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  • Welcome!

    I am a wife, mom of 2 beautiful children and daughter of my Heavenly Father. God has taken me through some amazing journeys. With each challenge I have learned more about His amazing Love and Grace. Take some time out of your busy, hectic day and join me as we sit in the Calm of God's Presence.

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Every summer my husband & I spend time at the beach with our kids. We spend many hours watching the kids build sandcastles, skim board & body surf the waves.

My favorite “activity” is sitting in a beach chair at the edge of the surf watching the waves roll in. I love the sound of the waves breaking & the feel of the sand as it shifts beneath my feet when the tide ebbs back into the ocean. I’m at peace and all is well.

But there are times when my kids & husband beckon me to join them out among the breaking waves. When they do I slowly make my way out through the surf. With each step I take, the water is deeper and the waves break a little harder. I brace myself and turn my head to keep the wave from splashing in my face. Before long I begin to jump over each wave, treading water as I ride the wave out. (I’m not a very tall person & my vertical is certainly not basketball worthy) so there are times I don’t jump quite high enough and I find myself overtaken by the wave. Once I’m overtaken by one wave I have a hard time regaining my footing and wave after wave breaks over my head. Once I recover from the flailing I’m ready to make my way in to the safety of the surf where the waves aren’t crashing over me and I can rest comfortably.

This past week I was reminded of this scene as life and issues began to overtake me just as the waves in the ocean sometimes do. I could feel the waves of issues begin to batter me around and knew I didn’t have much more strength to jump high enough to ride them out. In that moment all I wanted to do was turn around and run back to shore. The only problem was there was no shore to run back to. I was caught in the raging ocean of life flailing under the waves breaking over me.

And in that moment God reached His hand down to me and pulled me up over the waves. His hand…it wasn’t a physical hand… it was the Word of God. As I flailed and gasped for breath under the stress and strain of life I clung tightly to His Word and in it He reminded me that He was right there with me like Jesus was with Peter when Peter began sinking in the water.

In Matthew 14:22-34 Jesus walks out on water to the disciples who were on a boat in the middle of the water. The disciples were afraid because they new it wasn’t possible for someone to walk on water so in their mind it had to be a ghost. Jesus said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” Peter responded with, “Lord, if it’s you, tell me to come to you on the water” and Jesus said, “Come”. So Peter stepped out of the boat and walked out to Jesus.

But it wasn’t long before Peter was distracted and began paying attention to the wind & waves. When he took his eyes off Jesus he began to sink & the waves began to break around him. Then Peter looked up at Jesus and cried out, “Lord, save me”.

(Oh boy do I love this next part!!) Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt.”

Peter became distracted by the waves and wind around him and when he took his eyes off Jesus, what happened? He began to sink. But Jesus in His loving, protecting way reached down, caught him and pulled Peter out of the water.

Oh how I love that!! This week as life and issues began to overtake me I became distracted by the wave after wave of stress to the point I felt as if I was drowning in the waves. But I remembered where my focus needed to be so I opened God’s Word and spent time in prayer crying out for the Lord to save me from the waves.

I would be lying if I told you the waves stopped coming but what I will tell you is that although life is still hard, I am holding tight to God’s hand and His Word. And as my focus is on Him he is holding me above the waves.

So my sweet friends, are the waves of life tossing you around? Have you lost the strength to jump over the waves? Take time today to cry out to God and reach for His hand. Spend time in His Word and focus on Him and He will give you the strength to stand up to the waves.

In His Calm,

mary signaturenavy

 I wanted to share a verse with you God gave me this week.

Fall Color at South Carolina State Parks and golf courses

This weekend the gray days of cold wet rain broke for a brief moment to give us a beautiful warm sunny Saturday. Despite being a little under-the-weather I took my daughter up on her invitation to go for a walk. We enjoyed a beautiful sunny day walking with our dog Greta to the park and a nearby duck pond. By the time we reached the duck pond I was tired and ready to go home and lay down but Caroline was intent on touching the ducks. So she sat on the back of her bike and waited for the ducks to make their way slowly through the water to the edge of the pond.

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While watching her, memories of earlier days standing on the edge of the pond flooded my mind – afternoon play dates with little friends, toddlers pushing themselves along the path on their riding toys, sharing breadcrumbs with the ducks while eating picnic lunches, scooter & bike with training wheels races – and then as quickly as the memories came I was reminded about some of the very real “talks” we’ve had with the kids lately. These are “talks” I knew we would eventually need to have with them but I knew I would never be totally ready for them.

I have heard it said, “enjoy the days when your kids are young because they grow up faster than you think”. Oh how true that statement is!! As a mom I worry about and want so much for my kids.

I want them to grow up to be successful, happy, joy-filled, loving, honest, courageous adults. This world has its view of Thriving but I don’t want them to Thrive in the world’s eyes, I want them to Thrive in God’s eyes.

In order for them to Thrive in God’s eyes I must be intentional in how I raise them both in action and in words. I must live out a life that they will want to follow.

I can live a life that shows them the right choices to make and give them advice to help them but I can’t make them make the right choices. It is through the power of prayer where God will work in their hearts to be confident, courageous, walk in God’s Truth, and make the right choice of friends.

Last year I shared several posts with verses to pray over your children. Today I am excited to share with you a printable with many of those verses. My sister, Ruth who is my website guru made this printable for me to share with you. You may follow this link to the printable Prayer for our Children or click on the Resources tab at the top of the page and then click on Freebies. I would love for you to print it and slip it in your Bible to use as you pray for your children.

Is there a specific prayer for your child you would like me to join you in praying for? You can email me by clicking on the contact link at the top or leave a comment in the section below or on The Calm Of His Presence facebook page. I would be honored to join you in praying for your child.

 

In His Calm,

mary signaturenavy

For well over a month now I have walked past my computer wanting to sit down and type out the words God was laying on my heart but when faced with computer issues, flu, pneumonia & adding 1 more to my taxi service because of a wreck the luxury of sitting and writing just wasn’t there, because yes, in this season of life sitting down and writing is a luxury for me.

After a busy day of cleaning, cooking, laundry, running errands, playing taxi, leading bible study, volunteering & many other things I recharge by filling a blank page with the words God is laying on my heart.

Sometimes the blank page is a white computer screen with a black cursor waiting to move along while other times it’s my “Thanks Giving” journal, my Bible study journal or my Prayer journal.

But over the last month the computer screen, and most of my journals have been left blank. I’ve learned that there are seasons of life when my conversations with God become heart conversations meant only for the two of us.

I’ve slipped quiet prayers to God in the middle of the night as I’ve prayed for healing for my family as they battled flu & pneumonia. I’ve rejoiced spontaneously when I saw my husband standing, only bruised, next to his wrecked car. I’ve spoken morning prayers over my kids as I drove them to school. And I’ve whispered words of “Lord, help me patiently wait until you give me the time to write again”.

This time of heart conversations with God has been frustrating at times, as I’ve had to learn to patiently wait on Him. It’s also been hard, as He has revealed some things I’ve had to work on.

When God gave me the word THRIVE for this year I imagined a year of active progress in His plans for my life. But, that was my agenda-not His. I realized that sometimes in order for me to Thrive as God wants me to He has to pull me back to a conversation only between the two of us and unfortunately it took keeping me in the road to take my focus off of my agenda.

Fall Color at South Carolina State Parks and golf courses

It is in those quiet heart conversations where He is teaching me to Thrive.

So my friends, while God is still teaching me to Thrive; my computer issues are fixed, my kids & husband are well and life is opening up again to give me a chance to write.

I hope you will join me next week as I share something with you that I have wanted to give you for a while.

Until then, does God want to have a heart conversation with you? What does He have to do to get your attention?

In His Calm,

mary signaturenavy

Yep I know I’ve been gone for a month now, I promise it wasn’t intentional or I would have given you a heads up & not started a new series on Thriving. But I’ve had a bit of computer issues and my family has been hit with the flu, pneumonia & a wreck; which have all knocked me out of my regular routine. While there have been many times when I have really missed writing and sharing with all of you; I have trusted I was where I needed to be and know that the time spent caring for my family and being “mom taxi plus 1″ while a car is being repaired, is helping the relationships with my kids & husband Thrive.

So today I wanted to take a brief moment while I have internet access to let you know what I’ve been reading while waiting in Doctor’s offices, baseball practices, & gymnastics practices.

 

Your Life Still Counts: How God Uses Your Past to Create a Beautiful Future by Tracie Miles

FullSizeRender-3In Your Life Still Counts: How God Uses Your Past to Create a Beautiful Future, Tracie Miles a speaker & writer with Proverbs 31 Ministries, shows us how to overcome a difficult past to be used by God. I have loved slowly reading and working through the Purpose Ponderings at the end of each chapter. Tracie does a wonderful job showing how God can use any difficult situation for His Glory through her story and the stories of other women.

“Do regret and shame over your failures, sins, and shortcomings make you wonder how you could ever be loved, much less used, by a holy God? Tracie Miles felt the same way until she discovered the path to healing, peace, and significance.

She helps you recognize that God not only has a purpose for you, but He has prepared you for your divine purpose based specifically on the experiences of your past.

You will find forgiveness and healing from the troubles of your past, discover the courage to step out of your comfort zone to help others find hope and strength, and be inspired to step into the beautiful future God divinely designed for you.”

 

The Crimson Cord (Daughters of the Promised Land Book #1): Rahab’s Story by Jill Eileen Smith

FullSizeRender-2This is the first book I have read by Jill Eileen Smith but it won’t be the last. In The Crimson Cord (Daughters of the Promised Land Book #1): Rahab’s Story, Smith brings Scripture to life as she takes us into the life of Rahab, the prostitute who protects spies and helps the Israelites overthrow Jericho. I have loved watching the story of God delivering His people unfold through the eyes of Rahab.

“Wife to a gambler who took one to many risks, Rahab finds herself sold as a slave to cover her husband’s debt. Forced into prostitution, she despairs of ever regaining her freedom and her self-respect. But when Israelite spies enter Jericho and come to lodge at her house, Rahab sees a glimmer of hope and the opportunity of a lifetime.

In one risky moment, she takes a leap of faith, puts her trust in a God she does not know, and vows to protect the spies from authorities. When the armies of Israel arrive weeks later, Rahab hopes they will keep their promise, but she has no idea what kind of challenges await her outside Jericho’s walls-or if she will ever know the meaning of love.

Under Jill Eileen Smith’s talented hand, the familiar story of Rahab bursts forth in high definition. Immerse yourself in a world of dark and dusty streets, clandestine meetings, and daring escapes as a mysterious biblical figure claims her full humanity-and a permanent place in your heart.”

 

The Beauty of Grace: Stories of God’s Love from Today’s Most Popular Writers by Dawn Camp Editor & Photographer

FullSizeRenderIn The Beauty of Grace: Stories of God’s Love from Today’s Most Popular Writers Dawn Camp has invited us to “slow down, take a deep breath and know that (we) are loved”. Dawn Camp has compiled writings from some of my favorite bloggers & writers, – Lisa-Jo Baker, Robin Dance, Mary DeMuth, Emily Freeman, Melanie Shankle, Ann Voskamp and so many more. Through Dawn’s gift of photography and the words shared on these pages The Beauty of Grace is a quiet respite in the busyness of life.

“In this hectic, life, it’s easy to forget that God is always near at hand, even through He sends us frequent reminders. The beauty amid the mess, a well-timed word of encouragement from a friend, the memories that won’t let go of our hearts-they’re all ways God extends an open hand to us. But if we’re not paying attention, we can miss it.

Combining heartfelt stories from some of today’s foremost writers with Dawn’s stunning photography of God’s incredible creation, The Beauty of Grace is your haven of calm contemplation amid the chaos. This inspiring collection includes stories of cultivating friendship, waiting on God, choosing joy, staying connected, learning to trust, and much more.

If you’re in need of a little peace, a little quiet, a little beauty, find comfort in this: you’re invited to experience them all within the pages of this soul-stirring book.”

 

The Antelope in the Living Room: The Real Story of Two People Sharing One Life by Melanie Shankle

IMG_7021I am not one who laughs out loud while reading a book but The Antelope in the Living Room: The Real Story of Two People Sharing One Life had me in stitches. Maybe it’s because Melanie and her husband were married just a few months before my husband and I were and her stories helped me relive the early days of our marriage or maybe it’s because she has a way of telling a story that makes you feel like you were right there when it happened. Either way this is one of my favorite books I’ve read in a while.

“Melanie’s second book is a hilarious story of two people sharing one life. A laugh out-loud page-turner! @bigmama #theantelopeinthelivingroom”

Melanie Shankle blends the romance of marriage with the harsh reality of life – and shows how joy can come through it all. Bravo! @bigmama #theantelopeinthelivingroom

Melanie’s description of marriage is spot-on while being hilariously relatable. You don’t want to miss this book! @bigmama #theantelopeinthelivingroom

So that’s what I’ve been reading over the last month. If you get a chance to read these books I would love to know what you think of them.

While I’m updating you on what I’ve been doing while away I want to ask you to pray for me. God laid on my heart a few months back to begin working on a Bible Study through the Book of Nehemiah. I don’t know what it will look like or how I will share it with you but I know God knows and His Plan is perfect. Will you pray for me in these areas?

  • God’s protection over time set aside to study His Word
  • That I will clearly hear and follow the direction God wants to take this study
  • That I will learn the lessons He wants to teach me through the Book of Nehemiah

I miss you all and promise once I get my computer issues resolved I will be back with the Thrive series.

In His Calm,

mary signaturenavy

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