Thankful for Faithful Love

Let them give thanks to the Lord for His faithful love and His wonderful works for all humanity. – (Psalm 107:8, HCSB)

Thank the Lord for His faithful love and for the amazing things He does for people. – (Psalm 107:8, ERV)

May they erupt with praise and give thanks to the Eternal in honor of His loyal love and all the wonders He has performed for humankind! – (Psalm 107:8, VOICE)

Today in particular, I am thankful to the Lord in His faithful love, for providing me the one that my heart needed. My Viking is not necessarily who I would have imagined, yet he is everything my heart is grateful for. God knows our hearts and what we need, and loves to bless us. One of my greatest blessings has been found in my spouse. He is loving and kind, protective and generous, grit and grace, strength and gentleness, and the one that has captured my heart in a way that I never knew was possible. On his birthday, I am especially grateful that God brought him into the world to be raised by his mom. She taught him the value of hard work and loyalty, has exemplified goodness and grace, balanced with discipline, and loves her kids fiercely in a way that has helped each of them to flourish in adulthood. God has done amazing things in and through each of them. May we ever praise God and give Him thanks for the loyal love He provides to us and the people whom He places in our lives to make His heart tangible.

All thanks be to God,

For goodness and grace;

The blessings He gives,

When we give Him space.

With hearts wide open,

To trust in His love;

We discover more,

Beyond and above.

God blesses our hearts,

As He does provide;

Every good gift,

Tangible inside.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are faithful forever and You know what we need. Thank You that You bless us beyond what we could have imagined on our own, and You bring goodness and grace into our lives that make Your love tangible. Forgive us for the times that we have wondered what could come of the things before us, for You bring beauty and blessing from the difficult things in our lives. Thank You for the gift of my Viking, as he has shown me more of You as he loves me well. Show me how to love and care for those around me in ways that make Your heart known. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we praise You and thank You for the ways that You bless us all with Your loyal love. Amen.

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

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever. – 1 Chronicles 16:34

Upheld

For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment. – (2 Timothy 1:7, HCSB)

The Spirit God gave us does not make us afraid. His Spirit is a source of power and love and self-control. – (2 Timothy 1:7, ERV)

You see, God did not give us a cowardly spirit but a powerful, loving, and disciplined spirit. – (2 Timothy 1:7, VOICE)

The Spirit of God that dwells within us when we invite God to be Lord of our lives is one of power, love and self-control. With God in us, we need not fear, for He empowers us with strength, love and self-discipline. Right now, there are many situations and circumstances surrounding us that can cause fear, yet God within us is greater. When fear creeps in and anxiety rises, it is God who is able to steady our hearts and soothe our spaces of unrest. May we ever turn to the Lord in trust to be our strength, love and peace of mind, for in Him, we have all that we need to persevere.

For God’s within us,

We need not choose fear;

He helps, upholds us,

Remains ever near.

Lord, help us rise up,

And hold fast to You;

Our anchor of hope,

That’s steady and true.

When fear finds a way,

To make waves, roll in;

Bring peace and Your strength,

Help and hope within.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that in You, we need not fear, for You provide the help that we need to overcome whatever lies before us. Forgive us for our fears and doubts. Teach us to trust in You, for You are our Source of power, love and self-discipline. Lead us to love those around us as You do, and keep fear far from us. Show us Your power and love in every space we find ourselves in. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we choose to give You our fears and receive Your strength, hope and love that bring peace in its place. Amen.

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

God is my helper; the Lord is the sustainer of my life. – Psalm 54:4

Choose to Do Good

From years ago and a different format, but the reminder my heart needs today,

Revelations In Writing

Choose to Do Good
Fear not the slander,

nor malicious talk;

ready to answer,

when asked of our walk.

In our hearts, may Christ,

be proclaimed the Lord;

may hope be our hold,

the truth we afford.

With gentle respect,

and conscience that’s clear;

share the Source of hope,

so askers may hear.

He holds our right hand,

protects innocent;

shows those who slander,

His magnificence.

So choose to do good,

even when opposed;

for the final word,

is God’s to betroth.

The Lord is our help,

so be not dismayed;

provider of strength,

when we feel afraid.

“But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed…

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Tangible Love for the Common Good

Don’t neglect to do what is good and to share, for God is pleased with such sacrifices. – (Hebrews 13:16, HCSB)

And don’t forget to do good and to share what you have with others, because sacrifices like these are very pleasing to God. – (Hebrews 13:16, ERV)

Make sure you don’t take things for granted and go slack in working for the common good; share what you have with others. God takes particular pleasure in acts of worship – a different kind of “sacrifice” – that take place in the kitchen and workplace and on the streets. – (Hebrews 13:16, MSG)

God is the giver of every good and perfect gift. He supplies us with all that we need. Our purpose is to love God and love people. To truly love requires actions, not mere words. His love and care for us is made evident when we see, feel and understand how He cares for the smallest details in our lives. A thoughtful gesture, a kind word, a helping hand – all provide evidence of God’s goodness made tangible. So many times God uses people to demonstrate the abundance of His goodness and love for us. I cannot even count the times that I have been blessed, encouraged or built up through the loving kindness of others in exactly the way that I needed. God’s hand and heart were evident, and His love for me, overwhelming. Each one of us has the opportunity to demonstrate His love every day. When we choose to be led by His love, we see spaces that need light and life and love and are able to reach out and do something tangible for another. May we seek the Lord in prayer and listen to His leading, so that we may be His ambassadors of love throughout each new day.

Let us not neglect,

To love and do good;

To choose be aware,

How love’s understood.

For it is not words,

That show love alone;

But rather actions,

That make His love known.

Encouraging words,

A tangible touch;

A need that is met,

Truly means so much.

Lord, show us the needs,

Where we can reach out;

So we might love well,

Show what love’s about.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You give abundantly in love. Forgive us for the times that we have taken anything for granted and have neglected to work for the common good. Teach us to look for opportunities to bless and give and love well. Show us how to love each person that we encounter, whether it is through meeting a need, giving a helping hand, or extending words of encouragement that are intentional and specific. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek to offer worship unto You through the things we do in love. Amen.

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

Always be humble and gentle. Be patient and accept each other with love. – Ephesians 4:2

Faithful Goodness

The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. – (Psalm 103:8, NIV)

The Lord is kind and merciful. He is patient and full of love. – (Psalm 103:8, ERV)

Lord, You’re so kind and tenderhearted and so patient with people who fail You! Your love is like a flooding river overflowing its banks with kindness. – (Psalm 103:8, TPT)

I don’t know about you, but I am so grateful for the Lord’s kindness and grace. This last year plus, I have been abundantly aware of His patience and faithful love as so much of what I have always known, has changed. In my career, I have had to completely change the way I teach, lost the opportunity to coach at my middle school, yet gained the chance to take on a head coaching position at my high school. Through it all, God’s grace, patience and love has been incredibly clear, despite my repeated failures as I learn so much new. Because I have been shown His compassion, grace, patience and love, I am compelled to do the same. Again, I fall short over and over again, but am picked up, dusted off, and encouraged to press on. May we ever seek the Lord and His loving kindness so that we too, may love like Him.

O Lord, I’m grateful,

For goodness and grace;

Your loving kindness,

With me in this space.

The space of the new,

Where failures go on;

Your faithful goodness,

Is what makes me strong.

Strong to choose to love,

In all that I do;

To honor Your Name,

And depend on You.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your compassion, grace, kindness and love that is poured out abundantly to all who seek Your face. Thank You that Your love does not waiver in our failures. Forgive us for each time we neglect to love like You. Teach us to turn to You to lead us and guide us in Your goodness and grace. Show us how to love those around us in the same way that You do. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we praise You and seek to love others like You. Amen.

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

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. – Colossians 3:12

Navigating the Unknown

As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things. – (Ecclesiastes 11:5, NIV)

You don’t know where the wind blows. And you don’t know how a baby grows in its mother’s womb. In the same way, you don’t know what God will do – and He makes everything happen. – (Ecclesiastes 11:5, ERV)

Just as you’ll never understand the mystery of life forming in a pregnant woman, so you’ll never understand the mystery at work in all that God does. – (Ecclesiastes 11:5, MSG)

God’s ways are not our ways, and His plans are not like ours. There are times that we cannot possibly see the purpose in what we go through, nor how the path we are on could lead to what He intended. Even so, God is good. His timing is not our own, and His ways are far higher. It is a matter of choosing to trust, even when we cannot see, for despite all things, He is good. The Lord cares about every detail of our lives. He knows how many hairs are on our heads, and the strengths and talents that He intentionally placed within us. Often, what we go through, provides the opportunity to discover strength we did not know was possible, and how to hold fast to hope. When I was young, I knew that I wanted to be a teacher. As I grew up, some of the class requirements steered me in a different direction. The one in particular, was a speech class. Rather than dig deep and suck it up, I chose to become an art major with an English minor. Graphic design was a delight, and I learned and grew in a variety of mediums. Once I graduated with my Bachelor’s Degree, I found my way to Montana as a YWAMer (Youth With A Mission), and ended up spending the next three years in and out of Asia. Ironically, (or as God designed) I ended up having to do much public speaking during that season. God called me back home to go back to school and fulfill my teaching credentials. Upon graduation from my Master’s program, I was hired to teach World Geography at my own former middle school. God had prepared my heart to have a passion for learning about new cultures, after I had experienced so much in the years prior. Additionally, I was granted the gift of coaching gymnastics, which I had done during high school and college, both as a job and joyful passion. Throughout my career thus far, I have had the opportunity to teach art and English as well. I know not where each new experience will lead, but I know that I can trust God to be with me. May we ever embrace each new path we are called to take and trust that God will lead us through. He is good, and He knows the desires of our hearts and the plan and purpose intended for each of us, individually.

No one truly knows,

Where the Lord will lead;

He grants us His strength,

As His will we heed.

Detours and trials,

And paths still unknown;

Each with a purpose,

As His grace is shown.

Even in heartache,

We grow and we learn;

He loves us through all,

To Him may we turn.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that though we cannot possibly know or understand all of Your ways, You are faithful to lead us and grow us through all. Thank You that as we depend on You, You use every experience for good. Forgive us for our fears and doubts in the spaces that we never thought we would be. Teach us to trust You completely, for Your plans are perfect. Show us how to love those around us in ways that offer strength, hope and peace. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust in Your unfailing love to lead us as we navigate each step that You bring us to take. Amen.

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

Lord, You establish peace for us; all that we have accomplished You have done for us. – Isaiah 26:12

It’s About The Heart

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” – (1 Samuel 16:7, NLT) 

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Eliab is tall and handsome, but don’t judge by things like that. God doesn’t look at what people see. People judge by what is on the outside, but the Lord looks at the heart. Eliab is not the right man.” – (1 Samuel 16:7, ERV) 

Eternal One (to Samuel): Take no notice of his looks or his height. He is not the one, for the Eternal One does not pay attention to what humans value. Humans only care about the external appearance, but the Eternal considers the inner character. – (1 Samuel 16:7, VOICE) 

I am so grateful that God does not judge us by appearance or height, but rather He looks at the heart. This particular passage is about when God chose David to be anointed king, despite him having several older brothers, who by appearance alone, seemed more likely candidates. David was a shepherd boy, where as his brothers were off serving on the front lines. God had been developing David’s heart in his lowly role, as a shepherd knows their sheep by name, and is willing to face and fight ferocious animals to protect their flock. This shepherd boy had the heart of a warrior and a worshipper. He knew how to care properly for what was under his charge. Though David likely did not even consider his life experiences to be training grounds for his future reign, God did. God takes people who are faithful to who, what and where they are, and uses their experiences to grow and strengthen them into who He calls each to become. It was true for David and many others back then, and it still remains true for us today. As we are faithful to wherever God has us, He utilizes our experiences to grow and raise us up to become who He says we are. I love David’s story because he was far from perfect, yet he loved God and not only became a great warrior and king, but he also was the father of Solomon, the wisest king who ever reigned. We never know why God has us where we are, yet we can trust that where we are and what we are doing can be used by God to do great things in His Name. May we ever be faithful to where we are, and trust the Lord to shape us into who He has created us to become. 

Wherever we are, 

It’s God’s training ground; 

Shaping and changing, 

Where purpose is found. 

Each experience, 

Both trial and grace; 

Is for a purpose, 

To show us His ways. 

Where we have started, 

Is not where we’ll end; 

Beauty from ashes, 

Is how the Lord mends. 

Lord, make us faithful, 

Help us to be strong; 

To do all You ask, 

Throughout our life long. 

No matter the path, 

You have set us on; 

As we are faithful, 

Your love makes us strong. 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You do not judge us by appearances or height, but rather You look at our hearts and our willingness to follow Your leading. Forgive us for the limitations that we place on ourselves and others. Teach us to listen to Your leading about who we are and what we are called to do, no matter how far beyond us it seems. Show us how to trust and rely on You to provide all that we need to accomplish all that You ask. Lead us to love those around us with Your heart and vision. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we thank You that You see us through Your lens that looks at the heart, rather than how people initially view one another. Amen. 

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

But you must honor the Lord. You must serve Him sincerely with all your heart. Remember the wonderful things He has done for you. – 1 Samuel 12:24

Take Heart

Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord. – (Psalm 31:24, NIV)

Be strong and brave, all of you who are waiting for the Lord’s help. – (Psalm 31:24, ERV)

Be strong and live courageously, all of you who set your hope in the Eternal! – (Psalm 31:24, VOICE)

 

Whenever I am in a space of struggle, difficulty or challenge, there is something about the Psalms that offers comfort. David, the author of many of them, penned perfectly, both the struggle in difficulties and the encouragement to overcome. It leads me to wonder if Paul, who wrote many of the letters that became the New Testament from a prison cell, found comfort too, in the songs and sonnets and scores of words recorded in the Psalms. For many of us, the staying in place feels a bit torturous, as it is in no way natural nor normal. However, when I consider the time spent by Paul under house arrest and in Roman prison, I need to count my blessings and take heart. In strength and courage, Paul encouraged entire congregations of new believers, despite his circumstances. We are no different. Whatever we are tasked to do in this season, may we be strong and take heart, and place our hope in He who is our help. God is good, and He is faithful to answer when we call on Him to be our help and our hope.

 

Be strong in the Lord, Take Heart

Take courage, be brave;

The Lord will be near,

When asked to come stay.

As we place our hope,

In the Lord above;

He grants what we need,

To go forth in love.

Fear not in trials,

For God’s ever near;

He’s present to help,

Each request, He hears.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we can find strength and courage in You as we seek You to be our help and our hope. Thank You that You are ever-present. Forgive us for our fears and frustrations with our circumstances. Teach us to trust You more, so that we may learn and grow through every trial. Show us how to love those around us best, so that we may encourage and strengthen one another in spaces where resolve is running low. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we find strength and courage as we look to You to be our help and hope forever. Amen.

 

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

 

“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33

Trust We Can Claim

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful. – (Hebrews 10:23, NIV)

Let us hold strong to the confession of our hope, never wavering, since the One who promised it to us is faithful. – (Hebrews 10:23, VOICE)

So now we must cling tightly to the hope that lives within us, knowing that God always keeps His promises! – (Hebrews 10:23, TPT)

 

There is something so sweet about “special” days that pop up on social media. Yesterday, apparently, was National Daughter Day. The beautiful thing about such an event, is that people took pause from the political ugliness, random rants, and whatever other copy and paste promotion that was out there, and showed a piece of their hearts in photos of their daughters. Our children are spaces where promises and faithfulness and hope come together, as we trust and pray and love, ever wanting the very best for our kids. Though I do not have daughters, (for I am blessed with brilliant and loving boys), I loved viewing the images and professions of love that demonstrated God’s faithfulness in the lives of so many. The hope we hold is found in Christ alone. As we cling closely to Him, we discover His faithfulness to fulfill what He has promised. Additionally, I am reminded that though I do not have daughters, I am a daughter – both my mother’s daughter, and the daughter of the King. May we ever hold fast to our hope in Him, for He is faithful to keep His promises.

 

Let’s hold fast to hope,

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We are our mother’s daughters. Photo by Dee Jones of Open Door Photography. ❤

This trust we can claim;

Faithfulness promised,

In our Savior’s Name.

Evidence of love,

Goodness we declare;

Show the hope we hold,

Through grace that is shared.

In all that we say,

And in all that we do;

May our hope be clear,

As we trust God’s truth.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the unwavering hope we have in You. Thank You that You are faithful to all of Your promises. Forgive us for our frustrations and doubts when we cannot see answers as quickly as we would like. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would recognize that Your timing is perfect, and that You will never leave us nor forsake us. Show us how to love those around us in a way that shares the hope that we know. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we cling tightly to our hope in You. Amen.

 

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

 

Those who know Your Name trust in You, for You, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek You. – Psalm 9:10

 

Blessed First Year

Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him. – (Psalm 34:8, NIV)
Give the Lord a chance to show you how good He is. Great blessings belong to those who depend on Him! – (Psalm 34:8, ERV)
Open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see – how good God is. Blessed are you who run to Him. – (Psalm 34:8, MSG)

Yesterday was the first day in nearly a year, that I simply took a day to just be. I slept in (for me), then Mark and I spent our anniversary enjoying the day together to the fullest. First, we hopped in the car to drive out to Red Rock Canyon to do a bit of exploring before the temperatures climbed to unbearable levels. After driving to the perfect spot, we pulled off, parked and decided to hike around. To my surprise, my Viking was determined to traverse the terrain to reach a spot down in the rocks that required some rock climbing and trail blazing. I happily followed his lead, and wandered along the path and scaled the red rocks along the trail. We found a great spot with a cutout in the rock that I could actually climb into and perch. After a few photos of our surroundings and the sweet spot in the rock, we were on our way to escape the increasing heat. After a nice breakfast a bit of a rest, we met up with Mark’s brother and beautiful girl, as well as Mark and my besties, and wandered around downtown and enjoyed a light lunch together. After we all parted ways, we returned to our room to rest a bit before preparing for a fantastic evening of a show and a late meet up dinner to follow with our friends. Cirque du Soleil did not disappoint, and we were mesmerized by the aeronautical acts and the sheer strength and athleticism displayed by the incredible talent who performed in the show, Mystère. Dinner was not as much of the taste and see blessing, yet the company, was as always, the gift that God has given. This morning, I was amazed, as I woke and realized that for the first time since March 31st, I got a full eight hours of sleep. Yes, you read that correctly, eight full hours. Amazing!
As for mom, yesterday was a good day for her too. She and Meg enjoyed a visit with mom’s best friend, June, and ended up going out to lunch together. They had a wonderful time, and it was great for all of them to get out and be together. Mom is continuing to make excellent progress, be it slow and steady. The biggest challenge right now, however, is that she seems to be struggling with sleep again. Meg let me know that she has woken at least four times each night, which is detrimental for her and her healing, and not so great for my sister either, as she is attempting to keep up with her workload and mom, simultaneously. God is good and He is faithful, so we are trusting in Him as we press forward, seeking to see and know the His goodness and faithfulness in all things – rest included.

As we choose depend,

img_2019-07-22_10-57-462845011037878606894.jpg

On God’s loving grace;
We see His blessings,
Granted each new day.
For as we choose look,
Open eyes to see;
The goodness of God,
His love is unleashed.
In tangible ways,
His love is made known;
As we taste and see,
All grace God has shown.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your goodness and grace that is tangible. Thank You for allowing us to taste and see how truly good You are. Thank You for loving us where and how we are, and showing us, individually, that we are known and loved. Forgive us for our frustration when life is hard. Teach us to seek and trust in You. Show us how to love those around us in ways that make Your love tangible. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we taste and see how incredibly good You are. Amen.

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