Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The Blessing Book... Just Released!

I am excited to announce that my brand new book, The Blessing Book, is now available for purchese.  This book is a labor of love that includes words from "The Blessing Song" and beautiful watercolor illustrations by Julia Azar.  This book is printed on fine art paper adn also includes a CD featuring "The Blessing Song" sung by Leigh Nash (from Sixpence None the Richer), along with 12 instrumental hymns.  These soothing songs will add a peaceful environment to the precious moments your share with your little ones.

We believe that “Every baby deserves a blessing.” Join your hearts with ours in this mission and help bring the love of God to this world. We would love to hear your stories, see your pictures and videos. Be a blessing, give a blessing and leave a blessing. Please click the image below for information on how to purchase.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Friends Who Remain…

Friendship is definitely like a garden that needs to be tended in many ways… weeded, watered, fertilized, picked and enjoyed. Friendship is work, mostly fun, but sometimes it’s just about “remaining.” We stay steady, show up, share, endure a tough season, fight off the drought, pray strong, laugh at ourselves (a whole lot of this), cry together, and sometimes just sit together and wait. Friends who remain are a gift from God. I pray you have friends who remain and that you will be a friend who remains.  I so want that for myself.

Proverbs 17:17a - “A friend loves at all times…”

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Short Is Sweet…

Recently, a dear friend, my sister, and I went over to our little Orange Beach cabin that our Dad built himself back in 1955. We had less than 48 hours to spend together, and we almost didn’t go because it seemed like it wasn’t worth the effort it took to prepare for such a short time. But once we were there, between games of Scrabble®; coffee on the porch; a couple of nice meals out; and celebrating our faith, our families and the hopes of each of our unique passions, work and callings, we all came back to our “regular lives” renewed and refreshed… and realizing short can be so sweet.  Hope you can find a simple “short is sweet” in your life.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Sting of Betrayal...

Have you ever felt betrayed? If you haven’t, don’t hold your breath. Betrayal has the sting of a third degree burn, and it demands attention, care, and healing. It’s a hard journey back to trust, but what a beautiful gift we have in Jesus who gave His all -- gave his forgiveness and blessing so freely to those who took His very life. Only by grace can we learn to love and live as Jesus did, and it is so worth the journey!

These are comforting words from Psalm 34:17-19...

"The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help.
     He rescues them from all their troubles.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted;
     He rescues those whose spirits are crushed.
The righteous person faces many troubles,
     but the Lord comes to the rescue each time."

I am determined today to take one more step towards wholeness.  Blessings on your journey, too.

Friday, September 30, 2011

The Empty Nest Season

Have you ever been stuck in life? I have, and perhaps in some ways I still am. The ebb and flow just seemed to stop ebbing and flowing for me. The pendulum of life had swung from high to low one too many times, and I couldn’t ride it out any longer. I had to let go, retreat... and now I am finding a new rythum in a new season of life. They call it empty nest.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 puts it like this:

"For everything there is a season,
     a time for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die.
     A time to plant and a time to harvest.
A time to kill and a time to heal.
     A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to cry and a time to laugh.
     A time to grieve and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
     A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
A time to search and a time to quit searching.
     A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear and a time to mend.
     A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate.
     A time for war and a time for peace."

EMPTY is not an attractive word to me, but it is a word full of possibilities. It’s time to refill the nest for the next season of life.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Yellow Legal Pads

On writing songs:

Have you wondered why there is a big yellow legal pad gracing the background on my site?  Yellow legal pads often lived on my kitchen counter amongst coffee mugs, lunch boxes, homework and cereal bowls. I had a love affair with yellow legal pads. Their presence was an open invitation to create with my pen and let the thoughts of my heart flow out into songs that would express my hopes, my dreams, and my longings for myself and for those I love.

Not too long ago I became a Mac owner.  Sorry, Mac, I love you dearly and would not trade you, but yellow legal pads will always be my first love.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Finding the Sacred in the Mundane

Finding the sacred in the mundane of everyday...

I heard a speaker to a group of young moms say, “It’s a good thing if you can find a way to put ruffles on your routines.” As a mother of four, that thought became a framework that often helped me to stop and savor the hectic pace of working… laundry, carpooling, cooking, cleaning and just all the everyday stuff that makes our lives work. The sacred was not the ruffles.  They helped, but the true beauty, the real sacred discovery, was the people God created and gave me to love. Blessings to you as you discover your sacred in the mundane of everyday.

Matthew 6:20-21 “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (NIV)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Big B's Treasure Chest

When our first grandchild, Natalie Grace, was about 2 years old we took a small wooden treasure chest that had held various receipts, misplaced small parts of household items, some loose coins, and we emptied it to invent a new game that would become “The Treasure Chest Hunt.” It didn’t take long for these words to become the first words out of her mouth when she walked through our door. “Treasure Chest, Treasure Chest Hunt, Big B!!!” 

Using 3x5 cards Bob (Big B) makes clues that lead to the Treasure Chest, usually ending up in a an unlikely place (like the dryer) or in a “dry bathtub”! I think the hunt is far more fun than the find of the treasure treat. 

Now, there are three little pirates (Natalie, Amelia, and Hunter) hunting for the treasure, so the fun and the treats have increased... it’s just too far for these little ones to come from New York to Alabama. I don’t remember signing up on the long distance Grandmother list. :)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The power of a single song...

Have you ever read any of the stories behind the writers of our classical hymns? I have, and it is a sobering thought that so many of those beloved songs were born from tragedy and suffering.

Recently we have seen the song “How Great is Our God,” and it sweeps the charts and the airways like a full-force wind. Gaining momentum in church after church, people can’t seem to sing it loud enough or passionately enough. The song just gets into your spirit and resounds over and over again.

I believe, like the old the hymns, this song will live long beyond its writers and ring out over this earth for years to come.

Why? It's a good question. I like to think it is the supreme theme of “How Great Is Our God” that makes the song so amazing and enduring. It is a proclamation of the character and faithfulness of God. It is not a “me” centered song about God. It is a song in which you can lose yourself and your cares as you sing it.  You can so focus on the glory of our God, and your spirit can literally soar on the wings of its melody. The writer becomes a missionary through his gifted words, and the work does the work in a profound and beautiful way.

What a worthy goal to hold forth as a model for a song! It is the desire of songwriters to communicate the truth with passion and power, trusting God to do the transforming in the lives of those who sing and play.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Life Details and Honey for Our Hearts

A dear friend gave me the book Honey for a Woman’s Heart by Gladys Hunt for Christmas. I am enjoying reading it and letting it encourage me about the pursuit of reading, what makes a good book, and why.

I remember reading Honey for Child’s Heart when my 4 children were small, and what a wonderful resource it was to me then. Another book that I enjoyed was a book called The Read Aloud Handbook by John Trelease. These books spurred on the desire to read to my little one and, at the same time, gave some valuable guidance on selecting good books.

As I am now exploring Honey for a Woman’s Heart I am interested in the recommendations, but I am also interested in the thoughts and ideas of what makes a story/book great!

I am challenged today... we all know the grass is green... what else describes it? So, I will exercise myself today in adding some description to my writing.

Here is a scene from my life today...

I have sent out several emails this morning. Two of them I sent to publishers for whom I have written musicals and songs in the past. Both of the emails are presenting new ideas for work in 2011. I also worked on a song from the notes I took on my bulletin from this past Sunday. The idea is for a communion song.

I cleaned my bathroom (well almost) because I only did half of the shower walls, I just got so weary looking at that Turquoise Blue Tile…. Ugh! (We are presently living in a 1960’s cottage in Fairhope, AL, and one bathroom has the original pink tiles while the other has the turquoise tiles!) We have done some beautiful remodeling to this little place, but the bathrooms will be a large expense so we are waiting on those. I told my husband, Bob, until we remodel to just pretend he is at camp and then he will be thankful for the private shower and hot water!

I made some homemade vegetable soup and even cut fresh corn off of the cob for it. I am calling it "Everything Vegetable Soup" because I put lots of whatever was on hand in it. I think it will be decent, actually even good!

I went to the gym and worked out: 20 minutes on the rower (not too fast), 20 minutes on a bike (not too fast), and 15 minutes on weight machines and sit-ups! I wish I could say I love to exercise, but I only love the benefits afterwards. I listened to some of Michael McDonald’s music. That made me smile and almost sing out loud in the gym!

I am now grabbing a late lunch, probably a preview of tonight’s soup. Then I will tackle the office clutter one more time. Inventory on 21 years worth of work is overwhelming to me, but as my Mom says, “You can only eat an elephant one bite at a time.”

So off to eat some elephant... and can’t imagine that anyone would even care about these details.