A Time to Mourn and a Time to Dance.

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“A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance…” Ecclesiastes‬ ‭3:4‬ ‭NIV‬‬

As a child, I spent countless hours at our family’s country house, ‘La Morita’. We would travel there every weekend with relatives and friends. The adults would play cards, dominoes or bingo in the evenings after a tasty home-made meal. All of the children would laugh often when sharing stories at the hammocks zone, play Marco Polo at the pool, ride horses in town or hike the mountains at sunrise.

I certainly miss ‘La Morita’. Those memorable times were filled with joy. I don’t remember experiencing any sadness then. Our families were united, loved one another, and were energized by fellowship, outdoor activities and mesmerized by the beauty of nature.

As I grew older, I soon realized life was not ‘picture perfect’. There are moments filled with contentment and other times filled with great distress, anger, emotional pain, grief and/or sorrow.

God promised to be right there with us thru it all – the fun, the boring, the best, the ugly and the worst times.

The Lord is our Refuge. He will never leave us nor forsake us. That is His promise.

When dad passed away, mom relocated back to our home country in South America. Since then, I have only seen her once. We don’t get to walk at the local park nor shop at ‘Sawgrass Mills’ Shopping Center anymore. It has been over two years since I last had a meal with mom at the table. I miss her voice, enthusiasm and most importantly her presence. I wish I could sit with you right now and share the details of my next trip to Florida. The truth is I may never be able to visit mom again and this is a reality I have recently come to terms with. I am in a season of loss, grief and sorrow indeed. It is time to weep, mourn and embrace the loss of mom’s current living situation, geographical distance and deteriorating health conditions.

Are you grieving at this moment, my friend? Are you reminiscing on ‘how’ your past circumstances are quite different than todays? Perhaps, you are facing an ‘unexpected’ loss and you are quite overwhelmed with the intensity and impact of the sudden challenge.

Do not be dismayed or broken-hearted, my friend.

We are in a season of grief but His mercies are new every morning. Today is filled with opportunities for us to briefly reminisce about the past then spend the rest of the time counting our blessings. We have been blessed for all the countless memories and unforgettable moments with our loved ones. They have left their ‘forever’ fingerprints on our minds, hearts and souls. My heart rejoices every time I think of mom.

Let us not dwell on the emotional distress or pain of our recent past. Let us acknowledge our loss, lament and journal our painful thoughts until we are comforted by His promises. Our Lord listens to our melancholic cries and painful thoughts and He comforts our shattered hearts over time.

We will dance once again as soon as our hearts are healed and restored.

Lord, there are so many seasons in our lives and some are difficult to process and get thru. I know we may be in the midst of a tough season. As we lament our losses, we know you are comforting us with your faithfulness, morning mercies and compassion … You hear all of our cries and wipe our tears away. You heal our brokenness and bind our deep wounds. You are our only Hope and Refuge. Turn the gaze of our hearts towards the beauty of all of your promises and fill our hearts with never-ending Hope.

Lord, I’m willing to embrace the new season in life. Spring is here! Flowers are blooming. I want to rejoice once again. Jesus, hold my hand and come with me and waltz together at the dance floor.

In Jesus’ name we boldly pray, Amen.

“You, LORD, hear the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry,” Psalm‬ ‭10:17‬ ‭NIV

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm‬ ‭147:3‬ ‭NIV

“The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.” Psalm‬ ‭9:9‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.” Psalm‬ ‭27:4‬ ‭NIV

Photo courtesy: Jared Weiss @ Splasher

His Sabbath

“So the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts (inhabitants). And by the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested (ceased) on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. So God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it [as His own, that is, set it apart as holy from other days], because in it He rested from all His work which He had created and done.” GENESIS‬ ‭2:1-3‬ ‭AMP‬‬

“Remember the Sabbath (seventh) day to keep it holy (set apart, dedicated to God). Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath [a day of rest dedicated] to the LORD your God; on that day you shall not do any work, you or your son, or your daughter, or your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock or the temporary resident (foreigner) who stays within your [city] gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and everything that is in them, and He rested (ceased) on the seventh day. That is why the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy [that is, set it apart for His purposes].” EXODUS‬ ‭20:8-11‬ ‭AMP‬‬

“Now to Him who is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly more than all that we dare ask or think [infinitely beyond our greatest prayers, hopes, or dreams], according to His power that is at work within us,” EPHESIANS‬ ‭3:20‬ ‭AMP‬‬

Lord, I work diligently in everything I do. Thanks for daily stamina, vitality and focus. Help me back off from task demands and relax a bit so I may only worship You and enjoy life with loved ones.

Teach me how to rest on a regular basis and decompress away from all of my duties. I want to honor You by observing the sabbath day, rely on Your promises and refresh my soul.

In Jesus’ name I courageously pray,

Amen.

Photo courtesy: Eli DeFaria at UnSplash

120 Days Challenge in the Book of Psalms

Friends,

I would like to extend an invitation for the upcoming 120 days Challenge starting on September 1❣️

As you may already know, I love the book of Psalms.

We will complete the entire book of Psalms, 150 chapters, this coming Fall.

Every year during the Holiday season, I’m in touch with personal losses, regrets, loneliness, and grief so I have decided to establish a new tradition this year! I want to read and journal the book of Psalms every Holiday season just like I did when the Lord rescued me from the pit of darkness.

In Christ, there is victory and He is our ABBA Father, Refuge and He is our only Soulmate.

Join our challenge today…

I would love for all of you to come along side of me every year.

We will begin the #120daysBookofPsalmsChallenge on Sunday, September 01, as I mentioned earlier.

“Read the Book of Psalms, 1-2 chapter(s) a day”

Mondays thru Fridays, one chapter a day.

Saturdays & Sundays, two chapters a day.

We will be reading one or two chapters a day, inscribing the verse in 1-2 translations, writing down our observations, inscribing the cross references of the selected verse and journaling daily including Sundays for 120 days.

Yes, it will be quite intense BUT it will be quite enriching… the Holy Spirit will embrace our souls one day at a time.

I will share a fact or two from the commentary BE and if you read a commentary on your own, you are welcome to share with the group. You will then earn an extra ticket to enter the general drawing.

If you choose color coding, you will also earn an extra ticket for the general drawing.

You will enter the general drawing for the following:

* for each day you journal and share,

* extra ticket for sharing commentary,

* extra ticket for color Coding.

The Grand Prize winner of the #120daysBookofPsalmsChallenge will obtain the entire Bible Reading Journal Series for 2020 or seven volumes of your choice in case you want to choose one or two of your favorites, a retail value of $80.00 (this is for the person who journals for 120 days)

Note, if there are more than one winner, these winners will be part of a “special” drawing.

For the second winner prize:

The winner will receive the #120 days challenge tote.

For the third winner prize:

The next 3 winners of the “general“ drawing will win a pencil case, “Rise Up and Journal.”

Who’s counting for the #120daysChallenge?! I am.

To purchase your ’special Edition’ journal today, go to this link:

The Bible Reading Journal Series: The Book of Psalms. Special Edition. https://www.amazon.com/dp/107530251X/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_uH2uDb1717R1F

To join the accountability FB closed group for women, go to this link now:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/592519521194570/?ref=share

If you have any question(s), do not hesitate to email me directly.

Let us all rise up and Journal His Word one day at a time.

 

 

His Holy Spirit.

“Turn to my reproof,
Behold, I will pour out my spirit on you;
I will make my words known to you.” Proverbs 1:23 NASB

“It will come about after this that I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind;
And your sons and daughters will prophesy, 
Your old men will dream dreams,
Your young men will see visions.” Joel 2:28 NASB

“But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; For the Spirit was not yet given because Jesus was not yet glorified.” John 7:39 NASB

Lord,
I’ve lifted up my hands, pour out Your Holy Spirit and let Your words known to me. I want to walk in the Spirit one moment at a time and deny the desires of the flesh. Help me be a faithful servant.
In Jesus’ name, I pray.
Amen.

Photo Courtesy: John Price at Unsplash

His Faithfulness

“It is good to give thanks to the Lord

and to sing praises to Your name, O Most High;

To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning

and Your faithfulness by night,

with the ten-stringed lute and with the harp,

with resounding music upon the lyre.

For You, O Lord, have made me glad by what You have done,

I will sing for joy at the works of Your hands.” Psalms 92:1-4

“Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God;

For it is pleasant and praise is becoming.” Psalms 147:1

“Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good;

Sing praises to His name, for it is lovely.” Psalms 135:3

Lord, I praise You everyday for Your lovingkindness, faithfulness and for all the wonderful works of Your hands. I am forever grateful for all of today’s blessings and the ones to come.

In Jesus’ name I praise,

Amen.

Photo Courtesy: Priscilla Du Preez @ Unsplash
 

His Knowledge

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge;
Fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:7 NASB

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding has all those who do His commandments; His praise endures forever.” 
Psalms 111:10 NASB

“The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: Fear God and keep His commandments because this applies to every person.” 
Ecclesiastes 12:13 NASB

Lord, 
As I read Your Word, fill me with Your Holy Spirit so both of my heart and mind are open for wisdom and instruction. You are my Shepherd and Counselor so teach me Your precepts and provide guidance one day at a time. I want to be wise in all of my decisions today. I want to walk and apply all of your teachings in my life. I honor You and love You, Abba Father.
In Jesus name, I praise.
Amen.

Photo Courtesy: Artem-Kouglev at Unsplash.

His Protection

“I will say to the Lord, my refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!

A thousand may fall at your side and ten thousand at your right hand,

But it shall not approach you.

No evil will befall you, nor He will give His angels charge concerning you,

To guard you in all your ways.” Psalm 91: 2, 7, 10-11

“But the Lord has been my stronghold,

And my God the rock of my refuge.” Psalm 94:22

“O Lord, my strength and my stronghold, and my refuge in the day of distress…” Jeremiah 16:19

Lord, you are my refuge, fortress and stronghold, in whom I trust.

Have your guardian angels protect every step of my journey,

in Jesus’ name I boldly pray, Amen.

Photo Courtesy: 小胖 车  at Unsplash

His Strength

“Glory in His holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice.” Psalm 105:3

“How blessed are the people who know the joyful sound! O Lord, they walk in the light of Your countenance. For You are the glory of their strength, and by Your favor, our horn is exalted.” Psalm 89:15,17

“The LORD is the strength of His people, a stronghold of salvation for His anointed.” Psalms 28:8

Lord,

You have been the strength in pressing life circumstances, my stronghold of salvation when faced with opposition, rejection or failure and my joy in grief and sorrows.

I praise You for your faithfulness, unconditional love, and morning mercies. I want to rejoice in You always.

I boldly praise and courageously pray, Your faithful and beloved servant.

Photo Courtesy: Yukie Emikio at Unsplash.

He Hears Us

“Hear, O LORD, my prayer; And listen attentively to the voice of my supplications (specific requests)! In the day of my trouble, I will call upon You, For You will answer me. But You, O Lord, are a God [who protects and is] merciful and gracious, Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness and truth.”
‭‭PSALMS‬ ‭86:6-7, 15‬ ‭AMP‬‬

He answers our prayers in His perfect time,
He is Merciful,
He is Gracious,
He is Lovingkindness,
He is Truth.

For great is Your lovingkindness and graciousness toward me;
and You have rescued my life from the depths of Sheol [from death]. Psalm 86:13 AMP

Lord, I know you will hear me when I cry in distress, help me not overreact when faced with challenging circumstances and help me be slow to anger and be forgiving at all times. Help me, love, extend grace and be more like You, in Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

Photo Courtesy: Matthew Rader @ Unsplash

Interview with Susan Holloway

Good morning!
Hope you are having a relaxing and enjoyable weekend.
I attended a women’s leadership conference this past Saturday. As I waited for a friend to sit with me at lunch break, I was sitting alone in a round table for eight when Susan Holloway walked in. 
It was an instant, divine connection. This unforgettable moment was definitely orchestrated by our Lord.
After a half an hour into our small group discussion, I soon realized, Susan Holloway loves to Journal❣️

Susan has been journaling her prayers for the past eighteen years and described the journaling process to be her daily inspiration. 
Journaling gives direction and purpose to her life.


Watch her play the violin here at the University of Memphis, TN https://youtu.be/tlf2JkfO3vg


How did Susan overcome stage fright? Watch her testimony here:https://youtu.be/Y5Kj1d28Mtk

What’s Journaling, Susan?https://youtu.be/Xgek12Bzyro

Professional Video of Susan:https://www.facebook.com/731883940280134/posts/1640408736094312?s=583325868&v=e&sfns=mo


To follow Susan on Instagram: @susanhollowaymusic
To follow Susan on FB:

Susanhollowaymusic

YouTube.com/c/susanhollowaymusic

Rise Up and Journal.
God Bless, Adriana

The Bible Reading Journal Series: Color Coding System

Every time I read my Bible, I pray for the Holy Spirit to guide me thru the journaling experience including highlighting, meditating and journaling the selected Scriptures.

“Open my eyes, that I may behold wonderful things from Your law.” Psalm 119:18 NASB

I pray over the following Scriptures when journaling and highlighting:

But He said, ‘On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the Word of God and observe it.” Luke 11:28 NASB

“Lord, what are the practical ways I can step out in obedience?”

As I read His Word, I truly delight on all of His precepts and promises. When His Holy Spirit convicts me of His commands, then I highlight the verses in BLUE.

But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup.” 1 Corinthians 11:28 NASB

“Lord, show me any unconfessed sin(s) in my life.”

When the Holy Spirit convicts me of any sin(s), then I highlight the verse in BROWN.

I also acknowledge sinful nature in the Bible.

“For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” Matthew 6:14 NASB

“Lord, help me forgive myself and/or others today.”

When the Holy Spirit convicts me, then I highlight the verse in PURPLE.

“O Taste and see that the Lord is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!” Psalm 34:8 NASB.

“Lord, show me your everyday miracles. Open my eyes, heart and help me count my blessings. I want to maintain a heart filled with gratitude and thanksgiving.”

When the Holy Spirit convicts me of His character, then I highlight the verse in RED for His never-ending compassion, unfailing love, and morning mercies.

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7 NASB.

“Lord, I am surrendering my life to You, and praying over selected Scriptures.”

When the Holy Spirit convicts me, I highlight the verse in GREEN.

To view YouTube video clip; click below: