Wednesday, March 27, 2013

beheld in a different Light: beauty in rage

There is beauty everywhere, but so often we look through the eyes of the world, and we simply miss it...or maybe dismiss this beauty because it does not seem to hold up to the standards that our society has created.  But what if we take the words of Romans 12: 1-2 seriously and we get serious about not conforming to the patterns of this world, but instead, we let our minds be transformed by the Spirit.  What if we allow God to bend and mold us, what if we allow Him to touch our eyes so that we might see again in new light, what if we prepare our hearts to be astounded by what He has created?  What if we become astounded by ourselves, not with a sense of selfish pride, but with heartbeats of gratitude?  What if we let God's Word lavish our souls with wonder and amazement?  What if we believe Him when He tells us that we are beautiful and that we are His?
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:: do not go gentle into that good night
rage, rage against the dying of the light. 

the first time i heard this poem, i was in the darkest night of the soul. i was Gideon at the bottom of the winepress, hiding from my enemies in a way that surrounded me with stone and, oh, there was fear there. 

i didn't know where i was. or maybe i did, and i didn't know how to understand this place, because i hadn't been taught by those around me how to stand strong in what i knew versus what was expected. 

i wanted more. but fear had its hand tight over my mouth, its mouth against my ear. and the words it spoke were smoke, floating into my mind and gripping so tight that i could barely breathe. i was drowning in my own self-loathing.

and i pulled deep within my soul, attempting to slam the door behind me, to shut out the pain and the darkness that pounded

give up
give in
won't you just give up?

and then the Lion put His paw in the door. and we wrestled.

and i fought Him hard, tooth and nail, and begged
Jesus, please, when does it stop? 
can't i just give up?

and He roared a battlecry that still echoes in my mind, the long exhale of a warrior with sword drawn and teeth bared.

you are Mine. 
and I do not give up on what is Mine.

and the King of the Universe caught me by the chin and lifted my head from the floor. the eyes of the broken met those of the Broken. and i saw myself in His gaze, and i realized. light begets light, glory begets glory, and sacredness gives birth to Life.

and that was the day i was raised to the front lines, a lioness with feathers in my hair and washed white in the Blood of my Jesus.

:: rage, oh rage, against the dying of the Light. 

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Rachel is a writer, a lover, a daughter of Aslan, a dreamer. three years a wife and brand-new momma, pursuing the sacred day by day, abandoning capital letters and embracing the Light. you can find her heart at dramaticelegance 

Monday, March 25, 2013

More than a silver disk and the Soli Deo Gloria Party

Welcome to the Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood weekly party!  To find out ways that you can be involved in the Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood, please click here.
If you are planning to link up, would you kindly visit the person that arrived before you?  You never know what surprises you await in this community!  Prepare to be encouraged and loved.
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It's a simple, shiny, stainless steel disk.

But it is also so much more.

I run my fingers over the engraving...Soli Deo Gloria, Latin for Glory to God alone.  I've had a problem with pride.  I've had issues (and still do, at times) with asking for the world's applause.  I've wanted glory and fame and recognition simply because I thought these things would bring me wholeness.  I thought that if I did big things in the name of Jesus, I would have the best of both worlds
--the approval and acclamation of God and Man.

I've found that it doesn't really work, to do something in the name of Jesus for myself.  I get all tripped up and spun around and I end up feeling burdened and broken and afraid to mess up.  Because when you are doing things for Him (but really for you) without Him, things have a way of getting out of control.

When I started this group in November of 2010 (can you believe it has been this long?), I asked God to make it different than anything else that I had ever done before. I asked Him: Could be for You alone and for Your daughters?  I asked Him: Could this group not have the same strings that I have attached to everything else in my life?  Could it not be linked to my need for approval, for recognition, for praise?  I asked Him:  Could this not be for my glory, but for Yours alone?

Before I write these posts, before I get up to speak in front of His daughters, before I post on our Facebook page, my hands finger the shiny silver disk.  I ask myself:  Am I doing this for me or am I doing this for Him?  And when my hands hit the keyboard and I get a sinking feeling in my stomach, I know that it's time to step away because the words that will pour forth will simply come out of my own strength.

And I want better for you.  I want better for me.

I want Jesus' words for you.  I want Jesus' words for me.

It's a shiny, silver disk, but it's so much more. It's a reminder for whom I write, a reminder of whom I speak, a reminder for whom I live:  for God and His glory.

It doesn't matter if you write, speak, run, parent, create, clean, organize, manage, develop, assist, nurse, secure -- whatever you do, God wants you to do it for Him.  And it's not because He's selfish or arrogant.

No, I think it's because He wants to help us avoid the trappings of this world and all the hurt and pain they can cause.  He wants us to stop striving for all those glitzy, tangible, and temporal things this world has to offer.  He doesn't want us to crumple when the applause is silent.  He doesn't want us to think our worth in contingent on what we can do and how well we can do it.

He does it because when we focus on Him and do the things He has called us to do, we have our eyes and our hearts fixed on Him.  We are in love with a Savior through whom we can do all things.  We are free from striving, free from unnecessary heavy burdens, we are free to lift our hands and spin around, unhindered by the world's view of us.

When we live for God's glory alone, we are free.

It's a simple, shiny, stainless steel disk.  Ah, but it's so much more.

Would you like to win one of these shiny reminders?  Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.  Would you like to order one?   You can place your order by emailing Jen at jenfergie2000 @ me. com. I will send you directions for remitting payment.  If you are local to me (Austin, TX), the cost is $15.  If you will need me to package and mail it to you, the price is $20.  (All profits will go to scholarships for the 2013 SDG Retreat.)


a Rafflecopter giveaway ********************************** 
Are you new here? Welcome! We'd love to shower you with some love and encouragement, so if this is your first time linking up, will you put "I'm New!" as your caption under your linky picture? Want more info on what this sisterhood is all about? Read our new, revamped page by clicking here. 
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Want to show a sister some love? Tweet her post using the Twitter handle #sdgsisters. Make sure you check the # later for some great posts to read! 
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Saturday, March 23, 2013

Game on...


Linking with Sandra and Deidra this weekend.  Join us for some stillness?

Friday, March 22, 2013

5 Minute Friday: Remember

photo by Carol Harper
Remember...

When you begin to doubt, remember.

Remember the times that He has carried you through.  Remember the times He has provided.  Remember the times that were all alone, and yet you were not, because He was there.

The Israelites spend much time remembering.  And why?  Because it was easy for them to see their current plight and drown in their sorrows, in their worry, in their lack.

But when they remembered, they were stirred.
When they remembered, they found hope.
When they remembered, they heard the voice of God.

When you begin to doubt, remember.

You see, the future is hazy.  There are so many unknowns, potential problems and pitfalls.  In the future, there is anxiety in what is to come.  But perhaps when we hold the past in the present, we remember we aren't marching forward alone.  No.

Rather we have a big God who has done big things.  We have a God who calls us close, who whispers our names, who says that He will fight for us.

When you begin to doubt, remember.

Remember His promises.  His covenants.  Remember His forgiveness that flows freely because it was bought with a price.

Remember, without a doubt, His undying love for you.  Just close your eyes and remember.

Search for the Lord and for his strength;
    continually seek him.
 Remember the wonders he has performed,
    his miracles, and the rulings he has given,
 you children of his servant Israel,
    you descendants of Jacob, his chosen ones.
1 Chronicles 16: 11-13, NLT

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I'm hanging out with Lisa-Jo this morning.  Want in?  Here's the deal:

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..




A note from Jen:

Pssst...I'm also at The Whatever Girls today finishing up #6-11 of 11 Things Your Daughter Should Know about You.  If you want to read, please click here for today's installment.  Missed the #s 1-5?  Just click here.



Wednesday, March 20, 2013

beheld in a different Light: Hello, Beautiful!

There is beauty everywhere, but so often we look through the eyes of the world, and we simply miss it...or maybe dismiss this beauty because it does not seem to hold up to the standards that our society has created.  But what if we take the words of Romans 12: 1-2 seriously and we get serious about not conforming to the patterns of this world, but instead, we let our minds be transformed by the Spirit.  What if we allow God to bend and mold us, what if we allow Him to touch our eyes so that we might see again in new light, what if we prepare our hearts to be astounded by what He has created?  What if we become astounded by ourselves, not with a sense of selfish pride, but with heartbeats of gratitude?  What if we let God's Word lavish our souls with wonder and amazement?  What if we believe Him when He tells us that we are beautiful and that we are His?
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I’m not sure when it happened, or how exactly, but I can look in the mirror and see me and I’m okay with what I see.

I haven’t achieved my ideal weight, my nose is still too big, my complexion uneven, my figure squatty, but I see myself and I remember what they said:

“You look beautiful!”
“I can’t believe how pretty you looked—even in ICU.”
“You sort of glowed, even as you lay there with tubes down your throat and your arms in restraints – you were pretty.”

My soul began to believe them.

Though I am a wear-makeup-every-day girl I had had dozens of visitors over the past several days and I hadn’t looked in a mirror.

They were happy to see me – alive – and that was enough to make me feel gorgeous.

We had been in a serious car accident. Miraculously, my children sustained only minor injuries and my husband had a broken ankle. I, on the other hand, left the accident by helicopter suffering multiple fractures in my left leg and a slew of internal injuries that filled my chest cavity with blood. My stomach had ended up where my left lung should have been. My lung sat up near my shoulder like a crumpled wad of Kleenex.

So, the real reason I hadn’t seen my reflection was because I was bound to a bed, recovering. It didn’t take my caregivers long, however, to get me moving. Despite the two dozen staples holding me together from sternum to belly button, I was given a walker and taught how to hop on my one good leg with the walker’s support. Excruciating pain ricocheted through me as I raised myself upright and the blood rushed into my limbs. Could I really hop?

Each day, each visit from my physical therapist, brought me a little further from my bed. Yes. I would walk again. Yes, I had to move, had to keep moving a bit more each day. I was saved but now must do the hard work of recovery.

The day came when I could hop the three feet from my bed to the vanity area of my room in the trauma ward. I could brush my teeth, wash my hands and face with warm, running water and not just a washcloth. I could see my reflection in the mirror.

With the audience of my therapy team and my nurse cheering me on, I took a deep breath and began. I had to stop twice and gather my strength, but I made it to the vanity and without looking up, turned on the water.

I ran my hands under the warm, clear flow, filled open palms and splashed my face. I rubbed my cheeks and eyelids and simply felt the water. I dreamed a bit about the day I could shower again. I blotted my rejuvenated skin with a towel and looked at my reflection.

There I was.

Smiling.

And I agreed with everyone. I looked great. I looked alive. I was upright and breathing and grinning at myself.

And my heart said, “Hello there. It’s good to see you. I’m happy you’re here.”

And from that moment on, I can look in the mirror and see me and I can accept my features, my lumpy tummy and my scars. And I don’t criticize. I give myself the grace I’d give anyone else who has birthed four children, lived over forty years, survived multiple trauma injuries and months of pain and restricted mobility.
I give myself lots of grace.

And I still wear makeup and do my hair. I exercise and I’m working hard to even out the landscape of my torso. But I do it all in grace. I move in gratitude that I have a life to live, a smile to share, legs that move me and walk strong again.

Somehow, nearly dying taught me how to be happy to see myself. To be myself. And to reflect the beauty I’ve found in a life twice saved and eternally redeemed.

And I can, and sometimes do, laugh with the girl in the mirror with the crazy, morning hair and we say, “Hello there, beautiful. It’s good to see you.”

******************
Alyssa loves Jesus, her family, freedom, flowers, words, coffee, Ethiopia, and the scent of freshly turned earth in Spring.  To read more of Alyssa's stories and writings, please visit her at Rocks.Roots.Wings.

Linking today with Emily for Imperfect Prose.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

11 Things Your Daughter Should (at some point) Know About You


Looking for the Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood Party?  Just scroll down one more post.
stock photo
We were sitting around the kitchen table and my oldest daughter, who is 8, started talking about a boy named Anthony. 

Apparently, he likes her.

Apparently, she likes him back. 

I was curious to know what this meant in an 8 year-old’s mind and so I started with something I thought was harmless.

“Do you hold his hand?”

“Ewww, Mom!  No!”

Fabulous.

Somehow, the conversation steered toward her father and myself.  And somehow we got onto the subject of kissing.  And somehow I opened my way too big of a mouth and said, “Yes, I kissed a few boys before I met your father.”

[Insert very shocked 8 year-old look.]

And then somehow, my husband let it slip that we kissed on the first date.

I do not want my daughter kissing on the first date.

I'm writing at The Whatever Girls today.  Will you click here to find the first installment of this post?  We'll tackle the first 5 things that your daughter (at some point) should know about you.

(Comments closed here.  Will you leave me a line at The Whatever Girls?)

Monday, March 18, 2013

When You Toss the Master Plan the Soli Deo Gloria Party

Welcome to the Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood weekly party!  To find out ways that you can be involved in the Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood, please click here.
If you are planning to link up, would you kindly visit the person that arrived before you?  You never know what surprises you await in this community!  Prepare to be encouraged and loved.
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stock photo
The last week has been *stressful* to say the least.  I'm not going to get into all the extraneous details, but the deal is that by the time you are reading this, I will have attended the funeral for Craig's grandmother.  

Since my own Grannie's passing, I have managed to avoid funerals for almost three years, save one.  Not because people haven't died, but because I have been unable to get to the place where I can handle it.

I have serious reservations about being able to handle this one.  For one, it's an open casket.  Much to my chagrin, my grandmother's was open casket for the wake and the funeral and I had two children that were 5 and 4 at the time.

This  made for very interesting conversation, to say the least. In fact, Hannah's (who was 4) last words at the funeral as she was wheeled away were:

"Is Grannie going to be okay in that box?"

Fun times, people.  Fun times.

Anyway, I've been all up in internal anxiety about attending this funeral today.  I'M worried about my husband and his grieving process.  I'M worried about my children's reaction to yet another open casket.  I'M worried about how my children might react to Craig's tears (and possible wailing).  I asked him tonight (it's Friday) if he wanted me to go into the room with him during the wake, clearly wanting to be there for him in whatever capacity he needed, but internally begging him to say that my services wouldn't be needed after all.

I wanted clear expectations so that I could perform accordingly, and yet, he just said, "I'm not there yet.  I don't know."

And I totally get that.  Because I have been there.  Sometimes you just don't know.  Sometimes you just can't plan.  And all the time, you just have to trust God.

I've decided that I'm just going to get over myself.  I'm not going to let myself get weighed down with my anxieties and "what ifs."  I'm going to take it as it comes, function as I can, and lean on God a whole lot.

Because He knows that I'm going to need Him.  He knows that grief and death stink.  And He knows my children better than I do.  Who knows what will happen?  

But God will be in charge.  And I'd rather get over myself and quit worrying than try to master plan everything.  Because He is the Master and He has a plan.  So I guess you could say that I do, actually, have a Master Plan.  It's called God.

This is not just relevant to open casket funerals.  It's relevant to every single situation we even think about worrying about.  If we only go by what we think we can handle, we limit ourselves in very real ways.

So who can throw out their master plan with me and instead seek The Master Planner?

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Are you new here? Welcome! We'd love to shower you with some love and encouragement, so if this is your first time linking up, will you put "I'm New!" as your caption under your linky picture? Want more info on what this sisterhood is all about? Read our new, revamped page by clicking here. 
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Want to show a sister some love? Tweet her post using the Twitter handle #sdgsisters. Make sure you check the # later for some great posts to read! 
 ********************************** 


Saturday, March 16, 2013

Teabag wisdom, part 2

How many times do I profess to understand,
but not really.
Because I say I understand,
but there is the fiery need for me to be understood.
Which in the moment,
limits my ability to truly show compassion,
to really listen,
to really put aside myself,
my opinion,
my needs,
my wanting to be heard
at the same decibel.
What if I tried compassion first,
love first,
empathy first?

What if we all did?

Linking with Sandra and Deidra this weekend.  Join us for some stillness?

Friday, March 15, 2013

5 Minute Friday: Rest

I'm learning to let go.
And in the letting go, there is rest.
There is rest from the pressure of "have-to" and "you-shoulds."
There is rest from the burdens that I was never meant to carry.
There is rest from the arbitrary deadlines, and the real ones, too,
simply because I am not everything.
I am not all things.
I am not everywhere
or all-knowing.

But I know a God who is.

And I'm learning to let all of my stuff go,
float away into His Hands.
His Hands, the ones so big
that my problems and burdens and deadlines
don't look so looming anymore.

With rest comes new perspective,
an energy that awakens when the overwhelm
subsides.
When the chains fall at my feet,
when I choose prayer and faith in God
instead of myself.

My friend, Kendal, once wrote in a poem:
"faith and prayer have a sister and her name is
REST."

And I have not forgotten that.

It takes faith that to lay it all down, that someone will
pick it back up and it doesn't always have to be me.
It takes prayer to know that I am more than what I do
or what I say
or what I write
to choose REST over work.
Yes, faith and prayer have a sister, but sadly,
I've neglected her over a large swath of my life.

But it's time to welcome her home.

Come home, Rest, and enter in.

********
I'm hanging out with Lisa-Jo this morning.  Want in?  Here's the deal:

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..


A note from Jen:
Wanna take a dive into sisterhood?  Walk with us each week?  Or maybe even each day?  Find out more info on the Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood by clicking here.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

beheld in a different Light: Tame the Critic


There is beauty everywhere, but so often we look through the eyes of the world, and we simply miss it...or maybe dismiss this beauty because it does not seem to hold up to the standards that our society has created.  But what if we take the words of Romans 12: 1-2 seriously and we get serious about not conforming to the patterns of this world, but instead, we let our minds be transformed by the Spirit.  What if we allow God to bend and mold us, what if we allow Him to touch our eyes so that we might see again in new light, what if we prepare our hearts to be astounded by what He has created?  What if we become astounded by ourselves, not with a sense of selfish pride, but with heartbeats of gratitude?  What if we let God's Word lavish our souls with wonder and amazement?  What if we believe Him when He tells us that we are beautiful and that we are His?
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Recently my husband and I were flipping channels during one of our rare evenings of quiet. Kevin stopped on “The Newlywed Game,” right around the time the host asked the question “When was your wife at her most beautiful?” 

If you’re not familiar with this particular game show (and I can’t believe I am admitting I am familiar with this particular game show!), the basic premise is while one spouse is sequestered, the other answers the question. Then the sequestered spouse comes back out and tries to answer the question the same way their beloved did, in an effort to score the most points and see which couple is the most in sync.

My husband asked me how I would  answer the question “When was I at my most beautiful?”  I think I shocked him when I told him I would say right now. He agreed (smart man!), but was surprised given how much I have struggled with my self-esteem, in particular with my appearance, over the years.

I haven’t always thought I am beautiful. And the truth is, when I look in the mirror most days I still have a hard time defining myself as such. Like most women, I am my harshest critic.

But I am learning that rather than assess myself and my appearance by what I see, to do so through the lenses of the One who created me.

Several years ago I struggled with obsessive dieting and overeating. My whole life was arranged around what I could or couldn’t eat, how much I would eat, and when.  I wanted desperately to weigh a specific number, and until I reached it, I felt defeated. And ugly.

In all honesty, I still have my moments.  It’s hard not to compare yourself against the standards our culture has set up for us. But one day during the worst of that season, I started studying Psalm 139. As I read verses 13-16, I allowed the truth of what they spoke sink in.

God ‘s creation is worthy of praise.

God’s creation is fearfully and wonderfully made.

God delights in His creation and has a plan for it.

And I am God’s creation.

He delights in me. He took the time to create me with great care and attention to detail because He wanted to.  He has a plan for me.

And He thinks I am beautiful.

As those truths have settled into my heart, I’ve begun to stop measuring my beauty by the colour of my eyes or hair, by the softness of my skin, by the number on the scale, and instead have begun to measure my beauty by how God sees me and the plans He has worked out so far in my life.

The passion He gives me for preschoolers.

The birth and raising of each of our four kids.

The relationships in my life – my marriage, my family, my friendships.

Each day of my 37 years has been written and recorded, even before I lived one single moment of them. The story of each of these days has shaped me and formed me into the woman I am today. It shows up in the laugh lines around my eyes and the worry lines around my mouth, in the stretch marks on my belly, in the aging of my hands, even the pop and protest of my bad knee.

I am beautiful because I am His beloved daughter.

And you know what?

So are you.

For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well. Psalm 139-13-14, NIV


Ladies, let's end this post with some encouragement in the comments.  When you look in the mirror or into your life, instead of seeing the flaws, let's look for beauty.  What do you see that God did?


Andrea is a sleep-deprived wife and mom of four with a passion for Jesus. She has been a working mom, a work-at-home mom, and, more recently, a stay-at-home-mom to two girls and two boys: one teenager, two tweens, and a surprise baby.  Even still, she has yet to figure this mom thing out. Andrea is passionate about community, living authentically, and choosing joy. When she’s not running kids to sports practices, piano practices, and keeping the baby out of the dog’s food, she writes about her journey with Jesus with in an effort to encourage other moms trying to survive. Or at least get through the day on minimal amounts of coffee. (FYI: She also loves coffee.) You can connect with her at her blog Under Grace & Over Coffee.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Because Sisters Share and the Soli Deo Gloria Party

Welcome to the Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood weekly party!  To find out ways that you can be involved in the Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood, please click here.
If you are planning to link up, would you kindly visit the person that arrived before you?  You never know what surprises you await in this community!  Prepare to be encouraged and loved.
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Today, I'd like to introduce you to Elizabeth.  She's a fellow SDG sister and she is wise with words and beautiful with art.  Y'all know how I love to support my sweet sisters and I'd like us all to support Elizabeth today...
A few years ago, when I finally redecorated our master bedroom, my vision centered around clean whites and creams contrasted with rich dark wood. The fact that our walls were already off-white -- and that I had found an awesome vintage four-poster mahogany bed -- just served to reinforce my visualization. Everything came together organically. We found practically matching dressers on Craigslist, a little mahogany writing desk at an estate sale, a cream-upholstered chair at a consignment shop, an off-white matelasse bedspread at a discount chain. My husband put up new thick crown molding and baseboard painted bright white to contrast with the light-cream walls and installed cherry-red wood flooring. I had a special pair of antique, hand-colored bird prints my sister gave me professionally framed. 

 My retreat in white was complete. 


The other day I was so tired by the time my almost-three-year-old son went down for his nap, I ached to lie down too. But, I knew I had less than two hours to do laundry, tidy the house, do dishes, catch up on email, prep dinner, and possibly write a blog post or network on FB or Twitter, or read one of a myriad different blogs I’d fallen behind on. So, I bounced from computer to kitchen sink to family room, too tired to do anything properly, and I heard His call for rest. 

All I could see was white, and I knew to head for the most restful room in the house. How fine it was to ease my dry bones down into colorless comfort. To cease striving. To wait for hope to be breathed back into my parched limbs and purpose infused into my soul. I think I only closed my eyes for about 20 delicious minutes, but I came up out of whiteness, refreshed. 

When I read the Isaiah passage (6: 1-8) for my daily Bible study two days later, I was struck by Isaiah’s reaction to the Lord in the vision the scripture described. Isaiah thought only of how sinful and unclean he was, how unworthy, to be commissioned by God. Once he was purified of sin, Isaiah turned abruptly from fearfully uncertain to joyfully willing, saying: “Here am I. Send me!” 

And, I knew in my heart, that in all my striving, I often forgot the most breathtaking truth: Confession and forgiveness heal, purify; ready us for God’s great commission in our lives. 

I knew I carried far too often the dark weight of guilt in my own imperfection and disappointment over my many sins when it could all be bleached to purest snow. Yes, I was the dark wood, a body darkened by years of sin-accumulation, but I could lie in a bed of pristine forgiveness whenever I chose. 

*** 

What a relief it still is at night to come into our master bedroom. I always feel blessed with that clean, creamy expanse of wall, that exquisite snowy white trim, that neatly folded comforter over the high dark sides of the bed. To climb up into whiteness, to lie down in it and be still and silent, the body settling into itself after a day of continual motion; the mind turning pleasantly hazy – well, it’s like being washed clean. 

Do you seen this beauty below?  Enter to win using the Rafflecopter widget below.  If you don't win, read Elizabeth's bio to find out how you can save 20% off your order.etsy print 1 5x7

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Elizabeth grew up roaming her family's 220-acre farm and lives today in the suburbs with her three littles (10,8, and 3), her husband, and their ditsy but lovable English Springer Spaniel. She's a food freak, lover of all things DIY, and a reformed perfectionist She also has a habit of training for and running a half-marathon in the spring and then eating chocolate the rest of the year and avoiding exercise. A professional writer who’s worked in higher education and health care for the past 15 years, Elizabeth gave up her paying clients in September to work for a new boss. {She's says He's divine.}

You can find her writing about faith, family, and nature at www.seasonswithsoul.com and follow her on Twitter or Facebook. Elizabeth's recently launched Etsy shop, Seasons with Soul, features original photography, paired with typography and inspirational scriptures. She also takes orders for custom pieces, tailored with your preference of image and typography. She's offering a 20% discount code for Soli Deo Gloria sisters who decide to place an order. (Simply use code grandopening at checkout.)
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Are you new here? Welcome! We'd love to shower you with some love and encouragement, so if this is your first time linking up, will you put "I'm New!" as your caption under your linky picture? Want more info on what this sisterhood is all about? Read our new, revamped page by clicking here. 
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Want to show a sister some love? Tweet her post using the Twitter handle #sdgsisters. Make sure you check the # later for some great posts to read! 
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(linking up with Laura, for playdates, and Jen for Unite!)