This past Sunday at church as we celebrated baptisms, marriages, births and a year of being our own autonomous church, Holy Spirt reminded me where I was a year ago. I reflected on how God has brought us back to a church body that has been so instrumental in my spiritual walk. I reflected on how He is changing and healing the heart of my husband and how that is unifying us in marriage. I reflected on how God is growing in my family’s heart this ministry of prayer and deliverance. I was overwhelmed by the goodness and  kindness of God.

The Lord has taught me so much and I’d love to share His goodness and kindness with you.

so .. if you follow me on instagram or Facebook you know i have a love for capturing my family, life and beauty. i mean, how can you not take advantage of endless free storage space for your future photo printing pleasure. (although i know how rich time away from social media can be)

God is highlighting the word ‘beautiful’ in my life right now because He is becoming more and more the most beautiful person i know. He knows my attraction to beautiful things (or finding the beauty in the seemingly ugly things) and He chooses to speak in me in ways He knows will stir my affections for Him.

 I love those moments when the Lord makes an impression in my heart/mind.  I haven’t always been a good steward of those impression, but i’m on a journey to discover ways i can utilize them for unity, love, edification and restoration. so as i thought of the word ‘capture’ yesterday it seemed to take on a different meaning for a moment in my mind.  I began to think about how i capture the spiritual things growing, changing, and developing in my life. And then i thought about how i journal as a way to capture my thoughts, to ‘track my progress’ and gain a heavenly perspective on what God is doing in me and through me. And then i thought about my blog and how i used it last year as a way to ‘capture’ what God was doing in me each month.

There is something so valuable to me that i wasn’t aware of. something that exceeds my love for capturing moments … it’s capturing presence.

I love capturing the presence of God and all the beauty He is. not just what He creates or how He created it.

God’s presence in my life overwhelms me with an intimate love for who He is and wants to be for me. i’d like to share some of the ways God has revealed Himself to me this past year that has grown my love for Him.

1. My God makes all things beautiful — He makes what is old, new. He give us life and not death. He turns what’s dirty into something clean. He makes wrongs, right … He makes all things beautiful. He replaces judgement with mercy and delights in it. My God delights in showing mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgement.

2. Partnerships — God has highlighted the beautiful dance that happens between Him, Jesus and Holy Spirit. They are perfectly in partnership with one another. God delights in partnering with me. His heart is inclined for me and not against me. Each person of the Trinity is distinct but equal in power and might. He calls me into a beautiful partnership with all 3 of Them to be distinct and to carry their same power and might to bring heaven down to this earth. I’ve been called to greatness because my God is Great.

3. His sheep know His voice — Hearing the voice of the Lord in me begins with giving thanks for an almighty God.  Being still, quieting the noise in my heard, reflecting on the goodness and beauty of our Creator. and then patience … just waiting for that whisper in my mind, waiting for that picture that i’m reminded of, waiting for a single word to be highlighted …. and those things come because my Father speaks to His children and delights in it. there is a confidence that is growing little by little as i test what is my voice and His voice.

4. I am in Christ — When i’m still enough to see myself as God sees me .. without blemish, perfect, blameless, holy, and righteous i find freedom. its this secret place designed for only me and Him. this is the place of encounter. I’m enjoying that place with Him more and more. It’s safe. It’s calm. It’s peaceful. It’s quite. It’s still. It’s beauty.

5. Hideness — God is always present because it’s what He promises but there are seasons where He chooses to not be visible. that is the place He intended to grow and strengthen us in our faith. there is no need to be confused or doubt a God who has promised to Love me perfectly. I choose to trust a God who says he will never leave or forsake me, and that’s enough for me.

6. I am a citizen of Heaven — I am a spiritual being living her on earth and I posses the power of God because I carry a beautiful treasure named Holy Spirit. I am part of a royal blood line because I am part of God’s family and He is Heavenly Royalty. When earthly things don’t make sense or when I feel the the tension of sin within me because of this earth … I choose to believe I am a citizen of Heaven and that God desires to give me a part of Him. Like when frustration creeps in, God wants to give me heavenly patience. When anger creeps in, God wants to give me heavenly peace. I lack nothing but I do have the power to choose what has been freely given to me by a God that treasures His daughter.

7. My Soul — Our souls are made up of our mind, will and emotions. i know i am inclined to be driven by emotions and have often allowed my emotions to dictate and feed my idea of who God is. I’m finding this is a dangerous place to build my relationship with God. Emotional soil just isn’t rich in nutrient and it’s unstable. The Lord has me on a journey to train my mind in His word. I’ve also learned that our wills are cold blooded and in those moments when I don’t ‘feel’ like worshipping or praying or spending time in His presence that I have power in my will. I can choose to way “i will praise a God who is worthy of praise despite my seeming emotional connection to Him right now” or “i will choose obedience whether i understand everything He’s calling me to do in this moment or not”. This discipline is hard but it’s growing leaves in my heart and I love to witness it’s growth.

8. God the Greatest Giver — I’ve been recently challenged by a man named Graham Cooke to think of God and the battle against the enemy like this. What if we were never challenged by the enemy? What if we are ever really being challenged by the Goodness of God? When frustration rises in our hearts, what if we thought of that ‘sin’ as a gift God wants to give us out of His immense Goodness to His children? What if He wants to give me patience because He’s a good Father and He loves to lavish His children with His Goodness. I like that this shift in thinking gives little to no power to the enemy because He has no power over the God that lives in my heart. I’m learning to partner with this.

9. My Secret Place — I have found the ultimate hiding spot but not to run from the Lord, rather, to be in a place of intimacy with Him. I am learning to find this secret place with God where only He and I know where it is. It’s this place where I can run and not be tempted or lured by the enemy. It’s this place that was created only for me and Him were all things are designed to draw me into a more intimate love with my Heavenly Father. It’s a place where all things stir my affections for the Lord. It’s a piece of the Heavenly realm I have access to here on this side of Heaven. It’s in this place where I’m being taught so much because there is only the voice of the Lord.

10. Falling in Love with God — I’m finding that the Lord is calling me out of “spiritual adolescence” and calling me into a new level of glory. This is happening as I am growing into a new level of intimacy with God. The more I savor his presence the more my spirit craves His face. This place of intimacy in the Lord has the power to conquer so many things that face me day to day.  Like the way to battle laziness or my shortcomings in motherhood or as a wife are conquered in intimacy with God.  The Lord is painting in my heart a more accurate picture of who He is and who He wants to be for me and I am trusting His lead more and more.  Intimacy is the secret place Satan can’t touch God’s children. Intimacy is where we find absolute freedom because it’s the place where God looks on us as He looks on Jesus with such delight.

This God is speaking. He is drawing us in. He is calling you into a greater intimacy with Him. There is so much goodness and kindness God is ready to give to His children. and it’s pure Beauty.