Spring Rains Encourage Growth, Beauty and Refreshment

Spring has not quite arrived, though it is very close. Click To Tweet
As I relax in my living room I hear the comforting sound of raindrops steadily falling.
This evening I spent some time with the online Nature Magnetic Poetry kit. Listening to the rain my thoughts were naturally drawn to words that might relate.

 

Refreshing Spring Rain

Spring rain softly falling
leaves earth pure and fresh

Squirrels wander about on
mossy forest boughs
as vine tendrils thrive
along wet tree trunks

I follow a covered path
where wild flowers shine
with beautiful vivid blooms

My soul grows full of love
At peace I breathe and relax

                                                             ~gayl wright

 

spring rain

 

Zechariah 10:1 (NIV)

Ask the Lord for rain in the springtime;
it is the Lord who sends the thunderstorms.
He gives showers of rain to all people,
and plants of the field to everyone.

 

It is the Lord who sends rain to water the earth and bring refreshment. May He give us rest and peace and enable us to bring refreshment to those we meet on this journey of life.May God water our souls with the rain of His mercy and grace. Click To Tweet

 

So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today—to love the Lord your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul—then I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and olive oil. I will provide grass in the fields for your cattle, and you will eat and be satisfied. (Deuteronomy 11:13-15 NIV)

 

I’m linking up with: #InspireMeMonday, #LMMLinkup, #Glimpses, #TeaAndWord, #TestimonyTuesday, #TellHisStory, #RaRaLinkup, #porchstories, #TuneInThursday

Trust God When You Cannot See the Way

It’s Five Minute Friday time again! This week the prompt is the word abandon. I thought about it for awhile and then decided to try a poem. It was mostly done within the allotted time, though it took a little longer to finish it up. Each stanza is a haiku and finishes up with a reminder to always trust in God.

 

 

Trust God in the Dark

Where are you, my Lord
My eyes are dim with teardrops
I am all alone

The way is so dark
No light shines to guide my path
I can’t see ahead

Brambles and tree roots
Stretch like fingers to trip me
Please don’t leave me here

Abandon me not
Oh Lord, my God and Savior
I am yours alone

My child I am here
You must trust me in the dark
I will never leave

                                                                                      ~gayl wright

 

 

Many times in this journey of life the road ahead seems dark, and we strain to see the light. Maybe we even feel like God has abandoned us. When trial after trial comes we might be tempted to fall into a heap and give up. Click To Tweet But take heart, God is always with us even when we cannot see. We don’t need to worry about the future or if we will have all we need, because God has it all under control.

(Hebrews 13:5-6 NIV)

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you.”

So we say with confidence, The Lord is my helper;
I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”

 

I’m linking up with: #FiveMinuteFriday,  #DanceWithJesus, #LMMLinkup, #TeaAndWord, #CoffeeforYourHeart.

 

Secret Dreams, Longings and Freedom from Shame

While away on vacation I worked on writing haiku based on the prompt words Secret & Burn given at #ronovanwrites. I did not finish in time to share them last week but now that I’m home my computer is ready and waiting.

 

 

Gazing at the clouds

I walk on beach and ponder

Secrets burning deep

 

We all have secrets. Some are desires we are too timid to share. Click To Tweet

 

Other secrets are exciting and we can’t wait to reveal them. Still others hold us back because of things that happened in the past. They haunt us and make us feel shame. The shame becomes a heavy burden stealing our joy and stifling forward movement.

Freedom from Shame

Stuck in a pattern of lies making us feel unworthy, we may find it hard to forgive ourselves. But God loves us more than we know. His forgiveness is real. Jesus paid the penalty long ago and we are free.

We don't have to keep stumbling under a burden of shame. Click To Tweet

 

Burn away the shame

Secret sins have been confessed

All is forgiven

 

 

The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
(Psalm 103:8-12 NIV)

There is also shame that comes through no fault of our own. Click To TweetOthers may have hurt us or made us feel less than or forced us into situations we should never have to face. But God knows about these, too, and welcomes us with open arms. His love and mercy are abundant. He can take away the shame and replace it with joy and peace.

Secret Dreams

Often we are afraid to reveal some of our secret longings partly because we lack confidence in our abilities. Maybe we don’t want to risk failure or we think no one will understand or support us. We can hold ourselves back because of fear or try new things, learning from mistakes. Click To Tweet 

Like a flame of fire

Secret longing burns inside

Yearning to be free

 

I say let’s go for our dreams, looking to God for strength and supporting each other as we go through life.  What do you say?

 

I’m linking up with: #HeartEncouragement, #ThoughtProvokingThursday, #TeaAndWord, #CoffeeforYourHeart, #TuneInThursday

 

Slow Down for a Time of Reflection this Lenten Season

Slow and steady wins the race is the moral of the story about the Tortoise and the Hare. I’m not sure it always holds true, but there is definitely wisdom in taking things slowly rather than always rushing ahead. SLOW is the #FiveMinuteFriday word prompt for this week.

Lent: A Time to Slow Down

We are coming up to the season of Lent as observed in both Roman Catholic and some Protestant churches. The first thing many of us think us when Lent is mentioned is that something has to be given up for the 40 day period. I’ve also heard that you could add something meaningful instead.

In thinking of Lent I believe it is also a time of slowing down, of contemplation, a remembrance of the last days Jesus spent on earth before His sacrificial death.

I did not grow up practicing Lent, but am now learning to see it as a meaningful time of reflection. Click To Tweet My observance of Lent has been sporadic and some years I haven’t done much at all. This year we will be on vacation when it begins with Ash Wednesday on March 1. Since we’ll be relaxing at the beach there will be ample time to take things more slowly.

We are planning to read through a couple of books written especially for the Lenten season. Click To Tweet Both are written by friends of mine, one of whom I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in person several times. The other I’ve gotten to know over the past couple of years in a small online writer’s group.

Books to Read for Lent

The first I want to share is The Living Cross – Exploring God’s gift of forgiveness and new life by Amy Boucher Pye. She is an author and speaker and contributes devotions for Our Daily Bread. Amy is passionate about the Scriptures and sharing God’s love with others. She write a weekly devotional on her blog.

In Amy’s words from the Introduction:

“Lent is traditionally a time of self-examination and thus an opportune moment to delve into God’s stories of forgiveness. As we move from Ash Wednesday to Easter Day we will engage with biblical characters from both the Old Testament and the New, as well as modern-day accounts of sin and forgiveness.”

Amy’s book is divided into weekly sections with a devotion and prayer for each day. At the end of every section as per the Table of Contents are “spiritual exercises and questions for individual reflection and group discussion.”
The focus is on the forgiveness we have in Christ. Click To Tweet
The Living Cross can be found at Amazon.

The other book I want to share is:

40 Days of Lent – the people, places and events of the Passion by Susan Shipe. Susan is an author who writes from her heart the words she has to share. She blogs at Hope, Heart Home.

These words from her Introduction tell a bit about the book:

“We will cover events, people and places. For 40 days, minus Sunday’s we will meet on the pages of this devotional; remembering Jesus’ final days on earth and celebrating His victory over life and death!

Each short chapter ends with a challenge for us to consider. Also included are a couple of maps showing the area of the ministry of Jesus. At the end  of the book she shares a recipe and a project. Susan’s book is also available at Amazon.

I'm looking forward to reading both of these books. Click To Tweet The plan is to read one in the morning and one in the evening. I hope you will take a look at these wonderful books that point us to Jesus. His sacrifice was great, but it made a way for us to be forgiven. What great mercy and love He continually shows to us!

 

I’m linking up with #FiveMinuteFriday.