March 3, 2011

Be Childlike… and Rest!


Lately, I have been intentional about adopting a more childlike lifestyle. Isn’t it interesting that the Lord would decide to launch this campaign within my heart at the same time that I begin to walk through many open doors and seize brand new opportunities that have presented themselves?
If you’re anything like me, anytime I make a resolve to “do great things for God”… I dig my feet in, rise up early in the morn, burn the midnight oil and give every ounce of all I’ve got until I burn out. And that’s just the first day!

This time seems different. Even as I began to take the steps that followed saying YES to these new ventures, I immediately heard Him whispering those words from “The Messiah” based on Psalm 37: “Oh Rest in The Lord. Wait patiently for Him and He will give you your heart’s desires”.

In all the working, being and doing… it is so important to find REST in Him. Yes, the physical rest is extremely necessary but also cultivating mental & emotional rest are just as strategic. It is so much easier to shift gears into overdrive all in the name of Excellence. Yet there is a place of endurance that we must find in order to not only begin… but to also perservere to the end.
Learning to rest in the midst of the work is key. Allowing Him to be a partner with us, throughout our day and alongside of us as we serve, brings an element of refreshing and support that we need.

Note to self today: “Take time to receive the rest of the Lord… even as you work. Just as a child plays hard & will often voice their desire to “do it themselves”, they also come running for hugs and kisses at random times throughout the day. Jesus, is available to you at all times… to come and be held. Drink in the refreshing of His presence and remember that His yoke is easy and His burden is light. Always.

Bless you in your restful, productive day today!

For more great posts from others who are helping to “Keep Faith Fresh”, check out my friends at:


March 2, 2011

Word-Filled Wednesday – The Kindest of Clothing

“What to wear… what NOT to wear”… it’s the question that resounds each day of our lives, as we try to present our prettiest picture to the world around us.
Whether we are heading into the office for the day, playing chauffeur or preparing for a great night on the town, we ponder what will be most appropriate, flattering and well, I’ll say it… slenderizing 😉

The clothes we put on our bodies are meant to be a source of protection from outside elements, comfort, warmth and yes, individualism. What we choose to put on expresses our intentions to those who see us and tells our story long before we ever speak.

Colossians 3:12 (through 14) encourages us in this:

So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it. ~Message Bible

Ah, don’t you just love that imagery?!
I think God just may be into the “layered” look 😉

Have a beautiful day! Love sure does look GREAT on you,

For more inspiration, click here!



March 2, 2011

Kindness Matters…

Something wonderful begins today!
Not only is it the beginning of a brand new month… it is also the kickoff of a wonderful campaign out here in the blogosphere: 31 Days of Kindness.

For the next 31 days, I am joining in with a kind-conscious individual to practice random acts and splash a little happiness around.

Would you like to join in on the fun? If so, you are welcome to visit the link above, download the Manifesto, and make your kind contributions in whatever way you like!

Do let me know if you’re in… I’d love to drop by and see what you’re up too :0)

Until tomorrow,

February 23, 2011

>WFW – Transformation

>One of my favorite things about blogging, is sharing about God’s word. I always look forward to Wednesday, when bloggers from all over, share artwork and scriptures to convey a message of faith that speaks to them during the week and that they desire to pass along to their readers.

My heart is fixed on the Lord and my focus is on Transformation both, spiritually and in the natural, so this picture really blessed me. I hope it does the same for you!

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life – your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life – and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.

Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. ~Romans 12: 1-2 (The Message Bible)

For more Word-filled Wednesday inspiration, stop by here

February 23, 2011

>Happy Faces… Happy Hearts


Last week, I had a few vacation hours that needed to be used… soooo I headed down to Atlanta to see some of my favorite people. My Sis, my bun-in-the-oven neice… affectionately called “Baby Bump” and this little face right here, my nephew Tayo!

Always the comedian, I had to share this pic which was pretty much the state of our faces the entire time. Smiles, smiles and more smiles!

Leaving lots of details out… for time’s sake, I will suffice to say that after such a great weekend we all were left with happy faces and happy hearts!
I am so grateful… for the precious time we were given.

Dear Daddy,
For being YOU… and for being able to cheer away the chill of Winter in both the natural and within my heart. The Love of family and the joy of children so filled with Light, Life and incredible imagination has a way of bringing sunshine that fills us up so beautifully!
Renewal happened…and I feel the anticipation of Spring. Newness!
I welcome all that is in store, knowing you have reviewed it all and smiled upon it.
My heart is happy, because of Your plan and your provision.
Bless my precious family. May they remain joyful throughout the week, even as I will. May we always remember to smile up at You, as You smile upon us.
Lord, let the Light of Your face shine on us.
You are radiantly lovely and we long for You…
In Jesus’ Name.

February 19, 2010

>Blessings and Brokeness – Day 2

>Today was eventful.
It felt like Christmas as an amazing friend honored me with some much needed resources… just in the knick of time. They just kept coming…and I was overwhelmed with gratitude!

It felt like heartbreak, as I grieved with other friends who lost their jobs today.

A little sweetness… and alot of bitter.

Jesus, I wonder if your journey was like that while you walked the Earth.
How I long to have a peek at one of your really good days… you know, where you laughed and maybe played a bit. I’m sure I’d be touched to see a time when the loving-kindness of one of your friends caused your heart to feel such bliss.
I know so much more about your painful times… of being mocked, scorned, judged, accused and even worse.

How often did you smile? Was your laughter like a giggle or a roar. Wow, Jesus… did you snort???

I like thinking about You… imagining You.
Focusing on You.
It really helped today… because I saw you in the beautiful moments… and I clung to you in the Brokeness.

Thanks for being YOU.

February 18, 2010

>Ash Wednesday…


So, I didn’t go to church anywhere and have ashes put on my forehead… but I think it’s a pretty cool ritual. This t-shirt made me laugh.
In all my years, I can not say that I have actually seen anyone walking around with the ash marks still on their forehead. Weird? I wonder why not?
I’ll put that on my list of things to consider next year. It might spur some good conversation, after all.
That reminds me of something I was thinking about during my prayer time this morning…
I was wondering if the way people broadcast what they are fasting took away from the depth of the season. What I came away with, is the fact that this ritual is a community effort… a communal practice. The people spoke openly about this in days long ago and I believe that it is a wonderful way to walk through rememberance together.
Once again, since I am new to Lent, I decided that just to be sure… I would keep my public proclamation of no coffee and no sugar, but I will also make a few private commitments as well.
Day 1 has proven to be interesting. My public confessions were well minded. I did not stray. However, my private ones were not as successful. I wouldn’t say I failed miserably… but I did already unintentionally miss the mark.
I have no intention of chiding myself… only observing and learning. So to that, I say… I will be more mindful to ask the Holy Spirit’s assistance in keeping my intentions in those areas.
Are you observing Lent this year? Have you always/ever?
If so, what does it mean to you?
I’d love to hear your thoughts…
February 17, 2010

>Sigh-Lent… here I go.


I am filled with several emotions tonight, as I set out on a new adventure. Although, this is not a new practice for many of my friends of other denominations.
It comes at the perfect time… and it comes at the hardest time.
Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, which begins the observence of Lent. It is the beginning of a 40 day ritual, where believers prepare themselves through fasting, giving and repentence… to better remember the death, burial and resurrection of Our Lord, Jesus Christ during the Holy Week of Easter.
This year, I feel compelled to participate.

I do not know much at all about what it means to do this… but I know that some time of denying myself, getting outside of my own need and turning my eyes toward Jesus is exactly the prescription for what ails me right now.

Over the next 40 days, I will be blogging … as a way of making and keeping a public confession of commitment. I would be honored if you would share the journey in whatever way you feel inclined.
Looking forward to the journey…
November 28, 2009

>Please stand clear of barricades!


Have you ever felt like your life is Under Construction?
Okay, perpetually?
Maybe you want to wear a warning sign to tell the people around you to be careful… this part of me aint so pretty and it’s not quiet “finished” yet?
This airport sign kept staring at me while I waited the other morning.
I immediately identified with what the baggage claim area was going through. It was in transition… getting a makeover. You know, being improved! And someone put up some cardboard barricades to cover up the construction and keep not only the work area… but also, the people around it as safe as possible.
Geesh, isn’t that like our lives? Our hearts?
I thought about how we try to find prettier ways to transport our baggage whereever we go… or to disguise that it’s even there. We invite new people into our lives and get excited about the journey we are on with them. The ride is enjoyable, often times, until we head down to the baggage claim area and begin to collect our luggage.
This got me to thinking about a conversation with a new friend who challenged me about this very subject. One night, during a conversation…there I was, thinking I’m just the picture of openness, sharing and fun. I offered the pretty parts… which I would envision to be the cute little Prada suitcase and maybe my absolutely adorable matching toiletries bag. But he wanted to know what was behind my cardboard wall. He had the audacity (okay, okay…”interest”) to inquire about my construction area. He pointed it out… and instead of being repelled by it, came closer and continued to inquire.
(Insert nervous fidgeting and chirping crickets while girl tried to think of some brilliant explaination).

Brilliance… never came.
So since you stopped and read this post… my not-easily-evaded friend, a staring airport sign and I (the fidgety girl) would like to know about your construction areas.
Can you relate? And if so, what does your sign say?
Pondering… as always,

November 27, 2009

>Today, I am Thankful for:


  • My sweet sister-friend Valerie, who drove me to the airport at 5 am this morning… to keep me from paying long-term parking fees for the next 5 days. Now THAT’S Love :0)
  • liquid sunshine that came in a red, festive cup at the Nashville airport Starbucks. I was ridiculously excited to try the new Creme Brulee Latte… but unfortunately they were out of syrup. Whoa is me… I had to settle for a Pumpkin Spice latte. (such a hard life ;0)
  • a not-so-packed flight that allowed me to stretch out in comfort and sleep like a baby!
  • an oversleeping sister, Trina… who wasn’t there to pick me up when my flight landed 30 mins early. This gave me time to grab my bags, find a quiet space and just kick up my feet for a little bit before all of the busyness began.
  • a bright, smiley 4 year old, Tayo (my nephew)… beaming at me from the backseat… with that signature Dukes Family 1000 watt smile. Be still my heart :0)
  • the love of my Mommy… and the ability to embrace her for the first time since her surgery. Oh God, thank you for the chance to do that again… never, ever will I take a single hug for granted.
  • the joy that flows from my Daddy! When he enters the room, I can’t help but get excited. I always have and always will!
  • a sister who is the best delegator I know… and her commandeering of the kitchen to present a Thanksgiving meal fit for Royalty! After all, we are the DUKES family 😉
  • a wonderful after dinner walk and talk with my big brother, Hines… and then a quick trip to the playground with my favorite 4 year old, Tayo!
  • wonderful time spent with one of our greatest family-friends, Vanessa… there’s always great laughter and reflection when we get together. You’ve just gotta love those relationships that have lasted for over 25 years. Wow!
  • sweet phone calls from my bestie, emails and countless texts from friends and loved ones all over the globe
  • the assurance that we are not alone in this world… and that God’s love through many abundantly overflows. My heart is refreshed by togetherness and celebration. I am soo Thankful for all of You.

With a satisfied heart,


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