November Hope Whispers

The Serenity Prayer

“God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
As it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
If I surrender to His Will;
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life
And supremely happy with Him
Forever and ever in the next.
Amen.”

(prayer attributed to Reinhold Neibuhr, 1892-1971)

God’s Unfailing Love

“For even if the mountains walk away
and the hills fall to pieces,
My love won’t walk away from you,
my covenant commitment of peace won’t fall apart.
The God who has compassion on you says so.”

Isaiah 54:10 MSG

❤︎ ❤︎ ❤︎

I cried out, ‘I am slipping!’
    but Your unfailing love, O Lord, supported me.

Psalm 94:18 NLT


❤︎ ❤︎ ❤︎

“For God so [greatly] loved and dearly prized the world,
that He [even] gave His [One and] only begotten Son,
so that whoever believes and trusts in Him [as Savior] 
shall not perish, but have eternal life.
John 3:16 AMP

Hang Onto Hope

🦋 “If you feel stuck in a hopeless place today, I don’t want to rush you to joy. Maybe you need to spend a little time letting the darkness do what darkness does—nourish, strengthen, and hold. The darkness can invite us into a mystery, a place where we don’t know the answer. We know that seeds need to bury down deep in the ground, sometimes for a long, long time. Eventually, those seeds will break open and take root. But first they have to settle into the darkness. Still, that seed carries within it a narrative of hope. It just hasn’t lived into the whole story yet.” ~ Emily Freeman in The Next Right Thing

🦋 “Without dark clouds in our lives, we would never know the joy of sunshine. We can become callous and unteachable if we do not learn from pain.” ~ Billy Graham

🦋 “Hope is like the Sun. When it’s behind the clouds, it’s not gone. You just have to find it!” ~ R.J. Palacio

Nature Retreat

There is not one blade of grass,
there is no color in this world
that is not intended to make us rejoice.
~ John Calvin ~

Though my photography isn’t as professional as my brother’s is, capturing nature photos is relaxing for me. This past summer was a tough one and I didn’t have the privilege of going out to some of my favorite nature spots as often as I would have liked. As I was looking through some of my old photos, I decided to share some photos of my own this month. 🙂

“Just a reminder in case your mind is playing tricks on you today: You matter. You’re important. You’re loved. And your presence on this earth makes a difference, whether you see it or not.” ~ Anonymous

31 thoughts on “November Hope Whispers

  1. I always love these selections of quotes and photos, Trudy! The prayer at the top is lovely. I have heard the first part before but I didn’t realise there was more to it. And the photos are beautiful! It’s nice to see some glimpses of where you live.

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  2. Isaiah 54:10 in the Message version is so beautiful. What a gift (as is each part of your post: stunning photos too). It reminds me of what I was reading last night in chapter 28 of Chaim Bentorah’s book – A Hebrew teacher finds rest in the heart of God:

    God knew Job’s heart for Job’s heart was joined with God’s heart and as a result the enemy could not know Job’s heart, he could only guess and he guessed wrong. When God let go of His sakak, his protection, his savak, his passionate love stayed with Job. When the enemy attacked Job he caught a glimpse of his heart and the enemy knew he was defeated. Job’s heart was so intermingled with God’s heart, the savak was so strong that the enemy could only tuck his tail behind him and wander off in disgrace. The enemy is still trying to get God to remove his sakak, his protection. Old Job was not the first or last one that the enemy used to challenge God to back off from His sakak (protection). He may have challenged God to back off from his sakak, to get to you. If you find yourself in that situation, remember, God can never back off from His savak, his passionate love for you and like Job, you will always have his savak, His passionate love no matter how much God allows the enemy to touch you. The rock Job was anchored to (God’s passionate love) held, no matter what storms God allowed the enemy to bring.

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    • Thank you so much for sharing what you read, Anna. So encouraging. I’m so grateful that we are anchored to the rock of God’s passionate love and God will never, ever allow the enemy to break it, no matter what storms the enemy is allowed to bring us! May God give us grace to cling fast to this truth even when the dark storms blind us and depress us!

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      •  All morning I had this Scripture rising in me:
        Isaiah 54:16-17
        Behold, I have created the smith
            who blows the fire of coals
            and produces a weapon for its purpose.
        I have also created the ravager to destroy;
             no weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed,
            and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgment.
        This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord
            and their vindication from me, declares the Lord.”

        And I kept thinking about how every attack just keeps taking us deeper into God’s sufficiency for us. We forget so easily but that’s why He gave us the Holy Spirit to draw us into remembering His Word to us. Oh how often I have forgotten and in my pride believed my God had forsaken me but in that valley, assailed by my pride, my God has ever arisen for me to defend me with His rod and staff leading me to repentance and to rejoicing in His victory for me. Amen! We are anchored strong. For our God establishes us (meaning of Jakin one of the two pillars in the Temple Solomon built) and He is our strength (meaning of Boaz the other pillar in the Temple Solomon built).

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  3. I love your monthly whispers of hope dear Trudy. And I am so blessed to see your own photos. It’s like seeing another portion of your beautiful heart, shared with us! How you captured that bullfrog must have been amazing. They always ran away from us whenever we tried to get close enough! Our Creator is such a faithful God in all of His gifts for us. Happy Thanksgiving dear friend!

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    • Thank you for your kind encouragement, Bettie. It was good to go back in time to see my photos on Shutterfly since 2010. 🙂 Some still aroused a feeling of warmth and awe of our precious Creator and His gifts to us in nature. Happy Thanksgiving to you, too, dear friend! May our hearts be fixed on Jesus and be filled with all the blessings we still have!

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  4. Those are wonderful photos, Trudy! Photography is about the experience (like all things in life, really) rather than the outcome, isn’t it? I hope you get to relax doing photography again soon. I can tell from your pictures how relaxing it is for you! I’m back to work full-time, working in an office so I haven’t spent time writing on blogs or otherwise. However, Emily’s words were encouraging…Still, that seed carries within it a narrative of hope. It just hasn’t lived into the whole story yet.” (Also have started her book a few times, but yet to complete it. I’m inspired now to do so!)

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    • Thank you for reminding me that photography is about the experience, Lynn. I too easily fuss over the outcome, but yes, it is so relaxing just taking my time in nature and capturing God’s creation. I do miss your posts, but I hope you are enjoying your job. I love Emily’s words, too. I read them at a time when I really needed it. I haven’t finished the book yet, but it is encouraging. May we fix our hearts on Jesus and just do the next right thing, knowing our whole story is in His hands!

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  5. Your photos are truly amazing too, Trudy! Must be a family trait to be a great photographer. 🙂 I appreciate the encouragement I find here today. I’ve been sitting in a dark place for a few weeks, trying to let the darkness do its thing. Looking for pinpricks of light.

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    • Thank you for your kind words, Lisa. I’m so sorry you’ve been in a dark place. It’s hard to allow it to do its thing, isn’t it? I found Emily’s quote so encouraging. May He “nurture, strengthen, and hold” us in those dark places and give us light to guide us in the way He wants us to go!

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  6. As always, Trudy, I appreciate all the quotes and verses you’ve collected for us. And those pictures! So beautiful—you definitely share your brother’s photographic eye. Love and hugs to you this week. ❤️

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    • I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Adele. I always enjoy your photos, too. I remember taking that pic of the clouds. Words or photos cannot adequately describe how awe-inspiring they were. May we always be awed by God’s beauty in His creation!

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    • Thank you for your kind encouragement, Jeanne. Hugs and love back to you! That quote really spoke to me, too. I read it at a time when I was beating myself up over not being joyful enough. It was actually God’s answer to me. He is nurturing, strengthening and holding us in those dark times. And there is always a seed of hope that God will finish our stories. And it will be a glorious ending. 🙂 May He give us grace to cling to His hope in whatever circumstances we’re in!

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