New venture

May the God of green hope fill you up with joy, fill you up with peace, so that your believing lives, filled with the life-giving energy of the Holy Spirit, will brim over with hope!

Romans 15:13 MSG

I know I have been a bit quieter here on my blog this past few months.

I can’t apologize for it, though.

God is doing something new within me, as He is in you, friend.

I have come to realize a lot about myself, some things I didn’t know, forgot I knew, or God knew I needed to be made aware of.

One of which is that He loves me just as I am, right here and now, in this moment. And the next. And the next….

But He also wants me to be the best me I can be, so when I bring Him the things I no longer want to carry, or a memory I no longer want to watch in reruns, or when I am simply having a hard day?

He meets me, each and every time. He touches me, healing me, rekindling Hope and freeing me where I needed to be set free.

I have a new hope!

One of the ways He has been doing so is through a different type of writing.

For over the past year, I have been sending out a hope full text to 50 women, to encourage them each Monday morning.

Seven weeks ago now, I felt led to ask if any of them would prefer an email, where I am able to add in the full bible verses, and which they could read whenever they went in to their inbox.

20 people replied yes, and then another 10 joined the fun. A few men included.

Today was my 7th week of this new way of writing, and I am so thankful that I followed His prompting to do so. This different format has been blessing me as I prepare for them each week.

That being said, I will be going back to more of a devotional format here on the blog starting tomorrow. I have missed that style of writing more than I realized, and hope you will be blessed as I do so!

Here is a sample of my new Hope Jot weekly email, usually sent around 9am EDT each Monday morning. If you too could use a jolt of Hope as you start your week, you are welcome to sign up to start receiving them!

https://mailchi.mp/8493ddccd090/hope-jot-aug-17-2020

navigating the unexpected

As we navigate the unexpected days, I have been learning to expect God to show up with a blessing, sometimes small, often large, over the course of the day. Not with a “stuff” or money focus, but keeping my eyes open to a way He showed me kindness.

Yesterday I ended up in central air on one of the hottest days this summer, and due to a schedule mix up, got a last minute appointment I needed when my work shift ran longer than expected. I also got to hear how He perfectly timed providing a miracle for a friend who desperately needed some good news. Those blessings combined to refresh me, just like a good splash in a cool pool!

Hold on, friend. If you are in the beginning or middle of a hard season, remember this is not how your story ends. Cling to Hope, for He will never let you go, nor leave you to face things on your own. You ARE going to be okay, even if you can’t see it yet.

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

#sharingHope #hopefortheharddays

{FACING THE UNEXPECTED}

This past season has been filled with the unexpected, hasn’t it friend? A new year and the arrival of Covid-19 have done their best to discourage us and leave us feeling the blues over the changes they have brought into our lives.

More than anything, I was reminded this weekend that despite the humidity and heat, despite migraines, despite the changes in our summer vacation plans, despite switching shifts at the last moment, and tackling whatever else this day might hold?

“Don’t give up in a time of trouble, but commune with God at all times.”

(Romans 12:12 TPT)

God is with us through it all, and right there to guide us each step of the way!

(And I can still share that encouragement even though some days, I need it too.)

#sharingHope #hopefortheharddays

and let it begin with me

“AND LET IT BEGIN WITH ME.” That echoes within me anew as I write this morning.

Something had to shift for me to be able to understand the simplicity and mind-blowing truth to those six words.

  • AND – no matter what comes before it, the words following are joined to it.
  • LET – whether allow, give permission, or a prayer, this word is a declaration of intent.
  • IT – where I make my stand, right here.
  • BEGIN – the shift I am about to make right now starts with this word.
  • WITH – I am going to partner and align alongside this change, for it requires a partner to be implemented.
  • ME – my decision is the only way this action will take root. If I choose to shift the atmosphere within me.

Friend, I know first hand that days can be filled with loss, whether its hard, painful, loneliness, stress or grief. But I also know that it is our choice whether or not we partner with the negative emotions that can arise within us.

During one of the most painful situations I have ever experienced, I hit rock bottom emotionally. I didn’t know what was going to happen to me. I cried out to God and asked Him what my part was going to be as He helped me through. He lovingly spoke that any change that was going to happen was going to have to start with me. Even though I didn’t cause the situation, I was a part of it, and God wanted me to do the part He had for me in order for me to come through it stronger than I was when the situation hit.

He left it up to me to decide. Flight, or fight. To run from the pain, or to walk with Him step by step through it. Not knowing when or how I would come out of it.

I chose the harder road, when I sat down to look at it from both my options. Because it would have been easier to hide away my feelings, wash my hands of the situation and move on.

I can honestly tell you this situation changed me for the better, even though the enemy’s intent was to try to take me out with it. God never stops moving when we invite Him in, yet He works best through willing vessels, who pray those six words when the storm swirls about them.

And somehow, miraculously, when we utter those words, then He joins in: Let it begin with Me!

#sharingHope #hopefortheharddays

get back to where you once belonged

Don’t you ever wish you could go back? To a place in time or space where you felt the most whole, the most loved, the most you?

I know I do, especially on the days where the bills and laundry are piled up, work deadlines approach quicker than anticipated, and harsh words have combined to knock your peace down a notch?

I think we are, each of us, longing for Eden. Where we walked with God in unbroken fellowship, knew our purpose and lived in harmony with creation.

The good news, friend, which I was reminded of through two sources today, the Word and a study I just started, that those of us who trust in God are headed back to Eden. The Eden God will restore on the earth when Jesus returns to set things right, once and for all.

✓No more disappointments.
✓No more pain, cancer or surgery.
✓No more exhaustion nor stress.
✓No more loss or grief.
✓But most importantly, no more feeling abandoned, lonely, or unloved… for God Himself will live with us again, always!

“Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and He will dwell with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” (Revelation 21:3-5)

May the truth of these precious promises yet to come echo within our hearts and minds when we need them most. When we need to be reminded of how the Story ends, that the disappointments of this world are just a part of our story, not the final chapter!

God is coming to restore us back to what He intended for His children when He designed Eden – back to where you and I belong!

#sharingHope #hopefortheharddays

starting the day off right

When hard days arrive, I am learning to fight through His way, and to extend myself some grace.

🌿I start with worship:

“I Lift My Eyes Up” @briandoerksen
https://youtu.be/L0p7xbk9P2I

🌿I turn to the Word:

“I look up to the mountains; does my strength come from mountains? No, my strength comes from God, who made heaven, and earth, and mountains.

🌿I claim His promises I find within:

“He won’t let you stumble, your Guardian God won’t fall asleep. Not on your life! Israel’s Guardian will never doze or sleep.

God’s your Guardian, right at your side to protect you—Shielding you from sunstroke, sheltering you from moonstroke.

God guards you from every evil, He guards your very life. He guards you when you leave and when you return, He guards you now, He guards you always.”

🌿I pray in His Presence, starting off with a few lines from with the worship song, or the Word:

“Oh how I need You, Lord. You are my only hope, You’re my only prayer. So I will wait for You to come and rescue me, come and give Me life.”

Thank You God that You are larger than what I face, and more than enough to equip me with all I need as I stand with You. You are both my shield and my rear guard, above and all around me, as close as the air I breathe. Not only are You my Protector & constant Presence, but You are my Provider. You give me the life giving Bread & Water I need as well as the strength to face the day. You provide a way out when sin comes calling, and empower me to uproot lies and replace them with Truth. Thank You for this new day, and for being my Guide to help me navigate my way through what it holds. Abba Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit, I thank You. Amen.

#sharingHope #hopefortheharddays

(Photo mine, near Chilliwack, BC)

freedom in progress

I recently finished a course by Jason Vallotton where he laid out several things to be doing as part of your emotional health.
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🌿EAT WELL
🌿SLEEP WELL
🌿EXERCISE
🌿HAVE FUN
🌿DO THE WORK
🌿REPEAT
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I was struck by the ‘have fun.’ You see, I have felt guilty for years when taking a breather to laugh, or take myself out for coffee.
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Jason explained that after we have done the work processing a painful memory, we need to eat well, sleep well, exercise and have fun, and to do that over and over again until we feel ready to tackle another painful memory.
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Emotional health requires some work, but is so worth it. During the course time this week, I have been set freed in two new ways, and am now able to clearly see that self care is more important to my daily living than I had realized.
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So here is to chewing crazy colored gum for the fun of it. That ice cream or coffee date.  To another episode or movie which makes you laugh and giggle like a young teen. Without guilt or shame, for laughter is part of my recovery strategy after a hard day!
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#sharingHope #schoolofemotionalhealth
#hopefortheharddays

an honest prayer from in the storm

When the waves rise about me during a particularly fierce storm, I often look down to make sure my feet aren’t going to slip, instead of trying to ensure my head stays above water.
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In those moments, I need to be more concerned about breathing than where I am headed.
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🌿Breathe out my worry, breathe in Your Presence.
🌿Breathe out my need, breathe in Your Provision.
🌿Breathe out my fear, breathe in Your Love.
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Breath of Heaven, would You hold me together and pour over me Your patience as I wait out this storm? Release Your living giving breath within me, that I would let go of all striving and begin to thrive in the place You have for me to grow in and minister from as I walk in Your Kingdom here on earth?
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No matter the storm, I will keep my eyes fixed on You, Water Creator, Wave Tamer and Way Maker.
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Call me to step out to where You will meet me, into the new freedom waiting beyond, on the other side of this storm.

#honestprayer #sharingHope #hopefortheharddays

Delayed post this week

Hey friend!

Just popping in to let you know that I am away this week doing something for myself which I have longed to do for a while.

Learning more about Emotional Health.

In part for myself, in part to impart to others.

I am taking the course “School of Emotional Health” through Bethel Transformation Center over the next three days.

As I am adding this in on top of my work and home week, I will not be blogging here this week.

But I can give you a sneak peek that I was blown away during the second session and can’t wait to share what else He has in store for me as I intentionally seek Him even more this week.

#schoolofemotionalhealth #betheltransformationcenter #hopefortheharddays

HYGGE

HYGGE (“heu-gah”)

The art of building sanctuary and community, of inviting closeness and paying attention to what makes us feel open hearted and alive. To create well-being, connection and warmth. A feeling of belonging to the moment and to each other. Celebrating the everyday.”

definition from http://hygge.co/definition-of-hygge/

I come from a Danish background, and one of my favorite memories of my grandparents was sitting at their table, enjoying a meal or a game of cards together.

  • Unhurried, unrushed.
  • Simple food, simply served with love.
  • All welcome.
  • Fully present, enjoying the moment.
  • Quiet without worrying when no one felt like talking, laughter without holding back.

These are some of the most precious moments in my life, and I am so grateful to my grandparents for teaching me this concept through the day to day sharing of their lives.

When I met Jesus, I had been caught up in the rat race of working full time, and was burned out to the point of exhaustion.

With a breath of fresh air, Holy Spirit entered, bringing an increased desire for hygge.

For Hygge is really the invitation to come to our Father, sit beside Jesus and be filled with Holy Spirit.

We are welcome to draw near at any time, as Jesus constantly reminds us to come. To the table where we can feast as ones who belong. Into the loving arms of our Father, which are always outstretched and ready to embrace us.

We are invited by the way of the cross right into the sanctuary of heaven to discover hygge has always been ours! We can live with renewed love, passion, energy and purpose when we allow Holy Spirit to guide and fill us.

HYGGE. 

  • When we discover we belong.
  • Where we can simply come and be ourselves. 
  • Be His. 
  • Be loved.
  • In His Presence.

#sharingHope #hopefortheharddays