August: Devotional

“God spoke: “Separate! Water-beneath-Heaven, gather into one place; Land, appear!” And there it was. God named the land Earth. He named the pooled water Ocean. God saw that it was good.

God spoke: “Earth, green up! Grow all varieties of seed-bearing plants, Every sort of fruit-bearing tree.” And there it was. Earth produced green seed-bearing plants, all varieties, And fruit-bearing trees of all sorts. God saw that it was good. It was evening, it was morning— Day Three.”

Genesis 1:9-13, The Message


This devotional is brought to us by Misty Elliott, a Leader in The Abbey.  You can read more of her beautiful words at mistyaelliot.com and on Instagram @mistyaelliott


When I was pregnant with my youngest child I went on a painting spree. We were in between two houses at that time. One being a small home in town that our soon to be family of five had now outgrown, and the other one being a much larger home out in the country that was in dire need of TLC.

To reign in my feelings of overwhelm, I would paint. I would spend hours sitting on a stool, with a paint roller in one hand, and rubbing my ever growing belly with the other. As I rolled, I would dream of the child that would soon make his appearance into this world. Just as I had with my first two children. I made sure that everything in his nursery was just right for his arrival and this preparation filled my spirit with joy. I imagine that God’s joy in his preparation for us was even greater!

This prep work is what we like to call “nesting” and I see these first few days of creation as a God form of nesting (in an Almighty God way of course). The ultimate artist was painting a home for his favorite creation - us.

I want to invite you to open your childlike eyes with me for a moment as we envision Day Three.

Imagine the Spirit of God hovering over the waters of the earth.

Inhale. Exhale. Close your eyes for just a moment and begin to observe this third day.

Maybe you are starting to notice the smell of the water or feeling a cool mist touching your skin as you visualize the smallest sliver of what God must have seen that day. This world of bountiful water.

Then boom! His voice commands the waters to separate and land begins to appear. He calls the water Ocean and the land Earth and it was good.

Can you see it? The waters pooling into ocean and the land beginning to unveil. Take notice of these boundaries appearing for the very first time.

After God separated the land and water, he speaks “Earth green up! Grow all varieties of seed bearing plants, Every sort of fruit bearing tree.” And there it was.

For as long as I can remember, I have enjoyed envisioning God’s garden. I’ve tried to imagine how absolutely breathtaking those first plants must have been.

Let me guide you through it…..

Inhale. Exhale. Visualize yourself witnessing the trees and plants sprouting up. Take your time here and let it fully settle into your spirit.

  • Feel the heat of this brand new sun on your skin, the breeze moving across your face, and your toes curling into the fresh soil under your bare feet. Smell the plants of every kind. What scent comes to mind?
  • Touch the bark of the trees. Feel the ridges of their trunks and admire how strongly they are rooted. Taste of their fruit. What flavors do you detect?  Listen for the whispers of the vegetation coming to life. On this day, nature is born and it is all for us.

God has nested a home for us that will nurture growth, meet all of our senses, and provide protection. He has hand painted colorful shades of beauty everywhere and in everything to delight our senses. Isn’t he a good Father?

There are some truths that I would like to point out here:

1. There is limitless power in God’s spoken word.

Creation comes into existence from the sound of his voice. Can you imagine? When God speaks the waters move, earth moves, and we move. Life moves to His unforced rhythm of grace.  God bestowed to us this power in our words when we speak heavenly truth. Our tongue blesses or curses.

2. The one true God loves us more than any other splendor in existence.

He created the Heavens and the Earth. His voice spoke the galaxies, moons, stars, oceans, and all life into existence. He created mountains and trees that seem to reach the heavens. Our Father surrounded us in his majestic beauty, yet we are the favored. We are his children. I don’t think we can even begin to comprehend how loved we are.

3. God is intentional.

We have been his plan from the very beginning. These first few days of creation are all in preparation for his children. He hand crafted a space for us and not because he needs us. God doesn’t need us. He wants us. He wants fellowship with us because he loves us.

In the same manner that parents have been hovering over their children since the very beginning of human existence, God has hovered over us. Nurturing, teaching, and protecting. I pray you feel that presence of his unceasing, unchanging, unconditional parental love for us.

August: Lectio Divina

This Lectio Divina practice is brought to you by Melissa, a Leader in The Abbey and a Spiritual Director. You can connect with Melissa on her website and on Instagram @create_space_melissa.

Psalm 1:3 TPT

To the one who follows God’s ways...He will be standing firm like a flourishing tree planted by God’s design, deeply rooted by the brooks of bliss, bearing fruit in every season of his life. He is never dry, never fainting, ever blessed, ever prosperous.