Simple Joys

July 1
The sweltering 111 degree temperatures Friday kept us inside.  Filling up the baby pool would bring no relief, so we resorted to the kitchen sink, while I baked cookies.  The pictures below show the simple joy that came from the new found texture of an egg shell and the sprayer on the kitchen sink. An inquisitive spirit found a way to turn an egg shell into a cup.

Jesus brings this same kind of joy when we feast upon his Word and allow the amazing free gift of his love to penetrate our hearts. It is impossible to grasp that kind of sacrificial love and not smile.

Psalm 13:5
But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.

Psalm 36:5
Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies.

Busy June

June 30
June has come and gone, but left us with two precious new lives to love on.  Yes, we are heavy on the boys at our house, but our world needs some godly train 'em up young parents, train 'em up!
These two little cousins are catching their z's now, while they can.
They will meet for the first time in August!
I think they look a lot alike!

Psalm 119:73-74

  Your hands made me and formed me;
    give me understanding to learn your commands.
  May those who fear you rejoice when they see me;
for I have put my hope in your word.

Thank You Father, for these new lives. 
May they grow to love you more and more each day.


June 29
You know you are in the South when it is 104 degrees outside, you drag your sweaty self into Kroger for watermelon, lemonade, popsicles and ice cream and out in front of the store is a large HOT grill with a man cooking ribs.  A table is set up beside it with sauces, a bone bowl and wet paper towels and lovely ladies in designer clothes and diamonds dangling are gnawing down on those ribs and then getting in their BMWs and Mercedes and driving off!  How I wish I'd had my camera.
Somewhere in those gals lives someone had spoken affirmation into them giving them a confidence to stand outside Kroger with BBQ sauce on their lips and a rib clutched between two hands.

Ending out this affirmation adventure, I will leave the u,v,w,x,y, and z words to you.  The realty of the difference this process of speaking affirming words over others was confirmed yesterday to me by a young freshman in college who had no idea I even write a blog.  This girl is studying dressmaking in California.  She had stopped by our daughter's house to get her measurements for a bridesmaids' dress.
I asked if her mother enjoyed sewing and passed this passion on.  Explaining the confidence she has came from the encouraging words of the teacher of a sewing class her mother signed her up for, I had to smile as I thought of the correlation to what we've been doing here on the blog.  Tossing her head back and laughing she shared how she has looked back upon those first pieces of clothing she made and I quote "They were not that good, but that lady knew what she was doing by complimenting me and it worked!"

Be on the alert!  There is a life you can change by taking the time to speak words of affirmation!

T is for Talented...or is that gifted?

June 29
Affirmation has flowed out of all of our mouths to someone concerning their great talent!  A musician, an artist, an athlete maybe who has left us in awe by their skill. As a parent of seven children, I made a conscious decision early on to encourage each of our children in their areas of talent.  Some of them might say I did this to a fault and they felt labeled by that affirmation.  This is our harpist, animals love this adventurous child, this one is naturally honorable, this is our writer, this is our artist, this is our gifted athlete who makes everyone smile, this one has a personality that can charm the world, etc.  Early on I did a spiritual gifts inventory with each of them, trying to desire their spiritual gifts after they had come to the Lord.  I am sad to say, I can't even remember the results of those tests, but from the way they have lived their lives and walked with the Lord their gifts are easy to identify.
Talents and spiritual gifts are two distinct categories and I read an excellent article the other day on this topic.

Four distinguishing points are:
#1 Talents Are Inherited / Gifts Are Received

#2 Talents Are Possessed by the Saved and Unsaved / Gifts Are Possessed by the Saved

#3 Talents Are Developed and Expected / Gifts Are Matured and Surprising
#4 Talents Can Be Used Selfishly / Gifts Are Used to Serve God's Purposes

"But as Christian, we ought to know the difference. We ought to know how talents and gifts work. We recognize that natural talents and predispositions are passed down to us and nurtured in our family. And we expect that we can improve our talents if we work hard and practice. But we also know that spiritual gifts come from a supernatural source; they surprise us. We find ourselves doing things that we never expected, or we find ourselves doing what we used to do with unexpected effectiveness. God is now with us, empowering us to do and be more than we ever thought we could do or be. We find ourselves engaged in His work instead of just our own, and our efforts are no longer all about us; they are all about Him. As Christians, we ought to know the difference between living as a 'natural man' and living as a 'spiritual man', and we ought to know the important difference between 'natural talent' and 'spiritual giftedness'."

S is for Steadfast

June 27
One of my very favorite verses is:
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within mePsalm 51:10

It is such an encouragement to keep on keeping on towards the finish line of heaven.

Pregnant women are a great example of steadfast women.  This morning I received a text around 4:30 AM from one of our sons that he and his wife were heading to the hospital in hopes of their baby coming today.  This sweet daughter in law has been steadfast in her faith and her positive attitude through a tough pregnancy due to varicose veins.  Check out her blog:

Pray for her steadfastness through labor and for good health for her and our newest grandchild...oh yes and a steadfast attitude of love and patience for our son as he goes through labor the first time!  :)

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord. 

1 Corinthians 15:58


Bridging Gaps
June 26
There are many categories in which we hold individuals in high esteem and greatly respect them for the role they play in society. We can encourage the single mom whom we respect for the sacrifices she makes being on her own for her children.  In obedience to God's Word, we can respect our parents for loving us unconditionally.  I have great respect for educators, who step into often low paying and even dangerous positions to bring hope and a future to children. God cares most about our respect for Him.

God's eye is on those who respect him, the ones who are looking for his love. 
He's ready to come to their rescue in bad times; in lean times he keeps body and soul together.    Psalm 33:18-19
While it is easy to have overwhelming respect for God, we are called to a more difficult task (which honestly, I wanted to skip over in this entry).
1 Peter 2:13-17
Make the Master proud of you by being good citizens. Respect the authorities, whatever their level; they are God's emissaries for keeping order. It is God's will that by doing good, you might cure the ignorance of the fools who think you're a danger to society. Exercise your freedom by serving God, not by breaking the rules. Treat everyone you meet with dignity. Love your spiritual family. Revere God. Respect the government.

Still lacking total comfort and trust with this passage (thinking back over governmental leaders world wide through history) I decided to look up the definition of respect.  The urban dictionary popped up and had this entry for respect:

"It means valuing each others points of views. It means being open to being wrong. It means accepting people as they are. It means not dumping on someone because you're having a bad day. It means being polite and kind always, because being kind to people is not negotiable. It means not dissing people because they're different to you. It means not gossiping about people or spreading lies."

So may we show respect to one another and compliment someone we admire for this trait.

  • Elemintoepea

    June 25
    Yes, I realize I skipped "N" this weekend.  Actually, the 101 Words of Affirmation did not have an "N" word.  Maybe, like me, the writer grew up learning that part of the alphabet a bit differently.  Instead of singing L, M, N, O, P. I thought is was one big letter in the middle.  Go ole, "Elemintoepea".

    Certainly, a couple simple "N" affirmations could be...
    "You are so nice!  You are a wonderful nurturer.

    Investigate the Queen of Sheba's words of affirmation utilized as she came to check out Solomon.
    It is a wonderful story in 1 Kings Chapter 10.

    1 Kings 10:6-9
    She said to the king, "It's all true! Your reputation for accomplishment and wisdom that reached all the way to my country is confirmed. I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it for myself; they didn't exaggerate! Such wisdom and elegance—far more than I could ever have imagined. Lucky the men and women who work for you, getting to be around you every day and hear your wise words firsthand! And blessed be God, your God, who took such a liking to you and made you king. Clearly, God's love for Israel is behind this, making you king to keep a just order and nurture a God-pleasing people."

    In my "P" picking, I've selected the word peace.  I heard an interesting story yesterday about an African Evangelism movement based on visiting tribes and first asking to see the person they would consider "the man of peace" in the tribe.  The woman telling the story said often it would be the witch doctor whom they considered to meet this criterion.  The missionary then would unfold the Gospel to this individual and then he would be the one to accept Christ and share with the others of this amazing love.

    I pondered how this might work in America.  If you were trying to reach "gangs" no one would want to be recognized as "the man of peace".  Continuing talking to this individual,  she shared an incident where she went to an event hoping to recognize "the man of peace" and possibly share the Gospel. Instead the Holy Spirit grabbed a hold of her, bringing her to her knees, to seek forgiveness in a hurtful relationship and she became "the man of peace".

    May we take peace into all the places we go today!

    Hebrews 12:14
    Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.

    M is for Motivating and O for Optimistic

    June 23-24
    Are the clouds ruining your tan or giving your skin a needed break?  Is the fact the restaurant ran out of your favorite dessert disturbing or a blessing keeping those unneeded calories off?  I am learning to be optimistic and see God is up to good in all situations.  Early on in my current baby sitting gig I came down with vertigo, which has slowed me down when it comes to lifting the boys.  Tipping my head down or up is nauseating, so I've asked for more help than I normally would.  Finally, I praised God for the vertigo realizing it was most likely salvaging my back and equipping me for the duration of this lengthy gig due to our daughter's C-section.

    I believe with all my heart God is god over all and uses all things (painful as they may be) to work together for our good according to His calculations.  Our optimistic attitudes through these times of trial can be motivating to those around us.

    How much fun, since I've been hanging out with a pregnant woman, that in this familiar passage of Romans 8:26-28 in The Message translation, it would refer to our "pregnant condition".


    Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God's Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don't know how or what to pray, it doesn't matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That's why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good,

    L is for Loving Touch

    June 22
    "Loving" is a fabulous attribute, while not on the list of 101 Affirming Words.  Visiting the pediatrician's office with two of our grandsons, the one year old went up to every child in the "well" waiting room and placed his hand on them in an act of loving affirmation.  A three year old boy looked at his mother and inquired "Touch the baby?"  At first she said no, but I gave the go ahead and said he would love a hug.  All the hearts in that doctor's office melted as these two little blondes embraced!

    God really tapped into an amazing sense when he created touch.  So many long for it.  Last week I saw a great clip online (I think it was from the Today's show or Good Morning America).  A young college gentleman had himself videoed randomly going up to strangers and holding their hand.  The reactions were pretty funny.

    One of my more embarrassing moments was a hand holding encounter at a prayer time in Sunday School class.  My husband and I always hold hands when prayer occurs...corporate or private. Often I find myself stroking his hand with my thumb.  Not being a coffee drinker I may be a little slower getting a jump start on coherency in the morning.  The class was called to hold hands to pray.  My husband was on my right and an attractive male college student, who was visiting, on my left.  Somewhere in the midst of the prayer time I realized I was stroking both the hands I was holding!  So embarrassing!  I tried to explain myself afterwards.

    Instead of worrying about spreading germs today, let's consider how a simple touch of a hand held or a shoulder caressed might help spread Jesus!

     A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
    John 13:34-35

    J is for Joyful and K is for Kindness

    June 21
    "Be joyful always" (1 Thessalonians 5:16) seems like an impossibility when measured with the world's requirements for joyfulness.  A friend who has been an African missionary says what he loves most about his years in Uganda is the joy radiated from these people who have nothing when it comes to materialism.  Their love for the Lord is a sufficient source for their joy.

    In John Piper's book, Don't Waste Your Life he writes "There was a time love felt like this-when I could not conceive of any joy greater than the honor of my name.  When I was so absorbed in me that is was inconceivable for joy to rise by my admiring rather than my being admired.....But now (thanks to your mighty grace!) I see it is an imitation."
    He goes on to write about the inversion of sin and how it robbed our souls of the one joy God had designed to satisfy us for eternity.  "In my presence there is fullness of joy; at my right hand are pleasures forevermore.  Delight yourself in me!  Be glad in me and leap for joy; I am your sure and great Reward! Come taste, and even now rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory."

    We can probably count on one hand the people we know whose true and constant source of joy is the Lord.
    When I thought of photos related to joy I immediately started towards human exhibitions of pictures, baby pictures, even fun animal pictures.  Then it hit me...while I have not photos of God himself, I do have photos of His Word which is a part of him that brings us joy!

    But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, 
    goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  
    Galatians 5:22-23

    So today we will dress ourselves in joy and kindness and others will find us attractive!

    H is for "a help". I is for immensely incredible.

    H is for Helpful Harrison!
    June 20
    I am on a baby sitting gig at our daughter's home. Her second son arrived 2 weeks early by c-section.  The first little fellow was only 13 months old at that time, so she has her hands full.  Her church small group has been so helpful by coordinating meals 3 days a week for two months.  Sometimes the simplest act can be the move that makes a day doable!

    When we don't have the relationships established to bring about a bounty such as this we can turn to the Lord to be our comfort, for He is an ever present help!

    God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.  Psalm 46:1

    Today let's offer our "I" affirmation and adoration to the Lord. For there is no One who can out do him in the category of mercy and love...He is immensely incredible.

    It wasn't so long ago that you were mired in that old stagnant life of sin. You let the world, which doesn't know the first thing about living, tell you how to live. You filled your lungs with polluted unbelief, and then exhaled disobedience. We all did it, all of us doing what we felt like doing, when we felt like doing it, all of us in the same boat. It's a wonder God didn't lose his temper and do away with the whole lot of us. Instead, immense in mercy and with an incredible love, he embraced us. He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ. He did all this on his own, with no help from us! Then he picked us up and set us down in highest heaven in company with Jesus, our Messiah.  Ephesians 2:1-6

    Dear Heavenly Father it is with humble hearts that we one else can claim to be more immense in mercy or incredible in the way they love compared to You.  We are blessed.  Thank You in Jesus Name!

    F & G

    "F" is for flowers.

    "G" is for Grandchildren
    June 19
    Let's affirm the friendly and the gracious.
    "Friendly" who comes to mind when you read this word....Mr. Rogers, Captain Kangaroo, The Wiggles?  Think ahead to where your week will take you and who is one of the friendliest people you can anticipate crossing your path?  If you go to Chick Fil A you are guaranteed to receive a friendly greeting.  On a notecard, I am going to write...."Your friendly smile has blessed my day. Thanks!"...and give it to the person I encounter who does just that.

    One definition of gracious  is "pleasantly kind, benevolent and courteous".

    The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.
    Psalm 103:8

    Whose bounce will get a boost when we tell them..."You live out Psalm 103:8.  A person who is compassionate, gracious, slow to anger and abounding in love!

    "E" is for Exquisit

    "E" is for elephant.
    June 18

    How exquisite your love, O God! How eager we are to run under your wings, To eat our fill at the banquet you spread as you fill our tankards with Eden spring water. You're a fountain of cascading 
    light, and you open our eyes to light. Psalm 36:7-9

    How often do we stop to consider the unexplainable love of God?  There is nothing of greater worth in our lives.

    1 John 3:1-3 states:
    What marvelous love the Father has extended to us! Just look at it—we're called children of God! That's who we really are. But that's also why the world doesn't recognize us or take us seriously, because it has no idea who he is or what he's up to.But friends, that's exactly who we are: children of God. And that's only the beginning. Who knows how we'll end up! What we know is that when Christ is openly revealed, we'll see him—and in seeing him, become like him. All of us who look forward to his Coming stay ready, with the glistening purity of Jesus' life as a model for our own.

    Those are words of affirmation to the believer!

    The "e" list of affirming words are some of my favorites...enthusiastic, energetic,  effective entertaining.  Tell someone they are earnestly engaging as they offer an empathetic ear! The equipping of such traits is available to all, all who are willing to be filled by the Holy Spirit and accept God's exquisite love.  For when we are filled up by Him we have much more to offer others.

    "D" is for Disciplined

    "D" is for doggone cute!

    June 16-17
    "D" is also for disciplined.  What a great word of affirmation for those who keep the faith.
    Lift the spirits of a fellow believer this weekend by letting them know you've noticed how they keep on keeping on with Christ.

    The road to life is a disciplined life; ignore correction and you're lost for good.
    Proverbs 10:17

    For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how disciplined you are and how firm your faith in Christ is.
    Colossians 2:5

    "C" is for Captivating

    "C" is for cake.
    June 15
    ...wives: Be good wives to your husbands, responsive to their needs. There are husbands who, indifferent as they are to any words about God, will be captivated by your life of holy beauty. What matters is not your outer appearance—the styling of your hair, the jewelry you wear, the cut of your clothes—but your inner disposition. Cultivate inner beauty, the gentle, gracious kind that God delights in. 
    1 Peter 3:1-4

    Who comes to mind when you think of a woman whose inner beauty captivates her husband.  Turn today's passage into an affirming prayer for this individual.

    Father, today I come to you lifting up the life of ______________and praising You for the example of a godly wife she is to many.  Her inner beauty captivates not only her husband, who adores her, but it is attractive to all who come around her.  Thank You for her life and how You use her "style" in such a subtle way to draw others to a life in Christ.  May her example inspire other woman to not fret about hair styles, jewels or the latest fashions, but to see it is how they are dressed in their hearts that makes the biggest impact for Your kingdom.  In Jesus' Name, Amen

    "B" is for being Blessed

     "B" is for ball or....
    "B" is for babies.
    June 14
    "B" is also for being blessed!
    The beatitudes behold words of affirmation to anyone being tested!
    What a great passage in The Message translation to print off and keep in your pocket to pass on at a prime time when someone is about served out and possibly discouraged.  Bestowing these "blessing" reminders upon them will lift them up!

    Matthew 5  You're Blessed

     1-2 When Jesus saw his ministry drawing huge crowds, he climbed a hillside. Those who were apprenticed to him, the committed, climbed with him. Arriving at a quiet place, he sat down and taught his climbing companions. This is what he said:
     3"You're blessed when you're at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.
     4"You're blessed when you feel you've lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.
     5"You're blessed when you're content with just who you are—no more, no less. That's the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can't be bought.
     6"You're blessed when you've worked up a good appetite for God. He's food and drink in the best meal you'll ever eat.
     7"You're blessed when you care. At the moment of being 'care-full,' you find yourselves cared for.
     8"You're blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.
     9"You're blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That's when you discover who you really are, and your place in God's family.
     10"You're blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God's kingdom.
     11-12"Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don't like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.

    Words Of Affirmation

    June 13
    Our daughter's oldest son turned 14 months old yesterday and he isn't quite sure about the latest addition to their home.  The first three days his tactic was to ignore this new little bundle.  By day five, reality was sinking in that possibly this little squeaker wasn't leaving and an attitude of obstinance and defiance began to emerge.
    I decided to invoke a process of pouring words of affirmation over this big brother to help him acclimate to his new role and not become overwhelmed.  Googling "Words of Affirmation" a list came up, compiled by Michael Dorausch, of 101 Words.
    As time allows this month, I will plug these words into Bible Gateway and see what scriptures align with these "feel good" words.  Try complimenting others this week who exhibit these traits.
    (Or even if they don't allow them to try them on for size to make them feel good about themselves!)

    "A" is for "alligator" or words of Affirmation like "amazing" and "admirable".
    In chapter 26 of Job, he does a great job of reproving his "friend" Bildad with words of affirmation.
    Job answered: "Well, you've certainly been a great help to a helpless man!
       You came to the rescue just in the nick of time!
    What wonderful advice you've given to a mixed-up man!
       What amazing insights you've provided!
    Where in the world did you learn all this?
       How did you become so inspired?

    We could take Philippians 4:8 and turn it into a prayer of affirmations for someone. 

    Dear brother, dear sister, I praise the Lord for your friendship and example of being a servant of Christ who thinks about whatever it true, noble, right, pure, lovely and admirable. You set such a great tone by helping me focus on those things, which are excellent  and praiseworthy.  Thank you for being such a bright spot in my life.  In Jesus' name, Amen!

  • accomplished
  • admirable
  • amazing
  • amusing
  • approachable
  • articulate
  • attentive
  • benevolent
  • blessed
  • bold
  • bountiful
  • bright
  • brilliant
  • captivating
  • caring
  • charismatic
  • charming
  • cheerful
  • comfortable
  • compassionate
  • congenial
  • conscious
  • constant
  • courageous
  • courteous
  • dedicated
  • delightful
  • deserving
  • determined
  • disciplined
  • earnest
  • ecstatic
  • effective
  • eloquent
  • empathetic
  • energetic
  • engaging
  • entertaining
  • enthusiastic
  • equitable
  • expressive
  • exquisite
  • extraordinary
  • fascinating
  • fearless
  • flexible
  • fortunate
  • friendly
  • generous
  • genuine
  • gifted
  • glorious
  • gracious
  • gregarious
  • gutsy
  • helpful
  • honorable
  • immaculate
  • immense
  • impeccable
  • incomparable
  • incredible
  • ingenious
  • inspiring
  • intelligent
  • intuitive
  • inventive
  • jazzed
  • kindhearted
  • loyal
  • magnanimous
  • majestic
  • marvelous
  • motivating
  • optimistic
  • original
  • passionate
  • peaceful
  • perceptive
  • persistent
  • pleasing
  • poetic
  • powerful
  • quick-minded
  • remarkable
  • resourceful
  • respectful
  • rousing
  • selfless
  • sensational
  • sincere
  • spirited
  • stable
  • steadfast
  • steady
  • stunning
  • stupendous
  • trustful
  • understanding
  • unique
  • venturous


  • How Great Is Our God

    June 12

    I awakened this morning singing Hillsong's "How Great Is Our God" before my eyes even opened.  Holding a newborn brings me to a place of awe for God.
    Click on the link above and take a "praise" timeout.  Fold your hands together and as your fingers intertwine say a simple "I love You" prayer.  Then place your hand upon your heart and be still and feel each beat that has been given to you as a gift today by your Creator who made all things!

     Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being?” declares the LORD. “These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word."  Isaiah 66:2

    Everything was created through him; nothing—not one thing!— came into being without him.What came into existence was Life, and the Life was Light to live by. 
    The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness; the darkness couldn't put it out.   John 1:3

    A Shaded View

    June 9-11
    Whew, I promise I am praying lots and still seeking the Lord...just not finding much time with this almost 14 month old and 5 day old to get on the computer.

    Heading into Lowe's on Saturday I was quickly convicted of a judgmental call I've made against people who wear sunglasses inside.  When I've observed this attire I've been quick to surmise one of two scenarios.  One, they are hung over and do not want anyone seeing their eyes.  The second possibility is that they think they are really KOOL!
    I've already asked the Lord to forgive me, for I just acquired my first pair of prescription sunglasses and as I went in the store I realized that if I took them off I would not be able to read any information on the products I was shopping for and thus needed to where those SHADES in the store!  I was neither hung over or Kool!

    Sin can creep into the tiniest crevices of our hearts.

      “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way youjudge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? ...Matthew 7:1