23

This is us on our Honeymoon in Lake Tahoe. We got married 23 years ago today. We were tiny babies. Everyone who met us that week thought we were teenagers that eloped. He was 25 and I was 20. All perfectly legal. 🥰 Sometimes people who know us tell us how cute we are together […]

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Paper Trails

Sailing ships and fairy wings, dragons’ hoards and precious rings, lands, languages, philosophies, broken hearts, and fantasies flit like feathers on a breeze, like ashes floating out to sea. Salt drops fall to ocean leagues like single sheets to libraries for lovers lost and battles won, for softened hearts and souls undone, for wolves that […]

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Not My Home

This world, this earth is not my home. (Oh blessed hope, oh hiraeth that quickens now my breath.)Her much hailed princes and her thrones are void of any power to change the heart or bring about shalom. The haughty eyes of man so full of plans they’re bulging out of place, cannot contain the fullness […]

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Tentacles

Trauma has no expiration date, no “use by” stamp, no certificate of death. Just when you thought, “Well, I’m glad that’s through,” its fungal rot wraps silent slithering tendrils ‘round your ankles, neck, and arms. Loose at first. Invisible at first. Like a mosquito on your neck, too small to tip a tiny scale or […]

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Portfolio

I have been unsure of where to go with my photography website for the past year or so. I am not currently pursuing photography full time as I am working full time at Samaritan Ministries. However, I did not like the idea of zapping all of my images off of the internet forever. I also […]

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Under The Dirt

This song was our comfort on one of the hardest days we have endured together. We held onto each other and cried our eyes out as this song beat its rhythm on our eardrums and hearts. It will never not make me cry because that day ripped us wide open, but it was in that […]

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No Going Back

“How do you pick up the threads of an old life? How do you go on, when in your heart you begin to understand… there is no going back? There are some things that time cannot mend. Some hurts that go too deep, that have taken hold.” – Frodo Baggins Frodo was right. There is […]

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Cloud of Witnesses

The worst text I’ve ever received. The words that pull the air right out of your lungs without your permission. A year ago at almost just this time. The moment you know is guaranteed to come but you are nonetheless completely unprepared for when it does. When I think about it, I still can’t help […]

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The Countdown is On

I could never have planned how Burke’s first year out of high school would be. In a million years I would have never imagined we’d get to spend so much “bonus” time together. Never could have imagined we’d be co-workers or that he would be going to University of Kentucky or joining the Air Force. […]

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Echo His Beauty

A friend posted this passage tonight, I’m sure for much different reasons than me. It ministered to my soul though as I lay here, awakened by my dreams and kept awake by thoughts that so easily wander and wonder if God can truly be trusted over the fears and anxieties that clamor for mental center-stage. […]

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The Undertow

My heart aches this morning as I think about all that is so broken about our world, nation, cities, churches, families, and hearts. As I read the thoughts of people who think the way to prevent children from being unwanted is to violently kill them before they can realize they are unwanted. As I read […]

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Peace in the Storms

Tonight I’m struggling to hold onto this truth as I awoke suddenly from a bad dream that brought up flashes of time against my will, things I must daily bury deep at the foot of the cross. Tonight I must hold fast to the truth that peace is something that Jesus brings where there was […]

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I Got Nothin’

9 As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. 10 For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to […]

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Adoption

Adoption is a beautiful thing. It changes each life touched by it, whether by sheer beauty or by the washing of constant waves of trauma. Not every adoption story involves the same level or variations of difficulties. But it is a double edged sword, for it always involves grief, and often compounded grief. It might […]

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Strong Spotless Lamb

Exodus 12:5-6 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male a year old. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats, 6and you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month, when the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill their lambs at twilight. How many times have I […]

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Breaking Yokes

Isaiah 58 3‘Why have we fasted, and you see it not? Why have we humbled ourselves, and you take no knowledge of it?’ Behold, in the day of your fast you seek your own pleasure, and oppress all your workers. 4 Behold, you fast only to quarrel and to fight and to hit with a […]

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Jesus Math

We cannot know salvation until we know that the life we need is found only in a dying savior. Our salvation is in the confounding mathematics of Christ that to decrease is to increase, to lose is to gain, to die is to live. Minus equals plus. It goes against everything rational within us. We […]

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His Eye is On the Cardinal

And I know he watches me… This morning I watched this beautiful, cheerful little friend of ours take his last breath. We saw his lovely lifelong friend fly away after he hit the window with a loud bang and fell to the ground. We heard her calling him from a nearby perch near their nesting […]

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Counselor Cred

It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man. – Psalm 118:8 Put not your trust in mere people. This includes those whom you are naturally inclined to trust. Jesus is infinitely more trustworthy than any one person or entity to which you have given too much power in your […]

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Benefit of the Doubt

Do not believe everything you hear about people. Especially if it doesn’t jive with what you know from actually knowing them. We owe one another a debt of love. That debt being paid is sometimes going to be in the form of the benefit of the doubt. Owe no one anything, except to love each […]

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A Winter Prayer

A Winter Prayer Good Maker, I stare at my bare branches and feel naked AshamedDid I not sign up to be Always Spring, Always Green?As I look down I can’t even see my roots All I see is leaf litter, the waste product of my past beauty – which may never come again. But as I think […]

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Master Craftsmen

This may come as a terrible shock but people are still going to die in 2017. It is right, of course, to be angry that death plays such a relentless role. And yet we are perennially shocked at its audacity. It’s like an endless game of whack-a-mole. And we hate it for its persistence in […]

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Promises, Promises

God makes promises to His people. Can you imagine, as a child perhaps, being promised something and never paying attention to what the promise is? Most kids will pretty much never let their dad forget the ice cream he promised, or the puppy, or the special time together. And they will never ever forget what […]

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Thanks

I’m thankful for God’s faithfulness through the hardest year of my life thus far. I’m thankful for my job and for the opportunity to work with people who love Jesus so much. I am thankful that I get to pray with and minister to hearts that are afraid, in shock, grieving, tremblingly trusting as part […]

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WTNFTT

The last few weeks on social media has had me going:  WT #&%*@! The sadness, fear, and rage that it stirred in me was ugly.  This media may be social, but, in many hearts, has only led to forming more polarized tribes.  (This point has been made very forcefully and eloquently by Senator Ben Sasse […]

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Sans Dad

Apartment ownership/management is not for the faint of heart. It’s hard work. I’m so proud of my mom, sister, brother in law, and nieces in their first “sans Dad” apartment turn-over. My mom found out this was going to be vacated just a few days after Dad died. I was so worried this notification was […]

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Learn to Love Like Jesus

We must learn to love as Christ loves us. Giving love. Being present for people in their hardest times. Being living sacrifices. And we must do it all without any expectation that they will be around for us in our loneliest or most painful experiences. None of Jesus’s best friends stood by him or cried […]

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Art Therapy

It’s good, in the midst of a year of deep losses, to find a thing to do that feeds your soul. I just began painting last year. I have done a few acrylic pieces. The other day I decided I wanted to learn to watercolor so I bought some supplies. I painted an apple and […]

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Trusted Sender

In Sunday School, our teachers have been leading us through the key doctrines that anchor our understanding of the Church and Discipleship. This past Sunday we were discussing the inerrancy and authority of Scripture. The main points emphasized were the Authority and Clarity of Scripture. Scripture is authoritative, not because it is a magic book […]

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Love is Risky

There is no love existent in the light of glory that has not the shadow of sorrow moving around it. Friends, love is inherently risky. It’s dangerous even, because we know some days it will be painful. Some days it will require more than we want to relinquish. When we choose to love another with […]

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All will look

I love it that people gathered and gazed in awe at the beauty and wonder at God’s amazingly synchronized heavenly light show today. The sense of anticipation. The shouts of wonder. The laughter. Now imagine the Son of God in all of his glory… Revelation 1 16 In his right hand he held seven stars, […]

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Sanger’s Many Ironies

I’ve been reading some of Margaret Sanger’s writings lately to catch the many obvious flaws but also the many ironies in her thought processes in order to elucidate the trajectory of ideas that led to Planned Parenthood in its current diabolical iteration. Ironically she nailed some real societal ills. She effectively calls out Christians for […]

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Trembling Gates

“Beloved, if it had been possible to destroy the church of God on earth, it would have been destroyed long ago.” -Spurgeon And the gates of hell quiver at her love and submission to His call. For they know she will prevail because every footstep in her humble sojourn on this ball through stormy gale […]

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It’s Dark

Zeph. 3:17 The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. Friends, if you are suffering or fearful or afraid that the trials you are facing mean He’s […]

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Good stuff and Giveaways

I used Grammarly to grammar check this post because I am suffering from Summer-induced Grammnesia. It’s a serious ailment, common to homeschool moms (and maybe any teacher), wherein your ability to find and detect grammatical errors has been temporarily debilitated due to the summer heat and sudden onset of freedom. Speaking of homeschooling, we are […]

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Christmas Fractals

During some of our recent Advent readings I’ve had some great reminders of how God shows HImself in fractals. You know what fractals are, right? Fractals are essentially self-similar repeating patterns whether you view them from far off or extremely close-up. They are all over the place in nature. They are where math and art meet. As […]

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Awww rats!

I’m not sure what happened. It’s all a blur. I went to the feed store innocently seeking a few bags of chick feed and somehow I accidentally came home with 10 pounds of chick feed, 2 little rats and 5 pounds of rat food. You are probably now EEEKing or (like me) AWWWing. I had […]

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Walk with me

(For my friends who grieve.) Walk with me or I walk alone. I cannot talk; There are no words. Nothing helps or heals this broken open gaping wide jagged edges bleeding on the inside. I’m like a vapor. Barely here and still I Walk walk walk. Walk with me as my covering in the black […]

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A Productive Day

One thing I’ve learned about the internet is that it’s selective. Good bloggers are selective with what they share. They generally avoid sharing too many piles of dirty laundry. They might share the occasional “keepin’ it real – This is my morning face” kind of pictures but they know that too much of that will […]

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Tonsil Boy

Over the past few months I’ve taken to calling my oldest son, “Tonsil Boy.” He has had Strep Throat 5 times in a row… I think it’s 5 anyway. A lot. I’ve lost count. No sooner would he finish a round of antibiotics before coming down with it again. Essentially someone in our house has […]

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Tax laughs…

I don’t know why I thought of this today. Maybe it’s because we went in to sign our tax forms today and the lady at the reception desk smiled at our brood and said, “It looks like you have a couple of deductions!” I just thought it sounded like a great congratulatory greeting card from […]

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The dresser and the thief

Today I bought an old ugly dresser with nice bones at the local thrift store. It was just your standard 1970’s wood dresser. I brought it home, sanded the living daylights out of it and painted it a vibrant teal. Yes. You heard me right. Teal. Pictures to come soon. But as I wait for […]

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The people need clothes

They are literally threatening to go naked. Now granted, part of this is due to the fact that they have not been faithfully bringing their laundry down and running it through. But the large pile of clothes on my floor will attest to the fact that I’m not always the best at getting the laundry […]

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Everything.

I love everything about this picture. It was my Mom’s SOMETHINGth birthday. (She doesn’t believe the number and neither do I so why mention it?) And we sort of surprised her by showing up at lunchtime and then staying all day and then making fajitas for dinner and then making a 4 layer vanilla cake […]

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Hectic Life Means Dinner Suffers

Last night, I got home from Blissdom and was exhausted in every way. Top that off with the fact that I was sick. I think gastroenteritis is the culprit. Ugh. I did not want to cook and hubby had just done 5 days solo with our 4+1 kids and wasn’t up to cooking either. My […]

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The Mall

When we lived in Canada, we used to go to the mall just in order to get out of the house when it was too cold to go anywhere else. Since moving back home to California, we have only set foot in a mall about maybe 10 times (not including strip malls that include things […]

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Walking through God's open doors

This morning I read this post by Alece at Grit and Glory. Basically she argues against the common Christian sentiment, “If God wants us there, then everything will work out. The doors will keep opening for us, and everything will just come together.” I must say that I agree with her. Of course most people probably […]

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Olliver's Travels

Before my husband left for his orientation in Phoenix with Food for the Hungry, we decided that we wanted a fun way for Daddy to share with the kids where in the world he was and what he did throughout his time. While his travels won’t necessarily be far and wide just yet, he will […]

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Making the Best of the Distance (AKA Why I love Skype)

My hunkahunkaburninlove comes home from Staff Orientation in Arizona at Food for the Hungry tomorrow. Oh, I’m so happy. I’m so happy he’s coming home but I’m so so happy he loves his job. I’m so excited about this organization. I’m very thankful. But I’m still really happy he’s coming home tomorrow. It’s not quite the […]

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Be Weak

Jesus loves me, this I know For the Bible tells me so Little ones to Him belong, They are weak but HE is strong WE are weak. We are cast down. We are burdened. We are mournful, weary, empty, shaking and crumpled at our savior’s feet. We cannot even lift our heads. What becomes of […]

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Joys and Sorrows

Joys and sorrows crows and sparrows droughts and downpours hearts and arrows Is life ever and forever all a mix of pain and pleasure Blood and water ice and fire grace and graveyards doom and shire hopes and fears crowns and crosses cribs and caskets gains and losses Will the always be a never this […]

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Christ Entered In

Oh, there is a day, and it hurts like hell, when it seems like the sun has gone away, soul sorrow so deep that no mouth can tell, but Jesus has felt it on the world’s darkest day. Sleep will not come and tears will not end, the sorrow so great it’s just under your […]

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Come untrue…

Sam’s question is the cry of our hearts today. But Sam lay back, and started with open mouth, and for a moment, between bewilderment and great joy, he could not answer. At last has gasped: ‘Gandalf! I thought you were dead! But then I thought I was dead myself. Is everything sad going to come untrue? What’s […]

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Can you believe?

Today I read Fahrenheit 451 for the first time ever? I can’t believe I graduated high school almost 17 years ago and I just now read this book?  Pathetic. Oh my goodness.  It couldn’t be a more timely read.  Took me about 15 pages to get into it and to get passed, or rather accustomed to, the […]

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Thoughts on Christmas Sunday

I recently read this post by Ed Stetzer along with other articles on the same subject several weeks back. I must humbly say that I am both truly sad and disappointed about this 6%. Our lives are not our own, our time is not our own, our money is not our own, The Lord’s Day […]

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I don't have a title.

I’m tired. Too tired to come up with a fetching title. Physically, emotionally, spiritually and in every other way. Tired. I’m tired of the daily grind, the trials and responsibilities of parenting, homeschooling, cooking, working, looking for work for my husband. Tired of moving and tired of thinking of moving. Tired of messes, stresses, laundry, […]

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Nieces

I, as you know, am a mom of four boys.  Four boys who, tonight in particular, can sometimes drive me mad with their incessant boyish craziness.  Love them and all but sometimes I seriously just feel a wee tad alone (no offense, Cupcake, but you don’t much count for making me feel a lot of […]

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Bring on the Rain?

Someone this morning posited the question; “If you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain”.  Anyone else think this applies to home educating? How? The rainbow… A sign of God’s promise not to destroy us all…. yes, I need that regularly.  We are a testy bunch.  The rain of trials and testing […]

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Praying to Facebook

Recently, in the heat of my 1st world miserable annoyance with FB as fellow human beings around the world go hungry and without the knowledge of a savior, I was pondering the role of FB in my life.  I was pondering, “hmm… what did we do with all of our unexpressed thoughts before FB (and […]

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Beautiful

God is teaching me so much about His grace and infinite mercy and kindness lately.  Circumstances are not ideal and they rarely are for our own liking.  As humans we always can think of something, diminutive or grandiose, worth tweaking that would presumably make circumstances just *that* much more pleasant for us, one way or […]

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Birthday Art

My oldest child just turned 11 yesterday. It’s hard to believe I’m old enough to be the parent of a pre-teen. Really hard to believe. As in, I don’t think it’s possible. I’m still 23. He received art supplies, as per his request, for his birthday. Paints, brushes, etc. Today he whipped them all out […]

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Living Water

Last night I was awakened at 3 a.m. by someone who didn’t feel well. Unfortunately for me that meant that I could not fall back asleep until about 6 a.m. because I was decorating our new place (that we move into in about 3-4 weeks) in my head and the decorator in my brain would […]

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Colorful

The boys are involved in a local church’s AWANA scripture memory program which they all really love. Each week has some sort of theme. This past week was crazy hair night. While one of my kids was initially reticent about participating (well, actually more negative than mere reticence) I eventually convinced him to “let down […]

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Gentle Shepherd

Gentle Shepherd, fierce protector bind my wounds, my soul inspector. Table turner, Humble servant break my heart, and crush the serpent. Sea Commander, water walker calm my spirit as I falter. Gracious Savior, sin’s contender grant my heart a calm surrender. King anointed, older brother let me never serve another. World creator, people buyer, wash […]

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Word Clouds

Words are like clouds that float out of reach, hovering vapors, looking solid to touch, they come in as thoughts that drift into speech, like sprinkles or showers, too little or much. Some words like cirrus are high wisps of cloud if the pressure agrees and conditions are nice, but many will make their way […]

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Little Bits of I-Love-You

Stuck-on sparkles, old elastic metal clips and see-through plastic, Bits of paper, string and glue, little flecks of I-love-you. A stick with arms, some legs, a head, some frizzled hair (just bits of thread) “It’s you!” a finger points in ballyhoo to little marks of I-love-you. Some hearts float ’round about the air A rainbow […]

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Imago Dei Coram Deo

You fashioned us in Imago Dei, soft moons to the sun’s bright glorious ray. We see through a glass though dimly light, a pallid opaque between morning and night. We are but mirrors all broken and cracked, your light, we, in imperfect prisms refract. Coram Deo, we live under your gaze, though your face yet […]

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Silly Boys

I have silly boys.  They are funny and witty and artistic and creative and all the wonderful (and maddening) things that come along with that kind of personality.  They surprise me with their creations.  Sometimes I’m floored by the ingenuity.  And then other times I just scratch my head and wonder.  And then let out […]

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Christmas ‘n’ stuff

Life has such a way of sneaking up on you and getting busy doesn’t it?  I for one like it.  And then I experience the relief of getting back to routine.  It’s all just a matter of riding the waves on the peaks and the troughs.  This past year has been more of a ride […]

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How beautiful…

Everyone needs to see this. As English speaking Christians we have completely lost the wonder and amazement of being able to read God’s word in our own language. We have copies of it everywhere… Lord, that I might treasure your word as these people do. My husband and I wept as we watched this and […]

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A Labor of Love

Tonight during our advent reading we read about Mary. The reading pointed out that she was really the very first Christian. Kiss the Son She was the first one that believed, the first to call Him Savior, her savior Jesus, she received, was Emmanuel inside her. The Holy Spirit wrought in Mary salvation’s only hope […]

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Barren One, Rejoice!

You were cast off and deserted like a wife, in your spirit you were grieved for the innocence of youth you lost. Your spirit was ravaged and bereaved. You were afraid and shaken like a widow, confounded at your sure disgrace. But you shall not feel your loss forever, the memory of reproach shall be […]

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The True Son

Jesus, the true Adam Jesus, the true Joshua Jesus, the true Moses Jesus, the true Israel Jesus, our Immanuel Israel once fled to Egypt’s gleams during famine in their own lands. God ordained it through Joseph’s dreams and Israel’s sons’ corrupted hands. Jesus was ushered to Egypt too. Corruption of Israel’s “sons,” it  would seem, […]

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The Conquering King

Oh Christian, take heart, no need for despair for hope is the thing that is filling the air! No fear for tomorrow or what is to come for Christ is the King and earth his Kingdom! At Christmas we hear the songs of the king the babe in the manger who changed everything. We hear […]

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Repentance

How can I answer the Lord of Hosts? Behold, I am of lowly account. I can do nothing but cover my mouth. Before God to what do I amount? I’ve spoken once, which was one too much I will not attempt to answer the Lord. Should I proceed and answer twice, the aftermath I could […]

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When God Answers

A whirlwind thundered and God spoke aloud demanding, “Who dares question God? You speak as if you know my ways, as if you hold my measuring rod! Tell, me if you understand it all! Where were you when I laid out the earth, when the sea was established in form? Where were you on the […]

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Testing Testing 1-2-3

Recently I heard some arguments from Christians that God doesn’t test us. A look through scripture will clearly reveal the opposite though. God most definitely tests us. Clearly we don’t like the idea of tests. They make us squirm. They might make us feel sick. We are typically afraid of failure. As I thought about […]

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My Redeemer

Who is righteous before our God? Who can contend with his might? One could give a thousand answers, but not a one would be right. Wise in heart and mighty in strength, He seals up the stars and rules the sun. In his anger the mountains he uproots, for who can ask, “God, what have […]

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The King

Hallelujah! Salvation and glory belong to Him Each one of His judgments is true and just. For He has crushed underfoot the whoring one who corrupted the earth with her craven lust. For all of the righteous who e’er have been slain He’s avenged upon her that blemished His name. The blood of His prophets […]

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Boys

I’m sitting here at the park watching my boys play. Jumping, leaping, climbing, and pretty much doing anything that they think worth the risk of failure and injury. Play is work for them. It is learning. They are playing at what is a good risk and what is a bad risk. I once had a […]

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Thought

All things seem very large to us as children because we are so small. People seem big, cars seem big, buildings seem big… everything. Big, big, big. And as we grow those things seem to shrink somehow, sometimes to disappointing proportions because we are bigger, we’ve seen more, we know more. We’re not looking up […]

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The Word

In the beginning was the Word, the Word by which the world was given birth, the only Word that holds all things together and brought salvation to the earth. This Word is with and is our God, that Word which is the light of all mankind. This Word which is a lamp unto our footsteps, […]

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America's Eden

Long ago and far away were heavy hearts struck deep with hope, with longing stare unto the distant “over there,” with a sigh, a tear. It seemed like dreaming, to some a joke, this hope they held so tight Whispers of peace and land and liberty fell on every listening ear. Farther still in other […]

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The Vine

I have learned a new song this past week and I am rather ODing on it at this point.  I really like ODing on songs of praise to our God.  I don’t think I can quite do it often enough.  Something tells me I won’t get bored at all with all the constant praise going […]

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Halloween in a NUTshell

Emphasis on NUT.  Cause my kids are nuts.  But their my nuts.  And I love ’em. This is a soldier.  Private Ryan?  I don’t know really.  Someone brave and rugged though.  And looking shell-shocked. My Motley Crew This is what happened when I said, “Get in character!!” This is Igor. This is my little Rescue […]

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Not Forsaken

Common Grief by Edith Hays Mulligan (my Great Grandmother) We are all crushed in the winepress of a common grief, squeezed by death one way or another, yielding a drink sweet as wine or bitter as vinegar, a thank offering to God or a sour sponge to the parched lips of a crucified Christ. The […]

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Even At Night

Over the past few months you have followed my story and prayed with me and for me, that God might heal me and give me rest.  There were many nights that I lay awake remembering, admittedly at times with bitterness, His promise, “…for he grants sleep to those he loves.”  I am pleased to tell […]

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