Friday, July 29

Let Me Rediscover You

Lyrics from Downhere's Let Me Rediscover You.

Your spirit hovers over my waters

Your love burns longer than the sun

The skies of thunder echo you wonder

Your praises can't be over - sung

The whole Universe is witness

To only a part of what you've done

So let me rediscover you

And breathe in me your life anew

Tell me of the God I never knew

Oh, let me rediscover you

You see my weakness, my pride, my blindness

You wield your power through them all

Of all the mysteries, still, the greatest to me

Is that you're faithful when I fall

How can I say I know you

When what I know is still so small?

Let me rediscover you and breathe in me your life anew

Tell me of the God I never knew

Oh, let me rediscover you

Let me cry "holy, holy, holy"

Let me awaken to your majesty

And see a glimmer of your glory

Let me abide in you

let me rediscover you

and by your grace I'll follow through

reveal to me the God I thought I knew

let me rediscover you

And breathe in me your life anew

Tell me of the God I never knew

Jesus, let me rediscover you.

Love this song and all of Downhere's music.

Not only do I enjoy their unique vocal sound, but I know the band personally.

I went to Briercrest College at the same time as them. 

The drummer was the student body president my first year of school 

and Jason, one of the vocalist,

was dating a girl down the hall from me in the dorm.

Small world? I'm glad they are sharing their talent and inspiring lyrics. ~ Alysun

Thursday, July 28

Six Steps to a Beautiful Countenance

Read 1 Peter 3

I ran across the following article while preparing for a very, um... authentic post I am working on. Come back next week to learn more about my face than you ever wanted to know, but for now, Violet Nesdoly at Life Tools for Women has some very practical advice... 

Are you happy with how you look? Or do you often stand in front of the mirror sighing, "If only..." If only my forehead weren't so high or so low; my lips were fuller, thinner or shaped differently; I could get rid of these birthmarks and warts; I had thicker hair; I could afford braces, contact lenses, a facelift...

Throughout history, woman have admired and desired beauty. We moderns are no exception. What defines beauty, however, is constantly changing.

During the Renaissance, for example, upper-class north European women valued a high forehead and went through painful plucking of hairlines to get it. During the time of Elizabeth I, the English lady who wanted to be beautiful copied her queen by powdering her face white (with lead-based powder no less!) and wearing a red wig. In the eighteenth century, women influenced by the likes of Marie-Antoinette spent several hours at a time at their hair stylists, coming away with extravagant coiffures built over horsehair pads or wire cages (some as high as three feet with springs built in to adjust the height).

Beauty trends in the past century have continued to change from the bobbed hair, pale makeup and scarlet cupid-bow mouth of the 1920s; to the teased beehives (for women) and greased pompadours (for men) of the 50s; to the long-haired, no-makeup look of the 60s; to the wind-blown, bronze-skinned, glossy-lipped look of the 70s; to today's unkempt and multicolored hair accompanied by facial piercings and body tattoos.

But before you dash from your mirror to the store, salon, or surgical clinic to change your face or hair to conform to the latest fashion, consider looking to another source for advice on loveliness. The following six-step Bible facial can be applied to everyone, with results guaranteed at any age:

1.  Start with a deep cleansing. ("I will sprinkle clean water on you and you will be clean...I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you..." - Ezekiel 36:25-27)

2.  As a foundation, cover the entire face with the wholesome attitude of your inner life. ("Your beauty... should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit which is of great worth in God's sight..." - I Peter 3:3-4)

3.   Apply wisdom to soften facial lines. ("Wisdom brightens a man's [and woman's!] face and changes its hard appearance." - Ecclesiastes 8:1)

4.   Contour with sorrow to emphasize your compassionate features. ("Sorrow is better than laughter, because a sad face is good for the heart." - Ecclesiastes 7:3)

5.   Highlight with happiness. ("A happy heart makes the face cheerful..." - Proverbs 15:13)

6.   Maintain with a diet high in yieldedness to the Holy Spirit for continued God-shine. ("And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory which comes from the Lord, the Spirit." - 2 Corinthians 3:18)

Stick with the above routine and your countenance will be beautiful no matter what the features of your face or style of your hair. Best of all - this beauty is permanent; it will remain even when gray hair, wrinkles, and age spots have come to stay.

Wednesday, July 27

Choosing His Adventure

Read Jeremiah 29:10-14

The reader is in control of the plot in a "Choose Your Own Adventure" book. I loved reading those when I was a kid.  Bobby is stuck on the edge of a cliff. Turn to page 39 if you want him to use a rope to repel down. Turn to page 56 if you want him to pole vault across the ravine. Or turn to page 92 if you want him to construct a zip-line out of dental floss and a tube sock. 

If I get to choose, I want life at its best.  It is easy to wave a "thankful" flag when everything is going right. Children are giggling, the sun is shining, my man's loving arms are wrapped around me tight, I'm wearing skinny jeans, my home is beautiful, I'm getting plenty of sleep, my fridge is full, my friends are close, my family is healthy. Blessings. Blessings. Blessings. I'm so thankful for my blessings.

Many of life's choices are in my grasp. What college should I go to? What man should I marry? What should I name my baby? I made those choices with a little prayer, but I was in charge. I chose my own adventure.

Then there are plenty of things I don't have any control over. When a curve, twist or a difficult change comes I think, "this is NOT how I would have the story go!" A miscarriage or a friend who died too young. Those are the big things. A rainy day or kids who cry in the car. Those are the little ones. But all of them, through my whole life, I've said "No!" Give me the good stuff, NOT the bad.

Tuesday, July 26

5 Simple Ways to Nurture Your Children

Read Proverbs 1

By Christin at Joyful Mothering

In the craziness of the days, I become lost in the chaos. Lost in the consistent feeding of my children, bathing them, clothing them, washing their clothes, cleaning their dishes, changing diapers. I get caught up in the robotic life of caring for the physical needs of my children.

Nurturing my children has become lost in all the day to day “necessities”. Which, are necessary to living, but mothering is so much more than that. Instead of my children being individuals, with unique personalities and interests, they are cared for as a collective bunch.

I want to share 5 wonderful ways to help nurture your children’s minds and spirits.

1. Read quality books aloud. Not only is this nurturing for the mind but for your relationship with your child. Sometimes it can be challenging to get your child to sit with you to read. If you have another child, especially a younger child, grab that child, open a book, and begin reading. You might be surprised to see your older child make their way over to listen in as well. After getting over that initial “resistance hump”, reading time will be an enjoyed time with you and your children. Some great character building books include fables, Beatrix Potter stories, books by author Thornton Burgess, and of course Bible stories. [Andrea strongly recommends the Jesus Story Bible by Sally Lloyd Jones].

2. Conversations–and many of them. Children ask a lot of questions. Many times I tend to push them off as insignificant. But I need to remember, though I know much of how the world works (as compared with a child) , my children don’t. They are trying to understand the world they live in by asking questions. This gives me an excellent opportunity to engage in conversation. It is time well spent and much is learned. Children will value our opinions and direction more when we take the time to listen to them and answer their curiosities.

3. Share a hobby. Find something you all enjoy and pursue it together. My daughter and I share many of the same interests while my husband shares many interests with our first son. The point is to take the time to be interested in the things they are interested in. Help them foster their talents. If you don’t know much about what they do like, search it out and learn! Or better yet, have your child teach you. My daughter is in ballet and I don’t know a thing about the moves or what they are named. She has been teaching me. The bottom line is, work together.

4. Special 1-on-1 time. In addition to spending small bursts of 1-on-1 time with each child everyday, every week, my husband or I take one child out to breakfast for their own special time. We let each child decide who they want to go with because it gives us a bit of insight to that child’s greatest need. As a matter of fact, this opened my eyes quite a bit to how much my children needed me, even though I’m home with them all day. A couple of my children needed me to go to breakfast with them. I thought for certain they would choose their daddy. This has allowed me to adjust our time spent at home, to better fill their “tank”.

5. Speak grace. This may be one of the most crucial aspects of nurturing [or tearing down] a child. Our words and our tone have such an impact on our children, you could not even imagine. Not only do they learn from us how to speak to others [by how we speak to them], but they learn our very hearts through our tone and words. Are we speaking in frustration? Anger? Annoyance? They know. Speaking words of grace is the best, and I mean best way to diffuse anger and create an environment of peace. The Bible speaks of this well:

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1

I cannot even begin to tell you how true those words are. And it helps to get to the root of our frustrations, and deal with them.

A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit. Proverbs 15:13

And it isn’t just our face it makes cheerful, but the face of our children. It isn’t just our spirits that would be crushed, but our children‘s.

This list is my no means exhaustive. There are many ways to nurture our children, but they do all have one thing in common: our time. Our children see what’s most valuable to us by how we spend our time.

By Christin, Joyful Mothering

Monday, July 25

Answers In Plain Sight

Read Ephesians 1:15-23

Sometimes the best answers are hiding in plain sight.

It had been one of those days where irritations piled up like derailed train cars. When finally the children were asleep in their beds and exhaustion used from my every pore, I collapsed in front of the computer. To be consumed with distractions and just to relax. My husband works many evening and this was one of those times I had just "had it."

I saw a friend was online and we began chatting back and forth through instant messaging. Her words always encourage me, her home filed with many children and a husband who works evenings too. I knew she would understand, so I began unloading my day's irritations.

Friday, July 22

If You Wanted Me

Read Matthew 14:22-33

A few deep thoughts for you today, brought to you my one of my favorite song writers, Todd Agnew. I skipped a link to the music today, because quite frankly, YouTube let me down. Also, in my most humble opinion, the lyrics speak so much louder than the melody, I didn't think it would hurt to skip it just this once.

I'll admit I'm glad we're not disciples
Out on a lake paralyzed with fright
'Cause I'm afraid I might have laughed at Peter
Until he stepped into that stormy night

If You wanted me to walk on water
Why'd You make this solid ground seem so right?

I'll admit I'm glad I'm not King David
Ruling over everything I see
'Cause I think I've fallen for more than Bathsheba
Your creation's a temptation for me

If You wanted me to love You only
Why'd you make the moonlight sparkle in her eyes?

I'll admit I'm glad I'm not John the Baptist
In a jail cell waiting for my day to die
'Cause at least down here I know what we're chasing
And it's hard to trust Your dreams are so much better than mine

If You wanted me to die to myself
Why'd You make me fall so deeply in love with life?

If You wanted me to surrender
Why'd You make these hands able to hold on so tight?

If You wanted me to be like You
Why'd You make me like me?

Picture yourself on that storm tossed sea watching an apparition coming toward you on the waves. And consider Jesus' question: "Why did you doubt?"

Why do you doubt?

Thursday, July 21

Because it's Hard

Leah was the older, less charming one. She never could hold a candle to her beautiful little sister. Rachel had it all. The beauty and the love of a good man. Leah had…

Her father. Whether he persuaded Leah to participate in his trickery or she was a willing accomplice we don’t know. But we do know that when Jacob woke up after spending his wedding day at the side of Rachel, it was Leah in his bed.

His anger must have been fierce and Leah’s embarrassment complete. Not only did Jacob not want her, he now had to be with her for the rest of the wedding feast and then her father would allow him Rachel as well. Would she never be rid of her pretty little twit of a sister?

Imagine her delight when she discovered she carried his child. She was about to give him a firstborn. I’m sure she prayed to Jacob’s God and every other god that she would have a son. And she did. She gave him what his precious Rachel could not: an heir.

Wednesday, July 20

Surrender, In Christ Alone

Read Psalm 119,

"I have chosen the way of faithfulness; I have set my heart on your laws. 

I hold fast to your statutes, LORD; do not let me be put to shame. 

I run in the path of your commands, for you have broadened my understanding." 

(Verse. 30-32).

I didn't want to be there. I was at a conference for Christian women and well, I am a Christian woman. It is where I was supposed to be and needed to be. The entire event was designed to teach, enrich, and encourage. A world-class worship leader led the huge group of women in a song designed to woo us to a place of surrender before our Lord.

And I resisted.

My chest felt tight and I crossed my arms. The sights and sounds were penetrating and my mind started listening to the words. I knew once I opened my mouth to the melody of these praises that I would start down a difficult path.

Tuesday, July 19

Fighting Fire

Read James 3

When was the last time your tongue got you in trouble? Odds are it was pretty recent. It was for me. Once spoken, words cannot be edited. They cannot be erased. They are out there, exploding in the listener’s ears like cannon blasts, causing untold damage.

“The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire,” says James chapter 3.

It’s a horrifying thought really. “Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark,” he says.

Recently, a small spark resulted in the obliteration of 538,049 acres of land in Arizona and New Mexico and raged for about 35 days. A reckless tongue can do that kind of damage. It can wound and individual and ruin a church body. 

Somewhere out there is a fine line between the need to speak the truth in love and not to speak at all.

In our country, we have Freedom of Speech: the ability to speak without fear of consequences—except for when speech would put people in danger. (ie shouting theater in a crowded fire, or something like that).

But just because we can, doesn’t mean we should.

“Express yourself,” they tell us. “It’s not healthy to hide what you’re feeling.”

Nope. It’s sure not. But sometimes our self expression can have unintended consequences. It can open gigantic cans of worms and make a situation where only one person is uncomfortable become miserable for an almost limitless number of people.

I just deleted two paragraphs detailing the ripple effect of this sort of thing because you’re smart enough to figure it out. You’re welcome.

There are times when cans of worms need to be opened so they can be cleaned up. I’ll step out of my analogy to say the truth needs to be spoken with full comprehension of the messy consequences. A new hurt can lead to healing.

But saying hurtful things as a way of selfish self expression can only lead to trouble. Proverbs puts the conundrum this way: “The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” (12:18)

Monday, July 18

In Light Of Eternity

Read I John 5:1-11

I live in a land where emergencies happen moment to moment.

The kids woke up too early and now everyone is cranky. Emergency.

Baby played in the toilet that wasn’t flushed. Emergency.

A ‘helper’ dusted valuable breakables onto the floor. Goodbye travel souvenirs. Emergency.

A mole dug up my freshly planted flower beds. Emergency.

Burned cornbread. Emergency.

These things are BIG in my life. I want to pout and scream and call someone to get some sympathy. Isn’t that what we do in an emergency? My reaction is physical and I feel my chest tighten, breathing accelerates.

Friday, July 15

In Wonder

In view of yesterday's post, I felt this song was appropriate for today's casual Friday. The video's worth a watch on this one. The song is In Wonder by the Newsboys. You might consider reading Psalm 8 again.

So much wonder
Carved in your coral seas
So much wonder
Shaded by ancient trees
I consider all that your hands have made
Every newborn's eyes, every new sunrise
No power can tame your presence
No light can match your radiance

Let all creation sing in wonder
Every sea, every creature, every star
You opened up my eyes to wonder
What a vision what a wonder you are

Such a wonder
Ordering time and tide
Such a wonder
Bridging the great divide
I consider all that you had, all you gave
And all that you endured
From this rebel world

What a wondrous cross you chose to bear
What a wonder you would even care

Let every rock cry out
Let every knee bow down
You opened up my heart to wonder
What a love, what a wonder you are

No power can tame your presence
No light can match your radiance

Such a wonder...
Such a wonder...

Thursday, July 14


Read Psalm 8

Once upon a time, lava spewed from the crater below me. Red hot, liquid rock boiled out of the center of the earth and coursed down the south side of this cinder cone obliterating everything in it’s path. The molten ooze ruined ecosystems, changed the course of rivers and created lakes where desert once spread.

The moment magma touches air, it begins to cool, although it still does an efficient job of scorching everything in it’s path as it, like taffy, cools to sticky then solid. The frothy parts from the explosion turn to solid rocks, pocked with air holes forming lightweight pumice, while the smooth sliding stuff hardens into black glass obsidian, sharper than steel when cut.

From where I stand, I can see the path the lava followed out of this cone and across the high desert, trees lining it’s path as though it were still a flowing river. Blue sky stretches out vast from horizon to horizon. It is 86 degrees at 5,200 feet, and I can see 360 degrees around me purple mountains bumpy on the skyline and snow capped peaks rising above the hazy silhouettes.

I can think of only one word as I survey from this vantage point.


The dictionary definition of majesty is a sovereign power, authority, or dignity—used in addressing or referring to reigning sovereigns and their consorts , royal bearing or aspect

In our world, we have little context for majesty. America removed herself a couple centuries ago from kings and queens an palaces. Ornate castles and cathedrals attract tourists across the pond, but even so, much of the ceremony implied by the word MAJESTY gets lost in translation.

The first time the word majesty makes an appearance (in the NIV) is in Exodus. Recently removed from Egypt, a land of opulent homes, and extravagant temples, the Israelites were impressed enough by God’s bigness to be certain he out shined the only sovereign they knew-- Pharaoh of Egypt.

Throughout scripture, majesty becomes a vital aspect of God. “Fear God,” we read. But why? How? His is great. He is powerful. My son says only God could make toast better than I can.

God is that amazing.

But we lose something in translation. We compare him to toast, when He is so much bigger than we can imagine.

Let me describe God for you. Imagine Him the biggest, best, and most amazing. Consider every sunset, every sun rise, every mountain, valley and canyon you have ever seen. Recall the scent of fresh grass, clean babies and the earth after the rain. Look at the back of your hand--the veins, the lines, the wrinkles, the knuckles and nails and figure out makes them move. Think about falling in love.

He’s like that. But bigger. A lot bigger. Infinitely bigger.


Standing here, looking at the vastness of his creation, and imagining the whole world covered in water, quaking from the inside out as He pressed the reset button, it is easy to have an appropriate fear of God.

It's more difficult once removed, or twice removed as we are surrounded by mountains of laundry and dishes, but his majesty never changes. He's the same yesterday, today and forever. Just as God's character includes majesty from Exodus to Revelation and beyond. 

Wednesday, July 13

The Joy In So Much To Do

Borrowed from {in}, as written by Jordy Liz.

I’m hustling around the house, tackling the busy in an otherwise quiet evening. I clear off the remnants from another week night’s dinner in what seems like one swift move, head towards the stairs as I pick up the pair of shoes that have been sitting there since who knows when, take each step up at an extra-fast pace, turning into the bedroom as I toss the shoes onto the closet floor. The night is no where near over. I have lists to tackle, blog posts to write, laundry to sort through. Why am I the only one up and moving?

I walk into the bathroom and catch myself in the mirror. I’m just so tired of the doing, I say. I look extra long at my face, tired from the day to day.

Tired of the dinners I cook after a full day of work that don’t always come with a thank you. Tired of the cards I send that go unacknowledged. Tired of the sweet notes I leave that don’t get returned. Tired of the gifts I spend weeks, even months, thinking about and gathering that get tossed aside as quickly as they were opened.

Tired of always being the one to do while desperately yearning for someone else to do for me.

Tuesday, July 12

The Secret to True Love

Read Philippians 2:1-18

The novel Hinds Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard has sold well over 2 million copies in the nearly 40 years it has been in print, earning it secure place in the "classic" section of Christian literature. The novel is a lovely read and a challenging one. However, I particularly enjoyed Ms. Hurnard's Lessons Learned on the Slopes of the High Places. which followed the novel--in my edition of the book. Lessons Learned is essentially a journal Ms. Hurnard kept during a stay in Switzerland in 1948 as she traveled between England and what is now Israel where she served as a missionary. The things the Lord taught her on that journey turned into the allegory over the six years following. The excerpt following is from her journals and is the account of a 30-something single missionary lady discovering the secret to true love.

Lifting my eyes, I look across the valley at the Brumbach falls and see the water pouring itself down in an extraordinary ecstasy of self abandoned giving--and I know this is my Lord’s message to me.

I have asked him to help me to understand the language of this book of nature. And the first message and lesson his creation utters…speaks of love’s ecstatic joy in ceaseless, blissful giving.

Monday, July 11

Life's Disappointments

Read Matthew 10:26-41

The game of Life is full of disappointments. There are some good times too, but everything is going along great and then your feet (or car) are knocked out from under you.

Lose a job. Wreck the car. Break a leg.

I’ve never liked that game. Real life is too full of disappointments to make it fun. Plus, it enforces the false sense that our lives are left to chance, that disappointments come by a bad roll of the dice or spin of the wheel.

When disappointments come we must cling to a greater truth. Is God who he says he is? The God of the Bible doesn't play games with those he loves. "I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future" (Jeremiah 29:11).

I have a big disappointment sitting in my lap right now. This doesn’t make me an expert on the subject, it just makes me human. And I'm talking about more than "someone ate the last piece of strawberry pie" kind of disappointment. Things that make us sad, grieve, feel let-down, abandoned, frustrated, and lost are what make our souls ache in true disappointment.

Friday, July 8


Days they force you
Back under those covers
Lazy mornings they multiply
But glory's waiting
Outside your window
So wake on up from your slumber
And open up your eyes

Tongues are violent
Personal and focused
Tough to beat with
Your steady mind
But hearts are stronger after broken
So wake on up from your slumber
And open up your eyes

All these victims
Stand in line for
The crumbs that fall from the table.
Just enough to get by
All the while your
Wake on up from your slumber
Come on; open up your eyes

Take from vandals
All you want now
But please don't trade it in for life
Replace the feeble
With the fable
Wake on up from your slumber,
And open up your eyes

All these victims
Stand in line for
The crumbs that fall from the table.
Just enough to get by
All the while your
Wake on up from your slumber
Come on; open up your eyes

Sing like we used to
Dance when you want to
Taste of the breakthrough
And open wide

All these victims
Stand in line for
The crumbs that fall from the table.
Just enough to get by
All the while your
Wake on up from your slumber
Come on; open up your eyes

Sing like we used to
And dance like you want to
Open up your eyes.

Wednesday, July 6

Gone Fishin"

Read Ephesians 1:3-11

By Beth Moore, a prolific author, storyteller and founder of Living Proof Ministries.

By the time you’re in your fifties, you’re supposed to have gained some wisdom. Lord willing, even some godly insight. I certainly was supposed to—I lead Bible studies and speak to women all over the country about having a closer walk with God. But every deep thought, every spiritual insight I’d ever had, seemed to fly out the window that morning when I went out for a jog.

There she was, with her perfect figure, riding past effortlessly on her bicycle, flashing me that megawatt smile. “Morning, Beth!” my lovely neighbor said. I managed to puff out a return greeting as she whizzed past.

Now, don’t get me wrong: I don’t begrudge any woman her God-given beauty. It’s just that sometimes I’m amazed at those who can look that gorgeous wearing spandex shorts but not a stitch of makeup. I’m certainly not one of them. Mascara, blush and lipstick have been some of my closest friends for many years now. I know we’re supposed to be content with what we have, and I feel just fine about my looks…just so long as I know exactly where my Velcro rollers are at all times. I know I have no right to complain; I’ve been blessed with my wonderful husband, Keith, for over 30 years now. But that particular morning, I guess I just wanted a little affirmation from him.

That’s why I pulled out all the stops after my jog. I cleaned up, fixed my hair and makeup, and put on my cutest jeans and a new sweater. I was almost like a school girl getting ready for a date. I’d go downstairs, Keith would look up from reading the paper or whatever he was doing, and he’d say, “Look at that knockout I married!”

Only problem was that when I went downstairs, Keith was glued to a fishing program on TV. He didn’t look up. Not even once. And trust me, I gave him every opportunity. I found at least half a dozen excuses for walking in front of the TV screen.


Keith was more knocked out by the bass the fisherman was holding.

I’m being unfair, I told myself. After all, how could I expect Keith to know his lines from a script I hadn’t given him? I’ll help him out. “Does my hair look alright?”

He didn’t even look up. “Uh-huh.”

“Do you like this sweater?”


Communication is the key to a good marriage, right? So I’ll just come right out with it. “Sweetie,” I said, “What do you suppose you’d have done if you hadn’t married me?”

Correct answer: “My life wouldn’t have been the same! You’re everything to me! Where would I be without you?”

Keith’s response: “I don’t know. I guess I’d have married my old girlfriend.”

That did it. My dramatic exit would’ve been a lot more dramatic if Keith had actually looked up from the television set long enough to see me go. Yet I still expected him to realize how badly he’d goofed, chase after me, and beg my forgiveness. He didn’t.

I went out on the back porch and sulked. I might as well accept it. The romance is over. I’m old and I’m not beautiful to my husband anymore.

“You are to me.

I could hear that strong, reassuring voice deep in my soul.

No, Keith hadn’t followed me onto the porch and told me what I’d been dying to hear all morning. It was God speaking to my heart. He was the one who’d come after me. I was headed in the wrong direction, telling myself a bunch of lies and wallowing in ridiculous self pity, but God still came after me. Even though I hadn’t been pursuing him at all, he’d pursued me. What in the world had I been thinking? I should have known better than to put my self-worth into the hands of another human being, even my husband’s.

When I went back inside, Keith seemed oblivious to the drama the two of us had just acted out in my head. He was still glued to that fishing show. I couldn’t help but laugh at myself a little bit. Lord, it would have to be a fishing show, wouldn’t it? I’d been fishing for compliments and come up empty. I thought about the story of how the apostles had been out fishing all night long and had caught nothing, and how Jesus came along and told them to cast their nets out again. They were tired and didn’t see the point, but when they pulled those nets back in again, they were so full they nearly broke.

Lord, thank you for reminding me that you are the only one who can really meet my needs—all of them.

I looked at my handsome husband and thanked God that Keith hadn’t played along with my little game. I’d tried so hard to be attractive to him, but there was nothing at all attractive about a woman desperate for a compliment, and I was glad Keith wasn’t the kind of man who’d tell me whatever I wanted to hear, setting up a never-ending cycle of my relying on him for affirmation.

I knew Keith loved me and honored me, and he often said all the sweet things a wife craves—just not on cue.

Remembering the Notes

Read James 1:1-16

Borrowed from [in]

Somewhere in my memory, I have known that I still had them. But actually finding them there in the game closet was still surprising and caused me this weird sense of thrill and embarrassment. Because before there was texting, there were notes.

And all of the heartache and drama of middle and high school was recorded in them–passed quietly, secretly through the hands of trusted classmates; slipped discreetly through the locker vents; left in books to be found after school.

Those were the days when we envied the girls with the good handwriting, when we made little acrostics for our inside jokes, when Love Ya Like A Sis made it so we couldn’t sign our name without LYLAS until at least 1994. I know this is proof that I might be a hoarder a little bit, holding on to notes from friends from high school. To be fair, I only have one small box of them. Trust me, there were a lot more than that.

I couldn’t help myself – I read them. And I was shocked at how easy it was to be 14 again, all those young emotions that feel the same way as my old emotions, but for all different reasons. Even though everything has changed, nothings really different.

Monday, July 4

My Eyes Have Seen The Glory

Let us reflect today on how our great nation was founded.

Lost behind strawberries, whipped cream, and blueberries arranged on a sheet cake, parades, and mostly illegal fireworks, is a day of celebrating... what are we celebrating again? And hand me a piece of the cake.

We celebrate freedom. As Christians, we have a right and privilege to rejoice today and any day!

The Battle Hymn of the Republic is going through my head. It's a classic on the 4th. The words have far more to do with God's victory over sin and darkness than stars, stripes, and the US of A. It is a great reminder though, of why we celebrate and what our freedom allows us.

Happy Independence Day!

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of
Wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible
Swift sword;
His truth is marching on.

Friday, July 1

He Knows My Name

A short and sweet one today...

I have a Maker
He formed my heart
Before even time began
My life was in his hands

I have a Father
He calls me His own
He'll never leave me
No matter where I go

He knows my name
He knows my every thought
He sees each tear that falls
And He hears me when I call

Lyrics by Tommy Walker