Category Archives: Spiritual

I’m forgiven!

image

The ocean.

A beach.

It has been a place I’ve never grown weary of.

Possibly because I don’t live close enough to be bothered by the unsavory.

Yet the waves ever washing the sand bring to me a calm.

The rhyme and rhythm of salty hands polishing every stone as they pass.

In and out bringing beauty of foam and sting to the air.

Peace.

The ocean beating on the beach speaks so loudly of a God who set them in motion and constantly watches over all of His creation.

The constant washing of the waves brings into focus the way Jesus has washed my soul from the blacked death we call sin.

As I think on the miles and miles of coast, the depths of the ocean we know so little about, or take in the massive forms of the beasts who live there my heart swells.

In all His wisdom and grace and ability God created each cell, amoeba, and every grain of sand.

Certainly, I can place my trust in Him.

Surely, He is able to shoulder my needs and cares.

Definitely, He is my every need and the fullness of all I desire.

For at the bottom of all Jesus has forgiven me of my sin and saved me from living for myself.

He has renewed my life daily by teaching me through His word the joys of life to the fullest, not in position or possession, but in service and love of those around me.

In each day I can see His hand.

I can feel His love

and praise Him for His forgiveness.

Blessed be the name of the LORD!

Advertisements

Time change

image

They weren’t open when I left.

It’s only been a few days.

The unfurled crimson has completely transformed these once spiky green stalks into beauty.

I’m so thankful for every bud and bloom.

I love flowers.

They seem so fitting today.

The sun is out.

The sky is blue with just a few puffs of whiteness to decorate.

And I’m reminded of how great God is.

How good God is.

How loving God is.

Only in Him can I find true meaning, fulfillment, and joy.

Only in these moments of stillness before Him do I seem to be able to drink in His awesomeness.

AWESOME

Only God is truly awe inspiring, because with every mountain peek or earth shattering waterfall which instills a sense of awe, He is the Creator.

With every sonnet and ballad and marvelous instrumentals we call Beethoven, Mozart, or Mendelssohn even in those He was the author.

Truly, there is so much to be amazed by.

Especially when times are difficult and life is overwhelming.

What a beautiful wonderful God!

Let all creation sing His praises!

Grief

image

Like this leaf, in which the chlorophyll has decayed some days just seem to be missing a key element.

I know it is because of the circumstances.

My work day began with news of my grandmother’s death.

This was compounded by a student having a really poor day.

When I returned home I felt more exhausted than usual, probably due to the emotional drain.

I love those kids at school and it hurts me to see them making poor choices.

I love my grandmother and although her health was fragile, which I was well aware, I’m sad.

Many good things happened yesterday and I was very thankful.

Sis and our wonderful son-in-law came by fora visit.

Earlier another friend of the family had dropped by for a visit.

Yet, I still struggled to find joy in my day due to my grief.

But I know it was there.

Even in loss there is comfort.

Even in trials there is guidance.

Especially in pain there is purpose.

The things that went well out weigh the things which didn’t.

I was able to get a card and candy bar as a birthday gift, thanks to the Lord reminding me and the help of the girls.

Thanks to the willingness of Sis, Bell found the gown she’s to wear to prom in a beautiful dress her sister owns.

Thanks to my husband’s job, he and I will be traveling on a much needed weekend together. He’s being sent on a training, but I get to tag along and we can spend the evenings together.

Most of all, thanks be to God.

As I walk through each day I can clearly see God working.

I can rest in His arms knowing He will carry me through.

How great and awesome is He!

Lessons

image

Weird hun!

Jase is studying Botany right now so when my Mom found this she made sure I was able to get a picture.

Yet, this winter I’ve been learning the lessons far more than I’ve taught.

These past months have stretched me, pulled me, broken me, and refined me.

Each trial would bring questions.

Many of which I didn’t have the answers to.

“What are we going to do?”

“I have no idea. Let’s pray.”

“How are we going to make it work?”

“I’ve no idea, but I’m praying about it.”

“This isn’t going well and I’m really tired of it.”

“ME TOO! Uhg. Can we stop and pray?”

And although we were seeking the Lord, His answers seemed absent.

It felt like I was continually going to Him and hearing only one thing.

Trust Me.

“Lord, I’m trying to but I have no idea what to do next! Please help!”

Trust Me.

Not what I was wanting.

I wanted: Do this… or The answer is…

Instead the Lord has spent a lot of time showing me myself.

I’m opinionated.

I’m stubborn.

I’m selfish.

Yuk.

“Okay Lord, I am. Please fix me. Please teach me how to be flexible.”

So He did.

He sent a test.

The night before we were to have a party at our house for our daughter’s birthday our water quit, completely.

After I cried.

(I had spent part of one entire day just decorating and the rest cleaning.)

I prayed.

I knew God was asking me to let go of my plans and my ideals.

I phoned my Mom the next morning and then drove to her house to set it up instead.

We had a lovely party and no body cared that it had been moved.

This morning was another test.

I got up very tired and went to prayer because I had a,long list of things I wanted to do today.

It’s Easter and I wanted to make it very special.

As I prayed for strength and ability to work the Lord spoke to my heart.

Why are you trying to do everything?

“I want this to be a special day. I want to help the kids remember what Easter is.”

Gulp.

None of my plans would actually make any impact on our children other than that fact that I would be stressed out and tired trying to get it all done.

I had to let it go.

And it’s been a wonderful day.

We began and ended it with people we care about.

What better way to remember the love of Jesus Christ than to follow through on loving others.

What is a better way to teach my children about Jesus, food and fancy dress or by loving them and spending time with them?

So,

I’m opinionated.

I’m stubborn.

I’m learning.

Dear Jesus,

Please continue to show me the truth about myself and the way I should go. Help me to be willing to trust You in everything. Help me to listen to You about everything. Thank You for Your patience with me. Thank You for Your sacrifice. May my life be a reflection of Your great mercy and love.

Holding

image

God’s creation is an amazing thing.

People are also God’s creation.

Yet God created mankind to have a relationship with each one.

He loves us as individuals.

He has a purpose and a plan for each one of us.

The longer I walk with the Lord the more I see Him working.

This winter has been a season of deep teaching for me and for our family.

I’ve been in some difficult circumstances in the past and these weeks have matched the emotional growth of past trials.

I’ve been reading the book of James.

Several verses have stood out for me to meditate on.

” My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience, but let patience have its perfect work that you may be perfect and complete lacking nothing,” James 1:2-4 NKJV

What this verse has been teaching me in this season is to rest in the arms of Jesus, no matter the circumstances.

Yes, I can have peace even when life around me is falling apart.

Yes, I can have peace even when I am helplessly watching my children suffer.

Yes, I can have peace when I’m uncertain of tomorrow, for tomorrow Jesus will still be with me.

As I’ve walk through these days of trial God has shown me the depth of His great care.

He is holding each one of us.

He is providing every breath I breathe.

He is the reason I can rest and have peace in the trial.

Dear reader, I must give you a warning.

If you are anything like me, when struggles come you look to work harder, or try more, or simply want to “fix” it quick so life can be better.

However, in this season God has taught me how futile that truly is.

Many times He has wanted to use a trial to teach me something and I was so focused on getting it “fixed” I learned nothing.

When in a trial there truly can be joy in learning.

To walk through an extreme difficulty and knowing God is hold you, watching Him work out every detail is incredible.

And it’s not over yet.

We are still in the midst of the trial, but I have peace and joy knowing God is holding us.

Whatever you are walking through today, relinquish control into Jesus’ capable hands.

“God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble. Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” James 4: 6b-8a

Rest in His arms.

He’s holding you.

Inside

image

She’s cast free!

Praise the Lord!

The doctor carefully explained her arm would feel weak and sore from lack of use.

However, that cast was a needed thing.

Her broken arm had to be kept inside the cast to protect it from further injury.

What a wonderful reminder.

The Bible gives us guidelines to live by.

We as Christians are supposed to be involved in one another’s lives.

We are to allow our fellow believers to hold us accountable.

Yet how easy it is to be distant, closed off, even with those who love us.

Although we may separate from others in an effort to protect ourselves from further harm we must realize that separation can cause atrophy.

Unless Jesus is inside our hearts and speaking daily into our lives a slow decline will occur.

Unless we as Christians are open and honest about our daily struggles with one another we can become blind to ourselves and our choices.

Am I suggesting that we post all our imperfections on the church website?

Absolutely NOT.

The Bible doesn’t say that either.

What it does say is to have relationships with other believers which are safe and honorable.

Relationship which encourages and sharpens the character of each.

This kind of relationship can only thrive with Jesus in the center.

Which is why no matter the circumstances, we have to have Jesus.

Jesus must be inside our hearts and lives and relationships.

Only He can heal.

Just like Anne’s arm our emotions are weak and prone to hurt, but with the Bible to guide and direct, with godly friends to comfort and exhort,(and each of these gifts are from God) we can grow stronger.

Jesus makes all the difference.

Allow Him to heal those things which might be hurting.

Let Him inside your heart today.

Out of focus

image

This is a chalk drawing one of my students drew today and asked me to take a picture of.

Just in case you are not sure what it is: it’s a puppy in a yard, flying a kite and the box is a picture frame.

I had a momentary giggle inwardly as she explained the art work.

I could clearly see the puppy in the yard, flying the kite.

Yet, children are wonderful reminders to check if our lives are in focus.

Another student days ago had made several poor choices in a row.

After discovering what his poor choices led to he laid his head on the table and said something like:

“My life is horrible!

I leaned down and gently spoke to him.

“Honey, you are making bad choices. If you will make good choices and use your time wisely things will get better.”

He nodded and wiped his little eyes and tried to amend his day.

The truth of the moment has hung with me.

If I make good choices and use my time wisely things will go well.

Easily spoken, but not always easy to do.

Self gets in the way.

Trials knaw at the joy like mice eating holes in a grain sack.

What seemed like a good choice turns out to be flat failure because the choice wasn’t bathed in prayer.

Words rip through one’s emotion like a serrated knife through tissue paper.

And it’s so easy to be out of focus.

Where do we find it?

God’s Word: the Bible.

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, Who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. ” James 1:5 NASB

Dear Lord,
  Please help me to stay in focus. Show me what Your will is for each day. No matter what the day holds help me to view it from a place of rest and peace drawn from my relationship with You, Jesus. Thank You for reminding me to make wise choices and to use my time wisely.