All posts filed under: Inspirational

Tell Me A Story: Finding the True Spirit of Christmas

I’ve invited a few of my friends to join me over at my new blog address to share Christmas memories. Stop by http://www.ingridsjourney.com to read a poignant story from my new “cyber-friend” Melissa. An out-of-the-ordinary Christmas became a bright spot in her childhood, and Melissa shares her thoughts on the true meaning of Christmas. When you stop by, please sign up to follow at the new address, and enjoy our new “home” on the Web.

Tell Me A Story: The Beauty of Midnight Celebrations

We have entered the most holy of seasons, a time of anticipation, celebration and recognition of Christ, the promised Messiah. Events and images of past Nativity seasons are stamped in my memory, like pictures on a Christmas card. Perhaps it is the same for you. A few friends will join me to share favorite Christmas memories over the next several weeks. They will be featured here on Mondays and Fridays, kind of like bookends to the busyness of the Christmas season. Their stories and mine are my Christmas gift to you. I know you will enjoy them, and I hope you will share some of your own stories with family and friends. The first sweet memory that comes to mind for me is wrapped in sensory cues that carry me back to Christmas eve in a little Catholic church in my hometown. Celebrating mass at midnight was as much a part of my childhood Christmases as candy canes, presents and trips to my grandparents’ house in Chicago. I loved the excitement of being awake so …

At Ruby for Women: ‘God Made a Farm Wife’

I’m sharing my recent post “God Made a Farm Wife” today in the Ruby Blog at Ruby for Women. This great little website attempts to be “a voice for every Christian woman”, and I’d say they come pretty close. Ruby for Women is an online Christian women’s magazine, published quarterly, which features inspirational articles, devotionals, stories, poems, parenting and family life articles, book reviews, crafts, recipes, and so much more. Please hop on over to see the latest posts at http://rubyforwomen.com/blog/ or click on the button above.  

Who Wins? Dignity, Joy or Grace?

Two events broke my heart over the weekend. On Saturday, as promised, 29-year-old Brittany Maynard ended her life before the cancer that was taking over her body could end it for her. And on Sunday, in front of a sold-out crowd of 10,000, college freshman Lauren Hill thumbed her nose at cancer to make two baskets in her first and last college basketball game. Both women faced a future they did not choose. Both have terminal brain cancer, a disease that wracks their bodies with pain and makes it difficult to even get up in the morning. It’s easy for me to see the heroism of Lauren’s choice. Sunday was her one and only game of college basketball. With just weeks to live, she fought to make it to that opening game (which was moved up two weeks so that she could play). In her remaining weeks, she plans to use the time she has left to raise awareness and fund research for childhood cancer with her campaign Layup 4 Lauren. To many, Brittany’s choice …

‘God Still Speaks to Us Today’: Write for 31 Days

 My “God-Spot” for Day 30 of Writing for 31 Days is my dear friend Betsy Tacchella. Betsy and I are of the same generation and sisters in Christ. She is a wonderful speaker, mentor, author and an inspiration to so many. She recently published her second book, “Speak to Me, Lord, I’m Listening.” It is a wonderful collection of biblical examples of God speaking a rhema word as well as Betsy’s stories of hearing God’s voice in her own life. Here, she answers my questions and shares an excerpt from her book. To read more posts from my 31 days of blogging, click on the button above. 1. What is your desire in writing this book? My desire in writing “Speak to Me, Lord, I’m Listening,” is to raise the reader’s awareness that God still speaks to us today just as He did throughout the Bible. Through more than fifty stories, you will recognize that you, too, have heard God’s voice of encouragement, comfort and direction. Have you ever had a Bible verse seem to pop off the …

To Have and To Hold, a Heart Surrendered: Write for 31 Days

Weddings are my favorite family celebration. Nothing is more beautiful than a woman prepared to wed the man who has captured her heart. And her man looks his most manly as he watches the woman of his dreams walk down the aisle. We were blessed to celebrate three weddings over the past several months and each of them was perfect in their own way. Those weddings come to mind as I consider these words from author and Bible teacher Beth Moore in her book “Children of the Day”: “Who would you be if you loved Jesus with your whole heart, soul, mind, and strength? That’s what you’re meant to look like.” Something to ponder — what would I look like if I loved my Lord in the same way I love my husband? If I gave God every part of me, surrendered and committed myself to Him with a devotion that says “take me, I’m yours; I’ll go where you lead”. How would that look on me? I think I would be beautiful — as …

When Family Trumps Blogging: Writing for 31 Days

The “God-Spot” for Day 15 just didn’t happen. Not that I didn’t see God in my day. He was all over it –at my coffee date with a dear friend, in the conversations with fellow ministry workers, in my Beth Moore Bible study. But the blog post I had started for Day 15 wasn’t at the top of my list by the end of the day. Family needs were. So, I shut down all electronic devices but my phone. I needed to focus on relationship without distraction. It turns out, the blog post I had planned and begun to write showed up in my real world. Now that’s a “God-Spot”. Praying Circles Around My Children There were those nights I slipped into my son’s room, knelt by his bed and prayed, my urgent whispers begging God to take up residence in his heart, in his mind. To turn him back to us. And there have been mornings I rose early, turned on just the one light by my chair and pulled my Bible into my …

Write the Vision Because Words Matter: Writing for 31 Days

It’s raining in the valley today and I’m having a “connectivity problem” on the internet. Our early morning fog has lingered, transforming the landscape into a misty canvas for the rain-soaked trees visible in the foreground. The view reflects the landscape of my heart: “Save me, God, for the water has risen to my neck. I have sunk in deep mud and there is no footing. I have come into deep waters, and a flood sweeps over me…….” (Psalm 69 HCSB) There’s a connectivity problem threatening my soul today. I feel mired in “deep mud” and the heart is humbled. Treading this inevitable path from my mountaintop weekend into the valley to do real life with real people, I have an urge to disconnect, to protect, to shield this sodden heart. “I have come into deep waters, and a flood sweeps over me….” My flesh desires only to connect with what is safe, with what I can see and know is trustworthy. I want to sit in my Father’s lap today and lick imaginary wounds, …

Because It’s Not All About Me: Writing for 31 Days

I’m writing for 31 days about all the ways I see God showing up in my day-to-day life. Today’s “God-Spot” was an easy one. To read other posts from this month of October, go to 31 Days.   A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about Baby Boomers leaving the church. A month before that, I responded to a couple of essays about why Millennials are turning away from church and from God.  Thoughts from both of those conversations came flooding back to me on Sunday morning as my husband and I sat in our usual pew near the front of the sanctuary, right behind the sweet little octogenarian who chooses the contemporary service because she likes the music. Filling the pulpit in the absence of our interim pastor (temporarily called away to lead a retreat) was a young woman raised in our church who is currently leading the youth. This has been a season of change for our congregation of 350, with both our lead pastor and youth pastor choosing to step away …

Quotable from Oswald Chambers: Writing for 31 Days

I catch them everywhere — words that ring true, that pierce my soul, that give me pause. Do you? Sometimes the words come over a cup of coffee with a good friend. She says something profound and true and I want to capture her phrasing, the deep meaning found there. Turn it over in my mind, “worry” over it with fingers as with a smooth stone. Other times, the words come through Scripture (often times) or in a book that’s captured and held my attention. Or maybe in a song that stays with me for hours. After a time of sharing my morning quiet in various devotionals, I returned recently to my favorite — Oswald Chambers. Here’s today’s “God-Spot” — a quotable as only dear Oswald could say it: “Is it not penetrating to realize that God knows where we live, and the kennels we crawl into! He will hunt us up like a lightning flash. No human being knows human beings as God does.” Selah.