Posts tagged a delight filled December

Dear Husbands, Fiancees, Boyfriends, and "Just Friends",  The women you love want you to know what it is they really want-- more than beautiful clothes or sparkling jewelry, more than fancy dates or exotic vacations. These are real things every man can give... if only he will. 

I posted this two years ago. We haven't changed, this is still what every woman really wants for Christmas:


We’ve browsed through magazines, linked onto websites, and made our wish lists. Clothing sizes, shoe preferences, colors and particulars. Everything we think our men need to know in order to give us a Christmas to remember.

Now, armed with ideas, men are heading to the mall, determined to get that one thing they hope will make a woman happy.

And so, I have a list of my own to give the men who love the women I care about. It won’t break the bank or your back, but it will give her exactly what she really wants from you this Christmas.

Ten Things To Give The Woman You Love For Christmas:

1.  Your Attention- full and undivided.

Uninterrupted by cell phone rings and texting dings. She knows you can’t give it all the tim e, but for Christmas won’t you try? Do it on purpose.

2. Your Eyes- it’s the stuff of romance.

When a man looks into a woman’s eyes she knows he sees her. But it doesn’t have to be Hollywood mush. Just a moment of linking up, of homing in on the window to her soul. Dive deep. There's a person of unique value in there. Look for what she cannot say.

3.  Your Touch- purposeful and affectionate.

A way of showing her you connect with her. Women crave those brushes of love against their skin. To run your fingers across her heart, you'll need to step into her space and bring her into yours.

4.  Your Stories- give her a memory, a picture in your mind that you’ve tucked away somewhere of her being who she is and you loving that part of her. Tell it well and she’ll know for a moment that you really do know her.

5.  Your Hope- she sees everything not right with the world she’s trying to create for those she loves.  Tell her it’s okay, that perfection isn’t perfect, that love is messy and so is real life and you love her no matter what.

6.  Your Honor- What is the thing she does remarkably well? Have you told her? Have you told her in front of others? It’s not a woman’s way to brag about herself. Can you be her trumpeter?

7.  Your Depths- Give her those hidden hopes and dreams and thoughts and observations that will never be part of a quick phone call. She wants to know you way deep down inside.

8.  Your Help- Christmas can be overwhelming for a woman. So much to do and so many glossy pictures of others doing it better. Get up and help her. Lend a hand. Make life a little easier for her so she can be who she really is. And jump in before she gets crabby about all the work, she hates herself for being like that.

9.  Your Generosity- Can you choose in the midst of the pressures of real life to give a little more extravagantly than anyone would expect? Add a flourish. Make her coffee and cover it with whipped cream. Buy her something she doesn’t need. Bless her.

10.  Your Love- That’s what she really wants.

Every woman I know wants to be loved. To be considered better than average in a world that measures our success by means we’ll never attain.

To be  held in a place so uniquely special to you that you’re willing to give your attention, your eyes, your touch, your stories, your hope and honor and depths and help and generosity just to be sure she knows how much you love her.

We want to feel loved.

You have it in your power to give that kind of love this Christmas to your wife or your girlfriend, your good friend, your mom.

Will you?

From my heart,


P.S. Women, do you have anything to add to this list?


When Plans Change Will I Still Delight?

"The mind of man plans his way but the Lord directs His steps."

 Proverbs 16:9


I think I’ve learned this lesson a million times and I still don’t fully grasp it. I make plans, envision how life ought to be, then stress and worry and fret when something not-planed inserts itself into my ideal.

This December has included lots of re-directed steps. And do you know what?

The delight I feel every single day is just as strong as when my planner looked neat and tidy and like a shoe-in for the Perfect Christmas.

Here we are, one week ahead of the Big Day. My floors are grungy from all the times I’ve invited my adorable granddog to play at my house while Matt and Simo are working.

I haven’t done hardly any of the gazillion we-do-this-every-Christmas tasks.

Our tiny guest room looks like a robber’s den of stashed loot: Fed Ex and UPS boxes, and a crazy assortment of gifts that are not going to get wrapped creativitively. Nope, this year it’s going to be a brown bag year. Quick and easy.

And all that behind-edness has me smiling instead of my go-to response of worry.


Because I’m learning few things. Slowly… but honestly, these truths are sinking into my soul enough that God's redirecting is feeling fun and right.

  1. I’m learning that what my kids want is me. They want me happy and hope-filled more than they want Pinterest-worthy packages.
  2. I’m learning that my husband wants me happy.  That he lights up when I walk around our cottage with a smile on my face. That’s what he really wants. More than my home-made fudge sauce or those delectable peanut-butter balls or the lopsided ginger bread house no one wants to eat unless they’re on a midnight sugar binge.
  3. I’m learning that playfulness is important to joy. Even when I’m not caught up on all the things I thought I really out to do. Even when I don’t have time to dog sit my granddog ‘cuz I should be cleaning and getting it together. That pup is fun. He insists I play and my whole soul is lighter when I do.
  4. I’m learning that people love me even when I don’t perform as I thought I should. That my friends couldn’t care less that I haven’t made a hand crafted present in decades. Those I love, love me back— whether I’m “amazing” or not. Especially when I’m not.
  5. I’m learning that worry is a waste of energy. That when I fret about what needs doing I lose my passion for people. People who don’t care about the pretty packages or homemade fudge sauce. People who do care if I’m joy-filled, fun, all-in, and interested.

That’s why all those re-directed paths have seemed more like delight-filled opportunities this year. Because they are.

And that’s why I am praying for a long list of women who’ve asked. Because I know His heart is with those whose burdens are a lot more than smudged floors and long to-do lists.

Delighting in this day,


DAY 12

I will also give that person a white stone with

a new name written on it,

known only to the one who receives it. 

Revelations 2v17 niv

And you will be given a new name by the LORD's own mouth. 

Isaiah 62v2 nlt

Yesterday was our Sabbath— the day Phil and I stop all work and reflect on God's goodness... all day long. A day set aside specifically to delight.

Sabbath is a day to place our lists and our pressures, our unsolved problems and our stressors in God's hands.  To just be with Him in gratitude and wonder. To rest.  To remember.

To remember whose we are.

We who have chosen to believe in Jesus belong to Him. He gives us His name and He knows us by name. And someday we will get a new name— one that He will place on each of us like a crown of knowing. Not just any name, but a name that signifies who we really are.

I can imagine Him presenting you with your name as all of us watch in wonder.

This is my child, (your new name here).  I love this one dearly. Welcome her home!

And then we’ll all crowd around you in unfiltered delight! I think maybe we’ll join hands and form a circle of dance around you, kicking up our feet in spontaneous hilarity.

You’ll be laughing and blushing and beaming with happiness.

For each of you who feel harried and hurt today, may you take just a moment to dream about that Day.

Imagine yourself with Him, tucked under His arm. Imagine how much all of us, each of usmillions of us--will love you. We’ll be proud of you. We’ll see you, not with eyes of judgment, but eyes of understanding and admiration.

We’ll see your worth.

From a heart delighting in a love that I can hardly grasp,


P.S. My list of names to bring on my walking, praying treks through these Pacific Northwest storms is growing. I am having a increasing sense of the importance of these soggy walks. If you’d like to add your name please tell me in the comments.

DAY 10

Dear Ones,

Over the last few days, I have taken your names with me on my walks in the storms that hover over the Pacific Northwest. With my rain jacket, my battered umbrella, and my Bogs rubber boots I am trekking through puddles and delighting in the strength of these storms.

~Delighting in the One who delights in showing us His strength in the midst of storms.

As I have walked, I have felt the weight of your sorrows. I believe that your cries for the Father to free you of burdens too great to bear have been heard. From the mother whose children won't stop bickering, to the silent ones who cannot say why, and everyone who has written to me asking that I bring them with me on my talking-to-the Father walks.

Your longing to come with me on this Way of Delight is a giant step towards taking hold of “the life that is truly life” (I Timothy 6v19), that life of abundance (John 10v10) Jesus holds out to each of us.

These words are for you~

"I will... fear no evil... for You are with me."

Psalm 23v4


I will. 

I will choose to let go of fear, to push off shame, to run free.

I will choose to fill my soul with delight.

I will choose the way of love even when I feel unloved and unlovable. Even when I don’t want to and think I can’t.

I will choose with my will fully surrendered, not allowing my wild and untamable emotions to choose for me.

I will choose. Every day. All day. This day.

I will.

I will fear no evil.

Because perfect love casts out fear— all fear.   

Fear of what people might think, fear of what someone might do, fear of rejection. Fear of failure, fear of shame, fear of aloneness. Fear of not-enoughness, fear of too-muchness, fear of powerlessness.

With my will I will choose not to fear even when my heart is beating and my hands are shaking and my body betrays me. Even then I will choose not to fear. I will be wise, alert, discerning and assertive— and free of fear. By choice.

I will fear no evil.


I will fear no evil for You are with me.

Always. Even when I cannot feel You or see You or hear You. Even to the end, especially at the end.

I will make room for Your presence to sink deep within me, breathing deeply of Your Spirit. I will make space for You in my every days so that I recognize You and turn to You on the days when evils stalk and temptation lures. I will open my eyes so I may see You. I will tune my ears so I can hear You. I will draw close so I can feel you.

And when I fail and fall back to fear, I will come to You in sorrow.  I will sit with You there, confident in Your love, without fear of condemnation, assured that Your love is greater than my fears.

I will fear no evil, for You are with me.


From a heart filled with faith in a Father whose love will never let you go,


P.S. For everyone who asks in the comments, I will add your name to my growing list of people to bring along on my walks with the Father. This brings me unbelievable delight!


“Don’t act thoughtlessly

  but try to understand what the Lord wants you to do...

let the Holy Spirit fill you and control you.

Then you will sing…

 and you will always give thanks for everything

to God the Father

in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Ephesians 5:17-20 (selected)


Yesterday was day 6 of learning to be a woman who delights in God. I woke up this morning realizing I hadn’t posted anything for that day. And immediately, before I could so much as say Good Morning, I felt shamed.

Gosh, doesn’t the enemy ever sleep in?

It took a full pot of tea and an hour of listening in the Word to understand that my self-imposed write-every-day-this-month is my plan. Neat and tidy and, if I’m not alert and listening, distressingly performance driven.

That very real enemy, who Jesus called, the Accuser, is the ultimate slayer of delight— and of everything beautiful and good.

Does that finger-in-your-face voice ride on your shoulder whispering in your ear?

Do you feel yourself longing for delight but dragging in drudgery and defeat?

Do you sag under the weight of feeling you are never enough and too much all at the same time?

This is what the Father reminded me this morning:

  1. Our battle is not against flesh and blood or busy schedules or naughty children or not-very-nice people.
  2. A war is raging in unseen places with a powerful enemy whose primary objective is to separate you and me and our children and everyone we love from the throbbing heart of God.
  3. If that enemy can defeat us by self-shame and condemnation and feelings of inadequacy, he wins. Even if those feelings are about self-imposed, not-all-that-important-tasks we assign ourselves.

And this beautiful truth:

4.  God’s value for me is not based on how well I perform or how hard I work or how disciplined I am. He looks at you and me with the love of a Father who is pleased with what He sees in us.  And what does He see? The Father looks at you and at me and instead of seeing our failures and our mess-ups, our inconsistencies and our twisted hypocrisies, He sees Jesus. He sees His son emerging beautifully in us and through us and for us.

Even if we forget. Especially when we forget.

From a heart becoming aware of what keeps me from delight,


P.S.  As soon as the rain lets up a little, I am going on a walk to pray for those women I know who are being assaulted by the condemnation of the enemy. I would love to pray for you- if you'll just write your name in the comments I'll "take you with me" on my walk.


On my quest to learn what it means to be a woman who delights in God, I am finding that I must purpose to be careful what story I am telling myself.

There are always multiple takes on a scene and if I allow myself to pick the negative, poor-me stance I end up barring myself from the Way of Delight.  And worse, I stumble into the soul filth of pride and judgment.

Today as I wove my car through Christmas shopping gridlock, I had to practice this newly discovered idea. At one point I inadvertently went ahead of someone, not realizing she had the right of way. The driver pinched her face in anger and pulled right up close to my car as if she was going to ram me. I could see her mouth moving a million miles an hour as I sheepishly pulled aside to let her pass.

My first thought was Geesh! What a crabby lady!  Immediately this truth God has been patiently trying to teach me interrupted my not-very-nice internal dialogue. The truth is I have no idea what her world looks like right now. Or why she flared in anger. Instead of judging her (crabby lady!), I sensed God inviting me to pray for her, to ask for His healing grace to wash over her.

And then I couldn’t help it, I started counting all the ways my life is really good right now: A family who loves me, a husband at home eagerly waiting for me to get there. An adorable, cozy cottage to come home to. Meaningful work. A church where I am fed rich food from the Word every single week. The Sistas and other friends who have my back. Even my dog likes me!

And best of all, a Father who watches over me, teaching me, leading me, loving me. A Savior who came to be present with us— with me. The Spirit who heals and brings hope.

About as fast as the snap of my fingers, the Spirit transformed my judgment to compassion.

I’m home now, tucked into my cottage that is aglow with cheer. I’ve had enough of the mall to last me a good long time! As I sit curled up on the sofa, I realize that I am learning something crucial:

When I choose the Way of Delight, all those irritating annoyances become windows in which I catch a glimpse of God come near-- I see Him and hear Him and feel Him. I know Him.

Gosh. This is life changing!

Delighting in Him today,



  This day has been chock full of delight. Overflowing with one thing— rest. Sweet, luxurious, delight filled rest.

The delight of this day did not happen because my list is all crossed off, nor due to an accidental twist of fate. In fact, unfinished chores are tucked behind closet doors and relegated to a tidy pile on my desk.

Today is our Sabbath.

I know, I know, it’s Friday. And Sabbath is traditionally either on Saturday (for Jewish observers) or Sunday (for Christians). Or not at all.

For us, the ancient practice of Sabbath is brand new. Pastors work harder and longer on Sunday than on any other day of the week. And as two people who came to faith during the anti-traditional days of the Jesus Movement of the ‘70’s, we grew into our faith believing that the Sabbath was a law that didn’t apply to us. Somehow we’d been taught that of all the Ten Commandments, that was the one we were allowed to skip.

Fast forward to this day.

I woke up early as I always do, but instead of getting out of bed, I allowed myself to burrow under the down comforter for another hour.

It’s Sabbath-- bliss.

When I finally felt wide awake and ready to face the cold, I sauntered into the kitchen, switching on all the sparkling strings of lights, and made tea. I wrapped myself in a thick shawl and carried my tea tray out to my cabin where I spent as long as I wanted curled up in my big white chair reading and listening and writing and learning.

It’s Sabbath— bliss.

No rush. No hurry. No chores or work or lists or worries.

By late morning we were getting antsy to do something so we drove a couple of miles to a delightful Scandinavian café where we relished rich coffee and baked eggs with a griddle cake topped with linden berries and crème fraiche.

It’s Sabbath— bliss.

We talked, we laughed, we planned Comer Christmas surprises, we caught up on conversations cut short during the work week. By mid-afternoon all that delightful resting made us sleepy so Phil dozed in his chair by the fire while I read a really good story. It’s Sabbath— bliss. 

We went on a walk just as the sun dipped below the horizon, rambling in our dark, forested neighborhood past cottages brightened by Christmas lights. The night is cold and wintery, mysterious and quiet. Stars in the sky reminding us of that first Christmas when Shepherds first heard the news we celebrate.

Now we’re rummaging around the kitchen heating up left overs, getting ready to watch a Christmas movie. Cinnamon candles lend softness to the inside of our cozy home.

For one whole day we have stopped. We have rested. We have worshipped and consciously chosen not to indulge in worry or work or anything that might take away the wonder of this day.

It’s Sabbath. One day in seven for worship and for rest. For bliss.

From a heart quieted by the delight of Sabbath,


P.S. Have you yet responded to the invitation to Sabbath? If you want to know more, I highly recommend my son’s book, Garden City: Work, Rest, and the Art of Being Human. He details his family’s Sabbath rhythm as well as unpacking what the Scriptures teach.


For lots of reasons, yesterday was hard. I came home depleted, drained, unable to do much of anything for the rest of the day. Instead of pushing away those feelings as I would normally would, I decided to just listen to my sadness for a while. I’ve been learning that God isn’t afraid of our feelings and that He invites us to sit in His presence and just be with Him in the midst of what we don’t want or like.

I didn’t ask for anything or try to solve it. I didn’t seek solutions or try to figure it out. I just let my heart ache in companionship with the Father. I curled up by the fire to simply be  with my Savior. To be okay with unsolvable sadness.

I went to bed early, knowing that taking care of my body is sometimes the seemingly unspiritual but actually most trustful thing I can do when there's nothing else to do.

Then this morning, as if He’d been preparing a feast for me all day yesterday, my soul’s hunger brought me to a table groaning with fresh goodness. He opened the eyes of my truest self and sat with me while I feasted on His faithfulness.

He began to teach me, in that gentle way of His. I didn't hear any  "you ought to’s"  or" you should have’s".  What I heard instead of judgement was just an introduction to the Way of Delight. A way along which He is willing to take us in hand and train us— train me— how to be a child who delights in Him no matter what.

To learn to delight in Him when my soul is weary.

To learn to delight in Him on hard days.

To learn what it means to come to Him honestly and then to allow Him to take me by the hand and turn my not-in-the-least-bit delightful feelings into real delight. The kind of delight that doesn’t depend on how my day went.

These, my dear friends, are lessons worth learning, truths worth uncovering. To be a delighter in God through all the good days and even on the grey days. To be a woman who actually, really finds delight no matter what.

And to get me to that place I crave, God is going to have to let me have a few of those not good days.

Today is half way through now. I've puttered and worked, created and gone for a walk. And now I"m going to take a few moments to sip tea and just... delight.

From my heart,


P.S. If you’re with me, will you let me know? I’d love to be praying for other delight-seekers.


Just like you and everyone I know, I have obligations, chores, deadlines, and to-do lists that have not yet received the message that I have declared this December to be a month filled with delight. The post I wrote yesterday did not suddenly take care of my messy desk, nor did it give me license to take the month off.  And yet...

This morning feels different. As if the day ahead holds surprises I’ve yet to discover.

As I curled up in my big white chair early this morning, a message from  a friend who is hurting caught my heart and just as I was bringing her to the Father, this word came to my attention:

 For You bless the godly O Lord, surrounding them with your shield of love. 

Psalm 5v12

And just that little word from My Father— via me— to my friend, helped.

Maybe that was my most important job for today. Maybe all the other things that will take up the rest of my day are just chores that don’t actually, really matter all that much.

Maybe that seemingly insignificant moment is being delighted upon in that unseen world where Angels sing and Witnesses watch and Jesus sits and God reigns.

And so today I delight in listening.

I delight in the uncanny concept that the One who calls Himself “the God of all comfort” can and will and does use our sufferings to “comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” (2 Corinthians 1—read the whole chapter, it dripping with riches)

And He doesn't wait until we do suffering heroically, nor does He hesitate to use our messiness in the midst of real life hurts. He uses us in spite of ourselves as if to say to the whole watching world:

See? This one is Mine and I crown her with My glory because of love.

Have you seen or heard something delight-filled today? Will you sketch a picture with your words so we can see it too?

I’ll be watching the comments all day and checking on Instagram for the hashtag #adelightfilleddecember.

Delightfully yours,




Take delight in the Lord,

and he will give you the desires of your heart.


The Lord directs the steps of the godly.

He delights in every detail of their lives.

Psalm 37v4,23 

For the last two Christmases I have rushed my way through the days of December, winding up exhausted and ill by the time our Comer Christmas celebrations started.

Two years ago all the rush was because we were living out of boxes in a friend’s guesthouse while Firwood Cottage was being transformed from a not-very-nice house into a warm and welcoming home. By January I had this nagging sense that I had missed something vital.

Last year I was frantically finishing up edits to my book, afraid I wouldn’t meet my January deadline with any sort of comprehensible story. By the time I finished I realized I had fretted and worried my way through yet another Christmas.

And, while the Day has always been fun and filled with joy in having my whole family together, the days leading up to the Day have felt more like a chaotic, messy, not-very-fun list of too much to do and not enough time to delight.

This year, I have determined, will be different. Not because the schedule is suddenly clear of responsibilities or because circumstances are guaranteed to line up perfectly to plop the gift of joy into each day, but because I am finally figuring out that:

Delight and Joy and Peace and Happiness and Memories must be made on purpose.

This year, rather than rush through the days leading up to Christmas, I am making it my goal to delight in every single day. To relish and cherish the moments rather than race to complete an impossible list of tasks.

But how?

That is the question I keep asking myself, the query I have brought to the Father over and over again.

How do I become a woman who is filled with delight every day?

As I’ve leaned in to listen to the One who calls Himself the Word, the One who delights in being heard , I have sensed something stirring. 

A desire. A wish. Maybe even a warning. 

Certainly a fleeting feeling that He is speaking something I am as of yet unable to fully hear.

Instead of giving me a one-size-fits-all 3 point sermon on how and why I really ought to get my life together by now and what I must do and not do in order to force myself into being an all-day, every-day smiley person/delighter in God, He is urging me to come up with a list of doings and determinations that are unique to me. 

Delight and Joy are gifts. Gifts given by a God who lavishes love on us.

For this month of December I believe God is leading me on a treasure hunt to discover delight. 

Will you come along with me on this adventure of discovering how to actually, really, consistently become a person who delights in life and in God?  Will you join me for all the days leading up to Christmas and then the days that follow in order to watch and hear and see all those gifts He is waiting for us to find?

I'll be on Instagram every day this month, chronicling my quest @DianeWComer and, if I can ever get it figured out, also on @hespeaksinthesilence. Add the hashtag: adelightfilleddecember I can't wait to see what God is up to!

From a heart ready for a Delight-Filled December,