All Through Him

For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen. – (Romans 11:36, HCSB)

Yes, God made all things. And everything continues through Him and for Him. To God be the glory forever! Amen. – (Romans 11:36, ERV)

Everything comes from Him; everything happens through Him; everything ends up in Him. Always glory! Always praise! Yes. Yes. Yes. – (Romans 11:36, MSG)

As we draw ever closer to the close of what has been the most challenging school year yet, I cannot help but give God praise for all He has done throughout every day. He has provided strength in our weariness, and hope in spaces of despair. Today, we begin the twenty-day countdown. Twenty more school-day wakeups and the year will be done. I don’t know about you, but when the days remaining are countable on our fingers and toes, it seems far more manageable. This morning, as I prepare for my day, not only do I present my requests for strength and peace and patience and love, but also, I give God praise for all He has done, is doing, and will continue to do. May we rise with purpose and make the most of each day that we draw breath.

Twenty days remain,

Home stretch…

Until we are through;

Year never-ending,

Almost done, it’s true.

God has been faithful,

To provide our needs;

His grace, sufficient,

And His love exceeds.

On the darkest days, 

In Him, was still light;

The song in our hearts,

Hope, love and delight.

Let us choose rise up,

With purpose, go forth;

Love one another,

And bask in God’s warmth.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that all things are in You, from You, with You and through You; for You lead, guide, sustain and strengthen us to do more than we ever hoped or imagined. Forgive us for losing sight of the truth of who You are and how You carry us when our strength is gone. Teach us to trust and praise You in all things and at all times. Show us how to love, encourage and support those around us, so that they may know glimpses of Your goodness and grace. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we praise You forever for who You are and how You lovingly lead us through all things. Amen.

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

All things were created through Him, and apart from Him not one thing was created that has been created. – John 1:3

Rest in Hope

Rest in God alone, my soul, for my hope comes from Him. – (Psalm 62:5, HCSB)

I must calm down and turn to God; He is my only hope. – (Psalm 62:5, ERV)

My soul waits quietly for the True God alone because I hope in only Him. – (Psalm 62:5, VOICE)

Some mornings, the distractions around me make quiet rest seem impossible. However, as I choose to stay calm and pursue the space I need to seek Him, calm comes close and my heart can hear hope with each new breath. When we are intentional to rest in Him, we are reminded of who God is and how He loves, as He fills us with fresh hope again. In the chaos that spring days can bring, hope is needed to navigate. May we find rest in God, and embrace the grace that He provides to strengthen our hope in Him.

Lord, settle my soul,

As I turn to You;

In quiet, I wait,

As I read Your truth.

You show me that hope,

Is found in the space;

Where we choose to seek,

Your goodness and grace.

Our strength comes from You,

When we seek, we find;

Just how near You are,

And Your love is kind.

Help us find quiet,

Throughout each new day;

As hope is restored,

And love leads the way.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that rest and hope come from You. Thank You that You speak to our hearts in the stillness as we seek You, and You fill us with Your hope and love. Forgive us for the times that we allow the noise and distractions to keep us from pressing into You. Teach us to rest in You as You fill and restore hope within us. Lead us to love those around us well. May they find the hope that is held in You alone and enter into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we rest in You and hold fast to the hope we have in You. Amen.

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

I wake before the dawn and call for help; I hope in Your words. – Psalm 119:147

Moms Model Love

Your speech should always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you should answer each person. – (Colossians 4:6, HCSB)

When you talk, you should always be kind and wise. Then you will be able to answer everyone in the way you should. – (Colossians 4:6, ERV)

Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response to everyone. – (Colossians 4:6, NLT)

This is the epitome of my mom and her mom before her; gracious, kind and wise. No human ever always has the right answer, but I think great moms come awfully close. These two women, as well as some incredible mother-like figures in my life, have modeled God’s love with the way that they speak with grace, kindness and love. It has never been unkind, but the truth is ever spoken in love. At times, the truth was to correct or redirect, but always with my best interest in mind. I am forever grateful for the gift of mothers in my life, and today, it seems only fitting to celebrate and honor them. May we ever give thanks to God for the gift of moms and mother-figures that He grants unto us, and seek Him to lead us in their likeness.

Let conversations,

Be filled with God’s grace;

Kind and with wisdom,

In every place.

For His love’s made known,

Through how we choose speak;

Actions and kindness,

Ever let us seek.

Seek to be loving,

Through every word;

Good spoken in love,

It’s how love is heard.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of mothers and mother-figures who model Your love with words, actions and their very existence. Thank You for the blessings in my own life that have come through my mother, grandmother, youth leaders, church mommas, and incredibly wise and wonderful friends throughout the years. Forgive us for the times that we have not followed the example set before us and have spoken with a lack of love. Lead us to always speak with love, kindness and grace. May Your words lead the searching to see Your face and enter into a lasting relationship with You. Be exalted O God, as we seek You to ever lead us in Your love with every word we speak and all that we do. Amen.

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

Therefore, God’s chosen ones, holy and loved, put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. – Colossians 3:12

Goodness and Peace Gather

Faithful love and truth will join together; righteousness and peace will embrace. – (Psalm 85:10, HCSB)

God’s love will come together with His faithful people. Goodness and peace will greet them with a kiss. – (Psalm 85:10, ERV)

Unfailing love and truth have met on their way; righteousness and peace have kissed one another. – (Psalm 85:10, VOICE)

Where love and truth are found, righteousness and peace are present too. When we love and live in truth, we are living right and His peace is present within us. God is faithful to fill us with His goodness and love as we earnestly seek Him and pursue a life with Him leading. May we ever seek the Lord at the start of each new day, and trust Him to lead us in His love that fills us with truth, propels us along the right path, and surrounds us with His perfect peace, no matter what is going on around us.

Choose to seek the Lord,

He’s where love is found;

Faithful forever,

In Him, grace abounds.

He leads us in truth,

Shows us the right way;

Let us choose follow,

Throughout each new day.

It is in pursuit,

That we find His peace;

That settles our hearts,

God’s gracious release.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that as we seek You and Your ways, You fill us with love and truth, and lead us to walk in Your way as You fill us with Your peace. Forgive us for the times that we do not seek or we simply do not follow what we are supposed to do. Teach us to turn to You in trust and to listen to Your leading. Show us how to love those around us faithfully and with abundant grace. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek to follow after You and praise You for Your perfect peace that fills us. Amen.

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

Turn away from evil and do what is good; seek peace and pursue it. – Psalm 34:14

Present Pairings

Faithful love and truth will join together; righteousness and peace will embrace. – (Psalm 85:10 HCSB)

God’s love will come together with His faithful people. Goodness and peace will greet them with a kiss. – (Psalm 85:10, ERV)

Unfailing love and truth have met on their way; righteousness and peace have kissed one another. – (Psalm 85:10, VOICE)

As we choose to follow God and seek to love faithfully and walk in truth, righteousness and peace seem to be present. God is faithful to meet us wherever we are, yet I think we are better aware of His presence when we are seeking to live and love as we are called to do. Right now, weeks feel long and the presence of faithful love, goodness and peace are always welcome. In fact, I am certain that His love is what carries us on our longest and most difficult days. May we ever seek the Lord to lead us in His love and faithfulness, and give Him praise for His goodness and peace.

God’s unfailing love,

And truth are a pair;

Together they’re found,

In joy and despair.

His goodness and peace,

Embrace each other;

So each is made known,

One to another.

As we walk His way,

Extending His love;

We feel in fullness,

All these from above.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your goodness, righteousness, peace and faithful love. Thank You that all are available and accessible as we earnestly seek You. Forgive us for our lack of seeking or for the distractions that keep us from being aware of Your nearness. Teach us to trust and rely on You in all things and at all times. Lead us in Your faithful love, so that we love one another as You do. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we faithfully seek and follow after You. Amen.

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

You will keep the mind that is dependent on You in perfect peace, for it is trusting in You. – Isaiah 26:3

Show Love

Little children, we must not love with words or speech, but with truth and action. – (1 John 3:18, HCSB)

My children, our love should not be only words and talk. No, our love must be real. We must show our love by the things we do. – (1 John 3:18, ERV)

My little children, don’t just talk about love as an idea or theory. Make it your true way of life, and live in the pattern of gracious love. – (1 John 3:18, VOICE)

Words mean nothing if actions do not align. Our greatest testimony is demonstrating love with our actions. Love meets people where they are at, and helps, encourages, walks alongside, and builds up. Consistently choosing to love again and again is what speaks the most clearly. As we live out a life of love, what we do becomes the story of the goodness of God and the grace that He lavishly gives. May we rise up and seek the Lord to strengthen and equip us to live out our days in the pattern of His gracious love.

Lord, lead us in love,

In all that we do;

May ev’ry action,

Show love that is true.

Teach us to live life,

In Your gracious way;

So Your love is shown,

Beyond what we say.

May each decision,

Each choice that we make;

Be aligned with love,

And filled with Your grace.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You sent Your Son to show us what it is to love in truth and action. Thank You that Jesus loved through everything He did – He touched, He provided, He helped and He sacrificed to demonstrate the magnitude of Your love for all. Forgive us for every action that does not show Your love. Teach us to live out each day in truth so that our every action is a tangible demonstration of how deeply and completely You love. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek to love those around us in truth and action so that Your heart may be clearly seen. Amen.

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

Show family affection to one another with brotherly love. Outdo one another in showing honor. – Romans 12:10

Live Out Love

Little children, we must not love with word or speech, but with truth and action. – (1 John 3:18, HCSB)

My children, our love should not be only words and talk. No, our love must be real. We must show our love by the things we do. – (1 John 3:18, ERV)

My little children, don’t just talk about love as an idea or theory. Make your true way of life, and live in the pattern of gracious love. – (1 John 3:18, VOICE)

Actions speak louder than words. People can talk about love incessantly, profess love repeatedly, but if their actions do not align, the words have no meaning. Love is most clearly shown through consistency over time. If our actions, attitudes and patterns are ones steeped in love, the goodness of God is clearly displayed to those around us. One of my favorite quotes is: “Preach the gospel always. When necessary, use words.” (St. Francis Assisi) This further supports the impact of our actions, for what we do over and over again are the things that demonstrate who we truly are. When we choose to let love lead us, the truth of what love really is, is made known. May we ever seek the Lord to lead us in making gracious love our true way of life.

Lord, show us the way,

To live out Your love;

In all that we do,

With grace from above.

Show us Your kindness,

So we do the same;

May each decision,

Glorify Your Name.

Help us to love true,

Through all that is done;

Each step that we take,

To honor Your Son.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You call us to love with our lives, not just with words. Thank You Jesus, for You have shown us what it means to love with truth and actions; You touched the untouchable, loved the unlovable, healed the broken, and helped those who were unable to help themselves. Forgive us Father, for the times we have spoken empty words rather than doing what it takes to love well. Teach us to listen to Your leading so that we may learn how to live out Your love in practical and tangible ways. Show us how to love those around us in the ways that speak to their hearts most clearly. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we pursue a life of truth that leads us to love in everything that we do. Amen. 

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

The Lord will send His faithful love by day; His song will be with me in the night – a prayer to the God of my life. – Psalm 42:8

A Time for Everything

There is an occasion for everything, and a time for every activity under heaven. – (Ecclesiastes 3:1, HCSB)

There is a right time for everything, and everything on earth will happen at the right time. – (Ecclesiastes 3:1, ERV)

For everything that happens in life – there is a season, a right time for everything under heaven. – (Ecclesiastes 3:1, VOICE)

This is such a strange truth. It amazes me how there can be a loss and a gain, a death and new life, mourning and celebrating – all in the same season. Yesterday was the first time in twenty-five years that I was not present and coaching gymnastics for the first day of practice at my middle school. Meanwhile, I was happily coaching at the high school. An exchange had to be made in positions, as there is an overlap in seasons. Incredibly, our athletic director figured out a way for me to join my friends at the middle school once my high school season is over. God raised up the right person to take my place, and blessed me to still be a part of it. I know that it is good for me to embrace the new, and wonderful to have someone new spread their wings and soar. There is a strange sort of mourning and celebrating simultaneously. When there is a shift in what we know, we are meant to live in the moment and experience whatever the change may bring. In every season, God is good. He is faithful to walk beside us, and to lead us into the new. May we ever seek the Lord in every season, and praise Him for His faithfulness forever.

A time for all things,

Each season to grow;

Blessings and mourning,

God makes His grace known.

Ever He’s faithful,

In love, He will lead;

Supplying goodness,

Meeting all our needs.

Let’s keep hearts open,

In each time of new;

Welcome God in it,

Watch what He will do.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are faithful in every season we walk through. Thank You that You provide Your goodness, kindness and grace, even in seasons that we are not sure how to navigate. Forgive us for our fears and doubts, for Your grace covers us and Your love provides. Teach us to trust all that You are doing in every new season, and to reflect back on all that You have faithfully done before. Show us how to love and encourage those around us in whatever season they are in. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we praise You for Your love and faithfulness forever. Amen.

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

You shower him with blessings that last forever; he finds joy in knowing Your presence and loving You. – Psalm 21:6

Pray for ALL

First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving be made for everyone. – (1 Timothy 2:1, HCSB)

First of all, I ask that you pray for all people. Ask God to bless them and give them what they need. And give thanks. – (1 Timothy 2:1, ERV)

So, first and foremost, I urge God’s people to pray. They should make their requests, petitions, and thanksgivings on behalf of all humanity. – (1 Timothy 2:1, VOICE)

We are called to pray, present requests, and give thanks for everyone, and do so on their behalf. It is easy to pray for those who love us and are kind to us, yet we are called to pray for ALL people. This includes those who are unkind to us, those who slow us down; for those who frustrate or aggravate us, and for those who care little for anyone other than themselves. To pray for these requires an intentional and purposeful decision to love as God loves us. An old friend of mine, years ago, modeled this in a very practical way while we were driving somewhere. Every time someone would cut in front of us or do something foolish or frustrating, he would speak out blessing and truth, such as, “Jesus loves you!” or “May God bless you and protect you!”, even when it came out as a shout. It seemed silly at the time, yet all these years later, it still serves as a reminder for me to bless and pray for others, even those who anger us the most. Part of the process of praying for others is as much a request for us to see them as God does, as it is a choice to act in love when love is not at all what we feel. May we ever lift up and pray for all those around us, without exception.

Lord, please remind us,

To choose pray for ALL;

The bent and broken,

For this is our call.

Show us Your own heart,

For humanity;

The love that held You,

Up upon that tree.

For You have so loved,

That You gave us all;

Now our champion,

On whom we can call.

Quicken our hearts, Lord,

To love and to pray;

For ev’ry person,

Throughout each new day.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Your Son to show us what it really is to love and pray for all. On the cross, Jesus prayed for those who hung Him there. Forgive us for our frustration and lack of love for those who need love the most. Show us how to pray for and bless everyone whom we encounter. Change hearts and lives to reflect Your love to the world. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we pray for and bless others as You have modeled for and equipped us to do. Amen.

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

Father, I pray that all who believe in Me can be one. You are in Me and I am in You. I pray that they can also be one in us. Then the world will believe that You sent Me. – John 17:21

Strength and Protection

Stand, therefore, with truth like a belt around your waist, righteousness like armor on your chest… – (Ephesians 6:14, HCSB)

So stand strong with the belt of truth tied around your waist, and on your chest wear the protection of right living. – (Ephesians 6:14, ERV)

Put on truth as a belt to strengthen you to stand in triumph. Put on holiness as the protective armor that covers your heart. – (Ephesians 6:14, TPT)

The reason I always look at the various translations of a passage is because so often, the slight variation in the phrasing helps my heart to make connections between what is being said and how it applies to my own life. This morning, the imagery of The Passions Translation hits home. In the same way that one wears a belt to lift heavy weights for protecting and strengthening the back, so too does truth girded around us, grant us the strength we need to stand strong in faith. Additionally, protective armor to cover the heart reminds me that we are not called to be hard-hearted, but rather, we are to allow God to protect our tender heart with His armor. I don’t know about you, but I could certainly use His strength each day, and His protection over my heart in this incredibly long and exhausting season. May we ever seek the Lord to strengthen and protect us, for His armor is stronger than anything that comes against us.

The power of truth,

God’s strength unto us;

Protection each day,

Faithful, God with us.

Place over each heart,

Your armor and grace;

Our help and our strength,

Throughout all our days.

Please help us to rise,

In truth, make us strong;

Lead and protect us,

In You, carry on.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that each time we seek You, You lovingly strengthen and protect us in the truth of You great love. Forgive us for forgetting the strength that is found in Your word and the faithfulness of Your protection when we seek You. Teach us to pursue more of You to be equipped and empowered to walk out each new day well. Show us how to love those around us in ways that exemplify the strength of Your word and protection in Your powerful hands. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You to secure the belt of truth about us, and to be the armor that protects and guards our heart. Amen.

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

Search for the Lord and for His strength; seek His face always. – 1 Chronicles 16:11