Saturday, June 10, 2017

Quieting My Heart: Weekend Readings

When something grabs my heart, I must write about it in my journal, and then it often makes its way to Instagram, together with a photo from my collection of photos (and occasionally from a free online source)

I got the idea recently to collect these short little devo posts from my Instagram, and share them all together here at the end of the week. It's a way for me to keep them easily accessible for my own inspiration and learning ... and maybe, they will be an encouragement for you, as well? There is so much beauty in God's Word, and in His Creation!

Hope, Joy, Peace
not just advent words
but what we long for
every day of our lives;
our hearts cry
for hope, joy, peace

The source;

not from our own efforts
but outside of ourselves
the most precious of gifts
freely given

"I pray that God,
the source of hope,
will fill you completely
with joy and peace,
because you trust in Him.
Then you will
overflow with confident hope
through the power
of the Holy Spirit."
(Romans 15:13)

After fishing all night,
it says that
their nets were still empty.
It may often be the
same for us ...
our best efforts,
and finest intentions
still fall so short.

But it also says that
when they surrendered
and listened and followed,
that their nets were
filled to overflowing.

(Thoughts from 
Luke 5:1-10)

"Jesus calls us
to leave behind 
our 'nets' of competence,
and instead, experience
being the Beloved ...
with Him."
(Bonnie Gray)

Thankful for reminders
that we don't need to try so hard:
we just need to stay close,
listening, surrendering,
depending on Him,
and He will do beyond
what we even wish for.

It seems like everyday
there are weeds to 
pull out of the garden
of my heart ...
weeds like worry, stress,
bitterness, impatience.

And how are we to 
keep up with removing the weeds?
I can pull them one day,
and the next day
they are back with vengeance.
The weeds never stop.

"I am the Gardener ... 
when you sit quietly with Me,
I shine the Light of My Presence
directly into your heart ...

Each moment you can choose
to practice My Presence
or to practice the presence 
of problems."
(Jesus Calling)

It's His Presence
that makes the difference.
For there remains no room
for the weeds
when His Presence 
fills our hearts.

"My Presence will go with you,
and I will give you rest."
(Exodus 33:14)

Sometimes the dark closes in
and we feel hidden, 
misunderstood, and alone.

It can be hard to remember
how to breathe,
and we even begin to wonder
what the future may hold.

"If we remember there is Someone close,
a voice of Love whispering to us,
our spiritual eyes can adjust
and we begin to see the beauty
of the journey we're on."
(Bonnie Gray)

"I could ask the darkness to hide me
and the light around me to become night -
but even in darkness I cannot hide from You.
To You the night shines as bright as day.
Darkness and light are the same to You."
(Psalm 139:11-12)

Thank You, loving Lord,
that we are never hidden from You,
that even in the hard times
we are deeply loved,
understood completely,
and never alone.

So very thankful for
God's faithful
and sweet presence,
even and especially
when we go through
confusing, difficult times.

In this very busy world
is it okay to just rest?
To stop from our work,
and to just ... be?

Do we always need
to be producing,
serving, accomplishing?

Jesus said to His disciples,
"Let's go off by ourselves
to a quiet place
and rest awhile."
(Mark 6:31)

"What if God's plan for us
is not to be more busy,
but to be more loved?"
(Bonnie Gray)

And maybe the pausing,
and the breathing deeply,
quieting ourselves
to receive, and to experience
His intimate love
is necessary in order
to serve, produce, and
even to love others.

Being present with Him
enables us to truly
be present with others.

Wishing and praying for
a weekend for you
and for me -
with pockets of beautiful,
refreshing rest.

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