Monday, March 31, 2014

I Am From

I am from sweeping expanse of country where the fragrance of cottonwood trees would drift in through our old farmhouse windows, and puffballs of cotton seed would stick to the screen, as the soft breeze rustled white cotton curtains. 

I am from the state that has more cattle than people per square mile in most areas. The state that has more usable water than any other state in the United States. The state where water pumps through the veins of a massive aquifer, deep below the surface, and up though the clatter of windmills that dot the landscape still. 

I am from the mid-west, where furrows are bore out in the spring, which soon sprout shoots of green that become an army of standing corn rows, waving their tasseled tops at the sky. 

I am from a state that has historic trails profoundly etched and crisscrossed, into its history and my heart. Where many brave men and women traveled in search of a better life. I am from, a place where landmarks still stood, 
in memory of those who left their footprints here. 

I am from the turn of the century farmstead with multiple barns, each with their musty smells and dim lighting which were used for storing hay, grain and milking cows. 

I am from the place that was a virtual playground of hand hewn forts and trees that hung their limbs low, to help us climb high for a lookout post. Where wild flowers grew and prairie grass stood so tall in the fields, that you could lay down, face to the sun and watch clouds form into every imaginary shape, as the world spun on and no one could find you for hours.

I am from the forty acres, just north of town, that some folks visiting fondly called "the farm," even though it was only an acreage. The place where two parents did their level best to raise four crazy kids, better than they had it. 

I am from a home where dad went to work long hours and mom left behind her own dreams for the sake of ours. Where meat and potatoes were served every meal on our grey Formica table that sat centered in the big window of a compact kitchen. Where roast beef, potatoes, carrots and gravy were served on Sunday. Hash gravy was on deck for Monday. A large Pyrex bowl of spaghetti on Tuesday. 

I am from a family of six, where we four kids, two girls and two boys, shared one bedroom all but a few years that we lived at home. Where mom stripped every bed and washed, then hung sheets on the line to dry on Monday. Every. Monday.

I am from the family who had a special need boy. The boy who got picked on and was never picked for anyone's team and who made me stand up to fight for the underdog, 
even though it wasn't the cool thing to do. 

I am from a neighborhood where kids came to play baseball in our field. Where we all ran in the wooded acres, splashed in the clear stream fed by an artisan vein, and gathered wild grapes that grew in abundance. Where everyone really did know your name and the ladies all gathered every month for coffee, and a few living, still do. Where we played all day outside until dark or until dad would blow the horn that he installed high on a telephone pole, which resembled the eerie wail of an old Model T, with a shrill "oooooogha" that pierced to the deepest corner of our world. At that sound we dropped whatever we were doing and ran like the wind to get home. 

I am from a mom, who would have us come in early on Saturday nights to take baths and then she would clip pin curls in my hair to sleep on. In the morning crazy curls were unfurled and we loaded up to attend church.

I am from the church that had beautiful stain glass windows and two organs. The church where I was baptized once and married once. The one with a huge gymnasium on the top floor that now echos only silence and crooked stairs that led to the bell tower. The building that had a small chapel, tucked in the center where you could go to be alone and pray.

I am from summer Bible school programs that my mom always cooked for and games of red-rover-red-rover were played on the asphalt of the church parking lot.

I am from the old country school that went up to 8th grade. 
The red brick building, that grew from being only one room. The place that had huge iron swing-sets, which we did back-flips out of. High welded monkey bars that I knocked myself out on, when the corner was cut too close and thick wood teeter-totters that someone always got hurt on, when their partner jumped off while you were up in the air.

I am from the place where we took sack lunches to school every day, that held handmade sandwiches, fruit and homemade cookies. Nothing processed. We were sure that we were abused.

I am from the country where my first friend was named Mary and we gathered eggs, rode horses, played in the tree line with broken dishes and slid down the laundry shoot from the second floor. The place that has an old box car parked deep in the wooded calving area that had old books thrown out from the country school we attended.

I am from small town America where I learned to drive young, in my dad’s pride and joy, black GMC pickup truck, with a distinctly pointed hood. Dad would stand in the back and drop off hay bales in a meandering line to the cows while my brother and I fought over who would steer. We bounced through the field trying not to knock Dad to the ground as we went along.

I am from a time when mom would give us five cents each and send us to the little store near my grandmas to get candy, so she could have a few minutes alone with another adult.

I am from thirty-six cousins on my mother’s side who loved to be together. Perhaps my favorite was when we gathered for 4th of July, at the lake south of town where we ate fried chicken and Aunt Pat’s potato salad. Where we walked barefoot on the rocky lane to the lake, bobbed on waves in inter-tubes all day and went home sun-kissed and happy that night.

I am from a mom who took us to the library, all the time and encouraged us to read, so we could travel to the places we didn't have the money to go visit. And I was Little House On The PrairieThe Box Car Children and Anne Of Green Gables.

I'm from a dad who worked his way up the corporate, management ladder, while mom tried to maintain everything else. A mom who could cook large 
amounts of food in a hurry, plus cinnamon rolls and pans of her signature brownies. 

I am from the country where it was cool to be in 4-H and take care of calves, sheep, pigs and get blue ribbons for one egg cakes. I am from the family that thought they were poor, 
but turns out we were rich.

I am from hard work and holding non-traditional jobs. Pumping gas at sixteen in a full service gas station, complete with window washing and oil changes. There was the excavation company, where I ran a shovel, a skid loader and learned how to drive trucks with trailers and could back-up any rig, long distances, in most any situation. I am from, being hired to build trains, as one of a hand full of women who held the title of switchman, in this, the world’s largest train reclassification yard. 

I am from the place of a broken heart, standing on a howling hill, over a grave too early, being a single mom and discovering that life just goes on, even after death. 

I am from the second born. The second daughter, who always felt like she might just be, second in all of life. I am from second changes and knowing that sometimes love sweeps you off your hearts-feet when you aren't looking and your children turn out to be more amazing than you ever could have planned. I am from grace, poured out.

I am from the refining fires of tragedy, grief, cancer and loss. I am from people who cut the fibers of my heart, so that now, I can extend Grace, just as it was extended to me. I am for the widow, the orphan, and the broken, for the ones that others pass by. I am passionate to hear people’s stories and where they are from. I often run ahead of God, but love Jesus with all my whole heart, soul, mind and 

I am from one-thousand hurts and ten-thousand blessing that molded the shape of my heart. Sometimes you have to look back and see where you are from, so you can appreciate where you are.


It is a gift.

Soon it will be tomorrow and this will be yesterday. 

Where are you from? 

My friend Elizabeth Stewart who writes here at "Just Following Jesus", wrote her "I Am From" post, last year and I have wanted to try my hand at it too as we wrap up another session at .

Originally "I Am From" was posted  here: at She Loves Magazine

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Embracing The Process

It began on Saturday. 

Huge snowflakes cascading from the sky, leisurely covering the ground, one delicate layer at a time. Just the day before, spring had arrived with 70 degree weather that made fat robins fly in and begin gathering material for their nest. Actually I don't know when they flew in, but I did see them being happy on Friday. The snow continued to fall as the hours ticked by and temperatures sank to single digits. 

Sunday morning brought the unveiling, of a Masterpiece of pure wonder.

Ice crystals hung in thick layers, like a mask over the rising sun. Frozen moisture clung to every exposed surface to become a stunning display of spiky frost art. 

The lake near us, looked like pink sea glass. Trees were as unique as snowflakes, each with a clear glaze of icicles and frost. My entire world, was an open-air cathedral, all a display of His splendor. 

This picture I posted above, may not win any awards, but it has no filters and was snapped from my phone, in a moving vehicle, while passing over the river bridge. It was crazy to do, but I was glad to capture any of the wonder, from steam rising off the water around trees still bare from winter. 

You just have to marvel at wonder when it presents itself.  And if you can capture some of it to hold on to for later, when wonder is not quite as easy to see, well it's a bonus.

That's how it's been for weeks now. Kind of hard . Really hard to see the wonder. It's not the big things that usually knock me down, but the three thousand, little-big things that have been chipping away at my every day. It's all the micro-things, layered and stacked, that can sneak up and steal our joy. The unexpected phone calls, the three annoying e-mails, the traffic ticket that I clearly deserved, nights of only a few hours of sleep, the first cold in months and the old dog passing away.  

But the quickest way to lift out of any slump, is just to praise Jesus.

It's something I've learned through deep trials and great times of blessing. Just to praise Him. He deserves it and praise has a way of turning my heart and face, right side up. 

I'm always learning, stretching, and wrestling, to walk in a way that is going to reflect His light, even when it seems dark. It's like this long, strange process. Change is always involved and rarely easy.

Last year I wrote about some changes I felt were coming this way. What happened to the last three years since I first began the process to get my blog up and running in the first place? And now I want to go and change it already. Actually, it was three decades ago, while driving a back country road in the green Buick I fondly named the "Ship," that I remember asking the Lord if I could someday write for Him. 

I didn't even know what that meant or what I was asking Him for.

And if I step back further in time, there was the History Essay contest my mom insisted that I sit at the kitchen table and scribe out words in my girly handwriting. That paper earned me second place somewhere. I have no idea what it even said. The subject matter didn't move my soul. There was another paper published that I wrote in eighth grade and a poem found, that I scribbled out, when my heart was hurt at a very young age. 

When my mom passed away suddenly, three years ago, I made it my job to scan in every picture I could find of her. Unexpectedly, I found pictures of her, before marriage and children, as part of the newspaper staff and images captured of her sitting at typewriters. I had never once stopped to think that my mom may have been a writer, who never had an outlet to write.

This blog and my writing, they are a long, strange process too. A good process, but ever changing. This space causes me to continually be learning, stretching, and wrestling with how to be reflect God's glory. 

I've had some things stirring around in how to rework this space, but it's not an easy thing. There are platforms, themes, colors, and fonts to choose. Logos, banners, and buttons, plus social media, favicons and tag lines.  There is an ocean of designers and in the center of it all you have to figure out what would most simply and deeply reflect who I am in the whole-wide-web of chatter.

I had some help.

Well, a lot of help. My daughter the photographer , (her website here) she prayed about it for me too.  And as a creative who is always creating, she dreamed of where to take pictures. She honestly felt like the Lord showed her this place, near my home, where she had never taken pictures before. And she felt like He assured her there would be a sunset. 

Well the sun was setting, but it was shrouded by dark clouds. We tried some things that she had been dreaming up, because her form of creating one thousand words, is her pictures. And then it was like the clouds rolled back and the most stunning sunset ever began to unfurl. It even had everything from hues of blue to flaming orange. God plainly showed off His grandeur that evening. And the wild thing about it all, was that the very clouds we thought were hampering the process, were actually a gift. They brought the blue tones that we needed to capture the art Amy was trying to make.

That will teach us all day long. The rolling dark clouds of life, can actually be part of the gift we have been waiting for.

Yeah. God was definitely showing off.

Well her pictures all turned out stunning and inspired a lot of the rest of my blog, as well as a few surprises that are still in the developing stages.

The blog designer is Rita. (check her out here?) She is sweet, fast and amazing. It helps to be a mind-reader if you are going to work creatively with people like me. She seems to have what it takes.

I love it all. My favorite color is blue, the sunset had blue and my bird is blue.

The bird was a surprise addition that kind of makes the whole thing for me. My mom loved and collected blue birds. She preferred the chubby little blue birds, but I think she would love that my space here, has a sweet reminder of my writing roots. After all she had a love for words and writing long before I was able to embraced mine.

And I guess that every blog is supposed to have "one thing" that you write about. Since I desire that Jesus be at the center of all I do, I decided it would be appropriate to change my tag line with the redesign.

It's pretty simple really. What I do, is write stories, for God's glory.

It seems, God has been pleased to direct the process of each detail, one half-step at a time, for this new home on the web. He stirred the beginnings, showed my daughter the perfect location on the lake for a photo, and provided the blue sunset. He connected me with Rita out of all the amazing designers out there and helped her cast the vision onto a tangible tapestry.

He revealed His glory so I could display a little of it here as I write on this blog.

He does that on every level of our lives and the lives around us if we will allow Him to.

I'm just thankful to embrace the process.

I hope you will make yourself at home.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Soup On Saturday ...Sunday & ....Monday.

Wearing Saturday clothes and yesterday's hair, I wandered though the vegetable aisle.

So many others too, who all find themselves foraging for weekly food supplies, shuffle along around me. I love watching people. Every unique person, being who only they can be in this world.

JQ is staring at kale. ".....that's what we should make for lunch," he says.

"Kale?" I respond a little less enthusiastic than he was.

"No.... that soup we like, if we drive two hours to the restaurant," he replies.

It was agreed that crusty bread, salad and soup would be perfect for our meal later on.

We moved slow under the florescent lights, letting people who were in a hurry, have their way, stopping occasionally to talk to others. It doesn't matter where we are, it's a good day when I can be with this man that I deeply respect and love with abandon.

And right here in the middle of a March that has never slowed down, squeezed in-between the things that plan themselves, and the things that were already stacked high, we are living our two lives as one, moving toward the One who has been true. It's heart-pinching good.

One of the greatest things about sharing our days, is working together in the kitchen. The soup we like, is a copy cat recipe of one served at Olive Garden. And to top it off, the Olive Garden salad dressing can be found at most grocery stores too!


We make a large salad with romaine lettuce, baby spinach and slivers of sweet purple cabbage. Usually, we use homemade whole wheat bread toasted, and served on the side.

There are some real advantages to making a pot of this soup at home.

Mainly, leftovers.

May your week be full of moments, where you can enjoy the gift of good food and the people you love.

Linking up here! Check it out. You'll love her blog!!!

Monday, March 10, 2014

When Its Weird And Awkward

It's a week old memory how March rushed in, with its twenty-below-zero blasts and icy fingers wrapped around my neck. I was seriously down to my last two unmatched gloves. Normally I don't whine about the weather, because it is something I can't control and seems ridiculous to discuss, but I was just over it already.

That was the day my dad called all nonchalant making small talk, then said, "I fell and hurt myself." He had laid on the floor for over half an hour before being able to crawl to a phone. It made for a good reason to brave the glacial temperatures, hang out and head to the emergency room to bond with others who had similar stories.  It's just nuts, how most everywhere I go, people are willing to tell me their stories.

I'm happy to report nothing was shattered except a bit of my dads pride and a lot of his mobility. It's been a long week for him and for me. For him, because he is house bound. For me, because that is how I live. His mind is moving plenty fast to make up for his feet however, thinking of things for people to come do. Thank goodness for my sister who has a servant heart and who is an errand-ninja. I think I'm going to buy her a purple cape and bejeweled crown.

Some days I find it hard to stay in the free-fall of life. 

So as a slight diversion, I'm wandering around the house snagging every snowman I can find and smooshing their squishy faces into boxes, then sealing them with duck tape. Maybe this will help spring get a clue and head this way. I don't want one hint of white stuffing sitting around that would encourage old-man winter to take up residency any longer.

For decades I've thought of snowmen, as kind of cute, friendly and rolly-polly,  -but not today. The last two spells, of twenty below kind of did me in. Not that I believe them, but I've heard people say that its warmer in Alaska. It doesn't matter, I don't want go there either.

One of the things I have rolling around in my head at 3:00 a.m. is the direction this blog is going. There are some rumbling of change, friends. But change is hard when you've never really had a clear market plan to begin with. Or a real clear writing or voice style.

Some people who read here, come out of shear curiosity or maybe boredom. Some ladies certainly identify with my little rambles down memory lane and casual jaunts about the ones I love. Then there are the major-mini expeditions when I bare my soul, as I tap the keys. There are those who think I should believe more like them, other folks who don't even want me to know, they read my words and some who say they don't get why I write at all. Thank goodness some of you come because you just love me for who I am.

Bless you all, I completely understand.

I do.

Sarah Bessy said it well when she stated, "I'm too liberal for the conservatives and too conservative for the liberals. All I know is that I love Jesus."

I've got boxes of ideas and three computers, plus one, two terabyte, external hard drive of files, filled with my random ramblings. I've had thoughts of writing a book, but as some other famous person once said, "it took me all morning to write a paragraph."

On certain days my lack of style is very freeing to someone with my personality. On many other days it make me kind of more crazy than I already am. The whole writing thing, it's super weird.

It looks a little like this: I pray. I write a little. I make a coffee. I check my e-mail. I turn off facebook because it is a black hole and I will be lost all day. I wander around my office and pray some more and sit down and write some more. This is repeated again and again.

I really live distracted and respond best to deadlines.

All that to say this: I just want to crack the door open a tiny bit and tell you all that come here and put up with me, there are a few changes on the horizon. And maybe like the weather, it might take nine months of winter to make the shift, but it could just march in before April.

This one book I'm still reading and trying to press down into the fiber of my soul, A Million Little Ways, talks about living in the right now. Rolling with the current, right now life and all the high tide of being in over our heads. She talks about not letting second things come first and that when I keep Him first, all the second things will happen anyway. It's like she is speaking some weird, creative language that resonates deep in my soul.

So, I'm still on my snowman-free environment mission, as I step over animal crackers and around the makeshift forts, wishing my handsome husband were here to help clean up the tornado of evidence, that fun was had.

There are trucks, dolls, play money, swords and shields. And there are more animal crackers than the dogs even care to clean up for me. We only have one sword actually, so when we were playing, "good-guys-looking-for-bad-guys", I used an old roll of wrapping paper with a tiny silver flower pattern, as my sword. It was intimidating. The boy and I investigated every room as if we were a highly trained SWAT team entering into a dangerous situation. Well, we didn't have to really pretend, since the house is a mess and in deep need of spring cleaning and decluttering. The walkie-talkies need new AAA batteries so we have to yell whenever we were separated. He was sure that AA batteries could fit, but that is a whole other story.

Little curly headed H, didn't want to play "good-guys-looking-for-bad-guys", but did want to play Candyland. She was doing a fine job of winning until we all joined her and made a real game out of it. What I have found is that small children are willing to cheat to win. Those two were hanging out with Grandma Gooey up near the Candy Castle, while I kept being sent back down Gummy Pass to the three tiered ice-cream cone. Go figure. It made them roar with laughter. And since Great Grandpa P had given them each their own zipped up baggie of lifesaver candy, they were on a sugar buzz that put King Candy and Princess Lolly to shame.

CJ is sitting there with his baby blues and starts telling me stuff that four year old boys think to be important. Then out of the clear sky he states all matter-of-factly, "It was kind of weird.

I'm smiling as I respond, "Really?"

His little-man voice continued, "Yes, it was weird and awkward.  They kind of go together grandma."

"Yes, yes they surely do," I answer still smiling.

How could he possibly know that deep truth and I am just trying to figure it out?

After the grand-loves leave I'm chuckling to myself about what he said.

The kid makes me laugh.

Life makes me laugh.

The common everyday, the over the moon amazing, the mess of it all.

The gleaming flashes of Jesus I get to live and see and share.

And then I have the privilege to inscribe it on the world-wide-web, to announce to the world what I'm living and seeing and believing.

That is just crazy.

It makes me come alive.

It causes me to stand in wonder.

It makes me belly-laugh.

Because I was a woman who was broken that God made whole.

I was the woman who was wounded that got healed.

Somehow writing has helped me get down that path of wholeness.

Telling stories has a way of doing that.

Emily Freeman says this and I'm embracing it. "I get to frame things in a way only I can imagine, with a voice only I have."

Life can be weird and awkward.

Writing about it all is even more weird and awkward.

Because as Emily Freeman states, "It can be awkward to be who we most deeply are."

I'm just embracing it.

How about you?


Gratitude Journal

So grateful Dad was not hurt worse in his fall
Warmer weather. Yes. Spring.
A week of eating what feed my body. Feels good.
Time with our grandchildren.
Pastor John Stone. A blessing to have such a man to shepherd our hearts.
One 14 year old boy who I get to work with the media production process.
Listening to a young boy give his testimony and tell his favorite stories from the Bible.

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Monday, March 3, 2014

When You Are Preapproved

Photo Credit

The one Grandma who raised eight children of her own, the one who wore a dress every day of her life, the one who walked with a limp and had a glorious head of white hair as long as I could remember, -she was the grandma who never played favorites, and I loved her back.

Her modest home was a bit dated and the furniture was never rearranged. When my mom would go to visit, looking for some adult conversation, they would usually sink into the overstuffed chairs that sat side-by-side in the living-room. Then I would slip away to the kitchen, reach on top of the old tin cupboard where there were always Shortbread Pecan Sandies stowed away in the vintage aluminum bread box. I would grab a few cookies and wander to the stairwell that led to the three bedrooms upstairs. With each step you took, the boards curved, becoming smaller on one side, forming a triangle, making it easy to lose your footing.

Upstairs was magical to me. My grandparents' bedroom, which sat on the southwest corner of their home, was filled with warm natural lighting streaming into the space.  Tall narrow windows were framed with lace curtains and wall paper with tiny flowers softened the bulging plaster walls. A long heavy dresser with an over-sized mirror dominated one wall. There, centered on a glass mirror tray, lay the only fussy things my grandma owned: a silver plated comb, brush and hand held mirror set.

My small hand would clinch the long slender stem of the mirror, then I'd extend my arm high to catch a glimpse from all angles. There I would stand, with my blunt-cut blond hair, complete with natural cow-licks having their own way, holding a silver plated mirror to examine my reflection. In the soft light, stealing moment of quiet, which are rare in a family of six, I would twirl around and wondered if I were really pretty. If I were really loved. If this face reflected in the mirror, was really enough.

As the years have scrolled by, I can tell you that again and again, I have answered that unspoken question with a "No."

Because the world has a way of telling little girls and little boys that they are not enough. And mirrors have no ability to reflect a person's soul or the deep worth that all people are to the God who created them.

If I were honest, I'd tell you that I've spent most of my life, trying to be "enough" in one way or another.

When it became obvious that I was never going to be enough by the standards of the world, I purchased a few self-help books, spent a fair amount of time living through my children who were brighter and more beautiful than I ever could be, and reaching for things that would fill me up for a moment. But one by one the things I've tried to grasp, evaporate, grow up, and become tarnished. Suddenly you find yourself half a century old, wondering why you haven't figured it out by now.

And as much as I never want to struggle in this area, I just do. It's soul deep.

I was reminded of this as I prepared to go on a trip recently. Just thinking about being around over a thousand women that appear to have it all together, struck terror into my heart. I went shopping for something to cover up my insecurities and shortcomings. To be honest I just like my well established, deep grooves of what is the familiar. I like my yoga pants and sweatshirts. I have trouble accessorizing well. I need to loose weight. I don't like being uncomfortable.

Did you catch all those "I's?"

This was at the core of my problem. The focus was on myself instead of what God was doing inside me and about to bless me with.

In Austin I got to hug this girl, Jennifer Dukes Lee.

I met her last year, at the Writers Retreat, Jumping Tandem. As she spoke there, she showed us pictures from a missions trip she had been on, of actual mud pies that are served in Haiti. She told of how the people make these pies to fill their stomachs because there is not enough food. They eat mud pies to fight off hunger pains.

In America I'm eating my own form of mud pies trying to find temporary relief from my soul hunger.

The things I possess, eat, purchase and the way I spend my time. So often I'm looking in crazy places like a mirror for some satisfaction and affirmation that is allusive. I think too highly of myself one day and too lowly of myself the next. Neither is how God sees me.

He is a God that doesn't play favorites. He is a God that has amazing plans for each and every person if we will be open to His leading.

And in less than a month Jennifer Dukes Lee has a book coming out. Love Idol: Letting Go of Your Need for Approval – and Seeing Yourself through God’s Eyes.   Her book talks about idols in our lives and our need to identify them, so we can give up on some of the lies we've been telling ourselves.... about ourselves.

There is a ripple of movement in the ocean of souls, who want to move past the desire to be enough and to live as if what God did for us is more than enough. 

Those things that I try to fill myself with are most often idols.

It is called sin.

Not a popular teaching for sure.

There is a foundational identity problem. Understanding what Jesus did for me, living like, what the Bible says is really true. And the truth is this: that every single life is treasured, known, loved, and deeply cherished. That Jesus really did love us to death.... His death on the cross, so we can be delivered, redeemed, set free and made whole.

In my head I know that what is lasting and matters most, is how God sees me. It's my heart that trembles and staggers to fully embrace the identity I own in Jesus.

Fear really is a fraud.

The mirror is a liar.

And if I don't get this, it is easy to lose my footing in this one life I get to live.

The soul can only be fully seen and known by the One who designed it.

The path to discovering who we really are is a refining process. It is all about the glory of God. He is at work in each one of us, accomplishing what we cannot do ourselves, so that His name will be praised.

In this world I don't want to miss Jesus.

I want to embrace the real Jesus. The real me. The real you.

I'm looking for some heart change.

Today I want to walk in my pre-approved Jesus status.

I would love to have you join me.

 Love Idol

Jennifer shared this quote and I think it is worthy of passing on to you.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. 
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, 
gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
 There is nothing enlightened about shrinking,
so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do. 
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
 It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.
 And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
 As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.”
~ Marianne Williamson


The Lent season begins on Wednesday. There was a season in my life that I observed Lent, just because that is what we were supposed to do. In the past, I've given up ice cream and chocolate to name a few, but it never changed my heart. With the Love Idol  focus, embracing the Lent season as an opportunity to deal with idols in our lives, I've decided to step one shaking foot in front of the other and make a commitment. 

For me, food is an idol. (Certainly not the only idol) It's like a drug really. When I'm weary in spirit, tired physically, when I want to check out mentally. And to be honest, I really don't want to do the work of change. I really just want to eat fresh cookies hot out of the oven and warm homemade bread with equal parts of honey and butter dripping off the sides.

But I want to be free of this negative cycle and I desire deep heart change.  

So, for Lent, I am going to give up 'white stuff.' White flour, white sugar and the white noise in my life. The things that numb me and divert my energies from the Main Thing. Yes, I want to eat what feeds my body, mind and soul.

Like the Word of God. -So I have sweet words to share.

Also, I want to fast one day a week during this time, so perhaps I can better focus in my secret life with Jesus. Because secrets manifest themselves in our lives and I want this one life I have, to be evidence that I've spent more time with Him in the secret place.

Lent in the past was just another thing to do. This year Lent is about more of Jesus. Less of me. Because when I shift my focus from inward to outward, it will always lead me to Him.

Please friends, feel free to ask me how it's going.

I can already feel your prayers. 

Counting blessings and sharing hearts over here: A Holy Experience and at Jennifers.

2-25-14 - 3-3-14

-This song by David Crowder "I AM"
-Spending time with my husband home for over 24 hours
-Safe travels for our daughter
-A few hours with one of my favorite people. Love you Amanda
-The women who attend Tuesday night Bible Study
-The book: A million Little Ways. It is messing with me.
-Going to see my hairdresser. Blessed always.
-Kissing grandchildren
-My dad not being hurt worse in his fall
-Warmer weather. Yes. Yes. Yes.

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© Rhonda Quaney