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Delighting in my God, I desire to dwell in His pleasure and to help others experience true delight.

"Delight Yourself in the Lord;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him, and He will do it.
And He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,
And your judgment as the noonday.  
Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him;..." Ps 37:4-7a

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Being Delivered from the Negatives of Critical


The Five Minute Friday Word for this week is REMEMBER.


Artist: Steve Hanks

One of the things that is a strength for me is also a weakness.  I see things that need fixing.  I am a fixer.  Doesn’t that sound nicer than I am critical, but alas, that is part of who I am.  I tend to see what is out of place, what needs repair, what is still left to be done.  

Until a few years ago, I saw this as only a negative.  I remember hating this about myself and always wanting to change.  Then one day I had a conversation with a friend who suffered from the same ailment.  She pointed out how we need people who are able to see what needs to be fixed.  It is only bad if you don’t see it in yourself and temper it with appreciation.  It, like most traits, just needs to be managed in order to be a blessing rather than a curse.  Well that was much more pleasant.

Since then I have learned more about gifts of the spirit and how being able to contribute constructive criticism is often called for.  My children have mentioned on more than one occasion that they appreciate constructive criticism because it helps them improve and they truly dislike false praise given just to make them feel good.  Further confirmation that this trait is not totally to be despised.

However, I also have realized that my critical nature has been a stumbling block to me, and it is good to keep that in perspective as well.  The Lord has been teaching me about love of late.  It is my word for the year.  I am already seeing how very much I have to learn about love.  It is a humbling journey to see how much criticism has kept me from loving or how the lack of love has cultivated a critical cynicism.  I thank God for continually humbling me, because it is in that humbling that He is showing me where I need to repent and how I can become more like Christ.  

STOP.  5 minutes up.

It never ceases to amaze me how I think I know something, and God clarifies how little I really know.  I am also grateful for that.  It has given me perspective along my life journey.  I have many humble, tearful, joyful rides with the Lord these days.  It is life-changing.  It is life-enhancing.  It’s liberating.  The tears shed, are tears of joy as the Holy Spirit not only shows me the error and sin that have been my stumbling blocks, but concurrently delivers me from them.  What a gracious loving God.  As He sets free, everything else becomes richer.  It’s like the smoker who gets a new appreciation for food once she quits because the taste or rather her ability to experience the taste is intensified.  

Ah the renewing power of the Holy Spirit brings love to life and leaves the fixing to Him.


But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul.  Deuteronomy 4:29



Now, set your timer, clear your head, for five minutes of free writing without worrying about getting it right.
http://lisajobaker.com/2013/03/five-minute-friday-remember-2/

Now, set your timer, clear your head, for five minutes of free writing without worrying about getting it right.

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..
Oh and Ahem, if you would take pity and turn off comment verification, it would make leaving some love on your post that much easier for folks!
OK, are you ready? Please give us your best five minutes on:::
Remember…
Also linking up with:

What Joy Is Mine

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Blog Blitz Linkup - A Great Idea!

Cruising Altitude 2.0



D.L. Hammond at Cruising Altitude 2.0  has started a blog linkup he has called Blog Blitz.

Here is what D.L is suggesting, 
What would it be like if the support, encouraging nature, and community spirit of the blogosphere were ever focused on a single blogger?”  

His idea is to get a list of bloggers together to ‘blitz’ a selected, deserving blog on a specific date so that the blogger will get a large number of commenters at one time and feel the love of the blogosphere community in a special way.  I couldn’t help think, “what a great idea!”  Wanna know more?  Hop on over to and check out the rest of the story on Blog Blitz.

So go on over to Cruising Altitude 2.0 and linkup.  It will be fun to be a part of a blessing team blitzing a deserving blogger.  Who knows, you just might get your chance at being blitzed yourself at some point.
   
Thanks D.L. for coming up with a super linkup.  

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Confessions of an Insecure Writer/Blogger

Insecure Writer's Support Group

Thanks to Alex Cavanaugh, there is a place to go for insecure writer's like me.  Visiting those who link up there though, I find that even among the insecure I am out of my league.  However, the great thing about the blogging community is that there is no shortage of encouragers.  So I am grateful for the opportunity to expose my vulnerabilities to those who will only help me through them.  Thanks in advance.  Can you pick up on my insecurity already?

You see, I am always two steps behind the technological revolution of the day.  I don’t mind that and in fact I rather like it.  However, I am afraid I am two steps behind in other things as well.  I feel rather behind the power curve in blogging, two steps behind in my writing aptitude, two steps behind in keeping up with what I should know in both of these skills.  So sometimes, actually, I usually feel quite out of my league.  Confessions of an insecure writer/ blogger.  There it is.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Nominated For the Liebster Award

Sharon from Sharon Himsl's Shells, Tales and Sails has nominated me for the Liebster Award.



 As I commented to Sharon, I was grateful and touched that she nominated me and that she mentioned she follows my blog.  Thank you, Sharon.  If there is one thing that is readily recognizable about the blogging community, at least in the blog-land I have been, it is that bloggers are very encouraging.  As a new-be to blogging, I appreciate the support.  

Receiving this award sent me on a quest to find out more about it.  Apparently I am not the only one that has done that upon receiving this award.  One very informative blog, Sopphey Says, was visited by Sharon, my nominator, right before me.  Small blog world!

What I discovered is that there is quite a bit to be known about the Liebster, and there are quite a few holes in what there is to know.  Liebster is a German term of endearment and the award is meant to encourage a small blog which you have become fond of.  It has several variations across the web, but you must be a recipient to be able to nominate.  To actually receive the award, all you have to do is follow through.

Finding the origin of the award took more research than I was able to invest.  However, it does seem that the size of blogs which have been recommended for the Liebster have varied from under 200 followers to under 1000.  I found rules for follow on nominations ranging from 3 to 11 blogs of your choosing.  I also found that when people had received multiple nominations for the Liebster that they tended to modify their approach.  This may be how the Liebster has morphed over time, but that is pure speculation.

Being a new-be, I don’t want to overstep my liberties, but I thought it would be ok to do a mix of previous versions even while trying to honor Sharon in her nomination of my blog.  So, I will list the Liebster Award rules as they were passed down from Sharon.  Then after I comply with answering her questions, listing my random facts, and creating my questions for my nominees, I will indicate my slight turn to the past. 

Liebster Award Rules as they reached me:
1. Thank the blogger who presented you with the Liebster Award, and link back to his or her blog.

2. Answer the 11 questions from the nominator; list 11 random facts about yourself, and create 11 questions for your nominees.

3. Present the Liebster Award to 11 bloggers, who have blogs with 200 followers or less, whom you feel deserve to be noticed. Leave a comment on the blogs letting the owners know they have been chosen. (No tag backs.)

4.  Upload the Liebster Award image to your blog.

I have thanked Sharon earlier, but let me do so again.  Though there are no judges and no set rules that can’t be fidgeted with a little, it is a way of encouraging and complimenting bloggers you think are deserving of recognition.  You have blessed me, Sharon; thank you.  Here are my 11 answers to your questions (Somehow I ended up with 12) and 11 random facts about myself.  

 Eleven questions for me answered:

1.  What is your favorite form of recreation?  My favorite form of recreation is racquetball.  On the court I feel free and energized.  Unfortunately due to knee surgery, I can’t play for some months, so right now my favorite form of recreation is sudoku since it doesn’t require me to use my knee.

2.  What kinds of books do you read?  I like a good mystery novel, but I am most drawn to books about Scripture that deepen my conviction and grow my understanding and stretch me to be better.

3.  Why did you start blogging?  I like to write and I like to help people.  I thought that blogging would give me the impetus to write more and the avenue to encourage people who may be struggling to have or hold onto a joyful countenance.  My rationale to keep blogging may be somewhat different.

4.  Do you read books on an e-reader or prefer printed books?  I do read books on a e-reader, but prefer printed books.

5.  Name two actors or authors you admire.  I loved Charlton Heston.  He pops to mind most readily.  I like Megan Follows.  And being fond of mysteries, I am an Agatha Christie fan.  However, I do have a hard time picking favorites.

6.  What makes you laugh?  Those random things, that give you the giggles and get you rolling and you can’t stop.  I remember a few years ago when our family, my husband, our five children, not little anymore, and myself were on vacation in Disney World.  We were on the bus and decided for some odd reason to pick nicknames.  Before I knew what was happening I got the giggles and couldn’t stop laughing.  Playing games with family also is often a time with lots of laughter.  I like to laugh!

7.  Which do you prefer and why: dogs or cats?  Oh my, I couldn’t choose.  I love my dog and I love my cats.

8.  When or where do you feel most creative?  I am most creative when I can’t do anything about writing down what’s on my mind.  I wish I could hold onto those fleeting genius moments, but alas I am afraid my magnum opus has floated away on the wings of a dream.

9.  What is your favorite fast food or snack?  My favorite snack, another tough one.  I have a hard time with favorites because it can change with the moment.  Chocolate is wonderful, crackers and cheese have their place, but I think I will have to say.....

10.  Do you have a special place you go to relax?  I like to be alone often to relax; so I may just seek out the place where I can find some alone space, the living room if it is vacant, the bedroom if it is not, and when my legs work, a walk in the fresh air.

11.  Do you have a favorite comic strip?  Not really.  I used to like Family Circle.

12.  If you could travel back in time, where would you like to go?  I might just go back to visit my own life when I was younger to revisit my own memories and bring back the living color.  

My 11 random facts:

1.  I am more grateful by the day for grace especially as I learn more how to 
      apply it.

2.  One of my greatest delights is to always be learning.

3.  When I feel mistreated or hurt, I prefer to walk away than confront, but I  
      humbly admit I have to work hard to heal the wound.

4.  I prefer to stay two steps behind technological advancement.

5.  I really appreciate a tidy house, but I know I will never have one.

6.  I am mortified that I will have to swim as part of my regular exercise routine 
     because I am embarrassed to be seen in a bathing suit.

7.  As much as I like a relaxing walk by myself, I prefer to walk with someone 
     else.

8.  Scrabble is my favorite game.

9.  I would love to have a place in Daytona Beach someday, where my husband grew up and we still have family and the smell and view of the beach and river is such a delight to me.  However, I have come to be content with the dream and am satisfied that if God should want that to be so be it, and if not, He has something more worthwhile for us.  

10.  I miss my mom so very much and still cry about it sometimes.  Even though it has been three years since she went home to be with the Lord, it still feels very raw.  From time to time, I still cry missing my dad even though he has been gone almost 25 years.

11.  Nothing tickles me quite so much as when I see my children do random acts of kindness, especially to each other.

My eleven questions for my nominees.

  1. Why did you start blogging and why do you continue?
  2.   What would you like to change about yourself?
  3.   Who is someone who inspires you and why?
  4.   What is one cherished memory you are willing to share?
  5.   What energizes you?
  6.   What relaxes you?
  7.   What do you like to do for fun?
  8.   What is a favorite...?  And why?
  9.   What is a dream you are willing to share?
  10.   What is something you like about yourself?
  11.   What is something on your bucket list?

My twist:

I am nominating 3 blogs for the Liebster rather than 11.  I decided on these three for very specific reasons.  There are so many wonderful excellent blogs out there, I would have such a hard time choosing.  The three I am nominating are three that truly are dear to me for specific reasons beyond the fact that they are worthy in their own right.


The first two blogs belong to ladies near and dear to me who launched me into the blogging world.  They may already have been recipients, but it is a joy for me to nominate them since they will always have a special place in my heart and their blogs are such an inspiration to me.  The third blogger on my list I have come to feel is like a friend who I have never met, like many bloggers I visit with regularly.  However, she was one of the very first to come along side me from outside my inner circle to encourage me.  I have come to feel like visiting her blog is like having coffee with a friend.  To these three ladies I say thank you for inspiring me.  I hope you are blessed to receive this nomination as I was.

Now for my little, very little turn to the past.  So as not to cut short my responsibility to Sharon of mentioning 11 blogs though I am only nominating 3, I thought I would list some of the PAST Liebster recipients who I visited in my quest to know more.   Some of their sites aided me in my quest.  Others were just plain good to visit, and isn’t that what the Liebster is all about - complimenting, encouraging, and connecting?  So here are a few past Liebster winners you may want to check out.



8 + 3 = 11, and don’t forget to check out Sharon Himsl's Shells, Tales and Sails.