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S P R I N G || Come Away With Me

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Winter has gone on far too long. Spring is on its way and I hear Him calling to me, “come away with Me…”

 “The Shulamite

 Listen! I hear my lover’s voice.

I know it’s him coming to me—

leaping with joy over mountains,

skipping in love over the hills that separate us,

to come to me.

Let me describe him:

he is graceful as a gazelle,

swift as a wild stag.

Now he comes closer,

even to the places where I hide.

He gazes into my soul,

peering through the portal

as he blossoms within my heart.

The one I love calls to me:

The Bridegroom-King

 Arise, my dearest. Hurry, my darling.

Come away with me!

I have come as you have asked

to draw you to my heart and lead you out.

For now is the time, my beautiful one.

The season has changed,

the bondage of your barren winter has ended,

and the season of hiding is over and gone.

The rains have soaked the earth

and left it bright with blossoming flowers.

The season for singing and pruning the vines has arrived.

I hear the cooing of doves in our land,

filling the air with songs to awaken you and guide you forth.

Can you not discern this new day of destiny

breaking forth around you?

The early signs of my purposes and plans

are bursting forth.

The budding vines of new life

are now blooming everywhere.

The fragrance of their flowers whispers,

‘There is change in the air.’

Arise, my love, my beautiful companion,

and run with me to the higher place.

For now is the time to arise and come away with me.

For you are my dove, hidden in the split-open rock.

It was I who took you and hid you up high

in the secret stairway of the sky.

Let me see your radiant face and hear your sweet voice.

How beautiful your eyes of worship

and lovely your voice in prayer.

You must catch the troubling foxes,

those sly little foxes that hinder our relationship.

For they raid our budding vineyard of love

to ruin what I’ve planted within you.

Will you catch them and remove them for me?

We will do it together.”

-Song of Songs 2:10-15 The Passion Translation

 

Is anybody else ready for Spring?

Time to go catch those little foxes.

Grace & Peace,

Raine


Around the beginning of each season I hope to share with you my reflections of the previous one, what I’m looking forward to in the current/next season & what my intentions are. Be sure to look out for this section in early Spring, Summer, Autumn & Winter!


LOOKING BACK

Too many cloudy days.


LOOKING AHEAD

I wanna feel the sun on my skin.


MY INTENTIONS FOR SPRING

Begin taking long walks with The Father through His Word

Begin having regular conversations with Jesus over breakfast, while I’m working and throughout my days

Be still and be present to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit

Get outside, even for a few minutes, everyday

Write and read and read and write

Explore my new home here in Florida and learn to appreciate it for everything that it has to offer

Less social media, less tv, less distractions, less clutter, less procrastination and more abiding

I wanna eat more fruit

I wanna dance

What are your intentions for this new season?


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.

Catching My Breath

Photo by @iamjohnbrandon

Photo by @iamjohnbrandon

It’s finally Saturday.

The kind of Saturday I’ve been longing for since this new year began.

I’ve already done some Saturday type things, like waking up early to read my Word before the day really began. I went to breakfast with a friend from church and for lunch I ate fruit with my leftover chocolate cake from The Cheesecake Factory. I’m currently wearing Saturday type clothing: sweatpants, an old Nike shirt and a blue sweater. It’s quiet in our new apartment and the sun’s light is shining through the six large windows that make our tiny space feel bigger than it actually is.

I love it.

I love this place that we are in. This place that The Lord has brought us to. This place where I can inhale His grace and be refreshed by His Spirit.

I love that today, on this beautiful Saturday in sunny Florida, I can finally catch my breath again.

The last few weeks have been quite the whirlwind, but they have also been some of the most life changing moments of my life.

First there was Christmas, where I spent time with siblings and family from my dad’s side whom I had never met before. It was pretty much the best Christmas ever.

Then, John and I packed up all our belongings (again) from my parents’ home about an hour outside of Orlando and moved into our new apartment here in The City Beautiful.

After that, as well as settling into our new home, John and I both started new full-time positions in organizations we were already working in. For me that included a week in New York for my on-boarding and then immediately transitioning from a 20-hour per week workload to a full 40 hours. I work from home, which is a huge blessing that I hope to never take for granted, but each of those hours at home working are definitely accounted for. I haven’t worked full-time in almost two years, so this has positively been another adjustment. I was also doing some contracting work that took up time in the mornings and evenings before and after work.

Along with what I’ve already mentioned, this past month I spent a lot more of my personal time reading and writing. Not writing for the blog every Sunday like I had hoped, but nonetheless, creating. These activities have been my form of rest and self-care as January was off to an energetic start. As well as being a wife, cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, going to church, attending events like a wedding and birthday dinner, etc. Oh, and being sick for the entire week that I was in New York. You know, the life things.

The life thing that has changed my life however, was a week of prayer and fasting (3 days). Between Sunday, January 20th and Sunday, January 27th my church, by the leading of the Holy Spirit, participated in a total fast (water and juice only) and gathered for prayer for an hour at 6am for three days straight. It was my first time ever completing a total fast. It was also my first time ever going to church for prayer three mornings in a row. My experience that week was absolutely amazing. It’s still a challenge trying to find the words to describe it all.  

We also prayed that Wednesday and Sunday evening, outside of our normal Friday night young adult service (which consisted of more praying) and our two Sunday services called Rivers. We were at the church a lot, but that week changed my life forever and I look forward to finally getting the right words down on the screen to share in an upcoming post. Stay tuned…

So, after all that took place towards the end of December and throughout the entire month of January, today, on this beautiful Saturday afternoon, I get to sit beside my husband, write, reflect and breathe in life from my Creator. 

I expect that the rest of the year will be filled with more running after the things of God, more abiding in Him, more prayer and fasting, more gathering, more writing and reading, more work, more traveling, more adulting things, more life. I want to be ready to hit the ground running, knowing that The Lord will always provide a time of rest and refreshing if we simply take a moment to slow down and breathe Him in.

“For the Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.” – Job 33:4 NLT

How are you spending your weekend?

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 Genesis & Acts

Educated by Tara Westover

Fierce Hope: Why the Only Truth Worth Living For is Greater Than the Empty Promises of Our Chaotic World by Savanna Hartman

JANUARY RECAP: The Biblical Books John & Romans, It’s Happening by William McDowell, The Well by Stephanie Landsem & Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott



SPOTLIGHT

The Narrow Way by Keisha Ford

I was introduced to Keisha online via a woman whose daughters I used to babysit when I was in high school! She was like, “hey, you are both great writers and I think you should connect.” She didn’t say it exactly in those words, but you get the gist. That introduction lead to a two-hour phone conversation about writing, blogging and faith. Keisha’s blog is always real and always encouraging. She is also a self-published author! Follow Keisha on Instagram.

Cloistered Away by Bethany Douglass

I’ve been reading Bethany’s writing for a couple years now. She writes a lot about homeschooling, life at home, the seasons and more. What I enjoy the most is her reflection and encouragement for our creative lives. She speaks of rhythm and routine, our souls and rest, letting go and making space in our daily lives to be creative. I always look forward to her posts, even the ones that don’t necessarily apply to my current season (like homeschooling). I save them for later anyways. Follow Bethany 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.

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.