Friday, August 31, 2007

Everyone's Walk is Valid

On a recent summer morning while enjoying a long walk at a local park, I was impressed with the truth that everyone’s walk is valid, and that includes mine.

There are the slow movers, just enjoying a stroll. Older couples walking hand in hand display the tender affection years of togetherness affords. Young couples bounce along, pushing a stroller – beaming, hopefully taking some time to reconnect with each other. Some are the athletic type, equipped with heart monitor and high-fashion exercise wear; others look like they really need the exercise, painful as it is. People with their dogs stop to chat with other dog owners. Some dog owners simply talk to their dogs! Some make eye contact and smile; others look preoccupied, focused. Some run in teams, some in pairs, some alone. Some do short laps around the lake, others do the three mile stretch the length of the park. Some are back in their car, headed for home after just twenty or thirty minutes. Others spend over an hour here. Some walk the same direction as me and we pass each other at intermittent intervals. Others are headed in the opposite direction. But everyone’s walk is valid.

I used to be of the mindset that only those people who looked like me, believed like me, loved like me and thought like me were valid. Not only did they need to be Christian, they needed to be my kind of Christian (and I was happy to provide a checklist if need be). Everyone else was just a sinner headed for hell. Sorry to be so blunt but honestly, that was my view. I didn’t really see anyone else. I didn’t see poor. I didn’t see lonely. I didn’t see wise or humble or loving. I could neither learn from others nor love others unless they were exactly like me. I’ve come to realize what distorted thinking filled my mind.

As I began to embrace this reality, a reassuring peace overwhelmed my soul, as I realized my own walk is valid as well. I'm generally quiet and a bit introverted. I prefer walking and talking with a friend to noisy social gatherings. I like to be alone on my days off. I'd rather write than shop. Would rather read than eat. I like to question things. Yes, I need to pick up the pace in some areas. I need to reach out to others more. I need to be more disciplined in certain areas. But who I am is who I am. Not by any means a novel concept but one I need to come to grips with from time to time. It's my walk, the one God ordained for me, and I'm sticking to it.

What does your walk look like? Are you walking your own God-ordained walk, or feeling like your walk should look like someone else's?

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Word of the Week: Shaping

Shaping. This is a very comforting word for me. It reminds me to be patient, as the saying goes, because God is not finished with me yet. I'm reminded of Philippians 1:6 where Paul assured the Christians at Philippi that God would bring his work in their lives to completion. Until that day, it's a shaping process that takes place, day by day. I can't help picture a potter as he works at the wheel, hands lovingly guiding the wet clay, and am reminded that God's shaping work in our lives is a picture of his love. He's intimately involved in this process of who we are becoming.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:8-10

I am art with a purpose.
I am God's workmanship, his handicraft, his artwork.
I am a depository of his creativity, embodied in his great love.
All my efforts to enhance the project in any way are futile.
I cannot lift a brush to the canvas of my life. I cannot shape the clay from which I am being molded. I cannot chisel away at the wood from which the tool is being formed.
But . . . I can reflect his beauty to others as the picture of my life becomes clearer.
I can pour out of the vessel of my life refreshing words to others.
I can, as a tool in God's almighty hand, somehow be used in the lives of others.
I cannot, as the picture or the vessel or the tool, understand how it is that God chooses to involve me in his work.
I cannot see or even begin to envision the finished work.
But I can trust that my life has purpose and meaning.
I can submit to the almighty hand of my Creator.
I can be secure, knowing he will not leave his work unfinished.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

So Much for Buttercup!

I like music, I really do. I always have. But I must confess, I don't know groups or albums very well. And I really don't know the words to songs, beyond the first line or so. This drives my husband crazy, especially since he knows just about every group from the 70's and 80's. I am especially ignorant of the 80's culture, since I spent most of that decade in a Bible college setting where we really weren't allowed to listen to secular music.

So Mike's taken it upon himself to bring me up to speed in this area of music. He and I will be riding along and a song will come on the radio. He'll crank it up and ask, "Who sings this?" Or better yet, he'll quiz me as the first few bars begin to play: "What's the name of this song?" Yeah, right! But I've learned to play along. It's kind of like multiple choice for me. I now know the names of groups and artists, so I'll toss out what I think sounds like an educated guess. Linda Rondstadt? Bread? Meatloaf? REO Speedwagon (Mike's favorite group and I'll admit, I like them too!" John Mellencamp? I'm usually wrong but hey, I like to think I provide some entertainment for Mike! Someday I hope to make him proud . . . !

Anyways, the other night we were leaving a restaurant and a song began to play. I knew the song. I always liked this song. I even knew the first few lines! So I was quite surprised when Mike said, "Waterloo!" Huh? That's not how it goes! You're kidding me? Waterloo by ABBA? Seriously, I've always thought they were singing "Buttercup! Fill me up, baby - blah blah blah about Buttercup!" Oops! My whole world of music just came crashing down . . . oh well! That's why I stick to books and authors!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Word of the Week: Laugh

I remember the first time I was ever truly stumped. I was cruising along in first grade, when one day the teacher wrote this word on the chalkboard: LAUGH. And challenged us to pronounce it. Looking at it today, it's such a simple, light and fluffy word. To a six-year-old who thought she had a handle on reading, it spelled DOOM. Something I did not know. I remember the extreme frustration I felt as I made silent guesses, the sounds tripping over my lips like a cat expelling a hairball. Such was my introduction to the amazingly contradictory rules of the English language.

Today I look at this word and I see smiley faces and exclamation points. It's a happy word. But one we wouldn't have if the English language wasn't brave enough to break a few rules, would we?

Just a challenge to laugh at something today. May you find astonishment in the ordinary and be blessed!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Not Exactly a Soup Question!

I love this line, from one of my all time favorite movies, Finding Forrester. Jamal, the young protege, asks the recluse author Forrester what's in the soup he's stirring. And follows it with a very personal question about the author's failure to write another novel. Forrester (played by Sean Connery) comes back with "that's not exactly a soup question, is it?"

Truth is, the curmudgeonly author needed the probing of the inquisitive young man as much as Jamal needed the older man's wisdom and encouragement. In the end, Jamal writes an award winning piece for a school writing competition, while Forrester finds the freedom to step outside his apartment and truly live life, for the first time in years.

I'm pretty sure my response to the questions I'm asking and being asked, by God as well as others, is every bit as important as the questions themselves. Not so much my answers, but my response. Am I receptive to questions or do I get defensive? Am I willing to probe my heart for the true answers or do I come back with the first thing that comes to mind? My tendency when asked those deep questions of others is often to wall up and step away, or pose a quick defensive comeback, much like the character Forrester did.

I guess I'm learning I don't need to have all the answers; I just need to be open to the questions.

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts. Psalm 139:23

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Bringer of Scones

I'm on a scone kick right now. I've been making this recipe over the past several weeks and it's just too good not to share. Not only are they light and tasty, they're quick to make. Perfect for when unexpected guests drop by! The other day I started a batch at 7:00 am and was in my car, on my way to work by 7:40 am, warm scones snuggled under a tea towel in a basket, waiting to be shared with my coworkers.


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar plus a little extra for the tops (I use raw sugar for the tops)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tsp. grated orange peel (if desired)
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
  • 1/2 cup dried fruit (raisins, dried cherries, etc.)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 large egg


  1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. Soak fruit in hot water. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix flour, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Quarter butter lengthwise, then into 1/4 inch slices. Work into flour mixture with pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal. Drain water off fruit and pat dry with a paper towel. Stir into flour mixture.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk sour cream and egg until smooth.
  5. Using a fork, stir sour cream mixture into flour mixture until large dough clumps form. Use your hands to press the dough against the bowl into a ball. (The dough will be sticky in places, and there may not seem to be enough liquid at first, but as you press, the dough will come together.)
  6. Place on a lightly floured surface and pat into a 7- to 8-inch circle about 3/4-inch thick. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tsp. of sugar. Use a sharp knife or pizza cutter to cut into 8 triangles; place on a cookie sheet (preferably lined with parchment paper), about 1 inch apart. Bake until golden, about 15 to 17 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes and serve warm or at room temperature.
  7. Give some away before you eat the whole batch!
And now I'm headed out to my back porch to enjoy one (or two) with a cup of coffee. Mmm . . . Saturday mornings don't get any better than this!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Word of the Week: Transitions

Transition: (from the Latin "a crossing over") a movement, passage, or change from one position, state, stage, subject, concept, etc., to another

I keep coming across this word or idea, like here and here and here. And last week at the writers' conference, one editor stressed the importance of transitions in our writings, as we attempt to move our readers along in thought process.

If we think about it, life is just a series of transitions, isn't it? Family dynamics change: one family helps their adult child move into a home of their own while another relocates aging parents to an assisted living facility. Some moms are watching their little peanuts head off to school for the first time, while others, having sent their sons or daughters off to college, are faced with a quiet house and wondering where the time went. We move; we change jobs or schools or churches; people move in and out of our lives. Aside from the obvious transitions driven by circumstances and the calendar year, we're also constantly subject to the more subtle transitions of the heart, as the Holy Spirit works in our lives.

How well do I adjust to transitions? The word implies a moving of sorts. I know for me it's possible to make transitions at the external level only. Have I really transitioned or "crossed over" unless I've done so emotionally and spiritually, as well as physically? It reminds me of shifting gears on a manual transmission, which I know little about except that if you don't do it well, something very bad happens to the clutch! I can't get anywhere though, until I'm fully engaged. Thankfully I don't have to go through the transitions alone, I just need to be willing. Ultimately it's the Spirit moving in our hearts that brings us through to the other side.

What transitions are you facing right now? Are you moving - crossing over - in your heart, as well as in your calendar or physical location?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Going & Coming

So last week I went to the Greater Philly Writer's Conference. What a great experience all around. I met some great people - authors, editors and writers who are passionate about sharing God's word through the written word. I was challenged, of course, to move ahead with my own writing and send off some of the queries I've written. With the exception of an unexpectedly fun trip out to Philly, the going was great.

And then it was time to come home. The trip home took just over five hours - just like Mapquest promised (unlike the nine hour trip out) and it was a great time of pondering all I'd learned, catching up on some messages from God's word on CD and enjoying some worship music. And it was wonderful to be welcomed home by my sweet husband, who unselfishly encouraged me to go in the first place. The coming home was good.

And then I left again. No, not another trip away from home. But a leaving in my heart, a little emotional meltdown if you please. I walked into work Monday morning and just kind of fell apart, more than a little overwhelmed by all the emails and problems that had piled up in my absence, and fears regarding upcoming changes. Perhaps more tired and drained from the trip than I realized. And taken off guard by a few other realities.

So I left. Emotionally. Chose (that's hard for me to admit) to walk away from what I know to be true. That God loves me. That he has a purpose for my life. Chose to beat myself up for leaving rather than affirm myself in the truths that never change.

And then last night, finally, I settled down, turned to Psalm 139 and let God remind me that it's okay. He wasn't surprised by my leaving. He was with me (even though I refused to acknowledge him) when I left. And waiting for me when I returned. And the coming home was good.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Book Review: Listen: Finding God in the Story of Your Life

In Listen: Finding God in the Story of Your Life, Keri Wyatt Kent pulls together the classical ideas of spiritual formation into a practical understanding that can be incorporated into our daily lives. Listening to God's work in our lives, to his Word and to others in community are all key components of this much-overlooked facet of the Christian life. Kent shows how learning to listen is critical to many of the spiritual disciplines and, through her personal experience and with reference to many of the great spiritual writers, challenges her readers to become skillful listeners.

The first section immediately captured my attention, as well as my heart, as Keri challenges us to actually listen to our lives. What do we love? Where do we struggle? What are our desires? My tendency has been to ignore my past and deny my desires. To look away from my own story and hope God was doing the same. I've come to realize that God is not only intimately aware of my struggles and desires, but that he speaks to me through them.

In the second section, Keri communicates the importance of listening to others. We all long to be listened to, but are we available to listen to others in the same way? Listening to others allows us to both minister as well as be ministered to, as we open ourselves to the wisdom and encouragement of others. Without true listening, can there really be community as Jesus intended?

The final section covers listening as it relates to the spiritual disciplines of silence, scripture reading and prayer, although Keri is quick to point out that "all of our spiritual practices are transformed by listening." I'll admit that,where Bible reading and prayer are concerned, my efforts have been mostly one-sided, much like the man James described who looked into a mirror and walked away unchanged. It's only been recently, through resources such as Listen, that I've come to understand that God really wants to meet me in these times. Keri challenges us to begin making space for God in our lives by learning to listen deeply, rather than just follow rituals.

Keri's passion for spiritual transformation is quickly evident in her writing, and her engaging manner makes it easy to relate to what she's talking about. Listen is one of those books that warrants more than one reading and should probably be read with a pen in hand. It would lend itself well to a group discussion as well, as she poses a few thought-provoking questions at the end of each chapter.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

To Philly & Beyond

[To my husband, if you are reading this: I think there's a new episode of COPS on tonight. You'd probably be happier if you watched that and skipped this post!]

Silly me. I thought I was taking a short trip to the other side of my beloved state. Nine hours later, I feel like I went to the other side of the country. (For those of you geographically challenged folks, Philly is supposed to be about 5 hours from Pittsburgh!)

Interspersed between my continued thoughts of “what in the world am I doing?” were just a few humorous impressions that make me wonder what I did before there was blogging?

For instance, what in the world prevented me from stopping to use the restroom or eat while I was merrily traveling along the PA turnpike? Oh, perhaps it was the blinding rain or something like that. So what in the world possessed me to stop in Downingtown, PA at one of my company’s satellite warehouses for a “quick” meet and greet? This is not a business trip people! Someone should have told me that. Well, at least I got to use a restroom and a tour of one very dirty carbon warehouse.

Talk about bad directions though. It turned out to be almost an hour off the beaten path . . . and the directions “back” to the turnpike were equally as bad. In fact, I never actually made it back to the turnpike. Nope, we just bypassed that and headed straight for the heart of Philadelphia. So where was the brotherly love, you ask? Well, it was all sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic.

I’m working on a post about limits. Let me just say I realized a new one of my own today. I cannot see to drive without my glasses. But with my glasses on, I cannot read. Not a good situation when you need to navigate the road while checking your atlas. I gave up. I called my office and a few friends got on the internet and voila! They were better than On-star and free too! Soon I knew I was within the vicinity of my hotel.

My hotel. Ah yes. I see it. Over there. Six lanes over. No kidding. There were six lanes going in one direction – two sets of three lanes divided by a barrier. Let me tell you, Pittsburghers do not know what to do with more than two lanes going in the same direction. Especially not more than two lanes without construction work of some kind. So there I was, in the outer set of lanes. I need to be over there. Just get over and merge right where the barrier breaks. Yeah, right. I don’t think I’ve ever had to merge right before. Oops – excuse me sir. No, I really wasn’t trying to get over in your lane. I’ll just drive another twenty miles and turn around!

Anyways, I made it. I think I can find my way to the meeting site tomorrow. I didn’t dare venture out for dinner tonight, even though I hadn’t eaten more than a pop-tart and apple all day. The over-priced hotel restaurant suited me just fine. Top off the evening with a cup of hotel room coffee with powdered creamer and a pack of cookies from the vending machine. A perfect reward for not totally losing my mind today! But I must say, I am still asking, “What in the world am I doing here?”

To be continued and hopefully answered in the next two days!

The Eyes Have It

I used to do a lot of artwork. Calligraphy, pencil drawing, pen and ink, and watercolor painting. Calligraphy came most easily to me but my favorite was pen and (black) ink work. There's something thrilling about making a bird or butterfly come alive on paper with just the perfectly laid strokes of a black pen.

I haven't picked up a pen, pencil or sketchpad in years but I did a few weeks ago. Surprise, surprise - none of the pencil strokes laid where I wanted them to. My attempts looked more like kindergarten scribbles. I knew in an instant what had happened. I'd stopped seeing. I'd ceased spending hours upon end observing the intricate details of objects and scenes. I'd forgotten how to look at something, I mean really look at something.

Last week in our study we focused on the beatitude "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God." (Matt 5:8). I was reminded how seeing is an art within itself. Whether you're observing shapes and shadows and endeavoring to convey that to others as art or seeing a need in someone's life and pondering how to meet that need, seeing is a skill that must be honed. How we see things - be it life, the needs of others or God's hand at work - makes all the difference. I don't know about you but I want to see. Really see. Not just with my eyes but with the eyes of my heart.

I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, (Eph 1:17-18)

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Works for me Wednesday: Google Stuff

I've been using Google stuff for quite sometime, especially Gmail. I recently found a new use for Google Docs and Calendar. I started keeping a menu plan in a Google spreadsheet (I have published it for your viewing pleasure). It's a total WIP right now, and I'm sure I'll be adding meals and deleting others - I kept it pretty basic for starters. I love that I can put a link right to a recipe in the spreadsheet, for all those recipes you guys share on your blogs.

The benefits of this are that it's available to me wherever I am . . . at work or home. One sheet lists all possible dinner meals. Another is my pantry list. A third sheet is my actual menu plan, and a fourth is my shopping list for a two-week period. I'm finding if I just sit down and give this about an hour every other week, I'm good to go. Google Docs are shareable so it's nice if you want to share your ideas with someone else.

The other neat feature I've discovered is the ability to use multiple calendars in Google. So I've created a new calendar called "Menu Plan." I enter my basic dinner plan (meal) on that calendar and I can see at a glance what I'm having for dinner each day. It's easy enough to drag and drop entries around, so the plan is always flexible.

One last little tip. I've found a Google gadget called Toodledo. In a nutshell it's a separate to-do list program that works with Google calendar. (Again, it works by adding another calendar to your Google calendar). Check it out if you're looking for a way to manage your to-do list. You can turn these additional calendar views on and off, and I find that helpful also.

Since I sit in front of a computer for the better part of eight hours each day, this Google stuff really works for me!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Anyway You Like It!

Window smashed. This was just a nuisance and a wasted day off work.

Broken into. And they got away with a bunch of home-burned CDs of messages and my day planner.

Backed into. Yes, a nice young girl backed into me last week as I was pumping gas. Somehow I had the presence of mind to not even let it phase me and was rewarded with a grateful hug by a young driver who is likely paying through the nose for insurance. The tiny scratch she left is just a reminder to me that it pays to be nice.

Rear-ended. That was this morning on my way to work. If you've never been rear-ended before (as I had never been), I can testify that it is a jarring experience! Thankfully I am fine (a little jolted). Hopefully my car is still drivable and will see me to Philadelphia and back this weekend.

That's been the story of my car in the last 6 weeks! If you were my car, would you think your days are numbered? (No, I would never buy a brand new car but it's fun to dream!) If you were me, would you want to drive my car anymore?

And that's my exciting news for the week!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Book Review: If You Want To Walk on Water . . .

I recently finished If You Want To Walk on Water, You've Got To Get Out of the Boat, by John Ortberg. This must be the longest title of any book I've ever read; nevertheless, this book passed "GO" at about the second chapter and proceeded immediately to my "top ten" list. It was a light and easy read, made interesting by John Ortberg's personable style and humorous anecdotes. And yet it was a hard read in that I found it to be personally convicting and challenging.

Ortberg dissects the story of Peter walking on water, phrase by phrase, and helps us see that we are not much different from Peter. Most of us struggle from time to time with not wanting to get out of the boat. And when we do get out and take that risk, we're subject to the same sinking feeling the minute we take our focus off Jesus.

One recurring theme Ortberg touches on is that of fear. In fact, it seemed like every other chapter dealt with the topic. Reading about fear again and again helped me see what a grip I've allowed it to have on my life. Ortberg notes that living in a mindset of fear has a price to pay. For one thing, living in constant fear naturally results in a loss of self-esteem, as we don't get that surge of self-confidence that comes from facing challenges head-on. We also experience a loss of destiny if we choose to live in a place of fear, as we'll never realize our God-given potential.

If, like me, you've never read anything by John Ortberg, this is a great place to start. Chances are you'll see yourself in some part of Peter's story, whether it be gripping the side of the boat, actually walking on the water, or sinking in fear. In fact, as I'm learning, life is more cyclical than linear. Just because we got out of the boat once doesn't mean we'll never be faced with another similar challenge in the future. Likewise, we constantly need to refocus our eyes on Jesus, especially after moments of success.

I think this book would be a great one to read and discuss with a few other people. And so I'm going to toss out the idea of doing an online book discussion via a separate group blog. If you're interested, shoot me an email and we can discuss. I've never done anything like this before so if you have and are willing to share your know-how, feel free to pass that along as well.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Philly Cheese Steak, Anyone?

Okay, if a famous cheese steak sandwich doesn't appeal to you, how 'bout a writers' conference? I will be at the Write His Answer conference this Friday and Saturday and would love to meet up with any fellow bloggers planning to attend. Email me if you are.

Don't ask me what I'm doing going to this thing. Perhaps just, as my friend Tami at Then Next Step encouraged me, looking for my next step. All I know is that I've had the brochure for this for months, and yet didn't register until the midnight hour. Talk about prompt obedience to the nudging of the Holy Spirit!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Pills in my Pocket

I'm notorious for grabbing a painkiller and shoving it in my pocket, intending to take it when I stop for a drink. Hours later I wonder why my back still hurts or the headache hasn't let up . . . and then on laundry day I find those pills in my pocket.

I'm afraid I often do that with God and his word. He spoke to me clearly through his word or a message. I wanted to let it change me, I really did. My intent was good. I wanted to treat that coworker differently or respond better to the challenges of the day. Yet hours later I find myself wishing I could take back words spoken in an unpleasant tone, or completely embroiled in messes and stresses of my own making. I haven't allowed his word to be any more effective than those pills in my pocket.

One thing I've been learning lately is to latch onto words and images which help me recall what God is teaching me. We can see throughout scripture where God gave his people visual reminders of his goodness and working in their lives. After the Israelites crossed the Jordan river, God instructed Joshua to set up stones by the riverbank as a reminder of his faithfulness to them. The Psalms are full of beautiful word pictures, such as God as a fortress, and our desire for God like a thirsting deer. All creation points to him if we will only open our eyes and see.

This week, I've been dwelling on Ephesians 1:15-23, but especially the part where Paul prays that "the eyes of your heart may be enlightened." And humming the words to the song "Open the Eyes of My Heart, Lord." Wouldn't you know it our study of the Beatitudes this week focused on this one: Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God." So the visual picture of an eye is a reminder for me to consider what it means to really see God and get his perspective on things.

How has God been speaking to you lately? Ask him for a way to take it with you through the day. Don't leave the light for your path in your pocket.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

He Thinks I'm a Deadhead!!

A coworker stopped by my desk yesterday and I complimented him on his tie, noting that it was a Jerry Garcia tie. He seemed surprised but impressed that I would recognize the Jerry Garcia art. His comment: "I'd never take you for a Deadhead!"

I just smiled and laughed. And didn't tell him that I used to work in the men's department at Kaufmann's department store and folded many a Jerry Garcia tie. I'd recognize them anywhere. And no, I've never listed to that band, for which I guess I am "grateful!" So much for assumptions!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Word of the Week: Rhythms

Seems like lately I run across a word several times, in my reading or listening to a message or on a blog somewhere, and that word just sticks in my mind for a while. So I decided to start an occasional feature called "Word of the Week." It's certainly not meant to be an exhaustive study of that word; just a little tidbit and something to think about.

This weeks word is "rhythms." It's funny to me that I like this word. Because rhythms says "music" to me and I can't play an instrument to save my life. Piano lessons as a kid were a nightmare for me, as was the time my pastor thought it would be funny to make me sing in the choir - or maybe it was even in a trio with my mom and sister. Ugh!

But "rhythms" as I've come across the word lately means more than just being able to keep time to music. To me, it's a way we make space for God in our lives. Unlike the rigidity of a schedule, establishing rhythms in our lives is more fluid. It's being sensitive to God's leading and work - a kind of going along with the flow, so to speak. There's a book on my reading list called "Sacred Rhythms: Arranging Our Lives for Spiritual Transformation" that I'm looking forward to reading. I love the idea that our life rhythms - the day in, day out living - can be sacred. But for now, I'm just enjoying the beauty of that word as well as a few new rhythms in my life this summer.