Remember and Celebrate

April 16, 2014


Psalm 34:8
Taste and see that the LORD is good; 
blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.

Sitting by the lake with my granola bar and my
½ decaf/ ½  hot water/extra milk/two Splenda coffee
God reminds of something I already know.
He’s like that when we pay attention.  
He likes to speak to us in our ordinary life
doing ordinary things.  

I’ve been trying to slow down when I eat. 
And ever so slowly I savor the granola bar
the sweet chocolaty taste
lingering on my tongue.

And it’s so much more enjoyable this way
than the usual 
food sliding right over the tastebuds
reducing eating to mere mechanics.    

And I get it.  

It’s the same with you, isn’t it LORD?  
It’s taking time to savor your words,
allowing them to linger in my thoughts,
giving time for them to find their way
into the recesses of my heart.

This . . . THIS  is 
tasting and seeing that you are good.
that I am safe making you my refuge.    

Oh Lord, help me slow down as I come to you and 
the food  you have for my soul.   


******************************************************** One of the things I like to do is create a visual of scripture and as I create it, it helps my ADHD brain to meditate/focus on the truth of scripture.  Below ** you’ll find my visual for Psalm 34:8

psalm 34

**ZIA (Zentangle Inspired Art) created by Carol.  Zentangle is a fun relaxing way to create images by drawing repetitive patterns. Creating images using this method helps me remember works/thoughts/scripture

joining today with
Imperfect Prose/Emily Weirenga
Just Write/The Extraordinary Ordinary
Words of Life Wednesdays, Rebekah Hughes
Thought Provoking Thursdays, Lyli Dunbar


April 13, 2014


Rocks along the Racine Waterfront.  My artist friend said I must take a photo of would be good to illustrate "something," she said.

Rocks along the Racine Waterfront. My artist friend said I must take a photo of them…it would be good to illustrate “something,” she said.

It’s been a hard week with my dad.
Dementia is a wicked thing.
The grace in the day was spending time in at my quiet lake, meditating on

Psalm 27:4-6- seeking his face, gazing on his beauty, finding myself safe in his shelter and the ability to sing and make music to the Lord.

because if I don’t praise him, the rocks will praise him

linking this week at Scripture and a Snapshot and Sunday Community


April 5, 2014

Ps 42:8 A Prayer to the God of my life

psalm 42 4 thisone

Psalm 42 has long been a favorite of mine.  Over the years, this is where I go when “my soul is cast down".  A couple weeks ago I paraphrased Psalm 42:1 in my own words. (CLICK HERE.)  As I continued spending time in this short Psalm, I was taken with verse 8. And well, I just like the whole 11 verses.  

Psalm 42:8
Always present,
Never changing
God of my life
Therefore I will hope in him
I will yet praise him (vs. 11) 

Psalm 42:8  The Lord will Command his lovingkindness in the daytime.  And in the night His song shall be with me.  A prayer to the God of my life. 

Linking with
The Sunday Community, Diedra Riggs, Scripture and a Snapshot, Jennifer &  The The Weekend Brew,  Barbie Swihart


March 29, 2014


the mornings and evenings

We just returned from two weeks in Florida, watching the early morning sunrises off the Atlantic Coast.
March of 2008, we also spent time on the Gulf coast of Florida and experienced the evening sunset each day.

Oh God,
Nothing says “rejoice” like a
glorious sunrise and peaceful sunset.
And it all “happens”
by Your power
for our enjoyment.
And it’s all grace.

Linking this weekend with
Diedra Riggs and The Sunday Community, Scrpture & A Snapshot


March 26, 2014

Psalm 42:1 in my own words

Psalm 42:1 As the deer longs for the water, so my soul longs for you, O God.

As I meditate on this scripture, I begin to think of the things I long for, the things that make my heart ache if I go too long without them.  I start to make a list. 

As a grandma longs for the embrace of a grandchild…
A running hug 

As the city dweller longs for a place so she can see the earth meet the sky...IMG_4349

As a weary-caregiver longs for the Florida beaches the last two weeks of March...

As one longs for the faces of friends who move away...
karen and brian

As a bride, two days before her wedding, longs for the face of her groom whom she has not seen for four months...IMG_8307

As a mother longs for and rejoices to be in the presence of her grown sons . . .
Family Photo Shoot

And their families...
christmas mountain, ff week

It is my heart's desire to
long after you, O God.
And so I pray,
“Draw me close to you.”

“Written March 5, 2014. The words linger long after they are written.

as the deeradding a page to Life Lessons
 Linking withCoffee for your Heart Holly Gerth,  Jennifer Dukes Lee "Tell His Story",  Thought-provoking thursdays with Lyli Dunbar, The Weekend Brew with Barbie Swihart page to  "Life Lessons"



March 23, 2014

where the wind blows

Psalm 143:8
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.  

Yesterday the gentle breeze blew
the ripples on top of the water
to the northeast.

Today the wind blows them
to the southeast.

Lord, let my life to be like the waves
responsive to the wind of your Holy Spirit
“blowing” in the direction you have for me.

For  “You know the way I should take.”
Psalm 143:8




Linking with The Sunday CommunityDeidra Riggs





March 19, 2014

If I can’t see them, did they exist?

I notice the deep footprints in wet sand
And how fast they disappear

A few waves . . .  


And all evidence is


And I wonder . . . 
Did they really exist
if I can’t see them now?

But I  know they were there
I have pictures
taken on a beach on March 19, 2014, 9:22 am


So easily, I feel God’s presence
in the good times.
Deep.  Real.  
Hard times come
And sometimes it feels like all 
evidence is

And I wonder,
was he really with me
if I can’t feel Him now?

Ah yes,
I have a journal
filled with “pictures”
of God’s grace
of his presence.

Dear God,
Help me remember
            when you seem to

Last year life’s circumstances left me reeling, uncertain and feeling unsafe.  God didn’t seeem close and the doubts closed in.  The circumstances seemed more real than what was really real. (If you haven’t been here lately, catch up with my life by clicking “MY STORY”)

But over the years one of the most important things I have learned is this:  He is OK with the honest struggle and doubts of his children.    

And I knew he was there with me, even when he seemed far away.  I missed that sense of presence, but I knew I needed to pay attention, ask for help - because sometimes God shows up in how he uses people – a friend, a counselor, my community. 

He does shows up.
And He has
It’s all grace. 

I love hearing from you and when you subscribe to follow up comments you will receive email notice of my reply to your post.

Grace and Peace – Carol
linking with this lweek with  Weekend Brew & Emily Weiringa,  Imperfect Prose


March 10, 2014

Engaging my heart with God through scripture

Diana Trautwein - Living the Questions

Linking with Diana Trautwein (Just Wondering ) for the conclusion of  “Living the Questions” Series.  This week the question is “What do I do with all the hard/weird stuff in the Bible.”    I am with Diana on this – even though there is hard/weird stuff in the Bible,  I am willing to let the hard stuff be under God’s sovereignty and have my focus be on engaging my heart with him through scripture.


As I read through what she wrote about the Book Of Love, this is my initial response:

Engaging the scriptures with our hearts — that phrase reminds me of a book I studied and journaled through a number of years ago, Sacred Rhythms, Arranging Our Lives for Spiritual Transfomation by Ruth Haley Barton. It was life changing for me, especially chapter on engaging scripture for transformation not information. Here I learned to “read for the pause” and come back to it and journal what is going on there for me, using the Lectio Divina guidelines. Because I have ADD, giving myself permission to focus on a thought/word and journaling on it helps keep my mind forcused so my heart can engage  and not just my head.

The following are my thoughts and response to her blog this week, to which I am linking.  I encourage you to visit her post.  Also, a wonderful conversation takes place each week in the comments. 


Lectio Divina (Latin for “Sacred Reading”) has radically changed how I interact with scripture. Described by  Ruth Haley Barton in Sacred Rhythms as a way of engaging the heart with scripture, it is very different from the speed reading most of us usually use on newspapers, books and yes, sometimes even the Bible.  It is listening in a spirit of silence and of awe for the still, small voice of God that speaks to us personally.

It’s different than in-depth Bible Study, which is much needed and important to the understanding of scriptures.  Many of us have done a lot of that already, but this is a reflective reading.

Reading a passage of scripture, I listen for a word or phrase that strikes me in some way, stands out from the rest. And I pay attention to the words that bring resistance, for it is often in the things I resist that I find God has something to say to me.

CLICK HERE  for a blog post written a couple of years ago after spending time in Psalm 23.  The practice of Lectio Divina led me to the reflection and comfort that I experienced that day, sitting at a picnic table, under the trees, by the lake at the forest preserve

If your heart longs for a way to connect with God’s heart, see the following steps and link below

Choose a passage of scripture and first of all, take a moment to just be quiet – it may be the first time you have been quiet all day.  Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths:

  • First reading:  simply listen for a word or phrase that makes you pause.  You notice it.  It stands out.   After the reading, be quiet for a moment as you savor the word or phrase, without trying to figure out  what it means.
  • Second reading:  Reflect on how your life is touched by this word or phrase.  Maybe answer one or more of the following questions:

What is it in my life that needs to hear this word today?

Where am I in this text and what do I experience as I allow myself to be part of the story.

Simply stay with God on this, still resisting the urge to try to figure it all out.

  • Third reading – Ask yourself if there is there an invitation here?  This is your first unedited response to God – the prayer that comes most naturally to what you have heard.  Write out your prayer.  Do not worry about style, punctuation.
  • Fourth reading – This is time to just rest, enjoy God’s presence, realizing God is the one who will enable you to respond faithfully to what you have heard as you seek to carry this word/phrase with you the rest of the day.

For more on this transformational way of engaging scripture click HERE.


March 9, 2014


Psalm 104:19
He made the moon to mark the season, and the sun knows when to go down.

A Texas Sunset/Moonrise, Hondo, TX 09-2006

A Texas Sunset/Moonrise, Hondo, TX

This coordination of the moon and the sun...
It captures me.
And I am reminded.
The God who tells the sun when to set
and has the moon ready at just the right moment
is the same God who cares deeply about me.

Joining today with Diedra Riggs,
 at The Sunday Community



February 28, 2014

you knew my path

Neither did you know where it would go. I did. botanic gardensMy friend always told me

“God doesn’t waste suffering  . . . 
if we cooperate.”

To Cooperate with God: 
to struggle,
to keep an open, honest communication
with Him about all that concerns me
and the ones I love.

I wrote the following letter to God 5 years after my brother got lost in the mountains of the Montana wilderness and died of hypothermia,
I didn’t post it here, nor shared it much.  
Now 3 1/2 years later, I see how the lessons learned about cooperating with God instruct me still.

* * * *

Somehow, I knew you knew my path, even when it was darkest.
I was counting on You helping me to heal. And You did.
As I look back, I can appreciate and understand what You have done for me.

Psalm 142:3
When my spirit was overwhelmed within me,
then You knew my path.

Yes Lord you did!
You knew this loss would strike at
my very being.
You knew it would be
complicated by earlier
unresolved losses.
You knew I would be in deep pain
deeper than I had ever known.
You knew
this was the very thing
I most feared . . .
losing someone I loved.

You knew my path.

You provided people who
journeyed with me,.
people who did not give answers,
but gave themselves.
And now I can thank You,
not that you allowed the loss –
but that you knew my path
through the loss.

You knew all I would learn
as I processed this deep loss.
And You  did not spare me.

You knew I would learn to
“Pay Attention . . . ”
to  see more clearly
your activity in the midst of
daily life.

You knew the self-awareness
that comes from processing grief
would give me the confidence
to begin stand on my own two feet.

You knew my path.

You went with me to the painful places
You let me know you were there
when my baby sister
was born too early
and died
the same day.
You knew how much I would miss her.

And you let me know without a doubt
you were there that terrible morning
when my little brother
breathed his last labored breath
while I was in the next room,
on my knees
pleading for his life.

You knew I would begin the process
of learning to identify
and ask for what I need
instead of accommodating myself
to everyone else’s needs
losing my own self in the process.

Yes, you knew my path.

You know my present
and my future.
for you are “all-seeing.”
I can trust You.

3 1/2  years after writing this, I still see God working in these areas, going deeper, ever working.


Diana Trautwein - Living the QuestionsAlso linking week with Diana Trautwein in her continuing series on suffering – this week is “The Question With No Answers.”    I recommend reading what she has to say.   “Why do bad things happen to Good people” is the question for this week.