Purposeful Faith

Tag - God

Ask with Boldness, Walk with Wisdom

pray bold and unedited prayers quote by Katie M. Reid for Kelly Balarie's Purposeful Faith blog

Post By: Katie M. Reid

For a long time, I censored my prayers because I didn’t want to be disappointed if they were not answered in the way I hoped. But through a friend’s encouragement, I stopped editing my prayers and started boldly asking God for my heart’s desire. I knew that God would answer according to His will.

Praying uninhibited helped strengthen my faith as I declared that God could do the impossible and then waited to see how things would unfold.

King Solomon is an example of someone in the Bible who prayed with boldness and walked in wisdom. I want to do the same.

1 Kings 3:9 says: So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?

As a new king, Solomon had the honorable yet daunting task of governing God’s chosen people. Although his earthly father was far from perfect, Solomon had big sandals to fill as he reigned on the heels of his dad, revered King David.

In 1 Kings 3:5, God appeared to Solomon in a dream and said: Ask for whatever you want me to give you.

This almost seems like a genie in a bottle kind of moment, but it’s more like a loving father placing his hands on his child’s shoulders, “What is it that you want? Is there something I can do to help you?”

Solomon responded to God’s question by asking for a discerning heart to distinguish between right and wrong. He asked for this so he could rule well and honor God in the process.

Solomon could have asked God for long life, wealth, victory over his enemies (or the latest, greatest model of chariot) but instead, he demonstrated humility and wisdom by asking for a discerning heart. Solomon was keenly aware that he had been called to a position that required more strength and insight than he currently possessed, so he asked God to provide what was needed for the task at hand.

Solomon’s prayer for wisdom pleased God and God gladly provided what was requested.

As we see in 1 Kings 3:3, Solomon was imperfect yet God still blessed him by answering his heartfelt plea.

Not long after Solomon received this gift of wisdom, he was presented with a perplexing situation of two harlots disputing over who was the rightful mother of a baby. Solomon’s verdict on this sticky situation caused all of Israel to be in awe as they observed the divine wisdom God gave their king to administer justice (1 Kings 3:28).

Solomon’s bold and unedited prayer for a discerning heart not only benefited himself but a whole nation.

Solomon did not just walk around saying, “Hey, I’m a wise guy,” he actually applied that wisdom to situations that arose, as we see demonstrated in the account of the two harlots (1 Kings 3:16-28).

As you face your own challenges, remember this faith-filled moment from King Solomon’s life: Ask boldly for what you need and act wisely as God leads.

Dear God, help me pray boldly and unedited like Solomon—asking for the very thing I desperately need. Help me to act wisely, according to Your Truth, knowing that you have my best interest in mind and deeply care for those around me. May I be a good steward of what You have entrusted to me and depend on Your insight to guide me. Thank You that You delight in answering my prayers and are able to help me navigate the trials I face. In Jesus’ name, amen.

What is a bold and unedited prayer you have?

Katie M. Reid Author and Speaker

Katie M. Reid is an author and speaker who encourages you to find grace in the unraveling of life (look for her first book coming out next July with WaterBrook!). She inspires you to embrace your identity in Christ and live out your God-given purpose. Katie delights in her hubby, five children, and their life in the Midwest. She is a fan of cut-to-the-chase conversation over hot or iced tea. Katie and her husband host the popular Facebook Live show, “Stop! Hammock Time” (which airs Wednesdays, 9pm EST). Join in the fun and unwind in this vibrant community.

Connect with Katie at katiemreid.com and on Facebook and Twitter.

Making Lists About God Will Change You

Post By: Angela Parlin

I read the Bible, looking for what it said about me.

Specifically, what did I need to DO—or not do? These are the things I wrote down. These are the things I prayed about and thought about. Then I wandered off to live my life each day. But I missed so much of the great, big, beautiful point of Scripture. The LORD.

I missed knowing Him more and growing in relationship with Him.

In a lot of ways, I was just doing religion.

It makes sense, because I’ve always wanted to get it all right. I don’t ever want to find myself in trouble. Getting in trouble never made sense to me. Just tell me all the rules and standards and expectations, and I’ll go to great lengths to follow them.

So I read the Bible like a rulebook. A guide for getting my life right. A tool to keep me from anyone’s disappointment.

By trying to avoid mistakes, I missed the glory and majesty of God Almighty.

But for several years now, I approach God and His Word in a different way, and it has changed me.

One day I realized I’d been reading the Bible as if it was a book about me–rather than a book about God. The light went on, and I started to come to these pages with a different mindset.

In her book, Women of the Word, Jen Wilkin says, “The Bible is a book that boldly and clearly reveals who God is on every page.” (Page 23)

The Bible is a book about God. We all know that, but do we come to it, looking for God? I mean looking just for HIM, not for what we need from Him. Not for answers. Not for Do’s and Don’ts or explanations about ourselves. We find those there, but we find so much more if we come to the Bible looking for the Lord.

So now I make lists about God.

As I read through any book of the Bible, I write down each day what the text tells me about Him. When I pray, most days I start by telling God who His Word says He is. I often refer back to my lists. I worship Him with the ancient words of Scripture, ascribing to Him the glory due His name.

In worshiping God this way, I also benefit from reminding myself again and again who God is. Somehow, I no longer need to be told so often who I am.

Making lists about God {from Scripture} will change you.

It will change the way you think of God, the way you see Him, and how you relate to Him. It will change the way you think of yourself.

More than anything, it will fill your mind and heart with the truth about God. You won’t want to miss another opportunity to see Him.

“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of Heaven’s Armies! The whole earth is filled with his glory!” Isaiah 6:3b, NLT

Angela Parlin is a wife and mom to 3 rowdy boys and 1 sweet girl. In addition to spending time with friends and family, she loves to read and write, spend days at the beach, watch romantic comedies, and organize closets. But most of all, she loves Jesus and writes to call attention to the beauty of life in Christ, even when that life collaborates with chaos. Join her at www.angelaparlin.com, So Much Beauty In All This Chaos.

Drawing Near Will Make You Want Him

draw near God heart

Post By: Angela Parlin

Long ago, our kids asked for a dog. A puppy is a lot of work, I said. So we gave them fish. But nobody can cuddle a fish, and next we appeased them with a guinea pig. That’s a long, smelly story for another day.

Soon we were back on the puppy train. The dachshund train, because I grew up with this sweet breed. I don’t know if you’ve encountered many dachshund owners, but there are no other dogs in the world, once you’ve loved a doxxie. My husband simply humors me.

The day came to choose a dog, and we picked Blaze. If we had known about his issues—how he would chew through shoes, bag straps, blue jeans, and even mess with the legs of our kitchen table—we might have named him Marley. 🙂   But we only knew his sweet baby eyes, that tiny whimper, and the way he snuggled into our necks and stopped crying when we sang to him.

Eight months later, the little guy’s quirks and offenses are clear, but so is the laughter he inspires.

Blaze lays at my feet nearly every day when I’m making dinner. He sits down and places one little paw over my foot. As I move about the kitchen, he follows me. While I know he wants to be near the food I drop, he also wants to be close to me.

No matter what I’m doing or where, if his eyes are open—they’re usually on me. He wants to be near me, all the time, no matter what.

It’s had me thinking about the way I long to be near God, and the times I’ve been too busy to be with Him.

God loved the world so much, that He sent Jesus to pay for our sins—not to condemn us, but to save us.

When we believe in Him, we are given the privilege–the blessing–of being in His presence.

We are able to talk with God and listen to Him. To come to Him for all the help we need. To go to Him boldly and with confidence as His beloveds, without any fear.

Jesus came near to us, so that we might move toward God.

And when we come to Him, we find incredible joy, blessing, and goodness. He fills us, He satisfies us, until we echo the psalmist’s words, His nearness is my good. There are many benefits of drawing close to God, but these can only be understood by experiencing Him. When we draw near to God, we experience His love, and we want more.

Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.” Hebrews 10:22, NIV

Have you moved toward God with a true heart and full assurance of faith? If not, will you call on the Lord in a prayer of belief today? Will you seek out someone who knows the Lord, to show you the way?

Those who believe—think about your heart. Are you drawing near with a true heart? Let us lay at His feet, longing for more than the food He drops, longing to be close to Him.

Angela Parlin is a wife and mom to 3 rowdy boys and 1 sweet girl. In addition to spending time with friends and family, she loves to read and write, spend days at the beach, watch romantic comedies, and organize closets. But most of all, she loves Jesus and writes to call attention to the beauty of life in Christ, even when that life collaborates with chaos. Join her at www.angelaparlin.com, So Much Beauty In All This Chaos.

 

 

 

A Letter of Lasting Hope From Someone Who Loves You

Great is His Faithfuless and Love quote for Purposeful Faith

Post by: Katie M. Reid

Dear Daughter of the King:

It is true that hope deferred makes the heart sick (Proverbs 13:12). When your hopes are delayed, deterred, or detoured you are left with emptiness. Like a stomach that just heaved, you feel hollow; left with a bitter taste in your mouth.

But, when your longings are fulfilled, you are satisfied, like partaking in a delicious, savory meal with loved ones gathered ’round the table and laughter filling the air.

Dreams may come and go, morph and change, but my Hope is lasting and unwavering.

The outcomes of your dreams may not unfold as you picture them. Don’t be so distracted or despaired by your losses that You fail to see the greater miracle of My faithfulness.

True Hope is Me, found in Me; a Hope that does not fade, spoil or quit.

I do not change, nor leave you or forsake you. When others let you down, when you let yourself down, when your hopes sink rather than float, remember that My Hope is upon you: steady, unchanging, and anchoring you with Truth.

I know all about your dreams, I do. But I have bigger plans that you can fathom. I have greater ideas that you can ever muster up
(Ephesians 3:20-21).

No word of Mine will fail (Isaiah 55:11).

What I promise will come to pass. I am for you. I am with you (Isaiah 41:10).

You can trust Me. You can hope in me.

Your longing for control can take you down as you grasp and cling to make sense of what was, what is, and what’s coming.

Hoping in possessions, people, and position is a dangerous game for your heart.

Watch in hope for Me, wait for Me, for I will hear you (see Micah 7:7).

Don’t give up on Me. My hope is real. I am real. Let me be the Keeper of your heart. Choose to stay close to Me as I keep you, my love…for I have chosen you.

Today is full of possibilities. Even in the midst of the uncertainty and unraveling that you see all around, I am right here in the midst.

I hold the keys (see Revelation 1:13 & 2:1 & 1:18). I have the final say.

Hope in the One who holds you tight, who holds you close, who is capable of holding you together when you fear you’ll fall apart.

I am He who made you, understands you, and loves you with more love than you dare to imagine.

Come, let’s walk together, with Grace, through this brand new day; full of hope.

Love,

Dad

Katie M. Reid Author and Speaker

Katie M. Reid is an author and speaker who encourages others to find grace in the unraveling of life (look for her first book coming out next summer with WaterBrook!). She inspires others to embrace their identity in Christ and live out their God-given purpose. Katie delights in her hubby, five children, and their life in ministry. She is a fan of cut-to-the-chase conversation over hot or iced tea. Katie and her husband host the popular Facebook Live show, “Stop! Hammock Time” (which airs Wednesdays, 9pm EST).

Connect with Katie at katiemreid.com and on Facebook and Twitter.

Why I Declare There Is Hope Indeed!

Why I declare that hope is here image with a field of purple flowers by Katie M. Reid Photography

Post by: Katie M. Reid

Everything seems to be bursting with life these days: fragrant lilacs, strong oak leaves, delicate baby birds in their nests, and my friends’ bellies as their babies grow within.

The winter is over and spring is in full swing. Yet for some, things looks grim. Some are discouraged as they keep waiting with no end in sight. Others feel small, almost invisible in contrast to the loud and showy crowds.

But tucked within, deep inside that heart of yours He formed, He has planted the seed of something powerful.

Dig a little deeper, beneath the surface and see. It might be covered in dirt in the wake of rubble and ruins but it is present, not dulling with age. Even when you feel you’ve lost it, look for it, like buried treasure; it’s waiting to be discovered and held close.

Look closer, it’s there. It might be camouflaged—masked by hedges and shrubs, but hope is present. Its roots grow as you cut off the lies that choke life and fertilize with truth that gives life.

Yes, I declare, there is HOPE!

Look up instead of down and find it resting above, secure. Lasting hope is found in God.

Hope rises and you are changed because of what it brings to the mundane, how it sustains through the muck.

Hope can make all the difference between giving up and hanging on.

I know things are hard. I understand the wrestle, the stumbles, the worry, the here-we-are-again moments. Life is certainty unpredictable and can’t often be tied up in a nice, neat bow.

Do you fear the unraveling because you wonder if you can handle what might come your way?

Take heart! You don’t have to figure it all out. Call to mind what is true in this moment.

God wove you together and He holds you together. It’s not up to you alone.

Lean in. Lay your head on His chest as He keeps gently, yet persistently, telling you of His love until it sinks down from head to heart—until it works its way into the fiber of your being.

Your Heavenly Father stitched you together with care and affection, and sang over before He brought you forth. He is the Giver of this valuable gift.

Oh how you are loved with a sustaining, unwavering, life-giving hope.

And this hope is not stagnant, it is active:

It rests.
It gives life.
It usurps the impossible.
It is true.
It is lasting.
It is not taken down by circumstances or discredited by darkness.

Hope rises still; once buried but now resurrected.

There is always hope. And His name is Jesus.

Stand up, on two feet, and walk forward in Hope; a constant companion and faithful guide. Don’t apologize for it walking by your side.

Look up, hands up high and move. Go on, He is with You. And in Him: YOU HAVE HOPE!

Take the next step in confidence, with Jesus. He is our never-changing, ever-present, unwavering, unmatched, never-ending HOPE!

Romans 5:5 “And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.”

Tune in to hope today!

Share hope with those around you.

Find hope in the promises of God, and you will not be disappointed!

Katie M. Reid Writer and Speaker at katiemreid.com

Katie M. Reid is a writer and speaker who encourages others to find grace in the unraveling of life. She inspires women and youth to embrace their identity in Christ and live out their God-given purpose. Katie delights in her hubby, five children, and their life in ministry. Cut-to-the-chase conversation over hot or iced tea is one of her favorite things.

Connect with Katie at katiemreid.com and on Facebook and Twitter.

 

 

Take a Risk as You Step Out in Faith

Post by: Katie M. Reid

A fun project popped into my head. The idea had the potential to strengthen families and spur on meaningful conversations. Instead of attempting the project on my own, I took a risk and asked a few others if they wanted to collaborate. To my delight, they were intrigued about the project and willing to be a part of it. I was thrilled!

It seemed like a God-inspired idea! The door of possibility was open wide.

We worked hard, against difficult odds, and pressed on. And then (due to unexpected circumstanced beyond our control) it all fell apart. Out of left field, a windstorm appeared and we wisely took cover.

Disappointment set in; I felt like I’d let the team down. Although I hadn’t realized that wind was in the forecast, I could have been more prepared for something like it.

Had I heard God wrong? Had I run ahead hastily? I don’t think so.

Just because something doesn’t turn out the way you want it to, doesn’t mean you weren’t supposed to do it.

Risk-taking has a variety of results.

Right around the same time, I took another risk. I reached out to a fellow writer and basically said, “I think we should be friends”. It felt awkward and vulnerable, but I had experienced that “take a risk” nudge again—so I followed through.

I’m happy to say that this risk had a more favorable outcome. I had a hunch this friend and I were cut from a similar cloth, and that has proven true—”two peas in a pod” is how she describes it.

We have encouraged each other, helped one another, and celebrated work milestones together. It would have been a shame if I had let the failed-project situation keep me from risking again. It would have been easier to ignore the prompting and save face in case rejection ensued…yet we both would have missed out.

Time after time, in Scripture, we see God’s people faced with a choice:

  • They could believe what they saw with their eyes or they could believe what God told them.
  • They could take a step of faith or turn back in doubt.
  • They could risk their current comfort and follow God or they could settle into sinful patterns in rebellion to Him.

Has God prompted you to take a risk? Are you dragging your feet…afraid to step into the sea before you?

When God’s people stepped into the Red Sea (and later, the Jordan River) He parted the waters. They took a risk in believing Him and He faithfully took care of them.

No, it wasn’t often comfortable.

No, it wasn’t free from difficulty.

No, it did not always turn out like expected.

BUT,

Yes, it was worth it.

Yes, it brought them blessing even amidst challenging circumstances.

Yes, God was glorified and exalted through it.

Risk-taking is not easy but it is a part of our faith journey. As we follow God’s lead (whether into deep waters, dry desert, or high ground) we risk, yet we find comfort in knowing that He first took a risk on us.

God gave us everything we need for life and godliness, in the form of His Perfect and Only Son, Jesus. He left us with the choice to receive or reject Him.

Let’s take a risk and follow the One who leads us…through the depths, heights, and middle ground.

Let’s obey and trust Him with outcome.

Get all Purposeful Faith blog posts by email – click here.

Katie M. Reid Writer and Speaker at katiemreid.com

Katie M. Reid is a writer and speaker who encourages others to find grace in the unraveling of life. She inspires women and youth to embrace their identity in Christ and live out their God-given purpose. Katie delights in her hubby, five children, and their life in ministry. Cut-to-the-chase conversation over hot or iced tea is one of her favorite things.

Connect with Katie at katiemreid.com and on Facebook and Twitter.

 

The Heart Behind the Fear-Fighting Book (Interview)

Fly away from fear with faith quote for Purposeful Faith

Post by: Katie M. Reid

It is my pleasure to interview Kelly about her newly released book, Fear Fighting: Awakening Courage to Overcome Your Fears.

Interview with Kelly Balarie

1. Why did you decide to tackle the subject of fear for your book?

Frankly, I got sick and tired of living more fearful than faithful. It takes work. Hard work. It takes a whole lot of jealousy, comparing, striving, and procrastinating –  to cover the deep fear I’m the bad apple in God’s bunch. And, it takes a whole lot of protecting, worrying, and controlling – to keep my mind thinking I am safe and sound.

I didn’t embrace the state of peace, but instead, a state of constant panic.

Under the cover of my smile, I couldn’t figure out why, either:

I’d done Christmas x 20.
I’d gone to church and memorized John 3:16 and Phil. 4:6-7.
I was up on Christianese terminolgy – and good theology.
I was in a church community group.
I was repenting and trying not to sin.

So, why did I feel like a holy roller at church, yet wholly loser at home? Why did I fear my house was about to explode and, my kids, upon arrival of dinner, would have ketchup rocket-launchers exploding on just-cleaned windows? Why could I see my heart being thrust into cardiac arrest if people didn’t abide by my commands? Why did I envision ailments, Google them and figure I’d die before even being able to Facebook the world?

If God is as powerful as he says he is; I needed a rescue – in a big way. They say don’t put God to the test, but I guess I did. I wanted to see if he loved me. I found out he did. That’s what saved me. And that’s the hope I offer to readers in Fear-Fighting.

2. What is something that you are afraid of? How has God helped you face that particular fear?

Ordinarily, I’d be desperately afraid you’d:

1. Hate this post.

2. Judge me for writing it.

3. Think I was a bad writer, mother, woman or child of God.

I’d imagine you silently writing my name down on a list that you carry around in your head – the one that you reserve for the people who are extraordinarily stupid or exceedingly faithless. I’d fear you, then I’d steer clear of you.

Truth is, you may continually judge me, but God doesn’t operate that way. You may hate me, but I have discovered that I am loved by God. You may disagree with me, but there is no changing the promises of God. I’ve learned to fight fear by wielding truth.

Head over to katiemreid.com for the rest of this interview and to add your post of encouragement to the #RaRaLinkup. (Starting at 6 AM ET)

We Can Make Our Plans

plans

Post By: Angela Parlin

I had a plan for the weekend.

I stuffed an entire suitcase. I packed outfits and shoes for each day. I gathered journals & pens & vitamins & snacks. I confirmed a hotel room. I cleaned the car, inside and out.

I looked forward to enjoying the company of some long-distance friends. I was all ready—to run out the door, to drive down the road with a friend, and to soak up all kinds of help I needed at this weekend retreat.

I’ll be honest, it had been a long week at home. First, some of the kids were home from school a few days with coughs, and then my oldest struggled through a high fever for days.

And then something worse happened. I–the Mama taking care of everyone else–started to feel sick.

At first I tried to deny it and told myself I was okay. Mind over matter, right? I tried to stick to the plan. To not be sick.

But hours later, I knew. I was not heading out the door for anything, especially a fun weekend retreat.

Lord, I know that people’s lives are not their own; it is not for them to direct their steps. Jeremiah 10:23

I may have had a plan, but my plan was not going to happen.

I’m a fan of making plans. I think we all are, really. We may not all be the Type-A, schedule all the hours, write-it-all-down kind of planners, but we all make plans. It’s a part of life.

I’m also a fan of my plans working out the way I plan. Anybody else? {Sidenote: So God made me a Mom—to give me lots of practice dealing with the opposite.}

These last few weeks of sickness were a good reminder that I have so little control over my days, my plans, and the steps I take. But even more than that, it reminded me that I am fully dependent on the Lord.

And this we will do, if God permits. Hebrews 6:3

In the verse above, the writer of Hebrews declares our complete dependence on the Lord, in 8 little words.

Just before this verse, he encouraged the believers to move forward toward maturity, so that they wouldn’t need to be taught the basic foundations of their faith repeatedly. God’s plan for each of us includes growth and maturity, and we each play a part in our growth.

But it’s also true that we don’t completely control it.

Instead, we depend on God, even in the area of our spiritual growth. He is the One who opens our hearts and ultimately causes us to grow.

So we purpose to move forward; we plan to do this, and we will, if and when God permits.

We are completely dependent on the God who gives us breath, and sometimes that’s easy to forget.

In our day-to-day lives, especially these days, we have so many tools for self-sufficiency at our disposal, tools like the internet and vehicles and finances and opportunities and planners in our hands.

Even so, our lives are not our own. We live and move and breathe by the will of the Lord our God.

Even when we don’t understand what He’s allowing in our lives, His will triumphs over our own.

Even when we believe the Lord is leading us one way or another, He has the final say.

We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps. Proverbs 16:9, NLT

On the other side of this illness, once again I am certain. He is good. He is in control. And He is worthy of my trust. Praise the Lord.

///////////

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring.

What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.

Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” James 4:13-15, ESV

Angela Parlin

Angela Parlin is a wife and mom to 3 rowdy boys and 1 sweet girl. In addition to spending time with friends and family, she loves to read and write, spend days at the beach, watch romantic comedies, and organize closets. But most of all, she loves Jesus and writes to call attention to the beauty of life in Christ, even when that life collaborates with chaos. Join her at www.angelaparlin.com, So Much Beauty In All This Chaos.

Peace & Leaving the World Behind

peace wild rest

Post By: Angela Parlin

We should all spend time outside each day. I don’t know about you, but I spend too many hours indoors.

As a remedy, sometimes I work at the kitchen table near the propped-open door to the deck. Hearing the wind rustling through the trees and birds fighting over seeds at the feeder does something for my heart. It’s not all the way outside, but it’s close.

Long ago, I posted this poem, one of my favorites, on the bulletin board at my desk, the one I don’t actually work at very often.

The Peace of Wild Things 

By Wendell Berry

“When despair for the world grows in me

and I wake in the night at the least sound

in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be.

I go and lie down where the wood drake

rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.

I come into the peace of wild things

who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief.

I come into the presence of still water.

And I feel above me the day-blind stars

waiting with their light. For a time

I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.”

I wonder if so often when we misplace our peace, if the answer is simply to spend more time outside.

I say I wonder, but I already know what kind of person I become when I spend extended minutes under the sky. There I see the rest of the beauty, and it’s not that I forget the chaos of the day. It’s not that the challenges disappear or the discouragement dissipates.

Out there, we realize we can walk away for a bit and the whole thing doesn’t all fall down.

Ohhh, right–it wasn’t really me holding everything together.

In the presence of still water or even angry waves, we remember again we have no control over the things we fear.

We remember Who does control all things—He Who is good and true and beautiful and eternal.

Who is acquainted with all this growing old and wearing away and falling down and rising up again. He Who endures forever and ever, Who is seen at the center of all this worldly beauty.

The Lord is God, and He has made His light shine on us. Psalm 118:27

It takes a few minutes, but I confess the truth. I’ve been taxing my life again, imagining losses that haven’t even happened. Why do I continue to repeat this?

Once again, I return to the wild. I take a walk in the woods past the yard, thick with green and a melody of snapping sticks underfoot. I imagine snakes hiding out like sharks in the ocean, while hoping they’re at least as rare.

Somehow I’ve left the rest of the world behind me. I come into the peace of wild things, and their holy message sinks ever deeper to my core.

Like Berry, I rest in the grace of the world—and I’m free.

///////////

From the ends of the earth I call to You, I call as my heart grows faint;
lead me to the Rock that is higher than I.
Psalm 61:2

Get all Purposeful Faith blog posts by email – click here.

Angela Parlin

Angela Parlin is a wife and mom to 3 rowdy boys and 1 sweet girl. In addition to spending time with friends and family, she loves to read and write, spend days at the beach, watch romantic comedies, and organize closets. But most of all, she loves Jesus and writes to call attention to the beauty of life in Christ, even when that life collaborates with chaos. Join her at www.angelaparlin.com, So Much Beauty In All This Chaos.

When You Wax & Wane

gospel truth remain

Post By: Angela Parlin

From her bedroom window, the full moon glows.

Rays bounce to the north, south, east, and west, painting a cross of light over a pitch dark sky. Supermoon circles large in the center of a bright, shining, old, rugged cross.

I sit on the corner of her bed, watch my sleeping beauty breathe, and I stare at the moon.

“God writes the Gospel not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars.” –Martin Luther

Tonight, God wrote the gospel on the moon, and I needed it more than I knew.

Many days, I gulp down living water early.

But then I run through days, where the gospel feels lost on me.

Some days start on a high note, but tangle up in chaos before we reach the middle. Some days, I have to convince myself to try get on top of it all. Instead, I feel irritated. I can’t stop moving, but I’m only running in circles.

When I finally sit down for a few minutes without little people asking for more pieces of me, I ask God really mature and selfless questions.

Why won’t they ever leave me alone?

It’s not what I really want, other than the opportunity to pause and re-center.

The night of the supermoon, it hit me.

The way of the moon is to wax and wane, and the light can all but disappear sometimes.

My light can all but disappear, in the jumble of kids and school and endless meals and the house with its dirt and projects and always so many things to do.

My light disappears in the way I react to their childishness and stubbornness and rips and smudges and everywhere messes.

I want to remain in Jesus, to be a light that shines His love day in and day out, even when it’s only for my little crew.

I also want to be left alone sometimes.

I want to stay on schedule.

I want my house all put together.

I want to complete things when I start them.

And since none of these are entirely possible, some days my light goes out. Or at least grows dim.

How is it so hard to remain in Him, when I do take the time to begin in Him?

The night I saw Him cross the moon, my heart welled up with this visible shot of gospel, in the middle of my own frustrations and failures.

His cross was brighter.

His love was stronger.

His work outlasted my own.

Once my eyes were fixed on Jesus again, I could see it all more clearly.

There is so much beauty in and around and through the chaos of our days.

God writes the gospel not in the Bible alone. This doesn’t diminish the importance of the Bible. Nothing compares to opening the pages of His Word and hearing from the Lord.

But God surrounded us with all this beauty, His own glory. It fixes our minds on Him again, and maybe there’s always more to see.

So when you look up at the sky today or the stars tonight, or when the wind blows through your backyard trees, I hope you will remember.

I hope you will look and see Jesus above the roar of your life’s chaos, and you will continue in Him. And you will remain in Him.

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View More: http://kimdeloachphoto.pass.us/allume2015Angela Parlin is Dan’s wife and Mom to 3 rowdy boys and 1 sweet girl. In addition to being with friends and family, she loves to read and write, spend days at the beach, watch romantic comedies, and organize closets. But most of all, she loves Jesus and writes to call attention to the beauty of life in Christ, even when that life collaborates with chaos. Join her each week at www.angelaparlin.com, So Much Beauty in All This Chaos.