that is all

Simply trusting every day;
Trusting through a stormy way;
Even when my faith is small,
Trusting Jesus, that is all. 

Trusting as the moments fly,
Trusting as the days go by,
Trusting Him, whate’er befall,
Trusting Jesus, that is all.

Brightly doth His Spirit shine
Into this poor heart of mine;
While He leads I cannot fall,
Trusting Jesus, that is all.

Singing if my way be clear,
Praying if the path be drear;
If in danger, for Him call,
Trusting Jesus, that is all.

Trusting Him while life shall last,
Trusting Him till earth is past,
Till His gracious advent call,
Trusting Jesus, that is all.  

– Edgar Page Stites (1836- 1921)

I am learning to trust Jesus more every day.  I am learning to trust Him in big things and in the small things too.  And every time I have handed over a worry or a concern to Him- I can look back and see how He has always, ALWAYS worked things out!

Yesterday, as I was preparing to lead worship for the service, I set my binder with the worship order and the chord charts for the music on the piano.  As I began singing, I realized that the folder was NOT the same folder I had used earlier in the week… in fact, by the time I got to the third song, I realized that the song was not in this particular folder.

It was a song that had lots of words to it, and I had even decided at our practice to change the key to another one- one that I had never played or sang the song in before.

I had a very brief moment of panic set in… and then I remembered all the times I had led worship before- and how He had always provided what I needed- ESPECIALLY the times I felt the weakest.

So I began to play and prayed He would give me words…. and the words just flowed right out of my mouth.  It was like my fingers were dancing across the piano keys.  I was so grateful for all the days I have sat at my piano and worshipped just because.  I play and sing every day- not because I’m “practicing”- but because I want to be close to Jesus.

The more I worship, the closer I feel to Him.

The closer I feel to Him- the easier it is for me to hear His gentle whispers, and the more I can trust and obey Him-in ALL things!

“While He leads, I cannot fall; trusting Jesus, that is all.”

The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.  Psalm 28:7

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Color

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a backdrop

of sky blue

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a picture- portrait

of You

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evidence

how profound

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I sense Your presence

all around

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I love walking and taking in all the beautiful things He has made.  The sky was cerulean blue, the air crisp and clean, and the color of the trees glowed against the autumn sky.  I woke up feeling especially thankful today-

-for the beginning of a new week

-that I have a car that I could drive to the trail

-that my hubby has the day off and that he could go with me 

-that I remembered to wear socks on our walk (so I wouldn’t get blisters!) 

-for changing seasons

-that I have a Heavenly Father who knows just what I need- at all times! 

You have searched me, Lord,
    and you know me.
 You know when I sit and when I rise;
    you perceive my thoughts from afar.
 You discern my going out and my lying down;
    you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
    you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
    and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too lofty for me to attain

– Psalm 139 

 

nothing is ever really lost…

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My hubby and I had an impromptu date yesterday,  and we decided to walk one of the local trails.  Instead of wearing crocs with no socks (that rhymes, lol),   I took the time to put on socks and shoes-  a rare occasion it was!

We got into the car, and marveled over the crystal clear blue sky and the smell of autumn in the air.  You can just feel change coming- and we are anticipating the leaves changing any day now.

Anywho, we got out of the car, I reached for my phone in my purse, you know- the one I am addicted to?  and wouldn’t you know it-   I couldn’t find it! Hubby could not BELIEVE that I actually left home without it.

Neither could I.

Ughh… how am I going to document this beautiful day?

Hubs handed over his phone so I could take a few pictures.

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But only a few, he said.  We need to enjoy the moment.  

And we did.

We exchanged jolly, banter back and forth- memories of years gone by, and we dreamed about our future.

I looked around as we walked, and I saw the evidence of the heavy downpours we experienced over the last few weeks- sandbags, a rushing waterfall, trenches dug for drainage.

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I saw weary mommas walking with toddlers, dog-moms walking their fur babies.

I remembered all the times I walked that trail with my own babies.  One in a backpack and the other in a stroller. Those sleepless days were sweet, but seemed like they were light years ago.

Seasons come and go so quickly!

The hubs and I  had lunch together, and afterwards I scoured the house looking for my cell phone.  I couldn’t find it anywhere!  I wasn’t desperate to use it- just desperate to find it- because once I forget where I’ve put something, the chances are slimmer and slimmer that I will ever see it again.

On a whim, I went back to the car to check for it… and there it was in the backseat.  Plain as day.

So I had my phone with me all along.  I can’t remember a walk I have taken without it.  And you know something-

I didn’t miss is at all! 

“Nothing is ever really lost to us as long as we remember it.”

-L.M. Montgomery 

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Now I See

 

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Clouds swirled in, I heard them call-

“come see us up the mountaintop!” 

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breezes swished in the apple-crisp air 

leaves swirled ’round without a care 

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the wind- it whirled and howled about

orchestrating a most glorious shout!  

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I felt the marvelous presence of Grace 

and His glory surrounded this heavenly place 

I awoke one recent morning to the most beautiful sight- streams of sunlight  were peeking through my mini-blinds in my bedroom, shedding light on blankets and girls and dogs strewn about our bedroom floor.  We had an adventurous evening the day before, and our girls decided to sleep on our bedroom floor, along with the dogs that night.

I was the first one awake the next morning, and I saw that moment as a gift from the Lord.  The girls looked like burritos- rolled up in blankets, and the dogs were curled up beside them.  My husband slept soundly beside me, and I was completely overwhelmed with God’s love.  In that moment, I realized everything that mattered to me was in that one room- and it was more than enough.  I had to fight back tears as I thought of the girls getting older, and how things will someday change.  I can’t bear to think of the day when they leave home…so I savored this rare moment when ALL of us were together, slumbering in the same room.

That overwhelming feeling of love was with me the entire day.  The girls and I went to the movies, and as we came out of the theater, we noticed the temperature had dropped significantly and the clouds were swirling in the sky.  On the way home, we went up to Carter’s Mountain to get some apples and cider donuts.  The view was just spectacular.

I have so much to be thankful for.

“…There is one thing I do know: I was blind, but now I see!”- John 9:25

 

 

 

You may say I’m a dreamer

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today I took the time to dream 

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to rekindle the spark within 

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to remember what inspired me 

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so I can dream again 

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“In the Last Days,” God says,
“I will pour out my Spirit
    on every kind of people:
Your sons will prophesy,
    also your daughters;
Your young men will see visions,
    your old men dream dreams…” Acts 2:17

It was a gorgeous autumn day, and I couldn’t stop smiling at the beautiful view sprawled before me as I drove over Afton Mountain.  I pulled my van over to gaze at His handiwork, and as I began to focus on what a marvelous Creator we have, I started forget all the other stuff that was on my mind.

And something magical happened- all of a sudden, all my childhood dreams started coming back to me…what I wanted to be when I “grew up”, the things I hoped to do for fun…

like being a singer on broadway… or becoming news reporter… or owning a craft shop with my sister (we even had a name- we were going to name it “Kindred Spirits”!) …I wanted to drive across country in a VW convertible and see the countryside…

I remembered how exhilarating it was as a kid to dream about the future, and how life was filled with so many possibilities!  And standing there on that mountain, I realized that I had forgotten how wonderful it is to dream! It made me feel like a giddy school girl again thinking of all the desires, hopes, and dreams the Lord has given me.

And He reminded me that I’m still just a big “kid”… and I still don’t know what I want to be when I “grow up”!

So don’t forget to take the time dream…and trust that His plans are even greater for your life-when you abide in Him! 

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. – Jeremiah 29:11

the fog lifted…

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perspective changes 

when the fog lifts- we see what 

was there all along

Speaking of fog…over the summer I got to “view” this gorgeous place-  Swannanoa Palace … and it just so happened to be under a heavy blanket of fog that day- adding to the mysterious but still lovely atmosphere.  I had the joy of going back to Swannanoa with my sister and a dear friend recently, to catch a glimpse of the clear mountain views and to take a few more pictures.

I am so thankful for the visit with my sister and our childhood friend!  It doesn’t matter how much time has passed between seeing each other- it’s like no time has passed at all when we are together…and it’s just like we’re kids again!

It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

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panoramic views from the Palace tower

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crystal clear view from the palace tower

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panoramic views from the tower

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the overgrown, but still beautiful pergola

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the pergola on a perfect fall day

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I found this little ivy covered bridge in the garden

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can you imagine waking up to a view like this every day?!

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a view to remember…the Blue Ridge Mountains

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The stunning foliage around the water tower

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Have you ever seen a hydrangea bush this big?!

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The best view of all… my girls and their cousins!

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The water tower (or Rapunzel’s tower… as I like to call it)

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the view of the gardens from the stairwell

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The best view of all… my sister, my dear friend, and our wee ones 🙂

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Swannanoa Palace

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The stained glass TIffany window

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The magnificent stairwell

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The only way to have a friend is to be one

– Ralph Waldo Emerson  

The Last to Fall

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some foliage may leap

at the first sign of autumn

while others will tarry

before hitting bottom

The leaves yet to fall

get a bird’s eye view

a forecasting of all

they’re jumping into

Growing up, I often felt like an outcast. Tall, overweight, pimply and awkward.  I was quite frequently the last one picked in school to be on any team of any kind.  One perks of not being “chosen” first was that I was able to observe and take in the scene- I have always loved people-watching! 

As I was out walking the other day, I noticed fields of gold crumpled leaves on the ground.  Almost all of them had already fallen, but there were just a few still clinging to the branches.  It was a beautiful sight. And it all reminded me that there is a season for everything… and that every dying leaf will eventually be “picked” off the tree.

And I am overwhelmed this morning knowing that all those years of feeling like the last one to be chosen- that I have been “picked” by Him, and that by His grace, I won’t fall into a pile of decaying, moldy leaves… but that I will be continually made new by His Spirit.  I have “fallen” for Him… There is a time for everything- and His time is always now!

I am loved, I am chosen, and I am His!

There is a time for everything,

and a season for every activity under the heavens- Ecclesiastes 3

Beauty Fades

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High definition vibrancy

a technicolor tapestry

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autumn leaves of  fantasy

one last hurrah, then dormancy

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 beauty’s only temporary

in the near future, we will see 

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nature’s true transparency

the truth beneath flamboyancy 

 The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7

Moments in between

 

 

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the setting sun from Carter’s Mountain

There’s beauty in the going up

And in the coming down

There’s beauty in the looking up

and in the looking  ’round

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There’s beauty in the

stepping back

and taking in the scene

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There’s beauty in the 

details-

in the moments 

in between

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On a whim, I decided to take a trip up to the apple orchard with the girls.  It was getting late, but we had just enough time to make it up the mountain to get a few apples and to see the view. I love the drive up the mountain because it reminds me of my childhood.  Growing up, we took several trips to the mountains to look at the fall foliage, and a visit to the apple orchard was always on the list.  My family would drive all that way, years ago, to drive up this same mountain…and now I am blessed to live down the street from it!

I can still remember my mom, my sister, and I letting out oohs and ahhhs as we climbed higher and higher… I can see the cheshire grin on my grandfather’s face as he drove up the windy path…and my dad’s belly laugh as we all pretended to be frightened at falling off the mountain.

How things have changed…my grandfather passed away last year, and my parents divorced long ago… but as I climb the mountain, I smile at my girls taking turns oohing and ahhing- just like my sister and I used to do.  And on the way back down the mountain, they grab my phone to take pictures-

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The view up top is spectacular, but the girls’ photos reminded me that there is just as much beauty to be found on the way down- and in making new memories.  They kept telling me to look– but I couldn’t because I was driving.  So they snapped pictures of the scenery while I drove down the mountain.

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Sometimes I have to focus so hard on “driving” that I miss the details.  How badly I want God to be my chauffeur so I can take in the scenery!   He is always at work- in all those in-between moments and even those times we have to keep our eyes on the road.

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.  Ecclesiastes:3-11

Keep Looking Up

Glorious Sunday morning in Keswick, VA

Sky of a thousand

shades of blue

How I long

to gaze at you

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Sea of azure

in the sky

Your wonder clouds

go swimming by

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Sky light, sky bright

always keeping 

Him in sight

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His glory shines

on everything

Oh, how Your beauty

makes me sing!

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Friday Night’s Sunset

Everything in the heavens and on earth is yours, O LORD, and this is your kingdom. We adore you as the one who is over all things.  1 Chronicles 29:11

The day always goes much more smoothly when I look up.  The moment I allow my thoughts to go astray, nothing good comes from it. My mini van didn’t want to start this morning. Immediately, I began to panic. I detest car (or in my case, mini van) troubles.  I don’t know a thing about cars.  But isn’t it crazy that we can trust our cars to take us here, there, and everywhere without knowing much of anything about them and how they work?

In my moments of panic, He reminded me of this- how often I put my hope in worldly things to meet my needs when they often fail me.  Cars, appliances, circumstances…even in other people.

So I looked up.  I gazed into the sky and handed Him my worries. He will meet my needs. It’s not if– but when– my van fails me, I trust that He will provide the help I need.  It’s not if- but when– my appliances break, when someone hurts me, when life and relationships get messy- He is there.  And in Him, there’s always hope!

And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in You.  Psalm 39:7

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6