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Faith

36 In Faith/ My 5 Minute Fridays

Place // Five Minute Friday

Thrilled to be writing among the beautiful Five Minute Friday community. This is where we write for just five minutes, on a word prompt. We don’t worry about perfection or making it just right, but rather allow the words to flow freely without over thinking. If you’ve never written for the Five Minute Friday, come join us. You will be glad you did!


There is a song that I sing that talks about Jesus coming to take His place in the center of my heart. It’s a cry for Him to come and inhabit all of the cracks and crevices, all of the voids and barren places. It’s a yearning for God to have first place in my heart.

Sometimes I feel as if I’m begging Him to come to a place that He should already inhabit, my whole heart. But life gets in the way sometimes and I move through my days filling up my needy heart with everything but God — friends, family, food, television, social media. There is something in me that yearns for connection, to be noticed, to be filled. But anything but the presence of the living God will leave me broken and empty.

I must ask myself this question: “Is there room enough in my heart for Jesus to come and take His place?”

Is there room enough in my heart for Jesus to come and take His place? #fiveminutefriday Click To Tweet

If I am honest, most days I would have to admit that there is not. I live a cluttered life and there are so many other things competing for my time and attention. I get this picture in my head of Jesus standing in the darkest corner of my heart. There is light all around Him and a gentle and peaceful look upon His face. He sees all of the other things in my heart that are taking up space, but He doesn’t ask me to remove them. The question He asks instead is, “Can I have your whole heart?” God in His kindness leaves it up to me to make space for Him. I know that if I ask Him to, He will help me declutter my heart so that He can abide.

Jesus wants my whole heart. He wants to abide there in that place fully and completely, and while I do believe He comes and He is there, I don’t want him pushed off in a dark corner while all of the other things compete for first place.

I love God and I know that He loves me, but it’s a constant battle to give Him the place He deserves in my heart. I am thankful that He is patient with me. I am thankful that when I cry out for Him to come and fill me, He does. But if I truly want to be filled to overflowing, Jesus must have first place in my heart.

Do you struggle to give God first place in your heart? Ask Him to help you declutter your heart so that He can come and abide.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15 In Faith

Standing In The Middle

Today I was reminded of God’s presence in my life. Not just when I am sitting still and listening for His voice. But He is with me every moment of every day.

This verse reminds me of how God is always near.

The Lord your God is in your midst,
    a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
    he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.
(Zephaniah 3:17)

What struck me most about this verse was the meaning of the word, “midst”:

midst: in the middle of. the middle point or part.

I’ve felt as if my life has been stuck between one place and another for the last few years. Although life continues to unfold around me, in many ways I feel as if I’m standing in the middle of what once was, and what could be.

In order to move from the middle forward, a step must be taken. And although there are many steps I could be taking towards dreams that lay buried deep within my heart, I choose to remain here, in the middle. For me, it’s a place of rest and rejuvenation. It’s a place of faith and surrender. It’s a place of safety until He moves me forward.

The middle has become a place of safety until He moves me forward. #HeartEncouragement Click To Tweet

I love the thought of God being present in the middle parts of my life. He desires to show Himself strong in those “in-between” places. Those can often be hard places, places of struggle and uncertainty; places of hope and despair; places of faith and courage. But He promises to remain there in the middle with us until we have the strength to move forward.

I don’t know about you, but some days I’m not sure I want to leave this middle place. I’ve settled in to my life as I know it now. It hasn’t been easy, but I am learning to appreciate the place where He has me. The middle has become a cozy place of rest between the shadows of the past and the promise of the future.

The middle is a cozy place of rest between the shadows of the past and the promise of the future. #HeartEncouragement Click To Tweet

How about you? Are you hunkered down in the middle of life somewhere? Know that God is with you.

Linking up for the first time with the beautiful community over at Crystal’s place today.

28 In Faith/ Glimpses

Faith Lessons // Glimpses

I’ve been reflecting a lot lately on faith, and how faith is such a necessary component to the Christian life. After all, the Bible does say that without faith it is impossible to please God.

And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. (Hebrews 11:6)

I believe God knows that there will be seasons in our lives were we will struggle to hold on to faith, to keep hope alive in the midst of a hard place. Even though we are exhorted to hold onto hope without wavering, I believe God understands our humanness.

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. (Hebrews 10:23)

I’ve been reflecting on my faith struggle lately. There have been so many times in this season where I’ve allowed myself to step out of faith and in doing so I’ve moved into fear, unbelief and wondered if those things I’ve been so earnestly praying for would ever come to pass.

This human shell is weak. It constantly cries, “Lord, I believe”, but with the same breath it also cries “Help my unbelief”. How odd it is that one can voice an assurance of faith in God, yet with the same breath cry out for God to help them hang on to their belief.

Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24)

My daughter sent my this picture of my 2 year old grandson at the beach last week. I was immediately reminded of how large the mountains in my life seem, and how small I appear against their enormity. But I was also stricken with the assurance of my grandson’s steps. The way He holds onto his little car spoke to me of the way we hold onto the small, seemingly insignificant things in our life. God cares about those things too. The mountain next to him is so large, but He’s not afraid to walk beside it, to continue down the path of life with joy.

I’ve been reminded once again of how I must approach God with child-like faith, the kind of faith that believes all things. God is so much bigger than any mountain we will ever face in life.

I must approach God with child-like faith, the kind of faith that believes all things. #glimpsesofhisbeauty Click To Tweet

I want to come to a place in this season of my life where I know, understand and believe that God is really bigger than.

He is bigger than my financial lack.
He is bigger than any illness, known or unknown.
He is bigger than a marriage that needs resurrecting.
He is bigger then the chaos that threatens to overwhelm me.
He is bigger than a heart that is weary and broken.

Even though the enormity of the battles I face may be real, I do not have to fear what lies ahead. I can walk with a quiet self-assurance because I know that He is working all things together for good.

*If you would lift my husband up this week. On Wednesday we will receive the results of the biopsy they took from the supposed ulcer they found last week.

Are you facing a large mountain in your life? Please let me know how I can pray for you.

And now I continue to list the beauty that I’m finding in my every day life.

Glimpses #401-410

401. Purple flowers amidst the weeds in my backyard.
402. Just 7 weeks until grandson #2 arrives!
403. Coconut oil that helps my itchy skin.
404. God is bigger than my mountains!
405. Child-like faith.
406. Strawberries and vanilla ice cream.
407. Row-row-row Your Boat with my grandson.
408. Three white Lilies in my front yard that remind me of His death and resurrection.
409. He is risen!
410. While I was yet in sin, Christ died for me.

The Glimpses link up will open at 12:01 AM (PST) each Monday, and will remain open through Noon on Saturday. I am looking forward to reading your posts and visiting your blogs this week!

It is time to share the glimpses of beauty found this week.
Words written, gratitude given, photos taken, things created — anything that reflects the beauty of God revealed in your ordinary life.
1. Grab the button to place in your post, or simply link back here.
2. Link up with the post permalink, and not just your blog url.
3. Visit and encourage others who link up. We need each other!
4. Share about the link up on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
5. Use the hashtag #glimpsesofhisbeauty so that we can find each other’s posts.



12 In Faith/ My 5 Minute Fridays

Empty // Five Minute Friday

Thrilled to be writing among the beautiful Five Minute Friday community. This is where we write for just five minutes, on a word prompt. We don’t worry about perfection or making it just right, but rather allow the words to flow freely without over thinking. If you’ve never written for the Five Minute Friday, come join us. You will be glad you did!


Sometimes I wonder what difference I am making in the lives of others as I live out my own. Life has been full of the mundane lately — work, homeschooling, house cleaning, cooking, — a life lived on repeat, and I’m not sure I’m making any difference at all.

The truth is, I’m empty. I’m devoid of energy. I lack enthusiasm for living. I have to remember to smile each day and I have to reach for joy.

Why am I telling you this? Because I do not want to portray a life that is all together. My life isn’t together and I feel as if I’m about to completely unravel most days. I made a promise a long time ago that if I was going to write about my life, I was going to write the hard, honest truth, because I am of the belief that there are other people like me in this big, messy, beautiful world.

As we approach Good Friday and Easter Sunday, I am going once again to the foot of the cross. I am broken, bruised, unfulfilled and confused at times about life. I am burdened with weights so heavy that I fear I will break. But I know the answers will come only when I surrender myself to the one who bore it all.

The answers will come only when I surrender myself to the one who bore it all. #fmfparty Click To Tweet

This is who I am:

I’m a woman who carries the weight of her circumstances on her shoulders.
I need others to tell me it will all be okay, because I forget who is really in control.
I’ve camped out in the Psalms over the last few months and can’t seem to move on.
I yell at my kids and they tell me I’m negative and how I’m pushing everyone away.
My husband is struggling physically and emotionally and we barely talk.
I don’t know how to give when I’m so in need.
I like to keep busy so I don’t have to think about all I have to deal with.
My strength is zapped and some days all I want to do is sleep.
I can’t do laundry because I just don’t care.
I can’t clean house because it’s too overwhelming.
I push all my hurt and pain down deep hoping it will just disappear.

I can’t help but think about the weight He must have endured when He carried my fears and failures, guilt and shame, and hurt and pain up that hill. As I reflect on the cross and how He gave it all — for me — I can’t help but cry, “Lord, I’m not worthy!”

But as I imagine Him there, inhaling breath for the very last time, I can almost hear Him saying,

“Barbie, I love you. You are worthy of my love.” And I am reminded once again how love covers a multitude of sin.

As I go once again to the foot of the cross, I will ask Him to take my sin and shame. I will ask Him to heal my hurt and pain and to help me to live a life worthy of being seen by others. As I reflect on the empty tomb, it gives me strength to face my own emptiness.

Only He can fill my voids.
Only He can satisfy my longings.
Only He can fill me to overflowing.

There is a cross. But there is an empty grave. Thank you Jesus that You died and rose again.

22 In Faith/ Glimpses

Looking Up // Glimpses Link Up

The past seven years have been years of loss, hardship and uncertainty for our family.  In 2010, my husband was laid off from a very good paying construction job that he worked at for years. In 2011, we had to sell our home in order to avoid foreclosure. From 2012-2014 my husband struggled with more job losses. In 2015, he finally landed an amazing job with income beyond what we ever thought possible. But in December of 2016, he was sidelined with unexplained pain and swelling in his knee, unrelated to work, and has been on disability ever since.

During these seasons, I have fought hard to yield, to trust, to seek and to find.  I have struggled to hold on to hope in the midst of adversity.  The dictionary defines “hope” as a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen. Over the last several years, there have been many days where I felt hopeless.  I looked at my life through foggy lenses, unable to see beyond my circumstances into the promises of the Lord for my life, and that of my family.  I had lost my sense of expectancy.

Why am I discouraged?
Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
I will praise him again—
my Savior and my God! (Psalm 42:11 NLT)

It is difficult to stay in a place of hopeful expectation when everything around you is crumbling.  Our family has suffered so much loss and as a result I allowed myself to be thrown off course. At times, I was so consumed by my circumstances that I could not see that the Lord was near and wanted to help.  Yet through it all, I keep hearing the voice of the Lord calling for me to “Look Up!”  The Lord wants to get my attention, to remind me that He has been with me in every season storm.

How do I continue to have hope in the face of adversity?  When everything around me appears to be crumbling before my eyes, how do I find the strength to look to the hills into the very face of hope?  The answer is to fix my eyes on Jesus, and not allow myself to be swayed by circumstances.  I must behold His beauty, tasting of His goodness, each and every day.

I must behold His beauty, tasting of His goodness, each and every day. #glimpsesofhisbeauty Click To Tweet

Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
(Hebrews 12:2 NKJV)

These days, I am purposing in my heart to look up, through the face of adversity, into the loving eyes of a God who is always good.  Even when I face disappointments, God is there.  He will help me to finish this race, clearing every hurdle along the way.

Has God been calling you to look up, through the face of adversity, into the hope and promise of all that God has for you? I would love to pray for you.

And now I continue to list the beauty that I’m finding in my every day life.

Glimpses #391-400

391. Looking up and seeing the sun breaking through the clouds.
392. Sunshine on a rainy day.
393. The gift of His grace.
394. The ability to forgive.
395. Donations from friends and family that helped fix our van.
396. The blessing of another day.
397. Messy coloring with my grandson.
398. Looking forward to the hope of the cross and His resurrection.
399. Root Beer on ice.
400. Tea with organic, homegrown honey.

The Glimpses link up will open at 12:01 AM (PST) each Monday, and will remain open through Noon on Saturday. I am looking forward to reading your posts and visiting your blogs this week!

It is time to share the glimpses of beauty found this week.
Words written, gratitude given, photos taken, things created — anything that reflects the beauty of God revealed in your ordinary life.
1. Grab the button to place in your post, or simply link back here.
2. Link up with the post permalink, and not just your blog url.
3. Visit and encourage others who link up. We need each other!
4. Share about the link up on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
5. Use the hashtag #glimpsesofhisbeauty so that we can find each other’s posts.