Monday, January 25, 2010


From Come Away My Beloved, Frances J. Roberts
In the morning, lift your heart in song. In the evening, let your requests be made known. And My peace will keep you, and My grace shall be your support.
Turn away from the diverging path; never fear to follow Me. For as the shepherd leads his sheep, you will know with certainty that I go before you. I will bring you to a place of broad pastures, of enlarged vision, of increased fruitfulness, and abounding blessings--and nothing shall prevent me.
 Lately, I've been asking God to bless me. And there was a part of me that felt guilty for it. I knew I was already beyond blessed. I didn't lose my job this year. I didn't suffer a traumatic death in my family. I didn't sit on the brink of starvation, or in the dark and cold at night. I've actually had it pretty good. Even before the international crisis of Haiti's earthquake struck, I knew that I was luckier than most, just by living where I live and being born into the family I was, and I know that I take it for granted. Really, there's no reason not to be happy or content.

But I also know that God wants to bless us. He does. Look at Matthew 7: "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened."

I read something interesting by Brother Lawrence recently, who wrote:
God has infinite treasures to give us. Yet, a little tangible devotion, which passes away in a moment satisfies us. How blind we are, since in this way we tie God's hands, and we stop the abundance of His grace! But when he finds a soul penetrated with living faith, He pours out His grace on it in abundance. God's grace is like a torrent. When it is stopped from taking an ordinary course, it looks for another outlet, and when it finds one, it spreads out with impetuosity and abundance. (emphasis mine)
It got me to thinking. Am I my own road block? Am I satisfied with too little? How much more does God want to give to us, but we never even think to ask?

I may not know what to ask for, but that's okay. Romans 8:26-27 says, "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express."

I'm still getting used to feeling okay about asking God to bless me, and part of that means remembering to acknowledge all the ways in which He already has, and to ask his blessing not only for myself, but in intercessory prayer for my family, friends, even the world.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

from the Word

He brought me out into a spacious place;
He rescued me because He delighted in me.
~Psalm 18:19~

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Thoughts on 2010

Unfortunately, 2009 turned out to be rather disappointing, and I have an inkling that much of the world feels the same way. I was heartened, however, to receive the 2009 statement for my mutual fund this week and see that, indeed, things have been slowly getting better in the world of investment and stock. I am really hoping that this is a foreshadowing of better things to come in all other worlds as well!

Last January, I posted a letter to 2009 (which you can read here). In that letter I said that four things would happen: (1) I would get a new computer, (2) I would thus no longer have an excuse for not writing, (3) I would finish the novel that I started in 2006, and (4) I would save $30 a month to purchase a week of advocacy for the International Justice Mission.

Of these four things, I accomplished two, which I guess isn't half bad. I purchased a new MacBook. And I saved $30 a month for the International Justice Mission, which I gave towards investigative equipment, as a "week of advocacy" was not in the 2009 gift catalog. As for the other two items, I still found plenty of excuses for not writing, and I did NOT finish the novel. Not even close.

Dare I commit myself, in the face of failure, to write more and finish the novel in 2010? Yes. I do dare.

This year I started another blog all about writing, words, and books. Check it out: Happily, I have been very committed to making sure I post at least twice a week. Usually more. I have also been keeping up with my photography blog by posting at least twice a week. This means that I have already been writing more and have proven that I CAN be consistent and committed. Hooray!

O course, 2009 wasn't all bad. The highlight of the year? Without a doubt, the Mediterranean cruise my grandma took all us girls on in June. Seven lovely ladies, and we were blessed to see Barcelona, the Amalfi Coast, Pompeii, Rome, Florence, Nice, and Marseille. It was amazing, and definitely gave me the travel bug.

I also had the great pleasure of visiting my best friend, Dom, in Guadalajara, Mexico, in April, where she is an elementary school teacher.

My dear friend and former roommate, Rachel, got married in August, and I flew to Minnesota for a week to take part in all the wedding festivities and support her as a bridesmaid.

I guess, all in all, I can't complain about the past year. It has had its ups and downs--really, a few too many downs, if you ask me. But I know that I'm still beyond blessed. And it should be considered a privilege to get to live life all over again in a brand new year.

Here we go, 2010!