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Archive for the ‘blessings’ Category

bare-trees-quote

Some days I would rather stay home.

Today is one of them.

Chilly winds whip through the trees stripping leaves clean off, rain relentlessly pounds the earth – much needed, but far from pleasant at the moment.

Courage flees at the thought of leaving my warm home and stepping out into this blustery, miserable day. I try to justify leaving – do I really need to go? Do those things have to be done today? Yes, and yes, so step out, I must. I muster up, bundle up, and step out into the cold, dreariness that quickly engulfs me.

*

As I stare out my window and cower at the thought of leaving my warm sanctuary, I see how God sometimes calls us to step out into unpleasant, blustery moments – even seasons. Hard situations that are way out of our comfort zone make us want to withdraw and retreat into the safe and the familiar. We wrap ourselves in the security of what we know, but it’s really fear that holds us tight, trying to ignore what we know we must face. It takes courage to step into the winds of change that whip around us, and bear the pounding rains and cold winds that chill us to the core. But step out, we must.

God doesn’t call us to go into the unknown alone – he walks close beside us. When we need to muster up courage, He bundles us up with the strength to take that first brave step and then another and another. Warmed with his love and constant presence, we take each day as it comes. We wear it brave and do the day, remembering his promise that this storm and these pounding rains will be for our good. That though unpleasant, they may be much needed. Rain can cleanse, rain can restore, and rain makes all things grow. There are blessings in the midst of storms and he is the calm amidst it all.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9

*

Blessings

Tracy

 

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Advent Dec 13 Advent dec 14

this week’s focus is on one of my favorite things –

joy.

that attitude of thankfulness

and feeling of peace all wrapped up in three letters –

joy.

*

repeated words from the old carol

‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen’ come to mind today –

‘O tidings of comfort and joy’

each verse sharing the Christmas story

of a baby sent from heaven to save,

of angels appearing,

and shepherds seeking, finding, and rejoicing!

*

there are days during this season that we may wonder

what happened to that comfort and joy?

they have never left,

they may have become buried under the two joy stealers –

stress & worry.

we may have lost our focus

but the comfort and joy that God give us through his Son

is always there for us to rediscover

*

this week, let’s set our eyes on that baby born to save

let’s seek him like the shepherds

and rejoice!

*

blessings,

Tracy

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john 10 10

Are you living fully?

the question looms large on the billboard as i sit in traffic

hmmmmm . . .

am i living fully?

*

at times life can seem pretty full

but it begs the question-

what am i filling my life with?

rushing from here to the next thing

 going through the motions of the day’s demands

without fully being in the moment

actually leaves me feeling pretty empty

*

perhaps living fully is this –

emptying out the rushings and the have to’s

being still

in the moment

living in the right now

seeing God’s presence here

*

instead of waiting for tomorrow’s better day

living fully is embracing life today –

even sorrows and shadows

can be keepers of gifts hidden

 living fully is savoring small moments that come and blink away

it’s seeing blessings too abundant to count

it’s being a blessing

and pouring love on friends and family

*

 I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.  

– John 10:10

*

so i ask you

are you living fully?

and what are you filling your life with?

*

 Blessings,

Tracy

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joy begins

the cold October air greets me this morning

sends a chill right through me

i love this time of year

the brilliant colors

the woodsy smells of the outdoors

the pleasure of kicking leaves as i walk

joy is abundant

but if i turn my focus on to all that surrounds me which is dying

flowers fading

foliage decaying

that saps the joy right from this moment

*

Paul says in Philippians 4:4:

Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say rejoice! 

*

some days it’s not easy to be joyful

days may stretch into months when

joy is hard to find

when its a struggle simply to smile

and tears are too close to the surface

*

how do you find joy when you don’t feel joyful?

the answer is this:

find one small thing

to be grateful for

just one small thing

then find another

and another

*

the act of gratitude is the key to being joyful

recognizing undeserved gifts from our loving God

and giving thanks for them

this is when we begin to feel joy

by turning eyes from myself

and the situation

instead focus eyes on the graces that fall from heaven

like leaves falling from trees

joy is rekindled

*

embrace this moment with open eyes

to recognize gifts

open hands to receive them

give thanks

find joy

*

-blessings, 

Tracy

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bluebells

on spring days like today, i like to walk through my gardens

in search of new life

discover new blossoms

*

it’s been about a week since last i’ve ambled

 what i saw was not what i was expecting

weeds

everywhere

overwhelming weeds

what a mess

when did this happen?

*

as i walked on

overcome with the work that lay ahead

discouragement was replaced with delight

bluebells i had forgotten

random tulips planted by squirrels

even dutchman’s breeches a bird left behind

*

i couldn’t help but think about life

we can make such a mess of it

mistakes, lies, broken promises

selfishness,

ingratitude

like weeds sin invades

wounds the heart

and chokes the spirit

*

but amidst the sea of pain

grace blossoms

God is there

showering blessings

small joys spring up

hidden among the weeds

we just need to seek them

*

Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.

I Chronicles 16:11

 *

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

Romans 12:12

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i love the start of a new year

so much potential

so many possibilities lie ahead

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i spent the first day of 2015 reflecting and journaling

a luxury that did my soul good

as i look back, so much to be grateful for

as i look ahead, a fresh path of possibilities

dreams and goals

wondering what God has in store for me

*

to keep me focused i like to choose one word every year

one little word

a word that resonates with me

encompasses what i need to work on

a word that will help me grow

*

last year my word was SHINE

i chose this passage to give it spiritual meaning

‘let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.’ – Matthew 5:16

*

this year my one little word is BECOME

it means to change and to grow

i want to focus on more of what God wants than what i want

to use my gifts that he’s blessed me with

and to live out my calling ( and discover what that is!)

i couldn’t decide which passage i liked best, so i’m using two

‘. . .be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will..’ – Romans 12:2

and

‘…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.’ – Philippians 1:6

*

i encourage you to choose your own little word

find a scripture passage to help define it

pray about it

then live it everyday the best you can

*

here’s to a year of possibilities

and to a gracious God who walks with us every step of the way

– Tracy

learn more about ‘One Little Word’ here

as long as we are talking about words, check out A Word For Women and subscribe to their weekly devotions.

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Autumn Rains

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four days of drizzling rain

it’s a bit tiresome

I’m in definite need of some sunshine

*

but God, in his wisdom, knows what his creation needs

autumn rains are for roots

absorbing and drinking in desperately

what they need to survive another winter

 *

He knows what we need, too

His word on pages bound

a gift to us, his creation

open it and drink deeply of His gentle autumn rain

let the living word pour over your soul

it’s what we desperately need to survive whatever may lie ahead

*

“continue to live your lives in Him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness” – Colossians 2:6-7

 

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