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Showing posts from January, 2014

Overcome

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I had the words of Scripture pounding in my head today, like a memory I just can’t shake. I suppose that is why they call them “memory verses.” I’m getting a late start (as usual) to a challenge for this year, to memorize soul-sustaining verses from John … a year full of Jesus. Did I really expect the change to take long? I am already learning to cling to these words; to repeat them over and over when I find myself feeling weighed down by this world.


In the late morning, I read a chapter from this book and before I even had finished one page, I was shaking my head, just in awe.


“If the world is full of darkness … and darkness is the absence of light … where is the light? In Matthew 5:14-16 Jesus says, ‘You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your …

You're Not Alone {Coffee for Your Heart}

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This isn’t easy for me to talk about, but if people only talked about the easy stuff, this world would be in serious disarray--well, more serious. I’m going to be honest here; the type of honesty that requires trust, and that is something that I am still learning, slowly. I have felt alone. I have stood in the middle of a crowded room and have felt so desperately lonely that it nearly drowned me. This has happened in my own home. I have been prone to anxiety attacks. I’ve sat on the floor, feeling like the world is caving in, and have only recently learned to text someone I trust when this happens. I have laid alone in my bed and cried myself to sleep. I know these feelings, and I know how real they can seem; so real that everything else looks fake and twisted in comparison. I have hid in corners and let the lie consume me: I am alone. I wasn’t. And dear soul, you aren’t either. Do you hear me? You. Are. Not. Alone. Not even a little. Not ever. I don’t know what you are going through …

03. Great is Thy Faithfulness -- Viewed

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“Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father! There is no shadow of turning with Thee;Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not;As Thou hast been, Thou forever wilt be.” As I return to the familiar lyrics of this hymn, I cannot help but think of “faithful,” as it is seen today. When it isn’t used to describe God, it is often used to describe a spouse or a boyfriend/girlfriend, meaning they are true, and that they haven’t given their love or themselves to someone else. It means you can trust them. It means that they love you enough, and have enough integrity, that you never have to worry about them leaving or abandoning you. When I think of God as faithful, I am incredibly comforted. The God that crafted the universe loves me … enough to stick it out with me and help me as I slowly work through my numerous problems. He isn’t going to leave me, and He is going to do whatever it takes to keep me from leaving Him. Where He is faithful, I am faithless. I go out on dates with pride, fe…

Processing Pain

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(via Pinterest) There are days when it feels like the world is caving in on me. I do my best to breathe, but the air is scarce, and it isn't fresh. As it fills my lungs, I note the taste of artificiality; the stifling smell of something pretending to be what it is not. I choke and gag like I'm inhaling smoke, but everyone else around me seems to be fine; thriving, even. My condition worsens as I watch their happy, healthy faces. I want to scream, but I have not the energy such an outcry would take .... I may be taking poetic license to the extremes, but you get my point. It wasn't the best of days. I found myself pathetically trying to cradle both my head and my hands, to somehow ease the pain that emanated from them, making them throb. I winced, and tried to move on, willing the medicine I took to just work already. It didn't. I did what any good Christian would in the same place, grabbing my Bible as fast as possible. Only I didn't. I cried, got cranky, cleaned th…

You're Beautiful ... Just As You Are {Coffee for Your Heart}

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I hate that you don’t know this yet. You’ve been told it a thousand times at least … but you brush it off, or worse, you inwardly drown it out with lies. You tell yourself you’re ugly, a has-been, a never-will-be, ordinary, plain, not good enough … and then you criticize every feature you see in the mirror. I’ve been there, believe me. You tell yourself your nose is too big (if only you could have one like so-and-so’s), your smile too crooked, your laugh lines and crow’s feet too prominent, your hair too wild, your cheeks too big … until you’ve nitpicked yourself into a dark place where you try to console yourself with the one feature you deem adequate - “At least I have nice nails …” I almost can’t bear the thought of you going through this. The reason this topic fires me up so is simple: I have said those things to the mirror (not those exact things, but of the same variety). I have ducked my head at the bathroom sink, just so I wouldn’t hear the nasty things I said about myself, bu…

02. Be Thou My Vision -- Love

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“Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart,Nought be all else to me, save that Thou art --Thou my best thought, by day or by night,Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.”Oh, how I wish this described my life. To have one goal, one thought, one hope, one desire, one guide: Him alone. This is what I want for my life. I long for Him to be the only One I behold; all I can see. I get distracted way too easily. Even now, simply focusing on this study is a battle. So many things vy for my attention. How lovely it would be to have one vision, and have it be Him. He truly is the best thought that our minds are capable of thinking. The last two lines are especially meaningful to me, because (if you’ve read my blog for long, you know this) I am pretty much terrible at this whole sleep thing. I have known fear; fear of sleeping, fear of waking, of dreaming … the night has seldom been my friend. What a beautiful thing it would be, to, instead of thinking thoughts of worry; instead of dreaming dark…

Sleepless in Seattle {or some other sappy love story}

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(via Pinterest) Lately He's been waking me up early more often. I can't say that I've been accepting it with open arms. I'm not the type to fall back asleep easily, and He's got this habit of doing it when I'm convinced I both need and deserve extra sleep. He is convinced I need Him more. More than even sleep on the days when I was restless all night after a joyous, but pain-filled day; more than rest itself when I was still recovering from the shock of the car accident. The days when I, even I - the girl who tends to be brutally hard on herself - set the alarm forward a couple hours ... and He, even He - the Giver of every good and perfect gift (James 1:17) - sets His alarm for me back a few hours. I get frustrated, because really, I don't feel like I need to be up shortly after 6:00am on Wednesday, the least busy of all my days. Because, obviously, if there was something important that needed to be done, I would have marked it on my calendar. Only, the tru…

You're Loved {Coffee for Your Heart}

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{an original poem}
even when your hair looks a fright even when you give up on Me even when you cry alone in the night --I wonder when you’ll finally see that even when wrinkles adorn you even when your eyes look haunted even when you’re not a size two --My love remains undaunted and even when hormones undo you even when you have lost your place even when grey skies won’t turn blue --there is still even more grace so even when you cannot hear Me even when rain falls from above even when you can’t see clearly --there’s no reason to doubt you’re

loved
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01. Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing -- Trust

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(via Pinterest) I’ve been singing a new song this week. I felt challenged to substitute my secular Pandora stations for a bit. I try to only listen to music that I’d feel comfortable with all my loved ones knowing I listened to. I had slipped a little bit away from that standard, letting a few songs that weren’t exactly uplifting, but had great beats, into my earbuds. So with the new year, I decided I would try to have a sort of fast … just to see if anything changed when I cut it out completely. I certainly wasn’t expecting the drastic change that God gave me. I woke up almost every morning this past week with a hymn stuck in my head. Not the same one, but a variety. I don’t have as much variety as some might have - I switched from a small, hymnal-toting, Baptist congregation to a large, contemporary, Evangelical Free church when I was six. So my memory holds mostly classics, like ‘Be Thou My Vision,’ ‘Amazing Grace,’ ‘Jesus Paid it All,’ and the like. These are the songs that replace…