Sunday, August 16, 2015

Freedom falls....

Ever so softly to the ground it falls
Carried by the breath of the earth
It is white, light, weightless

Disconnected from its purpose, no longer soaring
ever still, resting among the fallen

Freedom beautifully blows
It dances for the first time
Sings its first solo
to and fro
scattered, scared, yet strangely free.
This moments, this very moment

The sun slips from sight
Pulling back the black curtain
unveiling darkness
The wind whips it
a force
thunder claps, lightning flashes
The dance feels like a fight

How did the feeling of freedom blow so easily
from its being

A sudden hand, young a soft, picked it up, carried it,
noticing its beauty
Purpose found

To be held is to experience freedom.
The wind blew through its delicate design
Separating each fiber

His right hand was warm and gentle
Footsteps intentional
Alive and aware

What next, it wondered

A door closed.
A book opened
and carefully it found its refuge.
Now touching the very words once recorded with
feather and ink, ancient history surrounded it.

"He will cover you with His Feathers and under His wings you
will find refuge.

And with that, the book shut.
Purpose again found, resting in the knowledge of the Holy.
The feather was free.

Maybe you've released a feather of your own.
A little one, a college student, or maybe its you being released.
All of life is freefall.
An opportunity to experience freedom.

Let us remember to let each other go.
Let ourselves go.
But remember that with freedom comes responsibility.
And to experience try freedom we must rest in the hand of Jesus.
Find refuge in His word.

Holy Spirit, fall on us, like a feather caught up in the wind.
Lead us and let us find you.

He is coming.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Love rejoices in the truth...

Today I turn to the beginning.
God's imagination and creativity pour out.
The placement of all creation, finally hanging peacefully and perfectly in position.

God's goodness, God's gallery.

After the gallery though, there is more.
God speaks to his Son and the Spirit, saying, "Let us make man in our image. We need hands and feet to work within our creation." So they spin dust and create man and woman.

He speaks of multiplication and fruitfulness and provides man with a physical body, designed to fill up his gallery with life and breath.

He places them in His garden. Providing them with all they will ever need.

But sin...

Sin speaks from the mouth of the fallen. The serpent whispers a twisted truth. And the woman ponders his sneaky question.

"Did God really say?"

Today I sit in the quiet of my home. Still living under the curse from the garden. Clothed and ashamed, overwhelmed, yet unafraid.

Unafraid, because my help comes from a Savior who spoke the truth in Eden. And whose living word has and always will reign, regardless of what we proclaim on Earth.

"Did God really say homosexuality was a sin?"
"Does God require me to love everyone?"

My answer today is yes and yes.

I believe homosexuality is a sin. I believe this because the word of God says so.
I believe my personal sins are no greater or less than anyone else's and daily I confess my

There is no hatred, nor condemnation in proclaiming sin as sin.

I believe in love.
My Bible says that love is patient and love is kind.

But, it also says that love does not rejoice in wrongdoing, it rejoices in truth.

So while many celebrated what they believe to be freedom today, I wept and rejoiced in the truth that will always stand and will serve as the foundation of all that has been and all that will come.

Sometimes love looks different...

Sometimes love gets upset and rears it ugly head, not because of hatred, but because love knows there is consequences for unrighteousness.

I think of my three year old.
I love him with all my heart.
And although he is growing up into an amazing boy, I can see his sin.
His ability to listen in one moment and disobey in the next.

He needs our discipline in order to be free.
True freedom that God speaks of is found in surrender and denying one self in order to serve Jesus Christ.

There's more about this thing, love, we all seem to be fighting over...

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.

So today I believe and hope in the love we can only find in Jesus Christ.
His rainbow still stands as a reminder of his love.  His Heavenly house is lit up daily with shades of red, orange. yellow, green, and blue, colors that no man has ever seen. His victory needed no vote, no person to proclaim it.

No flag, no law, no lights on a white house, and no man can redefine what was spoken at the beginning of all creation.

May we all return to our garden, repent and be renewed.

He is coming.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Day 2: Orange Beach, Alabama

A small city, along the Gulf Of Mexico.
Home to 5,400 residents.
And home to one of my favorite all time authors.

Orange Beach, Alabama has an area of only 15.9 miles.
But welcomes each crashing wave along its border.

I discovered this town after reading Andy Andrew's book, The Noticer.
In his book, he writes about a man named Jones and the perspective that he brought to Orange Beach.
I HIGHLY recommend reading this book!

The city was inhabited in the late 1800's by farmers and fishermen. They names the town based on the significance of the citrus crops.

Prayer for Orange Beach:

Lord I lift up this beautiful city surrounded by water and fruit. I pray for their health, their families, and their future. May each home be filled with your spirit and may the ocean call them out to the deep waters. May their city reflect your kingdom.


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Day 1: 31 Days of Places and Prayers

According to the Getty Thesaurus of Geographic names, there are 248,752 cities listed in its database.
Each city is part of this world for a purpose. Each city serves as a part of the story, a part of history and a part of the future.

I chose this particular topic for my 31 days because I love learning about our world and discovering new places and spaces that God created.

As I spun my globe around this morning, wondering where my eyes would land, I first noticed Poland. I dug a little deeper and found the city of Kalisz. A city located on the Prosna river with many notable factories. What intrigued me most was that it is the centre for traditional folk art. Hmmm, a value of art that is not based on proportion and perspective? Just my style!

It is the oldest city in Poland and was home to nearly 250,000 Jews, but many were murdered by the Nazis in the summer of 1942. Its name stems from the Celtic term, cal, which means stream or swamp.

I encourage to seek more information about this city and join me in prayer as we focus on Kalisz.


Lord this morning I lift up to you a city. A city that has a story. One I had never heard of. A city that has seen destruction and beauty lifted up around it. Today I pray that the city of Kalisz will seek you. I pray that their love for out of the box art will grow. I pray for your grace and peace to abide there.


Friday, March 7, 2014

Three Things (Inspired by Matthew McConaughey)

I didn't watch the Oscar's.
But it seems that one of the evening's highlights was the speech given by Matthew McConaughey.

He gratefully accepted the Oscars, thanked the Academy, his producers, and his family.

And then.
He said something that shocked Hollywood.
Something that pointed to our Creator.
Something that I thought was incredibly profound and quite brilliant.

He spoke of 3 things that he needed each day.

1. Something to look up to
2. Something to look forward to
3. Someone to chase

It's so true.

I love when we speak truth.
It ignites within us a spark, that immediately connects us to one another.

He made me stop and assess my three things.
So after a few days of pondering and wondering and sorting out myself.
This is what I know.

 I look up to passionate people. You know these people. People who work hard. Who find one thing they love and they go after it. They believe they are creative and use their gifts to serve. They are like air, like water and breathe hope into my soul.

I look forward to the kingdom. This world we live in is so miraculous, mysterious, and moving. Which leads me to think that the kingdom is greater than anything my earthly mind can fathom. There will be a day when tears will dry, when pain subsides, and perfection remains. That day, I anticipate.

I chase my Father, Jesus Christ. I haven't always. It's been a journey and for years He was so far out of my sight, because of choices I made and fear I lived inside. His presence is nearer to me now than any other time in my life. He will always go before me, which means there will always be a chase. But this chase I'm living now, leaves me hopeful and eager, instead of exhausted and scared.

That's my truth. My three things. My Matthew McConaughey acceptance speech.

What's yours?
Think about it today.

And in the words of MM...

All right. All right. All right.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Farewell Surrender...

We are living the last paragraph of this year.
The story of 2013 is ending.
The unexpected awaits and a new story is upon us.

2013 has been a teacher, an enemy, and a friend.

I've learned to pray. I've learned to wait.
I've been told yes and I've been told no.
But mainly, I've learned to watch.

I've learned to watch our great and sovereign God work. I believe He has placed within each of us desires and dreams that can be manifested when we let the spirit of Christ dwell within us. And when we set aside our plans and wait and wonder and watch Him work, our story becomes His story.

I am truly thankful for every family member, friend, and every stranger that was a part of my story this past year.


I know nothing of you yet.
That is thrilling.
That is scary.
But mainly thrilling.


I surrender.
I surrender it all.
To the God who spoke us into existence.
It's all His.
My family. My work. My walk.
I surrender.


You will bring new life.
New relationships.
New experiences.

Shine so bright that the world will stand in awe
of Christ's creation.

I stand surrendered.
Watching and waiting.
A new story is about to be revealed.
Open your new book friends.
Here's to Chapter 1.

Farewell 2013.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Happy Birthday

"Mrs. Noles, before I open up my presents on Christmas morning, I always thank God for sending His son Jesus to the world."

I paused and let those words turn around in my mind before I responded.
A ten year old understood.
He got it.

"What a wonderful thing." I told him.
He went on to speak of presents and how they really don't matter all that much.
He was teaching me. Students have a way of doing that. Teaching the teachers.
If we are listening, that is.

He got me thinking about Christmas morning and what I will teach my little boy about this blessed time of year.
What will it mean to him?
What will his first thought of Christmas be?

This year, considering he is only 18 months, it will probably be, "I'm ready to eat, mom!"

What if we came to Christ first?
What if we sang to him?
What if we read his glorious story aloud in Luke 2?
What if we broke bread, instead of looking to see if Santa ate the cookies we left for him.
What if we just sat and paused and thanked him?

I want my son to experience the Miracle of Jesus and the Magic of Santa.
Jesus Saves.
Santa Gives.

How does your family celebrate the birth of the greatest gift we will ever know?

Our family always baked Jesus a cake and sang to him on Christmas morning.
We had to yell "Christmas Presents" before we got out of bed. A tradition passed down in our family from my great-grandmother.
Mom and Dad would turn on the Christmas music. Get the cameras ready and my brother and I would walk down the hall. That long hall, that lead us to our gifts. Bright lights flashed in our eyes, as they wanted to capture our sleepy, excited faces.
I remember that feeling joy upon the first glance of Santa's gifts to us.

May your Christmas be full of Jesus and Santa, Joy and Peace, and a New Hope.
A hope for what is to come.

Happy Birthday to my Savior.
We have a balloon and cupcakes ready for you tomorrow.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Remembering and Forgetting...

The bread broke.
Thanksgiving spoke.
And he told them to remember.

He first gave thanks to His father, before anything else.
And reminded them to remember Him.

As Christians, we need this reminder everyday.
Every single day we need Jesus and we need to remember His sacrifice.

Why are we prone to forget of His love?
Why do we so often forget that we weren't made for this world?
Why is it we work so hard on earth to attain and maintain, when eternity awaits us
and the kingdom is waiting to be brought down?

As Thanksgiving approaches, may we step into a state of remembering Him.

Seek love and walk in faith.
Discern what is pleasing to Him.
And make melody to the Lord with all your heart.

Every time we remember, we please our Father.

Break your bread.
Give thanks.
And remember Him today.

This I pray for us.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Vista Views

I receive a text last night from my mom that says, "Oh my... Please go to Moody Radio when you have time and listen to Chris Fabry's Broadcast, Open Spaces...WOW. It has a lot to do with places and it's set to music."

I love when people share great sermons, or great music, or great anythings!
And I especially love the beautiful art of combining spoken word and gentle music.

WOW was the perfect description of this broadcast.

What mom didn't know was that the pianist that was featured in the show is one my favorites.
His name is Stanton Lanier. And His new album, Open Spaces, was the background music for the entire show. He shares his music and his story and uses Psalm 119 as meditative scripture to guide you through the words written by David--- the man after God's own heart.

Stanton Lanier Open Spaces Cover

Psalm 119: 44-46
"I will keep your law continually, forever and ever, and I shall walk in a wide place, for I have sought your precepts. I will also speak of your testimonies before kings and shall not be put to to shame."

What is your space? Where is your vista view?
God's palette is used every day.
He paints the sky, whether it be gray or pink or blue or orange.
He casts His creation upon us and wants us to experience the vista views of this world.
I believe He does this to unite the Heavenly kingdom with His earth.
But we get to see what we want.

I hope you take time to notice today.

And I hope you can find a space in your day to experience this broadcast and I hope it brings a few "wows" into your day.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Unknown Treasure

I found it at Goodwill.
I liked the handle and the heaviness.
The color and the feel of it in my hands.

It was .59 cents

After a year, I finally decided to turn it over and see who made it.

Aletha Soule."Cool name," I thought.
I googled.
"What?" This mug, this beautiful piece of pottery I found for less than $1.00 was really worth $40.00 and was made by a passionate potter who worked from Soule Studio in California?

For the past year I had sipped my coffee from unknown treasure that had been carefully formed and created on the other side of the country. I didn't know because I hadn't looked.

I have a feeling we all have something or maybe someone in our lives that is like my mug.
My unknown treasure.
Maybe it's an antique that's been in your family that your grandma gave to you, but you never heard the story of its being?
Maybe it's a new friend who's story you haven't heard yet?
Or maybe it's more than that?

Maybe there is buried deep within our souls an abundance of treasures that are ready and waiting to be found? Treasures that have been there for years, but you just haven't looked within. You just haven't turned over your mug.

I'm praying for you. Right now in the corner chair in my room.
I'm praying you discover of unknown treasure.
Maybe in yourself? In someone elses? Or maybe on the bottom of a $1.00 mug?

It's waiting for you to see.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Every moment is a movement...

"Every place the sole of your foot treads is  yours. Occupy each place until I come and fill the earth with the knowledge of my Glory."

Moments are movements.
They are tiny experiences, given to us as gifts to experience from one to the next, in order to unite the Kingdom of Heaven and Earth.

Your first sip of coffee this morning, is a moment that will move you out the door.
Your quiet time with Christ, is a moment that will move you in the direction of His calling.
Moments are everywhere and they are waiting for you to notice them.
They are gifts waiting to be unwrapped.

Below is a story poem that I wrote this past summer while on the beach, called Old Shoe, New Shoe.
This is a story about perspective. It's about two shoes and the conversation they share about living life. Coming from two walks of life, one nearing the end of his journey, and the other, just beginning his, they both teach each other to find the satisfaction in where they are.

There once we two shoes, one old and one new. Both had doubt in the soles of their shoes. The old had lost his partner, many years ago. The new shoe had a mate that was on the shelf below.

“I’m worn out, scuffed, unwanted, and used, no one needs me,” said the old shoe to the new.

“That’s not true, said the shoe that was new. You have memories and stories in the soles of your shoes."

“You have a history, you know where you’ve been. Be proud of those wrinkles you have on your skin.”

“You stand as a reminder to one and to all to see your road through even after you fall.”

“I’m the one with worries,” said the new to the old. I have no idea where I’m going and what these soles will hold.”

“What if my roads are winding and long and my soles wear out early and my laces aren’t strong?”

Do you have any wisdom before I step out?
Something to help the fear and the doubt?
Something to be my stepping stone?
Something you’ve learned?
Something life’s shown?

The old shoe paused and looked down at his laces. He thought about time and all of the places. The places and spaces that his soles had been. Then he stopped and smiled at the wrinkles on his skin.

“You’re very first step is out of the door, so tie up those laces and go out in the world.”

“Every step matters, because every step leads, so keep walking, keep trying, and just do the next thing.”

“Don’t turn back, whatever you do. Keep the faith in the soles of your shoes.”

“If you step in a hole, step right back out. Holes teach us lessons and set us about.”

“Horizontal or vertical, whatever the view, keep walking, keep learning, and see your road through.”

Here’s the lesson from the shoes to you.

Keep walking.
Keep learning.
And see your road through.

 Remember you are treading on His ground today.
Ground that is Holy and in need of His glory.
Enjoy every moment and movement.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

When God says Go...

Art is happening.

We are making it.
And we are living it.

It's a force that can not be reckoned with.
It's unstoppable.

we will make art
Emily Freeman's book, A Million Little Ways, is breaking apart more pieces of my heart and making more space for God to do His work.

And what I've learned most about brokenness... is that it makes way for space.
Space to renovate and be restored with strength.
And strength that sparks growth.

And when growth begins, God is saying "Go."
"Go and make disciples."
"Go and sin no more."
"Go and make art."

And that we will.
We will make art.

This picture was taken early this morning as I was on my way to a local craft fair. The moment called out my name and said, "Now. Right now, you need to take a picture."

I am so thankful for this moment and the gift it brought.
I was only hoping to capture the beauty of the fog seeping through the bare, leafless trees.
I was only hoping to capture the bit of sunlight the fog was letting by.

Instead I captured them all and a little green light at the bottom.
A green light that reminded me to GO and make art.

Let's go together friends.
Let's let God pour out of us and use us for His heavenly plan.
Let's watch His masterpiece move.

Now GO get Emily's Book and be ready for the blessings to flow.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Reading the end of the story...

Yesterday I tried something new with some of my readers at school.

Instead of our normal "let's read a book" routine, I decided to begin with the end of the story.

So we turned to the back of the book and I told the students we would read "knowing" the outcome, and look for all the details leading up to the ending.

They loved it.
They were engaged.
And they looked a little closer.

As a blogger, I tend to look for stories within stories.
I look for a deeper meaning. A takeaway from an experience.

After reading the book backwards, I couldn't help but think about our lives in Christ.

I thought about His life and how he knew the outcome.
He knew His death was the only way. The only way to save us from our own selves and the sin of the world. I wonder what that felt like.

We will never know the outcome of a day.
Only our Father who art in heaven knows our ending.

May we live today within His grace and love.
May we show the world his Glory.
And live with an eternal purpose.
Because we do know there is place He is preparing.
A place for us to land.
His home. In heaven.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Art Isn't Ours.

"I don't believe there is one great thing I was made to do in this world. I believe there is one great God I was made to glorify. And there will be many ways, even a million little ways, I will declare his glory with my life." - Emily Freeman

Isn't this profound?
Because it seems like so many of us are looking.
We are looking and searching for one great thing.
One thing that makes us feel defined and purposeful.
One thing that props us up and sets us apart.
Because we want to matter.

But what if the pursuit of that one great thing, is getting in the way of the One great God who has a million things for us to do while here on His earth?

His earth.
We sometimes forget that don't we.

We forget that the creator God blew this place into being.
And he formed us from dust.
And created us to live His glory out on the world's stage.

But the more we step up to the platform. The higher we exalt our own selves.
Our purpose. Our desires. Our art.

Our purpose, desires and art aren't ours.
They belong to our creator, and flow out from us.

Take a step down and lay yourself low today.
Look up and let God move through your hands and feet, your heart and your mind.
Look inside and find your art you were meant to live today.

It's there, because He's there.
And the world needs to see His glory through you.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Art of Words

"If our words paint a picture, what does our canvas look like?"

My dad texted me this quote last night.
And I loved it.

Words heal and hurt.
Comfort and Critique
Lift us up and lay us low.

Words are powerful.
And the Bible teaches us time and time again about the power our words.

1. Proverbs 18:21- Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.
2. Matthew 15:18- But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart that defiles a person.
3. Proverbs 16:24- Gracious words are like honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.

And the list goes on and on.

For every word, we paint a stroke.
And word by word and stroke by stroke our art is layed out for the world to see.

Every story told, tells the story of the heart.
And each canvas reveals our character.

May you paint the most beautiful canvas today.
Word by word.
Stroke by stroke.

Your canvas is clean.
And needs a little paint.
Let your first and your last stroke reveal the art in your heart.