Random Journal Day #52 with Featured Journal Keeper Christine Miranda

Christine Pic for Blog (1)


Happy 4th of July Weekend! This is the first Friday of the month which means it is time for Random Journal Day which is happening all weekend through Monday! Maybe we should re-name it Random Journal Weekend. Today, I am very happy to have a friend who is from my own Home State, although currently residing in Texas. Our own RJD Co-Hostess Susie (Recovering Church Lady) is also in The Lone Star State, so technically they are neighbors. Heck, here in the USA I think we are ALL neighbors! So, let’s start this RJD weekend off by welcoming our Featured Journal Keeper Christine Miranda. Christine and I have become friends through our mutual love for planners and journals…and planning and journaling. She helps my with a page I have for my Planner Bootcampers and is one of a team of girls I call my Plannerteers! I am so grateful to have her here today. Christine doesn’t have a blog (at the moment BUT is working on it) so be sure and join in with her here this weekend with your comments and encouragement.

If you all would like I can keep that link open until Tuesday if anyone is super busy! I think I will go ahead and just do it. So, enjoy your weekend. Share your journals, journal love and remember you don’t have to share a GIANT piece of your journal. A snippet, a paragraph, an image. Just DO IT…as you wish.

Now, get ready for some wonderful words- here’s our sweet journal girl of the month…


Adjusting Our Christmas Expectations (Guest Post by Shanyn Salinski)

Photo by Shanyn Salinski

She asks me every year for the past couple of years, “Are you coming Christmas Day or Boxing Day?”

She knows the answer.  Our family day is Christmas Day. For us, just us three.

She asks him every year for the past couple of years, “What time will you arrive?”

She knows the answer. When we get there, we’ll be there. We try to get away in good time. But with gifts, animals, weather and traffic the journey becomes something fluid.

Being there. That is what matters.  

Not when. Not with how much, or how little. 

Standards the things that we own.  Spending time as a family. Having a Special Christmas our own way.

Expectations the things that want to own us. Get here quick. Hurry up. What took you so long? Get done. We want to do something else. 

We have set a family standard for how we try to conduct ourselves. How we choose to celebrate holy days like Christmas.  Like letting people wish us the best of the season in their own way. Like slowing down, like saying no. And sometimes saying NO!

We have worked hard to reject expectations. Of ourselves, and of others – and that`s tough.  We are bombarded with expectations in the media, in our devotionals, at church and by our friends and family. Do this. Do that. Say this. Say that. Don`t. Do.  STOP! STOP!

But how hard is it to let go?  So hard. We WANT that TV movie Christmas, even the comedy. We WANT the ___________________.  (Fill in your own blank!)  And yet when we find ourselves with what we have, right in front of us, we find exactly what we need.

Playing with new toys. Reading new books. Napping. Not cooking. Not traveling. Those matter to us. Talking about Jesus, and the reason we celebrate. Praying for those who are far away, and those who are ill. Lonely. Struggling.

Standards – seems like some get lower and lower all the time. While, in perfect harmony, the expectations get higher and higher.

Jesus was born in a barn. A barn, in a manger. His young parents held him in the dark, smelling the breath of animals. Hearing the songs of angels. God set the standard right there – Jesus came to save everyone. No one was too low. Too humble. Too dirty. Too hopeless. Too ANYTHING!

People who knew prophecy had expectations of a King. They had high expectations of the one who would come to save THEM.   God crushed that expectation with so much love, with such a gentle hand. He said no. And then He said come.

If you could drop one expectation this year, what would it be?  Buying gifts for people you don’t really know because they are ‘family’?  Spending too much because you don’t want to be accused of being ‘cheap’?  Rushing here and there to please someone?  Not being able to say no because you’ll be letting someone down?

If you could raise one standard this year, what would it be? To sing more carols? To shout greetings out the window as you drive downtown? To make cookies and squares to share? To seek joy and embrace it? To be able to say, with love, no?

I challenge you to embrace something new and wonderful for you this Christmas season!  If you are alone, reach out to someone. If you are rushed, slow down. If you are tired, rest. If you are stressed out, do something silly. Make a list of your expectations – and give them to God.  Surrender them and let Him fill you with joy.

Shanyn blogs from her farm house in western Manitoba, surrounded by her critters and the wild animals who inspire her writing and photography. She blogs at: http://sunflowershan.wordpress.com; and http://mystic-mom.blogspot.com and has contributed to a number of magazines and blogs. She is a Son Follower who is married to her best friend and has an amazing son. 

Shanyn is an inspiring blogger, poet, and soul sister. An encouragement to many, including me, I am grateful to include her in our Inspiring Women Series for this special Christmas post.  Shanyn was also interviewed over at dVerse Poet’s Pub this past week- be sure and pop over to check it out! 

Daughters, Dolls, and Doctor Who (Guest Post at Finding Heaven)

I have the honor of sharing my heart over at Jen Ferguson’s place,  Finding Heaven today. She has been doing a series called Reflections on Time. I’ll turn comments off here, so you can join the conversation there. If you are a Dr. Who fan, you will feel at home with my words, but if you do not know about this popular BBC Science Fiction program, I promise you will still relate, as I ponder the moments that have come and gone in my current career as a parent. Look with me now through the eyes of a mom, longing to cling to a fixed point in time. I’ll start you:

     My daughter sits on the floor, cross legged, brushing a doll’s hair while watching an episode of her latest favorite Science Fiction series,  Doctor Who. Six dolls  surround her as I capture her with my camera. She huffs her disapproval,  “Really, Mom!” I watch and wonder where the time has gone. Click on over and finish reading…

1 Corinthians 13 for Real Life Marriage (Featured Guest Post by Melanie Wilson)

A real life marriage! 

It is that day of days for Love, and I had asked if any of my lovely sisters would be willing to share a special post on their very own Love History…a post dedicated to or about their significant other (Let Me Count The Ways (My Hubby is Awesome) Link Up. Well I was blessed by each one I read, from Mattresses and Marriage to Sneezes and Goofy Grins, I was encouraged by the ladies who stepped up and wanted to shout THANK YOU- you bless me with your faithful friendship, camaraderie, wisdom and words! Melanie has a place called Psycho With Six. Now that is a subtle name for a blog! But I really just got a kick and SMILE as I read her take on 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. Here it is and I dare you to NOT smile! 
My husband and I were married 20 years ago today. I shared how I found unexpected love on my personal blog. Like millions of couples, we included 1 Corinthians 13 as part of our ceremony. I love this passage of Scripture still, but I see it differently now that I have experienced real marriage–not the romance-novel kind. Here are verses 4-7 for real.

Love is patient.

It doesn’t explode when it discovers you’ve driven through the grass when the ground is wet. Well, actually it does, but it forgives.

Love is kind.

It doesn’t suggest you just take a shower or workout when you have the body-ache-and-ready-to-die kind of flu. Well, actually it does at first, but it learns. It offers to get you medicine instead.

It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

It doesn’t suggest you aren’t qualified to play mixed doubles tennis and never will be. Well, actually it does, but at least it admits there are players much worse than you.

It does not dishonor others.

It doesn’t make you feel like a fool for buying the latest and greatest gadget that falls apart the first week. Well, actually it does, but it apologizes.

It is not self-seeking.

It doesn’t want to know what’s for dinner when you’ve had a hard day. Well, actually it does, but when it discovers how worn out you are, it takes you out to eat.

It is not easily angered.

It doesn’t get upset over a mess. Well, actually it does. It blows its top without getting the whole story, but than it laughs at itself when the explanation is given.

It keeps no record of wrongs.

It doesn’t remember the last time you ordered way too many pizzas for the party. Well, actually it does, but it’s willing to give you another chance.

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

It doesn’t snicker when it discovers you’re wrong about something you were certain of. Well, actually it does, but it gets you to laugh at yourself.

It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

It doesn’t let you learn the hard way, doesn’t stop believing in you, doesn’t divorce you. Actually it doesn’t.

I thank God for the 1 Corinthians 13 love He gave me 20 years ago and pray we have at least 20 more years of real life marriage. Happy Anniversary, Mark! Thanks for loving me.

Thanks, Melanie, for that sweetly done fun take on Love and Marriage! Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you! May God Bless each one of you in your marriages as He continues to live and move and have His being in YOU, being glorified as we each yield to HIS good and perfect will. 

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Calendar Consecration (A Special New Year Guest Post by Kim Jackson)

God’s handwriting is on your calendar. 

Well, not literally. But ponder this: 

“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do”  (Ephesians 2:10). 

If it’s true God has plans for me,  I want to know what they are. Don’t you? 

One way to show God we’re serious about discovering His handwriting on our calendars is to have a calendar consecration. I’ve been doing this every December for a decade. It’s always meaningful and powerful. Why not join me?

Here’s how to consecrate your calendar: 

·   Set aside a block of uninterrupted time. 
·   Write Ephesians 2:10 somewhere in your new calendar. (If you use a technology-based calendar, tweak these ideas as needed.)
·  Place your calendar before God. 
· Pray. 

I pray along these lines: 
Dear Jesus: 

I praise You for giving me life. Thank You for the promise in Ephesians 2:10 that says You have good works for me to do. I want to know what those good works are and be faithful to perform them. 

I’m looking at all these pristine squares on my calendar. Soon they’ll be covered with scribbled appointments and reminders. I believe You have good works planned for me, so don’t let me miss Your handwriting on my calendar because I’ve already filled up my days with my plans.

I commit the days You have given me on this planet to Your purposes. I want to live a life that makes You smile. I want to be on Your schedule, fulfilling everything You have in mind for me to do in the minutes and months of my life. 

I ask that You would guard my heart from distractions that would hinder me from doing the good works that you prepared for me to do. Keep me aware and awake to Your Spirit’s promptings. 

Jesus, if I run ahead or behind of Your perfect plan, I claim the promise of Romans 8:28 that even in my missteps, You will work all things together for good. 
Please teach me what it means to“number my days that I may gain a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12). Jesus, empower me by Your Spirit to live my life with my eyes focused on what matters to You. 

Lord, if You tarry and I am still walking this earth on January 1, 2014, may I be able to look back over the filled-in pages of this calendar and rejoice, knowing that I have lived well for Your glory. 

I love You, 


I want to give Kim a very special thanks and shout out for allowing me to share her writing here today! My prayer is that you will be as blessed as I was when I read her Calendar Consecration Post. She has been officially inducted as an Honorary Member into the Inspiring Women Series based on this wonderful New Year Post which will help us all start and end our 2013 well. 

Kim Jackson is a writer, speaker and advocate for homeless elderly in Romania. Her Wow Dee Wow blog, from which this post is used with permission, is a weekly Brag on God Blog. Follow links within her blog to learn more about her work, Elder Orphan Care, and her speaking ministry,Kimmunicator.!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=”//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js”;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,”script”,”twitter-wjs”);

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