Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Dreams Coming True


God planted the friendship seed long ago. He knew then, as we shuttled young ones to and from pre-school and wiped tables splattered in paint and caked on Play-Dough, that we would somehow maintain a friendship; just two moms traveling down parallel paths in a small town (waving "Hello!" from our car-pool vans).

He knew back then how she would one day become the owner of a local book store, and how I’d publish part of my heart and soul between the pages of a simple paperback. He knew just how and when it would all come together, this merging of dreams – how each seasoned weathered would bring its challenges…challenges to grow our faith and grow us up.

I’m so excited to share that now, here in this season, I find myself turning the pages of dreams coming true. I’d only imagined that one day I’d see my book displayed on a book store shelf somewhere, but to have it personally included among such a beautiful Mother’s Day display nearly brings me to tears. Connie, my dear friend and owner of Mrs. Figs’ Bookworm, has graciously agreed to carry my book in her store AND schedule me for my very first real, live book signing event sometime this summer! I’ll be sharing more about that as it draws near.

For now, I’m watching the blessings unfold and holding on tight for the ride.

There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.- Psalm 23:18

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Taking Time for God

tulips in windowphoto © 2008 liz west | more info (via: Wylio)
My Bible lies open, flat on the coffee table with morning sun casting rays across Matthew 6. I’d set it down earlier to run off to some other task – some other call for my attention. God’s provision in the Word printed on thin pages open, hopes and promises exposed to the busy morning as I rush past with arms full of laundry basket heaping and me hurried.

I pass by again when the phone rings, and glance at it once more as I head out the back door with the broom in my hand.

How patient He waits for me to come to him open with soul flat, heart heavy and exposed to His grace. And I sigh convicted…ashamed.

I cry out my needs and desires with assurance that my pleas have been heard by the only One who can heal the hurt and mend the holes in my day…but how often am I truly there for Him? When do I really “show up” fully attentive, ready to receive His leading, His conviction, His forgiveness…His blessing?

Heavenly Father,

Help me to listen for your voice and your direction giving full attention to you not just when I need you, but when you call. Slow me down. Speak to me that I may hear and receive your words. Amen

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Simon, and his companions went to look for him, and when they found him, they exclaimed: "Everyone is looking for you!"
(Mark 1:35-37,
NIV)

“But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed."
(Luke 5:16, NIV)


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Patchwork

Detail of Mixed Tape Quiltphoto © 2011 Gabrielle | more info (via: Wylio)
My fingers trace along each patchwork square, over every knot tied. I think of the hours she spent bent over needle and thread – how the issues of the day resolved over fitting the pieces together one…square…at…a…time.

Calico print cuttings smoothed flat and simple across a kitchen table with a single light above guiding determined hands. I think of how they stitch the years together into something solid, something real, and how something so simple made perfect sense. Each square, each threaded path serving a purpose and making up a piece of the whole…sort of like those who make up me.

The delivery truck drives away and I’m left holding a patchwork piece of my own. I dig through wrapping to find a rusted weather vane; a present – a missing piece of my heart from days faded and spent but never forgotten.

In a box upstairs I find yet another piece. It’s the familiar handwriting from the same hands2008.11.12 - The letterphoto © 2008 Adrian Clark | more info (via: Wylio)
that always knew how to stitch me back together again. I read her shaky words, simple thoughts scratched across recycled stationary - the same hands that pieced the calico prints together, tying up all the loose ends and making sense out of the pattern.

They’re all like pieces of a puzzle coming together to make up who we are. God places us in the middle of people and events that somehow shape us, yet we become a little part of each one; each blessed embrace, each “I love you” and lesson learned. The patchwork of life.

“…but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.” (Exodus 20:6)

“But from everlasting to everlasting
the LORD’s love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children’s children—“

(Psalm 103:17)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Encourage Someone This Week

Carlsbad Flower Field March 2007-DSC_3575photo © 2007 Akaporn Bhothisuwan | more info (via: Wylio)
Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion,then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
(Phil. 2:1-4) NIV

It's a great day to offer encouragement to someone...but who? Why not everybody? At the end of the day, wouldn't we all enjoy the satisfaction of knowing our footprints mattered? That our actions and intentions meant something? That we spoke words from a genuine heart?

I love this passage because it reminds us to share what we've been freely given. If we've ever been comforted or shown tenderness or received encouragement that has picked us up from the low places, then what better gift to share with others?

Who are your going to encourage this week?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Preview of "Walking in Son-Light"


When I was a little girl, I used to haul out the avocado green upright Hoover vacuum cleaner to the middle of the living room because the handle was the perfect height for a “microphone.” I’d stand there facing my stuffed animals AND my Pekingese, all decked out in doll clothes and lined up along the couch, and I’d sing at the top of my 7-year-old lungs to the Carpenters, John Denver, Helen Reddy, Carli Simon and Donny Osmond….yeah, those were the days.

I continued singing right up through 8th grade, and by the time I reached High School Choir and trio status with my two best girlfriends, I was sure we’d “make it big” one day. We’d already picked out stage names, designed our costumes, dreamed of the cars we’d buy and special things we’d do for others with all our millions. I even made a promise to God, back in my young, naïve days when I actually thought one could do such a thing. I told Him that if He would make my singing dreams possible, that I’d make sure my very first album would be of beautiful hymns and worship songs.

Obviously, the Lord doesn’t work that way, and superstar material I was NOT…..thank the Lord!

Well, after many, many years and life lessons later, I now have an “album,” of sorts. The Lord has given me the words and the desire to reach others for Him, and together, He and I have self published my very first book, “Walking in Son-Light – A Small Collection of Thoughts to Encourage and Inspire.” (It’s actually a compilation of selected blog posts from over the past year and a half with a little tweaking and shining up.) I can’t tell you how excited I am about this – PLUS, my proof copy has been shipped and somewhere out there this very minute, lying in a basket at some post office, is a book bursting at the binding with my heart and soul and it has my name on it! Woo-Hoo!

I’m also excited to share that the cover photography (plus the back cover photo and a little one inside) was done by my daughter! I think she did an amazing job J

I just wanted to share a little preview with you, and I’ll post the link after I’ve had a chance to look over the proof and make any corrections.

I want to thank each and every one of you sweet ladies for choosing to pop in for coffee with me once in awhile always offering your encouragement and support, and for always leaving such beautiful comments that never fail to touch my heart so deeply. God bless you and I pray you’ll keep walking in Son-light.

“You’re forever beautiful to Him whether broken or whole; crumbling with the world around you or dancing on top of it. How wonderful to belong to the God who holds the missing pieces. And He does indeed hold them…there, in the scars of His hands." "Walking in Son-Light" offers hope and encouragement for women in every season of life.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Spring Break!

springtimephoto © 2010 Fréderic | more info (via: Wylio)
Well, it’s Spring Break around here this week, so it’s going to be a pretty quiet week here at the Writin’ 4 Him Café.

BUT!!! You won’t believe what I’ve been up to…..it’s a secret that I hope to be able to share with you all in just a few more days. I am SO completely excited about the many ways in which God is moving in my life. Can’t wait to share it with you.

Take care and be blessed! See you in a few!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Giving Thanks for His Presence This Week

Here we are againBachelor's Button Bouquet unedited Creative Commonsphoto © 2010 D. Sharon Pruitt | more info (via: Wylio)

Another week drawing to a close

Another week of prayers prayed

Requests made of the One in complete control

The One who whispers “Yes, you can because I am here.”

Because... I am

It’s the grace He’s shown this week

That allows me to sigh and reflect

To be thankful for all He’s brought me through

To consider the cost of my joy…my peace

I think of the dangers He’s kept at bay

How He’s kept me from harm

The rocks that could have tumbled

The daggers waiting to pierce the skin

The words intended to pierce the heart

Caught in mid flight by His mighty hand

How He’s protected and provided

Listened to each prayer breathed in private

Silent words spoken from the heart shared with only Him

Rain Dropphoto © 2010 Kirsty Andrews | more info (via: Wylio)


I stare out the window

From over the rim of my coffee cup

And watch clouds come full of rain

But it’s all right

I'm settled inside – peace not only for the journey

But from it

He’s brought me through...once again

Guided me this far

And He always will

Even though I walk through the darkest valley,

I will fear no evil, for you are with me;

your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

(Psalm 23:4) NIV

How has the Lord brought you through this week?

Share your praise in a comment – let’s give Him glory together.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Living Brightly

Exercising is a new thing for me. My body is still in shock over it and has yet to forgive me for the mile and a half I sweated out last night on the treadmill. It’s set up on the back patio and each evening I wait until the sun sinks low behind the trees. I head out there, plug in my music, pick up my 3lb. weights and get the blood moving. It feels great and I’m a happier me now that I’ve introduced a brisk walk to my daily routine.

Last night I noticed a bright yellow oriole darting between branches against the backdrop of deep green. He was gorgeous, and I, a captive audience.

Golden Oriolephoto © 2011 Srihari Kulkarni | more info (via: Wylio)

It takes one brave enough to live brightly if they’re to stand against the darkness of the world - without becoming part of it, I thought.

I think we can be easily attracted to the darkness of the world without even realizing it; whether it's taking part in coarse joking, judging others, giving in to critical thinking or even allowing our human nature to lead us into thinking the darkness somehow offers us something more than the blessing of the Lord's favor.

But to remain bright, people who reflect God in our lives, takes courage and strong faith in who we are as Christians. Like the bird whose color will remain just as vivid among the shadows, so are we to be a contrast; to shine against the darkness.

You've been graced with the gift of today - may you have the courage to live it brightly!

"But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect..."

(1 Peter 3:15)

Male Hooded Oriolephoto © 2007 Linda Tanner | more info (via: Wylio)


Monday, April 4, 2011

One Rose Bud at a Time

Rosenköniginphoto © 2008 Barbara | more info (via: Wylio)

There’s a rose bud in a vase here on my desk; deep red, perfectly formed and surrounding me with the most heavenly fragrance. It’s here to remind me of the sweetness of life, even here – even now, as dishes sit in the sink, the floors still show evidence of a busy, I’ll-get-to-that-later weekend. Here, in the hum of it all while the washing machine spins, the groceries wait to find their homes on shelves. Yet, the breeze caresses my spirit and I rise from within to Chopin and all the wonderful scenes of spring outside my window. Yes, there’s strife in each day. We don’t have to look very far for struggles and disappointments, but my gentle, precious God grants blessings in the simplest, purist forms and I savor them…one rose bud at a time.

God bless you!

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

(Phil. 4:19) NIV

Friday, April 1, 2011

Living on Purpose

Close-up view of flowers at Maclay Gardens State Park: Tallahassee, Floridaphoto © 1979 Florida Memory | more info (via: Wylio)

There it is again; that voice, that finger wagging telling me I “can’t” do this, no matter how hard I try. Who am I to carry out such a task? Who do I think I am for dreaming so big – reaching for the highest star? Living my faith out loud? Negativity pushes hard sometimes, yells strong and wins me over all too often. I miss out on the blessings and sink in guilt instead. When God sets my feet on the track of His purpose, who am I to think He’ll make me walk it alone? Who am I to ever think I work towards anything… alone?

It is He…who plants the dream.

It is He…who strengthens me to accomplish it.

It is He…who gives me purpose.

“So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

(Ephesians 4:11-13) NIV

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