Friday, January 10, 2014

Foto Friday 1-10-14 "B"

This is the 'year of reading' - back to my basics. Didn't realize how much I have missed it!  My family must have, though - these were all Christmas presents from my hubby and kids.

How many of us can say our cat and dog are best friends? Warms my heart...

Friday, January 3, 2014

the resurrection of Foto Friday, heehee!

I'm pretty pumped about doing another Foto Friday set - And since there are 26 letters in the alphabet and 52 weeks in a year, I'll just follow the plan of A to Z and then Z back to A. :)

(who knew Dillon was so talented? I love that he surprises us all the time)

(For every year from 1997 until 2012, I have received a ceramic ornament from some very special friends. Sometimes they are angels, sometimes something to do with the Nativity, always beautiful and made by a small business owned by a man with a disability. Since we have been in the new house, I hang my most fragile precious ornaments on this metal tree wall hanging that I have. Keeps them safe and yet in plain view for enjoying)

Thursday, January 2, 2014

heart cleaning

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10

This is my verse for the year. I've never done that, picked a verse to meditate on for an entire year. It made sense to me to choose my favorite Scripture for this very first time, since my dusty ol' heart needs a good scrubbing and my floppy little spirit needs some refreshing.

God the Creator and Renewer can do these things for me. My awkwardness at thinking and exploring what is deep inside me needs the steady hand of my Father, the light His word casts before my feet on the path of 2014. And believe me, I do feel awkward. What seemed to come naturally to me a few years ago was corrupted by lax heart cleaning and strengthening. How did I let that happen?

No matter. It's time to clean it up. The room of broken fellowship was entered a while ago, and a little stab here and there was made to clear out some of the junk.  It's time now to put a little elbow grease on the relationship room and clean away the lingering cobwebs that somehow got missed in the corners.

Another room to clean is the "service" room. I have been stupid enough to let my service get in the way of the One that I serve. Get the heavy duty vacuum, that room is pretty darn filthy.

So many rooms, so much dirt and grime. 

It's a good thing Jesus is in the washing white as snow business. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2014 - resolute about resolutions

It's that time again.

January 1st. Time for those pesky resolutions.

Time to consider the failures of the year, the unkept resolutions from last January 1st, the way I always start with fab intentions and then fizzle like a 3 day open bottle of root beer.  Um...nah.

This year, I think I'll just do it different.  I've been in the doldrums of down in the dumps for a long time now, and it is my heart's desire to get out of that place. To get back into the place of discovery, where God is showing me new things unexpectedly, thrillingly, unmistakably.

Time to think to myself, talk to myself, go deep within myself, by myself. Well, not exactly - I need to have God there beside me.

Blog time. :)  Not sure I'm ready for 365 yet - I would like to be but there are some personal things inside that I have to get settled down and on board. But - blogging in general. No more 4 months between posts. 

 I'm so excited about it! This year looks mighty sparkly so far.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

free to love...

This may be one of the hardest posts I've ever written. And yet one of the most necessary. And one of the most personally eyeopening heartsearching. And one of the most joyful.  I only have about half a clue what I'm going to say, even. 

First I will say this - in my experience, God is a loving God. God is a giving God. God is a protecting God. A wise God, a beautiful, glorious, praiseworthy God. 

God is also a hard God. A taking away God. A God I barely understand even while I want to understand him more. 

But God is also trustworthy God. When I don't understand, when I hurt, when I withdraw, when I close down, when I turn away, God is to be trusted. When I run to him, when I open my eyes and my heart to him, when I cry for help, God is to be trusted. When I smile at him, when I laugh and let him in the deepest part of my being, God is trustworthy.  No matter what, no matter the situation.  And he has proved it yet again.

Since I started this blog, I have poured out a lot of me into it. A lot that needed to come out of my dirty insides so that clean healing could take place.  There is healthy new flesh in my heart where before, there were hard, stony, scabby places that allowed little room for growth. God has infused thoughts and words with power like a sledgehammer to chip away the entrapment of my heart.  There has been joy unthinkable as I discovered myself, discovered how to love, how to be a friend, how to serve, how to me.

And there have been friends along the way, cheering the sledgehammer on, loving me through pain and hurt, supporting me as the rocky pieces fell away and rejoicing with me, with God, that I was learning to live.

Somewhere along the way, during the heartchipping, the growing, the learning to live, there came a time where a lot of my loving serving giving became quite unnecessary and unneeded. That's okay, I knew there would be a fade to gray, and it was right and good. The circle was getting bigger from the love and blessing of God, and I did not mind being gray - it's always been one of my favorite colors anyway. 

But somehow, at some point, fade to gray became fade to invisible. Gray is fine, invisible hurts. And yet, that's where I have been for some time. Invisible. 

I cannot really describe the invisibility of the past year. For one thing, it would be way too much like a pityparty. For another thing, I have no ability to put into words how it feels when people withdraw from you, stop talking to you, even sometimes seem angry or impatient with you, when they cease to 'see' you, even right there in front of them, when you sit in the stairwell during worship services for weeks at a time, and no one even notices that you weren't there with them, when you have a gift and aren't asked to use it, when you are called to serve and used less and less. I just cannot wrap my heart around that again to be able to write it.  And I would never want to hurt my innocent friends, who were dealing with their own lifechanges in the way they knew best, and not realizing at all what was going on with me.

But you know what? God was in it, the whole time. There has come a time where things are permanently changed - my friends have moved on to another place, another calling, another adventure. And I see God in this so clearly - the growing invisibility of the past year has actually been a shield, a protection, a guarding of my heart. I have not been invisible to God. He has been there with me, preparing me for this moment.  It hurt, yes - more than I can say. But God knew of a greater hurt, and rescued my heart from a pain that would have been almost unbearable.  God, once again, is my Knight in shining armor.

My dear friend recently posted about God's leading in one of the biggest decisions of her life and the life of her family, and how God brought her and her husband to specific Scriptures to guide them.  I read her blogpost early one morning as I fixed my coffee. Suddenly I was so overwhelmed by God speaking to me about one particular verse that I had to put my coffee down and lean on my hands, breathless - I knew it was about ME as much as it was about them! It was about our church as much as another church, my life as much as my friend's life, God wasn't working in just one area, it was about so many things, it took my breath.

I suddenly felt a rush of color, like I have not felt for years - COLOR. Not gray. Color!  

I know I am loved. By my friends, by God. I know that God has released me from a commitment made long ago, a specific commitment to serve my friend with all that I have, for love of God and my friend. I know that my service is no longer needed, for my friend, and I am free to love. And full of color.

Isaiah 43:18-19

 Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.

Thursday, November 1, 2012


I long in my heart to see and to seek God in the fresh, vibrant way I did when I first blogged. There was something about that time, something new, unexplored. The world crept in, and I became self-conscious about my writing, and I left it.  But...never forgot it.

God knows the desires of my heart, even through my fumbling, inadequate attempts to talk to him about them, usually ending in tears and very little words actually being said.  He knows, and he gives.

I stepped out into the cool, early air of the porch, and my face sought the sun without conscious thought.  What I saw took my breath.  

This day, God did what God does - he revealed himself.  And for once, my eyes were willing to see.

Photography is all about light. I am in love with light, and my eyes and heart can barely contain themselves when I see beautiful light. This particular morning, God showed me more than just lovely light - once again, he showed me Jesus, glorious Jesus.

As I've learned and grown as a photographer, I've learned how to manipulate light, using it to illuminate my subject in the manner I have envisioned in my mind's eye. The very best light is big, soft light, the closer the better, light that wraps around and embraces the subject, softening harsh edges and shadows. 

Isn't that my Jesus? He is the Light of the world, the Light of MY world, and when he comes close to me, as he always is (if only I would see), enveloping me in his big, soft glow, my soul is illuminated. No shadows can remain, no darkness in the inner chambers of my heart, not when I am the subject and my Jesus is surrounding me, wrapping around me, filling me.  And like a well-lit portrait pleases the viewer, may the light of the Son reveal a subject that is pleasing to the Father.

Thank you, dear Father, that you heard my prayer, and showed yourself to me in such a sweet and precious way. You are the Faithful One, and I love you. 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Christmas in June...

So much has happened since I last blogged the sad news about my beloved Chrissy, and I am thanking God that it has been good stuff. My dear friends from California came in for a nearly-week-long visit, and we had loads of fun window shopping, eating, planning gardens, eating, chatting, cooking, eating...right up my alley, wouldn't you say?

And today, this came in the mail, sort of a followup gift box, I guess you'd say. We had much discussion about low carb cooking and eating, especially since 2 of my family members have been following that type of plan. The goodie box was jam packed with tons of stuff to try, as well as a huge folder of recipes to give a go. This will keep my mind and hands and mouth happily occupied for weeks.

But the most funnest (is that a word?) gift was the blue alligator for Zeus. One squeak and he knew it was his.  

Anne and Amy, much love and thanks to you for the sweet, thoughtful, and generous box of treats, and this comes from both me AND Zeus. Much love!

 psst - can you tell he's crazy about it?