How to live fearless in a terrifying world

For an audio recording of today’s post, click here.

It’s been almost a year since our family moved across the country from North Carolina to Nebraska. I’m amazed how fast a year can move.

This very weekend a year ago I was preparing to speak at a women’s retreat. This very weekend a year ago we had just returned from a whirlwind trip to find a house in Nebraska, our house received multiple offers within 48 hours of listing. Much of looking back over the span of those days seems like a blur.

The stress of preparing to move, preparing to speak, homeschooling my kids, leading women’s ministry. But mostly, in the midst of all of that, we wanted to leave well.

We wanted to leave as well as we’d lived in North Carolina. You can read about that here. I tear up as I read the words I wrote last year. I still deeply miss what we left in North Carolina.

We’ve adjusted in Nebraska. It feels like home. We have friends, church, school community, etc.

We know God brought us to Omaha for a reason. He made that very clear to us when the move began.

Friends encouraged me to write down everything God was doing during those weeks we prepared to leave. He was doing so many enormous things at once that the miracles felt impossible to believe. Except for the fact we were living them and watching God move us with supernatural speed and watching Him intertwine our lives with people for divine purposes.

During that season I lived on a spiritual high. I journaled all the Lord was doing because I knew I never wanted to forget. I needed to remember what God was doing.

What God does flows out of who God is.

I wanted to celebrate God for who He is, not only for what He did. I wanted our kids to see we serve a God we can’t begin to fathom.

My facebook timehop reminds me everyday to remember. I see the pictures of a year ago and it triggers an emotion in my soul.

Sometimes these memories bring sadness as I remember, but mostly they bring to recollection a God who has faithfully walked our family through every season of life and who will never change.

Remember is the word the Lord has kept at the front of my mind since Christmas. Life is too volatile and unpredictable to navigate it without remembering the One who holds us steady. He has shown me how quickly I’m tossed about when I forget to remember.

I hear His whispers reminding me not to forget to look back as I look forward. He has always been behind me, and He will always be before me. When I stop for even a brief moment and remember the truth of who He is as revealed in His Word, I can face forward with no fear.

God’s Word urges us to ‘fear not’, yet fear comes so naturally. When I look back at who God has always been, I’m reminded exactly why fear must get off my path. I have a great big God leading my way, and nothing can stop Him. If I follow Him step by step, I truly have nothing to fear.

If I’m being honest with you, it’s easy to talk about being fearless when we are simply talking about facing a change of location or season of life. But what about when we find ourselves in a living nightmare? What about when our worst fears take shape?

Even in the most gut-wrenching moments of this life, God is still good. He is still here. When evil seems to win, we must remember. We must remember the One who has won and will win. We must remember the cross defeated death. We must remember that He promised us there will come a day when we will see Him in His glory and will live in a world where sadness and death don’t exist.

For this time, evil is present. While evil prowls around our world, it is ever more critical we battle-ready ourselves by one simple shift. Remembering.

Remembering who God is, His character and nature. Remembering what God has promised. Remembering what He has done in the past and what He promises for today and the future.

To live fearless in a terrifying world starts with practicing the art of remembrance.

If you’ve been following along here online, you know I’ve been working on an audio devotional series titled illuminate – Seeing God by the Light of His Word. I’ve promised you I’d share more details as I have them available.

You can find out more about illuminate by clicking here.

And here’s a video too.

Lord, open our eyes to the truth of Your Word. Help us remember who You really are. The world tries to scare us with terrifying news report. And honestly, it is terrifying. We grieve with the families who grieve today, facing nightmares most of us can’t begin to imagine.

For those today facing such sadness and terror, we pray for comfort and peace. We pray for divine appointments. We pray for miracles. We pray for those who don’t know You to receive Your Son. We pray for healing.

We long for the day when You will wipe away every tear. Our hope does not rest in this earthly world. Today, may we choose to remember who You are and what You’ve promised. May we keep our eyes fixed on You so that we can walk fearless in a scary world.

As we walk about our world today, may we have eyes to see the ones who live hopeless and scared. May we boldly share the hope we have everywhere we go.

Amen.

How Remembering Can Change Everything In Your Life

audio devotional

To listen to today’s post, click this link

“Such reminiscence can be healthier than you think. Despite nostalgia’s bittersweet rap and the oft-heard advice to live in the moment, studies suggest that the occasional detour down memory lane can give your spirits a significant lift.

Thinking of good memories for just 20 minutes a day can make people more cheerful than they were the week before, and happier than if they think of their current lives, report researchers from Loyola University.”

A secular article published in Psychology Today notes what God already knows to be true. He asks us to remember for a reason. Remembering who God is reminds us that no matter what we face, we have a faithful God who will guide us through it.

If I don’t remember, I will forget. Remember is an action verb. It is something we actively do.

There are many things I want to forget. Like two weeks ago, which was disastrous for me because I allowed the enemy to cover me with condemnation for every failure. What I wanted to forget, the enemy made sure I remembered.

In my kickboxing class last weekend, the instructor told us to destroy the prior week in our workout. I worked out so hard, I did a little number on my back. I desperately wanted to destroy the previous week.

God kept whispering for me to remember.

I remembered a post I wrote about 5 years ago titled How to Remember So We Can Forget.

If you haven’t read it, it’s a quick read on the power of remembering.

“In an instant we were all taken back to a time of beloved, treasured memories. Going back took us out of the current moment, which was filled with disagreement and strife. We were transported to a time of encouragement and were reminded of how much we loved each other. The boys never finished their argument that day. Remembering had changed their perspective.

Sometimes remembering can help us forget. Remembering the past can help us forget the discomfort of the present.”

I’m studying the book of Matthew this year through Community Bible Study. My homework brought me to this passage:

Aware of this, Jesus said, “You of little faith! Why are you discussing among yourselves that you do not have bread? Don’t you understand yet? Don’t you remember the five loaves for the 5,000 and how many baskets you collected?  Or the seven loaves for the 4,000 and how many large baskets you collected?'”

Matthew 16:8-10

Don’t you remember? Jesus asks.

The disciples were quick to forget and fall into worry about the problem in front of them. I do the same thing. Jesus instructed them to look back. Looking back will cause us to move forward with confidence if we are careful what we look back on.

Why don’t I remember? Because I’ve not made it a habit or a discipline. Instead I’ve allowed anxiety and fear to create habits.

Yet even if I stopped for 30 seconds to remember who He is, everything changes. Instantly.

But do we know accurately who He is?

What we remember is critical.

Who we remember is even more critical.

I’ve created an audio devotional experience titled Illuminate – Seeing God by the light of His Word in order to help us create the habit of remembering who God is. Illuminate is 14 days of looking at the question “Who is God? Really?”

Illuminate takes us back to the beginning. It doesn’t attempt to define God or explain God. It simply turns our attention to our Creator in order that our affections follow. My prayer is that God will take you deeper into your walk with Him. That you will see Him through refreshed eyes and a revived heart.

Here’s how Illuminate will work. It will release here on the blog (soonish), so if you aren’t signed up to receive email updates, you can do that here. After purchasing, you will receive one email each day for 14 days. 7 days will focus on the character and nature of God, while 7 days will be reflective, taking us straight into scripture and a time of prayer. In the days of reflection, I will guide you through questions you can ponder in your heart.

 

What others are saying about Illuminate


“Renee Robinson has a gift for seeing the invisible. Passionate about God and Scripture, Renee notices the light in the darkness and points our attention to it. In Illuminate, a 14-day study of short meditations, readers and listeners find hopeful reminders of who God is and how to find Him in our busy, overwhelmed lives. With calming reassurance this study helps us see current events in light of eternal promises – and how God can be trusted with it all.”

Kari Kampakis, blogger, speaker, and author of 10 Ultimate Truths Girls Should Know and Liked: Whose Approval Are You Living For?


“We live in a world of hurry that seldom stops to consider the glory and majesty of God.  Illuminate will help you get still, take a deep breath, and set your mind on God.  If you want to be less rushed and more peace filled, this is a beautiful resource to enjoy.”

 

Bloom Where Planted, But Wait For The Right Season

The tree boasted in its full blooms, having crossed over from white buds to pink blossoms. Standing tall and proud against the Carolina blue sky, it let the world know it was moving from winter to spring. No more waiting. The time was the present.

The tree had the support of its neighboring flowers and shrubs. They all seemed ready to put winter to death and host new life. Sights and sounds of spring abounded.

The only problem was the fact that it was the first few days of February in the South. It could be 70 one day and 35 the next. A week of warm could easily precede two weeks of winter temperatures.

As I drove by one of my favorite trees last year, as we prepared to move from the South to the Midwest, I commented to the boys, “The tree is confused by the cues its receiving from the weather. It thinks the time to bloom is now. The tree is putting itself in danger because it’s blooming out of season.”

“Early blooming can be extremely stressful for trees, especially if temperatures are mild one day then plunge the next. When this happens, new growth is shocked by the sudden freeze and could be damaged.

Fruit and flower buds are especially vulnerable. If they’re hit by cold temperatures after flowering, they may not be able to bloom again later in the year because they’ve already exerted their energy.” What Happens If Trees Bud Too Early

The South is notorious for displaying trees and flowers that bloom before their time. At heart I’m a Southerner. I can relate. Settling into my seasons is hard for me at times. Especially when everywhere I look it seems everyone else seems to have moved on to bigger and better.

It takes patience and trust to wait for spring to arrive in our lives. We spend the winter waiting to bust out. At the first hints of spring, we throw open the doors and windows and let the world know we are ready.

Yet there is fruit grown in the winter of our souls if we allow the proper resting period. The fruit of patience grows in the harsh conditions of winter. As patience grows we grow closer to the Lord. We patiently listen for His voice to guide our growth. When the world around us births new life, if we wait on His Voice rather than the cues of the world around us, lasting growth and strength will be the reward.

“Every year, trees maintain a set growth cycle, and they rely on the weather to keep them on track. Certain trees need to rest in cool temperatures before they can safely produce new growth in spring.

When the dormant season is interrupted by unseasonal elements, trees begin to grow as though spring has arrived. They start sprouting leaves, flowers and fruits–no matter how short the resting period was.” What Happens If Trees Bud Too Early

Waiting isn’t easy. Waiting in winter can be painful. Yet the winter seasons of our lives provide the rest we need to bloom and thrive when our season truly arrives.

Too many of us fight to bloom before it’s our time. We are restless and itching for more.

Last week I read an article published on Focus on the Family that ministered to me in such a timely way- Sandra Stanley: Why I Said No. Reading this article came as I prayed asking God for direction in a world that speaks so loudly I find it hard to hear anything, especially His still, small voice.

The Lord brought to mind my favorite tree, beautiful for the world to see far too early to last.

In a world where we see every big thing our friends do, may we choose to celebrate the small moments we were made for. Deep soul satisfaction comes in living a quiet life, poured out at the feet of the cross. His “well done, my good and faithful servant” is the treasure we seek. May we exchange the instant gratification of the admiration of the world for the quiet whispers of our Father.

Let us choose a thriving life over a quick bloom. It won’t match the worlds around us. It won’t compete with the achievements of those in our circles of influence. But it wasn’t meant to. We were created for His good pleasure. Let Him do what He will.

“The righteous thrive like a palm tree
and grow like a cedar tree in Lebanon.
Planted in the house of the Lord,
they thrive in the courts of our God.
They will still bear fruit in old age,
healthy and green,
to declare: “The Lord is just;
He is my rock,
and there is no unrighteousness in Him.”’

Psalm 92:12-15

Do You Fear or Trust When the Road is Scary?

“Guys, start praying. Now!”

Though my husband said these words, I’m confident each of us in that car prayed vehemently on our own before he uttered a word. The situation wasn’t one that left an option other than to pray for God’s hand of protection and guidance.

The silence in the car was loud.

I broke the silence as I prayed out loud. Steve’s hands gripped the steering wheel as he focused on driving our car out of the Rocky Mountains of Colorado through a snow storm that left the roads a sheet of ice covered by snow.

Our van slipped along the road, desperately seeking traction and finding none. Steve’s parents were ahead of us.

At one point we began the ascent uphill and our car slowed to a crawl of no more than 7 mph. Our prayers intensified as we asked God for an army of angels to get us up the hill, to push the van, to not let us come to a stop as we knew once we stopped moving we were done.

We asked for barriers of protection around our cars, to make us untouchable.

The GPS showed 47 more miles of mountainous, snowy, icy terrain.

The silence breaking in between times of out-loud prayer became deafening. My hands drenched the seat I clutched. Then the Lord brought His Word back to me. The portion of scripture I read that very morning during my quiet time before we left our ski vacation headed for home. The verse that hangs above my son’s bed. A verse that calls me to remember – to remember who God says He is.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

My breathing began to slow. My grip loosened on the van seat. I began to instruct my heart and mind with truth. He is here. He is on this mountain with me. He is with me wherever I go. He sees what I can’t see. He tells me not to be afraid. I have the God of the universe with me.

I began to remember.

I remembered who He is. I remembered what He has done. I remembered what He promises. And I remembered the armor He instructs me to put on. I remember reading in Beth Moore’s book Praying God’s Word how she quoted Francis Frangipane in The Three Battlegrounds as saying that our peace is a secret weapon against the devil.

Peace in the face of fear tells the devil he can’t bully us. We are rooted and grounded by the very Word of God, we can’t be shaken because God can’t be shaken.

I remembered that I don’t have to become a victim of my circumstances. I have a choice to rise above the fear.

For 50 miles we prayed. We never stopped. The car was complete silence other than times of praying out loud.

All of the sudden the roads turned from complete ice to wet slush. Our vision ahead became clearer. The falling snow decreased in intensity. We became more confident in our car’s ability to deliver us safely, knowing completely it is the Lord who truly delivers us no matter the circumstance.

A road sign just ahead flashed a message. A message so startling I raced for my camera unable to capture it in time. The neon road sign read “Warning – Bright Sunshine Ahead.”

And just like that the sun shone with all its glory. The roads boasted in their dryness. Every single thing looked 100% different in a split second.

What if I always kept in mind that the road ahead always has bright sunshine when we are led by God?

Life shifts in microseconds.

One minute you are praying for your life in a snow storm, the next you are standing in the sun. One minute you are in the dry land, the next you are covered by the clouds.

If I knew at the beginning of our dangerous journey that within an hour, the shining sun would be the biggest threat, maybe I would have breathed a little easier?

The fact is God guides us for the steps we will take but we can’t see too far ahead. It’s a practice of faith, a discipline of trusting in Him when we can’t see where we are going.

We were never promised this life would be easy or look the way we want. What we are promised is that we have a God who goes with us wherever we go. And on the day we stand with Him in eternity, that is the moment that we will know it was all worth it.

An hour and a half later, we pulled in McDonald’s to meet up with Steve’s parents. Each of us in our own personal state of shock. Each knowing it was the hand of God alone that delivered us.

On the drive later that day, Andrew said, “You know how I got through that drive? I just tried to do like Peter when he walked on the water. I just imagined I was looking into Jesus’ eyes and kept looking there.”

Beautiful.

He is here. With us. We know this, but in the heat of the moment, we forget.

May we practice the art of remembrance. Remembering who God is as revealed through His Word. This is the theme of my heart these days. I shared with you a couple of weeks ago that I’m working on a new audio devotion titled Illuminate – Seeing God by the light of His Word. A 14 day devotion intended for us to journey together closer to the very heart of the truth of who God is.

We know Him, yet we forget on a daily basis who He really is. In order to strengthen us in the battle of life, we will practice remembering together.

Illuminate is almost ready for you and I absolutely can’t wait! Stay tuned this week as I share details about release dates and what you can expect. Be sure to share with your friends so they can be on the lookout. Illuminate will be released here on the blog, but you must sign up for email updates so you don’t miss it.

audio devotional

 

It’s a New Year – Be Gentle To Yourself And War On!

‘”I hope you never know how fragile you are, Isabelle.”  “I’m not fragile,” she said. The smile he gave her was barely one at all. “We are all fragile, Isabelle. It’s the thing we learn in war.”‘ Kristin Hannah, The Nightingale.

A lot of pressure rests on the fresh clean slate of a new year. If we aren’t careful, we can lay burdens on this new calendar disguised as hopes, dreams, and goals.

Some of us limped into this new year, while others burst through with zeal and energy. Some soared high almost until the end when news came that brought them to a crashing halt. Still others rang in the New Year with a sense of accomplishment, achievement, satisfaction, or renewed hope.

Most of us can identify with each of these depending on the year on which we look back.

Some New Years have been glorious. Others not so.

Either way we can enter January with hopes so high for a new start that we begin to handle ourselves quite harshly. We forget our souls are fragile and must be handled with care.

Life is war, even when life is in a season of ease. We live in a spiritual world at battle, and we are major players.

Recognizing this helps us to take care of ourselves so we can war on effectively.

Each January 1, My Utmost For His Highest, by Oswald Chambers reignites my passion to war on with fearless courage.

This year my hope is to war on with fearless courage, while handling my soul with gentle care.

A prayer for the New Year

Lord, we thank You for a new year, a new day. We thank you that Your Word reminds us we don’t have to wait an entire 365 days to start over again. Each breath we take is a new start. If we’ve messed up, may we not walk in shame and guilt. Instead may we confess to You, be cleansed, breathe in a new breath, and receive the fresh start You offer.

Lord, Your steadfast love never ceases, Your mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning. Great is Your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23)

We release to You our desires, dreams, hopes, and goals. We ask You to guide us with wisdom.

We release to You our pains, hurts, failures, and fears from this last year. May they not haunt us. Rather, may they be the very things that turn us into Your waiting arms. May we allow ourselves to be fragile in You, tender in Your care. Nurture us and may we allow ourselves to be cared for.

For this New Year, may we learn to see You in new ways.

When the world around us seems too much to bear, may we remember who You are. When the world around us seems almost perfect, may we not forget we still need You.

Let this be a year we accept our fragile soul as You’ve made it, and care for it well in Your Presence.

In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen!

I’ve Been Keeping a Secret

 

“Come and listen, all who fear God, and I will tell what He has done for me. I cried out to Him with my mouth, and praise was on my tongue.” Psalm 66:16

If I don’t tell you soon, I may burst. I feel as if I’ve been keeping a secret from you, and I need to let you in.

I have a new project I’ve been hard at work on! I’ve poured hours into creating, writing, praying, listening, pondering. I’ve wondered. I’ve desired. And Lord willing, I will be releasing to you what the Holy Spirit birthed in me.

I don’t even know where to begin. So I’ll back up a bit and give you a little more insight into why this project and why now.

About 3 months ago the Lord impressed on me that He was about to give birth to something new in me. For weeks He poured in idea after idea. My brain was spinning with excitement. But I didn’t know where to focus, which project to start first. I wanted to do them all. And now. Right away.

Then in an instant one day I received complete clarity from the Lord. He gave me the title, the format, and then asked that I let Him lead me day by day.

The next morning I raced away from my quiet time with the Lord. I ran to my writing room while the house slept. I opened my Bible and I opened my journal. And with a speed I’ve never experienced, I wrote as He poured through me.

The writing was by hand, which never happens for me. I always write on my keyboard. But it was as if everything was different with this project. An unfamiliar approach. A different way of listening and creating.

As God directed my time of writing, He brought each day to a feeling of completion. This happened day by day. He didn’t give me the writing prompts and ideas for anything beyond the very day He showed me what to write about.

Before I sat down to begin writing this project, I had a list of what I thought I would focus on. But each day I asked God to fill me with His Spirit and lead me. Each day He directed me in a direction I found surprising.

As I dove deeply into His Word then into my writing, I began to fall more madly in love with God. I found myself unable to stop thinking of Him. My heart felt revived.

What He was revealing to me, I was writing for you. Because I’ve experienced this renewal in my soul, I am literally giddy with excitement to bring it to you.

I don’t have an exact release date just yet, but know it will be soon! And the format is what I’m so excited about it. It’s an audio devotion with a transcript for the reading lover. 14 days reflecting on this question. Who is God? Really.

I’ve walked with God for many years now, but there is so much of who He is I’m still discovering. If I know Him intimately, why do I find my fears continue to drive my thoughts? Why does my anxiety wreak havoc in my soul? Why does my sense of unimportance create a lack of drive in me or a lack of belief that God can and will use me? Or why do I let my past failures and broken relationships define my next steps?

If I know the truth of who God really is, why am I so quick to forget?

I want to remember who God is by the light of His Word. He has revealed Himself to us and given us the power of the Holy Spirit to teach us who He is.

We have relied on the internet to tell us who He is. We have relied on podcasts, books, bloggers, pastors, and teachers, to tell us who He is. While these are wonderful supplements, I wonder if His Word has become the supplement to all else we use to reveal Him to us?

So then why am I not just ending here and saying, “Go read the Word.”

Because as I sat in His Word, He began showing me Who He is and instructed me to take it to you as a journey we will take together. To guide you through this journey you will take with Him.

I will be like your tour guide. For 14 days, I will be your traveling companion. Together we will read His Word, we will pray, we will meditate on His Word, I will share reflections and thoughts with transparency and honesty.

I believe you and I struggle with some of the same things. God wouldn’t cause this passion in me for me to simply experience Him on my own and hoard it all for myself. He’s asked me to give to you out of the gifts He’s given me.

I’m asking for your prayers over me and my family as I bring this project to completion and release it to the world. Writing brings the enemy to alert.

I’m not concerned. After what I’ve just learned in my writing this devotion for you, I’m ready to keep my eyes fixed on the character of God.

I’m going deeper with Him and want you to come along with me!

Stay tuned for release dates and information about how you can help launch when we are ready!

Coming soon…..

written and read to you by me, Renee Robinson.

 

The Best Gift You Can Give To Yourself This Year

I begin the Christmas season and the month of December excited for the slow unwrapping of Advent. The anticipation builds as I day by day, unwrap and reveal a new piece of the Christmas story.

December gives birth to slow, reflective thoughtfulness. Or crazy, insane, and frantic. Seems there is little in between. I tend to slow during December. In December I say no in order to say yes to what matters most.

We ponder. We anticipate. We expect. We focus.

Maybe we need to allow ourselves to unwrap and hold onto the gift of December.

I like December because I stop focusing on me so much. Daily I seek Jesus. I’m overwhelmed with how a familiar story can continue to dive deeper in my soul.

The unexpected gift of December is a month where I think of others above my own self. I think of Jesus. I think of humanity. I think of buying gifts for my family. I think of serving those who need. I think of who I can show hospitality to. To think of others is a surprise gift of freedom to our souls.

I’m finding I want to hold onto December. I want a year of Decembers.

In December people are nicer, decorations are cheerier, givers are more generous. In December homes are open. Parties are hosted. Invites are extended. Hospitality prevails.

In December we give ourselves permission to slow. We’ve allowed ourself a guilt free pass to stop running pace with the rest of the world. We’ve mercifully tended to our soul in the downshifting of life.

In December we become intentional. We carefully plan activities, moments, and memories with our children. In fact, some of us plan something every day.

In December we have fun. We hide elves, make gingerbread houses, watch cheesy movies, and bundle up to sing carols door to door.

In December we are together.

December is the month that brings the year to an end, yet it’s the month that gives birth to the hope we cling to.

December is remembering. We remember a baby that was born to die for us. We remember the stories from old. And we remember our own lives over the past year.

We begin to look back. Amazing how much can change in a year. Or a day. Or even one minute.

For some of us looking back over the year brings sorrow and grief. We’ve had to let go of hands we wanted to hold forever. We’ve had to accept a diagnosis and learn a new vocabulary. We’ve moved, leaving behind what was known to discover new work, new people, new places. We’ve released dreams unfulfilled. We’ve grieved the ending of a season we will never have again, accepting the new season and learning new rhythms of life.

Despite the pain, grief, and sorrow, for the one held in Christ, December whispers birth and hope. Hope never dies because our Savior lives. We cling to the hope that one day He will wipe away every tear. We will dance and run. We will sing forever.

So December, you are an interesting month. A month of reflection. A month of review. A month of renewal. A month of remembering. A month of rebirth.

Remembering the birth of my Savior, I cling to the birth that happens in my own soul. He is the picture of hope. He is joy. He is love. He is forever and unending.

How quickly I’m able to turn a page though.  The day is over. The month closes. We box it up, flip the calendar. Pack away the advent to countdown His arrival, toss the year’s calendar, and we move on.

We match pace with the world. Our inbox  and newsfeed fills with images telling us we need a new ‘us’.

We begin the purge. The focus on a New Year. New goals. New body. We get back to focusing on our life. And for the next 11 months, that is how it goes.

This year maybe I will treat each month like it’s December.

When it’s January, may I think of how I can love others well rather than simply how I can make my body more pleasing to my own eyes.

When it’s February, may I intentionally create activities, moments, and memories with the ones I love. May February hold a small gift each day of time we spend together.

When it’s March, may I open my home and invite others in. May I release the pressure to have it perfectly decorated or spotlessly cleaned. May I stop looking at the Instagram pictures of how others do it and simply do it the best I can with what I have.  May I let the love pour out of us into the ones who come through these doors.

When it’s April, may I tenderly care for my soul by allowing myself to rest. May I allow myself to produce less, accomplish less, and be in Him more. It’s in this place He will renew me so I can do far more than I envisioned.

When it’s May, may I keep unwrapping Him slowly. Day by day. May I find myself surprised that something I’ve read 100 times times revealed a new hidden treasure.

When it’s June, July, and August, may I have fun. The kind of fun that brings a smile back, a reminder to laugh. It’s good for my soul, but it’s better for the ones who do life with me.

When it’s September, October, and November, may I generously give. May my gifts bear fruit in someone’s life. May I give out of my little or my abundance because what I have isn’t mine to begin with. I’ve only been entrusted to manage it well. It’s easy to be a generous giver when it’s not mine to begin with. And it’s not.

And when it’s December again, may I begin again to remember. May I remember who God is. May I remember that though a year has passed again, a year full of joy mingled with sorrow, He never left my side. May I remember that December brings the calendar to a close, but it gave birth to a calendar that will never end.