Friday, February 27, 2009

Friday Shout Out

What a week! I am very thankful it is Friday.

I started the week with the goal of finishing a writing project. In fact, my plan was to cut the world off until I hit the send button and officially submitted the project.

At this point in my life, I should have seen that this was a set-up, but hoping for the best I continued on.

Monday started out perfect. I spent the day editing, packaging and polishing. Loved it. Thinking ahead, I knew I could take some extra breaks since my husband had a meeting that evening, and (after dinner) I'd be able to go right back to work.

Sounded good.

Well, regardless of how accomplished I feel in any given moment, my children have a way of knocking me back into reality.

As I was working, I noticed the house was too quiet. (And, every one with kid experience chuckles). Then.....I heard water running upstairs.

With a heavy sigh and not the nicest words running through my head, I ran up the stairs and found this.......

The picture doesn't do it justice so I'll explain. Bug and Squeaker decided it would be a good idea to style their hair with Colgate strawberry toothpaste. However, much to their avail, toothpaste does not provide the luxurious bubbles that one creates in the tub so they augmented their styling product by mixing the toothpaste with antibacterial soft soap. (let me digress by saying I hope Glade never decides to create a scent that combines strawberry toothpaste and plain antibacterial soap. Take my word for it, the product would not sell)

Talk about a mess! And, as an FYI, toothpaste leaves a very strange residue on sinks and fixtures. Ugh.

As for their experience? They may have had fun free stylin' their hair, but they learned the hard way as to why Mommy and Daddy choose to use Tears free baby shampoo instead of antibacterial soap. "Put your head back so the water doesn't get in your eyes" has taken on a whole new meaning for these two little bathroom chemists.

So, that was Monday.

My submission was prolonged to Tuesday, but I was okay with that. Well, I was until the simultaneous pressing of the send button was met with round 2 of Bug coming down with a virus. We have missed our second week of school for the month of February. That's a lot of make-up work. I'll be glad when flu season is over!

Well, now that's it's Friday, the project has been submitted, and Bug is on the upswing, I have rejoined the Land of Blog. Yeah!

Please swing by on Monday as I will have a pretty cool announcement. And, hopefully, this will be followed by a few more very cool announcements including a new weekly story series and the lauch of my new dot com. But, we'll get to that later.

As I gravel at the feet of my friends in blog land, please forgive the few and far between posts. It shall return to normal. So....come back and come again and I hope you enjoy!

Have a great weekend!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Love Letters to the King

Welcome to Love Letters to the King. If your new to the letters, you can click here to find out what it's all about.

This week's letter is a revisitation of an older letter. It's been revised and lengthened and I like the result. I'd love to hear what you think. Hope you enjoy.
Love Letters to the King

Do you remember, my Lord?

The first time I entered the garden?

I remember….

Standing in a doorway, sweat dripping from my brow as I swept the front step of my master’s store, your messenger found me.

No words spoken. He leaned from his saddle with a gold-sealed note in his hand. Accepting it, he turned and disappeared into the dust cloud emanating from the horse-trodden cobblestone road.

Alone, in the midst of the crowded village market I stood, a peasant girl in thread-bare clothes holding a note from the King. I slid my finger beneath the pressed wax and broke the seal, revealing the message inside.

Come to me.

Three simple words, and yet life altering. The paper was lead in my hand, and my fingers trembled under the weight of it. My heart skipped a beat, and my brow furled until my forehead hurt.

Why me, my Lord?

With tears free-falling down the hollows of my cheeks, I fell prey to the attack from the enemy within. Feasting on my insecurities the voice whispered its poison into my ear. You’re dirty, used, broken. You cannot go to the King.

But, your note. Come to me. The words jumped off the parchment and grabbing my heart, pulled it from the ebbing tide of my destitution. Hope demanded I obey. I must go to the King.

I released the broom letting it thump on the wooden steps outside my master’s store. Clutching your note to my bosom, I ran. Away from my servitude, away from my village, away from all that was familiar, I ran hard and fast. The chill of the evening’s air burned my lungs, and my breathing grew shallow, but I refused to stop until I reached the wrought iron gate that stands as a sentinel at the entrance to the garden.

And, I didn’t. Not until I crashed into the fence, letting the metal bars absorb my momentum. Catching my breath, I lay my head on the cold metal bars and wept.

I wept for the unworthiness of my soul, and for my undesirable condition that I would dare enter into the presence of the King. I flirted with the idea of turning around and heading back to the village, but a ghostly wind blew past me nudging the gate open.

I stepped inside. It was quiet. The leaves of the trees did not rustle in the wind and the cicadas did not serenade the setting sun. The weight of the garden’s silent worship was heavy making it difficult to press forward.

Broken bedrock lay scattered on the ground in a weaving path that led from the fence to a stand of ancient oaks. Passing beneath the trees’ canopy, the path fed into a courtyard of roses. Pausing, I picked a velvety pink rose, pinned it behind my ear and drew in its delicate perfume. Intoxicated, my insecurities subsided.

At the end of the courtyard, the path disappeared into Dalzure Lake. A Willow tree of unnatural proportion stood at the water’s edge. It was there that I found you.

Beneath the draping branches of the Willow, you stood staring at the last of day’s light dancing on the ripples in the water. Peace exuded from you as if it were ripe fruit hanging from a tree. The temptation of partaking from the sweet harvest drew me closer towards you.

I reticently tread the remaining length of the path until I was standing behind the Willow. You did not acknowledge my presence, nor did you remove your gaze from the lake. Staring at your back, I could not help but drink in your form. Shoulders broad with strength, arms that promised a secure embrace and ebony locks of hair that would please the eyes of many a maiden, but it was not that which caught my eye. It was your stature. Your appearance was young, yet your presence held the authority of the ancients. And though your glory seemed to emanate from the pores of your skin so that even the garden worshipped you, there was still a cloak of humility wrapped around you that fostered approachability. Here, standing behind you, my heart was pierced by the realization of how much I wanted and needed you.

I was terrified. I was also excited.

Your note still in my hand, I walked to your side. I bowed my head in respect for you and in shame of me.

Expecting to hear your voice, I felt your hand instead. You lifted my chin with your fingers, and raised my head until my eyes met yours. Meeting your gaze, I could feel you penetrate my soul.

Taking my face in both of your hands, you wiped the tears from my cheeks. “Peasant girl no more,” you said, “from now on, you are my Princess.”

I remember that first day in the garden, my Lord. And, I will never forget.


“No longer will they call you Deserted, or name your land Desolate. But you will be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah, for the Lord will take delight in you…” Is 62:4 (NIV)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Banana Bread, Chocolate and Trains

Welcome to whimsical Wednesday a little late. Yes, it's been that kind of week.

My son had an interesting homework assignment this week.

He was instructed to cook something with bananas. And, since it just so happened I had rotting (oops, I mean overly ripe) bananas on the counter, we made banana bread.

Yeah, Bug's eyes are closed but my camera batteries were dying so I had to go with it.

Now, since this was a homework assignment, the kid's had to help. So, Mommy was brave and let them operate the mixer. Thankfully, we didn't have any mishaps. And, with my children, that is nothing but answered prayer!

Of course, in my house, we add a secret ingredient to banana bread.

That's right. We put chocolate chips in the bread. I have to give Bug credit for this one. It was his idea.

And, thanks to a Christmas present from Grammy, we were able to do something else special with the bread.

We cooked it in a train pan.

The finished result......

Very cool banana bread. Thanks Grammy, the pan was a big hit! And, the kid's actually enjoyed their homework assignment.

Stay tuned as a new Love Letter to the King will be posted on Monday.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Mary's Journal: Joseph

Wondering what Mary's Journal is all about? Click here to find out.

Did you miss last week's Mary's Journal: Telling Joseph? Click here to read it.

And now, MJ: Joseph. I hope you enjoy!

Shrouded by your peace, I slept through the night even though Joseph’s response to my condition was still a mystery to me.

At day break, however, doubts crept in once again. Would he divorce me? Would he “out” me to the authorities? The questions lingered in the early morning air like ripened fruit hanging from a tree tempting me to pick and eat.

Despite the crease seared into my brow, I forced a smile and refused to worry about questions to which I had no answer. Instead, I focused on my daily chores.

The hours passed by, and though the sun was not at its peak sweat beaded on my forehead and dampened my clothes. Our small house ensnared the mid-morning heat, causing me to feel as though I were baking in an oven. I went to the door hoping to let in a breeze, but when I reached for the handle someone burst in from the outside.

Jumping back to avoid getting hit by the door, I came face-to-face with Joseph. His skin was flushed, and he spoke in garbled, broken sentences. Grabbing my hands he pulled me close until he aborted the motion, turned and lead me to the chairs by the table instead. For a moment, we sat staring at one another. But, Joseph could not sit still. Pacing one minute and sitting the next, I was unsure whether I should worry or let out the laughter I was stifling. I cast a smile towards my God, and hoped He would bring clarity.

Tiring, Joseph planted himself in a chair and stared at his hands. I held my tongue.

“Gabriel.” Joseph whispered the name and the rest was clear.

Before he could finish his disclosure of the night’s events, I threw my head back and shouted praise unto my Lord. The rising well of emotion within me overflowed as stored up tears broke free and poured down my face. Thank you, my Lord. Thank you.

I fell at Joseph’s feet, grabbed his hands in my mine and let tears drip into his lap. “Do you believe me now?” I asked. “Please say you believe me now.”

Joseph leaned forward and kissed the top of my head. “Yes, beloved. I believe you.”

His words were as honey to my soul. I stayed, grasping his hands and bathing in the warmth of his protection until my legs went numb beneath me.

For the rest of the afternoon Joseph spoke out loud of plans for a quick wedding, and strategy for dealing with people’s gossip, but all I heard was the sound of a thousand answered prayers falling from heaven and landing at my feet as manna did for the Israelites in the desert.

The Lord answered my prayers. I would not walk this road alone. Staring into the face of my betrothed, I was overwhelmed with the fullness of God’s love. In Him and with Him, I shall endure the destiny of my life.


“…an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:20-21

May the Lord go before you and make a way where there is no way that you may freely embrace your destiny.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Valentine's Day

I know it's early, but since I'm in the mood from all my party preparations I decided to say Happy Early Valentine's Day!

Did I say party preparations?

Ah, yes. As a member of the "party team" for my son's K4 Valentine's party that takes place this afternoon, I've been busy putting together the party snack. Being a little tired of the cookie routine, I opted for a new, more creative route.

Valentine Trail Mix!

I mixed:

Honey nut chex, valentine m&m's, yogurt craberries, sweet hearts and pretzel goldfish.

Finding cellophane treat bags with hearts on them finished it off with quite a nice touch. The only problem? Sweet heart candy is much harder than honey nut chex, and tends to crush the delicate cereal if tossed too much. Oops. I hope the kids don't mind.

I have to admit, I was feeling quite proud after coming up with the treat bags. For a brief moment, I felt as if everything was under control. The only thing left to do was to have the kids write out their valentine's.

Class list in hand, the family sat at the table to fill out cards. Princess valentine's for the girls and Disney Cars mixed with Thomas the Tank Engine for the boys. The kids put the cards together, Mommy and Daddy taped the candy to the each one, everything was going great until....

"This one is for Carlie." Nathan proudly proclaimed.

"Carlie," Daddy responded. "Is she your friend?"

Not even looking up from his card Nathan said, "Yeah, she's my best girl."

After picking myself up off the floor and staving off hyperventilation, I had to clarify. After all, I am Mom. "Nathan," I ask calmly, "Carlie is your best girl?"

"Yeah, she's special."

"Really? What makes her special?"

"She's beautiful."

At this point, I had to leave the room. Beautiful? She's beautiful? You're five and you have a beautiful special friend? I must admit, tears were in eyes. It's not everyday your five year old makes such an announcement.

I decided to take the upper hand and NOT embarrass our son. "Perhaps Nathan, you would like to tape two candies to Carlie's card instead of one?"

Nathan stopped writing, looked me in the eye and said, "No Mommy. If you tape two candies to the card you will cover up her name."

Duh! And we wouldn't want to do that because her name is beautiful, right?

So, as you go about your day toss a prayer my way as I head off to Valentine's Day party in our son's K4 class where I'll need to meet and be civil to his special girl.

I wonder if her Mommy will be there?

Monday, February 9, 2009

Mary's Journal: Telling Joseph

Welcome! If you are new to Mary's Journal and would like to know more about it, please click here.

To read last week's MJ, click here

And now, Mary's Journal: Telling Joseph

I spoke to Joseph today.

Trembling, I hid my hands beneath me as I sat across the table from him. How do I tell you I’m pregnant with the Son of God? I scanned the room looking for anything that might cause a distraction, and delay this conversation. But, nothing did.

Joseph sat staring. Not knowing why I had called him here or what I was about to say, he bore a stare in me that demanded full disclosure.

Taking a deep breath, I braced for the inevitable. “I’m pregnant.”

In whispers, I recounted Gabriel’s visitation, God’s favor, and my destiny. But, the words soared from my lips and pierced Joseph like arrows hitting a target. With each blow his shoulders slumped lower and his face fell further until his head was buried in his hands and his elbows braced on the table were the only things holding him up.

He did not believe me.

I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs I did not betray you. I would never betray the one betrothed to me by my father, but my screams would do nothing but feed the fire of unsettled emotions already burning within the room.

Instead I confided, “This is good news Joseph.” Using a tone I’d hoped would soothe his broken heart. “I am pregnant with the child of the Most High God. The very child all of Israel has been praying for. This is answered prayer my beloved.”

Joseph was silent. Rising from his chair, he averted his eyes and didn’t once look at me as he left my father’s house.

Fear tapped on the door of my heart, begging to come in. He will divorce you and have you stoned. You do know that. Your child will never see the light of day, and neither will you for that matter. The voice inside my head boomed loud, as though someone or something stood beside me and breathed poison in my ear.

“You’re right.” I said, answering the invisible intruder. “Joseph can rightfully do all those things. But….I choose to trust my God.”

My determination boarded shut the mouth of the intruder, and he fled from my presence. In his absence, your peace poured from heaven and infiltrated my heart, and I knew you would hold me up and renew my strength.

I bowed my head and offered up this prayer.

My Lord, I do not know what tomorrow may bring, but I trust you. And, I trust you with Joseph. Speak to him that he may know the truth. Allow that truth to pass over his mind and penetrate his heart. And, if it is your will, let him walk this path with me. Amen.

I can do nothing now but wait, my Lord.


“This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit.” Matthew 1:18

May the Lord, who answers prayer, give you the strength, wisdom, and peace to receive His way for working in your life. And, may the Lord protect you “watching over your coming and your going both now and forevermore.” Psalm 121:8 NIV

Friday, February 6, 2009

Love Letters to the King

Welcome to Love Letters to the King. If you are new to my love letters, click here to find out what the mystery is all about.

Click here to read last week's letter.

And now, Love Letters to the King.

My Lord,

My heart had become as coal. Hardened by a fire that was fueled with the misery spawned from my life.

A void of darkness in which I endlessly fell, drowning in a torment of my own making. Used, beaten, cast aside, I learned to shut others out while I protected the wounds that festered within me. The walls surrounding my heart were impenetrable, and I took great care to keep them that way.

And then, I met you.

A message, delivered by a man on horseback, invited me to walk through a door I never knew existed. I entered. And, when I did, I found you waiting for me in the garden.

Your garden. Walking through the wrought iron fence, I shook hands with peace and was wrapped in glory. The trees radiated a green that leapt off the surface of each leaf and fed life to my soul. Their bark was the deepest shade of cocoa, as if the trees had never known the bite of winter. The path, laced with broken bedrock, led me to the lake where I found your willow tree. Used to bowing in worship of you, the branches bent forward and draped to the ground in a canopy of majesty. The sun danced on the surface of the crystal clear water and even though I shaded my eyes, I was unable to see across the length of it. Each breath, drawn deep within my lungs, exhaled the darkness that was left in the wake of my broken past and stored up within me.

No longer impenetrable. No longer clouded in despair. With each visit to the garden, the walls of my heart were dismantled brick by brick. Each visit with you removed pieces of the debris and resurrected that which I had long since buried.

Dead no more.

Now, as I stand below the willow tree, drawing the air into my lungs I realize there is no longer a stinging sensation upon my exhale. The familiar ache that came as my despair was pulled out of me was now a memory. No more pain. Today, I am new. “Thank you.” I whisper, “Thank you for the garden.”

“No, thank you Princess.”

Startled from my solitude, I turn to find you standing a few feet behind me. Staring into your eyes, I’m again swept away by the tide of your passion that flows from somewhere I have yet to travel.

Finding my voice, I ask “My Lord, why say thank you to me?”

I could tell by the lowering of your eyes and the pained smile upon your lips that you were saddened by my response.

“Dear one,” You said, “It is your love for me that awakens this garden to life. The magic does not lie in the trees or in the grass or even in the lake. It lies within you. As your heart grows for me, so does this garden. Therefore, thank you Princess, for believing in me.”

Dipping your head, your hand closed in a fist and landed above your heart as you bowed towards me. As you did, the garden silenced. Neither a bird, nor cricket made a sound. Even the wind slowed as not to wrestle the branches of the trees, all in honor of this moment and of our King.

It was too much to bear.

I ran, throwing myself into you, and forced you to embrace me. “No.” my cry muffled in your chest. “It’s not me. It’s you.”

“Princess, I am always here. As is my garden. But whether or not you see this place is up to you. Many have been invited, but few have ever entered. You, my dear, have chosen wisely. And now, the garden is yours. A gift that I have given to you.”

Your hands lifted my face from your chest before they rested upon my shoulders. Pushing me an arm’s length away, you squared my shoulders and caught the gaze of my eyes. “Now, the question is…What will you do with this gift?”

A smile slid across your lips while a spark flashed from your eyes, and hinted of a much larger mystery, which tickled my mind. With a laugh you turned and headed down the path, away from me.

I watched you, frozen in the flash of your enigmatic prelude. With each step that took you farther down the path, the garden awakened. The birds, again, began to sing and the crickets started their serenade. A faint breeze blew in from the lake and carried on it the words you had spoken from a distance.

“Until tomorrow Princess.”

Yes, my Lord. Until tomorrow. I will be here.


Your enraptured servant.

“Praise the Lord, all you nations; extol him, all you peoples. For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord.” Psalms 117:1-2

May you enter the garden and accept His gift, for His love will not betray but will restore that which has been stolen. You, dead no more, will arise adorned in the love of the King.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


In silence I sit as a tug-of-war ensues within my mind. A battle between life’s responsibilities and the destiny God has called me too.

So much to do….

So many to email, call, or just make contact with…

Tumbling class, baseball practice, church, school and social events…

Grocery shopping, household chores and pets

And, I cannot forget the most important thing of all: breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner as little mouths must be fed…

My destiny lies dormant underneath a canopy of to-do lists. It whimpers under the weight of such a heavy load and yet, I must hope and dream. I must trust God with what He has called me too.

But, does God trust me?

My God has entrusted me with a destiny, just as He has entrusted you. And, He is waiting to see what we will do with it.

Destiny starts as a God given desire, gifting or talent. It’s the dream within our heart. The one that screams this is what you were born to do. When I hear its call, I can either answer or dismiss it.

I answered. And, I called upon God to show me how and what to do with it. Covering the dream with prayer, I waited for the Lord to open the door and show me the next step.

But, in the waiting, I became busy.

I used to say, “I know what God wants me to do, but I have small children and I’m buried in life. It’s hard, but He understands.”

That, however, is no longer good enough. I’ve seen and tasted the things of God. I have heard His call and understand that He is waiting on me.

Well, I’m ready.

I’m ready to stand up and take the challenge. So, today I break the silence and say, “Yes Lord…here am I…send me.”

No matter how hard, no matter how inconvenient, no matter how time consuming, I will pursue the destiny the Lord has called me too.

Today, I return God and His call to the top of my priority list.

Are you ready to answer “yes” to the call? If so, I’d love to hear about it, in hopes of encouraging each other in the destiny of our lives.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Mary's Journal: Overshadowed

Welcome to Mary's Journal. If you are stopping by for the first time you can click here to find out what Mary's Journal is all about.

If you missed last week's MJ, please click here.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy.

Mary's Journal: Overshadowed

May it be to me as you have said.

This was my “yes” to Gabriel. No sooner had I uttered the phrase then he dissipated from the room as a vapor disappears into the air around it.

Gabriel gone, I was alone with the enemy of my mind. It can’t be. He was an illusion. The ill-seated will of a poor peasant girl. Besides, you are a virgin. How can you become pregnant? You can’t.

The voice inside my head was relentless. It dug its poison like sharp fingernails into my skin and I bled doubt from underneath its tightening grip. How could God choose me? It just can’t be.

Flooded with despair, I crawled to my mat and prayed for sleep to overtake me. With eyes held so tight no tear could fall, I lay underneath my thread-bare blanket with muscles tensed. Waiting for precious slumber to release me from my torment, I was instead flooded by a chilling breeze. It started at my feet and moved up toward my head. As it passed over, it felt as if a metal ball covered with a thousand needles rolled over my skin, pricked me and continued on its course until all my hair was standing on end.

I jolted from my mat. The room was dimly lit with the aura of a million subdued points of light dancing around each other as if miniature shooting stars were piercing the darkness just above my head. I lifted my hand, penetrated the cloud with my fingers, and reached towards the lights. Some stars glided around my hand while others seemed to shoot through it. It tickled, and I could not help but laugh at their random choreography.

It occurred to me that fear should grip my soul, but it could not, for a tangible peace filled the room and covered me like a warm blanket. I drank in the scent of roses, myrrh and fire until I was intoxicated.

In my mind, I heard every thought of doubt that harassed me earlier replayed one phrase at a time. After each one the Lord spoke His truth, causing the infection of distress that had plagued me to unleash its grip and flee.

In the wake of my deliverance, I was left full of the Holy Spirit. It was then that I knew His will had been done. My destiny was underway.

For fear will not embrace me my Lord. Doubt shall not have its way. I am a servant of the Most High, born to love and worship Jehovah, my God. And, I will stand on the promises of heaven.

May it be as you have said.

Yes, let it be as the angel has said. And, let the Son of the God come forth.


“The angel answered. ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.’” Luke 1:35

May you be overshadowed by the Most High God, for you have been given promises of a destiny, and it awaits you. In that destiny, He will bestow upon you, and equip you with everything needed to fulfill the work of the Lord. May fear be dispelled, and let the yielding of Holy Spirit operate within you that you may become that which God created, a purposed son or daughter of the King.

What is Mary's Journal

Welcome to Mary’s Journal

Mary’s Journal is a series of parable devotions written in first person narrative. My intent is for the reader to feel as though they have stumbled upon a journal written by Mary, mother of Jesus.

As you read my fictionalized version of Mary’s feelings, thoughts and lessons learned, I pray it will bring you closer to the life of Jesus and therefore closer in your walk with Jesus.