His Strength and Peace

The Lord gives strength to His people; the Lord blesses His people with peace. – (Psalm 29:11, NIV)

May the Lord make His people strong. May the Lord bless His people with peace. – (Psalm 29:11, ERV)

God makes His people strong. God gives His peoples peace. – (Psalm 29:11, MSG)

 

There is a strange transition in my sister’s and my world, that began late yesterday morning, and will conclude as soon as I arrive back in Wenatchee, early this afternoon. For the first time since mom’s stroke, there is a gap in time, where neither of us is there. Both of us really struggled with the thought in the beginning, as we ordered and aligned our calendars to attempt to best balance time at home and to make certain one of us was always with mom. There was this small gap that we could not seem to reconcile, yet when speaking with both mom and her best friend, we were reassured that all would be well and the time would be covered. After having been with mom every single day since the stroke, I thought I would really struggle to head home for a few days. I was a bit torn to go, however, I knew she was in great hands with my sister, which allowed me to go in peace, and be present with my family, students and friends at home. There were still check-ins with my mom and sister, yet my purpose and focus has been on those who were present with me at home. God gave me the strength to do what I needed to do here, so that I would again feel prepared and eager, to return to Wenatchee this morning. Long before my alarm was to sound, I was wide awake. My entire being knows and is prepared to return to mom, excited to see her.

Yesterday, one of my sister’s and my dearest best friends since childhood, surprised mom and showed up to give mom a manicure. Such a sweet blessing, especially as she was like another sister in our home (and us in hers) throughout our entire growing up years. Mom continues to do the difficult work to prepare to transition home from the acute care facility. Much of her progress in the coming week or so will help us best determine what we need to do to best prepare her home to make the adjustment as smooth as possible. Please join us in continuing to pray for complete healing, and for wisdom to know each next step as it comes. God is faithful, and has clearly been present to make us strong and grant His peace, as only He can do.

 

Lord, grant us Your strength, img_2019-05-19_06-47-261927688208120696309.jpg

As only You do;

For in You, we’re strong,

Our hope is renewed.

You’re our place of peace,

Wherever we go;

As we look to You,

You help us to grow.

Show us Your way, Lord,

Point out each next step;

All thanks unto You,

In Your grace, we’re kept.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your loving kindness that grants us strength and peace, as only You can provide. Thank You that You supply all that we need in ways we might never anticipate. Forgive us for worry and doubt in spaces where we are uncertain or weary. Teach us to trust You more, as You are stronger than our struggles and You are our peace. Show us how to love those around us in a way that strengthens those who are struggling and brings peace to those in turmoil. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we listen to Your leading and rely on You to be our Source of strength and peace in all things. Amen.

 

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

 

Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always. – 1 Chronicles 16:11

Faithful Answers

You faithfully answer our prayers with awesome deeds, O God our Savior. – (Psalm 65:5a, NLT)

God, You answer our prayers and do what is right. You do amazing things to save us. – (Psalm 65:5a, ERV)

You leave us breathless when Your awesome works answer us by putting everything right. – (Psalm 65:5a, VOICE)

Yesterday morning began in a hurried panic. My boys and I were supposed to be up and out the door by 3:30am to get to the airport by 4:00am for departure for their school music tour to San Francisco. My alarm sounded first at 2:45, and I have a vague recollection of glancing at the screen and rapidly pressing the dismiss option, knowing that there would be a second alarm ten minutes later. At 2:55, as the second alarm debuted, I think I thought I hit snooze, but actually pressed dismiss again. Perhaps the combination of not returning home from football practice until close to ten and staying up until nearly midnight helping the boys finish packing, had pushed me to the point of exhaustion. After what felt like a few minutes, I woke, looked at the clock in a daze, read 4:30, and realized in a panic that we were already thirty minutes late! I ran through the house to wake the boys and hustle them out the door, scrambling to get luggage loaded as I called out a quick checklist for the boys. We rushed out the door and I had them at the airport drop off curb by 5:00am. I gave them specific instructions of where to go to check-in their bags and line up for the security check-through, informing them that I would wait in the cell phone lot, just in case, until I heard that they were checked in, through security, and on their way. Sadly, about twenty minutes later, I received a series of anxious calls from both them and their music director. The boys had missed the bag check-in deadline by two minutes and their director was not allowed to permit them to take a later flight by themselves, due to liability issues, so I had to go pick them back up. Though sleep-deprived and frazzled, my mind was in solution-mode. My first go-to was to call mom as I drove to see if she could look up later flights and if she knew anyone who might have a “buddy pass”. Within five minutes of returning home, I had a call into the principal of their school, a call back from mom with a later flight that had two seats available that she went ahead and booked, (as the airline only charged a minimal fee for the flight change), and I determined that I would go straight to the district office to sign some sort of release of liability paperwork to get my boys where they needed to be. We were in and out of the district office in fifteen minutes, and on our way to the airport where the boys were able to make their flight and then reconnect with their group, having only missed a tour of Alcatraz. All throughout, there were some serious prayers being audibly offered. My boys may or may not have thought I was a bit loony as I prayed aloud for each step we took. However, they were witness to doors opening rapidly, and ways being made, when we had been told by their music director that it was impossible. God is faithful to meet us, even in the seemingly small things. He moves mightily on our behalf and shows us His power where we have none. May we ever seek the Lord in all things, for He is faithful to answer our prayers with His awesome deeds.

 

Faithful to answer,

img_20180524_183943_171892720904.jpg

The Lord God, He hears;

He opens the way,

As He is so near.

When all seems but lost,

God’s presence remains;

He’ll lead and He’ll guide,

He makes our path plain.

So, trust in the Lord,

In faith, call on Him;

His love makes wrongs right,

When invited in.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your faithfulness to hear us when we call on You. Thank You for the way that You are faithful to answer, in ways that we would not have imagined. Thank You that You care about all things – great and small. Forgive us for trying to navigate difficulties on our own rather than seeking You, our Source and Supply. Teach us to trust You more, as You do amazing things as we call on Your Name. Show us how to love those around us in ways that demonstrate Your faithfulness. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You for answers and give You praise for Your faithfulness forever. Amen.

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

Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. – Psalm 23:6

Wisdom With Friends

Be friends with those who are wise, and you will become wise. Choose fools to be your friends, and you will have trouble. – (Proverbs 13:20, ERV)

Become wise by walking with the wise; hang out with fools and watch your life fall to pieces. – (Proverbs 13:20, MSG)

Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm. – (Proverbs 13:20, NIV)

 

The company we keep matters. Those whom we spend the most time with, have the loudest voice in our lives. Are the words spoken by those around us encouraging and uplifting, ever willing to speak truth in love? Though we cannot control what others say and do, we can choose the people that we make a priority in our lives. Additionally, we can determine the influence that we have on those around us. When we walk in wisdom and truth, we are providing a path to peace. May we seek to spend time with those who are wise, rather than making friends with fools; and may we be friends who walk in wisdom and lift up all who surround us.

 

Help me be a friend,Wisdom With Friends

Who’s wise in my ways;

An encouragement,

To others, always.

A fool for a friend,

Is cause for alarm;

For such company,

Will only bring harm.

So choose well your friends,

Opt walk with the wise;

Growing in wisdom,

Purpose realized.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You lead us and guide us and give us direction as to what is best for us. Thank You that You remind us that the company we keep matters. Thank You that not only do those we choose to spend time with have influence on us, but we do on them as well. Forgive us for either choosing poorly, or for being foolish as friends. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would rely on You to show us whom we are meant to spend time with, and that all wisdom comes from You. Grant us Your wisdom, so that we may love well, all those around us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we first seek You for all wisdom and listen to You for direction in our friendships, so that above all, You may be praised. Amen.

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

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make His face shine upon us. – Psalm 67:1

Grace and Peace

May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace. – (1 Corinthians 1:3, NLT)

 

As many of you know, I am a very early riser. My typical wake-up time on work days is 3:30 am. Yesterday morning, I woke to the sound of a sweet text message on my phone, rather than the usual song that my alarm is set to play. When I looked at the time, I realized it was two hours and twenty minutes later than my typical waking time, and I was going to have to move quickly to get out the door on time. Normally, being thrown off that much would have sent me into a bit of a panic mode, yet yesterday, I felt grace and peace. Although I was sad to not spend the first portion of my day doing devotions and writing, I felt His grace and peace, reminding me that my body needed to be nourished too. Additionally, my boys got going the moment I woke them, and were able to get ready and out the door on time, despite the late start. His grace and peace were given to each of us, and all three of us ultimately had good days, despite what could have produced a panicked start. The Lord is faithful to give grace and peace when we look to Him. May His grace and peace be present today, no matter what comes your way.

 

The God of all grace,Aquiring Armor

Will always be near;

He grants us His peace,

And calms all our fears.

We need not panic,

Nor allow stress reign;

For God is our strength,

He makes our path plain.

Seek the Lord always,

Be filled with His grace;

Let His peace lead us,

To walk well each day.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the gifts of Your grace and peace that You freely and lavishly give unto us. Thank You that You meet us in our moments of need, and bring calm to what could be chaotic. Forgive us for allowing panic to reign, rather than slowing down to seek You. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would depend on You and Your strength for grace and peace when things are askew. Show us how to extend Your grace and peace to those around us, so that they come to know how deeply You love each of us, individually. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we receive the grace and peace that You give, and then go forth to share the same with all whom we meet. Amen.

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

Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. – James 5:13

Unexpected Rest

As I woke this morning, before hearing an alarm, I knew something was off. I had gone to bed exhausted, so waking before an alarm did not make sense to me. When I checked my watch, it all became quite clear… It was 5:43, and I usually wake at 3:15. A sort of near-panic mode set in. My usual routine was completely thrown off, and I needed to get my boys and myself moving and out the door.

“Come to me all of you who are tired from the heavy burden you have been forced to carry. I will give you rest. Accept my teaching. Learn from Me. I am gentle and humble in spirit. And you will be able to get some rest.” – (Matthew 11:28-29, ERV)

Sometimes, His rest comes in unexpected ways. I still woke in enough time to get the boys and myself up and out the door in time for school, and we each were granted the rest that our bodies needed – more than I’d realized. Though I disliked the disruption from my morning routine, I can see His hand in the orchestration of rest that I received. Today is going to be another very long day, and He is gentle and kind, and grants what we need, when we need it most. He knew that I would have to cover another teacher’s class during my planning, that I have to lead our collaboration period this afternoon, that there is a gymnastics meet after school, and that I have strength training to get to after that. God was even so kind as to time my mom’s drive through town on her way to my sister’s, so that she can drive my boys home from school, rather than having them stuck attending the gymnastics meet.

There are times rest comes,Confidence Comes Through Christ
unexpected ways;
the Author of souls,
orchestrates our days.
He knows what we need,
despite how we feel;
He provides His help,
as His love’s revealed.
May we choose to rest,
in what the Lord brings;
for His grace provides,
strength for hearts to sing.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the rest that You provide, even in unexpected places. Thank You that You know what we need, far better than we do, and You give good things unto us. Forgive us for fear or panic when Your granting of rest seems to disrupt our routine, and help us to embrace the gift of grace that You are providing. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would be grateful for every good and perfect gift that comes from You, even when it comes in a package that seems to throw off our “normal”. Show us how to love and help others in such a way, that we might offer Your grace and strength to those in need of rest. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we embrace the rest that You provide, and give You praise for Your good gifts. Amen.

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

I am sad and tired. Say the word, and make me strong again. – Psalm 119:28, ERV

The Way to Hope

Show me Your ways, O Lord, teach me Your paths; …my hope is in You all day long. – (Psalm 25:4-5)

 

This morning began at O’dark hundred. For the first time since Tuesday, I woke to an alarm. (And before 4am, mind you…) However, today’s early rising was not required, but rather it was by choice. My dear friend and running buddy had to work today, and if we wanted to get a run in together, it had to be prior to her shift at the hospital.

 

Driving over before the sun had fully risen, in the chill of the early morning air, my heart was filled with gratitude for the gift I’ve been given to have a healthy body that can run. The sound of our steps striking in unison mimicked the rhythmic beat of the hearts that Christ has created within us. Our route, though many times traveled, is one surrounded by lush green growth, and does not become boring to view as we go. Whether in silence or immersed in conversation, His presence is known in the comfort of one another’s company, and so often hope is encouraged where it was lacking, and restored where it may have been lost.  God grants us glorious opportunities to seek Him, and clearly view the path He has placed before us, if only we are willing to open our eyes and hearts to Him.

 

May we go forth this day seeking His ways, allowing Him to teach us His path. Let us hope in Christ all day long.

 

From the light of day,The Way to Hope

to the setting sun;

show us Your ways Lord,

let Your will be done.

For upon the path,

You’ve laid out for me;

are freedom and hope,

the best yet to be.

Lead us on, Lord God,

where we’re called to go;

may we shine Your light,

so Your truth is known.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we seek You, You show us Your paths, and that we find hope in You, always. Thank You for the gifts and the strengths that You give to each of us, and please help us to use them for Your glory. Forgive us for squandering the blessings that You bestow unto us for our benefit and the benefit of those around us. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will rise up and utilize all that You have given, and stand strong in who You are calling us to become. Lead us to love others in a way that points them unto Your path. May many come to hold their hope in You forever. Be glorified O God, as we seek Your ways, and allow You to show us Your path. Help us to hope in You all of our days. Amen.

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

Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from Him. – Psalm 62:5