Pictured is my granddaughter, Layla, watching in wonder, as someone blows bubbles and they float up into the sky. Photo credit: Son, Micah Cramer @cramer.11
Sense of Wonder
My heart seemed to momentarily stop, as I gazed across canyon. Mountains bigger than anything I had ever seen. The tops of them laced with snow, as the base of them held the lushness of multiple shades of green. The clouds hung loosely in the sky, the rocky earth below them, the endless galaxy above. And it filled me with wonder.
The little spider had created its intricate web. And as intriguing as I have always found the spiderweb to be, this time it was the spider in the web that caught my eye. The contrast between her black body and the yellow stripes and dots on her back, actually was beautiful. I’m far from being someone who enjoys spiders, but this particular one, caught the eyes of our whole family. And we examined it closely, filled with wonder.
Do we take the time frequently enough to allow ourselves to be filled with wonder? Sometimes it’s the things in nature, like I mentioned above that cause us to stop and reflect on God’s goodness with a sense of wonder. But I believe there are reasons to pause, right in the midst of a seemingly “normal” day, to soak in the wonder of God.
The birth of a newborn baby. Wonder.
The flower buds in the front yard, ready to burst forth with color. Wonder.
Time spent with someone special, caressing their hand, sitting silently, yet being so very much connected. Wonder.
Watching the eyes of child light up as bubbles are blown, released into the sky. Wonder.
The hummingbird at the flower, flapping his wings at 53 beats per second. Wonder.
The gaze of a parent, looking down at their sleeping child. Wonder.
The list goes on and on. What comes to your mind today, when you hear the word “wonder”?
Below are some verses and quotes that can help inspire and encourage you. I pray that the Lord fills you with wonder today, as you catch multiple glimpses of His goodness in the midst of your daily routine.
For you are great, and do great works of wonder; you only are God. Psalm 86:10 (BBE)
Look at everything in the world as if you are seeing it for the first time, and paint everything as if you are seeing it for the last. Andrew Hamilton
And the men were full of wonder, saying, What sort of man is this, that even the winds and the sea do his orders. Matthew 8:27 (BBE)
A state of wonder is a state of mind. Margaret Stone
And hearing it, they wer full of wonder, and went away from him. Matthew 22:22 (BBE)
Wonder is the beginning of wisdom. Socarates
Make clear the wonder of your mercy, O saviour of those who put their faith in your right hand, from those who come out against them. Psalms 17:7 (NIV)
All of us have wonders hidden in our breasts, only needing circumstances to evoke them. Charles Dickens
I am as a wonder unto many; but thou art my strong refuge. Psalm 71:7 (KJV)
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I sit this morning and hear the rumbling of the thunder in the distance. The sky is eerie, with its subtle hues of blues and grays blending together behind my soon to be in full bloom pear tree. I don’t think the storm is going to make it to land, at least not our land. But it remains a distant reminder of storms on the horizon for others. I think of those today who are awakening to struggles. Life or death struggles. Some literally life or death, as they watch a loved one cling to this earthly existence. Others face storms of different types. Ones that rage at the mailbox with the delivery of yet another bill that can’t be paid. Some that cause the household to tremble, an argument and hurtful words are found echoing through the halls. A father’s heart is crying for the child who appears lost; he wonders if the child will return home. A teens heart pounds with anxiety as she attempts to figure out her next steps; high school is over. The storm within her rages, as expectations press down on her, attempting to pound her into the ground. Some days the temptation looms…would it be easier to disappear. Would anyone notice if the storm carried me away, she ponders. A mother’s heart pounds; she is unsure if the sound of it is from inside her or from the thunder on the horizon. The clouds hang over her bed, luring her to stay there. It would be easier than facing the challenges of the day ahead. Facing the chaos and uncertainty that her day holds.
And in the midst of the it all, sun can be seen, peaking through the horizon. Making its way, oh so slowly, but we know it’s there. It doesn’t come with an earth-shattering arrival, parting the dark storm clouds in the blink of an eye. It comes slowly, penetrating the darkness bit by bit. With only a ray. A ray of hope. A ray of hope that promises there is life outside the storm. That this is someone who sees the person at the bedside of their loved one. There is someone who will walk through the challenges of financial devastation. There is someone who sees the hurting household. Hears the cries of the father for his child. There is someone who lifts the anxiety and desires to remove the weight of expectation. There is someone who puts out His hand and lifts someone out of bed, carrying them when necessary.
My heart is heavy today, as the storms close in for so many. I pray for you today, that if you are one who is experiencing a storm, whether you are in the midst of it or whether you hear the rumblings of thunder on the horizon, and find yourself bracing for impact. I see you. God sees you. You are not alone. I pray you catch a glimpse of the ray of sunshine, regardless of how dark your storm appears. Regardless of how small the ray may seem today. Hold onto the ray, the promise that you are loved and you are not walking this journey alone.
I hope you find encouragement today in the scriptures below. And please know, I’d be honored to confidentially pray for any requests you may have today, or any day.
Scriptures for the Storms:
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you a blaze. Isaiah 43:2 (NIV)
Peace I leave you, my peace I give you. I do not give as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27 (NIV)
For you are my hiding place; you protect me for trouble. You surround me with songs of victory. Psalm 32:7 (NLT)
Mightier than the thunder of many waters, mightier than the waves of the sea, the Lord on high is mighty. Psalm 93:4 (ESV)
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The sun had not yet risen over the Houston sky, when our driver dropped my husband and I off at the MD Anderson Cancer Center that cool spring morning in 2015. I had a full day of blood work and imaging, as well as an appointment with the surgeon on the docket for this day; the day before I would undergo surgery to remove the cancer that had decided to make its home within the walls of my uterus.
Soon after my arrival that day, nausea and stomach pain began to take over my body. Could I possibly have a stomach virus the day before I was scheduled to get rid of this cancer? As the symptoms intensified, and the trips to the restroom became more frequent, I waited for my MRI, and it became clear that yes, I was indeed sick. After explaining my symptoms to those at the center, they attempted to get me in quickly. The pain in my body began to worsen; by now, I could barely make it to the restroom without assistance. However, delaying the test was not something they were interested in doing. They wanted this MRI, and they were going to get it.
I had undergone many MRI’s since my diagnosis, and I remember wondering that day how I was going to be able to lay on that cold table, without moving, without needing to stop the test so I could run to the restroom. My name was called. Upon seeing me, the faces of those caring for me turned immediately to concern. But they would see me through this. They walked me back, and as I changed into my gown, I was certain I was going to collapse. The cool tile floor beneath my feet beckoned me, begged me to lay down on it; the desire to curl up in a fetal position upon that floor took a strange type of resistance I had not met before this day. I needed to stay focused on the objective of the day, which was to get that MRI.
The man helped me onto the MRI table. The sterile, hard surface attempted to embrace me as my body shook. Focus. You can do this. Focus. My mind wanted to do anything but focus. My body wanted to be anywhere but on this table. The man explained, if I move, if I interrupt the test, they would need to start it over. I understood. I also understood that it would take more than what I possessed within myself to make it through this test, without rushing to the bathroom, without curling into that fetal position that continued to tempt me. Focus.
What would I focus upon? God, are you there? I can barely think coherently, but I know that you are the only one who can get me through this test. My focus will most certainly need to be on you. The machine began to move me inside the walls of the cylinder. And as it did, music began to play. Not just any music, but to my suprise, a familiar song of promise by one of my favorite artists. “Overcomer,” by Mandisa filled my ears. Yes, God was indeed here. My focus was on Him alone. My frail body. My fearful mind. Both were filled with laser focus on the Father who was in this cylinder with me. The Father who walks this journey with me today. The Father who would walk with me in the days ahead, as the cancer was removed from my body. The Father who made focus possible.
Focus is not always an easy mission to accomplish. The distractions are endless; ongoing temptations attempt to pull us away from Focus. And then, God.
I wonder what you may be encountering today that takes more focus than you believe you have within yourself. Do you have a work deadline, one that is weighing you down, that needs your focus? Do you have a spouse who is drifting further from you; one who needs you to take the time to focus on him/her? Do you have a child who is struggling, one who is exhausting you, one who calls for focus in a way that you feel you can’t give right now? You may not have the ability to focus on what is on your plate today, but I guarantee that if you change your focus to God, He will guide you. He will adjust the lens of whatever needs your focus today, and equip you with the strength to zoom in on it in a way that would be impossible without His strength. You may not be able to focus like you need to, but…God, He can.
I hope you are encouraged by these quotes, as well as these scriptures, that offer the reminder to put our attention unto the One who fill our hearts and minds with all things good.
Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. 1 Peter 1:13
It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light. Aristotle Onassis
Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Proverbs 4:25
Choose to focus your time, energy, and conversation around people who inspire you, support you and help you to grow into your happiest, strongest, wisest self. Karen Salmansohn
Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. Colossians 3:2
Every day is a gift from God. Learn to focus on the Giver and enjoy the gift! Joyce Meyer
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable…if anything is excellent or praiseworthy…think about such things. Philippians 4:8
When trouble comes, focus on God’s ability to care for you. Charles Stanley
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ANGER & ACHING
I had my Wednesday's Word all written and set to send out to you, and then the shooting happened in Texas. It somehow didn't seem fitting anymore because the words that were on my heart were now ANGER and heart ACHE. And so, with that said, I am choosing to share with you my heart today. It's a confused heart. A broken heart. An angry heart. An aching heart. But it's my heart. And part of who I will always be with my writing, is someone who is real with you. So here's my heart today: Wednesday’s Word(s): Anger & Aching
My heart is angry that there are fifteen plus families going through unspeakable pain because of this shooting.
My heart is aching for those families who will not hold their children in their laps any longer, tuck them into bed tonight…or any other night.
My heart is angry that someone can walk into a school and in a matter of minutes, take the precious lives of others.
My heart is aching for the hopes and dreams that will never come to fruition for these families.
My heart is angry at the people and systems that have failed, bringing us to this point…again.
My heart is aching, as so many search for ways to help, but don’t know how to meet the needs of the hurting.
My heart is angry that we need to create pretty memes, once again, asking for prayer for yet another American town because of the devastation of a shooting.
My heart is aching because I don’t know what to do to make it better.
As I tucked my seven-year-old granddaughter into bed tonight, my heart was broken for the grandma’s who won’t get to do that tonight. I couldn’t help but picture the parents and grandparents who sent their children to school, for just another day, counting down til summer vacation, only to have them not return home. It makes me angry. And it makes me ache inside.
Lord, I don’t have a lot of answers. But I do have a lot of anger, and a lot of heart ache. As a parent and grandparent, my head and heart cannot wrap themselves around the needless deaths of children, family members. I’m tired of it, and yet honestly, I feel helpless. I don’t know what to do, to help, to move forward, to stop it from happening again. So, I guess I’m venting here Lord. Hear my prayer today, even when I don’t really know the words to speak. You know the deepest parts of my being, the utterances that cannot be verbalized, the pain that I can’t figure out how to put into words. Take it Lord. Take my anger. Take my aching heart. Pour your comfort and strength upon those who need it most at this very minute; show those who are feeling this tragedy personally, that you are still on the throne, that you love them so very much. And show me, how to love others better today, impacting them in an eternal way. Amen
Psalm 34:18 “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”
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Wednesday’s Word: SECURITY
The day at my grandparents’ house had once again proven to be one filled with laughter, games, and of course running down the big hill their home sat upon, as it towered above the river below. A child’s paradise. Swimming. Boating. Hiding in the pine forest across the way.
After a day like that, it wasn’t surprising when we loaded in the car to head home, that the eyes of my sisters and brother and I, would quickly grow heavy and come to a close. As I leaned on the car door, my sister rested her head on my shoulder, and I felt the breeze from the open window brush against my face. The whirring of the tires could be heard, lulling me to sleep. As my dad sat behind the steering wheel, it didn’t take long before my mom glanced to the back seat, “Yup, looks like they’re all asleep already.” Although my plan was to “pretend sleep” in case my parent’s decided to say anything interesting, sleep quickly overtook me, just as it had my siblings.
As I remember back upon those childhood drives, Wednesday’s Word, security, comes to my mind. I found comfort in knowing that my two protectors were in the front seat. That as I leaned my head against that window, I was safe. Secure. The person behind the wheel would get me safely to my destination. The person next to him, would keep an eye on the road and watch me as I slept. There wasn’t a doubt in my mind; I could rest. And in 90 minutes, I would be safely delivered to my destination. Home.
Now as an adult, some of the roads I travel look a little scarier. There are roads that contain illness. Roads that contain relationship pain. Other roads that hold fear of the unknown. Potholes that suddenly appear, ready to swallow me, or at least jar me to the point that I’m hurt. Security doesn’t seem as simple as it did in those childhood days.
And yet, God gives us promises such as this verse in Psalm 4:8 that says, “I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.” We can be secure in knowing that regardless of what road we may travel, we have someone in the driver’s seat who is prepared to make the journey with us. Someone who will undoubtably get us to our destination. Someone who not only provides us with security on this earth, but upon trusting in Him, provides us security forever, eternal security.
I pray that today, you are able to rest securely in the truth that Jesus loves you, and that He will walk this journey of life with you. He will deliver you to your destination, and He won’t take His eyes off you. And if you aren’t secure in knowing your eternal destination, then I pray you do that today, by letting Him know you desire a relationship with Him. (Message me if you have any questions on that.) You may soak in more of His promises by reading the scriptures below.
I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Psalm 16:8
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.Philippians 1:6
Wednesday’s Word: NAMES
As a seventh grader, I walked tentatively into my art class. Since I was a very quiet young lady, I was surprised when I walked in the room and heard my name come from a group of boys in the back of the room. I didn’t know these boys knew I existed, let alone knew my name. My surprise quickly turned to pain, as one of them yelled to me, “Hey Black Teeth!” The little group laughed, as I sank lower into my seat, blinking back tears, wishing I could be anywhere, but in that room.
We have all experienced those times in our lives when people have labeled us or called us names. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always stop when we leave high school. We may enter into a job or family where the labels or names don’t cease. Perhaps it’s a name that is tied to a physical attribute we hold. Sometimes it is connected with the gifts and talents we possess or don’t possess. Other times, a name is thrown out as a “joke”, and yet when it penetrates our hearts, it is anything but.
Do you have any names that were throw out at you, ones that stung? Ones that have perhaps stuck with you for years? Ones that came from someone you respected, or even loved, making it hurt even more deeply?
Well today, with our Wednesday’s Word, NAMES, I want us to shift our focus to some of the NAMES that God has for us. He has created each of us uniquely, specifically to be a part of his family. We are Children of the Living God. Let’s allow His truths, the NAMES He has given us, to wash over the pain of other names and labels, and remove them from our hearts, replacing them with who HE says we are. Please check out the scriptures below, taking time to focus on the NAMES the Creator of the World has given you.
How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called CHILDREN OF GOD! And that is what we are! I John 3:1
But you are a CHOSEN PEOPLE, a ROYAL PRIESTHOOD, a HOLY NATION, a PEOPLE BELONGING TO GOD, that you may declare praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9
I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you FRIENDS, for everything I have learned from my Father I have made known to you. John 15:15
Do you not know that you are GOD’S TEMPLE and that God’s Spirit lives in you? 1 Corinthians 6:19
For we are his WORKMANSHIP, having been created in Christ Jesus for good works that Gid prepared beforehand so we may do them. Ephesians 2:10
Wednesday’s Word: PAUSE
It had been what I thought was a normal childhood day, complete with school, after-school snacks, and tv with the siblings for a bit before we had some playtime before dinner. And yet, I found myself in my mom’s bedroom sobbing in her arms. I remember walking in the room, and bursting into tears. As she sat on her bed, taking me by the hand to sit on her lap, she said “Oh, Misty, what happened? What’s wrong?” Through my sobs, I managed to eeek out, the words that often came from mouth when this sort of thing happened, “I I I I….don’t knooooow!”
And, I really didn’t know. Looking back, I think I probably just let “life” build up, and every so often it would come pouring out. I wish I could say I had that under control by now. But nope; several times a year, I find myself in the arms of my husband. Sometimes I know what the tears are stemming from, and other times I still manage to eeek out the childhood, “I I I I…don’t knooooow!”
As I was recently experiencing some painful and exhausting emotions, I did my share of crying, and then I also heard God’s still small voice inside me say….PAUSE. What could that mean, I wondered. It meant, put things aside for a bit. Take a break from the heaviness. Press PAUSE on the things reaching for me, consuming my heart and mind. And rest in Him, allowing Him to wrap me up in His arms, pouring His comfort into me through prayer, His Word, and His people. PAUSE.
Often times, our lives feel as if we are on an unending escalator; it keeps moving, while we stand still, and we watch the craziness around us. But PAUSE. We need to take the time to press PAUSE on that escalator. Hop off it. And go to a place where we can be refreshed.
What might need pausing in our lives today? It may be a crazy schedule, one where we need to notify family that we are “checking out” for a bit. It may be social media that seems to be sucking us in and dragging us down. It may be specific people. It may be work. It may be television. The list goes on, and the answer will be different for each of us.
My challenge for each of us is two-fold. First, let’s look around and PAUSE long enough for God to speak to our hearts, showing us what parts of our lives we need to “check out” of for a bit. And secondly, once we do PAUSE, let’s allow God to minister to us. Dive into His Word. Saturate ourselves with prayer. Soak up some time with healthy people.
The following verses spoke to me during my time of PAUSE and prayer. I hope they speak to you, as well. After doing some research on the biblical use of PAUSE, I found that many scholars agree that the Hebrew word (used over 70 times in scripture) “Selah” means PAUSE. So it was interesting to read the chapters in Psalm that use the word PAUSE. I hope you enjoy seeing when David used Selah, and how it fits within his story. And I’ve also included additional scriptures that touch my heart when I am in need of PAUSING, resting, being refreshed. Scriptures are taken from New English Translation.
Psalm 3:1-8 (Psalm of David when he was fleeing from his son, Absalom)
Lord, how numerous are my enemies!
Many attack me.
2 Many say about me,
“God will not deliver him.” (Selah)
3 But you, Lord, are a shield that protects me;
you are my glory and the one who restores me,
4 To the Lord I cried out,
and he answered me from his holy hill. (Selah)
5 I rested and slept;
I awoke, for the Lord protects me.
6 I am not afraid of the multitude of people
who attack me from all directions.
7 Rise up, Lord!
Deliver me, my God!
Yes, you will strike all my enemies on the jaw;
you will break the teethof the wicked.
8 The Lord delivers;
you show favor to your people. (Selah)
I will lie down and sleep peacefully,
for you, Lord, make me safe and secure,
Do not be anxious about anything, instead, in every situation, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, tell your requests to God. And the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Wednesday’s Word: BUILD
Each Wednesday morning, it could get a little crazy around our house, as I would get my little ones around for the day and head to my weekly lifeline, Morning Glory. Morning Glory was a group of ladies from my church, who quickly became my best friends in the world. Anyone who has young children, knows it can be a time of life that can be so treasured, so beautiful, and also, let’s be honest…so life-sucking, so exhausting. Since our five sons have a fifteen-year age spread from youngest to oldest, I was in this young mom’s group for many years. Over the years, some of the faces changed. The name of the group changed. But the purpose and the need it fulfilled for young moms always remained the same.
In this group we would BUILD relationships. We would BUILD relationships with one another. BUILD relationships with one another’s children. BUILD relationship with Jesus. And, we would watch as our children would BUILD relationships with each other. Years later we would attend their weddings, often times seeing them standing up in each other’s weddings, twenty plus years after their mommies took them to Morning Glory.
The value of Morning Glory, and groups like it, are unending. God created us to be in relationship with Him, as well as with others. He created us to BUILD one another up. To encourage one another. To share in the burdens. To share in the joys. To pray together. To cry together. To laugh together. To share in the milestones. To do life together.
I wonder today, if you have people who BUILD you up? Do you have friendships, prayer partners, weekly groups who have your back? Who you can contact at any hour of the day? If not, take the time today to pray and listen to who God may bring to your mind to begin some relationship BUILDing. And if you do, give thanks for such a group. Their value is precious, and certainly a gift from our Heavenly Father.
I hope you are encouraged by the scriptures (NIV) below, where God reminds us of the importance of encouraging one another through our words. And it would be an encouragement and BUILD readers up, if you would share some of your experiences or ideas regarding this topic, in the comments. We’d love to hear about them!
Romans 15:2 Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to BUILD them up.
I Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and BUILD each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
Ephesians 4:29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for BUILDing others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
Wednesday's Word: CELEBRATE
As I write, I am wrapping up several opportunities in which our family has been able to CELEBRATE together. We recently had the opportunity to CELEBRATE my son’s business with an Open House. It was complete with food, contests, and even a dunk tank! (Pictured is my husband and I celebrating, as he dunked him two out of three throws! That was fun!) Later that night, we had the opportunity to celebrate three friends who won their sporting competition. The following morning, we celebrated in church, as the gospel was shared and people came to know Jesus. WooHoo! That was the best! And today, we have a day of celebrating my granddaughter’s eighth birthday. We will enjoy a big dinner, and of course cake and ice cream.
I believe the Lord enjoys most of our celebrations. In fact, there are many scriptures where the bible asks us to celebrate with the Lord. To share with Him in our celebrations, praising Him, because every good and perfect gift is from the Lord. (James 1:17)
I also believe that we need to be careful in our celebrations, to not cause pain or hurt to others. As followers of Jesus, it is important that we keep in mind the feelings of others. To remain vigilant in our awareness that some of our celebrations may cause pain to others.
My heart has been hurt recently, by the words of many Christians, as they “celebrate” a victory that has been very important to them. I have been left wondering where the respect, compassion, love, humility, and kindness that Jesus speaks about has gone.
It is never ok to hurt other people during our celebrations. It is important that we are Christ-like. That we behave and respond to others through the words and actions that Jesus would desire.
When we celebrate Mother’s/Father’s Day, it is important to acknowledge and remember those around us who have lost a child, who desire a child.
When we celebrate our freedom on the 4th of July, it is important that we remember that at the same time we are celebrating, there are other people dying, as they continue to fight for their country.
When we celebrate that our political party of choice won an election, it is important that we not be arrogant, point fingers, and belittle others for their decisions.
When we celebrate a decision by SCOTUS, it is important to acknowledge that there are others who are left fearful and angry by the decision, who need anything but gloating, judgement, and unkind words.
For some of those examples, being Christ-like comes more easily. And yet others, we as Christians, are missing the mark. As we continue our many celebrations this summer, I would ask that we consider how we might be Christ-like in our words and actions as we CELEBRATE. Does God enjoy our celebrations and desire to be a part of them? Absolutely. Let us give Him the praise He deserves during our celebrations. Does He also desire for us to consider the feelings of those around us, as we celebrate? Absolutely. Let us take the opportunities to speak to others about what they are experiencing, asking how we could support them. Let us create awareness for the needs others have. Let us keep our mouths and keyboards closed, unless we are speaking in a way that glorifies our Lord. Let us meet people’s fear and anger with patience, kindness, gentleness, self-control, and of course, love. (Galatians 5:22)
I pray we all enjoy the weekend ahead, as we CELEBRATE all that God has blessed us with. And as we do so, let us include Him in the celebrations, while also keeping the scriptures below within our hearts.
Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving,
Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. Psalm 95:2
Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Romans 12:15
This is the day which the Lord has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger. James 1:19
But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6
And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” Luke 10:27
Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Philippians 2:3
Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18
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Wednesdays Word: BLOOM
I was almost home, and was looking forward to the evening ahead with my family. As I drove, I watched as a pickup slowed down, and then stopped at the stop sign at the upcoming crossroad. And then, life changed. The pickup pulled out right when I was entering the intersection. Within seconds, my minivan smashed into the side of it, pushed him out into a field, and sent me into the air, before landing nose down in a ditch.
The next 18 months held a great deal of physical, as well as emotional pain. Shoulder surgeries, doctor appointments, physical therapy, fear, anxiety, and time off work were among some of the many challenges.
I was reminded of that accident this weekend when I spotted this flower in my driveway. It was growing among the stones, several feet from the black moist dirt that the other flowers were enjoying. And I thought of the popular saying, “BLOOM where you’re planted”.
There are many times in our lives, when we find ourselves in situations when life has taken an unexpected turn. When life has dished out some challenges for which we hadn’t planned? When we are forced to BLOOM in some places that are anything but comfortable. Anything, but stable. Anything, but predictable. Places that are instead, like my car accident, unplanned and painful. Shaking us to our core.
Perhaps it’s a health diagnosis. A job loss. The death of someone we love. Unpaid bills. Relationship struggles. Every person has those situations; the ones where we are the flower, stuck in the middle of the driveway, surrounded by stones, crusty ground sucking the life out of us. And yet, God can give us the ability to still BLOOM. Like this little flower, we can reach for the sun, allowing Him to give us the sunshine we need for strength. We can dig into the ground, allowing Him to nourish us with all we need to create roots that will sustain us. And when we still feel too weary to stand, we can be showered with the reminder that His grace is sufficient, His power is made perfect in our weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:8-9) With that knowledge, regardless of where we are planted, we absolutely…can BLOOM through any unexpected circumstances.
For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. James 1:3-4
Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord. Psalm 27:14
You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. (Genesis 50:20 in the story of Joseph)
#wednesdaysword #imagine320 #laughter #joy #laugh #happy #happiness #truth #encouragement #family #memories #sisters #bible #scripture #devo #devotions #wonder #awe #inspiration #awestruck #god #psalm #challenges #difficulties #psalms #psalm #hardship #pain #endurance #jesus #scotus #celebrate #supremecourt #roevwade