FAITH

It wasn’t really raining, but it had been all day long. The sky was completely gray, but it was a light gray so as to let a percentage of sun shine through the clouds. 45%, I would say.

close up photo of pampas grass
Photo by Andrea Garibay on Pexels.com

So it was something like this, except one shade grayer. Where it still felt early enough in the day, and it was a cool dusk. My smartphone was at home, on my bedside table, and I was glad to be accompanied by only God and nature.

It felt good just to be out there, walking. Taking in all of the scenery. And pondering.

Who am I? What type of woman am I becoming? Someone whose company I would wish to seek?

Have I grown colder, or warmer?

Rougher, or softer?

More kind or less.

More patient? Or less.

Has pressure made me into more of a diamond, or a broken vessel?

I want to be on a boat and hear the sound of the waves lapping up onto the sides. I want to see sea foam and watch it bubble onto land with the flow and quickly disappear into the sand. It’s so cliché but I love watching the water form a circle around my feet when the waves break on the shore. I taste the salty air in my mouth and feel a breeze circling around my head. I’ll be back to you soon.

And I began singing. Prayers, mostly. Giving thanks for all that I saw around me. And prayers for my feet and legs; the ability to walk. My mouth, my voice. I gave thanks for simple things that are usually subconscious; realizing that it was only by the grace of the Giver of these gifts that I was blessed with them.

Lord, I thank you that not only do You have my life in your hands, but You gave me my life. Now I ask you for Your strength to walk this life uprightly. To not grow weary of doing good works. To keep a perspective much bigger than myself. To look into the unseen, and see with Your eyes.

For we walk by faith, not by sight.

2 Corinthians 5:7

Help my spirit worship You in every situation. Help me listen to Your voice and not miss a beat of what You would have me to do.

xxx

V

At Peace

I am at peace. Because I am in Peace. You are Peace. The Prince of Peace.

Thank you for protecting me from every storm.

Thank you for sustaining me even during the drought. Even during the heat. I will not fear the terror of night. I will not fear the arrow that flies by day. I will not fear the pestilence.

I find shade and refuge in your shadow, O Lord.

You are my hope. You are my foundation. You are my refuge. I hide myself in the shadow underneath your wing. Thank you for caring for me and for loving me. You are the God Who Sees.

You are the deliverer. You have given me Life.

You are Holy and mighty. You are magnificent, perfect and pure.

You are caring and generous. You are the great provider, sustainer and lover of my soul.

You can bear fruit in the desert places and even make water come out of a rock. Nothing is impossible for you <3

Thank you for always allowing my faith to be tested and for making me resilient to all of the unknowns around me. Why would I focus on the unknowns when the “knowns”, the truths about you are so powerful, life giving and refreshing?

You are a breath of fresh air that we are invited to breath over and over again. You are who upholds us. You hold us together. You hold all of our cells together.

Your beautiful creation is a testament to your intelligence, artistry and magnificence.

You are in absolute perfect control and I thank you Lord for being the guide of my life. My light. You are my light. The light that guides my feet. I absolutely need you and simply ask you to direct my thoughts. Holy Spirit, help me take my thoughts captive and make them obedient to you.

Help me not dwell on the what-ifs and the disappointments, the what-could’ve-beens. You are enough and you have never failed me yet.

Your promise still stands. All of your promises still stand because you are faithful to your word. You are who you say you are and you have never changed. The same God forever and always, and we can count on you to be who you say you are.

Thank God for these truths in Christ Jesus, Amen!

Happy Monday everyone 🙂

xxx

V

Trusting You

Trusting you… What exactly does this mean?

Knowing that you’ll follow through and do what you’d say you were going to do.

Depending on you. Because you are dependable.

Leaving it to you, because you’ll get it done.

I say that I trust you with my tongue. Now time to practice that.

I give you my life.

I give you my love.

I give you my heart.

I give you my trust.

I’ll give you my time… I’ll wait before you.

Only teach me how to trust you.

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I guess this means I don’t have to worry about gas prices.

I don’t have to worry about grocery prices.

I don’t have to worry about being provided for in any way.

I don’t have to worry about success.

I don’t have to worry about moving up in the world.

I don’t have to worry about people I can’t control.

I don’t have to worry.

At all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It’s just about obedience. Trust and obey, for there’s NO other way.

<3

xxx

V

Grateful

I look around and see your provision. Everything I see has been given to me! Thank you for filling my life with so much goodness.

Your goodness pours out like sweet honeysuckle

Knowing you is so sweet. Knowing the depth of your love and care and provision is incredible. It’s one thing to say the truth with words; it’s another to believe it in one’s heart.

You are who you say you are.

Creator

What an artist… what a story-teller. An author. What a dreamer, a visionary, a poet. What a romantic. A comedian. An inspirer. You give hope and inspiration to everyone near to you because you embody hope.

I think back to before I knew you and consider the direction of my life. I’m not sure what exactly I was striving for or why, but it probably had to do with acceptance. I wanted acceptance and I wanted love. But I was looking for it from people. And now I know where it’s found.

You are love. Love is found in you.

We love because you first loved us.

I can’t quite put my finger on why. Why you love us. But I know partially. It’s because you created us, and you call us your children. You want to pour yourself out before us and give us yourself. You already fully did it once, a long many years ago. But I find that you are constantly pouring yourself out, in goodness, love and mercy.

I love the life I am living with you. You fight my battles through me. I only walk forward in obedience. You’ve taught me a lot, and I know I have so much more to learn. But I have learned this:

-to listen for your voice

-to give you the glory

-to start my sentences with “but God…”

because I know these to be true:

-you really do know everything, see everything, and are sovereign over everything

-you really do work all things together for my good

-you really do love and care about me… even when it may not seem like it to the world. If my circumstances are troublesome. It’s easy for the world to say “where is your God now?”

But I know where you are. I know that you’re with me. And NOTHING can separate me from your love.

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Romans 8:38-39

And thank you for this beautiful human <3

Have an amazing day!!!!!!!!!! <3

xxx

V

Spring is in the air

It’s only February 10, but it truly feels like Spring is in the air!

Maybe the fragrance and beauty of these flowers my husband brought me are influencing me? 🙂

I have never been so excited for Springtime in all my life. I’m from northeastern USA where spring is wet and muddy. Snow and ice are melting, and the ground is soft and soggy. It’s still cold and maybe snowy until mid-late April, and sometimes May! But not here in Virginia. Even today, February 10, the weather is warming up to 62 degrees and it’s sunny! Hooray! Just what I needed to lift my mind, body and spirit ^_^ <3

I found this on a list of suggested Valentine’s Day gifts for your SO. LOL I don’t know who would buy this lamp, but it made me laugh a lot. Thanks Retro Den <3

Only a few days til Valentine’s Day 2022! It’ll be my first V-Day as a MARRIED WOMAN! I can’t believe that in just a couple of weeks we’ll have been married for 5 months already! Love is in the air <3 <3 <3 and I will venture to say that my husband is the sweetest and bestest! 😀 Lord, thank you for giving me such a good one 🙂

9/26/21 – I love this picture so much! <3

Life doesn’t have to be so hard. It’s when we focus on the mountains (obstacles/problems) in our life instead of focusing on the One who created the mountains.

Lord God Almighty, I am so grateful to know you and better yet, be known by You. You know everything about me and still love me more than I can understand. I am so thankful for your grace, mercy, provision, and Faithfulness. Thank you for being faithful when I can’t be. Thank you for sustaining me and remaining true to Your promises. Thank you for your patience and understanding and your long suffering. Thank you also for your justice and your might. You are so good, Lord. So holy, holy, holy. There is no one like You, O Lord. You are completely set apart and above all, in all and through all. Thank you for creating me and my family and friends and loved ones, and for delighting to reveal your glory to us in your creation and through our life circumstances. Thank you for teaching me how to suffer well, how to wait on You and how to listen to Your voice. Taste and see that the Lord is good. And I have tasted Lord. Better is one day in your courts, than thousands elsewhere. And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever, thanks to your gracious gift of faith, that was so undeserved. Help me not stray from your presence O Lord. Fill me afresh with the Holy Spirit today and fuel the fire of the joy of my salvation. Help me live for you alone today, Oh Lord. In the precious and mighty name of Jesus, Amen.

xxx

<3

V

“I can’t do it”

I’m positive that we all have a long list of things that we can’t do.

It’s tempting to focus on this list, especially when it affects us and our lives directly.

For example, sometimes I can’t walk down the stairs normally because my knee swells up. It’s a little bit tempting to throw myself a pity party or allow myself to become angry or discouraged by my limitation.

The reality is, my knee is in this state at this time and I must bear the consequences. It won’t do me much good to sit around and contemplate my limitations, oft becoming more and more discouraged.

It’s always healthier to focus on what we can do.

I can encourage people. Instead of sitting around focusing on being discouraged the Lord used me to encourage somebody. It went like this:

She needed a hug. It was painted into her expressions and the way her shoulders slumped. “Well, back to work I go”. Eeyore had taken over her body and a full-size donkey-of-a-woman stood in her place; on hind legs.

Give her a hug was the nudge that I felt from el Señor, Holy Spirit.

I hesitated and when she left the room I mentioned that I thought I should have hugged her to the other person in the room.

“Oh, yes! Definitely hug her!” was her response. So I decided to hug her when I left.

A few minutes later I walked upstairs and said “hey, I just wanted to give you a hug!”

Within a couple minutes she was crying and saying how encouraged she felt. I felt the presence of the Lord very strongly and we were both laughing and ministering to each other for over an hour.

I felt the joy of the Lord so strongly during that hour of fellowship. She thanked me for “being obedient to the Holy Spirit” and confessed that she had felt spiritually down and dark all weekend. By the time our conversation was over, her affect had changed completely. It was as though life had been breathed into her. That’s what encouragement is.

Don’t have a VW bug, but a VW mug is pretty cool 😛

It’s so tempting to focus on ourselves constantly. Which, in my opinion, is pretty depressing. A better place to enlist my focus is on the Maker of all things. The Father of all, Creator of All, Ultimate Guide, Wise King and Lover of my soul. Wow. What a better thing to be focused on! I can’t think of anything better.

Adrian Rogers once said “to rejoice is a choice”. So choose joy. The best way to do this is to keep your eyes and ears open for the leading of Jesus. God doesn’t look for perfect people to carry out His work. In fact, there is no one perfect but God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. God has always used the fools to shame the wise.

So give Him the glory today!!!!!!!!!!!!

<3

xxx

Like this post if it encouraged you! Leave a comment below saying how God used you when you didn’t feel fit to be used.

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People remember

kind acts.

Kind acts go a long, long way. This morning I was reminded of when some random people lent me and my BFF their $650 tent in the woods when we were backpacking the John Muir Trail in California in 2014. These two folks were observing our ginormous 8 pound, 8-person tent that the two of us were carting around in our already heavy backpacks and made a suggestion.

“Send your tent home and we’ll have our friend bring you guys a lighter tent when we meet up with him at the next food resupply in two days.”

We were so surprised and thankful for their offer! We agreed and borrowed their tent.

May be an image of 2 people and people smiling

It weighed only 14 oz and was perfect for the two of us. Okay, maybe a leeeeeeeeetle cozy ;-P

But we were so thankful to Jeanine and Craig. Who does that?

My BFF and I concluded that people over 10k feet are generally pretty cool.

I told this story to a new friend and she told me that it sounds like there is a “brotherhood” among the trail family. I thought that was a perfect description. But moreso, we will never forget their kindness.

To think that a single act of kindness would be forever engrained into our memories is a beautiful, powerful thing. It’s been 7 years since they lent us that tent, and the memory is still as kind and wonderful as when it first occurred.

Deep-seated, selfless kindness is an act of love. Real love. With no hidden agenda. No strings attached. No tit for tat. And it is long lasting.

I want to remember this! And pay it forward.

What a sweet memory. That still lives in my mind <3

Thanks Jeanine and Craig 🙂

xxx

V

blue and white

pots and plants and wooden floors

cat and sand and double doors

construction and cords

seed and birds

dogs walking people outside

a fluffy duvet, purplish gray

cords and crumbs and dog hair

instant coffee and pill boxes

garden hose and hammock swinging

newspaper in the driveway

clock is ticking

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selfie

Every once in a while I look around and take it all in. Breathe it all in.

I sit and wait and breathe and listen.

Exist. Be.

Just be.

“Just be Velvet” is the best advice I’ve ever gotten. Who I am, where I am, right now.

Just breathe and just be!

All we know that we have is right now, today!

xxx

Love you all!

V

According to plan…

lol things definitely have not gone according to the plan. But there’s something very fun and freeing about living in the unknown. I have to admit, I enjoy not being in charge. Well, let’s put it this way, I enjoy God being in charge.

I enjoy and can rest in the Fact that God drives the car and I’m in the passenger seat. He carries my load. I don’t have to. He does give me a plate though; with the following items on the plate:

(I’m going to keep this very vague):

Take care of the people that I put on your path, daughter. And do enjoy them 🙂

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It’s very simple, actually. Do what God has called you to do. Even when it’s hard. We all have desires of our hearts and we have aspirations etc. but we have to simply do what God has called us to do. Go where God has called us to go. Sometimes I wonder what it is that God would have me to do but it is so so soooo easy to find out what that is. This is how you do it:

Sunday Selfie 😛
  1. Stop what I’m doing (or when I’ve just finished what I had been doing, stop for a moment) and:
  2. Acknowledge God’s presence. Say “hello” and breathe, and thank God for this moment and this day, and:
  3. Ask for His direction.
  4. Ask for strength to complete whatever it is that I am called to do.
I’m spoiled.

Sometimes this means giving up what I had originally planned. But what is means most of the time is that God enables me to do whatever it is that He puts on my heart to do. He is our Father, and He answers our prayers when we asks. Yes, this includes long-term prayers and big prayers, but it also means simple every day prayers that God answers to help us re-focus and be re-charged.

God’s plan is the only plan I want to follow. And He will continually lead us to follow His plan as we enter His presence, seek His face, listen to His voice and obey.

Lord, wow. Just, wow. I trust you. I trust you. I trust your promises. I believe you. I think I’m finally starting to actually believe your promises. Your promises that you actually do take care of me. That you actually do provide ALL that I need. ALL!!! Everything!!!!!!!!! Peace, rest, provision, fun, celebrations, joy, family, friends…. rest…. Life. Life to the full. Thank you Lord for sharing this full life with me <3 Te amo <3 And thank you for helping me trust in Your plans and be willing to be flexible. I just LOVE how you surprise me with SO many good things each and every day. You know what I like and you know what I love and I trust you!!! With all my heart <3 And I am learning to choose to trust you each and every day. Thank you for your great and wonderful ongoing plan!

xxx

V