A Powerful Refuge

Driving long and late into the night,
black as ink all around
except where the headlights
pierced the darkness.
Suddenly far in the distance,
a flash of light streaked across the sky.
“Could that be Jesus coming?”
No, just a flash of lightning.

The wheels kept rolling, mile after mile.
The darkness crowded in close,
feeling a little bit like life.
Tears slipped down my cheeks
as I allowed my mind
to re-run last year.
Suddenly another bolt
ripped across the sky,
breaking up the darkness
in the split of a second.

I watched as I drove,
amazed to see the power and might
of God’s hand in the storm.
White flashes, red and blue bolts,
in jagged arrows, zipping to the earth.
Storm clouds were illuminated
with light flashing behind them.
It was majestic to watch,
to see the awesome display of light
and power in the sky.

With every mile,
we grew closer to the storm
and soon we were in the middle of it.
Bigger bolts and brighter flashes,
booming thunder along with
torrential rain pounding.

It was breathtaking to watch and see
this Almighty God,
so high in the heavens
powerfully displaying his hand
in such a majestic manner.
He sent bolts of lightning
flashing to the ground,
claps of thunder and rain pouring down,
and with a quiet word,
He controlled it all.

It was overwhelming
to imagine a God such as this.
Could this all-powerful really care
about the pain of my little heart?
Does one who controls
the universe really stoop
to my level?

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Yet there in the dark,
as the tears slid down my cheeks,
I knew even in all his greatness,
He heard my whispers
about the darkness of life,
I knew He listened to my weeping.
With peace, God quietly reminded me
that although He controls the raging storm,
He also cares about
the hurting heart still beating.
And there in the darkness,
amid lightning and thunder,
He gently covered me with His feathers
and under His wings, I found refuge.
Who better to care for me
then the One who holds this world
in the palm of His hand?
Who better to trust
than the all-powerful
such as He?
Who better to heal
a broken heart?

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Grace in Grief

I want to write. I don’t want to write.
I want to laugh. I want to cry.
I want the old normal, not a new normal.
Life feels confusing.

You ask how I am.
I don’t know.

I want the merry-go-round to stop, I want to get off.
I’ve ridden long enough, but God says,
“This is your life now, I will give grace for the ride.”

And grace he gives,
for one step at a time,
one day at a time.

2 Cor 12:9 My grace is sufficient for you…

“My grace is sufficient…
the grace is enough to get you through
your toughest times.
When you know you cannot go
another step without it.
Then it becomes the shining
focus in your life.”

Music has a way of speaking to me.
I can’t sing yet, but I can listen,
and while I listen,
I hear that amazing grace,
that great grace,
and it finds me.

While He pours out his grace
for one day at a time,
He also carries me.

There are days I would not make it
without His grace, His help.
Over and over I have to give it to Him,
to let him carry it, to let him carry me.

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I think of Tris all the time.
I miss him.
I wonder what the sky looks like
from his side.

I play this song
and I cry.

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 You ask how I am?
I don’t know.
But I know grace.

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Rest

I was frustrated to near tears,
it felt like everything around me was a mess.
Besides the house, the kids and the cold,
I felt like a mess inside too.

Tired. Burnt out. Drained. Exhausted. Spent.

The one word that kept coming to mind was:
Rest.
I wanted to rest, to refresh myself.
More then just physically, I needed to rest Spiritually.
I needed to be refreshed, to quiet myself and rest in God.

When things get wild and chaotic, I drop the ball.
I forget to trust, to rest in God.
A myriad of emotions hits me.
I want to grab the bull by the horns and be in control.
I want to run away.
I want to cry. I want to give up.
I want to straighten everything up! everyone!
I don’t know what I want.
I am anything but peaceful to be around.
I’ve forgotten to rest in Jesus.

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When I finally quiet myself, I hear Jesus whisper,
“Come, all who are weary and I will give you rest.”

Peace.
Refreshment.
Calm.
Waiting quietly.
Ease.
Free.
Composed.
Inwardly quiet.
Trust.

I desire all of these. I crave this.
To rest. To be peaceful.
And all I have to do is come.
It sounds easy, just drop my burdens and troubles,
allow him to shoulder them, and rest in Him.
Then I read this…

To rest, we have to trust that God will take care of things for us.

But that is so hard sometimes.
Ok, a lot of times when you are a control freak.
It’s so very hard to hand over the reigns,
to relinquish my control, and to trust Him.

What is not to trust about Him?
I know He has my best in mind.
All I have to do is come,
give Him everything I care about,
just hand it over and rest.
It’s just hard to put that head knowledge
to work in my heart.

Once I finally give up,
I wonder, “Why did I ever doubt Him?”
He truly does take care of things for me.

My prayer this year is
to be able to rest in God, trust him,
be calm and peaceful in my spirit
and let Him be in control.

We say, “Show me, and I’ll trust you.”
God says, “Trust me, and I’ll show you”

You are Mine

Isaiah 43:1

Do not be afraid,
for I have ransomed you.
I have called you by name;
You are mine.

What do you see when you read that verse?

Ransomed:  a consideration paid or demanded
for the release of someone or something from captivity

He paid to release ME from sin.

Name: a word or phrase that refers to or that can refer to a specific person
In other words: ME. He said my name.

Mine: that which belongs to me
I am HIS. He loves me enough to make me His.

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What do you hear and feel when you read this verse?
Love. Acceptance. Known. Embraced.
Washed white as snow.
My price has been paid.

And not just anyone, someone specific.
He called my name. Your name.
When someone says your name,
it means something to you,
you turn to look.
It’s special to hear your name called.

Today Jesus whispers your name and says,
“______, you are mine!
I called you. I redeemed you.
Do not fear, do not be afraid,
I will protect you, care for you and love you
because you are mine!”

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Be blessed today in knowing you are HIS.

“Get to” Moments

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I saw this the other morning,
and I didn’t even read the post that went with it
because my mind was stuck on this!

“Get to” not “have to.”

Think of little things that are mundane, something we do every day,
all the time, routine, over and over, things we HAVE to do.
We shouldn’t call them a drudgery,
but sometimes we get in a rut of groaning
and it just gets so wearying to do it all again.

But what if we would see these things for the blessings they are.
We get to do them.
We are blessed to be able to do them.
Call it the privilege it is.
Why do I complain when it’s something to be grateful for,
something others wish they had?

I get to do those dishes again.
I am blessed with a family to feed and plenty of food to do so.

Picking up after the kids.
It means they are having fun, enjoying life, able to run.

One more load of dirty laundry.
We have clothes to wear. end of story!

Cooking yet another meal.
I get to!!
It means I have a husband and kids who are healthy and want to eat.

Getting up at 6am on a Saturday with Little One when all I want to do is sleep.
I have a daughter, one who enjoys mornings more then I, but I have a daughter.
What more do I need to say?

Packing lunches. one more day.
My kids are privileged to attend a Christian day school!
(and I don’t have to home school)

The list is endless.
Blessings that we want to grumble about.
Things we call mundane.
Privileges we take for granted.

Think “I get to” instead of “I have to” next time you want to groan.
I tried to put that into practice the last while,
especially when I was doing tasks that are less the pleasant.
I “get to” do this!

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After thinking about this for awhile,
I mentioned it when our church ladies were together the other night.
One of the others said something else I’ve been pondering since
that kind of goes along with this.

What about all those things we call little.
Little jobs, little tasks, mundane things we do,
thinking that we are doing little things,
waiting for God to ask us to do something great.
“Here I am,” we think, “being faithful in the little things,
waiting, waiting on something big!”

But if they aren’t really as little as we think?
Could these “little things” actually be big things?
A hug for your child.
A card for a friend.
Another meal for your family.
One more load of laundry.

These things we are doing that we call little,
they are actually something great, something big.
It means something for the one you do it for!

Why wait for the next thing we think will be great?
Why not realize these “get to” moments for the blessings they are
and love doing them instead of complaining.

Don’t wait for tomorrow, next week or next year,
for things you call great!
You are doing great things right here, right now.
Relish in your “get to” moments,
don’t dread them.

Now give me some examples of “get to” moments for you!

If Only

Do you have “If Only’s” in your life?
If only I had more money.
If only I had a nicer vehicle.
I only I had a bigger house.
If only I had more time.
If only I could decorate like her.
If only I could play sports like him.

Usually those sentences all end with,
“then I could or would…”
You name it.
We could do just about anything, “If Only!”

I am right there with you.
I was struck recently with how long my list is.
It’s really just excuses.

“I would have company more often if only I had a bigger dining room table.”
That was my line.
He made me one.
Have we used it more often for that purpose?
No. Sadly.

“I get so tired picking up after the kids,
if only they would grow up a little!”
Now that the girls have grown up some
and take care of a lot of their needs,
do I appreciate it?
No, I just move on to my next wish.

I go to town, to church, to someone’s home,
and I wish and I want.
I look at a catalog and think whiny thoughts.
Where is my contentment?

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I need to focus on the treasures that are right in front of me
instead of focusing on what I don’t have.

Simple things.
Today.
I have food, shelter, family.
So many people don’t even have that.
Usually I have everything on my wishlist,
I only want something a little bigger,
a little better, a little more.

But godliness with contentment is great gain. 1Tim6:6
Am I able to say with contentment,
“God, what you have given me is enough!”
Or am I going to keep living in the land of “if only?”

Don’t miss the miracles of TODAY because you are so focused on tomorrow.

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Sunshine & Sickness

I need some Florida sunshine on this day.
Some warm FL sun.

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The sun is shining here but it’s not warm enough and
I’ve been holding a sick baby since Wed night.
We went to the Dr today.
No answers.

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She has been struggling with a fever
and it does not make her the most pleasant little person.
Nights are less the stellar.
So we hold her.
A lot.

My eye lids…
they just want to slide shut today.
What me think I could stay up until after midnight
even when I had a sick baby.
Oh yes, I remember, it was friends,
good friends that were staying with us for the weekend.
We enjoyed every minute.

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Multiple thoughts ran through my mind this weekend.
A young couple loosing their first baby.
Such heart ache.
I was glad to hold my sick Little One.

The verse about God’s mercies new every morning…
I’m thankful.

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Sitting at home on Sunday morning  made me thankful for church
for friends, for community.
We had a snowy Sunday, 2 Sundays in FL
and now a sick Sunday.
It feels like a long time since I’ve seen my people.
What do the people do with no one?

A quote I read:
“Lord, empty me of me so I can be filled with you!’

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Tonight is…
homework
holding baby
currently some deer hunting happening in the living room
cleaning basement
(this is suppose to be happening now)
((all I hear are loud noises))
the settling of squabbles
an early bedtime
(please come quickly)

2 kids. a doll. a stroller. and boots just flew past my window.
Is Spring actually coming?