Thursday, July 31, 2014

A Heartfelt Thank You


We all had to begin somewhere.  So thank you Laura and MyquillinCourtney and Kristen.   
 
And yes, dear Lisa-Jo.
 
You were the ones who always threw the absolute best online parties.  You flung your doors open wide and generously invited us baby bloggers to share our little bits of awkward writings.  Our semi-creative projects.  Our newly discovered words.  And our overflowing hearts.
 
Without your link-up gatherings, most of us wouldn't have cobbled together the sweet online communities that we now call home.  We would never have met kindred spirits from far-off places, those we now claim as dear friends. 
 
So this is my thank you.  To each and every companion who left the loveliest trail of encouraging words with her visits.  To those generous souls who told me I was a writer over and over til I finally believed that maybe it could be true.  And to you, the faithful ones who gave me permission to explore and celebrate this once upon a time unknown territory that now gives me great joy and a satisfaction that still surprises.
 
My heart is still overflowing.  I'm forever grateful.
 





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=   doing life one last time with Lisa-Jo   =

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

4 Steps to Get Those Creative Juices Flowing Again

"When working on The Last Supper, Leonardo da Vinci regularly took off from painting
for several hours at a time and seemed to be daydreaming aimlessly.  
Urged by his patron, the prior of Santa Maria delle Grazie, to work more continuously,
da Vinci is reported to have replied, immodestly but accurately, 
'The greatest geniuses sometimes accomplish more when they work less.'"
 =  Schwartz  =
 



If it was good enough for Leonardo, it just might be good for us.  Rest.  Daydreaming.  Re-creation.  Playtime.  Especially if the creative flow is slowly but surely waning.  And we realize that boredom, restlessness, or something strangely off-kilter is descending, bringing with it unfulfilling, yawn-inspiring work.  Same old same old activities.  Fading relationships.  Or ministry involvement that seems to be going nowhere.

And we're feeling a bit dried up, kind of crispy around the edges. 

Maybe we're striving too hard to make life happen.  To reach success ... or even make it through the day.  Goal-driven, our to-do lists have become unwieldy and we're unable to simply be in the moment.  Someone always wants a piece of us.  Calendars are jam-packed.  And every hour is laced with incessant texting, Facebook and/or email checking, and other mindless craziness. 

Is it any wonder we're so tightly wound? 

Less, not more, is sounding more and more appealing, isn't it.  Social media's incessant noise, the endless demanding clutter of possessions, and a sedentary lifestyle that's slowly evolved over time are keeping us from blooming healthy and strong.  Daydreaming, playing, and creating?  Those pastimes have become a distant faded memory.
 
4 STEPS TO GET THOSE CREATIVE JUICES FLOWING

1.  Unplug 
Without thought, we've invited screens to invade our every waking moment.  They now accompany us everywhere we go.  In all sizes, they demand our involvement, define who we are, and call the shots of our lives.  Obsessed we are.  Literally. 

The good news?  We get to choose what to do with our addiction to social media and technology.  If we dare. 

2.  Unpack
Simplicity and minimalism walk hand in hand, softly, urgently calling our names.  We're too encumbered with our stuff ... and we know it.  Buying it, cleaning it, sorting it, moving it, decorating it, adjusting it, throwing it in the corner, storing it, paying for it. 

The good news?  We get to choose what we want to do with the avalanche of possessions that steal our energy, our joy, our wallets, our focus.

3.  Head outdoors
Fresh breezes, new vistas, the smells and sights and sounds of creation beckon.  Our heads begin to clear and hearts open wide as our feet hit the grass, sand, or pavement.  These moments are the best venues for conversations with the Lord or with those who walk alongside.  The spaciousness of creation opens up our abilities to sort through situations that are complex, weird, or confusing.  Brilliant little snippets of ideas come and settle in for us to savor and act on. We breathe deep.  And smile.  

The good news?  This doesn't cost us a dime.

4.  Doodle   
Long ago, most of us were natural creators.  Fingerpainting, drawing, coloring, designing, sculpting, digging in the sand.  It's time to ferret out the old arts and crafts stuff ... or invest in some new goodies.  And simply start to doodle around a bit.  We shouldn't judge our fledgling masterpieces too harshly.  But instead, laugh out loud as we revel in this simplest of childhood joys.  And see where it takes us.

The good news?  Most of us have been yearning to play again.  We just didn't know it.

 
What are you doing to get YOUR creative energy flowing?
 

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=  daydreaming with Kristen  &  Holley  =

Saturday, July 26, 2014

The People-Pleasers' Prayer


'So we make it our goal
to please HIM,
 
whether we are at home in the body or away from it.'
2 Corinthians 5:9
 
*
 
Lord, we admit that we're endlessly pulled back and forth by everyone's opinions, expectations, and demands.   We've become way too concerned about what everyone else thinks of us. 
 
 
People-pleasing seems to run in our blood ... and we're exhausted from dancing to everyone else's tune. 
 
 
Forgive us from keeping our eyes on everyone else but You.  Help us to clearly focus on what You ask of us.  Give us a joyful satisfaction in our obedience to the direction that You give.  And bid all that noisy clamor from the sidelines far from us. 
 
 
We yearn to live lightly, to walk freely.  And when all is said and done, it's Your 'well done' we're really longing for.
 
 
In Jesus' Name ~
Amen.
 
 
/   image creator   /
 
/   celebrating Sabbath with Lisha   /
 
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Thursday, July 24, 2014

When Hope Comes in Fluorescent Blue

I was off to get my toes painted bright fluorescent eggshell blue this morning.  And this song came over the car's airwaves clean and bright and true. 
 
It was just for me. 
 
And then I knew, without a doubt, that it was meant to be shared. 
 
With you.
 



'Cause I can't for the life of me think of one single soul that doesn't need at least a glimmer of hope. 

And my mind fast forwarded 12 hours to the time the gang at Lisa-Jo's would share.  And I knew deep in my bones that the 300+ second word she'd gift us with would somehow fit like a hand in a glove.
 
Or feet in the uncut grass.
 
It's a song of confident hope.  For those darkest nights.  When you want to finish off your fear or dread or sadness.  Or whatever keeps you from focusing on who God truly is.
 
So up on those tired ol' feet, dear friend.
 
And raise your weary hands high. 
 
Sing with me.

Dance with me.

Praise with me.

Pray with me.



'and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out
within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.'
Romans 5:5



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=  sharing hope with Kristen & Holley  =

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Gift of Enough

http://www.pinterest.com/kateconner/10-things-enough/

The winner of a copy of Kate Conner's ENOUGH ~ 10 things we should be telling teenage girls
 is the lovely and creative Yuko Jones of Northfield Gate


Congrats to you, my friend! 
And thanks to all who took a minute or two to leave a kind, thought-filled word this past week.

Need the warm hug of some encouraging words by other mamas who've been there ...
and survived to tell the story?  Click here for a must-see video.  And grab your tissues on the way.

I bet you don't know these 3 words your teen longs to hear.

And head over there to read the 4 choices you must make if your teen / young adult doesn't share your faith.  

Didn't win?  You can buy ENOUGH right here.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Sharing Their Gorgeous Manes


They've been growing out their beautifully thick heads of hair for months years. 
Just for Locks of LoveAnd today was the day to finally say good-bye . . .


 
When all was said and done, the energetic, joy-filled blonde prayed
for the little girl who'd be 'wearing her hair' in a couple of months . . .



And when they returned home, the other two sweethearts just had to join in the fun. 
So dad cheerfully wielded the scissors in the driveway.
 
Like mother, like daughters.
 
 
*
 
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/  championing Locks of Love at Kristen's  /
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