keep limping along

Some days can be filled with discomfort or pain.

Today may be both National Go Barefoot & Nail Polish Days, but my feet are a mess.

Several blisters over sunburn on the tops of both feet have taken 4 days to see less swelling and experience less pain.

Some roads we walk are not comfortable, are they?

Hearing how friends who moved have had all their belongings stolen while they were in transit, local businesses still not able to open due to Covid-19, loved ones dying or seriously ill, and racial tensions escalating due to another avoidable and oh so lamentably wrong death which demands justice and equality…. These are just a few many of us are grappling with.

I turn to the Psalms and Gospels when I hear of news like these.

For God is not far off and sitting indifferent to our pain and suffering, friend. Jesus welcomed those who were treated differently due to their sex, their beliefs, their race, their illnesses, their jobs, even their offenses. He walked among them then, ministered to each, and He is willing to move within, restore and walking with each of us in this now.

This morning as I was pondering these things in prayer, these potted plants outside my local coffee shop caught my eye, and reminded me of this important truth…

There is new growth coming out of this season, friend. Especially for those who are listening for His voice and following His lead, no matter how we might be physically, emotionally, mentally or spiritually limping along.

#Mayday #Monday #hopefortheharddays

Garden – free verse Friday

I am a garden
growing despite its weeds
You provide the food
I earnestly need
and pour out the water
to quench my thirst
You uproot the weeds
with gentle hands
and restore this garden
to the design You had planned
whose roots dig down deeper
despite the wind and the rain
as it turns to the Son
and away from past pain.


Grow, garden, grow
as your flowers now bloom
spreading their leaves to
cover even more room.
The Gardener smiles
seeing its new buds
as He keeps a close eye
on this garden He loves.

#freeversefriday #hopefortheharddays

WAVES🌊⠀

Like most of you, things seem to be happening in waves right now.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

  • Heat waves
  • Natural hair waves
  • Neighborhood waves⠀⠀⠀
  • Waves of hope.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

As someone who writes, there can be seasons of dryness in the waiting as you wait to see where your words will end up.

Covid-19 came in like an unwanted wave of change, and not all it brought along with it has been negative.⠀My words are finding new landing places as He leads me out into new places of expression.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Three of my pieces have found their way to two very different homes for local publication. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

And I am about to put together my first completely written by me virtual bible study together. After 10 weeks of contributing about 20% toward my first virtual one, and four years after writing 20% of my first co-authored bible study to be published.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

It is amazing to me how just when we need it, God releases waves of mercy, grace and hope into those who keep looking to Him as their guide, provider and comforter. I feel energized for these new opportunities, and grateful for the journey which lead me here, even if there were a heap full of hard days along the way!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

So I will keep proclaiming You are my Way Maker, Miracle Worker, Promise Keeper & Light in the Darkness. Coz that is who You are!!!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

#hopefortheharddays #Waymaker

WHEN YOU AREN’T SURE WHAT TO PRAY

I used to get frustrated when I couldn’t find the right words to pray to express how I was feeling. I know I am not alone in this. Not only because of recent discussions I have had about this, but past ones. Jesus had His disciples ask Him how to pray, and even told us that when we couldn’t find the words, Holy Spirit lifts up our unspoken requests to God on our behalf.

One tool in the Bible which has been turned to for thousands of years as an aid to prayer is the book of Psalms. Honest and sometimes blunt, the Psalms encompass every emotion you might want to express in prayer. The verses below are ones I like to lift up in prayer when I feel overwhelmed or surrounded. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

🌼”Hurry with Your answer, God! I’m nearly at the end of my rope. Don’t turn away; don’t ignore me! That would be certain death. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

🌼If you wake me each morning with the sound of Your loving voice, I’ll go to sleep each night trusting in You. ⠀⠀⠀

🌼Point out the road I must travel; I’m all ears, all eyes before You. Save me from my enemies, God— You’re my only hope!

🌼Teach me how to live to please you, because You’re my God.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

🌼Lead me by Your blessed Spirit into cleared and level pastureland.” .

(Psalm 143:7-10 MSG)⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

What Psalm helps you connect with God in prayer?⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

#mayday #mondaymotivation #hopefortheharddays

LET GOD LOVE THE HELL OUT OF YOU

“Do yourself a massive favor and let God love the hell out of you. Then love yourself as much as He does. It will change your life forever.”

– Kris Vallotton

I can so relate to what Kris shared on his blog: http://krisvallotton.com/what-is-your-love-lid/

Because I too try to lessen my value to a dollar figure, instead of accepting the gift of eternal value I have by being His Beloved. And most days I don’t walk out my true value, as I am too busy playing into the enemy’s scheme to keep me focused on what I lack instead of what I have in Him.

In God? I am…

*wanted
*chosen
*signed, sealed, & delivered into freedom
*paid for in full
*His Beloved
*the apple of His eye
*His delight
*His Bride

I need to remind myself of my true value too, more often than I can to admit. I often need to ask God to love up on me, to so overpower me with His love that the hell is literally shoved out when it encounters His love. And let’s face it, hate doesn’t like to leave anywhere it has burrowed into, does it?

Yes, I said hate. Because hell is really about those who hate His creation, and the Creator.

Hell? It’s filled with fallen angels, serving their false god. And one day it will be filled with souls that failed to bend the knee before God. Who refused to accept the Only One who could keep them from their final destination, forever apart from Him.

Love can make all the difference. And it starts with accepting that we are valuable enough to be loved.

I am not the same mess within as I was when God first met me. His love literally scared the hell right out of me! I am now on the pathway to meet God face to face, and live in the comfort of His embrace for all eternity.

On the days when I am stressed, sick or discouraged, I need this reminder: His love has changed me forever, and I now have a purpose, plan & a future in His hands.

Beloved, may you too allow Him to soak you in the waves of His love, until all you see is His face beaming at you!

#hopefortheharddays

🎶OH HOW YOU LOVE ME

🎤”I’ve had plans shattered and broken, things I have hoped in fall through my hands. You have plans to redeem and restore me, You’re behind and before me. Oh, help me believe.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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God You don’t need me but somehow You want me. Oh, how You love me! Somehow that frees me to take my hands off of my life and the way it should go. Oh God You don’t need me but somehow You want me. Oh, how You love me! Somehow that frees me to open my hands up and give You control…”🎤

Tenth Avenue North

#worship #heartcry #hopefortheharddays

🌱SHAKING THINGS UP

My child, as You have been listening for My direction in this season, I take great delight in you. Your willingness to lay down your concerns and exchange your fears for freedom are two of the ways your life is changing for the better within you.⠀⠀
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While we have this unprecedented time together, may I remind you not to rush? Sit here with me and soak in My Spirit. Let Me refresh your weariness, soothe your worries, and tame your wants.

There is no need I will not meet as You put your trust in Me. Take off your narrow vision glasses, and begin to meet me in the wild expansive places of My plans for you. My child, things may seem in limbo or disorder right now, but I was not caught by surprise and am working through all things, as only I can do, to bring them about for your good. I know you have concerns about your future. Rest assured, I am always with you. I will never leave you. I will never abandon you. I will never stop loving you, no matter what. I will never cease to pursue you. I will continue to sing over you at night, guide you by day, and give you peace beyond your circumstances. I am eternally faithful, and always yours. Let’s keep spending time together, just the two of us. I am always in the mood to be with you, beloved.
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Love your Father, forever.

🌱GRAVES TO GARDENS 🌿

“I searched the world but it couldn’t fill me. Man’s empty praise and treasures that fade are never enough. Then You came along and put me back together. And every desire is now satisfied here in Your love.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
CHORUS:
Oh, there’s nothing better than You. There’s nothing better than You. Lord, there’s nothing, nothing is better than You.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
I’m not afraid to show You my weakness. My failures and flaws, Lord, You’ve seen them all and You still call me friend. Coz the God of the mountain is the God of the valley. There’s not a place Your mercy and grace won’t find me again.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Repeat CHORUS
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
You turn mourning to dancing
You give beauty for ashes
You turn shame into glory
You’re the only one who can
X2
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
You turn graves into gardens
You turn bones into armies
You turn seas into highways
You’re the only one who can
You’re the only one who can!”
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
🌱Graves to Gardens🌿 by Elevation Worship featuring Brandon Lake

https://youtu.be/WJTl2vnF3SE
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#singanewpsalm #worshipHymn #hopefortheharddays

🌿MORNING BLESSING

“God bless you and keep you,
God smile on you and gift you,
God look you full in the face
and make you prosper.”

(Numbers 6:24-26 MSG)

Mondays always seem crazier than any other day of the week for me, even and especially now.

So as I look to God once more for reassurance of His love for me, these verses do just that this morning.

God:
🌿blesses me
🌿keeps me
🌿smiles on me
🌿gifts me
🌿looks full on my face
🌿makes me prosperous

What do each of these statements have in common?

GOD!

🌿He is the One constant we can anchor ourselves to at any time.
🌿He holds us steady through any storm.
🌿He gives us peace beyond comprehension.
🌿He strengthens us with all we need to face this day.

Thank you, God, for being

🌿the arms I can run to for hugs

🌿shoulder I can cry upon

🌿hands I can hold, the love I can depend upon

🌿and the guide I can trust.

May I never lose sight of who You are, and follow You all my days.

#Mayday #Monday #hopefortheharddays

🌺MOTHERHOOD

🌺To all the ones who have raised their children.
🌺To the ones who have not yet been blessed with children.
🌺To the ones who have lost their children, whether through distance or death.
🌺To the ones who are raising their children right now.
🌺To the ones who are.sleep deprived, or worn out.
🌺To the ones on their own.
🌺To the ones raising chosen children they call their own.
🌺To the ones who step up to help others along the way.
🌺To the ones grieving the loss of no longer carrying a child within.
🌺To the ones who are infertile, and grieving the loss of their dream.
🌺To the ones who miss their own mothers every day.

🌺He sees you.
🌺He hears you.
🌺He knows you.
🌺He equips you.
🌺He loves you.

Even if you aren’t honored the way you should be, could be or hoped to be today?

🌺He blesses the work of your hands in all you do for your children.
🌺He blesses the woman within as you seek to raise them right.
🌺He blesses the prayers you lift on their behalf, each day and every night.

Always remember that motherhood is a reflection of His love for His children, and He loves to help us love one another more like He does.

🌺Sacrificially.
🌺Whole heartedly.
🌺Eternally.

And as always, friend, He is only a prayer away.

#mothersday2020 #hopefortheharddays