Encouragement to share your gifts

What if a storm cloud refused to rain?

Would it stay dark forever?

How heavy would it get?

How many flowers would miss their chance to bloom,

waiting for water that never fell?

 

What if you refuse to share your heart with the world?

Will it feel dark forever?

How heavy will it get?

Who will miss their chance to flourish,

waiting for grace that never poured out of you?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grace like a game of hearts

In cards,

when you find yourself losing a game of hearts,

you can secretly decide to accept it-

it’s called shooting the moon.

If you manage to lose completely,

you actually win-

it’s a path to victory.

In faith,

when you find your heart aching from the trials of life,

you can secretly decide to accept it –

it’s called surrender.

If you manage to fully let go,

you can embrace God’s plan-

and stand with Him in victory.

Lord, thank You for calling us ever deeper into Your mystery. Please give us the grace to let go of our attachment to the physical to more fully embrace Your spiritual presence in our lives.  

Related Scripture

Luke 17:33 Whoever tries to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will preserve it.

What to expect when you follow the still small voice of God

On my honeymoon in Hawaii years ago, everything was perfect except we could never figure out how to get to any of the obscure nature viewing areas we’d read about.

Whenever we asked for help, the locals led us on strangely roundabout paths. One would direct us this way to a random landmark that looked like all the other ones along the road, and we’d miss it. Then another would send us back in the other direction or into the jungle on a randomly flooded dirt road – even though we had nothing to do but relax and find our way, it drove me crazy not knowing where we were going. I guess my type A personality collided with the mellow, trusting aloha spirit.

But in the end, all was well. We eventually made it to our beautiful destination with a few extra funny stories under our belts. Just thinking about it brings back wonderful memories.

As I’ve grown more spiritually connected over the years, I’ve decided the Still Small Voice of God operates a little bit like the Hawaiian locals on our honeymoon.

When I ask for guidance, God doesn’t give me the whole plan at once – He just nudges me randomly in a particular direction I don’t understand, and when I inevitably get lost, He nudges me again back into the opposite direction or up a windy road that kind of scares me. I’ve come a long way in learning to trust these little angel whispers, but just like it did with the aloha spirit-my type A personality sometimes collides with the purely peaceful, infinitely wise Holy Spirit.

In the end though, I’m always glad I trusted the Lord. He has led me to some truly gorgeous places of freedom that I could have never found or even imagined were possible without Him. For that! I am incredibly grateful.

Lord, help us hear Your voice in our hearts, so we can follow You always! Even though You lead us in winding ways we don’t fully understand, we know Your way is always best. Thank You for Your guidance always. In Jesus name, Amen. 

What’s Your relationship with the Still Small Voice of God? Do you follow the angel whispers or intuitions? Share your experiences below, and I’ll pray for your connection to God to grow even stronger! 

Thank you for being so kind

In a world that can be cruel,

I want you to know how deeply I appreciate

your consistent expressions of genuine kindness.

Through your authentically loving presence,

thoughtful words and gestures –

the purity of your intentions are deeply felt.

It’s wonderful to know I can count on you

to be consistently gracious, understanding and gentle.

Thank you for caring enough to be kind.

God bless you to receive back infinitely more blessings than you pour out on others.

 

 

Thank you to the prayer warriors in my life

The older I get,

the more I appreciate  the magical way

prayer works

like invisible construction machinery –

secretly removing obstacles

and paving roads through otherwise

impassible wilderness.

Thank You for the grace your prayers have given me.

Thank You for the luminous path they created,

and Thank You for filling me with the strength to follow,

without knowing where it leads.

Your steadfast faith and unconditional love are the reasons

I’ve made it this far.

God bless you to realize the gift that you are

and to receive infinitely more blessings than you’ve poured out.

Quicksand encouragement

I see you bogged down with stress,

like you’re mired in quicksand up to your neck-

heavy laden,

motionless, stuck,

ready to give up-

I want to encourage you back into

Hope.

With God, there is no such thing as a trap.

If you lift Your eyes to the heavens,

He’ll strengthen you through the process of waiting for deliverance,

and when the time is right

-He’ll dissolve-

the muck with grace, so you can climb

or He’ll send a legion of angels to ever so gently lift

you out of it

-He’s creative-

in an instant, you can be light hearted, free flying, soaring with the angels…

rising above-

or you can persevere for even longer –

-as long as it takes to embrace-

an even more deeply gorgeous faith.

Just pray through the wait, and

and surrender the idea that you can climb out of this on your own.

It’s all good,

hang on-

keep looking up-

Remember, you’re never alone when You pray, and

Your victory will be worth the wait.

 

 

Steering kids toward the treasure of faith

My boys had a rough time getting off to school this morning. There was arguing and drama – normal kid stuff, but it was stressful until we got into the van at the very last minute.

Once they buckled up, I knew I needed to connect with their hearts and steer us all back into the spirit of faithfulness we try to live by as a family.

I made a dramatic joke about how badly we needed Jesus, and I started asking (out loud) for some of our favorite saints to pray the Lord’s peace back into our hearts. “St. Benedict, pray for us. You kids know he prays for us every day because you have his medal pinned in your backpacks, right? St. Ignatius, pray for us. Joshua, aren’t you doing a school project on him?  Dylan, St. Anthony is one of your favorites-let’s ask Him to pray for us too … we need all the help we can get this morning.”

These prayers shifted us into a more light-hearted spirit and wonderful conversation, which helped me clarify my beliefs in a way I think is worth sharing.

Joshua said, “I could never be a saint.”

Dylan said “Yeah, me neither because they have to give away all of their things to the poor.”

Rhys agreed, “yeah Saints, can never even have an X-box.”

I love moments of honesty like this with my boys because I can use them as teachable moments.

I responded, “Guys,  don’t sell yourselves short. The church teaches that we’re all called to be saints, and there are all kinds of saints. Though clergy do take a vow of poverty to literally be poor, the rest of us are just called to be detached from attachment to physical possessions no an emotional level, so we’re generous to others and follow Jesus above all else. And the vow of poverty isn’t that bad – think about our Father Tony – he still gets to travel and live a wonderful life.”

I then encouraged them “Instead of focusing on how hard it looks to be a saint from the outside, remember they’re just like you, and shift your focus to how powerful their relationship with the Holy Spirit must have been for them to love God so much they were willing and able to complete such heroic missions on earth. No one forced the saints to do all the amazing sacrifices, they chose out of love of God because they were filled with so much of His spirit. Saints are just regular people like us, who choose to follow Jesus. We can pray to be filled with so much of God’s love that we can do amazing things with our lives too.”

It was a mouthful, but all three tuned into these truths.

I added. “Just ask Jesus to purify your intentions and desires, so you start to WANT the things of God. You’ll be amazed at the things you can do, when you’re full of the Holy Spirit. There really is nothing better than the Holy Spirit (even an x-box) -and I hope and pray you realize and experience that truth someday.”

I stand by that truth. In my life, I’ve had to detach from a lot, and I have learned that there really IS nothing better than the Holy Spirit itself and all the gifts it brings us including total freedom. I’ll continue to pray for the boys to realize that and try to share that message with others through writing.

I’m committed to continually steer my kids and as many people as possible in the direction of true faith.

Lord, bless us and our children with an outpouring of the Holy Spirit today … purify our desires, wills, intellects and imaginations. Help us encounter Your love in a powerful, life changing way, so we can answer Your calling to Glorify you with our lives by doing what would be impossible without Your help.

Related Scripture

Philipians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.

Luke 11:13 So if you who are evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!

James 1:17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, with whom there is no change or shifting shadow.

Takeaways

We are ALL called to be saints!

The Holy Spirit is a GREATER gift than anything physical on this earth.

Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we can do great things, like the saint did.

Reflections

Do you have any attachments to earthly possessions that are holding you back from more fully embracing God’s calling on your life?

Have you had a life changing encounter with God’s love, which motivated you to make a sacrifice out of love?

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Lord help us desire Your spirit above all things! Help us realize the treasure that You are.