Sunday, November 28, 2010

Chasing Rainbows



"When I send clouds over the earth, the rainbow will appear in the clouds,"

God delights in putting examples all around us that can speak to us if we're listening.  Last week I drove all over an unfamiliar neighborhood, possibly even breaking a few traffic rules to find a spot where I could capture this breathtaking rainbow!

There is no . . .

height without depth,
dawn without dark,
found without lost,
reunion without parting
victory without defeat,
rainbow without storm.

We would never know how high the mountaintop is unless we had been to the valley.  Our hearts would not thrill to the first rays of sunrise without experiencing the long dark night.  If we had never known the panic of a missing child (even if only for a moment), we would not know the utter euphoric relief of the moment of finding that lost little one.  Without the ominous black-clouded drama of the storm played out in a wild sky, we wouldn't know how much the rainbow's promise means.

When I was growing up, one of my favorite things to do on the weekend was to watch ABC's Wide World of Sports.  I loved the opening words spoken by Jim McKay, "Spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of sport... the thrill of victory... and the agony of defeat... "  Who could forget the scene of that hapless ski jumper and his terrifying wreck that accompanied the phrase, "the agony of defeat?"  The fact is that in sports, and in life, if there was no "agony of defeat," there would be no "thrill of victory" either.  What you may see as inevitable defeat is only the setup for your comeback story, and everyone knows that great comeback stories finish with equally great victory celebrations!  

Life's most intense joy is most distinctly outlined
against the backdrop of it's deepest struggles.
It is in the contrasted lows and highs,
darkness and light,
defeats and victories
we experience God's greatest beauty.

I don't know who you are or what you might be facing.  I do know that there are people going through storms of many kinds right now--you are not alone!  I just want to encourage you with the thought that in God's forecast for the lives of His children, every storm ends with a rainbow!  I pray that we will learn in the storm to see the black clouds as the perfect backdrop for the blindingly beautiful rainbow that is surely on its way!



Have you chased any rainbows lately?
How have you experienced God in the contrasts of life?

__________________________________________

I'm joining Ann Voskamp in her counting of the multitude of gifts God bestows everyday!
I hope you'll join in if you haven't already!


holy experience

#131-145

131.  Cooperation
132.  Collaboration
133.  The 4 of us, TOGETHER over coffee, work, reading, dreaming, just being US
134.  The echoes of the first Thanksgiving where one of my ancestors gave thanks
135.  Traditions that keep faith and family close
136.  Grandma's Brownie Recipe
137.  Passing on recipes and how-to's to She-So-Sweet because she asked
138.  The smell of Hero Husband's frying turkeys and the taste of the one he smoked
139.  The invention of the telephone that lets me talk to Mom & Daddy 1200 miles away
140.  My sister-in-law rescuing me from a frustrating conversation 
141.  That I didn't have to go anywhere on Black Friday
142.  Easy holiday weekend mornings when everyone can sleep in
143.  Seeing Drummer Boy thrive and excel in his job
144.  A voice on the other end of the phone line who knows what you should do
145.  The way he and I came out of the sermon with the same thoughts

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

When Thanksgiving Goes Missing


"God is sometimes the strength of His people, when He is not their song"
IVP NT Commentary on Psalm 118

Have you ever been there--are you there now--where God is holding you together, but your heart just cannot find a song?  You want to sing, but you don't have the spiritual breath it takes to run the notes through your vocal chords.  You WANT to be thankful--but REALLY thankful, not just listing gratitude because you're SUPPOSED TO and you know you SHOULD be thankful for so many things.  Underneath the debris of current hardships, you are actually thankful for these things but you can hardly find them in the clutter of your messy emotions.  You're fighting the cloying fumes of fear that everything you're thankful for today might be gone tomorrow because you're thinking of things you've already lost.

Uh-huh . . . me too.

So where do you run to find the real from-the-inside-out kind of gratitude that makes Thanksgiving spring out of you like a song?

Will turkey and pumpkin pie and family gathered around the fireplace get you there?

That's a start, and certainly those are precious gifts from the God who loves you and who created the whole idea of celebration in the first place, but no, by themselves, these are not enough to get you all the way to real gratitude.  For me, no matter how wonderful the celebration with my husband's family is (and it is truly wonderful!) and no matter how much they have added to my life (more than I can express!), Thanksgiving is always laced with missing too.

I miss being with my own family, all far away, and I haven't had a Thanksgiving with all of my side of the family since I was a little girl.  I miss my Mom & Daddy and all our inside jokes and family words no one else knows. I miss my brothers and their teasing!   I miss pumpkin pie and mashed potatoes and gravy--Hero Husband's family (who are extraordinarily talented in the kitchen) loves sweet potato pie and macaroni and cheese instead, which I also love and wouldn't trade away, but I miss MY things. I miss my Grandma Ellen's Scalloped Corn and my Grandma Laurene playing the organ and saying, "Bless your heart!" I miss hearing the genetic harmony of Mom, Grandma Ellen and Auntie Marilyn laughing together--their combined joy was the most contagious sound I've ever heard!  I miss sneaking off to watch football with Daddy and the other men and boy cousins while I was expected to be in the kitchen with the women.  I miss Grandpa Earl's stories and how they opened him up and made him laugh. I miss Grandpa Dale's feisty-sweet ways and his generous heart.  Grandma Ellen and Grandpa Earl, Grandma Laurene and Grandpa Dale are all with Jesus now--I miss them.

I miss. The way. It was.

Where are you Lord?  Help me find Thanksgiving again!

He reminds me how I love the first line of the 23rd Psalm in French--

"L'Eternel est mon berger.
      Je ne manquerai de rien."  

The Everlasting is my shepherd.  I shall miss nothing.

I. Shall. Miss. Nothing.

I shall miss NOTHING!

In His Presence, we won't miss ANYTHING!!!  Someday when we are with Him in Eternity there will be no such thing as missing, no such thing as lack!  There will only be overflowing love and songs of gratitude and feasting and sharing and celebrating and laughing like nothing we've ever known on earth!  Even now, His Presence with us can fill our emptiness if we will let Him.  He is the Heart-Keeper, and He keeps everything our hearts hold dear, so we can trust Him with our gratitude.  He isn't just setting us up for more loss.  L'Eternel pours His everlastingness into our fleeting moments and captures them forever.  They are not lost--ever!


Maybe we have to look forward in order to be to be thankful for the here and now, for surely what glitters here is only "a foretaste of glory divine."  Maybe we have to let our missing remind us of how blessed we are to have experienced times and things and people so beautiful that we miss them when they're away from us.  Maybe giving ourselves fully to every moment as it happens will give us new joys we haven't even anticipated.  Maybe seeing God's loving hand in every good and perfect gift, past, present and future will slay our fears and release our voices in thankful song!!

Trust the Heart-Keeper, L'Eternel!

"O GIVE thanks to the Lord, for He is good;
for His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever!
~~
The Lord is my Strength and Song;
and He has become my Salvation."



If you're struggling with gratitude this Thanksgiving season, I pray that you will open your heart to the Heart-Keeper, the One who, if you put your faith in His Son Jesus Christ, cannot lose you!  I pray that you will trust God with your gratitude, knowing that ultimately you shall miss nothing!  I pray for God's richest and sweetest blessings on you and your family this Thanksgiving and always.  May you experience Him as both your strength AND song!! And as my Grandma Laurene would say, Bless Your Heart!!



holy experience

Sunday, November 21, 2010

From Among the Thorns


Voices lifted in praise, a soaring song swells through the gathered worshipers. Everything is beautifully prepared for filling the sanctuary with joy.

Why is it then, that so many faces wear such pained expressions?

True enough, some people are bringing praise in spite of tremendous pain in their lives. I have been there myself, and know that sometimes the only praise we can bring is saturated with tears and laced with pain. That is perfectly legitimate and understandable--these offerings are immeasurably precious to God.  It is not to this situation I am directing my thoughts.

So here's what I've noticed--I have been in churches all my life, and there is a common phenomenon that has me puzzled.  Some people, and sometimes even whole churches, get into a habit of acting as though the facial expression most indicative of spirituality is somber, serious, on-the-verge-of-tears and twisted into a mask of pain. These sorrowful expressions can be about as pleasant and inviting as the thorns on a cactus. Is this really what devotion looks like? What will non-believers and young people think about life in Christ if all they see in our faces is agony and if all they hear is about how hard life is?



I'm not sure where this comes from.  Maybe some people think that because Jesus was prophetically called "A man of sorrows" by Isaiah, we should put on a face full of sorrow.  Maybe it has to do with the call to mourn over our sin and to see it as a grievous thing.  Wherever it originates, we may need to do some recalibrating and find out what other expressions God's Word encourages.

"Strength and dignity are her clothing,
         And she smiles at the future."Proverbs 31:25 NASB

"But let all who take refuge in You be glad,
Let them ever sing for joy;
And may You shelter them,
That those who love Your name may exult in You."Psalm 5:11 NASB

"May the God of hope fill you with all

joy and peace as you trust in him,
so that you may overflow with hope
by the power of the Holy Spirit."Romans 1513 NIV

These are a mere sampling of the many, many passages that talk about the joy of the believer, the uplifted countenance, the reasons to rejoice, the heart overflowing with gladness--gladness to the point of shouting and singing with great delight.





Life on earth is fraught with thorns and barbs, it's true.  But for the Christ-follower who is indwelt by the Holy Spirit, our faces should most often be, not like the cactus, but like dazzling bright cactus flowers that come bursting forth from among the thorns. Such surprising beauty in the midst of the thorns is testimony to the beautiful heart of the One who turns our mourning into dancing, the One who gives us inexplicable joy in the midst of trial.



What does your facial expression tell people about Jesus?
Do you choose to dwell on the thorns or bloom with all your might?
______________________________________________________

One way to be a cactus flower is to give thanks to God for His every touch.  
I'm joining Ann Voskamp in her counting of the multitude of gifts God bestows everyday!
I hope you will join in if you haven't already!

holy experience


#116-130

116. Grappling with truth and getting stronger
117. Isaiah's old, old words that promise future glory
118. Faithful women who Ask, Seek, Knock on my behalf
119. Laughing so hard I can't catch my breath
120. Sharing movies I have loved with She So Sweet
121. Mom & Daddy who are my biggest cheerleaders
122. A wonderful walk with She So Sweet to Hidden Lakes
123. Online maps with street level views so I can give Drummer Boy good directions on his adventure in the city
124. The moment I hear Drummer Boy's key in the door telling me he's home safe from that crazy city
125. Courage bolstered by the best motivational speaker I know:  Hero Husband
126. Hearing the score Drummer Boy created for a Christmas performance, and watching the music that flowed out of him print out in sheet music
127. Kindred spirits
128. Gentle voices
129. The sound of the rain late at night when everything else is quiet
130. The forking splendor of lightning and the rumbling thunder that gallops after it

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Chew, Test, Pray


I would like to think that peer pressure only afflicts teenagers.


But it doesn't.


It jumps up and grabs my heels every once in awhile and afflicts a decidedly post-teen me.  It clings with a tenacity that surprises me, and I find myself fighting to regain my equilibrium.  I stop and look at it to see what is trying to make me move in a direction of it's own choosing.  More surprise!  The peer pressure is emanating from the voices of other Christians I admire.


I have been reading words and hearing admonitions written and spoken by people I truly follow as they follow Jesus; words full of truth and light and . . . Him.  'Yes!' I think, 'I agree with much of their thinking . . . So w
hy do I feel so uneasy? Is this disconcerted feeling a good thing, or not?' This time I think not.


Then comes the questioning, wondering if I'm on the wrong side of what they are saying.  Wait . . . conviction is a disconcerting feeling . . . is that what this is?  That's not what it feels like.  But I start scrambling anyway, trying to fix everything they said to fix, leaping to knock down the particulars of what they said was pride . . . or could be.


The whole time I'm running around "fixing," a quieter, calmer, un-frantic thought is politely asking for notice.  'You're repenting for things you're not sorry about.  You're fixing things that aren't broken.  Have you asked Me what I think about this . . . and you?'  No, I realize, I'm running to stay with the crowd.  I'm worrying about what they'll think of me if I don't make these changes.  This is like high school when I bought a pair of shoes I hated in a desperate bid to fit in with the cool kids.  I'm responding to peer pressure, not to Spirit molding.


Confused thoughts swirl around in my head, bumping into one another, bumping into me, upsetting my sense of where I was going and why.  I know better than to swallow before I chew, and yet that's exactly what I started to do!  What was I thinking?  What if they think I'm less spiritual than they are?  What if they misinterpret my motives and think me prideful?  What if they think I love Jesus less than they do? Yuck! This CANNOT be what God wants running through my mind today!!



Are 'they' my God or is God my God?
GOD is MY GOD!
"We all, with unveiled faces, are reflecting the glory of the Lord and are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory; this is from the Lord who is the Spirit." 2 Corinthians 3:18 HCSB
  Whose job is it to make me like Jesus?  Theirs or His?
It is the Holy Spirit's job to make me like Jesus!
~~~

It isn't even MY job to make me like Jesus--my job is to be a mirror!


There for a little while I almost forgot that God isn't working to make us, His people, to all be like each other.

God is working
in all of us . . .
to make each of us . . .
just like Jesus Christ.

That is the ultimate relief from peer pressure in any form.  From "glory to glory" He makes His adjustments in us, moving us ever closer to that glorious image of His Son. He does not do this collectively in huge batch processes, but individually, with high resolution, pixel-by-pixel personalized attention.  We can learn from and influence one another as we submit personally to His attentions, but it is never a one size fits all walk.  How He is working in you may be completely different than what He needs to do in me and vice versa.  He may be moving you east of your current position and moving me west of mine.  If I try to follow directions He is giving you, I might actually be going the wrong direction from where I am!

The trick is to always . . .


. . . chew before I swallow . . .
. . . test before I trust . . .
. . . pray before I move.




What a hope we have in knowing that someday our transformation will be complete, that the reflection will be true, that we will be LIKE HIM!



"Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known.  But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see Him as He is." 1 John 3:2 NIV







Do you ever catch yourself people-pleasing?
How do you fight the temptation?



An old song, but it expresses our hope
of future glory so powerfully!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Daddy Painted the Doors Red

--
Up and down the neatly laid out streets of our little Iowa town were big old wonderful houses that stood stately and dignified  where they'd stood for decades.

Almost all of them were white.

Ours was white too, until . . .

Daddy painted the front door bright red!

What did people think, I wonder?  These tried and true traditional Iowans--what did they make of the young basketball coach and his strange door-painting ideas!?  Didn't he know the rules?  Was he a rebel?  Red wasn't even one of the school colors!  What did it mean???

To him it meant "pizzazz!"  After all it was his favorite color!!  It was vivid and bright and positive--all things that he is.  The red door was his way of making it OUR house, distinct and memorable.  Painting the door red was the smile he put on our house to match the one he always wears!

I was 5 and I was delighted!  How deliciously scandalous it felt to have that flashy red door on our big white house!  It was outside the box, made from a different mold, marching to a different drummer.  It was NOT normal!  To me the red door meant extraordinary!

I had to reach up high to hold his hand, and I didn't know that I had only begun to glimpse the extraordinariness of my daddy and the life he knew how to live.  He still does!  Never confined by the pressure to be conventional, he has broken free over and over again to express the passion that lives in his heart for God and for people.

Don't let me be conventional Lord!

There are many voices in the church telling people how to worship, how not to worship, that you can't do anything that draws attention to yourself or smacks of performance value, it must be 'this way' and no other.

Be a white house with a white door. It's not about you!  Don't stand out, blend in, conform, fade into the background.  This may not be the intention, but with endless repetition the message is loud and clear.  Our young people hear it, not as a call to live for God instead of themselves, but to live quiet, shrink down, don't dance or yell or shake the world!  The problem is, God made us as unique and different as snowflakes wherein He says out loud that He wants to express Himself through us in multi-facets!  No, it's not about me or a prideful grab for attention for myself, but it takes all of us, in enthusiastic uniqueness, to display His immense personality. Even then we'll only begin to scratch the surface!

I don't want to break rules for the sake of breaking them, but never let me shrink from breaking the ones that get in His way!  Jesus broke lots of rules right in the middle of living perfectly for His Father.  He healed on the Sabbath, He asked a Samaritan woman for a drink on His way to saving her soul, He touched lepers and dead people so He could restore them to health and life!

God, let me burst forth in expressions of who You made me to be, let me be the door You paint bright red, the smile You put on the little corner of the world where I live for You!  Never let me be burdened with words like ordinary and normal, should and shouldn't. Instead release my passion for You in ways that sparkle and brighten up every life You allow me to touch!

I would rather offend some with my door-painted-red
than to profane God's great Name by failing to be extraordinary!

"For we are God’s masterpiece.
He has created us anew in Christ Jesus,
so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago."
1800 miles,
an entire country away
and 40 years later,
Daddy still paints his door red!

What are the red doors in your life?
Do you have any white doors of conformity that desperately need a coat of red paint?
______________________________________________________

I'm joining Ann Voskamp's Gratitude Community for her Multitude Monday.
I hope you will join in if you haven't already!

holy experience


#101-115
101. Looking back and seeing how far we've come
102. Knowing You don't give up on me
103. Old songs written by a shepherd-king who followed hard after Your heart and expressed what's in mine
104. You always come through just in time, even when I think You're late
105. Courage words from unmet Christian sisters who join me in the faith walk
106. Late night talk with Drummer Boy after his night out with friends
107. Hero Husband's laugh
108. The oh-so-familiar sights and sounds of a high school football game and seeing it all again through She-So-Sweet's starry eyes
109. The rodeo mom I've yet to meet in person sharing books she loves with me!
110. Long overdue catching-up conversation with Mama-in-love
111. The way they love weekend breakfasts
112. New knowledge of old history that explains. . . and warns . . . and guides my now
113. Being needed
114. Being wanted
115. Hero Husband's midday call to say, "You are enough!"

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Daughters of Eve


Weighed in the balance and found wanting . . . found wanting . . . found wanting . . .
Wow! Who turned up the reverb?  :)

This is the loop that plays and plays and plays in my mind as I look across the scales of perfectionism at that ideal me over there on the other side.  Why can't I be like her, like the me I want to be?!!

SLIM, ATHLETIC, HEALTHY AND IN SHAPE
BEAUTIFUL FACE, HAIR, MAKEUP, CLOTHES
ALWAYS ON TIME, NEVER FORGETS
PRIORITIZES PERFECTLY, NEVER PROCRASTINATES
ALWAYS PREPARED, EVEN FOR THE UNEXPECTED
ALWAYS KNOWS WHAT TO SAY
ALWAYS LIVES UP TO HER POTENTIAL
OVERCOMES OBSTACLES AS THOUGH THERE WEREN'T ANY
ACHIEVES EVERY GOAL, ACCOMPLISHES EVERY DREAM
ALWAYS HAS MEALS READY, GOURMET AND ON TIME
AMAZINGLY TALENTED WRITER, PHOTOGRAPHER, TOO HUMBLE TO THINK SO
WRITES BOOKS THAT CHANGE LIVES
SUCCESSFUL BUSINESSWOMAN WITH SIX-FIGURE PROFITS
HAS A SPOTLESS HOUSE, LAUNDRY ALWAYS DONE
NEVER HAS ANYTHING TO BE SORRY FOR
NEVER INCONVENIENCES ANYONE, NEVER LETS ANYONE DOWN
PERFECTLY EXUDES THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT IN EVERY SITUATION
ALWAYS PLEASES GOD, MAY BE THE MODEL FOR PROVERBS 31
LOOKS SO MUCH LIKE JESUS PEOPLE CAN'T TELL THEM APART

That's who I wish I was, but I am never ENOUGH. 

"Daughters of Eve never are!" sneers the lying whisperer.

Women are unwitting heirs of a peculiar fault line that cracked Eve's heart when she first believed Satan's lie that she was not enough.  He was like the very first magazine in the grocery store line claiming it has secrets to a better you--"Eat this superfruit and be like God!"  In that one enticing lie, Satan told Eve that 1) living in personal, intimate communion with the God of all creation was not enough; 2) being the perfect helpmeet for Adam was not enough; 3) being the mother of the human race was not enough; 4) being made in the image of God was not enough

 . . . SHE was not enough.

Eve bought the lie and lost everything.  She lost it for all her daughters too.  We have never gotten over it.  Ever since that tragic day, Eve's girls have been questioning whether we are enough of anything.  Beautiful enough, skinny enough, smart enough, accomplished enough, equal enough, spiritual enough, fun enough, sexy enough, wife enough, mother enough, homemaker enough, businesswoman enough, servant of God enough, Proverbs 31 woman enough . . . the answer always seems to be no, and the enemy's cackle still rings with his triumph over Eve and her daughters.

This is no pity party--I think the Fall affected men and women in unique ways.  As women, there is just something in our wiring, something in our sin-marred DNA that tells us the same lie again and again. It's like there is a spiritual hangover of guilt and shame and doubt that affects us all since Eve got intoxicated with the idea of being MORE.

What are the true words?  What does my Maker say?  Is He still angry with me because of what Eve did?  How does He answer my accuser?

"For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ." Romans 5:17 NLT

I like the way The Message paraphrases that same verse:

"If death got the upper hand through one man's wrongdoing, can you imagine the breathtaking recovery life makes, sovereign life, in those who grasp with both hands this wildly extravagant life-gift, this grand setting-everything-right, that the one man Jesus Christ provides?" Romans 5:17 MSG

It doesn't matter that in Eve I am not enough--that's why Jesus came!  He came to set right all that Adam and Eve broke.  Love so lavish compels me to ignore the lying whisperer; to hear Truth and speak Life instead; to live in grace and triumph.  What matters is this: When I know the One who IS ENOUGH, I don't have to be!  My life is in Him and that is ENOUGH for me.


Jesus is ENOUGH!

Jesus in me is ENOUGH!!


How will you rewrite the loop you play in your head?
How can we help our daughters live in the knowledge of the One who IS ENOUGH?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

What To Do With a Whirlwind

--
"Your thunder was heard in the whirlwind,
   your lightning lit up the world;
   the earth trembled and quaked."  
Psalm 77:18 NIV

That sounds terrifying!!  With a storm like that I think I would want to run for cover and find a place to get out of the wild winds!  Run!  Escape!  Get away!!!

The very next words are these:

"Your path led through the sea,
   your way through the mighty waters,
   though your footprints were not seen."
 Psalm 77:19 NIV


The storm the psalmist was describing in verse 18 was the storm God stirred up to open the Red Sea to deliver His people to freedom!  In spite of all that blustering going on, when the people of God saw His storm blowing up a rescue for them, they must have jumped for joy and leaped into action, flags flying, banners raised, excited to walk through on dry ground, following those unseen footprints!!  

What about the pursuing Egyptians?  What was in that storm for them?  When proud Pharaoh ordered his troops to pursue the escaping Israelites, God stopped holding the water back and the flood poured over the Egyptian army, swallowing them completely.  For them the storm was destruction.

The same storm.
Different outcomes!
Awe and joy and deliverance for the faith walkers.
Fear and woe and destruction for the pride walkers.

Could it be that the current worldwide storm we're witnessing is such a storm?  The financial and political upheaval that has the entire world on pins and needles of uncertainty, feels an awful lot like a whirling wind of tumult, replete with lightning bolts of cosmic "shock and awe," and a landscape that is buckling and lurching with fundamental change.

Who are we in this storm?

Are we like the pride walkers who try to power through, keep fighting, going for what they want, taking their marching orders from a hell-bent tyrant, and ignoring the One who controls the storm?

Or are we faith walkers, awed by the indescribably great God who leads our way through deep waters on dry ground, confidently following His every step, filled with joy at the freedom He is ever-winning for us who belong to Him?

While the winds are blowing over earth all a-bluster, let's go fly like a kite!!  Stand with me in the truth that the Holy Spirit comes like the wind and blows wherever He wishes.  I want to see what greatness He can produce in us if we let His wind unfurl us, put all our colors on display. Let's allow Him to brighten up this stormy grey world with our skydancing.


" . . . His banner over me was love [for love waved as a protecting and comforting banner over my head when I was near him]."


How are you learning to be a faith walker?
Is the storm terrifying or thrilling to you?
______________________________________________________

I'm joining Ann Voskamp's Gratitude Community for her Multitude Monday.
I hope you will join in if you haven't already!

holy experience

Since this is my first time sharing my 1000 Gifts List, here are some of my favorites from the last few months:

16. Cool morning breezes
28. Patriots who stand for my country
40. Crossing paths on the freeway unexpectedly with Hero Husband--a chance to have coffee together!
47. The song she played, just for me, opening her heart-window so I could peek inside and see hope
50. Ancient Promises with no expiration date
52. Extra tight hugs from Hero Husband
54. Having to tell Drummer Boy three times that it's too late for the loud music that spills out of him--it just keeps spilling :)
57. Catching up with Mom & Daddy, sharing coffee a country apart
63. 50 years of the most beautiful marriage I've ever seen & for Mom & Daddy who did it with You in the middle
87. Mom's stories of "their" wild horses, jumping fences and galloping across the hills of home

And here are my new ones, #91-100:

91. Tackling a mountain and finding it was only a molehill
92. Homemade pizza that She So Sweet and I made together
93. Hero Husband's thoughtfulness in surprising me with a Peet's Gingerbread Latte-Mmm!
94. Drummer Boy's fist raised with a triumphant shout as insight came clear
95. She So Sweet, promise-keeping and playing her violin
96. Brother-sister jam sessions
97. A house filled with the music they make
98. Bloggers who inspire me
99. The swell of joyful pride I feel over Hero Husband writing two blogs at once! 
100. A place to share gratitude

To check out Hero Husband's TWO blogs, go to
 (also under Blogs I Love on the left)!

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LEB --Lexham English Bible--Scripture quotations marked (LEB) are from the Lexham English Bible. Copyright 2010 Logos Bible Software. Lexham is a registered trademark of Logos Bible Software.
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Just wanted you to know--occasionally you will find links in posts that are “affiliate links.” This means that if you click on the link and purchase the item, I receive an affiliate commission. I only do this for products I use personally and would include in my posts anyway, and that I think you might enjoy. This information is provided as a courtesy to you, my valued readers, in accordance with 16 CFR, Part 255.

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