As He Loves

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. – (John 15:12, NIV)

This is what I command you: Love each other as I have loved you. – (John 15:12, ERV)

So this is my command: Love each other deeply, as much as I have loved you. – (John 15:12, TPT)

 

I am beyond blessed to have so many people in my life who model this very sort of love toward me on a regular basis. This weekend, I have been reminded especially well, of just how much God loves me, as He has made His love tangible through the people whom He has intentionally placed in my life. Though this past year has not unfolded exactly as one might have hoped nor expected in the first year of marriage and as I roll into the start of my forty-eighth year of life, I can clearly see God’s hand in it, and have been held, strengthened, encouraged and carried, every step of the way. Many spouses would not be so fortunate to have the blessing of their husband of nine months, and their seventeen-year-old twins, to go and care for their mother after a stroke. Mine, however, said, “Go!” Each weekend, my husband has faithfully driven the three hours to come see me, and have made sure to speak with me and encourage me daily on the phone, (the boys join him as often as their schedules allow). This weekend was kicked off with my running bestie on Friday evening through Saturday morning, followed by my husband and boys on Saturday at midday, and as the fellas prepare to leave this afternoon, my best friend will arrive to stay a quick overnight as well. Not only am I blessed and encouraged by their visit and presence, but mom is too. It is only fitting, as she is the reason that I am here. As this week continues, Megan will return and I will head home to go on an escape for our first anniversary trip. God is good, and I have learned to love more deeply in the last three months than I ever knew possible prior.

As for mom and her progress yesterday, she accomplished another new milestone with her grandsons cheering her on! Mom walked the entire length of her hallway, twice! That is one-hundred and twenty feet, unassisted. I love watching the recognition of new progress on mom’s face each time she conquers new milestones. There is a visible flood of hope that fills not only her face, but her entire being. It is almost as if she could jump out of her chair and dance down the hallway with excitement. So much joy. Another accomplishment was tackled as we went out to dinner as a family. Being out in public is not her favorite, and I imagine the idea of sitting in a restaurant makes her feel especially vulnerable. Thankfully, the place we selected was fairly quiet, and we were at a table in a room where there were nearly no other patrons. We enjoyed our meal together and did not have any issues navigating the space. After dinner, we returned home and played several rounds of our family favorite game, Dirty Marbles. It is a sort of combination of Chinese Checkers and Sorry, and gets quite competitive. Each of us ended the day full, happy, and knowing how truly loved we are. I could not think of a better way to close out my 47th year. 😊

May we ever recognize how God loves us so well, and go forth and love as we are loved.

 

We are commanded, img_2019-07-14_07-32-527808805951401243208.jpg

To love as we’re loved;

Give as we’re given,

From the Lord above.

For all that God gives,

Within, multiplies;

So we might go forth,

And love with delight.

For each time we choose,

To love like the Lord;

We help others know,

How much they’re adored.

The Lord loves us all,

His most treasured ones;

May we trust in Him,

And love like His Son.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You only ask of us that which You already have shown us in countless ways. Thank You that Your love is tangible. Thank You for the treasured gift of family and friends whom You place in our lives to show us what Your love really means. Forgive us for the times that we have not loved according to Your plan. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would love without limits and allow Your light to burn brightly through us to the world. Show us how to love those around us, especially those who are difficult to love or do not know how to receive the love You have to offer. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we love others in the same way that You selflessly and generously love each of us. Amen.

 

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

 

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever. – 1 Chronicles 16:34

Ask and See

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – (Philippians 4:6-7, NIV)

Don’t worry about anything, but pray and ask God for everything you need, always giving thanks for what you have. And because you belong to Christ Jesus, God’s peace will stand guard over all your thoughts and feelings. His peace can do this far better than our human minds. – (Philippians 4:6-7, ERV)

Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. – (Philippians 4:6-7, MSG)

 

Because my sister is not returning home to Oregon until Tuesday, we determined that it would be good for me to make a quick trip home to see my boys overnight, as I will be staying in Wenatchee with mom at least for the next week and beyond. At first, I was a bit anxious. It reminded me of when my boys were preemies in the NICU, and I was taken home for one night, away from my babies. I am not an outward “emoter” at all, but I cried the entire time, and vowed then and there that I would not be leaving the hospital again until my boys came with me. Thankfully, this did not feel the same. My sister was staying with mom, and my mom is able to speak for herself. Mark and I went to the hospital with Megan before we left town, and were able to witness some really remarkable milestones in her progress thus far. With the help of the occupational therapist and an aid, mom took her very first heavily assisted steps since her stroke. They moved her right side for her, as she focused on the left. Each movement was slow, frustrating, and very labor intensive; yet they were movement forward, upright, and progress in a very positive direction. The next petition that was answered prior to our departure, was getting her out of her room. Anyone who knows mom, knows that she is constantly on the go. Her sitting in bed or the chair in her room for hours and hours on end was quite concerning to us all. We got to wheel her out in a wheelchair to the waiting area on her floor that is full of windows with a spectacular view. The room was flooded with warm rays of sun, and she basked in the warmth as she happily sucked down a Coffee Frappuccino we smuggled in for her (with the medical team’s permission of course). Lastly, though mom has not had a problem with chewing or swallowing (praise God), she just has not had an appetite. No food has had any appeal, and even her favorites she has only been willing to take a bite or two. Yesterday, that too, changed. Breakfast was extraordinarily late to come, and her sweet nurse got after the kitchen to make it happen when we inquired. For whatever reason, the simplicity of the sourdough toast with her Frappuccino hit the spot, and she had taken in more in one sitting than she had since arriving last Sunday. Better still, at lunch, she ate all but the crust of a grilled cheese sandwich. This may sound trivial, but these are milestones that are critical for strength building as she moves to acute care on Monday. Once there, she will be working actively in therapies for at least three hours each day. Her determination, faith and work ethic with be invaluable. God is faithful as we cast our cares upon Him. When worry comes, it is our reminder to pray. May we ever be prayerful in all things, giving God room to move in places we need Him the most.

 

Do not let worry,

0503192124_hdr5780951510696600713.jpg

The mountain in the background is Mt. St. Helen’s, so prior to 1980…

Be what takes control;

For we have a God,

Who heals broken souls. 

When we give to Him,

The weight that we bear;

He exchanges all,

With His loving care.

So, lift up in prayer,

All that your heart needs;

The Lord always hears,

And His grace succeeds.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your incredible faithfulness to us as we give our anxiousness and worries to You in prayer. Thank You that You surround us with the right people at the right time, to encourage and love us well, as an extension of Your arms, heart and love for us, individually. Thank You for the outpouring of support that You have graced my mom, sister and me with over the past week. Forgive us for our moments of fear and anxiousness about the unknowns that lie ahead. Teach us to trust and continue to give it all to You, again and again and again. We lay it all in Your hands, as we see so clearly how You have held and are still holding our mom in Your loving arms. Show us how to love and support mom the best way for her, and how to love those who are around her so that they may see You in us. Lead many into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, even in this we pray. Amen.

 

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

 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight. – Proverbs 3:5-6

All for Good

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. – (Romans 8:28, NIV)

We know that in everything God works for the good of those who love Him. These are the people God chose, because that was His plan. – (Romans 8:28, ERV)

We are confident that God is able to orchestrate everything to work toward something good and beautiful when we love Him and accept His invitation to live according to His plan. – (Romans 8:28, VOICE)

 

This is an incredible promise to which we can hold secure. All things that we face, endure and walk through can be transformed and utilized for our good, and the good of those around us. He turns our tests into testimonies, our ashes into something beautiful, and our mourning leads to celebration, through the power of His presence and strength. I can look back at the darkest trials that I have had to walk through, and see clearly, how His light shone brightest for me, and ultimately through me, as He turned difficult things into triumphs that encouraged others in similar situations. God is good, and we can trust Him to use everything for good, in due time. May we ever seek the Lord to be our strength, and watch for His love to turn ashes into things of beauty.

 

Beauty from ashes, All for Good

Strength where we were weak;

Light where things were dark,

When the Lord we seek.

His presence, promised,

And His love assured;

Trust and reliance,

Faith that the Lord heard.

He hears our requests,

God’s faithful to bring;

Solutions and grace,

Praise to our wise King.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You work all things together for the good of those who love You and seek answer Your call. Thank You that You are faithful forever. Forgive us for our fears and doubts when we are in the midst of a mess. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would recognize Your strength and grace as we go, and the beauty that You bring from our former ashes. Show us how to love those around us in a way that they see Your hope and light and strength in the middle of their struggle. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust in Your transforming power to bring beauty from the ashes of our trials. Amen.

 

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

 

I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord; apart from You I have no good thing.” – Psalm 16:2

This New Day

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

 

Every single day we have reason to rejoice, simply because we have life in Him. Each day is a new opportunity to observe in awe, the mighty power of our Maker as He moves in and around us. Some days, we need not look far to find how His mighty hand has touched our hearts and lives with His great love; however, there are days in which we have to be intentional to slow down and quiet ourselves before Him, to really recognize the blessings that He has bestowed upon us and those around us. He moves whether we notice or not, which is why it is so important to be intentional in our time with Him. At times, our reason to rejoice comes in a gentle whisper, as we are reminded of who we are in Him. May we rise up and rejoice and be glad, for this is a new day that the Lord has made for us to live.

 

Today is a day,IMG_2491

Like none come before;

Crafted with purpose,

For you, God has more.

Because God is good,

Our hearts can rejoice;

Find joy each new day,

As we hear His voice.

No matter what comes,

He has good in store;

A plan and purpose,

In Christ, there is more.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You make each day new with a plan and a purpose. Thank You that there is always reason for us to rejoice, even on our darkest days. Forgive us for the times that we become stuck, and cannot see past our sorrow and struggles. Help us to see clearly the light of hope that is always present in You. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would rejoice and be glad each new day that we draw breath. Show us how to love those around us in such a way, that we extend hope and joy to the spaces of darkness and sorrow. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we rejoice and are filled with gladness for this new day that You have made. 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

Impossible Made Possible

“We have a God who delights in impossibilities.” – Andrew Murray

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)

I am so grateful that God is a God of making the impossible, possible. What is seen through human eyes, is not the full reality through God’s perspective. We only see in part, what God sees in whole. That which is our struggle, the mountain that seems impossible to navigate today, may either be made low or He could grant us His strength to overcome far more than we could imagine in the coming days. Our job is to trust and to continue moving forward in the direction to which He is calling. He does not ask us to climb the entire mountain in one swift movement, but rather one step at a time. It is remarkable to take pause and look back, for we can suddenly see clearly, just how far He has brought us beyond where we thought we could climb. May we seek the strength of our Savior, and trust in His unfailing love; for in Him, all things that seem impossible can become possible as He calls them into being.

The mountain ahead,

seems too hard to climb;

for we’ve not the strength,

for just one more time.

It’s not up to us,

but rather to God;

to what is conquered,

and what path we trod.

For impossible,

only through our eyes;

with God there’s a way,

He hears all our cries.

He makes plain our path,

and grants us the strength;

to keep climbing upward,

o’er height and great length.

Let us seek the Lord,

no matter the task;

He makes possible,

to those who choose ask.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that what is impossible for man, is possible for You. Thank You that You delight in showing us Your loving kindness and power, as You strengthen and equip us to do the impossible through You. Forgive us for our lack of faith that causes us to shut down in the face of impossibilities. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would rise up in faith and recognize that though something is impossible for us in our own strength, for You, ANYTHING is possible. Show us how to love others in such a way, that they may come to know and understand Your relentless and unwavering love for them too. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust You to make the impossible possible, by Your grace and strength. Amen.

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

Is anyone happy?  Let him sing songs of praise. – James 5:13

Submit Not to the Snare of Fear

Fear of people and what they may or may not do, can keep us from living life to the fullest. To walk in reverence of God; to operate from a posture of trust, adoration and awe, proves to be a place of protection and provision, as the Lord is good and grants freedom to those who choose to walk by faith.

 

Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe. – (Proverbs 29:25)

 

God did not intend for us to live life trapped in fear, but rather He provided the Source of all safety and security, when He sent His Son to take away every foundation for fear. Far greater is He who is in us, that he who is in the world. May we walk out each day in total trust, seeing clearly the snare that is set when the fear of man attempts to enter in.

 

Allow not our hearts,Submit Not to the Snare of Fear

be weighed down by fear;

for the Lord is safe,

and always, He’s near.

Let us place our trust,

in the Lord alone;

for greater is He,

than any unknown.

The fear of mankind,

is simply a snare;

to trap us in fear,

keep us unaware.

God is our refuge,

our safety and Light;

when the Lord’s with us,

fear’s snares must take flight.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that those who trust in You are kept safe. Thank You that You do not intend for any of us to be caught in the snare of the fear of man. Thank You that far greater are You who is in us, than anything else that is in the world. Forgive us for allowing our hearts and minds to become trapped into fearing man, and teach us to trust You more so that we will remember immediately, that You are the One who keeps us safe in the storms. Lead us to love well, so that many may come to know the safety found in You alone, and escape the snare of fearing what man may or may not do. Let hearts be turned and lives be led unto You. Be glorified O God, as we sidestep the snares of the fear of man, and trust in You alone. Amen.

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

May God Almighty grant you mercy. – Genesis 43:14

To See God

The very concept of God and who He is can be a bit overwhelming. Believing in the unseen, yet knowing that He is who He says He is, can become a bit muddied if we are not firmly grounded in His word. Jesus speaks clearly in John as to how we are to know what God is like. Then Jesus cried out, “When a man believes in Me, he does not believe in Me only, but in the One who sent Me. When he looks at Me, he sees the One who sent Me. I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in Me should stay in darkness.” – (John 12:44-46)

 

God’s word is full of light and life that illuminate exactly who God is, and who we are unto Him. When we believe in Him and invest our lives in following Christ, His light dwells in us, and He entrusts us with His truth. The more we invest in our relationship with Him, the more He reveals Himself to us. May we go forth this day, fully invested in Him, and shine brightly before all men.

 

As we believe,Approaching the Throne of Grace

the Holy Word;

He shows to us,

what our hearts have heard.

Though He’s unseen,

Lord God is known;

for by His Son,

His light has been shown.

Look to Jesus,

to understand;

for He and God,

are One unto man.

All that is dark,

shall fade away;

seek Jesus’ face,

for He’ll light our way.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Your Son, Jesus, so that we may see and know You. Thank You Jesus, for living and loving in such a way, that You are the light unto the world. Thank You for giving Your life so that we may have life forever in You. Forgive us for our confusion and doubts, and help us to see clearly who You are as we invest in seeking You with our whole hearts. Let Your light shine through us as we love with the love You have given us, and may many come into a lasting relationship with You as a result. Be glorified, O God, as we grow in our understanding of You and give You all of the glory. Amen.

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

You have made known to me the paths of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence.

– Acts 2:28