april desktop

april desktop

Here is the latest desktop from {in}courage.

Don’t you love it?

It’s quite hard to believe that we are a week into April but it is true.

I hope dandelions heavy laden with seeds will reside only on  your computer screen

and not on your summer lawn.

At least I know that is my husband’s fervent hope!

Isn’t it wondrous how when you carry someone’s burden, it’s akin to inhaling, blowing a mighty

breath and scattering the seeds of despair and weariness from another.

Look around this week and see where you can breathe out some seeds of hope.

Click here to choose the image size you would like.

Enjoy friends!

reading material

reading material


I haven’t written a post about what I am reading in quite a while.

Do you remember my pause from reading  the last portion of 2012?

Well, it was a wonderful hard time.

It felt wonderful to be fixed in one direction…reading the Word.

Hard in that, I love reading books.

It’s was like fasting from sugar.

Everywhere I roamed, it suddenly felt like there were sweet landmines everywhere.

It seemed like every blog post I read was about favorite books.

I just grabbed paper and pen and compiled a list of all those gorgeous books.

During that time, in the midst of seeing flashes of light, I discovered my need for glasses.

My new glasses are pictured above.

My world had been thin light grey type and now it is suddenly black boldface print.

It has been a revelation!

Cue the choir of angels singing Hallelujah!

But is it just me or do other glasses wearers have to clean their lenses every two minutes?

It’s been an adjustment but seeing is worth it.

It definitely makes reading more enjoyable!

The new year has found me with better sight and eating a lot better.

Thus the beautiful colors of fruit next to my book stack!

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

This is the first book in the Flavia de Luce mysteries.
I found it for pennies at the Goodwill, which I am finding to be a goldmine lately.
I am beginning to adore eleven-year-old Flavia, a miniature detective with a penchant
for concocting poison.

Praying the Names of God Journal

I started this using this journal at the end of last year.
It’s a great part of my morning routine.

The One Year Bible-New Living Translation

I haven’t used a One Year Bible in a long time.
I tend to pick a reading plan and go from there.
For some reason, I wanted to keep life very simple,
without a lot of page turning.
I am enjoying reading from the New Living Translation
after last year reading The Message.

The Circle of Seasons: Meeting God in the Church Year

Did you know Lent begins the next week?
I want to be more connected to the church calendar.
I grew up in a church where the weekly bulletin pointed me
to where in the church year we resided.
I have just started this book and am excited to be more aware
and reflective.
How fun that I ordered this book from a seller only to receive
it in the mail from the author with a sweet note including her
contact information. I love that! She’s from Seattle.

Not picture above because it resides on my nook is this book

Holey, Wholly, Holy: A Lenten Journey of Refinement

For a limited time Kris is giving free pdf copies away for your
computer or e-reader when you subscribe to her newsletter.
Click here (hurry)

Otherwise go here.

Leaving Church

Barbara Brown Taylor’s book An Altar in the World
was one of my favorite books I read in 2012. I am slowly
working my way through this memoir. Slowly because
I am sure I won’t want to get to the last page.

Prayer: Finding the Hearts True Home

I read this classic by Richard Foster when it was released in
{in}courage’s book club Bloom is beginning  to read it starting
next week.
There are usually blog posts and videos throughout the week.

Find out more here.
The Homemade Pantry: 101 Foods You Can Stop Buying and Start Making

This is a fun book to flip through and be reminded of all the yummy goodness
that can happen in your own kitchen instead of grabbing it off a shelf illuminated
by fluorescent lights.

What are you reading during the month of February?

Speaking of February, I will post a new desktop for your computer once
it’s up on the site!

Have a blessed Monday!

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!

join me…write love letters.

join me…write love letters.

Hello December 2nd!

Today is Carl’s birthday.

Happy Birthday Carl!

I will post a December desktop as soon as it up on the {in}courage site.

Speaking of those beautiful desktops images,

Dawn Camp  is the photographer and creator of each month’s computer decor.

She wrote a lovely post early in November.

You can read it here!

She shared about an amazing site called more love letters.

You can read all about this beautiful movement on the site.

Simply put, who doesn’t need a love letter?

Even from someone you have never met.

Tomorrow begins the current push for the holidays to write love

letters to people who need encouragement.

Here’s the scoop:

1) YOU sign up here.

2) MORE LOVE LETTERS email YOU for every single day from December 3-14th with a letter request of someone who needs your encouragement this holiday season.

3) YOU get ONE WEEK to drop a love letter in the mailbox for the day’s recipient.

4) MORE LOVE LETTERS bundle up all the love letters and mail them off to the unsuspecting recipients just in time for the new year!

What a great way to spread some love and cheer!

If this season feels too tightly compressed, consider signing up on the website

at a later date and they will send you requests from time to time.

12 letters seem way too much for you to scribe?

Leave me a comment or message me and I will share a name or two from my list!

Spread some holiday cheer…I know my heart swoons whenever I see a real

stamp tucked within the junk mail and bills!

Happy Writing Friends!

another desktop and a few great blogs

another desktop and a few great blogs

The same wonderful photographer  who  created the {in}courage desktop has also

created another one on this site.

Double the fall beauty!

I changed to this one, tough choice.

I hope to write a couple of times this week now that

the 31 day series is past.

In the meantime, I wanted to share a few blogs who

wrote wonderful 31 day posts.

I am way behind in reading but they require careful slow reading.

31 Day to A Heart of Hospitality– really practical ways to welcome others.

31 days to love where you live– I can’t wait to take my time through this series.

31 days to hush– Emily at chatting at the sky always swings for the fences so

gently…no exception during October.

Happy Monday and Joyous Reading!

note to self: pay attention

note to self: pay attention

Today is October 6th.

How did I forget to post the October desktop?

Very thankful for the verse from Lamentations!

Today begins with a soccer game.

In the middle, Carl and I are throwing Caleb and his friends

a spy-in-training party.

Watching football will most likely end our day.

Then up and early to teach Sunday school and I will

be playing Sarah at one point…I may feel 90 years old

by the time the weekend wraps up.

But today is chilly but glorious looking.

I hope to write more next week.

I hope I hope I hope.

Click here for your October desktop from {in}courage.

Go to the calendar tab and choose from two sizes for your computer screen!


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!