In retrospect, we shouldn’t have been running late to the evening service. And we probably shouldn’t have squeezed a family of five onto an already tight pew near the back of the church.
But the early summer day had been pure magic—mild, sunny, and a glorious playground for the afternoon. The girls had expressed reluctance to end their time of play and to prepare for the late worship hour. But mom and dad had insisted, and here we were.
Mid-way through the sermon, I’d had enough. With an official mom-look, I dared them to fidget in their seats—again. More than once, I placed a hand on a shoulder or touched my foot to theirs. Lord, if they would just be still and quiet.
A few minutes later, one daughter did get still and quiet—and nodded off, hitting her head on the back of the pew loud enough to make me give a little squeal. Answered prayer? Not sure.
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Blessings and joy,
Leigh Ann 🙂
Dandelions and lightening bugs.
Swinging on the front porch until dark.
Tackling an ice cream cone before it drips over your fingers.
I. Love. Summer.
And I love the beach. Some folks dislike the combination of heat, sand, and grittiness, but I’ve always thought it a magical place.
The seaside inspires me and makes me feel more alive. Continue reading
So, I’m sitting at lunch with a group of writers at a recent conference. We chat about our food, the weather, where we’re from, and our present work-in-progress.
The nice man to my right seems genuinely interested in sharing our work and we exchange a couple of minutes of conversation. Then, as he turns to respond to someone else, my gaze drops to his name tag.
How about that. He has the same name as… Continue reading
Have you ever been so overcome in corporate worship that you wanted to jump from your seat, raise your hands and do a little twirl in the aisle?
It was only the fear of being carted off by a watchful usher that kept you in your seat.
Maybe the power of God’s Word being read aloud swept through you—challenging, probing, and magnifying every thought and intent. Continue reading
We all have them—days we don’t feel like praising God. Maybe we’re exhausted and can’t even find the words to offer the feeblest prayer.
Maybe we’re convinced that God could never use us, because honestly…why would He?
The song, “Shout to the Lord” has led millions in worship to our Lord. But guess what? It wasn’t penned during a mountain-top experience. The words filled the heart of a young mother as she struggled to maintain peace in an upside-down life. Continue reading
The mountain-top experience…
For a few moments or days you’re transported above the everyday-ness of life to a place of worship, praise, and new perspective. Communion with God is over-the-top real and vibrant. You want to linger over His Word as His gentle whisper reaches to the corners of your heart. The weight of burdens and responsibilities ever-so-briefly fall away, giving freedom to lift tired hands in expressions of thanksgiving and praise. You have the longing to stay in these moments just a little bit longer…
This past week at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writer’s Conference was a glorious blur of like-hearted creative souls coming together to grow, learn, and share—with the ultimate purpose of fine-tuning our skills to glorify God through the written word. Friendships were formed and strengthened. Encouragement rained down from faculty, staff, and other attendees. To put it simply—it was fun.
Then came the time to say goodbye, with myriad promises to keep in touch and to hold each other accountable in the days ahead. We walked away from the mountain with fresh resolve—and perhaps, a bit of trepidation: Uh, Lord, I’m not sure about this…I felt so strong this week, but now I will be alone…
Slipping away to the beach for an early-morning walk, I feel light rain on my face. Should I turn back? Is this the beginning of a downpour?
I pause before taking a few more steps toward the shore. Seagulls soar overhead, while waves race each other to the sand. The rain picks up a little. Again, I wonder if I should turn back. Then…
…I notice a faint streak of color. At first soft and pale, the colors deepen into the brilliant spectrum of a rainbow. Overwhelmed, my heart squeezes and I begin to sing…How Great Is Our God…
But wait…I’m in a public place. I must look pretty strange, feet in the sand, singing to a rainbow. I glance around, self-conscious.
But the moment draws me back in, and with God’s help, I stay.
And I worship.
As I cherish these all-too-brief moments, I am reminded of a couple of things. First, our Creator God can do anything. He is in control. He is bigger and stronger than any circumstance in our lives.
And second, if I had turned back when things became a little unpleasant, I would have missed a unique opportunity to worship the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Oh Father, give me strength and courage…to be thankful for the rain.
How awesome is the Lord Most High, the great King over all the earth! Psalm 47:2