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Staying In Step with the Spirit Via A Well Placed Pooch

by Cathy Baker

{ Day 28 }

She stayed a few steps ahead of me, pushing her baby stroller with baby Rapunzel in tow. 

It wasn’t long before Rupert, our 11 year old Lhasa Apso decided to join in the stroll. Unfortunately, aging Lhasas aren’t always the best companion for little ones, especially when their wee feet are in motion. Rupert has never hurt Piper but he’s growled and nipped enough towards her toes to make her understandably nervous at times. (Let’s just say he’s seeing his crate increasingly more when the grands come for a visit.)

Rupert, our ornery well loved Lhasa.

I stayed between her and Rupert as we strolled throughout the rooms but with every few steps, she’d glance back to make sure Rupert wasn’t following too closely. Each time, I’d reassure her:

“Don’t worry, Pipes.”
“I’m standing between you and Rupert. He can’t touch you.”
“It’s okay.” 
“You just keeping looking straight ahead. I’m watching out for you.” 

My reassurances to Piper came naturally, like grandparent to child. I smiled and continued patting her petite shoulders when the Lord whispered, This is a picture of you and Me. I reassure you with My promises during your times of fear but like Piper, you often spend more time glancing over your shoulder rather than enjoying our stroll together. 

Sweet Pipes and her pigtails.

The tone of His voice wasn’t condemning or else I’d know it wasn’t my heavenly Father (Romans 8:8). Instead, it was the voice of a Father desiring more for His daughter, much like I wanted Piper to enjoy her stroll and simply trust me to protect her from an ornery but well-loved pooch.

Staying in Step with the Spirit: Sometimes staying in step with God’s Spirit is simply recognizing how closely His steps are to ours. 

Heavenly Father, help us to trust Your promises at all times, especially when we can’t “see” you at work in our lives. Thank You for being a loving, firm, always-wanting-what’s-best-for-His-children kind of Father, and not a condemning One. Because You have our back, we no longer need glance over our shoulders in fear.

Your turn! Do you have a favorite promise of God you’d like to share?

#Write31Days past posts:

{ Day 1 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via Our Senses
{ Day 2 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via Less Clutter 
{ Day 3 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via Healthy Relationships 
{ Day 4 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via God’s Creation
{ Sunday }
{ Day 6 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via Specific Prayer 
{ Day 7 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs
{ Day 8 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via A Soul Search (with guest Ginger Harrington)
{ Day 9 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via Vulnerability 
{ Day 10 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via God’s Creation, Wk. 2
{ Day 11 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via A Moonlit Sunroof
{ Sunday }
{ Day 13 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via A Wild Goose Chase

{ Day 15 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via A Paper Bookmark
{ Day 16 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via A Fresh Start
{ Day 17 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via Spontaneous Service
{ Day 18 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via God’s Creation, Wk. 3
{ Sunday } 
{ Day 20 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via A Mini-Getaway
{ Day 21 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via Piped Icing
{ Day 22 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via A Knock at the Door{ Day 23 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via The Book
{ Day 24 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via A Breath of Prayer
{ Day 25 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via God’s Creation, Wk. 4
{ Sunday } 

Staying in Step with the Spirit Via A Fresh Start

by Cathy Baker

{ Day 16 }

Could you use a fresh start? I could. 

Every. Single. Day. 

It’s for this reason I snatched the mug below off the TJ Maxx shelf lickety split. Yes, my eye caught the contrast between the white matte finish and sleek cool gray interior but it was the wording that prompted me to peel out a few bucks and make it mine.

Score! Thanks, TJ Maxx.

The words Fresh Start immediately brings Lamentations 3:22,23 to mind. It’s a verse I mention often, maybe because I so desperately need it.

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

Obviously, the truth of receiving fresh mercy from a holy God each and every morning is reason enough to awaken with a grateful heart, but when I rewind to consider the motivation behind it all, I’m blown away by God’s faithfulness.

Thankfully, the “why” has nothing to do with me or you, our performance or lack thereof. It’s all God. His love motivates our rescue every single day. The only thing that consumes and covers us today is God’s compassion. 

So, when the coffee perks and the coffee cup clinks tomorrow morning, let us remember Lamentations 3. Savor it, receive it, and walk in the freedom God offers us 24/7. 

Staying in Step with the Spirit: A grateful heart never fails to move closer to the One of morning promises. 

Heavenly Father, may the gratefulness pooling in our hearts spring forth into action today. 

What does it mean to you personally to know that the moment you awoke this morning fresh mercy awaited? 

#Write31Days past posts:

{ Day 1 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via Our Senses
{ Day 2 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via Less Clutter 
{ Day 3 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via Healthy Relationships 
{ Day 4 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via God’s Creation
{ Sunday }
{ Day 6 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via Specific Prayer 
{ Day 7 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs
{ Day 8 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via A Soul Search (with guest Ginger Harrington)
{ Day 9 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via Vulnerability 
{ Day 10 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via God’s Creation, Wk. 2
{ Day 11 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via A Moonlit Sunroof
{ Sunday }
{ Day 13 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via A Wild Goose Chase

Staying in Step with the Spirit Via A Moonlit Sunroof

by Cathy Baker

{ Day 10 }

Our conversation lingered as stone gray clouds shuffled by in a show-like manner. The moon was full and bright, no doubt the star of the show. 

The discussion, while weighty, was uplifting as my sweet friend pointed me to the One we’d just studied in the company of other God-seekers. 

Pulling out of her driveway, I hit the magic button allowing the sunroof to open, inviting warm Fallish breezes and moonlight to accompany me on my ride home. Suddenly, going from point A to point B became an exhilarating connection to God’s creation, reminding me that the same God who set the universe in motion is the same God who cares about me, about you, and every detail in between. 

by Ainsley Allmark @DolphinDancer

Staying in Step with the Spirit: Connecting with God often happens in the most unexpected places. Let’s open our eyes to ordinary times and places, asking God to ignite our senses. Soak them in, see God’s goodness, and delight in the One we call Father. 

Heavenly Father, thank You for making the ordinary extraordinary.

When
I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the
stars, which You have ordained; – See more at:
http://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Moon#sthash.B9BYszB1.dpuf

When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place…  Psalm 8:3

#Write31Days past posts:

{ Day 1 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via Our Senses
{ Day 2 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via Less Clutter 
{ Day 3 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via Healthy Relationships 
{ Day 4 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via God’s Creation
{ Sunday }
{ Day 6 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via Specific Prayer 
{ Day 7 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via A Soul Search

Staying in Step With The Spirit Via Healthy Relationships

by Cathy Baker

{ Day 3 }

A friend loves at all times. Proverbs 17:17

My friend, Becky, and I co-lead a Community Bible Class. Our current study by Angela Thomas’ Do You Think I’m Beautiful? is proving to be quite the eye-opener.

In it, Angela shares how our wholeness is found only in God—not spouses, parents, children, friends or stuff.

For today, let’s talk friendships.

Skipper sinking in quicksand. Love Gilligan’s Island!

Just this week, I emailed Teresa, my best friend of 20+ years, sharing a current struggle. In that moment, I felt surrounded by circumstances heavier than quicksand (Does anyone else have Gilligan’s Island flashbacks when you hear that word?) She responded with much wisdom, discernment, and a fresh perspective to boot. Teresa, along with my other friends, are a treasure to me. They are, as Angela describes, vessels of God’s love. They are not, however, placed in our lives to make us whole. 


Here are three (of many) ways we could unknowingly be looking to our friends for wholeness rather than God:  
1. Without hesitation, we
pick up the phone (or tap on the laptop) to ask for a friend’s advice
instead of first whispering a prayer to the Lord for His wisdom. (James 1:5)
2. We allow friend’s advice to trump the Word of God. Yet another reason to surround ourselves with godly friends. (Proverbs 12:26)
3. We place unrealistic expectations on our friendships. Our friends need to be released from the pressure of making us whole. It’s impossible. They can’t do it, nor should they. 
“A girlfriend can be fun, but she cannot be your savior. We need God.” -Angela Thomas
Staying In Step With The Spirit: When we look solely to God to fill those empty spaces in our lives, we draw closer to Him, relying on the unseen Face rather than familiar ones. 
Father, thank You for creating places in our lives that only You can fill. Forgive us where we’ve sought out anyone or anything to take Your place. Fill us today with your power, grace, and mercy — not only for our benefit but for others as well. May You receive all the glory! 

Is there a particular friend you’re thankful for today? The comment box is the perfect place to give a “shout out!” Or, if you have something to add to the list above, I invite you to share. 



#Write31Days:

{ Day 2 } Staying in Step With the Spirit Via Less Clutter

Staying in Step with the Spirit Via Less Clutter

by Cathy Baker

{ DAY 2 }

I know, I know. The saying “Cleanliness is next to godlinessis not in the Bible, but whoever came up with it may have been onto something.

I don’t know about you, but having things neat and decluttered goes a long way in clearing my head, especially when trying to quiet myself before the Lord. I sit down to read my Bible, study, or simply take in the silence and all of a sudden a multitude of should be’s collaborate with a stack of books and dust scarred table tops to vie for my attention. 


With this in mind, I’d like to introduce you to another 31 Day writer, Ruth Soukop, of LIVING WELL Spending Less. Her beautiful Web site is dedicated to living the good life on a budget — a life not dependent on what we have but who we are. It’s chock full of creativity, wisdom, and graphics that make me envious smile. This month, Ruth is challenging us to rid our homes of the clutter in order to clear our home, mind and schedule. I’ve signed up to receive her daily emails for 31 Days but you can also order the book via Kindle.

Staying in step with the Spirit: I know of fewer things that put a hiccup in my step than distractions. We can’t control them all, but I’m asking God to show me those distractions which I can kick to the curb (or at least improve) in order to stay more in step with His Spirit. 

Father, keeping our homes decluttered seems like such a baby step but I thank You for the many ways Jesus valued the little things and how often He used them as examples.

“Then Jesus asked, “What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I
compare it to? It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted
in his garden. It grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air
perched in its branches.” Luke 13:18

I’d love for you to join me on this journey in finding fresh and creative ways to stay in step with the Spirit, and if one of those ways includes a clutter free home, be sure to check out Ruth’s challenge here. 

#Write31Days:

{ Day 1 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via Our Senses

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