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Archive for the ‘trust’ Category

promise-of-something-new

A new year.

I love standing on this side of the doorway – looking back briefly to see gifts and graces that fell from the hand who gives all.

Then looking forward to all things new, wondering what awaits, knowing it won’t all be good things, but that it will all be God things that will ultimately be for my good.

Like a fresh blanket of snow just waiting for me to walk in leaving footprints, some days will be easier to embrace the adventure and blaze my own trail, and other days hesitation will hold me back without a sure path to follow.

Uncertainty can be a bit like a wilderness – not knowing, not seeing any further than this present moment, confused by all the possible paths.

But maybe this present moment is all I need to focus on when the unknown overwhelms. This moment, this present moment is where I am, where God is present. And it is gift to be here.

And what about those days when it seems we are wandering in brush and brambles or drifting in uncharted waters? Unsure of what to do, we do nothing but attempt the motions of normalcy – whatever that looks like. It’s on days like these that we are challenged to trust what is hidden, what eyes cannot see.

What if we look at the wilderness like this:

‘When nothing is sure, then everything is possible’ – Margaret Drabble

and then this promise:

‘For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness.’ Isaiah 43:19

Isaiah speaks sweet promises. A pathway through the wilderness. No need to hesitate or be fearful, just trust the way maker who goes before us.

And then the promise of something new. He’s already begun it. The seed has already been planted. God’s plan is already in motion. With open eyes, boldly trust and blaze your trail into the possibilities.

Happy New Year.

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bare-trees-quote

Some days I would rather stay home.

Today is one of them.

Chilly winds whip through the trees stripping leaves clean off, rain relentlessly pounds the earth – much needed, but far from pleasant at the moment.

Courage flees at the thought of leaving my warm home and stepping out into this blustery, miserable day. I try to justify leaving – do I really need to go? Do those things have to be done today? Yes, and yes, so step out, I must. I muster up, bundle up, and step out into the cold, dreariness that quickly engulfs me.

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As I stare out my window and cower at the thought of leaving my warm sanctuary, I see how God sometimes calls us to step out into unpleasant, blustery moments – even seasons. Hard situations that are way out of our comfort zone make us want to withdraw and retreat into the safe and the familiar. We wrap ourselves in the security of what we know, but it’s really fear that holds us tight, trying to ignore what we know we must face. It takes courage to step into the winds of change that whip around us, and bear the pounding rains and cold winds that chill us to the core. But step out, we must.

God doesn’t call us to go into the unknown alone – he walks close beside us. When we need to muster up courage, He bundles us up with the strength to take that first brave step and then another and another. Warmed with his love and constant presence, we take each day as it comes. We wear it brave and do the day, remembering his promise that this storm and these pounding rains will be for our good. That though unpleasant, they may be much needed. Rain can cleanse, rain can restore, and rain makes all things grow. There are blessings in the midst of storms and he is the calm amidst it all.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9

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Blessings

Tracy

 

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stillness-lake-quote

‘Mama, I don’t feel good’.

I look at her pale face, thin body lying in bed. It had been four months of this unknown illness wreaking havoc and robbing her of youthful joy. Four months since she had been in school, missing friends and fun of seventh grade.

As her days filled with pain and loneliness, my days filled with frustration and helplessness of a mama who would do anything for her daughter, but powerlessly could do nothing. Endless doctor visits, each adding only more questions to this enigma. What else could I do to make her better?  Myself sick with worry and stress. Daily pleas turned into constant state of prayer: ‘Please, God, heal her.’ ‘Heavenly Father, please lead us to the answer’.

Nothing.

Only silence.

Or so it is seemed at the time.

Standing in the now, I see with faith-filled eyes that God was not silent during those anxious days eleven years ago.

But wrapped up, consumed in those moments when time stood still, it sure seemed like he was.

Silence can be deceptive.

Unanswered prayer baffles – does God really care? Day after day waiting for an answer – is God really listening? Does he hear? Why doesn’t he show some sign that he is there? Why doesn’t he make this better? Why is this happening? Why? Why? Always the why.

Silence can be deafening.

It deafens so all we hear are our own thoughts, drowning in doubt and confusion. It limits his greatness and goodness, and it masks what he’s really trying to tell us:

Be still, and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10

When God seems silent, he’s actually calling us into stillness.

But how to be still when the world spins upside down?

Where is stillness when the heart sobs in brokenness?

How to find stillness in the tumult of mind’s questioning?

Yet with those words, be still, he calls us into a quiet calm.

How did he come to Elijah on the mountain? Not in wind or quake or fire, but in a gentle whisper. And how can we hear the whisper if we are not still?

In the stillness he whispers:

I love you. I will never leave you.  Joshua 1:5

I have plans for you, so trust me. Jeremiah 29:11

I need you to wait, because the time isn’t right yet. I have something better in store. Psalm 37:7, 104:27, Eccl 3:11

In the stillness he calls us to wait and to wait patiently.

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him. Psalm 37:7

So we wait.

In the waiting, he is at work. Earthly eyes cannot see or understand his mysterious ways. But with eyes of faith, we trust. His ‘no’s’ may be ‘not yets’. His ‘no’s’ may be a lesson in the now here, teaching us to rely only on him, to lean into him and his promises.

For his love endures forever. Psalm 136:1

So with whatever strength the soul can muster in the midst of the storm, be still and cling to him.

I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope. Psalm 130:5

blessings,

Tracy

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Unwelcome Gifts

snow psalm

Another snowfall.

This one not welcome.

Pretty, but not wanted.

It’s March.

Yesterday the air was warm.

Spring will come early this year, and I am anxious for it.

Instead, this white falling from above.

I know there is a reason for it,

this delay of season’s change,

and I know Spring will come in God’s timing, not mine.

So I sigh, murmur thanks, and get out the shovel.

*

There’s been a lot of unwanted snowfalls lately,

unwelcome gifts –

a dear friend loses her battle with cancer;

another struggles with depression – wandering in what seems like life’s desert -trying desperately to find direction;

another gives up everything he knows to figure out what went wrong though he followed God’s call.

 Snow may fall quiet but at times it’s a blizzard.

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We all have tasted disappointment,

 felt the sadness of heart break

when life doesn’t go the way we wish it would.

We look at what has been placed in our hand and say

‘What is this?’

Like the Israelites in the desert, we look at this manna –

white falling from above

and ask

‘What is this?’

“What is this that God wants me to walk through?

I don’t understand.

This is grace?

This is what God thinks is best for me?”

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And though we don’t understand,

He asks us to trust Him.

He asks us to gather up this manna every morning,

this big, heavy thing that doesn’t make sense,

and receive it as a gift –

as grace.

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 And instead of asking ‘why’,

He asks us to simply say

‘thank you’.

Wait, what?

Be thankful for this?

Be thankful that my friend is no longer here?

Be thankful that I’m stuck in a place where I don’t want to be?

Be thankful that life is not turning out how I thought it would?

Turn my pleas into praise?

*

It isn’t easy,

it’s a trust thing –

and we can trust our heavenly Father with everything.

He knows the manna-gift is not welcome –

He hears the heart’s cry,

But He knows what’s best for us and this manna is meant to nourish.

*

So hang in there, the snow won’t last forever –

it’s already beginning to melt.

There is hope.

There is comfort –

God is in control.

As you hold this manna in your hand,

He holds you in His.

*

– blessings,

Tracy

 

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I’m honored to have another one of my devotions featured this week over at A Word for Women. If you don’t already subscribe to their weekly email devotions, please consider it. 

Trust is the Bridge

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We cross bridges daily
without a second thought
boldly crossing
confident they will support our weight
But what about the bridges in our lives?
Are we confident that God will carry us across each one
that comes our way?
Do we trust him no matter the weight?
*
When things get really hard
when fear grips
and worry takes hold
when it’s hard to see any light ahead
and the situation seems too big –
this is when it’s hard to trust
but this is when we need to trust
 *

read more here:  A Trust without Borders

blessings,

Tracy

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rose farm

today i visited a rose farm

425 varieties tended with love in memory of someone dear

so beautiful

i saw bumblebees buzzing happily in centers of beauty

content in beds of nectar

like them, rose after rose,

i buried my nose into the middle of intoxicating fragrance

breathing deep

rose with bee

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i find it fascinating to see roses pass

from tight bud to full petals of silk too many to count

not as i will them to open

yet each unfolding in it’s own time

*

another lesson from the One who tends the heart

another lesson in patience and trust

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when things don’t turn out the way i planned

hopes and dreams broken

and the taste of disappointment is strong

i wonder

did i try to force the blossom?

 striving for what my heart longed for

was it something i wanted so much, but didn’t ask Him if it’s what He wanted for me?

*

 i want so desperately to see His plan

an unsure future – aren’t we all desperate to know and see?

or at least a little impatient?

perhaps He clouds the path ahead so we must trust Him completely

and slowly He reveals

petal by petal

His perfect plan for each of us

from bud

to full out gorgeous blossom

in His time

rose silk petals

*

all He asks of us is to trust Him

and let His plan unfold

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“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and hot to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”                                                                                            – Jeremiah 29:11

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Trust in the Lord with all your heart . . .
Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.                                                                               -Proverbs 3:5-6

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Thankful for . . .

#199. the intoxicating fragrance of His love

#200. an ocean of grace

#201. light for the path

#202. His perfect plan

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FullSizeRender cross 2

a couple months ago i tackled a hydrangea that desperately needed pruning

i made deep cuts

removing dead branches

reshaping spring growth

knowing mid-summer would bring a strong, healthy shrub

beautiful blossoms

FullSizeRender cross

*

as i work to reclaim the overgrown mess in my yard

slowly, patiently attending each plant

addressing each weed

pruning as i go

 God reminds me that he is working in my heart

slowly, patiently attending each need

addressing each sin

pruning as he goes

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sometimes he prunes deeply

and it hurts

but he prunes with love

each cut for our own good

removing the dead and diseased

shaping us as he goes

reclaiming our hearts

FullSizeRender (22)

for he has a plan to make us strong

to bring us closer to him

bearing beautiful blossoms and fruit again

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 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunesso that it will be even more fruitful.” John 15:1-2

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#175 so thankful for such a loving Father

#176  thankful for pruning cuts

# 177 thankful for reclamation

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