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!

31 October 2016

Us The Duo - Take Me Home / Finding God In The Ruins

Trina won her heavenly reward today - cancer lost its battle against her body. 

This is a GREAT video for anyone who is hurting, who needs encouragement or wants to provide encouragement, etc.  Make sure to read the script that goes along with the video.

Home is where the heart is... God will take you home to His arms.

RIP Trina! Prayers covering your loved one who are grieving your presence in this earthly world.

Why Am I Doing This? #write31days 10-31-16

I don't know how many times this month (October 2016) I have asked myself,

This has been my 5th year of participating in the #write31days challenge that was extended several years back by Myquillyn Smith of The Nesting Place. I decided to "free-write" the posts this month which is a good mental exercise for me. However, I began the month with the first 8 days on the high seas with limited internet connection, then 12 days of the month in Kentucky, and one day in Virginia. That left me with only 7 days in my "regular home". And, I must admit there've been a few days which turned out quite differently than what I'd hoped. Either way, I've enjoyed the challenge. 

Thanks Myquillin for the challenge. Love the byline on the Nesting Place's page:
"It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful." 

And, wow... my writing is certainly NOT perfect... but, perhaps it can be beautiful to someone. What a great motto for each of us to embrace in so many areas of our lives. I lived many years when I strived for perfection and refused to see beauty elsewhere. Those years are over - with just a few bumps in the road from time to time. Life has become beautiful despite the messes, mistakes, challenges & losses.

So... why AM I doing this? This blogging... this Facebook page... this Pinterest page... this Twitter account... this Instagram account...???? Why am I doing it all?? 

An affirmation came this week in the form of a notification from the Facebook page I started and manage (which is affectionately called the stuckinindiana page). I get notice most of the time when someone has liked or shared a post that I shared initially. When I got notice of someone liking & sharing a picture (aka a stuckinindiana pairing) that I'd posted way back on December 9, 2015, I was reminded why I do this. The 2015 pairing liked and shared a few days ago was:
"If I can put one touch of rosy sunset into the life of any man or woman,
I shall feel that I have worked with God."
~ G. K. Chesterton  #quote

Each of us has the opportunity to put one touch of rosy sunset into the life of any man or woman... and thus work with God. That is my hope & my dream... and why I am doing this.

This is MY LAST POST for the 2016 October #write31days challenge. And, over the month, I've come up with ideas for probably another 20-25 posts. Who knows when the next one will happen :)

5 Minute Free-For-All - Why Am I Doing This? #write31days 10-31-16

Here's the page for direct links to all 31 of the posts: 5 Minute Free-for-All 

30 October 2016

When It Gets Crisp in the Fall - #write31days 10-30-16

“I cannot endure to waste anything so precious
as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house."
~ Nathaniel Hawthorn
With the new out-of-state job as of July, our family is entering into the unknown with winter on it's way. Our Indiana home is in a small township - in farm country (fields & livestock) - outside of city limits. We all have wells & heat our homes with propane gas out here. Our electric service is known for being spotty in the winter months. Our road is rarely EVER plowed. There are times when it's even hard to get out of our driveway to the road.

Like most wives, I give the LOML a hard time about what he does and doesn't do around the house to help out. But, the truth of the matter is, he is ALWAYS taking care of us in those winter months. 

This winter he'll have to make a 5+ hour commute from Kentucky to Indiana to come see the 3 of us here for weekends and holidays. What will happen to us when he's not around is yet to be seen. This is one winter where I'll be praying a lot for a mild winter, clear roads & traveling mercies!  

So, I am especially cherishing the autumn and putting aside any trepidation I might have for the coming winter. I've been back in Indiana for most of this week & enjoyed going on my walkabouts to see how autumn has decorated my little piece of the world.  The following "stuckinindiana pairings" have been put together with pictures I took this week here in the land of stuckinindiana. I hope you enjoy them. And, I hope that you enjoy whatever season you're in as you read this post!!
Autumn carries more gold in its pocket
than all the other seasons.”
~  Jim Bishop

"Autumn is a second spring
when every leaf is a flower."
~ Albert Camus

"Nature always wears the colors of the spirit.
 ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson  #quote 

“It was a beautiful bright autumn day,
with air like cider and a

sky so blue you could drown in it.”
~ Diana Gabaldon

“The leaves fall, the wind blows, and
the farm country slowly changes from
the summer cottons into its winter wools.”
~ Henry Beston #quotes

"Life starts all over again
when it gets crisp in the fall."
~ F. Scott Fitzgerald

Walking outside the past few days here in the land of "stuckinindiana" gave me a renewed outlook and a sense of energy to face the coming seasons in our lives. I ended up with over a dozen MORE shots of autumn that are waiting to be paired up with a good quote. I'm so grateful for fresh autumn air & the beauty of the season. 

5 Minute Free-For-All - When It Gets Crisp in the Fall - #write31days 10-30-16

29 October 2016

Open for Examination? - #write31days 10-29-16

It's so easy to use up most of our time running around doing good -- and feeling good about it. But, perhaps God wants to point out something in us that needs to be changed... made new... refined. Our hearts need to be open for examination on a daily basis -- not just when we run out of good things to do on our own. 

And face the fact, it's hard to let Him set the agenda for us when we feel that He's equipped us so well that we should plan & do things all on our own.

Many believers are familiar with this scripture:

"Search me Oh God & know my heart, try me and know my anxious thoughts; and if there be any wicked way in me, lead me to the way everlasting."  Psalm 139:23 & 24

I wonder how many times I've prayed that scripture but, didn't really want God to point out anything that I needed to change?

I don't believe that the relationship with Christ is a scorecard - where the relationship is right on track if the checks in the "Good" column exceed the checks in the "Bad" column. I believe we can be sailing along, convinced that we are right on target, because we aren't really doing anything "bad". But, what about ASKING God to point out areas He wants to change? What about allowing Him to examine our innermost heart & begin the changes that need to happen for His perfect will to be accomplished. I think there are so many good things to be done in our world. But, there's a time and a place and a person for each of those things.

My personal challenge is to open my heart to God daily & allow Him to examine and search me. I want to listen to Him & apply what I hear. I encourage you to take a moment to open your heart to Him daily - allowing Him to search you & to point out ways that you can be more of what He created you to be

5 Minute Free-For-All - Are You Open for Examination? - #write31days 10-29-16

28 October 2016

Thank Goodness He Takes Care of the Simple-Minded - #write31days 10-28-16

When I was a very young child, I remember my grandmother exclaiming, "Thank goodness the Lord takes care of the simple-minded!". This was right after she was informed that my 6 year old cousin had snuck out of her house & crossed the street to play at the city park. I knew she was referring to my cousin & remember wondering what simple-minded meant.

Well, time marches on & the term simple-minded isn't used any more. But, I have always thought the term was a bit funny and have always thought myself to be simple-minded about certain things :) Throughout life, as I have made senseless mistakes or felt insecure or insufficient in my actions or abilities, I've seen the Lord protect me and help me out. So many times my mind went back to grandma's "scripture" .

Today I almost missed out on something and thought, "If I was paying more attention, I would have known about that". I was extremely frustrated that I was so forgetful about certain things. And, then I quickly thanked the Lord for pointing it out to me. And, I said what my grandmother said that one day. "Thank goodness the Lord takes care of the simple-minded!"

Well, here are a few translations of what my grandmother had said. These are from the Bible, Psalm 116:6:
  • The Lord preserves the simple. NKJV
  • God takes the side of the helpless. The Message
  • God protects those of childlike faith. NLT
  • The Lord protects the unwary. NIV
Q: What did I almost miss out on?

Dancing with the children on the green screen at the
WFYI Members Halloween Party :)
A: The annual Members Halloween Party at WFYI in Indianapolis... GOOD TIMES :)

Fellow believers... don't stress about your short-comings... God has your back!!

5 Minute Free-For-All - Thank Goodness He Takes Care of the Simple-Minded - #write31days 10-28-16

27 October 2016

Words of Wisdom by Buechner - #write31days 10-27-16

There are several writers who hit the ball right out of the park with their words, so to speak. Some that come to mind are C. S. Lewis, Maya Angelou, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Ann Voskamp

One writer whose words reach into the core of my being is Frederick Buechner. (from his websiteFrederick Buechner - pronounced BEEK-ner - is an American writer and theologian. He is the author of more than thirty published books and has been an important source of inspiration and learning for many readers. His work encompasses many genres, including fiction, autobiography, essays, sermons, and other nonfiction.) 

Here are some of my favorite quotes from Buechner:

"The sacred moments, the moments of miracle, are often the everyday moments."
~ Frederick Buechner, The Magnificent Defeat #quote

"Your life and my life flow into each other as wave flows into wave,
and unless there is peace and joy and freedom for you,
there can be no real peace or joy or freedom for me."
~ Frederick Buechner #quote

"Whatever else is withheld,
the shepherd never withholds himself."
~ Frederick Buechner, Secrets in the Dark #quote

"I not only have my secrets, I am my secrets. And you are yours. Our secrets are human secrets, and our trusting each other enough to share them with each other
has much to do with the secret of what it means to be human."
~ Frederick Buechner #quote

"You can kiss your family and friends good-bye and put miles between you, but at the same time you carry them with you in your heart, your mind, your stomach,
because you do not just live in a world but a world lives in you."
~ Frederick Buechner #quote

"Joy is a mystery because it can happen anywhere, anytime, even under the most unpromising circumstances, even in the midst of suffering, with tears in its eyes....”
~ Frederick Buechner #quote

"The life I touch for good or ill will touch another life, and in turn another, until who knows where the trembling stops or in what far place my touch will be felt.”
~ Frederick Buechner, The Hungering Dark #quote

For more Buechner quotes, we have an album on Pinterest and an album on Facebook.

5 Minute Free-For-AllWords of Wisdom by Buechner - #write31days 10-27-16

26 October 2016

Choosing to Smile Instead - #write31days 10-26-16

Are you one of those people who gets accused of smiling almost all the time? Are you someone who smiles even when things aren't going well? Have you ever had someone ask you how you can smile at someone who has clearly treated you poorly? How about being asked why you smile at someone who has done wrong to a close friend -- have you been questioned about smiling at them in passing?

Well, I have! Apparently, I smile a lot. I guess it's my facial default mode. I owe some of that to my a father - he had a huge smile almost all the time and extended grace in times when the rest of his family wanted to see someone run out of town. He always told me that no matter what happens, we can choose to smile.

And, as a grown up today, I still have people question me on why I smile so much. Many of these are friends who are walking with me through a tough time (the illness of a loved one, the loss of a job, the end of a relationship, etc.). I've been asked if I'm faking being happy. I've tried to explain that I don't have to be 100% happy to smile. 

So, it stands to reason that I loved it when I found this quote:

Choosing to smile even when you are having a bad day doesn't mean you're being fake. It means you're choosing to focus on all the reasons you have to be thankful instead of the reasons you have to be stressed.

No matter how bad things are going in our lives, we are always given circumstances, things & people which can fill our hearts with thanksgiving - if we will allow them to do so. Money might be a little tight due to health expenses - but, we can be thankful that we have hens laying eggs for us each day; or a church pot-luck dinner to attend; or a restaurant gift card that hasn't been used yet. We might have received an un-welcomed test result - but, we can be thankful that something was caught in it's early stages or that we finally have a name to make reason of the symptoms we've been experiencing. I have a sister-friend who tragically lost a nephew in his late teens. She was assured by an older woman that she had loved that boy as well as he could have been loved. When I first heard that, I wondered if it brought much comfort. But, as I began to think about the loss of one of my children, I realized that going into such a heartbreaking loss with regrets about how I'd treated or cared for my child would have been devastating.

And, another bonus to smiling too much...
"If you laugh a lot,
when you get older,
your wrinkles will be
in the right places."
~ Andrew Mason #quote

5 Minute Free-For-All - Choosing to Smile Instead - #write31days 10-26-16

25 October 2016

Mondays Happen with Alarming Regularity - #write31days 10-25-16

For those who have a Monday through Friday work schedule, there can be a sinking feeling on Sunday evening when Monday is almost here! The weekends can be full and fun. But, weekends are not always restful. And, in my experience, Mondays have not been one of my favorite days. And, they seem to happen with alarming regularity!

Sometimes Monday sneaks up on us - catching us totally off guard... 

Lots of Mondays have begun this way for me...

Then there are those Monday's when our "Monday Face" lets the world know that we're definitely not ready to begin a new week. 

And, some weekends are so busy & demanding that we just can't seem to get our eyes to open or our minds to wake when Monday comes... 

Hopefully most of the time, we just bite the bullet and seize the day. We put on our best game face. We dress the part. And, we head into the day with determination to conquer the day.

But, what about those suspicious people who actually LIKE Mondays! I tend not to trust them. I'm thinking that the ones who are happy on Mondays must be...

Regardless of whether it's Monday that has you struggling or something else, don't forget to take one day at a time. And, be encouraged...

5 Minute Free-For-All - #write31days 10-25-16 Mondays Happen with Alarming Regularity

24 October 2016

Letting Go - #write31days 10-24-16

How tightly do we hold on to people, places & things when we should loosen our grip... and let things happen freely? Why do we hold on so tightly? When is it time to let go? Why do we want to control our loved ones lives & yet we don't want our loved ones to control us? Why do we get comfortable in a certain place or in a certain scenario or with certain people and refuse to be open to changes?

Ann Voskamp has a great quote which rings so true to me at this season in our lives... 

"Sometimes letting go is how to
find out He holds."
~ Ann Voskamp

If you were hanging from a cliff 30 feet up, would you let go? Would your reply change if I added that a strong person was standing right beneath you with open arms? If you didn't totally trust that person, would you still let go?

For those of us who profess to love & serve the God of Abraham, we always HAVE someone with us who will "catch us". We have someone who has heard our cries & compassionately cares. We have someone who is able to take the darkest threads in our lives and weave them into a beautiful tapestry.

But, do you trust him? Do we really trust him? If not, why not?

There are so many things in life that just don't make sense. Our love (and/or intense LIKE) of people, places and things often causes us to hold on too tightly. Most of us want to be able to make sense out of what happens in our lives. We want to keep those we love from hurt or harm. We want to feel safe, comfortable & secure - sometimes even at the expense of our best or the best of those around us.

Sometimes we just need to let go!

5 Minute Free-For-All - Letting Go - #write31days 10-24-16

23 October 2016

Should I Write for the Public? - #write31days 10-23-16

With the craziness in our lives lately, the quote below rings TRUE with me. I seem to be writing my own personal story lately. I feel as though I need to write for myself lately. I wonder if anyone else cares what I have to say. I wonder if someone will be encouraged by what I say. I wonder if someone will relate to what I say. And yet, a part of me doesn't really care that much about the "others". I feel the need to write for me.

"It is better to write for yourself and have no public
than to write for the public and have no self."
Cyril Connolly #quote

I began writing as a young child. I wrote only for myself - feeling that what I had to say was of no interest to anyone since it would not relate to anyone. I was also embarrassed of what I wrote and who I was. I was insecure and truly felt that I was not worthy of sharing my views & thoughts with others. As I matured, I began to think that perhaps there might be one other person in the world that might be a little like me. And, I began to feel as though I had to be open about my weaknesses and my battles & challenges. 

As a young adult, I grew in my relationship with Christ and asked God to use my words, thoughts, views, etc. I began to see that many others in the world felt insecure with who they were... with what their worth was. I was also convicted that the feelings of insecurity & self-loathing were a tool... and not a tool of the One I called my Lord & Savior. I felt isolated and helpless in my insecurities. This isolation made me feel powerless. And, I began to question whether others might be feeling isolated and powerless.

So, I began to share openly about what I was facing. I began to write about the things that blessed me and the things that pulled me down. I began to write notes to myself as a reminder in the years to come to not lose perspective of views I had when I was "younger". I began to expose things that I'd hidden for years.

The Connolly quote above reminds me of one of Shakespeare's most famous quotes:
"To thine own self be true."
~ William Shakespeare #quote
"To thine own self be true." ~ William Shakespeare

Should we really do ANYTHING for the public...or for the betterment of ourselves... first? 

5 Minute Free-For-All - Should I Write for the Public? - #write31days 10-23-16

Sometimes Things Slip Through the Cracks #write31days 10-22-16

Does your life seem to be full of days when things "slip through the cracks"? Lately, I seem to have a LOT of those days. One such day was YESTERDAY. Early in the wee hours of this morning (10/23/16 around 3am), I abruptly woke up and realized that I'd never written or published a #write31days post for October 22nd!

At the time of the awakening, I was sharing a twin bed with a 3 & 1/2 year old and sleeping UNDER a Disney Princess tent. Had I been in my own bed, I would probably have grabbed the laptop & written something right then. But, when a young child is sleeping peacefully beside you... you stay quiet & you don't move.

This is my fifth year to accept the writing challenge (aka the #write31days challenge) begun by the Nester several years ago. I have never missed posting on the day. I had hoped not to do that this year - especially after getting back in the country after traveling the first 8 days of October and having posted each of those days.

But, yesterday was FULL and FUN. And, special people and special places took over my mind. I lived in the moment. I lost track of time & enjoyed spending time with dear family members & friends.

It's said that we should... Live in the moment. That's what I've been doing. And, I've been doing it without regret. A great health tip for health, wholeness and wellness is to LIVE IN THE MOMENT. However, the Cookie Monster quote might be a little over the top - ha ha!

Sometimes things slip through the cracks and it's perfectly alright for them to do so!!

5 Minute Free-For-All - Sometimes Things Slip Through the Cracks #write31days 10-22-16

21 October 2016

Get Me to the Church On Time #write31days 10-21-16

Tonight my older sister is singing this song...

     I'm gettin' married in the morning
     Ding, dong, the bells are gonna chime
     Pull out the stopper, we'll have a whopper
     But get me to the church on time

And, I'm loving the fact that I get to be a part of her big day tomorrow. An outdoor wedding in a fall setting at a Virginia state park has now been moved to a small country church - thanks to the weather forecast for tomorrow. Rainy and in the 40's is not the best weather to walk down a beach path toward a little pier. But, the day will be bright and full of love & happiness. And cherished memories will be made.

As we've visited tonight with my sister & her soon-to-be husband, I've been filled with emotion seeing the love and friendship between them. The LOML & I are here with the Little. And, the Little has taken an instant liking to her new "Uncle". There's a sense of peace & rightness about all of this.

My sister has waited almost 40 years for this day. We are so excited for her. She and I have shared a love for older movie classics. And, we were talking about My Fair Lady tonight. I'm notorious for being late and have a suspicion that my sister will be singing to me in the morning...
Get me to the church on time.

5 Minute Free-For-All - #write31days 10-21-16

20 October 2016

Comparison is the Thief of Joy - #write31days 10-20-16

This is year 5 of me participating in the #write31days challenge with thousands of other bloggers/writers. I've been so busy this year (and especially this month) that I feel like I can hardly write each day. I read posts by the others who also accepted the #write31days challenge this year and wonder why I am even participating. 

But, then I think about how much I enjoy writing -- regardless of the number of people who read the posts or the number of comments or shares. Writing is a great creative outlet for me. It marks my days - the thoughts, dreams, actions, feelings, desires, disappointments, lessons learned and much more. 

If I allowed myself to make comparisons between how I write and how others write, I would not experience the joy that I have in writing. I'm quite certain that I would fret over each new post wondering if it was worthy of this challenge. And, each day would become harder and harder as I focused on the excellent writing of others and the "sub-par" writing I do. But, that's one great thing about writing... it's for everyone!

I spent a lot of years in my life letting comparison of myself with others rob me of joy. I guess there is an up-side to getting older. I've gotten to the point where I want all the joy I can get and I'm not that concerned about comparison anymore.

So many things in life would be better if we would embrace Roosevelt's words...
"Comparison is the thief of joy." ~ Theodore Roosevelt

19 October 2016

Little... but FIERCE

For the past 6 days, I've been the caregiver of the Little - our 3 and half year old granddaughter - while her Mommy is away on a trip. 95% of the time, she's a JOY with not many challenges at all. The remaining 5% of the time, she is a JOY with TONS OF CHALLENGES - all very typical to that age group though. I love being with her & she definitely keeps me on my toes! I suppose other children her age have a great memory. But, I am constantly amazed at her fantastic memory.

  • After having been to our apartment complex only 3 times, the other night as we approached the entrance to the apartments, she announced, "We are home at our apartment!"
  • At the Dollar General yesterday, we saw a set of Frozen kids' dishes in teal and purple. We walked out of the store with a full set in teal for less than $5. For dinner last evening, she demanded to have her food on the purple ones we saw in the store but, that I had not purchased.
  • A few days ago, I gave her a choice of Cheerios or yogurt for breakfast. She announced that she wanted "product". I had no idea what she meant & began to question her about what this mysterious "product" could be. Thankfully, she caught a glimpse of a box of raisins in the cabinet & requested a bowl of Cheerios with raisins in them.
  • This morning when giving her suggestions for breakfast, she exclaimed, "I told you 'last day' (her term for days, weeks, months in the past) that I wanted PRODUCT and that's what I want." After a tantrum fit or two and me walking away a few times, she calmed herself. Since I'm the ADULT & not new to this rodeo, I managed to trick #theLittle into eating some Greek yogurt, raisins & walnuts and drink some cranberry juice for breakfast while I got ready to go out & take her to the grocery store to find PRODUCT. Since she's 3 and a half, she no longer wanted PRODUCT and wanted to keep her jammie's on and watch a "movie" on PBS Kids!

"And though she be little, she is fierce."
~ William Shakespeare

And, so... early in the day, I sit here all dressed up with no place to go. And, I write about being little but fierce. I'm visually reminded of the fierceness of little children as she sits cross-legged on the sofa loudly answering the questions posed on "Super Why" and continuing to tell me that she doesn't want to go shopping and look for PRODUCT. I'm reminded of small things that have been fierce in my life too...

  • One or two things someone did to hurt me years & years ago, still prevent me from looking at that person in a fresh new way -- without conditions or prejudices -- and prevent me from extending a hand of friendship to them.
  • I grew up feeling insecure and continue to allow a feeling I had as a young child affect my choices and actions as an adult - even when I know better. 
  • In the past I allowed the emotional baggage I carried with me to outweigh the heart & head knowledge I'd gained over the years. 
  • And, I remember a time when a small white lie turned into years & years of hiding something that wasn't that big in the beginning but, grew immensely with time.

What if... just what if... even when I feel "little" in a situation or when facing a task that feels overwhelming... I can be FIERCE too!

5 Minute Free-For-All #write31days 10-19-16 - Little... but FIERCE

18 October 2016

Enjoy the Little Things - #write31days 10-18-16

I'm not at our "house" this week. I'm at our tiny little 2-bedroom apartment in Kentucky. There are no chickens here to feed, water & let out to graze. There aren't 3.5 acres of property that is constantly reminding us that it wants to be wild... and not a real "lawn". There isn't a home full of possessions acquired over nearly 28 years of living in one town in need of being sorted through prior to our move to Kentucky (whenever that will be). I can't do any projects around the house or property to prepare it to be placed on the market next summer.

I'm in an apartment that can be cleaned in a matter of hours... with a small percentage of our clothes... with a small kitchen... with a tiny laundry closet & with really super small bedrooms. And, this week we have the Little with us her while her Mommy is taking a vacation with a cousin and being away from the Little for the first time EVER for any length of time.

Aside from tending to the needs & wants of our 3 1/2 year old girl, I don't have much that has to be done each day. The two things I need to work on are preparing posts for the When You're StuckInIndiana Facebook page and writing one blog post a day for the #write31days writing challenge.

So, I have been enjoying the little things...
  • holding the Little while she watches a PBS Kids show
  • reading books to our little one
  • taking drawing suggestions for the MagnaDoodle
  • playing dress-up
  • dancing like a ballerina
  • fixing fun meals
  • looking at Christmas decorations at WalMart
  • taking lemonade & cookie breaks a few times a day on the balcony
  • etc. 
Today, as I look back with the eyes of a responsible adult, I don't see much that I accomplished other than 2 loads of laundry & a few dishes. But, I feel accomplished... because I have given my time & full attention to a young child whom I want to feel valued and loved. And, I have really enjoyed sharing the little things with her!!

"Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things." ~ Robert Brault

5 Minute Free-For-All - Enjoy the Little Things - #write31days 10-18-16

17 October 2016

Creating God in Our Own Image #write31days 10-17-16

As I write this post my Facebook feed is most likely flooded with the political opinions from 90% of the people. (Or... is it Facebook that's putting through practically everything political that people post?) Either way, I am about done with it. I'm thinking a Facebook Fast would be really great during an election year!! 

Many of the posts and comments I've seen have become pretty heated. And, some of the dialog between brothers and sisters in Christ has not been, in my opinion, very Christ-like. It can be really hard to share our opinions without stepping on the toes of others who believe differently. I've been guilty of that and was not happy with myself about how that conversation ended. 

All of this political discourse can take its toll on each of us. I've thought quite a lot about how our disagreements can be seen as not just disagreement but disapproval... disapproval of a person's views and freedom to have those views... disapproval of their thoughts and values... disapproval of their very being. It can turn from disagreement to disapproval to almost hatred. 

Especially for those of us who claim the Name... we must beware. In the words of Anne Lamott... 

5 Minute Free-For-All - Creating God in Our Own Image #write31days 10-17-16

16 October 2016

I Like Comfort Zones #write31days 10-16-16

I have to admit... I like my comfort zones. It's easy for me to settle into a normal pattern or routine and feel safe and in control. But, often in those familiar settings, I stop stretching, learning and growing. I focus so much on what is directly in front of me that I don't glance ahead to see if there are new experiences or opportunities to grab.

We have been living in, what I feel is, an uncomfortable zone in the past 6+ months.

15 October 2016

Let's Be Fair or Should We Be? #write31days 10-15-16

The thought came to me the other day (as I was, most likely, thinking about what other people should do):
If we EVER have a chance to help someone in need,


not based upon their merit,

but based upon our personal commitment

to living a life full of grace!

There are times when I can honestly say that I feel exactly that way. Lately I've had more times when I've been willing to sacrifice my wants to offer grace to someone who doesn't seem to deserve it. Yet, I would have to admit that most of my life I've lived a lifestyle of "fairness for others" instead of grace, forgiveness and mercy. I've wanted to give people what they fairly deserved. But, I don't want to be FAIR anymore. Because I don't want to accept FAIR for myself! I want to live a life of GRACE -- just as I have received! 

Did I get what I deserved? Absolutely NOT! I have the promise of eternal life, without sorrow or pain. I have the promise of abundant life in this world. Do I deserve that based upon my "track record"? Not really. But, I am forgiven - because I sincerely asked God for forgiveness. I asked Him to walk with me daily & to convict me of what I needed to change -- fix -- improve.  

God's love is never based upon what's fair. It's given lavishly to everyone whether they have earned it or not by their actions, words, choices, etc. He gives me the promise of heaven -- and glimpses of it here on earth (Eccl 3:11) & a world of it to come!

Should we be fair or extend grace? Let's be one of the unlikely people to speak wisdom & extend grace.

"May we be open to hearing wisdom from UNLIKELY PEOPLE and receiving grace in an UNEXPECTED PLACE." ~ Emily P. Freeman

5 Minute Free-For-All – Let's Be Fair or Should We Be? #write31days 10-15-16

14 October 2016

Romantic GetAways + Anne Frank #write31days 10-14-16

An explanation of my PAIRINGS posts: I'm a very visual person - a touchy, feely, emotional person. I'm deeply moved by music, lyrics, quotes... and so many scriptures. I've loved writing & taking pictures since I was young. At some point, I decided to put them all together in a sort of "pairing". And, the rest is history.

This "stuckinindiana pairing" is full of memories for me -- a photo from a wonderful time away with the LOML,

13 October 2016

MORNING - A Sacrament of Hope #write31days 10-13-16

"Morning is a Sacrament of Hope. She is a gift of beginning.
Morning looks at me with eyes of expectancy.
She slips through the darkness on tiptoe."
~ Macrina Wiederkehr, Seasons of Your Heart

What great words! And, what a perfect comparisons and reminders:

  • Morning - a sacrament of hope.
Sacrament is defined as a religious ceremony or act of the Christian Church that is regarded as an outward and visible sign of inward and spiritual divine grace (the free and unmerited favor of God). And, hope is defined as a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen. Morning is an outward and visible sign of God's unmerited favor!!
  • Morning - a gift of beginning
Each morning is a gift to us which brings us a chance at a new beginning. Our circumstances might not have changed in the night. But, we have a new chance at how to approach them with each new sunrise.
  • Morning - with eyes of expectancy through the darkness on tiptoe
Not only does each morning give us a new chance and a new beginning but, it comes quietly through the darkness and shines light on our circumstances and our world with expectancy... for good to come.
I shared the following "stuckinindiana pairing" on the stuckinindiana Facebook page recently:

Some days really make a person long for the morning. Yet, with each new morning we can have hope.

5 Minute Free-For-All – MORNING - A Sacrament of Hope - write31days 10-12-16