Where My Hope Rests

Psalm 62:1-8

“My soul finds rest in God alone,

my salvation comes from Him.

He alone is my rock and my salvation;

He is my fortress, I will never be shaken.

How long will you assault a man?

Would all of you throw Him down –

this leaning wall, this tottering fence?

They fully intend to topple him from his lofty place;

they take delight in lies.

With their mouths they bless,

but in their hearts they curse.

Find rest, O my soul in God alone;

my hope comes from Him.

He alone is my rock and my salvation;

He is my fortress, I will not be shaken.

My salvation and my honor depend on God;

He is my mighty rock, my refuge.

Trust in Him at all time,

O people; pour out your hearts to Him,

for God is our refuge.”

David said that God is his fortress. When do you need a fortress? You need a fortress during war – when you’re afraid because the enemy is attacking you. A fortress is a safe place. David states that God is that place for Him.

I love how in verse one, David declares rest in God alone and then in verse 5 he reminds himself of this truth. He says, “I will never be shaken – though war break out.” This fortress that he’s entrusting himself to, won’t even shake when the bombs are bursting all around him. His hope is in God.

What’s going on in your life that’s troubling you? Does it seem like war has broke out around you? Pour out your heart to the Lord. He can handle all of it. Tell Him your doubts, aches, fears, frustrations, confusions and in that process your relationship with God is strengthened. He becomes your most trusted friend and advisor – your refuge, your hope, your fortress.


This post is apart of a series called 31 stories of hope for every homeschooler. To see the entire series, click HERE.

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How to Climb the Sand Dunes of Life

“Whatever you do, don’t hike the dunes,” my friend said to Adam and me as we discussed our plans for exploring the Great Lakes state of Michigan.

He knew he needed to warn us because he saw that glimmer in my eye as he told us about the park. Running up sand dunes sounded like fun!

The next day Adam and I drove to the highly recommended Sleeping Bear Dunes, paid our entry fee and parked the car under the warm afternoon sun. Even though it was 3:00, the temperature topped out below 80 degrees, something that barely happens at night in Texas. We were in Heaven!

Miles and miles of sand spread out in front of us on every side. It looked like we pulled onto the scene of Aladdin in the Arabian Desert. We looked at the park map and thought of our friend’s warning to not hike the dunes up to Lake Michigan. We tried to find a trail to hike minus the sand, but it wasn’t happening.

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Friday Morning Devotionals: Heavy Change

friday devotional

A few weeks before Christmas, Caleb lugged a one-gallon glass jar full of the year’s spare coins into the bank. As he walked carefully across the cold, tile floor, his lips pressed together as his arms strained to carry the weight. The clopping of his footsteps echoed throughout the quiet air of the bank. His gaze – straight ahead at the center counter where he could finally set down his load.

As he lifted the jug to set it on the counter, the corner of the platform kissed the edge of the jar. All he was left holding was the handle and 2” of the top. The rest shattered into a thousand shards of glass and the change spilled along beside it.

I thought about this episode this morning when I put some cash in my wallet. As I placed the wallet back in my purse, my shoulder immediately sagged.

What is making this so heavy? I wondered.

Ah, it’s all that change, I realized.

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4 Ways to Keep Your Marriage Thriving Through the Holidays

Christmas cards line my window sill, familiar carols jingle from the radio, lights twinkle through the windows, darkened from the night sky, and hot chocolate spills on the couch as the kids cuddle close. It’s Christmas time! This season ushers in plenty of warm, cozy feelings, but also spreads a blanket of anxiety. We rush from church activity to school activity and store to store shopping for bargains at the biggest sale of the year. We search for the perfect gift for the perfect party. Pinterest floods our inbox with magnificent, museum quality, must-have decorations that leave us feeling less-than if we don’t download and make them right now. With all this pressure it’s easy to lose the holiday cheer. By the end of December, our relationships with those we love most feel the strain.

How do we navigate the holidays and keep our marriage thriving?

 

  1. Keep Family Margins 20150821_131052

When I was in school, I remember my English teacher stressing the importance of writing within the margins. She took points off the paper if I wrote beyond either red line. She said staying within the margins made the paper neater and easier to read.

Staying within the margin is important in life too. It can make life neater and easier to handle. Margins give us room to breathe. We can freely fill in the lines with enjoyable activities, but leave room in the margins to breathe.

Let’s face it: So many activities appeal to us during the holidays. We feel like we must do them all, but we can’t. We can pick a few favorites and do them joyfully, and then gracefully say no to the others and take some time to rest, relax and read a book. There’s no reason to rush so hard that it takes you till February to recover.

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A Simple Advent

Welcome to Advent Season 2015!

Celebrating advent is a new thing for me. I didn’t grow up doing any kind of advent activity or devotion. I had a wooden shadow box that I counted down to Christmas by putting cute little miniatures in every day, and that was it.

Since having kids, I’ve tried various Advent activates, always beginning with much excitement and enthusiasm but fizzling out long before Christmas arrived.

The year I began my blog, I did a simple alphabetical devotional series in honor of funny quotes my kids said. After that the ABC theme was still in my head at Christmas time. I wanted to do something that talked about other Bible stories than just the manger scene. I wanted to open the Word with my kids and let them see His character. I wanted something simple, something I wouldn’t feel bad about not doing every single day, something I could travel with, and something guests could join in on too.

This is what I came up with.

There are 26 letters of the alphabet and 25 countdown days until Christmas. Official days anyway. I wondered if I could find a character quality of God in each of the letters. We began with A on December 1 and looked up ALL. The next day was B and we looked up the Bread of Life. We continued on till the day after Christmas and the letter Z, finding that yes, the letters of the alphabet give Him glory and share with us a glimpse of His character.

The more I learned, the more I saw how much more there is to learn. But the process brought the stories of the Bible alive to me.

When I started my kids were ages 3, 6, & 9. Now they are 6, 9, & 12. My 3 year old didn’t understand everything, but he at least heard the stories and I tried to give him things to feel apart as well.

This will be our 3rd year of following this.  Last year we changed a few words by looking in the bible concordance. Sometimes I would let my kids pick a word if they could think of one. For those who could read, I let them read the passage.

But most importantly, I found this to be flexible…we could spend 20 min together on it or 5 minutes. We could be around the kitchen table or in bed or in the car, by our self, or with friends or family. So I wanted to share it with you. Enjoy…and let me know what you think!

Just click the link below to download an ornament for each 26 letters of the alphabet and coordinating verses/story for that day. I’ve also included a day-by-day simple outline with extra verses to read and an optional activity for the days you have time. 

And please, if you like it, share it with your friends!

Click HERE to Download the Simple Advent

Here’s an updated explanation of each day…advent-updated-2016. You will still need the pictures from the the first link.

26 Daysof Advent (1)

How We Can Act Like the Body

If you’ve done any running you know there’s a lot of techniques out there. Get the right shoes, have the right form, relax your arms, that sort of thing.

I try to run regularly. Sometimes I pay attention to these things and sometimes I don’t. This particular day I did. I noticed toward the end of my route that I used my arms more than usual. Pumping them back and forth in sync with the rhythm of my body propelled me along faster without tiring out as quickly as in previous days.

I immediately thought of the body of Christ. When the arm swings in unison with the legs running, in time with the heart beating, the breath going in and out of the lungs, the feet pounding the surface at just the right time and angle – the body is working smoothly and effectively.

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When Doing Big Things for God Went Bad

I don’t know if you noticed or not, but last week crickets were chirping rather than words being posted here on this blog.

“Did she finally run out of words?” you may have wondered.

Oh no. It wasn’t that. It’s the continual battle I have with what to do with these words! I’ll admit it again – I can have BIG dreams and as I posted last time, I easily grab the wheel of life and steer the ship myself when I think God is taking too long.

The question “Are you satisfied in ME?” really challenged me. I didn’t want to take it lightly and brush it off too quickly.

Honestly, I felt the prompt in my Spirit to stop publishing posts for a week and just listen. So I did. Then as a family, we read the story of Jehu.

Jehu could be classified as one of those “Yay-Hoos” for the Lord. Even the way he was anointed King was crazy. Read for yourself:

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When Are We Truly Satisfied?

“If we have a purpose of our own, it destroys the simplicity and the leisureliness which ought to characterize the children of God.” Oswald Chambers, Utmost for His Highest Aug 5

Somehow last week I started charting my own course, trying again to control my destination. I think it started by cramming way too many writing assignments into a space already jam packed with house remodel projects, laundry, time with friends, and keeping all my thoughts and priorities in correct alignment in my head.

Plus, I dropped off my daughter to an overnight church camp for the first time! Pre-teen camp. Since when did she turn into a pre-teenager? And where did she get this bravery to spend 4 days at a camp without knowing anyone else there very well?

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What if the Alarm Clock Fails and You’re Late Again?

Before turning out the lights to end the day, I had Adam set the alarm for 7 a.m. My parents are in town and my dad wanted to go jogging with me in the morning.

Being able to hear the birds sing rather than dodging two way traffic is my preference, so getting out the earlier, the better. At 5:30 my body jolted up, peering through blurred, squinty eyes to see what time the clock said. “In case the alarm forgets to go off,” I thought, “I need to wake myself up.” I did it again at 6…and again at 6:30…finally at 6:45 I thought, “The alarm is set, just trust that it will work.” Sure enough at 7:00, the alarm rang!

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What if I Just Want to be with You?

 I’ve had a long standing rule in my house that “wake up” time is at 7:00 a.m. I need my sleep and space in the morning so everyone is to stay in their room till then.
Before my oldest son turned three, I had a clock in his room with stars marking the 7 and 12. I followed this timely gift with a conversation about when the little hand points to the 7 and the big hand points to the 12, that means it’s 7:00 and you can wake up!
For the most part it worked. At times, even now, one of the kids will push the envelope and crack open the living room door at 6:55, just to check the validity of this invisible boundary. I usually let it slide, but then in a couple days, 6:55 turns to 6:50 and then to 6:45.

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