All posts by laura

Because misery loves company….

This was my day yesterday.

And will be a healthy portion of my day today…so follow along for a lesson in technology…because in order to reduce ALL my photos on this little oversized website…from  what you see right there to…

what you see right here…

I had to do …

as to make sure I preserve things like…

because….whew…we wouldn’t want to let this kind of photographic treasure to be lost in cyberspace, now would we?

But seriously…as I monotonously clicked through the steps for…Are you ready???…2,600 photographs that attached to this here little journey I have taken you all on over the last few years…I had a lot of thoughts running through my head.

So here are just a few of them…

<3 Wow…what a ride it has been. Not just getting the opportunity to pursue this thing that has scared the living daylights out of me just going public with so many private parts of me in hopes of sending out some words of hope, comfort, exhortation, humor, life-stuff from my heart and God’s Word…but the whole sometimes-messy, often-crazy, surprisingly joy-filled life God has blessed our family to live.

<3 I was also struck by how vivid my memories were attached to each photo…whether it’s cups of coffee or a beautiful presentation of a meal or a random photo of a some flowers on one of my walks, I didn’t look at a single picture and wonder about the story behind it.

Like this one…

was the day a blizzard was going to keep Lola from coming to visit and this guy got busy dressing warm and grabbed his mommy’s wallet so they could just come to me.

Still get big old sloppy tears thinking how I considered strapping on snow shoes just to get to him.

But here’s the thought that adds some insight into maybe your life today…

<3 As I went through all the steps sooooooooooo many times…it was tedious and repetitive and mind-numbingly boring at times.

I would go back to the ones remaining and think of the hours I had put in and how many hours were left to go and it took everything in me to fight the urge to just quit.

And then this terrible thought struck me.

What if it doesn’t work?

What if all this time I have put in to this task does not accomplish what needs to be done?

You see, if it works out the way it is supposed to and my site is blissfully unencumbered by unnecessarily excessive data…well…all the effort is worth it.

But if it doesn’t.

Oh my goodness…

And it made me think how much of life is like that.

If my motivation for sticking it out is for the satisfaction I will gain from the success of my desired result, I will end up short so many times.

But if my motivation comes from obedience to follow through the tasks I have been fulfill the purpose for each day by being in that moment, doing that thing…whatever it is and whatever the outcome…all for the glory of God…well…

that changes everything.

So I will finish those picture edits today, in between loads of laundry that we are just going to wear and throw back in the bin tomorrow…I will prepare food and then exercise to counteract the calories…I will dust and vacuum the same particles I tried to vanquish yesterday…I will drag out my journal and start outlining a lesson for Sunday and along the way I will tap out some more thoughts for you for tomorrow…and I will do it… in obedience…all to the glory of God <3

I have no guarantees that the time I spend on any tasks will have any lasting effect.

But sure as heck…if I didn’t do them…there would be some serious setbacks for those plans and purposes God prepared in advance for me to do.

So let’s do the thing…even if it’s repetitive and boring and we just did it yesterday and here we have to do it again today.

Let’s do it and do it well, shall we?

How about you?

What’s your Kingdom plan today?

Be blessed as you carry it out…step by step, piece by piece…byte by byte  <3

A different perspective on being overwhelmed

Do you use the expression “overwhelmed” much?

I do.

It is a good description of me most days around 3 P.M. when I stack my tasks left undone up against hours left to accomplish them and feel overwhelmed by a sense of defeat.

Or when I take a good hard look at all the hard bad news and I am overwhelmed by the evil and insanity of a world system gone haywire.

I can be overwhelmed sometimes by my own capacity to misunderstand people I love and to be unable to cope with life settings that others seem to sail through with not a glitch in sight.

And I am pretty sure that all of these bouts of being overwhelmed are NOT fruit of the abundant life promised.

So my ears have perked up lately at a phrase that either is in the lyrics of one of our new hymns, or was offered as a mediation by the worship leader one Sunday, or mentioned in a sermon a different Sunday or showed up in one of the gazillion devotions I have read in the past few weeks…or knowing God…showed up in several places as He is prone to repeat messages I need to hear until they finally sink in.

And, so like Him…it is simple and short and to the point so that I can actually remember it….

God overwhelms whatever it is that is overwhelming  me.

Think about it.

Overwhelmed…I looked it up, of course….because that’s what I do.

And Webster’s gives the fullness of the feeling in the wording of its definition.

Even at it’s root in Middle English, the redundancy of meaning is clear…it comes from blending two words:

over + whelmen, to turn over, cover up…so basically to  cover over, over something…to cover up over it…to overthrow, upset; cover over completely…submerge.

And the picture I get is the emotional and spiritual equivalent of playing in the surf and suddenly one of those breaker waves comes that knocks me off my feet. The surge not only covers me with water, but completely disorients me physically and emotionally.

Tossed and pulled, my nose is filled with burning salt water…my knees scrape across the rough sand as I try to gain my footing and as I fight to get upright so I can breathe oxygen instead of the sea, I flounder against the power that is greater than me.

And that’s how I feel when I am overwhelmed.

So whoever has played a part in giving me a new perspective, I thank you with a grateful heart for opening my spiritual eyes to yet another name for God…

The God who Overwhelms that which overwhelms me.

What a beautiful picture throughout the day when I am feeling submerged under some powerful force.

To lift my eyes above what I am “feeling” and to see that the circumstance or the habit, the sin or the sorrow, the angry shouts or the slanderous whispers…all of these that would threaten to submerge me in defeat…have been covered over completely by God.

To literally picture the “thing” that is pressing down on me being completely wiped out by the majesty and righteousness of God.

I don’t know what forces have power over you, but I pray today each of us will hold fast to the promise that there is nothing greater than our God.

I pray the only thing we feel overwhelmed by, submerged in, covered over-over with is His deep love for us…His mighty power at work in us…His Sovereign reign over us…His steadfastness holding us …wave after precious wave. All day long  <3




Five randoms and then it’s off to the races because it’s fRiDaY…YAY!!!!

1….if you all prayed for God to send me help with the website…well Praise Him! He did! So thank you, thank you and don’t stop.

A ray of sunshine and hope dropped by yesterday in the shape of a talented young woman named Robin.

Thankfully my chameleons and fake nest didn’t frighten her away from the front door…because she sat with me on this side of the screen and in a short while made a big difference in my life.

As we all may have suspected…most of my problems with maintenance of this site were operator based…

including the fact that I seem to have broken a new record for data storage on account of pixel ignorance. Yes, yes..once again my love of all things photographic and ignorance of all things digital have taken up a vast portion of space.

Who knew?

But all of that is going to change and my anxiety level over the tech part of this site decreased considerably.

Which leads us to ….

2. My battle after she left with alternating between moments of uncontrollable, adrenaline fueled mania and a stream of negative self-talk as to how could someone be so ignorant and yet plunge herself into actually attempting to run a website….

So I did what I always do when the two sides of my brain and heart are at war…

I deputized the sane portion of my brain and commanded it to repeatedly remind the rest of me to breathe deeply and stop freaking out…to turn all of this exhilaration and new-found energy over to the Lord and stick to the To Do list that I had formulated earlier in the day when I was still living in pixel-overload-ignorance.

Which reminds me of ….

3. In an effort to overcome a tendency to procrastination and addiction to list-making, I have come up with yet another new way of inspiring myself to stay on task.

This week I have written the following motivational message at the top of my To Do’s….

At the end of today, here is what I would like to have accomplished…..

So far it is working for me, although by next week I am sure I will have figured out how to dodge being inspired by that challenge and will have to come up with something new…any ideas??

Please do share <3


4. After all my complaints about snow and overcast days…this burst of sunshine is showing forth the extreme need for windows to be cleaned and places the dust cloth has missed and well…


someone has her work cut out for her…


5. We have booked the weekend full ….

and somebody, named me, has to downsize about a thousand photos here on this little slice of the internet…


Spring Cleaning…you just got bumped to next week’s list.

Hope your weekend is full of fun things and times for resting and refreshing and may all your pixels fit where you need them to…and if anyone can actually tell me what the heck a pixel is…that would be awesome <3



That elusive characteristic of humility <3

I am not even going to start off with some kind of comment about the weather because seriously….what is up with it??

So we will move along to the musing du jour for your Thursday inbox.

We ended our pre-Easter series at FCC on the book of Mark with a lesson on how Christ modeled for us true humility in His teachings and by His example.

He led the charge on servant-leadership and putting others first while maintaining an appropriate concept of His identity and authority with righteous perspective. 

He set aside all that was due Him in order to become like us, and while we often attribute this to His love FOR us, it is clear He did so in obedience and submission to His Father. 

Something we struggle with, or at least I know I do. 

Tricky for us humans is the whole humility thing. 

You know what they say about it, right? As soon as you start thinking maybe you have humility down…well, there you go…you most likely are back in the tar pit of pride. 

Often it is easier to identify humility by observing our fellow sojourners and travelers on this journey. 

However, even there we can get it skewed as we tend to equate humility with those who are less affluent or more polite; and the whole thing can get even more murky in the waters of political correctness.

First off, wealth and status are not the deal breakers for the humble. I once heard someone describe their parents as having been “rather proud of their humble lifestyle.” I have also seen people who are over-the-top gracious but, in truth, quite filled with an abundance of pride over this quality in themselves.

I think part of it is our lack of understanding of Christ’s humility. 

It was not denying His identity, power and status in the universe; but rather not demanding all the rights, privileges and honor due Him because of it. 

For me, I believe my search to imitate His example is found in examining my reaction in every day settings where I notice a kind of “Hey! Wait a minute!….How come I am being treated this way???” attitude cropping up. 

It is recognizing that we live in a world where hyper-defensiveness toward being offended is reaching epidemic proportions. 

Even the passing of a respected and well-loved leader can spark a barrage of hateful rhetoric as sides are formed and mud slings in every direction.

A spirit of offense is a red flag of pride and I know this because the Cross of Christ offends. It represents the ultimate act of humility. 

Webster defines humility as “not proud or haughty, not arrogant or assertive; reflecting, expressing or offering in a spirit of deference or submission.”

God defines it this way…

Your attitude should be the kind that was shown us by Jesus Christ, who though he was God did not demand and cling to his rights as God, but laid aside his mighty power and glory, taking the disguise of a slave and becoming like men. And he humbled himself even further, going so far as to actually die a criminal’s death on a cross.     Philippians 2: 5-8 The Living Bible 

So I ask myself today…how is my attitude?

Is it easily offended or does it willingly take up the offense of the Cross of Christ?

Be blessed today as you ponder that question for yourself….remember…He did all the work for us, we simply come humbly before Him and receive it <3

Just a tiny glimpse of the beauty of being a Body <3

This past few weeks we have been blessed to party at the wedding of one of our church kids all grown up, and celebrate the birth of a fourth child to another.

We have eaten birthday cake at the double celebration of a dear friend who turned…just a teeny bit older… on the day of her last radiation treatment and sported a pink feathered crown on her beautiful new return of hair to her precious head.

We sat and watched the senior year performance of an extremely talented young woman who, at five years old, was the flower girl in our oldest daughter’s wedding. We were two rows back from her family who are walking through some hard times with a grace that testifies every single day to the reality that there is a peace that passes understanding.

In between us and them and all around us were people we sit in chairs with every Sunday at the 9:15 service and we all hugged and greeted each other like we hadn’t seen each other in years…just because the love…is real.

Last night we moved through a visitation line, teary eyed and broken hearted..but also filled with joy and laughter. We were there to show love and support to the family, but also to grieve our own loss as we said goodbye to one who brightened the journey for so many.

I shook hands with family members I had never met, but knew well because their sweet mom had invited me to partner in prayer for their various needs over the years.

I’ve raised my hands in praise as I watched videos of our friends’ grandkids who were baptized Easter Sunday.

Oh there’s more…but you get the point.

Everywhere in the world, people are involved in lovely and sweet relationships, but all of the ones I mentioned above are knit together in something so much more than the pleasures and sorrows of this life.

We are knit together into the Body of Christ.

What we share in the struggles and in the joys will carry over into eternity.

It is not an exclusive club…but open to all who will receive Christ Jesus as both Savior and Lord.

Instead, we will lovingly follow the truth at all times – speaking truly, dealing truly, living truly – and so become more and more in every way like Christ who is the Head of his body, the Church. Under his direction, the whole body is fitted together perfectly, and each part in its own special way helps the other parts, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.” Ephesians 4:15-16

To quote the song…how beautiful….is the Body of Christ <3