sticks and redbuds

Audio Post:


When Dad brought home the redbud “tree” (a gift from a friend) and planted it by the patio at the house on Markland, Mom told me she thought to herself, “there is no way that stick will grow into a redbud tree.” And I think about how often I look at the “sticks” God has gifted to me and wonder how His glory could ever be displayed through them, and then I am reminded that death brings life, and believing is seeing, and it is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord because He is faithful! It may have once looked like a lifeless stick, but now that lovely little tree, full of the glory of the Lord, is the first thing you see when you walk up to the house!

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make life beautiful


It’s a slogan one of my favorite interior designers, Shea McGee, uses to convey her heart for beautiful spaces. You can read her story here. I especially like this part: ‘Make Life Beautiful’ has been our mantra as we struggled to make lemonade from a lemon of a year.

Let’s talk about that.

How can I make life truly beautiful—even if all I seem to have is a handful of lemons?

Here is the list I wrote to remind myself today…

serve others

I am never more content than when I am endeavoring to make life beautiful for others. If I slow down long enough to look and listen with my heart, if I count it a privilege to serve my family and friends, strangers and even my enemies by meeting discerned needs, I am making life beautiful.

create good things

I am made in the image of the Creator; therefore, I am creative. I might not feel creative, but I am. I am creative when I add a vase of fresh flowers to my dining room table. I am creative when I organize my linen closet. I am creative when I make my bed and arrange the pillows a different way. I am creative when I take time to express myself in a letter. I am creative when I read a storybook aloud with my own inflection to my grandchildren. I am creative when I thoughtfully frame a picture before I snap it. I am creative when I carefully choose my words. I am always creating—either chaos or beauty. It is my choice to create good things and make life beautiful.

choose gratefulness

If my sister was writing this she would tell you about a book my mom gave her for Christmas one year that changed her life. Life-changing, you say? “I need that book.” I am happy to tell you that you probably already own one just like it because the “book” was a blank journal with a note inside that encouraged her to list things she is grateful for. If you have a blank journal or just a package of notebook paper, you can begin the journey to making life beautiful through a transformed attitude by seeing and appreciating how beautiful life already is. Here’s a little inspiration: Choosing Gratitude

be an encourager

Never underestimate the power of encouragement. In this outrageously negative, competitive age people need more than ever to be encouraged. They need safe people who are willing to speak truth into their lives. People who do not withhold praise for others because of their own insecurities but are willing to sincerely (without flattery) point out the beauty or potential for beauty they see in others’ lives are those who are making life beautiful through their own.

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a new leaf

Audio post:


My husband had to go to the beach yesterday to check on clients’ properties for storm damage, and I rode along with him. As we got to the top of the bridge that crosses the intercoastal waterway, I looked out past the port and glanced a patch of aqua that took my breath away. It was the ocean—more vibrant and pristine and beautiful than I ever remember—a gift left by the storm we all dreaded and cursed—even ran away from.

I have a few storms in my personal life, things I don’t understand, that I seem to keep running up against without finding a way through or around or over. It’s like God is trying to give me something new and precious and beautiful, but right now, all I can see and feel are the hurricane force winds that seem to be ever knocking me down.

And I find myself resisting, defending, running.

I keep looking at those piles of branches up and down my street, snapped off because they refused to yield, thrown aside and left in a heap to be carried away to wither and die.

So I choose to accept the storms that come because they ultimately come bearing the gift of new Life—clean and vibrant and beautiful—if I let them.

Dear brothers, is your life full of difficulties and temptations? Then be happy,  for when the way is rough, your patience has a chance to grow.  So let it grow, and don’t try to squirm out of your problems. For when your patience is finally in full bloom, then you will be ready for anything, strong in character, full and complete. James 1:2-4

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  • Mimi

     You really put your thoughts into words that the Lord has given you so beautifully, Debi.  They touched my ❤️.ReplyCancel

    • Debi

      Thank you for always encouraging me to stay the course He has written for me and for praying for me…that I might see treasures in dark places! Love you!

      “I will give you the treasures of darkness And hidden wealth of secret places, So that you may know that it is I, The LORD, the God of Israel, who calls you by your name.” Isaiah 45:3ReplyCancel

Faux Yo

I am always looking for quick and tasty breakfast ideas that will satiate my appetite and fit my current way of eating—high healthy fat, moderate protein, low carb—which has done wonders for lowering my triglycerides and liver enzymes. So today I tried a recipe shared by Kristie Honeycutt Sullivan that she calls Faux-gurt.

If you eat dairy and like the texture of yogurt but dislike the high carb count that often comes with it, you might be interested in trying it too. I suppose you could use light sour cream to cut the fat grams by almost half if you’re wigged out by the high-fat content. I used to think low-fat was a better choice until I realized low-fat foods are so often filled with sugary carbs, and it’s high-good-fat foods that, with little to no effort on my part, keep me from snacking between meals.

[perfectpullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=”17″]24g fat | 4g protein | 4g carbohydrates | 250 calories[/perfectpullquote]

Mix together 1/2 cup of full-fat sour cream with your choice of sweetener [I like 1 drop of sucralose or stevia to taste] and a few small blueberries (4 or 5) or other berries. And because I think everything needs a little vanilla, I also added a dash of that too. It doesn’t seem like much, but I’m pretty sure you will find it will carry you until lunch time.

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the truth about knowing god

Notes from my study of John Snyder’s Behold Your GodRethinking God Biblically 

How well do you know God?

Do you want to know Him more?

I do!

I used to think an intense study of His Word the ultimate key to knowing Him. Or that I would finally get to know him by signing up for one more Bible study offered at my church. Or if I attended church regularly and hung around more seasoned Christians and listened to the sermon carefully, I would surely know him better.

These are all important disciplines, but, honestly, these activities are not enough. They may help me know about God, but that is different than knowing Him.

Knowing Him requires revelation.

Revelation comes from God Himself

So who does God continually and progressively reveal Himself to, and do I qualify?

His Word tells me this:

He delights to reveal himself to 4 kinds of people

  1. Those who fear (or reverence) Him—those who believe His ways are perfect and purpose to make Him not only Savior but Lord of their lives—Psalm 25:14
  2. The pure in heart—those whose ultimate goal is one thing: to worship and serve Him (not self) by the way they live their lives—Matthew 5:8
  3. The childlike—those who know their great need for Him and are totally dependent on His promised grace to live their lives in fulfillment of that goal—Matthew 11:25-28a
  4. The obedient—those who, in faith, obey what He has shown them to do, even when the enemy of their soul says, “really?” (Genesis 3:1)—John 14:21

I ask myself, Self, are you satisfied with the revelation of God that you have right now? 

Is He able to reveal Himself to you in the ways He longs to?

Is your heart seeking to know Him, or are you seeking Him to advance your own agenda?

In other words, are you seeking Him as a means to be “relieved of your emptiness” or loneliness or to “fix your family” or to give you the house you’ve always wanted or to put notches in your good works belt or even to “find your significance or purpose in Him”?

Or are you willing to forget self completely in your pursuit to know Him and make Him known? 

When I answer honestly, I confess there is a lot of “me” blocking the way of seeing and knowing Him as I long to. I, being lured by the promises of the World and not His own, have begun to grow cataracts over my spiritual eyes.

So I ask God to make me more like those He delights to reveal Himself to.

And, because I’ve admitted my need and taken Him at His Word when He says He DELIGHTS to reveal Himself not to perfect people but to those whose heart is blameless towards Him (2 Chronicles 16:9), I believe His promise to me that He will do it (1 Thessalonians 5:24).

and now I have to let Him…

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