Monday, March 26, 2018

Things I'm Discovering

Hello, sweet friends. It's me again. Waving hello.👋

My go-to conversation starter question when our small group meets is to begin with asking, "What was the highlight of your week?" My hope in asking this question is that everyone will have something to share. Because regardless of the hard circumstances we may be in the midst of, I pray we still see the providential hand of God in our lives... may we still be able to count His graces.

Source: Scripture Pictures

My response to the question (when we met last night) just so happened to be writing again. I praise God for a passion which remains and just maybe the time away from this space was needed to "fan into flame" this gift from God. The fire had never gone out; it only needed to be fed.

Does that make sense? Ya know, I always doubt that I make any sense. Deep sigh.


I thought I would take a few minutes (or more) to share a few things I'm discovering. Note... don't be expecting any big revelations... just some light-hearted discoveries. I'm easing my way back into this writing thing.

Here goes.

Podcast love - I had not previously taken the plunge into the podcast world but recently decided to give them a try. Emily Freeman's podcast, "The Next Right Thing," was at the top of my list. Several of you confirmed I made a wise choice. Thank you!! I have discovered two others I love. Here's the thing though, the most ideal way to listen to an episode would be in my car while on the way to work. But... I had a car accident with a steel pole (yes, just me and a steel pole, in my church parking lot, after a prayer meeting) which has the needed function to listen to podcasts not working. Annoying!! I must figure this out.

(Check out The Turquoise Table Podcast with Kristin Schell and The Simple Show with Tsh Oxenreider.)

Tattoo love - People have their opinions on getting tattoos. Is it biblically right or wrong to get one? I'm not expecting you to answer that, by the way. Regardless, I now have a tattoo on my wrist which simply says, "But God." I love all that led to getting this tattoo and everything about when and how it took place, and who I shared the experience with.

Wine and Netflix love - Friends, the evenings are oh so lonely at times without my husband. One glass of wine while watching the Netflix series "Jane the Virgin" makes those lonely evenings more bearable. Seriously, this show is quite entertaining and cute. It holds no comparison to "This is Us," mind you.

Family and Friends love - That glass of wine and Jane are often not needed because I have the bestest family and friends. Most evening and weekends I have plans to gather with either one friend or a few, and have recently had the chance to gather with a few family members too. This is truly the desire of my heart... rich and meaningful connections. Let's gather at a table, friends. Pretty please!!

Dove Dark Chocolate love - A chocolate a day brings me one day closer to my husband being in my arms again. Forget the chocolate kisses many use for count downs... I went directly to the good stuff! Yum!!

Dog love - I need God to cultivate within me a deeper love for my dog. Until such time, my dog is driving me crazy! I feel for him. I really do. He misses the man of the house lots and lots. But his missing has resulted in him whining All. The. Time. Lord, help me, please.

Travel blogs love - Why did I think these did not exists? Thank you, travel bloggers, for your wisdom on how best to tackle Prague and Vienna in a few days (future trip with hubs). Thank you awesome travel blogger person for not allowing me to visit Vienna without knowledge of the museum there dedicated to globes. If I discovered this after the fact I would have been heartbroken. Globe love!!!

Grandma love - I may not "officially" be a grandma yet but I know being one will be the best thing EVER! Oh goodness gracious... all the love!!!

I think the next post shall be the harder things I'm discovering... like the things Satan attempts to condemn me for BUT GOD in His grace gently convicts me instead. For example, I have a real issue with jealousy and comparison. Oh, it's ugly and it must stop.

More to come another day. Until we move into this Easter week, may we set our eyes on Jesus and be mindful of His amazing gift.

“I am the resurrection and the life. 
The one who believes in me will live, even though they die."
- John 11:25

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Love or Fear

Source: Scripture Pictures

Hello friends. Remember me? The one who at one time wrote semi-regularly in this place. I am not sure how to jump back in after almost a year since my last post. Much has happened since those All Together Lovely days I last told you about.

Shall I catch you up? Our family was busy in the second half of 2017.

  • Hubs gave me my wished for Turquoise table (May 2017)
  • Hubs and I launched a new small group through our church (July 2017)
  • Our youngest son got married (September 2017)
  • Hubs and I launched a full home remodel project (September 2017)
  • Our oldest son got engaged and then soon after they were married (November 2017)
  • Our youngest son and his wife announced they will welcome their first child (our first grandchild) in June of 2018 ---- it's a girl!
  • Hubs deployed (technically considered a mobilization) to Germany (December 2017)

Those are the highlights. Basically, they are the highlights which appeared on the back of our New Year's card. I made the decision to stop doing Christmas cards a few years ago and instead do New Year's cards. Why? Well, it eliminates an item from my to-do list during that oh so busy time of year and because I find it lovely when one more card appears in your mailbox a couple weeks after all the Christmas cards top arriving so I thought others might think so too.

Shall I catch you up on happenings in the first three months of 2018? The list isn't quite as long as it's only been three months.

  • Hubs is still in Germany (enter sad face)
  • Our new small group is AWESOME. Doing life together with people is challenging but I truly adore them. God uses them to bless me in unending ways.
  • Our eldest son and his wife moved to Nevada (his new duty station) and bought their first home.
  • Our youngest son and his wife bought their first home. They live in Wisconsin.
  • We finished our home remodel project. As many have told me, and I admittedly love to hear, it's Joanna Gaines like. Seriously, it's beautiful!! I can't believe this house is mine.

Shall I end here? Or should I actually tell you why this post is titled, "Love or Fear"? I could likely write a separate blog post on each new happening in 2018 but we will assume those are yet to come (if I actually keep up with this writing thing).

So love or fear? I am often late to the party but this past week I started listening to Emily Freeman's podcast series, "The Next Right Thing." She already has 28 episodes in this series so yes; I am way late to the party.

Anyways... her second podcast is titled, "Do This Before Every Hard Decision." And the "this" she says to do is to ask yourself, is your decision being led by love or by fear?

I'm not completely sure why I have decided to start here after many months of silence. I could start by telling why I chose PRAYER as my One Word for 2018. I could try to tell you why I was quick to say yes to my husband leaving again. Or I could tell you about a recent decision to try to live simpler. Yet, Emily's question struck a chord. Maybe because the question is one I could go back and ask to the different decisions just mentioned.

I have been wrestling with the need to make another decision and my response has leaned towards saying no.

Ya'll, I probably need to back track here as before landing on Emily's podcast I began reading a book on prayer (because it's my One Word). The first strategic prayer the author addresses is praying for our passion. My passion? It is stolen from Bible Study Fellowship... "To magnify God and mature His people as they cultivate a deeper relationship with Him."

In my own words, my passion is to lead women in growing in His word and in a relationship with Him. Oh how fear can lead me to not pursue this passion though.

But our passions are a gift from God. He has given me this desire and He is the one who fans it into flame inside of me. And the whole "fan into flame" has stuck a chord with me too.

"For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands." 2 Timothy 1:6

Am I a bit all over the place with this post? It would be so much easier to sit across the table from you to share my heart on all these things. You and me at a table with a cup of coffee would be altogether lovely. Can we, please?

All this to say, on the decision I need to make... love is beginning to take more of the lead. All the fears which had me leaning towards no are valid fears (in my opinion) yet, "perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18)."

I need to mention I often fear misusing a scripture verse. There is so much I leave left unsaid or undone out of fear. So here I am letting go of fear and trusting God by attempting to pursue another passion He has given me and just maybe He is asking me to "fan into flame."


I shall end here, friends. It was lovely to visit with you again. I have missed you.