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Weekend Whispers

36 In Weekend Whispers

When Winter Lingers // Weekend Whispers

I’m a California girl, born and raised. I love the weather here, not too cold, not too hot. Even though it’s been cool and rainy here, I know that Spring is on the horizon.

In a spiritual sense, though, I’m in the middle of a winter that has seemed to linger far too long now.  My family keeps finding ourselves in places of loss and transition — hard, fear-fighting transition.

I long for winter to pass. I want to go outside and feel the sunshine on my face. I want to take long walks without a coat, and sip an iced latte. I want to feel my toes sink deep into the spring grass.

Winter1

Spring is a season of life and hope and of new beginnings. I want this season very much in my life now.

I wish I could tell you that I’m doing okay. Well perhaps I am, doing just okay. I feel as if I am in survival mode. I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t tell you I’m struggling through this winter. I keep trying to brush away the cold. unwilling to yield to the cool air which takes your breath away.

winter3

I want so badly to lean in to the whispers of God in this season.

I have not forsaken you.

Trust in Me.

Keep your eyes on Me.

For I know the plans I have for you….

Plans to prosper you, not to harm you.

To give you a hope and a future.

My heart is heavy and I’m fighting anxiety and depression on a daily basis. I want so badly to be strong, just like I’ve been in other seasons of loss. Yet sometimes the reality of so much loss and heartache over so few years becomes so overwhelming. It’s all I can do sometimes to swim to the surface, gasp for air and sink back down again where I can remain unfeeling and hope that this will pass soon.

Some would ask, “where is your faith?”. I ask myself this question, all the time. My head tells me that God is good. My heart cries out, “show me your goodness, Lord”.

We came out of the wilderness, bruised, broken but with so much hope. And out of no where, circumstances leave us yearning, wanting, begging, asking, knocking. I can’t hear His voice. I don’t know what He’s saying.

“Where are you in all of this, God?”

“Did you not promise to bring us through the wilderness?”

I question why. I sometimes feel guilty for the way that I feel. And I hesitate to bare my brokenness here. But this space has been built on transparency. So I will continue to come, when I can muster the strength, and bare my heart and soul.

Winter2

My heart aches for a life free of stress and worry. I know all about casting my cares and putting my hope in God. My reality is a mix of emotions with a head that believes, but a heart that must fight every day to hold on to that belief.

My head tells me that God is good. My heart cries, “show me your goodness, Lord!”

If you follow my personal Facebook page, you will know that I have set up a GoFundMe account to help our family with rent and food during the time my husband is disabled. If you don’t know the background, it’s all there. We covet your prayers and if you are able to help in any way, we would greatly appreciate it. You can click here to find out more.

We don’t have too far to go to reach our goal, although my husbands prognosis is uncertain and his condition has become very debilitating.

All we can do is continue to cry out for God to show us His goodness.

Yet I am confident I will see the LORD’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living. (Psalm 27:13)

Thank you for your grace and for allowing me to share my heart so openly with you here. I love this community. You encourage me greatly.

WeekendWhispersLinkUpButton_2016
Weekend Whispers is place to share what God is whispering to your heart. It can be a post, a photo, a scripture — just as long as it’s encouraging and uplifting. Be sure to visit your link-up neighbors. *Please link up ONE post. Any additional posts may be deleted. We do not want to distract people from visiting one another. We appreciate your understanding.



35 In Weekend Whispers

When One Word Finds You // Weekend Whispers

My OneWord focus for the year has found me.  I didn’t go looking for it.  I had pretty much resolved that I would not choose a word this year, after miserably failing to embrace my word last year, and the year before.  But it came to me through worship and tears, and embedded itself deeply in my heart.  I’ve been hesitant to fully embrace it, but I know that I must.

I’m not ready to reveal it just yet, but it is located within the scripture below.

Steadfast

I will have more to share on my OneWord focus for this year soon. In the meantime, have you chosen a word for the year, or has a word chosen you?

WeekendWhispersLinkUpButton_2016
Weekend Whispers is place to share what God is whispering to your heart. It can be a post, a photo, a scripture — just as long as it’s encouraging and uplifting. Be sure to visit your link-up neighbors.  *Please link up ONE post. Any additional posts may be deleted. We do not want to distract people from visiting one another. We appreciate your understanding.



25 In Weekend Whispers

Joy To The World // Weekend Whispers

*This post originally published December 20, 2011.

joytoworld.1

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
and Heaven and nature sing,
and Heaven and nature sing,
and Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing.

I sing this song every year at Christmas time.  Joy to the world.   And I stop and I ask myself, “Am I allowing the JOY that is Christmas to flood my heart as I prepare to receive Him?”

Let every heart prepare Him room.

My heart gets cluttered at times.  Some days I am afraid to look deeper, for fear of what I might really see.  It’s hard to look beyond the places where moth and rust are set on destroying.  The places where I have neglected to bring nourishment.  And in the cluttered mess that is often my heart, I find that there is no room for Him to abide.  He cannot remain in a cluttered heart.  And when He’s not there, joy is not found.

Jesus cannot remain in a cluttered heart. #weekendwhispers Click To Tweet

Am I making room in my heart for the birth of a King, one who came to fill my heart with Joy?

I do not want to give in to the stress and weight of what this world has to offer.  I do not want my heart to be filled with soil that is not prepared to receive life.  I want to receive Jesus, again and again.  Over and over again I must invite Him to come.  I need Thee every hour!  He wants to flood my heart with joy everlasting, for He alone is the giver of joy.  This world holds only momentary pleasures.  The pleasures that He brings are eternal.

I must prepare my heart to receive Him by making room for Him to dwell. 

Today I am digging a little deeper, peering behind doors in my heart which have been closed, slammed shut, broken off their hinges, locked.  I’m letting go of fear, allowing Him to come.

Will you pray this prayer with me?

Will You come, Lord Jesus, and abide in these musty places in my heart.
The places where moth and rust are set on destroying,
The places where I’ve neglected to bring nourishment?
Forgive me for slamming the door of my heart shut,
as if You you do not already see what is hidden there.
Forgive me for locking the door, and not letting you in.
I need no longer fear what is already light to you.
Forgive me for allowing the hinges of my heart to become broken.
Will you come, Lord Jesus, and flood my heart with Your joy?

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!

All of heaven proclaims His coming.  All of heaven shouts with joy.  And this joy is only found in His presence.  It is found when we stop, when we take a breath, when we whisper an “I love you”.

It is found in the mundane and the routine, when we least expect it, joy comes.

Joy comes when we least expect it. #weekendwhispers Click To Tweet

It bubbles up from deep within.  Jesus, living on the inside.  He is the giver of joy!

You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.  (Psalm 16:11)

Where are you finding joy this Christmas season? I would love for you to share in the comments below.

Whispersbutton
Weekend Whispers is place to share what God is whispering to your heart. It can be a post, a photo, a scripture — just as long as it’s encouraging and uplifting.  Be sure to visit your link-up neighbors.

* Please link up ONE post. Any additional posts may be deleted. We do not want to distract people from visiting one another. We appreciate your understanding.

 

24 In Featured Guests/ Weekend Whispers

The Favor Of The Lord: Not To Be Confused With “The Easy Life” // A Weekend Whispers Guest Post

I am thrilled to have Lisa Brittain sharing her words in my space for Weekend Whispers. I originally met Lisa through our blogs at the Five Minute Friday.  She has always been so encouraging and has a huge passion to share the Word of God. Make sure you stop by and visit Lisa’s blog.


 

Maybe you’ve asked the Lord for a word for the new year, or maybe not. It’s become rather popular in my circle of community. Rather than focus on a list of New Year’s resolutions, the last five years I’ve asked Holy Spirit to highlight a particular word to be my theme for the coming year.

It’s a word I use to search the Scriptures. It’s a word through which I continually ask, “Jesus, what do You want me to know?”

Each of these years has truly been an adventure with Him. I’ve found this to be a faith-stretching exercise as well. You see, Holy Spirit highlights a word already knowing all the details of the next year of my life. So, in many aspects this word for the year is much like the Lord Himself who goes before and behind and hems us in so that we are never, ever alone.

Perhaps this is why my word for 2015 (favor) has been a bit more challenging. At first it seemed this word didn’t reconcile with the circumstances my husband and I were facing as we turned our faces into the hurricane force winds of the new year.

My husband’s recent job loss coupled with some significant unresolved health issues were threatening to toss me about with waves of doubt and insecurity. I needed an anchor for my faith to remain stable through the storm.

sunrise fernandina beach

I needed an anchor for my faith to remain stable through the storm. @pioneerofpeace… Click To Tweet

So, what’s a girl to do when the truth of God’s word for her feels like it doesn’t fit with her real life circumstances?

  1. Run to Scripture: As I searched Bible Gateway for the word favor, I found many people who had found favor with the Lord. I focused my attention on two – Mary, the mother of Jesus, and Moses.

And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. (Luke 1:30-31)

There’s no doubt Mary had received the favor of the Lord. What an amazing honor to be selected as the woman to give birth to our Savior! And yet, the favor of God did not remove the difficult circumstances of being a young woman trying to explain her pregnancy to her fiancé, Joseph, with whom she had not been intimate. Nor did God’s favor remove the ridicule and gossip of the women in her hometown…or the disappointment of her parents.

  1. Prayer: In order to learn from this word Holy Spirit has highlighted for me, I must talk to Him about it, ask questions, and most importantly, listen!

Moses has been my example throughout this year. Moses’ life had been spared as an infant. A Hebrew, Moses had grown up in the palace of the Pharaoh. After killing an Egyptian for beating a Hebrew, however, Moses fled to Midian where he became a shepherd.

It was in the far country, away from the life of privilege, where Moses encountered the favor of God, and received his call to be God’s ambassador to gain the freedom of the Hebrew people from their bondage in Egypt.

What an honor to be selected by God for this momentous task, and yet God’s favor did not prevent Moses from facing many trials and tribulations. Moses’ prayer from Exodus 33:13 has become my constant prayer,

“Father, if I have found favor in Your sight, teach me Your ways.”

draw near Exodus 33 blog

  1. Dwell in Father’s Presence: Our personal circumstances are not resolved. My husband has been unemployed for nearly a year. And yet, we have much for which to give thanks. His health is much improved with daily medication and he has recovered magnificently from spine surgery.

The favor of the Lord has not meant the avoidance of difficult circumstances. Rather His favor has given me a place to dwell, up close, protected in the cleft of His Rock where I have opportunity on a daily basis to glimpse His glory.

And the LORD said to Moses, “This very thing that you have spoken I will do, for you have found favor in My sight, and I know you by name.” Moses said, “Please show me Your glory.” And the LORD said, “Behold, there is a place by Me where you shall stand on the rock, and while my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with My hand until I have passed by. Then I will take away my hand and you shall see My back…(Exodus 33:17-23)


LisaB.150Lisa Brittain lives in Metro Atlanta with her husband of 27 years, Randy, and their two energetic terriers, Liberty and Nole. She works full time, enjoys time with family, teaching women’s Bible study, and encouraging others through her blog ~ Eyes On Jesus And Shine. You can also find Lisa on Facebook and Twitter.


 

Thank you for joining the conversation at Weekend Whispers. We love your visits and look forward to reading your posts.

Whispersbutton1. Link up a post that shares how God is whispering to your heart as you walk out your journey.

2. Visit the person who linked up before you. You can visit more, but you must commit to visit at least this one. Please do not link and leave.

3. Grab the new button or link back here and share this growing community with others.



26 In Weekend Whispers

Rest, Reflect, Be Still / Weekend Whispers

Life is moving right along at a fast pace. No matter how hard I try, I cannot find enough hours in my day to do all of the things I need to, let alone want to, do.

I wish I could stop time, catch my breath, get some good sleep, and be ready to embrace the next day.  But I’m tried, exhausted actually.

I have to be willing to let go of some things in order to make room for Him. #weekendwhispers Click To Tweet

Still, the letting go is hard.

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I painted this piece last month during one of our worship services. I wasnt’ quite sure it was finished. There is no fruit on the tree. Isn’t a tree supposed to bear fruit? Or at least have some blossoms that signify growth?

But the more I looked at the painting, the more I felt the Lord had a message for me in the simplicity of it.

In this season, the Lord desires to teach me the fruit of rest. #weekendwhispers Click To Tweet

His desire is that I would rest in His presence, reflect on His goodness and be still and know that He is God.

I want to encourage you friends, that if you feel as if you are not bearing fruit in your current season, perhaps He is calling you to bear the fruit of rest. Allow yourself to let go of the things that are hindering you from going deeper into His Presence. He’s waiting for you to come.

Thank you for your patience in getting the weekend link up posted. I so appreciate that you take the time to be here each week.

Barbie Swihart
  1. Link up a post that shares how God is whispering to your heart as you walk out your journey.
  2. Visit the person who linked up before you. You can visit more, but you must commit to visit at least this one. Please do not link and leave.
  3. Grab the new button or link back here and share this growing community with others.