Friday, December 9, 2011

While Slicing Sweet Pickles...

So...  while slicing sweet pickles the other night, I lopped off a bit of my thumb!  My left thumb, to be exact... the one I need for playing the harp.  It wasn't a huge chunk, only about the size of a cooked grain of pearl barley, but even as I type this, I can feel that harping is still a wincing experience.

Having a cut thumb shouldn't be that much of a problem, right?  I have plenty of other fingers; just use the other 7 (the pinkie fingers are never used on the harp... never.)  The problem is harping is an exercise of strategic planning.  My music is covered with numberings and crossovers and replacements of my fingers and left hand #1 is used in almost every measure.  Using a dreaded metronome for practicing, I actually train my hands and brain to use an exact spot on an exact finger at the exact time on an exact string.  I have everything planned and leaving out a finger changes song execution drastically.  What's more, the left hand #1 is the digit of choice for glissandi - the magical whooshings on the strings that make everyone relax and say, "Ahhhh..."  But one little slice and everything changes.

Sounds like life, doesn't it.  I like to think I have everything figured out and strategically planned.  All my activities are neatly numbered and practiced.  Sometimes I even plan out the lives of those around me.  But in reality, all the plans can so quickly and drastically be erased 'in a twinkling of an eye'.

What happened next?  Many band-aides... Many 'why-did-I-do-such-a-stupid-thing' comments... and many "I guess you'll have to stop harping, honey" jokes...  The good news is I'll heal up quickly and be back at it soon.  But with this experience, I'm reminded again that not everything happens as planned.  So many people's life plans have been dashed; they are going through serious stuff  one hundred times more painful than lopping off a bit of thumb while slicing sweet pickles.  There must be, there has to be... some way to help, some way to at least listen, some way to ease the pain.

Monday, October 24, 2011


So... my phone forgave me!  I'm serious!  A couple of evenings ago, I experimented with the new Siri feature on my  iPhone 4s.  My phone has tons of information programed right into it somewhere and I can get whatever answer I want with a flick of my wrist and a phrase or two.  I held up the phone, looked it square in the face and asked a question; a fairly simple one.  The phone vocally repeated my question as it heard it and gave a strange answer.  John and I were astounded!  I asked the same question again and again giving the phone many opportunities to understand correctly.   I guess Siri was not used to me yet because his responses were all strange and quite funny.  Finally, I raised my voice and very clearly enunciated into the phone, "YOU DON'T KNOW S---!!!"  The phone went silent...  it gave absolutely no response...  I felt like a real jerk...  I was off to a bad start with my phone!  I had no business speaking like that!  I guess Siri was really trying his hardest to understand and was actually listening very closely... and that was no way to talk to a phone.  So I quietly said, "I'm sorry..."  and my phone actually answered, "That's OK.  Really."

So as I was sitting there quite freaked out that my phone so closely resembled real intelligence and forgave me, I could not help but compare this incident with some of my prayers to God.  I make my requests to God for all kinds of things and I don't think that's wrong, but God understands me better than I understand myself and often responds with something very different.  I don't always understand His strange or funny answer so I keep asking and asking and asking (insisting)   I might even get frustrated and think He is not listening.   Thankfully, I stop short of swearing...

Then I'm reminded of the Scripture that says,  'The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are attentive to their prayers. (1 Peter 3:12)  Since God does not lie in His Word, I have to believe that He listens.  He cares.  He answers.  He does not always answer the way I think because He knows better.  He forgives me when I have a bad attitude.  He forgives me when I do dumb stuff or get impatient or rude.  He says to me, "Child, I'm listening.  I paid the price for all those wrongs.  Accept My forgiveness.  It's OK.  Really."

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Plant Hospital

So... I have this plant here at home that is dying one day at a time.  I'm sure you've all seen this sequence; the leaves are doing the falling off thing and no amount of talking to or watering of will fix its demise.  This plant is bound for the circular file.

But wait!  I have a plan!  I have a place to take this plant that will miraculously nurture it back to life.  Really!  For some unknown reason, my office at the church gives most plants just the right circumstances; plenty of sun, plenty of water, plenty of tending.  My plants there are lush and full of life.  They give off oxygen!  They make more plants!  Even my orchids rebloom!  It smells good in there - like fresh air and flowers.  My plants do everything they are supposed to do as a plant!  I'm not kidding!  My church office is a plant hospital.

It has occurred to me that that's a picture of what the church is supposed to be:  a people's hospital.  So many people are not flourishing.  They are going downhill day by day and everything they've tried does not help.  They need some Son and some tender tending.  They need to be fed and nourished by someone who cares.  Then they too can be full of life and accomplish the plans God has purposed for them to do.  They will even give off the aroma of Christ and overflow onto others.  They will have real joy and real satisfaction.  Again.... I'm not kidding!  Our churches are people hospitals!

So if you're in a church already, let go of those spots of deadness, drink in the Son-shine offered, overflow onto everyone around you and be thankful.  And if you're not in a church, find one that will point you in the direction of the Son.  Be tenderly tended.  Drink in Truth and healing.   Become what you were meant to be.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."  Jeremiah 29:11.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Bigger than an Ocean

So... This morning, Jerianne the Weatherlady rated today as a '10' so I quickly jumped into one of the rockers on my porch to begin enjoying it.  It's true.  There was '10-ness' everywhere:  cool breeze, clear sunshine, birds twitterpating, flowers putting out color, it's greener than green out here... all is good.  Peeling my eyes off the environment, I opened my devotional.

Today's reading was an invitation to get to know God and expand my experiences of Him.  The reading compared God to an ocean.  (I love the ocean.) When I stand at the edge of the one, I know I am only seeing a tiny tiny part of the beauty of it all.  My mind cannot fathom how vast that ocean is or what all is going on inside of it.  Every square inch is so complex... and there are so many square inches... and there are so many square inches I cannot see!  The hugeness and depth of it, the goodness and perfection of it, the strength and power of it are so far beyond me.  Trying to figure out the ocean is truly overwhelming.  Is this really what I think about God?  Do I understand how much I don't understand about God?  Actually, there is an limit to the ocean and absolutely no limit to God.  God is far more than an ocean!

This leads me to some other questions:  Do I ask enough of God?  Do I anticipate seeing Him move?  Do I draw on any of His unfathomable love and power?  Shouldn't I be relying on Him more?  Believing more?  Do I even have a clue what He's all about?  Isn't it important that I know more?  Shouldn't I be making this a priority?

Our huge, mighty, fathomless, bigger-than-an-ocean God invites us all to get to know Him and experience Him.  Rev. 3:20 says:  "Here I am!  I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with Me."  That is a clear invitation to get to know Him.  It sounds like all I need to do is 'open' my heart and mind to Him and He will do all the rest.  Who wouldn't like a good meal and some good conversation with God?  It's time to open that door...  He's knocking...

Monday, June 13, 2011

A Royal Carpet of Blue

a royal carpet of bluebellsbluebells everywhereSo.... It was one of those magical moments... very unexpected... On a Sunday, after all the duties of church services were accomplished, John (lower picture), Jack (upper picture) and I jumped into the car and drove out of town to a wooded area that a friend was raving about.  Al said we HAD to see it!  It was Mother's Day and our son Jack came along, even though he had pen orders to fill.  (yes, I pulled the Mother's Day card.)

We drove over hill and dale and even on gravel and behold!  We couldn't believe our eyes!  There were bluebells everywhere... a sea of color... a royal carpet of bluebells under a high canopy of trees.  The birds were lustily singing in their highest and loudest octaves - evidently the color blue really turned them on.  It was a sight and sound I will never forget.

Rummaging through my Scripture memory bank, I recalled a perfect verse to fit the occasion:  1 Peter2:9:  "You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him Who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light."  I think we caught the Heavenly Father in an act of wooing.  He knows what a flower nut I am and He knows how this royal carpet of bluebells would be sensory overload for me.  He was helping me experience Him in a way that speaks to me and my heart.  The blueness of it all reminded me that we are children of a royal King, in fact, the King of all kings and creation!  We are His chosen royal children.  And what was my royal response?  Indeed, I declared the praises of Him Who called me out of darkness into His wonderful light...  Loudly!!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Gig Gone Awry...

So...  it seems I've recently had a review lesson on a basic concept entitled:  Remember to Rely on God.  This is a concept I thought I had "mastered" but obviously, I have not.  Remembering to rely on God has been flying out of my brain lately as I get so distracted and lose my focus!  Let me explain.

I played harp at a local nursing home not too long ago and had some unusual problems.  This should have been an easy gig... a captive, appreciative, quiet audience on a beautiful spring day;  the program did not need to be long and could be a repeat of a former line-up as these were fresh listeners...  I had even practiced!  Easy peasy!!  Wrong!

I took my second-to-largest harp and got it moved into place without any problems.  The mic was ready... the audience was coming.  Great.  I welcomed everyone and announced the first song and with a grand flourish glissando-ed my way through the spellbinding intro only to find myself wildly distracted with "Vibrating String Syndrome."  Oh no!  Not "Vibrating String Syndrome" again!!!  If you are a harpist, you know what I'm talking about.  When you pluck harp strings under fluorescent lights, one string vibrates wildly to the rhythm of the lights. (I'm sure a physicist can explain this...) It looks like that string is wobbling and vibrating its way to breaking.  It's so weird and it's so distracting!  When I look at the strings, the wobbly one pulls all my attention and out flies all concentration.   All memory of what I am playing quickly evaporates and I'm stuck wondering where I am in that song and how I'm going to get to the end.  I'm totally distracted... strike 1...

And did I mention the birds?  This was one of those classy nursing homes with the huge birdcage - more like a small room - filled with beautifully colored birds for the residents to watch.  Well there must be something about harp music that sets birds off... These quietly chirping peepers, with bosoms thrust upward,  turned on their full-bodied voices and shouted out the Hallelujah Chorus while I was playing.  The audience thought nothing unusual was happening, but I was totally distracted and lost my focus... strike 2...

Before strike #3 could happen, way down deep in the center of my thinking a small still voice said, "Pray..."  and I responded with a silent desparate "Help me, Lord!"  What else could I do?  Instantly I remembered that I am to rely on God and that I'm doing something He wanted me to do.  Why would I think I didn't need His help?  Why would I think He wouldn't be glad to help?  Wjy would I get distracted from this very basic thought?  Quickly, I placed the entire gig into His hands, took a big breath, threw on a big smile and got down to business.  You know what happened:  the songs went well enough and the people were blessed, probably more than I'll ever know.  

The truth is, all moments of my life need to be put into His hands... and what would happen?  Perhaps I would be more efficient and more effective with everything I do!  Perhaps my panic level would go down and I could actually get down to business and stop being so distracted and out-of-focus.  Isaiah 41: 13 says it quite clearly:  'I am the Lord, your God, Who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.'

Sunday, April 10, 2011

One-of-a-kind Hand-turned Pens!

Rollerball and gel pensSo... There is an unusual sound coming from the garage these days.  It's the sound of the Shopsmith meetingwith wood head on.  Our son, Jack, took a woods class his senior year in high school and learned how to do all kinds of things on a Shopsmith.  We have a Shopsmith.  It was purchased 'used' about 25 years ago at a yard sale.  It's hardly seen the light of day, though it has been used a couple of times... but never for this application.  Jack is making hand-turned pens!  He found and assembled all the parts to work the lathe on this machine (much to his father's surprise) and ordered some wood blanks and pen kits and is actually creating beautiful works of art.  He can turn wood, antler, stone and even corncobs into pens, mechanical pencils and handles for magnifying glasses and ice cream scoops.  It's shocking!  Jack takes after his father, John Doctor Tool Collison, who also has a good handle on using tools to make things.

Perhaps the most amazing part of this is Jack's attitude!  When he got home from his winter mission trip, he decided to raise some money to give to a church he worked with down in Mexico.  These hand-turned pens are a fund raiser for both him and the church:  he will send half his proceeds to the church and the other half will be his summer job earnings.  John put some money into getting him started and now the project is launched.  Jack has made about 120 pens and has sold about 60 in the 2 months he's been home (thanks to so many generous friends, family and church people he has contact with.)  Each pen or pencil or handle is a fine work of art... a one-of-a-kind masterpiece! 

Currently, I'm reading a book entitled The Hole in the Gospel:  What Does God Expect From Us?  by Richard Stearns.  It is a very convicting book about actually helping the poor instead of just talking about it.  I encourage you to stay far away from this book if you don't want a heart for the poor, because it keeps drilling into its readers the idea that we are God's hands and feet - that's how God set it up -  and what are we (am I) doing about this?  The author quotes Mother Teresa which bears some thought:   She said, "I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God Who is sending a love letter to the world."  Wow!  Some of this I agree with and some of this, I don't.  In Mother Teresa's humble manner, she thought of herself as a 'little pencil' when actually, she was a fine work of art... a one-of-a-kind masterpiece put together by God.  In Psalm 139, we are told that we are 'woven together and wonderfully made.'  She was no little pencil...  and neither are you and I...  So if I may, I'd like to rewrite her quote to say:  Each of us is a fine work of art... a one-of-a-kind hand-turned pen in the hand of a writing God Who is sending a love letter to the world...

So... find a fresh refill of ink , remove the cover of inhibition, and consider yourself a one-of-a-kind writing tool to be used by God to spread His eternal saga of everlasting love.


P.S.:  If you are interested in perusing Jack's hand-turned pens, you can contact him at or let me know and I'll pass it on.

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Ultimate Search

So... I went shopping last Friday.  My daughter is getting married in August and I'm looking for the ultimate shoes to wear to this auspicious event.  I'm on a search to find a shoe that is high-heeled AND very comfortable.  Well, we all know there is a price to pay for looking stylish in heels:  PAIN; but it's early in the season and if I try on about 40-50 different pairs, surely I'll find something that won't leave me cranky and limping at the end of the evening.  On Friday, I was shopping in Von Maur, testing  shoes with the pinch test to see how cushy the soles were and searching for the ultimate in comfort, style and color.  (Frankly, there is no reason to even try the shoes on if they don't pass the pinch test.)

A nice looking woman came up to me and complimented my jacket.  I said thank you and continued with my pinch testing.  Another woman came up to me and said the same thing.  I again thanked her and continued my way.  2 more times this happened!  This was very odd...   I was wearing a 3/4 length green raincoat - not some exotic mink fur coat or something odd or outlandish (I do have some of those.)   This jacket is a blend-into-the-crowd look, a tad bit snappy but mostly just functional.  Then another lady came up to me rather breathlessly and sputtered, "I've been chasing you around to ask you a question!  Where did you get your coat?  I'd like to get one!"  I was nearly speechless!  I blurted out the first thing that came to my mind, "It came from my dead mother-in-law's closet."  This was true.  It did!  My mother-in-law picked this jacket out on one of her last shopping sprees and my wonderful husband paid for it.  Since she was unable to use it and since my husband paid for it, I took it from her closet (after she died) because I left mine somewhere.  I was wearing it that day.  This was the absolute truth.

As usual, I've been thinking about this whole episode and have some observations:  Aren't we all shopping for Something?  Aren't we all searching for the Ultimate and don't we all know it when we see it on someone else?  I'm convinced the Ultimate is Jesus...  I'm convinced He is Ultimate Joy and Neverending Peace and Pure Satisfaction...  He is the Way, the Truth and the Life...  He never wears out...  He makes us look good...  He always fits...

And speaking of looking good, I'm left to ask one more question:  What can I do to draw searching people to ask, "I've been chasing you around to ask you a question.  Where did you find Jesus?  I'd like to get to know Him!"

Saturday, March 12, 2011

That's my Boy!

So...  Another interesting thing has happened around here!  John and I returned from an evening social frolic and was greeted at the door by our son looking fairly sheepish.  Our son, Jack has been gone on a 6 month YWAM (Youth With a Mission) trip.  He has been in Mexico evangelising on the street with a group of 15 like-minded young people.   He has an exceptionally strong faith and is totally committed to God... and he is 18... and therefore makes 18-year-old decisions on a daily basis.  Jack is now home and on this particular evening he experienced a 'teaching moment'; he got stopped for LOUD MUSIC.  And he received a ticket.  And a rather large fine.  So when we got home that evening, he quickly told us and dreaded our reaction.

Jack drives a small white convertible cabrio VW.  It's pretty old but in good condition.  My husband really enjoys messing with cars and augmenting them with extras and of course had a joy ride with Jack's car's sound system.  The cabrio already had  6 speakers when we bought it but that was not enough; 3 more speakers were needed with names like sub woofers and tweeters.  And then, of course, if you are going to get the maximum effect from all these woofers and tweeters, the volume has to be turned up... a lot...  This creates a shaking of our house when Jack arrives home.  No one needs to see him to know he's home, we can feel his presence.  Evidently, Jack drove past a cop car that also felt his presence and lights!... action!... ticket!... for loud music... that is, loud Christian music.

What was our reaction?  John and I acted stern, but on the inside we were doing that swagger thing and high-fiving, "That's my boy!"  I understand that loud music is hard on the ears; that it's distracting; that it prevents hearing car horns and other such noises.  But it was LOUD CHRISTIAN MUSIC!  He was worshiping!  Praising God!  He was having a 'joyful noise' moment!   It was really hard to come down on him when I've been known to turn up the decibels myself - that's the way I like it.  And actually, it was John's idea to install the woofers and tweeters that shake the universe.  Yes, it was his ticket, but it was ours, too.

I paid the $127.50 fine (this time, only) and multiple warnings have been established about other tickets.  Turn down the volume when driving, be responsible... but don't you dare turn down the volume of your heart!  Kick up the passion and joy!  Worship at all times and in all places!  The volume of the heart needs to stay loud and earth-shaking so others can feel it, experience it and see the effects of 'make a joyful noise unto the Lord.'

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


So... it sneaked up on me!

I had an interesting experience a couple of days ago.  My dear husband John has been remodeling a house next door into a 3-car garage.  Of course, it has been a much bigger project than expected (he blames the city codes) and hence, it has cost a LOT more than we thought it would.  So in an act to save our children's inheritance,  John and I decided to paint the garage floor ourselves.  This would actually save $2000 in labor and was well worth it.  John watched several YouTube videos demonstrating the fine art of applying this special paint and was sure we would have no problem.  So the 3 of us (our son Jack was also corralled into helping) donned our paint clothes and took up our brushes.  Jack and I trimmed with brushes and John used a roller.  Fine!  As soon as I saw this paint, I realized how special it was.  The dark burgundy colored paint came in 2 cans and had to be mixed.  One of these special cans said 'epoxy' on the side and was quite sniffy.  Jack and I were down on the floor, in fact, Jack had to lay on the floor to paint under a cabinet; our noses were about 12 inches from the action.  It was hard work, but not impossible, and after about 2 1/2 hours, we had the job done.  The results were less than wonderful, but we didn't worry about that... it was done!  John had rolled the rest of the floor to the best of his ability.

I should have noticed that we were quite spacey and had trouble focusing.  John and I could hardly speak during dinner.  All I wanted to do was take a nap, but couldn't because I had choirs rehearsing at 7:00 pm.  So off to church I went to launch rehearsal.  Oddly, things seemed funny.  Making sure everyone has a good belly laugh is on my choir rehearsal list of things to do.  However, this was different.  Lots of laughing... I couldn't explain things... I couldn't find things... I was unusually jolly... Finally someone asked me what I did that day and when I described what had happened in the afternoon, a choir member popped out, "You're DUI! - Directing under the influence!"  (She is a lawyer.)  Then, of course, everyone had great sport with me...  The accompanist coined the term 'epoxy-talk' and away went all control...  You can imagine...

The next day, I thought about the whole experience (my mind was much more focused and clear.)  I didn't even realize I was under the influence of fumes!  It just sneaked up on me!  And this causes me to ask some questions:  What else is sneaking up on me?  What else is influencing me that is not helpful or healthy?  Am I just sailing along picking up stimuli and assimilating it into my day without even thinking about the long term effects?  I really need to "Be on my guard, stand firm in the faith... be strong" (1 Cor. 16:13)  I can't be taking on those 'fumes' of life that are not Godly.  I want to be LUIHS - that is, living under the influence of the Holy Spirit - each and every day.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Car loads of stuff!

So... how did I get so much stuff?  That is the question!

What is there to do when the weather is so cold and there's not a fly-away vacation in sight?  Well, we here in the Midwest do not usually take on drinking... and I certainly am not going to go overboard on exercising... and there is a limit as to how much baking I should do... and I get stiff from reading novels on the kindle... So... I am doing the ultimate winter stuck-in-the-house activity:  I'm cleaning out closets!  Not just the ordinary closets that I use every day; I've been working on the hidden ones, the ones down under, the ones that can go for years without perusal.  The ones that if I slam the doors quickly enough, the doors will close.

So... what have I found?  Many many many forgotten craft items.  I am set to be the most imaginativegrandma in the world!  Glue guns!  Glitter!  Snippets of lace!  Stencils!  Star ice cube makers!  Beads!  Little tiny beach shoes!  Calligraphy pens!  Leather patches!  Fabric dye!  Snorkel masks!  Statues of dentists!  Candles!  Used flower foam!  Paper lanterns!  Spirograph wheels!  And of course, rectal thermometers! I also found enough quart jars to can enough products to last an entire winter.  Bring on a nuclear blackout!  Why do I have all this stuff?

So...  I put all this odd stuff into my car and drove to the local salvation army store.  They will take anything!  It took several car loads to get everything there and now, my weird unused stuff is alongside your weird unused stuff. 

Help me, Lord, to stop buying weird stuff - that I don't need, that is.  And help me, Lord, to stop buying weird stuff for my friends and family.  Teach me how to spend money and be generous in a wise fashion.  And help me to look at odd stuff with a clear eye and find a good home for it.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Groans and Sighs

So... yesterday was an interesting day.  The day started with a raging headache and a blossoming  backache which ended up quite tolerable after some tylenol and prayer which included some 'groaning and sighing'... I jumped in the car to go visit my dear mom who lives in a nursing home in Algona, about 2 1/2 hours away.  When I drive for that length of time, all alone, I pack all kinds of CDs and choir samples to listen to.  The trip was going along just fine.  I called Mom to remind her that I was coming and yes, she wanted chicken selects and fries from McDonalds and would I get some, please?

I arrived in Algona, hit the McDonalds and bounded in to mom's room only to find she was not there.  After searching about, I found out she was at the hospitol having some tests done and yes, it was odd that no one knew about this.  So off to the hospitol I went and I found mom waiting for some sort of scan (Mom called it a scam).  A couple of hours later, she headed back to the nursing home and I went back to McDonalds for round number 2 of chicken and fries.  After eating, I went back to the car to get some other fun things that I had brought up and found I had a flat tire!  More 'groaning and sighing'... Long story short, I ended up with a new membership to AAA which I didn't use and a delightful encounter with a local kid from a service station down the street who fixed my tire for $33 and a handsome tip.  My dear mother was a train wreck by the time I left, but I left her with an entertaining story to tell her hairdresser.

By the time I got home, my backache was torrential and you guessed it, I was 'groaning and sighing.'  This Scripture comes to mind:  Romans 8:26-28 says "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings (and sighs) too deep for words...  And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." 

I think we are all going to have these kinds of days where all we can do is meet each challenging circumstance with prayer.  It's a great help to know we have the Spirit of God interceding with groans and sighs.  I cant' help but wonder what the Spirit's groans and sighs sound like.  I know, beyond a shadow of doubt, they are more powerful than mine.

Saturday, January 1, 2011


So... I'm sure everyone of you is thinking about the past year and looking forward to 2011.  The fact that the day is 1/1/11 is actually kind of unsettling.  Since the date is so auspicious, I am wondering what I should do to make the day special and different.  Is this how I'll wake up on 1/11/11?  And what about 11/11/11?  As I write this, guess what time it is:  11:11!!!!

I spent some time this morning reading through my journal.  I don't actually journal that much, the current one I use holds 2 years in not very many pages.   Jotting down a comment on something I prayed or experienced or learned or dreamed is fairly entertaining to me.  It keeps things in perspective.  The struggles I had that day were not that big a deal and most everything turned out OK.  The spots where I used exclamation points are the most passionate and affected me the most.  I did not bother to journal on the days that were routine and passed in mundane activity.  I didn't bother to write the usual.

The journal pages with the most exclamation points have something in common.  Those entries are filled with excitement because of something my/our heavenly Father did or guided me through.       Examples:  'I can't believe how well that new harp song fell together!!  Thank You!!'  or 'What a creative way to .... Thank You for the idea!' or "What beauty!  You are awesome!!' or 'Was reading in Colossians.... and that's exactly what I needed to hear!'  or ''Thank You for the added energy!  I didn't know how I was going to make it!!'  or 'Thank You for opening that opportunity to me!  You must want me to do that!!' or 'I need a shot of wisdom!  Help!!'  Those journal pages have billions of exclamation points; those days were not routine and mundane.

My prayer is to have lots of ! in 11...  There is nothing as satisfying or fulfilling or fun as seeing what our/my heavenly Father is up to.  Believe me, that's what He wants, too!