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

October Hope Whispers

When Loneliness Overwhelms

Jesus said:
“A time is coming and in fact has come
when you will be scattered, each to your own home.
You will leave Me all alone. 
Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with Me.
I have told you these things,
so that in Me you may have peace. 
In this world you will have trouble.
But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

John 16:32-33 NIV

❤︎ ❤︎ ❤︎

Even if my father and mother abandon me,
    the Lord will hold me close.

Psalm 27:10 NLT


❤︎ ❤︎ ❤︎

“Nevertheless I am continually with You;
You have taken hold of my right hand.
With Your counsel You will guide me,
And afterward receive me to glory.”

Psalm 73:23-24 NASB

Kindness Quotes

🦋 “The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: ‘If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?’ But the good Samaritan reversed the question: ‘If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?’” – Martin Luther King Jr.

🦋 “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of “disaster,” I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.” – Fred Rogers

🦋 “Never look down on anybody unless you’re helping him up.” – Jesse Jackson

Nature Retreat

Each species is a masterpiece,
a creation assembled

with extreme care and genius.
~ Edward O. Wilson ~

Thank you to my brother John
for some unique views
of various species.
🙂 Please respect copyright laws. 🙂

Regal Horned Lizard
Wilson’s Snipe
Longbilled Dowitcher
Mouse eared Bat
Colorful Black Widow Spider
Oh my! His lunch is so much bigger than he is!
Osprey
Ospreys need lunch, too!

When We Sink Beneath the Waves of Lies About Who We Truly Are

Do you feel ugly, insecure, and worthless?

It’s so easy to find our identity in the hurting words and painful actions of others toward us, isn’t it? Words and actions that steal our confidence and security in who we truly are. That make us feel we are unwanted, unlovable, and unusable.

Demeaning words, abusive actions, and the lack of loving attention we swallow as a child may become our own assumptions that we guide our lives according to. Assumptions that lie to us about the reality of who we really are. Assumptions that make us more vulnerable to further abuse as we grow older.

When we have been abused in some way, it’s so difficult to change our thought pattern, isn’t it? I struggled with this for many years. Still do sometimes. As I look back, I often picture myself like Peter who was invited to walk to Jesus on the water. How thrilling, right? But as he walked, he opened his ears to all the noise of the storm and his eyes to the tumultuous waves around him ready to swallow him up. He took his focus off of Jesus. And he sank.

Satan knows how vulnerable we are and he tries his hardest to distract us from Jesus and the truth of His love and our value in Him. He whips up the noise and tumult of the lies we assumed about ourselves. In our weakness, we often succumb to it and sink beneath the waves, flailing against the strong currents of worthlessness that suck us down, down, down…

Over the years I have often taken my eyes off of Jesus and closed my ears to His whispers of love. I often sank back into the lies and shame, those assumptions I made from past demeaning words and abuse. I didn’t think I would ever come up for air, but Jesus didn’t let me drown in them. He lovingly reached down and lifted me up yet again. He lovingly held my face in His nail-pierced hands and said, “My precious child, keep your eyes fixed on Me.”

Jesus, in His unfailing love and endless compassion, reached down, took Peter’s hand, and pulled him up in spite of Peter’s doubts and fears. And Jesus will do the same for us every time we sink. He never tires of lifting us up again.

God is so ready and willing to restore what others shattered in us and help us to see ourselves through His eyes. What HE says about us and what HE has done for us is what matters, and He can give us the grace to again and again fix our eyes on Him. He is not going to condemn us or stop loving us when we falter. He empathizes deeply with our pain and struggles.

“From the ends of the earth I call to You,
I call as my heart grows faint;
lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”

Psalm 61:2 NIV

“The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and the One who rescues me;
My God, my rock and strength in whom I trust and take refuge;
My shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower—my stronghold.”

Psalm18:2 AMP

“The eternal God is your refuge,
and His everlasting arms are under you.
He drives out the enemy before you;
He cries out, ‘Destroy them!’”

Deuteronomy 33:27 NLT