Posts

Showing posts from May, 2020

The Nearness of God

In my greatest moment of weakness and need, the presence of God is all the more evident and changes everything. His peace is like none other. There is a sense of calm and order that comes over me even while my circumstances remain unchanged - because I am changed in that moment. His spirit emboldens me to keep going, keep believing, keep trusting. My heart is strengthened, mind renewed and perspective properly fixed on Him. 

This past week has been physically challenging for me. When I am physically struggling in my health, I am more vulnerable and quite frankly, weaker. My defenses are down. And it affects me emotionally. Sometimes it just feels like a "perfect" storm - you feel overwhelmed and on the brink of breaking. BUT GOD. Truly, when I am weak, He is strong. His Living WORD literally carried me through this week. Every day, God's Word was timely and perfect. 

“This is why I tell you: Don’t worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; or about yo…

My Grace Has Already Made The Way

My grace has already made the way.
Whispers written by: Brian Simmons and Gretchen Rodriguez 
"I love you in your struggle and weakness. While you are still far off, I run to you with restoration. While you are in the midst of repentance, I am forgiving you. While you are pondering your future, I have gone ahead to open up the way. While you are asleep, I place my grace over you. While you hope that your family is healed, I am at work in hearts to make you whole.

Within you is a deep need—a need for my grace and mercy. Like a river that always seeks the lowest place, my grace runs down into the deepest need of your heart and fills it to overflowing. Soon, you will leap with strength and run victoriously through the ranks of the enemy’s forces. I will train you in my grace to win every battle and defeat the discouragement that has sought to muffle your voice. You will run into my grace and find all that you need. I am the extravagant Father who understands you fully. So come and exp…

Dance Upon the Ashes

Whispers written by Brian Simmons and Gretchen Rodriguez “Every place where the enemy has come against you is a place for future victory, a stage set for you to sing of my triumphant love, a launching pad into my magnificent restoration. Every trauma can be turned into a place of exorbitant strength when you invite me into your pain.

Beloved, the enemy hates when his plans backfire. He’d rather knock you out and keep you out, but when you walk in the highest reality of my love, nothing can hold you down forever. If you take my hand, I will lead you to the mountain peaks, where your laughter will echo into every valley that once held your dry bones. But first, we will stop and dance upon the ashes. We will sow the seeds of resurrection life into what appears dead and desolate. Each step of love and every movement of grace will release a resurgence of hope and joy. Though you have witnessed loss and destruction, life will come forth despite it all.”

Remembrance - A Gift

How many of us at some point in our life or in some particular situation wished we had "amnesia."  There are some things we simply wish we could erase, forget, remember no more. And in some instances and for some specific situations, I think that's a very fair desire. I wish I had something to say to ease those hard memories but I know my words fall short. So I pray the God of all comfort will continually meet you in that place with His love and grace. 

Today during a message, I was reminded that remembrance can serve as a catalyst or a jolt of motivation that helps us to keep moving forward and to keep perspective, especially during dark and uncertain times. The gift of remembrance can help shift our thoughts and mind to stay focus - to stay the course and path that's before us when we feel tempted to abandon or take a different path. The gift of remembrance can be the fuel that keeps us dreaming or to stay with a dream especially during those moments when the dream …

The Tide is Turning

We are all experiencing a challenging season of navigating life amid a global pandemic and the only certainty appears to be uncertainty and constant change. And sometimes we can feel lost, abandoned, forgotten and alone in a big and scary world; left to figure out how to live on our own. While our feelings are real and valid, God's word speaks a truer reality and that is, we are not alone. We are not orphans. We have a Father! Our Father is with us and He is providing for us. And above all, because He is alive, I can live fully alive, no matter how difficult or dark things can get or appear. We can choose to live with hope! 

It's been a particularly challenging last few weeks. Perhaps the "newness" of COVID-19 is wearing and the reality of our new normal is settling in and we need to move forward as if things are normal while nothing is really normal or settled at all. There is a struggle, a wrestling, a tension. While all of that is still true and present, today I se…

The Way to the Father

On the rare occasions my husband is out of town, I do not sleep well. I am not rested nor am I relaxed. I am on guard and tense. I also wonder where he is and if he is okay and safe. But when he is home, all is well in my world. I know where he is. He does not necessarily need to be right beside me, just having his presence anywhere in the house, I am good. There is a confidence. I do not worry because I know my husband will take good care of us. If anything were to go wrong or out of the ordinary, he'll fix it or figure out who can fix it. I am most comfortable when he is near. I am natural and free to move about without concern. There is a peace and ease. The kids and I feel secure, safe and protected. He belongs to us and we belong to him.  His intention towards us is clear - it is for good because he loves us. 

That speaks to the power of belonging. The courage we have to "be" and "do" when we know whose we belong to. The strength we feel when we know we hav…

One Day

For this reason God highly exalted Him and gave Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow - of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth - and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:9-11

One day soon. And what a glorious day that will be. I am brought to tears at the thought of King Jesus being lifted high in all of his glory and splendor by every single person. He is so worthy! Until then, we pray his kingdom come and will be done here on earth as it is perfectly established in heaven. We preach the gospel to all nations. Every people group. Every language. Help us Lord to remember at all times the purpose for which we have been saved and raised to new life - to share the Good News. The good news of salvation and eternal life. The news that we have been forgiven, we have a Father and a home in heaven. The good news that we are invited into a relationship with God …

Sisterhood

Written by Jen Hatmaker and Nichole Nordeman. "In the wild, when a mama elephant is giving birth, all the other female elephants in the herd back around her in formation. They close ranks so that the delivering mama cannot even be seen in the middle. They stomp and kick up dirt and soil to throw attackers off the scent and basically act like a pack of bad*****.  They surround the mama and incoming baby in protection, sending a clear signal to predators that if they want to attack their friend while she is vulnerable, they’ll have to get through 40 tons of female aggression first. When the baby elephant is delivered, the sister elephants do two things: they kick sand or dirt over the newborn to protect its fragile skin from the sun, and then they all start trumpeting, a female celebration of new life, of sisterhood, of something beautiful being born in a harsh, wild world despite enemies and attackers and predators and odds. Scientists tell us this: They normally take this formation i…

Grieving

Many are grieving. 

I think grief, sadness, disappointment, fear, uncertainty was looming long before corona but this global pandemic has intensified, exacerbated, accelerated and pushed to the surface all that was already brewing. Of course, this global pandemic has also added new areas of loss and grief. For some it's material or financial loss. Others have experienced a relational loss whether through death, separation, divorce or physically not being able to gather so you feel relationally disconnected and lonely. Many have loss dreams or the missed experience of significant milestones such as graduation, weddings, birthdays. I think it is fair to say while at differing degrees, we have all collectively experienced a loss of our routine, normalcy, rhythm. A loss of security, certainty and assurance. And at times perhaps a brief sense of loss in our feeling confident in our knowing, direction or being. What you thought was there is not really there. The people you thought would …

Living Hope

Keeping hope alive during these days definitely feels like an uphill struggle and decision of the will. It’s not easy and definitely feels like a struggle, fight, discipline. Some days to be frank, it takes all of me to muster up strength to keep at it. To be faithful, to endure. To keep showing up. 

My work situation is incredibly challenging on top of it already being complicated prior to this global pandemic. It’s literally day by day, hour by hour, touch and go type of situation. I’m definitely getting a run for my money!  My days start early and I woke up several days last week feeling drained before the day even started. I literally felt weak in my bones. My strength felt depleted. Fatigue and exhaustion set in. A hot shower and cup of tea revitalized me but it was short-lived. 

I read my scriptures and listened to my audio bible. I began to feel more clarity and resolve in my heart to keep holding on. But I did not begin to feel fully strengthened until I put my faith and confess…

Streams of Living Water

The phrase "streams of living water" specifically came to mind. Not sure why but I initially was thinking on the lines of "streams of living water can still flow out of desert places..."  Amid a global pandemic, there is still much uncertainty, instability and in some ways, some things and areas are on pause and have dwindled. But yet I am believing even still, in the face of all that's going on, streams of living water still can burst forth!  Jesus himself is the Stream of Living Water and he is very much alive! He can, he is able and he still brings, creates, redirects, reroutes streams of living water wherever he pleases, even to the driest of places. So take heart and be encouraged. Consider this time as an opportunity to reflect and be honest with yourself and God. If there is any area in your life that feels dead, dry or maybe you are experiencing a desert season spiritually or feeling exhausted and depleted, come to the living water. Invite Jesus into th…

Look a Little Closer

I am encouraged today and reminded that despite how things may appear in the natural or in our present reality, God can turn it around in a moment. Also, things are not always as they appear. So we have to deliberately, patiently sit long enough and stay long enough to see the fullness of what God is doing. As hard as waiting can be, we can be confident of this, through every season and moment, God is always, always at work. 

During the winter season, everything appears dead, barren and devoid of life. However, it's in that very winter season that serves as the preparation for the things to come in the next season, spring. While the fruit and product may look different in each season, phase of life - all are equally important, necessary and part of the entire process. You cannot have one without the other. There is a time and season for everything under the sun. Regardless of the moment, Jesus is at the center of every season and moment. 

Wherever Jesus is there is life. For he is L…

Inspired

What inspires you? What gives you inspiration? What moves your heart and motivates you to keep showing up? To live to the full? 

A few things I love.... candid pictures (not too formal or posed), beautifully designed and decorated buildings and homes (exterior and interior), thought provoking words, music that stirs emotions. Colors - all shades and hues and thoughtful, symmetrical and appropriately categorized organization of anything. I also love all things simple but meaningful and purposeful. So whether it's arts, creatives, literary, organization or fashion, I am super inspired by those who show up with the best version of themselves - the purest and most authentic and give it their all to whatever craft or trade. They do what they do from a pure heart and stay true to the mission, vision of whatever it is that they are attempting to accomplish. 

Now make note I didn't mention it had to be flawless, perfect or even that the person has to be the "best" in their tra…

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day! 

To all the moms, mother figures, spiritual moms - to all women who have given life, loved, cared, supported, nurtured another human being, we CELEBRATE YOU! 

Thank you for all the immeasurable things you do - big and small, seen and hidden. We honor you! Your worth and significance is not found in the things you do, though they are many, this special day is set a part just for you because we acknowledge the gift you have given - the gift of life. Whether that is through physically birthing a child or spiritually caring for another, both are equally honorable and treasured before God. Today is a celebration of all women who have given life and who are life giving. 

Mother's Day is not only a day for those who have gotten this "mother" thing down perfectly.There is no perfect human, no perfect mom and we honor you all the more for how you continue to show up even in your weakness. So whether you feel you failed as a mom, are failing as a mom or you ar…

Remembered by God

While there may never be sufficient language to explain, make sense or reconcile the difficult, painful and hard things of life, it is possible to still walk in security and be confident. While everything around us and within us is uncertain and feels shaken, it is possible to stand firm. While we may never fully understand all that God is doing and planning in the world or in our lives, we can still be sure of this one thing, we are remembered by God. We are seen by God. We are known by God. 

I am reminded of the story of Joseph. He had a complex and complicated life. He was the favored son of his father who found himself in less than ideal situations. Whether it was in the pit, in prison and eventually the palace, not once was he ever forgotten by God. Although man may have forgotten him and it was difficult to understand in the middle of the story why his life took the path that it did, Joseph appeared to have embraced the mysterious parts of his story. He was able to do so because …

Restoration

I love the gospel. It's the power unto which lives are changed, restored and made brand new. Ezekiel 36 speaks to restoration of Israel's people. For many years they were living in exile. During that time, they did not turn towards God. They rejected him and worshiped man-made idols. Undoubtedly God's heart was grieved for the state and condition of his people. They chose the lesser things of life. They disregarded him as yaweh and defamed his name with their actions and attitude. Their heart posture was not bent towards him, holiness and righteousness. They were bent towards their own way - rebellion and disobedience. Like the Israelite's, we too can say there have been seasons, moments and times in our lives that we have lived as the Israelite's. We have gone our own way and lived a part from God. We have not regarded his laws and ways as the blueprint for our lives. We too have created and worshiped our own idols. We have put our trust and security in empty and …

Not Confused

Not confused.

In two unrelated podcast I happen to listen to yesterday, both times those words were used and I instantly felt a connection. "Not confused" deeply resonated with me. With all that is taking place in our world and personal lives - I am still confident and certain of this, God is not confused. And because God is not confused, I too do not have to be confused. I am not confused. 

With or without a global pandemic, navigating every day life can be challenging in and of itself. There are so many unknowns. This is all the more true for those who are facing transitions, changes and uncertainty in the areas of job, family, health and relationships. Politics is confusing. The news and media is distorted. The world seems to be upside in it's thinking and practice. It's hard not to feel confused at times. So for those who feel lost or disoriented, take heart. God knew we would have these moments and so he gave us his written word to remind us of truth. In 2 Timothy…

With God

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26 
Today is Wednesday but yet it honestly feels like it's been two weeks or at least it should have been Friday two days ago. Long workdays, double duty with caring and tending to the home and children has a way of making the week feel longer than it should. I am not complaining at all but rather incredibly thankful for a family, kids and work that keeps my days full. The never-ending sink of dishes, abundance of laundry, toys, pencils, school work sprinkled throughout the house reminds me that there is life happening. There is movement. There is progress. We are alive. Things could be so very different for us, so with a full heart, I embrace these moments. I'm getting better at living in the moment, the present. But nonetheless, it's still a unique time for us all and I fully acknowledge it is God's grace alone that carries and sustains me. 
When I look b…

A Better Story

Tell a better story. Or rather, tell the story from a redeemed perspective. Remember the story from the lens of his goodness.Re-frame the story from his faithfulness. Recount the details from the posture of grace. Narrate the story through the voice of his love and compassion. May the resounding theme of our story be that of a rescue love story. 

Not every part of our story is good, happy or necessarily "ends" well. But because God is the author of our story, we can still tell a better story. His love for us and towards us enables us to tell a better story. While we cannot change some of the facts and details of our story, we are also not defined by those facts or details. God defines who we are. He alone gives us our identity. 

He says I am...
Approved.
Accepted.
Enough.
Loved.
Significant.
Valuable.
Redeemed.
Included. 
New.
Able.
Secure. 
Strong. 
His.

I can tell a better story.

Waiting

I wait for the Lord; I wait
and put my hope in his word. Psalm 130:5


How beautiful is God's word. It's encouraging, applicable, and timely. We are definitely experiencing crazy times. Things are uncertain, out of order, straining and limiting. But yet we can still have hope for our God is certain. He has everything in order and in control. He is not stressed. He is all powerful - unlimited and limitless. And so we press on and we hope in things that do not change and cannot change, his word. 

God's word is eternal. It's true and forever. It transcends and triumphs over every and any thing that can come our way. So we wait. And as we wait, we will actively turn our attention, gaze and heart towards him. We will place our hope in his word. Yes, this takes great diligence, determination and discipline. Yes, it requires our active participation but as we engage with scripture, we will soon find joy and peace on the other side. It's the only way to truly live. As we take s…