Monday, June 22, 2015

We're Not Here Today

Today, if you haven't read this post already, please head over to what I wrote last Friday on another blog I frequent. Happy Monday! It's a topic too important to ignore. As I read this morning elsewhere, we could be at a moment of "see it or lose it" for the American church. Let's not lose it.

Monday, June 15, 2015


I am blessed thrilled grateful-because-I’m-too-tired-to-eat-let-alone-write to have some fabulous ladies (and any gentlemen who are brave enough) guest blogging for me over the summer. Here is Andrea, a friend I met through Jen Hatmaker’s launch group for her upcoming book, For the Love. I love Andrea’s heart and good sense. I also love the theme of this piece, which is one of my themes for this year. 

Just. See.

Here's Andrea.

I ordered a personalized leather cuff from a friend recently. I'm not a leather cuff kind of gal, but I loved the look of one that she had in her portfolio. But the words she had on it didn't fit me. So she customized for me because well, I am special. 

I asked her to put the word "see" on it. Simple. Lower case. Just “see."

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

My grandson has this “tasting and seeing” thing figured out.

Some of my favorite words lately are grace, peace, and hope but those all seem overused on jewelry so I wanted something different.

See grace.
See peace.
See hope.
See love.
See brokenness.
See redemption.
See beauty.

See? It works.

Open up my heart eyes and see all that good God has for me.

I have come to the conclusion that I can see better when I take my shoes off.
Isn't it like us to keep our shoes on (aka heart closed off) and keep all things potentially painful at bay and not allow ourselves to see? Really see.

If we walk barefoot we might step on something painful or in something gross but it also means we FEEL!

We all have stories. Some of our stories are out there and some stay hidden until we're ready or until it's time. God is being so faithful to show me so many stories in people around me that I didn't see before. Even my own! I didn't take the time to see. And maybe didn't WANT to see.

What I'm figuring out is, and it's a molasses-slow process for this girl, is that God wants me to see what HE is doing all around me. His work, His Heaven. It surrounds me. Even in my hidden story and your hidden story. I only have to take my shoes off, open my heart eyes and SEE.

May I encourage you to take our shoes off for a little while today (either figuratively or literally)? And see.

About Andrea Stunz

I’ve been a wife for 26 years. My husband, Tommy, and I did some of our best work in our 3 amazing gifts from God. I’m a mother in law of 2 stellar humans beings and a Gimi of one adorable little dude. I’m a Christ-follower, a homemaker, a traveler, a seeker, a writer, a pilgrim. I love cooking and sharing good food with others who love good food. I take pictures that tell a story, my story, God’s story. An almost empty nester. A fellow struggler. A fellow stumbler. In need of God’s grace. Oh, and coffee. Grace and coffee. Then I’m good. Oh, and a sunrise. Grace, coffee and a sunrise. THEN I’m good. Oh, and my grandson. Grace, coffee, a sunrise and my grandson. … you get the picture. :) I have many favorite scriptures but my “go to” scripture which seems to encompass all I may be stumbling through or rejoicing in is always this: “He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” Colossians 1:17

You can find more of Andrea’s stories over on her contributor blog,

Monday, June 8, 2015

A Letter To Me: What I Wish I Had Known about "Different" Kids (and parents)

We interrupt this series on the book 7 to bring you . . . something else.

The truth is, I don't have time to write The Things right now.  This means that 1) I also don't have time to clean the house right now, which means 2) I have nothing to purge from my life per the 7 book rules for June. I will get back to it. I promise. And maybe, I'll get back to cleaning the house, too. But, well, let's not go overboard.

So today, I am linking to  a post I did for a friend over at her fun blog called Mrs. Disciple. She is doing a series on letters we could write to ourselves at a younger age. Oh yes, all those things we wish we had known. All those things we wish we had done differently. All those things we know God has covered with grace anyway, in spite of us.

If you have been the parent of a special needs child, or you know one, you know. Those moms need special grace. They need some things I wish I had known all those years ago. I hope and pray that these small words might help just one be supplied with that encouragement.

So please, click on the post above. (It's the word "post." Or it's here again.) Enjoy, share, whatever. And have a great Monday.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Overboard: Jettisoning the Junk We Think We Need

My daughter and I have been embarking on a second round of Jen Hatmaker's book 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess. A more detailed explanation can be found here. And here. This is my weekly progress check in.

MAY 20-JUNE 20? We are getting rid of stuff. 
210 items, to be exact. 
Seven things, each and every day. 
Maybe I should post pics of what I actually still own that I definitely should not??

I am a hoarder. Not bad enough to get myself on a TV show that embarrasses my children to the third generation, but a hoarder, still. I keep stuff. Too much of it.

For example, the five pairs of great jeans I kept for years, because some day, they would fit again. You know what I'm saying here. I loved those jeans, and they had not gotten nearly enough wear before my size, ahem, changed.

Fast forward a while. I took them out last year, after having lost weight due to the celiac debacle. Tried them on, all excited to get to wear those fashionable things again. Guess what? They were huge. I saved those jeans for years, and they never, ever fit again. (Plus, the likelihood of them still being fashionable was . . . not.)

So why not give them away years ago, when they still were fashionable and someone else could have worn them? Because they were still perfectly good. The fact is, from cars to clothes to craft items, this family doesn't get rid of anything that still works. That's good. Usually.

But what about when it's not perfectly good for us? See, I've been asking the wrong question all this time when looking at something and deciding whether to give it away, throw it away, or keep it. My question has been, “Is it still good? Can I still use it?”

7 has taught me to look at it another way. To ask another question.

Is it still good for me? Will I still use it? 

Or—is it perfectly good in order to bless someone else who needs it? I can't let go of something, even something I will never use, if it still can be used. Even if it's a pair of jeans that was two sizes too small, and is now five sizes too big. How crazy is that?

It makes me ask other questions. What other things can't I let go of? If my hold on material stuff is so strong, how is my hold on other stuff? Intangible stuff that, like piles of unused clothes and craft materials, can strangle the life and sanity out of a person? Stuff that takes up too much mental space with my need to cling to it and defend my possession of it.

The need to be right.
      The need to defend myself.
The fear that someone else is doing better.
      The pursuit of safe work rather than the risks God wants.
Doing what's easy rather than what's necessary.
      The defense of my time.
The right to get angry.

Are there other things I can't let go of, even when it would bless others immeasurably if I jettisoned them ASAP?

I'm here to tell you, getting rid of stuff is freeing. My closet and my craft room and my sanity thank me. But I suspect that getting rid of mental junk is even better. I think I'm going to work on some questions to ask about that kind of stuff.

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix
 your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Philippians 4.8

Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, what mental junk might you need to toss over the side? Let's help each other.