Provided Rest

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

“Come to Me all of you who are tired from the heavy burden you have been forced to carry. I will give you rest.” – (Matthew 11:28, ERV)

“Come to Me, all you who are struggling hard and carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest.” – (Matthew 11:28, CEB)

God is faithful to provide rest, though it does not always come in ways that we might imagine. In our household, my husband’s back went out a few days before my winter break was to begin. This meant a mandatory two weeks off for him, as he needed to rest and recover. For me, I would have typically filled the days with activities and outings yet had to get a few things done and then simply take some time to rest and recover. Yesterday was my love’s first day back to work and he was eager and ready to go. He returned at the end of the day in a good space, as clearly the time he had off provided the rest he needed. It was also my first day back to coaching, as inclement weather prevented us from practicing last Friday. Although I was willing and ready to go, I am certain that the extra day to rest and recover was a very good thing. Our two dogs are good at helping us rest as well, for anytime a seat is taken on the couch in the living room, a velcro dog is quick to come claim the lap of the seated. Their comfort, cuddles, and sweet snoring, cause the lap owner to sit longer than they otherwise might have intended. These may seem like happenstance, but I believe God uses our circumstances to provide what we need most. This break, the heavy loads were laid down and rest is being found. May we all embrace the grace that God grants us and receive the rest that He provides.

The Lord is faithful,

In love, He provides;

The rest we’re needing,

As we choose abide.

Often true rest comes,

In unforeseen ways;

Our circumstances,

Bring us restful days.

Set down your burdens,

And give the Lord praise;

For rest He provides,

In unforeseen ways.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You see and know our needs and You are faithful to provide what we need most. Thank You that You utilize our circumstances to demonstrate Your overwhelming love. Forgive us for our frustration and angst with circumstances we cannot control, and help us to wait expectantly on You, as You supply us with the strength and rest we need most. Help us to look for the good that You provide in and through all things. Show us how to love those around us in ways that extend rest and refreshment. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we praise You for the unexpected ways that You bring us real rest. Amen.

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

All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves. – Matthew 11:29

A Life of Love

Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. – (1 John 3:18, NIV)

My children, our love should not be only words and talk. No, our love must be real. We must show our love by the things we do. – (1 John 3:18, ERV)

My little children, don’t just talk about love as an idea or theory. Make it your true way of life, and live in the pattern of gracious love. – (1 John 3:18, VOICE)

The old adage that actions speak louder than words is true. When we are shown love over and over again, we are secure and confident in that love far more than from those who speak love or about love, but do not have actions that align. Some of the best ways to show love are displayed through living out the fruit of the Spirit. Love is patient and kind, it is humble, it honors others, it looks out for others, it is gentle and forgiving. Love celebrates the truth, always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres. (See 1 Corinthians 13) It is the people that surround me and show me these things that assure my heart that I am loved, seen and known. This weekend alone, I have had several friends reach out with messages and texts to check in and encourage me as I wait on a surgical date. It is the small acts of kindness, the reaching out that remind my heart of God’s goodness and love. May we ever seek to pattern our lives after Jesus, and may love be our true way of life. 

Lord, help us to make,

Love our way of life;

Kindness extended,

An end brought to strife.

Grant us Your patience,

So love’s what we choose;

For one another,

As Your love is proved.

Help us see the ways,

Where we can show love;

May our actions point,

To how Your heart loves.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You sent Your Son to show us that love is an active way of living, not a theory or mere words. Forgive us for the times that our words and actions have not been in alignment with what we know love to be. Teach us how to rely on You to show us how to truly love those around us. Lead us to live a life of love that chooses to reach out and make love tangible for those around us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You to show us how to make love a way of life. Amen.

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

But I will sing of Your strength, in the morning I will sing of Your love; for You are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble. – Psalm 59:16

To Live and Love With Wisdom

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peace-loving, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits, without favoritism and hypocrisy. – (James 3:17, HCSB)

But the wisdom that comes from God is like this: First, it is pure. It is also peaceful, gentle, and easy to please. This wisdom is always ready to help people who have trouble and to do good for others. This wisdom is always fair and honest. – (James 3:17, ERV)

But the wisdom from above is always pure, filled with peace, considerate and teachable. It is filled with love and never displays prejudice or hypocrisy in any form. – (James 3:17, TPT)

In order to be the person that God has called and created me to be, I need His wisdom. I desire to be pure, peaceful, gentle and easy to please, and I long to do good for others without favoritism or hypocrisy. This does not naturally flow from humans on our own, but rather these traits grow in us when we seek the Lord and His wisdom. May we ever invest our hearts, minds and lives into knowing and growing in the Lord, so that we may live a life of love that bears good fruit.

The wisdom of God,

Bears beautiful fruit;

Pure, peaceful, loving,

Good soil grows deep roots.

Roots that are planted,

Secure in God’s love;

Seek to love others,

Like the Lord above.

Gentle with mercy,

Looking to do good;

Loving all others,

As God’s children should.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You teach us to seek You for wisdom, as Your wisdom teaches us to love as You do. Thank You that You are gentle, peace-loving and full of mercy, and that Your love extends to all who seek You no matter where we have come from or what we have done. Forgive us for the times that we have not sought Your wisdom to lead us in love. Teach us to turn to You, for You alone know how to live and love best. Show us how to love wisely so that all those around us might come to know the power of Your loving kindness and the peace that is found in Your presence. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You for the wisdom to live and love in the ways You have called and created us to live. Amen.

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

I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, would give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him. – Ephesians 1:17

Let Love Continue

Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. – (Hebrews 13:1, NIV)

Continue loving each other as brothers and sisters in Christ. – (Hebrews 13:1, ERV)

Let love continue among you. – (Hebrews 13:1, VOICE)

We are called and commanded to love one another like family. I know not all families show and express love as God intended, but it seems that God places us among those who can become family. I am beyond blessed to have a sister and mom who love well. Their love for me and one another is unconditional, and loyalty is a bond that cannot be broken. If in our broken humanity we are able to love and be loved well, how much more ought we extend the same to those in our communities. The more we choose to love, the greater the opportunity for God’s love to be made known, and His light to shine in places lacking light. Yesterday, I had to have a punch biopsy done on my upper lip. The result included a few stitches and a lovely bandage situation in said location. Though a bit self-conscious about it when I walked into the gym to coach my high school gymnasts, I was met with nothing but love and concern. Their kindness reminded me that God is always good, and that He has me in the hollow of His hands. The biggest challenge now is that I can’t smile without pulling on the stitches, and I am surrounded by people who make me smile by being themselves. God’s goodness is evident all around us, and the more we choose to love our brothers and sisters (the people whom God places in our lives), the more His love continues to spread and His light shines ever brighter. May we seek the Lord to lead us in His love so that we may love well, all whom He has placed upon our path.

The love of the Lord,

Is given to us;

So we too may love,

Just like Lord Jesus.

His love is gracious,

Gentle and it’s kind;

Without conditions,

He has us in mind.

With this sort of love,

That’s meant for others;

To reach out, to give,

Sisters and brothers.

Help us ever seek,

So that we shall find;

Overflowing love,

To share with mankind.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You call us to love those around us like family. Thank You for the beautiful blessing I have in both my family by blood, and those whom You have purposefully placed in my life. Forgive me for the times that I have not loved as You intended. Teach me to trust You more, so that all that I do and all that I say is a reflection of Your gracious and generous love. Lead me to love those around me in ways that make Your heart abundantly clear. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You to show us how to love those around us as brothers and sisters. Amen.

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

Let the morning bring me word of Your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in You. Show me the way I should go, for to You I entrust my life. – Psalm 143:8

Love Matters Most

Above all, put on love – the perfect bond of unity. – (Colossians 3:14, HCSB)

Together with these things, the most important part of your new life is to love each other. Love is what holds everything together in perfect unity. – (Colossians 3:14, ERV)

And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it. – (Colossians 3:14, MSG) 

This is a good reminder as we go into our final Friday of the school year. Final project and assignments and make-up work is all due today, and I imagine for some, will be a stressful day. The best way to approach the day is with love. Through God’s love we can be patient and kind, gentle and protective, full of hope, and persevere. As we extend these things to those around us, calm comes and hope rises. May we ever seek the Lord to lead us in His perfect love so that all whom we encounter may feel His goodness and grace.

The garment we wear,

That matters the most;

Is not external,

But goodness exposed.

A smile, a kind word,

Are such simple things;

And yet their impact,

True joy they can bring.

For goodness and love,

Are what help hope grow;

Making value known,

As His love we show.

So, look for places,

To give love away;

Choose kindness and grace,

Let love lead the way.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You call us to put on the garment of love. Thank You that to do so is to choose to allow Your love to lead us in all that we say and do. Forgive us for the times and spaces that our words and deeds have been lacking in love. Show us how to love everyone around us well, so that Your heart is made clear through our actions. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we adorn ourselves with Your lavish love so that we can go forth and choose to love those around us well. Amen.

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

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. – 1 Corinthians 13:4

Quick to Listen and Slow to Speak

My dearly loved brothers, understand this: Everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger. – (James 1:19, HCSB)

My dear brothers and sisters, always be more willing to listen than to speak. Keep control of your anger. – (James 1:19, ERV)

Listen, open your ears, harness your desire to speak, and don’t get worked up into a rage so easily, my brothers and sisters. – (James 1:19, VOICE)

Again, we stand at a crossroads. A friend posted something that truly made me cringe at the brutal honesty of it: the only significant change that we have made since Sandy Hook is that we now have active shooter drills. This hit hard. I cannot begin to pretend to know the answer, but I do know that we must be more willing to listen to potential solutions that do not include: run, hide, fight, kid, and good luck. As an educator, I have seen a significant increase in the depth of kids’ struggles. Health, safety and belonging are at an all-time low. There are many talking heads that get angered at the mere suggestion of changes that might actually help. We must start listening far more than we speak, and set anger aside so that we can come together, hear each other, and seek to bring change that makes a difference. O God help us, for we all need to listen with intention.

Dear Jesus, please come,

Show us what to do;

Protect our children,

May purpose be true.

Lead us and guide us,

To bring needed change;

Make schools a safe place,

Of peaceful exchange.

Help fears dissipate,

Let answers be found;

To protect each child,

Keep hearts and minds sound.

Lead us in Your love,

To listen and learn;

Please safeguard our schools,

As to You, we turn.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You instruct us to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger. Jesus, we need Your help to do these things to bring true change that lasts. Forgive us for allowing politics and sides of the aisle to distract us from how to find solutions that keep our kids safe. Show us how to hear one another, and to be slow to speak with purpose, keeping anger in check so that hearts can be heard. Lead us to love well, as students and staff alike will be shaken at the news. May many come into a lasting relationship with You, for in You we come to know peace, safety, comfort and care. Be glorified O God, as we seek Your wisdom to listen and pursue true change to keep our babies safe. Amen.

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

But the wisdom that comes from God is like this: First, it is pure. It is also peaceful, gentle, and easy to please. This wisdom is always ready to help people who have trouble and do good for others. This wisdom is always fair and honest. – James 3:17

What Wisdom Can Do

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peace-loving, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits, without favoritism and hypocrisy. – (James 3:17, HCSB)

But the wisdom that comes from God is like this: First, it is pure. It is also peaceful, gentle, and easy to please. This wisdom is always ready to help people who have trouble and to do good for others. This wisdom is always fair and honest. – (James 3:17, ERV)

Heavenly wisdom centers on purity, peace, gentleness, deference, mercy, and other good fruits untainted by hypocrisy. – (James 3:17, VOICE)

We all need God’s wisdom in this age of seeming constant dissent. If we are able to view all things through a pure lens that is peaceful, gentle and easy to please, we will be ever ready to help people and do good for others. However, if we allow our own jaded perspective to lead, we tend to want to fight or argue, not seek to listen and bring peace. May we be wise in our reliance on God and ever seek His wisdom to lead us, so that we might be bearers of peace, ready to help and do good for those around us.

The wisdom of God,

Is peaceful and pure;

It’s gentle and kind,

With love that’s assured.

It’s ready to help,

Sisters and brothers;

To ever do good,

Supporting others.

Wisdom will listen,

Seek to understand;

And be slow to speak,

Pursue the Lord’s plan.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You have a plan and a purpose for each of us. Thank You that as we seek You, You show us all that You have for us. Thank You that wisdom from You is pure, peaceful, gentle and easy to please. Thank You that Your wisdom equips us to help others and to do good. Thank You that Your wisdom is always honest and fair. Forgive us for the times that we neglect the wisdom that You provide and do things our own way. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would move in the wisdom and grace that You provide. Show us how to be ever pure, peaceful, gentle and easy to please. Lead us to love others in such a way that we help practically and tangibly, ever seeking to do good for one another. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek Your wisdom to lead us each new day. Amen.

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

Teach us to number our days carefully so that we may develop wisdom in our hearts. – Psalm 90:12

Found in the Seeking

You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. – (Jeremiah 29:13, HCSB)

You will search for Me, and when you search for Me with all your heart, you will find Me. – (Jeremiah 29:13, ERV)

You will look for Me intently, and you will find Me. – (Jeremiah 29:13, VOICE)

Even when things seem the darkest or most difficult, God is near and ready to help. He is gentle and kind, and waits for us to call on Him. As we do, we discover that God is present and hears our every cry. May we ever seek the Lord earnestly, for He is faithful to be found.

In the sweet seeking, 

Photo by kinkate on Pexels.com

The Lord’s ever found;

Faithful to answer,

His love does abound.

No matter what comes,

The Lord remains near;

Our hope and our help,

Each prayer He does hear.

So call on the Lord,

Our hope, help and peace;

Earnestly seek Him,

His love will not cease.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we seek You, You are ever faithful to be found. Thank You that You are for us and You remain near. Forgive us for our lack of seeking in our spaces of need. Teach us to turn to You in all things, for You are present to help and worthy of all praise. Show us how to love those around us in ways that make Your love evident to all. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You with all of our heart, knowing that You are faithful forever. Amen.

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

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

Kind and Ready to Forgive

For You, Lord, are kind and ready to forgive, rich in faithful love to all who call on You. – (Psalm 86:5, HCSB)

My Lord, You are good and merciful. You love all who call to You for help. – (Psalm 86:5, ERV)

O Lord, You are good and ready to forgive; Your loyal love flows generously over all who cry out to You. – (Psalm 86:5, VOICE)

I am so thankful that God hears all who call on Him. He is kind and good and merciful, and He forgives and helps us with His love as we seek Him. Because God is the same yesterday, today and forever, we can count on Him to be consistent in His love. It is through the mercy and grace we receive when we seek God’s forgiveness that we are compelled to do likewise for those around us. For me, I am ever aware of my need for His help and forgiveness as I navigate each new day. He is kind and gentle, generous and loving, and remains steadfast in all things. May we ever seek the Lord to forgive us and lead us forward in all that He is calling us to do.

The Lord is so good,

Forgiving and kind;

Loyal and faithful,

It is His design.

The goodness that flows,

From heaven to earth;

Shows us His power,

And unending worth.

Lead us, Lord Jesus,

To ever seek You;

For goodness and love,

Ever we’re made new.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You as we seek You, You forgive us and lavish us with Your love. Thank You for Your kindness and faithfulness forever. Forgive us for neglecting to seek forgiveness where it is needed. Show us our shortcomings and the power of Your love in those places. Lead us to love those around us as You do. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek forgiveness, goodness and grace, and then extend the same to all those we encounter. Amen.

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

But when the kindness and love of God our Savior was made known, He saved us because of His mercy, not because of any good things we did. He saved us through the washing that made us new people. He saved us by making us new through the Holy Spirit. – Titus 3:4-5

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