Jehovah was not in the wind. And after the wind, an earthquake: Jehovah was not in the earthquake.
And after the earthquake, a fire: Jehovah was not in the fire. And after the fire, a soft gentle voice. (1Kings 19:11-12)

Subscribe to A Soft Gentle Voice by Email

Thursday, June 26, 2014

An Invitation to Rest ~ Titus 2 Tips {on Thursdays} A Guest Post




Are you weary, exhausted, stressed, fried, bombarded, and hanging on by a thread?

I saw this quote via (in)courage the other day, “God is not asking me to number my days to increase my pace but rather to examine my route” (taken from Pursue the Intentional Life by Jean Fleming).

What does your pace look like? If you are like me, it is pretty frantic. Even if there are not a lot of things on the calendar, I often feel frantic on the inside. Can you relate?

Last year our family theme was “Be Still.” A friend told me that being still has more to do with our state of mind and heart than it does with abstaining from activity. I liked that. Our souls can be at rest, and correctly postured, through trusting God and believing that “He's got this.” He’s got the whole words in His hands, remember? That means you too.

As women we often find ourselves too busy and often depleted by all the bustle and hustle of everyday life. Some of the scurry is our own doing, and it might be time to examine our pace and our route. But, some of the busyness may be unavoidable too.

Today, I want to give you an invitation to rest . . . permission to slow down. Release your grasp and choose to really live. In case you forgot, you are human. It is okay not to be superwoman—let that unrealistic expectation go! Jesus has you covered. If you are His, then you can rest under His wings and operate with the strength and grace that He provides.

Are you eating regularly or rushing through your day?

Are you taking a 20 minute power nap or falling into bed exhausted from getting just one more thing done?

Are you taking a few extra minutes in the shower to breathe deep and prepare your mind for action or are you skipping the essentials in the name of service to others?

Preaching to myself here, and maybe to you too?

What does your route look like? Who sets the agenda for your day? Is it you or your Loving Heavenly Father? Are you trying to keep up with the woman who has 20,000 followers and somehow manages to make flawless Pinterest dishes while her man brings her flowers and her children sing her praises? Or are you following the lead of Love? Are you letting Jesus guide you down the unique course that He has set before you?

Dear woman, I want you to know there is freedom to slow down. Unless you are lazy, which I am guessing you are not, take a deep cleansing breath and be mindful of your pace. Allow the Lord to show you how much He loves you and longs to walk with you as you serve and bless those around you.
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30 

Resting in His Promises,

Katie

Katie Reid is a recovering perfectionist, who is learning to slow down and breathe deeply, as she fumbles to receive and extend grace in everyday moments.
She delights in her hubby and four children and their life in ministry. Studying God's Word, singing/songwriting, blogging, photography, and heartfelt conversations are a few of her favourite things. 
Katie would love to connect with you on her website www.echoesofmyheart.com and on facebook and twitter @ImprintsKatie.
A Soft Gentle voice
I am honoured to host these guest posts in this series on women mentoring women 
Some weeks you may find tips from the kitchen or healthy recipes, tools other women have used to grow spiritually, hints to help us build up and love our husbands, and lessons they have learned as they have walked along with their children to teach them to love God wholeheartedly, habits they have developed in keeping their home, ways they have worked on to keep their behaviour respectful, or rhythms that allow peace and rest in the home and hearts that dwell there within.
You will find all the posts in the series here.
"Older women likewise are to be reverent in behaviour,
not slanderers or slaves to much wine.
They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands,
that the word of God may not be reviled."


{Titus 2:3-5}



Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Stealing Time Away and Spending it Well


There's a time to labour.

And a time to rest.

This is a time to rest.

*

We packed up our rusty old van and

drove miles to the sea all silver and sparkling

like diamonds.

We're resting, and celebrating life, and

breathing in blossoms and ocean breezes.

We're laughing, and loving and living full and

stealing time and spending it well.

*

{Words of Life Wednesdays link-up will return in a few short weeks.
 Thank you for extending grace.}

A Soft Gentle Voice

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Four Thoughts and a Cup of Coffee ~ Titus 2 Tips {on Thursdays} A Guest Post





If I were to sit down with you today for a cup of coffee, I’d dive right in and ask you how your life is going. We’d talk about your job, your family, and how that big event you just had ended up going. I’d ask how your dreams are coming along, and what goals you are setting for future. Oh, and what are you doing this weekend? Then, I’d ask you how you’re doing.

You’d probably give me the easy, “Oh fine! How are you?” But I’d counter with, “No no, how are you doing?” We’d go back and forth like this until I finally wore you down. From there, the conversation would take its course. By the end of our talk, I’d want you to realize that how you’re doing matters. You are not in this life alone, and I never want you to think for a second that you are.

Since I’m unable to be with you in person today and hear your story, I have a few things that I’d love to share. Just a few thoughts I’ve had over the past week that I hope will encourage you.

The first is this: Allow yourself some time each day to breathe easy and relax. Go outside and play (I’ll join you for some ultimate Frisbee!) Sit on your patio, read a novel, or hang out with friends. I know we all want to be perfect, but let’s try to let that go. Honestly, we will never be perfect. There will always be more laundry, and unless you use nothing but plastic ware, there will always be more dishes. Maybe it’s time we stop trying to do it all, and start allowing ourselves some freedom to live.

Second: Let’s face it, days rarely go the way we planned. I think that is simply because we are living with hundreds of other human beings in our community. Someone might be late and in a panic this morning, so they cause a car accident and back up traffic. Another person might have been frazzled when she left the house, so she has no idea where her cash is and needs to dig for a bit while in the check out line. Instead of getting mad at these complete strangers, let’s give them a little grace. We don’t know what kind of day they are having, or what kind of crisis they may be facing. So if we can, let’s just smile if we happen to catch their eye. A smile goes a long way.

The third is this: Never take for granted how much God loves you. There is a Psalm I absolutely love that says this: My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.” And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.” (Ps 27:8). Through trial or pain, remember that he is with you. Take time to be alone with him. Morning or night, the time doesn’t matter. Simply let your heart cry out to God and be comforted. He says not to worry, and to cast your cares upon him. Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? (Matt. 6:26-27). Let the truth of that passage sink in. He calls us to a relationship that is deep and intimate.

Fourth and last: There are seasons in life where our faith is built up to the point where we feel like it will never waver. And then there are seasons where we don’t have the faith to put one foot in front of the other. I’ve found in the places where we falter, it’s not wrong to ask for help. We need ladies who have gone before us to tell us to keep walking, even when we can’t see. We need someone to tell us to continue trusting in God. And on that note, trust isn’t a feeling - it’s a choice that is warranted and based off of past experiences. He did not fail you in the past, and he will not fail you now. I’ve even repeated this over and over to myself: God, I trust you will take care of this. I trust you. As I say those words out loud, they travel from my head to my heart. So if you are in that place today, seek out a friend’s council, and choose to trust God.

To wrap it up, I’d tell you that I’m always here to listen and offer help where I am able. And you know what? Keep living. Keep going. Every stage of life has its own set of struggles and blessings; let’s just keep helping each other out, and I think we’ll all be ok. Better yet, I think we’ll enjoy the journey.

I’m glad we had this time together.


Kristen Larson is a Christ follower and wife. 
She is a writer with a dream to see others fall deeper in love with God. 
You can read more about Kristen at her blog: Passion - Refresh - Calm 

A Soft Gentle voice
I am honoured to host these guest posts in this series on women mentoring women 
Some weeks you may find tips from the kitchen or healthy recipes, tools other women have used to grow spiritually, hints to help us build up and love our husbands, and lessons they have learned as they have walked along with their children to teach them to love God wholeheartedly, habits they have developed in keeping their home, ways they have worked on to keep their behaviour respectful, or rhythms that allow peace and rest in the home and hearts that dwell there within.
You will find all the posts in the series here.
"Older women likewise are to be reverent in behaviour,
not slanderers or slaves to much wine.
They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands,
that the word of God may not be reviled."

{Titus 2:3-5}


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

When You are Tempted to Store Grace for Tomorrow {Words of Life Wednesdays ~ A Link-up}

{Join us below for Words of Life Wednesdays with a link-up of your post.
We'd love to hear how God's Word has been nourishing you.}
{Also linking with Coffee For Your Heart}



"So do not worry about tomorrow;
for tomorrow will care for itself.
Each day has enough trouble of its own."
{Matthew 6:34}

A tornado ripped through a neighbourhood close to home as I plopped frozen chicken in the cast iron frying pan for supper. 

The storm had circled around all day as dark clouds unleashed water upon the thirsty ground. Lighting flashed and thunder rumbled as the wind stirred up the kid toys out back. We dashed through the activities for the day in case we lost electricity. 

Now, as I heard the news and watched more rain thrash around the bent ash trees in the backyard, I left the chicken in the pan and told the children that we were going downstairs to let this storm pass. We took shelter down in the basement and stayed up-to-date on Twitter with endless tweets with the hashtag #ONstorm. I texted friends that live on the street that was hit and was thankful to receive the replies that they were all safe.

It was an ugly storm that had my son in a panic with the news of a tornado just outside his friend's front door.

Families have been left without a roof over their heads. Fences and two-by-fours have been blown to pieces and scattered like toothpicks. Shingles, plywood, siding, blue boxes, and tractor trailers are twisted about the row of houses and beds and couches and other parts of people's lives no longer furnish the rooms of their homes, but are left like a heap of rubbish. 

A state of emergency has been declared.

Just before the storm blew in I had been googling severe aortic valve stenosis and the statistics I read left me weighted down as this severe storm has ripped through my life and leaves me broken and overwhelmed. I knew that if left untreated my severe aortic stenosis is lethal. What I had not read before were some of the statistics. I was left with a storm raging inside, threatening to bring me down. 

Why do I turn to statistics to tell me how bad things are? It's pretty clear when I do a quick scan around me and watch how storms level homes in seconds, divorce destroys families every day, costs of living dries up the money before the end of the month, and diseases with poor prognoses cut short people's years.

I don't need statistics to tell me how much suffering and heartache there is in the world. We can count on sorrow and hardship to be added to our days. We are not excluded from future tribulations.

But we can be free from worrying about the troubles of the future by growing in faith.

I had started the day soaking in words from the Studies in the Sermon on the Mountoriginally spoken by the distinguished doctor turned powerful preacher, Martyn Lloyd-Jones.

All day I have to keep preaching them to my own weary soul.


"If the present is bad enough as it is, why go to meet the future? To go on from day to day is enough in and of itself; be content with that. Worry about the future is so utterly futile and useless; it achieves nothing at all. We are very slow to see that; yet how true it is. Indeed we can go further and say that worry is never of any value at all. This is seen with particular clarity as you come to face the future. Apart from anything else, it is a pure waste of energy because however much you worry you cannot do anything about it. In any case its threatened catastrophes are imaginary; they are not certain, they may never happen at all.  
"But above all that, says our Lord, can you not see that, in a sense, you are mortgaging the future by worrying about it in the present? Indeed, the result of worrying about the future is that you are crippling yourself in the present; you are lessening your efficiency with regard to today, and thereby you are reducing your whole efficiency with regard to that future that is coming to meet you. 
"Every day has its problems; some of them are constant from day to day, some of them vary . . . We have to take it day by day.
" . . . Never try to anticipate God. As you must not anticipate your own future, do not anticipate God's future for you. Live day by day; live a life of obedience to God every day; do what God asks you to do very day . . . You must learn to trust God day by day for every particular occasion, and never try to go ahead of Him. 
" . . . as we learn in wisdom to take our days one by one as they come, forgetting yesterday and tomorrow, so we must learn the vital importance of walking with God day by day, of relying upon Him day by day, and applying to Him for the particular needs of each day . . .  
" . . . worry is always a failure to grasp and apply our faith. Faith does not work automatically . . . faith does not grow automatically either; we must learn to talk to our faith and to ourselves. We can think of it in terms of a man having a conversation with himself about himself and his faith . . . The child of God talks to himself; he reasons with himself, he shakes himself and reminds himself of himself and his faith, and immediately his faith begins to grow . . .  
" . . . Faith means refusing to think about worrying things, refusing to think about the future in that wrong sense . . . Faith is refusing to be burdened because we have cast our burden upon the Lord."
When the tornado warning has lifted for our area, we climb back upstairs to eat our supper. I slice up the half frozen chicken in the cold cast iron, turn the heat on, and cut up carrots, cucumber and celery sticks while the chicken warms up. I tell my son not to worry. I whisper the same to my own storm-tossed self. He tells me it would be a lot easier if he knew the future. I assure him that really it wouldn't. Sometimes the future is too much to handle today. Our conversation lingers a little longer and then he goes off to play with his Lego and I'm left with my own thoughts on storms and life and how we face the future.

I do the next thing and make chicken, bacon and lettuce wraps for supper with raw veggies on the side while I pray for the families that were saved from the tornado, but now have to face the wreckage of the storm.

All I can do is live each day as it comes.

I take refuge for today's storms.

I refuse to take thought for tomorrow's troubles.

I cannot store grace for tomorrow, but His grace is sufficient for today.

*photo credit: Lana Robertson



Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day to a Man who Fathers Well


The children pull out the crayons and card stock to honour the Daddy they adore with homemade cards. The boy scratches a poem down on paper to pay tribute to his father with witty words.

He is a Dad who deserves praise.

He is a husband who loves well.

He is a man worthy of his wage.

He rises with the sun and sets off to work with his hands.

He never leaves without a kiss and always returns home expecting the same.

He is steady, self-sacrificing and servant-hearted.

He is compassionate, committed, and courageous.

He makes music in life.

He composes passionate ballads with sweet harmony pulsing in real time.

He hammers hard when the black notes fill the performance.

He crescendos when life gets tricky with sharps and flats. Presses in. Presses on.

He humbly steps across the stage of life and never demands applause.

He tenderly holds his children in his arms and near to his heart.

He opens his hand to what the Lord has given and knows that the Lord could take away.

He believes in his heart.

He hopes against hope.



He loves the Lord.

He loves his bride.

He loves his children.


We celebrate and honour him.

We give thanks for him.

We stand up and give him special recognition today. 

Happy Father's Day to a man who fathers well.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Nine Ways to Love Your Husband ~ Titus 2 Tips {on Thursdays}




Loving your husband is not the popular message of today. But it is a message worth living.

Loving your husband is not an easy commitment. But it is a commitment worth making.

Loving your husband is not always what you want to do. But it is always worth doing.

Loving your husband is not your default. But it is possible to demonstrate God's love to your husband by His power.


How to Love Your Husband

After 14 years and 8 months of marriage I have learned a few things about loving my husband. I leave you with nine ways to tend the garden of your marriage. Grow in love and grace and be blessed with a marriage that stands the test of time.

Walk Alongside your Husband
When you are young and in love, you think you can live on love. As you mature and difficulties arise it is easy to walk apart. You think you need a workable plan to deal with the stresses in life. And you do, but don't forget to live on love. Live your lives together. Plan together. Laugh together. Cry together. Walk alongside your husband and hold hands in life. Don't stop getting to know your husband.

Work for Peace
Life easily overwhelms. Bills need to be paid. Responsibilities need to be met. Things break down. Children grow up. Seasons change. You are not your husband's enemy. Do everything you can do to work for and maintain peace. Economy and countries weaken in times of war. Peace brings stability and strength. Peace empowers you to help others who are weak.

Watch your Tongue
The easiest way to wound our husbands is to tear into them with our tongues. Put a guard over the lips of your mouth. By holding your tongue when you only have biting words you are winning the war for peace.

Weather the Storms
Life battles come. Storms on the horizon will blow in. Be prepared. Stock up. Build a safe place. Know where you are secure. Determine where you need to reinforce. Get involved in a loving community that you trust. You have the potential to grow stronger in the storms if you have the supports to help you through them. Believe that God is your refuge in storms and He is your Strength when you are weak. Continue in prayer with an attitude of gratitude in the hard times. In hope believe  when all is hopeless.

Win Him over with Affection
Shower him with affection. Even when you have to convince yourself to rub his back, greet him with a kiss, smile across the table and the children's messy table manners, or hold him when you are weary of little hands clambering over every inch of your body. Keep his heart tender by caressing him with your warm and devoted expression of love.

Weave Grace into your Days
Your husband is not perfect. Neither are you. There are days that you don't even like your husband. There are things that he does that drive you crazy. There are dreams that have no place in your marriage. Strong marriages are built on a foundation of love and framed with grace. Healthy marriages don't just happen, they need to grow with grace upon grace in the good times and bad times, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness or in health, 'till death separates.

Wonder at the Union
The oneness between a husband and wife is a union that should leave you in awe. It speaks of the union between Christ and His bride. That He would give us such a beautiful picture to live out is a humble joy. Be enraptured with your husband. Wonder at the special oneness. Marvel that you can be intimate and make love beautiful in this broken world.

Write Words of Encouragement
When you have guarded your tongue from words that tear down, be generous with words that will build your husband up in courage. Look for the little things he does if you struggle to find anything good. Honour and respect him with your words when you are alone, when your children are watching, and when you are in public. Write words of encouragement on his heart.

Worship Together
One of the most precious ways to grow together is to live your lives for God's glory together. Serve the Lord together. Go to church together. Pray together. Sing together. Stir one another on to good deeds. Trust together. Weep together. Do what you have been created to do—to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength—together and praise God that He will grow you in grace in His mercy will hold you both in the palm of His hand.



A Soft Gentle voice
I am honoured to host these guest posts in this series on women mentoring women. (Occasionally I will write a tip for you; you will notice today's post is not a guest post, but from yours truly!) 
Some weeks you may find tips from the kitchen or healthy recipes, tools other women have used to grow spiritually, hints to help us build up and love our husbands, and lessons they have learned as they have walked along with their children to teach them to love God wholeheartedly, habits they have developed in keeping their home, ways they have worked on to keep their behaviour respectful, or rhythms that allow peace and rest in the home and hearts that dwell there within.
You will find all the posts in the series here
"Older women likewise are to be reverent in behaviour,
not slanderers or slaves to much wine.
They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands,
that the word of God may not be reviled."


{Titus 2:3-5}

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

It's No Secret: How To Live Every Single Day of Your Life To its Fullest {Words of Life Wednesday}

{Join us below for Words of Life Wednesdays with a link-up of your post.
We'd love to hear how God's Word has been nourishing you.}
{Also linking with Coffee For Your Heart}


Life takes on a whole new depth when you live each day like it could be your last.

Suddenly life is not a matter of length of days, but a measure of how full the days you lived.

When you don't know if you will be able to watch your children grow up into adulthood or grow old with your beloved, life becomes precious, fragile, invaluable.

I don't live every moment believing that it is, but I do wake up and consciously am aware that I have opened my eyes to a new day. 

I'd like to say that that is enough for me to make the most out of every second of the day, but it's not.

I still waste moments. I throw away opportunities. I cower in fear.


When dying young is a threat in your day to day life, you sometimes forget to live. It's not that you are consumed with morbid thoughts, it's only that fear can paralyze you from the neck up.

Fear of the known as much as the unknown can keep you from living life to the fullest.

We desire to live abundant lives but our lives are far from full when they are filled with fear.

No one wants to live an empty life. But we let the frigid fingers of fear tighten their grip on our lives.

How do we loosen this hold that cages us into living small pitiful lives?

The present hand of the Lord in our lives is what releases us from these pointed fingers of fear.

The knowledge that the Lord is near is what allows you to live without worry, fear, and anxiety.

Right before Paul exhorted the Philippians to not be anxious about anything, he reminded them that the Lord is at hand.
The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. {Philippians 5:5-7}
The way to overcome fear is to be confident that the Lord is near.

There is no such thing as fear when you are secure in presence of the Lord.

He is in our midst, a present help, and he is coming to make all things right again. 

The promise that He is coming again should make us live every day of our present lives ready for all eternity.

The promise that the Lord is with us and is coming again empowers us to not be anxious about anything, gives us confidence to come before the throne of grace, and grants us a peace that surpasses all understanding.

Do you desire to live every day to its fullest?

Know that the Lord is near and be free from fear and filled with the peace of God.



Thursday, June 5, 2014

Grandma's Old-Fashioned Homemade Chocolate Pudding ~ A Recipe ~ Titus 2 Tips {On Thursdays}


Grandma knew her way around the kitchen.

She could throw a few things in here and there, mix this and that, and whisk up, beat, roll, and dish out some delicious goodness. She loved to cook for her family.

And we loved when Grandma cooked for us. Especially when she made her homemade chocolate pudding and it would be waiting in individual bowls in the kitchen for us after we had walked home from school.

The last time I made Grandma's pudding was 10 days before she turned 90. Fifteen days after her birthday Grandma breathed her last breath here on this earth.

The way Grandma loved to provide tasty treats was a fond memory of her at her funeral.

Her old-fashioned cooked pudding is now being enjoyed by the next generation of children. Some days a delicious bowl of Grandma's homemade chocolate pudding is just the right lip-sacking, tempting-to-lick-the-bowl kind of after school or after soccer or before or after any sort of activity snack.

I know your mouth may be watering now, but the good news is that soon you will soon be able to sit down with your own bowl of this decadent dessert. In order for you to indulge in this way, I will pass on the recipe that I have scratched together to get it as close as possible to Grandma's throw-some-ingredients-together-and-out-comes-the-best chocolate pudding.

I will share it with you in memory of my Grandma.

Directions:



Invite your neighbour over for a bowl of pudding as an excuse to snuggle her new-born baby girl. Then gather all your ingredients and hope your chocolate pudding turns out silky smooth and deliciously creamy.

Make sure you follow the directions carefully so you don't end up with lumpy pudding.



Sift sugar, cocoa, and cornstarch together in a saucepan.


Slowly pour in the milk and whisk with sugar mixture.



In a separate bowl, gently beat the eggs and set aside.

On a medium heat, continue to whisk the milk mixture.



As the milk begins to warm, temper the eggs. The way I do this is slowly add spoonfuls of the warming milk to the eggs until the eggs and milk are the same temperature.



When the eggs have been tempered, gradually add them to the milk mixture in the saucepan—unless you let your boy do it and then they are poured in not. so. gradually. If you are good with a whisk it will still turn out, so go ahead and let the kids join in!



Continue to whisk as the pudding thickens and comes to a slow boil. Little bubbles will rise to the surface and burst.

Add the vanilla, butter and a pinch of salt.



Let the pudding sit and cool for 5 minutes and stir occasionally before serving into individual dessert bowls. Be sure to divide the pudding evenly as children have been known to burst into tears if they feel they are being served a teaspoon less than others. Or send them to their room and eat their portion (as disciplinarian measures, of course). I'll tell you honestly, I did not eat it, but I sure thought about it!



See if you can wait until it has cooled completely before you devour your portion of the pudding.

And make sure you share with your children (or at least be willing to make them another batch if you succumb to the temptation to eat it all). This is less likely to happen if you invite your neighbour over. Then you are forced to share with everyone.



If you didn't get enough you could always lick the leftovers on the whisk. Just be careful you don't get your tongue stuck. And I recommend you do this when your neighbour has returned to her home.

Ingredients:

1/2 c sugar
1/4 c. cocoa
2 tbsp. cornstarch
2 cups milk
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp butter
Pinch of salt



A Soft Gentle voice
I am honoured to host these guest posts in this series on women mentoring women. (Occasionally I will write a tip for you; you will notice today's post is not a guest post, but from yours truly!) 
Some weeks you may find tips from the kitchen or healthy recipes, tools other women have used to grow spiritually, hints to help us build up and love our husbands, and lessons they have learned as they have walked along with their children to teach them to love God wholeheartedly, habits they have developed in keeping their home, ways they have worked on to keep their behaviour respectful, or rhythms that allow peace and rest in the home and hearts that dwell there within.
You will find all the posts in the series here
"Older women likewise are to be reverent in behaviour,
not slanderers or slaves to much wine.
They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands,
that the word of God may not be reviled."


{Titus 2:3-5}

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

When The Son's Light Shines As Hope {Words of Life Wednesday ~ A Link-up}

{Join us below for Words of Life Wednesdays with a link-up of your post.
We'd love to hear how God's Word has been nourishing you.}
{Also linking with Coffee For Your Heart}


After a long day, my husband walks in from work and picks up the hydro bill that I had set down on the bed only four hours before. Who wants to think about bills on a Monday? The way they roll in as steady as the waves out from sea they leave you broken on the shore if you don't stay riding on top of them.

"Oh, the hydro bill came." he mutters mostly to himself. "Always on time. The rain cloud in the day."




The words are just out of his mouth and hanging heavy in the room like dripping denim on the clothesline, when our baby comes looking for her daddy. Well, she is four years old after all, but she's still our baby.


"Hey, Sunshine."


He drops the bill, picks up our little delight in his strong hands, and tenderly looks down into her giggling eyes, "Enough about rain clouds when sunshine just entered the room."


She is stretching out a whole foot on either end from his arms with her ponytail swaying at the top end, her red shoes slipping from her toes, and her hands, all sticky from the popsicle she was sucking that apparently melted all over her, sticking straight up.


"You used to fit in these arms. What happened?" She soaks up the loving attention from her daddy. She missed him all day and now that she knows he's home, she runs off to wash the sticky from her hands and do important four year old things. Like play outside under the blazing sun that poked out from behind the rain cloud.


There's only been about three blinks between thoughts, nothing much has changed in the atmosphere, other than a shift in perspective.




I've been walking under a rain cloud (and I'm not talking about the steady bills that keep on crashing in and weigh you down) while looking for the sunshine to reappear. 


I've been inwardly groaning waiting for the ache to pass.


It won't.


The groaning is here to stay.


This body is longing for its resurrected body. This is only the long labouring stage of being made ready.


There is pain and suffering in this world just as there is pain in childbirth. It's all because of the curse when sin entered the world through Adam.


I don't wrestle with the why.  Suffering is a part of our lives here. We all have suffering. But how do we endure to the end?


When the ache is so much it makes you go numb?


When the agony is enough to make you want this cup to pass?


When you know this is the way that God is working to conform you more into the likeness of His Son?


We groan, and we endure.


But, this is how we shift our perspective; this is how we hope: we believe in God's promises.




We see the sunshine poke through the rain clouds. Even more, we see the rainbow arch above us because of the refraction, reflection, and dispersion of the sun's light in the rain.


There are dark days, but the light illuminates promises of hope stretched across from one end of the hopeless situation to the other. 


When things in life seems hopeless; when the rain clouds come, when there is nothing left to hope for, look for the sunshine. And there you will see the rainbow.


In hope believe against hope.


Keep believing when there is no reason to hope.

In hope [Abraham] believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, “So shall your offspring be.” He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. {Romans 4:18-21}
When Abraham saw his own body as good as dead, he believed.

No unbelief made him waver.


When he gave the glory to God, he grew stronger in faith.






Are you groaning inwardly? Have you no reason left to hope?

Don't waver concerning God's promises.

In hope against hope believe.

Give glory to God.

Be fully convinced that God is able to do what he has promised.


Groan, but don't grow weary.

Despair, but don't give up. 


When life has left you hanging on the line, shift your perspective and you will rejoice in hope when there is no hope.

The Light always out shines the darkness. 

Look up and see the Light of the Son reflecting the glory of God.

He knows suffering and he endured because of the joy awaiting him.

He's carrying you in His nailed scarred hands.

Holding out His glorious hope while you groan in your own hopelessness.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...