Showing posts from May, 2024

Becoming Less about Self in a World of Self-promotion and Selfies

I'm working on a message I'm giving a district church this coming Sunday and I'm looking at the passage found in John 17 where Jesus prays for Himself, his disciples and those to follow. The primary thing He prays for is His glory to be revealed in His disciples. The reason for this is that He is leaving them and they will carry forward his glory (in the Greek the word, glory, means reputation which results in honor and praise). That reputation will either carry on or stop with how the disciples move forward. We live in a world of self-promotion, ambition and selfies and it's so easy to slide down into promoting ourselves and our own reputations instead of shining the glory of Jesus to those we meet.  I find it so easy to do that myself and this year has been one of constant evaluating and re-evaluating the way I live my life. I want to shine Jesus to all I meet. I want to get out of the way so His reputation shines bright.  That means saying "no" to myself an

Some Meandering Thoughts on a Monday

I have a fairly quiet week coming up. Normally, my days are packed full of appointments and meetings and deadlines. So I'm really thankful that other than working on a message I'm giving at another church next Sunday, as well as cleaning our own church, I don't have anything pressing on my plate. That will give me some time to work on getting some projects done around the house. I need to do some deep cleaning. I want to get my windows cleaned. I still need to put some plants on my back patio. And I want to do a couple of crafty wedding things for Emily's upcoming bridal shower and wedding. My storage area is getting full of wedding items and it's getting exciting. I find I do better if I make a list and work way in advance. You never know what will come up to derail the plan so if I work ahead then it relieves stress for me. And while this week is quiet, June's calendar is a bit of a head spinner which includes 4 speaking engagements, meetings, a conference, an

Happy Tears

As I looked in the store's dressing room mirror the other day, tears sprang up. I was there because the weather has turned very warm and nothing I own fits me anymore. Every single piece of summer clothing I own is too big and hanging off of me. Tears sprang up because I fit into a size that I haven't worn since I was a college student. And I didn't just squeeze into the size, it fit perfectly. My tears were happy ones. I know it may be silly to some, but I have been so unhealthy for so long that it just seemed that was the way I was going to be forever. The funny thing was that I didn't think I looked as heavy as I was, but when I see pictures of myself now from a few years ago I cannot believe how swollen my face looks. I really used to hate dressing room mirrors and would often leave the store feeling depressed because much of what I liked wouldn't fit and my clothing sizes kept climbing. When depressed, I would immediately begin to eat all the things that kept m

Disconnect for a Moment

  I find that taking some time to disconnect from my busy life and connecting to God is a must for me. I primarily do that by getting out in nature and walking. For you, it may be through different modes. I have a beautiful place nearby where I can go. However, for years we lived in an area where I couldn't go walking. When the kids were little we lived in an inner city, surrounded by houses. But I found ways to carve out bits of peace. In both of those places, I only had my backyard or my porch. Try finding an alone spot, close your eyes and just listen. It may take some time to focus, but give it the time needed. You may start to notice little sounds and scents that you never noticed before. Yesterday, I could hear different types of birds. I could smell the blossoms and the scent of wild thyme. I felt the cool breeze on my face. As I slowed down my racing thoughts I began to also hear from the Lord. Tuning out the busyness allowed Him to speak. I think we all need to find that w

The Noiseless Splash of Sunrise

There is a poem I love by Walt Whitman entitled, Morning, that has a line that talks about the noiseless splash of sunrise. I love this time of the day when everyone else is sleeping and the it's just me and the morning light. The sun is up earlier now and the past couple of days I have found I'm waking up extremely early. It has been dark when I rise, but after spending time with the Lord in prayer and heading back upstairs to grab a second cup of coffee, this sight greeted me.  That splash of sunrise gives me a sense of anticipation to see what this day holds. Each day is different here and I love the varied activities of each day. Some days are harder than others and some are more mundane than the one before, but each is unique. I am thankful for that.  Yesterday was busy and full. Today will be the same, but with different activities. Yet each day is one of the knowledge that I am walking in the path that God has laid out for me. And that brings me peace. He has measured ou

A Multitude of Blessings on a Mundane Monday

  Mondays can often feel a bit mundane as some start back to work after the weekend. I've always loved Mondays which is probably weird. It feels like a great opportunity to reset and start fresh. I love starting the week with a blank state and the possibilities are endless and I never know what adventures are awaiting me around the next corner!  I'm thankful for many things in my life this past week and want to take a few moments to list them here. I never want to forget how many ways I'm blessed instead of always looking at what is going wrong. And even in the hard and those helpless times when I have no control over what's happening, I want to remain thankful. This weekly exercise helps and I hope it encourages you to also look around and see the good in your own life. This week I'm thankful for the following: 💓 A husband who will get out and hike with me.  💓 Peace that comes through prayer and trusting that the Lord is bigger than any problem I face. 💓 An enjo

A Balancing Act

  I opened my eyes this morning and laid sight on the flowers in the first two pictures above. My son, Stephen, gave me those for Mother's Day and they brought a smile to my face. Not a bad way to start the day. This week has been an eclectic kind of week. As I've gotten older I've learned to do a better job of being well-balanced in my daily activities. In the past I tended to hyper-focus on one area and would have a difficult time stopping to move on to something else. So I would spend hours and hours focusing on one particular activity instead of choosing to do it in increments each day. What I started doing, and it is working well, is I break my day up into segments. I'll generally use the morning for church or district work. I often have morning meetings. Then after lunch is when I work on my personal business, do some housework, or do some things for pleasure.  This works for me and I find that I'm able to get quite a bit done this way. It certainly makes for


It was a good weekend and one which included some of my favorite things - walking, crafting and family. I didn't remember to take pictures, but on Saturday night some of us took my mother-in-law out for a Mother's Day celebration as well. I had a bit of an epiphany yesterday about Mother's Day. I know so many struggle with this day either because they have lost a mom, their relationship with their mother is complicated, or they are struggling in their own mothering and relationships with children.  It's easy to set expectations for how the day should go and when it doesn't go according to your internal expectations, it's disheartening. My family does do a good job of showing me they love me, but I can fall in the trap of expecting this picture-perfect day or comparing my life to another person's life. Social media doesn't help because, of course, everyone is showing their best and brightest moments; their snapshot moments. I was starting to descend into