September Hope Whispers

 

He Giveth More Grace

by Annie Johnson Flint
(1866-1932)

“He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength when the labors increase;
To added afflictions He addeth His mercy,
To multiplied trials, His multiplied peace.

When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
Our Father’s full giving is only begun.

Fear not that thy need shall exceed His provision,
Our God ever yearns His resources to share;
Lean hard on the arm everlasting, availing;
The Father both thee and thy load will upbear.

His love has no limits, His grace has no measure,
His power no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.”

~ More of Her Poems  ~

Free Hope Resource

Joy Lenton offers a free gift, an ebook to help us rise up to face life’s challenges:

“This book is for you if you’re feeling drained, depleted or discouraged. And for all who need a supportive word or inspiring thought to help bring hope and encouragement back to their heart. These words will remind you that you are more courageous than you realise, you are not alone in your struggles, and you’re stronger than you know.”

Soul Shots: 31 Days of Pocket Wisdom for Your Hurting Heart

I love this mural at the Empire Mall in Sioux Falls.
Created by THE KIND WAY
“Constant kindness can accomplish much.
As the sun makes ice melt,
kindness causes misunderstanding,
mistrust, and hostility to evaporate.”
Albert Schweitzer

Nature is a Retreat of Hope

“Any glimpse into the life
of an animal quickens our own
and makes it so much the larger
and better in every way.”
John Muir

Thank you to my brother John
for these 
stunning photos.
🙂 Also for the interesting facts. 🙂

(Please respect copyright laws.)

The American Dipper can walk on the bottom of streams or dive for insects, etc.
Notice the American Dipper’s white eyelids? It is equipped with a third eyelid membrane for underwater, but the upper eyelid is covered with white feathers visible when it blinks.
“Who goes there?” wonders the coyote.
He is barking at my brother because his den or a kill must be nearby.
This juvenile Northern Jacana showed up near where my brother lives. It is only spotted in Arizona about once every 10 years. It usually lives in Mexico and central America. I hope he finds his way back home!
The Northern Jacana has the largest feet of any bird in proportion to its body size. It is sometimes called “The Jesus Bird” because it appears to walk on water when walking on lily pads and other floating vegetation.
Isn’t it beautiful how the yellow shows up when he’s flying? Another interesting fact is that the male builds the nest and incubates the eggs.

I’ve been trying to put less pressure on myself to post every week. So since my husband is taking some time off work, I want to free up some of my time. I hope to be back on either the 13th or 20th of October. One step at a time, right? 🙂

Butterfly Blessings from God

Nature is one of the channels God uses to breathe life into fainting spirits and to give assurance that He is still in control over all, no matter what happens in our lives and in this world.

At the end of May, my youngest brother was admitted to ICU with severe pancreatitis. I cried out to God to heal him and spare his life. I was afraid, and I could not trust God’s plan for him. Other anxieties for those struggling emotionally, stories not mine to tell, were also storming in my heart, threatening to drown me.

One day I took a walk and spotted a Monarch and a Painted Lady on a lilac bush. As I gazed in awe, the storm in my heart stilled as God whispered, “I’m with him, My child. I’ve got him. I’m with those who are emotionally in pain. I am with you.” The heavy load that threatened to crush me drained from me, and I could release all of them to His care and His plan.

Some time later, I was with some of my siblings and families in a park. It had been my turn this year to plan a reunion, and I needlessly worried about it for months. I love them all dearly, but crowds aren’t my thing. I’m more a one-on-one gal. I was also worried about over-doing it, because sometimes when I get out of my slower routine, health repercussions follow. Probably deeper though was the anxiety I have for anyone hurting and the helplessness I feel that I can’t “fix” things. (I’m still a work in progress in surrendering everyone’s needs to God.) As I sat at a table underneath a shelter, my heart felt grieved, my spirit disconnected, and my body tired and achy. Then there it was! A butterfly fluttering near me! And God whispered, “I’m here. I’m still with you” as He breathed His sufficient grace into my weariness. Later on, the butterfly flew by again with its reassuring love note. Thank You, God!

God continued to send me love notes through butterflies at timely moments throughout the summer. I could be looking out the window at home, driving along in our van, or taking a walk.

What was your summer like? I know many of you are suffering from losses in one way or another, and I’m so sorry. It can be hard to open our hearts to God’s messages of comfort when we are weighed down with grief, can’t it? I pray God strengthens each of you.

Did God sometimes strengthen or comfort you through His creation? How? Please feel free to share with us!

“The Lord Himself goes before you
and will be with you;
He will never leave you nor forsake you.
Do not be afraid;
do not be discouraged.”
Deuteronomy 31:8
Some butterflies have battered wings,
but they still fly and spread God’s encouragement.

♥️ A lesson for us that God can use us, no matter how broken we are. ♥️

He Is With Us
by Love and The Outcome

“Remember when your hope is lost and faith is shaken
Remember when you wonder if you’re gonna make it
There’s a hand stretched out through your deepest doubt
We can’t pretend to see the ending or what’s coming up ahead
To know the story of tomorrow
But we can stay close to the One who knows

We can trust our God
He knows what He’s doing
though it might hurt now

We won’t be ruined
It might seem there’s an ocean in between
But He’s holding on to you and me
And He’s never gonna leave, no
He is with us, He is with us (always, always)
He is with us, He is with us (always)”

(P.S. My brother’s life was spared!)

Lessons From a Sea Turtle

Keep Following the True Light

When sea turtles hatch and dig their way out of the sand, they follow the light of the moon over the ocean, their home. Sometimes when clouds cover the light of the moon or there are too many beachfront artificial lights, they get disoriented. Recently in a movie, I saw some sea turtle protectors guide them on a cloudy night. The turtles saw another distant light, so they turned towards it. The protectors formed a line on their knees to block out the false light while one of them got on his boat and shone a bright light several feet from shore. The turtles turned again and finally arrived at their ocean home.

It sounds a lot like our spiritual journey in this life, doesn’t it? We may be following the True Light of love to dip ourselves into the healing waters of His grace, but distractions or temptations in this world can lure us and lead us away from Him. Maybe it’s not always intentional, but we get confused by all the artificial lights. Even Satan can masquerade himself as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14), and he constantly works to turn us away from the True Light. I’m so glad that He who is the Light of the world shines and prevails over all false lights and draws us to Himself, aren’t you?

“Jesus spoke to the people once more and said,
‘I am the Light of the world.
If you follow Me,
you won’t have to walk in darkness,
because you will have the light that leads to life.'”
John 8:12
Never Give Up When the Going Gets Tough

Green sea turtle babies are only 2 inches long. It’s a looong walk to the ocean. Then there are the obstacles. Can you imagine what a big footprint in the sand or a piece of driftwood would look like to such a tiny turtle? In a video, I saw one flip to its back because of the deepness of the footprint, but he flipped himself back upright and kept on heading to the ocean. They persevere and trudge onward.

Photo by Mark Sullivan, NOAA affiliate.

Our journeys here on earth can be filled with mountains of troubles and pits of difficulties, obstacles that set us back or make us want to sit down in despair and forget about putting one foot in front of the other towards our eternal home with Jesus.

These little turtles persevere in the midst of obstacles and challenges, even in danger from predators. Cannot the same God who created them and gives them strength to move on also give us strength to endure?

No, it’s not easy, but God’s powerful love and mercy are more than enough, and He is always available, regardless of what situation we’re in. Yes, maybe we will feel flipped upside-down and unable to flip ourselves right-side-up again to keep going. But He promises us that His power is made perfect in weakness. He never said there won’t be troubles in this world, but He has promised He has a plan for our good and He’ll get us through.

“But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you,
for My power is made perfect in weakness.'”
2 Corinthians 12:9a
“But You, Lord, do not be far from me.
You are my strength; come quickly to help me.”
Psalm 22:19
“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 16:33


“A Living Prayer”
by Alison Krauss

“In this world I walk alone with no place to call my home
But there’s one who holds my hand
The rugged road through barren lands
The way is dark, the road is steep
But He’s become my eyes to see
The strength to climb, my griefs to bear
The Savior lives inside me there…”

“I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources
He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit.”
Ephesians 3:16