I’m driving through Bavaria on a Sunday and I’m overwhelmed with the beauty of the church steeples.

Blessings on your Sunday…wherever you are!

Bavarian steeples

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Bavarian steeples

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Bavarian steeples

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Bavarian steeples

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Bavarian steeples

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Bavarian steeples

One day a little princess went to the zoo.

LP at the zoo

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She probably won’t remember seeing the zebra

with his stripes…

Our visit to the Nashville Zoo

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The long neck giraffe eating from the trees…

Our visit to the Nashville Zoo

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The silly monkeys chasing one another…

Our visit to the Nashville Zoo

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Or, the turkey with the turquoise head.

Our visit to the Nashville Zoo

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But, she will grow from experiences such as these.

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And, I will not forget this look as she saw wonders of God’s creation

for the very first time.

LP watching the monkey chase

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©Brenda Pace, 2010

Last week while driving through my little Southern town I spotted this in the yard of a resident:

Autumn sculpture

I need to learn more about dealing with shadows when taking photos, but isn’t this pumpkin/gourd sculpture interesting?  The colors and shapes of autumn present natural art, but how fun to see this presentation.

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Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting
and autumn a mosaic of them all.
-   Stanley Horowitz

Driving in Colorado

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I’ve written much about the transition that my husband and I are currently experiencing. Change and transition are indeed a theme of my days right now.

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Recently I received a note from a good friend who had felt impressed to pray for me. BTW…Can I tell you that I have had several notes from good friends with this message?  I’m thinking that will be another blog post one day. What a gift it is to know God impresses others to pray for you? Humbling, to say the least.
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Anyway…back to the note from my friend. Her words:
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“I know this note may seem to be a little strange, but I was impressed to remind you of something you wrote for August 30 in The Yellow Ribbon Devotional. (Don’t you hate it when your words are said back to you?)
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Seriously, I read them, and they spoke to me and I thanked the Lord for them. Almost immediately I thought of you and your husband and the changes you are going through. I felt like I was to remind you of God’s faithfulness and the wonderful way you wrote it. Here it is:
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‘When we find ourselves in a situation that seems to be overwhelming, that is the time to look to God for help, strength, courage, and guidance. He has promised over and over to help us when we are overwhelmed. In His strength we can step out to do those things that, when we look back, we’re amazed by what we were able to do. We can know it wasn’t anything we did on our own, but rather the grace of God that was at work in and through us. God can help us win battles that seem insurmountable.’”

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I’m so grateful my friend took the time to remind me of my own words. I already have stories of God’s faithfulness during this time of transition, and I know there are more to come.
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Have you had those times when you looked back and were amazed at God’s work during a time you felt overwhelmed? I’d love to hear your stories of God’s faithfulness!
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©Brenda Pace, 2010

via http://pujangga.tumblr.com/page/3

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Ever feel like this?

There are times when I say, “You’re welcome” to solicit a thank you. But this week I’ve listened closely to my favorite tween and I have rejoiced in unsolicited gratitude.

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After kicking off the covers and discovering she is cold at 2am.
I rise from deep slumber, cover her with a blanket and tuck her in.
As I leave the room I hear a sleepy:
“Thank you for the blanket.”
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After picking her up from school she is tired and hot from waiting in the sun.
I turn the car into a drive thru and order a cookie dough shake.
As the last slurps are taken through the straw I hear:
“Thank you for the milkshake.”
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After telling her it is time to stop playing with her friend across the street
because I must take her home.
She smiles as she crosses the street, climbs into the car
and instead of words of complaint for the short duration of the visit, I hear:
“Thank you for letting me play for a little while. It was fun!”
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These are small moments that I pray will grow into a lifestyle of thanksgiving in this young heart.
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Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:15-17
I found yet another online decorating magazine. This one goes by the name Adore and hails from Australia. Click on the cover which will take you to the magazine site. Choose ‘read’ and the magazine pages will open. Enjoy the view!




via www.brooklynlimestone.com

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I’ve been thinking about the fine art of waiting lately.

I’ve been saying to myself things like:

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“It will be worth the wait.”

and

“Good things come to those who wait.”

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The reality is, we’re always waiting for something, right?

I’ve come to realize that this is going to be a year of waiting:

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Waiting to adjust to a new town

Waiting until a house is built

Waiting to see how much mail I will lose after the third address change in a year

Waiting to see what doors will open and what doors will close

Waiting to see what the new normal will be for our family

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The women in the photo above are waiting in line with style and grace. Wouldn’t it be nice if all it took to wait well was stylish and coordinated fashion?  (Although it doesn’t hurt does it?)

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I don’t want to just bide time while I wait for the things listed above to happen. And, I don’t want to just present the facade that I’m waiting well.  I want to be productive, proactive, involved in learning and involved in the blessing of others. How does that happen? I don’t think it’s by accident. I’m thinking there’s some intention. I’m thinking there’s some cooperation with the work that God wants to do in and through me during this time.
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I’m hanging on to these words in this time of waiting:
Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good. (Romans 8:26 MSG)

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Now THAT is a promise worth waiting for!
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What’s your best advice about waiting well?
©Brenda Pace, 2010

Today is the anniversary of two very special people–my baby boy and his sweet wife. Happy anniversary dear ones! Whether today is your anniversary or not, you won’t be sorry if you take time to listen to this most beautiful song about marriage by Andrew Peterson.

I put a dollar in one of those change machines.  Nothing changed.  ~George Carlin
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One thing in life that can be depended upon is that things will change. I recently read that change is fast, but transition is slow. Can I get an amen?
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When my husband began the process of transitioning from the military we both read the classic book on the topic, Transitions: Making Sense of Life’s Changes by William Bridges. Bridges defines transition as “the inner reorganization and self-redefinition that you have to go through in order to incorporate change into your life.”
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Bridges divides change into three stages:
1)   Endings
2)   The Neutral Zone
3)   The New Beginning
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It sounds like double speak, but Bridges points out that any change starts with an ending. Ending in this case does not consist of a final moment, but rather, signifies the beginning of a transition. This period will include emotions that are similar to the stages of grief: denial, shock, anger, frustration, stress, and ambivalence.
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The danger for any transition is getting stuck in the Neutral Zone. It’s easy to hold on to the past because it is familiar and feels safe.

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Consistently looking back at ‘the way it was’ doesn’t help in the process of moving toward a New Beginning; rather, this period needs to be a time of reorientation and letting go. Healthy navigation through the Neutral Zone will propel one toward steps in the New Beginning process. While it may begin with skepticism, the uncertainty can be followed by acceptance, importance, hope and enthusiasm.
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Obviously, the goal in any transition is a New Beginning which “requires an understanding of external signs and inner signals that point the way to the future.” Bridges presents a convincing premise for the necessity of learning how to end things well in order to learn how to have a positive and hopefully, successful beginning.
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True confession: Transitions have always been challenging for me. Thankfully, I have learned that in order to embrace the future, I must provide ample time to grieve the past. It’s been helpful to recognize the stages of the transition I have been experiencing. I am happy to say that it is encouraging to acknowledge a sense of hope and excitement for what is ahead. That is progress!
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Verdict: Recommend–especially if anticipating a major transition
©Brenda Pace, 2010