In Pursuit of Him

Sharing over at the High Calling Community.

He is the One great Love of my life. The One Who has absolutely never failed me. He pursues me endlessly and relentlessly. The truth is: I can never pursue Him enough. I want to know Him more, but I get busy. Many times with His business. And I forget that one of His greatest pleasures, as is true of any parent, is to merely sit and “be” with Him.

You see, I prove my pursuit of anything with the amount of time I am willing to give to it. My time with Him doesn’t always look the same. Sometimes, I read His love letters to me. And I weep for the love He has lavished on this broken life. Other times, in between back-to-back appointments at work I whisper His Name, light a candle and breathe deeply a moment. He rushes to my side. Peace comes. Even in the midst of a storm.

I try to spend time outdoors and walk daily. Occassionally I will lament that I am not a runner like many of my friends. In fact, I do not even walk fast enough to raise my pulse. I’ve tried, but I always seem to see Him and, “Be still my heart!” time slows and stands still and I know that He is God. It might be in a piece of lace poking through pavement that stops me in my tracks, or a field of gold or an emerald hummingbird drunk on nector. He offers presents in His Presence. I blush for His goodness to me.

I pursue Him in quiet. Not the kind of quiet my ears can hear, but the kind my heart enjoys. This quiet can come in an echoing gym full of loud children, or in the back of a screaming ambulance. I only need to close my eyes and let Him quiet me. And He stills my jittering insides. Time and space melt away. The sounds of this life grow distant. He is here and now and all that matters, and Heaven’s perspective comes to my momentary reality. Suddenly, I can do anything for He strengthens me.


I pursue Him in community. I can not become so enraptured in His love that I isolate myself from this world. Though I am not of this world, I am in it. And I am in it, in this time and place for a reason. For such a time as this. I am His Body. Not exclusively, but collectively. I am His Bride in part, not in whole. I must not forget what He loves and pursues. For God so loved the world…

That might mean changing diapers and wiping snotty noses. It might mean doing more than putting a few coins in a homeless man’s cup, but taking him to McDonald’s and listening to his story. It might mean, and this is the hard place, revealing truth and setting boundaries and hoping that the receiver will allow truth to bring freedom. My love for Him drives me to love what He loves.

So there you have it. My heart runs hard after Him and not hard enough. Time, quiet and community. For me, in this holy trinity He is found. When I pursue even a little, He pursues me greatly. My mustard seed becomes a great shade tree; protecting, feeding, bringing life to my hungry soul.

“I lift my hands to you in prayer. I thirst for you as parched land thirsts for rain.” Ps. 143:6

…and I chronicle His grace


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When Numbers Become Stories



There is a dilapidated stove on the back porch along with some broken furniture and a bag of tattered clothing. A volunteer and I knock on the paint peeled door, unsure of what to expect. Lock jiggling, we see a brown eye through the crack. “We are here from Love INC,” I hear myself say. The door opens quickly to the rest of the face and a smile erupts as our hostess graciously invites us in.

I try not to draw my breath in surprise. An immaculate flat with gleaming golden oak floors beams in front of us. Our friend introduces herself and her children. They also smile big and thank us for coming. They are sitting on the floor eating homemade breakfast biscuits balanced on a napkin. There is no furniture in this home, no plates for the food. Just a single plastic stacking chair in the kitchen which they reserve for mama. Teenage girls grin cross legged on linoleum.

My volunteer and I are here on a home visit. Recently our Love INC affiliate began a Beds and Blessings ministry providing bunk beds, mattresses and bedding for families in need. This is our first client and I like to observe the process at the start so that I can help write the procedures for these volunteer opportunities. Typically these visits are to verify need and check the space to ensure that there is room for our gift. The need was apparent and the empty rooms ensured plenty of space.

The solitary chair is surrounded by mounds of neatly folded bedding used to make pallets for this mom and her six children. They’ve been living like this for the past two months. After recently fleeing domestic abuse, this brave family spent time in a shelter and was now venturing out on their own. They were clearly happy to be together.

Much time is spent at our board meetings discussing people just like this as a number. “Forty three families were served by Love INC this month,” we might say. Or, “50 volunteers gave 412 hours this quarter,” I might boast. But this family? They are not just a number that nameless volunteers visit to fulfill community service hours. No, they are royalty. The children are princes and princesses who treat their brave warrior mama like the queen that she is. They have made a home out of the shambles of their lives. Grateful for napkins and a plastic chair.

What a pleasure it will be to deliver not only two bunk beds, but two single beds, a couch, a dining room table and chairs as well as several small pieces of furniture to this family. At the close of our visit we asked to pray for them. Prayers are welcome and the family gathered in a circle clad with hands of various shades of brown. When my companion and I finish our petitions, our hostess prays for us. She thanks God for sending generous Christians to help and asks Him to bless our homes and families. A familiar lump in my throat and stinging in my eyes threatens to reveal swelling emotions. Because sometimes experiencing the story of a life makes cold hard numbers a beautiful thing.

linking with the amazing people at The High Calling.

…and I chronicle His grace


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Recipe to a Sure Thing Election – A Community Poem Prompt

Welcome to our Thanksgiving play place! We are taking on a challenge as a community to write poetry together. Each day I will provide a picture and a line of poetry. Your job is to leave a line of your own in the comment section. I will provide a new prompt and picture and a poem created by all of us the following day! Will you take time for a little wordplay? Today’s prompt is a little longer than usual…Have fun!

'Election Day Headlines' photo (c) 2006, Michael Styne - license:

5 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. 8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.

10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; 11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

II Peter 1:5-11

Sure Thing Election: Poetry Prompt

faith +
virtue +
knowledge +
self-control +
perseverance +
godliness +
brotherly kindness +
love =

full of new life







well-loved by God…

Now for our latest creation…

'House of the lord' photo (c) 2005, glasgow's finest - license:

I Am God’s House

by the Journey Towards Epiphany Community

I am stone, durable
I am steel, soaring
I am wood, warm,
I am God’s house,
Built by His hands.

I am a God container
Full of self
or full of Him.

“If thou couldst empty all thyself of self,
Like to a shell dishabited,”

Then I would be a container
full of Him
and you would see Him
best through cracks,
and flaws,
because He is light
and His light would show through,
and when we are weak we are strong.

I am God’s house
holy Spirit temple;
an earth suit of flesh
that fails too often
yet desires holiness.
Temple made with love mortar,
redeemed bricks,
cracked pots.
Yet I am holy as He is holy
and I am loved.

Father, help me keep this container clean,
this place where your glory dwells.

Let this earthen vessel
overflow with Your oil and wine
spilling out,
splashing empty containers
closest to me.

Remind me always

that I carry You with me

Everywhere I go.

I am Your house,

make me a habitable dwelling.

Sharing with my sisters at Soli Deo Gloria:

I Am God’s House – A Thanksgiving Community Poem

Before you read today’s poem, can I encourage you to come and visit me at a friend’s house? I am excited to announce that I have recorded me very first vlog! Yes, you can actually see me and hear my voice..okay now I’m nervous…I’ll be there later today at Amy L. Sullivan’s place doing the impossible…explaining my favorite non-profit organization in 60 seconds…

Welcome to our Thanksgiving play place! We are taking on a challenge as a community to write poetry together. Each day I will provide a picture and a line of poetry. Your job is to leave a line of your own in the comment section. I will provide a new prompt and picture and a poem created by all of us the following day! Will you take time for a little wordplay?

'House of the lord' photo (c) 2005, glasgow's finest - license:

We are
God containers
Full of self
or full of Him













Death By Beauty

by Journey Toward Epiphany Community

Golden jewels in cornflower blue sky;
a parasol of leaves,
filtering light overhead
and I wonder, will I sparkle with one last burst of beauty before I die?

Or will I fade slowly,
losing lustre one molecule
after another,
finally fading to nothing;
and all that remains
is cornflower blue sky.

Morning sky bluer than grandson’s eyes
Waning moon still high in west
His Word assures Springtime and harvest
As He sows, so He reaps.
We are born, live, and die.
Yet we are not annual;
We shall live forever,
Not just for a single season,
When we live in His love.
the grass withers
but His promises shine bright,
they never wanes.

He rides high on wings of wind
and tiptoes across the clouds
how could I not love Him so?

Sharing moments of gratitude with Ann:

296. I made it through a difficult week.
297. I have had the pleasure of editing community poetry.
298. My son treated me to a salted caramel mocha…yum…
299. My fabulous volunteers at Love INC.
300. I got to celebrate an upcoming marriage at a wedding shower.
301. Learning to trust…
302. Finished my first vlog and was featured over at Amy’s!!

Meeting with Michelle:

Learning from Laura:

Death By Beauty – A Thanksgiving Community Poem

Welcome to our Thanksgiving play place! We are taking on a challenge as a community to write poetry together. Each day I will provide a picture and a line of poetry. Your job is to leave a line of your own in the comment section. I will provide a new prompt and picture and a poem created by all of us the following day! Will you take time for a little wordplay?  (P.S. tomorrow I will be over at Amy’s place talking about my favorite charity…can you guess which one it will be?)

Golden jewels in cornflower blue sky;

a parasol of leaves,

filtering light overhead

and I wonder, will I sparkle with one last burst of beauty before I die?



Rest For the Weary

by Journey Towards Epiphany Community

'autumn leaf' photo (c) 2004, tracy ducasse - license:

I let go of summer’s bounty to join the fallen,

the broken fragments blown together

by the exhale of cares,

fettered by fools for the feat of forgiveness.

Leather worn leaf settles to rest for winter’s sleep

…and so do I.

Old man winter makes fragile remnant shiver

falling, twirling, spiraling down to rest among

piles of others.

Sifting with a sigh into the earth,
I leave behind the exuberance
of seasons past,
choosing the soothing quiet
of snowdrifts.

Leathered hopes sigh in the letting go

rest under the cover of grace

wait for the spring of new life.

The days shorten,

the leaves fall,
Life closes in as the cold air comes.

But this is not an end,

just a pause.

All waits, beneath snow of purest white

For that one December day,

When life and His love are reaffirmed.

Then all gather strength,

As the days grow long and warm,

And life bursts forth, everywhere,

Stronger for the rest, and for

His love.

Even though I often long for the days to match my mood or schedule,

to know that in charge I am not;

this is far more of a blessing than any kind of weather,

no matter what this world holds

I am held by the Creator.

Leaves, like hands wave

to their Maker

and in a final hurrah

they shine brilliant

against October sky.

November comes

and life is over

floating down from pinnacle of praise.

There is beauty in life


I have arrived.

Like weathered leaf

At last I achieved

the deep creases of life experienced.

Some joy, some angry,

but most are deep,

full lines of joy and laughter.

Rest For The Weary – A Community Thanksgiving Poem Project

Welcome to our Thanksgiving play place! We are taking on a challenge as a community to write poetry together. Each day I will provide a picture and a line of poetry. Your job is to leave a line of your own in the comment section. I will provide a new prompt and picture and a poem created by all of us the following day! Will you take time for a little wordplay?

'autumn leaf' photo (c) 2004, tracy ducasse - license:

Leather worn leaf settles to rest for winter’s sleep…and so do I.

I am so proud of our first work together!! Your word pictures were beautiful…thank you for sharing your heart!

Margus Saluste

Frost Dawn

by the Journey Towards Epiphany Community

Moon sliver slices sky silver
and star dust settles
on shoulders and hair
reminding me that I am dust.
And slithering down, down,
deep into Spirit breath
that holds it all together
Inhaling scent of pumpkin spice,
autumn leaves,
the candles crackle
casting characters on the wall…
loving all things autumn.

The dappled drops of light
play silently on my face,
casting me as the lonely spirit
that I am,
a character also on the wall.
Cup of warmth in hand I step outside
where icy, white horse in pasture
glistens in moonlight glow.
She snorts and prances
bold and fearless
dancing praise to her Creator.

Sun shoots neon pink
painting treetop tips
the new day has begun
and I am here to witness.
But trunks and ground
stay colorless
unstained by morning rays.
These shades of brown and gray
seat so deeply into heart
– the branches empty and wanting –
o be still my heart and listen
for His whisper of
hope and new life.

Colored leaves
dancing through the crisp air
sweep me off my feet
into the glory of God,
spirit soaring,
and then love taking the final bow.
The buoyancy of the breeze
beckons boldly
while my breath
ingests it’s intoxicating essence…
Then I fly into my imagination
and I’m happily in heaven.

Though light pierces through
eastern sky,
sobbing clouds mist tears overhead.
The cold that aches my fingers
reminds me
I don’t have to sleep on a street;
The drizzle stinging my face,
reminds me
my home is safe and dry;
The dreary grey sky,
now blazing with fire color
reminds me
that my family is safe and happy;
And all of this?
reminds me
Of His love for all less fortunate than I.
We are poor,
and we are rich
– it is the search
that determines which.
Day drives on
His presence near
And because of traffic snarls,
I get gift of sunrise,
and sunset;
all in one day.
Search over
I am rich.

Frost Dawn – A Community Thanksgiving Poem

Welcome!!! Here is the poetry prompt for our first day creating our community Thanksgiving Poem!! I’m excited to see what we come up with!! Leave a line of poetry in the comment section and I’ll put it all together for you tomorrow morning along with another prompt!!

Margus Saluste

Moon sliver slices sky silver and star dust settles on shoulders and hair


Having fun at Emily’s!


Thanksgiving Community Poetry Project

'Thanksgiving Postcards 3' photo (c) 2010, Minnesota Historical Society - license:

Will you join me in giving thanks?
Each day this November I will construct one line of thanks.
I will try to remember my English class teaching notes about poetry being a jumble of picture words pushed through a trash compactor…highly concentrated and infused with emotion.
I would love for you to include a line of thanks in the comment section.
At the end of the day, I will rearrange our lines into a group poetry.

Will you sit at the Thanksgiving table of grace with me?
Let’s create something beautiful together
A community of gratitude,
A working of His Spirit,
A re-telling of the many graces which make us

Connecting More Dots

I am sitting somewhere I never thought I’d be, not in a million years.  I’m sitting in a hotel room, alone, on a business trip.  This is a pinnacle of sorts; a place to look back and wonder at the hand of God and His leading. 


I’m kind of lonely, very excited, more than a little frightened, and completely overwhelmed by His grace.  Oh the wonder of it all!  The wonder of the journey He’s prepared for me.  The journey of a simple girl.  A girl who was told she could do anything in life, and who chose to be wife, mother, home educator and church volunteer.  And when all of those roles seemed to evaporate into thin air, she found herself lost and frustrated, wondering what was next.  

Now that simple girl, through a miraculous chain of events, finds herself an Executive Director of Love INC.  So humbled am I that the board of directors chose me, and even still more humbled when I consider that He chose me. 

At first I wondered how this fit into my plans.  Remember my plans?  The ones whereby I became a successful author?  Those plans were going well.  I received two scholarships to writing conferences and interest in two of my books.  But God, He had different plans.  God had big plans for a little me. 

At one of those conferences T. Suzanne Eller helped me discover why I love to write, my true motivation.  I love to influence others toward Christ.  Writing for writing sake doesn’t motivate me, but writing for His sake does. 

And now?  Now I get to influence hurting people every day that I go to work.  I have the privilege of coaching and encouraging volunteers from 5 different churches.  I had no idea when I forced myself to be organized with the kid’s school records that I was learning how important documentation can be.  Little did I know when I oversaw 4 small groups with over 45 people total that I was learning valuable leadership skills.  I was completely oblivious when I planned events at nursing homes that I would use those same skills to plan events for church leaders and pastors.  When I went business to business selling advertisements for my home school co-op playbill, I had no clue that I was training to raise thousands of dollars for a non-profit organization. All of that social networking that I was learning while promoting this site?  My has that proved valuable for promoting our brand new Love INC affiliate. Here’s my favorite…I started that other blog, remember it?  What In The World R U Doing 4 Christ’s Sake?  It featured incredible people who were making a difference in their communities. Now I am one of those people! Who knew? All along I had no idea what I was being trained for.

But you know what?  He did.  He knew.  And He knows His plans for you.  They are totally blow-your-mind amazing and so much beyond what you could think or imagine.  He has plans for you to make a difference in this world.  More than likely, you are already training for your future.

So, next time you have a trial, don’t wish it away.  Thank God that He trains your hands for upcoming battles!  You never know where His leading might take you!

Painting Grace Graffiti or How I Almost Quit Blogging

A Little Piece of 80s
Photo by Twig_Is_The_Future

“Paint grace-graffiti on the fences;
take in your frightened children who
Are running from the neighborhood bullies
straight to you.” Psalm 17 (The Message)

Recently, I questioned my place here in the Blogosphere. This test, is seems, is common to bloggers who remain. It is our Wilderness of sorts. Jesus went into the desert for 40 days and 40 nights to be tempted of the Devil. His temptations were, at the core, focused on keeping Him from doing what He was called to do.

And so it is the same with us. Our enemies, whether real, or in our own mind, are sent to keep us from doing what we were meant to do…and part of this test must be done alone. But I’m not writing about that part today. I’m writing about the part when strong hands pick me up when I am weak. I’m writing about community.

You see, as I went through my blogging valley, I received encouragement from the unexpected. I expected encouragement from my readers,…and I did get some. But the encouragement that blew my mind was from my blogging mentors. This wouldn’t be so surprising had they known that I considered them my mentors. However, I had admired them from afar, both in proximity and in anonymity. Sure, I left glowing comments on their blogs, but I never asked them for advice or let them know that I was watching their every move in order to copy their behavior in hopes that maybe, just maybe, I’d experience some of their success.

Within moments of posting my blogging woes, I received this comment from Jen:
I saw this on FB and came by to read and was I so surprised to see my name here. And then, my heart broke a little when I read the next few lines. And I know that you know, but I’m just confirming that the world would be a little less caring, a little less bright, and a whole lot less beautiful without YOUR words in it. You are a true original and I am so glad I know you.

This was so humbling and healing. Jen is possibly the kindest blogger I know. She was the first to invite me to join her blogging community, teaching me how to linkup with her weekly community Soli Deo Gloria. (Yes, I was that green at the moment.)

Then there was the Twitter mission started by Renee at Lessons from Twits and Teachers…she and the iconic Ironic Mom Leanne Shirtliffe decided that they were going to beat up the voice in my head that was telling me to quit.

A few days later, I read this Scripture in Psalm 17 from the Message Bible,

“Paint grace-graffiti on the fences;
take in your frightened children who
Are running from the neighborhood bullies
straight to you.”

It was then that I realized that this is just what my friends and mentors had done. They had painted grace-graffiti on my fences, telling my bullies to “KEEP OUT!”

Epiphany! What if I am ever ready to build a fence around those who need protection, even if it’s from themselves? And what if I, with pen or keyboard in hand, determine to ward off those bullies with grace-graffiti? What better place to write grace-graffiti than a real-life virtual wall on Facebook, or as a Tweet? Can I challenge you as well? Find someone who is needing a grace word, and paint some grace-graffiti on their fence. It might be just what they need to continue on!

Jen and Michelle thank you for your kind and encouraging words….and Renee and Leanne? Wow! You really went the extra mile. Keep painting that graffiti! Come to think of it, after Jesus finished with his temptation, two angels were sent to Him in order to minister to His needs…that’s who the two of you were, my angels. Thank you.

What grace-graffiti has been written on your fence lately?

Giving Thanks today with Ann:
and with Laura: and with Michelle:

56. for a husband who shampoos my carpets.
57. for the pattern the stark dormant trees make on the powder blue sky
58. for sunny skies despite cloudy news.
59. for the smell of banana bread in the house even if it’s not for me.
60. that I have enough groceries in the house that I can put off shopping. one. more. day.

and a brand new community at: GettingDownWithJesus