devotionals

Anxious for nothing

I can’t really say that we aren’t anxious right now. We all seem to be on pins and needles waiting to see how all of this turns out.

I’m currently sitting in a doctor’s office (yikes) and was quarantined because I left the country 2 months ago. Masked and all, I sat until the nurse came in and told me I had the all clear. I was given a time out of life for over an hour though. Talk about social distancing.

So, do we panic, buy all the toilet paper and sanitizer we can? Do we hunker down and wait or go about our daily lives? Do we replay worst case scenarios over and over or focus our minds on what is good and true?

I’m in the middle camp here. I want to respect the authorities that tell me to have a heathy dose of fear but I don’t want to run to the extreme camp of TP hoarding and black market sanitizer.

Here’s why. At the end of the day, at the end of this virus, even at the beginning really, my hope lies in trusting that God is sovereign and His plans are good. Pandemic and all. State of emergency and all. 1 Peter 5:7 says to cast all our anxiety on Him because He cares for us. Not only that but I don’t just put my hope in what the authorities say or tell us to do. Yes, I respect them but my hope and trust is in the Lord. Man will fail me, I will get false information and I could be mislead. Psalm 20:7 says some trust in chariots and some trust in horses but we trust in the name of the Lord.

So as for us, we will use these next few weeks of life disruptions as time to spend with each other, get outdoors, catch up on some reading and Netflix, and be mindful of ways people around us may need help. We will trust the sovereignty of God and know He is good even in uncertainty. John 16:33 is interesting because Jesus promises that we will have trouble in this world (thanks Adam and Eve!) but He also promises peace and that He will overcome the world.

So, what are you trusting in? The news? Social media? Are you constantly watching the stock market rise and fall? Are you trusting in your job or social status or maybe all your accomplishments? Or are you at your wit’s end and have no clue what to do? Wherever you land, there is Someone who has a plan and you can trust in. That doesn’t mean life will be easy and you will escape pain but you will have certainty that no matter what He loves you and is for you.

Dear God, We are heading head first into a period of uncertainty and it is easy to panic and stress out over things we don’t know or can’t control. The truth is that only You control our lives anyways and you are for us even when it seems like things are falling apart. Focus our minds on what is good, right, pure, and true like you tell us in Your word. Let us place our trust in You alone. May we be respectful of this situation but not be controlled by fear. We pray for those that are sick and scared right now. Heal their bodies and minds like only You can. Give us a new appreciation of health and life. Thank you for today. Amen

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devotionals · everyday living · Life & Faith · Uncategorized

Time

I just read the story of Jesus death and it weighs so heavy on my heart. I wanted to write and the only thing I could muster, really there are no words, was this poem. Take it for what it is. Broken words from a broken person.

Time:

You were utterly alone, poured out and broken.

Your time had come.

The world did not understand you, they shunned and beat you.

Your time had come.

You had prayed, cried out, and begged for your Father’s mercy.

Still, Your time had come.

You were unrecognizable, carrying your cross to that hill.

Your time had come.

You had to have wondered, questioned, and yet you knew.

This was Your time.

The crushing blows of the nails ripping through tendon, bone and the blood that flowed.

Your time had come.

Your side pierced, yet not one broken bone.

Your time had come.

Your heart bursting under the physical pain and the emotional strain of the sins of this world.

Your time had come.

Yet, You forgave your accusers and loved them still.

In that moment, my time has come.

I am free from the sins that screamed Your name, caused the tears that streamed down your face and the lashings on your back.

My time has come.

I am free from myself, a life of sin and death, an eternity of separation from You.

My time has come.

And as the world watched, waiting, expectantly, on the third day,

Your time came and You saved the world.

❤️🙏 ✝️

Life & Faith · Uncategorized

Filling your well…

In my last post, I wrote about wells. Our wells really refer to our souls, our innermost beings that house our emotions, values and core beliefs. Our souls are the most central part of who we are.

So, we obviously want to fill our wells with good things, Godly things. But what does that really mean?

It means I need to fill my well. Fill my soul. Period. I either fill it with things that make me more aware of the presence of God in my life or I fill it with a lot of things that seem important but only numb my heart to my real purpose and the presence of God. It’s my choice.

Lately I’ve filled my wells with words. I’ve read a lot of books, written some words and I have spent more time reading the only Word that reveals Truth in my life. I’ve spent more time moving my body which fuels my soul and fills my well. Early mornings and cool, fresh air fill my well and center my days. Being present while investing time with the people in my life has filled my well. Dreaming, setting goals and thinking about future plans is also a part of filling my well.

So filling your well is imperative to spiritual and personal growth. Take some time this week and think about your well. Make a list of the things you prioritize, the things you invest time and attention to. Are you filling your well with good things? Do you even take time in this busy life to invest in yourself?

Go check your well.

❤️-A

Uncategorized

Wells and walls…{pt. 1}

I’ve tried to start this blog post for about a month. Honestly it’s been on my heart for longer but here I am and hopefully, you’re here to read my heart today.

I’m going to break this up into parts so you’re not drooling as you snore but I pray this helps someone or at least starts an honest conversation within your own heart.

{WELLS}

Generally used as source of water, sustenance for the body, essential for living. Spiritually speaking, as believers, our wells can refer to our souls; the innermost part of our spirit that makes us who we are.

Here are some references to people and to wells in the Bible:

-Hagar at the well, Rebekah and Jacob, Moses and Zipporah, Abraham and the Wells that we’re stopped up by the Philistines, Isaac redigging the wells of his father Abraham, Isaac even dug a well as an oath or covenant to the Lord, the woman that Jesus met at the well…..(so many more!)

Wells:

W-WHAT do I put in my wells?

What do I fill my mind with daily? Am I being intentional and carrying through with daily Bible reading, prayer, praise, fellowship with other believers? Do I let the world influence me more than I influence the world? Am I taking care of this earthly vessel or am I stressed out all the time? What do I put in my physical body?

E- ESSENTIAL…

Is everything in my well essential to producing life or am I holding on to habits, hangups, emotions or apathy that causes my well waters to get murky?

L-LIFE GIVING…

When I am filling my well with the essential, life giving water I need to survive spiritually, I am complete in Christ and then I can share this with others.

L-LIFE GIVING LOVE for others…

I can draw this out of the essential, life giving waters of my well. I can offer this gift, this nourishment to others.

S-STRENGTH for me…

Isaiah 58:11 states that the Lord will guide us, strengthen us, and satisfy our needs. We will be like well watered springs, whose waters never fail. All of this for those who fills their souls with the essential life giving water that only the true Lover of our souls can give.

But wait a minute…

Sometimes our wells get pretty messed up. We start to hold onto relationships, habits, and to the things that make our wells either completely dry up or fill up with mud. We get into this auto pilot life and we stop checking our wells. Our souls suffer and we do too.

Best. News. Ever.👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻

God is here to help you REDIG.

Just like Isaac had to redig the wells of his father Abraham, you can too. (Read the story here…) Digging isn’t easy, you may get some blisters, you may have a sore back, but you’ll have a new well open for the essential Water that you need.

Jesus,

Help us to inspect our wells making sure we are putting everything that is essential into them. Open our eyes to take out the things that shouldn’t be there. Show us when we need to cover up the old well and dig a new one. Sometimes it’s hard but we know when we are so full of your life giving water, we can share it with others. Fill me up so I can be poured out for you. -Amen

❤️

#bloganuary · #home · everyday living · family · Life & Faith · peace · teaching · Uncategorized

Why do I write? (Bloganuary #6)

We all write for different reasons but I’d have to say the main reason is to tell a story. Whether it’s our own or one dear to our hearts, we feel our writing will carry that story past ourselves, to others, keeping it alive.

When we write, we pass on what we know, how we live, what we hold near to our hearts. When we write, we leave our voice, our mark, our small thumbprint on the world.

When we write we leave the written word as our legacy for others to gain insight into our worlds or others’ lives. When we write, it’s like a letter waiting to be opened, for just the right person.

I write for others to know me, when I can’t articulate it all in words. I write so others will know the people I have loved, the places I’ve lived, and the worlds inside of my head. In most arenas, I don’t have a platform. I talk and others don’t listen. I’m spoken over or ignored. It used to be something that hurt. Now it just solidifies the fact that writing gives me the platform I would never otherwise have had to share my words with the world.

#bloganuary · everyday living · family · Life & Faith · Uncategorized

A Treasure lost…

I think of people I’ve lost when I think of treasures lost. Lives that have touched my own in some way.

Along those lines, I think of time. Some of those precious people gave me the treasure of their time.

I think about time as a treasure lost, how I often long to spend just another minute talking to a loved that has passed on or I wish I had been more present in a conversation with someone in which we never knew would be the last. The treasure of time can often be lost when I don’t reflect and revel in the present, taking it in and pausing. Rather I move quickly to that next thing.

While time is a treasure, it is the most valuable of riches that we spend too freely, take for granted, can never get back, and never have enough.

#home · everyday living · family · Life & Faith · Uncategorized

My Earliest Memory…Sugar Coffee and Laundry

I’m starting off the new year with a writing challenge to keep me in the habit and to hopefully engage with fellow writers. The first prompt is to write about your earliest memory.

I can remember the brown tile floor, maybe it was more of a laminate. I watched her load and unload the washer and dryer as the day took on the familiar routines of housework after my big sister went to school.

Maybe I was around three or four, I don’t really know. The washer and dryer sat in the back room of our old house, it was like a long sun room and I actually remember the light shifting in as my mom worked. I think she gave me wash cloths to fold since I wanted to help her.

I remember thinking how pretty my mom was and how one day I would run my house just like her. I’m sure that’s not exactly what my three year old mind thought, but close.

After a little while, mom would have a cup of coffee. I can’t remember if she still smoked then. I barely remember that. The white mug she would pour her coffee in looked so grownup and elegant. I always asked her to try some coffee and mom always made me her version of coffee-sugar coffee.

I would sit on a high back stool near my mom, drinking the mostly sugar and milk with a splash of coffee, thinking that life couldn’t get better.

The familiarity of the laundry routine was comforting. The smells of the detergent, the softness of the clothes, the warmth of the light in the room. It was a simple moment made special and engrained in my mind-sharing coffee with my mom on a regular day, just us.

WordPress Bloganuary Participant
devotionals · everyday living · family · Life & Faith · peace · Uncategorized

What do you need? Year end reflections

I love to look back at old journals. I looked back at an entry this morning that I had written a year ago to the day. It was called reflections 2021. I had focused on the word Jireh which means “God will provide” or “Yahweh”. Looking back at 2021 and into 2022, Jireh was the word God had given me to lean on, to focus on in a transitional period of life.

I had written about how God provided for Abraham in Genesis 22. Got tested Abraham’s faith and obedience. Here are a few things that I learned from that passage:

1. Abraham OBEYED even if God asked him to do something he did not want to do and did not understand. V. 3

2. Abraham DECLARED that God would provide. He had no idea how, he may have had to sacrifice Isaac but he knew God was faithful. V. 8

3. God spoke and Abraham STOPPED and LISTENED. V. 11

4. Abraham obeyed AGAIN and God PROVIDED the ram for the sacrifice. V. 11-13 (Abraham didn’t try to find another way. He didn’t try to be self sufficient here. That’s a tough one.)

5. Abraham REFLECTS on what just happened and named the place in remembrance of God‘s provision. “God Will Provide.” V. 14

So what if God didn’t provide the ram and Abraham had to kill his son? Would God still be good? Would God still be our Jireh, our provider? Yes.

It doesn’t always make sense. I can’t imagine the tears that trickled down Abraham’s face as he walked ahead of Isaac, trying to hide them from his little boy. I can’t imagine how his heart beat that morning as he gathered the supplies for the sacrifice. I can’t imagine the doubts and questions that crossed his mind. I wonder how sick he felt as he realized he would soon sacrifice his own flesh and blood. Yet, Abraham obeyed. He believed in Yahweh’s provision beyond human understanding.

2022 has been a year where I have clung to the provisions of God. Yahweh has provided time and time again. He didn’t ask me to sacrifice my flesh and blood but He has asked me to do things I didn’t want to or fully understand. He has asked me to let go of a lot of things and cling to Him. I have been angry, frustrated, scared, unknowing and even blatantly disobedient, yet He has always provided.

So what do you need? I think the end of every year is a good time reflect. If we don’t make time to reflect, we don’t learn from our past, we don’t gain insight for our future decisions.

So what do you need? Again. Think about that question. As a Christ follower, I know, like Abraham, that God will provide my needs. It may be messy and strange and make no sense but He is always Jireh. No need to help His sufficient, all knowing hand, He’s got you. He knows what you need.