To Read on the Journey

Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 Favorites

2011 Favorite People, Moments, and Posts

I take God's breath away.  You, His beloved, take God's breath away.
"God breathes life into dirt."

Chocolate, a tweenage daughter, and "horror moans."

as she walks away i recall sitting on the couch hours earlier.
reminded of  insignificance,
i hear the still small Voice,
"you, denise are significant in my kingdom.
you are making a Name for me."

i talk too much... about Him. 

my deflated lungs are filled... He is the Air i breath. 

noah looked at emilie, and began...
"emilie, you are the sweetest, kindest, most loving person i know...

 we intentionally release our grips on the ordinary, and fall
into the EXTRAORDINARY gift
we are to each other.  

i don't know about you, but i am ready for a New Year.  i'm ready and need to begin again.

no resolutions for me (i'd fail them by jan 3rd), but here are some things i'd like to be very intentional about this new year. 

in  2012 i want to...
"enter His gates with thanksgiving in my heart"  everyday.  no  more excuses.

be with people.  be intentional community. 

roller-skate in my house regularly  (take advantage of the concrete floors while we've got'em).

kiss my husband more and longer. 

read my bible (kiss God more and longer).  

be creative with my children, even though it makes a mess or requires time. 

read to my kids.  i don't know what? (suggestions please) 

eat fish (i hate fish). 

play with my kids.

walk.  it's good for my body and my mind.

take more pictures. 

play my guitar

be outside. 

read the books i own again.  

drink water. 

sing too much.

write to my future. 

breath in Grace, and breath it out.

Happy New Year!


Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas

So grateful for Jesus, that He came.
Came to save.
Came to redeem.
Came to bring hope.
Came to be truth.
Came to reign.
Came to love excessively.

He has brought so much JOY to my world.

May your Joy in Him increase this Christmas and New Year!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

t'was the christmas with a "tweenager"

last year i made the girls christmas shirts {and valentine's day, st. patrick's day, & fall shirts too}. thankfully they still fit them. well, josie anyway. emilie's fits her, but she doesn't fit it. she's 12- a "tweenager," and apparently "the other 7th grade girls don't wear mommy-made shirts"... whatev.

thankfully josie is still a little girl, who WILL wear mommy-made shirts! she will wear them and tutu's and mismatched socks until she is 30! because she will be immune to tweenageritis. right josie!?!?

as for emilie, well, i guess it's cool having ONE tweenager {don't get any ideas josie!}.
today i have to finish the last of the christmas shopping, and i have to admit that what i am looking forward to the most is spending the day with her, my "tweenager."  spending the day with emilie in the front seat, singing christmas music together, hearing about her world, her thoughts, her tender heart.  spending the day asking for her opinion, valuing her, absorbing her thoughtfulness and delight will be joy in the christmas shopping chaos.  it's pretty rad {"tweenager" talk, right?} having a daughter who makes me feel like she is having the time of her life being with just me! - because she does that.  i hope she knows i feel the same way about being with her... even if she won't wear my mommy-made christmas shirt.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

ugly grocery stores

he lives in food maxx' parking lot.

because we can't afford to shop at the  "pretty grocery stores," 
i've seen him there.  seen him a number of times.

in the evenings, after the manager goes home, he collects grocery carts.
he doesn't get paid, but he works anyway.  works hard.
i think a man needs to work to know he is necessary.  The first thing God did after creating adam was put him to work {naming the animals}.  no one, including adam, wants to feel insignificant.
i've seen him finish up his work then retire for the evening to his home.  his home of blankets and black garbage bags on the sidewalk beside a building that shields him from the elements.  he barricaded his home with shopping carts and boxes while i drove away with my loving family in my toasty s.u.v.

during the day he offers flowers in the parking lot in exchange for a bit of change.  flowers that appear to have been retrieved from yesterday's trash. i give him a few dollars, gladly take my bruised flowers. a few can be salvaged, but i know it isn't the flowers i want, it's the reminder to pray for God to magnify His mercy on this man, this child of His, on this frigid December day.

the flat-out truth about me is i waver between complaining about shopping at the "ugly grocery store," where i have to bag my own groceries and shop among the food stamp and w.i.c. coupon holders {of which i have been one}, and being grateful for my cart filled to the brim with food to feed my family for 2 weeks for under $200.  i am wretched sometimes.

but today, with flowers in one hand, i grab my husband's hand and say, "i'm glad we can't afford to shop at the 'pretty grocery store.' "  he responds knowing, "because we wouldn't see him." "yes,"  i say.

we wouldn't see him, and be put to work too...praying- bringing this man and his needs before God, petitioning the Spirit to illuminate his mind, heart, and soul with God's Truth and deep love for him, praising God that there is always Hope in Him. 
we wouldn't see him, and experience the Spirit of God growing us in compassion and grace {God  knows i desperately need growth in these areas}.
we wouldn't see him,  and be humbled by Holy, personified in a homeless man.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

i'm possible.

Pinned Image
 photo from pinterest.  get it here

one version of dueteronomy 29:29b says, "The truth that has been revealed to you will not be taken from you or your children's children."

i love that.
love it.

i count on it.

i count on all the truth that is being revealed to me to belong to my children and to my children's children!  is there anything that i want more?  no.  absolutely nothing.

if you contrast my childhood to my children's it would be evident that i had so much of the opposite of truth poured into me.

but God.

He had people written into my story, who at the time seemed to play a very small role, but i see now were strategically penned in to illuminate Truth.  These individuals were devoted to, spoke of,  and pointed the way to God. They gave me nuggets of Truth that i now know were tucked into my being.

one of those nuggets was was given to me on Christmas day 1980.
(let me set the stage a little on 1980:  i was 7.  my sister and i had been living with my mom and first step-dad for 1 year, exactly.  that year my dad began bullying me, telling me a number of times and in a number of hurtful ways that i was not his daughter.  pot and promiscuity were not hidden from my young eyes}. 
  this nugget of truth came by way of a blue record player & record given to my younger sister and i by our first step-grandparents.  the record was Bill Gaither Trios,' Just For Kids.

my sister and i enjoyed the independence we had having our very own record player.  we played our record again and again and again, singing and parading around our strawberry shortcake bedroom together to the Trio.  one song on the album quickly became a favorite for us both, " i am a promise."

"i am a promise. i am a possibility. i am a promise with a capitol "P." i am a great big bundle of potentiality... 
i can be anything, 
anything God wants me to be." 

slather on the blue eyeshadow and listen to this vintage gaither.

i can't begin to explain the impact these lyrics had on that 7 yr old girl.  they caused me to BELIEVE  i. was. more.   intended to be NOT what my circumstances had assumed i would be,  BUT what God wanted me to be.

"it doesn't matter where you live, 
who your daddy is, or what you look like...
you can be exactly what God wants you to be, 
and He has something very special in mind for you."

did He ever! 

so today i praise God for the people He so thoughtfully and generously wrote into my life to bring Light into my darkness.  i praise Him that He is the God of all Hope. i count on Him to continue to reveal His Truth to me, and to also give this Truth to my children, and my children's children.  

what nugget of Truth did God give you as a child, 
that has not been taken from you?