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How the Cross Brings Joy

(Image Credit:

I click open my email and scroll through my new messages.

I’ve received a new email from Voice of the Martyr’s prayer project, The prayer needs are always overwhelming:

In Nepal a pastor is beaten for giving out Bibles.

Twenty-nine teenaged schoolboys were killed in an overnight attack at a boarding school in Nigeria.

A Moroccan woman dropped her daughter off at school, but then was attacked outside of it by three Muslim women who discovered she was a Christian.

I can’t help but wonder: if faced with the persecution that other Christians around the world are faced with, would I still be a Christian?

I wonder: how do they endure?


The physical agony began in Gethsemane as Jesus begged for the experience of God’s wrath to be removed while his sweat pooled like drops of blood on the ground.

The agony extended to his beating, the mockery, the crown of thorns, the long walk down the Via Dolorosa, and the slice of Roman nails into his hands and feet. It continued when Christ cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Many throughout history have been crucified, but Jesus purposed his own crucifixion.

I wonder: why did he endure?


Perhaps Hebrews 12:1-2 gives me a clue . . .

To continue click over to

Pick Your Portion

A month or so ago I was asked to begin contributing to a wonderful Bible reading plan blog called Pick Your Portion. The reading plan used is called the M’Cheyne Bible Reading Plan which selects four different portions of scripture for each day so that you read through the Bible in one year. Each day during the week there is a post based on the scripture selections for the day. It may be a devotional post or an art response.

I’ve been asked to create an art response once a month. I can use any medium or approach I choose: graphic design, photography, watercolor, oils, collage, etc. I’m looking forward to experimenting with various mediums in the future, as one of my goals for this year was to go back to my fine arts roots and not rely on graphic design or photography as much.

But when I selected the scripture for yesterday’s post, this image I took in Emerald Isle, NC immediately came to mind. It spoke of peace and wholeness to me. The ocean is where I feel most at peace in spirit and body, so I chose it to be the image for my art response.

I invite you to join me over at my first Pick Your Portion post!

Jess - April 9, 2014 - 3:35 pm

I love the idea of creating a corresponding artwork- and yours is beautiful! Nice to meet you- your blog is lovely!

The Invention of Wings

“I longed for it in that excruciating way one has of romanticizing the life she didn’t choose. But sitting here now, I knew if I’d accepted Israel’s proposal, I would’ve regretted that, too. I’d chosen the regret I could live with best, that’s all. I’d chosen the life I belonged to.”

The Invention of Wings

There have been times this has been the question I’ve asked myself when I’ve struggled to make an important life decision: “What is the regret I could live with most?” For some reason, framing the question this way can add the clarity that may be missing if one simply looks at pros and cons.

It is the question Sarah Grimké asked herself before she was catapulted toward “infamy” as an abolitionist and women’s equal rights activist.

The Invention of Wings was one of the most inspiring and compelling novels I’ve read this year. Not because of the prose. Honestly, Kidd’s writing is not amazing. Her prose itself doesn’t cause me to catch my breath nor does her turn of phrases delight me like some other novels I’ve read. No, it was the content itself. Kidd novelizes the life of Sarah Moore Grimké, who you probably haven’t heard of but should have.

What Kidd does so well is takes the historical facts of Grimké’s life and turns it into a compelling novel. The novel follows the life of Sarah and her family’s slave, Handful. The chapters alternate between the two women. Handful was originally given to Sarah on her eleventh birthday as a gift. She was to be her handmaid. Sarah, who’s father supposedly said “would have made the greatest jurist in the country” had she been a boy, taught her slave how to read, which was against the law. Although Handful actually died in her youth, Kidd uses creative license to imagine what might have happened to Handful if she’d lived.

What I find most compelling and inspiring is how Sarah, a southern girl raised by a typical wealthy slave-owning family, from an early age reacted in strong opposition to her family’s views. She later became a Quaker, but still was too radical for even the Quakers at that time in her abolition views. The novel follows Sarah’s internal turmoil and misgivings as she slowly comes to act on her beliefs and becomes the unlikely candidate to lay the ground work for change for not only slavery but equal rights for women.

Has anyone else read this novel? What did you think?

amy - April 3, 2014 - 11:01 am

whoa. that is a really provocative quote, and a compelling question to ask yourself. adding this to my list!

Briana - April 9, 2014 - 3:07 pm

That quote basically sums up why I’m still homeschooling. :)
And, this sounds like a fab. novel. I am always encouraged by trail blazing women. Wish I had the courage to be one..just not sure what I would trail blaze exactly. ;)

Too Much Comfort?

(Image Credit: Start Marriage Right)

My husband and I both love dramas.

We’re foodies and enjoy a delicious dinner at a fabulous restaurant.

Our favorite vacations are spent at the beach.

From crafts to rehabbing an entire house, DIY is the way we roll.

We enjoy spending a quiet night reading our favorite books, although I love fiction and he likes non-fiction best.

We share a love of music and art.

The phrase opposites attract doesn’t really mean much to us, because quite frankly, we’re kinda like two peas in a pod.

Continue reading at Start Marriage Right . . . 

Make + Listen



I have loved Shrimp (and chicken) pad thai since I used to get it for lunch from Thairish when I worked in Baltimore. I’ve been trying to replicate it ever since. While this newest recipe I’ve tried for Shrimp Pad Thai doesn’t do that of Thairish justice, it was better than past versions I’ve made. So this recipe is going to stick around for a while. (Hint: sometimes the text of this recipe doesn’t appear right away and you have to refresh the page for some reason.)


Currently my audiobook listen is Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen. I have enjoyed all of Allen’s other novels. They are magical southern small town stories that have a fairy tale element. The descriptions are always uniquely beautiful. I’m enjoying it.

What have you been making and listening to recently?

 Linking up with Dawn today.

amy - March 26, 2014 - 3:03 pm

I see you have the vintage blue mason jars too :) I got some for Christmas but was disappointed with the color in person–it’s a lot more turquoise/blue than the lighter aqua I was expecting. Still like them, but sadly they clash with my blue-rimmed plates (which I hate, and need to replace now that we are down to about five or six…)

Gotta try the recipe. We looooove Pad Thai!

amy - March 26, 2014 - 3:04 pm

…did you have trouble finding tamarind paste? I’ve never heard of it…I don’t even know what a tamarind is.

Danielle - March 26, 2014 - 3:06 pm

Yes Amy, I couldn’t find it, so I just omitted it! I don’t know how it would change the taste, but it tasted fine without it!

Dawn Suzette - March 27, 2014 - 6:25 am

It looks delicious!
Lovin’ your blue mason jar! We drink out of mason jars round here.
Thanks for joining in & linking up!