About the Author

Ann Voskamp is a farmer's wife, the home-educating mama to a half-dozen exuberant kids, and author of One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are, a New York Times 60 week bestseller. Named by Christianity Today as one of 50 women most shaping culture and the...

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  1. Ann,
    As I read your post and got to the pointed question Gordon was asking you, I searched around in my mind – random scattered thoughts rattling around in my head. I couldn’t verbalize, even softly, an answer that even sounded slightly eloquent and satisfying. I feel like that is a question, that as a Christian and child of God, I should be more prepared to answer. But, I was, like you looking through my mind’s eye instead of looking through my heart and the Spirit that indwells me…I think that is when we are able to see the brokenness and the “filigree of fracturing through which we see the flame.” When we draw near to him, like in the field of lanterns, and see as the Spirit enables us to see…then we find answers that can satisfy. Thank you for uncovering, in me, my need to draw close to Him and see, through the brokenness, the reason for my hope.
    Blessings,
    Bev

    • 2 Corinthians 12:9 comes to mind: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” I’ve seen so many times where God’s strength is made perfect in my brokenness. When I focus on God’s amazing creation, from the filigree of a Chinese lantern to the complexity of texture and color in Autumn’s bittersweet vines growing along a rusty barbwire fence to the farthest outreaches of space shown in satellite pictures – I see how small yet how beloved I am to God, and am humbled in His loving presence. The short yet awesomely beautiful notes and words from part of Handel’s Messiah comes to me easily: I know that my Redeemer liveth. I know that my Redeemer liveth, And because He lives, and because He lives, and because He lives – I too, I too, shall live.”

    • I love seeing God “with God” . He shows me himself!! Also, to encourage others, in my workplace, I have a little brown paper on the counter, where they sign the credit card slip. I write words on it. To encourage, to make them laugh, to tell them they are loved. It’s become “a thing” They expect it. And it better not be some lame thing!!

  2. “We see God when we let go. When we let go of the visible, papery skin that surrounds our moments, then we see the sacred jewel gleaming just underneath everything.”
    Beautiful… I met with a young lady yesterday… tears flowing down her cheeks… desperate for answers… for a fix… I use to come into these situations loaded us with ready made answers… but now… no answers… just gently turning a heart toward God’s love… and I ask her… cease all the prayers about a million things… and ask these two things of God… show me Who you really are… a God of Love… and let me see myself as You see me… when we find a resting place in God’s love for us… our blindness is healed… and we see Him in the beauty around us… in the mundane… in the secret place. Thanks Ann… now to go into the day with my eyes wide open!!!

      • Thanks Ro and Ann. Great reminders as we walk through the wake of an amazing woman’s suicide. Praying for her multiple children and friends that we would all see God when it’s often oh so dark feeling.

  3. Yes, where to we see God? Love how you always open your readers heartcs to ponder and reflect God. I see Him in His people……in the every day moments, in the supernatural. In a hug from my husband, in a walk along the river. In words I read…oh yes so often in words and in His Word. Seeing how he works, where He works, who He works through. I love when I can observe a situation or see something mundane or spectacular and say….”Only God!”

  4. I see God when I look in the mirror and accept the person He made me to be….that is when I see him most clearly.

    • Hi Heather,
      That’s such an interesting comment. I just wondered if you’d like to elaborate a bit on it in a blog post for theultimatemakeover.org… I’ve been doing a series on loving ourselves. Do email me anna at theultimatemakeover dot org.

  5. What beautiful words to remind me this morning that He can’t be caught…
    Thank you for reminding me that He is everywhere, if only we loosen our grasp and open our eyes!

  6. Hi Ann,
    I am wearing a fork pin on my suit today as I speak to farm lenders who are trying to encourage many clients to learn to let go and not get caught in the brokenness of promises not kept .
    Your post reminded me of my mom who called Chinese Lanterns ..Japanese Lanterns, and I have a bowl of them at my kitchen sink.
    When we had Vacation Bible School this summer we wore purple wristbands that said “Watch for God”. Everyday the kids were full of stories of how they saw God in their day.
    Maybe Gordon should walk with a child to help him see God. As Jesus said, “Let the little children come unto me.”
    Thanks for your carefully chosen words that bring us closer to Jesus. I play your blog music while I write in the solitude of my hotel room.
    Blessings on your harvest, we are farmers, too.
    Elaine Froese, Farm Family Coach

      • Thank you for the humble answers and delights of not knowing all the answers and sharing how God turned on the light…to you. I love it! I love those personal moments that He shows up and speaks to us through simple things, like even picking flowers. ..His still small voice…its so sweet and gentle and a breathe of fresh air; love. That’s our example.

  7. Hi Ann, x x

    Where do I see God? – when I make a decision to focus on the good in my day, when I make a decision to accept things because God knows best. When something happens the way I did not want it to, I experience God and see Him in my controlled yet relaxed and peaceful emotion.

    Love – Janine. xx

  8. Like Gordon, most of us ask God to show us Himself, sometimes overlooking the beautiful pictures of Him already given to us. Here in Isaiah we are given one way to see Him – as one who “longs to be gracious” and “rises to show compassion.” It has encouraged my heart to ponder these verses for the past couple of days.

    “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength …the Lord longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show compassion…Blessed are all those who wait for him!” Isaiah 30:15a and 18

    • Thank you Judy for these verses. Teaching Hebrews and will be focusing on ‘rest’ this week. We do, often, overlook the obvious as we strive to know Him and He is just waiting to be found.

    • I LOVE this…..it truly a choice to see God in the chaos and ugliness of life. I took a picture of your post to keep in my camera and remind me of His presence each and every minute. I choose Jesus – nothing else. 🙂

  9. Through my own neediness. Though the “help me Jesus, You know best ” prayers I am saying a lot these days, because I don’t have answers either, or often even know what to pray. I trust the Holy Spirit does. I find I react and don’t listen enough.

    Through people who just need to be listened to, know they matter, they are broken and are looking for answers themselves, but mostly to know they are SEEN and HEARD. I can’t heal them, I can point them to Jesus. because I am inadequate.

  10. It’s easy to lose sight of God in the business of life but he’s always there. He’s in the smile of a small child and He’s in the laughter of your best friend. He is in the rays of the rising sun and his presence can be seen in the midst of the falling rain. His ways are not like our ways and his understanding is beyond anything we can comprehend. Life isn’t about understanding though, it’s about giving Him control, being still, and trusting in Him. These were great words Ann! It’s a fantastic reminder wrapped in a beautiful story.

  11. Oh WOW! My mind was reeling with this blog…then… IT ALL COMES TOGETHER! Beautiful, just beautiful! God bless you and THANK YOU!

  12. Ann,

    I was surprised to see that you also have Chinese Lanterns. My son requested one last year @ age 7and we are now awaiting it to come into full bloom. Yesterday on his BD, he didn’t expect much, given that his brother who has been here since the day he was born has gone off to college. So as the day progressed and his friends showed up and enjoyed themselves all 8 of them. He hugged me later on that night and said,”Thank-you Mom, for the party.” And when he was having trouble sleeping, he said to me, “Mom I like to pray each night.” And we did, together. This is how I see God, in the ways he shows up unexpectedly each day.

    For years Footprints in the sand is a poem I would reflect on……It is a reminder to me that I am carried and not alone in this walk of life…..

    Thank-you for your thoughtful and meaningful post….

    Blessings,

    Penny

  13. Ann, Your words bless me over and over again. As I have had my world jarred by an early breast cancer diagnosis at age 35 and as I grasp wildly for peace and calm in a storm I never saw coming, I do see Him. I see Him in every moment. And maybe what saddens me the most is this: why does it take a cataclysmic, life-wrenching event to make us truly look for Him? Of all the things I will learn on this journey ahead, the most critical thing is this: God is near. Every minute. Every day. Beyond near…inside of me. I can have as much access to His presence as I want. But it is a choice to divert my attention from temporal to eternal. I know now, what matters. He matters. His life-giving, never changing Word matters. The gifts of my children and husband that He has given me to enjoy… They matter. More than a clean house, more than slogging away hours in ministry, more than having everything just the way I like it. I have found Him in my time of weakness and I pray that as the cancer goes away for good (yes, Lord!) That my awareness of His hands holding me will not fade into the oblivion of everyday life and busy schedules. I have come too far to go back to that. Blessings to you. Thank you for consistently widening our view of who He is and who we are in Him.

    • Loved your post, Carrie. Praying for you this very moment. God indeed will be glorified and His presence made known to many precisely because of the unwanted diagnosis you are facing. And this will be His proving-ground… the very place where every promise you’ve highlighted, underlined and memorized will now come to life. “God is near. Every minute. Every day…..” And yes, how amazing to think that we can have as much access to His presence as we want. Sending my love in Jesus….

    • Oh, Carrie — YES, this. Your words minister to me today. Love Jesus in you, friend. Bowed grateful with you. How many times a day do I murmur: “Thank you, Lord…Thank you, Lord.” May I do so even more. Praying fervently for you just now, Carrie.

  14. Yes. Thank you for these word pictures. Brokenness as lace. Light dancing with shadows. The amber of Holiness.

    I have been struggling hard to see light dancing with my shadows. My brokenness as something delicate and beautiful as lace.

    But, I have seen the amber of Holiness. And it’s good to remember He is in the midst.

    • “For it is God who commanded light to shine out of darkness who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” 2Cor. 4:6

      More sight, more light to you, Calista. Jesus is in the midst.

  15. I see Him in the majesty and in the minutiae of His created world . . . in stray bits of truth that float into view here and there . . . in the divine “coincidences” He arranges so extravagantly for my benefit . . . in the straight-to-the-soul look into my eyes and the hug that often follows when someone has really heard me.

    • Hi Peg, I get these “coincidences” too!! often not realising they’re His work until sometime later….

  16. seeing God… I am sitting here in tears…my daughter just informed me that her husband is leaving her and their young child… I am broken. Yet SHE has just begun to walk more securely with her Savior recently.. her and her boy.. and SHE is comforting ME… She is seeing God in the brokenness.

    • Harriet,
      I could relate to your response to Ann’s post. My daughter and her husband are divorcing…… their son is 14 month old. I am broken-hearted for them all. Her husband decided he no longer believes in God. She is strong in her faith, and I know intellectually that God is in control and can make all things turn for good to those who love him. But I have been wandering around for two months just not able to see the light inside the lantern. I internalize my daughter’s burden and become emotionally downcast. I need to keep my eyes focused on Jesus, even though now it seems I can only see Him through the lacy dead covering of the lantern. I definitely need to “let go” of my worries and doubts, and watch for Him purposefully and then record them in my gratitude journal.

  17. Always in nature.
    In the dawn’s early light, pushing the darkness of night away,
    In the wildflowers faces open to the light, or pressed tightly closed against the elements
    In the dancing leaves and tall grasses
    In the song and twitters of the birds
    In the squirrel’s fluffy tail, an ever present blanket
    In the stream that moves from an unseen beginning to an unknown ending
    In the clouds, shape shifting
    In the big blue sapphire sky
    In the moon reflecting hidden light to illuminate the darkness
    In stars that have twinkled a billion years, twinkle past their death
    In the fiery setting sun that signals rest, closure
    Everyday God meets me within His creation waiting

  18. I see Him in creation, and the innocence of a child. When I think of all the different people, animals and plants, the colors, WOW, what an artist is He! When a child laughs or jokes so innocently I see His sense of humor. In a hug or a “coincidence” I see His daily touch. I see His eye or passion in music and art or the words spoken or written. But now you have definitely challenged me to see Him when I let go those things that I’m holding on to. Thank you.

    • thanks for sharing this! our God is an awesome God! and awesome artist…….and the humor and sweetness of a child. passion……..He’s a great musician! what an awesome creator!

  19. Today our dog died. and i tried to see god beneath the sadness and the pain. So hard to let go of our best friend after ten years
    Then we remember the good times, the love we shared and I see God clearly. Always there but not always noticed

  20. I do my best to help others see the blessing of what they might be dealing with-maybe I do it a little to much :), but I know there is a blessing in each life circumstance!

  21. Thank you for this post and thank you for 1000 Gifts, which God used to draw me back to Him. When I think of “seeing” God, the most overwhelming picture that comes to mind is Mum as she battled cancer and slowly lost the ability to move and communicate through speech. I “saw” God in, through and over her, not in the physical sense, but the spiritual. I felt the indescribable peace, the overwhelming presence of His Spirit that carried my mother through indescribable heartache and pain, as she said goodbye to her earthly world and departed for her heavenly Father. She could not speak, but she didn’t need to. After years of turning my back upon God, “seeing” Him in my Mum opened my heart to Him again.

    After reading your book, God opened my heart and eyes to find Him all around me: in my children’s laughter, in the sparkle of their eyes, in their tight embrace and my youngest’s chubby little frame. When I run, I see him in the outstretched trees, in the light that pours through between the leaves, in the vibrant and deep colours of the flowers and leaves, in the majesty and power of the birds above, in the searing pain of feeling His overwhelming love for me and for humanity, his children.

    I never realised just how dead I was without Him. Through opening my heart, He has been drawing me up out of a pit of darkness, tension, anxiety, unexplainable anger and deep-rooted self-loathing. So, I am also “seeing” Him in my own transformation, through His amazing grace.

    Ann, thank you for allowing God to speak through you to my heart.

  22. On the hardest of days. The ones where our disabled daughter can’t talk to me past her grunts or repetition. The ones where our so very strong-willed preschooler can’t or won’t tell us what happened when he was with a sexual predator and the counselors have no answers. On the days when our baby passes her big sister in every milestone. And especially on the days when I am on the phone with a victims advocate as my predator is awaiting trial. On all those days, that sometimes converge into one, I listen to this song. I have listened to it since the first medical bills started pouring in two years ago last week.

    http://m.youtube.com/?#/watch?v=2_KoIELQxk8

    • Thank you for sharing, and for believing that you can still see God through these difficult circumstances. It helps.

  23. I see God in the tears flowing as a sister shares her heart and story with the rest of us sisters. Our tears flow together as her story unwinds, and I know Jesus is here, in the tears, in the story, crying along with us and catching our tears in a bottle.

  24. Thank you!! God used His words through you to answer my prayer lifted up yesterday. What relief to remember the crucial truth of setting our sight on the invisible! It’s too easy to wander into fractured thinking when facing any challenge. Your post reminded me to fix ALL my thoughts on the invisible to brush up against Him!

  25. This question has been haunting me lately, returning when I least expect it. There are no coincidences in that. As a matter of fact, I see God in that whispery far connection through this confirming web conversation and the pouring out of your heart. And yes, always, when I let go and fall fearlessly into the velvety universe that is His, I see him in the pine swaying in unison, praising God with limbs stretches out, birds singing, together finding that perfect current of air and Holy Will. I see Him in the change of the seasons, and the connection to the change in my seasons, I see Him, when I strip away me, and He is glorious and indescribable.

  26. I see Him in my own brokenness. Years of walking away. Following a heart that wasn’t His. Yet it is that very brokenness that draws me so near today. And provides comfort and hope as I pray for my children, that God will only allow as much brokenness needed to reach their hearts and make them fully HIs. Therefore, I cannot fret when they make choices I know are not best or even turn away from the Truth we’ve set before them. I can honestly look back today and give thanks because the past makes up my story. It is this very brokenness that enables me to brings the hope of Christ to others in their struggles. It also brings freedom from fretting over my own children–they belong fully to Him and are not mine to guide so that I ‘shine”– but instead meet them where they are in their journey and know that God will not allow them to be more broken than necessary to allow HIS light to shine through.

  27. Your inspiration and encouragement daily is so refreshing! Thank you
    What a joy this question can’t be answered quickly. I love the process to get the answer! Reading everyone’s answers reminds me of a season of my life when I was worried about my jealousy for God! I wanted ALL of HIM for me…couldn’t see how we could all fit at HIS feet….HE showed me an amazing attribute my tiny brain couldn’t grasp and that is His intimate sovereign ability to take my broken and shattered life and create a story that only HIM and I can journey together BUT will absolutely amplify it’s glory when shared with fellow s ojourners and their stories! Reminding me with your followers different yet all beautiful ways of seeing God JUST how amazing personal and intimate our GOD is! Can’t wait to discover how God through the question and answers will touch a new depth of revelation of himself in my story! Ocean’s of Love and learning day by day to notice it…..excited to ponder and meditate on this question today!

  28. Just beautiful! Thank you. As many have, I have been through very tough situations in life. My friend challenged me to find a life symbol, and I chose a broken clay pot. What a surprise to find one at Goodwill that has an opening for a candle inside! Perfect! I work with emotionally disturbed children, and each day I pray not only to see Him, but to get out of the way so that others can see His light coming from this broken pot. Blessings!

  29. I always love your words, Ann. Your post made me think of the verse: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Naturally, all Christ-followers will see Him in heaven. But when we fully empty ourselves and earnestly invite Him to invade every fallow part of our hearts, He progressively purifies us–until eventually we start to look for–and see–His presence in everything.

  30. Hello Ann, my husband asked me a year what I was doing sitting on the bedroom floor looking out our window. I said I’m looking at God. I live on 80 acres in Arkansas. Each day I see him in the Clouds, the hummingbirds that visit me since my Mommie passed away in May, I see him in my husband as he grows into an amazing Christian and I see God in his precious word. I spent many years not looking for God. I had to quit working due to brain surgery. So I get to really see him everyday in a new an different way each day. So blessed beyond measure.

  31. We ask that question of our elementary students every week in Sunday school. The beauty of their answers is astounding sometimes… They “get it.”. And they have no idea to the extent that I see God in them!

  32. I am a Bible study leader, and I see God in my “students.” Each word that comes from their sometimes trembling lips, each pair of eyes searching, each time I reach again for Jesus to help me explain something and especially yesterday as I prayed to Yahweh Tsava to release us from our idols, all those things that get in the way of seeing Him and of truly being with Him.

  33. I offer this poem I recently wrote on my birthday: As I Rest I Do Sea

    As I Rest -*- & As I Sea ,
    Spirit Flows Beside -♥️- 2 Guide Me -♥️- …

    IT Simply Goes -♥️- … & Sets Me Free …

    With Each Breath -*- In And Out,
    God Serves to Lead And Remove All Doubt …

    No More Proof … Does One Need,
    Than the Flow of Love -♥️- Within this Lead …

    Gentle Yet Sure -*- IT Is My Call
    I Need Do No More -♥️- … Than Breathe Through ‘All’

    God is Good -♥️- … All the Time …
    All Hearts Can Flow -♥️- … Yours & Mine …

    Let God Lead … Sea Pure Love -♥️- …
    Free the Flow Inside From Above …

    As I Rest … -*- I Do Sea -♥️- … The Love of God Goes Along With Me

  34. So very beautiful that God really speaks to us through everything around us, especially through the “fracturing” parts! If only we stop to listen! Thank you for breathing life into words for our minds to understand, and, amen, we hear Him all around us indeed! Breathtaking post!

  35. Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
    Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
    I will strengthen you and help you.
    I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. ~ Isaiah 41:10

    When I really believe what the Word says, fear and discouragement flee.

  36. Ann,
    I have found great encouragement through your posts! Thank you.
    The verse the Lord has given me this year has been about letting go and changing my focus.

    2 Corth. 4:16-18
    “Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For monentary, light affliction is producing for us an eteranl weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

    I know WHO has the victory, so even when circumstances around me look as though the emeny is winning, I KNOW where to put my trust and hope!
    I journey on and sit more at the feet of Jesus…

  37. I love this post. I, too, am often asked for answers and do much better with them at a keyboard. Where tears can drip quiet and goldfish crumbs scatter and I can break and shatter in private before God binds me up again and gives me anything remotely close to an answer. I get it. And I think there is such beauty in the honesty and so much can be learned from our saying “I don’t know. I don’t know yet” and then diving in to let God show us. Reveal it to us so we can pass it on. I think God gives you so MANY answers, Ann, and it’s truly a blessing to watch you be the vessel you are, and to journey with you. Your honesty and sincerity and transparency is absolutely stunning and I am honored to get to watch and read. Thank you for your heart and your willingness to dive in and find those answers so many of us get too bogged down to go after. You tell us to count gifts. YOU are a gift! – Betsy St. Amant http://www.writergetsreal.blogspot.com

  38. Today I visited my brother in prison. Not my blood brother, but my blood bought brother in Christ. He has been made new. Beautifully, gloriously new. But he is paying for crimes committed in his before Jesus life. And when I saw him through that glass, his face radiating joy… when I heard him say, “Every day I count my blessings! I have three meals here. I have a place to sleep. I have hot water for a shower. I have my Bible! I have you all – my family – praying for me! And when I do that, when I count my blessings, God meets me here! He is with me here in this prison! And I have joy!” it was then I KNEW I had SEEN God. So yes, broken things made new. Broken people counting blessings, being made alive in the midst of darkness by counting all the ways He loves… when we see that, we’ve seen God. I put my hand up to the glass, and he put his hand up to the glass, and our skin could not touch, but the spirit of our Father was glowing right out of his skin. And I saw my Father in my brother.

    • Oh, Melinda. Tears of joy. Your words are a glass of cold water and I thank Jesus for your ministry…living gratitude guides us all to Who matters most!

  39. Thank you Ann for seeking to show Christ in your own brokenness and need. I see him in and through you.
    I am seeking to see God in my daily life by trying to see His love and truth thorugh his word and through just seeking to try to love the person(s) right here in front of me. Seeing this person as the opportunity to experience your love in the midst of my inabiity to love.

    tried to write on this idea at http://christslovetoyou.blogspot.com/2014/09/loving-you-is-significant.html
    may this bless
    Susan

  40. “8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and THE GOD OF PEACE WILL BE WITH YOU.”

    When we have those days, my husband and I, when we need a reminder of who we are, we say to each other, “Remember to focus on what you know to be true!” Currently, I am having one of those days. Ministry can be difficult, and draining, and can leave you wondering why God has called you to that kind of life. I now I pause, I take a deep breathe, and slowly release it while focusing on the truth of God’s Grace. I remind myself that He wouldn’t have taken me to this point only to leave me alone.

  41. I am most aware of God when I am at the end of myself. When I have no answers, no solutions, and no hope. He carries me through. He somehow brings an answer or words that are needed. Or he just tells me to be still and the solution is simply Him. Or when I discover he has changed me and I don’t even know when it happened! I know then that a work was done because He was there.
    -Margit

  42. How to we see him? Hear Him? Know the unknowable? Feel the Other? Touch the Untouchable? How, when he is hiding us in the cleft of a rock to protect us from his fullness? Don’t you think that it is when we accept by faith, when we trust that he is everywhere present and filling all things, when begin to glimpse from the corner of our eye a glimmer that both is and isn’t there, to hear the voice that is whispered in our heart and shouted in the heavens, when we view the world with wonder… It’s like when I’m walking on a path in the woods and I hear movement but more than that I sense that something is there. I turn to look but do not see it. Still, I KNOW it is there. I can feel it with something other than my fingers, hear it with something other than my ears. It is only in the hunt for clues that I might find a broken branch where some creature was silently watching me, or an imprint of what was there in the soft ground. It is in the evidence, but also in more than the evidence, if that makes sense…

  43. We truly see God……………..when we let go of self…………..even in all our brokenness. How I pray to be able to do this daily………………..thanks Ann for giving me some more light. Blessings to you My brokenness is great….pray for me

  44. A song that always encourages me and pulled me through a hard time…”God Will Lift up Your Head”, by Jars of Clay, (from “Redemption Songs”). It says He will. It is true! He always will, because, Strong is His Name. When we are broken, bowed down, empty, He is there and will pick us up and carry us through to joy in Him.

  45. I see God in my restored marriage. I see God in my prodigal son. I see God in the girls who walk into the pregnancy center – frightened, confused, broken, angry, lost – some who say, “I lost my God” and others who say, “There is no God.” All of them sent to us by God to feel His love and hear His Good News.
    Love them ALL like Jesus, and they will see God too.

  46. When I try hardest to see him, I can’t. At least it seems like I can’t. But then he surprises me when I least expect him, least feel I deserve to see him, he shows up, like gift dropped in my lap. And then I think there is nothing, nothing , nothing in this world, this universe , this ccsmos, this all of everything to be compared to him. Being in his presence is pure beauty and soul satisfying. There are no words to describe the Word. I couldn’t possibly come up with any. Maybe that is the secret Mary of Bethany knew_ just to sit at his feet and soak in his goodness. He said she chose the better part and he wouldn’t take that away from her.

  47. “we see God when we let go” the truth and the power of those words really woke my soul up, they gave me chils and brought tears. I will only see God when I let go…let go of hurt, pain and worry. Let go of my selfishness and Cling to Jesus…trust in Jesus….just let go….thank you Ann for those words.

  48. I see light in honesty. For in honesty, I can see that in my weakness He is strong. There’s a quiet calm that comes in surrender. I often thrash around before I do the simplest thing, surrender to the Creator of the Universe. I must first pray ” Lord Jesus, Son of God have mercy on me a sinner.” I then declare His character. Just choose any Name of God – for His names describe Him. I get lost in Him, putting on His billowing white robes. Why do I make it so hard?

  49. How beautiful it is to see Him working from the midst of unspeakable joy to unfathomable pain. When I trust He works all things for my good as His child. Sometimes He says “No” and that’s ok because He knows what’s best for me, always. He is faithful!

  50. In reading this, I was reminded when my grown (21 yr old) son, whom I had raised in the church as a single mom since he was 2, asked me why I believed in a God that didn’t measure up to him. He said that he couldn’t accept a God who could fix all the evil, feed and the hungry, save all the abused people in this world. I beat myself up each time, for a long time, I tried to explain it to him. God finally gave me peace with this as I felt Him telling me that it has to be my son’s belief. I couldn’t piggy back him to God. I could tell him that I am only who I am because of God, I could testify to all God had blessed me in while being a single mom of 3, I could say that God gives us free will and that is love, that he can’t make anyone puppets and still have the choice. My son is still trying to save me. I am praying for him. God is working.

  51. I keep looking to others to see Him. And He’s not there. I expect others to meet my needs; and they fail. Why? How do I see God. Ahhh, yes I have realized He is there quietly waiting for me to come to Him in my brokenness, without expecting other people to be Him. He wants me to lean into Him for the strength I need. He wants me to rid myself of human expectation and give Him freedom to be to me who He is. If I do that-then He can show me great and mighty things.

  52. I “saw” God most recently in songs He gave me over the last 6 months as my husband and I went through the darkest trial we have ever encountered in our lives with one of our adult children! The first song that got me through countless depressing days was Don’t Worry About Tomorrow sung by the California Baptist University Choir & Orchestra (you can watch and listen for free on You Tube). I played it over and over and over. Then a few months ago He gave me No More Nights by Rhema Marvane, a little 9 year old girl with a voice like an arch Angel (also on You Tube). I knew from that song He was telling me we were “coming out of the Valley of the Shadow of Death”. Every day I have been on my face before Him thanking Him for the fresh “manna” of direction He has been so faithful to supply!

  53. 1 Corinthians 13:12
    For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

    This verse is what I thought of when came the question “How do I see God?”.

    When shall we see face to face? When shall we know fully.

    The Love Chapter of the Bible, 1 Corinthians 13:12

    The Spirit says, and now I will show you the most perfect way, LOVE. If we want to see more clearly, face to face, grow and mature in the nature that is God. Love. I am reminded to spend more time with Love in order to be love and in turn to see Love (God) face to face, fully, even as I am fully known and seen by Him. Aaaaahhhh our loving Father, to know you is better than riches.

  54. Wow, alot of answers above! We women are talkers, aren’t we? Who long to connect…..

    I think I see God most when I surrender and wait. Surrender meaning to admit my fears and give them to Him, admit my anxiety and give to Him etc. Then, I must wait in His timing for the answer. Maybe the waiting is the hardest, for the doubt and weariness creep back in as I don’t ‘see Him working.” Maybe that’s why I have to start my 1000 gifts lifts literally, and not in my head!

    I have a beautiful daughter in a Teen Challenge program I am waiting for,waiting for her to fall back in love with JEsus and come back to me, also. I have a husband out of a job for 2 years, and we wait on his second interview this month on the 24th. I long to be an herbalist, and after 20 years, I do not see a door. I pray for Job like answers to my prayer, so I can prove to others He exists, and He is huge! Even if he doesn’t answer that way, I will still believe, and I will still yearn to see Him! Blessings to all my sisters

  55. Ann,

    This is truly a beautiful post. God reveals Himself to me when my life is most chaotic. I see God when I am at my most vulnerable; when I feel ashamed of things I have said or done. I see God when I give up control; when I accept that He is the life giver.

    I saw God when I received my cancer diagnosis three years ago at age 31. I refused to believe that I had cancer and instead, I believed that God was in control and He would heal me completely which He did.

    I see Him in every sunset, every raindrop, every experience filled with pain and those filled with joy. I know that He is always present. I seek His presence day by day, moment by moment.

    “You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence…” (Ps. 16:11)

    Thanks so much for sharing.

  56. Life has been hard lately. It’s good, but hard. I have a wonderful husband. I have two beautiful children, but I feel overwhelmed and sad within. and there’s a lot of guilt for even feeling this way. and then there’s the chores, and my job, and failing grandmother, and ballet class, and homework.. But I know that God is with me… I feel Him especially when times are hard. That’s when I reach for Him the most. That’s when He teaches me, changes me the most. Maybe that’s when I am the most malleable. I guess I never understood the beatitudes until this year. They always confused me. But God is here… near to my broken heart. I see His hand in the short text from my husband: ‘I love you’. I feel His comfort in the message from a close friend: ‘I prayed for you this morning.’ I experience His mercy when I read the ‘Scripture of the Day’ and I can tell He chose it just for me. He uses it all. He brings beauty from ashes. My ‘go-to’ reminder: ‘It is Well With My Soul”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPPSG_SpojY
    Thank you for helping me see God, Ann 🙂
    -Keri

  57. I spend many of my days working in a job, by myself, that I have never really liked, but felt obligated to stay in to keep my marriage alive and healthy. After reading One Thousand Gifts, I decided to embrace the job. I surrendered my work to Christ and asked Him to help me find joy in it, to even be thankful for it, of all things. And He has shown me His glow as He comes to me in the moments when I’m railing and frustrated, and decide to instead turn to Him for whatever it is I need at the moment to get the job done. I am astounded time after time how He will turn my thoughts to an immediate answer, turn my eyes, my head, my hands to find just what it is I’m looking for or needing. He is my associate and He reminds me moment by moment that He is with me. It is only His presence in the job that makes me love it. He is in everything, and we only need to call His name and ask Him to turn our head, our eyes, our heart, to see Him. Great glorious Savior, what great things you have done for us!!!

  58. I can remember as a child asking my precious, godly mother who is now with the Lord, “Can I see God?’. Her answer was that we cannot see the wind, but we feel it. God is the same – we cannot see Him, but we can feel His love and His peace and His comfort by way of His Holy Spirit. In the midst of the storms of life, He is with me. Isaiah 43:2, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you..”

  59. I am sitting in my car. In my driveway. In the dark. I had to get out of the house. The 5 little ones bickering and the rest of the house mocking me.
    I sit in the drivers seat, thankful my husband is inside…so I don’t have to be. And I cry out. I confess to my brokenness and inadequacies. I picked up my phone and entered your site. As soon as I saw the brown lanterns I said to myself, “that’s me. I’m not the bright orange one that everyone wants to take home. I’m the brown one with nothing left to give. But then I read your post. Gracious, Ann. Thank you. I AM the brown one. The broken one. Worn so thin buy homeschooling, toddlers, nursing, laundry, cooking, cleaning, training……but, that beautiful bright orange center is in me as well. And if I will let the worldly standards I set for myself go, I can see him. There is so much beauty in being transparent. He is here. He is always here. But I have to let go of expectations….and just receive what is already here. Thank you so much. To God be the glory. I think I can go back inside now ♡

  60. Christy Nocholls has a song that includes the following: “A mighty fortress is our God. A sacred refuge is His name. His kingdom is unshakeable.” These few words play over and over in my mind. I like that His name is a sacred refuge . . . what a wonderfully blessed thought!

  61. I worship Him for the beauty of Christ I see in you Ann …and while you may smile at that, and claim no beauty, it is truth. I think of Mercy and Christiana when they saw each other’s robes and declared the other to be the most beautiful. If we could just see Jesus in each other…oh how we would love.
    He has covered me with the robe of righteousness…
    Thank you for allowing us into your soul. Thank you for letting us see… you… and the wonder of Grace working in your life. You reveal Him.
    You have inspired me to start a blog, God’s River Of Grace @ deepriverdustbunny.blogspot.ca
    This is something I have wanted to do for some time.
    The Lord bless you and keep you …

  62. My sweet 7 yr old started 2nd grade this yr after 2 yrs of homeschooling. It has been a very hard adjustment and her teacher isn’t exactly an ideal fit. Today has been so, so, so very hard. I see my daughter’s goodness, gentleness, quietness, thin-skinned self be looked at and treated as weak. I’ve run the gamut between mama bear angry and sad, broken-hearted, and defeated. I saw God today with my daughter’s happiness with her new friends, her pride showing her new school to her grandma, through the hugs and prayers offered by other mothers who know what we are dealing with, and mostly, MOSTLY through God gently speaking soothingly to my heart as he pries my hands from the situation and letting me place it into His loving hands. He placed a warm blanket over and soft pillow under this weary mama’s heart and offered it rest. It’s the small little voice “shh-ing”, patting my back. It’s a little tiny nook I notice that I can crawl into and breathe, so tiny I almost missed it.

  63. Be filled with courage in Him by stopping. Schedule Him in daily. Close the door. Grab that Bible. Play that worship music. Shut it all out. Thank Him. Ask Him. Listen to Him. You’ll see. Him!

  64. I see God when I look in the mirror and look deep past me into my soul, into where God lives … when I do this, I begin to look at others differently … http://youtu.be/AfgocNtm9BQ … and like you Ann, I struggle often with this … Thanks for this, God Bless!

  65. You’ve done it again, Ann. You’ve teased out a truth from the simplicity of God’s creation that you allow to unfurl for us just as it became apparent to you: gently and powerfully, without a hint of pride. And the pictures of the Chinese lanterns in their lace shrouds are most illustrative of these truths. Seasons of life.. Bearing light…. Seeking God’s Presence can be more real than the world we see and think we understand. But then that’s what we do: Believers hold the lantern up for one another to bear witness to the Light. Keep holding up the lamp! Thank you.

  66. “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” I Corinthians 13:12-13

  67. A few years ago God used your book to open my eyes. Now, on many days, I see him everywhere. Lately, though, I see him most through our oldest daughter, whom God brought to our family thru adoption just six months ago. Many would call her weak and broken because she has Down syndrome, but to me she is the fulfillment in many ways of everything i long to be. She lives slow and deliberate and loves hard and fully lives in every moment and spreads joy just by being herself. (You say it’s the amateurs who rush thru life, right? This girl is a professional :-). I learn from her every day and just kinda stand here in awe of this crazy grace that I get to be her mom. Thanks for reminding us that it’s the ‘broken’ or fragile things in this life that often reveal His glory the most. i witness this every day… Front row seat :-). I wrote about this on our blog at http://www.hisplanourjoy.blogspot.com … I’m so tech un-savvy that I don’t know how to put the link to direct post but it’s third post down called ‘Eden’s Ability’ . If anyone needs a smile today, head over there and get a good look at these pics of her and I dare you not to feel a little joy! 🙂 Blessings, Haley

  68. Today I read about Moses and how by faith he left Egypt, … Then persevered because he saw him was invisible. Hebrews 11:27 – my heart cry was to be able to see him who was invisible through answered prayers … Your words tonight set loose my faith to believe for everything. Thank you

  69. The prayer of my heart these days has been…thank You, God, for cleaning us, making room for Your Holy Presence. O clean and make room in my frame, Jesus …and O Jesus, may You fill to overflow us with Your Holy Spirit. He is growing in this frame and the frames of my family members, and I am so grateful for His life…His Victory.

  70. I think seeing God is more a matter of the heart and a looking……when we are intentionally looking for Him in our day, He delights in making Himself known. Your writings have helped sensitize my vision to look for Him. I wear the bracelet your son made me….eucharisteo….to remind me to give thanks. With a surrendered heart to His will, even in the hard stuff of life, working on a thankful spirit, keeping a lookout for Him in my day, I am seeing Him in the quiet ways, in the beauty of nature around me…..like Nahum 1:3….”the clouds are the dust of His feet”…..in the courage He is giving me to walk through a very heart wrenching trial….all this is Him(God) and it is all GOOD.

  71. How to see God in the midst of brokeness? I guess I have to get to brokenness first, and not even… His Spirit leads to the desert and He Himself gets us back to life, out of the dark that suffering in the sinful flesh we live produces. Honestly, today I don’t want to see Him… for a few days I am in a free fall of backsliding-ness. I hate the man I once loved, I saw him saturday and could not stand his presence. I am not going to recount the many ways he has hurt me and how sick he is to have used and continue to use our kids against me…. regardless of their needs, there is a skeleton in the closet of his mind and he needs to get rid of it no matter what to be able to live with what he did to me, to us…. how do you see God? You may be right and past the outer layer of yiackiness that one human being can against another, thereb lies a heart, raw flesh hanging from nothing else but His grace and that is how you know He is real and He is there and He doesn’t let go as I let go of Him … if He had this message could have not been written or read. Oh Lord, my Lord, thank you for your mercy. Thank you for being so strong to be able to handle our pain, selfishness, blindness, madness …. everything. Set us free and be glorified my love, be glorified despite of me, of us, be glorified I beg you 🙁

  72. I see God in an 18 year old son warmly greeting his mom upon her return from a four day business trip. 18 year olds aren’t supposed to want to show that much love. I see the Light in him.

  73. When I read your title I thought you’d be writing on letting go of old dreams to see new life on the other side of our limited perspective…I hadn’t seen yet how letting go of what is dead and dying allows to me to see past it all to God Himself. This puts the grief I am going through into totally different focus. As my marriage is ending, as I find myself homeless once again along with my beautiful children as we crawl back from the brink of dreams I was so certain were coming true–maybe on the other side of all this letting go will be Him. Fullness. Life. Holiness. Wholeness. Thank you for sharing that hope with us.

  74. The only Light I can share with anyone…is Jesus. He is always the answer to the question…not cliche, just the truth… Every ‘divine appointment’ is different…but the Light is the same.
    Thanks Ann. This was so beautiful and thought provoking.
    May He abundantly bless you, as you bless others.

  75. Once again Ann, your words have swept away the grey mists of anxuety and confusion swirling endlessly in my heart and mind, and let me see HIM – the One who’s red hot flame of love burns steadily in the midst of our brokenness. In a throwaway culture, the overwhelming urge to fix the broken, to paper over the cracks of my life, is ever with me….and yet, now, I see HIM, not despite the brokenness, but through it!! Ah, bliss, rest, reassurance, heart slowing, love awakening truth!!
    Thank you Lord for Ann Voskamp, for the beauty of wisdom within, for the generosity if a heart willing to share with all of us, the holy preciousness if your truth. It sets us free, yay, it sets me free!! Thank you Lord, generous, beautiful, dear Friend of sinners, Friend of mine!

  76. This poem “LOVE” by George Herbert says it for me:

    Love bade me welcome; yet my soul drew back,
    Guilty of dust and sin.
    But quick-eyed Love, observing me grow slack
    From my first entrance in,
    Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning
    If I lack’d anything.
     
    ‘A guest,’ I answer’d, ‘worthy to be here:’
    Love said, ‘You shall be he.’
    ‘I, the unkind, ungrateful? Ah, my dear,
    I cannot look on Thee.’
    Love took my hand and smiling did reply,
    ‘Who made the eyes but I?’
     
    ‘Truth, Lord; but I have marr’d them: let my shame
    Go where it doth deserve.’
    ‘And know you not,’ says Love, ‘Who bore the blame?’
    ‘My dear, then I will serve.’
    ‘You must sit down,’ says Love, ‘and taste my meat.’
    So I did sit and eat.

  77. Ann,

    Thank you so much for these words. I’m struggling these days with many questions, and although I see and feel God’s presence in a deep and meaningful way, I find myself questioning Him at times. Not in a dark, doubtful way, but with the voice of a child who feels the lashes of life and wonders when they will stop. I have survived many things with Gods grace. Two of my children have gone Home before me, and my grief swirls around all the things I’m facing at this moment.

    Thank you for reminding me that it is in this very fragile and broken place God shows up in glorious and unexpected beauty time and time again.

    Please pray for me and especially for one of my sons who has analyzed, reasoned, and researched his way out of believing in a God who is alive and involved in our daily lives. My heart aches is aching this morning.

    I love you, Ann. I’m thankful for you.

  78. I am a nature girl, and I see God and hear from God more while in His creation than anywhere. He is so doggone amazing in His creativity (I know, dude, stating the obvious)! Walks on the beach always make me stand in awe! The waves lapping at the shore remind me of His love which is always constant. The various sounds of His natural Orchestra reminds me He is ever near. The rising and setting of the sun reminds me He is sovereign over all.
    Thank you Ann, for your words

  79. I see God when I rest–which is like you say, letting go. I also see Him when I work in the calling He’s given me. The whole earth declares His glory–that’s the verse that I love. It reminds me that even when I can’t see Him, the whole earth shouts of Him.

    Love you, Ann

  80. My dad succumbed to cancer in January this year….. Just when the fog was lifting and I thought my mum (married to dad 60 years) was just starting to enjoy life again after caring for him for 3 years was diagnosed with cancer and died 2 weeks ago. Worst times of my life. Every morning I counted 7 things to be grateful for- filled out the sheets you designed Ann….. And prayed that God would give me his peace. Every day even on the worst days God showed up with grace and peace. I saw God everyday. He got me through…. His word got me through, his people got me through. Faithful God.

    • Thank you for your words Michele…. My dad is dying of cancer as I type. He is now living with us and my husband and I are taking care of him and it’s so hard…this week I have felt eluded by God..I can’t see Him, I can’t feel Him, I can’t even pray right now. We too went through this same thing 4 years ago with my Mother in Love! All the memories come flooding back. This post has been great, i’m looking for Him today. Thanks for the reminder to be thankful!

  81. Reading Isaiah this morning and feeling so encouraged to face this dark and troubled world. Isaiah 33:6- “He will be the sure foundation for your times…” Oh how we need that sure foundation, now more than ever. Thank you, Jesus!

  82. I see God when I slow down. Going slow enough to hear him in my daughters giggle and my son selflessly looking out for his mama. I see God when my husband comes home tired but still has time to hold me. I see Him when I use a strangers name and tell them I appreciate their help…that look in their eyes. I see Him when I drive slower and notice the wildflowers instead of accepting the blurr. When I remember to pray on my knees at night. About the secret things. Asking Him to please handle them. And expecting Him too…. And He does!!! And the only one who knows we talked about it, is Him! For me He is in my deep breaths. My slowing down and remembering He is right here just like He promised.

    The song. By John Mark McMillian. ” First and Last.” With hands open and face upward… Lost. :). Have a listen!

  83. I see God in the moments I’m truly letting go. Letting go of circumstances, letting go of fears, letting go of expectations and pain.
    Those moments I pause and am completely found in the beauty of now. When the world slows down and His whisper resounds in places deep within. When all I can do is just take another deep breath, looking up to the stars while being filled with His peace. I find Him in the laughter of a child, the gentle touch of a friend, on that shoulder to cry on, in unexpected love that was shown. I’ve just had a deeper revelation of letting go and trusting God yesterday, an encounter in the silence, a whisper in the storm and I’ve left changed by His grace.

  84. Dear Ann, while reading this I remember not so long ago my husband and I were in London. As I grew up on a Karoo farm in South Africa it is unnecessary to say that I was overwhelmed by all the people, high buildings, shops, traffic etc. We were decending into the earth by means of an escalator to get to the correct tube to go to our hotel. I remember calling to God asking, “Where are You in all this”? At that very moment a mother and her read head little girl were riding in front of me and on that very moment the girl turned around for no reason and smiled at me! A sweet, sweet smile. This was my seed underneath the paperwrapping of that moment.

  85. I told someone the other day: I dont ever recall “looking” for God. I knew he was always there. Its when i was in the pit so deep, not fully believing i needed to come out, that He came to me.
    I was hesitant to join Him so He provided a co-worker to help me understand it wasn’t just a “knowing” it was a relationship.
    He wanted me MORE than anyone ever did.

    I see Him as my Warrior – He, Christ, fought for me – died for me. No one had ever professed that deep of a love for me – He revealed to me that I was worrh fighting for.

    I see Him in rhe pit, hurting for me.
    I see Him everytime I hear a testimony.
    I see Him when its been raining ice pellets and there is just one small bloom on my peach tree.
    I see Him when my daughter squeals with delight over her new job, one that we have prayed for years over.
    I see Him in the face of my sweet neighbor.
    I could gone on but I’ll save you time.
    Seeing Him with you!

  86. Ann, you are a sister that helps me see God so often. Bless you and your blogging and your willingness to be so authentic.

    Being quiet in the midst of a busy office, frantic project, tired coworkers. Holy Spirit work thru me for the sake of those around me.

    Love you, Ann, from Dallas Texas

  87. I asked the Lord a couple of weeks ago to show me how He works in our lives on a daily basis. I never expected the answer to come as it has: a valley experience. But now that I’m in the midst of the valley, the Lord has never seemed so lovely, so BIG, my fellowship so sweet. When I’m so discouraged and overwhelmed, feeling like I can’t bear the next step and cry out to Him, He has been so incredibly faithful to me! I’ve learned so much during this time. The encouragement I wanted to share is just to hold on to your faith. Ask God to help you in the moment. He will use just the thing YOU need. I love the words to the song, What Faith Can Do by Kutless, find them here: http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/kutless/whatfaithcando.html if your interested. God used those words in a particularly deep period of brokenness just a couple days ago and it showed me He truly understands what I’m going through. Focus on God’s work for you today NOT tomorrow!

  88. Thank you, Ann. As I read this, I am remembering my dear, sweet husband who went to his eternal home two years ago today. I am reminded that, at that time, I was so blessed to see God so clearly, and feel His love so closely. It is truly though the ugly/beauty of death and loss that we are so privileged to see the ultimate beauty of our Savior’s love for us. Just like the beauty of the Chinese lanterns. God spoke to me through you today. Thank you for being his voice.

  89. To share the light I need to fill the oil in my lamp with God’s words and then I need to be available. To step out when I’m afraid to and speak with love and tenderness and pray like crazy!

    Thank you for your thoughtful words and experiences. And your beautiful images – I wish I had some Chinese lanterns – however I am wearing orange and have a little incision that is healing under my t-shirt – today it is a good reminder that he can shine through my filigree. Beautiful and sweet.

  90. Thank you for this post, Ann. I want to see Jesus, know him, really know him, and I ask him for this. Then, when he plops me in the middle of something hard, I want out. I say I want to truly live this Christian life, but I’ve decided what that looks like. Needing forgiveness for my smugness. Needing Jesus to scrub away the yuck and pour his grace over it all. Realizing it is a second by second clinging.
    Thanks, too, for your printables. I have one about being brave copied off. It keeps my head in the game…reminds me of the need for gospel lenses.

  91. A beautiful way to see hope in the dry times, the desert times, the times that seem only moistened by the flood of optic torrents. Those are the times that I so much more prefer to look back upon, than walk through. May we see the dry times of life within us, not just as prison walls, but times when God might shine ever brighter through our fiercest hold on Him.

  92. Ann,
    I have learned to see Him through the counting of gifts, thanks to your beautiful words. Last week, I celebrated my 48th birthday by “being the gift.” Grace upon humbling grace, so much of the day spent choking back tears of thankfulness.
    I wanted to share one incident from the day with you. I participated in a suicide awareness walk that morning, in memory of my aunt. After the walk, getting lunch with my family, I spotted a man I had never seen before in our small town, shivering, sitting by himself eating a hamburger someone had bought for him, with a bag of pop bottles from the trash at his feet. The Lord spoke to my heart, urging me to go sit with him. I am ashamed to say that I did not, thinking my family would be uncomfortable and not want to join me. Afterwards, as I went about sharing my “gifts” around town, which included dozens of homemade cupcakes, I could not get him off my mind. I pled to the Lord for forgiveness – how could I choose to spend my birthday being the gift, and then ignore the need placed right before me? Sometimes, the ugliness in my heart sickens me.
    At the end of the afternoon, I had one box of 4 cupcakes left, and just didn’t know who to bless them with. Driving down our Main Street in town, I was praying about it, and out of the corner of my eye, I spotted the same man, sitting by himself on some apartment building steps. I couldn’t believe God could love me so much as to give me a second chance – such undeserved grace! I pulled over, jumped out with my cupcakes, and met Bernie. I don’t know that I have ever seen Him more clearly than I did in the face of Bernie that day.

  93. Our God is so transparent that our natural eyes cannot see Him..
    Transparent has two meanings; to see through…and to BE ‘see through’…when I am walking in His Spirit (being transparent)..I can then see through His eyes…hear His heart…to direct His gaze into the Gorden’s of my life, to see just where they might see God. What is it in another man’s Spirit that God can show me, where exactly do I let the sword transpierce the soul and spirit to dividing or fracturing the thoughts and intents of their heart… and finally get to the joint and marrow of their question…Oh make me more transparent God…so I can see with you.

  94. I clearly hear God speaking to me when I am thinking about my calling as I’m driving to work and then, once I get there, finding a devotion entitled, “How To Not Miss Out On Your Real Life Calling” sitting in my inbox. Or when I dream of two snakes and I have devotion in my inbox the next day with two snakes in it! Amazing!

  95. Love the honest heart for God in your words, Ann. Thank you for being such an encouraging sister.

    I have been thinking a great deal about God’s leading of Ezekiel to the valley of the dry bones, and how he asks him to prophecy to those bones.

    In the past ten years, especially, in the midst of those moments in my life where I have been the most torn apart, those days where I feel like nothing more than a pile of dry bones, I hear him whispering to me “Son of Man, prophecy to these bones.”

    And then I remember, He is a God of LOVE and LIGHT and RESTORATION and REDEMPTION and LIFE.

    And I let go, just as you’ve mentioned. And my old, dry bones begin to stir. 🙂

    That is a very real way I see God in this crazy, broken world and my crazy, broken life. Makes a person almost thankful for those times. 🙂

  96. Showing me His glory, sitting at my table, candle lit, music (worship music fills my ears, heart) I glance across the kitchen and notice, the once green tomatoes, I placed 3 days ago, on the window ledge, are receiving the SON, the light. Seeing God, embracing His presence.

  97. We see God when we let go. When we let go of the visible, papery skin that surrounds our moments, then we see the sacred jewel gleaming just underneath everything.

    Ohhh yes, Ann . . . it’s so hard letting go. The last three months I’ve had to let go of so much- things that even become idols, such as my children. I let go of my daddy on 9/6 – and he sings in heaven now with his deep baritone voice healed from cancer. I let go of my children each morning, with tears and sobbing, as they go on the big yellow bus to school and I have an empty, quiet home after 22 years of homeschooling. I’m trying so hard to hear Jesus in the quietness.

    “Be still, and know that I am God” Psalm 46:10

    And I am trying to hear and know Him in this new quietness.

    Loni VS

  98. I see God through the sanctified mind. I ask Him to cleanse me– my mind, my eyes and ears with the blood of Jesus and give Him permission to use them to speak to me.

    God gives me grace to get quiet, to be still, and I invite the Holy Spirit to come and reveal Jesus to me. He uses my imagination to show Himself and the reality of the spirit realm all around me.

  99. In writing my daily blog, I found this quote by Samuel Rutherford

    “I perceive we postpone all our joys of Christ, till He and we be in our own home above, thinking that there is nothing of it here to be sought or found, but only hope and fair promises; and that Christ will give us nothing here but tears, sadness, crosses; and that we will never feel the smell of flowers of that high garden of paradise above, till we come there. Nay, I find it possible to find young glory, and a young green paradise of joy even here. We dream of hunger in Christ’s house, while we are here, although He alloweth feasts to all His bairns within God’s household.”

    You find young glory and a young green paradise, even in skeletal Chinese Lantern truths. Thank you for the beauty.

  100. I am finding God because I choose to believe that He is here…in the middle of an emotionally fractured family…acting the fractures out in distance and the pain and hurt and turmoil…the questioning this really can’t be God…I know what God wants and this is so opposite….why can’t it be His way…and then the Word comes…Psalm 50 v14,15 Why don’t you bring Me the sacrifices I desire? Bring Me your true and sincere thanks and show your Gratitude by keeping your promise to me, the Mot High. Honour Me by trusting in Me in your day of trouble. Cry aloud to Me and I will be there to rescue you! (The Passion Translation). This was one of the verses that started me towards seeing God in the middle of the storm that took me by complete surprise and has been going on for 18 months. And so this scripture took me to a place where I found I wasn’t honouring my God with my trust…that too is a journey….and bit by bit as I resolve with intention to choose to do just that…He comes through….delights in nature coming into my vision, a shooting star, a deer foraging in the forest and not moving away as we walk too close….a word of encouragement read or spoken…an email in answer to my prayer, Lord wake up the intercessors to pray for us and the email comes, just want to let you know that I am praying for you, and then the Word of God when the question is cried out in anguish: was it right to stay in the middle of marriage troubles waiting for God to do His work? Is there to be no reward for my obedience? Why did I hope so much in God when this is the result?….It is written Jeremiah 31v16,17 Thus says the Lord: Restrain your vice from weeping and your eyes from tears, for your work shall be rewarded says the Lord: and your children shall return from the enemy’s land. and there is hope for your future, says the Lord: your children shall come back to their own country (family and faith). Amplified.And finding the Presence in worship…when with all my heart I sing to Him, the glorious one who reigns on high and I can ‘feel’ the Presence around me and I have on one occasion heard the angels singing. These are the things throughout my whole experience that I hang on to. Yes I can see Him everywhere if I honour Him with my trust. And so I may grieve and cry but I don’t let go and I don’t stop looking! Blessing my brothers and sisters in the Lord God most High.

  101. Seeing God in the brokenness….
    My husband and I have been dealing with infertility for 4 years with two miscarriages along the way. Obviously, the depth of my emotion is too great to tell you here. I take my petitions to God daily. I get on my knees in the “nursery” and cry out to my Lord and Comforter, letting the tears fall to the floor. I recently came across something that said having a baby after a miscarriage is called a “rainbow baby”. My sister-in-law then decided mine would be a double rainbow since I have had two losses. That night I was nestled on the couch trying to drown out all the worry and pain in my mind. I kept thinking how there was storm after storm, but where was my rainbow. A few minutes later my sister-in-law told me to go outside. The storms that had been raging outside, had brought forth a precious gift. A rainbow. I quickly encouraged my husband to join me on the porch. I explained my day and how I had just cried out for a rainbow. As we sat there gazing at the beauty of it, a second rainbow started to appear. A double rainbow!!! I saw God in that rainbow. No, it isn’t my “rainbow baby” but it was a reassurance that He is here. He knows my pain. He is there to be the hand to lift me out of my brokenness and heal my hurting heart. God is good!

  102. How do I see him? I see him in the miracles he performs in answer to prayer. And the miracles of when he answers prayer in ways that we may not want, but need. He always gives. He is always there, I hang onto his shirttail like as a small child, trusting his leading through darkness and light. He stands before me like a shield, he stands high on the mountaintop, so we can keep our eyes on him, and not on the sadness and heartbreak of a messy world. He gently coaches, keep your eyes on me child. You and I are not of this world. Chin up, keep your eyes and heart on the promise. Yes, Precious Lord, I see you. I see your wide, open arms, your loving smile, I see your heart so full of unconditional love. In all things, he stands with us, our strength, our soldier, our navigator, the great I AM.

  103. Thank you, Ann, for this article!
    Thank you, brothers & sisters, for the comments!
    I don’t necessarily think only “broken” people see God, but I feel like the more broken we are the easier it is to embrace Him. I wish I could articulate it better. I am so overjoyed that the Holy Spirit opened my heart & touched my soul 3 years ago. I didn’t know how lost I was until God’s words spoke to me one Sunday morning in church…Since that day, I see God everywhere. I pray that more people will “let go” & seek Him.
    Have a blessed day!

  104. I see His light in others when I share the light that you show to us through your postings. I often find direct correlations between your posts and something that someone I know is struggling with in his/her own life. For example, one morning this week I was talking with a friend/co-worker who made reference to complaining but “no one wanted to listen.” Within minutes I read your post about choosing between communion or complaining, and then sent my friend a few words from your message. He wrote and told me how thankful he was for the thought and how he would remember it throughout his day.

    Your message today of seeing light in the brokenness comes less than twenty-four hours after the body of a little eight-year-old girl from our community was found in a nearby ditch after having been missing and searched for in the past two days. The entire community is in mourning for who became all of our’s little girl. Our search for God in the brokenness will never be over on this earth.

  105. Yes Jesus loves me this I know and I see him reaching to me thru my pain everyday. I know that there is nothing in this world that he hasn’t experienced since He was fully God and Man. I have bipolar disorder and it so often isolates me by the inappropriate behAviors that come along side this mental health disease. I go to church every Sunday and our pastor who is a good man of God says this is a place where we should be able to support each other and share our pain. Yet if I talk to people my awkwardness shines thru and people want to get away from me and I don’t blame them. I am so tired of seeing people’s backs instead of a welcoming smile. I long to go home to Jesus where I know I will no longer suffer and be alone. No more pain sorrow or tears. I am thankful to know Jesus and know that he loves me because I can’t remember anymore the last time someone liked or tolerated me. I hold on knowing he holds me. Bipolar disease is deadly- it has a 15-20% chance of suicide. If anybody reads this and you know a someone like me please listen w your heart and not your head.

  106. I see God in each of us. He has given each one of us abilities & strengths to use to do his work. We are instruments in the redeemers hands. I recall PSALM 138:8A
    The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me;
    your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Then I think every person & circumstance I encounter will make an impact on my heart that I will be able to use to fulfill his purpose for my life. I remember I am not my own but his creation w/his purpose so I must trust he will allow me to use my gifts to create a new thing in this kaleidescope we call life. My gift or compassion I give, or my gift of encouragement will touch another but it will create a different piece of art than the picture I have. Constant mutations with every life we touch.I have purpose so I don’t have to worry about getting there, God will work it to happen.

  107. I see God in the trees. When I was visiting Mexico for the first time, I was at a beautiful location north of P.V. There were private villas but a community pool area where I saw the biggest tree of my life! Immediately I called it the God Tree and have a picture of it beside my bed.
    I just moved into a lovely new area that is known for its massive trees and each morning when I go out to my car to go to work, I look up and take a deep breathe, as if God is filling me. I watch the light dance on the tips of the leaves at the very top where the sun is just starting to shine through and I am enamored! What beauty God has given us. How could He see me as beautiful as that light on that leaf? How could that be possible? Yet its true. As I’m covered by the blood, I shine as bright and breathe as beautiful as those trees.
    Amazing Grace.

  108. Love this sharing – from your springboard, I went with it – I discovered, for me, that my middle guy will be 5,000 days old. Yep, 5,000 – next Wednesday, when I celebrate 44 years. Gifts. Thank you. Hope – enduring this hard year, when my dear oldest girl headed to traditional school for the first time. After so many years of schooling her myself, good but hard decisions were made. Now the encouragement from me to her is found in text messages. I send her God daily. And she wrote last night for homework that I. I am her hero. The goodness of God’s love flowed right back. Break daily, but see that seed. Red, and full bursting of his love.

  109. 9 years together…2 weeks ago my husband left me and my 4 years old ….for somebody else.it’s Hurting.i know GOd is there otherwise i won’t be Alive after all this…but I can’t see him and I can’t find any comfort either.

    • Cristina, my heart caught when I read your comment. Life and loss is so hard. My pain is not similar, but it left me unable to see Him and unable to feel or accept His comfort as well. So, in that regard, I understand. Our oldest son left home and spiraled out of control until he finally after a couple of times in jail landed in prison. Dreams were lost. Hope was gone. Hearts and lives were broken. LIke I said, no where near your pain, but a devastation of our family. It has been five years, and what I want to say is that God has been faithful, even at the times when He seemed silent and distant, He was there- but I couldn’t feel Him in the pain at all times. I know He is there for you as well, Cristina and your little one. And although your heartache makes it difficult to see Him, He will never leave you. He has promised that. And you are his bride. His precious treasure. Father of mercy wrap your arms around Cristina, and let her hear your voice and see your hand. Show her your glory. Provide for her comfort and for every need she has in this situation. Nothing is too difficult for you. No one is beyond your reach. Reach into their lives and open her husband’s eyes and help him see you as well and your will for their marriage. Hold Cristina close during this time. Thank you for carrying our grief and sorrows. Demonstrate your faithfulness and love to Cristina tonight. In Jesus name, Amen.

  110. Seeing God only comes when He reveals Himself to me, and He does that in the ordinary, everyday things in response to my questions….like He did to you, Ann, in the beautiful Chinese lantern flowers. I have never known those flowers and just the picture hit my heart in a tender spot…and your words added to what God had to say to me. When I die to myself, when I become less, and He more, others see Him through the broken, aching, dying places in my life- He is there, a tender seed, with life. I remember once when my oldest son was rejecting our love in some pretty big ways. I was walking and complaining to God about the pain and happened to pass a maple tree like the ones in our yard, and just brought up a by the way fact that – by the way why do you make trees with so many helicopters…they don’t all grow…maybe one or two. He answered in a way in my heart that showed me His glory and related it to all the times we showed love to our son, but He rejected it…He asked me to love him over and over, just like those helicopters fall…none is wasted if only one grows. He also showed me through a geode…ugly on the outside, a common rock, but when cracked open the beauty and worth are inside in response to my feelings of inadequacy. As long as I belong to Jesus, no matter how plain I am, when I am broken the world gets to see the beauty of the treasure that He is. It is in ways like these that He shows me who He is, and shows me His glory, speaking in parables in the everyday and mundane. And that is what He does so well through your words. So thankful to Him for your encouragement always.

  111. Hi! One small voice in this vast web space. My thoughts… His greatness is so Great that our questions barely touch the hem of His garment. Yet, His understanding so infinite and His mercies so tender that if we just wait, He will give us more than the answers to our questions, He will give us Himself. For true seeing is knowing. It is need absorbing Sufficiency.
    Thanks Ann. A kindred spirit.

  112. The Lord is my Light and my Salvation, whom shall I fear? The Lord is the Stronghold of my life, of whom shall I be afraid? Ps. 27:1

  113. You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in You. Isaiah 26:3
    I see God everyday when I look at my amazing miracle twin boys, who are now 6! They are a gift from God. Incredible.

  114. I feel like my words are inadequate in the face of comment after comment. I was recently reminded of a hymn – He giveth more grace – He giveth and giveth and giveth again. My lifeline is within those words! Peace to all of you.

  115. So many times my sweet daughter, who is wise beyond her 22 years. will come to me with questions about the direction her life should take because the only thing she is sure about is her love for Jesus and serving Him. I am in awe of her…this spoke to me because so often I find Jesus in a song, a baby’s cry, a stranger in the grocery store, a walk around a the farm… I now know it’s ok not to always have the perfect answer because I’m so imperfect but seeing God in everyday things all around me anticipating His presence gives me peace.. I don’t like the brokenness around me or of the world but I pray for whatever brings me closer to Jesus. Phrases from the song by Unspoken .. Make me broken so I can be healed, keep me empty so I can be healed. I want to run to You with arms wide open….. till you are my one desire…..

  116. I began this breathtaking journey coming to really, really know Him about six years ago. I had lost something, nothing important, and as I searched for it I asked the Lord to help me find it. This is what he laid immediately on my heart – “It is when you stop searching with your human senses that you allow me to show you where to look.” – I was awestruck. That is the first time I knew, KNEW, the Lord had spoken to me, TO ME!!!

    Ann’s blog brought this precious memory to mind and tears to my eyes. Learning to see with our soul, not our eyes….an on going challenge and so easily forgotten, but such a precious jewel when found again.

  117. I see God in the unexpected, when I am not necessarily searching. I see Him in the centre of a flower, a whisp of cloud, I feel Him in sunshine and in a storm. My two strongest links to seeing God are in rainbows and eagles which have frequently appeared when I am desperate to see His face.

  118. I see God all around me. In the beautiful mountains that surround my area, awesome fall colors, just everyday beauty that only God could create!

    Love your writing and your post!! Some of my favorite songs : Come Thou Fount”;
    “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross:’ “Blessed Assurance”. Those songs speak loud and clear to me!

  119. I saw God this morning, as I watched a brightly coloured red and green parrot eating seeds from the tree outside my study window. I saw how He has used extraordinary colours in all of His creation – for no other reason than He just enjoyed it!

  120. I have the privelege of seeing God in our eight year old grandson. He comes from a home where his parents are not together and do not want to know God but they allow him to come to church with me. This little boy is learning about Jesus and is so excited to talk about Him. Yesterday at Sunday school he learned about how Jesus loves the little children. Our Grandson could not wait to tell his Nanny that his Jesus loves him. This has given me the amazing blessing of looking at God through a child’s eyes and I am learning things over again at that level. My eyes are turned to Jesus in a new and blessed way.
    I cannot help but be reminded of the song TURN YOUR EYES UPON JESUS, LOOK FULL IN HIS WONDERFUL FACE, AND THE THINGS OF THE WORLD WILL GROW STRANGELY DIM, IN THE LIGHT OF HIS GLORY AND GRACE.

  121. When I’m feeling anxious, I recite Zephaniah 3:17 to get my focus off of myself and back onto Jesus:

    The Lord your God is with you; he is mighty to save.
    He will take great delight in you;
    He will quiet you with his love;
    He will rejoice over you with singing!

  122. In our darkest moments, when the darkness encompasses us and we can barely breathe, and we search endlessly for God in that moment, sometimes in those moments as we search with our eyes to behold Our Maker, we only need to inhale….perhaps a new way to “see” God is through our sense of smell. The smell of wood crackling, a bonfire, those smells draw our hearts to times of beautiful memories. Sometimes we keep searching for God and we feel all hope is gone, all light is gone, but then the smell of embers brings a refreshing because where there are embers there is a fire. The life and light of the fire is still there because the embers are still there. Sometimes we find God in the embers. While others might discard the embers and want to brush them away, we can embrace the embers, knowing Who is at the core of the light that burns within us. While the darkness may seem to overwhelm, the embers of His light give warmth to our soul and a refreshing of past times when He has come through for us and infuse our spirits to give us hope for all that He has planned for us. Selah.

  123. Good morning Anne,

    I ask Father each day to live his life through me, as me. I know I can’t do the living myself. I ask him to speak through me and cause me to be quiet if he is not speaking. I tell others what he has done in my life. Do I always let him? It is a minute by minute choosing, and to often I choose badly, but, He loves me just the same. I’m not where I want to be, but I’m not at all where I used to be, and I have much joy in knowing where he brought me from.

    Thank you for your writings. I read them, and also read them to my husband and Daughter. God bless you.

  124. I think I most see God when I’m clinging to him above all else…I’m going through a hard 4th pregnancy (only beginning my 5the month of pregnancy) and it’s in the moments when pain and contractions do not cease even with medical intervention that I can only turn to The One who knows my body more than any person….The One knitting my daughter in my womb…these moments can either grow fear or trust. …trying to choose to trust!

  125. The Lord allows me to see Him, this day, when I watch my husband (who battles stage 4 cancer), head off to the weekly prayer meeting. God encourages me as I accept the LIFE he has planned for me, not the one I planned.

  126. Thank you for this beautiful website. Finally, something that is real! You have inspired me.

  127. Coming in on this discussion late but unable to leave the page without a response.

    How do I see God? No eloquence but
    – I see Him in the glory of His creation
    – I see Him in these archaic words of a hymn:
    “Be with ne Lord, I cannot live without thee. I dare not try to take one step alone. I cannot bear the load of life unaided, I need thy strength to lean myself upon.”
    – I see him when I come to the end of me and fall into His ever present arms.
    – I see Him when I open my eyes and look: 2 Chronicles 20:12 ‘For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.’

    Thank you Ann, for your continual encouraging… uplifting… challenging… seeing God through fresh eyes and allowing us to follow you on your journey,