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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Five Minute Friday...Keep Dancing


People gather around and watch in amazement…
two 87 yrs. old dancing as they celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary. 
They hear the music… they forget their age…their limitations…
casting off all that would keep them in their seats…
and they let the music transport them to dance free.





I too…want to keep my dancing shoes on…
letting the music in my soul…letting the music of the Spirit call me…
calling me past my limitations…getting me out of my seat…
I can see His hand,the Lover of my soul, reaching out to me…
calling me to come and dance…
He longs to dance me free from all that keeps me stuck in my seat…
He longs for all of us to dance free in His love.
May we all say yes when He asks us to dance...
resting and abiding in His love as He leads us. 

Join me today for Five Minute Friday.  

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Transforming Ordinary Moments Into Cathedral Moments


God has been speaking to me about everyday moments…everyday cathedrals…
cathedrals aren't just built with brick and mortar…
but cathedrals are truly built within our hearts…
we don’t have to go to a place of worship
our hearts are to be a place of worship…living cathedrals...breathing cathedrals…
giving praise and reflecting His glory.

Here are two quotes that express what is in my heart better than I could ever write.
One quote is from Ann…
the other is an excerpt from one of my favorite authors, Mike Mason…
who also hails from Canada…

from 1,000 Gifts by Ann Voskamp...
"How do you open the eyes to see how to take the daily domestic, workday vortex and invert it into the dome of an everyday cathedral?"

from Practicing the Presence of People by Mike Mason...
Brother Lawrence is known as the 'kitchen saint’ because he actually experienced more of God’s presence in the kitchen than in his formal times of prayer. “He found that the best way to reaching God was by doing ordinary tasks entirely for His Love,” and “that it was a great delusion to think that time set aside for prayer should be different from other times, for we’re equally obliged to be united to God by work in the time assigned to work as by prayer during prayer times.
Brother Lawrence abolished the hierarchy of activities. He silenced that snoot little voice that tells us that some things are more important than others. If this were really the case, it would follow that the less important things should be treated with relative contempt. …...To exalt one part of life over another is to devalue ourselves and cheapen the human spirit.“  

Did Brother Lawrence abolish the hierarchy of activities because he knew when building a friendship with God, one doesn't have to wait for special occasions?
 A friendship is built by time spent…in ordinary moments
Brother Lawrence gave God full access...continual access...
no matter where he was or what he was doing.

By God’s Grace…We are building this kind of friendship…
A friendship that meets me in the trenches, comforts me in the valley, 
and brings joy to the mountain top… 
always an abiding presence...even in the everyday activities of life...
I am learning to let Him transform my ordinary moments into cathedral moments…
a place of everlasting worship.
Won’t you join me today in building cathedrals of praise in the simple moments of life?


Continuing to count and build  with words and pictures....
My last trip to the DMV...that alone can be thousand thanks:)
Helping my daughter- in- love make goodies for a wedding she is doing.
She’s amazing...this is what she did for her own wedding!
Loved the beard...for a while...but I do love a clean shaven- face:)
~2582~2600
~daughter getting driver license
~my own personal errand runner…the boys were never so enthusiastic to go to the grocery for me
~kids who still come in our room late at night just to hang…so little time left
~a husband who encourages me with blogging
~sunshine
~birds singing
~everyone in the kitchen laughing and talking
~quiet mornings
~running in the heat
~breakfast Saturday morning with hubby
~weekend walks/runs together
~guys playing golf…girls baking together
~cock pot dinner…thanks Jessica Turner
~becoming “half nesters”  empty house much of the time now.
~a healthy marriage and friendship at this stage of life
~watching kids find their own spiritual paths
~entrusting them to God
~Grace that fills the places we miss













Friday, June 22, 2012

Let’s Risk It All.




Why don’t we just throw caution to the wind… jump into the deep end?
let go…let go of all we cling to…the secret desires, hope and dream….
the fears controlling our lives…fears giving energy to grab to get…
fears fueling entitlement…fear keeping us from trust….

Let’s risk it all…

Let’s live the risky life of faith…the kind of faith that fully puts our trust in Christ…
are we willing to risk no longer trusting in ourselves to make our life happen…
letting His love fill when we are empty…His love to comfort when we are sad…
His love to meet every need…allowing us to leave the demanding behind…

Will we risk coming to a sweet surrender…to stop the striving and allow…
the King of kings, Lord of Lords, the Creator of the universe, Jehovah Jireh, Wisdom, the Comforter, Healer, Deliver, Shepard, Bread, Friend, Brother, Husband, Prince of Peace, Savior, Faithful, Abba…   
allow This Great God to be all he says He is…
to give Him room in our lives to meet all our needs according to His riches in Heaven.

Bring the whole tithe self into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. Malachi 3:10 (my emphasis)

Let’s not give a tenth of ourselves…


Life is risky…full of unknowns. There is not life without risk…we can either risk and “gamble” on the world’s ways…or we can risk and “gamble” on God’s ways.
The choice is ours.

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. Rev. 3:20

"Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! Deuteronomy 30:19

Be risky today…join me at Five Minute Fridays…always a blessing.

Monday, June 18, 2012

His Ocean of Love


Our journey moves through seasons of life...
Each season gives us gifts to be treasured. 
During some seasons gifts are buried…
These treasures have to be dug for…but there are always jewels to be found.
There are other seasons when gifts abound all around…
Counting them is like trying to number the sands on the beach.



Each morning as I sat in God’s beautiful sanctuary…

I was reminded of this…
 “...may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” (Ephesains3: 18-20)

As I gazed out over the ocean, God whispered in my ear…
”This is what My Love looks like…so wide and so deep you can never exhaust it…
Always faithful like the waves…My Love continually washes over you…
And just like the waves…My Love never stops …never pauses.
Sometimes My Love feels slow and gently like the waves that lap upon the shore…
And sometimes My Love feels violent and angry like the waves in a storm…
But this is My Love too…all the “waves” in life come out of the depths of My Love.”

God’s immeasurable Love washed over my family this week…
The guys ministering in Arizona…the woman at the beach.  
The gifts are too many to number them all…
But here are some of the gifts He lavished upon us.

A week of all this adorableness...she was a little trooper.

 A week long celebration of my youngest turning 16...what a blessing to spend a week with all these amazing young ladies...I am richly blessed.

First blog friendship meet up...these two Amy’s met through a infertility blog...
both have babies one month apart...
one waiting for the adoption to be final.


The guys serving the Navajo community...they did manual labor...
and ran a basketball camp.

They also got to take in God’s beauty...having devotionals looking over canyons...
and doing some hiking...those specks on top of the rocks are my sons...
it is probably best momma wasn’t there:)

3 of the 4 Elliott men came back all burly:)



~2505~2529~

~safe travels for everyone
~mornings spent in God’s sanctuary
~the ocean breeze
~a week with Ellie
~seeing her love the ocean…the pool
~waking up every morning to see her sweet smiles
~a week with my daughters and daughter in love
~wonderful conversations…opening up of hearts
~teachable hearts
~mark and I talking each morning over coffee…in 2 different locationsJ
~aloe vera
~Jesus calling speaking straight to my daughter’s heart
~a week of birthday celebrations for my daughter’s 16 birthday
~her feeling God’s love and His kisses on the cheek…all the sweet little gifts
~her reaching 2000 gifts of counting
~window seat at the restaurant overlooking the ocean
~God meeting and directing every detail of the guys trip
~a gift to me from a Navajo woman.
~celebrating Father’s day with my dad
~everyone back home
~a husband who gives our kids a beautiful picture of their ABBA FATHER
~sleeping again in his arms.
~God’s endless, boundless Love
~redemption

 Join me today @ Ann's,  Playdates, and Soli Deo Gloria,

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Ann Voskamp Teaches Spelling.

Just dropping in to give thanks for all these many gifts from this weekend...  and the week to come. 
My weekend started off with a huge, huge gift…
hearing and meeting Ann Voskamp. 

It was an evening of beautiful worship…
with Psalmist Christa Wells and the soulful voice of Witt Nicole. 
Hundreds of women lifting voices and hearts together...
this maybe a bit of heaven on earth. 
Then what a blessing to hear Ann’s words with her voice, from her heart.
 So many wonderful truths…but I will share just one…Ann is helping her son decode...he asks is it "i before e"in receive ...Ann doesn't remember the rule because of the "c" but if the I comes first you can’t receive.”
How many years have I taught spelling?
I have never seen this simple truth in everyday spelling lesson.

This weekend our family did something very different…
our men(except SIL) headed out to spend a week in Window Rock, Az. 
They will serving on an Indian Reservation through manual labor...
and helping to run a basketball camp.

The Elliott women loaded our van and headed to Florida.

My heart is full to be here with my daughters, grand love...
 and daughter in Love. 
So this week, I am going to soak up this time with them...
pray for the guys in Arizona...
 and soak in all God’s glory that surrounds me.

I pray each one of you have a blessed week and you continue to count all the ways He loves you.

Hearing Ann Voskamp live.
Worshiping with hundreds of woman
Christa Wells
Getting to give Ann a hug and say thanks.
The Elliott guys getting this wonderful opportunity.
A safe trip after 2 full days of driving.
All of us girls in a car traveling together.
God giving us a rainbow as we arrive in Destin.

Driving right to God’s awesome creation…
Ellie first touch of the ocean.

God’s kindness
God’s provision
Blessings press down pouring over… 

 Join me today @ Ann's,  Playdates, and Soli Deo Gloria,


Friday, June 8, 2012

A Thief


Mike Mason says, “Expectations can be defined as…
“premeditated resentments.”

I would have never really described myself as a negative person….
the person who sees the glass as half empty instead of half full…

well…not until I started counting…counting all the gifts God gives…
not the ones I want but the ones that are before me everyday.

Growing in thanksliving…I saw I had been living in the land of the “not enough. 
No matter what was given or done...no matter the words…
they were never enough because I had hidden expectations.

In giving thanks I saw I was being robbed blind…robbed of true joy and peace…
here is where the thief was captured… A thief that kept demanding more and more…
a thief that could never be satisfied…a thief that ruled in this land of “not enough”

As my thankful heart grew…the thief had to flee…
there was no longer room for him to roam around…
stealing the moments…the joys…the gifts.

Now living with expectations has now been replace with living in expectancy…
Expectations have hard immovable edges… …
expectancy gives freedom to each moment to become whatever God intends for it to be.
expectancy is filled with joyful anticipation …
because God now if free to be the King of each moment of each day.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

To Grow In Confidence In God...


“The way to real security, serenity, inner peace, even in the most difficult circumstances ~ the way of total confidence in God”…Divine Intimacy

I almost feel there is nothing else to say…this says it all.

But this quote begs the question…
Does "security, serenity, inner peace” describe you and me? 
Wouldn’t you agree that most women (maybe ALL women) find these virtues allusive?

Sometimes I wish I could sit down and have some coffee with Mary - the mother of Jesus.
I would love to hear her heart…to ask her “from where did your confidence come?”
Not confidence in herself….but total confidence in God…
how deeply she must have known him…
that she would say “yes” to the most daunting request.

By Mary answering the angel, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord,
may it be done to me according to our word.” (Luke 1:38),
she entered into a great conflict. 
She knew what others did not know…she understood what others did not understand…
knowing that she would be judged and misjudged…knowing she would cause division…
how many people wanted to step away from her…
even her betrothed Joseph.

I wonder how Mary felt as she saw the doubt in Joseph’s eyes…
How did she deal with this painful space that now formed a chasm between them?
She had to leave all in the hands of the One in whom she entrusted her life.
This ~ the way of total confidence in God.

At this moment I want to ask her…did you know Isaiah 53:7?
He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth.

What was the source of her silence? 
Does it take more strength to be silent rather than try to convince others of our innocence? 
I think her silence was fueled by her confidence in God.
Somehow and somewhere in her life she learned…
God will never disappoint us if we put our Hope in Him.

And this hope will not lead to disappointment.
For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. Romans 5:5

Do we believe God will always find a way to sustain the one who entrusts…
The one who places total confidence in Him?

I think Mary did…
God sent an angel to Joseph…Matthew 1:20.

Let’s together grow in ~ the way of total confidence in God…
Trusting in His perfect love for us…even in the most difficult circumstances…
So we can be known as women who live with real security, serenity and inner peace…
the peace that surpasses all understanding.

She is clothed with strength and dignity, 
and she laughs without fear of the future. Proverbs 31:25

Join the blessings at Emily's @ Imperfect Prose And Jennifer@ God-Bumps.