Photo Credits~

(owl:donaldthompson95 on flickr, luna:BillLepidoptera/ on flickr, willow/fence:trensamiro on flickr, all remaining: Merana Leigh)

Psalm 25:4-5

Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths;

guide me in your truth and teach me,

for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long (NIV)

Drench yourself in words unspoken, Live your life with arms wide open,

Today is where your book begins, The rest is still unwritten. ("Unwritten" by Natasha Beddingfield)

It matters not how long we live, but how!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Lenten studies....and learning #2

Ok, so I'm reading even further in the Lenten studies booklets I have that I referenced previously. This booklet, however, is a compilation of C.S. Lewis' works. Today's reading calls for "A Deeper Change", and it goes in line with what I posted on Friday. As I was reading it, the Holy Spirit reminded me of a line from Facing the Giants. Fabulous movie that is chock-FULL of on liners that stick with you forever, and that the Spirit uses to remind you of something & give you direction.

So the reading said, in part, this: "We are all trying to let our mind and heart go their own way - centered on money or pleasure or ambition - and hoping, in spite of this, to behave honestly and chastely and humbly. And that is exactly what Christ warned us you could not do." It then expanded, saying "If I am a field of grass, I cannot produce wheat. If I want to produce wheat, the change must go deeper than the surface. I must be plowed up and re-sown", then quotes 1 Corinthians 10:1 ~ So if you think you are standing, watch out that you do not fall.

And the Holy Spirit reminded me of the line in the movie that is the one liner that sticks with my best friend the most. A young man is quite the soccer player. However, he & his father move to a new place & the school does not have a soccer team. He is debating going out on the football team as a kicker. His self-rejection fear holds him back as he says to his dad (& mostly to himself!), "What if I'm not good enough? What if I don't make the team?" To which, his father said, "Can you be any more not on the team than you already are?" WOW!!! It just demonstrates that if we are not willing to step out in faith to where God is taking us, we will never be able to see what He has in store for us come to fruition!

Yes, just like the picture above shows, we may face slippery situations, but if we are keeping our eyes on Christ & following where HE leads, He will light the way & be with us along each stepping stone....and also waiting with open arms on the other side of that path. But we certainly can never get there if we won't step out onto that next stone and follow where He's leading us.

Thank you, Father, for your guiding hand and love....and for wanting even more for me than I can even imagine that I want for myself!

Friday, March 25, 2011


Why are people so dang afraid to just tell others how they feel about them? Really! Tomorrow is promised to NO ONE! Is pride or regret the greater motivator for them? Me.....I chose to live with little regrets! Can't change the past, except to try to make amends. But I can certainly change the direction of my future!

Lenten studies....and learning

Working as I do as a church secretary, I have access to a great deal of resources. One of those came in the mail in the form of a Lenten Studies booklet that is a compilation of Henri Nouwen's work. I LOOOOVE him!

Anyway, one of the day's studies focused on how we fall into traps & the greatest of these, the one that most certainly holds us down, holds us back, or out-&-out will defeat us, is that of "self-rejection". Think about it. Self rejection comes from that place inside us where negativity screams, "you're no good", "you're fat", "you're ugly", "you have scars", "who would ever love you", "you're worthless", "you're weak", "you'll never amount to anything", "you're a failure" get the idea!

And these feelings of inadequacies are what drive us to seek our worth in unworthy places....success, popularity, the point that we don't even see our true worth, but a worldly worth. It's not about what we can achieve for the Lord, but more of what we can prove to ourselves & the world. But really, we're still that same little insecure child within when you get down to brass tacks! THAT doesn't just go away because you get/achieve/accomplish more, more, more. It's superficial. It's the thumb in the dike to hold back the water dripping out of the hole. But it's not fixing the problem that caused the hole to begin with!

But those are all lies of the tempter, the Father of Lies. He WANTS us to stay defeated in the trap of self-loathing, self-rejection. Otherwise, we would stand firm in who we are in Christ & accomplish great things for His Kingdom. Trusting in God means stepping out of our comfort zone. Yes, that's right, you heard's "comfortable" to stay in the place where you don't think so highly of yourself. Not "comfortING", but "comfortable" in the sense that it's what you know....where you're used to being. Perhaps you were led there by others' views of you and thus, have limited yourself because of it.

This Lenten Season, break these negative bonds Satan holds over you. Prayerfully ask God to come live in that black hole space within you that is sucking away the light of His love & what HE has in store of you. It's easy to stay in defeat, the real work comes in trusting. Trust Him until it hurts, and God shows you (& the world!) what He can do!

Remember: Jeremiah 29:11 speaks of the plans HE has for us, not on our own plans. Do as I've been told by the Holy Spirit....(ok, smacked upside the head to listen, admittedly!)...."stop getting in the way of the plans I have for you, quit interfering!"

Hugs my bb's ~ Merana

Visit Spiritual Sundays for encouragement & love!

Friday, March 11, 2011


I think God allows friendships to develop, flourish, and even sustain over great amount of time as a way to demonstrate his vast love for us. I've had this demonstrated recently.

#1) there's ALWAYS my best friend, Nanette, back home. We've known one another since we were 10. She comes home every time I do (she lives 6 hours from there, I live 13) just so we can see each other. We talk almost every day. When schedules make it so we don't talk for a few days or even {gasp} a week, we go through withdrawal!

#2) then there's Alecia. We met our freshman year of college. We talk every few weeks (ok, sometimes, months). But it's one of those things where you pick up a conversation like you just had it the day before.

#3) then there's Kathleen, who lives down the street. She's a busy mom of 4. We don't get together much anymore. But I know she's there & that she loves me, as I do her. We'd be there in a heartbeat for each other, if it were needed.

#4) I got a surprise phone call this past Sunday evening. An old friend from back before I had kids. Mardelle & I started working at the company the same day. I left when I started my family, she left not long after. We've only kept in touch via Christmas cards over the years. The sad thing is, we only live 45 minutes away from one another. But somehow we all, I believe, just let life pass us by. Delle took the time to reach out to me. It was a fabulous conversation full of laughter, as she & I were so known to do! We hung up with promises to get together once I finish painting my hallway & in a few weeks. We're now connected on Facebook (I LOOOOOVE Facebook!) I honestly felt a euphoric "high" all evening after we talked & I talked about her to my kids.

#5) now I have you, my BB's. I cannot even begin to tell you how much I value all of you for your insight, inspiration, laughter, prayers, and friendship through this Internet chasm. I value you all! Thank you.

And mostly, Lord, thank you! Thank you for reminding me that even when I feel alone because I don't physically have someone to share things with, and even when I get upset with you b/c you can't hold my hand, give me a hug, or even a poke in the still find a way to reach out to friendship! I love you!

Visit Spiritual Sunday here for inspiration and friendship!