A Grace Note: The Grief of Waiting 

Dear Reader, 

I just wanted to encourage you today if you are in a season of waiting. Sometimes, I feel like my wait will never end. That I will always hope, only to see my hopes dashed. That I will always make plans, just to watch them crumble. And for years I have put my life on hold…on wait…because something might change. 

I have very much so let infertility steal away my identity at times. My dream to grow our family ended up growing bigger than how I saw myself…or worse yet, how I thought God saw me. I was taking count this morning of the things I’ve walked away from in order to keep chasing down this dream. I entered marriage knowing I would be a mom, knowing that I would fit that biblical mold of wife and mother. But my knowledge failed me, and God’s wisdom prevailed.

There are things I love, talents God gave me, gifts I’ve set aside in favor of grieving my losses. I haven’t celebrated my wins in a long time. I haven’t picked up those things I used to love. Grief steals…but God is a giver.

 What have you been refusing from God in your life lately? What have you set down and given over to grief? If you are waiting…if you’ve been waiting for a long time…I want to encourage you to step back into something that brings you Joy. Chances are, God has given us reasons to rejoice, we’ve just forgotten about them. 

God has given you a rich identity, don’t lose it in your wait, don’t surrender who God created you to be, all your joys and loves and talents and hopes, to grief. Beauty rises from ashes, Jesus rose from the grave, and you now rise to new life. 

How will you celebrate and take hold of that today? You are no longer held in bondage. Take off those burial wraps and pick up a new song of Joy. Your wait does not define you. 

In Him, 

A Fellow Grace Wanderer 


The Language of Thanksgiving: Day 10


“For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.” Luke 6:45

Over the last 10 days I wrote about the The Language of Thanksgiving with the hope that the way we speak about God and to God could change our lives. I had hoped to unearth the depths of my soul that had been in hiding…the ugliness of pride, forgotten identity, a lack of peace, an absence of thanksgiving. And it all comes down to these words from Luke: “Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks”.

 If our language toward God in prayer exhibits impatience…perhaps it’s impatience that is filling our hearts. If it exhibits worry, stress, chaos, confusion, or guilt…maybe those are the things we are letting rule us. Our language is only a symptom of deeper things. What we speak and how we speak it is the fruition of what we hold inside. 

Scripture tells us to give thanks in all things…this is to be our language towards God and to the world. But to be authentically and deeply thankful, especially when our circumstances are heavy, our hearts must be rooted in something so much deeper. A language focused around giving thanks to God doesn’t mean we must always exhibit happiness. It simply means that we are rooted in Truth…the truth that we are loved, that we are saved, and that even in brokenness we have the hope that God will bring new Life. 

God can speak into our heart’s deepest chambers. He can illuminate the darkness that hides there. He can resuscitate our Joy. He can heal and mend and reform. So what is your language showing today? What is it revealing about your heart? Who rules it? Is it God and His peace or is it something else? 

The Language of God, His Word, is what brings life to our bones. And our language toward Him, our word, is meant to bring Him praise…and this praise heals us in return. Because the heart of God is wholly Good. From His mouth comes only truth, only love, only justice. Our hearts, once given to Christ, become like His. So the words which flow from our lips can begin to take the form of the language which flowed from Christ’s lips. 

We are redeemed. We are restored. We are changed from the inside out. God gave us new hearts that a new language would also follow. May our words reflect who we really are: restored and redeemed.

The Language of Thanksgiving: Day Nine

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” Colossians 3:15

Our church is going through Colossians. Today during the sermon my eyes wandered ahead to this passage: “Let the Peace of Christ rule in your heart” I don’t think those are words we place together very often, “let peace rule”. 

I find myself fighting to rule my circumstances each day. I catch myself fighting for peace, struggling to let go of conflict and stress, and gripping hard my dreams and realities. But scripture tells us to let Peace rule…we don’t rule Christ’s peace. We don’t get to tell it what to do or when to show up or mold it to how we think it should fit in our lives. 

Did you know our hearts and souls were fought over? Did you know the kingdom of chaos and darkness and stress wanted you too? But our God, the God of light and peace and mercy stepped right down and broke our chains…because He wanted us more. And each day of our lives here on earth we stand at a crossroad of peace and chaos, of light and darkness. 

Freedom in Christ means that Peace gets control of our hearts. Isn’t that beautiful? And scripture pleads with us to let that Peace rule in our lives! Christ didn’t wage war against the enemy so that we would still be bound to its vices. He won the battle so you would be caught up in His love.

 Peace it would seem is a choice. It’s free in Christ. Will you take it? Will you let it rule? Will you speak of it? Will you let your heart be saturated with it?

 In our language of thankfulness to God there must be this underlying foundation…Christ’s Peace. When we take hold of this gift we’ve been given, Christ can unlock all our doors, open all of our closed minds, and release our hearts from the bondage that once held them. Christ is your Victor, His Peace is our prize. How will this change your language today? How will this change your life? 

The Good, The Bad, and the Burnout: A Contributing Post

Photo Credit: Imperishable Beauty

Did you know that the enemy can offer us “good” opportunities with bad intentions? Today, I’m taking a break from The Language of Thanksgiving series, which will continue tomorrow, to talk about seeking discernment from God concerning opportunities we should pick up and when we should set some down. Burnout in ministry is a real thing. If this resonates with you, please check out my latest devotional posted over at Imperishable Beauty today: The good, the bad, and the burnout: Imperishable Beauty

The Language of Thanksgiving: Day 8 

“He will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” Revelation 7:17b 

Living water is such a powerful image. Movement in currents and waves and the sounds of bubbling brooks and rushing streams have always captivated my heart, because this is how Jesus describes the Holy Spirit living within us. Water rushes at times, and then sometimes stands still as glass. It possesses the ability to be both power and tranquility. It gently washes but it can also etch deep into stone.

 I have so many friends right now who are walking through storms. I try to comfort them with words of understanding, words of “I know it hurts. I know what it’s like to be alone.” But we don’t know, really, how others hurt. We can only measure it by the depth of how we have been hurt in the past, how we have worried and felt alone. We all, it seems, carry huge burdens. We walk through hard seasons and we wonder if the season will ever change. 

My heart wonders this morning if it is possible that our hard seasons are only meant for the Spirit to etch into our hearts. For the Spirit to come rushing powerfully hard against the forces of evil so that our hearts will understand when the season finally switches and the Spirit remains still as glass. The fact that our hearts keep beating despite the rushing force is proof that what Jesus gives us is meant to bring us life, that what He brings us through is meant to keep us alive. 

“Whoever believes in me, as the scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within Him. By this He meant the Spirit.” John 7:38-39

We cry tears of water both from joy and from pain. I have to believe that the Spirit is in both. So today, whether you’re walking on the water or sinking beneath it, know that God is in it. Know that your language in the Spirit can be that of one who has been redeemed, can be that of one who has no fear because God walks ever before you. 

May your language today be that of confidence in the Living Water of God, may it be strengthened by the currents and washed clean by the brooks. May it speak with power of the Lord Jesus who fights for you, and may it never give up hope. 

The Language of Thanksgiving: Day 7 

“You did not choose me, but I chose and appointed you so that you might go and bear much fruit -fruit that will last- and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.” John 15:16 

Answered prayers have slowly come into focus recently. Little things I prayed about weeks, months, or years ago, I’ve watched quietly take form. I was driving this morning, down the curvy, farm laced, highway home, and began to count our recent blessings. It felt as though God was reminding me that answered prayer always takes time. 

God isn’t on demand. He’s not a magician. We don’t utter the magic words and what we wish suddenly appears. However, we do whisper up our prayers and He hears them. He takes them into account. He sets the world into motion. He knew you would pray the prayers that you do centuries before your mouth ever formed the words. In order for it to be specifically you to utter such prayers at the exact specific time that you did, so many things and events and people had to happen first. Why do we pray for specific things? Because specific things are taking place in our lives. God sees the finished timeline, all the moving pieces, all the hearts involved.

“…but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.” John 9:3

 Even when it feels like He has instantly answered prayer, the truth is that He was planning that answer all through the ages. I confess that my prayer language has often demanded that He move faster. I failed to see and know that God loves us enough to take exactly the amount of time needed to place answered prayers perfectly. 

If you are waiting for God to answer today, I encourage you to shift your language in your conversations with Him. Give thanks, because you can know for sure that He hears you, and speak confidently of His love for you, because you can know He has not forgotten you. Scripture reminds us that in all things we are to give thanks, this means both as we wait and as we receive an answer. 

God is patient with us even as we grow wrongfully impatient with Him. I pray our language would be more humble, more at peace, more assured, more faith filled, as we pray and wait. We don’t need instant answers as much as we think we do. We need God’s perfection to work in our imperfect lives. We need God’s will to be done. We need more of Him, and less of us. His love is deep and wide, and His plans for you are perfect. The Lord your God will fight for you. You need only to be still. 

The Language of Thanksgiving: Day 6 

I’ve struggled with what it truly means to love as Jesus loved. Many days, I confuse love with kindness and kindness with being polite. I want to be loving all the time. But why? I say it’s because Jesus loved in this way, but it’s probably more so because I want people to like me. 

My heart has felt real conviction over this in recent years. My attempts to be “loving” turned out to simply be a mask that I was wearing. I will admit that my shield of niceness has prevented me from being known on a deeper level and likewise from knowing others on a deep level. I have found myself complaining about feeling alone at times. This has probably resulted from the walls of protection I have built through the language of niceties.

 I’ve been studying closely the language Jesus used with those who came into His life while He lived on this earth. His love had full depth because He didn’t put up walls…He tore down walls to be closer with people. He was honest and His word and advice could be trusted. He encouraged the world to seek deeper love in the Father. His love meant sacrificing Himself for the world. He came that we might know Him. The real Him. No walls. No masks. Just Him. 

Jesus says this to the Father on our behalf, “They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.” If you are hiding behind the language you use, I encourage you today to step out in the language of truth. That you might be known deeper and that you might know others deeper. Jesus talks about being one with the Father and His desire for us to also be as one. How can we do this if we don’t really know each other or if we aren’t willing to be known? 

Our identities are in Christ, and if that is our truth, then we can be brave enough to face imperfection in this world because Jesus was brave enough to be real with us. He spoke truth, He loved deeply, and He allowed Himself to be judged by a world who had no right to judge Him. He was open and honest at all times. I’m thankful for my God who doesn’t wear a mask, who doesn’t hide from me. I pray He helps me to become more like that, that He helps me to love more like Jesus. 

The Language of Thanksgiving: Day 5 

You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” But remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms His covenant. Deuteronomy 8: 17-18

It is true that when things go according to my plan, I feel secure and in control. I wish I could say that my praise for what God does in my life is most authentic when everything is going right, when I should clearly see God’s hand in the blessings that come my way. But I have found that’s not really the way my heart works. 

God has made Himself most known to me in the midst of my heartache. His name has been most glorified in my life when I have been at my lowest. Surrender has become a way of life for me. I have seen God’s grace in the storm. I have watched as He picked up my broken pieces. I have felt His mending and renewing. And I have experienced all of this at points when I have had absolutely no control of where my ship was headed. And I have fallen deeper in love with Jesus because of it. 

Do I wish my hard times had simply passed me by? Many days, I think my answer is yes. But if I’m being honest, I am becoming more and more grateful for them because they are the times in which I have seen Jesus and felt God most clearly. 

Without everything that has happened in my life I would not be exactly here, I would not be exactly in this place. I have thought many times that I wish my life was perfect, but living in a fallen world this cannot be. Instead, because of sorrow, God has brought depth into my life. Because of hurt, He has instilled me with strength in His arms. Because of disappointment, He has taught me to have Hope in Him. All my bad, He has used for Good. 

I feel His presence in my life more strongly now when things begin to go right, because I know His faithfulness to me when things have gone wrong in my eyes. He stands alone as the most Holy, the most Loving, the most Right. And to Him, I surrender all. 

I encourage you to examine your language in suffering today, that it might be filled with hope and strength in Him. That it might be filled with thanksgiving, so that when God brings you through this you can say, I have praised Him in the storm and He alone has delivered me. 

The Language of Thanksgiving: Day 4

 “Be still before the Lord, and wait patiently for Him.” Psalm 37:7 

A friend called me out last week. She noticed I hadn’t been exhibiting the peace that passes all understanding in my life. She saw that I seemed to dwell hard in my closed doors and shuttered opportunities. And she was right. Door after door after door has been closed right in my face. Life experiences that I thought I was owed because I am human and because that is the norm have not been given to me.

 I felt for years as this photo depicts, that God had pulled up a chair for me and sat me outside this closed door, as if to say “wait here”. And I grew impatient, and I kept knocking, and I kept trying to pick open the lock…but God still had me take a seat. This was my life story for the last three years. 

Last week though, soon after my friend brought up these shortcomings, God began to work in areas of my life. Doors have started opening…and while they aren’t the doors I expected, and while they may seem so small and insignificant, I have felt Him in my waiting.

 I’m at the point in the puzzle when the pieces start lining up and fitting together and the picture starts coming into focus, and I realized that none of my struggling has been for naught. The Grace has been in the waiting, in the hope, in the wondering. 

The doors you want to open might never open, but the doors God has designed for you will. Pull up a chair, my friend, and watch as God puts the pieces of your life together. And as you sit, and wait, and watch, give thanks. Set aside the impatient language of this world, and use instead the language of Heaven in thanks, and praise, and hope. Sometimes all the beauty we need in life takes place right on the front porch, right outside that closed door.

The Language of Thanksgiving: Day 3 

“Remember the Sabbath Day by keeping it holy” Exodus 20:8 

I met a little girl this week who is afraid of loud noises. And my heart skipped a beat because, aren’t we all? Aren’t we all afraid of the loud noises in this world, the ones that say we aren’t good enough or the ones that make us feel small and fragile?

 I was thinking today about how Jesus went to quiet places after being surrounded by the loud voices and the masses and the people reaching out to Him. He rested and He went to a place where the voices of the world were quiet enough that He could hear God.

“After He had dismissed them, He went up on a mountainside by Himself to pray.” Matthew 14:23

 I’m thankful today for our God who has always called us to rest, who has set that within His law and also His gospel, that we would be still and know Him, that we would just be with Him on the Sabbath for awhile. 

The loud language of this earth is that we work, and that we run, and that we climb ladders, and we dream bigger. But God is big enough for the both of us. Exhaustion is not what He has for us, but rather peace. Peace doesn’t mean an easy life. It doesn’t mean lazy. It simply means that we have found the balance between being in this world but being found in God. 

Quiet places often lead to the most powerful forms of Grace. If your life is loud today, take just a moment of stillness with Him. Listen to that worship song. Sit awhile with His word. Look out over His creation. Know that He loves you. I’m thankful that our ever powerful God has shown us beauty in the quiet and still places. That He revives us after we’ve come through the storm. That He leads us beside quiet waters and that He restores our souls. 

“Be still, and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10 

Today let your language be that of rest, of peace, of Thanksgiving. Let the loud world fade to quiet for a moment. Let God’s voice in.