Tag Archives | hope

walking through the fog

i like to go hiking. i miss it though because we don’t go nearly enough. anyway, i was thinking, sometimes when you hike, you have a nice sun-shiny day. it’s beautiful and perfect.

RMNP path

sometimes when you hike, especially in the mountains, especially in the northwest, sometimes you hike through fog. it’s kind of fun when you’re in it, for a little while, as long as it’s not too cold. but then the fog gets old. you want to see what’s in front of you a little further then a few feet. you get tired of the wet, damp air, you want to see the views…that’s half the reason you go for hikes, right? (ok, side note, the east coast/Pennsylvania hikes rarely have views…what’s up with that? oh yea, there are too many trees and you never get above tree line…)  anyway, back to my thoughts.

i was thinking that sometimes life is like hiking through fog. you don’t really know what’s up ahead. you may have a map, but if it’s truly foggy you aren’t exactly sure where you are. in life, you may have goals, or destinations, or a “purpose” that you’re headed toward, or you may not. you may just be walking along enjoying the view until suddenly a fog rolls in.

driving over pass

personally, i get frustrated with the fog. i wish it would just go away so i could know where i am going, ALL the time. i hate being uncertain with where to go next, or what to do around the bend. i so WANT clarity and everything explained and seen. in reality, i can only see a few steps in front of me. or maybe just the next step. sometimes all we have is the next step…

sometimes you’re not even sure the ground will meet your foot on the next step…

but, wait.

isn’t that faith? isn’t it faith to trust that the ground will catch your next step when you can’t see it?

faith is to just keep walking. to keep going the direction, following the path, doing the next thing, taking that next step, EVEN WHEN we aren’t sure where it’s going to lead. EVEN WHEN we’re not sure how it’s all going to work out.

i’m reading Emily P. Freeman’s new book Simply Tuesday {it’s breath taking y’all. i can’t put it down! i’m sure i’ll talk about it some more…} and a line from it has been living with me the past few days:

“if i always had clarity, why would i need faith?”

stop right there and think about that a second. then go on:

… in John 14:5-6 Thomas asks Jesus, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?”…and she says, the most logical(to us) response of Jesus would have been, “I’ll show you the way…” but instead, Jesus simply says, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life” {my paraphrase from pg 175}

you guys. it’s like a lightbulb went off. FAITH is the only way! Faith in the ONE who IS the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Jesus didn’t give us a map -per se. Jesus said something completly different. He said- I AM the way.

we will have moments in our lives when we are walking through the fog. where we don’t understand how we got there or where to go from there. but clarity in life is NOT the point. Faith IS.

on that same page she says,

“I forget to receive the gift of grace, to remember how Jesus is with me and has made my heart his home. I forget I can trust him with my life and trust myself to choose well regardless of how unclear things may seem{because He is in me!}. I forget my true home is an invisible kingdom I can’t find on a map.”{my paraphrase}

that was underlined and circled! ha. isn’t in awesome when something just hits you over the head and you can’t stop thinking about it? that’s how this was for me. and that’s why i wanted to share it with you.

RMNP emerald lake

what do you think? i’d love to hear. are you walking through fog right now?? or is life crystal clear skies? please share!

if you want to read more of her genius, seriously, check out her book! {and let me know if you do so i can talk with you about it! tee hee}

xoxo-kimberly renee.
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a random piece of my heart…”Only Hope I’ve Got”

 

RMNP path2  i’ve been listening to this song: “Only Hope I’ve Got” by Elle Holcomb on repeat the last few months. {ever since i went to her concert  for mother’s day} i just can’t get over this song!  go ahead, click on the link and listen to it. or you can read the lyrics at the end of the post.

anyway, the song has really resonated with me because it reminds me over and over, that ALL i have is a gift. Even my HOPE.  sometimes, i think {like most people maybe?}, i look at the things in my life; i look at my family, at my job, at my house and car  and things, and think they are mine.

like a little toddler, i claim them as my my own.

and yet, sometimes those things can be taken away. sometimes they are only ours for a short while. sometimes those things actually control us somehow. sometimes those things  aren’t really mine to begin with.

sometimes, it’s not about the THINGS anyway, is it?

RMNP creek

i really like the chorus, because i feel like it has to be my prayer every day.  it goes:  ” I don’t wanna to  tell some arrogant story, or let myself believe i’m you! I don’t wanna be a thief who’s stealing Your glory… will you help remind me of what is true? The ONLY hope I’ve got, it’s You…

and actually, i thought the first line was “i don’t wanna tell some American story…” until i looked it up just now. HA whoops. but anyway, american or arrogant, i’m not sure it’s that different. either way, i don’t want my story to be about me and what i can get out of life.  i want to be reminded that I am NOT God. when i thought of it as “american” i thought of the “american dream” and really, there’s not that much fulfilling in that lie(to have the perfect job, get the house with a picket fence in suburbs, and have lots of money) anyway. that’s not the point of life,  right?

and i think every day there is a fight going on in our souls. a fight for “who” gets the glory. who is Lord, who is in charge, who is number 1.

every, single, darn day we have to give up that fight. let go of control. i don’t want to be a thief stealing from God! because wowa! that image is scary! it HAS to be about God. He HAS to be the one getting ALL the glory.

RMNP leaves

and then, the last verse hits me and almost makes me cry, “well it’s only by Your grace…that I heard You whisper my name…” um, yea, i can’t even claim my faith! it’s only by His grace that i heard a whisper! have y’all ever even THOUGHT about that before?

“i don’t have the power to save- to change a heart, Could you come and change my heart.”  i can’t change my own heart. HOW humbling is that? because really, if i try to change my own heart, i’m trying to save myself. and nope, that doesn’t work. everything i have, my ONLY HOPE, is the Lord.

everything GOOD is His alone.

i am nothing. He is EVERYTHING.

can i get an amen out there?


RMNP leaves2 RMNP magic path    RMNP path

Only Hope I’ve Got Elle Holcomb

I take all the gifts that You have given and I stake my claim like they’re my own,
Will You help me when I forget to remember, the good I’ve got is yours alone.

Chorus:
Oh ’cause I don’t wanna tell some arrogant story
Or let myself believe I’m you!
I don’t wanna be a thief who’s stealing Your glory…
Will You help remind me of what is true? The ONLY hope I’ve got, it’s You,You.
It’s You,You.

Or do I think I have anything to offer, when You have overcome the world?
Couldn’t take Your place, ’cause You’re the Author of the greatest love this world has known.

Chorus

Well it’s only by Your grace…
That I heard You whisper my name,
I don’t have the power to save – to change a heart,
Could You come and change my heart.

Chorus

xoxo-kimberly renee

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when it’s as dry as a desert

driving over pass2

sometimes faith feels dry. sometimes it feels empty. sometimes it’s just going through the motions. those times are hard but they are also NORMAL.

it is normal to not always be up on the mountain top. it’s normal to have to hike up a REALLY steep slope to get to the place with the views. my little sister and dad went hiking last weekend in the mountains of Colorado. i was jealous and wished i could be with them… to see the views. but then they talked about how sore they were. it’s hard work to get to the top of the mountain! it takes perseverance and faith that your body won’t fail you!

same with faith. those dry-faith times though, those times are when we need to press into the Lord more. we need to persevere and we need to trust that God will not fail us. we need to seek others who are walking the journey with us. we need to cry out to God with the hope and knowledge that He is listening, He is providing, He is guiding us to the mountain of His Glory. it may seem like an endless road of mundane. sometimes it may be impossible to even find time to open the bible! but still, as believers, it is our job to be faithful in pursuing the Lord, just as He pursues  us.

driving over pass

 

Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord;
His going out is sure as the dawn;
He will come to us as the showers,
as the spring rains that water the earth.
Hosea 6:3

i am in a desert time right now. it feels dry, mundane, like i’m just sitting here just going through the motions. i KNOW God is working and providing, and i see it every day, but my heart feels callous to it.

the thing is, i don’t want to feel callous. i want to feel the joy deep down of His providence and be able to rest in Him every moment! this verse from Hosea speaks to me in this time. LET US PRESS ON to know the Lord. it is our duty to keep on keeping on, you know? to press on, PRESS IN to the Lord. bring all of our worries and anxieties to Him, lay them at His feet, and like this verse promises, HE WILL COME. He will come as surely as the spring rains water the earth.

as i wait in the desert, i trust that His spring rains will come to refresh me. it is as sure as the dawn.

can i get an amen?

xoxo-kimberly renee

{ps. one of the things that i decided to do to help myself in this desert time is to find a study that is simple and easy that i can focus on. i found She Reads Truth. it’s a free devotional website that provides daily biblestudies that are quick and simple and guess what, “theres an app for that” too! i just wanted to share it with you! i decided to get it on my phone, so if the only time i find to read truth is while i’m nursing my baby, i can.  if you’re looking for something like that, you should check it out! blessings friends! }

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a little reminder

Isaiah 49:15-16:

“Can a woman forget her nursing child,
that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb?
Even these may forget,
yet I will not forget you.
Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;
your walls are continually before me.”

20140428-182047.jpg

i needed this reminder today. may it be a good reminder for you as well!!

xoxo-kimberly renee

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powerful prayer {& a printable}

 

john14-14

i’ve been struck recently with how often Jesus says to ask anything, in His name, and we will receive it. especially at the end of John:

“whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.”  {John 14:13-14}

“you did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you” {John 15:16}

“until now you have asked nothing in My name; ask, and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full.” {John 16:24}

i have been convicted about praying more intentionally. it is SO important. we, as Christians, need to bring everything to the Father’s ears in Jesus name. and He promises over and over again that He will answer.

that is powerful!

how often do we say we are going to pray for someone but it slips our mind? or we forget after a couple of days? it’s so important to be constant in prayer.

prayer blue printable

 

Husbuddy and i were talking the other day about putting together a list of all the things we’re praying for because it’s so easy to loose track. when i started the list in my journal, he kept telling me people or things to add. our list got pretty long!

so i thought it would be fun to create a little graphic to make the prayer list pretty. because, you know, i like all things pretty. ha. so i’ve created these printables to share with you. prayer printable

my thought had been to print off two at a time so i could have one in my bible and Husbuddy could have one in his. if he doesn’t want it, i’ll save the second one for next month.

if i could be mindful about organizing my prayer, *hopefully* i can be mindful about praying a powerful prayer for everyone on my list.

Jesus says, just ask.

prayer blue printable up close

i also thought it would be fun to make an 8×10 print to frame or hang on your bathroom mirror or in your office. it’s a good reminder, whenever you see it, to just pray a quick prayer right then and there!

there are two versions, painted blue background or minimalist white. just print off the pdf and cut out along the line and hang!

prayer blue printable on mirror

just click on the link below to download your own free printable pdf:

cut it out, frame it or just tape it up somewhere and may you remember how powerful prayer really is.

{if you want to see more posts about prayer, i did a whole 31-day series on it last year. check it out here}

xoxo-kimberly renee

 

 

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on failure

IMG_2327_vintage i’ve never really “failed” at something that i tried really hard at before. sure, i fail at certain exercise attempts or keeping a strict diet… but have i ever failed a class? a test? nope.

so that’s why a little letter last week rocked me. it had big words, without explanation, typed in very unsympathetic font: FAIL.

ack. i failed? how horrible! how embarrassing. i actually felt like i had sinned.

Husbuddy said that was silly, we all fail. we’re not perfect. it never says, “thou shall not fail in the bible”.

see, i know that. i know i’m not perfect. actually, i know that i’m pretty mediocre at pretty much everything i do. i was never on top of my class or anything, but i’ve always at least PASSED. even when i thought i had “failed” my freshmen french class in college, i still got a C {oh the horror}! i was totally embarrassed to tell my parents, and i had all sorts of excuses lined up-like my degree was time consuming, i had taken too many credits that semester, i had visited the teacher’s office hours every week!  but that C still hung over my head and i was ashamed.

this time, i have no excuse. i paid a lot of money to take a test, that i need to pass in order to finish my architecture education… and i FAILED.  and i feel shame and horror at the same time.

but then i hear a whisper.

i hear a whisper that says to me, peace. you need ME.

i was reminded. i NEED God more than anything. i can do NOTHING without Him. i will always fail without Him. in my head, sometimes i may think that i can do it myself…i can work hard enough, study long enough, push myself hard enough, almost that i can save myself if i just work hard. but God gently reminds me, through a letter with big ugly words, that i need Him more than anything else.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

Ephesians 2:8-9

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever”

Psalm 73:26

does that take away my frustration with myself? not really. but it does take away my shame. and i am humbled. and i am thankful that God reminds me over and over and over that i need Him.

we all NEED Him. we will all fail without Him. can i get an amen?

xo-kimberly renee

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idols

“Little children, keep yourselves from idols”

1 John 5:21

this is how John ends his first letter. just that sentence. no fancy farewell or sweet hopes of seeing the letter-receivers like Paul. nope. just one more command to his readers. it’s like he wants this thought provoking phrase to be the last word. the last thing we remember from his letter. and i find that fascinating.

he calls his readers “little children” too. some people might have been offended to be considered children by someone they respected and liked. but to me, it reminds me that i am a little child in my faith too, i’m still learning and growing in my relationship with God. so i accept that my name is child. Child of God.

but then he says, “keep yourselves from idols.” i think most of us today read that and skim right over. don’t really think about it. what idols is he talking about? the kind of historic figures that people made from wood or from stone? no, i don’t think so. i think he is talking about anything…ANYTHING that takes our focus from Jesus. that we think about more than Jesus. that we focus on when we have nothing else to think about. anything we worry about. dream about. anything we can’t live without.

at church, we are going through Tim Keller’s Gospel in Life series. Last week, we went through the video about idols.  Tim Keller says this:

“What is an idol? It is anything more important to you than God, anything that absorbs your heart and imagination more than God, anything you seek to give you what only God can give.”

“…A counterfeit god is anything so central and essential to your life that, should you lose it, your life would feel hardly worth living.”

close your eyes for a minute. think about loosing everything in your life. what if you lost your family? your friends? your job? your house? your money? what of all those things, do you fear losing the most? what do you think would make life impossible to go on if you lost it?

yikes, things pop into your head too? it’s so hard to think that sometimes the things that we love the most, that are actually gifts from God, can turn into our idols. when really, we should be turning to God in thanksgiving for those gifts, with an open hand, knowing He could take it all away in a blink of an eye.

as you can tell, i’ve had the message about idols in my head for a couple of weeks. and reading 1 John has reminded me, that i need to pay close attention to my idols… and make sure that i bring them to the Lord in repentance. i’m just like a little child. i need this reminder. EVERY.SINGLE.DAY.

may you remember John’s parting words today, my friends. “Little children, keep yourselves from idols.”

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