Thursday, May 16, 2019

My Favorite Things


What are your favorite things?

My (in)courage Devotional Bible, my journal, and my planner would have to be high on my list of favorite things. 

And I have quite a collection of these favorite things by this season of my life.

Above (top of pile) is my new planner for May/June: I use a version of bullet-style planners now, two months per notebook. This planner helps me keep my focus on the most important things for each week, each day.

In the middle of the pile (photo above), is my journal. It takes me about four months to fill up a journal. This one will carry me from May through August. My journal is where I connect deeply with God, writing as I am learning from Him, from His Word.

And my (in)courage Devotional Bible is my go-to Bible at this time. I love the extra space on each page to add notes, and I love the beauty of His Word along with the beautiful format of this Bible. His Word is our treasure; where we hear from Him, where we soak in His love and His truth.

These three favorite things hold my heart together, as my heart is filled to overflowing with all that God is teaching me in the quiet, and also in the midst of a busy life. All I do and all I am flows from my heart. It is critical to nurture our hearts.

Above all else, guard your heart,
for everything you do flows from it.
(Proverbs 4:23 NIV)

Let all that I am wait quietly before God,
for my hope is in Him.
(Psalm 62: 5 NLT)

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Preparing the Soil



The start of a new month always calls me to a fresh focus, a new beginning. And in the spring, freshness is everywhere. I love the fresh air, the vibrant hues of green on our trees and in our lawns, the new flower starts, and the touch of color everywhere.

Spring brings new life in our yards, our flower beds, and our veggie gardens ... 

And it all starts
with the soil. We need to
prepare the soil, till up the soil,
add the necessary nutrients
to our garden spots, our planters.

It's the first step. A garden
or a patio planter needs soil,
good soil. Healthy soil will
produce the beautiful blooms, the
fresh homegrown produce.

And in an even deeper way, in the
midst of busy days and full lives,
we do not want to neglect to care
for the soil of our hearts. 
For everything comes from the heart. 

Does my heart feel crowded? 
Am I even able to hear His whispers?
How can I make room for heart-space
this new month, each new day?

Lord, will you work up the soil of
my heart, will you add the necessary
ingredients needed for new growth?
May I make it a priority this spring,
to tend to my heart.

"Let today be a fresh beginning 
to create heart-space so that 
the garden of your life will 
begin to truly flourish." 
(Whispers and Wildflowers)

"Above all else, guard your heart,
for everything you do flows from it."
(Proverbs 4:23 NIV)

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Every Little Thing



It is almost
too precious to even
begin to comprehend ... 
we can bring everything
to Him, and He cares 
about every little thing.

"So whether you eat or drink,
or whatever you do, do all
to the glory of God."
(I Cor. 10:31)

Every thought I think,
everything I do -
my waking, my sleeping,
my in between.

My eating, my cooking,
my laundry, my decorating,
my creating, my writing ...
my everything.

The tasks that wait for me,
the special holidays, the
easy things, the hard things;
it all matters.

Time spent with family,
times of routine and of work,
vacation days, at home days;
He cares about it all.

It is simply beyond my
wildest dreams that our God
cares, and that we have the
unbelievable joy of living
every moment for His purposes.
It all matters to Him.

His love permeates every
little thing in our lives.

This kind of living is ...
"expressed not just in 
the religious dimension
of our lives, but in
every aspect of our existence."
(New Morning Mercies)


The Lord directs
the steps of the godly.
He delights in every 
detail of their lives.
(Psalm 37:23)

All because of Easter,
all because of His life
sacrificed for us,
bringing us new life;
new life with a purpose,
and filled with His love.



Credit: Photo by Carolyn V on Unsplash

Monday, April 15, 2019

Happy Easter Week!



May the God of HOPE⠀
fill us with all JOY and PEACE⠀
as we trust in Him today,⠀
and all through this Easter week.⠀
And may our hearts and lives⠀
overflow with HOPE by 
the power of the Holy Spirit.⠀
All that we long for;⠀
all because of Jesus.⠀
Happy Easter Week!⠀


Thursday, April 11, 2019

The First Step: Just Come




The first step
is to come.

When we are worn out,
weary, and burdened -
when we are let down,
used up, and broken.

He says, “Come to Me”.
Just come; instead of tending
to our wounds, our broken places,
using all our energy to fix ourselves,
trying to fix things on our own.
He says, “Come to Me, 
all who are weary and burdened, 
and I will give you rest.”
(Matthew 11:28)

What if we did just that?
At the first thought of despair,
when we are first tempted to worry,
when our hearts are hurting -
what if we simply, just came?

A challenge, a practice to implement.
Make it our very first step - come.
The Maker of our souls, our hearts,
says to just come.

“So the Lord must wait for you
to come to Him so He can show you
His love and compassion.”
(Isaiah 30:18 NLT)


If you would like a beautiful tool to use as you come to Him, as you quiet your heart in the midst of the busyness, you might want to use this book ... Whispers and Wildflowers: 30 Days to Slow Your Pace, Savor Scripture & Draw Closer to God by Sarah Beth Marr. The author writes, "So keep coming. Come when your heart is full and peaceful. Come when your heart is anxious and tied up in knots. Come in the morning. Come in the evening. Come in the heap of laundry. Come in the messy kitchen. Come in the middle of the ballet studio. Come in the outdoors or indoors. He's waiting." I am still learning, for every day, all through each day, we have a choice. May our first step be - to come, and to listen for His whispers as we quiet our hearts before Him.

Photo: from our 2015 visit to Disney World's Epcot Theme Park in Orlando.

Friday, April 5, 2019

Spring: A Time to Pause, Refresh



When the
signs of spring begin to appear,
a quarter of our new year has passed.
The new year that began with fresh
hopes and new goals, resolutions.

And as the long, cold winter passes,
a restlessness, a longing arises;
a thirst, a searching for new life.

Maybe our dreams have faded,
maybe our hopes have dimmed.
Or have we resorted to depending   
on our own strength and energy to 
accomplish all that we long for?

Spring is a time to pause, a time 
to press the “refresh” button
on our life, on our heart.
We need to slow our pace, stop 
our striving, and lean in close.

When the hush of spring wonder
arrives, when we find ourselves longing
for new growth, for new life …
let us lean in close to Him. To pause
our busyness, and to listen.

For growth does not come by striving;
new life and new blossoms come
naturally, in the quiet, as we still
our hearts and our minds to listen
intently and closely to Him.

“God, You are my God; I eagerly seek You;
I thirst for You; my body faints for You
in a land that is dry, desolate, and
without water.”  (Psalm 63:1 CSB)


(Thoughts on my heart and mind as I take some time this first week of April, pausing from my work and from my unending responsibilities. Taking time for quiet, to read back in my journal, to listen to His whispers. I am finding that I have become a bit worn down, tired out, depending on my own efforts to accomplish my dreams. And I’m reminded, again, of my ‘words for the year’ … undivided heart. May I have an undivided heart to take pockets of time, and also extended times, to pause, to slow my pace. May I have an undivided heart to listen. To You, Lord.)

Photo: Our Trip to Italy 2011

Monday, April 1, 2019

A Collection: Beautiful Life-Giving Words, Revive Essential Oils, Spring Pansies, and Fresh Fruit


Oh, I am so very ready for spring weather! And to start off this first day of April, here's a fun little collection of things that bring joy to my heart as I wait for the temps to rise! 

The photo above shows my current collection of life-giving words that I'm using for my treasured devo times of nurturing my heart. Spring calls for quiet retreats - listening to His Words, sharing my heart through journaling, and receiving His mercy, grace, and love ... what we are made for. 

From left to right in the  photo above:


Oh, how I have learned to love essential oils in the past three months. My use of oils began with a gift of the Young Living Premium Kit this past Christmas. I've learned a lot in just a few short months. And when I needed to replenish a few of the oils last month, I searched to see if there was a place where I could purchase the same quality of oils for less money. 

You can maybe imagine my excitement to find a fairly new company which produces the same quality of oils, tested by the same standards as the bigger MLM companies. I have been very pleased with REVIVE Essential Oils.


Spring means flowers!! I absolutely love the beauty of flowers, and can hardly wait to plant flowers in our patio pots, and flower gardens - all with the major help of my dear hubby, who has the "green thumb" in our family! 

But as I could not wait for the warmer weather to arrive, we picked up some beautiful pansy plants at Mulhall's (with a rewards coupon, so absolutely free to us)! We have three pots of these purple and white pansies in planters by our sliding glass doors looking out towards our patio. A breath of spring beauty ...


After a long, cold winter, these plates of fresh fruit remind me of  the beauty of spring and summer days, too. It was a treat to prepare these plates of spring/summer goodness this past weekend. We celebrated the birthdays of two of our grandsons ... twins, turning 10 years old, and one of their favorites is fresh fruit!

I am looking forward to this month - and though I do love all the seasons, spring is probably my very favorite season of all. 


Wishing each one reading this a
beautiful, life-giving season!

Happy Spring!