take a walk

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take a walk with me 

see the landscape through my eyes 

become like children 

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clouds illuminate 

and direct my attention 

to our Creator

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glittering sunbeams 

highlight the snow’s afterglow 

and dance in the sky 

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the sun awakens 

ice crunching beneath my feet 

the only sound heard 

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take a walk with me 

see the snowscape through my eyes 

become like children 

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There’s a patch of old snow in a corner
     That I should have guessed
Was a blow-away paper the rain
     Had brought to rest.

It is speckled with grime as if
     Small print overspread it,
The news of a day I’ve forgotten—
     If I ever read it.

Robert Frost 

 

crayons and markers

 

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like crayons and markers 

I watched as she drew 

outlined and shadowed 

but before she was through- 

she’d say look this way- 

and with special care 

she’d dab a little here 

and she’d dab a little there- 

transforming me into 

a queen for a day 

how I loved it when

Grandmother 

came to play! 

Today I was thinking about my Grandmother and remembering all the times she used to travel to visit us.  We didn’t see her often- maybe a couple of times a year, but she was a true southern belle and I loved her dearly!  She passed away just a few years after I got married.  As I was putting on my moisturizer this morning, I remembered something special she used to do with us…

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Grandmother kept her make-up in something like this

 

 

 

 

One of the things I loved most when Grandmother came to visit is when she would put her make-up on in the morning.  She would sit on the couch and lay out all of her makeup on the coffee table. And if my sister and I were sitting with her, she would include us in her beauty ritual.  We would carefully watch her apply her blue eye-shadow, and then it was our turn!

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I kept my make-up in one of these! 

She’d lean over and swipe the blue shadows on our lids.  And then she’d dab a little bit of mascara on our lashes, and then we’d pick a shade of lipstick.  A little puff of nude powder dusted on our faces, and we were all dolled up!  I remember thinking- oh just wait till my friends see me like this! 

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Her favorite powder…White Shoulders 

And then I’d go outside to see our friends who lived next door, and I’d wait for them to notice something different about me.  Inside, I felt like a beauty queen, but the funny thing was that to them- I didn’t look any different!

It is amazing how a little extra attention from someone you love can transform your own thoughts about yourself.

 I am so thankful for those memories-

and for how special and loved my Grandmother always made me feel!

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment such as braided hair or gold jewelry or fine clothes, but from the inner disposition of your heart, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in God’s sight. 

1 Peter 3:4

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rise and shine

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5 am, eyes open wide

the morning light

called me outside

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the moon and sun

played hide and seek

behind the clouds and mountain’s peak

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And when the sun

did finally rise

His splendor shone before my eyes

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the sky was crystal clear  

My hubby and I took a recent trip to the mountains and one of the things I most looked forward to was watching the sunrise.  From my home, there isn’t a good view of the sunrise, so while we were away, I couldn’t wait to watch the sunrise come up over the mountains!

The funny thing was that I didn’t even set an alarm that first morning- my eyes just popped open at 5am!  I’m definitely a morning person- but 5am is a bit early… thankfully He got me up right on time for the show 🙂

God is good!

 

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enjoying the view…

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early morning… you can still see the moon in the sky 🙂 

From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the Lord’s name is to be praised.  

Psalm 113:3

You’ve captured my heart

 

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It’s a wonderful delight

in the absence of sunlight 

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to sit and gaze upon 

a yellow bloom 

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A flower big and bright

I smile at the sight

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a little bit of happy

fills the room

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We sang one of my favorite worship songs this past Sunday- Beautiful One.   I love how you can sing a song a hundred times, but God still makes it new in your heart!  I heard this line-

You’ve opened my eyes to Your wonders anew, You’ve captured my heart with this Love...

As we sang this song, I began to think of all the ways He has “captured” my heart over the past week… little things– like a random phone call, or a simple text message from a friend.  A compliment from a stranger, the perfect song on the radio at just the right time…

And yesterday He captured my heart again!

Last week, I had planned on going to pick sunflowers, but I ended up unable to go.  There’s just something special about sunflowers- I can’t stop smiling when I see them!  I was a little disappointed that I wasn’t able to go, but didn’t think much about it afterwards.

Well, just yesterday someone out of the blue brought me a bouquet of the longest, most beautiful sunflowers!  She knew how badly I wanted to go pick them last week, and wanted to brighten my day.  Such a simple gesture- but He captured my heart once again!

“You’ve opened my eyes to Your wonders anew, 

You’ve captured my heart with this Love, 

’cause nothing on earth is as beautiful 

as You”

…that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. LORD my God, I will praise you forever.  Psalm 30:12

 

 

 

 

joy will come

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when every beam of light goes dim 

trust that you can rest in Him 

His light shines in darkness 

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when you cry out but not a word 

escapes your mouth- you still are heard 

His ears hear in darkness 

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when all that’s left to do is wait 

In Him joy comes, His love is great 

His voice speaks in darkness 

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Recently, I took the girls out shopping so they could find a birthday present for a friend.  You go to the toy section, I’ll be in electronics– I told them.

I remember how desperately I wanted to feel close to God, and how far away He seemed.

I was hoping to find a new worship CD to listen to in the car on the way home.  He so often speaks to me through music, and I searched and searched…but the CD selection in this store was dismal.  I couldn’t find a single one. I went to find the girls, we made our gift purchase, and I pushed the thought of finding new music out of my mind.

And then just days later- after our Sunday service, a wonderful lady who loves the Lord came up to me as I was walking out to my van.  Here- someone gave me these, and I thought you’d like to have them.  She handed me a gift bag with several CD’s in them.

I dropped my husband off at work the other morning, and as I looked down in my van, I saw that same gift bag that had been handed to me days before.  I had forgotten about it, but felt compelled to look inside on this particular morning.  I grabbed a cd out of the bag and popped it into my cd player. The first words I heard were these-

I’m here to meet with you
come and meet with me
I’m here to find you
reveal yourself to me

As I wait, you make me strong
As I long, draw me to your arms
As I stand and sing your praise
You come, you come and you fill this place
Won’t you come, Won’t you come and fill this place

As I listened, God revealed Himself to me.  I cried tears of joy as I remembered the week I had before and how far away God had seemed to me.  In that moment as I listened to the CD, He brought to mind the day I wandered through that store- searching for music, wanting so desperately to be near Him…and then the picture of the lady from our church came to mind- how she smiled and hugged me so tightly as she handed me a bag  full of CD’s…

God is faithful.  Even when I can’t see or feel Him.  He filled my van with His presence that day. He breathed life into these dry bones again.  He filled me with joy.

I am thankful 🙂

Weeping may last through the night,
    but joy comes with the morning…Psalm 30:5

 

joy comes in the morning

 

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OBX Sunrise

I sat in silence watching you

reveling in daylight’s debut 

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a front-row seat upon the sand 

morning sprung forth from His hand 

 

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we witnessed daybreak’s glorious light 

across the glassy ocean bright 

 

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like looking through a kaleidoscope 

the beauty filled my soul with hope 

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as I sat in silence watching you 

reveling in daylight’s debut

***********

I am a “sunset” girl- and I get to see them pretty often.

But getting to see an actual sunrise on the beach?  That’s a special occasion for sure!

It was going to be our last full day at the beach, and so we decided to get up super early and make the 5 minute drive to the ocean to watch the sun come up.  As I was drifting off to sleep the night before, my hubby asked me if I had set the alarm since we were going to get up at the crack of dawn to see this!  No- I had forgotten… huge shocker, lol… I forget EVERYTHING!!  But I just knew the good Lord will wake me up on time to get there, I smiled as I told my husband.

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Sure enough, about 4:30am my eyes popped open.

We drove the short distance to the ocean and as I walked across the dunes, it was like a wonderland.  Misty, slightly cloudy- the ocean water glittered like diamonds, shimmered with rosy hues as it reflected the dawn sky.  It was just stunning.

DSC_0416.jpgI could have sat there all day long.  The Lord woke me up right on time, and He gave us a magnificent morning.

God is good.

…but joy comes in the morning.  Psalm 30:5

loved

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While I love taking photos, I have never liked having my own picture taken.  My hair is never right, my smile looks fake, and the angle is never flattering.  But I experienced something this past weekend that had a profound impact on the way I saw a picture of myself.

The Sunday service had just finished, and I began tidying up the stage. A couple of ladies- whom I love dearly- came to the edge of the stage to chat with me. Trying to be lady-like, I knelt down to talk with them and sat with my legs tucked behind me.

We chatted about life and how our weeks had been, and then out of the blue, one of them said to the other-

“Quick!  Get your phone out and take a picture!”

“A picture of what?” I asked, confused.

“A picture of YOU!”

I thought it was a weird request.  Why in the world would she- out of the clear blue-want to take my picture?

And in that moment, I felt the Lord answer me-

because she loves you

“Don’t change a thing!  Just keep sitting like you are.”

So I continued to sit just as I had been, while they took my picture. I noticed my husband walking back into the sanctuary, and he began walking up towards us.  I started to laugh thinking about how odd this impromptu photo session must have seemed.

“Don’t move!”

And I sat as still as I could while they moved around to find the best lighting.

“Aww… see?  I knew it was going to be a good one!” They showed me the photo on their phone, and for one of the first times, I didn’t notice all those little flaws about myself that I usually do.

 I saw something very different-

I saw someone who felt loved.

Someone who felt worthy of having their picture taken.

It was such a sweet, sincere moment-  a simple, loving gesture that I will not forget.

I am so thankful to have this photo to always remind me that

I am

loved.

Let love be genuine.  

Romans 12:9

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I am loved.  And so are YOU!!! 

This too shall pass

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As I sat on the couch, my dog began to slowly whimper beside as he subtly attempted to get my attention.  He needed to go outside, and I needed to bundle up due to the cold air that has settled in here.  I layered up while he ran in circles around me, and as I opened the door, I noticed the pink hued sky.  It glowed with the promise of a new day.

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I wasn’t outside more than a couple of minutes, but reveled in the beauty.  I quickly ran inside, gave my dog his “treat” and glanced out the window again… and nothing.  Nada.  Not even a hint  of the colors that captivated my eyes just moments before.

What a simple reminder from Him to seize the moment, find joy, and revel in the beauty of NOW…

before it’s gone.

It is of the Lord‘s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.

They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:22-23IMG_0619

be a trend-setter

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It’s ok to be a trend-setter 

a goldenrod go-getter 

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Show your true colors

let your dead leaves fall 

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It’s ok to be a trail-blazer

a “shoot for the stars”-gazer

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come on, light up the world 

and give Him your all

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As I went on a walk on this loverly fall evening, I noticed the leaves are FINALLY starting to change. One tree at a time is bursting forth in heavenly color- paving the way for the rest of them …which made me think about my daughters.

Each girl has their own unique style. My youngest is “sporty” and loves to wear mix-matched socks- the crazier the better.  My oldest daughter is a “girly-girl” and likes to accessorize every outfit- fancy or casual- with a scarf. I am trying to encourage them to be themselves- to not get so caught up in what their friends are wearing and doing…for them to know that it’s ok to be different.

One day we were walking through the mall and my girls were talking to me about recent fashion trends.

“I just heard someone say that “fringe” is in. I think fringe is disgusting!” one daughter says to the other.

“Umm… especially armpit fringe.  That’s just the worst!” says my youngest, as she pointed at a shirt in the store’s window display as we were leaving- all decked out in fringe.  The fringe started right at the armpit and went all the way down the sides of the shirt.

I couldn’t help but laugh at the absurdity of armpit fringe.  It seems these girls already recognize that following a “trend” isn’t always the thing to do.

Be yourself.  And who knows- you just might start your own trend!

He has made every thing beautiful in his time- Ecclesiastes 3:11

Self-Acceptance…and a song I wrote about it

“Playing Dress-Up”

She’s watching everything I do 

“Mom I want to be like you”

she wants to paint her face like me 

I swore I’d put aside

the things I see in the mirror that I despise

I’d look at myself through my Father’s eyes

but who am I kidding? 

I catch my own self 

trying to fit a mold never made for me

trying to change the things I see

with my eyes

such a hypocrite, I talk a good talk

but when push comes to shove

can I walk the walk? 

cause deep down I’m still a little girl

playing dress-up 

with those lines on my face 

I drew lines in the sand 

cause I don’t want my girls

giving into the world’s demands

trying to be a size 

He never made her to be

trying to look like a Barbie Doll fantasy

instead of the masterpiece

He made her to be 

Recently, I told my husband that I hated the lines on my face.  I didn’t even notice what I was doing as I said it.

“Stop criticizing God’s masterpiece!”  my husband said to me.

Instead of accepting myself, I have tried to hide, cover-up, and change the way I look for years. My flaws have screamed at me when I look in the mirror.

Even though I have struggled with this, I’ve always thought that I’ve done a good job hiding this from my daughters.  I tell them to be themselves, to not worry about what other people think about what they wear and how their hair looks.  They are beautiful, and they don’t need to change a thing.

But the other day, as I was getting ready, I was putting on my make-up and my (almost) 10 year old was standing with me, watching my every move.

“Momma- can you curl my lashes?  I want you to put some make-up on my face!”

“Baby, you are gorgeous without any of that.”

“But why do you do it then?”

Good question… one I didn’t have an easy answer for.  To feel better about myself… To hide the dark circles under my eyes from lack of sleep…to look pretty.

vanity, vanity… all is vanity

And then I thought about all those mornings I try on garment after garment, and while I don’t usually give a voice to my thoughts- those negative, self-deprecating thoughts are still there… and my girls are watching me.

I need to practice what I preach. Because deep down, I am still a little girl wanting to live up to something I am not… and it is time to embrace who I am.

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.

1 Peter 3:3-4