To Read on the Journey

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Jennifer left a comment regarding my word "soar" that was so good I have to share it-
She said that to soar is like rest (her word), "it's an act of letting go, you know, when you stop flapping your wings, you stop working and struggling so hard... you rest, and enjoy the ride."

Ahhh, I hadn't considered the depth of it.

I know the reality- I'm a wing flapper!! I make everything a struggle! I hold on to EVERYTHING, because I think it is my job to help God do his job. A year ago I became so worn out from flapping, struggling, and working. My fists were tired from clenching things so tightly, that I quit! I quit activities (leading worship and planning celebrations) I love to be a part of because I was coming undone.
Hmmm, God wants us to enjoy the ride.
Imagine what a wife, mommy, daughter, sister, friend would look like who enjoyed the ride!
God would be glorified.
Everyone would want to soar!

"I'm gonna fly
No one knows where
But I'm gonna fly
And soar through the air
As I have felt for the first time
I can be myself
No more faces to hide behind
Just a smile and a dream that is mine
Even if I am the only one... who wants to fly."

Amy Grant

Monday, September 24, 2007


pink everything and it's the little things are teaming up for a give away!

To sum it up-They want you to choose a meaningful word that would be your word for the next year. The winner will receive one of Lisa Leonard's beautiful necklaces with their word.

My word would be -soar.
I have been thinking a lot this year on the Scripture from Isaiah 40:28-31

"Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary,
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
(and i have)
but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
they will SOAR on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not grow faint."

I have spent much of this year being weary, but I am learning to "hope in the Lord." I have spent much of this year stumbling and falling. I want so much more. I know that God has promised me that I will "soar on wings like eagles."
I am waiting for lift off!

What would your word be?

Friday, September 21, 2007

Celebrating our 11th Anniversary!!

Speak in a summer tone
Pause in the after glow
Tenderly whisper my name
Tell me once again why I am your bride
So I can fly
So I can fly
Pause in your busy day
Look extra long my way
Wink at me across the room
Kiss me longer
Touch my arm when I am by your side
So I can fly
So I can fly
Oh how the little things
Strengthen my tiny wings
Help me to take on the world
When you love me there's nothing I wouldn't try
I might even fly
I might even fly
I might even fly

by Sara Groves

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Falling in love with Jesus

"I think the most important thing that happens within Christian spirituality is when a person falls in love with Jesus.
Sometimes when I go forward to take Communion, to take the bread and dip it in the wine, the thought of Jesus comes to me, the red of His blood or the smell of His humanity, and I eat the bread and wonder at the mystery of what I am doing, that somehow I am one with Christ, that I get my very life from Him, my spiritual life comes from His working inside me, being inside me.
I know our culture will sometimes understand a love for Jesus as weakness. There is this lie floating around that says I am suppose to be able to do life alone, without help, with out stopping to worship something bigger than myself. But I actually believe there is something bigger than me, and I need for there to be something bigger than me. I need someone to put awe inside me; I need to come second to someone who has everything figured out. All great characters in stories are the ones who give their lives to something bigger than themselves. And in all the stories I don't find anyone more noble than Jesus He gave His life for me in obedience to his Father. I truly love Him for it."
Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Recovering Pharisee

My name is Denise Jones and I'm a pharisee.

We have all heard the phrase "once an alcoholic always an alcoholic." For me it is "once a pharisee always a pharisee." I have seen pharisee defined as "a self righteous, hypocritical person."  I have read about the pharisees in scripture and found I resemble them more than the man they pointed fingers at- Jesus.

Yet, inspite of myself, God is so good and so gracious. He loves me, and is shaping, molding, moving, humbling, and revealing Himself and His ways to me. I am undeserving.

Still here is the ugly truth- I am good at pointing fingers, at aiming to be better than others, at building myself up, at following lists, formulas, or a moral code.

I am not good at humility, at being less, at not winning approval, at grace.

I wish recovery was like cleaning a closet. I could get it done in a day, and toss all the unwearable items.  Unfortunately,  it is more like putting on something you haven't worn in a while, feeling comfortable in it at first, and later, in the right mirror, and the right Lighting, discovering it's not flattering.

I have had to recognize that the Jesus I followed for so many years, looks little like the Jesus that is. That the Jesus I thought I resembled looks very little like Jesus.
I want to know Jesus. I want to be humble; less as others are more. I want to rest in the knowledge that I am enough to my Maker.  I want to extend the grace that has been given to me (which is A LOT!) to others.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Sunday, September 16, 2007

To the beat of my own drum

Yep, that's me dancing to the beat of my own drum (well to 2 YHS drummer's drums).
I am thinking I need to hire these guys.
Imagine having drummers to keep you moving as you did laundry, washed dishes, cleaned toilets, or mopped floors.

Imagine dancing through home school, taxi'n the kids around, meetings, daily discipline episodes, work or play, with your cheerleader beside you, "Go Denise, Go Denise."

Imagine a trip to the grocery store, gas station, anywhere... folks would stare at first, but eventually would join in on the dance.
Imagine life with a steady beat to keep you moving, fighting, dreaming, laughing... We all need to dance a bit more-

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Miss you everyday

Today we each picked out a balloon in our favorite color, went to Bass Lake, and let them go.
We have done this for the last 6yrs on Sept 15th, the day that our son Caleb Michael went home to Heaven. We take a moment to remember, to mourn, and to celebrate.
We remember 14 sweet weeks of caring him in my belly, praying Psalm 139:13-17 over baby, hoping for a boy as God had written his name on our hearts, anticipating our family becoming 5, dreaming of baby's future. We remember this day in 2000 when God took him home. We remember how He graciously let us see him, hold him in our hand, pray with him, sing over him, love on him. We remember how God provided our every need, as he took care of every detail, and covered us with his "grace upon grace."
We take a moment to mourn our loss- There is always someone missing from our laughter, from the dinner table, from wrestling matches on the living room floor, from family photos, from life here. We need a moment to say we wish you were here.
And we take a moment to celebrate that we have eternity with Caleb when we get home. We rejoice and find comfort that our son lives in God's "love better than life."

Glory Baby by Watermark

Glory baby you slipped away as fast as we could say baby…baby..
You were growing, what happened dear?
You disappeared on us baby…baby..
Heaven will hold you before we do
Heaven will keep you safe until we’re home with you…
Until we’re home with you…

Miss you everyday
Miss you in every way
But we know there’s a
day when we will hold you
We will hold you
You’ll kiss our tears away
When we’re home to stay
Can’t wait for the day when we will see you
We will see you
But baby let sweet Jesus hold you
‘till mom and dad can hold you…
You’ll just have heaven before we do
You’ll just have heaven before we do

Sweet little babies, it’s hard to
understand it ‘cause we’re hurting
We are hurting
But there is healing
And we know we’re stronger people through the growing
And in knowing-
That all things work together for our good
And God works His purposes just like He said He would…
Just like He said He would…

I can’t imagine heaven’s lullabies
and what they must sound like
But I will rest in knowing, heaven is your home
And it’s all you’ll ever know…all you’ll ever know…

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


I was invited to sub for Bunko this evening. I have attempted to make myself a preferred substitute choice, by bringing exceptional appetizers, my likeability and witty personality, and in case that's not enough- that I own a card table with chairs.
Somehow I am not on the preferred list (it may be that my personality is a bit more quirky than witty)!

This is such a fun time. I enjoy each of the women. Most are mommies I see for moments here or there (which is never long enough). Some are mommies with stories I do not know, but want to. I find I am more interested in hearing their stories than playing the game. More interested in hearing and seeing their laughter than rolling the dice. More interested in dropping the togetherness of life, and enjoying for a bit being silly girls.
I love you Lord
And I lift my voice
To worship you
Oh my soul rejoice
Take joy my King
In what you hear
May it be a sweet sweet sound in your ear

Monday, September 10, 2007

"People who pray stand receptive before the world. They no longer grab but caress, they no longer bite but kiss, they no longer examine but admire. "
Henri Nowen

I have been grabbing, biting, and examining the world. I'm not happy. I am not seeing people as I should. I am a bit full of myself. I must pray. I must be full of Jesus. I must "love the Lord my God with all my heart, mind (the tough one), soul, and strength, and love my neighbor as myself."

Saturday, September 8, 2007

And The Winner Is...


I enjoyed reading about all your "sacred" moments. I have been encouraged to look at so much more with new eyes.
How I wish you all could have won! Congratulations to Kristen. Email me at with your mailing information.

This Give Away was so fun, hmmm, now what else can I give away in the future?!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Give Away

One of my very favorite things is to hear a new song that stirs my heart. This song (below) is called Sacred. It is a song that makes you want to grab your kiddos, squeeze them tight and dance! AND I'm giving away this c.d. Overdressed by Caedmon's Call to one of you!
Simply respond in comments by sharing a "Sacred" parenting moment. I'll randomly choose a # at the end of the give away to choose a winner.

this house is a good mess
it's the proof of life
no way would i trade jobs
but it don't pay overtime
i'll get to the laundry
i don't know when
i'm saying a prayer tonight
cause tomorrow it starts again

could it be that everything is sacred?
and all this time
everything i've dreamed of
has been right before my eyes

the children are sleeping
but they're running through my mind
the sun makes them happy
and the music makes them unwind
my cup runneth over
and i worry about the stain
teach me to run to you
like they run to me for every little thing

could it be that everything is sacred?
and all this time
everything i've dreamed of
has been right before my eyes

when i forget to drink from you
i can feel the banks harden
Lord make me like a stream
to feed the garden
wake up, little sleeper
the Lord God Almighty
made your Mama keeper so rise and shine
rise and shine

could it be that everything is sacred?
and all this time
everything i've dreamed of
has been right before my eyes

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Today Noah and Emilie had class at the home school academy we are with. Class is 2x per month from 8:30 -2:30. This year they are learning about the Civil War, as well as math, computer, p.e., writing, language and more. I am so thankful that we have this opportunity with homeschooling.
I like that my kids get a taste of learning with other teachers. I like that they have classmates, as there is much to gain and learn in relationships. I like that we have a community of homeschooling families around us. I love when they come home and excitedly share their day.

Today, after a few a.m. Kindergarten lessons, Josie and I went to Fresno (for those out of this area, this is the nearest city to us, 45min. away. We do have a small town only 25 min. away).
I took advantage of the time in the car by doing a bit of carschooling.
We covered language with a Brothers Grimm story that I found at a fun web sight called Stoynory. At Storynory you can download many free children's stories to your i-tunes. You can copy these to c.d. or down load them to your i-pod and listen to them on a day when you are doing more carschooling than homeschooling.
When we arrived in Fresno we went to the Fresno Library, and to the Great Harvest Bread Company.

For you local folks, if you haven't gone to the Fresno Library you absolutely must! It is terrific! And you can return books at our local library. Btw- it is library card month, get your kids their library cards and a free ice cream cone!

The Great Harvest Bread Company is located next door. They mill their wheat daily, all bread is baked fresh daily, and sampling is mandatory! I recommend sampling the Cinnamon Chip bread, then buying a loaf ($6.00 and worth it) to bring home. You can also set up a field trip for a small group.

For those wanting a bit more fun, beautiful Woodward Park is near by.

After school the kiddos had their first day of AWANA's. Thank you to everyone who serves.
A verse that comes to mind as I think of AWANA's, the kids, and your service is, "The truth that has been revealed to you will not be taken from you or your children's children." Duet 29:29. Thank you for revealing "Truth" to my children through the word, affection, encouragement and fun!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Friends, yummy food, and a movie under the stars, what a blessing!

Tonight we went to the Lynch's and enjoyed an evening filled with friends (old and new), yummy food, and a movie under the stars. It was a blast!
Thank you John & Barb!

A highlight of the evening was visiting with J.J. Lynch, who just graduated from boot camp.
I was afraid he'd come back so much a man, that I would miss the boy. He is still the boy, but with the sureness of a man, ready for the adventure ahead. I think one of the best things we can do for our children is bless them by speaking words of affirmation and promise over their future (Abe, Jake, and many others in the bible did this). This evening John blessed J.J. by speaking of his delight in him, then ushering him forward with blessing. We all stood by and agreed, and rejoiced with his parents.

I think of the scripture that says; "The father of a righteous man has great joy; he who has a wise son delights in him. May your father and mother be glad; may she who gave you birth rejoice!" Proverbs 23:24-25
I love the exclamation point at the end of that scripture.
The next verse says; "My son, give me your heart and let your eyes keep to my ways.." That is my prayer for J.J. (for all our children), that God will own your heart, and that your eyes will be fixed on him. That your parents will always exclaim as they rejoice in you.