Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Blessed are...

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kngdom of heaven.  Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted. 

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.  Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. 

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. 

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 

Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 

Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. 

These verses are from the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible in the book of Matthew Chapter 5 verses 3-12. The photos were taken by JennyEBurr, wandering around the family cottage. 

Sometimes I just need the reminder that no matter what happens, God is truly aware and in control.  He is blessing me through all of the circumstances in my life. 

I am truly blessed. 

You are also very blessed. 

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for the many blessings which you have given me. In Jesus' name. Amen

Your turn: Are you feeling blessed today? 

Other By His Grace Posts which may interest you. 

Mending the Broken....Heart
Mending the Broken
Just Right
Unlikely Impossible

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Mending the Broken ....Heart

These photos were taken by JennyEBurr

Continuing with the theme of Mending the Broken I had a broken heart. 

In fact, I was born with one but my family and I were told that it was just a heart murmur. 

It wasn't until I was 26 years old that I learned that it was more. 

At the time, my doctor thought that it would be a good idea to have my heart murmur checked out and in doing so, we learned that I had a hole in my heart. 

A broken heart indeed

I was engaged to be married in a year's time and I was living in St. Catharines, Ontario. Arrangements were made for my surgery to take place at St. Michaels in Toronto. 

I was petrified! 

Not only was I scared of hospitals, because I never had a reason to be in one but I had no idea what the outcome would be. My future....to get married and my immediate future...to have heart surgery were at a crossroad. 

I was told by someone whose son had the same surgery that it was an easy surgery. But this was Me we were talking about and My heart. The thought of having heart surgery didn't sound easy to me.  
I can honestly say that the only way I made it through the experience was through prayer and faith. 

As I talked to God about my fears, he replaced the fears with calm and peace. Others supported me in prayer and I supported them with the calm God had supplied me. 

To prepare for the surgery and to ensure that yes indeed a hole certainly was in my heart I had to have a test. This test was worse than the surgery because at least during the surgery I would be put to sleep. For the test I had to be awake. 

For someone who feared hospitals, this was difficult to endure but necessary. The reason that I had to be awake during the test was so that the hospital staff would know that I was okay and able to respond, as a catheter was sent up an artery to my heart. 

The test confirmed that I did require heart surgery, Atrial Septal Defect (ASD) repair. 

When it was time for the surgery, the hole was large enough that a patch was needed to mend my broken heart. As I was recovering, my mom and my aunt came in to see me. 

They had been warned by the doctor that I would be very pale and this was to be expected after my surgery. When they visited me they couldn't help but smile. I had more colour than I ever had in the past. 

Broken hearts like mine, take a few weeks to heal. I was blessed to be enveloped in God's love and peace and surrounded by friends and family and my husband to be. 

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for bringing your calming presence during my life...through the good times and the times of healing.   In Jesus' name. Amen. 

Your Turn: Have you had an opportunity to ask for God's peace during a time of brokenness? Feel free to share. 

Other By His Grace Posts:

Mending the Broken

Just Right





Monday, August 8, 2016

Mending the Broken

These photos were taken by JennyEBurr 

Mending the Broken

Each of us will experience brokenness in our lives.  

 Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 
 Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted. 
Matthew 5: 3,4 NIV 

Jesus is referring to parts of us that can be broken. 

Our heart
Our mind
Our spirit
Our physical body
Our lives  

How can we be blessed when we are broken?

Aching in pain, grief, despair, guilt, shame or abandonment. 

Weeping until we can no longer shed a tear and our head throbs. 

Wanting to wipe out memories of what once caused our hearts joy but now only leaves us with emptiness and sorrow. 

Utter heartbreak!  Piercing pain! 

It is in our brokenness, 
Our pure emptiness,
When our strength has been fully depleted,
When our self-reliance has run aground,
That we are then ready to ask God for help. 

It doesn't mean that when we reach out to God that "POOF" our circumstances will automatically change.  They may but more than likely they may not. 

What it does mean is that our attitude toward our situation will alter, ever so slightly at first and more so over time.  

It means that instead of returning to our self-reliance we become God-reliant. 

We may experience peace and we will have the assurance that God loves us.  Healing begins when we give God control of our lives and this is a blessing indeed. 

God is in the business of mending the broken. 

I remember feeling broken and empty when my parents passed away.  It seemed as though all joy had fled my life. I would see other mothers and daughters in a store and I felt as though my heart was being ripped out. 

"Why do they still get to have their mom Lord?" I asked. 

I would see grandmothers with their grandchildren and my heart would break for my daughters who would never know their maternal grandmother beyond their ages of five and seven. 

Perhaps if my parent's deaths hadn't been just a couple of weeks apart I may have fared better but it took quite awhile for my brokenness to mend. 

I hurt. I ached. I wept and I hugged my daughters and my husband. 

My siblings and I were supported by our maternal cousins, aunts and uncles during this time, for they too were grieving. 

Grief is brokenness. 

Thankfully, God was very patient with me and gently nudged my healing along. I had two young daughters to care for to help keep me busy. Prayers from friends and family got me through my brokenness. 

Since then, I have been able to be a listener and a comforter for others who have lost a parent.  Being familiar with the heart ache helps those feeling a similar pain. 

Mending the broken. 

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for accepting us in our brokenness, for your love, your patience and healing and for helping us to become more God-reliant than self-reliant.  In Jesus' name I pray. Amen. 

Your turn: Have you been able to come alongside another because of your experience with brokenness? Feel free to leave a comment.

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Other By His Grace Posts of Interest: 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Just Right

Photos were taken around the family cottage by JennyEBurr

Just Right

Too difficult

Too easy

Too long

Too short

Too neat

Too messy

Too new

Too old

Too dark

Too light

Too hot

Too cold

Too early

Too late

Too young

Too old

Too many

Too few

Just right?

Just right!

Puddle reflection photo by JennyEBurr.

I think that I spend too much time waiting for something to be just right before proceeding, just as my poem, Just Right suggests. 

What am I missing by waiting?

What am I gaining? 

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for presenting circumstances which challenge me to be ready because You know when the exact time is just right. 

Your turn: I wonder, if you dear reader also wait for life to be "just right?" Feel free to leave a comment. 

More By His Grace Posts:

Perspective on Time


Good News Bad News