Saturday, February 20, 2021

Mid-Winter Serendipitous Snapshots

Purposefully choosing to ~

Enter into each new day with eyes wide open and heart fully expectant. 

Focus on the little things that normally would escape notice. 

Capture the delightful, the winsome, the joyful, the amazing.  

Claim gratitude in the random discoveries of  'whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy' {Philippians 4:8}.

Keep it simple, short, and sweet.  Because life is already complicated enough.  And I have no idea what's around the next corner.

a wooden fisherman gazes 
patiently atop a harborside roof ...
but the boat is the real deal

we shared a mini chocolate-caramel cake
on Valentine's Day & didn't care that 
the napkins were adorned with carrots

there's nothing more winsomely majestic 
than a lighthouse keeping watch
in a windswept snowstorm

absolutely yes ... scoop up a bouquet of 
bright pastel flowers from the supermarket
 especially when they're only $4.67

those sad windows & sagging rooftop
caught my eye ... I happily hear that the 
house will soon be returned to its former glory

a shared brunch with friends ...
what a deliciously glorious way to celebrate 
the blessings of Sabbath worship & rest

the ice looked exactly like fine lace
as it encased the boulders at
the edge of the bay

'how do we explain that when you stop at a
 diner that has a bunch of ads on the placemat 
that we don't kiss the people on the ads?'

my heart beats a bit faster when I spy
abandoned houses adorned with 
rusty old hardware & chippy paint

a friend loved this color swatch with her
favorite hymn ... she painted a sweet
little bookcase that sits fireside by her chair

eldest granddaughter with a great big heart 
for worldwide missions creatively designed 
a global pizza ... really! 

Have you caught a random glimpse or two of God's bountiful blessings in recent days?  

Do tell ...


visiting with Lisa & Jeanne & Richella


Monday, February 15, 2021

Your 38 Gifts of Inspiration

Dear Generous, Voracious Readers ~

When I asked you last month to please help me find some books for my friend who wanted a few Christ-centered inspirational non-fiction reads, you guys were off and running, checking your overflowing night tables and assortment of reading journals, random piles and organized bookshelves and dusty under the bed stashes.   

And no surprise at all, the best of the best titles tumbled from your wise and generous hearts to hers.  

How could I NOT compile a complete list for your persusal?  What a selection you've treasured and passed on, not only to my gentle, tender friend who continues her valiant fight against cancer, but to our community here ... and those we connect with.

Praise be.

Streams in the DesertL.B. Cowman

Whispers of Hope - Beth Moore

Learning to Walk in the Dark - Barbara Brown Taylor

Prevail - Susie Larson

It's Not Supposed to Be This Way - Lysa TerKeurst

Soul Keeping - John Ortberg

Just Like Jesus - Max Lucado

Beyond Ourselves - Catherine Marshall

Oh How He Loves You - Corrie Ten Boom

Through Love's Eyes - Marilyn Moseley

Hope When It Hurts - Kristen Wetherell & Sarah Walton

Take Heart: 100 Devotions to Seeing God When Life's Not Okay - (in)courage

Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy - Mark Vroegop 

Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Suffers - Dane Ortlund

Searching for Certainty - Shelly Miller

The Power of Praying Through Fear - Stormie Omartian

What If ... God Has Other Plans?: Finding Hope When Life Throws You the Unexpected - Charles Swindoll

Love Does - Bob Goff

Red Sea Rules: The Same God Who Led You In Will Lead You OutRobert J. Morgan

The Lord Is My Shepherd: Resting in the Peace and Power of Psalm 23 - Robert J. Morgan

Trusting God: Even When Life HurtsJerry Bridges

The Grace of Catastrophe: When What You Know About God Is All You HaveJan Winebrenner

The Hardest Peace: Expecting Grace in the Midst of Life's Hard - Kara Tippetts

Hinds Feet on High PlacesHanna Hurnard

One Year Book of Hope - Nancy Guthrie

The Moment of Tenderness - Madeleine L'Engle

Anxious for Nothing - Max Lucado

Uncommon Ground - Timothy Keller

The Songs of Jesus - Timothy Keller

A Path Through Suffering - Elisabeth Elliot 

Suffering Is Never For Nothing - Elisabeth Elliot

Rose From Brier - Amy Carmichael

When God Weeps - Joni Eareckson Tada & Steve Estes

Walking with God Through Pain and Suffering - Tim Keller

Out of the Blue - Greg Murtha

Jesus Himself - Andrew Murray

Facedown - Matt Redman

This Wasn't Supposed to Happen to Me - Bev Smallwood


Any of these volumes have a special place in your heart?  Let's talk.  Meanwhile, do share the wealth!  Please bookmark, connect with your social media fans, send this post to bookish companions, buy a lovely gift for yourself {or another}, choose a fresh read for your small group, class, or book club.  

And again, thanks to all those who reached out to touch the heart of someone you haven't even met.  Yet.  Please keep on praying for your sister in Christ ...


<<  Mid-Winter Browsing * On the Porch

Mid-Winter Serendipitous Snapshots  >>


visiting with

Anne  .  Richella  .  Lisa  .  Jeanne


if you love it here please subscribe


Photos by Castorly Stock from Pexels

Friday, February 12, 2021

Mid-Winter Browsing * On the Porch

a snowy view from the porch door

Last time I looked, the temperature on the porch was maybe in the mid-thirties.  Needless to say, I'm not sitting out there with my feet up mid-February.  But tradition has it that around here, any little weekend offering is called On the Porch.

Anyway ... there's so much super writing and beneficial reading going on these days.  Is it the frigid cold?  The yearning to create?  The need to relax and chill out?

I don't know, but here's a whole slew of links for you to browse through this weekend.  From soup to nuts, I'm guessing you'll find something that will float your boat.  Or warm your heart.  Or give you cause for pause.

I do believe I could do with a mug of hot chocolate while I curl up and enjoy.  Extra whipped cream on that, please!  You too?

How to Live in the Face of Fear: Lessons From a Cancer Survivor

Kate Bowler

'Why forcing yourself to stay positive is not always best, the human longing to love and be loved and why living in constant fear makes it important to have two different routines: one for the day and one for the night.'

Hope and Expectation

Linda Hoye

'Two things.  That’s all I have to do. Love God and love people.  And, yeah, neither of these is particularly easy all the time, but they are my better work ...'

3 Ways to Maximize Your Written Words: They're Doing the Heavy Lifting

Lisa Burgess

'The less we interact face-to-face, the more our written communications have to do the heavy lifting.'

Being Single on Valentine's Day

Lynn Simpson

''There is absolutely nothing wrong with you.  Your marital status does not determine your worth ...'

Truth or Trash

Nancy Ruegg

'Attend a graduation ceremony, participate in a work-related seminar, or just join in a break room conversation, and you might hear one of these statements ...'

Do You Want More Prayer in Your Life?

Rebecca Hastings

'When we realize we can release the pressure to arrive, we learn there is great freedom in being in process ...'

January 2021 Christian Book Picks

Sarah Geringer

'This is a great group of books for spiritual growth.'

Depression, Denial, And The Therapists's Couch

Katie Blackburn

'Once there are no words that your husband cannot say to you, no feeling that he cannot confess, the level of intimacy and trust feels so much deeper ...'

Here's how I finally got myself to start exercising

Christine Carter, Ph.D

'All you need is to be willing to be wildly unambitious — to settle for doing something that’s just a smidge better than nothing ...'

Amid Covid deaths, schools aren't prepared to support students through grief and trauma

Sarah John

'In a nationwide survey of school social workers last summer, more than 3 in 4 reported most students at their schools needed serious mental health support ...'

Survival strategies for winter, my least favorite season

Anne Bogel

'I desperately miss sunshine and warmth during these months.  But winter does have its charms, and I’m doing my best to embrace them.'

3 Spiritual Phrases Christian Leaders Should Stop Saying

Carey Nieuwhof

'Maybe you’ve fallen for a leadership cop-out too—dodging the real issue by putting a spiritual mask over it.  Can it be that something that sounds so spiritual can actually stop some very spiritual work?'

Bloggers - Please share a link to your own cream-of-the-crop mid-winter writing! 

Up next?  DOZENS of books.  Yes, DOZENS!


<<  Of flowers, chocolate, and relationships on Valentine's Day

Your 38 Gifts of Inspiration  >>


visiting with

Richella  .  Lisa  .  Jeanne


if you love it here please subscribe

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Of flowers, chocolate, and relationships on Valentine's Day

My cousin Carol died two days after Christmas 2019 after a long, agonizing battle with cancer.  We grew up together and then our lives went in different directions.  She became a nurse, a wife, a missionary to Equador, a mom.  Her first grandbaby was born just a few months after she went home to be with the Lord she faithfully loved and served.

Carol was one of the most gracious, loveliest, positive, gently strong souls I've known, loved ... and respected.  I felt blessed that in our 'older' years we were often able to re-connect at Camp in the summertime with what seemed to be a million of our closest relatives.

Her husband, Mark, wrote this piece this week and has very graciously allowed me to share it with you.

Trust me, you would have absolutely loved her, too.

"I don’t want to give her flowers, because I don't want to give her a heart attack!"

This was the mantra from Carol's dad about Carol's mom every time I bought flowers for Carol when we were dating.  But I knew that Carol’s mom loved flowers, she took extra care of Carol’s flower arrangements, making certain they were watered and the wilted petals removed.

I am pretty sure that Carol’s mom and dad had a silent agreement, save the money on flowers and bank it for the future.

But that being the case, there was no such limit with chocolate.   

I remember all kinds of chocolates in their house on holidays, and my wife’s love for the dark chocolate variety was a finely honed taste of the best that could be had within our budget.  She loved all things chocolate, whether it was triple chocolate cake, dark chocolate Dove hearts, or simple dark C bars from Aldi’s.

I liked having fresh flowers, roses preferred, in the house, and the best time to bring them home was when there was no reason to do so, no offence committed, and brought just to brighten the day. 

Thinking through the days lately and those coming up, I still think, “I need to get flowers,” but then I realize it isn't to be. 

My new normal is different now, but relationships still have great importance.

As I think about it, I realize that although I had lost one relationship, I have many others to celebrate and be thankful for.   And I can be thankful for my family, a good day, good health, and the energy I need to keep moving forward.

We celebrate relationships because we need them.  And those relationships need us.  Let us be thankful and grateful.  I encourage you to get un-busy, and celebrate your relationships.

Mark said it so very well.

'I realize that although I had lost one relationship, I have many others to celebrate and be thankful for.'

Maybe we best honor those we've lost by deeply cherishing the ones who are still here with us ... and letting them clearly know that they are loved.  


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Mid-Winter Browsing * On the Porch  >>


talking relationships with

Richella  .  Lisa  .  Jeanne


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