Saturday, August 27, 2016

This Blank Canvas



I’m praising God for another day. I opened my eyes this morning and stepped into another blank page open and waiting for words, for decisions and choices, for challenges and frustrations, for love and smiles. What a precious gift!

I never want to take my days for granted. Never want to expect another tomorrow. I’m simply here living it all out as God instructs. All the praising and the praying and the lifting up of His name. May it all be to His glory.


And there hanging on a wall in a darkened museum corner, my thoughts in action. A rendering of an artist’s studio awash in chaotic disarray with its slashed canvasses, spilled paint, smears of anger, rejection and resentment yet somehow making perfect sense to the artist himself.

Though I sometimes make an absolute mess of things, and this world and this society in which we live can often become distorted beyond recognition…only God can bring a measure of beauty from the chaos.

He takes the dark and broken soul, the perfect picture of chaos and torment and restores the bright colors. He brings order and purpose to the remnants of our past that cause us to stumble and fall, and He strengthens the weak to move forward and away from the mess….only God!


He’s the Giver of our days. He provides the open, empty canvas and allows us to fill it with the colors of our heart. To pour out all that is within us; the lovely and the unlovely. To wrestle through the weeds of this life and bloom brightly for Him.

“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.(Ephesians 2:10)

He brings beauty from our messes. Faith in our despair and brings forth His light on the hard days.

“and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.” (Isaiah 61:3)


Go brightly into this day, my friend. May your canvas be awash in the love of our living, loving God and the many blessings He so freely bestows. 



Thursday, August 4, 2016

God Hasn’t Forgotten About Blessing You




Our vegetable garden is producing baskets full of blessings daily! My husband and I got a late start in planting, but we’re both amazed at how well it’s doing.
He worked for several days transforming my neglected, weed-filled flower garden into a sun-loving, vegetable-producing haven. He tilled and tilled and tilled once more adding several wheel barrows full of composted chicken manure from the coop until finally…he was satisfied that the soil was ready to go.



We planted zucchini, crook-neck squash, watermelon, green onions, English cucumbers, several rows of various peppers and chilies, sweet corn now 10-feet tall and a pot full of culinary herbs. It’s amazing and a lot of fun.

One of the things I’ve learned over many years of gardening is, whether growing a space overflowing with vegetables or a flower-filled paradise for butterflies and hummingbirds, the garden forces us to be patient. It forces us to watch and wait and during all that watching and waiting, the garden doesn’t forget to grow. It doesn’t forget to produce or bloom. It just takes time…precious, necessary time.

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time 
we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9)

When we’re waiting for the blessings to emerge, it’s easy to believe that nothing is happening, when in fact there’s so much happening beneath the soil that we never see. The root structure forms gaining in size and strength to support the weight of the blessing; each little component reaching, searching through the soil undeterred by every obstacle because that which is planted in fertile soil will, in fact, produce and bless.

But if we hope for what we do not yet have, 
we wait for it patiently. (Romans 8:25)

The enemy wants you to believe that your prayers, your hopes and dreams have gone stagnant and now lie on deaf ears, but God hasn’t forgotten to bless youHe IS blessing you. Sometimes, the blessings aren’t out in the open…yet. Maybe they’re a little hidden, growing the necessary root structure and waiting to be revealed at just the right time. And when God sheds His perfect, beautiful light on your blessings, you’ll see that they are bigger and more amazing than your dreams allowed you to imagine.

Blessings come in all shapes and sizes, my friend. But all require time spent in fertile soil and, of course…a bit of SONshine.

Don’t. Give. Up.


Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop,
 some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times." (Mark 4:8)




Wednesday, March 23, 2016

This Gift of Life




Sometimes I have to wonder why I do some of the things I do. Why do I overextend myself? Heap extra burden and responsibilities on top of my full schedule? Sometimes I think I should spend more time in idle mode, just hanging out literally doing nothing. I pass by my favorite comfy spot on the patio and wish for more time to just sit and listen to the water trickle in the fountain and watch the many finches zip in and out of the garden.

Sometimes there aren’t enough hours in the day and I fall into bed at night exhausted and spent only to wake up overwhelmed with little energy to accomplish all that’s demanded of me.

But sometimes…one dream builds upon the next and the next and I realize it’s what makes me feel alive. Alive and thankful for the passion behind every single dream and every single goal because as long as I’m living, I will always be striving, reaching and moving toward that which makes my heart sing.

Being raised by someone who gave up on living about 40 years before her actual death taught me a lot. I saw the sin in taking each new, glorious day gifted to us by the Father and basically throwing it off the highest cliff like a useless stone. Like it didn’t matter. Like a spoiled child wanting more because the gift of a day wasn’t enough.

This life is for the living and the doing. It’s for the giving back and praising God for every bit of it.

I do make time for sitting in my comfy spot, for watching the birds, for hugging and appreciating my husband and my kids. But the day I stop striving and doing and dreaming will be the day Jesus calls me home.


1 Corinthians 15:58
Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. (NIV)

Colossians 3:23
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, (NIV)


Saturday, March 5, 2016

The March/April issue of CW Voice is ready and available!

Hey friends!

I just love spring. Don't you??? I'm super blessed with the opportunity to celebrate this glorious new season with the March/April issue of CW Voice Magazine!

Let this issue encourage and inspire you!

         CW Voice March/April 2016        
     
       

                     CW Voice March/April 2016                  

     
     
       
         By Debbie Dillon                    
       
         32 pages, published 3/5/2016        
     
     
       CW Voice shares articles related to frugal living, physical & spiritual well being, family & relationships, life after divorce, movie & book reviews, recipes, and testimonies.      
     
                 Find out more on MagCloud              






















Thursday, February 18, 2016

Have you registered yet???





Well, I don't often share press releases, but I am definitely sharing this one!

I'm going to be at the Orange County Christian Writers' Conference April 15th and 16th and I would love for you to join me! This is going to be such an amazing event - check it out!

--------------------------
 Christian Writers' Conference to Host Well-Known Professionals as Mentors
            Modern traditional publishing, self-publishing, and the blogosphere are creating more and more opportunities for writers. But writers of all genres can profit from all-day mentoring clinics and one-on-one help from industry professionals at the 2016 Orange County Christian Writers' Conference.
            The conference will be held Friday and Saturday, April 15-16, at the First Evangelical Free Church of Fullerton, 2904 Brea Blvd., Fullerton, CA., from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.
            Well-known authors Cindy Woodsmall, B. J. Taylor, Aaron Gansky, Kathi Macias, and others will head mentoring clinics in beginning, intermediate, and advanced fiction and nonfiction as well as a teen track and a young-adult track. One-on-one appointments with industry professionals in the Resource Room will be available to all attendees.
            On Friday evening, conferees can attend an informal meet-and-greet to chat with faculty members, industry professionals, and fellow attendees. Anyone who registers for either a mentoring track or a day in the Resource Room is welcome to attend the Friday evening event. Giveaways will be an added bonus throughout the evening. Come to network, fellowship, and have fun!
            To register: http://www.occwc.com.

Monday, January 25, 2016

My Tribute






It was the weight of the past two weeks and the love of 27 years that brought me out to the garden this morning. It was there that I sought comfort and found it in my sad, neglected space among the weeds and forgotten plants still fighting against the seasons; there with my robe and coffee cup and tears.

And there in the first light of this new day, this beautiful gift meant to be cherished and lived because we’re still standing and still breathing, God broke through the heaviness of death and grief to show me life. Right there in the garden in the middle of my mess. Life triumphant. New and just beginning.






























In that moment, God showed me that we’re to nurture the living; the wife now without a husband, the children now without a father and countless others left holding hearts full of love, admiration and cherished memories. We’re to honor the lives of those who have gone before us simply…by…living.
And as they who pass from this world and into the next are to forever rest in the peace and comfort of our savior, so shall we when we remember that they have received their reward in full. We are to rest and live in peace knowing God’s promises are true and it’s the faith of the believer that brings us full circle.

Revelation 7:15-17 “And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore, “they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them. Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat upon them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear
 from their eyes.” (NIV)



 I will always love you, Bruce. I will never forget you.
Thank you for embracing me as your own and welcoming
me to your family so many years ago. And thank you for
loving me unconditionally ever since.
Debbie

Monday, January 4, 2016

Sharing from My Food Blog




So....do you like fresh vegetables? Are you a lobster lover? Aaww, I KNEW I liked you!

I'm sharing the link to my food blog today because I've made a ceviche using a little left-over lobster and I just have to say, it's super good. I'm one of those people who tend to believe that a really good recipe is meant to be shared, and believe me, this one does not disappoint. Check out my recipe for lobster ceviche here


Blessings,
Debbie

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