Tag Archives: storms

praying for blessings

blessings as tears .001

Seems life has been like riding a rollercoaster the last few months.
Up . . . Down . . . Twists . . . Turns . . . Upside-down . . . then, right side-up.
Catch my breath . . . then hold on for the ride.
I pray.  I continue to pray for
peace . . . comfort . . . healing . . . clarity . . . relationships . . . restoration . . . fear to leave . . . understanding . . . patience
  . . . protection . . . suffering to cease . . . 
I know God hears each word I’ve spoken . . . But today, my heart asks . . .But what tone does God hear in your voice?

Does He hear the same tones that I hear in the voices of others?
The tone in my own voice as I speak?
You know the ones that fuel all the negative emotions.
Of course, He does.
He hears the discontent . . . grumbling . . . complaining . . . whining . . . disappointment . . . self-righteousness . . . 
anger . . . muttering . . . indignation . . . displeasure . . . doubt . . . betrayal
I know He hears each word  and that He knows my every need . . .
and today, He reminded me that often times I let my fear take the joy away.
So today, I’m not white-knuckled or feeling my stomach in my throat, or letting out a blood curdling scream as I ride the rollercoaster.  This time, I am facing those fears that want to steal the joy away from me and seeing the trials as Mercy in disguise.
Blessings
by Laura Story

We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love is way too much to give us lesser things

‘Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
All the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we’d have faith to believe

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not our home

What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise


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.


my lighthouse

My Lighthouse

 

Lighthouses for anyone living, working, or traveling along a coast are a symbol of constancy.  

A lighthouse provides the light that points out dangers and hazards in darkness and times of storms.

A place of safe entry.

A marker of navigation along the journey.

In my life, the lighthouse is an image of God.  A symbol of His faithfulness and His constancy in the inconsistencies of my own life.

In the hazards and dangers, the trials and the temptations that are part of my life – He is my Lighthouse.

Everyday, He is my haven of safety.  When I am abiding in Him, I am safe.

As I walk on this journey, my Lighthouse marks my way, as a source of constancy that never hides from me.  He is the Light in the darkness of the world.

I am trusting in the promise that Jesus is the Light of the World  and the darkness will not overcome it.  No one, nothing can extinguish it.

So for the last month or so, the song “Lighthouse” by Rend Collective has been bombarding my mind and my heart – kind of like it’s been on repeat on my playlist!  The more I listen to the words, I have my Abba Father speaking to me with HIs loving arms wrapped around me.

He is reminding me that He will not walk out on me when I mess up, when I fail or when I doubt or question.

He is there in the silence – when it seems that there are no answers.

When the way seems clouded or a full-ranging storm, He is my Peace.

He is the fire that goes before me.  He leads me through, no matter if the skies are sunny or stormy.

  

“My Lighthouse” ~ by Rend Collective

In my wrestling and in my doubts
In my failures You won’t walk out
Your great love will lead me through
You are my peace in the troubled sea
You are my peace in the troubled sea

In the silence, You won’t let go
In my questions, Your truth will hold
Your great love will lead me through
You are my peace in the troubled sea
You are my peace in the troubled sea

My Lighthouse, My lighthouse
Shining in the darkness, I will follow You
My Lighthouse, My Lighthouse
I will trust the promise, You will carry me safe to shore
Safe to Shore
Safe to Shore
Safe to Shore

I won’t fear what tomorrow brings
With each morning I’ll rise and sing
My God’s love will lead me through
You are the peace in my troubled sea
You are the peace in my troubled sea

Fire before us, You’re the brightest
You will lead us safe to shore


even in the dark

 

john 1_5.001

It never ceases to amaze me . . . when I’m on the hunt for something to share with someone . . . The Word speaks to me.  Sometimes it’s a tug on my heart.  Or maybe a tap on my shoulder or a pull on my arm.  And then there are the times when it hits me smack in the head.  That’s exactly what happened the other day when I read Ann Voskamp’s post, How to Get Through the Dark Places.

There is nothing, absolutely nothing, that can defeat me. I can say, “I get it.” N.O.T.H.I.N.G.
And there is no place His light won’t go to find you, to save you, to hold you.

The darkness doesn’t understand the light, doesn’t comprehend the light, doesn’t get the light, doesn’t overcome the light, doesn’t master the light.

Darkness doesn’t have anything on light, on hope, on faith.

The darkness that sucks at the prodigal kid doesn’t have anything on the light of his mother’s prayers.

The black of pornography that threatens at the edges doesn’t master the blazing light of Jesus at the center.

The pit of depression that plunges deep doesn’t go deeper than the love of your Jesus and there is no place His light won’t go to find you, to save you, to hold you.

That low-lying storm cloud that hangs over you can’t master the light of Christ that raises you.

Darkness can’t drive out darkness. Only light can do that.

Only words of Light can drive out worlds of dark.
Only deeds of Light can drive out depths of dark.
Only lives of Light can drive out lies of dark.

Darkness can never travel as fast as Light. No matter how bad things get, no matter how black the dark seeps in, no matter the depths of the night — the dark can never travel as fast as Light. The Light is always there first, waiting to shatter the dark.

You can always hold His Word like a ball of light right there your hand, right up there next to your warming heart.

You can always count on it: Jesus is bendable Light, warmth around every unexpected corner.

So press on.  Keep running the race – even in the dark.


tree in the storm

_BJG2232

“Tree” by Justin Rizzo ~ click to listen.

Faith grows during storms.

A tree that stands alone withstands the storms.  The wind comes from every direction, whipping through the limbs, bending and twisting them until they become strong, strong in stature.

The winds of conflict whip storms into our lives.  The storms are ready to knock us off our feet, throw us down on the sharp rocks.  The winds of conflict are begging to bend us and twist us into oblivion. We either break. Or we stand in faith.

Our journey of faith is one of joy and sorrow, healing comfort and suffering, smiles and tears, victories and trials, triumphs and conflicts.  There is also hardship. . . dangers. . . misunderstandings. . .  troubles. . .  distress. . .discord. . .

So we run. Not away from the storm but instead we run straight to the center.  It’s there in the center we meet the One who can only bring peace in the storm.   This is where our faith grows strong, strong in stature   – – – –   like the Tree.

I want to be unmovable and unshakable

So let my roots go down deep

Unmovable and unshakable in You

I, I want to be like a tree

Planted by the streams of living water

This’ll be my song, God

This’ll be my prayer

Till the end

In the midst of the coming storm

In the midst of the coming blessing

That my life would be built upon the rock

That I would not be moved

Not be shaken


sadness and madness {re-blog from LPM}

i found this posting from Beth Moore {LPM} to be right on . . .  her words expressed the hurt, the anger, the frustration, the bewilderment a parent feels when one of their own hurts and faces struggles with life’s pains.

to read more . . .

Sadness and Madness.


oceans

last look at sunset on our wedding day

Hillsong United recently released a new song “Oceans ~ Where Feet may Fail,” that has been speaking to me from the first time I heard it.  Being one that rather likes to feel the earth beneath my feet, for me the ocean is so beautiful, but yet so very daunting.  

Listening carefully to the lyrics, my own personal struggles not only flood my heart, but so do those of our family and friends who are also facing struggles and trials.  There’s the precious couple who suffered a miscarriage, another facing infertility, several friends dealing with major health issues, despondency and depression, the family whose three-year old daughter will never walk or develop normally because of a freak accident, the healing of a marriage, the untimely death of a former student, difficulties at work, a heart hurting from a broken relationship . . .

All we have to do is look around us and the oceans are there.

The way we go through trials reflect to others how we go through life.  Our feet can not carry us, but His grace abounds in the deepest water.


click to listen

Oceans ~ Where Feet may Fail
Hillsong United

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

I will call upon Your Name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine


walking forward

james 1.2.003

Trials are in our lives.  They are around us, everywhere.  In the lives of family. Friends. co-workers. Neighbors. Strangers.  It may be a difficult job situation that seems to suck the life out of you, a health issue that robs one of a “normal” life, infertility for a precious young couple, a divisive person that seems to have put a target on your back, understanding how one can turn his back on Truth, the loss of a spouse, financial difficulties . . . the list seems endless.

Trials bring tears.  Tears are ok.  God sees the tears.  He feels them.  He wipes them away.  It’s knowing that there will be times of tears, of heartache, of not understanding, of fear, that help me understand that I can either let a season of trial make me stop, turn around, and walk {sometimes, run} backwards – away from Him.  OR I  can choose . . .

I can choose to walk forward, even in the tears.  It is possible to cry and walk at the same time.

I used to get so frustrated, it seemed my life was just one continual cycle of one trial after another.  To make it even more difficult to deal with, I felt that many of these trials weren’t because of my own doing.  iI was just merely caught in the whirlwind, the whirlwind of someone else’s choices.  I found myself in the fall out of  someone else’s disaster.  Little did I realize that time these times of trials (be it my own, or someone else’s) were part of breaking me, part of bringing me back into obedience.  I used to think, “but God, I heard You, iIm obeying You.  I said iI was, so it must be true!

That kind of obedience isn’t just a one-time thing. It often requires me having to make the same choice over and over again . . . days . . . weeks . . . months . . . even years.

My journey to obedience has all kinds of obstacles in it.  Obstacles that want to distract me.  oObstacles that want to persuade me to change my mind.  Obstacles that want to discourage me.   Obstacles that want to make me feel defeated.  Often, I would make the right decision once, but then couldn’t hang on for the rest of the journey.  I was missing the sustained, the abiding obedience that is needed, not the willpower I thought would get me through the “endless cycle.”

What I needed was commitment.  Not commitment to my own strength and endurance, but commitment to the One who sees my tears, who feels my tears, who knows EVERYTHING there is to know about me.

I needed to make a life change.

And the journey continues, because of His Grace I continue to learn to walk forward in the adversity as I daily seek sustained, abiding obedience. 


manage or surrender?

 

photo

 

in my mind i know that God is all-knowing – omniscient.  i know He is always present – omnipresent.  i know he is all-powerful – omnipotent.

so why is it that when things happen in life, when the difficulties come, when the storms rise up . . .  we call out, “God, are you asleep?”  living by faith is not easy.  it’s not like there is this on/off switch that i can flip on and flip off as i think i need it.  just like during the storm in Mark 4, the disciples were afraid, they were terrified – – there are times when i am afraid, i am terrified.  it’s time to raise my faith level.

fear and faith – are tied together.  do i let this fear shut down my faith OR do i allow this fear to move my faith?  

do i manage my life  OR do i surrender my life?

 

manage – i think i’ve got the answers.  i think i know how things should be, how they should play out.  how many times in life i have tried to manage.  manage my life and the lives of others.  i put up walls instead of acknowledging that fear.  i allowed that wall to get higher and higher.  why?  that wall shuts out the fear  –  the fears of the storms, the difficulties, the unknown, the hurts, the betrayals.  i put that wall up to help me from feeling that way again.  i didn’t allow Jesus to be anything for me.  i didn’t allow Him to be my Everything.  i was believing the lies of satan.  satan, the enemy – – the one who comes to deceive and destroy.  what a waste of precious time.

 

surrender – during such a time, i knew i could not, i should not manage my life.  a time when i knew that He, the One whom i have known since i was a very young girl, was breaking me.  breaking me to surrender what seemed like a hopeless situation.  breaking me for restoration, for redemption.  breaking me free of the lies that were being whispered into my mind and my heart.  breaking the wall down that i had so strategically built around myself.  it was time to come home.  it was time to surrender.  it was time to really know who my Jesus is and who i am in Christ.

the storms of life aren’t going to stop.  the walk of faith is not easy.  do i still try to manage? yes, sometimes i do still find myself wanting Jesus to manage me from the outside in, but the more i know Him, the more He calms me from the inside out.

i surrender – daily.


like the angels

Seems like right now there are more moments in life like the stormy Pacific Ocean.   There are several factors that are pouring into the [my] stormuncertainties, unspoken good-byes, a grieving heart, concerns for loved ones, but I know the main contributor is the Enemy.  The dark wanting to discourage, to distract, to disrupt Communion.   Anything to keep me away from My Strength.  It’s time like these music is truly a gift —- a gift that speaks and gives solace to my heart and to my spirit.

My sweet man shared this song, “Like the Angels” by Brenton Brown with me.  Maybe he sensed that I needed a healing balm through His Word in music.  Brenton Brown is a favorite songwriter of his who has written numerous worship songs.  He even has Brenton Brown’s autograph on his guitar on which Brenton played “Everlasting God” on.  Such a cool story!

The storm is raging, the waves crashing all around, I seem to sink lower, I lose sight of some, the Dark wants to surround and invade me
I know my Strength when all seems gone.

{So thank you my sweet man for sharing this song and for sharing this journey with me.}

https://beegee10.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/12-like-the-angels-live.m4a  

Like the angels

When I am sinking down, when I am lost at sea

No solace to be found, no ground beneath my feet

I turn to you as I go down, I reach for you through roaring waves

My only hope is in Your arms, my only prayer is that you’d save me

Cause you make me soar like the angels

You let me walk on the water

You let me run with white horses

Jesus my strength when all is gone

You are my strength when all is gone

When I am all alone, no land is in my sight

All others lost from view, and comes the darkening night

I turn to you as I go down, I reach for you through wind and waves

My only hope is in Your arms, my only prayer is that you’d save me

You are my strength when all is gone

(Music and lyrics by Brenton Brown)


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