May Hope Whispers

God Promises

“Such hope [in God’s promises] never disappoints us,
because God’s love has been abundantly poured out
within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”

Romans 5:5
AMP

When I checked out what posts readers are drawn to the most so far this year, I was surprised to see the top three dated back between 2014 and 2016.

God’s Plan Is Greater Than Ours

“However messed up or painful our lives are, God has a plan of love towards us. We will suffer troubles on this earth, and often we will not understand. But He is never going to leave us in them. He will help us through them. And when the pain is so deep, He can go to those deep places in our hearts and heal those broken, hurting places. The incomprehensible suffering He went through for us and His triumph over all evil will get us through whatever suffering we must go through in this life. And someday we will see the bigger picture and see how God’s plan is the most beautiful design we could ever imagine.”
Read More…

Bloom With Love Wherever God Plants You

“Sometimes our focus gets skewed in the muck and messiness of life. We start thinking everyone else is better than we are instead of remembering God uniquely created each of us with a special purpose. Each one of us is needed in His garden. None of us is insignificant in His eyes.

The Gardener delights in each of His plantings. He places each plant in such a way that it will compliment the other in the grand scheme of things. Where one serves a purpose to some souls, someone else brings what is needed to other souls. Plants are placed exactly where God can give the best nourishment to each and they can in turn pass on that nourishment to others.”
Read More…

God Knows Us Better Than We Know Ourselves

Questions we sometimes ask God and His answers.
Read More…

Do You Feel Burned Out?

What We Learn From Burnout – Jennifer Renee Watson

I applaud Jennifer’s courage to bring out the hard things about mental health and faith. We need more of that, so we can help remove the shame many are burdened with.

Beat Burnout – I don’t listen to many podcasts, but I’m glad I listened to this important talk by Suzanne, Holley, and Jennifer.

“The past year has left many of us with a weird kind of burnout. We put words to those feelings, talk through what helps, and share next steps.”

When Your Heart is Bummed Out, Burned Out – Suzanne Eller

“Burnout isn’t just about busyness. Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, or spiritual exhaustion.

And that’s when it hit me. That’s where I am. I’m burned out. Burned out from the weight of hurtful discussions in our world. Burned out from trying to make sense of all of it. Burned out from feeling protective over friends walking through such hard places. Burned out from isolation. Burned out from the pandemic and all that it means.

Maybe you feel that way too.

Don’t push down that feeling or make a list of why you shouldn’t feel that way.”

Nature Retreat

“If you look into the mirror of nature
and cannot see yourself in it,
then you are too far away.”

by Camillus Lopez (O’odham Master)

Thank you to my brother John
for these stunning photos.
🙂 Please respect copyright laws. 🙂

Mama Mallard is so proud of her babies.
Common Gallinules
Acorn Woodpecker
Bell’s Vireo
Black-Headed Grosbeak
Long-billed Dowitcher
Greater Short-horned Lizard
Male Rattlers Fighting Over a Female
Cat-faced Orbweaver

2020 Hope Whispers

The future is uncertain, but God’s faithful love will always be certain.

When It’s Hard to Understand God’s Plan

2020 has been a tough year. When we experience losses, trauma, and sorrows, it can be so hard to understand God’s plan for us, can’t it?

This year the most read post is one from 2015:

God’s Plan Is Greater Than Ours

“No, in all these things we are more than victorious
through Him who loved us.
For I am persuaded that not even death or life,
angels or rulers, things present or things to come,
hostile powers, height or depth
or any other created thing
will have the power to separate us from the
love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord!”

Romans 8:37-39

Nature is a Retreat of Hope

“All my life through
the new sights of nature
made me rejoice
like a child.”
Marie Curie

Thank you to my brother John
for these stunning photos.
🙂 Please respect copyright laws. 🙂
Chipmunk
Botta’s Pocket Gopher
Black-crowned Night Heron
American Avocet
Redhead Male
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Acorn Woodpecker
Osprey With a Meal of Koi

Our Powerful and Faithful God Breathes Hope Through His Creation

Opening our ears to the sweet symphony of nature, our eyes to its calming palette of color, and our understanding to our Creator’s faithful care cannot but give us hope in times of uncertainty. Its steady rhythm reminds us that some aspects of our lives are not affected by the chaos and destruction of the coronavirus.

God’s Almighty power created the heavens and the earth, and it is so evident He is still in control. He faithfully brings the change of seasons, no matter what is happening in this world.

“As long as the earth endures,
seedtime and harvest,
cold and heat,
summer and winter,
day and night
will never cease.”
Genesis 8:22

Every moment He faithfully watches over and cares for His creatures. Every morning the birds start an early chorus of praise to God. Unfettered by the cares of this world, it’s like their focus is fixed on their Creator alone.

“Look at the birds of the air;
they do not sow or reap or store away
in barns, and yet your
heavenly Father feeds them.
Are you not much more
valuable than they?

Can any one of you by worrying
add a single hour to your life?”
Matthew 6:26-27

No, we can’t add a single hour to our lives or others’ lives by worrying, but I see and hear worry everywhere these days. In my own heart. In the eyes and voices of so many. Behind the tough exteriors of those who try so hard to be strong. In the text of our young grandson when he heard I was sick again and was being tested for Covid, how he expressed his worries of me as high risk and how they were praying. When he found out the test was negative, his words soothed my soul, “God has a plan for you and it doesn’t stop now.”

Yes, God has a plan for us. Even in the midst of uncertainty, sickness, and loss. We may rebel and think our plan would be better, but it’s not. There is going to be suffering and dying, cold and hunger, and loss of all kinds in this world. Do we always understand it? No. Can we make sense out of it? No. Can we run our lives better? No. From our side things look like a mess, like the threads on the underside of a weaving, but what God sees is the total picture of His plan, beautiful and glorious beyond compare. And we are included in that plan and never forgotten. We are the ones He calls much more valuable than the birds of the air He faithfully cares for.

“I lift my eyes toward the mountains.
Where will my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.”
Psalm 121:1-2

When you allow your senses to soak in God’s creation, whether outdoors or from your window or doorway ( or even from photos), does it breathe hope into your soul? What does it say to you about God’s faithful character?

All of the bird photos were taken through my tinted office windows.

My view from my office window. A house finch pair built a nest! The little ones have now hatched and are being fed.

Here is Papa!

“Flowers appear on the earth;
the season of singing has come,
the cooing of doves
is heard in our land.”
Song of Solomon 2:12

The sun feels much warmer than the snow!

On the same day, this robin was also trying to keep warm.

This same robin devours seeds like he’s starving. He throws out the safflower seeds and seeks for the sunflower chips. Maybe when it’s warmer, he’ll check out the worms and bugs?

A chipping sparrow has been visiting.

The goldfinches left for a while after the big snow we had on Easter, but now they’re back. Hooray!

Maker of the Stars
by Demetrios Leiloglou

“I sat and watched the evening sky as it turned shades of red
One by one the stars came out like diamonds in a sea of black
And as I started to count them all I realized they had no end
That’s the way it must be with God’s love… the Maker of the Stars…”