Be Devoted in Love

Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. – (Romans 12:10, NIV)

Love each other in a way that makes you feel close like brothers and sisters. And give each other more honor than you give yourself. – (Romans 12:10, ERV)

Live in true devotion to one another, loving each other as sisters and brothers. Be first to honor others by putting them first. – (Romans 12:10, VOICE)

Be devoted to tenderly loving your fellow believers as members of one family. Try to outdo yourselves in respect and honor of one another. – (Romans 12:10, TPT)

 

This is a timely reminder this morning, as last night, I hit a breaking point. I was frustrated with my sixth-grade students’ seeming lack of buy-in or concern about what we needed to review while I was present in the classroom, there was some sort of flying ant infestation in the backroom off of my classroom, leaving me with stragglers randomly buzzing about the room and landing wherever they chose, my scheduled run – cancelled, a stack of tests that I worked on tirelessly, yet felt as if I barely made a dent in, and then, after I had thrown in the towel and gone to bed, received a phone call from the hospital where mom is, asking if so-and-so could go in and visit mom at 8:30 pm. I nearly snapped. Mom is exhausted by 5:00 pm, and is in bed, ready to sleep, long before 8:30. Though I imagine the individual had the very best of intentions, we have requested NO VISITORS, except our immediate family and the very few friends who already know who they are (whom my sister and I know VERY well). It simply would cause a setback rather than be beneficial, as she must get her rest. I promise we will let everyone know WHEN she is ready and available for visitors. That being said, there were many wonderful things that took place yesterday to report. My art classes were terrific, I had a great time running a few errands with one of my boys, we were able to sit down together as a family for dinner, and I was on the phone with my sister and mom when mom spontaneously decided to lift her right leg in the air and then bend her knee. Megan asked her to repeat it, and she did! This means that her quad is now cooperating as well, and she is that much closer to having regained control in her right leg of the muscles required to walk again!

Our fierce protection of mom’s rest and space is out of devotion and love. She wants to be restored, and restoration comes through both hard work and rest. We are learning that we are willing to do whatever we are able to do, to give mom every opportunity to heal. Each leap of faith that we have taken, God has met us and held us up in His hands. As we continue to press forward toward moving mom home next week, the rigor of her therapies continues to increase, in order to best prepare for all that lies ahead. Once home, the therapy sessions will come to mom, rather than her to them. Her days will likely be just as rigorous; yet, the switch to the comfort and familiarity of her own home ought to provide more automatic responses and far more room to rest.

Please join us in praying for continued miracles in her healing, preparation of her home and heart for transition, and for all that is needed – body, heart, mind and soul, to thrive in her own space. May we ever depend on the Lord to help us be devoted to one another in love; honoring others above ourselves.

 

Ever devoted,

img_2019-05-24_04-42-326003441757431962292.jpg

The three of us a few years ago. ❤

A way to choose love;

Close familial bond,

Place others above.

Look past our own wants,

To what others need;

Choose give out of love,

As the Lord does lead.

For He loves us all,

Grace like no other;

Tenderly we’re loved,

Mercy discovered.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You show us what it is to be devoted to one another in love. For You loved so much that You sent Your one and only Son. Forgive us for the times that we worry only about ourselves, rather than those around us. Teach us to see others through Your eyes, so that we may have a proper perspective to love according to Your will. Show us how to be devoted in love, and to prefer others in a way that honors You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we serve and honor You by loving those around us in a way that honors them and considers their needs. Amen.

 

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

 

Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God. – Romans 4:20

Look For in Faith

Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always. – (1 Chronicles 16:11, NIV

Depend on the Lord for strength. Always go to Him for help. – (1 Chronicles 16:11, ERV)

Search for the Lord and for His strength; continually seek Him. – (1 Chronicles 16:11, NLT)

 

The stretch between Christmas break and Spring break always seem extraordinarily long. Despite the disruption to our schedule with a handful of snow days, this portion of the school year still feels like a marathon. Between the ridiculously full moon and the unseasonably warm weather, the energy and struggle to focus feel like an epidemic in the classroom. Student frustration is increasing, as the rigor and demand of the work is becoming more challenging than before. This is the space where I am ever aware of the limitations of my own strength, and recognize the need for the Lord’s. I appreciate the various translations of this verse, as they remind me that I need to look for and depend on the Lord for His strength, and ever seek His face. He provides what I am lacking, as I place my trust in Him. May we ever look to the Lord and depend on Him, as He is our source of strength as we seek Him.

 

Let’s look to the Lord, Bold Grace

And choose seek His face;

Depend on His strength,

Granted by His grace.

Ever keep searching,

In spaces of need;

Go to God for help,

Allow Him take lead.

God in His leading,

All strength He supplies;

To keep pressing on,

Our Source realized.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your faithfulness to meet us as we seek You. Thank You that You supply the strength we lack to press forward in all that we are called to do. Forgive us for not searching for You in the struggle. Teach us to turn to You in all things and at all times. Show us how to love those around us in a way that extends Your help, compassion and strength where it is lacking. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You and depend on You to be our strength; always. Amen.

 

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

 

The Lord gives His people strength. The Lord blesses them with peace. – Psalm 29:11

Praying on Purpose

It is easy to get caught up in the rigor of daily life, and forget just how critical it is to lift up one another in prayer. When we cover each other, there is power released through our prayers. Protection, courage, passion and perseverance all come by His grace when choose to be intentional in our prayers.

 

So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of His call. May He give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do. – (2 Thessalonians 1:11, NLT)

 

That is the very sort of covering that I desire, so that I might live my life worthy of His call. I am well aware that on my own, I cannot accomplish that which I am prompted to do. However, by His strength, I can do all things that He asks of me. Faithful women of prayer have gone before me. My grandmother and my mom are both women whom I know have lifted many words heavenward on my behalf. The grace that I have been given, has largely been prayed in by them and faithful friends. I desire to do the same. May we each have the seed planted deep within our heart, so that we would be people who faithfully and consistently pray for those around us.

 

Power is released,Believe Instead of Striving

When we choose to pray;

The grace to do good,

To walk in His way.

As faith leads us on,

Shows us what to do;

Ask God for the help,

To see His plan through.

May we choose live lives,

Worthy of You, Lord;

Praying by Your grace,

Use all You afford.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your grace and the power that is released when people pray. Thank You that You hear every prayer that is lifted before You, and You give what is needed to accomplish that which we are called to do. Forgive us for our lack of faithfulness in prayer. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would bring before You, every need, concern, praise, and hope – daily. Show us how to pray as You would have us pray. Lead us to love those around us in a way that encourages each to seek You for strength and grace. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we pray for the people around us, trusting You to enable each of us to live lives worthy of our call. Amen.

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

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

The Tale of Two Shoes

Summer’s end has arrived, and the season of back to school has begun.  This past week has marked the official return to my professional duties of preparing for the first week of school.  Tuesday was the first all-day training for our entire staff.  It was the first day that I had returned to my 4am wake-up schedule.
                                                                                                                                                                                                I woke before my alarm, and was up and at it with my usual routine to start my day.  The day sailed by and I was ready to roll into bed when the day had drawn to a close.
                                                                                                                                                                           Wednesday, my waking routine was easily repeated, and I was on my way to day two.
                                                                                                                                                                                          Day two was a unique day-long summit with our sister middle school and the high school that we both feed into.  It was a powerful plan to offer opportunity to speak with our neighboring colleagues about our practices, expectations, and what we can do to ready our kids for the rigor of high school and beyond.  All day, I had wonderful conversation with colleagues and found myself both encouraged and inspired.  During the lunch break, I detoured to my own campus to check in and perhaps work on my classroom a bit.  Upon arrival, I was greeted by students and parents, as it was one of the designated schedule pick-up days.  Again, I spoke with several folks, and returned back to the summit further energized to be back.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    As the day-long summit had drawn to a close, I had the opportunity to check in with a former colleague and co-coach in the open foyer, where many people passed by on their way out.  While we were concluding our conversation, a dear friend sidled up along side me, and whispered words that made me mortified in the moment…  “Did you realize you are wearing two different shoes?”  What?!  I discretely glanced down in horror, to find that each foot was shoed in a very different form of flip flop.  On the right, my cute feminine black flower-designed dud, and on the left, to my dismay, a large, and quite sloppy, flip flop belonging to one of my sons…
                                                                                                                                                                                            On the drive back to school, I racked my brain for how on earth this bumble had occurred.  Nothing came, so I promptly called the colleague who had enlightened me to find out if she had a pair of shoes that I could borrow for my next meeting.  Sadly, there was no answer.  To my relief, I discovered that I had just enough time to run to the store to find a clearance pair of flip flops that actually matched…
                                                                                                                                                                                       What is my point?  Not sure.  I have been pondering what the possible point could be in all this, as I know God really does have a great sense of humor.  Some potential purposes for my long lack of observation and awareness, are perhaps one of the following:
                                                                                                                                                                                             1.  Get more sleep.  If you wake early, go to bed early…
2.  Abusing caffeine does not increase awareness, it only helps prevent lids from drooping to the locked position.
3.  People are not nearly as interested in my footwear, as they are in hearing my heart.
4.  The shoe shelf in our entryway needs to be organized, rather than a pile of shoes, sadly stacked, so that such heinous happenings do not occur again…
5.  Despite deliberate preparation, errors and oversights occur.  God is good all the time and His grace is more than enough.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that Your grace is enough and that the only details that really matter, are those that pertain to You and Your great love for all of us.  Please bless and keep each one of us safe, secure, and in the shadow of Your wings, as we wander on our way this wonderful weekend.  Help us to recognize the beauty in all that is before us, and help us to share our awe and wonder with the world.  May our awe inspire others to seek the Source of so much beauty surrounding all of us.  In Your good and glorious Name, amen.

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