Tag Archives: Inspiration

Beautiful and Encouraging Words Just When You Need Them

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Beautiful and Encouraging Words Just When You Need Them

Enjoy the many beautiful words from ~Ann VosKamp with a little sprinkle here and there from my small view.

So just in case you have had a hard day…. because we all do every now and then, please dive in and give thanks for the timely words to follow.

And for our beloved MRO Ladies…… It brings my heart such joy to watch you quietly and significantly caring for your families in the daily and so often unseen. Yet your story is being written into the hearts and lives of every life you touch. You need to know how amazing those seemingly unimportant parts are and just how BIG things are to our God. #keepshining #keepthefaith 


“Have you been wondering, waiting and have doubt that the “Big Dream” you have been dreaming of and have prayed for will happen? Or at least should have by now? 

Maybe you await the peace and whole “Big Purpose” for why you are here to manifest itself in real time. That the awkward waiting would be gone and that you’d finally see that your life has made a real difference, you’d made a real mark, and that you really matter.
The real truth is….. You don’t have to worry: 

We all get to make one unforgettable mark. And every day, with every word, we get to decide: Do we mar the world, or mark the world?

Why in the world do we seem to disdain the small? It’s always the smallest strokes that add up to the greatest masterpieces.

Because the thing really is: Do we ever really know which mark we make — that will matter the most? The extraordinary things happen nowhere else but in the everyday and today can always be the beginning:
That card you signed and sealed and put in the mail, the way you smiled and nodded to the white-crowned woman bent over the still-green bananas, the way you dug around in the dirt and and left that seed or that gift of the knees and that prayer whispered for a stranger or that glass of water you handed to someone and winked because you just knew — 

You’ve got to remember: we don’t know when and how we are leaving the greatest marks on the world. It ALL matters.
Believe it: 

Every tremor of kindness might erupt in a miracle on the other side of the world.
And the only way to ever leave beauty marks on the world is with bits of yourself — Things of realest beauty don’t bring us glory — but Him glory.

Just For Today — take these words, words of Dag Hammarskjold, Secretary-General of the United Nations, words that you can take to the bank, take to eternity: 
“It is more noble to give yourself completely to one individual than to labor diligently for … the masses.”
Christ left the ninety-nine for the one.
Where you are, with that one child, that one street, that one call, it is a noble, Christ-called thing. It only takes one person to change the world — and one individual, one soul, can be all your world.

Really, beautiful You: The most exquisite marks anyone makes with their life — are the marks done in secret. The mark that no one — but One — will ever see.

And tell yourself this when you feel forgotten and invisible and unimportant: 
But the wise are the hidden who hold out for heaven — and the applause that comes from God. This is to choose the far greater.
I know you’re brave … and you’re scared. Because you keep doing big things that seems so small and you wonder where all this is really going and you only get one life here —

And though you may get weary, you do hard things and you keep getting out of bed and this is always the hardest part — and you keep believing that Christ didn’t leave this world until He showed us His scars — and He won’t ever let you leave this world until you leave your most beautiful mark. To show Him.
So Just For Today — listen: you’ve got to keep going.

His Kingdom is Upside Down and in Him your part is large and lovely and needed and art.

So go get the milk and take out the trash and throw in the laundry and wave giddy to the neighbors because there is a plan and there is a purpose and there is a God in heaven who didn’t just ink you onto the palm of His hands but etched your name right into Himself with nails and He’s hasn’t just got your number, He’s got your heart.
He sees you, hidden in Him, and you aren’t ever forgotten because God can’t forget those right in Him. Keep doing, keep reaching, keep loving, keeping living fully in the moments we get to small things with great love as we hold onto the Cross.
So really — you’ve got to believe it for your 16 year-old-self and 56 year-old-self and for yourself right now: really, it’s all working out okay.

Because God’s writing your story and He never leaves you alone in your story, and His perfect love absorbs all your fear and His perfect grace carries all your burdens, and your story is a happily ever after because Christ bought your happily ever after so you always know how this story ends.

You’re going to be okay.

Dear beloved- tuck these truths away to read again whenever you need to know it again — and promise me, you’ll laugh and sing and dance a bit today?” Ann VosKamp

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Looking For Lovely

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As a musician and singer, this excerpt from “Looking For Lovely” by Annie F. Downs rings so near to how my heart beats not only for corporate worship but my private interaction with the Lord as worship throughout my day.

While I rarely get to sing and lead worship these days, savoring alone times with the Lord Jesus fuels my spirit. It is there my soul finds encouragement, rest and refreshing.

As author Annie F. Downs, Looking For Lovely writes,

“Based on what’s going on with my day, or in my heart, I take their melody and some of their words and add my own. Because sometimes I like to worship God through a song that’s my own and sometimes getting through a hard day or a hard moment is only possible when I bring my own lovely truth into it.”

Learning to purpose to find the lovely in every single moment of every good, hard or indifferent day has been transforming. A simple practice that implements a small shift- fixing my eyes and fixing thoughts on Jesus in the midst of Him writing my story- for His glory!

~allowing the melody of that day to become my song

Yes!

Just wondering how your day might be going? Can you step back and easily acknowledge your truth and melody?

My soul has learned to sing with breathing melodies. It is not always pretty but it is authentic and honoring to God.

Sweet communion with Him always cares for me so perfectly!

What’s YOUR story of finding the lovely today?

I’d really love to hear! ❤️ Mel

“Fix your thoughts on what is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Philippians 4:8

 

Looking For Lovely

Make-and-Take Class Idea: Therapeutic Hot/Cold Pack Sock

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Looking for support for those achy places? What I love most about living the simply essential life is that you can do simple things and experience great outcomes with little to no time and always inexpensive.

How have you incorporated Young Living Essential Oils into your life?

My advise: Learn one new thing every day and before long, you will be the ones giving advise to friends and family.

P. S. I found sock just like these at The Dollar Tree!! Yep. One buck. Grab the rice while there too, add the essential oil of choice and voila! Instant Happy!! Of course, you can always use an old sock that you already have or can only find one of the pair!

Finding sabbath moments today!

Check out my website to learn more about Young Living Essential Oils!

http://www.yldist.com/melanieself/

Source: Make-and-Take Class Idea: Therapeutic Hot/Cold Pack Sock

Treasures In Heaven

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<div data-href=”https://www.facebook.com/melanie.self/posts/10202444533817493&#8243; data-width=”550″><div><a href=”https://www.facebook.com/melanie.self/posts/10202444533817493″>Post</a&gt; by <a href=”https://www.facebook.com/melanie.self”>Melanie Self</a>.</div></div>

Finding Daily Quiet

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According to 1 Thessalonians 4, we are instructed to live a life that is pleasing to God. God has called us to holiness, and we have been given everything that we need to live as a follower of Jesus Christ. Holiness is defined as “sanctify”, to separate yourself from the world and to be dedicated to God. We dedicate ourselves to following Christ inside and out. Holy living, not perfection, grows out of personal fellowship with God.

“God is not a mere formality, it is not merely an external surrender, it is the yielding of the life in its deepest affections and in its highest powers to be ruled by Christ Jesus alone.” Ronald Dart

God is concerned with our daily walk, and with how we live the Christian life. God created man in His image because He longed for a relationship with us. Holiness is an honor and our commitment, so that is more than being nice, saying the right words, doing the right things, acting a certain way, living by a checklist of conduct, etc…. Holiness is the who we are when no one is looking and we are alone with our God. The doing what is right, even when no one really knows the total story. It is being at peace with God and resting in the surrender of “for Your will be done” and knowing that God knows and He is near. The proof of that settled time with the Lord, purposefully prioritized every day, will produce the outward manifestation of holiness. The fullness of who He is IN us as we have been set aside for holy use! He uses and works through our humility and brokenness.

Perfection is not the goal. We all inherited sin‘s nature when man fell. And on this journey of faith, there will be opportunities for the “perfect storm” to unsettle our sails and we fall. We will fail. Repent (turn back to God). Surrender. Confess. Grow. And in spite of sin’s nature within us, we will be used by God because that is how HIS grace works through the power of the Holy Spirit in and through us. He continues to love us, grow in us and shape us into the people He created us to be for his good pleasure.

God is calling us to the more of who and what He is and in every good and difficult place, we must consistently seek and pursue Him. In every still moment we are bound by covenant to acknowledge Him. And in every privilege and call to holiness, He will work all things for our good and His glory.

Let’s find the daily quiet together. We are encouraged in 1 Thessalonians 4:11a, “to aspire to live quietly. So, let’s do this thing by slowing our minds and hearts to find the quiet moments as an opportunity for more simple, yet full living. I promise, the rewriting of your time will be the best thing you can do each day.

Take the first step. Choose a verse to meditate on each day. Use the Four “L’s” to help you slow the pace and find the  answers you long for in your heart.

The Four “L’s”

Linger:

In the quiet, with humility, focus on the verse and LOOK for the answers to the need that you have and how the Lord wants your heart to see. Ling just a little longer than before…..

Listen:

In the quiet, with a rational mindset, clear the clutter. Lean in closer to HEAR the answers for the need that you have and how the Lord wants you to hear. Do not miss this time as God often whispers in our stillness.

Lift:

In the quiet, when life happens and anxieties desire is to stop any spiritual progress, LIFT UP the verse you are focused on and pray it back to the Lord. Cry out to Him as you give back the need that you have. God wants to carry this burden. His heart rejoices when we release and lift our heaviness, burden, fear, concerns, doubt, etc… back to Him.  So, you can let go. Really.

Live:

In the quiet, where God begins the working of all things together for good, begin the process of LIVING as an active participant in finding the answers to how God wants you to live out HIS holiness in your life. How will this verse change the steps that you take today? God longs to see His Word come alive in you, His beloved. One foot in front of the other….take courage in His promises.

Be assured, that God will meet with you. He is there in every moment of every day. His gaze is fixed on His creation and the role that we play in the work of His kingdom. It. Is. Written.

“….the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 5:10-11

God’s grace abounds in His presence. This is the safe shelter and where we find the settled preparation for our soul’s life work…..in the multiplied quiet moments that fill our lives. His story continues as He moves and works in and through your life. It is a beautiful thing in this world. His. Will. Be. Done.

Linger. Listen. Lift. Live.

Linger. Listen. Lift. Live.
Design by Danielle Bolin

Rhythm Church @ River Street Park

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The 2013 Joy Journey River Street Park

The 2013 Joy Journey
http://www.go2mro.com
Motor Racing Outreach
River Street Park

At this days’ end….
Hearts bent low, enlarged and filled with gratitude……
Every small gift glimpsed, this side of heaven today, culminates in fullness of joy!! When we fail to find the right words, Ann Voskamp’s daily journal entry captures thoughts, conversations, wonderings and the tenet of our collective hearts find definition.
Dump Harper

Dump Harper

“Something grows in me and it doesn’t have words and it doesn’t ask for words. Asks only witnessing. Only gratitude. Only the living that lets the everyday dirt become the sacred everyday. There are times it seems wrong to keep your shoes on, to do anything less than stand bare-heeled and bowed and broken wide open. Them bent. The way a soul can grow any way it chooses.” @AnnVoskamp One Thousand Gifts A Dare To Live Fully Right Where You Are http://www.aholyexperience.com/

Gwen Howard and Karen Clark

Gwen Howard and Karen Clark

Tonight our hearts thank God for freedom’s voice captured on this warm, sunny day in May. The freedom to thoughtfully pursue life as God speaks, to find hope in the cumulative, simple graces of seasoned friendships with like hearts alongside together. For this life to have a reason to get up each day, to breathe and for hearts that beat to faithfully serve God out of His great love for us!

“Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord your God that He has given you.” Deuteronomy 16:17

We made & welcomed two new friends. Our walk through the River Street Community was so worth the time. The Spirit’s work in our hearts. Our eyes become the window genuine and touch all that God longs for on this day. We see the soil of hearts and seed every eternal truth we can into them. His touch like a fountain flows for the purpose of bearing witness to the something greater that He is within us. We absolutely understanding that we are so small in this world; the lesser things, nothing special except that His Holy Spirit lives in and through us. Blessed that He has purposed His desire, earnest and searing “for such time as this’

River Street Park

River Street Park
“All of this darkness can’t overtake that little tiny light,” Michael “Big Dog” Burris

We, tucked beneath our sturdy roofs, safely protected from the rain, wind, and earthly elements. In the eternal, through life’s storms, promises made, broken and kept, daily bread, living water, provision, a future, a hope, an eternal promise……HIS promises…..oh yes, and the wind at the top of the hill on a very hot day. We commit, search, pursue, and pray in faith believing just as Jesus taught us. Our Father..in Heaven..hallowed be Thy name…Thy will be done….On earth as it is in Heaven….Daily Bread….forgiveness of debt…forgiving our debtors…lead not into temptation….deliver us from evil…Thine is: the Power, the Glory…Forever!!!

946618_564229967217_1434667506_nOn reflection, we share hearts overwhelmed with goodness. Tender hugs, life’s challenges confessed…transparent. No place or need to hide. Life is hard. We are all on this journey of faith together as seekers, dreamers, hopeful hearts, open, guarded and filled with the raw emotion of scars from life’s raging battles….The rhythm of our movement still takes our breath away. We should listen more closely to the children. Their unheard cry for help is simple and their love is without demands. Sweet kisses on our cheeks. A small hand touches a back, just to be close and shares his applesauce as an offering for sharing our kindnesses…..Mother, daughters and grandchildren share this day together.

Mother, daughters and grandchildren share this day together.

It is whimsical, fun, intent as little hearts hug you from behind, beside, from the top of our heads to the very planting of our feet. Paint on noses, fingers, toes and clothing but with concentrated effort. Four small boys try to sit all at once on an open lap. Every person from young to old sits to paint, relax and feel child-like again. Every time our back is to them and upon turning around, another chair, a new face smiling at the simplicity of life’s activity in the neighborhood. Nowhere else to be but just in the here…the now. So far removed from any lingering thoughts of tense moments as they arise or what will be when the sun goes down. The “I love you’s” still linger and haunt us in every good way. Any child there could be loved as our own. No need for explanation or to know any part of the story because of the active heart of God’s Holy Spirit is breathing, seeing, stirring, bringing to life every closed off place in our hearts. His love for humanity surrounds us and is in EVERY touch!!!!

Kristen Yeley, Bobby and Missy deSouza

Kristen Yeley, Bobby and Missy deSouza

We pause, step back and see in every vignette, all hearts smiling. We are forced to take a deep breath and settle our spirits into the fullness of God. The wellspring of life!!!! Tangible. Measurable…Palpable. It is close: in your lap, on your hip, a jump from behind or in front that dares to literally knock you down.. To be reminded that a simple wooden car is the key that has opened this lovely door.Matt Clark
Matt Clark
In the middle of everything that is messy, the square covered shelter becomes a  life-giving place that allows us all  to forget….even if just for one moment!!  And how it stops us, dead in our tracks, with its fullness. Smiles….genuine, momentary, fleeting and there is little time to savor and chew on its richness….a snapshot of life….real life!! And then we consider and wish for one more life to live, to do more, to reach deeper and farther in the promise of seeing God’s Kingdom enlarged and made greater. Sigh.
Gwen Howard

Gwen Howard

Humbled…we slow and savor our heart’s cry. Hoping to capture every second and store the time deep within that place in our hearts that we draw from on the hard days. In recollection, we are posed with a relative question…In OUR day-to-day living, is there really this kind of hard? How God has filled our cups to overflowing. We cry out to God with hands uplifted in praise and pray, Lord,  fill them up again tonight!!
Living Love

Living Love

“If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.” Daniel 3:17-18

“We’ll give thanks to You with gratitude. For lessons learned in how to trust in You. That we are blessed beyond what we could ever dream. In abundance or in need. And if You never grant us peace. But Jesus, would You please . .” Nicole Nordeman

“When thanks to God becomes a habit – so joy in God becomes your life.” Ann Voskamp

Danielle Bolin, Melanie Self, Faith Yeley, Dump Harper, JJ Yeley

Danielle Bolin, Melanie Self, Faith Yeley, Dump Harper, JJ Yeley

Gratitude by Nicloe Nordeman

River Street Park Love

River Street Park Love

Check out the complete photo album on Facebook!

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10201288819965369.1073741827.1318481111&type=1&l=9689e76adb

Different Kinds of Happy

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Sara Groves Different Kinds of Happy

Love this song…..find the meaning for you and if you are brave….share……Standing here with you and nothing to hide……light shining down to our very insides……Bearing MY soul……wish those two could see us now they never would believe how…..31 years later……there ARE different kinds of happy. Happy. 🙂

Simple Life Heartenings…..the heavens declare!

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Simple Life Heartenings…..the heavens declare!

Simple Life Heartenings…the view from here!

“The heavens proclaim the glory of God, The skies display His craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make Him known. They speak without a sound or word; their voice is never heard. Yet their message has gone throughout the earth, and their words to all the world. God has made a home in the heavens for the sun.” Psalm 19:1-4

The schedule of my life is often nothing short of chaotic. By being purposeful with my calendar, I am able to cherish carved moments in my quest for enjoying the simple things in my life. The limitations in the hours in a day at home are often complicated by the things that are equally as important.

Not unlike your lives, normalcy is found in juggling the balls related to our lives’ calling, our spouse. family, friendships, personal care, spiritual things, housework (ugh), meals, etc…..and the things that we love the most….gardening, a ride on the Harley, snuggle time on the couch and watching a movie together on a Saturday night, watching the sunset from our front porch….name yours….after all the lists are filled in, there is no energy left even IF we had the time.

And, when we finally get it right, you know, strike the balance, God cocoons you in the grandness of His love. And we are reminded of the simple daily moments that make our hearts complete.

The dates required by our ministry were filled in on the calendar in the Fall of 2011 as soon as our 2012 NASCAR schedule was set. Birthdays, anniversaries, appointments, other important dates, including the due date of March 2 for our first grandchild to arrive, etc…

Rejoicing, on February 28,2012 our grandson, Mason Blake Fannin was born. We missed our first Daytona 500 race in 11 years. In May, Monty’s mom, Bobbie would turn 80 years old. The party was beautiful, She was honored by sharing the night with 100 of her closest friends. On July 17, MRO and the women’s ministry would host 200 ladies at the annual Summer Caution, a pause with a cause event….a night to honor and donate supplies to Bright Blessings, a local non-profit that provides birthday gifts and parties for homeless children in the greater Charlotte, NC area.

And sandwiched between the next race and this event was the opportunity for Monty and I to slip away for a couple of days and have a little Christmas in July. I gave Monty the gift of a hot air balloon ride in Asheville, NC for the both of us. July 18, 2012, we were excited to run away for a few moments of alone time. While exhausted, we were fueled by the excitement of this Bucket List adventure.

It was everything that you might imagine and more. We were cleared to take off, and the excitement began. A scurry of men and women operated with such fervor that they looked like mice scurrying to beat out the others for a piece of cheese. With each movement, the majesty of the beautifully crafted basket and the magnitude of a 90 foot tall balloon was overwhelming.

Within moments of full inflation, we would board with the other 5 men and women and the pilot for an hour of sheer bliss. Not being a fan of heights, I wondered what I might feel. Would the basket hold, will I fall out, just how close are you to the flame required to fill such a large balloon, etc….Fill in your own questions.

As the balloon rose above the other balloon traveling that day as well, I was immediately transfixed by the beauty and majesty of Mount Pisgah. Interestingly, I have just been reading through Deuteronomy and thought back to Moses. Mount Pisgah (Mount Nebo) is the mountain in the Bible from which Moses saw the Promised Land for the first time. Mount Pisgah is where the LORD instructed Moses to go up into the top of Pisgah. Moses was to lift up his eyes westward, northward, southward, and eastward and look but Moses was not to go over Jordan. Mount Nebo (Mount Pisgah) is where Moses was given the view of the Promised Land, from the top of Mount Pisgah. After seeing the land promised by the LORD GOD, Moses died.

I thought of all the work that God did through the life of Moses. He stood on that mountain, saw the Promised Land and yet he would never enter. Deuteronomy 34 says that “No prophet has risen since in Israel like Moses.” And God buried him in the valley.

The pilot of our balloon was asked where will we go? End up? Land? Her reply. Wherever the wind takes us. And it would prove true.

There is no place that I have ever experienced such calm. Such peace. Such stillness. Such grandeur. Even in the winds that carried us.

So I say….from my view.

God is a mighty rushing wind. He leads. He wills. He is consistent and sure. He guides and directs us as we quiet our spirits in order to hear Him. As believers, we are dependent on the direction of the Holy Spirit.

He speaks quietly, reverently, boldly and with great majesty. As did our balloon respond to its complete direction.

Obstacles are allowed. We were on course with a seemingly sure landing site, only to have our basket drag across the treetops. Immediately changing our course. The balloon’s pilot maneuvering its controls to make the slightest changes necessary to regain perspective and control. Not unlike our lives when our course direction has been changed by circumstances beyond our control.Faltering at the controls can prove tragic.

Sometimes God allows us a place on higher ground to find perspective just like God gave to Moses. I am reminded to trust Him even more and be thankful because I do not always get to see a higher view when I find myself battling in the trenches. Tough stuff….want to know the will of God for your life? “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Landing is only one part in the journey of many. No two will be the same. We learn to navigate, defer to His power, and grow from the bumps along the way that lead to learning. With each adventure, our trust in Him grows. His purpose in our lives is His number one objective. Growing in Christ-likeness in order to bring honor and glory to His Name. We were created by Him, for Him.

Thanks for reminding us Lord that there are consequences when we fail to see YOUR perspective. Help us to I find our rest in Your faithfulness along the way. Whether a textbook landing or one that could have looked a little better, each moment teaches us to be more attentive to YOUR way.

Thankfully….You are still God…..despite my best and my worst.

We go through the process of faithfulness by studying His Word and using it in the hopes of being a vessel worthy of use by and for our maker. We operate time and time again and get better at this faith living life. We are allowed Mount Pisgah moments sometimes but not always. Yet, we trust Him when we cannot see the forest for the trees. And we practice, grow, are challenged, see victory, cry, try to sometimes fail.

And above all, we must declare His goodness through the generations and pass it on…..

Where are the winds of God blowing in your life friend? Will we be found faithful to the glory of God as was Moses? The answers do not lie in my perspective but in Him alone….

Finding joy in my simple life……Pray that you are too!!

You are loved!!

Melanie