The Path Of Joy

You make known to me the path of life;
    in your presence there is fullness of joy;
    at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Psalm 16:11

The minute I saw the word “path”, this verse came to my mind.
You have made known to me the path of life…
I had to search for the rest. Funny how the Holy Spirit is like my brain’s Google search engine. 
I am grateful for the scripture that I have memorized and for the bits and pieces that I recall and can find when needed. Interestingly, I have been contemplating joy a lot lately. 
How it comes from one source.
The word that is an acronym for joy.
I had just wrote out those words on some rocks for my desk the other day.
I have always loved that reminder.
I heard it first in a lesson I was teaching at home with my daughter.
She remembers it too.
She saw the rocks on my desk and said, “I remember when we made a little craft of that”.
It reminds me and I remember it well.
The path to joy is through Jesus.
No shortcuts. 
We remember.

God Sized Surprises And A Confident Heart

When I saw this posted on Facebook,
I felt a little …small

*sheep·ish  (shpsh)
1. Embarrassed, as by consciousness of a fault: a sheepish grin.
2. Meek or stupid.
See what I mean? 
Let’s start at the very beginning, friends. Without excuse I confess, sometimes I bite off more than I can chew. It’s like the cliche, “my eyes are bigger than my stomach”. 
Only let’s apply this with my appetite for God, truth, knowledge and wisdom.
This can be a good thing. And it can be bad.
How can it be bad? 
When I can’t or don’t  follow through on what I committed to initially. 
My grandmother had a saying about this which I have shared in previous posts.
About a road and good intentions and a place…you get the point.
There are so many wonderful opportunities to draw closer to Him, to know Him, to grow in the grace and knowledge of Him and fellowship with others who are seeking to follow Him, and they all look good. 
Really good.
So it’s true,
I am a God hog.
See, when I lived without Him, my desire was to live my life out loud. To seize every moment. To learn all I could about everything in this big, wide, world and experience every second of this life, as if it might be pulled away from me at any moment.
Because it could.
But, He has shown me a better way…and His way leads to peace, perspective and unhurried moments.

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. 
    He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. 
He guides me along the right paths 
    for his name’s sake. 
Psalm 23:1-3

However, sometimes that inner crazy chick returns 
and tries to take over my current Christian life.
It always sets me up for failure. 

 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, 
which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Ephesian 2:10

Because. I. Can’t. Do. It. All.

 It is good to grasp the one
    and not let go of the other.
    Whoever fears God will avoid all extremes.
Ephesians 7:18

Nor does my God mean for me to…
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

All this to share how God, knowing my tendencies, and assuring me of His great love for me, still.
Enter my desire to do a Bible Study, which I shared on the blog and that I would be doing it, and invited others to join me. I was so excited because I even got the book free!
(Amazon/for Cloud Reader since my Kindle bit the dust) 

Confident Heart
Then between all of my other commitments, obligations and job searching, interviewing, volunteering blogging, life, I got behind. The first week. What a loser, I thought …maybe I can catch up. But then I got discouraged because (here is where I feel like a brat) I loved what I read but I could not stand reading on the computer after I was done all of the other computer stuff…So I put forth on Facebook a random request…and let the thought of catching up be for another day.
That was on about week three of he study. I think. 
May 14th…I waited…and then SURPRISE!
Enter an old church friend and Sister in Christ, who lives in North Carolina. She In-boxed me: “so, how much do you like Renee Swope’s work? I may be able to send you a book. What is your address?” 

She sparkles and shines for Him…can’t you just see it?
On Monday June 4th I get the notification on Facebook  from Kristy.  An envelope shows up at the door and in it is the book, I open it and peek, and ponder her kindness. I am thinking. That was so sweet. I read the inscription and lay down as I have a tiny headache. The book is on the bed beside me. I stare at the ceiling and decide to open it and re-read the inscription. I almost fall off the bed, I sit upright and read the name. Renee Swope. How had I missed it? I had read the words but was all heady about how thoughtful Kristy was, even signing a brand new book for me. I wondered why, would she do this kindness. Why? When I realize it is Renee’s handwriting I am giddy and silly as I cannot figure this out at all. One small request. An old friend. Suddenly it’s looking like an amazingly intricate plot to bless…me? Blushing. 
Why, Lord? Why, Kristy? 
Why me? 

I’m the Christian version of Mr. Magoo fumbling through this life, making messes – yet falling into the lap of grace, over and over again.

It’s utterly baffling to me. 
I baaaaaa like a sheep.
Then I popped onto Facebook to thank Kristy and she tags a photo of me as I sit there with the infamous “deer in the headlight gaze” and see for the first time the picture of Renee holding “mini me” via the cell phone and I am getting exhausted with surprise and blessing as the story unfolds. 
This great God Sized Surprise completely unknown to me…
and I feel so silly and unworthy but I just know God is smiling not because I am so wonderful but because He just loves to play with me…mess with his children. In lovely ways.
I’m stunned, and ask Kristy the meaning and she shares that she went to the Proverbs 31 Ministries Offices. 
Got the book, had it signed for me and the picture. 

Thank you so much for the book! I was very surprised to see it is signed to me BY Renee Swope! Now how on earth did that happen? I am so surprised, amazed and humbled. When I read the inscription the first time I thought you wrote the note and I was so blessed …but then after when I looked again and saw it was not your signature but Renee’s! Thank you but I am very curious about this! In His Grace, Dawn

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Honestly…I am still feeling overwhelmed by her sweet gesture and kindness. You need to know that she is one who was an encouragement to me in my early days of marriage as we attended the same church, bible studies and fellowship. She is one of those woman who truly just magnifies Jesus, in a fun, real way. Without fan-fare and with oodles and oodles of grace. Thank you Kristy. Thank you, Renee. Thank you, God.
I know you want to give each of your daughter’s unique surprises every day, as they watch for them!

Of course, being held in the palm of Renee’s hand is kind of cool too, in a fun, disturbing way. 

Have you had any God – Sized Surprises, lately?
Do you have your own story to share?
I would love to hear how God has messed with and blessed
you through a friend or circumstance. 

Oh and one special request. 
Run over to Renee’s place and beg her to start,
ask kindly when her next 
Confident Heart Online Study
 is starting, OK? 
This was the second time I have tried and failed to get it done-
 is the third time the charm? 
No excuses!

*Thanks to the Free Dictionary for always being there for me!

Beholding Glory

Random Journal Day Link-Up #12

Welcome to Random Journal Day! 

Link up your journal post when you can anytime during the week.
Check out the other journal links and 
be sure to leave some feedback.
I look forward to digging in my stack and sharing, 
and also peeking into your journal pages!

I found a really cute project for those of you who are brave and crazy!
From Stampington & Company @ their Blog called Somerset Place. 
This unique, DIY journal is for catching some mementos
 (movie ticket stubs, scraps from travel etc.) in a sweet way: using little bags. 
The details as well as the products used can be found at the links.
I am debating on using part of this idea or actually making one. 
 You certainly can get some inspiration for yourself either way!
Maybe just add  envelopes or bag on pages of 
your journal to save daily scraps & mementos?
One link is an overview, the other has all details and products! 
Check it out!

This book has been a wonderful inspiration of late:

 REMEMBER to Link your post back to this URL directly
so others may find us and participate!
(just click on the title of this post and link that to your RDJ entry)
If you have a any questions contact us (Dawn and Susie) through e-mail:

Rules, Schmules…but here they are : 

1. Dig out one of your old journals, or a recent journal. 
Choose an entry, or a portion of an entry that you feel bold enough or at least comfortable to share. 
We prefer if you could include a picture of your journal if possible!

2. Write up your blog post, publish and link up here.
Link up the blog post you are sharing, NOT your general Blog address- so we can visit your entry. 
We don’t have a Badge for this Blog yet, but if you just link back to this in your post that will work (Random Journal Day Weekend Link Up) You can use Susie’s RDJ Photo if you like!

3. Kindly visit and comment on the person before or after you in the link up. 
You can visit more but we understand that everyone is busy.
 Please visit at least one other Random Journal Day Link Up as that just would make it nice for all.

We look forward to peeking in your journals!

*This Link will start on Friday and go through the week. Link up anytime before the next Friday (Thursday night when I get around to it)

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