Interlude

ReturnHis cross dispels each doubt;
I bury in His tomb
Each thought of unbelief and fear,
Each lingering shade of gloom.

I praise the God of grace;
I trust His truth and might;
He calls me His, I call Him mine.
My God, my joy and light.

from “Not What My Hands Have Done” – Horatius Bonar, 1861


Thursday’s are my interludes which normally just consist of a Bible verse. However, in my morning devotional today from She Reads Truth, it closed with this poem and I couldn’t help but share as it’s been on my heart all day. 💜

This evening reflect and mediate on this poem and it’s precise and utter beauty.

Blessings 💛 Sarah

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Au Revoir Facebook, Hello Kindness!

KindnessI didn’t grow up observing Lent, but I’ve always been intrigued by giving something up for a period of time. So I decided this year I would give it a whirl and give up Facebook. How in the world will I get on with life? 😱 I don’t know, but I’m sure I’ll survive. 😉 I’ve noticed myself (especially recently) spending SO much time on Facebook, it was actually pretty pathetic. I would always get off and feel worse than I did before I got on. Seeing things people had that I didn’t, hearing about “exciting news” when my life is not so exciting right now, always hearing people say they are “blessed” when I feel like that word is thrown around so often and so often out of context. #blessed. Hashtag no. Just stop. Ugh. It was really getting on my nerves. I had to stop myself from reading comments on various posts too because people can just be SO mean! I always thought the “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all” motto was still in play, but I don’t think people agree. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, people get so bold and so tough behind a computer screen. They feel they are entitled to say whatever they want without thinking twice of who it may hurt and what they are actually saying. Sure we have freedom of speech and I think that’s a wonderful thing, but I don’t think we should be using it to tear others down! Add that to my list and you’re at about reason 24 of why I’m giving up Facebook for Lent.

I need kindness. I long for kindness. Call me crazy and say that I live in some sunshine, bubble gum, gumdrop kind of world but sheesh where has it gone?! Like for real. I know tough times come and hard things happen to us, but some of the meanest people are often the people who have the most.

I was reading an article/blog by Karen Ehman (love her!) and she has a “Reverese Lent Challenge” where rather than giving something up for Lent, you take something on. Such a brilliant idea that I’m doing both! I’m giving up Facebook and taking on kindness! I want to encourage others and build them up. No I don’t want to lie and sugarcoat things, but I want to express my opinions and my thoughts (even my advice) in a loving and kind way. Honest for sure, but kind about it. How in the world do I do that? I don’t know for certain, but I do know I’m going to start practicing thinking BEFORE I speak. So often I read something or hear this and that and I get fired up and want to shoot off at the mouth some snarky remark back or an “I’ll show them” attitude. No. Stop. 🙊 Kindness. Exuberate kindness. I know the saying is kinda cheesy but really, what would Jesus do? Would he really say what I’m about to say? Probably not. He’s the perfect example of kindness. He exuberates kindness! I want to be more like Jesus and so much less like me.

Colossians 3:12-14 says, “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” (NIV) BAM, right there, clothe yourselves with kindness. Put on love. Oh help me Father to do that.

What about you? Do you practice Lent? What would you give up for 47 (that’s how long it is this year) days? Comment below, I would love to hear your thoughts! Or feel free to jump in with me and take on this kindness challenge! Let’s make this the kindest 47 days yet!

Blessings 💛 Sarah

(Im)patiently Waiting

PatienceMy husband lost his job on Friday. Not a good way to start the weekend. My first reaction was to freak out and worry about every. single. little thing. Why do I do that? Thank God for my husband though, the patient one. Always trusting God will work everything out for the good. Why wouldn’t he think that? The Bible promises us that! Just check out Romans 8:28. So why is it my tendency to freak out? Where’s my patience? Oh how I long for a heart full of patience.

I really enjoy searching the scriptures on my Bible app. I can type in a word or partial phrase and most times it knows what I’m talking about and finds what I was looking for. So I was thinking about patience and decided to search for verses about it. (The Bible actually has a lot to say about patience, it’s even one of the fruits of the spirit!) The verse that stuck out the most to me though was Romans 12:12. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. (NIV) Patient in affliction. Ouch that stung a little. Affliction is something that causes pain or suffering. Really? I need to be patient in that? Come on, doesn’t God know what I’m going through? Doesn’t he see how hurt I am? How does he expect me to stay patient when things feel like they are falling apart? Oh sure, I can be patient in easy things like waiting for cookies to cool off when they are fresh out of the oven, or waiting for my clothes to dry when it feels like they’ve been in the dryer for hours, even being stopped at a red light when I’d rather be home – see the easy things. Things that don’t matter at all, I’m all in! But patient in affliction?! Not so much. I want it to hurry up and go away!

Maybe you’re like my husband and you are patient, then I’m sorry this post hasn’t really been for you. But if you’re anything like me you’re probably wondering how then do we stay patient in affliction? Especially because you probably want to be. I know I do! I don’t want to be sitting around worrying about every single thing! Well, I think the next part of that verse answers that for us. “Faithful in prayer.” I think if we stay faithful in prayer that will calm our anxious hearts and get our eyes to be focused on Jesus and not our problems and therefore help us to be patient. The Bible is God’s love letter to me. My owner’s manual. God created you and me. He knows best how we work and function better than we ever will! So if the word says to be patient in affliction, then I need to be patient in affliction by being faithful in prayer. 💛 May the Lord fill your heart with patience today!

Blessing 💛 Sarah

Beautiful Lord

PeaceWhen the storm is raging all around me, you are the peace that calms my troubled sea. A favorite line of mine from the song “Beautiful Lord” by Leeland. This song came to my mind this morning when I was thinking about what I wanted to write about today. I’ve hit on the topic of peace and the storms in life in some of my previous posts (check them out if you’d like 😊) so today I’m going to keep it short and sweet with just a Bible verse for you to enjoy, meditate on, and hopefully bring you encouragement. It’s one of my favorite verses and has been on my heart for a while now. 💛 Isaiah 26:3 – You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. (ESV)

Feeling overwhelmed, needing to feel peace? Keep your mind fixed on Jesus! He will keep you in perfect peace, just like the word promises!

You can enjoy the song from Leeland below:

Blessings 💛 Sarah

Interlude

JoyPsalm 94:19 When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy. (NIV)


I often find myself anxious. Anxious about an array of things; mostly things I can’t control either. Anxiety can hit us at anytime. Don’t be overwhelmed with anxiety. Whatever you’re facing today, find comfort in Jesus. He is our joy. He will bring us joy in the midst of our anxiety, we just have to ask. I love that!

Blessings 💛 Sarah

It Was Love

LoveLove. It’s a funny word and with Valentine’s Day coming up we hear more about love now than ever. We say we love all kinds of things, things that have so many different levels of the word love. I love my husband, but I also love cupcakes. Do I love cupcakes more than my husband, absolutely not! I love puppies but I also love great music. Two totally different things that are on two totally different levels, but I love both. You get the idea, right? So when it comes the love of Christ it’s hard to grasp it. Me in my sinful nature – I love one thing, then I don’t. It changes with my mood or based on how it looks or even what it’ll do for me, it’s so erratic. God’s love however, is so far from erratic and I think that’s why I can’t fully grasp it. It blows my mind! It’s incredible! Never ending. Never changing. It’s not based on what I do or what I don’t do. It’s endless.

One of my favorite bands, Abandon, has a song that’s called “It Was Love” and I’ve been listening to it a lot lately. There’s a line in the chorus that goes, “It wasn’t nails that held You to the cross It was love.” When I first heard it, it was kind of like “oh that’s nice” and I didn’t really think much about it. Listening to it over and over again though, it’s now clicking. It really wasn’t nails that held Jesus to the cross, it was indeed love. Jesus, God in the flesh, creator of the universe, all powerful, omniscient, omnipresent, all…well, everything, could have without a doubt removed himself from the cross. He wouldn’t have needed help, he wouldn’t have had to wait until no one was looking, he could have done whatever, whenever. But he didn’t. He stayed nailed to that cross for love. Because of his undying, never ending love for me, for you, ALL of us! Jesus had me (and you) in mind when he was on the cross. He knew the sins I was going to commit and the transgressions I would do (yours too 😊) and yet he still went to the cross. And with joy! For the joy set before him he endured the cross (Hebrews 12:2 NIV) Wow. That’s all I can say, wow. It leaves me speechless! That’s true, real, love right there!

As Valentine’s Day comes and goes, don’t forget that God’s love will never go anywhere and it will never run out. It doesn’t come and go. He died for us and paid the ultimate price for us. That’s love. Lord help me to remember how much you really do love me.

Blessings 💛 Sarah

A Storm’s A-Brewin’

We have a huge storm coming in the next few days and so what does that mean? Rain. Rain, rain, and even more rain! I really do love the rain, I’m one of “those” people. I love wearing my bright yellow rain boots and using my huge clear umbrella! Don’t get me wrong, I love the sunshine too, but there is just something so refreshing about the rain. I also love storms. Weather storms, not life storms. Nah, I don’t like those. You don’t know when they’re coming or how long they’ll stay. At least with weather storms (for the most part) the meteorologist can predict them so you have some sort of warning.

Life is very much like a storm. Sometimes it’s crazy and filled with tons of rain (when it rains it pours, right?!) and sometimes it can be calm and clear like right after a storm. Maybe today you’re in the midst of a storm or maybe one is on the horizon, but when the storms in life come (and we all know they will) where can we go for shelter? How can we be covered? Because unfortunately, my bright yellow boots and huge umbrella won’t provide me with protection then.

I love the Psalms. One of the best books in the Bible (I think) to read through when you’re going through a storm. It’s a book filled with praises and troubles, so very relatable. With all this talk about storms, it makes me so thankful for Psalm 91:4 (NIV). It says, “He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.” I simply love that. Where can we go to find covering? To Jesus! He’s right there in the storm with us, ready to cover us under his wings! To know that Jesus is always there and that he’s not going anywhere is so extremely comforting! He doesn’t leave us in the middle of the storm, the word promises that he will never leave us or forsake us (Joshua 1:5 NIV). Storms will come and storms will go but Jesus does not and I am forever thankful for that. Come to him in the storms (and the calm too 😊) and he will cover you! You will find refuge! Just like the word promises.

Blessings 💛 Sarah