simplyenjoy


Light and Dark.

image

I’ve been tinkering about in my new space and am creating a special area to commit greater time to my art and writing for the blog and other avenues, as well. I painted this on the wall in my new office at home. This verse has really been ministering to me this week. It is so amazing to look back at all the dark times of my life – all those moments of confusion, hurt, pain and ignorance and to see that God is using them for greater things. He is using them in ways I cannot comprehend or imagine myself. God’s ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts.

It is often difficult to understand why we go through trials or pain. Why do people betray us? Why do relationships fail? Why do people hurt us? Why do we make wrong choices?

I know it’s very difficult to see through pain. Impossible, even. It’s tough to envision what is beyond personal hurt. Only love can clear the way. Only truth can part the clouds and teach our hearts to feel again.

And God is always there in that truth. God is always willing and able to reach us in our confusion, lies, betrayal and fear. There is no such thing as too far gone. But we have to move. We have to reach.

A miracle is often just a shift in perception.



Faith song.

“Waiting here for you” Christy Nockels

This song is so uplifting and reminds of what faith really means…

…expecting God to do great things. It means believing that the sun will come out again or that the fog will clear. Why? Because He is God. He is in control. He is good and loves us. He wants awesome things for us!

Hebrews 11: 1-3

1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for. 3 By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.

Of course we don’t get everything we want all the time. Some things in life just don’t work out how we want or expect them to. This hurts. This can smear gunk over our faith and the vision that we once had.

Like children, we would be awful, spoiled and fail to appreciate the beauty and gifts of life if we simply got everything we wanted all the time.

This song makes me think on the times I’ve waited on God and have been just so astounded by the gifts He has given. Waiting can be so difficult, but in season can bear beautiful fruit and is so worth it.

This song also reminds me of the times I have let fear, impatience and pressure rule me and cause me to make less than desirable choices for my life. These were times where I moved away from faith and listened to contrary messages instead – messages from culture, society or even well-intentioned loved ones who didn’t have wise insight on a situation, but gave advice anyway. In fear or pressure, I listened to these voices instead of the voice of God. I chose fear instead of faith.

I am thankful for a God who knows “we are but flesh” but loves us anyway.

He loves us enough to change us and not keep us where we’re at. He wants our health, wellness and happiness and for our hearts to love Him – to return to Him.

I am in awe of the mercy and grace of God. It’s not a love that spoils and says “It’s ok – you’re perfect no matter what you do so live however you want! Who cares!” It’s a love that sharpens, strengthens and brings me face to face with what I need to change. It’s a love that protects me, helps me and allows me to be human. It’s a grace that is sufficient to carry us through the dark night’s of our souls.

It’s a love that says, “I love you as you are. And I love you when you are with Me. You belong with Me.”

Psalm 19

For the director of music. A psalm of David.

1 The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
2 Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
3 They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.
4 Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
5     It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
6 It rises at one end of the heavens
and makes its circuit to the other;
nothing is deprived of its warmth.

7 The law of the Lord is perfect,
refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.
8 The precepts of the Lord are right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant,
giving light to the eyes.
9 The fear of the Lord is pure,
enduring forever.
The decrees of the Lord are firm,
and all of them are righteous.

10 They are more precious than gold,
than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey,
than honey from the honeycomb.
11 By them your servant is warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.
12 But who can discern their own errors?
Forgive my hidden faults.
13 Keep your servant also from willful sins;
may they not rule over me.
Then I will be blameless,
innocent of great transgression.

14 May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.



Made to bloom.

“And the day came

when the risk to remain tight

in a bud was more painful

than the risk it took to blossom.”

~ Anais Nin ~

“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” ~ Romans 12:10 

 



Refusing to stand still.
May 21, 2013, 3:21 pm
Filed under: Behavior, Body, Mind, Motivation, Music, Spirit, Writing


Better than a hallelujah.

“It is good for us to think

no grace or blessing is truly ours

till we are aware

that God has blessed

someone else with it through us.”

– Phillips Brooks – 

Psalm 51:16-18

New International Version (NIV)

16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
17 My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart
you, God, will not despise.



Come as you are.

Change can hold negative connotation, because it suggests a shedding of what we are – a release of part of our identity.

Change can be scary.

It can be difficult and taxing.

It can feel uncomfortable or like you’re “going against the grain.”

Still, we know if we’re changing according to God’s will and keeping prayerful of our actions and our choices, we have the blessed assurance that He will guide us through our transformation and help us to reach our goals.

Are you working to change something in your life?

A bad habit? Your weight? Your work situation? Your relationship or marriage? Your family dynamic? Your prayer life? Your physical or emotional strength?

You don’t have to change anything about yourself before going to pray before God.

Go as you are. Now. Today!

Just as good and healthy friends and family members accept us and love us enough to encourage us to positive change, growth and to face our personal challenges, God’s love is a bazillion times bigger than that!

Go to Him with your areas of weakness and let Him transform them with His strength. He is an awesome, awesome God.

Tips for focusing on your change:

1. Spend time in the Word of the Bible and in prayer. Daily prayer is vital to your change.

2. Think consistency and not perfection. Be faithful in your actions and words as you walk your change journey. One day at a time!

3. Keep a journal or create a poster where you can visibly see your goal or motivation daily to keep you focused.

4. Be thankful for small steps and slow advances at progress. Smile at your faithfulness to the goal and God’s faithfulness in loving you.

5. Spend time in fellowship with your loved ones and other believers. Let iron sharpen iron. Have someone close to you that will hold you accountable for the change you want to see happen in your life.

6. When you face an obstacle or a challenge in your change journey, take it to God and put it in prayer. Sometimes obstacles turn into blessings. Sometimes they’re sending us a big message. Listen to the leading of the Holy Spirit.

Be joyful in hope,

patient in affliction,

faithful in prayer.

Romans 12:12



Greater things, still.

“A free mind is a great thing, no doubt, but loftiness of heart,

belief in goodness,

capacity for enthusiasm and devotion,

the thirst after perfection and holiness,

are greater things still.”

– Amiel – 

DSCF7043

 

Gettysburg, PA ~ July 2011

“He who is silent is forgotten; he who abstains is taken at his word; he who does not advance, falls back; he who stops is overwhelmed, distanced, crushed; he who ceases to grow greater becomes smaller; he who leaves off, gives up; the stationary condition is the beginning of the end—it is the terrible symptom which precedes death. To live, is to achieve a perpetual triumph: it is to assert one’s self against destruction, against sickness, against the annulling and dispersion of one’s physical and moral being. It is to will without ceasing, or rather to refresh one’s will day by day.” – Amiel –




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