HOPE*ann*FAITH

Learning to Live , Again, On Purpose.


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… but even if He doesn’t … A Wordy Wednesday … Day 17


I wasn’t going to write this week … I decided to relax after a very busy two week schedule and before Thanksgiving cooking commenced this evening! 

But God … He had a different plan. 🙂

Focus

I was working around the kitchen this morning, go figure 🙂 and God brought this thought … I posted it as my Facebook status and then realized that God meant for me to say more about it.

 “Good morning, Loves! On this Thanksgiving Eve God gave to me, this thought … no matter how hard my life has been, how difficult my childhood or upbringing … no matter what or who I have lost in this life … It has all resulted in this very (fleeting) moment where I am blessed and can be grateful for everyone and everything that has brought me to this point in my Blessed Life! So if you’ve had hardships; even if you are experiencing those hardships right this minute there is a place in Gratitude that you can find that says … Thank you, LORD … for bringing me here … right where I am supposed to be; with You, living and loving and growing in this my life … My Blessed Life!”

 Then He placed in me these scripture verses …

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” – Daniel 3:16-18

This is part of the story about Daniel and the three Hebrew Children … the king had erected a statue of himself and demanded that the people worship it when they heard certain music. The boys … never giving in to the world of the king, refused and were subsequently thrown into the fires, the boys stood firm in their belief of God. They told the king that their God would rescue them and they went further, proving their loyalty only to God; they told the king that even if God chose NOT to rescue them they would only bow to their God!

Isn’t this amazing … and we face this question in our lives daily. Let’s face it, in our lives we are not faced with the terrible impending doom these four Hebrew boys faced (and they were boys!). However, we are faced, each day, with the choice to be grateful for what we have; and whether or not we are going to stand firm in faith, no matter what horrors this life presents.

Faith, for me these days, is something of God’s. I realize it is not my faith; even though I was given a mustard seed right along with the rest of humanity, it remains God’s faith … it remains God’s harvest … however, it remains my responsibility to be the good ground for this harvest to come to bloom! And that takes work and obedience to His Word.

Faith for me, today, looks like the status I was given this morning …

I’ve had many difficulties in life, who hasn’t? I have been in a place where I looked at the caios spinning and realized it was me and I had no tools to get off the carosel! I didn’t know better than what the world was telling me, so I spun and spun!

Today, I can, with great gratitude, say that I nolonger reside there. Today I can describe my life as “My Blessed Life” … I am where God has guided me … but there is more to it than that!

I am exactly where I am supposed to be right this moment, gratefully writing this post I was compelled to share; whether or not another stumbles by and reads this I remain obedient to the call on this blessed life! I am here because of all of that caios … all of those hardships endured … they were necessary for me to be the Me He Created!

Yes! On this Thanksgiving Eve 2011, I can honestly say (today) that (today) I am grateful for each and every person and event that has lead me to this moment. Today I know that whatever circumstances the world throws out at me that my Father Creator is going to rescue me … and even if He doesn’t … I am assured that I stand firm in the faith that Father God gave me, and I stand with God, and I will not worship anyone or anything above Him!

Is there a circumstance you’ve endured but feel you were not rescued? Take a look, you’re still here, reading this; you were rescued! You survived to be here and refined for this moment. I, for one am grateful that whatever your troubles you’ve made it here so that God could share this with you!

It’s the season to be Thankful … we here in America take a day (a four day weekend, now) to celebrate all we have to be thankful for … can you be thankful this moment for who you have become, what you have and where you are?

What are you thankful for today? Whatever it is, be thankful, too, for all those things and people along the way; no matter how or what, that brought you to this moment, and thank God for it.

This type of gratitude, for me, is freeing! Be free with me!

Blessings Loves!

¯`•´¯)……………`•.,(¯`•´¯)……….★
`•.,(¯`•´¯)……….★
(¯`•´¯).•´(¯`•´¯) HAPPY THANKSGIVING !!!
..` •.•´(¯`•´¯)…..★`•.,(¯`•´¯)……….★


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Grow … Good Ground and Day 16


Five Minute Friday … where we meet and share a quick visit and our hearts in a bold and unedited way …

no masks, no facades, just what happens when a heart meets the keyboard without reservation …and I’m hitting the timer in the wee hours of the morn! (first time I was up and got the e-mail) 🙂 Follow the link at the end and join us … this is where writing truly reveals the writer.

GROW … Go!

Breaking through Earth's Crust

When I typically think of grow(ing) I think of children … specifically my children, obviously. Oh and did they grow; into men. I guess I never truly thought about that when they were running in the sun and jumping puddles in canvas sneakers.

Now when I think of grow(ing) it is a different grow … it’s a growth of the Spirit … the growth of a relationship with God. One where my entire family is planted to grow in the Garden of God‘s Eden. What He would have us grow into and what fruit we would produce.

And then I think about the parable of the sower and I hear His voice asking the questions …

Where has My seed landed today Girl … are you good ground? Are you allowing My Word to grow within you, stretching your very spirit, blooming into the flower I made you to be …

Basking in the Sund

He has a sweet way of making the hard ground of my heart soft and pliable; suitable for cultivating the seed of His Word within me … today I am pliable … today I will strive to feed the soil of this heart with time with God in His Word, in Praise and Worship … in His very presence …

Walking in the cool of the morning with Him … a closer walk than yesterday!

STOP …

pictures added after the 5! Blessings Loves!


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Rejoicing in the New Day … Day 15 in a Few Words


Rejoicing in the Sun

This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. ~ Psalm 118:24

Another gloomy-ish day today here at the Jersey Shore … yet, I awake with a determined attitude that this day will be pleasant … enjoyable and productive.

I must rely on God for this, for in myself I have a list, already, that could make this day none of those positive things.

Positive is my choice … I must choose my mood, my attitude, my outlook on life itself.

I determine how each day, each moment will go.

My Father Creator watches as I wake each day, and I know His hope is that I would rejoice in this new day. His heart is that I realize that yesterday is gone into the sea of forgetfulness and that I take the opportunity in this New Day … His new mercies.

Mercies … His mercies are new each day. He begins my day with me extending favor and compassion, for He knows the world I [we are] am about to encounter holds no mercies for His children.

Who am I that I choose to be negative … a breeder of resentment and discouragement? Even as this might be a reasonable response to lifes trials and tribulations it is a choice I must resist. I must rebuke that voice within me that tells me I am entitled to a day of mourning … a day to lie around and wallow in what I see as my miseries.

I hear His soft voice each morning … almost literally whispering what will the day hold, Love? I am here, let us forget the facts of yesterday’s history. My child look upon this day as an opportunity to Love and Live and Rejoice in life.

Being proactive doesn’t come naturally to me; it is a divine gift I accepted early in life, before I even chose this path. Some say I’m bubbly, others say I am vivacious … these always felt kinetic in me, almost a facade; but happy has always been my goal.

So today in my busyness I will take Father up on His offer of mercy and rejoicing.

I can do all things! Joy brings me the strength of the LORD … anything else belays the day; and I cannot afford that!

We only have today, Loves; come rejoice in today and be glad. 

How is your morning so far loves? How would you map the mood and attitude of the day? Come and rejoice with me … share your thoughts and choices with me … with us. You know, if you’ve visited before, that we journey, here, together … so that we may have joy in our travels!

Blessings Loves!


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A Closer Walk … and clarity … {Day 14}


It’s raining today … the rain that the skies held heavy yesterday, threatening to open, did this morning. And the quiet blanketed our living room in grey and chill … unlike yesterday’s sun rays. I spent my morning in Proverbs and Ezekiel … and a virtual dark room, editing photos for a weekly photo prompt.

I read inspirational blog posts that made me want to imitate them; create something of my own out of someone else’s feelings, thoughts and experiences. This time I did not … I listened; I waited for something genuine. Yet still the words of these inspirations have mingled with my own thoughts on each [similar] posting.

Funny how He knits us together with hearts that have never met face to face.

Reading about thankfulness … gratitude in good times and bad. Absorbing the stories of the heart shared with the young in love and learning … children learning from adults … grownups from littles and the clock hands whirl with maddening speed through the hours of the day!

I settled into my favorite reading place; amongst pillows and comforters of cloth and fur and wet noses and began reading books of the bible … and I began a walk through God’s heart and lessons.

Israel is a rebellious house! A rebellious nation! A rebellious child!

Aren’t we all … can these stories be, that God tells us each day as we walk with Him … [aren’t they] about me [us].

I put my head back as my eyes begin to blur … sleep comes quickly when I read these days. Sometimes I feel it may be the enemy keeping me from God’s plan; but I perceiver and ask Him for stamina, energy, wide-eyed attention to His words.

He is faithful … always; I am grateful … always.

And the silence takes me … or the fatigue from my morning’s chores and I hear “rest when you are tired” in the doctor’s voice.

I close my eyes and ask for a closer walk … I ask for my stamina and metabolism to be boosted by His presence; that I might succeed in His plan … that I might reach those goals I’ve set [hoping they are within His will; willing to make necessary alterations if not] to be useful in His kingdom …

I ask finally for just His presence. I am a dense girl sometimes and forget that all these things come within His presence. I realize with joy that I’m singing the Worship I had playing in the background during my work …

I’m blessed with the gift of going to sleep praying and waking in prayer; falling into His arms of safety, singing His praises, to sleep, and waking to songs of worship sung from my groggy lips.

This is my closer walk.

I love that He shows up when I call … when I cry out … when the silence falls. His reassurances enveloping a heart that asks why; still knowing this breaks His heart.

Why not trust the rain girl? Why do you fear the rain child? [there is an inner fear of rain within me].

I have a plan … you know I do; walk with me daughter; walk closer … and I wonder …

Have I asked for the closer walk or am I responding to His desire for me to come closer to Him … and then I ponder does it matter?

As I thank Him for His presence … that He comes even when I am in doubt and wonder at His sovereignty in my life. Not that He isn’t sovereign in my life, but that the circumstances don’t feel as if they are for my best.

Thanking Him for the good and the bad alike … even feeling that this is backward.

As the discouragement of current events affect loved ones;  floating into our home, my better half battling the same questions in his deep, pensive silence … a silence different from mine, I think.

A closer walk with thee, LORD … I must press in so as to avoid my love’s different silence; even as I ask him to press in and not pull away. Reminding him of the delays this causes.

We walk out our own salvation; I know that God has this man gently in His grip and this different silence will be temporary, as He and God work out his questions … amazingly, simultaneously, while dealing with my doubt.

I believe you, God … help me with this doubt. Help me with the infiltration of the world and what they say is right.  The schemes we conjure for answers that are so obviously not your will. Help us with the battle that maybe these are the answers and we can repent later. Calm us as we refuse to take the fool’s out and wait on you; as we battle making decisions and plans without consulting YOU … rushing ahead, delaying the process of the blessings that are there for the taking.

A closer walk … and I hear the lyrics of that song on my mother’s Loretta Lynn album from so many years ago!

JUST A CLOSER WALK WITH THEE

Just a closer walk with Thee,

Grant it, Jesus, is my plea,

Daily walking close to Thee,

 Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.
I am weak, but Thou art strong;

Jesus, keep me from all wrong;

I’ll be satisfied as long As I walk, let me walk close to Thee.
Through this world of toil and snares,

If I falter, Lord, who cares?

Who with me my burden shares?

None but Thee, dear Lord, none but Thee.
When my feeble life is o’er,

Time for me will be no more;

Guide me gently, safely o’er To Thy kingdom shore,

to Thy shore.

Remembering Mom singing this with such passion … sadly, knowing now, the doubt in these sweet, familiar lyrics.

Amazed at how much He has revealed to His children; things not evident in the ’70s … when this tune was Mom’s hummings.

Knowing, now that He call us to walk closer … knowing that other’s do suffer our same burdens while we wallow in self-pity; blind to our ministries; even now, knowing the truth that we need not plead for Him to walk with us … the closer walk was granted from a tree at Golgotha.

This quest has been amazing and yet I am just halfway to my goal. I find I am a woman of Faith … my faith – NO!  His gift of His faith, is strong in me … a whole jar of mustard seed … a vessel with homemade mends allowing the me to fall away as He enters in all His glory …

To walk with me. 🙂

Do you desire a closer walk with God? Are there things in your life that you think keep you from walking with Him. Our my friends, He desires to walk with you in your current condition! His desire is to repair those things that cause you doubt or shame or whatever it is hindering your relationship with Him. I promise, I can do that because I know from whence I came … and you cannot have done worse, or doubted more. Our burdens are similar … trust me.

Walk with us today. Share with us your heart concerns right here. I want to listen to your heart so that it may be knit closer to mine and to His …

Blessings Loves.

 



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Silence … {day 13}


There is certain eloquence in silence …

The day was quiet. The boys all left for their various jobs and all I had to do was a few chores, a quick trip to the grocer and spend time with God preparing for bible study and bible college on Saturday.

I spent time with God. I read a bit of the readings necessary for my preparation and settled into a serene place and waited on God.

I worship Him in the silence of the day … of the night. I thank Him for my blessings, for His love and protection. I thank Him that I woke this morning and breath the sweet air of this mid-November warm wave that He has provided.

Quiet Morning

… as the quiet turned into a light sleep my prayers continued. I sought Him for solace in this place of discouragement I have been headed. I thanked Him that He is sovereign in all situations and that I knew He had a marvelous plan … and as if He didn’t already know, I did as any child would do, I asked Him to clear up my doubt … to clarify the current events of friends and families who are going through some very difficult times.

All this was a peaceful place of silence … truly peaceful. While I can sense the discouragement around the edges, His peace prevails.

I know what I know. I trust Him at His word. I believe His promises to us. So there is peace … beyond my understanding, beyond the understanding of those who do not know Him.

And I wander … wondering how there are people who do not know Him. Who deny Him. What hardships have hardened their hearts to believe all that the world says about Him and yet they look upon the beauty around them … do they see the beauty? Or is their eyes blinded by their painful circumstances.

He has made me strong … though I often feel as though I am breaking; I do not.

I do however empty me through the cracks and broken places, hastily mended with inferior bonds that I applied in my own strength; and allow Him to fill me with His Spirit.

I hear within my Spirit … why doubt Girl? You know the answers; where the answers are. Simply pray girl … be grateful child … be trusting love.

Plans for hope … not harm; but a future … He answers with those Words that He promised would be brought to the memory when needed … the answers.

Do not look with your natural eyes girl; seek my face and you will find the open doors … do not try to understand with your worldly knowledge child; seek my wisdom while it can be sought … my answers are there.

A place of serenity; an eloquent silence where only the sound of His voice floated on the breeze through the lace curtains; the essence of autumn perfuming the room that was flood with the softest light, caressing my soul as I basked in the presence of God.

He visited me in my home today … He sat with me as I sipped a cup of tea and spoke with Him the concerns of my heart. He soothed my heart and my head to His Peace, and I am grateful.

What are the concerns of your heart today? Have you sat in the quiet and pondered the answers?

Share with us here … we do not journey alone here; we walk together to the light, holding hands in the dark (it’s only shadow), together on this journey.



Blessings Loves.


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Forgiveness … Day 12 of the me He created …


I spent time after church with a new friend. A new Christian, in the very beginning of honestly changing the way she lives. A woman, hurting deeply from a wound inflicted by the one she loves and trusts; a woman stepping into the Kingdom of God and shedding the bondage of a cruel and dying world.

That world stepped up to stop her this week … and with every fiber of her being she took heart and walked into church again Sunday morning; into the loving arms of a family she didn’t know would be hers a year or so ago.

I was blessed to be her counsel. Awed that God would use me and the she would trust me. To be able to tell her about forgiveness and what it will do to mend heart, her relationships. Blessed to be able to truely minister to her from what was my deepest misery. Blessed to be trusted by God and by my new friend.

Forgiveness … something I was incapable of a short few years ago, myself, for similiar reasons and more.

Forgiveness … something I’ve learned heals a heart and a body.

Forgiveness … something that knits the bones of a relationship with a stronger bond for the courage that goes into it.

She blessed me more than I blessed her, Sunday. She made it possible for me, again today, to forgive those for the oldest wounds, within myself, with her tears; for the memory of my own …

Surprised at who He made me to be for yesterday … excited to see who He makes me to be for tomorrow.

Captive Thoughts

Captive Thoughts

 Forgiveness … it is the moment we touch the divine and are truly the image of God … We forgive and love like we never hurt a day in our lives … ♥ giving up hope that the world will be different and trusting God that we, ourselves have changed. ~ A.Hutchinson

Blessings Loves


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In the land of the living … take heart. ~ me He created on Thursday {day 10} w/linkz-y


 Thursday … and I am quiet today.

I’ve been persevering … diligently seeking and purposefully in the word. Looking for Him in me.

Came upon a heartbreak and tears threaten and I am finding it hard to keep them back. A bad mixture of hurt and anger churn and silence is my best bet.

Hard to “take heart” … sometimes things are just hard.

That’s life, right. At some point in all the forward movement … all the genuine effort of doing the right thing one finds that someone, somewhere is not going to be happy or approve; someone won’t even extend common courteousy and respect.

So what is this to me? To ME … God‘s girl? Why does this continue to cause me to even hesitate, let alone paralyze me, as it does.

Why do I so need to be liked … loved … respected by those around me? Why do I feel I deserve these from certain individuals? Isn’t this human nature, isn’t this how He built us. We were built to love and be loved; this is necessary. We were formed to earn and give respect; to be righteous ~ His righteousness.

 I’ve been told that how others feel about me, or what they think about me, is not my business; none of my concern. But as the fog fights the sun this fine Thursday morning I wonder if that means when that opinion … that feeling … those thoughts of another are none of my concern when I am faced with them directly.

mustn’t I consider why? Shouldn’t I try to find out what is wrong in me that one should feel as they do? Shouldn’t I consider what I’ve done so that I might ask forgiveness?

Wouldn’t anyone wonder what they had done wrong? Where they had strayed?

How does one take heart, find the courage to face the day, when faced with the fact that one they love so dearly feels you are not enough … have not done enough … ask too much … expect too much …

I am trying to apply God’s word this morning … I am pushing through the pain of this lessthan feeling, yet I sit at this keyboard with silent tears flowing, against every attempt not to hurt.

11 Teach me your way, LORD;
lead me in a straight path
because of my oppressors.
12 Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes,
for false witnesses rise up against me,
spouting malicious accusations.

13 I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the LORD
in the land of the living.
14 Wait for the LORD;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the LORD. ~Psalm 27:11-14

Something must come of this quest I am on. I must be content that there is a lesson here; because otherwise my heart grows more faint for the effort.

Maybe “they” meant that I should not concern myself with the thoughts and opinions of others because only God’s opinions and thoughts matter?

This knowledge does not cause the heart to mend, I am afraid.

Knowing that I am doing my level best is not causing this fog to lift from my heart any more than the sun is winning its battle with the fog outside my window.

Morning in White : Fog

Maybe it should just be enough to know that the sun is out there … continually warming this earthen sphere, regardless of what it faces … it continues to do its job; the sun. It warms, it illuminates and it continues … no matter the circumstances of mother nature.

Maybe it should be enough. Just maybe I am enough just the way I am.

Maybe …

Has a heartbreak caused you to stop recently? Is it hard for you in light of personal pain to only be concerned with what God thinks of you? Or do you strive to be liked and loved when others opinions are not positive?

Let’s wait on the LORD together. These are the tests and trails of life that tend to make or break us (our hearts).

There is a lesson here, though like any other I find it hard to believe; yet I do believe … I believe God. He made me the best I can be, today, tomorrow and yesterday, when I fell short of someone’s approval. I know I am who I am supposed to be, fulfilling a call I am supposed to fill.

So I take heart and move forward; maybe slower today because of the hurt , still forward. There must be forward flow no matter the circumstance … I will not allow myself to stagnate in the things I cannot change. I will have the courage to change myself, to adapt … to thrive; even if slowly today.

Waiting for the LORD … being strong despite the tears and the heartache and being courageous  and … waiting for the LORD.



Blessings Loves.