Tuesday, December 27, 2016

A Gentle and Quiet Spirit

I'm a big fan of using a concordance when I want to dwell on a particular verse. It helps me to get a better understanding of the connotations of the specific words chosen and through it God speaks to me deeper revelations of His heart.

This morning, I was pondering on 1 Peter 3:4 which talks about the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit.

I've done a word study on this verse before. Today I wanted to refresh my memory on the full meaning of gentle and quiet. (Spoiler alert: Quiet has nothing to do with volume!) I needed to recenter my heart and my focus.

According to Strong's concordance, the word translated gentle has connotations of reserve AND strength. It's described further as "God's strength under His control" or "demonstrating power without harshness." Gentle. I love that picture.

The word translated quiet is about inner stillness. It describes a spirit that stands "steady (settled) due to a divinely-inspired inner calmness." My very favorite description: "'calmly quiet' or 'appropriately tranquil' by not misusing (or overusing) words that would stir up needless friction (destructive commotion)."

That last one hit me right in the feels this morning. And that feeling was conviction. OUCH. ;) Pretty sure I could've used a reminder on that at some point last night!

Basically, when Peter wrote about a gentle and quiet spirit, this is what he envisioned: Strength demonstrated under control without harshness and a heart at peace that holds it's tongue from words that would only cause unnecessary drama. That does sound like a beautiful soul.

Saturday, December 17, 2016


Sometimes your heart gets a little sick, when you've lost hope that things will change for the better. Sometimes your heart feels a little raw and discouragement hangs thick in the atmosphere. Times when you watch someone else's happy ending and your heart longs and aches for your own, because you've been stuck in your wilderness for 39 years and it's about time to be done, y'all.

That was the kind of mood I was in yesterday and this morning, and when I was done pouring my heart out and began to listen to His, Galatians 6:9 came to mind. "Do not grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."

IF we do not give up. Maybe a breakthrough is right around the corner. Maybe it's further out than that. Either way, He leads me in victory, (2 Corinthians 2:14) so I should probably keep going! ;) Fight the good fight and all that. (1 Timothy 6:12)

So for anyone else needing a little inspiration and encouragement, here are the scriptures related to endurance that resonated with my heart this morning:

Romans 5:1-5 "Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us."

Romans 12:12 "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer."

Romans 15:5 "May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had..."

Romans 15:13 "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."

Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through the One who empowers me within."

Hebrews 10:36 "For you need endurance, so that after you have done God's will you can receive what he has promised."

James 1:2-4 "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."

Monday, December 12, 2016

Keep It Simple, Sweetheart

"Keep it simple, sweetheart."

That was the gentle reminder I felt this morning as I sat with my coffee and watched the pink sky brighten. That whatever ways I may feel like I'm failing, the things I think I should be doing but I'm not, the chores and tasks that are never really done, He is bigger. His love covers. 

As an independent, I'll-do-it-all-myself kind of person, pregnancy and postpartum is hard, because I can't do it all. It's hard to ask for help. It's hard to justify resting and taking care of myself when so much gets left undone. It's easy to feel like maybe I'm just being lazy and I really should be doing more. It's easy to feel like I'm failing my kids because I haven't managed to get us to church the last few months. 

Going to church is a good thing. A clean house is a good thing. The things I'd like to get done are good things. But none of those are the most important thing. Love is. Loving God. Loving myself. Loving my family. 

Right now, this is a season. A season of resting in the midst of the chaos. A season of slowness and simplicity. A season to give myself grace while I focus on being present and choosing love.

Because, in reality, I just need to keep it simple. I don't need to do it all. It doesn't all depend on me. God's got it. He holds my children in His hands. I can ask others for help. I can let go of my worries, perfectionism, and performance, and I can rest in Him.

I simply need to remember these two thoughts: 
His yoke is easy, His burden is light, and He gives me rest. (Matthew 11:28-30) 
Everything boils down to love God and love people. (Matthew 22:37-39) 

Keep it simple, sweetheart.