Archive for August, 2011


The Climb

The last few days have been spent seated in the school library learning of all the looming expectations loaded in the upcoming year.  Power Standards, Learning Targets, Depth of Knowledge, Pacing…  The list goes on.  My mind is mush and my heart is heavy, yet there is joy in the understanding that we are all on this journey together.  Some are a few blocks ahead, others a bit behind, but ultimately, we are all on the same road, with the same destination in mind.  Each of us in it to help every child succeed.

United we stand, divided we fall has never rung so true.  The monumental tasks set before us would sink anyone who attempts it solo.  However, when seated side-by-side working toward the common goal, the mountain appears more of a hill, as each hand extends to assist the weary to continue walking, even when the climb is difficult.  There have been many moments of fear, followed by the reassurance of support seated on either side.  Moments later, the roles are reversed and the reassured, becomes the one extending reassurance.

Though overwhelmed by the view ahead, my peripheral sight soothes my soul.  Perspective is paramount in pacing this race.  If I focus forward too much, I am unaware of what is directly before me and lose my footing.  If I avoid eyeing the destination, then I lose sight of the steps required to arrive.  In order to survive, and ultimately succeed, I need to peer ahead, focus a few feet in front, and continue to revisit my road map and check my mileage so that I do not lose sight of my destination.  When road blocks appear, flexibility finds footing on a minor detour that will lead me back to the required road.

Tomorrow, kids arrive and are ready to travel too.  They know not the obstacles overcome to prepare for their arrival, yet neither do I know theirs.  My purpose is to pave the way, lead and direct each one toward the destination in the distance.  For some, it will require an extended hand or a boost from behind, yet others will run ahead, ready to reach the finish line.  This road requires trust and resilience, faith and fortitude.  Face forward, feet steady – ready or not, here we come!

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

Ears to Hear

Ears to hear

and eyes to see

yet deaf to Him

how can it be?

So oft You speak

and no one hears

tender hearts made

too hard by fears.

Wake O sleeper

inside of me

rise warrior

so I may see.

Gentle whispers

to teach and love

correct, refresh

more than enough.

When words are heard

knowledge spoken

lives are healed

mending broken.

You are calling

asking of me

give all to Him

to be set free.

For all that binds

He can loosen

break off, destroy

His word spoken.

He is waiting

for me to trust

to hear His words

“You are enough.”

And more than hear

I must receive

let down my guard

and just believe.

For He is good

His love is true

more than enough

to see me through.

No matter where

this road may lead

He walks with me

in word and deed.

My hands outstretched

with ears to hear

speak to me Lord

for You are here.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

Faithful Fear

I find that I fear what I do not understand, and avoid that which I fear.  Fear is a funny thing, as it has multiple meanings and appears in an array of avenues.  There is fear that is rational and warranted; and then there is irrational ingrained angst.  Fearing that which can cause bodily harm, rational.  Fearing the unknown or the unclear, difficult at the least to grasp and overcome.

Rather than focus on the fear that stems from lack of faith or distrust, I choose instead to identify and seek insight for the form of fear that demonstrates a sort of reverence and respect.  Though fear may manifest in many forms, the one that is acceptable is that of awe and reverence, not that of trembling-filled terror.

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” – Proverbs 9:10  Wisdom and understanding are certainly attributes I appreciate attaining.

First, the fear of the Lord is where wisdom begins.  Basically, my limited understanding leads me to the conclusion that wisdom begins, when I allow God to be God.  He is not some sort of good luck charm to pull out and rub when there is a need or a hope.  He is One to be sought, and celebrated, thanked and appreciated in all things and at all times.  His presence is not dependant on my asking, so I ought to remember that He is ever-present and live my life accordingly.  He is not simply Sunday support.  He is here.  Wherever I go, He goes.  Wherever I stay, He stays.  I invited His presence years ago, and He is not a fair-weather friend.  He remains in me, so I must remain in Him.  As I do so, He reveals new truth and insight that I had not previously understood.  He grants fresh perspective in moments of panic, and provides peace.

Knowledge is something that is sought after, yet can be quite elusive.  I find that my understanding expands when I earnestly seek Him.  The more I know of Him, the more I begin to understand.  Each moment spent in His Word, provides a clearer picture of who He is, and who I am in Him.  This journey is one that lasts a lifetime, not a short vacation in value.  Each time I seek and ask, there is new to be found.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

His

“He made the earth by His power; He founded the world by His wisdom and stretched out the heavens by His understanding.” – Jeremiah 51:15

 His power.  His wisdom.  His understanding.  In Him, by Him, and through Him alone does the earth and everything in it exist.  Eternal existence capable of all that is created, and all that is yet to come from forever into eternity is not only available, but He is in me.  My mind cannot even begin to conceive all that He is and all that I am not. 

 A God who has the power to make the earth, has the power to protect me and enable me to overcome any obstacle.  A mountain to me, is but a speck of sand to Him.  Nothing is too difficult for Him.  For He is my help, and what can be done, that He cannot overcome? 

Wisdom that founded the world, is more than adequate intellect and experience to know better than I, how to navigate my days.  On my own, fear and failure create fatigue and destroy my desire to persevere.  In Him, insight and clarity are provided for the way in which I am to go, and how I am to do all that I am called to accomplish. 

Understanding is essential to navigate a clear course.  He who understands how to stretch out the heavens, knows intimately the very best course of action in all things and is willing to provide insight to all who ask.  If the way is unclear or confusion consuming, I have access to the Almighty who knows and sees all.  He knows the outcome before I begin, and willingly directs my steps if I choose to seek Him.  When I seek, I find.  When I ask, He speaks. 

It seems so simple.  Slow down, take a seat, and seek the Source.  Answers are only available to those who actually ask.  The challenge is to choose to slow down and be deliberate daily.  When I draw near to Him, I am better able to hear His voice and do what is asked of me.  In His power, wisdom and understanding, He grants me the choice.  I want to choose Him.  All that He has for me, in exchange for all that I think things should be.  He is good and so are His plans for me. (see Jeremiah 29:11-13) 

Extended Grace

Hurts held and hidden in my heart
eyes ache as exhaustion escapes
disgust and disappointment dominate
searing soul with series of stabs.
Almighty arms around all that aches
as whispers wash away weariness.
Tenderly told truth takes a turn
penetrating past pockets of pain.
Trickling tears tempt to takeover
releasing the wretch that remains.
Calm to the chaos, quiet to the core
the kindness of the King covers the cuts.
Release.  Remain.  Restore.
God’s grace granted once again.
Restoration has been an underlying theme in my life over this past year.  As a human, I am broken.  Circumstances had stolen some of self and destroyed that which seemed secure.  Time and time again, God has been providing people and situations that show me strength in who I am and who I am meant to be.  He is using said scenes to reestablish my sight towards who I am called to become.

"Beauty for Ashes" by JVC Artworks

 
God, in His grace, is returning that which is good, back to me in an improved and unimpaired condition.  He is making restitution for that which seemed to have been stolen, or long lost – freeing faith to again rise up and hope to be heard.  What I thought had been completely destroyed, is growing up out of the ashes into something beautiful.  What once was, is being restored.  This revival of what had seemed lost, is now being found.  “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” – Psalm 34:18  He took my brokenness and blessed me with beauty to behold.  He saved me from myself, and is strengthening my spirit to soar.
 
Though a slow and steady process, I am able to look back and clearly see the steps that He has provided to encourage my heart and help me heal.  This is a long road to restoration, but His grace is remarkable and His provisions and presence wrap their way around my head and my heart and help me hold hope for that which is yet to come.  Not only am I being restored, but I am being made new.  Where I was wary of weakness, I am learning to embrace.  Where I was strong, I am finding my Savior’s strength is more.  All that has been given, is out of the graciousness of God, and all glory and honor unto Him.  I stand in awe as He makes beauty out of ashes once again…
 
 
 

Insight Implored

So often the road before me triggers more questions than answers.  The quest for insight seems ever elusive.  Countless “why” questions, paired with “how”.  I seek and I search, research and request – but clarification is never truly granted until the question is asked of the Almighty, and the timing is right for revelation.  He alone has THE answer.  Though solutions discovered on my own may suffice, none can compare to the command of our Creator.
 
If we ask Him, He will reveal to us wondrous and marvelous things that we are unable to figure out on our own.  “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” – Jeremiah 33:3
 
All wisdom and understanding come from Him.  If I need answers or insight, I ought to ask He who is omnipotent.  Just as a parent delights in their child’s quest for answers and gladly grants them answers as they ask, so is it also for God with us.  He who loves me more than my mere mind can fathom, is willing and waiting to clarify all that I ask to understand.  He delights in my discovery and is not threatened or offended by my requests.  As I inquire of Him, He meets me in the moment and reveals what is needed to get past the confusion and questioning so that I may press on toward the prize.  He who is wisdom, is waiting for me. 
 
Just as I hope to help my own children make sense of what seems bewildering, He too desires to reveal all that is true, despite how things may appear.  Clarity and purpose can clearly be seen when I am aware of His presence, and trust in His truth.  Though the answer may not be what I anticipate, it is always for my ultimate good.  For He who is ALL good, has my very best in mind.

Overcoming One

“There is no fear in love.  But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.  The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” – I John 4:18

There is no room for fear in love.  True love banishes fear.  Fear cripples us from living as we are to live in love.  When we allow fear to reside, love is pushed aside.

The challenge is to recognize the vast difference between the love of man and the perfect love of God.  From one, there is room for fear as disappointment and judgment twist the truth as to what love is meant to be.  In Christ, there is no room for fear.  His perfect love is patient and kind, forgiving and freeing, protective and trustworthy, and provides healing, hope and strength to press on and receive all that He has for us.  God’s love is, where man’s is not.

Though I am fearful, I am fearfully made.  He knows my heart and He holds my hand.  He shows me His perfect love in a tangible way, when I am crushed by the failure and frailty of human love.  He is able, man is not.  We are fallen and broken – damaged goods that are incapable of love unless we receive the lavish love of the Lord.  It is only as we receive His love, that we are able to love others well.  In Him, all fear falls.  There is no obstacle that cannot be overcome in He who is the Overcoming One.  In His perfect love, I too shall overcome.

Surrender of Summer

Sweet days of summer
now draw to a close
farewell to fireflies
adios, sun-kissed nose.
Hours of kids’ laughter
and play in the sun
few days remaining
til’ school has begun.
Raindrops are falling
telling us it’s true
the soon-ending season
then on to the new.
New set of students
and classroom as well
great expectations
and knowledge to sell.
How did we get here?
This sad summer’s end
I’d like a do-over
just to enjoy it again.
Shiny new shoes
clothes and supplies
nervous excitement
behind children’s eyes.
Forward momentum
keeps pressing us on
treasuring each moment
for it soon will be gone.
Embracing the new
cherishing the past
loving well matters
as only love lasts.

Treasure Today

“This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” – Psalm 118:24  Today is a gift, meant for me to treasure.  If I embrace the entry into a new day, I tend to have a better take on the gift of grace that this day truly is, and am better equipped to enjoy all that it holds.  

For some, today did not arrive.  Their finite days, finished.  For others, though alive, life’s pressures have them bound so tightly that the mere thought of joy is rejected.  A third group of people look to the day as a reason to celebrate.  They recognize the gift of this new day, and embrace it with everything that they are.  The joy and gratitude they have for living is contagious.    Their joy is not dependant nor defined by their circumstance.  Rather it is a deep appreciation and gratitude for the grace that has been granted. 

 Today is a new day.  It is a fresh opportunity for faith to be built, truths to be learned, and trust to be grown.  I have my health, my family, my friends, my freedom, and much, much more.  Long is the list of reasons to rejoice and be glad.  Gratitude grows as I choose to be thankful.  Joy is restored and renewed when I choose to celebrate what I have.  He is so good to me and He grants me all that I need to navigate each new day.  If I have a mountain to climb, He gives me a hand to hold and directs my steps so that I do not slip.  If the path is pitted and unpaved, He lights the way so that I do not stumble.  Even when I enter darkness, He leads me back to His loving light.

 I will treasure today, as it is a gift that has been given by God.  May my words and deeds be filled with gratitude and joy, regardless of the terrain I travel.  Today, I will rejoice and be glad in this day that the Lord has made.

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