"Draw near to God and He will draw near to you." ~James 4:8 “ When no one else seems to understand you, simply draw closer to Me . Rejoice in the One who understands you completely and loves you perfectly. As I fill you with My Love, you become a reservoir of love, overflowing into the lives of other people .” ~Sarah Young
How do you make space for Him? Or do you? I try to make space first thing in the morning and then throughout my day I look for Him. I forget though...I get busy and rush past Him. I want more than anything to see Him and hear Him. When I forget to lean in - I no longer hear Him and I become anxious and feel like I am drowning in to-do's. So, I remind myself to breathe...to make space for Him - for His love to come in - so that I can pour this out...His grace and love...instead of snappy comebacks! Let go of something today - so that you can lean into Peace.
“Your name has been drawn. Come to Him just as you are. Give up trying to be self-made: this is your gift to Him – and His gift to you. Simply come. The miracle of Christmas is that you get more than proof of God’s existence. You get the experience of God’s presence.” ~Ann Voskamp, The Greatest Gift
"I will focus on Jesus today, just Jesus. The secret of joy is always matter of focus: a resolute focusing on the Father, not the fears. And when I feel like I can't touch bottom is when I touch the depths of God. If He gave His Son to save me, will He not give me everything I need? I will Behold Him everywhere today - and be held." ~Ann Voskamp
"I will give God the gift of repentance today. Repentance, turning around, is the only way for me to be ushered into grace . I am not equipped for my life until I realize I'm not equipped for life. I'm not equipped for life until I'm in need of grace. I always get the greatest gift when I turn around and go His way, right toward the smiling ways of God." ~Ann Voskamp
Jesus' light is the brightest and if we can learn to lean into Him every single day - we begin to shine His light. We can't do it in our own strength. God is with us...God is for us...and God is in us. Shine! Shine and pass it on!
"But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people." ~Luke 2:10 (NIV) I've been thinking about this verse and the word JOY. I know that JOY is hard at times to find - especially during this time of year. I now a lot of people don't feel JOY - so how do we start to find it? "Joy is a function of gratitude, and gratitude is a function of perspective." ~Ann Voskamp Perspective...when I am taking pictures I often shift to get the shot I want. I shift to get the good shot. In life - I can have a hard time seeing the good because I'm so locked in on the problem. Shift to see - shift my perspective. You can change your life when you change the way you see. Today, let's practice JOY : J esus. O thers. Y ou. By shifting our perspective we begin to see through His lens. That's the lens I need to always put on!
I think everyone just wants to feel loved. If we can listen more and react less...grace can walk in. If we can not hurl our opinions to try and make the other person come to agreement with us...grace can walk in. If we can listen for the "heart drop" when someone is speaking...grace can walk in. If we can let go of the past...grace can walk in. If we can open the door to everyone....grace can walk in. Show someone kindness today and allow grace to walk in to both of your lives. "Listen, open your ears, harness your desire to speak, and don’t get worked up into a rage so easily, my brothers and sisters. 20 Human anger is a futile exercise that will never produce God’s kind of justice in this world. 21 So walk out on your corrupt liaison with smut and depraved living, and humbly welcome the word of truth that will blossom like the seed of salvation planted in your souls." ~James 1:19-21 (The Voice)
I can get caught up in all the to-do's and lists...that if I'm not careful - if I'm not intentional about Christmas ...it will leave me in a daze. Let's remember that it's not all about the presents - but sometimes the gift we think we don't need...it's the one we need the most. The gift we least expect...the one probably not on the list...that's the One we need the most. For unto us a child is born...our gift. Jesus.
Sometimes we can react in ways that we wished we hadn't. I read somewhere that God's first language was silence. It can be hard to not react at first - but if we stop before we jump - we may just be able to hear Him whisper wisdom to us. "...but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious." ~1 Peter 3:4 (ESV)
How do we find peace? Peace isn't a place - but a Person. We find peace when we come to Him. In the craziness of it all - if we stop right in the middle of it and close our eyes - we begin to hear that whisper coming from Him. He bends low...right in the middle of our chaos and says, "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."(Jer. 29:13) You want peace? Seek Him with all of your heart. Our peace is Jesus.
Happy December! This time of year can be very hard for some and words like peace, hope, and joy are far from our minds. Let's try and prepare our hearts for the greatest gift that keeps coming for us. Slow down our pace to make things great and focus on the One who brings Peace. The Prince of Peace. "The answer to deep anxiety is the deep adoration of God." ~Ann Voskamp
A new week - let's practice loving. Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself." ~Matthew 22:37-39
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours! Today, my heart is breaking for some. I'm thinking of families that are struggling...sometimes family can be hard and some of you may feel that you are headed into battle. Others of you may be feeling the weight of loss. I pray that you feel His arms wrapped around you today and all days. I pray that you feel His presence with you...because He is with you. We may not always feel like He is but He is as close to us as our next breath. Fill your heart with praise and thanksgiving. Go for a walk or a run and breathe Him in deep. List off your thanks and then tell Him what you need. He already knows - but tell Him anyway.
Someone said to me today, "You know that feeling where you feel like a failure because you haven't stayed current on it?" Yes, I know it all too well!! Oh and isn't that what the enemy wants us to believe? That we are failures and too far gone to dig into God's word. He wants us far away from God and he will do anything to make that happen. Don't let the lies speak louder than His truth. It's so easy for me to quit at something because I feel like I couldn't keep up or missed the opportunity - but God! God wants us to come as we are. He wants to meet us in our mess. He wants us to let go of trying to be perfect and just rest in His perfectness. When we feel like giving up He whispers, "Come here, chosen one...my beloved." And we think...me chosen? YES - look to Him! Lean into Him and drown out the lies. The more we lean the less we believe the lies. You don't have to be perfect. You don't have to look a certain