Gratitude Challenge Day 15 and 16

Songs, Hymns, Poetry and Books shared over meals, tea time and bedtime can be a beautiful and practical way to point hearts towards truth, beauty and goodness. Listening to and reflecting on songs of gratitude is what we did for days 15 and 16 of this challenge.

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We have been listening and playing this song around our home. We got lyrics with its three verses and we had a reflective, worshipful time pondering and discussing:

  • What faithfulness means and what makes God faithful.
  • The the story behind this famous hymn, written by Thomas Chisholm
  • What each of the verses of the songs were about
  • Using the verses as prayers of gratitude in the morning or at night together as a family. For example with “Morning by morning new mercies I see”, We FOCUSED ON THE GRACE AND MERCY OF GOD even over the very breath that we breathe even morning. Two easy gratitude questions for kids, from the very first verse are    ” I wonder what new mercies a waiting for you today?” Perfect for morning wake up call! Or ” What new mercies did you see today?” Perfect for bedtime.

I find myself seeing so many ways that we are living out new mercies and displays of God’s faithfulness in our lives. It is a privilege to see them and to count them. I think it blesses our Father’s heart.

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Who is shaping your space?

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I had  a wonderful conversation with a friend the other day about the spaces that we as women dwell in. Would you agree that women have a unique ability to bring change in an atmosphere, carrying life and beauty wherever we are?

I know the idea of feminine qualities can be so controversial in our modern age, but I still believe that no one carries beauty, comfort, grace and life like women do. I fear we have exchanged these for mere exterior counterfeits while on the inside we battle to be all we know we are meant to be.

If you are like me, you have felt like there are some spaces in your life, whether at work, at home, emotionally or spiritually where all you see is emptiness or you feel like you are tripping over so much “stuff” on the inside and there is so much clutter and noise that the notion of bringing life, beauty and pure “Oomph” is completely non-existent.

Here is my question to myself and to you:

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Stay with me here…..

Think about your life like an actual space.

Picture your life as a space, with boundaries and unique traits. Like a house with different rooms each representing an area of your life.

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Or how about a garden. In some areas of your life it may feel lush and green, while in other spaces, you feel empty and it’s pretty dark when no one is looking.

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Whatever space you find yourself in, I want to encourage you by directing you to someone who is pretty awesome at transforming spaces.

Think about creation. This is one of my favorite parts of the Bible. We are introduced to God the Creator. The earth is described as dark and void. BUT! The Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the deep. God then speaks His word into that dark, empty space and said “ Let there be light “ Gen 1.

And guess what?

Lo and Behold! There was light!

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Everything changes from that point. The earth takes a new form and has light, life, beauty and breath. It becomes an expression of the character and design of God. All by the breath of His Word.

Think about Jesus stepping into the finite space that earth is though. He came close and brought who He was into our earth space, so that every one who decides to take a step of faith into the expansive, abundant life that is only found in Him, will be shaped anew. And where He is there is life and freedom and beauty and all that is good.

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So Let’s bring this home to ourselves, ladies. Who has been shaping the space within you? Personally, there have been spaces in my life where there has been darkness from my sinful and selfish choices. Combine this with the stuff that happens to your heart when people walk away who should have stayed; and mix in some disappointment, disapproval and discouragement; and you pretty much end up with a big gaping hole that must be filled.

This was me! I say was because to a large extent, God has shown up in my life and is transforming the space within. But I know for sure I have not arrived and I have to step daily into his expansive, never-ending grace. I totally suck apart from Him. And when I do not spend time surrounding my space with His words and His breath, am afraid there is very little of changing any atmosphere (the air, the mood, the quality of life around my space).  Apart from Him, I can do nothing. It’s as simple as that!

So think about! Who is shaping your space? Who is shaping you? Isn’t it time for someone new?

 

Trust is a beautiful place!

 

Trust is a beautiful place
Trust is a beautiful space meant to become home

I have felt it’s touch in the mornings
and the strength of its embrace at night
when the doubts have raged their troubled waters
and memories provoke it’s innocence

Trust stands firm, pure, and unshaken
not faintly deterred by my wandering eyes
nor driven away by my unbelief.
But as a patient and loving mother
Trust’s open arms remain
Ever present, ever waiting,
ever trusting that the day will finally come
when I will finally return home

Trust is my new home and it is a beautiful and spacious place.


Simple by Clarinda

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© Clarinda Sishi

 

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A Spacious Place in 2018!

Last year ended with my heart breathing lighter! Much lighter! So many things had to simply go last year! And the King of my heart navigated me through it all. After all He is the One who came to extract me out of that painful scenes that have played over and over again in my mind. He has been singing over me and surrounding me. He is the One who calls me “daughter of delight”, and the One who creates the space for me to live and move and have my being.

I realized  that the unfolding story of my life begins and ends with one thing: beholding the One who has loved me and known me from before I was born. My story is found in Him and He holds everything together by the power of His word. So my heart is at rest. My heart is lighter because He is the one who carries me. My heart is lighter because it is free!

So, Hello 2018! What has the Father planned for this year! What are His thoughts concerning you and me? What are the words He is speaking over us?

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Spacious!

This is a word on my heart and a prayer I am praying!

spa·cious (spā′shəs) – Dictionary adj.

1. Having enough or abundant space or room; large in area or extent.
2.  Large in area, range and scope!

Spacious makes me think of a wide open sphere of living without barriers, and constrains, without boxes, without the unnecessary, uncluttered, free, with movement, full yet light. Unburdened. Life in abundance. A Life widened by faith.

“LORD, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty; Nor do I involve myself in great matters, Or in things too difficult for me. Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul; Like a weaned child [resting] with his mother, My soul is like a weaned child within me [composed and freed from discontent]. O (My dear one!), hope in the LORD From this time forth and forever.”
‭‭          PSALM‬ ‭131:1-3‬ ‭AMP‬‬

Spacious is the immeasurable grace and goodness of God stretching out wide and deep into my life and yours.! This is what I am leaning into for this year. What is your one word for the year? What are you hopes and prayers? Do you have the courage to write it down or whisper it? Go ahead and do so! One word can light up your year!

Welcome 2018!

Spacious

 

A Simple Faith

I love the simplicity of the gospel. A perfect and Holy God, gives His perfect love as a gift to an imperfect, un-deserving sinner like me. And then for all my days having the joy and privilege of knowing Him, loving Him, worshiping Him.

I have complicated so many things in my life, but I love how God with His word and His Spirit, makes HUGE things, great truths, even hidden mysteries He brings them to life. I just need to surrender my well thought-out sophistications, and simply take what has already been paid for, with a simple child-like faith in Him.

I know that life can be merciless,  imperfect and blurred with many disappointments. It takes very little effort to be skeptical, critical and guarded, and so often left unchecked, I default into a position with God as well, not trusting Him, or wanting to add to what He has already paid in full. This week, I am trusting God for a simple child-like faith in everyday life. To trust in the author and perfect or of my faith. Delighting in and beholding Him, His perfect love and His perfect ways and being content to receive from His hand.