Just a glimpse of me...

My photo
Do you ever feel STUCK? In 2000, I began looking for answers to some tough questions in my life. I'd searched high & low and finally conceded to search the promises found in the Bible. Those promises have sustained & guided me through the loss of a parent, the struggle with anxiety & depression, the loss of a valued relationship and so much more! I've found joy amid the pain. And, I want to share it with you!

28 April 2014

PAIRINGS - Experiencing God - Love Relationship With God

We've just begun a sermon series at my church about RELATIONSHIPS (see below). We all have relationships. I like the idea of re-visiting how we are living out those relationships. It's always a good idea to reflect upon being the best ME I can be :) The initial relationship I need to cultivate is my relationship with God.
Why GOD first?
Because when lives are centered on God, we're best prepared & equipped to face life and all that it throws in our paths.

"Your love relationship with God prepares you to be involved in His work
by developing in you a God-centered life." 
~ Henry Blackaby, Experiencing God

What are you doing to work on the relationships in your life??

About my church sermon series...
RE:fresh / RE:lationships Sermon Series: April 27 – June 29“It is amazing how the Bible gives us practical, historical examples for many of today’s diverse relational issues. Together we’ll examine critical relationship principles through the lives of some functional, and quite dysfunctional scriptural families. No matter what your family situation, prepare for improved relationships in the upcoming sermon series.” – Rev. Rolland Daniels

Linking with Ann Voskamp - A Holy Experience today... 

23 April 2014

My Sunday Make-Up Is Worn Off By Tuesday Mornings!

As I was pulling out of my drive at 9:05am to head to church (20-25 minutes away) for the 9:00am Bible study (RefresHer), I was armed & ready... 

Armed & ready to put my make-up on. I had my make-up pouch squished between my knees with all the necessary tools. I would apply it at every stop sign or stop light I encountered between home and church. There are 8 stops (7 signs & one light). And, if I was caught at one of the two railroad tracks, I had a chance of looking pretty good by the time I got to Bible study :) 

I caught a glimpse of myself in the rear view mirror and thought, 
"WOW! My Sunday make-up is totally worn off by Tuesday mornings!"
I'm one of those women who can be girlie-girle one day. On the girlie-girlie days, I might go with foundation, blush, powder, eyebrow pencil, eye liner, mascara, lip liner and lip color!!! On the more common tom-boy days, it's soap, water & Oil of Olay! Mondays are usually rough for me -- resulting in my looking pretty disheveled by Tuesday morning as I head out to RefresHer.

In an effort to keep from frightening those around the table who have to actually LOOK at me during the small group time, I try to put a little make-up on before arriving. I hate to scare anyone who's made the effort to make it there for the Tuesday morning meeting. Often my Tuesday make-up gets done, kind of  -- even if it's just over some of the remaining Sunday make-up.

When my mind said,
"WOW! My Sunday make-up is totally worn off by Tuesday mornings!"
My heart cried out,
"Don't let that happen to your spirit after the celebration of Easter Sunday has passed by & your calendar returns to the normal crazy-busy life. Don't let the Easter Sunday morning JOY dampen as the days pass. Make a conscious effort to celebrate the miracle of that day every day."
I think Satan doesn't want us to live in the "SUNDAY mind-set". But, as far as I'm concerned, there's no real value in what we hear & affirm on Sunday mornings if it's not applied to all the days of the week. I think he would love for us to forget the joy which fills our hearts on Easter Sunday morning as we celebrate the knowledge that CHRIST OVERCAME DEATH & made that possible for us. He wants us to forget that the BATTLE HAS BEEN WON. We are VICTORS. The debt of our sins has been PAID IN FULL.

I was thrilled on Monday evening to see the post Ann Voskamp had published that day about being Resurrection People... and living day-to-day in that knowledge! Check it out here.

We are chosen. We are conquerors. We are victors. We are God's Resurrection People. Let's WALK IN THAT KNOWLEDGE! Let's say to ourselves at the break of every day.. 
Don't let your Sunday be worn off by Tuesday morning!!
  Linking with Ann Voskamp - A Holy Experience today... 

19 April 2014

The Sweetest Sunrise

Can you imagine the joy they felt when the tomb was empty
and they heard the words...

He isn't here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen...
Matthew 28:6 NLT

The sunrise is never sweeter for me than on Easter morning!!

He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!!

Linking with Ann Voskamp - A Holy Experience today... 

That SATURDAY Feeling!

I've been thinking a lot about SATURDAY this week... it seems to get over-looked in the story of Easter. And, many people in this world are living in the "Saturday" right now -- feeling as though the "Saturday" will never end. There are so many things which plague us in this fallen world:
  • grief
  • shame
  • poverty
  • guilt
  • loneliness
  • insecurity
  • despair
  • pain (physical, emotional, etc.)
  • human trafficking
  • sorrow
  • depression
  • persecution
  • loss
Many know that Sunday is coming... but aren't feeling it at all! Seasons of brokenness can feel overwhelming & without end. Times of hopelessness can nearly consume us. Grief & pain can break us down, robbing us of the strength we need for even the simplest things in life. Many things can make us afraid to take chances again or take another path. And, it's easy to allow our poor choices or weaknesses to cause us to begin believing we don't even deserve a better life. Often we can become so weary from the battle that we want to throw in the towel... and just give up. We want to cry out "it is finished" without a glimmer of hope.

I can't imagine how the SATURDAY after Christ's crucifixion must have felt to so many. It had to be a day of much anguish... questioning... fear. I wonder about those who'd stood by the side of Jesus as he spoke the words to bring Lazarus back to life... to bring the daughter of Jairus back to life. I wonder if those people even considered the possibility that their Lord could also come back to life? Or were they overwhelmed with the knowledge of what was at that very moment. There was a separation on that day. And, that separation was horrible. 

I was able to capture this photo during the Good Friday service at
my church which was lead by Alanna Story.
What a blessing that service was!!

YES... I've been thinking a lot about SATURDAY this week... and about how so many people in this world are living in the "Saturday" right now. May our hearts be moved to walk alongside those who are going through that "Saturday" feeling.
"They will mock him, spit on him, flog him with a whip and kill him, but after 3 days he will rise again." Mark 10:34
#JoyDare No. 2497. reflecting on SATURDAY

18 April 2014

PAIRINGS - Darkness Fell... and Heaven Counted...

Good Friday - a day of reflection for us all. My heart is so tender this week as I think about the LOVE OF GOD! I saw this quote on Twitter this morning & it was so meaningful to me. I pray that your heart is touched by it as well!

"Darkness fell, His friends scattered, hope seemed lost -
But heaven just started counting to three." ~ Bob Goff, Love Does

Praise God for His indescribable gift... offered freely to all -- yet at a great price to God! I stand in awe!!

Take some moments to reflect today my friends!

Linking with Ann Voskamp - A Holy Experience today... 

16 April 2014

I Dance Before the LORD!

I dance before the LORD -- in my home, in my heart... even though...

I was born & raised in the Anderson, Indiana Church of God movement -- not denomination - LOL! The movement began in the early 1900's, out of the Wesleyan Holiness Movement. We reach our hands to every blood washed one. We believe in the Trinity. We believe in salvation & sanctification. We take of the bread & the cup. We wash feet!! But, WE DO NOT DANCE!  

Since my younger days being raised in the Appalachian foothills, I was told that WE DO NOT DANCE! My parents were fine with me whirling about at home - singing, clapping and celebrating. However, that was NOT to be taken outside of the home -- even into the backyard, for that matter. Can you imagine the issues my father - the pastor of that little country ChoG - faced when (unbeknownst to him & my mom) I appeared on the stage of the local elementary school enthusiastically dancing to the latest secular tunes as our community-wide PTO assembly began. Needless to say, I received a little talking to when I got home. And unfortunately, my father received several calls & notes about my serious infarction!

I continued to be a rebel with the dancing -- not understanding in my heart what the problem was if I was just dancing out of joy. In college, my roommates & I hosted an illegal off-campus dance at a local State Park out-building. We raised enough money to send all of us girls to Florida for our Spring Break. (That trip might have been a little outside of my parents' view of appropriate, as well!)

Since those days, my church movement has made leaps & bounds (figuratively) in the area of dance. I cherish the sight of little ones waving palm branches & spinning about in sheer joy. I'm incredibly blessed by our youth dancing to the latest from Mary Mary, Toby Mac & other artists. However, I still haven't quite been won over to watching middle-aged women (like myself) dressed in unattractive smock-type dresses with sashes over their shoulders leaping about the church platform to music. Just give me a little Ballet Magnificat! & I'm a happy camper :)

And so... I continue to dance before the Lord...

I dance before the LORD
with all my might... 2 Samuel 6:14
He has turned my mourning
into dancing... Psalm 30:11

I took this photo in Sept of 2013 when the haze
over the fields from the harvest of the soybeans
filtered the setting sun just perfectly.
It always reminded me of dancing before the Lord!

I'm posting this on the Wednesday of Holy Week. In this week, we reflect upon the last words spoken by our Lord in those final days as the cross drew near. We think about whether WE would have been the one to deny knowing the Lord. We bow in awe as we consider the great sacrifice paid for OUR sins. And, on Easter morning, we joyously celebrate the power over the grave & over death which comes through our Lord, Jesus Christ. I can't think of a better reason to dance! 

This Sunday I'll be saying, "He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!!" ... and I'll be dancing!

#JoyDare No. 2490 dancing
Linking with Ann Voskamp - A Holy Experience today... 

11 April 2014

PAIRINGS - A Dichotomy Within

I'm a mess. I'm imperfect (a lot of imperfect to be honest). I desire so many things. I attain few. I'm a piece of work... a work in progress.

This morning these scriptures came to mind...
"I desire to do your will, my God; your law is within my heart." Psalm 40:8
"I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway." Romans 7:19 NLT
I took this picture on a day
when the winds carried the snow
across our property -
blocking our view entirely at one point!

I am a dichotomy! 

dichotomy - a division into two mutually exclusive, opposed, or contradictory groups: e.g.a dichotomy between thought and action
But, I am seeking to grow closer to what I was created to be :)

This was also my #JoyDare No. 2474. the struggle within - dichotomy

Linking with Ann Voskamp - A Holy Experience today... 

A Chapter Closed - Everyone Will Be Inconvenienced!

In times like these I tend to get a bit anti-social. I have problems doing much more than connecting with people via texts & social media - you know, that third-hand type of connection. "Sunday's to church" is about the only time I want to show my face in public! It's a rough thing to watch... from my seat.

My mind is FULL of thoughts today. We've had a bumpy week to say the least. I'm just plain worn out - physically & emotionally. That's not helping with my attitude. But, I'm hanging in there & relying on someone greater than me to provide for ALL my needs.

The "NEST" is no longer empty.
It was...
for a short time.
We're entering a new chapter in our family as we welcome one of our adult children & a tiny baby into our home for a season. The lives of all three of us will be inconvenienced to some extent with these changes. We are trusting that the life of the little one will be blessed by being here :) This isn't how we had dreamed things would work out for our family. This isn't how she had dreamed of her life as a mommy. A chapter closed today... and a new one opened -- bringing more opportunities for God to show His loving kindness, power, provision & glory!

I have plenty of housework to make things work in this house as we add two more to our home. Some of the projects that weren't all that crucial have become extremely important as we "re-work" things around here. There will be "stuff in the halls" for months to come :) Yet, I digress.

This one change will bring other changes. There's a part of me that's longing for another day. I'm longing for the day when our other house sells & closes AND we are done with double mortgages, double property taxes, etc. I'm longing for days when school loans are a thing of the past! I'm longing for the day when I no longer hear the cries of hurting ones (yes, that's another HEAVEN reference from me). I'm longing for the day when a lot of things will make sense to me!

Some of the scattered thoughts I've had today...
  • I'm a bit tired of the same ol' same ol' stuff... however, this continues to be my daily prayer... through all of it... LET MY LIFE PRAISE YOU! Take a listen!
  • This quote comes to mind and is a great reminder to me... "How has your Christianity inconvenienced your life this past week? Or, is it merely a matter of convenience?" ~ AW Tozer
  • The things which bring the greatest joy to me... don't put a penny in my pocket... but, I am grateful for the priceless blessings that fill my heart!!
Thank You LORD for remaining constant in all of the change! Thank You LORD for scattered thoughts that bring me back to You & Your faithfulness. Thank You LORD for creating me to trust Your Heart when I can't see Your Hand.

(found this in the unpublished folder today... good day to publish it)

PAIRINGS - Psalm 86:5 Abounding Love

I was reading a note from Jennifer Dougan this morning. I subscribe to receive her posts via email. I related to so much of what she had written. But one scripture JUMPED OFF THE PAGE at me... especially the words ABOUNDING IN LOVE...
"You, LORD, are forgiving and good, ABOUNDING IN LOVE to all who call to you." Psalm 86:5 NIV
I had to pair it with a picture that was special. I'd been saving this one for a great pairing...

Check out Jennifer's post, What You Didn't Know You Knew. It's a great reminder to me, as a "DeeDee" now. And it reminded me of the first scripture I taught my children:
"I have hidden Your Word in my heart, That I might not sin against You." Psalm 119:11 

A little explanation of my PAIRINGS posts: I'm a very visual person - a very touchy, feely person. I'm deeply moved by music, lyrics, quotes... and so many scriptures. I've loved writing & taking pictures since I was young. So, I finally decided to put them all together in a sort of "pairing". 

Linking with Ann Voskamp - A Holy Experience today... 

07 April 2014

PAIRINGS - Peace, a deliberate adjustment

How does one find peace? How can we live in peace?

"Peace is the deliberate adjustment of my life to the will of God."
~ Author Unknown

And how do we KNOW what the will of God is?
"Dear friends, you always followed my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him." Philippians 2:12-13
I'm looking for PEACE today... I need to TRUST & OBEY!

Used in:

05 April 2014

PAIRINGS - Throwing Ourselves Into His Arms

"We please God most, not by frantically trying to make ourselves good, but by throwing ourselves into His arms." ~ A.W. Tozer

took this picture on the Blue Ridge Parkway - August of 2013;
riding home from a church softball tournament in South Carolina
& sitting by a sweet little 7 month old...
& counting my blessings!

I love this quote! Such a great reminder that our STRENGTH is found in GOD and perfected in our weakness!
"That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Corinthians 2:10
Linking with Ann Voskamp - A Holy Experience today... 

04 April 2014

Cries in the Darkness

I've written before about a song by Christa Wells with lyrics which seem as if they were drawn from my life. Here are a few lines that I've lived...

You’re gonna cry yourself to sleep

You’re gonna soak the pillow for many weeks
You’re gonna cry Why? Why me?

You’re gonna cry yourself to sleep 
‘cause for the moment all that you can see
Is what you’ve lost... lost... Why me? 

You’re gonna cry yourself to sleep
A thousand miracles you’ll have to wait and see...

When my heart cries out in the darkness to God, I often speak the words...
"Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you." Psalm 143:8

In the past five years, I've prayed that prayer many times. I hope I've done my share of crying out in the darkness - the physical darkness of night & the darkness which envelops me in times of trouble! There have been times when I was physically exhausted from crying to the Lord & many times when I've fallen asleep while claiming the promise that there will be word of God's unfailing love in the morning.

Regardless of what life brings into your path... don't hesitate to cry out to God in the darkness & remember to claim the promise that morning light will bring word of His unfailing, faithful love!

Linking with Ann Voskamp - A Holy Experience today... 

PAIRINGS - Lamentations 3:23

Do you ever feel like you don't have the strength to face another day? I've had plenty of those days! And, I cry out to God for strength & mercy. Every morning, He's there waiting for me with new strength. I must admit, it's one of my favorite parts of being a follower of Christ for me. I tend to depend heavily upon God for each day's strength!

Have you ever thought things like this though? 
I wish they'd get what they deserve! 
Why can't they wake up in the morning & get what they deserve!
What if I got what I deserved for the choices I've made? That's another question!! As a Christian I'm thankful for the gifts which come from God. But, I need to be reminded that God gives those gifts FREELY to all.

God's word tells us...
"The faithful love of the lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning." Lamentations 3:22-23

Used in...
Every Morning... A New Start! 
I Wish They'd Get What They Deserve!

Linking with Ann Voskamp - A Holy Experience today... 

03 April 2014

Shiver Me Timbers You Wretched Creature

September 19th is Talk Like a Pirate Day. I'm not sure I can come up with an inspirational thought to share with fellow Christians about being a "Christ-like pirate". But, I have a few pirates in my life whom I'd like to make walk the plank or throw overboard. Being tempted to do something & acting on the temptation isn't the same. Right? Right??

As a Christ-follower, I am trying to give the pirates in my life the benefit of the doubt. If I am what I say I am (a lover & follower of Christ) I need to ask for a burden on my heart to pray for God's children who cannot see their way clear of choices they've made in the past or poor choices they continue to make. It's so easy for me to think about the wretched creatures in my life and say...

AAARRRR, You wretched landlubber!
Sometimes I forget that EVERYONE if free to hear God's whispers. And, I forget how deeply God loves EVERYONE. I forget how God lovingly pursues every person individually. And, I forget that God loves EVERYONE unconditionally, right where we are, with no strings attached. 

There are some children of God in my world at this time who are struggling with choices they are making or have made. Do you have any of those wretched creatures in your life? I am trying very hard to pray daily that their eyes will be open to the LOVE OF GOD. It's all too easy for any of us to feel like we are unworthy & don't deserve to have communion with the Creator of the Universe. 

My prayer is that I be seen as a person of grace & not condemnation -- that I might be a better reflection of Christ. Because... all of us have sinned & fallen short. Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous... through Christ Jesus.
"We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God freely and graciously declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin." Romans 3:22-25
Here's a just for fun picture of me & the LOML (with a pirate statue between us) in St. Thomas - when we were young &  love :) Now we're old & in love :)
Arrrrr... I love this matey!!
I pray that eyes will be opened to God's unconditional love through me each day!! May my words & deeds reflect my profession of faith in following Christ. We're all wretched creatures in Satan's eyes... but, we are BELOVED in the eyes of Christ!!

Want to know how to speak Pirate?  

written on 9/20/2012 - and LOST in all my unpublished drafts... Arrrrr!

PAIRINGS - Luke 12:27

What a reminder of how much our Father cares for us...

"Consider the lilies, how they grow:

they neither toil nor spin;

and yet I say to you,

even Solomon in all his glory

was not arrayed like one of these."

Photo taken 6-7-12, our second summer at the home in the country

The verses prior to that speak to us about our worries...
"Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And, if worry can't accomplish a little thing like that, what's the use of worrying over bigger things?" Luke 12:25-26 
Another great verse about worry...
"Give all your worries & cares to God. For He cares for you." 1 Peter 5:7
Linking with Ann Voskamp - A Holy Experience today... 

PAIRINGS - Little is Much When God is In It

In times I feel I have little to give to those around me... and my world... may I be reminded of this...

Little is Much When God is In It was written in 1924 by Kittie L. Suffield...

In the harvest field now ripened
There’s a work for all to do;
Hark! the voice of God is calling
To the harvest calling you.

Little is much when God is in it!
Labor not for wealth or fame.
There’s a crown—and you can win it,
If you go in Jesus’ Name.

In the mad rush of the broad way,
In the hurry and the strife,
Tell of Jesus’ love and mercy,
Give to them the Word of Life.

Little is much when God is in it!
Labor not for wealth or fame.
There’s a crown—and you can win it,
If you go in Jesus’ Name.

Does the place you’re called to labor
Seem too small and little known?
It is great if God is in it,
For He’ll not forget His own.

Little is much when God is in it!
Labor not for wealth or fame.
There’s a crown—and you can win it,
If you go in Jesus’ Name.

Are you laid aside from service,
Body worn from toil and care?
You can still be in the battle,
In the sacred place of prayer.

Little is much when God is in it!
Labor not for wealth or fame.
There’s a crown—and you can win it,
If you go in Jesus’ Name.

When the conflict here is ended
And our race on earth is run,
He will say, if we are faithful,
“Welcome home, My child—well done!”

Little is much when God is in it!
Labor not for wealth or fame.
There’s a crown—and you can win it,
If you go in Jesus’ Name.

The lyrics were based upon this familiar Bible story told in Matthew 14:17-21...
“But we have only five loaves of bread and two fish!” they answered. “Bring them here,” he said. Then he told the people to sit down on the grass. Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven, and blessed them. Then, breaking the loaves into pieces, he gave the bread to the disciples, who distributed it to the people. They all ate as much as they wanted, and afterward, the disciples picked up twelve baskets of leftovers. About 5,000 men were fed that day, in addition to all the women and children! Matthew 14:17-21
Used in... 
Don't Have Much To Give
Funeral for a Friend 

PAIRINGS - Winter & Spring; Adversity & Prosperity

What a great reminder:
"If we had no winter,
the spring would not be so pleasant.
If we did not sometimes taste of adversity
 prosperity would not be so welcome."
~ Anne Bradstreet

this is a picture taken from our house of our NEIGHbor horses :)
A scripture passage which comes to mind when I read this quote is the 3rd chapter of Ecclesiastes. Here's the first verse:
"For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven." Ecclesiastes 3:1

02 April 2014

An Unexpected Friend - #JoyDare No. 2376

Just when you tell someone that you don't possibly have room in your life for one more friend, God proves you wrong. Well, that's how it seems in my life. And, a few years back, I made that statement to my small group. Talk about later trying to hide that I'd said it -- my small group holds me accountable. Thank the Lord!

I think when I spoke those words I was feeling overwhelmed with everything happening in my life and struggling with being able to keep in touch with all my close friends. I wasn't meeting up with anyone - due to the explosions happening around us :) I didn't seem to have the time or energy to barely give friends a quick call or send a quick note. Perhaps a lot of that was due to the fact that I was always thinking... I wish they'd get what they deserve! I was feeling like a loser at being a friend. I was also struggling to keep my friends up-to-date on some things that were happening in our family.

The craziness of life was also making it tough to keep up with my volunteer work for our church. But, the passion for that was life-giving so, in my thinking, I managed to limp along with that. While I thought I was limping along, ineffectively, God had a plan...

In response to a weekly note I wrote at that time on behalf of our Women's Ministries Leadership Team, I received a note from a woman who was wanting to make more of a connection to & commitment with God and his church -- possibly through our fellowship. I followed up on the note. Over the course of the next 3 months, we emailed back & forth pretty regularly as she shared some of the struggles she was facing in her life. I shared some of mine with her. We prayed for each other. We shared scriptures. We connected!

We met only face-to-face a few times. But unknown to me at that time, God had already reserved a special place in my heart just for this woman. A challenge she was facing three years ago prepared me for a similar one I would face two years later. The scriptures that we shared back & forth always seemed to be what each of us needed at that very moment. 

Almost four years later, that woman is a dear friend - who feels like a sister!

2376. an unexpected friend - who feels like a sister
"From where the sun rises to where the sun sets,
the name of the Lord should be praised."
Psalm 113:3

photo credit to that dear friend's daughter :)

I am thankful that God is working in me -- even when I am certain there's no room for anything or anyone else. I would have missed out on an eternal friend and a wonderful blessing had I not connect with that "unexpected friend"!

01 April 2014

A Chapter Closed - Surprised By Emotion

I'm working on a few things online this morning for my volunteer gigs (Worship Arts & Women's Ministries) & checking/posting Facebook for them and for me. In my feed the following picture and post popped up, my heart sank & my eyes filled up...

"Now in transition... and it seemed an appropriate time to announce my Conscious Uncoupling from this beloved place. Further, an announcement of my (some will say) Unconscious Recoupling with the great state, and my heart's home... my planned return is in June... in the meantime, my bucket list is lengthy, and I'm looking forward to revisiting the best of the area over the next 60 days. After 15 years, there are many who will be missed and much to be remembered.

Another chapter has closed for our family... poignantly reminding me of a huge chapter that closed last year. The full story is not mine to share. But, the part I've played in this story has added greatly to my life. My heart is filled with sadness... my heart is filled with thanksgiving... all at the same time. There are no bitter feelings toward anyone in this past season. There's just thanksgiving for the good that was.

And where is the good in all of this? I am choosing today to celebrate the LOVE which fills my heart - the LOVE put there by God & given to others. Certain chapters in life bring joy & happiness. Other chapters bring reflection & an aching. In all the chapters of life, God is there... with just what we need.

Today, I celebrate the fact that God has made me a very "lovey" person. I truly fall in love with SO MANY PEOPLE. That's a God thing - 'cause I'm not that nice on my own! Loving someone & then seeing them leave hurts. But, the hurt affirms to me that love is what matters.
If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing. Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:1-4,8,13 NLT

Linking with Ann Voskamp - A Holy Experience today...