Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Wishing Away Winter and Pining For Spring

Wishing Away Winter and pining for spring
Photo by John Doyon

As much as I love the beauty of fresh fallen snow, too much winter makes me pine for spring.

Living in New England has its attractions:

Wishing away winter and pining for spring

Gorgeous fall days
Bright colors as the leaves change
Apple picking in the fall
Maple syrup harvesting in late winter
Four distinct seasons that you miss if you’re away from them

But, winter can drone on until you find yourself crying, uncle. Or in other words, BRING SPRING.

We faintly hope in the groundhog’s predictions but don’t believe a word he says. No matter what, we are in for winter’s hold until at least the end of March.

I remember an ice storm in May. A fluke? Yes. But definitely something you remember by keeping photos in a scrapbook with a label that says, Unbelievable!

When you are facing illness or trials, the spring can’t come quick enough. Your four walls, prescription bottles and calendar filled with appointments begin to close in until you utter the word: Uncle. But what you mean is bring on relief.

From one New Englander who knows what the winter prison feels like, I am praying for you that you see a glimpse of spring in the coming days. I pray that you know that no matter what you’re facing and how dark it seems, God is with you. His promise to never leave you alone and to walk with you through anything, applies to any season, winter included.

Wishing away winter and pining for spring

I’m also praying you will see His signs of spring. The new life, hope and relief as you go through each winter day. He is there. Ask Him to show you His presence, the fingerprint that He is with you. Look for the glimmer of light in the middle of the darkness. (Click to Tweet)

I promise you that His relief will come and it will become one of the memories kept in your scrapbook of faithfulness marked, Unbelievable. Because we can’t help telling others how God met us in the middle of our darkest time and shined through the dimness with His light.

There is a favorite verse I’d like to share with you to encourage you through to relief because God promises not to waste any dark moments in our lives. They become the beacon of His glory if we allow them to.

What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; Matthew 10:27 (Click to tweet)

God has a message for you in this. You may or may not see it right now because it’s dark. But, as His light dawns you will see something that will bring comfort and show His glory to another.

I have been there.


In darkness.

And, I promise you, spring is coming.

How can I pray for you?


Spring Flower and Autumn tree Images courtesy of Morguefile.com

Resources to help find God trustworthy during the winter of your soul:

Friday, February 20, 2015

Learning How to Love

Learning how to love

I've been mulling over the concept of LOVE this morning and realize I don't know if I truly understand the depth of it. So much of how I love is broken at best - maybe because I am broken. (Click to Tweet) 

Understanding love according to God's definition is beyond me. I know I can't love like He does, not on my own.
So often showing love is skimming the surface, depending on my mood or whom I am trying to love. They say love is a verb. And a verb shows action.

I say I love, but do my actions follow? (Click to Tweet)

I simply know that I don't understand love like God does.
Maybe I am being too hard on myself  as Valentine's Day whizzes past. If I am honest though, I can tell you my ability to love hasn't really been tested. Not like others I know:
Learning How to Love
Corrie ten Boom tells of how love transformed her from hate to forgiveness for the German prison guard, whose treatment she endured during her imprisonment.
A wife continues to show kindness to her husband even though he has betrayed her.
Love provides 24/7 care for someone who has hurt them in the past.
I am afraid to find out what I am not capable of. Yet, at the same time my heart cries out for God to teach me how to love like He loves.
The good news is, that I am not able to love without the source of love.
Scripture tells me Love is of God because God is Love. 1 John 4:7-8
Learning how to love
Photo by Ruthanne Sprague, used with permission
As I read this morning, God's words in Jeremiah 31:3 glowed like an ember:
He says, I will love you with an everlasting love. 

God is my example. His love never changes. He is the One who loved me first so I can love in return. So with that message, I know He can teach me to love like He loves.
No matter what I do, His love never changes.
Jesus knew Peter would deny Him. But, He prays He will strengthen His brothers. Luke 22:31-34
He knew Judas plotted betrayal for 30 pieces of silver, yet He shares bread with him (a gesture of honor). John 13:21-26
Jesus never withheld love, because He is the expression of God's love. He can't be unloving. It's against His character. And, this love led Him to the cross to pay our sin debt. His love paid it all. And, it was love that held him on the cross, not the Roman's nails.

So, my prayer today is, teach me to love. Scary, I know. I've been warned it's like praying for patience...

Am I afraid of what is coming? Yes. Though I shouldn't be because His word tells me that Perfect Love casts out fear. 

But loving others takes sacrifice. 

I know I am selfish and self-protective but I know He will teach me with gentle patience if I am willing.

How good are you at loving others?  (Click to Tweet)

I'd love to hear your thoughts,


God's Love for you is relentless:

Coffee image courtesy of Morguefile.com

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Finding the Blessing in the Storm

Finding the Blessing in the Storm
Winter has a way of closing in—the cold and swirling snow piles up outside the door until there is a need to clear a way out, not to mention in.
I don’t mind the beauty of snowflakes falling especially when I can stay inside where it’s warm. Yet, this winter has piled heavy on me—storm after storm. (Click to tweet this)

I have faith that spring is coming. Usually I begin seeing its signs in February. The warm days make the sap run and local maple sugar farms begin harvesting. I’ve seen nothing of the blue tubes snaking from tree to tree, or even the old fashioned tin buckets filling hungrily with sap.
No, spring is far off and I need it near.

Finding the Blessing in the Storm
Our country road is narrowed down to one lane making it difficult to walk. So, I sit like a lump watching my calories so I don’t have to deal with too much when this is all over.

A Hot drink by the woodstove is something people pay dearly for in ski country. So, I try not to grumble. I am warm. I don’t have to drive in it as long as I grocery shop in between storms. And the Currier and Ives image outside my window is beautiful.

In the middle of any storm, I need to see the good things. (Click to Tweet This) It's hard sometimes, but if I focus on what I’m thankful for, I can see the blessings.

There have been plenty of storms this winter and plenty in my life. How about you?
What blessing have you found in the middle of what is swirling around you?
Spring is coming!
Philippians 4:8  (Click to Tweet this)
2015 Photos by Jeanne Doyon



Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Slow Down—Listen to God Speak Through His Word

Slow down

Slow DownSharon Jaynes challenged me in a recent Girlfriends in God post. So often I hurry through my Bible reading. I may glean something each time I read but I don’t slow down and really think about each verse. Her challenge was to take one verse and really spend time on it—turning it over—noticing the meaning of each word and phrase. Savor it asking, what is God saying through His living word—to me?

What a blessing this has been for me this week. Let me share my discoveries in Psalm 40:3; it says:

“And He put a new song in my mouth,

a song of praise to our God;

Many will see and fear,

and will trust in the Lord.”

Slow Down Wonder Building


No one else puts it there—nor gives it. And, it’s NEW – not past, reconstituted, resurrected, borrowed

HE PUT – is a definitive action. It doesn’t say:

He may put

He has put

He can put

He will put

It says HE PUT. This is determined and purposeful.

He puts this song in MY MOUTH.

It is personal. It is my song—my response to what He is doing in my life. He knows me. He is active in my life. He is giving ME a song – because He knows me and my circumstances.

This is a NEW SONG. Meaning He has given me songs in the past. Songs of praise for the things He did before. But, this new song flows out of what God did today. And songs of praise to Him are meant to be fresh, new and always filling us as I see Him at work around me.

Slow Down to Notice what God is doing

This NEW SONG is one of praise. This doesn’t mean merely happy or self-fulfilling. It is PRAISE to my God.

He is the object of my praise.

He deserves and receives this praise – my song.

MANY WILL SEE. Not a few, or one, or two. Not all. But, many will see…

See what?

Many will see my new song, the reason for my praise and the difference it has made in me. They will see what God has done in my life. They will see the contrast of being stuck in the miry clay (see verse 2) and being freed—standing firm.

Many will see the transformation and see my new song of praise that rises from the circumstances I have come through.

And FEAR. This isn’t an “afraid” brand of fear. It means they will reverence God, seek and acknowledge Him – and WILL trust in the LORD. It doesn’t say MAY trust—might, think about, possibly trust.

Psalm 40:3 says, WILL TRUST in the LORD.

The MANY that SEE, FEAR and TRUST, have hearts that are open—those who notice what God is doing and recognize Him who has done these marvelous things to prompt my song of praise. The people in my world are watching how I react to hardship, sickness, injustice…they see.

I am amazed at what one verse tells me about the amazing God I love as I look carefully at each piece. Did it speak to you too?

Slow down Listen to each piece of God's Word

So, give it a try this week. Choose and verse. Write it out. Then meditate on each word and phrase. You will be amazed at that God shows you—fresh manna—daily bread. I know He will nourish your hungry spirit and give you a new song.

Take time to slow down. Listen to what God is saying to you through His word. I'd love to hear what you discover.



Take time to slow down and listen (Click to Tweet)

He will nourish your hungry spirit and give you a new song (Click to Tweet)

Do you gulp down God's Word, or take time to savor every bite?  (Click to tweet)

Get a copy of Sharon Jaynes' book: Becoming a Woman Who Listens to God

Images courtesy of Morguefile.com