Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Learning Continues...

Be sure to read & enjoy my final bullet point about what I keep in my Survival Kit!

a page from my visual journal

~ Spring in northern Maine is unpredictable.

I find myself relearning this fact every spring. After months of winter, I long for days filled with sunshine and warm breezes. I stare at my empty clothesline, dreaming of white sheets basking in light. 
Alas, spring breezes remain cold, rainy days far outnumbering sunny ones. My first trip to the clothesline yesterday resulted in several black fly bites, despite the hefty breeze.  At the end of the day, I pulled a blanket over me as I settled into my chair with cinnamon cardamon tea and chocolate chip GF cookies (I've had way too much chocolate of late).  I meant to read but pure exhaustion led me to the television instead. 

~ Isolation breeds introspection.

I am an introspective woman at heart but I've learned to balance this character trait with friends and serving. I worked hard at keeping my focus in check over the winter months, but the ongoing winter/spring made it a challenge.

Photos from "Click" May/June 2016

~ Perspective paves the way to joy.

My camera lay dormant much of the winter. I find myself falling back on my iPhone for convenience sake. I don't need to plan as much or think about perspective. My thought patterns defaulted as well. How do I know? Dwelling on disappointment and discouragement mires me in emotional turmoil and robs my peace. Thus joy is nowhere to be seen.

Hubby & me, Memorial weekend

~ God wants to bless me.

I return to this thought again and again. I know He loves me and shows me in little ways everyday. Yet the struggle with my health and constant disappointments of late pull me away from resting in His love. Through His Word, He continually speaks the same message of grace to my soul.

~ Trust is the bottom line.

Trust remains the bottom line for me.

~Memorizing scripture serves me well in battle.

Scripture lifts my head above the noise of the world, stays me when everything changes around me and reassures me that God has not forgotten me.

Here is my memory verse for June:

"The Lord and King is the Holy One of Israel. He says, ' You will find peace and rest when you turn away from your sins and depend on me. You will receive the  strength you need when you stay calm and trust in me. But you do not want to do what I tell you.' " Isaiah 30:15 NIRV

I want to do what He tells me. I want to depend on Him, not myself. I need to trust His seasons and timing in my life. 

~ My Survival Kit

At the end of every Surviving Sarah podcast, Sarah asks her guest what is in her survival kit for this season. Here is mine:

  • Texts, pictures and time with my children and grandchildren
  • Prayer and God's Word
  • Books! I never leave home without one.
  • Netflix. I am loving Heartland right now
  • Long phone conversations with a few close friends
  • Massage monthly
  • Podcasts. I discovered podcasts this winter and I love them. Favorites include - the Happy Hour with Jamie Ivy, What Should I read Next, That Sounds Fun with Annie F. Downs, and several more.
  • iBethel TV
  • Apps on my phone i.e. She Reads Truth, You Bible, IF Gathering and as always Instagram

I will leave you on that positive note. Love to hear your what survival kit contains!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Whispers of Rest

"Only one thing is needed.
You don't need to be or do better-
just loved better."
Whispers of Rest
Bonnie Gray

If you visit here often, you've heard me mention my "wilderness whispers" in sporadic posts over the winter. Although sunshine struggles to emerge here in northern Maine, the black flies announce Spring's presence. My soul wrestles on the fringes of the desert in the wilderness. 

When I received Bonnie Gray's new book in the mail, something stirred in my spirit. As a part of the launch team, I had been reading a few chapters electronically, but when I held her book in my hands and read the printed words,  I began to hear whispers of hope.

Each morning, I settle into my green chair with a cup of tea, journal, Bible and her book. This morning was no exception. I'd read it before but today God spoke the words to me.

"You don't need to be or do better - just loved better."

"Is this true, Lord?" my weary soul questioned.

The wilderness season brings temptation to try harder, do better, make changes. Anything to get out of the desert.

If I could just eat better, perhaps I would be healthy?
 Never mind I've tried a million ways to eat healthier.

If I could just be a better wife?
 I pray my way through lonely days as plans are disappointed and Hubby works tirelessly, but there are times I struggle with my attitudes.

If I could just have been braver when I was younger, kinder, more adventurous? Perhaps my days would be fuller now.

If i could just?

If I could?

If I?


But to be loved better?

I am learning to rest in God's love.
I am learning to trust His love for me, to believe He knows how I struggle with my health daily, sees the unmet desires of my soul, feels my loneliness in this desert place. 

If I could just be-loved.


My word today is BELOVED.

Each day in "Whispers of Rest," Bonnie Gray gives you a word. Or you can be quiet, listen and God will breathe his own word over you through His Word. 

You don't have to sit still all day. You can take a walk, snap a photo, or put pen to journal. Bonnie's words serve as a guide along the journey.

Today is release day for Whispers of Rest. Go to or or Barnes and Noble.

Whether you are fighting black flies and dreary days or enjoying a sunny beach, Whispers of Rest is a beautiful 40 day take-along read. 
God bless you as you begin this next season of your journey.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

A Single Prayer-Drop in the Desert

Nearly six weeks have passed since my last post.

Winter continues to linger on the edges of spring. My furnace still runs to bring heat into our home as dreary clouds drop rain day after day. Both my husband and I are fighting colds.

God's waiting room begins to feel claustrophobic. (see prior post)

I ask myself, "what can I write here that anyone will want to hear?"

I have no answers.

I maintain my daily practices.

Every morning I spend with my journal and my Bible. I pray over my days and pray to maintain some sense of perspective above this earth.

I work in the office and keep my household running, take mom to lunch once a week, drive my brother for errands, and knit dishcloths to give away  while watching the Voice or Netflix with Terry in the evenings.

I know God moves in the ordinary but I know He also moves beyond.

I note His promises in a small journal, easily accessible, hope building.

"May streams of your refreshing flow over me until my dry heart is drenched again."
                                                                                                 Psalm 126:4 Passion Translation

This is my prayer.