Even Now

The locusts were sent by God as a judgment on an unfaithful people. They had turned their backs on Him. They had forsaken the One who had brought them so far. Then, there are two of the sweetest words in Scripture…

“Even now…”

After all that you’ve done – even now you can return to me.

After all the places you have been – even now there is a place for you here with me.

No matter how far we have fallen. No matter how many times it has happened. No matter what lies the enemy whispers. God says to us, “Even now, come back to me.”

And He calls us back, not to a place of shame, but of restoration. (Joel 2:25)

He promised to restore what the locusts had eaten. The locusts that were sent by Him in response to their sin. Think about that! He offers to restore to them the very things that their own unfaithfulness had cost them.

That’s grace.

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Open Our Eyes, Lord

Back in March, I was in a pretty scary car accident. It shook me up badly enough that I never posted on social media about it. I didn’t take a selfie with the paramedics, police officers and firemen who all showed up. There were no passive aggressive tweets about people using their phones and running red lights. I was just thankful that all five of my children who were in the car with me came home that day. I have lived long enough to know that is not always how these things turn out.

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For quite a few weeks, I was really angry with the other person. I could still hear the sound of her hitting me at 45 mph and the screams of my children as our car was knocked sideways. I was furious that I was suddenly fearful every time I got in my car. But that isn’t the feeling that lingered.

I also felt extremely grateful that a witness stopped and waited for an officer to arrive. She confirmed that I had not done anything wrong. I knew, otherwise, it would be a he said / she said situation and those are never fun. Even that feeling, however, faded.

Then, as the days went by, I was anxious all the time. It suddenly occurred to me that I could do everything right… Now, I’m not speaking of moral perfection or anything of the sort. Only that I could do everything I was supposed to do at that moment. I could obey the traffic signals, stay in my own lane, be completely undistracted. Yet, even then, in the blink of an eye, things could go terribly wrong. Thankfully, the anxiety has also lessened.

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What I’m left with, ten weeks later, is the memory of one particular individual. And it’s not the person who hit me or the witness who lingered to help.

As I sat there, in the middle of a major intersection trying to get my wrecked vehicle out of the way with a crying 3-year-old and other scared children and trying to put the pieces together and figure out what exactly happened, someone sped past me and blew his horn. He blew his horn at me and waved his hands in frustration because I was in his way.

Because I was in. his. way.

As if, friends, I was lingering in the middle of the intersection and blocking oncoming traffic for fun. As if that was how I envisioned my day going.

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I couldn’t stop thinking about him and wondering, “How often do I do that?” How often do I come across someone who has experienced trauma and all I can see is how it may inconvenience me. Do I see people in bad situations and think they must want to be there?

That man did not see women and children who had just been in an accident and who were in shock. He saw a random car blocking his entrance into Starbucks and it annoyed him. He didn’t see the situation for what it truly was.

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In 2 Kings 6:16-20, there is a battle taking place. On two separate occasions, Elisha prays that the Lord would open the eyes of the people involved so that they may see the situation as it truly was.

Then Elisha prayed and said, “O Lord, please open his eyes that he may see.” 2 Kings 6:17

Elisha said, “O Lord, open the eyes of these men…” 2 Kings 6:20

This has been my prayer in recent days – that the Lord would open my eyes to the hurts and needs around me. That I would truly see the people.

That person who stops to talk to you as you’re leaving the church? Just maybe they’re more important than being first to the buffet.

The lady sitting alone at that group event? Perhaps, you should take your introverted self over and sit with her.

That guy who has found himself in the pit again? He’s not there for fun.

Open our eyes, Lord. Forgive me for the times I have passed someone in pain and threw my hands up in annoyance because I was more concerned with my latte than with loving my neighbor.

You are loved. ❤

 

 

 

30 Days With the God Who Breathes (Day 5): God’s Word

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 2 Timothy 3:16 ESV

God didn’t stop breathing on His people once creation was complete. All of Scripture was breathed out by our God and is, therefore, also filled with life, inspiration, wisdom, and spirit. The author of Hebrews describes the Word of God as living, active and able to discern the thoughts and intentions of the heart (Hebrews 4:12.)

Whether it’s a living being or the living Word, we see that the breath of God always brings life. In Psalm 119, a chapter entirely devoted to God’s Word, the psalmist connects Scripture with life fourteen times! God’s breath is in His Word and His Word brings life to those who breathe it in.

As God’s people, we are able to open His Word, breathe deeply of it, and have our spirits refreshed, repaired, and restored. The psalmist boldly asks God to give him life as is promised in Scripture (Psalm 119:154.) The word translated as life is the word chayah and it means so much more than existing. It means to revive, nourish, preserve, recover, restore, to be made whole, etc.

Do you ever get tired of just existing? Of just going through the motions? Open your Bible and inhale because those pages are filled with the breath of God. According to Psalm 119, meditating on Scripture brings protection (verse 11), delight (verse 14), understanding (verse 27), strength (verse 28), hope (verse 43), comfort (verse 50), obedience (verse 60), good judgement (verse 66), and LIFE (verses 17, 25, 40, 50, 77, 88, 93, 116, 144, 149, 154, 156, 159, and 175.)

You don’t have to go through your days just trying to get by. Call on God; He will, not simply answer, but will breathe life anew into your spirit.

Inhale (Meditation): Give me a hunger for Your Word, Lord. May it satisfy me more than the richest of foods (Psalm 63:5.)

Exhale (Application): Just like the Snickers commercial (You’re not yourself when you’re hungry,) I am not myself when I neglect God’s Word. Do my actions and attitudes show that I have dined on the Word today?

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Day 1: God Breath

Day 2: Choose Life

Day 3: When You Need a Miracle

Day 4: A Breath The Renews

Prone to Wander Phone Cases (Review and Giveaway)

I had the opportunity to review these lovely phone cases from Prone to Wander LA. The packaging was so lovely!

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I instantly put the “You are Loved” case on because I have signed my blog posts with that phrase for years.

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This one feels like there is no case at all on my phone which may or may not appeal to you. It fits nicely into my pocket but, in my opinion, it just wasn’t substantial enough. However, that’s because I like the feel of case. My daughter actually preferred this one because it felt like there wasn’t a case at all. So, totally a preference thing.

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Then, I tried this beautiful wood grain cover and I loved it! It’s got a little weight to it so I liked the feel of it and it’s just plain pretty!

Finally, I tried the Faith Hope Love clear rubber cover and it’s been on my phone ever since. Honestly, I thought it would be my least favorite but, when I put it on my phone, the colors popped! I also really like the feel of it and it still fits nicely in my pocket.

All in all, you couldn’t go wrong with any of these. They are pretty, well made and comfortable to hold. You should probably hop on over to this giveaway and maybe you’ll win one!!

PRONE TO WANDER PHONE CASE GIVEAWAY!

30 Days With the God Who Breathes (Day 3): When You Need a Miracle

At the blast of your nostrils the waters piled up; the floods stood up in a heap. Exodus 15:8 ESV

We all know what it’s like to feel as if there are no really good options. Perhaps, in Moses’ day, they would have said, “It’s like being trapped between the Egyptian army (a rock) and the Red Sea (a hard place.)”

Imagine, for a moment, what the children of Israel must have been feeling. In front of them lies the sea and behind them an angry army approaches. Some felt fear, others began to panic, and many surely felt that this was the end. Perhaps, somewhere in the crowd, a voice mutters, “It would take a miracle to save us now.”

You’ve been there. I’ve been there.

It would take a miracle to heal this marriage.

It would take a miracle to beat this disease.

It would take a miracle to be financially stable again.

It would take a miracle to conquer this addiction.

It would take a miracle for my loved one to be saved.

How many times have we made such a statement as if we were defeated and the situation was hopeless? Like we didn’t have a miracle working God on our side?

Do you know what it took for God to save the children of Israel? How He was able to handle the seemingly impossible task at hand? He breathed. That’s all. At the blast of His nostrils, the Red Sea stood up and got out of the way.

Whatever you need today: to forgive someone, to be forgiven, to let go of something, to begin again, to love God more, to take one more step. Whatever miracle you are waiting for – all you need is for God to breathe.

Inhale (Meditation): We need you to breathe, God. Breathe on all of our broken places, our fractured relationships, and our desperate situations.

Exhale (Application):  Let’s learn to pray before we panic. What the world calls broken is just another opportunity for God to breathe.

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Day 1: God Breath

Day 2: Choose Life