T’was the day after Thanksgiving…

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Twas the day after Thanksgiving

and all through the house

the aroma of turkey

attracted a mouse.

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Leftovers were wrapped in the fridge with care

in hopes inspiration soon would be there

for all of the meals The Leftovers would bring

box-2953722_640and for all of the packages tied up with string

that would need to be purchased and sent on their way

to arrive at our loved ones before Christmas Day.

Our bellies still full of meal satisfaction

now have to get moving for Black Friday action.

The lines were so long and the people so scary

the prices outrageous and the parking lot hairy…

coupon 50%off

When what to my wondering eyes should appear

but a coupon for half price that lasts the whole year!

So back to my car to my cell phone I call

I don’t have to shop on Black Friday at all!

And they heard me exclaim as I drove out of sight

Merry Christmas to all !

and a quiet Black Friday night !

Does it feel like you are missing some blessings?

Sometimes water is let go from a nearby lake and the water level drops. When that happens, the most noticeable thing is there are fewer birds on the water and rocks lay exposed. At first glance the water looks shallow and scummy and the banks muddy and messy. As if the water was the blessing and it had been taken away.

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Do you feel like some of the blessings you enjoy have been removed? For a time during Covid, many of us are missing comforts we had before.

When we have the blessing of good friends and family close around us, meeting together, celebrating together, we revel in it. We immerse ourselves in God’s blessing of good times when we have them. And so often, take them for granted. It seems to lose even a little of it would not be a good thing. Like the water level dropping in the lake. This was my brief conclusion.

Ducks_'n_trashWhere the trail comes near the water’s edge, I stepped off to have a closer look. From there I could see things… the ducks and geese had gathered in this inlet to feast on algae that had grown on the underwater rocks, now exposed because of the lowered water level.  What a blessing they were enjoying!

Many bottles and cans that had stuck in the muddy bottom were also now exposed, and a couple of kids had made their way down to the rocky edge to pull them out.  So, this “clean up” effort was made possible by the lowered water level.

If these benefits were occurring when water was withdrawn from the lake, could there be benefits in our lives when we feel blessings have been withheld for a time?

Would our examined lives reveal hidden blessings we take for granted, or that we usually don’t even notice?

If we take the time to look, the answer is probably yes.

Like the algae covered rocks, can we feast on the growth of our faith in God that has grown in the depth of His blessings but is not fully exposed until the level drops?  Yes.

Trusting God in the good times is building our faith and strengthening it so that when challenges arise, our faith can handle them. It’s encouraging to learn that the trust we have in the steadfastness and faithfulness of God in the good times will carry us through the harder times.

Have we allowed things into our lives under the covering of God’s blessing, that we need to remove when we see their trashy presence in full view.  Undoubtedly, yes.

Ecclesiastes says, “There is a time to every purpose under heaven.”  And if you are feeling like God’s blessing has been somewhat withdrawn in your life, don’t be discouraged.  You have a wonderful opportunity for discovery, feasting and clean up before you.

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Take a moment of quiet, and ask God to reveal a new blessing to you in the here and now.

Ask Him to reveal any attitude, behavior or relationship adjustment that needs to be “cleaned up.”

Appreciate that there is blessing in even this time.

And before long, the depths will return. my-lake

God is with us!

I believe you and I are in a new season. And I don’t mean Fall.

Our lives have been so radically changed over the past 2 years that we are finding ourselves in situations we don’t have any reference for, or know how to cope with.  We’re anxious to get on with all the things we’ve put on hold…

The leaves are turning colors and falling off the trees so it seems things should be changing. And yes, we may have added pumpkin spice to our hot drinks, but we’ve been enduring the new “normal” and so many things have stood still, like travel and social plans, while our bodies have continued to age! Wrinkles, aches and pains!  We’ve gotten older, but are we wiser for the time we’ve circled the sun twice?

Covid has had an impact on our jobs, schools, travel, finances, and personal relationships. Some of us have lost loved ones and are dealing with grief, financial strains, or new health challenges. We don’t have solutions to these problems yet … we can’t see an end in sight.

And quite honestly, may not even know how to pray.

But here’s the constant: God

God IS with us, wherever we go. Joshua 1:9

AND He will provide all that we really NEED – spiritual gifts, support, encouragement, direction – if we can remember to look for it.

2 things may confuse us though:

1 – it will be what we NEED, not necessarily what we want.

2 – it will look different than how He’s provided in the past because we are in a different place now.

I’ve been singing the words to a worship song by Jenn Johnson and Ian McIntosh  lately…

winner-4912049_640God I look to You, I won’t be overwhelmed

give me vision, to see things like You do

God I look to You, You’re where my help comes from,

give me wisdom, You know just what to do…

Click HERE to sing along

My prayer for you:

May you sense God’s presence that He has promised, in real and tangible ways.

May God give you vision and wisdom to deal with your life and circumstances.

May you see with clarity all that God brings to you – even if it looks different than you might expect.

And may you accept and act on His direction.  Amen

God meets us – right where we are

Thank You, God, for meeting me right where I am…

my-lakeI have been lamenting the fact that I can no longer walk around the lake, the beautiful lake where You spoke to me so many times and showed me things about my own life and about You through Your creation there…the birds, the flowers, the trees, the sky, the mountains. You used each one of them to convey a message to me about who You are, and who I am, and how I should live.
igarden before

And then I look at my yard and garden, and lament that I no longer have the ability to work in my garden where You spoke to me so many times through seeds, growth, planting, watering, weeding, and the beauty and abundance Your provision.

bed-1846251_960_720And even as I do this lamenting, I find myself rejoicing! For even here in my bed where I spend more and more time each day due to the loss of energy and good health, I find that You are speaking to me here too. Of resting, reflecting, readjusted, reprioritizing. And I can find delight in Your willingness and ability to reach me wherever I am, whatever the circumstances of my life.

Each time I moved out of a phase I worried I would lose the revelations and inspiration You brought me. I would cling to each stage because of the beauty and the blessing You shared with me wondering if I would ever hear from You again. The truth is, as I moved through my life You have always been there beside me whatever the stage or phase I was going through. Meeting me wherever I was and now wherever I am. And the tears flow for the time I’ve spent lamenting what I had, instead of embracing what I have.

I am finally believing that when You say You will never leave me, that’s exactly what You mean… You really mean it! That You will be with me wherever I go even if I can’t go to the same places I used to go to be with You. You will come to me.

The truth is You always did. It was never me going to You where are You were. It was always You meeting me right where I was.

I no longer need to strive to get back to those places or the circumstances where I heard from You before. In truth, You are everywhere! You are as close as a whisper, as present as the air I breathe. And whatever comes, I know now that my hearing from You is not dependent on me or my circumstances but it is, and always has been, simply a condition of who You are and that You are true to Your promises.

womanbackpackarmsraisedIs there a time you were hearing from God more clearly? Have you struggled to get back to that place or put yourself back in those circumstances?

It’s not the place or the circumstances that matter. God is right here beside you. You need only reach out and ask Him to speak to you.

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He is not limited by your location.

He is not constrained by your circumstances.

He is only awaiting your invitation to speak into your life.

Tell God You’re listening…

Invite Him now.

Sunlight and Power 2

My last post was about my breast cancer biopsy and how God encouraged me through that.

Now it’s 2021. It’s been 3 years since my diagnosis and surgery. And I have lived in the victory over that challenge.

breast-5472788_640When I realized that I had received 5 notices to schedule my mammogram this year, it occurred to me that I might have been feeling a little anxious about it. There were 3 other good friends who went through the breast cancer surgery and decisions about treatment in 2018. Of those, one was re-diagnosed and had a double mastectomy this year with chemo and radiation. One had a stroke this past year after having been on cancer medication. And the third found a new tumor on her chest wall with her mammogram a few weeks ago.

So perhaps I was a little hesitant in making my appointment. But God is faithful – to them in helping them through their challenges; and to me, in meeting me where I was as I walked into that medical building once again.

armsoutstretchedOnce again. I looked to the sky and began a prayer of thanks and praise that brought me encouragement:

Thank You Father
for the sunlight on my face,
for the power that I feel
as I am entering this place.
Knowing You are with me
overcomes the fear and dread;
regardless where the path leads
or what may lie ahead.
I am filled with encouragement
by looking to my past;
seeing what You’ve brought me through –
the troubles did not last.
I’m a Soldier in Your Army
whatever battles I must face
I know the story’s end…
You put the devil in his place!

Are you facing a difficult challenge? Physical? Emotional? Spiritual?

There are plenty of those going around now.

Again, I suggest you look to God for your sunlight – your Son-light!

Let Him light the way for you and show you how to advance, even if you are afraid. Not knowing what lies ahead is part of the human condition. But God knows. He will prepare you and equip you to deal with it. And He will go with you.

armor-of-godEven if into a battle, He will be with you. And give you armor. And fight with you to give you victory!

Let God’s faithfulness in your past encourage you. Make a timeline of it, write in a journal, or take a page and make some notes or use pictures so you remember.

Put on the Armor of God to prepare you for battle. Ephesians 6:10-18

Appropriate His peace by focusing your mind on Him. Isaiah 26:3-4

He is there for you. As close as a prayer.

My mammogram this year was normal. I am thanking God – for His strength as I went, and for the result.

May God’s peace be upon you. May you feel His strength in whatever trials you are facing. He will meet you where you are.