Wednesday, October 31, 2012


When I was a kid, I marveled at the thought of reaching twenty years old. Some days, I even feared I wouldn’t make it that far! Not because of any destructive behaviors or dangers I faced, but just the thought of the massive amount of years twenty seemed. I mean, to a ten year old, that’s not just old that’s ancient!
How blown would my ten-year-old self be to imagine me now – nearly twice the far-reaching goal of getting to twenty. Back then, would ten-year-old me even dare to imagine spending twenty years with the best friend anyone could ever ask for, twenty years with the man God intended all along for only me, twenty years with my other half?
It all started on that Kentucky Halloween night twenty years ago on the campus of Asbury College in the student center – the spark that lit the fire –one evening that determined all other evenings since – God saw it fit to have two paths cross – my Daniel and I met.
Twenty years ago today…and I thought I loved him then.
Love you, babe!
Happy Halloween, Dry Ground friends. Be safe!
(photo by yours truly - Sept. 2012)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Matthew 6:25-34
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

Mark 4:39
He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, "Quiet! Be still!" Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.

Also, FYI, I'm glad to report that Baddie Sandy did not in any way ruin our 'meet' of my Twi-friend. It was a fantabulous day!

Peace to you, Dry Ground friends.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Face to Face

1 Corinthians 13:12 – For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

 We live in the age of social media, which connects individuals from opposite sides of the world via Facebook or a video chat or instagram. In about a hundred years, we’ve gone from Morse Code and a telegraphs to telephones, faxes, emails, and Twitter. I’m astounded that not that long ago, when I was in elementary school, we had a pen pal project, writing letters to kids in other countries as a way to be exposed to different cultures and people. I think my pen pal was from Sweden. We actually wrote several times back and forth. That’s unheard of now.
I like it, though. There are people from high school, college, the various places we’ve lived, even some family members whom I would never have heard from or ‘seen’ again had it not been for these amazing technological miracles.
One of the best things for me to come from social media is a friend I connected with over a shared love for Jesus first and foremost but also the Twilight Saga. We had similar views on the analogy it can pose and the spiritual lessons to be gleaned from its pages. She found my blog on the subject (see sidebar for those entries – starting with How Reading a Vampire Book Brought Me Closer to Jesus), I in turn got to read hers on the same subject, and there you go. We’ve stayed in contact since, going on three years now! Wow!
Here’s the thing – we’ve never met. Not face to face.
When we first made contact, I think I was living in Phoenix. Or I’d just moved to Knoxville. Since then, I’ve moved five times! My point being, I always hoped that the next move would land me a little closer to where my Twi-friend (as I affectionately call her) lives, but to no avail… until now.
It’s still going to take a little driving, but I’m so jazzed to say that this weekend, we’ve made arrangements to ‘meet.’ I’m nervous and excited, but mostly just thankful to God. What a blessing she has been and I anticipate she will continue to be. Getting to hug her neck is just a bonus.
It made me think about Jesus. Sometimes, I feel like people wonder how we, as Christians, can have such a close relationship with someone we’ve never ‘met.’ But isn’t the situation sort of similar to the one with my Twi-friend?
Jesus reached out to me and I accepted the connection. Through His love letters, the Bible, and prayer (a type of social ‘media’ in a way), we’ve built a relationship. And one day, though I do not know the day or hour, I WILL get to meet Him face to face and hug His neck!! How can I be any less excited to get to that day? I should look forward to it with all that I am, and I do. That’s how I can say that I ‘miss’ my best friend and Perfect Lover although I’ve never seen or touched Him.
It’s the hope of the promise that I one day will see and touch Him that sometimes is my only reason to keep going. And that results in joy, no matter the circumstances or conflicts or even pleasures of life.
I am thankful for this tangible experience that mirrors my awaited personal introduction to my Savior. I hope that you know that you can look forward to meeting Him too! Just be sure to ‘friend’ Him now.
By the way, speaking of Twilight, the last installment of Twi-blogs is upcoming, starting in November and leading to the release of the final theatrical episode of the Twilight Saga. I hope you’ll stay tuned.
Have a wonderful weekend, Dry Ground friends.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Living Water

Deuteronomy 32:2 – Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants.

As we search for a home church here in our new home of Virginia, the picture of Jesus as water came to mind. The Bible says He offers living water, so that if we drink it we’re never thirsty again. But I was thinking more along the lines of a body of water and our relationship to it.
Let’s see if I can explain myself…
When I go to the beach, I am perfectly content to walk along the sand, maybe get my toes wet, admire the beauty of crashing waves from the safety of land. I’m not afraid of the water, per say, as long as I have a boat or the luxury of a pool! I can swim, but the unfamiliarity of the ocean and what lurks just beyond my range of sight (which for me is not that far!) gets me nervous. It has all my life. I’ve been on some of the most beautiful beaches in the world – Trunk Bay in St. John for instance – and yet I spent the entire time anchored to the beach while my mother snorkeled by herself the underwater national park full of living treasures like coral and tropical fish.
My Daniel, on the other hand, must explore the depths. My surfer dude grew up splitting time between both coasts, so he is familiar with large bodies of wild water. He has no fear swimming out, diving down, finding what he can find – like that living sand dollar I pictured here a couple posts back. 
While my phobias are not likely to change this late in life concerning ocean swimming, I have a deep desire that my spiritual life more resembles my Daniel’s passion. If Jesus is the Living Water, I don’t want to just admire Him from the beach or simply get my toes wet. I don’t even want merely to skim along the surface like a water skier. When it comes to Jesus, I want to be a deep sea diver – immerse myself completely, plunge fearlessly below the tossing waves to the calm depths where the treasures are.
The Living Water I can literally immerse myself in is His Word, the Bible. We’re never too old or young, too bright or dull, experienced or just starting out to learn something every time we open His Book. Going to church, finding fellowship with other Believers and sitting under the shepherding care of a pastor, is a vital avenue to those Living Waters.
I pray you have found, and we find, a congregation committed to deep sea diving.
Hope you’re having a great week, Dry Ground friends! Keep on swimming!

Friday, October 19, 2012

When I hear this new Toby Mac song, I think - it's a love song! In the romantic world of God's amazing love for us, this just makes me smile. I hope you listen, smile, and have a superb weekend, Dry Ground friends!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Most of us have heard the principle/analogy of sowing and reaping, right? The principle of planting, growth and fruition apply to many aspects of life. Whether talking about life goals, behavior, evangelism, life purpose, reaping what we sow is a universal, accepted (traditionally) fairness doctrine for us all. As well it should be accepted – it is a universal Truth.
As we stick to the routine of our lives, though, it’s easy to forget Paul’s reminder to ‘not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.’ Basically, sometimes it seems we do a ton more sowing than we do reaping. Do you ever get tired of hearing people say, ‘At least you planted the seed’? I do. Others must or Paul wouldn’t have offered that encouragement in his letter to the Galatians.
Well, recently, I got a glimpse of the harvest from a seed planted many years ago. I can’t describe the thrill it gave me. While feeling the satisfaction of the fruit being worth the wait, I was overwhelmed with the feeling of a full heart toward God for His promises being yes and amen. I actually felt more in love with Jesus at that moment – which I honestly didn’t think was possible. It was awesome.
No, I’m not sharing the details – purposely. However, I hope, nonetheless, it encourages someone out there to, indeed, keep sowing good, press through the weariness, and trust God to bring a wonderful and abundant harvest.
I love living in a state where Autumn is a lovely, sustained season as represented in brilliant foliage colors contrasted against stark blue skies. On a walk this week, I couldn’t refrain from snapping a million photos of God’s glorious creation. Hope you enjoy the ones I share here.
Hope your week fairs well, Dry Ground friends!

(photos by yours truly)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Pity Party

Ever wonder what an invitation to an actual pity party would look like? Do you RSVP? Bring a gift or a covered dish? Get there early or arrive fashionably late? Is it black tie or business casual?
Truth is, there’s nothing about pity quite attractive enough to make a party of it, right? Self-pity is just pitiful. BUT we all have our days when nothing seems to go right, it seems like everyone is picking on us, and everything seems worthy of some complaint or criticism.
I HATE days like that. I also HATE to admit that I have days like that. Still, stress, change, tiredness, illness – all of these things open the door to bad days the unfortunately involve a little (or… okay… a lot) of ‘poor me.’
You’d think I’d be used to it by now, but I still get the blues a couple of weeks into a move. That’s about the time in the adjustment phase when the excitement of the move has worn off but I haven’t quite settled into a comfortable, home-feeling routine. Haven’t met anyone new yet to hang out with, haven’t completed the church-search yet, don’t have a job yet, my Daniel’s getting used to his new job… I admit it. I get mopey. It happens every time.
But the remedy is the same every time too.
The Bible is full of specific calls to action to combat self-pity. Here are a few…
“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in You.” (Isaiah 26:3)
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, 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.” (Phil. 4:6-8)
“And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts… and always be thankful.” (Col. 3:15)
Peace is the goal. Praise – thanksgiving – is the answer.
Even when my feelings tell me to frown, praise can’t go on for long without a smile popping up. It is a universal, planted in our DNA principle. At the time, it seems like the most monumental task ever. But then again, how simple of a solution could I ask for?
Praise + thanksgiving = peace.
Thanks for letting me transparent with ya’ll, Dry Ground friends. Hope it ends up encouraging you. Have a great week!

Friday, October 12, 2012


I love those seemingly insignificant moments when whatever task I’m working at comes out perfectly. Like the random stack of napkins I picked up from the pile happened to be the exact number needed for the number of place settings I have. Or when all the socks match up after doing laundry. Or the candies my Daniel and I are sharing at the movies divide evenly between us.
Recently, on the last day I worked at the theatre in Florida before we moved to Virginia, I experienced such a situation – but with a twist that made me think!
It was stock day. Among the items delivered was a box of medium popcorn bags. For inventory purposes, whoever is working at the time removes the bags from the box and puts them into bundles of twenty-five. To do this, rubber bands are required. Usually, an entire bag of rubber bands is in one of the concession cabinets, but this time the bag had only a few bands in it – not nearly enough to complete the task. So, I went on the hunt for a supply of rubber bands. I collected spare ones from the box office, the manager’s office, the far recesses of the concession cabinets. Along the way, I didn’t count them. I just did my best to find as many as I could. Armed with a handful, I started the task before me. Fast forward – I got to the last bundle of popcorn bags and picked up the next to last rubber band! Elated that I’d found more than enough, I felt the thrill of completing the task successfully.
But then… the next to last rubber band snapped apart!
Therefore, I had collected exactly the right amount of rubber bands because the next to last one snapped and I needed that last one.
In the course of life, we are generally idealistic about what compromises a ‘perfect’ life. The slightest deviation from the vision often sets us to complaining or worrying or doubting, not to mention questioning God and His goodness.
Besides this being an incredibly self-centered perspective, the popcorn bag task gave me an illustration that provided a silver lining.
Sometimes, events in life are like that snapped rubber band – something unexpected, startling, painful, devastating. It’s as if it is the last rubber band, and without it leaves life incomplete, unsuccessful.
But there’s one more rubber band. God has provided it, and knew you’d need it long before you did. And that means, in the course of things, everything turns out perfectly.
Don’t let the snapped rubber bands discourage you. Everything is working out for the good… uh oh! There’s that verse again. Guess it’s a theme this week. *wink*
Happy Weekending, Dry Ground friends! Rejoice in the Lord! (Phil. 4:4)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Mount Trashmore

A plus to living in Virginia is that it is my Daniel’s teen-years home – he graduated from a VA Beach high school and has many special memories of the area. One of the memories I’ve always heard about is Mount Trashmore Park, a tall mound of landfill waste transformed into a green space. We visited, I for the first time, the other day, and took the quick assent to the top just so I could say I’d done it. Standing at the top, it’s impossible to guess that underneath my feet was piled several stories of trash. The only evidence – a single pipe venting any decaying gasses from its depths.
It got me thinking…
If we open the doors to our pasts, most likely a pile of unwanteds and unmentionables will come tumbling out like opening a typical teenager’s closet. In a spiritual sense, we can take out the trash, clean it all up by trusting Jesus to redeem and restore us. That, however, doesn’t always erase the consequences. Sometimes, we just have to live with the results of bad or misled decisions and unfortunate circumstances or experiences.
But that doesn’t mean we have to live in a trashy life, wallowing in the middle of refuse and misery. I think we can choose to look at that which we would throw out if we could as the makings of a place like Mount Trashmore. Cover each layer of trash with good soil and grass (Jesus redeeming blood, God’s Word, forgiveness), then stand on it – get it under our feet! Another layer of trash comes along? Mix it with the good stuff and stand on it. These layers, then, are transformed into a mountain, a high place from which you can see farther, have a different perspective, enjoy a beautiful park. In time, you’ll see how “…in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Rom. 8:28)
Happy Wednesday, Dry Ground friends!
(photos by yours truly!)

Monday, October 8, 2012

Greetings from Virginia! My Daniel and I are settling in and already feeling at home. Almost done organizing after which I'll hopefully have more time to write. In the meantime, I'll share something I read recently that made me smile. Hope it does the same for you. Have a blessed start to the week, Dry Ground friends! (photo by yours truly)

Thou sayest, Fit me, fashion me for Thee.
Stretch forth thine empty hands, and be thou still.
O restless soul, thou dost but hinder Me
By valiant purpose and by steadfast will.
Behold the summer flowers beneath the sun,
In stillness his great glory they behold;
And sweetly thus his mighty work is done,
And resting in his gladness they unfold.
So, are the sweetness and the joy Divine
Thine, O beloved, and the work is Mine.
-Ter Steegen

Friday, October 5, 2012

Florida Files - Lasting Impressions

 I'm going to let these tell their own stories. Hope you like. I'm thankful for the opportunity to live in such a beautiful place even for a little while.
Hope your week has been wonderful. Happy Weekending!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Florida Files - Wildlife

I get excited when I see special things in the wild - natural sights that are not manufactured or set up in a zoo or entertainment park. For example, something I didn't get a pictures of (darn it), was an osprey hovering over a body of water... hovering...hovering...dive, Dive, DIVE... plunging head first and disappearing into the water... emerging with large fish in claws. I actually jumped up and down and exclaimed, "That was awesome!!!"
Like I said, though, I did not get a picture or video of that. But here are a few critters I did capture.

 Our apartment view happened to be a large pond home to several different birds, including three resident ducks. One of the ducks sat on the 16 eggs, pictured left, for several weeks. Finally, the two chicks, pictured on the right, were the only two to emerge.

Florida is known for alligators, right? But it isn't like they are walking down the sidewalks. Glad we spotted this one at Lettuce Lake Park in Tampa.

Pelicans! Nearby swam half a dozen porpoises... much more difficult to capture on camera, for sure.

Probably the coolest sighting, in my opinion - a school of manta rays! They reminded me of a military jet flyover at a sporting event except gliding through the water instead of the air. Gorgeous.

 Because of my dear scientist bird-watching daddy, my Daniel and I are particularly tuned in to the aviary world. I'm not as good at bird pictures as my father, but in Florida I had many opportunities. This one is a wood stork!

The two birds in this picture are great blue herons. As we watched them, they were doing some sort of dance, turning in unison and fluffing out their wings and tail feathers like synchronized swimmers. 

 These jellyfish baddies were ALL OVER this beach. They're the ones that scare me the most!!! They're so transparent and so many different sizes, I had a hard time spotting them until I was TOO close for my comfort! My Daniel helped me navigate, though, and we both easily avoided any stings.

Dozens and dozens of horseshoe crabs. Dan said he'd never seen so many congregating together like that.

A LIVE sand dollar Dan found off shore. His little fringes were wiggling all around and he secreted on Dan's hand! HAHA! After showing me, Dan carefully placed the little guy back out in the safety of his natural environment.

My Daniel and I SUPER enjoyed encountering God's creation in Florida! Hope you enjoyed the pictures. Friday, I'll share some of my favorite, more artsy pics. Hang in there, Dry Ground friends! Week's half done!

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Florida Files - Experiences

This week, while I'm unpacking in my new Virginia home, I thought I'd share some images from our time in Florida. I hope you enjoy!
This first installment is a selection of various experiences with my co-adventurer that we will remember as 'the best of times.'

This is the scene from our apartment building about ten seconds AFTER we finished unpacking the moving truck! Talk about perfect timing!

Of course, the very first weekend we lived in FL, we went to the beach. Subway on the seashore - can't beat that!

A 'signature' picture in the Adventures of Dan and Lori files. 

While we lived in FL, we celebrated the big 4-0 for my Daniel! Part of the day included this quirky little cupcake cafe in Sarasota, FL.

Key lime and chocolate peanut butter... delicious! We'd vote them to win on Cupcake Wars!

I don't know what day or at what beach I took this, but I call it my 'personal 007' photo. *smile*

One day trip we made took us to Sanibel Island, a place I visited with my grandparents when I was eight. Also went on vacation there with my parents and cousin, Shannon. There in 1982, I ate key lime pie, the way it SHOULD be made, for the first time. So of course, I had to have a piece in 2012 and share it with my Daniel. It lived up to the memory!
On Wednesday, I'll share some of the amazing wildlife we saw in FL. Hope to see you then! Have a great week, Dry Ground friends!