Today and Always

© Dawn Paoletta (please do not copy)
I took this picture at Narragansett Beach
 on December 31, 2010 New Years Eve morning.
One year ago today. 


Today and Always

Some say life is a series of choices…

If I choose to argue

for that “important” cause, 

it might be a good thing,
some would take pause.
If I choose to oppose 
every wicked thing,
and stand shouting hateful words 
in hopes of good to bring.
If I choose to pursue
the many worldly goods,
passing by those shaking their heads
and all accusing shoulds.
If I choose to waste my words on that which 
seems is right,
instead of yield to the brightest 
of all penetrating light.
If I choose to fight the wars 
of those who oppose –
all of the godly people,
what do you suppose?
If I choose to battle in the strength 
of many men,
I would lose my hope and power 
from the one 
in whom I depend.
If I choose to strive for all godliest of gain,
I might lose it all-
that which I have yet to attain.
If I choose to seek those who exclude the least,
I would leave behind 
the one who brings true peace-
excluding none.
If I choose to speak when it has not been led,
by the Spirit through the Son,
my words are lifeless yet, and best remain unsaid. 
If I choose to let these lips impart what’s true,
I will have served best 
the One who who makes all things new.
If I choose to share what I have received,
I confirm with my mouth,
that which I believe.
I choose instead of all of these,
 to stay beside my guide,
and cling to his robe-
safely –
that is where I hide.
In doing so I confirm 
my identity-
nothing else I am but His,
a child,
chosen, loved – free. 
Keep your wars, your fame, your fights, your rights and soapbox stands,
I am most content
 clinging to His hand.
I’ll leave you to your preaching, your rants, and your tirades,
I will stay close by my King avoiding the charades.
I will live my one life 
praising my Faithful King,
knowing and believing
in the Truth that he brings.
For the life I claim as mine
is truly not my own.
He laid down His life and 
Heaven now,
 is called my home.
Above all else I pray 
that this be my one thing.
I live today and always
to glorify The One True King.

©Dawn Paoletta

Pieces Of Me: Favorite Blog Posts of 2011

This how I mostly look, on a daily basis.
Hi my name is Dawn.
 This is my camera and constant companion.
Well, it is hard to believe the year is about to end. Thank the Good Lord, for that. Last year at this time I really did not know what a Blog was or that there actually were so many Blogs in the Blogosphere! Who knew?
But here I am to share with you my favorite posts from my short 7 month history of Blogging. I wanted to choose posts that had the most meaning to me as opposed to most popular post, because that’s how I roll. Also for the record the two most popular posts currently are my two guest posts for the Inspiring Women Series! Apparently I am the least popular on my own Blog! Ha! Thank you Jenny and Susie
I do not expect you to read all of these gems – That is way too much of me for anyone! I would be encouraged and blessed if you picked one or two, you have not read before and left a comment after you read it! Thank you for joining me on this journey! Purty Puhleeze?
So without further adieu. Drum roll please, here they are in no special order 
(OK, scratch that they are actually in chronological order) :
The River, The Journey and The Guide ~ My hubs and I join our daughter’s Girl Scout Troop for a white water rafting trip. Tongue in cheek humor and Dawn perspective, throughout. 
Bloom: The Only Way Out Is Through ~ Disappointment, disillusionment and trusting God.
You Mean I’m Supposed To Rejoice? ~ God’s will for the rain and sunshine days is the same. 
Being The Change I Long To See ~ My desire to soar as an eagle despite feet of clay.
The Unlikely Bloom: His Purposes Prevail ~ God’s faithfulness to give unexpected blessings. 
The Sacred Rocker ~ How a shower gift became Holy- A mom’s nursing story. 
You Have Now Entered Another Dimension… ~ Discovering the Blogosphere.
A Magical Day  ~ A sidetracked mom story involving one wedding dress and three generations.
In one short post (miraculous)!
The Elephant and Me (That’s Just Gross) ~ You know how to eat an elephant don’t you? 
Sheltered ~ Hurricane Irene, God and birds. Yeah, that. Check it out. 
The Boy, The Man and Grace ~ A salvation story. 
God, Google Earth and The Three O’s ~ A casual conversation in the car with my girl goes God.
Bird Bath Blessings ~ God takes pleasure in us.
Don’t forget to enter my special New Years Eve Giveaway!
Now that is a post you want to check out! 
Happy Friday before New Years Day! 

Shredding Bad Memories of 2011 with K-Love!

Yesterday, in my Newsfeeds on Facebook, I saw this post from K-Love Radio about shredding the worst moments of 2011. You know, this morning I asked God to show me the things that happened this year that I perceived as “bad” and to reveal to me during this last week of December, how each of these occurring circumstances had a counter blessing by Him, and will work together ultimately, in His good and perfect will for my life. 
I added a comment: I want to forget the day I got rear ended and my car was totaled, The moment while volunteering at my Daughter’s School Field Day that I hurdled my way to a torn hip, AND the day my boss told me that we were no longer professionally compatible- so bye bye. YEAH. ALL THAT! Rough year!

 Well today Amanda shredded all of those comments
 including mine.
The last week of December is the time I usually start looking back on all the hopes, dreams and goals I had the prior year and contemplate the upcoming year with all of it’s potential. 
Which leads me to the next quote that caught my eye, sent through those fabulous feeds of love: 
“My life may not be going the way I planned it, but it’s going exactly the way God planned it.”

Have any moments you would like to shred?
Know this, we can shred them and still know and trust the one who sifts every dreadfully, shred – worthy moment through His Almighty hands. 

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:2

Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:13

A Twisted Tongue Tale

The holidays. You prepare, anticipate, agonize the details and hope all will go smoothly on the day all come together to celebrate. Often we see people we may not see all year, but through family or friendship we find ourselves in their company once, may be twice a year. Although we love our family, there may be one or two people who just challenge us. Like nails on a chalkboard, they offer us the opportunity us to smile and not cringe, despite the level of discomfort they bring us. Well, this is a story about one of these. Bear with me if you will, and I will share a bit of holiday pain, which may turn out to provide a lesson for you as it did me. Unless of course you are already so pious. If so, move along, move along. I am here to be authentic, and those of you who know me already know, sometimes it just ain’t pretty. But God can work with the mess of me. And you too… if you will allow Him.

As we drove home from visiting family this Christmas, the words I wanted to speak about a certain person were swirling around my mind just waiting for the opportunity to emerge. I knew these words would not have passed the Ephesians (4:29) or Philippians (4:8) litmus test for proper conversation, so I tried to keep my tongue. You know that thing behind the lips that speaks murderously and betrays the heart. Our words reveal our heart AND furthermore, if it is in the mind, it is as good as said aloud. However, this is one of those things that if it’s not said you can confess and deal with it discreetly with God before you damage and poison those around you. Unfortunately, I was not wise with my tongue and I went ahead and gushed forth my complaints about the person before my family. I was stopped when my daughter called me out. I knew she was spot on, too, especially after my defensive response was spoken. The fact was, even if what I said had some validity, it was not loving. It was not kind. It certainly was not gracious, to the person spoken of nor to my family, who had to hear it. Oh, I was guilty as charged and I did not like it…I knew I had chosen poorly and sinned. My tongue had turned against me and now I was tangling with my own child over it!

 I was reminded this holiday that God loves those who I might otherwise find rude, annoying, difficult or just plain mean. I know this, already, right? Yet apparently I needed yet another reminder. 
How about you? Can you think of anyone for whom you can relate to what I am saying?

God has called me to a life of prayer, not complaining about the un – lovliness of others. He has called me to kindness, not criticism. Even, if at first glance it appears justifiable. Jesus spoke the truth, in love.The truth should not be spoken, when it is not laced with grace, but instead accusing attitude and critical spirit.

One of the ways I glorify God is by sacrificing my preferences for His, through yielding my will concerning others. There is no greater challenge to the core of my Christian faith than when I say not my will but Yours, Lord. This is the first and final battle in the walk of faith. It does not come easy, but it has already been won, for we who believe.

What is God’s will for me concerning this person? First, to recognize that despite my annoyance with the person, that Jesus loves them completely and is pleading for them before the Father. He wills that they should not perish but have everlasting life. Jesus calls me his friend. Friendship requires humility, grace and submission. I must consider that my “friend” Jesus,  laid down His life that I might not only gain eternity but learn to live life with a holy order, rising above petty annoyances which distract me from His divine purposes and  plans. Secondly, I need to pray for this particular family member and ask God to change my heart attitude, which is wrong, and let God deal with it through the intimate time we share in holy conversation. When I do this He may lead me to pray more specifically, once I get beyond the superficial, raw prayers like:
“I confess I can’t even stand this person, Lord…but you tell me to pray for others and because I love and esteem your will more than my own – or at least desire to- I confess my lack of love and likeness to you and ask you to allow me to pray with your heart and mind for this person, teach me your ways, Lord.”

Yes, I really sometimes start there. I’m honest with God because he already knows my yuckiness. Now you know. Aren’t you lucky! If you can’t be real with God, dear one, I fear you are not real with anyone. And that is much worse than just being a little rough around the edges. He knows all, friend. Keep it real with Him. He will take care of the rest!
We talk in cliches all through the season.
The fact is that Christ came that lives would be transformed, and that we would be born into a Kingdom of Righteousness, one heart at a time. 
By His Grace, for His Glory.
PS: On a side note I apologized and was forgiven by my family! My daughter patted me on the shoulder after I reluctantly admitted my sin and told me so. God is good. 

Linking up for the first time with Shanda from A Pause On The Path!

It’s Got To Be The Monday After…

It’s got to be the morning after…see my pasty, white complexion,
beady eyes and dazed expression?

Well, if it isn’t the morning after Christmas day and of course, this is my favorite day to blog and link up with Carissa at Lowercase Letters! So, hoping you all had a wonderful weekend, grab a cup of Joe and join in my Monday morning madness, will you? We’re off!

“Re-calclating” direction…

So last Monday, late afternoon, I got “The Phone Call”. Oh, I am so relieved, even though disappointed. I did not get that coveted position and it was confirmed through the lovely voice on my voice mail. They even had an offer ready, but due to a technicality… OK, in reality 6 years experience working with a specific group of people required which I don’t have AND a tiny grant stipulation (not so tiny, really) it seems that the light went from green, to yellow to red and that is the end of that. For now. Swallowing hard and trusting Him who knows best. Here is an excerpt form my personal journal (Brave, aren’t I?) : So, Lord. Being honest here. It’s disappointing. Not so much because they did not “pick me” but because I thought I heard you. . . again. Because I saw possibility and opportunity and because I wonder if I will ever know when you are directing my path.  I want to honor you. I don’t understand the things you choose for me. Or withhold from me. – 12/19/2011

A week is not complete without coffee with a friend so I had a lovely coffee chat with a sweet sister at one of my fave places for such ~ Cool Beans Cafe on Wednesday!

Library find of the week:  

I really enjoyed reading this fictional account by Lois Untermeyer  about the holy family
one year later living as refugees in a foreign land with a tiny babe. 

New England Christmastide
Every year I get one  new Christmas CD and this year was a beautiful  instrumental
which both my daughter and I adored! Hub prefers more contemporary stuff!

Christmas Eve service was beautiful and the reading of Isaiah 53 brought me to tears- as it always does. Our  patient Pastor competed with a bleating lamb but she was silent at just the right time! The children loved it very well, and I consider myself as one! When that little lamb was placed before us, it stirred within my heart such deep grief, pain and joy. All of the prophecy came alive within me. It is beyond words to describe. 

The reading of Isaiah over a bleating sheep stirred the heart.

“Flower” safe in the arms of her very own good shepherd!
She is just 10 days old and has made her acting debut to
 glorify the Lord!
A morning visit to a certain special Grandparent brought forth a new family member 
to my future Fashion Designer (?) daughter and much fun ensued. 
Introducing Mary Kate – Barbara!

But more importantly the most precious of all coveted gifts …
The packaging!
After Christmas Eve service, we had a quiet night together
 which included laughter, and Charades. 
Miraculously, sweet daughter was happy to open one gift 
and we all hunkered down before midnight
for good night’s rest. 
Christmas Day we visited family and I had an epiphany which
 I will share in a post later this week.
Did anyone read Daily Bread’s perfect portion that day? I really liked that share!
  Now IS the time to worship! Yes! 

Don’t forget, there is time to enter for a chance
(Winner  to be drawn New Years Eve!)

Goodbye 2011, Hello 2012!

Now, we prepare for the new year and say goodbye to the old.
What are your hopes and dreams for the New Year, friends? 

               Have a great last week of 2011! 
Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

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