Thursday, November 1, 2012

A New Month, A New Address, A New Focus

Happy November!

I'm so thankful for this season of change.

{Did I just say that?}

Yes, some seasons of change are good.

Join me this month by taking the November Joy Dare.

Go ahead. I dare you.

And I dare myself.

#230. A York Peppermint Patty
#231. Chili and cornbread
#232. Daily Bread

I've missed counting the ways He loves me.

But this month, I'm counting again.

He loves me. He loves me. He loves me.

Count with me and join me at my new address:

In this season of change, I thought my blog needed a new look and a new home.


So, thanks for the grace during this time of transition...

Keep counting!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Day 31: A Picture, A Prayer, & A Prize

Today, may we embrace holy fear for God. May His light shine on the dark places of our hearts, and may we not live in fear, but live in love. May we love the life we're given and live the love of the Father who came to bring life in overflowing, joyful abundance as we simply abide. May we know His truth in the very depths of our being, and may it set our hearts free to sing every day of our lives.

This is Day 31 of {Healthy} Living. Check out the end of Day 1 for the link to all the posts. Many thanks to Nester for inspiring me and so many others to write this month! She ended her series on "Home, On Purpose" with a good word on contentment. And isn't that really what our lives need? A good dose of contentment? Read her final post here and print your free download as a prize for hanging in here for 31 days. You will love seriously love it. I can't wait to hang it in my kitchen to remind me each and every day...

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Day 30: Giving Up on Martha

I'm giving up.

Not giving up on "Living," but giving up on Martha.

She's just not reality.

She's plastic and perfect, and I've finally decided perfection is over-rated. And boring.

I'm slowing learning to love the cracked, the broken, the dirt, and the mess. It's real. It's relational. It's life.

So I'm learning to give up.

Slowly, but surely.

I'm painfully realizing it wasn't perfection so much I was after, but it was my ugly pride and my performance that really mattered. And this is not life. At least not the Zoe life in the Spirit that truly is living.

I'm going to need more time. Maybe a lifetime. But I'm learning. And that's what counts. That's what counts to make this life beautiful.

I'm writing for 31 days of {Healthy} Living this month.
Join me and let's LIVE! Check out the end of Day 1 for the link to all the posts.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Day 29: Beating the Monday Morning Blues

Got the Monday Morning Blues today?
Love these words from Justin Taylor at the Gospel Coalition.

And, IMHO,

Mornings go better with...
1. Annie!
"You're never fully dressed without a smile." Tomorrow morning, try punching in "Annie" to your Pandora, and start out the day on a great note!

2. Truth from Twilight

"Twilight" is our kitchen bulletin board owl. Last week we {finally} got serious about learning our Kiddie Catechism. We put up this bulletin board and affectionately named her Twilight so that she would be staring at us each morning as we eat cereal to remind us to read and review the latest questions and answers we are learning. These past few weeks Tim Keller has shared some good thoughts on memorizing a catechism {and no, it's not just for Catholics and Lutherans} He also has a great new resource, called New City Catechism. I personally love listening to "Ask Me WhoOo" with the little ones. Not sure if it's the catchy tunes, the Bible verses added to flesh out the meaning, or just my newly found love for all things owl-y.

3. Watching "Pioneer Woman" on the Food Network while folding laundry!
Yesterday I tried to make Rosemary Focaccia bread and it sadly flopped. Not sure if it's my yeast or the higher altitude. I'm having a do-over today with the Pioneer Woman's Recipe {I just might reduce the amount of olive oil, however} and I'm hoping it will be successful and will make our Meatless Monday menu of plain 'ole spaghetti something special.

4. Remembering to Get Dressed for Battle
Most days I forget that life in Jesus is really a battle, and I am sorely under dressed. More than a smile and good thoughts, I need a helmet and a shield, a breastplate and shoes, oh, and don't forget my sword and belt. This is not pretend and I'm not just dressing up to beg for tricks or treats; this is war. And how many days do I merely forget my belt, and then life gets a little messy and I just come undone? The battle for healthy living is in my mind, and my whole outfit falls apart when I merely forget my belt of truth. I'm becoming painfully aware of my need for more and more grace, and thankfully, there's more than enough in Jesus. Especially on a Monday morning.

5. Coffee
Enough said.

I'm writing for 31 days of {Healthy} Living this month.
Join me and let's LIVE! Check out the end of Day 1 for the link to all the posts.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Day 28: A Prayer for Life

Rest, again?


Work. Work. Work. Work. Work. Work. Rest.

It's a lovely pattern. Ahhh....

Here's a prayer for {healthy} living today:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.  
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.  
Where there is injury, pardon.  
Where there is doubt, faith.  
Where there is despair, hope.  
Where there is darkness, light.  
Where there is sadness, joy.  
Grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console; 
to be understood, as to understand; 
to be loved, as to love.  
For it is in giving that we receive.  
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned.  
It is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.

{a prayer of St. Francis of Assisi}


I'm writing for 31 days of {Healthy} Living this month.
Join me and let's LIVE! Check out the end of Day 1 for the link to all the posts.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Day 27: Happy Neewollah Palooza!

Tonight we had a blast at Neewollah Palooza.
What's that, you ask?
It's Halloween spelled backwards!

Our family's church has a Halloween tradition of celebrating "Neewollah Palooza." It's their way of redeeming the holiday by taking it back and giving it new purpose and meaning. And I think that's a healthy way to think about Halloween. Some receive. Others reject. We choose to redeem.

I do understand the conflict that other believers have about the holiday, to be sure. I can understand concerns about its pagan roots. {I'm wondering if those who oppose Halloween also know of the pagan roots of many Christmas traditions that they have never questioned.} But our family has chosen to look at it this way: It's one of the few days of the year that most neighbors come out of hibernation, and it's one way to build community. It's choosing to focus on the light instead of darkness, and doesn't the Christian believe that life comes out of death? So we don't celebrate death, but we choose to celebrate life and be a light in a dark world.

I love what Justin Holcomb from the Resurgence has to say,
An informed understanding of the history of Halloween and the biblical freedom Christians have to redeem cultural practices (1 Cor. 10:23-33) leads to the conclusion that Christians can follow their conscience in choosing how to approach this holiday....For those who are still bothered by Halloween’s historical association with evil spirits, Martin Luther has some advice on how to respond to the devil: “The best way to drive out the devil, if he will not yield to texts of Scripture, is to jeer and flout him for he cannot bear scorn.” Perhaps instead of fleeing the darkness in fear, we should view Halloween as an opportunity to mock the enemy whose power over us has been broken.

{And I love this graphic. photo credit

So, we hammed it up today! My little lady was dressed as quirky, fun-loving Pippi Longstocking, and my snake-loving boy was a member of the Venom 1 Team. {his life-long dream}

Aren't they cute?

So today, {healthy} living is trick or treating for toothbrushes, pretzels, or pencils {we need to balance out all that sugar somehow!} and healthy worldview thinking about Halloween.

I'm writing for 31 days of {Healthy} Living this month.
Join me and let's LIVE! Check out the end of Day 1 for the link to all the posts.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Day 26: The Voices in My Head

I have an aunt that heard music.

All. The. Time.

And the glorious pleasures of her musical mind turned dark and painful and slowly made her sick.

I've heard that some hear crickets.

Others hear a ringing, a buzzing, a humming.

Puts a sad twist to the line, "Like music to your ears."

"The hurting people I work with hear 'You're worthless. You're a loser. Your life doesn't matter,' " she tells me.

And it begs the question,

"What are the voices in my head, heart, mind?"


"Who am I listening to?"


"Am I listening to my Father's voice, or to the Father of lies?"

Do I hear,

"You are my daughter."

"I am pleased."

"There is therefore now no condemnation..."

"I've done the work. Rest."

"I am here. Now. Forever."

"I will never leave you nor forsake you."

"It's in My hands. Trust Me."

"I like you."

"I. Love. You. Listen to My song..."

Now that's music to my ears.

Zephaniah 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." 


I'm writing for 31 days of {Healthy} Living this month.
Join me and let's LIVE! Check out the end of Day 1 for the link to all the posts.