Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Browning and Blackberries

“Earth's crammed with heaven, And every common bush afire with God; But only he who sees, takes off his shoes . . . "

- Elizabeth Barrett Browning

In case you were desperately dying to know about the " . . . " in the above quotation, the quote ends with a riveting statement.

"The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.”

Hmm . . .

Monday, October 26, 2009


191. Fall stickers - - it's the little things in life. smile.

192. Mom and Dad made it home safely from Hawaii.

193. Seashells

194. Crayola markers

195. Warm cherry pie

196. Dining with Aunt and Uncle.

197. That God sees us as we will be.

198. Prison ministry.

199. Candlelight dinner

200. Child-comment . . . makes me grin.

201. Banana bread - - - funny how you can get good out of old, mellow bananas. :)

202. Running in the rain in a jean skirt. It can be done. :)

203. Warm heater in car

204. Focus on the Family broadcasts

205. Easy school days. :)

Happy Monday! Today is the day . . .

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Spinning Laundry

So I'm sitting here, listening to the laundry whirl about in the dryer, hoping it will soon dry so I can go to bed. Oh boy. Why did I get myself into this again? Oh, . . . it just beeped. Got to go check it . . . I'll be right back. . .

Okay, so it's not done yet. Rats. I wonder if wet towels will be okay, waiting for their turn in the ol' dryer 'til morning. Hmm. Anyway! Happy Wednesday! :)

So I had a break-through moment today. Well, kinda. I was pretty resistant to it, but I suppose it got the best of me. Now before I went to school this morning, I flipped the pages of my Bible to Lamentations 3:19-33. Amidst those verses is the commonly quote phrase, ". . . His compassions never fail. They are new every morning . . ." Isn't that great? Anyway (break-through moment still to come in case you were wondering . . . ), so after I closed my Bible and got around, my sis and I headed off to Spanish 3, our zero period class. Now, to be honest, I was not looking forward to this class.
Point A) I was tired.
Point B) The teacher had not shown up and left us stranded on Monday; I think we deserved to sleep in.
Point C) I was extremely exhausted.

Okay, so to sum it up, I was very tired and quite honestly, a little bitter. So, we arrived at school on time and in one piece, and our teacher showed up. So disgusted at this whole early-morning-Spanish thing, Sister and I and another student headed towards our classroom. Now, I know this is completely irrational (but that dumb human nature has a way of wrecking my life and like a fore mentioned, I was tired), but I was pretty aggravated with my teacher. Why in this whole little earth did he not call us Monday morning so we could have slept an extra hour instead of wait in our little cars and arriving at school out-landishly early for a class that didn't even happen because he was sick and had known about it the previous Friday? Feel my pain? But you know what hit me like a day old banana peal? "His compassions never fail" "New . . . EVERY morning." I have been so smothered in grace. It is beyond anything I could ever hope to deserve. I can count on the compassions of God, EVERY single morning, however early I have to wake up. If God has granted me something I completely don't deserve, why am I holding it back from another? [Ouch.] I needed to hear that. I'm so glad God uses His Spirit to teach me, even though I will willingly admit, His way is NOT the easy way. It's run-ten-laps-in-the-pouring-rain-then-20-crunches-followed-by-jogging-3.9-miles hard. Okay, maybe not, but you follow me? It's kinda exciting though, and in the end, it kinda feels a lot better. I am so stinking selfish. God has so much work to do with this pitiful creature, but I'm glad He hasn't given up on me yet. Oh boy am I glad.

Well, the dryer just beeped again. Hmm . . . I sure hope the load is done by now. If not, we might get wet towels in the morning. Smile. :) Happy day!

Monday, October 19, 2009


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171. Spotting an owl in neighbors' backyard

172. Bouquets of fall leaves in vase

173. Traveling mercies

174. Carpeted, wooden pews

175. E-mail from Lexington Pastor

176. Being taken out to dinner by church couple

178. Orange chicken . . . mmm.

179. Mini pumpkins

180. Car laughter between the sister and me . . . the birds were almost toast. Smile.

181. Grandma's comment . . . everyone makes mistakes, wouldn't want to be around you if you didn't.

182. Grandma Z.'s facebook messages. :)

183. No Spanish 3 this morning. :)

184. Wind currents brushing through my hair.

185. Message in church . . . we are God's house, His dwelling place.

186. Sister's photography (that's her picture of the owl . . . hopefully more will be coming from her portfolio. :)

187. Church people knowing and caring

188. "Wonderful Merciful Savior" sung yesterday. Mmm.

189. Poetry

190. My first college application. Finished. Yay!

Trust and gratefulness are my focuses right now. It's incredible how God lifts you up when you trust Him and thank Him. I'm not so good at it, but I'm learning. Step. By. Step. :)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Lemon Yellow

Fall has to be my favorite. The colors of the leaves make my pupils dilate. The rich, deep reds, the lemon yellows and bright, lime greens. I like the way the rain infuses small stems of grass and tiny particles of dirt during the fall. I also am entranced by the autumn sunlight, spraying color on a worn world. I am so glad to be living in a place with seasons. Seriously. :) It is beautiful.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Canadian Thanksgiving

It's been a brand new Monday. I limped into it wondering how I would make it. But I did. He never left. Ever. I shouldn't have been worried. Anyway, here's to another Monday and to the many gifts from a loving Father.

156. Fall-orange pumpkins

157. SAT finished . . . Jesus is my peace.

158. Parents' 25th anniversary! Yay!

159. School kits sent to needy kids.

160. Annual MCC Festival - - Fall tradition.

161. Walk during school in fresh fall air.

162. Caring, protecting words from teacher.

163. A new box of puzzle pieces to try soon maybe?

164. Senior pics finished? :)

165. Friends from church, a precious thing.

166. Driving through a sunrise.

167. The way the fog clings to earthen fields

168. Crisp fuji apple

169. The way that thankfulness ends up blessing me. Funny how that works.

170. Green cotton scarves.

PS The calendar says that it's Thanksgiving in Canada. Who knew, right? :) I hope you have a lovely Canadian Thanksgiving today, eh?!

Yours truly,
just Simply Danae

Saturday, October 10, 2009

A Dios

I successfully took a step closer to a possible college career. And. It. Was. EXHAUSTING. Three letters say it all . . . SAT. And no, I'm not talking about a couch and potato chips, thank you. :) I'm talking about the Standard Achievement Tests or whatever they're called. However, it was another reminder:
God Comes Through. Always. For His glory.
I wanted to give Him some space today in this lil' blog o' mine. I want to send up a thank You and a blessing. He is good all the time, and it truly was His peace that sustained me. :)

Yours truly,
just Simply Danae

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Free Falling

The time is late for an early morning rise tomorrow. But still, the words are boiling and bubbling, and I wonder if I might release a little steam before the time erodes, and I'm deathly tired tomorrow morning. :)

Isn't it incredible how one can discover oneself? How God so often unveils who we are in random, sometimes scarce but impacting moments? One thing He's showing me is that I've got a fix-it, problem solver, what-can-I-do-now mentality. Whenever I see a problem, my first response is, "What can I do?" as if I were responsible to take care of the world. Something I'm also learning this week is that I'm quite often not in charge of fixing the world's problems or the problems in the lives of my friends or the problems of awkwardness and silence. God is The Problem Solver. He proved that on two slabs of scabbing wood several years ago. I must surrender. Surrender means giving up my right to success. It means laying down a deep and searing need, the need to be needed. It means trusting with open arms, doesn't it? I need to learn a lot about free falling. Falling into Jesus. Well, I best be off. The time is savagely ticking away, and my eyelids are gravitating downward. Plus, I still have some English reading to do. Smile. :) But I also have a lot of other work to do. A lot of surrendering ahead of me. A lot of prayer to get me there. :) But we'll do it, won't we, Jesus?

Yours truly,
just Simply Danae

Monday, October 5, 2009

Multitude of Gifts Monday

Happy Monday! :) Things change when we learn the essence of thankfulness. I'm learning. I haven't quite arrived yet, but I'm learning. :)

141. Old garden shoes

142. The feel of the piano keys

143. Autumn drafts of oxygen

144. "Thank You" by 33 Miles

145. The tinges of red spray on the changing leaves

146. First fire in wood stove since early spring

147. Child smile

148. Special needs kids

149. Youth group special music

150. Four day weekends

151. Getting make-up done in Macy's . . . now that was interesting and embarrassing and kinda fun. :)

152. Thick, warm blankets

153. The harvest moon

154. His mercies are new . . . every morning.

155. Pumpkins speckled in orange about to overtake the green.

Happy Autumn. Happy brand new week. :)

Yours truly,
just Simply Danae

Friday, October 2, 2009

Be Thou My Vision

"The limits are, as always, those of vision." - James Broughton

I had the incredible pleasure of meeting "limited" kids today. My mom takes care of a little special needs boy, who goes to a school for kids like him and others who have special needs. My sister and I got to visit it today (Friday) since we didn't have school. Wow! What an incredible experience. Can I share some of these beautiful kids with ya? And of course, names will be changed due to "privacy reasons" . . . smile. :)

Justin is a freckled, cute little guy who can't see. His blindness is due to his father beating him when he was a baby. Cruelty is unnerving, but this child still smiles. (Why? I have no idea . . . yet I do kinda know 'cause I know the One who loves him) Anyway, he's the little guy that "coincidentally" told my mom he liked her hair after she had gotten a haircut, even though no other person had mentioned it. smile. I LOVE this kid! Of course, he's pretty ornery too. He was clapping his hands, trying to annoy this other little guy during a movie. Perfect? Uh, no. But adorable. He told my mom today, "Julia, I like you."
"I like you too, Justin."
"Have a fan-tabulous day!"
Isn't that the cutest thing? This guy may be limited by a lack of physical vision, but that little guy's outlook isn't impaired. He still smiles. He still claps his hands and twirls a container lid on the floor. He told another little boy, "Jeff," who is probably about the same age with most likely a learning disability, "Jeff, I like you."
Jeff responded without missing a beat, "Justin, I like you too."
I heard Justin say that again a little later to Jeff, and the answer was the same.

It's the child graces, isn't it? Maybe if we went around telling people not only that we love them, but that we like them, this world might be spread with a few more rays of sunshine. What do ya think?

Emily is a little down syndrome girl with blond hair and a bright smile. She doesn't talk, but her grin can speak volumes. We think she has a crush on the boy my mom takes care of who also cannot speak. I don't know about you, but love amazes me. Special needs, limited mind pulses cannot limit love. Maybe that's because God is love, and God is unbound, expansive, limitless.

Mark is a thin boy with droopy eyes. He whines and wails and the world seems to him to be against him. But still. Even in this miserable mess of a child, there's still something that makes me want to run with him and swing him on a swing and play catch with him because somewhere in his soul, I think there's a smile and a laugh. Of course, I know the whining must get old and the trying to curb his weary complaining must be so tiring to the teachers, and I'm sure that if I'd have stuck around longer, it might have got to me, but I still believe that these kids are so special in the eyes of Almighty God. I know because He creates in me a desire to love with His love kids I don't even know. I am made to wonder, also, what kinda care these kiddos get at home too. Maybe Mark doesn't get the hugs and the grins and the empathy and compassion at home. Maybe he's just starving.

Mandy has mental retardation, dark skin, and a big smile. She greets me by asking me when my birthday is. :) I helped her put some stickers in a book, and she grinned and smiled. She told me she was ten years old, and her favorite color is pink. What a jewel. [And side note here, I know a lot of people use the phrase, "That's retarded," but honestly, if I may, that bugs me. Retarded is a real, legit special need/mental illness, and it seems like it would hurt those who really are retarded or those with retarded family to say that. Just a thought . . . my soapbox speech for the day. :)]

Okay, one last little one. Seth is a blond head with what looks like I-just-got-out-of-bed hair. :) He is small, and again, it's his smile. That slight, happy boy smile that gets me. He plays Sorry with my sister, and she tells me later that he doesn't quite count right, but nonetheless, he wins! He's sooooo proud of himself. Honestly . . . he was beaming sunshine out his ears. :) His "vision" isn't impaired. He still smiles. Still grows. Still reaches. I have so much to learn from these kids.

I really hope I can go back and visit sometime. I know these kids aren't perfect. I know they've got a lot of dirt and scrapes and orneriness, but I know that there's a lot of loving that they need too. Maybe I can help with that. Maybe we can all help with that in the corner of our world. I hope your day is lovely. Grin big today. Dream. Don't be impaired by a lack of vision; be enabled by vision. It will change you. :)

Yours truly,
just Simply Danae :)

Oh, one last thing. I reaaaaaaaaaally like this song, and it ties in here. Enjoy the archaic language and the strong message. It is lovely. :)

Be Thou My Vision

Be Thou my Vision, Oh Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art---
Though my best thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son,
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Riches I heed not, nor man's empty praise,
Thou mine inheritance, now and always;
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of heaven, my victory won,
May I reach heaven's joys, O bright heav'n's Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all. Amen.