HOPE*ann*FAITH

Living and Writing on Purpose: God * Life * Love * Realtionships * The Important Things.


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When you pass through the waters …


“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name;
You are Mine.
2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,
Nor shall the flame scorch you.
3 For I am the Lord your God,” Isaiah 43:1b-3a

Go!

Me ... Prayer I have to admit I’ve already written a FMF post … but I have a lot within me to share, to purge. I haven’t written here in nearly three months. I’ve been spending more time on my other blog ~ A Widow’s Journal.

Today, though, after I wrote the first post over on Widow’s Journal, I began reading other writer’s posts, as is the deal. And one this one: Maybe You Should Pass, spoke to me on two levels. One was the story of the grandmother teaching her grandchildren the game of Rook; my grandmother’s game was Scrabble!🙂 The other was the scripture above. So this second post feels like a cheat!:/

Specifically these verses:

You are Mine.
2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,
Nor shall the flame scorch you.
3 For I am the Lord your God,

This last year I have passed through an ocean of tears. And even as I felt I was drowning I knew God was with me, so I continued to pray. They did not overflow me.

As I walked through the fire of deepest grief and felt as if I would shrivel to dust at my driest, I continued to pray. I was not burned. No flame scorched me.

Grief changes a person. Particularly the widow/er. Our lives crumble at our feet in the blink of an eye. One second Our Love is there and the next they are gone. But God ….

He remains… For I am His and He is the Lord my God.

STOP!

Thanks for indulging this second post. God bless you.

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New Depths


wladyslaw-slewinski-sleeping-woman-with-a-cat-ca-1896-1342824718_b

Sleeping woman with a cat Wladyslaw Slewinski (ca. 1896)

 

February 6,16

The world, my life, has become a desolate and dry place. Unforgiving in it’s doling out of pain and deep distress. Though it has become easier to smile through the hard moments and push through this ever so dull, empty ache.

I have tried to find solace and relief in the things of this world: food – mindless entertainment – people, only to find that nothing satisfies – nothing heals the deep wound I have sustained. All of my futile attempts at solace have brought me closer to ill health and damaged relationships. I find I’ve made the mistake of seeking relief in the wrong places, the wrong things, the wrong persons.

This relief is only found IN God.

Seeking God is a concept that I’ve found, in my 14 year walk with God, cannot be taught. It cannot be imitated. How another reaches intimacy with God is not how I will reach that intimacy. God, while constant, made us “in” his likeness and each of us is unique in how we show God through us. We each walk our own route on His narrow path.

Seeking God, at first glance, seems a concept; one that seems just out of reach. I can feel it. I desire to be with God in a deeper relationship, it seems I’m just shy of understanding how to reach the next depth.

Unfortunately there is no guide, no instruction man can provide that teaches the how of seeking God.

It must be a desire; a crave. A immeasurable, almost desperate, desire – one set within by God. The Word says he gives us the desires of our hearts. In this place that I reside today, a place where I desire almost nothing in the numbness, I find my deepest desire is to know God. Deeply. Intimately.

I found in my bible studies that God desires us to desire him, he desires a relationship with each one of us; and he gives us the desires of our hearts, when we seek him and his righteousness. It’s cyclical … He has put our desires and dreams within us and our ultimate desire (realized or not) is relationship with God. And round we go. There it is – as simple and as complex as that.

He has set a limitless desire within me and I have realized it. He desires that I desire him, and as I desire him I seek him more.

{his patience with us is unlimited, he’s waited 51 years for me to realize my true desire}

This is not that school girl’s, or lonely lady’s, running after the heart of a mere man. A fickle soul who may tease and stray. This is the pursuit of a heart that has longed for my desire for him since before the foundation of the world that is now, finally, dry and unforgiving under my feet. I’ve come to the place in my life where I only want a deeper relationship with God. I don’t want an earthly relationship after losing my heart to heaven. Nothing that basic will sustain this heart. Nothing so human will help me continue forward in my life.

Tonight I seek God with great passion. I seek to know him with an intense intimacy so as to settle myself quietly within his heart. I what to know the Who that resides in the depths of me. I want to see and be present in his glory. I want this world to become a dreamscape that I frequent while I reside in the kingdom of God. I want to know his mysteries. I want to know him more intimately as I knew my husband.

I want to walk with him daily, as I did my love. I have nothing left for this world, except to be God’s instrument, my heart is in eternity. I long no more for things, they are not filling me with life or health. I long for heavenly mysteries.

Beautiful Dreamer

Beautiful Dreamer – Lauren Rudolf Art

I’m seeking God knowing that I will find myself within him. Him within me. Like I said it’s cyclical. Only then will I be capable of fulfilling his will and desires for me here on this earth.

I want so much to be hidden within God knowing that this will fulfill my every desire. Quenching that thirsty need that nags at my splintered heart, making it whole once more.

I want desperately to feel God’s presence continually. I want it to become that presence to become my presence. I want to feel his tender embrace and know that I am being embraced. I purpose to be present in those moments, knowing it’s God. I purpose for those moments to become constants.

I know, today, that I am cared for in a much deeper capacity than any human heart can offer. And I can be content there.

I am actively seeking God – to know Him – to glorify Him – to love Him – to be one with Him.

Thanks for reading. Be Blessed.

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Deep Quiet


It’s on mornings like this, when the house is quiet and I am alone with my thoughts, that a soft sadness envelopes me.

Don’t feel sorry for me, I am not looking for attention; just sharing a part of my life with you, as we bloggers do. Don’t be burdened by the thought that you must say something kind and comforting in the comments, you don’t. There is no worldly comfort for this and I imagine there shouldn’t be. This type of pain is God’s territory.

And this process is about trusting God and the spiritual changes that come with such a significant change in one’s life.

Moving forward in one’s life after such a loss is difficult, always. Not like before when change was uncomfortable, maybe even painful and resisted; no nothing like the ease of that.

The perspective has changed.

In the quiet I experience the changes in my life both physically, tangibly and inwardly. The full human affect. They become more real, more apart of me, as I move forward to who I am without him.

He was such an integrated part of who I was, and who I am, still. Though even after only eight and a half months that seems to be fading into the background. And while that is a good sign that I am moving right along and well, there is an acute sadness that wants to be guilt.

We, no one, is who we were yesterday.With each passing moment, each morning sunrise, we are someone completely new. Our core self, our spirit, remains intact and unchanged. But the part of us made up of our morals and values – those environmental settings built into us by our parents and cultures and religions; those are changeable, those are the things that move and adjust along with us on this plane of life. The things that change about us, if we allow it.

Our minds change. Our perspectives change.

After the loss of my other half I realize that some of those environmental and family cultural things have changed. Don’t misunderstand me here, those who know me know, that I am vastly different minded than the majority of my family; and I say majority even when I have found no one amongst my siblings, cousins or extended family who is of the same mind as I am. I don’t cling to those things that families clings to; as if I would lose who I am if I didn’t cling to the fact that I am just like everyone else in my family.

Reminding me that I will not lose myself with the loss of my husband.

I trust God and with that trust comes an ever flowing change of who I am to who I am in Christ.

Of late I don’t resist change. I’ve come to know, in this time of me without him, that the old adage is absolute truth: Change is inevitable.

Not only that, but … Control. We literally have no control over this thing called our lives. Again, this is God’s territory.

If change is inevitable. If I am not who I was with him, if I am not who I was yesterday, but did nothing purposely to change me … do you see where I am going?

And so the sadness comes in. I guess to a certain extent I am different from some widows. I don’t feel guilty that I am moving forward because I don’t see that I have a choice. I am moving forward, because back is impossible. And I don’t think I realized it as impossible before I lost him.

Before I lost that vital part of who I was for the last 26 years.

A lifetime.

Time for our children to grow into adults. Time for us to be finally considering a life for just the two of us …

Now it’s just a life for me … and that’s really sad. And it’s really okay.

… All at the same time.

It’s all so very much to take in, in one sitting of quiet. Yet, it is so very simple.

So in the quiet of this morning … with my warm cup of lemon and water, I look at the day and wonder.

Who will I be today? And I feel sad that it’s just me. And I miss him. And I get up, with thoughts of him helping my heart to beat and forge into this day.

Thanks for reading. God bless.

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Behold … the new has come


It’s the new year, and new things have definitely come.

I have only one resolution and that is NOT to bring 2015 into 2016.

I will begin anew.

I haven’t written much here in the last year. I have been writing,though I have realized that my writing has reverted back to it’s original form … pen and paper (journals).

So what’s to come of this format of writing, for me? Well … I plan to take time each week … one day here at Hope*ann*Faith and one day on the sister blog, which I plan to rename: Letters: A widows journey. Mainly because I have 2 journals … A gratitude journal and a journal that has transformed itself from letters to my late husband to just letters about my new life journey as a widow.

So there’s more to come as I journey to find the new, individual me and my new, personal journey with God.

I think I’m actually looking forward to what may be … but it is covered in a light throw of sadness. But, then, I think it should be; for a bit longer anyway.

Happy New Year Everyone. God Bless.

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Thankfulness.


It’s that time of the year, and frankly I’m finding it hard to focus on the things I am thankful for. Instead my heart leads my mind to what I have lost.

And I have lost a most vital part of my life, and myself. My husband. And I don’t know who I am or what to do without him, much of the time.

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Being thankful in the down times is vital for our faith to remain strong. I tend to ignore what I am feeling and pray thankfully each morning. Thanking God for the day, his guidance and his faithfulness in my life. I thank him that he is sovereign and in control of my life and I submit myself and my day to him. Most days.

This doesn’t always help me focus on the things I have to be thankful for.

I am thankful for the roof over my head, but dread that I no longer hear my husband footsteps on the porch, or his voice in the other room. I miss how his laughter used to fill this home.

I am thankful that my boys are still home with me, even though they are adults. Yet, I feel as if they are being burdened by me.

I am thankful for my friends. They truly have saved my life several times these last several months!

I pray. It’s how I remained focused.

I sleep. It’s the depression and sadness. But then I dread waking up … but like I said I pray each morning, thanking God for the day and his presence.

I am focusing on this:

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which, indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Colossians 3:15

The Peace of Christ in my heart, because on my own I don’t have peace in this loss. And for his peace I am thankful.

Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. Colossians 4:2

In consistant prayer I am able to do what needs to be done and be watchful and wise over my life. I am thankful that my relationship with Father God has brought me to this place where I am able to pray even when my heart is shattered.

Staying thankful, even when on the surface it is a reach, is so grounding. I have lost my heart, the very air I used to breath. However today I continue to breath and function and live, and sometimes I even laugh and enjoy. I have God to thank for this. I have God’s plan to rely upon, because without it my purpose escapes me.

I am thankful. I just, sometimes, have trouble expressing it. It’s almost like I’m wrong, somehow, to be grateful after such a great loss… but thankful to God I am.

What am I most thankful for at this time? Well, that’s easy. I am thankful that I know exactly where My Love is. I know he is up there with God, in the mansion Jesus prepared for him. Well, healthy and enjoying never ending love and joy. I long to be with him there. All in God’s timing.

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! His faithful love endures forever! Let all Israel repeat: “His faithful love endures forever.” Let Aaron’s descendants, the priests repeat: “His faithful love endures forever.” Let all who fear the Lord repeat: “His faithful love endures forever.”

In my distress I prayed to the Lord and he answered me, and set me free. Psalm 118:1-5

We were taught on Genuine Worship this Sunday at our church. Genuine Worship is a lifestyle of worship. Obedience, surrender and relationship with God the Father, Christ Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

I am genuinely thankful that my relationship has taught me these things. Because even as I am sad and fractured I am able to honestly be thankful that God doesn’t forsake me … even when I feel so very alone.

In my distress I pray to the Lord, and I can honestly testify that he answers me and sets me free.

How do you deal with being thankful in your hard times?

I encourage you to seek the Lord, pray, seek his kingdom and his righteousness … There’s a scripture for that!😉

Thank you for taking the time to read. I truly pray this blessed you.

God bless.

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There are not 5 easy ways to pray!


Hello my friends … I caught up the other day and then, life … So this is …

Day 11 (on the 13th) =) so let’s get to it.

PrayerPrayer … there is no easy 5 step way to pray. Why? Because when we fully understand prayer we find that it is quite simple.

We don’t need a 5 step plan.

We don’t need a script or a prayer template, though God does provide one, which we went over in an earlier post.

I’m here to tell you that once you’ve set aside time to pray, you’ve essentially set aside time to spend with God.

Prayer is about relationship with God. With Jesus.

Prayer is a conversation with God. It’s that communication we all need in a relationship.

I sincerely just have conversations with God all day long. Sometimes in my heart and mind. Sometimes in the Spirit (or in tongues). And sometimes just me walking around the house on a normal day talking to God about what His Word says about my situation.

Sometimes it’s just to tell Him that I love Him … that’s the praise part.

Like we went over in an earlier post … The Lord’s Prayer of The Our Father (depending on your particular faith) is that template that God provided. And as funny as it is there are 4 steps in that template …

“This, then, is how you should pray:

9 “‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.

For thine is the kingdom,
The power, and the glory,
For ever and ever.
Amen.

Verse 9-10 are Praise to God. Acknowledging His Sovereignty.

Verse 11 is acknowledgement that God is our provision.

Verse 12 is us asking God for forgiveness as we forgive others. *Important note – if we are not forgiving others we will not benefit from this part of the prayer.

Verse 13 is us asking God for His help withstanding temptations

The ending is something we put in (it’s not in the bible therefore does not have a verse number) … it is personal praise of God and Who He.

Having shown, again, the EXAMPLE … it’s only an example, we can see what our prayers should be comprised of.

When we talk to our friends and loved ones … we are encouraging (praise), we often acknowledge what they mean to us, and what they provide for us in our relationship with them. When something goes wrong we (should) ask their forgiveness. And often we ask them to be accountability partners in life, helping us to avoid life’s pitfalls.

If we communicate with our friends and family in this way … how much more should we communicate with God on this level.

Think about it, there are people in your life that you speak and communicate with every day! Your wife, husband, mother, friends … and your children.

Do we, you and I, remember to include God in that list? We need to!

And I just said … we communicate daily with our children. Well, God seeks the same! He wants to speak into our lives daily, continually!

I promise you this … If and when you call on God the Father, Daddy, He is always going to listen and answer. He is always going to have time for you. He’s never going to send your call to voice mail!

Prayer is dependent on our relationship with God the Father. The more we communicate with God; our Love, our dreams and fears and needs and wants, the deeper our relationship with God becomes. And the more intimate the relationship the more effective the communication.

If there’s one thing most agree on it’s that a good relationship has good communication.

God is looking for you to talk to Him. What would you say to Him today.

Lord, I thank You today for always being there for me when I need to talk. Thank You for listening and guiding me in this life with Your invaluable input! Lord, You are my provision and my confidante. Your advise and guidance are priceless to me, You are never wrong. Thank You for knowing my heart and my needs. Thank You for being a great parent and know when NO is the answer and helping me to understand those times when No is the answer.
Lord, help me to always chose You first in the hard times and may I always remember to be grateful in the good times.
I Love You Father. You are my one and only.

In Jesus’ name, amen.

Thanks for stopping by for this humble little post. God bless you.

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31 Days of Prayer

31 Days of Prayer


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God’s hedge of protection … Caught Up!


Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice! Have mercy also upon me, and answer me. Psalm 27:7

Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice!
Have mercy also upon me, and answer me. Psalm 27:7

Day 10

Today’s focus has been all about protection. I’ve been praying for calm and peace against the anxiety, a lie of the enemy to distract me from praying.

I chose Prayer for my 31 Day Writing Challenge because that is where I am in my day to day. I’ve been praying more and more. And when I pray I pray God’s Word and only the solution. Because, after all, God knows what I need, often before I even know what I need.

Isn’t He wonderful.

Matthew 6:7-8

7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

I think we all begin, when learning to pray, with those begging prayers. And then we graduate to praying over and over, with many unnecessary words, as if God somehow cannot understand the severity of our need, or hear us.

Then, hopefully, we come to understand that God not only hears us, He knows our need before we do, and He answers us!

Again, isn’t He amazing!

So what is this hedge of protection? Many Christians have grown up in the Lord praying this hedge of protection. At our church we got into a conversation during fellowship about God’s Hedge! =) Wondering if it was actually in the bible and if it actually exists.

It is and it does!

In Job 1:10

“Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land.

This is satan talking to God, trying to prove that we are protected by Father and without His protection we would curse Him [God]. Most know the story. If you don’t I encourage you to read it.

So the God’s Hedge of Protection is real and working! So we continue to pray it around us and others when we feel the need of protection from the enemy and life’s perils.

So, again, I offer you a template of a prayer, to begin a discipline of praying God’s protection around us.

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Hedge of Protection – adapted from Prayers that Avail much. (fill in the blanks, with “I” or the name of the loved one you are praying for.)

Father, in the name of Jesus, I lift up __________ to You and pray a hedge of protection around him/her. I thank You, Father, that You are a wall of fire round about __________ and that you set Your angels round about him/her.
I thank You, Father, that __________ dwells in the secret place of the Most High and abides under the shadow of the Almighty. We say of You, Lord, You are his/her refuge and fortress, in You will he/she trust. You cover __________ with Your feathers, and under Your wings shall he/she trust. __________ shall not be afraid of the terror by night or the arrow that flies by day. Only with his/her eyes will __________ behold and see the reward of the wicked.
Because __________ has made You, Lord, his/her refuge and fortress, no evil shall befall him/her — no accident will overtake him/her — neither shall any plague or calamity come near him/her. For you give Your angels charge over __________, to keep him/her in all Your ways.
Father, because You have set Your love upon __________, therefore will You deliver him/her. __________ shall call upon You, and You will answer him/her. You will be with him/her in trouble and will satisfy __________ with a long life and show him/her Your salvation. Not a hair of his/her head shall perish. Amen.

Scripture References:
Ezekiel 22:30
Psalm 91:4,5 AMP
Zechariah 2:5
Psalm 91:8-11 AMP
Psalm 34:7
Psalm 91:14-16 AMP
Psalm 91:1,2 AMP Luke 21:18

This prayer is adapted from the scriptures above.
Today I prayed for my mom with this today. Mainly because I was at my wits end and didn’t know what to pray. And low and behold, and fully expected, God answered me.

This prayer does one other, very important thing. It prays the solution. It is not wordy and does not beg or repeat. It speaks God’s own words and the solution. A discipline that we all must hone. We must begin to pray God’s solutions.

And when we do … those solutions manifest. The more disciplined we are in these prayer the more and more we will notice God’s Hand upon our lives and we will come to an intimate knowing of His faithfulness to His Word and to us.

After all, He is the Best Daddy!

Lord, I thank You right now for those answered prayers. I thank You for my mother’s safety and soundness. Lord I ask that You continue to provide her with sound thinking and the motivation to get those things done in her life that she needs. I thank You that these things will manifest and become routine in her life, that she will come to a place where she cherishes these gifts from You. Lord again I call the blood of Jesus Christ over her and her household and our entire family. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.

Thanks for reading my friends. God bless you.

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31 Days of Prayer

31 Days of Prayer