You are Special

Speaking truth.

It’s a phrase that makes my heart grow. The people who have spoken that phrase into my life have taught me so much about value, and about God.

Self-worth is something that I’ve always struggled with.

I’ve believed lies about myself instead of believing truth.

The people who have spoken truth into my life have been invaluable to me in trying to relearn how to view myself and how to view my Heavenly Father.

Several weeks ago, the day before my grandmother’s funeral, a friend brought a basket of fruit over. I didn’t notice for a fewdays, but tucked in with the fruit was a small piece of paper with the simple words “You Are Special” written on it.

I dont feel special. But those words made me feel loved.

It can often be hard to remember the truth when we are struggling. To see ourselves the way Jesus sees us.

I love to hold my friends words close when those times of doubt come.

To pin those words up on your walls, or post them on your phone screen… really, anywhere where your eyes can be drawn to those words when you need them most.

There are three quotes that have been burned into my heart.

Three special messages that I have held close as I try to instil truth to combat the lies in my soul.

"You're not dumb." -Trina
"You're not a failure." -Cor
"You are Mine." -God

These words of truth remind me of so much more then what they say.

They remind me of my value in the eyes of God.

They remind me that I am loved.

They remind me of the truth that friends have spoken into my life.

And they remind me, that I am special.

Friend, YOU are special.

Never doubt that.

You are special to God, and you are special to God’s people.

You are special to me.

Living in Light

Around a year and a half ago I became captivated with the theme of light shining in darkness. Light being stronger than darkness. And God being light.

I highlighted Bible verses on the topic, wrote a long mental list of songs about light (and if the song got both light and darkness into it—I was bound to love it even more!) and stuck a row of cute little phrases about light all along the edge of the shelf in my bedroom. Oh, and I forgot—I even taped a quote about it onto my bedroom mirror!

My poor family and friends—I pity them when I remember that I found that theme in everything.

This morning, the theme came back to me.

I’d kinda left it in the past these last few months… but I was up too late last night, and the weight of the world felt like if was pressing down on my shoulders this morning… and like a faithful messenger of God’s peace, the theme came back to me.

So I thought I would share 6 of my favourite songs about light and darkness!

6. I am the Candle of the Lord

5. Who But the Lord

4. Within our Darkest Night

3. Longing for Light

2. Shine on Us

1. Between Darkness and Light

Do you know any more songs about light and darkness? I’d love to hear of them in the comments section below!

It’s Okay—to Trust

Trust is a word that either calms my very soul, or leaves my heart with an ache.

Trust is something beautiful. Something that is a glimpse of heaven on earth.

Trust can be something heartbreaking as well. Something that when shattered leaves you shattered and broken as well.

It it a word that holds either life or despair.

Last August a friend and I talked about trust.

About trusting God.

From my desk I can catch a glimpse of the chart that I made following that conversation. It’s only a glimpse that I can see of it—at the moment it’s kinda buried behind the collection on my desk of papers, water bottles, a cardboard box, and an insulated coffee cup… but although I wish the mess wasn’t there, I find the clutter that is obscuring it somehow symbolic.

It’s fitting because it’s in the messy seasons that we see our need to trust God.

A week ago, my sister told me to listen to a song that she’d found. It was a song about trust. A song that said it was okay to trust God.

The title at first caught me by surprise… who would even think that it wasn’t okay to trust God? But as I listened to the song over and over again, it’s truths slowly began to sink into my soul.

It’s okay to trust Him. It’s not always easy—but it’s always worth it.

My Sunshine Book

It’s only two days until the start of the Sunshine Challenge!

I find that I’m both excited, and wondering whether I’ll be able to stay on top of it!

This past week my friend gave me a smaller challenge, that worked as a good prequel for my March challenge—she had me choose something I enjoyed to do each day this week—and told me to let her know next week how it went… in other words, I didn’t really have any chance for slipping out of doing the work…

It was good.

It was needed.

And it blessed me imensely!

And it gave me an idea that might just help with the Sunshine Challenge!

If you can’t find any sunshine—make some!

It’s amazing what a little joy can do to brighten and strengthen. I find it’s a lot harder to let depression take over when I’m focusing on creating sunshine in each day!

Earlier this week, I enjoyed setting up my “Sunshine Book”.

Making it pretty—so that just looking at it adds a ray of sunshine to my day!

It’s just a plain old spiral-bound index card set—beautified with a bit of cardstock and markers. And I’m so happy with it!

Wishing you a week filled with God’s sunshine!

Even in your darkest night—He is still the light, and He is still shining!

Sunshine Challenge

Several weeks ago, one of my very closest friends started praying for sunshine.

She prayed it for me. And she has continued to pray it for me every day since then.

Every day I take a high dose of Vitamin D. It’s something I have to take regularly for some health issues.

But Vitamin D isn’t the same as true sunshine.

Sunshine that sparkles in the heart. Sunshine that sees God and beauty all around—no matter what pain life may be holding.

Friday night I was thinking about pursuing sunshine.

After all, if I am taking care that I receive my daily dose of Vitamin D, shouldn’t I be making sure that I get enough emotional sunshine?

I’ve been trying to keep my eyes open for sunshine ever since my friend started praying about it for me—but Friday, I was ready to try something a little more radicle. So I started planning my Sunshine Challenge for the month of March.

Every day for the month of March I plan to find and write down one thing for each of these three categories.

An Obvious Sunbeam, A Shadowy Sunbeam, and A Heaven-sent Sunbeam.

On days where I can’t find one of the three categories (i.e. if there isn’t something painful, it might be hard to find a blessing that comes from pain) my plan is to choose to write an extra from one of the other two categories to fill out the number of sunbeams.

By the end of March I should have a list of 93 sunbeams!

Of course, it’s possible that I might miss a day. I really have no idea what the month of March will hold.

But I am determined to be looking for sunbeams.

I believe that they will be there—and as I prayerfully watch for them, I am sure there will be many sparkling beams of light that will catch my eye.

I would love to have you join me in my Sunbeam Challenge! Whether you try to find a sunbeam from each of these categories every day, or if you simply keep your eyes open for the sunbeams that God sends you this next month—I hope you will be blessed as you trace His mercy in your life!

Something Precious

It was resting in my hands like a gift.

Precious. Priceless. Something to cling on to and never let go.

A gift that my hands had long been held open to recieve.

A gift that I had begged God for over and over again.

A gift that He finally seemed to be holding out to me.

My fingers slowly started to close around it. Precious. Priceless. Something to hold and treasure forever.

Then the night came when it felt like the dream so precious to me was slipping through my fingers. Perhaps forever.

Once again, I was numb.

Once again, my heart cried out that I couldn’t face this. Couldn’t take this. Couldn’t let something so beautiful slip through my hands. Again.

I’ve been there before.

Been in the crumbling place.

Been in the place where my world is caving around me.

I’ve cried out to God before to spare me from having to face this. To renew trust that had been damaged. To not ask me to give up one of the few people who I truly trusted.

And He did.

Today the friendship that I asked Him to save is one of the strongest friendships in my life. Stronger for that night when I begged God to restore what had been. Stronger for the struggles that surrounded that moment.

Today I stand with a dream trembling in my fingers.

I long to tighten the clasp of my hands around it. To hold it close to my heart and never, never let go of it.

But I force my hands to remain open.

Someday… someday soon maybe… I think God will allow me to clasp that dream in it’s full reality.

I don’t really think that He’s asking me to part with it.

But for now, these hands need to remain open.

Open for God to take or to fill.

Open for God to work.

These hands still hold something precious. Something priceless. Something to treasure and cherish and hopefully hold for years to come.

But as I hold them open, trembling with the struggle, I remember that God is holding them. His strong all-capable hands over my frail earthy ones. If this dream slips through my fingers never to be realized—it will fall into His hands. Hands that are able to hold it. Hands that are big enough for both me and it.

And I know that no matter what, my hands will hold Someone Precious. Someone Priceless. Someone Who I can cherish and cling to forever.

Slumber of Surrender—Book Review

Have you ever been tempted to ask the question why? Then finally let the word slip from between your lips in the agony of your soul? Have you struggled to to find your true value or been asked to surrender your most cherished dream to God?

Slumber of Surrender probably took me about 15 minutes to read, but it refreshed my soul.

Pulled into Lydda’s life of heath challenges, and growing weakness; you’ll be challenged with her to surrender your dearest dreams to God and to view yourself—not through your brokenness, but as you are viewed in His sight.

This was a story that I needed to read and that blessed me incredibly!

At this point Slumber of Surrender has not yet been published, however Amanda Tero has gracious said that she would be willing to share the book with those who are interested in reading it. So, if you would like to read a copy, drop me a line in the contact page and I’ll put you in contact with the author. I hope that reading it blesses you as much as it blessed me!

I have not yet read the Tales of Faith series that this story belongs to, so I can’t go ahead and recommend them unconditionally, but after reading Slumber of Surrender I’m intrigued to look into them!

Hope

Today I hit a really low point.

Life looked like a big, hopeless messand I found myself confused and doubting.

I felt like there was nothing I could do. I was alone, helpless, and desperate.

I didn’t feel like there was hope anymore.

And I knew that I NEEDED hope.

A dear friend took the time to text with me as I tried to wrestle through my thoughts. Took the time to speak of hope. Of healing. Of life.

She took the time to remind me of what I knew, but couldn’t feelthat God loved me.

I know that I won’t always be able to keep sight of hope.

It feels sometimes like it takes only a very small breath to shatter my world all over again.

But I’m going to keep clinging. Clinging to God. To His love. His life. His hope.

Several weeks ago another dear friend shared a song that I had heard before, but that has since captivated my mind and my heart. I come brokenbut He welcomes me with open arms. Praise Him for that!

Guest Post: Letting God Heal Your Scars

I’m so excited to share today’s guest post with you, written by a dear friend of mine Becky Martin. Thank you so much for writing this Becky!!


“She’s an impenetrable wall,”my daughter said of a friend. “You can’t get in.”

Ugly, festering wounds. A fortress of scars.

I am queen of scars and I have been queen of the ugly and the festering too. It’s been raw and stinking, my life, and it’s been infected and oozing

And it has been redeemed.

I look in awe at my heart and wonder how? I look at other’s stories and wonder how this thing called redemption comes about?

And one thing I know. The scars remain. But the ugly is gone, the bleeding is staunched.

How do wounds become beautiful, healed, life giving scars? Because they do, without a doubt.

Let me give you a blip of my story. I was awash in pain, hauling around mounds of baggage from my past. I was angry. I was manipulative. My husband lived in virtual terror of my explosive outbursts and truly I did myself. I was completely and utterly desperate. I crashed in a heap of trembling overwrought humanity.

And that was when the healing began. I learned many things in this state. I learned hope, and trust, and I learned to believe that no matter what, God is good. I learned that mistakes and wounds are only an invitation to God’s beautiful redemption.

And I learned that scars are beautiful. Something to be worn with dignity, head held high. Scars say that I have looked death in the eye and I have survived.

I feel that scars give our life a power that is beyond anything that a life of painless ease could give. We learn to have sympathy, we learn how to walk with others through pain, because we are no longer afraid of pain, knowing that it is only a gateway to peace and beauty.

Various songs come to my mind. Various stories and I will attempt to share them with you.

“Dear Lord, take up the tangled strands where I have wrought in vain, that through the work of thy dear hands some beauty may remain.”

And this is probably not quoted right but I sang it to myself this way many times.
“Oh Lord who uses broken things, from broken clouds brings sweet sweet rain. Who gives us bread through broken grains. Oh Lord make me stronger through broken things.”

And He does.

I have two humdinger scars on my knee which my husband was examining recently. “You know,” he told me, “those scars will never get dirty.” Something about the way the skin grows back makes it so that you can be dirty all over but those scars will stay white and clean. And I say, “ Yes Lord. Leave it up to you to create a clean life, one that is pure not in spite of its scars, but because of them.” Praise Him.

I also think of my friend Gwen who taught me about kinsugi. The Japanese art of mending broken pottery. They carefully meld the pieces back together with beads of pure gold, creating a gorgeousvessel more beautiful than the one it was before.

That, my friends, is what scars do. They transform us into something much more beautiful than we could have ever been without them. Because we have for a Father the Master Artist, who mends with gold.


Becky Martin is a lover of words, beauty, and the breathless moments. Wife of a dreamer, and mother of five who keep her filled with the breathtaking.

You can follow her life on her beautiful blog Everyday Words

I’d Rather Not

Over and over again I’ve told people that I don’t write.

And it was true.

I didn’t write—and I wasn’t planning to.

I never wanted to be an author. Or at least—it’s been years since I did.

If you know me VERY well, I might give you a glimpse into the dreams and plans that fill my heart. But to most people, I’ll happily leave it at the simple answer “I don’t write.”

All of that was all very well until this past fall.

But it was a story that I knew I needed to write.

Eight simple chapters—fairly short chapters.

A story that when I glance over I feel that by writing… and someday by publishing, I’m cutting a wide door into my heart. A door that I’m scared to leave open for just plan ANYONE to wander through.

So I’ve stacked my the virtual pages of my manuscript, and let draft one settle before I force myself to face it again.

Sometimes I’m inclined to wish my writing journey could end there.

After all—I still DO NOT want to be an author.

But there is another story in my heart.

A story about scars.

About brokenness.

About a God who is bigger than both.

A story that after about a week decided it was too small for one book. So a sequel filled with questions that I don’t yet have answers too was born.

A sequel all about unanswered prayers—and why God allowed the hardest moments of life.

About why God is big enough to answer those questions.

The day after I conceded that I needed two books to write this story, God told me that I needed three.

Another book. All about God restoring years that the locusts have eaten.

I sometimes still think that I don’t want to write a trilogy.

I feel like I’m cutting the door into my inmost heart wider—wider than I want it to go.

In planning these stories I’ve been torn open.

I’ve had to face the scars again—and it’s hurt.

I’ve had to wrestle with the questions again—and trust that God will give me the answers.

And I’ve had to acknowledge, that I don’t know what it’s like yet for broken years to be restored.

I’ve said many times that I don’t want to be a writer.

This week, I’m reminded of some of the whys.

Because I have had to be torn apart for each lesson that my characters need to learn.

Because I have had to live their pain and ask their questions and wait for their answers—and trust their God.

My God.

He is the only reason that a trilogy about redemption and a God who is bigger than pain is even possible in this broken hurting world.

But He IS bigger. He IS big enough for you and your problems—and for me and mine.

And He IS a God of redemption!

I am praising Him for that!!