Tangible Blessings

Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him. – (Psalm 34:8, NIV)

Give the Lord a chance to show you how good He is. Great blessings belong to those who depend on Him! – (Psalm 34:8, ERV)

Open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see – how good God is. Blessed are you who run to Him. – (Psalm 34:8, MSG)

 

This morning, as I slept in nearly three hours more than usual, I am acutely aware of God’s goodness. Hot coffee on my comfy couch, as I soak in His presence and dive into His word. Seeing daylight flood the room, rather than needing to illuminate the typical darkness of the early hours, I give thanks for the blessings in my life. Part of me was wishing that I too, like many of my friends and colleagues, was off for an escape to a warm location for the week. However, the more I thought about it, the more I can see that this week is an opportunity to get some things completed, and to rest and enjoy my family. Time to both connect and explore, and to retreat and rest, at home without an agenda. Each new day is a gift, and the surroundings in our area are clear evidence of God’s incredible goodness and grace. May we ever give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, as we taste and see the abundance of His blessings when we depend on Him each day.

 

Choose to make the time, img_2019-04-08_07-26-547644472782879619826.jpg

To look ‘round and see;

All of God’s goodness,

His blessings, indeed.

Graced with His presence,

Fresh start each new day;

Strength to choose follow,

To walk in His way.

Rest when we’re weary,

As God we pursue;

Goodness surrounding,

As He makes all new.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we need only open our eyes, to see the blessings all around us. Thank You for Your goodness and grace that provides rest and strength and hope. Forgive us for not slowing down to appreciate all that You have done, are doing, and will continue to do in our lives. Thank You that You are God and we are not. Teach us to bring all before You, and to rest in Your lavish love. Show us how to love those around us, so that they too, might taste and see how very good You are. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we give You praise for all of our days, for the beautiful blessings to behold in You. Amen.

 

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

 

Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure. – Psalm 16:9

Ever Seeking Peace

Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it. – (1 Peter 3:11, NLT)

Stop doing what is wrong, and do good. Look for peace, and do all you can to help people live peacefully. – (1 Peter 3:11, ERV)

Say nothing evil or hurtful; snub evil and cultivate good; run after peace for all you’re worth. – (1 Peter 3:11, MSG)

 

We are called to walk away from doing wrong, and to turn to God and do the good for which we have been designed. At times this requires a searching for peace within ourselves, in order to love and live well. When we find the peace of God and do what we can to share His peace with those around us, God is glorified and the peace that surpasses all understanding, is made evident. May we turn away from evil and do good, ever seeking the peace that the Lord provides.

 

Retreat from evil, Filled Each Morning

Choose turn to do good;

As God intended,

Let’s walk as we should.

Ever seeking peace,

So that we in turn;

Share peace with others,

For His peace is learned.

It comes from within,

Despite circumstance;

For God is greater,

And peace is His plan.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we turn and walk away from the things that we know we ought to avoid, we discover the good that You intended all along. Thank You that as we pursue You, Your peace is present, no matter what surrounds us. Thank You that as we know Your peace, we are able to share it with those around us. Forgive us for not listening to Your leading to guide us away from that which we ought not be near, and toward the good to which You are calling. Teach us to hear Your voice and obey all that You ask, so that we do the good to which we are called, and live in Your peace that surpasses all understanding. Show us love those around us in a way that promotes Your peace through the good we choose. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we turn away from the that which steals our peace, and turn toward You and do good, ever running after the perfect peace that You provide. Amen.

 

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

 

The Lord gives strength to His people; the Lord blesses His people with peace. – Psalm 29:11

 

 

Trust and Pray

In You, Lord my God, I put my trust. – (Psalm 25:1, NIV)

To You, O Lord, I pray. – (Psalm 25:1, TLB)

Always I will lift up my soul to You, Eternal One. – (Psalm 25:1, VOICE)

 

Yesterday evening, after we had finished dinner, I began chatting with my son about the details for his homecoming dance that I thought was nearly two weeks away. As we began speaking about specifics, it came to light that the dance is actually taking place this Saturday evening. Normally, that would be no problem, but this weekend I have long since planned to be at the women’s retreat with my church. What is a mom to do when her child is going to his first dance with a date, and is scheduled to be away for the weekend?! The first prayer that flooded my heart was, “Please let him have the date wrong!” Once it was confirmed that the dance was indeed this weekend, I simply and silently called out for help. My sweet husband was nearby and was witness to this new information. As soon as the actual date was discovered, he cancelled his plans for Saturday to help facilitate preparation and transportation for my boy and his date. Though I am not yet certain how every detail will be orchestrated, I am confident that God will make a way. My retreat is in a town that is only 45 minutes away, and we have a sizeable break on Saturday afternoon. It is possible for me to drive home to help him prepare and take photos at the beginning of the evening, prior to returning to my retreat. God is good, and I trust Him to provide a way for this to work for all of us. Perhaps seemingly small, but to my son who adores this sweet young lady, and to this momma who loves her son with her whole heart, the care and provision granted matter more than mere words can express. It is a reminder that He cares about us; about what matters to our heart. God hears each prayer, even those whispered in frustration. May we ever present our prayers and petitions to our Provider, and give Him all glory for His goodness.

 

Let us choose lift up,

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Photo by Dee Jones of Open Door Photography ❤

All things as we pray;

For God always hears,

In love, makes a way.

He grants us His grace,

When we need find rest;

Provides solutions,

For His heart knows best.

The things still unseen,

He already knows;

As we pray, we’ll find,

A way He will show.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are good and that You hear our every prayer. Thank You that we can come to You for all things, no matter how great or small. Forgive us for thinking that the small things are ones that we can “handle” on our own, rather than relying on Your wisdom and grace to lead us and guide us through. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would bring all things before You in prayer, knowing that You can make a way where there seems to be no way. Show us how to love those around us in ways that provide help and hope that make Your love and faithfulness tangible. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we pray to You and place our trust in You. Amen.

 

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

But God has surely listened and has heard my prayer. – Psalm 66:19

 

 

 

 

 

The More We’re Created For

May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us – yes, establish the work of our hands. – (Psalm 90:17, NIV)

And let the Lord our God favor us and give us success. May He give us permanence to all we do. – (Psalm 90:17, TLB)

Oh Lord our God, let Your sweet beauty rest upon us and give us favor. Come work with us, and then our works will endure, and give us success in all we do. – (Psalm 90:17, TPT)

 

Though the school year just ended, teacher brains never fully unplug nor shut off to bettering their craft. Yes, the summer is a season for us to rest, retreat and recharge, but it is also a time to prepare for the work we will begin again as the new year arrives far more quickly than one might think. This verse is one of hope and my prayer, as teachers teach not to cram facts and figures into the minds of young people, but rather with the hope of helping each child discover the “more” that they were created for.  The success and permanence in this difficult work is found in watching children blossom into adulthood with the confidence and tools to take them wherever they want to go. May the favor of the Lord rest upon us all and establish the work of our hands.

 

May the Lord’s favor, The More We Are Created For

Come rest upon us;

In all that we do,

To know His success.

In God, establish,

The work of our hands;

May we move forward,

And follow His plans.

Things done in God’s strength,

As He guides our way;

Have lasting impact,

Beyond just today.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You grant us Your favor and establish the work of our hands as we seek You. Forgive us for attempting to navigate on our own, rather than trusting You to lead us and guide us to make a difference in all that we do. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would recognize and know Your nearness and favor upon us and follow wherever You lead. Show us how to love those around us in a tangible way that aids in the success of all that they are drawn to do. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we praise You for Your favor and trust You to establish the work of our hands. Amen.

 

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

 

Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad. – 1 Chronicles 16:31

In Sweet Certainty

My heart is confident in You, O God; no wonder I can sing Your praises with all my heart! – (Psalm 108:1, NLT)

God, I am ready, heart and soul, to sing songs of praise. Wake up, my soul! – (Psalm 108:1, ERV)

My heart, O God, is quiet and confident, all because of You. Now I can sing my song with passionate praises! – (Psalm 108:1, TPT)

 

Praise is the outpouring of gratitude that comes from knowing in our hearts and minds, the Source of our help and hope. The more I know God, the more confident I am in His presence and the hope that I hold in Him. It is from a space of knowing His nearness, that I find my soul full of both peace and praise. May we rest in quiet confidence in the One who holds us in the palm of His hands, and sing praise with grateful hearts for the goodness found in Him.

 

In sweet certainty, Be Full of Joy

My heart and my soul;

Lift praises to You,

Your love makes us whole.

With all of my heart,

I can’t help but sing;

So much gratitude,

For blessings You bring.

You’re my strength and help,

When life seems too tough;

Your love and Your grace,

Are always enough.

In quiet retreat,

I’ll lift praise-filled song;

To offer my thanks,

To Whom I belong.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we can be confident in You, as You are our strength, our help and our hope. Thank You that because of this, our souls cannot help but sing praise unto You. Forgive us for the times that we have overlooked the goodness in our lives that You have given and focused on the struggles. Teach us to offer praise for who You are and how You love, regardless of our circumstances. Show us how to love those around us in a way that helps them recognize their reasons to sing. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we become confident in who You are and how You love and offer our whole-hearted praises unto You. Amen.

 

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

 

But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ. – Ephesians 2:4-5

As Iron Sharpens Iron

As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. – (Proverbs 27:17, NLT)

In the same way that iron sharpens iron, a person sharpens the character of his friend. – (Proverbs 27:17, VOICE)

 

I love the imagery of this verse. Being such a visual learner, this paints a clear picture for me, the need and purpose in having close and trusted friends in our lives. In order for iron to sharpen iron, it has to be in close proximity. The same is true with friends. We cannot know one another’s struggles, needs nor triumphs, if we are not near. Second, there is a rubbing or a sort of friction that must occur for the places that have become dull to grow sharp again. It is not so different with people. We have to be willing to allow one another access to the spots in our hearts, minds and lives that have grown dull, so that they may challenge us to move forward or retreat in the spaces that will help bring clarity and sharpness so that we can be all that we have been created to be. We need people to walk beside us who are willing to challenge, encourage, and remain near. May we each be iron that sharpens those around us, and willing to allow others access to do the same for us.

 

That which can sharpen,MSH35

Iron is itself;

The same element,

Is what sharpens well.

It’s in the same way,

That people stay true;

One to another,

Side by side made new.

For our character,

Can best be refined;

By those allowed near,

And with truth aligned.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of friendships. Thank You that You use our trusted friendships to sharpen one another to more clearly reflect Your character and heart within us. Forgive us for not allowing others near when we need it most, and teach us to trust You more, as You place people in our lives with purpose. Show us whom we are to trust and allow near, and help us to encourage and sharpen those around us in love. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we sharpen one another to more clearly reflect Your heart to those around us. Amen.

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

Father, I thank You that You have heard me. – John 11:41

Be Glad In It

Saturdays are typically my go and get things done day. Yesterday, the intention was very much the norm, though I woke feeling a bit off. I was dizzy and a little nauseous, but figured it would pass if I powered through. Devotions were done, boys were up and out the door for their all-day retreat with youth group, and I went on my way to workout. What I normally blast through, was quite a struggle. My stomach was stirring maliciously, and I had to breathe through each movement. Finally, during the last five minutes or so of the workout, I had to tap out. I simply sat down and waited for it to finish. Stopping is not my M.O., but wisdom told me it was stop or create a scene with how my body responds.

When I arrived home, I crawled straight into bed. All I could do was toss and turn as my body fought the fever. Food and drink did not feel like quality options, so attempted sleep was it – all day long. No errands run, no outing fun – just rest. The fever must have broken late last night, as I don’t remember waking again until this morning.

Today is a brand new day. The sun is shining, the house is quiet, and my stomach seems satisfied with some Gatorade and gluten free pretzels. Though I will likely take another day to rest (and keep my germs to myself) I am so grateful for the difference that a day can make.

 

This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it. – (Psalm 118:24, NLT)

 

My rejoicing yesterday, despite how I was feeling, was the blessing that my mom was in town. She stayed at my house all day, to be available if I needed anything. Her trip to the store yesterday provided that which is palatable for me today.

Each new day is a gift, despite the challenges presented. He grants us what we need to sustain us and see us through, therefore we have reason to rejoice and be glad in the blessings of today.

 

Today is the day,photo (7)

Designed just for you;

He brought you to it,

So He’ll see you through.

Let us choose be glad,

In all things rejoice;

Thanks to our Savior,

We’ve always the choice.

No matter what comes,

Hope will not delay;

With God and His grace,

There’s always a way.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that each new day is a gift from You, no matter what comes our way. Thank You that You can use even our sickness or discomfort, to show us more of Your love and provision. Forgive us for our lack of gratitude when things don’t seem to go our way. Teach us to trust You more, so that we might recognize that You can take every trial and odd turn and use it for Your glory. Show us how to love others with Your goodness and grace. May many choose to seek Your face. Be glorified O God, as we rejoice and are glad in each new day that You grant us. 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

 

 

 

Let Our Hearts Sing Thanks

Let us come to Him with thanksgiving. Let us sing psalms of praise to Him. – (Psalm 95:2, NLT)

May we come before the Lord and give Him thanks. Let us sing and praise Him with the gratitude that rises in our hearts when we consider who He is, and all that He has done. Even when our present day is not our banner day, there is always reason to praise.

Yesterday did not end up as I would have hoped nor imagined. I spent much of the day and night seeking medical attention for one of my tender-hearted teens. They had been away on retreat with their youth group for the weekend, and upon returning, Adventurous was struggling with his asthma. Knowing the previous patterns that this sort of incident had taken in the past, a trip to Urgent Care up front, would likely prevent a trip to the ER later. We went to an Urgent Care that was new to us, and were seen right away. The entire staff was helpful and kind, and we were in and out in a bit over an hour. There was reason for our hearts to give praise as we parted, for the x-rays showed that his lungs were clear, indicating no sign of pneumonia or the like. He did, however, have an ear infection. Upon returning home, Adventurous laid down and took a nap for several hours. As he slept, I would do periodic check-ins to listen to his breathing. Unfortunately, that was growing steadily worse. After having prepared dinner for he and his brother, and having no success in waking him to come and eat, I realized that what I had hoped to avoid was going to need to happen.

I roused the sleeping cherub, and we were off for the ER. Due to the nature of our visit, we were taken back fairly quickly, as breathing is rather important. On our way back to a room, all I could do is give God thanks, as we passed by several very sick kiddos. Though Adventurous was struggling, the process of restoration was fairly routine. There was some waiting, and my sweet boy did not respond to the medication as quickly as he usually does, but he did respond, and we avoided being admitted. Three and a half hours after arrival, we were on our way home.

Let our hearts sing psalms,Let Our Hearts Sing Thanks

with all thanks and praise;

to our mighty God,

may our voices raise.

Despite our trials,

there’s reason to give;

thanks to the Father,

who loves and lets live.

We thank You, Lord God,

for love, life and breath;

for grace, forgiveness,

Your conquering death.

Let us not forget,

the wonder of You;

as we sing all praise,

and speak of Your truth.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we can come to You with thanksgiving and sing psalms of praise to You. Thank You that You are our reason to give thanks and praise. Forgive us for not recognizing our reason to give thanks in all things is You, regardless of what goes on around us. Teach us to trust You more, so that we can see clearly with our heart, what our eyes cannot perceive. Lead us to love others with Your love and grace, so that they too may long to seek Your face. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we come before You with thanksgiving, and sing psalms of praise unto You. 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

The Reality of Rest

Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from Him. – (Psalm 62:1)

Rest is a remarkable thing.  Our soul craves it, yet rest does not always come from idleness; sometimes it comes from contact with others – from being surrounded by others who are like-minded in their pursuit of God.  This weekend has been all about connecting with other women, sisters, from my church, as we are on retreat.  Though I have not physically rested much, nor slept anymore than usual, my soul feels rested and new life is being birthed within me again.  Places that were weary and worn, are being restored, as God has used others to speak His truth into my life.  Likewise, He is further equipping and preparing each of us, to go out and do the same for others.  May we each find rest for our soul through our precious Savior, as our salvation comes from Him alone.

Find rest, O my soul,Hearts of Thanks

in the Lord alone;

for there is none like,

Him who makes heart home.

Our sweet salvation,

is promised in Him;

if our heart’s open,

inviting Him in.

For our weary souls,

there is rest to find;

as sisters gather,

with purpose in mind.

With hearts for the Lord,

and for each other;

refreshment is found,

thanks to our Father.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that our souls find rest in You.  Thank You that You made the way for salvation for all who place their trust in You.  Thank You that when we are weary and in need of rest, You alone, know what that rest should look like for us, individually.  Thank You for the sweet blessing of community in the body of Christ.  Thank You that You have created us for relationships.  Forgive us for the times that we are weary and we isolate ourselves, rather than seeking You and one another.  Teach us to trust You more, as You alone are the One who brings refreshment to the weariest of souls.  Lead us to love and refresh those around us, so that they too, may come to know the salvation that is found in You alone.  May many choose to give their lives to You.  Be glorified O God, as we find rest in You, our Savior and King.  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

Seek to Find Rest in Him

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him. – (Psalm 62:5)

Rest is a rare commodity during the school year. It seems as though each day is thoroughly scheduled, leaving little time for rest. I rise early, to be intentional to protect my precious time with God, and I attempt to go to bed at a reasonable time each night, so as to not push myself to the point of exhaustion too soon. Typically, there are wonderful windows of rest that appear, unannounced, and I try to enjoy each one as it comes. The only challenge with this constant motion, is that if I get sick, it becomes a bit of a push to keep pressing forward. Everything in me wants to stop and sleep, but life dictates that I continue to do that which I am called to do.

God is remarkable at providing the rest that we need, just when we need it the most. This past week, I have been fighting some sort of cold or sinus yuck. I have not given in to the temptation to simply stop everything and sleep, and here it is Friday and I have a scheduled in-service day with no workshop to attend, and a women’s retreat that begins this evening. My body and soul will both be refueled, as my hope is firmly held in Him. Though it is likely to be a busy weekend, there are long gaps between sessions, where I could actually nap if necessary. (Anyone who knows me well, is likely laughing out loud at that thought!) I know that the sort of rest that I will find in Him in a space of actively seeking, will be far greater and more beneficial, than anything that a mere nap could ever provide. May we place our hope in God alone, as He is where we find rest when we grow weary.

To enter His rest,His Perfect Plan

our souls need to seek;

our great God alone,

space of calm retreat.

For He is our hope,

what the weary need;

He comes where we are,

and in love, He’ll lead.

Lead us to stillness,

where we will find rest;

and show us again,

how You love us best.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we can find rest in You alone. Thank You that our hope comes from You. Thank You that when we seek You, we find You. Thank You that You lovingly lead us to places of rest when we are weighed down by weariness. Forgive us for attempting to press on and press through, rather than seeking You for the rest that our soul so desperately needs. Teach us how to trust You more, so that we will seek You and listen to Your leading, to find the places of rest that You are providing. Show us how to love others in such a way, that they too, might come to know the hope that is found in the amazing gift of grace that You give. May many choose to live for You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You to find rest, and place all our hope in You. Amen.

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

Your righteousness reaches to the skies, O God, You who have done great things.  Who, O God, is like you? – Psalm 71:19