Musings From A Musical Mind

Posts tagged ‘Truth’

November Wind

something missing

but cleanly restored

swept away

no untidy remnants

drifted away

just a thought

nothing more

an idea when pressed

is only distortion

not complete

fueled by false

selective memory

and personal reality

meaning nothing

missing something

just what

I don’t know

what seemed real

now I know was not

yet missing it

has become

my reality

where is that truth

seen through my limited scope

it has become

a true false

without regard

or notice

blown away

bitter and cold

without remorse

sometimes sunshine

and laughter

but mostly

eternal rain

and confusion

past all reason

and time

like the November wind

A Life Worth Watching

god

god (Photo credit: the|G|™)

“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it’s worth watching.” –Unknown

At the end of the day – when no one else is watching, that is where truth and honesty shake hands and become good friends.  Forced together in the privacy of my own heart – this is where I find myself,  facing my own life and my own truth.

It is not what I do in public, or even with good friends – it is what happens to me in private that really matters.

I can “put it on” – and shine for people – light up a stage, cause people to laugh, or even brighten someone’s day.  But it is in that secret place that only I know about, where my life begins and ends.

My good deeds will indeed be remembered by many, and my encouragement and willingness to lend a hand to those in need, my gifts of service to others and even things I write about, be note worthy and even may be talked about at the end of my time here on earth.

But it is in my heart – the place where no one sees that is of worth to God alone.  He takes special interest – enough to make a permanent dwelling place there.  It is there that I cannot hide my attitude, my motives and my desires.  I am forced to be real, honest, flawed, imperfect, disheartened, confused, depressed, even rebellious and questioning.  Most of these things I can easily hide from you.  But I cannot hide it from myself or God.

So for me to be a success – it is not in the outward, the things I have accomplished in my work, with friends or family – it is in the private moments and in the state of my own heart.  The place that I am reduced to each day when I am alone with my own thoughts.  Where God remains with no signs of bolting.  He stays through the toughest storms in my mind – the confusion of hurt, and even when I’m not being honest with myself.  He stays to be a gentle reminder of what my life can be.  A buffer to still the messiness and clutter that I take on myself.  He alone knows the real me – what my life is really like away from the eyes of people I know.

And though I am well aware that I have not arrived – I would like my private life – that only God and I know about to be His vision for me.

One where I have learned through experience, time and patience that kindness, gentleness, meekness and graciousness have won and are becoming more evident, more real, each new year – as I strain forward to be more loving and more understanding and compassionate, regardless of circumstances around me, or reactions of events or from people who have come and gone.  It will be that steady, unwavering conviction that love always wins, gentleness heals, and showing mercy is always the best way.

This is what I hold as a true value in my life – and the true test whether I have been a success at the end of my life.

What about you?  Will your life be a life worth watching?

God Bless

When Is Truth – Just Perspective?


truth
 

Does Truth really work?  According to the picture it does.  I sometimes wonder.  My perspective on the truth may be totally different from yours.

Is it possible to live in a world where people really say what they feel – are honest with themselves and others?

Or

Do you hide, like I do – and try to spare feelings?  Is the risk of being too honest not worth the “fall-out” from the other person?  Even if it’s the truth?

As we forge through life trying to live in the way we feel that God would have us live – is it always “safe” to be really honest?

If you are like me – you’ve been burned by being too honest – or not honest enough.

Is there a place in between where we all can live peaceably? Agree to disagree and be okay with that?

A place of safety and security in bearing our most important thoughts and opinions?  Is being silent the best way to handle a most difficult situation?  Or is skating around an issue really the best way to live – so to not offend?

When was the last time you felt you had to spare someone’s feelings and lost your way in the midst by having to compromise your own?  When was the last time you just “bit it” and told the truth (as you saw it) – and paid a high price for the “fall-out”.

The truth is – we can’t always.

Personal truth is relative.

Is this really truth?  Or is it just personal interpretation of the truth? 

Is truth just my own personal perspective?

My truth may not be acceptable or even the same truth as yours.  Just when I am reconciled to my own truth – as soon as I own it and feel safe with it – I am hit with another ‘truth’ – YOURS!

These are tough issues for us sensitive – ‘peace maker’ types of people.  Because we care deeply what people think – when maybe we shouldn’t.

Sometimes silence is best.

Speaking “truth” in love – does not always set you free – in the way we are led to believe.

I believe that the only one we can really be that honest and transparent with – is God Himself.  He is not shocked or ‘bent out of shape’ by our opinions, thoughts and feelings.  He made us and understands our unique personality.  He does not require anything from us – except our heart.  He does not want us to “hide” our real self from Him – instead He wants us to ‘bare our soul’ to Him in prayer.  He is the one true friend who promises us a safe place to land when we vent, act out, express a need, desire, opinion or even – YIKES – a lack of faith, character flaw, indiscretion or failure.

He is my personal truth – and His opinion is the only one I need be concerned with.  His assessment of me – is all I care about.  He is TRUTH.  All truth comes from Him alone.  He has set a high value on you and me – and that truth, my friend is the only truth that will last – long after our opinions and petty disagreements have passed.  His is not a perspective, it just simply is.

And that’s the honest truth.

God Bless

 

How’s Your Garden?

The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring
whose waters never fail.
Isaiah 58:11

This is our garden in our new home.

Ever felt really dry?  I’m so glad to know this:  No matter how dry, sick, diseased, tired, hopeless and out of strength I may be today – He will water me and give me the strength, nourishment and life so that I will flourish.  When all others around me are dry and broken – I will be sustained by that living water to keep me going, bringing health to my bones – and hope for all others around me looking for that water.  It is a spring that never fails.

How’s your garden?  Need some water?

Praying for you today.

God Bless

My Truth

A father and his daughter, 1923

Image via Wikipedia

I’ve been watching the reality show about Ryan and Tatum O’Neil on the OWN station – the tumultuous father and daughter relationship resulting in a separation and silence for the past 25 years.  They both agreed it was time to put the past behind them and try to begin again to rebuild their lost relationship – through this series on cable.

It has been very interesting and heartbreaking at the same time.  To get a glimpse into someone’s pain is never easy – to feel hope for them as they talk and uncover much of their difficulties – and why things went so bad for them.  Through counseling, alone and together, they are getting to the deep issues which caused their separation in the first place.

But what I’ve noticed is this:  We all have our own truth.  It is ours.  

Truth cannot be negotiated or argued.  It is different for everyone.  It is something that we believe about ourselves, others and our situation.

In having my truth – I am not saying that you do not have yours as well – but my truth – is my truth.  It is my version of the story – it is what I believe in my heart of hearts.

We do damage to ourselves and others when we try to rewrite their truth for them.

When two people have different “truths” – and will not validate the other for having their own unique truth – there can be no settling of accounts – no matter how much counseling they have.  And at the end of the day – their personal truth will be all they have.

I really believe with all my heart – that all people just want to be recognized and validated for having their own truth.  No matter how weird it may sound.  Even if you think you know better and think they are ALL MESSED UP.  We want someone to say to us, “I understand.  I get how you could feel that way.  I see you”  So often we never get that response that we are seeking.

All Ryan needs from his daughter, Tatum is this:  “I see you Dad – I’m just as much to blame as you are”  And Tatum needs to hear Ryan say, “I take ownership in my part of our separation.  I made many mistakes and I’m sorry you felt abandoned”  Isn’t it too bad – they will probably never be able to really say those things to each other – too much history – too much blame – too much sadness.

I am glad to know this:   The only solid place for me to go when regarding the “truth” is Jesus. The Bible tells me that He IS the Truth and the Life.  And with so many personal “truths” out there – varying with every person on the planet – He is the only constant who never changes.  I can run to Him – feel that acknowledgment and validation from the source – the creator – who holds My past with all of its regret – the present with all of its unanswered questions – and the future with all of its secrets, not yet revealed to us.  When others shun, devalue and withhold from us – He is there holding out loving arms of truth to me.

Do you allow others to have their personal truth?  Do you feel validated from others?  Have you acknowledged Jesus to be the only real truth in your life?

God Bless

New Dream

dreams and wishes. 62/365

Image by nicole.pierce.photography ♥ via Flickr

I looked for someone

like searching in a fog

chasing after

an endless mist

straining for

that unattainable someone

or something

thinking that it would satisfy

what’s deep within

heart-sick and weary

all my efforts

came up empty

and my searching

and reaching

brought no relief

for I found

that in the searching

it was me that I found instead

alone and empty

sad and confused

“Is what I seek

my dream only?

never satisfied

why do

I continue to pursue?

Are my “dreams” just those I make up

bringing emptiness

and endless struggle

instead of fulfillment

and relief?”

And yet I searched for you

my unobtainable someone

and something

that threatened to destroy

and devour me

The one I craved

the things I craved

could be my undoing

and the searching

and dreaming for them

like a slow death

And at the end of the road

I was still there

running on empty

defeated and broken…

It was when I was at my weakest

and tired of running after

and insisting on my own way

that He came

and I heard

a still small voice

and in my confusion

and tears

which caused me to slow down

be still

and listen

that I heard Him

that voice changed me

as He reached in

and held the broken

and confused me

and finally I don’t need to know

all the reasons for before

I reluctantly surrender

and replace

all the running

and searching

for something unknown

instead of something

that does not satisfy

and begin a new path

with His dreams

and plans for me

and at the end of the road

there is no disappointment

and emptiness

or brokenness

and I have almost 

vanished from view

even though

my selfishness and pride

are still there

but they are covered

and kept in check

and it is He that is waiting

giving me

a new dream

which fulfills

and satisfies

instead of

all the things

I wanted

and thought I needed

He is giving me

much more

than I could ever dream

as He replaces my will

with new people

new things

and a new dream

 

What is your dream today?  Have you surrendered yours for His?

 

God Bless

 

 

What Is Your Personal Truth? – Part Two

true! when u have faith! i saw this, and i wan...

Image via Wikipedia

Yesterday I touched on a subject that is delicate.  One that is personal and can sometimes be secretive.  Ownership and a grasp of a deep and contemplative question:  What is your personal truth?  I explained it – and expanded on it just a little in an attempt to show how if we are not able to grasp that for ourselves – it is impossible to be totally authentic with God.

First – what does truth mean?  It can mean two things:

1.  Truth can be scary.  What if I admit something about my character to God that is less than what others believe of me – or less than I even have attempted to believe about myself?  What if God does not accept me when He finds out?  What if He rejects me?

2. Truth brings personal responsibility.  As long as no one knows – and I have cleverly hidden all aspects of myself from God – then I cannot be held responsible.  Once revealed for what it really is – I must take ownership and change the behavior.  There is no middle ground on this.  And this can be scary.

And although most of us believe that God is a loving God who forgives – whether raised in church or not – it is still easy to believe this in our head only – and not really believe it with our heart.  I mean – there’s a limit to what God will forgive, right?  Or what He will accept about me, right?  And so with this thinking it can be difficult to really come clean with things like:

Dishonesty

Failure (moral or otherwise)

Addiction

Greed and selfishness

Idolatry

It is easy to hide from things in the above list –  and not really admit or own it.

What if my personal truth looks like this?:

 I am a failure

 I am a liar

I am an addict

I am worthless

I caused someone I love to go away

I am not lovable

If God knew what I thought He would not love me

All of the above statements could be true in your life today.  But here is the really good news:

God has a different view of truth.  He is able to cut to the chase whether I am honest about myself to Him or not.  He will wait for a confession – and an admission of truth from me – He is a gentleman.  And when I allow Him to change how I see that truth based on His reflection of love and grace – I find there is no fear – only a far greater understanding of myself than I ever thought I had.  And it’s okay – because He loves me anyway – just the way I am – broken, full of sin and failure, unable to help myself or even be honest about it.

His personal truth for ME radically changes my life.

His truth looks like this:

I don’t see personal failure – I see a bruised masterpiece

I don’t see addiction – I see a wonderful freedom

I don’t see inadequacy and the feeling of worthlessness – I see a precious gift

I don’t see the sin – it’s been covered

God’s truth is better than my attempt at truth

God’s truth is better than my self-righteous claim

God’s truth does not have any room for my pride or feeling of entitlement

What I try to deny and hide from Him – He knows and will deal with me

God’s truth about me – is the only truth I need in my life.

God’s truth is the only thing that will change my behavior from the inside out.

His truth says:

I am worth so much – that He sent His son – to die for me. 

Wow.  Is it really possible that I’m worth dying for?  How can that be?

He values me

He loves me

I am worthy

I am validated

I am loved

And no matter what I do – I cannot change this truth about myself – as God sees me.  It is indisputable in His eyes.

Are there areas of your heart that you have not allowed God to shine His truth?  How long has it been since you were able to “come clean” with Him?

I am praying today that you would not believe a “truth” about yourself that is destructive and steeped in failure or inadequacy to measure up.  I am praying that you will confess these “truths” to God and allow Him to begin a new “truth” in your life today – a “truth” that He sees you as – valuable and lovable – no matter what.

God Bless


Loosening My Firm Grip

Image representing iPhone as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

I was out taking a walk around the neighborhood yesterday, in one of those rare sunny and fairly “warmish” days.  I had my iPhone/iPod tunes coming through my ear buds and I was humming a happy little tune.

I turned a corner and walked toward a nearby park when all of a sudden the thought struck me:  What if I lost all this great music on my iPhone?  What if my computer had a melt-down and my WHOLE music library was GONE!  In an instant!

Well,  while this and other great thoughts invaded my mind along my walk – I had to ask myself, “would it really be a big deal? – I mean, come on – it’s just music, right?”

I had to admit that it would not be a huge deal.  An inconvenience for sure – but not the end of the world (as in what’s supposed to happen this Saturday – but that’s ANOTHER story).  No – my life and my world would continue on – I would just turn on my Pandora Radio and slowly rebuild my music library again – or just listen to CD’s and the radio in the car until I gathered my music once again over time.

Now while this is a silly example – I thought about the “things” I hold on to.  Those things that I feel ownership over.  The things that are mine.  My personal belongings, my pictures, my books, my computer, my piano, my blog articles and so on and so forth.  What if something happened to them?  Would I be Okay?  Would I survive?  If EVERYTHING was taken away from me tomorrow – would I really be able to make it?  Is my identity defined by all those things?  Would I really be lost without them?

No.  I would be Okay.  I choose to keep a loose grasp on my material blessings.  I can move, sell, sort and get rid of extra junk when I need to – and have in the past done several BIG MOVES across the country and back – to know that I am not defined by things.  I’ve witnessed several households of furniture come and go in 30 years of marriage and have not been devastated when the time came to unload it – or lighten our load.

I believe there is a principle in this for not only the material “things” – but I believe we should be willing to let go of our firm grip when it comes to the people in our lives – even if we don’t want to.  I was determined when raising our two children, that I was NOT going to be one of those mom’s who couldn’t bear to let my kids grow up, change and become independent from me.  It is perfectly normal for them to need me less and less as they mature – and to someday be fully developed and have their own life – apart from me.

Our children are only on loan to us.  I don’t believe there are any accidents.  God knows what He is doing – and He gave me my children to love and raise.  I do not OWN them.  And when I have invested into them everything I can – (not always in the most perfect way – but with the best intentions),  I can release them, knowing that they are individuals who must answer to God for themselves – they are no longer my responsibility.

Many parents become unhappy when their grown-up children do not need them anymore – when it is very normal and natural that they should NOT need us anymore when they are mature.  Some are bewildered because they feel they lose their control over their children and even try forms of manipulation and even guilt to keep them young – while imposing their need and dreams of the “good old days”.  While this is natural because of the time investment spent in them – it should not be used as a method of control towards our children.  They are given to us – they really belong to God.  It is important to raise our children “in the way they should go”  and then let them go – loosen the grip – release them in love.  Even if we don’t always agree.  Pray for them – and then trust God.

And though I am far from perfect as a mom – I have always tried to let my own grown-up children lead their own lives.  I feel like Greg and I did everything we could do while they were living in our home – and we tried to set a godly example for them while growing up – through good and bad, happy and sad times.

The secret is to have a “loose grip” on the things and people that we don’t feel we can let go.  Have a firm grip on God – and teach your children to do the same.  He will make His plans known to them – and He is ultimately responsible for their journey – when they allow Him to guide their steps.  This is so freeing to me as a parent and I know it will be to you too.  This will lead to a happy life – full of deep joy with no regret.

How’s your grip?  Do you feel it tightening around things you can’t bear to lose?  Can you just relax and trust?  How do you apply a “loose grip” to your own situations?

God Bless

Truth Or Spare?

Truth

Image by TW Collins via Flickr

Yesterday my husband and I were returning from a fun date night in the snow – after having gone to Taco Bell and then Starbucks for a cup of coffee – we were returning home when we landed on such an interesting subject – I just HAD to write a blog article about it.

We were talking about something we had seen the night before on an episode of one of our favorite shows, “House”.  In this episode, House was addressing a group of grade school kids – and said to them, ‘Everyone lies’.

We all do it – we say we don’t – but we do.  Even Bill Cosby in his book, “Bill Cosby Himself”, said – ‘I love it when people will say that they LOVE children because they are so truthful.  The only time children tell the truth is when they’re in pain’.  So true – children learn to be manipulative from a very early age – we all have done it.  We know how to twist the truth to get our way – blame someone else when something is broken – lie about being sick so we get to stay home from school – or to watch a special program on TV.

We learn it as children and then get better at it when we are grown.    Oh I don’t mean terrible lies – but everyone tells little white lies – and mostly they are harmless.  But is it ever right to tell a lie?

What about telling a lie to spare someone’s feelings?  We all have done it.  A good friend gets a really bad haircut – or a new outfit and they ask you point-blank – “How do I look?”  You wouldn’t hurt your friend for the world – and so even if it’s not great – even really bad – you lie and say, “I think you look great!”  Which you know you don’t mean – but you love them and wish to spare them. You say, “I was protecting them”.

And let’s face it.  Sometimes the cold hard truth – can be very damaging.  There are those that seem to take great pleasure in doing this.  You know the people I mean – the black and white folk who see NO GRAY and have to tell it like it is – even being brutally honest – because – hey – it’s the truth!  Usually those folks are fine with giving it – but not so great at receiving it.

Is it okay to lie a little – when it’s to protect someone?  Their delicate and fragile feelings?  What about when it’s to protect yourself? What then?

We all have some pretty interesting conversations and thoughts going on in our heads that no one can see and hear.  It would be really humiliating to have it exposed at times – because besides you and God – no one hears and sees what is going on inside.

There have been times when my husband wants to know what’s going on there – I think he may even be afraid to ask – in this new season we are in of ‘absolute honesty’ – but still I am selective about what I tell him – I don’t wish to hurt him – so I withhold the ‘truth’ a lot of times or dummy it down.  I’m sure he does this for me as well.  Everyone does this.  We would be SCARED TO DEATH to know what it is lurking in everyone’s minds.  This is why I keep a journal.  They are my private thoughts – reserved for myself.  I don’t want anyone reading it – nor should anyone.  They would misunderstand – these are my thoughts alone.

I believe that’s why people write their thoughts down – it is a way of getting them out – a way to reflect and pray – a way to allow the love of Jesus to renew and refresh – validate and kiss the ideas, questions and inspirations that come from living, failing, hurting and struggling and then ultimately finding that in doing so – brings perspective and healing – and a joy to begin again each new day.  They are not meant for another human being – who could get their feelings hurt – misunderstand the heart of what’s being thought about and so on.

If you’ve ever been exposed – or had things you’ve said in a journal – or to a special friend come out – to another person completely out of context – then you know the pain in which I am referring.  Those thoughts that were not meant for others to see – But that were the internal questioning, searching and struggling that was meant for someone you trust and for God – to help and bring perspective your troubled and questioning soul.

Can we always be completely transparent with what we are thinking and feeling?  I don’t think we can – nor do I think it’s wise.  First of all – not everyone knows us well enough for us to empty our thoughts out to them.  I believe there is a certain wisdom in being cautious and even guarded about subjects that are dicey and sensitive.  I know for me – I will never reveal things about myself to someone who I cannot trust with my life – words have an ugly way of coming back when I have not been wise and the truth can come back to bite me – my own words of authenticity – can be perceived as dangerous and rebellious to those who do not understand my heart – and motive.

So when do we reveal?  When do we spare?  I believe we need to be wise, cautious, loving and encouraging to those around us and in our world.  I believe that not every random thought needs to be said.  I believe in discretion.  But I also believe in being me – and not letting fear of what has been revealed or what may be revealed in the future about me and my words and thoughts – prevent me from being who I really am – and steal my joy.

This is a daily balancing act.  My thoughts and feelings – my internal dialogue, questions and musings that go on inside my head.

And as for the truth – we all tell it – at least our version of it. And if we’re really honest we would have to admit that we ‘spare’ way more than we ‘reveal’.  And sometime the only time we ever really tell the real truth in regard to another person – is when they are in danger, hurting or in trouble – and we need to intervene on their behalf.

Lord help me to work on me – to make me more like you – no hidden agenda – no personal gain.  Help me to love like you do – to be good, honest, kind and giving.  To live a life of integrity – but also of graciousness with all of those entrusted to me – just like you are gracious and kind to me – telling me the truth in such a way that it helps me – doesn’t hurt me – that corrects and convicts me to live better and want to be an example of your love to others.  The AMAZING thing is this:  You know me – and all my thoughts and still you accept me just the way I am.  That is freedom. Help me to model this behavior to those around me.  Help me accept people just the way they are – no questions – no opinions – no judgment.

This is the only way to live.  And that’s the truth.

God Bless

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To Stand Alone

Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, head-and-shoulders por...

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When you have decided what you believe, what you feel must be done, have the courage to stand alone and be counted.   Eleanor Roosevelt

What does it mean to ‘stand alone’ and be counted?  Does it mean to be obnoxious about it?  Or isolate yourself?  Or be self-righteous or judgmental?

No.

We all have to come to the place where we have a conviction – either personal, social or spiritual – and we must decide for ourselves just what that conviction will mean for us.

Sometimes it means alienation from family and friends – sometimes it goes broader than that – in the political or social arena.  And we find ourselves ‘standing alone’.

Is it wrong to stand out – be all alone in what we believe and what we have decided is right?  How can we do so without being accused of forcing our personal opinion on another person?  Or being obnoxious?  Too opinionated?

I’ve had many interesting situations when I was trying to do the right thing – much opposition and many diverse reactions over the years.  I recently had an interesting situation in an email from a former close friend – who insisted that my ‘friendly and even humorous email was ‘forcing my opinion’ – when I was merely stating what I thought was the obvious – and in fact – the truth.  Let’s just say – the truth is subjective at best.  We all have a way of seeing our version of it.  And it is easy to get swept away into settling – for fear of opposition.  It is easier to just go along – to forget what the truth is – and choose an easier and less rocky road – even believe something that is not so. This friend should know me – but sadly has chosen to look and walk away – even when truth is right there.  That is the easy road – the one of least resistance and criticism.

I used to believe this – and I used to do this.   Not anymore.  Nor do I have a lot of respect for those that do.

I’ve had many interesting situations in this life of mine.  Nothing is harder than having a differing opinion with another human being – especially a good friend – who ought to know you better – but for some unknown reason – will not own or acknowledge it.  Even when doing the right thing.

And so, like Eleanor who knew what it was like to face controversy in her lifetime – I too have not only faced it – I’ve lived through it and even learned great things about people while going through a difficult time.

I wish I could say that people always understand my side of the story – or even listen to my side – but sadly, my side is often not even consulted – much less met with any understanding or dignity.  And yet – I still stand in my own ‘opinion’ or yes, my own convictions – and because I believe I am doing the right thing – standing up for truth and all that truth demands – I am stronger each day.

And I expect controversy – I even welcome it.  Jesus himself had plenty of it.  They didn’t like what He had to say – what He stood for.  He was ready and able to ‘stand alone’ and in His final hours – that’s exactly what He did.  Never compromising what He believed in – even when going to the cross.

And like Jesus – I want to live a life of graciousness.  A heart that freely and without reservation, embraces and loves.  Having a non-judgmental attitude – full of compassion and forgiveness.

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32

My prayer for you today is this:  That you will be forgiving of those that differ in their opinions from yours.  That you will decide what it is that you believe in – and not be afraid to be counted – and to stand alone.


God Bless

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