Coffee with Friends: Mary

A Little Background

Something I have struggled with for a while is why as Christians we feel the need to put our own guidelines on what is Best. We think we know what is best for us. There are countless books written on the subject and we give “steps” or questions to ask ourselves in determining the Best.

Now I am not bashing these books. I have enjoyed these books and benefited from these books but I think we as Christians get confused. I get concerned when we start evaluating what God calls us to, by what we think is best for us. It is a wrestling match for me, because I get what is going on. We say we want to please God and that we want to do what He wants us to. But, then when He brings something to us that doesn’t fit those 5 things or 10 questions, we toss the baby out with the bathwater because it doesn’t fit our ideals.

Just before Christmas this last year I read something that caught my attention… it was about Mary, you know Jesus’ mom. Now you might say “Mary, Christmas was almost two months ago, why on earth has it taken you so long to write this?” The answer is simple. When something is triggered in my brain I need to study it out. I wanted to look at my friends in the Bible and see what the pattern was. And I did. I wanted to see if I could come up with someone for the antithesis of my idea… and I couldn’t.

Meet My Friend Mary

We don’t have a whole lot of background about Mary. We know that she was a Jewish girl in the line of David, which means in her lineage they are amazing women like Rehab (a Prostitute) and Ruth ( a Moabite woman). We are going to talk more about these two later in the story as well. AND let’s add in Jesus since he is a major part of this as well… Mary was probably between the ages of 14-17. Girls married young in that culture. We know that Mary was betrothed to Joseph, a Carpenter. She was a virgin and greatly favored. To be betrothed is more than an engagement. They were basically married but without the wedding.

One night Mary was visited by the angel Gabriel and he had some big news for her. She was going to give Birth to a son and He was to be the son of God (paraphrase). She had one question “how will this be?” No virgin has ever given birth to a child before. It was a valid question. He explains how it will happen and her response was this, “I am the Lord’s servant, may your word to me be fulfilled.” And then the Angel left (Luke 1: 26-38 NIV).

That’s it. She did’n’t take into consideration the financial strain. Or how about Joseph’s reaction. How about the reaction of the people around her. After all people got stoned for being pregnant without being married in her culture. What about her family. She simply trusted God, She had faith.

What is Faith?

Hebrews 11:1 NIV tells us EXACTLY what Faith is.

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”

Mary trusted the angel and what he said. He promised that Jesus will… (Luke 1:32-33)

  • be great.
  • be called Son of the Most High.
  • be given the throne of his father David by the Lord God.
  • Reign over Jacob’s descendants forever. His kingdom will never end.

Now I know that she had an angel that showed up to her, which for me shows even more that her faith and trust was great. She said YES with no thought at all to what is best for her. Now I am sure as she began to show that she was pregnant she had concerns. GREAT CONCERNS! But her faith stood firm. She trusted God, even when the scorn was great.

REHAB, RUTH AND JESUS- no angels, no questions

So I know you can say, yeah Mary, but her faith was easy because she had a visit from an angel. But what about the countless others who fully trusted God and set aside their questions and inhibitions ad didn’t chose their BEST. Ok so let’s stop right now calling it the BEST. in reality it is what is safest. The least amount of strain, struggle and Pain.

REHAB a prostitute in the city of Jericho. She received two spies from Israel when they were scoping out the land to conquer. She hid them on the roof and then lowered them outside the city walls after nightfall. She asked for protection for herself and her family and the spies told her how to let them know where she was. She then lied about them when questioned. She hung the scarlet chord in the window when the day of conquering came and she was rescued. Due to her faith she became a part of the line of Jesus.

She didn’t ask how this was going to affect me emotionally, physically, financially or spiritually. She didn’t ask what else might she be trading it for. She did’t ask herself, is this was what God wanted for her life. For Pete’s sake (I know I know- WHO IS PETE?) she didn’t even really know the God of Israel. She had heard of the miracles surrounding the Israelites. She didn’t ask which was the safest or which had the biggest blessing attached to it. She just plain and simple made a decision and STUCK with it- she trusted the God of Israel. The God who devours armies with the Red Sea (Joshua 2 NIV). She had faith, and then OBEYED. She didn’t have to. She could have chickened out for the possible difficulties she could face. Like what if the ruler of the land had found out she harbored those spies and helped them to escape. What if someone saw the scarlet chord hanging from her window and started asking questions. Was she nervous about possibilities? Probably but she was human. Doubts are not a sin… disobeying God is. And for her faith she is blessed richly. She marries an Israelite man named Salmon… their son, Boaz, is an intricate part of the life of our next lady of faith- RUTH!

Ruth- THERE is whole book about this woman of faith. Ruth was not and Israelite either. She was a Moabitess who married one of the sons of Israelite couple Naomi and Ellimelek. They were Israelites and the law very specifically told them NOT to intermarry with other cultures because those cultures would influence their relationships with God in a negative way. Well the men all died. Both sons and the husband and that left behind 3 widows Naomi, Ruth and Orpah. Naomi decided it was time to return to Israel and her daughter-in-law set out with her. But before long Naomi encouraged them to return to their country of Moab. Orpah listened to her bitter mother-in-law and returned but Ruth on the other hand made a few very famous statements:

  • Where you go I will go.
  • Where you stay I will stay.
  • Your people will me my people
  • Your God will be my God.

Her concern wasn’t about herself or her needs. She cared first about Naomi and God. She had no promise of even a home or really even food. She could have returned to her home, remarried and lived a fairly comfortable life, but instead her faith took her to an unknown. Her loyalty took her to a place of risk and selflessness. Was is easy? no way! She toiled laboring in the fields like many other foreigners in Israel. But her loyalty and faith made her stand out far above the rest. And Boaz took notice. Catch that name? NOW in this account we have a rare sight. In the final chapter of the book we get to witness someone who did count the cost of obedience to God. He was worried about his finances, and his home and his standing socially. And ya know what, we don’t know his name and he didn’t end up in the lineage of Christ. So Boaz and Ruth got married. And they had a son named Obed, the grandfather of David. Ruth became the great X30 grandma of Jesus. When we worry about what is best for us we can write ourselves out of God’s greatest blessings.

And then there is Jesus

Jesus is interesting because He is God and Man. By coming to earth, from perfect glorious heaven, Jesus certainly did not choose the best for Him. This perspective or choosing the greater purpose is seen throughout His life on earth. The first time we see Jesus make a choice that went against what “should have happened” he was 12 and got separated from his parents when he chose to stay at the temple and teach the priests. I cannot even begin to comprehend Mary and Joseph’s conversation. “Joe, what are we gonna do? God trusted us with Jesus and we lost Him. How could we have lost the Lord?” And then when they found him… Oh what joy they must have felt. Later we see him confront sin and Pharisees. Hypocrisy. lack of Faith. lack of love. All without considering the consequences of his actions. He didn’t agonize over decisions that could have cost him his life. Even in the moments leading up to the cross we see him asking His Heavenly Father to let the cup of crucifixion to pass from him but in the end he says “NOT MY WILL BUT YOURS.”

Not MY Will BUT YOURS!!

Surrendering our will- DYING TO SELF. That’s what real faith is. Trusting that God really does own the cattle on a thousand hills. That all things work together for good for those who serve the LORD. Even when things look impossible or horrible God can take ashes and make it absolutely beautiful. See we look at our lives AND our ministries and we say things like oh but I wanted to do this with my life. The problem is I cannot see the big picture like God does. Nothing surprises Him NOT ONE THING. and sometimes we have to travel a path to get to the place God wants us. When Ruth got married to the cute Israelite man, she never thought “Hey He’s gonna die before we have kids, and I am going to move back to Israel and take care of Naomi by working from sun up to late into the night picking and threshing barley and then I am gonna haul a crazy amount back home again just so I can wake up in a few hours and do it all over again.” And yet she chose to stick with her commitment even in hardship. Despite the fact that physically when she started she didn’t really have the capability to handle it. And yet God gave her strength.

I’m guessing when Mary said yes to Gabriel she didn’t have the financial ability to be a single ostracized mom .

And Rehab is perhaps the most amazing to me. When she said yes to God, she gave up her financial ability. You CANNOT say yes to God and still hold on to your sin. She had NO idea her home was going to be completely destroyed. Can you imagine the emotional strain she was under to give up her career and pick up a whole new culture after meeting two spies for less than 24 hours and not even having much interaction with them. PLUS the fear of being ostracized because A) the line of work she was in and B) she was not an Israelite. And spiritually, well she had zero. She didn’t meet the standards of her rescuers. So how on earth could this possibly be the best for her when at first glance NONE of this seemed to be in her best interest. And yet look at her legacy!

THAT’S IT: OUR BEST isn’t here on this earth, we may be able to to witness it but most of the time we don’t.

  • Rehab’s legacy- JESUS
  • Ruth’s legacy- JESUS
  • Mary’s Legacy- JESUS
  • JESUS’S LEGACY- all believers serving Him for HIS purposes INCLUDING ME
  • My Legacy- whoever is impacted by my choice to lay aside my comforts and desire- my willingness to die to self

And about our dear Mary, one more thought. Mary never once thought that saying yes to the Greatest gift-Jesus was also going to be her greatest sorrow. Watching the one she bore die. You know, the one promised to Reign over Jacob’s descendants forever. The one whose kingdom will never end, who would be given the throne of his father David. She watched her son, the Lord, die. Not just any death but the worst most shameful death a person could think up.

And as I looked and studied these women and Jesus I stood in awe of what I saw, then I began to think about all the others, and ya know what I discovered? All the people across scripture who made a lasting impression on eternity at one point had to set aside what they thought best for themselves and chose to do the radical and crazy. Some took a little longer and we watch their journeys and wrestlings unfold, but in the end the ONLY way YOU can be USED for GOD’S BEST is to lay yours aside.

So here are a few questions in closing.:

  • What are we holding onto in our lives that we have sealed off from God? It’s usually something that we deem as ugly, and unmanageable, or too traumatic to deal with. The problem with that is we are holding on to what God wants to use and transform into a beautiful thing.
  • Have we REALLY died to self? Have we set aside what we think is best and chased after the things God has brought to us- EVEN IF it makes us CRAZY uncomfortable?
  • What’s diverting our attention (aka distracting us)? It can be a good thing. It can be a great thing. But if it doesn’t fit with the story God has given us, we can be hiding, running or ignoring the path and purpose God has for us!

Let’s chat! What is the person in the Bible that grabs your attention most when It comes to denying their selfish ambitions and what was in their best interest according to them?

Coffee With Friends: An Introduction

imageMy whole life I have been surrounded by a lot of people, but just because there are a lot of people doesn’t mean you feel less alone.  But think about it :

School = A LOT  of people

Church = a lot of people

Large families = a lot of people (have 7 uncles and 1 aunt on one side and at  the time 5 aunts and 5 uncles on the other side…now add in my parents,brothers,  grandparents, aunt’s and uncle’s spouses AND cousins!   ).  That’s a whole lot of people.

Work = a lot of people

Then we go off to college

College =  a lot of people

And then…..I got married!

I worked full time, hubby worked two jobs at first and full-time seminary and with no drivers license that left me on a college campus for long hours with….you guessed it A LOT of people.

Then due to circumstances hubby and I decided that I would quit my job and be a full time homemaker…with no kids.   I learned all sorts of new things but the novelty wore off quickly and I missed having people around.  An introvert by nature I’m ok with people around but I don’t have to always talk….maybe that’s why when I worked on campus the majority of my free time was spent in the library …lots of people with little to no talking.

Out of this came an intense desire to read my Bible and to read Christian authors……these people quite literally became my friends.   Then came mommyhood…four kids  = a lot more noise,, a hubby in full time ministry and at times full time school! and not a lot of friends. A year ago it struck me….these people ARE my friends, I may not have ever met them in real life, but we have an eternity for all that.   A book idea that day was born , and from there came my blog post ideas.   So here’s how this is going to work each Wednesday I’m going to do a blog post.   It will be a person from the Bible or a person from church History.   In the post I will write them a letter (just like the old days).  I will share bits and pieces of my life with them, ask them about theirs , and ask for advice.  When the book is eventually ready  (like a gazillion years from now) the letter will appear first thing in each chapter and then I will write the rest of the chapter about that person, what their lives were like, how they might have or did struggle and how we can relate in today’s culture with these future BFF’s

Basically I’m inviting you into my devotions and Bible Studay as I have Coffee With Friends!

So now it’s your turn…..

If you could have coffee with any one person in the Bible or in church history, who would it be?   What would you ask them? or how do you identify with them?

(To get the conversation rolling and your wheels turning I asked this same question of my facebook friends.   My friend Katie W. Had my favorite response…. She would like to talk to Daniel’s parents and ask them for parenting advice.   ISNT THAT AMAZING).  So here’s your chance!  Go!

Broken Places

Broken

Broken Places, we all have them. Maybe we don’t want to admit that we do. Maybe just maybe we don’t really know those places are broken. Maybe we have already worked through a process of forgiveness, letting go, or dealing with grief. It can be anything really. Then one day Jesus shows up (ok so he’s always here but for the sake of my connection let’s roll with him showing up) and says oh yeah that thing you stacked away in the closet, et’s deal with that, NOW.

If you are like me, I was dumbfounded. Lord, I’ve dealt with that. We are all good.

Enter the Woman at the Well (John 4:4-42)

Now my story and her story are not the same at all….or is it?

Well for starters, I have only been married once. So if there are any questions along those lines I just took care of them. When the woman went to the well that day, she had no idea she was going to encounter the one who knew all of her deep dark secrets, or not-so secrets/. She had a reputation.

When I woke up a month ago with my mind racing with all sorts of scary emotions I had no idea that deep in my heart Jesus was going to say “ok today is the day Mary, let’s put it all on the table”

The Woman at the well became a point of fascination a few months ago. I couldn’t tell you why at the time. I couldn’t put my finger on it. I don’t know why I was reading about her, I don’t even know when it was. I just knew I was drawn to her. I have snippets of notes that really at this point mean nothing to me. I just know that I connected with her on a whole new level.

And if you have been around here for very long you know when that happens a Coffee With Friends Post is born.

And here we are….

I want to give her a name because the Saratan woman or the Woman at the well doesn’t seem personal enough for a Coffee with Friends post. So I am going to call her…Sophia. (Please know that this isn’t her real name. It’s just for the sake of this post.).

Jesus went to that well to meet Sophia, and Sophia went to the well to get water. She went there in the warmest part of the day to ensure she wouldn’t hear the whispers and see the glares and feel like she was being judged. Jesus knew that because Jesus KNEW Sophia. He knew everything about her! He especially knew what she needed and it wasn’t the water from Jacob’s well. He knew she needed him and what he had to offer- living water that becomes a fresh bubbling spring that will give them eternal life (verse 14)

Now, go get your husband… GULP.

Oh to not be in her shoes, UH I don’t have a husband. GULP.

Jesus said yep you are right, you have had five husbands and the dude you are with now isn’t your husband DOUBLE GULP!

AND SHE STAYED

Goodness friends if I were her I would have been gone. A dude I have never met is telling me all about my life. It freaked me out bad enough when my pastor said a few things about me that I had never put together. (I did some gulping of my own!!!) And here she is just being present

AND Then she changes the subject….common we have all been there done that. We don’t want to deal with the pain we have in our hearts. Whether it’s sin, grief, abuse, broken relationships, YOU NAME IT WE WILL AVOID IT…like the PLAGUE. We don’t like to be uncomfortable.

The funny thing is Jesus humored her. He didn’t go back. to her sin. He answered her questions and in the end, reveals he is the Messiah.

The disciples come back and Sophia rushes off to tell everyone she knows about Jesus. and how he has told her ALL she has EVER done!

She uses her testimony with Jesus and many f the villagers run to meet him and believe in him in the process.

Her willingness to stay present with Jesus led to her life being changed. She could have stayed busy and filled her jug and been on with her daily chores.

WOW!

How this relates to me

Well like the woman at the well I too have broken places. Places in my heart that I have neatly placed the “dealt with pile” and I closed and locked the door. They were considered off-limits to even me. The problem is I still knew they were there. So I began to distract myself from them. My number one choice of distraction…PEOPLE. I can care for people. I am a pretty good listener, unless I have b]my earbuds in and then well everyone wonders why I’m not paying attention. (I put them in when I am “in the zone”.). I never really set boundaries. It was always easier to help people with their hurt and pain because it distracted me from my own.

But then all of a sudden there were no people. I was sick. Then we left our church and there were even fewer people. I was broken in so many ways. I was strong for hubby, the kids, and for anybody else who came to me. And I began to hide behind my phone. I knew I was distracted but I didn’t know why.

That morning I woke up I was face to face with Jesus- I had removed the phone issue. Within a week’s time, I was face to face with that closet full of broken places. Broken relationships, painful memories, wrong choices, failures, hurt I sustained at the hands of others and what those things had done to me. The reality is I hadn’t dealt with them. Yes, I had forgiven those involved. No, I wasn’t harboring anger towards anyone, BUT those things had created walls. Walls for people who weren’t even involved. They were walls of fear, and anxiety and had tainted how I saw myself. Some of that is still so startling to think about

Pefectionism creot in

See I was SOOOOO afraid of being in trouble that I tried to make sure everything was just right. I checked off this list of how to love people (ahem that would be 1 Corinthians 13). This is a whole other blog post in and of itself. But I had a mental checklist of bible passages.

BUT sometimes even when you love someone with the whole list they don’t do the same for you- it’s one-sided and you kinda just start believing you aren’t worth it. That it really doesn’t apply to you. Boy, I had no idea that was the path I was on and it shook me to the core. I was afraid of everybody. Even my poor hubby – I didn’t know it. We have been the best of friends for over 20 years (wow that makes me sound old).

I knew I could trust someone….my dog Rosie. for 9 years she laid at my feet in my craft room/ office. She sat next to me on the couch and would listen to me talk myself through whatever struggle was going on. She never talked back, she never ignored me, she didn’t judge, or roll her eyes.

She saw me cry and didn’t say, Get over it. I chuckle as I write that. She was my best non-human friend. She kept every secret. She would even smile. But then this week I had to say goodbye. To say it was difficult is a gross understatement. But as I processed this on Monday I realized something. I need to be more active in the just being department.

To let myself feel and think and process. I don’t do that well. I always have stuff to be done. Keeping busy is what I am good at. so I made a choice.

I actively chose to BE.

Now I was still doing something, but it was different. I hadn’t picked up my art supplies to use since the end of October minus a coloring book. Not the same thing for me. I finished inktober and moved on with the holidays. Because when I slowed down and stopped the mental “doing” my mind drifted to places I didn’t like it to drift.

I knew that we would be spending the day at church on Tuesday. I started thinking about all the things I needed to do and I stopped myself and said No Mary tomorrow you are just going to be still. I picked a room that was away from everything else with comfy chairs. I popped my earbuds in with our family playlist of worship music, some peppy some not so peppy and I let those words flow through me and out my brush.

Here’s what happened

I started out with an idea for my April bullet journal page

And from there I redid an inktober pen sketch from 2020. It was just a fast sketch I did originally,, but I wanted to do a better job on it this go around.

The next three are just simple little expressions. It’s not ever about doing fancy art. Sometimes it’s just about taking the time to use a passion God has given you. It’s not about being very good. It’s not about impressing other people It’s about just simply being and taking part in the process, thinking, praying, and worshipping. For each person that’s going to look a little different.

When we choose to let Jesus in to work on our heart stuff, (and yes it is our choice) he doesn’t promise it will get easier- but what he will do is transform it into something beautiful. It won’t be according to how I think it should be used, or not used, but rather what will bring him the most honor and glory. I just love how Jesus redeemed Sophia’s story. He didn’t publically humiliate her. He met her where she was at. She chose to stay and listen and in the end ran to the very people she was trying to avoid in the first place to share about Jesus. I can’t imagine anything more beautiful than that!

So will you join me on my journey of giving God my broken places?

You can check out the other coffee with friends posts here

Blogging Within My Mission

Hi all,

So it’s been no secret that I have not been around much. Life has been busy and I wear so very many hats!  And sometimes I have to throw off all my other hats in order to take care of a hat that grows exceptionally heavy…..usually it’s the one with a husband, four kids and a house crammed inside of it.

And over the last year or so I have become increasingly uncomfortable with all the…”this is how you should blog”. And the “you aren’t doing things right”. Critics out there.   I also have a lot of personal critics in my life wondering “why do you waste your time doing that” and “How can you possibly have time for all that you do?”   And to be completely honest I think that Satan has used those critics to spread seeds of doubt, and frankly I have come to the realization that I was letting him!    

Did I whine and complain….maybe on the inside a little convincing myself that I had nothing anybody wanted to hear.   And everywhere you turn, people are oh so concerned about numbers……numbers!  Ugh, I’ve always hated Math! It’s a necessary evil in my mind!   Anyway, over the last 8 months I have spent A LOT of time reading and praying.   And while we were on vacation in July , I stole away a few times and focused on me.  Ways to better me.  And one of those things that I did was write my own personal mission statement.

Each year I write out goals but rarely if ever meet them.  I pick books based on areas of my life in which I desire to grow…..along with knowing I will review some as well. I choose them according to the areas that are focus points in my life.  I then also choose fiction that maybe I either missed out on in school or something that strikes my fancy! (No none of them are Romance novels….ICK)

So I wrote this Mission statement….

It is my mission to live my life with the sole purpose to give God the glory in everything I say and do-to abide in Christ, to grow in my daily walk with Him.

 It’s nothing fancy and I know it’s not short and sweet like five words or less BUT IT WORKS FOR ME.

I then added action statements for each of my main focus area in my life.  These areas include

  • My Daily walk with God…it’s a relationship and like any good fruitful relationship it takes nurturing.
  • My hubby….I love him dearly
  • The munchkins…yep four smiling, funny, keep me on my toes munchkins!
  • My home…..I want it to be a safe haven for all who cross it’s threshold .
  • My ministry….which is 2 fold, the people of our church, and my readers here on my blog!
Here is what my action statement under Ministry says
To intentionally challenge fellow women who love Jesus to grow deeper in their walk with God.  To speak truth in love and encourage women to be bold in their faith.

Breathing Deep: Happy Homemaker Monday

breathing

Happy Monday Friends! I don’t know about you all but I have found myself this week taking in more time breathing in deeply these summer days. This past week I did something I haven’t done since we moved here to our new place and that is watching the sunrise.

Coffee in hand I have met the sunrise 3 days this past week and honestly, I plan to keep on doing so as long as the weather permits (this week looking a little sketchy

!Last week started out kinda rough but by the middle of the week my fog cleared and some amazing things happened, in my heart, in my mind and I begin to do some forward thinking that I haven’t been able to do in a long time. Things for my blog here and for some things in the future.

Let’s jump into it

♥♥ The Weather ♥♥ 

Well, we had a gorgeous week this last week but this week appears to be very stormy. But I’m breathing in and soaking up all these warm sunny days for sure.   

Monday –  stormy and 81

Tuesday – 79 and partly cloudy

Wednesday – partly cloudy and 83

Thursday – Stormy and 82

Friday – rain and 80

Saturday – partly cloudy and 81

Sunday – partly cloudy and 85

♥♥  As I look outside my window ♥ 

Out the back of the camper, there are new walls for the expanded kitchen, master bedroom, and craft room, and a newly set door!

♥♥  Right now I am ♥♥ 

Typing this blog post with my earbuds in listening to our Family Jams playlist

♥♥  Thinking and pondering ♥♥ 

writing projects. I’m planning for my write 31 days series. I will start writing this week and that fits into a larger writing project. A pretty huge answer to prayer.  

♥♥  How am I feeling ♥♥ 

I’m feeling really well minus some sinus stuff but that is minor.

 ♥♥  On the breakfast plate ♥♥ 

coffee (Of Course) and oatmeal 

♥♥   On the lunch plate ♥♥ 

Sandwiches

♥♥  On the dinner plate ♥♥ 

Leftover pasta

 ♥♥  What I’m wearing  ♥♥ 

Shorts and T-shirt with sneakers

 ♥♥  On my reading pile ♥♥ 

Finishing up 2 Corinthians in the Bible

Hello Fears (Should be finished later this week)

A counseling book (will be finished later today)

I will start Lead Small tomorrow

♥♥  On my TV this week  ♥♥ 

Whatever I can find o Pureflix

♥♥  On the menu  ♥♥ 

Monday – Leftover pasta

Tuesday – hamburgers and chips

Wednesday –  BBQ and tater tots

Thursday – Pizza

Friday –  Hot Dogs

Saturday – Dinner with friends

Sunday – Sandwiches

♥♥  Looking around the house  ♥♥ 

It’s peaceful and ready for a new day. Today will be tough because there won’t be a whole lot of outside time with the storms But we can at least move to the barn to work on stuff there!

♥♥ To-Do List ♥♥ 

I have some homeschooling stuff I need to work on. I’ve taken a break over the last two weeks but I need to jump back into it.

And I have a bunch of writing I need to do along with two more blog posts for this week

♥♥  From the camera  ♥♥ 

Breathing
Saturday morning I was up as the sun rose. The fog rolled in and left within ten minutes. These misty mornings on our hill have easily become my favorite!. I’m breathing in deep these quiet mornings watching the mist roll in.

♥♥  Devotional  ♥♥ 

I have been spending a lot of time with my girl Queen Esther. . I’m back to writing about her and her amazing influence on my life! The fun part is I’m writing about a bunch of other friends and as I have been studying and growing I am reminded of this profound passage.

Hebrews 11:32-38 )MSG)

32-38 I could go on and on, but I’ve run out of time. There are so many more—Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, the prophets. . . . Through acts of faith, they toppled kingdoms, made justice work, took the promises for themselves. They were protected from lions, fires, and sword thrusts, turned disadvantage to advantage, won battles, and routed alien armies. Women received their loved ones back from the dead. There were those who, under torture, refused to give in and go free, preferring something better: resurrection. Others braved abuse and whips, and, yes, chains and dungeons. We have stories of those who were stoned, sawed in two, murdered in cold blood; stories of vagrants wandering the earth in animal skins, homeless, friendless, powerless—the world didn’t deserve them!—making their way as best they could on the cruel edges of the world.

Thanks so much for joining me this week for Happy Homemaker Monday! I pray that it has been an encouragement to you! For more Happy Homemaker Monday Posts you can Check out Diary of a Stay At Home Mom and for more of my Happy Homemaker posts you can go here

What are you breathing in deep this week? What’s your favorite thing about summer that you like to savor?