Fall Afresh

Hello my friend,

I’m so excited to share this with you. I’ve been experiencing God’s spirit in a new & fresh way! There hasn’t been one thing in particular that has kindled the fire in my heart. It’s been a bunch of little details & decisions I’ve made that have added up & created some spectacular results! The way I feel & see the world is so different when I’m intentional about my relationship with God instead of putting it on cruise-control & letting it just coast along. I’m so encouraged & wanted to share that encouragement with you.

This is a list & prayer I made this week. It started as a simple list of acknowledging & thanking God for who He is & what He has done for me. But it quickly grew into a passionate battle cry & fiery prayer.

Be encouraged, sweet friend! Our God is constantly calling us to His heart. Even when we wander. Even when we ignore Him. Even when we get so caught up in the to-dos of our life that we forget to put Him above it all. So this week, I encourage you sit down & think through a few things. Reprioritize your day. Make sure that He is in the forefront of your mind as you run errands. Play worship music in the background. If you can, dive into your Bible a few times throughout the day instead of stopping at your morning devotion. Pray out loud with your friend, even if it’s a little uncomfortable. Dig deeper. Lean into Him.

I pray that you too will experience our God’s spirit in a fresh & new way this week! I can’t wait to hear all about it!

 

Oh Savior, your grace for me is scandalous.
It gave me eternal life that I don’t deserve. (John 3:16&17)

Lord, your mercy is indescribable.
It took the punishment that I did deserve. (Psalm 103:8-12)

Father, you have adopted me as your daughter.
My place in your family has been bought with your very blood. (John 1:12)

El Roi, you see into the deepest parts of my soul.
You are acquainted with my every thought & action. (Hebrews 4:13)

Teacher, your patience for me doesn’t end.
It allows me to persevere despite mistakes & failures. (2 Peter 3:9)

God, your Spirit breathes life into my bones.
It nudges me to keep going when I want to give up. (Hebrews 33:4)

El Shaddai, you provide for my every need.
I lack no good thing when I follow you. (Philippians 4:19)

Immanuel, you are always with me.
Your presence gives me courage & strength. (Joshua 1:9)

El Rachum, your compassion envelops my pain.
It shows me that you are near to the brokenhearted. (Psalm 34:18)

Mighty God, your faithfulness transcends our emotions, situations & circumstances.
You work everything for the good of those who love you. (Romans 8:28)

Jesus, your peace isn’t confined to my understanding.
It penetrates deeper than the pain & is more present than my heartache. (Philippians 4:7)

 

Father God,

You embody all these beautiful things. Yet you, a perfect God, intimately involve yourself in my imperfect life. You walk alongside me in every pain, hardship & trial I face. Even if the only reason you would lay your hand on me is to comfort me, it would be inconceivable that Almighty God would touch the flesh of fallen humanity. But you are love. And you go further than what I could ever ask for or understand. You wrap your arms around me to protect me, to redeem me & to change me from the inside out.

It is by your mercy that I take my next breath. It is for glory that I live today. Build me up & set my heart on fire for you! Infuse your Word so deeply inside of me that it becomes a part of my very being. May it sink into the marrow of my bones & settle into the core of my heart & mind. You have set a calling upon my life, so there is no power on earth or in hell than can stop me from stepping into my destiny!

You are faithful & what you start, you finish. My identity is found in you, so use my heart to reflect yours.

In Jesus’ name, amen.

In The Still Of My Heart

I was doing some cleaning yesterday afternoon to prepare for a visit from my sister & baby nephew. It’s always when I know I’ll be having company that I will dust everywhere (yes, even the places you can’t see) and finally decide where to put that stack of mail that has collected in the corner.
As I was finishing up in the kitchen I looked on top of my refrigerator & stared at the hospital bands that I was required to wear the night we lost our first baby. For months they remained on my counter where I could see & touch them every day. I didn’t want to throw them away or hide them. I don’t know why, but they have remained precious, tangible objects that have reminded me of the physical & emotional pain of that night. I could touch them & hold them in my hand when I needed to. And it brought comfort & connection to me. I didn’t want to get rid of them because I didn’t want to forget anything. Now I know I will never forget. How could I? But for a while it was a very real fear for me to think that the memory of that night or our baby would fade or that people would forget about our baby’s life. Those bands symbolized that for me. So getting rid of them would mean that what happened didn’t mattered. It terrified me. After a couple of months, I deliberately moved them from my counter to the top of the refrigerator. It was a step towards further healing for me. I knew they were there. If I needed to look at them or hold them, I could. But they were further away. And for the past 5 months, that’s where they have remained.
So yesterday, as I fixated my eyes on them, I began crying. Not out of sorrow, but out of remembrance. And I knew & felt that it was time. Not to discard them, but to tuck them away somewhere special, just like that night & our baby will always be a very real, precious part of me. So I did just that. And I realized something. That piece of my heart is no longer an excruciating, open wound. My God started bandaging it the moment that loss began. He personally tended to it in the quiet nights where I laid in bed sobbing, crying out to Him, wrapped in my husband’s arms. Even though it was painful, there were multiple times that my God changed those bandages & cleaned out the wound, because that’s what it needed. And yesterday, as I tucked those hospital bands away where they will remain from now on, I knew that the wound I have felt for 7 months has now become a beautiful scar. I realize that the healing that Jesus Christ has given me does not diminish the memory of our baby or minimize the significance & importance of that life-changing night. It just means that my God is faithful to walk with me through the dark valley & will restore me always. He is close to the broken-hearted & faithful to His Children. His peace is beyond what we can fathom. His love is deeper than we’ll ever know.
Thank you, Father for my beautiful scar. Enjoy loving on our sweet baby. We look forward to the time when we will be reunited & can do it ourselves. I declare You as faithful, my God, Savior & Comfort.
And as another testament to God’s faithfulness & for those of you who may not know, I am 6 ½ months pregnant with a little girl. We are naming her Raelyn which comes from the name Rachel in the Bible. It means “God’s lamb of beauty”. And oh my goodness, yes she is.