Sunday, September 30, 2012

31 Days of Little Revelations


31 days

Here’s another crazy thing I’m going to try… write for 31 straight days on a topic.  I found this challenge on a blog Nesting Place.  (The Nester will be speaking at Allume and I hope to meet her!)  The challenge is to chose a word or phrase and write about it every day for the month of October. 

I don’t know if I can do this…but as we tell our kids… “You don’t know if you can do it or not until you try.”

A prayer I often pray is asking God for me to be able to have an “a-ha” moment, even if it’s a little one, every day.

A little revelation every day.

Revelation …a definition… “God’s disclosure to man of Himself”.

This mama needs little, daily revelations, even though honestly, sometimes I don’t want to look for them or learn from them or sometimes I even choose to ignore them.  Or it could be I’m too busy to look or listen for them. 

So, I’m challenging myself to learn from the daily revelations that are probably put right in front of my face every day. 

This was Day 1!


This weekend’s joys and grateful revelations


#948  seeing leaves that had changed colors on the N.C. mountains

#949  it didn’t take too long for me to feel better after having car sickness on the windy Blue Ridge parkway to Grandfather Mountain


#950  rain ponchos



#951  girls still make it a fun day at the hotel even though camp was rained out


#952  able to share some God Moments with a new friend

#953  the laugh about flip flops


#954  sunshine and fog in the mountains


#955  taking a challenge

Friday, September 28, 2012

I’m really doing this


The airplane tickets were purchased last night!   I have the conference ticket and a hotel room reserved.  It’s really going to happen.  I’m really doing this now.

I can’t believe I’m doing this.  In January I would have never imagined doing something like this.  First of all having a blog.  Going out of my comfort zone.  Going to a conference about social media…by myself knowing nobody!  Am I nuts?

I’m excited.  I’m nervous or maybe scared to death (I’m not sure if that’s from going to this conference or getting on an airplane by myself…this’ll be a first!)

There’s going to be so much there to grasp I know.  This is something I’ve never dreamed of doing.  I just hope it’s worth it.

I want this to be a God-thing, not a Beth-thing.  I want this to be a stepping stone to what God wants me to do for His glory.  I want to learn.  I want to be accepted.  I want to be able to say or write something that helps someone see Jesus in a new way… from my story.

I’m filled with hope.  I’m going to Allume

“I grasp and cling to whatever you tell me; GOD, don’t let me down! I’ll run the course you lay out for me if you’ll just show me how.”     Psalm 119:26  (The Message)


Linking up with:



Gifts given thanks for…

# 942  gift unexpected – our tree coming down

#943  gift unpopular – seeing the beauty in all the kids at school at picture day

#944  gift uneven – the stump of the tree in our backyard that was cut down yesterday… and it’s root.   Thankful for my roots…


#945  gift shy – being quiet and listening

#946  husband ordering airplane tickets for me

#947  my family’s support for me going to Allume in 27 days!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Comfortable shoes


At the end of the day, how comfortable it is sitting in this big sofa chair with a pillow beside me and a pillow behind me.  Laptop on my lap.  TV on low volume just so I can see the weather on the news channel and husband asleep on the couch after a long day.

What a gift to feel comfortable…and uncomfortable.

But then I uncomfortably remember how I take comfort so much for granted.  I thought, “But what is Jennifer doing down in rural Mexico right now?  Is she sleeping on a cot or on the ground? In a home with humidity and cracks in the four walls?  Is she comfortable in her own shoes?” 

Is she ever comfortable?  How does she see herself?

If she wrote a blog would she write something like this in the comfort of her home?

Oh how I’m so glad I have a family who sponsors me and my family.  I wish I could meet them.  I wish I heard from them every day.  I love how Libby writes to me in Spanish.  I wish they could come visit me and then we could speak in Spanish with each other.

They tell me about what they’re learning and things they do at church, about soccer games and dance lessons and sent me pictures of the town they live in.  Wow!  I wish I lived in a place like they do. 

They have a lot of green grass, pretty flowers and gardens… and big stores with parking lots full of cars.  They have places where they cook food for you and serve it to you and you don’t have to do anything but eat it!    I wish I could go to a place like that someday.

I’m thankful though that I get a meal every day.  I help out with my brother and sister because my mom is handicapped.  My dad sometimes has jobs but they change a lot.  He can’t seem to keep a job for a long time.  Right now he has what he calls a security job at night and I’m scared he’ll get hurt.

I’m thankful that I am able to go to school and I’m learning a lot.  I’m thankful I have a church family and we read the Bible and learn about Jesus and how much he loves me and everyone.  I’m thankful that Compassion does special things for us.  This summer we got to go to a carnival and I got to eat a hamburger!

I’m thankful for the clothes I’m wearing, my family, my friends, my sponsor family, Compassion workers and especially thankful for Jesus and what he did for me.  I’m thankful they told me about Jesus and I asked him to live in my heart.  I’m thankful that someday I’ll be in heaven with Jesus and all my family and friends and we’ll all be merry!

Until then, I’ll just keep hoping and just keep praying asking God to take care of me and my family with just what we need.”


Is she comfortable in her own scuffed and well-worn shoes?  The only shoes she has?

Does she feel comfortable in the arms of God?  

Do you? 

Or do you have that uncomfortable feeling in your gut where you know you need to take off your comfortable shoes and give them to someone else who really needs some?


If you haven’t adopted a Compassion child, our family highly recommends doing it!  It’s a win-win situation!  You feel the joy in your heart for giving and watching that child grow physically and spiritually…the child feels joy in his/her heart for receiving and being cared for and being loved by you, Compassion and especially by Jesus. 

It’s worth more than every penny.


#935  two bins filled with shoes

#936  closets filled with clothes

#937  cooler fall evenings

#938  sleeping with windows open and having to pull over more blankets

#939  gift finished – the long wait our friends have had to meet their daughter they're adopting from Haiti finished yesterday - they held her in their arms for the first time yesterday!

#940  gift finished – studying Judges 1-2

#941  gift finished – this day the Lord has made

Monday, September 24, 2012

When you feel like you’ve been run over by a car


The list Friday was making me dizzy but I didn’t realize how much…

The book fair is in a week and there’s so much to do….Go to school to print 650+ flyers.   Get gift for sweet girl’s first birthday.  Get belated card for friend’s 40th birthday.  Go get the bible study that was ready to pick up (and maybe even start it!).  Go to the grocery because having teacher over for dinner this weekend.  Clean the house.  Put away summer decorations and put out fall decorations.    Dinner ready early because son has a game that night.

I wanted to get all of those things done… in 4 hours.

Yeah right!  But it was the over-achiever part of me that rushed in front of realistic reality.

So, I was in a hurry.  Or maybe “I was in a rush” is a better way of saying it.

Rush…to dash.  Dash from here to there and everywhere.

Can rushing become an addiction?   If it can, then I might have become one this past month. 

Do I really get a rush from rushing?

Addictions are must-haves and must-dos and must get-those-musts–as-soon-as-possible.

Addictions are rushed to.

As all the things on my super-woman to-do list rush through my mind, I realized I forgot something as I leave the garage.  I go back in and rush out of the car to get what I had forgotten.

My car wasn’t all the way in “park”.

It starts rolling backward and I try to jump back in to stop it.  But I can’t. 

I don’t honestly remember what happened next except I felt a tire roll over me.

It ran over me…over my hand and leg.  Just as fast as I was down, I was back up chasing it down the driveway.  I was obviously in a state of shock.

God’s angels were with me and with our neighbors.  That I believe.

The car rolled down the driveway, the angels took ahold of the steering wheel, turned the wheels at the perfect time at the end of the driveway and had it roll into our next door neighbor’s yard and came to a stop at the start of the hill back up.

I do believe in miracles…again.

I really understand now that speed bumps were made to slow you down.  To make you pay more attention.  There’s really a reason for them.

And I just happened to be the speed bump in the blink of a eye.                                        (as a friend told me…which did somehow make me laugh over the tears)

I must be so stubborn…God has allowed some other things in my life, similar to the feeling of being run over by a car, to get my attention or for me to slow down…to stop rushing…to stop addictions?



When not, things get careless and that’s risky business.

God, I’m trying to pay attention…and want to rush only to You, and only feel the rush of Your relentless protection and grace…


More true thankfulness

#920  hard eucharisteo (thanks-giving) – speed bumps

#921  friend/neighbor right there at right time

#922  God’s angels

#923  friend who always takes good care of our family’s medical emergencies (and we know he has many times…much gratitude, friend)

#924  another friend who got me my favorite…a coke from the restaurant…to make me smile.

#925  friends who make me laugh when I could really cry

#926  my husband who still loves me

#927  gift informed – no broken bones

#928  gift…life

#929  gift in quietness - hearing the buzz from hummingbird wings

#930  gift of quietness – time to write to relieve

#931  “Normal isn’t working anymore” – words heard this morning at church that still ring in my ears.

#932  family dinner with my aunt and uncle who we don’t get to see often, and my parents

#933  my cousin’s new baby daughter doing so well after heart surgery at 1 week old.

#934  seeing fall flowers beauty by the run down shack we get to enjoy seeing on way to school each day




Friday, September 21, 2012

How wide…


She’s growing up.  She’s more beautiful everyday.  She’s at the beginning of life where she’s starting to figure out who she is.

In the midst of the beginning of this discovery in this wide world so many obstacles…so many roads to choose from.  The good road.  I pray it’s the good road.

In the midst of this beginning adventure of life, I see frustrations emerge, insecurities starting to find their way in.  Her 9 year old self is trying to find “me”.  Who am I?  What am I good at?  Do other people like me? 


I remember reading to her the book I Love You This Much  it seems like yesterday 5 or 6 years ago.  I’d sit “indian style” and she’d sit on my lap.  I’d look over her should to read the book to her as a few strands of her hair would tickle my face.  I want to read it to her again…she needs to hear it.  I need to hear it again. 

She needs to be reminded of that love every day…especially the days when attitude, or conflict, misunderstanding or lack of patience arise.  The days when she feels unsure, unliked, undone.  I want her to understand that it’s OK to be a little undone…because Christ is still forming her…not done with her yet…and is just at the beginning of the special things He has for her to do…



I want her to remember how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,  and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—so she may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”  Eph. 3:18-19



Thought I’d include the words to this book…

I Love You This Much by Lynn Hodges and Sue Buchanan

When you arise with sleepy eyes, my smiling face you see.

I always say, “Well, look who’s up.” You laugh and say, “it’s me!”

How I love your morning hug; you nestle in my touch.  You wait to hear me whisper low, “I LOVE YOU THIS MUCH.”

I love you best. I love you most. I love you high. I love you low.  I love you deep.  I love you side.  I LOVE YOU THIS MUCH!

Throughout the day, we hide and seek; I love to see you smile.  I always say, “I found you, dear” But I had you all the while.

You run to me with open arms; I love to feel your touch.

We shout out loud for all to hear, “I LOVE YOU THIS MUCH!”

I love you best. I love you most. I love you high. I love you low. I love you deep. I love you side. I LOVE YOU THIS MUCH!

I trust you know that God is so, by what I say and do.  I tell you he is safe and sure.

And what he says is true.

He holds you in his loving arms; you feel his tender touch.

You hear the heavenly Father say, “I love you this much!”

When day is done at setting sun, we bow our heads and pray.  I trust you to God’s loving care.  You safely drift away.  I kiss you on your sleepy head, with one last gentle touch.

The words still ringing in our ears, “I LOVE YOU THIS MUCH.”

I love you best. I love you most. I love you high. I love you low. I love you deep. I love you side. I love you, I love you,  I LOVE YOU THIS MUCH!



Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Needing constant reminders


It’s really raining hard this morning.


God pouring grace.



The house is very dark except for the little light turned on in the sunroom.   So thankful for a safe and dry place to live…in a two-story brick house covered by a solid roof and laid on a solid foundation.

What a blessing, especially when I think of others without one, or just a shack, or even our Compassion child who lives in a home with cement walls and a dirt floor. 

During these bad storms, my kids and hundreds of others in our community are in a sturdy brick school this morning while only 16% of the children receive a primary level education where our Compassion child lives.


But what brings hope is that Jennifer knows Jesus.  Believes Jesus.  But she and her family need constant reminders of His love and grace, just like our family does. 

Who doesn’t need constant reminder of His love and grace?

It’s so easy for us constant, busy-life people to have spiritual amnesia…where we easily forget about Jesus in our every day life.  We easily forget what Jesus has done for us.  Easily forget about his relentless passion to redeem and save us…every day.  Easily forget about his never-ending promises.  Easily forget about his grace.

God’s grace is enough.

I need to remember that.

What a promise to cling onto in our every day, all-the-time thoughts… no matter how old or young you are or how rich or poor.  We all need that promise of grace and hope to hold onto.




One of the ways our family shares God’s promises is by adopting Jennifer through Compassion. 

Since I’ve been “blogging” (I still feel so weird saying I do that) I’ve found out that September is Compassion’s Blog Month. 

Compassion has set a goal to have 3,108 children taken out of poverty this month…and 1,515 children have been sponsored this month! Let's press on so 1,593 more children can be released from poverty. 

Check it out here:

Also to all my Pintrest friends, check out my Pintrest and “repin” this pin like you see below, to help show your support for Compassion who reach out to children in poverty and need this month.  (and not just blog month but every month!)



Joys found

#914  the comfort of our home

#915  safety from storms

#916  things falling into place

#917  tall pile of folded clothes

#918  raindrops about to fall off a flower

#919  letters from Jennifer

Monday, September 17, 2012

What needs to be done

Stumbled on these words last night.  I had only read it one other time and wrote it in my little notebook that I carry around with me in case I think I have a God Moment while I’m on the go that I need to save.  I don’t even remember why I wrote this in that notebook…but maybe it was for me to open now… just the right time.

Discipleship is not easy.  It will cost you everything.  But ‘everything’ becomes a small piece for your investment in the eternal richness of knowing God.  Not only does God promise phenomenal return on your investment, but also He provides everything you need to make the investment in the first place, and to pay the cost along the way.”          (2 Peter 1:3)  Jan Kemp’s Faithful Hearts


And then today I begin a brand new study “Living in a Pluralistic Society” by Timothy Keller.  (And what do you know…the lesson is called “Half-way discipleship”.  And then the first part of the study is to read Joshua 1:1-9 (Joshua 1:9 being one of my favorite ‘life verses’) and 23:3-13.

Basically those verses say… “Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people” (1:6).  “Hold fast (cling) to the Lord.” (23:8), and “The Lord your God himself will drive them (the enemy) out of your way.”

And then for God to top it off, two times it’s written in today’s verses… “Do not turn from the right to the leftgo straight…so you’ll be successful wherever you go.” (1:7), and be strong and obey “without turning aside to the right of the left.” (23:6)

And last week all I was reminded of over and over was Isaiah 30:21.  “Whether you turn to the right or to the left (when I’m wandering off trying to find the answers myself) your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’”

So whenever I’m wandering off trying to find the answers myself, I’m just turning down the wrong fork in the road whether it be the right of the left.  I am not being strong or obedient if I’m not going straight.

In order to be a disciple, one must be truly brave and full of faith.  A disciple must be strong and courageous, cling fast to the Lord and trust that God himself will drive the enemies of fear, worry, and twisted lies out of the way.  A disciple is simply an instrument for God to use.  A disciple must stay focused on the straight-ahead path and not stray to the right or to the left. 

Who doesn’t want to hear the clear and confirming whisper from the Spirit saying to walk this way and cling to Me.  All you need to do is simply be an instrument for Me to do what I need to do

Be a disciple.

Be a disciple to my kids…24/7. 

Be a disciple to my neighbors.  Be a disciple to whoever God puts in my life for that purpose according to His will and perfect timing.

Can I really do that?  Can you? 

You can do everything through Christ who gives you the strength.  (Philippians 4:13) and His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” (2 Peter 1:3)

Oh the joys from the Lord

#904  Isaiah 30:21

#905  Stumbling on words

#906  gift started – a bible study with women desperately dependent on Jesus.  It’s so good to start fresh in a new study!

#907  gift scrawled – the little spiral notebook I carry in my purse to jot down God Moments on the go

#908  gift scented – inside the donut shop





#909  gift drawn - drawing fall with chalk

#910  watching the very first Little House on the Prairie with family

Matt Maher

#911  worshipping with others with the music led by Matt Maher at our church

#912  family getting to meet Matt Maher

#913  real conversations with husband

Friday, September 14, 2012



This is the first time I’ve tried this 5 minute Friday…pretty cool and makes me smile thinking of how God can lead my fingers to move on this keyboard. 

The word today is FOCUS…focus.  How ironic. That’s what I’ve been trying to do this week.  Focus on trying to hear God’s voice.  Focusing to hear as clear as a whisper guidance.  Focusing on trying to make a decision.

I need to focus though on just trusting.  Trusting that God will whisper…hey shout out loud might be even better. 

The verse Isaiah 30:21 keeps coming back to me this week over and over…"This is the way, walk in it”  I’ve been focusing on those words but which way do I step?   At this fork in the road, which way to I go?  I’m still listening…




Was just talking with a woman who spoke truth…who has the gift of intercession…she was praying for me to “focus on the Word”…and that “Satan tries everything he can do to take away our focus from studying the Word.”  And today’s word is FOCUS…

God how good  You are to just put all this in my lap… with open hands and open arms.  Your gifts to me are abundant and my cup runneth over…

Monday, September 10, 2012

So many questions…Yet

Tears lying at the foot of the cross, tears of humility, tears wondering why, tears pleading for clear direction and answers, tears of compassion for my kids having to live in our world’s and community’s brokenness and corruption that they’ll be exposed to (already are) and must live amongst, tears because I’m scared I’m going to miss the mark. 

Yet…tears of this morning’s prayer immediately answered because I asked Him to give me just the right Scripture to read today and He did, tears of comfort because He will never leave and will always be there, tears being on holy ground…all of these tears dropped on the little white alter in the sunroom on my knees.


When it rains, it pours...

God reigns, pouring love.

God reigns, pouring opportunity

God reigns, pouring grace.

Pouring in order to grow us.  Wanting us to grow so we’ll listen for His voice even harder, even more.  Wanting us to grow more trust in Him. 

Yet… I want to know now.  What will unfold?  Will I know what to say, know what to do?  Can we really do this?  Should we really do this?  How are we going to do it?  What’s to come of it all? (Do I really want to know?)

I opened the devotion book to September 10…told to read Isaiah 54:10 

Though the mountains be shaken
and the hills be removed,
yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken
nor my covenant of peace be removed,”
says the Lord, who has compassion on you.

Oh how I need to feel peace in this messed-up world and the reminder of  the promise of His unfailing love and compassion…

and then I read Matthew 28:20

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Is that a “Hellooo!  Here’s My answer!”?  Is it really?  But when?  How?  Now?  Later?

Both read this morning…after a spiritually draining day yesterday.  A good draining though.   And I love how “out of the blue” those words in Scripture really spoke to me of what He knew I needed to read the day after.

Questions still not answered, world’s brokenness still not searching for restoration and repentance…our children still growing older in it, and so many temptations of worry and fear being dangled right in front of my face…

…“Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.”  Habakkuk 3:18



#896  hearing Jonathan McKee speak about “Parenting the Texting Generation” at church. 

#897  An invitation

#898  gift masked – football players’ faces masked under helmets…it’s football season and a nice (even though a little rainy) evening

#899  gift framed (my Mamaw…thanks!) – the print I made (on Storybook) of photos taken on trips my husband and I went to.


#900  gift marveled – the waterfalls we saw at the Columbia River Gorge


#901  hard eucharisteo – the worldly life that Grady and Libby must grow up in

#902  cooler weather…excitement of autumn around the corner

#903  gift moving – the theme youth group is studying this month… “Moving forward”

Friday, September 7, 2012

Jesus in disguise

Driving to my daughter’s elementary school to volunteer this morning.  One responsibility I accepted gave birth to so many other ones that it’s hard for me to remember everything to write on my to-do list…just my school volunteer list.
I slow down to let the college students run across the street to class as all those thoughts run through my mind.
Then I hear on the radio a song in the background of my chaos.  The singer, Brandon Heath, was talking about his new song “Jesus in Disguise”.  He wrote that song having seen words that Mother Theresa had said.  
She’d get up at 4a.m. and stay up until late at night every day to be with the poor and needy, the hungry, the sick, the deserted and lonely people because they were disguised as Jesus. 
Remembering what Jesus did for her (and you and me), she so wanted to thank Him by serving Him…Jesus, disguised behind the eyes of the poor and in need.
Then Jesus whispered to me in the car, “Do you remember what you were reading this morning with Me?  Do you remember what you opened My Book to?  Psalm 109:21-26…
21 But you, Sovereign Lord,
help me for your name’s sake;
out of the goodness of your love, deliver me.
22 For I am poor and needy,
and my heart is wounded within me.
23 I fade away like an evening shadow;
I am shaken off like a locust.
24 My knees give way from fasting;
my body is thin and gaunt.
25 I am an object of scorn to my accusers;
when they see me, they shake their heads.                                                                                                  26 Help me, Lord my God;
save me according to your unfailing love.
I read those words this morning and then hear about that song and people in need.  When I read that Scripture this morning, I immediately thought of our sweet Jennifer whom we adopted from Compassion International about 5 years ago.  It’s been a humbling joy to help the life of this beautiful, young girl in Mexico.  We want her to feel cared for and loved. 
We pray for Jennifer every night and love getting letters from her.  It’s our hope one day to visit her.  Something that’s extra special about our relationship with her is that our daughter is now fluent in Spanish, the language Jennifer speaks.  For Libby to be able to read what Jennifer wrote to us in Spanish…and for us to be able to write back to her in Spanish as well.  Libby especially hopes she can go and have their own conversations with Jennifer to share hopes and dreams together.
Mother Theresa also said, “We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty.”
We’ve started in our home by loving on Jennifer through words in letters and small gifts and things she needs by our financial contribution each month.  The  joy of giving to her is a gift to us.
(Our family encourages you to pray over the children who are waiting to be adopted through Compassion.  Pray they’ll know Jesus more and more every day and that they’ll be protected and feel loved by others and Jesus.  Please pray they’ll be adopted by a family…maybe yours?)
And when you start to give, you just want to give more…I began thinking how many people in poverty lands must feel unwanted, unloved and uncared for…yet so many in my neighborhood and community, who live in nice houses and go to good schools and shop at nice stores in town, are experiencing that same poverty.  But we’d never know it because they’re disguised as someone well-to-do…
As we pray to recognize and care for Jesus in disguise, we’ll continue to dream of one day running to Jennifer and give her a hug…not running around with the list of things to do.  
“The way you help heal the world is you start with your own family.”  Mother Theresa
Still on the hunt…
#892  gift given – Jennifer through Compassion
#893  gift growing…our pumpkins
#894  gift growing – daughter (going shopping with her to buy earrings for the first time)
#895  gift growing – my enjoyment of writing and blogging (never before imagined)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Sun-rising moment Part 2



I’m so not deserving of the gift to see this beautiful sunrise.  To have this moment of time to just sit and soak it in.  Soak in the smell of salt.  Soak in the sticky breeze blowing my hair in my face.  Soak in the grains of sand that stick in between my toes.  Soak in the beauty of this sunrise.

The coral, pink and blue-gray clouds breaking darkness.  The sun’s Light reflecting on the puffy clouds.  Those sun rays run fast through those clouds…every minute is a different view.

It was so worth not sleeping well and waking up at 5:40a.m. to see this spectacular gift.

I’m thankful for the gift to see

To see the beauty of the beach, the array of colors in the clouds and sky as the sun rises. Seeing our family having a ball riding waves, playing in the sand and looking for those tiny crabs that dig under the sand when the waves go back in the ocean.

I’m thankful while I sit here on the beach that when I look forward out into the ocean, I can’t see all the fishers casting out their rods to my right so I won’t be distracted on this special time on the beach. (#868)


(I’m thankful for lack of vision?  Yes, it’ll be 20 years this March that I’ve been without peripheral vision to my right in results from brain surgery.)

As I see this sun rise I ask to have the vision I was created to catch.

I desire to catch the vision of how Jesus sees…how He sees beauty in ugliness; grace in unkindness; compassion in harshness.  How He sees joy in the world…gives joy to the world.

And what does He see in me as a His child?  How does he see me as a mom, a wife, a blogger or writer?    Is it anything close to the way I think it should be?  Whom I’m trying to be?  

As I sit here, testy flies keep landing on my legs and feet biting me and totally distracting me!    OK…so there’s now other distractions…not just a lot of people fishing. 

There’s distractions all the time in my day – that take away my vision.  Distractions that interfere when I’m praying, when I’m trying to listen to my kids telling a story of what happened at school that day.  Distractions of to-do’s.  Distraction of worrying of how I’m going to say what needs to be said.  Distractions of little bites throughout the day that irritate me and can easily lead to bad temper and grumpiness.

But I don’t want to allow these flies to keep me away from this moment. 

I want to keep looking forward again to se the sun rise – what I wanted to see.

There will always be flies, or distractions, that are a nuisance, clouding or even blinds our vision.  But I’m slowly learning how God’s beauty and grace trample over all distractions that bother and get in the way.  He’s bigger than every distraction.  Jesus sees how we see because he came to live as we did…as we do.  I can’t imagine the distractions he had all day of people always wanting his attention. 

Yet, he purposely stepped away from distractions and went to the beach…or to the mountains…anywhere where he could be in communion with Abba to be reconnected, recharged and rest.

And I know that this is such a treat to have this time alone on the beach to watch the sunrise…and not every day am I given this gift.  And not everyday do we have mountaintop experiences…much less try to find the time when there’s already work to go to, kids to take places, clean the house, run errands, and chores day in and day out.  But I need to prioritize that time even just for a few minutes to sit and rest and breath…and soak in the goodness of God.

God knows we’re going to always have distractions, but if time alone in His Word, in singing praise, in journaling, and in prayer are purposely set aside, He’ll bless it.  

I need to soak in that goodness and grace to recharge and refocus…every day.

Don’t you?


So many gifts found this Labor day weekend with family:


#869  “blue moon” setting over the ocean.  The only time it wasn’t behind the night clouds was when we were on the beach crab “hunting”



#870  hunting for crabs at night

#871  sand dunes

#872  son having a blast riding the waves


#873  the feeling of wet sand and water rushing around your feet as they sink deeper


#874  seeing many dolphins from the shore all weekend…even some jump completely out of the water!


#875  sister-in-law having a moment to sit and read

#876  reading a good book I recommend…Running on Empty by Fil Anderson



#877  making sand drizzle


#878  girls playing ukulele on the beach

photo (2)

#879  Margie and Ray’s– a local dive near the beach.

#880  yummy fried shrimp

photo (1)

#881-887 (above and below)



#888  me riding the waves…even including my big wipeout!



#889  family photo time on the beach



img_9129#890  college friend visited us for the day…and took great photos!  Thanks friend!


#891  sun-soaked from relaxing weekend at the beach with family