Patchwork Post…

image via

Patchwork Post…

End of the year shuffle…graduations…traveling guests…days at beach…sunburns and sweet ice tea…friends…heart to heart talks…good news/bad news…joys and trials…laughs and tears…summer heat and barefoot…being grateful…being humbled…to do lists…bucket lists…books that inspire…”Word”s that convict…kaleidoscope skies…sleepy saturdays…zumba and park runs…prayer and presence…dogs and lemonade…stray kittens…going fast…going slow…family…taking deep breaths…inhaling/exhaling…joy in the eyes….laughter in the voice…fresh peaches…juicy tomatoes…flowers galore…fresh cut grass…the smell of jasmine…whirlwind days…everything’s connected…all is Grace…

the Stuff of “Life”…

Busy but Beautiful…

Bountiful and Blessed…

A “Gallimaufry”… (isn’t that a fun word?!)

image via


“I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart; I will declare all your wondrous deeds.  I will delight and rejoice in you; I will sing hymns to your name, Most High. ” Ps 9:2-3

I’m knee deep in the “gallimaufry” of life…but promise to be back soon! From the Heart of J!

image via



Slice of Life…

The ins and outs of our everyday lives…our routines…our patterns…

Do you see the EXTRAORDINARY in the ORDINARY of your daily “slice of life”?

How quickly our vision dims at the beauty before us….The beauty in the ordinary.

Is it…”Oh no, here comes a new day?”

image via fromtheheartofj

Or, the beauty of the morning light splashed upon the pillow?

Is it, “Is the back yard flooded again?!”

image via fromtheheartofj

Or the depth of reflection in a mud puddle?

Is it, “Busy, busy day…no time to cook dinner.”

image via fromtheheartofj

Or the joy of conversation over take-out?

The things that matter most are treasures hidden in our unique “slice of life”

I have been abundantly blessed to participate in the “Slice of Life” Project e-course taught by talented, beauty seeker, Seattle based photographer, Darrah Parker.

image via

With Darrah’s assistance and inpirational encouragement, photographers from all over the world (thanks to the internet) have reclaimed the beauty of the ordinary of their lives through the lens of their cameras. There are pros with fancy cameras all the way to beginners with point and shoot or camera phones all learning and being blessed by the sharing of the ordinary turned extraordinary…a beauty treasure hunt.

Darrah on her website shares about the class,

image via

“Have you ever wanted to stop time? Hold a moment in your hands? Capture a slice of your life and turn into a treasure? In the Slice of Life Project, you will dig beneath the surface of your everyday life with your trusty camera by your side and unearth the beauty that has been there all along.”

“The Slice of Life approach to photography is a way of seeing, noticing, and appreciating the nuances and details that make your life special. It’s a way of embracing and honoring the imperfections in yourself, your loved ones, your messy kitchen, and cluttered shelves. It’s about saying that your life is just right the way it is.”

“This workshop will not require the perfect camera or fancy lenses or knowledge of ISO, aperture, or shutter speed. It won’t even require you to get out of your pajamas or make your bed! It will only require you to show up with a camera (ANY camera), an open mind, and a creative spirit.”

Registration is now open for the next class beginning April 6…take this 6 week retreat and rediscover the beauty in your life! Go to the website  for more details.

Beauty leads to wonder and awe…beauty leads to gratitude…beauty leads to praise!

And we were created to be a people of praise and thanksgiving!

May you be blessed this day with the recognition of the beauty in your life!

Just a Grain of Sand?!….

Professor Gary Greenberg who holds a PHD in Biomedical Research from the University College in London recently spent 5 years searching the globe for sand grains to photo. Using tiny accupuncture needles he sought to to find and arrange the most perfect specimens. Once found, he magnified them 250x real life.

What did he find?….The photos will amaze you!

Each grain of sand….a tiny treasure…

Each grain of sand….a true work of art.

Each grain of sand…an infusion of God’s creative genius.

Each grain of sand….unique and original.

“For you make me jubilant, Lord, by your deeds; at the works of your hands I shout for joy.  How great are your works, Lord! How profound your purpose!” Ps 92: 5-6

Heavenly Father, how great and wonderful are your works. If just one grain of sand bespeaks your artistry in ways unsurpassed, how much greater the beauty of the human person. Each a tiny treasure; Each a true work of art; Each an infusion of Your creative genius; Each unique and original. Give me eyes to see beyond the flesh to the magnificent work of art in each person that crosses my path. Magnify my vision to detect the glorious reflection of You in those I  meet. Through Christ, Our Lord Amen.

Praise Report….

This is a bit different than my ordinary posts…but I felt compelled to share a story…and to say thank you.

image via

I wanted to pass on a huge praise report!

 I was to have surgery yesterday morning for a growth found in my leg ….it had become badly infected in December and I’ve been on multiple courses of antibiotics. The infection was severe and stubborn. And it had set my entire body into a state of chaos. At its worst the growth was as big as a man’s hand and deeply imbedded in my thigh. I have been greatly blessed at all the prayers that have been said for my healing.  And I had received anointing of the sick twice. Yesterday morning before surgery I told the nurse that others had been praying, and I didn’t think I needed to have surgery because I felt that the growth was gone. I am usually not that bold, but I had such a confident spirit. I’ve never had anything like this happen before, and it was as if the words just came out with conviction. She looked at me a bit like I was crazy and told me she would get the surgeon. He came in immediately and I told him the same thing…others had been praying for me and I felt that the growth was gone. He said he wanted to examine me, and as he did his eyes got big and he said, “you are right….it is gone!”  He seemed shocked as he had been monitoring it all along. I smiled and told him God is good and there is power in prayer. He left the room with a real skip in his step and I heard him go tell others the news.

image via


God IS good and cares about all the details in our lives….yes even something like a growth in our leg. I pray this story blesses each of you…there were many known and unknown who shared they were praying for me through this blog, and perhaps others in the silence of their hearts as I shared on my blog that I was “under the weather”. I had other prayer friends” locally and across the states praying as well. I believe God smiles on His children coming together in prayer for a common intention.  We can never discount the power of our prayers or think they are insignificant. God is the God of all details…and His love longs to free us from anything not of Him. I may be the recepient of this miracle that kept me from the trial of surgery and the subsequent recuperation…but anyone who prayed…known or unknown…too are a part of this story, and from the bottom of my heart I say thank you.

image via


Our faith need only be as big as a mustard seed…God takes care of the rest. To BELIEVE is to allow God to act in our lives and in the lives of others. And as for me….I truly heard those words of Jesus echoed in my heart and I pray they are branded there so I may never forget…”Daughter, your faith has saved you.  Go in peace and be cured of your affliction.” Mark 5: 34
“I will always hope in you and add to all your praise.  My mouth shall proclaim your just deeds, day after day your acts of deliverance, though I cannot number them all.  I will speak of the mighty works of the Lord.  O God, I will tell of your singular justice.” Psalm 71: 14-16

In the School of the Shepherds…

image via

“Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields and keeping the night watch over their flock.  The angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were struck with great fear.  The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold , I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  For today in the city of David a Savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord”…And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying:  “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom His favor rests.” When the angels went away from them to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go, then, to Bethlehem to see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” So they went in haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger.  When they saw this, they made known the message that had been told them about this child.  All who heard it were amazed by what had been told them by the shepherds.  And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.  Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, just as it had been told to them.” Luke 2: 8-20

The Shepherds keeping night watch over their flock…

image via

Shepherds, in the time of the birth of Christ, were the borderline bandits of society. They were mistrusted. They were social outcasts. Instead of being in town to protect their wives, children, and families, they lived in the hillside tending their sheep. They were even considered unclean for they had daily contact with carcasses of animals and so were not able to go to the temple for worship.

And yet they were the first to hear the “Good News” of the birth of the Messiah.

And this was announced by an angel who was accompanied by a multitude of angels…

image via

God himself entered into the “ordinary” of the life of the Shepherds and left it “extraordinary”!

God did not shun those who society had shunned. These simple  souls didn’t debate what had happened. They left their livelihood in “haste”.

And when they saw the Christ child they believed and returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen.

The Shepherds were the first Believers.

The Shepherds were the first Messengers.

What do the Shepherds teach us? God does come into our daily, everyday, routine lives. Even in those places that we think are messy or broken or that the world sees as failure.  He transforms us and all of our “ordinary” into the “extraordinary” with the power of His grace. He gives us a choice to respond. Are we able to leave those things that we always thought were important to begin the journey in discovering Christ? It is these simple souls that are ready to believe the Good News. It is these simple souls responding from the heart whose eyes are opened to believe. And with this belief comes a most important mission…to praise and glorify God through our words and actions bringing this Good News to all who cross our path.

May we like the Shepherds be open to receive His “extraordinary” into our “ordinary”. May we have the courage to “leave in haste” those obstacles that stand in the way. And  may our lives be songs of constant thanksgiving as we exist for the praise of God’s glory.


A Progressive Flash Mob?….

Adoration of the Shepherdsby Castiglione

“Joy to the World! The Lord is come; Let earth receive her King; Let every heart, prepare him room and heav’n and nature sing, and heav’n and nature sing, and heav’n and heav’n and nature sing. “

Yes, the King has come. Has he found room “at the Inn” of your heart?

The Shepherds tending to their flocks come to adore.

The Wise Men inspired by the Holy Spirit begin their journey in search for the King.

How many “wise men” in our midst today are still searching for the King?…

who are driven by the restlessness of their hearts to follow the star to find He who is the answer to all their longings?

The angels sang glory and praise that led many to come and adore.

We too this day can be those angels of glory and praise that announce the Good News to the “wise men” in search.

Below is a video that always brings tears to my eyes

and I have a challenge to make at the end of the clip.


A bit difficult to begin a flash mob in the blogging world…but what about a “progressive” flash mob?

I challenge each who reads this post and watches the video to stand up, right where they are, and sing boldly in praise and thanksgiving a “Hallelujah from the heart”.

Together our Hallelujahs will unite, and with the angels above our song of praise becomes a prayer to lead the “Wise Men in search” to the heart of the King.

May we all this day be Messengers of the Good News!

Merry Christmas!