummage around the house with that giant vice grip on his head. But blessedly, 5 o’clock rolled around, I walked out of the office into a beautiful September evening, and I took a deep breath in… then went for my mammogram. A perfect ending to a perfect day.

Fortunately, I go to a very caring Women’s Center, which is a wonderful place for such torture. It’s clean, a welcoming unclinical waiting room, and a friendly (and speedy) technician, bless her heart. So there I am, in all my glory, standing in my lovely ensemble of a blue cotton gown, accessorized by steel ball-bearings, as I am transformed into a human walking advertisement for I-Hop. I can’t help but think of the Bible verse of Romans 12:1-2, especially the version that says “…don’t let the world squeeze you into its mold…”!

When all was said and done, as I walked out of the hospital into the still beautiful September evening, I saw a breathtaking sunset, painted in shades of pinks and purples and navy blues. I took another deep breath in, and counted my blessings. It wasn’t such a bad day after all.

Clutter Control

POSTED Sunday, September 9, 2007: Is it Sunday night already? That's pretty much my mantra most Sunday evenings about 9pm. Then I usually get the "guilts" because I didn't finish everything on my to-do list this weekend. You know, the one you put together on Friday, when you think the weekend (like childhood summers) will go on forever? The one in which you need bionic speed in order to successful put that little (ahhhh) check mark in the box next to every and every stinkin' little thing? Yep, that's the one.

But, I must admit, I did tackle one magilla project over the weekend, one that's been looming (and growing) for awhile now... cleaning, uncluttering, and organizing the home office. I actually have a desk and a tabletop, who knew? I dusted, I pulled files, I shredded, I schlepped out bag after bag of garbage. I tell you, it was affirming and heady, and by the time I crawled upstairs last night (after about 10 hours of work), I felt utterly exhausted, completely sore, and supremely satisfied. Oh, don't get me wrong, there's still more to to - a box labeled "stuff to read", and another labeled "filing", but tomorrow's another day (she blogs in her best Scarlett O'Hara imitation).

I find that the clutter in my office (and purse, and house) -- the exterior of my life -- seems to be in direct correlation to my interior clutter. The more hassled and tight and crazy (and out of control) I feel on the inside, the more it shows on the outside. It puts a whole new spin on the "garbage in, garbage out" theory, doesn't it? More importantly to note, my inside cluttermania always expands (as clutter will) into the quiet time of my life -- it pushes out those precious moments with Christ, in my head and in my day. It crams its way into every nook and cranny of life's hours, and before I know it, the hours are gone, and I haven't taken time to walk beside the quiet waters (see Psalm 23) with my Lord, resting in His love and companionship.

It's so easy to let life and tasks get between us and our time with the Lord. Make the choice today to prioritize your walk/talk/time with Him as the A#1 first things first "written in red" top of the to-do list in your planner or on your blackberry or your strawberry or wherever you write down your "stuff"! It's amazing how that will move away our spiritual clutter, and give us a whole new perspective on the day.

I found a great article in one of my favorite magazines, Discipleship Journal, on spiritual clutter. It can be found at I encourage you to read it.

Itching for Intimacy?

POSTED Friday, September 7, 2007: In a quiet time this week I came across this verse from 1 Chronicles 16:11 "Seek the Lord and His strength, seek His face continually". The Hebrew word for the first application of the word seek used is "daresh" (dah-raash) (Strongs 1875). It means to resort to, frequent, seek with application.

I have to admit, I have a very bizarre way of remembering things. All I could visualize was a little old Italian guy (think Sopranos) sitting on a park bench with his buddies, with a bad case of poison ivy, and he's scratching and complaining in his best New York accent, "Da rash, da rash!" Have you ever had a rash, or a bug bite, that continually screams for your attention? You know how day and night you're fighting the urge to scratch it, and when you do... ahhh, the relief! One definition of itch is "to have a persistent, restless craving."

So maybe God, in His sense of humor, is using this wonderful Hebrew word to relay that same kind of 24/7 attention -- only directed towards building an intimate relationship with Him. He wants us to seek His face continually -- with the same kind of non-stop, can't get it out of my mind intensity and fervor. But not only to seek Him, but to seek Him with application. Not to just let His words tickle our ears and make us feel good, but to apply it in our lives in that same 24/7 way.

Today may you have a persistent, restless craving to seek God's face and strength.