Friday, September 22, 2017

A Bouquet for an Early Autumn Weekend

This week has found midnight winds roaring loud enough to wake the dead.  Skies are perpetually gray, waves crash high and mighty, the rain descends randomly, in sheer torrents or as an oddly teaming mist.  We prepare for the worst, but by some grace we have been spared the tragic catastrophes others are enduring.

Summer exits with a most unsettling violent flourish during these, her final days.

Today launches us straight into the next season, so says the square on the calendar.  I can't think of a better way of marking this autumn's kickoff than sharing some quite provocative reads with you.

And one link thrown in just for beauty's sake.  

Whether you're sporting a sweatshirt and jeans or still hanging on to your tee-shirts and shorts, I hope this weekend brings you an opportunity to catch your breath ... and receive a strong much-needed sense of the heart-warming presence of God in your life.

No matter what the weather.

Tish Harrison Warren

J.R. Briggs

Megan @ Farmhouse 5540

Maggie Fox

Winn Collier

Tanya Marlow @ The Mudroom

Brenda Bradford Ottinger

 *   *   *

 on Wednesday

Monday, September 18, 2017

A Surefire Antidote for Our Endless Self-Absorption

'You're good at what you do!'

I can't recall when this phrase started rolling off my tongue.

I wasn't trying to flatter or fill up an awkward moment.  I truly meant those five words.

I remember saying it to the enthusiastic realtors, the creative photographer, the skilled craftsmen who installed the new kitchen floor and the hefty team who dragged in the new appliances without wrecking said new floor during our intensely crazed work on the house before putting it on the market a couple of years ago.

I heard myself voicing those words to the tireless dental team mid-winter after my ninth visit in three months.  To the elderly woman carefully bagging my groceries and to the hyper-energetic supermarket manager who whisked me through the checkout line so fast that my head spun.

My new hairdresser heard my enthusiastic, relief-laden gratitude as I finally received my first decent cut after nine months in our new hometown.

I shouted it out to a few of the craftsmen who wielded hammers and brushes, ladders and shingles and paint, partnering with us as we made our new house into home sweet home.

And I'm quick to speak it to the kiddos whenever I spy something kind or creative or generous going on.

You get the picture.

We all crave sincere affirmations, a thoughtful blessing, a meaningful 'atta-boy' from time to time.  And if these offerings were in short supply during our formative years, we might be prone to even deeper longings to hear that we matter, that who we are and what we do counts for something.

What might our world look like if we intentionally chose to show our sincere appreciation to others in whatever ways are most comfortable for us?  It might be a handshake or a hug, a cash tip or a hand-written note.

Or the spoken word, sometimes oh so difficult to utter aloud.

Speaking grace into another soul's life is a surefire antidote for whining or complaining or grumbling about random stuff that matters little.  For who has time to indulge in endless self-absorption or obnoxious behaviors when you're on the lookout for ways to bless others with your gratitude?

If we tend to find this difficult, it could be that we haven't been able to fully grasp the height and depth of God's gracious love toward us, our value in His sight for who He's shaped us to be, not necessarily for what we accomplish or bring to the table.  The more that rich truth hits home for us, the more bountifully our own wells overflow and touch others with grace-laden kindness.

And yes, I'm betting that you're good at what you do.

*   *   *

aiming to encourage

Sunday, September 17, 2017

And the Free Workbook Goes To . . .

The winner of a copy of




Congrats to you, Miriam!

*   *   * 

What's coming in the next few weeks?

A CD giveaway ... maybe even two!  

Let the Christmas shopping {gasp} begin!

Click right here to subscribe 
so you don't miss out.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

In Which I Acquaint You With 3 Healing Workbooks * A Giveaway

Last time my eyes wandered the bookshelves over in the counseling office in The Nest {a peaceful, light-filled haven nestled in the treetops over the garage}, I counted more than 50 different workbook titles.  Over the years, I've gathered these resources at conferences, online, and in used bookstores and have appreciated their helpful direction for both individuals and the groups I've worked with.

But these three below?  These are the ones I have my clients use on a steady basis.

They're timeless, Christ-centered, eye-opening, and incredibly helpful tools for the healing journey.  Written by two of the 'fathers' of Christian counseling, I've seen these pages turn women's lives around.

There's nothing like putting pen to paper to clarify what's true about where we are.  And it's most reassuring to know that 'I'm not the only one!' even as you move ahead to make choices that lead you further down the path toward healing.

Click on the titles to browse their pages ...

Carter & Minirth

Carter & Minirth

Carter & Minirth

I'm delighted to have a copy of The Freedom From Depression Workbook to send to one random commenter.  You might want to use it for yourself or maybe gift to a hurting friend.  To get in the running for the giveaway, simply leave a comment on this post by Sunday evening, September 17th at six pm {eastern}.  US only, please.

*  Please Note - If you are experiencing symptoms of depression, please contact your doctor for an evaluation.

May you find God using these superb resources to bring incredible hope ...


sharing resources with

Friday, September 8, 2017

A Bouquet of Shareworthy Links

Weekend greetings!

Could it be that online writing is picking up now that Labor Day is behind us?  Here's seven compelling offerings to savor with your pumpkin spice latte, caramel hot chocolate, or whatever gets poured into your favorite mug.  

It's music to my ears to hear that you're bookmarking what hits home or that you're sharing the love with your online tribe ...

Blessings to you.

Rebecca Meyer & Gerald Hiestand

Sarah Bessey

Sonia Simone

Annie Wright

Sadie Trombetta

Aimee Kollmansberger

the winding down.
Casey Tygrett