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The Dirty, Dark, Depressing Belly of the Fish

Meg

I have a rather lengthy passage of scripture to share with you today. I wanted to share Jonah 2 in its entirety with you. For background, in chapter one God told Jonah to go to Nineveh and preach a message of repentance. Jonah refused and ran away from God, hopping a ship. Soon awful storms began to brew and the crew members threw Jonah over the side of the ship, where he was swallowed by a huge fish. Read what happened next:

“Jonah prayed to the LORD his God from inside the fish:

I called to the LORD in my distress,
and He answered me.
I cried out for help in the belly of Sheol;
You heard my voice.

You threw me into the depths,
into the heart of the seas,
and the current overcame me.
All Your breakers and Your billows swept over me.

But I said: I have been banished
from Your sight,
yet I will look once more
toward Your holy temple.

The waters engulfed me up to the neck;
the watery depths overcame me;
seaweed was wrapped around my head.

I sank to the foundations of the mountains;
the earth with its prison bars closed behind me forever!
But You raised my life from the Pit, LORD my God!

As my life was fading away,
I remembered the LORD.
My prayer came to You,
to Your holy temple.

Those who cling to worthless idols
forsake faithful love,

but as for me, I will sacrifice to You
with a voice of thanksgiving.
I will fulfill what I have vowed.
Salvation  is from the LORD!

Then the LORD commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land” (Jonah 2, HCSB).

Jonah was in the darkest place imaginable. To him, it felt like the lowest place on earth. He was smelly, he was hot and he was more than likely terrified. He was in dire need of deliverance, and so he called out to God for help. Even in this, the darkest of moments, Jonah understood a valuable truth.

God follows us everywhere.

We can be on the highest of mountains or in the greatest depths of the sea and God is still there, right beside us, seeing us through each trial and tribulation.

There is no place we can go or situation we can tangle our self up in that God can’t reach.

When we’re in the darkest of moments, it’s sometimes hard to remember this truth. Sometimes it’s impossible to see God at work, but he’s there.

I don’t like that I live in a world at war. And I don’t like that my husband has to take part in this war.

But I do take comfort in knowing that God will be there, right beside my husband, every step of the way.

Yes, this deployment will often feel like the belly of a fish: Dirty, Dark and Depressing.

But God will be there, giving air, giving light, giving life, all along the way.

“Where can I go to escape Your Spirit? Where can I flee from Your presence? If I go up to heaven, You are there;  if I make my bed in Sheol, You are there. If I live at the eastern horizon[or] settle at the western limits, even there Your hand will lead me; Your right hand will hold on to me.  (Psalm 139:7-10, HCSB)

Humility

Meg

“My hand made all these things, and so they all came into being. [This is] the LORD's declaration. I will look favorably on this kind of person: one who is humble, submissive in spirit,  and who trembles at My word” (Isaiah 66: 2 HCSB).

We serve the God and Creator of all things. If the book of Isaiah has taught me anything, it's that God's in control. He will judge the world and bring all into submission, in His own time. My job on this earth is to serve Him and tell others about Him. In this last chapter of Isaiah we're left with some characterstics of a Christ-follower. These are the type of things God sees as good and right.

It may be surprising to some that these thigns have nothing to do with money, or power or physicial appearance. Our society today places so much stock in the outward. We live our lives trying to make more money, become more recognized and/or fit into hollywood's stereotype of the ideal woman or man.

God is looking for someone far different though. This is the type of person He will bless. This is the type of person He wants to call His own.

This person is humble, not in an "step all over you" sense, but their heart is in the right place. It's able to be molded and changed into something even better. This heart is submissive, not only in an outward sense, but in their inner spirit. They understand the role of God in their live, and strive to serve Him with every ounce of their being. And finally, this person truly understands the power of the word of God. They tremble at His voice and honor Him with their very lives.

Do I meet all of these characteristics? Not always. There are days when my heart is anything but meek. But I strive to live a life like this. If I have to give my own worldly desires back to my Savior each and every day, I will, just so that I can slowly be made more and more like Him.

God’s Faithfulness

Meg

“I will make known the LORD's faithful love [and] the LORD's praiseworthy acts, because of all the LORD has done for us—even the many good things [He has done] for the house of Israel and has done for them based on His compassions and the abundance of His faithful love. He said, ‘They are indeed My people, children who will not be disloyal,’ and He became their Savior. In all their suffering, He suffered,  and the Angel of His Presence saved them. He redeemed them because of His love and compassion;  He lifted them up and carried them all the days of the past” (Isaiah 63:7-9 HCSB).

As my family prepares for this coming deployment, I keep running across verses speaking about God’s faithfulness. Today’s devotional time was no different. The promises are so great. He promises, time and again, to walk beside his chosen ones. To be with them through the good and the bad times. To carry them when they cannot walk through the valleys alone.

He IS a faithful God. I can think back to so many times when God has shown this faithfulness in my own life. When he provided a job right after college. When he provided friends in an unknown place. When he cancelled my husbands first deployment so that we could enjoy our times as newleyweds. When our daughter came into this world healthy and strong. And the list goes on. In so many ways, big and small, my Savior has always been there, keeping me safe on dark roads, comforting me in nervous moments, and cheering me on during the happiest of moments.

He has provided in the past, and I have no doubt that he will provide again now.

From ancient times no one has heard, no one has listened, no eye has seen any God except You, who acts on behalf of the one who waits for Him” (Isaiah 64:4 HCSB).

The secret to this deployment? Keeping my eyes focused on my Savior and trusting that He will provide.

Where/ When has God been faithful in your own life? What promises can you see for the future as well?

A Well-Watered Garden

Meg

“The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail” (Isaiah 58:11 NIV).

What a wonderful promise as I look towards this deployment!

I’m sure, at times, this deployment will feel like a desert, but if I look toward God he will give me not only a stream, but an abundant garden of life that will never fail.

He will be my strength. He will sustain me from day to day.

And that’s why I know that we’ll be ok.

That’s why I know that this hard season ahead will still be filled with joy and blessings.

Because we’re trusting in Him to provide, each and every day.

What does the verse above mean to you today?

A 4th of July Hike

Meg

I hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July weekend. With my husband’s deployment ever getting nearer, this holiday was extra special for us as a family.

Life has so many snapshots. So many moments when you look around you and try to make the memories last. On Saturday, we took our little girl on a 7-mile hike. The woods were beautiful, the mountains magnificent against the clear blue sky. The air was crisp in the early morning hours, but soon the air warmed up to an almost intolerable state. For the first 4 miles or so our daughter was happy to watch the world from her backpack, napping intermittently. Near the end of the hike, though, she stated to get antsy, and demanded attention. We listened to her cry, slightly embarrassed whenever other hikers past by, and then finally gave in and carried her in our arms the rest of the way.

At the time, I was a bit annoyed with her, but in retrospect, it’s only a fading memory. My daughter will only be a baby for so long, so I choose to enjoy the experiences with her, even if some days are less than perfect. I chose to enjoy the time my husband and I get with her, while she’s still young. I’m sure, when my husband is deployed, I will wish for these days once again, the days in which my daughter cries for miles and miles of our hike. It was a less than perfect memory, but over all, God still blessed us with a beautiful hike on a beautiful morning. Oh how thankful I am for such times as this!

And then they held his arms

Meg

Yesterday, tears were running down my face as I prayed for a dear friend of mine. The trials she and her family are facing right now are oh so difficult. As I was praying, I was suddenly reminded of Moses holding up his arms in the book of Exodus. If you recall the story, as long as Moses held his arms in the air (giving God the victory) the Israelites won the battle against the Amalekites. Whenever Moses lowered his hands, the Israelites would start to lose. As you can only imagine, Moses’ arms became tired. Because of this two men brought a rock over for him to sit on and then held his arms up for him.

These two friends were there for Moses when his physical strength was tapped. I want to be there for the people in my life as well as well. There may be times when I physically hold my friends and let them cry. At other times, holding up their arms will mean more of a spiritual surrender, times in which I pray for them and the battle that rages on in their own lives. In all things, I pray that God will reign victoriously in their lives.

Deployments are such times of battle. As our husbands fight overseas, we face so many trails back here on the home front. I know this time in my life won't be easy, but I'm determined to look outside of my own needs and love those around me more completely, through my actions, through my prayers, and through my daily life.

Because we were meant to fight this battle together.

"At Rephidim, Amalek  came and fought against Israel. Moses said to Joshua, ‘Select some men for us, and go fight against Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the hilltop with God's staff in my hand.’ Joshua did as Moses had told him, and fought against Amalek, while Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. While Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed, but whenever he put his hand down, Amalek prevailed. When Moses' hands grew heavy, they took a stone and put [it] under him, and he sat down on it. Then Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side and one on the other so that his hands remained steady until the sun went down. So Joshua defeated Amalek and his army with the sword.” (Exodus 17:8-13, HCSB).

Peace in Times of Turmoil

Meg

He talked to me excitedly, telling me about where he would be living, what the food would be like, and where he would shop for essentials. He told me about his job there, the people he’d be working alongside, and the hours he’d be keeping.

And I was excited for him. Excited that he has some things to look forward to. Happy that his job will keep him busy during this deployment. Happy that he now has a clearer picture of where he’ll be and what he’ll be doing.

But at the same time, knowing the details only makes things more real (can you say more real, ah well, I just did!). Knowing the details only solidifies the fact that he will be leaving before too long. Knowing the details forces me to face the future, instead of just ignoring it.

Because I’d love to ignore the future.

I’d love to just live my life without a care in the world.

I’d love to forget about what lies ahead.

But it’s still there, screaming at me, telling me that hard times are ahead.

And that’s painful.

At the same time, there’s something about knowing. Something about facing the facts. Something about placing those fears and frustrations into the arms of Jesus.

With that release of fears comes such peace. Peace that God is in control. Peace that He is big enough to handle this situation. Peace that He will see us through to the other end of this deployment.

There’s nothing better then peace, dear friends. Peace in the midst of turmoil is the only thing that keeps me going some days.

Do you have peace in your life today?
“You will keep in perfect peace the mind [that is] dependent [on You], for it is trusting in You” (Isaiah 26:3, HCSB).

My Art

Meg

I am my worst critic. I tell myself that my art doesn’t matter. I tell myself that my gift just isn’t good enough. And so I ignore it. I stay busy. I clean the house, talk on the phone with friends, work on crafts and play with my daughter (not that these are necessarily bad things, just stick with me!). I leave my art until the end of my day, when my brain is tired and my words half-hearted. I don’t devote the time I should to writing, because, why does it matter? Who reads this blog anyway. What’s the point? I can thing of a million excuses. But still the open page sits there. Still the opportunity to share my true heart. Still the ability to reach the world for Christ. In my heart of hearts I know that I’m a woman of words. If I deny this art, I am then denying who God created me to be. Writing is my art. I may be less than perfect at it. I may not be the best grammar guru in the world. I may make mistakes. But God speaks to me through words. And I pray that He uses my words to speak to others as well. As I explore different avenues, I still find myself confused by this gift. How, exactly will God use this gift?  I truly don’t know. All I know is that He’s planted a love of writing deep in my heart. As I walk down this road of life I’m doing my best to hone this gift. I’m practicing, I’m experimenting and I’m growing. All I can do is use this gift to glorify my Jesus each and every day and trust Him to care for the rest.

What is the art in your life? Sometimes, in the midst of our busy lives, it’s so hard to find, but it’s there, peeking through the loads of laundry and rainy days. God’s gifts are present and oh so ready to be revealed to you! For more on the art in our daily lives, check out www.chattingatthesky.com.

A Labor of Love

Meg

“We recall, in the presence of our God and Father, your work of faith, labor of love, and endurance of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, knowing your election, brothers loved by God” (1 Thessalonians 1:3-4, HCSB).

This military life is truly a labor of love.

The moment my husband held our little girl, he truly became a daddy. In that moment she grabbed a hold of a piece of his heart and he’s never been the same since. (Sorry if that sounds overall sappy. It’s the truth). I watched an amazing, tender side of my husband come to the forefront on that day. He held our daughter so gently, changed her diapers, soothed her cries, and clumsily figured out how to swaddle her tightly in the hospital blanket. He was nervous, but so good at what he was doing!

Since then he’s tucked her into bed each night that he’s home, given her bottles, played with her, and made her laugh like none else can. She’s her daddy’s girl.

While he’s away it’s my responsibility to keep her safe. It’s my responsibility to lover and nurture this little one, so that she’s happy and healthy when her daddy returns. It’s a great responsibility. One I could never face without my Savior by my side. But I do it out of love. I do it because I love my daughter, and because I love my husband. He trusts me with this task, so it’s one I don’t take lightly. It’s my labor of love on this earth. There are no better words to describe it. It’s so tough sometimes, especially at 3AM, but I do it out of love. I do it out of my sense of responsibility. I do it because my husband trusts me to care for our daughter, manage our finances, and keep our house in shape while he’s gone. It’s nice to be needed. And it’s nice to labor out of love.

What are your labors of love in this world?

“Faith, Love and Endurance”

Meg

"We recall, in the presence of our God and Father, your work of faith, labor of love, and endurance of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, knowing your election, brothers loved by God” (1 Thessalonians 1:3-4, HCSB).

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about why.

Why I persevere.

Why I continue to look after the needs of my daughter and husband.

Why God would chose this life for us.

Why God has called my husband into the military. Into a life that would take him away from his family for long stretched of time.

Why we can’t live close to our extended family.

Why.

There’s so many whys. I could spend my life comparing my life to that of others. Or I could truly embrace the life God has given me.

I can mope around while my husband is away, or I can focus on all the ways we are truly blessed.

We have a beautiful house to live in. No, it doesn’t belong to us, it belongs to the Air Force, but it’s beautiful just the same.

We have a good church, one in which the Pastor preaches scriptural truths week after week.

We have a great family, one we look forward to seeing over the holidays each year.

We have a beautiful daughter who fills our house with laughter and mischievous acts.

We have each other. Oh how blessed I am to have a husband who prays with me every day! That’s definitely something I should never over look.

No, I can’t answer the whys of this life. I wish I could. But instead of trying to answer them, I can live each day embracing the blessings that surround me.

I can endure these hard times because I have hope in a greater power. I can get through these lonely days because I know someone who takes my heart and holds it each step of the day, my Savior Jesus Christ.

This life is a life of faith. It’s a life with things we often can’t understand. As a military wife, I’m starting to understand this more and more. It’s a life filled with hard work. The nights can be so long with a baby in the house and a husband far away. And it’s a life of endurance, knowing that better days are surely ahead. We have to trust in that, we have to hope in that, so that we can get through the tough days.

Even in the midst of a hard season, where can you see God at work in your life? What blessings can you find? Sometimes it seems almost impossible to find them, but they’re there, just the same.

Jesus at the Helm

Meg

I’ve finished Colossians in my devotions. Still, I find myself coming back to Colossians 3:15 over and over again. There’s just something about that verse that speaks to my heart right now. There’s something about allowing God’s peace to control my heart. It’s a lesson I’ve really needed hammered home as of late.

This week has been a lonely one. It’s been a week where my daughter and I have pretty much been on our own. It’s had days where I’ve desperately needed to speak to another grown-up. Do you ever have days like that?

It’s been a week that has really caused me to think about where my heart abides.

Does it abide in circumstances?

Do I spend more of my day worry about the things happening around me then I do on my knees?

1 Thessalonians 5:17 tells us to “pray constantly.” Do I do this?

I hope that I do.

I need to pray constantly.

Why, you may ask?

Because, my dear friends, I need the strength of God so much. I need Him to help me through the hard days. To encourage me on the discouraging ones. To give me the strength to be the mommy I need to be to my little girl, the wife I need to be for my husband, and the friend I need to be to those around me.

I try time and again to do it on my own. But I can’t. I can’t meet the demands of this life without my Jesus at the Helm of it all. I have only made it this far in this thing called life because of His strength and peace.

Grab hold of him dear friends. Let him take your heart and fill it with His peace. Let Him take control. Trust me, there’s no better place to be.

A Peaceful Heart

Meg

And let the peace of the Messiah, to which you were also called in one body, control your hearts” [Colossians 3:15, HCSB).

“You’re unworthy,” the voice says. “You’ll never make it. Why don’t you just stop trying?”

The battle rages on and on in my brain. Daily Satan tempts me, encouraging me to give up on what is true and right and believe his lies of deceit. His lies are good ones, ones that focus on my own weaknesses and past failures. He knows how to push my buttons.

But I serve a God who is greater than Satan and his lies.

I serve a God who promises to invade my life with peace and joy.

Sometimes, as I walk through a particularly hard day, it’s a continual battle. A continual process of taking those doubts and placing them in the hands of Jesus.

Because I long for peace so much more than strife.

I don’t want to dwell on past mistakes and failures.

I don’t want to remember, once again, how other people have let me down.

Instead I want to focus on how great my God is.

And so I pray, once again, that peace would invade every corner of my heart. Because there’s no better place to be.

A Prayer from Colossians

Meg

Good morning dear friends! Take a moment and let these verses sink in. They’re truly amazing ones. They remind us where our focus should truly be in this life:

“For this reason also, since the day we heard this, we haven't stopped praying for you. We are asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding,  so that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing [to Him], bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God. May you be strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience, with joy giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the saints' inheritance in the light. He has rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son He loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins”

[Colossians 1:9-14 HCSB)

Some prayers of my heart:

May I always grow closer to my Savior.

May I bear good fruit, fruit that shows the love of God living in me.

May I have joy, glorious joy, even during a time of deployment. Because I feel that life is too precious to not live every day with joy.

May I have patience, patience with my daughter as she grows and learns and patience with my husband as we keep our marriage strong from a distance.

May I never forget the great price that was paid for my sins!

From a Distance?

Meg

"Now this is what the LORD says—
the One who created you, Jacob,
and the One who formed you, Israel—
'Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name; you are Mine.

I will be with you
when you pass through the waters,
and [when you pass] through the rivers,
they will not overwhelm you.
You will not be scorched
when you walk through the fire,
and the flame will not burn you'" (Isaiah 43: 1-2, HCSB).

There was a song on the radio when I was growing up called “From a Distance.” Sung by several artists, including Bette Midler, the song describes how different the world looks from up above. “God is watching us, God is watching us, God is watching us from a distance” the artist sings. The song was a huge hit back in the 90s. As a little girl I even found myself singing along to the catchy tune.  As an adult, the lyrics actually bother me a bit. They paint God as being distant and uninterested. The words of Isaiah 43 tell a different story. These words speak of an involved God who cares about our daily struggles. Verse 2 states that He will be with us when we walk through fire. He will be with us on the hardest of days when we are up against the largest of obstacles. He does not just sit back and watch life happen. No, He calls each of us by name. We matter to Him. He cares what happens with us. And He’s ready to help us through the hardest of times. Aren’t you glad that He’s not a God who simply watches us from a distance?

Babies Don't Keep

Meg

There's the mound of laundry, the dishes, the floor that needs to be mopped, a blog to write, and a mile or two to run outside. And, oh wait, a little girl pulling at my pant leg, her toy duck in one hand, a smile on her face.


I pause from the business of life, forget my list of things to accomplish, and sit down on the floor to play with her for a bit. As I sit down a smile lights up her face and she crawls up onto my laugh, content and happy in my arms.


And I know that this is the memory I'll keep. the fact that the laundry isn't done won't matter in the long time sceme of things. No, it will be the time I spent playing with my daughter when she was young that will matter.


Because Babies Don't Keep.



"Song for a Fifth Child" or "Babies Don't Keep"


By Ruth Hulburt Hamilton (Lady's Home Journal in 1958)




Mother, oh Mother, come shake out your cloth
empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
hang out the washing and butter the bread,
sew on a button and make up a bed.
Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I've grown shiftless as Little Boy Blue
(lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
(pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo).
The shopping's not done and there's nothing for stew
and out in the yard there's a hullabaloo
but I'm playing Kanga and this is my Roo.
Look! Aren't her eyes the most wonderful hue?
(lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).

The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
for children grow up, as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep.
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.


Is there anything you need to re-prioritize in your life today? What is God speaking to your heart?




Satisfying Our Needs

Meg

If you have a moment check out this link. It's to one of the blogs I read regularly. What Lysa TerKeurst had to say today spoke directly to my heart. The world tells us that we can satisfy our needs through things, through food, through people, but God tells us that only He can ultimately satisfy our needs!

"And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19, HCSB).

Those Early Morning Hours

Meg

“Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses every though, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Finally brothers, what whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things” (Philippians: 4:6-9, HCSB).

It’s the early morning hours that get me. It’s that time of day when I’m stumbling around, changing diapers, feeding the baby her bottle, and desperately needing a cup of coffee, that my mind is the most unguarded. It’s then that Satan likes to prey on my fears. It’s then that he draws up my worries and anxieties about this coming deployment. My brain tells me I can’t do it. I’m not cut out for this. I’m not strong enough. I won’t be able to take care of my little girl on my own. My brain asks how I’ll handle sickness, how I’ll handle those stressful days without my husband close by.

But my heart tells a different story. My heart reminds me that I serve a faithful God. My heart reminds me to focus on everything that is right and true. My heart reminds me how much closer I’ll grow to God through this experience. My heart reminds me to take captive every thought and to let my Jesus reign over each day.

If I only listened to my head I’d be a basket case. But instead, I’m learning to pay more attention to my heart. I’m learning to listen to that inner voice of my Savior, who whispers quietly and reminds me that He is there.

So be encouraged dear friends, that you never face this world alone. Vanquish all of the evil, self-degrading thoughts and focus instead on the wonderful words of your Savior. Scripture can be such a powerful form of encouragement. I don’t believe it was happenstance that I was reading Philippians 4 in my devotions this morning. No, I serve a Savior that directs our hearts and minds toward what is right and true. He gave me exactly what I needed to read this morning. He’s just amazing like that!

What is God saying to your heart this morning?

The Todays

Meg

"Therefore don't worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself" (Matthew 6:34, HCSB).



There’s a countdown in my brain that won’t turn off. I push it to the back of my consciousness, deciding not to dwell on it. And then I look around me and utter a prayer of thankfulness for today.

Because today has so many blessings. The weather is finally warming up. My daughter is full of smiles for her momma. And my husband will indeed walk through the door in time for supper tonight. He will help feed our little girl her sweet potatoes and applesauce, make her giggle as he plays with her, and then tuck her into bed. Then he and I will play a board game or cuddle on the couch while we watch a movie.

Today is a blessed day indeed.

For now, I’ll be thankful for all of the todays on our life together, and let God take care of the tomorrows.

For He is an all-knowing God that can truly handle it all. He knows that some hard days are ahead, and He’s ready and willing to carry me through them.

Last night my husband and I were reading in Isaiah 40. I thought I’d share with you what we read:

“Jacob, why do you say,
and Israel, why do you assert:
‘My way is hidden from the LORD,
and my claim is ignored by my God’?

Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
Yahweh is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the whole earth.
He never grows faint or weary;
there is no limit to His understanding.

He gives strength to the weary
and strengthens the powerless.

Youths may faint and grow weary,
and young men stumble and fall,

but those who trust in the LORD
will renew their strength;
they will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary;
they will walk and not faint”  (Isaiah 40: 27-31, HCSB).

I am so thankful that nothing is hidden from His knowledge and understanding. He knows that there are hard days in the future for my family. And He’s ready to see us through when those day comes. But until then He tells us not to worry (Matthew 6:34) but to focus on today. And what a wonderful day today is!

Words

Meg

Words. I need words. Sometimes I struggle. My day is busy. Guests are visiting. And I really don’t know what to write. I don’t know what to write in this place that I come to. But for some reason I need this place, for some reason I long for a moment or two of quiet. A moment when I can write down my thoughts and prayers and place them on this blog.

And so, I distract the baby for a minute or two. I find a quiet spot to sit. And I pray that God will speak to me. I don’t often have very long. Before I know it the baby will be crying. In fact, there she is now. Sigh. I’m glad I serve a patient God who understands the restraints of a new mommy. Because I truly wish I had more time to write each day. Before I leave to check on her, I’ll give you a thought to ponder.

In my devotions I recently reached Philippians 1. I love this portion of scripture. I know I’ve written about it before. It’s a chapter that reminds me how truly thankful I am for the people in my life. It’s a chapter that reminds me to strive for what is right and true in my own life. Paul writes,

I give thanks to my God for every remembrance of you, always praying with joy for all of you in my every prayer” (Philippians 1: 3-4 HCSB).  After reading this, I asked myself how often I truly pray for the people in my life. Yes, I pray for them when their sick or struggling, but do I simply thank God for them? Do I pray for them on the good days? Do I send up prayers of thanksgiving for them? This is one area of my prayer life that could definitely improve.

And so there you have it. I did find some words to write after all. The words, I suppose, are prayers of joy and thankfulness for the people who make up my life.
What about you? What have you been learning through your devotions? What area of your prayer life might need improvement?

Take Heart

Meg


“Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD” (Psalm 31:24 NIV).

What is hope? To me, hope is trusting that the Lord always knows best. I say this easily right now, with my husband sitting next to me on the couch, but I have to admit that sometimes hope is a little harder to hold onto. I don’t look forward to the times when my dear spouse is deployed over seas. One day soon I will be experiencing the pain of separation, but I would hope, even then, that God will be my strength and my song.
For me, hope is believing that God will provide. He is the one that sees the beginning, and the end of this tough life we live on earth. There are times when I definitely need strength from him to make it through the day. There are times when my heart is breaking, and I need him to hold onto to it and help me take one step at a time.
What about you, do you need a reminder that God will provide? Do you need a reminder that he is always there, in good times and in bad? Put your hope in him my friends, for he is the only one that will never fail you. He will be your comforter and friend when no one else is around to feel your pain. He will be your salvation, if you let him.
He will take your heart, that feels like it deployed with your spouse, and hold it in his hands. Trust me, there’s no better place to be.
Be strong and take heart in Him.

For more blog posts about hope, check out http://www.incourage.me/