I am one who “needs” to be around others.  Alone time for me has always been difficult.  The first time I lived alone I was a mess.  Growing up in a large family, there were always people around.  For the past 28 years I’ve been in a profession where I am around 200+ people every day.  Being alone has never been easy.

Going out in public alone used to terrify me.  I was older than I’d like to admit when I finally went to the mall alone.  I’ve only eaten in a restaurant alone a few times and it was fast food.  Never would I go to a sit-down place alone.  I have never been to a movie alone.  That is on my bucket list!

Today I found myself home alone unexpectedly.  Normally I’d lose myself in a book or movie… or maybe be productive and do some household chore.  The weather today is absolutely gorgeous and I knew I had to get outside.  Yard work did not appeal to me… although it would have been a good choice!

I decided to hop in my car and head to a local winery to scope out a photo shoot location for tomorrow.  I headed to Arbor Crest with my camera in hand.  It is very strange to be at a place and not know or talk to anyone.  It was an hour of solitude and beauty.  I wandered and shot and wandered and shot.  I did run into my niece and her fiancé, but our visit was short and sweet.  I continued on my way, relishing the quiet beauty and sunshine.  There were several other people their alone with a glass of wine and a book.  Hmmm… I might have to try that!  That is very out of my comfort zone, but worth a try!

I’m learning that I need to be okay being alone.  God has me in a season and I’m  not sure what he is preparing me for, but I’m open to try new things and find another side of myself that I’ve not met yet.  I felt great peace and solitude wandering in a beautiful place with my camera in my hand.  Photography is becoming quite theraputic for me and I’m grateful for the opportunities I am afforded.

Here is a glimpse of what I saw from behind my camera lens…


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Healing · Prayers · Seasons · Struggles · The Journey

Heavenly Royalty…

Saturday morning.  It’s early and my emotions are high.  I’m not really sure why.  I’m at the end of my 28 day commitment to better health.   Now I have to decide if I am worth continuing or will I go back to my old ways.  Yes, you read that correctly – “if I am worth continuing.”

For whatever reason and circumstances of my life, I’ve grown up to be one that thinks of you long before I think of me.  In that way of thinking I’ve missed the piece about me being so worth it that I should take care of myself.  No matter what I’ve done over the years, after a time, I sabotage my efforts.  Something in me just gives up and that’s that.

For the past year and a half I’ve been making more efforts to battle that and change.  It’s not easy when it’s been your MO for 50+ years.  I’m learning that I am worth it and I do deserve to be healthy and happy.

I began my morning worrying about all of the “stuff” that I need to be doing.  It was one of those early morning awakenings that came long before the sun was up.  I relented, got up and took care of one of them.  Whew!  One down… 500 more to go!  It’s a start!

Upon completion of my pre-dawn task, I sat down with a cup of coffee and my iPad.  My devotional is around Lent.  As soon as I began reading I was deeply moved.  It was comparing the Queen of England to Jesus.  She has had 62 years of pomp and circumstance.  Jesus did not have that.  He rode on a donkey with a soldiers cloak thrown over him and his crown… his crown was thorns.  The blood that ran down his face was that of a man… and of God.

“Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”  (Luke 19:38)

His parade route ended at the Mount of Olives.  There was not a huge celebration with cameras and cheery on-lookers.  This is where He ascended into heaven.  His humility was replaced with glory.  Ten thousand times ten thousand angels were now at His side.  His Spirit filled the universe.  He was (and is) the ruler of all things.

Because of his death and resurrection, we became royalty.  I am royalty… heavenly royalty.

So, as I wept this morning over all of the things I have not accomplished… the things I continue to struggle with… the dreams that were left to die… the piece of my self-worth that I somehow missed… I was encouraged.  I am royalty… His royalty.  I AM worth it.  His death on the cross… those horrific six hours one Friday… they were for ME… and YOU…

Now as I venture into my day, I have a little more courage to face the battles that are ahead.  I know that there will be struggles and celebrations.  I know that I will doubt my worth again.  Temptations will knock.  Tears will fall.  I need to keep my eyes on what is important and His love and strength will continue to find me…flowing down from His thrown of grace.

Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of Heaven’s Armies!  The whole earth is filled with his glory!
(Isaiah 6:3  NLT)


Hope · Seasons · The Journey · Vacation

The Awakening…

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Photo Courtesy of James Richman Photography.


Spend a few moments looking carefully at this beautiful photograph.  What does it make you think about?  How does it make you feel?

This amazing photo was taken by James Richman, a local photographer.  I’ve recently connected with him on FB and now get to see his work often.  This particular photo is one of many he took at a local sunflower field last August.  Breathtaking…

When I look the first thing that catches my eye is the sunshine.  The sun is rising… the beginning of a warm summer day.  In the forefront I notice the flowers are reaching toward the sun.  If you look closely at the entire field they all seem to be reaching for that sunlight.  Smart flowers they are… following the sun.  For they know that their nourishment comes from those rays and that warmth.

Winter if finally over and spring has awakened.  This week has afforded us sunshine and slightly warmer temperatures.  I’ve been inside trying to get my house in some form of order before heading back to work next week.  Every hour or so I have found myself looking for an excuse to be outside.  I’m like those sunflowers… reaching for that sunlight.  I’m sure I looked silly standing in the middle of the yard with my face pointed towards the sky!  I could feel warmth and peace wash over me.

Spring is such an amazing time of the year.  After a long winter, when life has been dormant, everything is now finding its way to the surface and yearning for light and warmth.  Tiny buds are brightening up tree branches.  Flowers are surfacing from the depths and adding color to our dreary winter-laden world.

Who can witness the wonders of spring and all of creation yearning for sunlight and warmth, and not believe in Him who created it all?  Just seeing the transformation of our maple tree in the past few days has been short of amazing.

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As I’m coming out of winter, I’m feeling the sense that I am much like that maple tree.  Life has been slow and winter-like.  As spring awakens, so am I.  This vacation I’ve been blessed with rest, accomplishments around the house, feeding my passions, and spending time with my love and friends.  All of those are helping to ready me for this new season.  I’m still a little leery… wanting to retreat back into my safe cocoon.  But I’m drawn to the sun…

…I’m drawn to the Son.  The anticipation of all that He has for me as I’m letting Him into every corner of my being.  I want to be safe and He says GO!  Step out!  Live!  For the first time in many years, I’m not dreading going back to work next week.  I’m excited for the remaining weeks to be filled with learning, challenges and a close to this school year.  Then that time to enjoy this amazing world that is opening up around us right now!  He is opening doors for some new adventures that I’m very excited about.  Stretching and growing adventures!  The possibilities are endless.  And those possibilities are beginning today!