Friday, February 15, 2013


I had a hard time deciding which verse I wanted to memorize this go 'round. I have been highlighting and saving several that I've run across over the past few weeks, but nothing had that "just-this-minute" quality until I ran across this one:

"May the words of my mouth 
and the meditation of my heart 
be pleasing to you, O Lord, 
my rock and my redeemer."
Psalm 19:14 NLT

Of my mouth. 
Oh, these are many, my friends. 

I've always been a talker. My earliest report cards always contained statements like this: "Leslie is a very good student. She is talkative, however." However.

And I've always been quick to speak -- too quick, at times. I don't know why some of us are just more naturally inclined to wordiness, but a burning desire to communicate has driven my career choice (journalism); my ministry bent (teaching); and has been the source of good (encouragement, occasional flashes of eloquence) and bad (hasty words, harsh words spoken too quickly, never-to-be-retrieved). 

So, yes, pleasing God in this area is definitely a matter of prayer -- but not only the words of my mouth, but the meditation of my heart. I'm a stewer. A re-player of conversations. A bundle of "what-ifs" and "shoulda-coulda-wouldas." So often, the late night meditations of my heart are consumed with these, or other worries, rather than, say for example, "whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, anything excellent or praiseworthy..." (Phil. 4:8) 
Think on these things. (I'll try.)

The New Living Translation asks that these be "pleasing to you, O Lord..." Several other translations say "acceptable."  I think the connotation is that the words of our mouths and the meditation of our hearts are offerings placed before God. The prayer is that they would be acceptable, pleasing...a fragrant offering. Make it so, Lord!

So...what are you memorizing?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

hello. also, i love you.

This is a "just for fun" post. I decided to pull together a few things from around the house to make a kind of "Valentine-ish" mantel, then decided to share it! Nothing fancy, just something to make me happy (and anyone else who wanders in our home!)
Here it is...

I used the lettered "LOVE" mugs from Anthropologie that we got for Michael and Maranda's wedding. (I poked some roses in the O mug that were leftover from the Chamber banquet last week.) The mugs were probably $6 each? They are propped on vintage books, also collected for M&M's wedding, mostly thrifted from the wonderful "Blessings All Around" shop in Gilbert (Shelli Tabor is such a delightful person -- if you live in the area, you should go there!)

I had some red ribbon, which I used some school glue to attach to some votives I already had, and tied another snippet of ribbon around some pillar candles from my candle stash. I also pulled a print from the wall in Jess' bedroom upstairs (not expecting overnight guests in the next few days, so I thought I'd bring it downstairs to enjoy!) 

It's from an Etsy shop -- theinksociety. I'm such a fan of "word" art. I probably overuse it in my home, but I love it! So, there you have it -- simple, sweet and it makes me happy!

And, here's another glimpse from my favorite perch in the living room.

Happy  Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Many-sided grace...

Time for another verse -- this one actually completes a little three-verse passage I'm working on. Here are the first two verses (typing from memory -- let's see how I do)...

"Above all else, love each other deeply, 
because love covers over a multitude of sins.

Cheerfully share your home 
with those who need a meal or a place to stay."
1 Peter 4:8-9 (8 in NIV, 9 in NLT)

The next verse is what attracted me to the passage in the first place because it contained a "key" word for word for the year...grace.

"As each has received a gift, 
use it to serve one another, 
as good stewards of God's varied grace."
1 Peter 4:10 ESV 
(Is it weird that I'm memorizing a three-verse passage in three different translations? Don't answer that.)

I love how the Amplified version describes God's grace as "many-sided"... As I contemplate grace...unmerited, undeserved favor...I'm struck with wonder that I'm a recipient of God's grace - that we all are. And while I say I'm thankful, I'm also struck by how often I expect others to "earn" my favor; to deserve it. In I Peter 4:10, we are told to be "good stewards of God's varied grace," and we do that by serving others with the gifts, the grace gifts, we've been given. 

We are blessed. 
We can bless. 
We receive grace and we can extend grace. 

Grace is not given to us so we can grasp it. We are called to become gracious, to allow the grace we've received flow through our lives to bless others.

If you're interested in participating in the Siesta Scripture Memory Team hosted by Beth Moore, find out details here. And post your Feb. 1 scripture here.   

Let's be a blessing. And extend some grace.