Monday words for the Soul~May 19

Life is an adventure in forgiveness. ~Norman Cousins

indiana jones

Forgiveness is not boring; it can be the most courageous adventure we undertake.
Because we have to abandon our expectation of receiving.
We have to abandon our expectation of receiving an apology we were never going to get.

It might be easier to follow Indiana Jones. But not as endearingly satisfying.

And it won’t salve the wound.

Only grace can salve the wound and accompany us on the adventure.

Forgiveness is an adventure.


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More words for the Soul

a word from The Sponsor~May 18

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. ~Hebrews 10:24



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a word from The Sponsor~May 18

Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land. ~Song of Solomon 2:12











~~~ Thanks to Richard for posting this verse
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Monday Words for the Soul~May 12~Hug More

a little post Mother’s Day laugh


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Happiest Mother’s Day

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

lovely artwork by Lori Portka


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When Happy Mother’s Day Isn’t

When Mother’s Day is not how you thought it would be…

That first Mother’s Day spent without your own mom is tough. The first Mother’s Day spent without your adult child, your young child, your baby child, or your unborn child is brutal. And if you can just get through the first Mother’s Day, then all the ones after that will be…

Bruisingly tough.

Angie Smith is one of my heroes. In 2008, Angie Smith and her husband Todd (lead singer of the group Selah) learned through ultrasound that their fourth daughter had conditions making her “incompatible with life.” Advised to terminate the pregnancy, the Smiths chose instead to carry this child and allow room for a miracle. That miracle came the day they met Audrey Caroline and got the chance to love her for the precious two-and-a-half hours she lived on earth. In her blog, Bring the Rain, Angie writes achingly and with hope and faith.

Sometimes I think it’s harder to believe the way I do, because I believe with everything in me that He could have changed the story. This line of thinking inevitably brings me to the question, “Why didn’t He?” Many people have written me with the same question, and I want to tell you that I have thought it through many times, and I have come up with a great theological explanation that I want to share with you.

I have absolutely no idea.

What I do know is this:

The Lord walk beside me and He walked beside Moses, and He knows me by name. He loves me, and I love Him. I pushed my baby through the reeds, and never saw her again. And yet, here I am, worshipping the God who allowed it.

Angie is the author of I Will Carry YouI Will Carry You tells the powerful story of a parent losing her child, interwoven with the biblical story of Lazarus to help those who mourn to still have hope—to find grace and peace in the sacred dance of grief and joy.

[originally posted on May 6, 2011]

This Weekend~May 9~Finding Your Anchor in Grace/Because of Grace

This Weekend…May you find your anchor on the beach Because of Grace

May you find opportunities to be “Lavish in love, extravagant in truth, big spenders of grace.”*



Song: “Alone” by Trampled by Turtles

*Quote by Ann Voskamp

More Weekend Ideas

Midweek Question~May 8~How Can I Help?

How Can I Help? a little book published by Chris Shea and Harvest House

Just in the previous year, I’ve joined a club with so many of my friends. Together we have encountered dark nights of the soul that have continued into weeks and months and years. We’ve have experienced deployments, severe illnesses, surgeries, job setbacks, sudden moves, and the final passing of one or both parents.

How Can I Help?It is difficult to know what to say to help and give comfort during these times. Chris Shea’s offers a way in her book, How Can I Help? Chris puts the emphasis on healing and the grace of God’s care.

How Can I Help? is a little volume that captures our willingness to do absolutely anything to alleviate the pain of another. Through a series of illustrated intentions… (“I could get you a little, red sweater with pretty yellow buttons so you can feel warmer when the world seems cold”) Chris Shea gives voice to our willingness to be there for another.


Chris’ gift of expression and illustration is quite accurately, as she describes in the pages of How Can I Help?, “a Band-aid made in heaven.”



Other Midweek Questions

a word from The Sponsor~May 4

“He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young. ~Isaiah 40:11


Isaiah 40:11














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This Weekend~May 2~Confront

Confront the dark parts of yourself. … Your willingness to wrestle with your demons will cause your angels to sing. ~August Wilson

…it is ok on the other side of the confrontation…Grace is there.
all of our flaws…He is there to embrace them and fill the void of our soul…


Monday words for the Soul~April 28~Today


by Mary Oliver

Today I’m flying low and I’m
not saying a word.
I’m letting all the voodoos of ambition sleep.

The world goes on as it must,
the bees in the garden rumbling a little,
the fish leaping, the gnats getting eaten.
And so forth.

But I’m taking the day off.
Quiet as a feather.
I hardly move though really I’m traveling
a terrific distance.

Stillness. One of the doors
into the temple.

“Today” by Mary Oliver from A Thousand Mornings. The Penguin Press, 2012.



More Words for the Soul

Monday Words for the Soul~April 28

Behold, my friends, the spring is come: the earth has gladly received the embraces of the sun, and we shall soon see the results of their love! ~ Sitting Bull




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This Weekend~April 25~Wag Your Tail

Midweek Question~Is it Time for a Time-Out?

The world will give you that once in a while, a brief time-out; the boxing bell rings and you go to your corner, where somebody dabs mercy on your beat-up life. ~Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees

time out Sue Monk Kidd

 This week’s question: Is it time for your to give yourself a much needed, nurturing Time-Out?


Additional Questions

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Monday Words for the Soul~April 21~After the Hunt

Repurpose what is cracked

Life is like the day after Easter…it is best to re~purpose what is cracked :)


Life is like the day after Easter…it is best to re~purpose what is cracked  :)~Because of Grace, He re~casts and re~purposes what we’ve cracked and lets The Light in.


Happy Monday!



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The Pine Trees Know When It Is Easter

The Pine Trees know when it is Easter .

The pine trees start their new growth weeks before Easter .

If you look at the tops of the trees two weeks before Easter, you will see yellow shoots.

As the days get closer to Easter Sunday, the tallest shoot will branch of and form a cross.

By the time Easter comes around, you will see that most of the pine trees will have yellow crosses on all of the tallest shoots.

He is risen. ~ Matthew 28:6





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This Weekend~It is Good Friday Because of Grace

Good Friday–an Echo from a past post and a past journal:

Been trying to write about Beauty all week for Be Gentle Be Love.
This week has been a wreck for me. The tears kept coming. I was in panic.

And my trusted friend reminded me.
“It is Passion Week”, he said.
The last holiday in my “what was” was Easter of last year.
Maybe last Easter was the last holiday before your diagnosis.
Or before your loss. Or before your pain.
In the time of “what was.”

His Sacrifice Still Is.

There is beauty in His sacrifice. You may say you do not understand it and to that I reply, “good for you!” Because if understanding distances you from the Beauty of Passion Week and His unselfishness and in any way allows you to maintain controlled manageability, I would not want that for you.

For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for Me will save it. ~ Luke 9:24

Keeping eyes fixed above

Angel Picture in Bryant Park, New York, Helen Teague

Angel Picture in Bryant Park, New York, Helen Teague



Previous Weekend Thoughts

Midweek Question of the Week~April 16

Little by Little, a little becomes a lot~Tanzanian Proverb

little by little

Early 20th Century Huntington Beach, California pier with Catalina Island in the background

How are the little things going and growing? (in a good way). I don’t mean the little pesky annoyances that prickle and get under your skin (such as this post, which, in my morning haze, I just inadvertently deleted and am not retyping.)

No, I am referring to your collection of small things that become the big things that show beauty, show grace, and give you peace. These small things can be a cushion for your faith, which Michael Cartright writes about with honesty in this post.

Perhaps, this year, along with Easter Eggs, we can gather the small things.


 Additional Questions you might like

Little by Little quote first seen at the Kind Over Matter blog

Monday Words for the Soul~April 14

If you want to make your dreams come true, wake up. Wake up to your own strength. Wake up to the role you play in your own destiny. Wake up to the power you have to choose what you think, do, and say. ~Keith Ellis the obstacle is the path











~~~ More Words for the Soul

Midweek Question of the Week~April 10~100 Days

How are the first 100 days going?

Today marks the 100th day of 2014. Traditionally, a President’s success in office is predicted by their first one hundred days.

How are your first 100 days going?

Pat yourself on the back for the successes of the first 100 days. Take a look at areas to improve (but just a look not a stare) and pray for His grace during the next 100 days. Perhaps pick one small thing to notice, tweak, or embrace.

Happy 100 Days



Previous Questions


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