Living Outside the Stacks

Navigating through life away from the library


Why Does God Love Me? {Bible Reading Plan Day 2}


Deuteronomy 7:6 {ESV}

“For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the people who are on the face of the earth.”


Three things stood out for me in this verse:

  1. “…you are a people holy to the LORD…”: “holy” means to be set apart for a religious purpose and as such, they are to be living according to a strict or highly moral religious or spiritual system
  2. “…God has chosen you…”: they were specifically chosen because they were wanted, not because there weren’t any other available options or they were the last group of people left
  3. “…for his treasured possession…”: as a treasured possession, they have value (both sentimental and monetary ~ Jesus was the ransom that was paid, John 3:16) and will be cared for


When I was in school, the one game I truly hated playing was Dodgeball. I was always the last person selected. I was the slowest runner. The least coordinated. The easiest target. Even the window licker and the nose picker were selected before me. And I was always the first one to get slammed in the back by that hard red ball. I’d sit there on the bleachers, tears stinging my eyes, just wishing for once that I could be first.

In 1 John 4:19, we are told that God loved us first, which means that He chose us before we chose Him. Do you remember how the kids who were picked first on a team would puff up their chests and fist bump each other because they knew they were big stuff? Well, that’s how we need to be as children of God. We need to puff up our chests and let everyone know that we are on the winning team.


Dear Heavenly Father, I want to thank you for choosing me to be on your team. I want to thank you for seeing the value in me, even when I didn’t see it in myself. I know there have been times when I haven’t lived according to your word, when I haven’t upheld your spiritual and moral code, but I’m asking that you forgive me and guide my footsteps so that I can be an example to others. Amen.


Why Does God Love Me? {Bible Reading Plan Day 1}

Dani ReflectionSCRIPTURE

Genesis 1:26 {ESV}

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on earth.”


There are three things that stood out for me in this verse:

  1. “…let us make man…”: indication of the trinity of God; God uses the plural to indicate that He is more than one
  2. “…in our image, after our likeness…”: we are the physical and spiritual image of God, with the ability to think and reason; we were created morally sound and sinless (it wasn’t until Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit that God cursed man by saying that he was born into sin – Genesis 3:16~19)
  3. “…let them have dominion over the fish of the sea…”: As God’s ultimate creation, man was given the authority to rule over God’s other creations and act as a caretaker of all that God had created


The other day, I wrote about how I was putting together my resume and I was so impressed by the woman that I was reading about on paper that it almost felt like I was reading about someone else.  I was having a hard time reconciling the image of who I used to be with the person that I’ve become. I was having a big pity party.  I’ve been out of work for 6 months and I’m watching my friends move forward in their careers and I’m just here. Floundering, it feels like.

This verse reminds me that I’m more than my career (or lack thereof). I am made in the image of God and I need to stop with the self doubt and the negativity. When I put myself down, I’m putting down the One who made me, the One in who’s image I was created.


I want to thank You, Lord, for creating me in Your image, for giving me reason, power and authority. I want to thank You for showing me in Your word that I have value. And I ask that You help me to be the woman that You created me to be so that I will always reflect the Christ who is living in me. Amen.


Why Does God Love Me? {Bible Reading Plan}

My sisters and I used to joke that our first stop on the way home from the hospital was church. And from that moment on, we spent every waking moment in church…

Why Does God Love Me? {Bible Reading Plan}

For most of my life, I’ve always felt God’s presence around me. Even when I was running ahead of Him, I knew He was there, ready to pick me up when I stumbled. So why am I sitting here at 1 something in the morning trying to figure out where it’s all gone? I know I haven’t lost my faith, but I’ve lost something and I need to find it.

I want that happiness and joy that I see bubbling up in others. I want that peace that comes from knowing Him as my comforter and friend. I want to know what made Him look at me and think She’s worth dying for

To answer that question and the many others that have been floating around in my head, I’ll be reading “Why Does God Love Me?“, a five day Bible plan offered by YouVersion. I’ll be using the SOAP method of discovery that I learned from Amy at Mom’s Toolbox to share what I’ve learned with you.

I invite you to join me in this plan and share your insights in the comments section.


Photography Challenge {One in Thirty}

I promise this is not becoming a photography blog. I promise I will start writing again. I promise to dig deeper. But sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words and sometimes it really is just a little bit more fun…

And speaking of fun, I’m going to be participating in another photography challenge! It’s called “One in Thirty” and it’s being hosted by Shaunna at Mist and Lilies. If you haven’t seen her photography, you should definitely check it out ~ stunning! Anyway, the challenge is to pick a prop and photograph it in different settings (more detailed rules are posted below) for thirty days while using Photoshop to manipulate the prop’s expressions to fit the setting. Squee!

My Prop and Me {One in Thirty}

The reason I chose the doll for my prop is because I thought I’d have more fun manipulating her expressions than I would with, say, a stuffed animal. My first choice would have been a monkey by the way

I’m so excited about this challenge because it presents me with an opportunity to become more adept at using Photoshop. Have you tried using Photoshop? It’s not as intuitive as I had hoped so this is really gonna be a challenge. I’m hoping to learn some new tips and tricks from this challenge all while flexing my photographic muscles.

I’m not sure what I’m going to have my prop, her name is Jasmin by the way, doing or where I’ll be taking her pictures but if you have any suggestions PLEASE feel free to share them in the comments section below.

One in ThirtyHere are the rest of the rules:

  • Try to get a different setting for each shot, for each day.
  • Try to use Photoshop to warp the expressions on your prop (Shaunna posts examples here and tutorials here).
  • Submit your shots on Sunday in February only.
  • Add the button to your post.
  • Feel free to incorporate your prop shops if you participate in Ashley Sisk’s Scavenger Hunt Sundays.
  • Visit other challenge participants and leave them some comment love.

The challenge starts 1 February!

Are you going to participate? Have you ever attempted a challenge using a prop?


Random Saturday


1. I spent some time at my “fortress of solitude” aka the Cape Girardeau Conservation Center. I love it there. It’s so quiet. I just grab my camera and walk. Sometimes I’ll come across other people and we’ll chat for a bit, other times, it’s as if I have the whole wooded area to myself.

2. Have you ever walked past a mirror caught a glimpse of yourself and thought Who is that? That’s what happened to me the other day. I was putting my resume together and as I read it, I saw this person who is so very different from who I’ve become that it shocked me. The person on that paper was confident and accomplished.  Automated Services Coordinator for 10 main libraries and 5 branches History Instructor for both traditional and nontraditional studentsReference Librarian with Online Course Certification… That woman was strong. Impressive.

What has happened to her?

3. I saw Red Tails last night with the ladies from Sister Sister. I thought it was a good movie. Loved the cinematography, it had sort of an old newsreel vibe to it. The editing was a little bit choppy but it was still watchable. I do wish the characters had been a tad bit more developed though. And by “more developed” I mean that I’d like to have known the back story ~ how’d each man become a member of the Tuskegee Airmen? I want to know the story.

4. Are you following the political debates? For once, I’m not. This is so unlike me. I’m such a political junkie but this year, I’m totally not feeling any of it. I must do better.


5. Last week’s Project 52 2012 Edition theme was liquid. For the life of me, I couldn’t come up with one good shot. Really, you’d think with  all the coffee that passes across my lips that I’d have been able to get one really good shot. I didn’t.

How’s your Saturday going?

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