Let Thanks Rise

The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and He helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise Him. – (Psalm 28:7, NIV)

The Lord is my strength and shield. I trusted Him with all my heart. He helped me, so I am happy. I sing songs of praise to Him. – (Psalm 28:7, ERV)

The Eternal is the source of my strength and the shield that guards me. When I learn to rest and truly trust Him, He sends His help. This is why my heart is singing! I open my mouth to praise Him, and thankfulness rises as song. – (Psalm 28:7, VOICE)

God provides exactly what we need when we need it most. This morning, as I woke and let the dogs out, there was the sweet scent of morning rain and moisture covering the deck. To me, this means that the insane amount of pollen in the air will be washed away, and the parched ground will be quenched. Additionally, I had the opportunity to take an extended weekend with my Viking and my sub-requested position was filled. For the first time that I can remember in my 26-year career, I am taking a wellness day to enjoy, rather than to rush to appointments, or respond to a familial need. This is simply a day for my well-being, as an escape with my love is exactly what my heart has needed through this busy season. When we return, there will only be seven days of school remaining – one full five-day week, followed by a three-day weekend, and then a day and a half more with students. My heart is indeed singing, as it has been a long haul to navigate all of the new that this school year has provided. I am thankful for the lessons and opportunities to expand my repertoire as an educator, yet the close of the school year has come at just the right time. I know not what next year will hold, but I am eternally grateful for the season of rest that is coming. God is good, and He is faithful always. May we ever trust Him to be our strength and shield, and to be the reason we have praise and joy in our hearts.

My strength and my shield,

the Lord is so good;

His grace, my portion,

His love understood.

Through understanding,

there rises up joy;

a heart full of praise,

gratitude, my choice.

Thank You, Lord Jesus,

for goodness and grace;

strength and safe harbor,

throughout all my days.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our strength and shield, our help and our hope, and our reason to give praise. Thank You that we can trust in You and know the goodness of Your love. Forgive us for not giving proper praise to You, as You are our source and supply of all that is good. Show us how to give You praise throughout all of our days, as You are our joy each new morning. Lead us to love those around us as You do, so that all may experience Your goodness and grace. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we praise You with grateful hearts for Your provision and Your peace as Your presence is made known. Amen.

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

Sing to Him, sing praise to Him; tell of all His wonderful acts. – 1 Chronicles 16:9

Encourage One Another

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. – (1 Thessalonians 5:11, NIV)

So encourage each other and help each other grow stronger in faith, just as you are already doing. – (1 Thessalonians 5:11, ERV)

So support one another. Keep building each other up as you have been doing. – (1 Thessalonians 5:11, VOICE)

As we have at long last reached the final day of May, may we continue to encourage and build each other up, for the finish line is finally in view. Today is our last volleyball game of the season. It has been exciting to learn and grow in something new, and be in a space where encouraging each other is the norm. It ought to be the same as we grow in our faith, cheering each other on and encouraging one another to become the best version of ourselves. May we ever seek the Lord to lead us to encourage and build each other up, so that we all may press on and finish strong.

Lord, give us patience,

to choose persevere;

encourage others,

build up, fend off fear.

Lead us and guide us,

to walk in Your ways;

to lift others up,

be our strength each day.

Help us, Lord Jesus,

in all that we do;

may we shine Your light,

as You we pursue.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You encourage, strengthen, and build us up. Thank You that You call us to do likewise for those around us. Forgive us for the times that we lacked the resolve to trust You to be the Source of what we needed. Teach us to trust in You more, and lead us in Your love to encourage and build up all those around us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we praise You for the strength and encouragement You supply, and extend the same to those around us by Your grace. Amen.

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

You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted; You encourage them, and You listen to their cry. – Psalm 19:17

Do Not Be Discouraged

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” – (Joshua 1:9, NIV)

“Remember, I commanded you to be strong and brave. Don’t be afraid, because the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” – (Joshua 1:9, ERV)

“Haven’t I commanded you? Strength! Courage! Don’t be timid; don’t get discouraged. God, your God, is with you every step you take.” – (Joshua 1:9, MSG)

It feels like this is a good reminder, as it is easy to get discouraged when we look around and observe how people treat one another. We do not need to live like the world around us. God grants us strength and courage so that we can love as He loves and demonstrate the kindness and grace that He gives to us, over and over again. His light goes before us, His love dwells within us, and His Spirit empowers and equips every step that we take. May we ever seek the Lord to lead us in His love and to strengthen and encourage us each day that we draw breath.

With the love of God,

Be strong and be brave;

As He has called us,

For all of our days.

Each day that we rise,

Is a chance anew;

To let His love lead,

Unto Him, be true.

His strength and courage,

Are marvelous things;

For with Him we can,

Each one do something.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we can do all things that You ask through You who grant us strength. Thank You for granting us strength and courage, even when what lies ahead seems impossible. Forgive us for our fears, frustrations, and doubts, for we need not fear as You dwell within us. Teach us to love those around us as You do and help us to encourage and strengthen others as we do. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust You to grant us strength and courage and love those around us as You do. Amen.

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

Love Completely

Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. – (Ephesians 5:1-2, NIV)

You are God’s dear children, so try to be like Him. Live a life of love. Love others just as Christ loved us. He gave Himself for us – a sweet-smelling offering and sacrifice to God. – (Ephesians 5:1-2, ERV)

Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with Him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He did not love in order to get something from us but to give everything of Himself to us. Love like that. – (Ephesians 5:1-2, MSG)

Yesterday’s message at church was grounded in the story of Jesus’ first miracle, when He turned water into wine at a wedding. There were many outstanding points, but what continues to resonate with me is how the servants did what Jesus asked and filled the water jars. Not only did they fill them, but they filled them to the brim (which was no easy task back then). That act of trust turned into the first miracle of Jesus’ ministry and reminds us of how completely we ought to follow what He asks of us. His greatest command is to love God and love people. If we chose to do so “to the brim”, we will be walking in the way of love, just a Christ did for us. Love sees, love sacrifices, and love gives completely with no expectation in return. This is an ongoing, lifelong process, to live and learn how to love like Christ. Every day is new, and we have a new opportunity to live the life of love that God intended. May we ever seek the Lord, study His word, and spend time with Him, so that we may learn and grow to reflect His love and light more clearly to the world.

Lord help us to love,

As Christ has loved us;


The way of Jesus.

Teach us to trust You,

To walk in Your ways;

Love without limits,

Throughout all our days.

Each blessing given,

Show us how to share;

Generously give,

Love and truly care.

Lead us each day, Lord,

To love as You do;

Fill us each morning,

So that we love true.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Your Son to show us what real, complete, and sacrificial love really is. Thank You for the beauty and blessing we receive as You claim us as Your own. Forgive us for the times that we have not loved like You. Teach us to trust Your more so that our every word and action would be a reflection of Your goodness, grace, and overwhelming love. Show us how to love each person we encounter so that Your heart is made tangible through us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You and trust You to lead us to love as You intended. Amen.

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

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. – John 13:34

In The Morning

In the morning, Lord, You hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before You and wait expectantly. – (Psalm 5:3, NIV)

Every morning, Lord, I lay my gifts before You and look to You for help. And every morning You hear my prayers. – (Psalm 5:3, ERV)

In the morning, O Eternal One, listen for my voice; in the day’s first light, I will offer my prayer to You and watch expectantly for Your answer. – (Psalm 5:3, VOICE)

I love early mornings. Between the quiet stillness as the world around me still sleeps, I watch in anticipation as the darkness fades and the new day dawns. Each morning that I witness the transition from dark to light, I am reminded of the goodness of God and how He makes all things new every morning. A new day, a fresh start, and a heart that is ready to hear our heart as we reach out to Him. Morning is when my mind is the least cluttered and I can fix my eyes on Him. My requests flood through my heart and mind, yet there is always a shift to gratitude as I pause and take inventory of all that He has done. This morning, I celebrate the good report from my mom. She is making progress as she heals, and her heart is lighter and filled with hope. Her joy is my celebration, as my sister and I have been blessed with an amazing woman who raised us and gave us life. My requests continue to be for her complete healing, and my praise is fixed on all that God has done thus far. Whatever the prayer, God is faithful to hear our hearts and remind us again of His goodness and grace.

As the new day dawns,

it’s easy to see;

the depth of God’s love,

and goodness to me.

He wakes me each day,

and shows me His love;

through His creation,

around and above.

So, ask of the Lord,

He hears faithfully;

His goodness poured out,

through love endlessly.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the blessings and the beauty that are beheld in the morning. Thank You that each morning as the new day dawns, You are present and faithful to hear us and show us Your faithful love. Forgive us for losing sight of Your goodness when struggles stand before us. Teach us to ever lean into You and present our requests before You. Show us how to love those around us in ways that point people to who You are and how You love. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we rise each morning and present our requests and our praise before You, knowing You hear and are present to help. Amen.

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

Satisfy us in the morning with Your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. – Psalm 90:14

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

Precious Protective Wings

How priceless is Your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of Your wings. – (Psalm 36:7, NIV)

Nothing is more precious than Your loving kindness. All people can find protection in You. – (Psalm 36:7, ERV)

Your strong love, O True God, is precious. All people run for shelter under the shadow of Your wings. – (Psalm 36:7, VOICE)

It takes very little looking around to discover trials and tragedies. Without God, we are helpless and hopeless. However, with God’s unfailing love, we can find strength, protection, and peace. His loving kindness carries us when we cannot continue on our own, and His grace guides us in the direction we are meant to go. May we ever seek the Lord with hearts full of praise, for in Him we find peace and comfort throughout all our days.

Nothing’s more precious,

Than Your lasting love;

Our hope and our help,

From You, God above.

Through trials You’re near,

You hold fast our hands;

In You we find strength,

To rise up and stand.

When the storms come near,

In You we can hide;

You’re our safe shelter,

With arms open wide.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that in You there is unending love. Thank You that we can find safety and space in the shelter of the shadow of Your wings. Forgive us for the times that we have not sought You to be our safety and the times that we have failed to recognize the overwhelming power and goodness of Your love. Teach us to trust You to be our hope and our help in all things. Show us how to love those around us as You do. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You to be our Source and praise You for Your love, strength, and comfort that You continually provide. Amen.

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

Keep me safe, my God, for in You I take refuge. – Psalm 16:1

Focus On The Eternal

Then Jesus said to His disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.” – (Luke 12:22-23, NIV)

Jesus said to His followers, “So I tell you, don’t worry about the things you need to live – what you will eat or what you will wear. Life is more important than food, and the body is more important than what you put on it.” – (Luke 12:22-23, ERV)

(Then, to His disciples) This is why I keep telling you not to worry about anything in life – about what you’ll eat, about how you’ll clothe your body. Life is more than food, and the body is more than fancy clothes. – (Luke 12:22-23, VOICE)

Yes, nourishment and clothing matter, but they are temporary, whereas nourishing our spirit and covering ourselves with prayer are the things that are eternal. Jesus did not want the disciples focus to be on their physical needs, but rather on those of the spirit. As we fix our eyes on Jesus and seek to grow in the things of Him, He supplies all that we need, not only to love as He loves, but the practical things that we need as well. The Lord is our Provider, so we need not worry. Yes, we must do our part and work as He calls us to do, but we can trust in Him to supply what we need as we are faithful to follow after Him. If God can multiply five loaves and two fish to feed thousands, He is able to provide what we need. May we ever seek the Lord to grow us more and more in Him and trust Him to be our Source.

We need not worry,

For the physical;

As Christ will meet us,

With the practical.

Instead, help us fix,

Our hearts upon You;

To show and grow us,

In all that is true.

Our bodies don’t last,

But spirits live on;

What is eternal,

Let’s fix our eyes on.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we need not worry about the food that we eat or the clothing we wear, for You supply all that we need to live. Forgive us for allowing our gaze to shift from the eternal to that which is temporary. Teach us to trust in You for all that we need, and to seek You in all things and at all times. Lead us in Your faithful love so that we may extend Your goodness and provision in tangible ways where it is needed most. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You and serve You and focus on that which lasts forever. Amen.

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

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. – Matthew 6:34

Always Be Kind

Do to others as you would have them do to you. – (Luke 6:31, NIV)

Here is a simple rule of thumb for behavior. Ask yourself what you want people to do for you; then grab the initiative and do it for them! – (Luke 6:31, MSG)

Think of the kindness you wish others would show you; do the same for them. – (Luke 6:31, VOICE)

Not only is this biblical, but it is an excellent rule to live by. When we treat others the way we want to be treated, what we give is very often what we get back. The thing is, even when kindness, grace and love are not returned, we can walk away in good conscience knowing we did the right thing. No matter what, we are given goodness, love and grace far beyond what God has extended to us. His love floods us to overflowing, and we are meant to give out of the abundance He has granted. Traveling is a perfect opportunity to put this into practice, as often people are stressed, hurried, or weary and out of patience. My prayer is that in all things, I may extend to others what I would want to be given. May we ever seek the Lord to lead us in His love and show us how to extend kindness to all.

No matter what comes,

Choose always be kind;

For we never know,

What’s on someone’s mind.

Silent are struggles,

Invisible things;

Heartache and challenge,

That which real life brings.

We may never know,

The difference we make;

But extending good,

Is living God’s way.

Let us rise with love,

As we start each day;

For God’s given us,

More than enough grace.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You give us more goodness, kindness, and love than we could ever give away. Thank You that You call us to do unto others what we would want done for us. Forgive us for the times that we have treated others in ways that we would not want to be treated. Help us to extend kindness, goodness and love to all, no matter what we are given. Show us how to love every person we encounter as You intended. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we praise You for Your overwhelming kindness to us and thank You that You equip and empower us to be kind to everyone we meet. Amen.

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

But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. – Titus 3:4-5a

Strength to Soar

But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. – (Isaiah 40:31, NIV)

But those who trust in the Lord will become strong again. They will be like eagles that grow new feathers. They will run and not get weak. They will walk and not get tired. – (Isaiah 40:31, ERV)

But those that wait upon God get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles. They run and don’t get tired, they walk and don’t lag behind. – (Isaiah 40:31, MSG)

Today is our final regular school day before spring break. We end the week with a day and a half of conference but knowing that this is our last teaching day until April 10th is a reminder of the hope that rest and renewal is coming. When I think about eagles and how they fly, I am reminded that while in flight, they flap their wings for a time, but then they coast and ride the wind from their work. It is a continuous cycle of work and rest as they soar. For us, we are meant to do the same. To run and not grow weary is a great reminder that even in a marathon, there are water stations that provide refreshment to keep the runners from growing weary from dehydration. God is our ultimate refreshment and He shows us the patterns and rhythms we are meant to live by so that we may keep moving forward in His strength. Though I am tired this morning after a very busy start to the week, I am strengthened in knowing that rest is coming. May we ever seek the Lord to be our hope, for His plan for us is to soar and be strengthened in His love.

To wait on the Lord,

Is to trust His plans;

In times of toiling,

In His strength we stand.

Each day that we seek,

He’s faithful to meet;

Providing fresh strength,

In Him we’re complete.

The Lord grants us wings,

To rise up and soar;

His strength is supplied,

In Him we have more.

More strength to press on,

In what we’re to do;

Hope everlasting,

In Him we’re made new.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that in You we find rest and renewal and strength to keep moving forward. Thank You that You supply strength and rest when we need it most. Forgive us for allowing weariness to try to consume us rather than seeking You for rest. Teach us how to find a rhythm of work and rest that keeps us from growing weary. Show us how to press into Your loving kindness to be our strength. Lead us in Your love to strengthen, encourage and extend refreshment to those around us. Be glorified O God, as we depend on You to be our strength and supply in all things and at all times. Amen.

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

“Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28