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?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peace in troubled times

Fiery chaos surrounds me,

but You are the still waters in my soul.

Through prayer,

I retreat-

into the silence of Your presence,

and I am not burned.

Thank You for the promise of Your perfect peace, and

Thank You for sustaining us through it all.

 

Related Scripture

John 14:27

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

John 16:33

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

St. Teresa of Avila:

Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things are passing away:
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things
Whoever has God lacks nothing;
God alone suffices.

 

 

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! 

Find a way to do what you loved as a child

At my son’s recent field trip to a literary festival, one of the speakers said “the happiest adults are those, who find a way to do what they loved as a child.”

This caught my attention because after ten years of being a stay-at-home mom, I sent my baby to kindergarten this fall. I’m in a transition period of my life and open to possibilities of what to do next.

Yes, I love writing, and that’s where most of my drive is right now. But what did I love as a child? Building forts in the neighbor’s lilac bushes when they were in bloom, playing running bases in the front yard with my brothers, creek walking and riding bikes into town for cheese fries … none of those seem like good arrows pointing into the direction of a fruitful career.

But randomly this afternoon, I was flooded with a wonderful childhood memory, which makes me think I’m on track with my writing. I adored my silver-haired 6th grade English teacher Mrs. Obrien. She was a woman of great imagination, who brought each of us a tuppence from her annual trip to Ireland and dazzled us (or at least me) with tales of how she swam across an entire lake on vacation every summer. I also loved her dramatic re-enactments of classic literature – she was my favorite middle school teacher by far. 

More than anything, I loved how she’d have us write poetry by hand, then use colored pencils to decorate the page. I think it was my all-time favorite, most centering, even meditative, assignment in grade school.

In the past year, I’ve been surprised to find myself called to write mystical poetry. I absolutely love expressing my faith in this way and teaming it up with photography to illustrate the message – though it is hard work, it feels centering and satisfying to my soul. The creative wellspring is flowing.

BUT – I’ve been struggling to embrace this calling because I don’t think it’s a very practical thing to be doing, and I’m not very confident about sharing my work because I’m shy and prefer to be private with my faith.

The more I pray about it, the more I’m lead by God to continue writing and stretching my comfort zone by sharing it as much as possible. The writing has been a delight, the sharing a struggle.

Realizing this common thread back into my childhood regarding my love for poetry and images is reassuring somehow – at this point of stepping out on fath with my writing, it helps me trust that God created me for a purpose and this is part of it. He’s had this plan for me all along, and my job is to be obedient to His spirit like I have been for many years – this is just the next step in my journey, no big deal.

Psalm 139 13-14 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

So what about you? Do you know what God created You to do? What did you love doing as a child? Could you carve out a little time to resurrect that part of yourself soon, just to see what happened? Comment below, and I’ll lift you in prayer to live a fulfilling, joyful life doing exactly what God created you to do. We’re all in this faith journey together. 

Related Scripture

Matthew 18: 3-4 3 “Truly I tell you, He said, “unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven”

 

 

 

Miracles and Mysteries

When my infant son Dylan was miraculously healed of kidney disease after being prayed over by a healing priest, I was on fire with the Holy Spirit. My prayers had been answered in a profound way, and my world had been rocked.

Where before I had believed in God and prayed for healing miracles, now I had witnessed one first hand and had had an undeniable mystical experience, which profoundly increased my faith in God’s presence with us on earth. My life was changed forever.

I wanted to shout it from the rooftops: “God heals! Miracles happen!” When I did start telling people what happened, I quickly realized that sharing faith is about more than just miracle stories.

People have very real, very deep emotions and even anger at God, due to the unanswered prayers of their own lives. Many people doubt that God heals today like He did when He walked the earth. Instead of being the inspiration I hoped for, I learned that sharing miracle stories can trigger pain, anger, doubt, grief and other primal unprocessed emotions in many people, which need to be worked through.

I think this is understandable. Though I have been blessed with the gift of faith through trials, I have certainly gone through the gamut of emotions about seemingly unanswered prayers over the years.  Grief isn’t an easy process, and many people get stuck in it and lose their faith along the way.

I’ve realized that sharing faith with others is about more than sharing the spiritual highs and miracles we are blessed with. Though miracles can increase hope, truly sharing faith requires us to walk with people through pain, connecting to them on an emotional level through the trials of life and supporting their efforts to seek God through it all.

This is ultimately what Jesus did on the cross. In taking on the fullness of human suffering and even injustice, He emotionally and mystically connected with every human experience in order to redeem our relationship with God.

God has always tried to draw people to Him by connecting with us, wherever we are emotionally. For example in the Psalms, we are blessed with the full expresssion of every human emotion in right relationship to God. They help us realize that nothing we go through is new or unique – suffering is just a normal part of the spiritual journey, as are glorious unfathomable miracles.

As Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble, but take heart I have overcome the world.”

Through my writing over time, I hope to share the fullness of the trials and joys of what it really means to walk in a life of faith. Hopefully I’ll connect with some aching hearts along the way and help them open up to the infinite miraculous possibilities, which are born of faith.

What experiences have you had with miracles and unanswered prayers? Comment below, and I’ll lift you in prayer, wherever you’re at on your faith journey. God bless you to live a life rich with faith and miracles, even through hard times. 

Growing in spiritual maturity

When I first sensed the marvel of Your presence in my heart,

I was drawn like a child to a carnival ride.

I perceived Your power and imagined

You’d take me further and faster –

exactly where I wanted to go,

I said yes.

Years of wholehearted yeses later,

I’ve learned that the richness of Your Spirit is the

journey, goal and destination –

in and of Itself.

You haven’t taken me any further,

only deeper-

into love.

I haven’t gained anything,

only lost –

my illusions.

Yet You continue to enchant me and

somehow draw me in, voluntarily –

through the pain of letting go,

into the richness of prayerful silence

and contemplation of Your unfathomable treasure trove

of mysteries.

Prayer for discernment

Lord, we are living in confusing times.

Fake news and suppressed facts are becoming normalized before our eyes.

Innocent people are being manipulated,

and hearts are being corrupted by dangerous distortions –

sometimes it seems like lies are taking over.

Lord, You are the Spirit of Truth and Justice.

In the end,

I know You will be victorious over all of this.

I want to carry the Light of Your love into the shadows of our times.

Please fill me with Your Spirit of Truth,

that I may have a sense of discernment

to clearly see through falseness

and dark agendas.

Fill me with Your wisdom and clarity in the face of lies and ill intent.

Empower me with Your Strength to stand

in Your Truth and for Your Truth in all circumstances-

that I may participate in Your redemption of the world.

In Jesus name,

Amen.