Category Archives: Psalms

broken

broken ornament

Invariably, it happens every year. A wagging tail brushes a limb of the tree, or a little hand reaches out in curiosity, or sometimes it’s just a mystery – it just happens.  All followed by the familiar sound of crashing glass on the floor crying out, “broken.”

My first inclination is to quickly sweep up the pieces and toss the broken Christmas ornament into the trash.  But this time while carefully picking up the broken fragments, those jagged, sharp pieces, I am reminded how Jesus meets me in my brokenness.  And unlike how the world views brokenness, my Savior doesn’t quickly sweep me away and nonchalantly toss me into the trash heap.  He meets me there, in the middle of the mess of my brokenness. When I come to the end of myself, He meets me there in the brokenness.

Through adversity, in the disappointments, in the failures – I see my weakness, my need to depend on Him. And when I come to the end of myself, I do not see these as shortcomings, but am reminded that God works best through me when I am broken.   

So in this season of celebrating the birth of Jesus, I stop to reflect on the cradle, the cross, and the crown.

I’m not in a hurry to sweep away my brokenness because I know it is there He meets me.

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
    a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
Psalm 51:17 

 

 


in her Momma’s arms

sleeping AB

I sit quietly in awe. Quietly watching this precious little one nestled snugly in her momma’s arms.  Their breathing is in harmonic motion, in and out . . . in and out . . .a quiet, a peaceful rhythm.

Her momma gently whispers words of love over her as she has her tucked safely close. In her mother’s arms she is safe, protected, nurtured.  Momma’s arms hold her close to her beating heart, that heart that was the familiar sound this little one heard day in and day out while her mother carried her for nine months.   And now out in this world, this world that is so filled with chaos, her momma continues to hold her close, to cover her with mother wings.  A stronghold of love.

I sit watching, pondering in awe. Pondering meditatively.

As I see my very own little girl embrace her own little girl, my heart is full.  My heart is full of love for this new little one who has been  remarkably and wonderfully made.  My heart is full of love for the one who was remarkably and wonderfully knitted together inside my own body.

But most of all, my heart is full of reminders of the One who covers me in His arms, who holds me close in the midst of the chaos.

I am reminded of the times my life has been crumbling to pieces around me, troubles were crashing into me right and left, life seem to be imploding.  I was alone, or at least that is what the enemy wanted me to believe.

Clinging to Psalm 46, He pulls me in to cover me with His Love, to be my stronghold against all that is clamoring to tear me apart.  He is always there to whisper His words of Love into my heart.  Pulling me close, the chaos turns into peace.

I can hear His heartbeat because He created me to be His.

God is my refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Therefore I will not fear,
Though the earth should give way,
And though the mountains fall into the heart
of the sea.
Though its waters roar and foam,
Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride.
Psalm 46:1-3

So as things of this world are vying to pull me away, to create disharmony, when I have to hold it together, even when I don’t feel like it . . . it is here, here with my God, my Creator, that I find solace, my stronghold.  It is here, I can let it go.  I cling to His arms and hear His tender heart calling me close.  It’s here in the magnificent, or the insignificant, in the joyous moments, or the disappointing times, the uplifting, or the casting down, the contentment, or the perplexities and uncertainties that I rest secure. Resting secure in the harmonic motion of His peace and His grace.

Rest in His arms, just like that precious little one in her Momma’s arms.  Rest no matter what the world throws your way. Find His peace in the chaos.


do not fret

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Do not fret . . .  it only causes harm. 
Psalm 37:8

Don’t fret.  Who me? 

Maybe I’m sitting around in a group . . .  or talking face-to-face with a loved one or a friend . . . or sending a note by an email . . . or texting a reply . . . or commenting on a post . . .

It seems so easy for me to say, “Don’t worry . .  Just be patient . .  You’re going to get through this . .  Let’s pray about this . .  God’s got this . . .”  to someone else.  

Afterall, that’s what scriptures tell me – it’s what I’ve been taught from the early days of my childhood.  More importantly, it’s the Truth I’ve witnessed over and over again throughout my life.  So why?  Why, when I was led to read Psalm 37 did the phrase “do not fret” jump out at me?  It wasn’t because it was repeated several times throughout the Psalm.  No, it was much more than that.  It was that word . . . FRET.

There was something about that word . . . that word that I’ve heard my mother use from time to time and one I’ve used myself.  But when I looked it up – there it was speaking straight to me.  It was more than just the association with the word “worry.”

FRET: verb (used with object).

to torment; irritate, annoy, or vex: [You mustn’t fret yourself about that.]
You see for some reason, I thought “fret” was just a little bit of a more positive word for “worry.” Positive?

Torment? Irritate? Annoy?  Vex?
 None of those are extremely positive.  So easy to say, but hard to believe when the world is turned upside down and inside out, when things seems to be out of control and life goes awry.
So again, some time for some inner reflection.
[Why the word “fret”? ]  

Do not fret – it only causes harm.

[Because that’s what I tend to do. I fret. I thought I had that “worry” thing under control.]

Do not fret – it only causes harm.  

[Do I allow things, people, situations, to annoy me?  To irritate me? To vex me?]


Do not fret – it only causes harm.

[I’m reminded of health issues, of a time of depression, of hurt relationships, of a spiritual desert.]

When things in life are moving along without hitting  speed bumps or the pot holes – whether big or small – it’s easy not to fret, it’s easy to wait patiently . . . to abide in Him.  But if I can not “not fret” when the speed bumps come, when the pot holes are waiting in the road for me, or when uncertainty is hiding around every corner then I truly am not trusting and resting in the Lord.  And if it’s not working for me, then how can I say it’ll work for someone else?    I can’t. I can not do it myself. 

Worrying always results in sin. We tend to think that a little anxiety and worry are simply an indication of how wise we really are, yet it is actually a much better indication of just how wicked we are. Fretting rises from our determination to have our own way. Our Lord never worried and was never anxious, because His purpose was never to accomplish His own plans but to fulfill God’s plans. Fretting is wickedness for a child of God.                ~from My Utmost for His Highest

So when I fret, I’m telling God I don’t think He can handle my situation.  All my fretting and my worry is me planning without God.  And that will always cause me harm. 


waterfalls

waterfall in yellowstone

Deep calls to deep in the roar of Your waterfalls;
all Your breakers and Your billows have swept over me.
Psalm 42:7

When it seems that one trouble comes after another . . .
one disappointment comes on the heels of another . . .
one day of silence follows another . . .

Like the deep roar of the waterfalls, He calls to me . . . reminding me His Mercy covers me.

His Love washes over me . . . reminding me He is always faithful covering me in His Grace.

He calls to me, as I call out to Him in the depth of my soul . . . this is where He meets me.

Linking up at:
finding spiritual whitespace

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“you got this” ~ thank you, Dad

The Hallmark reminder popped up on my computer’s calendar ~ “Father’s Day is today.”  Not that I needed a reminder  … in fact, I don’t need Hallmark to remind me to celebrate my dad!   Each and every day, my dad is one of the very special people in my life that I thank God for allowing to be part of my journey.  My dad is the one who has guided me, pointing me to Him every step of the way from the very beginning.

 

A Father is the seed of your beginning, he is the catalyst of your being, the genesis of your becoming.
~Ann Voskamp

 As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him.
Psalms 103:13

 

What better legacy can a daughter ask for?

Dad, I’ve got it . . .  because our Father has you!

 


rest in the stillness

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Rest in the stillness.  

There’s a quiet . . . a hush . . . a stillness . . . the sun quietly rises over the lake.

The fish are waiting . . . but more importantly, the quiet calls.  My Abba Father, my Daddy, is waiting for me. He calls for me. 

Rest in the stillness of My Presence while I prepare you for this day.  Let the radiance of My Glory shine upon you, as you wait on Me in confident trust.  Be still and know that I am God. 

In the quiet . . . in His quiet . . . I am quiet . . .  quietly trusting Him.

As you rest in My Presence, focusing on Me, I quietly build bonds of trust between us.  When you respond to the circumstances of your life with affirmations of trust, you actively participate in this process. 

The quiet of the morning breaks the dark of night.  The quiet of the morning calls me to rest . . . to rest in the stillness of His Presence.

Trusting Him with my day. 

taken from Jesus Calling


helpless

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Helpless was the cry I heard. The other day I spent a few hours with my sweet teaching partner and her precious six-week old baby boy.  When she answered the door, the sounds of her precious little one’s petitions were crying out.  Readily taking him into my arms, I thought about how this little infant couldn’t tell his momma exactly what he wanted or needed at that moment.  He was calling out the best way he knew how.  All he could do was cry, but we understood his demonstration of need.  His helplessness, his dependence touched this mother’s heart.  

So it is with our Father. My helplessness, my dependence on Him is what He desires of me.

So many times I feel helpless in my heart, as I cry out to Him.  It seems that at times I don’t even know what to pray. The words are frozen on my lips.  It’s in those times of helplessness that my heart calls out best to my Abba Father.  My prayers and my helplessness go hand in hand to the One who knows me.  The helplessness of my heart is heard even if I can’t say a word out loud.  He hears and He listens to my heart as I call out to His heart, even in the silence.

He hears today the prayers of this mother’s heart in its helplessness.  The prayer that is stronger than the loudest cry.

Who do I have in heaven but You?
And I desire nothing on earth but You.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart,
my portion forever.
Psalm 73:25-26


all things new

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Behold I am making all things new.  ~ Revelation 21:5

On the hunt for signs of new life.  Spring has been teasing us for the last several weeks here after an unusually cold and pretty dreary winter in Texas.  The days of biting cold, icy roads, and winter storm warnings (school closures!) are surely behind us!  Now the signs of His breathing new life into the deadness of nature are showing all around us.  The anticipation of what God is going to do brings a fresh hope.

The little green leaves of the bluebonnets poking through the dirt . . .  bring hope.

The lone clump of Indian paintbrush . . . brings hope.

The mother bluebirds building their nests in the houses lining our fence  . . . bring hope.

The sounds of a hosts of different birds awakening the woods . . . bring hope.  

The massive old trees budding out with tiny spurts of green  . . . bring hope.  

The freshness in the air as I walk outside . . . brings hope.

All signs of spring!  How I love spring because it’s the season that wipes away all the dead, the dreariness and brings the promise of new life.  But you know it’s not just the in trees, the flowers, the birds that new life is promised.  His promise is for us!  He makes us new.

So in looking around the promise of new life all around me today, I am reminded that there was a time in my life I too was dead, dead like much like things in nature in winter.  But He made me a new creation!!

It’s not just a seasonal event that happens.  God is constantly at work in my life.  He is continuously working the soil of my heart through His Spirit.  Even when it’s hard to see from my human perspective, I know He is at work even in the smallest details of life.

I know I can trust HimSo I cling to His promise, anticipating with fresh hope the day when all things are made new.

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{Sunday renewal} Presence-focused

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Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.
—Psalm 105:4

I am renewing your mindWhen your thoughts flow freely, they tend to move toward problems. Your focus gets snagged on a given problem, circling round and round it in attempts to gain mastery. Your energy is drained away from other matters through this negative focus. Worst of all, you lose sight of Me.

A renewed mind is Presence-focused. Train your mind to seek Me in every moment, every situation. Sometimes you can find Me in your surroundings: a lilting birdsong, a loved one’s smile, golden sunlight. At other times, you must draw inward to find Me. I am always present in your spirit. Seek My Face, speak to Me, and I will light up your mind.        (from Jesus Calling)

A timely reminder . . . F.O.C.U.S.  I need to continually ask myself . . . where is my mind wandering?  It’s not my Father who wanders away from me, but me who wanders away from Him.


lead me to the Rock

psalm 61.001

It seems as if a million things all happen at once.  Deadlines are looming, meetings are scheduling up and the papers are piling up, and files are growing heavier.  Rest doesn’t seem to come easy.

And then there are the things I carry around in my heart, on my mind throughout the day and into the dark of night. Those concerns for those I love – the hurts, the uncertainties, the seeming endless list of questions – all sap my emotional energy. There are times I feel so weak, as if I couldn’t take another step.  

A number of years ago, darkness seemed to surround me even in the daylight hours.  All I wanted to do was stay buried beneath the blankets because just getting dressed for the day took all my energy.  One day a sweet friend prayed Psalm with me, reminding my faint heart of His promise.  I knew that no matter how bleak the day may seem, no matter how drained my body and my mind and my heart might be , all I had to do was ask . . . ask my Abba Father, my Daddy, to carry me.

No matter where you are, He will hear you.  No matter how deep in the cave you find yourself, He will carry you.  He will lift you high into His outstretched arms.

When you can’t take another step . . .

He is your place of safety.
 He is your place of peace.  
Rest in Him.
Rest in Him with a listening heart.  
He hears and He listens. 

Give Him your worries and your problems and your concerns.

It doesn’t mean they will instantly go away, but it does mean you have Someone to share them with. Someone who will give you peace beyond all understanding.

 


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