Welcome to my journey! Just like the courageous ladybug, I am walking forward into my calling. Some days are a challenge, others are a joy. Sharing of Our Heavenly Fathers Blessings through the pages of a Daughters Journey.
As 2018 winds down, I ponder this season of winter- a season of healing and a season of listen. That was my word for 2018- LISTEN.
As I understand, spiritual seasons of winter are for hunkering down and listening to the quiet whispers of our God. You will not find Him in the chaos, but in the quiet above the chaos. Consider the space above the clouds when the storm rages below. Not a physical place, mind you, but a place of peace.
If you’ve shared in any of my musings this year, I hope that you too have been blessed by His introduction into this mindfulness. Are you recognizing that intentionality is required to get there?
In this season of listen, the Lord has revealed to me my penchant for getting caught up in the chaos and forgetting that He is present. While it is true that God is omnipresent, when chaos ensues, I can easily forget He is there. He is teaching me that I must rise out of the chaos to see Him instead of my challenge.
In 2019, the Lord is encouraging me to go after the word- REST. I am not very good at rest. In fact, do you know the story of Mary and Martha? Yep, I’m Martha. Interestingly; however, I learned a little nugget from the story in Luke 10:38-42 this year. I’ve always been taught that we need to yearn to be more Mary than Martha. And if you’re like me, perhaps you’ve asked the question, “But will anything ever get done?” What if that wasn't Jesus' point at all?
Let’s take a closer look:
“As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
'Martha, Martha,' the Lord answered, 'you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.'”
Take note of the bolded words. 1- Martha was distracted. 2- Martha was worried. And 3- Martha was upset. I wonder if Jesus wasn’t necessarily telling Martha to drop everything and sit at His feet, but instead encouraging her to drop the worry and anger and to include Him in her work?
What if the one thing that Mary had chosen was to rest in Him?
God is present everywhere, but sometimes I forget to include Him in my challenge. It’s much easier to allow the emotion to carry me through the moment rather than stop and give the moment to the One who will breathe peace into it. So this year, I am intentionally going after rest.
Will you join me in 2019 to seek more of His Rest? Let’s go after these 7 intentional ways that we can rest in Him:
Stop and breathe. Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, stop and breathe. Close your eyes and visualize your breath. Count to 10 as you breathe in His Spirit and count to 10 as you breathe out the stress. Do this 3 times. Continue to do this throughout the day (especially in stressful moments.)
Visualize Jesus is with you. A dear friend of mine shares the picture of the empty chair. Picture an empty chair in the room and visualize Jesus is sitting there. When the stress and anxiety encroach, give them to Him. Place them at His feet and ask for His wisdom to move forward. In especially tense moments, picture yourself curling up in the Father’s lap and allow Him to breathe peace into your heart. I think this is what Mary knew that Martha didn’t. To sit with Jesus is a beautiful place to be.
Schedule margin in your life. TBH, this one is particularly difficult for me, but necessary. Schedule time where you lay down the phone and the computer and just be. Read a book, journal, walk and listen to the peace in nature.
Spend time with God every morning and every night. The time of day isn't set in stone. You may enjoy spending time with our Father in the middle of the day. I personally like first thing in the morning because it sets my day up on a firm foundation. Then before I go to bed I like to debrief my day with Him and ask for protection as I sleep.
Invite Jesus to go to work and/or school with you. Again, He is there, but there is just something about inviting Him in to your work that makes it less stressful. This is not #2 necessarily. This is what Martha missed in her own work. Remember the song, “Whistle while you work,” in Cinderella? It’s a little like that. You are breathing in His wisdom and discernment in your every decision. Inviting Him to walk with you in your daily journey. Talking to Him throughout your day, just like a trusted friend.
Serve another. There is great joy and peace to be found in serving as the Father’s hands and feet here on earth.
Observe the Sabbath. Even God rested on day 7. If the Creator of the heavens and the earth needed to rest, then I certainly need to rest.
If you’re like me, you like practical reminders. So take this graphic with you, place it on your bathroom mirror and in your car. Have a copy handy on your desk at work or in your book bag. But don’t strive to do these things, instead work them into your life as a natural occurrence.
Join me in making 2019 the RESTest year yet!
Father, thank You for calling me into Your rest. I commit to seek more of You this year. I commit to be still and receive Your peace. I commit to invite Jesus into my day. I commit to choose the one thing that is better- to rest in You. You are my Hiding Place, God. In Jesus’ Holy and Precious Name, AMEN.
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” Ecclesiastes 3:1.
I am a “DOer.” I can’t ever remember being anything else. And while it is true that God made us for work, I am coming to learn that while there is a season for work, there is also a season for rest.
I am the oldest of five girls and from a very young age I can recall being responsible for something or someone. Oh sure, Mom had to remind me to do things like any typical kid, but from a young age, progress was found in the form of DO. This, of course, followed me into adulthood where schedules and commitments became another word for success.
And so “The Rush” was born.
I am in a season of LISTEN and the Lord is revealing to me some deep seated places in my heart that require a transformation. Today, the Lord is encouraging me to lay down the rush.
The challenge to balance the rush with rest is a difficult one, but one that the Lord is inviting us to embrace, not only for our health but for His glory. If you too struggle with laying down the rush, perhaps one of these invitations will help in your own season:
Be Still and See:
The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Exodus 33:14
Too often I am in a hurry and forget to stop and look for His fingerprints. They are everywhere and often help in a circumstance beyond our control. What if I learn to slow down, be still and see that He is with me?
Let Go of that which You are not designed to Carry:
Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28
This has become a daily prayer of mine. God doesn’t want us to sit in the weight of our weariness and burden. What if I learn to let go of the things and people that I am not designed to carry and instead sit in the peace of His Presence?
I Have You in My Hand:
In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord make me dwell in safety. Psalm 4:8
We ARE safe in His arms. Is this a struggle to remember? Yes, me too, but it’s true. Even in the midst of our greatest struggle we can rest in the knowledge that He has us in His righteous right Hand. What if I let go of the worry and rest in His Safe Harbor?
Trust in Me:
You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Isaiah 26:3
Trust isn’t an abstract thought, but an intentional action that leads us into peace. What if, every morning, I intentionally speak the words, “I trust you” and sit in the reminders of His faithfulness?
Rest and Be Refreshed:
The Lord is my Shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters. He refreshes my soul. Psalm 23:1-3a
This is a hard one for me. Honestly, I often feel guilty for taking a Sabbath. I believe that God knew this and therefore made a command to rest, just as He rested. What if I schedule times of rest and solitude? Declare margin in my day to allow the Lord to refresh my soul?
Will you join me in laying down the Rush? Write down one of the invitations above that the Lord encourages us to and allow Him to refresh your soul.
Perhaps through rest, our Father will reveal how much more effective our DO can truly be .
Thank You for all that You have called us to. Thank You for purpose and for work. Thank You God for writing us into Your Story and giving us an opportunity to serve You and others. Lord, I pray that just as You empower us to DO that You will empower us to rest. I pray that we will prioritize You and be refreshed through moments of intentional rest. In so doing, I pray Lord that we will not be a rushed generation, but instead be steadfast and purposeful in all that You have called us to.
Thank You Lord, for the transformation You are working in my heart.
Thank you to Emma Przybysz for the lovely Butterfly photo!
I heard the still small voice in the depth of my spirit.
I’ve been hiding for far too long, it’s time to get real.
“I do trust you Father, but . . . .”
There are no buts daughter, either you do or you don’t.
“Ouch. Really God?”
It’s easy to recite verses. Yes, I’ve memorized the best of them:
“Trust in the Lord and lean not unto your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
“Seek me first and all these things will be added unto you.”
I can recite them yes, but do I live them- in every moment? Do I understand the heart that spoke them or am I forgetting the promise in John 14:27:
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. DO NOT LET YOUR HEARTS BE TROUBLED and DO NOT BE AFRAID.
Now about that question, “Why don’t I trust God?”
I am in a season of LISTEN and God is revealing to me some deep seated issues in my soul. Life is a journey and I am learning how sanctification works as a clarifier; removing the particulates that the enemy attempts to deposit into our soul.
I’ve shared the great issues of fear and worry that work to distract me from God’s peace. As I am a very visual person, I like to use the analogy of a cocoon with layers that squeezes me into submission. But the issues that God is revealing to me in this season are deeper, they are rooted in my very core. And God is working to remove every root of sediment so He can reveal the peace inside.
Discipline has always been a scary word to me. Visions of the paddle in the principal’s office drive me right into the proverbial discipline corner. But God never meant discipline to be a dirty word. In fact, consider discipline to be the sedimentation process that God uses to clean out all of the dark spots that like to remain hidden from the Light as He transforms us into the likeness of Jesus. Proverbs 3:11-12 tells us: "My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline, and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in. "
Hmmm, sounds a bit like water treatment.
Interested in how water is treated, I went down the ole’ edumacation route and read up on how water is clarified. The separation of solids from water captured my attention. Sin looks a bit like those solids, doesn't it? I wonder, how often does the sludge of our heart point to a lack of trust in the Clarifier?
Truth be told, when our filters are up and in place, the sediment is filtered out before it ever has a chance to settle. Our spiritual filter comes from God’s Word, from prayer and faith. But when we take the filter down and fail to guard our hearts, the sediment enters in and slowly begins to fill up all of the small places that we have forgotten. At first, we don’t notice. It is often a difficult season in life; however, when the sludge begins to weigh us down and wear us out. The passage of Living Water seems to flow slower and slower through the pathways of our heart until our faith and trust wears thin.
But God doesn't step back and say, "Look at what you did." No, our Clarifier is always working, helping us to right the wrongs, strengthen the weakness and shine Light on those dark places that we may have hidden.
So here I am, “Why don’t I trust you God? I’ve allowed my filter to lower, I’ve allowed worry and fear to not only wrap me in a cocoon but also to enter my heart. I’m holding tight to those things of which I have no business holding on to. Lord, forgive me, I know your truth; and today, I lay down my son and commit to guard my heart. I commit to speak truth when the enemy tries to convert the peace of my heart to sludgy sediment through lies and hopelessness. I commit to memorizing John 14:27 and sit in the peace that You freely give. I commit to trust you, Lord. I and my son are in Your Perfect Hand.
Thank You Father for never giving up on me.”
Your Weary Daughter
Join me over the next few weeks as I share additional deep places that God is rooting out to bring me peace.
It’s inevitable, regardless how successful you are, there will be a moment, a day, a season when you just can’t “fix it.”
Oh, but we so want to, don’t we?
From the moment you take your first step, you feel as if you can do anything.
You go to school and the world gets a bit bigger as you meet new friends and find new influences.
You learn to drive and all of a sudden, independence is yours! You are king of the castle as the world becomes your oyster.
You leave home as exciting opportunities spur you into the newness of “adulting.”
In every season of young life, a sense of “empowerment” blankets as somewhere over the rainbow promises a pot of gold at the end.
The challenges of toddling come with a mom who kisses the boo-boos and makes them better.
The challenges of school bring with them an exhilarating sense of accomplishment as you begin to build brain and relational muscle.
The challenges of driving bring with them a sense of relief when the security blanket of “insurance” says, “I’ll take care of that bumper for you.”
And then life happens and the pot of gold looks like a cheap replica.
It is true, nothing on earth can quite prepare you for the challenges you meet as an adult. Yes, hopefully you have a mom who cares and prays for you. And yes, the empowerment of “just do it” reminds you that building muscle is about much more than just working out in the gym. And while you surround yourself with security buffers that will hopefully cover you when the storm hits, the truth is there will come a day when the security blanket just isn’t big enough.
There will come a day when you just can’t fix it.
The day that our son was arrested was one of those days. Powerless, grieving and exhausted, I didn’t know what to do. I had to learn to exercise a new muscle- the Faith Muscle
Do you know where your faith muscle lies? Between the brain and the stomach there is an organ called the heart. The place where our Creator connects with us, the heart is encased within a muscle called The Faith Muscle. Now, I am not suggesting a newly found part of the anatomy that nobody has ever seen before. In fact, the faith muscle is not visible to the human eye. Only in the eyes of it’s Creator can it be seen. But it’s there.
In the very beginning of it's formation, it is the size of a mustard seed. Yes, the smallest seed in the garden represents the originating size of our faith muscle. But as time goes on, when we meet challenges and learn to depend on the One who has promised to be with us through every one, our faith muscle grows. And it grows. And it grows.
But did you catch the requirement for growth? Yep, dependence.
It seems contrary to our budding knowledge of life, but the truth is dependence is the very thing that spurs on the growth of faith.
In our faith journey, there are a couple of catalysts that spur on growth:
We receive the gift of grace.
We recognize that we are part of something bigger than ourselves.
We step into an unknown future.
But how? With the promise that Jesus goes before us:
A termination notice disturbs your future career plans. Do not fear I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right Hand. ~ Isaiah 41:10
A hostile environment drains you of your strength and creativity. The Lord is my light and my salvation- whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life- of whom shall I be afraid? ~ Psalm 27:1
A diagnosis threatens your peace. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
A son goes to prison. Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in You. Show me the way I should go, for to You I entrust my life. (And the life of my son.) Psalm 143:8
It’s okay to admit that we can’t fix it. Weakness is not a dirty word.
In fact, when we are weak, He is strong.
And it is in that very moment, when we pray for strength and courage to walk through our challenge, that our faith muscle engages, freedom follows and the Perfecter of our Faith goes to work.
Jesus, we thank You for grace. We are grateful that we don’t have to navigate our challenges alone, but that our Savior goes before us. Lord, I pray for those today who feel helpless and uncertain. Please help them Lord to see You working on their behalf. Please hear their prayer and heal their land, God. We need You.
The promise of fall is upon us. On this gorgeous Georgia day, I reminisce over the past season of life and all that God has done. Through the challenges and the joy He has served forever faithful. I am so grateful to be written into His story. In this season of LISTEN I am sensitive to His call. Just as Elijah learned to wait for the gentle whisper, I too am leaning in for the gentle whisper of my Father. It’s an intense wait. As God often does, He is calling me to a season of change. I am laying down leading student small groups for a season and will be coaching small group leaders. Letting go of what I love is hard, yet I know that He is writing an amazing story through this change. And so I am giving Him my small yes again for His bigger plan. I am so excited! But I feel the need to pause. My type A, process driven mind wants to create a lesson plan. But then I hear that gentle whisper encourage, “No Eve, you are here to listen, to pray, to encourage.” Ouch, so much for Coaching 101. God has laid on my heart a great desire to start a mentoring program for young women. But I still have so much to learn. God is teaching me that mentorship is not a process, but an organic opportunity for growth and discovery on behalf of the mentee. So, this year, I am listening to the Mentor of my heart as He encourages me to share His heart with those who are leading students. I remember when I first began leading students. I remember thinking surely they would smell my fear and call me unqualified. I remember the worry that I would mislead them or let them down. I remember the first student that I called by the wrong name. I remember feeling like a little fish in a big pond of experienced small group leaders who knew far more that I knew. It was scary and overwhelming. If you are new to small group leading, I get you. Oh, but when I let God take over and lead through me- that was when the beauty began! Hmm, and perhaps this is the real lesson for us all.
Perhaps it is in these seasons of change that we see God's faithfulness in a whole new light.
Perhaps through the lens of our small yes, we recognize God's big Hand move as He leads in us and THROUGH US! In Lead Small, Reggie Joiner and Tom Shefchunas share the five big ideas every small group leader needs to know. At the end of the day, we must be prepared to let them go and move them out. Our goal is to help them develop an authentic faith focused on Jesus. It is this faith that will help them through this thing called life. Jesus knew how to do this. He picked twelve men whom He poured into and encouraged for three years. What did He do after? He let them go and moved them out. The result? Well, consider this, the church 2000+ years later began with just twelve. Wow ❤️ our small part in His story is building the church and growing us in the process! So, my prayer in this season of change is that I can listen well, lead small, encourage leaders to embrace the squiggle, remind them that they have been chosen for such a time as this, and help them see God moving in and through their group. God will do the rest. He is forever faithful. Will you join me in praying for the leaders of our high school ministry? May God do a great work in the hearts of our students and leaders this year!
Father, I pray for wisdom, I pray that You will prepare our hearts for what You will do in the lives of Your children. Help us to listen for Your quiet whisper and be sensitive to Your call. I pray that You will fill our hearts with Your love and Your light. I pray for each leader that You will encourage her to step into Your call with grace. You have chosen her to carry Your light to this next generation. Help her to recognize that she is uniquely chosen to love her group in only a way that she can. I pray God that as You prepare us to serve students that You prepare us also to serve one another. Help us to love one another. I pray that You will create a band of sisters who will love, laugh and cry with, pray over and grow together as we serve to encourage the same over our students. Thank You Father for community. Thank You for the honor to serve together as Mighty Warriors for Your Kingdom. In Jesus’ Name AMEN
Her pink dress flowed with the wind as she skipped up the sidewalk. Reaching the gate, she didn’t notice the barbed wire stretched in double around the compound. The smile on her face was contagious as she awaited the gravelly sound of the latch breaking free so she could walk into the enclosure.
Twinkling eyes met mine as she walked to the back of the line. Grabbing the hand of her loved one, she chatted happily about the day to come. With a serious look on her face, she looked at me and stated, “I have to wait my turn.”
The sweet southern lilt served as a healing balm over the frustration the adults felt during their wait. You could feel the temperature lower ten degrees in her presence.
She didn’t notice the gun on the officer’s belt. She only continued chatting to the officer as she exclaimed the reason for her visit, “I’m gonna see my daddy!” The stern face of the officer was replaced with a smile from ear to ear as she responded, “Really now? I’ll bet your happy.” “Oh yes ma’am, it’s been a couple days since I seen him.”
“He’s in time out,” she looked at me with another serious look. “His name is Alex.”
I leaned down and looked directly into her eyes, “My son’s in time out too. His name is Lee.”
She looked down and shook her head once in understanding.
“I love your barrettes. Look they match mine,” I pointed to the barrette in my own hair. She pointed to mine and said, “Ooh, I have one just like that.”
As we waited our turn, the young girl continued to share about the long car ride and the snacks they shared on the way. Walking through the metal detector, she didn't notice the nervousness of those around who wanted to make sure their pockets and socks were clean.
I watched as she skipped to each gate and awaited the familiar latch release. “Come on, Meemaw, he’s waiting!”
As she walked into the big room, she smiled at the young man waiting patiently for his family to arrive. She didn’t notice the look of shame in his eyes over the crime he had committed. She only saw a sad young man who needed cheering up.
She waved at the man with the tattoos, saying "Hi" as she skipped by. It was a gift to watch the smile brighten his eyes as he said hello in return.
She recognized the older man praying over his wife. Responding with a solemn “Amen,” she walked slowly by as he kissed his wife on the forehead.
She didn’t see the pain on the faces of those who had to say goodbye to their loved ones, only the joy on those who had the opportunity to hug for even a few short hours.
Then she saw him. As she ran up to her daddy and jumped into his arms, he hugged her tight. “Oh daddy, don’t cry,” she said as she wiped the tear away. “Crocodile tears of joy,” he replied as he kissed her.
She didn’t see the guards keeping order, nor did she see their strained looks as they walked through the rows. Her eyes were only for her daddy.
As I visited with my own son, my heart was encouraged by the joy in this one little girl. Often in life we miss the little things as we focus on the challenges we face. But this little girl, whom I may never meet again, reminded me that I always have the option to choose joy.
Her last words to me were, “He will be home in a few days.”
I’m not sure if she was referring to Alex or Lee; however, I just knew in my heart that the Lord had given a word to this little angel for me. “Choose Joy, my daughter, he will be home soon.”
At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.
I was driving home from Milledgeville when I saw the frustrating orange sign.
Following the arrow, I heard Siri’s voice say, “Turn back to the route. Turn back to the route.” I began to get nervous. Am I going the right way?
As I travelled down the country road I saw it, a beautiful cloud lined with the shimmer of a summer storm, perfectly framed against the blue of a clear summer sky. On a hill just below sat a lonely farmhouse with a rolling green field lying before her.
I considered stopping to capture this Kodak moment until I heard the words of my dear friend Sandy, “Some moments are just for you, Eve.”
As Siri recalculated and found his way, I pondered the moments when God has led me on a divine detour.
How often do I find myself rushed on the highway of life? Where it only takes a traffic jam or the pain of an accident to bring me to my knees? Where the uncertainty of a detour waylays my best laid path, anxiety of the unknown becoming a comfortable friend?
But if I can be still in this moment and listen, I hear His still small voice say “Hello Daughter, I am here. Bask in the light of my Presence. See the beauty of my creation and enjoy this moment of peace.”
I need His peace in this season. And the more that I seek His peace, the more detours I seem to face. It's a conundrum really. I love order, lists and predictability. But as God reveals my desire for straight paths, He reveals His desire to give me MORE.
So, in this season of LISTEN, I seek His Presence. And as I yearn for His voice, I learn to stop, slow down and sit in the beauty of His Divine Detour. It is here that I recognize the beauty of His Presence as I unwrap His gift of MORE. And it's okay that I am not in control as I learn to trust in the sound of His voice leading me home.
I sit in the comfort that every divine detour leads me to green pastures and quiet waters where He refreshes me and prepares me for the day when I will stand in the Light of His glory and hear Him say, “Daughter you have arrived.”
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Psalm 23:1-3
Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Psalm 23:6
It’s raining here in the ATL. Drops fall in a torrent one moment to be followed up with a light drizzle the next. In my childhood we used to recite the poem, “April showers bring May flowers.” Today my heart is falling with the droplets as it waits for the flowers to bloom.
There are moments when the showers seem to be drowning any opportunity for beauty to be found.
Do you find yourself drowning too?
I received a cliff-hanger yesterday via text. Never a good way to begin a rainy morning. My stomach in knots, tears threatening my composure, I desperately attempted to hold it together.
I’ve shared in previous posts my tendency toward fear. The enemy loves to tie me up in knots with fear and worry over uncertain situations. And he has been working overtime on my behalf of late.
But God . . .
A friend texted me encouragement with a prayer “Fear not! God is with you.”
A verse hanging above my desk encourages, “Though a host encamp against me, my heart will not fear; though war arise against me, in spite of this I shall be confident. (Psalm 27:3)
I shall be confident- it’s hard to feel confident when you’re drowning. MUST – LOOK – UP. (I encourage myself)
After receiving the finality of my cliff-hanger, my heart sank in the ocean of my tears while the concrete boots of fear dragged me into the abyss.
But God . . .
As I open my social media, I read a beautiful post from my friend Erin Perry, you can read it here.
Thank you, Erin for sharing your spiritual battle and reminding me that I am God’s and He has already won!
Christine Caine, never one to disappoint, reminds, “We can expect our mourning to turn to gladness. We can expect our sorrow to be turned to joy.”
We can EXPECT. Not we can HOPE or even PRAY. We can EXPECT. This encouragement is taken from the verse Psalm 30:11- “You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy.” Just prior to this scripture, David is asking: “Hear, Lord, and be merciful to me; Lord, be my help.” David is dedicating the temple to the Lord and in this Psalm he is remembering God’s faithfulness in a time that he called for help.
Shereadstruth shared “They realized that this task has been accomplished by our God.” Nehemiah 6:16.
First5app shared, “God is who He says He is, and He does what He says He will do, even when we can’t see it.
As I woke this morning, I was spent. Do you know that feeling? When your muscles feel like they just don’t want to move? The tears have dried up but your cheeks feel tight and dry themselves.
But God . . .
My friend shared this with me this morning from Proverbs31: “When life doesn’t go our way – which it rarely does – we don’t always know how to recover our wonder in trusting God. That’s when our faith is critical, because all the disappointment in the world will never change the promises of God, the reality of Jesus or His destiny for our lives. None of our broken dreams, personal heartaches or shattered plans will stop His desire for us to fulfill our purpose. Making God’s promises bigger – getting into His Word and letting it get into us – is what revives our hearts.”
Then, my heart soared when my several of my beautiful girls prayed for and over me.
When you see "But God" in the Bible, you know that a divine interruption is in the works.
Today, I am receiving these beautiful interruptions as a dose of Vitamin D. The flowers are on their way.
If you are drowning, I pray that you too will feel the refreshment of His grace through His divine interruptions.
Thank you to those committed to being obedient to God’s voice. God blesses us with one another to help in the moments when we are drowning. He is ALWAYS with us, and beautifully in those that He has placed in our path.
He calls us to look to the Son and sometimes we just need someone to put their arms around us and direct our vision.
Thank You, Father, for reminding me to trust You, that You are making all things work for my good.
Oh lookie, there’s that ray of sunshine.
Father, I pray for those who are drowning today. Please God grant them comfort in the knowledge that you are with them, in every moment of every day. Remind them of your unfailing love so they can entrust you with their life and the lives of those in their path. Thank You God for Your faithfulness. In Jesus’ Name AMEN
Life is a compilation of moments. Good, bad, beautiful, tragic and memorable. And then there are those we would rather forget.
It’s easy for me to live life wishing away the moments that are challenging, but as I grow, I recognize these moments are so important.
May is serving to be a busy month for us. We are so thankful for the graduations, weddings and birthdays that we have the honor to celebrate with our loved ones!
This weekend, we had the honor to celebrate two of our students who God is uniting in marriage. Andrew and Madison were both students that we served in High School. Two beautiful hearts brought together as one with God at the center. We were honored to serve them then and honored to celebrate them now.
We decided since we were going to be on the south side of town that we would go and see our son in the same weekend. Lee is about 4 hours south of Atlanta near Savannah, so the trek is great. It made sense.
A little transparency, I’m not big on coincidence. I believe every moment serves a purpose. A purpose to bring joy, touch your heart, teach a lesson, and sometimes to remind that you serve a good God.
We prepared well for the beginning of the weekend. We each took a ½ day off from work and packed the night before. I picked out the perfect dress for the outdoor wedding and Tony asked “do I have to wear pants?” for the thousandth time. (An inside joke.)
We got on the road and enjoyed the drive down. Tony loves to make me laugh telling little jokes along the way. It serves to ease the tension from a hard day at work.
When we got to Newnan, we dropped by my Aunt’s house to chill for an hour or so before we had to leave for the wedding. It was in this moment that I knew something was wrong. I had forgotten something, but what?
Then I realized, I left my dress at home. And we had an hour and a half before the wedding.
No worries, my husband said. We can go to Kohl’s and get you another dress.
Breathing a sigh of relief, we hurried to Kohl’s and walked in to the store. The hubs, in squirrel mode tried to get me to look at this and that, but I was on mission with 10 minutes to spare so I bee-lined for the women’s department. Thankfully, it is spring and being the week after Mother’s Day, there were quite a few dresses in stock.
I found it, a perfect dress that I believe God had waiting for me. It fit perfectly.
We walked to customer service and they graciously allowed us to pay so I could change into the dress. Then we made our way out of the store.
I set off the alarm. Let me tell you, there are not many things worse than setting off an alarm. My anxiety through the roof, we went back to customer service to have the offending tag scanned.
Perfect timing, 30 minutes to spare before we had to be at the wedding.
We hit a little traffic, but not too badly. I just knew we would make it just on time.
Until we didn’t.
I love my truck, I’ve had it for 15 years and even though we’ve had a couple of expensive repairs, it’s been my favorite vehicle. At 165k, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s about time to replace my girl. We’ve had some minor repairs recently that seem to be increasing in frequency. I have a real problem with getting stranded on the side of the road.
As we were sitting in traffic, the air went out. Then all of the gauges went blank. Uh-oh.
The anxiety crept in and my stomach started to hurt. I said a prayer, “Father, you know how much we want to go to this wedding and see Lee, please God let this be minor.”
As we neared the venue, she started to chug. Oh no, please. We are going uphill, in a country town far away from home. De ja vu set in as I remembered our trip to NIH when we lost the fuel filter. My poor Ava.
Chug-Chug-Chug, I think I can, I think I can. We never should have made it up that hill. I believe we were truly being pushed by the power of God. You may call it luck, I call it blessed grace! (And perhaps an angel or two.)
We passed the venue as the engine stopped and coasted into someone’s driveway.
Oh and did I say that it was Go time? The enemy at that moment consumed me with so many emotions.
Anger- We drove all the way down here only to have my car to break down?
Fear- We’ll never make it to the wedding!
Worry- How much will this cost?
Guilt- Being late, we are going to ruin the bride’s entrance.
Despair- What if I can’t see Lee?
Beautiful, please hear my heart in this moment. THIS IS THE ENEMY’S MO! Remember those life moments? The enemy wants nothing more than to destroy every moment of your life. If he can distract you with anger, fear, worry, guilt and despair then you will miss the beauty in the moment- yes even in the challenging ones.
So where was the beauty in this moment? Stuck in the middle of nowhere, late for a very important date and uncertain what the next couple of hours would look like? Can God show up in this moment when the enemy seems to have the upper hand?
Yes, He can and yes He did.
In my journey, God is teaching me how to react in these moments. I have a choice to either
allow the emotions to consume me or 2- find God.
He is always there and often times we only have to look up. So, what did I do?
I looked up.
The sky was blue, there was a beautiful creek before us and birds singing their song all around me. In these moments, God uses specific things to get my attention. He knows how much I love a blue sky and a sweet songbird. He knows that the sound of a brook is soothing to my anxious heart. These things take my mind off of the emotion and remind me of His goodness.
After I looked up, it was time to take action. What to do? Our truck was stuck in a stranger’s driveway. So, we went to the door and knocked. No answer, okey dokey a note on the windshield will have to do. Time to walk to the wedding.
Yes, we were late, but we had the honor to watch the bride as she floated in among her guests. As we snuck in the back, we were serenaded by beautiful Megan singing “Reckless Love.” I couldn’t have chosen a more perfect song for that very moment.
I don’t think anyone really noticed our tardiness. We were able to arrange a tow truck to carry my faithful steed 78 miles to her home base. And one of my wonderful former students offered to carry me home. It was a beautiful wedding that we could’ve missed if I would have allowed the enemy his way.
Oh and guess what? We rented a car and are now on the way to see Lee!
Beautiful, remember that:
God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28
Yes, even the challenges.
You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.
Thank You Father for teaching me to live in the moment. Thank You for Your goodness!
With a deep sense of yearning, this has become my prayer. Today, I seek to share with you the grief in my soul.
Thirty-four years ago, the Lord sought to make me His own, but I only acquiesced out of fear. Twenty-three years ago, He took the broken pieces of my heart and promised to mold them into a great masterpiece. Eleven years ago, He drew me to Himself creating with me a deep desire to know Him more.
He surrounded the fresh soil of my heart with others who planted seeds that served to teach me how to seek Him, to trust Him, and to love Him.
It was then that I was ready – to serve Him.
For nine years, I have had the honor of serving Almighty God. I have been given a great gift in the opportunities to watch God move. And an even greater gift in the peace and joy that I have found in Christ. And while He has guided and directed my path, I had to say yes.
Some believe that when you say yes to Jesus you lose all of yourself. But for me, it was only when I said yes to Jesus that I found myself.
When you become a follower of Jesus, you do so with the intent to be more like Him. To love like Him. To pray like Him.
To die like Him.
The majority of us will not carry an old rugged cross up Calvary’s hill. We will not agonize as we are demoralized in front of a crowd of those we came to serve. And we will not become blurry-eyed from the pain that we are dealt as we hang for hours. We have been given that grace, because our price was paid by the One who took our death as His own, so that we could take His life, as our own.
But we still must die.
We must die to self. We must let go of the things of this earth that threaten to destroy us. We must let go of bitterness, hate, selfishness, un-forgiveness, fear and worry. And when we do, when we turn toward Jesus, we have the honor to receive His love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control.
Only then, can we find ourselves.
Turning toward Jesus is not a religion, but a relationship with the One who knitted you in your mother’s womb. With the One who holds your heart in His hand.
It is a choice.
So with that preface, I share with you my heart for the body of Christ. This is the yearning of my soul. I yearn to see an awakening within the hearts and souls of man and woman alike. I yearn to see hearts healed, families mended and Joy within the Body. I yearn to see the homeless surrounded with love, the helpless find hope and the lost be found.
Will you join me?
You are el Shaddai, Almighty God, Maker of Heaven and Earth. You stand outside of space and time and You call us Yours. You sent Your Son to earth to teach us to love and to live and to give us the divine opportunity to dwell with You forever. Jesus took the death that should have been ours as He wrote our name on the palm of His Hand and nailed our sin to His Cross. On Peter’s faith, Jesus built His church and today more than 2000 years later we are still struggling with what that means.
Abba, people are homeless, they are helpless, they are lost. And while my life is only a drop in Your story, I feel the weight of the pain that Jesus felt when He looked over Your dear Jerusalem and wept. How He yearned to share with them what would bring them peace, but how it was hidden from them.
Oh Father, today our eyes are still blinded to the only true peace that we can ever have. And that is through Jesus.
Lord, this is what the enemy of our soul desires. To shield us from the One who brings us peace. To break the bonds that were created at the beginning of time. To remove our peace and leave chaos in the wake. But, You GOD sent Jesus to return our birthright. Lord, You sent Your Son to give us eternal life. You essentially gave us Your Heart on that fateful day, so that we would be forever connected to You. The enemy has no power over us, only that which we give him.
So Lord, TODAY, I let go of the binds of the enemy. I ask that You break the chains that are keeping us from knowing Your peace. I ask that You remove the veil that keeps us blinded from Your love. And I ask Lord for an awakening. I ask that You send the enemy away, he is not welcome here! I ask that You would awaken the body of Christ from her slumber. Please God do not let us be the church that has a reputation of being alive, but are truly dead. Please do not let us be the church that tolerates those who mislead them into immorality. Please do not let us be the church who pretends to be something we are not. Please God, do not let us be lukewarm.
Father God, give us ears to hear what the Spirit says. Help us to hold on to what You have given until You come. We yearn to be victorious, dressed in white, our name acknowledged before You and Your angels by our Kinsman Redeemer, Jesus. Help us Lord to shine Your light, to share Your heart and to show Your love to a world that is hurting. Help us to encourage and build one another up. Help us Lord to Love God, our neighbor and our enemy as You have called us.
It is with Your love, God that this world will be made whole.
Thank You Father, thank You for drawing us to YOU. “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!” To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, forever and ever!”