Tuesday, January 31, 2017

A "No Longer"



"Lord, help me to accept the ME you've made for this season," she prayed silently, "I want to be effective."

Sometimes we look at ourselves, the real us, and wonder what in the world. We ask questions...what was God thinking when He made me with the personality I have? What was He expecting to do with the desires He placed within me? And how does He expect to bring it to pass when I apparently don't have what it takes any more? What does it even look like now? Have you ever had similar thoughts? 

Or what about this route...

Look at what I've become. See the gray, out-of-control, strands of hair protruding from my head and the ever-increasing, dark-spotted skin of my face? What about these frames of newly, prescribed bifocals? My mind isn't as sharp as it used to be. How did I become this "older" version of myself?  My figure has changed...gravity is winning the battle! I no longer have young children to care for and sometimes need my children to care for me instead. I'm all washed up. I can't make a difference. Ever been there?

Or what about this route...

What am I supposed to do in this phase of life? What is my purpose? It seems what I've done for the past number of years is no longer in my wheelhouse. Where do I fit in? Life is passing me by so quickly! Is there a new purpose for me to fulfill or am I finished? What is God's plan for me now?

These, and hundreds more thoughts and unwanted suggestions can plague a woman's mind at some point during her lifetime. I suppose they are legitimate questions to be asked. We do change. In every way. Some of us quicker than others. Every season of life, from childhood, to zealous teen, to young married, and onward, as life passes by, we change, must fulfill new roles and carry ourselves a bit differently than before times. But it doesn't mean we are finished or a "no longer."


Psalm 92:14 says, "They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing...

This verse brings a chuckle to my heart..."fat and flourishing" - just what we all want, huh? Hey, it's in the Word though! Tell me God doesn't have a sense of humor? (By the way, I know what it's talking about...just sharing a smile today.)
It's during times of transition and change that the enemy would like us to think we're failures. We've not measured up! What we thought God had chosen for us to do was just a waste of time. Because, after all, we're all washed up in that area now. It's over. 

For some of us, we're no longer mothers of little toddlers, we're no longer wives of young, strapping, good-looking husbands, we're no longer at the top of the leader boards in our company, we're no longer employed, we're no longer able to serve like we once did. We're no longer...


It can be quite a challenge to deal with the "no longer" stages of life. And, although it can happen at any stage, I'm speaking of the "older" ladies today - the middle age and beyond. (I'm there!) You still have a purpose. There is still something big for us to do; it just might look a little different than it did yesterday. 

We're not a has been or a "No Longer"; God doesn't make those models!


Although we may feel on some days, that we don't measure up or have what it takes, we can be sure God will never be finished with us as long as we walk this earth. We're not forgotten! There is a purpose for our lives, we are still fighting, still making a difference, still shining the light in darkness.

"And even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you." Isaiah 46:4

Never, ever give up. We were made to make a difference in every season of life. When we're feeling "old" or of no effect - a "No Longer", let's realize that's not from God; with age comes wisdom. What you're seeing from behind those bifocals, what you're feeling under that warmth-giving shawl, still matters. What we see in those fine lines and wrinkled hands can be an encouragement, she can offer compassion like no other, and can touch lives in gentle but powerful ways. 

True...you may no longer be physically strong and able to keep up with the youngsters but you're spiritually strong and are full of so many life testimonies to share with others. 

Accept where you are. Shine bright, flourish, and make a difference.  You can be effective. Celebrate!


To every lady out there who is asking questions, who are wondering about the stage of life you find yourself in...we can be amazing in every season. There is a purpose for our being because God always has a plan, accepts and longs to use us. It's time to get up and celebrate, let's make a difference - whatever that looks like for you during this season. He never considers us, no matter our age or season in life, to be a "No Longer."
 

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Lost & Found: Faithfulness

 

"When we're faithful to Him, He is faithful to us," my husband said to me as we headed back to Kroger for the second time in thirty minutes. 

You see, we were out and about doing our Saturday to-do's and had already crossed the grocery store off the list. Except, I had left my phone behind in the cart. One important note: I hadn't realized it yet.

We had left the store and headed to our next destination. In fact, we had completely finished with our next stop and were back in the car talking about being faithful to God in our financial giving. Uh-oh! That's when I thought about the money I had stuck back in the pocket of my phone case. 

Immediately, I frantically began feeling my pockets and looking around the car for my phone. No luck! It was nowhere to be found and I began to mentally track my steps...and I knew exactly where it was. At least I knew where I had left it.

My sweet hubby put in a call to Kroger service department to ask if someone had turned a phone in. My heart beat like the thundering of horses running for the finish line on Derby Day. I knew I had my license, debit card and quite a bit of money in my phone case, not to mention the phone itself. It was quite possible it was all long gone all because of my carelessness.

The busy service attendant finally took our call and asked for descriptive details about the phone I had "left behind". We had to give a description...and wait...forever. The sweet angelic voice finally came through the phone that, "Yes!" they did have my phone. A service clerk had turned it in. In my book, it was nothing short of a miracle!

While receiving a gentle, but firm, lecture about laying my phone in the top part of the cart, my husband made the "faithful" statement. And boy, was I ever so thankful at that moment that we could be counted faithful in the giving category. 

A while later, with my phone in hand, I opened it slowly and saw that all contents were accounted for. Yet another addition to my miracle for the day! God is indeed faithful!!!

Sometime we wonder if we're seen.


Is God really paying attention to us and our measly lives? The answer, my friend, is without a doubt, "YES!" Today, a missing phone reminded me again. He does see us.

"For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he pondereth all his goings." Prov. 5:21

He knows are faithfulness, our unfaithfulness; He knows when we are doing right and when there is sin in our lives. He knows when we need His assistance, He knows when we are ignoring Him and trying to do things on our own. He always knows exactly what our need is, what the situation calls for and exactly how He plans to come through on our behalf. And...

He knows when to send an honest grocery store clerk to the rescue, for the sake of showing His children that He IS paying attention.

And...today that's exactly what happened. I walked out of that grocery store humbled and with thankfulness in my heart. My hubby looked at me and smiled. 

Yes, there are so many benefits of serving the Lord. So may blessings along the way for being faithful in the little things. God proves over and over again that He is faithful and He sees our every move. Even when it comes down to little segments of Lost and Found.

How has He shown His faithfulness to you today? Don't miss the small stuff!




Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Sparks Fly...Rejoice



"And he commanded the most mighty men that were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace."  
Daniel 3:20

Exciting...right off the press of my heart. An ancient story with new revelation.

We've heard the story of the 3 Hebrew children, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, since we began our first Sunday school class as a young child. These dedicated, God-serving, young people would not give in to what the norm was in their day, thus ending up infuriating King Nebuchadnezzar who eventually had them bound and thrown into the fiery furnace.  

We remember the miraculous discovery that although they were in the flames, they were not being burned. Not to mention another man showed up in the fire with them. Hello! Amazing story, right?

The fire actually burned off what had bound these men in the first place. 


True. The fire killed the strong men putting these sold-out, young men into the fire. However, the clothes on these Hebrews didn't burn, their hair, skin....nothing burned except the ropes or whatever was used to bind them up. Isn't that beautiful? Doesn't that encourage you?


The very thing this king designed to kill them is exactly what set them free. 


I know it's simple, but the very same fiery trial the enemy uses to try and trip us up, to make us want to give up, the Lord can turn around and use to our advantage. Remember Joseph telling his brothers, "But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good"? Same concept here!

We may feel like we're going through the fire today, but if we're God-people, we'll find that while we're in the middle of the fire, our chains will fall off because of the fire. Addiction has to go. Depression has to flee. Insecurity. Discouragement. Defeat. Whatever the enemy has designed to tease you or make you want to throw in the towel today, can be your very source for growth, strength and an overcoming, victorious testimony. That extra man in the fire with you will see to it!

Don't be discouraged if you find yourself in the heat of the battle today. You're not alone. Rejoice! There can be a glorious unfolding of your situation no matter what it looks like. There is hope! Can't you just see the headline tomorrow:

Sparks Fly, Blazing Inferno Consumes, __________ (insert your name) Is Unscathed


"...when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; 
neither shall the flame kindle upon thee."
 Isaiah 43:2
 

Monday, January 23, 2017

Squeezed Into Shape


 We all can probably quote the first verse of the Bible.

"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
Genesis 1:1 

Then, in the next verse it says, "And the earth was without form..." (Genesis 1:2) 

The earth had been created, but it was without form. In other words, it was a worthless, empty place. A mess! I thought that was an amazing visual! Our Almighty, All-powerful, Omniscient God created, out of nothing, an earth which wasn't complete. Couldn't He have just as easily created an earth complete with all the heavenlies, plant and animal life simultaneously? Without a doubt in my mind, I know He could've; but that wasn't His plan. 

God chose to create some things. God chose to form some things. You see, while creating entails making something from nothing, to form means to "squeeze into shape" something that already is. God formed man out of the dust of the ground which He had created. (Gen 2:7) It wasn't enough for man to be created, He had to be formed. He was different.

Each of us are created in our mother's womb. A project overseen by our Creator. That's not the end of our story however. Once we are born, we begin the process of being formed. Again, couldn't God have just as easily created us to be exactly what He designed us to be in the first place? Sure, He could have. 

God is patient though, and goes to great effort to form and shape us into that perfect design He has in mind for us. Remember, we're all born in sin; we're unclean. He has a plan for us though.

We're each kind of like the "mess" the earth was in before God brought order to it. 


We're empty and void, but ready to be shaped into that perfect vessel fit for the King.

A piece of clay must be worked and reworked in the hands of the potter until it yields to his gentle touch. It's a process. If it doesn't yield, he starts again and makes it over. That's what God desires to do in us. We don't come into this world with all the answers. We don't make the right choices and decisions the first time around. And, that's alright! 

Each and every day we walk with the Lord we are being formed. The pressures of life, the trying of our faith makes us grow and mature. It's all good! We have a crown of life to obtain, Heaven to gain. 

Sure, He could've let us arrive on this earth with the ready-made label "all that - and a bag of chips", but He chose instead to form us day by day. 


A treasure squeezed into shape by the One who loves us exactly as we are, but too much to leave us so. Just a note ya'll,  He'll never squeeze us more than we're capable of withstanding.

Won't you take a step of faith with me and invite God to do more with our lives than just the average? Can we encourage one another to endure the pressing? Let's invite Him to squeeze us into the vessel He desires, until we're all He wants us to be. Formed. Holy. Consecrated. Dedicated. A work, completed and signed by Him. A true Master-piece.

God, please squeeze me a little bit more each day.
While it might not always feel good, I know it's working for my good.
Squeeze out the messy, and make me more like You.
Until I'm complete, finished and shining bright,
fit for a crown designed by You.

Friday, January 20, 2017

We're Made For More

I swallowed my fears and squared my shoulders. 

"I can do this!", I said under my breath with the most gumption I could muster up.


You see, I don't do well with fair or amusement park rides. As a young child, I rode the clanging, metal monsters purely because of peer pressure. Once the attendant strapped my small, fearful frame into the cold seat, I'd sit quietly in terror, often holding my breath until the ride would finally come to an end.

I'm a grown woman now...and I still carry with me the same cautious fear of whirling around in metal contraptions meant for the crazy and fearless crowd. However, on this particular day I was strapped into a metal car with my husband by my side...not to mention, we were on a kiddie coaster. 

I screamed and half-way enjoyed this low-impact excursion even while squeezing my hubby's hand tightly. I did it!

Then, peer pressure hit me square in the face. Minutes later, I found myself sitting on a whirly-round-and-round-we-go contraption...without my dear, supportive husband. Here we go! I'm proud to say once the ride started, I lasted a whole minute before my body went into over-ride, shock mode. 

As fearless and brave as I might have looked on the inside, my internal processing center was in turmoil. Needless to say, the attendant made a quick end of the ride and I stumbled off sick and undone - and I didn't enjoy one moment of the rest of that day. Let's just say I was miserable! Why? 

There are some things I'm not cut out for, no matter how much courage I try to display.

IN MYSELF.


It's the same way in my spiritual life. It's true, I am victorious and can overcome anything...with God by my side. He knows what I can handle and what I'm not quite ready for yet. He also knows that when He stretches me a bit beyond my comfort zone, I grow. He's not content to allow me to coast through on the kiddie rides all my life. I guess I wouldn't want Him to either.

Philippians 1:6 says I can be confident, "that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it..." in His perfect time and way. 

I Corinthians 10:13 tells me that God is faithful and "will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able" and He will be and provide the strength we need that we "may be able to bear it."

When we face circumstances and trials which leave us spinning, feeling out of control, and frazzled beyond any sense of direction, we can be sure that we will come through. We have God's promises to hold on to. Yes, one day we will look back at this particular "thrill-ride", which may have taken our breath away for a moment, and be able to testify that we made it. We survived. 

While there are some things we consider ourselves "not cut out for" right now, with each and every time we choose to trust in the Lord, to hold to His promises, to keep our hand in His, we are becoming something more. It's not about what we are or our supply of courage, or lack thereof. Rather, it's simply what we are capable of becoming and growing into because of what God is doing in us. His plan is to stretch and prove us beyond our imagination because He has much greater things in store for us than merely kiddie rides. We are His! 

Let us hold to the words found in Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end."

My favorite part of any ride is the end. When I can finally take a breath and know it's all over and that I'm safe. God has an expected end for each of us. This ride won't last always, my friend. It came to pass! So, I say to you, and to myself, with as much courage and gusto as I can, WE CAN DO THIS! He knows we can too. With God, all things are possible. 

We're made for more than kiddie land.





Monday, January 16, 2017

The. Very. Best. Place.

"And when they could not find by what way...they went upon the housetop, 
and let him down...into the midst before Jesus."  
 Luke 5:19

 
I pick up the phone to hear a troubled voice on the other end. I notice in an instant, there's pain and brokenness in the life of someone very dear to me. I listen. Suddenly, my own heart begins to feel as if it might break in two. I'm sure you've been there yourself, huh?

I hear the "bing" of a message being delivered on Facebook Messenger or through a text message. I open the message and begin to read cries for to hold her up in prayer, of dreadful circumstances that I can't even begin to imagine. Again, my heart begins to feel as if it might break in two. There are some situations we can be of help in, like when the four friends took their friend to see Jesus and let him down through the roof. (Luke 5) Yet, there are some things beyond your reach even though our heart's desire is there.

I sit with a friend as she shares the ugliness that life has brought into her world. My heart is grieved as I too can identify with her feelings. As I perceive the pain hidden within her eyes, as I watch hot tears course down her cheeks, I wonder at the smallness of my own being. I feel so much rising up within me as my heart does flip-flops within my chest. The desire to help is overwhelming. To make all the pain go away. Love. Care. Concern.

The truth is, I feel helpless. Although I may sweep her up in a gentle hug or take her hand in mine, or offer a simple smile, or try to reply with a simple word or photo of encouragement; in my heart I know none of these things are nearly enough. These feelings of care and concern can only come from loving so deeply. Yes, what I'm feeling is one of those risks of loving. Even though we would do just about anything possible to ease the pain, I know this:

 

There's ultimately only one thing we can do for those we love who are enduring painful, ugly  moments in their lives, and there's only one place we can take them to make it "all better." 

 

While a shopping trip or a cuppa shared together at a coffee shop might help make the pain dissipate for a short period of time, there's something better we can do to help ease the pain. The best thing!

 

When there is pain in their life, so intense that our own heart shares in the pain, when we want to do more, when we want to help...we can take them to the King.

 

You read it right! In the middle of all the pain and suffering, we can take those individuals to the feet of Jesus. Nobody cares for us like Him! (Heb. 4:15) Just imagine with me, if we are having these feelings of pain within our own hearts in reaction to the hurt of those we love...how much more is He touched with their feelings? How much more than we does He care? How much more able than we is He to fix it and make it all better? Yes, that's the best place we can take them. THE. VERY. BEST. PLACE.

We cannot take the pain away, but He can. We cannot fix the circumstances, but God can speak peace. He can offering healing, answers and miraculous provisions. Take them to the King! Leave them prayerfully at His feet. He is exceedingly, abundantly (Eph. 3:20) able to take care of it all...our loved ones - and our aching heart too. Our friends will be thankful and we will be blessed by taking them to THE. VERY. BEST. PLACE. Now, let's take the tiles off that roof as we bring them to Jesus.

Lord, help us to take those we love, who are in deep pain,
to You - knowing that you'll take care of them...just like our hearts
desire to - only You do it "all better."

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Lessons At the Booth


If I've heard it once, I've heard it a thousand and one times and it's true, "No matter what you're going through, there's someone out there who is going through worse."

At the moment, when we're in the thick of the battle and our world seems to be coming up scrambled eggs and hash browns smothered, covered and chunked, all we can see in that moment is our own plate. 


Is that so wrong after all? I'd say not. I think there are moments in life when it's alright to sit down in the cold booth with a scalding cup of over-brewed coffee and not be able to see anyone's plate except our own. It's not that we're being oblivious to all the other diners in the room. It is simply time to try to digest what life has thrown our way.

It is true that there are others out there with far greater problems and hopeless situations than we find ourselves facing. Yet,we can be assured, even in the wild drama of our lives, there is someone there who is touched by the feelings of our infirmities, (Heb. 4:15) and who invites us to cast our cares upon Him; (1 Pet. 5:7). someone who knows every detail of our lives, even the number of hairs on our heads. (Matt. 10:30) Jesus is willing to sit in that booth with us on those cold, dreary days when nothing seems to be going right in our lives. A compassionate, loyal friend who will be by our side even when the rest of the world seems to have walked out. He is all about "us". He isn't afraid that we'll be "too much" for Him, in fact, He happily joins us at the table if we'll invite Him.

The reason I think it's alright to sit back and get wrapped up in our own plate for a bit is simply because if we fully devote ourselves to tasting every bite, while deciding with each bite whether to savor or cast it away, we are experiencing life and learning. 

During those meals when our taste buds aren't exactly doing the two-step, we have the opportunity to allow something dynamic to happen within us that may very well change the course of a lifetime.


Remember, although we're the one sitting behind our plate, there are others all around us who have their own customized orders too. We've already admitted to that. Perhaps it's not on today, but some day, after you're plate has been cleared away, you'll eventually find that the very experience you endured may lead you to be more compassionate and considerate when you see someone else who may be partaking of a similar dish. (2 Cor 1:4) Jesus desires to help us through so that we can return to that table at a later time to "wait on", to help and encourage, someone else who finds themselves struggling.

My friend, if your food is cold and you find it less-than-tasteful, remember someone else is going to be served up the same way and what you take away from this table in life might very well be the tools you need to help someone else down the road. Even if your meals aren't identical and perhaps that person reaching out to you is in more (or less) desperate times than you found for yourself before, what God allows you to glean through your own experiences are meant to serve others.

Go ahead, be all about your own meal right now. It's completely OK. 

Later, you might be able to add a touch of sweetness to someone's bitter cup. 


Perhaps at a later time, you'll be able to sit down with someone else who is trying to digest their own scrambled, scattered life issues. What if we could be instrumental in bringing a touch of encouragement to their lives? That's what it's all about!  Your receipt says you've endured...now, you have the opportunity to pay it forward for someone else.

Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. Luke 6:38




Monday, January 9, 2017

Dear Me~ (& You)


And...why do I write these posts in the first place? First, to share with you what God has shown me or put on my heart. Secondly, because sometimes I need to go back and read my own posts so I'll be able to remember what God brought me through and remind myself of what He's told me before. I think it's called "encouraging yourself in the Lord." I find myself here for the latter reason today.

Life...it happens.

Dear Me,

Today, your heart feels like its breaking, you feel cheated, and you're a bit angry. However, God is in control...don't forget that. Through this next leg of the journey there might be pain, tears, and even some heartache but God will be right there with you through it all. Remember, He said He would never leave or forsake you. What seems unbearable right now, you must choose to lay at His feet and trust that He will work it out for the best. Yes, even though you can't see how at the moment. Last week you just wrote about the "if's" in life. Don't forget that! Don't be quick to forget all the things God has laid upon your heart in the recent weeks...yes, even the closing weeks of 2016.

Remember your one word of motivation for this year...even on this 9th day in - HOPE. Remember the theme of this year - complete and total victory! No matter what it feels like today, no matter how you might be hurting inside, deal with those feelings, sure; but don't stay there. Keep putting one foot in front of the other, hold your head up and keep pressing on. God's got this!!! And you! It IS well with your soul - and that is all that matters. Cast all your cares at His feet, He's waiting to help you carry the load but won't take it from you. Give it to Him. Rest in Him.

Love, 
Yourself

Maybe this blog post is a bit different, but don't you have those days when you need to go back and remember? Doesn't God occasionally have to remind all of us (some of us more than others) that He's holding our world in His hands? Don't we all need to be reminded of the truth by someone sometime? I know I do!

Perhaps you may need to write yourself a letter today (or any day) if you find yourself feeling less-than-victorious. Remind yourself of the promises of a God who cannot and will not fail us - ever. I'm not saying there will be no more pain after you sign the end of the letter, but at least you'll know you're not alone and you'll be reminded that God is there to give strength and help you through. That's enough to get the blood pumping again...a gentle reminder to the heart to beat again!

Yes, life happens. Sometimes we may identify with Job or Noah, or perhaps Abraham and Sarah, what about David or Paul? We all have one thing in common no matter what the situation...God is on our side. If it had not been so...tell me where would we be?!
 

Thursday, January 5, 2017

If ________...God Is There





It doesn't matter if we wake up and can hardly find the strength and "want to" to pull ourselves out of bed and face the day...God is there.

If we wake up with a pep in our step, ready to conquer the world's and our own problems...God is there.

If we find ourselves in the pit of depression...God is there.

If we're bubbling over with joy on the inside...God is there. 

If we're slacking and need help getting focused again...God is there.

If we're faithful and doing all the right things we know to do...God is there.

If we find ourselves in a deep valley experience...God is there.

If we're shouting the victory on the mountain top...God is there.

If we find ourselves in financial woes and the way seems impossible...God is there.

If we're financially stable or even well off...God is there.

If we or a family member is facing an unfavorable health diagnosis...God is there.

If we're well in body and mind...God is there.

If we have children who are wayward...God is there.

If we have children who are shining in God's destiny for their lives...God is there.

If we have friends who have turned their back on us or if we're rejected...God is there.

If we have friends who are walking hand in hand with us...God is there.

IF...God doesn't let that word deter Him - and we shouldn't either.


The truth is, we can't escape our God. No matter where we're at, He can find us. He knows. He can reach us where we are! IF doesn't scare God away and it shouldn't cause us to worry or fear. God will always be there for His children...in every season of life. Tis so sweet to trust in Him. 

Let's take our IF and turn it into IS today. IF ______________, God IS there! Nothing can take Him by surprise. Nothing catches Him off guard. Nothing is stronger than He is. We can't run Him off because we've disappointed Him. Nothing and nobody can touch our lives like He can. Nobody can love us like He does!

Can I get a witness of someone who has found this to be true in their life? His promises are true and everlasting. IF...you can just believe...God is there. Be blessed today~




Monday, January 2, 2017

HOPE - 2017 Version


My ONE WORD for 2017 is HOPE~

We've only just opened the book. The title on the outer cover has our name on it. As we open it's crisp, white pages, we notice that they are mostly blank. YES! You heard me right. The pages of this book are empty, free from words or pictures. If we'll backtrack and take a look at the spine of this book, we'll also find the publishing year of our book - 2017. Aha!

This book we've just cracked open is the story of our life. The 2017 version. The story is written by the most famous and accredited author yet - Jehovah God. One page at a time, one day at a time. If we were to count the pages of this book, we'd see there are exactly 365 pages. One page for each day of the year because His mercies are new each day.

As we go about our days, we can be assured that He is writing. Whatever we're met with in each of our days has been divinely orchestrated by Him. He also has the ability to write us in and out or through every single tragedy, every gloriously, victorious moment, each valley and mountaintop experience. Yes, the author of our story has special plans for our lives and will work everything out for our good where we'll allow Him. With each new, blank page He continues to woo us closer to Him; He invites us to grow and become deeper in love with Him - and closer to each other. 

With each clean page He extends grace and mercy and offers hope if we'll keep turning the pages He is writing. 

What more do we need on some days than an extra dose of - hope? 


Hope keeps us plodding along. Hope helps our perspective - to see brighter things ahead. Hope gives us strength to keep holding on. Hope says no matter what it looks like presently, there is yet another page to begin anew. Hope allows us to stumble, to fail, to make mistakes and still be a winner at the back of the book. Along the way, we'll learn and grow so there's no reason to regret the scraped up knees. The scars will only prove we've not been afraid of moving forward or getting back up. Hope. 

I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.  Ps. 130:5

I told you the pages were mostly blank. My friend, if we'll look in the front, we'll find a forward section, written especially to us from the Author. He invites us to trust Him as He pens the words to a beautiful love story He desires to create within each of us. We must only be willing to follow closely as He writes each page and never close the book before it is completed. 

Closing note: We're not the only one reading our book. Each page offers hope - not only to us but to others along our path who are reading and watching our story lines too. Let's learn to see hope in every day.
 
January One page has already been written, let's turn the page and be encouraged...H O P E!