Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Last Week of 2015

I love the transition week after Christmas.

Hubby and I traveled to our children homes over the holiday, spending time with our five grandchildren. Once again I was fighting  physical afflictions, but joy pressed through via hugs, games, movies, good food and "just the right gifts."

We are home now and I've spent several hours in the office over the past two days, but this afternoon I picked up my knitting and watched the last Christmas movie on my DVR. I will finish reading my final Christmas book this week too. Saturday the tree with its twinkling lights will be undressed and carried away.

I set aside a few hours on Sunday to create Vision cards for the year ahead. In the past, each New Year's Eve I dug out all my goodies needed in making a dream board for the coming year. This year, I opted to begin with large index cards , mini dream boards, each depicting an area of focus for 2016. Actually I let the creative process flow but the finished cards ( there are 10) aligned with my focus areas plus two surprises.

I am pondering how much time I want to dedicate to blogging in the year ahead. As this quiet week comes to a close along with 2015, I plan to spend time looking over my goals and searching my heart for the things I value and love.

Closing 2015, many thanks go out to my few faithful blog followers. Thanks for sticking with me. Rest and regroup with me carrying a grateful heart, letting go of those unwanted weighted thoughts and unhappy memories of 2015, gathering the good ones in my arms and looking ahead with hope.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Falling Stars

I found this card from my daughter on the floor in my office this morning. For a long time I had it hanging with others on the wall but it must have slipped off. Exactly what I needed today! Funny how I barely noticed it in plain sight but when moving a case, the starry treasure jumped out to greet me from the floor.

A week ago today I came down with a cold. I seriously thought I was beating it but every day the cold has gotten worse and feels like its beating me. I spent the past two nights in my recliner, upright to contain the cough. 

I made myself a promise to slow down this holiday season and not stress out, so Ive been working at Christmas shopping etc. at a modified pace. This may not have served me well. Now I have Christmas cards to write ( I haven't even bought them yet), a tree to choose and decorate, gifts to finish and wrap ... well you know the drill.

Instead I've been reading holiday novels, watching a few Christmas movies and going back over my journals of the past year. 

And I haven't finished my shopping! I tried the online thing this week. I had the perfect gift in mind for a grandchild. I even found the color! Alas, out of stock. I tried several other places to no avail. Everyone must have the same idea. Finally I managed to get all the way through to checkout with a second choice only to find they wouldn't ship to me internationally. Internationally? What? Seriously? I'm right here in the States. Hello?!

Here I am on this beautiful unusual spring-like Sunday in northern Maine, housebound, sick and stressed. 

Hence the card.

Perspective, girl, perspective! 

With all that's happening in our world, I count my blessings today.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Painted Grace

He canceled the record of the  charges against us
and took it away by nailing it to the cross. 
In this way he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities
He shamed them publicly by his victory over them at the cross.
Colossians 2:14-15 NLT

As I opened Beth's study on legalism, my heart sank. Rules, perfectionism, lack of mercy.
I see my own reflection in the Pharisee. 
The old me, the me who raised her children by mixtures and measures of grace and rules.

Measuring sticks handed out at church combined  with filters lodged in my soul by my own harsh childhood created a lethal combination.

I spent untold hours over the last few years in repentance and remorse until all good of the past is shrouded in shame. 

Sometimes all that is left is to forgive oneself and move on to victory ground. The ground of the cross where the record of our failures was expunged.

I am choosing the solid ground covered in Blood but my heart aches for the mixed message I gave my children concerning God. The God of Love and mercy.

Then I'm reminded of a promise given long ago.

Lord, you promised to paint grace over the canvas of my family's lives. I take you at your Word.

Your faithful love endures forever. 

I forgive me and release myself from blame - solely because of who you are and whose I am.

I believe your grace is huge! 

Paint big, Lord! 

Huge beautiful strokes of grace

reveal the true God of love.

I once prayed a prayer that I would be soaked in grace until I ooze grace.

I want to ooze the colors of grace.

Show us your glory,  O Redeemer and Restorer in this advent season.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Ending or Beginning?

The mattering part is never what isn't...
It isn't what dream has been cut down, 
what hope has been cut off
what part of the heart has been cut out.
The tender mattering part is-
you have a Tree.
Ann Voskamp

Another holiday ended in loss and disappointment. It was the first time my girls had both been home in months and months. I looked forward to scrabble games, movies, and art time together. A 3:00 a.m. wakeup sick stomach Thanksgiving morning put an end to all that. I struggled to get through the day and they left early the next morning.

I wrote in my journal - another ending in loss and disappointment. It seems every holiday I  battle sickness. 

I sat with my Bible open in my lap, my despair shadowing the written words. 

Unexpectedly a question dropped in my heart. 

What if this is not an ending but a beginning?

God has always used "what if" questions to get my attention. This thought had His fingerprints all over it.

I carried the question with me through the ending days of November, unfurling into December.

December - the ending of twelve months yet a time to cast forward toward a new year. 

Often we are so caught up in the stress and planning for Christmas that we barrel into January and quickly pen resolutions. 

What if we made space for beginning now?

How can I clear moments today for clarity tomorrow?

I move slowly into this first morning of December even though the day looms mountainous. Two appointments for me and taking my brother for his errands while battling a cold presses upon my weary body and soul.

Yet I hold a handful of hope.

Isaiah 11 focuses me forward. Winter lies ahead but spring will come. 

Hope gazes not on what ended but what begins.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Mending the Soul

I have nothing to bring you, Lord,
 after 63 years of raising a family, of ministry
empty- handed
except my faith
battered and worn.

I'll take it 
 a living sacrifice, wholly, acceptable
You see this as nothing.
I see it as everything.

I've been knitting a lot of late. The project I am working on presented more challenges than I expected. The stitches are small and Ive strained to find my way when taking them out several times to correct mistakes. 

My soul work has been a lot like my knitting. Focused, discouraging, starting again, keep moving.

Friday, October 30, 2015

What I Learned in October

Today I am joining Emily's "What We Learned in October." I love the idea of looking back over this gorgeous month, gleaning the treasures - some evident, some hidden under a bit of pain or a dark cloud. Here are a few of the lessons I walked through in October, carrying them with me into the new month.

  •  I gain time when I slow down. 
I know it sounds crazy! I find the more I grasp for time, the more it slips from my fingers. When I breathe and believe, I'm able to move into more space. 
Ann Voskamp says, "in Christ, we fill - gaining time." 
How is that possible? Picture setting our clocks back this weekend and gaining an hour. There is something magical about sinking into the present moment, rather than always reaching for the golden ring beyond our fingertips.

  •  A shift in perspective creates space. (See my gym time as "me time.")
I knew it was time to get back to walking at the gym. The weather has grown too cold for outdoor hikes here in northern Maine. I made it there twice this week. Popping my headset on, I found inspiration and a place where none can reach me for thirty minutes. Yay!

  • Sometimes what we think we need to do isn't really what we need at all.  Did you get that? And I call myself a writer! Sigh.
Last weekend Hubby and I were to attend a wedding. On the same day a friend of mine was speaking at a women's meeting, which I assumed I wouldn't be able to attend. She'd spent hours and days creating a gigantic anchor from paper mache and crafting her talk. I wanted to share in her joy.
All week long a gentle prompting to plan to attend nudged me. Thus on Saturday morning I headed for the meeting, finding encouragement and many beautiful moments. Hubby came down with a bad cold and cough so we never made the wedding (they had over 200 guests so we weren't missed.)

  • Balance is a process.
I keep bumping into the word "balance." First it was on Jamie Ridler's blogpost where she describes balance a bit differently than I'd heard before. I watched her video several times, especially the section on letting go and taking in. 
While working on my collage journal "balance" captured my attention.
Then one morning I turned on the television to find Joyce Meyer speaking right to me about taking care of myself through exercise, rest and eating.

  • Family is worth the trip, even on bumpy roads.
I know this sounds a bit simple but this month was both a tough one and a wonderful one with my family. Family can be messy and hard and hurtful, calling for grace and forgiveness and a lot of 
love- overlooking- stuff.  Then the moments of pure joy break upon us, making it all worth the journey. 

  • I can make a video! Hooray.
Check out this blogpost. 

Hope you enjoyed a peek into the lessons I'm learning. Feel free to share with me.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Finale with Hope as the Major Player

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him,  so that you may overflow with hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.
  Romans 15:13

I stand in the midst of this scripture today, pulling it up over me like a blanket.

I've mused for four days now for all to see. In between I count my blessings, swimming gratitude.

Today I settle into the remaining color of autumn, turning my eyes to the unseen God of hope.

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.
                        Proverbs 13:12

I've been focusing on unmet hopes, desires denied, loitering fears. This morning my prayer is for fresh hope.

My best days are yet ahead, starting now.

I begin again - listening, opening, resting, choosing and clearing the congestion.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Balance : Soul Congestion - Part 4

My one little word for 2015 has been "unscripted." 

My word for the summer was "listen." 

Trusting God holds the script allows me to let go of tight-fisted control. I find this to be a daily process.

Listening. Always returning to listening requires showing up for my life. In the moment and for the long haul.

Every year I spend my entire fall planning, preparing and creating for Christmas. I love to surprise my family with heartfelt, thought out, unique, and often handmade gifts.  On December 26th its over, leaving me exhausted and sometimes succumbing to illness.

I want to break the pattern.

Fall has always been my most productive season. This year I am feeling tired, longing to feather my nest and rest. Yet the temptation to dive into several creative projects pulls me.

I'm adding another word.


Lock in to my rhythm, sensing the ebb and flow, identifying undercurrents and dropping anchor in the right place and season.

The Unnoticed Life; Soul Congestion - Part 3

Who notices a single leaf slipping to the ground beside an old falling-down barn on the back road of nowhere?

Perhaps this is my quandary, the one keeping me up at night. 

Will my life go unnoticed? 

The list of synonyms for unnoticed begins with:
  • overlooked
  • undiscovered
  • unrecognized
  • unseen
Can you identify? I don't want to miss anything. I don't want to leave this life overlooking my destiny, leaving little treasures undiscovered. I long to recognize God in the midst of each day.

Most of all, I don't want my life falling to the ground "unseen."

There are days when I feel like I'm here as a prop for others, the holding- up person, the necessary but unseen. 

That would be okay- except for those down-deep desires pressing against my heart. 

The ones I've spent years hushing until they all mesh together, yet never fully disappear.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Soul Congestion - Part 2

Sit with the tension.

In yoga, one of the keys is to sit with the tension. Don't be in a hurry to go to the next move. Let the stretching work its magic.

"We have all winter to work on those things." A friend quipped in reply to my frustration with not being able to get into a project.

Am I in too much of a hurry?

Last night when I was writing part one of this post,  I kept pondering two words.

Soul congestion. 

How could I clear my mind, will and emotions from the tentacles of regret, planning and the feeling of too little time for all I want to do?

At 4:00 a.m. these words floated to the top of my mind. 

Sit with the tension. Sink into it. Stop fighting your life with all its interruptions and people stuff.

Is that the same as letting go? 

Is it simple trust?

Trust in myself. Trust in God. Trust in the process.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Soul Congestion - Part 1


Three a.m. finds me in my green chair holding a cup of sleepy time tea and my iPad.  I tried to stay in bed, tossing and turning for hours, attempting to move away from hubby's coughing and snoring, due to his cold. 

I rubbed arnica on my aching back muscles, popped a Tylenol and listened to podcasts in my earbuds. None of the usual help-me-sleep aids worked. Finally I got out of bed and cranked up the thermostat.  I worked on a few yoga stretches to ease tight muscles.

A mere seven days has passed since a friend took the above photo. The morning was crisp and clear and autumn was exploding with color. A morning of perfect freedom.

Since that day  I spent hours traveling, sleeping in hotel rooms, eating unfriendly foods and easing my way through emotional issues and responsibilities. 

The problems in my body reflect the deeper issues of my soul. 

I am experiencing soul congestion. 

I seriously need a detox in my body.

How does one detox her soul?

can't seem to focus. Several projects lie in wait for me. Nagging thoughts  of Christmas, fast approaching, run circles around my mind. I'm frantically doing everything I can to avoid catching hubby's cold after spending three months last winter down and out. Losing a nights sleep certainly won't help.

Everything feels too crowded, tight and weary. 

How do I move out of this mucky place?

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Journal Showdown - Take 3


Perfectionist tendencies grasp my arm, screaming, "Make another one! You'll get it right this time."

I am ignoring her taunts and posting my first ever video for Jamie Ridler's Journal Showdown. I'm trusting you faithful - readers- of- my- blog for grace :)

I referenced Jamie's studio with the wrong URL so here's the right one -


I need to film sideways, smile more and look in the right place. Any suggestions welcome :)

My Little Blue Book

Thanks for joining me!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Break Out the Color!

What a beautiful fall day here in northern Maine! The fog rolled in over the fields this morning with warmer temps than the past couple of frosty mornings. Most of my flowers are gone now except for a hardy few. The leaves are teasing us with color here and there, much slower than usual. I expect this week they will explode in red, orange and yellow.

I took a snack break and decided to post a quick October hello. I am digging out a few warmer clothes. Later this week we will head down to close our camper. Seasons are in full swing shift now.

With the change is seasons, my desire to quilt and knit and create with color is growing. Perhaps you love to paint, photograph or art journal. Check out the interview with my daughter over on Fearless Lines. Here is a woman with two jobs, a five-year-old with high energy, and many responsibilities. Yet she takes time to get into her art room. Please stop over to Fearless Lines and read the interview. You will be inspired.

Take time to enjoy nature's beauty today or create some of your own and drop a comment to let me know.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Glorious Fall Living

September gave us glorious summer-like days, making up for our cold June. The leaves are slow to turn color, bees hum amongst my flowers impeding my shutter- painting project, and women wearing shorts on cooler days cause me to shiver. My own denial keeps me slipping into sandals, avoiding warmer footwear. 

Nevertheless, a few nights of heavy frost remind me autumn is here. Golden sunsets hover over stacked hay and dusty spirals swirl as harvesters dig potatoes from the ground. I, too, enter the rhythm of the season, cutting back plants and completing outdoor projects such as washing windows and planting a few bulbs.

Today, rain beats steadily on the windows, reminding me to update my neglected blog. I clicked on my COMPEL training site for writers and completed the lessons in 401 and 501. Pulling a gray sweater over my head, I settled in to read over the completed chapters of my book, wondering where to go from here. Does writing a book usually take this long?

Tomorrow quietness will turn into a flurry of activity. Mom will stay here while her car undergoes an oil change. I have an appointment in the afternoon to take my brother to fill out an application for an apartment. Fingers crossed. 

The novel I'm reading beckons to me from across the room. Many things compete for my blogging time these days.  I try. I really do but my heart is not in it. For now, check with me on Instagram and I will post occasionally but life begs to be enjoyed, not always written about.

Friday, September 11, 2015

What Really Matters

"Listen for God's Voice in everything you do, everywhere you go. 
He's the One who will keep you on track." 
Proverbs 3:6 MSG

I spent decades trying to do the "right thing." 

Be the perfect Christian, serve Jesus, make sure all my ducks were in a row.

Dr. Phil would insert a question here. How did that work for you?

It didn't.

I loved Jesus and spent time with him, but he had competition. The church's pressure, my perfectionistic tendencies and a bunch of wrong thinking all rolled up in a big snowball, constantly kept me rolling away from him, arms and legs flailing.

Those days are behind me for which I am eternally grateful. Now and then the "I shoulds" show up to keep life interesting.

Like this week. The Beth Moore simulcast is tomorrow. Of course, I'm going, I told myself. 

"Pencil me in," I told my friends.

 Why the pencil? A combination of other responsibilities and a nagging unsettled feeling.

All week I waffled back and  forth. I'm going. I'm having a gathering at home. I'll watch it on my own.

Meanwhile, my brother shared his excitement with me about his first table at the Trash and Treasure show. A big indoor flea market basically. The stack of books on my porch had been growing all summer as I sorted and reluctantly at times prepared a stash for his table. Yesterday I helped him take his books over and set up for Saturday. This entailed several trips up and down stairs to his second floor apartment lugging bags and boxes of books. 

I definitely did my part. Mom could help him Saturday morning with the selling part, giving change etc. I was going to Beth Moore. Then Mom made a statement as we were setting up.

" I get a bit nervous giving change. There are so many people in the morning."

My heart sank. But I knew. I'd been hearing God's quiet voice all week. 

Following God doesn't look like what it used to for me. There was a time I wouldn't have questioned going to the simulcast. The last few years I've changed. I've heard the cry of the one who falls through the cracks, unnoticed, unloved, unheard. 

Once you hear the cry of a single heart in need, truly hear it, you can never go back.

This may look like a simple sale table to me, but it means a lot more to my brother. 

Thus it needs to matter to me.

A couple of weeks ago, the Lord impressed these words upon me. 

"You matter to Me. What matters to you, matters to Me."

I want to be like Him. I want the people in my path to know they matter. 

I know the heart of Jesus a little better these days and I know he loves each one sheep deeply. 

Lord, help me to help you love here on earth in my small, chosen plot of ground. I'm sure Beth would say Amen to that.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

By the Sea

The first week of September has been hectic, blessed and beautiful weather. Just stopping in to let you know I'm here. Actually here is Bar Harbor for the long weekend. Be back soon!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Sparkling August

Ginger peach green tea and the new Artful Blogging magazine transform an ordinary Saturday morning into a delightful journey. I am inspired to blog, which is saying something considering I have eked out a mere five posts this month!

I'm sitting in front of the heater at our camper on this fall-like morning although the weather prediction is for nearly eighty degrees today. I've been looking back in my journal over the month of August, amazed at how much I packed into each day and still enjoyed summer rests occasionally. 

I made two trips to the camper, took a motorcycle ride, gardened, completed two Bible studies and one book read for review, put the finishing touches on my first pair of knit socks, knit several dish cloths, highlighted a friends hair, worked in the office, spent a lovely afternoon in Bar Harbor with my brother and his wife, integrated yoga stretches into my morning routine, prayed constantly for two friends undergoing surgery, and enjoyed a relaxing week with my best friend from Nova Scotia. Oh and I managed to write three chapters in my book!

Each morning I lift up my ordinary life to the Lord. His grace strengthens me in worries over a child grown distant, physical concerns and change threatening on the horizon. 

I cherish each moment of joy like this one😊 and choose joy in moments not so joyous. 

I am grateful for many answers to many prayers prayed this month passed. Those answers encourage me in facing uncertainties in days that lie ahead. 

My word for August was "sparkle." I found each day surprised me with gems,whether  big or small, redirecting my heart towards gratitude. 

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Sanctuary Under the Trees

A walk on a wooded path with a friend held my breath of worship this morning. With each inhale, I touched creation and exhaled gratitude. God is teaching me a new way of worship, where His Presence inhabits a beam of sunlight upon a leaf, soft footfalls upon the pressed dirt path, red berries stark in a forest of green. 

Decades of disciplined church-going practices prick my conscience, but only for a second. For three years now, God has done nothing as planned. My plan, that is. My vision is widened by the scope of His love and His immeasurable grace. 

Grace cannot be contained within walls, words or earthly wisdom. 

Whispers of his presence  permeate the ordinary, the simple, the sweetness of hot summer days.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Steamy Sunday Afternoon

Can you believe we are in the middle of August? Here in northern Maine the kids return to school this week, which is a signal that summer is coming to a close. 

I enjoyed my summer - time with family, working in my flowers, a small Bible study with 2 friends, camper time with hubby, wearing skirts every day, and being outdoors a lot!

This month we finished our study on Jennie Allen's "Anything." I highly recommend it. I also worked through Angie Smith's study "Seamless" on my own. I could do this one several times for it is packed full of nuggets from scripture.

For fun, I am participating in Sparkles over at Jamie Ridler's studio. I took the above photo for one of the assignments. Another of my favorite 5- minute Sparkles was writing a poem called a cinquain. 

whimsical, comical
loving, fluttering, enchanting
rainbows swirl about her

One of the collage assignments.

Its 90 degrees outside today and forecasted the same for tomorrow. Perhaps summer is departing with  flair. 
My thoughts are turning to projects I planned to complete before the seasons change. A couple of outdoor painting projects, restoring a hope chest I purchased for a steal at a yard sale, and my neglected writing course are among them.

For now a good book is calling to me on this steamy Sunday. Thanks for dropping by. 

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Celebrating A Year!

We are at the camper. Exactly a year ago Hubby had his heart attack. I am grateful for this past twelve months together. Life is a gift I don't want to take for granted. Choosing joy every day.

Gorgeous weather, family time, and good food this weekend. Check over on Fearless Lines for more pics in my weekly post.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Breathing Space

Morning breaking upon the campground warms my heart. I sit on the deck reading a chapter from "the gift of an ordinary day" by Katrina Kenison. Her words open my spirit each time I lift the book before me. 
Hubby has a dr appointment this afternoon nearby and after we I'll pick up Lily. Life will get busy. For now I breathe and stretch and whisper a prayer of gratitude for this space in which to receive grace. 

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Joy Moments from July

I loved taking July off from blogging! A few small changes gives us space to breathe and opens the way for joy! Here are a few of my Joy Moments in July.

Open to Joy!

Encircled in Light

Art Morning

Helping Grampy

Proud Artist!

Fair in the Rain!
Precious Moments

Monday, July 20, 2015

Rainy Day


Jumping in on this rainy Monday to share a few tidbits. I've been enjoying the break from blogging and social media ( a partial break😊) but I had a lovely weekend and wanted to share. Hop over to Fearless Lines and check it out. 

Hubby and I had a great Sunday afternoon with our oldest granddaughter. She and I enjoyed an excursion to  BAM and Bull Moose. 

This week my littlest granddaughter is coming to stay so I'm getting things ready today. 

I cleared the art table of my stuff this morning and loaded it with markers and crayons and art supplies for her. 

That's what's going on in my corner of the world today.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Taking a Break

I've decided to take a bit of a break. I have many pictures I'm itching to share but July tends to be a busy time and I love being outdoors while the weather permits. Don't forget to check back here or sign up to your right and I'll pop into your email when I return. I'll still be posting on Sundays over on Fearless Lines.

Happy July!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Happy July!

Hubby and I were away for ten days, vacationing with the family. We returned home today so as soon as I get unpacked and transition I will be back to post. 

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Covered with the Glory of the Gardener

I've been focused on me way too much lately. Oh, not in the selfish way of neglecting others needs! I continue to meet my responsibilities head on and pour out. My pouring looks more like the trickle coming from the end of my hose when it has a kink in it. 

In my last post, I shared a bit of my wilderness journey through life. Years ago when I read the Bible, I did so with a kink of sorts. I always saw correction leaning towards condemnation; my missing the mark rather than the mark itself. Roots of this skewed perspective grew from generations of critical, hidden women in my family and were nurtured by a works oriented church, which meant well but fell short in grace.

We have had a rainy, cold spring here in northern Maine. The beautiful blossoms on my geraniums are long gone. Every time I look out my kitchen window, my eyes inevitably land on this struggling pot. Yet when I take the time to venture outside and around the corner of the house, gorgeous deep red dahlias delight me! I don't know how they are thriving in this weather.

As I read through my 1988 journal, I noticed something besides the struggle. Scripture verses filled the pages, alive with the voice of God and his grace. Although my circumstances and emotions demanded my attention then, God's grace had taken root and no matter the weather, his love saw the beauty in me I couldn't see. God's eternal eyes saw what I would become. 

God is not an annual gardener. He is in it for the long haul.

In Isaiah 61, He calls me his "oak, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified."

I cannot see this glory today. Like Adam and Eve when they sinned, they saw their nakedness as the glory fell away. 

But God covered them with skins from the first blood sacrifice.

He covered me too with his own blood and clothed me with his glory.

Every year my gardening skills progress and my perennials claim more space, creating reoccurring beauty. What I need are eyes to see the progress, not how far I've yet to go.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

An Imperfect Life

I'm not perfect.

If trying could make one perfect, I'd get an A+. I tried until I fell down again and again from weariness, always falling short.

I tried to be a good daughter to avoid conflict with my step-dad. I tried to make my mom happy.

Then I got married. Surely my husband would mend the rips and tears in my soul.

He didn't.
He couldn't.
He wasn't perfect either, although closer than me.
I tried to make him fill me up. I begged and nagged, pleaded and criticized. To no avail.

My husband wasn't God and God wouldn't let him be.

My church and my children became my heart's focus. How I longed for their approval! I worked hard and expected a lot, too much. Too much from them, too much from me.

I lived in the wilderness of expecting too much from myself and never being enough.

Why is all this coming up now? Vacation season is upon us when we will all be together - children, grandchildren, dogs, and rainy days at camp.

Words spoken by my children over the years ring in the ears of my memory. Words pointing out my cracks, my failures, my shame born from wishing I could have been different then.

Yesterday I read words penned by my own hand in a journal 27 years ago. Those words revealed the struggles of a young woman attempting to mold young lives when she herself was broken.

Jamie Buckingham was one of my favorite authors back then. He penned these words and I wrote them in my journal decades ago.

"There are certain wilderness lessons that cannot be learned in the rush of life...only in the slow process of trudging...they must be learned slowly. They must be walked out through the experience of time."

I feel like I spent most of my life trudging in the wilderness. Progress was a slow process.

"To bypass the wilderness is to bypass God." JB

In those plodding years I met and grew to know God, one imperfect step at a time.

The thing is, He knew me inside and out and yet He wanted to be with me.

To be continued:

Sunday, June 21, 2015

All "Present" and Accounted For

Staying on track requires intention, practice and listening.

Getting off track occurs with weariness, busyness, and subtle rationalization.

I continued to write my intentions, slight morning pages, and empty check-ins. To be honest, I spent more time this week on social media than in prayer. My Bible reading was sparse and my writing practice took a back seat to busyness. Even my Wednesday blogpost fell by the wayside.

We all have responsibilities we have to fulfill. Mine took over my week.The thing is- none of them were big!

The little things can drain us dry when nothing is filling us up.

I noticed I was in trouble on Thursday when I went for my first massage in months and exhaustion flattened me afterwards. I found myself constantly on Facebook and for this gal, that's not normal. I'm not even a big FB fan!

My emotional energy had taken a serious dip.

In my email Friday, the Faith Barista shared a guest post from Claire Diaz-Ortiz about The Present Principle. The post brought me face to face with my weariness. I needed to make a change.

I  pulled out Angie Smith's Bible study Seamless and spent time reading familiar passages in Genesis, amazed at the new discoveries waiting for me. Hubby and I made a quick trip to the camper and back on Friday and Saturday. I kept my nose buried in my Kindle reading a wonderful series of books by Stephanie Grace Whitson. (If you're interested look on Amazon for Walks the Fire, Soaring Eagle and Redbird.)

Saturday afternoon I enjoyed watching Lily swim and play, drinking in the warm sunshine, rare this spring.

Simple pleasures often hold precious treasures for us. 

Treasures like laughter, peace, rest, refreshing and appreciation.

When our practices lose meaning and we find ourselves turning elsewhere remaining empty, perhaps it's time to re-evaluate and make a few changes. Time to slow down, mark out a bit of solitude, and listen. 

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Week in Review

My irises are celebrating this gorgeous weekend! 

I spent the first two days of this week shopping with my granddaughter. We hit all the thrift stores hunting for first apartment needs.  My favorite purchase looked even cuter when Ken placed all her eclectic mugs on the shelves. This photo was taken in the store.

Lily and I squeezed in reading time. I loved her giggles when I read the Thanksgiving book with the sneaky coyote who stole the turkey. I know it's not Thanksgiving but any day with Lily is one to be thankful for!

               Back home it rained for three days, perfect for wearing sockfeet knit by my best friend.

Walking around the yard this morning, wondering are the ones on my left weeds or flowers? (I found out later they are flowers, too).

Celebrating more news. Check out my Fearless Lines post today.