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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!

27 June 2014

PAIRINGS - Untitled Hymn

The first time I heard this song, it instantly grabbed my heart. It's one of those songs that just takes my soul aflight. I can't wait to DANCE for Jesus!

I've been at ALL of the stages depicted in the verses below... well, except the last.  And, it is the LAST that shall make everything here on earth meaningful.
Untitled Hymn (Come To Jesus) by Chris Rice 
Weak and wounded sinner
Lost and left to die
O, raise your head, for love is passing by
Come to Jesus
Come to Jesus
Come to Jesus and live!

Now your burden's lifted
And carried far away
And precious blood has washed away the stain, so
Sing to Jesus
Sing to Jesus
Sing to Jesus and live!

And like a newborn baby
Don't be afraid to crawl
And remember when you walk
Sometimes we fall...so
Fall on Jesus
Fall on Jesus
Fall on Jesus and live!

Sometimes the way is lonely
And steep and filled with pain
So if your sky is dark and pours the rain, then
Cry to Jesus
Cry to Jesus
Cry to Jesus and live!

O, and when the love spills over
And music fills the night
And when you can't contain your joy inside, then
Dance for Jesus
Dance for Jesus
Dance for Jesus and live!

And with your final heartbeat
Kiss the world goodbye
Then go in peace, and laugh on Glory's side, and
Fly to Jesus
Fly to Jesus
Fly to Jesus and live!
Yep, that last verse makes my spirit soar! I want to DANCE for my Lord!!

Take a listen to the song (under 4 minutes long) and GIVE THANKS!!

NOTE: The pic I paired the lyrics with is from the dock by the Miller Bell Tower at Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua, NY. The Little, her Mommy & I spend 8 weeks there - summer of 2014. 

PAIRINGS - Yeah... They Deserve That!

A thought came to me as I read a passage of scripture this morning:
Beware not to diagnose the troubles another is experiencing as payback for something. God has his reasons for some things to happen.
Am I the only one who has to check my attitude when thoughts like this come to mind...
... after all, look at the family they came from
... what do you expect when you hang out with that crowd
... you made your bed - lie in it 
... I wonder what choices they made to end up in that mess
I was reminded this morning that there are times when it can be said and SHOULD be said... 

 "It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins," Jesus answered. "This happened so the power of God could be seen in him." John 9:3 NLT
God allows some things to happen so that His power can be seen by others & by the person walking the difficult path. It's happened in my life. And, there were times when I felt as though others were trying to figure out what I did wrong to get in that mess :) Granted, there are times when my choices or actions result in a tough time. But, there are times, for ALL of us, when God is just working on another story that will come to light another day.

14 June 2014

PAIRINGS - Go Where You're Celebrated

When it comes to relationships, I do not believe that God wants anyone to settle for less than the best!! He who began a GOOD work in you will be faithful to complete it!

“Go where you are celebrated – not tolerated. If they can’t see the real value of you, it’s time for a new start.” ~ Unknown
Some times it's time to start anew :) Take the chance... if you dare!!  

11 June 2014

... and the COUNTDOWN BEGINS!!

Destination Chautauqua ... 8 days & counting.

Make sure to get your name on my "dance card" quickly!

That was my Facebook status as I returned to my laptop this morning after a whirlwind trip to drop our son off to Brevard Music Center for the Summer Festival.

Looking back at the past 5-6 years, I guess I could honestly say that I've been on a LOT of countdowns...
  • The countdowns until the high school graduations for our children (June 2008 & June 2011)
  • The countdowns until the beginning of college for each of them (Fall of 2008 & fall of 2011)
  • The countdowns of when I could walk again (3 broken bones in my right foot - 8/2009, 11/2009 & 2/2010 - resulted in approximately 9 months off my feet!)
  • The countdown of when a baby would arrive
  • The countdown of when she would turn one
  • The countdowns...
  • The countdowns...
  • The countdowns...
I considered starting a countdown for this new summer Chautauqua adventure awhile back & decided that I needed to meet a few more deadlines before that could happen. So as I hopped on my laptop today for the first time in several days, I was shocked that this countdown gives me 8 days! I thought I'd have a few minutes to relax after dropping our son off for his summer adventure. But, EIGHT DAYS until being away from home for EIGHT WEEKS is madness :)

This would be another time that I am so grateful for my childlike faith in God. There's no need to fret. God will help me accomplish what I need to accomplish to meet this deadline & have a successful countdown! And here we go... EIGHT DAYS & COUNTING!!

This picture was taken at the entry to Brevard Music Center
- where our son is spending his summer!!
We dropped him off on Monday, June 9th!

"For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago." Ephesians 2:10

08 June 2014

PAIRINGS - Beginning of the Day

Some mornings... it's best to remind myself that the promises of God are NEVER broken! I need some peace & assurance today. I am going to focus on His promises today & turn my cares and concerns over to God! Will you pray with me today?

"Morning by morning new mercies I see;

All I have needed Thy hand hath provided!
Great is Thy faithfulness, LORD, unto me!" 
~ Great is Thy Faithfulness lyrics by Thomas Chisholm, 1925

"The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, 'The LORD is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!'" Lamentations 3:22-24 NLT

02 June 2014


MAY 2014 
One Thousand Gifts (by Ann Voskamp)
#1000Gifts #JoyDare

Buy book here...      

I took the 1,000 Gifts Dare for the year of 2012...
I continued in 2013...
I'm now into 2014! 

Today I find JOY in...

5/1/14 Thurs
2533. bathing in the joy of Jess making it into Chautauqua
2534. my messy, messy house

2535. published my April #JoyDare post today :) 
that's SO much better than 10 days into the month!!

5/2/14 Fri
2536. tromping through a neighbor's cornfield to get a pic of the river that winds through our county
2537. supporting the daughter of some "family-type-friends"
Kelsea's last Masters' recital

2538. Chipotle with a few girlfriends

5/3/14 Sat
2539. breakfast delivered to me in bed by a hubby who knows I am physically & emotionally worn out lately
2540. quietly sitting on the floor in the DARK folding clothes
while a baby naps
2541. great quotes to remind me that God is ALWAYS working!

5/4/14 Sun - May the 4th be with you!

2542. my church family - what a blessing
2543. outdoor pack n plays

2544. making & tasting mud pies

5/5/14 Mon
2545. last Monday of this semester for J :)
2546. caught at Meijer for HOURS - an UGLY BEAUTIFUL STORY
2547. CINCO de MAYO celebration with family

5/6/14 Tues
2548. an early morning waiting for a miracle

2549. how does a beach girl survive & thrive being "stuckinindiana"
I live... out in the country... beside the Sea of Lilacs 
That's how a beach girl lives in & loves life "stuckinindiana"
2550. dinner & an early bedtime for someone

5/7/14 Wed
2551. celebrating an honorary auntie :)

2552. picnic & park time with A, J & K

2553. killer walk with Ruthann

5/8/14 Thurs
2554. greeting the day with a breath of fresh air
2555. taking advise from my older (& wiser) sister - with a bit of resistance
(and there's a little story HERE about my favorite time to hear those words!)
2556. listening to the "3 kids" talking and laughing about growing up

5/9/14 Fri
2557. someone reading cat books to the cat

2558. being a volunteer for my church...
gave me an opportunity to share this pic of me & my mom
2559. an achingly productive day... time for bed!

5/10/14 Sat
shall I say again... OH THAT JOURNEY!
2560. hectic and VERY HAPPY morning
2561. dreams being realized

2562. my son's choice of friends
there are some great kids in this shot!
5/11/14 Sun - MOTHER'S DAY
2563. family & laughter

2564. reflections

2565. family night at home - didn't go ANYWHERE... just enjoyed each other's company!

5/12/14 Mon
2566. still trying to find the beauty in driving 20 minutes into town to find out that my appointment had been cancelled due to illness in their office
2567. walking & enjoying nature

2568. OH MY WORD... a 3rd child with a 4.0 for this past semester!!
(3 counting our son's girlfriend)

5/13/14 Tues
2569. stepping out of the house to take pics of the sunrise (while wearing my jammies) & locking the door -- thankful that the back door was unlocked
2570. claiming a second daughter :)

2571. the simple joys of life
pouring out & picking up Mommy's markers... repeat... repeat...
5/14/14 Wed
2572. reminders to SLOW DOWN!

"This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says:

“Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength."

Sometimes I just need to slow down & smell the... lilacs!

2573. celebrating loved ones
Celebrating three 4.0's and one college graduation
by having dinner at Bonge's
2574. nieces for babysitters :)

5/15/14 Thurs
2575. time to write & scan some pics & relax in a quiet house - rare lately!!
my sister & i at our cabin on the lake
when i was almost 4 yrs old
2576. lasagna soup & a great evening at G-ma Bev's with family

2577. safe drive for T&K to/from Fort Wayne to see my mom

5/16/14 Fri
2578. actually going back to sleep for a short time after my early morning wake-up responsibilities
2579. the sound of music -- not the movie this time
Thankful to have my favorite trombonist & French horn player here!
2580. family dinner around the table b4 the kids leave for Atlanta

5/17/14 Sat
2581. safe travels for T&K to Atlanta
(bittersweet to see them go... but, her family needs some time with them too - LOL!)

2582. yard work - conquered a bushel of weeds in my peonies!

2583. the quiet of the country - love the sounds here!!

5/18/14 Sun
2584. J painting sunrise

2585. morning walk - just what I needed
5/19/14 Mon
2587. connecting with friends - lunch w/BFFHeiter!!
2588. mailing a "happy" to K

2589. a little time in the sun while someone napped

5/20/14 Tues
2590. open, honest communication & talk about God
(with one of my nieces)
2591. nice weather = more time outdoors

2592. black beans & a baby :)

5/21/14 Wed
2593. getting a little extra rest & trying to beat a cold!
2594. hand-me-down irises along the back of the pole barn

2595. a "new" set of wheels for our college grad & her sweet baby

5/22/14 Thurs
2596. allergies & cold getting better :)
2597. grocery shopping with bed head from nap time

2598. cuddle time w/a 16-month old snuggler

5/23/14 Fri
2599. a beautiful sunrise... and perspective
sometimes you get the best perspective when you are flat on your back

2600. catching up with a friend over lunch
2601. staying home on a Friday night
(one of my FAVORITE things!)

5/24/14 Sat
2602. coffee in bed
2603. baby pools

2604. fire pits

5/25/14 Sun
2605. great sermons at my church
2606. 3 hour nap for our little one
2607. family time in the shade of a great tree

5/26/14 Mon
2608. my husband taking the first "baby shift" of the day
2609. relaxed family Memorial Day lunch under the shagbark hickory
2610. the sound of birds settling down for the night

5/27/14 Tues
2611. leftovers for lunch
2612. music... i L-O-V-E music!!!
2613. Snacking today with Elmo.
"C" is for cereal. "M" is for milk. "B" is for bananas.
"D" is for DeeDee -- of course!

5/28/14 Wed
2614. great truth in the morning - in the written word & on the sky, itself :)

2615. remembering the power of one woman
RIP Maya Angelou

2616. conversations while roasting marshmallows

5/29/14 Thurs
2617. Bob Ross for 5 minutes in the morning with a 16-month old is hilarious!
2618. morning walk WITHOUT PUSHING A STROLLER :D
2619. holding a sleeping baby

5/30/14 Fri
2620. sitting outside & hearing ZERO traffic sounds -- just nature
2621. feeling okay about a messy house -- couldn't do that for YEARS!
2622. a relaxed night with the LOML

5/31/14 Sat
2623. a slow start to the day
2624. the heart of some of my closest friends
2625. going to bed knowing where my closest loved ones are tonight :)