Monday, February 25, 2013

Writers Prayer

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Sweet Author of Life. The One who composed all things into existence.

I praise You. 

El Shaddai. Yes. The All-Sufficient God.

The Beautiful One who cannot stop creating beauty or expressing love.

Because that is who You are.

When I was sinking deep in the ash pit, You lifted my head and spoke love over me.
Thank you Jesus for removing my torn cloak of tangled identity and for draping Your crimson-dipped royal-robe with golden cords of love around me.

Only a King like You, could take mortal wounds like mine, and use them to breath life into my very soul. 

It makes me long to worship You with my whole heart, soul, mind, strength .....and every word that falls from these lips and through my fingertips.

I bow my head low and pray .....that You would be lifted high. 

Oh I want to be a psalmist Lord.  Expressing light and life through the lens of my heart, my words and my camera.

May I write with passion, power, and clarity.

What ever You have for me. That's what I want.

Nothing more. Nothing less.

Not more followers or page views or comments.
It is Your accolades I seek Lord.
Indeed I want to write for my audience of One.

Make my words Your words.
My story Your story
   ....for Your glory.

Would You make these words pleasing to You and send them forth like healing salve poured over those that ponder them?

Gather this collections of letters carved out, to pave the path that will lead hearts to you Lord.

May I speak the language of truth, life and love.

Might I pen what is refreshment and effervescent life to those that the words wash over.

Indeed, pour Your grace over every character, through every space and fill every margin.

Breath life into each piece of my heart tapped out.
Bless those who read the words that You give me. 
Yes, bless them and may they feel the love You offer to all.

Take my limited perspective and infuse it with Your infinite Spirit.

May my anthem be freedom in Christ.
Make my banner that of love and acceptance.

Connect hearts in the way that only You Creator God would be able to do

May searching hearts miraculously find You in this place.
Let the eyes of my heart see how to pray for them.

Put a hedge of protection around me.
Around those who read.
Encircle this little blog home that is dedicated to You. 

As I pluck from the places in my heart, and offer them to You, would You make them into something real and holy and healed?

And as I set my fingers to the keyboard I ask that you give me Your heart Jesus. Your words. For this time. For that person who You will draw to that page. Let it be only what You desire.

In all things Lord I desire that what I do, point souls to You for the answers they seek, for the filling they crave, the peace they are desperate for.

My strength is in You Jesus. May my writing be an expressed worship of love though You and extend as far as You will take it.

Oh may I not run ahead of You.

This blog.
It is my art.
A place of my worship.
One way that I serve You.
My deep desire is that my words serve You well.

Please let it reflects Your beauty and love.

And finally, may I live a life worth writing about. 

Amen. Amen.

* Teaming up today with 'Story Circle Writing Group' and penning a Writer's Prayer

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(in)courager Blog

Tracy Hicks and I have been teamed up to lead a group for (in)  If you would like to check out our blog follow the link below. Tuesdays are the day we post a new piece of encouragement there.

If you have questions, follow the "contact us" information on the site or here.

Thank you. 


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Monday, February 18, 2013

Significant Sisters

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"You are nothing like your sister, are you?" The words crashed hard and shattered into a thousand shards of glass into my heart. It wasn't the first time a teacher had said that. There were others too. Adults who let words slip out that splinter the morrow of bone never to be completely plucked. The casual observation wasn't intended as a compliment.

There is a photograph of me as an infant. My sister looks like Shirley Temple with bouncy curls, dimples and a smile that screamed sweetness. She is dressed in a silk puffy dress accented with the perfect little satin purse. That photo was a foreshadowing of things to come. My sister being adorable. Me. -Not so much.

The teachers loved her and rightfully so. She worked hard and wanted to please. She was always a good student who  seemed to know who she was and what she wanted. If there is anything to the 'oldest child' personality thing,  it holds true with my sister. 

In high school she was class secretary, high school mascot, and graduated at the top of her class. The very top. In fact she delivered her graduating class speech. At a very young age she was offered a high paying, highly sought after job.    She managed money well and had money to manage. When she moved away from home she already had matching dishes, silverware and a cedar chest that was overflowing with treasures and hope-filled dreams. To this very day she is smartly dressed from head to toe with coordinating clothes and well chosen accessories. She is just a class act.

There was a point that I realized I could never be like her. A time when I began to make decisions consciously to head the opposite direction so any comparison would be ridiculous. As if I had to try to be different.

My long wild mane of blond hair accentuated my personality. I preferred to run amuck in our forty acres of woods, riding bikes or playing neighborhood football. My side of the bedroom was complete chaos. Every aspect of my life certainly made my mom shake her head as she tried to help me navigate adolescents and young adulthood. In my quest to be different I worked at non traditional jobs like pumping gas, digging ditches for an excavating company and was hired as a switchman on the railroad a few years out of high school. Even today blue jeans and a hoody sweat shirt are my favorite every day wear. 

Early in my life I didn't know who I was, so I began to create a woman that didn't fit someone's mold. The best I could come up with on my own was a hardworking, self reliant, free spirited, rebel kind of woman. 

Thank goodness there was a day when I traded my twisted dreams for God-dreams. As time has marched forward He has molded my thoughts and heart with His Word helping me process what my real identity is and giving me peace with the reflection in the mirror.

Well that's what I thought. 

One early morning not so many months ago, I had a crazy moment when I asked the Lord to ' me, O God, and know my heart.....'  It wasn't a deep movement in my spirit. I was just reading, flipping pages in my Bible and praying breath prayers.

This came into my head.

"You have the sin of insignificance...."

It wasn't an audible voice, but the words were deafening. That word "insignificance" isn't a word in my vocabulary. It's an odd word. In fact I had to write it down because I couldn't remember it easily.

That morning  I headed out the door wondering what that was all about and prayed for God to reveal more.

What followed was a series of things that revealed my heart and His heart for me.

As soon as I had opportunity, I looked the word up. 

Insignificance: 'Having no weight, no effect, unimportant, without meaning, ... for want of meaning.' And in another dictionary: "unimportant."

Then I looked up the primary word.

Significance: 'to have meaning, importance, standing as a sign of something.' (emphasis mine)

Even though I know my Bible says we are, "....blessed, chosen, adopted, favored, redeemed and forgiven...."  I wrestle with the lies in my head. Some lies have faces with names and some are new visitors that I allow to penetrate at a cellular level. 

I was reminded of the ugly things we believe when I moved a stack of papers that were from a Bible study long past. My hands cupped tiny folded papers. On each scrap there was a word. The first one I unwrapped said "ugly". The second one said "fat". Another one  "dumb". Still another, "unwanted". Tears burned my eyes as I remembered the night I asked women to write down a lie that they had been told or believed about themselves. Just one word.

Without hesitation each woman quickly scribbled on their paper a word that had carved out a piece of their hearts.  

To rehearse their pain was softened by knowing that exposing these deep hurts to the light is where healing can begin for those brave women who dared to say it out loud. 

Most women I've met if they are courageous to think it out loud, wonder this: "Am I really enough?" "Am I beautiful?" "Am I of deep worth?"

The deep seated questions are found in the form of our statements. Like, I'm too fat, too thin, too old, not pretty enough, not smart enough, unable to speak well or some other self-deprecating statement.

My mind trailed back to being young and some of the things that marked me. Words that left deep prints like metal seals pressed into the wax on my soul. People who had no idea the power of their words. And even if they had never spoke them, the enemy of our souls is ever accusing us. 

Mostly I've settled the issue of who I am. My desire to use the  gifts and talents I've been given to bless others for the glory of God. Not for my own accolades, but deeply wanting people to be set free from old patterns of defeat and untruths in their heads.

As Jesus invades more and more areas of my life I can see the truth about myself and reject the things that aren't His voice.

This I know. The Lord wants to heal all those places in a soul.  He wants to replace every lie I've believed with the truth of how He made me. 

I believe the desire to know who we really are has been placed in our hearts by the God of Heaven.  And to understand that, we have to run to the God who created us. Not as a self focus, but so we are free to love God and love others.

And you friend.

It's time you know how amazing you are.


Right where you are. If we discover the truth that we are made in His image, loved deeply, princesses of the King    -we might be unstoppable.  

Jesus is so tender to speak to me about this "sin of insignificance."  

- - You see I can't write about a life I don't possess. I can't convince women they are cherished and loved if I haven't embraced it myself.  

This I believe.

There is a call on each of our lives. A call that can not be fulfilled by anyone else. 

We were made to be different, unique, individuals.

And yet. There are some ways we are more the same than we are different. 

We are God-cherished and Christ-chosen.

One more thing that the Lord has shown me.

The root word of "significance" is 'signify'. Latin significo; signum, -a sign. (Webster 1928 Dictionary) 

It has this idea of using words to communicate, make something known, to express or communicate to others an idea. 

It spoke to my heart as if it was a word play. That the Lord used this strange word to speak to me about my sin and to confirm His gift to me.

I have denied that I am a writer.

I have not believed that I have anything of value to say.

But this is the deal.

God  has indeed given me the unique, crazy, out-of-my-comfort-zone gift, of communicating through words, to make known His love to anyone who will listen. 

He has gifted each of you too. 


Those lies that you believe.....

Reject them.

Replace them with truth. 

Sisters. We are all significant.

And God. He is for you!

Do you believe it?

You = a-m-a-z-i-n-g! 

I know what I'm doing.
I have it all planned out
- plans to take care of you,
not abandon you,
plans to give you
the future you hope for.

Jeremiah 29:11 

* Photo Credit: Pinterest
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Monday, February 11, 2013


Hearts are my thing. I just like them. I like that they are red and pink. I like fat hearts, skinny hearts and funny shaped hearts. Yes. I just like them all.

Valentines Day is a favorite for me. It is a holiday where things are simple and fun. Small gifts for the grand-kids and a few baked surprises for folks who don't get out much.

Since I count you as my very favorite people I'm going to share these sweet finds and one of my favorite e-v-e-r recipes.

Oh yes!

1. Pinterest pictures: Yes. Love. these.

2. Printables: My heart beats crazy over these creative adorable gifts and the ladies that share them freely. Print one and frame it for someone?

'Designs by CP'  This lady is amazing.

'Designs by CP'   Super fun!

'Today's Fabulous Find'      (In lots of colors here...)

'Li Luna'  Candy bar wrapper and tons of good stuff here too. =]

3. Recipe : In our home, sugar cookies are part of any great event. And heart-shaped sugar cookies are even better!

♥ Gift For You ♥

The simplicity and fresh ingredients make these cookies sweetness factor go through the roof.  They have their own sugary-cookie smell and you will have to eat some of the dough. Yes. Really yum. 

4. Heart-to-heart: I made this little printable with verses about the heart.

Finally: The reason I think I love hearts.

The heart Jesus gave to me and the verse too.

“I will remove from you your
heart of stone
and give you a
heart of flesh.”

Ezekiel 36:26 

I love your beautiful heart!

Happy Valentines Day friend.

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Monday, February 4, 2013

What's In Your Cup?

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I never want to be a snob to anyone.

Not ever.


When it comes to coffee I could be classified as a 'coffee snob'.

 I   L-O-V-E   coffee.

I love the smell. I love the feeling of wrapping two hands around my favorite mug and hugging it to the point that my shoulders curve forward in the hugging effect too. 

A good cup of coffee really is an experience. 

One of my favorite-ever jobs was as a part-time barista in  a quaint little locally owned coffee shop. There I learned the art of pulling the perfect shot of espresso and how to turn milk into velvety foam. People would line up in the drive-through stringing back so far it sometimes caused traffic issues. One of the secrets of a good coffee shop is making sure that you produce that same amazing product over and over so when the customer take the first sip ..... they have that "awwwww yes.." moment. 

Unfortunately my little coffee habit was splashing overboard.

Overboard as in noon I haven't drank a drop of water but I'm thinking about having another coffee.

These past months I have had just about every cold and flu out there so I sent my doctor an e-mail whining about my poor immune system. She wrote back that I was probably dehydrated and went on to build her case of the problems that it causes.

A few things she pointed out? Water.. (not coffee?) makes up about 70% of our body weight. Our brains are 90% water. (hummm...) Dehydration not only causes problems with our immune systems, but also our circulation, proper digestion, distributing nutrients around the body, regulating our body  temperature, and removing toxins. 

If we drink too little we can have trouble thinking clearly, get headaches,  and it can lead to dizziness, lack of sleep, dry mouth, skin problems, joint swelling and cancer. Drinking plenty of water makes you naturally look younger. (She has my attention by now.)

- -And she added. 

Caffeine actually dehydrates you. "So for every cup you drink of coffee drink two glasses of water." 

Now this is a problem. I may love my coffee. But I am sick of being sick if you know what I mean. It sounds ridiculous but I had to break my habit of having coffee first thing in the morning.

It isn't earth shaking. But it was a small shift that has made a big difference for me these past weeks. So I thought I would share with you some of my water "upgrades."

First thing in the morning I have been drinking a glass of water with a single squeeze of lemon or if I'm cold I'll start the tea kettle and have a cup of herbal tea.

It has been  f-i-n-e. (So maybe I was a little shaky at first...)

During the day my long standing favorite drink is water infused with fresh limes and lemons. The great thing is that the fruit is readily available and you get a boost of Vitamin C. 

I wash the fruit and slice them into quarters. Then fill a large cup with ice. Squeeze two lemon quarters and one lime quarter over the ice. (more if you like) Add four or five drops of liquid stevia* and pour filtered water over the top. It is homemade-lemonade with zero calories and no artificial sweetener. I keep some wedges in the refrigerator so it's easy to do. It tastes amazing and makes it easy to drink more water.

Any fruit can make flavor infused water! 

Photo Credit *

Photo Credit *

Another favorite drink is Yerba Mate' (pronounced 'herb-a  mahtay') A mere 1/4 teaspoon of this tea makes a glass of water taste amazing. It also has natural energy boosting properties. This can be found at health food stores.

In her book The Truth About Beauty, author Kat James shares this refreshing drink. It is cranberry juice concentrate that has no sugar. Knudsen is the brand I get at a health food store. Add an ounce or two of the concentrate, a few drops of stevia,  a twist of fresh lime and seltzer or soda water (for the fizz).

This is so good.

You can make your own variation of this Spritzer, which I think is better than soda pop. I've used cherry concentrate, grape, etc. 30 calories of amazingness

There are so many flavorful teas and ways to make it easy to drink more water. I've actually enjoyed the variety and I do feel so much better. 

Photo Credit *

But don't think for a minute that I won't be enjoying an occasional coffee.

Me. The woman who   - -to this day will see people and not remember their first name. But I am able to recall that they drank a venti, skinny, sugar free hazelnut, with ghirardelli white chocolate, extra hot, with whip cream.

I personally prefer a grande americano with extra steamed half and half. (Just so you know.)

Because life really is too short to drink cheap coffee.

Whats in your cup?

Photo Credit 2

* Stevia is a natural sweetener that can be found many places. I usually get mine at a health food store.

Photo Credit*- Pintrest
Photo Credit 2 - Microsoft Clip Art

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© Rhonda Quaney