Make It So

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” – (Matthew 19:26, NIV)

Jesus looked at them and said, “This is something that people cannot do. But God can do anything.” – (Matthew 19:26, ERV) 

Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, no one. But with God, everything is possible.” – (Matthew 19:26, TLB)

 

Typically, I am a faith-filled realist, that sees the hope. I look at what is, but trust in what shall be. This week, my world has been shaken like never before. Yes, I know that God is good and that He has us, but if I can be real and raw with you – this sucks! My mom is the matriarch of our family, a rock, a love, willing to go anywhere, do anything, and friend and confidant to all whom she meets. To know her is to love her. For my sister and I, we have had to battle frustration and anger, as people love her and want to waltz into the hospital to see her, as if they have known her forever. Sadly, if we don’t know them and mom is uncertain of who they are based on their name, it adds too much frustration for her, and our protective instincts want to build a fortress around her to keep everyone she has not called by name, out, until she is ready to receive guests. I know it is not her nature to have a closed door. One of her greatest gifts is hospitality. That being said, it is hard to be hospitable in the hospital… For now, we are limiting visits to immediate family and those whom we consider “framily” (such long-standing friends that they have become family). Please, those who love mom, be patient, we so appreciate your love and support, and covet your prayers the most right now.

On to the update many have been waiting to hear. First, we are witnessing miracles; daily. Yesterday, mom moved her right arm! Granted, it was slight and not likely a conscious decision, but her arm moved on more than one occasion, which means that the connections are firing. This is very, very good! Additionally, her speech and word recall are continuing to improve. There is marked improvement from morning to afternoon, and one day to the next. The more relaxed she is, the easier words come. The second miracle is that she has been accepted into the best acute care facility in Washington State. We are not yet certain of the when (though we anticipate the end of the week or the weekend), but we are so grateful to know the where. It is in close proximity to me, so I will be spending much time with mom in the coming months on her road to recovery. Once released, the plan is to have her transition to my sister’s house, as it is already able to accommodate potential needs on a single level.

God is good and He makes what is impossible for us, possible. Please continue to contend with us for our mom, as God is far greater than a stroke.

 

Impossible blows,

05011905404454717768608711386.jpg

A celebration in the park after Mom’s first tennis tournament win with her parents ❤

The dashing of dreams;

How do we press on,

What does it all mean?

Questions aren’t too big,

Our God doesn’t mind;

His grace is greater,

For love’s what we find.

Plenty provided,

All that we shall need;

His arms surrounding,

As we let Him lead.

Thank You, Lord Jesus,

That You are enough;

For in our own strength,

We are not that tough.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your kindness and provision in this dark and scary space. Thank You for surrounding us with loving and knowledgeable people who help point us in the direction You are leading, and for opening the doors You intend. Prepare the way, even now, for where mom is going next. Prepare the hearts of every staff member, doctor, nurse, specialist, volunteer, friend and family member who comes near, so that we will best know how to encourage and build her up. May her positivity, and ours, be a witness to those who do not know You yet, pointing them to a lasting relationship with You. Keep discouragement and depression far from her. Bring full healing and restoration, we pray. Forgive us for our impatience. Please God, give us our strong, vibrant, active mom back to us, fully restored as she so desperately wants to be. Amen.

 

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

 

Summon Your power, God; show us Your strength, our God, as You have done before. – Psalm 68:28

 

 

Trusted Thoughts and Worthwhile Words

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to You, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. – (Psalm 19:14, NLT)

May my words and thoughts please You. Lord, You are my Rock – the One who rescues me. – (Psalm 19:14, ERV)

May the words that come out of my mouth and the musings of my heart meet with Your approval, O Eternal, my Rock, O Eternal, my Redeemer. – (Psalm 19:14, VOICE)

 

The art of self-editing is something that I share with my students, often. Just because we have a thought on a matter, does not necessarily mean that we need or ought to give it a voice. This verse takes it a step further, and reminds us that it is more than our words that need to be reined in, but our very thoughts as well. If I want my thoughts and words to be pleasing to God, I need to view the world through His lens of love. Such perspective is only possible if I am in tune with the heart of the Father. The way to know His heart and see His perspective is found through time invested with Him. In the same way that we begin to take on a likeness to those whom we spend the majority of our time, likewise is true when we are intentional with prioritizing time with God. May we invest our heart and mind in purposeful time pursuing God and His heart for people, so that the words that we speak and the thoughts that we think are pleasing unto our Provider.

 

O Lord, may my life, Trusted Thoughts and Worthwhile Words

Be lived unto You;

Each word and each thought,

All things that I do.

Teach my heart to choose,

To see through Your lens;

So my words and thoughts,

Give grace as to friends.

Let all that I think,

And each word I say;

Be pleasing to You,

Throughout all my days.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You do not call us to anything that You are not also willing to equip us to carry out. Thank You that though impossible on our own, with You, our every word and thought can be captured by Your love. Forgive us for the words and thoughts that we have entertained that were not in line with Your heart. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would commit our thoughts to You, and speak words that offer light and life and love. Show us how to love those around us with both thoughts and our words. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we choose to be intentional in our time with You, allowing Your heart to shape our thoughts and words so that we may clearly reflect Your love to the world. Amen.

 

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

Then the Lord reached out His hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “I have put My words into your mouth.” – Jeremiah 1:9

A Choice of Will

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. – (Colossians 3:13, NIV)

Don’t be angry with each other, but forgive each other. If you feel someone has wronged you, forgive them. Forgive others because the Lord forgave you. – (Colossians 3:13, ERV)

Be gentle and ready to forgive; never hold grudges. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. – (Colossians 3:13, TLB)

Fault-finding, blame, grudges and the like, do nothing but keep heaviness in the heart of the holder. Though there are some situations where wisdom will lead us to walk away, it does not mean that we are to hold unforgiveness in our heart. Forgiveness looks different in every situation, but the one thing that is constant is that it is a choice of will, and a decision that has to be made over and over again. There are days that forgiveness comes easily, and we find ourselves in a good space, recognizing that because we have been forgiven much, we too, can forgive much. However, there are times when whispers of previous offenses rise up, and so too does the anger. It is in these moments that we have to choose again to forgive. May we fix our eyes on the Lord who has forgiven us for all that we have done, so that we may go forth and forgive in the same way.

We’ve been forgiven,

The Unforgiving Debtor

For everything;

All our transgressions,

And harm that we bring.

Because of this love,

We’re called to the same;

To forgive others,

Let go, remove blame.

Often the process,

Of choosing release;

Hurt brought by others,

As God’s grace increased.

May we choose to rise,

Forgive in His Name;

Love as we are loved,

Let grace be our aim.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You call us to forgive as we have been forgiven by You. Thank You that as we choose again and again to forgive, You refine and change our hearts to be more like Yours. Forgive us for the times that we have held onto hurts or allowed old injury to rise up and renew our anger toward another when we have chosen to forgive. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would seek Your strength to forgive again and again, each time a hurt or offense comes our way. Show us how to love and forgive others, just as You love and forgive each of us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we turn to You to be our strength and our example for forgiveness so that we may go forth and do the same. Amen.

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

Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends. – Proverbs 17:9

Making Markers to Remember

“We will use these stones to build a memorial. In the future your children will as you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ Then you can tell them, ‘They remind us that the Jordan River stopped flowing when the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant went across.’ These stones will stand as a memorial among the people of Israel forever.” – (Joshua 4:6-7, NLT)

…Someday when your children ask you, “Why are these stones piled up here?” You will tell them how the waters of the Jordan parted as the covenant chest of the Eternal One crossed the river, and those stones will fix that memory for the Israelites forever. – (Joshua 4:6-7, VOICE)

 

I love how often in the Old Testament that there are significant stories of God’s faithfulness where the people of God marked their story with stones of remembrance so that the memory of all that God had done will live on for the generations yet to come. I’m not sure when or where that practice was lost, but it makes me take pause to consider yet again, all of the times in my life where I could pile stones of remembrance of God’s faithfulness. The incredible thing about God is that He cares about the small things as well as the giants that cross our paths. One example of His provision and faithfulness for me came yesterday, as I have been dealing with a dead Keurig for the last two weeks. Yes, I know it is a luxury item and I have been abundantly blessed to have one, yet as a very early riser who starts the day with coffee, it has been sadly missed as I’ve had to brew coffee in a make-shift, rustic way. Yesterday, my love spent two hours disassembling the machine to replace the part that seemed to have gone bad. The inner workings of the machine are tiny and difficult to access, yet my Viking mechanic persisted. Once he replaced the part and turned the machine on, it came to life, only to refuse to work the way it was intended. The life of my coffee maker had expired. I had posted my appreciation for his hard work on Facebook, and he later commented about its demise. A sweet friend that I have not seen in quite a while, offered to give me her machine, as she has given up coffee and no longer uses hers. Just like that, something that is not even a need, but rather a want that is appreciated, was provided. Perhaps I need to form a stack of memorial “stones” from k-cups, to remind myself of His goodness and faithfulness, and to share with others, His kindness to me. We all have stories, both big and small, of the wonderful ways that God has provided in our lives. May we ever remember the things that He has done, and consider the stones of remembrance He is building in our lives.

 

Let us make markers, Making Markers to Remember

Of God’s faithfulness;

Ways to remember,

How we have been blessed.

For as we recall,

The good God has done;

Faith grows in others,

Our daughters and sons.

May we each take time,

To tell of His good;

How He’s provided,

Beside us, He stood.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are faithful forever. Thank You that You care about even the small details in our lives because You love us where we are. Thank You for the example that was set long ago, as Your people placed stones of remembrance to commemorate Your faithfulness to them. Forgive us for not acknowledging the ways that You meet us and bless us – both big and small, for Your hand is in it all. Teach us to remember and give You praise for all things. Show us how to set stones of remembrance in our hearts so that we would always have words of gratitude to give. Help us to love those around us in a way that creates reason to remember in their lives as well. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we remember Your faithfulness and tell others of the great things that You have done. Amen.

 

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

 

They will celebrate Your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of Your righteousness. – Psalm 145:7

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

His Love Doesn’t Hurt

Love does no wrong to others, so love fulfills the requirements of God’s law. – (Romans 13:10, NLT)

Does love hurt anyone? Absolutely not. In fact, love achieves everything the law requires. – (Romans 13:10, VOICE)

 

Our goal ought to be to mirror God’s love to all. In our broken humanity, we fall short – daily. When we are wronged, often our gut instinct is to lash out and respond in the same way; yet love, is to choose to extend kindness to those who deserve it least. Love offers grace to the guilty and mercy to the mean. To love is to contradict the way the world says we ought to respond to anything that comes against us. The more we choose to love, the more natural it becomes. It does not always mean it is easy, but there are never regrets when a loving response is extended, rather than lashing out or firing back – as such things cannot be erased. Sometimes love is extended simply by not responding and exercising self-control, when everything within us desires to meet fire with fire. As we love, God uses our obedience to break down barriers in others, and can do amazing things in hearts and lives. It is no wonder that God calls us to love above all else, for all things flow through His filter of love. May we choose to go forth and love others as we are loved by God.

 

Love will not choose harm,Purposeful Prayer

despite what it gets;

for love is from God,

it never regrets.

Love fulfills the law,

for God’s love is good;

it mends the broken,

makes grace understood.

Love heals the hurting,

it turns away wrath;

love makes clear the way,

to travel God’s path.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that love does not do wrong to others, but rather it fulfills all that You require of us. Thank You that the love You speak of is Yours, not that which we distort and confuse and fracture. Thank You that You have shown us the perfect example of love through the gift of Your Son, Jesus. Forgive us for not loving as we are called to love. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would respond in kindness, grace or in silence – according to Your will, rather than our own when we are wronged. Show us how to love others as You love us, so that people may come to know the kindness and grace that comes from You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we love as You love us. Amen.

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

For the Lord your God will bless you, …and your joy will be complete. – Deuteronomy 16:15

Good and Just, We Can Trust

Everything He does is good and fair. All His commands can be trusted. – (Psalm 111:7, ERV)

Though we often do not understand the direction that the Lord leads us, His purposes are good and His ways can be trusted. What may seem to be terrible turmoil, often turns out to be a space of refining, where wrong thinking is removed and our hearts are made right before Him. In our space of uncertainty, we learn that in Him, we can truly trust. His ways are good and just, and He is for us, despite how things appear. May we recognize the truth that the Lord is good and fair in all of His ways, and the His commands can be trusted, no matter how things around us appear.

Our hope is not held,

image from quotespictures.com

image from quotespictures.com

in that which is seen;

but rather in Christ,

and what that shall mean.

For the Lord is good,

and His ways are just;

His commands are truth,

we can always trust.

He will only lead,

where He will go too;

His presence remains,

to help get us through.

Sometimes things are tough,

and we wonder why;

we must trust and know,

on Whom we rely.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are good and fair, and that all Your commands can be trusted. Thank You that You are for us and not against us, no matter how things appear. Thank You that even when things seem upside down and sideways, You are present, and often are using our circumstances to refine us and teach us to trust You more. Forgive us for fleeing difficultly, or loathing that which is a struggle. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would embrace our obstacles, knowing that You are beside us, and will see us through – granting us all that is needed to overcome. Lead us to love others in such a way, that they might see You in us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we recognize that You are good and fair in all of Your ways, and that Your commands can be trusted, always. Amen.

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

Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him. – Psalm 34:8