Saturday, March 30, 2013

Weekly Impressions - Preventative Maintenance

Psalm 119:15-16
"I will meditate on Your precepts and regard Your ways. I shall delight in Your statutes; I shall not forget Your word."

I realized the other day, I haven’t utilized my spiritual tools lately. Yes, I’ve been having my quiet time at night, but it’s been more by rote. Read my chapter, maybe pray, go to bed. I hadn’t sought the Lord in my formulated prayer (see Impressions - Prayer with Thanksgiving) in awhile, wasn’t trying to call thankful things to mind, nor was I confessing very often. Perhaps... (just maybe...) I was struggling more - especially in the area of depression - because I wasn’t using the tools God gave me.

The day I wrote blue, my depression was so fierce I just had to look around and say, “Thank you for my clothes, Lord. And my shoes, and my water, and my Camelback, and my desk...” and so on, producing an entire litany of things before my eyes I could thank God I had. I didn’t really focus much on why I was thankful for them. I was going more for quantity so as to be overwhelmed with His goodness and provision. I was trying to bring to mind the evidence for what I knew in faith to be true.

It helped. At the very least, it steered my mind away from my self-focus to break the downward spiral, and provide a basis off of which I could begin an upward spiral. I didn’t get very far in the upward spiral that day; I hadn’t really expected to. Feelings don’t often change with the flip of a switch; it takes time. Things did turn around emotionally by the next day.

I have purposed now to be more intentional about using my spiritual tools not only when I’m facing an issue, but during the usual course of my day. You could classify it as preventative maintenance. That’s pretty much what it boils down to. If I'd been more purposeful lately in the use of my tools, I'd not have spiraled down so far. I am so glad God not only gave me these tools, but also helps me to use them. 

“For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.” Romans 11:36
What tools has God given you in your struggles? Have you been using them lately?

Friday, March 29, 2013


2 Corinthians 4:16
"Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day."

My cold turned into laryngitis almost a week ago, and I lost my voice. It didn’t hurt, but I was having difficulty controlling the coughing. If there’s one thing I’ve found to help coughing, it’s water. Since I can’t shove water down my throat while sleeping, I have set up our humidifier the past four or five nights. It’s been great!

I am thankful for God’s gift of our humidifier, that He is using it to ease my symptoms and help me get better faster. It is a blessing to be the recipient of the Lord’s care - and we receive it every moment of every day, even when it doesn’t feel like it. Those moments, similar to being sick, can feel miserable. Yet they are still an example of God’s glory and His grace.

Paul wrote about this in 2 Corinthians 4:15-18: “For all things are for your sakes, so that the grace which is spreading to more and more people may cause the giving of thanks to abound to the glory of God. Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

I am thankful for His mercies here, such as humidifiers to ease my sickness, but I look forward to the “day” of eternity, knowing this “momentary light affliction” is temporal, not eternal. Therefore I will not lose heart, but continue in God’s renewal day by day. What helps you focus on eternity?

Thursday, March 28, 2013


John 14:27
"Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful."

Today was a bit rough, because I struggled with my attitude. I was depressed about something and had a difficult time not focusing on myself and perpetuating the problem. As I drove out of a parking lot at the end of the day, I looked up to see a serene cloudy sky tinted a beautiful color of blue and immediately recognized God’s hand. As I looked around, the whole outside world was tinted in various shades of blue light. I smiled at the parallel of me being depressed, but even more, God spoke to my heart in that one scene about blue not having to signify depression. That blue scene didn’t depict melancholy or gloom, it spoke of calm, beauty, quiet... peace.

I didn’t have to be depressed, because the peace of God could fill me. Even when I struggle to draw upon it, God can meet me in my depraved state and bestow it upon me. That was what He did in that moment. Not that the whole world turned happy, but He helped me to perceive things differently. Closer to the way He sees them, I think.

I am thankful for the color blue, that God used it to speak His peace into my heart. We are so blessed to have such a relationship with Him! God communicates with each of His children in many different ways. What was the last way He communicated with you, and what did He communicate?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Flash Drives

Psalm 103:10-11
"He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him."

Today was one of those somewhat slow days until the last hour of the work day. Then it got hectic - and the work day became longer. We wanted to get some street signage to direct people to our Easter service, which is at a different location this year, and I had never handled any printing or graphics so large. We had a call in to someone who did, but - as always - we waited until the last minute.

So, having called around to get an inkling of the options available, I worked up a little something simple. However, the person did call toward the end of the day, and we worked up a much better sign. She had lots of helpful tips. I had already stayed an extra hour at work by this time. Now the problem was getting it to the company for printing. I hadn’t realized it, but the file was 677Mb... that’s a big file (and would explain why the computer took soooo loooong, lol). How was I going to get something so big to the company? Now that I thought about it, I actually had two files that size. That’s over a gig... I remembered I had a flash drive in my backpack, and quickly checked it for the size... 8GB - yes! The company was local, so I could hand deliver it with my flash drive. Thank the Lord!

I am thankful for God's grace in providing a flash drive to do what I needed at the last minute. I've been known to be a procrastinator in the past, and have been blessed at the number of times God has graciously bailed me out. I'm not nearly so bad anymore - this procrastination wasn't actually mine! Yet the Lord still bailed us out, and I'm thankful for the relief I felt in knowing I could get the job done with my flash drive. I made it to the company with fifteen minutes to spare. How’s that for God’s Schedule?

Has the Lord ever used something to bail you out at the last moment?

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


Psalm 115:11
"You who fear the Lord, trust in the Lord; He is their help and their shield."

My backpack goes with me everywhere. Without it, I would have to carry two or three bags. I use it as my purse, my laptop bag, book bag, and for a little while used it as my knitting bag, too. It’s wonderfully versatile and pleasingly resilient. I even think it looks cool, with its frosty blue and black tones, which is a nice little bonus.

I get looks for my backpack sometimes, but I’d rather carry it and have two hands available than both hands full with my things. Besides, free hands mean I can carry all of my 1-year-old’s things in fewer trips. That’s pretty nice, too.

Yes, I am very thankful for backpacks, that God made an easy way for us to carry more with less work. It just seems to make things run more efficiently, especially with the amount my family travels! It's one of those things I don't think about often because it's always there, but is an incredible help!

Has God provided you with an item that’s your workhorse?

Monday, March 25, 2013


Romans 11:36
"For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen."

I’ve had a cold this past week, so have been trying to lie low with respect to exertion (including mental exertion). Over the weekend - with frequent rests - I have been knitting and working on my first devotional journal (My Thankful Beginning ~ A Shift in Focus). I progressed quite a bit on both! Knowing I’ve been productive - especially when sick - feels like an accomplishment. Yet as I enjoy that feeling, I must temper it with the knowledge my  accomplishment is by God’s grace; I have no right to be prideful.

“For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.” (Romans 11:36) “All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.” (John 1:3)

God is the reason I can even breathe at this moment. There are so many facets of that one function that require survival: He created our lungs to breathe; the structure of the atoms and molecules to form the lungs; the bodily systems that require the oxygen from the air; each of the elements that are in the air... you get the idea. It takes a pretty big God to not only design and create all that, but to also maintain it!

I’m not saying it’s sin to enjoy accomplishment - we were made to enjoy God, “...who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy.” (1 Tim 6:17c). I’m just loving the knowledge God is in control of the tiniest details, and thus, am thankful He gave me the gift of productivity this weekend. I pray I might get to see how the work I accomplished will glorify Him.

What has God been orchestrating in your life this past week?

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Weekly Impressions - Plate Spinning

Psalm 46:10
"'Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.'"

I enjoy doing things. I take pleasure in doing them to the best of my ability before God. The drawback is I like to take on more and more until, before I know it, I’ve taken on too much.

One of my high school teachers used the example of plate spinners. They spin a plate on top of a stick, but the real trick is they have multiple plates spinning on multiple sticks. They run back and forth tending each plate to make sure none tumble and shatter. I view tasks like those plates, and I truly enjoy managing how to complete all of my tasks in the amount of time I have without letting one fall and shatter, so to speak. How many plates can I spin at once?

This mentality evokes a certain urgency that spreads throughout my whole day-to-day life. Everything relates to how much time I have and what I need to do in order to make sure none of my plates are falling. It even affects my quiet time with the Lord. I find it difficult to keep my thoughts on the same subject, or am so worried about needing to learn something in the time I have, I can’t focus enough to actually learn it. In short, it becomes my idol.

Sometimes it takes God stopping me in my tracks with sickness before I realize how far down that road I’ve gone. Sometimes I can feel it in the way my body feels - I can feel the urgency. I have to stop and say, “Am I really pressed for time?” And if I am, “Should I be?”

God has taught me - and this is one lesson I must constantly relearn - it is better not to accomplish all of the tasks, but rather to “cease striving, and know that [He is] God...” (Psalm 46:10). Rather than see how many plates I can spin, I should be on the lookout for how many plates He wants me to spin.

With each new task, I must ask myself, “Will taking this on permeate my life with urgency?” I may very well be able to take on and complete the task along with all the others I have, but will I be sacrificing my “calm” to do it? Having time to relax is highly important, and God reminds me of this every time I try to sacrifice it.

Is your life constantly on-the-go? Do you have difficulty meditating upon His Word? If so, pray and ask if He wants you to cut something out. Ask what He would have you do. If He truly wants you to do it all, then He will also provide a way to do it. How great is our God?

Friday, March 22, 2013

Proverbs 31:13-14
"She looks for wool and flax and works with her hands in delight. She is like merchant ships; she brings her food from afar."

I've enjoyed various knitting projects since my grandma showed me how as a child. There's something fulfilling and therapeutic about it. I can still be productive while I sit! Recently, I've developed the desire to knit myself a dress or skirt and there aren’t many in the catalogs I get, so I knew I’d have to try a google search or something. This would mean a lot of research to find one I liked, find an appropriate yarn, purchase it all, and hope the pattern was good. However, a friend sat me down and showed me, where all of that has already been done! Not only is everything in one place, but you get a creative idea brainstorm! That’s my kind of website. 

I am thankful God created a place (through human hands) for knitters (and crocheters) to easily and quickly trade information, and for the orchestration of my friend introducing me. I haven’t selected which dress or skirt to make yet, but I have compiled a group from which to narrow down my selection. Ravelry makes this so much easier! Being able to tap into the pool of knowledge of the other knitters is an incredibly valuable resource, which will allow me to increase my knitting skills, with which I'll be able to make many gifts!

What tool has God given you to increase the skills He's blessed you with?

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Being Sick

James 1:2-4
"Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."

I know it sounds weird to be thankful for being sick, but it's more that I'm thankful for some of the results than the actual being sick part. You see, when you’re sick, you get to stay home (sometimes, granted). It's also just the common cold, rather than the really nasty stuff (nasty as some colds can be). I am blessed to be able to stay home while my husband and extended family take care of my one-year-old, so I can actually get some rest.

It’s funny that, whenever I think of staying home alone - even when I’m sick - I think, “Oh! I can get some things done!” Yet, in all honesty, this is not a responsible way of thinking. I’m staying home and not working so I can rest, in order to get better sooner, so I can return to “active duty” sooner. Sure, I can water the indoor plants, maybe get a load of laundry in the washer and dryer, if not fold them. But most of my day should be spent resting and taking care of myself.

That’s a nice reprieve, even if it is a little marred by the headache, sore throat, and stuffiness that come with being sick. So I am thankful God allows us to get sick every now and again, if only for the fact that He may also be saying, “Rest now, My child.” Knowing God is in charge of that makes the day much brighter - even through the ailments.

What negative thing is God using positively in your life?

Cut Flowers

Matthew 6:28b-29
"Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like 
one of these."

There was one last flower on my potted cyclamen, and though its petals were still vibrant, the stem had wilted to my desktop. So in honor of spring, I did something I’ve only done enough times to count on one hand: I put it behind my ear.

I was never a girly-girl and it felt weird whenever I had tried, so I just didn’t duplicate the experience. I’ve been feeling a little more adventurous in the girly-girl department lately. (You know, like I actually painted and filed my nails... not in that order.) I suppose I’ve been looking for a little something different of late. A little something to jazz things up. Not much - just a bit. An arrangement of cut flowers on the table adds a bit of flair to the room. Just enough spice to add some flavor, but not enough to change the whole dish.

I am thankful for cut flowers, that God uses His creation of color, vibrance, and originality to add a little something to our day. Something of such beauty, we can't duplicate its splendor in our own clothing, but is something He graciously shares with us. Sometimes, He even adds fragrance. All-in-all, a rather pleasant and enjoyable experience. Especially if they’re from your own plants!

When did you last stop to enjoy God's splendor as portrayed in His creation?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Coffee Tables

Numbers 15:38,40
"'Speak to the sons of Israel, and tell them that they shall make for themselves tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and that they shall put on the tassel of each corner a cord of blue... so that you may remember to do all My commandments and be holy to your God.'"

I have fun memories of dancing on my parents’ coffee table when I was 3-5 years old. It was a nice solid piece of furniture and the level change was fun. I now have to smile as my 1-year-old son climbs up onto my in-laws’ coffee table - and dances.

A coffee table usually ends up in the center of the living room, since it’s most often placed in front of the couch. As such, it’s the perfect place for my little man to be the center of attention. This he enjoys.

He doesn’t only dance. He has his own awesomely cute mannerisms, including running in place in excitement in that cute little baby run with arms outstretched and a little grin in askance that you’ll catch him as he jumps off. That little run cracks me up every time.

I am thankful for coffee tables, that God has helped me to associate fond memories with a piece of furniture I come into contact with most every day. God uses reminders - like in the passage above - because He knows we easily forget. Do you hold fond memories of an item you often come into contact with most days? Do you have a reminder - whether one you’ve created intentionally or not - that helps you turn your focus to God?

Monday, March 18, 2013


Job 38:4
"'Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding...'"

If not for windshields, I think cars would be used more like an amusement park ride rather than traveling places at higher speeds. It would be very difficult to see and your eyes would dry out quickly. Not to mention the bugs, weather, and the extremely tangled and dried-out hair! At the very least, traveling by car would have to be done at a slower speed, which - for us - would mean we'd have to live closer to town. In that case, we wouldn’t have been able to afford to buy a house; we'd be renting. Toting children around like that - especially babies - would also be rather miserable.

Instead, we have the ability to travel at very high speeds with little effect upon our physical bodies (moving sickness aside). I am thankful God created common sense and that those who invented cars used it to include windshields in their design!

What small thing in your life would have big repercussions if God hadn’t provided for it in some way?

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Weekly Impressions - For His Glory

Philippians 2:3-4
"Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own interests, but also for the interests of others."

It’s easy to think a post has to have something profound to say, but in reality, I started this to chronicle what God was teaching me. God doesn’t always teach in epiphanies. I think His lessons in life are most often the small “notes to self” with a significant amount of practice and repetition. As I have been practicing “looking out for the interests of others” (Philippians 2:4) this week - particularly this weekend - God has been showing me the difference between serving others to serve myself, and serving others to serve Him (and them).

I must continually put myself to the question as to my true motive, because it can change from moment to moment. An easy way to check if it's in the right place is to check on my joy in the Lord. Am I getting annoyed? Frustrated? Anxious? Depressed? These are all indicators of a strayed focus, and of motives no longer rooted in the Lord.

Instead, I need to put myself in the shoes of the other person and then ask “myself”: “What do I need? What do I want? What would help me right now?” This certainly isn’t a be-all end-all answer, but it is a beginning. (I have to remind myself not to be afraid to actually ask the person, either!)

It’s nice to be used by God. Not that anything I do could thwart His purpose, but it is definitely fulfilling to live within His will, rather than outside it. There is a peace in it, and the joy of the Lord shines brighter through it, overflowing in an upward spiral that glorifies God. May I be cognizant of the way in which my life glorifies Him.

What are your motives in serving others?

Friday, March 15, 2013


1 Corinthians 3:1-2a
"And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to infants in Christ. I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it."

As the mother of a one-year-old who really enjoys his bottle, I’m thankful for milk. I mentioned in I love the ability to spend a some quieter time with my little man (while he’s being still!) as I rock him to sleep with his bottle. This wouldn’t be possible without the milk in the bottle. Occasionally, we run out and I’ll use warm water instead. He rocks and drinks it just as well... but he doesn’t go to sleep as well. The milk seems to help prepare his tummy for the fast during sleep.

Milk helps little ones to grow and prepares them for the next step. God does this with His children, too. Paul mentions in 1 Corinthians 3:2a: “I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it.”

Even though I've been a christian more than 20 years, I think this discipline of being thankful has become my spiritual milk. It really is a very basic principle of following God, and has opened my eyes to a whole new and wonderful world, filled with blessings, contentment, joy, and peace, just to name a few. Not that I was completely void of these things before, but it is a foundation from which I can begin to eat more solid food.

And I rather enjoy my bottle. I think it's important to note that milk is still useful to supplement the solid food. Were I to stop my discipline of thankfulness, my foundation would crumble, and my solid spiritual food would be less relevant. Rather, I am to not only have milk. I must continue to practice the basics alongside the more advanced principles.

The most famous example of this is in 1 Corinthians 13: “If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging symbol.” Let me not forget the basic principles of Christ - why I do what I do.

I thank God for His working in my life through thankfulness, my spiritual milk. I pray it blesses you, too, and that He would lead you to search out His workings in your own life, producing in you the thankfulness and trust He deserves.

Have you found thankfulness to be your milk?

Thursday, March 14, 2013


Psalm 63:6-8
"When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches, for You have been my help, and in the shadow of Your wings I sing for joy. My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me."


Your blossoms make me smile.
Such a soft and pretty thing:
Op'ning on the branch,
Blanketing bare limbs.

You catch them up with wind -
They float upon the breeze.
Dancing, spritely beckoning
Bright laughs in Your creation.

Alone, I’ll join the dance.
With others, smile and laugh.
Your gaiety is infectious,
May I practice it wisely.

May I spread it when appropriate,
Value its presence when not,
And always may I meditate
Upon Your works;
Upon Your glory;
Upon Your grace;
Upon Your love.


Have you ever felt like God was being playful in the way He carries the blossoms on the wind, encouraging You to join Him in the fun? When I walk through life conscious of His presence - usually through my meditation on Him - it's like He shares so much more with me; life often feels much more light-hearted. What difference would you see in the world around you if you saw Him in each moment and task?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


John 10:14-15
"I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep."

It was a beautiful day today. The new spring growth budded a brilliant green in the warm suns’ rays. That light and new growth make His creation so prominent I can’t avoid thinking about Him. God steps in front of me, so to speak, and waves, “Here I am!”

The sunshine often feels to me like God’s warm and loving embrace saying, “You are My child.” There’s a lot in that statement. It is both a protection and a command. As His child, I can have the peace and contentment of knowing He's looking out for me. Yet it is also a command to shine His glory. His glory is all around anyway, but He invites me to be a part of it. To walk in His sunshine, and to reflect its glow to those around me.

I am thankful for the physical, spiritual, and metaphorical messages of sunshine. May my thoughts be filled with Him, that He may overflow. Would you walk through life differently if you considered how to show His light to others?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


Romans 15:13
“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

There are so many verses on hope, because our God is a God of hope. I praise Him that He is! So often, as my focus draws inward, I begin to place my hope in the things of this world, and am sorely disappointed. Yet God’s hope will never disappoint. He is perfect, omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent; there is nothing my God cannot do!

This God who can do anything loves me - no matter what I’ve done or will do - with a perfect love and tenacity to never let go of me. In His perfect love and perfect will, He is conforming me into the image of His Son, Jesus Christ. (Romans 8:28-29, Philippians 1:6) Present tense. He knows I don’t have it down perfectly, and He doesn’t expect me to.

In my sin, I cannot please Him, but in His Son, I am justified - I am saved. I am given access to the Holy Spirit, who can please Him. No one can now condemn me (and how prideful of me to condemn myself!), as it says in Romans 8:1.

I am so thankful for the hope God gives us!

Monday, March 11, 2013


1 Timothy 5:17
"The elders who rule well are to be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at teaching and preaching."

If only it were so easy to be a leader as to download the qualities of one from the internet! Being a leader takes quite a bit of work... and being an elder in a church is a hefty calling. I am thankful God designed the church to have elders with the qualification to teach. Whenever our pastor is away for a weekend or two, one of our elders steps up and preaches a sermon. They may not be quite as polished as our pastor in their delivery, but they definitely share the Word of God in an understandable way, and seeing their point of view through the way they teach helps me to better trust their decisions.

I am thankful for the work our elders do in running the church, fellowshipping, mediating, guiding, teaching, and leading. I pray they would be encouraged in the work God has given them, and for God’s endurance and wisdom to carry out His work. May they ever reveal God’s glory to His children. If you're in a church with elders, have you thanked them for their work?

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Weekly Impressions - Pliable

Psalm 25:4-5
"Make me know Your ways, O Lord; teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; for You I wait all the day."


Help me not to become calloused to Your instruction and to gloss over Your reminders. Keep my heart humble and pliable in Your hands. May I not disregard opinions until I have considered them in Your light. Teach me to empty myself so I might fill myself with You. May my heart never grow cold.

In Jesus’ Name, amen.

There are times in life when I catch myself going through the motions. Somewhere along the way, I lose the drive behind my Christian walk. This also means I lose my joy. This is unveils the importance of the battlefield of thoughts (what I choose to fill them with, and what I choose not to think about). If not intentional in my meditations, I cripple myself, driven by the flow of circumstances. I lose sight of God's love, and my heart grows cold and rigid. As difficult as "...taking every thought captive according to the obedience of Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:5b) can be, the alternative is worse.

His love fuels the hope and subsequent joy that makes life life! "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead..." (1 Peter 1:3). 

Have you noticed your heart grow cold, or are you going through the motions of life? What have you been thinking about? Confront your thoughts with God's truth - His Word.

Friday, March 8, 2013


Psalm 33:6
"By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and by the breath of His mouth all their host."

Since I write a lot on the drive home, I often use my iPhone as a hotspot to post or research something. It’s a very handy thing to have, and it helps me make the most of my time. (Don't worry, my husband does the driving; we carpool.) I can also attend to my banking, etc. if I hadn't had time earlier in the day.

We don’t spend much time at home, and it’s usually bedtime when we do arrive. Being able to do things on-the-go makes errands and goals much more possible. I thank God He made the necessary waves for hotspots, so we have one more thing at our disposal to make the best use of our time.

It amazes me when I consider all the little pieces and parts of creation God made. From the beginning, He designed everything we could or would use and the ways in which we could use it - science itself. Of course, this makes me wonder how much He taught Adam and Eve in the beginning... how much we may have lost that we once knew, and how much He allowed us to discover. Sometimes, I wonder if this isn't why many of us are enamored of the idea of lost ancient - but advanced - civilizations.

What piece or part of God's creation helps you make the most of your time?

Thursday, March 7, 2013


Psalm 5:11
"But let all who take refuge in You be glad, let them ever sing for joy; and may You shelter them, that those who love Your name may exult in You."

My husband and I were recently given a set of microfiber sheets. Can we say comfortable? Yes. Yes we can. We normally use a set of 600 thread count sheets, which are the silky kind of comfortable that feel like living in the lap of luxury! We love those sheets, but I have to admit, these microfiber sheets are definitely nice, too. They offer the cuddly kind of comfort.

I am thankful God provided us with both kinds of sheets. My body doesn't produce much heat, so the silky sheets can take awhile for me to warm up - which makes them great in the summer! The microfiber sheets don't start off so cold, and are much easier to warm up. I am thankful to be graced with His provision not only of something practical, but something luxurious. His grace covers all I do, is found in everything I have, and is the source of my hope and joy in Christ. As I cuddle in my sheets, I think of His loving embrace and the refuge and shelter I find there.

What reminds you of His love, grace, and/or how He is our refuge?

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


Ecclesiastes 3:1
"There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven..."

I am a night person. I get a second wind around 9:00-9:30pm during which I feel as though I can actually get some chores done or do something fun. The trouble is, everyone else seems to be getting ready to wind down for the night. I also have a day job (which I love), and thus, must curb my nightly ventures. Yet I still love nighttime.

I am thankful God made nighttime, because of its relaxing atmosphere of stillness. I used to call my second wind “relaxed energy,” because even though I have the energy to do something, it’s the kind of energy that can be channeled into most anything and still be content. It isn’t the type of frantic energy that must be used. It simply is.

I pray God would help to teach me the delicate balance of how to choose between what to work on during that time - or if it's time to simply rest. May His wisdom guide my choices. How do you spend your moments?

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

God's Schedule

Romans 8:28
"And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose."

I am thankful for God’s schedule - that He is in control. 

Have you ever encountered a project whose deadline seemed impossible to meet, and you prayed and you worked - and lo and behold, the deadline comes and the project is actually finished? I call that God’s schedule. Or when I'm running late as I drive, pray like crazy - don't speed - and somehow arrive on time. I wonder sometimes if He doesn’t warp time in the same way He multiplied the five loaves and two fish to feed the five thousand.

As the church secretary, I was so thankful today to be able to see God’s schedule take place with a project that had to be completed for a biblical counseling class presented tonight. It always seems easier to rest in the Lord when I know circumstances are beyond my control. I hadn’t received the needed material to work with until - what seemed to me - too late.

Yet I knew if God wanted the material presented, He would see it presented. So I didn’t stress about it... actually, I rather enjoyed the process, and laughed and joked with my colleagues. When I felt my heart beating faster, I would just turn back to Him and pray for strength and endurance to do what I could do, then rest again in His sovereign plan. Apparently, it was His desire to see all of the material presented - as that is just what He did through us. What a privilege to be part of His plan!

God’s schedule is truly wonderful to behold, and I am glad for faith in the God who can manipulate time and space according to His will. That will is for His glory, and the good of those who love Him. This is His promise to His children, and never will He separate those two, no matter how bad things may seem, for they have a symbiotic relationship! Your joy glorifies Him! (Check out the link to see what kind of joy I'm actually talking about.)

Can you rest in the joy of the Lord?

Monday, March 4, 2013

Rocking Chairs

Proverbs 3:22-26
"Keep sound wisdom and discretion, so they will be life to your soul and adornment to your neck. Then you will walk in your way securely and your foot will not stumble. When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. Do not be afraid of sudden fear nor of the onslaught of the wicked when it comes; for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught."

I'm thankful to be able to rock my adorable one-year-old to sleep in a rocking chair. It is a precious time when my son actually (mostly) holds still. To look down at his sweet little face and watch those baby blues fight a losing battle to stay open makes me smile.

How often do we hold still for God? Certainly not every moment is meant for us to hold still. Yet do we have that time, and are we truly looking back at God and so at peace that it takes great effort NOT to fall asleep?

I don’t know about you, but my struggle is usually the other way around. Sleep does not come easily. I have noticed, however, the more I keep my focus on God, recognize He is in control, and place my fear upon Him, the more quickly I fall asleep. Rest is less illusory and more refreshing (see Impressions ~ Self-Focus vs. Refreshment for more). It isn’t just something that seems like it should happen - it’s actually happening.

Proverbs talks about this. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom...” (Proverbs 9:10). In Proverbs 3:22-26 above it talks about the correlation between wisdom and sleep, as well as lack of “sudden fear.” The “...Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught.” (verse 26)

I am thankful for rocking chairs, for God granting me a time of peace with my little one, and His reminder to have a time of peace with Him. May our hearts and minds be staid upon Him.

Does something help you get in a relaxed mindset in which you can focus on God?

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Weekly Impressions - Marvelous God

Isaiah 25:1
“O Lord, You are my God; I will exalt You, I will give thanks to Your name; for You have worked wonders, plans formed long ago, with perfect faithfulness.”

I love God. I can’t express enough how awesome it is that - though I revile Him through my sinful actions - every day, every hour, every moment, He draws me back to Himself with the perfect love only He possesses. Despite my idolatry, He gives me answered prayer, and joy, and victory, and doors, and comforters and every thing in my life that is good and perfect. (James 1:17) That is the God I serve.

His Holy Spirit is teaching me humility, and I think I’m actually beginning to get an inkling of what it looks like in minute corners of my life. God has blessed me with so much less depression and so much more joy. When I feel frustration, or anger, or complaint rising, I can catch it much quicker. The first thing I tell myself? “God means this for my good - so smile at His victory, and enjoy the journey.” I cannot tell you how much it changes the outcome of my day. Life is so much more joy-filled when there is less of me and more of Him.

I think God's voice is clearer when we take the time to marvel at Him. Our wonder keeps us more humble, and it's easier to enjoy His gifts, too. How often do you marvel at God?

Friday, March 1, 2013


Romans 15:14
"For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

God has been pointing me back to Philippians in most of my recent struggles. This letter Paul wrote to the church at Philippi is rich with theology we can put into practical use. It is easy to set what we read in the Bible on a shelf in our minds - perhaps to display and be proud of - and yet its practice eludes us. Perhaps it’s just me, or the current phase I’m going through, but Philippians is written in a way that helps me to see how to put its theology into practice.

For example, anxiety (worry) is mentioned in several places in the Bible. However, Philippians is the book in which the “cure” is made most apparent to me: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (Philippians 4:6) This is the main verse that instigated the creation of this blog. Void of other verses in the Bible, I wouldn’t quite have picked up on this meaning, but this verse says to me: “Pray without ceasing, and be thankful in everything.”

Paul also tells us to “have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus...” (Philippians 2:5) and then proceeds to explain how to be humble. “...[A]lthough He existed in the form of God, [He] did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant... He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:6-8) I again pair this with other verses to say to myself, “Be obedient to God, and focus on Him, not you. Empty yourself of yourself, and fill yourself with praise for God.”

Philippians is a book about how to live in the joy of the Lord. Without humility (chapter 2) we cannot have true joy (as distinct from, though not exclusive of, happiness). Anxiety and worry - which are a type of pride - come in and steal our joy. So many of us lose our joy because our focus draws inward instead of meditating upon God. It is our moment-by-moment struggle with sin.

I am thankful God inspired Paul to write this letter to the Philippians for the instruction - and thus hope - of those who love Him. (Romans 15:4) Have you been robbed of your joy? Where has your focus been?

My personal prayer is Psalm 19:14: “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer.”