Sunday, August 4, 2013

On Walking: In His Grace, Waiting for Glory

After Little Man left, I woke up every day for five days straight, went out my front door, and I walked.
I walked out "my demons" as they say {whoever "they" are}.
I walked through the pressures and stresses and anxieties and questions.
I walked until I felt I could find a way to make it through the day. worked.

Burdens and inner conflicts slowly slipped away as oxygen filled my lungs and endorphins fired in my brain.

Mostly though, step by step, my spirit communed with the Father, consuming my heart into the heart of Jesus more and more each day.

Over the past four weeks, I have continued to walk, not always every day, but many days because my body cannot take the weight of this burden He has called me to carry.

I walk and sing and pray and cry.
Sometimes the crying looks like big, old, monster tears streaming down my face
{Hope I haven't scared the neighbors too bad yet}.

Most days, though, the crying is deeper, guttural, almost primal, albeit silent.
There are no words just Abba and Spirit and Jesus until there is a sliver of breakthrough and hope for that day.

From there, the choice to put one step forward in front of the other is just that: a choice.
Armed with His courage and His truth and His strength, life goes on.
Somehow, it goes on.
Even on the days when you wish the world could stop and give you time to catch up.

There...right there...smack in the middle of those scary, heart-wrenching moments is where Grace appears. Not just grace for me, but for all of those broken and rejected and abused and fighting to just keep their heads above water....right there is grace for them too.

And maybe that "them" is this season.

Breath grace.
Let's do it together.
{inhale slowly from the diaphragm and exhale...}

Repeat as necessary.

And then....

Wait for the glory.

It is coming.
I promise.
He said so.

For the Lord God is a sun and shield,
The Lord will give grace and glory.
No good thing will He withhold
From those who walk uprightly.
Psalm 84:11

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

When the Word for This Season is "Hold On!"

It has been four weeks since our {foster} baby, Little Man, left us.

A very, LONG, four weeks.

Two weeks ago we got a beautiful long afternoon visit with him and bio dad.
This was glorious.
This was hard.

I do not know if I can do "just a visit" again
And yet...I know in my heart, I would never say no to seeing that precious face.

Every day I pray for him, long for him, sing over him in spite of the miles that separate us.
I pray for his healing, for his heart and mind, for the miracles concerning his life...and ours...that the Lord has promised me. And recently, I started praying for bio dad and bio mom, for their full restoration emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually.

I am believing for redemption to be all over this journey.
I am believing for things that the natural eye cannot see.
I am believing for this story...and all the characters shout the fame of Jesus Christ.
I am believing for a life song of His grace and glory.

I am believing for the radical.
Not because that is my nature
Or because believing this way comes easy.

I am believing this way because Jesus asked me to do so.
Because He placed this overwhelming momma heart in me.
Because He told me that our stories are not done being intertwined yet.

And how that would be easier...
to shut this door,
to cry and ache and grieve,
and then to just move on with our lives.

But HE will not let me.
He Will Not.

So I sit here
in the tension of the waiting
not knowing exactly HOW I am supposed to walk this road.

"I'll teach you..."
He whispers to my soul in the darkest night.

And each day I check in again...
"Still, Jesus? How much longer?"

His heart smiles and breathes new strength for this day into my weary soul.
"Hold on, baby girl, hold on.  Just a little bit longer.  Just a little bit more."

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

I'm Holding Love in My Arms Tonight

I've written this post in my head dozens of times over the past ten weeks, my little boy.

The way the milk gathers on your lips and oozes on my shirt as I pull the bottle from your sucking lips as sleepy eyes give way to dreams unknown.

The way I cheer with true joy at each inch and ounce because I know how important your growth is to this body diagnosed with disease and serious prognosis.

The way my heart feels sad as you move from 0 to Number 1 diapers as I know that that phase is over never to be repeated again.

I'm holding love in my arms tonight.

Your laugh and smile are memorized in the caverns of my heart.
The nuances of your face filled with curiosity and expression amuse me to no end.
Your hands and feet kick and flail with life and a desire to move and to grow and to be MORE than this moment.

I see this little boy and I see the little man and I see the man I know you will be.

I'm holding love in my arms tonight.

Foster Daddy prays over you to have a different spirit.
My heart leaps with that prayer, and I pray deep too, that you will not be like the world, not go through a boys-will-be-boys phase, not be influenced by culture or generational curses.

I'm holding love in my arms tonight.

Your very existence in my world has rocked me to the core.
Jesus is challenging every fiber of my being to give and to love and to sacrifice more than I ever thought possible.

You, my sweet boy, are calling out the mother in me to depths and heights that beg to be plumbed, where words are no more.....just love.

I'm holding love in my arms tonight.

Tears stream down my face because in the eyes of the world and the law, I have no right to hold you and to love you and to long for you to be my very own.

But this love defies the laws and rules that this world has established.
Especially to this woman, this foster parent, this mom of yours, who had very clear guidelines of how she felt her family should be formed and prized pregnancy as the end all for womanhood and motherhood.

And then God placed you in my arms
In my heart.
In my blood.

You may not have grown sinews and bones inside of my mortal body, but you grew security and joy in the recesses of my heart long before I knew you were even being formed and shaped.

You came into this big, wide world on Valentine's Day.
Two months later, you landed without warning into my carefully constructed world.
Two months more and your path and mine may diverge again.

I'm holding love in my arms tonight.

I know not what the future holds.
I know not where I fit into your future.
I know not if I will see you grow from infancy to boyhood into a man.
I know not if you will ever see these words, much less know my name.

I only know that you have pulled love from my the deepest corners of my heart and life that I worried would never have life.

I'm holding love in my arms tonight.

You gave me the gift of motherhood that defies logic and critics and the way of the world.

In mothering you, I often felt, "I was born for this..."
In the face of saying goodbye I know I was born for this too.
Born to love you in a way that only a mother the ups and downs, longing for your best, even as my heart squeezes through the grinder.... never to be the same again.

I love you.....
Not because you came from my earthly DNA
but because God wrote YOUR name, my boy, on MY heart before the foundations of the world.

And I will ALWAYS be YOUR the eyes of the One who placed you in my arms for this season....however long that may be.

I do not know what tomorrow may bring.

Pain and sorrow
hope fulfilled.

So....I'm holding love in my arms tonight.
And will hold you, Little Man, in my heart forever.

P.S. You can count on that.  Jesus made sure! ;-)

Sunday, May 12, 2013

An open letter to Little Man's Birth Mom

Dear Birth Mother,

Today I hold the baby in my arms that you held in your womb for nearly nine months. He coos and laughs and in just 3 short weeks, I know his cries and gurgles and sounds. And even more, he knows my voice. I am in love in a way I never expected to be with a baby that I did not carry under my own heart. Amazed. Enraptured. Astounded.

And on this Mother's Day...the first one where physical caring and loving gives me the right to stand among the throngs of scarred warriors...princesses....mothers....

I think of you.

You who carried this child under your breast.
You who felt life come into the world the day he was born.
You who stood, slept, and sat in uncomfortable hospital rooms for weeks awaiting the time you could take him home.
You who had to let him go as he was placed into my arms...for now...or maybe.... forever.

I do not know how to comprehend this agony of surrendering this gift of life to another...yet again.
I cannot understand the weight of knowing another woman loves him as you do.
I am baffled by the sheer magnitude of heart ache, life has brought you through circumstances as well as personal choices.

And I do not judge you.
Well, mostly not.
Really. Truly.
My heart goes out to you most days.

My real struggle is when I realize, I wish he were mine, clear and free, here and now, forever and always.

And then I remember you.

You who are fighting to clear a path for his return. I am conflicted in wanting to rejoice for your successes and the sheer dread that overwhelms me in knowing that your success may well be my greatest agony to date.

I want to believe the best and still there are moments that I catch myself wishing for the worst. In those moments, I am shamed at my own humanity. Who am I? Who are you? Who are we? But clay in the Potter's hands.

So with long-term desires that rival the breadth and width of the Grand Canyon and dogged determination to focus on the plans and purposes that Jesus has for Little Man {wherever that may me}, I first want to thank you for saying YES to life! Yes to giving Little Man a chance to live, to survive, to thrive, and to walk in the destiny for which he was formed and fashioned.

And secondly....
Today, I share this Mother's Day with you.
And for the gift that you have given me,
I wanted to say thank you...
...from the bottom of my heart.

Wherever the path may lead us from here...
today, let's rejoice in life....Little Man's life and all the promise that it holds.

Happy Mother's Day!

Little Man's Foster Mommy

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Five Minute Friday :: Rest


























Five Minute Friday

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The One Good Thing {book review and giveaway}

Nathan Steen is a very unique man. Every day he carries a handful of stones in his pocket and looks for opportunities to do random acts of kindness as he moves one stone from one pocket to the other. Many lives have been impacted by Nathan Steen's life, but he has a secret that he has kept for over twenty years, from his parents, his children, even from his wife. This secret threatens to shatter the very fabric of the reputation that Nathan has maintained almost his whole life.

The One Good Thing tops the list as my new favorite fictional read in the past few years. Kevin Alan Milne explores themes of friendship, death, bullying, kindness, humanity, and redemption plus so much more. Written from the perspective of a different character in every chapter, the reader can truly understand the struggles and feelings of each family member. I found myself asking, "How far would I go to help someone in need?" and "Do I daily .... or even weekly ....  approach my life looking at how I can not only help but also truly make a difference in someone's day...or even someone's life?"

I loved this book so much that it is my GREAT delight to be able to offer to YOU a chance to win this book for your very own!

Yay, right?!?!

There are A LOT of entries available. Just fill out the rafflecoptor below.

And you can buy this book on Amazon today!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received The One Good Thing from Center Street as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Monday, March 11, 2013

Maybe Hope

Today has been a melancholy day.

I sort of woke up that way.
I may have gone to sleep with those feelings last night, but tiredness reigned and the morning dawned with a sadness in my soul, even as I swept the cobwebs from my sleepy brain.

For the momma who may lose custody of all five of her children due to extended incarceration.
For those young hearts and minds who WILL find a forever home, but at a deeply emotional cost.
For the boy whose past has been a whirlwind and finds himself in at school.
For my own body, aching intensely for the third morning in a row.
For the vulnerability that my heart feels when my physical weaknesses are exposed to new ears and I wonder, "Do they really understand?"
For the feelings of trepidation that making new friends and wondering if I can really be myself brings.
For the future of my granny, her care, and how that affects my mom, my whole family.
For a hundred things that my mind and my heart and my soul cannot grasp and contain.

I know that tears are just brimming below the surface and they are felt more deeply than words can truly capture. Although I have shared reasons and potential whys, the deep that cries out to deep senses that I have only scratched the surface of this gloomy reverie.

So here I sit, in my favorite cafe, writing out my heart....squeezed in the minutes between going here and there to purge the recesses of my soul believing for resolution, absolution, or maybe just peace in the convolution.

Maybe the brokenness in my own soul is making me more aware and alive and in tune to the cries of the downtrodden.

Maybe the weakness in me today is necessary to move forward in this haphazardly beautiful journey like Much-Afraid in her pilgrimage of "becoming."

Maybe my heart's tenderness is causing me to smell deep as I walk out my door and pause to remember, "Spring is's almost here...don't give up....wait a little longer."

Maybe...just maybe....
Hope is here.
Hope is alive.
Hope will come again.

Friday, March 8, 2013

The Return of Cassandra Todd {book review}

When Cassandra Todd was in high school, she had it all -- the looks, the captain of the cheerleading squad, and the boyfriend who was quaterback of the football team. At least, that is how Turner Caldwell saw it from afar as he idolized her and suffered the consequences of her boyfriend and his bully friends. Almost a decade later, when Cassandra rolls back into town, Turner fights the torrent of emotions that wreak havoc in his already-wounded soul.  In that moment, he could not have guessed the journey that God would take him on, meshing his past disappointments and experiences together in a way that make the reader realize how truly God does work everything together for his purpose.

The Return of Cassandra Todd invites you in from the prologue through a pilgrimage of two very different people whose lives intersection result in eternal repercussions for them both. I love how Darrel Nelson endears the reader to the characters immediately. Capturing their flaws as well as their strengths enables the reader to see themselves throughout Cassandra and Turner's intense odyssey of forgiveness, trust, security, and hope for the future. The Return of Cassandra Todd engaged my senses and found me quickly longing to know the end of the story. I would heartily recommend this book to the story lover at heart as well as to those who have known brokenness and redemption.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received The Return of Cassandra Todd from Glass Road Media Management as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Monday, March 4, 2013

Dear God-Sized Dreamer

Dear God-Sized Dreamer,


Psst...that's you! there...reading this RIGHT now!

YOU have a God-sized dream or dreams inside of you just bursting to get out!

Oh yes you do! I promise.
I know.
I truly do.

How you ask?
Because I know how He made He made me.
I know that He wired us with something so amazing inside of us that if we do not do it, we think we might burst. You know what I am talking about now...don't you?

I know.
I can hear you now.
I can't do that! or That's impossible for me!

I have felt that way too.
{Secret -- I still do some days...many days!}

But that is JUST the thing....
YOU cannot do it
It IS impossible for you.

That is why it is God-sized.
Made with beauty and purpose
and bigger than our human hands and hearts can wrap around.

Your God-sized dream whispers to you in the dark....You were made for this.
In the secrets of the wind and waves, it beckons....Don't give up...
As the seasons change and winter falls into spring you hear....He makes all things new...including you!

So sister, dream bigger and wider and larger than you think is possible.
Brother, go deeper and when you think you have hit rock bottom, plumb deeper still.
Friends, hold fast to the world-changing dream He is birthing in your heart because no matter how large or small or important or insignificant it may seem to you, it is God-sized...making it just right, Goldilocks style.

You were born for this...this season...this moment...this time....this generation.
Please do not give up or give in!
We need you.
We really do!

Your voice is breath-taking.
Let nothing make it small.
Let nothing hold you back.
Let your God-sized dream soar.

Teri Lynne Underwood

"You cannot find security in what God is doing 
because He commits you to the impossible; 
He asks you to see the invisible; 
He calls you to do the outrageous. 

There is no security in that place. 
There is no security in what God is doing. 
There is only security in who God is."
~Graham Cooke

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Snippets of the Crazy-Slow

I think I have written a thousand, a hundred, okay....maybe a dozen....yes at least a dozen blog posts in my mind over the past six weeks.

Sometimes they were just snippets of a thought.
Other times they had some meaty length to it.
All of them were amazing...she says so humbly...or at least in "my" mind's eye.
But alas, none of them made it to paper...or even maybe they were just to feed my soul in the interim of waiting to pour out my heart you.

Life has been busy and slow.
But I have said that here already.
I just wish that I could expound more on what that feels like, what that IS in my heart and soul.
Maybe I will soon...or maybe not...
For now, I think I will just share what that conglomeration of this fast slow motion looks like.

1) My Granny fell and broke her neck six weeks ago yesterday. Her neck has been healing beautifully and the brace is now off. She is, as you can imagine, having a lot of pain there as her body learns to hold that weight on its own again. She had a trache for awhile which miraculously came out on its own about 2 weeks ago and the hole, or stoma, as the medical professionals call it is completely healed up. She has been from hospital to rehab to hospital and now back to rehab again. Each change has been filled with its own ups and downs and scares and joys along the way. Granny suffers from dementia so currently our family {mom, sister, aunts and cousins} rotate being with her around the clock. As she is back in rehab, we know that we are on the home least that is how we pray since she has been IN rehab and BACK to hospital once already. If you are the praying kind, would you please pray for her recovery, the infections her body is fighting, and for our family for strength to continue with grace in this long journey?? Thank you.

2) I got a new part time job of which I am currently in Week 3. I have translated for Haitian students and families via our local Board of Education off and on for the past 10 years or so. Last year, all the translators had to re-interview and come "on staff" officially. In the interview process, I was asked if I was interested in tutoring to which I promptly said, "Yes!" So I am not officially a tutor IN an ESOL {English as a Second Language} class room for 90 minutes a day. Two thirds of the class are Haitian kids. I am working at a middle school so the kids are lovely and moody and frustratingly beautiful. I feel like this job is a gift to me and seriously, there are some that I am ready to bring home with me. {And I really don't say stuff like that....their stories/hearts are just wrecking me...}

3) We are OFFICIALLY foster parents!! Yay! and WHOA! This process has been long and arduous and I am not even talking about the paper work. I do not think going in that I was preparing for the emotional and mental onslaught that would ravage my being.
Will the first child living in my home really NOT be my own biological baby? 
Am I really ready for this? 
Can my physical body handle what investing into these lives will mean? 
Can my heart? 
These, along with a hundred practical questions racked my brain to no end. I wanted to quit MORE times than I wanted to move forward and something, Someone bigger than me kept propelling us forward one painful step at a time. I have been forced to face my own fears and judgements and life choices, and I am sure this is NOT the end...which scares me honestly, but did I mention my heart is now wrecked beyond repair? In the good ways...the ways that you know that this is right and good and part of the crazy-grand-scheme-of-things.

4) And finally....this one is hard and exciting to say all at the same time. The Lord is healing me. Really and truly. Heart and soul, of course, but specifically in body. About four years ago, I began having unexplained pains that over the course of the following year and half increased in frequency and intensity. With a possible diagnosis of fibromyalgia but unable to take the prescribed course of medicine given to those who suffer with this unseen illness, we made some radical life changes and left South Africa and moved back to the United States. While my physical issues were not the primary reason for us making that life change, they were the catalyst that propelled us forward. For the past two and a half years since then, I have fought a daily battle of balance in my life, trying to find the right amount of work-to-rest ratio. To say it has been hard would be an understatement, and just when I was ready to accept that maybe this is just the journey of learning that God wanted me to go through to learned more about His grace, the Lord sent someone to remind me of His promises to me {more on that story later} and He is really healing me. It is a slow heal, like synapses and muscles coming together in harmony again, but I am getting stronger every day. There are still good days and bad days and I continue to work to believe that He IS still JUST as faithful on the bad days...but I needed to say it nonetheless....thank you, Jesus, for this healing.
{P.S. THIS was actually on my God-sized dream list!!}

There is more...of life and potential changes on the horizon and buzzing around in my heart of things still to come....but I feel like this is all I can share for now.

I am excited to be living His plan in this season, in spite of the HARD parts too...
He is going deep and wide in the caverns of my heart and soul,
 and I feel SUCH an assurance that I will never be the same.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Welcome to (in) This Season :: Session 2

Hey, you!

I am so glad that you are here today!

If you are hopping over from {in}courage for the first time, "Welcome!" I hope you will feel at home right away!

So just a little catch up for my regular crew. {in}courage, the blog home of Dayspring, has just launched 40 online groups where you can connect with other women on a HUGE variety of topics ranging from new moms to empty nesters to social injustice advocates to women struggling with infertility to those with kids with special needs AND so much more. These groups are private, sacred spaces for you to be YOU in the season of life that you find yourself in.

Last year, I had the opportunity to be one of the community leaders. I found out a week before the launch and scarily jumped in head first, totally not knowing what I was doing, but connecting with THE MOST AMAZING co-leader, {More on her in a little bit} and finding a group of women where my heart felt like it had COME HOME {More on THAT in another post}

The topic :: A place to (in)courage those IN ministry/missions/etc who are struggling in some aspect without a safe outlet to let their guard down and/or those coming OFF the field of missions/ministry/etc who are struggling in ANY aspect and would like to connect with those who understand.

For those of you interested in being a part of a group like are at the right place.

Libby {that's my partner} and I have a heart to reach out to those whose lives are/have been all about reaching out to others and along the way brokenness has become like a second skin due to major change, redirection, crisis of faith, discouragement, physical/mental illness, burnout, loss of support (financially or otherwise), or just have found themselves in a surprising period in ministry or from leaving a ministry...

(In) This Season was born from that heartbeat. "Where do we go from here?" in THIS season most unexpected...

Want to get to know us a little better and WHY this topic resonates with's a little more about who we are....

Libby Rosengren - "I have been married to my best friend for 17 years and mom to 4 kids.  I am involved in homeschooling our kids, helping my husband with his business, keeping our home, blogging, reading, etc. Our family was in ministry in Peru, South America as missionaries for 8 years. That was 3 years ago, and I feel like I have left a part of my heart in Peru. We know that God still has something in mind for us there, but we are not sure what or how that will look. For now we are in the U.S. and at peace with where God has us. Having faced burnout, depression, loss of support (both financially and otherwise), discouragement in ministry and major changes both IN ministry - and then - changes that caused us to move out of being directly involved in ministry, I have a real soft spot for those who struggle or have struggled with these issues in relation to ministry."

Libby's Blog: Beauty Out of Dust
Twitter: libbyrosengren

Lindsey van Niekerk - "I grew up in Haiti for the first 16 years of my life {my parents are still there, by the way - for almost 40 years - Yeah, I know...they deserve a medal, right?} Then, I went to college, got my bachelor's degree in psychology as well as in interpersonal & organizational communications {Shew! That's a mouthful!} I spent the next 10 years after that working as missions director, children's pastor, youth pastor, & associate pastor. I married the love of my life and my best friend {I know, I know...but it's a cliche for a reason} 7 1/2 years ago, and we have lived on the East Coast of the U.S. as well as the great province of Gauteng in South Africa {he's from there, by the way}. Chronic pain, infertility issues, interpersonal conflicts, impending depression, panic attacks, confounded by the stress of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti that my parents were involved in{they are doing well now, by the way} brought us to the point of an indefinite time-out/sabbatical for this season of life and finding out what the next steps of God's plans are for us."

Lindsey's Blog: The Little Missionary Girl All Grown Up
Twitter: lindseyfoj
Facebook: The Little Missionary Girl All Grown Up

So if this sounds like the place for you, a safe space to interact with peers who understand your story, opportunities to share as little or as much as you want in a private setting, encouragement to write and blog together, and listening ears who will "just be there" without judgement or trying to fix you, then please email us at, and we will invite you to the closed/private Facebook group and provide more details of how you can get involved.

If you are one of my regular readers and would like to check out all of the groups available, hop over to (in)courage to see what group speaks to you. This first session will run from October 2nd to December 2nd so the commitment is short term and you can be involved as little or as much as you would like.

Whatever you decide to do, we just want you to know how AMAZING you are and that God has just the thing FOR you, WHEN you need it! May His grace breathe life into your soul, giving you space to breathe and know that you are unequivocally, irrevocably His.


Friday, February 8, 2013

Five Minute Friday :: Bare

When an artist chooses to be generous, everyone wins.....The more personal you are with your art, the more generally it applies to those who are there to receive it. 
~Emily P. Freeman

I just want to write.
Not because it is brilliant or amazing or life-shattering.
But because the words backlogged in my soul need a voice, an outlet, a courier to another place besides my analytical head.

Life has became busy and slow.
At the same time.

I'm not sure that makes any sense.
I suppose it doesn't have to.
It just is.

Visit Granny in hospital. Rest. Take care of my flu-ridden body. Rest. Go to work. Rest. Fight the gas company to help us get heat. Rest.

There has not been a lot of margin lately.
You know what I mean.
The kind where you feel comfy and settled with an open playground for your mind and heart and soul to set sail onto new adventures and discoveries of both the known and the unknown.

So today...because I do not really have the answers or my thoughts organized in SUCH a beautiful way....I just write this chapter of my story -- bare and broken -- yet filled with redemption.

The unfinished life holds more beauty than one can understand as the words fill the pages of that moment.

Five Minute Friday

I am writing tonight as I take a shift sitting at my grandmother's beside to give my mother and aunts some much needed rest. Granny, after neck surgery 3 weeks ago, had been admitted to rehab on Tuesday, but is now back in the hospital with her third UTI. Your prayers for her and my family are MOST appreciated. Thank you in advance, dear friends and readers.....

Sometimes in life's harder moments, I find my spirit gravitates towards songs and principles learned in my childhood. Here is the song I have been singing to myself and my grandmother, off and on, over the past few weeks

Click here to view if you are reading in an e-mail or RSS feed.

Monday, February 4, 2013

What I'm Into {February 2013 Edition}

Listening ... Chris Tomlin's song Whom Shall I Fear {God of Angel Armies} is currently my favorite song. I can picture the Israelite army walking out, trembling, onto the battlefield to face their foe, who although far outnumbered them, turned and ran away because the enemy saw the angel army far outmatching the numbers that they could bring against the Israelites. It reminds me that "the God of angel armies is ALWAYS on my side." Also, Kim Walker-Smith released her latest album, Still Believe, a few weeks ago which is all about healing. The day her album debuted, my Granny fell and broke her neck. Tomorrow will mark 3 weeks that she is has been in the hospital {with the HIGH hopes of release to rehab today!} and as I like to Kim's melodies, I feel inspired by the hope of healing both for her as well as for myself....believing for dreams come true THIS YEAR!

Watching ... I have a confession :: I am a sci fi nerd. I grew up on Star Trek, Aliens, and eventually Star Wars. Even now, I actually find science fiction helps me to wind down and relax. I know .... Strange...yet, nonetheless, true! So lately, the show I have been especially into is Fringe. I missed most of the seasons when living in South Africa so I have just caught up on all of them up to the series finale. Aside from the sci fi appeal, I do believe I can count Joshua Jackson as one of my all time favorite male actors. Last year, I caught up on Dawson's Creek, and finally understood the appeal after watching the show. He's got "the look of love" for his romantic co-stars down cold, and you believe his affection 1000%. In this pic, I think he even has a George Clooney-esque look. No??

But seriously, this show has so much human emotion in it with parental love, friendships, romances, etc being pushed to the limits and tested time and again. It will make you a believer in the power of love to change a world!

Overall though, I have lots of "shows" that I like to keep up with as I have time, often later on the computer, with the CW and ABC Family being two of my favorite networks.

Reading ... I have a lot of HALF-started books....sigh....I think it might be easier to picture them than to list them.

These are books I have reviewed or am in process of reading/reviewing. The It's a Wonderful Life book is part of a year long weekly series that I am doing here on the blog. I am a couple of weeks behind with all of the hospital visits and work catch up, but I will resume again tomorrow.

On my nightstand.....some have been then for awhile....some are started...some are TO BE READ. 
Ya piles are everywhere!

Pinning ... I have been researching new style ideas, even getting free daily weekday ideas from StyleUp for the past week or so. But I found this beautiful bohemian look in my wanderings that I love as winter turns into spring albeit in a couple months but.....

Boho via Pinterest
And I love this coat rack/hidden shoe rack idea for the future!

Hidden Shoe Rack via Pinterest

Eating ... Just made this yummy vanilla almond cornflake, parmesan crusted baked chicken recipe yesterday that had my love going back for seconds even though he was full! I combined a couple of recipes together so I cannot really link to one but if you are interested, let me know in the comments and I will tell you what else it included.

Wearing ... Warm and cozy has been the theme for me this past months -- cute scarve, uneven-lengthed layers, new Roxy shoes {think coat-of-many-colors stripes with cushioned fur on the inside - basically like wearing bedroom slippers}. They are similar to what is pictured below but in darker tones of brown, teal, and gold.
Roxy Loafers

Feeling ... December & January have been challenging months. From upper respiratory infection to full blown flu to my grandmother in the hospital two hours away, I have been vacillating between lying in bed and catching up with what "needs" to get done. I DO believe, as I hinted above, that the Lord is TRULY healing me this year of chronic pain issues. I am so VERY grateful for that! Anxious thoughts have plagued me a bit this past week as I try to figure out how to move forward from here.

Weather ... It has been quite chilly lately, with most days below freezing and bits of snow here and there. Our gas/heat ran out on Friday night and we have not been able to get the tank filled back up again....however.....thanking God AGAIN for our wood stove that has kept us warm in the interim.

Wanting ... Last time I wrote I was wishing/dreaming for a telephoto lens for my DSLR since my old one was 12 years old...well...Santa came and give me my wish! Yay! Right now, I am most wanting order in the chaos from the past couple of months, continued healing for my Granny, and clarity on how to take the "next right step" towards my God-sized dreams.

Needing ... to fully embrace and access His peace in all things, situations, relationships, etc.

Thinking ... about the present, plans for this week, what the future holds, what form becoming a mom will take when it comes

Enjoying ... home fires in our wood stove, sleeping in my comfortable bed, work where I can schedule my own hours, feeling BETTER for the first time in weeks, and learning in the scary steps that Jesus has set out before me.

What about you? What are you currently up to?
Would love to hear your life-song in this season.

Linking up with Hopeful Leigh
What I'm Into at HopefulLeigh

Friday, January 25, 2013

Five Minute Friday :: Again {He is STILL God}

I have spent the last ten days off and on hearing the whirs and rhythms of the hospital cadence.

Granny fell and broke her neck.

It always sounds so dramatic and serious when I say it out like that. And I suppose it is. My analytical brain refused to focus on the severity and merely deals with each task at hand -- errands, work, sitting with Granny, supporting Mom, whatever was needed and fighting off the effects of the flu within my own body. Then two days ago, my heart caught up. I hit a wall. Emotionally. I had to stop.

I am still here, Lindsey.

That still small voice, reminding me again of His truths, His purpose, His plan.

I am still in control.

When I hit the end of my self...again...He is there.

Be still and know that I am God.
I am working on your behalf, on her behalf.
I see the beginning from the end and every step in between.
Trust in Me as you still your heart again to the melodies of grace flowing from my heart to yours.

I AM still here.

Mom with Granny on Friday, January 25th
{9 days after surgery for broken neck}

**Update on Granny as of 4:30 p.m. EST :: She is doing VERY well today. She is off of the ventilator. She is wearing a trache collar now, which apparently is a step up. She had physical therapy today and was able to sit up for awhile. This morning she was very alert and recognizing people as well as communicating as much as she can without being able to speak because of the trache. She is resting peacefully now.

Prayer Request :: Please pray that she will pass her swallow test when they give it and that her sugar levels would be under control.

Five Minute Friday

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

God-Sized Dreams in 2013

When it popped up in my e-mail, "Guess who my featured Five Minute Friday post is this week?" I literally could not believe it.

I know. That sounds like false humility and all, but seriously, I really feel like I am faking this whole blogging/writing thing at least 75-80% of the time. At Allume last year, I would not even read my Five Minute Friday out loud, because I still feel like the girl in the room who speaks a second language, dresses a little weird, and has no idea how to navigate first-world social norms. My sister fakes-it-til-you-make-it  better than I do.

But I love to write. I have a poet's heart and a prosey brain and over the years, I have embraced the view I have on life that is uniquely my own. I see God's handprint, and I celebrate the fact that I am loved by One such as Him.

So I was thrilled, and even did a little happy dance on the inside. Wow! I cannot believe I was chosen.

When I looked later, I found out a little more about the matter. Lisa-Jo had tweeted to the #FiveMinuteFriday gang to give her some feedback on their favorite post of the week, and Tonya, whom I have never talked to or met, even online, shared my link, with no link backs to me so I did not even know it, until after the fact.

No fanfare. No big deal. Just a little tweet.

And I felt simultaneously humbled and ecstatic! {I am an extrovert after all!}

Somehow this whole thing that I dedicate a lot of my time and heart making a difference.
One person.
One tweet at a time.

The next day, I get this Facebook message from a college friend, Anna....

"I thought of you today while listening to a radio program called women of grace. The way the host was so encouraging and passionate reminded me of you. Have you considered going into Christian radio? : )"

My speaker's heart wanted to burst. I had JUST been reading about podcasting WHILE she was typing this message. I have missed teaching and preaching and speaking during our extended sabbatical, and I would love to make space in my world of blogging for some spoken word.

Bottom line.

I love words.

I love people.
I love hearing their stories.
I love walking with them through broken places.
I love helping them find their own uniqueness.
I love celebrating that individuality that is all their own.
I love seeing their dreams come true.
I love discipling.
I love making people feel THEY are chosen.
{because, well, it's true!!}

My ex-boyfriend used to say, "Lindsey, you have a heart for everything and every body." I would laugh and think, "What is wrong with that?" The Lord took me on a journey into pastoral ministry where I methodically worked directly with all ages from 2-82 and everything in between, adding more ages groups in as the years passed, and at this point in my life, there is no age that I do not care for, see their unique needs, and long to help in that way.

I have not talked much about this yet because I SO wanted to be clear, concise, and orderly, but the chaos that is my brain will not give me that luxury so I shall share nonetheless.

For 2013, I am purposefully embracing my God-sized dreams. I am joining 99 other ladies as we jump off the cliff called SAFE into the unknown. Holley Gerth is our guide through this journey along with the Holy Spirit of course, and I am delighted to be taking this challenge.

Did I say delighted?

So since I am having a hard time "narrowing down" ONE God-sized dream to focus on, I thought I would just share them all. I, know...crazy, right? To put myself out there like that. Remember I told you....I have always been a LITTLE different from the status quo.

Okay here are my dreams {at least what I can think of at the moment} in no particular order::

* Become a licensed counselor
* Become a bonafide author
* Become a college professor
* Work again in full time ministry
  {even if that looks different that it has in the past}
* Be completely free from chronic pain
* Become a mother
* Get paid for my art 
  {writing, speaking, photography}
* Become a graphic designer {maybe}
* Be in control of my own schedule 
  without financial worry
* Be the kind of wife who enthusiastically 
  supports my husband's dreams
* Live life to the fullest 
  and continue to dream even more!

Okay, that is good for now I suppose....I want to expound and quantify and add to but I think that will come in other posts. I have a whole year after all, eh?

But you know what would be REALLY COOL and SO VERY EXCITING FOR ME??!!??

Would you join me in this God-sized dream journey?

Pinterest via The Artsy Girl Studio

My friend, Holly, will be blogging about it lots and she wrote the coolest e-book, The "Do What You Can" Plan, so you can follow and read along with her as well as with me here. If this just speaks to your heart, gives you that little leap inside, will you let me know below?

If you are like me, and are just not sure what your God-sized dreams are or how to focus on them, tell me that too! We will figure it out together somehow, stumbling through the dark. We have an amazing Guide, keeping us safe as we navigate this new territory.

Also.....and this is sort of awkward to ask....but if you know me, either online or in real life, would you weigh in some of the dreams that I shared with you? Because my dreams are all about people, knowing which ones influence people the most, might help me to figure out the God-sized dream for THIS season, ya know? I would definitely appreciate it...especially those of you {lurkers} who read but do not comment...would you DE-LURK, just for this one?  Thank you!!

Happy dreaming...

"If you keep on believing, the God-sized dream that you wish really will come true."
{modified from Cinderella}

Related Posts with Thumbnails