Saturday, December 25, 2010

christmas morn'

 Merry Christmas! there is nothing like the feeling that rises up inside your chest as consciousness first overtakes you on Christmas morning! out of all the days in the year, only Christmas holds this intrinsic magic, grace, joy, goodness. Holding in itself the greatest treasure the Earth has ever known- God's Son given to mankind to show the way to have life eternal, and to live to the fullest.

The Son of God became a man to
enable men to become the sons of God. 

God's gifts put man's
best dreams to shame. 
-Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Best of all, Christmas means a spirit of love, a time when the love of God and love of our fellow men should prevail over all hatred and bitterness, a time when our thoughts and deeds and the spirit of our lives manifest the presence of God.
-George F. McDougall 

Revel in your family, your friends, God's love, and this day. Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

alabama christmas

Thought I'd go ahead and share our Kirkpatrick-family traditions/plans for tonight (the 23rd), Christmas Eve & Christmas Day!

we'll have cousin Kristy & her husband, Parker back to Demopolis for the remainder of the holidays. We had borrowed the projector from their church, and connected it to Lydia's Mac for the viewing of White Christmas the other night. When made complete by a 6x8 foot screen, which we set up in the front entryway of the house, this made the open living room area into a veritable theater! It was truly incredible. Grandpa & Grandma were so impressed and it was such a wonder to them- really a fun night:) Tonight, we're going to try The Polar Express. should be a blast!

Tomorrow (CHRISTMAS EVE) We'll have breakfast together in the mid-morning, then off to take the usual family photographs at Foscue Park. . . a BEAUTIFUL state park brimming with evergreens & bordered on three sides by the Tom Bigbee River.  Tomorrow, by late afternoon, all of the presents will underneath the tree at G&G's house (where the magic happens). For the Christmas Eve dinner, we'll have Grandma's signature Oyster Stew, shrimp cocktail, cheese, crackers, chili, cookies, cake, fudge . . .and bubbly. We'll pack into 2 vehicles and drive around town to see all the Christmas lights we can stand- while listening to Christmas music of course! Then back to grandma & grandpa's to snuggle before the fire with coffee, cocoa, and hear Grandpa's ceremonial reading of The Night Before Christmas, and then the biblical Christmas story.

Saturday (CHRISTMAS), we all are to be at G&G's, ready to open gifts, by 7:30am. We'll open presents- as we ALWAYS have- in this way: youngest to oldest, one gift at a time, around and around, until all are unwrapped. It takes hours:) We'll open until 9am, and then have our traditional Christmas-morning breakfast of cinnamon rolls, orange-glaze rolls, and a variety of breakfast casseroles. (we eat WAY too much over this holiday time here, its rather gluttonous!)  After breakfast, we'll head off for the Christmas-morning service at First Presbyterian. . . at 10:30am. Then, back home to finish gifts. Pastor Tommy, his wife Miss Elaine & his family come over every year for Christmas supper at Grandma & Grandpa's. That will be a mid-afternoon feast of Roast Beef, potatoes, vegetables, casseroles, rolls, pies, cake, and other most-delicious offerings!  The rest of that day will wind down with naps, reading, resting, sharing, walking, and just reveling in each other!

As with all good things, this holiday will come to an end; we will leave for home on Sunday before the sun rises.

fernando ortega - carol of the birds

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

my sky

In my sky at twilight you are like a cloud
and your form and colour are the way I love them.
You are mine, mine, woman with sweet lips
and in your life my infinite dreams live.

The lamp of my soul dyes your feet,
the sour wine is sweeter on your lips,
oh reaper of my evening song,
how solitary dreams believe you to be mine!

You are mine, mine, I go shouting it to the afternoon's
wind, and the wind hauls on my widowed voice.
Huntress of the depth of my eyes, your plunder
stills your nocturnal regard as though it were water.

You are taken in the net of my music, my love,
and my nets of music are wide as the sky.
My soul is born on the shore of your eyes of mourning.
In your eyes of mourning the land of dreams begin.
-Pablo Neruda-

"i want to feel redemption flowing through my veins..."


"Indeed, if we will listen, a Sacred Romance calls to us through our heart every moment of our lives. It whispers to us on the wind, invites us through the laughter of good friends, reaches out to us through the touch of someone we love. We've heard it in our favorite music, sensed it in the birth of our first child, been drawn to it while watching the shimmer of the sunset on the ocean. The Romance is even present in times of great personal suffering: the illness of a child, the loss of a marriage, the death of a friend. Something calls to us through experiences like these and rouses in us an inconsolable longing deep within our heart, wakening in us a yearning for intimacy, beauty, adventure. 
This longing is the most powerful part of any human personality. It fuels our search for meaning, for wholeness, for the sense of being truly alive. However we may describe this deep desire, it is the most important thing about us, our heart of hearts, the passion of our life. And the voice that calls to us in this place is none other than the voice of God. We cannot hear this voice if we have lost touch with our heart."

-Brent Curtis & John Eldredge, The Sacred Romance

Monday, December 20, 2010

my soul breathes.

"Sometimes I wake, and, lo! I have forgot,
And drifted out upon an ebbing sea!
My soul that was at rest now resteth not,
For I am with myself and not with thee;
Truth seems a blind moon in a glaring morn,
Where nothing is but sick-heart vanity:
Oh, thou who knowest! save thy child forlorn.

Thy fishes breathe but where thy waters roll;
Thy birds fly but within thy airy sea;
My soul breathes only in thy infinite soul;
I breathe, I think, I love, I live but thee.
Oh breathe, oh think,--O Love, live into me;
Unworthy is my life till all divine,
Till thou see in me only what is thine.

When I no more can stir my soul to move,
And life is but the ashes of a fire;
When I can but remember that my heart
Once used to live and love, long and aspire,
Oh, be thou then the first, the one thou art;
Be thou the calling, before all answering love,
And in me wake hope, fear, boundless desire."

-excerpts from The Diary of An Old Soul, by George MacDonald 


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

"To love, means loving the unlovable. To forgive, means pardoning the unpardonable. Faith, means believing the unbelievable. Hope, means hoping when everything seems hopeless." 
-Gilbert K. Chesterton

Thursday, November 11, 2010

sail forth

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
-Mark Twain

“Sail Forth- Steer for the deep waters only. Reckless, O soul; exploring. I with thee and thou with me. For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared go. And we will risk the ship, ourselves, and all.”
-Walt Whitman

“We must free ourselves of the hope that the sea will ever rest. We must learn to sail in high winds.”
-Aristotle Onassis

“Sanctuary, on a personal level, is where we perform the job of taking care of our soul.”

get 'cha some.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


"We are desire. It is the essence of the human soul, the secret of our existence. Absolutely nothing of human greatness is ever accomplished without it. Not a symphony has been written, a mountain climbed, an injustice fought, or a love sustained apart from desire. Desire fuels our search for the life we prize. Our desire, if we will listen to it, will save us from committing soul-suicide, the sacrifice of our hearts on the altar of 'getting by.' The same old thing is not enough. It never will be."
-John Eldredge, from The Journey of Desire

"We are made in the image of God; we carry within us the desire for our true life of intimacy and adventure. To say we want less than that is to lie."
-John Eldredge, from The Journey of Desire

"One of the most poisonous of all Satan’s whispers is simply, “Things will never change.” That lie kills expectation, trapping our heart forever in the present. To keep desire alive and flourishing, we must renew our vision for what lies ahead. Things will not always be like this. Jesus has promised to “make all things new.” Eye has not seen, ear has not heard all that God has in store for his lovers, which does not mean “we have no clue so don’t even try to imagine,” but rather, you cannot outdream God. Desire is kept alive by imagination, the antidote to resignation. We will need imagination, which is to say, we will need hope. "
 -John Eldredge, from The Sacred Romance

more of the good stuff


"In wilderness is the preservation of the world. "
-Henry David Thoreau

Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit.
 -Edward Abbey

"What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the winter time. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the Sunset."

"No site in the forest is without significance, not a glade, not a thicket that does not provide analogies to the labyrinth of human thoughts. Who among those people with a cultivated spirit, or whose heart has been wounded, can walk in a forest without the forest speaking to him?... If one searched for the causes of that sensation, at once solemn, simple, gentle, mysterious, that seizes one, perhaps it would be found in the sublime and ingenious spectacle of all the creatures obeying their destinies, immutably docile."
-Honore de Balzact

"For I have learned To look on the nature, not as in the hour Of thoughtless youth; but hearing oftentimes The still, sad music of humanity, Nor harsh nor grating, though of ample power To chasten and subdue. And I have felt A presence that disturbs me with the joy Of elevated thoughts; a sense of sublime Of something far more deeply infused, Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns, And the round ocean and the living air, And the blue sky, and in the minds of man: A motion and a spirit, that impels All living things, all objects of all thought, And rolls through all things. Therefore am I still A lover of the meadows and the woods And mountains, and of all that we behold From this green earth, of all the mighty world Of eye, and ear -- both what they half create, And what they perceive, will be pleased to recognize In nature and the Language of the sense The anchor of my purest thoughts, the nurse, The guide, the guardian of my heart and soul Of all my moral being."
-William Wordsworth

"We simply need that wild country available to us, even if we never do more than drive to its edge and look in. For it can be a means of reassuring ourselves of our sanity as creatures, a part of the geography of hope."
-Wallace Stegner

"Once in a while you find a place on earth that becomes your very own. A place undefined. Waiting for you to bring your color, your self. A place untouched, unspoiled, undeveloped. Raw, honest, and haunting. No one, nothing is telling you how to feel or who to be. Let the mountains have you for a day."

from Frederick Buechner. . . . .

"To be commanded to love God at all, let alone in the wilderness, is like being commanded to be well when we are sick, to sing for joy when we are dying of thirst, to run when our legs are broken. But this is the first and great commandment nonetheless. Even in the wilderness - especially in the wilderness - you shall love him."

"The time is ripe for looking back over the day, the week, the year, and trying to figure out where we have come from and where we are going to, for sifting through the things we have done and the things we have left undone for a clue to who we are and who, for better or worse, we are becoming. But again and again we avoid the long thoughts….We cling to the present out of wariness of the past. And why not, after all? We get confused. We need such escape as we can find. But there is a deeper need yet, I think, and that is the need—not all the time, surely, but from time to time—to enter that still room within us all where the past lives on as a part of the present, where the dead are alive again, where we are most alive ourselves to turnings and to where our journeys have brought us. The name of the room is Remember—the room where with patience, with charity, with quietness of heart, we remember consciously to remember the lives we have lived."
(A Room Called Remember: Uncollected Pieces)

"I have come to believe that by and large the human family all has the same secrets, which are both very telling and very important to tell. They are telling in the sense that they tell what is perhaps the central paradox of our condition—that what we hunger for perhaps more than anything else is to be known in our full humanness, and yet that is often just what we also fear more than anything else. It is important to tell at least from time to time the secret of who we truly and fully are—even if we tell it only to ourselves—because otherwise we run the risk of losing track of who we truly and fully are and little by little come to accept instead the highly edited version which we put forth in hope that the world will find it more acceptable than the real thing. It is important to tell our secrets too because it makes it easier that way to see where we have been in our lives and where we are going. It also makes it easier for other people to tell us a secret or two of their own, and exchanges like that have a lot to do with what being a family is all about and what being human is all about."
 (Telling Secrets)

"It is a world of magic and mystery, of deep darkness and flickering starlight. It is a world where terrible things happen and wonderful things too. It is a world where goodness is pitted against evil, love against hate, order against chaos, in a great struggle where often it is hard to be sure who belongs to which side because appearances are endlessly deceptive. Yet for all its confusion and wildness, it is a world where the battle goes ultimately to the good, who live happily ever after, and where in the long run everybody, good and evil alike, becomes known by his true name....That is the fairy tale of the Gospel with, of course, one crucial difference from all other fairy tales, which is that the claim made for it is that it is true, that it not only happened once upon a time but has kept on happening ever since and is happening still."
(Telling the Truth: The Gospel as Tragedy, Comedy, and Fairy Tale)

Monday, November 8, 2010


"All our progress is an unfolding, like a vegetable bud. You have first an instinct, then an opinion, then a knowledge as the plant has root, bud, and fruit. Trust the instinct to the end, though you can render no reason. Be not the slave of your own past. Plunge into the sublime seas, dive deep and swim far, so you shall come back with self-respect, with new power, with an advanced experience that shall explain and overlook the old."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson 

Saturday, November 6, 2010

places i have left a part of me. . .

Taj Mahal in Agra, India

a favorite town: Ashville, NC
beautiful children in the Philippines
mountain hikes in GSMNP while living in TN. . . this is a favorite- the Chimney Tops

visiting a mosque in India

autumn in TN

sweet girl in the Philippines


beggar children in India

a sweet friend i made in Mexico
one of the most spellbinding towns in Spain- Toledo  


the sleeping lady, in anchorage, AK. . . fascinating story behind this mountain!

"And this, our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything." - William Shakespeare

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

the mystery

“Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery that it is. In the boredom and the pain of it no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace.”
-Frederick Buechner

"The winds of God are always blowing, but you must set the sails."

“Let mystery have its place in you; do not be always turning up your whole soil with the ploughshare of self-examination, but leave a little fallow corner in your heart ready for any seed the winds may bring...”
-Henri Frederic Amiel

the stable song

lyrics. . . . .

. . . . . we'd better breathe it

" If I find in myself desires nothing in this world can satisfy,
I can only conclude that I was not made for here
If the flesh that I fight is at best only light and momentary,
Then of course I'll feel nude when to where I'm destined I'm compared

Speak to me in the light of the dawn
Mercy comes with the morning
I will sigh and with all creation groan as I wait for hope to come for me

Am I lost or just less found? On the straight or on the roundabout of the wrong way?
Is this a soul that stirs in me, is it breaking free, wanting to come alive?
'Cos my comfort would prefer for me to be numb
And avoid the impending birth of who I was born to become

For we, we are not long here
Our time is but a breath, so we'd better breathe it
And I, I was made to live, I was made to love, I was made to know you
Hope is coming for me
Hope, He's coming... "

Monday, November 1, 2010

happy birthday Silas!


today my sweet pup, my best companion, is a year old.

  "He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion."
- Unknown

 "Dogs are our link to paradise. They don't know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring--it was peace." - Milan Kundera 

"He is my other eyes that can see above the clouds; my other ears that hear above the winds. He is the part of me that can reach out into the sea. He has told me a thousand times over that I am his reason for being; by the way he rests against my leg; by the way he thumps his tail at my smallest smile; by the way he shows his hurt when I leave without taking him. (I think it makes him sick with worry when he is not along to care for me.) When I am wrong, he is delighted to forgive. When I am angry, he clowns to make me smile. When I am happy, he is joy unbounded. When I am a fool, he ignores it. When I succeed, he brags. Without him, I am only another man. With him, I am all-powerful. He is loyalty itself. He has taught me the meaning of devotion. With him, I know a secret comfort and a private peace. He has brought me understanding where before I was ignorant. His head on my knee can heal my human hurts. His presence by my side is protection against my fears of dark and unknown things. He has promised to wait for me... whenever... wherever - in case I need him. And I expect I will - as I always have. He is just my dog."
- Gene Hill

“The one absolutely unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous, is his dog. . . .He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer; he will lick the wounds and sores that come in encounter with the roughness of the world. . . .When all other friends desert, he remains.” - George G Vest

Sunday, October 31, 2010

like a lake

"so much hurt and preservation
like a tendril round my soul
so much painful information
no clear way on how to hold it
when everything in me is tightening
curling in around this ache
I will lay my heart wide open
like the surface of a lake
wide open like a lake

standing at this waters edge
looking in at God's own heart
I've no idea where to begin
to swallow up the way things are
everything in me is drawing in
closing in around this pain
I will lay my heart wide open
like the surface of a lake
wide open like a lake

bring the wind and bring the thunder
bring the rain till I am tried
when it's over bring me stillness
let my face reflect the sky
and all the grace and all the wonder
of a peace that I can't fake
wide open like a lake

I am fighting to stay open. . . wide open like a lake."

-by Sara Groves

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Grace strikes us when we are in great pain and restlessness. It strikes us when we walk through the dark valley of a meaningless and empty life. It strikes us when we feel that our separation is deeper than usual, because we have violated another life, a life which we loved, or from which we were estranged. It strikes us when our disgust for our own being, our indifference, our weakness, our hostility, and our lack of direction and composure have become intolerable to us. It strikes us when, year after year, the longed-for perfection of life does not appear, when the old compulsions reign within us as they have for decades, when despair destroys all joy and courage.

Sometimes at that moment a wave of light breaks into our darkness, and it is as though a voice were saying: "You are accepted. You are accepted, accepted by that which is greater than you, and the name of which you do not know. Do not ask for the name now; perhaps you will find it later. Do not try to do anything now; perhaps later you will do much. Do not seek for anything; do not perform anything; do not intend anything. Simply accept the fact that you are accepted!"  

If that happens to us, we experience grace After such an experience we may not be better than before, and we may not believe more than before. But everything is transformed. In that moment, grace conquers sin, and reconciliation bridges the gulf of estrangement. And nothing is demanded of this experience, no religious or moral or intellectual presupposition, nothing but acceptance.

-Paul Tillich, The Shaking of The Foundations, from chapter 19

Saturday, October 23, 2010

stones under rushing water

. . . I hope this song speaks to you this day as much as it does to me. . . enjoy.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

fairy tales

“I am concerned with a certain way of looking at life, which was created in me by the fairy tales, but has since been meekly ratified by the mere facts.”
- G. K. Chesterton 

. . . . .Chesterton believed the fairy tale had a more important value than just the ethical lessons. (After all, adults do not need magical frogs to learn how not to lie.) At a higher level, the fairy tale placed in Chesterton’s heart the conviction “that this world is a wild and startling place, which might have been quite different, but which is quite delightful”. Chesterton believed that what modern people called incontrovertible and unalterable scientific facts were in reality mysterious. He explains the difference between this “scientific fatalism” and the views of the “fairy-tale philosopher”.

Fairy tales challenge the reader to imagine magical worlds different from our own. We are reminded by the fairy tale of the thing we never should have forgotten — that our world might have been different and is magical the way it is: unexplainable, unpredictable, wild, and surprising. With our imaginations awakened, we can see with new eyes our own world filled with wonder once again.

“The books or the music in which we thought the beauty was located will betray us if we trust to them; it was not in them, it only came through them, and what came through them was longing. These things– the beauty, the memory of our own past– are good images of what we really desire; but if they are mistaken for the thing itself, they turn into dumb idols, breaking the hearts of their worshippers. For they are not the thing itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never yet visited.

Do you think I am trying to weave a spell? Perhaps I am; but remember your fairy tales. Spells are used for breaking enchantments as well as for inducing them. And you and I have need of the strongest spell that can be found to wake us from the evil enchantment of worldliness which has laid upon us for nearly a hundred years.”
–C.S. Lewis, “The Weight of Glory,” in The Weight of Glory and Other Addresses

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

sailing. . .

"We’re adrift on a sailboat
My love is the sea
Yours is the horizon
Constant and steady

You set my limbs locked hard afloat
Lifted my lonesome sails
The tide is out, the moon is high
We’re sailing

Darling, your love is healing
It makes the bitter sweet
Warms the winter to spring again
Secures the colds defeat

We’re cutting anchor
Casting out into the glorious deep
The tide is out, the moon is high
We’re sailing

When we’ve succumb to decrepitude
Still our love will remain in its youth
The tide is out, the moon is high
We’re sailing
We’re sailing
We’re sailing"

Saturday, October 16, 2010


today began with a frost all upon us and a beautiful sunrise to take off the chill. God is so good to us. . .

"The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness."  
Lamentations 3:22-23 

the Farmer's market was lovely this morning- delicious raisin walnut bread & this bouquet lit up my arms!

today most certainly will entail hot tea-sipping, Silas-snuggling, and  reading an assortment of the many books i am currently entangled in. (yes, i am one of those. . . it seems to have happened  to me in the past year or two)

pizza & football game tonight at my parent's house. really looking forward to it, since its the last time we'll all be together until Christmas. . . My sweet sister, Lydia heads back down to Tennessee tomorrow!

Just living this weekend . . . on Monday I begin a whole new chapter: the bank job.
Park National Bank, here I come! I'm a little nervous, but I am sure it will turn out to be wonderful.
“The glory of God is man fully alive.” – St. Irenaeus

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

a breath of fresh air

"If you've gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don't push your way to the front; don't sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don't be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.

Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn't think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn't claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion.

Because of that obedience, God lifted him high and honored him far beyond anyone or anything, ever, so that all created beings in heaven and on earth—even those long ago dead and buried—will bow in worship before this Jesus Christ, and call out in praise that he is the Master of all, to the glorious honor of God the Father. 

What I'm getting at, friends, is that you should simply keep on doing what you've done from the beginning. When I was living among you, you lived in responsive obedience. Now that I'm separated from you, keep it up. Better yet, redouble your efforts. Be energetic in your life of salvation, reverent and sensitive before God. That energy is God's energy, an energy deep within you, God himself willing and working at what will give him the most pleasure.

Do everything readily and cheerfully—no bickering, no second-guessing allowed! Go out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society. Provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God. Carry the light-giving Message into the night. . ."

-Philippians 2- (from The Message translation of the Holy Bible)


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

My Love Hasn’t Grown Cold

You shake your head
What is so hard to believe?
When you are in your bed
I sing over you the sweetest things
Because oh, my love, it does not tire
I’m awake when the moon is full
And I know the times when you feel lost
And you just aren’t sure

Lo and behold
My love hasn’t grown cold
For you

You could steal away in the middle of the night
And hide in the light of day
While you cloak yourself in the darkest lies
But oh, my love, it swims in the deepest oceans of fear
And as soon as you lower your head
I am here

If only you could see how heaven stills when you speak
I know all your days
And I have wrapped you in mystery
And oh, my love for you is as wide as the galaxies
Just hold out your hand and close your eyes
And come be with me.

-by Bethany Dillon

“I will lead her back once again. I will lead her out into the desert and speak tenderly to her there. I will return her vineyards to her and transform the Valley of Trouble into a gateway of hope. She will give herself to me there, as she did long ago when she was young, when I freed her from her captivity in Egypt. “In that coming day, says the Lord, you will call me ‘my husband’ instead of ‘my master.’” 
(Hosea 2:14-16)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


“The best things in life are unexpected - because there were no expectations.”
what a great thought to keep in mind! lately the topic of EXPECTATION has been presented before me again and again- and i do believe for good reason. So much of the disillusionment i undergo is a result of the dreaming and unrealistic nature of the expectations I had (& do) set up for my life and for "where I would be by now", etc,etc. we all do it to some degree. i think the optimist, dreamer,artist-types like myself do this more than most. . . how it can burn us!

One of the articles that fell into my lap in the past few weeks was this one about an artist named Dave Barnes: He talks about how he deals with expectations of life.

“I’ve been very blessed but still struggle with a head full of dreams," he shares. "Be it good, be it bad, what do we do when we don’t get what we expected?”

"What really blows my mind is that every day is a constant invitation from God, for us to participate is His will for our lives," he says. "Yet something that the devil loves to do is to pull us into thinking that there's just that one chance, that one choice, and when you've made that choice you've made it for the rest of your life. And the beauty of what God says is, 'No! Every second of every moment, of every day, of every year of your life, I'm inviting you to do this, and You can participate or not.' Every moment God gives us is another chance," he concludes.

ahhh, i'll conclude with one of the other GREAT pieces of literature that came to mind in the past week from the fourth chapter of Philippians:

"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength. "