Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Yesterday, this page was on my Friendship Calendar. I chuckled and said to my best friend, "We could have written that one!"
We've long realized the priceless value of each other in our lives and "Treasure" has been a term we've come to use very frequently when referring to the other.
The definition of 'treasure' is: any thing or person greatly valued or highly prized;
to regard or treat as precious; cherish.
Each life is handmade by God and when we take the time to explore, we will find incredible surprises - innumerable dimensions of great beauty and value!
But, when you find a 'Friend', among all those beautiful valuable people, you have found someone to regard as precious! A friend is the gift of a life from God to your life and, as with any gift from Him, (Remember, He only gives good gifts!) I encourage you - with all that is in me - to value them greatly! They are rare and beautiful and an incredible joy to have as you journey through this life.
I will forever be grateful for the many gifts God has brought into my life - different ones for different seasons, but, the gift of a friend is certainly a treasure most precious to me.

My Favorite Place!

Tomorrow, my husband and I leave for some 'together time'. He is taking me to Long Beach, Washington, which is probably my favorite place in my world. I SO look forward to the day when I own a little cottage there where I can set up my studio and writer's corner.
I love the ocean and its beach so much that I go any month of the year when the opportunity presents itself. I revel in the 'gorgeous days' when the sky is blue and there's little or no breeze. Seems I could walk the beach for hours and hours, watching the surf dance in jubilation. Even in the middle of winter, and I have been there in January, when the sky is stuffed with saturated rainclouds and the wind blows fiercely - I go and park on the beach, roll down my window, watching and listening.
How deeply the sound of the ocean speaks to my soul of the overwhelming, powerful nature of God! "God is magnificent; he can never be praised enough. There are no boundaries to his greatness!" (Ps.145:3) How small I feel under the expanse of the sky, and smaller yet, when I consider the immeasurableness of His love! "Your unfailing love, O Lord, is as vast as the heavens; your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds." (Ps.36:5)
When I am standing there, eyes and heart transfixed on the wonder of the sea and sky, I cannot help but worship Him. Not only did He create and set in order the sea and sky, but His desire in doing so was that we would get a little glimpse into His magnificent greatness and His vast love by observing all that He made.
I see His handiwork. I hear His call. I love His heart!

"Give unto the LORD, O ye mighty, give unto the LORD glory and strength

Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.

The voice of the LORD is upon the waters: the God of glory thundereth: the LORD is upon many waters." Psalm 29:1-3

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

My Family

This morning, my heart is filled with my family. I'd like to introduce them to you. In the back are Jeff, my husband, Andrew, and Michael. In the front are myself, Halleleyah, and Charisa. Our oldest son Jeffrey lives and works in Seattle, and our oldest daughter, Odessa, now lives in heaven. (See "A Loving Tribute" entry)
Each one in this group of people is an incredible personality with great potential and strong giftings. I have always counted it a privilege to live with these awesome people. I have seen more beauty, harmony, love and joy than most parents can ever dream possible in a household of 6 growing children who turned into teenagers and then into young adults.
No, we're not perfect. And no one is a finished, perfect person yet, including Jeff and I! But, the largest percentage of our time together is sweet peaceful and happy.
My favorite sound is the sound of them laughing - it is like music to my heart. I also love the music each one of them can play and especially when they pool their talents and play together! My favorite time is when they are all together at home simply 'visiting' with each other. I have loved evenings with everyone drifting into our room, one by one, plunking themselves all over my bed (hardly room for me!) and each one sharing thoughts and feelings about different issues in their lives or reciting whole scenes from favorite movies - complete with accents!
Its a huge responsibility to parent/mentor people. As our children have grown, so has the intensity of the weight of decisions that we make and that we help them make. Its seems we trade a million diapers for a hundred issues - but it feels like so much more than that. My husband and I have tried to walk very carefully - guiding, praying, letting go, praying, crying, praying, picking up pieces, and praying.... Seems we pray more than anything else and so we should, because our ultimate hope is that each one will learn to listen to wisdom and be led by God, learning to fly by themselves.
Oh the joy to watch them succeed! ! ! As I watch them mature and develop into the people they were created to be, I can only imagine how the world will be a better place because of their part in it. And, as much as I have loved having my home filled with their lives, I can only imagine the tremendous effect they will have on the lives of other people wherever they find themselves.

Monday, February 25, 2008


When my sister and I were teenagers, we were part of a group of people who were beginning a new church. We were involved musically - I was accompanist, and we sang duet specials for the church services. We loved singing and the messages of the songs were very precious to our hearts, so we said 'Yes' whenever the Pastor would ask us to have a song ready for Sunday morning.
Now, there were others in the church that could and had sung, but it seemed, at least to us, that we were singing much more frequently then they. We didn't mind, but were concerned that we were taking opportunities that others may have wanted.
One day, when the Pastor asked Sharon and I to have a song ready for the next Sunday, she looked at him and asked, "We seem to be singing much more than the others. Why do you ask us to sing so often?". We have never forgotten his response. He looked at us, young and talented as we were, and said, very wisely, "Girls, you use it or you lose it."
That statement has come to mind all through my life. There are gifts we've been given and the expectation on the part of the Giver (The God of Life) is that we will use the gifts to encourage, help and love others. His great love for people causes Him to give us so many good things by which we can be blessings to others and be blessed ourselves!
For instance, some people have been given a gift in music. Those who recognize their gift will invest time and resources to improve their abilities and, as a result, be better able to bless people with the sound they can make. How many downcast souls have been lifted because of a piece of music! How many children have found joy in dancing when they hear the sound of music! How many concerts have been held to raise funds to help the needy! All this because, God, in His incredible love, gave the gift of music to people who love to use their gift!
But, what happens if someone with that gift, doesn't practice or perform regularly? Its sad! They lose their skill and the gift becomes less than it was or could be.
God gives us gifts with the expectation that we will invest in them and use them to express His love and life to others. There is no greater joy than to be living in the fullness of all that He created us to be!
So, find your gifts! Invest in your gifts! Use your gifts! And, may you be filled with joy as you take opportunities that are before you to bless others with those gifts!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

A New Day!

Its a new day! A day that the Lord has made! I wake up with joy and anticipation of what it will be filled with. Each day is like a present God has designed, created and given to us and He only gives good and perfect gifts! So, I eagerly look forward to living each moment as it unfolds - watching and listening for all that He has put in it.
Everyday, I pray for our loved ones. I ask God to reveal Himself more and more to them; that He will show them and that they will see His incredible heart and beautiful face. As you walk through your day today, look for Him! And, may you see Jesus in all His love and grace every moment of your day, too!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Roses - from my Garden 2007
This afternoon I was in my garden pruning my roses. I have a head cold and probably shouldn't have been out there, but the warmth and joy of the sun called me to come and be with them. Let me recommend this therapy for anyone who is not feeling up to par - and be sure to do it with a friend - the benefits are WONDERFUL! ! !
I found myself falling in love all over again with my roses. During the winter months, I have very little call to go out and 'visit' with them and I'm always surprised at how much I've missed them when I do go out for the first time in Spring to interact with them.
Its a very mutual relationship we have of giving and receiving good things that improve our sense of well being. I prune, feed, water, handle, whisper, protect and sometimes even share my songs of hope, gladness and thanksgiving with them. They, in exchange, fill my life with wonder and beauty for my senses in almost every season. Their colors, shapes, textures, fragrances, and personalities join hands and dance in my soul.
I love the first tiny leaves that pop out in Spring - so full of life and joy! The colors seem to leap off the stem shouting, "Hallelujah! Its time to bring glory to God again!".
I love the tightly formed buds that hold such incredible promise of beauty and delight. They grow, seemingly impregnated until they can hold no more color or fragrance and then reveal indescribable glory with the unfolding of each petal.
I love the fully mature rose bloom that waltzes on the stem in the breeze with such dignity and grace. Each full bloom seems to be an entire symphony of music for the eye! Oh, how the sight forces me to stop and gaze - linger and drink in all the goodness and life that this one subject can portray of its Creator!
I love the rosehip! Each is as different in color and shape as is each species of rose it represents. Like little periods at the end of a sentence, the rosehip announces the end of another flower bearing season with the promise of another to come after resting.
This winter, I realized that I love another aspect of the rose. When cut roses are brought into the home and placed in a vase, they fill the room with their sweetness, but, they can't live for very long and eventually begin to wilt. Most roses heads will bend and hang and if not thrown away, will dry in this position. I have come to love the bent rose. It almost says a benediction - gracefully bowing as it leaves center stage, having lived and fulfilled its purpose and destiny. It rests quietly, serenely and grows yet sweeter with time.
I can't help but wonder, what if all people could live their lives as does the rose? In each stage of life a person would be fully engaged in all they were created to be and thus bring untold volumes of joy to those around them and to the God who created them!
What a wonderful world it would be!

Friendship Quote

"A friend is one in whom we can confide. The secret chambers of our soul open to his touch on the latch." - J.E.Dinger

A Loving Tribute

Odessa Marie Nelson Mar.30,1983 - Dec.23,2005

You Live Evermore

What if suddenly, there were no roses? never gaze on the beautiful bloom never breathe their sweet perfume

What if suddenly, there were no birds? lose the joy of hearing them sing miss the wonder of flight on the wing

What if suddenly there was no music? heart would break in attempt of expression soul could not bear the isolation

What if suddenly, there were no waves on the shore?

...not to see or hear its tumultuous roaring

...not to feel on my feet the splashing and foaming

...nor to breathe its air in my resting and roaming

That's what its like when suddenly there is no 'you'

...never again to gaze on your beauty or breathe your perfume lose the joy of hearing you sing when I walk into a room heart breaks in attempts of expression

finding it hard to bear isolation miss your embrace and your joyous successes

That's what its like without my Odessa.

And yet....

Each time I see a rose

I gaze and breathe the fragrance of your life

When I watch a bird or play a love song

I hear you sing and watch you take flight

And when I'm far away and my feet on the shore

I see you dance in the waves and I gratefully know

You are not gone,

....but you live evermore.

I wrote this poem after our 22yr. old daughter, Odessa, stepped into eternity as the result of a skiing accident on Dec.23,2005. Her life was a beautiful expression of the grace and love of God. She radiated with goodness and exuded joy; and all who met her were struck with her persona - She was and is truly CAPTIVATING! ! ! We miss you, dearest.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Oh how the soul wrestles with discontent! ! ! The discontented person never has enough money, enough time, enough space, enough relationships, enough power, enough quiet, enough entertainment, enough happiness or enough of ANTHING! ! ! There’s a constant roaming of their soul as they look into the future waiting, longing for something that will make them happy – whether it is some possession, event or person.

The definition of 'contentment' is: happiness with one's situation in life. That means I’m happy, right now, regardless of what I don’t have or what hasn’t happened yet. It is a state of peace and joy which is the result of that happiness in the present moment.

Contentment is not a superficial emotion. It runs deep and constant. A person can be content even when circumstances are less than ideal – not perfect, or ‘complete’ by one’s own estimations or desires. Contentment is focusing on the present, not on the future. It is focusing on the abundance of resources I have at my disposal, not on the lack of them! Contentment is finding joy in the moment – seeing God, in the here and now, in the midst of the process I am in on my way to meeting my goals.

How do we learn to be content? It helps to understand and desire the results of having a contented heart. The results are an absence of struggling, disappointment, pressure and unrest in the soul that comes when we are always wanting something else. The contented heart radiates with peace and joy knowing that God is in loving control and that He has and will continue to meet all our needs. People can’t help but be captivated by the person whose heart is contented.

To cultivate a contented heart, we can begin by being thankful for what we have at any given moment! Take time, everyday, to thank God for everything you have. I may not have all I want or all that I think I need at the moment, but OH THE JOY of having all that I DO have! My circumstances may not be all that I want them to be, right now, but THERE IS SO MUCH in my’ here and now’ that I can really be thankful for! Second, we can exercise patience! We are encouraged in Colossians to, “Clothe yourselves therefore, as God's own chosen ones … by putting on behavior marked by… patience (which is tireless and long-suffering, and has the power to endure whatever comes, with good temper.)” Patience and contentment go hand in hand!

Let me encourage you to learn, by exercise, how to arrest your heart and bring it to a place of quiet, restful patience and contentment, and begin to enjoy the fullness of life that is already there for you to enjoy! ! !