"I hold on to You for dear life, and you hold me steady as a post..." Psalm 63

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Thoughts from the side of the ocean...

OCNJ 2014

Everything is doing what it was created to do

When I turn my back on the boardwalk and the early morning distractions of people and stuff--the reoccurring thought this week has been that everything in front of me-nature- Gods created things (other than humans) are all doing what they were created to do. 

The ocean stays in it's boundaries. The waves crash; over and over. The fish swim. The birds fly and forage. The dolphins raise up and blow water to breathe. The sun rises, shines and warms. The wind blows and a new day always begins. New, and yet always the same. 

We mess all that up with our need for change and our need to do things our own way. We try to change the order of things-try to change the way things work. But nature hasn't changed its ways...it still works the same way that it has for centuries. It is still good...just like when God decreed that it was. 

We have messed things up for Him with our arrogance and our insistence on knowing a better way than His way. 

But if what He made was good-and all of creation (except for man) still does things His way...then who are we to think that we should change the order of things to suit our own desires? He's pretty kind to let us continue in our ways. Ways that change us and draw us farther from Him. He leaves us to destroy and rearrange what He made...hoping we'll recognize that we're changing what was once good and turn our attention back towards Him. But mostly, we don't. 

We continue to twist what is right and wrong, we kill unborn babies for our own convenience and hail it as "choice", we twist the natural order of things because it is "our right", we waste what was once in abundance, we treat each other with contempt and we take pride in redefining what was once sacred and holy. And we're proud of the results, proclaiming that we are setting up a better nation. 

But out here-sitting on the beach, with my back towards all that we've messed up, I still see glimpses of the original. I remember how things were meant to be and I'm trying to force myself to turn back around- because I'd rather stay right here...where things do what they're created to do. 

I want to stay where things are right and enjoy communion with the One who made it all. We got it all wrong and have created a mess. 

No wonder He calls us here-to the wide open space of the ocean. We all feel it- this need to be out here, to stare at the massiveness of the ocean. Maybe we come because we need to be reminded that we can't change everything. Some things will always do what they were created to do. They are whispers of a holy reverence that cannot be changed. 

Praise him, sun and moon,
    praise him, you morning stars;
Praise him, high heaven,
    praise him, heavenly rain clouds;
Praise, oh let them praise the name of God
    he spoke the word, and there they were!

He set them in place
    from all time to eternity;
He gave his orders,
    and that’s it!

{Psalm 148}

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Because I need to remember...

Sometimes you read something that just resinates with you 
and you just have to figure out where to write it down so that you don't forget...

Today it is this:

"Never walk away from someone who deserves help;
your hand is God's hand for that person."
{Proverbs 3:27}

and this:

"Your lives are a letter...This "letter" is written not with pen and ink,
but with the Spirit of the Living God. It is carved not on tablets of stone, 
but on human hearts."
{II Corinthians 3:2 & 3}

In the busyness of living it sure is easy to forget 
that my hands and my heart are booklet that tell the story of God....
or not. 

I'm just mulling over these words today...wondering where they apply to my life- 
and where I keep them from applying. 

Friday, March 21, 2014


This morning, these words spur me on.
To get out of bed and face the day ready.
To hear the truth and say NO to the lies.

Hear the truth- don't get distracted by the presentation...
then press on through your day, friend.
Press on..

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Spring...it's inevitable.

I wish I was more faithful at having something worthwhile to say and write here...but alas, I do not, so let's be happy with a once a month post, shall we?

Since it was quiet at my house this morning, I treated myself to a morning of reading the latest issue of

I never like to be rushed through my monthly issue, so a cup of coffee must always be brewed and in hand before sitting down to read. {Truth be told, this morning I crawled back in bed with the coffee and spent the next few hours chasing every link in every article. That's a lot of links and a lot of staying in bed. But who cares?}

Maybe it's my Spring Fever, but I needed a little inspiration to get me through these last dreary, endless days of winter. Here's a recap of my morning, as dictated to my other Neighborlies friends this morning. You'll have to read for yourself, but here's my takeaway...

"I have just spent the last hour (+) sitting in my bed with a cup of coffee and the Neighborlies. This issue had far more outside links that had me traveling ALL OVER the place on the www. I discovered some awesome little nooks that I had never visited before! Seriously...I'm being modest by saying I've been here for an hour. I dropped Emma off at school at 7:30 for a lax tournament and I've been tucked back in my bed since then. This issue was my favorite, I think. Each month feels more legit than the last...like we've put together some kind of real magazine or something! Michelle Bailey Walls, the photos and the placement of them were perfect.

The things I learned this morning: purchase a better foundation, check Target for Baby Lips, stop wishing for something I don't have and enjoy what I do, find some branches that need to be forced to bloom by my bed, purchase one of Aimee's lovely paintings for my home, have coffee in New Holland and remember that the hard days are being redeemed (OR check the local listings for a hunky husband named Michael Taylor---or one who looks and acts eerily similar to him. So much to do..."

My quiet morning is over. Time to get on with living this day out. The sun is occasionally shining and at least it's not cold enough to snow, so there's that. Not quite excited to spend the day on the sidelines of a lacrosse game to watch my baby sit on the bench....but again, it's not snowing..so there's that. 

Just a few more weeks and maybe we get the OKAY from the doctor to play on the field. It's been a long recovery from that darned ACL surgery for the poor girl. But the end is in sight, girlie, and it's going to happen soon! 

In the meantime, let's be happy to see the sun show itself on occasion and look forward to the break of a new season.
Here's to Spring and it's badly anticipated arrival this year...Countdown to 5 MORE DAYS!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Winter whine...

I'm not going to be one of those bloggers who posts about how much she hates winter right about now. I'm not going to drone on and on about how much snow we've had dumped on us in the last week and a half. And I'm not even going to mention that the temperatures have only popped above 39 degrees once in the last month. 

I'll spare you the whine and even the pictures.

In my spare-snowed-in-time, I've been writing an article over here.

If you haven't sat down with an issue of Neighborlies before, 
now is a good time to introduce you. 

{It's not like you haven't already watched a hundred movies, checked your facebook, tweeted till you're dizzy and pinned for hours while you've been stuck inside...}

Just pour yourself ANOTHER cup of hot cocoa and check it out. 

You don't have anything better to do at this point, 
Do you?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


We've had more snow this year than I can remember ever having in one season. 
I'm not complaining, I do love it...especially when it means a day spent at home-
 in pajamas all day, by the fire. 
I'm not passing that up any time soon.

At this point in the season, I'm burning the reject-wood in the fireplace.
It requires more effort since it's old and burns twice as fast, 
but I'm not complaining...
I'm obsessed with fires 
and being warm.

But all throughout the day I can't help thinking about some people I know who are not as fortunate as we are to have a place to call their own. A place that has healthy food in the kitchen...
running water in the sinks...and a warm fire in the living room. 

They're living in a shelter.
Warm and dry, probably...
but certainly not what anyone would call home.

Most days they wander from morning until night, just biding their time from free church meal to free church meal, until the time comes to return to their place in the shelter at night.

And what happens when there's a snow storm 
and the public library you rely on for warmth during the day
is closed...

It's a terrible existence for anyone to have to live through...
add on the fact that they are pregnant- 
and as a mom, it is almost unbearable for me to see.

We do what we can to help and support, 
but it never seems like enough...

I can only hope that someone has allowed them to take shelter during the storm today...
I'm praying they know Comfort far deeper than their circumstances dictate.

Still trying to figure out exactly how that looks...
because sometimes love just never really seems like enough...

Grateful today for a day off of work
in my house
by my fire
with my daughter

And reminding myself that, but for 
that could be me...

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Year in review...

It's been a long time since I've felt the freedom to just sit and type here. That sounds so dramatic- even as I type it, that's what I hear. But it's the truth...or at least my perception of it. There's been times I've felt I had something to say, and then found myself mute when my fingers touched the keyboard. So like a good girl, I've taken my mom's advice and not said anything at all since I had nothing good to say.

But these last days, as the New Year approaches, I've been reflecting on the months and weeks behind me- their fullness, their struggle, their joy and their mystery. I've looked back on the block of twelve months that is taking its' last bow and I've been remembering the word that I'd taken at its first start, the word that was God-whispered even while I had no idea why. The word written down in my home, as a reminder, because I knew I would surely need it. 


That's the word. One word, one syllable, but huge in its' expectation. It loomed large last January as I wondered why this word, why not another? I knew there would be a reason I would need to remember it throughout the 365 days that were ahead. And it was the knowing that scared me. Because if I was to remember to Praise, then there was sure to be a reason/s that I might be tempted to forget...

And of course, God knew. He knew He had better plant roots of Praise deep if they were going to blossom when needed. He always knows what I need before I do...and I like knowing that He's got my back- that He sees before and behind me before I even open my eyes to what's around me. 

"Spread for me a banquet of praise,

    serve High God a feast of kept promises,

And call for help when you’re in trouble—

    I’ll help you, and you’ll honor me.

It’s the praising life that honors me.

    As soon as you set your foot on the Way,

I’ll show you my salvation.”

Psalm 50

There have been days this year that I've passed this word and this scripture, penned in a prominent place- and I've quieted, knowing that He had it all planned out. He'd given warning that I would need to remember. He had it all under control. And what He asked of me was the repetition of Praise.

Even in the moments of 
fear of what the future holds
a son taking up a new life as a husband
another son taking to new work on a Marine base
and a house empty of boys 
in a young lady finding her bearings
in her eyes being opened to boys {{shudder}}
in her injury on a lacrosse field
and subsequent surgery
and months 
and months
and months of physical therapy
in a job that I love-but takes more than what I have in me some days
in the struggle of trying to do all things well
in my need for quiet, but finding none
in a house with a sink hole
and a month lived with the parents
in the Insurance Co. who said, "NO"
and in the men who raised up to help us
in a dog out of control
and the finding of a new home for her
in the yard and house that wait constant attention
in the leak of the sink
the dishwasher that fails at its job
in the lonely moments
and in moments of no answers

In all of these things that have surfaced this year- and the others that silently go unmentioned- He asked me to remember Praise. Because He knew they were coming and tried to get me ready. He knew I'd need to avert my attention to something Higher than me. 

He knew I would need to know that above all 
He is still God

Above all of the ache, inconvenience, misunderstanding, fear, frustration, loneliness and struggle
was Him

And my Praise- 
even the pathetic attempt at it
was the looking glass that magnified His presence in our lives. 

I don't think it's coincidence that He picked Praise for my yearly word- 
He knew I'd need it to settle down and let Him be Him. 

As a new year looms, He's already planted His new word for me. I have yet to understand why this word, but I guess it's not for me to know yet. The word keeps popping up in my view, almost too much, really. As if to say- "Did you notice me again- don't miss it." Like last year, I'm just going with it -even though I am not quite sure what to do with it. It's a little more vague than last year's word. And I'm still trying to get a vision for what He means by it. I'll wait to post it until the New Year...and maybe have a better idea of how to see its' value in my life this coming year.

To 2013, 
thanks for all you've taught me
for the good and the bad
for the laughter and the tears
and for knowing when it's time to gracefully bow out.

Until next year....

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Week in review from the lens of my iphone...

I'm currently wrapped in a blanket, sitting by my parent's fireplace, reflecting on the events of the last 7 days. They are the kind of days that you just want to ignore...
and maybe I have done my fair share of that this week.

The week went like this:

Last Friday {Emma's 17th birthday} upon returning home from a movie with my family, I discovered a sink hole in the front of my house. 

It had rained for two days straight and apparently something that had been building up for some time finally caved. Literally. 
{That is the OUTside you see from the basement wall}

{It's like a little terrarium down there}

And so, after calling the insurance company, we packed up and headed 
to the parent's house for the week. {two weeks? month?} 

Because my dad is awesome, he helped me work through whatever foreign language the Insurance Company used to write out my policy. We {STILL} await word from the company as to whether or not the damage will be covered.

The parents had a week's vacation planned, which we all agreed they needed. And so while they're away, we are "vacationing" too...at their house.

Besides the obvious inconveniences, there was one more large issue in the form of a four-legged dog.


As a family we have been struggling over what to do with Scarlett now that the boys have left and Emma and I don't have enough time to give to her.  She has a nervous habit of chewing when she is left alone for too long and I have made the mistake of not crating her every time we leave.

It has been a very long two years with her. We all love her, but she has been tough. 

We were almost to the point of being ready to find a new home for her 
{for all of our sanity's sakes}when the basement caved in. 

I suppose it is a blessing, how it all worked out in the end. There was no way she could stay in the house and ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY NO WAY she was going to be able to come to my parent's house with us. So, we did what we have known for a while we needed to do...and found a new place for her. I'm not going to lie...that, in itself was a bigger deal than I'm going to go into. Suffice it to say, a friend of a friend so kindly offered to "foster" her with the possibility of permanent adoption. Although this family did not work out, finally, as of yesterday afternoon, Scarlett is on an "adoption list", in a safe place..awaiting her new family's arrival. 
And I have peace...and am guilt-free. 

On Monday, Nick texted from the Base...

He spent a couple of days here with us...which is always a treat. Whenever he is home, the newlyweds join us. There's nothing like all five of us being in the same place at the same time. It doesn't matter that there's a house too unstable for us to stay in- all my kids are together...that matters.

The house currently looks like this:
And the multiple fans {running at very high speeds} to dry the basement are hiking up my electric bill with each passing day. My phone is by my side, awaiting a call from the Insurance with the "Go ahead" to start reconstructing the foundation. They've been quiet all week. Perhaps they are also vacationing and forgot that we are still waiting...
I'm pretty ready to get this thing moving. 

But, I'm not going to complain. 
We have a place to stay, we're not out on the streets,
but I'm ready to get this over with 
and be back home. 

In the meantime, life goes on. 
The drive to school has offered some pretty awesome sunrises this week.
We're still trekking to the Physical Therapist 3 times a week
 as she recovers from her ACL surgery...
And we still enjoyed our traditional Friday-Cupcake Day
{Yes, there are 5 cupcakes in there...don't judge. One was free....but only if I purchased 4}

And we are healthy and happy. 
You can't really ask for more than that.

"Life is like a highway, no matter what they say, the construction is never finished. There's always gonna be bumps in the road and detours every now and then."

Saturday, September 21, 2013

A giveaway...

It's been so long since I've been here but I just couldn't help but share a little giveaway that you could be a part of. Follow this LINK for a chance to win a pretty swell collection of gifts from the Neighborlies. 

And if you haven't read this online magazine before, you might just enjoy pouring a cup of coffee and settling in for a good read. You'll probably laugh and you just might cry...but when you're done you'll probably be glad you stopped by. {I did not mean that to rhyme, it just happened like that. Sounded like a sappy middle school poem!!!  I'm leaving it anyway...don't judge me.}

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Memorial Day...

My heart and my house are full this weekend.  
All of my children are under the same roof...

I think Mothers must have internal clocks that keep time differently...
separations of mere months can feel like years

And short hours of sweet reunions,
while never EVER enough time,
can feel like an eternity's worth of moments collected together...

But I know all too soon, it will feel like we have been separated for years again.

Breathing deep in a house that is full, if only for a few days
full of laughter
and love
and just us

We will celebrate Memorial Day together tomorrow...
and for me, 
it has a deeper meaning this year

"Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends."
John 15:13

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