when your day hits hard

​When your day has been crammed with more waiting to see promises come to life, and you spill on your clothes right before date night… choosing a cute stock photo seems appropot. 😉

Coz I don’t like getting my pic taken when tears are close to the surface, not even by myself.

God lovingly reminded me through His whispers & my hubby’s encouragement that the best is yet to come. Even when I can’t see if unfurling right now.

And that it is perfectly okay for me to cry, be a little blue about it.

As long as I continue to give everything over to Him and never let go of His strong hand & promises on these kinda days.

He’s got me, always.

So I can look forward to date night, and be completely present to enjoy it.

#hopefortheharddays

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let Your love collide in me

Every so often, a song comes along which perfectly captures where I am in my walk.

Today, it is this song.

I no longer want to walk out my life in fear of being hurt.  Trying to control everything is too damaging to me, and undermines my actions towards those I care about.

In short, fear is a crappy foundation which needs constant attention as it shifts with every tuft of wind which comes its way.

Jude 2 reminds me that I can relax and rest, because Love is on His way.

He knows the plans which He is bringing to pass in my life. And if I am following Him, walking in His ways, then Love is leading the way.

No longer do I tread on fear highway, for I have learned that the only path for my wellbeing is His way.

Higher ways, no longer my ways. The ways where Love goes before me, preparing the path.

  • Where He can see the storm clouds brewing, and guide me to shelter.
  • Where He gently & lovingly touches, cleans, bandages and heals my wounds.
  • Where He takes what was broken and incomplete, and weaves it into something perfectly finished and beautifully restored.

So I throw my arms open wide and invite You God, to collide in me wherever You would like to have more room within.

surrounded by waves of Grace

This past week has been one of the waviest I have experienced in a while. Physical, emotional, mental and spiritual waves have struck as they surged, attempting to pull me under.

Without You, I would surely have drowned.

But You, You have soothed my distress with Your peace, replaced my fears with Your love, calmed my thoughts with Your grace.

Nothing I have faced can ever drown out with massiveness of Your heart for me.

As I have had to make decisions, You have pointed me in the way to take, and whispered direction where I thought there was none.

You rekindled a possibility I believed was laid to rest, and have been with me in the waiting.

You have shown me kindness when I was grumpy, favor when I was undeserving and affection when I felt most unlovely.

By doing so, You have kept my focus on You instead of the swirling waters.

And You have calmed each one once I found You in each gale.

I am indeed blessed and highly favored, as You surround and cover me with the waves of Your Grace, as I keep my eyes fixed on You!

#hopefortheharddays #pmpraise

in pursuit of You, no turning back

“​I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.” Philippians 3:14-15 MSG

I used to let one bad day or one hard lesson derail my whole week, or longer.

There is a freedom to coming to terms with the fact that I am not perfect, nor is God asking me to be.

My part is to keep my eyes fixed on Him, follow where He leads, and when I fall? Ask Him to pick me up & guide me back to the path He had for me.

My goal? To pursue God until we meet face to face.

And this pursuit is built up of all the days where I kept focused on Him, and the ones where He closely carried me through.

Even when all I want to do is to stop and give up when the storms try to hinder my movement, and rattle the placement of my feet.  

I keep going because He is with me, not only cheering me on, but strengthening me each step of the path as He lights the way!!!

What a guide He is for us along the race!

So I will pursue You with every ounce of my being, Jesus. 

Knowing You have pursued me first, and will be on the finish line with Your arms wide open to greet me when I finally step into Your embrace & eternity with You!

#hopefortheharddays #pursuit #howHelovesus

i believe You’re my Healer…

I find I am learning a great deal about myself and God through this bout of intestinal distress.

I ate something when out Saturday night that should have been fine with my allergen strict diet, but wasn’t.

Whatever the trigger was (as it wasnt obvious to me, it may just be food poisoning) has left me exhausted and running to expell the remnants from my system.

This is now day 3.

Prayer has helped, baby Gravol too. But what I am drawing comfort from the most? How God is reminding me through His Word and His Body that He IS my Healer.

In the present, right in the midst of my need, He IS with me.

As He IS all goodness, holiness, truth, power, wisdom, strength, honorable and love… He can be trust with what hurts me.

Coz it hurts Him too.

God didn’t go to the cross only coz it was His last resort. He went coz He wanted to.

For you and I were on His heart.

Jesus went to the cross so we could be set free, be healed, made whole and restored to relationship with Him!

So although I feel awful, I have a reassuring peace holding me close.

I know He is for me.
I sense He is with me.
I trust He will reveal Himself in me.
I believe He is actively already healing me.
I stand on His promise that He is more than enough.

Friend, if you too are hurting in any way (not just physically) draw close to your Healer.

He is waiting for you to invite Him into that place of pain, and longs to set it right for you. He is YOUR Healer too!

#hopefortheharddays  #Healer #promisekeeper #morethanenough

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learning the art of slowing down

I am actually not a sun myself on the beach kinda gal. I prefer to swim or play a little pick up volleyball, but mostly?

To…

  • Leisurely stroll along the water’s edge.
  • Stop & pick up a shell or piece of driftwood.
  • Watch the water move back & forth.
  • Feel the freshness of a gust of wind.
  • Thrill at the lift of sails.
  • Enjoy a few moments of rest deep down into my soul.

But on those days off where the beach or lake front isn’t available?

I am learning to find simple ways to rest myself as He leads.

  • Reading His Word.
  • Walking outdoors.
  • Spending time with those I love.
  • Napping.

How is He teaching you to slow down and savor the moments you too are blessed with?

#pmponders #restformysoul #hopeinHisPresence

how He loves us, even on the blue-y days

Two little things bothered me when I was recently away on vacation in BC.

I bought a pair of shoes I had been dreaming of for over a year while in BC to wear to the family wedding we were celebrating. When I actually started walking in them it became apparent they were too big, and putting pressure in spots where they shouldn’t. I found them on a blowout sale so they didn’t owe me anything when I gifted them to a new friend instead of bringing them home.

But i was so disappointed after having spent so long looking for them.

As we travelled with only one purse/backpack and one carryon each, I didn’t have a lot of extra room to bring things back.

And one of the items I really liked was a blue metal pencil case with three anchors I spotted right before leaving BC. As much as I loved it, I didn’t have any extra room for it.

Today, my mom, daughter & I poked around the stores in Huntsville while the guys watched Dunkirk. The very first store we looked at? Had the exact same blue metal pencil case with three anchors!!

And the last store we looked at? Had a pair of navy wedge sandals in a more stable & cooshier brand than the ones I left in BC!!!!

The replacement shoes are definitely God’s way of meeting my need (coz running shoes look stoopid with a dress, and I can’t always wear my birks everywhere…)

And the pencil case? It’s an added bonus from my Abba, who likes to give good gifts to those He loves, especially after a few blue-y feeling days (i don’t do too well with extended rainy days).

#howHelovesus #hopefortheharddays

revisiting how to shift the atmosphere

Author’s note: This piece was first shared here on my blog, and has become the number one blog post I have ever written. I believe this is due to the fact many of us feel helpless when we suddenly find ourselves in situations without knowing how to handle them. He often reminds me of the lessons I learned in this post when I succumb to allowing my emotions to lead me instead of His Word. May He continue to direct us as we continue to invite Him in to every moment of our lives.

Be a thermostat & not a thermometer. Change the atmosphere around you with your attitude rather than just reflecting circumstances all day. –Sandi Krakowski

Tired of walking into a live drama?
Feel like you are stuck in a sitcom you can’t escape?
Sick of being a survivor?

If you are ready to take action, there are three ways to change the atmosphere wherever you are:

1. Own your part.

I have finally learned it is okay to get along with everyone. Being respectful, honoring and kind does not mean I agree with other people’s decisions or behavior. It means I choose to make relationship a priority, not agreement.

If I am in a crappy mood, or feeling low, I need to deal with my stuff before I am around other people again. Even if it’s a quick bathroom break to pray, refocus & find peace – make the time to name it, own it & deal with it.

It takes two to make drama. If you are calm, that alone can cool a hot situation down.

2. Shift the atmosphere.

I have learned from experience that we can sometimes pick up on other people’s vibes, even when they haven’t spoken a word. As an intuitive person, this can lead me to wild imaginative scenarios playing out in my mind if I am not careful.

If someone around me is irate, upset, depressed or cranky, I now immediately pause to pray, something like this:

“Holy Spirit, Your Word says You live in me, Your temple. I do not want to partner with anything that is not from You. I ask You to be my Shield right now, and I send this ____________(name what you are sensing) back to the person sending it out there. May Your peace reign in this room, right now. I invite Your Presence, and blessing, in the name of Jesus.”

I will share two examples of how I have seen this work in my life.

My hardworking hubby was really cranky about some last minute work changes to his day, and his displeasure & anger was ringing out loud in our car. I turned my head to the right, muttered a similar prayer to the one I wrote above. Lo & behold, within a minute, my hubby calmed completely down and was at peace again. My hubby & kids asked me later what I had done, so I shared it with them. Our home has been a lot calmer ever since, and we react more appropriately to each other when someone is upset now. God can change the atmosphere when we invite Him into any situation.

There was an irate customer one day who wasn’t being very pleasant with their language at work. I prayed the above first, then slid over to support my coworker on the receiving end of their unpleasantness. The customer immediately calmed down as I spoke back the “clean” version of what I was hearing, and they realized they were being heard. My coworker had become quiet in their shock. Now, this customer only has smiles on their face when they come in that workplace, because God broke off whatever was trying to target my coworker when I invited His presence to shield and go before us.

3. Don’t stay if you sense you need to leave.

You may be in a good head space, and have prayed the above prayer, and still feel a bit off.

This is either God or fear telling you it is time to leave.

Fear isn’t from God, so if you ask God if this impulse is from Him, and you don’t get an answer, you need to deal with this fear. Now.
Ask God to kick it out, and stop giving it a listen. You may need need to make a mental note to revisit this at another time and uproot it, but blocking its ability to speak in the moment is a critical step.

If God is telling you to leave, He is trying to shield you, protect you from something you may not be aware of, but He certainly is. Obey.

If you claim to be His follower, then follow where He is leading, even when you don’t know why.

In those moments when I have obeyed without knowing why, I have to trust He knows better and has good plans for me. I no longer worry if this may offend others. I used to, and realized my overdeveloped desire to please had left me exposed in situations I should have never been in, resulting in avoidable wounds.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12 ESV

So to recap, to change a situation:

  • Own your part. It takes two to tango. Take control of yourself by tapping in to his Presence to help you discern what’s going on.
  • Shift the atmosphere by allowing the Spirit to shield you.
  • Follow as He leads. When He says go, move. Every time, even when you don’t know why.

As you seek Him everywhere You go, remember His Presence is with you, always actively ready to guide & help as we tune in.

It’s time to show His reflection, instead of our reaction.

be the Word

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

Romans 12:12 NIV has been a verse which has often come to mind as a daily to do reminder. This morning, I decided to look it up in another translation, and was shocked at how much it spoke to me…the first day back to work, still struggling with a off kilter inner clock after a three hour time difference coming home.

“Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame.”

God, fill me up to overflowing wih the fire of Your Spirit, and fan my love for You anew into flame each and every time I am in Your Presence.

“Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant.”

Spirit, help me to live with expectation that You are on the move and inviting me to join You there! Cheerfully expecting to see You throughout my day, however You choose to reveal Yourself.

“Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder.”

Jesus, You modelled prayer through all circumstances. Even leading up to and on the cross. Because You knew that we would need to see God would go to the depths of the earth for us, as You did as You defeated death. You even intercede on our behalf and add Your prayers to ours!

And then verse 13, which caught my eye today, made crystal clear why I was to share about these verses today.

“Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.”

When you don’t know what to do, look to His Word.

When your family member, friend or coworker, or the person sitting beside you on the bus or train seems rudderless, point them to the Anchor waiting to guide them. Offer them living Words.

But more than that, be the Word.

Demonstrate you are hosting His Presence. Smile. Listen. Offer comfort. Pray for them. Right where they are at.

Because that’s what Jesus did, and what we too are called to do.

#versefortoday #betheWord #Romans12:12-13MSG

when you feel like the outsider, take another look

Untitled design (78)I used to feel like the black cat in my family. (I prefer to cuddle cats over sheep, so pardon my twist on the expression!)  Like I didn’t fit with everyone else.

In some ways, that is true. I am not gifted in the same way my parents & brother are, nor my husband.

God has been revealing to me thought that feeling like I don’t fit has two aspects to it: one is from Him, the other not.

I always fit in His family, for He made me a perfect fit for the purpose for which He created and called me.

When isolation begins to rear its negative head, God reminds me that I was not meant to be a loner.

This cat may need lots of catnaps and alone time with Him, but she is best when balanced in community.

Now He has placed me in a family which challenges me at times, and I am sure I similarly challenge them with my differences too.

But I would not exchange them for anything.

The more I hang out with my hubby, kids, parents, best friends and extended family?

The more I realize that this fellowship gifted to me by my King, and the more grateful and thankful I become.

I suspect Jesus and I are a lot more alike than I recently came to realize.

We love our family & friends, but also need regular time in His Presence on our own to help keep us focused and on target.

So I have begun to embrace my uniqueness, and instead of comparing myself to others, I have been asking God on how to best compliment the others I am with.

I am excited to share I am shortly heading on vacation to one of my favorite places for a week to reconnect with some of my extended family, and one of my high school besties.

And I am sensing God wants me to put down my keyboard, and be all in. So no writing for me again until July 26th here on the blog.

I will still be posting on my social media accounts ( @HopenHisPresenz on IG, Twitter & FB), but I am giving myself the grace to go with the flow and be fully present wherever I find myself verse posting in a set schedule.

PS> Thank you for your kind comments and encouraging words, friend. You have no idea how timely they have been as He has spoken to me through you!

#community #family #bettertogether