Calvary Love, Motherhood and Patience

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photo credit: Jacek.NL via photopin (license)

“If I have not the patience of my Saviour 

with the souls who grow slowly; 

if I know little of travail (a sharp and painful thing) 

till Christ be fully formed in them, 

then I know nothing of Calvary love.” 

 ~ Amy Carmichael

Today, I am sharing from the MOM  Archives…a story  from when things were beginning to get hard communicating with my then budding preteen aged daughter.

I know hard places…dry places, the weary and broken places…I guess that’s why I look forward to the upcoming journey with Ann Voskamp through Faithway as she shares her online Bible Study– check out the link – to see if it’s something for you! Meanwhile, I pray this story/poem blesses you in some way today…

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Looking for a Few (Wanna-Be) "Good" Women

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I have a proposal for you. I have been enjoying the online Bible Study I have been doing with Laura Rath. It is wrapping up soon and I would like to see if any of you, my lovely readers and friends, from near and far would like to join me for a similar endeavor?

I have a number of books waiting to be journeyed through and that are clamoring for attention. Each of them is on my MUST read list, but surely sharing the journey is better than going it alone! Each of them are excellent in their own right or they would not be included in this post. I actually have a bunch more but narrowed it down for you (thoughtful aren’t I?). The sites linked are actually author sites where some offer online free resources (for the book mentioned) available for you to peruse. The listed books are linked at the author site as well. If you have any questions about the books, I have a copy on hand.

What say ye?
Here are the choices. 
Bless These Lips (40 Days of Spiritual Renewal) by Sharla Fritz
When Mothers Pray by Cheri Fuller
The Open Window (8 Weeks to Creating an Extraordinary Life) by Catherine Galasso-Vigorito
Writing to God (40 Days of Praying With My Pen) by Rachel G. Hackenberg
Holey, Wholly, Holy (A Lenten Journey of Refinement) by Kris Camealy

30 Days to Taming the Tongue by Deborah Smith Pegues

Leave your thoughts in the comments or e-mail me at dawn.paoletta@gmail.com
Please join me in choosing and journeying together in one of these fine books/studies!

I would like to start by February 15th-20th.

Would you consider helping to choose and joining in together for the journey?

http://christianmommyblogger.com

Missional Women

Blog Post Hop

Plunging Into The New Year {A flea-filled, flu ridden, fabulous start!}

Welcome to the first official, miscellaneous Monday/ coffee time with me post of 2013. Grab your coffee and let me tell you all about the hi-lights (edited) of my life since the start of the new year!
This is the second year in a row that I brought in the new year with an invigorating plunge into the ice cold waters of Narragansett Bay! This year we had a couple of crazy new recruits- Rich and Ryan. I was extremely happy that my daughter plunged as well even when her friend backed out at the last minuteSince last year, January 1st was on a Sunday, we started our own “plunge” separate  from the official one that took place while we were in church. This year we also avoided all the other crazy people and are working on our own after the crowds  are sufficiently frozen and off the beach. Makes for better parking at least. Plus we have the whole ocean to ourselves. Not that we are selfish or anything. We also do not want to fork over $20 for a tee shirt and donuts to jump in the water with a few hundred others. 
Here are pictures of our 1st Plunge last year (2012)
Here I am with the friend that makes sure I COMPLETELY go in that cold water
 (at least to the shoulders) and her son (who is one of my my sweet Sunday School
students. ) See his brother freezing behind us wrapped in blankets? 
A few of our cheerleaders! Jane and David, Pastor John and Ruth.
I think they might join in next year…at least I thought I heard one
of them say that through chattering teeth. Special thanks to Carol, Sara and
Natasha as well for braving the cold and taking pictures!

 My hubby was working. Poo! 
Here’s a pic from last year when it was MUCH warmer!



See here…the start to our new year has included three things we did not plan for or anticipate…Fleas– as in one dog and two cats – what? In Winter? The Flu- My hub and daughter both had a few days worth of yucky sickness. Last but not least we have a school change for my daughter that was not in the plan. So guess what? There were some Christmas cards that were supposed to go out late (with special notes) but for the first week of January at least…ya-NO. Didn’t happen. Some friends may yet get a Christmas card from us…
I am super excited to be participating in my first online Bible study.
This one is for 6 weeks and it started on January 6th over at Laura Rath’s place.
It appealed to me especially since my One Word for the New Year is Release.
I really am hoping to lead an online Bible Study at some point in the future.

Here’s my nice neat desk January 1, 2013. I took a picture. It does not look this way at the time of me writing this post. Reality: my desk gets messy. But I like when it looks like this. Even for a moment. Having a clear desk is like spitting in the wind, and hoping you won’t get it back in your face. Not likely. But…I take pictures and hope for the best. 
Confession:
I have hit a new level of weird…I will fess up and tell you all what I did.
I am so covetous of this lovely lass’s hair. I sent her an e-mail and told her. She was very kind and did not report me to the police. If you do not recognize her (appalling) her name is Mandy and her place is Biblical Homemaking. Feel free to visit, but DO NOT covet her hair. It’s mine to covet.
Really. This should be my hair. I remember when I was 5 years old, I would walk around in a red haired wig. I surprise myself in that I have no shame. Anyone know how to photo shop my face into this hair? 



Banjo finally has his own Facebook Page. Since he is The Most Interesting Dog in the World and is featured in a calendar it seemed the time for him to share his himness with the world.
Would you go over and “like” his page. Promise to make you smile:
Below are two great New Year Guest Posts that are worth having a look at if you missed them. Grab a refill and take your time!
Both are also part of The Inspiring Women Series:
1. Calendar Consecration (Guest Post by Kim Jackson) – a great way to ask God’s blessing over all your plans for the new year!
2. Start Each Day With God by Catherine Galasso-Vigorito – an inspiring post guaranteed to bless you as you consider your day.

Reading this book by Joel Miller right now and it is a very interesting companion to my New Year Bible Reading Plan. I will be posting a review soon- be sure and look for it! Here is a portion of the description from the publisher: Rooted in the Scripture and following this ancient understanding, Lifted by Angels reveals:

  • the role that angels play in the lives of people and in God’s plan of salvation
  • the different ranks and functions of angels
  • how Satan and his demons fell from grace and plagued humans
  • the functions of guardian angels and how God assigns them to fit our personal needs
  • how guardian angels help us resist evil, temptation, and the devil
  • the way angels join with us in our prayers, even adding their own to ours
  • the service angels provide in worship

Here I finally resume my Gift counting.
I also have a handwritten journal of my Counting to 1000 and am at #901. 
Here online I am at:

341. The fact that when things don’t go the way I planned, it doesn’t mean that I am out of His plans.
342. A wonderful surprise of a book wished for but not planned for – gifted!
343. Kindness from one expressed graciously
344. The criticism & judgement from another both spoken and unspoken
345. One door closed
346. Another door, though unanticipated, open.
347. Wisdom in an unexpected place
348. Hope and Light in dark places
349. Amazing peace at the core of my being despite the nonstop assault of late.
350. Recognizing that this little light of mine (praise You, Jesus) will not be extinguished but continue to flicker, burn and blaze for His glory. Trials are but fuel for the fire. Amen.

One more thing… if your New Year has gotten off to a rough start (like mine) you might find this post I wrote encouraging: When Your New Year Slaps You Upside Your Head

Well until next time, I will leave you with this:

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Have a wonderful week!

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God Sized Surprises And A Confident Heart

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

*sheep·ish  (shpsh)
adj.
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. 
Humbling.
I baaaaaa like a sheep.
Sheepish.
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. 
Why? 

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,
BOMBARD HER WITH REQUESTS for the next
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

A Confident Heart Free Today with Renee: Hooray!

Hi Friends! Well, today in case you don’t already know it Renee Swope’s A Confident Heart is available until midnight for FREE! Please hurry over and get yours if you have ever wanted it and not purchased it before. As my wise grandmother always said, “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.” I really have no idea what that means exactly but my best interpretation is GO GET IT! 
If that was not generous and wonderful enough, Renee is hosting an Online Study for you to participate in as well! Well, I am so IN, dear ones! I am feeling God say, FOR YOU! 
Can you hear Him?
Is He speaking to you?
Would you like to join me, and make sure I do my homework  enjoy growing in truth together?
Well if so, just pop on over to her sight and find the best way to get that book. Free or otherwise, it’s a wonderful thing! 
.The next Online Study is April 23 through June 29 2012.

Check out the video, and consider if God is GIFTING you!

Here is Renee, speaking about this book in a short clip. 
It’s about 3 minutes long and available on You Tube as well as her site


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