Monthly Archives: January 2011

Dear Monday, ( my day ) tell me more

— Edith Lovejoy Pierce

We will open the book.  Its pages are blank.  We are going to put words on them ourselves.  The book is called opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.


Upon first touch it is warm from sitting in the sunlight.  The bookshelf it came from had a layer of dust…failure to thrive..neglect…the hand squeezed the spine pulling it from the stuck place.

It was a worn. aged and sad looking little book.  Time told.  The fingers caressed the book…lovingly and held it to her chest.  the heartbeat caused the blood to begin to loosen..there was something pushing and it took the little book quite by surprise…the little book could hear something in the distance..almost a rushing

and it happened..it opened and the light came in so bright that the little book slammed his eyes shut only to find he was wet..it was warm sweet water…salty.  The worn aged book peered out from under and what he had prayed his whole life for happened

He was written upon. It was just one word. not much but you see…this book… while it had waited 42 years for this day..was only made alive by a heart that risked everything it ever had known to be made ready. often these things take time.

and that was her word for that day

ReAdY

What would one word be to describe YOU today? Just today? Don’t think to hard for it…it is there whispering…just listen. Has there been a place closed off from Him.  from yourself ..that your afraid to look at?  the word that best sums up your day…right now?  The first day of your New Year could be today.  That ONE word that will define the rest of your day…maybe even your life?

Photo Credit - Restart my Heart

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Meet Ms.B & weekend

On a lighter note today since things are heavy.  My house is a mess..toilets – well, it’s been days.  And that’s OK.  There are other things more important right now.  God is at work all around.  Do you see Him?  I pray so.

meet Bella or B or Bells depending on who is calling her… she is our 3 year old black lab.

We often say she could have been an Eeyore.  She tends to be melancholy,

she enjoys sleeping

LIVES to be loved on

favorite past time is chasing tennis balls or any “form” of a ball

she is a good listener

and a good vacuum ( she loves me when I’m prepping food in the kitchen )

She is the perfect dog for our family

except for the hairballs that collect around the edges of the house…yuck!  THAT drives me crazy:)

This last Sunday was outside playing with the kids in the snow.  I snuck out for a hard to get picture.  And I got it!


praying we will have a new beginning on Monday. I can’t yet let my mind and heart go there.  Soon enough.

This weekend I’m hoping to pin my eldest down who does all the design on the blog for me – I’m getting to old to understand any of this stuff:)

My list of to do’s for her is so long but  hoping to get all the blog design wrapped up.  This might be my ” safe and sane ” place for awhile.

next week is full…so much to share but in bite size pieces.

I hope to give you an update on our No Impact Project, not eating out and my no sugar challenge.

Do you have a family pet? I would love to hear about him or her?  Any fun weekend plans? Cleaning house?:)

grateful it’s Friday and that we have a house to clean.  yes?

xoxo

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Are you a dream smasher?

God writes big stories, stories that seem impossible. And they are, if you think about it. He seems to take great interest in impossible stories, and I think they’re interesting, too. But I rarely raise my hand to live them.

God makes oceans rise up like two great walls, and invites people to walk on dry ground between them.

How to live big Emily @ Chatting at the Sky

gather:  fairlightday:  (via michelleums)

Did you ever read love stories as a young girl? I did.  Most not suitable for the age I was.  That being said, it was in these books that I dreamed how my life would look.  What if I had someone who taught me how to dream God’s way by showing me with their words?

42 years later I sit amongst the ruins of finding my own way.  Trying to live out a fairytale life in a world constructed of lies.  Never dreaming I would end up here.  Lately…something…no Someone is nagging me to dream…not only dream but to dream BIG IMPOSSIBLE DREAMS.  There is much that is covered in the sands of time…some things thought ruined.

Our God is able to take ruins and make them beautiful! That is the place I am inviting God to work in my life right now.  It has to have an effect on my children.  When I think of my own dreams I can’t help but think of my children and the dreams I dream for them.  Do they have dreams for themselves?  Are they reading the right books/people or sticking their heads in books that are not edifying and full of lies? I guarantee they are reading you and me.

I can easily dream really BIG for them..don’t you? You just full heartedly believe that they can do and can be anything that they want to be and you would do anything to make sure they succeed right?

What about yourself?  we might shift our position to ourselves and put more of that energy we put into our children into ourselves.

What if we  started now…from this day forward.  Put down the fairytale..happily ever after books that are just lies from the pit and pick up the greatest love story ever told and and knock on God’s heart until He answers.

What if He is looking to and fro for people who will dare to dream BIG dreams themselves so that their children see God for REAL in the lives of their mommy’s and daddy’s.

Maybe we aren’t being BIG dream believers …are we looking in the wrong book?  Are we to caught up in our American culture of consume..get..achieve..comparing and forgot that we are believeing in the wrong things?  Are we no longer risk takers? Are we dream smashers?….saying by the words of our lives that our God is not big enough to deliver, to change, to rescue….are we putting Him in a box…and really shrinking back from what He is calling each one to uniquely do in their own circle of influence? To afraid of what people will say…who we go to church with would say…neighbors might talk…Is that me? I’m asking myself all of these questions.

Have we become just become to comfortableto afraid to live out loud…totally sold out for a God who loves..who forgives..who is REAL…are we to busy preaching and not writing our own letters?  Am I? How are things ever going to change unless we let God in to the secret places? The places where we are held captive.  Nine times out of ten our children will be held captive in the same ways.    How am I going to show my children…the next generation what a HUGE God He is at the same time so real and personal that He can be involved in the minutest part of our lives?

How do we show a broken people there is freedom and healing and forgiveness and security and peace if we….as BROKEN people…. cannot show our realness?  our nakedness?  What would happen if there were safe places to share our deepest fears and secrets so we could find healing amongst the flesh of naked people?  Maybe this is where real church happens?

I- full of fear and trembling say….I want to walk on the dry ground between the two ocean wallsI want to be the recipient of an impossible dreamI intensely pray that the kids and I will dance in the over spray from the ocean walls and be washed in His water. I pray my children can and will learn from what I live and write from this day forth.  THAT is what they will remember when I am gone from this earth. Not what came out of my mouth but what I lived out in words…

God that you would rend the heavens and come down in a mighty wave of change. That hearts would be stirred and moved to use the gifts you’ve given your children.  That we … full of grace and truth … go forth on this dry ground that you have gone before us and lead our familiesour offspringyour heritage to higher ground. To BIG dreams. To the God of impossible…A God who still acts on behalf of those who believe Him…help our unbelief Father.

You are a God who delights when we come to you with everything.  We come to you today with not only our own dreams that may have been buried years ago..but on behalf of the dreams you have placed in our children. That the evil one cannot kill steal and destroy what you have already written in their hearts.

What dreams have been buried in your heart? What dreams are you going to pray into life for your children?  Are you ready to get a little wet?  To believe that He is the God of IMPOSSIBLE Dreams?  Can you see youself carrying your kids on the shoulders of your dream?  I can

xoxo…sending my love your way

Linking up with Erin @ Mama’s Heart…click the button.  Hope to see you there:)

& Mama’s Losin It

Mama

It’s Grace

Photo Credit -fairlightday

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Word Women Wednesday & Link Up

Meet my new friend Linsey @ LLH Designs.  I met her through Tara @ Between You and Me and she has stolen a piece of my heart.  She puts you at ease instantly.  She is genuine, sweet, kind and she listens with her heart.  She makes THE most beautiful cards I have ever seen.  She just has a birthday Monday and has sworn off fearing birthdays choosing instead to celebrate her fearfully and wonderfully made self!  And I couldn’t agree more.  Most importantly – I love how she transparently shares her relationship with God and with others.

I want House of Belonging to be a  place where we can be real women in a real world loving a real GOD and then digesting the seeds He is sowing in our lives and living them outloud.  Ann Voscamp @ Holy Experience said

“The words that matter most are the ones we live. And what ranks the highest is how we write our lives.”

I can chew on that awhile.  We are living letters…living words that others breathe in and out every day.

Linsey is a real living letter and I am excited for you to read her…I asked her if she would mind if I re-posted this because it is a real place that so many of us find ourselves in..often.  Here is a word picture of what a women looks like in the process of being set free!

I would be humbled if you’d join me…

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While pretending yesterday was a snow day, I did a lot of blog reading in bed. That sounds dreamy, right? It should’ve been, but instead of gathering inspiration, I became more and more overwhelmed by what I saw…goal setting that intimidated me, accomplishments that shamed me, creativity that was beyond me.

I came away thinking I am DONE blogging…both reading and writing. And it’s not like anyone would notice my absence. It’s not like I have many followers, subscribers, commenters, etc.  With all of the well-read, well-written and hugely followed blogs out there, who needs my ramblings?

But then I read this post by a new blog friend, Tara. {I love her authenticity.} Actually, I first read her post back in July, but I had forgotten all about it. I needed it more today than ever. This quote she shared from Beth Moore stopped me in my tracks:

“INSECURITY’S BEST COVER IS PERFECTIONISM.”

But I’m not insecure, I thought to myself. Never have been. Right. So what was going on yesterday? Why did I feel so intimidated and…INSECURE as I surfed through all of my favorite blogs? It wasn’t because of the person writing. Nope, it was something in me that didn’t feel good enough.

This is the whisper of the enemy of my soul: that I am not good enough. We’ve all heard the whisper. The trouble isn’t in the hearing; it’s in the believing. And when we start believing the lie, it changes the way we see everything.

And you don’t have to go very far to see things through the lens of the lie {that you are not enough}. All it took for me was one step out of my bedroom where I was confronted with this:

Looking at it now, I can see the truth: that we are really missing Elsa and the 10 hours of housekeeping help she provides each week. {Sweet Elsa broke her arm two months ago and has yet to return.} So things get a little crazy around here, and I’m no laundry queen. That’s OKAY.

But when I looked at the laundry room through the lens of the lie {that I’m not enough}, I heard whispers of condemnation in my head. This doesn’t look like all the blog photos I saw yesterday. Other people can do it all. Why can’t you? {The comparisons reeled in my mind.}

Just ignore the mess, Linsey. Keep walking. Go downstairs and read that book you don’t want to read. {More on that another time.} So I went downstairs to grab a cup of tea and sit by the fire when I saw this:

What’s wrong with that, you say? Nothing. Nothing at all. Of course, I can see that now. But with the whispers of condemnation still ricocheting through my head, I thought: look at that boring, empty mantel, the dirty brick, the candle wax I’ve not yet scraped away…

…and the undecorated but yet-to-be-put-away CHRISTMAS TREE for crying out loud! No one who has a decent amount of motivation and respect for her home leaves things looking like this! {There’s that condemnation again.}

You might be tempted to call me crazy, overly perfectionistic, too hard on myself…but I’m taking the risk of sharing this with you because I think there may be others of you who hear these same condemning whispers in your head.

And here’s the deal: there is no amount of will power or goal setting or motivation that can permanently disarm these lies. To think there is would only cause you to further beat yourself up when you fall short. Been there, done that.

So it’s time for a change: not in a resolution-making, goal-setting kind of way, but a change in the way we SEE, which requires a change in the way we THINK. The real question is: what will we choose to BELIEVE when the whispers threaten to undo us?

There’s a lot more to say about those things, but this post is plenty long already. But I will say this: there’s a shift that occurs when we choose to believe the truth. Now I can see things differently.

Instead of fixating on the mantel, I sat beneath it and I enjoyed a hot cup of vanilla tea by a warm fire…and thanked God that I had a fire to enjoy on this chilly day.

And instead of focusing on yet another to-do (or “failure to do”) as I gazed out the window…

..I shifted my gaze to a bird friend {bottom right corner}…

…and took the time to watch him drink, then welcome another friend.

And yes, my laundry room is still a mess (I only showed you half of it!) and my Christmas tree is still standing, but I see things differently now. And I see myself differently.

“For there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).

And THAT, my friends, is the truth…the truth that changes the way I see everything. And if sharing all of this helps even one of you see differently today, too, then this crazy-long post was worth it!

Blessings and hugs to you today from a heart that is being set free!

P.S. I thought robins were spring birds, but it seems they pop out even when it snows! I love the way my blog friend Paige captured a few bird friends here. Doesn’t her post make you want to cozy right up in her home?

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Today, if you’d like to share with us on any area of captivity or where you are choosing being brave over being stuck or just being a real woman in a real world … just enter in the direct URL to your exact post….. If you share –  we would love you to help us find each other by sharing our WORD-women button or linking back to Word Women Wednesdays.  xo:) thanks SO very much.


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stripped bare…build an altar

I didn’t ask the Lord to make me a prayer warrior.  But five years of a painful stripping, letting the facade of control slip away, has brought me to my knees…Brooke McGlothlin


and the LORD said to him, ” Peace to you, do not fear; you shall not die.”  Then Gideon built an altar there to the LORD and named it The LORD is Peace…Judges 6:23-24

week twenty-six


STRIPPED…bare

all taken that I can trust

turning – tried- confined

can’t go to the right or the left

caged..frantically crying

grasping

for love…someone

placate for so long

fades….hunger again returns

it pursues me relentlessly

eating away last resolve

DIG DEEPER…I muster

STRIPPED of

hope

love

trust self-survival

STRIPPED BARE

hand out..flat on ground

drained emptied

replacing – a knowing

” your not done yet”

roll over   curled up

REST

LOVE swoops down

wrapping in folds of silk

breath in the smell of

ABBA…I hear for the first time

YOU are MINE

you are beautiful

you are strong

I have found you love

everything you’ve searched for all your life

I AM

I saw this day from the moment I conceived your heart

knit together for THIS PURPOSE

He wrapped my

STRIPPED and naked

soul

tightly

stopped striving once for all

PEACE

throughout the Old Testament man built altars after encounters with God

 

I now have an altar jar.  My mother in law gave it to me for Christmas and I am using it for holding all of the things God is speaking to me this year of jumping naked.  Quotes, scriptures, memories, fortune cookies ” fortunes”:), articles….anything that speaks to me.

it is a memorial for 2011 for me to look over at the end of the year



Photo Credit : My Cakies

 

Hangin’ with my Homies today @ Jen’s

Finding Heaven

 

and

Emily @ Imperfect Prose

 

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This moved my heart - Why I pray…Brooke McGlothlin

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30 Day Challenge Update – almost there!  Day 24 and I cheated last night!  We ate out or IN I should say.  Chinese..I was tired and feeling yuck so it is what it is.  Guess what?  the whole world didn’t fall apart:)  I got up this morning and spent 30 minutes wogging walk/jog combo and did my ab work.  Good enough for one day I say!

How are the 30 days going in your little world.  I was reading Jen’s update last night and she is having some breakthrough’s:) I am sure we will come out of this a little wiser and more ” pruned “.

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Word Women Wednesday is tomorrow so be on the lookout for one of the sweetest blogs on the block and she doesn’t even know it:)

Linsey @ LLH Designs.

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