snapshots of thanks

Giving thanks doesn’t have to sound melodious or look beautifully wrapped in order to be genuine, or appreciated.

God looks at the heart, and we should too.

One of my children had a teacher when in grade 2 who positively impacted me in this area.

I may have mentioned how she referred to each child as her favorite, and treated them as if they were as well. 

But the reason she was able to do so was because she was thankful.
She showed it in how she worked with kids. She loved to be there,  showing them she cared and how happy she was to spend the day with them.

Thankfulness speaks through our actions most times louder than our words.

The Psalms are filled with verses of thanks, which I used to think was despite all the woes and pleas for rescue & intervention.

I now know the thanks is there because the psalmists discovered the wondrous truth that God was with them through all they faced, and couldn’t help but give thanks for the revelation…

Even if the circumstances didn’t change for the better in the waiting.

When David was pleading with God to spare his first son with Bathesheba, He fervently fasted and worshipped.

When the child died and afterwards, he still continued to worship God.

For He knew the same God who had been with him facing the lions, Goliath, King Saul and the Philistines was still with him.

And David could still praise Him for who He is despite his loss.

Sometimes it is in the hard places where the deepest encounters with God and revelations from His Spirit can be found.

And I believe being thankful is key.

That teacher impacted me not because her life was perfect, but because she lived out an attitude of gratitude for all the blessings she had, instead of focusing on what she was lacking.

We can do the same.

We have the Maker of Heaven & Earth.  We have God with us, alongside us and within us.

Knowing He is with us, forever, outweighs any lack we might be encountering in the temporary.

And because of His great love, grace and mercy which He extends to us, we can always have Him to be grateful for.

Thanksliving is living your life with a visible attitude of gratitude.

Nor because everything will always be going your way, but because the God over everything is guiding your way, from right beside you and will never stop doing so.

We can give Him thanks at all times, for He never fails to reveal His love for us, and He doesn’t know the meaning of the word quit!

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snapshots of thanks

Giving thanks doesn’t have to sound melodious or look beautifully wrapped in order to be genuine, or appreciated.

God looks at the heart, and we should too.

One of my children had a teacher when in grade 2 who positively impacted me in this area.

I may have mentioned how she referred to each child as her favorite, and treated them as if they were as well. 

But the reason she was able to do so was because she was thankful.
She showed it in how she worked with kids. She loved to be there,  showing them she cared and how happy she was to spend the day with them.

Thankfulness speaks through our actions most times louder than our words.

The Psalms are filled with verses of thanks, which I used to think was despite all the woes and pleas for rescue & intervention.

I now know the thanks is there because the psalmists discovered the wondrous truth that God was with them through all they faced, and couldn’t help but give thanks for the revelation…

Even if the circumstances didn’t change for the better in the waiting.

When David was pleading with God to spare his first son with Bathesheba, He fervently fasted and worshipped.

When the child died and afterwards, he still continued to worship God.

For He knew the same God who had been with him facing the lions, Goliath, King Saul and the Philistines was still with him.

And David could still praise Him for who He is despite his loss.

Sometimes it is in the hard places where the deepest encounters with God and revelations from His Spirit can be found.

And I believe being thankful is key.

There was a widow in the New Testament who Jesus pointed out, who gave two small coins as an offering.  Those two coins  represented a good amount of her budget, and I suspect God highlighted her to show she gave out of her great thanks for His provision.

And I saw that same characteristic in my child’s grade 2 teacher.

That teacher impacted me not because her life was perfect, but because she lived out an attitude of gratitude for all the blessings she had, instead of focusing on what she was lacking.

We can do the same.

We have the Maker of Heaven & Earth.  We have God with us, alongside us and within us.

Knowing He is with us, forever, outweighs any lack we might be encountering in the temporary.

And because of His great love, grace and mercy which He extends to us, we can always have Him to be grateful for.

Thanksliving is living your life with a visible attitude of gratitude.

Nor because everything will always be going your way, but because the God over everything is guiding your way, from right beside you and will never stop doing so.

We can give Him thanks at all times, for He never fails to reveal His love for us, and He doesn’t know the meaning of the word quit!

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for the days you need extra grace

This morning, a delay due to a family member (who although needs the sleep caused me to leave 50 min late this morning) lead to to prime time traffic jam on the only day this week I had a vehicle to drive to work, versus usually taking the bus.

It became very apparent with three narrowing down to one lane heading in my direction that it was going to be a long congested ride.

God promptly met me there.

A new CD popped into the CD player, and my vehicle became a worship concert on the way to work.  Me offering up my worship in a concert of praise, adoration & proclamation.

Quite honestly, I didn’t want the ride to end when I got there.

When I got into work, I knew why He had prepared me with the longer hang out time this morning.

But I got today’s to do list completed, and a deeper appreciation of learning to go with His flow despite road jams, traffic snarls & drivers with missing signal lights.

He is with us each step, each drive we take. 

And especially today, as I head into rush hour traffic on my way home, I am so thankful He is heading out there with me.

Yesterday I drove through Toronto, and happened to catch a brief glimpse over my right shoulder of something shinishy glimmery there. I choose to believe He allowed me a glimpse of one of the angels He has assigned to keep me covered.

Soon after, the engine light came on.

Without panicking, and despite the major foot cramp which hit my driving foot, He kept me focused and calm as I drove my hubby home from a procedure at the hospital.

Yesterday evening, He spoke through one of small group members to remind me He has me covered, through a red umbrella image. His love both protects & covers us. 😉

He so goes before, behind and all around us, not just beside us, Beloved.

Ask Him for a closer glimpse, a fresh Word, or a deeper sense of His Presence today.

He longs to give good gift to those He loves, for He is a good good God!

#Hesgotuscovered

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don’t skip your sorrows: wisdom awaits

Don’t skip over your sorrow, there is wisdom it wants to teach you.

-Dr. Henry Cloud

God uses all circumstances & scenarios to teach us if we are His, and to try and reach us if we aren’t.

My recent fall has taught me a few things about myself.

This being my second minor blow to the noggin, I realized I have been on the go too much without enough of His energy to keep me going.

Lesson #1:

Doing for the sake of my glory doesn’t bring Him glory.

As I have been needing more rest after this latest physical ‘adventure’ I have been learning to discern between laziness and my need for rest.

Lesson #2:

Its okay to listen to what your body needs, but you need to filter it through what He needs for you to do each day.

I am not the same person I was a few years ago, nor even the same as I was two weeks ago. I have been listening more, to myself, to others and to God. I find I don’t miss talking as much as I thought I would. I have to control my impulses a bit tighter, as emotions occasionally flare sharply where they used to start with a slow burn.

Lesson #3:

Not everyone will get you have been going through changes on the inside. Be yourself anyways.

Taking the necessary time off to recover has made it more clear what I need to do less of, or leave behind, and what is most important to me.

Lesson #4:

When you say no, and people don’t like it, remember: Not my problem. Sometimes, you have to say no to good to say yes to the best.

There has been one change I noticed the most over the last few years since my first concussion. I am a bit numb-er to extremes. My temper doesn’t blow as badly as it used to, but I also don’t get as excited as I used to either. A few things that used to really bug me don’t bother me at all anymore, and a few things I used to love to do don’t have the same thrill.

Lesson #5:

Over the passing of time, the touch of His hand and life lessons, things will change. I will be okay. He’s got me through it all!

I don’t like to lose, I don’t think any of us do. Most of all, I don’t like feeling like my life is out of control. Quick breath. This situation has revealed to me the truth to me in a most abrupt and earth jarring way…

Lesson #6:

I never was in control.
He always has been, and always will be in control.
Thinking I was was a lie,
knowing I am not is freeing truth.

What lessons have you been learning through the sorrows that have come your way?

The final lesson I will share with you all today?

Lesson #7:

It’s okay to cry.
My tears when I am upset by things in my life are healthy release for me, and matter to God.
So much so that He collects them in a bottle with my name on it!

when you feel like wavering

This week, I took a blow to the body when an unexpected patch of ice literally knocked me fault on my back.

I apparently took a blow to the head in that slip.

That first night while dreaming in vivid colour, the enemy tried to knock me out in my dreams.

I arose in His strength from all those blows.

The one I didn’t see coming arrived yesterday. Not quite enough in this week’s cheques to cover our usual expenses, and “now I have been off work 2 days and likely will be 4 so how is this gonna work Lord?”

That blow to my faith was a little unexpected, but it shouldn’t have been.

The enemy is not a fair fighter. He likes to kick us when we are down.

My God is more than a match for him.

If Jesus could die, and rise from the grave victorious after confronting the enemy, if He is is with me and I am sinking into His strength vs the depressing circumstances around me, I will rise.

My faith doesn’t need to waver, for the God I trust in never does.

He caused my coworkers to rally around me, and i have had the best care.

My family has taken extra good care of me (not that they usually don’t, but they’ve amped it to that extra special care you give someone who is unwell kind of pampering).

And God?

Despite not having the head space to dive into the Word as usual, or be online like I am used to, I have a core of peace I have not quite known before.

He is with me.

Causing my body to relax its tense muscles, my auto clock to be reset as I need more sleep than usual.

As I usually have worship music on at home, He has been reminding me of His rhythm in the silence, one I never noticed before.

Rest is restorative for the whole person.

And I am being rebuilt somehow through this accidental fall, more wholly as He has intended.

All things work together for His good.

God did not cause my fall, but He is causing it to become part of the tapestry of wholeness He is constantly weaving about and within me.

All things work together for those in Christ Jesus.

I can rest easy, knowing this season, right now, I am to fully rest in His hands.

Being able to let go of what I normally do, and allow Him to expand me beyond my normal into the beyond He has waiting for me as my trust deepens.

All things work together for those who love You.

Jesus, today I say it again, but I am all in. All of me, offered to all of You. Such as i am, with all my love, Jesus.

And You remind me, over and over, but again today, You are always more than enough!

Your mercy is new and fresh and mine.

Your love for me goes on and on and on and never fades.

And last but not the least for today…Your rest extends peaceful hands as You lead me by still waters.

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rest for the best yet to come

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Rest sometimes means saying no to good things so you can say yes to the best.

There are better things ahead.

If you are too busy running around like a chicken with its head cut off (mindless circles of flapping) you will miss the view you would have seen by standing still.

It has taken some hard, painful looks at myself to realize this lesson.

I tend to do. Jump in and help wherever I can.

At times, that is absolutely the right thing to do.

And at others, it is a distraction from what I was meant to do.

I worked for years as a child care provider & barista, volunteering at church, my kids’ schools & in the community.

I am not the same person now that I was then, so keeping the same mindset about my activity levels doesn’t make sense.

I learned many skills that I still use most days and now am still learning many skills I didn’t learn when I was my younger self.

Seasons ebb and flow like the tide.
Sometimes dry, full, dangerous or safe.

In every season, we are to use our given reason to rest. With no exceptions.

God made us with that need.

What God has made, He called good.

When He was done, He rested.

Rest is the secret to our energy.

Resting physically as our body demands…I am a 7.5 hour sleeper for optimum mental capacity 🙂

Rest emotionally by dealing with our hurts, pain & stresses…I find a good walk, prayer time where I pour out my heart, and sometimes get others to pray for me helps me keep a level keel.

Resting spiritually is the most important aspect. Trusting that as we spend time with Him, God will reveal the best He has for us to seek out & hold onto. Knowing He has our back every step of the way, we are safe in His care, and never alone as we step into the purpose we were made for.

We can rest in the knowledge that He designed us to need rest, to slow down and shift our focus onto Him, no matter the storm swirling about us.

Rest IN Him, no matter the mess.
There is no situation He cannot move in. He is mighty. He is able. He is love. He is yours.

REST in Him, beyond your stress.
Stress doesn’t change us for the negative when we respond to it positively, with His help.

Rest in HIM. As we look to Him for our rest, we become fascinated & drawn to His Presence more deeply. His rest begins to soak into us, to permeate us, to leave us marked with His fragrance. He reminds us that we are a moment, He is forever.

Our soul finds rest in Him alone.

Take a look around yourself this week. Are you randomly jumping into the chaos without thinking, or asking our guide to help you rest & see what is really going on?

REST is encompassed in STRESS, the real antidote to life’s busyness.
Stop short & rest.
Make the time to rest physically.
Pray, journal, sing, play guitar, walk or run- do whatever makes you happiest to help you calm yourself, then plug back into God/rest after the day’s  swirl of events.

But rest.

Perspective will begin to reveal the best God has for you, as you take the step towards Him, let Him calm you with His love, saturate you with His presence, give you His vision for what is to come next.

Better becomes best.

The deciding factor between the two?

How much you invest in your need for rest.