Posts Tagged With: Joy

Home is Where Jesus Calls You

You’ve probably heard your share of “homey” quotes…

“Home is where the heart is.”

“Home Sweet Home.”

“Home is where you hang your hat.”

“There’s no place like home” (Wizard of Oz, what, what!)

Ah, home. It conjures up all sorts of apple-pie-wafting, couch-snuggling, T.G.I.F sitcom watching (does anybody else remember the T.G.I.F television programming?) images of joy.

Ahhh... Homey.

Ahhh… Homey.

There is one “home” saying that I have often pondered; one that is (obviously) very popular in the army.

“Home is where the Army sends us.”

This saying is typically painted on a sign, then below it are little placards that have the bases where folks have been stationed. I always think it’s interesting to walk around my neighborhood and imagine the adventures and challenges that come from “home” being Fort Bragg, North Carolina, then Fort Wainwright, Alaska, onto Fort Bliss Texas then Fort Campbell, Kentucky. (I don’t know anyone specifically off the top of my head that has traveled that exact pattern, but you get my drift.)

We, however, do not have one of those signs on our front door. Not because I don’t think they aren’t cool, but because I believe the army isn’t the director of where we move every 2-5 years(ish.)

Jesus is behind the army… So as far as I am concerned, home is where Jesus calls you.

This concept doesn’t just apply to military people. And really, it doesn’t matter if you have moved 10 times in the last 10 years or still live in the same house in which you were born 60 years later.

Home is where Jesus calls you. It’s as simple as that.

Sometimes I struggle with this idea… I see my friends living close(ish) to family, buying or building a home… And honestly, I kind of want that.

No more slapping a coat of paint on hospital-white walls in an attempt to make what we know is a temporary home a little more personal. No more “creative-curtain-ing” when we move into a new home and realize all the windows are a completely different size than the last place we lived. No more praying over the stain in the carpet when it’s housing-move-out inspection time.

God has done (and continues to do) some really incredible work on my heart in this regard, reminding me that HE is in control of where we live, how we get there, how long we stay.

After all, home is where Jesus calls us.

So, three big (albeit, slightly random) thoughts surrounding this topic:

1. Regardless of the place we are called to live, there is no room for envy, jealously, pride or discontent in that equation. Instead of “wishing” for a permanent place near family, we should revel in the adventure God has called us to. Or instead of yearning to get out of a small home town, we should find joy in the familiarity.

2. No matter WHERE we live, or how long we live there… It is STILL temporary. This world is not our home. Let’s enjoy it while we can, but keep in mind that life is but a vapor and there is something WAY more awesome coming our way. Which brings me to point #3…

3. We must live with an eternal perspective. I have a sneaky suspicion that when we eventually make it to our permanent heavenly home, it will blow us away, and no amount of screened in porches, built-in ice machines or bathtub jacuzzis will compare. (Just a few thoughts for my earthly dream home, FYI.)

As you read this, I am enjoying some time back with my family in my childhood home. It’s great to be back in the country with the animals and feeling of fall all around. But as awesome as ALL of my earthly homes have been so far, whether it was in Kansas, Missouri, Georgia or Washington, I know something even more incredible awaits me…

Because after all, home is where Jesus calls us… and someday, we will experience Home sweet Home like never before!

Heaven is where my heart is,

PS: Do you know where your eternal home is going to be? If not, I would love to talk with you about that. It won’t be weird or awkward or judgey, I promise… But seriously, gimme a shout via

“By an act of faith, Abraham said yes to God’s call to travel to an unknown place that would become his home. When he left he had no idea where he was going. By an act of faith he lived in the country promised him, lived as a stranger camping in tents. Isaac and Jacob did the same, living under the same promise. Abraham did it by keeping his eye on an unseen city with real, eternal foundations—the City designed and built by God.” ~Hebrews 11:8-10 MSG 

Categories: Home | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Made to Last (Five Minute Friday)

Five Minute Friday

‘Sup, friends.

It’s Friday. (In case you missed the memo.) And over here at 7 Days Time, Fridays only mean one thing: It’s time to link up with Lisa-Jo Baker and join in to the Five Minute Friday flash mob writing party.

Here’s the skinny: Lisa-Jo gives us a prompt. Then we write. For five minutes.

That’s it. Simple enough, yes?

So, let’s get going.

Today’s prompt: LAST



I was feeling brave. My heart was pounding. I slowly pulled the door open and gingerly stretched out my arm. I reached… Grabbed… Sighed.

I was cleaning out the refrigerator. A tupperware container that had been pushed to the back was now the beginnings of an unplanned science experiment. The broccoli in the bottom of the drawer had started to… um, what’s the word… Melt? (Gross.) I checked the date on the milk. Past its due date– and unfortunately, the smell test confirmed that truth.

Ug. Those things weren’t made to last long.

How many things in this world seem to have a very short shelf life? It’s not just those scary refrigerator contents. I log into my bank account. Well, crap. That paycheck didn’t last long. I peer out the window, rejoicing for the much-needed rain for my pathetic, crispy brown lawn… but in a few moments, the clouds break up and the sun comes out. That storm wasn’t made to last either.

Now, I don’t write this to be all waa-waa-pessimistic Debbie Downer. Quite the opposite in fact. Things of this world don’t last long… Why? Because we have eternity to look forward to!

When you factor in heaven, even our lives on this earth aren’t made to last. It says in James 4:14~ “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” At first glance, it sounds a bit depressing… But seriously, folks. WE ARE TALKING ABOUT A FUTURE–no, scratch that– AN ETERNITY IN HEAVEN! (And yes, I’m typing in caps because I’m yelling this.) 

Heaven. What a beautiful EVER-LASTING promise. Joy we can’t even fathom. No pain, no sorrow… And meeting Jesus face-to-face. We weren’t made to last on this earth… and thankfully, before we know it, Tomorrow will be here…

So what are you going to do about it… Today?



Have you thought about heaven lately? Are your eyes focus on Today or Tomorrow? How do you feel about the idea that we weren’t made to last here on this earth? (Sidenote: I am SO relieved about this truth.)  Chime in and leave a comment below.

And as always, thanks a bajillion for stopping by. You bless me!

Here Today, Heaven Tomorrow,

I heard a voice out of Heaven, “Write this: Blessed are those who die in the Master from now on; how blessed to die that way!”

“Yes,” says the Spirit, “and blessed rest from their hard, hard work. None of what they’ve done is wasted; God blesses them for it all in the end.” ~Revelation 14:13 MSG

Categories: Five Minute Friday | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ultra-Sound-Off for Jesus

It’s always encouraging when God takes us in our ugliest, yuckiest, grumpiest moments and uses us for His glory.

That happened to me last week. In a big way.

Last Friday, I was scheduled for what I was *hoping* to be my last baby doctor appointment before our Little Patriot’s arrival. I was about 39 and a half weeks along… and unfortunately, the doc’s predictions of me delivering “ahead of schedule” hadn’t come true. (SIGH.)

Unfortunately for me (actually, unfortunately for everyone I encountered) I was in a MOOD. It really wasn’t the fact that I was very largely pregnant and had been contracting for nearly a month… But it was because it has been quite a trying week in our life as an army family. One thing after another seemed to pile up and mess with our hopes and plans. Although I was scheduled for a final ultrasound that day, things had spun out of control with my beloved husband’s job as a drill sergeant– so there was no way he was going to make it to join me in what I hoped was a joyous experience on our path to parenthood.

He was disappointed. I was lonely. Hormonal. And pissed. (Not at him… just the circumstances that had continued to beat up my heart for the last week or so.) Nothing about me that morning said “I love Jesus, please talk to me and let me share the love of Christ with you.” (Additional sidenote: Can you say “pissed” in a Christian blog?)

Anywho, I was mad, frustrated, exhausted. It was early by doctor standards as I was the first appointment out of that gate that morning. I was sitting in the chairs, waiting for the ultrasound tech to call me in… When SHE walked by. Yep, it was the ultrasound tech who had a rep for being grumpy (and had been a lil bit grumbly during our previous visits.) I looked up from my iPad and our eyes locked.

She scowled at me... <Oh no she didn’t!> Oh yes, she did, just like I was about to be a huge inconvenience to her day.

Let’s just say~ that didn’t help my mood.

As I continued to wait, I was texting my sweet mother-in-love, Lex. And by texting, I really mean complaining/whining/venting. Real classy, I know. She tried to encourage me and told me to pray for the scowling tech of doom.

My snarky non-Jesusy reply? “After this week, my prayer tank is running on empty. I want to be joyful, but I don’t feel joy anywhere.”

I’m not proud of my response… but it’s the truth. I did manage to pray for God to give the strength to make it through the appointment without venting to a stranger about how upset I was that my beloved husband couldn’t come or how uncomfortable I was or blah blah blah. I squeezed out a feeble prayer for Him to help me rediscover my joy and be an example for this scowling ultrasound tech.

They finally called me back to the room and I hoisted (waddled? lumbered?) my extremely large self  onto the table. The scowling tech remained silent and the gal running the show started asking questions as they went to work, checking baby’s size/position, etc.

Somehow, within about 15 seconds into the conversation, they asked if I was an army wife. (How they knew, I will never know…)

I responded yes and explained (briefly and vaguely) that my husband wasn’t deployed but his job was incredibly demanding so he couldn’t make this big appointment today.

Their response? They both scrunched up their faces and said, “Ug, I don’t know how you do it.”

Enter stage left: Jesus moment.

I took the opportunity to share with them my faith– how Jesus is the reason I get up in the morning, He’s the one who gives us strength, He is the rock on which our marriage is built. Both of the techs kind of stared at me… Unable to respond. I continued and told them that things were challenging with the army, especially this last week with some individuals specifically… but we prayed for them daily.

The scowling tech scoffed (in the joking-but-still-serious-way) and said, “Yeah, pray for them like that one country song… Pray that their brakes go out coming down the hill or a flower-pot hits them in the head from a window sill.”

They both chuckled at the notion… But I stayed serious– “No, ma’am… we pray for the grace and love of Jesus Christ to shine into their lives so they can experience what we do everyday.”

As we continued to talk about army life (aka our family was at least 1000 miles away, hubs works about 13-20 hrs per day on a normal basis, oh PS we are moving 2800 miles about 3 months after this kid is on the ground), the tech flipped a switch… and the screen transitioned to a 4D image.

My husband and I had decided early on that we couldn’t (ok, didn’t really want to) fork out the cash for a 4D ultrasound… They aren’t cheap, but for some reason, on that morning, I got a glimpse of our little one’s face.

Yeah. Lil Patriot looked about how I felt... Grumpy and smooshed and uncomfortable... But a lil Jesus encounter changed all that!

Yeah. Lil Patriot looked about how I felt… Grumpy and smooshed and uncomfortable… But a lil Jesus encounter changed all that!

Between the quick witness to these ladies and the sight of our baby’s scrunched up face… My joy was restored.

Talk about your not-so-classic-ultra-sound-off for Jesus.

Thankful He shows up and shows out,

“I call to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies.” ~Psalm 18:3

Categories: attitude | Tags: , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Christ-mas, Christ-More (Just in case you forgot)

We hear it all the time– we need to celebrate the real reason for the season. It’s true, but really, I think we hear it so much that it  doesn’t quite have the meaning that is used to… (Sad, I know… but alas…)

So this year, I want to share with you a little reminder and share with you what we did for our families this year for Christmas. Its edited and updated from a similar post this time last year… Hope it makes you think– and I would love your feedback. Comment below.

Ready? Let’s do this…


It’s 5:45 am… I throw back the covers and my eyes pop open. It’s go time.

I swing my feet over the side of the bed. Oh, that floor is cold! I creep out of bed, down the hall, and take a deep breath. The moment of truth…

There, in the gentle glow of Christmas lights are piles of presents. Santa showed up and he did not disappoint. I grab the nearest gift with my name on it and violently shake it. Nothing. Dang. It’s probably clothes. Socks. Maybe even underwear. Sigh.

Apparently Grandma Helen is more thrilled with the boxes that don't rattle than I ever was...

Apparently Grandma Helen is more thrilled with the boxes that don’t rattle than I ever was…

Admittedly, I have grown up and matured over the lasts couple of decades. I still love receiving the gifts, but now I love the family time even more… Especially since I am married to a soldier and our family is in a different time zone a thousand miles away. Yeah, we no longer take “family time” for granted!

God designed my heart to give. I love giving presents and showering people with love, sometimes in the form of “stuff.” In the past at Christmas, I would go all out thinking, marinating, pondering strategerizing, and planning what I deemed were “perfect gifts.” And would typically make it happen- no matter how it impacted my Visa card.

Two years ago for Christmas, my beloved suggested that we do something different and forego the hoopla of dropping wads of cash and buying presents. He suggested we give something perhaps more thoughtful like donating our money to a good cause.

I flat-out told him NO. Absolutely not. Negative. Nada. So we went with the “traditional” gift giving. It was ok.

Then last year, things changed. Apparently God wanted to do a little bit of work on my heart… We put my hubby’s suggestion into action and gave gifts to our family in the form of a donation to a charity/cause that would mean something special to them with an accompanying letter explaining what we did.

This year, things are even tighter, with me now working full-time for Jesus dollars and a new baby on the way. (Yay-yikes!) So we changed things up again this year… We spent some time praying for our family and listening to God– then gave them a framed message of what God spoke to us during that time.

In one word? Awesome.

Today I want to encourage you that just because Christmas has passed for another year, doesn’t mean our Jesus heart of giving has to stop… God gave His son on the cross and that never runs out or expires. So as we approach 2013, how can you make it a year more about Christ through giving, prayer, love or small acts of kindness? Dear friends,  Christmas is one day… But we can celebrate Christ-more all year long.

Never stop giving,

“But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you —see that you also excel in this grace of giving.” 2 Corinthians 8:7

Categories: giving | Tags: , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Comfort from Community (Five Minute Friday)

Good morning, America! (Or should I say “world?” Fun fact: 7 Days Time ministry has grown and we actually have legit and semi-regular readers in other countries. Thanks for that one, Jesus!)

Anywho, today is one of my favorite blogging days of the week. That’s right– it’s Five Minute Friday. Top three reasons why its my fav?

  1. Less pressure to get it right (or at least “perfect”)
  2. It is a great conditioning tool and change of pace from normal posts (AKA: I write for 5 minutes flat… and don’t have to come up with a topic of my own)
  3. It’s on Friday. So what’s not to love??

Every week, I link up with The Gypsy Mama… She gives us a prompt, then we go to town with our writing. Today’s prompt: “COMMUNITY.” 

Annndddd GO!

It can be found in person. It can be found online. Sometimes it shows up out of no where. Other times you gotta be more intentional.

Community is a beautiful thing.

As an army wife, finding community right where we are sometimes requires a bit of… uh…. creativity. And a lot of help from Jesus. Fortunately… He never fails us in that department.

Already in our marriage, my beloved and I have experienced a lot of challenges– not necessarily with marriage, but just life in general. Separations by duty, crazy hours, moving, life purpose limbo, miscarriage… The list continues.

But every time we have walked through something less than awesome, Jesus has been with us… as have other people in our community.

You know God is creative when He brings you to a community where we can dress like this... 🙂 Rocking the 80's!

We find the greatest comfort from our community within the body of Christ. What  a blessing those folks are to me! Also, I find incredible community online. You wouldn’t believe (Ok maybe you would) the kind of cheerleaders and supporters that have helped me walk through some of these challenges that were strictly from an online/blogging/commenting connection.

God is mighty and powerful. He is also INCREDIBLY creative. He brings community right where we are through a variety of avenues. We simply have to have our eyes open and be willing to rejoice in that blessed comfort of our community– regardless of how it comes into our lives.


Man, that never gets old! Such a fast-writing adrenaline rush. I feel like I should write a few more paragraphs to cool down.

But I won’t. (That’s the great thing about Fridays… One and done, baby. No overthinking. Love it.)

So as I sign off, I am curious– where do YOU find community? Do you have to seek it out or does it seem to fall in your lap? I would love to hear your Jesus community strategy– leave a comment here. 

Ok, my dear readers… Have a B-E-A-U-Tiful weekend. Oh… and thanks for being such an incredible, loving and supporting community for this crazy lil Jesus writer.

You rock my world (and so does Jesus),

“You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor.” –James 3:18 (MSG) 

Categories: 1980's, community, companionship, encouragement, Five Minute Friday, joy, Love | Tags: , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Joy in the Mourning

It’s the day after Easter, folks… This means that in addition to Easter candy going on sale today (YAY!) and most church workers being tired after working like crazy yesterday, lent has ended for another year.

What did your 40 days bring? Mine were… um… profound.

For Lent, I “gave up” worrying. (Read “Removal of the Worrywart” for the whole story.) Long story short, God told me to stop trying to control things and not to worry so dang much about stuff. So during Lent, whenever I worried about something, I wrote it down, crinkled it up and literally laid it at the foot of a cross in my living room. Then I would write a “Faith” statement to counteract whatever worry I had. I kept the faith statements in a jar and would give myself a “refresher” when the worries started to resurface.

Well, 40 days have come and gone… God has done a number on my worrywart of a heart.

But that isn’t the “profound” part of the story.

God grew my trust in Him immensely. Here’s the profound part: My two biggest worries actually happened in the last 40 days… and God carried me through it.

Not only did He carry me through it, but I am able to write about it. And find joy… in the mourning of it all.

My first fear was miscarriage and losing our baby. I kept writing it down, laying at the foot of the cross… and it kept coming back. When that fear became a reality 27 days ago, I felt as if God had answered my prayer to prepare my heart for this baby, whatever was to happen.  Now, don’t get me wrong– if Jesus Himself came down from Heaven and asked me if I wanted things to turn out differently, I probably wouldn’t hesitate to scream “YES!” before He finished His sentence. However…

With that biggest fear of losing that baby came tiny blessings… I now understand Matthew 5:4– “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” I lost something I held very dear– but Jesus never left me. Not for a moment. Yes, my heart broke… but our Father’s heart also broke as He watched His son die on the cross. In mourning, I became closer to my husband than ever. In mourning, I became closer and more dependent on Our Father than I have been in my entire life. In mourning… I found joy that only comes from Jesus.

My second fear was my beloved husband recycling Ranger School– mainly because I didn’t want him to miss any more of the pregnancy than required. God has a plan with that as well… because Brandon did end up as a Darby phase recycle, which would be a 7 week extra wait due to Best Ranger Competition coming up. But once I told Brandon about the loss of our little one, he decided to come home to me immediately. He told me that it wouldn’t have mattered if he was going to recycle or not– he was going to come home to deal with what we were facing.

The worries with Ranger school were also realized, but under the circumstances were a blessing as God brought us through it. Oh, and did I tell you that God also planned out that Brandon would make the promotion list way sooner than expected, the day after the miscarriage and the day prior to Brandon withdrawing from Ranger school. To me, it was affirmation that God has Brandon’s career in His hand.  I guess God knows what He is doing after all, huh?

I can’t help but feel a little bit like Mary  when she discovered that Christ was gone from the grave. When she saw that empty tomb, her mourning turned to confusion… then to joy as she discovered Christ’s incredible plan. Praise the Lord, for He is Risen! His promises hold true and we can fully depend on Him– no worrying necessary!

What did you learn during Lent? Did you grow closer to God? I would love to hear your feedback. Comment here. 

I have laid my fears at the foot of the cross… and I will continue to do so. That cross will stay in my living room as a constant reminder of God’s promise, plan and purpose for our lives. God removed the worrywart in me… and helped me to find exceptional and unexpected joy in the mourning.

Rejoicing for He is Risen,

“Then maidens will dance and be glad, young men and old as well.  I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.” –Jeremiah 31:13

As promised, I set fire to my worries at the conclusion of lent. I've given them over to God... For good.

Categories: blessings, Christ, cross, dependence, faith, glory, God, joy, lent, promises, worry | Tags: , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Fresh Cut of Joy

Annnddd… It’s Monday.

Before you pull a Garfield the Cat move by grabbing a big pan of lasagna, pulling the covers back over your head and muttering “I hate Mondays!” hang with me for just a second.

I’m not a big fan of Mondays either. I have grown to tolerate them, but honestly, what choice did I have? (Turns out employers are not super big supporters of employees who desire to boycott Mondays on a weekly basis. Just kidding.) I have learned to embrace Mondays (and every other day for that matter) because I seek to find new, fresh little cuts of joy in everything around me.

All throughout God’s word, we find reminders to REJOICE, no matter what our circumstances or what day of the week it is. I have discovered that my pup Sweet Justus is the exact opposite of Garfield that cat. (Although I am sure if I gave him a pan of lasagna, he would be thrilled. I guess we will never know…)

Justus, true to his puppy nature, finds joy in EVERYTHING. It doesn’t matter if I have left for 14 seconds to take out the trash, he is so overcome with joy when I come back from the house, he greets me like I am returning from a year long deployment. If I even say the word “treat,” his eyes perk up, tail wagging… Pure joy.

And last week, Justus rejoiced with me over accomplishing a simple, mundane task. We finally mowed our grass.  Check out the video for the celebratory demonstration. (Sorry it’s not better quality… but it was very spur of the moment.)

I couldn’t help but laugh and get pure joy from my pup AND my freshly cut yard. What if we possessed an attitude like Justus to celebrate God’s little blessings everyday? Why don’t we do a happy dance every time we run the dishwasher? Or praise the Lord for an alarm clock that wakes us up to go to a job that provides income for our family? Or maybe we can rejoice in life’s challenges, no matter what it entails, because it gives us a chance to grow closer to God?

Rejoice today. Thank God for whatever technology you are using to read this. Give Jesus a figurative high five for allowing your car to start this morning. Match those seemingly hundreds of pairs of socks with joy knowing that you have clothes to wear.

Or perhaps you should go mow the grass… Then take a deep breath, smelling that new smell, and run around your yard (shouting and barking optional) to celebrate your FRESH CUT OF JOY.

Celebrating His Gifts,


“This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24

Categories: blessings, celebrate, excited, gifts, God, joy, praise | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

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