Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now
"Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes. "
(Matthew 6:34
, The Message)

My friend Melissa sent this verse to me a few weeks ago. I cannot even tell you how much I have come to depend on these words of encouragement and wisdom. As you may know, there have been a bunch of things my heart and mind have wanted to get worked up about...
  • A little girl in Africa who is waiting for her forever family.
  • Trying to remember what stage a 10 month old baby is at and what she might need when she gets home.
  • Searching online for a suggested list of baby items for said stage that I have no memory of so I won't feel so um, unprepared.
  • Registering for said items so friends can find an answer when they ask what I need and I look clueless.
There have also been many times recently when I've wondered what I should do that day or the next day, or a few days down the road. So many days I've questioned how I could get it all done in time or at the same time...
  • A gazillion details like shots, airline tickets, school work, pet care, house sitting, work deadlines, job tasks delegated, etc, that need to be taken care of before we travel to Ethiopia to get Aster.
  • Several dates on our fall calendar that needed major changes and decisions about canceling some big commitments we had made.
  • Getting all the details in place for carpools and meals and kids while JJ and I travel to the D6 conference in Dallas for a couple days this week.
And I've had lots of opportunities to depend on God to help me deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes like ...
  • Getting food poisoning last Sunday night and then getting 5 immunizations Monday afternoon.
  • Feeling nauseas almost all week and wondering if it wasn't food poisoning after all but possibly I was pregnant. (Yes, two friends suggest such a thing!)
  • Preparing to speak in front of 1500 pastors, youth leaders and parents with best-selling authors like Angela Thomas, George Barna, Jim Daly, John Trent and more, and wondering what God was thinking when He gave me this assignment.
  • Wondering why God timed the D6 conference during the week He knew we'd be making final preparations to go to Ethiopia.
When Melissa sent that verse, she included a sweet note telling me that "in the midst of our "Aster" celebration and new book blessings, she knows I may be a little anxious about how this is all going to work out. Aster. Speaking. Writing. Working. Life."

A little anxious? How about a lot anxious. There were days I had chest pains from all of it. I have to admit it was way too much for me to handle all at once. And in the midst of it all, Kim was hospitalized and died so quickly.

But before it got to that point, I had been crying out for God's help. And this verse was God's reply. "Renee, give your entire attention to what I am doing right now."

Each day I have learned to look in front of me for His "right now" and walk in it.
I have not been able to get ahead of myself or ahead of my current circumstances because many times the answers weren't there yet. Now that was hard for me because I don't like it when life is so unpredictable but it was good for me, too.

I have learned to depend on God moment-by-monent in a way I don't think I ever have before. I have come to trust His unseen hand in unknown places. I have had to accept that I am in a season of many unknowns and that is exactly what God has planned.

In the midst of it all, I have found the courage to make hard choices that my heart didn't want to make. And I have discovered that confidence comes not in the absence of fear but in the face of it, when I walk towards what I am afraid of knowing God is waiting for me on the other side.


Blogger Leah Gillen said...

Thank you so much for your transparency on this very thing Renee. God spoke to me - through you - in amazing ways, as I read this latest post of yours! I desperately need this verse, and I am clinging to it now!!!! Praying for you...

Blogger Joyful said...

Renee, the translation of this verse is so practical, isn't it!!! "Give your attention to what God is doing right now..." I so often look ahead and worry, or look back and regret. A call to live in the moment and embrace what God is doing now. I borrow tomorrow's trouble all the time.

In Steven Curtis Chapman's song, "Miracle of the Moment" the lyrcis say,

"...we are who and where and what we are for now
And this is the only moment we can do anything about

So breathe it in and breathe it out
And listen to your heartbeat
There's a wonder in the here and now
It's right there in front of you
And I don't want you to miss the miracle of the moment

There's only One who knows
What's really out there waiting
And all the moments yet to be
And all we need to know
Is He's out there waiting
To Him the future's history

And He has given us a treasure called right now
And this is the only moment we can do anything about

And if it brings you tears
Then taste them as they fall
Let them soften your heart

And if it brings you laughter
Then throw your head back
And let it go
Let it go, yeah
You gotta let it go

And listen to your heartbeat

There's a wonder in the here and now
It's right there in front of you
And I don't want you to miss the miracle of the moment."

With God, we step into the unknown known. He walks with you Renee.
Sending love & prayers,

Blogger Kimberly said...

I read this last night before bed and it blessed me so! I LOVE His Word, and I love that He sends us friends who will minister to us with it!!!

I am praying for you as you cling to the truths of His Word! Reading your lists I could get tempted to be anxious for you, but when God says be anxious for nothing, that even means for my friends. So I'll just keep praying for you and praising Him for all that He IS going to do!
Love you dearly,
K :)

"And those who know Your name will put their trust in You;
For You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You." Ps.9:10

Blogger B His Girl said...

Great verse to keep handy. We often focus on so many 'future' things that never even happen. We have today or rather now.

This is the day the Lord has made...I will rejoice NOW. Let's all Lean on Him today! B

Anonymous Em said...


My nephew is about to turn 2 in a few months but i remember 10months like it was yesterday. At 10months he took his first steps, now that is a little advanced for 10months but i hear its not uncommon. So maybe some toys that she can push while walking to keep her steady. Teething has already begun but now is when her top teeth will start to come in if not already soo teething rings and frozen waffles are always a great idea! My nephew loved his musical toys at 10monts (still does now) ie... mini keyboard and elmo guitar. Also he loves anything electronic. He took his first steps at 10months to try to get to my video camera...lucky me i got his first steps on film b/c of this.
Also great site!! has a wonderful milestone chart with other mommy comments.

Anonymous Karen Ehman said...

Dear Aster's Mom,
God knows exactly what He is doing. You too will know why He did what He did..... in few weeks, months or even a year. Can't wait to see how it turns into a point in one of your messages or a chapter in your book.
You live your message so well, girl. God is giving you all this 'cause He knows how you say 'yes' to His call and He wants to show other women, who doubt and have fear too, how they can say 'yes' to Him as well.
Oh, and I have a little vested interest in all of this too, since my own 'baby girl' is so close to your family now, watching and learning what it means for a woman to follow hard after God even when it isn't logical or conveinent. Thanks for your godly example...
Mackenzie's Mom :-)

Blogger Proverbs 27:19 said...

What is you don't know what God is doing right now?

What if you can't figure it out?

What if it doesn't make sense to you?

What if you're scared?


Anonymous Andrea said...

Wonderful post today, Renee! Thank you so much for the perfect reminder you wrote: seeing "God's unseen hand in unknown places." I really want to remember this through all the circumstances of life. Looking forward to hearing more of Aster when you welcome her home!
Love, Andrea

Blogger Sarah said...

My life is quite slow and mundane compared to this -- not that retreat speaking, screeching home in time to catch a soccer game, then record my podcast and work on an article that's due is mundane, but it is routine. But to give our attention to what God is doing now -- we all need it: in the routine, mundane, or in the chest-crushing pressure cooker of life. God is working. Pay attention. I needed to hear it. Thanks for reminding.

Blogger Sue Heimer said...

God knew I needed this verse and encouragement today!!! Thanks, dear Friend and know that you are loved and prayed for.

Blogger Jill said...

Renee, I love your words in this post! I, along with all the Rise and Shine girls continue to pray for you and the journey that lies ahead. God knows what He is doing! It's such an encouragament to read your story as it helps me persevere and trust as mine continues to unfold. Just this past weekend I listened to your talk from She Speaks again and can relate to so much of what you said. Your words about sometimes letting others down in order to please God really hit home - Weds. an article is scheduled to appear in our local newspaper about our book and then Friday we're doing a meet the author thing - exciting, but yet scary as not everyone, including close loved ones is in support of this. Worry and doubt had been creeping in and this morning I read your words about the moment, so good!! Blessings to you Renee, Jill

Blogger Julie Gillies said...

What a powerful, powerful post, Renee. That VERSE! Oh! How desperately I need that verse. With so much coming at me recently, I am going to print out that verse and tape it to my bathroom mirror. Seriously.

Thank you for sharing your beautiful heart, and God's wonderful, calming assurance in that scripture.

Still praying for you, Renee, daily.

Blogger Pat said...

Such a good word Renee, I just read it recently and loved it then. Thank you for the reminder and for being such a sweet example of God's faithful provision!!
Praying for you,

Blogger Melissa Milbourn said...

Hey Girl,

I stopped by here three times yesterday to leave a comment, but was interrupted every time!

Isn't God's Word such an amazing delight?! He is so good.

"If Your revelation hadn't delighted me so, I would have given up when the hard times came."
Psalm 119:92

I know that's true for me.
So thankful for His Word.

I read this passage this morning and was encouraged by it...

"People with their minds set on You, You keep completely whole, Steady on their feet, because they keep at it and don't quit. Depend on God and keep at it because in the Lord God you have a sure thing." Psalm 26:3,4

Anyway, thinking of you. Praying for you. Excited for you. Loving you.

Blogger Danielle said...

I have had to accept that I am in a season of many unknowns and that is exactly what God has planned.

Oh, you just don't know how this spoke to my heart. I have read many different posts before that encouraged me, and ones that inspired me, but I haven't read many that inspire, encourage, uplift, and strengthen me all in one.

I am in a season right now where I feel as if I don't know up from down, from one day to the next. But your words, they bring to the forefront of my mind that God has all this planned out, I just need to focus on Him, seek Him for the day to day and know that it's going to be okay.

I'm 31, yet I continue to pluck grey hairs I hate it because I know it's caused from being too anxious and worrying alot. That is not the life God wants for me. I have memorized scripture about it, but there are days when my anxious thoughts seem to multiply within me.

For today, I am going to rest in my unknowns because I am hearing God speak to me through your words that my unknowns, are His knowns and His will.

Thank you very much, my sister!

Blogger Digging for Pearls said...

Hi Renee,

Just wanted you to know that I am praying for you. May God give you peace in the midst of your days ahead.


Blogger familyof8 said...


I so remember the weeks before our adoption...crazy doesn't begin to to describe it. The details were overwhelming. We also had a few other things that needed attention during this time (with our 5 other children). This verse really spoke to my heart during this time. I was amazed that this was the verse God was using to calm you heart and remind you of His goodness.
I can't wait to read about how God blesses your family as you walk in obedience through this adoption of Aster. Will you be able to blog while you are traveling? I am praying for you by name each day! I met you on the first girls getaway cruise when you were just beginning your adoption journey.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is when I always remind myself that God will never give us more than we can handle. Yes. You can handle it, and only by the grace of God. He definitely gives us opportunites to Totally rely on Him. You're doing great. I'm praying for you right now! What exciting things are happening to you right now, although you could do without the nausea but it will make for a better story later!

Anonymous Suzanne Tyria said...

Excellent beautiful blog! I love this. It touched my heart more than you can ever know!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Renee, I really needed to hear this today!!!

God Bless!!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your post today. My husband of 7 years has recently left me & my two very, very young boys (3years & 11months). He announced to me that he's filing for divorce very soon... God is holding me in the palm of His hand right now & your post & verse for today is an inspiration to me not to dwell on what might happen, or what I could've said, or done in the past. There are a thousand "what ifs" for both the future & past, but right now I "only have enough light for the step I'm on". I read about God's love and will as being described as walking through a fog (Joyce Meyer I think)... sometimes you're only allowed to see the first step or two in front of you & when you take those, then God reveals the next step or two. This promise I am clinging to. Thank you so much.

Blogger Bonita said...

Great message, Renee! Regardless of whether life is busy or quiet, this is still good advice.

Blogger Tammy Nischan said...


My husband often encourages me to be "fully present" wherever I'm at!

I love the thought that God is fully present too! And what He is doing RIGHT NOW in us and through us and for us is most important to Him.

Only He can be fully present in so many different places.

We have to choose to be fully present in our one little spot in this world!

Praying your D6 time is great!
Praying your trip is AMAZING@
Praying that Aster is ready to embrace you with so much love!
Praying your boys and husband are all they need to be for you and for her too!

Love you, dear friend!

Hugs from Kentucky!


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