“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!”
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. 🙂
I found a terrarium kit and a Green Bean Peperomia plant at a nursery. The clerk’s comment still warms my heart, and I thank God for people like her.
So what really is joy? I used to criticize myself more for not feeling “joy,” because I thought of it more as exuberance. But I know now that in a spiritual sense, it is more a deeply-rooted, inspired happiness within us. A depth of contentment in Christ.
“The word that describes happiness, joy, well-being in the Bible, is shalom. And it’s a term that covers all the different parts of who we are. Emotional, psychological, spiritual, relational. It’s really what we crave when we are talking about truly being happy with that sense of deep well-being.” ~ Holley Gerth course of 7 Ways to Thrive as an Introvert
So in that sense, plants do give me joy. 🙂 They bring life into our home. When colder weather settles into my bones and winter weariness drains my limited energy supply, they warm and rejuvenate my heart. They are visible testimonies that the life of every living thing is in God’s hand. They are beacons of hope and light, reminding me that our Life-Giver also has our every breath in His hand.
Reminders of God’s faithfulness revitalize me. Birds remind me of God’s faithful loving care. And you know how much I love butterflies. 🙂 My sister once surprised me with some flowers, and she had asked the floral shop to include a butterfly. After the flowers died, I slipped the butterfly into my cactus pot.
It seems these uncertain days and the increasing troubles in life require us more and more to open our eyes to beauty, to wonder, to what reminds us there is still hope. To refresh, refuel, and revitalize our sinking spirits.
What gives you joy? What refreshes your heart? Do you take time for it? Or do you think it’s a waste of time to pause in life to do something that revives your spirit? Maybe an uncompleted to-do list weighs you down? Perhaps depression has smothered the longing even to look up and search for joy?
“You know what makes your heart refreshed, the things that make you come alive. We need to drink in beauty wherever we can get it— in music, in nature, in art, in a great meal shared. These are all gifts to us from God’s generous heart. Friends, those things are not decorations to a life, they bring life.” John Eldredge
In the way God has designed you, what makes you come alive? What gift from God’s heart especially enlivens your spirit and helps you to remember God’s truth and faithfulness?
Okay, my intention was to start blogging again today, but my mind and heart were so overwhelmed with anxiety and uncertainty lately. But after spending some time with God soaking in the peaceful sights and sounds of His creation this morning, I feel more grounded in Him who controls everything. So now my heart feels nudged to send you encouragement yet today.
Isn’t it amazing that God’s thoughts towards us outnumber the grains of sand? He promises His presence and He will provide for us even when we can’t see our way forward. We may feel uncertain about the way forward. Our steps may falter. We may stumble and fall. But He reaches out His hand and urges us to grasp His hand in ours and trust Him to lead us step by step. To trust that His thoughts towards us are precious and He is with us each and every moment, even in the times when we can’t “feel” His Presence.
Imagine Me Without You
by Jaci Velasquez
“Imagine me without You I’d be lost and so confused I wouldn’t last a day, I’d be afraid Without You there to see me through…”