Thursday, February 5, 2015

Truly Hearing

"I love The Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live." Psalm 116:1-2.
This is so very true. Because He loved me first, because he turned his ear toward me and HEARD me, I call on him. I can call on him, I can and do trust him. I feel heard. I feel safe. And I will continue to call on him!
As one who has been unheard when I needed to be heard, I understand the pain that accompanies another person's unwillingness to hear. I have been truly listened to, as well at crucial times when I needed a voice. It is one of the most fundamental and yet life changing experiences we can offer another human being, to truly listen to them without judgment and without immediately preparing our defense (or offense, or excuse!). To listen to them, to show them that you hear them and recognize them as a valued individual with their own, unique voice is a beautiful thing. And you know what? It builds up relationships. Because if a person isn't heard and isn't heard over and over, the trust they have is corroded and eventually withers completely.
Are we listening? Are we loving others as we want to be loved through giving them this fundamental sign of respect for them? This is my challenge to myself and to you, today!

Friday, October 3, 2014


This morning I decided I would read a few verses from Ephesians chapter 5 and ponder over them.  Verse one struck me and got me to thinking more deeply about it than I may have ever before: Therefore be imitators of God as dear children.  (Eph. 5:1)
Relatively well known verse amongst Christians, I'm guessing, and seemingly simple, right? Maybe it is just me. But this verse seemed to open up to me in an entirely new light today.  Here are some of my thoughts I was able to grasp along the way...... The use of the word "imitator." According to Merriam-Webster dictionary online, there are six "sub-definitions" if you will of this word. The last two seemed to make the most sense, however, when seen through the lenses of scripture and of what I immediately began thinking as I read verse one today. The definitions of which I make reference are: the quality of an object in possessing some of the nature or attributes of a transcendent idea; the assumption of behavior assumed in other individuals. 

First off, is it just me or has anyone else ever wondered why the word "imitators" is used in this verse of scripture?  I mean in light of the fact that God gave us freedom of choice ("free will") and in light of the (seeming) fact that we are really not typically encouraged to just imitate behavior but to be genuine, it seems odd. Are we really supposed to just be "copycats"? Naturally I took this verse at face value and knew that it meant I was supposed to attempt to always mold my character after God. However, the word "imitators" still nagged lightly at the back of my mind. At least, until I started thinking about it today. I began to think about my little son. He is a young toddler, so he has begun to imitate things my husband and I say or do with greater frequency and even accuracy than he did as little as a month or two ago. Words, facial expressions, emotional reactions (excitement or frustration!) and physical gestures all are subjected to what he observes in us. He is an imitator of us as (our) dear child. WOW. Does anyone else get a little shiver when they think about this? 

So today, I thought about how we as children of God are encouraged to assume "the quality of an object in possessing some of the nature or attributes of a transcendent idea," or as I understand it in this case, our Heavenly Father. We are to possess some of his nature and his attributes. Makes sense, right? That was pretty much how I always viewed this verse. The difference is today, I also thought about the second definition in light of being a parent and seeing it in "real life," a wonderful analogy right before my eyes, "the assumption of behavior played out by other individuals." I am to imitate God just like my son imitates me. At first, I started with a clean slate. I was an open book, a blank page, I knew neither right nor wrong or the better way of doing or being. But I had a Heavenly Father who did. I had to imitate. I had to imitate God's response toward me as I responded back to him and then I had to learn to carry over that imitation in how I respond to others. I had to imitate God in how I make decisions in order to make them wisely. I had to imitate God in order to be his hands and his feet in this world.  I would never have known how to be a Christian and how to follow God if I did not first imitate God as a dear child. I still imitate God as his dear child.  This imitation to me is the essence of hands-on learning. In doing I am becoming. It is actually pretty amazing how it works, isn't it? 

All to say that today, a new light was shed for me I believe by my Heavenly Father whose love for me knows now bounds. I found that "imitation" does not have to be lacking authenticity. Rather, it is for the Christian, the dear child of God, a potent tool in transforming myself into the image of Christ, day by day. I am so thankful that I have been given the gift of not having to just muddle around in the dark, trying to find my way and behave as I (think) I should or say what I (think) I should say or think how I (think!) I should.  I have a loving father who allows and in fact encourages me to imitate him, just like my little toddler imitates me and learns and grows each time he does. 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Change on the Wind

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. 
- Hebrews 13:8

Dear friends,
It feels like an eternity since I last made any update to my blog, and in blogger land I suppose it is. Over four months. What can I say?  Only that my life has been full of a strange mix of the "same" day in and day out as well as many, many changes. Sounds paradoxical, doesn't it? But it's true. 

I am going to be forthright. Life has been a struggle for me in the past year. This fact is a raw truth that I have had to process and still am processing.  Life has been more of a struggle for me in the past 4-6 months. In the midst of struggle, I have attempted to always recognize every blessing, however small, and every day I seek to find the many ways that my Heavenly Father shows me His love and care.  Has it been easy?  I cannot say it has. Not in the least. And there are times I have seriously wanted to just throw in the towel, so to speak, and to run away to some deserted island where I don't have to be responsible for anything except myself, my marriage and my sweet little son. Raw honesty here! 

One truth that I have placed at the forefront of my thoughts every day, especially when I feel tossed about by the winds of change, is that Jesus never changes. He is steadfast. And his love endures forever. Just like Hebrews 13:8 above. He is the same. I am so thankful. Because in this life, there is rarely anything that remains steadfast. Of course not all change is "bad" or "difficult." Some of it is even welcomed, and I would be the first to attest to that. I like variety. But here I am referring to difficult change. Change that leaves you reeling, that leaves you feeling alone, or scared, or hopeless. I do not know where I would be if it were not for my choice to keep my eyes above the waves (reminds me of a favorite worship song, Oceans by Hillsong United) and fixed on my Savior. 

Today I hope that you are able to fix your eyes on Jesus. That you are able to keep your head above the water. Keep striving forward. That's what I have been focused on. That is what I am still focused on. But I wanted to drop in and share a little and give an update to my good friends out in the blogger sphere! 

Monday, May 5, 2014

The Importance of the Heart

I was assigned to write a short essay about the importance of the biblical definition of the "heart" within therapy, as I am training and in graduate school to become a marriage and family therapist. I enjoyed writing this short essay and thought it would be neat to share it here. It is a fascinating topic. 
Do you have an opinion about the importance of the heart in therapy or in life in general? Do you have thoughts on the scriptures shared below that reference the heart? I'd love to hear in the comments! 
Have a great day - Dove of Snow 
The biblical definition of the "heart" is important in therapy because it is held in such high esteem in the Bible.  The scriptures tell us, "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it." (Ps. 4:23, NIV) We can also clearly see that the biblical definition of the heart clearly defines the fact that it can mislead us, "The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?"(Jer. 17:9) but also plainly tells us that the Lord looks upon the heart and judges us by the heart, "'I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve." (Jer. 17:10) 
One of my professors Stew Grant in one of his lectures told his students, "'Love others as yourself' = an open heart." I would have to agree. Not only does this equal an open heart including in biblical terms, but it fulfills the second greatest commandment that Jesus gave us: namely, to love the Lord our God with all of our heart and to love our neighbor as ourself. I also agree with what Grant said, "Our faith originates in our heart."  I believe our faith begins and "ends" in our heart. Our heart contains our mind, will and emotions. It is the origin of life within us, really, and it is also the guiding factor in how we live. What we put in our heart will be what we produce, whether it be wisdom and kindness and purity or folly, malice and putrification.  As the Bible clearly states, "The heart of the righteous weighs its answers, but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil." (Prov. 15:28) Last but ot least, within the Bible it is made abundantly clear that the heart is actually referring to our soul and our spiritual man, as well. The heart is synonymous, really, with the spirit of man. "My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God." (Psalm 84:2)  
In conclusion, the biblical definition of the heart is important in therapy and in particular Christian therapy, because it is from whence all else springs. It is the deciding factor in the success of relationships. It is the deciding factor in major life choices. It is the deciding factor in the determination of worldviews. And above all else, it is the main "character" in the decision to know Jesus Christ personally and to enter into lasting and sacred relationship with Him. 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Emma of Aurora: A Touching Story Based on a True Life

When I found the chance to review these novels based on a real woman and written by an author whose book I had found intriguing in the past, Jane Kirkpatrick ("One Glorious Ambition), I was ready to take up the offer!

Emma of Aurora is a touching story of hope, hardship, love, hate, adventure, mundane, pioneering and settling. It is a story of Emma's individual faith unfolding as she witnesses the spiritual walk of those around her. It is a story of her love, her children, her life as a pioneer, and of a woman finding her place as an individual and growing into it.

I would highly recommend this series. I would give it at least 4/5 stars! It is well written and provoked many emotions in me when I read it. The characters are well developed and as well developed characters do, make you either hate them or love them!

For more information about the author, Jane Kirkpatrick, copy and paste to go to:  To read chapter one, copy and paste to go to:

Thank you very much to the Blogging for Books program for sending me a free copy of the Emma of Aurora trilogy in exchange for my honest and original review.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Happy March!

Hello Friends!

I would say, Happy Spring! However, it's been such strange weather in my neck of the woods and in so many others, it couldn't truly be deemed spring, yet. I know it's been much too long since I last posted to my blog. The Winter Olympics have come and gone (and actually, I saw none of them as I don't get cable/satellite etc!). New Years Day has come and gone, for that matter! So has Valentine's Day. Thus, I will start this post by saying, Happy March! It's only three days into the month. :-)

Time has been flying by, here. My baby boy is growing up so fast. Sometimes I look at him and am (always!) taken aback seeing the toddler he will soon become. He's a baby, and yet, he's almost not anymore in so many ways. I am so thankful to get to see him grow and learn. So thankful for each day with him. He is developing his personality, and that is just the most fun! Happy, smiley, giggly, intense, focused, and seemingly intelligent. Not to mention, he's so handsome! Seriously, he should be a little baby model. He could pass as one.

Otherwise, I'm still in graduate school. However, graduation day is drawing closer and closer! I'm still working. That is going all right. It keeps me busy, although I must add I really did not *need* to take on anything else in order to be well occupied! It does bring in a little money though, which for us at this time is needed and appreciated.

I think what I'm looking forward to most for this spring is Easter. And spring weather versus spring-ish then WINTER then spring-ish then WINTER over and over! ;-)  Definitely am excited about baby boy's first birthday, as he was born in the spring!! Cannot believe he will be one year old in only about 2 months! WOW

So, what are you looking forward to this spring? I'd love to hear! Or anything else you'd like to share or comment on. Thanks for stopping in!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Cheer

Dear Friends,

Today is Christmas 2013.  It is almost unbelievable that we are again celebrating Christmas. It seems 2013 flew by in record time!  I want to keep my post today simple. But I want to share the third verse of my favorite Christmas carol, "O, Holy Night."  The message in this beautiful song is the gospel.  May this Christmas find you loving God and others, from a heart overflowing with peace and hope. Merry Christmas, everyone!

"Truly he taught us to love one another;
His law is love and his gospel is peace; 
Chains shall he break, for the slave is our brother, 
And in his name, all oppression shall cease, 
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we; 
Let all within us praise his holy name! 

Christ is the Lord! Then ever, ever praise we! 
His pow'r and glory, evermore proclaim!
His pow'r and glory, evermore proclaim!"