Happy Leap Day

LEAPCollagepsalm7323

Been thinking of last week’s post and of something healthy and nurturing for me to Leap Into and a something toxic for me to Leap Out away from. The collage above is the result.

God’s transforming power is The catalyst.

Might you also share your leap intentions here?

Other Posts on Leaping:

Leap Bible Verse

Easy Weekend Activity-LEAP!

Leaping into the wrong net

Leap Word for the Soul

Leaping into the wrong net

swingsetTeague

my fragile attempt at drawing

I don’t remember the first landing. Or any pain. I just remember the feeling of flight.

Real Glee….before the show when the word was a noun.

 Leap and the Net will appear.
The net was always there.

The sandbox. On the Earth He Created.

But…It was not enough.  I wanted more. I wanted Quality Control. The landing was too
tough, too scary. I wanted Quality Improvement. Measurable performance
expectations. I wanted to build my own Net.

Yes…And…Despite ambitious planning and agreements and strategies and vows,  I was
never able to successfully leap and safely land into another net-another’s arms.
Something in the physics no doubt confirmed that a flying object crashing into a
stationary object resulted in s scrambled-egg predicament of bodies in a mess on the
sand. The disciples had to drop their nets too.

leap definition

Leap and the Net will appear.

Perhaps i looked for an inadequate net.
Perhaps i needed to drop the nets that were not, are not from Him

The Net was always there. His Net of Grace is Always Here.

Yet I am always with you;   
you hold me by my right hand.
Psalm 73:23

I wonder…is it just me? Have you ever held on to the wrong net?

 

Happy Leap Day (Available February 29)
Leap Bible Verse
Leap Word for the Soul
Easy Weekend Activity-LEAP!

 

 

Easy Weekend Activity-LEAP!
https://becauseofgrace.wordpress.com/2012/02/24/this-weekendeasy-weekend-activity/

 

Monday Words for the Soul~LEAP!~February 27

Leap And The Net Will Appear

A Leap Word from The Sponsor~February 26

psalm 28:7

The LORD is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in Him, and He helps me. My heart leaps for joy,
and with my song I praise Him. Psalm 28:7

Other Posts on Leaping:

Happy Leap Day (Available February 29)

Easy Weekend Activity-LEAP!

Leaping into the wrong net

Other Words from The Sponsor

Saturday Digest~February 25

~~~Been thinking a lot about Leaping this week: what to leap away from and what to leap into. And the timing of not leaping away too soon or out of fear and flight.

Then, this email message from Brave Girls Club arrives and I feel my shoulders slide downward to normalcy and my breathing slowly returning to deep contemplative.

So, dear girl, even if it is scary, scarier than you could ever even explain,

DO IT ANYWAY

~~~My focus verse this winter has been Philippians 4:8. Here is a delightful printing page of this verse to use for notes, journaling, devotionals, reminders…anything! It can be downloaded from this link.

Philippians 4:8 Journal Page

~~~And included with my uncertainty and thoughts of leaping, this post from Jody’s Devotionals offers reassurance. “The enduring promise of God is that He will never leave me. God is the perfect Father. He loves His children. He has been there, watching and waiting, all the time. From the moment I said “Yes” to Jesus, He moved into my life. Through the times of unlimited joy, my LORD has been there with the biggest smile, dancing over me (Zephaniah 3:17). Through the darkest, loneliest of nights when my face is flooded with tears, my Jesus is there to hold me and comfort me (John 14). When I cannot find the words, for whatever reasons, I can go to Psalms and find the outlet for my feelings. God has heard them all before. He’ll hear them again. God will sustain when I am too weak, too tired, too confused. When the path He asks me to walk is long and steep, He will walk beside me every step. He will even pick me up and carry me.” ~Jody Neufeld

With prayers for you to land in love after you leap…

Video of the Week: Steve Martin on banjo

Previous Saturday Digests

This Weekend~Easy Weekend Activity~LEAP!

LEAP!

Leap into and Leap out of!

leap

Leap Day is next Wednesday. A time to consider shaking things up and enacting changes that have been nagging at all of us.

Perhaps this beautiful picture will act as a LEAP catalyst.
Click on the picture above to create your own Leap Card in honor of Leap Day, February 29.
Then write something healthy and nurturing you will Leap Into and a something toxic you will Leap Out of.

God’s transforming power is a catalyst.

they will see the glory of the LORD,  the splendor of our God…
 “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come,   
He will come with vengeance; with divine retribution He will come to save you.”
Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped.
Then will the lame leap like a deer… Isaiah 35: 2-6

I am composing my Leaps this weekend.
Might you share/comment about what you are Leaping into and out of?

Other Weekend Activities

Dog Leapt originally at this link
Blue Leap Card featured here originally seen at http://be-the-change.tumblr.com/ an inviting blog to visit and revisit

Happy Leap Day
Leap Bible Verse
Leap Word for the Soul
Leaping Into the Wrong Net

Wholehearted Living Thursdays~Heroes Among Us

February 23, 2012~`~Everyday at Disneyland’s Magic Kingdom theme park a ceremony occurs amid the rides, cartoon characters, shops, and cotton candy. In Towne Square, the Flag Retreat ceremony includes saying the Pledge of Alliance, flag salute, marching band performance, parade of active and retired armed forces members, singing the Star-Spangled Banner, and retiring the colors.

Part of the daily ceremony agenda includes honoring veterans, who carry the flag down Main Street USA after it has been taken down from the flag pole. In January, 2012, although still recovering from his injuries in Afghanistan, Army Sergeant Cesar Sanchez left his electric wheelchair to walk and carry the flag down Main Street.

Sergeant Sanchez said, “If it’s for the colors, I’ll walk.”

Disney cast members who assisted with the ceremony that day were stunned by his courage and resolve to honor the Stars and Stripes in this way. Many in attendance observed his fortitude and took pictures.

Sergeant Cesar Sanchez

Sergeant Cesar Sanchez holding the colors during Disney ceremony

Kelly Glassburn, Manager of Marketing & Communications, Disney’s PhotoPass Service wrote, “Sgt. Sanchez shared that he was injured while deployed to Afghanistan in 2009, serving in an elite Army company responsible for finding and clearing improvised explosive devices. He was injured during one such mission, but calmly reminded me that it was his job to do so. Stunned silence was really all I could offer in return and a meager, ‘thank you’ squeaked out between a few tears, hiccups and deep breaths.”

Sgt. Sanchez received both Purple Hearts on the mission that injured him because he insisted on doing the sweep first, before leading the rest of his team into the danger zone. Because of his concern for his team, only the vehicle that Sgt. Sanchez was traveling in exploded , saving the members of his team.

Sergeant Sanchez’ wife Farrah is also in the Army. She told Kelly Glassburn, “Please tell everyone how proud my husband and I were to join the Army and serve our country. We love our jobs! I also want everyone to know how proud (daughter) Emily and I are of Cesar and how very much we love him still.”

Because of Bravery, Because of Grace, we live in a country of heroes, superheroes, who live unselfishly and wholeheartedly.

~~~
Other Wholehearted Living Stories

Mid-Week Question to Consider~Let Others Know!

Could you imagine what our world would be like if we all took the time to let others know how truly amazing they are?
What would our lives be like if we found the beauty in every person we met… and told them?
How would we feel if we let down our guards and allowed others to see who we really are?
Alia @ Inner Bliss Blog

truly amazing you are

Other Questions to Consider

Picture without questions originally seen here

Moving Notice

Those who live in Maroth writhe in pain, waiting for relief…Micah 1:12

When I moved from San Diego to Texas, I forgot to pack for bleakness. Exchanging the ocean for the plains and trading flowers for red dirt caused the picture postcard of Lifeasithoughtitshouldbe to wrinkle in the clenched fist of my expectation. I kept missing what I left instead of embracing where I was.

But that was nothing compared to Maroth. Maroth was a place mentioned only once in the Bible. It was a place not far from Jerusalem invaded by the Assyrian army.

Maroth became a sacked city. The citizens of Maroth continued to wait, remembering former times until the Assyrians invaded. Then the city name of Maroth became ancient synonym for bitterness and grief. No one would choose to name their son or daughter Maroth. The folks who lived in Maroth were described as waiting “carefully” for good but writhing in pain, waiting for relief but refusing to let go of the past.

Physical pain is bad enough but it can’t touch the other kind – the agony of a broken heart
rejection
anger
betrayal
that won’t heal for anything, the deep, relentless ache of a dream that refuses to come true no matter how hard I try ~Steve Schwambach @ lazaroo.com

Are you in your own neighborhood of Maroth?

Are you in a pain that will not heal? Are you carefully waiting for the good of a past you remember? Does the past seem to grow sweeter with each day? Are you trying (or have you tried) to think it through, cry it out, agenda-ize it, victimize yourself, rush to a solution, talk it out, work it out, resolution it out, numb it, avoid it, rationalize it, scream it away?

Welcome to Maroth. Population: All of us

May I offer something to try?

Please stop trying.
Put everything, every last worry at the foot of the cross.
And. Leave. It. There.

Let. It. Go.
Let God Have It.

Please resist being like me. I keep going back for what I left at the cross. Returning to it. Forgetting to take up my cross daily. Reliving the bitterness. Thinking I can fix it/reason it/debate it/zen it away.

I continue to pick up the burdens I dropped off at the Cross and set off for my own roadtrip to Maroth. The road of return to Maroth is rough and the sand in my shoes is achingly unpleasant.

But, as the prophet Micah and my internal sermon remind me: God is not our omnipresent dry cleaner. We do not go back and pick up what we leave to be cleaned and straightened out. Life is not a theological “In-By-9-Out-by-5” exchange.

We leave our dirty laundry with Him. And cling to His love…
and Because of Grace His love will escort you and me and us out of Maroth. Permanently.

Jude 1:21

Collage by Helen

Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. Jude 1:21

Words for the Soul~February 20

What to give others:

Acceptance
Attention
help, (maybe)
Love, certainly.
Criticism, never.
Grace, Always!

what to give to others

inspired by TUT
Other Words for the Soul

A Word from The Sponsor~February 19

James 1:22-25

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.
~James 1:22-25

One of the greatest blocks to full graceful recovery is the fear, the resistance, the inability to look in the  mirror of our life choices and give forgiveness. Is it any surprise that the word “give” is smack-dab in the middle of “forgiveness”?

Instead there are excuses. Joyce Meyer says that excuses are reasons stuffed with a lie.
Any partaker at Thanksgiving knows that stuffing ourselves is rarely productive. And lying perpetuates the poison.
Excuses extend deception.

“The mirror helps us evaluate ourselves. Once you look at a mirror, you can decide if you need to make any changes before you leave for the day. The Bible helps us do that, too.” (Rick Warren)

Look in the mirror. Let Go~Let God.

What do you see when you look in the mirror? Is it possible that the one who needs your forgiveness the most is you?

Wishing you love and courage as you look in the mirror.

~~~

See Additional Words from The Sponsor by gently clicking here!

Saturday Digest~February 18

This week found me in the middle of questions…things to be decided once and for all…

~And there seemed to be questions in blogs too… “In a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?”  The answer is in this post and video….Kindly read more From Paul, The Gratitude Guru

~Why Do I Suffer? I Suffer because…Sometimes the obvious question is the one worth asking. This post by Cheri Huber contained a new, favorite quote for me:

Now I am curious about what it feels like to live in Technicolor instead of monochrome – to be the picture instead of the negative.

~The Upside of Moving: “When God moves us out of our comfort zones, it is a gift. We are being given a gift. These hard places give us the gift of intimately knowing God — in ways that would never be possible in our comfort zones.” Ann Voskamp is this post of thoughtfulness

~This is the best medicine for me to take right now…Remember, sweet friend, that so much of the best wisdom we will ever earn will come from learning things the hard way. Please don’t beat yourself up over things that didn’t go the way you had hoped, over steps that were wrong, over roads that were dark. from Brave Girls Club, Read entire sentiment by gently clicking here

Video of the Week:

Please remember, His Grace is reaching for us…

Listen to the Sound  Building 429

This Weekend: Easy Weekend Activity~High-Five the Wild!

let your spirit explode

Collide with Love. Battle Doubt. Crunch Criticism. Consume Affirmations.
Pray BigThank God. Banish Worry. Embrace Abundance. Celebrate Possibilities!
E X P L O D E! Because of Grace

Special Thanks to Carol Bailey Floyd at Celebrate Possibilities for sharing these pictures!

Carol Smiling in front of a church

Carol smiling in front of a church mural

What will you High-Five this weekend?

Other Weekend Activities

 

Wholehearted Living Thursdays~Love’s Transforming Power

Some Thursdays will provide a Because of Grace Wholehearted Living Stories

February 16, 2012

I will be filled with joy because of you. I will sing praises to your name, O Most High. ~ Psalm 9:2


Right at the end of my pityparty of unfulfilled expectations for Valentine’s Day, came this uplifting message from my friend Jean at the We Love Gratitude community.

Jean wrote about Charles Russell the painter known for his ferocious paintings of cowboys and ranches. There was one painting in his portfolio, called “My Valentine” that features a heart framing an angelic-looking woman playing a guitar surrounded by angels. 

The artist associated with angels transformed his style into one of delicate swooning. It is believed that Charles Russell painted this while thrilled with the courtship of his future wife, Nancy.

The piece shows a more romantic and whimsical side of the painter, who is known for his rough-and-tumble images of frontier Montana. ~Tom Cook, Montana Historical Society Museum

You gotta know that Russell might have received some snickering from the roughriding subjects of his previous and future paintings. There might have been some folks that disapproved of Nancy, thought her to be too delicate or “not a good fit” for Russell’s life. But he did not care. He was transformed by love. He allowed love inside of him to transform him. This love may have been ignited by Nancy, but it was fueled by his courage to let it infused and occupy his heart.

His style was transformed by love. Love has the power of transforming even those of the most ferocious will…
Because of Grace.

(Thanks, Jean!)
Additional Reading on Charles Russell’s painting

Do you have a story of love’s tranforming power?
Share/Comment/Link

More Wholehearted Living Stories

Mid-Week Question to Consider~Patterns

What pattern in my life fractures grace and growth?

What patterns in my life fractures grace and growth

photo by Helen Teague

Previous Questions

Words for the Soul~February 13

does not have to all be done today

Picture Source, recommeded by Garrett

Other Words for the Soul

A Word from The Sponsor~February 12

love 1 Cor 13

Nothing in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord ~Romans 8:39

This verse has been a life-line for me this week. When i’m confronted by those who would keep score of wrongs i have done, it is the strong voice of this verse that reminds me that i am accepted completely by God. God loves me flawed. He loves me no matter what.   Nothing-not sickness, not death, not my mistakes, my sins, not another’s accusations, not crimes committed, not divorce or separation, or severing of unhealthy ties can separate us from God’s Unconditional Love.

The more time i spend with those who know this and walk it out everyday, the more the accusations of others stand in stark, toxic contrast. 

Friends with maturity can handle you in your messiness. What traits will these friends have? They’ll value authenticity wanting to get the real you not the facade. They’ll be able to cry with you in your sorrow. They’ll be able to stay with you when you share your anger even if it is loud and a little or a lot over they top. They won’t walk on eggshells, but will feel the freedom to crack a joke and laugh heartily with you. Also, these friends will lead with their ears, listening well to your heart. Most importantly, they won’t try to fix you through offering cheap advice that comes out of their own uncomfortableness with your pain and anger. These extra eyes and ears will help you see your relationship more clearly.  They can help you sort through your behaviors, feelings and thoughts. They’ll sense when it is a good time to talk more about God and spiritual matters and when it is a good time to come in through another door. ~Ben and Ann Wilson

That is the growth for me this week. i am looking forward to the day where i’ve grown to not allow it to pierce me. i need to rely more on the shield of faith.

Have you experienced something similar? Have accusations pierced you this week? Please don’t withdraw due to shame and guilt that is not from God. Please remember who you are. i am trying to remember too.

Jesus Heard You

Jesus heard when you prayed last night.
He talked with God about you.
Jesus was there when you fought your fight,
He is going to bring you through.

Jesus knew when you shed those tears,
you did not weep alone.
The burdens you thought too heavy to bear,
He made them his very own.
Jesus Himself was touched by that trial,
you could not understand.
Jesus stood by as you almost fell
and lovingly clasped your hand.

Jesus cared when you bore that pain,
indeed, He bore it too.
He felt each pain, each ache in your heart,
because of His love for you.

by Corrie ten Boom, capitalization added

And there’s more…

God’s the Father, and you’re the child away from home. You never thought you’d end up doing what you’ve done, considering what you’re considering, feeling like you’re feeling. You feel like you’ve failed God; you’re unworthy—He wouldn’t want you back. How could He love me like this; how could He take me back after what I’ve done?

We’ve been raised to believe that we’ll only be loved if we perform and please people, and meet their expectations. But God is committed to you in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, and death will not part you. If He was ever going to turn His back on you, it would have been at the cross, and He didn’t.

Why are you living away from home, from His “take you as you are” kind of love? Oh, maybe you’re not in the pigpen yet. Well, don’t wait until you hit the wall at the end of a dead-end street. And even if you have, head home. ~Ron Hutchcraft

~~~

See Additional Words from The Sponsor by gently clicking here!

Saturday Digest~February 11

~Kind of getting to the age where this is an attractive post: Super Health Benefits from Ginger Baths

A special thought of love right before Valentine’s Day:
Love lets go of it’s ultimatums — to ultimately hold a person Ready to let go of pain of the tearing apart of what was. Ready to take the ripped scraps, stitch them together, to make a sail from what’s dead and catch the wind ahead. Ready to take wind blowing in beyond my control, and just make water of it. I’ve been thirsty too long and I am desperate to drink. Sometimes letting go is how to find out He holds. Ann Voskamp, When the Wind Blows and Love Tries to Hold On

~How are you doing on your focus word for the year? Can you find the word “Affirm” in this word cloud by Bonnie Grey @ Faith Barrista?

~Still loving the images and languid pace of Winter’s description by David Arms:
Just like no two types of trees grow the same leaves, no two types of trees grow their branches in the same formation. And when the trees are bear, the intricacy of these patterns is beautifully displayed against the grey skies of winter. ~David Arms

~It really is time because “There is no time left for hesitating, protecting our hearts, or living in fear of doing the “wrong” thing, not pleasing others, rocking the boat. That way of living simply is not working. It’s an old paradigm whose days are numbered.” ~Alia in the Inner Bliss Blog post you will appreciate… Breathe and Read this post. Breathe and Read

~Ok, I have put on my big girl smile and adjusted to the announcement that April is the end of Picnik. Thanks to Ann Voskamp for providing these alternatives to Picnik

Most of us are looking for happiness in all the wrong places…Here’s Rachel’s road-map for increasing your levels of happiness…a blog pep talk shared by my friend Garrett at We Love Gratitude

 Video of the Week
You Belong by Mela Kamin

This Weekend: Easy Weekend Activity~Kung Fu

Do a Little Kung Fu

kung fu bears

Give a Listen~to the wind, to your heart, to this song


Saw the kung fu bears here

Other Weekend Activities

What to Tell the Storm

Seeing the Wind

The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit. John 3:8

lifeguard walks on water

One of my dear friends, Anne, posted this picture on my Facebook wall.

It speaks to the miraculous power of Christ to transcend matter and walk on water. Peter had this same opportunity too, and for a very, very brief moment he overcame his fear and joined Jesus.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. Matthew 14: 29

But then…

But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Matthew 14:30

And Christ was there.

Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

Did Peter doubt? I thought Thomas was the doubting apostle. Doubting Thomas. But our Lord specifically describes Peter’s sinking by using the word doubt.

What happened to cause Peter to doubt?

Peter saw the wind. 

How is the wind seen? The wind can be heard. Its affects can be seen. But the wind itself cannot be seen. It has no power in visible form. My rational, logical mind knows this. But, my ego is into power and it tells me about the wind and reminds me of what it can do that I cannot do. And I, like Peter, give in to the memory of its previous destruction.

And, in the memory, is a story of despair. Like Peter, I become overwhelmed. I focus on the storm and not the Savior. Peter and I become overwhelmed with the unseen. In that sinking feeling, we start to sink. For some, the sinking starts with the first drink. Well, for Peter (and me), sinking starts with the first think.

My dad says, “Peter forgot to remember.”

He forgot to remember the truth of Who was inviting him to walk. He looked around, below, over, and under the One who extended His hand.  When Peter looked away from the power of Christ, he saw the potentialpower of the wind and he was afraid.

And he quit.  Briefly.

What do i think i see that is not there?

The potential of power outside of Christ’s grip can preoccupy me, just like Peter. Perception is not always reality. The brushstrokes of chaos will often obliterate my focal point. I will think it is too hard, too scary, too outside of my comfort zone, the zone of comfort never promised by Christ.

I must return to Him and Affirm:  What is true. What is noble. What is right. What is pure. What is lovely. What is admirable What is excellent. What is praiseworthy. What is standing right in front of me on the choppy waters of my circumstances. The fear is the illusion I really can’t see. The anxiety is the result of the story I tell myself. And the fear is the literal riptide caused by the rising tide of my circumstances. If I forget to remember. 

Do you also forget to remember?

John 16:33

Success is not found in pushing back against the tide or in willing the tide to recede. And it is not found in quitting.

As Raymond Edman once said, “Never doubt in the dark what God told you in the light.”

It is not in pushing against the conflict but in grabbing on with both hands and humbly, even with great courage, submitting to the weight of the conflict and allowing God to have His way and bring me through. It is recognizing that this is part of the story of my life. That acceptance is the place where real peace is found. The peace that Jesus promised.  God understands that my human limitations cause me to ask “Why?” stormy disasters happen but He desires to build a relationship with me that reassures me that He knows all and will never allow anything to dislodge me from His hand.  Jody Neufeld

Peter did forget…briefly… then he called “Save me Lord” and Jesus was already there! In times of storms, it is best if we affirm and focus intently on Christ. When we start looking at the wind (circumstances) like Peter, we start to sink, but we need to keep our eyes on Him, and we will walk on water. When I feel I am drowning in life’s situations, it is best to bypass worry. It is best to Remember that The life guard walks on water.  Peter quickly remembered what I must also remember… I belong to Him…We belong with Him.

And God says, “Remember who I am and don’t forget the grace by which you stand. I have heard your crying in the night. Tell the storm you belong to Me.” ~You Belong by Mela Kamin

Click to open this link and Listen for a Minute….You Belong by Mela Kamin

John 16:33 picture, created with Plixr,  original picture credit

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