Tag Archives: God

In His Grace

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The beginning of summer vacation not only brings my kids home, but since my husband is a school teacher, it also brings home his undivided attention.  His extended contract  periodically pauses our summer plans, but other than that, we enjoy the summer months.

We plan on going camping with friends, visiting family, taking advantage of local freebies and discounts – but what I am looking forward to the most is a little retreat for Mike and I.  Alone.

And even more than I desire to be alone with my husband, God desires that I am alone with Him.  And the more time that I spend alone with Him, the more I crave His presence.  In the quiet of my soul, I can more clearly hear His voice.

And I am no longer content with a touch of His grace.

I want to drown in His grace.

His presence.

His love.

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God…..”                                                                             Psalm 46:10

 

God Doesn’t Forget Me

As a series of tornado filled storms passed overhead, all six of us scrunched beneath a couple of mattresses. Our one year old, Leesy, was overtired and not very happy about the whole idea of being confined to a small space.  Abby, however, kept whispering and was very concerned about Leesy’s angry cries.  I finally discovered Abby’s reason for concern.

In school, they have to be quiet during tornado drills.

And, in eight year old logic, she assumed that if anyone made noise, the tornado would hear.

But I am thankful to report that Leesy’s desperate cries to escape did NOT attract the attention of a tornado.

And yet, Leesy would do most anything to attract attention.  She runs across the loft bed, climbs on top of the bar stool, and dumps anything that will create a mess.

All while squealing with delight.

But she doesn’t have to do any of those to get my attention.  Just as I don’t have to do anything to gain the attention of my Heavenly Father.

Can a mother forget the baby at her breast
    and have no compassion on the child she has borne?
Though she may forget,
    I will not forget you!
See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;
    your walls are ever before me.            Isaiah 49:15-16

Even when I feel minuscule and insignificant,  God doesn’t forget me.

He loves me and cherishes me.

Always.

 

The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying:

“I have loved you with an everlasting love;
    I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.      Jeremiah 31:3

 

 

 

 

He Carries Me

The words “burger” and “booger” are not interchangeable.   And yet, my kids have occasionally asked to eat a booger and had a burger up their nose.  They are oblivious to the “r” sound that differentiates between snot and food. However, it doesn’t matter what they say.  I know what they need.  I know if I should feed a hungry belly or get a kleenex. And even more, my Father knows what I need.

 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.                                         Romans 8:26 NIV

A year and a half ago, I begged  God to remove the depression and anxiety that had taken control of me.  My prayers were exhausted.  Worn.  And defeated.

But I praise God that He did not deliver me when I wanted.

If He had rescued me from my misery in that moment, I would have missed a pivital point in my life.  The part where my faith grew.  Where I learned to trust Him.  To depend on Him.  To abide in Him.

And eventually, as my dependency on Him grew, the misery that had descended on my heart lifted.

And yet, recently, the physical manifestations of stress once again descended on my body. Unwarranted.  Unexpected.  And with no known physical cause to my emotional or physical distress,  my mind raced to condemn my rolling emotions.

  There is nothing worse than being ashamed for feeling bad.  And then feeling worse.

But God doesn’t leave me there.

He restores hope, joy, and peace.

He carries me.

l carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.      Isaiah 46:4

Carry Me by Josh Wilson

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jZmBQn_018[/youtube]

 

Mischeif

DSCN7357-002The kids were all very quiet.  That should have been my first hint that trouble was brewing.

After awhile, I decided to investigate.  I opened Abby’s door as three children froze in their current position - obviously caught in some mischievous act.  Just then, though, I could not see trouble.

But I could smell it.

It had that distinct cosmetic smell.  But no one would volunteer a culprit or crime.

Finally, Abby opened her closet door to reveal a very fine portrait of baby shampoo and glitter spray.  And Eli revealed an additional portrait behind her other door.

With kids, mischief is always around the corner.  It is guaranteed.

But how do I react to their mischeif?

Unfortunately, it depends on my mood.  If I am tired, I simply get mad that they made a mess, have them clean it up, and execute some type of consequence.

But it doesn’t always end like that.  I have good moments too.  Moments in which my heart rests heavily upon Christ.  And His rest overshadows my physical exhaustion.   He gives me strength.

And I don’t react to their mischief.  At least not emotionally.

In these moments, the kids clean up their mess, pay the consequence for their actions, and then pray.  For forgiveness and the strength to wish stand temptation.

And as they pray, I also pray.

I pray that the next mischief will also be met with my heart focused on God.  That I would choose to make the moment one that glorify’s Him.   And that my children would rest in the arms of Jesus.

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are                               walking in the truth.

3 John 1:4 NIV 

My Deliverer

One chocolate brownie.  Four drooling kids.  And one lie.

Abby claimed she had not eaten a brownie yet.  But I knew better.  And eventually, her story crumbled.

And I crumble.

Not because I ate a chocolate brownie.  But because the pressure of life eventually exposes my weakness.

In my “better” moments,  peace is so near that I can almost feel the breath of God against me.  

I would like to say that this spiritual high is an everlasting mountain that my heart unceasingly resides on.

But eventually, circumstances change.  Exhaustion sets in.  Stress increases.

And I crumble.

In those everyday moments, I still have a choice.  I can choose to lean on my Father.    Or I can choose despair and frustration.    But more often than I would like to admit,  I don’t actively pursue God.

And the battle goes on.

But with God, there is always hope.

He never leaves me.

I may be tired from the constant battle within my heart, but He isn’t tired.  He isn’t worn down.  And He isn’t defeated.

IMG_0012 He is my Deliverer.

The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

                                                                                                        Psalm 18:2 NIV

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xYvBTd58xw[/youtube]

 

My Rock

When our kids go to their Granny’s house, their little mouths are watering in anticipation.  They know that grape juice and chocolate candy waits inside her refrigerator.  Always.  It never changes.

But even more reliable - God never changes.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.                                                                              Hebrews 13:8 

But I didn’t appreciate God’s stabilbity until He revealed to me my own constantly changing perceptions and stability.

I constantly cycle through tears, frustration, joy, and hope.  Constantly.  My mood is a relapsing mushy cycle of emotion.  Always changing.  And with that, my perspective changes.  My reactions change.

But even in my weakness, God’s power remains constant.

When bitterness creeeps into my heart, God’s love never fades.

When frustration rips through my soul, God’s peace forever flows.

When condemnation stings, God’s mercy never ceases.

When tears stain my face, God’s joy is steadfast.

While my own perceptions, reactions, and circumstances are constantly subject to change, I can rejoice in a God that is not.  

He is my surety.

My constant.

My Rock.DSCN7434

There is no one holy like the Lord; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.                      1 Samuel 2:2                                                                                                              

 

Beautiful

Abby loves flowers.  And, at eight years old, weeds with a bloom qualify as a flower just as much as a daffodil or rose.  And so, when her Boppa murdered a dandelion, her tears  erupted into anger over his thoughtless elimination of the beautiful sprout.

Where her Boppa saw a weed, she saw beauty.

And I am so glad that my Heavenly Father  sees beauty in me.

Because, honestly, I often feel like a weed.  By the standards of this world, I am unsuccessful,  boring, and rejected.   And by God’s law, I am a condemned sinner.

But Jesus changed all that.

What I am, who I have become, and what I will be – it doesn’t matter.  Because God sees His elegant creation covered by the grace of His son.

Beautiful

But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

1 Samuel 16:7

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

2 Corinthians 5:21  NIV

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Simply Beth

A guest post from Simply Beth……

 

There was a moment in my life when words were said to me that hurt deeply. The words left me feeling insignificant and believing I was not enough. Those words were followed by many other moments that led me further down a path of darkness.

 

~        The moment my husband told me he had an affair.

~        The moment I made the wrong decision and went down my own path of infidelity.

~        The moment I’m unable to share, but it was a moment where my world was shattered.

~        The moment I stood in that dressing room trying on a bridesmaid dress and I allowed a number said to begin a life of living with an eating disorder.

~        The moment I thought leaving my husband was the right choice.

~        The moment lying in the bed of the behavioral health center wishing I was brave enough to put an end to my pain.

 

All these moments changed me. They shattered my heart. My world became dark and full of shame from moments that I allowed to define my sense of worth. The darkness I lived in gradually became what was familiar. The walls went up and there in that darkness is where I thought I would remain.

 

****

 

Taking the wrong path can begin with just a moment. But it only takes a moment to choose a new and better path. It only takes a moment to choose the path God has for you.

 

My path changed the day a dear friend directed me to Romans 5:

 

“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” – Romans 5:1-5 (NIV)

 

To read those words, “…but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”

 

Oh how I wanted that kind of hope. I wanted God’s love poured out into my heart. Was He offering this to me too? Could it be that I could really find glory in my sufferings? Could it be that He would use my sufferings to produce perseverance, character and hope within me? Could He really use me? Does He really love me?

 

It wasn’t long after reading those words that I found myself walking through the doors of Living Hope Church. I realize now that I found myself standing right where I was always meant to stand—standing in God’s grace and glory (Romans 5:1-2 MSG).

 

Then came the moment when studying Romans 12 where I declared, I’m all in. It was the moment I gave my life to Christ.

 

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” – Romans 12:2

 

In a recent sermon, my Executive Pastor shared these words from Rick Warren, “When you forgive you set a prisoner free, and that prisoner is you.” It was in that moment where I realized I was still holding tightly to moments in my life where God was asking me to choose forgiveness. Not only was it time to fully extend forgiveness to those that hurt me, but it was also time to offer forgiveness to myself.

 

Easter weekend came and for the first time I really heard the words, “It is finished.” At the moment Jesus said those three words we were forgiven. All our sins were forgiven and we were set free. In that moment He put our old life to death and made us new. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” – 2 Corinthians 5:17

 

It only takes a single moment to change your path. What path will you choose?

 

 

Click here to visit Simply Beth

My name is Beth.

I’m a wife, mom of two boys and a mother-in-law. I love Jesus, family, friends, reading and a hot cup of coffee to begin my day. I love to write and share about how my relationship with Jesus has changed my life. My husband, two sons, and the two wonderful woman our sons have brought to our family are my greatest joys!
We are a military family with my husband serving in the Army Reserves and my oldest son in the Navy. My younger son is pursuing a degree in Music Education.
I have been married for over 20 years and my husband and I have been through a lot during this time, but our love for each other is stronger than ever.
You will find posts on my blog that will bounce from sharing about past experiences, continual struggles, being a military family, and primarily on how my relationship with Jesus continues to grow. My promise is to always speak from the heart…to speak with love. I hope you will find encouragement here no matter where you are in your life. I pray you will learn to trust God as trusting God has been the best thing I’ve ever done.

 

ABC Award

Thanks to lsmcreation.com, I have been nominated for the ABC award.  Apparently, receiving this award obligates me to a list of nominations along with an alphabet describing myself.  But spending a whole blog post dedicated to describing myself sounds a little torturous to write. So instead of describing myself, I will give attributes of God that have recently touched my life.

God is…..

 

All-knowing   God is not surprised.  Ever.

Bountiful   My resources run dry.  But God’s never does.

Caring  I can unload it all on Him.

InDescribable  It takes my breathe away to know that God’s, love, mercy, and kindness extends far beyond what I can fathom.

Eternal  He is forever.  I have no fear that He will ever leave me.

Faithful  God is always with me.  Loving me.  Protecting me.  Even when I am unfaithful.

Gracious  The harder I fall, the more grace God lovingly extends.

Holy  I don’t deserve to be in His presence.

Independent   He does not rely on anything or anyone.  His joy is not dependent on me but my joy is dependent on Him.

Jealous  He is jealous for me.

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Kind  I see His tenderness as He bestows countless blessings on my life.

Loving  Wow.  That amazing, incredible, and passionate love changes everything.

Merciful  His mercy extends beyond my imperfection.  And that’s an awful lot.

Near  Because of Christ’s sacrifice, I can reside in His presence.  Knowing He is always with me gives me confidence.

Omnicipant  He knows it all.  He is never surprised.  That slowly erodes my fears.

Powerful.   God’s immense power consumes the fear in my life.

Quiet  His gentle spirit calms my soul.

Righteous  His perfection is my salvation.

Sovereign  God is in control.  This  both overwhelms me and de-stresses me.

Trustworthy   He is worthy of my trust even though I often withdraw it.  But when I extend my trust to Him,  He always blesses me.

Uncontrollable    Despite my actions, God is in complete control.  His plan does not depend on me.

Versatile  He is limitless.  That is a huge comfort when I can not possibly see any good.

Wise  I cannot fully understand.  But He does.

X-ray vision  God sees past my outward appearance and into my heart.  That is humbling.

Yahweh  He is; He will be.  I can depend on His presence.

Zealous  He passionately pursues His glory.  And I am part of His plan.

 

My nominations:

simplybeth.blogspot.com

http://www.behindthegateblog.com/

http://www.intentionallyyours.org

www.mychristiandevotionalblog.com

http://biblelovenotes.blogspot.com

*Nominees, please copy the award picture for your post.  Describe yourself using the alphabet and then list your own nominees.