Chasing Joy

"I am guiding you on the way of wisdom and I am leading you on the right path." Proverbs 4:11

Page 3 of 24

for when you are waiting to be seen

IMG_5973

“so what do you do?”

there are people who are able to put a nice boxed up title around what it is that they do.  i am not one of them.  and feeling a bit lost in my identity just plain goes with the territory, boxed up title or not.  i know that my identity is in Christ and not in what i do, yet what i do is deeply connected to who i am.

here in this tiny little corner of the big wide web i write.  there are other small things i do in my brick and mortar life, but my answer to the person who most recently asked this question were these two words;

“i write.”

“oh!  what do you write?”  she responded, genuinely interested in me and my mysterious life.

“uh….i don’t really know.”

IMG_6044

i’ve questioned the time i spend blogging, we aren’t a family with large resources and it would not hurt for me to get a j.o.b.  one will be heading off to college in the near future and the other two following close behind.  who am i to think spending time on this writing is adding value to anyone?  the voice of my college creative writing professor rings loud and clear-he said i had no talent.  it was ok, i was in school to be an engineer anyway.

~~||||~~

 There is a lost art of studying the works of others to find your own style. All of the “masters” were first apprentices. The apprentice sat beside the “masters”, listening to their process, paintbrush in hand, mixing paint, creating strokes that told a story, and stirred their creative spirit.

Jeanne Oliver Studying Under the Master’s Art course*

my painting daughter has a large oil painting that was due last friday.  the professor gave everyone an extension for monday.  she painted all. weekend. long.  yet only half of the stone church sits below the glowing sunset above it.  she brought in what was done and her professor’s words stand in contrast to mine; “hannah, you are one of my most talented students.  many painters spend a year on a painting like this, you can turn it in whenever it is finished.”

the point is, dear hannah, to keep painting.   keep studying the masters and their process. grow and shift things around when needed.  but by all means, don’t quit.

we don’t live in an apprentice culture anymore, but the concept has value to me when i let it.   my perception of an apprentice is one who works long and hard hours without pay, status, or tangible outcomes.  they are behind the scenes, unseen.  they do the work because of a hope for what is not yet, but will be.

IMG_6064~~|||~~

unseen.  hope for what is not yet, but will be.  apprenticing.  the slow process of growing into a truer version of myself.  this is what the writing life is for me.  it’s still unseen and in process.  it takes an immense amount of courage and patience to do the apprenticeship work, to believe that the One who knit me together has value to add to this world through words i compose.  small work is challenging in it’s hidden-ness no matter what form that work takes i think.  but there is One who entered the world He created through the smallest way possible-who arrived as an ordinary baby, in a tiny little corner of the big wide world.

He is the God who both sees and knows what it is to be unseen.

the point is, dear me, to keep writing.  let it take years if it needs to.  but by all means, don’t quit.


*Jeanne Oliver’s Creative Network is free to join, and the costs of the courses offered vary.  even though my art does not involve paint, i’ve taken a couple of her courses and had the privilege of meeting her when my daughter took one of her classes.  she is inspiring, delightful, and such a gift to the art world.  i highly recommend visiting her site no matter what kind of artist you may be.)

i’ve found paying attention to other artists and their process to be extremely valuable.  most recently i joined hope*writers, a community of fellow writers hosted by author’s that i trust:

A community of people who write about hope, who value encouragement and practical advice about writing as craft, business, and calling.

The community is called hope*writers. We believe we do our best work when we have good support. We want to help you skip the learning curve we’ve had to struggle through.

-the hope*writer’s team

 

frozen

the Lord will fight for you, you need only be still.

IMG_6786

discouragement threatens to take over like ice holding life captive.  and i know what is true.  i know Jesus wins.  i know His light will break through darkness.  i know His presence is real and true even though it isn’t felt.  He keeps track of the stars, He holds the ocean in His hands.

still, reciting the truth to myself doesn’t seem to melt my heart growing cold.

IMG_6780

i join other’s more faithful and rest my hands on a man who is suffering.  and the words they fall short, they stumble under the tears and longings unmet for oh, just a glimpse of You Lord.  Stephen, while being stoned, got to see heaven open before him, oh Lord, just a glimpse of you would bring such encouragement and strength to endure.  please?

and grief sidles up next to the discouragement and they draw a wider circle around my heart.  grief over my own lack of faith in the goodness of a God who gives and takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord.  i’m pleading with the Lord with more doubt than faith, it seems these days there is more doubt than faith and i long to be a better lover to the Shepherd of my soul.

little baby,
i am a poor boy too,
i have no gift to bring,
that’s fit to give a king

the ice wraps around and knowing that my Sovereign God is faithful and true, oh so worthy of my trust, doesn’t melt the discouragement grief and doubt away.  i know i’m struggling to trust Him.  I know He is worthy of my trust.  i preach the gospel to myself, i remember and remember and remember.  but i can’t seem to create the trust i lack.  i am a poor girl too, i’ve no gift to bring, fit for my King of Kings.

IMG_6463

we’re driving along this beautiful winding road.  the kids in the back seats delighting in the curves and hills, my capable and loving husband at the wheel taking his family from place to place, navigating the weather and traffic and enjoying the ride.  He slows down for pictures and speeds up for tummy-tickling joy.  i sit in the passenger seat missing it.  i’m the drowning swimmer needing a slap in the face so as not to drown the lifeguard seeking to rescue her.  i know this.  i know there is no reason for the fear that has joined in with discouragement, doubt and grief.  but the knowing doesn’t melt the ice.  and i long to share in the joy of the others and for peace to descend out of the chaos and take a firmer hold of my heart.  i pray and pray and pray.

and wait.

IMG_6399

take heart, your redemption is near

dear ones listen, friends pray.  hymns penetrate.  tears fall freely while the worship band sings.

we are a flock unworthy, lambs frightened and silly and dumb.  we are the sheep of His pasture.  we are the sheep the babe came to save. we are desperate and needing redemption from a God who comes down.

the preacher reminds us of the cloud of witnesses, those who’ve walked in such darkness, who’ve seen a great light and bear witness to the glory of knowing Christ.

and the suffering one reads aloud…

though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.  Praise be to our God and Father, in His great mercy, He has given us new birth into a living hope through His own resurrection from the dead.   set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.

IMG_6081

there is no hope in my ability to respond to the stuff of life with faith hope and trust.  my hope is reduced fully to the grace given when Jesus Christ, the One willing and able to keep me from falling, the One who fights for me, the One who never leaves or forsakes even when i think He has, my hope is reduced fully to the grace given to me when this Jesus is revealed before me and i see Him as He is.

Abba, i belong to you. *

peace descends and the ice begins to melt.


to draw further in:  Acts 7, Revelation 6:9-11, 1 Peter 1:3-13; 2:9-10, Isaiah 30-33; 40-42; O Come O Come Emmanuel, Christmas Canon

*Brennan Manning.

 

returning to worship

IMG_5085

Thanksgiving vs. Christmas

this year, for the first time in ever, Christmas has infiltrated my Thanksgiving fortress.

all the kids have Thanksgiving week off and we have a road trip planned.  This road trip has nothing to do with Thanksgiving, or Christmas for that matter, it’s just that it coincided time off for everyone and resources available to travel.  we’ve been planning and anticipating for ages, focusing in on the states and sights and mapping our course.  to say we are all excited is quite the under-statement and it’s just now sinking in that we are also in the midst of the holiday season.

because of being gone for these last two Sunday’s in November, i had to begin the Advent study i’m leading early to fit all the lessons in.  and a few of the sights we’ve picked for our trip will be all decked out for Christmas.

in the middle of the night, with study and trip prep swirling around inside my head, something occurred to me.  as i pondered the advent lessons and anticipated the Christmasy sights headed our way, i was reminded of my stubborn battle cry of; “no things Christmas until after Thanksgiving….by golly we will be thankful thankful thankful!!” and i became doubly aware that this resistance has little to do with Christ, and everything to do with culture. in my fight against culture, i’ve inadvertently bought into the lie of what Christmas is actually about.

i know what Christmas is about.  we decorate with nativity sets and have a Bible under our tree instead of presents.  We bring Christ into it in every way possible.

do you see the subtle lie woven into what i just said?  We bring Christ into it? is not the whole of Christmas Christ bringing Himself to us?  (que the music; and the soul felt it’s worth)

as i’ve begun early to meditate on Christ’s coming, as i’ve prepped for our trip and a Thanksgiving week different than it’s ever been, i’ve realized that in my fight to keep Christ in Christmas and Thankfulness in Thanksgiving, i’ve unknowingly declared that the world has triumphed and the battle is mine to wage.  this year, the Spirit who speaks to the churches has been infiltrating my heart in a whole new way-as He does year by year, month by month, day by day, hour by hour.  it’s a re-setting of worship, and it looks a little like pondering the Christ-child early;  a little like being awe-struck and immensely thankful for the babe in a manger, a Lamb come to save His people from their sins.  a little like breaking through my stubborn resolve and allowing the fluidness of the Spirit to be my guide instead.

….regardless of what the calendar says.


IMG_5183

on paris and suffering

these days haven’t been completely consumed with prepping for our trip and the stuff of life.  i’ve seen the news headlines and read the reports.  we as a family also watch and pray for the persecuted and my heart has held a vigil for those in N. Korea for years.  we’ve people near and dear suffering just down the road and our prayers for healing continue to be prayed without seeing any visible results.

i’ve no profound words today to offer that would do anything for all the questions.  but there are those who do and i wanted to point to them:

Seth Haines book Coming Clean just released last month.  it’s a book about pain and faith and offers such nourishment and companionship to anyone else who has experienced suffering and the questions that come. (which, unless i’m missing something, would include all of humanity.)

Emily Freemon offers us a Prayer for those who are grieving.  

and a couple of years on the tail end of a fire that was on the tail end of a different fire there was a flood-and i penned some words about it-taking comfort from this song by Christa Wells that she is now offering for free: This Thing is Not Going to Break You 


130712_0001

both the art of these fine artists and the Spirit’s movement in my heart lift my eyes away from the calendar and the newscasts pointing them instead towards the One who was and is and is to come.

thus, worship is restored.


to draw further in:  Revelation 4 and 5, Romans 8, Matthew 1, Luke 1-2

 

 

misunderstood shoes

151103_0011

I’m standing on the street corner with my two boys when a voice calls out from a car window;

“What kind of mother are you? Get some shoes on that kid, sheesh! Have you no love or care?”

Yes, it is cold out and yes my older boy doesn’t have shoes on.  It takes about 45 minutes of therapy for him to wear socks….and then shoes. There was this helicopter you see…..but there is no time to explain, he just calls out his disdain and speeds away.

….he knows nothing of the countless hours of pouring out my very self as mother to 3 children, one of which has sensory processing disorder. What kind of mother am I?….

in celebration of National Family Caregivers Month, i’m sharing a bit of my story over at Anita’s caregiver connections blog Blessed (but stressed).  Join me over there as i discuss the loneliness and pain of being misunderstood.

 

fumbling pray-er

151105_0010

the crisp air fills my lungs as my feet hit the pavement.  the paths are new to me since i’m running and walking while waiting to pick up my oldest from her school the next town over.  i’ve gotten lost a time or two as my mind focuses on the inner language happening in my soul rather than the names of the streets i’m on.

it is not consistent, this exercise thing, but it is important to me.   instead of quitting because of the lack of consistency, i just keep watching for the opportunities and take them when they come.

IMG_5534

and so it goes with everything else.   a teen who wants to talk deep and so the dishes wait and i sit. a book with words that nourish and so i take a chapter when a free ten minutes appear.  creativity springs forth and so i respond, creating a mess in an already messy space.  writing in the cracks.  exercise on car-pool days.  there is nothing controllable or predictable here, somewhat because of the season of life i’m in, but mostly because of who i am.

151105_0001

the God i love has been distant, quiet, and so my footing feels shaky.  doubts attack  and the unpredictability in the day to day threatens to wear me out.  i have a son who needs routine and predictability and to know what is happening tomorrow and what exactly is a macadamia nut that is in this different granola bar you decided to get this time??   and i have a family who need to be fed by a mom who is present,  and a body that needs exercise and a soul that needs books and creativity and words written on a page.  through the distance, there is still the constant; “help me here Lord,” along with the deep “thank yous”  of the day to day sort, but the predictable solid  ‘quiet times’ disappeared so very long ago.

i fumble through the opportunities snatched to be still and quiet with my Savior, aware of the dullness i feel, i puzzle at the way He is present in all the above situations; giving me words to say, words to type, patience to respond.  how can He be so present and seemingly so far away all at the same time?  i don’t know. i don’t understand this struggle.

151105_0003

i am a fumbling exercis-er, fumbling writ-er, fumbling pray-er.  just like on those paths one town over, i feel lost.  but instead of quitting i remind myself that the One who sits on the Throne has invited me to call Him Father, has promised that He never leaves nor forsakes.

151103_0007

and He knows the way home.


 

to draw further in:  Revelation 4 with Rev 7:9-14 and Romans 8.

 

October’s lessons

151013_0007

October, with all her glory in the leaves a changing and writing for 31 days straight has taught me a few things.

  1.  the leaves will change and beauty will appear whether i’m ready for it or not.  i can not press pause until i’ve time to take a walk or take a picture.  so i need to press pause on something else and take that walk or that picture.
  2. i am not able to publish everyday and run.  i didn’t get out for a run or walk the entire month.  the topic i chose didn’t lend itself to simple words or brief posts.  writing everyday was exactly what i needed, i’ve known that for some time and the challenge to post gave me the motivation to make it happen.  but in dedicating time for writing i let exercise slip away.  i’m entering into November with eyes looking for what it looks like to do both.
  3. i’ve more loyalty to everyone else around me than i have to myself.  i pushed myself every day to publish because i said i would, even if it meant neglecting my home, family, or self.  i already knew this-remember this summer how i wouldn’t quit on my daughter, but if she hadn’t been in the equation, i would’ve quit on myself.  entering the 40’s a few years ago i realized how much more effective it was to work with myself instead of against myself.  since i know this loyalty thing to be true, i’m praying over how i can work within it to both write and exercise-two things that are specifically for me.
  4. reading good authors can usher in fear and super strong temptation to quit writing.  reading good authors also ushers in inspiration and strong courage to write.  it is a real battle for me. sometimes i have to abstain from reading until after i’ve written.  other times i need to read so that i have courage to write.  i can’t predict one from the other, except that i’ve grown in my ability to sense the stirring of either fear or courage and respond accordingly.

151014_0006

 

 

linking up with Crystal Stine for write31days and Emily Freeman for things we learned in october.

chasing joy | final words

IMG_5544

But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.

You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

The king rejoices in your strength, Lord. How great is his joy in the victories you give!

Surely you have granted him unending blessings and made him glad with the joy of your presence.

The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.

Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.

IMG_5489

Unless the Lord had given me help,
    I would soon have dwelt in the silence of death.
When I said, “My foot is slipping,”
    your unfailing love, Lord, supported me.
When anxiety was great within me,
    your consolation brought me joy.

chasingjoy5

Thank you for reading along these past 31 days, may you go forth in Joy!


to draw further in:  Psalms of Joy; listed above are 5:11, 16:11, 21:1, 21:6, 28:7, 90:14, and 94:17-19

chasing joy | where it can be found

zeke

so i tell you this….that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking….

there’s this saying in AA that goes something like; “this is where my best thinking got me.”   as a Romans 8 woman, it’s become a freedom cry of sorts for me.  an acknowledging that on my own i only travel so far.  i need someone else to intervene.  my best thinking puts limits on who God is and how He loves.  my best thinking is futile and ignorant and darkened. But God who is rich in mercy steps in and invites; ‘come, enter into the Ocean of Who I Am.’

Hpim1026

15 years ago i hadn’t made it far from shore in my understanding of this God i love, and thus my understanding of Him was shallow.  it’s where i started, it’s where we all start. all along He’s been inviting me bit by bit to move deeper into understanding the ‘remarkable wonders of His Person more completely.’  this has been the chase of joy.

HPIM1096

As He approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, “if you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace….

Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing…”

Christ brings peace, Immanuel brings joy that cannot be taken, and He longs for us to be willing to receive it.  the vessels through which it comes have been so different than what i thought they’d be.  it has looked like a small yard and a small house in the city.  it has looked like forgiving the unforgivable.  it has looked like a cabin built through wind and fire and flood (yes, there was also a flood).  it has looked like a child needing help to simply wear a pair of socks.  it has looked like sharing the fellowship of Christ in His sufferings, it has looked like basking in the wonder of a life made new.   He asks me to be willing to trust Him and when i do i grow in understanding and find my footing in deeper waters.

HPIM1098

I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection: [experientially, becoming more thoroughly acquainted with Him, understanding the remarkable wonders of His Person more completely] and [in that same way experience] the power of His resurrection [which overflows and is active in believers],

I want to know the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him: by being continually conformed [inwardly into His likeness even] to His death and so somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but i press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.

Storm

Rembrandt’s The Storm on the Sea of Galilee

i still chase after joy.  every single day.  lets press on together, shall we?

chasingjoy5


to draw further in:  Ephesians 4, Philippians 3 (above i quoted from the Amplified), Luke 19: 41-42; Matthew 23: 37-38; Hebrews 12

 

chasing joy | a cabin story: all things new

I am the LORD, and there is no other.
I form the light and create darkness,
I bring prosperity and create disaster;
I, the LORD, do all these things.

I will not yield my glory to another.

Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light,
trust in the name of the LORD and rely on his God.

He has sent Me to bind up the brokenhearted….
to comfort all who mourn…..
to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise instead of despair.

for Joni and Zeke, mere inches made all the difference.  for our cabin, it was the direction and speed of the wind….every time.  13 families lost their homes in this fire and i can’t speak about their grief. we sat on the outskirts of it all a bit, because we still had our home and our belongings in town.

in town.

He’d been building a life for us in town.  there was a community we were made for and we had come to know it.  i had lost complete control of my days-never knowing when a knock on my door would change my afternoon.  He provided a church family and a place for us among them.  we knew this was where we belonged, we understood that we were not meant to abide in the mountains, still we never felt His leading to sell.  we still believed we needed to finish what we started, though we couldn’t explain why.  there was a community in those mountains that we visited, and we were welcomed in every time-but we didn’t fully belong there, only part of us did.  but the part that did, wholeheartedly did.

and that part was now ashes.  and we were already so worn out from all the other traumas we’d been facing over the past year.  and we were so worn out from all the traumas we’d endured thus far on that mountain.

come let us reason together…..

if not a sparrow falls to the ground outside of His will, if he has called the stars by name and not one of them is missing, if all of psalm 139 is true, than He is a God who is sovereignly involved in all of the details.  and that gives me such comfort.  if He has placed the sand as the boundary for the sea, if the waves and the billows roar but cannot pass, if He commands the wind and it obeys Him, then He sovereignly reigns over His earth.   and that makes me tremble.

inches.  is He the God of inches?  is He only in control when the details go my way?

I know Him as the God who wrestles with His people.  who invites His people into His intimate presence, naked and unashamed.

and so yet again i answered His invitation to come and reason.  I poured out all of my grief. i pounded my fists against His chest.  i didn’t understand His choice of inches.  but this couldn’t rip the rug of His love out from under me because He is a Shepherd who keeps what is His.  i was walking in the dark in a myriad of ways, but i knew my God could be trusted, so i relied on Him to give me a garment of praise instead of despair and to bring beauty out of these ashes.

and then through a series of details of things that aren’t supposed to happen, this untamable Sovereign God gave us this:

IMG_0082

IMG_0085

130831_0006

chasingjoy5

to draw further in:  Jeremiah 5:22; Isaiah 45; 61; Matthew 6:25-34; 10:29-31, psalm 139, John 10

chasing joy | a cabin story: through the flames

HPIM2138

life had been chugging along full speed.  From fall of 2010 to Spring of 2011;  Jeremy had collided with another player while playing softball, requiring emergency surgery and 8 weeks with his jaw wired shut.  i’d taken a trip to Uganda, there had been visits from friends and family from out of town and out of the country.  my dad had had heart surgery out of state and i’d traveled to support him and my mom. we were heavily involved with a homeless ministry through our church, in leadership with Bible Study Fellowship, i was homeschooling the two boys (5 and 3) while Hannah (9) was off at our neighborhood public school. plus there were the weekly sessions with Zeke’s OT where wonderful progress was being made, but not without persevering work.

HPIM2143

on the tail end of all of that, i wrote in my journal:

April-Friday the first-quiet day-mel cleans classroom, kids play.

Saturday the 2nd we go to Property for a day with the Hansons, take Janet her bench we purchased for birthday/memory of the sudden passing of Ames’ (their dog) the previous week. We walk together, look at our logs, map out Jeremy’s Frisbee golf course, the kids play all day, we visit about life, spiritual things, real and deep.  It is a beautiful day.  we leave around 10.

amidst the crazy, we’d carved out a Saturday to spend the day up on the property.  we checked on our logs adjusting the tarps where needed, walked inside our foundation and talked a little about when we’d ever get to start building again.  then we walked on up the hill to visit our dear friends who’d built their house on the property next to ours.  it was always a treat to get to visit and let the kids play and hike and catch up on things.  we laughed together, grieved losses together and broke bread together.  we stayed up way to late, and drove back to town in the dark satisfied and filled.

HPIM2150

my journal continues:

at midnight Adonai wakes Janet-they have 15 minutes to evacuate-due to sudden fire.  Jon calls us at 12:30am to let us know.

while we were driving home a fire that had been burning miles away intersected with that hurricane wind creating a giant blow torch.  we’d just laid down our heads when we received the call. the next day we spend with our dear friends.  waiting and waiting and waiting to be given permission to drive up to see-to know what has happened to our property; their house and our land.

finally we are granted access.  we drive up together with them and their oldest son.  we read the psalms.  i just open my bible and start reading -its psalm 116.  i get to verse 7 before i realize this is my ‘property psalm’ but the One who is ever present knew that.  unable to read now through my tears, i hand my bible over to Jeremy and he flips the pages and resumes reading.  psalm 16.  this is Janet’s ‘property psalm’.  Jeremy of course didn’t know that.  but the One who comforts as no one else knew.  His nearness is deeply felt.

We arrive just barely in time to see the damage before dark.  The entire hill destroyed by fire.  our logs evaporated in thin air.  Hanson’s house dust and ashes.

it’s snowing-which is bizarre to see white flakes falling on black ashes.  we stand in silence and awe as the darkness of night moves in.  in the days that follow  we will return as a family and walk our now barren land.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I love the Lord, because He hears [and continues to hear]
My voice and my supplications (my pleas, my cries, my specific needs).

Because He has inclined His ear to me,
Therefore I will call on Him as long as I live.

The cords and sorrows of death encompassed me,
And the terrors of Sheol came upon me;
I found distress and sorrow.

Then I called on the name of the Lord:
“O Lord, please save my life!”

Gracious is the Lord, and [consistently] righteous;
Yes, our God is compassionate.

The Lord protects the simple (childlike);
I was brought low [humbled and discouraged], and He saved me.

Return to your rest, O my soul,
For the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.

For You have rescued my life from death,
My eyes from tears,
And my feet from stumbling and falling.

I will walk [in submissive wonder] before the Lord
In the land of the living.

I believed [and clung to my God] when I said,
“I am greatly afflicted.”

I said in my alarm,
“All men are liars.”

What will I give to the Lord [in return]
For all His benefits toward me?
[How can I repay Him for His precious blessings?]

I will lift up the cup of salvation
And call on the name of the Lord.

I will pay my vows to the Lord,
Yes, in the presence of all His people.

Precious [and of great consequence] in the sight of the Lord
Is the death of His godly ones [so He watches over them].

O Lord, truly I am Your servant;
I am Your servant, the son of Your handmaid;
You have unfastened my chains.

I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving,
And will call on the name of the Lord.

I will pay my vows to the Lord,
Yes, in the presence of all His people,

In the courts of the Lord’s house (temple)—
In the midst of you, O Jerusalem.
Praise the Lord! (Hallelujah!)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me.

 chasingjoy5


to draw further in:  Psalm 116, 51:12 (quoted above,) 117, 118; Psalm 16; and various verses throughout chapters 30-60 of the book of Isaiah-there were many that were personally and specifically life giving to me during that season.

« Older posts Newer posts »

© 2018 Chasing Joy

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑