Endings and Beginnings

You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in Your word. – (Psalm 119:114, NIV)

You are my refuge and my shield; Your word is my source of hope. – (Psalm 119:114, NLT)

You are my hiding place and my shield of protection; I hope in Your word. – (Psalm 119:114, VOICE)

 

Though David often had need for the Lord to be his literal hiding place, there were times too, that he needed his heart to be covered and “hidden” by God. For me, that is more often the space that I find myself in. When the cares of my circumstances become overwhelming or seem far too heavy to bear, it is in that space that I need seek Christ to cover my heart with His, as He is my place of refuge and a shield about me. He renews my hope with the truth of His word and reminds me anew of who He is. Today, I am being granted the gift of time with my boys as they prepare to leave for a ten-day cruise with the Sea Scouts. I had hoped and prayed for a way to get home to help them pack and prepare and send them off, and God has been faithful to provide faithful friends for such a time as this, so that I could do exactly that and know that mom is in great hands and comfortable in my brief absence.

Yesterday was an incredible day to end mom’s therapies in Washington. As she met with Nick, her physical therapist, he had me guide mom through the paces of navigating her front steps with her hemi-walker. Giving her verbal cues and only keeping a hand touching her low back to remind her that I was present if there was a need, she was able to go down the steps, walk some steps in the grass, turn around, and then return up the stairs. It was the very first time since her stroke that mom had set foot on grass, and after Nick left, she could not stop the tears from falling. For her, it was yet another mile-marker that reminded her that hope is tangible and that she is truly making progress. A few hours later, mom had her final session with Susan, her speech therapist. The beautiful thing about speech therapy is that there is much opportunity to visit, as word recall is largely called forth through conversation. Time flew by, and goodbyes were difficult. Lastly, a bit later in the afternoon, was Larissa, mom’s occupational therapist. Larissa went to great lengths to make certain that we had a solid plan in place for ongoing exercises and stretches for mom to be doing daily during the gap time between now and when therapies begin in Oregon. She has been innovative and kind, and has gone above and beyond to help research and facilitate mom’s needs. As she was leaving, she refused to call it goodbye, but rather a “see you later.” Each of mom’s therapists parted ways with mom with hugs and words of well-wishes, encouraging her and letting her know how much they had loved working with her and how much they would miss her. Mom has a way of winning folks over quickly, and once she has, she is not forgotten. My hope and prayer now, is that she will find the same to be true of her new therapists in Oregon, and that she will discover a new community with which to connect during her season in that space. God has always been her refuge, and I trust that He will continue to provide her hope and tangible evidence of His faithfulness.

 

My refuge and shield, 08011905054602014993045993958.jpg

Where all hope is found;

The God of all grace,

Your word’s always sound.

You grant me safety,

And You cover me;

My heart is hidden,

In You, lovingly.

Hidden from the things,

That make me choose fear;

Blind to Your presence,

As You’re ever near.

Help us ever seek,

The light of Your grace;

For goodness is found,

Following Your ways.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our safety and our refuge, and that we can ever find hope in Your word. Thank You that You are present to help and protect and provide. Forgive us for our fearfulness in the unsteady or the unknown. Teach us to trust You more. Show us how to love those around us in a way that offers peace and grace and safety. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust and hope in You forever. Amen.

 

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

 

I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.” – Psalm 91:2

Never Hidden From Grace

“Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see them?” declares the Lord. “Do I not fill the heaven and earth?” declares the Lord. – (Jeremiah 23:24, NIV)

“Someone might try to hide from me in some hiding place. But it is easy for me to see that person,” says the Lord, “because I am everywhere in heaven and earth.” – (Jeremiah 23:24, ERV)

“Can anyone hide from Me in a secret place? Am I not everywhere in all the heavens and earth?” says the Lord. – (Jeremiah 23:24, NLT)

 

There are times, even if we are not trying to hide, our circumstances may make us feel hidden from plain sight. For me, being in a situation where I am confined to my mom’s home, not being able to come and go as I please, is a strange sort of hidden space. Thankfully, God is faithful to remind me each new morning of His faithfulness and mercy, as He paints the sky anew, in plain view, as I rise. We are not hidden from His sight nor His reach, and the same way His glory fills the skies, is how He fills this house with His grace and mercy and love.

God made His reach and His vision for mom and her recovery evident yesterday as we met her new physical therapist. Nick is a wonderful man, with vast experience, who really took the time to get to know mom, what she is able to currently do, what she hopes to accomplish; and then began actively working with her to reach her goals. In one visit, he showed her new things that she is capable of doing that she did not realize she could already do. Additionally, for the first time, a few of her steps down her long hallway with the walker, did not require his assistance to bring her “stubborn” right leg through! This is huge progress, and truly tangible evidence that mom can see and feel and hold. There is little quite so encouraging as that which you can actually see and feel for yourself, in the direction you are working tirelessly toward. Last night, despite three wake-ups, was better for sleep for both of us as well. Today holds the meetings with her new speech therapist and occupational therapist, so I anticipate a busy, yet encouraging day. Please pray with us that today’s therapists are as wonderful as both Nick and Kari, whom we met on Saturday for an initial evaluation. If the first two are any indication, I would venture to say that yet again, God has orchestrated this change for such a time as this. May we ever trust in the One who hand-crafted the heavens and the earth, for we are never hidden from His sight.

 

Though there may be times, img_2019-06-25_07-02-53343082748570767751.jpg

Where we feel unseen;

The Lord keeps us close,

His love intervenes.

There’s nowhere we go,

That God cannot see;

He’ll never let go,

Presence, guaranteed.

We need only look,

Upon the vast sky;

Recognize His grace,

Grants us wings to fly.

Fly in His freedom,

Soar in His great grace;

Know how we are loved,

No matter our space.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that there is no place that we are hidden from You and Your great love for us. Thank You that the hands that created the heavens and the earth also created each of us, and know us individually. Thank You that no concern, care, celebration, nor fear escapes You. You see and know all. Forgive us for feeling isolated or unseen when our circumstances keep us from the communities we love. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would lean on You in the seasons that feel isolated, knowing that we are never alone. Show us how to reach out and love the lonely, helping to remind them how loved they truly are. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we rely on Your grace and celebrate Your nearness. Amen.

 

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

 

But as for me, how good it is to be near God! I have made the Sovereign Lord my shelter, and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things You do. – Psalm 73:28

Abundant Grace

The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. – (1 Timothy 1:14, NIV)

But our Lord gave me a full measure of His grace. And with that grace came the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. – (1 Timothy 1:14, ERV)

I was flooded with such incredible grace, like a river overflowing its banks, until I was full of faith and love for Jesus, the Anointed One! – (1 Timothy 1:14, TPT)

 

Grace is the freely given, unmerited favor and love of God. Daily, as we journey on this road to recovery with mom, we are acutely aware of God’s grace. His love abounds in the little things all around us every day, we simply need slow down, and watch for them. Yesterday, being a Sunday, was a day of rest for mom in her stroke rehabilitation program. It was odd to not have any therapy sessions scheduled, and the day was probably extra off, being Mother’s Day. At first, mom was quite annoyed that she was not actively working toward recovery yesterday, but when I reminded her that even God, Himself, rested on the seventh day, she agreed it might be okay if she too, had a day of rest. The day began with Mark, the boys and me all arriving together to visit with mom before the fellas had to head back home. There were many smiles and some animated banter, and before we knew it, it was time for the guys to get going. Mom and I visited and made a few phone calls together, then after another art project to add to her ceiling collection and lunch, we relaxed and watched a movie. Of course, after sitting for the length of an entire film, we both had grown restless, and were ready to head outdoors. Sun hats and sunglasses on, I quickly pushed her out of her wing, and we were riding the elevator to freedom. There was a warm wind blowing steadily as we made our way out, and we began with a lap around the building. After that, per her request, we moved east, and were both drawn in the direction of some beautifully blooming rhododendrons. We decided we ought to take a quick photo or two for posterity, and for my sister before heading back. My hat was blown off once on the return route, so we both ditched our hats and stashed them in her “magical” chair bag, as we did not want them to land in the street swept muck on the side of the road. Upon our return, I worked with mom on a few of her stretching things for PT, and she was very encouraged to use her right leg to practice pushing off from the hip. I love watching her face light up in recognition that she is indeed moving herself with that leg that she thought was done. Grace after grace. God is so good. May we ever be aware of the goodness and grace poured upon us, though we deserve it not, and give praise to Him to is the Giver of every good and perfect gift.

 

Grace is the Lord’s gift, img_2019-05-13_06-14-17471261504932170441.jpg

He gives unto us;

Though it’s not deserved,

He gives in excess.

Such love in all things,

Both great and the small;

All matter to Him,

He knows and sees all.

Every moment,

Each breath that we take;

The Lord is aware,

And He won’t forsake.

He is the anchor,

Our safe hiding place;

Love overwhelming,

Extravagant grace.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You love us beyond what we can even begin to fathom. Thank You that Your grace is granted in all things, great and small. Thank You for Your goodness that makes Your love tangible in everyday little things so often. Forgive us for being blind to Your blessings. Give us eyes to see, ears to hear and hearts to understand how deep and how wide Your grace runs for us. Teach us to trust You more, as our human hearts grow weary and fearful when we cannot see or understand the road ahead. Show us how to love those around us in great and small ways, so that they too, may recognize glimpses of the grace that You have for us all. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we hold fast to our faith and give You praise for the overwhelming grace that You give us each and every day. Amen.

 

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

 

Grace and beauty can fool you, but a woman who respects the Lord should be praised. – Proverbs 31:30

Perfection, Promises and Protection

God’s way is perfect. All the Lord’s promises prove true. He is a shield for all who look to Him for protection. – (Psalm 18:30, NLT)

God’s way is perfect. The Lord’s promise always proves to be true, He protects those who trust in Him. – (Psalm 18:30, ERV)

Everything God does is perfect; the promise of the Eternal rings true; He stands as a shield for all who hide in Him. – (Psalm 18:30, VOICE)

 

All that God is and all that God does are good. When we trust in Him, we begin to recognize the truth of His word, and understand how He protects and fulfills His promises. This does not mean we are sheltered from struggles and trials, but it does mean that He is with us and will never leave us, and that He guards our hearts and minds as we choose to be covered by truth. God is faithful to keep us in His hands, and will walk beside us every step we take. We can always run to Him as our hiding place and our space of help and hope. He leads where we are meant to go, and will provide what we need to do as He asks. His ways are perfect, even when they do not make sense to us. May we ever trust the Lord and His promises, and look to Him to be a shield about us as we go where He leads.

 

God’s way is perfect,Perfection Promises and Protection

His promises true;

He’ll do what He says,

Protect and lead through.

Life won’t be easy,

But oh, what a ride;

For all who choose trust,

In the Lord, abide.

Each promise He makes,

By faith, shall prove true;

Stand firm and go forth,

As He leads us through.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that Your way is perfect and Your promises prove true. Thank You that You are a shield for those who look to You for protection. Thank You that though there are trials and struggles, You never leave us nor forsake us, and utilize the difficulties we endure to show us more of who You are and how You love. Forgive us for not trusting or for not seeking You as we should, as You are our place of promise and the One to whom we can run. Teach us how to trust You more, so that we would trust in Your promises and Your protection, knowing that You are with us and will never forsake us, even when things are not easy. Show us how to love well, those who are in the midst of the difficult. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust in Your ways and know that Your promises are true as You protect us and lead us in all things. Amen.

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

As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. – James 5:11

My Source of Hope

You are my refuge and my shield; Your word is my source of hope. – (Psalm 119:114, NLT)

Hide me and protect me. I trust what You say. – (Psalm 119:114, ERV)

You are my hiding place and my shield of protection; I hope in Your word. – (Psalm 119:114, VOICE)

 

There are days where we need, more than ever, a space where we can sink into His arms and trust, as the world around us doesn’t seem to make sense. Between fighting the “crud” and the looming uncertainty that is now surrounding my profession, I need to remember where my hope comes from. Despite how I feel or what I see, God has me in the palm of His hand. He will never leave us nor forsake us, and He is far greater than the things that go on in the world. Today, I will choose to trust His protection and provision, as He is my help and my hope. Already, He has made a way for my day to be shortened with a two-hour delay, so rather than having to power through an entire day of not feeling well, it will be a short day, which is far more doable than daunting. As for the coming days, I need to turn in trust for each new day as it comes, and do that which I can do, remembering that my most important priority is and will always remain, to love well, as I am loved by Him. May we trust in the Lord to be our refuge and shield, and allow His word to be our source of hope when hope seems elusive.

 

My refuge and shield,Gods protection

My hope’s in Your word;

No matter what’s seen,

Or news that is heard.

God, You are greater,

Than chaos and greed;

Your heart’s always kind,

And You know our need.

Lord, be our refuge,

Our hope and our source;

Lead us and guide us,

Keep our hearts on course.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our refuge and shield of protection. Thank You that Your word is our source of hope. Thank You that no matter what we see or hear, You are greater, and You hold us in Your hands. Forgive us for our fearfulness when things veer off course. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would seek You for wisdom and grace, to know what we are meant to do while things are awry. Show us how to live and love according to Your will, so that many will come to know Your heart and the hope that is held in You. Be glorified O God, as we trust what You say, and place our hope in You. 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

The Safest Space

You are my hiding place. You will keep me out of trouble and envelop me with songs that remind me I am free. – (Psalm 32:7, VOICE)

You are my hiding place; You will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. – (Psalm 32:7, NIV)

For You are my hiding place; You protect me from trouble. You surround me with songs of victory. – (Psalm 32:7, NLT)

 

God is faithful, no matter what comes our way. We can always trust in Him to be our space of safety, and the One on whom we can depend. He is our strength, our protection and our peace. As we rest in Him, regardless of what surrounds us, He reminds us that the ultimate victory is His. In Him, we are free. Despite what we see, He is present and moving on our behalf if we call on His Name for help. The Lord will use even the most dire of circumstances for the ultimate good of those who love Him. It does not mean that He orchestrated nor set into motion the difficulties that we endure, yet He, in His loving kindness, will come beside us and supply what we need to navigate the hard, and then bring beauty from the ashes that once reigned. As we watch in wonder the new that He brings forth from what once was broken and laid bare, His sweet songs surround us, reminding us that in Him, there is hope, and the ultimate victory belongs to Him. May we run to Him who is our hiding place, and trust the Lord to be our protection from the perils along our path. Help our hearts to hear Your sweet songs of deliverance as You move on our behalf.

 

You’re my hiding place,Be strong and courageous

as troubles invade;

in Your sweet embrace,

I am not afraid.

For You are safety,

as storms try to rage;

my hope and comfort,

for all of my days.

Your songs of freedom,

surround and remind;

despite what is seen,

in You, hope we find.

Help my heart to hold,

to Your hiding place;

protect and keep me,

for now and always.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our hiding place no matter what comes our way. Thank You that You are our protection through the storms of life, and that You surround us with Your songs of hope that remind us of the ultimate victory found in You. Thank You that You bring beauty from ashes and hope from despair. Thank You that Your grace is sufficient, no matter what we face. Forgive us for our fearfulness in the midst of life’s trials. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would run to You as our hiding place, for in You, we find comfort and safety, despite what surrounds us. Show us how to love those around us in such a way, that we might convey the hope and safety that You alone supply. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we run to You as our hiding place and trust You to keep us from trouble and listen for Your songs that surround our hearts and minds. Amen.

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

I thank You and praise You, O God of my fathers; You have given me wisdom and power. – Daniel 2:23

Our Hope and Help

You are my hiding place and my shield of protection; I hope in Your word. – (Psalm 119:114, VOICE)

Hide me and protect me. I trust what You say. – (Psalm 119:114, ERV)

You are my refuge and my shield; Your word is my source of hope. – (Psalm 119:114, NLT)

 

Our hope and help when troubles and trials surround us, are found in Christ alone. He protects us and provides safety and comfort, despite how things seem. His word is the place that provides us reminder of the promises of His protection, granting us hope that we can hold firm. May we trust in the truth of His word, and rest in the shelter of His wings.

 

When the trials come,Gods protection

there‘s a hiding place;

where we’re protected,

and covered by grace.

When we seek the Lord,

and trust in His word;

He’s our protection,

the hope we have heard.

He will be our shield,

our true hiding place;

we are always safe,

in His kind embrace.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our refuge and shield, and that Your word is our source of hope. Thank You that when we seek You, we find You and You remain present and keep Your word. Thank You that You are loving and faithful forever. Forgive us for trying to navigate our trials on our own, rather than calling out to You and trusting the truth that You have promised. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would run to You and allow Your love to shield us through the storms. Show us how to love others so that they may see Your hope through the kindness we extend to them. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we run to You as our refuge and shield, as You are our Source of hope. 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

Our Shield Through the Storms

I love you, Lord; You are my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my Savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety. – (Psalm 18:1-2, NLT)

 

This was a Psalm of David’s as he was being pursued by Saul. Despite the seeming desperation of the situation, David knew that in God, He had strength, protection and safety – in spite of Saul’s best efforts. Most of us are not running for our lives, yet we are in desperate need of God. To navigate each new day in an unpredictable and at times, tumultuous world, His strength and safety are essential, if we are to remain rooted in Christ. He is our shield that protects us through the storms, the power that saves, our space of safety, and the very strength on which we can depend. May our hearts love as we are loved, as we trust in the Lord to be the strength that sustains us in every situation that comes our way. He is our shield, the power that saves us, and our place of safety forever.

 

How great is the Lord,

my strength and my rock;Faith for Forever

fortress and Savior,

my power to walk.

Protection in storms,

He is my great shield;

the power that saves,

to whom my heart yields.

He is my safety,

my true hiding place;

my hope forever,

the God of all grace.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our strength, our rock, and our fortress. Thank You that You are our Savior and our God. Thank You that You are our protection, our shield and the power that saves us. Thank You for being our place of safety. We love You Lord. Forgive us for not seeking You to be our strength and our protection in our times of need. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will not try to bear burdens that we were not meant to carry alone, and that we will find safety in You, despite what surrounds us. Show us how to love others in such a way, that our kindness points their hearts to Yours. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust You to be our rock and our fortress; the shield that protects us and saves us, no matter what stands before us. We love You Lord, our place of safety and our strength. Amen.

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

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

Steer Clear of Speculation’s Snare

And when the seven thunders spoke, I was about to write; but I heard a voice from heaven say, “Seal up what the seven thunders have said and do not write it down.” – (Revelation 10:4, NIV)

 

I was about to write what the thunders said when a voice from heaven called to me, “Don’t do it. Their words are not to be revealed.” – (Revelation 10:4, TLB)

 

This passage is the latter part of what God revealed to John in Revelation. As he was being shown what would come to pass at the end, John was told not to record what he had seen. Daniel too, had been told to withhold some of what he had been shown, when God had given him visions. (Daniel 12:9) We need not know the time nor day, but rather Him who will be our hiding place, on that great and terrible day. “God has revealed all we need to know to live for him now. In our desire to be ready for the end, we must not place more emphasis on speculation about the last days than on living for God while we wait.” – (NIV footnotes for Revelation 10:4)

 

No one knows the time,IMG_0193

the day, nor the hour;

when Christ shall return,

in His great power.

We’re not to worry,

so much about when;

instead, be prepared,

live life free from sin.

Invest well our days,

in things of the Lord;

pursue holiness,

embrace hope’s reward.

Seek first our Savior,

and all soon shall be;

standing before Him,

no more mystery.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that though we know not when You will return, we need not worry, if we are in relationship with You. Thank You that You are our safe space, and our shelter in the storms. Thank You that no matter what comes, our ultimate victory is assured in You. Forgive us for our fearfulness, as the unknown is a frightening space to speculate about. Teach us to trust You completely, and to rest assured in the security and safety of Your peace and presence right now. May we love others as we are loved my You, and may many come to know the safety and hope that is held in relationship with You alone. Be glorified as we go forth in Your grace, fixing our focus on You for today. 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

Better is One Day

Better is One DayFor greater a day,

spent in the Lord’s house;

than a multitude,

elsewhere to espouse.

To draw near the place,

where Holiness dwells;

bask in His great Light,

all fears to dispel.

He’s both sun and shield,

all honor He brings;

as heavenly hosts,

surround Him and sing.

His favor is found,

no good is withheld;

for those who do walk,

upright and upheld.

To all who choose trust,

His blessings unfold;

our promise secure,

His hand we now hold.

Unto us bestowed,

His grace undeserved;

mercy He pours out,

on hearts that have heard.

Heard not with our ears,

but held in our heart;

all hope and promise,

in granted fresh start.

(Responding to Psalm 84:10-12)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the promised hope that is held in every heart that trusts in You. Thank You for making the way for us to one day dwell in Your courts with You forever. Thank You that for now, You make our heart Your home, when we choose to invite You in. Thank You that no matter what comes our way here, it is but a moment when compared to our promised forever with You. Forgive us for losing sight of the hope we hold in You when the world wages war, and grant us Your eyes to see that we are indeed, not home yet. Teach us to rest in You, as You bring peace in the peak of the storm, and light our every darkness with Your lavish love. Show us how to trust You more, and help us to walk upright before You. May our hearts be filled with songs of praise, not for what surrounds us, but for the hope we hold in You. Let us love as You love, and may many come to know the warmth and hope that from You flow. Let hearts be opened and lives be changed. All glory and honor to You, God – our hiding place and holy hope. Amen.

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