hope in front of me

Some days when I wake, it is hard to focus on hope, and not just because I haven’t put my glasses on yet.

There are mornings where I ache so badly I don’t want to get out of bed, where my stiff painful fingers don’t want to bend. And the main voice speaking inside my head is crying woe is me.

Exactly 33 days ago, I decided to begin each day with a Psalm.
A music lover, I have always been drawn to songs that capture human emotion, and God devotion, so i figured that would be a great place to start.

Hope reached down and took hold of that decision, and has been reminding me He is with me every morning ever since.

My first thought now when I wake is “What does He want to tell me in the Word today?” which is superseding the aches and pains voice to be the loudest one I hear now.

And I have found Hope to be right in front of me every day since.

Hope is a Person.

But we have to choose to spend time with Him over coffee, (in my case, tea) getting to one another beyond surface babble.

The God I am discovering? The more I read about Him? Pray to Him? Listen to Him? Worship in His Presence?

He is way deeper and amazing and majestic and loving and kind and there for me than I could have imagined, as I make a conscious decision to keep building upon what I know of Him.

I will never know Him more than when in spend time with Him.

Because memories of Hope can only keep you going for so long before they fade away.

Join me in seeking our living Hope every day. Some of you may find the morning works best…others when your kids nap, or on your lunch break, or right before bed. Whenever you can give God your undivided attention.

We won’t connect with Hope unless we spend time with Him.

image

If you would like to hear & read the lyrics of the song of hope that inspired this post title, please visit the links below:
Hope in Front of Me lyrics
Hope in Front of Me- Danny Gokey

without words

image

There are times when words fail me.

And I am learning that that is okay.

This weekend, I went away with a few of my closes friends up north a few hours from our homes.

I was overwhelmed at God’s handiwork around us, and my eyes could hardly drink it all in quickly enough.

Words failed me.

I picked up my camera, and captured what I could not put into words…

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

It is rare for me not to have a word to write, sing or speak.

This weekend I learned accepting the quiet is vital to keeping myself at peace within.

Learning to hear what is being said in each moment.

Living in the now, not waiting for the future to start happening.

God was just as present in the familiar as the new.

For He is my home, wherever I may be.

May you also find Him today, and every day!

now is the time….

Worship releases God’s presence into the atmosphere, wherever we are.

And when God is there, all of Him- His character, freedom, love, justice is there as well.

When we acknowledge God is King, number one in our lives, and our strength….He can move in ways we never fathomed or dreamed possible.

When we are battling depression, anger, anxiety, fear…we need to call out to God through praising HIm for who he is, what He has done, and invite Him into whatever it is we are facing.

When we recognize God on His throne, we give Him the honor He is due.

We release Him to be all He is.

To do all he wants to.

Right in the here and now of the moment we are in.

Worship releases God’s power in a way that is almost beyond comprehension, but is certainly felt and seen.

We can feel when God enters the room.

We can see Him moving when we see people praising Him, bowing before Him, being healed, being set free, worshiping with abandon.

Worship releases God to move against our enemy.

Which is why worship can be and is a weapon.

When we proclaim who He is, we use our devotion and love for God as our defense, and allow God to battle, to fight for us.

The battle belongs to the Lord.

Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, holy holy is He.

Sing a new song to Him who sits on heaven’s mercy seat.

He is Lord,
He always will be,
forever and ever,
Amen.

image

(repost from May 4/14)

rewrite my story

How long can I stay
Lost without a way to rewrite
I wish I could rewrite this story
Change every word of every line
Write any story but mine
Someone tell me when
Can I start again
And rewrite this story?

‘Rewrite this Story’ chorus lyrics from Smash

There have been many days I too wish i could rewrite this story I am in.

Like most of us, I too have made terrible choices I would like to edit out of my story.
I have had things done to me that no one should have in their story, like too many others.

Faith does not allow me to totally rewrite and start my story over again from scratch, but  it comes pretty close…
When i accepted Jesus, i was made clean and new in His sight.
Without blemish or stain.

God has helped me put my past behind me, healing my wounds, and is building something I still can’t yet fully grasp out of my brokenness…but have hope for.

I can look back and talk about the very painful events and traumas I have been through, confident I am not a victim any longer.
I have value because of who I am in Christ, not because anything I bring to the table on my own.

There are still days i wish I could rewrite out, erase a few hours or two, change a few or all the lyrics and words so the chapter would have played out differently.

But life only works forward.  Time moves on, tick tock, every moment of our lives.
Following God reassures me that as I walk with Him, He will help me write the story I should be writing, word by word, page by page, chapter by chapter.

You see, He knows how my story ends.
Not just how I will be leaving earth, but the eternity waiting for me afterwards,
Ultimately, the story will have a new ending because of my decision to choose Christ.

He is now the author I hope is writing my story each day, as I try to step out of the way and into His purpose for me.

Each day, as I get up,  I have option of starting over.
Not a do over, but a fresh start.
God offers fresh mercy and grace every morning to those who look back on the pages of our yesterdays, and ask Him to erase the blotches and blunders we added to the story.

Because of His great love for us, He does.
No one is too far gone from God’s reach.

The only way to truly rewrite your story?
Let God be the author, and us the pages He will write His story on.

cropped-10534205_1442907185993667_1616169647592962978_n1.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

shift to fade

image

Once a story is given flight, and its words come to light, truth is released in all its power.

Secrecy gives way to the dark side.

I don’t know about you, but I am tired of searching for the light in the far off distance, because I have chosen yo remain in darkness.

Finding your voice leads to freedom.

Freedom is found in the truth.

All truth is found in God.

Speaking your story, in all its good, bad, ugly & sad, triumphs & tumbles, releases our soul within us from the hidden places we lock it away in.

Whether or not you ever shout it from the rooftops, you deserve to be heard.

Your voice, your story has value.

When you share the truth, even if it is painful, somehow you feel lighter within, after the telling. I wish I could describe it another way, but that’s the closest I can come.

The chains fall off, and you are set free.

Jesus came so each of us would know we are of value to Him, to hear us out at any time, to speak wisdom to those who listen, and to live those who open their hearts & lives to Him.

Your story has value, because He values you.

Keeping traumatic or painful experiences bottled within only hurts the person doing the bottling.

Under pressure, you will always blow.

Uncorking it will release the build up, causing the contents to breathe and expand within. To pour with greater ease.

The light cannot shine on what is kept hidden.

Its time to bring whatever you are hiding or keeping within out.

Put it in His hands.

Tell a trusted friend.

Seek wise counsel.

Share your story.

Step out from the dark and into the light.

The darkness will begin to fade as you head towards the light with the passing of time.

Shift to fade, and let the Light shine through you.

Take back the controller, and make the switch.

Your story shared for His glory.

pitch black?

We all have days that can be tricky to navigate.

A coworker shared with me today they believe they had been in a really dark place while at university.

A good friend is trying to hold their head up high and keep moving forward despite the darkness swirling around a legal battle. And battle it has been.

A few of us, myself included in my circle of friends are all coming out of dark places. Having each others’ support helped the climb back out easier.

Another is down in the depths struggling to find her way.

Through it all, God is still God.

That might seem trite, or casually stated, but it is anything but.

God is ruling 24/7, 365 days a year, for all time. Eternity, in fact.

He who set time, the stars, moon, sun, sky, waters, and land in their place. Who made all creatures, great & small. Who made man & woman, their home, gave them each other & their purpose.

He is still ruling over it all.
Always has, always will.

This fact is one of the bright lights I fix my eyes upon when I have been in my darkest places.

His unswerving love for me,
His constant presence,
whether I feel it or not.
His plans for me, to bless me,
to give me a bright future.

These truths twinkle as I make my way through the dark.

In fact, without the dark, they might not appear to shine as brilliantly and clearly as they do.

They are the guides to help me find my way back Home, when I struggle to see the path.

My trust is in Him, not what I see about me.

For my vision may easily be swayed, falter or dim, but His will never fail.

His light will continue to shine for all eternity.

The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness; the darkness couldn’t put it out. John 1:5 MSG

Holiness has a radiance that the deepest dark cannot squelch.

When all appears pitch black, take another look.

God is there, waiting for you to catch a glimpse of Him. To hear His whisper of loving Hope.

Never doubt, light wins in the end.
Love triumphs.

Just because you have been in a dark place, it does not mean God has abandoned you.

The fact you are still here?
Proof He has not.

I have had a few dark moments, and a few even darker periods, when i felt my heart shatter and i couldn’t keep on going. God never seemed closer than when I was completely depending on Him, and how He wanted me to see those moments.

The light He provided to help me combat the sheer dark was more than enough.

May you see His light shine through the dark you are faced with, and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that He is more than enough to help you through it.

image

when the beauty fades

Over time, almost everything loses its luster. Rust spots, fraying strings, parts breaking down, wrinkles and age spots begin to appear…and what we think of beauty begins to fade.

There are two exceptions.

Although our bodies may age, begin to falter and decay, our spirit or soul does not.

It grows richer and deeper as it is cared for over the years. Faith, wisdom and experience are banked up and gain much with the passing of time.

Some of the wisest people I know don’t look like much to the eyes. Unassuming, they pour their resources into others’ lives – for they know their legacy is not in money, property or stuff, but in those they can help, train and bless along the way.

What makes them so noticeable is the character that shines through. When they smile, ponder the words they share before speaking, listen without judgment, they prove their value to be more than gold, more priceless than jewels.

When they spend time with the Eternal One, whose bloom will NEVER EVER fade…they in turn radiate Him.

And that glow is more attractive than the other packaging that houses it.

The more I spend time getting to know God, the more attractive, glorious, mighty, holy, awe inspiring and loving He becomes…

and the more I want to spend more time with Him. The one who never changes. Ever.

So if you are seeing new crinkle lines by your eyes, a few hairs that have migrated from their origins, and your skin has lost some of its youthful glow, draw closer to True Beauty.

Being changed from the inside out last forever.

I would rather glow for eternity than worry about aging while I am here on earth.

Each day I celebrate I get to live another day here, and i have another day to get to know God better before we meet face to face.

image

its time to bloom

image

Photo by @khjlees

Its time to bloom.

There is only so much watering, feeding, sun & deepening we are meant to experience before we are to show the inner qualities meant to be shared with those around us.

Some are meant to help in practical ways: fire, police, armed forces, EMR staff. Doctors, nurses, dentists, physios, chiropractors. Childcare workers, teachers. Taxi, bus & train drivers.

Some are meant to help support in sometimes less obvious ways: pastors, counselors, volunteers, receptionists, baristas & wait staff. The friend who brings a meal when you have lost a loved one. The person who pays a bill for you when you lost your job. The drive to the appointment when you don’t have a car. The loved one who let’s you cry on their shoulder, not saying a word but comforting you with their presence. When you forgot your wallet or your bank card, and they say don’t worry about it, the coffee’s on me.

Those who create beauty to bless us: in word, created images, photography, music, dance, craftsmanship, gardening, landscaping.

Those who inspire us to dream big and aim high:
The athletes, the inspirational speakers, the people who come to the aid of their neighbors in emergencies, those who seemingly start out with less who remarkably  end up with more despite their lack.

Whatever your gift may be, the world needs you to know three things about it:

1. You were intended.
God designed you to have exactly what you will need to offer in the right time.

2. You are needed.
Your part added to the mix can never be duplicated by any one else.

3. Your contribution will, and does, matter.
Whether you feel its small or not, somehow as you offer it, God grows your part to become exactly what is needed.

The Son is calling you. Its time to be the you God designed, and bloom wherever you are planted.

kick regret to the curb

image

I am tired of dragging what I ‘mighta’ or ‘shoulda’ along for the ride.

Pondering what i might have or should have done can add heaps of regret onto my shoulders, weighing me down. Helping me feel stuck in the moment of regret…so much so that I can feel the chains getting heavier & heavier the longer I try to work it through….
Let it go. Give it to God.
Let Him heal the wound.
Let Him do the telling.

We are to release our past wrongs. Done or undone.
We all need to make the decision to forgive and let go of our past. Once & for all.
Some people do so in stages, as they have been so wounded or bound up in regrets they will need some time to readjust once their burdens are no more.

Regrets are best buried swiftly, in an unmarked grave site.

You don’t need to revisit them.

Choose to move on.
Laugh often.
Forgive, no holding back.
Love, with abandon.
Live your day to its fullest.

Kick regret to the curb outside your house. You don’t need it anymore!

Be aware, however, that not doing things we could/should is also a regret.

Take the leap, and do what you know God has called you too.

Living life with no holds barres, no regrets save hoping time could stand still, so you could keep going beyond normal time.

And one day, you will have no regrets whatsoever, if you follow the Son.

step back & behold, beloved

When we’re not so busy pushing in to belong, we step back and behold. We find we’re beloved right here with wide spaces for God to work.
Alia Joy, http://www.narrowpathstohigherplaces.com

image

We need space in order to appreciate the bigger picture.

When we hold things too tight or are too insecure to take a step back, we can miss what is really going on:

You are beloved.
All the time.

There is nothing you can do to change how much God adores you. He may like your behavior more some days, but His love for you is secure.

God is always working for your good.
All the time.

He doesn’t start working on you, and get distracted by something new, and shuffle you to a waiting area or holding zone. He finishes all He starts.

We are in.
All the time.

Once you become part of the family, you are in. For eternity. You may lose sight of that truth, but God doesn’t.
You are secure.

The closer we hold things tight, the less room we give God to move in the ways He is longing to. We need space. Wide open spaces to run free, rest and be rejuvenated. Freedom to just be.

God is in those wide open spaces when we leave the room for Him to work in them.

I was in a job a few years ago that didn’t want to stay relegated to just being work. It wanted to invade home and private time, and refused to stay in the boundaries it needed to in order for me to keep working there.

God clearly told me to take the leap, let the job go and trust Him to work in the void it would leave behind.

I now work for 8 different businesses doing what I love to do. My job security has been left in God’s hands versus my own, and He has taken me further than I could have envisioned.

He knows me better than I know myself.

And I am so glad.

When we know we are secure no matter what, we are able to hope for the future, trust God will provide, and build our faith for God to move us beyond our expectations into our dreams.

I have a few areas left in my life that God has had me taken my hands off of trying so hard in, and trust they will happen in His timing. Not mine.

So as we wait for God, may we all experience the security in knowing He is for us, and He will bring all His plans for us to pass as we rest in His release and timing.