Be a Shout of Color…


Picture Credit: Julianne Jackson

The fallen azalea flower…

far removed from its mother bush.

Bright pink, but face down in all the muck and mud that gathers before the opening of the drainage ditch.

Just the gentlest of showers could carry it into that darkest of places – forgotten.

But for now it is a shout of color within the dirty debris.

Being itself in the midst…as it is called to be…as it needs to be.

“Be who you are and be that well in order to honor the Master whose handiwork you are.” St. Francis de Sales

“When they walk through the valley of weeping, it will become a place of refreshing springs.”


+It has been awhile since I have posted on this blog and I hope now to return more regularly.  I have weekly been posting on my professional blog at and you are welcome to visit me there. And yet I have missed this place, this bit of Godly sanctuary, and each of you my readers. I’m learning that in work we often wear seatbelts. I see God so connected in the all about me, it blesses me (and I h0pe you as well) to share those bits of light. In this crazy, mixed up world we need to remember God is with us. He is Emmanuel, and we in turn are called to be those shouts of color…that hope for the weary.


Personal Patina…


(reposted from my professional blog at )

I’ve been given some lovely silver trays, bowls, and serving pieces that have been passed down through generations. This time of the year I begin to think how I would love to use them for holiday dinners…but then I think of the polishing…and the polishing…and the polishing and then it never really looking like the shiny version of what I imagine my great grandmother would have used.

What is it in us that always wants the shiny version?

Tarnish is a chemical reaction that can leave a dull finish on silver after being exposed to air. It is rather simple to clean. But the patina of the silver is a lustrous finish that well used, loved and cared for silver pieces develop over time. It is a living finish of sorts that reveals marks of history from all the uses prior. Just think of the personal history each silver piece could reveal…all the joys and sorrows that mark all the times families come together.

So, what is it in us that always wants the shiny version? …

Each of us is an accumulation of a lifetime of experiences and history…our personal patina is the wisdom we wear and share. Our personal patina is nothing to be overzealously stripped…it’s what makes each of us unique.

Are you striving to be a shiny version of yourself? …

Or are you allowing your personal patina to be the wisdom you wear?

“Let the beauty radiate from inside your heart to the outside world.” Imania Margria

Everywhere You Go…


A friend once told me that one of the most lasting lessons of wisdom her father taught her was,

“Everywhere you go, leave it a better place”

This has always stuck with me. What if we all adopted this mentality? …

Everywhere you go leave it a better place”.

What would this look like? Remembering to say thank you to someone who has assisted you in any way, smiling at those who cross your path, pausing to say a kind word to someone whose day is troubled, offering to help when an extra set of hands is needed, really listening to another without any distractions, telling someone you love them when they least expect it…leaving everywhere you go a better place could take on so many different directions. It’s certainly something to think about…

“Everywhere you go, leave it a better place”

I challenge you today!

Break Down or Build Up…


In the face of major, unexpected change…

whether within a significant relationship, a place of employment, within a family…

in the midst of all the emotional turmoil and chaos that results…

one is asked…

Will you be a part of the break-down or the build-up?

As Christians we are called to build up the kingdom…those who persecuted Jesus chose to be part of the break down.

In this world of unpredictable change and instability…have you asked yourself…

Am I part of the break-down… or the building up?

What does that look like?

“Just one thing: forgetting what lies behind but straining forward to what lies ahead, I continue my pursuit toward the goal, the prize of God’s upward calling, in Christ Jesus.” Phil 3: 14

Restful Waters or Turbulent Tides?…

image via from the heart of j

image via from the heart of j

“Beside restful waters He leads me…” (Psalm 23)

I like to close my eyes and imagine these restful waters by which the Lord leads me. They bring me to a place of calm in my mind. However, in real life, it seems I walk beside high surf and waves. The type of water that seems to draw you into the rip tides of busy–ness and self.

Perhaps this is what you long to reveal to us, Lord. With you there ARE restful waters…the turbulence of the crashing waves we feel as we sink in the midst, is our own stirring of the waters through pride, our “my way is the best way”, our sinfulness, and the echo of accumulated evil in the world.

You long to lead us by restful waters…those streams of everlasting life that flow forth from Your side…however we often choose the rip tides. Save me Lord from my foolish following of the high surf and lead me to that place of repose…restful waters and verdant pastures…immersed deep within Your heart and in align with your most holy will for me.

Ah…restful waters…a beautiful meditation for this next week of Lent.

Beauty in the Becoming…

image via from the heart of j

image via from the heart of j

It seems particularly fitting that my last post was the first week of Lent and I am resuming the first week of Advent. This journey of the heart, as of late, has taken me through an intensive internship and onward to a second, mid-life career as a licensed counselor. My blog and all my loyal readers have been in my thoughts and in my prayers in my absence, and I anticipated the time when I could return to regular posts.   I pondered changing the name of the blog to “The Beauty in the Becoming” for that is the profound discovery I am making as I meet with my clients. But “Through Him With Him In Him” will always be home, for it is only through Him with Him and in Him that we discover the beauty in the becoming. I will resume posting and am extending anew an invitation to join me in our combined journeys of the heart through Him with Him and in Him as we each discover the beauty of our becoming.

From the Heart of J

PS Please join me today on my professional site  where I post each Wednesday.

I think you might enjoy my recent post “Fog…Loneliness…and the Man in the Moon”. And if it moves you, please join the Christmas Challenge!