A blog where women are inspired and encouraged to grow in their relationship with Christ.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Are You Bowing Down?


Do you ever have times when you just feel emotionally exhausted?  Well, that’s where I’ve been lately.

In the last six months...

1.  My husband came home and told me his company downsized and he was no longer employed.
2.  I have a long-term chronic illness, and the pain has greatly intensified.
3.  My dad passed away.
4.  My mom just had emergency heart surgery.
5.  I caught a viral ear infection from our sweet granddaughter and it left me with some significant permanent hearing loss.  {Who knew?!}
6.  My car needs extensive repairs before it will pass inspection. 


Yep, this is just an abbreviated snapshot of the last six months of my life. 


When I saw a picture of this tree, I could so relate.  I saw a tree ravaged and battered down by the storms and winds of time... A tree on the verge of breaking.  Yes, that’s exactly how I felt. 

And then my loving Abba began to open the eyes of my heart and helped me to see as He sees.  Everything that He allows in my life can be used for His sweet, glorious purpose. 

I bow down in humble adoration when: 

He shows me He will make provision for us. 
He teaches me to praise him in the midst of pain. 
He shows me that He controls life and death. And that He's 
holding my sweet dad in His loving arms.
He shows me how much He loves my mom by helping her to trust Him. 
He teaches me patience and trust through hearing loss.
He reminds me to trust Him for my everyday needs, like transportation.
  

Now, I look at this picture with new eyes.  I no longer see a battered-down tree.  I see a tree bowing down in humble adoration to its magnificent Creator.  I see a tree that’s been made so strong by the storms and winds of time that it can bend and bend without breaking.   A tree that is being formed, shaped, and fashioned just as the Maker intends.



Yes, today I bow down in humble adoration to 
the One who is able to use all things for my good and His glory.


I love to see the 
fingerprints of God on your life.  
Is your baby keeping you up at night?
Are your children tap dancing on your last nerve?
Is your relationship with your husband in a tough place?
How is God teaching you to bow down in humble adoration?
Living in His grace, 
  Mary
Picture 1, 2
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54 comments:

  1. Oh Mary, he does make us strong in our weakness doesn't He? I will pray for you. I mean that, I don't say it unless I will do it. Thank you for always teaching such a good word to us on here.

    The storms of life....thank goodness we have beyond this to look forward to some day.

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    1. Marlece, thank you so much for your prayers. I can't tell you how much that means. God is so awesome to use life's happenings to fashion us into His character... for His glory!
      Your visits mean so much!
      Blessing to you, my friend ~ Mary

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  2. As always your words touch so deeply. God is surely using you to help others through your devotions :) My husband and I have both learned to bow humbly as we've spent the last month living in our friend's basement while we wait for a house and jobs to come through. It has been a huge lesson in trust and patience.

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    1. April, I always look forward to your encouraging visits. I'm sure being basement dwellers has not been easy. I'm so glad to hear that your relationship with Him is even richer because of it. Isn't it wonderful how God uses the toughest things to bring us into deeper communion with Him?!
      Blessings to you, sweet sister ~ Mary

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  3. A hard truth to acknowledge, but one that we must. Thank you for consistently sharing so honestly.

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    1. Bekah, God's so good and merciful to lovingly teach us the hard truths.
      I'm thankful for your visits!
      Blessings to you, dear friend ~ Mary

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    1. Kate, you're so right! God is so generous to use 'life' to teach us His perspective.
      I'm so blessed by your visit!
      Blessings to you ~ Mary

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  5. A fine word for me this day! A hard time yet one held in the arms of Jesus...I will be alright for I am alright as I trust in HIm. May He rain His peace upon you and reign in your hearts. Caring through Christ, ~ linda

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    1. Linda, it sounds as though you're going through a tough time. I'm so thankful that you're resting in the strong arms of our sweet Jesus.
      Thank you for your encouraging words.
      God bless you sweet sister ~ Mary

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  6. This so rings true and resonates in my spirit today, sweet friend. Exhaling at the reality that HE is in control. Standing, wiping tears, and much more fully than before, trusting Him again! ~ Jen

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    1. Jen, isn't He wonderful to quench our spirits with His life-giving love?! He IS in control and loves us desperately.
      I love your visits!
      Blessings to you, sweet sister ~ Mary

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  7. You are so wise, Mary. If only we could all change our perspective to see things through God's eyes. We might understand things a bit better. I loved the tree analogy, too. I am sorry to hear about all the difficulty you have faced in such a short time. I had that year in 2011...job and insurance loss as we welcomed our second child/husband worked 6 days a week and our baby never slept...I thought I would just snap! But now I'm in a different season, and I see why God did all those things. The setback was a setup for even greater blessings! It's easy to trust Him in the good times, huh? But He wants us to trust Him when the storms are raging. I will certainly pray for your situation(s), and thank you for your honesty and inspiring words.

    XOXO,
    Meredith

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    1. Meredith, I'm so glad to hear that 2011's difficulties have passed... very encouraging! I love "The setback was a setup for even greater blessings". I'll remember that!
      Thank you sweet friend for your prayers and encouragement. I love having you here!
      Blessings and love ~ Mary

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  8. Blessings dear Mary; you have endured many hardships this past year! I am thankful for your heart and that you know God has promised us that our suffering is not in vain or without a purpose. He allows us to go through trials so that He can comfort us and know the true joy of His peace and assurance during any situation. :)

    Blessings and hugs,
    Denise

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    1. Oh Denise, you're so right! He allows us to go through the storms so we can know His comfort, love, joy, peace...sweet, rich communion with Him!
      Thank you for your encouraging words. I always love having you here and appreciate your blog so much!
      Blessings my friend ~ Mary

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  9. Dear Mary
    I can just say Amen and thank you. The Fm/CFS is giving me a hard time at the moment and I battle to walk up straight all the time. Especially when I get up from the bed or a chair, I look a lot like that tree. Now I will bow down even further thanking our Pappa that He has brought me down to humble adoration.
    Much love XX
    Mia

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    1. Dear Mia, you've been on my heart so much lately. I've been praying and trusting our Abba to strengthen and encourage you with His sweet and powerful presence. Your beautiful writing is such a tribute to your humble adoration of Him. You are a great blessing to me and so many others.
      Blessings and much love ~ Mary

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  10. Beautiful words Mary. I loved this post and this photo. In a year of being shaken up, personally speaking, I am grateful for every reminder I get to remember to stop and praise the One who is truly my firm foundation through it all. Amen!

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    1. Heather, isn't it wonderful that we serve a glorious God that uses the difficult times to bring us into sweet adoration of Him?!
      Thanks so much for coming by! I appreciate your comment!
      Blessings to you, my friend ~ Mary

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  11. We had a tough year at our house too. And we've learned a lot from it. Especially about the value of obedience and the way that God blesses us in it even when we don't feel his peace at this moment.

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    1. Helene, I'm so thankful that we have a God who securely wraps us in His love while teaching us to bow down in adoration. I'm blessed and encouraged by your words my friend.
      I'm glad you're here.
      Blessings to you my sweet sister ~ Mary

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  12. Hi Mary, yes, we go through these times but thanks God that for Jesus, that we do not have to stay there. As you I pass through those moments but I come out with a praise just as you have thanking Him for the lesson learned in that time. God bless you and your family! What an inspirational post! I am your new follower.

    Living F.A.B.ulously on Purpose

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    1. Hi Margaret! We share the same last name...cool! God is so faithful to carry us, shove us, walk with us, and hold us through difficult times... Always teaching us and drawing us into deeper communion with Him. Yes, a beautiful place to be!
      I'm so glad you're here! Thanks so much for visiting and following!
      Blessing to you ~ Mary

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  13. Oh Mary. My heart aches for all that you've been through. Yet I rejoice over the way you turn your pain over, to find redemption. You mentor us with your words. God bless you.

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    1. Jennifer, God is so gracious to use life's happenings to draw us into such deep, rich relationship with Him. His very presence in our lives is redemptive!
      Blessings to you my sweet sister ~ Mary

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  14. So sorry for the road you are having to walk and grateful for the one who walks these paths beside us and teaches to walk them well and for his glory. This was such an encouragement to me today - we adopted a 3-year-old in March(in addition to our almost 4 and 3.5-year-old and baby on the way!) and he has been testing and trying me constantly since he joined us and continues to treat me with indifference even after 8 weeks of my trying to pour out love on his hurting little heart. Your post is such a sweet reminder that God uses these seasons to sanctify us and make me more like him and that I have been trying too hard to do this in my own strength and not in his grace. Thank you.

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    1. Oh Whitney, my mama-heart breaks for you and your little guy. And yet I know and trust that our Abba Father will fashion you and your sweet family for your good and His glory. I'm praying for you, your husband and little ones right now and look forward to hearing how God's grace is being poured out in each sweet life.
      Thank you for your visit my friend ~ Mary

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  15. I see tree so deeply rooted that even though it has obviously been battered by a fierce wind, it's still green and determined to stand firm..
    I can absolutely relate to this post.. We have had a pretty rough six months ourselves, but things are looking up..
    I read this verse on three separate blogs this morning.. Not to sound all prophetic or anything, but maybe I'm supposed to share it with you too: "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

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    1. Ren, I'm so glad things are looking up for you!:) Thank you so much for sharing this verse... it's one of my favorites! It's a beautiful thing how God uses a sweet sister to speak truth to us. I appreciate you!
      Blessings and love ~ Mary

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  16. Some seasons of life seem really hard but I love the truths you shared that God is teaching you. Trees have a way of capturing my attention. When I see trees in a similar posture, I think of one having gone through the storms but survive. Battered perhaps but not broken. Praise be to God that keeps us during the rough sea moments as well as the quiet pasture ones.

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    1. Thank you Wanda for sharing the beautiful truth that our Lord is with us through the rough seas as well as the quiet pastures. I'm so thankful for the lessons He so patiently teaches us! We serve an awesome God... One worthy of humble adoration!
      Blessings to you ~ Mary

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  17. I've had those moments of emotional exhaustion - where you feel like you're turned inside out and are empty of anything!It's all about learning to see life through Him. Your real reminder of the real need to let GOd in this weay was sweet encouragement for me today!

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    1. I love that God allows us to go through tough things and by His Spirit, helps us love and trust Him more... a protected, and sweet place to be.
      Thank you so much for coming by.
      Blessings to you ~ Mary

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  18. Because HIS footprints are patterned all over my life, I am reminded of HIS everlasting presence. HIS footprints serve as a constant reminder that HE will never leave me nor forsake me. Thank you for this post. Although the devil is busy, the GOD whom we serve is busier and mightier! May HIS abiding presence adorn your life with wholeness.

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    1. Victory, I'm so thankful for His constant, powerful, peace-filled presence in our lives.
      Thank you sweet sister for coming by and sharing wonderful words.
      Blessings to you ~ Mary

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  19. So glad that even in the face of all you've been through, you are able to see God's hand of provision. It's amazing how a change of position (bowing down in humble adoration) can change your perspective. First time reader fro DYWW, but definitely not last. God Bless

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    1. Hope, I love having you here! Our Abba seems to be able to use every life circumstance to fashion us for His purpose and glory.
      Thank you so much for coming by. I look forward to getting to know you!
      Blessings to you ~ Mary

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    1. Thank you, Antoinette! I'm so glad you came by!
      Blessings to you ~ Mary

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  21. This post was just what my heart needed to see, thank you so much for sharing and I hope and pray the next 6 months are much better for you.
    :::: hugs :::::::

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    1. Tena, Thanks so much for your kind words.
      I really appreciate you coming by!
      Blessings to you, my friend ~ Mary

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  22. You have some difficult things happen in the last six months. I am encouraged that you are able to give praise to God through all these things and see His sovereignity. You are lifting others up through sharing these things.

    Thanks for sharing over at WholeHearted Home.

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    1. Hi Judith! God has made His presence known in such a profound way. He is sovereign!
      Thanks once again for hosting the linkup... I really appreciate you!
      Blessings to you ~ Mary

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  23. Enjoyed reading your heart. I am learning that I have gone many years bowing down to the idols of respect and comfort. How I need to humbly bow in adoration.

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    1. Oh Angela, thank you for your honesty. I know of many times that I've bowed down to idols as well. I'm so thankful that our magnificent Lord never gives up on us and continues to open our eyes to His loving presence.
      Blessings to my my sweet sister ~ Mary

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  24. Hey there! I'm stopping' by from the blog hop and wanted to let you know I'm your newest follower via GFC! I'm also following you via all your social networks as well :o) Hope you'll get a chance to visit me! You can find me here:

    Blog url
    http://www.croppedstories.blogspot.com

    Facebook
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cropped-Stories/615495055132216

    Twitter
    https://twitter.com/croppedstories

    Google+
    https://plus.google.com/u/0/102758509830977850235/posts

    Bloglovin'
    http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/3718883

    Pinterest
    http://pinterest.com/croppedstories/

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    1. Thanks for coming by! I look forward to visiting your site!
      Blessings to you ~ Mary

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  25. I am always thankful when God changes my perspective. My husband has been unemployed for over 3 years. We had to short-sale our home two years ago, we sold 2 cars we loved and I visit the food bank monthly. But God is good and we are leaning!!! Thank you for sharing!

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    1. Oh Barbie, I remember praying for you some time ago. I'm so sorry for the tough time you've had. but I rejoice to hear that you are bowing down in humble adoration to the One who provides all we need. Praying now for you, my sister.
      Blessing to you dear friend ~ Mary

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  26. You've been through so much, a weaker person would have broke under all of that. God is already using you for His glory, because of those circumstances. I like the visual of the tree. It reminded me of Jonah for some reason. How God caused a tree to grow to shade Jonah and protect him from the sun and then just as quickly he made it die, so that Jonah could see everything comes from Him. It's amazing how when we turn from looking at our situation to looking at God how our perspective can change, and what peace we have when going through life's storms.

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    1. Alecia, I love the connection you made to Jonah! God is all about using whatever it takes to bring us into rich communion with Him to His glory. I'm so thankful that He is strength to our weakness!
      Blessings to you my friend ~ Mary

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  27. Nicely done Mary!
    I found you over at Wanda's~
    :D

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    1. Hi Ella! {Love your name!} I'm so glad you came by!
      Blessings to you ~ Mary

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