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

Wisdom Guides to Good

Wisdom will lead you to a life of joy and peace. – (Proverbs 3:17, ERV)

She (wisdom) will guide you down delightful paths; all her ways are satisfying. – (Proverbs 3:17, NLT)

The ways of wisdom are sweet, always drawing you into the place of wholeness. – (Proverbs 3:17, TPT)

 

The wisdom that we gain from God will guide us to the good He has in store for us. If we seek the Lord and His will, He leads us and imparts to us His wisdom so that we are able to walk in His ways. Though the path He plans is not always the easiest road, there is perpetual purpose as we run the race that He lays out before us. The Lord grants the wisdom needed to navigate well and experience His joy and peace along the journey. May we ever seek the Lord and His wisdom as we go, as He leads us to His perfect place of wholeness in Him.

 

In God, there’s wisdom, The Wisdom We Seek

That will lead the way;

In joy and in peace,

For all of our days.

No matter the road,

That we’re called to trod;

The way ends in good,

If we choose seek God.

The Lord is our Source,

He’ll guide us in peace;

To wholeness in Him,

As grace is released.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we seek You for wisdom to know which way to go, You provide us with joy and peace for the journey. Thank You that all of Your ways are good, no matter how we perceive the path that lies before us. Thank You that where You lead, always ends in wholeness in You. Forgive us for our fearfulness or mistrust in the process based on what we see. Teach us to trust You more, as Your ways are higher than ours, and You work even when we cannot see change taking place. Show us how to love those around us in ways that impart wisdom and promote joy and peace. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You for wisdom and trust You to lead us for all of our days. Amen.

 

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

 

I thank You and praise You, O God of my fathers: You have given me wisdom and power. – Daniel 2:23

 

Ragnar Ready

As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. – (James 5:11, NIV)

 

These past many months have been all about perseverance. In late April, I sustained a compression fracture in my low back during a Tactical Strength Competition in the first event of three. I did not realize that the pop I felt during my deadlift was so serious, so I completed the competition.

When I went to the doctor on that Monday, I was sent for x-rays immediately. Low and behold, I had broken a bit of my back. Lovely! Not exactly something that fits in my lifestyle, nor my training plan. There was a half-marathon in June, and then Ragnar (a 12-person, 200-mile relay) in July, that I needed to be healthy and strong to participate.

Fast-forward to June, and I became the proud owner of a pricey souvenir t-shirt for a race I was not yet ready to run. Though I have been on a modified training regime since my injury occurred, I simply was not yet ready to run 13.1 miles at once. Allowing that race to go, was my ticket to run Ragnar, and the July race was far more important to me.

Here I am, the day prior to Ragnar, and I am cleared by doctors to run the distance! I ran my first full long run on Monday, and felt good. I was able to complete the mileage equivalent to my longest leg, so I should be good to go. Nerves are certainly present, as is some soreness, but I trust that He will continue to carry me to the finish. Please feel free to pray for safety and health for all of the Ragnar runners as you feel inspired. It is a wonderful, crazy, adventure that I am so grateful to be a part of for the third year in a row!

 

Thousands of runners,

photo (9)

Load up in their vans;

Working together,

The best that we can.

Through heat and the rain,

Through the dark of night;

The runners keep on,

With vests and headlights.

When the sun blazes,

Dear friends, we’ll still run;

’til there is a break,

Van 2 to van 1.

But alas, that rest,

Is very short-lived;

Perhaps for a nap,

Then more grit to give.

Despite the struggle,

Always at the end;

With medals and joy,

“Let’s do this again!”

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your faithfulness and goodness. Thank You for healthy bodies that can run. Thank You for healing and wholeness and restoration. Forgive us for our frustrations with what we can’t do, and help us celebrate and appreciate what we can do. Teach us to be grateful for everything, as every step, every breath, is a gift. Show us how to honor You with all that we do, and help us to love others well in the process. May many be drawn into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we honor You in all that we do. Amen.

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

Answer me, O Lord, out of the goodness of Your love; in Your great mercy turn to me. – Psalm 69:16

 

 

Fear Not in the Face of the Unknown

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. – (Isaiah 41:10, NLT)

Don’t worry – I am with you. Don’t be afraid – I am your God. I will make you strong and help you. I will support you with my right hand that brings victory. – (Isaiah 41:10, ERV)

 

These words are incredibly encouraging reminders of truth, as I am standing in the face of the unknown. Over the weekend, as I competed in a Tactical Strength Challenge, I sustained an injury in my first event (of three). At the time, this verse proved to be true, as I had some fearful and worried moments, as pain began to radiate from the small of my back. I had to decide whether or not to keep going. For me, it was a decision to trust in His strength, as He had already brought me so far. He did sustain me, and ultimately, I did exceedingly better than I anticipated I would, considering I was finishing the competition in pain. After seeing a doctor and having x-rays taken, fear and discouragement again are seeking foothold, as the injury has turned out to be more significant than anticipated. Somehow, I suffered a compression fracture in my low back during my third and final deadlift. Now I am at an impasse, where I must slow down and take a break from my normal routine of training, as I seek the best possible solution for a speedy recovery. Fear and discouragement are fighting for a foothold, as movement is so much a part of my existence. I know God is good, and that He holds me in His hand. In Him, just as He sustained me and granted me strength, despite pain, He will lead me in the direction I am meant to go to find healing and wholeness once again. The Lord will uphold me, and I can trust in Him. May we give our fears and worries to Him, and allow the Lord to be our strength and support, as all victory comes from Him.

 

Do not be afraid,photo

For the Lord is good;

No matter what comes,

Let‘s trust as we should.

For He is our God,

Where all strength comes from;

Victory granted,

Through faith in His Son.

Do not let worry,

Be what our hearts see;

Instead, let His hand,

Bring our victory.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that in You, we need not be afraid nor discouraged, for You are our strength and our help. Thank You that You hold us up with Your victorious right hand. Forgive us for allowing fear and discouragement to find footing in our hearts when unexpected things come at us and knock us down. Teach us to trust You more, as You are our strength and our hope, and all that we need is found in You. Show us how to walk victorious in You, so that we might be an encouragement to those around us. Lead us to love well, all who are afraid or discouraged, so that they too may find Your hope and help. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust in Your strength and help, and choose to place fear and discouragement in Your hands. Amen.

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

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

 

Sustained by Our Shepherd

The Lord is my Shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; He leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. – (Psalm 23:1-3a, NLT)

The Eternal is my Shepherd, He cares for me always. He provides me rest in rich, green fields beside streams of refreshing water. He soothes my fears; He makes me whole again. – (Psalm 23:1-3a, VOICE)

 

For more than two weeks now, I have had a vicious run of migraines. Each morning, as I have been up and beginning the new day, the pressing pain that begins at the base of my skull and travels upward, would greet me as I began to get ready. I mention this only to tie in the application of how the Lord has shown me the above truths made tangible over the past few weeks, as well as just yesterday. Regardless of the way that I felt, He sustained me and gave me the strength to keep working anyway. The breaks in my day are spaced just right, so that I am able to have a bit of solace in a dark room to regroup, before tackling the next several hours of teaching. On a day when I had grown weary of enduring, a friend encouraged me to go to a chiropractic appointment that she helped facilitate, by watching a few minutes of my class. That particular bit of help provided ten hours of relief, which made coaching through an entire gymnastics meet without a migraine, far more pleasant. Yesterday, as I was again weary from pressing through the pain, I met with a friend to check in. Where I had imagined there would be some intense conversation, there was instead, laughter and light and life. There was peace and rest in that place, despite how I was feeling, and it was clearly by His leading. From there, I had an acupuncture appointment. The moment I walked in, she was quick to identify the need, and worked specifically to alleviate the source of the prolonged pain. When I left, my head felt far better than when I had arrived. She instructed me to go home, eat, and then go to bed. Though not my typical M.O., I listened, and this morning, I have renewed hope that this crummy cycle has been stopped. He is good and provides rest and peace and strength as we need it. May we place our trust in Him, and seek the Lord to lead us to the places where He will provide refreshment, strength and wholeness all of the days of our lives.

 

We have a Shepherd,Masterd by Our Maker No Longer Slaves to Sin

Who’s all that we need;

He leads us to rest,

when to Him, we plead.

He knows where we’re weak,

as strength He does give;

not just to survive,

but to truly live.

He brings us to peace,

when the storms surround;

He soothes all our fears,

He’s where hope is found.

Let us choose to trust,

in the Lord above;

for peace, rest and strength,

all given in love.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our Shepherd and that You give us all that we need. Thank You that You give us rest, and that You lead us to peaceful places, despite the turmoil we may be facing. Thank You that You renew our strength, even when we are beyond weary. Forgive us for becoming fearful in our weariness or unrest. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would run to You in all things, trusting You to lead us to the places where You will provide rest and peace and renewal. Show us how to offer peace and strength and rest to those who are weary around us. May they see You in us, and choose to pursue a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust You as our good Shepherd who provides all that we need. Amen.

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

I thank You and praise You, O God of my fathers: You have given me wisdom and power. – Daniel 2:23

Persistently Pursue in Praise

A blind beggar on the side of the road was calling out to Jesus. People tried to silence him, but he shouted all the louder. His persistence captured the attention of Jesus, and the following exchange took place:

Jesus stopped and ordered the man to be brought to him. When he came near, Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?”

“Lord, I want to see,” he replied.

Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus, praising God. When all the people saw it, they also praised God. – (Luke 18:40-42)

When we know what we need from the Lord, and we persist in our pursuit of Him, He moves mightily and miracles take place. The challenge is that we not give up when our circumstances or surroundings tell us to be silent. Faith requires us to keep calling out, even when all seems impossible in our own eyes. As we are willing to keep pressing in, we make room for God to move. The moment we are aware of His touch, or His acting on our behalf, we ought to respond with thanks and praise. When we do, others too, have the opportunity to become aware of His faithfulness, and express their gratitude as well. May we have a persistent faith that refuses to be silenced, even when the world around us would tell us there is no hope; for in Christ, our hope brings healing and health and wholeness.

When we are but blind,The Splendor of Salvation

and needing to see;

our charge is to call,

on Christ to be free.

For only through Him,

will we truly find;

freedom for body,

heart, spirit and mind.

We must choose press in,

no matter what’s said;

let faith fill our hearts,

chase doubt from our heads.

With all that we are,

let us offer praise;

so others may know,

the Ancient of Days.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You meet us with Your love as we call on You in faith. Thank You that when we seek You, we find You. Thank You that You are merciful and kind, and that You love us back to life, despite how we come before You. Forgive us for our lack of faith or persistence, and teach us to trust You more, so that we would have the faith of the blind beggar that is relentless, regardless of what those around us might say. Lead us to love others generously and faithfully, so that they might see You in us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we persist in our pursuit of You, and give You all of our praise. Amen.

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

God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me. – Genesis 21:6

Seen and Known

When Jesus saw her, He called her forward and said to her, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.” – (Luke 13:12)

A woman who had been crippled for eighteen years, to the point where she could not straighten up at all, happened to be in one of the synagogues on a Sabbath when Jesus was teaching. Jesus, in His love and compassion, saw the woman’s need, and called to her personally, and spoke aloud words of healing, wholeness and new life, right then and there. I imagine a woman who was never able to truly make eye contact with anyone because of her condition, yet here she was, called forward, by the Savior on the Sabbath. Did hope that had all but died at last rise up again as she made her way to the front? I envision that may have been the case, for her response to being healed was to “…immediately straighten up and praise God.” (vs. 13)

Jesus sees us in the same way. He knows our needs before we ask, and loves us so much, that He exchanged His life for ours. I wonder if the woman wrestled with the question of whether or not she should go forward where Jesus called? For many of us, that is the very thing that stands between us and that which Jesus is waiting to do in us or through us. We have to be willing to step forward where we are called, even in the moments of uncertainty. His plans for us are far greater than we could ever hope or imagine, so it is worth walking forward in obedience to where we are called. May we move when He says move, and stand tall and give Him praise both now and forevermore.

Bent over and bound,Truth that is Tangible

we all have been there;

weighed down by the weight,

of all of life’s cares.

Each with hidden needs,

known well by the Lord;

Who’s willing to heal,

all grace He’ll afford.

It takes open ears,

a heart to respond;

as He calls our name,

His love goes beyond.

Beyond what we lack,

to our place of need;

in Him we are healed,

from burdens, we’re freed.

All glory to God,

Who sits on the throne;

He sets people free,

from bondage they’ve known.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You see us where we are, and know our every need. Thank You that we matter to You. Thank You that You call to us to come before You, so that You can heal us where we need it most. Forgive us for not seeking You, or for not willingly walking forward when You call us to come. Teach us to trust You more, as You are the giver of good gifts. Lead us to love others with the same kindness and compassion that You extend to us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be exalted O God, as we willingly walk forward where You call, and give You praise all the while. Amen.

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

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make His face shine upon us. – Psalm 67:1

Possible is About Perspective

For nothing is impossible with God. – (Luke 1:37)

The very same God who answered the longing of a barren mother who was advanced in age, also brought about the birth of the Savior by miraculous means. What seems impossible in our own eyes, is possible in Christ. Health, wholeness, righteousness, restoration, love and new life, are all possible in Him. God gives good by His grace, despite what we deserve. As we seek Him and invest our hearts and lives in the Lord, He opens our eyes and hearts to the possibilities that He can provide through His power, not our own. May we seek our Savior and gain insight as to what He is preparing to make possible, as we walk by faith and not by sight.

Though our eyes may see,Do Everything in Love

what never could be;

God sees the options,

and moves mightily.

For there is nothing,

that our God can’t do;

by His grace all things,

are made right, renewed.

He can bring wholeness,

where brokenness reigns;

love us back to life,

so we dream again.

May we seek the One,

who prepares the way;

as we walk by faith,

let doubts fall away.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that nothing is impossible with You. Thank You that You who handcrafted each of us and all of creation, are more than capable of coming along side us, to lead and guide us, in our time of need. Forgive us for forgetting what a big God You are, and help us to hold fast to the truth. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will seek You and trust You in all things and at all times; for You are good. Lead us to love others well, so that they might see the possible in You. May many come into a personal relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust You when we face the seemingly impossible, knowing that nothing is impossible for You. Amen.

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

Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. – 2 Corinthians 3:5

Compassion in Confrontations

When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, He had compassion on them and healed their sick. – (Matthew 14:14)

 

Despite having just learned of the death of His dear cousin, John the Baptist, Jesus set aside the solitude He was seeking to mourn, and chose to heal the hurts of others instead. Christ’s compassion is so great, that He chose to set aside His own sorrow, and allow His light and life to flow into those who had not yet come to know what true love looks like. When we are suffering or stuck in a sorrowful space, we need not stand alone. For Christ, who came and experienced loss and pain and suffering far greater than our own grief, is loving and kind, and will be compassionate and close, if we call on His Name. May we remember to reach out to our Redeemer in all thing at all times, for He is compassionate and has wholeness in store for all who call on Him.

 

For Jesus has known,Compassion in Confrontations

the darkness of grief;

the anguish of loss,

the need to retreat.

Yet in His sorrow,

He kept His eyes up;

healing the hurting,

with His tender touch.

May we do likewise,

no matter what comes;

allow Christ to move,

so His will is done.

Christ calls us to love,

as He has loved us;

in kindness be near,

let Him fill each cup.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are the God of compassion and the Healer of our souls. Thank You that You came and showed us that even in You own season of sorrow, You set aside Your space to withdraw when You saw needs that You could meet in the moment. Thank You that You modeled compassion that was not limited by circumstance. Forgive us for being blinded by our own sorrow or pain, and help us to see the needs surrounding us that You can meet through us. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will be willing and available in all things and at all times, despite what we are going through. Lead us to love with kindness and compassion, just as You so tenderly and completely love each of us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You, as they recognize the hope that is held in You alone. Be exalted O God, as we choose to convey compassion and kindness, even in the midst of our greatest confrontations. Amen.

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

I thank You and praise You, O God of my fathers: You have given me wisdom and power. – Daniel 2:23

The God of All Comfort

He comforts us every time we have trouble so that when others have trouble, we can comfort them with the same comfort God gives us. – (2 Corinthians 1:4, ERV)

 

I am always amazed to watch and see how God brings beauty from ashes. From the places of so much pain and brokenness, He can bring strength and wholeness that were never before imagined. Often, it is from the very place of pain where a person has come, that God leads the one whom He has freed, to be one to walk beside another stuck in a similar space. No one can know and understand the heartache and the hurt quite like one who has traveled the very same road. May we each be available and willing to allow the God of all comfort to use all of our ashes to bring forth beauty in the broken.

 

Just as God comforts,Faith and Hope in Action

us when we’re in pain;

so we are too called,

to bless in His Name.

To walk alongside,

those on the same road;

we’ve traveled before,

to show the way home.

Home to perfect peace,

in His strength and grace;

ashes to beauty,

as we seek His face.

May we give comfort,

as God has for us;

and point to the One,

our Healer, Jesus.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that comfort us every time that we have trouble, and because of Your comfort, we in turn, can comfort others in You. Thank You that You bring beauty from our ashes as we are willing to walk beside others on similar roads and share our stories. Thank You that this is but one of the ways that You work all things together for good for those who love You. Forgive us for allowing the weight of our burdens to begin to break us, and help us to hand them all to You. Teach us to trust You more, so that You may bring Your comfort, strength and endurance to see us through to the place where all of the ugliness has been worn away, and what remains, is something beautiful. Lead us to share of Your faithfulness in love, and may many come to trust in You as a result. Be glorified O God, as we receive Your comfort so that we can in turn, go forth and comfort others. 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