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The Fragrance of Forgiveness

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Has there ever been a time in your life when a certain scent wafts past you and it stops you in your tracks? Like catching a whiff of the perfume your aunt used to wear or the aftershave that your grandpa once wore. Fragrance's that you haven't smelled since childhood. Aroma's from bygone years. Yet, when you catch that scent it takes you back in time, bringing a smile to your face and tears to your eyes. Scent is a powerful memory-maker. Nothing is more memorable than a smell. One scent can be unexpected, momentary and fleeting, yet conjure up a childhood summer beside a lake in the mountains. —Diane Ackerman That is one of the reasons I planted Monarda, also known as Bee Balm, in my garden. Yes. It draws butterflies, which I love , but, Bee Balm also grows wild along the creeks and littl...
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Beauty from Ashes

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This beautiful blog is written by our sweet friend Hannah Fordice. Read on be blessed dear readers. His hands are full of scratches and sawdust; they move smoothly down the planks, leaving a trail of deep, rich stain. You would never know that just a few months ago that same wood was stained in black ash and blood. When the house burned, it burned fast and hard. So fast in fact, that there was nothing they could do - how many times I heard that phrase - nothing they could do, nothing they could do, nothing they could do , until my ears rang with the sick sound of it. Nothing. No home. No dad. Nothing. As a lifetime went up in smoke, a crane had to move the largest, still burning logs to try and find his body in the coals. And those top logs - they are all that survived. And it wasn't a pre...
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A Place to Belong

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  A deep sense of love and belonging is an irreducible need of all people. We are biologically, cognitively, physically, and spiritually wired to love, to be loved, and to belong.  —Brené Brown My hubby and I first noticed it as we walked from the car park toward Disney's Magic Kingdom. In this sea of humanity lining up to enter through its gates. Male. Female. Young. Old. All walks of life. All cultures. All sides of the political spectrum. There we were. All dressed in Disney tee's. Many wearing Minnie or Mickey ears. Most wearing smiles from ear-to-ear. What draws folks from around the country and the world to Disney's doors? No doubt the rides are a big draw. And all the Disney characters. Then there's Cinderella's Palace. And the fun of climbing up the Swiss Family Robinson ...
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Soul Work

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Create in me a clean heart, O God; restore within me a sense of being brand new. —Psalm 51:10 Soul work is not a high road. It's a deep fall into an unforgiving darkness that won't let you go until you find the song that sings you home. —McCall Erickson Now that the snow pack is melting back a bit, I've been noticing on my daily walks with my dog that the street drains are clogged with the debris of leaves and pine needles from last fall. If we get a good hard rain, those obstructed drains won't be able to handle all the incoming water. That means it could back up onto the streets and make a real mess of things. Thankfully, the street sweeper will soon be making his way through our neighborhood, freeing those drains from all the rubbish that has accumulated there. I wish tha...
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An Ending...A New Beginning

An Ending...A New Beginning
We are sad to announce that our dear friend and co-writer of many Heart Matters Publishing devotionals, Jo Bender, is stepping down. We are enormously grateful for the years she has blessed our hearts with her words of challenge, encouragement and comfort. But, we are also excited for whatever God opens up to her in the future!  We'd like to bless her new beginning with a beautiful poem by John O'Donohue. In out-of-the-way places of the heart, where your thoughts never think to wander, this beginning has been quietly forming, waiting until you were ready to emerge. For a long time it has watched your desire, feeling the emptiness growing inside you, noticing how you will yourself on, still unable to leave what you had outgrown. Then the delight, when your courage kindled, and out you ...
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The Burdens We Bear - The Bentover Woman

The Burdens We Bear - The Bentover Woman
She wears it so beautifully doesn't she, her pain… Always smiling, always positive…. always happy to help… It's like a garment perfectly tailored to fit the way she carries it… with a touch of grace… and the quietness of that sad smile…. All so you'd never know how heavy it really was. —Ranata Suziki None knows the weight of another's burden. —George Herbert We all carry burdens of some sort. Something pressing on our hearts. For some it may be guilt or shame that weighs heavy. Others of us feel bent over with grief. Some of us carry pain, loneliness, resentment or anger around with us every day. And then, there are those of us who struggle with addiction. Be it alcohol, drugs, overspending, or overeating. That is your burden. And you long so to be free of it. I'd like to share one of my v...
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The View Outside My Window

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I've invited my cousin's daughter, Amber Krueger, to once again grace our pages. Her thoughts are probably what all of us are thinking this winter...

 

Despite the forecast. Live like it is spring.—Lilly Pulitzer

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The Winds of Change

The Winds of Change

Only God could say what this new spirit forming in you will be… accept the anxiety of feeling yourself in suspense and incomplete.—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose Wisely.—Karen Kaiser Clark 

When the winds of change blow in it can be unsettling. Scary, even.

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Our devotional's are available on Kindle!

Our devotional's are available on Kindle!

We're really excited to let you know that our books are available on Kindle.

Find them on amazon.com or click images below.

 

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New Years Reservations

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We're kicking off the New Year with our sweet friend, Hannah Sorvik Fordice, who has a blog of her own called Rubble and Rescue. If you've had a tough 2017, you too may be wondering how 2018 will unfold. Praying her words will minister to your soul...

Last New Years Eve, I found myself sitting at the kitchen table next to an unopened bottle of champagne I had planned to bring to a friend's house; in my hands was a pregnancy test with two pink lines in the viewing window. 

At the time, my husband was in a work rotation that included night shifts, so even though it was 3pm he was sound asleep in our bedroom. I gently shook him awake (Im fairly sure my hands were shaking so hard, I probably only had to touch his arm for the effect), and said, "good morning hun, guess what?" and handed him the test. 

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And I thought my 2017 was a rough year. May God bless you richly in 2018. Take good care of you!
Friday, 05 January 2018 05:10
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Faithful

Faithful

We pray that you had a blessed Christmas our dear readers. And as we ring in a New Year,

that you remember this...

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In the Deepening Silence

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As the days countdown to Christ's birth, we Heart Matters gals thought that the best gift we could give you is some time set apart with Jesus. This quiet time experience Julie Miller has written is really the gift that Ignatius of Loyola left for us as one of his many legacies. Ignatius loved God's Word and approached it uniquely. Rather than read the word to fill in blanks on a page, he stepped into it as if he were living the stories out.

 So, in the words of Frederick Buechner...

 

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Attire of the Heart

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A Christmas Quiet Time Devotional

Considering all the time we will be spending with friends and family during the holiday season,

we believe it would be beneficial to spend some quiet time with Jesus preparing our hearts for the holidays.

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Thanksgiving Thoughts

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Thanksgiving Thoughts to Prepare Your Heart 

...all which we behold Is full of blessings...—William Wordsworth

What do you behold today? Whom do you behold?

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Reconciling Our Riches

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It is an unfortunate human failing that a full pocketbook often groans more loudly than an empty stomach.

—Franklin Delano Roosevelt

 

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Who Do I Say That I Am?

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Our next contributor is a dear friend of Julie Miller's, Melody Martin. Mel has lived with cerebral palsy and all the struggles that a disability entails. She has endured the trauma of being hit and run over by a truck and has recently undergone two serious neck surgeries. It is through these times the Spirit has acted like an Energizer bunny and kept her going. She realizes it has been God, the Eternal Life force within her, that has gotten her through all the hard times.

 

We know what we are, but not what we may be.”

― William Shakespeare

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Being Single in Christ

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As we continue our discussion on our Identity, we've invited our precious friend, Lisa Harrell, to add her voice from a single woman's perspective... be blessed dear readers!

 

Another single friend and I were talking recently and she recounted again her frustration about having to do everything herself.  “If I were married, someone else would at least be mowing the lawn or balancing the checkbook or getting the oil changed. Sure, I can do each of those things but it’s trying to keep up with it all while working a stressful full-time job, cooking, getting groceries, cleaning, doing laundry, working out, keeping up with friends, caring for my parents, and attempting to tend to my spiritual life and relationship with God that overwhelms me. Heaven forbid I should get sick or some other unwelcome emotional upset, relational conflict, or life event disrupts my life.  There is no one to share the load. I need a partner! I want a companion.” While it may sound strange to call this full, busy, often frazzled and overwhelmed way of living lonely, it can be excruciatingly so for a single woman – be she single by choice, a lack of choice, death, or divorce.

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Consider Yourself Loved: Questions on our Identity

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We gals at Heart Matters would love to hear from you as we continue our discussion about our Identity.

If you'd please leave your comments - we will pray for you!

How do you view yourself?

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Be YOU!

Be YOU!

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is You-er than You.

—Dr. Seuss

"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken."

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When Angels Appear

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God’s angels are watching over us.

David Jeremiah

 

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To my child...

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A beautiful letter from a daddy to his 1st child as he heads off to school...

 My hands paused for an extra moment this morning; hovering over the shoes that would carry you off to Kindergarten. For a fleeting moment I thought if I waited long enough I could turn back the clock. Perhaps time would settle into stillness long enough so I could revisit all the times I've rushed you out of childhood and forgotten you are still beautifully wrapped in innocence and wonder. 

My throat tightened the way it always does before the tears start to fall. Your feet danced back and forth with excitement, this new beginning pulsing through your body. Your sister and brother helped you with your new backpack and asked you questions you were too excited to hear. As the oldest you not only forge this path for yourself, but you also make a way for them when their time comes.

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Blustery Winds

Blustery Winds

As we prepare our hearts for autumn...

I thought a reprise of this old devotional I wrote might be just the ticket we need to refocus our thoughts as the blustery winds blow in.

 

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This Labor Day weekend...

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 Have a blessed and rest-filled weekend dear readers!

 

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With Friends Like That...

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A silence fell over the group that went on…and on…and on. So, I started to talk. I chatted on like a radio.

Carole Mayhall

I’ve been reading through the book of Job from the Bible this summer. It really is a painful little book. It’s painful, not only because of the horrific catastrophes that happen to Job. That is excruciating enough to imagine. But, to have to listen in as his closest friends carelessly prattle on and on as Job suffers…well, that just breaks my heart.

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I'll Leave the Light on for You

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Give light and people will find the way.

—Ella Baker

The sun room in the condo where we’ve stayed in Big Sky, Montana the last couple of years overlooks a small lake hedged in by the small ski village. The village sits at the base of Lone Peak. And the view at sunrise is breathtaking.  

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We Heart Matters Publishing gals care about women. Their joys. Their struggles. Their everyday, ordinary lives. We write from those very same places hoping to uplift, challenge and encourage your soul and deepen your faith.

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The Heart Matters Gals

  • Julie

    Julie

    I’m turning 60 next month. I can hardly believe it myself. But, I’ve decided that I no longer want to live comfortably. I want to live with a spirit of adventure like I had in the past. To be unafraid of what’s new or different. I want to remain so open to the Spirit of the living God that his love compels me to go wherever he leads me.
  • LuAnn

    LuAnn

    I am passionate about people leaning into all that Jesus is. You. Me. Us. Journeying together with God. This is my greatest blessing. And now that my kiddos are out on their own, I’m learning to navigate my new normal. And I am finding there is life after little ones and teens after all!
  • Heidi

    Heidi

    Just when I thought life couldn’t get any more full and chaotic, we’re excited to announce a third baby will enter into our home and surely our hearts this summer. The daily grind of cleaning up Cheerios, preschool drop off, and potty training can often seem mundane and insignificant. But I’ve noticed too many parallels with God as our Father to know that simply isn’t true. In my words and stories, I hope to share exactly that—how Jesus is in this motherhood season with me and how His thumbprint makes it’s way into even the ordinary, most surprising of places.
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