February 2, 2014

Cups of Joy

It is so much easier to identify the negative things. How many of us look at our reflections in the mirror only to see the blemishes, the wrinkles, and the lack? I always see pimples on my own face when no one else can spot them. We can so easily be critical and disparaging of our own lives especially in this world of social media, photoshop, and pintrest perfection. I want to see this change in my life. Joy and thankfulness should always be on my lips. 

Recently I was thinking about habits. I don't see myself as a person of habit. I like trying new things, going new places, and I actively and subconsciously resist being predictable. I never drink quite the same drink at Starbucks every time, and rarely order the same thing at a restaurant twice.  

I was thinking about my habits or lack there of because I want to endeavor to make thankfulness active and habitual in my life. One thing that I cannot seem to get through a day without, especially these cold dark winter days, is a hot beverage... actually multiple hot beverages throughout the day. The precious thing about a cup of coffee or tea is the time it takes to make and then drink it. It is a beautiful thing to boil water and then watch as it magically turns into a warming nurturing elixir. It soothes the soul to sit even for a moment and just enjoy the heat of porcelain on your hand and liquid on your tongue. The steam rising to raise your spirits. 

Confession time: I admit I have a habit... hot beverages. 

My gratefulness should be as constant at these mugs of magic. So I am to connect my current habit to the creation of a grateful habit. Join me if you would like, as I take a moment at each cup during the day and let some joy and thankfulness spill over. Essentially this will look like: every time I have a hot beverage I will remember something new to be grateful over. Cups of joy

I am looking forward to finding fullness in a life of thankfulness. Though darkness sometimes seems to stifle my soul, it cannot last, will not last. These cups of joy are my little way of piercing the clouds around me with rays of light as I remember His love, grace, and goodness daily. 

P.S. You can follow me on Instagram @sarahcatherinenoel and #cupsofjoy 

Longing for the Spring of His Kingdom

The cold branches of winter seem to be grasping at my heart, with all their sad stories, frigid days, and hopeless nights.

Over the past few months, maybe few years, my life has intercepted with so many stories that bring tears to my eyes that I feel like the sadness on my face has become permanent.

Stories of
rape (God, so much rape)
broken families
abused children
stubborn despair-causing bureaucracy
terminal illness
gripping worry
car accidents
sudden death of beloved pets
lies (so many lies)
abandoned children
limbs amputated
failed relationships
trafficked women, men, children,

lives broken, hearts bruised, hope gone.

Lord, where is your Kingdom coming? Where!?! Cause I don't see it.

The cold winter closes in on my heart. I forget what the trees look like adorned with buds and leaves. The grey sky above becomes a constant, if not in reality then in my countenance.

Can anyone, can anything stop the changing of the seasons? Spring has to come. It just has to.

Hold on heart until it does.

Through the tears and sadness I have to cling to the truth that I will see His goodness in the land of the living and that one day, though it seems far off, one day He will make all things right

How do I make it through the winter of this world to the spring of His kingdom?



Remembering who our God is and how redemption is His particular specialty.

"For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: In returning to Me and resting in Me you shall be saved; in quietness and in trusting confidence shall be your strength..." (Isaiah 30:15, Amplified) 
Stumbling across this scripture for the hundredth time the Lord whispers to my heart, "Return to me. Rest in me. Quiet yourself and trust confidently in me and I will make things right. I will because I AM."  

All these stories, sad sad stories... some of them have already begun to sprout life... some are heading into a darker season before they can hope for light. But I have to remind myself that all life comes from seeds that first have to die. Death is not the end. Sometimes it is the beginning.

This is not the end
This is not the end of this
We will open our eyes wide, wider

This is not our last
This is not our last breath
We will open our mouths wide, wider

And you know you’ll be alright
Oh and you know you’ll be alright

This is not the end
This is not the end of us
We will shine like the stars bright, brighter

 Lyrics to "This is Not the End" by Gungor