Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Some goodness from around the web...

This has been my mind in recent days and weeks.  Completely fogged in, without a clear path to see where and what I am supposed to be doing.

So...I wait.  

I wait for Him to speak. 

And sometimes, he uses the strangest voices.  He uses voices that I don't expect.  

Not long ago, someone said to me that they read my blog and they know that I am conflicted with writing and what to do with this space.  This person encouraged me to just be patient.  To find the miracle in the everyday and write about it.  If I don't see a miracle that day, then don't write...but don't try to force this issue.

What wise advice.

So while I wait for more direction and for a clear path, I want to share some goodies with you from around the web.

My friend, Michelle DeRusha wrote this post on comparison at Lisa-Jo's place.  There is room for all of us in this world.  Check it out.

And Lisa-Jo wrote this for (in)Courage.  Reminding us that the internet is not the boss of us!  Be willing to be used by Him, even if we are only read and followed by one or two people.

Then, please check out my friend Jacque's new podcast series on iTunes. Jacque titled her series Mud Stories. Her guests share their mud stories and how God met them there and pulled them out of the mud and the mire.  I have enjoyed all four episodes.  Jacque has a mud story of her own and you will want to check it out.

Finally, I have some ideas swirling around in my foggy head about this space.  I firmly believe that God does not want me to abandon it and writing about the miracles I see in my everyday life is a good start.  Funny thing is, yesterday's miracle was an idea for this space that just might work.  I am praying about it and working through some challenges.  Hopefully, I'll have some answers in a few days or a week and can get some direction.

One last thing...this past weekend, John and I attended the wedding of his niece.  Another niece took this photo of us (with my camera) and I love it and wanted to share it with you.  When John saw it he said, "why didn't someone tell me to ditch that phone?!?"  Yeah, why didn't they!  Like, why didn't I say something???  Other than the phone, I love the picture of us.

Hugs and blessings....what have you read around the web that I should read?


Friday, August 1, 2014

5 Minute Friday...

5 Minute Friday...where a gang of writers write for 5 minutes on a word prompt.  No editing, no backtracking...just writing.

Today's prompt:  BEGIN


Jesus was a prophet without honor in his home town.  He began teaching and they were amazed, yet they were offended.

This was someone they knew.  They knew his family.  When, where and how did he know these things?

They were used to seeing him around town.

He was familiar.

They were comfortable in the ordinary.  

They did not see that he was the Son of God.

That He was special.

That He was extraordinary.

That He WAS who he was.

They missed it, because it was before them all time.  All along it was there.

How many times do I miss the miracle of Jesus in my ordinary, everyday, run of the mill life?

I suspect quite often.

Jesus, help to open my eyes and BEGIN to see your work
 in the ordinary, everyday happenings.  
May I BEGIN to recognize that these 
things are truly the work of your hands.

Do you miss His hand in the ordinary events?

I got interrupted in the middle of writing, literally in the middle of the 5 minutes.  My thoughts were disjointed after that and it is taking all I have to push the publish button.

Read other 5 Minute Friday posts on BEGIN here.


Monday, July 14, 2014

When you feel like you don't belong.

I saw her as I was walking down the beach.  She sat all alone in the surf.  I'm sure mom was close by, keeping an eye on her child. 

But you could look at this picture and think the child was truly all alone.

That there was no one around.

In truth, the beach was full of people, I was actually surprised I could zoom in and get just the girl.

Sometimes, I feel like this little girl looks.  I feel all alone in the big, wide ocean of internet bloggers.

I am not sure I should be here.  I am not sure that this is my area of the beach.

On Friday, I wrote a 5 Minute Friday post on the prompt BELONG.

I wrote how our children don't really belong to us, they are only ours for a while.

I continued to think on the concept of BELONGING because I am beginning to wonder if I really and truly belong in this blogging world.

I typed the previous words last night (Sunday) in preparation for completing the post and publishing it this morning.

Then, I read this by my sweet friend, Diane.  Each of us has a story to tell.  Diane says that even though our stories may be similar, our perspectives, our hurts, our views are unique.  She says it like this, "You are not one of many.  Your story, though it may be similar to others, has your unique spin, your unique emphasis.  The time, place, and people who share your life are different than any other and needs to be shared to encourage another person walking down a similar path."

These days, my mind is foggy.  I don't feel I have the writing mojo that I have had in the past.  And I wonder what I am supposed to do with this space.

Sometimes it feels like I am drifting sand, being blown about as the wind desires.

I don't know if I truly belong online or not, but after reading Diane's post...well, I'm not ready to throw in the towel just yet.

Lord, I believe each of us DOES have a story to tell.  
Please help me determine what part of my story you 

want me to share.  Help me determine the parts that 

will bring you glory and honor.  Because, really Lord, 

that is all I ever wanted out of this space and out of my life.

One more thing, read this by Michelle DeRusha. She tells you why you need to 
leave your electronics at home when you go on vacation.  I LOVED it!!

Do you feel like you don't belong? 
If you blog, do you ever get the feeling I tried to 
describe here?  If so, how did you deal with it?

Linking with Laura and Kelli.

This post may contain affiliate links. You do not pay more for the item if you purchase through my link, but I will get a small commission.

Friday, July 11, 2014

To whom I belong...5 minute Friday

Five Minute Friday is being hosted by Crystal this week.
Today's prompt:  BELONG
It was a sunny June day.  We sat in the big conference room.  My husband and me and what seemed like 25 doctors, but it was probably only 5 or 6...maybe 8.  I just know that I got swallowed up in the moment and tuned them out.
Most of them anyway.
I tuned out the ones that said we could prevent this in a future pregnancy with the right tests and if we got this diagnosis, we could terminate.

That is when I stopped listening.
That is when my husband said, "we aren't interested in that.  Tell us what we need to know about Amy."
She died later that day.  In my arms, in a room with family and friends.
She didn't belong to me.
She was only on loan for 4 days.
But the truth is, none of my children belong to me.  They all belong to Him. 
I only get to hold them for a time...sometimes short...4 days...sometimes longer.
I know to whom they really belong.  I know to whom I belong.

And I am OK with that.
The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it,
    the world, and all who live in it;
Psalm 24:1
Read more 5 minute Friday posts on BELONG here.
This post may contain affiliate links. You do not pay more for
the item if you purchase through my link, but I will get a small commission.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

What I'm reading...

During June I spent a lot of time in the car - we drove from our home in eastern Pennsylvania to Utah and southern Colorado and back.  LOTS of hours in the car.  Then I flew to visit my mom, my plane had issues and we were delayed several hours in the airport.  So my 6 hour trip home became almost 11.  I've had plenty of time for reading.  Here are some of my favorites from June.  

Links in book titles are to Amazon (affiliate link) and 
links in author's name is to their blog if they have one.
I bought most of these books from Amazon or through Bookbub.com.
If you aren't aware of bookbub, check it out.  Daily e-book deals
 based on your preferences, downloadable in different formats.  Many
are free.  I've never paid more than $1.99.  

Notes From a Blue Bike by Tsh Oxenreider.  I first heard Tsh speak at The Relevant Conference (now Allume) in 2011.  She and her family live simply, travel the world and I enjoyed the auto-biographical writing style.  I would not say it is the BEST book I've ever read, but I did enjoy it.  I could smell the smells and hear the sounds of the open air market she referenced.  The book did make me want to live with less and I am absolutely getting rid of things and buying less.  So that is a good thing!

bread and wine by Shauna Niequist.  I loved this book.  Not everyone did, but I did!  I reviewed it here.  I was not given this book in exchange for a review, but I cannot remember where I got it.  I loved her writing style.  I loved the recipes. I love the way she shares her journey.  I loved it all and will read it again.  I keep it in the kitchen with my cookbooks so I can refer to the recipes.  I love the Esquites/Mexican Grilled Corn on page 203!!  She is speaking at Allume this year...I am SO excited!!

Surprised by Motherhood by Lisa Jo Baker.  I have read Lisa Jo's blog for several years.  I don't know that there is a better champion of women and moms anywhere on the planet! She reminds us that all is good...no matter how many bumps and rolls we have on our body.  She tells her story of being raised in South Africa, losing her mother just after she turned 18 and deciding she never wanted to have children.  She invites us into her life and how the Lord changed her heart and she welcomed children into her life.  The book is easy to read and written in Lisa Jo's conversational style.  

Angela's Song by AnnMarie Creedon.  I distinctly remember getting this for free from Bookbub.  It is a beautiful love story of loss, grief, redemption, forgiveness and hope all wrapped in a neat package.  I could not put this book down.  

Love Isn't Supposed to Hurt by Christi Paul.  Christi Paul is an award-winning journalist and works for CNN.  This is her journey through an abusive relationship and how it strengthened her faith as she found her way out.  I got this book from Bookbub also and found it to be riveting.  A beautiful story of believing in God...all the time.

Unglued Devotional by Lysa TerKeurst.  I read Unglued earlier this year.  I just got the devotional and I am using it daily during my quiet time.  I cannot tell you the difference it is making in my reactions and the way I respond to people.  I believe it was the perfect time for me to read this because I am open to what it is saying.  If you are finding that your reactions are disproportionate to the situations at hand, please check out this devotional book...and read the book.  Great stuff written by someone who has been there.  She seriously gets it!

The Nesting Place by Myquillyn Smith. The Nester, as she is know in the blog world, says it doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful.  She shops thrift stores, garage sales and her own house to make a house a home.  Lysa TerKeurst did a series on her blog Turning a House into a Home on a Thrift Store Budget.  I have not yet gotten up the courage to paint a piece of furniture yet...but I'm getting there.  It is an encouraging read.  I actually read this in May, but thought it was worth including!

These are the books I read in late and June.
Have you read any of these?  What are you reading 
this summer?