Monday, June 30, 2008

For me, photography is looking through the lense of a camera, hoping to capture that moment when light and time and expression create "something more"

OK, All of you Photo Challenge Participants!! Hold on to your hats! It's time for the next Brenda Photo Challenge. I love photography, so being asked to host this one is really fun for me. I loved keeping my eye out for orange and look forward to having another goal to shoot for. Since we'll be celebrating Independence Day on July 4th, I thought it would be appropriate for the theme to be "PATRIOTISM" or in other words,

"What I Love About My Country"

I hope this gives everyone the freedom to interpret their own meaning to the words. I can't wait to see your images and creative ideas. If you want to participate, please send me a comment and I will post a link to your blog in my sidebar. So... please post 2-3 photos depicting your interpretation of Patriotism (or What I love about my country) on your blog by Saturday, July 11th and above all, HAVE FUN!

Here are the rules for the next lucky hostess


1. If you're asked to host the next challenge, and you accept the mission..LOL..pick a date (usually two weeks gives everyone time to gather their subjects and snap their photos).

2. Pick a Theme (can be Anything that floats your boat).

3. Post the rules and the next host, on your post. The Next host then does the same!

Saturday, June 28, 2008


I found these on my parent's bookshelves. Over the years my Dad has collected all but one of Harold Bell Wright's books.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

A Canna Lily in my parent's garden. I couldn't believe my luck when I looked out their window and saw this perfectly orange flower.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Our car washing bucket! Everything's orange!

Ephesians 3:16-20

"that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened in the inner man; so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fulness of God.

Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us"

"I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit—not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you'll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ's love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God.

God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us."
The Message

I Think I'm Lost

I've been swirling around out here in this blogosphere for awhile, and I think I've landed. Bear with me while I get all my colors and fonts in a row. It may take awhile. In the meantime, I realized I'm feeling a little bit that way in my day to day life right now. My son stayed at Grandma and Grandpa's house in Oklahoma this week, my daughter is enjoying her summer with friends all day, and I'm just kind of trying to find my bearings. My daughter and I did get to watch "Emma" yesterday and we got our nails done today. Fun, girlish things.

I sat outside for awhile, trying to catch a glimpse of the sun's warmth, but a cloud moved in. Looking up I felt at peace, as if I had found my bearings. Here is my cloud, with the sun shining behind, and my tall tree in my backyard. Simple things. . . Just what I need.

"Cease striving and know that I am God".
Psalm 46:10

Friday, June 20, 2008

Facing the Giants

Facing the Giants, one of my favorite movies. . . Two messages stand out to me from this movie.

  • Prepare your fields for rain

If you're praying for rain then you better be prepared for it to rain!

I will love and praise my God

Even if what I'm praying for never happens, I will continue to trust Him.

If you haven't seen this movie, watch it. If you have seen it, watch it again! I'm watching it again tomorrow!

Open Doors

I have been sending out resumes and applications like mad the past few days as I complete my teacher training. My last class is on Monday. I hesitate to ask for prayer for finding a job because then if I don't get one I'll have to come back and say, "well, not yet..." However, if I really have faith that God is leading me in this direction and if I have faith that He is able to open the doors He wants opened, then I should have the faith to ask you to pray for me. So, if you have just a moment, would you ask God to open doors and work a miracle so that I can become an art teacher? Now, it's my job to be the right person for the right job.

4 Delight yourself in the LORD
and he will give you the desires of your heart.

5 Commit your way to the LORD,
trust in him and he will do this:

6 He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn,
the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.

Psalm 37: 4-6

4 Then you will win favor and a good name
in the sight of God and man.

5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;

6 in all your ways acknowledge him,

and he will make your paths straight.

Psalm 3:4-6

These are my prayers for you as well.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


I've always loved maps. Especially maps of the whole world. I'm always surprised at the locations of countries and boundaries. For some reason, my mind rearranges them when I'm not looking.

I found this quote on display at the Mission San Jose in San Antonio and took a photo of it so I would be sure to remember.

"A map is the greatest of all epic poems. It's lines and colors show the realization of great dreams."

Gilbert H. Grosvenor
National Geographic Editor 1903-1954

I love to imagine traveling to all of those far away places. Traveling gives you such a new perspective on life. To see things we've never seen before allows us to see our lives in new ways.
When I was 23 years old, my cousin Nancy and I began planning our life's grand adventure. It seemed all of our friends were getting married. She had completed school and I was working in between. So . . .we bought our trusty "Let's Go Europe" which at the time was on 15.00 a day.

We flew to London, spent 2 weeks in England, took the ferry over to Belgium, travelled by train to The Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, and France.
I will write more of our adventures in another post, but for now, I just wanted to say to all of my
visitors from around the world

Welcome !!
Studying the world map on my blog, I am amazed at how far my (all of our) words reach. Hello out there to Australia, Philippines, China, Russia, India, Korea, Europe, South America and of course Oklahoma, California, Georgia and to all corners of America. What an honor to be visited by you. I would love to hear from someone on the other side of the globe!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Out of the Chasm

There is a video on the website entitled How to Know Jesus Christ.

Not only is the message presented beautifully but the illustration is a picture God gave me many years ago as an analogy of my spiritual experience during my divorce.

Looking out over the landscape of my life, I could see where I wanted to go. The grass was green, the sky was blue and peace filled the air. My life would be better over there, I thought.

As I began making my way closer to that wonderful place, I was completely unaware of the dangers that lay ahead. I didn't see the great chasm that separated me from the life I was living and the life I wanted for myself and my children. I just stepped off the cliff and began falling.

The next thing I knew I was looking up from the bottom of the chasm. Lost and broken, I was separated from the life I had known up until that point. I could look behind me up the canyon wall to my past and I knew I couldn't go back. I looked ahead up the canyon wall to the life I knew God wanted for me, but I knew it was an impossible climb. I was separated from the life I wanted. Eyes downcast, all I could see were my circumstances. When I finally dared to look up into the eyes of God, He was right beside me. Very gently, one step at a time, He led me out of the chasm.

There were financial struggles, emotional struggles, physical struggles and spiritual struggles.

This verse was my lifeline, daily and sometimes minute by minute...and He was faithful.

My God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:19

Over the past year I realized that I was breathing easier. The climb was not taking as much exertion as it had in the years past. It wasn't long ago when I had the amazing realization that I had made it to the other side. I was whole and healthy and restored. I was forgiven and free.

I am writing this to the women who might be approaching that chasm, unaware of its dangers. Only when we stay close to Christ can we cross safely. He prepares the path and provides the way. Do not run on ahead, but let Him lead.

I am writing this to the women who, like me, found themselves on the bottom of the chasm with no way out. Only by keeping our eyes on Christ will we find the way out of the chasm.

...and I am writing this to the women who are painstakingly climbing, step by step, day by day, hoping and believing. God loves you and is with you and will show you each step and handhold until you reach the top, climb over the edge and look out at your new life.

It was neat to see the picture God had given me, illustrated so beautifully in this little movie. I hope you will watch it. It could change your life.

God bless you

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day

When I was a little girl, being that it was the sixties,

I painted Daddy-O on the side of this coffee mug

and gave it to my Dad on Father's Day.

On my last visit home I found the mug and saw

that the fingernail polish, (yes, fingernail polish)

had worn off. So, I snuck the mug home with me

and recreated the original.
Happy Father's Day, Dad

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Photo Challenge . . .Communication

These photos are part of a photo challenge sent out by Cindra. The subject is communication. Because my memory card is full I searched through my pictures looking for examples. What I began to see is that we communicate with actions possibly more often than words!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Tag, You're It!

Well, how fun! I've been tagged. My friend
Joni over at Morning Coffee just tagged me to share 7 things about myself, both random and wierd. Joni was my first blog friend. I happened upon her beautiful blog through one of our shared interests, I can't remember which one. (Probably coffee!) I was new to blogging and hadn't had any comments yet. Remember those days? She was the first person to leave a comment and I was so thrilled that someone was actually out there. She's been a faithful listener ever since. Her blog is always filled with delightful images and words and I look forward to being blessed each time I visit. Thanks Joni!

The Rules of the Tag Game:

1. Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.

2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.

3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.

4. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

OK Here goes.

1. I love mountains and the ocean and tall trees. Anything majestic enough in nature to put my small self in perspective. I was born and raised in Oklahoma.I was a Bluebird and a Camp Fire Girl which taught me to love camping and the outdoors.

2. While married I lived in Oklahoma, Tucson, Arizona, Alexandria, Louisiana, Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Texas. Everything ends in an "a" except Texas, plain old Texas. I've lived here since 1992.

3. My Mom taught piano and my Dad was a builder/architect. My brother and I grew up taking piano lessons. I took for 7 years, and he is making his living out of arranging, composing and performing with his family. I play occasionally, just for fun, the songs I can still remember enough to play with sheet music, The Long and Winding Road, Got to Get You Into My Life, and Goodbye Again (John Denver).

4. I love animals. As a girl I dreamed of horses - Owning, riding and taking care of my own. My cat Sugar, who I had from the age of 23 until about 41, now has a namesake. My daughter named her new all white kitten, "Sugar". I remember when I decided on my cat's name, I was driving in my car up to Stillwater, Oklahoma and had her in the front seat with me. The song "Sugar Pie Honey Bunch" came on the radio and I just kept singing the song over and over to her until it dawned on me that that should be her name! We've had several cats and dogs since, and we've had my dog Stormy for 5 years now.

5. I was born with brown hair and blue eyes. I still have brown hair and blue eyes with help from Nice and Easy. My favorite treat is a Starbucks venti no whip mocha frappucino. Yum.

6. I love curling up with a good book or playing board games for the personal interaction I think, the quality time, spent with family and friends.

7. I was married for 15 years, divorced with 3 kids, was unmarried and pregnant at the age of 40, and became a single mom of 4, absolutely marvelous, wonderful gifts from above. So I fit the term single mom in both senses of the word, hence my desire to encourage other women, knowing there are some out there who are hanging on by a thread, as I was. I want the message of my life to be this: God is good. He restores and provides.

Now for who I'm going to TAG. I think I need some more new blog friends!!




Saved By Grace

Joni (just kidding)

Monday, June 9, 2008

I'm Trading My Sorrows!

While singing this song last Sunday, the words resonated deep in my heart and I want to share that joy with all of you.

The message we heard on Sunday was this: there will always be obstacles to face that are stronger than we are. Only God has the power to overcome these. Keeping our eyes on Him not only gets us through, but He gives us His joy in exchange, when we give Him our sickness, our pain, our sorrow, our shame.

This was filmed at a Women of Faith conference. Don't you just love us? All of us ordinary, every day women who God loves so unbelievably?

Drawing I

As part of my effort to be qualified as an Art Teacher, and as part of a disciplined effort to learn the patience it takes to create, I have enrolled in a Drawing class. Our teacher is so encouraging to each of us about our work.

This was made using a charcoal base and a pencil eraser to draw the image. So much fun. . .

It is a copy of a photograph I took 28 years ago on a canal in Amsterdam.

Monday, June 2, 2008

I Needed These Words Today

17 Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,

18 yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.

Habakkuk 3:17-18