I enjoy reading. Since becoming an author, I have appreciated folks who will write a review on my book. So, when I came across the opportunity to review new books, I jumped on it. It helps the author to grow an audience as well as to help people decide what book to purchase.
This is one of those sweet Amish books. I enjoy these because they are so easy to follow – and so relatable.
As I read through it, I had the sense I was right there, in the culture and era. Very relatable, real life and with a biblical foundation.
Hebrews 12:1-2 says to look to Jesus who is the author and finisher of our faith. What a powerful word to speak to us today, in the year 2020.
Softly Blows the Bugle, is a story of togetherness. (we sure do need a tribe like never before).
Without giving the story line away, it is a sweet and simple message.
Part of that message is when we miss one stitch (if we are sewing a pattern) will affect the whole design. It becomes uneven, unbalanced – hard to work with.
Life happens, marriage, death, finding another mate to walk through life again – sometimes we don’t look for a mate, but the opportunity walks across our path. When the Lord leads two people together, we don’t often see it for what it is. A gift.
Enjoy this tender yet real life story. Sweet and simple.
Guest Blogger: Kelly Balarie
Recently, I met someone going through a hard time. God clearly put it upon my heart to set down my work and to pray with her. On the call, I listened to her heart. I allowed her to talk. The minutes ticked by, but I knew the invitation from God was for me to be present in her pain. This calling to love was clear.
At the end of the call she asked, “Kelly, can we be friends? I want to call you with my concerns and you can help me.”
I understood her heart; God had moved on the call. However, I also knew, I could not be her all-in-all.
To be honest with myself is to say:
1. I do not have the space for a new best friend at this time.
2. I do not have the bandwidth with my family, with ministry and with all God has called me to
do — to venture into this woman &every problem.
3. To love her this way, means I probably have scraps left-over to love my family in other ways.
I told her: ‘I am sorry. I cannot have regular calls with you’.
I could feel her disappointment. Yet, she said, “I understand”.
After the call was done, the feelings of being a bad Christian; washed over me.
Was I supposed to say yes, God?
Am I selfish?
Am I being self-centered?
To reserve God’s love — to the person He is calling you to love — is to persevere in love.
Otherwise, I know how it goes… I’ll act passive-aggressive when all is said and done. I’ll
complain about who I had to love. I’ll get upset at myself later for not saying no.
The burden to love is not always real love. Yet, as we are wise about: who we love, when we
love and how God is calling us to move out in love — we will live-out true love.
“If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed
all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing.” (1 Cor. 13:2)
Without real love, our acts mean nothing. We are left with nothing.
Are you truly loving? Or, are you striving and acting like you are loving? The beginning of true love starts with self-examination.
If you feel overwhelmed, you’re not alone. Three out of five people admit to doing more than they can manage. Thinking God requires this, we say, ‘I must be everything to everyone.’ Then we struggle and feel selfish and guilty when we say no, grow weary, or snap at someone out of sheer exhaustion. Is this what God desires? Somewhere along the line of being a good Christian, wife, daughter, or friend we lose sight of who we are in Christ. We put our performance above God and who he says we are. But what if we chose a more soul-full way?
Rest Now offers permission to breathe. It exposes the lies that distract, tire, and bully us, so we don’t strive for rest but love from it, like Jesus did.
Learn how to:
– create boundaries that allow you to overflow with love
– say no so you don’t hate yourself later
– ditch passive-aggressive behaviors in favor of healthy conversations
– embrace permission-giving thoughts to create mental space for God
About Kelly Balarie
Kelly is a Cheerleader of Faith and a Fighter of Fear. She’s a get-on-the-gloves kind of
girl. By seeking God’s unending encouragement, she uncovers His deep callings right under the surface of her worst failings. Get all of Kelly’s Purposeful Faith blog posts by email for a dose of inspiration and encouragement. Kelly is a blogger at http://www.purposefulfaith.com, Crosswalk.com and iBelieve.com. Her work has been featured on Relevant and (in)courage.me, and as the cover story on Today’s Christian Woman.
This crazy busy society leaves no room to rest. Not just sleep rest, but peaceful rest. The sincere rest of the soul. How do we obtain that? Only with Christ.
Kelly offers us such a powerful, practical and sincere way to simply breath. To let go of the busy, performance mindset, to appreciate life to the fullest That can be tough. I lived through many seasons of total whacked out crazy tired, sometimes not so pretty times where I thought I might fall apart. That is not the way God intended for us to live.
There is a wholeness we gain through Christ, that offers a real rest. When we are joined with Christ, who is the Prince of Peace, we gain so much more than doing this life like a marathon race.
In the intro of the book, Kelly reminds us that we ALREADY have peace. We don’t have to achieve it. Nor wait for it. We do not earn it. We have it when we live in Christ.
Wouldn’t it be nice to really live life worry free, and trusting God more? Kicking anxiety to the curb, to be able to appreciate life in the now!?!? Ah, folks, we CAN have that.
Less overachieving creates a more peaceful mind. When we let God take the reigns, knowing He will guide us – IF we choose to truly LIVE IN HIM, oh……. it seems daunting, I get it! But wowza, the overflow of amazing love that flows through our soul and mind when we know our Daddy is in control. (—-> do you realize ….. y.o.u. aren’t really in control?). The more we strive, the more difficult life gets. Sigh. Been there. Done that. Ate the cake. Got sick from too much of too much of what I thought was a good thing! Big S.I.G.H. Time to breath in …. breath out. Now, sing : Let it Go, Let it GO. let it gooooooo. 🙂
We need something more in life. NOT things… but ‘soul rest‘. #restnow
Acquiring more only leads to more work to maintain, and working harder to make more money for those things. God gives peace that passes all understanding. THAT is what we need. Philippians 4:7
One of my favorite parts of this book, each chapter ends in a prayer, and has focus questions for you to do personal reflections! We ALL need to take time to reflect and ask ourselves the hard questions. It’s the best way to make positive changes in our life. This book has so much more to it… please – if you are at your wits end, please please, please, go to Amazon now, and order your copy. Take time to read this book and allow God to make changes from the inside out. You’ll be glad you did!https://www.amazon.com/Rest-Now-Ways-Boundaries-Seize/dp/0801094976/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1YUEA614N1ELK&dchild=1&keywords=rest+now+kelly+balarie&qid=1601520664&sprefix=rest+now%2Caps%2C348&sr=8-1
Do any of you recognize this “Farrah Fawcett” comb from the 70’s?
The old adage, they don’t make things like they used ta, still holds true. I bought this comb back around 1977- ish- give or take a year, when I had the “Farrah Farrah” fluffy, layered long hair look.
It worked for me. Not just the comb, but the hair style. Youthful, fun, wind in the hair flying in the air, like ya just don’t care! ~ good times ~ good memories and wonderful friends.
At one point in the early 80’s, I thought I lost this trusted comb. I had to succumb to buying a new one. One less sturdy, and yellow, (one of my least favorite colors). It just didn’t have the strength of my blue comb. (one of my favorite colors). Many months later, the blue comb came out of hiding; I don’t recall where it was located… but there was a bright ray of excitement when it surfaced. I could never get rid of this comb. It laid at the bottom of my treasure chest for years, when I decided to wear short hair. There was less tangling and need for such a big comb than in the Farrah days. I pulled this out of the chest the other day, and reminisced at those high school days, curling hair with girlfriends, the laughter, heartbreak and innocence.
This very many years later, I have decided to use it again, with medium length hair, it reminded me how life is when we trust in God.
God is the blue comb. Strong, mighty, unbreakable, and long lasting. Life, in its variables offers yellow combed seasons when we don’t feel so strong and secure.
I am glad I chose the “blue” combed lifestyle. Choosing to trust God during some difficult seasons in life helped me walk through it all. Endurance is key to this life. Never allowing the enemy to comb through our emotions and circumstances.
Be sure to hold on to God – he is a never ending help in times of trouble. Psalm 46:1
Romans 15:4 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.
2 Corinthians 1:6 If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer.
2 Corinthians 6:4Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses;
1 Timothy 6:11 But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.
Colossians 1:11being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience
I write this story for you my friend. Never let go. God is with you. He is going to help – in the exact moment you need the answer, and when you release your arms to Him. He is a good good Father!
Father we thank you for memories that are sweet. Guide us when we feel lost, insecure and uncertain. We never want to let go of your grace, and knowledge that you will never let us fall too far you won’t save us!
It’s been hot, here in Chicago this summer.
Currently, we are in the middle of the summers heat; temperatures are well into the nineties. The warmth rises from the depths of the ground.
I’m looking at the plant on my patio, realizing that it needs water every day throughout the summer; although I’m not a gardener, I’ve heard enough about the necessity of watering and how it needs to be taken place in the early hours of the morning and/or in the evening.
The timeframe is important, because if you water in the heat of the day, you can scorch the roots.
This made me think of how watering our soul is needed. In the middle of a difficult situation we too can be scorched by the words of people.
Layering harsh words can make the soul dry when added to other difficult situations that may have happened previously.
It simply adds more pain to our scars.
The Bible tells us, kind words, in the right moment can build someone up. Much like watering flowers at the right time will flourish the blooms, so they will continue to grow and open up to be beautified.
Let the roots go deep as you are watered by the Word of God.
Dig in. Dig deep.
Let the struggles of life grow you like an oak tree that is solid in its foundation. It won’t be moved when a storm comes because you stand firm in the good times and in the bad times.
You are on the right track if you’re wondering if you need to redirect, that’s OK! Because sometimes the detours in life blossom into the deepest part of our soul. Let the struggles of life grow you like that oak tree and become solid in the soul of your foundation. You will not be moved.
Are you going through some struggles or a difficult time right now?
Know that I’m sending you words of encouragement right now. Speak life into yourself. How? By speaking God’s word into your mind and soul. Pray for God to fill you up. He will!
Remember, God loves you right where you’re at. Even if you’re in the midst of the deepest darkest pit of your life, he’s with you and he loves you and he wraps his arms around you like a Daddy would.
You have life to the fullest, my friend.
Below is a set of scriptures that talk about speaking life, and the power of the tongue. I hope you will grab your journal, or a pad of paper. Take an hour and pray as you read the scriptures — write them out. Let God heal you from past words spoken over you.
I’d love to hear back from you to let me know how the healing power of Christ has helped you!
I sit at the table this morning, the screen door open to enjoy fresh air. I’m listening to the birds sing and fluttering all around. It’s was a late start to spring, and now summer is near end. The promise of green will be turning shades of orange soon. The weather forces us to be patient, appreciate and stop to smell the roses.
Listening to the sounds of nature is and can be relaxing. My thoughts brought me to the current chaos in our world and community. Corona Virus/ C19, has brought out the worst in people. Yet some folks are kinder and softer spoken as we either use our fight or flight mechanisms, to realize we have to wait this one out. But for how long? We do not know. Will the stuff hit the fan until January 2021, after the elections are over? Will it end by summer… or fall? The ‘what’ questions are endless. We have never seen such a “thing” as this happen before.
In the midst of so much fear and anger, I am at peace. I hear the birds sing, and am reminded that God tells us do not worry about this life. (Worry is a sin, after all, let’s not forget we don’t lean onto our own understanding, but must have the faith of our forefathers, who have been through it all. I
I am reminded every day, how Ecclesiastes tells us, there is NOTHING new under the sun. What we are going through are the same pangs and issues that were happening 2000 years ago. It all just goes by a different day and different name.
How do we get through this without frustration, impatience or intolerance? …..Rely on God.
Psalm 119:114 (NIV) You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word.
What a ROCK we rely on. God is the place and the person we can be assured will be with us, even when times get tough. Stand firm. Do not waiver. Be still and know He is God. He will move and change when the appropriate time arrives. Until then, love your family. Kiss your kids a whole lot. Play games, laugh, have fun and take this laid back time to appreciate the blessings in your life. Enjoy the moment. For what it is. You are safe and secure. Praise God for that today.
These have been stressful days.
I have seen many comments, memes and blogs wanting a do over for 2020.
Interesting, isn’t it? Many of us had visions of just that: 2020 – you know.. like eyesight. If you wear glasses, as I have for fifty years now, I dream of having 2020 vision. Oh, just to wear an option cute sun glass now and again, without NEEDING clarity with those things on the bridge of my nose. Sigh. I will digress if I continue down this bunny trail! ( I say with a smile).
Let’s go back to the title that probably drew you into check out what I had to say.
Sometimes, I just like to keep it simple. Enjoy life. Can we? Yes I do believe we can.
I made a small list of suggested things to help calm your weary mind. Take the stress from the craziness in this world gone bad. Would you like to just take 20 days, and do one suggestion each day… take action: even if it be only 20 minutes a day. (get it? 2020).
be refreshed again.
Say yes. Make this simple plan.
Enjoy the cluster of photos, grab this list. (hint take a phone shot, that way it’s with you no matter where you go).
I’d love to hear back from you; let me know how many days you took time to refresh, reflect and renew. You might gain 2020 vision again – for the better!
Remember to love.
God rewards us when we share love.
Enjoy your pet today. They adore the attention!
Remember the song by Bobby Vinton? Red Roses for A Blue Lady. It’s a sad song, but fitting for two points on the list. Music, and flowers. Both will lift us up out of the blues for the day.
©Photos By Design copyrighted
God keeps me safe, not matter the chaos in life. I am safe. I am secure.
It is not by my works, but with a willingness to follow Him, I will be obedient.
He keeps me. Alive. Fulfilled. I lack for no good thing.
He preserves me.
He has my life in His hands.
God is faithful. He holds me close to his bosom.
I will praise the Lord – with my soul.
I am faithful to God – because he has been faithful to me, before I was in my mothers womb.
I am purified by the Blood of Jesus. Whole. Blameless.
God has set me on secure ground, and on high places. He guards me with his angels, who go before me, keeping me safe.
God delivers me from evil.
To this, I sing Praises to the King.
I say Yes and Amen to his promises.
In these times of restlessness and evil bouts of hatred across the world. Sickness threatens our being by the organizations that may have an agenda.
But we stand secure. With God. We stand. No fear. Only live in Hope and Faith. We stand on His Word. We praise him in the storms of life. We pray without ceasing. We love God. We trust Him. We lean on him, and ask his wisdom for what to do. We love, even when it’s hard.
God, you know all things. We trust fully in your plan. No weapon formed against us shall prosper. We, your people have the land. It belongs to us, because you said you’d take it from the wicked and give to the righteous. We / I am your righteous child. I am yours. Imperfect, but holy, because of the blood of Jesus that lives in me.
I love you Jesus. I will lay my head down to sleep tonite, and rest in your arms, keeping me safe all the days of my life. You plan my moments. You are mine and I am yours. Praise Your holy name. I say this, trusting you bring me through like a shining star. Amen.
So, today is a monumental day. For many reasons.
I am going to take a little different writing approach, as I share today.
Broken into Beautiful.
From Mourning and Sadness into JOY.
Just two weeks ago, we celebrated Easter;
Our biggest celebration of LIFE – everlasting life because of what Jesus did for us.
(if you are unaware of those details, PM me, and I’d be glad to share, otherwise, I do believe most know what Salvation is, and what Christ came to do for the WORLD).
In my studying this morning, I was reading about Saul / Paul. A Jew that persecuted those who followed Jesus, was blinded for a few days. The Lord sent Ananias (who very well may have been afraid to confront Saul because of his distaste for the Lord and his followers, and was willingly ready to kill them). But God in his amazing and most wonderful might, power and knowledge, knew Saul would turn from his wicked ways and serve Christ with ZEAL as he was filled with the Holy Spirit.
Paul suffered much; the scourging and persecution once he became vocal as he shared who Jesus was.
God showed him what to do, what would happen, all for the sake of sharing HIS story with US today, through the Bible. Paul was a great example for us.
Imagine, scales fell off of Paul’s eyes after being blinded. A representation of the old turned to new. Scales like a fish skin, is what I imagine it to be like. maybe even similar to an eye that the cataract has gone bad. Take the old lens off, to put a new lens on. (Acts 9).
Saul’s(Paul’s) conversion was huge when he left his worldly view point to serve the Living Christ. HUGE. The terrible things he did – murder, aggression, he was educated to the max, too smart for school, if you will.
He was a fool. He admits to being a fool. He was simply bad to the bone.
Yet, let’s take a moment to define foolish thinking in the worlds view, vs. being a fool for the Lord. (Yes, the Bible talks about bein’ a fool – quite a few times). Paul talks about his own life in Philippians 3:1-9, and 1 Tim. 1:12-17. When we place our trust and faith in our education to get us through life, or our spouse, family members, friends, or our job, type of home we live in, the brand of car and clothing we utilize – we loose.
——> We are lost. The stuff we accomplished becomes prideful and boastful to ourselves to say ‘LOOK WHAT I HAVE DONE. look what I HAVE ACCOMPLISHED’… me me me mememememmemeemmemememememmemeME!!!!!! (insert shaking head).
When we (and yes, it is OK to get a degree, have a nice house and things, as long as they are not our PURPOSE to define us, it is a fine line!); loosen those ‘things’ from your soul, and simply use them as a tool, too trust God with ALL our being, it is THEN faith grows.
When we LIVE in God, his direction, are guided by HIS word, His love, and allow the Holy Spirit to guide us, then we GAIN the world. Because it does NOT have a hold on us.
Because when we can loose our stuff to not hold us down, we become vulnerable.
Let’s be honest, WHO LIKES being vulnerable? N.o.b.o.d.y.!!!!!!!
Paul began to BOAST in his weaknesses; guys and girls, WE ALLLLLLL HAVE WEAKNESSES!!!!!!!!!!! Yes we do.
But, God! He tells us in the Scriptures, that through suffering, through trials, through the junk we live through, IF WE LET God HELP IS, we can boast of what HE DID IN us and through us.
When we live through tough stuff, and we run into the wisdom and care of our Father, through Jesus and being guided by the Holy Spirit, we win. We become fools for Christ because the WORLD lives in an economy of achievement and goals. In spite of the shipwreck, stoning etc, Paul’s faith did not waiver.
Get that —— HE DID NOT WAIVER – he boasted with ZEAL of all God did for him. It is not what we do, but what God does in and through us, God GETS THE GLORY for OTHERS TO SEE!
In spite of the bad God turns the junk to GOOD!
Folks, I come to you today, on this 23rd anniversary of the sudden death of my husband who was only 38 when he died from the affects of a drunk driver.
The month of April is still a solemn one, yet a joyful one. yes, it can be both. It is both.
It’s a time of reflection. Hope. Tears. Smiles. Happiness and remembrances of how God in his mercy did the same for me, as he did for SAUL-PAUL.
Just like LIFE.
Life has GOOD AND BAD. Ups and downs. Joy and sorrow. Difficulties and easiness.
We are living in this time of Coronna virus. A new thing that happened – supposedly quickly to our whole world.
Lots of speculations and weariness happening to people.
I see tons of anger, denial, frustration, despair, worry, depression, confusion etc, as we live in a lock down which has been forced upon the healthy so as not to get sick.
The world economy has stopped by maybe, 75% ish. People want to work. People want to be with family and do their thing.
But it is an awakening. A shifting if you will.
The why questions are many. One big question I hear often is why would a good God let this happen to us?
Why did Jesus get scourged, beat, spit on, screamed at, accused, etc – HE WAS THE INNOCENT LAMB !!!!!! Why did HE HAVE TO feel the pain he did for YOU ?????? WHY?
What did I do that He would love ME so much he would die for me?
I say all of this to come to these points:
This situation we are in today, is a time to pull away, take the free time you have and pray. Seek God. Ask forgiveness so you have salvation, and the opportunity to become whole. A time to learn the Bible and what it says for your life.
Change is needed.
let me say that again. C.h.a.n.g.e is NEEDED within each of us. Including me. Yes, in you too! We all are weak, but by God’s grace, we can live like Paul with zeal for Christ.
Guys and Gals: here is the bottom line:
As I “celebrate” my husbands HOME GOING anniversary, I miss him, as I do my Liz, and others who have left this earth. I do NOT want them to come back to earth. This earth has NOTHING for us. they enjoy heaven and ALL it’s glory vs the ugliness in this world.
This life, guess what: It is TEMPORARY.
Put it in your mind, one day we ALL die.
Whether it be from a virus, disease, drunk driver, cancer or __________.
You and I will die one day.
Grief is real.
When you love much you grieve much.
Grief never goes away, it just simply shifts your life as you (hopefully) will appreciate and rejoice in the good things you shared with the loved ones. You can reflect and talk about memories, and even shed tears. It’s all OK!
So, wherever you are today, in your pride, accomplishment’s or in your humble spirit, every day, I, you, all of us, have to wake up, as God to forgive us of our yesterday’s junk in the trunk. May the bad be washed and cleansed as we begin today, whole, forgiven, living in peace with NO fear of any virus, government, lack or any other thing. God is with us, whom shall we fear? No one.
Let the zeal of the Lord live in each of us, even on days like today, where we think of loved ones who have gone before us.
May we live strong, wise and bold for Christ. Amen!
Each branch has it’s own style and personality. The bark, like dry skin, has had a life of wind blown, snow driven, ice and rain whipped inside each crease. Yet, it stands the test of time. Winter strips the green life from it, much like death. But spring comes, with singing birds and blue skies as leaves grow with HOPE again.
Created by DLDesigns
© ~ Sweet Inspirations via Photos by Design ~