My Sentimental Journey

An ordinary girl's walk with an extraordinary God


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The Broken Buddha

My dad was famous for bringing things home when he was a traveling salesman. Sometimes this just meant he traveled back and forth to a local auto parts store where he worked. No matter, he always seemed to find treasures to cart home. As I’m typing this, it dawned on me that I’m a lot like him. What an epiphany… it only took 61 years for this realization. Better late than never I always say.

When dad brought home fake decorative trees adorned with pink plastic flowers or burnt orange Fall leaves. It was my mom’s job was to try to work my Dad’s purchases into their home design while trying to maintain her own aesthetic style. At times this task proved to be a challenging endeavor.

However, hands down the one item that was the most difficult and loathsome, for my mother to incorporate let alone even bring into the house, was a gargantuan sized ceramic statue of Buddha; sporting both of His arms lifted up high while His rotund belly protruded out unashamedly.

That newly acquired find not only did not fit my mom’s décor, it did not fit her Christian beliefs. So with these two blaring conflicts, she quickly had my father usher it downstairs and placed it in the farthest corner of the rec room… a time out of sorts for Mr. Buddha perhaps chalking it up to his bad behavior. My mom was always good with a “work around” solution when It came to making a home for my dad’s finds.

And while my dad’s crazy Buddha statue had his perpetual time out in the basement. There came a day when that find met his match with two young girls that had far to much energy and way to much time on their hands. My dear childhood friend Janet and I were quite the pair, to be honest I don’t remember what our reasons were to go downstairs and engage with the statue on that fateful day. I have no doubt we were caught up in the midst of some heightened wackiness for sure. It all that mayhem and merriment all of the sudden Mr. Buddha fell over as those arms once raised high, were now completely and cleanly sheared off from the impact while miraculously the arms remained totally intact. Unbelievable!

This smoothest break from his tubby torso, no one could have made happen even if they tried. Believe you me we did not try at all. Truth be told, I’m now 100 % convinced my mom’s prayers for its demise were the culprit. That woman knew how to pray.

Janet and I were horrified at this mishap. I quickly sprang into action darting upstairs for glue to apply a 911 emergency adhesive on the severed arms. Carefully gluing the ends we attached his broken limbs to his body while propping them up with our hands. However, the moment we let go gravity took over causing them to slide down. We repeated this several times with the same end result. It was a dizzying and rather exhausting experience, as if the glue smell was not dizzying enough. In our desperate attempt to keep Buddha’s arms on, the strong smell of glue wafted up the stairs grabbing my mom’s attention, kicking into high gear as any loving mother would do ,she quickly walked down the stairs to investigate the cause of these intense fumes. Even though I was initially afraid of what her reaction would be, I was greatly relieved to see that for the very first time my mom was actually happy that I had broke something.

This funny memory came to mind the other day and as I reminisced this event I also pondered it.

I had just finished my last blog post about Hidden Idols and how God brought about a Holy Spirit course correction into my life… a path of learning to trust Him more. And here I was again pondering idols with a new revelation I felt the Lord say, “Lisa, what idols are you trying to prop up and save in your life. I thought of one unhealthy relationship He had lovingly removed from my life or severed, but I was having a hard time letting go of it, for one I thought I had broken it so therefore I needed to fix it, wanting so badly to mend it when I was not called to do that anymore.

Truth is it was just not meant to be. Sometimes in our lives that will happen, and no amount glue or human effort can prop that up. I’m reminded of Romans 12:18 NIV

“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” We need to do our best and leave the rest to God.

The other arm if you will ,was revealed days later when I thought how at times I can let my mind go idle, though its spelled differently it was still an effective way to get my attention.

The dictionary describes idle thoughts as frivolous, trivial, minor, meaningless and purposeless to name a few.

I don’t want to focus my energy’s on unnecessary or valueless thoughts that have no purpose instead I choose to do what Philippians 4:8 encourages us to do.

Keep your thoughts continually fixed on all that is authentic and real, honorable and admirable, beautiful and respectful, pure and holy, merciful and kind. And fasten your thoughts on every glorious work of God, praising him always.

As I looked at what could be an another idol in my life, I repented of what I believed God was wanting to address at those moment and asked the Holy Spirit to keep me alert to any other idols in my life.

Because truthfully there can be a lot of areas in our lives where idols can find their way into so many of life’s situations.

So, today I’m putting down the tube of glue of my own understanding and efforts that try to keep unhealthy or broken things together… when all along these were actually God’s “divine” and “clean” breaks.

A clean cut from an idol that is not suppose to be there in the first place.

Lord today I pray Psalms 139:23-24 KJV

Search me, O God, and know my heart :Try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Thank you Lord Jesus for breaking off any idols that have found a home in my heart.


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Hidden Idols

Running late for church one Sunday I grabbed my crumpled clothes from the bench where I tossed them after coming home late from a Her Voice Rally in Corbett Or. The weekend event was a barn burner and healing flowed throughout the gathering of over 800 women were I got gloriously touched by God. As wonderful as that was, I felt in my spirit that there were more areas that He wanted to bring healing and wholeness to.

Feeling beyond determined to go to church that following Sunday morning, I left my tired husband in bed and drove my disheveled weepy self 30 minutes to our new home church The Collective in Tigard, Oregon.

While driving there I also felt driven to get to a place where I could connect intimately with a God who loved me and I loved back. Surrounded with like minded people that hungered for the same experience is indeed powerful.

I cried through worship, heck, I probably cried through the announcements and the drive home was no exception. God was busy collecting my tears in His bottle and recording everyone in His book as King David penned so beautifully in Psalms 56:8. He was rather busy that day, and I know as my loving Heavenly Father He did not mind one bit.

I can certainly understand why King David also wrote in Psalms 121:4

“Behold, He who watches over Israel Will neither slumber nor sleep “

God watches over us 24 /7 and He never grows weary doing it.

What a comfort.

As God lovingly collected my tears while I drove the long stretch of the freeway home, He showed me an image of Jacobs wife Rachel stashing her fathers household idol in a camel’s saddle. You can the read this whole great story in Genesis 31, when I got home I sure did. It had been a while since I read that story.

Upon seeing that image I asked the Lord what are you telling me? Do I have an idol I’m not aware of?

I had an inkling I already knew what He was going to share.

You see, at this time in my life I just lost my business a few months prior due to the business closing where I rented a couple of spaces to sell home décor. With this new turn of events I decided to open up my little backyard She Shed… and call it “The Wildflower Cottage”. Filling my tiny space with cute decorative treasures. A place I could still decorate, visit with people, while generating a little income from the whole gig, it felt not only divine but a match made in heaven.

That shed was so delightful, why not make our other shed a clothing boutique? Since losing my spaces I also no longer had my clothing merchandising position as well. Hence the name change to “Wildflowers & Lilies” a nod to the scripture verse in Matthew 6:25-34 where Jesus told His disciples to not be anxious and to consider how He clothes the lilies.

Funny how as I look back I did not catch the signs along the way. The neon sign,

“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow “…

is more then just a charming quote but the word of God (Logo) to implement in my life, not just stick on my business cards.

The Lord is so patience His loving response to my inkling about it being my business was “you never asked me.”

Right then and there the realization hit me, I went in all guns a blazing. Though talking to my husband about it we really did not commit it more fully in prayer. It sounded good so it must be God. Right?

It seemed like a great idea, I even placed a scripture verse on my business card, prayed for people who came to visit. The thing is …

We can do good things…

With good intentions …

And still miss the mark.

God always goes to the root, the core belief or reasoning for our actions, He’s all about healing us, while helping us trust Him. His desire is for us to keep the main thing the main thing, which should always be Him. Walking in complete trust and surrender to His will and way. Especially when it is difficult to do so.

When I dug deeper reading Genesis 31 with all its robbery and intrigue the plot thickened with handy commentaries peering into the possible reasons Rachel took the household god in the first place.

One article suggested she knew her father’s Laban’s god growing up and she learned of Jacobs God. Yet perhaps leaving her childhood home to go with her husband caused her trust meter to dip. Surely a small inconspicuous back up plan of the household idol just in case Jacob’s God would not come through.

Hello plan A meet plan B.

Right then and there I saw how losing my business needed a remedy and waiting on God for an antidote seemed to me that it needed a little help. My inability to trust in my Father’s provision in a season of uncertainty put me in a position of restlessness. Thankfully He always has a bigger and better plan; inviting us to embrace Him, relinquishing our restless churning and turning, so in turn we live in restful trust and stillness.

When I surrendered my plan and received His plan for me, I slowly moved to undo what I had done. Standing face to the face with another season of change that would ultimately allow me to…

Joyfully Trust Him.

Habakkuk 3:17-19 NIV says it so powerfully:

Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord, will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.

Finally, with God’s help I brought myself to a place where I could box up my stuff to donate my inventory to Echo Ranch. This lovely non profit was founded by my friend Dorine and her husband Jake, a place where they rescue people and horses and so much more. They truly Echo the love of Jesus with every selfless act in a posture of total servanthood. The icing on the cake was to be able to decorate a quaint horse trailer with some of my donated gifts and Lynda’s gorgeous Floral bouquets. Mostly, these lovely flowers come straight from Echo Ranch’s garden that she and other volunteers tends with such love, commitment and creativity.

This beautiful transition opened God’s redemptive doorway of easing my sorrows of saying goodbye to a new glorious hello.

Now walking in God’s plan not mine… which is always the best plan ever!

And now a year later the Lord is opening more doors that not only include my writing but also revisiting my home decor business… Which is now His planning not mine.

The plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purpose of His heart through all generations. Psalms 33:11

It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things; He knows what is in the darkness, And the light dwells with Him. Daniel 2:22


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Bee Hopeful

The gentle breeze from the open side door off the kitchen was too refreshing for me to want to close it. I had just experienced this delightful breath of wind as I opened the door for our goofy dog Buddy to go potty. He rather enjoyed the fresh warm air and decided to lay himself down on the small porch attached to our shed to soak up some rays, acting as if it was the dog days of summer on a sunny April afternoon. Both of us seemed lost in the contentment of fresh air, sun, and joy it provided us. While the door was still wide open providing such enjoyment a bumble bee flew in, buzzing around frantically. I suppose like Buddy and I, she too got caught up in the moment of joy.

Disorientated, she headed to the unopened window and thought for sure the window was her ticket to freedom. In all accounts it sure looked like it. “Aerodynamically the bumble bee shouldn’t be able to fly, but the bumble bee doesn’t know that, so it goes on flying anyway,” (Mary Kay Ash). That can-do spirit had served her well so far, surely it would continue to work its magic. However, as an outsider looking in, all her determination was not getting her out. Deciding to assist her I grabbed a flat-end wooden spatula from the kitchen and gently placed it under her body to lift her up and send her on her merry way. But she simply was not having any part of it. In her tiny bee mind the window was the only way out.

As I pondered or, should I say, I was BEEing mindful of this bumblebee’s view of me, I realized to her I was probably making her uncomfortable. To her it might have seemed I was disrupting her plans to escape even though I knew it was inescapable. What I meant to bless her she saw as a deterrent.

And then I saw myself in that frantic bumblebee: Choosing a comfort zone rather than God’s call to the uncomfortable. Doing it my own way rather than trusting God who sees the bigger picture. Viewing God’s delays as His denials when He is simply in the process of working it all out for my good.

I never knew such a tiny insect carried such a huge lesson. I should have known, since she’s not even supposed to be able to fly. That alone will preach!

For her fuzzy body round as a ball

her dainty wings seem much too small

to zip, or zoom, or fly at all, (Dawn Matheson).

Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God, (2 Corinthians 3:5 KJV).

Be Hopeful

Be Patient

Be Loving

Be Joyful

Be You !

Me beeing joyful at the craft store.


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Clothed with Strength and Dignity

Here is the story of how the Lord brought me down the path of doing this fun project while I waited for my Reclaimed Joy book to be edited. This prompt from God became a joyful and relaxing way for me to experience the truth of God’s word. Now as this one year project comes to a close, I hope it blesses you as much as it has me in creating it. I have learned more about God,myself and that striving to people please and perfectionism is not the perfect nor pleasing life to live after all.

The Journal ’s Inspiration
The Clothed in Strength & Dignity Journal was created not only from my love
for journaling and occasional doodling but also from a longing to create a
devotional book after watching the movie 27 Dresses. Though this concept
may not sound spiritual, that next day after I watched the movie, I felt inspired
to draw 27 little dresses in my journal, redeeming the truth nuggets revealed
to me. Each new day I read one chapter in the book of Proverbs as I searched
for daily wisdom, choosing one verse to ponder, writing it down, and titling
my dress. Some of those dress drawings are displayed around this page.
Truth be told, I was not a fan of all of the aspects of the movie’s content, yet
watching the main character Jane’s strong desire to please people struck a
chord in me. For I, too, have lost my identity in the process of trying to please
people throughout my life. Jane somehow found herself saying yes to being
a bridesmaid 27 times with an underlining hope that one day these brides
would return the favor. Not only that, but Jane’s sentimentality lured her to
cram every one of those 27 bridesmaid dresses into her closet, leaving no
room in her closet or life to spread her God given wings and fly.
For me, people-pleasing became a counterfeit love that was based on fear of
rejection, crowding out God’s perfect love that casts out all fear, as 1 John 4:18
promises.
Eventually Jane found her true love and cleaned out her closet, for in that
true love was revealed the truth she needed—spurring her to embrace the
positive changes that were necessary for her newfound freedom. God’s love
will do that for us and so much more. One touch from God will transform your
life forever. Accepting Him as your Lord and Savior and choosing to follow
Him every day will be the best decision you will ever make.
When Jane married the man of her dreams, those 27 brides became her
bridesmaids, returning the favor just as she hoped they would do.
May you find God’s love for you in fresh new ways; may your personal journey
of being clothed in strength and dignity allow you to more fully experience
laughter without fear of the future.

My first doodles.


…let the adorning be
the hidden person of the heart
with the imperishable beauty
of a gentle and quiet spirit,
which in God’s sight is very precious.
1 Peter 3:4 ESV


Journal Instructions
The journal progresses through the book of Proverbs from Chapter 1
to Chapter 31.
One dress to color and one highlighted verse each day. The selected
verse to ponder correlates with that chapter.


Hanging with Jesus! The page opposite the dress and verse for that
day will have a few questions about the highlighted verse and a place to
write your Garment of Praise—your gratitude to God or something for
which you are thankful.


Devotions. If you choose to read the whole chapter (which I encourage)
you may use this space for your thoughts or study notes.


Doodle or Dream. Use your own quiet time style with Jesus that will
promote personal growth and intimacy with Him.


Blank pages at the end the journal may be used to create a collage of
words or phrases, or sketch or draw, to help you reflect on your learning
and or new awareness of God or yourself that emerged as you worked
through each chapter.


I have used The Passion Translation of the Bible frequently because of
the poetic way it is written. I have felt God’s love in a deeper level
through incorporating this translation. Feel free to use any Bible
translation with which you are comfortable.


The beautiful bouquet of God’s Wisdom
The Book of Proverbs is a beautiful bouquet of God’s wisdom and revelation
knowledge. Mainly written by King Solomon, this book stands poised and
ready for us to daily gather up its fragrant truths in the 31chapters it provides
the reader. Wisdom is poetically woven throughout the pages, giving us
answers to our human condition through the lens of God’s divine solutions.
Once we apply the wisdom of the aromatic truths to our lives, we cannot help
but spread that scent wherever we go as our lives reflect the image of God
more fully and completely.
Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God.
2 Corinthians 2:15 NLT

You can preorder this book by going directly through Venmo -123 or Paypal.me/heartfullofjoy The price is 14.95 plus 5.00 S/H. Please specify its for the dress book.I hope to ship out the orders by end of May. This will also be available next week for preorders on lisasjourney.net Thank you so much, Lisa


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Never Smile at a Crocodile

Recently I was praying for America. My heart was heavy and grieved. As I prayed, I felt strength as the Lord reminded me of all the people crying out for God to heal our land. Then as the strength came over my spirit the Lord showed me a picture of a crocodile with his jaws roped shut. This sent me on a journey to find out all that the Lord was trying to tell me.

Crocodiles in the Bible symbolized the reign of the Pharaohs of Egypt which God would destroy (1).

Ezekiel 32:1-2 reads,

Ezekiel, son of man, condemn the king of Egypt and tell him:

You act like a lion roaming the earth;

But you are nothing more than

A crocodile in a river,

Churning up muddy water with your feet. (CSV)

Though Pharaoh prided himself as a lion among the nations, in actuality he was a crocodile—the monster in the sea—muddying the waters with his feet.

As I continued my search on the crocodile it only became more exciting to learn that during the Middle Ages the early Christians (in line with key Scripture), viewed the crocodile as a monster of chaos, and the devil. So much so they chained stuffed crocodiles on their church walls to represent the devil being chained. What a powerful picture of overcoming the enemy.

The closest translation for the Hebrew word Leviathan in Scripture is crocodile. A crocodile is known for getting its prey in its jaws, then bending, twisting, and wearing it down with its relentless thrashing back and forth. So, too, the enemy can twist our words, thoughts, and relationships in an attempt to swallow us whole through misunderstandings, lies and half-truths, causing division rather than unity; hate rather than love.

Crocodiles have also been viewed hypocritically as shedding “crocodile tears” while eating their victims. Though there is some evidence these tears are based on a physical response to the crocodile being on land and severe jaw movement, it is still a chilling picture of insincerity and deceit.

Isaiah 27:1 describes Leviathan as a serpent:

In that day the Lord with his hard and great and strong sword will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent, Leviathan the twisting serpent, and he will slay the dragon that is in the sea.(ESV)

Psalm 74:14 continues the theme: You crushed the heads of Leviathan (Egypt); You did give him as food for the creatures inhabiting the wilderness (AMPC).

I was reminded of The Prince of Egypt movie scene when Moses’ mother Jochebed placed her precious son in the ark of bulrushes sending him off in a desperate attempt to spare him from Pharaoh’s death sentence on all baby boys .Tearfully she sang the song “Deliver Us” as the movie shows the perilous journey of Moses escaping fishing nets, hippopotamus, and the dreaded crocodile only to land safely in the arms of Pharaoh’s daughter. Eventually Moses became all that God called him to be and delivered His people from years of bondage, escaping the traps of the enemy trying to steal his God-given identity. Lord, we pray too you would deliver us.

Deliver us

Hear our prayer, deliver us

From despair, these years of slavery

Grown too cruel to stand

Deliver us

There’s a land You promised us

Deliver us from the bondage

And deliver us to the Promised Land

(Prince of Egypt) 1998

Lord, everywhere we look we see a need for your deliverance. Your people cry out for justice, freedom and truth to prevail, for good that triumphs over evil in every situation we might face.

When I think of the depravity all around and our deep need for you to deliver us, our call to pray earnestly and to do so without ceasing becomes paramount these present times.

Matthew 6:9-13 comes to mind when Jesus’ disciples asked Him for this crucial weapon. “Lord teach us to pray.” They knew the importance of it, and right there He gave them The Lord’s Prayer. Woven in that authoritative intercession is the cry to “deliver us.”

Let’s look at His beautiful example of communing with God.

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name.

Your kingdom come,

your will be done

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread

and forgive us our debts,

as we also have forgiven our debtors,

And lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.

(Matthew 6:9-13 ESV)

And as we pray faithfully let’s also “be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8 ESV).

Be Prayerful

Be Faithful

Be Alert

Be Mindful

And always remember to . . .

“Never Smile at a Crocodile”

No, you can’t get friendly with a crocodile

Don’t be taken in by his welcome grin

He’s imagining how well you’d fit within his skin

Never smile at a crocodile

Never tip your hat and stop to talk awhile

Walk away, say good-night, not good-day

Clear the aisle but never smile at Mister Crocodile.

(Frank Churchill and Jack Lawrence in the movie Peter Pan). 1953

Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you (Luke 10:19 KJV).

(1) https://enduringword.com/bible-commentary/ezekiel-32








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The Treasures of the Snow

Years ago after seeing the movie ” Avengers Endgame” my morning devotion landed me on the pages of Jeremiah 51, which at the time seemed random. However, it did not take long to see why my choice was not random at all… but rather quite divine. The words leaped off the page grabbing my attention far greater than any adrenaline driven movie moment. Right there in verses 34-37 was a thrilling life changing revelation, “Then I, God step in and say, I’m on your side, taking up your cause, I’m your Avenger !” Wow friends! How epic and reassuring… good triumphing over evil, hope cascading over despair, delivering the knockout punch to the enemies that loomed over us. All the while, washing away injustices with a love that is undeniable. A tangible, palatable victory, far removed from the bad taste that was left in our mouth’s by guilt or embarrassment. This overcoming conquering king is in our corner 24/7, never sleeping or slumbering… even when you cannot feel Him. That is truly and “End Game” changer!

God pleads our case, rights our wrongs, restores what has been devoured and loves us so fiercely; championing for our peace, salvation and joy. What is our role in this glorious package? Simply receive it free of charge, your admission has already been paid for.

You see, I have needed an Avenger

to right all the wrongs,

to turn my mourning into dancing,

to redeem what has been stolen,

and to walk in my God given freedom and destiny.

Because of Jesus my great Avenger, my story is not in a place of sorrow and victimhood but of overwhelming victory. God’s word says, “They have overcome (conquered )him by the blood of the lamb and the word of their testimony.” So in that truth I can now share that I was raped during my senior year by a fellow student. For years I wrestled with shame, guilt and sorrow trying to bury my trauma so I could face each day pretending, albeit with all my might, that life was normal. Adding to the difficultly was my inability to tell my parents about being sexually assaulted. Which left me feeling alone, and with no one standing in my corner to defend me. For somewhere in the depths of my broken and shattered soul I felt responsible. It took me years with the Lord’s help and love of others to unpack the truth of that dreadful night… that it was never my fault ever. A few days after the event, the person that was responsible apologized; though it was a long bumpy road before I arrived at true forgiveness. I’ve realized along the way, that in order for a person to be able to abuse another human in any way shape or form, is out of such brokenness that only God can truly heal them. I hope and pray he has found the freedom and peace God longs to give him.

God in His unfailing love has redeemed the areas of sexual abuse that go far beyond that one painful night in Dec. of 1978 to a place of healing, peace and joy. Our Savior promises in Joel 2:25 NIV

“I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten
the great locust and the young locust,
the other locusts and the locust swarm
my great army that I sent among you.
You will have plenty to eat, until you are full,
and you will praise the name of the Lord your God,
who has worked wonders for you;
never again will my people be shamed.

Lord, thank you for being our Avenger taking up our cause with love while also desiring freedom for both sides involved in the heartache. We praise you that the pain of yesterday is swallowed up in the victory of today. We praise you that those that put their trust in You will not be put to shame or disappointed. You are by far the best super hero ever!

Skipping school my senior year to play in the snow totally brokenhearted.  Scan0008

2022 Jesus has healed my heart and it is full of joy !

Have you entered into the treasures of the snow? Job 38:22 KJV

 For as the rain and snow come down from the heavens, and return not there again, but water the earth and make it bring forth and sprout, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, So shall My word be that goes forth out of My mouth: it shall not return to Me void [without producing any effect, useless], but it shall accomplish that which I please and purpose, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:10-11 AMP

“Snowflakes are kisses from heaven.” Unknown


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Exciting News

Lisasjourney.net is now open for business. Not only will I be adding to my blog posts, I will be adding to my shop as well. I’m super excited to have this up and running and so look forward to writing and creating new products that remind you how much you are loved by God.

Please note at this time the shop is only doing pre-orders .Shipments going out in mid to late February for book and bracelet and journal shipment in March . Thank you so much and God bless,

Reclaimed by His love and joy ,

Lisa


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Entwined Hearts

Recently it dawned on me, jokingly calling the word “wait” a four letter word was not a good idea. Though there have been times in my life when waiting felt like a long prison sentence with no hope of parole nor even a visitor called Joy. It’s root cause was fostered by my lack of trust and complete confidence in God’s faithfulness. Not only that, my thoughts were skipping the biblical principles of rejoicing in the Lord always as Philippians 4:1-9 encourages us to do so… this didn’t help matters. My notions of God’s truths in regards to waiting was conceived, birthed and nursed on lies. This false narrative continued to grow out of a lack of trust in God’s goodness. Doubt became the framework of my wobbly emotional structure, which proved insufficient building materials to fully lean on God’s goodness in my times of waiting. Removing the core nature of God’s faithfulness out of the equation of waiting, choosing to be dictated by feelings over our faith will fail any faith building inspection.

I’m reminded of Peter’s bold steps to walk on water as Jesus bid him, only to suddenly let his fear and doubt not only stop him in his water tracks but sank him in it. I love what Matthew 14:31 * says, ” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him .” You of little faith, ‘he said , why did you doubt? “So why did Peters bold step of faith to met Jesus abruptly stop? He saw the wind which had produced the crashing waves against the boat he and the other 11 apostles were waiting in. Peter’s fear of the wind caused him to take His eyes off Jesus, gripping his heart with doubt causing him to sink. Even though Jesus had comforted His fearful disciples only moments before while He was walking on the water saying, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” I’m comforted to know that even Peter doubted in the waiting, letting sight override faith allowing doubt to drown him… even though Jesus had lived amongst him on a daily basis with unwavering faithfulness. Like me, he let the whirlwind of circumstances deceive him, while the wind of adversity whipped up fear that raged in his soul.


Also, I find it interesting that in Matt: 14 it is recorded on three different occasions that immediately after Jesus did something for his disciples a juxtaposition took place… the value of “Waiting”. God is a God of Waiting and a God of suddenlies, though I love the suddenlies there is great significance in the Waiting. Allowing the necessary work of the Holy Spirit within our own hearts’ and minds’ to be done while we Wait. James W. Goll writes, “when the fullness of preparation, meets the fullness of time its results in the culture or atmosphere where suddenlies come to pass” The bottom line is …. “He has made everything beautiful in its time.” Ecclesiastes 3 :11 ESV


This reality of God’s truth empowers us to take a position of rejoicing in His exceedingly great and precious promise even while we Wait.


As I repented on my four letter word comparison of the word WAIT the Lord brought to mind the countless scripture verses that celebrates Waiting.

The truth is we not only wait on Him, He waits on us.


To surrender our will for His.


To lay on the altar those things we cling to. Offering our bodies as living sacrifices holy and pleasing to God.


A beautiful exchange of earthly pleasures for His far greater kingdom purposes.


Isaiah 30 :18 is a lovely picture of His waiting on us.”For this reason the Lord is still waiting to show his favor to you so he can show you his marvelous love. He waits to be gracious to you. He sits on his throne ready to show mercy to you. For Yahweh is the Lord of justice, faithful to keep his promises. Overwhelmed with bliss are all who will entwine their hearts in him, waiting for him to help them.”


Such a comforting verse, and the thought of entwining our hearts to His is a powerful truth to cling to in our waiting.
” Here’s what I’ve learned through it all: Don’t give up; don’t be impatient; be entwined as one with the Lord. Be brave and courageous, and never lose hope. Yes, keep on waiting—for he will never disappoint you!” Psalm 27:14


The Passion translation commentary writes The Hebrew word most commonly translated as “wait” (wait upon the Lord) is qavah, which also means “to tie together by twisting” or “to entwine” or “to wrap tightly.” This is a beautiful concept of waiting upon God, not passively, but entwining our hearts with him and his purposes.


It reminds me of a tall curly willow branch propped up behind our shed waiting to be used, while in its stillness a glorious honeysuckle near by seeking additional support, twirled around the dead lifeless branch. Gracefully, beautifully entwining its purpose with life and destiny.

Today you might feel like a dead branch waiting for a promise or a purpose, I have good news for you… when we wrap our heart into His we are forever changed in the process and beauty will come out of the waiting.

Perhaps you too are tired of being on the team where wait is a four letter word. Are you ready for a shift into freedom? I know I am!

As I wrote this the Lord brought to mind the game called “Olly olly oxen free”.”Olly olly oxen free” is a catchphrase or truce term used in children’s games such as hide and seek, indicating the players who are hiding can come out into the open without losing the game. Or that the position of the sides in a game has changed, meaning the game is entirely over. Wikipedia went on to say the phrase may have, ”calling all the outs in free”; in other words, all who are out may come in without penalty.


We thank you Lord for calling “Olly olly oxen free ” to all who are hiding in fear, doubt or shame. Being the glorious game changer, calling outs–IN and those still waiting will one day boldly declare… it was totally worth the Wait! .


“I have wrapped my heart into yours!” Psalms 25:5 TPT

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Dancing with Possibilities

                                                       

Through the years I have thought it would be fun to own a little boutique, well at least in theory. I did however get the joy of renting a couple booths for seven years selling home decor with a shabby chic flare. This gave me a very little taste of what having my own boutique would feel like; without all the extra responsibilities. It was a delightful chapter in my life. I also realized how much I enjoy driving by empty buildings seeing in my minds eye the potential of what those little gems could hold. A hidden jewel ready and waiting to come out of the box shining with their new found glory and purpose. An empty building with budding futures are not the only things my heart is drawn to, so too is a strong pull for discarded furniture and other roadside freebies that get me every time. Putting on the breaks, jumping out, I’m absolutely giddy as I drag my new found treasure to the van. Like a hermit crab eager to get a discarded shell, I celebrate my new found treasure all the way home.

This love affair of discarded things has tested my limits of how far I will go to get the prize. Having your eye on the prize of something you cannot lift into your car without help is always met with a prayer. Like for instance, a gorgeous large mid century dresser nestled amongst the landscape on a sloping hill. Challenge accepted and prayers were raised as I pathetically tried to scoot that behemoth of a dresser to my van. Fortunately some strapping young man took pity on this grandma’s feeble attempts and kindly offered his must needed muscle. Thank you Jesus! That “Lord have mercy prayer” worked beautifully that day.

Once again it came in handy when I saw the cutest small wooden tool shed needing a good home. There it was smack dab in the middle of the sidewalk beckoning me. I wasted no time heeding the call and quickly turned the van around parking it close enough or so I thought, ready to get that darling loaded up. As I stood next to this 6 ft beauty I assessed my game plan realizing leaving it there was not an option. So I hugged it, like you would a tree and since we were cozy I thought waltzing with it back and forth was far better to get it from point A to B, then pulling it to the van. Besides I did not want to appear rude upon our first meeting.

Choosing to dance slowly…

With the cumbersome,

Embracing all its possibilities,

Awkwardness mingled with its underlining glory,

Investing in a risk to reap an even greater reward.

No doubt I looked completely hilarious and ridiculous at the same time and yet I did not care. I knew the value and the purpose of what I choose as my unusual dance partner. Swaying with a shed to no music down the looooong stretch of Arata Road was worth the risk and reward. Finally, arriving at my van seemed like forever, a sweet lady was gracious enough to put down her bucket of popcorn realizing the “Dancing With The Shed” was over and gladly helped me hoist my new found partner into my vehicle. Finding help in the 11th hour was a pleasant surprise though I’m not going to lie, having help sooner would have been nice. Another prayer answered brought to you by God’s sense of humor and believe me He has one. This story is always funny to remember and so its all good in the hood. Besides our small towns motto is, “Everything you need in one square mile”, apparently that includes entertainment. Your welcome!

I still love the thrill of the hunt, finding treasures once deemed as trash never gets old. Seeing beauty in the unwanted, discarded and at times seemingly unlovable is in my DNA. Like the time my high school boyfriend took his dad’s beautiful white Jaguar spending the day traveling dusty roads collecting bottles and cans for money. Truth be told… we spent more money on gas then what we earned. On top of that his dad was not pleased with our joy ride, nor was my mom as I washed a bazillion dirty mainly beer cans on our front lawn. She was completely mortified the neighbors would think this God loving,church going, teetotaling mama had been hiding a big secret. What a day!

Lately this gal’s DNA pendulum of seeing worth in rejected items is swinging way beyond dirty beer cans and discarded furniture to more of the human condition. My passion has shifted even more recently turning 60, coupled with personally experiencing a greater depth of emotional and spiritual freedom. This has sparked such a hunger in me to see others completely healed and made whole. Bottom line… God is moving me into a new season enlarging my heart to break it for what breaks His. So excited and …

Ready …

To embrace the possibilities,

To dance with new opportunities even when difficult.

To look at situations that seem to big for me only …

To realize they are not to big for God.

Today by faith I chose to welcome the awkward, the messy, learning to love more deeply the broken, the discarded and what the world sees as unlovable. My heart’s desire is to have the same zeal that had me pull over for a piece of unwanted furniture to now stopping more as the Holy Spirit directs me to help a brother or sister in need. Seeing their intrinsic God given value, a beauty that is in desperate need of redemption and healing.

Through Gods love and boundless grace we are more then able to …

Change the trajectory from wounded people wounding people

to the liberating truth propelling free people to free people.

Now I look more for people than things that need some TLC. Perhaps to give a warm smile (even with a mask ) for our eyes smile too!, a hug, a prayer, or an encouraging word. Every person needs to know the Tender Loving Care of their Heavenly Father who wants to speak into their lives …

They have worth

They have value

They have a God given identity that is waiting to be uncovered from lies that they are buried under.

Thank you Jesus for the joy of walking in true freedom that can only come from you. May our lives be conduits to speak life and truth of just how good you are. Pouring out your love, grace and hope of our brightest future that comes from you the Author and Finisher of our faith.

Now that is truly music I can dance to.

Let us not only embrace new possibilities and seasons but kick up our heels and dance with them . Lisa Jennings

“Be cheerful with joyous celebration in every season of life.” Philippians 4 :1

“The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is to love and be loved in return.” Natalie Cole

A broken thing can’t fix itself ~ Dean Koontz


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Worth More than Rose Gold

One thing you should know about me is that I am in love (obsessed?) with rose gold. This slight infatuation increased one hundred fold on our trip to Disneyland in 2019. While there, I was met with a sea of sparkly rose gold Minnie Mouse ears. My heart skipped a beat for these glittering beauties, but I had already made a hard and fast rule long before we planted our feet in the Magic Kingdom. My foolproof plan was to purchase my Minnie Mouse ears online long before our vacation ever started. Obviously by doing so I would save money and reduce the temptation to overspend while there. While I highly recommend this strategy, the best laid plans can still go south.

When the bargain ears arrived, they were either way too small or way too big. However, I remained fully committed to wearing them without bothering to check if they were returnable. Growing up I often heard, “waste not; want not,” and perhaps it was this notion that convinced me that those babies were getting packed up and going with us regardless of whether they looked ridiculous or not. Honestly, Disneyland is filled with ridiculous items you can place on your head anyway – one of the many things I love about the place.

When we finally arrived at the Park, Kevin encouraged me to buy something for myself. Even though I loved most of what I saw, I was far from in love with the price tags. So my admirable response was a polite, “No, thank you.”

Until.

One lustrous day, those rose gold Minnie Mouse ears finally broke down my frugality with their magnetic, glittering glory. Like a thrifty moth to the uneconomical flame, I was drawn to the display. I picked one up, just to gaze at its charming allure, and my husband wasted no time in insisting I get them. The poor guy had been watching me wearing micro or macro Minnie ears each day as we strolled in the park, and he was more than ready to bless me. Just when I was about to take the purchase plunge, I turned in the cashier’s direction and froze.

Tears suddenly welled up.

Delicate, graceful tears – for the record. No ugly crying (this time).

Seeing my tears, Kevin tenderly asked, “What’s wrong?” I looked at him and simply said,

“I don’t deserve them.”

In the forefront of my mind were all my failures and the fears I had been battling during our trip that had left me grumpy in the middle of the Happiest Place on Earth.

And the truth is, I didn’t deserve them.

Despite the truth of my confession, Kevin lovingly took the ears from my hand and marched up to the counter like a man on a mission. I stood there speechless and in awe as the guilt melted away. When he returned, he placed in my hands the most gorgeous set of Minnie Mouse ears this girl has ever laid eyes on.

It was a beautiful act of grace.

Although I had been acting in ugly ways and deserving a far different outcome, he chose to forgive me and clothe me in beauty.

The truth is, none of us deserve anything good.

We certainly don’t deserve what God has so willingly and freely given us. “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 ESV.

While we were still sinners.

Christ died for us.

We are all sinners saved only by God’s redeeming grace. God’s love through the cross proved His unmerited mercy and favor towards us. We can choose to accept His free gift of salvation and forgiveness and to walk in humility, repentance, and thanksgiving.

“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.” 1 John 3:1a ESV.

“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV.

Once we acknowledge our failure and choose to trust in Him, He clothes us with new identity and worth.

Maybe you’ve heard this good news before but were never able to let the powerful truth of it sink in fully. Understandably so. Love that is so lavish, unconditional, and full of grace is hard for us to wrap our heads around. It is mind-blowing. Each new day I’m more fully learning and understanding God’s love for me.

My heart is that you dare to discover His love for you. Don’t listen to the liar who says you cannot be loved.

My husband’s grace and generosity spoke the love of God in a language I could understand. God knows how to speak directly to your heart. Ask Him to show you His love, to help you understand. You may feel God’s love when you see a beautiful sunset, when you get a helping hand, or when you hear encouraging words. For many, getting a seemingly silly trinket like Minnie ears would not have touched your heart the way it did mine! The beautiful thing is, God knows our unique love languages because He created us to speak them. If you don’t know yours and would like to, consider checking out 5lovelanguages.com. It is an excellent tool to better understand how others give and receive love (as well as yourself).

Ultimately though, the most important thing is to read God’s word. The Bible is His love letter to us, and His Spirit speaks to each one of us through it. I highly encourage you as you read to journal His powerful truths and loving thoughts towards you.

God is faithful and patient with us as we surrender to Him. He is always there guiding our baby steps towards deeper healing as we grasp His divine truths and long for His wholeness.

My prayer for you is that you grab hold of the truth and run with it – dancing in a field of wildflowers in His freeing redemption.

God makes us worth more than rose gold.