Gratitude is the sign of noble souls ~ Aesop

Wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving ~ Kahlil Gabran

Joy delights in joy ~ William Shakespeare

Sunday, July 31, 2011


A few nights ago on Jeopardy, the final question was "Which of Jesus' miracles was the only one to appear in all four gospels?" I was appalled that as a person pretty confident of my Biblical knowledge and jeopardy prowess -- I answered wrong. And then, I had a good laugh tonight when I listened to today's sermon online from my old church. What was it about? You guessed it -- the only miracle to appear in all four Gospels -- The Miracle of the Loaves and Fish. It's where Jesus takes 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish and turns it into enough food not only to feed 5000 people (perhaps more if they were only counting the men) but also, in an extravagant show of provision, there was enough left over to fill 12 baskets.

The sermon was good -- but I felt like there was more to the story for me. I figured the story must be pretty darn important if it shows up in all 4 accounts of Jesus' life -- so I decided to read them all in succession. I highly recommend it. There are many things to stand out -- lessons about how God can take the little we bring to the table and turn it into more than enough, and about how Jesus called his disciples to feed the people, and when they freaked out that it couldn't be done, he patiently showed them how and about how important compassion is to God. But for some reason, the things that stood out to me most tonight is that in each story, all of which vary a little from gospel to gospel (as all eyewitness accounts do) -- the one thing that is exactly the same every time is that before Jesus blesses and multiplies the bread -- HE ASKS THE CROWD TO SIT.

It seems like an innocuous thing -- so, what's the big deal about Jesus asking a bunch of people to sit in the grass? Well, the big deal to me was what it says about God and how he provides for us. Often, when we're worried about not having enough, about money and finances -- we start running around like chickens with our heads cut off. We work ourselves into a tizzy about what we should do, looking in every direction, beating out tiresome paths this way and that until we are weary and worn out and at the point of fainting. But here Jesus says, SIT. RELAX. LOOK AT WHAT I'M ABOUT TO DO FOR YOU UP HERE. And then he holds up the bread, and because we are sitting calmly, as peaceful as a person sitting in the grass, we can see the miracle as it happens -- we can watch the provisions as they are passed down to us. Jesus didn't tell the crowd to forage, to run around scrapping or begging. He asked them to sit. To trust. To get into a position of being able to surrender and receive.

Obviously, this doesn't mean to sit in a literal lazy way, waiting on the couch for a check to fall in our laps. I think it means, for me at least -- to settle down, to relax into the place where God has put me, right here, right now -- trusting and expectant that if I sit here doing my job, God will do his. I will be fed. And it will be more than enough.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Peachy Keen!

There's not many summer pleasures as glorious as a perfect peach fresh off the tree!

Traveling woman

I've been woefully behind in my online joy writing...I've found myself sliding back into writing in my old fashioned paper joy journal:) I am grateful the severe weather cleared last week just in time for my first flight in a while. I laugh at how like those rag tag disciples I am -- so easily terrified and so quick to forget to trust -- I am thankful that God doesn't need me to be some perfect pillar of faith before he'll calm the wind and the waves. I'm also grateful I made it through a very stressful and busy week and I'm happy to be home! Even though I had only been gone a week, I was delighted all over again at how lovely my little nest is and it was beyond wonderful to be reunited with my pups and cats and hubby. Hooray for homecomings!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Good advice

I love this translation of a part of Romans 12 that I was reading today from the J.B. Phillips Bible (written in England in 1958 with input from Phillips' close friend, and one of my favorite authors, C.S. Lewis):

"When trials come endure them patiently; steadfastly maintain the habit of prayer... And as for those who try to make your life a misery, bless them. Bless and don't curse. Share the happiness of those who are happy and the sorrow of those who are sad. Live in harmony with each other. Don't become snobbish, but take a real interest in ordinary people. Don't become set in your own opinions. Don't pay back a bad turn by a bad turn, to anyone. As far as your responsibility goes, live at peace with everyone... Don't allow yourself to be overpowered by evil. Take the offensive -- overpower evil with good!"

Great advice on how to live a life of joy:) I love the part about not being snobbish and taking an interest in ordinary people...such an interesting way to put it. Overpower evil with good! Yes yes!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Stop, look - and then smell the roses

A bee stung me today while I was smelling my roses...I don't think he realized that I'm the one who planted them for him. Ah well, it made me very very thankful that I am not allergic to bees -- I like not having to be afraid of them. It does hurt, though, so I'll keep a better look out for them next time I smell my glorious purple amethyst!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Simple things

I had a migraine yesterday that lasted into today, but this afternoon I painted my toenails a bright happy orange, and I may be crazy, but it made me feel better:)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

These are the days to remember

The fourth of July was a sheer delight with our time at the beach, just watching the loons duck and bob in the water and walking to the very end of the stone jetty in the water. Eating ice cream and dangling our feet over the river and then walking along the bridge at just the right moment to witness the fiery sunset, tailor made for such a celebratory night, and then we were treated to an impromptu fireworks display over the river -- seemingly just for us. Even as we got home, in the dark of the night, the fireflies were putting on an enchanting fireworks display of their own. And to top it all off, we played a hilarious game of Apples to Apples that was truly inspired, the more ridiculous it got, the more we laughed ourselves silly.

Beautiful girls

What a blessing it was to see my sister positively glowing with accomplishment at her awards ceremony last Friday. I am so inspired by her determination and will, and also by her genuine care and kindness -- her honest to goodness southern hospitality is a beautiful thing to behold.
I am grateful that I got to spend some time with my mom, showing off my little nest to her and sharing a train ride into New York city where we shared a mutual delight for the city and it's spectacular sights...what a wonderful thing it was to see her beaming with wonder at it all as we shared a horse carriage through Central Park. She is so lovely inside and out and Erin and I are lucky to have been influenced by her example in our lives!

Monday, July 4, 2011


I'm thankful that I was born in a country where freedom is a cherished right. I am constantly amazed that our forefathers were bold and brave enough to believe that they could just start a whole new country, and I am grateful for all of the people who have sacrificed over the centuries to gain and protect our independence. Also, I have to thank whoever had the idea to celebrate with fireworks -- I love them:) HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA!!!