Thursday, September 30, 2010

proverbs 31 lineup

So it begins tomorrow, verses 10-31 of the Proverbs 31 Project. October will be a month of virtue for us girls. And I am excited. We will walk through this passage one verse at a time, one day at a time--with Saturday and Sunday off. (Come on, sisters, we gotta rest.)

I pray that God would truly transform us. Shape us. Challenge us. And pierce us. All the while graciously lifting us and revealing the beauty He intended to be carried about in this daily life. No condemnation. No coveting. Only refining. Life abundant in His design.

So here is the line-up. Eight girls who took on the Proverbs 31 challenge. Each week you will hear from two of these sweet sister-friends. And in the end, I just know that virtue will overflow.

Listed in alphabetical order...

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

counting down

Tomorrow is the big kickoff. The Proverbs 31 Project will be set in motion with an introduction to the coming month and a peek at the guest writers that will be joining us throughout October.

I am so excited to hear how God is going to speak to each of us as we walk through this passage describing the virtuous woman. He gives His Word that it may free and transform our daily lives as we listen and believe.

See you tomorrow!

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

picture perfect

Are we not angelic in these pictures? The serene surroundings, quiet meadow, love blossoming. Perfection. (Bear with me, I have a point. And it's not self-elevation.)

But let me tell you what you cannot see. To my left, just feet away from these captured moments, is my six-year-old throwing a temper tantrum. That's right. Six-year-old. She lost her mind for a brief time and overreacted into a pool of tears.

And just inches away in my peripheral is my four-year-old crawling on top of Stacey's light screen. Crawling on top of her light screen. A professional photographer's light screen! "GET OFF!" we insisted while painting on a smile.

Then our littlest melted down because mommy wasn't holding him. He only wanted mommy. Sweet--sure--but not at that particular moment. Stacey's assistant kindly peeled him from my clothing.

No, they were not hungry. No, they were not tired. They just couldn't have what they wanted when they wanted it. And there we smiled.

I say this as a reminder.

Pictures can be deceptive.

No life is perfect. No marriage is perfect! (Believe me. God has restored ours from near devastation!) No man, or child, or family, or home is perfect. We all face trials and maneuver around whines and engage in conflict. 'Tis life.

But on the other hand, there is beauty to be savoured regardless of the circumstance. Stacey so poignantly reminded me of this point.

Regardless of the chaos, friend,
something lovely can be found if we are willing to look.

Maybe today you find yourself surrounded by "wolves" (not that my kids are wolf-like). But I am telling you, and firmly believe, that hope and joy can rise up in your spirit as you set your heart and mind on the Lover of your soul. Your Maker. The King eternal.

I say this not only because the Word declares it. But also because He has proven it in my own little life, even when I looked around and disorder defined my days.

So set your gaze towards Him. See the beauty, regardless.


Unwrapping the often-hidden reality with Emily and other amazing women over at "Chatting at the Sky."

tuesdays unwrapped at cats


Oh, and, Stacey is my very gifted photographer friend.
You can find her online at!

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Saturday, September 25, 2010

lingering on a saturday

We periodically walk to the retention pond at the end of our road. Granted it is disgusting, with slimy green algae lining the edge and trash seemingly at-home in its muck. But to my kids, it's a glistening lake teeming with fish and turtles and adventure.

My boys typically spend their time finding rocks to throw in said body of "water" and sticks to prod...well...everything. My girl chimes in with commands and instruction, explaining to her younger brothers how to be in this situation. And I watch and smile and then jump to my feet when the littlest loses his balance almost taking a dive.

Yesterday it was just me and the boys. And I found myself wanting to linger. I battled it at first because my "less-dumb" phone came in the mail this week causing a bit of a distraction to my own little world. But eventually I put it down and I listened.

My little men were digging up moss nearby. (By the way, is it OK to touch and hug and practically ingest moss? These are things I don't know anything about.)

The breeze felt quiet and welcoming. The leaves waved at me from above. It was nice. And I talked to Him. And listened for His stillness.

So much pulls at us. We live in a culture where information can easily overload our senses. At any given moment I can know what is happening in Pakistan (through the media's filter, of course), get a laugh from Jon Acuff about his flight to wherever, and know how my sister's day is faring (thanks to Facebook).

Sometimes though, I need to lay it all down and watch the little orange butterfly fluttering past...and my kids digging up possible hazardous material.

It's Saturday. Take some time to linger in a quiet space. Then listen for your Maker. He sees and whispers.

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

freckles were His idea

He knit you together, with purpose. We tell our kids and those we pour into, but you. He designed you before you stepped one foot into this temporal space we call earth. Upon your head He placed a call.

If He intended it, then consider it done.

Sin does not void His plan. Circumstance does not impede His will. He is God. And He said it was so.

On the larger scale He simply meant you for His glory--to reflect and honor your Maker. But what absolutely amazes is that our greatest good flows from loving Him. Our greatest good arises in finding life in the One who gave us freckles or brown eyes or dark skin. No other pursuit will fulfill those deep spaces of longing.

On the smaller scale--the individual headdress--He knows you perfectly and intimately. You. He created in vivid, infinite shades of color. He made you to love Him uniquely. In ways that fit your person. And walking those out brings life into focus.

We serve not a cookie-cutter God. He does not have a celestial mold from which we all come. He knit you together and wrote down your days. He meant you with purpose...

You finding life in Him.

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

irrational requests

The irrationality can get to me at times. Requests or demands that make no logical sense whatsoever. Young, immature minds insisting on something that does not fit in this ordered world.

"Mommy, please put this (4 foot long) sword into this (1 foot by 1 foot) lunch box." "Baby, it won't fit in there." "BAHHHH, WHYYYY?!"


"Mommy, I want a hot dog, please." "Baby, it is nine o'clock in the morning and we just ate breakfast and we are in the car. So, not right now." "BAHHHHH, WHYYYYY?!"

When the request is redirected or sadly denied, meltdowns erupt. Irrationality. And it can get to me...and my blood pressure.

I remind myself that they are children, instructing my heart rate to slow back down to normal range. And I usually do some look towards an invisible audience with my eyes wide, my brows raised, and my shoulders shrugged implying, "Do you hear this?"

But they are kids. And humbly, they are me.

I wonder before my Lord,

"How often do I insist upon something that makes perfect sense in my own interpretation of the world for this exact moment in time? Something that appears to be good or right or just and perfect for my now. Yet You see the beginning from the end. You know me perfectly and are always working for me and in me and through me."

Our Father does give promises to His children. But often the timing of their fruition rests only in His divine knowledge. He understands our ins and outs, our rising and sitting...completely. And if we are His, then He is always meaning something.

His ways are higher. His thoughts beyond me. I simply bow and believe Him faithful to bring about that which He has already declared.

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

the gift of time

To a busy mommy of three who is all-too-familiar with the scene of young ones being carried out of a store "kicking and screaming"--literally. like yesterday. because I said "no."--the gift of a moment to breathe proves priceless.

My mom gives me this gift each week. She takes my precious kids for a day and pours into them, while I step away to remember how I like my coffee or which songs make me smile or what He has laid upon my heart to share with you and others.

So I want to say, "thanks." Thanks to a mom who hands me a moment to pause.

Who has gifted you with a recent moment?


Unwrapping the gift of time with Emily and some other amazing women over at "Chatting at the Sky."

tuesdays unwrapped at cats

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Monday, September 20, 2010

tell me about...

"Tell me about panthers." "...and Indians." "...and guns."

My boy requesting of his Pawpaw.

This weekend, I listened while I drove. Stories being handed in the back seat from the voice of wisdom to the minds of young ones hanging on his every word.

He tells good stories. Something about his tone mesmerizes his audience. And I think my boy could glean for hours.

My own dad left this earth when I was only nineteen. But God's grace brought a Pawpaw to my kids, and a husband to my mom. And they love listening to his stories. And I love the Truth that rules his heart.

It makes me smile.

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Friday, September 17, 2010

Shai Linne

OK, so if you have been with me for awhile, then you know I am a fan of Christian rap, with my favorite artist being Lecrae.

But I have recently been introduced to Shai Linne, and I just had to share...
with those who can appreciate. ;)

"Jesus is alive."

(Still wondering if this whole sharing of YouTube videos is legal. Anyone?)

You can download this song from Amazon by following this link.

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Thursday, September 16, 2010


He looked upon his father's nakedness and exposed it. He saw his father's weakness--his vulnerability--and he called in his brothers with the intent to simply reveal. And he became accursed. (Genesis 9:18-25)

I spent time in the early chapters of Genesis this morning. And this brief account of Ham, youngest son of Noah, clarified the definition of love.

"Love covers all sins." (Proverbs 10:12)


Just as the older brothers guarded their own eyes and covered their father's nakedness with a garment, so are we to cover the sins of those walking at our side. So are we empowered to be an aid in their healing, rather than a hindrance. Rather than expose.

Father, use me to build up, sharpen, and encourage, rather than tear down.

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

praise. regardless.

My kids get attached to certain Bible stories. Lately--for the past year!--the story of David and Goliath has had my middle son hooked. Now he's got my little guy addicted. Just before bed we read and ponder various truths of God, which prove especially interesting to my boys if swords or stones are involved.

And before you get some halo-like wrong impression, our Bible reading and debrief typically occurs with one or more of said children saying something super-spiritual like, "Stop touching me!" or "Move over!" or "It's my turn to pick!"

OK, with that cleared up I can move on.

Last night we branched out. We read of Paul and Silas singing praises even while sitting chained on a dirty, prison floor. So I explained, above the noise of three semi-distracted young ones, how choosing to praise God regardless of circumstance is the place of blessing and freedom and abundance. Yes, I say those words to them. And yes, their faces often glaze over...for now.

Oh, but what truth to think upon.

Praise. Regardless.

I know. I say it often. But it just fits with so many situations. "Regardless." Whatever you face, my friend, it does not shake the King off of His throne. It does not challenge His sovereignty. It does not confuse His plans.

Circumstances move like water down a mountain trail. A trail bumpy under one foot then smooth under the next. A trail worn down where many have traveled. A trail grown and weed-infested where few have braved the elements.

But God.

Regardless of the momentary fire, regardless of the seeming hopelessness, regardless of the trail beneath our toes, regardless of the imposed chains, the Giver of life gives joy to those walking in intimacy with Him. Joy to those praising the only One worthy of our mind's preoccupation.

Rise up dear one and praise the Lover of your soul. Regardless. True joy will creep into that dismal heart.

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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

illusion of blessing

On Tuesdays I hang out in the cyber world with Emily and some other amazing women over at "Chatting at the Sky." It's a day where she invites us to "unwrap" the small things often overlooked in this crazy, busy world.

But there are some who cannot see the small things because the big things are so suffocating and heavy. Those have my mind preoccupied today.

I feel so saturated. Full of stuff and coffee. A closet filled with clothes and shoes. An entire toy room, lacking nothing. A roof that covers and a car that drives. Me. Entertained and comfortable.

This American dream confounds me, tempting my soul into a dream-like state of illusion. Our family is far from our culture's standard of wealth. But to the world at large, we drip.

I have been following the recent trip of Amanda and Shaun to Guatemala on a Compassion trip, and once again I find myself back at that place of wanting more--or less. Wanting more than stuff. Wanting less of all these non-essentials.

Wanting our family to be used
to truly affect a world in desperate need.

Need for water. Need for food. Need for peace. Need for the love and freedom only found in one's Maker.

When the rich man asked Jesus what it would take for him to enter into the kingdom of God, Jesus responded, "Sell all you have and give it to the poor."

What if He really meant it?

Money is not evil. Wealth is not evil. It's the love of money--the clinging to money for peace and life--that carries us away. When we hold to it so tightly, unwilling to give it all for the sake of Christ.

I am thankful for that which we have been entrusted. But I also hold it loosely before my Lord, asking Him to take what He wills for the glory due His name.

So this Tuesday, what small thing am I celebrating? That still, small voice that prompts and moves our hearts towards that which remains His passion: freedom in His Son.


You can be a part of the solution today by sponsoring a Compassion child. A life will be changed, beginning with your own.

Sponsor a Child in Jesus Name with Compassion



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Saturday, September 11, 2010

nine eleven

My man is a firefighter. It reminds me.

Praying comfort and peace in the Sovereign God over those who remain heart-wounded from the events of nine years ago.

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Friday, September 10, 2010

calling my sister-friend writers

OK, writing friends. I want your help. I have a vision. October is going to be Proverbs 31 month on my blog. There are 22 verses that describe a virtuous woman and I would love to partner with you in a detailed look at the passage.

So here is how it is going to work. We will walk through verses 10-31, with one verse being addressed each weekday. I want to have two of you precious, virtuous women write each week totally 8 guest posts.

If you are interested then email me as soon as possible at with "Proverbs 31" in the subject line. If you have a blog, make sure to give me a link to your blog. And if you don't have a blog--NO PROBLEM--just send me an attachment with a brief bio and a writing sample. Also, please note if you have a particular verse to which you feel led. Deadline is September 20.

I will review submissions on a first come, first serve basis. Once the guest posters have been chosen then you will receive your verse and the date your post will go live.

GUIDELINES: Each post should be the author's original material and stay within 300-600 words. Each post should center on your assigned verse and be creative, applicable, and encouraging. And I do reserve the right to edit. I will post a brief bio and link to your website or blog on the day of your post.

YAY! I cannot wait to see how God encourages us from His Word.

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Thursday, September 9, 2010

my "dumb" phone

I have been tempted towards a slight obsession.

My phone is officially "dumb." It's on a different galaxy from the phones of today. It isn't quite a bag phone but definitely on the outdated list. And I am due for an upgrade. Yes. A free upgrade.

So I picked a new phone--not a smart phone but a "less-dumb" phone with a touch screen and full keyboard. And I am very excited. It just feels cool and sleek and fun. The problem? It's on back order.

It has only been a week, but if I let my mind wander, I think about this silly phone. I call to see if the phone is yet in stock. I ponder the possibility that my carrier is actually lying because they don't really want to give the phone away for free. I admit it. I have been tempted towards a slight obsession.

I say tempted because God graciously reveals my heart. When anxiety over something so ridiculously temporal arises, He faithfully lifts my chin and points my eyes back to Him.

But aren't we all tempted to obsess. So much pulls for our attention--our obsession. Whether it is captivation over blog comments, Google ratings, Facebook status "likes," Twitter followers, iPhones, men, romance, rights, or fixing circumstances in accordance to our agenda, we as humans will be tempted towards obsession on a number of levels. Continually.

Back in July, I wrote a post entitled "obsession." And my summary? There is only One worthy of our constant preoccupation.

Life will come at us. New technology, vain hopes of popularity, and inconvenient, life-altering trials will inevitably cross our path. Granted, stuff has to be done and kids have to be fed, bathed, and trained up. Lists often need their boxes checked. But beneath it all, the question to ask is, "What is my constant preoccupation?"

I'll tell you one thing, this new phone that I may one day hold is not worthy of this much attention. "Only You, Lord. Only You."

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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Fall breaks through

It's so cliche, but I love the Fall. I love sipping a steamy pumpkin spice latte (1 pump, decaf, soy--can we say "picky"?) with the air crisp around my face.

Thinking back--way back--with nostalgia to that new college year, leaves fallen on the brick. Or those first football games.

Something seems to lighten when the breeze cools my lungs. When I can take a deep breath without inhaling the thick.

God does that.

Just when the heat becomes unbearable or the sweat relentless, He sends a fresh breeze. He lifts the burden.

The reigning God is gracious. He remembers we are a dusty people--mankind easily digressed. And He blesses those who believe Him.

He sends the Fall cool on the heels
of the Summer scorch.

How about you, friend? Does the heat surround you these days? Press into Him with all you have and believe Him faithful to bring that invigorating wind.


Hanging with Emily over at "Chatting at the Sky" today. Unwrapping this gift of Fall.

tuesdays unwrapped at cats

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Monday, September 6, 2010

love defined

Love sets aside self
And gets down on two knees,
With the cloth dripping warm to the floor.

Love holds not a grudge,
Nor insists on revenge--
On the betrayer's feet, water pours.

Love carries the burden--
Splintery, weighty--
Without its demanding, "Bless me."

Love lays the will down,
Arms stretched open wide,
While crimson flows rich--atoning.

Love blesses the cursed,
Says yes to the need,
Transforms a cold heart in despair.

Love keeps not a list
of those shouting out scorn.
It forgives. It endures. It repairs.

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Saturday, September 4, 2010


Marveling, celebrating, and bowing down this morning in the fresh light of the character of the Sovereign King. He. is. God. May everything within us--thoughts, will, emotions, dreams--get low and believe Him.

Blessings in Him, friend.

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Friday, September 3, 2010

driving the truck

The low rumble of the engine, fireman's gear behind me, and the toolbox full of man things.

Sometimes necessity insists that I drive his truck. And it makes me laugh.

Don't get me wrong. I like watching my man pull up in his manly truck. He's a firefighter. Firefighter's drive trucks and rescue people from burning buildings. He's tough. And a truck fits.

But I'm a girl's girl. To be quite honest I like to accessorize and wear lipgloss. I like to carry a cute bag and smell pretty. A feels like I have bitten off a bite bigger than I can chew. And it must be obvious.

Whenever I drive his truck, other men feel the need to help. Literally. On more than one occasion I have had strangers direct me in parking lots, "clearing the way" so I can move about.

They all but wave florescent orange wands and break out those bright yellow vests, while giving me that "poor woman-driver" look. And it's not that I can't drive the thing. Oh, I can drive it pro-like. ;) They just wonder.

And I cannot arrive anywhere incognito because the roar of his engine can be heard a mile away. I have been tempted to turn off the motor and coast those final feet to my destination in neutral to avoid the stares. But I don't. And people look.

I have decided to just wave and smile, confident in my truck-ride.

It's just funny. And the other night I had to laugh...and then share with you.

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Thursday, September 2, 2010

chains of control

We as wives naturally believe our job description includes "fixing" our men. And yes, I group myself into that woman category. In fact, I could name myself the president.

The temptation comes without warning, and it goes back to that garden of old. To that first woman and the flesh-curse put upon her.

We as women will battle the desire to control our men.

I can feel it rise up. I can feel the temptation begin to simmer. Starting with my thought life. And if not intercepted, it inevitably makes it to my lips. And I cringe, again, at the state of my natural self.

I want my man to know something. I want him to know that I love him today. Today. Not with a bunch of strings attached. Not with a long list of changes that need to be made in order for him to be accepted. But today, loved, without criticism of weakness or preference.

This releasing of control is the place of freedom and victory. Only when we drop those chains we desperately try to wrap around our men, and allow God to be God, will we ever experience marriage as He designed. And His design is beauty.

Before my God I again declare my desperation for Him. In faith I ask Him to fill me with His Spirit this day that I may be a wife who truly loves and blesses this man of mine.

Loves and blesses.
Honoring my Lord.

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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

all of it. joy.

Consider it all joy. All of it. Joy.

Preach it when those daily trials approach, big and small, "Consider it joy. Consider it joy."

Why? Because He is working in me patience. These trials hold with them the ability to produce cheerful endurance. My faith is tested that I may be perfect and complete. That I may reflect His Son.

His Son who for the joy of redeeming mankind endured the cross of shame. For the joy of justification pressed on and obeyed unto the point of death. For you. And for me.

These momentary trials whether life-altering or simply life-irritating can be viewed with joy, knowing that our good and His glory always motivates His movement.

Run the race of faith, in spite of hostile man, keeping our eyes set firm on the One to whom all praise is due.

Consider it all joy today. All of it. Joy. Believing Him faithful and true.

Response to my time this morning in James 1:2-4, Hebrews 12:1-3

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