Whether you turn to the right or to the left,

your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying,

“This is the way; walk in it.”

Isaiah 30:21

Live gladly ...

To tie in to yesterday’s post about how God gives us everything for our enjoyment …

These two quotes from the ancient mystic Julian of Norwich:

“The greatest honor we can give to God is to live gladly because of the knowledge of his love.”

And …

“What God most wants is to see you smile because you know how much God loves you.”

What if the most powerful way we can express our love and gratitude to God is by simply living gladly, enjoying all things, and smiling?

I think we make this whole “friendship with God” thing way, way too complicated. Way too hard …

And then we fuss about it all the time, always trying to “get better” at it, “work harder” for God, “do better” for him …  while missing the fact that he has provided all we need and simply wants us to live with joy because of all he has done.

Live gladly ...

It seems the very least we can do.

Enjoyment ...

So, I am working on a teaching for Sunday about contentment and generosity.

And I stumbled across a word I don’t find often in the Bible; a word I don’t think many of us equate with God.

But there it is … right there in the closing passages of Paul’s first letter to Timothy:

“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.” (6:17)

Now, amidst the commands to the rich, we might miss it.

We might miss the fullness, the sheer weight of that last phrase …

“… God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.”

Um … everything?

For our enjoyment?

Yup. That is what it says!

How beautiful and good is that?

On this gorgeous fall day still ablaze with the oranges and reds of the maple trees, may I suggest an experiment?

As you go through your day eating and drinking and laughing and talking and working and smiling and listening and looking, try to see everything … and I mean everything … as the rich provision of a God who, at a very deep level, wants us to actually enjoy the good gifts he freely provides.

I am going to start right now … by enjoying my dog and my legs and my neighborhood.

I am going to take a walk of pure enjoyment!

A bit of travel ...

After a two full weeks of not feeling well, and a full weekend of serving, I am so happy to be taking off for a 5-day trip to see my kids.

That makes my soul happy.

I won’t be posting to my blog while I am gone.

I am just going to focus on the joy of travel, time with my husband, great food in great cities and the joy of being with my favorite people!

In the meantime, I hope you will spend some time exploring one of my favorite websites …


Some of the best writing I know on slowing down, paring down, simplifying, pursuing generosity and contentment and really living, rather than just running.

Enjoy …

Honest prayer ...

I am a strong proponent of honest prayer.

I really have no time for pretending I am more holy, more pious, more cleaned up than I actually am. Too much pretending exhausts me.

And I believe that prayer is one of the primary places in our lives with God where we are deeply tempted to pretend.

That is why I like Anne Lamott.

For many, she is too irreverent.

For me, she is just about right.

Here is a prayer she wrote:

Hi, God.

I am just a mess.

It is all hopeless.

What else is new?

I would be sick of me, if I were You, but miraculously You are not.

I know I have no control over other people’s lives, and I hate this. Yet, I believe that if I accept this and surrender, You will meet me wherever I am.

Wow. Can this be true? If so, how is this afternoon – say, two-ish?

Thank you in advance for Your company and blessings.

You have never once let me down.


How’s that for honest?