Even as a teen, with nose dipped down books so early on, I could not help but fall in love with writers, where-from whose moody pens flow images and emotions so awe-inspiring, so surprising.  Sometimes whisking me off to dreamlands where princes and princesses spend their "ever after" tale ender happily, ever hoping that the wicked witches, long been sent to the servants' quarter would never regain hold of their magic wands to weave evil over the growing court of little crown heirs.

I want to dedicate this page to make attempts at poetry and rhymes without needing no reasons.  And being a lover of imagery, will test my pen to weave a few.  No matter how ill-eloquent they might be, bear in mind, they are products of feelings otherwise hidden but has found speech.  Whereupon this blog they are set free, mind you, friends,  after having long been locked inside by sheer will and brutal control, and like a bucket full to the brim, no other way to go but out to spill.

More so with my musings and wanderings, which have found a little-squeak-of-a-voice here in Bloglandia. With gratitude, for as long as it has no fee, I may not live to regret why I never opted to set my pen free, then save myself to mourn over the death of my brain children.  I believe God has someone out there, He has singled out to take meaning with my otherwise irrelevant thoughts.

beautiful lines and comments collections:

 Stephanie Spencer February 16, 2012 at 1:30 pm
by: Alece Ronzino

It has taken me awhile, but I am finally okay with not understanding how God’s sovereignty and human freewill fit together. I have to believe God loves me enough to give me choices. I also have to believe God loves me enough to be actively engaged in my life.

I don’t know how that works together. But that’s okay. If God wasn’t beyond my understanding, then He wouldn’t be worthy of my worship. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”- Isaiah 55:9.

I think sometimes people treat the intersection of God’s sovereignty with our lives like it is science. “Do A and B to determine God’s will.” But God is the Creator. He’s an artist who shaped us into existence and now shapes how we exist. I believe He is currently weaving something together that is more beautiful than our minds can fathom.

Everyday Awe
Which tier?
March 30, 2012
by:  Stephanie Spencer

"The problem in this scenario wasn’t that the tiers existed. It wasn’t that we chose a cake with three tiers instead of four. The problem was a misunderstanding about which tiers we were talking about.
I think this is a lot like friendship. Like it or not, friendship has tiers.

Some friends are part of our biggest tier. The one shared with the majority. People who share in our life events, but not in our deepest secrets. Others are part of our smallest tier. The few people with whom we share our most intimate moments. Many are part of the tier in between.

Tiers in and of themselves are not bad. We are meant for community, but our capacity for relationships is not unlimited.

But, like my wedding day, problems can surface when we are not on the same page about our tiers."

(Analogy:  A wedding cake and Friendship/Relationship)

Exchange between me and Steph.

lolitavalle on said:
This is just so wonderful, Stephanie.
My heart is exploding in finding myself with the message. I used to look at friendship like expecting the other to be in the same tier…. but I was younger then. It pained me when I knew that a friend I cared was hurt because she thought I needed to give her the top but I failed because I had someone else I shared in that place.
I do believe this is applicable to all kinds of relationships, including the most intimate ones and the business-like ones.
Now, I think I know better…… like knowing where to put myself….. the area I could control, so right, so true.
So profound and I am so amazed at the analogy, Steph……. tiers (sigh). Such a gift of perspective and grace.
Thank you.

Thank you so much for your kind words, Lolita. I am glad the post touched your heart. I found my ability to give grace to others was increased when I stopped trying to force them into the same tier.

Daily Devotion for May 9, 2012 Letting God Fill My Empty Places
By:  Renee Swope

"You God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water." Psalm 63:1, NIV

It was a source she'd come to depend on. A place she went to get her needs met. But it was never enough; every day she came back for more.

Filling her jar with water, the woman looked up and heard Him ask her for a drink. Then He offered her something in return: living water. Unlike the water she came to get that day, He said the water He offered would satisfy her so deeply she'd never thirst again.

But she had a hard time believing His promise. "You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water?" (John 4:11) She asked.

What she didn't realize was that Jesus wanted to satisfy a deeper thirst in her heart — a longing He'd created to lead her heart to Him: the One and only Source that could satisfy her soul.

All He needed to draw with was His Spirit, for it would draw her near to Him. And as far as the depth of the well, it was her heart He was looking into. She was the only one who could stop Him from reaching the parts that needed Him most.

I know that place of needing Jesus to look into my heart and show me the emptiness only He can fill.

Like the woman at the well, I've depended on other means to get my needs met. Yet when I look to them, instead of Him, they are never enough.

I've looked to people: family and friends, bosses and boyfriends, teachers and mentors, my husband and kids. I've longed for their approval and the affirmation that comes with it.

I've also looked to possessions and positions and accidentally put my hope in recognition. I've thought "if only I had or could..."

But no matter how much I do or get, it's never enough to fill me up. And it's not supposed to be.

Why? Because the empty places in our hearts were created to be filled by God alone. The deepest thirst of our soul can only be quenched by Him.

We see this deep thirst even in King David, who had everything: the highest position, unlimited possessions, and great power, yet none of it was enough. He described himself as parched and thirsty for God:

You God, are my God, earnestly I seek you;
I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you,
in a dry and parched land where there is no water. (Ps. 63:1)

Then David went on to describe what he experienced when he drank deeply of God's love:

I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld your power and your glory.
Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you.
I will praise you as long as I live
and in your name I will lift up my hands. (vv. 2–4)

And the same thing happened to the woman Jesus met at the well that day. She drank deeply of His love and was filled to overflow, and we can be too.

Just like the woman at the well, God put a longing in our hearts that was intended to lead us back to Him. Only His unconditional acceptance, approval and affirmation can fill the empty places in our hearts - the deepest thirst of our souls. Until God's love and acceptance is enough, nothing else will be.

Dear Lord, show me the empty places in my heart and ways I try to fill them. Then lead me back to You and show me how I can position my heart to be filled and fulfilled by Your promises and the power of Your love. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
How can we let God fill the empty places in our hearts each day? Visit Renee's website/blog for a practical and powerful way to identify your empty places and let God fill them on a daily basis. You don't want to miss it!

A Confident Heart by Renee Swope. This best-selling book dives deep into the Living water of God's Word. Find more truths to fill the well of your heart by clicking here.

Letting God Fill My Empty Places a message on CD by Renee Swope

For more daily encouragement and powerful truths, join Renee's Confident Heart Facebook page.

Reflect and Respond:
Only God's unconditional acceptance, approval and affirmation can fill the empty places in our hearts - the deepest thirst of our souls. Until God's love and acceptance is enough, nothing else will be.

Ask God to help you identify your empty places and show you how HE can fill them. Click here for an illustration Renee shares of how she's learned to do this.

Power Verses:
Psalm 143:8, "Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life." (NIV)

Jeremiah 2:13, "My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water."

Lynn Morrissey says:
Shelly, when reading your post, I couldn’t help but be reminded of these breathtakingly poetic words by lyricist John Greenleaf Whittier to the beautiful hymn, “Dear Lord and Father of Mankind.” They are my favorite verses: “Drop Thy still dews of quietness, till all our strivings cease; take from our souls the strain and stress, and let our ordered lives confess the beauty of Thy peace. Breathe through the heats of our desire Thy coolness and Thy balm; let sense be dumb, let flesh retire; Speak through the earthquake, wind, and fire, O still, small voice of calm.” In the stillness, we cease striving; then, in the quietness, we are able to hear God speak. And in the still-point orderliness of lives freed from strain and stress, we are able to experience God’s peace. I got to thinking about “ordinary” time. I understand its meaning, and yet, upon deeper examination, one realizes there is nothing *ordinary* about it (in the commonly defined meaning of the term). Ordinary time is ordained by God. What could possibly be ordinary about anything that He ordains? How interesting that the words “ordered,” “ordinary,” and “ordained,” all derive from the same root. So if God ordains even ordinary time, it is pregnant with meaning and pulsing with wonder. You asked, “How do you search for the mystery of Christ beyond His birth and resurrection? Where do you find it?” Of course we find Christ in His Word, as you said, and in the intimate communion of prayer, and we also find the mystery of Him in the extraordinariness of the ordinary, in this ordinary human life which He condescended to enflesh. His mystery is racing in every life-and-breath experience we live, in every “grey cloud, water droplet, and golden-eyed sun rising” we behold (as you so eloquently penned it). Oh thank you, Miss Shelly, for helping us to behold mystery with poet’s eyes. If we are to behold mystery, it’s crucial to have the eyes of a poet, eyes which see through the transparent ordinary, straight through to our extraordinary God! What greater compliment to your writing could there be than that you give us eyes to see, and words to still our hearts. I never win anything, and that’s ok. What I love is just a place to express praise to this extraordinary God our ours! Thank you so much for inviting that! You’re a treasure!
Oh my Lynn, your comments are so rich I have to read them more than once, sometimes twice. Thank you. I love the words of Whittier in that hymn. They make me want to bow and stay there awhile.
Lynn Morrissey says:
Oh that’s it, Shelly! As God drops His still dews of quietness, we drop to our knees. We bow down. It’s always about worship!

Responses to Letting Go of Fear

  1. lolitavalle says:
    You are always giving me words to live by. You don’t cease to amaze me at how you can connect to your readers innermost thoughts. I love this line:
    “Love moves beyond what doesn’t make sense, transforms fear into brave. I held on to what I know is true with trembling hands that day. God’s providence, founded upon His love for me, is greater than my fear. ”
    And say amen to this,
    “And I refuse to take a detour, miss out on what He has for me while fear’s deceptive voice tries to hold me hostage to safe and comfortable. Safe and comfortable, they’re highly overrated.”
    Every time, from this day onwards, I will wear this banner….courage…….and I will get out of that safe chair…….when faced with thoughts of the unknown, the unsettling things, what tomorrow holds, what ifs, loosing something and the likes, that the enemy wants us to believe, which would eventually keep us at the loosing end anyway….. I move to trust in His promises, no matter what!
    Thank you, Shelly.

     Redemption's Beauty says:
    I am standing up with a big smile, arms extended to give you a bear hug. Can you feel it? You are such an inspiration. Thank you.

    Lynn Morrissey says:
    That’s it, Shelly….totally it! It’s all about God’s providence, His sovereignty. If we (I should say….if I) really believe that, then I will go anywhere, do anything God asks, because He controls and cares for everything. Oh, I of little faith! I was scared witless to go to the Czech Republic last year w/ my daughter on her senior missions trip. My husband couldn’t go. And even though a dear friend went, and my daughter’s entire school choir and a host of chaperones went, I was still frightened that if I got separated from the group, I would never find my way out of a non-English-speaking country! Before the trip, God calmed me with the verse from Isaiah about how He gently leads those who are with young. He tenderly reminded me that Jesus, our Good Shepherd, would lead the chaperones who were leading the students. We would be safe in His hands. And we were! Still, I’m a slow learner, and I fear heights, bridges, flying, spiders, snakes, and yes, I fear getting lost in St. Louis! I have a GPS, too, but I still end up calling my husband for directions! I’m hopeless! But I’m glad to know that God is sovereign and that He appoints our days. We’ll stay here as long as He ordains it. And I am so grateful for precious people like you who are *unafraid* to be vulnerable and share your fears so openly. You always lend hope. If you are ever in St. Louis (your old stomping ground), let me know, and we can drive over Eads Bridge together. I’ll drive and keep my eyes on the road and my hands on the wheel, and you can keep your eyes on heaven with your hands uplifted. How’s that for a fearbusting exercise?!
    Oh, you made me laugh about the Eads bridge comment Lynn. I read that out loud to my husband. Love your heart. I read a book by Mark Buchanan that is out of print now unfortunately where he talks about heaven and why we shouldn’t be afraid of dying. And it resonated about fear in all areas. It really helped me see it differently. That fear is really about control, thinking we have any. Period.
    Lynn Morrissey says:
    Oh Shelly, thank you! I love Mark Buchanan, and have read a # of his breathtaking books, but not this one. I think you’re referring to Things Unseen: Living in Light of Forever. It’s still in print, and I have the book, but out of my forty-million books, I haven’t taken the time to read it. I need to. Part of me shut down after my father died, and I think that this book would help me. And as a Christian, I should not fear death, but frankly, I do. There, I have said it for all the world to read. I think half the battle of overcoming fear is in exposing it, so there: I just did. Your post gives me the courage to ask God to heal this debilitating fear. Turning a very abrupt corner, please tell your husband, H, that my husband, Michael, in giving directions, sometimes will orient me based on the Mississippi River, to which I reply, “But I can’t SEE the river!” Like visualizing my relationship to the river is really going to help me navigate when I am lost in a labyrinthian maze of streets! =]

     Danelle says:
    Nothing makes me take the wheel and drive straight into a fear the way that love does. Perfect Love drives out all fear. . :)
    Oh my heavens Danelle, I am so glad you mentioned that scripture. I intended to add it to this post and actually forgot it. Thank you!


  1. This free space, comments, suggestions, additions, contributions are welcome. Just please take note that Freedom has its limit too, we need to go within the bounds of good will to each other. No hate mails, please. Thank you.

  2. This is saved for Pam's Splendor →
    Words that Inspire Breathe Life:

    So I see, your gift of love phrases, is inborn, then you honed it plus your teacher's approval..... there goes your sail, towards your most coveted dream.

    I was reading this post (, and the first name that came to mind was yours. Of course, I have dreams too, but not like a gifted person's who went on to develop her craft, inspired by the inventor of WORDS, and by a living ministry of sharing, to inspire and to prod to hope and fly to where she could catch those dreams.

    That dream was God-directed for the gift, instilled even inside your mother's womb. He gave you the genes of writes, artists, singers, musicians....... to spin words, intricate and alluring to the reader's mind and stirring to the romantic-at-heart.

  3. I have something I'd like to post here. I'll work on it for next week...thank you for having a page such as this and I love the title of your page.

  4. June 5, 2010

    Writing....Apples of Gold
    In The Garden of His Heart
    Pamela J. Depoyan

    "Angel gifts come on tiptoe, like whispered breezes of His love."

    ~ Me

  5. Power Verses:
    Psalm 43:4-5, "Then I will go to the altar of God, to God, my joy and my delight. I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God. Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God." (NIV)

    P31 Devotions
    By: Sarah Martin
    A Pursuit of Happiness

    "You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand." Psalm 16:11 (NIV)

    I stood numb in the makeup aisle at the drugstore. The glittery pink and shimmery red tubes served as color therapy after a stressful day. Surely brand new lip gloss would alleviate the dismal feelings and ignite some sense of happiness.

    Several hours later I added my new purchase to an already full makeup drawer. That's when it hit me. I have 47 other tubes of lip gloss; 47 other purchases on a journey — a pursuit — of happiness.

    The coral pink tube was bought to ease my heart after a fight with a loved one.

    The ruby red tube was purchased to distract myself from worrying over money.

    The glossy sheer tube was meant to cover up my loneliness.

    Buying lip gloss (clothes, jewelry, fill in the blank) isn't wrong in and of itself. What is wrong is how I insert short-term pleasures to find happiness, instead of seeking long-term joy in God.

    The difference is happiness is fleeting, but joy is eternal. It's joy that sticks with us through stressful days, because joy is found in our always-present Lord. The psalmist says in our key verse, "You will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand." (Psalm 16:11b) Instead of looking for a short-lived high in things, I'm challenged to find lasting joy in God.

    Looking at this very important difference makes me wonder what would happen if ...

    Instead of a mad dash to our favorite store for retail therapy, we pursue God and allow Him to give rest to our weary body and mind after a difficult day.

    Instead of drowning our frustrations in a tub of ice cream after our car breaks down, we vent our feelings to God and wait on Him to calm us down.

    Instead of adding yet another song to our iPod to spark happiness, we make a list of everything we're grateful for and turn around a bad attitude.

    I'm tempted to throw out my lip gloss as a symbol of ending this pursuit of happiness. I'm tempted to never buy a tube again. Because I want to show God that I can pursue Him, rather than seeking satisfaction in a temporary thrill.

    But, I think I will honor my renewed relationship with joy in the Lord by using each and every tube — knowing that the only road that leads to joy and fulfillment is in Him.

    Dear Lord, thank You for the ever-available joy found in You. Please bring it to mind when I'm tempted to replace my frustrations and pain with a temporary fix. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

  6. Sarah Arthur, author of At the Still Point, describes it this way:
    How to Find Mystery in the Ordinary
    Redemption's Beauty
    June 6, 2012
    Shelly Miller

    “Curled up with a good story, we have encountered the memorable character, the articulate phrase, the evocative image, the small suggestion, the smuggled truth, the shattering epiphany, which changed us, and we weren’t even looking to be changed. It enriched our lives, and we didn’t even know our own poverty. We were not the same people afterward.”

  7. I am posting this here from
    GRIT & GLORY so that I can come back to it easily.

    Posted by alece on November 18, 2011

    worship on a high pain day
    November 18, 2011

    I don’t talk about my health issues very often. Or with very many people.

    For lots of reasons.

    Not the least of which is that I have more questions than answers, both in terms of actual diagnosis as well as my heart’s processing of it all.

    So this post feels like a tremendous risk for me.

    It felt frighteningly risky when I began writing it a month ago. And it feels even more so today as it goes live online.

    So I’m holding my breath. And doing it afraid.

    Because maybe my questions will help someone else. Even if it’s only to let them know they’re not the only one asking…

    Will you come join me over at Deeper Story to talk about trusting the Healer through the hurt?

    the Healer through the hurt

    by Alece on November 18, 2011

    I believe You’re my Healer
    I believe You are all I need
    I believe You’re my Portion
    I believe You’re more than enough for me
    Jesus, You’re all I need

    That song gets me every single time…

    I have a love/hate relationship with it because I always feel challenged to sing the words honestly. Even more so this Sunday morning, because…

    It’s a high pain day.

    I battle chronic health issues, some days worse than others. Today is one of those days. And today, the aches have settled angrily in my hands and arms.

    Since I woke up, I’ve been subconsciously massaging my hands. Rubbing my arms. Trying hard to find some small bit of relief however possible.
    'Worship' photo (c) 2009, Renee Youngblood - license:
    And then that song starts.

    You walk with me through fire
    And heal all my disease
    I trust in You…

    Oh my heart…

    I’m left whispering that simple prayer that seems to be all I can muster at times like this: I believe, Lord. Help me in my unbelief.

    So I lift my throbbing arms Heavenward and declare — maybe mostly to myself — “I believe You’re my healer… I trust in You… Nothing is impossible for You…”

    My heart wrestles through the tension of trusting that God heals, despite the fact that He may never heal me here on earth.

    I’ve seen Him heal. I’ve watched it with my own eyes. I’ve seen Him do it through my own hands.

    I’ve witnessed cataract-clouded eyes opening, lame men dancing, deaf ears hearing for the first time. I’ve experienced scores of miraculous healings. And yet, every day, I live with pain.

    So my heart continues to wrestle through the tension of faith.

    How do I reconcile what I believe to be true with what I actually experience everyday?

    I don’t know that I can.

    Maybe all I can do is choose to keep wrestling. To worship Him anyway, with my pain-ridden hands held high. To acknowledge with honesty, “God, I don’t get it… but I want to trust You. I need to trust You. Help me trust You.”

    Painfully praising.

    Wincing in worship.

    It isn’t mine to understand. It is only mine to trust. Even in the pain. And the uncertainty. And the heartache.

    I’m not called to understand the mind of God. I’m only called to pursue His heart.

    And to trust that ultimately His heart is for my good and His glory, no matter what.

    So even though I may not get it, I want Him to still get me.

    All of me.

    High pain days, wrestling heart, unanswered questions, and all…

  8. From FB: 06.22.12
    Alfie Eskander

    “Is it better to give than receive?”

    We have heard this cliché a million times. As a woman, you probably spend most of your day loving and nurturing those around you. Day in and day out you’re probably giving all you have and taking good care of those that rely on you.

    The trouble begins when you don’t receive love and nurturing in return from the ones who receive your care. As time passes, it’s only natural for you to feel resentful.

    Does this mean you should stop giving because you are not receiving? Of course not! Instead, you need to make it known that you need the same love and compassion that you give to others, everyday.

    You too, need to be taken care of. Why? It’s only when you receive this love that all your giving becomes effortless.


    Tanya Taxman
    Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." Luke 6:38, sister lauren you might not receive back but God knows your heart and will reward you, it will come from somewhere you cannot even imagine.

  9. FB
    Alfie Eskander
    Long after

    Long after the kind word is spoken, the encouragement remains. Long after the good deed is done, the goodness lingers on.

    Long after the moment passes, the joy continues. Long after the lesson is learned, wisdom keeps growing.

    What you do in this moment brings value not only to this moment. Much of the value you create now can stay with you always.

    The truth of who you are, and of what you do, accumulates as time goes on. That’s why staying focused on what’s truly important can bring such spectacular results.

    The sooner you make the effort, the more its power can be multiplied. Value continues to build on top of value, so the best thing you can do right now is create some more of it.

    Long after this moment is gone, you can be profoundly thankful for the way you lived it. This is your chance to make it count, now and long after.


Thanks for your company. I am glad you are here. Your encouraging word is appreciated. It brings joy like a cool breeze on a hot day. GBU!