This Weekend~Choose Joy~May 31

choose joy Henri Nouwen

A reminder that joy is not a single source decision point. From one of my favorite authors, Henri Nouwen, who wrote Life of the Beloved, a book recommended five years ago by a wise friend named JanK.

Picture Source


Other Weekend Activities

Mid-week question: the value of value

Does the value of value fluctuate?

and here is the best answer I’ve found:

Monday Words for the Soul~Memorial Day

memorial day

My dad is a World War 2 veteran and on this day we pause as a family to remember those who have died in the service of our country, those who have served and come home, those who continue to serve and the families of all of these.

I hope you are able to do the same.

Thank you, Garrett Eastman, for the music link!


Additional Monday Words for the Soul

A word from The Sponsor~May 26~Run!


Do you not know that those who run in a race all run,
but only one receives the prize?
Run in such a way that you may win.
1 Corinthians 9:24


More Words from The Sponsor

This Weekend~Find Your Heart


First seen on Ilia’s blog

Prayer word cloud for Moore, Oklahoma


Sometimes, in prayer, it helps for me to focus on specific words…I copied the text of prayers said today at a prayer service (taking out personal identifiers such as names and locations). I pasted them into a word cloud generator website called Wordle. The word cloud above is what was rendered by Wordle

…what is very interesting and comforting to me is that usually Wordle renders word clouds in big blobs but this one looks to me like a person’s outline and the word “Lord” was rendered by Wordle at the top left and slightly higher…

pray for Oklahoma

Monday Words for the Soul~Reblogged~Never alone

Monday Words for the Soul~Reblogged for May 20

Because Of Grace

View Danette Serr’s work here

Something more to read, if your schedule allows, gently click here


More Words for the Soul

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A word from The Sponsor~His Name is Hope

And His name will be the hope of all the world. ~ Matthew 12:21

Jesus is Hope

Hope isn’t the same as optimism. It isn’t the belief that something bad will turn out well. It’s the absolute confidence that every part of your life ultimately makes sense regardless of how it turns out this side of eternity. ~Rick Warren

A Pinterest board dedicated to hope


More words from The Sponsor

This Weekend~May 17~Release explanation expectation

This Weekend~Easy Weekend Activity~May 17~Release the Need for an explanation…

releasetheneedforexplanationExplanation Expectations…they are what generates little goblins of trouble, you know.

one of the tugs at peace, contentment, and gratitude is my need for demand for an explanation. This demand is the tar that keeps this baby stuck in anxiousness, stress, and tight-neck-ville.

When something goes wrong in life, I ask, “Why is this happening to me, God? Why did you allow this to come to me, God?”

“to me,” “to me”…I will “me-me-me” all the way to the looney bin.

Release the Need for an explanation…

So, instead, this weekend… I am releasing my need for an explanation. Perhaps you might do this with me? I am replacing what I know to be true instead. Perhaps you might do this also?


You are God’s masterpiece. (Ephesians 2:10)
You are forgiven (Ephesians 1:7)
You are a new creature (II Corinthians 5:17)
You are strong in the Lord (Ephesians 6:10)
You are accepted in Christ (Ephesians 1:6)
You are loved with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3)
You are overtaken with blessings (Deuteronomy 28:2)


Previous Weekend Activities

Get Well or Get Even

If you’ve been hurt by someone else, whether it’s physical or emotional, you’ve got a decision to make. You can use your energy to get well or get even.*

But you can’t do both.

When I kept things to myself, I felt weak deep inside me. ~Psalm 32:3

Revealing is the beginning of healing: Because of Grace, we can talk to God about our hidden wounds until we can face our feelings in renewed health and energy…and, Because of Grace, He hears!

As soon as I pray, you answer me; you encourage me by giving me strength. ~ Psalm 138:8

brokenness and grace

*Quote from Rick Warren in this post

Monday Words for the Soul~May 13~Incredible Change

“Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don’t.” ~Steve Maraboli

thank you, Garrett Eastman, for this quote from this post.



A Word from The Sponsor~May 12

Because Of Grace

Hannah’s Prayer~~A Mother’s Prayer

1 Samuel 1:27

For this child I prayed, and the Lord has answered my prayer made to Him.
1 Samuel 1:27

Hannah prayed and prayed for a son.
She named her son Samuel which means, “I have asked him of the Lord”

I hope you have many “I have asked of the Lord” moments today!
Moments where He reveals Himself to you and you know it!
A special one occurred for me yesterday, courtesy of my friend Janet.

It would be great to have you share them here!

Happiest Mother’s Day!
{I am having the entire tribe over today…pray for kitchen grace!}

Previous post from 2011, When Happy Mother’s Day Isn’t, just in case this is a tough one.

Previous Words from The Sponsor

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When Happy Mother’s Day Isn’t~Reblog

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~Hug A Mom~Twice

This Weekend~easy weekend activity~Hug a Mom~twice!

you are loved

Happy Mother’s Day!

Source: via Pinkfiesta on Pinterest

Mid-week Question of the Week~What if it’s Not?

Ask yourself “WHAT IF?” as often as you can. And sometimes, when you are making plans and making goals and dreaming dreams and all of it seems too big and unattainable, turn things around…

ask yourself …

what if it's not

“what if… it’s not?”

If you’re going over something scary in your mind, over and over and over, ask yourself “what if that really did happen?” and then let the whole situation play out — worse case scenario. See yourself dealing with every little part of it and see that even if the thing you feared most really did happen, you would make it, so you can let go of fear.

Asking “WHAT IF?” releases all limitations, and makes anything possible. When you find yourself stuck, whether because you think your goals are too big, or because your strength is too small, push past those limitations and really be honest with yourself. You will learn so much from this tiny little question.
“what if… it’s not?” from Brave Girls Club

Because of Grace…what if it’s not?


Additional Questions

May you have an Ephraim Day~Monday words for the soul

Joseph named his second son Ephraim. Ephraim was given to him after he had been delivered from his suffering of 13 years. Joseph said that he named him this because God had made him fruitful in the land of his suffering. Ephraim means “twice fruitful.”

Pink Flowers with Catcus

Joseph was fruitful in two instances. He was fruitful during his time of adversity and in his prosperity. When God brings us into a time of suffering, it can be a fruitful time. It’s rare for us to see the fruit during the suffering period. But know that the roots are going deep into the spiritual soil of our soul because of our pressing in to God during our time of suffering. This is producing a work in our character that cannot be seen until it finishes the process. Such was the case for Joseph.

If you find yourself in a time of suffering, now is the time to press into God. Let your roots grow deeper. Whenever there is a famine, tree roots are forced to drive deeper into the soil to find water. These times are designed to create such a deep-rooted faith that our natures will be changed forever. ~Os Hillman


More Monday Words for the Soul

A word from The Sponsor~May 5


He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.
~ John 3:30

Although originally spoken by John the Baptizer, these words apply to me too…

He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.


Additional words from The Sponsor

This Weekend~Come Home to Yourself

still waters at almost night

Today would be a great day to decide that no matter how long the road is, you are going to come home to yourself and reflect the grace-filled life that is meant for you.
~Adapted from the Brave Girls’ Club


More weekend activities

Mid-week question of the week~May 1~Carry off


Are you carrying it all … all by yourself?  Throw it out. Throw it away. Fling it far and wide…into the arms of Grace.

What a cathartic gift it is to lay our burdens down. God’s strength and forgiveness is critical for us to recognize and accept. It is our saving grace. ~Lisa Delay

Because of Grace we never have to carry our burdens and fears alone…especially since our lifeguard walks on water. And he rolls stones away…

We were never meant to carry our burdens alone, writes Jennifer Dukes Lee.

Cast off and cast away burdens on the LORD, and He shall sustain you. ~Psalm 55:22). 


Other questions

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