Tag Archives: God

Where I Live


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I live in a small midwestern town on an acre and an eighth of gently rolling hills in a sprawling older subdivision filled with towering pines. On Hamilton Court. Just off Hamilton Drive.

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We’ve lived in this elongated ranch for nearly twenty years, raising five kids in a town too small for a post office, a downtown or a grocery store, yet somehow exactly right for an authentic piece of the Twin Towers, which still strikes me as a little odd each time I drive down that quiet country road to our tiny town hall to renew my burn permit and see those steel beams nestled on a small green amongst the fields in the middle of no-where.

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Five kids and countless friends have played, slept, cried, swung, climbed, and created here. And still they come, the teens and early 20s, to roast marshmallows over a campfire, to record music and play games, to try the zip lines, shoot hoops or practice volleyball. They gather at the table or out under the stars amid little white lights strung throughout the yard like so many fireflies. And they call me Mama, these kids I’d call my own. They’ve stretched my heart. And taught me grace.

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Here, in my little corner of the world, gaggles of wild turkeys are no longer rare, but commonplace. Here, we watch the waning and waxing of the moon, the changing of the seasons. Here, we celebrate birthdays and shovel snow, listen to cicadas and learn to drive. Here, we gather for graduations and funerals and holidays. Here, we love and grieve and learn to let go.

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Here, we are family. All who gather. One Body.

Here is where I live. In these hearts. These moments. This story. These days. Here, in these hands that have cradled infants and built tables, swung toddlers, “one more time, one more time,” and moved a thousand yards of mulch…

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Here, in these hands that have held mine in birth and loss, and spoken the love of a man to a woman…

Here, in these hands that encircle mine in prayer is where I live.

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*Joining a wonderful group of photographers and writers this month in the Circle of Faith in Words and Image blog circle as we explore the topic, Where I Live. Find all the links here:
Pollywog Creek
Spy Journal
Live, Love, Laugh, Hope
Captured Bits of Beauty
What Marty Sees

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Filed under Circle of Faith in Word and Image

You Are…


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I am honored to be partnering with the beautiful, grace-filled Lauren McLeod, the heart and soul behind this project, to launch #IAmHis today, the first in a series of images designed to remind each of us that we are precious, treasured, accepted, loved.

Today, we invite you to reach out and remind the weary, the lonely, the broken-hearted and hurting, the overwhelmed and over-looked, the loved one, neighbor, friend, or co-worker, of who they are and Whose they are:

accepted, loved,
treasured,
of infinite worth,
and eternal value.

Because we are precious and beloved —
every. single. one.

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Filed under Something Different

Thirteen — A Story of Community


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A little more than two years ago, I packed my secondhand cheetah print suitcase, boarded a plane and headed for a remote Texas canyon cut by the Frio River. I was excited to be attending my first writers’ conference, and nervous. I wasn’t an author, wasn’t writing a book, had no plans to write a book, and wasn’t published, but I do love words, write a blog and a little poetry, and love photography.

The days in the canyon were good and hard, challenging and encouraging. I was rooming with a woman I’d never met (who turned out to be lovely), was missing my daughter’s first high school homecoming dance, and also desperately needed this time to heal and remember how to breathe.

Something happened in the still of the canyon. God spoke and invited me to trust Him again.

He spoke through twelve, fierce, funny, wise, compassionate, slightly irreverent, deeply encouraging, sword-wielding women. Warriors steeped in Jesus.

Community.

Twelve women who rallied around and prayed me through surgery two days after leaving the canyon and we’ve been praying together ever since. An unlikely band of thirteen and my heroines of the faith.

We are young and old, mothers and grandmothers through birth, marriage and adoption. Black and white. Big city and small town. Affluent and just getting by. We are teachers and lawyers, authors and social workers, singers and nurses, poets and cooks, crafters and pastor’s wives, editors and homeschoolers, businesswomen and photographers. We are young women and empty-nesters, coast-to-coast, north, south, east and west.

We are Louboutin pumps and flip-flops, cowboy boots and baseball caps, business suits and feather boas. We are spired churches and expansive auditoriums, and we are sports fans.

We are thirteen brave, strong, broken, grace-filled women sharing this journey through life – celebrating, weeping, laughing, beseeching, cheering, groaning, ever and always praying as we wield the shield of faith.

Microcosm of The Body. Lived out. Life-giving, life-changing community.

These are my incredible heroines of the faith – twelve, faith-filled, courageous women – gifts from the Father’s hand straight to my heart, and I am forever changed.

Next month, I’ll once again be packing my second-hand cheetah print suitcase and boarding a plane to a remote Texas canyon cut by the Frio. This time, I’m ready. And I can’t wait!

*This blog post is part of Michelle DeRusha’s #MyFaithHeroine contest, in connection with the release of the book 50 Women Every Christian Should Know. Find out how to participate here.

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Filed under Devotionals

Breathe


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October 11, 2014 · 11:22 pm

Richest Love


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Beautiful Sunday blessings to you, Friends!

What grace that we are loved
beyond imagining

by the One who IS love,
whose love never changes, never fails,

never ends,

whose love is wholly undeserved,
and beyond all limits of time and space.

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Filed under Photos and Quotes

Called by Name


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The stories that penetrate life’s routines are the stories that connect humans to each other.Matt Knisely

When I first learned of Matt Knisely’s new book Framing Faith, I was intrigued. Matt’s an award-winning photojournalist of twenty Emmys and the Edward R. Murrow Awards, whose work I admire and whose words inspire, challenging me to reach higher, to work on lighting and framing, to integrate photography into every aspect of my life.

But here’s my confession. I was intimidated. Matt had publicly offered the opportunity to participate in his book launch. I was interested, but hesitated. I’m not a professional photographer or writer. I don’t have fifty- or even ten-thousand followers on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, or my blog combined. And I have exactly three days of formal photography training.

A few days later I unexpectedly received a message from Matt via Twitter requesting my address so he could send me an advance copy of his book.

Wow. I smiled. Big. And felt ridiculously pleased.

Someone acclaimed and influential knows my name.

Me. A middle-aged, Midwestern, mini-van wheeling, wife and mom of five, a small-time blogger, and wanna-be writer and photographer, who sometimes wonders where this all might one day lead.

Matt’s book arrived the next week. I poured a fresh cup of tea, opened the envelope, and savored the back cover copy. As I flipped through the pages skimming the chapter titles, one in particular caught my eye, He Knows us by Name. I backed up a few paragraphs, and read these words: “In that moment I began to realize a simple truth about humans: a story is the shortest distance between two people, and some of the most beautiful parts of a story are best captured in isolation – in two-dimensional perspective.” I knew why I held this book in my hands and it was all wrapped up in the following vignette.

Back in 2000 during the run-up to the presidential campaign, Matt had been granted a one-on-one interview with republican candidate George W. Bush, who, toward the end of the interview had said words Matt’s heard at least a thousand times, “Nice to meet you, Nice-Lee.” Two and a half years later, at a press conference detailing the United States’ troop deployment into Afghanistan, then President George W. Bush, exiting “…down the outside perimeter of the crowd of reporters…paused, pointed at [Matt] and said, ‘Nice to meet you, Nice-Lee’….”

Wow.

Seen. Recognized. Called by name. Two and a half years later.

“I was stunned,” Matt recalls.

Me too in my own smaller way. Stunned that someone of Matt’s caliber would take the time to personally call me by name.

“Oh, sweet girl,” I tenderly heard in my soul, “I too call you by name. Every moment of every day. Whispering it with the wind. Shouting it in the thunder. Thrumming it through rain. Singing it in birdsong. Humming it in the gentle whir of wings and in the endless rhythm of the waves.”

Oh…

Oh, Lord, You do. And how easily I forget, longing to be seen when I already am, to be known, when You already do, to be called by name, when you promised so long ago You always will.

“Yes,” I heard His still, small Voice, “I have called you by name; you are mine.” Isaiah 43:1

His. Seen. Known. Loved. And called by name.

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Today, I have two copies of Matt Knisely’s book, Framing Faith, to give away, one for you and one for a friend.

Just comment below with your name and a friend’s, or tag your friend in a Facebook comment below this post on my page, and I’ll pull ALL FOUR WINNERS from my last three posts on Monday, July 28th, 2014, and announce the winners.

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You
are His.

Seen.
Known.
Loved.

And
called by name.

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Filed under Devotionals

A Rare and Precious Gift


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Nothing is more personal or intimate than listening.” Matt Knisely, Framing Faith

A couple of years ago, my spunky, speaks-her-mind, mother-in-law sat at one end of our kitchen island talking football when our middle daughter and her friend walked in. Anna hugged her grandmother and introduced her friend, Anthony, a high school football wide receiver.

They all chatted for a few minutes then Anthony turned to greet our youngest daughter, and my spunky mother-in-law blurted, “Anthony, you’re not listening to me!

Oh! Sorry!” he stammered, blushed, and immediately turned back.

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Laughter erupted from all corners of the kitchen. Anthony had officially been introduced to my vibrant, redheaded, mother-in-law, who, though she’d spoken in jest to Anthony, had also voiced the often unspoken words of our own hearts.

Our longing to be heard.

To be loved. Right where we are. Right in the messy midst. Without masks. Nothing retouched or colored or smoothed or erased or tweaked.

Naked and unashamed.

Like Adam and Eve in the garden before the Fall with nothing between them but love. No fear or guilt. No anger or frustration. Nothing lurking in the shadows. No unspoken longing. No skeletons in the closet.

Two souls, pure and holy and sinless. In full communion with each other and with God.

As we were created to be. One. To the very marrow of our bones.

“…the LORD God formed the rib that he had taken from the man into a woman….” Genesis 2:22

Bone of Adam’s bone all the way to the marrow.

But one bite forever altered that. Now it’s risky to reveal our imperfections, to let the wrinkles show, to divulge our unkempt edges. For love is messy. Sin has muddied the waters, shrouded the truth, and shadowed our vision of God.

It’s swung wide the door of loneliness and isolation.

Today we long to be heard. Beyond the distractions. Beyond the noise of a thousand thoughts careening in our brains. Beyond the crush of endless to-do lists and frenetic schedules.

Matt Knisely says it so well in his book, Framing Faith: “We’ve forgotten that listening is our conscious contextual navigation system. Rather we’ve become unconsciously aware. We check out. Disconnect. Get preoccupied…. Distracted by the subtle…. Distracted by our commitments…. Distracted by fear…. Distractions rob us of hearing the voices around us, and the Voice within us.

Listening is a rare and precious gift. A gift that shares burdens and carries mats. A gift that locks arms and links heart across time and space, abolishing boundaries and raining grace.

We long to be heard. To be known. To be loved. Soul deep. We long for the rhythm and cadence and timbre of our words, our lives, our stories, to be heard. To matter.

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This week, Matt Knisely, author and award-winning photojournalist, is giving away a copy of his new book, Framing Faith, to one of YOU.

To win Matt’s incredible book, just share in the comments an observation, an image, or a story you discovered by pausing to listen.

A moment when the light streamed in and eternity shone through. A moment where the clamor stilled and the still, small Voice spoke.

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Filed under Devotionals

Every Story Matters


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I am a hoarder of moments.”

Matt Knisely’s words caught me in the very first paragraph of his new book, Framing Faith, for I’ve been living in moments, those overlooked glimpses of eternity tucked into every breath, every heartbeat of creation, for thirteen years.

It’s why I pick up my camera. To seek beauty beyond first glance.

Why I pause, eyes closed, to feel the dew beneath my feet, morning’s gentle breeze, sun’s sweet kiss caress my cheek.

It’s why I listen, to hear God’s still, small voice whispering through all creation.

Why I tap at the keys, wrestling the mist into words I can read. And remember.

For thirteen years, I’ve been living in moments, because life can change in a heartbeat.

I’ve watched it happen. When my brother slipped across the veil at 32. When my son got sick and never got well. When all three of my daughters were diagnosed with the very same disease. When my dear friend’s husband was ushered home to Jesus while he talked with her on the phone.

These moments, this mist that evaporates with the rising sun, are too exquisite to miss, too precious to squander in the squeeze of schedules. Too holy to waste waiting for tomorrow or next week or next year, or until the kids grow up, or there’s more time, more money, more bandwidth, less stress.

Matt says it well, “The gift of love is everywhere, but when we are viewing life through the wrong lens, we don’t pay attention to its awesome presence.

So I’ve learned to breathe by learning to see. Learning to listen and drink in the beauty tucked into every precious moment. By learning to tell my story.

The real story. Which felt right, until a few readers questioned why I would tell this story of so much medical. Why I would disclose our personal lives to the public. I only know it’s how I breathe, how I learn to unravel the chaos and see God.

Then I read, “For me to withhold my story would be to rip out a thread from the tapestry of humanity.

Matt spoke the words I couldn’t find.

My story matters. Whether one person or ten thousand read the words I write, whether or not my photography ever launches beyond a hobby, my story matters.

Every thread woven into the tapestry of humanity matters. Whether it’s an eye-catching streak or support thread, a glittering highlight or deep shadow, every thread matters.

For without each individual thread the tapestry is flawed, the weave incomplete.

So today, I’m giving away a copy of Matt’s book, Framing Faith, with an invitation for you to share your story, your own unique and creative thread, in any way you choose — a glimpse, a moment, precious and essential.

For a chance to win Matt’s book, Framing Faith, From Camera to Pen, share a moment of your story in the comments below. It can be an image, the link to a blog, Facebook post, or YouTube video, or simply the words of your heart.

Next week, I’ll be giving away another copy of Framing Faith, and one more the week after that, as I share a few more of my favorite quotes, a little more of my story, and always another image.

How will you share your story?

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Filed under Devotionals

Finding Home


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I’ve never had to go far to experience God. Just a few steps outside my own back door. Because I feel Him in spring lilacs drenched in rain, in verdant green and winter white, in thunder and in rain.

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I feel Him as I break up winter-hardened earth, pull weeds, and harvest peas. As I breathe deep the symphony of blackbird and blue jay, cardinal and finch, rustling leaves and honeybee.

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This oasis, just feet beyond my own back door, refreshes like rain after drought, softening fissures, washing away dried up clay, cleansing scars, purple and deep, of diagnoses and disease.

A respite. A chance to breathe the rhythmic melody. God in. Me out. God in. Me out.

But what if I can’t climb her walls? Or guard her arms? Or help him sleep? What if she beats me around every bend to the edge of the cliff…and leaps?

Even if,” I hear Him whisper, “Even then.”

And I have to believe. In the marrow of my bones so I can breathe.

For I’ve lost my way in this crazy decade. Started to grasp and cling and ache with fear.

But I didn’t start here. I trusted once. Strong and deep. Didn’t doubt when my brother died and I didn’t heal. When my son got sick and never got well. Through long nights and new meds and constant tests. I didn’t doubt when my second was diagnosed or my oldest longed to end his life.

I stood. Still. And believed.

Then my third and fourth were diagnosed, and my daughter stood above holy ground and threatened to leap, and melanoma slipped uninvited into the lymph nodes of my father’s neck, and I wavered and started to sink.

Hands clenched. Heart tight. Unable to trust. Or maybe unwilling. Eyes securely on me.

He whispered, but I couldn’t hear or wouldn’t, till my say-it-like-it-is, food-loving, sports-loving, fruit-eating, red-haired mother-in-law suddenly and unexpectedly slipped into eternity.

While my girls were at camp.

When I reached them hours later, one cried. And one ran. And I prayed. “They’ll be OK,” my oldest said sitting next to me on my daughter’s bed.

And the Spirit whispered. Words I’d memorized years before.

For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but one of power, of love, and of self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:7

I’d been struggling these past few months to trust Him with my kids, so afraid they’ll slip away before they’re His. Secure.

Fear had wrapped itself around my heart. But we are His.

Even if things don’t turn out as I hope.

Even if my precious, incredible, hurting kids choose their own way out.

Even if. Even then.

I need to know it in the marrow of my bones so I can breathe.

“Even if. Even then,” He whispered again as darkness kissed the dawn and moonless night gave way to blushing day.

Just Him and me. In this oasis of the deep. Not steps beyond my own back door.

But with every breath, right at home in me.

It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” Galatians 2:20

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Joining the blog tour for Emily Wierenga’s beautiful new memoir, “Atlas Girl: Finding Home in the Last Place I Thought to Look”.

Emily’s story is poignant and honest, lyrical and powerfully written. A journey of hope and pain, wonder and loss, adventure and amazing grace. A tender heart sometimes faltering, but ever seeking, always reaching for the very heart of God.

A five star read!

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Filed under Devotionals

Savor the Hard Stuff


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I woke this morning to a message from a friend, “Savor the hard stuff.

Not words she’d wanted to send. But words God had laid on her heart, clearly, unmistakably. Three times in thirty minutes. And on faith, she sent them to me.

“I LOVE you!” I immediately typed back, because she’d sent exactly the words I’d needed to hear.

Twice in two weeks, the phone had rung in the middle of the night, and I’d risen, pulled on jeans and fleecy socks, zipped my jacket against winter’s chill, and stepped out into the night.

As I slowly backed out of the garage on the first trip, snowflakes glittered in the headlights and crunched beneath the tires, and I thanked God aloud for heated seats.

The roads were empty for miles. Still and beautiful in the fresh falling snow. A world at rest. For I was alone on these usually busy roads, just me and a lone county salter, idle on the overpass, orange lights flashing.

Into the still, Matt Redman’s voice swelled in worship,

“Bless the Lord, O my soul,
O my soul,
Worship His holy name.
Sing like never before,
O my soul,
I’ll worship Your holy name.

You’re rich in love, and You’re slow to anger.
Your name is great, and Your heart is kind.
For all Your goodness I will keep on singing,
Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find…”

And I sang along, quietly, for this felt, somehow, like holy ground.

But not trip two. That night, those miles, I felt no peace.

Open your hands, I heard God speak to my heart.

“No, Lord,” I whispered, defenses rising, battle lines drawn.

Open your hands, I heard again, tenderly.

Nineteen years ago, I’d sat in pool of autumn sunlight, rocking this unborn son, and released him back to God. Eyes closed, sun warm, hands open, heart aching, I released my son to his Heavenly Father, thanking Him for every day my son stayed safely tucked inside me, for every beat of his tiny heart, for every lengthening contraction, every moment his stress lessened, for this was my son, and whether or not I ever held him in my arms, he would always be my son. Samuel Christopher. Asked of God. Bearing His image. Gift and priceless treasure.

What if I’m doing this for him?

Really??? How can this be for him? Any of this? I don’t even know how to pray anymore. What to ask. How to help. What to say.

Long-term illness is hard. There are no easy answers. No quick fixes. My son, who’d called in the middle of the night, wants nothing more than to be a “normal college student.”

But he’s been sick for five years. Came down with what we thought was the stomach flu on his brother’s birthday and never got well. And this inability to “leave that part of himself behind” when he moved to college is one more reminder of the constancy of chronic illness.

It goes with him wherever he goes. He can’t just leave it behind.

Open your hands.

Tears spilled as I tried to breathe, evenly, slowly, to still my racing heart as I pulled onto campus, winding along the bluff overlooking Lake Michigan on this velvety cold night lit by an opalescent moon.

I love this campus, Lord. They’re so understanding. And kind. But this? This is hard. I long to wrap my arms around my son and hold him close. Protect him. Do something, anything, to make this better.

Heal him, Lord! Make him well! Oh, Father, please, I know you can!

But what if I’m doing this for him?

I shook my head and wiped my tears, breathing deep, forcing calm.

“I’m here,” I texted, waiting in the quiet. Minutes later my son walked through the door in his leather jacket, backpack slung over his shoulder, hamper of clothes in one arm, box of meds in the other, and slumped into the front seat.

Hey, Honey,” I said, laying my hand his shoulder.

We pulled away in silence, enveloped by the night, as the first notes of Tenth Avenue North’s I’m Worn rose from the radio.

I’m Tired I’m worn
My heart is heavy
From the work it takes
To keep on breathing
I’ve made mistakes
I’ve let my hope fail
My soul feels crushed
By the weight of this world

This,” he whispered in frustration, gesturing toward the radio, tears spilling from his eyes. And mine.

Let me see redemption win
Let me know the struggle ends
That you can mend a heart
That’s frail and torn
I wanna know a song can rise
From the ashes of a broken life
And all that’s dead inside can be reborn
Cause I’m worn

I know I need to lift my eyes up
But I’m too weak
Life just won’t let up
And I know that you can give me rest
So I cry out with all that I have left

(Chorus)
My prayers are wearing thin
Yeah, I’m worn
Even before the day begins
Yeah, I’m worn
I’ve lost my will to fight
I’m worn
So, heaven come and flood my eyes

(Chorus)
Cause all that’s dead inside will be reborn
Though I’m worn
Yeah I’m worn

Open your hands, I heard again. Open your hands. And lay your Isaac down.

“Oh…” I swallowed, a sob rising in my throat. “And savor the hard stuff?”

Yes. Savor the hard stuff. Enter the deep. For that is where treasure lies. Where dross is drained away and love roots deep, where self withers and trust grows, and we learn to abide.

Chiseled, sanded, pruned. Grafted to the Vine. Polished and refined.

The hard stuff. Where we learn to open our hands, open our hearts, and lay our Isaacs down.

I don’t know what the future holds. I only know that today we traveled back to campus to begin the medical withdrawal process for our son for this semester of college. Today the tears fell, in every meeting, as we spoke to our son’s friends, as we began to pack up his room, as we drove along the bluff.

And today the words came hard as I opened my hands. Opened my heart.

And laid my Isaac down.

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Filed under Devotionals

Whispers of Eternity


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To tender love
is to spill Christ,

however distorted,
shadowed, refracted

in these shards of clay,
whispers of eternity

oozing through fissure,
chink and gap,

staining Adam’s dust
in infinite array.

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Filed under Poetry

Celebration of Color


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God is the artist of our souls,
breathing life into His own,

each a broken melody,
together, a harmonic whole
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Sunday Blessings, Friends!

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Filed under Photos and Quotes

Love Poured Out


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February 27, 2014 · 10:17 am

Love Bravely


LoveBravelyLove Bravely” quote above by Kevin Adams

For almost seven years, I’ve been writing down the moments of my life — the good, the hard, the funny, the profound — moments when the veil thins and I glimpse the holy, breathe in the eternal, humbled and awed and incredibly blessed.

I’ve been writing for most of my life. It’s how I think, process, begin to understand what I feel and why.

But it was Dottie Schimpf, pastor’s wife and parish nurse, who invited me to write an article every month for the church newsletter, North Shore Church News, in November, 2007, who unknowingly opened the first door of this journey.

Months later this blog was born through the mad, angst-quenching, technical skills of Ross Mongin, after a late night brainstorming session with my cousin Susan, who’d quietly registered the domain name before I could change my mind.

And the second door opened.

Along the way, I’ve been encouraged by organizations such as Christian Writers, The High Calling, and Tweetspeak Poetry. I’ve written for We Used to Be You and Servant Sisters, and had an article published in The Congregationalist Magazine.

I’ve shared my photography with The High Calling and a number of beautiful online communities. And recently, I’ve joined Outside the City Gate to provide photography for their new e-book, and with Beth at Simply Beth to provide images every few weeks for her Sunday community.

God began unlocking the last door at For the Love, where I’d unintentionally hijacked a conversation, realized, and apologized, and Kelly tenderly said, “No. Don’t apologize. Your story’s inspiring. Thank you!

Inspiring? I thought. I’d have used almost any word but inspiring.

Later that day, Erin had looked across the table during a breakout session and said, “You love words.”

Yes! I thought. Yes! Yes, I do love words.

Oh…

For almost two years, the words had clogged in my throat, the emotion a little too close, a little too raw. So I’d spilled into image what I’d been unable to pour into words.

I’d come to For the Love in part because I’d longed for validation as an artist. Longed to know if my photography was just a “great hobby” or might one day be good enough to sell. Uncharacteristically, and with all the courage I could muster, I’d asked Jeremy, owner of Jeremy Hess Photographers if he would take a look at my work, just a few pieces, and give me his honest opinion. He did. I wish I remembered his words. They spoke life and surprised me. In a good way.

Yet while I don’t remember Jeremy’s exact words, I do remember that moment, the encouragement, his challenge to grow in intentionality, to “ask God what He wants you to see in this image,” to become as proficient with each of my lenses as I am with my macro.

There at a photography workshop in the rolling hills of Oregon, I remembered how much I love words. And something broke loose. Maybe the words weren’t gone. Maybe the photography was more than a hobby. Maybe they were two pieces of the very same puzzle.

Light began to glint from all edges of the door.

Then last night, my friend Pamela, who’s been encouraging me to write a book for years, suggesting options, possibilities, and opportunities said, “You need to write your story. It’s powerful. You have so much peace. Your life is hard. I can’t even imagine. And yet you are so filled with peace. Why do you think we all want to spend time with you? The harder your life is, the harder you lean into Jesus, and it’s beautiful.”

I sat across the well-worn, wooden table from my friend in tears.

And the door swung wide.

For nearly seven years, I’ve been writing moments. Stringing them together. Word by word by word.

The story of our lives.

A book.

A journey. Led by God. With light enough for each new step.

Moment by moment by moment. Word by word by word.

Life through a macro lens.

This morning, my husband, who believes in me far more than I have ever believed in myself wrote, “I wanted to ask for your prayers and encouragement for Cindee as she sets out on a new adventure. Because of the encouragement from a few [at For the Love] like Kelly and Erin about her gift with “words,” and the encouragement of a friend back here at home, Cindee has decided to finally — I’ve been trying for quite some time, but unsuccessfully, to get her to — write a book…AMEN! Thank you to each one of you who shared your hearts, encouraged my beautiful wife, and gave her that extra bit of hope and love that she needed, and God so perfectly set in place.”

So…I’m writing a book.

Opening my heart and sharing the story of our lives. Weaving together the moments already written. Fleshing them out. Inviting you in. Living these next months intentionally, through all the lenses in my bag, and loving bravely!

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Filed under 28 Days of Love, Photos and Quotes

The Wonder of Worship


Wishing you a beautiful Sabbath day, Friends!

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May you feel
the Presence of God
in every moment,
God in you,
your feet on Holy Ground.

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Filed under 31 Days on Holy Ground

On Holy Ground


Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.”

When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!”

And Moses said, “Here I am.”

“Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” Exodus 3:1-5

HolyGround

Join me over the next 31 Days as I explore in word and image what it means to stand on Holy Ground.

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Filed under 31 Days on Holy Ground

Warrior Sisters


IMG_9252

In the quiet of the canyon,
Love slipped in on emerald wings

weaving hope among the thorns,
the Holy bleeding through the night

like diamonds,
until we said, Good Bye.

Yet across the miles,
hearts circled,

lifting, shielding,
wielding prayer and tears

and grace,
mercy falling

across the keys
of each pulsing life,

toes dipped
into the cool, clear waters

cutting deep
these ancient walls.

Tender flames grafting
into an unlikely band

of Freedom Fighters,
thirteen strong.

We are:

Frio-birthed,
Canyon-fed,
Grace-filled,
God-loving,
Hope-giving,
Prayer-drenched,
Love-nourished,
Word-sated,
Wagon-circling,
Trust-unfurling,
Shield-wielding
Frio, Ninja,

Warrior Sisters,

And we are ONE!
No sister left behind.

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Filed under Poetry

Rhythm of Grace


IMG_7292

Moments set to
mouse clicks

and whirring
washers,

pencils
softly etching

days
into seasons,

wounds
into years.

Pain snapped
across the crisp

white pages
of time,

whorl of words
frothing

toward the
light,

cascading
heartbeats

held
tenderly

in an endless
rhythm of days,

roots
sinking,

tendrils
reaching,

stretching,
drinking in,

the eternal rhythm
of grace.

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Filed under Poetry

Radiant Wings


MarvelousNature

Sometimes all we need is a little sunlight to see the radiance.
May His Light surprise you in a hundred tiny ways today.

1 Comment

Filed under Photos and Quotes

Strength for the Morning


StrengthEveryMorning

4 Comments

June 4, 2013 · 8:35 am