Choosing Smile Lines As Trophies In A Plastic Surgery World

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Keeping with the theme of a Wrinkle In Time…I am getting older. Being blessed with Scandanavian complexion, I don’t have too many lines or wrinkles, but I am hoping that when I do, I will wear them proudly. I hope most of them turn upward as I sign that I’ve found more good in my life than bad. I am hoping that they tell the story of a woman who had her share (and maybe more than her share) of hard times, but never stopped being inspired by the sunrise, a bird’s song, a blade of grass, a child’s laugh or the sunset.

The post that got me thinking about this is written by my first blogging friend, Adela. Her blog is always so beautifully written and almost always makes me laugh. Please enjoy, Love and Happiness Scars as a part of A Life-Size Catholic Blog’s Pay It Forward Project.

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Necessary Enoughness

kd sullivan:

He is always more than enough…

Originally posted on :

It’s afternoon and cool air still rumples the pages of a notebook, and takes a spin with hanging fern baskets. The wind chimes tinkle, birds chirp, lawn mowers hum and a breeze kisses my forehead as I listen to an airplane scrape across the sky.

I am amazed at how much more I enjoy these moments now that there are fewer of them. Not long ago, I was home all day and failed to capture the beauty of my own front porch. Now that I am working outside the home it seems that my quiet at-home moments are condensed like frozen orange juice before water is added. Strong and full of flavor.

And then a thought comes to me, it is difficult to fully enjoy what you have more than enough of.

Even in the world’s financial markets, the surplus of an item reduces its value.

How can I keep…

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Upon Having a Meltdown in the Midst of a Polar Vortex

kd sullivan:

Because it is a cold day again, and I am again at the end of me.

Originally posted on :

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Snow mounds pile waist high and the hairs freeze in my nose.  My cheeks tight with razor winds, and still my insides puddle, melted down and useless.

I’ve come to a often visited place – the end of me.  And though I am a frequent visitor, I foolishly forget this rugged terrain.

Responsibilities pile mile high and I freeze in my tracks…melted down and useless.  Weather beaten sign states, “Welcome to The End of Yourself.”  Cried out, tired and weary worn I shuffle past the sign and like the famous prodigal wondering why I ever left, I lay down to rest in leftover angel’s wings made in powdery snow.

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Because the end of me is the beginning of Him – when I let Him Be.  

I’ve been gently reminded that the responsibilities never came because of my greatness, but because of His. So they are His, they belong to…

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How Do I Keep My Family Safe?

FamilyYou might hear about a drive-by shooting, or a sexual predator, or a crashed car full of teens not far from where you live. It’s hard not to worry about the safety of your family. It seems like no one is safe anywhere. There is no socio-economic group free from the random acts of violence in today’s world. And there have always been dangerous times–from war, famine, plagues, or grizzly bears. Each generation experiences present danger.

So how do we create a sense of security for our children? Consider King David, who was constantly in danger. It seemed that once he rid himself of one enemy, he was pursued by a different one. Yet he consistently praised God for deliverance and security. How did he do it?

Read the rest of this article at Family Fire

Resting In Him – #OneWord365 Post

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Resting isn’t always about taking a nap, or taking it easy. It is also about where I choose to land, or settle.

Google defines rest as:
2. be placed or supported so as to stay in a specified position.
“her elbow was resting on the arm of the sofa”
synonyms: lie, be laid, repose, be placed, be positioned, be supported by
“his hands rested on the rail”

I am like a weary worn bird returning to her nest during a wind storm. I place myself in His more than capable hands. He supports me in this journey which is sometimes difficult and painful. Yet when I take the time to remember that I am in His Presence, it is a joyful journey regardless of the terrain. I choose to nestle into His arms. He holds me up when I would otherwise fall down.

January till now has tested my rest promise…You know the one found in Isaiah about peaceful dwelling places, secure homes and undisturbed places of rest?

There was an act of vandalism on my block…a bird in my house and now one of my gutters hangs by a thread resting on the electrical wire bringing power into my house.

Coming home this month has felt more like something to be avoided or dreaded. Perhaps an experience even coupled with a little fear. Then I would remind myself of His promise. Peaceful dwelling places, secure homes and undisturbed places of rest. And now there’s February’s meditation:

Exodus 33:14 says, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

His Presence is here amidst flapping wings and gutters, potential power outages and vandalism. He is where I land, where I take refuge. Not my couch.

And so here I am where He is. And He is where I am.

I rest not because my circumstances are ideal. I rest because He is with me.

Rest Versus Escape

imageRest is so different from escape. I can rest right where I am without having a palm tree or beach. When my heart swirls around like so many towels in the dryer, I can stand still and hear a tiny voice. I don’t need to watch a movie, read a book or imagine away my fears. Sure the temptation is always there like that box of Christmas chocolates beckoning from the pantry, but just like a broken fast or diet the gratification only lasts for the moment and then I feel worse than before.

No, rest is found in admitting, “I am not enough. There is not enough of me to go around.” And then waiting…waiting for that voice so small that it is only heard in stillness. It reminds me that He is more than enough, and when I am found weak, He is found strong; when I am found foolish, He is found wise; when I am found overwhelmed, He is found sufficient.

This is my peaceful place, my safe home, and I trust Him to lead me to green pastures…and guess what? He does.

My comfort food is His Word and it satisfies. He is the high tower to which I escape and find rest…and now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep…He is able to keep me, and in that promise, I rest.

Finding Hope – {A Family Fire Post}

hope

Finding hope in a hopeless world–it is one of the greatest promises we have received in Christ. And yet, many of us struggle to keep hope as our foundation. According to Hebrews 6:19-20 (TLB)” this certain hope of being saved is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls, connecting us with God himself behind the sacred curtains of heaven, where Christ has gone ahead to plead for us from his position as our High Priest…”

How can our families experience and express hope as the anchor of our souls? Why use the picture of an anchor? An anchor connects a vessel to the seabed to prevent drifting due to wind or current.

Are you looking for more hope? Visit the Family Fire website to read more.

Restful Re-Creation…My #OneWord365 {Rest}

My ship has been on troubled water and I have been trying to keep my eyes shut tight enough, fingers in my ears deep enough to drown out the sights and sounds of a dangerous voyage…and all the while He is there offering true rest. Not the rest that comes from escaping into an alternate reality in paperback. Not the rest that comes from a black flat screen flickering blue until I fall asleep on the couch. But the kind that comes from creation out of chaos.

That’s what He does you know…creates in chaos. He hung the stars, organized, each in their place and created order from chaos. He offers to do this in me and for me, yet it seems easier to hide. Because His rest does not allow me to ignore the storm, but gives the courage to face it.

Certainly, I am busier than ever and need to allow myself space to rest. But I’ve gone about it the wrong way. I’ve thought it was all about recreation when it was really about re-creation. I need to re-create. When I am not re-creating, but merely recreating, I am not truly resting. I am simply allowing someone or something to try to cover my concerns with noise louder than the storm. The kind of re-creation I need boldly faces the storm and says, “Peace be still.” And time slows till all is calm, all is bright. Now there is space for Him to develop the Divine in the belly of the ship.

He is there in that space, resting while all hell breaks loose on the outside…unconcerned about the storm because He knows that He can re-create with His words. I am like those disciples, still too timid to speak to the storm. But at least I know enough to run to the One who can calm the storm. And He knows my weakness and does for me what I can not seem to do for myself. Yet He’s given me the hope that I can some day. It’s something to aspire to. But it won’t be done by mindlessly staring at another person’s reality for hours on end.

I am made in His image. Designed to create. And when my life is storming He is waiting for me to use this gift to re-create the atmosphere with my words…His Words. It is then that I can rest in His ability to calm the storm, to accomplish what He set forth in those words to create…calm from chaos, peace in broken pieces, beauty from ashes.

Margus Saluste

Margus Saluste

This year, I am determined to watch over my recreation time. To be purposeful in it. What is this down time creating in me? Is it presenting a world view different from the Great Creative? Is it creating rest and peace? Or is it adding to the turmoil in and around me?

My friend Sandra Heska King has chosen home as her #oneword365. I have chosen rest. But our meditation scripture is the same.
Isaiah 32:18 My people will live in peaceful dwelling places,
in secure homes,
in undisturbed places of rest.

No matter where I find myself I can be in an undisturbed place of rest. I can let His words re-create my environment to a place of peace. To rest – cease work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength. He is my dwelling place…and so I rest. In His Presence is fullness of joy…and so I rest.

Navigating Grief With Your Family

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Grief is a universal experience. We all experience loss, but everyone expresses that grief in their own way. When families grieve together it requires grace and compassion.

At first I was busy taking care of the things that had to be done, trying to shield my mom from as many decisions as I could. And as long as I was busy, I was ok. It wasn’t until about a month later that I realized that the sun didn’t shine as brightly as it had before my father passed away. Sometimes panic or fear would rise up in me. The rest of the family had a good cry, but every time I could feel grief swell up in me I carefully pushed it aside. I was sure I would break in two if I let the tears come.

Dear friends, would you join me for the rest of this story over at Family Fire? I pray that all is well with you and your family, and that if you are reading this because you are grieving that God would heal you where you hurt.

Sharing a playdate today with dear Laura:

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Laura Boggess

Put On Love: Life’s Little Black Dress

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Sometimes Scripture passages can be downright daunting, but then we discover how much wisdom they hold. The text appears overwhelming when you first look at it, but then you try it on for size and discover how fitting God’s design is for your life. Colossians 3:12-17 is one of these passages:

“So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it. Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way” (Colossians 3:12-17 MSG).

Sometimes I grow tired of my wardrobe; other times I don’t seem to quite fit into what’s there. There is too much of me to fit into that pair of pants! My grudge holding, fault finding, and angry attitude are like muffin tops over the waistband, revealing how I’ve concentrated on filling myself with the wrong things. I feel like someone has snuck into my house overnight and replaced my spiritual clothing with that of someone much younger and thinner, someone much more holy than myself…

Friends will you join me for the rest over at Family Fire?

Playing in the rain today with

Laura Boggess

…and I chronicle His grace

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