A B I D E

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For the past few years I have chosen one word to guide my year. Rather than setting goals that never wind up getting accomplished, this practice has truly made a difference in the way I go about being intentional throughout the year.

In 2015 I graduated with my Master’s degree in Social Work, began working at my first job out of college in Baltimore City, purchased a new car for the first time in my life and learned more about God’s GRACE.

In 2016 I embraced the JOY of the Lord and married my best friend.

In 2017 I went on a mission trip to Iceland, self-published my first book of poetry, was let go from my first job out of college and waited on the Lord to lead me in a new direction as I discovered His WONDER.

In 2018 I did my best to become BRAVE as John and I moved our entire life from Maryland to Florida, formed relationships with new people, met my dad for the first time, started opening up about some of the things I am going through, went to my first counseling session and really began digging into my past and emotions that triggered shame, stress, anxiety and fear.

In 2019 I carry with me grace, joy, wonder and bravery as I long to ABIDE in the Lord.

For me abiding in the Lord means pursuing a deeper, more intimate relationship with my Father every day of my life. I desire to sit at the feet of Jesus, reading His Word, pursuing His presence through prayer and worship and resting in His love for me. I desire to become deeply rooted in my faith in Jesus Christ and my identity as a daughter of the King.

I just want to be with Him, more than I ever have before. And He wants to be with us too.

He wants to be with you.

““I love each of you with the same love that the Father loves me. You must continually let my love nourish your hearts [abide in my love]. If you keep my commands, you will live in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands, for I continually live nourished and empowered by his love. My purpose for telling you these things is so that the joy that I experience will fill your hearts with overflowing gladness! So this is my command: Love each other deeply, as much as I have loved you. For the greatest love of all is a love that sacrifices all. And this great love is demonstrated when a person sacrifices his life for his friends”” (See John 15:1-17 TPT). — John 15:9-13

What’s your one word for the year, or goals if you have them?

Grace & Peace,

Raine


Around the beginning of each month I hope to share with you what I’m reading & listening to, as well as some of the bloggers I follow. Each month will highlight different books, podcasts & bloggers. Be sure to look out for this section!


READING

In the Bible… The Books of John & Romans

The Well by Stephanie Landsem

I’ve read this book twice now and it gets me every time. I’ve committed to reading it once a year and this month I have a friend reading it with me. It’s definitely one of my favorite books ever in life, so you should check it out too and let me know what you think!

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott

This year I want to be more intentional about learning about the craft of writing. I’ve been writing in different forms for most of my life but have never really taken the time – outside of school – to really sharpen this gift that I enjoy. I want to become a better writer and other than actually writing, that starts with learning. I’ve heard great reviews about Anne Lamott’s books, so this will be my starting point.

Do you have any suggestions for books on writing I could read?


LISTENING

Deeper Fellowship Church Podcast

The Next Right Thing by Emily P. Freeman

Chasing Creative by Ashley Brooks & Abbigail Kriebs


SPOTLIGHT

Savanna Hartman

Savanna and I met at our church recently and instantly connected through our love of God, writing and reading. I found her blog online one day and fell in love with the words she shared that came directly from her heart. Savanna’s writing is pure, full of emotion, vulnerable and heart-changing. You can sense the presence of God in her words as she pours out her life before Him through what she presents her readers. Please check out her blog because it is truly some of the best writing I have ever read, and I don’t say that lightly. Follow Savanna on Instagram.

A Wholehearted Life by Lindsay Crandall

I remember reading words on a blog one day that led me to Lindsay Crandall’s website. I read some of her writing and wanted to read more. So, I did. There’s something about the way that she writes that draws you into the imperfections of life and positively encourages you in your own life, especially when it comes to writing. She is one of my favorite bloggers, one whose writing I look forward to reading every time. Follow Lindsay on Instagram.

What are you reading/listening to this month?


Write Light is a faith-inspired blog about my journey of faith in Jesus Christ. My purpose is that I would bravely walk out my faith in God & write about the light of His Son Jesus. So that you would know by His Holy Spirit & believe in your heart that He exists, that He loves you with an everlasting love, that He created you to be brave & to be light. My hope is that this space & these words encourage you in your own journey of faith & inspires you to be brave enough to love others deeply as you allow your light to shine through the creative gifts that God has called you to. A new post will prayerfully be published every Sunday. If you like what you read, please share this blog with a friend & on your social media. Thanks for being here!

Our Journey Deeper

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Today is January 6th, 2019, the first Sunday of the New Year and I am currently in a coffee shop, sitting next to my best friend (& husband) John.

Feeling blessed.

Tomorrow marks the 1-year anniversary of the Sunday we packed up both of our cars with all our belongings and made the 14-hour trip from Maryland to Florida to embark on a new chapter in our lives. Towards the end of 2017, we knew the Lord was calling us to a new season of training, equipping and preparation and the place where we were to receive all of that and more was Deeper Fellowship Church in Orlando.

It has been 1 year since we took a leap of faith in God, trusting Him to provide each and every one of our needs as we decided to follow Him to a new state, a new church, new friends and community, new levels of faith and growth and eventually new jobs. And He has done exactly what He promised.

To be honest though, 2018 was one of the most challenging years of my life. When I look back on the year (only 6 days out) I see a lot of tears from dealing with different emotions about different things. I see lots of grasping for air as I struggled with stress, anxiety and panic attacks. I see me missing having our own space as John and I were blessed to stay with my parents for the year while we got settled here in Florida. I see lots of indecision and fear as I started Write Light twice – once in March and once in August, both times deleted and pushed off. Even this post has been a struggle to actually sit down and write, as I had hoped to begin on the 1st.

But here I am, on the other side of this past year, and looking back at it all there are other things I see too.

I see John gaining a new passion for photography, being blessed with great mentors and a new camera and really thriving in this gifting. I see the people God has placed in our lives, church friends who have now become family and we have all grown in the past year through new jobs, new entrepreneurial endeavors, new marriages, new babies, new commitments to what God has for us in this season. I see the shepherds of the church God sent us to truly walking out a Spirit-led life, hosting the presence of the living God and cultivating an environment where we are experiencing true revival. I see my parents faithfully serving God in their retirement, loving on people the way the Bible commands. I see me building relationship with my dad who I hadn’t known for 27 years of my life and my whole family on his side. I see John and I moving from some-time, to part-time to full-time positions allowing us to move into our own apartment and start building towards our future. I see me cooking more and getting outside for walks, and jogs and swims, even in the Florida heat. I see the precious times spent with friends and family in California, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and Texas. I see the people in my life encouraging me to keep writing, to be brave.

I see God drawing me closer to Him throughout it all, calling me, inviting me to come closer to Him, to sit at His feet. I see Him drawing me to new levels of faith, and trust, and belief and freedom. I see Him, in the good and the bad of 2018. I see the Lord high and lifted up, seated on the throne of my life.

I see His joy, His grace, His mercy, His favor, His provision, His protection, His peace, His comfort, His healing, His power, His wonder, His humor, His tenderheartedness, His strength, His love, His light surrounding me, filling me, and drawing me deeper.

2018 was a year of transition. It was a year of revealing the hidden things in my heart and my life so that I could surrender them to the Lord and allow Him to do His deep work within me, because 2019 is here and there are great things in store for me.

For you.

I couldn’t stay where I was, moving through life still holding onto the same routines, past hurts, negative thought patterns, excuses, strongholds, sins, beliefs and more that were holding me back from intimacy with my Father.

I still have a lot to work through, to write out and process, but I’m thankful for this journey of faith. I’m thankful for the growth. I’m thankful for the New Year because now I see clearly that everything that 2018 brought – the good and the bad – was all to make me stronger, braver, wiser and to draw me right into the arms of my loving Father.

And He desires to draw you closer too.

I don’t know what your 2018 looked like, but what I do know is that this year you can decide that no matter what you see you will continually seek the Lord with all your heart and draw closer to Him every day, because He is calling you deeper.

Can you hear Him?

“Deep calls to deep at the roar of your waterfalls; all your breakers and your waves have gone over me. By day the Lord commands his steadfast love, and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life.” – Psalm 42:7-8 ESV


Grace & Peace,

Raine


Write Light is a faith-inspired blog about my journey of faith in Jesus Christ. My purpose is that I would bravely walk out my faith in God & write about the light of His Son Jesus. So that you would know by His Holy Spirit & believe in your heart that He exists, that He loves you with an everlasting love, that He created you to be brave & to be light. My hope is that this space & these words encourage you in your own journey of faith & inspires you to be brave enough to love others deeply as you allow your light to shine through the creative gifts that God has called you to. A new post will prayerfully be published every Sunday. If you like what you read, please share this blog with a friend & on your social media. Thanks for being here!