Our Hope and Our Help

We wait in hope for the Lord; He is our help and our shield. – (Psalm 33:20, NIV)

So we will wait for the Lord. He helps us and protects us. – (Psalm 33:20, ERV)

We live with hope in the Eternal. We wait for Him, for He is our Divine Help and Impenetrable Shield. – (Psalm 33:20, VOICE)

This morning, I woke in a surreal space as I am still trying to process reality. Last evening, my mom fell in her apartment and was injured. Thankfully, she was in a space where help was available right away, and after my sister arrived, mom was taken to the ER by ambulance. The good news is that she did not hit her head, but the challenge is that she broke her hip and will be having surgery either this afternoon or tomorrow. Another point of gratitude is that she was able to be transferred to a bigger hospital with a remarkable surgeon, and said surgeon is available and now in charge of mom’s care. Being 4.5 hours away makes for a heavy heart for me. I am one to hop in the car and get wherever I need to be, but unfortunately, such a trip would not be beneficial right now, as visitors are limited, and my sister is able to be present. This is the sort of space where I must wait in hope, and trust that God is mom’s Healer and Help in this painful place she is in. If you are one to pray, please include mom, as she needs extra strength to navigate surgery and the recovery process.

Lord, we are waiting,

With hope held in You;

Our faithful Healer,

And peace that is true.

With thanks, we trust You,

And all that You are;

Our hope and our help,

Wherever we are.

May Your protection,

Surround and bring peace;

Our great Comforter,

Through Whom love won’t cease.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our help and our protection throughout all our days. Thank You that despite what we see or do not understand, You are present to strengthen, give help and hope. Forgive us for our frustrations and fears when bad things happen. Teach us to lean further into You, for You are our hope, our help, our strength, and our protection in all things. Show us how to love those around us through challenges in ways that further our faith. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust You to be our help and protection, and to be overwhelmingly present for mom. Amen.

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

Our help is in the name of the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. – Psalm 124:8

Thankful for Grace

I always thank my God for you because of His grace given you in Christ Jesus. – (1 Corinthians 1:4, NIV)

I always thank my God for you because of the grace that He has given you through Christ Jesus. – (1 Corinthians 1:4, ERV)

I am continuously thanking my God for you when I think about the grace God has offered you in Jesus the Anointed. – (1 Corinthians 1:4, VOICE)

Even though these words were those of Paul to the church of Corinth, they are applicable for us today as we think of those people in our lives who have either influenced us or our loved ones with the grace that God has given them. Last evening, we gathered with a small family group and their spouses to celebrate my mother-in-law’s 80th birthday. Today, there will be a larger gathering of extended family and friends to join to celebrate this lovely lady and the impact her life has had on us all. For me, I am especially grateful for how she has raised her children. She raised her three kids primarily alone, and each of them has gone on to love their families well and have a tremendous work ethic and godly values. Her influence as a faithful woman of God, encouraged them to each find their way well. I know from their stories that it was likely not easy, and that the grace she was given to extend to them was tremendous. Her heart for the Lord and for those around her has been passed on to her children, and each care for and love well. Last evening, after the dinner gathering had finished, her two boys and their spouses (myself being one of them), drove her home to inspect her tv that had been acting up. What we thought would be a quick fix, turned into a delightful time of the brothers bonding over buying a new television for mom and getting it set up, while we spouses hung out with mom. The best part of the evening was the ongoing bursts of laughter, and the genuine smiles of pure delight on mom’s face as she watched her boys work and all three bantered back and forth. Her love for her kids and the grace that she gives has molded each into the wonderful human they are today. May we ever take time to give God thanks for those whom He has given us to show us the power of God’s goodness and grace through their love.

Thank You, Lord Jesus,

For goodness and grace;

The power of love,

Throughout all our days.

For the grace given,

Can be shared with all;

Challenge, encourage,

Answer the Lord’s call.

One of the best gifts,

Is through our mothers;

Who help us become,

Loving to others.

Help us to honor,

Those who give Your grace;

Celebrate in love,

Your wonderful ways.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of those whom You have given that show us what Your goodness and grace is all about. Thank You for the blessing of my mother-in-law as we celebrate her 80th birthday. Thank You for the way that You have led her to raise her children well. Forgive us for taking the gift of Your grace to us for granted. Teach us to praise You and to value the blessings of grace that You have placed all around us. Show us how to love and appreciate those around us well, and to extend Your grace to one another. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we thank You for the overwhelming grace that You give and have given to us through the people that You have purposefully placed in our lives. Amen.

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

Out of His fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. – John 1:16

Be Family

In your relationship with one another, have the same mindset as Christ. – (Philippians 2:5, NIV)

In your life together, think the way Christ Jesus thought. – (Philippians 2:5, ERV)

In other words, adopt the mind-set of Jesus the Anointed. Live with His attitude in your hearts. – (Philippians 2:5, VOICE)

This is my first year coaching junior varsity volleyball at the school where I teach. My sister was a collegiate volleyball player, but my only volleyball experience was playing in the summers at the beach. I know the basics, but there are many nuances that I do not. The program that has been built where I am coaching is centered on the premise that we are a sisterhood. Incredibly, this really follows this verse, as family looks out for each other, helps one another, and has each other’s back. Jesus called us to love one another in similar ways. I know the success that they have experienced in the past has been based on valuing one another, much as we are called to do. Though I am learning volleyball, I am acutely familiar with what we are meant to do with a mindset like Christ. The biggest challenge is to do so. May we ever seek the Lord to lead us to love one another with the mindset of Christ.

Love one another,

As Jesus loves us;

Choose be like-minded,

With His faithfulness.

Prefer each other,

Encourage, build up;

Support and choose bless,

Fill each other’s cup.

Give grace for mistakes,

Forgive and choose love;

Together in peace,

Like Jesus above.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for calling us to love one another as You love us. Thank You Jesus, that You modeled what it is to love like You. Forgive us for the times that we have not lived with Your mindset or attitude towards each other. Show us how to love like You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You to lead us to love as You love. Amen.

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

Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. – Romans 10:12

Enduring Love

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever. – (Psalm 136:1, NIV)

Praise the Lord because He is good. His faithful love will last forever. – (Psalm 136:1, ERV)

Let your heart overflow with praise to the Eternal, for He is good, for His faithful love lasts forever. – (Psalm 136:1, VOICE)

Yesterday, as we gathered to celebrate the life of my dear friend’s mom, I could not help but walk away in awe of God’s goodness and faithfulness. Not only was the celebration of life a true celebration, but it was an opportunity to hear of God’s ongoing faithfulness both to her and through her. Additionally, the gathering provided a time and place for old friends to reconnect as we stood beside our dear friend through her loss. There was laughter and joy in long-established connections, and comfort and peace in knowing with certainty that her mom was now truly home. Words cannot adequately describe the good that was experienced by all. For me, it was a beautiful reminder of our reasons to give thanks to God for His goodness, and glaring evidence that His love lasts forever. May we ever give thanks to the Lord, for He is so good.

The goodness of God,

Is made evident;

As loved ones gather,

Beautiful event.

For from far and near,

Together we joined;

In love, remembered,

God’s goodness employed.

For hearts connected,

By grace reunite;

In love, together,

Walk in true delight.

All thanks be to God,

To whom we give praise;

Brings joy in sorrow,

Hope for all our days.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are good and that Your love lasts forever. Thank You that we are granted reminders of this when we gather with great friends whom we have not seen in years. Thank You that the way we pick up where we left off, as if no time has passed, is but a glimpse of how amazing Your love truly is. Forgive us for the times that we do not trust in Your goodness and grace. Teach us to cling closely to You forever, for Your love knows no end and Your faithfulness is eternal. Show us how to love those around us in ways that allow Your light to shine clearly. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we give thanks for Your goodness and praise You for Your faithful love that lasts forever. Amen.

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

Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift! – 2 Corinthians 9:15

A Time for All Things

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: …a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance. – (Ecclesiastes 3:1 & 4, NIV)

There is a right time for everything, and everything on earth will happen at the right time. There is a time to cry and a time to laugh. There is a time to be sad and a time to dance with joy. – (Ecclesiastes 3:1 & 4, ERV)

There’s an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth: …a time to cry and another to laugh, a right time to lament and another to cheer. – (Ecclesiastes 3:1 & 4, MSG)

Today is such a day, as I imagine there will be both laughter and tears, mourning and celebration, as we will gather to celebrate the life of a dear friend’s mom. She was kind and welcoming to all who entered her home, and her love for Jesus was infectious. Her love and laughter were shared generously, and the children she and her husband raised exemplify the same. The legacy of her life is reflected in her children and grandchildren. I am grateful that there is room to both cry and laugh, and to mourn and feel joy simultaneously. There is the hollow space that loss leaves behind, yet celebration in knowing that she is in her eternal home. We mourn in the waiting time in between yet give thanks in knowing that death is not the end, and loved ones will be reunited again one day. May we ever seek the Lord to be near in such spaces and pray that though there is grief in the loss, that there may also be laughter and joy in remembering the blessings beheld through the loving life the one we have lost.

All things have seasons,

Love, laughter and loss;

Yet in Christ, there’s good,

For He paid the cost.

His life was given,

So we too could live;

With Him in heaven,

Hope transformative.

Lord, help us rejoice,

In knowing what’s true;

Our time here is short,

Yet each day is new.

In You there is life,

For eternity;

Help us hold onto,

All that’s yet to be.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that in You, we have life everlasting. Thank You that though we grieve losses now, we have hope in all that is yet to come. Thank You that when we know, love, and follow You, death is not the end. Forgive us for forgetting that we can both cry and laugh, grieve, and celebrate, in the same space and season. Teach us how to embrace the abundant grace You give and lead us to love those in seasons of loss as You do. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we praise You for Your presence in every season of our lives. Amen.

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

Summon Your power, God; show us Your strength, our God, as You have done before. – Psalm 68:28


Jesus replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.” – (Luke 18:27, NIV)

Jesus answered, “God can do things that are not possible for people to do.” – (Luke 18:27, ERV)

Jesus: Remember, what is humanly impossible is possible with God. – (Luke 18:27, VOICE)

On our own, many things are not possible. However, with God, all things are possible. This does not mean that He works with a magic wand to grant wishes, but rather He moves in ways we could never imagine and does the impossible on our behalf. His power goes beyond human understanding, and His love, far greater than we can fathom. Each day I am reminded of this as I go to work to teach classes that I have never taught before, and encounter challenges that have not been present previously. On my own, I’d be sunk. With God, I have new strength every morning and new resolve to start again. Some days I look back and am in awe of how He carried me and other days I can see how He equipped me. Either way, He does far more than I could hope or imagine and has blessed me with new things that bring me joy. My new role as an assistant volleyball coach ends each day well, no matter how my last few classes unfolded. God knows our hearts and finds ways to remind us that all is possible with Him. May we ever look to the Lord to be our strength and to move in and through us as only He can do.

What’s impossible,

To humanity;

Is not for the Lord,

Our Savior unseen.

Ever He’s working,

Much more than we see;

His plans are for good,

To eternity.

So, trust in the Lord,

He moves far beyond;

Help when we’re weary,

His love makes us strong.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for moving far beyond what we can see or imagine. Thank You that what is impossible for us is not for You. Forgive us for limiting You with our human understanding. Teach us to trust You more as we recognize the impossibilities that You have made possible all around us. Show us how to love as You love, which on our own is truly impossible. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust You in all things – great and small, and praise You for all that is possible in You. Amen.

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

“If you can?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” – Mark 9:23

Pursue What is Good

As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do. – (1 Peter 1:14-15, NIV)

In the past you did not have the understanding you have now, so you did the evil things you wanted to do. But now you are children of God, so you should obey Him and not live the way you did before. Be holy in everything you do, just as God is holy. He is the One who chose you. – (1 Peter 1:14-15, ERV)

Be like obedient children as you put aside the desires you used to pursue when you didn’t know better. Since the One who called you is holy, be holy in all you do. – (1 Peter 1:14-15, VOICE)

The longer we walk with the Lord, the more we understand what He asks of us and how to walk in His way. As His children, we ought to want to obey what He is asking and live as He designed us to love. On our own, we cannot be holy or right with God, yet with Christ in us, we have the capacity through our dependence on Him, to become who He has created us to be. The biggest challenge to this is that often what we ought not do is widely acceptable to the masses. We are called to know God and live in and through His love, not through those which the world deems alright. It takes a willing heart and a listening mind to discern the difference and to do as the Lord calls. If it is not rooted in love, it is not what we ought to do. Above all else, God created and called us to love Him and love those around us. When we do these things, we are walking in His goodness and grace and are obedient to what He is asking. May we ever seek the Lord to show us more and more of what is holy and good in His sight so that we may walk out our days in His holiness.

Choose not to conform,

To what is “okay”;

Instead walk in grace,

To do things God’s way.

Make sure that all things,

Are rooted in love;

In Him, established,

What’s holy above.

Seek Him for answers,

To know what is good;

Listen and choose love,

Make love understood.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for calling us to be holy as You are holy. Thank You that this is not something that we are expected to simply figure out or do on our own, but rather as we grow deeper in our walk with You, we have a clearer picture of who we were created to be and how we are meant to love. Forgive us for the times that we act without thinking or do without loving. Teach us to trust in You to lead and guide us in the ways in which we are meant to go. Show us what it means to love like You. Lead us in Your holiness as we seek to follow after You in all that we say and do. Help us to love those around us like You do. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You to lead us in loving like You in all that we say and do. Amen.

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

…”Be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy.” – Leviticus 19:2b

The Blessing of Baptism

So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. – (Galatians 3:26-27, NIV)

You were all baptized into Christ, and so you were all clothed with Christ. This shows that you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:26-27, ERV)

It is your faith in the Anointed Jesus that makes all of you children of God because all of you who have been initiated into the Anointed One through the ceremonial washing of baptism have put Him on. – (Galatians 3:26-27, VOICE)

Today will be a memorable day in our household, as my Viking and his son are both going to be baptized this morning at church. Not only are they both making a public declaration of their faith, but my husband will have the privilege of baptizing his son. Additionally, my mother-in-law, our other children, and family near and far will be able to witness their moment both in-person and online. Being baptized is an outward expression of our inward confession. It is a way to exhibit a dying to self and a reliance on the power of Christ that is ours through His resurrection. Additionally, it is a way to openly identify with a church community of believers. I know for both my Viking and our son, the two have both come to know what community truly means in the way that God intended. They have established amazing friendships and have grown in goodness and grace as they have followed God. May we ever remember the goodness of God each time we witness the blessing of baptism and give Him thanks for the new life that we are given through Christ.

Sweet is the water,

That cleanses our sin;

The washing away,

As new life begins.

Public expression,

Of goodness and grace;

A dying to self,

Embracing God’s way.

Thank You, Lord Jesus,

That You made the way;

To cleanse us from sin,

And walk in Your way.

Please show us anew,

The power of grace;

As we follow You,

And live life Your way.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for calling us to be baptized as part of our journey with You. Thank You for a tangible expression of our inward confession as we seek You to live out our days following You in a community that is seeking the same. Forgive us for the times that we have taken Your goodness and grace for granted or have not upheld the standard You have set before us. Teach us to trust You more, so that we follow You wholeheartedly. Show us how to love those around us in ways that demonstrate Your goodness in action. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we celebrate the gift of new life that we have been given in You. Amen.

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

And this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also – not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. – 1 Peter 3:21

Keep On Forgiving

“If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times comes back to you saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.” – (Luke 17:3-4, NIV)

“If your brother or sister in God’s family does something wrong, warn them. If they are sorry for what they did, forgive them. Even if they do something wrong to you seven times in one day, but they say they are sorry each time, you should forgive them.” – (Luke 17:3-4, ERV)

“Be alert. If you see your friend going wrong, correct him. If he responds, forgive him. Even if it’s personal against you and repeated seven times through the day, and seven times he says, ‘I’m sorry, I won’t do it again,’ forgive him.” – (Luke 17:3-4, MSG)

Jesus spoke these words as instruction to those who followed Him. In the same way that we are forgiven by God each time we ask forgiveness, we ought to do the same for those around us. Often, it is difficult to imagine continuing to forgive someone over and over again; yet when I think of my children when they were little, often there were repeated “offenses” that required redirection and apologies. In the same way (and even more) that I continued to look upon my kids with love and happily forgave them; so too does God with us, as we are His children. May we ever be mindful of the enormous mercy and grace that we have been given by God and seek Him to help us continue to forgive those who sin against us.

Help us to forgive,

Each time someone asks;

Lead us in Your love,

Let go of what’s past.

Forgiveness is more,

Than letting things go;

It’s choosing to love,

So God’s love is shown.

For as we forgive,

Your heart is made known;

The weight is lifted,

And love’s seeds are sown.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You forgive us each time we ask. Thank You that You call us to do the same. Forgive us for the times that we have not truly forgiven when someone asks. Teach us to see others through Your eyes, so that we would have compassion and willingness to forgive, as we have been forgiven and loved by You. Show us how to love and forgive like You, so that those around us truly understand Your goodness and grace. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we forgive others in the same way that You have and continue to forgive us. Amen.

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

For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. – Matthew 6:14

Listen, Recognize, and Respond

“My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me.” – (John 10:27, NIV)

“My sheep recognize My voice. I know them, and they follow Me.” – (John 10:27, MSG)

“My sheep respond as they hear My voice; I know them intimately, and they follow Me.” – (John 10:27, VOICE)

I appreciate the slight variations in phrasing in each of these three translations. To follow after God means that we listen, recognize, and respond to the voice of Jesus. He knows us better than we know ourselves, and He knows what is best for us. The only way for us to do and be what we have been created for is if we can identify the voice of God, the still small voice that whispers to our hearts, truly listen to what He is saying, and then respond with action. May we ever seek the Lord in prayer, spend time in His word, and give Him time and space where we simply listen.

In order to hear,

Photo by Harrison Haines on Pexels.com

We must choose to seek;

To listen and learn,

Know what the Lord speaks.

He is the shepherd,

Who know us by name;

He cares and protects,

And forgives our shame.

He raises us up,

And in love He leads;

Directs with purpose,

And meets all our needs.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You speak to us and instruct us in how we ought to live. Forgive us for the times that we have not listened intently or have avoided action in areas You have called us to act. Teach us how to trust You more so that we would seek You and recognize Your voice to truly listen and then act on what You say. Lead us to love as You love. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we invest time in seeking to know You more so that recognize Your voice as we hear You speak and act upon all that You ask. Amen.

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

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with Me. – Revelation 3:20