Thursday, June 30, 2011

Spring of Youth

Apologies for not posting recently, our family just returned from a much needed vacation to the mountains of North Carolina to visit my parents and have a family get together.  Now that we are back home we can fall into our daily routine again and get some much needed rest.  Thanks for understanding and hope you'll be visiting here again soon.

Pressing on my heart and mind today is the topic of the seasons of life.  The springtime of youth and childhood is beautiful.  Everything is fresh and new, budding, opening, offering up the radiance of new life.

  To see the signs of spring   - full of color, awakening of the senses - fresh scents, flower glory, growth almost before your very eyes.  Childhood is a beautiful and almost magical time of discovering, learning, and shaping who you are and what you will become. 

We reflect on childhood for the duration of our lives.  Remembering pleasant or hurtful things that molded who we have become.  Even into old age, I see some very dear family members of mine who forget the name of the town they live in, or what they ate for lunch, but remember still the joys of their childhood.  My grandmother suffered from dementia in the latter years of her life, but I remember her daily speaking of things from her growing up years, remembering picnics and walks along the road, speaking to her best friends as if they were in the room with us. 

These spingtime years are indeed important ones, and as I shape the days and years of my own children's spring, I hope they will reflect on the beauty, simplicity, and joy of being a child.  My desire is that they will remember our walks in the park, our fun school days, snuggling up to read before bed, and being together as a family learning about our Lord.

"You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore."
Psalm 16:11 ESV

(tomorrow - summer)

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Sweet fruit of freely given love.
My soul smiles just to think of my beautiful gifts.
Someone said they are your heart walking around outside your body, and its true!
The wonder and joy and innocence they fill you with, makes you want to squeeze them and never let go.

I have only known such compelling love from the Father, and He has been so amazing as to let me experience this same love He has for me.

Thank you Lord, for the gifts of my children.

Monday, June 20, 2011


Today I am counting. . .

Counting the ways He is faithful.

Counting the ways He amazes me with the beauty of this earth.

Counting the ways He speaks to me with His perfect peace.

I am thankful to Him for. . .

139.  Gray brushed clouds against night sky
140.  Twilight stars
141.  Peace filled walks in the night
142.  Celebrating the love of fathers
143.  Babes drifting to sleep on the couch
144.  Good friends to share summer with
145.  Excited, licking, jumping dogs
146.  Sign language songs of praise
147.  Purpose
148.  Dreams
149.  Mystery in order of creation
150.  A song of Blessing. . .

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to my wonderful husband!

The man who carries my children and my heart in his hands.
The man who has taught me the true meaning of loyalty and faithfulness.
The man who leads our family in following the Father of life.

Have a beautiful day!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Serving Savior

"So He got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing and wrapped a towel around his waist.  After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples' feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around Him."                                                 John 13:4-5

My Savior, stooped and sopping. . . taking the towel to wipe away the grime, the dirt, the ugliness.

Holy One. . . helping heal the hurt of tired, travelling feet.

Wisdom with us. . . washing worn, calloused toes.

Serving humility. . . serving necessity. . . serving example.

"I have set an example that you should do as I have done for you."
                                                                            John 13:15

'You should do'. . . I should follow His perfect example.

Even if the job is messy, even if dirty toes and dirty faces and dirty laundry aren't very fun to clean. 

Even if it means bending low to build others up.  Even if those people aren't appreciative. 

'You should do as I have done for you'. . .

And what amazing works He has done for me!  He only forsook heaven's throne, humbled Himself in complete obedience to the Father, gave His love and His blood and His very life for mine. 

What He has done for me, I must do for others.  He washed the feet, talked over meals, touched the hurting ones, cried with the mourners, prayed for His friends.  I must do as He did.

"I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.  Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them."                                      John 13:16-17

His blessing is waiting.

All I must do is live it out, beginning with the little ones who lay upstairs sleeping just now, starting with the man I pledged my love to ten years ago, beginning with the neighbors who live in lostness right beside me, starting today. 

"Day after day we must take up the basin and the towel."      -Michael Card

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


          "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
        be pleasing in Your sight, O Lord, my Rock, and my Redeemer."

                                                                            Psalm 19:14

How these words silence me.  In them I find stillness, because only in the stillness and peace of knowing Him and lingering in His presence do I find myself pleasing Him. 

When my thoughts are of my Lord, when my words are prayers of praise, when my mind is focused on Him alone - then He is pleased.  Then, the deeds and words and relationships that fill my day will be centered on Him. 

When the fruit of my lips and the fruit of my heart meet in the Lord's good will and pleasure. . . I am complete. 

This is my prayer today, that the Rock of my life, the Redeemer of my soul, will smile, as I seek to offer up pure words and holy meditations of heart.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Stepping Out

The pitter patter of little feet fill my ears all day.  Sometimes I smile wide at the footsteps of children running wildly through the house, chasing the new dog, tagging one another, or singing loudly as they run and dance in spinning circles.  Other times the noise can be a bit overwhelming. . .  

It's times like these I need to step away and take a breath.  Our nature walks are becoming more frequent since the weather has been nice outside.  We go on a 'thankful walk' around the neighborhood mentioning things we are thankful for, as we walk together.  We also have a wooded area near our home where we take hikes down to a small stream and throw rocks in or collect our 'nature specimans.'  This has really helped lately to take the focus off of myself and the little spats the kids may be starting and to see the big picture. 

Just the grandeur of our Lord's beautiful creation is enough to make you forget your little problems and realize there is a wonderful and magnificent God who is deserving of our highest praise!  So next time you feel a bit overwhelmed, step outside into the glory of His world to "taste and see that the Lord is good."    (Psalm 34:8) 

Monday, June 13, 2011


I may have to get on a little soapbox I have hanging around here today.

While cleaning up from dinner and listening to the Christian radio station this evening, my 7 year old walks through the kitchen and says, "Mommy, what are you listneing to?"

She sounded so serious and almost horrified in her response to the music she was hearing.  And I must admit that the lyrics did mention the Lord, but the music sounded completely like the music of the world - with drums, electric guitars, and an artist who was hollering more than singing.  I quickly changed the radio to a quiet worship cd and thanked my daughter for bringing that to my attention.

I often listen to a Christian radio station that is braodcast nationwide, especially while I am working in the kitchen.  Most of the time the music is fine and the lyrics are obviously speaking of a relationship with Christ.  I have noticed recently though, that the music is more 'edgy' and the lines of some songs are blurred as to whether this song is speaking of our Savior or a love interest of another kind.  

What bothers me most is that the music today that claims to be 'Christian' sounds just like the music the world is blaring.  Unless you listen closely to the words, many times you cannot tell a difference.  

      "Do not love the world or anything in the world. 
       If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him."        
                                                                               I John 2:15    

I am worried that our Contemporary Christian music industry is slowly embracing a culture that is counter to the things of God.  This is made evident in the recent issues of CCM magazine.  As a teenager, I read this Contemporary Christian Music magazine believing that the artists mentioned were earnestly seeking to honor the Lord in their music, (and they were 'cool' at the same time).  However, recently I received a free copy of the magazine and was appalled to see advertisements throughout for MTV.  These were not small, discreet ads, but in some cases full page advertisements for the incredibly sin laden music videos and television programming of MTV. 

This slippery slope of worldly conformity is also seen in the music videos that Christian artists are producing.  A few years ago I helped teach a Sunday School class for youth ages 7th through 12th grades.  In preparation for our study based on Max Lucado's book "It's Not About Me" I was searching for a video to go along with the lesson.  My father had given me one of the 'Wow' video series, where Christian artists performed their songs.  I was incredibly disheartened to find that none of the videos on the entire tape were appropriate for that lesson - in fact, the videos showed quite the opposite (it's all about me).  Most of the videos were of the artists crooning into the camera from different angles, wearing different outfits, or 'rocking' with their very loud guitars and drums on stage surrounded by adoring fans.  None of the videos showed compassion, mercy, helping those in need, or even God's creation. 

Many Christian artists today have a true heart for the Lord and it is evident in their lives and music.  There are also many artists who blur the line between Christ like and worldly.  My hope and prayer is that the name of Christ is glorified.  Please join me as I pray for myself and those who have a much larger platform, that Christ would be made first in all things and that we can shine like cities on a hill proudly proclaiming His name in a manner worthy of that high calling.  Also, may our children bear witness of the light that they see in us, and know the love of Christ.

(Soap box time is over now.  Thanks for your patience.) 

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Love Never Fails

My husband and I celebrated our 10th anniversary this week.
I have learned more through this journey of marriage than any other experience life has given me.  Marriage teaches so many things, most of it is summed up in the Word's definition of love. . .

                          "Love is patient.
                           Love is kind.
                           It does not envy,
                           It does not boast,
                           It is not proud.
                           It is not rude,
                           It is not self seeking,
                           It is not easily angered,
                           It keeps no record of wrongs.
                           Love does not delight in evil,
                           But rejoices with the truth.
                           It always protects, always trusts,
                           Always hopes, always perseveres.
                           Love never fails."                   
                                                              I Corinthians 13:4-8a

I am truly grateful for the gift of my husband and I am thankful to my Savior for teaching me about true love through the beautiful relationship of marriage. 

Happy Anniversary My Love. . .

The mystery of love covenant given breath on our wedding day.
Two lives made one by the Father.
Combined being starting their walk together, never to diverge on separate paths, but to hold and carry one another across the mountains and through the thick valleys.

To never walk alone, but alongside.
Sharing, holding, needing, giving, loving.
To hurt his hurt, to bear her burden, to cry and cling, to know.
Holy gift of communion.
Bonded unity, eternally one, sacred relationship.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Poem of Purpose

Purpose is what my heart does seek
A reason, a goal, a call,
To dance right up to what I must do
And never glance back or fall.

For passion was planted so deep long ago
Before my spirit was born
To fulfill a dream, and finish the race
My vision to rise on this morn.

So Lord, help the fog of this world fall away
To reveal Your ultimate will
May it shine bright, and clear, and new
And bring forth fresh focus and zeal.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Altar Living

Throughout the Bible, we see great men of God stopping their lives to worship.  When Abraham reaches Canaan, as Noah steps once again on dry earth, Jacob, Elijah. . . altar builders.   Men who saw the great and mighty hand of God in their lives and stopped everything to build a memorial to Him for His mighty acts and faithful guidance.

There were two types of altars in Old Testament times - altars for burnt offering and altars of incense.  Most often, the patriarchs would build altars of rock and soil to offer up a burnt sacrifice to thank God for His work in their lives.  I love how the sacrifice points so perfectly to the Savior.  Only the best of the flock, 'without spot or blemish,' perfect lamb to present before a holy God to cover the sins of the people.  But our sacrifice has been made on the altar of the wooden cross and Jesus' blood was shed to take away the sins of the world.  Thank you Lord!

The altar of incense was covered in pure gold and burned before the curtain of the Holy of Holies.  The unique blend of spices and fragrances was only to be used in the tabernacle, never copied or used personally in one's home.  This incense was to be burned every morning and at sundown daily - a symbol of prayer going before our Lord as a 'sweet smelling aroma.'

On the altar of my heart, where I worship the Most High God, the Holy One. . . are my prayers a sweet fragrance or is the stench of sin rotting in my heart-altar?  Am I offering up a beautiful aroma morning and evening - the quiet times of day, when He is most near?  May I know Him and worship Him more with every passing moment.

So now I look around. . . at my heart and our home.
I look at our padded couches and comfortable beds.
We have on display family pictures and framed art.
What in our home points to worship?
He has done mighty works in our lives.  He has redeemed us.
Where in our home can we set up a memorial for our Lord?

Our goal this week as a family is to establish a peaceful place where we can go to worship. . . 
A place of memorial where we can display the marvelous things He has done for us. . . 
A place of quiet rest. . . 
A place to offer the sacrifice of our time, our hopes, our very lives.

Altar living.   Daily sacrifice.   Offered freely.   All to Him.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Life Lessons

               "You then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself?"
                                                                     Romans 2:21

"Nothing is more inconsistent and vain than the attempt to teach others without teaching ourselves.  Only what the teacher has really mastered and thoroughly made his own can he successfully communicate to others.  In the higher sphere of the life-truth which a parent has to impart, it holds far more good; it is the lesson I first teach myself that I can really teach my child.  One of the first laws in the science of home education is that it depends far more on example than precept; what parents are avails more than what they say.  There is not one of the great lessons for the child which the parent must not first himself learn."

                                             -Andrew Murray
                                             "How to Raise Your Children for Christ" 

These words hit me fast and hard as I read them the other night. What kind of example am I setting for my children?  Do they see the light and beauty of Christ shining in my life or do they see selfishness and anger?

Hard questions come tonight.  
What is my true reflection?  My self?  My Savior?

My little ones often reflect the truth.  When sister yells at brother and brother hits sister.  It can be because they have witnessed those tiny seeds of anger in me.  When frustration rises and words are spoken a little too loudly - they see and they mirror. 

Gentleness, soft answers, peace filled living - this is what makes my Lord smile.  This is what the mirror should reflect.

Perhaps, if I want to see the fruits of the Spirit lived out in my children's words and actions, then I must practice them first and show them the way. 
I must learn the lessons before I can impart them.

So, starting with self-control. . . patience. . . gentleness. . . I begin my own education of sorts.  But, I have a wonderful teacher who taught and lived the very truth I am striving for.  And there is hope and forgiveness in Him.