Summer Hope Whispers

Words from iBibleverses.com

Who God Says We Are

When times are tough, it can be easy for us to slide back into the rut of our insecurities and feelings of worthlessness. But the truth is, that even though we may “feel” insignificant and inadequate, God declares and maintains we are beloved, chosen, and favored!

🦋 What Would You Name Yourself? by Vaneetha Risner

“What we tell ourselves in our suffering powerfully shapes how we experience it.

Are you telling yourself that you are beloved? If you are certain that you are unconditionally and extravagantly loved by God, it will give you courage and hope, convinced that whatever is happening to you cannot be anything but God’s best for you. 

So what would you name yourself today? Would you name yourself by how you feel and the narrative that you subconsciously replay in your head… forgotten, unloved, undone? Or can you name yourself as you truly are… beloved, chosen, favored?”

🦋 Who God Says You Are by Nancy Beach

“One morning I opened my Bible and read today’s key verse: “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God. Beloved, we are God’s children now” (1 John 3:1a, 2a).

Beloved. Valued. Belonging. Accepted. Wanted.

Regardless of what others say or do, our identity rests secure in who God says we are. He says we are beloved. He says we are cherished for who we are in His eyes, not because of something we’ve done or not done. We are precious in His sight, one-of-a-kind, created for a unique purpose.”

God’s Whispers of Love

When we feel unloved
God whispers His Truth
My child, I love you with an everlasting love!
With unfailing love I have drawn you to Myself!


When we feel ugly
God whispers His Truth
My child, I have wonderfully created you
And I delight in your beauty!


When we feel dirty,
God whispers His Truth
My child, I have purified you
And made you whiter than the snow!


When we feel defeated,
God whispers His Truth
My child, in spite of everything that happens to you,
You are more than a conqueror through Him who loves you!


When we feel rejected and deserted,
God whispers His Truth
My child, I will never ever abandon you
I am with you always even to the end of the world!


When we feel at a loss about what to do,
God whispers His Truth
My child, no matter the situation or the chaos,
I am still in control and will get you through this!
Just keep taking one step at a time.
You don’t need to understand,
You just need to hold My hand.


(Jeremiah 31:3, Psalm 139:14, Psalm 45:11, Romans 8:37,
Psalm 51:7, Hebrews 13:5, Matthew 28:20)

“Your unfailing love, O Lord, is as vast as the heavens;
    Your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds.
Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,
    Your justice like the ocean depths.
You care for people and animals alike, O Lord.
How precious is Your unfailing love, O God!
All humanity finds shelter
    in the shadow of Your wings.”

Psalm 36:5-7

Nature Retreat

”Go out, go out, I beg of you
And taste the beauty of the wild.
Behold the miracle of the earth
With all the wonder of a child.”

~ Edna Jacques ~

I love walking along the trail near the river, soaking in the sights and sounds of “the beauty of the wild” as the author of this quote puts it. Every bit of it still fills me with “the wonder of a child.” The heaviness in my heart over all that’s going on in this world seeps away as I remember how God has clothed and preserved the beauty of His creation and He is still in control.

Now for the grand finale of photos… My brother John recently discovered Great Blue Herons cough up pellets of the indigestible parts of the food they eat just as owls do. Okay, so I said “Gross!” when I first saw it. But it still fascinates me how God has equipped some birds to do this. Can you imagine what a belly ache all those indigestible parts would cause otherwise?

2021 Reflections on the Grace God Still Gives Us

2021 has been a tough year, hasn’t it? Most likely, for all of us in one way or another. Physically, mentally, and emotionally taxing. Losses of different kinds. Deep hurts in so many hearts. Uncertainties and fears about the future.

But God… Yes. But God is still with us and is giving us grace to survive. Even when we feel forsaken. Even when we feel weary, troubled, and sorrowful. Even when events in our lives or in the world have crushed us. He is still holding us up with His faithful love and compassion that will never, ever leave us.

This year God is teaching me on a deeper level how crucial it is to:

🦋 Remind my fainting heart to keep my eyes fixed on God’s unchangeable character. All the heartaches and changes in our world may disorient us or depress us, but God will never change and His love will never abandon us.

🌈 “Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet My unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor My covenant of peace be removed, says the LORD, who has compassion on you.” Isaiah 54:10 NIV

🦋 Let go of my tight-fisted grip of “needing to fix” situations out of my control. This is so hard to do, isn’t it? But God longs for us to leave these anxieties in His Almighty hands and to believe in His power to heal, redeem, and bring justice in His time and way.

🌈 “This is what the Lord says: Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.” 2 Chronicles 20:15 NLT

🦋 Diligently seek, pay attention to, and thank God for the beauty and the blessings still surrounding me. There are so many blessings right in front of us that we take for granted each moment, right? The beauty in God’s creation, the strength we’re given with each breath and step we take (whether emotionally, physically, mentally, or spiritually), the kindness and love many people still do show. And on and on it goes. Even in the midst of chaos and heartaches, God still heaps on the invaluable gift of His grace so freely.

🌈 “And from the overflow of His fullness we received grace heaped upon more grace!” John 1:16 TPT

What has been the toughest trial to you personally this year? What special grace have you been given even in the midst of it, whether in the moment or in hindsight?

Remembering How My Mom Loved In Spite of Depression

“I love you! I love you! I love you!” she whispered some of her last words as she fought for breath. I still see her helplessness as a spinal stroke paralyzed her and took away her freedom to hug us. She loved to hug us.

My mom was plagued with depression through her life (My Mom, Depression, and Love), so my child heart had to work through insecurities. All the turmoil of wondering what I did wrong that I couldn’t make her happier. That I couldn’t stop her hysterical crying. That I couldn’t stop her from wanting to end her life. I didn’t understand why she had to leave to go to the hospital. When she clung to us after our Sunday visits and sobbed and begged my dad to take her home, I didn’t understand why we couldn’t take her along.

It took years before I worked through my guilt and feelings of desertion. But the more I healed, the more I realized what a wonderful mom I really had. Although depression sometimes snatched her away from us or plunged her into inescapable self-absorption, she loved us deeply. Now I am amazed how she even coped, knowing more of her past and all she dealt with. Now I can see how God still taught me about the real love through her.

Today it is 14 years since she passed away. February 18, 2006. She was only 80. I still have times when I miss her.

I am so grateful for my Mom’s love. Though not exhaustive, here are a few ways she showed it:

I often had ear infections. I remember being not very old and crying because my ear hurt horribly. My mom took me to the doctor. I still hear his words, “SHUT UP!” That only made me cry harder, and my mom hurt so much for me that we changed doctors.

She believed me when others didn’t. When I was a sophomore in high school, I ached all over and would run a small grade fever. I was so, so tired. Even our family doctor couldn’t figure it out. I started believing others that maybe it was just the result of emotional issues or of something I was avoiding at school. When I sobbed because someone called me a faker, she hugged me and said, “I believe you.” Later on, my feet and hands swelled up and I was sent to a specialist. Finally a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis. It was a long journey through treatment, but she stood by me all the way.

When I was a junior in high school, I had a tonsillectomy. They were more spread than they had thought, so they had to dig and stitch. I couldn’t eat for some time, and I remember feeling Mom’s concern and bringing me popsicles.

♥ She never squelched my creativity and passions but instead encouraged them. When I found some baby frogs, she gave me an old canning tub to build a habitat for them before I released them. She allowed me to make terrariums. I enjoyed keeping an aquarium, raising hamsters, and nursing a duckling back to strength in a box in the corner of the kitchen.

She couldn’t protect us from abuse, and she was emotionally incapable of recognizing it or helping us through the effects of it. But she did care about our safety as much as she was able. Once my brother and I wanted to swim in a pond under a bridge, and she allowed us to but she said, “Keep your shoes on” as she was afraid we might step on broken glass or barbed wire. (I already mentioned before of an incident where she was more concerned about our safety than hers in “My Mom, Depression, and Love.”)

When she was present, she allowed us to pick which cake we wanted for our birthdays. I always chose confetti angel food cake. On my birthday last month, I thought of how she always sent a special birthday card even though her handwriting had become more wavy.

Her children and grandchildren were her pride and joy. She loved it so when we were all together.

Even though my kids were adopted, she never loved them less than the other grandchildren. Once when she was in the hospital, my husband and I went to see her. We didn’t know if children were allowed in her room, so we left them in the lobby. She immediately asked us where the kids were. When we told her, she pleaded that we bring them to her room and said they are just as important to her as the other grandchildren.

I was already working on another post, but my heart led me instead to remember my mom’s love. I’m so grateful she can now dance and rejoice fully in Jesus’ love where there is no more depression.

I love you! I love you! I love you, Mom!

Please share your story about your mom. If she is no longer on this earth, how did she show you she cared in spite of her imperfections? Or perhaps you have no positive memories of your mom, because she was absent or abusive in one way or another? Is there someone in your life that gave you the nurturing love like a mom should?

“Amazing Grace”

This was one of my mom’s favorite hymns. We sang it at her funeral.
Her name was Grace, and by God’s grace, she was amazing, too!