Monday, July 30, 2012

More Than Just a Block Of Wood

"Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom." Psalm 145:3

Mr. Magorium gave Molly Mahoney a large block of wood to carry with her wherever she went. Supposedly it was a magical block of wood that held some greatness and Molly's mission was to discover that greatness. Day after day Molly carted that lifeless, heavy, wooden cube everywhere. It became a burden and a source of discouragement. She believed it was a magical block of wood because Mr. Magorium said so. But in her hands, it showed no signs of life let alone, magic.

"It is a magical block of wood that in the right hands, would reveal some greatness we can't even imagine!" Molly emphatically exclaimed to the Mutant. And with that, the once lifeless block of wood flipped over on the counter behind her.

"Say that again," the Mutant commanded wanting to see if the cube would move again. "Say that again."

"I believe it with my entire heart! It is absolutely more than just a block of wood!" Molly exclaimed. And with those words, the magic was awakened inside that block of wood and it began to swirl and dance around the toy store breathing life and hope into everything within the store.
 "It's you! Molly, YOU are a block of wood. What you need to believe in is YOU," the Mutant said in amazement of all he witnessed.
 "And so began the life of Molly Mahoney."

God has given us all the great gift of life, held together with flesh and bones. We are born. We live. We die. Those are the cold, bare facts of our earthly existence. If we stop there, we are no more valuable than Molly Mahoney's lifeless block of wood. But, we are more than just a block of wood; more than just flesh and bones. We contain the very breath and image of God. And what's more, God has placed unique gifts inside for each of us to unwrap and share with the world.

I'd have to agree Molly was right to say the block of wood needed to be in the right hands in order for the greatness to be revealed. We cannot reveal the greatness locked inside our hearts without the hands of God on our lives. We are only human which means the forces of the Enemy are against us from the beginning...feeding us every excuse and discouragement possible to stop us from the touch of the Master. But, the words of our mouth are powerful. When we say, "I believe with all my heart that Jesus is Lord, that he died for my sins, that he rose again and lives at the right hand of the Father," the power of heaven comes down into our lives and the Enemy no longer has control. Then, the greatness of God is revealed.

Thus, begins the life of every believer.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Uninhibited Dance

"David, wearing a linen ephod, danced before the Lord with all his might, while he and the entire house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouts and the sound of trumpets." 2 Samuel 6: 14-15

Our hunger was satisfied. The dinner plates were cleared. The music segued from light jazz to up beat, jitter bug. It was time to kick off our shoes, let loose and celebrate this happy occasion. But, who would lead us out onto that dance floor? Who would be first? Not wanting to upstage the bride and groom on their special day, I waited patiently, tapping my toes in time to the beat.

Behind me I heard the running feet of my then, 23 month old granddaughter and in an instant she was at the edge of the dance floor, stopped only by the vastness of that great space. She stood there in her pink foofy dress, with a huge smile on her face, clapping her hands and tapping her feet in her sparkly shoes to the beat of the music. Instinctively she knew it was time to dance and she was ready!

Pops took her by the hands and led her out onto the floor. Her joy uncontainable, she squealed with delight, jumped into the air with all her might and with the aid of her Pops. Totally uninhibited by who was watching or what people were thinking she was the first onto the floor. That was it. The party had begun!

God calls us to be uninhibited in our worship and our ministry, just like little children. He's placed all the right instincts in our hearts from birth to help us not only survive but to thrive. The catch is He's left it up to us to step onto the dance floor. He'll never push us. He only stands before us with an outstretched hand waiting for us to follow His lead. Once we take hold of Him and start to dance, others will follow and the party will begin!

The world is waiting for you to step out. What's holding you back?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Behind This Woman

"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her." Ephesians 5:25

We often take advantage of "Cheap Tuesday" at our local movie theater. My husband, Peter even sits through chick flicks with me now and again. A few years ago it was Julie & Julia. The movie is the story of Julia Child, best known for her 1960's televised french cooking show and Julie, a New York City woman who took a year to cook and blog her way through Julia Child's recipes.

I'm not at all passionate about cooking. In fact it's inconceivable in my mind how the words joy and cooking can be in the same sentence! But, I do like the actress Meryl Streep who played Julia Child and I like every role she's played. If I were honest, I really went to see Meryl.

Surprisingly, the movie was NOT about the love of cooking. Yes, it was about two women who loved to cook. Yes, they made outrageous dishes that made the audience drool but more importantly it was about two women whose passion could not be contained in a sauce pan. It was about the journey of sharing their passion through writing and the husbands behind their success. Now that's something I identify with more than cooking!

Writing has been a passion of mine since fifth grade. Back then, I wrote all the time. If I wasn't writing in my journal I was writing a letter to my cousin, my grandmother, or a long distance friend. I was happy just writing, writing, writing. But, what I lacked was direction, guidance, and mentorship. I've fumbled my way through a few internships in college but nothing that lended itself to any significant writing career choice. I settled for writing as a hobby - something I enjoyed but nothing I would ever be able to share.

Then a few years ago, a sweet woman placed a Proverbs 31 Ministry magazine in my hands. Part of the ministry of P31 is to mentor and train Christian women who have a passion to speak or write the words God has placed in their hearts for the encouragement of others. They do this through their annual She Speaks conference. As I read more about the conference I knew this was a divine appointment. For the first time, there was someone who understood my passion. There was an outlet to do more with it than just write in a secret journal that I kept to myself.

Much has happened since I first learned about She Speaks. My journey in my passion for writing took some funny twists through physical injuries, spiritual warfare, family crises, forgiveness and release. Through all of these turns, never once was I left alone to manage on my own. Never once was I allowed to let my passion to write dwindle. Like Julie & Julia, I too have been given the precious gift of a supportive husband. He nursed me to health, sacrificed financially, weathered heavy spiritual battles, courageously saw us through family crises, walked alongside me as I learned to forgive and praised God for the release of my heart's desire to write.

There isn't a day that goes by that I'm not thankful for God giving me such a loving, supportive husband who wishes only the best for me. Don't get me wrong, he's not perfect, but neither am I. Trust me, we have our ugly, stinky moments when we wonder what the heck were we thinking when we chose each other. But, in the big scope of our lives, when I see all the little things he does each day to show me he loves me: when he constantly encourages me to write, when I consider all that he does to point me toward Christ, when I witness God in Him then, I know I've been blessed.

The old saying goes, "Behind every good man is a loving, supportive woman." I say, it goes both ways. Thank you, Peter, for being a loving, supportive, godly man behind this woman! I love you.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Walking With Purpose

I love children. They’re such a source of truth and inspiration. Life comes into focus when I watch them busily accomplishing the simplest of tasks. I so understand Christ’s love for them and telling us to be like them. My husband’s niece keeps the family updated with her creative blogging and photography of her two boys. She’s quite creative in her writing and captures great moments in word and vlogging. Today, wanting to just catch up on their lives, I opened her blog and watched her youngest son proudly displaying his walking skills. From the initial viewing and by the title of the blog you would think that’s all he was doing…walking. But, as the video progressed you realized he wasn’t just showing off his walking skills. He was walking with a purpose.

(Reposted this to Christian Childrens' Authors blog today. Won't you join me?)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Getting Ready

"...Samuel called to Saul on the roof 'get ready' and I will send you on your way." (1 Samuel 9: 26 NIV)

July 2009 marked the end of the dreary, rainy, trapped-inside-the-house days. Living here in New England our summers are short and frankly, by the end of June, I felt cheated! But alas, as sure as June turned into July, summer finally appeared. The long-awaited days of sun, heat and humidity were welcomed like a long-lost friend.

Each day the sun kissed my cheek I felt beckoned to play outside and reacquaint myself with God's beauty. It's those sun-kissed days that God feels especially close. It's as though He inspires, teaches, speaks through his creation directly to my soul. Whether it be a lesson in abiding taught by a patient, fluttering monarch perched on the blossom next to my lawn chair or understanding his divine plan of sowing and reaping by tending to my vegetable garden, I know God is speaking.

Sometimes God is more direct. The Sunday before I was to attend my first She Speaks writer's conference I attended church without my husband, Peter. As the worship service ended and the pastor was introducing his sermon he said God had given him a lot of words for people during his prayer time that morning. Luckily, I had already opened my journal and was ready to write. I mean, if God had spoken I wanted to record everything he said! Then, the pastor looked directly at me and said, "Dawn. I don't know where Pete is but the Lord spoke to me in the prayer room about you guys and somebody else got these words that I think are applicable...'Get ready and position yourselves.'" I not only wrote those words down, I promptly texted them to my husband!

In the three weeks that have followed those words continually rang in our ears. "Get ready...position yourselves." For what, Lord? My new book? A new opportunity? Spiritual warfare? A good hunt for Pete? What? What could God possibly have in store for us?
God lead me to read 1 Samuel 9 & 10 that tells the story of Samuel anointing Saul to be Israel's first king. Samuel instructs Saul to "get ready" to be sent. Getting ready isn't passive. It's active. You're making preparations, getting things together, doing the necessary things in order to go.

Once Saul is ready, Samuel gets him alone, anoints his head with oil and prophesies over him. Samuel explains that Saul will come to the land of Gibeah where he will meet some prophets. The Holy Spirit will empower him and he will prophesy as well. But, most importantly he "will be changed into a different person." Then, Saul was to position himself in the land of Gilgal and "wait" seven days until Samuel meets up with him. Together they will worship God and Saul will receive further instructions.
It's been three years since God delivered those words and I'm still not exactly sure what God is preparing for us. It becomes clearer and God's words still ring true. I've received confirmation of my writing but the way has not been made clear. We still feel we are in ready mode, still preparing our hearts, submitting our plans, our desires, our passions before our God. We're still allowing change in ourselves and with each other and always repositioning ourselves before His throne and awaiting further instructions.

What is it that God may be readying your heart? Are you asking, what's next? Are you willing to get ready? Do you see the situation you're in as part of that readying process? Are you willing to let God change you? Are you positioning your heart to wait for further instructions?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


The warmth of the sun beneath my feet,

the sound of fountain rain falling

upon pool waters calling

forming rings that never meet.

A bird calls out to his mate.

His chirping, singing states

an impatinece for her reply

that she seems only to deny.

In the distance is a sound,

a plane that can't be found

but lingering still

my ears attest I am not ill.

Distractions all to my heart's cry.

"I want to hear you!" I sigh

as home they come, one by one

and my soul clamours for what had begun.

A time of solitude,

of heart-felt gratitude.
My listening ears and expectant heart

still long and say, "Pleae, don't depart!"

Lord, I know you are there

waiting for me to prepare

a place for you to show your face

where I long for your embrace.

~Dawn Aldrich 2010~

Monday, July 9, 2012

It's Time To Rest

"He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside still waters, he restores my soul." Psalm 23: 2-3a

It is time. It is time for rest, refreshment, and restoration.

As the hot summer steam drains every ounce of moisture from my body I must drink and replenish from the Well.

So, my dear, sweet, and faithful readers, I am signing off temporarily. For the next few weeks I'm resting from the great social demands of this blinking cursor in order to drink in God's Word. I may repost a few of my favorite posts from years past just to remind you I'm still here {smile}.

Until then, I anticipate God's quenching through his Word, the words of his saints past and present and the out-pouring of his Holy Spirit. I'm retreating all but two days a week at home in my little sanctuary. As he leads, my writing will be organic - pen to paper - where my thoughts flow freely and naturally. There's unfinished writing projects and the She Speaks Conference, but I'm not hopping off my blog to jump onto different tasks. Rather, I'm allowing room for God to breathe new life into me and through me.

While I'm gone, may I ask something of you? Will you pray for me that I will ...
  1. Thirst for God
  2. Abide in Christ and be satisfied
  3. Find rest in and be refreshed by His Holy Spirit
  4. Pray continually
  5. Listen carefully
  6. Talk less
  7. Hear God's voice clearly
  8. Place every thought under the obedience of Christ
  9. Know God's next step
Resting in Christ,

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Happy Birthday, America!

Happy 236th birthday, America!

We live off Main Street, USA in a quaint New England town filled with proud historical markers. Two streets to our right our founding father, George Washington, hitched his horse in front of my daughter's home. Down the hill the birthplace of Lyman Hall, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, still stands proud. Flags fly from country porches, line the center of town and wave their red, white and blue at passers-by from Memorial Day through September.

My preschool grandchildren frequently walk these flag-lined streets and can already identify the American flag from all the others. It makes this grandma's heart proud! I'm sure their natural curiosity influenced conversations with their parent's about the flag, but I'm glad to know they're already learning to identify the symbol of this great country.

I remember when my son was in second-grade, I asked if his class recited the Pledge of Allegiance every morning. He hesitated, wondering if he should tell the truth. "Well, the principal says it every morning over the loud speaker, but our teacher doesn't make us say it with him every day." My heart sank and my mind raced wondering how to respond, how to instill the importance of this symbolic act in an eigth-year-old. So, I simply asked him to pay attention to the words the principal was saying and to recite the pledge in his heart every morning, even when his teacher didn't lead the class.

How exactly do we instill patriotism, the love of country in our children especiallly if they attend public schools? Live it. Just as we live out our faith at home, we should also live out our love of country.

Here's a few ideas:
  • Display an American flag on your home for significant patriotic holidays (Flag Day, D-Day, Memorial Day, July 4th, Veteran's Day) explaining the origination of the flag during the Revolutionary War and the symbolism behind the colors and stars. For preschoolers, simply stating it represents our country and the stars stand for our states - where we live.
  • Salute the flag as it passes during a parade. Teach your sons to remove their hats and place them over their heart and daughters to place their right hand over their heart as well.
  • Pray for our nation's leaders as a family.
  • Vote at every election and take your children into the voting booth, explaining the importance and great privilege it is to choose our own leaders.
  • Practice simplified democracy in appropriate ways, like voting on which movie the family will watch or which snack they'd like to eat.
  • Make a patriotic dessert for these special holidays. I've seen confetti cake mixes with red/white/blue sprinkles in the mix and star sprinkles to go atop the icing. Easy-peasy.
  • Talk about the WHY of the day when they're off from school or on the way to the fireworks, etc.
How does your family celebrate freedom and how do you teach your children to love this country?

Happy 4th of July,

Monday, July 2, 2012

How Great is Our God

"I will proclaim the name of the Lord. Oh, praise the greatness of our God!" Deuteronomy 32:3

The sun rises above the earth and nature sets forth into a brand new day. The birds fill the air with songs of praise and woodland creatures gather their daily bread. Flower blooms open wet with morning's dew and splendid colors fill the garden beds.

I sit in silence watching and listening to nature's praises and my heart swells in worship to the One who created such beauty, who woos me into His presence with sweet fragrance and playfulness. And He whispers, "Above all these things, I love you the most because you bear my image."

On this new day, how is God wooing you into His presence? Take a moment and listen to Chris Tomlin's How Great is Our God, won't you?

Praying God's greatness overwhelms you to praise,