The Lens of Love

Do not remember the rebellious sins of my youth. Remember me in the light of your unfailing love, for you are merciful, O Lord.  Psalm 25:7 NLT

These words resonated with me a few mornings ago as I was reading them. I had to stop and go over verse 7 a few times to let it sink in deeply.

You see, for years I struggled with seeing myself as the same girl I was during high school, college, and my young adult years. Even though I was changing, moving on, and growing in my faith, when I thought about myself, the image of who I was in those teen and early 20s seemed to haunt me. While spiritually I was growing, my mindset was not letting me fully embrace those changes and was holding me back. It took me years to let go of this faulty thinking.

I hope this verse will convince you to not wait as long as I did, because … verse 7 is a life changer. Perhaps I can explain it this way.

Photographers will often set the F-stop of their camera to a low number for artistic effect. It brings the desired object into sharp focus but everything in the background becomes a fuzzy blur, like in the picture of the brown-eyed Susan you see here.  Brown-eyed SusansAnd you know what, that’s exactly what God does when He looks at each one of us. He sets our F-stop to a low number! Who we are now in Jesus, as one of His beloved children is in sharp focus.Those things we did in the past? Well, to God they’re a blurry blip in the background of our lives. Yes, we may still suffer some consequences from those choices and decisions, but Jesus has removed the stigma from them. When we trust Him to forgive our sins, God now sees us in the light of His unfailing love.

It’s time to move on from old, dead thinking. If you’ve confessed your sins and placed your trust in Jesus to bear the penalty of your sins, then God isn’t the one holding you back. You are. When God looks at you, He doesn’t see the junk in the background of your past. He sees His lovely child standing in front of Him in clear detail. Bask in His love and light today as the person you are now.

Feel free to share your thoughts below, or you can also contact me.

Pray on!

Jane VanOsdol’s work has appeared in Pockets, Small Farmer’s Journal, Woman’s Day, Warner Press publications and numerous online publications. Jane and her sister Mary Kane are the authors of and speak together at women’s retreats and seminars. She loves gardening, knitting, reading, biking, and gluten-free goodies. Jane is married to Mark and has a son, daughter, and a son-in-law.


Weathering the Storms

“I would hasten my escape From the windy storm and tempest.” Psalm 55:8

When I see a storm approaching my first impulse is to flee. I run around my yard, picking up toys, putting away bikes, closing the doors to the shed and workshop, moving small potted plants into the garage, and bringing my border collie, Daisy, into the house. Before I go inside, I shut the garage door.

Once inside, I watch the storm in all its fury play out across my yard. The wind blows leaves and branches everywhere. Lightning lights up the sky and sometimes strikes a tree close to my home. Thunder booms and makes me jump. The rain beats relentlessly against my windows.

Despite the destruction of the storm, I’ve noticed that storms also bring good things.

  • No matter how much I run my sprinkler on my vegetable garden (especially this year in the drought), my plants always seem to be stronger and healthier and grow faster after they have been watered by a storm.
  • Storms clear the air and bring a refreshing breeze.
  • The sun returns after a storm.

Perhaps the same thing can apply to the storms we experience in our lives. Nobody likes bad things –accidents, illnesses, death, divorce, job loss–all of these things are difficult to walk through. Yet just like my garden plants, I find that my times of strongest spiritual growth come from weathering the storms in my life. After I have suffered through my storms, God brings a refreshing breeze of peace. The depression lifts and joy or contentment returns.

What do you notice about the storms in your life? Can you see any good come out of them?

Small Things

And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.” So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.” And there was evening, and there was morning —the fifth day. Genesis 1:20-23

Have you ever stood in amazement over God’s creation?

Maybe it was something massive and overwhelming that made you stop and stare, like a mountain or the Grand Canyon. I like to ponder the small things too. The absolute beauty and intricacy of a butterfly just takes my breath away. A butterfly will let you stand close enough to watch him unfurl his proboscis to sip sweet nectar from the flowers. But you need patience.

Jesus calls us to




to notice the beauty God has surrounded us with in nature. Today, stop. Look around you. In what small thing do you notice beauty?

He Calms the Storms

Those who go down to the sea in ships, who do business on great waters,

They see the works of the LORD, and His wonders in the deep.

For he commands and raises the stormy wind, which lifts up the waves of the sea.

They mount up to the heavens, they go down again to the depths;

Their soul melts because of trouble.

They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits’ end.

Then they cry out to the LORD in their trouble, and He brings them out of their distresses.

He calms the storm, so that its waves are still.

Then they are glad because they are quiet;

So he guides them to their desired haven.

Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

Let them exalt him also in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the company of the elders.

Psalm 107:23-32 NKJ

I took this picture while watching storm clouds disperse from the early morning sky in St. Augustine. I love the picture the psalmist paints of God calming the storm so that its waves are still and then guiding His people to a desired haven.

What storms do you have in your life today? Ask God to provide a safe haven for you to rest in.

Handiwork of God

God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth and to rule over the day and over the   night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good.”                                                     Genesis 1:17,18

I am overwhelmed at the beauty God blesses us with. What are ways that I can bring beauty into other people’s lives each day? Lord, show me how to share this with others. Perhaps in a …

beautiful meal I cook and give away,

a scarf I knit for a friend,

a smile I share with a stranger,

a prayer I pray.

What are other ways we can share God’s beauty? Feel free to add your thoughts!

Ice Droplets

“Like the cold of snow in time of harvest is a faithful messenger to those who send him, for he refreshes the soul of his masters.”   Proverbs 25: 1









When I look at this photo, I am reminded of how delicate and fragile life is … of how much we should cherish this gift God has given us. What do you have to celebrate in your life today?