December 31, 2013

Hold your PEACE


I have been standing still with this word for awhile.  A part of my heart is troubled with an aspect of this word … it has been for a lot more than a while now.
Living my life through Faith, I believe in Romans 12:18 “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone:” Matthew 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God:”   Romans 14:19 “Let us then pursue what makes for peace and for mutual building:’ and Hebrews 12:14 “Strive for peace with all men.”

Non-warring condition. An agreement or treaty between antagonistic groups. Freedom from dissension or strife. Unanimity. Pacification. Neutrality.
“Keep the peace” – maintain order; refrain from creating a disturbance.
“Make peace” - arrange a cessation of hostilities or antagonism.
“Make one’s peace with” – to become reconciled with (accustomed-adjusted); acceptance.
And then there is “Hold your peace” – to keep silent or to not say anything about something.

The problem is that sometimes, despite our best efforts… our wants… our wishes… our hopes… our faith - peace isn’t really present, had or found.  One is then left with feelings of hurt, frustration, sadness, anger… failure.
Is one then left with “Hold your peace” – meaning “to keep silent or not say anything”?
That might be tried.  It really doesn't allow for resolution or improvement. 
In our humanity, sometimes unity-pacification-freedom from dissension doesn’t or can’t exist with some individuals.

Standing Still with PEACE the last few days, I was pointed to search and ponder His Word more deeply (peace is mentioned over 400 times!).

I found PEACE.

Tranquility. Untroubled. Content.

I don’t have to “keep the peace”, “make peace” or “make one’s peace with” this aspect.
I’ve been given PEACE.
            Leviticus 26:6 “And I will give peace..”
            Numbers 6:26 “The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.”
2 Chronicles 14:7   “we have sought HIM and He has given us peace on every side”.
John 14:27  “Peace I leave with you; my PEACE I give to you”

I am led in  PEACE.
Isaiah 55:12 “For you shall go out in joy, and be led forth in peace.”

PEACE is ordained for me.
Isaiah 26:12 “O lord, thou wilt ordain peace for us”.

PEACE is spoken to me.
Psalm 85:8 “Let me hear what God the Lord will speak, for he will speak peace to his people, to his saints, to those who turn to him in their hearts.”

I am kept in PEACE.
Isaiah 26:3 “Thou dost keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee.”


Sometimes it is returned to us.
Matthew 19:13  “And if the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; but if it is not, let your peace return to you.”
Luke 10:6  "And if a son of peace is there, your peace shall rest upon him; but if not, it shall return to you."

Sometimes it isn’t ours to establish.
Psalm 35:20 “For they do not speak peace…”
Isaiah 59:8 “The way of peace they know not, and there is no justice in their paths; they have made their roads crooked.”
Romans 3:17 “and the way of peace they do not know.”
Isaiah48:22 “There is no peace, says the Lord, for the wicked.”
Psalm 28:3 “Take me not off with those who are workers of evil, who speak peace with their neighbors, while mischief is in their hearts.”

Always – it is ultimately just between each person and the Lord.
            Isaiah 27:5 “let them lay hold of my protection, let them make peace with me.
            Colossians 3:15 “And let the PEACE of Christ rule in your hearts.”

PEACE is really only established one way:
            Colossians 1:20 “and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making PEACE by the blood of His cross.

I am able to "hold my peace" -  this PEACE in my heart – His PEACE.

And with all my heart – I wish PEACE for you. I pray you PEACE.



Psalm 4:8   In PEACE I will both lie down and sleep; for thou alone, O Lord makest me dwell in safety.
Psalm 119:165 “Great PEACE have those who love thy law; nothing can make them stumble.”
Isaiah 9:6  “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder, and his name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of PEACE.”
Luke 7:50 “And Jesus said to the woman, Your faith has saved you; go in PEACE.”
Luke 8:48 “And Jesus said to her, Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in PEACE.”
Galatians 5:22 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, PEACE, patience, kindness, goodness and faithfulness.”

August 27, 2013

Uncertainty may seem like the only certainty ....but the unbelievable is believable!

I have been standing still in my quiet time hoping to find a place of peace with events, decisions, directions and plans in my life journey at this moment in time. I delved into the Word looking for application and perhaps encouragement and comfort for the future.  However, as I stood still, I was directed to my past.
This verse resounded in my mind and my heart:
“For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told.”  Habakkuk 1:5
Going back to school as an “older” “very middle-aged” student for a new career…
Moving half-way across the country away from family and loved ones, and establishing “home”…
Finding joy after devastating loss…
These are just three of the events in life that I probably would not have believed if I had been told as that inexperienced, filled with idealism, younger version of me.

Standing still and thinking about just these three “unbelievables” brings about revelation:

I most likely would’ve never chosen each of those forks in the life’s road if left to having my own choice as to what would happen in my life.
Looking back, it is absolutely indisputable that I am where I am supposed to be right now.  Each of these life events has brought me experiences, perspectives, life lessons, blessings, joys, and so much more that I would never otherwise have had:

The firm knowledge that I am His child.
A loving, strong, unbreakable marriage bond.
Amazing children with “unworldly” hearts.
Very special friends that have become God’s blessing of family.
“Home” in so many senses of the word.
“wealthy” (although not by worldly standards) beyond measure.

I know I am who I am today because of the “unbelievable” that was.  I have priorities in life I would otherwise not have had – as well as beliefs, values, and joy.

Even more humbling is evidence that God used these experiences, my “unbelievables”,  to His purpose for others.

As I walk through today’s issues and concerns, I may miss the hand of God at work at this moment – I may not understand how it’s all going to come together – I might be somewhat fearful, tired, doubtful, uneasy or just plain overwhelmed.  Uncertainty seems like the only certainty.  I don’t know what tomorrow holds.  But, I do know who’s holding tomorrow.  I do know that I am a beloved child whose Father knows best.  In that, there is peace…. And comfort….. and encouragement.

1 Peter 5:7  Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
Romans 8:28  We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him.
Romans 8:37-39  In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,  nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Psalm 46:1  God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Psalm 46:10  Be Still and know that I am God.

August 25, 2013

Making plans.

It seems like a great deal of time is spent making plans:

            Who’s got to be where by when and how they get there and back.

            Making and keeping appointments.

            How to get things that need to be done, done by when they should be.

            Making goals and plotting how to meet them.

            Etc, etc, etc…

Consider what the Word has to say about planning:
James 4:13-16  “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.’ Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.” But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil.”
Proverbs 27:1 "Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth."
Proverbs 16:9 "The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps."

Plotting a course of action.  Having a strategy or a means to accomplish a task.
Planning is a necessary part of daily life for families, individuals, work, and play.  It’s a good thing in general. But as I have been standing still with the concept of planning several “life lessons” or truths come to light:

Nothing ever really goes as planned.

Flexibility needs to be part of the plan.

Often it is only AFTER an experience, that we can understand God’s plan was different than ours … and better.  Or we may discover that the plans we have made, the process we’ve gone through, the experiences we have are really just preparation for something God had in store for us all along.
Now there’s a thought to stand still with...

Planning may become preparation for what God will call us to do. 

Perhaps when it comes to making plans for goals we are looking at, we need to keep in mind that we are actually preparing. Preparing  -  equipping; girding; readying; strengthening; training; laying the ground work… for His purpose.
Ephesians 2:10  For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
1 Peter 3:15  But in your hearts, revere Christ as Lord.  Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.
2 Timothy 2:21  Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.
Psalm 85:13  Righteousness goes before him and prepares the way for his steps.

Our plans are part of God's preparation for future service. He will inform us of what service that will be when He is ready and He knows that we are prepared and ready.

Let’s pray our plans, our preparation, are according to His will.

July 31, 2013


We are made for relationship.  Studies have shown that having social connections improves your health and even length of life – constant interaction is not only beneficial psychologically but directly beneficial to our physical health.

Relationship.  A connection, association or involvement; a connection between persons; a bond; interconnection; kinship; link; rapport; relevance.

I’ve been standing still with “relationship”.  I find myself at a point in life – this “midlife”- of deeper contemplation.  Two of my children are now “adult” – the youngest now a young man. My relationships with my children are morphing yet again.  I’m adapting once more to the people they’ve become – even though I can look at them and still see the child they once were forever locked in my heart.  I’m rediscovering certain aspects of relationship with my husband as our focus shifts from a very active family life to couple life. Professional relationships have changed as I now find myself back in school pursuing a new career.  And then there are my friendships… some I’ve been reconnecting with, one or two have grown stronger and there are those I miss – that have slipped away due to time, distance…circumstance.  And extended family relationships… time and distance have changed some of those as well… circumstance…. Well, sometimes family can be so easy but sometimes so very not.

In standing still with “relationship” I’ve decided a few things:

 I think we all have hopes or expectations about how and what relationships should be, but the fact is that relationships seldom live up to expectation or hopes.  I’ve learned it is unrealistic to put my personal expectation on someone – it automatically sets that relationship up for failure. People are human.  I know I possess so many flaws, shortcomings – hidden hurts and burdens. They each have their own as well.

Relationships are not static. They are constantly changing – life situations change, experiences happen, people change (I’m definitely not the same person I was at 18 or 22 or 35 or 40 or even just last year), time goes by.

 Attention is necessary to maintain a relationship – whether it is personal time, quick texts or note or maybe even that yearly Christmas letter.  Connections are maintained through some sort of contact which is balanced.

 Balance is needed.  A relationship requires something that is two way.  It can’t be one sided to be a true relationship.  One of the best pieces of advice a mentor once gave me was to step back and wait.  Value is shown by how one invests time – if that isn’t being pursued by both sides that relationship has a different value and meaning to each individual.

 It’s okay to let a relationship be what it is.  It’s okay to consider someone a friend yet they think of you as a co-worker or just a neighbor.  It’s okay to have relationships in different circles at different levels at different depths.

As uncertain, unbalanced, and constantly changing all relationships are – I’ve learned one absolute.

There is One with whom it is possible to have a relationship that will always be certain; One who will always take me as I am; One who values me beyond measure; One who fills me up, mends my heart, and simply loves me unconditionally. One who never changes.


Isaiah 41:10 “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Isaiah 43:1 “I have called you by name, you are mine.”
Isaiah 43:3 “ For I am the Lord you God”
Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.”
Matthew 28:20 “and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Ephesians 3:17ffyou, being rooted and established in love,  may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,  and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”

April 26, 2013


I have a good friend who had a birthday not long ago. 
The time I spent with her for her birthday has had my thoughts occupied.
For her birthday I decided to take her on a birthday date.  I didn’t take her to a nice place for a lunch or go for pampering and a pedicure …. I took her to a salvage center.  A HUGE big old building filled with old construction material – windows, doors, tile, knobs, hinges, lighting fixtures, sinks, tubs, screws, screens, brackets, … and wood – all kinds of wood from framing to baseboards; from furniture grade scrap to old lumber.
You see, my friend enjoys wood working as a hobby.  She takes old discarded wood and makes things that are useful… beautiful.  There’s been a few times I have found myself driving around with her and stopping to load old fence wood or recruited to unload pallets from the back of her SUV.

On this day, there it stood 8 feet tall among many other old boards. It was old, stained, marked. There were areas deeply darkened by time and weathering; many splatters and paint rings; scars from old nails or screws; yellow tread marks.
Most people would glance right over it. Dismiss it.  It no longer had purpose. It seemingly had little if any worth.
My friend and I lifted it out of the lumber rack.  She ran her hand over it – looked at it from all sides.  Smiling she looked at me and said “this is the one”.  A price was paid for what most would deem waste or a loss. And a treasure was brought home. In time with care, vision and work – there will once again be beauty and purpose…and value. 

Reclaimed. Recovered from discard and refuse. To be brought back to be useful, usable and preferred. To be restored.

As I’ve stood still with my thoughts about the birthday adventure, I see myself in that piece of wood. I carry scars from tragedy and hurts.  I feel weathered by time and life – I have so many stains and flaws – anxiety; fear; at times judgmental, impatient, unforgiving; failures; misunderstandings; shortcomings.
There are times of doubting; times of feeling dismissed – what’s my worth; what’s the purpose; am I valued?
Standing still, I’m pretty sure each of us can relate to that old board.

There is one who sees past my stains and scars.  One who has paid the price for my soul and being.  One to whom I am not discard or by whom I am not dismissed.  One to whom I am valued beyond measure, treasured and loved despite how I may appear.  
It’s humbling and amazing to be reclaimed by His love.
He takes me in whatever condition I am and uses who I am.
All those scars and stains; all that time has brought is purposed.
He looked at me and said “this is the one”.

My prayer now is for you to know your worth – God sees your beauty –– and He has a purpose for you.

YOU and I have been reclaimed.