Tag Archives: thoughts

With Paragraphs & Everything…

It’s been awfully quiet over here, no?

Technically it’s time for another photo of the week (and I do have one ready to go, so it will be up in the next day or so), and I know it’s past time for another devo thought, and I even considered doing a “5 Things” post because those are always fun and relatively easy, but since it’s been so long since I’ve actually “shown up” around here, I decided on a real post instead … with paragraphs and everything.

It’s certainly not for lack of content that I’ve been missing from this space. My energy has just been spent elsewhere.

This past month {maybe a little longer…} has been just plain full and, as usual, I struggle to find balance in the fullness. I love my community, my commitments, and my friends, but when I open the calendar on my too-smart-for-its-own-good phone to see multiple dots on each day of every weekend {and several in between} for a solid month, I get exhausted just thinking about it, tend to lose perspective, and then the temptation to pull away {and if I’m being really honest, to hide!} is great.

I suppose in those moments, maybe it’s a good thing that I DO have commitments and hiding is just not an option.

Truthfully, effortless and encouraging conversations with precious friends over meals, on the phone driving across town, during movie intros, late at night on bedroom floors, and even while “exploring” unfamiliar industrial parks keep me going through these seasons that can leave me feeling somewhat disconnected because of the fullness. Especially when my calendar is not the only one that pulls in far too many directions all at once … it seems to be a problem that plagues many around this time of year.

And although I enjoy social media, and I so appreciate each one of you, some moments – maybe even some seasons – just aren’t intended for sharing in real time via this blog or twitter or instagram.

So I keep going knowing that sometimes quiet is best and sometimes quiet {at least in this space} is just necessary. I’m not gone for good. I’m still writing. And as things begin to slow down I’ll show up around here with more than just a photo a little more frequently.

And while I am very much looking forward to a slightly slower paced summer and enjoying more Saturday mornings with a cup of coffee and a good book {soon to be happening poolside! woot!}, I just don’t want to miss being fully present for all of the really great moments {from graduations and weddings to beach weekends and beyond} that this season of fullness has to offer … because there are many. And for that, I am truly grateful.

What are you looking forward to this summer and what moments are you grateful for in this season?

How Do You Choose?

There’s not enough positive self-talk in the world to cover this feeling.

Mistakes leave me crippled. Uncertainties leave me paralyzed. Inadequacies leave me empty and ashamed.

I am a failure. I am a hypocrite. I am broken beyond repair.

I have lost this battle.

Yet in a three-day period in which opening The Word seems an impossibility, the Lord is gracious enough to speak truth through music with Biblically grounded and theologically sound lyrics.

“I come broken to be mended, I come wounded to be healed, I come desperate to be rescued, I come empty to be filled. I come guilty to be pardoned by the blood of Christ the Lamb, and I’m welcomed with open arms, praise God, just as I am.” – Just As I Am by Travis Cottrell

And so I choose.

“I lift my hands to believe again. You are my refuge, You are my strength. As I pour out my heart these things I remember. You are faithful God forever. Let faith arise.” – I Lift My Hands by Chris Tomlin

I choose the Faithful One through the failure. I choose surrender through the weakness. I choose faith through the unknown.

I am a worshiper and I am a witness.

I choose Him.

Because He chose me first. Because He is all I have. Because He is.

“Oh, Father, use my ransomed life in any way You choose. And let my song forever be my only boast is You. Hallelujah! All I have is Christ. Hallelujah! Jesus is my life.” – All I Have is Christ by Sovereign Grace Music

How do you choose?

—–

For When the Words Don’t Come

I sit and stare at a blank screen, distraction free, all white space except for the two light gray words in the bottom right hand corner encouraging me to “just write.”

I have thoughts and ideas suitable for full-length and substantial posts.

But the words just don’t come.

Moving from thoughts and ideas to coherent and well-written sentences seems impossible, burdensome, heavy.

I love the process of writing. The release that it brings. I enjoy the experience of blogging.

But I feel weighed down by the practical issues and responsibilities of life this side of the computer screen. Somehow unable to reawaken the creative energy necessary to keep going, to press on, to continue when the blank screen stares back.

I have even uttered five of the saddest words to my soul, “I want to quit blogging.”

But I don’t really want to quit. I simply feel uninspired, unmotivated and exhausted. I’m in a lull of sorts.

And while picking up and heading to the beach – allowing the expanse of the ocean, the peacefulness of the shore to restore my perspective – sounds close to the perfect solution, that is simply not a possibility at the moment.

One of my dearest friends suggests that I should read. Anything. Finally taking her up on that advice, I read something relatively easy and mindless. And it feels good. Refreshing even.

Yet I still find myself coming up short in the words department.

My mom suggests that I should focus my thoughts on gratitude. So I begin a list of the small, trivial, forgotten and everyday things for which I’m grateful. I quickly list 25 items in a matter of moments.

Knowing I have been blessed far beyond what I deserve and saddened by the reality that I fail to acknowledge it far too often, I purposefully and intentionally seek opportunities to get out of myself. To serve others. Even when all I want to do is retreat. To fold in rather than reach out.

I take action and make commitments. Some of them relatively easy, others seemingly big and life-changing.

And I give myself a break from the guilt that so often wears me down. Of not doing enough. Of doing too much. Of lacking proper balance.

My thoughts turn to Scripture, so I read John 6:22-71.

“Jesus answered them…’Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal…For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to this world…I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst…It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.'”

– John 6:26, 27, 33, 35, 63 (ESV – emphasis added)

And I am reminded that Jesus is the bread of life.

When my words just. don’t. come.

His words are life.

{Day 12} His Thoughts, His Ways

 **this is actually a fairly recent post from 08.10.11, but ever since i posted about the “aha! moment” call yesterday, i have not been able to stop thinking about it, so i’m re-posting it. oh, and just for the record, i have switched to pumpkin lattes on Sundays for the time being…at least until peppermint white mochas show up on the menu again**

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:8-9 (ESV)

I go through my favorite Starbucks drive-thru on the way home from church almost every Sunday afternoon. Typically, I get a Caramel Latte (iced during the summer!), but I have been known to deviate on occasion…

Recently during one of my Sunday visits, as I was sitting in line I happened to overhear the order of the car ahead of me. I was so amused that I wrote it down:

“1 Iced Venti White Mocha, skinny, 7 pumps of sugar free syrup, light ice, no whip”

I kid you not.

But my amusement quickly faded into conviction.

And I have been pondering these questions ever since:

How often do we submit our “orders” to the Lord in the same manner?

How often do we approach the Lord, express a desire to submit to His plan, a desire to know His call, and then proceed to give Him a detailed list of specifications for that plan, or a list of specifications for how that call should appear, as if we somehow know better?

How often do we modify the Lord’s plan based on those specifications to the point that we can no longer recognize His plan?

How often do we fail to trust His thoughts and His ways?

5 Things

1. I spent the end of last week in and around Houston, TX with two dear friends from college. From touring the Blue Bell Creameries and walking through the streets in Brenham to exploring the shops on The Strand in Galveston to just catching up around the kitchen counter, we had such a great time!

2. Blue Bell had a new flavor of ice cream that I was more than happy to try while we were there: tiramisu. Coffee ice cream, pieces of coffee and cake, and a caramel sauce swirl. . .so good.

3. The office (well, part of it. and the shelf has since been assembled.):

4. My Monday night women’s Bible Study started back up last night. This fall we’ll be studying Kay Arthur’s Precept Upon Precept Genesis Part 1: The Creation, which is based on Genesis 1 and 2. I am beyond excited to dive into this study. Are you in a Bible Study this fall? What are you studying?

5. Thanks to a friend who happens to live right down the hall from me and blogs here, I may or may not have eaten this for breakfast…

His Thoughts, His Ways

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:8-9 (ESV)

I go through my favorite Starbucks’ drive-thru on the way home from church almost every Sunday afternoon. Typically, I get a Caramel Latte (iced during the summer!), but I have been known to deviate on occasion…

Recently during one of my Sunday visits, as I was sitting in line I happened to overhear the order of the car ahead of me. I was so amused that I wrote it down:

1 Iced Venti White Mocha, skinny, 7 pumps of sugar free syrup, light ice, no whip.

I kid you not.

But my amusement quickly faded into conviction.

And I have been pondering these questions ever since:

How often do we submit our “orders” to the Lord in the same manner?

How often do we approach the Lord, express a desire to submit to His plan, and then proceed to give Him a detailed list of specifications for that plan as if we somehow know better?

How often do we modify the Lord’s plan based on those specifications to the point that we can no longer recognize His plan?

How often do we fail to trust His thoughts and His ways?