Enjoy The Journey With Me!

Hello friends and followers! I am in the beginning stages of starting another blog. I will probably still post on this one occasionally, but I am trying to mostly switch over. 4elliejune has been a GREAT outlet and introduction to blogging, but I am restless for a new beginning and theme that comes with starting a new blog.

Thank you for all your support and encouragement as I am learning to express myself and describe our Lord better through writing!

Keep up with me in person on https://enjoythejourney4.wordpress.com/2015/08/10/hello-world/

Blessings,

Laura Beth

~Victorious Spirit

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Conflicting Feelings

I heard this old hymn for the first time last month while staying at a dear friend’s house. Love how raw and personal it is, yet not void of the hope and truth of God’s Word. Here it is:

“Conflicting Feelings” by John Newton

“Strange and mysterious is my life.
What opposites I feel within!
A stable peace, a constant strife;
The rule of grace, the power of sin:
Too often I am captive led,
Yet daily triumph in my Head,
Yet daily triumph in my Head.

I prize the privilege of prayer,
But oh! what backwardness to pray!
Though on the Lord I cast my care,
I feel its burden every day;
I seek His will in all I do,
Yet find my own is working too,
Yet find my own is working too.

I call the promises my own,
And prize them more than mines of gold;
Yet though their sweetness I have known,
They leave me unimpressed and cold
One hour upon the truth I feed,
The next I know not what I read,
The next I know not what I read.

I love the holy day of rest,
When Jesus meets His gathered saints;
Sweet day, of all the week the best!
For its return my spirit pants:
Yet often, through my unbelief,
It proves a day of guilt and grief,
It proves a day of guilt and grief.

While on my Savior I rely,
I know my foes shall lose their aim,
And therefore dare their power defy,
Assured of conquest through His name,
But soon my confidence is slain,
And all my fears return again,
And all my fears return again.

Thus different powers within me strive,
And grace and sin by turns prevail;
I grieve, rejoice, decline, revive,
And victory hangs in doubtful scale:
But Jesus has His promise passed,
That grace shall overcome at last,
That grace shall overcome at last.”

“To Whom It May Concern” (Letter 2)

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I saw footprints blaze a trail through the morning dew,

Once again, darling, I started looking, hoping for you,

Only, this path was different from the last,

It was lonely, long, and unlike the hopeful past,

The prints continued but seemed sluggish and wide spaced,

One set in front of the next, yet they lacked fast pace,

As the others had been bathed in light,

It felt as though these were flooded in night,

I thought all at once I might burst; simply run,

But then I looked up and there shone the SON,

Ever steady and true,

It pleaded with me to hope anew,

Overwhelmed by its brilliance and heat,

It seemed to whisper to me, “Don’t worry whose feet,

Though the path seem long and unpleasant at times,

Remember, the Poet uses even long rhymes.”

I smiled at the SON again, delighting in its heat,

Now I know its preparing me for when paths meet…

How Great The Father’s Love For Us

When I was babysitting last week I was reminded of the Father’s love for us. I was holding the little boy I see almost every week and swaying back and forth with him nestled tightly in my arms. He was looking up at me with those mesmerizing, brown, and doe-like eyes God gave him. His eyes, though very tired, seemed to lock with mine as if he was debating whether or not his safety was sure enough to drift off to sleep. I began to sing to him and reassure him by holding him close as we locked eyes and moved around the room. After a while, he drifted off to sleep. I held him for quite some time and rocked him as he slept. As I was staring at him the Lord brought to mind the analogy of it all. He reminded me that I sometimes question Him in my weariness, yet He just holds me close. He locks eyes with me and pulls me close to His chest to reassure me of His love. When I’m anxious, He sings songs of peace and deliverance over me. And when I finally fall asleep, exhausted from this life, He just rocks me for awhile until it’s time to get up and face the world again. What great love. There truly is no greater. I find in me such a growing desire to nurture and I can’t help but think that came from Him- the Creator of all things. Let us learn to trust the security of His arms more and more, friends! It is sure.

-Ellie June

Is your heart leading you or are you leading your heart?

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I want to be counter-cultural.

The world says “Follow your heart.” “Do what feels right.” The world would maybe even say that what you feel and your desires are most important.

God’s word says our hearts are wicked and corrupt. Scripture warns us not to be led passions or “heart first” into a trap. Proverbs says: A) Listen and be wise, direct your heart in the way. (Proverbs 23:19) That doesn’t sound like a suggestion to be enslaved to our ideas or our hearts does it? I take it to mean instead, listen, take notice of God’s word and His commands, and then take responsibility for your heart by leading and directing it onto the right path. What does it mean to direct something? Direction can be defined as controlling the operations of something; to manage or govern. It’s also defined as aiming something in a particular direction or at a particular person. What are we called to direct (lead, aim)? Our hearts. Our hearts are defined as “the central or innermost part of something.” That’s a powerful thing to harness.

B) Proverbs 4:23 says, “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.” We start to look like what we let ourselves dwell on and enjoy. We should direct our hearts to delight in Godly things. For the way of the spirit leads to life, but the way of the flesh leads to death (Romans 8). C) Proverbs tells us again, Apply your heart to discipline and your ears to words of knowledge. It doesn’t happen naturally (Something I really wish I could change).  It takes effort to apply our hearts and discipline our ears to meditating on truth. D) Finally, scripture says, “Give me your heart, my son (or daughter) and let your eyes delight in my ways.” (Prov. 23:26) We are asked to surrender yet another part of ourselves- our eyes. Even what we look on has to be disciplined in the way of Godliness.

These are actions, not responses. We teach our hearts what to delight in. Let us seek to lead our hearts to Godly pursuits and discipline them to love the truth.

These are not easy tasks. The encouragement however, comes from the beginning of Prov. 23:26, “Give me your heart.” God doesn’t ask us to do all of this on our own. He promises to go with us and before us when we give to Him our whole being (including our hearts.)

Remember, feelings come and go, as do the desires of our hearts. Let us not be led by our hearts, but let us be the ones to lead our hearts every day to the foot of the cross.

In His strength,

Ellie June

Late night thoughts

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In a sea of emotions, I stand waging war. They threaten to overwhelm me, beat me down, and convince me that the battle is lost. But I know better. Beside me stands One who’s claimed victory over death, and paid my ransom with His final breath. The One who goes before me knows the beginning ’till the end, and says He’ll keep watch over me forever, even as He ushers me into eternity… So, while emotions rage around me, I grasp for Him who’s overcome it all; One who’s stronger than my emotions and even my heart… I often don’t understand why He has allowed me to feel so much, but I pray that He wastes not a single tear. Lord, somehow, please make it into something beautiful. Turn brokenness into a priceless gift I give back to You.

“Could it be that it is better to feel everything than to feel nothing at all?”

-Ellie June

…Psalm 56:8

Life like rain

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I like rainy days like today. As the rain falls steadily to the ground, it reminds me to be steady like it. It falls to the ground not without purpose, yet nothing about it makes you feel as if you must rush. Rather, it says, “be still.” As the rain makes puddles that reflect the sky above, it calls me to do the same.
It seems rain washes away what was and cleanses and revives all it touches for what is to come-A more glorious sunrise, and a lovelier beauty than before. May I take a moment to “be still” in this reality. May I be even just the puddle that reflects the majesty of Him above. May I, having already been cleansed today, yesterday, and each new day to come by Christ, walk in that, and bring life to those I touch…

“Rivers” Part 1

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But now, thus says the LORD, your Creator, O Jacob,

And He who formed you, O Israel,

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are Mine.”

“Behold, I will do something new,

Now it will spring forth; will you not be aware of it?

I will even make a roadway in the wilderness,

Rivers in the desert.”

I took this photo a few weeks ago of something new I crafted out of something old-filled with memories of childish mistakes and days laced with pain. As you can see I’m much better with words than anything artistic, but nonetheless, it felt good to lay to rest old memories by making “art” out of them.

As I was doing this, I began to think about these verses in Isaiah 43. What a perfect picture of how the Lord truly has and is making something new of old, ugly, and painful things in our lives all the time. I often try to cling so desperately to something I that I think I want as if I always know what’s best for me, when reality Christ is the only one that knows. It seems I cling to sinking ships and lesser passions. I choose man’s opinion as the basis for my self-worth. I trust fear and feeling over God’s truth. I rely on my own strength instead of God’s. All of these things friends, are sinking ships and lesser passions in the end. All the while, our mighty warrior and tender Savior stands waiting to pull us close in our struggles, if we would just grasp His hand instead of grasping for control. May we continue to surrender our lives to Him and let Him make “Something new” out of our past, “Rivers” out of our fleshly, dried up deserts.

“Earth has no sorrow that Heaven can’t heal…”

_Ellie June