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

He Hears

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)

 

This is yet another reason why I rise so early each day. In the morning, before the world wakes, I read and reflect on God’s promises and present my requests before Him. He listens to us whenever we pray, but for me, it sets my heart right for the day. Yesterday, His grace was abundant, as my humanity and frustration flared up a bit as I first walked into my classroom after being away for a few weeks. It was in a state of disarray, and at first, I felt quite disrespected. The still small voice reminded me that the kids can’t really see past the revolving door of strangers, and they act out accordingly, rather than think about where they are and the possible reason for my absence. After I had the tables scrubbed and garbage off of the floors and bookshelves, I was better able to regain perspective and hold hope and positive anticipation for the day. I found a few sweet notes left by students on my desk, and my demeanor softened further. My colleagues were extraordinarily kind and welcoming, and by the time the bell rang for kids to head to class, I felt prepared and eager to see my students. After greeting them at the door, listening to announcements and taking care of attendance, I filled them in as to why I had been away for the past few weeks. The somber quiet in the room showed me that they understood the weight of my circumstances, and many of them were imagining themselves in my shoes. They were wonderful the remainder of the morning; even my students who often struggle to focus. I know they love their moms deeply, and I think it hit home for them too. Unfortunately, halfway through my second class with my kiddos, I received a strange text from one of my sons. He was quite concerned about an odd symptom, that he feared was asthma related. We did a bit of problem-solving and back-and-forth, but by the time my lunch was nearly over, I knew I was going to need to take him in to Urgent Care. Thankfully, a guest teacher was available for the second half of the day, and I was able to leave for the afternoon. As I arrived on my sons’ campus, there were three ambulances in the bus loop. All I could do was pray, “Dear Jesus, please don’t let that be for my son!”

Thankfully, the ambulances were not for my boy, and I was able to pick him up and get him checked at Urgent Care without incident. The symptoms were wise to get checked, as he continues to near adulthood and must learn to listen to when things seem “off” with his health. Everything came back as clear, and they chalked it up to something muscular/skeletal. For me, it had become a blessing of some bonus time with my boy that I would not have otherwise had, so I teased him about the lengths he went to, to get solo time with me. 🙂

As for mom, she is continuing to do the difficult work. After a stroke, it is common for the large muscle groups to “wake up” first, and then the signals to continue to make their way down to the smaller. For mom, her glutes and hip flexor have been cooperating for several days, and it seems that her quad is not joining the party! In her right arm, her shoulder has begun to awaken, and her right tricep is also starting to receive signals. Each new movement is a huge celebration, as the ability to regain movement that was lost is a miracle in the making. Speaking to she and my sister on the phone last evening, I was able to hear more strength in her voice than I have heard before.

May we ever begin our days with the Lord, presenting our requests to He who is abundantly able to do all things.

 

Early each morning,

img_2019-05-17_04-31-267571152975944849692.jpg

Mom in OT, working on standing, balance, and utilizing her left hand for day-to-day tasks.

This is why I rise;

In silent stillness,

Hope is realized.

Placed on the altar,

Each hope and my needs;

The Lord is faithful,

His love far exceeds.

All grace for today,

Hope for tomorrow;

His peace in chaos,

Comfort in sorrow.

Ever seek the Lord,

He’s faithful to hear;

All that we ask Him,

As He remains near.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your overwhelming, never ending loving kindness and grace. Thank You that You hear our every prayer. Thank You that You never leave us nor forsake us, even in the moments when we question “why”. Forgive us for our fears and frustrations with the frailty of our humanity. Teach us to trust You more, and to see the blessings that You provide, even in the seemingly awful or inconvenient situations and circumstances that we find ourselves in. Show us how to love and bless those around us in ways that help them to see the good, even when circumstances are not. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we love You and trust You, and place our prayers before You anew every morning. Amen.

 

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

 

Because He bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath! – Psalm 116:2 

Ask. Seek. Knock.

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. – (Matthew 7:7-8, NIV)

Continue to ask, and God will give to you. Continue to search, and you will find. Continue to knock, and the door will open for you. Yes, whoever continues to ask will receive. Whoever continues to look will find. And whoever continues to knock will have the door opened for them. – (Matthew 7:7-8, ERV)

 

In this passage, Jesus was reminding His followers to be persistent in their pursuit of God. Just because we don’t see answers right away, does not mean that we are to give up and let go of the very thing we are asking. Often it is a matter of us continuing to seek faithfully, trusting that the One whom we seek, hears and will answer in His perfect timing. God is never late, yet again and again, we grow impatient and quit asking or seeking before He is done developing our resolve to persevere. This is where being rooted in the body is so important. We can come alongside one another and encourage each other to continue in our quest for answers, wisdom and open doors. May we rise up with resolve to keep asking, searching, seeking and knocking, so that we may continue to find direction and answers according to His good and perfect will.

 

We must first choose ask, Asking for Amazing Answers

For answers to come;

Our God is faithful,

The All-Knowing One.

Each time we seek Him,

The Lord we shall find;

He’s always ready,

With our hearts in mind.

When we choose to knock,

He opens new doors;

Shows us the new paths,

We’re meant to explore.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we ask, You hear our prayers and provide answers. Thank You that as we seek You, we find You. Thank You for Your faithfulness to open new doors as we knock, and make Yourself known in our pursuit of You. Forgive us for not persevering in our quest to discover more of You – be it answers, wisdom or direction for our lives. Teach us to trust You in the process, so that we will persevere, no matter how long it takes to discover the answers we seek. Show us how to love and come alongside those who are in need of knowing You or Your will, so that we may encourage and lift one another up to persevere. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we ask, seek and knock all of our days, so that we may always pursue the path that follows Your ways. Amen.

 

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

 

Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. – 2 Corinthians 3:5

As We Ask, He Answers

Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. – (Matthew 7:7-8, NLT)

Continue to ask, and God will give to you. Continue to search, and you will find. Continue to knock, and the door will open for you. Yes, whoever continues to ask will receive. Whoever continues to look will find. And whoever continues to knock will have the door opened for them. – (Matthew 7:7-8, ERV)

 

Sometimes I forget that the way to walk in His will and see hopes and dreams that He has planted come to fruition, involves first and foremost, our faithful pursuit of Him. It is easy to get so caught up in all of the things that need to be done to get from here to there, that we neglect our need to seek and ask our Savior what we ought to do next. He opens the doors that lead the direction to which we are called. If we are not asking, it is equally likely that we are not listening for answers. God has promised to hear all who call on His Name, and be found by all who seek Him. May we go forth this day, seeking and asking for the answers that our hearts need to know; for He is faithful to hear us and respond according to His good and perfect will.

 

Lord, teach us to ask,Asking for Amazing Answers

You’re faithful to hear;

You give us good gifts,

As we choose draw near.

It is through seeking,

That we truly find;

God, You are waiting,

You’re loving and kind.

Keep knocking on doors,

That He leads us to;

And watch them open,

As His path’s pursued.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that as we ask, You answer. Thank You that when we seek You, You are found. Thank You that You open the doors that we are meant to walk through as we move forward in the direction to which we feel called. Forgive us for not seeking or asking when we need answers and Your help. Teach us to trust You more so that we would come to You in all things and at all times, knowing that You are faithful to hear us and help us, opening the doors that we are meant to walk through. Show us how to love those around us in a way that demonstrates Your goodness and faithfulness. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek and ask and knock on the doors that appear before us, trusting You to lead us where we are meant to go. Amen.

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

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

Listen and Open the Door

“Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear My voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.” – (Revelation 3:20, NLT)

 

God is not only our Father and our Savior, but He desires the nearness and intimacy of a familial friend. When we say yes to Jesus, we are welcoming His nearness and His presence in all areas of our lives. The imagery of dining together as friends is such a sweet and welcoming invitation, how can one help but invite Him in? It is yet another reminder that the Creator of the entire universe and all that is in it, is also very present and personal. He longs to spend time with us, and is ever waiting for our invitation. Incredibly, all it requires is for us to open the door and give Him access. The Lord is gentle and kind, and He enters in love and extends mercy and grace. It is His kindness that leads us to change for the better. May we listen for the Lord and His voice, and keep the door of our hearts ever open to Him.

 

The Lord is waiting,Asking for Amazing Answers

He is ever near;

Let’s listen for Him,

As His voice we’ll hear.

If we choose invite,

And open the door;

Christ comes and He loves,

In Him, we have more.

Once He’s invited,

The Lord, He will stay;

To love and to lead,

Help us walk His way.

No more the waiting,

Choose hope, let Him in;

Our God and Savior,

And forever Friend.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You wait for us and call out to us, so that we have opportunity to hear Your invitation to know You and welcome You in as Lord of our lives. Thank You that You are not only God our Father and our Savior, but You are our Friend who is ever near. Forgive us for slamming the door shut when You are knocking, or neglecting to listen when You are the very One we need to hear. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would be listening and keep the door of our heart ever open to You. Show us how to love those around us with Your kindness and grace, so that they may come to find a forever friend in You. Be glorified O God, as we listen for Your voice and draw ever near to You. Amen.

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

Listen… be wise, and keep your heart on the right path. – Proverbs 23:19

Asking, Seeking, Knocking, Finding

“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.” – (Matthew 7:7-8, NLT)

 

Our prayers can only be heard and answered if we actually pray them. Hope and desire are good things, yet it is only in the asking, seeking and actively pursuing God, that we find Him. God hears our prayers and is ready to answer if we are willing to come before Him. Though He may not answer in the way we anticipate, our prayers never fall on deaf ears. He always hears. When we earnestly seek Him, we find God. His peace and His presence are readily available everywhere – we have to be willing to slow down and seek, in order to find. To keep moving the direction He has called, we have to keep pressing forward. Though God calls us in a direction, it does not mean that the path will be easy or that every door will be open along the way. Our charge and our challenge is to remain dependent on Him, so that we will knock on closed doors to discover if we are meant to go through, or find another way around. He is faithful to show us the way, if we are willing to ask Him for direction. May we seek the Lord, asking Him for the answers we need to know. May we find courage to knock on closed doors, and discover the doors we are meant to walk through. Amen.

 

When we choose to ask,

’tis how we receive;Asking for Amazing Answers

we find in the seeking,

in Christ we believe.

For knocking on doors,

is how we shall find;

where we need walk through,

and from where to hide.

Doors will not open,

if we never knock;

prayers go unanswered,

if we never talk.

May voices be raised,

in faith, let us pray;

seek, knock, ask and find,

He’ll show us the way.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we seek You, we find You. Thank You that when we ask of You, You hear our prayers and You answer. Thank You that as we knock on doors before us, You open the ones that we are meant to walk through. Forgive us for not presenting our prayers before You, or for lacking persistence in our seeking and knocking, even when we know that You hold the answers that we need. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would slow down, seek, ask and knock, wherever we need to hear from You. Show us the way to completely rely on You, so that we go forth and love others in a way that points people unto You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You and ask You for answers, trusting You to show us the direction that we are meant to go. 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

To Be Called Conquerors

Despite the name of this blog, the book of Revelation, has always intimidated me.  Every year, as  this time rolls around, I find myself back in the book of Revelation, as I follow a yearly reading plan.  I eagerly anticipate His return, however, it is the time of trial and tribulation that I get hung up on.  This morning, I was extra intentional to ask that He grant me new insight, that would perhaps make this book a bit more approachable over the next several days.  The following is what I found, as I chose to first read Revelation 1-4 in The Message translation:

“Look at Me.  I stand at the door.  I knock.  If you hear Me call and open the door, I’ll come in and sit down to supper with you.  Conquerors will sit alongside Me at the head table, just as I, having conquered, to the place of honor at the side of my Father.  That is My gift to the conquerors!” – (Revelation 3:20-21)

My heart began to soar, as I recognized that I am a conqueror, not because I am strong enough or good enough, but rather because I have opened the door of my heart and invited Him in.  It is not what I can do, but what He can do through me, if only I choose to be willing.  Oh Lord, You know I am willing!  “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” – (Romans 8:37)

You called to me,

I opened my heart;To Be Called Conquerors

You welcomed me,

and granted fresh start.

You sit with me,

and call me Your own;

You strengthen me,

beyond what I’ve known.

Fear need not be,

present in trials;

times of testing,

shall be a short while.

And through it all,

one thing shall remain;

Your love, present,

the hope we can claim.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that in You, we are more than conquerors!  Thank You that with You, we have nothing to fear.  Though struggle and trials shall come in this life, our hope is assured for all of eternity in You.  Forgive us for our fearfulness of the unknown, and help us to recognize that we are more than conquerors in You.  Give us strength and endurance to remain steadfast in that which You have called us, and teach us to trust You even more.  May we love like You, so that many others too, may come to know the overwhelming gift of grace that You freely give.  May many come to know the overcoming power that is present in a lifelong relationship with You.  All praise to You, our Overcoming One!  Amen.

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