Posts tagged ‘joy’


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


in the middle maze - with red question mark


Are you in the middle of a…


difficult project


troubled relationship


painful emotional struggle?



Do you find yourself …


out of solutions


hanging on by a thread


wondering how it’s all gonna turn out?



Believe me, I’ve been there more times than I care to count.


Let’s face it, we all have.


Yet when it’s happening to you, the fact that it happens to “everyone” doesn’t help much, does it?


What helps is knowing God has a way of meeting us IN THE MIDST of our challenging circumstances. It also helps to know that others can truly empathize with what we’re going through.


Today I find myself wondering…


What kind of challenges are YOU in the middle of?


If you’re feeling brave today, I invite you to leave a comment…


Feel free to be as general or specific as you like. Whatever it is you’re going through, there’s probably someone else who’s been there. And God is there with you even now.


Yet sometimes the first step toward moving through a challenging season is simply admitting you’re there.


And reaching out to someone else who’s been there…




November 12, 2014 at 12:12 PM Leave a comment


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



I gotta admit, I’ve LOVED this week…

There just hasn’t been quite enough of it.

In between my regularly scheduled tasks, for once I also managed to slow down and  get lost in the moment. I spent longer times with the Lord. I journaled and read and gave myself some “margin” around the edges. I organized my office and updated my calendar. I even spent delicious amounts of time roaming the aisles of Office Depot, looking for just the right color of thumbtacks and style of bulletin board.  (in case you’re wondering…aqua blue and dry erase/pegboard combo!)

I also gazed out windows and danced over snowflakes, giving myself permission to do the little things I often tell myself “there’s just not time for” in my busy life. I drank in the simple joys. I soaked in some peace and quiet. I even listened for God’s voice: and in the hush that followed, felt the thrill of realizing He also heard mine.

And after a while, I found myself writing out lists and lists of undone tasks that had been cluttering up my brain for ages, so much so that I’d had very little brain-space left for actual doing. And as I wrote, the tasks seemed to magically arrange themselves into categories…with very little effort on my part…as if some cosmic magnet were clumping them together like “birds of a feather.” What a blessed relief to view those unruly thoughts from a safe distance, like wild stallions finally corralled where they could no longer trample me senseless! And what a surprise. I’d put off dealing with them for so long precisely because I was sure they’d be impossible to tame. Had they been bluffing all along? It was too soon to tell, but my relief was hard to hide.

Then I organized my office to my heart’s content, excitedly placing baskets and trays and vertical files, and listing appointments on calendars and dry-erase boards like a woman obsessed. How long I couldn’t say, because I’d lost all track of the clock. I pondered and planned, dawdled and dreamed. I smiled. I giggled. I was bliss personified. And when it was done, I breathed out a long-overdue, beam-me-up-Scottie-I-can’t-believe-my-mission-is-finally-done sigh of relief. Aaaaaaahhh….

Which was followed by  all sorts of living-in-the-moment desires, which frankly don’t make it to the front burner of my life nearly often enough. Like brainstorming ideas and organizing my closet and (perhaps most radical of all) having people over for dinner and cooking from scratch! Not only that, but I’d rediscovered a childlike joy in living, through the simple act of slowing down and listening. Listening to God. Listening to my own heart. Listening to the rhythm of life and the quiet tic-tock/tic-tock of the clock on the wall.

Oh dear…the clock! That’s right. I was supposed to review my goals, and set priorities, and report back on the blog on Friday! And…and…and… Oh dear, oh dear…I’m late, I’m late, I’m late!!!

Til it dawned…

All that I’d been doing WAS preparing my heart to do exactly that. Yet apparently the process couldn’t be rushed. Or regimented. Or scheduled. And for once, I didn’t mind quite so much that I’d missed a deadline. Because becoming more PRESENT with myself and God…whatever the time frame or the cost…suddenly seemed a lot more important.

At this point, it’s hard to say how much longer this priority-setting season will last.  Another week…two weeks…a month? I don’t know. In a way, it feels like I’ve only just begun. All I know for sure is I’m grateful beyond words that my easily hurried/easily harried heart has finally slowed down long enough to begin the process.

See you Monday…hope you have a blessed weekend!

February 11, 2012 at 1:23 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)

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NaBloPoMo November 2014