Friday, March 25, 2016

The Love of Friendship

Yesterday I sat in a court room with my friend and her mother on a bench long enough to support many more. There was one more there. A friend of Bobbie. See, my friend was in court to face one of the men who killed her son. Donnie was just fifteen. Fifteen and full of life. He walked out the door on that early morning to wait on the school bus that his little sister would be missing because on this morning she wasn't feeling well. Before the bus arrived four cars, racing and each person behind the wheel had their fill of alcohol. They couldn't wait to get to the local diner. Didn't have time to respect those around them. No regard for anyone but themselves. Donnie was standing in the driveway when one of the drivers decided to pass another and in doing so Ethan Humphries hit Donnie going over ninety miles per hour. As my friend heard the crash and ran out the door life would would forever be changed. She would try to breathe life back into her broken son, but our Jesus had already taken him home. 

On this day in court Bobbie was to face Christopher Kitchen. A man she hadn't seen face to face before. No one knew what would happen in court on this day. We have been praying for two years now for justice to prevail. This man, with no emotion, pleaded guilty. We praised Jesus for that guilty plea. Next month he will face his sentencing and again on that day I will sit next to my friend while she lives the unimaginable

Next month there will be more of these men to face the judge. Some may be continued once again. But that's part of their game. See, the more they can continue they hope that people will forget. They hope this tragedy will not be fresh in people's minds. I can tell you that I will never forget. I made a promise to Bobbie and to Donnie that I would help fight in every way possible to see justice prevail. But this is what friends do. Friends stick closer than a brother. We are not just friends. We are sisters in Christ. That is a mighty bond of love. 

As friends we love and support one another in every possible way. We pray for one another, Here's the thing. There are times we need to put hands and feet to those prayers. We need to be present. We don't always live near our friends. In those circumstances we call, we text, we send cards. We ask our friend, "How are you doing right now? What can I do to help you in this unspeakabale journey?" We are to be the willing vessel for God to move through, to intercede for those grieving. 

Just to hear the voice of a friend on the other end of the phone gives such encouragement. It lifts the soul. It gives peace to the friend living in agony. Sure, we don't always know the words to speak. We don't have to worry about saying the right thing. Just call. Be the friend who listens and then before we end the call pray together. 

There are times a text will give much needed strength. We can simply text, "I love you". Send a scripture verse. We are to pray and ask God to use us in a mighty way. "God, give me the words. Move through me. Use me for Your glory. Let me be the friend my friend so needs at this time. Let Your love flow through me and lift my friend in all the ways she needs".

Not every friend is blessed to be a part of a church family. But when one is blessed to be a part of a church that is a valuable gift. A treasure indeed to have the women of the church surround you in prayer. To stand with you. To be the sister you need. May we stand with those friends who are a part of our church family whether they are in attendance each Sunday, twice a month, or three times a year. Our support for friends grieving is vital to their healing. Love is not just found in words, but it is seen and felt in action. The church is the circle of love to those in need. Oh, to have the church stand with you, to support you, to be there through the journey gives strength and such needed grace during a period in life that you never expected. There are times we can feel so alone. We have such needs, but after a while we tire of asking for help. Why? Because we have asked so many times and no one shows up. How is that possible? 

We can find every excuse to not be able to be there for a friend, but instead we need to be looking for every opportunity to be present for however long they need us. We  are to be the kind of friend we would want others to be for us.

I know that we cannot always be at court with Bobbie. Circumstances occur and life doesn't allow us to be present. But for us to be diligent in finding ways to support her is a powerful testimony to our Christian love. We can live with intention to be present in her life as much as possible. 

She has taught me so much about compassion and just being a friend. I have learned I don't have to do a lot, I  just need to be there. Gosh, I'm not the perfect friend. Maybe that's why we love one another so much. We accept each other for who we are and we know what each is capable of doing. We have learned to give God room and to have grace, to give grace. I just can't imagine not being there for her. I must be honest. It is discouraging to see those who are not there for her. Please, let us not forget. Let us move heaven and earth together as brothers and sisters in Christ to bring about justice. Let us share Donnie's story. Let us speak his name and continue to the fight to stop drunk driving and racing so no other child must die from the poor actions of another.

So often she will ask, "Rob, where is everyone?" Just to stop by her house, send a card, hold her hand, let her cry in your arms, just be there for her. She needs us so badly. Wouldn't we want people to surround us with love and support? Imagine if it were you and your family living in what seems like a dream, but every day you wake it's the reality you never thought possible. 

This journey isn't over. This is life for this family now and they need our support in every possible way we are gifted to share with them. 

See, I knew Donnie. He wasn't only my Friend's son. I taught Donnie in church. This young man was very special to me. On this morning, it could have very well have been one of my children, one of grandchildren. It could be me living a nightmare of the unbelievable. It could have been any one of us. 

On this day I didn't do anything super special. I was simply present. I sat on the bench and prayed the entire time. I was not only praying for justice, but praying for this young man to know Jesus, for his life to be changed forever, so that God can bring beauty from ash. God can take a tragedy and move mountains to change the heart of men. Oh, how I pray these men come to take responsibility for their actions. I pray they stand in truth and be held accountable for taking the precious life of Donnie. 

My heart breaks daily for my friend and her family. Tears fall so easily. It could have been me and if so I know Bobbie would never leave my side. See, we don't have to be best friends to support one another. We can be acquaintances. We can total strangers and reach in love. We can make an impact. We can change laws. We can stand together. Take off work, change your plans, do something. Most importantly get out of our comfort zone and allow God to use us for His glory. 

Hope, healing, courage, comfort, this is what we can give to a friend in need. When we give of ourselves to our friends this allows them to soar into healing. Let us show others that we value them. That they are important to us and we are willing to move on their behalf. God can use each of us in His own specific way, but in order for Him to do so we must surrender our heart to Him and allow Him the room He needs. Just imagine what giving love and time to a grieving friend can do. There is no limit to all God can do. If each of us could just step forward, come together, and be a willing vessel of love healing doesn't just begin, it gives the soul new life and a hope that life can be lived again. 

As we left court I wrapped my arms around my friend's mother. No words would come. They weren't needed. Love was shared between us and God was right there in the center. Tears flowed as I could imagine her deep pain of losing her grandchild. I have three grandchildren and one on the way. If something happened to them I would pray and so desire for people to help me stand and not only fight but to simply breathe. 

Let us think about what kind of friend we are to those around us. Let us think about how we can reach out and support those around us who are in such pain. May we be the hands and feet put to into action of the Savior who loved us enough to give His life. The question is, what are willing to give to share His love. 

"The only way to have a friend is to be one." 
Ralph Waldo Emerson

"The most I can do for my friend is simply be his friend." 
Henry David Thoreau

Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Red Door Inn by Liz Johnson

I love learning of new authors. So many great books out there, but there are some that stand out among the rest. This is my first book to read from author Liz Johnson. I was intrigued from the first pages. She captures the reader's soul by the way a character is in need, no way to get to where she wants to go, but there's one willing to step forward with love and tender grace to be the bridge she needs. Oh, what a lovely portrait of our Savior!

The characters are realistic. I always love finding myself in a character and being able to relate in some fashion. To walk away from a novel with a heart full is a gift to treasure.

These characters are running from a wounded past. I too loved how the author didn't just jump right in and give everything away quickly. She weaved this story brilliantly to keep the reader's attention moving forward.

We see these characters slowly open up and release the pain they have carried, tucked hidden away so others can't see. They have built up a protective wall around them not wanting to allow anyone in and trust is a big issue for them. The Red Door Inn is just what they needed. A place of solace, hard work to dive and keep them busy as God does His work in their lives to bring restoration and a new life of joy and contentment.

This is a lovely novel. For me, I love how the author brings the characters to an inn, to a place that needs restored, letting the old go and bringing in the new. Tender care is needed, and lots of pondering as to what's perfect for each and every room. Together they rebuild this old home into something that is a legacy for all. God works in mysterious ways and here within these pages we see His glorious hand print of hope, faith, restoration, all wrapped together with a grace filled love.

I can't wait to see where this Ms. Johnson takes this series. Visiting Prince Edward Island has been lovely. I can't wait to return!!

This novel was a gift from Revell for sharing my review with you.

Liz Johnson fell in love with Prince Edward Island the first time she set foot on it. When she's not plotting her next trip to the island, she works as a full-time marketing manager. She is the author of nine novels, a New York Times bestselling novella, and a handful of short stories. She makes her home in Nashville, Tennessee.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Leave The Shallow Behind

It is so sad to see people have such shallow conversation. We seem to stay right above the surface. Just getting our toe in the water, but never diving under. I don't know if people don't really care or if we are afraid to go deeper. 

Recently my husband and I had seen someone at a local store. We were on our way out at the same time. What caught my heart was that my husband and I stopped, while the other person was in such a hurry they couldn't even stop for a moment, but talked as they walked away in the other direction. In that same store we too had seen another person we knew. Again, they were in such a hurry that they never even stopped. Now, we aren't especially close with either of these people, but we have known them for years. 

It's just terribly sad to me that we simply can't take a few minutes to just be friendly. But then again we live in a world where we would rather send an email or a text instead of truly connect to people face to face. Whatever is easiest, right? I mean after all we are a hurried people with places to go and things to do. 

So often we put people off. What we must realize is we don't always have a next breath. There isn't always a tomorrow. We must stop taking people for granted. Let me be real. We have to get over ourselves and stop thinking that we are much more important than other people. I think we like to say how busy we are. Maybe it makes us feel important or fulfilled or maybe it just makes us look to the other person as if we have so much more going on than them. Ouch!

We expect from others what we ourselves are not willing to give. Take a chance on people. Spend time with family. Call parents and check in with them. Go by and visit grandparents. Drive to see children and grandchildren. Have Sunday dinners, monthly visits, celebrate holidays together. Don't just expect your phone to ring or have someone show up at your door. Take every opportunity to spend time with those people who are important in your life. Birthdays are so special to celebrate life lived and love shared. We tend to forget those who are most important to us and fill up our calendar with dates that don't have any lasting legacy. 

Don't get so lost in busyness and our own thing that we don't have time for people. Let's face it. We are busy people, but we are busy with what we want to be busy with. We can always come up with an excuse, right? There's always something to take up our time. But what happens when tragedy happens and life is lost? We cry as we look back at the last time we spoke to that person. We live now with regret for not giving them more of our time. We attend funerals with such sadness and regret over our own actions. We don't have to do so. We don't have to live with regret. We can change the way we react to people. We can be determined to have family time. We can be intentional in how often we reach out to friends and family. 

It is heartbreaking to see how distant we are with people around us. We have relationships with people who are so near to us as if we live thousands of miles apart. We must make more of an effort to reach the heart of those near and far.

My mom has brothers she hasn't seen in years. They haven't even spoken over the phone. I've heard my own mom say, "Well, they can call just as easy as I can pick up my phone". I have replied to my mom, "But why wait? What happens when no one calls and then one day there isn't going to be anyone to call". What does it matter who calls who? Just pick up the phone!

Stubbornness is another excuse. Sure we may be angry with someone, but the more time that is spent not talking the more that bitter root grows. But again, it's communication. We simply don't communicate what's on our heart. We are afraid to go deep, but it's in that deep that we truly get to know the heart of another and my friend, it's worth getting out of our comfort zone and just beginning a conversation. 

We can get out a calendar and set dates to remind us on Sunday we are calling Mom and Dad. At least once a month we can share a family dinner. We can send cards and handwritten notes to those we love. When was the last time you opened up the mailbox and found that someone had taken time to send you a card just saying, I'm thinking about you? It's almost unheard of in our world today. 

There is so much for us to share. Stories of the past and the heart of who we are now. We are ever-changing people, but our conversations seem to stay the same. I want to know the heart of people. We each have a story, we have struggles, and blessings flowing that should be shared. I want other people to know my heart. To actually invest our time in others not only benefits them, but us. It is so wonderful to talk with friends and share intimate parts of our life. It seems no matter what we share our conversation always returns to Jesus. How He's moving in our lives or how very much we are in need of Him.

Relationships are not always easy, but they don't have to be so difficult either. It seems we make them difficult. Why? Because we make everything about us. It depends upon how much of ourselves we actually want to invest in another. If we aren't able to give of ourselves how then can we expect others to do so?

When we spend time with God it helps us to put everything into perspective. When we put God first everything else falls into its perfect place. The more time we spend with our Lord the more compassionate we are, the more patience we have, and we too realize what's truly important and what isn't.

Every single action is a choice. We choose to make time for people or we don't. When we don't we will sadly look back with such deep regret for the time that passed quickly and was wasted. We need to make room for people in our lives. Let us forever remember that love is spelled T-I-M-E.

Today is the day we can change things around. We can live determined lives. We can be intentional about reaching out to people, family and friends. We take so very much for granted. Life can be altered within a moment. There may not be any going back to make up lost time, but we can begin today by not allowing  anymore of it to slip past us.

Call your mama today. Visit your daddy this evening. Check in on your grandparents and see if they need anything at all. Spend a day with your grandchildren. Take a friend to lunch. Be there when needed and more importantly want to be present with those who love you so much. You may be surprised at how much of yourself you uncover by spending time with others.

"But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you." Matthew 6:33

"Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will travel to such and such a city and spend a year there and do business and make a profit." You don't even know what tomorrow will bring-what your life will be! For you are like smoke that appears for a little while, then vanishes. Instead, you should say, "If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that." James 4:13-15

"Don't neglect to do what is good and to share, for God is pleased with such sacrifices." Hebrews 13:16

Monday, March 21, 2016

Love Comes In A Whisper

Do you hear Him? Just a whisper, but stronger than any noise around us. "I'm here, My child. I am with you." We can hear Him amidst the clutter. We can see Him beyond the fog. If the noise around us would just stop. Just give us a moment to catch up. Just a calm for a bit to allow us to breathe. But that isn't so much how life truly is, is it? We are wounded and in anguish, but the world keeps spinning. Life around us still continues even though our life has halted as we once knew it. What happened? Is God angry at us? Why doesn't anything seem to make sense anymore? 

God has woven a masterpiece of love between a Father and His children. There's nothing that can come between us. Nothing in this world can separate us from our Father's love. The fact is that we are not going to understand everything that happens. This life isn't going to make a lot of sense to us. See, this world isn't our home. We aren't suppose to be comfy cozy here. Perfection isn't in the cards. We are to long for heaven, our home, our Father. The truth of the matter is that this life throws so much unbelievable at us that we are to run to our Savior. We are to trust Him. Surrender all to Him. Even in the midst of our turmoil, when nothing makes sense at all, when understanding just doesn't come, we turn to Him, letting the world around us spin, but in Him we know there is total control. Nothing touches us without first going through the hands of our Father.

"We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28

This world would have us believing their lies that God isn't present. For those of us who know Him we know better than to fall for their unbelief. This life isn't easy. There is pain, burden, and unimaginable heartache around us. But we know the hope of Jesus. We know His whisper of love. Each and every day He calls us to Him. He woos us with a whisper. Even in the most crowded room, noise to the rooftops, Jesus can be heard, if we will just focus on His whisper, ready and willing to listen. 

There's a storm on the horizon. We are not exempt from trial and tragedy. It touches us all. It can come in the middle of the night when all seems quiet and content. It can brew as the sun is shining down warmth upon our cheeks. We hear that first crack of thunder and we shutter to the core. Lightning snatches our vision from focus. We are terrified as it pounds down around us. We brace ourselves. "When will it end? My God, will it be soon?" But the storm isn't ending. It's brewing stronger than the last. How can we endure more pain? The fear paralyzes us to complete stillness. The noise is deafening. Louder than thunder in a tornadic thunderstorm. Louder than the roar of a lion hovering over sheep.

"They cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a murmur, and the waves of the sea were hushed. They rejoiced when the waves grew quiet. Then He guided them to the harbor they longed for. Let them give thanks to the Lord for His faithful love and His wonderful works for all humanity." Psalm 107:28-31

Landmines are all around us. Pain and suffering is so very present in our lives and in the lives of those we love. We wonder when the rains will stop. They fall like sheets of pain. The rains pour so hard we can't see through them. We have no idea what's on the other side, but we hope.

"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!" Romans 8:38-39

A building collapses. Rescue workers fight the rubble in hopes of hearing a life, just a whisper of hope. So much noise going on around them as they search. Their ears are in tune ready for any sound of a beating heart. There, one yells for everyone to stop. They listen intently and wait. They hear the whisper of, "Help me. Help me". They rush to the new hope.

"The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry for help." Psalm 34:15

Our God created women with ears of love to be in tune to hear a baby's cry. We can be walking through the grocery and hear a child cry and immediately turn. In our tiredest moments we can still be awaken to the sound of our baby in the night. Just a whisper but its echo is loud to the heart.

Are you crying out today, my friend? Is your pain more than you can bear alone? Have you been waiting for the storm to end? My heart breaks to hear the stories of so many hurting. So many waiting to breathe again. To know that there is more in life than the horrendous pain they are enduring. I know, sometimes it feels as if it will never come to an end. 

I don't know the depths of your pain today, but I know One who does. He sees you, friend. He is One who not only knows your pain but has experienced your agony.

"The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is near the brokenhearted; He saves those crushed in spirit. Many adversities come tot he one who is righteous, but the Lord delivers him from them all." Psalm 34:17-19

Each tear we cry can be heard in heaven. Jesus hears our cry for help. He's present with us. Jesus hears. Jesus sees. Jesus knows. He's there in the midst of the storm. No matter how violent the winds are whipping. No matter how shuddering the thunder. Jesus is with us. He is our hope. He is our Everything. He's the calm in the storm. The peace that comforts us. The arms that hold us as all shakes around us. He is ever-present in our lives. Never forget that. He isn't leaving you to this life alone. He is always moving, always working. Weaving new life into us, breathing strength and grace into our lives. This is how we continue to breathe even when we no longer feel we can. We place our focus on His whisper that's louder than anything we will ever endure on this earth. 

We can find peace in Christ's whisper. We are never out of His sight. Forever is His eye upon us. He is our grace. He's our mercy and hope. Just one whisper, "Jesus. Jesus, help me". He is the God who can give life beyond the rubble.

"You rejoice in this, though now for a short time you have had to struggle in various trials so that the genuineness of your faith-more valuable than gold, which perishes through refined by fire-may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. You love Him, though you have not seen Him. An through not seeing Him now, you believe in Him and rejoice with inexpressible and glorious joy, because you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls." 1 Peter 1:6-9

When storms are surrounding us with vengeance they seem like they will last forever. In only minutes they are gone from the horizon. The sun shines, but there around us lies the rubble. The storm may have subsided, but behind it is left a trail of unimaginable. What do we do? How do we move forward?

"How in this hope, we were saved, yet hope that is seen is not hope, because who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with patience. In the same way the Spirit also joins to help in our weakness, because we do not know what to pray for as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with unspoken groanings." Romans 8:24-26

We cry out to Jesus. We give Him our all. Everything in us, every emotion we feel. We open our hands to Him in surrender. He is our answer.

"Jesus answered them, "I assure you: If you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you tell this mountain, 'Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,' it will be done. And you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." Matthew 21:21-22

"But He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may reside in me. So I take pleasure in weaknesses, insults, catastrophes, persecutions, and in pressures, because of Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Thursday, March 10, 2016

If I Run by Terri Blackstock

There are so many reasons we all run. It seems at sometime in our lives we are running from something. Maybe the most important aspect of us running is just what are we running to? Is there a destination of hope for us? 

If I Run gives us a portrait of a young woman running away from implication. Untruths are following her. Circumstances that frighten her to the core of her being. Casey doesn't have a relationship with Jesus. She doesn't know the comfort of His presence. 

When things go horribly wrong we see Casey run for her life, but she has no idea of where she's going or where she will end up. It seems she has been running all her life. Where is her hope? Encouragement? Trust? 

Casie is the main character of this suspenseful novel that is the beginning of a series. I love when there's more to come. Knowing there's more to come let's me know that Casey's story isn't over. Her story will continue in the magnificent way Blackstock pens a story. Some people like a perfect ending. But that's not life. I love closing this novel and now pondering what will happen to Casey as her run continues.

This novel goes back and forth from Casey to Dylan. Dylan is on the search for Casey. In his hopes of finding her his story is brought to light. He too has has own troubles. As he is searching for Casey more of what has been hidden away inside of him is uncovered. 

As everything and everyone seems against Casey, Dylan is her hope. He's the guy looking for truth that's wrapped in grace and mercy. He gives the portrait of a Savior who isn't giving up. A Savior who is present and willing to go the distance to bring truth to light and to bring hope to all that seems lost. 

Although God isn't mentioned a great deal in this novel faith is very present. Casey meets people along the way who guide her, planting seeds of faith and hope. For me I could see faith throughout this novel. I could see that no matter how far we run or the reasons for running the Lord is forever present. We can never outrun God. 

It is my hope that as the story of Casey and Dylan continues we see faith blossom. The pages end with a new hope. Solitude is on the horizon for these characters. It's just going to take time, God's perfect timing, for them to get there. 

I think Blackstock beautifully brings out the emotion of these characters. She gives us the perfect amount of detail for us to feel as though we have a front row seat to their journey. Their journey is just beginning. It's one I am excited to see continue!!

This novel was a gift from Zondervan for sharing my review with you.

Terri Blackstock has sold over seven million books worldwide and is a New York Times bestselling author. She is the award-winning author of Intervention, Vicious Cycle, and Downfall, as well as the Moonlighters, Cape Refuge, Newpointe 911, SunCoast Chronicles, and Restoration series.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

I Need A Little Shower Of Grace

Art work by Charlotte Smith
Do you ever feel like you just can't get it right?

We try so hard, but where is the encouragement to cheer us on when things are actually going well? It seems almost that I hear more from people when I'm not doing right than when I am. But don't we all? We forget to give those encouraging words to inspire one another to keep moving heavenward. It's when we make a mistake that the calls come. We hear the words, "I'm so disappointed in you".


What happens when your tongue gets ahead of your thoughts? You know those times, right? Your thoughts have not quite put themselves together as a whole, but before they have gathered themselves up to be right thoughts, your tongue has spilled over in anger.


I can be driving along, music playing, me singing and out of no where shoots a car, blaring their horn and holding up that valued language of, "You need to learn how to drive". I'm left thinking,  now what did I do? So, what now? Ignore the man holding up his finger or do I shout back? Well, I'd like to think I would smile back and send up a prayer for the man, but if I'm honest, I might just yell back.


I go to the store for the weeks needs and as I get home and unload my purchases and I soon realize that I forgot to get my hubs food to take with him for his trip. Now, how does a wife do that? I look at him, disappointed in myself.


I start my day with God's Word soaking into my heart and thoughts. As the day goes on it's as though I didn't even read it. My actions don't line up with what I have promised my Lord. My heart breaks at the thought I have disappointed my God. I fall to my knees praying He will still love me.


I can doubt others sincerity. I can feel as though it just all seems overwhelming. As long as I was a, "Yes girl", people seemed to want me in their company. It's when I began saying no that I started to feel as though I was no longer important.


There is such demand and so many things to finish before the nights ending. How will I get it all done? Pain hits. My back doesn't want to bend any longer and my shoulders are aching. Just as the meds kick in to relieve the pain a migraine hits me blind and I'm left feeling like it's a never ending battle. Chores go unfinished and plans must be rescheduled. People are let down once again.


I can see all the needs of others and offer myself only to come up empty. Time slips away and dates are forgotten. Lessons I learned years ago are now lessons to be learned all over again. I'm never enough. I do too many wrongs.


Judgement seems to come at every corner. "You need to be here. You need to be doing this. You need to walk this way. You need to be this kind of Christian. You need to be this kind of wife. This kind of mother. This kind of friend. You need to serve here. You need to walk this way. Meet the needs of others."  I feel like no matter what I do I come up short. It's as though the harder I try the less of myself shows up.


Sometimes at the end of the day I just wanna stand in the rain. I want to let the drops pour over me. I want to feel the shiver of the newness of a new beginning. I want to feel God's grace pour over me as I raise my hands to Him. I want to soak up all He has for me.

It's then. No umbrella in hand. Head raised heavenward that I feel the touch of Christ. I feel Him take my hand and touch my cheek. My heart hears His words, "Daughter, let it go. I am with you. It's not what you do or how you do it. It's your love for Me. It's My love for you. It's our relationship. Let Me walk with you. Let me shower you in My grace and hold you up as the rain gently covers you." He reminds me, "Before our walk is over, remember to look up. Look at the colored beauty in the heavens I have placed for you."

It's then I want to remove my shoes and let my toes touch the coolness of the water springing up all around me. I want to smell the rain and take it all in as though it was the first rain I've ever seen. A smile comes across my face and I stand straight, begin to wiggle my toes and the dancing begins. Oh to dance with Jesus in the sweetness of the moment. Nothing else enters my mind. It's like He has washed away all the hurry and disappointment.

He says, "Daughter, feel the newness? This is for you. I gave all just for you. Don't waist a moment of my grace. Soak it in and know that My love covers all and through Me you, My daughter, are perfect in every way."

Friends, do you ever get the feeling that you just can't get it right? No matter what is going on. No matter the circumstance. We are not perfection in ourselves. We are sinners in need of grace. Children in need of a touch from the Savior.

Give yourself room to make mistakes. Learn not to measure yourself against anyone, but the precious Word of God. Live each day for Him. Life is moment by moment. We are going to stumble. Sinners stumble. But, we can stand again, knowing we have the strength of Christ Jesus washing over us. He is our Everything.

"For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God's glorious standard. Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when He freed us from the penalty from our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed His life, shedding His blood." Romans 3:23-25

"And I am certain that God, who began a good work within you, will continue His work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ returns." Philippians 1:6

"For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,"  Ephesians 2:8 


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