Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Wonder of My Christmas Journey

I'm finding it overwhelming this Christmas that my journey really began to take shape strangely enough in a familiar food trough.
I believe my life was dreamed of and planned from the beginning of time by my Creator, but what a wonder and mysterious miracle that actually my eternal life was literally birthed within the hands, the feet, the side, and the heart of a baby. THE baby no less. The SAME hands, feet, side, and heart of THE Messiah that were pierced for or transgressions set or own
Hard to comprehend isn't it? Wrapping my mind around the fact that as His mother pushed fluid, blood, and life onto the floor in a place that smelled like sweat and sheep dung. That it was at THAT moment MY journey truly began too?
Mercy: such sweetness of life within filth; such forgiveness in horrific death; bursting forth first onto hay, and then again from a borrowed resting place, into gloriously intertwined lives... Jesus and me, destiny.
Your journey began in that same trough, your life has traversing the same path, intertwined with that same baby, that same Messiah.

From cradle to cross - Merry Christmas friends!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Looking for the Unidentified

It can be frightening, to not know. 
To be uncertain what life is bringing to you.
But it can also be exhilarating to just imagine all the options and possibilities that could be out there. Around the corner. Either hurtling through space and time towards you at lightening speed, or steadily moving towards you at a consistent unchanging rate.  Both arrive at a precise and predetermined time. Both crossing the same distance. 
More importantly, whether now or later, good or not so good - God's eye never wavers. He doesn't lose track of what's coming. And whether it's fast or slow, easy or hard, He can and will make much of it.

Joyful on the Journey,

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Wash Your Face and Save a Life!

Did you know simply cleaning your face can actually help a woman escape poverty and oppression? Me either!
I was shopping at Earth Fare recently, and was drawn (as I always am) to the heavenly scented soaps and such. While sniffing around (pun intended) I remembered I needed some chap-stick.

So I wondered over to the familiar Burt's Bees and other names I saw that I recognized, but decided to peruse the other brands before picking up an old favorite. That's when I spotted "lip butter" (the word "butter" always garners my attention) in what looked to be really cool biodegradable packing in delicious flavors like Vanilla Orange, Passion-fruit, and Raspberry. YUM!
The name on the package intrigued me too - Rooted Beauty. So I pulled out my smartphone and went to the web site on the label. I saw that low and behold that not only are their products organic and natural, but also with my purchase of the lip butter I could have a hand in meeting the needs of a woman named Sange escape poverty and learn a new skill/trade to support herself!
Each product is assigned to a specific woman. Some looking to leave an abusive relationship, some single moms needing to support their children, some want to go to school.
I decided this was definitely worth investigating further. I emailed the founder and ask her about how they choose their partners (listed on the web site). Kim Garret told me that they choose organizations to work through that are on the ground in areas where there are no resources available to these women, and who have a exemplary record of also not only meeting physical and emotional needs but their spiritual needs as well - they are all faith based! Some aren't obvious about that on their own web sites due to where they are serving - for safety and for easier access to these women. But it is important to Kim that these partners offer a holistic approach in how they minister. 
Since then I've added another flavor of lip butter, and also now use their Mango facial moisturizer (LOVE it, so silky and a dab goes a LONG way). When I use up all the cleanser I already had spent money on I plan to try theirs as well!
Check out 
Rooted Beauty - skincare products that are made from pure healthy ingredients, but just as important each purchase helps an individual woman's story be rewritten from one of helplessness to one of hope and life change through their Woman2Woman Project  ‪#‎givehope‬ ‪#‎makeadifference‬ ‪#‎shopwithpurpose‬‪ #changealifewithwhatyoubuy

Joyful On the Journey,


Friday, November 7, 2014

Experience Compassion!

I am SOOOOOO excited to volunteer tomorrow morning for the Compassion Experience in Knoxville! IN LESS THAN 30 MINUTES you can see a child's story go from hardship to hope, 

and witness a life transformed! 
This unique walk thru experience will challenge your views of poverty, transform your understanding of the world, and give YOUR heart hope - come and see for yourself what love and compassion can do!‪#‎Nov7thru10only‬ ‪#‎compassion‬ ‪#‎inJesusname‬ ‪#‎teachingmoments‬‪#‎GodsStory‬ 
Go to for details - and you can even reserve a specific time Nov 7-10th!


Thursday, November 6, 2014

Homemade Gifts!

crafted knoxville workshops event on Saturday has some really neat hand crafted ideas that would make great Christmas gifts... they show you how and all supplies are included!!! Actually, they would make super gifts for any occasion really  so sign up quick before spaces are gone and follow them on Facebook thru the link above and on Instagram for more upcoming events too!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Behind the scenes...

As for you, O Lord, you will not restrain your mercy from me;
your steadfast love and your faithfulness will ever preserve me!
~ Psalm 40:11

"Preserve": to prepare; a sphere of activity regarded as being reserved for a particular person or group

WOW! God is preserving His plan for me even as I fumble, preserving His path before me even as I struggle to find it, preserving His thoughts and dreams for me even though I question, preserving my joy even when I don't feel it - He is EVER working out what He has reserved for my good!

Joyful on this journey indeed :)


Thursday, October 9, 2014

Just a little off my chest today... :)

Okay auto-correct... in what situation in any universe would it ever seem plausible to you that I would be trying to type and send the word "sardine" in all caps, and with exclamation points no less???? It's "AWESOME!!!" ‬I keep trying to picture why I would be yelling "SARDINE!!!"
I have never been in fear for my life or anyone else's from them, never seen them suddenly become airborne and fling themselves at my head, nor have I ever (even though I like the ones in mustard) become that overjoyed at seeing or opening a can of them. Strangeness. 
#‎happenseverysingletime‬ ‪#‎ineverheardofasardineattack‬ ‪#‎autocorrectfail‬‪ #‎oneofmanyperday‬ #‎whydontieverturnitoff

Monday, September 22, 2014

How God talked me into praying for a flood...

God is so aggravating sometimes. There you are minding your own business on Sunday, thinking about how this message is SO good for that friend you have been praying for. Wondering if they are hearing the same thing you are - if they are paying attention, because wow, this is just exactly what they need to hear. And you're so excited for them you can barely sit still!
And then it happens. BAM! You can sit still now for sure. Because you get nailed. Nailed to the very chair you are sitting in. Wait a minute... what the heck - this is for me????
Dang it.

At the moment we are in a series focused on Ephesians at my church on Sundays. One of my favorite books of the bible actually (and just like God to use what I love against me).
Yesterday as our Pastor took us through the second week of this series called "Immeasurable", focusing on Ephesians 1: 17-23 - Paul's prayer for the Ephesians he served and loved - that's when it happened. I got nailed. One verse in particular seemed to reverberate through the room. I mean his lips were still moving, I could plainly see he was still talking. But all I could hear was THAT verse. I mean I know this verse, read it many many times. I did mention Ephesians was one of my favorite books. This time though - BAM!
My favorite translation says it this way "I pray that your hearts will be *flooded with light* so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he has called..." ~ Ephesians. 1:18

I managed to get through the conversations after church with those around me, through lunch with friends, through a visit with my mom, and even some chill time with my husband on the couch before bed watching some HGTV - all the while knowing this wasn't over. And sure enough as my feet hit the floor this morning, as I was brushing my teeth, and as I was on my way to work there He was again with the same verse. Dang it!

So when I got to work and settled in at my desk I prayed and asked God to reveal what he wanted me to get. What He wanted me to know today more completely than I knew yesterday.
(I admit I did this halfheartedly but that didn't dissuade Him at all - he was loaded for bear)
I then looked up the meaning of the one word from that verse that kept resounding in my ears and mind the loudest since yesterday morning.
There were many definitions I found, but a few jumped off the screen at me like "arrive in overwhelming amounts or quantities" and "fill or suffuse completely".
But the one that cut me to the core and made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up? "As to drive someone out of their home or business with a flood"
Okay, I said to myself  looking back at the verse. My heart. It's a home for Christ to reside. Right? What's in my home that needs to be driven out?
I immediately wish I hadn't asked. I didn't like where this was going at all. But I had come this far and if the last 22 hours were any indication I needed to forge ahead or be nailed every time I turned around.
So I ask myself the question I didn't want to answer - Who is at the center of my heart that He battles for space?
The answer was immediate in my spirit. Almost audible. And matter of fact. The answer was Me.
My concerns. My worries. My wants. My needs. And all this "Me" affects everything I say and do. Every single stinkin' day.
And I write those with capital M's because that's where I put them all most days. More important and ahead of Him. I try not to. Some days I do pretty well - for some of the day. But at some point, even if its for just a little while, my home becomes suddenly flooded once again. Only with Me instead of Him.

I looked again at the scriptures we went through yesterday.
To pray that my heart be so overwhelmed and filled completely (flooded) with His light (His Spirit and unveiling of truth) that there's no more darkness there, so there is no room for anything to be covered and unseen. I mean, I want to know the abundance of His hope and His calling on my life - but to pray that is isn't messing around. It means I must vacate the premises. Me - less. My concerns - less. My worries - less. My wants - less. My self evaluated needs - less. (any one else hearing Mercy Me's "So Long Self" yet?)

Now hold on just a minute. That sounds and feels pretty icky, like I have to disappear. And in a world where I as a woman battle the insecurity of feeling invisible already many days, what the heck does that really mean? What will that look like?
But dang it, that's exactly what's required... "He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less." ~ John 3:30
I went back to the section of verses and looked again. Because to get to the end of Paul's prayer, to attain what is so precious and desirable, "to be made full and complete by Christ" (verse 23), this is what the sacrifice must be.
Every stinkin' day.

So, there you go. No denying it. It's not like I haven't prayed this before. I have. But you now what I mean when I say THIS time it means something else. THIS time its with a whole new level of understanding what that means. Scary stuff.
Starting today my prayer every day has to include that I become invisible.
I have a feeling now however that because I know what he wants though, that He'll be even more aggravating if I don't. You know? I know you do ;)
I fully acknowledge I will fail at this many days, but would you like to join me? It's always easier to do anything when you know you aren't alone, when you know there are others in the thick of things with you.
If so, here's what we'll be praying daily together:
God please drive "me" out of YOUR home, flood my heart with more of you, so there isn't room left for what I want or think I need, but fill it to overflowing with more of you revealed, and what you want for me. Show me the FULLNESS of the hope you have called me to - a completeness in Jesus!"

Comment below or on the Facebook post that led you here to let me know if you'll be praying this too

Joyful on the Journey

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

You have something to offer...

Our own "camera angles" to a common held vision are shaped by our own experiences, and our own gifting's. And they are as individually unique as we are. We can share that vision with those around us, still run side by side passionately to achieve it, but move creatively along our own path to get there. Honor and make the most of your uniqueness :)

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

We Dare To Hope

Yet, I still dare to hope when I remember this:
The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
His mercies never cease.
Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.
So I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!”
Lamentations 3:21-24

Even though, in spite of, even when, in the midst of, after all this, even if...
No matter what has happened or what is lacking - YET we are not destroyed, we are not without mercy, what has come before doesn't matter to what comes after. We aren't broken evermore, we aren't consumed, we aren't totally depleted... there is a promise of healing, replenishing, and fullness.
Dare to hope again - He promises a tree of life where hope is found!

Joyful on the Journey

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

I'm way more than 5...

Is it just me? Am I the only one who sometimes feels like a 5 year old - crying to not have wait for what I want NOW, trying to convince God to IMMEDIATELY pick me up, telling me "yes, you can have what you want, and yes, I'll do exactly what it is you think you need me to, and right now"? 
Realizing I'm waaaaay more than 5, and that God will no more do that than I would have to my own 5 year old is both embarrassing (that I behave/think that way sometimes), and also a relief (that He loves me too much to give in on what's not HIS best for me)...
Romans 8:28 - "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose."

It doesn't mean the waiting and discipline is fun, or even any easier, but it does mean we can trust Him 
Isaiah 26:3 - "You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you."

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

When you are His you are:

Marked - having a distinctive or emphasized character; a banner, a dividing line, a border around...
And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were MARKED in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit - Ephesians 1:13 (NIV)

Sealed - evidence of authenticity; insuring that the contents have not been altered...
"In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were SEALED with the promised Holy Spirit" - Ephesians 1:13 (ESV)

Identified - to cause to be or become identical; to be or become the same; claimed as known by or belonging to another...
"And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he IDENTIFIED you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago" - Ephesians 1:13 (NLT)

Have the kind of week that leaves no one around you in doubt, that you KNOW without a doubt, that you belong to THAT kind of God!

Joyful on the Journey

Sunday, May 18, 2014

A thread in time...

Some down time this morning has me reflecting on a thread. A thread that I and some friends all seem to be traveling through life tethered to lately. A thread the weaves itself around and within all our paths circumstances. The kind of "similar" that shouldn't be ignored. The kind that leaves no doubt something very specific is  happening. And obvious "something" that is somehow linking us together in some deeper way we have yet to see or can't begin to know. 
Same lessons to learn? Same lessons to teach? I'm sure that's part of it, but not the full of it.
Maybe the outcomes won't be alike, but the journeys sure are - that much is VERY evident at the moment :) 
I hope I'll get at least a small glimpse of the bigger picture God is surely painting, using each of our "colors" to blend the one tiny area on His canvas we exist on into all the others... after all, the picture isn't complete without our part in it is it?

praying eyes and ears open :)

Joyful on the journey,

Monday, May 5, 2014

Roll With It...

Mondays have a life of their own sometimes it seems - instead of trying to beat it into submission, lets decide here and now to just let God handle all that mess & we'll just roll with the punches ;)

Joyful on the Journey

Thursday, April 24, 2014


"If Jesus backs you into a corner, it's to set you free. He's holding you down long enough to snap that trap you're in." - Beth Moore

ready to hear the sound of the chains breaking... ready to stop wrestling... ready to shake off the bindings... ready to breathe in deep, and finally exhale just as deeply...

Awaiting a breaking - and so ready for it,

Monday, April 21, 2014

Monday Morning Musing...

What did we leave our bed, our car, and our house, believing this morning? That the day was defeated already, or that an adventure just may await us?
If God was thinking of us when He created the world, then He was most assuredly thinking of us before this Monday morning began too!
Having faith that He faces whatever the day brings with us isn't entirely accurate - He also faced it BEFORE it reached us. In its very design.
So instead of straining blindly against the things that try to trip us up, sticking to us and causing us to panic - as if we just walked through spider webs - we need simply to let His love and plan for the day wrap around us like the very air we walk through - clinging to us on all sides, above and below, in front and behind.
We bump into the things the enemy throws up in our path, yes. BUT all within the very day GOD created.
Don't hand over the day to the enemy - walk freely in with the Creator!
Have a victorious week!

Monday, March 10, 2014

A Monday Expirament

As we begin and move through this week, how about we attempt something that may feel like it could give many a panic attack... trusting God with everything in it.

Eeeekkk! I just heard a collective gasping for air by some at the mere thought.

Yes, there are things that we all must put on our to do list, things and people we are responsible to and for. But what would happen if we let God choose some things on our list? And what if we - dare I even type it - Let Him CHANGE some of the items too as we go?!
Does leaving room for Him to handle your list sound dangerous?
I think it does too a little. But...

Galatians 5:25
Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

Jeremiah 17:7
But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.
Isaiah 26:3
You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.

Now imagine the thrill around the corner, the 'unexpected' that He's in charge of and has created. Don't you also feel a little excitement at the thought of actually moving freely about your day in Him and His perfect plans?!

Me too :)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

I'm Branded with Love

I've been meditating on this verse since this morning:
"From now on, let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus."
~ Galatians 6:17

And here, simply, is what God has so sweetly poured over me in His presence as I did...

I am a new creation - I am eternally protected, loved beyond measure, made righteous, forgiven, and I inherit heaven... I can forgive, let go, walk in truth and favor, and move ahead bold and confident... I stand in the shadow of the cross of Christ with His wounds flowing down over me, branding me as His - the world can not reclaim me, I am slave to nothing but Jesus - truly, what can any one do to me that my God doesn't make right in the end

Celebrate who you are in HIM today, celebrate who HE is today!

Joyful on the Journey