Rise up!

Oh my goodness! Why I didn’t publish this post TWO years ago, I have no idea… but I stumbled across it this evening and it fits in perfectly with My Love Dare with God

Not so long ago, I posted on Facebook that I received my new Inspire journaling Bible & discovered something new….the line art included with the Bible actually draws me into scripture – pretty cool, right?

So now I’m learning to take it a step further, which is actually bringing faith art full circle….beyond coloring (first)….beyond reading….to writing & a bit more coloring!

This morning as I was working in my Documented Faith binder – I’ve revised mine a bit to focus on words of the month vs months (that way I don’t feel “behind” – yeah, the comparison stick, but let’s leave that subject for another day!) – anyway, my eyes landed on love – so many verses on love, right?  So I began flipping through my Bible and landed in Judges – admittedly not a book of the Bible I’ve spent much time studying or even reading…the line art was simple, but it grabbed my attention all the same…Judges 5:31

May those who love You rise like the sun in all its power.

Immediately I thought of sunrises. I love them! Everything is usually still & quiet….life is still a bit blurry-eyed and the brain isn’t driving at supersonic speeds…the promise of a new day….new opportunities and yes, new challenges…. But it’s a time to set our paths straight again – to keep our eyes & focus upward.

The first sunrise that came to mind was at Surfside beach – yes…I had to head out from home pretty early, and even though the ocean usually doesn’t call my name, it did that day…so off I went.  The beach was deserted and quite frankly, I didn’t have much of a clue as to where I was going! I’d only been there once before in recent years, and since I’m not exactly the spontaneous type, I’d definitely call it a God thing.  Alone with the waves rushing in, sand in my toes and coffee in hand, I sat and watched as the sun sparkled across the water – such power! such promise! Oh…. if only I showed my love for God like a sunrise!

I went in search of pictures I took that morning – not on my phone, not on my old phone, not on my Mac….darn! They must be on that hard drive buried behind boxes…what I discovered though were other sunrises…and you know what? The feelings were practically the same! All the others were woodsy type (that’s my favorite place!)…the difference? Anticipation. On the water, there is nothing to block your view – in a wooded area, you get glimpses at first….it takes a bit more patience, but maybe that’s a good thing….it’s an opportunity to “get still” first….to lean in and hear God whisper to my heart.

What is God whispering to you today? Did you miss it? Did you rush off in a flurry of to-dos today? Take a few moments – walk outside….take your phone with you & snap a picture of the sun…is your view clear? cloudy? dark?  Now close your eyes and imagine….only the sun…feel the warmth of it on your face and let it sink in. God’s love for us is infinitely more powerful than the sun and even though there may be obstacles blocking our view, He is still there….loving us and wanting nothing more than for us to rise up and love in return.

May those who love You rise like the sun in all its power.

Further Reading 

After I found the verse, I put the spectacles in reverse to see what in the world they were actually talking about! Go figure….it was a song! The Song of Deborah….whoops back up….Deborah who? Yeah….I’ve got a LOT to learn! The less than abbreviated version (i.e. I’ve got much more reading to do!)….Deborah was a prophet (surprise to me) and a judge….anyway, her song was praising God for defeating Canaanite King Jabin.  Happy Reading!

God’s Mighty Love

My goodness it’s been a busy crazy summer! So different from last year, yet equally insane.  

Last year I was feeling pretty lousy – cancer complications were problematic and I was coming off four weeks of intensive radiation, followed by a case of shingles that landed me in the hospital, all the while planning a wedding!

This year has truly been a great year cancer-wise – I’ve felt great & much more physically active. Over a period of six weeks I made multiple 6+ hr (one way) drives to visit my daughter & family tucked in between a super condensed 4-day trip to California to help pack my sister as she moves forward in her journey there. 

Somewhere in the mix, I overdid (yes, that’s a big DUH!) ….things were going so well… until they weren’t. All of a sudden I was constantly tired, sleeping more, and simple short walks weren’t so simple. A middle of the night trip to the ER revealed I had a blood clot that moved to my lungs – no bueno – especially when you have stage IV cancer. An ambulance ride, meds, days of extremely thorough doctor checks, and I was good to go….slowly!  

When I’m feeling good (aka not constantly reminded of physical limitations), I wanna be like the other kids! I wanna go for brisk walks, water aerobics, long trips, play time with my grandson….but, I’ve got to remember the pace… and be mindful what a blessing that I’m able to do those things! But maybe….just maybe, I do them in moderation so I decrease the risk of setbacks and increase the probability future fun. 

The absolute best part???? It’s so wonderful to feel well enough to spend time expressing faith through art again! Hands down, the Thrive Bible is my all-time favorite  – I love how God speaks to me through the devotions, causing me to often say to myself, “wow! I never thought about it that way!” and to continually be in awe of His Mighty Love for us

#write31days – Day 12

imageCan you believe we’re almost to the middle of the month? I’m not sure which surprises me most: that I’ve written for 12 consecutive days or that the days are truly flying by!
So today I wrote about the actual day my dad moved into assisted living.  Although I’d known people in the past whose parents moved to assisted living, I had no true appreciation of the mental toll it can take… and maybe it’s not like that for everyone.  Maybe I made things harder on myself…by creating unrealistic expectations for myself I could never meet…

Thankfully, I had friends praying over the situation with my dad and I was trusting God as best I could to see us through…and He did. Was it hard? Yes.  Was it painful?  Absolutely.  Did I grow?  By leaps and bounds! 


It’s all about the Pace…

Lookie what I found!!! A post I started almost SEVEN months ago!

As I’ve been focused on Embracing a New Norm and now reading back over the draft, I’m not sure what I thought needed to change…maybe it was me…maybe I wasn’t ready (or willing) to pace myself and enjoy this new norm!

There’s a popular song out…not sure of the exact name or the artist, but the chorus goes something like, “it’s all about the bass, ’bout the bass…” – while I may be naïve to the meaning of the lyrics, they are catchy and the phrasing stuck with me.

image found on Google - since I'm not sure who owns image I kept the link!

image found on Google – since I’m not sure who owns image I kept the link!

 Contrary to my plan, the first round of chemo (4 2-week cycles) from late October to early December knocked me for a loop and landed me in the hospital, so the second round was postponed to allow my system time to recover. Pride and lack of patience tends to get the best of me far too often! I wanted to drive myself places… I wanted to go grocery shopping by myself… I wanted to change the linens myself!  The list of wants were stacked high and perceived accomplishments were non-existent. The problem? Unrealistic expectations.

And like a boomerang, the words I’d spoken a gazillion times to my daughter and others were being echoed back to me from every direction: pace yourself.  

 I was so focused on what I wanted…when I wanted it…sound familiar?

The thing is…our spiritual journeys aren’t so different…at least that’s been my experience.  Again pride and a lack of patience gets the best of me…being patient with God’s timing…not just knowing His timing is perfect, but believing God knows what He’s doing and not allowing doubt and fear to creep in while I’m waiting… oh, and then there’s the dilemma  of not getting so caught up in the doing that pride rears its ugly head and the once clear sight of true motives get muddled.  So what does pace have to do with it? Everything.

Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:58)

Finding balance through consistency…a spiritual pace where I’m not running so far ahead focused on my plans and goals – and not frozen in fear to the point I do nothing at all. You see, both tend to have the same result: God gets squeezed out of the equation. 

 So exactly how do I do that? Well, for me it starts with simple obedience…start by ending my day with God.  Ideally, I’d do that through prayer and/or journaling….but since I’m really getting back to basics, I’ve made it even simpler! I go to bed with a pocket cross – I absolutely adore this cross! It’s small and smooth and comforting…God naturally comes to mind and my spirit is soothed in a way that’s difficult for me to explain.  Once I settle down (that still thing again!), I’m drawn to pray, read devotionals, and jot thoughts.  Since I’m still dealing with a good bit of bone pain, I usually awake during the night – the cross is still in my hand…I chat with God a bit and off to sleep I go.  When I wake up in the morning, the cross is still in my hand! As I rub my fingertips across the smooth surface, I can’t help but think of Christ on the cross…dying for me…encouraging me to begin my day with prayers of thanksgiving.

For me, it’s a pocket cross….for you, it may be something totally different.  I encourage you to find something tangible that draws you into a quiet place to enjoy God’s presence – perhaps scripture cards by your bed, going to sleep & waking to instrumental Christian/gospel music – whatever works for you…just keep it simple….and remember….it’s all about the pace.