31 Day Challenge….Yikes!


Scroll down to read the inspiration behind my 31 days of seeing glimpses of God’s glory in my everyday life. You can then click on each link to read my “glimpse” for each day.

Day One: What Have I Done?

Day Two: Perspective Changer

Day Three: Seeing Past the Holy Huddle

Day Four: The Lord’s Day

Day Five: To Rescue or Not to Rescue

Day Six: The Sun

Day Seven: Lessons from the Sun (and the Son)

Day Eight: Lots to See

Day Nine: Holy Socks

Days 10 and 11: It Really Does All Come Down to Love

Day 12: Hate vs. LOVE

Day 13: We’re in this Together

Day 14: Sometimes you have to choose to see

Day 15: Seeing Through the Father’s Eyes

Day 16: My Helper

Days 17 and 18: More than a Glimpse

Day 19: Gifts

Day 20: The Rock

Day 21: Your Horse, Your Story, Your Girl

Day 22: True Power

Day 23: The Arms of Love

Day 24: Fun on the Farm

Day 25: What Real Worship Looks Like

Day 26: Rest

Day 27: The Power of Silence

Day 28: Extraordinary in the Ordinary

Day 29: A Prayer that Could Change Everything

Day 30: Sometimes You Gotta Look Hard

Day 31: Done!

A friend encouraged me to try the 31 day blog challenge. It is a community of bloggers who commit to writing a post every day in the month of October. The posts all have to relate to a particular theme of your choosing. I scrolled through the website and found topics such as: 31 days to a cleaner home (yes please!), 31 days to a tighter tummy (will it hurt?), 31 ways to use the color red (what now?). All of those topics sound intriguing, but what would I write about???

As I processed this and prayed over it, I started to dismiss the idea as not being something I could contribute to. But then I heard that voice – that quiet whisper that you want to pretend was just your imagination. The internal voice that prompts you to do something you so don’t want to do. Have you ever heard that voice? The Holy Spirit rarely shouts to me; instead He whispers, He excites, He makes clear.

“You can write about seeing Me each day for 31 days.”

“Um…what was that Lord? No, please no. What if I don’t “see” You one day? What if there is a day when I have nothing but white space to turn in? How am I going to “see” evidence of You 31 times in a row????”

“You ask Me to show myself to you and then write what you SEE.”

I’ll spare you the days of back and forth I did with God. Let’s just say I may have resembled a little child who argued and negotiated with her Daddy about doing  something she didn’t want to do. But in the end, He won.

So, starting tomorrow I will link up to the “mother blog” and begin posting once a day about the evidences of God in my mundane life.

Ya’ll I am scared! I have NO idea what this will look like or what I will SEE, but I am trusting the One who gave me eyes and the One who promises to reveal Himself to us.

It seems fitting that where I live has been completely overcast for almost an entire week. A week without the sun! (This Florida born girl is not happy!) But here’s the cool part and what I took as confirmation of God’s calling: Just because I can’t SEE the sun, doesn’t mean it’s not there. And it doesn’t mean I can’t SEE evidence of it. The sun still rises in the east and sets in the west. The plants still grow. I still have to wear sunglasses when I drive. Yes, the evidence of the sun remains, even when the clouds obstruct our view.

And the evidence of The Son is all around us, even if circumstances obstruct our view. So my prayer is that God will remove the blinders: the doubt, the fear, the pride and anything else that obstructs my view of Him and reveal a glimpse of His glory to me each day. (Oh my word…as I just wrote that sentence the sun came out for an instant!!!!!!! OK, God is soooo AWESOME, and I think I just saw a glimpse of Him for today 😉 )

Will you join me on this challenge? You don’t have to start a blog or anything, but maybe you would be willing to pray that prayer with me over the next 31 days and then record for yourself how you SEE evidences of God each day.

I am still a little nervous, but suddenly I am far more excited!

Much love (and SEE you tomorrow),


In Search of JOY

“Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” Psalm 42:5


I can be cruising through life with a smile on my face and a song in my heart and then BAM! Party over. What causes such an abrupt deflating of my balloon? Other’s attitudes and moods.

This is a constant battle for me. I seem to be hardwired to take personally a loved one’s bad mood. The bad mood may have nothing to do with me, but that doesn’t matter to this chronic people pleaser. “Must fix bad mood” becomes my obsessive mantra.

But have you ever tried to fix someone else’s bad mood? Let me break it to you: you can’t – it doesn’t work! Oh it may for a minute or even a day, but you cannot change someone else (oh if only I could permanently learn this lesson!)

So what happens to my mood after my attempts at fixing other’s moods fail? I get down, depressed, and in a bad mood. To quote the psalmist, “My soul is downcast.” I feel as though I have allowed others to steal my joy.

But the minute I think that, I realize it’s a lie; for how can someone steal my joy if it is something that Jesus put within me? (“These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” John 15:11.)

If Jesus’ joy is literally in me than no one can possibly take it away! So then why do I become so joy-less? I think I have figured that out: I allow other’s moods and attitudes to build walls around my joy.

Think of joy as a warm light in your heart. A light that chases the darkness away and allows us to SEE Jesus in our every day to day lives; a light that wraps itself around us when things don’t make sense and reminds us of God’s sovereign reign; a light that shines brightly in the darkness of this fallen world.

When I allow other’s moods to affect my joy, it is like I begin placing bricks around my “joy light.” My joy is still there (because Jesus put it there) but it becomes hard to see because I have allowed others to hide it. Does that make sense?

So now that I know the problem, what is the solution??? I think I may have stumbled on something yesterday which God confirmed to me today. Yesterday after realizing that I was allowing my joy to be hidden, I sat down and wrote a letter to my heart (does that sound weird to anyone?) As I wrote I reminded myself who God is and what He has done in the past. I reminded my heart that this trial is only temporary and that my joy is Jesus.

After my “Dear Heart” letter (not at all like a “Dear John” letter) I turned on some worship tunes. And then I sang – my heart out (or more appropriately – I sang my joy free!)

It is really hard to have a downcast soul when you are singing praises to your Creator. I’ll admit it took about 5 songs until my heart caught up to my words. But keep singing until your heart believes the words coming from your mouth. Then this morning my devotional was from Psalm 42, where the psalmist instructs his downcast soul to trust in the Lord. It is a beautiful Psalm and instruction manual for down times. I urge you to go and read that Psalm today!

Did my solution fix anyone else’s mood? Nope. But did my joy return? Absolutely!

Maybe your not a chronic people pleaser (and for that be eternally grateful 😉 ) but maybe your joy is being hidden by other circumstances today. One thing I am learning is that our joy is independent of our circumstances. My friend, I pray that you will talk to your heart. Remind yourself that God is so much bigger than your circumstances and that He has given you the gift of indwelling JOY. Let Him remove the bricks that surround your joy. Let His love and His light pour over you today. Press into Him and ask Him to meet your needs. Then trust Him to do what is best as you snuggle into His arms and bask in the glow of pure JOY.

Much love,

When Our Failures Bring God Glory

“Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.'” Matthew 19:14


I was in tears. The morning had been awful. Just awful. It was the Lord’s Day, but it felt like it had been hijacked by satan. The frustration started before we even left the house. The attacks firing preemptively. I breathed a sigh of relief when we entered the worship center. My family went in ahead of me as I took a quick trip to the restroom. When I returned I realized that I would have to squeeze my way down the middle of a row of people. Not ideal for an introvert. Nothing like drawing attention and grimaces from people as you shimmy past them. But I trudged forward. Only to realize after arriving at the center of the row that I WAS IN THE WRONG ROW!!!

Ugh. Shimmy back out. Face turns bright red. Shimmy down correct row. Sit down. And thank the Lord we are praying so I can recover from that loveliness.

After service we went up to our second grade classroom. Where the all out assault began. We always have a big class, but this week it seemed much larger. We always have several loud and exuberant children, but this week they were all bouncing off the walls. This would be our last week with this class and I wanted to sit around and love on them, sing sweet worship songs, and pour godly wisdom into their bright shining faces. (I know…but a girl can dream right?)

Instead, I was met with chaos and unruly behavior. Kids who normally never act out were showing a different side. I was shaken. My dreams going up in smoke. None of them were the least bit interested in my “Kumbaya” kind of morning.

Enter the voice. You know that voice. The one that taunts and tears down. The one that whispers, “You are no good at this. What kind of teacher are you? You aren’t able to teach God’s Word to them; you can’t even control them for five minutes. You should quit.” The thoughts were taking over my mind. In hindsight it wasn’t that big of a deal, but satan sure made it feel like a big deal that day. The taunts were relentless.

We played a loud game and then went next door for music time. My husband sensing my imminent breakdown, played more songs than usual. I took the opportunity to head to the restroom and cry. I was composing my resignation letter. (do you even need one of those to quit Sunday School teaching???) I was broken. I felt like a failure. “You write all this curriculum, but you can’t put it into practice.”

From the depths of my soul I cried out, “God, these thoughts are NOT from You. I ask that You be my shield and stop them from continuing to penetrate my heart and mind.”

I left my safe-haven and went back into the room with the hooligans children and prepared to teach the lesson, convinced it would fall on deaf ears. I glanced at the clock and realized we only had 10 minutes left. “Well, so much for teaching!”

Testimony. “Where did that word come from?” I heard the word in my heart. I glanced at the story I was supposed to give and noticed it was basically Paul giving his testimony. I felt a different kind of whisper this time. Not taunting. It was breathing life.

I shared my testimony with the kids. I invited others to as well. Four of them did! I said that if anyone was there today and did not have a testimony, a story of when Jesus freed them from sin and became their King, that I would love to help them have a story before they leave.

That’s when I noticed her. A little wisp of a girl on the front row. Her body leaning forward, her eyes fixed on mine, her head shaking yes. She seemed ready to run into my arms. “Lord, are You calling her to You right now?”

We prayed, I dismissed the class, I gave hugs, but the entire time I watched her. She stood in front of me – silent, but pleading with her eyes. “Sweetie, do you have a testimony?” A shake of her head and a tear was all I could see as my own eyes filled with tears. “Mrs. Jen, I want to have a story. I want Jesus.”

I could write thousands of blog posts and never fully capture what my heart felt at that moment. This little girl wanted Jesus!

I had the honor of leading her into the family of God that day, and it was all because of my failure. Had the morning gone the way I had planned, we would not have talked about testimonies. Had I not been broken by the evil attacks on my thoughts, I would not have been sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s call to talk about testimonies that day.

Are failures fun? Not at all! But can God use your failures for His glory? Absolutely!

I was blown away this past Sunday by the grace of our Lord. He had called that precious girl’s name and nothing was going to stop Him from receiving her into His Kingdom….not even an awesome “Kumbaya” last Sunday school class! 😉

The Anti-Fear Theme Song

Fear. That relentless nemesis so proficient at striking us where we are most vulnerable: our kids, our future, our health, our safety, our insecurities.

Fear. An enemy that often goes around disguised as something else: anger, ambition, obsession, hunger, inaction.

Fear. A ruthless slave master binding the hands and feet of those he takes captive.

Fear. No match for the God of the Universe who says to us: “Do not fear for I AM with you…” (Isaiah 41:10)

With a new school year starting, fear has been a topic around our house recently. Kids: Will I like my teacher? What if I don’t have any friends in my class? Can I do the work? Me: Will my kids be safe at school? Can I do this again? Are we doing an ok job of parenting?

As the questions started rapid firing, I recognized the work of my persistent enemy: fear. But this time something was different. I was different. “Oh no you don’t,” I said to my familiar foe, “See, I’m no longer a slave to fear – I am a child of God.”

This mantra has been on a continuous loop in my head thanks to the song, “No Longer Slaves” by Bethel Music. I LOVE this song and the profound truth it proclaims.

Seriously, say these words out loud (ok so maybe whisper them if you’re at work): “I’m no longer a slave to fear – I am a child of God.” Those words are game changers for one who trusts in Jesus.

The song was written with the story of the Israelites in mind. They had been in bondage for hundreds of years; held captive by Pharaoh. But then God heard their cry and sent a deliverer to free them. God rescued them from their bondage and made a way for them to enter the Promised Land.

The song is rich with parallels to the Gospel: We are all in bondage to sin and fear of death; we are held captive by the curse of the law we could never keep on our own; God sent Jesus to be our Deliverer and to free us from our bondage to sin and fear; God parted the great chasm between our sin and His righteousness through His Son’s death on the cross; God invites us to come into His Kingdom by way of Jesus.

For those who have trusted Jesus and have walked away from bondage and into His freedom, we don’t have to be afraid of what is to come. Fear has no power over us because we are the blood bought children of God!

Does that mean everything is going to be hearts, rainbows and unicorns? Absolutely not! But it does mean that the One who freed us and the One who holds this entire universe together knows our names and loves us fiercely. We are His and He is ours. He has already defeated satan and death and nothing can separate us from Him.

I can trust that He knows better than I do, that He loves my kids more than I do, that He is working in their lives for their good, and that He will make all things right one day.

So this year I choose trust over fear. Will fear still come calling? Oh yes it will. But my heavenly Daddy is way bigger than my old enemy, and I will let Him fight my fear. And while He fights it, I will keep singing my theme song: “I’m no longer a slave to fear. I am a CHILD OF GOD.”

How Are You? Really?

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10


Summer was in full swing. One day effortlessly merged  into the next as I basked in the glow of the unscheduled nature of summer vacation: the time of respite given to weary students, teachers, and parents so we can fill our depleted souls in order to do it all over again in late August.

I love summer with a fierce passion. I treasure the unscheduled lazy days (well at least until late July when the kids start using each other as squeaky toys and boredom turns normally lovely little creatures into potential spawns of…..sorry I digress)

As I was saying, I love summer and this one was no exception. Things were going beautifully until my world started spinning…literally.

I was doing my thing: writing, swimming the with kids, taking naps, running errands etc and felt confident in doing such normal tasks. Yet day after day I began to notice that things felt a little “off.” Driving required extra concentration. A carousal ride left me sitting on my horse wondering when this particular park went to mock 4 speeds. Naps went from a luxury to a necessity. And floors seemed to move under my feet.

I tried to manage things on my own, convincing myself that I was just tired or imagining things, but my symptoms worsened. When I could no longer stand up without swaying I admitted defeat and went to the doctor.

The doctor listened patiently and did all the normal investigative doctor things then looked at me and said that I have a bad case of vertigo caused by eustachian tube dysfunction. (Yep, I now have a piece of paper that says I’m dysfunctional. great!)

As I sat swaying on the exam table I asked if he could see a lot of fluid in my ears. “Nope. Your outer ears are totally clear. In fact I can see no outside sign of a problem. On the outside you look fine (except for the little bit of swaying). The problem is all internal – in your middle ear. ”

I took my small booklet of prescriptions and went on my merry swaying way. But as I waited in the pharmacy for the pills that would stop my world from spinning I began to process the deeper truth of what the doctor told me. “On the outside you look fine…the problem is all internal.”

Wow! Have truer words every been spoken? How fine do we all look on the outside (ok so some probably look more fine than others) but what pain and dysfunction do we carry inside? And what kind of damage could that pain and dysfunction do in the long run?

Ignoring pain never works. The pain either grows or gets masked by other destructive means. Ignoring a problem only results in the birth of new problems. I tried to ignore my symptoms at first, but it did not take long for me to feel like a ship had tossed me around and then sailed right over me leaving me flattened in its wake.

So many things in life can be like that right? Grief, betrayal, sickness, and even a fading walk with the Lord. We can pretend things are fine and we can look great on the outside, but inside we are falling apart and the pain becomes to great to ignore.

Are you struggling today? Has it become impossible to pretend things are fine? Friend, please know that you are not alone. You have a Father who loves you more than you can imagine. He knows the pain of a broken heart and a broken body. He longs to bear the weight of your pain, and to hold you in His loving arms. Run to Him. Talk to Him.

He has also given us each other. We are called to bear one another’s burdens. Seek godly counsel. Seek medical or professional help if needed.

Today let’s not be afraid to share someone’s pain. Let’s ask “How are you?” and mean it and then stick around to hear the answer.

Let’s ask someone for help. And maybe for one day, let’s take off the “I’m fine” mask and tell someone “I’m hurting.”

Let’s hold onto each other through the dizzy times and wait with great expectation for the day when Jesus will return to make ALL things right.

I would love to pray for you today. If I can join you in prayer please leave a comment below or email me directly at jmbleakley@gmail.com 

A Dose of Sunshine

You are my sunshine
You are my sunshine

My precious Grandmother used to tell me that a day without me was like a day without sunshine. (yep, she was pretty awesome!) Her frame was small but her heart was huge. She fiercely loved her family and friends – a fact I realized at a very young age while having a sleep over at her house. We laid in bed giggling about silly things and enjoying being together. Then the room quieted for a minute and she said, “Sugar, it’s time for us to pray for the family God has blessed us with.” I gladly agreed expecting the usual, “God bless our family” kind of prayer. This was not that prayer.

My sweet Grandmother, Grace, proceeded to pray the longest prayer I had ever heard as she prayed for each family member by name. And while I am an only child, I come from a very large extended family. She prayed for each and every one of us by name, asking God to do something specific in each of our lives. I remember the feeling of warmth that flooded my heart when she got to me. I hung on every word as she talked to the Creator of the universe about me. It almost seemed as though I was intruding on a private conversation between her and the Lord. She continued to pray long after my eyes closed and sleep claimed my little body.

I know for a fact that she continued that practice until her own eyes were closed on this earth and Heaven claimed her sweet soul. She was precious and beautiful and I still miss her everyday, but I rejoice in knowing that she is with the God she loved so very much, and can now talk to Him face to face. I also take great comfort from knowing that the prayers she prayed throughout her life are still bearing fruit even today.


Now that I’ve made myself cry! I’ll get to the point of this post: In addition to her mighty faith and earth moving prayers, my Grandmother loved to laugh. The things that most often brought a giggle from her lips involved things her grandkids or great-grandkids did or said. She would tell me that the little ones were her daily dose of sunshine. I have loved recording my own kid’s funny or sweet sayings in my journal or on facebook, and I would love to have a space on this blog to record both mine and your children’s sunshine moments too.

So often our kids help us SEE ourselves, God, or a life truth in a whole new way by something they say or do. I would love to record the funny, the sweet, and the ironic moments that help us see the joy of our Savior. Don’t you know how God must laugh and take such delight in His little ones (and big ones).

I would love to hear the kid stories that have warmed your heart and provided you with sunshine on a dark day. You could write an amusing or touching story in the comments on this post or email me directly at jmbleakley@gmail.com

Every Friday I will have a “Dose of Sunshine” post. We can all be encouraged, or share a laugh, as we read the amusing and sweet antics of God’s littlest lambs.

I will choose one story to post each week and will let you know the week your story will be posted. Feel free to include a picture if you would like, but you certainly don’t have to. I can’t wait to read about your kiddos!

Here is a Dose of Sunshine for today:

When my son was about 3, we were reading the story of Jonah and the whale. He listened attentively throughout the story. When the story was over, I noticed that he had a very concerned look on his face. I asked him what was wrong. He looked at me right in the eyes and said, “Andrew go time-out in whale too??? No time-out in whale!” I smiled, amazed at his understanding of that story, “No sweetie, you will not have to have a time-out in a whale. That was just for Jonah.” But oh what a time-out that was!!!

*If you would like to receive S.E.E. directly to your inbox, I would love to have you subscribe to my blog by clicking the “follow” link at the top right of this page. Thanks for taking the time to read this. You are awesome!

I SEE Diamonds, A Bible, and A BEE!

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16

While on vacation I read an article encouraging Christians not to despair about the times in which we live, but instead to be encouraged by the troubles and persecutions God’s children are facing. “Huh?” was my natural (and very deep 😉 )thought. The writer went on to explain that it is only through pressure that diamonds are forged. The pressure that is sure to grow in our country in the days to come will separate diamonds from coal and dust. It will become more and more difficult to simply go through the motions of being a Christian, or to “put on” Christianity only on Sunday mornings. The pressure of persecution and of going against the grain will force people to firmly decide where they stand: God’s side or the world’s side. The writer’s belief is that as a result of such a firm line we will begin to see more bright sparkling diamonds shine forth for Jesus.

I have been pondering his thoughts, and find that I completely agree. As I have been writing curriculum lessons from Paul’s letters to the early churches, I cannot help but notice the growth and depth that grew from such a hostile environment. The early church faced obstacle after obstacle, both from within and without, and yet the church grew and flourished. Why? Because of sound teaching from God’s Word and as a result of pressure.

God’s Word teaches truth, exposes sin, and guides our lives, while pressure forces us to decide who we are going to be and who we are going to follow. The times in which we are living are uncertain and at times frightening. However, we do not have to be fearful depressed people with no hope. We have TRUE HOPE. We have the hope of the very One who said, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! For I have overcome the world.” We can have joy because the One who has already claimed eternal victory is making us into diamonds which sparkle and shine in the light of His Kingdom.

Let’s refuse to give into despair and fear. Instead let’s ask God to make us bright strong diamonds; to take away that which does not reflect His light, and to grow us strong for Him. Let’s hold tight to His Word; not just put it on our nightstands or pick it up on Sunday morning. Let’s treat it as the life saving, life guiding treasure that it is and use it. Let’s wear out Bibles out as we cling to them, study them, and turn to them.

The usefulness of the Bible was highlighted to me in an amusing way this morning. I was sitting on my deck having my quiet time with the Lord. I was reading about joy in the midst of trials, and felt God speaking to my heart. I held the Bible while I prayed. While praying I heard what sounded like a helicopter buzzing around my head. It was a huge and very determined bee. Instinctively, I used my Bible to swat at it. It took several swats with God’s Word, but the bee flew away and I was left standing there, wielding God’s Word like a sword and feeling victorious.

God’s Word is our weapon for overcoming the world (and apparently the bees:) Let’s pick it up today and ask God to let us SEE Him through the words He had penned for us.

(And watch out for those bees! 😉 )


It takes effort to SEE sometimes

On a day when my heart has been heavy and my soul, troubled, seeing God has taken some serious effort. Oh how I long for Him to peel back the sky and allow me to SEE Him on His white horse, to SEE Him on His throne, to SEE the angels worshipping Him, to SEE His glorious face. How my heart longs to SEE Him as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego did, as Moses did, as Elisha did, as Paul did, and as John did. My soul craves feeling His touch as Jacob did, as Mary did, as Jarius’ daughter did.

Yet, He did not grant those longings today. Instead, He allowed me to SEE His Word, as I wrote a lesson from 2 Timothy 3. In that passage He reminded me that people will always challenge His Word, but that I can, and must, always cling to it as fundamental, unchanging, forever truth because it is His very Words breathed out for mankind.

Jesus did not reach out and touch me with His nail-scarred hand, but He provided a hug from my earthly daddy, the man who led me to the cross so many years ago.

And while I would have loved to have seen heaven peeled back and the throne of God appear, God did not provide such an event. Yet, He allowed me to SEE His goodness as He sent my little girl to me; to crawl up into my lap, look at me with her gorgeous blue eyes and tell me that she loves me. She curled up in my lap, just as I longed to curl up in Jesus’ lap. I comforted her, just as I felt Him comfort me. I whispered in her ear, as I felt Him whisper in mine.

Just because certain voices speak louder, does not silence the quiet voice of truth. I am so grateful to have heard the whisper of truth, and to have seen a glimpse of God’s goodness in the form of a precious little girl who loves her God (and her mama) so much.

Tonight, I don’t know what the future holds, but I am clinging to the One who holds the future!

Let Us SEE Your Glory

“Moses said, please show me your glory.” Exodus 33:18


I started this blog because I want to be purposeful about seeing God in my life. I know He is always with me, and yet, all too often I go about my day without “seeing” Him; without seeing His power and majesty at work in my ordinary life, without seeing His creativity in the world around me, without seeing His love and compassion for the people in this world. The purpose of this blog is to make me think about the ways in which I can SEE God everyday, and then share those glimpses with others.

I have had many discussions with people recently about how we can SEE God in the midst of such chaos and brokenness going on all over the world. It is hard to watch the news and not be overwhelmed with sorrow, depression, anger and fear. Hatred abounds, tolerance for certain groups is preached and mandated, while intolerance for other groups is celebrated, evil seems to be winning, and even nature seems to be spiraling out of control. How can we SEE God in these times?

The answer: We look harder, and we ask Him to improve our vision.

He is here; just as He was with Noah when he was building the ark, just as He was with Lot as his city burned behind him, just as He was with the Israelites in captivity, just as He was with Daniel and his friends in a idol worshipping foreign city, just as He was with His Son as He died to save the very ones beating and crucifying Him, and just as He was with each disciple and apostle who gave their lives to proclaim His Name.

God is always with us, in good times and in bad. He holds our hands as we cry tears of joy, tears of sorrow, and tears of  frustration. He upholds us through our days. God’s presence in our lives is not dependent on our vision of Him. We seek to SEE with human eyes, the God who is spirit. We cannot do this on our own power. We need to ask Him to help us, to enable us, to SEE a glimpse of His glory; just as Moses did so many years ago.

I believe God wants to show us a glimpse of Himself. I believe He wants to give us great spiritual vision. After all, think about the change in Moses once He had seen a glimpse of God’s glory. He was completely changed! Others could look at Him and SEE the difference being in God’s presence had made. Granted, our hair probably won’t instantly turn white, nor our faces begin to glow, but we will have seen a glimpse of the One True God, and others will notice a change in us.

The world needs Christians to SEE Jesus. The world needs us to remember that Jesus is stronger than sin and evil. We cannot go around as if blinded by darkness and fear. We have been called into the Light, and given new eyes. Let’s look with those eyes today and see what God wants us to SEE.

Ask Him to show you a glimpse of Himself. Maybe you will SEE His glory in the sunrise, or a child’s laughter. Maybe you will SEE His protection in some way today, or His provision in your life. Maybe He will make you laugh as you look at one of His funny creations. Maybe you will SEE Him as powerful when you gaze across the ocean. Ask Him to allow you to SEE Him in some way.

And if you do, will you come back here and write about it in the comments below? I would LOVE to know how you have seen God this week! Let’s encourage each other to become more focused on seeing the Light, than on seeing the darkness.

Let Us SEE the Other Doors

“Blessed is the one who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting beside my doors.” Proverbs 8:34


As I sit in my dining room, attempting to write a curriculum lesson, my dog is attempting to dig her way under the closed door between the dining room and kitchen. I have closed the door in an attempt to block out the happy sounds of “My Little Pony” (which are not that helpful when writing). My constant shadow, our sweet golden retriever, Bailey, had been eating when I pulled the door shut, and was highly offended when she discovered a door separated her from me.

First came the whining, followed by a quick yelp, and then she began trying to dig through tile flooring. But here’s the fascinating thing to me: we have two other ways to get into this room – another door just a few feet away, or going upstairs and coming back down right into the room. My dog’s panic, and stubbornness, has caused her to miss the other doors she could easily walk through. She is so set on wanting me to open the door, that she is refusing to consider any other possibilities.

I sat, getting a tad bit frustrated, since listening to a dog whine and dig is about as helpful as the sounds of “My Little Pony” when writing, but then I let myself SEE the truth hidden in the noise: How often do I get so stuck wanting my own way, that I miss the other doors God has opened. I want to bulldoze my way through one, and only one door, instead of being open to His alternatives.

Two specific doors I’ve been trying to dig under this week immediately came to my mind:

I want my kids to stop arguing this summer, so I default to lectures about treating each other with kindness. The lecture door is not working, but there I stand time and time again trying to make it work. What other alternatives is God providing? Am I wiling to look for, and walk through those “other doors” in search of a way to reach their hearts?

I need to finish writing my book, begin my book proposal, and create something called a one-sheet, all while packing for a trip, writing my regular curriculum lessons and helping my little girl say goodbye to her very best friend who is moving away. I have been determined to get it all done, and get it done in a week. I have been banging my head against the door of self-imposed deadlines and trying to dig under a schedule that threatens to bury me. But just for a moment today, I looked up and saw a glimpse of an alternative. The door of “if it gets done, it gets done, and if it doesn’t, it will be ok” was standing open just off in the distance.

My husband was somewhat forced through that door this weekend, as he was working frantically, trying to finish a woodworking project in order to meet a self-imposed deadline. He had been maintaining a crazy pace of office work and workshop work and was exhausted. He was so close to his goal, he could taste it, but then a slip of the hand, and he received a huge gash in his palm. His pace stopped in an instant. His self-imposed deadline no longer had a chance of being met. And you know what? The world did not stopping spinning.

Yes, there are some deadlines which are non-negotiable, but for those that are, maybe the deadlines we have given ourselves, are not always God’s deadlines for us. Maybe we are trying to force our way through a door that has been closed for a reason.

Do you feel as though you are desperate to get through a door that is not budging? Will you ask God to show you an alternative? Maybe there is another open door just a short distance away, or maybe instead of opening another door, God will join you where you are and wait with you on the other side until the time is right for you to enter the door He has opened for you.

Bailey never did come in on her own, but eventually she quieted down and waited for me to come to her, at which point she receive a belly rub and a doggie treat, proving that sometimes good things can still happen when you are waiting in front of a closed door!