The Wonder Of It All

Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus) in Potts Grove...

Image via Wikipedia

A few nights ago my son and I were out in the front yard. It was a beautiful spring evening. The sun was low in the sky, spreading it’s warm rays across the yard. One of the dogs was laying in the grass, watching us as we walked down the driveway to inspect the killdeer eggs. A mama killdeer picked the edge of our driveway to make her nest. Her unborn babies are nestled into the gravels, near the grass, perfectly disguised in nature. One really has to look to see them.

As we got closer to her “hide out”, she jumped up and squawked at us. She puffed her self up to show us all her feathers. It was as if she was trying to pick a fight with us. “Come and get me!” she chirped. Killdeer are interesting that way. Mama bird distracts the enemy from the nest. She gets the enemy to follow her by getting his attention, then running off and pretending her wing is damaged. “Oh, I’m hurt…why don’t you try and come and eat me?” She screeches even louder. My son and I followed her to the end of the driveway. She ran out onto the road and at the last minute flew away…only to circle back around to check and make sure we were not heading back to the nest.

Living where we do, we see a lot of nature…up close and personal. Birds and their nests, geese honking, in the spring rain pond, across the road, a ground hog that has made a home in the bank next to the creek, and deer bounding across the open fields. The sun shines brightly, while the wind bows the tall grass of the fields into submission. Life is all around us. Spring time birth.

Sometimes I just have to stop and ponder the wonder of it all.

The God who sets all things in motion, who sends the rain and the wind, who created the animals, and has the sun set in space…all of nature cries out to exclaim the glory and wonder of God.

Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it.
 Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy. Psalm 96: 11-12 NIV

 “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the
Lord!”“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
  Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”
  “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” Luke 19: 38-40

God has done all of these things and so much more and yet He knows me. Me. He doesn’t just sort of know me. He didn’t create me and leave me.  He not only knows me, He longs for me to know Him…and for you to know Him too.

Let that sink in for a moment.

God, each Spring, resurrects life. He covers the hills with new, emerald green grass, wildflowers in all their beauty, nature is new again…and fresh and beautiful.

That is what He does with me too. God is intimately involved in my daily life. He breathes new life into a dry spirit, after a long, dark winter. He comforts me, much like the mama bird who defends and protects her not yet born, children. There is new, fresh joy at the knowledge of His love.

Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings… Psalm 17:8

I have to stop and consider the wonder of it all.

Slow Down and Take a Deep Breath…

Screenshot of Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed in ...

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It’s Monday and I already know it will be a very busy Monday. I have much to accomplish today, lots to check off my mental to do list. I can already feel my body tensing, and my mind racing at top speed. How can I be most efficient with my time? How will I get everything completed?

Not enough time! Not enough time!

Slow down. Take a breath.

Say thank you.

Breathe in the joy of the everyday.

Exhale… thanks.

A gift. I need to slow myself…and appreciate, be in awe of the fleeting moments.

I have a sign hanging in my kitchen, a sign my oldest son gave me as a Christmas gift a couple of years ago. I keep the sign up year round.

It’s a Wonderful Life” , beautifully matted and framed.

Yes, it is the title of a favorite holiday movie…..but, it could… and should be my motto.

Because thankfulness does bring joy–  And joy makes for a wonderful life.

A daily reminder.

* Emerald green, springtime grass

* Wet smell after the rain

* Eggs and toast for breakfast

* Long hugs from my child

* My husband laughing

* A good nights sleep

* Opportunity

* Friendship

* A floor that needs swept

* A bathroom that needs cleaned

* Errands to run

* Candles in the windows

* A full eucharisteo board

* Bare feet on concrete

* The smell of coffee

* Hands and fingers that type without pain

* A smile
I will praise the name of God with song, And shall magnify Him with thanksgiving.  Psalm 69:30 

Won’t you take a moment and drop by? Visit with others who are sharing Multitudes On Mondays?


Photos Tell The Story

Bonnie, at Faith Barista, asked her readers to tell what brings us joy. She wanted us to use photos to tell our joy story. I am all over this assignment!

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Family and friends bring me the most joy. Hands down, no doubt about it. I didn’t think the people in my life would want their  pictures posted on my blog for the entire world to see, so I’m just saying it…instead of showing it.


Warm light. It makes me feel cozy.

The eucharisteo board that I have in the kitchen.

It reminds me to be thankful in all things.

When I look at the board I feel blessed.

Lonnie, the terrier extraordinaire, makes me happy. I just love him.

This is the kitchen door, that I refused to part with, when we moved. It has the heights of the children marked on it. It is a time capsule, and I enjoy looking at it (and also still marking the heights of my teenagers). It is currently an “objet d’ art” setting in the entry way at our new house.

This is my Bible. I’ve had this particular one for 15 years. It’s filled with notes and highlights. I refuse to quit using it, even though it is falling apart. I will just continue to tuck in the books of James and Hebrews that have come loose. I need to look into book binding.

Umm……Just a few of the books in my library. Books bring me a great deal of joy. I should have been a librarian. 🙂

Aaahhhh….bed. Comfort. Cozy. Vintage linens. Rest.

Yes, those are dandelions in our yard. I couldn’t help but feel joyful when I pulled into the driveway this morning. The green spring grass with the pops of yellow. It just looked pretty…even if they are weeds.

This was my view this afternoon. It is a joy to live in the country. I get to appreciate God‘s handiwork up close.

Joy In The Everyday

Open Hand

Image by AmyZZZ1 via Flickr

***Join us over at Faith Barista Jam. We’re discussing joy, today. Click on the graphic on my right side bar to read what others are writing about joy.***

Joy (noun)  a source or cause of delight—

It’s interesting that Bonnie, at Faith Barista, would choose the topic of joy, for this month. I’ve been thinking about joy a lot lately. I’ve been on a “joy journey” of sorts. About two and half months ago I heard about a book called One Thousand Gifts, by Ann Voskamp. She talks about joy in her book. Joy… in a way that I hadn’t thought of it before. She talked about joy in a way that would change me. Forever. For me, changing my perspective, really is changing my life.

I, like many people, tended to blend joy and happiness together. They are really not the same thing. I’m also figuring out that I can have joy–if I choose too. It really is a choice. It’s not always something that “just happens” to a person. People, in general,  are not “just lucky” in the joy department. Joy can be intentional.

What I am learning about joy is a challenge. Sounds contradictory to the definition, doesn’t it? On pages 32-33 of her book, Ann hits me squarely between the eyes. Right where I am at. Her words sting me.

“That has always been the goal of the fullest life—-joy. And my life knew exactly how elusive that slippery three-letter word, joy, can be….   Is the height of my joy dependent on the depths of my eucharisteo thanks? (to God)….As long as thanks is possible, then joy is always possible. Joy is always possible…..joy is not in some exotic location or some emotional mountain peak experience. The joy wonder could be here! (in the here and now of daily life).

Grace….Thanksgiving…..JOY.”

Joy in the everyday. Joy in the here and now. Joy in my messy kitchen. Joy in the van driving kids. Joy in snuggling into bed at night. Joy in laundry. Joy in the sunsets. Joy in pet fur all over the floor for me to clean. Joy in reading. Joy in preparing dinner. Sounds crazy, right? But, if I can have thanksgiving in the daily things….in ALL things….then there will be joy. Joy will no longer be some elusive or esoteric feeling that I am constantly searching for. It can be real. Real to me in the daily grind.

And isn’t joy what we all long for?

So, for me, I am working on joy in my every day by giving thanks (eucharisteo) to God. Always thanks. Thanks for each moment that He has allowed me to experience.

It’s all by His grace. Every. Single. Moment.  I am thankful….and I experience JOY.

God, Are You There?

sunrise on a beautiful morning

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A decade has come and gone, and yet I still remember those early days…

God, are you there?

A whisper in the darkness… my voice deep with emotion.

Do you hear me?

Heart heavy with the grieving

My emotions bleeding out all over the floor.

Too exhausted to even raise my head,

I lay prostrate-

the scratch of the carpet against my face.

Whispers to The One who promises me He will never leave me

I am humbled and broken.

The living room becomes a most holy place

as I quietly worship, through tears, the One who I know is a defender of widows

and a father to the fatherless.

“A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.”  Psalm 68:5 NIV

The loss of my first husband and my journey through the valley of the shadow of death is just part of my story.

All glory be to God, that it was not the end of my story!

He takes the broken. The bruised. The hurt. The sad. The angry. The bitter.

The Great Physician performs surgery on the heart,

and breathes new life into a grieving soul.

After stumbling in the darkness of grief, I know that joy comes in the morning.

I also know that joy comes after the mourning.

Joy does come again.

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted

and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”  Psalm 34:18 NIV

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The She Speaks conference is about women connecting to the hearts of  other women, and more importantly connecting to the heart of God. If you might be interested in going to this conference, please visit Ann Voskamp’s blog at A Holy Experience, where she is offering a scholarship opportunity for the conference.

My name is Dawn. The name means “sunrise” and is often used to signify new beginnings.  That is what God did for me. I am a new beginning through Him.

I am living, breathing proof of God’s tender love and mercy.

When the pain is so great that words are not enough…

God will meet you there.

It is because of this, that my heart’s desire is to help others who are suffering through the loss of a loved one.

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.”  2 Corinthians 1:3-5  NIV