Jesus Makes All Things Possible

Do you know what is possible with God? Stubborn people can be saved. Relationships can be restored. Healings happen. Blessings come in abundance. All things.

Psalm 103 reminds us that Jesus forgives my sins, heals my diseases, redeems my life from destruction, crowns me with loving kindness and tender mercies, satisfies my mouth with good things, renews my strength, executes righteousness and judgment for the oppressed.

Sometimes I just need to write that list out and personalize it for myself. Perhaps you need the reminder, too. Writing it with actual pen and paper settles it into our hearts and minds in real way. Writing out Scripture, writing out prayers is something that I’ve gotten away from in the busyness of this season. But I’ve been reminded.

Because that’s what God does. He lovingly, tenderly shelters us as a mother. He teaches us the same lesson over and over (Hello, Israelites and disciples). He shows up and shows off and shows me that He loves me personally. He created me intentionally. And He has a plan for my life (and it’s better than my plan).

This weekend was full of a variety of situations that didn’t fall under “my plan.” I didn’t respond well in most of those. I may have had a minor breakdown. If I’m being honest the whole past year has been quite the drift from my plan. But God is not surprised. And He uses all these things for His glory and for the good of those who love Him.

So as I look at this photo I snapped Sunday morning, with the intention of writing that day, I’m reminded that God brings beauty in the starkness of winter. The sun still shines. The sky is brilliant blue. The shadows and highlights display His creativity. That tall pine tree stands tall and firm. Even dead trees have an odd stark beauty about them.

I’m reminded that He gives me words when I take the time to sit still and listen and write. He gives me sunrises and sunsets. He gives me laughter with my kids and the hard conversations. He forgives my impatience and helps me seek forgiveness of others. He gave me a place of employment that talked me through my oven connections (I think I even learned something about flare union adapters and NPT threads). He gives me delicious take-out options on the days I live in my car. He provides neighbors willing to help and give me tea. Phone calls with friends, dark chocolate, coffee. Good books to read. Hot showers. Chiropractic care. Rest. And all of this is over and above the gift that is all I need.

Jesus. He makes all things possible. What do you need to ask God to show you today? What has God done for you that you need to acknowledge and give thanks for?

#HopeWriterLife #FiveMinuteFriday (on Tuesday) #fmfparty #writingprompt #writingcommunity #possible #JesusOnlyJesus #juliesmonthlyspot #onceamonthspot #frontdoorview

God’s Divine Power Enables Me

I had a Mondayish Friday today. And I don’t like to say that because Mondays are a day that the Lord hath made and we should rejoice in it, just like any other day. What I mean to say is that I was/am in a slump. I am dragging, craving all the junk food, having the hardest time focusing on the tasks at work, and quickly losing my cool with my kids’ sassiness and selfishness. And experiencing a low-grade headache that is just persistent enough to let me know it’s there without completely knocking me out of commission. I was being short-tempered, sassy, and selfish myself.

But I made a choice. I knew that spending the evening slumped in front of the tv was not going to help my mood. Even if it was Friday family movie night. We ate dinner together, watched an episode of Wanda Vision, and then I excused myself to refocus and readjust my attitude. And through devotional and bible reading, I was quickly reminded that the devil wants me stuck in the dark, focused on the negative, believing the lies.

But God has enabled me to be free from sin, and that includes my own temper and selfish desires. The power of the Holy Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead is living inside of me and has enabled me to raise from the pit of despair I sometimes let myself wallow in. Yes, I have divine power.

“According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” ‭‭2 Peter‬ ‭1:3-4‬ ‭KJV‬‬

I don’t get it right every day, and I will probably snap at my kids again before bedtime, and I will have to apologize for being self-focused at least 3 more times this weekend. But I know that time spent in God’s Word and an intentional effort to be thankful will change my negative thought patterns.

“For all the promises of God in him are “Yes”, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.” ‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭1:20‬

Yes, He has promised eternal life and he has promised abundant life, and he has blessed us with all spiritual blessings. His yoke is easy and his burden is light. So I run to Jesus and ask him again for the wisdom and grace to face the refiner’s fire. And I give Him all the thanks and all the glory.

“Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”‭‭ Psalm 103:1-5‬

This week’s Five Minute Friday prompt is Enable. Stop by and encourage a few more writers.

#Write28Days #FiveMinuteFriday #HopeWriterLife #enable #writeyourheartout #writingchallenge #soulstruggle #chasingoutthedark #Scripture #JesusOnlyJesus

Be Observant of your Life

We observe holidays and celebrations. We observe our emotions and warning signs. We observe sporting events and concerts. We observe nature. We observe lent.

But how observant are we? What do you notice in the experience of these things? And what do you do with the knowledge you gain? Emily P. Freeman on The Next Right Thing Podcast reminded me that the goal is to pay attention to your life. How does paying attention to your life help you? To be honest, I’m great at asking all the questions, but my new Next Right Thing journal is blank.

Do you notice what makes you laugh and what makes you cry? Do you journal as a way to remember? Do you realize when you are at the end of your rope and you need a break, a change of scenery, a nap? Do you stay focused in the moment of celebrations or willing sit with the grief that has you overwhelmed? Do you pay attention to the heaviness of remembering the sacrifice of Jesus’ blood and the victory it brings to you? Do you observe God’s commandments?

“My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.”

Proverbs‬ ‭23:26‬ ‭KJV‬‬

When you count your blessings, you are being observant of the ways that God is fully involved in your life and personally cares for you as His child. When you observe dates on the calendar it grounds you, helps you refocus, and reminds you of the importance of schedule. God’s creation is on a schedule, we are created for seasons. There is time for feasting and there is time for feasting. Sometimes, we are in full bloom and once in awhile, we need to get away and hibernate for a season, to let the old die off to make room for new growth.

What does rest look like in your life? Are you observing sabbath, lent, the seasons? How can you pay attention today in a way that will allow you to live abundantly tomorrow?

Praying blessings over your day and your weekend! Jesus loves you.

Join the other great writers at Five Minute Friday for more thoughts on Observant

#FiveMinuteFriday #Write28Days #HopeWriterLife #1000gifts #Gratitude #JesusOnlyJesus #SoulSurrender #Lent

Five Minute Friday — Once

Starting is the hardest part. The blank screen, the blank page stares back at me and intimidates. My mind goes blank, too. But once I start typing, the words start coming, the ideas usually start flowing. I’ve quoted it before, and I’m sharing it again… “I hate writing—I love having written.”


What is it that you are struggling to start? What is it that intimidates you? Is there an art form you want to pursue? Music you want to perform? A poem you want to write? Or perhaps you want to apply for a new job; continue your education; join a sports team; or study a new book of the Bible. Can I suggest you just start?

Once.

Just try it once. And you may be surprised. It may be something you never want to do again, it may be something you can’t get enough of. Once in a while you find a gold mine, once in a while you crash and burn.

Sometimes my “once I sit down to write” happens too late at night to sound educated. Sometimes it gets interrupted by tattling teenagers, or needy ones. sometimes I write and I delete and I write again. And once in a while I write something that turns out really great (tonight is not that night).

What can you try once this weekend?

 I joined in with my friends at Five Minute Friday, some thing I used to do once upon a time and I’m working to do it “once” a week. Stop by and visit some other great writers here!

#Write28Days #Once #amwriting #FiveMinuteFriday

Five Minute Friday — Sunrise

Every morning, it’s a gift. Even on the days that it’s covered with clouds or snow or rain, the sun is still rising. Even after the darkest of nights, the sun rises again. It’s easy to forget after a week of snow flurries (and one huge snowstorm) and lots and lots of clouds, but the sun is always there. And some days the sunrise takes my breath away.

I’m thankful for the gift of a sunrise, a reminder that God created all things and holds all things together. He is still in control and He is still before all things and by him all things consist. To me, the sunrise is yet another testimony to the truth of God’s Word. Because God is Creator and sustainer of the universe, the sun rises.

Because God is Creator and sustainer of my life, I know that each morning I awake and rise is another day to shine and bring Him glory. As the sun rises daily, so I need to rise to God’s Word daily. As the sun provides the warmth and light our planet needs to follow cycles and seasons, so time spent in God’s Word gives energy for the day, wisdom for upcoming decisions, hope for all our tomorrows, joy in every situation, the reminder of God’s never-ending love.

May the sunrise be a reminder of God’s Grace, Omnipotence, and Lovingkindness. May we never lose the wonder of His desire for a personal relationship with us. Let the sunrise remind you that YOU are His favorite!


#HopeWriterLife #Write28Days #FiveMinuteFriday #Sunrise #SoulSurrender #1000gifts #ChasingOutTheDark 

Chasing the Moon

I chased the moon rise last night, out after dinner, chauffeuring the kids, and gave thanks for a warm car, and the design of God’s creation that gives the gift of a full moon on a regular basis. I watched the sun set in the rear view mirror.


I chased the moon set this morning as I rushed off to work and gave thanks for the beauty of power lines and morning skies and bright moons. For a job that is full and fun, and again for a warm car. For the reality that my phone camera will never catch the full beauty of the experience.


The design of God’s creation reminds me of God’s personal hand in my life. He goes before me, He comes behind me, He is with me when I rise and when I sleep. He is ever-present. He designed my family, my path, my story. He gives good gifts to show His love. He gives hard gifts to show his glory.


God is all-sufficient, all-knowing, righteous, just and merciful to name a few. And His master plan is one worth chasing. In the busyness of life with teenagers, a job, dreams of being a writer, and desires to live better in community, may I remember that God’s design includes rest.

#MayYourKingdomCome #sabbath
#HopeWriterLife #JesusOnlyJesus #FiveMinuteFriday

Fix it, Jesus

God can fix it all. He can fix the stubborn teenager, the obstinate toddler, the irritating coworker, the unfocused primary student, the crazy politician.

There are some days when I just want to fix myself. I feel broken, bruised, unfocused, and yes—so selfish. The writing is sparse, the spiritual disciplines are weak, the patience with my children is thin, the communication skills—the listening part especially—are lacking.

I want the easy button, to just be consistent, to be better, to always respond right, to listen and understand and respond with grace. But the good things in life aren’t easy. The caterpillar doesn’t become a butterfly through an easy, soft, simple transition. It takes work. The seed doesn’t sprout without the hardship of rain and dark places and hard sun. So in the Christian life God uses the struggles to develop the strength and habit of relying on God in all things.

God can fix it all. He can fix the stubborn teenager, the obstinate toddler, the irritating coworker, the unfocused primary student, the crazy politician.  But most importantly He can change YOUR heart so that your response to those prickly people in your life is one of grace and an overflowing of Christ’s love at work in you.

So often my focus is on fixing others, fixing my surroundings or circumstances, fixing perceived offenses against me; but my focus should be on fixing my own heart, my own thought patterns, my own habits and responses. And I am reminded all the time (and it’s hard when people speak into my life and are right—but I need it), that change comes through Jesus and time spent with Jesus, in His Word.

Today, I remind myself, and you, of the importance of being in God’s Word… not just biblical commentaries, and ancient theological writers, and fluffy Christian self-help books. But reading God’s word for yourself and letting His alive and active words speak to you and your heart. It’s not a change that happens overnight and sometimes we (And I mean ME) get discouraged by God’s timing and our own propensity towards sin. But God does not give up on you and He loves his children unconditionally. Read His Word and be the Jesus you want to see in the world today.

Five Minute Friday—Fresh

There is nothing like the smell of fresh ground coffee beans, and the taste of freshly brewed coffee hitting your tongue in the morning. I like to savor my coffee but most weekday mornings, I’m rushing it down on my way out the door. Weekends are different. Drinking an evening cup of tea is different. I try to savor the moment, to rest and read while I sip. To count my blessings anew every week. To see the miracles in the every day.

Blankets, coffee, cute mugs, hot husband who makes the coffee, books (hard copy and digital), Spotify playlists, slippers. Gratitude has a way of giving one a fresh perspective on life, the day, the weekend. When I feel the writer’s block, the overwhelmedness of life, the imposter syndrome, the negative feelings slip in, it’s time to just give thanks.


In my writing life, I’m thankful for writing communities (@hopewriters, @fiveminutefriday, @letsfindyourvoice). I’m thankful for writing books. I’m thankful for reminders that I’m not behind. I’m thankful for a job that pays the bills so my writing can be a no-pressure activity. I’m thankful for pens and notebooks and iPad and keyboard. I’m thankful for writing prompts.


In my family, I’m thankful for home, crazy loud kids, a patient husband, running water, warm beds, food, clothes, music, extended family. I’m thankful for church, for small groups, opportunities to serve, brothers and sisters in Christ.


I’m thankful for Jesus, for grace and forgiveness, for God’s goodness, for truth that will always win. I’m thankful for God’s Word, for spiritual disciplines, for uplifting music, for community.


What miracles can you see in the common of today, and how can it give you a fresh perspective on the circumstances you face today?