"Trials are an invitation from God to drink deep of His love, to become more aware of our sin and brokenness, and to be transformed from dust into the eternal and beautiful image of God we were made for."  - me

"Showing up where I am and not where I wish I were is saying yes to God." - Emily Freeman (A Million Little Ways)

"Love is giving someone what they need most, when they deserve it least, at great personal cost to yourself" --Chip Ingram

In reference to suffering:  "Don't try to understand it.  You won't succeed.  Don't try to see it.  You can't.  Try to live it, and you will be living out of the center." --Brennan Manning

"When we cease to be who we are called to be, we are no longer serving the purpose of the church"
  --Burk Parsons, associate pastor at St. Andrews, Sanford, FL

"'Our longings are legitimate.  They should be actively felt and embraced in order that we may more richly know God as the Great Satisfier and Lover of the human soul.  The problem is not centrally with our longings.'...[but] God would have us long for Him instead.  To make us truly human God must change what we want, for we must learn to want the things that Jesus wanted...the human life is a great paradox...Those who die to self, find self.  If I crave happiness, I will receive misery...If I crave to be loved, I will receive rejection...If I crave significance, I will receive futility...If I crave control, I will receive chaos.  If I crave reputation, I will receive humiliation.  But if I long for God and His wisdom, I will receive God and His wisdom.  Along the way, sooner or later, I will receive happiness, love, meaning, order, and glory." --from Contentment: A Godly Woman's Adornment

"When we have sold our identity to the judges of this world, we are bound to become restless, because of a growing need for affirmation and praise."  --Henri Nouwen

"As you prepare to cook, clean the kitchen surfaces you will use and the table on which you will eat...When the space is prepared, light a candle, if you have one, somewhere in the kitchen.  Let the light be a reminder of God's presence at all times and in all places, but especially in these moments of providing nourishment.  When you're done cooking, move the candle to the table.  Whatever you cook...take time for the preparation to be done with care.  As you cook, pray for those who will eat it. 
Set the table with care...Fold the napkins.  Arrange the food carefully on the dishes.  Slice.  Garnish. Drizzle.  Make it as beautiful as you can..."   ~ A Place at the Table:  Chris Seay

"All women are called to mother.  And all women are called to give birth.  Women give birth to all kinds of things:  to books, to churches, or to ministries.  To ideas, to creative expressions, to movements.  We birth life in others by inviting them into deeper walks with God, to deeper intimacy with Jesus.  A woman is not less of a woman because she is not a wife or has not physically borne a child.  The heart and life of a woman is much more vast than that.  All women are made in the image of God in that we bring forth life.  When we offer our tender and strong feminine hearts to the world and to those we love, we cannot help but mother them."  --Stasi Eldredge, You Are Captivating, Celebrating a Mother's Heart