“The reason one writes isn’t the fact he wants to say something. He writes because he has something to say.” ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald


"But how could you live and have no story to tell?" ~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky


"Beauty can be seen in all things, seeing and composing the beauty is what separates the snapshot from the photograph" ~Matt Hardy


“A mother keeps a garden of the heart, planting the seeds of faith and character that give her children hope and purpose for the years ahead.” ~Anonymous


“If your story is never told, it becomes something else...forgotten.” ~Anonymous

Monday, November 14, 2016

Hope, Heart & Miqweh

Wow!  What a week!  My thoughts, emotions and hope are at a much different place than they were this time last week (Monday, November 7th).  For the Americans reading this…you will totally get what I mean.  How things can change so quickly!

As we each individually process what is taking place around us, as well as we enter into the holidays before us, my mind keeps going to one word.  HOPE.  We need it.  We cannot live without it.  Our soul shrivels up if we don’t have it.  Regardless of how you voted, what you believe or what your journey with God looks like, we all need HOPE. One thing we can all agree on.  But where do we find it?

Today, I read a Scripture that renewed my heart….

”May the God of your hope so fill you with all joy and peace in believing (through the experience of your faith) that by the Holy Spirit you may abound and be overflowing (bubbling over) with hope.”  Romans 15:13 Amplified Version

Hope means a feeling of expectation or desire for something to happen. 

** helps us stay on course regardless of the circumstances.
** Biblical hope finds its roots in God.  His goodness, His mercy, His love, His power.
** enables us to endure patiently.
** our hope is nurtured as we read His Word and trust in His character.

As believers, it cannot be just “wishing” for something to happen.  Our hope lies in the Word of God that says He is trustworthy and cannot lie. (Hebrews 6:18)  And it is staying so connected in relationship with God that we know He knows us…..He loves us….He desires His best for us…..a concrete solid hope.  There is life beyond our current circumstances.

Hope leads us into faith…a faith that cannot be moved by circumstances or what the eyes see because…. an unseen God is seen in His faithfulness.  Today, tomorrow, next year, regardless of what our circumstances are, we cannot lose hope.  I may not be able to see it....or hold it in my hand....but in my heart and mind, I have to nurture the hope that only comes by faith.

I’ve been a bit somber, sad and lagging in my hope recently due to some prayers not being answered, or at least they are taking a long time in being answered.  The way I want them to be answered.  I’ve literally sat with open hands to God releasing my hopes, desires and wants…..that no matter what it looks like, I know Him and I know He knows exactly where I am at.  What my hopes are. (And they are good hopes, good prayers, not selfish but good for others).   And He knows best how to feed that hope and how in His timing He will answer.  Patience as hope waters my soul.  Patience as joy begins to seep in and take over.  Hope urges me to wait confidently for Him to act. Faith leading to hope….leading to LOVE - which is the one word that describes God to a “T”.  This ancient hope....still lives NOW and in the very center of our lives, if we make room for Him.

Today, this week, this coming holiday season - have HOPE; we have an eternal future.   (interruption...side note....as I am typing this....just now.....I received a phone call with some disappointing news.   A prayer answer is "no".  Or at least not now.)  My heart is a bit heavy to be honest.  BUT I stand by everything I've just written.  He is HOPE and I will continue to TRUST and HOPE.  (I may have a little cry, but mixed amongst  the tears is hope.)  

"No one has ever experienced unfaithfulness on God's part!"  (Henry Blackaby, Experiencing God)

"Lord, no eye has seen, no ear has heard what you have prepared for those who love you.  Thank you for being a Loving Father and for all your faithfulness in our lives.  Help us to wait and to watch.  Help us to trust and believe.  YOU are our HOPE and our Strength!  As the disciple Peter said, "Lord, to whom shall we go?  YOU ALONE HAVE THE WORDS OF ETERNAL LIFE."  AMEN.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

New Gifts

I have had the privilege of sharing in DTS’s (Youth With A Mission’s Discipleship Training Schools) over the last several years about the “mothering love of God”.  It has been wonderful to see a light dawn in eyes of students and they begin to comprehend God loves them like a Father and a Mother.  He intended us to have both.  It is healthy to have both…..physically, emotionally and spiritually.  When one is lacking, we lack.  We don’t get “enough” in our childhood (due to dysfunction, divorce, wounding, etc.) and it can carry through into adulthood if God Himself has not been given the space to come in and fill the need.

Psalm 131:2

Several months ago as I looked out my window at a breathtaking dawn breaking, I felt peaceful, satisfied.  Weaning means to be satisfied, your needs met.  I have enough.  

This year  I took on my “word”  RELEASE for 2016.   I began 2016 with a sense of God releasing new things into our lives, mainly with how we give out in our ministry and serving others,   New adventures, new stories of sharing.  But way back in January, I began to also sense “release” meant ME releasing some things into God’s hands so He could then “release” into my life.

One area I seem to always be letting go has been the releasing of the lives of my children into His hands.  He carries them.  He will lead them.  He knows them better than I do.  Really?  Can that be??  Yes, releasing our loved ones into His care is the best thing I can do.  But releasing is not always easy.  Even the releasing of comfortable, daily, life can and will bring freshness and new adventure if we are willing to release what is normal for us or things we hide behind.  In prayer, speaking out and giving over to God those things that are good.....really good.....(maybe some not so good)....but by releasing them to God, He sets us free to receive new gifts from Him.  Don't we always want a new present to open?

One thing I love (and can be unsettling and challenging at times) in our relationship with God is we are never to old to grow and learn.  As I gaze at a rising dawn, and read my devotional for the day….it reminds me that God always goes before me.  Never leads me into situations that He is not fully aware of the needs of what I will be facing.  He is before me.  Beside me.  Next to me.  Behind me.  AND He gives PEACE.  It was His first words to His disciples after the resurrection.  Peace I give you.  Do not be afraid.  He knew we needed to hear that.  He said it a lot!  Even sent angels to tell us.

As I wait in the presence of my Father, He impresses on my mind that weaning can be something that takes place even in the oldest of us.  I am 60.  I have walked with the Lord for 42 years.  And today, I continue to be “weaned”.  I think I have enough…but He wants to give me more. Continually moving away from the “bottle” and into deeper, richer, real food.  Even after all these years, He wants to wean me from the comfortable.  The familiar.  He wants to give me “flavored milk”, beyond the white.  I have enough, but He wants to give me more.  Will I trust Him to continually wean me….trust Him as I release, He gives back more than I could imagine?  Will I trust Him?   Can I love someone or something possibly so much that He would want me to “release it into His hands” so He can turn around and give me so much more?

Psalm 34:8
Genesis 16: 13-14 (Amplified Version)
John 20:19
Colossians 3:15
Psalm 139:7-12