Home is the Company You Keep

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. – (Matthew 5:4, NIV)

Great blessings belong to those who are sad now. God will comfort them. – (Matthew 5:4, ERV)

You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you. – (Matthew 5:4, MSG)

 

A sense of mourning has been the overarching theme of my time at home. From the first moment I walked through the door, I began to feel waves of grief. Until yesterday, I could not completely identify the “why”. Yes, some of it is obvious, with the trauma of what has gone on with mom’s stroke, the loss of my grandmother, grieving the loss of closing out much of the end of the school year with my students, and of course, all of the time that I did not get to spend with my husband and children and close friends. However, there was something more that was weighing me down at home. The revelation that I had as I was walking and talking with my best friend last evening, was that being home was not home to me, without my husband here. For me, home is the company you keep, not so much the place where you sleep. Of course, I love my children and time with them, but they are typical teenagers, and spend much time in their own world, being independent young adults. I easily felt at home at mom’s, yet here, with Mark away, I have been unsettled and sorrowful. It is amazing how quickly comfort can come, once the source is identified. I was able to share my struggle with my spouse, and he listened and heard my heart. He also is rerouting his plans, and will be doing a quick turn-around on Friday so that he can be in Wenatchee with me for the weekend, rather than wait another week to spend time with one another.

As for adventures in Wenatchee… Mom and Megan had an “exciting” day yesterday. The morning began in quite the usual way, with breakfast, shower, and so on. However, when the two of them were seated in the living room, just relaxing and watching a movie, they suddenly heard a loud “boom” from mom’s room! Megan quickly ran back to investigate the noise, only to discover a disaster in the bathroom. A pipe had burst and there was about an inch of water on the floor already. She jumped into action immediately, laying down towels to keep the water from reaching the carpeted areas of mom’s room, darted out of the house to find the water main and shut it off, and reached a neighbor with a shop vac and industrial fan, and a dear local friend for a quality plumber recommendation. Additionally, she was able to contact mom’s insurance company. All the while, mom had a physical therapy appointment take place and was able to let Meg know the contact people for insurance, etc. Incredibly, all repairs were complete and the water was back on by evening. Hats off to my quick-thinking, fast-acting, superstar sister!

May we ever seek the Lord when we are struggling, for He is our Comforter and Keeper of peace.

 

Lord be our Comfort, img_2019-06-20_06-48-128110825988295564590.jpg

Wherever we roam;

May we always choose,

Make our heart Your home.

Show us Your kindness,

And grant us Your grace;

When sorrow’s burden,

Tries to overtake.

Thank You for people,

To know and be known;

Oh what a blessings,

To make house a home.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our Comforter when sorrows and struggles come our way. Thank You that You make Your heart for us tangible through the people whom You place in our lives. Thank You for the countless gifts that You have given me – my husband, children, mom and sister, dearest friends, colleagues whom are lifelong friends, and more. Thank You that You truly bless us, even in our most difficult seasons. Forgive us for feeling stuck in the struggle, as You refine us in the fire. Teach us to trust You more, as You never let go of our hearts or our hands. Show us how to love those around us in a way that lifts up and walks alongside through the hurts and brings comfort and peace. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as You are our caring Comforter in all things and at all times. Amen.

 

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

 

Now comfort me with Your faithful love, as You promised. – Psalm 119:76

Comfort for the Mourning

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. – (Matthew 5:4, NIV) 

Great blessings belong to those who are sad now. God will comfort them. – (Matthew 5:4, ERV) 

You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you. – (Matthew 5:4, MSG)  

 

This morning, I woke to discover the devastating news of another former student’s passing. His sweet mama posted the news on Facebook, likely as a quick way to communicate, without having to retell the heartbreak time and time again. When the seeming natural order of life is disrupted, and a parent outlives their child, the heartache over what should have been can steal all hope, if comfort is not sought through Him alone, who is our Comforter. Sadly, I have seen both sides of this sorrow as it has run its course in the lives of people near me. For some, comfort came as they pursued God and were not afraid to ask “WHY?!” For others, something within them died at the loss, as they seem to be stuck in a space where they cannot be comforted and restored. Though there is nothing nor anyone that can ever take the place of a loved one lost, God can heal the hole that is left in our heart over time. He turns the grief into grace, and utilizes it to comfort others in a way that only one who has walked such a road, can do. May peace and grace be poured out upon the mourning, as God is our Comfort and ready to embrace every hurting heart. 

 

In the midst of grief, Compassion in Confrontations

May we seek the Lord; 

True Source of comfort, 

All peace He affords. 

Present in heartache, 

Faithful, He won’t leave; 

He’ll love us to life, 

Grant hope to believe. 

Allow His embrace, 

Bring comfort and peace; 

He’ll carry the weight, 

Yield sorrow’s release. 

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You bless those who mourn with Your comfort. Forgive us for not seeking You to be our Source. Teach us to turn to You in our every need, and to offer Your comfort and peace to those around us. Show us how to be Your hands, heart and voice to the hurting by loving people through their sorrow and loss. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust in You to be our comfort in mourning. Amen.

 

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

 

May Your unfailing love be my comfort, according to Your promise to Your servant. – Psalm 119:76

 

 

Help in the Heaviness

He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we are able to give them the same comfort God has given us. – (2 Corinthians 1:4, NLT) 

He comforts us every time we have trouble so that when others have trouble, we can comfort them with the same comfort God gives us. – (2 Corinthians 1:4, ERV) 

He consoles us as we endure the pain and hardship of life so that we may draw from His comfort and share it with others in their own struggles. – (2 Corinthians 1:4, VOICE) 

 

There are times that the weight of loss or struggle or hardships around us, find a way of seeping into our soul, causing sorrow to set heavy on our heart. Yesterday, as we heard the devastating news that a former student from our school, a boy who was in my own boys’ grade and classes, died Tuesday night, from gunshot wounds. Though I did not ever have him as a student, I did teach his younger sister and currently teach his younger brother. As I hesitantly pulled out an old yearbook to place a face with the name, the weight of the grief rested heavily through the recognition of the familiar smiling face of the young man. My own experience with loss has taught me that time eases the pain, however, that is likely little comfort for those closest to him who are only beginning to process the permanence of this tragic loss. I pray that God would surround each hurting heart with the comfort needed most, and that every need would be provided as they navigate this devastating reality. May we all be extra kind and compassionate in this season, as heavy hearts are hidden among us. 

 

God of all comfort, Being Made New

We call on Your Name; 

To hold heavy hearts, 

Love well through the pain. 

Lord, will You show us, 

What we’re meant to do; 

To extend Your grace, 

Help see others through. 

Show us how to love, 

Others through their pain; 

Let us be Your light, 

That through all remains. 

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are good, even when the circumstances that surround us are not. Thank You that You see every heartache, and You hear every prayer. Thank You that You comfort us the way our hearts need it most. Forgive us for avoiding painful places that we see in others, rather than being present to offer comfort, just as You have comforted us. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would know how to be present in heaviness, and how to comfort those who are hurting. Show us how to love those dealing with loss in practical and tangible ways. May many come into a lasting relationship with You, the ultimate Comforter. Be glorified O God, as we seek Your comfort to share with others, and thank You for the comfort that You continue to provide for us all. Amen.

 

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

 

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. – Revelation 21:4

Renewed Hope and Cheer

When doubts filled my mind, Your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer. – (Psalm 94:19, NLT)

Lord, when doubts fill my mind, when my heart is in turmoil, quiet me and give me renewed hope and cheer. – (Psalm 94:19, TLB)

Whenever my busy thoughts were out of control, the soothing comfort of Your presence calmed me down and overwhelmed me with delight. – (Psalm 94:19, TPT)

 

Just yesterday, this verse was demonstrated in a tangible way. My fiancé and I had made an offer on a house, and we were eagerly awaiting an answer. Additionally, it was the first day of state testing for my students, and the group I was to test is my most energetic group of sixth graders. I had concerns going in, as they struggle to stay on task during our usual 90-minute block class, despite the break that is given in the middle. For testing, I was scheduled to have these kiddos for a three-hour block until lunch. Between technology difficulties and an extremely rigorous test, we ended up with our same group of test-takers until the end of the school day. All but one of my cherubs had completed the assessment by the conclusion of seventh period, and it was implied that we would go on to eighth period to end the day. For whatever reason, that did not happen, and we ended up in staying together in my shrinking classroom for the final 45-minute period of the day as well. There was a bit of turmoil for all of us, yet after a short time, we all settled in and made the best of the down time. It provided room for each to decompress without academic expectations and I was pleased with the smiles and giggles around the room as kids colored, visited, played games, and some even sat in the sunshine right outside of my classroom door. Additionally, I received a text from my fiancé telling me that our offer had been accepted and we officially had acquired our new home. Comfort, hope and cheer were supplied in the midst of far too many busy thoughts. God is good, and He quiets us when our hearts are in turmoil and grants us renewed hope and cheer. May we ever seek Him when doubts fill our minds, for He is our comfort and conductor of cheer.

 

When my mind races,

img_20180508_201111_5701970752241.jpg

Our new home! ❤

And doubts enter in;

You bring me comfort,

Show me hope again.

Within my turmoil,

You come with Your peace;

Your presence brings calm,

As Your good’s released.

You still busy thoughts,

In love, You draw near;

You delight my heart,

As hope brings great cheer.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when things get hectic or chaotic and begin to cause our hearts to doubt, You bring Your comfort as You quiet our hearts and renew our hope and cheer. Forgive us for allowing our circumstances to overwhelm us and steal our joy. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would rely on You in all things and at all times, as You provide all that we need no matter what lies before us. Show us how to love well so that we may offer comfort, hope and cheer to those struggling with their own busy thoughts. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we give You thanks for Your faithfulness to meet us in our moments of mayhem and bring Your calm as You renew our hope and cheer. Amen.

 

 

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

The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. – Psalm 145:8

The Presence of Peace

Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. – (John 14:27)

 

Jesus willingly went to the cross, rose from the grave and returned to the Father so that He could send us His Spirit to grant us His peace. His peace is not the sort of peace the world envisions, where there is merely an absence of conflict. The peace of Christ, our Comforter in chaos, grants us a supernatural settling in knowing He is God and we are not, even in the midst of chaos. His peace removes our need for fear of the future, and sends stress back where it belongs. The Lord does not long for our hearts to be troubled nor afraid, but He wants us to lean on Him and allow His strength, grace, goodness and love to move in the midst of whatever we face. He is far greater than anything that we are enduring, and His peace is available and present if we only slow down and seek Him. Let us look to the Lord who grants us true peace that will last forever, as He takes away the fear of whatever we are facing and supplies us the strength and endurance required to press on.

 

Peace is so much more,No Matter What Comes

than a state of calm;

it’s Christ in chaos,

our true healing balm.

When facing trouble,

His presence is near;

He answers our call,

each whisper He hears.

Hearts be not troubled,

and don’t be afraid;

for the peace of Christ,

is present each day.

It takes but a look,

to slow down and see;

how near that He is,

to you and to me.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You sent Your Son to come and carry our troubles and fears to the cross, and rise again to return to You, sending Your Holy Spirit to be our Help and our Comfort in all things and at all times. Forgive us for seeking peace as the world might search, and teach us to look to You in all things and at all times, even when peace seems beyond attainable in our storms. Lead us to lean into You, so that we would know Your peace no matter what is going on around us. Show us how to love others in such a way, that they too, may come to know Your perfect peace, regardless of the storm they may be facing. Be glorified O God, as we receive the peace that You alone give, and allow not our hearts to be troubled nor fearful. Amen.

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

For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God. – 1 Peter 2:19

Knowing the “No”

For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age. – (Titus 2:11-12)

 

The grace that God has given, is the gift of His Son. Jesus died so that we might live – His life ransomed for ours. After He rose and ascended into Heaven, He sent His Holy Spirit to be our Counselor and Comforter, so that we would have help in an uncertain world. That still small voice within us that whispers “No“, to the things that we know we ought not do, is His voice, teaching and protecting us so that we might live self-controlled, upright and godly lives. May we each choose to receive what He freely offers, so that we are able to live the lives He has for us.

 

Abundant grace,Knowing the No

poured out for mankind;

to open hearts,

give sight to the blind.

His Spirit shows,

the way we’re to go;

when it’s a “Yes”,

and where it’s a “No”.

No to the things,

ungodly and wrong;

and yes to those,

that make our walk strong.

All by His grace,

His love, it abounds;

receives the lost,

His power, profound.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for loving us so much that You made way for us to brought back into a relationship with You. Thank You for the gift of Your Son, and for the power of the Holy Spirit. Thank You, Jesus, for laying Your life down for mine, so that I could truly live. Thank You for Your still small voice that teaches us to say “No” to that which we ought not do, and compels us to move forward in those things to which You are calling. Forgive us for ignoring the “No“, or for standing stuck when we were meant to move forward. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will move either forward toward that which You are calling, or flee from that which You are warning us away from. May our life of obedience be an example to those around us, and may many come to know who You are and how much You love them as a result. Let the lost be found in You. Be glorified, Lord God, as we receive Your grace and obey all that You ask of us. Amen.

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

May God Almighty grant you mercy. – Genesis 43:14

 

 

 

 

 

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.Psalm 23  1

He makes me lie down in green pastures,

He leads me beside quiet waters,

He restores my soul.

He guides me in paths of righteousness

for His name’s sake.

Even though I walk

through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil,

for You are with me;

Your rod and Your staff,

they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me

in the presence of my enemies.

You anoint my head with oil;

my cup overflows.

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

God is my guide. Psalm 23  2

WIth Him, I lack nothing. 

He provides me place to rest,

and grants refreshment unto my soul. 

He leads me and guides me

in the ways in which I am meant to go. 

Even when things are frightening,

or death is knocking at my door.

I need not fear, for He is with me. 

The Lord is my Protector and Comforter. 

He prepares abundant provisions for me,

right in front of my enemies,

and claims me as His own,

pouring out His blessings upon me. 

Your goodness and love will remain with me,

every day of my life,

and I hold fast to the promise

of my future forever with You in heaven.

The 23rd Psalm is a source of much comfort to many.  It is a reminder of God’s presence, provision, and power.  He is good, and is available to pour out His blessings upon those who faithfully seek Him.  The Lord is worthy of our trust, and His love is unfailing.  There has never been, nor shall ever be a mere man, to whom we can compare His capacity to love us, individually.  May this day, afford you the opportunity to take some time to simply soak in the reality of His remarkable redemption, granted by His glorious grace, just for you.

You are my guide,Psalm 23  3

Provider of all;

You grant me rest,

catch me when I fall.

Lead me to peace,

to quiet my soul;

so I may hear,

Your heart that makes whole.

Show me the way,

unto righteousness;

despite shadows,

remove fearfulness.

Help me to trust,

You as Protector;

may my heart see,

all foes bow before.

You prepare much,

all see that I’m blessed;

You call me Yours,

clothed in righteousness.

Goodness and love,

for my whole life long;

my hope secure,

my Strength and my Song.

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank You that Your love is unfailing, and that You provide, protect and persist in Your pursuit of our whole heart.  Thank You for the bountiful blessings that You pour out upon us, and for the promise we may hold when we give our heart to You.  Forgive us for our fearfulness and lack of trust, and help us to seek You in all things.  May Your grace and mercy be evident in every area of our lives, and may we extend the same to all whom we encounter.  Let Your love be evident in us.  Lead those who are looking unto Your loving embrace.  Be glorified, our great and mighty King.  Amen.

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

Let love and faithfulness never leave you; …write them on the tablet of your heart.

– Proverbs 3:3

Safety’s Stay

Struggles, sickness and the sorrows in this life, can suck the fight out of even the most resolute.  So many around me are facing battles far bigger than seem possible for them to endure.  If the fight were their own, that would surely be true; however, they are not in the battle alone.  Each has a Defender, Physician, Comforter, and Friend who is able to see them through.  Regardless of the outcome, in Him, our hope is secure.  Despite what we see, Love is more.  “It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” – (I Corinthians 13:7)  I want to love like that – always.

If we hope to love as we are loved, we must be invested in Him who is love.  When we know Christ, we more clearly reflect His love and light into the world.  I don’t have the answers as to why some people suffer with sickness, while others remain the picture of health their whole lives, but I do know that He who created us all, does.  God uses every trial for the good of those who love Him, when we place our trust in Him.  Again and again I find myself in awe of just how quickly this comes to pass, after weathering one of life’s storms.  Though I have my moments of questions and doubts, I know where I can turn, and on Whom I can depend, to be my Safe Harbor through every storm.

May we hold fast to truth,OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

as life’s storms come our way;

may we trust our Safe Harbor,

our Strong Tower, Safety’s Stay.

In struggle or in illness,

or in sorrows of this life;

may we know Who is fighting,

and trust You to end all strife.

For You alone are always,

before, now and forever;

steadfast, faithful and loving,

promise to leave us NEVER.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that in You, our hope is secure, regardless of what is going on around us.  Thank You that we don’t have to understand the “why” or “how” things happen as they do, we need only know the “Who” that we can always run unto.  Thank You that You use our past experiences of pain to come along side another to bring comfort and offer hope.  Forgive us for our fears and doubts when we are in the throes of the storm, and help us to hold fast to You, our Anchor and Safe Harbor, regardless of the storm’s intensity.  Father, please give comfort to all those who are in the throes of the fight, and may we be people to come beside them to be You hands and heart made tangible, and help them to know that it is You in us that brings comfort and peace.  May many come into a lasting relationship with You, as a result of our obedience.  Be exalted in all that we say and do.  Amen.

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

Strong Tower by Kutless is the song on my heart this morning. Click the colorful title to have a listen. 🙂

Our Place of Peace

My sweet niece and her daddy.

My sweet niece and her daddy.

When the world is spinning,

seems to be upside down;

trust in our Lord Jesus,

in whom true peace is found.

When sickness takes over,

or pain’s too much to bear;

trust our loving Father,

who will hold every care.

When serpent is striking,

hazards seem to surround;

trust in our Counselor,

where all safety is found.

Don’t take what the world gives,

for it is not of Him;

trust in His holy word,

even when things seem grim.

Let not hearts be troubled,

do not give in to fear;

allow our Comforter,

to speak truth in our ear.

He is the only place,

where lasting peace is found;

let His love envelop,

and His arms wrap around.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” – (John 14:27)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You love us so much that You sent Your Son to remove all our sin and call us clean before You. Thank You that You did not stop there. Thank You for sending Your Holy Spirit to live in us, as our Counselor and Comforter. Forgive us Father, for allowing fear a foothold in our hearts. Teach us how to release every burden unto You, and to trust that You are in control, even when our circumstances seem out of control. Thank You that You are our place of peace. Help us to walk confidently in Your comfort, so that we may point others to the place of true safety, in Your loving arms. Amen.

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