Posts filed under ‘Joy’

30 DAYS OF BLOGGING: NaBloPoMo 2014!

BLOG - big yellow word in midst of red words

As of this post, I’ve officially completed National Blog Post Month 2014:

30 days of daily blogging

in the month of November!!!!! 

In the beginning I wasn’t sure if it was the best or worst decision I’d made in a long time. Now 30 days later, I’m definitely glad I participated. Sure, it was excruciating at times — like having to turn in 30 small term papers in a row — yet in the end, I know my writing life is richer for it.

Here are 10 benefits of NaBloPoMo I’m noticing already…

  1. Learning to write on cue vs. having to feel “inspired”

  2. Writing in small bursts vs. huge stretches

  3. Remembering how much I love to blog  

  4. Discovering unused pockets of writing time

  5. The thrill of going from idea to “published” daily

  6. Connecting with a network of fellow bloggers 

  7. Gaining new blog subscribers every day! 

  8. Interacting with readers thru blog comments

  9. “Priming the pump” for future blog post ideas

  10. Renewing blogging habits for 2015…

I’d like to extend a heartfelt thanks to all of you who read, commented, subscribed, and shared posts on Twitter or Facebook this month. Without you I’d simply be…talking to myself. I hope your life has been enriched in some way, and I thank you for joining me as we endeavor to “find the growing edge” in Christ together.

From this point on, I’ll be blogging weekly rather than daily.

Unless of course…I decide to do NaBloPoMo 2015 next year!


November 30, 2014 at 10:51 PM Leave a comment


RED CHRISTMAS BALL with snowflake

Well, it’s happened.

We’ve opened up the Christmas decorations and taken the first one out of the box.

That’s it.

There’s no turning back.

Christmas season is officially upon us whether we like it or not.

And you know what?

I don’t mind it nearly as much as I expected.

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Christmas decorations. Yet this year the prospect of dipping my toe into the runaway train that is Christmas, on the heels of a seemingly endless stream of houseguests, travel, speaking events, and most recently Thanksgiving cooking…didn’t exactly leave me chomping at the bit.

Yet to my surprise, once my hubby pulled the gadzillion “red and green” boxes from the garage, put up a few decorations, and turned on the Christmas music channel, complete with fun factoids about quaint Christmas customs in obscure Scandanavian countries, I gotta admit: I was hooked.

Suddenly I was 5-year-old-with-hot-chocolate-and-marshmallows happy, with shining eyes, a glowing heart, and my feet dangled from the couch for sheer delight. I know that sounds incredibly sappy. Who knows, maybe it is.

Yet even that grown-up smirk on your face isn’t gonna slow me down…

Cuz I’ve rediscovered a life-giving truth I’d almost forgotten: A little childlike joy now and then can sure CURE what ails you. If you don’t believe me, give it a try. It’s positively liberating.

All of which got me thinking…

I wonder how many other simple JOYS I’ve missed because I was…

too tired

too stressed

or too grown up

…to stop and enjoy a happy moment?

It’s worth pondering.

Right after I get a second cup…

…of that amazing hot chocolate!

November 29, 2014 at 2:02 PM Leave a comment


SAD GIRL IN LEAVES - thanksgiving colors (CROPPED)

Can I be really thankful…THIS year?

Just three days til Thanksgiving!

For some that’s happy news, while for others this Thanksgiving falls right in the middle of a challenging season.

  • Maybe you recently lost your job, experienced a painful break-up, or are battling serious health issues?
  • Or maybe you’re knee-deep in a season of disappointment that doesn’t fit neatly into polite Thanksgiving conversation?

If that’s how you feel this year, take heart – you’re not the only one.

In fact, I’m kind of in that boat myself…

Don’t worry, there’s no huge catastrophe going on in my life. Yet for a combo of reasons I’m just not feeling all that yippy-skippy about the holidays. Sometimes life just deals us challenging cards to play that don’t always fit neatly into our cheery “holiday calendar.” In those seasons, a day of mandatory gratitude can seem like like trying to lift a thousand pound weight up the side of a mountain.

Yet this year I’m starting to wonder…

Maybe starting our gratitude inventory EARLY could help us find some hidden treasures in the midst of our holiday blues?

I figure it’s worth a try. And I’m game if you are.

Here’s today’s gratitude countdown question…

What about your current situation is actually EASIER than your normal circumstances? 

EXAMPLE: Not near family this year  

WHAT’S EASIER: Don’t have to cook enough for an army – who knows, maybe you’ll go out?  

And what will you actually MISS when this season is over? 

EXAMPLE: Lost job / Out of work

WHAT YOU’LL MISS:  Don’t have to ask for time off for the holidays – and no grumpy boss on Monday!

(Okay, now it’s your turn…)

I look forward to hearing your answers…AND pondering mine!


November 24, 2014 at 11:16 AM Leave a comment






Let this day slip through your fingers


Give this moment your FULL attention!


Have you ever noticed that some days seem to evaporate before your very eyes, while others feel weightier and more satisfying?

Yet no matter how our day goes…the clock keeps moving forward at the rate of 60 seconds a minute, 60 minutes an hour, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

As the saying goes, “Time waits for no man.”

This isn’t exactly great news. Especially when most of our days don’t turn out anywhere near perfect. Like a baseball player caught off guard by a tough pitch, we tend to think: “Hey, I wasn’t ready. I need a do-over!”

 Yet that last moment is gone forever.

TICK-tock, TICK-tock, TICK-tock…

Again, not great news.

Yet here on planet earth, that’s how it works.

Even if we get a do-over, we’ll never get that particular moment back again: NEVER. Pondering that idea for even five minutes is enough to discourage the most sanguine of optimists!

So where’s the answer? Is there any hope?

I believe there is. Because just as constant as the “tick-tick-tick” of the clock is another abiding truth.

Our very next moment is always up for grabs! 

It’s a gift just waiting for us. Unspoiled. Mistake-free. And available in fresh supply at the rate of one per second for as long as we live in this time-bound world.

Each new moment gives us a chance to…adjust an attitude, make a healthy choice, say a kind word, face that fear, pray that prayer, do the next right thing.

And amazingly, those little choices tend to snowball like seconds on a clock…one after the other, after the other. Why? Because inertia works backwards too. A dollar wasted can lead to ruin…yet a penny saved is a penny earned! So those small choices add up over time, giving us the chance to make increasingly better choices – every single day.

Time is not our friend…yet thankfully God is.  He has worked His mercy into even the dailyness of life, which we are free to grab hold of at any moment – if only we have eyes to see.

“But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called ‘Today'” HEBREWS 3:13



Today’s 24 hours will be GONE tomorrow


Each moment is a fresh chance to be INTENTIONAL!


November 20, 2014 at 10:44 AM Leave a comment

DAY 19: GRIEF vs. REGRET (oh what a difference!)

NO REGRETS yellow post-it




Waste time regretting yesterday’s losses


Embrace today so you won’t regret tomorrow


I don’t know about you, but I’ve spent an awful lot of time in my life obsessing over what DID happen that I wish DIDN’T…or what DIDN’T happen that I wish DID. Either way, it’s a vicious cycle.

Regret is an awful companion. It takes and takes, and never gives back. Obsession is even worse company. It blinds you to anything and everything but the one thing you don’t have. Put the two together, and they’ll eat your insides out and suck away every possibility of being present in the here and now, where life actually has a chance of happening.

Of course, grief and mourning are a necessary part of life when we experience a loss. At times grief can look strangely similar to regret, yet with one important difference: grief eventually takes you somewhere, while regret takes you nowhere but down, down, downHealthy grief helps us accept and adjust to a loss, eventually making room for new experiences and growth, while regret and obsession never give up their space in our hearts and minds – thus making new growth impossible.

A wise man once said, “If you don’t like your past, build a new one.”



Living today well paves the way for a regret free tomorrow!


November 18, 2014 at 11:20 PM 2 comments



GAP in freeway (with skyline)

Life in the gap…


I started this poem in 2009 and finished it in 2014. Funny how some things never change: Like our utter dependence on the Author of the story…to help us live out our particular chapter.



Though in truth wish I were

Cuz then I’d have an alibi

For why my life’s a blur


A waterloo of follow-through that never quite completes

A host of good intentions never ever quite set free


INSIGHTFUL yet unable

To apprehend the how

Of letting things I understand

Inhabit here and now


An undertow of “I don’t know” that dulls my aching mind

Til in the end I comprehend my clever sight’s gone blind



has left me broken-hearted

From jumping off high cliffs

And landing where I started


It’s time that I surrendered and found a source of strength

Beyond myself and my own will to get me past the brink



Of how the pieces fit

He knows just when to start

And when it’s time to quit


He knows which tangents slow me up and which ones spur me on

And patiently He whispers until on me it dawns


INSIGHTFUL of the plan

The one that’s in His heart

He focuses my flailing

So I can play my part


So unafraid of twists and turns is my intrepid Guide

That He can work it all for good while I enjoy the ride


EMPOWERED by the freedom

To pick and choose within

The path that I have chosen

In partnership with Him


woman leaping across cliff (blue background)

“Suddenly God, your light floods my path . . . I vault the high fences.
 What a God!” 2 Samuel 22:29

November 15, 2014 at 1:32 PM 2 comments


SAD FACE - HAPPY FACE (red-green)

I found this poem in the archives a few years back. What started out as a fun grammar exercise ended up as something much deeper. Hope you enjoy it…

TROUBLED by life as I find it

SMOTHERED when good is erased

BOTHERED by life that is pointless

SKEWERED by points that I chase


EMPTY when life has no meaning

FEARFUL enough’s not enough

SHAMED if I think on things too long

BLAMED if I speak off the cuff


LOST to find life so elusive

CRUSHED when it seems nothing lasts

BATTERED by hoping and losing

SHATTERED when dreams fade too fast


But then I discover I’m CHERISHED

TREASURED by someone it’s clear


LOVED simply because I am here


CONNECTED to something outside me

To Someone who’s LIVING and NEAR

EMBOLDENED by love that won’t leave me

ENLIVENED to face my worst fears


EXPECTANT yet taking it slowly

EXHAUSTED from holding my ground

Both CAUTIOUS and HOPEFUL all rolled into one

Still searching, yet already FOUND


November 9, 2014 at 3:15 PM Leave a comment

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Writer... speaker..."growing edge" seeker


Each new day offers a fresh opportunity to learn or languish, stagnate or grow. Like all sincere Christians, I face the ongoing challenge of finding THE GROWING EDGE.


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1. LISTEN without interrupting
(Proverbs 1:8)

2. SPEAK without accusing
(James 1:19)

3. GIVE without sparing
(Proverbs 21:26)

4. PRAY without ceasing
(Colossians 1:9)

5. ANSWER without arguing
(Proverbs 17:1)

6. SHARE without pretending
(Ephesians 4:15)

7. ENJOY without complaint
(Philippians 2:14)

8. TRUST without wavering
(I Corinthians 13:7)

9. FORGIVE without punishing
(Colossians 3:13)

10. PROMISE without forgetting
(Proverbs 13:12)

2014 NaBloPoMo!

NaBloPoMo November 2014