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Ready to Make Over Your Mornings?

by Cathy Baker

A favorite Lamentations verse lies between one that speaks of broken teeth in gravel  (v. 16) and sitting alone in silence (v. 28): 

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. – Lamentations 3: 22, 23
Let’s face it. Some mornings feel consumed by everything but God’s compassion yet there it is, every single morning—God faithfulness covering our day. 
I personally love mornings. Always have. Recently, though, I’ve felt discombobulated, like there’s too much trying to weave its way into my thinking, into my days. Perhaps the decluttering process I spoke of in last month’s post needs to begin in the heart as much as it does the corners of my house.
So, with this in mind, I’ll take every Monday in September to share ways we can begin to make over our mornings – physically, emotionally, and spiritually. [Due to Labor Day, my post will be on Wednesday instead of Monday.]
To get things started, what is one area in your home or life you would like to begin the decluttering process? 
And don’t forget… 

It’s not too late to enter the August giveaway!

 
One last thing I’m learning as we close out this month’s series: Based on the elaborate displays in Barnes and Noble we are never too old to color! If
you would like to enter the random drawing for this “adult” coloring
book on Joy by Valentina Harper, simply fill in the blank via the
comment section! Winner will be announced on Wednesday, September 9th.

One thing I’m currently learning is _________________________________________. 

Purchased at Barnes and Noble

 

 

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 Soul Search

by Cathy Baker

{ Day 7 }

When three people tell you within a two month period that you’re being too hard on yourself, God may be up to something. 

Perfectionism has been my enemy for as long as I can remember. You wouldn’t recognize this tendency if you visited my home or caught sight of my unruly brows but it’s there nonetheless. It established patterns of procrastination behind my back, paralyzing me to move forward in certain areas of my life. 

Can you relate? 

Perhaps it’s because I’m still a WIP (work in progress) that I gravitate towards godly women with a wise perspective, like Ginger Harrington. I had the opportunity to meet Ginger at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writer’s Conference in May and now she’s also a fellow #write31days participant. When I read her post Soul Search: Why Are You So Hard On Yourself? from Monday, I had to share it here, with you. Prepare to be blessed!

Ginger Harrington’s 31 Day series

Ginger’s theme for October is Soul Strength and you’ll not want to miss a post via Ginger’s Corner.

Staying in Step With The Spirit: When we choose to see ourselves as God sees us, we are strengthened by truth — and truth never fails to draw us closer to God. 

Heavenly Father, thank You for the “wide fields of grace” You provide for us to run free and forgiven in Your presence. Help us to stand firm in the truth that when You see us, You see Jesus—the only Perfect one.

 

 

 

For it is God’s loving soul search that sets us free to run forgiven in wide fields of grace. -Ginger Harrington


Past #write31days 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 

{ Day 5 } Sunday 

{ Day 6 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via Specific Prayer 

{ Day 7 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via Psalms, Hymns & Spiritual Songs

When Grace is Discovered Beneath the Debris

by Cathy Baker

The
trunk of the Chaste tree hugged our white picket fence but its branches
shot out in all directions, covering everything in its path. While
preparing to sell the house last September, Brian cut the tree to ground
level so the yard would appear neater for prospective buyers. 

This
weekend, while taking a tour of the yard, I spotted a pink patch of
clematis sittin’ pretty as you please alongside the same picket fence. I
planted them years ago but forgot about them. I’d never seen a bloom,
thanks to the gnarly branches of the tree. However, once the debris was
cleared, I could finally see the beauty that awaited. The timing of this
discovery was no “coincidence.” 

You
see, since childhood, the relationship with my mom has often been
covered in debris, scattered from a decision made long ago that neither
of us initiated. Its roots spread into deep, dark, hidden places
resulting in hurt, bitterness, and simple misunderstandings.

In
recent years, each of us has grown in our faith, and through this
growth, He has exposed those dark places to the light of His truth,
lovingly reminding me of my own failings as a parent (humble pie is
bittersweet) and how my mom did the best she could do with the
circumstances facing her at the time.

Our
relationship has never been stronger or more vibrant than it is today
for it remains covered—no longer by debris from the past but by grace
and mercy—beauty in its truest form. 

Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus 
our Lord. 2 Peter 1:2

He Loves You, After All

Pride forgets. Humility remembers.
Priscilla Shirer, Gideon
I distinctly remember singing along with Babbie Mason’s After All as a relatively new Christ follower back in the early 90’s, lyrics barely audible for the tears. By the time I reached the final verse, my heart cry was Lord, please don’t ever let me forget my past. 
It’s not that I wanted to focus on my past but I didn’t want to forget it either, for it was there I came to know Christ, smack dab in the pit of my own making, i.e., rock bottom. Because I know my propensity for pride and self-reliance when
circumstances improve, my heart cry remains the same today after all
these years—especially after all these years.
I don’t want to forget. Therefore, I choose to remember:
  • The ugliness of my sin – and God’s breathtaking blanket of grace that covered it all. 
  • The depth of my shame – and God’s startling and awe-inspiring unconditional love. 
  • The bondage of my sin – and God’s freedom, loosening me from its grip for an eternity.
  • The stumbling of my flesh – and now, because of Christ, I’m able to stay in step with the Holy Spirit.
May I never forget. 
After All, by Babbie Mason

I heard You calling
I felt You knocking
But I drew further from You
Everyday
 
I knew better
Still my heart grew colder
And I just kept on going my own way
 
But after all that was said
And done with me
 
After all my pride
And my fall
I was so amazed
To still find You there
 
After all I’ve done
You still love me
After all.

 
Your eyes said welcome
Your arms were open
How could I ever doubt
Your love was real
You never mentioned
 
All my past rejections
Words can’t express the way
That makes me feel

 
CHORUS

To freely forgive
It’s so hard to do
But You completely forgave me
And I will spend
My whole life with You
After all,
Forever and always.

Thank You Jesus, for loving me…after all.
What’s a particular song God has used to remind you of His grace and mercy towards you? 
Tiny House on the Hill

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