I am recovering from foot surgery and my sister-in-law/friend Jan gave me a fun journal called “Faith Outside the Lines.” The image below is from the page that said to write my favorite Bible verse with my “wrong” (not normal) writing hand. It is mostly readable but was not an easy task. It made me grateful for my hand that can write well.
It also reminded me that this faith walk I am on can be challenging at times but He sees my efforts through eyes of pure love. He isn’t expecting perfection, He is pleased that I try, that I am learning and growing by His grace. Oh how He loves you and me!
I was outside yesterday enjoying the signs of spring in my yard and I thought I would share them with you too.
I am grateful this winter season is over. This year I am especially aware of the change. Not only seeing it, I feel it in my spirit and soul. I am looking forward expectantly to the good things of God that are undoubtedly coming. It’s time for seeds sown to spring forth.
Isaiah 61:11 just seems to fit, and I enjoy the differences these two translations highlight.
For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations. Isaiah 61:11 KJV
For just as the earth brings forth its plants, or a garden makes its plants spring up, so Adonai , God, will cause victory and glory to spring up before all nations. Yesha ‘yahu (Isa) 61:11 CJB
As the world celebrates women in general, I want to honor those who have impacted me. I have and still am being blessed by many so women of faith. There are too many to name, so instead I will reshare this poem (by one of them).
As you read this I pray that you will hear and recieve the Father’s love for you. Oh how He loves you and me!
Be encouraged, little Daughter: Your God is on your side. Draw near. Bask in My Presence. Let My Love abide.
Allow My living waters To wash away each thought That counteracts My promises And the life that Christ has bought.
You are My precious treasure Purchased at great cost, The sheep that I came looking for Who is no longer lost.
Arise and shine right where you are. Let’s join in harmony. Your world awaits your entrance. Through you, they’ll soon find me.
I find in you, great pleasure. You’re the apple of My eye I promise: I’ll not leave you. I’m always standing by.
This verse has been resonating with me so much that I made 2 versions in the YouVersion Bible app to put on my phone. I have a habit of checking my phone every morning and using it to read the Bible before going to sleep. I also see these images throughout the day as I use my phone.
There are always needs…but at night when I talk to the Lord, I am reminded that it’s him that I need above all else. After all , in Philippians he said he would supply all my needs according to his riches in glory. And that’s not limited to just physical things.
In the morning, it’s a reminder of his constant presence and unfailing faithful love.
And throughout the day to be aware of him, worship him, commune with him. And to trust that when I cry out to him, he hears and he responds.
Oh how He loves you and me!
Every evening I will explain my need to him. Every morning I will move my soul toward him. Every waking hour I will worship only him, and he will hear and respond to my cry. Psalms 55:17 TPT https://bible.com/bible/1849/psa.55.17.TPT
The last 16 months have been the most difficult of my life. I’ve been learning to live through what often feels like a storm with wind and waves. Some days it has felt like a roller coaster ride with wild twists and turns, and like going two steps forward and three steps back. With time flying both by or seeming not to move at all.
I haven’t always handled it well or right, but I take comfort that God knows. He knows me. He knew me in my mother’s womb and He is not surprised by any aspect of my life. At times I have felt so very weak, at others very strong – but in both cases I know He is carrying me. With uncertainty all around, He is faithful, and even reminds me of my dreams, and of His dreams for me. He isn’t surprised or worried. He has a plan, He’s always had a plan for me that includes love, redemption, forgiveness, grace, help just when I need it, and wisdom when I ask.
My part is to listen, trust and rest, to believe Him. To stay in faith even when I can’t see the way forward. To cast my care on Him because He cares, to live in expectation that He is working. Sometimes I must remind myself of what Jesus spoke to the storm, and that He is Christ in me, with me, always. I’ll close my eyes and say, “Peace, Be Still,” (agreeing with Him) and I choose to receive His peace.
I read in Isaiah 30 about the rebellion of the people and the graciousness of God, and this verse ministered to me… I am purposely leaving of the last 4 words (“but ye would not”) because I want Him to be able to say of me “and she did.”
For thus saith the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: in returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and confidence shall be your strength…” Isaiah 30:16
I pray that both you and I will always find in Him our peace, quietness, strength and confidence. Oh how He loves you and me!
Things have been difficult recently with my husband Ed being ill. I find myself thinking of King David and what he went through and how, and reading the Psalms.
I am reminding myself to tell the storms how big my God is. It kind of feels like a David & Goliath moment at times. Other times I must choose to encourage myself in the Lord, remembering who He is, and that Ed and I are His.
Here are a few scriptures I have read, reminding myself who He is. I hope they encourage you too
He only is my Rock and my Salvation; He is my Defense and my Fortress, I shall not be moved. With God rests my salvation and my glory; He is my Rock of unyielding strength and impenetrable hardness, and my refuge is in God! Trust in, lean on, rely on, and have confidence in Him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts before Him. God is a refuge for us (a fortress and a high tower). Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]! Psalm 62:6-8 AMPC https://bible.com/bible/8/psa.62.6-8.AMPC
David was greatly distressed, for the men spoke of stoning him because the souls of them all were bitterly grieved, each man for his sons and daughters. But David encouraged and strengthened himself in the Lord his God. David said to Abiathar the priest, Ahimelech’s son, I pray you, bring me the ephod. And Abiathar brought him the ephod. And David inquired of the Lord, saying, Shall I pursue this troop? Shall I overtake them? The Lord answered him, Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and without fail recover all. 1 Samuel 30:6-8 AMPC https://bible.com/bible/8/1sa.30.6-8.AMPC
With my whole heart, with my whole life, and with my innermost being, I bow in wonder and love before you, the holy God! Yahweh, you are my soul’s celebration. How could I ever forget the miracles of kindness you’ve done for me? You kissed my heart with forgiveness, in spite of all I’ve done. You’ve healed me inside and out from every disease. You’ve rescued me from hell and saved my life. You’ve crowned me with love and mercy. You satisfy my every desire with good things. You’ve supercharged my life so that I soar again like a flying eagle in the sky! You’re a God who makes things right, giving justice to the defenseless. Psalms 103:1-6 TPT https://bible.com/bible/1849/psa.103.1-6.TPT
I wish I could remember who taught me this, but I can’t. I am however so very grateful. God has used it many times to remind me that when it feels like I am surrounded by darkness:
1. I am walking THROUGH. NOT building a permanent dwelling place in that place.
2. I don’t have to fear ANYTHING because He is with me, right where I am, and He is the great I AM.
3. He is not just there, He is there to PROTECT, GUIDE and COMFORT me.
This is just one verse from the powerful promises found in Psalm 23. It is a rich Word to meditate on, to consider who He is, and what He does. I believe it never grows old because these words are just as alive with the love of God now as they were when King David wrote them.
Thinking this morning about peace, and praying for anyone who is struggling today. In Hebrew, peace means wholeness, wellness, nothing missing, lacking or broken. When Jesus was born the angels said, “glory to God in the highest, peace on earth, goodwill to men.” And in John 14, before he went to the cross Jesus said, “my peace I leave with you.” My prayer is that you receive and unwrap His gift of peace, freely offered – take possession of it and don’t let it go. Choose to believe in the love that God has for you, and that He cares for you.
That night, in a field near Bethlehem, there were shepherds watching over their flocks. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared in radiant splendor before them, lighting up the field with the blazing glory of God, and the shepherds were terrified! But the angel reassured them, saying, “Don’t be afraid. For I have come to bring you good news, the most joyous news the world has ever heard! And it is for everyone everywhere! Luke 2:8-10 TPT https://bible.com/bible/1849/luk.2.8-10.TPT
And in this season, I choose joy, I choose to be grateful, I choose to look for things to celebrate, to look for the good, for opportunities to love, to live, to enjoy. I don’t know when this season will change, but I’ve made up my mind not to let it stop me from living, from doing what I enjoy, anymore.
If I’m honest, since my husband became sick a year ago, my focus became very narrow. My “job” has been to pray and stay in faith, and to do what it takes to remain at rest in Him, to work fulltime from home and care for Ed. Most days I did well, others not so much as responsibilities sometimes overwhelmed me. I am still walking this journey of faith daily, trusting God to work, and to lead me/help me do all that needs to be done.
But over these last few weeks I became very aware of my lack of joy. And I feel the Holy Spirit is leading me now to pick back up what was laid aside, lost in the difficulties of this past year. So, no matter the season, I am consciously choosing to make room in my life again for painting, knitting and writing. These are gifts the Father wants me to use and enjoy. I will not let the enemy of my soul steal the joy that comes from being creative and the rest and refreshing it provides.
I guess the lesson for me is no matter the season…find joy, don’t let it slip away, and be grateful. Listen for that still small voice of the Holy Spirit. Oh how He loves you and me!