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Heart Redeemed | Ezekiel 36:26

#Promise

It was raining, snowing, cloudy, and sunny all within one twenty-four hour period the other day. People joke sometimes that only in Pittsburgh can a person experience all four seasons within one week. It can be very warm and sunny one day, cloudy and rainy the next. Chilly and brisk another day, then snowing the fourth day. I call it weather schizophrenia. We are officially in spring, but it sure takes its time settling in.

Sometimes I wonder if spring will ever get here. During the snowing/raining/sunny times the other day, I was looking for a rainbow. I didn’t find one. Does this mean God doesn’t keep His promises? (Genesis 9:11-17) Just because I couldn’t see physical evidence of His promise, it doesn’t mean that He forgot about me or the promises that He has made, to always make me new, and to always bring me through whatever I am going through.

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Who Are You?

Some of you (ok a lot of you) probably just started singing the song by The Who, or as my kids call it, the CSI song. But that’s not what I’m talking about.

When someone asks “who are you?”, how do you respond? That is a really difficult question at times. I’m a wife, mother, daughter, sister, coworker, and friend. But none of these truly answer the question “who am I?”
At times, I struggle with finding myself. I define myself by who I’m supposed to be, how I’m supposed to act, what I’m supposed to think and do. But none of that is truly who I am.

Thinking through this, and using a resource a friend gave me, these few reminders of who I am stand out.

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Things kids teach me

My kids say some funny things, and sometimes I just have to smile or laugh at how literal they are. But they also have an uncanny ability to get their point across, even if they don’t know the right words.

My older son, who is almost six, had one of these moments this morning. Right before we started to get ready, he mentioned “I’m pretty sure I was almost done watching the rest of my dream.” I thought that was pretty clever, and I was also a little envious. Rarely are my dreams so exciting that I describe myself as watching them. This is the same child who, while watching a commercial involving a vampire, asked “is that a people shark?”. Well, yeah, it kinda is, buddy. Pretty insightful.

In addition to saying cute or funny things, they often say deep things without knowing it. I learn a lot about God, and who He is, from my kids.

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Hi-ho, Hi-ho

Not too long ago, I was watching Snow White on tv. I had not seen that movie for quite some time, since I was young. Watching it again, being much older and with more life experience, I began to see underneath the surface of the story to grab quite a bit of deeper meaning. I began to learn lessons from this kids movie!

For instance, the dwarfs, and Snow White for that matter, “whistle while they work”, or hum or sing. I have noticed over the past couple of weeks that if I’m humming or singing, especially a positive song, my work day does not seem to be as frustrating. I’m in a better mood, and often I get more done because my mind isn’t jumbled with negative thoughts. I have found, at least for myself, that it is virtually impossible to be in a sour mood while humming a positive or upbeat song.

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Desert Prayers

This is my prayer in the desert
when all that’s within me feels dry.
This is my prayer in my hunger and need.
My God is the God who provides.
This is my prayer in the fire
In weakness or trial or pain
There is a faith proved of more worth than gold
So refine me Lord through the flame

I will bring praise
I will bring praise
No weapon formed against me shall remain
I will rejoice
I will declare
God is my victory and He is here

This is my prayer in the battle
When triumph is still on its way
I am a conqueror and co-heir with Christ
So firm on His promise I’ll stand

All of my life, in every season
You are still God, I have a reason to sing
I have a reason to worship

This is my prayer in the harvest
When favor and providence flow
I know I’m filled to be emptied again
The seed I’ve received I will sow

Desert Song – Brooke Fraser ©2008

 

Hillsong United - Across The Earth: Tear Down The Walls

I love this song. It has always been one of my favorites. Every time I sing it, I’m reminded of how God is present no matter what I’m going through. Not only is God present, but He is actively directing everything in our lives.

We all go through seasons in our lives. Sometimes we go through seasons of prosperity, sometimes through seasons when we feel like we are in a desert. No matter what, through every season, we need to be praising God. We should worship God because He’s God, not because He does anything for us. He always brings us through our trials, but often He teaches us, through the hard times, how to trust Him with our entire being. If we learn to worship Him no matter what is going on or what we are going through, it will be a lot easier to persevere through the hard times. By learning to praise God even in the desert, we learn to expectantly wait for God, even when we feel like we can’t see Him. Waiting expectantly doesn’t mean sitting and waiting for God to fix the problem. It means actively seeking to know God more, looking for Him and His hand in every situation, and actively putting your trust in Him that He is taking care of it.

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Looking for a sign

Ever looked so hard for something and can’t find it, to the point where you are frustrated and possibly enraged? Ever find that particular item pretty much right out in the open, then feel a bit silly for getting so worked up? That happened to me today. I was looking for a gift card to a particular store because I needed pants for work. I remember finding it and moving it a few weeks ago, but I couldn’t remember where I put it. It wouldn’t have been such a big deal, except that I was on my final pair of pants, and I did not particularly want to have to wear one pair of pants all week long.

So, I was frustrated with myself because I was wondering why I would move the card to begin with. I looked behind the couch, under it, and all around the living room with no luck. Finally, I looked on top of a box on a bookshelf by our front door, and there it was, pretty much plain as day. I felt pretty silly.

It started me thinking: what if God tries to show me things in my every day life, and I look so hard for some hidden meaning or something hard to find, when really all He wants is for me to notice? He creates a sunrise and sunset every day, trees, flowers, birds etc. And I’m driving around looking for some sign that God is there. He whispers through the wind and I’m trying to hear a loud voice.

What if, instead of asking God where He is, I ask Him to show me ways to notice Him more?

#Perspective

Sometimes, all it takes is a change in perspective.

I had a fairly normal beginning to my day.  I left the house a few minutes later than normal, but not late enough to make me feel rushed to drop off my son and still make it to work on time.  My mother-in-law, who watches my son during the day, makes coffee for me in the morning for when I drop him off.  This has helped me a lot and saved a lot of time in the morning for me.

Today was the same as any other morning.  I prepared my coffee, kissed and hugged Isaiah, and left for work.  I set my coffee cup (gingerly) in the cup holder so I could start the car.  Somehow, when I turned the key, my hand bumped the coffee cup and tipped it over.  It spilled onto the floor board, of course, but also tipped and spilled onto my seat.  Coffee ran down the side of my seat onto the back of my pant leg.  I was ten minutes away from having to start work, and didn’t have a means to obtain clean, dry pants.  So I had to go to work with wet pants.  Not a good start to my day.

These kinds of things happen too often for my comfort, sometimes.  If I’m honest with myself, I’d say that I have a potentially bad start to my day at least twice a week.  However, over the past few days, I’ve really been trying to work on my perspective, and how I see things.

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How I want to live

“Yahweh” by U2 has a lot to say about how we should live our lives, and how physical things shouldn’t matter all that much. Every time I hear that song, I am left with the desire to do something, anything, to make a difference in the world around me. Often, when I think about making a difference, I get overwhelmed, because I think that there isn’t much I can do. I don’t have a lot of dispensable income. A lot of my time is eaten up by work and spending time with my family. But then, after hearing the song, I am reminded not just how blessed I am, but how much I CAN do to make a difference.

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God-willed Heart

So, I’ve started a blog.  I never thought I would do this.  I thought, really, only “emo” people or super trendy techno people would blog.  But then I remembered: I’m pretty emo (those of you who know me know this to be true, and those who don’t know me will soon realize), and I’m married to Mr. Super Techno, so I guess it kind of makes sense.

I have loved writing for as long as I can remember.  I remember sitting in restaurants, filling out the comment and address cards, just for the act of writing.  It always calmed me down.  Some people would doodle; I would write.  I’ve always been able to express myself better through writing.  Maybe that stems from my quiet personality.  Maybe it’s because I can always re-read, edit, and re-write.  Possibly it’s because no one can see if I shed a little tear every once in a while when writing about something emotional.  For whatever reason, communicating through writing has always been easier for me.

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