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God's Gentle Hand

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Only when you create space for your dark parts to speak, and you listen to what they have to say, will they truly begin to lower the volume of their screams. They need to trust that you will listen to them rather than attempting to shut them up. Attempting to shut them up will, in the end, only make their screams louder; begging to be heard. Even in your shame, even in your fear or your darkness, God is bending down, trying to gently lift your head so He can look into your eyes. This is what I believe he may say… "Even in your shame or darkest moments, I still love you, no matter what. Nothing about you is too much to handle. You are beloved. Your shame will be drowned out by my love if only you let me in. I will shine light in those dark places, and you can break free from the chains that...
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Voice

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The loud shrill of a toddler makes me scrunch my face as I resist the reflex to shoot my hands up to my ears. While my ears are being pierced, I can't help but smile, my heart melting. This is the sound of a voice being found, practicing and playing with different tones and volumes, and it is a beautiful thing. Language and vocals are one part in developing a voice, but it's not the whole. It is just the beginning. It seems to me that some are born with their voice fully formed and developed, able to express their needs and wants without any problem. While for others that expression is harder and takes much more work and time to develop. I'm among those who have had to work hard to find my voice. Often being a quiet observer rather than a vocal contributor in life. Part of that is the pers...
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Jonah: On Running

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If you grew up going to church, chances are that you are familiar with the story of Jonah being eaten by a big fish after trying to run away from God. As a kid, the story seemed straight forward: don't run away from God and everything will be fine. Now, studying it and digging deeper into the story I'm seeing how much more complicated it is and how many different elements are at play.Side note: am I the only one who wishes that life could be as simple and straight forward as it seemed as a kid? Everything is so much more complex as an adult. Most things are not black and white like they seemed as a child, there are more than two dimensions to every action and decision someone makes.In Chapter 1, Jonah is called by God to go to the city of Nineveh to preach against the wickedness of the peo...
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Come Alive

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"Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive" (Brené Brown). I love this. Brene Brown has been one of my favorite authors for a long time and her words continue to inspire and challenge me. What if we had a whole world full of people who felt alive and full of life? That would be a stark contrast to the stress and fatigue that is so often felt in the world today. How do we work toward a world that is alive? God created each of us as individuals. We each have a unique set of gifts, experiences, and interests. It is our privilege to be able to discover those gifts. To explore the heart that God gave us and how our experiences have played a role in shaping the personality that we were born with. It is t...
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Come, All Who Are Weary

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The month of May is such an important month. It is mental health awareness month which has led me to think about differing views/ways of addressing mental health in the church. It has also led me to reflect about my own mental health journey.I think some churches/people do a great job at making mental health and struggling part of the discussion, helping everyone know that they are not alone in struggling. Every single person has mental health, whether there is a diagnosable "mental illness" or not, and I believe that to some extent everyone struggles to cope with the pressures of life. Unfortunately, there are also churches/people who contribute to the stigma, shame, and isolation that can accompany mental illness or even struggling in general. Being open with struggle and open to hearing...
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Connection as Breath

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Loneliness is common in this high-tech day in age. We are more "connected" to our phones than we are to the people we see as we scroll. That does not mean that it should be accepted as normal or "just a part of life" that needs to be endured. We were made to be in relationship and community with each other, not isolated, left to deal with life's ups and downs alone. "The Lord God said, 'It is not good for the man to be alone…" (Genesis 2:18 NIV).Being in relationship is more than being in the same vicinity as others. It's about being able to be completely yourself; to show your wounds and vulnerabilities as well as your successes and strengths. To be fully loved and embraced for all of it. I've spent my fair share of time keeping everything to myself and thinking that I need to handle it a...
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Beautifully Broken

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Do you ever feel like a child who needs to be told something many times before it becomes ingrained in your mind? I know I do. Lately, the image of the potter and the clay, from Jeremiah, has kept popping up in my life. First, in my devotional book, then in an online conference, and finally in another book that I am reading, It's Not Supposed To Be This Way by Lysa Terkeurst.I can hear/read something once, think, "Wow, that is a beautiful picture or lesson; I need to apply that to my life in this way or that way," but then I go on with my day and forget what I read that morning. Or sometimes, I completely breeze past what God is trying to tell me and totally miss the "wow" moment the first time around. But when the same image comes up at least three separate times, "Okay, God, yo...
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The Heart Matters Gals

  • Julie

    Julie

    I’m turning 62 this year. I can hardly believe it myself. But, I’ve decided that I no longer want to live comfortably. I want to live with a spirit of adventure like I had in the past. To be unafraid of what’s new or different. I want to remain so open to the Spirit of the living God that his love compels me to go wherever he leads me.
  • LuAnn

    LuAnn

    I am passionate about people leaning into all that Jesus is. You. Me. Us. Journeying together with God. This is my greatest blessing. And now that my kiddos are out on their own, I’m learning to navigate my new normal. And I am finding there is life after little ones and teens after all!
  • Emilie

    Emilie

    I am currently finishing my degree in relational communications and plan to graduate in the spring of 2020!! I am thankful I have had time to grow, heal, appreciate a slower pace of living, and to invest more time into relationships with family, friends, and God. Through this process I am learning what I want to prioritize in my life and figuring out ways to make that happen. Most of all, I am figuring out that life is all about process, taking steps closer to where I want to be and celebrating the little victories but also accepting that there will be setbacks and disappointments along the way.
  • Sally

    Sally

    Sally Cranham is a singer and writer from the UK. She uses biblical narrative and her own experience to write deeply into the heart of the human condition. She currently works as a volunteer for SourceMN as their Arts Outreach Coordinator and has lived as a Residential Volunteer at Source’s anti-trafficking transitional annex alongside women who have come out of the life of prostitution.
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