Every moment is alive with the potential to produce life. At the heart of every moment is an opportunity to respond. Indeed, it is the only control we have over our lives. Though our responses do not always change our outcomes, they transform who we are, how we live, and how we impact those around us.
Here we will explore these elements that render every moment alive with grace to cultivate gratitude as a way of life. We are here to pray, to grow, to rejoice, to give, to savor, to delight. We will remember the simplicity of a beautiful life. We are here to harness suffering, discipline, and pain as tools of life-giving transformation. We will rejoice that suffering is not fruitless or endless. We will revel in the glory of righteousness and holiness. We will celebrate the one who has made this possible, Jesus, who at every moment is worthy of all blessing, and honor, and glory.
Elyse is a lover of Jesus, a wife to Bryan her beloved, and a school district employee where she serves the students in the hometown where she grew up. Besides writing, Elyse’s interests include playing the violin, prayer, reading, hiking, and a good cheeseburger.
From a young age, I have loved to write, though like any worthy endeavor, it has been a fight. I have discovered that writing is not a lofty process performed peacefully in a coffee shop corner. It is grit and warfare, boredom, frustration, and hand-wringing work. Moments after I quit, I find myself pulled back to the chair with a strange desire for more. It will not leave me alone. I have a long way to grow in it, but I am compelled, and I cannot quit.
One day, I was reflecting on the question of why do I do this, after sitting dry and distracted for what seemed like hours. The idea came to mind that, for me writing is an act of friendship with the Lord; as I consider His works, His word, and His activity in my life, writing becomes a way to explore who He is. It is a vessel to open my heart to love Him more. Growing in love transforms my desires to be conformed to His, and in this, intimacy becomes the most effective and expedient route to holiness.
As I considered this concept of how the process of writing takes place, the idea played in my imagination. It was as though love for the Lord, emerging from discoveries I made while writing, created an atmosphere. And this atmosphere took shape, and it felt more concrete than just a feeling or an idea. It was almost like writing created a structure, a personal space where I met with the Lord, and invited others in. Like a tent.
One of my favorite verses came to mind,
“Thus the LORD used to speak to Moses face to face, just as a man speaks to his friend. When Moses returned to the camp, his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, would not depart from the tent” (Ex. 33:11)
I long that my life would be a place, first and foremost, where the Lord could continuously find a place of rest and delight, with a heart that is open to Him. Even if no one ever read my words, I would gladly continue to cultivate the building of this tent and never depart. Secondly, I long that others could come and be nourished by what is cultivated here. That is my desire for this space, to join together, albeit through a screen, to grow in friendship with the Lord and one another, and that every moment would be an opportunity for love to flourish here in the tent of friendship.
Thank you for joining me.