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Good morning—Be still!

As the rain and the snow come down from heaven
and do not return to it without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
~ Isaiah 55:10-11 ~

spiritual-beach

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation,
by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
~ Philippians 4:6-7 ~

God’s way is higher and his knowledge is deeper than yours. He knows the plan and path you should be on and is constantly working things out so that his will can be done in your life. Give thanks for the life and breath you have this morning and cling tightly to the knowledge that God hears your prayers and knows your needs. Trust in him midst the trials and tribulations of your life, knowing that the he is making all things come together for your good. You may not feel his presence, but press on, knowing that he is with you every step of the way, guiding you to eternal perfection.

Be Still

Be still and know that I am God
Trust in me though life can be hard
I will guide you through the storms each day
Setting you on My path to steady your way
All things will work out despite how you feel
Have faith and My blessings will become real
I love you more than you will ever know
I promise to never let you go
Trust in me and I will keep you in regard
Be still and know that I am God

All my love and may you be blessed beyond measure, continually in prayer, listening for God’s still, small voice, and thankful for every gift and blessing in your life–no matter how small. ❤

Abounding Beauty

The beauty of the Lord surrounds you each and every day! Have you taken time to enjoy it, breathe it in, live in the glorious splendor that is His creation. There may be imperfections in the human day-to-day interactions of life, but when you glance at brilliant sunset, feel the caress of a gentle breeze, and smell the fragrance of a beautiful rose, there is no doubt that God created perfection! Take some time out from the hectic insanity of life to enjoy and embrace the abounding beauty of God and find rest from the hustle and bustle. All my love for a wonderful week ❤

Breathtaking-Sunset-Photography-5

Finally, brothers and sisters,
whatever is true, whatever is noble,
whatever is right, whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable
if anything is excellent or praiseworthy
think about such things.
~ Philippians 4:8

Abounding Beauty

Manifestation of eternity
Wonders and beauty unsurpassed
Exquisite paintings of divinity
Sunrise and sunset intoxicate
Delicate allure of something more
Gloriously designed hues captivate
Flowers delicately bloom fragrant
Majestic trees outstretched
A palate of colors ever so vibrant
Seas ebbing rhythmically to and fro
Gentle waves hypnotizing
Mountains of wonderment to behold
Sparkling sun oh so bright
Stars dance and spin in procession
Darkened world lit by moonlight
Lovely breezes that embrace
Rains bring unyielding growth
Vivid portraits of divine grace
Beauty that awakens love
Stunning images capture imagination
A royal tapestry from heaven above

Are YoU LivInG?

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
~ John 10:10 ~

yolo

YOLO! Yep, that’s right You Only Live ONCE!!  What are you doing with the life that God has so richly blessed you with? Are you looking at all the bad in life and letting it bring you down, or are you choosing to see the rainbow midst the storms? Do you let the world drown you with its waves of chaos and despair, or do you call upon the One True God that can cause you to walk on the water? Do you sit on the throne of selfishness and greed, or do you humble yourself in the joy of giving and loving?

Life indeed throws us turbulence and turmoil frequently, and we often have exceedingly difficult choices to make, but we as Christians know that there is more than the insanity this world offers us, and we assuredly know that all the choices we make have lingering consequences both here and now that echo into the eternity to come! When the Lord leads your life, there is hope, there is freedom, there is mercy, there is light, and there is overwhelming love!

Yes, there will be sad times, times of anger and pain, and times where the mind is downcast, but Psalm 126:5 states, “Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy.” God is true, just, and holy, and all that he allows to occur while we walk the face of this fragile world are to mold and shape us into the righteousness of Christ! He fulfills his promises of joy, peace and comfort daily….all you need do is trust and lean on him!

My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments;
For length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you.
Do not let kindness and truth leave you; bind them around your neck,
Write them on the tablet of your heart.
So you will find favor and good repute in the sight of God and man.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.
Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and turn away from evil.
It will be healing to your body and refreshment to your bones.
~ Proverbs 3:1-8 ~

No matter what you face, no matter how big the storm, no matter how hindering the mountain…God has you! He is in control and he will bring joy each and every day!  Choose to praise despite the chaos.  Choose to see the beauty and blessings of life instead of dwelling on the disparity and ugliness.  What you choose will bring you life or it will destroy your life!

Sing praise to the LORD, you His godly ones,
And give thanks to His holy name.
For His anger is but for a moment,
His favor is for a lifetime;
Weeping may last for the night,
But a shout of joy comes in the morning.
Now as for me, I said in my prosperity,
“I will never be moved.”
O LORD, by Your favor You have made my mountain to stand strong;
You hid Your face, I was dismayed.
To You, O LORD, I called,
And to the Lord I made supplication:
“What profit is there in my blood, if I go down to the pit?
Will the dust praise You? Will it declare Your faithfulness?
“Hear, O LORD, and be gracious to me;
O LORD, be my helper.”
You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
You have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness,
That my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent.
O LORD my God, I will give thanks to You forever.
~ Psalm 30:4-12 ~

Be the light of God’s love and the beacon of eternal hope to a desperate and hurting people! Choose to LIVE and live FULLY. Choose to LOVE and love DEEPLY. Choose to HOPE and hope ENDLESSLY. Choose to REJOICE and rejoice with SINGING. Choose to SERVE and serve HUMBLY.

May God grant you joy every morning and hope each day! May he bring you peace beyond measure and shower you with love overflowing! May your heart and mind always be set in eternity and not the here and now, and may you find the strength and courage of Christ to help you through the trials and persecution.

All my love!

Growing Pains

As another crazy, yet blessed year comes to a close, I find myself glancing back at what I have accomplished, how far I have come, and how much I have grown. I think it is truly amazing how God uses all things to bring growth and glory in my life, and in the lives of all his children (including you!).

This past year, like so many before it, has seen its share of pain and anguish: the death of my father, my uncle, and a close friend, family chaos and fighting (which often sadly occurs when death comes), broken relationship and a shattered heart, an unexpected move, and financial strain. Yet, oddly enough, this year brought beauty, healing, love, and provision through it all.

You see, despite the pain and suffering, God was in it all, working his will, his plan, his glory through all of it. Pain and suffering is a normal part of life and an integral part of spiritual growth.

John 16:33 These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.

Hebrews 5:5-8 So also Christ did not glorify Himself so as to become a high priest, but He who said to Him, “YOU ARE MY SON, TODAY I HAVE BEGOTTEN YOU”; just as He says also in another passage, “YOU ARE A PRIEST FOREVER ACCORDING TO THE ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK.” In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety. Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered.

Jesus Christ Himself was not exempt from the pain and suffering of this world. Pain and suffering in your life is one way that God prunes you, building you up and making you stronger. Much like a great work out at the gym, there is often pain afterward (even during the workout as you push yourself), but the results are wonderful in the long run if you keep working out and building up muscles that increase your strength. Another example is the olive tree. A farmer must cut (or prune) the branches back in order for the tree to produce a more abundant crop the next season. If it is not pruned, it grows unkempt, producing less fruit, and therefore yielding less profit for the farmer.

John 15:1-3 I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.

You and I are the branches on the tree of life, and if we are not pruned, we tend to not bear the fruit of righteousness, purity, or holiness. We become weak, wild, and unkempt, losing sight of what we are here for–to produce fruit that brings honor and glory to the Lord, bringing others into his kingdom, showing the light of God for all to see.

Pain and suffering in this life are also motivators for growth. When you get stuck in the mundane routines of life–work, family, home, friends, etc., it is easy to get comfortable and not change or stretch outside of your comfort zone. Going back to the workout example, if you keep doing the same exercise routine day in and day out, you will see results, but eventually they will plateau and your workout routine will be only for maintaining, rather than continued strengthening. Even weight loss will fade if the workout routine stays the same. You have to change things up to see continued results, to build more muscle mass, to thin out more, and to tone consistently.

Spiritual growth is similar. If church and scripture become mundane routines, the same thing day in and day out, you will get stuck, your spiritual growth will plateau. God wants your spiritual growth to excel, to continue to grow each and every day. This means that you have to be forced out of your comfort zone sometimes, and often the only way to get you to do that is through pain and suffering. When life is grand, going smoothly, and you have no worries or stress, God tends to be put on the back seat. Ever notice that your prayer life and devotional time picks up a great deal when there is pain, suffering, trials, or tribulations in your life. That is because during those times, your reliance on God is stronger and more evident. You can’t fix things, make them better, or change them, and thus you seek God, seek His will, His discernment and wisdom to handle all that you are facing. You may even reach out to others in your community–church, work, home, neighborhood–for help and guidance.

Often during the most painful times in our lives, we are forced to take responsibility for our failures and learn how to adapt and change so as to not make the same mistakes next time. Other times, we are confronted with requests that take us out of our cushy comfortable place to become a witness and light for God. It may be that you are asked to forgive someone who has hurt or betrayed you. Perhaps you are being called to share your pain with someone in order to show the glory of God as he brings you through it. Maybe the pain in your life is building perseverance, patience, or other spiritual fruits in your own life. Whatever it may by, God is using the pain and suffering to motivate change and growth in your life.

James 1:2-4 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

James 5:11 As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.

Romans 5:3-5 And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

1 Peter 1:6-7 In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ

Though I faced my share of pain and suffering in 2014, I can look back on each and every moment and see God’s mighty hand at work through the entire event. Through the deaths that came into my life, I was able to find courage and strength to do what was right midst the chaos and family fighting. Though my heart was broken and a relationship ruined, I was given comfort and wisdom midst the storm, making a few of the toughest decisions of my life, which ultimately brought peace to me and my son. Even through the financial difficulties, God changed my view of budgeting, helping me save more than I have before. In the moments of pain and suffering, I didn’t always see his mighty hand at work, but looking back on the year, it is evident he was with me, guiding, building, refining, and growing me into the woman of God he designed.

So, my friends, fret not when you are facing pain, trials, tribulations, or suffering, for in time, God will produce an abundance of fruit, helping you change the old patterns of life, enabling you to grow spiritually! With that said, I look forward to another year and what may come–the good, the bad, and the ugly! Bring it on, for with God, we can all rest assured that good will come, hope will be renewed, and the future will be bright.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

God bless and keep you in the coming year and always! May you rejoice midst the pain and suffering, knowing that God is working all things for your good! He is with you always and forever, and will never leave you nor forsake you, providing all you need to face all that comes your way.

In Christ’s Love ❤

Thank You Ever So

May you be thankful for all you have, for all you can do, for all who love you. May you enjoy the blessing God so richly bestows, and may your heart be filled with joy and comfort despite the storms.  We are called to praise God through all circumstances, in all things. May your praises ring out and be sweet music to the Lord!

sivienna.wordpress.com

sivienna.wordpress.com

All my love and prayers for a wonderful Christmas season!

Rejoice always
Pray without ceasing
In everything give thanks
For this God’s will for you in Christ Jesus
~ 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ~

Thank You Ever So

So thankful I am for all I have
A home filled with warmth
A cozy bed to snuggle in
Food to eat each and every day

So thankful I am for those in my life
Family I hold dear to my heart
Friends that lift me and love me no matter what
Acquaintances that make me smile each day

So thankful I am for blessings abounding
Water that runs at my beck and call
A car that gets me to and fro
Music that brings joy to me any day

So thankful I am for all I have
Blessed beyond measure
My cup overflows
Dear Lord, thank you ever so

Thankful Christmas!

I know Thanksgiving is only a few days away, but it is during this time (as with every day!!) that I am ever so thankful for all that God has done for me (and for you!!). He sent His only Son to die for us, that we might find salvation through His sacrifice! As you sit down together to enjoy family time, whether to celebrate Thanksgiving, or just to eat a typical dinner, remember that despite the storms that rage and the circumstances that seem to crush, God is there and has given His all for you. He wants you to have peace, joy, unending love, and know the glory of his grace, strength and mercy. So to start this Christmas season off right…let’s not forget to thank God for all He has done and is yet to do.

All my love ❤

The Present is a Gift Indeed!

Yes, this is a repost from last May, but oh so relevant today as well!  I find myself constantly battling to find meaningful time with God as I go to and fro with all the busyness of life, and therefore I share this again….a reminder to myself to make time, and a reminder to others to be thankful and to carve out time to build and renew your relationship with God!!

lookatmyhappyrainbow.com

lookatmyhappyrainbow.com

The Present is a Gift Indeed!!

Today is indeed a gift, hence the reason it is called the present. An old saying, but nonetheless true! I have been running from one end of creation to the other like a wild banshee with work, parenting, housekeeping, and building a relationship, not to mention Bible studies, worship and Church. I would trade none of it, but man there are those days that I get so busy that I forget what is truly important, what is most valuable in my life.

God is so often pushed to the side as there are so many other things that vie for my time. I squeeze Him in as though He can wait for those 5 minute moments here and there in the car, in the shower, or anyplace else I actually have a moment to be left alone. As I reflect on the last few weeks, I have come to realize that my priorities are out of whack. ALL that I HAVE, I HAVE because God gave it to me. NOTHING is my own, NOTHING have I created, NOTHING have I earned. It is all GOD. Take a look at Deuteronomy 8:10-18

10 When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the LORD your God for the good land he has given you. 11 Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. 12 Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, 13 and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, 14 then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 15 He led you through the vast and dreadful wilderness, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock. 16 He gave you manna to eat in the wilderness, something your ancestors had never known, to humble and test you so that in the end it might go well with you. 17 You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” 18 But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.

God has provided us with all we have…food, land, house, water and wealth. Nothing comes from us, but from God’s BLESSINGS. Each breath we breathe, each step we take, each thought we think, each word we say, each letter we type are all gifts from God. The car that starts each morning, the job that supplies all the necessities of life, the family that comes along side of us, the church that builds us up all are gifts from God. The home you sleep in, the computer you communicate with, the water you drink and bathe with all are gifts from God. NOTHING is my own, but all beautiful gifts from God to remind me of his covenant to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. They are there to remind me of eternity, to set my mind on things above, not to be taken for granted.

secretplaceministries.org

secretplaceministries.org

Glancing upon all that God has truly blessed me with has gently reminded me that He loves me so and desires to spend time with me and to be a part of my life, from the mundane to the hectic parts of it. How could I push Him aside when He has so richly blessed me indeed? How could I shove Him into convenient little moments that don’t allow time to really listen to Him? I feel my finger pointing at me accusingly, with “shame on you” emanating forth. When we love someone, we want to spend every waking moment with them, talking to them, listening to them, laughing with them, and basking in the joy of that relationship. God is no different! He loves us and wants to spend every waking moment with us. Should we not desire the same? Yes, we need to live life and take care of the responsibilities God has given us on this earth. However, we need to prioritize and make sure we are making time, scheduling and planning longer than 5 or 10 minutes to sit with Him each day.

Enjoy the gifts of the present and take time to thank and honor God for all He has blessed you with and to hear His still, small voice! All my love to you!