Browsing Category

God’s Love

God's Love

Finding Comfort When You Fall

June 10, 2017

Have you ever slipped and it seemed like every frame of the fall appeared choreographed and in slow motion? This happened the other day while hiking with my husband and it surprised me. I finished the hike with muddy knees and elbows.

The writer of Psalm 94:18-19, implored us to remember,

“If I say ‘my foot is slipping,’ your faithful love will support me, Lord. When I am filled with cares your comfort brings me joy.”

Do you feel yourself slipping? Are you in a muddy place now? Doubt fills my mind and I hear: “Someone else can do this thing better. It isn’t something I’m good at. I make mistakes.” The slippery slope of anxiety robs my sleep. In the early morning, I speak to God and He reminds me, to just do the next thing and take one day at a time.

In life, we will have trouble. Whatever is happening today, we can find support in the truth we find in Scripture.  The peace and strength that comes from a relationship with God will keep us strong.

If you don’t know where to start, simply ask, “God help me through this. My foot is slipping, I need you.”

“Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting, you are God.”  Psalm 90:2

God promises to be there and He will never leave.

“The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.” Deuteronomy 3:27

 

God's Love

Feel Accepted and Chosen by God

May 27, 2017

The dining table was always set for dinner in the home I grew up in. On most Saturday mornings neighbors stopped by for a visit. The coffee percolated on the stove, there was always room at the kitchen table for one more.

That’s the way it is with God’s love for us. David was chosen and accepted by God and he acknowledged this when he said,

Oh Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you understand my thoughts from afar. You scrutinize my path and my lying down, you are acquainted with all my ways.

Psalm 139:1 NIV

That word scrutinize is on my list of “power verbs.” Webster’s Dictionary defines scrutinize, “to examine in detail with careful attention.”

Can you believe it? God doesn’t just see each of us individually, He knows us intimately. [Tweet this!] His love welcomes us with open arms, comfortable and familiar, like an old blanket or favorite song. Does this leave you feeling accepted, like you fit in?

It doesn’t matter if you haven’t read your Bible lately or the last time you were in church was Christmas Eve, three years ago. Make today the first day for a new conversation with Him. I think you’ll find an empty seat waiting for you, there is always room at God’s table.

“For we know brothers and sisters loved by God, that He has chosen you.”  

1 Thessalonians 1:4, NIV

God's Love

What I Learned this Year Will Change 2017 For Me

January 1, 2017

Favorite Quote – inspiration for 2017

Tomorrow, is the first blank page of a 365-page book. Write a good one.   Brad Paisley, singer and songwriter

A Cooper’s Hawk,  with its long barred gray and black tail feathers, landed in our back yard the other day! I hope he wasn’t eyeing any of the precious woodsy animals who make our home theirs.

Cooper's Hawk, photography by Paul Brace of Image-In.

Free Online College Courses for the Lifetime Learner!

I couldn’t wait to tell you about these free online courses. Hillsdale College was founded in 1844 by men and women who proclaimed themselves “grateful to God for the inestimable blessings resulting from the prevalence of civil and religious liberty and intelligent piety in the land,” and who believed that “the diffusion of sound learning is essential to the perpetuity of these blessings.”

I’ve been getting so much out of this course, An introduction to C.S. Lewis’ writings and significance. Next, my husband and I will be viewing the online course The Constitution.  Click here to learn more about online courses https://www.hillsdale.edu/

Forgotten or Chosen?

If you missed my 31 day series, click here. Follow my journey of healing and forgiveness and in the end you’ll be surprised how God blessed me. I promise you, it’s the stuff Hallmark movies are made of!

On the Nightstand

I just finished The Fear Fighting Book, by Kelly Balarie.  “Shushing up and slowing down is paramount to God working in us. God is ready to hit us with unfathomable new perspectives – ones that redefine our past, present and problems if we only stop and receive.”

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been searching for a new perspective. One thing I know, I am a work in progress. I thank God for the grace he gives me every day. Despite popular belief, women do not have to do more in order to be liked, accepted or loved.

God’s Grace

God’s given me grace by welcoming imperfect me with open arms. Now, I’m giving myself grace – to not be a slave to a to-do list – and instead focus on the most important thing each day and doing that. For now, I have veered from my every other Saturday blog posting.

I continue to pray that my words will point you back to God our Creator who loves us with an unconditional and unfailing love.

May 2017 be the year you find what you are looking for.

God's Love

What to do If you didn’t have Love

August 13, 2016

“God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do and it gave him great pleasure.”  Ephesians 1:5 NLT

I grew up not knowing a father’s love. The feeling of being forgotten and unlovable penetrated my heart and I allowed those feelings to define me.  Unfailing love and acceptance from our Heavenly Father seemed far away. I didn’t realize it at the time, but God was using life’s difficulties to draw me to Him and I made a decision to believe.

 Accepting the Royalty Jesus Bestows on Us

And now, I ask myself, am I willing to take my place near Jesus and accept the royalty He bestowed me as the daughter of a King?

 We celebrated my daughter’s birthday at a restaurant. Afterwards, I walked to the lobby with my granddaughter. Near the door we sat in tall, floral upholstered chairs as we waited for the rest of our group.

“Maddy, let’s be queens!” I said. “Everyone will have to do what we say!”

She giggled. The smile on her face said she was “all in.” Once outside, Maddy repeated what I had said to her mom as she and her family walked to their car.  It was dark outside so I couldn’t see her smile but I felt her delight in my heart. In her eyes, I am always the hero, or in this case, the queen. There isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for this girl or her twin brother. My most fervent prayers are for their walk with the Lord, long after I am gone.

 Do You Feel Like a Queen, Wrapped in God’s Love?

He longs to spend the “in between” time with us, not just when we need His help. God loves it when we show up and thank Him for all He has done. He whispers to my heart, “linger with me, you are priceless in my eyes!” I have traded in the picture of a punitive God for the satisfying knowledge of the height and depth of God’s love for me. The idea of this no longer just rests in my mind, but the unfathomable depth of God’s love for me is sinking deep into my soul. I not only believe in God, but He whispers sweet acceptance to my heart and I believe Him .

“Jesus gave his life for our sins, just as God our Father planned, in order to rescue us from this evil world in which we live.” Galatians 1:4 NLT

His sacrificial love washes over me as I meditate on His promises and claim His love for me. God is working in my life in specific ways, I know it can only be from Him.

Can you see through God’s eyes, His relentless love for you? Are you willing to trust His love and live like a daughter of the King?

God's Love

Were you – are you – quiet girl?

April 30, 2016

Quiet girl.

Six-years-old, looking out of innocent blue eyes and standing quietly in the corner, unsure of what would happen next, believing “quiet was safer.”

 Living up to the shy label others gave me – longing to be liked by others but always falling short.

 I hid who I really was. 

Never the first to speak, always afraid if my answer wasn’t like yours it must be wrong.

 Over the years I robbed friends and family of the gift of meI side-stepped how I felt and stuffed my needs so far down I couldn’t identify what they even were. Striving to meet the needs of others, seeking their approval – this became an idol in my life.

 God had a plan for my life and because of fear, he had to use someone else.

 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.  Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)

 I’m on a courage journey today, God is growing a brave heart in me. He’s giving me the strength to overcome the lies that were stitched in my heart long ago.

I’m letting God deal with those things I have no control of and putting all my trust in him. I’m asking God to reveal to me the truth of who I am and help me change what I believe about myself.

 Looking a certain way or saying certain things to gain acceptance is no longer a lie I’m willing to live. Jesus bore my emotional pain on a sinner’s cross and because of this cross-shaped sacrifice my heart is no longer fettered to this lie.

 And you? What about you? God will meet you right where you are – let him know what you need today.

 God, help our hearts and heads feel your unconditional love and acceptance for us today.

God's Love

If You Want to Feel Taken Care Of

April 2, 2016
Forgotten or Chosen?

Do you want to feel taken care of?

My granddaughter is five years old. Recently, a television commercial caught her interest.  You’ve probably seen it, a little girl digs a hole and plants jelly beans thinking they will grow. On Easter morning, she rushes outside to see what once was a pile of dirt is now Easter candy and decorations “sprouting up” from the ground. My granddaughter said to me, “You’ll never believe what she grew Nana, more jelly beans!” 

I smiled, and thought briefly about setting the record straight and explaining to her it is impossible to grow jelly beans. But, I didn’t. I wanted my granddaughter to think, for a little while longer, if you plant jelly beans, they will grow.

It reminded me of how deliberate God is with us. He has a purpose and plan and knows the beginning of our lives from the end. The Bible goes into detail about his intentional love for us.

In just the last eight chapters of the book of John, Jesus expressed concern for his disciples fourteen times. Read the tender words Jesus spoke:

“Don’t let your heart be troubled.”

“I will not leave you orphans.”

“I will come to you and you will see me.”

“Peace I leave you, my peace I give you.”

“Do not be afraid.”

“Father, protect them by the power of your name.”

“I say these things now so they may have the full measure of my joy within them.” John 17:13 (NIV)

Jesus explained in John 17:20, his prayer is not for them alone but for all believers. Can you hear God whisper these things to your heart, do you believe it?  I feel taken care of in the love I receive from God. My God sees me, he knows my name.

“Seek not to understand that you may believe, but believe that you may understand.” St. Augustine

God's Love

How to Fill the Void in Your Heart

March 26, 2016

I’ve carried around a hole in my heart since 1961, the day our father left. I was just a baby and my brother and I never saw him again. I don’t remember him, yet, every day that passed without him created a void in my heart I could not fill.

As a teenager I joked, “He left one night for a carton of milk and never came back.” It was easier to make light of it than to face the pain staring me in the face.

My reaction to every boy or man in my life came from a place of him leaving. My heart longed for a man to cherish me. Instead, I gave all of me to men whose needs came first. I hid my heart and never let them see the real me.

A lifetime of searching for my father and I learned too late he had passed away. I really don’t know what I had hoped would have happened if I had found him but God did. God’s plan unfolded just how it needed to be.

“Yet hope returns when I remember this one thing: The Lord’s unfailing love and mercy still continue, fresh as the morning, as sure as the sunrise. The Lord is all I have, and so in him I put my hope.” Lamentations 3:21-24 GNT

The search for my father led me to my Heavenly Father and God’s unconditional love for me. God knows where we can find the safety of unconditional love, the kind of love I could never have found in a man who was lacking and could never give what he didn’t have himself.

Are you feeling that void today? Has someone left you with a hole in your heart? Did something you longed for not happen and it crushed you? Did something you thought was the real thing get ripped from you and you’re still bleeding inside?

Heavenly Father, we need you today. We need you to touch our hearts and fill us up with your comfort and love. Let us feel your love, not just in our heads but in our hearts.

If you’ve come to a place where you can’t go on, ask God to comfort and heal your heart. Ask him to show you he is with you right now, ask him to help you feel his love.

 

God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.  Saint Augustine

 

God's Love

God’s Perfect Love, I Need It Now

February 6, 2016

God’s Perfect Love…

Her words were final, “I let go of this a long time ago. I don’t need him.”

I fought back tears so my words would make sense. “I know what you are going through because I went through it myself. Silently I prayed, “God, give me the right words to say, the words she needs to hear.”

I wanted to have this conversation in person, not over the phone. I wanted her to see my face and feel my love. “I’m not asking you to go for him, I’m asking you to go for you.”

“I’m done with him! I told him how I felt two years ago and he didn’t respond. I don’t need anything from him.”

I pushed on, fighting the desire to retreat to an easier place, not wanting the conversation to end until I had shared my heart. “This might be an opportunity to receive love from him, the setting is right, won’t you consider going?”

“I’ve moved on, I don’t need him. It’s fine. I don’t need him,” she repeated.

Knowing firsthand the ache of father wounds that lingered well into adulthood, I pressed on. “I don’t want you to do what I’ve done. Don’t let this keep you from being the person you were meant to be,” I said through tears.

“I’m going to be late for work. I love you, bye.”

In the end, she and her sister did go and it went like we expected. However, the unexpected gift was, she took the first step down a long path of healing. She set aside her feelings of fear and rejection and chose not to allow past choices made by others control who she is today.

I am the Good Shepherd. I know my own sheep and my own sheep know me.” John 10:14 The Message

Dear God, I give the hurt I’ve experienced because of choices made by others to you today. I ask that you comfort me and heal me. Help my heart believe like my mind does, that you love me no matter what. You chose me and you know me by name.

God's Love

Unconditional Love and How We Need It So

January 30, 2016

“You are a bad…” I slowly turned to face my grandson. “….Nana.”  I looked into his bright blue eyes as his heart caught up to his words- “good, good…,” he said, as he started up the stairs. “Good. You are a good, good, Nana.”

My grandson expressed his frustration with me because of boundaries that “ruffled his feathers,” “No ice cream before dinner. No more shows, only one a day.”

Unconditional love, I love him no matter what he says or does. My love for my grandson won’t change.

We spend a lot of time together. My visits have become routine and he feels safe to express his real feelings. He knows and trusts my love.

I don’t want to ever miss an opportunity to show him love even when setting boundaries.

Chris Tomlin’s song, You’re a good, good Father, reminds me of God’s love for us. “You tell me that you’re pleased and I’m never alone…You know just what we need before we say a word.”

God loves us with a sacrificial, unconditional love. When we make wrong choices his God’s love doesn’t change.

When life happens and we question God’s presence, during these dark times he holds us even closer. It’s during difficult times in my life I’ve grown the most, I tuned in and looked up – for guidance and help, for peace.

But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children. Psalm 103:17 NIV

In a world where there are no guarantees, God is our guarantee. From everlasting to everlasting, His love is without end.

God's Love

From Phoenix, Arizona all the way to Tacoma

January 23, 2016

Follow love…

If you recognize a lyric in the title you probably grew up in the 70s.

I don’t think God had this kind of love in mind when he inspired the words that Paul wrote to the people of Colossae, he was writing about a self-less love:

And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:14 NIV

It’s hardest to love those who I determine, almost subconsciously, to be unlovable. The co-worker who gossips. The friend who doesn’t return phone calls. My husband who I think only sees my faults and none of my amazing virtues.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13 NIV

1 Corinthians chapter 13 is called the love chapter for a reason. It gives a very succinct description of what love is.

It takes little effort to love the people in my life who are easy to love. It’s easier to avoid those who have done nothing, in my opinion, to deserve love. This attitude makes it difficult to live the Christian life when God’s second greatest commandment is to love one another.

The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” There is no commandment greater than these. Mark 12:31 NIV

If we are to live our lives by Jesus’ example, he loved the leper, the blind man, the beggar, the thief. He sat next to and spoke with love to the woman at the well who was not only a different nationality, but was living a life of sin.

Follow love.

Dear Heavenly Father, show me the hurts that are still buried deep. Empty me from the hurts I’ve hidden all these years, to make room for your love. Heal me and make me whole.

Only then can I pour out God’s love to others.