happy happy joy joy

happy happy joy joy


‘Tis the season for compiling the best and brightest of the past year.

Deidra at Jumping Tandem wrote about her Happy Things.

{in}courage has an amazing list of “the bests” of 2012 from readers…there are over 1600 comments.

Here’s my list of what made me say happy happy joy joy!


Lion Sightings in the Rose City (Volume 1)

Lion Sightings in the Rose City
This is a brand new favorite given to me by a dear friend.
I am enjoying taking a stroll through Portland and seeing God’s
handiwork. Thank you Barb!

The Night Circus
Definitely a  page turner with a huge dose of magic.

Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis
This memoir amazed me with the power of sparse
words written with depth and emotion.
Only criticism…wished it had been longer!

An Altar in the World
I read this book in August in the midst of a self-proclaimed respite.
Oh how I adore this book. It shattered my respite in the most gentle
way. My respite from  noise turned into seeing the sacred in the midst
of the throng. I feel such a deep kinship for the author and in tiny ways
this blog has been my pursuit of making an altar in my little piece 
of the world. I plan to read this book again soon.

10,000 Reasons
Matt. Redman. Never. Disappoints.

A New Liturgy
A beautiful way to spend time in prayer and worship in
less than the space of 30 minutes. I dare you not to be repeating
the words through your day.

MOMENTS (and one which also contained my quickest organizing
task ever.)




Our living room spread out with dozens of annual photo calendars
and Christmas card/letters.
Non-stop laughter and sweet Caleb patiently waiting until his year of 
After years in a file all the Washington family Christmas
histories are in a binder with sheet protectors. 
Seriously should have done that YEARS ago!



This boy looking so much like his father, it took my breath away. Even the way he sits(sigh.)

Oh this college girl holding her last year’s roomie’s beverage of choice.
Starbucks hire that smiling girl…she’d be good for business!

This smile…paid for every one of those pearly whites…just like in the photo above.
So glad she has more to be happy about than just straight teeth…oh so glad!

That day with that guy!


Can’t wait for season 3 of Downton Abbey…looks like a few new faces!

Call The Midwife helped me wait for Downton Abbey.
There is a Christmas special on tonight!


I have had this hiding in a cupboard.
No more!
Wonderful to keep your winter skin soft and smooth!

Nature’s Wick candles

A wonderful candle with a wooden wick.
It mimics the sounds of a crackling fire.
I found mine at Target and opted for a single wick for longer burning.


Praying the Names of God Journal

Praying the Names of God Journal

I will be continuing to work through this journal into
2013. It has been a rich help to focus on one name of God
for 3 days with pages to journal, write out prayers and reflect.

Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love,
    that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.

Psalm 90:14

If I don’t allow God to satisfy me early…I will find
much to drag me down as soon as I walk out my
front door.
Some days it can happen before the coffee is poured.
Meeting Him before my eyes, ears and heart greet the
day helps to counteract discontent.

Every day [with its new reasons] will I bless You
[affectionately praise You]; yes, I will praise Your
name forever and ever.

Psalm 145: 2

Don’t you love that with God there will be a new reason
each day to bless and praise Him?!

My word for 2012 was fixed.
To live satisfied, to find new reasons to praise God
is the definition of remaining fixed.
I will write more about this word and a word for
the year to come soon.

But for now…

O God,
my heart is fixed (steadfast, in the confidence of faith);
I will sing,
I will sing praises,
even with my glory
[all the faculties and powers of one created in Your image]!

Psalm 108:1

What things made you do the happy happy joy joy dance?

I would love to know!

friday high five: the inside outside summer edition

friday high five: the inside outside summer edition

Well, I wrote a bit about taking

time to smell the roses here.

A seed from last summer emerges…what seeds will grow this summer?

It made me  think about

ways to embrace the spirit of summer

and without getting sunburned.

I have compiled a (by no means exhaustive) list

of summer ideas for inside and outside joy.

As I look outside, it is raining again so let’s

start inside.

Activities that you can do indoors but more

importantly will add to your insides…hidden


Read on and I think you will get my drift.

Let’s start by grabbing a book…

The Gypsy Mama’s 23 summer reads for lazy days

Bloom {in}courage summer recommended reads 
plus weekly giveaways 

Have you read one of these classics?

Need a longer list of books to read at least once?

I love this quote from John Piper  on how 
to read more…especially great books and the Bible 

Daily listen to the Bible plus there is a Kids’ version I adore

Grab a couple of friends and start a book club.

Switch up your book genres.

Pick a letter of the alphabet…go to that section in the library,
grab 2-3 books by  authors whose last names begin with that letter.
You might find a treasure.

Throw a book exchange party.

Email a few friends and do a short Bible study.

Do you tend to forget Amos’ neighbors are Joel
and Obadiah…why not memorize the books of the
Bible as a family?

Read a biography.

Do a topical Bible study.

Easy way to stay connected. I. love. this.

Practice gratitude.
Place post-it notes of thanksgiving upon
an empty wall or bulletin board.
Witness your hearts enlarge.

I shared my affection for Downton Abbey
and  Ann Voskamp’s Joy Dare in January here.
Watch Downton Abbey on a rainy day
and print June’s Joy Dare.

Keep a journal of your summer reflections.

Start a blog.





Photograph your summer.
Turn it into a book here.

Spread a puzzle on a table and
create hours of  family cohesion.

Game night anyone?

The Olympics maybe in London
but you can create your own Olympics events…
croquet, biking, tennis, cannonballs,
frisbee throwing, hula hooping, watermelon
seed launching.
What would you add?
Dish washing? Maybe not.


a different kind of summer bucket list 

I hope this list started you thinking about

what you want to add to your summer and what

things need to be thinned out.

A friend gave me some of her harvested sunflower seeds.

I got a bit of a late start planting them.

My friend reminded me to not forget to thin the seedlings.

She said that although it is always painful to pull out all those

sprouts, it’s worth it because the sunflowers will grow taller and


What will you plant into your summer?

What needs to be thinned out?

You don’t have to do everything…just pick a few things

you would like to build into your summer.

And by all means, don’t forget to take a nap once in awhile!

Next week…we will move outside!