Saturday, December 31, 2011


The moments between holidays in December roll lethargically around here. Fresh memories of time well spent with relatives bounce in between the thoughts of the coming new year. A fresh start in a couple of hours. It's coming, and all I can think is, am I prepared?

I get so frustrated sometimes when preparing for life. I have to get the changers up and see to it that they have their stuff in order, sign planners, mittens for the youngest, and money for the oldest. Then there is meal planning, grocery shopping, laundry, and then ever present mess left by my four resident ADDers. Sport and music schedules, financial records to keep and balance, beds to change and floors to sweep. Lesson plans to find and prep, and taking out and putting away all my creation supplies. Life is so messy when I don't prepare, and I'm not even that good at it. It's details. The constant fight between who I am in Christ and who I slipped into believing I was. 

A wise man in my life once said, "Prior proper planning prevents piss pour performance." Even if you don't like those words, you can't argue with that truth. Preparing is everything. 

John the Baptist. He gets a bad wrap sometimes, eating weird things and proclaiming words that didn't help him seem off his rocker. He was given the ultimate job of preparing for Jesus's ministry here on earth. John, a baby from the womb of a woman, was given the task to prepare the way for the Lord. Thats a high calling, and I half wonder if John ever wanted to say "to heck with this whole thing, these people are too stupid, why on earth do they even deserve you Lord to come?" He didn't of course. He kept on keeping on preparing the way. He painted a picture of a different life. A simple, better way to live. Someone has to go first, and John was picked to prepare.

Someone has to go first, to show people there is a different way to live. To take the brunt of the change and make it a doable thing. Full time job, of course, but it starts with me, and my heart. Do I look at preparing with details and drudgery? or do I look at it as blessing and making my paths straight for others to follow? Answers come, but I'd rather not answer here in public, because I very often fall very short of preparing well. Then the words of a dear brother in Christ ring very loudly in my soul, drilled there by him many times over, "Give yourself grace sister."  Grace given, I begin crying out again in preparation of the new. 

In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand," For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said, 
"The voice of one crying in the wilderness:  
Prepare the way of the Lord; make his paths straight."  
Matthew 3:1-3

 "Truly I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen 
no one greater than John the Baptist." 
Matthew 11:11

Preparation is important. Jesus had it, so I'm thinking we could benefit from it... a little. 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

for a Savior, we wait.

The world would stand as it was. Beautiful and wanting. Decaying under the penalty of the snatched power it had thought it carried. The world, everything in it, needed the Word at that it waited. 

Thoughts and questions ring out generation after generation. Were the Words true? When He spoke were they all true? Will the Word ever become flesh? Who will save us if the Words aren't true?

 Words, it was all words. Just talk. Here Say. Years pass. People forget. Broken lives happen. 
Words lost then found. Words fought over, and rejected. Words heard and forgotten. 
It was the Word that could change the world, unless the Words weren't true, 

 The world waits for a Savior. 

"So, you, by the help of your God, 
return, hold fast to love and justice,
 and wait continually for your God.
Hosea 12:6

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

always covered

First day of winter. Shortest day ever and I have so much to do, blogging shouldn't be one of them, but I have had this on my heart for a while now, and interaction with a few close friends tell me I'm on the  right track thinking that the next few days are filled with a couple of things that trigger something deep within us all.

It starts with the big picture, everyone excited to see each other, together. Family under one roof, for what may seem eternity. Struggling as you go through the motions because someone somewhere a million years ago decided for you that family was a great thing and buying gifts and eating together were expected, especially on this day. Christmas. A day when it seems the world stops and the focus on family takes center stage. A day when drinking is at it's all time high I'm sure. Used as a numb out, to kill those feelings like you don't exactly fit in. To kill that growing sense of failure, that trail of guilt, to deafen constant bickering between those you love. Have another drink, this day will be over faster. The day ends like all other times... you wanting nothing to do with those whom you call family. Thankful that there are 365 days at least until the expectation is on you again. Collapsing into bed you cry yourself to sleep... why is life with family so hard? 

Patterns repeat themselves, generationally speak of course. You do what your mom did, or what your father didn't do. It's a lens in which you see the world. A chain reaction that you had no choice but to follow. Feelings of regret, guilt, behaviors, hang-ups, emotional garbage all passed from one generation to the next. Freely. Unintentionally. 

Once you are blessed enough to know that you don't have to live like that. In that same chain.. you  decide. You choose to live differently. A motivation from Above that requires an emotional distance from the chain you grew up in. Living differently requires courage. The link you have become doesn't quite fit. You have chosen to not believe the lie that life needs to be this way with family. You choose to be in a different family. A family that loves, accepts, and honors your steps. A family that cherishes your heart, and encourages you on your journey. A family that isn't the one you grew up in. This family is the Body. The hands and feet of the Savior. Jesus. 

I personally can't change the days ahead for you, my sweet reader. I can only encourage you to look for the good in life. The candles on the table, the way your mom's cookie jar is always full, a brief word from your father that blesses you instead of curses your heart, the phone call from your son. It's the little things. The joyful admist the painful. Think about the Truth you know. The way God loves you and the way He shows you while your exchanging gifts, and sharing that meal. Then, when the holidays are over... 

Do some hard work and plan to spend the next 365 days intimately connected with the Father who loves you, cares for you, and would never ever do anything to harm you in anyway. You just might.. if you look at the past images.. find that He was your covering all along. In fact, He covered your whole frost on this first day of winter. 

"Oh Lord my God, I have cried to you for help, 
and you have healed me." 
Psalm 30:2

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

love is baked.

They needed cookies, but I'm not convinced they realized that making cookies took all day. 

Cracking eggs, learning the abbreviations for measurements, washing dishes. 
It all was a process. A messy baking process. 

In the end, we had cookies. Yummy cookies. 

 I hear a ton of talk about the absence of snow in our little corner of the world. I'll agree snow is a wonderful thing at Christmas time, however I wonder if the lack of snow means the abundance of something else we miss when we look at what we don't have. Like the lack of cookies means you need to get together with friends and intentionally bake some.  

Of course it's a process that might take all day... perhaps longer. 
Just focus on what you do have, call a few friends and in the midst of the mess 
you just might see God showing His glory to you. 

And when your cookies are done, you can be thankful and share them 
with friends who need some fresh baked cookies. 

Monday, December 19, 2011

intentional death

I brought my camera intending to capture the night. Wanting desperately. Seeking silently. Ever watching for the moment when a small click in the corner would be appropriate. It never happened. I couldn't capture it. The raw emotion. The feeling.  It became apparent that I was to play a role in the night. A bystander that needed a fresh touch of the blood. Willingly covered. What I witnessed was death. or was it life? 

The best laid paths are the ones you build yourself right? Measuring so carefully that your steps and plans will be fulfilled. Until you find that when you look backwards it wasn't a very straight and narrow built path. Instead it's strewn about with wreckage and carnage of good intentions and destruction from the pit of hell.  Misspoken words, a heart that wasn't always looking for the good in others, actions that were far away from the life you wanted to lead. It's sin. All that stuff behind you is sin and lies and it needs to be covered in the blood that Jesus freely gave to save you. His death can give you life. A life that you will never experience unless you die. 

In that room, where people had done the hard work to examine the path that they had walked and were willingly, in front of others, dying to themselves was a feeling that I couldn't capture. Any image I would have taken would have been a substitute for the real thing.  Pornography. A cheapening of the real deal. I couldn't. I didn't want to lessen anything. Instead of looking through the lens as a bystander. I grasped onto it with the eyes of my heart realizing that none would ever "get it" until they sat in my chair, in that room, with a God so big who became so little to show us how to love each other, love ourselves, and love Him.  It was intimacy that I came to capture in my camera, but I captured it in my heart instead, a branding of Him. I had died to live, again. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

He's in the details.

She and I have spent hours and hours building trust. Quality time that only the God of us both could have orchestrated. I adore her. Well, she's a talker. I adore that about her. She ALWAYS has a story or two or three about anything and everything. When you sit down with her you quickly realize that she is a rare find. A jewel.

She sent me the following email this morning. I didn't ask her permission to share it before I am with you. It actually makes me giddy for her to open up her her direct email of this blog. She will freak out, but not because I am giving you her words exactly as written, but because she's humble to the core. I have read and listened to perhaps millions of her words and I'm telling you, if you read all of the ones below, you will be blessed and I pray that you will hunger for a God of the details.


As I grew up, my mom would tell me I had a vivid imagination. Today, I really appreciate that the Lord put that in I read the Bible or any book of interest, I can picture the scene in my mind. I can see a young Solomon, sitting with David, 'tender and the only one in the sight of his mother, being taught by dad.' David telling Solomon all about things of God. To love the Lord, to trust Him, to acknowledge Him in all his ways, and his path will be directed. As David was close to death he would tell his son, have wisdom, and know what to do. I see the love in so many of these people as I read. Jonathan and David had such a closeness, a bond that was not broken even through death.
How about King Hezekiah having a relationship with the prophet Isaiah. In the past I thought of these major prophets kind of behind the scenes,...not really someone to go talk to. It's just cool for me to know that when Hezekiah needed a prayer, a word in due season, he came to Isaiah. I bet they had great godly chats.

I can picture a very young Josiah begin to seek God. Jeremiah was very young also, when he was called to be a prophet. Now envision Josiah and Jeremiah kind of growing in the Lord together. To see great things the Lord is doing, to give Him the glory,..I can picture them walking side by side making melody in their hearts. Josephus the historian, says that the prophet Jeremiah sang a song at Josiah's funeral, that was sung for the next 100 years. I believe they had a great relationship, and it must have been very hard when Josiah died.
What about Amos, another prophet. Taken from a book written in 1909..." He was not rich. His family had no distinction. He had to work hard. He lived in the country, had no training for public speech, and had no influential friends"..(that we know of). "Now he was to go into a hostile kingdom and there, in the face of ridicule, opposition and fierce threats, he had his say and made men hear...then he quietly went back home to his sheep and sycamore trees. As for training, it did come, in the form of time alone with the Spirit of God." Can you see all of this in your mind? The writer goes into more then likely he had a wife, a Mrs. Amos. Maybe she was thinking,..she should have married Amaziah! After all, if something happened to Amos, then what will happen to her and the kids. Sure, I can see the whole picture.

For me, I also love details. When I learn that someone is reading the Bible, or just got saved, I want to know the details! What are you reading? Is it exciting for you?? What happened to you, that made you turn to the living God 'for reals'! You can ask my brother-in-law, and he may tell you I'm a stalker in that way. It's too exciting to just 'just stand back'.. I want to hear the story behind it. I want to hear the things God has done in your life.

All of this is fresh in my mind, because I have been reading Acts. Paul was in Corinth. When Gallio became governor of Achaia, some Jews rose up against Paul and brought him before the governor for judgment. Gallio didn't want to concern himself with the matter. Sosthenes had been chosen to be the ruler of the synagogue so he would have been the one to present the case against Paul to Gallio. When Gallio let the matter go, the Greeks grabbed Sosthenes and beat him.

It hurt my heart for him, knowing he was beaten. I just didn't understand. As I looked more into this, in a couple of different study Bibles, and the commentaries, it says this same 'Sosthenes' may be the one who was with Paul in Corinthians 1:1..'Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother.' All I could think of was..his story. When he was beaten, was that when he had enough of that past life? When Paul had preached, was Sosthenes in the crowd, and the still small voice of God making Himself known? I would love to be the stalker right now, and hear his story. If I am going to be obsessed, I'm glad it's this.

And when she's done talking I usually end up in my brain condensing down all those wonderful thoughts into a sentence that barely does all her words justice, but the beauty of the body of Christ is that it takes all of us to learn and grow. We can't do it alone. I for one am happy Deanna majors in details.. just like God. 

Friday, November 25, 2011

the painting i would have missed.

I  can appreciate a great bargain, and truth be told my sisters and I spent hours yesterday talking shopping plans and whats on sale and who opens when. The Lead Singer LOVES black Friday. He's our go-to man on anything related. He loves a deal more than anyone I know and he left this morning with my dad to hit boy stores. Um.... no desire to go with them. Hmmm they didn't even invite me come to think of it. Gosh, I hope that doesn't mean my Christmas present is coming from Cabela's.  Naw.. they don't have fabric there.. the Lead Singer is smarter than that, but I digress..

Well, I woke up this morning well rested. We ended up not attending the very early morning deals and are opting to shop locally today. Shop locally, what a great plan. There are some great people in our town that supply some great things capable of gift giving. Shopping locally is not a high calling. It just makes sense. However, this in and of itself, isn't the reason that we chose to not stay up all hours galavanting with the rest of the city to get the best deals of the year. Nope.

It was the wind.


Unseasonably warm, yet windy.

The wind, plain and simple.

That's not an excuse. My sister just didn't want to go out into the wind and I really don't blame her. I normally hate the wind, but this morning I am thanking her.  Had we went shopping, I would have been sleeping this morning when the skies turned bright pink with the first kisses of the sun.

When I'm remembering the good 'ole days I want to remember sunrises that God uses my favorite color to paint with... not the 200 bucks I saved on something fleeting.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

just a man and a pen.

One of the things I am extremely thankful for is my church.  Some of my best friends in the whole wide world are there. You know the ones that you just know will be shacked up next to you in Gloryland, but even if they aren't you would walk the span of heaven just to spend time with them. It touches my heart deeply when I think of all the tears shed and growing up in the Lord we have done side by side. There isn't anything I wouldn't do for them. They are often my lifeline to reality. Setting my thinking straight and blessing me with wisdom well beyond this earth. Its sharing life together honestly that we moved beyond the shadows cast on us by the evil one.. past all the pride and selfish ambitions.. to safety. That's what I feel. Safe. A safe place to worship my Savior as He made me. Golly it takes work, with a capital "W" to be in a safe place where freedom is celebrated, but the benefits far outweigh the squirming and flip flops your soul does in an effort to see the Truth as a community. It's a beautiful thing. Trust me. 

Thomas Obediah Chisholm

  •  Born: Ju­ly 29, 1866, Frank­lin, Ken­tucky.
  • Chisholm was ed­u­cat­ed in a small count­ry school, and be­came its teach­er at age 16. 
  • At age 21, he be­came as­so­ci­ate ed­it­or of the week­ly news­pa­per, The Frank­lin Fav­or­ite
  • In 1893, he be­came a Christ­ian un­der the min­is­try of Dr. Hen­ry Clay Mor­rison
  • Chis­holm moved to Lou­is­ville at the per­sua­sion of Mor­ris­on and be­came ed­it­or of the Pen­te­cos­tal Her­ald.
  •  He was or­dained a Meth­od­ist min­is­ter in 1903 and served a brief pas­tor­ate at Scotts­ville, Ken­tucky. 
  • In poor health, he moved his fam­i­ly to a farm near Wi­nona Lake, In­di­a­na. 
  • He be­came an in­sur­ance sales­man, moving to Vine­land, New Jer­sey, in 1916. 
  • He re­tired in 1953 to the Meth­od­ist Home for the Aged in Ocean Grove, New Jer­sey. 
  • Died: Feb­ru­a­ry 29, 1960, Ocean Grove, New Jer­sey.
He wasn't all that successful.  He never held a high office. By the look of this list his ministry was brief even. You might not know him, but you know one of his famous poems that was put to music. It is the song that you often hum to yourself when you are so thankful for Him that words just don't seem like enough. Words that are wrote by a man who wasn't anything special in the eyes of the world. Words that  give my soul a voice. 

Great is thy faithfulness, O God my Father; 
there is no shadow of turning with thee.
thou changest not, thy compassions, 
they fail not;as thou hast been thou forever will be.

Great is thy faithfulness! Great is thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see;all I have needed thy hand hath provided;
great is thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
sun, moon and stars in their courses above
join with all nature in manifold witness to thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
thy own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside! 

It's this hymn. The words of a man who was just a man who loved God and liked to write that remind me that God is faithful to the core. He can't be anything but.  It's this faithfulness that has allowed me to be a part of something way bigger than me. A church that searches out and clings to His faithfulness. A community of faithful believers who believe that being faithful to God is the most important thing in the world. When we meet, we remind each other there is strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow. I  need that reminder often. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

He asked me a question.

He smiled, took my face and asked me a question. I've heard the question asked many times over again through the Bible.. but Jesus was asking me. This was different. He wanted me to be sure deep down of somethings about Him. Confident. He reminded me that this wasn't a content question. He assured me that His fingerprints would be all over the answer so that I would know and also feel that I'm 100% right in His eyes. Do you even know how much that little gift means to me?? There really IS no wrong answer! 

 "Kelly, who do you say that I am?" 

and He had me grab my camera.. and walk. 

You are the morning sun revealing the night's secrets.
You are worthy to be trusted. You are constant. You are free. 
Full of love for those who look, see and taste. 

You are complete. You are perfect words. 
You are the step giver who keeps my feet from stumbling. 
You are my foundation. You are the Rock on which I stand. 
You surround me with your grace. You are my cover.

You sometimes keep yourself hidden until my steps lead me to you. Discovery of You in me is part of the journey. You are a gift to be opened and shared. You are peace. 

I just have to ask you friend.... Who do you say that He is? 

"Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord." 
Hosea 6:3

Monday, November 14, 2011

how to motivate a hinge.

The questions collide in my soul with the force of the sun at daybreak. 

How do you motivate a hinge? 
(proverbs 26:14) 


Why did Jesus get seemingly all upset
 at the woman asking to 
heal her daughter 
from a demon? 
(Matthew 15:21-28)

 Did you know that there are no kiddos in the bible that asked for anything of Jesus?  No requests. Nothing. Nada. That surprised me, cuz well, my world changers ask for stuff all the time. They are children and they need stuff. So, why, in the most important book in my life is there no mention of children asking for anything?  I think the answer is found in a hinge. 

A hinge only works if someone attaches it to something. Then, it only moves if someone moves it. A hinge can't do anything by itself. It's a formed piece of metal that has a specific use. It doesn't get to decide if it wants to be a hinge. It just is. So when Proverbs likens a hinge to a lazy person it has me thinking.  

 My heart begins to sort out the evidence. 
  • in the bible children don't ask for anything.. a parent does on their behalf 
  • a hinge is like a lazy person.. it needs outside force for it to work. 
  • children can be lazy and drive their parent's nutso. 
A ton of bricks comes off my chest when I realize that it's my job as a parent to ask God to motivate a changer into something other than a door hinge. It's not my job to motivate. I can however, plead with the Father over and over just like the woman did when she asked that He heal her daughter in Matthew. Jesus wasn't mad at her for asking. He knew she had the faith and could have healed her right there on the spot, but maybe it wasn't about healing her daughter.  Maybe it was about a woman drawing closer to the Father over and over on behalf of her child. Maybe instead of just trusting the hinge to work on it's own or even forcing it to work, the mother knew the only way for her daughter to be healed was to go to the Father ask him to move it... and to keep asking until the Father healed her child. 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

it's a yummy cupcake day!

Today, I made cupcakes and I love them. 

I got the recipe via pinterest, if you haven't started pinning yet... well, your getting more sleep than those who have. It's seriously the best thing ever for us visual folks. If your so inclined hop on over to via the linky and make a batch yourself. They whip up fast, and if you get 'em done before your world changers get off the bus.. you can even lick the frosting bowl. Go ahead, I won't tell.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

HapPyDay Creations.

Time ticks away silently as I labor over the vision that He has laid on my heart.

Over and over again, He and I connect through the process called creating. Him, loving me through the words and wishes of patrons that frequently stop on by. Me, honing my skills by repeating over and over again things I know. Together we dance. 

We commune on a level I'm not sure I even understand. Tears frequent my eyes, as I pour out my heart.. and God whispers to my very soul.  A whisper that is so sweet to my ears that I seldom believe it. A whisper that echos into those deep seeded lies, grabbing whats left of the roots and hurling them out. Together, we plant good seed. Happy seeds.

For those who read the words and see the beauty understand. It's from Him. It's His work. I am extremely grateful that those that join this journey with me and encourage my steps by purchasing the something that has touched their heart... God and  I we love seeing you have more and more HapPyDaYs.  With the very breath that He gave me... I can't thank you enough. 

Friday, October 7, 2011

ahhh Italy!

Are you thinking like I am that this was the never ending vacation? Seems like I've been tell you about it now forever. Regardless.. lets move on to the most fantastic day for views yet. If I would have googled anything about this day, I would have known what I was in for, but once again, brother-in-law "Rick Steve" came to the rescue and did the research, hired a private driver and off we went.... 

to the Almafi coast in Italy.   Stunning in EVERY way possible. 

Cities built into the mountains, makes me wonder how they did that a lot. 

This is the first view of the city of Sorrento.. a deep valley right across the street from the parking garage.  Here we shopped a little, but could have stayed the whole darn day. The weather was amazing and the shops were all unique and interesting. 

 Then after an hour or so we went further on to the city of Positano. 

Tourist town of course, but it was just a darling little busy town.

In hindsight, I would have stripped down and dove in.. golly it was just beautiful to be standing the Mediterranean Sea with the man of my dreams.

Our driver then took us to a local place to eat. A place where the food came right off the land. I know here we can do that too, but to just partake in the goodness and not worry about the other stuff that comes with growing and preparing your own food, left me feeling very spoiled.

Here's the crew looking out right before we entered the restaurant.

Homemade mozzarella and tomatoes picked just moments before we devoured them.

If you ever get a chance... go there. Thats all I'm saying. 

Being in the mountains, tunnels were very much a part of life. I think this one lasted 3 miles.. Kinda freaky if you ask me. 

Then, onto Pompei. 

Buried under the ash of Mt Vesuvius, Pompei was just blowing my mind. So much to think about while walking the streets of the city of 20,000 that once had so much to offer whoever visited.  

Here's our guide, and the Lead Singer demonstrating how the people would cross the streets when it rained. Do you see the elevated rocks? I don't have the picture, mainly because it was daylight, but they inlayed bright reflective stones on the street, so that the lanterns from the chariots would reflect the street so that they could see the road. To say the people of Pompei were great builders is a vast understatement.

They even had spas, and what's weird is that it actually felt like a spa we'd have today.

If you haven't researched Pompeii, this might actually intrigue you.  The person above was filled full of plaster type material when found, and a body emerged in the exact position of death, same with the following image.

One last shot of the mountain that cause the fall of Pompeii, and it was back to the boat.

Where we had formal night. 

we almost made it home....