a question or two.

There’s not really a way to follow-up yesterday’s post excitement so I’m keeping it simple, fun, and lighthearted.

This makes me happy and puts a smile on my face…

pretty fonts

reaching 2000 on a list of things that bring me joy

the sound of rain on the windows

finally clearing my floor of the piles of books

curling up with my Basotho blanket for a nap

jumping off the end of the dock with all my clothes on after a run

cozy pajama pants and a sweatshirt

comment love

e-mailing, skyping, chatting with friends (old, new, those i’ve met, those i haven’t)

reading the directions on my new shampoo and conditioner

daydreaming about africa

spending time with the King

Your turn…what makes you happy and puts a smile on your face?

Time to Thrive!?

So stand still and see this great thing the Lord will do before your eyes now.

-1 Samuel 12:16

God sure has a thing about timing. He is SO faithful!

During (In)Courage’s 30 Days of Giveaways, I won this cute little day planner complete with a perfect little quote.

The day it arrived in the mail was the day I moved a few more prayer requests over to the second box because that day, I received an e-mail with an offer to come on staff with Thrive Africa.

Needless to say, I accepted!

(insert: happy dance)

p.s. more details to come of course! and the witty title of the blog…courtesy of Amy 🙂

my saturday

bible: check

journal: check

vanilla chai tea in a pretty glass: check

music: check

prayer box: check

books: check (all 8 of them)

colored pens: check

computer: check

sunshine: check

view of the lake: check

slight breeze: check

new lawn chair: check

dog: check (must keep him from drinking the chai)

sunglasses: check

happy swimsuit: check

me: check

lovely saturday morning: check

what’s your saturday look like?

quirky friday five

1. i like to eat pbj sandwiches by eating around in a square the crust first and then eating the middle.

2. i think it’s fun to eat corn on the cob randomly…by searching for a bite that looks good and ending up with a mixed match looking piece rather than systematically going in rows or circles.

3. i like to smell food to see if i’ll like it…at camp, i even asked to smell some “blueberry waffle cone” ice cream before committing to it.

4. it takes a lot for me to really think about what someone’s voice sounds like if i haven’t been around them for a while…same thing about what they look like if i haven’t seen a picture…this makes me sad and makes it hard being away from people and probably why i put pictures everywhere but if i see them then it’s all there and i have a ridiculously good memory with names and stories.

5. sometimes i find myself deleting 🙂 because i put too many in one sentence or paragraph…i just like to use them and make sure that the text i’m conveying is happy.

your turn! gimme 5 or so quirky or random things. (just deleted a smiley because I used one above!)

you:create…prayer boxes!

hello cute little prayer boxes!

Now, I wish I could say that I created these lovely boxes wholly, but, alas, I did not.  They used to hold cards, which were super cute!  After reading Redeeming Love last month, I decided I just must start my own little prayer box!  The book talks about how one of the side characters tucked away little prayers and then took out the ones that they were answered.

I started with the first one as a box to keep all the prayers, but being a little sentimental I couldn’t bring myself to throw away answered prayers!  Seems irreligious!  So, I searched for the second box to hold answered prayers.  I still need to add something to the inside, but am not sure what yet…still waiting for a verse or a quote or something to pop out.  Any suggestions?

For the first box, I left it alone until this week.  I didn’t like the quote inside so I added a little of my own jazz.  Obviously, I added the name that holds such value to me (Hephzibah=My delight is in her) and well then to just throw in a little vulnerability out there–trust me, I chatted with God about just using the closed box picture but He seemed pretty insistent on transparency, authenticity, and accountability.  There are a whole lot of stories wrapped up around that little prayer that I’m sure I’ll share eventually and well some of you already know them, but they’re for another day.  Either way, I’m excited to someday put that one in the other box after a beautiful wedding…until then, I’m reminding myself of it.

For a random side note to end…I do want to say that I love how God takes all these prayers, desires, thoughts and brings me along my path to show me His way.  Sometimes the prayers are answered spot on and other times they are worked out in a beautiful different way.  Some can’t even be fully answered until that last day or just aren’t measurable.  Regardless, He hears me pour out my soul and it’s not a game of “put it in the box and your wish will be granted.”  No, it’s an I’m loving You and Your people and am excited to add some stones of remembrance of Your everlasting faithfulness.

So, your turn:

Any of you have a prayer box or creative way you pray?

Did you create anything this week?

Have you been vulnerable?

pouring out my soul

I wrote a letter to my heart and as the night came, I found my heart wandering.  Wide awake when it should have been fast asleep!  I tried to lay in bed for a while, but I’m not one for laying idle.  Granted, I’ll sometimes say the alphabet backwards (try it, it’s fun).  But, before long, I turned back on my light to give into my sleeplessness.  Admittedly, I ate a delicious snack and then settled in for a little reading.

One of the pictures in my pretty new bible (did I mention that I finally got an amplified bible and that I absolutely LOVE it–see below) had fallen out at church and I had just tucked it in the Old Testament thinking I’d put it back in place later.  Pictures serve as my prayer reminders and well mostly to make me smile at love.  But, they also are handy bookmarks.  The one that had fallen out happened to go with a verse that’s been on my heart lately anyway….

So stand still and see this great thing the Lord will do before your eyes now. -(1 Samuel 12:16)

Being that I found myself STILL wide awake, I forayed to the beginning of 1 Samuel since I haven’t read it in far too long.  God met me in such a clear, stark way.

And [Hannah] was in distress of soul, praying to the Lord and weeping bitterly…Hannah was speaking in her heart…I was pouring out my soul before the Lord…Then Eli said, Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant your petition, which you have asked of Him.- (go ahead and read all of 1 Samuel 1)

That speaks volumes to my heart. So does this…

It has trained us…to live discreet (temperate, self-controlled), upright, devout (spiritually whole) lives in this present world.  Awaiting and looking for the [fulfillment, the realization of our] blessed hope…that He might redeem us (purchase our freedom) from all iniquity and purify for Himself a people [to be peculiarly His own, people who are] eager and enthusiastic about [living a life that is good and filled with] beneficial deeds. -(read Titus 2:11-15)

Then to top it all off and put a cherry on top for my heart, I went on a run through which God totally pursued me and loved on me.  I left praying that maybe God would help this heart to hold onto hope. Holding onto the Titus 2:11-15 verse to memorize and listening to these lyrics started it out:

now i stand in the hope of new life and I’ve found a hope stronger and nothing compares -I’ve Found a Love by Jenn Johnson (Bethel Live)

Oh and then right as those lyrics hit, I look up to see a beautiful deer running alongside my dirt road (did I tell you that I LOVE running on dirt?).  Beautiful.  Plus, I got to watch the sunset and just as it faded into the distance I turned around to head back only to see an absolutely gorgeous full moon. Yep. God sure knows how to woo my heart!

So, there’s one of my little love stories for the week.  How’s God been pursuing YOU? 🙂

p.s. here’s my bible…isn’t she pretty?

a letter to my heart

dear heart,

sometimes you feel so messy. i find you traveling right along paths that are not for now. i must remind you to let go of those things that you have picked up again. not just hold them loosely as much as you wish you could. they need to go to the altar where you have fully given them to Him. remember? you can’t give away something and then ask for it back to look at it all the time. i know, i know, it’s hard. it’s messy. it hurts. but it’s necessary. He may not be changing those circumstances surrounding, but fear not, He is at work in you. healing. touching. transforming. teaching.

i bet you thought that when you closed those doors that you brought all of you with through them. i thought that too. until i realized that sometimes pieces get left on the other side of the closed door. pieces that need to be sifted. pieces of hope. pieces of love. pieces that make you catch your breath. that make you ache for something that may not be yours. is not yours, right now, regardless.

so, heart, take a deep exhale and let God be. long for His presence and for the day of coming home. i hear you yearning for a home you only know through His touch. take a taste of His goodness as He enfolds you with His presence meeting you in the deepest place. take joy, He hears your secret petitions and desires. He calls you lovely and you are His alone.

oh, and heart? it’s okay to hope and pray and dream and wait and stand still to see what He will do before you. I believe that He has amazing plans ahead. plans to prosper you, plans to give you hope and a future. so, hold tight. things may look a little messy, but that’s how it is with clay…trimming, cutting, shaping, molding, pieces flying, firing, drying, dipping, refining, firing again. it’s a process. and the end result…well, it sure is beautiful.


p.s. anything you’re telling your heart, today?


“There is a safe place with the Lord where we don’t have to have all the answers”

-Angie Smith, I Will Carry You

As much as I love learning, asking questions, digging deep, and talking, I am thankful that at the end of the day I can find just as much joy in an “I don’t know” than an “Oh!! I get it now.” Not everything has a neat little bow and I’m okay with that. A little mystery, a little too BIG for me to understand, well, that all adds to the beauty of God. Even in the midst of trials and heart aching questions, I can still find rest in His arms. Even if I find myself with an “I don’t know,” it’ll be okay because at the end of the day I remember this….

I believe that God is who He says He is.


Saturday is here! Normally, I leave the weekend free of blogging because it’s the weekend!  But, I thought I would make an exception because I have some fun pictures to share.  Not to mention, letting you all know that I got to put a little big check on my 2010 list.  Actually, I’ve had this on my “to do” list for quite a while and even pony-ed up during debriefing from my internship last year by letting all my interns know that I planned on completing one before doing a few other things. So, what did I do!? I completed a triathlon!  In lieu of competing in one and spending a ridiculous amount of money (some were like $90), I decided to save my money and make my own course. Here’s a little proof.

This would be my nervousexcited face with a “Am I really doing this?”

my attempt at getting a picture of my super cute swimsuit. took me forever to find one but I love it and i LOVE wearing swim shorts. if you had told me 5 years ago that i would think a bikini was immodest to wear…i would have laughed and said it’s just fine–not anymore! hello, change!

my little transition station. complete with my beautiful bike and bike shoes (i LOVE being clipped in). plus, i’ve got my bag full of stuff (towel, bike shorts, running shorts, camera, cell phone, running shoes, bike helmet, bike gloves, ipod).

why, yes, that is a creepy fake swan that gets to swim with me today…at least he keeps away the geese.

now this. this is beautiful. i seriously love lakes in the summertime. water like glass that is perfect for water skiing or wakeboarding on or well…swimming for 20 minutes. did i mention that i didn’t train for this part of the triathlon? at least i did a bit of swimming at camp. but yeah…..definitely should have! probably should have trained in general…

this would be my smile that means i’m so incredibly thankful that the swim part is finally done! I am so not a swimmer compared to biking and running. love it, but it wore me out!

and this here. is my I’m so tired, but I’m done look!!!!

Swim: 20 min.

Bike: 53 min. (12.4 miles or 20k)

Run: 27 min. (3.1 miles or 5k)

What did I learn?

  • God provides cute little things to keep me going–like watching a bird swoop down to eat a fish while I’m swimming…at least it was a little bird.
  • Swimming is hard. really hard. refreshing, but the time sure goes slow.
  • I love creating new paths and ways to go with God–I biked a totally new trail.
  • My legs felt so weird when I started running. I’m pretty sure that little 5k felt longer than the 20k I did before, but I finished while running in the woods which made my heart happy.
  • Tweeting while doing things helps provide little goals and encouragement.
  • When I’m focused on God and doing things with God, quitting or walking or slowing down may fleeting cross my mind, but leaves quickly.
  • Gotta love the…what’s next/now what? that comes after completing a goal. Yeah, I’m achiever at heart.
  • My body may be tired, but my heart is happy.


I find him lurking on the sidelines.  Treading water near the shoreline.  Near enough to go by unnoticed yet close enough to leap into the moment when the opportunity arises.  I don’t like when he stops by…especially unannounced.  He is unwelcome. unwanted. wholly part of the old.  He brings me down and brings on the tears.  He whispers lies. He stirs up doubt and wants me to hide. He shows up at the most inconvenient times when my heart is already a tad raw and vulnerable.  Ah, but that is his specialty…timing.  He wants to show up when I’m weak, but what he forgets is that when I am weak, my King is strong.  He wants to keep me from running into my Savior’s arms.  To make me feel that because of what I have done that I cannot go my Beloved.  He’s wrong. When I take refuge in my Strong Tower that is when I am complete.  The battle is already won. And as my eyes gaze into my Protector, I am radiant with joy and there is no shadow of him.  He is not allowed to take up residence in my heart or on my face.  So, every time he tries to make an appearance, I turn to the One who answers my questions and who loves me. My Defender is the one who will kick him far away so that I instead will be covered with grace, mercy, hope, joy, love.  I am after all…like a sparkling jewel in my King’s crown.

Zechariah 9:16 The LORD their God will save them on that day as the flock of his people. They will sparkle in his land like jewels in a crown.

1 Peter 5:4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.

Isaiah 62:3 You will also be a crown of beauty in the hand of the LORD, And a royal diadem in the hand of your God.

Proverbs 4:9 She will place on your head a garland of grace; She will present you with a crown of beauty.

Isaiah 51:11 The ransomed of the LORD will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.

Psalm 34:5 Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces.

ht: inspired after reading Sara Markley’s post.