Saturday, August 30, 2008

Seekers--Wanna Know What Christ Is Really About?

"So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed."
John 8:36

If you would like to know more about this Christ who sets people free, I highly recommend clicking here: Need Him Ministries or calling 1-888-NEEDHIM. Feel free to contact me with any questions as well. His saving love and grace is the reason my Lifesong sings for Him.

In the Key of HE,


Sandra was having one of those days. Call it hormones, call it stress, but she had hit rock bottom in a matter of minutes. That’s when the attack from the enemy started inside her mind. I’m so ugly. I’m fat. How could I let myself get this way? She cried out in despair about what a horrible mother she was. "I’m a mess!" The refrigerator began to call her name.


John was so tired of his job. It was a major struggle just to walk into his office everyday. Things at home weren’t exactly peachy either. No one seems to want to do their jobs. He wanted to give up. Just get in a car and drive far, far away. I need to think. I need a plan. If I could just have a plan. No sooner had another workday gone by than the couch and the television began to call his name.


God, I’ve prayed and prayed. I raised her well. I did what you told me to. Why is she rebelling against me this way? Jan was beside herself with turmoil over her daughter Maddie’s behavior. She said she hated me, God. She’s just so angry. Even in the middle of crying out to God, despair began to consume Jan, and the bed began to call her name.


If you were to write a short paragraph about your life during a dark time, what would it say? Stress comes in small or large packages, arriving on its own schedule. Grief comes and lingers, manifesting itself in various forms. Strongholds use their arms to grab us when we least expect it. Big pain, little pain, in-between pain. No matter, it hurts.

As I read a familiar Scripture this weekend, something new occurred to me. HE is the God of ALL comfort. He comforts us in ALL our troubles. ALL.

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles…” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4a

I quote the second half of that verse all the time to help myself in dark times. I think, I’ll have compassion to share with others, Lord, because of the comfort I’ve received from You. Every bit of that thought process is true, and it’s good to remember, but PLEASE don’t ignore the first part.

No other god in this world can give us the comfort we need in our troubles. Not the pantry, not the television, not a plan, not an escape, not a relationship, not a warm bath or a bottle of brandy…NONE of it can offer us the comfort for which our hearts were designed. HE is the God of ALL comfort.

Not only is He the God of all comfort. He also comforts us in ALL our troubles. Big ones, little ones, in-between ones. We tend to compare, but as I stated above, pain hurts no matter what kind it is. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be called pain. Don’t hesitate to turn to Him for whatever need you have. He’s compassionate, and He will always tell you the Truth in love. He may even provide some of the outlets above, or a friend or whatever as part of the means of doing so. But He is a jealous God, and He certainly won’t share you with those things if we begin to rely too heavily on them to meet our needs.

So, all in all, let Him be your all. Surrender all of your pain. Don’t leave a droplet of it behind for the enemy to use against you. Take off all the band-aids and patches, and expose the wounds to Him. He will keep His promises. His name is Comfort-All.

Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits-Who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion…” Psalm 103:2-4

Lord, we praise You, and we long to wear Your crown of love and compassion today. Help us to surrender all of ourselves to You today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

In the Key of HE,

Friday, August 29, 2008

Drama Girls, Giggles & A Prop Named Schnitzel

***Posted for Patty Wysong's Fiction Fridays meme. For more great fiction or to post your own fiction piece, click here:

Drama Girls, Giggles & A Prop Named Schnitzel

The drama girls at the church women’s retreat each year were crazy. A talented group of ladies, I must say, but crazy indeed.

I watched them on stage two years ago—seven different actresses. They were FUNNY! Then last year, there were maybe eleven or twelve of them. Each time they entered a room, the shy people scattered, while others seemed to enjoy their uninhibited demeanors.

Much to my surprise, when I showed up at the retreat again this year, most of those crazy girls were still there, performing away, as well as a few newbies. They seemed kind of close, but I wondered if it was just part of their “act.”

Nonetheless, I was curious about them, so while they were on stage rehearsing, I sneaked to their cabin just to take a peek. I had never seen anything so CRAZY in my life!

Covering the walls were photos--them together at each other’s houses and snapshots of their character parts over the years. Layered throughout the pictures were scriptural reminders of serving the Lord and His joy and such. Bold costumes and strange looking props surrounded the space--wild wigs and the most interesting snacks I’d ever seen.

As I brushed on some bumbleberry blue eye shadow out of a heart-shaped container in the bathroom, I heard laughter just outside the door. Not knowing where else to go, I thrust myself behind their whacky shower curtain as swiftly as I could. I had to spy, though, still curious about those crazy drama girls.

It was a blonde---the new one, and that brunette who always played the off-beat Saturday Night Live character. Oh, she’s funny, I thought.

They began to tiptoe around and giggle. What is that scary looking ragged doll in their hands, and where are they putting it? I asked myself. What did she call it? “Sizzle”? It was a creepy clown with a plastic face, like the old-fashioned freak movie ones.

I was mesmerized beyond belief…Had I become the crazy one?

Moments later, the rest of the girls walked in except for the director lady. (She was always running around busy, busy, as if the skits were the most important part of the whole weekend.)

As I squinted to hear, they were in some sort of discussion about marriage and family and stuff. Huh. I’d never seen them so serious before, especially the REALLY crazy one that was always casted as different bizarre characters with fake eyelashes. Three were on the lower bunk sitting criss-cross, and the rest were on the floor surrounding. Their authenticity surprised me for a bunch of stage people.

Wouldn’t you know, the drama director flew through the door and interrupted that beautiful moment with her own tears? All of them questioned her sympathetically as she spilled out all of her stress. It had finally gotten to her. Then they were all crying. One of them offered up a prayer, and by the “Amen,” the tears had turned to giggles again. All was well among the crazy drama girls. The show could go on!

It was most definitely time for me to get out of there, but I was in a pickle. LITERALLY, the shower curtain had a pickle on it. Go figure.

About that time, the director was getting ready for bed while several of the others were in the corner snacking and hem-hawing away. When she pulled back her fluffy corduroy comforter, out flew a shrill scream that I’m certain was heard across the whole camp.

That ugly clown was posed obnoxiously on her pillow, as if crying out “Na-na-na-na-boo-boo!”

“Schnitzel! Who put Schnitzel in my bed?!?” the director lady shrieked with her palms over her chest. The cackling in the corner erupted into an all out fit of hysterics, and it was the perfect time to make my escape.

As I walked all the way back to my own bunker, I thought I could still hear the laughter roaring. Crazy girls. And a creepy clown. NAMED SCHNITZEL!!!! While letting out my own giggle, I couldn’t help but wish I were a part of that team. Their fellowship was not staged at all: It was real….sweet even.

If by some chance I find myself strolling past that outlandish cabin next year, I’ll definitely have to knock. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll find the courage to introduce myself to Schnitzel.

Romans 15:32b
“ that by God’s will I may come to you with joy and together with you be refreshed.”


Okay, I have to admit it. This one was a tribute I wrote to a team of drama girls I directed for several years. We were a close-knit bunch, and we had such great times together. (Each one is a part of my Lifesong). I HAVE to show you a few pics of the gals...and even of Schnitzel. Hope you enjoy them. If not, I'll give a cry and a smile over the memories all to myself.

My friend Pattie & my sister in the front row,
doing a dance to "It's Ladies Night!"

Bets and me...funny emcees?

The Stepford Soldiers at Boot Camp

The brilliant sergeant and her "assistant." Guess which one's really in charge?

The whole gang for 2006 Boot Camp theme
(with my big sis takin' the pics and keepin me calm)

Elaine and me with Schnitzel all dolled up
(Elaine's the one in the story who always wears the crazy eyelashes.)

(Evilla Deville...huh? Wonder who this could be? Hint: eyelashes)

Did somebody call for an angel?

Pretty in Pink Woman, Material Girl & Spice Girl
Looking for Happiness behind door #1, #2 or #3?

Ahhhh, time to chill and be for real...

Tickled Pink to serve the Lord...

Sheri, magnificent retreat coordinator who enlisted me as the drama director in the middle of Wal-mart. Who woulda thunk it?

In the Key of HE,

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Reminded Me With Silence

The Shaw family has an annual tradition: it is the North Texas State Fair and Rodeo. This past weekend, using our corn-on-a-sticks as weapons, we fought through the humid air to enjoy our children spending mom and dad's money(cough) experiencing the fun.

Speaking of fun, one of the highlights of my evening, other than the bull-fighting and rodeo clown, was the eighties music booming out of the speakers down the midway. I felt like I was back in high school, experiencing the same rides, resisting the urge to wiggle my tush to Girls Just Wanna Have Fun. Oh, and then I heard it from a friend who-oo-oo, heard it from a friend who-oo-oo, heard it from another...oh, there's the merry-go-round. A little REO Speedwagon, Stevie Nicks...Journey, Air Supply...then I saw Jesse's girl in the haunted mansion. Oh my, she had big hair. Black eyeliner. Leather pants.

I digress.

Finally, as the humid air turned to big random sprinkles, it occurred to me that there was Always Something There To Remind Me. Seriously, just moments after we heard that song and turned around like a tilt-o-whirl, there it was. A reminder. And not just one, but TWO. TWO RAINBOWS. And they hung around for over 20 minutes. I was stunned that everyone in the entire fairground was not Blinded With Silence over it.

I have NEVER, never ever ever NEVER, seen a double rainbow before. Stunned, delighted, exhilarated, silenced...there it was, there to remind me. Of all I have been through. Of all He has carried me through. Of all I have to thank Him for. I just can't help but remember the pain mixed with provision, the tragedy trumped by victory, and the uncertainty filled with purpose. He truly traded my ashes in for beauty and my sorrows into joy. He is an amazing God, all-powerful, wondrous, majestic, above all. Even now as I think of it, I feel personally loved that He would allow me this small glimpse of His splendor.

I'm quite certain that each year we trudge through the thick August air in Shaw family tradition, I will always remember the stunning silence of the double rainbow. And each time, I will tell of all the miracles He has done in my life--His Best of the 80s, if you will, and beyond...
Psalm 77:11-13 (NIV)
"I will remember the deeds of the LORD;
yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
I will meditate on all your works
and consider all your mighty deeds.
Your ways, O God, are holy.
What god is so great as our God?"

In the Key of HE,

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A Tune Set Free

The LORD your God is with you. He is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you. He will quiet you with his love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.
Zephaniah 3:17 (NIV)


To the one without a friend who feels all alone,
The LORD your God is with you.

To the one with many friends who never lets them close,
Know this--The LORD your God is with you.

If you’re stuck in a rut and can’t find anyone to trust,
HE is mighty--mighty to save.

If you’re unable to flee when temptation knocks again,
Stop--HE is mighty--mighty to save.

Do you ever feel unlovable, like others turn when you walk their way?
He will take great delight in you.

Do you ever feel useless, like no one needs you for much at all?
Remember—He will take great delight in you.

When your heart is screaming out and you’re angry at the world,
He will quiet you with His love.

When your voice is all but gone from crying out “Why, Lord?”
shhhhhhh…He will quiet you with his love.

Praise Him, even through the tears. He will rejoice over you.
If the tune is held hostage to the pain, you’ll find Him singing over you instead.


Deuteronomy 31:8 (NIV)

The LORD Himself goes before you and will be with you;
He will never leave you nor forsake you.
Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.

Worshipful song...reminding us that HE is "Mighty to Save" by Hillsong

In the Key of HE,

Sunday, August 24, 2008

A Woman's Call To Worship/At The Well

It is my privilege to host At The Well from "Joyfully Living" this week, and I want to thank Chelsey so much for her trust in me to do so.

As a young child, I remember every Sunday in my hometown Baptist Church before any other word was spoken, that we would have a call to worship--A song to get us started, get us focused, remind us why we were there. I remember feeling so bummed when the song was over and we had to sit down and listen to announcements before we got to worship again.

I have carried some of that tradition with me into my worship life as a woman. If I don't start my day focused on the Lord, His BIGness and my smallness, then I'm pretty much a mess for the day. My attitude leaks into my words and actions. No matter if the morning is rush rush or lazy or somewhere in-between, I've gotta Gotta GOTTA have a conversation with Him.

One example I've given the kids is the following: When you wake up in the morning, your body is empty, right? Well, you have three choices: 1. Stay empty and don't eat...then feel weak later. 2. Fill up on donuts and chocolate milk...then feel sick later, or 3. Get your fill with a nutritious breakfast...and start the day feeling energetic and full of life.

The same is true of my spiritual life. His call for worship comes to me the moment I start my day. Good morning, Lord. Thank you for this day, for my very life. Before I get into any of the good or the bad, Father, I want to tell You I love You.Then I usually thank Him for the coffee I'm about to brew, because that is a HUGE praise for me. ;) With the first sip, if I've made the proper time, I dig into the Word and end in a time of surrender.

Nowa, somedays I need more "worship snacks" than others, but I can always tell I need one when I begin to feel full of myself or drained by my circumstances.

My goal is to praise Him and pray continually all day long, but sometimes, my attitude gets away, and then it will spiral downward quickly.
The call to worship comes whenever I need to turn my eyes to Him, for whatever the reason.
"He must become greater. I must become less."
John 3:30

Notice I haven't even mentioned music or songs yet? That's because I've learned that a life-changing, Jesus-centered worship has everything to do with my attitude, no matter if I'm singing songs with my mouth, or whether I'm living out my Lifesong in action. As a matter of fact, MOST of the time, my best worship experience in church happens when I've "come to church worshipping" instead of when I've "come to church to worship." Not all the time, but for me, most of the time.

I literally could go on and on for hours on this topic, so I'm glad we get to hang around at the well for awhile and do so. When I'm there, I'd like to chat with younger women and teens about what a living a life of worship looks like. After the attitude, comes action. When we've seen the Lord's majesty, it leaks over into the words we speak, the way we dress and carry ourselves, the way we love others. It spills out into every part of our lives, and hopefully the lives of everyone we come near. It changes the way we view our circumstances and others' too. Worship-filled and focused living is the cry of my heart.

Now it's your turn...type in your name and link below, and if the Spirit leads you to share, please, whatcha have to say on the subject? What advice do you have for the rest of us? And a bonus, but optional question: Do any songs come to your mind when you think of living a life of worship? I've got maybe a dozen or so...My favorite of all time is "Jesus, Be The Centre," but lately, this one has struck a chord within my heart. I couldn't believe it when I found it put to these beautiful graphics on GodTube. I hope you enjoy, and that it speaks worship into your heart as well.

Luke 9:23-24 (NIV)
Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.

In the Key of HE,

Do You Know You Are OUTRAGEOUSLY Loved?

In the Key of HE,

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Little Miss Drama's WoW-zer Wings

***Patty Wysong's Fiction Fridays meme is being hosted by Joanne Sher over at An Open Book today. If you'd like to participate with your own post, click here. To learn more about Fiction Friday's, click here:

Little Miss Drama’s ‘wOw’zer Wings
By LauraLee Shaw

“I just hate my life, Molly!” eight-year-old Jessica exclaimed to her favorite doll. Jessica, the Moore family’s drama queen, often talked to Molly when her life seemed to be falling apart—which was quite often.

“I’ll betcha’ Tinkerbell never had to clean her room. Her mom prob’ly just let her fly and sparkle her whole exciting life long!” Jessica plopped Molly into her lap and tied a bonnet around her braided hair. “Let’s go out to the playhouse, Molly. We need some ‘WoW’ in our day.”

As Jessica made her way down the stairs with Molly clutched against her chest, she whispered, “Besides, we won’t have to listen to Cameron’s loud music out there. He’s going through a phase, you know.”

“Where ya’ goin,’ Sweetie Pea?” Jessica’s mom asked.

“Molly and I are going to the playhouse for some ‘WoW.’ Maybe this time I’ll get my wings.” Jessica skipped through the back door as her mom stared after her. Just the night before, they’d had a discussion about the special fairyland Jessica had discovered inside her playhouse. Supposedly, she’d found a secret door that led to a place where she could fly and be free to imagine all she wanted.

“Oh-that sounds lovely. What’s it like to fly?” her mom had asked her.

Jessica’s eyes grew the size of saucers. “Welllll—I haven’t actually flown yet, but I’ll be getting my wings any day now. And then I’ll be free—free like a bird,” she explained.

Each time Jessica took Molly to visit her dream world, the routine was the same. First, she’d sit Molly down on her wooden rocker. Then she’d pose the doll’s hands perfectly over her lap. Finally, Jessica would instruct Molly to watch closely as she opened what she had named the ‘Door of WoW.’

Shimmery dust would whisp through the entryway, and two beautiful young fairies would flutter into the room. They would dress Jessica in the loveliest of attire—full of sparkles and sequins—with shiny shoes to suit the outfit. They flaunted an extra pair of magical wings each time, but before Jessica could grab them, the fairies would fly away.

This particular day, though, as Molly sat faithfully to the side, the fairies greeted Jessica at the ‘Door of WoW,’ carrying a colorful set of feathered wings. “Today, you have earned your wings.” The fairies’ musical voices sang the words Jessica had been waiting to hear as they flew around the playhouse.

“WooooooW, can you believe it, Molly? I’m getting my wings today. See how perfect they are? They’ll carry me wherever I wanna go—up over the rooftops all the way to the fluffy clouds—with only the sound of the birds chirping their wonderful song.”

As the young fairies held the wings in the air, Jessica stared in wide-eyed amazement at their perfection. She spun around, thrust her arms out to the side, shut her eyes as tightly as she could—and waited as the young fairies fit her with her new wings.

Suddenly, the ground shook. The thumping impact caused Molly to fall off her rocker. The entire playhouse transformed into a forest. There was even a sparkling stream flowing throughout. And Jessica was flying! She soared just above the stream but below the trees. She shrieked shrills of sheer delight as she learned to fly. Jessica looked down to see that Molly had landed safely on top of a fluffy bush. “Now, thiiiiiiiiis is the liiiiiiiiiife, Molly. Look at meeeeeeeeeee—I’m flyyyyyyinnng.”

Longing to turn cartwheels on the clouds, Jessica decided to fly up, Up, UP toward them. Suddenly, a loud crack echoed through the trees. Jessica’s ‘wOw’zer wings had snapped right in two, plummeting her DOWN, Down, down to the earth below. She belly flopped into the stream with a splatter.

Her arms flailing, Jessica cried, “Molly! I can’t swim!” After a short struggle, her toes found the muddy bottom of the water, and she waddled her way out onto solid ground.

“You call these things wings?” she squawked as her heavy feet sloshed back to Molly. “Thanks anyway, fairies, but you can keep ‘em. They’re worthless! I wanna go home.”

Jessica opened her eyes, and she found Molly rocking in her chair looking quite content. “Oh, Molly, I’m so glad you’re alright. That flying thing wasn’t all it was cracked up to be!”

As she burst through the back door to her house, a delicious, familiar smell welcomed Jessica. Her mom was waiting for her with a huge platter of fried chicken.

“Hey, Sweetie Pea—I thought you might be hungry. You want a couple of wings like usual?” her mom asked.

Jessica brought her hands to her head and belted out, “Oh, n-n-no-no-NO, Mom. NO WINGS. If it’s all the same to you, we’ll stick with the legs from now on—won’t we, Molly?”

Author’s food for thought: Are there WINGS in your life?

“Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs.” Jonah 2:8—(NIV)

Moral: All that glitters is not gold.

(c) Copyright 2008 LauraLee Shaw

In the Key of HE,

For My Friends, Family and Fellow Bloggers

Yes, a post just for you. And the reason is because no one else would care, but I KNOW you do (wink, smirk), so here's all my random stuff to say, tell, share, sing, forward, promote, etc...

First of all, I WON A BLOG GIVEAWAY TODAY!!!! I've never won a giveaway, ever never ever, so I'm so excited! I thought for sure after I offered to bribe Kim from Homesteader's Heart, that I would be immediately disqualified. But she left me in the mix, and her husband drew my name. Isn't that cool? She is making me one of her fabulous purses, and I even get to choose my color and my fabric. She showed some of the gorgeous designs on her blog, so go check it out if you get a chance. Thank you so much, Kim. What a neat way to make someone's day.

And because it was so fun to do AND I think it is an incredible thing that CWO does for bloggers, I want to show you my interview with Christian Women online.
And while you're there, look right above me and see my friend Patty's. Her testimony always blows my mind. We didn't even know we were doing the interview at the same time. Isn't that cool? Had to share that.

A couple of other cool dealies. Did you know that there is a blogging network on Facebook? You can actually list your blog there and find some other great ones as well. I found a couple this morning through my search of Christian blog networks that I had never seen before. LOVE them. They are the following:

One is Daily Writing Tips, and wow, do they have a good post on there about the importance of blogging for writers.

Oh, and this one: Light for the Writer's Soul--Definitely will be visiting this one frequently from now on...

What an incredible opportunity to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ in a place where thousands may go to look for answers. THAT is the reason I joined Facebook in the first place. Though I enjoy keeping track of friends and tossing a line back and forth from time to time, I'm wayyyy more excited about the potential of Jesus's face being seen when people come to look for answers. Believers and non-believers alike. If you want to check out my Facebook blog network, click here:

***One exciting thing in the world of writing for me is that I was published in Just Between Us magazine this month for the Fall 2008 issue. This incredible publication started by Jill Briscoe with Shelly Esser as Editor is a valuable resource for women serving in ministry leadership of any kind. I highly recommend it, and not just this current edition, but all of them to follow. I have been blown away by the wisdom and depth of its contents.

On Monday, I will be hosting the "At the Well" meme from Joyfully Living (listed on my sidebar). If you want to think ahead in terms of topic, here is the info:

Discussion Questions:

A “Call to Worship” is usually at the beginning of a church service to prepare hearts and minds for worship together. What do you do or think you should do at the start of each day to prepare your heart and mind as a woman living a life of worship?

If you were to gather at the well with women younger than you in the faith, what would your call to worship be for them?

(optional question) If your life, worship-wise, could be defined or with a song, which one would it be (or which one would you wish it to be)?

Give it some thought, and maybe even join us At the Well if the Lord leads you...

Okay, so that's a bunch crossed off my to-tell list, but I hope you learned a bit or two of something useful. Keep your eyes open for a giveaway announcement from me very very soon. Love to all of you, and thank you for all the ways you love me, challenge me and help me be a more Godly daughter of the King.

In the Key of HE,

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Back To School In Part

My kids are off! Backpacks stuffed to the seams, lunches packed, water bottles sweating...they're gone. Uncertain of what third, fifth and eighth grade hold, we prayed for calm to their/my anxieties last night and before they left the car.

Their first day of school was today (Tuesday), and their second day will be Thursday. As a mom who tried to the full-time home school thing, it wasn't long before God showed me that was not His ideal plan for our family. (Not sure the kind of counseling we all would need as a result even exists.) However, where I live, we have an incredible alternative for those who do not feel called to send their kids to school full-time but also need help with the education. It's called parent-partnered education, and it is the right scenario for us. (Notice I didn't say "perfect scenario"?)

The school, which is accredited and goes all the way through high school, plans their lessons, teaches the new concepts and then tests them on the days at school. We've been educating this way for seven years, though I can hardly believe it's been that long.

Here's the clencher, the reason why I say it is right and not perfect: the school follows the classical model of learning, and it is H-A-R-D!!!! So when my teenage son comes to ask me about Latin translations or Roman history, I'm sorta freakin' out. The "phone a friend" or email the teacher method is usually the answer he gets. I'm so thankful for the two days of quiet, but I pay for it on the other three. Still, going with God's idea for us is best.

I was just thinking this morning: What if God chose the parent-partnered model of educating us? What if He taught us only a few days a week and left us the other days to learn new concepts from our pastors and teachers? I mean, He uses those people to give us insight and teach us things, sure, but He does not leave us on our own to do that. He gave us the Holy Spirit for each and every moment of all our days on this earth. Isn't that cool?

With this message comes great comfort and peace. Through His constant presence, we have everything we need--not only for Godly living, but for our difficult times as well.

Joshua 1:9 ( (NLT)
"This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Romans 8:11 (NIV)
"And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit, who lives in you."

John 14:26 (NIV)
"But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you."

Also with this message comes great responsibility. It requires obedience on our part. Sacrifice. Humility. Trust (there's that word again).
Isaiah 57:15 (NIV)
" For this is what the high and lofty One says—
He who lives forever, whose name is holy:
"I live in a high and holy place,
but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit,
to revive the spirit of the lowly
and to revive the heart of the contrite."

Romans 12:1 (NIV)
"Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship."

Romans 15:13 (NIV)
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."

Thank goodness, God is our full-time parent, teacher, counselor and friend. Today, let's praise Him for the fact that we don't have to walk into the classroom of life alone. For without His constant help and presence, we would most certainly get a failing grade.

In the Key of HE,

Monday, August 18, 2008

What's A Wife To Say? Straight talk to wives...

As an older been-married-awhile wife, sometimes the call comes to talk to the younger still-new-at-this wife. Cindy at didn't leave me a choice, either, because we are meeting her as the host of Chelsey's At the Well meme today. Cindy's topic and questions for discussion are as follows:

Your topic:
Marriage - Building Up Your Spouse

Your Discussion Question:
How well do you sweet-talk your spouse?

What are some things you can say TODAY to let your spouse know that you think the world of them?

For once, I'm excited that there is a topic that I'm actually pretty good at. Cooking, blech! Sewing, huh? Ironing, I plead the 5th. But I do believe that if you were to ask Brian if I build him up appropriately with words, he would give a resounding "Absolutely." That's because I have the spiritual gift of encouragement.

Unfortunately, Brian is kind of the opposite. He would much rather me SHOW him how much I think about him than hear me say it any day. If I tell him I'm happy to see him and give him a smooch, then get back on my laptop, he's not feelin' the love, you know? If I greet him at the door in my favorite comfy tshirt and stretchy shorts, well...let's just put it this way. He doesn't complain, but he certainly notices when I groom myself before he pulls in the driveway.

That said, I know not every husband is this way, and no matter what the love language, NO SPOUSE WANTS TO BE SHREDDED to bits or nagged the majority of the time. Some women have allowed it to become habit to tear their spouses apart with their words, often not even realizing that's what they're doing. I cannot encourage you enough, if you think you could at all be nicknamed "Nagatha," to think and pray the Lord would show this to you and help you with it before you do serious damage.

Ephesians 4:29-30 (New Century Version)

"When you talk, do not say harmful things, but say what people need—words that will help others become stronger. Then what you say will do good to those who listen to you. And do not make the Holy Spirit sad. The Spirit is God's proof that you belong to Him."

The priority of loving my husband in word and in action has really hit home with me the last five years. I've had a close friend my age who lost her spouse to an extremely rare disease in just moments, another who almost lost her husband to a stroke a few months ago, and an aunt who lost her husband to a heart attack at work one day (she already lost another husband to cancer). As a matter of fact, all three of them read my blog regularly, and I pray it doesn't pain them to read this. I do not want to take a single day for granted. I want to love my Brian with all the love the Father has given me for as much time as He has given me.

So, sweet talk? Yes. Just do it! Whether you talk with your words or with your actions--show your hubby that you love him, value him, appreciate him in the way he will hear it. And in doing so, may it make the Lord smile instead of grieve over what He has brought together.

In the Key of HE,

Sunday, August 17, 2008

So Let The Son Shine In...

In the Key of HE,

Button courtesy of Kristen from A Heart Stirred Designs.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

I Love Your Blog Too!

What an honor to be given such a colorful and lovely award. Thank you, Stacy, from "Impressions of A Ribbon Addict" for thinking of me, and especially the way you did so on a week when I needed encouragement. That must be one of your love languages.

Anyway, I stumbled upon a really incredible site this evening that I immediately fell into love with, so I thought this would be an appropriate blog to pass the "I LOVE YOUR BLOG" award on to. This corner of heaven on the world wide web is centered around praying for our children. Each week, a prayer is posted to do just that. I can't wait to implement these prayers into my daily life. Click here if you would like to do the same:

I wish I knew who to thank for this ministry, but since the name on the blog reads "It's not about me," I'll just thank the Lord for it instead. My guess is that's just what she wants me to do. What a beautiful person.

A Borrowed Bit of Wit

I'm sure I'm not the only one to do a blog on this. I went to chase down the actual source, and it was all over the internet, except of course, at the Washington Post (which I would link you to if I could find it). Supposedly, this is a list of last year's (2007) Washington Post annual neologism contest winners. In the contest, readers are asked to submit alternate meanings for common words. I thought some of these were hilarious, but I also had to take out several of them, because they made my Lifesong go you're getting the clean ones, okay?

Coffee (n.), the person upon whom one coughs.

Flabbergasted (adj.), appalled over how much weight you have gained.

Abdicate (v.), to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.

Negligent (adj.) describes a condition in which you absentmindedly answer the door in your nightgown.

Lymph (v.), to walk with a lisp.

Gargoyle (n.), olive-flavored mouthwash.

Flatulence (n.) emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run over by a steamroller.

Balderdash (n.), a rapidly receding hairline.

Frisbeetarianism (n.), (back by popular demand): The belief that, when you die, your Soul flies up on to your garage roof and gets stuck there.

The Washington Post’s Style Invitational also asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition.

Here are the 2007 winners:

Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.

Giraffiti (n): Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.

Sarchasm (n): The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn’t get it.

Inoculatte (v): To take coffee intravenously when you are running late. (my personal favorite)

Osteopornosis (n): A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit) deserves a whole blog about it

Karmageddon (n): it’s like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it’s like, a serious bummer. *bold star for drama

Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.

Dopeler effect (n): The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

Arachnoleptic fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you’ve accidentally walked through a spider web. (I've done this!)

Caterpallor (n): The color you turn after finding half a grub in the fruit you’re eating.

Okay, so I thought it would be fun if you had any words to add to either list, OR just tell me which ones were your favorite? Purty please...Oh, and keep it clean. My teenage son reads these and a bunch of other Christian people, so... I'm trying to think of some. Get me started.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Hospitality Personality

***Posted for Patty Wysong's Fiction Fridays meme. For more great fiction or to post your own fiction piece, click here:

Hospitality Personality

The host who has the most:

What will they think of my house this time ‘round?
My floors look so fab, and my drapes should astound.
If they don’t really like it, then they just have no taste.
Who am I kidding? They will have it showcased!

The host who likes to boast:

They’re so blessed to come to my house for some learning,
For I will teach them what they’ve always been yearning.
The plaques and degrees on my wall say it all.
Thank goodness for them I have answered His call.

The host who can toast and roast:

What dish can I make that is sure to impress?
My cheese toast is good, but my roast is the best.
They’ll come and they’ll feast ‘til their bellies are bursting.
No one will leave here with hungering or thirsting.

The host who serves as a guidepost:

Oh, God, here I am with the space you’ve provided,
Through You let my words and my actions be guided.
I pray each will leave with a heart that’s renewed,
Guided into deeper fellowship with You.

1 Peter 4:9, NIV
“Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling."

What kind of host or hostess are you? Since we're talking fiction hem, cough...can you think of any other kind of host to add to my poem?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

"The Message" on Worry

Philippians 4:6-7 (The Message)

"Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life."

"Let petitions and praises shape my worries into prayers"...I love this phrase. That is what I will choose to do this very moment. When I put my mind on Him and how great He is, then I don't start thinking about what might happen in the next few hours or days. My spirit is so willing, but my flesh is weak. Worry keeps trying to pull me back to itself, but I'm not letting go of Trust, who is much stronger.

Father God, You are great and mighty. You have set the world in motion, and then You chose to put little ole me in it along with gazillions of other people. I praise You for the few things I can see with my eyes, for all the beautiful sounds I can hear, and for all the everythings you have given me to touch and feel. The smells around me are a reminder of Your provision, as well as Your creativity. Truly, I stand amazed by Your wonders. Also, Lord, when I reflect on all the ick that has happened in my past and how You were not only present, but protecting and providing through it all...again I cannot hold back from singing praises to You. So, I'm never gonna stop, Lord. I'll keep praising You. Help me, Lord, when my mind wanders into Worry's forest to turn away and run immediately, straight to Your arms of safety. I'm so weak, Father, and I can't do it on my own. I know also that so many of my brothers and sisters are faced with trials, with hardships, with decisions, with uncertainty, and I pray you would give them the same peace and the same prayer.

And there are so many crying out to You, God, that don't even know You personally. Draw them to Yourself, as you already are, and lead others to them to share, to pray, and to be Your hands and feet. All of this I pray to You, the Holy One, the brilliant Maker of heaven and earth who holds all things together, Amen.

Matthew 6:34 (The Message)

"Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes."

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Praise in A Minor Key

My big sister ministered to us. Knowing of difficult times we are going through, God led her to send us Psalm 34, the perfect cry of our hearts right now. Sometimes praise isn't a march or an anthem. Sometimes praise is sung in a minor key. So today, I choose to praise Him, and I will use this anointed Psalm to do so:

Psalm 34, NIV(emphasis mine)
Of David. When he pretended to be insane before Abimelech, who drove him away, and he left.

"I will extol the LORD at all times;
His praise will always be on my lips.

My soul will boast in the LORD;
let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
Glorify the LORD with me;
let us exalt His name together.

I sought the LORD, and He answered me;
He delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant;
their faces are never covered with shame.

This poor man called, and the LORD heard him;
He saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him,
and He delivers them.

Taste and see that the LORD is good;
blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him.

Fear the LORD, you His saints,
for those who fear Him lack nothing.

The lions may grow weak and hungry,
but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.

Come, my children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the LORD.

Whoever of you loves life
and desires to see many good days,

keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from speaking lies.

Turn from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it.

The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous
and His ears are attentive to their cry;

the face of the LORD is against those who do evil,
to cut off the memory of them from the earth.

The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them;
He delivers them from all their troubles.
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

A righteous man may have many troubles,
but the LORD delivers him from them all;

He protects all his bones,
not one of them will be broken.

Evil will slay the wicked;
the foes of the righteous will be condemned.
The LORD redeems His servants;
no one will be condemned who takes refuge in Him."

Lord, Brian and I take refuge in You today. We will never stop praising You, trusting You, depending on You. Thank You for being close to us in our newest wave of trials. We feel it and nestle in it even now. Give us strength and courage for this day. Help us not to forget our commitment to You. It is in Your name that we live and move and have our being, Amen.

Monday, August 11, 2008

I'm seekin, I'm seekin'!!!!!!!

"My heart says of you, "Seek his face!"
Your face, LORD, I will seek."
Psalm 27:8

I've walked in the faith long enough to know that I must look to the Lord for everything, every time, every purpose. I know it, know it! All I have to do is look back and see...reflect back and remember...He has been faithful. This I know.

Yet my heart is deceitful above all things. It doesn't have a memory. It tends to follow my emotions if I'm not careful.

It's no accident that Kristen at Exemplify posted this as today's verse to ponder and discuss. As a matter of fact, hardly a day goes by when I don't need to be reminded that I not only need to seek Him with my mind and declare it with my mouth...I need it to be the overflowing attitude of my heart as well.
For me, the only time that happens is when I go before the Lord small--empty--surrendered.

As He fills me up by the power of the Holy Spirit, then my heart follows after Him. When I don't, my heart follows my emotions and compulsions instead.

So I declare with my mind and my mouth, "Your face, LORD, I will seek. Open, humble, ready, willing." And my heart will declare it too.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Casting My Cares...

When worry comes even though I've resisted it,
When my stomach aches with concern for someone I love even after I've turned his situation over to the Lord,
When I repeat the same prayer over and over as someone who longs to overcome her unbelief,
All I know to do is pray some more.

Today is one of those days, but I will choose to trust in Him.
Over and over, He has proven Himself worthy of my belief.
Time and again, He has sustained me--and those I love as well.

I will choose to trust in my Lord.

Psalm 55:22-23a (New International Version)

"Cast your cares on the LORD
and He will sustain you;
He will never let the righteous fall.

But you, O God, will bring down the wicked
into the pit of corruption;
bloodthirsty and deceitful men
will not live out half their days.
But as for me, I trust in you


Saturday, August 9, 2008

One, Two, Skip A Few

Allison doesn't like to wait. She's my youngest of three, and she typically manages to find some way to get what she wants (within the boundaries, of course). If I'm not available to get or do something for her right when she wants it, she works her way down the family "chain." Whoever wants to get rid of her the fastest (she talks a LOT) usually caves in to her request. It's not always like this, but more often that I'd like to admit.

We're working on this formed habit, but sometimes she just says something that totally cracks me up. Last month I told her that I'd look at dogs on the internet with her in a few minutes, and she said, "Do you mean Mommy minutes?"

I asked, "Mommy minutes?"

She put her hand on her hip and looked up at me with all four of her eyes, using her other hand to help her talk. "Yeah, mommy minutes. Your minutes are longer than mine."

I could not contain my laughter or the urge to pick her up and kiss her cheeks all over.

So this morning, she did it again while I was giving her older sister the morning snuggle. "Mom, is it my turn to snuggle?"

"A few more minutes, Honey."

Then she sped-said, "One, two, skip a few, 59, 60.....One, two, skip a few, 59, 60....okay, it's been a few minutes."

Ohhhhhhhhhh myyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy.

I can't help but think how many times I've said "one, two, skip a few, 59, 60" to my Heavenly Father. I did yesterday. And even this morning. Why is it so difficult for this baby daughter to wait, especially since I KNOW that He has good things in store for me? I'd rather pull an Allison and go from one thing to the next until I get my way...but He wants me to wait--wait on Him. And after I've learned to wait on Him, He wants me to wait on Him patiently. And after I've learned to wait on HIm patiently, He wants me to wait on Him patiently with joy and contentment. He wants nothing less than this kind of adoration and trust from His baby girl.

So Lord, here I am, two, I'll wait for You.

I wait for the LORD, my soul waits,
and in His Word I put my hope.

My soul waits for the Lord
more than watchmen wait for the morning,
more than watchmen wait for the morning.

Psalm 130:5-6 (NIV)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

What Am I, Apples and Peanut Butter?

I felt rejected. And jealous. Yanking off my apron and tossing it on the table, my emotions took over my vocal chords. “What am I, Jen, apples and peanut butter?” I cried to my daughter.

She justified, “No, Mom, it’s just that Dad builds the best Lego castles, you know that.”

“Oh yeah?" Pity Party time. "Well, I know a thing or two about Lego Castles, little Miss Jenny—and you’re missing out.” I shuffled into another room to mope.

After all these years of feeding, bathing and homeschooling—day in and day out—now all they want is Dad. “Dad, can you play with me?” “Put me on your shoulders, Dad.” Dad, Dad, Dad, Dad, DAD.

Regaining my confidence, I attempted to bond with my son. “Hey, Justin—ya’ wanna show me what you’ve been destroying on SpyScape?”

“Just a minute, Mom. Dad and I are trying to win this quest together,” he replied, eyes glued to the computer.

“What do you mean? Dad’s at work,” I objected.

“Well, he’s taking his lunch break to play online with me.”

“Oh?” My bottom lip popped out--wayyyyyy out. “How fun for the two of you.”

Figures. I moped again, aimlessly wandering to the next room.

It’s not that I don’t want them to like their Dad…it’s just that all I’m known for around here is whipping up apples and peanut butter for a snack. What happened to “Her children will rise up and call her blessed?” I used to be blessed. I wanna feel like the blessed Mommy again.

Little Jen crashed my pity party. “Mom, can I call Dad?”

“No, honey, he’s busy. What do you need?”

“I want him to draw me a camel.”

“A camel—Daddy doesn’t have time to draw camels at work, Sweetie, but I’ll help you.”

Jen hung her head in polite surrender. “Welllll—okay.”

Here’s my chance to put moms everywhere in the spotlight again. My weepy heart began to swell with excitement. “Now, just let me find one on my handy, dandy Mac. I go to ‘Search’ right here, and type, ‘Camel pictures.’ See honey? This will be eeeeasy breeeezy.”

Ten minutes went by, and I could not find a single traceable picture of a camel. Jen had given up on me. “You know, who needs camels anyway? I’ll just go draw a ladybug or something.”

“NO,” I blubbered, “I’ll get you a camel…All I have to do is type in ‘Camel Coloring Book’….Bingo! Look—481,000 results. And the very first one says, ‘Camel Coloring Pages.’”

Like a triumphant warrior, I clicked on the link only to receive a message on my screen saying “SAFARI CANNOT OPEN THIS PAGE.” I clicked like a maniac, and the same dadgum message appeared over and again.

“Now can I call Daddy?” an exasperated Jen whined.

“NO, you most certainly will not bother Daddy at work.” I chomped my upper lip. “I can fix this.”

Justin yelled from upstairs. “Jenny, you don’t need to call Daddy, I’ve got him right here on I.M.”

“OH, Daddy, Daddy, Daddy,” she shrieked with delight as she ran to the likes of Dad via instant messenger.

All she wanted was a camel, Karen. You can’t even come up with ONE camel?

I sat there, completely defeated—defeated by Legos—defeated by technology—defeated by Dad.

The three of them are just up there gabbing away, and here I sit all alone staring at a big, ugly camel.

Apparently, Safari had found its page in Egypt or something.

“A camel?!!? Hey, Jen, I found a camel.” I turned into a giddy ninny. “Go get the camel off the printer. That didn’t come out right, but hey, who’s the bomb now? Huh?”

“Thanks, Mom, NOW I have two camels. Daddy sent me one to Justin’s email.”

Shaking my head in disbelief, a defeated smirk smeared across my face.

“Hey, Mom, everything okay?” Justin had the audacity to ask as he slithered into the room.

“Oh, Son, I’m just a big bag of crazy today. You sure you wanna open it?”

“Uhhhhhhhh, Oooo-kayyyyy...but can I open it after you slice me up some apples and peanut butter?” he said, licking his lips and rubbing his hands together. “You do it best, Mom.”

“Music to my ears, dear Justin.” I hugged him like nobody’s business, and he tolerated it.

“Oh, I almost forgot to tell you, Mom. Dad said he loves you and that he is the most blessed man on earth.”

“He did, did he?” I suddenly realized what a lunatic I had been.

“Hey Mom, where ya goin’?”

“What am I, apples and peanut butter? I’m goin’ to call the greatest Dad on earth.”


Scripture reference--Proverbs 31:28, NIV

***Sentiment is all in fun, for "those" mom days...enjoy!
***Special blessings to all the dads who rock their kids' worlds. And their wives' too! :D

One Body--Many Blogs

I have to tell you, there are SO many incredible blogs out there. God has inspired so many people in special and personal ways to help change the world through the power of words. Whether bits of humor, touches of light sarcasm, or deep slices of life, the variety is awesome.

I know this is long, but read it carefully. Consider this well-worded passage from The Message translation on all the parts of the Body working together for His cause:

1 Corinthians 12:14-24 (The Message, emphasis mine)

I want you to think about how all this makes you more significant, not less. A body isn't just a single part blown up into something huge. It's all the different-but-similar parts arranged and functioning together. If Foot said, "I'm not elegant like Hand, embellished with rings; I guess I don't belong to this body," would that make it so? If Ear said, "I'm not beautiful like Eye, limpid and expressive; I don't deserve a place on the head," would you want to remove it from the body? If the body was all eye, how could it hear? If all ear, how could it smell? As it is, we see that God has carefully placed each part of the body right where he wanted it.

But I also want you to think about how this keeps your significance from getting blown up into self-importance. For no matter how significant you are, it is only because of what you are a part of.
An enormous eye or a gigantic hand wouldn't be a body, but a monster. What we have is one body with many parts, each its proper size and in its proper place. No part is important on its own. Can you imagine Eye telling Hand, "Get lost; I don't need you"? Or, Head telling Foot, "You're fired; your job has been phased out"? As a matter of fact, in practice it works the other way—the "lower" the part, the more basic, and therefore necessary. You can live without an eye, for instance, but not without a stomach. When it's a part of your own body you are concerned with, it makes no difference whether the part is visible or clothed, higher or lower. You give it dignity and honor just as it is, without comparisons. If anything, you have more concern for the lower parts than the higher. If you had to choose, wouldn't you prefer good digestion to full-bodied hair?

All of this to say, that as a blogger of God's Word, I've learned not to compare but to appreciate instead. All of us blogging together about whatever God lays on our hearts makes a difference. So, I've found some blogs that I wanted to recognize and pass my blog awards onto. Please forgive me for combining them, AND for trying to pick blogs that are unique in some way, shape or form. I've also purposefully chosen not to recognize blogs that I know have already received these awards (which I'm sure they'll thank me for.) If I've repeated anyone, I apologize, but here I go.

On behalf of the Arte y Pico blog award. and the Brilliante Weblog Premio 2008 award, these are the ones God has laid on my heart to recognize:

1. A Spiritual Oasis ministers to me so much. Bill Williams has not only put together a beautiful blog to look at, but the content is outstanding. He has incredible book recommendations on the side, as well as easy access to order them. I highly recommend this blog for frequent thirst-quenching spiritually speaking.

2. Notes In The Key of Life was an incredible find for me. Though the titles of our blog are similar, the themes could not be more different. As someone who doesn't have the time to watch the news or keep up with current events, I love going over there to see what she has highlighted. As a matter of fact, I spent a great deal of time over there this morning bawling my head off over the Steven Curtis Chapman interview video she posted. A few weeks ago, I was laughing my head off at another post. Trust me, you will enjoy Cindy's posts as much as I do.

3. I AM (not) will not leave you disappointed. Natalie has an distinct "voice" in all of her posts that paints a picture of what she is describing to a tee. She says things like "I puffy heart you," and other phrases that put a smile on my face. She can reach to spiritual depth like I've never seen in one post, and then the next day take the most trivial thing and entertain me. Her subtitle alone tells you all about Natalie's heart: "He's God. I'm not. It works." Love it!

4. Josh Janoski's Just Joshin' blog is AMAzing. But don't let the title fool you. He's funny, he's witty, he has a creative way with words, but at the same time...deep, relevant, authentic. I cannot remember a single post that did not minister to my spirit in some way. God has only begun to do ministry through Josh. Many more great things are to come from this Godly man (who, by the way, is one of the biggest encouragers I've ever known--that ought'a tell you something about his heart). His series on the book of James is amazing and is going on right now.

5. I Will Take It, Lord, All I Have to Give Okay, STOP RIGHT HERE. REad that title again, outloud. I will take it, Lord, all I have to give... Wowzer. The title alone admonishes me, challenges me, causes me to worship. What a brave title, and the content of the posts lives up to it. And let me just tell you, I don't know Lori, but I would venture to say that she is a visual worshipper, because her blog has enough visual worship candy to keep me satisfied for hours. Beautiful scripture stamps, quotes, sayings--and without being too loud or busy. I was introduced to the sight through the At The Well Monday Meme we are both involved in and was immediately captivated. When you click over there, you will be too.

6. Meditations and Confessions of A Homemaker could almost be the name of a televesion series, couldn't it? Love it. Oh, and her subtitle: "Meeting Jesus in the most unlikely places: making meals, cleaning toilets, loving my husband and children." Gotta smile over that. Isn't that what it's like as a homemaker, though? Sheila, who prefers to be called "A Woman Found," (wow) has captured the secret of a maturing spiritual life--to minister with joy even in the ordinary tasks we are called to. If all of us did that, my friends, this world would be quite a different place. She has brought dignity back to the homemaker. Her posts are deep, thought-provoking and filled with God's truth. Her blog admonishes me to live out my faith to the fullest each day, and I'll betcha you'll feel the same way when you visit her blog.

7. My Heart's Dee-Light is just that: a true delight to visit. I have no idea if Dee has won any awards or not, (because she's not the type to want to mention it), but lemme just tell you, her heart is pure gold. I know this because she is a friend, but it is also evident on everything you see on her blog. The graphics, the colors, the music, and especially the content. Her words of wisdom are extremely well-written and poignant. It's like each word was chosen deliberately, either to teach, admonish, tickle or emphasize what she is trying to convey. One highlight on Dee's site is her talent for fiction writing. She is a regular contributor and a master writer at Faithwriters, and her work is brilliant in every aspect. I hope Dee's blog brings your heart as much delight as it has mine.

I could go on and on, because as you can see, my Blog List on the window to the right => is quite lengthy. That is because I truly believe what I wrote in the opening. All of us together are making a difference for the Kingdom. May the work of our hands be to His glory, to Him alone. Forever and ever, Lord. All to You. Amen.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

May My Lifesong Keep Singing to Him

I've come off an extremely busy two weeks, with barely time to breathe. Most of the people who read this blog know me as someone who loves to write for Jesus. But these past weeks, God has called me to use another set of gifts. For the past eighteen years (longer really), the Lord has used me to lead children in worship and production. I've been so dedicated to it, that most people think that I am paid to do it (which is not the case). When it's time for a production or a special event, it consumes every ounce of me, so that's why I haven't been able to blog or comment much. As a mama of three and a wife, I can only do so much at once with my time, so the writing had to be put on hold. And oh, how I missed it! ;)

In the course of these days, I've neglected to acknowledge some special honors I've been given in this incredible world of blogging. It is not for a lack of appreciation; rather, a lack of time. So I want to--no, I neeeeeed to--take some time to tell these 4 ladies how much their honor means to me, probably even more today when I'm feeling the ministry crash than it would've during the days of my busyness.

1. Kim, at Homesteader's Heart honored me with the Brilliante Weblog Premio 2008 blog award. Thank you so much, Kim. If you haven't visited her blog, you are missing great humor, incredible insight on getting organized, and magnificent originality and authenticity.

2. Then Kristen from Exemplify also passed the Brilliante Weblog Premio 2008 award on to me too. Wowzer. Truly humbled to receive this from such a gifted writer and Godly lady. Thank you, Kristen.

3. Sweet Tracy, after her incredible Fruit of the Spirit series, who has now started a series on Choosing Life then chose to bless my life with the Arte y Pico blog award. Thanks, sister.

4. Then out of the blue, in my junk folder yesterday (or maybe the day before, I can't remember), I found a precious email from a lady I have never met before telling me that God had laid on her heart to highlight my blog on her Wednesday Wisdom post. As I've looked around "Peculiar's" site (yes, she calls herself Peculiar, which has already endeared me to her), I have enjoyed her unique voice and incredible wisdom and teaching. Can't wait to know her better. Thank you, Peculiar, for taking the time to not only send me a note, but also to honor me publicly. You have humbled me more than you will ever know.

Last but not least, I want to thank Christian Women Online for choosing LauraLee's Lifesong for blog of the month in July. It has helped me to get to know many other incredible bloggers that I may not have met otherwise, not to mention, encouraged me beyond measure to continue to pursue my writing goals. I truly cannot thank you enough.

I pray from the depths of my heart that my Lifesong--the one my Lord and Maker has given for me to write, sing, speak and act upon--will continue to put HIs melody into the heart of others. That is my goal. While these honors could have a tendency to make me feel big in my own eyes, I pray just the opposite: that Jesus Christ would be the only One you see. In my next post, I will pass some blogs on that have ministered to me lately. May all of our Lifesongs combined be a choir of praise for Him.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Blurred Vision/At the Well Monday

Natalie at I Am (Not) is the hostess of "At the Well" this week.

Here's her challenging question:
Do you have a family vision? If not, what would you like it to be?

I truly encourage you to go over to her place and read about this subject. She challenges married couples, singles and empty nesters alike. Incredibly insightful post, Natalie, and one that has challenged me yet again. These women at the well certainly are stretching me.

Now my husband has been trying to set some family goals for quite awhile now. The way he is wired is dependent upon it. He has done such a good job of it too, which has kept me--this left-brained, all-over-the-map, flitty creative type--probably out of serious emotional trouble. Because of the way I'm wired, I have a difficult time getting behind the goals he sets, but I pray and I try.

As a result of this mix, Brian almost fell off the loveseat last night when I asked him this question: "Honey, what would you say our family vision is?"

Then it was my turn to fall off my side of the loveseat when he answered: "Blurred."

It brought about an incredible discussion about the lack of intentionality on our part to think about where we want to "end up" as a family, instead of just where we want to "be" as a family. Even though there are no guarantees that we will end up the way we plan, it will help us keep our focus on a daily basis, hopefully motivating us to stay the course.

In the zoom out, big picture lens, our family vision is the greatest commandment of all:
Mark 12:29-31 ( (NIV)

"The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.'The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'There is no commandment greater than these."

Though these verses direct the decisions we make, Brian and I seem to think our challenge comes with the zoom in, and that is the one we will begin to turn our attention toward...because both of us are kind of tired of the blur. We need to set a tighter vision to help us have some discipline and focus with the larger one. Hopefully, by doing so, we'll all see the Lord's path for us a little more clearly along the way.
Proverbs 16:1-9 (The Message)

Everything with a Place and a Purpose

Mortals make elaborate plans, but God has the last word.

Humans are satisfied with whatever looks good;
God probes for what is good.

Put God in charge of your work,
then what you've planned will take place.

God made everything with a place and purpose;
even the wicked are included—but for judgment.

God can't stomach arrogance or pretense;
believe me, he'll put those upstarts in their place.

Guilt is banished through love and truth;
Fear-of-God deflects evil.

When God approves of your life,
even your enemies will end up shaking your hand.

Far better to be right and poor
than to be wrong and rich.

We plan the way we want to live,
but only God makes us able to live it.

Sunday, August 3, 2008


Button courtesy of Kristen from A Heart Stirred Designs.