My sentimental journey

An ordinary girl's walk with an extraordinary God.


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A Bunny Tale of Unconditional Love

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Deciding to join Facebook in 2009  felt as if I  plunged headlong into  uncharted and  thrilling waters.  Butterflies danced wild and free within the walls of my stomach, as unexplored  territory loomed on the horizon.  Face  aglow with excitement embarking on this recently acquired adventure, only  to enhance to a greater depth my  already  delightful run as a  longtime  stay at home mom.
A  bold  new avenue to broaden my  connections with the outside world  while still  enjoying  the comforts of  home was  carte blanche to “having my cake and eating it to”.  Fork in one hand, cake in the other  savoring  the leisure of reconnecting  with  friends, family and classmates, rejoicing with the freedom and readiness Facebook had to offer.  No longer having  to wait until   family or class  reunions to get caught up.  Also, pleasantly surprised at the ease  this network made  connecting with  those you never had the pleasure of knowing very well before; so it was with a group of  high school ladies from the Reynolds Lancers.   Birthed from  casual  Facebook interactions eventually  leading us to be  cleverly dubbed  “The La La’s”,  short for Ladies and Lancers. This freshly brought together group met over  dinners and gatherings  all a buzz as we  took  our trip down memory lane. You would never know we were on the cusp of all turning  50, for memories of  teenage years flooded our memory banks, spilling over into the present whenever we conversed .

One day such a  moment happened  when someone started a  “thread” to chat back and forth on the internet.  The conversations poured in  about life, kids and of course high school.  That particular day  someone  casually  mentioned one of the teachers,  triggering my memory to begin typing out his thirty year old nickname he held back in the day.  Is if that was not enough I continued  trying hard to be witty as I expounded on this thought.  Wrapping up what I thought was  comic stride I stepped away from the computer…  however, instantly  a  strong conviction came over me as I started the treadmill.  What was I thinking?  I asked  myself , “I’m not sixteen anymore and what I did was wrong.”  Quickly  turning off  the  exercise machine  I went back and positioned myself in front of my computer eager to type out a full apology for my immature behavior.  This is when  hunt and peck method is at  a sore and  painful  disadvantage.

Reopening the  computer I was horrified  to  realize that very teacher I had just  poked fun at, had  unbeknownst to me been on the  thread the whole time.  Red faced and mortified I poured out my repentance for all  to see, asking Him to forgive me. Truly sorry for hurting him  and ashamed of my willingness to get a cheap laugh at someone else expense.  After finishing my deepest regret and taking ownership of this Epic failure something beautiful happened…

Forgiveness poured in spilling unconditional love over my shame.

Not only was I forgiven I was given a new nickname … Bunny

I saw myself as a foolish child, having the sting of an adder.
My friend Lisa saw me as a soft cuddly and sweet bunny.  No way on earth did I  feel  deserving of  that name… and yet isn’t  that  what unconditional love is all about.
Throughout the brief time  our group stayed together,  there was not a time that went by that being called  Bunny  did not touch my heart and cause profound gratefulness, grace, forgiveness, and a clean slate.  Even though I made a major  Loo Loo of a Boo Boo… I was  still  loved  unconditionally.  Making this Bunny extremely Hoppy  !!

Dear Lord , What a comfort to know nothing takes you by surprise, not  even the word that rolls off our  tongue.  Thank you for  unconditional love and grace displayed so beautifully through you and all those  that follow your precious example.

To the choirmaster: A Psalm of David. “O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me.”
Psalm 139:1-24 ESV

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,
Ephesians 2:8 ESV


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Justice Like Snowflakes

The  weatherman’s predictions for a winter storm arrived as promised, delivering a healthy dose of snow accumulation. Before this, the season had only graced us with rapidly melting flakes and a scant  light dusting of powder. Perhaps  Mother Nature  had grown weary of being poked fun at  for her lackluster display of wintery splendor,  or merely saving her best for last.  Whatever the reason, it’s here now blanketing our neighborhood  with a soft hush that silents the clamor.  A glistening brilliant white coverlet stretching far as the eye can see.

Snow can have  a way of bringing out the child within, beckoning us to come out and play. Reminiscing about my childhood, snow days were counted as some of my favorites. My brother and I raced to get  bundled up quickly, braving the cold, enthusiastic to chuck freshly made snowballs at each other. Or simply relishing falling  backward into a pile of snow  imprinting  heavenly angels. Rounding out our day of fun building an impressive snowman together.

As the years passed, occasionally our age difference caused a natural chasm of joint activities. One particular evening,  twilight was settling as I constructed Frosty alone. Street lights cast a glow, as gentle flakes fell on my creation, growing increasingly eager to remove my damp clothes and wrap my hands around a warm mug of cocoa. Crossing my cold fingers hoping we had whip creme or marshmallows to garnish my steaming drink.

Toasty and settled in, it was  time  to peer out our second story  window to admire my work below.  Gazing downward expecting to be greeted by a beaming face, carrot nose and  smile made of small stones.  Instead, to my dismay, I was saddened to realize someone had  destroyed  Frosty  leaving him in a heap. Anger and hurt welled up as  I  lamented my woes  to my folks, dad wasted no time to rise to this newly appointed challenge. Legendary  in the neighborhood  for chasing  after anyone that messed with his  property.  No doubt he found this to be another golden opportunity to hopefully catch the culprits and bring them to swift justice. Fashioning a  snowman for his trap, he carefully slipped into our darkened garage which became his makeshift stake out. Willing to wait patiently,  the orange glow of his lit cigarette the only revealing clue to  his whereabouts.  Not long afterwards  two boys  appeared, kicking this decoy snowman to its’ demise.  Hastily they became aware of my dad’s trap, his notorious reputation, and stellar gazelle moves, simultaneously  running away pell mell!  Before mom and I  knew it, my dad had not only caught the mischievous boys, but  marched  them back to the scene of the crime instructing them to rebuild my demolished snowman… not to their liking or specifications no less, but to mine. Sharp contrasting  scenes played out through the same window, one moment destruction, the next, restoration… victim, to victorious. Now wholly justified, redemption rolled out from snow under my dads’ watchful eye. My soul  warmed to the depths where the the bitter chill of injustice once lay.  God’s word tells us in  Psalms 68 :14
“God scattered their enemies like snowflakes melting in the forests of Zalmon”.

What a comfort to know God’s  got your back, He is  mindful of every hurt and loss you have or will ever encounter. He watches over you like a protective Papa Daddy.  Comforting us with this promise…
“Anyone who strikes you strikes what is most precious to me.” So the Lord Almighty sent me with this message for the nations that had plundered his people: *

Even though I don’t know what is going on in your life, I’m confident of this  .. God is a God of justice and He sends the neighbor bullies running. Your rejection, false accusation, harsh sting of injustice, or loss.  With this be warmed with the promise of His love and faithfulness to you now and forever. Whether you see justice here or in eternity, God  will work out all things for the good. All things plundered tethered to His promise.

So, “baby it might be cold outside” and  inside your soul too… no matter the situation allow God’s sympathetic embrace to melt away any bitterly cold concerns… bringing sunshine to your inmost being.  His 100% emotional weather forecast  is always  accurate!

*Zechariah 2:8 GNT


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Redemption from Perfection

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The other day, while slowly packing the last remnant of Christmas decorations, I found myself reflecting on  this past Christmas of 2013.  Pondering comes second nature to me, so as my thoughts drifted  into a bay of  comparing it with years gone by was familiar waters.  Asking  myself this rather weighty and significant question, “In the last year had  I witnessed any  areas of spiritual or personal growth ?”  Indeed, this past Christmas was a paradigm shift, driven robustly by agents of change, as they were ushering in hints of  transformation. Touching on deep recesses of my heart that need greater redemption, perfections  futile pursuit  being one of them.  To the outside observer these appear as gentle whispers of change, holding merely the slightest of nuances.  However, these  subtle shifts have become glorious music to my ears, a symphony composed of clanging  keys, as Christ eagerly longs to free me from  such cumbersome and binding shackles. A liberating sound available to all who request it… the prophet Isaiah wrote of  this very truth…

“He has sent me to bind up and heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the [physical and spiritual] captives and the opening of the prison and of the eyes to those who are bound.” *

Liberty  shows up in the strangest places recalling His freshly acquired freedom, as I  surrendered laying on the altar the  “Perfect” family Christmas card photo.  Christmas 2007 heralds as the  epitome for this unveiled revelation.  Remembering that year  as I gathered  the reluctant  family for a  DYI  portrait session and recollecting how it played out. For starters, we accidentally positioned the  tripod smack dab under the bird feeder causing birds to swoop  wildly for seed,  while on the porch steps  the boys taunting each other mercilessly.  Even after the bird feeder was repositioned to accommodate the hungry birds, our photo ops were fleeting faster then bird seed. We were rapidly growing weary of saying cheese and  my  sneaking suspicion told me there might not be a “Perfect”  Christmas photo to send that year.  The small window to get a family  photo had closed, and the shades pulled down tight.  Fortunately, all hope was not lost, as  our computer savvy son Derek offered to Photoshop the picture.  Like magic he replaced a smile on his brother’s face, painted his dad’s white socks black, and made it all cohesive changing the color to  black and white.  This photo still holds a special place in my heart knowing all the  behind the scene truth to get it that way.

In 2013 grief knocked the stuffing out of perfectionism and  detailed planning clean out of me, so came the birth of the   impromptu  Family Christmas photo on Thanksgiving  day.  A new season without my mom and  recent family divisions,  fueled  a desire to  connect with my husband and children like never before.  It did it matter if we had color coordinating outfits, nor  a winning Kodak smile, kneeling in front of our 6 ft. Charlie Brown Christmas tree  we had each other.  Sharing a common ground of loss and our own imperfections, by the grace of God choosing to rejoice in the midst of it all.  The  camera capturing our real life, authentic and raw images never to see the stroke of Photoshop tweaking.  Somehow becoming  perfect in all it’s imperfections.

Yes, 2013 had brought growth and new found freedom, timeless truths  propelling me to even grander heights in the days ahead; excited deeper, more profound healing is headed my way . Now, that is truly something to smile about.

Thank you Father for your promised redemption from unhealthy perfection. Helping us to see ourselves as beautiful diamonds fully faceted by your love. Hearing you speak boldly of who we are in You… already perfect in your eyes!

“Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor.”
Anne Lamott

“For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.”  Isaiah 43:19

* Isaiah 61

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