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The wind blows strong today.

Leaves rustle and dance.

Wind’s elusiveness stirs my mind.

I see it as it moves through limb and leaf;

feel it as it blows across skin

yet, if I tried, I could not catch it or contain it

no matter how I’d strive, run, and chase

it would escape me.

So I sit and the mind sees how life is wind –

 what we strive for is often just out of grasp:

happiness, success, stability,

the way things were, the way we wish things would be.

Prayers seem to go unanswered and life doesn’t feel good.

We stop chasing because what’s the point?

Even day’s routine: work. eat. sleep. repeat. can begin to look bleak and meaningless.

King Solomon wrote, “I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.” – Eccl. 1:14

That pretty much sums it up. No wonder depression is real and prevalent.

*

What IS the point, then?

What IS the reason for all this chasing after?

Even as believers we grapple with these questions.

Part of the answer is in the eyes.

Do we look only with eyes focused on life under the sun?

Or through the eyes’ lens of faith, can we see that meaning lies beyond the sun?

Are eyes fixed on the mirror? Yes, too often self is pretty important. It’s hard not to drown in a sea of selfisms: selfies, selfishness, self-pity, self-blame.

Or is the gaze on the only One who gives meaning to all things meaningless?

Jesus, Jesus, only Jesus

*

It’s also the practice of contentment.

If I could stop chasing after the winds of what I want, and just be still long enough to see that this moment holds enough blessings – that’s the first step toward contentment.

Yes,  I have enough.

We ALL have enough.

And deserve none of it.

It’s all a gift. Like leaves dancing in that wind, undeserved gifts swirl and land at our feet. And if we stand still long enough, we’d find ourselves buried in piles of abundance.

Work. eat. sleep. repeat. now becomes an act of gratitude:

I’m thankful for work

I’m thankful for food on the table

I’m thankful for a bed to sleep in

and I’m thankful for a new day to do it all again.

It’s easy to forget that each moment has meaning, each moment has purpose, and each is part of God’s perfect plan. But if we practice being grace seekers instead of wind chasers, life goes from meaningless to meaning-FULL.

*

And what does that life look like?

It’s striving to please the Life Giver rather than pleasing self.

It’s knowing that my life has a purpose, and your’s has a purpose, and God has a plan for each of us, and He is at work even if we can’t see it right now.

It’s running the race steadily toward the eternal goal that He has put into our hearts. That is what truly gives life meaning. It’s encouraging each other along the way, and bringing as many others along with us.

That’s the whole point.

*

blessings, 

Tracy

 

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Overcoming Obstacles

have you every seen a deer jump a fence?

i was driving to work yesterday and saw three deer running in the field heading toward the road ahead of me

their only obstacle was a tall  fence

i slowed down and waited to see if they would stop at the fence

but they didn’t even hesitate

one by one they seemed to fly effortlessly over it

their hang time was amazing

so graceful

it was really quite beautiful

*

today it seemed like it was obstacle after obstacle that popped up before me

one thing after another that went wrong

i was afraid to even think “what next?”

by the end of the day i felt like i was crawling over the hurdles instead of gliding gracefully over them

felt like crying – too tired to be brave and strong anymore

*

did you ever have days like that?

*

i wish i could be like those deer

effortlessly flying over the hurdles that life presents

but we can’t do that by ourselves

God is the one who gives us the strength and endurance

he’s the one who helps us get over them

*

“It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. 
He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; 
   he enables me to stand on the heights.”  2 Samuel 22:33

*

 what a comfort to know that Jesus overcame the ultimate obstacle for us

the fence that separated us and our heavenly Father

and life eternal

*

what a wonderful thing to celebrate this Easter season

so keep praying, rely on him, and get ready to soar

*

blessings cont. 

25. deer when not eating my plants

26. open fields

27. Easter

28. white lilies

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i went back home this past weekend

although i didn’t make it up this time, one of my favorite places to stop is the tower

this observation tower overlooks the small town where i grew up

*

climbing to the top is somewhat of a workout

but well worth it when you finally reach the top

and you see the incredible view

ok, maybe not the best picture, and obviously not taken in February, but trust me, the view is beautiful

*

seeing things from up so high is such a different perspective

everything looks so small and insignificant

so different from seeing things at ground level

*

it’s easy to get wrapped up in the day to day busyness of life

getting lost in the have-to’s of the day

rushing through the list of urgent to-do’s

and not quite getting to the important  things

sometimes we just need to step back from our busy lives and look at it with new eyes

from a new perspective

*

what are those important things?

how about:

what kind of friend am I

what kind of sister am I

what kind of spouse am I

what kind of mom

*

am I using my gifts to bless others

am I making time for myself

am I making time for my Savior

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but 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

*

take some time to be by yourself

step back and see the important things

pray about them

*

“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.”      Mark 1:35

*

do something this week to change your perspective

blessings cont. 

15. girls’ getaway weekend

16. visiting my hometown

17. time spent with the wonderful women in my family

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Spring Fever

Today I needed a touch of spring.

spring fever

is it too early for spring fever?

I don’t think so

so I bought these lovely tulips

a good reminder that spring is coming

a reminder that there is hope

*

         

such a little word that holds such a big promise

the promise of forgiveness

the promise of heaven

the promise of being with Jesus forever

*

some say that hope floats

i suppose that’s true

when i think about the hope we have in Christ

it keeps me from being totally overwhelmed with life

my head is still above the water (even though I’m paddling furiously underneath)

because the hope Jesus offers is my life preserver

Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long. Psalm 25:5

*

i find that i’m drawn more to the picture painted in Hebrews 6:19:

“we have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.”

*

when something shakes our world and turns it upside down

hope is that anchor that steadies us

it  calms our soul

it keeps us grounded

*

and best of all  . . .

” . . .  hope does not disappoint us,

because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” 

Romans 5:5

*

like the first crocus holds the promise that spring isn’t far off

Jesus holds the promise of hope

reach out

and share it with someone who needs it

*

*

if that person is you

i’m praying for you

4. the first flowers of spring

5. tulips in the middle of winter

6. days getting longer

7. 50 degree days in January

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Shabby Boots

what is it about these boots that makes me love them so much?

they’re shabby

scuffed up

and so comfortable

something about these boots makes me feel good when i wear them

*

but i have to admit that i feel a little embarrassed when i wear them in public

sometimes i wish i hadn’t worn them

i wonder what people think about them

about me

*

i guess my shabby boots say alot about me

i’m far from perfect

i fall short of God’s expectations all the time

even when i think i’m doing good . . .

“I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.” Romans 7:18

yep, that’s me

it’s all shabbiness compared to Jesus’ perfect life

*

i’m so thankful that God doesn’t judge me by what i wear or what i do

he looks past my imperfections

forgives my sinful heart

and loves me for who i am in Christ

*

redeemed

forgiven

his child

*

 God’s endless mercy and amazing grace covers me

 like a fresh blanket of snow

*

*

so i’ll keep wearing these shabby boots

striving to walk in his footsteps.

things i’m thankful for:

1. a fresh blanket of snow

2. shabby boots

3. perfect footsteps to follow

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Letting Go

Sometimes when we hold on to something too tight,

we miss seeing the beauty of being free.

*

I took my daughter to college last fall.

She was ready –

I wasn’t.

*

I wanted to hold on to her,

like she used to hold on to me when she was little.

I tried really hard not to cry

but it’s hard to let go

it’s hard to see things change

*

But through my tears, I could see her

Spreading her wings

Flying

Free

It was beautiful

I would have missed that if I had held onto her too tight

*

I’m also learning to let go of my dreams

 

Dreams are good,

but sometimes I forget to consider God’s will for my life

Trying too hard to blaze my own path

I forget to take God’s hand

And let him lead me

Down the path that he has made

Just for me

*

What are you holding on to?

the past?

a grudge?

control?

guilt?

*

It may be holding you back

keeping you from the special things God has planned for you

*

Maybe it’s time to let go

You can do it

 *

God will give you the strength to do

What you think you can’t

*

He has a plan – a special one just for you

He wants you to be free

So take his hand

 

It’s time

To be free

To fly

*

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 

And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate] the Lord’s glory,

are being transformed into his image

with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.  

– 2 Corinthians 3:17-18

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Artwork

Isn’t God’s artwork beautiful?

a summer sunset

the delicate petals of a flower

the painted wings of a butterfly

and . . .

you, sweet friend. . .

no matter what you think of yourself

your creator loves you

he is working something beautiful in you

*

healing the scars

covering your mistakes

& feelings of inadequacy

*

weaving all the pieces of your not-so-perfect life

with his perfect artistic eye

*

and making you a

beautiful masterpiece!

*

He who began a good work in you, will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Phillipians 1:6

Live today knowing you are

God’s work of art.

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