I had the amazing blessing of taking a week vacation earlier this month. I was definitely overdo for taking a break to really disconnect from work and all my other “doing.” Although I still have a long way to go towards gratitude and that state of being rather than doing, I feel like I truly was able to soak in a restful state of mind and just be. And, I have to say that I really do wish you were here. Continue reading
I feel like the recent message God has been communicating to me (in many forms) is all about stopping my worrying. First it was the song and the verse repeatedly coming to me about casting my cares on God. (Finding Favour’s “Cast My Cares” and 1 Peter 5:7, “Give all your worries and cares to God for he cares about you.”) That message continued for probably the past two weeks. But now it’s continuing in other forms. I was just praying a quick prayer driving home from work, asking God to show me how to let go and truly let Him have control of my life. I was feeling like yet another day passed that was out of balance and I was feeling unsure about whether I’m missing the point altogether. After I got home I decided to postpone getting ready for bed a little longer and read my devotional, Jesus Calling (amazing book by the way—I strongly recommend it!). The message I read today hit me as such a direct answer that I literally started laughing. I felt a moment of God’s presence washing over me with the realization of His answer to my practical question of how do I do this life His way.
For those of you who have the Jesus Calling devotional, the message was for February 26th. Here’s an excerpt: “I am leading you, step by step through your life. Hold My hand in trusting dependence, letting Me guide you through this day…When you try to figure out the future, you are grasping at things that are Mine…Whenever you find yourself worrying about the future, repent and return to Me. I will show you the next step forward…” The last sentence is what hit me the hardest, “Relax and enjoy the journey in My Presence, trusting me to open up the way before you as you go.” Relax—and enjoy the journey! Oh how little I stop and soak in the beauty of this journey. Continue reading
I love that we have a day set aside just for gratitude—for thanksgiving. It’s a great time of year to consider how far you’ve come and how full your life is. Sadly, we tend to view Thanksgiving more as the first day of the busy holiday season. Stores now open on Thanksgiving Day to start the Black Friday shopping rush. And what a consumer driven world we live in. Be honest with yourself for a moment. How much time do you spend thinking about what you do not have—what you want or maybe what someone else has? And how much time do you spend actually being grateful for what you do have? I’ve seen many articles about how gratitude is good for your health. It is sad to think that we do it so infrequently that we need to be reminded that it’s a healthy habit (like eating your vegetables or exercising). Gratitude should be more like breathing or laughing. It should be part of our everyday, part of our perspective in how we view the world around us, part of who we are. We are human beings after all, and we have so much to be grateful for.
Maybe try gratitude, at least for a day. Think about all of the people that you are thankful for—maybe even tell them that you are grateful to have them in your life. You might be surprised at how it makes you feel—like a deep breath of fresh air. Even if you’re in pain—especially if you’re in pain—take some time for gratitude. It might take you longer to push past the negative thoughts. But clear away those dark clouds and you will find a bright sun shining down on you. What are you thankful for? Maybe it’s the smell of cinnamon and pumpkin in the air. Maybe it’s the changing leaves on the trees or the chill of a fall night. Maybe it’s your favorite blanket or an excuse to listen to Christmas carols. Or, maybe it’s the sense of pride and accomplishment of another year well-lived, the thought of new friendships formed and new dreams envisioned. Whatever it is that you are thankful for, show some gratitude. Most of all, show yourself some gratitude—you are more than worth it!
I am thankful for you—close friends who support me in reading this blog and far away friends whom I haven’t yet met. Perhaps you stumbled upon this blog looking for hope. You are who I write this for. You are part of my year well-lived and my new dreams envisioned. I am grateful for you!
See, that wasn’t so bad (it’s much easier than getting in your 10,000 steps). Now it’s your turn to practice being grateful. I would love to hear some of the things you are grateful for. Please post a comment (and you can use an alias if you prefer to remain anonymous). May you have a blessed and gratitude-ful Thanksgiving!
I started this year with an intention of being more intentional about being grateful. But several months later I have to admit that gratitude is harder than it looks. Don’t get me wrong, I have plenty to be grateful for. God has continued to bless my life in amazing ways. It’s that “state of being” part that is a constant struggle for me. Continue reading
This month marks one year since the start of this blog. Even though it was just an introductory post, it signified the beginning of a vision. And so I couldn’t let this month pass without taking a moment to consider—to consider all that has been accomplished, all that has been shared, and all that is still to come.
An entire website exists—full of lessons learned and messages of hope—that did not exist just over a year ago. And when I consider that, I am amazed—amazed at what is possible. If I can recover from a divorce, deal with chronic pain, work a full-time job, live a full life, and still find time to create a blog, what else can I accomplish? And what can you accomplish? I would venture to say that you can accomplish a lot more than you think or even allow yourself to dream. Continue reading
I should probably begin by explaining what 2014 was for me. When everyone was preparing to ring in the New Year at the end of 2013, I was reflecting on all that had happened and what a shift in my life had occurred in just one short year. I think the 13 in 2013 was rather appropriate considering it held some of the worst moments of my life. And with the end of my marriage also came an end to my life’s plans and expectations as I had once held them. No more did I see a future centered around a marriage and kids. So what did I now see? Instead of making a list of resolutions for the New Year I knelt down beside my bed at the stroke of midnight and prayed that 2014 would be a year full of new beginnings.
1 John 5:14 says “…if we ask anything in His name He hears us.” Well God certainly heard me and filled my year with a multitude of new beginnings. Continue reading