Thursday, March 14, 2013

He Tenderly Asks Us To Follow

Hey there friend!

Today I'm joining in the fun at Faith Barista. The topic of faith that Bonnie's serving up is a one word prompt and just happens to be my One Word for 2013. 

How cool is that!? 

Have you ever read something and the words seem to reach out and grab you?

Yea? Well, about two weeks ago, while I was on Facebook, a chat message popped up from someone that I rarely chat with. {I checked and it's literally been years.} So, this was totally out of the blue. 

I believe it was more than a random FB message. It was something God knew I needed to hear. 

The message was only a few Bible verses. Matthew 11:25-30 typed out and sent. Nothing else, just these verses. 

Here friend, let me share verses 27-30 with you - 

"Jesus resumed talking to the people, but now tenderly. 'The Father has given me all these things to do and say. This is a unique Father-Son operation, coming out of Father and Son intimacies and knowledge. No one knows the Son the way the Father does, nor the Father the way the Son does. But I'm not keeping it to myself; I'm ready to go over it line by line with anyone willing to listen. Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me - watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly.'The Message translation 

Right away what touched my heart and grabbed my attention was that Jesus spoke tenderly to the people.

As I read and reread these verses, He began to speak tenderly to my heart. 

I read that Jesus wants to teach me how to have an intimate relationship with Him - if I'm willing to listen. He'll patiently take it line by line. I guess that's good because sometimes it takes me awhile to catch on.

Reading a little further I was so excited to read that Jesus invites me to walk with Him, work with Him and watch Him. As I read, my finger pointed to the words - walk, work, watch. And I whispered to myself, "That's follow, follow, follow".

Hey friend! That's a whole lot of following He's inviting me (and you) to do. He desires that we follow and walk with Him.

There's a bonus to following, because He gives me grace for the journey. Actually, unforced rhythms of grace. One of the things I've learned since choosing my one word this year is that it's ok to have a lull in the action. The word follow is an action word. However, it's ok to stop and wait. It's ok to take a bit of a rest right where I'm at. You see - stopping, waiting, and resting are all part of the rhythms of any journey. 

Next, I read that He won't ask me to do anything that is too heavy or ill-fitting for me. Anything like that would surely bring me undue stress. So maybe when I feel all stressed it's something I bring on myself? Hmmm.... probably. I do try to do too much sometimes. Guess at those times I'm not following very well.

To sum it all up, Jesus says if I keep company with Him, as in follow Him, I'll learn to live freely and lightly. That's for me! I want to enjoy this life I've been given.

So friend, whatever your One Word is this year, whatever journey you're on at this season of your life, I hope you will listen as Jesus is tenderly asking you to follow Him, too. 

~ ~ Perhaps you'd like to visit some of the others that have shared their take on the word follow. Jump on over to Faith Barista by clicking on the link at the top of this post - Faith Barista. Or click on the badge below if you'd like to know more about Faith Barista's Thursday Jam linky parties. 

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~ ~ I almost forgot! Tomorrow Melanie has her monthly One Word linky party over at her place. I'm gonna join in the party over at Only A Breath, too.


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Praying your life is filled with grace, hope and joy as you follow Jesus.
Love ya friend!

Sunday, March 10, 2013


Hey there friend!

So what do you think of my new blog design?

I absolutely LOVE it!!

It actually feels more like I've moved to a different place than just having had a bit of redecorating done. Everything is so new and pretty. I've moved a few things around, threw out this or that and am still deciding on a few other aspects of my little place here in bloggy land.

It's pretty much starting to feel like home again.Yay!

What happens here at "Finding Hope & Joy" is still going to be the same. It's a place where I want to share life to encourage you friend. And when you leave comments it encourages me. {hint hint}

Life can be hard and it's better to do it with friends. Don't you agree?

Something else that's fairly new here at FH&J is you can now follow my blog by signing up for new posts to be delivered right to your email. See that little box on the right side that says "Subscribe Via Email"? If you'd like to, why don't you sign up now?

Also, there are tabs to link to my other blog place - Miss Maribel's Place and etsy shop news.

Well, thanks for stopping by and taking a look around.

Love ya friend!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Wait 'till You See What I've Done With The Place

Hey there friend!

Some changes are coming to my place here in bloggy land!
Oh boy! I've got the decorating bug again.

And guess what friend?! My hubby has given me a blog makeover for my birthday!

Wooo Hooooo!

He is so good to me. He loves me and wants to make me happy. He knows redecorating (after chocolate and the beach) is one of my favorite things and brings me joy.

{ shhhh.}

Now don't say anything but, I think it's also because he knows it would take me hours and hours on many many evenings to do it myself.  It would take me a gazillion tries to design it all and have it turn out just right.

I'm thinking another reason might be that he's not wanting to experience any outbursts of frustration mixed with tears. Maybe even a threat or two. No, no -  not towards my wonderful hubby, but the dumb computer.

Probably the sweetest reason for his gift is he just wants me to himself in the evenings. That's his favorite time of day - when we just relax, talk, and watch TV. Yep, my guy is a bit more romantic and sentimental than me.

Anyways - about this makeover -

Did you notice how bare my "walls" are? I've been doing some house blog cleaning to prepare for the makeover.

Maybe that seems a bit silly. You know- like dusting before the cleaning lady shows up.

Well no, all I'm doing is fixing up my place a bit before Rhonda, the fabulous make-over gal, arrives and takes it all apart. Ummmm.... yea..... OK I guess it's the same thing. So I'm silly. {but we all knew that already}

I'm totally in love with the new design!

After looking at many, many designs, colors and styles on quite a few web and etsy sites I kept coming back to two of Rhonda's designs.

With hubby's help I finally decided on one. Yay!
It's one of  my favorite colors.
It's simple and oh so pretty.
And I think it's a design that won't be dated any time soon. 

I'm having the work done by Rhonda Jai.

She has been so very kind with her quick responses to all my questions.

Once everything is finalized she'll  stop by to work her magic and make this place look all new and beautiful.

It's so exciting. Sometimes it's just the little things that can bring me joy.

Sorry, but I'm not gonna say anything more until my big reveal.

You'll just need to stop by again soon and see what I've done with the place.