God’s Mercy: Can you see it?

The school year has finally wrapped up around here!  It’s amazing to me how tired I am when summer break starts.  I am usually ready for routine pretty quickly.  This year, I decided it is time for me to count all of God’s great mercies and blessings.  Lamentations 3:22-23 says, “Because of the Lord’s faithful love we do not perish, for His mercies never end.  They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness!”  God’s mercy is new every morning.  This summer I am looking for evidence of how he is moving.


Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines mercy as, “compassion or forbearance shown especially to an offender or to one subject to one’s power; also: lenient or compassionate treatment.”   I have heard preachers say that grace is giving people a gift they don’t deserve (Jesus), but mercy is not giving them what they do deserve (an eternity in hell).  I believe the mercies of the Lord are much more than that.  I think mercy is related to salvation, but I also think the Father extends mercy in more ways than just not condemning me to hell.  The Hebrew word most often used for mercy is hesed, which means lovingkindness.  I think God in His mercy knows we do not deserve a relationship with Him, yet he shows His love for us in ways that are genuine and unique to who we are.  What are some ways that the lovingkindness of the Lord is evident in your own life?

Family time

Family picture

I have the privilege of working in an amazing school district with the best teachers in my state.  I love working with students and seeing Aha! moments every day.  It is one of my favorite things in the world.  That being said, I really enjoy having summers off with my own children.  I have the two coolest kids on the planet.  This summer I will be spending time in the sunshine with my family and loving every minute of it!  The time I get to spend in the sunshine with my family will be one way that God will show his great mercy to me.

Give me SPACE


Another one of the mercies that I am praising the Lord for is space.  I am an elementary inclusion teacher, but this spring I was also a student finishing my Master’s degree.  This school year I didn’t have time for one extra thing because of homework!  The walls were closing in on me every time I sat down to rest.  Psalm 18:19 says, “He brought me out to a spacious place; He rescued me because He delighted in me.”  I am excited because God is making space for me and my relationships with my sisters in Christ this summer.  God has blessed me with some pretty amazing women who constantly encourage me to be who God created me to be.  Fewer obligations on my time and in my life mean that I can focus on loving others well.

In view of Mercy

Romans 12:1 – 2 says, “I appeal to you, therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”   In light of all that God has given me, I am called to a few things.  One is to offer my body as a living sacrifice.  I want to give back to the creator that has shown me mercy.   I want to spend time in the sunshine with my family, make space for my friendships, and do it all for the glory of God.

Music: Wonderfully Made

From time to time, I want to talk about the music I am listening to that is really making an impact on my life.   I have to confess that I always have a song in my head, and from the day I was born I have loved everything about music.  I usually express myself through song better than with words.  Especially if I am speaking to someone face to face.  So, I am always looking for new artists or new sounds.  Because of my love for music, I listen to everything from classical music to rap so I can find something interesting.  Wonderfully Made has become my new favorite song.

What’s New

Wonderfully Made

The sounds that are making an impact on me right now are the musical stylings of one Ellie Holcomb!  The picture above is her newest album Red Sea Road.  It is not exactly new, in fact, it released in January of this year.  I just haven’t been able to stop listening!!  Listen to one of my favorites Wonderfully Made on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrwSvQx3Xqs

I can’t stop listening to this album for two reasons.  The first reason is that her voice is so very unique.  I love a good low timbre like my own voice.  It makes it easy for me to sing along with her in the car.  Yes, I am that girl singing at the stoplight.  If you see me just smile and wave.

Psalms the Music of the Bible

The next reason is that Ellie has a talent with words.  She is often taking scripture and putting it to music.  One of my most favorite songs on the album is called Wonderfully Made.  Here is a portion:

[Pre-Chorus] What if I saw me, the way that You see me?
What if I believed it was true?
What if I traded, this shame and self-hatred?
For a chance at believing You

[Chorus] You knit me together
In my mother’s womb
And You say that I’ve never been
Hidden from You
And You say that I’m wonderfully
Wonderfully made

The chorus comes from Psalms 139:13 – 14  “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you, for I am wonderfully made.  Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”

Right now, the Lord has me in a season of growing and stretching.  Because of the season, He has me in I have learned that God is a patient Father.  He pursues our hearts more and more every day and He does this so that we can be in his complete protection.  We (I’m speaking for you too, is that ok?) need to ask ourselves the question, “What if  I saw myself the way that God sees me?” and “What if I believe that what He says is the truth?”  What happens if we trade shame and self-hatred for trust in the Father that loves us?

If you are interested in hearing more about Red Sea Road by Ellie Holcomb, Annie Downs (also a favorite of mine!) has a podcast episode where you can learn more.  http://www.anniefdowns.com/2017/03/02/that-sounds-fun-podcast-episode-27-ellie-holcomb/

The Truth about Rest


I have a type-A personality.  The people who are closest to me tell me its ADHD.  I’m sure they aren’t wrong….  I don’t sit still very well.  I will work until I am completely burnt out without even knowing it.  It’s a gift of mine really……  My husband is always telling me to just sit down, but I just can’t seem to rest.  There is always something to do; and didn’t Christ say go anyway?

Rest seems to be elusive for the Christian.  There are Bible studies about how to find rest.  There are great speakers who speak on rest.  Yet, there are many Christians who still find themselves frustrated because they don’t seem to get it.

Every year for the last several years I have picked one word to focus on in my walk with Christ.  It is a way to focus on what God is doing in my life throughout a year.  Last year I chose rest because well, I’m tired.  In my study, I found this verse.

Jeremiah 6:16

Thus says the Lord:  “Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.  But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.

Ancient Paths

I find this verse fascinating for a few reasons.  The first is “Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is;”  What exactly are the ancient paths?  The world we live in today is in ruins.  The modern way is one of idolatry and debauchery.  We have turned so far away from God that it is scary.  Our culture would do good to go back to the ancient paths, where the good way is.  I grew up in the ’80s.  We drank from the water hose and didn’t think anything of it.  I would spend all afternoon after school out and about in the neighborhood, or at least until the street lights would come on.  We didn’t stress if we didn’t lock our doors at night because we knew our neighbors.  Wouldn’t we all like to go back to a time where we don’t have to lock our doors every night or have to be careful about what bathroom our child goes into?


The second reason is that not only are we supposed to be looking for the ancient, good way but we are supposed to be walking in it.  Here it says “look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.”  You see the way to find rest is to walk in the path of the Lord.

John 15:4

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

God knew when he created us that we would spend our lives striving for everything.  We strive for money, success, happiness, acceptance and yes, even rest.  The answer has always been Him.  We must strive to abide instead of depending on ourselves for answers.  We must surrender our own will and accept the fact that no amount of sitting still will give us rest.  Rest is found when we are walking with the Father, in the good ancient ways, just as I imagine Adam and Eve did before sin entered the world.

True Rest

Hebrews 4:8-11

So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.  Let us, therefore, strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience.

The Sabbath rest is for the people of God who have laid down their efforts and works to the Lord.  Who is doing the work if we are leaning on and abiding in the Lord?  We are to be obedient to our callings.  Let me say that again to OUR callings.  Not to our husband’s calling, or our children’s calling, or our neighbor, or our sister or etc…..  We enter His rest when we strive for the will of God.

Matthew Henry says this, “After due and diligent labor, sweet and satisfying rest shall follow; and labor now, will make that rest more pleasant when it comes. Let us labor, and quicken each other to be diligent in duty.  Ask for the old paths set forth by the written word of God. When you have found the good way, go on in it, you will find abundant recompense at your journey’s end.”

Our recompense is heaven!  Our soul will not find rest in this world because, let’s face it, we are not home here on earth.  We are trying to achieve something here that cannot be done.  Oh, but the sweet rest we will find in heaven when we know we have followed the good path that He has led us on!  So too the soul that is tired, can we both agree that we are all in this together.  Find some time to abide in the Lord today that is the only way you will find rest on this side of heaven.