“Is Your Heart Quiet?”

Quiet heart

by Dona Hake

Once again I am thinking about the hustle and bustle of another holiday approaching us.   I recently heard on the news someone quote a person saying “Just knowing I am going to be with my family over the holidays makes me feel like I am gonna have an anxiety attack.”  Sad isn’t it?  Yet, there are alot of people that feel this way especially over the holidays.  Then there are those that wish they could sit with their loved ones during the holidays but they are no longer here.  Any holiday can really bring pressures and anxiety IF and that is in all caps because it is IF we permit it to!

Recently I was driving down the road and on my radio was playing “♪♫ It’s beginning to look alot like Christmas…♪ ♫ ♪”   People were speeding down the road, honking their horns in impatience.  There was so much rush, rush, rush, and  I thought to myself,  yes it is beginning to look alot like Christmas.   The anxiety and madness is in the air and people allow the true meaning of it all to slip from their minds in the midst of it all.  It saddens me that people are in such a hurry and they are trying to squeeze in one too many things and that  they are driven to  anxiety during this blessed season.  I am probably correct in saying that many times we create our own anxieties simply because we are not purposing to keep our hearts quiet  in the midst of any demand.

I am bound and determined to live one moment at time especially in this holiday season.  I want to embrace peace in my heart and allow nothing or no one to snatch it away from me.

Proverbs 14:30   Amplified Bible

“A calm and undisturbed mind and heart are the life

and health of the body…”

I pray that you too will think about pursuing living one moment at a time and enjoy the stillness of His perfect peace each and every day.

“God’s Mercies Are New Every Morning”

Mercies new every morning

by Dona Hake

Loyalty is characterized by faithfulness to commitments and obligations.  God has promised to be loyal to us with His love, forgiveness, help, …oh my!…there are so many things that He promises to be to us.  Jesus said in His Word that He would NEVER leave us or forsake us.

At the end of many days I may look back on my day and wished that I would have said or done things differently but praise God  He faithfully forgives  and He promises to help me do better as I lean upon Him for all wisdom and strength.  One of the first things I try to do each morning as I greet Him is remind myself and thank Him that His mercies are new every morning.  My day is a fresh canvas and I am hoping I will do His will with His help.

I have a decorative slate in my kitchen.  Every so often I will write a thought or scripture on it and it reminds me of something I am meditating on.  The other evening I was trying to do some different cursive handwriting with the chalk and I kept messing up.  I was glad I could just erase it and start over and work at it till I had it exactly the way I wanted it.  So it is with the Lord’s mercies, they are new and fresh each morning.  Thank God we have fresh starts each day and we can learn from our yesterdays.  He is there to help us to keep working out those things that we are trying to get right in our lives.  Thank God that our mess ups are forgiven and wiped away with the blood of Jesus!

Lamentations 3:22-23 “How enduring is God’s loyal love; the Eternal has inexhaustible compassion.

~~~~~     ♥     ~~~~~

“Enlighten My Eyes”

light in the midst of darkness

by Dona Hake

So much has changed in the world of photography, and it continues to develop and improve in the world of digital shooting.    I can remember being adamant in not wanting anything to do with a digital camera.  I knew nothing but film and working in a film lab for almost ten years made it even harder for me to switch.  The more I saw the beauty of digital, I wonder now how I survived without my DSLR camera!

I think my favorite job that I had in the film lab was printing black and white.  Each negative had to be carefully read.  Light, dark, whites, grays, blacks…it all had to be perfect to create the perfect black and white image.   In the darkroom where your prints were processed you could stand and watch the images you printed.  After printing I would take my huge roll of paper to the darkroom for processing.  The paper passed from one chemical to the next and was being transformed as it reached its destination of completion.  I would stand there anticipating if I made proper judgements or not.  Honestly, I am glad I had that experience because it has benefited me even in the use of digital and making judgements while shooting manually.

You have to know what you want before you take your image.  The blessing of digital though is that you know immediately if all your settings were perfect.  If you are not pleased…instantly you can hit delete and start over.  You did not waste any film…you just start over.

I embrace the opinion that photography is all about understanding light.  How much or how little you need.  It has to be perfect.  So it is when we encounter situations in this life.  First you need to know what kind of outcome you desire and you need to know what to do to make it happen.  Along with our desires we need to desire to understand how to get to where we are going.  God knows what we need.  He knows the light we need to bring us the proper understanding in a situation.  Thank God if we mess up, we can start over with His help and reach for His light.  God is the God of ultimate light that can illuminate anything we need in our world.

Psalm 18:28

“For thou wilt light my candle: the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness.”

I am ever so thankful that God is a God of all light.  There is nothing I face that He cannot go before  me and show me the way and instruct me how to get there safely.  Today I praise Him for being a God of perfect light!

~~~~~     ♥     ~~~~~

“Many Times His Voice Is a Whisper”


by Dona Hake

Many times our lives get so jammed packed with things to do, places to go, and “to do” lists a mile long.  The other day I woke up feeling extremely overwhelmed with much to do.  There were things that needed accomplished that I felt were no way possible within my means of time and ability.  I stood in the front yard with my dog and looked up and was praying about my day.  I felt a “whisper” from within that seemed to quiet me and bring fresh perspective to my day.  ”Sometimes it’s not as big as it looks.”

Plain and simple the Lord was bringing new perspective to face all that had to be done.  I held fast to that and honestly I was able to  accomplish more than expected  because I choose a new “dwelling place” for my thoughts and my soul rested there.  Sometimes we just need to be quiet and not allow the noise that goes on in our heads to dictate peace or lack of it.  One very famous quote that I love from Ralph Waldo Emerson that applies beautifully…

“Let us be silent that we may hear the whisper of God.”

~~~~~     ♥     ~~~~~

“Great Peace…”

peace keeps you from stumbling

by Dona Hake

Psalm 119:165 (HCSB)

“Abundant peace belongs to those

who love Your instruction;

nothing makes them stumble.”

It is one thing to possess peace that permeates your heart and mind, but abundant peace or great peace is what our awesome God promises as we love His Word.  Did you ever notice how if you are agitated, feeling a bit empty and someone does something offensive it is almost immediately makes you snap back and get offended.  How precious are those times where you feel saturated in His peace because you are saturated in His Word, and you feel unmovable.  It is when we are in that place of His refuge that we will simply be unmovable.  Paul spoke of the peace that passes all understanding.  That peace will keep and guard your mind and that peace will also surpass your understanding.  It is His peace that will make us scratch our heads in wonder how we got through something and did not move off of the Rock that keeps us standing.

Let us strive to live in His abundant peace that we may abide in His place of refuge.  Have a wonderful day and God bless you!

~~~~~     ♥     ~~~~~

“He Heals the Brokenhearted”

broken hearted

by Dona Hake

Psalm 147:3-5 (TLB)

“He heals the brokenhearted, binding up their wounds. He counts the stars and calls them all by name. How great he is! His power is absolute! His understanding is unlimited.”

I love these verses and I love thinking about how God knows all the specifics about everything.  He knows everything about everything that He created.  He created you and the stars and there is no limit to what He knows!  This is a powerful thought isn’t it?

Before this verse that causes us to ponder His greatness is the verse that says that He heals the broken in heart.  This time of the year always causes me to think about people that do not look forward to celebrating the holidays.  This can be an extremely painful time for people.   I would dare to say that there is more depression in people this time of year than none other.  For many, the holidays is simply a painful reminder of the past that they can only revisit in the precious, silent memories of their heart.   I lost both of my parents very close to Christmas and also my very special Grandmother.  I embrace the precious hope of seeing them again someday because I know they are in Heaven.

Today I want to encourage those of you that He that has given every single star a name knows and understands the pain of your heart.  Whether it be that you have lost a loved one to death, divorce or there is broken fellowship with someone special to you, He is able to bring you comfort.  He is able to come close to you and touch your heart and bring His touch of healing to it.  Our Lord is great. Nothing is impossible with His overwhelming power. He is loving, compassionate, and wise beyond all measure.  God bless you.

~~~~~     ♥     ~~~~~


“Without Him I Can Do Nothing”

Without Him I Can Do Nothing

by Dona Hake

John 15:5

The Voice (VOICE)

“I am the vine, and you are the branches.

If you abide in Me and I in you, you will bear great fruit.

Without Me, you will accomplish nothing.”

This is such a wonderful scripture to keep fresh in our hearts.  Without Him we can do nothing and yet with Him ALL things are possible!  All means all, and that little word with three letters contains big possibilities.  Whether we are trying to do things for Him or the things that involve our daily accomplishments, it would do us good to know that we are pulling ALL of our strength and wisdom from His resources.

Recently I put some fresh batteries into something I wanted to use.  I checked and checked to make sure all the batteries were in the right position and secure.  It made no sense to me that there was no power.  My husband opened it and examined it and sure enough one of the three batteries was in the wrong direction.  Sometimes that is how it is for us.  We can seem to have all that we need, yet one thing is out of place and there will be no power.  When we are connected to God, He assures us that all things are possible as we stay hooked up to His divine ways and purposes!  God bless you.

~~~~~      ♥      ~~~~~

“God Is Great, God Is Good”

God is great God is good

by Dona Hake

I can remember several years ago my husband and our son and I took a trip out west.  I could not get over the magnificence of the great mountains.  Their beauty was like none other I have ever seen.   I anticipated knowing we were going to also visit the Grand Canyon.  I had seen many images before yet I can honestly say that I have never seen one image that does it any justice.  There is nothing like the experience of the human eye.  I can remember stepping up to the edge of the canyon and it literally took my breath away.  My eyes welled up with tears and my first thought was how could anyone see this and question that there is a God of this Universe.  What I saw totally exceeded any expectation in my mind.

I think the Lord is quite the Master of doing things greater than we think or dare to dream.  I believe it is His desire to surpass our highest expectation and He dares us to dream.  He dares us to dream about our future, and all of the plans He has for us.  God is great and God is so good.

Ephesians 3:20   (AMP)

” Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams]”

Today let us be thankful for a God that is great and a God that is so good.  Thank Him for His provision in your life and the many blessings that continue to flow your way.  God bless you and Happy Thanksgiving Day!

~~~~~     ♥     ~~~~~

“It Is A GOOD Thing To Give Thanks To the Lord!!!”

Chickadee praying Nov 2013

by Dona Hake

Earlier this month I was able to capture this shot from my kitchen window.  Oh how I love watching my feathered friends of the outdoors!  It almost looks like he is saying a prayer as he sits on the ground feeder.  I am amazed at how trusting they are of my presence because they can see me watching them.  Even though there seems to be a one to two day time for them to acclimate to any changes I impose, they quickly adjust.  They adjust simply because I have been faithful to feed them winter, spring, summer and fall.

This past week I was dealing with a very hectic schedule and my routine of feeding them got a little off schedule.  The one morning I woke up and noticed how strange it was that not one of them was on the deck eating.  No…there was one Mourning Dove sitting patiently just waiting.  These are the characters that will actually sit lined up and glare into the window at me if the right “stuff” isn’t there for them.  The night before it was windy and almost all the feeders were empty because seed was blown away.  I quickly went out and fed them and within a matter of  minutes there was a Tufted Titmouse, Nuthatch, Chickadee, and a Red Finch dining on the deck.  I have read where they will actually sit and watch in the trees and wait till you fill the feeders.

This all reminded me of how God is so faithful as He daily provides for us.  He notices us and observes whether we are waiting for Him.   As we celebrate Thanksgiving this week let us be mindful that our eyes on looking to Him for His provision in our lives.  Let us wait patiently for Him especially on those days where the “winds” of this life throw things out of kilter.  God is good, God is faithful, and blessed are those that trust in Him!

~~~~~     ♥     ~~~~~

“Let Peace Rule”

Peace let it rule in your heart

by Dona Hake

Something that bothers my heart is seeing people get so stressed over the holidays.  Yesterday I had to go to the grocery store to purchase some things for Thanksgiving Day.  On top of the high volume of shoppers, there was threat of bad weather which added a whole other element to the “air”.  I purposed to hold fast to peace as I went up one aisle and down the other.    Because the aisles were so full I tried to back up and there was a woman that I almost bumped into.  I  excused myself and apologized.  We passed each other again in the next aisle and she seemed to want to be where I was and sarcastically said, “Well I can see we will probably be doing this throughout the whole store.”  She abruptly pulled her cart away. , I thought to myself how sad it is that people just do not care how they handle themselves in public. They allow their impatience to justify rudeness.

Throughout my time in the store I had engaged in conversation with some other ladies that noticed the same thing that I was noticing.  The stress level was high and people did not care how they were acting.  I have been thinking about how important it is to guard your heart when you have more demands going on in your life.  If you do not, even those things that you desire to celebrate will become a burden and they will wear you out and wear you down.  Unguarded hearts and minds result in saying and doing things you wish you wouldn’t have.

Colossians 3:15  (AMP)

” And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds, in that peaceful state] to which as [members of Christ’s] one body you were also called [to live]. And be thankful (appreciative), [giving praise to God always].”

I just want to encourage you to hold fast to peace over the holidays that you may enjoy every minute you spend with family and friends.  Remember the reason for what you are doing whatever you are doing and do not allow yourself to be robbed by the stress of all the extra demands.  God bless you with His peace.♥

~~~~~     ♥     ~~~~~~

6 Responses to “Devotional”

  1. Lisa Viands says:

    This is a good way of teaching the kids to forgive each other(Matt. 5:7). I like the power of this gentle scripture and lesson… Thanks!!

  2. Selena Neely says:

    Ralph &I are really enjoying your devotional together.

  3. Selena Neely says:

    Oh, what a wonderful reminder! I want to break the magnifing glass of worry and trust God for each step I take.

  4. Dona Hake says:

    It is interesting Selena how the more we worry the bigger and more magnified things get in our minds. Oh how important it is to trust our God for the smallest of things! Thank you for sharing!