His Touch in our Darkest Hour

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You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.
Psalm 139:16 (NLT)

Gone.  In the blink of an eye.

Last January, we grieved the loss of my older cousin and her husband who were killed in a motorcycle accident.  I had no words.  No words for my sweet aunt grieving the loss of her oldest child a.k.a. “her rock”.  No words for my cousin’s children or grandchildren.  No words for those who face all their tomorrows without them.

Then last month, we lost another sweet friend to illness.  A young friend who should have had her whole life in front of her.  Again I had no words.  No words for her parents, for her brother.  No words for those who face all their tomorrows without them.

Are you too grieving the loss of someone?  Although I do not have words for you, God does.  Allow His Words in Psalm 139:16 to touch you in your grief, or to give you the power to touch someone else in their grief.

How so?  Sheila Walsh writes in her book The Storm Inside:  

Life can seem so random, so out of control,
but even while our hearts are broken,
there is a quiet confidence in knowing
that although their death seems too untimely to us,
to God they have finished their race
.”

Find comfort in God’s Word knowing that every moment of your loved one’s life was laid out before a single day had passed.  Yes, your loved ones have finished their race.

Why do bad things happen?  I don’t know, but the One I believe in does.  I believe His words in the Psalm above.  In my Women of Faith Study Bible, Sheila shares more words on Psalm 139, this time from her book Gifts for Your Soul:

God is faithful…
if in the darkest times in our lives we will learn
to keep turning our face toward him,
He is faithful.
Faithful to be with us,
faithful to watch over us,
faithful to work in us to make us
the men and women we are called to be.”

Let’s keep our faces turned toward God and allow the power of His touch to reach us in our darkest hour.

Now it’s your turn:  How do you experience the power of His touch, whether in your darkest hour, or on your brightest day?

Join me this week in linking up with Suzie Eller’s #livefreeThursday and other inspiring linkups:

LIVEFREETHURSDAY  Missional Women dancwithjesus  GraceTruth-600x800

What Joy Is Mine
purposefulfaith.com  Holly Barrett

Today’s post is an updated version of a January 2014 post.

 


Put Up Your Dukes

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In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith,
with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
Ephesians 6:16 (NIV)

Growing up, I always pretended to be Wonder Woman.

Week after week I watched and imitated Lynda Carter spinning into Wonder Woman to fight the bad guys.  She had all the armor she needed to defeat them:  her belt of strength, her bullet-dodging bracelets; her lasso of truth.

She was strong.  She was brave.  She was fearless.

But today there’s a real enemy and his attacks are far worse than what I saw Lynda Carter defeat on TV.

As I pursue my call to write, the enemy tells me “you’re not good enough”, and “this is too hard for you”.  As I struggle to put my thoughts on paper, I start believing what I’m hearing.   I start feeling weak.  I start feeling scared.

So I hide.  I stop writing.  And the enemy wins.

Can you relate?  Maybe you too are pursuing a calling that the enemy is attacking.  If so, it’s time to “put up our dukes” and fight back.  Like Wonder Woman did with her bullet-dodging bracelets.

But as cool as those bracelets were, we have something much stronger:  Our shield of faith.

We must be intentional to “take up the shield of faith“.  Fighting the enemy is never easy.  To stop his “flaming arrows of lies”, we must stop hiding and start seeking:

  • Let’s seek God by spending time with Him.
  • Let’s seek God by getting to know Him through His word.
  • Let’s seek God by talking with Him about our fears through prayer.

Let’s show the enemy we trust God, and His shield will help us win the battle.

Now it’s your turn:  Think about the battles you are facing today in your calling.  Share one way you “put up your dukes” to fight the enemy.

Be sure to join me and other amazing women writing on these linkups this week.
Put up your dukes” was this week’s writing prompt on Suzie Eller’s #livefreeThursday linkup.

LIVEFREETHURSDAY  Graced Simplicity   Missional Women dancwithjesus

Equipping Godly Women

GraceTruth-600x800 Spiritual Sundays countingmyblessings

What Joy Is Mine
purposefulfaith.com  Holly Barrett   titus2tuesdays Intentionally Pursuing Intentional Tuesday

 


The Beauty of Grace – book review

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thebeautyofgrace_bookcover

Is your heart in need of a little reminder today that you are loved?

The Beauty of Grace will do just that.

Dawn Camp, along with 43 of her writing friends, bring you stories and lessons learned while finding God’s beauty and grace in their everyday lives.

Perhaps today your own face is blemished,
your jeans feel too tight,
or your hair won’t lie flat.
Take comfort in these words of truth
and remember that you are beautiful in God’s eyes
.”
– Mary Carver
(“The Big Picture”, The Beauty of Grace)

Within these stories you will also find God’s beauty and grace illustrated with Dawn Camp’s photography.

The gorgeous cover alone makes this a great coffee table book inspiring conversations for years to come.  The easy-to-read layout, beautiful typography, and moving words will entice you to read through it in one day.  Or you might choose to savor it over time, only reading one story a day as a devotional.

I prefer reading most books on my kindle, but this is one you will definitely want the hardback to appreciate the true beauty of it.  So run, don’t walk, to your nearest bookstore.  And while you’re there, be sure to pick up a few extras for your girlfriends!

Check out Dawn’s book website where you can download an excerpt from her book.  You will also find gorgeous images to help share encouragement (like the one below) on social media.  Be sure to use the hashtag #beautyofgrace.

BOG_KristenWelch

I received a free copy of “The Beauty of Grace” from Revell in exchange for a review. These opinions are my own. 

Linking up with:

Booknificent-Thursdays semicolon book reviews

Beauty in His Grip Button
 

 

 

 

 


What’s Your Story?

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There was a woman sent from God. Her name is Kim.
(Thanks Suzie for inspiring me to #livefree)

God laid it on my heart over a year ago to write a book and I am just now pursuing it, beginning with journaling and blogging.  I’ve been blessed to attend two writing conferences this past year and was often asked “what do you write about?”  Well, I’m an inconsistent blogger who blogs about her inconsistent faith.

Okay, I don’t really blog about that, but the inconsistency, yes it’s real.

God is shouting “the time is now” and He’s asking me to stop hiding, and start seeking.

I’m a stuffer who builds barriers.  My default coping skill is to hide.  Not only hide, but also distract myself with not-so-healthy “obsessions” to comfort me.   These distractions have carried me through years of autism, death of family members, and broken relationships.  All the while, fooling myself into believing I was seeking God at the same time.

I fondly remember the game of Hide & Seek from my childhood.  You can’t do both, so it’s time to choose.  I choose to stop hiding, and start seeking God with all my heart.

I imagine there might be other women out there who struggle with the same issue.  If that’s you by chance, let’s create a new game together called Seek & Find.  Let’s uncover our hiding places, seek God daily, and find comfort in Him alone.

So now it’s your turn:  What’s Your Story?

I’m linking up this week with:

LiveFreeBadge    Graced Simplicity    Photobucket Joy Dare Blog  Equipping Godly Women dancwithjesus  Sandra Heska King - Still Saturday countingmyblessings