Here we are. Face hidden beneath my straw hat, tiny dots of sun sneak through the spaces of the finely woven material. I'm sprawled on my back, half-daydreaming and eyelids heavy, when I feel his hand rest on my arm. It took a couple of days for my husband and I to discover our old "relaxed" selves, but we're here now. Present. Counting no time except beats between each wave lapping the shoreline. This is our view for the day and I'm convinced it's a glimpse of heaven.
We've discussed stress together in the past. We've explored topics like our brain chemistry, families, prayer tips, symptoms of stress, and stress eating. This time, I'm taking a different angle, so here are three (over-looked) reasons that you need to get away...
Please join me in welcoming speaker, blogger, Bible teacher, and mom, Andy Lee, to the Gritty Pearl. Full of inspiration and a vast knowledge of scripture, Andy's writing is sure to encourage you for the week to come.
She was desperate.
Sleep had evaded her, but the dark night sky gave way to a deep blue hue and the hope of a new day.
She could go now.
Though weary, Magdalene would be the first one to the tomb. She knew exactly where they had placed Him, and she had a job to do. She would prepare his body properly for burial with spices. At least that was her story. Perhaps though she simply needed to see him one more time. She needed closure.
But Mary Magdalene would not find a dead Jesus.
I've always loved birthdays. Excitement ensues the minute some of our feet hit the floor, with enthusiastic spouses or kid-tackles in the morning, phone calls and social media notifications.
In our family, the celebration begins at the crack of dawn. Our kids are stirred awake by the glowing flicker of candles at their bedside. Their first tasks of the day include blowing out candles and eating cake for breakfast. It's a glorious tradition!
This week I celebrated a birthday. 30 again, how about that! With pure joy, I see it as an opportunity to pass along gifts to you, dear online friends. A few of my favorite books will be flying through the post and landing on the doorsteps of three lucky readers.
January 23rd, The Annex at
Lifepoint Church - Wilmington, NC
The #LivingFree Team Invites you to Join Us for a
"The Secret to Spiritual Health."
Facilitated by: Andy Lee
Author of A Mary Like Me and The Book of Ruth: Bible Study
Find her at: www.WordsbyAndyLee.com
I steal away to type these few quiet words to you as Christmas day creeps up on us once again. You'd think I'd be more alert. Ready. Over-prepared even. And yet, here I sit - the sounds of a house brimming over with family alerting me to how quickly the year's flown by. Chattering voices echo up the stairs and I'm reminded that there's still work to be done, games to be played, and stories to be shared. Little sleep, lots of laughs. I'm worn out but full, as so many of us are.
And so these moments arrive - the ones we've prepared for in advance, stocked pantries for, and turned over in our heads as we've laid our tired selves down to sleep at night. Maybe your house is a little too loud this year or perhaps the silence is deafening. Maybe it's just the right amount of crowded with a dash of "home-cooked," like mine. It could be that you've settled in for a quiet weekend of holy solitude or you're hitting the road if you haven't already...
Wherever you land this season, here's wishing you a Christmas Pause. Breathe. Repeat.
Love is here,
So the Word became human and made His home among us.
He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness.
And we have seen His glory,
the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.
(John 1:14, Msg.)
A door left unlocked in the dark of night. Candles lit and placed carefully on window sills. Families lying still in their beds, expectant and praying that their risk to shine the light won't leave them vulnerable to further persecution. Christmas.
Our cards aren't in the mail. Fail. Received a note requesting a parent meeting at school. Could be an Uh-Oh. Coaching for the first time in ten years. High flop potential. Can't find the "perfect" gift for hubby. Feel shoulders tightening. Haven't called Grandma. House is a fright. Not a great cook. Family needs to eat. Behind on Advent reading. Article to submit. Skipped the gym. Ate the pie. Dog needs heart worm meds. Shut-in to visit. Meal to deliver. Gifts to ship. Errands for school. Errands for church. Errands for kids. Errands for errands sake.
You're bombing this thing...
We pray that this Thanksgiving is your most restful, brimming-with-gratitude holiday yet. This pie is one of our ultimate favorites. Quick. Delicious. A crowd pleaser. From our family to yours, a PRINTABLE recipe "so easy the kids can do it!"
Pie Filling Ingredients:
Photo Credit: Printable Background- Dmytro Yakymuk, Bottom - All rights reserved @theGrittyPearl
My family's a little weird. Well, maybe I'm just weird and my husband goes along with it. It doesn't phase him when I come up with a "let's try something new" idea. In fact, one of my very favorite things about that man is that he's never bowed down to other people's opinions about him. "Sure, why not?" is the response I usually get. I've spent a lifetime trying to figure out how to do that - letting God sand down the rough edges of my "permission-seeking" over the years.
This is exactly how we ended up with a Christmas tree in our living room.
He looks at me from beneath his eyelashes. His lunch tray is disheveled at this point, with half-eaten flecks of food scattered about. His fingers carry evidence of chronic nail-biting and his voice is barely audible above the hum of the cafeteria. I wish I could scoop him into my arms and carry him far from all of the noise and the trouble. I wish I could raise him myself.
"I'm wondering what happened right before you punched your friend," I speak to him quietly. "Your Dad's on his way and I was hoping we could talk about that a little bit while we wait." I watch as his pale blue eyes drift up from his tray and focus on mine. He shrugs his shoulders.
"It doesn't really matter what happened. My Dad's always mad."
Believer. Wife. Mom. Writer. Marriage and Family Therapist. Accidental Speaker. Crossfitter and Total Book Nerd.
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PEOPLE I FOLLOW:
BECAUSE I LEARN:
BECAUSE I LAUGH:
Elizabeth Laing Thompson
Liz Curtis Higgs
BECAUSE I ADVOCATE:
Juli Slattery at Authentic Intimacy
BECAUSE I CRY (HAPPILY):
Inspiring Writing Groups:
Suzanne Eller's #LiveFreeThrusday
Holley Gerth's #CoffeeForYourHeart
Kelly Balarie's #RaraLinkup
Jennifer Duke Lee's #TellHisStory
Susan Mead's #DanceWithJesus