When We Want to Live Our Lives Less Like a List and More Like a Lyric

“I will praise You
because I have been remarkably
and wonderfully made.
Your works are wonderful,
and I know this very well.”
Psalm 139:14 HCSB

Freed to Fly

“I just want to live my life
less like a list and more like a lyric.”
Emily Freeman

“What might it mean to live life like a lyric rather than a list?

Maybe it means releasing yourself to live as the person you most deeply are rather than who you think you should be.

It could mean embracing your smallness by bringing your ordinary work to Jesus, knowing He does miracles with little offerings.

It could also mean releasing the outcome of your interactions with people and the results of your work.

Would your shoulders relax? Would your jaw loosen up? Would your fists open up in your lap?”

Excerpt from Seven Little Ways to Live Art by Emily Freeman.

“As you learn to recognize, nurture, and protect your inner artist, you will be able to move beyond pain and creative constriction. You will learn ways to recognize and resolve fear, remove emotional scar tissue, and strengthen your confidence.” Julia Cameron in The Artist’s Way

The Garden
by Kari Jobe

“I had all
But given up
Desperate for it
A sign from love
Something good
Something kind
Bringing peace to every corner of my mind

Then I saw the garden
Hope had come to me
To sweep away the ashes
And wake me from my sleep

I realized
You never left
And for this moment
You planned ahead
That I would see
Your faithfulness in all of the green

I can see the ivy
Growing through the wall
‘Cause You will stop at nothing
To heal my broken soul

I can see the ivy
Reaching through the wall
‘Cause You will stop at nothing
To heal my broken soul…”

Taking One Step At a Time

Anxious, depleted, and overwhelmed, I decided to take a break in December. Lord, do I need to discontinue this blog? What direction do You want me to take?

As I spiraled downward with indecision, God finally answered my prayers. Not with a definitive “yes” or “no,” but with a gentle guidance as He whispered, “My child, just take one step at a time. Live more in the moment. Don’t obsess over what the moments or steps thereafter will be.” And peace spilled into my heart as He assured me He will light my way one step at a time. As He encouraged me to trust Him more to lead me. As He reminded me to “be” rather than always thinking I need to “do.”

It can be hard to keep grasping His proffered hand and to trust Him no matter what, can’t it? Even when we can’t feel His presence while our lives fall apart, our longings and prayers are unmet, and the future is unknown and scary-looking.

I need to trust that God is faithful. To trust His heart when I don’t understand where His hand is leading. When He says He is holding my hand, He is. He never goes back on His Word. When we stray and take our own way, He will redeem us and lead us to the right path. When we fall, He will lift us up again to take the next step.

“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
I will hold you up with My victorious right hand.”
Isaiah 41:10 NLT
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
    do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek His will in all you do,
    and He will show you which path to take.”
Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT
“For Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom.
    You rule throughout all generations.
The Lord always keeps His promises;

    He is gracious in all He does.
The Lord helps the fallen
    and lifts those bent beneath their loads.
The eyes of all look to You in hope;
    You give them their food as they need it.”
Psalm 145:13-15 NLT

“God won’t light your second step
until you have taken the first one.”
Woodrow Kroll

“As we trust God to give us
wisdom for today’s decisions,
He will lead us a step at a time
into what He wants us to be
doing in the future.”
Theodore Epp

“I will trust Him.
Whatever, wherever I am, I can never be thrown away.
If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him;
in perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him;
if I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve Him.
My sickness, or perplexity, or sorrow
may be necessary causes of some great end,
which is quite beyond us.
He does nothing in vain.”
John Henry Newman

Trust His Heart
by Babbie Mason

“All things work for our good
Though sometimes we don’t see
How they could
Struggles that break our hearts in two
Sometimes blind us to the truth

Our Father knows what’s best for us
His ways are not our own
So when your pathway grows dim
And you just don’t see Him,
Remember you’re never alone

God is too wise to be mistaken
God is too good to be unkind
So when you don’t understand
When don’t see His plan
When you can’t trace His hand
Trust His Heart
Trust His Heart…”

May God help us to take
one step at a time in 2020
and trust Him to lead us!

Jesus Will Be With Us in the Storms of Life, Even When We Doubt

“Lord, if it is really You, then tell me to meet You on the water,” Peter called to Jesus who walked on the water to be with His disciples.

“Come.”

Peter boldly stepped out of the boat and started walking on the water to Jesus. But then he took his eyes off of Jesus. He focused on the boisterous waves swirling around him.

“Lord, save me!” he cried out as fear and desperation choked him and the sea threatened to swallow him.

Did Jesus let him drown? No, He Immediately reached down His hand and caught him.

I can almost imagine the sorrow in Jesus’ eyes as He said, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”

I don’t believe Jesus said it to condemn Peter but to plead with him to keep his eyes focused on Him, not on the storm. And He questioned him, so Peter would question and examine himself.

This story (Matthew 14:22-34) has often been used by God to strengthen me. I identify with Peter and his dancing back and forth between faith and fear. And yet, even though Jesus knew Peter would grievously deny Him in the future and even though Peter doubted His power to keep him on top of the water when he saw and felt the power of the storm, Jesus didn’t give up on him. Jesus will never, ever abandon us and let us drown, no matter how much we doubt Him. His faithfulness, love, and compassion are limitless.

It’s so easy to be swallowed up in the storms of life, isn’t it? As I look back on my life, there were many times when wave after wave crashed over me and the undercurrent of doubt and despair sucked me under. 

But God! I know now that He was keeping me from drowning even when I felt like not even He cared or understood me.

Relief from my troubles and despair didn’t always come immediately. Often it was just a quiet strength to help me keep putting one foot in front of the other. In hindsight I see more of the depth of His amazing love and faithfulness that upheld me. How He reached out and pulled me up, how He brought my limp body and spirit to the shore of His grace and breathed life into me, how He carried me when I had no strength to keep going. Again and again… And He still does…

May God strengthen and calm you with His love
and grace in the midst of life’s storms!

Are you in one of life’s storms right now?

What has been the greatest storm in your life?

What verses calm you in the midst of the storm?

Sometimes He Calms the Storm
by Scott Krippayne

“…Sometimes He calms the storm
With a whispered peace be still
He can settle any sea
But it doesn’t mean He will
Sometimes He holds us close
And lets the wind and waves go wild
Sometimes He calms the storm
And other times He calms His child…”