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, http://angiesmithonline.com/ 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]

Saturday Digest~March 10

A couple of poems from this rainy Saturday

~Love this poem about being different. “Some lies are told to us and some are in our heads” Click here

~I just caught my breath when I read these words of poetryClick here

~Jean wonders if she is crazy. Well, I love Jean’s kind of crazy and if Jean she is crazy, let’s all join her on her next adventure!  Click here

~ Soul-searching post featuring 3 reasons you’re neglecting yourself and how to start changing that

Video of the Week: The Best Way Out Is Always Through

View this inspiring movie from Simple Truths called The Best Way Out Is Always Through
Remember to set your clocks an hour later tonight. :)

faith in God means faith in His timing

Picture Source 


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,


~~~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

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

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

Saturday Digest~February 4

Happy New Month!

Why you should not argue with your inner critic, do yourself a favor and read this wise words from Tara Mohr

Clinging to our core is the best way to nourish our souls, click here to read more

Releasing a grudge is not only about making things right with the other person, but rather it’s about freeing your heart from the bondage of past hurt and lingering bitterness. Read more at this encouraging post by Melanie Moore

New Favorite Daily Email: Every morning a new verse on victory over fear http://365fearnots.com/

Video of the Week:

Sit back and just take in the beauty of Yosemite in this time lapsed video

Saturday Digest~January 28

~The longer we spend dwelling in doubts, the more powerful that story becomes, and we lose our power to change. ~Belle Pirri in this interview at Purposeful Women. This article also includes Belle’s How to Set Yourself Up to Make Choices You Love

~In all things there is the possibility of learning to trust…love the artwork and the message in this post

~Some who wander on the Internet are not lost, they are nourished! Wandered happily at this website

~Today and Always, please remember…You are a masterpiece. In the God Gallery, you are the only one of you.

~Is anyone else as jazzed as I am every time David Arms writes, creates, or expresses his ideas out loud? In this post he wrote, “I think it’s important to live this life looking from many perspectives. It’s important to observe from many angles. It’s important to see what others see. It’s how we learn, how we expand – even if we end up liking our own view better. And sometimes there is no ‘better’. It’s simply two different views.”

~I want them but…Sometimes there are no “You Are Here” indicators in life, but sometimes we knock on a door of opportunity but remain outside. We do not move through the door and enter

Video of the Week:

Somethings Gotta Change by Josh Wilson

“‘The more of us we swallow, the more we become hollow until we don’t know how to feel’. That line is so true. The more that we try to please ourselves and our sinful desires, the farther away from God we’ll be, and the more empty we will feel. Only God can fill that empty space inside of each of us. Oh God, forgive me for my pride.” ~Josh Wilson


Saturday Digest~January 21

~When you are ready to match your situation to your soul, you will find that you feel a new sense of harmony and increasingly connected to the ebb and flow of the universe. Subtle changes in your values, goals, or emotional needs can motivate you to distance yourself from one group of people in order to reassociate yourself with individuals that are better able to support you. Read more by  The Daily Om and be Affirmed

~Remember Arnold Horshack, from Welcome Back Kotter, who raised his hand and begged for attention when he knew, absolutely knew, the right answer. Well, like Horshack, I was raising my hand and waving it wildly when I read Tracy Knowlton’s post and this thought: “I was a tired, passive girl pleading for an act of magic to bring me relief…”

~I learned a new, sinister phrase: proxy-killer in How Stress Affects the Body. Did you know  a typical stress reaction involves 1400 biochemical responses…learned a new phrase “proxy-killer”

~As the angels have shown me again and again: Every encounter is an opportunity for Grace. Open your mind; open your eyes, your ears and your heart to what comes. From (((hugs))) at Kind Over Matter

~And filed under “Practical”–> I’m trying to organize holiday recipes and found this great recipe card maker online

Video of the Week:

Windsong by John Denver

Saturday Digest~January 14

God Chooses You

Please Remember

~Laughter is an Instant Vacation–In preparing for an upcoming talk on the therapeutic health benefits of laughter, I saw this jolly video.

~Receiving mega benefits from bringing growth inside. You might want to be greeted every morning by green. If so, this post is helpful too: http://tipnut.com/nifty-food-plants/

~National Tea Month, Ideas, Info, Recipes and beautiful Photos: http://www.squidoo.com/national-hot-tea-activities

~Where does productivity come from and how can you tap into it? http://www.positivelypositive.com/2012/01/11/how-to-be-productive/

~Great Journaling Ideas on this blog: http://reavespartyofthree.blogspot.com/

~This week was especially significant for me. I let go of some things and embraced some things. When this post from Alia arrived in my Inbox, I felt the hug in the timing.

“How often do we stuff pain and sorrow within our hearts, never to see the light? We carry this baggage around with us, paying a huge price for it every day. It eats away at us with its constant presence. We often forget it’s there.”  ~Alia, Inner Bliss Blog

Video of the Week:

Heal the Wound Point of Grace

Saturday Digest~January 7

First Digest of the New Year

Feeling a little wobbly with resolutions and new habits? Glance at How To Create Habits that Stick, recommended  by my friend Garrett at We Love Gratitude

Reaching back to 2011 for these great posts:

~Peace is a choice

~God wants us to surrender our longings and desires to Him

~Against my hopes for you, your New Year may already contain pain from broken trust. This post from Tracee Persiko will comfort the pain.

Trust is a risk that requires surrendering our own understandings.

If you are struggling to trust in God I urge you to let go of your desires and focus your whole attention on Him because holding on to your longings will only bring you pain and despair. Holding tighter to our desires than we hold to Him will being us no where in life. We MUST let go and fully trust in His process for our lives.

The truth about trust issues is not because of the other person, although that is a factor, but the deeper reason for trust issues is that we are unsure of ourselves. Our fears cause us to undermine and discredit the people in our lives. Failure is the inevitable result.

I have trust issues. They are the thorns in my side. Trust is so hard for me. I am learning that the reason I have trust issues is because I have self-perception issues. The reason I think that people are going to abuse my trust is because deep down I think I am worth the abuse.

To be honest, the more intimate a relationship gets for me the more I play defense with my heart. The more intimate a relationship the more I tend to play out the potential pain in my head. This creates tension and hurt in my relationships.

My trust issues set up failure in a lot of ways. Somewhere in me is the voice that says, “You are worth leaving. You are replaceable. You are not worth your value. You are worth hurt.”

Most conflicts related to trust begins with our own self-perception.

Tracee writes, “I am so thankful for a God who is patient, gentle, and unconditionally loving. He makes all things new in me.”

Because of Grace, so am I!

Video of the Week
Brandon Heath, Trust You





Saturday Digest~December 31

…the last Saturday Digest of 2011…Happiest Beginning to your New Year!

~Great Advice for the New Year: Let EVERY SINGLE PIECE OF BRAIN BAGGAGE GO and starting over with fresh hope, fresh faith, an open mind and endless possibilities. Brave Girls’ Club

~20 Words That Will Change Your Day New Year

~Make a Not-to-Do List for 2012Ask God to clarify the things he wants you to do this year, and then ruthlessly move everything else onto your list of things not-to-do. Then, press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called you (Philippians 3:14).

~7 Citrus-Inspired Recipes for Holiday Detox from my friend Jacqui Hatzell who blogs at The Sacred Yes:  

~Friend Brenton’s soul-nourishing, new music, “I Need You” is available for free download 

~Lots of writing/speaking about “finding your passion.” Here is another perspective on passion and the actual meaning of the word passionate.

Video of the Week:

Music by Teri Geisel

:) See you back here next year, Because of Grace!

Saturday Digest~December 24

You’ve made your list, checked it twice and found out that you forgot something or run out of something. This Week’s digest is here to help.

If you run out of …

Gift Tags: Here are some to print immediately

Tissue Paper: Use dress patterns, parchment paper (the kind you use for baking), Christmas paper napkins.

Christmas Cards: Here are five great ones:
5 Wishes
You Are So Awesome!
You Make Me Smile!
I Dropped a Tear in the Ocean
Celebrate Love Card

Envelopes for Christmas cards: Here is a pattern to use for folding them instead of rushing out to buy them

Stuff to talk about with your relatives

Things to Do

Interesting Facts to Share ala Cliff Clavin: The origin of Christmas gifts

And especially if you need to remember to –>Enjoy the Holidays: A Stress-Free Guide

The good news is you can handle your expectations

If you run out of people to pray for, please pray for our emergency personnel, our soldiers, and those who continue to wait for their Christmas miracle.

Please Remember: This nativity had an object in mind. That object is you and me.

Video of the Week:

Trans-Siberian Orchestra – Christmas Canon via Jim McShane

christmas heart graphicsfairy

Saturday Digest~December 17

God will never say to you, “I’m sorry, I would like to help you, but I can’t.” He is here inviting us to a courage-filled life. Read Five Reasons to be Courageous with a steaming cup of cider.

In her post titled, “There are days,” Jeri portrays the ups and downs of a regular life and gently reminds us,

His grace grips our hearts and we fall to our knees~~humbled and oh, so grateful.  

In the middle of the most hectic time of year and with a focus on the newness of the year ahead, Andrea Olson writes about giving herself permission to quit . Wow! Did I need to read this at the exact moment my eyes met Andrea’s words.  

Life isn’t how you see it; YOU ARE how you see life. Life and our relationship with it is a mirror of ourselves. Look into the mirror with Mastin Kipp in this post.

All this goodness that we strive for everyday starts with one love. A beautiful Christmas message from Amanda at Kind Over Matter

Video of the Week
O, Come All Ye Faithful by Anne Murray

Saturday Digest~December 10

~~~ Christmas Wish: be a person worthy of your own respects…by Neil Simon via Kind Over Matter

~~~ Why do you need to remember the painful times in your life? Because someone in your community of faith needs to know you were healed ~by Steve Ridgell on his blog 

~~~ Fifty-three hours…by anyone’s standards, that’s a long, hard workweek. So, are you sitting down? Fifty-three hours is the amount of time each week that the average American young person spends on some form of electronic entertainment. Connection is good, but our lives need quiet space also. Click here to finish reading this post and view the accompanying video.

~~~Holiday Mail for Heroes Program Overview

The holiday season is just around the corner and it’s time again to start thinking about being part of the 2011 American Red Cross Holiday Mail for Heroes. For a fifth year, American Red Cross and Pitney Bowes are partnering to ensure all Americans have an opportunity to send a touch of home this holiday season to members of our U.S. military, veterans and their families, many of whom will be far away from home this holiday season.

Sending a “touch of home” to American men and women who serve our country is the perfect way to express your appreciation and support during the holiday season.

Starting this fall and throughout the holiday season, the Red Cross is working with Pitney Bowes, a mail stream technology company, to collect and distribute holiday cards to American service members, veterans and their families in the United States and around the world.

The process is very simple and takes no time at all – All you need is a pen and piece of paper to share your appreciation for the sacrifices members of the U.S. Armed Forces make to protect our freedoms The Holiday Mail for Heroes mail box is open and ready to receive for your cards. Please send all mail to:

Holiday Mail For Heroes
P.O. Box 5456
Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456

Video of the Week


Saturday Digest~December 3

~~~Really appreciate the concrete steps at the close of this post at Creative Spiritual Women and especially this thought:

When we spend too much time thinking and not enough time with the Thinker, the clouds obscure the sun and we feel “dark.”

Love. As I fill myself up with love, all those thoughts lose their value. I imagine myself emanating love and the light shines forth brilliantly in the present. This works whether I’m doing dishes, having a tough conversation, driving, eating, anything. When I switch my thoughts to “What can I love? How can I love more? Who can I love? What is loving about this person? How can I appreciate them more?” All negativity, all clouds, all the fog clears. The Light is truly Love- they are one in the same. ~Belle Pirri in How to Clear Your Mind

~~~A post intended to “leave you feeling hugged and safe and warm” Please be your own best friend and read these thoughts from Kristin Noelle

~~~When my focus is on myself and all that I think needs to be done in a day, I stop focusing on what God has placed as gifts right in front of me

~~~Please don’t beat yourself up when you have to say no, or even when you have to walk away. Remember, that what you are ACTUALLY doing is saying YES to what is most important, what can never be replaced and what is meant for you and for your life…and sometimes saying yes to all of those things leaves room for nothing else.
From the Brave Girls Club

InCourage December calendar Printable

Video of the Week: The Greatest Day by Chris Moerman 

Saturday Digest~November 26

~There are a good many things in life that I simply can’t believe my way out of.
Faith is believing that God is good even when my life is anything but.

~The more present I become and clearer I get with what I love…
It’s hilarious how often we’re led to believe we should do something just because ten other people believe it’s a desirable goal. ~Belle Pirri in this encouraging post in Creative Spiritual Women

~I know this—the labyrinth of life has the ability to lock us up and throw away the key. It attempts this through varying degrees of heartache, dependency, tragedy and an endless array of distractions. I also know this—Christ is the key to topple this house of cards and expose the illusions this maze presents. by Michael Cartwright in The Inner Doors of Faith

…Anyone who remains in the teaching of Christ has a relationship with both the Father and the Son. 2 John 9

~~~Revolving back to Enoikeo…Remaining…Abiding…Standing

Video of the Week: Stand, by Rascal Flatts

Saturday Digest~November 19

Seems as though a theme has emerged this week~~

say yes

From Bonnie Gray~~~God may be calling you to say “Yes” to:

  • a new relationship
  • a new job
  • an in-between time
  • seek out an opportunity
  • walk through a valley
  • make small or big changes
  • a new way of being
  • a new season of life…

… I have learned to listen and follow a softer, quieter voice: God’s.

His voice is always gentle, encouraging, eternity’s-worth-of-chances, loving, kind, strengthening, seeing the best in me, delighted with me.

yes kind of girlSource

~Saying “Yes” to Walking in the Way of Love
The Holy Spirit presses us toward the realm of grace, where we are transformed into seeing opportunities to love where others see wasteful sacrifice. Instead of the odor of waste, we learn to breathe deeply within God’s bouquet of grace…

~~And…during your second cup of cider (really, cider is best for today), consider building trust muscles.

The whole concept of “Yes, and…” boils down to one word:
trust. ~Brian Kessler

Video(s) of the Week: Trading My Sorrows, Say YES, Lord!

and, be sure to listen for the bass solo toward this end of this video:

Saturday Digest~November 12

**Please continue to honor our Heroes, Our Veterans:

~~What would change if you knew to your core that everything ~~ every little thing ~belongs? Such an insightful post by Kristin Noelle

~~From Amy Palko~Everytime Amy writes, I find myself nodding and welcoming tears of relief.

This is for you, dear one, for when you feel rejected, unappreciated, unseen. For all those times, when you feel like your light has been overlooked, your specialness unacknowledged, your worth ignored. These words are here to remind you, my sweet, are luminous, cherished, and, yes, loved~loved beyond all measure.
Shine, baby girl. Shine!
For too long now you’ve been content to live in the shadows sitting in the back row, blending into the background, believing that this was where you belonged. But you were meant for so much more.
Your voice which you keep so small and contained, barely breaking above a whisper, was made for singing arias so sweet that the hearts of all those listening cast off their armour and melt into the loveliness of you. It was made for speaking out when others were too meek. It was made, my darling, for howling at the moon.

~~Reinforcing my current focus word, Enoikeo/Dwell, is this great post from Big, Sparkly Life:

Hold still in your loving. When the world feels a little topsy turvy…when the ground is shaking…when chaos is reigning…hold still.

Find the quiet voice of you that resides with. It is there. Breathing. Loving. Intoning messages of truth.

It is calm. It is centered. It is whole. You won’t find it rebelling. Or reacting. It will be holding a space for you to enter. There is not formal invitation…no lights flashing to show you the way. Simply an open door into a palace of sweetness and love.

Finding it is as simple as a breath…and holding the trust that you know who you are. Listen for the space. Feel for the quiet pulse of loving. Subtle as it may be, it is there….

~~Video of the Week: Free Hugs! contributed by Sue G. Thanks, Sue!

Sending you hugs…Because of Grace

Saturday Digest~November 5

~All of our Prisons: We’re all imprisoned by something. Whether it’s tobacco or alcohol or shopping, food or work or regret, we all stand in some short of shadow. And while that shadow is comfortable and familiar, while it even offers some sort of strength, we’re not meant to dwell in darkness. We were all made for the light. ~Billie Coffey in PickingYour Poison

~Emotions are not scary. They are part of us and although not a source of permenant direction, give a summary of where we
are. What are some things we can all do to keep our emotions flowing freely? Click here to read Alia’s suggestions

~From my dear friend, Beth: “I’ve learned not to ignore pain, suffering and sadness. However, I’ve also learned that when I read the 23rd Psalm, it says, “walk THROUGH the Valley of the Shadow of Death” – don’t build a condo there!” Click here to read Beth’s entire post

~Are you building up, or puffing up? Creating a bridge or a barrier? It’s not the Words that are wrong, but how we use them. by
Jennifer Slattery

~A thought about Grace: When someone does something that irritates or angers you, take a deep breath. Stop your mind
from diving into perceived motives and the injustice of it all. Breathe and ask yourself, “How would I want someone to respond to me if I did this same thing to them?” – and do that. From Daniel Collinsworth in this post

Favorite Video of the Week:
“Rise” by Shawn McDonald

Saturday Digest~October 22

This week has been centered on Prayer.

Through prayer, we can transcend the physical by connecting our minds to our hearts. When you pray, simply acknowledge the truth that lies within your heart.

Today: A Prayer for Reassurance

God, thank You for Your comforting promise that
You will never leave nor forsake me. In times like today, I need that assurance.
You are my Rock and my Salvation. I trust You, even when I feel like I cannot
trust anyone else. I look up to You, because I know You will always be there for
me, even if the whole world forsakes me. Thank You, so much, for Your love and
dependability. You are awesome! With love and appreciation in my heart,
in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Source: Prime Time With God

See All Prayers

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