May You Remember

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This is Holy Week. The time when we pause to reflect upon the week leading to the Cross. My hope is that we each have taken time to slow down and truly meditate on all the Christ endured so that we each might live in freedom all of our days. And so today, I want to share my favorites found this week centering upon Easter. So from ….

1) Shelly Hendricks – RenewedDaily.com ….10157109_10154022778865508_1982413432769237846_n

 

2) Ann Voskamp – annvoskamp.com …

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3) Holly Barrett – hollybarrett.org …

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4) Jennifer Dukes Lee – jenniferdukeslee.com …

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5) Shelly Miller – redemptionsbeauty.com …

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There you have it – 5 memes to remind you of all that was accomplished for each one of us.

But sometimes we need to hear. We need to hear a song to stir our hearts and move us. We need our memories awakened and our faith stirred so we remember.

 

May you grab a cup of coffee. Sit a while. Think about all of it. And listen to the song. Once. Twice. Perhaps more. Until you remember …

“Oh, Fear not!”

“He. Is. Risen!”

Today I am joining with … The Weekend Brew and Recommendation Saturday and The SITS Sharefest and The Friday Five and Make My Saturday Sweet and Saturday Linky Love .

The Glue

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{{Today is Friday!!!  It is the day I link with Lisa Jo Baker for Five Minute Friday. Here is how it works…. One word prompt. Five minutes. No editing. Lots of women. We all write on the same word.}

Today the word is … Glue.

Who knew when I married young, I would need glue? Not only did I marry young, but it was the first time living away from my parents. First time I lived out of the Bronx. First time living away from my church and friends and people who I knew l loved me.

Who knew I would need so much glue?

I needed glue on those days when….

  • I cut my finger cooking my first meal and needed my very first stitches
  • I had to walk with the floors with my firstborn having never even changed a single diaper, not ever. I had never heard of colic and she had it 24/7 for a very long time.
  • I miscarried
  • on bed rest for my entire pregnancy with my second born
  • someone I looked up to, failed many of us
  • through surgeries of family members
  • a loved one enters eternity

And then there was the night I need glue when I was alone in our first home with our two small children, husband out of town and the septic backed into our basement – about two feet deep everywhere. Like who knew, that when you flushed the toilet it was not washed away, never to be seen again? Who would want to store it in their yard and grow grass on top of it? Like seriously, I grew up in the Bronx and had never heard or imagined of such a thing.

And then life continued and I needed glue on those days I watched …

  • Desert Storm unfold on our television before my eyes. All night. I couldn’t shut it off and go to sleep.
  • the tsunami in Indonesia
  • horrific school shootings
  • 911
  • the Boston Marathon tragedy

See what I mean? I need glue and lots of it.

I am grateful for an endless supply of glue.

“He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” (Colossians 1:17)

He is the Glue.

photo-128He is my Glue!

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Lessons From a Pair of Shoes

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The mat has always been by the back door. We don’t have a mudroom. We each take off our shoes, leave them on the mat and enter. On any given day, there is at least one pair of shoes there. As I glance over, three pairs currently sit there.

But the day had come.

Jocelyn noticed them. The funny thing was, of the three pairs, she chose the heels. What is it about little girls and heels? There must be a “high-heel” gene in girls. She slipped them on and pondered a bit as to the problem of exposed toes ….

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But once told her toes were fine, she was happily on her way…..

photo-126And let me just say, the girl can walk in heels! No wobbling. No balance issues. She was happy as a clam, clicking along all about the house.

They say you can’t walk in someone else’s shoes. But watching Jocelyn the other day, I came to wonder if this is not false. I have been thinking about it since …

  • We can walk in His ways. We can keep step with Him as we rely on His Spirit within us. It happens as we live out our days with Him in the forefront of our minds.
  • Jesus sat down and spent time with other people. In fact, He was repeatedly criticized for sitting to eat at tables with the tax collectors, the broken, the sinners. We may come to understand the hurts and brokenness of others only as we spend time. With them. Listening to them. Seeing them.
  • The shoes may not always fit comfortably. Seriously. At times, God may ask us to walk where it may not be so comfortable or familiar to us. May we go anyway.

As I continued to watch Jocelyn, it became more interesting. Each time, a shoe slipped off one of her feet, she would not just stop and slip it back on. No, this little girl would bend over, pick up the shoe and take it back to the point it all started ….

photo-124And so must we. We are surely going to mess up – every single day. We will fail someone or at something. We won’t do everything perfectly. I am so grateful for the Cross, the place where we get to start all over, anew and renewed. The Cross – the place where it all began. The place of new beginnings and of holy do-overs.

And for those times when our feet get tired, for they surely will – may we know to just stand still ….

photo-127“Be still and know that I am God!” (Psalm 46:10 NLT)

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A Divine Errand

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Palm Sunday.

The day Jesus made His triumphant entry into Jerusalem. Palms wave. The people throw their coats down on the ground. The people cheer.

Yet hidden in this familiar scene, I took note of something I had not seen before ….

A Divine Errand.

Jesus instructs two of his disciples: “Go to the village ahead of you, and just as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, “Why are you doing this?” tell him, “The Lord needs it and will send it back shortly.” (Mark 11:2-3).

Jesus sends two of His disciples on an errand for Him. They are to get the colt, on which He will ride into Jerusalem. From that day forward, this one ride would be recorded, remembered, and celebrated as what we now know as “Palm Sunday”.

As they went into the village, they must have had questions swirling in their minds, perhaps even voiced aloud to each other ….

  • “How does He know there will be a colt?”
  • “Will we be stealing it?”
  • “Will the owner give it to us willingly?”
  • “Does this make sense to you?”
  • “Did you know He was going to ask us to do this?”
  • “Do you think we can do this and perhaps no one will notice?”
  • “Why me?”
  • “Do you know what He is going to do after this?”

Those poor disciples. They could not have known what their day was going to entail when they woke up that very morning. But they went and did exactly as they were instructed.

And so I noticed this about the very things He may ask of me to do. The divine errand …

  1. I may not ever know the reason.
  2. It probably will not make sense to me.
  3. I need to obey and leave the outcome to Him.

See here’s the thing about divine errands and the One behind them,

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)

He thinks and works differently than me. He knows the results He is looking to bring about. Our God is a results oriented God. He has a specific purpose in mind. Situations may not always make sense in our lives, at the moment. It probably did not that very day as they untied the colt. Only when they looked back could they then see, it was all in His plan and they had been on …

  A Divine Errand.

ID-1003109(photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net/Tom Curtis)

 

~~~For a chance to win the newly released, “Spiritual Misfit” by Michelle DeRusha, click here. The giveaway is open until Friday midnight.

Today I am joining … Three Word Wed. and Wed. Prayer Girls and Wedded Wed. and Wordless Wed. and Works For Me and Wholehearted Wed. and Winsome Wed. and Whimsical Wed. and A Little R & R and Imperfect Prose and Words of Life Wed. .

 

 

Spiritual Misfit & A Giveaway

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I have always loved to read. As a kid growing up in the Bronx, my favorite thing to do was to head to the library and come home with a shopping bag full of books. Sure it was nerdy but it was always an exciting way to go on an adventure. To be honest, not much has changed now that I am an adult.

I still love to read. There is nothing like a good conversation in which thoughts from books are shared. Throw in a few cups of coffee and call it wonderful!

I recently had the opportunity to read “Spiritual Misfit: A Memoir of Uneasy Faith” by Michelle DeRusha. I have been waiting for today – her release day!!! – to share about this book. I have been so blessed in reading her blog posts for the last year that when the chance to read her book became available, I jumped at it.

Recently I was asked this question … What are the top three reasons I would recommend this book? Here are my reasons:

#3 – This book will make you laugh! Seriously, the woman has the funniest sense of humor. She describes situations and emotions which will not only make you laugh with her but you will laugh at yourself because you will see reflections of yourself in her stories. Michelle makes you realize, there are so many experiences in life which are common to us all. And funny as they are, these experiences still point us to God, revealing Him in ways which make Him all the more tangible in our lives.

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#2 – This book will make you cry!! Michelle shares with a transparency which will touch your heart. She lets you into places most of us hold close to ourselves to reveal her own personal struggles. We come to see God has been at work in each of our lives through all things. She shares her skepticism, her shortcomings, and her fragile faith. SpiritualMisfit_Destination-4

And the #1 reason!!! – This book will surely grow your faith and relationship with God. Throughout each page, we discover our search to belong, to fit in, leads us to the profound truth which is this – we have been loved all along. We come to grips with the fact that this journey of faith – well – it is just that … our journey. For each of us, it will look different. And yet it will look similar. SpiritualMisfitFaithpin-545x408

Michelle’s memoir and journey is transparent, honest and authentic. We all have doubts and questions at various times throughout our lives. I have come to realize these are the very catalysts which God uses to grow us in our faith. He moves us deeper into our awareness of Himself and Who He is. We come to see facets of faith which may have remained hidden had we not questioned. These times become the means by which as Michelle explains,

“…we learn how to seek God every day, in ordinary life, and to learn how to shape my life to reflect him.” (page 208)

After all, that is truly the goal  – to be transformed so that we reflect Him and our lives bring Him glory.

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~~~~So here’s the deal … I was graciously and generously provided a copy of this book by Michelle to offer in a giveaway. Now you all do not want to miss this opportunity. Trust me. So I am going to make this as easy as I possibly can. Leave me a comment in which you tell me: Are Cheez-Its ever a snack in your house? Simply – yes or no. But you must answer the question in your comment to be entered into the giveaway. I will close this opportunity Friday at midnight and a winner will be drawn.~~~~

I cannot recommend this book highly enough. I was given this book in exchange for my honest review. The book has impacted and changed my life. You can learn more about this book by visiting Michelle here. You can also purchase the book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble or ChristianBook.com .

Today I am joining with … Soli Deo Gloria and Playdates With God and Unite and Testimony Tues. and Titus 2 Tues. and Tell Me a Story and Teaching What is Good and Titus 2sday .

Our Spiritual Lifeline

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300x250-Lent-AdGrowing up can be so difficult at times. Now that I am an adult, I look back on those days and realize how we each truly strive to find ourselves – who we are to be, who we want to be, the purpose of our lives and how to get there. Each stage of life presents it own set of challenges and questions, some quickly answered and overcome, some linger unanswered.

And then as an adult, I am still left wondering – how do I grow up in my faith? With “Faith” as my #OneWord365, which I am focusing on this year, I read a portion of Scripture with great interest this week. In fact, it gives wonderful instruction and insight. The author of Hebrews, who is unknown, starts off Chapter 6 (I am using The Message) stating …

“Grow up in Christ.”

With foundational truth in place, it is time to move on, realizing there is more to be had. The writer goes on to share the very means available to us by which we grow in our faith and find purpose  …

“When God wanted to guarantee his promises, he gave his word, a rock-solid guarantee – God can’t break his word. And because his word cannot change, the promise is likewise unchangeable.”

The way to growth, the means of surviving anything and everything life throws our way, is through God’s Word. Every word written there is absolute, truth, unchanging, unbreakable. A rock-solid guarantee. A guarantee assures us of a particular outcome or condition. He gave us Scripture to guide us through life, giving us knowledge and wisdom to make right choices along the way.

We read His Word so as to know His Word because it will grow us to develop a faith which will last …

“Be like those who stay the course with committed faith, and then get everything promised to them.”

Interesting use of words … “stay the course”. The author used a phrase which is “used in the context of a war or battle meaning to pursue a goal regardless of any obstacles or criticism”, (from Wikipedia.com). It originally was a nautical term which was yelled out in the midst of a storm to encourage sailors to maintain a constant, unaltered course while they navigated through the stormy waters.

Life can often be a battle with obstacles that seem to loom bigger than life itself. Stormy waters can rage all around causing us to feel we will sink or go down. Yet it is in “staying the course” that we get through, reaching the other side and safe shores. The writer goes on …

“We who have run for our very lives to God have every reason to grab the promised hope with both hands and never let go.”

It is in and through reading Scripture, God-breathed words, by which we will grow, becoming committed in our faith and faithful to Him.

I am so grateful he then gives us the very reason we can do this, telling us this truth about Scripture  ….

“It’s an unbreakable spiritual lifeline.”

ID-100106138-1(photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net/Michal Marcol)

I am joining with … Hear It, Use It and Sharing His Beauty and Motivation Mon. and Inspire Me Mon. and Making Your Home Sing and Living Proverbs 31 and Mon. Musings and The Modest Mom .