Sunday, October 27, 2013

Autumn in New England

There is nothing like the cool temperatures, colorful leaves against the clear, blue sky and enjoying autumn in New England. Yes, I'm a New England girl. I love the seasons--each has something special to enjoy. So I'd like to share a few images with you as we transition into autumn.

freshly picked cranberries
A Harvest of Cranberries
deciduous holly branch
Deciduous Holly
Red maple leaf
Maple Leaf
Cedar branch with berries
Cedar branch laden with berries
Leaves changing color
Beginning of color

Sunflowers make me smile!

Every season and life-season brings elements of change and beauty. I want to embrace whatever is ahead and take time to enjoy its fruit.
What's your favorite aspect of Autumn? What season of life are you facing? How can you capture its beauty and share it with someone?
Hard to believe November is knocking on the door,

Photos by Jeanne Doyon

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Unwanted...But Wanted

I am teaching at the New England Christian Writer's Retreat and so I have asked Emily Wickham to share her heart with us this week. This topic is one that causes my heart to beat too--leading me to be involved in our local crisis pregnancy center, Women's Center of Northeast Connecticut. I believe the Lord weeps over these little ones...I know I do.

"Will we stand for life wherever God places us?"
                                      ~  Emily Wickham

Baby Hands

"... blood is on their hands ... when they had slaughtered their children for their idols...” Ezekiel 23:37, 39

Wooden stakes laced with plastic orange netting decorated the beach. Early morning caretakers diligently visited these areas where sea turtle eggs awaited hatching. An exciting time, the arrival of these creatures clearly classified as an eagerly anticipated event.

" ... It is illegal to harm ... sea turtle eggs...”

I stared at the sign. Processing the stern warning that included potential prosecution, I contemplated this law of protection for sea turtles. Inescapably I thought of this irony: it's illegal to harm a sea turtle egg ... but perfectly legal to destroy human life within a mother's womb. Oh, how this must break God's heart.

God eternally exists as Creator of life. Before mankind, He designed exquisite angelic beings. In the garden, He formed man from dust and fashioned woman from man's side. Almighty God excels in intricate detail and skillful construction obviously delights Him. Originating in His immense mind, all things living--including sea turtles to humans--express His creative genius. Yet we have irreverently, rebelliously, selfishly interfered.

Oh, how abortion must break God's heart. Watching these little ones, whom He's uniquely shaped into His image, heartlessly destroyed invokes intense grief. Surely He weeps. Just as death's foul odor pervaded Lazarus' tomb, death's stench presides over these graveyards in the womb. A travesty of epic proportions, abortion annihilates whom God wants--a child--because for various reasons, a human heart deems that child unwanted.

Aborted children: wanted by God ... unwanted by mankind.

We as the church remain accountable for our response to this disease of legalized death. It's not about a woman's right to choose--the living God, the Creator Himself already has chosen to initiate life.  Will we idly stand by and look the other way? Or will we stand in the gap--even on the sidewalk--lovingly reaching out to women and their unborn children? Will we stand for life wherever God places us?

Dear family in Christ, God has graciously given us the " ... ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Therefore we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were entreating through us..." (2 Corinthians 5:18-20).

It's hard. I've only participated in sidewalk ministry once. But I'm planning to return. Not as a goody two-shoes Christian, but as a sinner saved by God's incredible grace. Though my presence there is unwanted by the world, I go because it’s wanted by God.

God doesn't call every Christian to stand for life in the same way. Enormously creative, He's gifted each of us to impart His truth distinctly.

How is He leading you?


Emily Wickham
Emily Wickham, founder of Proclaiming Him to Women Ministries, maintains a passion for teaching God’s Word. Her PHtW blog, Mothers Like Me blog, Sophie Woman’s Magazine column, and Daily Dose of Encouragement devotions allow her to reach many with God’s truth. As a published author, conference organizer, and speaker, she appreciates every opportunity to encourage and equip women by exalting Christ. Emily welcomes contact and connection via Facebook at

 Most importantly, Emily cherishes her relationship with God and treasures her family as gifts from His hand. Residing in western NC with her husband and their children, she considers each day a blessing.

A note from Jeanne: If you or someone you know have experienced an abortion--please know that there is forgiveness in Christ. Often, we keep this secret buried but when we bring it to the Light of Christ, He can bring healing. There is hope in the cross. There is counsel available so that you can be freed from unresolved feelings that arise after this experience. Contact your local Christian crisis pregnancy center for post abortion help. You are loved and prayed for....

 This resource is available in both e-book and paperback format:
photo credit: kudaker via photopin cc

Sunday, October 13, 2013

What's That Smell?

We are a fragrance of Christ…   2 Corinthians 2:15

Image courtesy of

I woke in the middle of the night, not to a noise, but to a fragrance. After weeks of heat and humidity, a breath of Canadian air blessed us with temperatures in the fifties overnight. My windows were wide open to allow the coolness to flow through the house. The fragrance was perfumed, like fresh laundry on the clothesline. The pungency of it surprised me. I wondered if maybe there was a thief outside my window wearing freshly washed clothes. Within minutes, the scent was gone yet the memory lingered in the morning.

Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 2:15 we are a fragrance of Christ everywhere we go—a fresh breeze in the midst of the dankness. We leave an impression behind, a reminder of Him in every place. His Spirit is alive within us, flowing through like a fresh breeze of His grace. With the window of our soul open, His fragrant Presence splashes like ripples over the surface of a pond. 

A puff of perfume
Image courtesy of
This ripple effect has nothing to do with us. Scripture tells us our adequacy is not in ourselves, but comes from God. As we surrender our bodies as a living sacrifice, He uses us to impact our world. Every selfless act is a puff of perfume—every kind word, a soothing balm to a weary soul—sweet reminders of His mercy. And, a bit of His Presence lingers, refreshing the stagnant air as we walk with Him.

Our scent affects believers—encouraging a sister or a brother with a word or a deed. There are times when I walk into a room of strangers and sense right away if someone is a follower of Christ. The light of His Spirit is in their eyes—the connection is instant and it refreshes my soul.

Our scent affects those who don’t know Christ as well. They sense something is different, though often don’t know how to put their finger on it. They may ask, “What is it about you—where does your peace come from?” To which we answer, giving them an explanation of the hope we have in Christ.

None of this has anything to do with us—it has everything to do with Him. We have the treasure of the gospel within our earthen vessel. We are His ambassadors to a dark and decaying world—one that needs the Light of Christ, one fragrant encounter at a time.

Have you experienced this scent in your world?


Want to dig deeper?
Read: 2 Corinthians 2:14-16; 3:1-6; 4:6-10; 5:18-20

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Sabbatical Rest

I'm back. A special thank you to all of my guest bloggers!! I hope you were blessed by their words; I certainly was. It was wonderful to see God at work through different eyes.

seagull by the ocean

My time of sabbatical was full of rich blessings. It took quite awhile to set up the guest blogs (A note to those who would like to incorporate guest writings) but once I navigated the formatting issues it all got done. I enjoyed getting glimpses into the lives of these wonderful friends as they shared their hearts.

So, a bit about my time apart...

Fasting from Facebook was a huge goal during this time. Though I admit I did peek a little, other than announcing the blogs each week on social media, I tried very hard not to linger. This is something I want to continue. Time is so precious and once it's spent, there is no getting it back. So, one thing I learned is that,

               I want to be more intentional.

Stewardship of my day is important.

I also enjoyed my home. I cooked and baked - both of which I really enjoy. I took walks, spent time with my husband, went to visit my family, and even took a couple of days to getaway alone. All of these things filled my empty cup. If you have never planned a getaway, I highly recommend it.

A few nuggets gathered during my time alone: The words that repeated in my journal time were


Mark 3:16 says, "He appointed (chose) the twelve."

                      He chose me too

Interesting, that Ephesians 1:5 says that God 'chose us from the the kind intention of His will.'

                      Being intentional involves making choices

As my hubby and I rode bikes to Watch Hill, RI and saw all the 'McMansions'...

           He is preparing a place for me - a mansion in glory

tractor grading the beachAs I sat by the ocean early one morning with a cup of tea, a tractor was grading the sand - wiping away yesterday's flaws.

His mercy is new every morning 

Early morning ocean sceneIn the gentle peace of this place
You are here
I'm listening to the surroundings
Will you touch my soul with the burning coal of your presence
Light the fire of your love alive in me
Quicken my heart to beat with yours
Have you taken time to be alone with God lately? What have you heard through your surroundings?
A getaway may be just the thing to help encourage intentional living.
Photos by Jeanne Doyon 2013

Suggestions for intentional living and drawing near to God: