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Create In Me A Clean Heart
Christina Patterson
A Heart of Contentment
Courtnaye Richard
Encouraging the Encourager
Jennifer Maggio

About Jessica Galán

Jessica Galán encourages her readers to embrace malleability in the midst of life’s difficult moments. She spends her day teaching amazing students from diverse backgrounds in Fairfield County, Connecticut. She’s wife to a super-creative man and the proud mother of three resilient young women. She’s served as a writing facilitator for Lysa TerKeurst through COMPEL Training. Jessica enjoys daily cups of steaming hot café con leche and breaks out in sporadic salsa dancing when no one’s looking. You’ll find her stories at jessicagalan.net. Connect with her here: Twitter || Instagram ||Facebook

Jessica Galán

Jessica Galán
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Jessica Galán encourages her readers to embrace malleability in the midst of life’s difficult moments. She spends her day teaching amazing students from diverse backgrounds in Fairfield County, Connecticut. She’s wife to a super-creative man and the proud mother of three resilient young women. She’s served as a writing facilitator for Lysa TerKeurst through COMPEL Training. Jessica enjoys daily cups of steaming hot café con leche and breaks out in sporadic salsa dancing when no one’s looking. You’ll find her stories at jessicagalan.net. Connect with her here: Twitter || Instagram ||Facebook

How The Devil Can Kill Your Destiny

Got goals?  Ready to have that plan come to fruition? Then beware the pyrite pitfalls that can quell your new calling.  Unsuspecting prospectors were deceived by Fool’s Gold during the Gold Rush of 1848.  Little did they know that the pyrite mineral which they held in their hands was a far cry from the real deal.

  • Reaching for that long-awaited promotion.
  • Venturing out into the field of small-business entrepreneurship
  • Consistently hitting the gym or attending that exercise class.
  • Healing an estranged relationship with a loved one.
  • Wrapping up that coveted college degree.

Fool’s gold is alluring–it shines and dazzles–but this mineral is a sure counterfeit.

I liken pyrite to the ensnarement of Satan–a counterfeit angel of supposed light!

You better believe that our unseen enemy can pull at our heartstrings.

 He can use our very own emotions to thwart life plans.  His whispers are half-truths bent on destroying your potential.

Temporary allurements beckon.  One need only venture out to New York City’s Times Square for bombastic advertisements that offer the latest and greatest, but only for a season.

Pyrite Shows Up when We Are Pursuing Purpose.

  • An innocent business opportunity, when you're focused on your own endeavor.
  • A late-night text when you’re at your loneliest and weakest.
  • A colleague’s snide remark when you’re moody enough!
  • An emotional weakness by a loved one’s subtle dig.

So how can you counteract the power of Fool’s gold?

Choose Prudence over Pyrite Pitfalls

Spiritual discernment can save you from the destructive lies of spiritual pyrite.  Ask the Divine Alloy for spiritual clarity.  Prudence reminds us to think before we act.  It helps us to distinguish not only right from wrong, but it provides us with peace, knowing that we have chosen the best path or best decision for where we are in our lives currently.

Ask yourself: Am I spending time with people who support my goals? Am I venturing out on a path that will propel me into my God-given calling?  Are my group of friends really for me or just fickle folks who vie for my time?   

Exercise practical wisdom as well:

  • Cupboards filled with sweet snacks or healthy choices?
  • Assuming you’ll get an ‘A’ on that college mid-term with only minimal study?
  • Hoping for physical results without consistent activity?
  • Praying for a job promotion, but struggling to get to work bright and early?

The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him–the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord–Isaiah 11:2.

As you walk out your lives for 2017, be PRUDENT.

I challenge you to counteract what pyrite offers by calling on the name of the Lord for wisdom.  Your goals can be met if you are operating in prudence. Praying that discernment will guide your steps for what is near and dear to your heart.


When Wisdom Speaks Through Roses

#fatigue #comfort #God's presence

Jesse A. Currey was a rose planter endowed by keen foresight. He knew endangered beauty merited protection. The year was 1917—Europe was caught in the dregs of war. Cultivating roses was far from the minds of worried citizens. So Currey devised a plan: he asked international horticulturalists to send him their roses. Had it not been for Currey’s ingenuity, many of those hybridized roses would not have survived.

I got to walk that 100-year-old rose garden. Seeds of germinated beauty aroused me to wonder. All Ablaze. Bolero. Eden—raw olfactory awakenings emitting glory.

“I feel like crying,” my youngest daughter revealed as she sampled varied bouquets.

How could a single fragrant rose evoke a strong-willed teenager to tears?

“You’ve got to smell this one, Mom,” my older girl chimed in.

I dipped my nose into the heart of an orange-colored rose outlined in deep fuchsia. Immediately, I was enveloped by peace as if I’d encountered the fragrance of God.

A crème-yellow rose piqued my interest—Full Moon Rising was her name. I couldn’t escape its beauty. And then that rose gave me a piece of her petal-layered mind.

Don’t #rush so much, Daughter. Take time away from your frenzied life. Breath.”

Those dew-colored lovelies beckoned us to wonder, invoking other-worldly calm. And I realized cultivated beauty had to be relished. But grey storm clouds soon billowed above, as if vying for our attention.

We rushed out of the rose garden before the downpour—awestruck nonetheless.

Altered by a quiet miracle. 

Recently, I arrived home, exhausted from work demands, overwhelmed by the housework which awaited. A solitary orange rose lay on the kitchen counter. My daughter had found it on the ground while walking home from school. I pressed my nose against it, inhaled deeply, and smiled.

Its subtle perfume reminded me of my walk through Portland’s rose garden. I thought of the quiet corner I had found—away from other tourists. I’d closed my eyes to rest beside a fragrant Tea Rose bush.  Was God telling me to slow down…to be still?

As the days passed, my kitchen rose drooped and withered. She lost her fragrance because she was no longer connected to her life-giving vine.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. {John 15:5, NIV}

I too forget about the importance of leaning into my True Vine. I listen to career demands instead of listening to the whispers my tired mind and body give me.

In the midst of your hustle and bustle, do you forget to unwind?

The Northern winds will soon bring frost. Time will leave us with more dark than day. Yet, roses are wise—they instinctively know it’s time to rest when cold weather comes.

By lying dormant for a season, they are able to preserve their fragrant beauty.

Perhaps our Master Gardener is inviting us to do the same.


Emerging From Our Heart Caverns

#hope #healing

Caverns seem safe, but you aren’t meant to live with emotional burdens.

Caverns offer comfort, but there are mountains of potential beloved—only meant for YOU to climb.

Your life is a grand summation of experiences, a collection of memories and moments, peppered with triumph and heartache.

If hope resurfaced, where would you go?

What would you do? Friend, it’s your decision, but why wait? What would happen if you emerged?

Brooke Cagle // Unsplash

True knowledge—according to the philosopher Plato—is only attained when one rejects shadows. The Allegory of the Cave speaks of chain-bound inhabitants, spellbound by shadows cast onto the cavern wall.

Plato writes, “Such persons would certainly believe that there were no realities except those of shadows.”

The prisoners aren’t aware of the single-file line of marching people on a back-lit catwalk; people who offer  deceptive and alluring shadows alone.

The light of day they haven’t experienced.

They haven’t experienced the beauty of a red-orbed sun descend behind the ocean.

We have all succumbed to shadow-realities of our own, yet hope will ALWAYS leads us out.

 

Furtive thoughts whisper: 

 

• Hope is an illusion, stay in these murky depths of comfort

• Things will never change

• I am not worthy of love and respect

Plato ends his allegory with viable hope—one captive is freed.

I imagine a woman stumbling upwards. Weak-muscled. Desperately curious.

She emerges from her cavern to the light of the moon, in awe of its beauty. She reaches for her surroundings, overwhelmed with gratitude by her release.

By day, she explores the lush pastures of her landscape, the sun warming her pale flesh. Sheer joy. Living life beyond the shadows forever changes her

Are you in unfettered chains? Are you struggling with shadow-realities taunting you with false hope?

I liken this allegory to the deceptive light our invisible enemy casts: False light which revels in our enslavements.

Can I tell you something? You don’t have to remain bound in emotional pain.

If you struggle with fear, you can ask the Christ, Divine Excavator for healing.  You can relinquish burdens which inhabit your heart-caverns.

The Prophet Isaiah speaks of joy found while communing with the Living God:

“Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.
See, darkness covers the earth
and thick darkness is over the peoples,
but the Lord rises upon you
and his glory appears over you.
Nations will come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your dawn.
“Lift up your eyes and look about you:
All assemble and come to you;
your sons come from afar,
and your daughters are carried on the hip.
Then you will look and be radiant,
your heart will throb and swell with joy, { Verses 1-5}.

Our finite minds are unable to comprehend the fullness of what awaits us—we only receive hopeful glimpses.

One day we will be in the presence of Christ—our Divine Excavator. This promise awaits us and our beloved children.

Will you ascend? Will you grab hold of a divine life-line?

Are you ready to expose the shadows which have paraded around long enough? He calls us forth, asking us to leave yesterday ruminations behind.

So come forth, Daughter of the King. Ascend from your heart cavern and be open to Divine Healing today.

 

 

Photo courtesy of: Unsplash