I “Press” On

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Over a year ago, I decided to share a blog post I had written on my Facebook page.  It was a story about me and my daughters that happened several years ago- one that was especially dear to me.  Within about 5 minutes, I had a notification from Facebook that my article had been reported because it violated their “community standards”.  My website had been blocked.  Not only was my website blocked, but every single post that I had ever written and shared on my personal page was also removed, and I got a notification for each one.

It didn’t make any sense.

What I had written contained nothing offensive, other than it was a heart-warming story about a mom and daughter.  I did everything I could to appeal it.  I spent hours googling and looking for anyone to talk to about it.  And if you’ve ever tried- you know that it is absolutely impossible to find anyone from Facebook to call, email, message, or talk to about getting your site “unblocked”.

So about 6 months later, I paid to “upgrade” my WordPress site- hoping that I would then be able to share my posts to Facebook again.  Unfortunately,  it didn’t work- my site was (and still is) blocked.

To be honest- that is a big reason I haven’t written on this blog as frequently.

What bothers me even more is how I used to be so apprehensive about sharing things on Facebook… and then once I let go and started not caring- well, it was too late.  

But who am I writing for?

The Audience of One.

I have allowed the Facebook blockage to also lead to writer’s block.  Do you know that I wrote a blog post every single week (sometimes more than one) for almost 6 years straight?  That is an amazing accomplishment for me!

It has been good to take a break.

But it’s good to be back 😉

I “press” on- Philippians 3:14 

a little closer to home

I’ve wandered near and far

in search of you

looked high and low

for a perfect view

when all the while

all I had to do

was look

a little

closer

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When my husband has the whole weekend off, I love for us to do things together.  He is a meticulous planner, and I am a fly-by-the seat of my pants girl.  It works out pretty well for both of us!  A little give-and-take goes a long way, and compromise is always a winner for both of us.

So the other night, I randomly suggested we go to the lake together to watch the sunset.  Why have we never thought to do this in our 14 years of living in this neighborhood?!  

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We journeyed the 5 minutes down the street to the marina, parked the car, and found a resting spot against the guard rail.  The sky was absolutely gorgeous. Just stunning.

We could see Carter’s Mountain off in the distance from the lake. And there were pontoon boats tarrying near the marina, taking in the spectacular view.

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Sometimes I think about how much time I waste looking for something better- like looking for a better sunset view….

when we had a perfectly fine view right here all along!

He put your feet on a wonderful road
    that took you straight to a good place to live- Psalm 107:7

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You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.  

Psalm 16:11

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His mercy is new

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intrigued by morning’s glow

of a winter sunrise

I leash up my best friend

to take him out and feast our eyes

on the beautiful light of dawn

as we watch Him paint away-

once again, I am reminded

His mercy is new today 

I have not been sleeping well lately.  I admit that I have complained a little about this because it leaves me feeling tired.  All the time.

I love how God renews, refreshes, and reveals little things to me- when I am paying attention.  Just yesterday, in our women’s small group at church, we watched a short video of a sermon about being hungry.  The pastor said his very favorite part of the day was at 4 am when he woke up and got to spend time alone with God- all by himself.  He said he couldn’t wait for this time every day!

Yep, I had to gulp a little when I heard him say that.  Because lately, I have been so frustrated that I haven’t been able to get a full night’s sleep.  When I see the clock at 2, 3, and 4am…I have been less than thrilled.

He really gave me grace this morning, because I didn’t see the clock until 5am!  And when I woke up, I kept hearing that pastor say that was his favorite time.

Yes- it could be mine, too… if I commit it to Him…

And so this morning- I did.

Imagine my delight when I walked into the living room, and saw the pink glow of the sunrise coming through the window. I leashed up my dog and took him out with me. It was gorgeous.  And I love that the most beautiful part was hidden behind the trees.  You have to intentionally look for it.

Just like we have to intentionally look for Him!

And the EARLIER in the day- the BETTER!

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.  Psalm 143:8

He is Faithful

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He is Faithful

He takes our time and endless demands

into His infinite goodness and limitless hands

turning our impossibilities

into His miraculous opportunities

to allow His work and Spirit to shine-

the glory is all His and none of it mine.

He is faithful.

I am humbled.

 One of my favorite devotional books is Streams in the Desert.  A line I once read from there has stuck with me-

Nothing blesses the one who prays as much as an offering of praise.- Streams in the Desert

Although our needs may be plenty, God is so much greater!  When we offer our praises to Him- through prayer or song, He has a remarkable way of changing the way we see things.  Our focus shifts from ourselves to Him… and He can take our struggles and things that seem impossible- and turn them into wonderful opportunities to show us His goodness.

There is so much to be thankful for today!  The coldest winter has finally given way to the warmth of springtime- and just in the nick of time for my girls to be out of school for Spring Break.  I walked outside yesterday to a symphony of birds singing- another sign that spring is here!   I praise Him for the sunshine.  I praise Him for making a way for the girls and I to have a last-minute lunch with my husband on his lunch break today.  There is always much to pray for- but the praises today are endless!

Here’s a song I wrote called “You Are Faithful”-

It is a song of praise- for His faithfulness and His goodness.

You are faithful, You are good.  You are awesome and magnificent and powerful. You are worthy of all praise and You are wonderful! You are the Prince of Peace and You are everything beautiful! You are faithful, You are good.

Puppy Love

This is our dog, Remy- the most totally awesomest dog ever-

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My husband and my youngest daughter are severely allergic to cats and most dogs.  Being a dog lover, I had suppressed my desire for a fur-baby far too long.  It was like a clock ticking inside of me- you know how when you are desperate to have a baby you notice every single expectant mother?  Well that is what happened to me… only I oohed and awed at every single dog I saw.  It was just pathetic.  So, one day I convinced my hubby to let me just look at rescue dogs on line.  I fell in love with one- a poodle mix and  emailed all the forms necessary to be considered for the adoption process.  Several days later, I noticed his picture was gone from the website, and my hopes were dashed.

About a week later, I saw this same dog’s picture back on the rescue site, and I quickly sent an email to them explaining that I sent paperwork and was very interested in him.  I got a response the next day, and went to see him at his “foster home”.  He roamed the field with dogs 5x his size and held his own. He was confident and quiet.  Fast on his feet and gentle with the girls.  He was delivered to us a few days before my oldest daughter’s  8th birthday and we have been blessed ever since!

So, here are my top 10 reasons why he’s a most totally awesome dog-

1. He smiles at me.  He has this little underbite and when he looks up at you, you can’t help but notice that he his smiling at you, and you have to smile back!!

2. He sneezes when he’s excited.  It is the cutest thing ever- he sneezes when he wants to play with you, when he wants what you are eating, when he is excited about anything- he starts sneezing.

3.  He gives us running hugs in the evenings.  I mean just what I said- he will (completely out of the blue) run into the living room and jump into my or my husband’s lap and put his paws around our neck.  Is that the sweetest thing ever?!

4. He allows me to enjoy a slower paced life.  One of the things I love about having a dog is that it keeps you grounded at your homestead.  I am a “homebody” and really do love being home.  Having a dog gives me a great reason to get home at a decent time.

5. He stops and smells the roses.  So, this reason is one that most pet owners will identify with- you go for a walk, and the instant he smells something, he will sniff for what feels like days and days… and it is usually when I am in a hurry to be somewhere.  But this reminds me to enjoy God’s creation and to not be in such a hurry.

6.  He loves to dance!  Ok- so he might be scratching his back, but in our happy little minds, he is overcome with joy and throws himself on his back and wiggles away, smiling all the while.

7. He keeps watch over us.  When any one of us are not home, he will faithfully sit by the basement stairs door, patiently waiting for whomever is not home.  He does not sleep soundly until everyone is accounted for.

8. He loves for me to play the piano.  No matter where he is, as soon as I sit down to play, I can hear the pitter-patter of his paws scurrying down the hallway to come be with me.  Remy will lay on top of my right foot- the one that is pedaling the piano.  Maybe he is just wanting a massage?!

9.  His fur makes great stuffing for pillows.  No joke!  I clipped his fur a few months back, and my oldest daughter gathered it all up and said that she wanted to use it as stuffing and make a pillow so that she would be close to him while she slept.  True story.  She still has the bag of fur. No fur pillow yet…

10.  He is a wonderful reminder to me that God cares about our every desire.    I prayed to God for the perfect dog for our family- for a long time.  I knew how severe my husband’s allergies and my daughter’s were, but I prayed that He would bring us the perfect dog to fit our family dynamics and health concerns.  He is faithful in all things!

Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

In the two and a half years that we have had Remy, I have not regretted having him even for a single moment.  We don’t have a fenced in yard- so it is quite the commitment to walk him several times a day.  He gives us so much joy.  I love watching the girls play with him and take on more responsibilities with him as they get older.  When they have a bad day, all they want to do is snuggle with him.  He brings us closer together as a family and it is a joy to have him in our household!   And praise the Lord- most of the sneezes in the house are from Remy, not my allergy- plagued family!  He makes us happy, happy, happy!

So, what makes your dog awesome?