Showing posts with label relationship with God. Show all posts
Showing posts with label relationship with God. Show all posts

Saturday, June 12, 2021

God Hems Me In

Psalm 139:1-6
You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.

How do I want to be known?

Who am I? Tim’s wife, my children’s mother, my parents’ daughter, Babbaw or Grammy Penny. Or perhaps you knew me when I was a quilter and crafter, a librarian who read to your children, the volleyball coach, or the lady who rode her bicycle all over town. Maybe you know me nowas a writer, a reader, or a reviewer.

In whatever phase of life I’ve been known, I strive to be recognized as a follower of Jesus. As I continue to work through my story and purpose along the path God sets for me, I pray I leave a trail of kindness and encouragement.

In the psalm, the writer, David, confirms God knows him. Not as a passerby, but as an in-depth relational bond. The Father sees when he gets up, lays down, comes and goes, and every word on his heart and tongue. David must have been humbled by this realization, as I am. When I stop and think about God seeing, hearing, and knowing everything I do, I’m a little taken back. He’s known me since I was a tiny embryo, and now he sees me with white hair and (ahem) a few wrinkles.

He sees my ugly and my beautiful. And loves me anyway.

God hems me inin other words, I cannot hide from Him. There is not one thing I can bury, cover up, or camouflage. He sees my heart, my intentions, and my failures. He hears my words and follows me on social media. Seriously, God is aware of all of our comings and goings. Sounds a bit overwhelming, right?

But it’s not. When we live as though our heavenly Father knows us, then we live in obedience, serving one another in love.

Be the person God nods at and acknowledges as the one trying to do his or her best.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Nonfiction Book Review: I Want It All: Exchanging Your Average Life for Deeper Faith, Greater Power, and More Impact by Gwen Smith

Book Description:

God created you for exceptional impact. Exceptional power. And exceptional blessings.

Gwen Smith knows how easy it is to dismiss God's plans with the thoughts, I can't make a big difference for God because I'm just an ordinary woman with an ordinary life. Yet God created us to join Him in doing amazing work in the world. He created us to live with abundant joy, courage, and influence. But not the joy, courage, and influence of the world. He offers His grace for each failure, His love that shatters hate, His peace that soothes the turmoil, His comfort, guidance, wisdom, rest, power, and significance. Every blessing He has for us is ours for the taking.

I Want It All will ignite a fire in your heart to experience more faith, more power, and more impact. More of Jesus. All of Jesus. Everything that God has for you.

My Review:

When I first saw the title of this book, I wasn't sure I wanted to read it. I've read many books about living a better life for Jesus and figured this was one more book that told me to pray and serve more. But the Holy Spirit nudged me to select it. It didn't take me long to realize Gwen's book was so much more than a how-to book. In her transparent and honest voice, Gwen touches on several areas of what it means to have a relationship with God. Not just any relationship, but a deep friendship with the creator. An understanding of all he offers. In every chapter she zeroes in on his truth. As a follower of Jesus, I can have all the love, peace, joy, and grace God has to offer. All of it! Through life examples, scripture, and friendly conversation Gwen opens her heart to share how to have all God has to offer. If you are seeking a closer walk with the Father I highly recommend I Want It All. It's filled with wisdom from a humble writer who's chasing God with all her heart.
"I am free and forgiven because of Jesus, not because of me. When I say that grace changes everything, I mean everything."
Now that I've read I Want It All cover to cover, I plan to go back and use the chapters for study. At the end of each chapter Gwen asks probing, personal questions and at the end of the book is a study guide. I look forward to re-reading the chapters and digging deeper into God's word. Every woman should read this book as she seeks out God.

I received this book in exchange for a fair review.

Purchase a copy:

About the author: 
Gwen Smith is an author and volleyball enthusiast who lives in sunny North Carolina and has been married to her college honey, Brad, for 23 years. They are tired parents to three competitive-sport-playing teens who keep them on their toes and on their knees. Her online friends meet at to connect and be encouraged, and her goal is to help women think big thoughts about God and be inspired to live out the grace and truth of Jesus. Gwen speaks, leads worship, and eats potato chips at women's events everywhere, and she is a co-founder of the conference and devotional ministry Girlfriends in God.