Our hearts beat love and encouragement for women across our globe

Flux

Heart Matters Blog

Journey along with the Heart Matters Gals

Women of the Bible: A Responsive Heart - Lydia

b2ap3_thumbnail_Gathered-by-the-river-640x480

 Nothing is so infectious as example.

Francois de La Rochefoucauld 

Do you have role models in your life? People you look up to? People whose lives, work, attitude or actions encourage and challenge you to believe more fully and to live and love God and others more freely?

Continue reading
  2023 Hits
  0 Comments

Women of the Bible: Wearied of Waiting - Sarah

b2ap3_thumbnail_waiting_for_204980-640x412

We live in a world where faster is usually perceived to be better. We like speed, and we are willing to pay for whatever gadget, gizmo, vehicle, computer or phone that will help us get where we need to go or get done what we need to do. We frequent places that offer fast food, quick results, and speedy service. We choose a checkout line based on what the people have in their shopping carts, or how capable the cashier looks. We find ourselves fuming if we select one line on the entrance ramp and then suddenly realize that we’ve chosen incorrectly. Slow drivers make us crazy. Lines make our blood boil. Having to wait has become increasingly difficult in a world that thrives on speed.  

Sometimes waiting takes on a more serious tone—like waiting to hear the test results, or waiting for the phone to ring after an argument with your friend, or waiting to see if you got the job, passed the test, or made the team. One thing is for sure, none of us like to wait.

What we also know is that waiting, especially prolonged periods of waiting, seems to bring out the worst in us. Frustration builds, impatience takes over and we start to make decisions that might make things happen faster, but may not end up serving us well in the long run—decisions that do not tend to bring God’s best for us.

Continue reading
  1627 Hits
  0 Comments

Women of the Bible: Wave Battered Naomi...Faith-filled Ruth

b2ap3_thumbnail_stormy-ocean-wave-ali-oneal-printscapes

 Death, like ocean waves, surrounded me,
and I was almost swallowed by its flooding waters.

2nd Samuel 22:6  

I have heard it said that trouble comes in threes. I know it's just an old wives tale, but, oddly enough it happens from time-to-time. It's happened to me. How about you? 

Continue reading
  2762 Hits
  0 Comments

Women of the Bible: Seeing Jesus: Anna

dmtas0076

Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.

Psalm 105:4 and 1st Chronicles 16:11 

My legs were sticking to the bleachers as I watched people file into our high school gymnasium. I was eight years old and had come with my parents to see the traveling evangelist. Back in the day, before internet and cable, most anyone coming into our small town was quite an event and the buzz of the town. 

Continue reading
  2070 Hits
  0 Comments

Women of the Bible: God's Cheerleader - Elizabeth

Women of the Bible: God's Cheerleader - Elizabeth

After praying and pining for a child of her own, Elizabeth had long settled it in her heart, now that her childbearing years were far behind her, that she would never experience being a mother.

But, that didn’t stop others from speculation and gossip as to the why’s and wherefores. In that day childlessness was often attributed to sin of some sort on the part of the woman.

The pain-filled stares and the whispers were not lost on Elizabeth all those years. 

Continue reading
  1796 Hits
  0 Comments

A Lenten Meditation

 A little Easter heart preparation - by Macrina Wiederkehr from her book Seasons Of Your Heart

Wherever we may be, we carry with us in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus, too, may always be seen in our body.

2nd Corinthians 4:10 

Continue reading
  2838 Hits
  0 Comments

For my Son—I Gladly Give

b2ap3_thumbnail_220px-ICCE_Fist_Student_Wallkill_bus

Several weeks ago I learned that a young girl from my community was in a coma after losing control of her car on one of the icy streets nearby. Her family waits by her bedside, hoping she would awaken from a coma that threatens to steal her life. As a parent, as a Mom, I have to admit…this story has wrecked me. 

I remember, as a young single woman, telling my father that I wasn’t sure I wanted children. He said, with teary eyes, that I would never understand the depth of love that he had for me until I had my own child. I have to admit, as many of us often do, that my father was actually right… so right in fact, that I repeat this story to my own children, hoping they will also understand the deep love that I feel for them.

Each afternoon, I walk to the end of our long driveway where I wait for my young son to get off the school bus. Although he pleads with me to “let him walk the driveway alone,” I can’t seem to make myself do it. 

Continue reading
  1926 Hits
  0 Comments

Sleep or Strength?

b2ap3_thumbnail_95753227

As I am reading through the gospels with my children during this Lenten season, I am struck once more by how often we read about Jesus making time to get away and talk with God. Mark records Jesus getting up in the morning, while it was still dark, to find a solitary place where he prayed. Matthew records Jesus dismissing his disciples and heading up to a mountainside where he could be alone with God. Luke writes how Jesus spent the entire night praying, calling out to God. Luke records Jesus crying out to God in prayer on the eve of his crucifixion. And when Jesus did that, Luke writes that an angel from heaven “appeared to him and strengthened him” (Luke 22: 43). While Jesus was crying out to God in the garden, his disciples were nearby. Although he’d asked them to pray, they were sleeping.

As I closed the book for the night, tucked in my boys and headed off to my own bed, I began to wonder… how often, at the end of the day, I choose sleep over prayer. I sleep as a way to escape the problems of the day rather than cry out to God, as a way to gain strength to face those same problems.

I mentioned in my previous post that rest is essential to building relationship, with God and with others. Rest restores our soul and when we give God our time, he replenishes us. In the Garden, on the night Jesus was betrayed, we see God once again offering something Jesus desperately needs. As a response to Jesus’ prayer, as a loving response to Jesus’ cry for help, God, gives Jesus strength.  

Continue reading
  1546 Hits
  0 Comments

For the Sake of Our Children

b2ap3_thumbnail_humpty-dumpty-sm-2-512x512

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall

Humpty Dumpty had a great fall

All the Kings horses and all the Kings men

Continue reading
  1990 Hits
  0 Comments

What is love?

RedGlassHeartIM

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”

C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

“Dare to love and to be a real friend. The love you give and receive is a reality that will lead you closer and closer to God as well as those whom God has given you to love.”

Continue reading
  3711 Hits
  0 Comments

Rest for Your Soul

b2ap3_thumbnail_TN_cloud_computing_technology_02

I tend to do my best writing and my best thinking in the early part of the day. After a good night’s sleep, my morning time with God and a short workout, my body is rested, my mind is fresh, and my spiritual bucket is full. When time eludes me and things get busy, as they often do, one of those areas always seems to suffer. I might skip a few workouts because I’m approaching a deadline and feel like I need to use that hour to work. Or my time with God gets shortened or skipped entirely because I’m crafting a message or preparing for an interview. Or worse yet, I open up my email before I open up my Bible. That’s always a sure sign that my day is not going to start out—or end—well. While technology allows me more access to God’s Word with electronic Bibles, daily devotions sent to my in-box, and social media that can connect me with prayer requests from others, starting my day in that way seems to drain me quickly.

Just one generation ago, sociologists were predicting that with technology, Americans would work far more effectively. Access to information, they said, would allow us to complete their work at such an accelerated speed that we would actually have too much spare time. 

Do you have too much spare time? 

Continue reading
  1590 Hits
  0 Comments

A Sanctuary

b2ap3_thumbnail_Nikon-538-640x640

You are God’s sanctuary and God’s Spirit lives in you.

1st Corinthians 3:19  

I love old churches and cathedrals. 

Continue reading
  2607 Hits
  0 Comments

Grumpy

b2ap3_thumbnail_Grumpy2-379x640

Then deem it not an idle thing

A pleasant word to speak;

The face you wear, the thought you bring

Continue reading
  1899 Hits
  0 Comments

Worry Stew

b2ap3_thumbnail_cauldron

Drag your thoughts away from your troubles... by the ears, by the heels, or any other way you can manage it.

Mark Twain 

Trust is not a passive state of mind. It is a vigorous act of the soul by which we choose to lay hold on the promises of God and cling to them despite the adversity that at times seeks to overwhelm us.

Continue reading
Recent comment in this post
Guest — Lisa
Such a simple principle and yet it seems so hard. As you pointed out, it is an active role we must take. Trust. Faith. Focus. It's... Read More
Wednesday, 14 January 2015 01:32
  1832 Hits
  1 Comment

Sketches

b2ap3_thumbnail_Drawing-Pads

A few years back I picked up a sketchbook and began what I call ‘chicken-scratching.’ My little doodles are nothing to write home about, but, I do so enjoy it. I have one little book filled with drawings of flowers and leaves. But, while staying up in the woods at the prayer cabin last November, I decided to try my hand at something a bit more difficult.

After trekking through the woods looking for just the right subjects to try my hand at, I shot a few photos and then headed back to the cabin to give it a go.  

Recently I showed my sketch to a friend of mine. She couldn’t make out what in the world it was. That made me laugh out loud! “I guess you’re not looking at the next van Gogh, then,” I said with a wink.  

Continue reading
  1999 Hits
  0 Comments

God's Jetstream

b2ap3_thumbnail_496117_ca87573ccf_z

I was having coffee with a friend just before the new year was to begin. As is typical for this time of year, we were discussing some goals that we both had for 2015. There were the usual suspects… getting in shape, being better about making time for friends, being on time for an appointment (I was 6 minutes late to coffee that day… ugh.) But then my friend threw out a new one. “I’d like to spend time this year seeking God’s will for my life, and actually doing it,” she said. It caught me by surprise, how she stated this with such intention, as if there were this package somewhere in her house with a big bow on it, a package that she’s walked by many times in the preceding days, months, and years, but for whatever reason, had chosen not to open. And when she did open up this package, there it would be, beneath layers of tissue paper—her God-ordained purpose—laid out perfectly and there for the taking. 

If only it were that simple, seeking and finding God’s will for our lives. Hundreds of books have been written on the subject. My personal favorites are Henry Blackaby’s Experiencing God, and Garry Friesan’s Decision Making and the Will of God. Both are good reads if you are seeking the face of God. Both helped me understand how finding God’s will for my life had less to do with focusing on myself and what I was to do and more to do with focusing on Him and what He was already doing. 

I am fascinated by the concept of “finding” God’s will for our lives. Many people tend to believe that finding God’s will is like looking for buried treasure, that it’s out there somewhere but I have yet to put my finger on exactly where it is or what it is. “I’ll know it when I find it,” they muse, “but God’s not showing it to me just yet.” Some believe that if we could just get a hint as to where it’s buried, maybe a trail of bread or a column of smoke rising up from its burial spot could lead us to where it is that our purpose in life is buried. Perhaps God could send a lightning strike to guide me to that X. Then I would know, then I could do! 

Continue reading
  1703 Hits
  0 Comments

A Conspiracy of Love

b2ap3_thumbnail_nativity

The birth of the baby Jesus stands as the most significant event in all history, because it has meant the pouring into a sick world the healing medicine of love which has transformed all manner of hearts for almost two thousand years... Underneath all the bulging bundles is this beating Christmas heart.

George Matthew Adams, The Christmas Heart 

 “Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.”

Continue reading
  2936 Hits
  0 Comments

A Mom's Thankfulness

b2ap3_thumbnail_HandTurkey

Thanksgiving. That blessed time of year when we stop all of our activity, gather with family and friends and recount all of our many, many blessings. We at Heart Matters find ourselves overflowing with joy and gratitude this year. Thank you dearest readers for your words of encouragement! Please keep them coming! We love to hear from you!

We are also grateful for the wonderful love gifts God sprinkles in our lives. His latest sprinkle is the addition of Jo Bender to our writing team! We just know you're going to love her as much as we do!  

From Jo's heart to yours... 

Continue reading
  1906 Hits
  0 Comments

Be The YOU God Made You To Be!

b2ap3_thumbnail_square_peg_in_round_hole_2-500x375

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made...

Psalm 139:13 

I wish that I was quick-thinking, or had a quick wit, or was just plain quick. I’m afraid I am a bit of a plodder. More turtle than hare. Slow, but, steady. Studious. Strategic. Prefer a good book to a big crowd. Always have...and at nearly 57 years of age...probably always will. 

Continue reading
  2487 Hits
  0 Comments

Listening to the Voice of Fear

b2ap3_thumbnail_flavia_alessandra_actress_hanging_from_cliff-2

13 2Moses sent out men to explore the land of Canaan... 25after exploring the land for forty days, the men returned. They reported to the whole community what they had seen and showed them the fruit they had taken from the land. 27This was their report: “We entered the land you sent us to explore, and it is indeed a bountiful country—a land flowing with milk and honey. Here is the kind of fruit it produces. 28But...the people living there are powerful, and their towns are large and fortified!

30 Caleb tried to quiet the murmur amongst the people saying, “We must go...because we are more than able to do it!" 31But the other men who had explored the land with him disagreed. “We can’t go..." 32So they began spreading this bad report: The land we traveled through and explored will devour anyone who goes to live there. 33We even saw giants there.”

14 1Then the whole community began weeping aloud, and they cried all night. 2Their voices rose in a great chorus of protest...

Continue reading
  2086 Hits
  0 Comments

Passion

b2ap3_thumbnail_melissa-running1

Whatever you do, do it with all your heart for the Lord...

Colossians 3:23 

What are you really passionate about? How would you describe the feeling you have when you are living out your passion?  

Continue reading
Recent Comments
Guest — Laura Bonne
I needed that "kick" today. Thank you, Julie.
Tuesday, 28 October 2014 08:27
Julie Miller
Oh Laura! Isn't it amazingly wonderful how God gives us just what we need? Hugs to you!
Friday, 31 October 2014 11:48
  2424 Hits
  2 Comments

Distracted

miadaisy-2

We arrive at the field. Their noses are urgently pressed to the window. I open the car door and Mia goes flying out to the left, Daisy to the right. Both are hot onto the scent of….who knows what. 

To my dogs, this place is heaven. These acres of gorgeous rolling meadows with wide paths mowed out, curving to the left and then gently flowing right. Here Mia and Daisy get to be what they were born to do: hunt. 

So Mia bounds like a deer—all 100 pounds—through the tall grass off the mowed path, looking to unearth any unsuspecting birds, running crazy patterns just to release her energy. When she flushes out pheasants or other wild fowl and they take flight, she holds her head a little higher, her gait becomes a little faster, and her tail wags a little more merrily. Yes, she is the pheasant warrior.

Continue reading
Tags:
  1966 Hits
  0 Comments

Muddied Waters

b2ap3_thumbnail_DSCN0782-480x640

In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it. You said, ‘No, I will flee!’ (I’ve got places to go and people to see!)

Yet the Lord still waits for you to come to him so he can show you his love...

Blessed are all who wait for him!

Continue reading
  2120 Hits
  0 Comments

Chloe

IMG_4166-362x479

“Such short little lives our pets have to spend with us, and they spend most of it waiting for us to come home each day. It is amazing how much love and laughter they bring into our lives and even how much closer we become with each other because of them.”

Marley and Me: Life and Love With the World's Worst Dog

John Grogan

Continue reading
Recent comment in this post
Guest — Lynn
What a touching story LuAnn ! Thanks for penning it and letting us nod our head yes to all you state about our furry friends!... Read More
Thursday, 09 October 2014 14:11
  1642 Hits
  1 Comment

Forgetful Jones

b2ap3_thumbnail_81fd1-forgetfuljones-640x593

 My heart...is full of leaks.

My memory has no retention,

I forget so easily the lessons learned,

Continue reading
Recent Comments
Guest — Sherry Carter
Forgetful Jones - I forgot about him from my Sesame Street watching days. I forget everything. I forget to do things and, occasio... Read More
Monday, 06 October 2014 17:35
Julie Miller
So good to know that I am not the only Forgetful Jones out there Sherry! ... Read More
Monday, 06 October 2014 18:16
  3035 Hits
  2 Comments

Subscribe to Heart Matters

Subscribe to Our Blog

Our Latest Book

We Heart Matters Publishing gals care about women. Their joys. Their struggles. Their everyday, ordinary lives. We write from those very same places hoping to uplift, challenge and encourage your soul and deepen your faith.

Heart Matters Publishing Co.

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.
  • 1