The Serenity Prayer :: A Sursee for Today

Happy November, dear friends.
My heart needed this, this morning.  Maybe yours, too?


God, give me grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.
Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.

Sursees for the Soul

I am cleaning out my house Marie Kondo style right now. And of course I am coming across so many funny and poignant things and also some ridiculous things like these.

Hulk hands

I love these Hulk Hands- yes, there are two.  Not sure why I saved them.  They were a jokey fun Sursee for one of the boys and made a grunty noise when you smashed them together.  Everyone needs these, right?

Any who- I have been finding some lovely things as I clean out Haji-Kari style-our name for it.

I found notes from a cooking class that my friend and I sold on our school auction way back when.  The winners for the Cooking with Friends class came over and we did a little class and demo complete with a tip sheet and lots of conversation and, of course, great food.  I had forgotten about how much fun that was.  We made the recipes and then ate and handed out a packet of the recipes.  In the packet was a sheet with this title:

Food for the Soul

Here is what was on it, and I think it is a great Sursee for today.

Food for the Soul

The Word of God

Beauty- Music, Art, Literature and Nature

A Really Good Book

A Good Night’s Sleep

A Great Meal Eaten Slowly with People Who Love You

Worshipping God

So feast on the above.  Instead of Food for the Soul, can we call them Sursees for the Soul?

What might you add that feeds your soul and brings unexpected joy? Do tell.  Share with us or with a kindred spirit…xoxo

PS— I think I also need to post soon about all the StUfF that I have been getting rid of- unbelievable really.  But, it feels really good.  More soon. Ciao.

Sursee Gal Needs to Read

Why i am putting read a book on my to-do list everyday

Y’all know that I love goals.  I like making them.  Talking about them.  Asking you about yours and sometimes even making goals for you! Haha.

But I discovered this year whilst making my 2016 Goals, that I make the same goal almost every year.  But I never reach it.

It is: Read More Books.

It is a little discouraging to see that year after year I write that down as a goal, and yet,  I do not give myself permission to read or see it as important in the day to day to pursue.

I think I figured out why the stack of books on my night stand grows and why I never get around to opening up the top book.

Somehow, I feel like reading for pleasure is something I can’t really do.  It feels like it is a splurge or an extra for the end of the day.  Only worthy of vacation hours, not everyday of the week hours.

I have friends who tell me they sit down in the middle of the day and read, and I get a little nervous.  “Is that ok?,” I wonder, and sometimes even ask for more details about how they do that like it is really complicated stuff.

I am trying to see this love for reading as part of what makes me tick and something that is needed.  I tend to do all the other things on my to-do list  and leave the reading and crafting to the ends of the day when I run out of time and energy.

So this year, I have put it on my goals and in my everyday To-do List that I keep in my little journal.  So far I have been doing well. Today after a busy day, I came home and lay down and read for 30 minutes. Ahhhh. Did that ever feel good.

May I encourage you to put reading or whatever it is that is life-giving to you at the top of your to-do list?  Can you see that as just as important as all the other to-dos?  I think the Sursees that bring us life are too important to write down and never do. Is there a self-care goal that keeps going to the bottom of the list? Let’s bring it to the top and keep it there.

Take some time today and figure out what it is that brings you unexpected joy and move it to the top.  I would love to hear from you what your Sursee is.  It encourages me to enjoy and pursue mine when I hear about yours.

Saturday Sursee :: Welcome, 2015. Welcome, Chronological Bible

Chronological Bible 2015

Hello there!  What have you been doing these past few weeks?

I have been living life.  Had all the guys home and now, they are slowly leaving, going back to rich, full lives which makes me so happy.  I stayed up too late, ate too much, and laughed a bunch. Gave lots of head tickles and rubs.  Washed loads of laundry.  Cooked skillets and pots full of food. Baked and ate way too many cookies.  But, I was present.  In the moments. Not missing anything that the Lord was doing around me.  I did enjoy the little blog break.   I pictured you, friend, also living life with no time to read the ponderings of Sursee Gal.

Now, it is time to move on into 2015.

I have to start off the year with a reminder  about The Chronological Bible.  Please read about it here if you are unfamiliar with it. Join me this year as I start over reading through the Old Testament and New Testament in a year.  It would be such fun to know you were reading along with me.  Let me know in the comments below if you are joining us.

It really does help to know that others are reading through with you.  I have a few friends that text me favorite verses or things they are learning.  A little camaraderie is nice.

One thing I did new this past year was buy a pretty journal to go along with my reading.  I talked about the journal here. It helps me to stay focused and remember later in the day what I read.  I tend to forget. Do you?  I think physically writing it down- the verse that stuck out, the truth that encouraged- physically putting it on paper is good for the soul.

So for today’s Sursee, explore the Chronological Bible and consider joining us.  I think you will enjoy seeing how God has written His story of love and redemption that starts with a wedding and ends with a wedding.  It is not too late and it won’t be the same without you.


The Chronological Bible and Advent

Chronological Bible and Advent 2

Hey y’all,

I have so been enjoying my Chronological Bible reading in light of Advent and preparing for the birth of Jesus.  Which made me think of Jan 1, 2015.  Which made me think of starting the reading all over again.  Which made me think of you, dear reader, and how I want you to join me in this journey come 2015.  But first, back to the Advent/Chronological Bible connection.

I love how I see little Sursees all through the readings.  Like today, in Romans 8:26, I was reminded how the Holy Spirit is a gift to me.

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weaknesses.  We do npt know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.

What a gift!

And earlier in Romans 8:18, I am reminded that,

our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.

Joy to the World!  The Lord has come! is what my heart sang as I read this passage.  I love how when I prepare my heart for the Christmas season, He shows Himself to me in new ways, reminding me this world is not all there is.

And when I read this:

If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  Romans 8:9

I am thankful for the baby Jesus who came into the world to grow up and then die and save us from our sins. Awesome reading during Christmas.  Reminds me why the baby Jesus is so amazing.

What are you doing for Advent to prepare your heart? To slow down and savor? Do tell.

Oh, and do you want to join me this next year and read through the Chronological Bible?  Get yours now and be ready when the calendar turns. A real Sursee to give yourself this December.


Chronological Bible for advent

Hello December!


Hello , December


Hello December,

You snuck up on me again.  All my plans to get things done ahead of time.  Didn’t do. I told you last year I was going to be ready.

I love how you give grace and remind me that this is the time of waiting.  With anticipation.  For the gift of life and love and grace and truth.  Please remind me, dear December, how to wait when everything else says hurry and rush and do.  I want to be.  I want to wait and anticipate like  Anna and Simeon.  Come, thou long expected Jesus.   Come to me this December in a new, fresh way.


Sursee Gal

Here is the Sursee for you today: The words to this beautiful hymn by Charles Wesley.  Can you sit a minute today and rest in these words.  Maybe sing it to yourself ?  Can you be still and prepare your heart for the birth of the King?  Join me.


Come, thou long expected Jesus, born to set thy people free; from our fears and sins release us, let us find our rest in thee. Israel’s strength and consolation, hope of all the earth thou art; dear desire of every nation, joy of every longing heart.

Born thy people to deliver, born a child and yet a King, born to reign in us forever, now thy gracious kingdom bring. By thine own eternal spirit rule in all our hearts alone; by thine all sufficient merit, raise us to thy glorious throne.   Charles Wesley



Make where you are a Happy Place

Don’t spend your life getting back to a place where you were happy.

Make where you are a happy place.

Words spoken true from a dear friend.  I love the word picture of this quote.  A happy place can look so different for each one of us. Happy places for me are often connected to the seasons of my life.  How often do I try to get back to a happy place instead of creating one right here?

When my kids were little, it was the days before kids.  When the kids got a little bigger, it was the days of nursing and babies.  When they were bigger still, it was the days of grade school.  And on and on.

Soon, I learned to embrace right where I was.  Most of the times.  Most of the times I embraced and relished right where I was.  By practicing thanksgiving.  By slowing down.  By choosing Him and His plans I was  creating a Happy Place right where I was.

In these days of the empty nesty, I sometimes fool myself into thinking when I look back, that those were the days and I try to get back there.  I forget the right here.  The Right now.  I can create a Happy Place right here and now by trusting that He is in control and He has all my days.

Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.  Psalm 90:12

So no matter where you are or what season you are in today, make where you are a happy place by choosing to embrace and receive what the Lord has for you.  No more trying to get back to a happy place.  Make where you are a happy place.  Now that is a Sursee from the Lord.

20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:20,21

Happy place

Books That I Am Reading :: A Fall Reading List

I love reading, and I usually have about twenty-thousand books that I am reading.  At the same time. You, too?  I have a huge stack on my night stand, by the phone, on my Kindle, and in my Creative Room.  I guess I feel like buying and stacking books equals- Reading.  I think this is why I never have anything in the menu drop-down about what I am reading- because I never finish any one book!   I just keep starting a new one.

I think that is why I love the idea of a Kindle.  You can have all different kinds of books on the Kindle and be ready for what ever you are into at the time when you have a minute to read.  Kid literature? Check.

Mystery.  There.

How-to or Christian living?  On the Kindle.

With my Kindle it is easy to flit back and forth between genres and not be worried.  Especially when I travel.  No more wagging a thousand books in my carry-on for all the whims of my reading.  Now it is all on the Kindle.

But, now back to  what am I reading right now.   I am reading this book by Linda Dillow with my Mom Hearts.

Satisfy My Thirsty Soul

Satisfy My Thirsty Soul is great book on getting to know God and worshipping Him.  One of her thoughts is this:

A good definition of worship is: an active response to God that declares His worth.  Linda Dillow.

Excited about what we are going to learn about worship together.  Will share along the way.

I am reading this next book because I love kid literature, want to review it here on Sursee Gal, and felt like I needed to refresh myself on the story; it is so magical and good.  More on Gone Away Lake later.

Gone Away Lake

(Finished it, by the way, so I get a gold star!)

Speaking of enjoying kid lit made me think of this author and book which I am also savoring.

Happier at Home

She is the first person who admitted to loving kid lit as an adult.  I am so there, but was embarrassed about that.  Wanted to like the big grown up stuff, which I do, but I also enjoy a good children’s book.  CS Lewis says it well when he writes:

“A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.”

Gretchen Rubin started a book club for Children’s Literature.  What a wonderful idea.  There are so many great children’s books that I would love to read again as an adult.

Oops, I got off subject which happens when I start talking about reading.

This book, Happier at Home,  is all about her journey of dedicating a year to make her home an energizing and calming place.  I like reading through her ideas of how to do that and am inspired with the little Sursees she shares.  Go check it out and start your own Happiness Project.

So this What Books I am Reading  post is all about variety and the spice of life.  It is all about starting one book and picking up another.  It is all about finishing what you start.  Haivng a goal.  Enjoying the ride.  It is the this and that approach to reading that I love and why it is so hard sometimes to tell you what I am reading.  Stay tuned for more Books I am Reading posts where I smush them all together for an awesome Sursee.

What are you reading right now?  Do tell.



Sursee Saturday :: New Covers on Old Favorites

I love the artist Anne Bond.  I think I first read about her in Southern Living and I follow her on Instagram;  it is fun to see what she posts and to see her artwork as it is coming out fresh.  She is the founder of Rifle Paper Co.  I am pretty sure you have seen her work on notecards and journal covers.

But look at what she is doing now… book covers for the classics.

My new love. a little princess

Are these not gorgeous, beautiful and inspiring?

anne of green gables

Makes me want to read these books all over again.

Little women

I am thinking these would be an awesome baby gift for a new mom.  Or a precious gift for a gal turning 13 or 16 or 18- all special birthdays in our house.  They are very affordable, around $13.00 for a hard bound book.  Amazing.

Or, maybe a Sursee for a gal pal?


Or how about a Sursee for You!

A Stocking stuffer, perhaps?… it is not too early you know.

Have a Sursee Saturday!




Sursee Gal on the Phone

SurseeGal Podcast


Hey y’all.  I recently did another podcast with Heather at God Centered Mom.  We talked about all sorts of fun stuff…

  • Reading to your kids  and ideas for books and what your kids can do while you are reading. Love talking about this.
  • How to work with the feeling that everyone needs me all the time.  At the same time.
  • What to do when those feelings of anger pop up and sometimes come crashing out.

Go over and listen to us at  Or you can go to Podcasts on your phone and listen.

I hope that listening to us encourages you that you really  are the best mom for your kids and that God picked you and no one else.