Welcome to my eclectic journey of my life and delights. This year my theme is surrendering my writing pen to the true author, Jesus Christ, while looking forward to the future, reflecting on the past and dancing through my journey.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

My Trip to Eli

images from You Are Special Max Lucado

What an eventful week.  As we continue on our journey God's faithfulness could fill a book, yet when He is moving on our behalf the enemy doesn't go on vacation.  During a week of many victories came an unforeseen attack.  Where does the enemy attack? He always attacks those areas of our life we cherish.   As  I was launching myself into some new horizons he came to sneak in and shoot me from the sky, where God intends me to soar on His wings.

Sunday morning left me battle tired. 

This children's story came to my mind.  Max Lucado has a wonderful way of taking an adult truth and conveying it through a children's story.  One of my favorite children's books of Max Lucado is You Are Special.

The story unfolds in a village filled with Wemmicks.   They were all created by Eli a wood carver.  Every day as the Wemmicks walked around the village the citizens gave each other stickers according to how they viewed actions of each Wemmick.  You could receive a star or a dot.  The stars were to award you...the dots....well let's use the illustration, lies of the enemy.

Punchinello was one of the Wemmick's covered with dots.

"In fact, he had so many gray dots that some people would come up and give him one for no reason at all."
"He deserves lots of dots."  "He's not a good wooden person." - quotes from the book

That was what occurred this past week....dots for no reason at all...dots others felt were deserved.  

Punchinello noticed one Wemmick whose dots or stars never stuck.  Punchinello wondered why?

Punchinello don't want anyone's marks.

Her answer - "Every day I go see Eli!"

As Punchinello begin going to see Eli the stickers fell off.

images from You Are Special by Max Lucado

Eli said as the Wemmick walked out the door,
"you are special because I made you,
And I don't make mistakes." - Max Lucado

So this weekend was spent having time with  my creator.  Standing at the foot of the cross and allowing what He purchased for me on the cross to remove the stickers others had stuck on me.

Our worship song -
Celebrate the power of the Cross, the empty grave
And now we're free, let the redeemed lift 
up their heads and LOOK AND SEE OUR GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Michael Beecker

I will be back without dots and share the new direction God is taking me, for now I am lifting up my head to LOOK and SEE MY GOD!!

Monday, September 24, 2012


You take my mourning and turn it into dancing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You take my weeping and turn it into laughter!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You take my sadness and turn it into joy!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This Monday morning the Lord ministered to me through this song.  He not only ministered to me through this song He physically is doing this in my soul.  What an awesome God we serve.  Today I am so humbled.  Monday morning music....what a why to start the week.  Blessings to you all as you see God bring restoration.oI am joining Living Gourmet with Music Monday.  Don't miss her blog, she is a wonderful cook and shares her gift through her recipes...bless her by stopping by.

I bri

ng restoration
lYou bring restoration
You bring restoration
You bring restoration
to my soul

You've taken my pain
called me by a new name
You've taken my shame
and in it's place, You give me joy

You take mourning and turn it into dancing
You take weeping and turn it into laughing
You take mourning and turn it into dancing
You take my sadness and turn it into joy

hallelujah, hallelujah
You make all things new, all things new 
You've taken my pain
called me by a new name
You've taken my shame
and in it's place, You give me joyO

You take mourning and turn it into dancing
You take weeping and turn it into laughing
You take mourning and turn it into dancing
You take my sadness and turn it into joy

hallelujah, hallelujah
You make all things new, all things new

Friday, September 21, 2012

Smile with a Taunt

google image
The world has her answer to the journey our family finds ourselves traveling (and so many others also).  Even loving Christians counsel through their "culture Christianity" to solve our struggle.  Both sources aren't going to His Word...both sources stem from a sense of panic, both sources don't look to the source.  It is even harder to turn to a fellow Christian and say, "That isn't what the Lord has for our family."

I stand feeling I need to give answers or explanations....I don't...He is the answer.

When there is peace that they can't understand -
"And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."  Phil. 4:7

When what they see isn't what they believe we should be doing
"We live by faith, not by sight."  II Corn. 5:7

When the logic behind our decisions doesn't shadow the "culture"...even "Christian culture"
"My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts," says the LORD. "And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.  Is. 55:8

Joy replaces stress.  The joy not found in emotions, the joy that bubbles up from your inner being that has been crushed and you can't fake it.

God has made me smile.  My husband laughs again....money can't buy that.

My heart's prayer cries out through this divinely appointed obstacles course that this will be formed in me.
      "Strength and dignity are her clothing,
        And she smiles at the future"  Prov. 31:25

I am responding with a smile....a deep felt smile.  I am responding with a taunt.  As David taunted the enemy from a reassurance that God would bring the victory, not himself.

Just imagine a boy standing before a giant who had been taunting the army of God.  He confidently shouts out...
 "For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should taunt the armies of the living God?" I Sam. 17:26

Saul's reaction....(the world's view, even the "Christian culture" view)
"You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are but a youth, while he has been a warrior from his youth."  I Sam 17:33

David recounts God's supernatural provision of strength through David's life.  I Sam 17:34-37

David goes before the giant (our giant the enemy of unemployment) with ALL the past works of God and his assurance of God's faithfulness.

I stand with 51 years of testimonies of God's faithfulness to be expressed to the Saul's of this world.  I can stand confidently before the giant.

I Smile, I Taunt
The Bible is full of these stories of God's faithfulness...Elijah before the prophet's of Baal....he taunts them with "where are your gods...have they gone to bathroom" (paraphrased).  How about outrunning a chariot, or asking the Lord to open the eyes of his servant to reveal the army that stood behind them. (I know you can add and add to this list)  Is there truly anything IMPOSSIBLE with God?  NO!

Thanks so very much for your prayers....I can feel them, the peace that has come, I know is from the prayers being lifted on our behalf.  The scriptures of encouragement will be taped to my bathroom mirror.  As we continue to fight the advice of the natural world and trust..............as one e-mail reminded me...there truly isn't ANYTHING impossible with God....we stand.  Even having a smile in the midst of it all is a miracle, because the natural facts look very bad without the hope of Him which lives within us. I pick up my stones and stand before the giant, in the confidence that God will bring him down.

Monday, September 17, 2012

In Case of UGLY....Paint!

My first update of the bathroom..changing from 90's green to this with stencils

As I stated a year ago, our rental residence came with some obstacles...the challenge, make it a home without killing the bank account.  Now the bank account is zero...due to lack employment...it means continuing to do it creatively.

I love taking blogging pictures which allows me to show the beauty while hiding the ugly...even putting on make-up can do that.  So when I showed off my 1/2 bath re-do, I just didn't show you the ugly.  Now for the truth to be seen.

Yes, that is the floor...and yes, my master bathroom looks as bad.  I tried to cover it up with a rug and even held my head up as I walked in so my eyes wouldn't catch sight of it............the ugly floor.

But as another blogger posted one time...there is just time to Yak the thing and getting it out of your way.  For me that means.............GRAB PAINT!!!  All my supplies were left over from other projects............so this re-do would also be free!!

I first sanded the top of the surface of the floor to remove what little seal was left.  I then took mineral spirits to wipe off all grit and again make the surface ready to hold paint.

There were two colors of paint in the garage..neither good by themselves for the floor...so I mixed them to make my base coat.  I rolled the base coat on the floor three times...leaving hours and one over night  to dry.

I grabbed the same stencil I had used on the walls....even the same paint and stenciled a floor medallion.

After the floor was left to cure over night I began three coats of clear statin sealer.

My NEW Floor.....and now you know the whole story...all the ugly was revealed....and restored to a new beauty.

Yes there is a spiritual lesson there....mine came through this scripture "We have renounced the hidden things of shame...." II Corn. 4:2.

Now you are welcome to come use my 1/2 bath and I won't hide from embarrassed....the ugly has been covered.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Up and Down, Twist and Turn...Don't Vomit

I don't do roller coasters; in fact, I get car sick.  I am just not one for that thrill ride...you can have it.  So when life decides to take me on a ride, without my permission.. well, what do I do?  I do a little of everything...want to vomit, feel queasy, excited, thrilled, faith-filled, exhausted, hopeful, discouraged, and when I finally come to the end of myself, I feel His strong arms.  The ride, even though it is still going, becomes a place of surrender.  I have heard that that is the trick of a roller coaster, if you don't tense up and just enjoy the ride, it becomes pleasurable.

So, Monday started the unexpected roller coaster ride.  After the boys were off at school, leaving me to myself and house cleaning, windows were opened to allow the cool breeze to filter through...and the ride came unannounced.

I heard my husband's footsteps in the middle of the afternoon.  "Hey!, what are you doing here?"  His answer back was a shock...he had lost his job.  Monday was the last day.  His 100% commission, supposed-to-be-temporary,-but-lasted-four-and-a-half-years-job had come to an abrupt end.

As I moved through the afternoon with my thoughts invading my being..highs, lows, twists, turns...etc.. my body called me to bed.  But wait...there is always something unexpected in a roller coaster ride. The phone rang............

"Mom, what you doing?...I AM ENGAGED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" screamed our only daughter through the phone.

We knew it was coming.  The wonderful Christian young man had already discussed this with hubby..but we hadn't expected it just yet.  My husband has always said our only daughter's husband would be a cross between John Wayne and Rambo...this man comes close...he is a Marine Corporal... with a great heart.

This is how he proposed........................................................I am the mom, so I have to share!

They were having an evening picnic on the lawn of the county courthouse.  She had lost her Bible and had been complaining about it...that's my girl...very verbal.  He bought her a new Bible and engraved her future name on the cover. He gave it to her and she hugged the Bible, not reading the full name.  Now I have to say both last names start with a "W", so she just glanced over it.  He had to draw her attention to the full name.  Well, after some words...verbal girl giving him a hard time for the wrong last name... he pulled out the ring!!

Aren't they both beautiful.  The ring was created from the diamonds of his grandmother's wedding band.

This is my goofy girl in our garage, where brother and friends were playing ping pong...teary-eyed...showing off her ring!

Here is our future son-in-law...the mixture between John Wayne and Rambo.

All these sixteen and seventeen year-old boys (her brother's in the baseball clothes) acting goofy with her!  This was so appropriate for them all to hear the events of the evening, since she and future son-in-law both work with the youth at church.

Both of their testimonies of life can fill a book...labeled: God's forgiveness, God's redemption plan, God's restoration, and to His Glory.
Our prayers are with them throughout this engagement period.  We have now had two of our children engaged in one month...oh my!  I don't have pictures from the other engagement..but our prayers are covering them also.

What a roller coaster ride on this day...one that could only have been touched by God!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Reluctant Teacher

I confess....I am the Reluctant Teacher.  That's me!  After 23 years of straight home schooling, and while going through what I believe is a mid-life crises (please laugh with me)...I wasn't ready to start a new school year.  My school book's arrival is being delayed by financial woes....what's new.  The washing machine followed the dryer and died.  After their wonderful make-up, they still gave up the ghost.So priority one is clean clothes, pretty soon, before books.  Although I pressed through the summer intentionally living life to the fullest...I didn't have a vision for school.  So I have drugggggggggggggggggggggg my heavy feet into this school year, with a heart of a two-year-old, who is setting down as told, but standing up inside.

God is gracious.  He reminded me of all the activities we had enjoyed in the summer and He ignited two weeks of teaching from our experiences....each giving me excitement and motivation.

As I drove through a subdivision my eyes caught a pond.  Oh! what a great pond...so Monetistic.  God gave me a glimpse of how to take my draggggggggggggging feet and produce a fun-filled teachable day.

So, on Thursday we packed up an art bag, camera, bug spray (West Nile Virus prevention) and headed out the door before the heat ate us up.

Not only was the environment relaxing and inspiring, we were welcomed to an additional surprise.

Benjamin and I just soaked in the wonder of the ducks and the little one!  Benjamin crawled up under the branches of the tree to intently observe while he was drawing.  Later we saw the same tree in Monet's garden in France.

Back at the table he painted and drew the wonders before him, as we continued to soak in the sights and  sounds...a huge bullfrog croaking, fish jumping, mirroring reflections on the water and the whistling of the summer breeze.

As the heat began to beat down on us we returned to read and watch Linnea in Monet's Garden.  We searched the internet to see videos of Monet's Garden in France.  We located France on our map and discussed other books, like Madeline, which were written around the Paris setting.  We pulled our Monet study into the same time period of the discovery of dinosaur fossil bones around the world, which tied into our dinosaur study of two weeks....another adventure from summer discoveries.

As I picked up our remnants from the day I thanked the Lord that He loves even reluctant teachers.  He is concerned for my child's learning and his mom, who is just a little discombobulation as the school year starts.  I think we will make it...I WILL get use to the packed schedule, the evenings of running to lessons or work  and summer WILL show it's freedom again.  For now I look up for my inspiration and energy that no curriculum can provide, only He can supply my needs.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Artist Inspiration

Along with the Chihuly exhibit at Dallas Arboretum were five replicas of artist houses.  I loved how they invited you in where the artist lived, by rebuilding a play-house-size home decorated in the artist works.  Having seen must of these artist original works displayed through traveling exhibits or permanent displays at the Kimbell at Fort Worth or Dallas Museum of Art, I enjoyed guessing whose home was being depicted before looking down at the plaque.  This wonderful exhibit ignited our art studies for the year.

See if you can guess and I will show the answer after each house.

Does this give it away?  I am sure you have guessed by now!
Walking over the bridge to the house, across the lily-pads...you were swept into his world.

It didn't take much to know whose house the next artist was...her signature was seen in her surroundings.

Can't you just feel her inspiration?  An American artist.

I am sure you have guessed this one also.  I own a large coffee book of her pieces.

At this point I am already filling my thoughts and plans for our art year...and we still had three more houses.

This one was harder to guess for me from the outside...but once you stepped in...you knew.

Have you guessed?

Let's see we have seen Post-Impressionist, American Modernism and Impressionist....two more to go.

How pretty is this?  I was ready to move right in.

As we strolled from house to house I could hear quotes from Madeleine L'Engle's book Walking on Water, Reflections of Faith and Art
Although I would love to have the gift these artist had, the Lord didn't see fit to hand it to me...but I am to be faithful with what He did give me, while still being inspired by other's greatness.

A sad fact which nevertheless needs to be faced is that a deeply committed Christian who wants to write stories or paint pictures or compose music to the glory of God simply may not have been given the talent, the gift, which a non-Christian, or even an atheist, may have in abundance.  God is no respecter of persons, and this is something we are reluctant to face.  Madeleine L'Engle

How colorful is this?  This just made you smile.

We finished up with Neo-Impressionist and Cubism.  Now wasn't that a "sweet" exhibit, as my adult children would say?  Inspiration for a full year of art lessons.

Getting out of the way and listening is not something that comes easily, either in art or in prayer.
Madeleine L'Engle - Walking on Water

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Rise Up and Call Her Blessed

Ephesians 6:1-4

 "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother—which is the first commandment with a promise— so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth."

Friday, my daughter and I honored my mother by taking her to a celebrate her birthday, which is today!  We took her to a "girly" place for lunch.  I couldn't help but think how much my role as her first-born child has changed through the years, as I sat across from her as a well-seasoned wife and mother in my own regard.

Proverbs 31: 28 - "Her children rise up and call her blessed;
Her husband also, and he praises her."

My mother took her role as wife and mother very seriously.  Her childhood history of loss of her own Dad to cancer when she was a pre-teen, then living her high school years at Buckner Children's Home, instilled in her the desire to give all she could to her husband and four children.

As of this birthday, she can brag on a marriage of 53 years,  four adult children, ten grandchildren (yes, six are mine), one great-granddaughter and two great-grands that she has emotionally adopted.

She walked out the type of mother portrayed through the television idea of June Cleaver.  A contented, productive, stay-at-home mom, leader in the PTA and adult sponsor for the youth at church, she served in church and various ministries, while supporting my Dad's business.

Her traditional role as wife and mother left behind large footprints to follow.  She taught her daughter well....I am a product of that commitment to Jesus Christ, husband, family and the Body of Christ.

She wasn't perfect...like the rest of us...but she was faithful.  She continues to be faithful with all life has thrown at her...many hardships and heart breaking disappointments.  She continues to draw strength and reassurance from the source...Jesus.

May I honor her today with my own faithfulness to the values she instilled in her oldest child.  May I continue to follow her well-worn path of love of Jesus Christ, husband and family no matter what life throws at me.  May my legacy reflect her timeless and Biblical values and therefore, give her the honor she has earned.

Happy Birthday, Mom....Love You!
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