One Step at a Time

DSCF0725Green ferns, interjected with brown bark, lined the corridor along the dusty path while warm sun rays peeped through gaps in the tree canopy. Gently the spring sun and refreshing breeze kissed her bare arms as she followed her grandfather along the mountain trail.

The elderly man knew the path well as he had trodden it many times over the years, unlike the young woman who only had distant memories of adventure down the green corridor. Years ago she had travelled to a far off land one that did not resemble the place of her birth.

She made friends in the far off land and life seemed good. Still, her heart longed for home. For familiar places and for family. Gently home wooed her back to once again walk the green corridor.

One step at a time she followed Him.

One step at a time she followed him. Confident in the direction he was leading her. She knew he cared for her and that he was close by ever listening for her call as they walked in single file down the dusty lane together.

In my walk with the Lord I spent many years in a far off land, walking down a path that was not ordained by my Heavenly Father. I walked in places that were not healthy to walk.  In places where the peace of God did not live. Along paths of frustrations, unforgiveness, and bitterness.

Yet, I longed for home. The place of healing, refreshing, and peace.

I called. He answered. Restoring me not because I earned the right to be restored, but for His names sake.

Do you hear Him calling you home to healing? Do you long to be refreshed and restored? Take the first step, call Him. Your Heavenly Father is waiting with open arms to shower you with His love, to heal your broken heart, to refresh your weary soul. Find peace in His presence.

He refreshes and restores my life (my self); He leads me in the paths of righteousness [uprightness and right standing with Him-not for my earning it, but] for His name’s sake. Psalm 23:5 AMPC

Helena

Looking to Jesus: Living in His Radiance.

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A Child’s Question

D2924903-EB27-4664-8EE5-F5B493467855How much do you love me?

A question we have asked or thought at sometime or another. No one ever sets out with a desire to be despised, we may at times feel despised and not wanted but truly our basic desire is to love and be loved.

In Words that Change Everything, Speaking Truth to Your Soul by Karen Jordan she tells of a time she was challenged to ask God how much he loved her (crucifixion aside) and within in few minutes she had her answer. You will need to read her book to find out what the Lord showed her. After telling her story she challenged the reader to ask the same question.

I proceeded to ask the Lord how much he loves me, but my words were hesitant. How could I ask such a question when He had given His own son to die in my place. His love far surpasses my understanding and my mind cannot comprehend the depth of His love. Yet here I was asking the great I AM that very question.

Tongue in cheek I asked, while at the same time confirming to Him I know that He loves me. Still I felt kind of shy in asking. Bowing my head in silent prayer I waited for an answer: but none came.

Experience in walking with the Lord has taught me He will answer in His own time.  He wasn’t ignoring me He was just waiting for the right moment. The moment when would I hear Him.

A Child’s Question

When my children were small they would ask “Mammy, how much do you love me?” With arms extended out in front of me, palms together. I would slowly separate my arms making a wide circle around my body to my back where the palms of my hands would finally meet again. Repeating the words I love you this much as the circle grew wider and wider.

Sunday morning, the day after I had asked God “How much do you love me?”, my answer came. While worshiping the Lord one word in a song leapt out at me. I don’t remember the line or the name of the song but the word was forever. As we sang my mind pictured the answer to my children’s question, “Mammy, how much do you love me?”.

This time it was not me with hands extended, rather it was the Lord whose arms were extended out in front of him with palms together. He proceeded to open His arms just like I did when answering my children, telling me I love you this much as His arms continued to widen around His body. Continuing past His right and left sides His hands made their way around to His back. I waited for His hands to clasp together behind Him.

In my mind I peeked around His back, His hands were not clasped together instead they continued on and on never reaching their destination. “Wow! They are going on forever,” I thought. That’s when I heard the quiet small voice of the Holy Spirit saying, “Exactly, my love for you is never ending. I will love you FOREVER.”

FOREVER! Don’t know about you but my mind cannot begin to comprehend FOREVER. Sixty or seventy years yes, maybe a hundred but FOREVER. Really folks, exactly how long is that?

God’s love is Priceless. Unfailing. Extravagant. Faithful and Forever.

“How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! people take refuge in the shadow of your wings.” Psalm 36:7 NIV

Today I encourage you to ask our Heavenly Father how much He loves you. Please don’t misunderstand, I am not taking anything away or diminishing the sacrifice Jesus made for us when He willingly died in our place. That truly was done in love and it was love who died and rose again for us.

As a daughter of His, living on planet earth, it’s encouraging to receive a personal “I love you this much.” Think of it as a family of sisters who live away from home, they know their dad loves them. Then in the mail they each receive a personal I Love You This Much from their dad, each letter containing a message of love unique to each sister. How encouraging and affirming would that be?

Helena

Looking to Jesus. Living in His Radiance.

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Art Work at She Speaks 2016

 

20160730_151519“Bring business cards” they said. So I set about perusing the internet for inexpensive cards. After settling on one particular company I narrowed my search to five possibilities. That in turn become two and then one.

The day the cards arrived I opened the parcel with childlike excitement but at the same time hoping and praying I had made a good choice in my design. My concern gave way to delight as I looked at the business cards displaying my contact information and website. Okay, I know it was just a business card, but c’mon we all have to start somewhere.

Real Silverware

I was a first time attendee at She Speaks which is a conference in North Carolina run by Proverbs 31 ministries. Dutifully I packed the cards into my small suitcase along with business casual clothes and comfy shoes which were two more packing suggestions.

She Speaks 2016 Photo credit gracelaceandpolkadots

She Speaks 2016
Photo credit gracelaceandpolkadots

Eight hundred women gathered in the hallway eagerly awaiting doors Concord E and F (main conference room) to open. Not really sure what I was expecting, maybe a church like setting, but row upon row of chairs I did not see when the doors eventually opened. Instead I saw round tables elegantly laid with white table cloths, black napkins, and real silver ware with a center piece of flowers as the finishing touch. Elegant indeed!

Concord E/F was to be our ground zero, although interspersed with workshops held in various rooms, it was a place I would return to often throughout the two day conference. There was no assigned seating so I had the privilege of meeting many women from all over the USA as I sat with them to listen to keynote speakers, worship the Lord, and eat lunch and dinner with them.

Fear of rejection and feeling less than those around me held me back

I noticed how the women exchanged business cards gladly and freely with no evident signs of competition, they were truly supporting each other. So why then did I hold back my cards? The ones I painstakingly chose and designed. Why was I reluctant to share unless asked directly? I saw their cards and to be honest mine were in the same league as theirs. Quality of my card was not the issue, yet I felt embarrassed. Fear of rejection and feeling less than those around me held me back.

I sat amongst those who had published books, hosted radio talk shows, and blog several times a week and for some their platform was that of a speaker. Then there was… me… sitting among them. Me, who is pleased with myself if I get a blog post out every seven to ten days. Me, with my free blog address now printed on my newly designed business cards. I was feeling inadequate. The enemy of my soul was putting his two pennies worth of lies into my head.

Why would any of the ladies want your card?

They will laugh (internally) at you when they see the free website address.

No one’s interested in what you have to share.

I listened to every word and so my cards remained in my purse while they doled out their cards to my fellow table companions.

A Work of Art

20160730_134042-1 (1)“Do you have a business card?” one of them asked.

“Um! well! Ah yes, yes I do.” The words stumbled weakly out of my mouth.

I could no longer hide, opening my purse I removed one and only one business card and handed it to the woman. I wasn’t about to start shuffling them to each person around the table as one would in a card game.

Two other ladies looked at the business card I had just given our fellow companion and asked if they too may have one. Soon each person around the table had received my card. They did not look down on me, they were gracious and kind to this newbie into their world.

The voice of Truth reminded me who and whose I am. I am His.

His workmanship. A work of art. Reborn. Transformed. Renewed. Ready to be used for good works.

Ephesians 2:10 Amplified Bible.  This scripture is not for a few followers of Christ only but for all His blood bought children. It is for you and me, let us digest it and let it sink deep into the core of our beings.

10 For we are His workmanship [His own master work, a work of art], created in Christ Jesus [reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, ready to be used] for good works, which God prepared [for us] beforehand [taking paths which He set], so that we would walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us].

Are you holding back because you feel insignificant as I was? Are you afraid to share because like me you think no one wants to hear from you? Don’t listen to the lies. The truth is: You are unique, one of a kind. No one is like you, thinks like you, or does what you do the way you do it. We each have something to bring to the table. Don’t hide it! Use it!

It wasn’t until I decided not to listen to the voice of my enemy but listen to the voice of Truth did I move out from intimidation into boldness. What do you need to move out from?

Go for it sister.

Helena

Looking to Jesus: Living in His Radiance.

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