Our Happy Dance

Joy in the day to day! Joy in who we are together! Joy unspeakable (1Peter 1:8)!

Five Minute Friday -Remember

Five Minute Friday

Linking up with Lisa-Jo for Five Minute Friday. We write for five minutes flat (unedited) on a prompt she provides. Today’s prompt is: Remember.

Here goes. . .

Sometimes, I don’t think you understand fully. I think you believe that you are nothing out of the ordinary; not particularly talented, strong or self-made. I can see you grapple when I tell you how beautiful I think you are; how everything has changed because of you. I don’t think you comprehend it. I remember though. I keep you before me always. I remember you, boyish, skinny and smart, standing in the bleachers on the football field. I remember you driving around with the roof on your jeep pulled down. I remember you, speaking so sweetly at St. Anthony Mann, promising me forever and asking gently if I’d be yours. Most everything I remember involves tenderness and time, really sweet time. You opening a door and ushering me inside. You grabbing my hand and helping me climb a trail at Gooseberry Falls. You putting a crib together for a little pink bundle. You crying when you held our son for the first time. You are an extraordinary man. All of these years, you and me, against the flow and against the odds. I remember love; I am living love.

Stop.

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Chin up!

I don’t know about you but there are days when its tough to crawl out of bed. For me those days often come in March when the snow is thick and I’ve got too much to do. It’s been one of those days. However, I made this discovery, just now, during my quiet time.

I love these words from the Message Bible 1 Peter 3 starting at verse 15

“If with heart and soul you are doing good, do you think you can be stopped? Even if you suffer for it, you’re still better off. Don’t give the opposition a second thought. Through thick and thin, keep your hearts at attention, in adoration before Christ your master.”

I love how it breaks down. . .Here are my notes:

Through thick and thin-a glorious idiom of deep friendship. It means you don’t retreat, in good times and bad, you stand hand-in-hand. Friendship is a bit like faith, in that if its not tested, you can never be certain of it. In this case, we are talking about the friend that sticks closer than a brother. If there is one thing life has taught me, its that I’d rather taste anguish holding Jesus’ hand, than to gain the accolades of the world. To neglect what gives me meaning would be foolishness.

The position of At attention, or Standing at attention, I checked that out too (Thank you Wikipedia). “It is a military posture which involves the following general postures:

  • Standing upright with an assertive and correct posture: famously “chin up, chest out, shoulders back, stomach in”.
  • Arms fixed at the side, thumb or middle finger parallel to trouser or skirt seam, depending on military drill specifics.
  • “Eyes front”: head and eyes locked in a fixed forward posture. Ideally eyes unmoving fixated on a distant object. Blank facial expression.
  • Keeping the heels together, toes apart
  • No speech, facial or bodily movements except when as required by military drill.”

Notice, in this posture, your hands are not busy, they are still. You are not leaping into the next ministry opportunity, you are looking at your master, you are waiting for His direction. Eyes front, looking ahead and not behind.

Adoration is a beautiful word!

It is one of those beautiful action words, and we girls, we love activity, don’t we? Can we say, multitasking? Here’s the mission for today; rejoice, adore.

So here we go, eyes forward looking to the author and finisher of our faith. If there is no strength to stand, at least let us position our hearts to do the one thing they were created to do, speak up in adoration, rejoice–out of the abundance of love we have been filled with-love for Him who became sin for us.

Chin up. . .you are in audience of a King, and Easter is coming.

 

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Get Yourself a Yellow Purse

I married a neutral sort of fellow. When I took his last name and took half of his closet, he gently complained over the vibrant colors of my wardrobe. Think Italian girl meets German boy, because this is what had happened.  His side: brown, grey, olive green and variants of the aforementioned–all practical. My side: fuchsia, chartreuse, turquoise, and many, many shades of purple all with matching shoes! Time passed and little by little I embraced my inner Scandinavian; recognizing that I felt better in earth tones. I traded my big hair for more subdued fashion and my overstated makeup for visible freckles and bright eyes. I embraced chocolate brown. Who wouldn’t?

So, imagine my surprise when I came home from a thrift store shopping extravaganza with a purse the color of Big Bird’s feathers. What on earth was I gonna do with it? I tried switching out my black mommy tote and chucking everything inside of this new beauty. The moment I did, I slapped my forehead in wonderment. I’d had some sort of momentary lapse of judgement, I was certain. I emptied the yellow purse and tossed it up high on a closet shelf.

Then came the In(rl) sign up for this year and the many lovely ladies sending encouragement and their blog addresses so we could get to know one another ahead of time. I became intrigued by so many of them, including Vicki and wanted to reach out. Reaching out requires bravery (extra bravery for the introvert).  Many of these girls seemingly have genuine hearts and gorgeous-strong-spirits. I began following many of them and decided once we started throwing small talk out via Twitter, we should get to know one another, soon, and in person.  Again–bravery. Next thing you know though, I’m mumbling something about meeting for coffee and oh, by the way, “I’ll be carrying a yellow purse.”  People, it’s like something took over.

Well, friends, I just met Vicki for coffee with my friend Laura and I did carry my yellow monstrosity handbag.  I had it sitting out there on the Panera table, in broad day light; I really wanted our new friend to be able to find us. Oh my heavens, what a day! What a seriously good day! Now, that yellow purse will forever be associated with audacity and fierce friendship. No momentary lapse of judgment, no waste of hard earned money. Just three really fabulous girls doing lunch.

In a few words, get yourself a yellow purse and go dance outside your comfort zone. It’s so very worth it!

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Curiosity

I think, at a child’s birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift should be curiosity.  ~Eleanor Roosevelt

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When God Shows Up on a Well Worn Trail

The nature center in our county? Our pretty park Reserve? Well, I confess, it’s one of the reasons we call this place home.  We didn’t move an hour away from friends and family because a Park Reserve beckoned us. It would be pretty high on the list if we were ever looking for reasons to stay. It didn’t start out that way but consider us wholly captivated. We walk the trails there so much I think I could lead you through it with my eyes closed.  We are blessed by it. We extend our Sabbath by intentionally hiking it, rain, snow, high humidity, whatever.  We are always utterly astonished concerning the way God orchestrates his creation in new ways every single day. So, when I happened to be walking a familiar path in the woods and caught a new expression of love, I believe the love of God for me, I wasn’t so surprised. Although, I did wonder how often I’ve walked right by it, neglecting to count it as gift.

I’m sharing it with you in the hopes that you get a reminder that He’s at work and He’s always reaching out for us if only we just have eyes to see it.

 

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Valentine’s Day 2013

For some moments, there simply are no words. . . (and blog proof that this woman is utterly behind). How is that you blink and miss a month?

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Oh, The Places You’ll Go

When the annual Expo happens at the school, proud parents flock in and there isn’t a face in the place that doesn’t show the “parent smile.” You know the one? The one where you smile so wide your cheeks hurt, and your face is blushed, and your eyes are shining (if not a little misty)? Every parent in the room thinks his or her baby is the best and the brightest. Every parent in the room has that right too. Boy, do they ever! This is why I don’t believe in the participation prize, the consolation prize; a parents love, if they are doing it right says it all. A quick look around any event such as this and you just know, every kid is a winner.  I’m so not alone here. Gosh though, my girl, she does make me feel like I’m leading the parade. Beautiful inside and out, creative, and so smart to boot! I’m positively giddy about this kid! Her Daddy and I, we both are!

Raising a cup of hot chocolate to our beautiful girl. Second place in the 3rd and 4th grade Science Fair, first place in our hearts!

Oh the places you’ll go!

There is fun to be done!

There are points to be scored.

There are games to be won.

And the magical things you can do with that ball will make you the winning-est winner of all.”

~Dr. Seuss Oh, the Places You’ll Go

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Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday

Linking up with Lisa-Jo for Five Minute Friday. We write for five minutes flat (unedited) on a prompt she provides. Today’s prompt is: Rest.

Here goes. . .

I feel so paper thin these past few days, like those little tissue lamps ready to take to the wind. So many weary, hurting and downtrodden surround; and aren’t we all empty until we are filled by Jesus? I am empty. Sometimes it’s hard to know what to ask the Lord for. Its tough to know the right words to offer to give life and vitality.

We’ve got deadlines and time constraints and controversy at every turn. We’re plodding and we’re praying worn lines; singing songs that flow out of a power source of living water. We’re climbing and sometimes we forget that in the climb, He’s so willing to carry us on his shoulders.

I used to struggle to keep up with my Daddy’s long stride. He clutched my hand strong and tender. Sometimes it felt like I was running next to His strong walk. Then he’d bend and lift me up and my face would be closer to the sun and he’d let me sit upon his shoulders and he’d do the work while I did utter delight. Isn’t that how it goes too with children of God? Don’t we need only to rest and find that he’s giving us an opportunity, a gift of fresh perspective?

Stop.

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Mommy’s Shadow

Right now, Son, you are Mommy’s Shadow. You are my helper and constant companion. We two go about the house, Mommy, trying to fight a never ending battle of laundry, dishes and empty tummies. You bring joy to every chore; you with your sunshine smile and your constant encouragement.

Mommy, you are such a good boy, yes!”

“Mommy, let’s do this thing!”

“Mommy, I love you!”

“Mommy, I good helper!”

We listen to the same play list every day while we clean up this space. You love the Beatles and Motown and the Jackson Five. You know that when Itty Bitty Pretty One comes on, we drop everything and dance in the living room until we are giddy and nothing is ordinary.  When was this ever ordinary?

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