Summer is my favorite season. Long days, growing things, and birdsong on my morning walk all give me hope and certainty that life goes on as God intends.

This summer I hope you are enjoying a peaceful and productive season. Know that God is with you on the path that you are walking.

Remember every morning is a new beginning and you are free to choose the character of your day.

Be grateful for the beauty all around you and give thanks for every moment of your life.  

Consider the birds that neither sow nor reap, but God feeds them, and He will provide for you too.

Watch for all the evidence of God’s goodness in your life and believe He is there to always care for you.

This summer day I pray you enjoy all the blessings this season has to offer. Know God is with you through every season of the year.

How do you enjoy spending your summer days? How do you know God is with you through all the seasons of your life?

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Each year at this time I contemplate the meaning of Christmas. In the midst of shopping, spending, wrapping, and socializing; I pause to consider the true significance of the season.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men! (Luke 2:13-14)

All the meaning of Christmas is expressed in those two lines. At Christmas we are to praise God and be grateful for the many gifts He has given us. We are to enjoy a time of peace and share our joy with others. At Christmas we remember to celebrate the birth of Jesus and give thanks for the blessings He brings.

This Christmas I pray you enjoy a peaceful and glorious holiday season. Please know that God is with you through every season of the year.

How do you celebrate a peaceful Christmas? What gives the most meaning to your holiday?

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Every year brings lessons and experiences that contribute to my growth and understanding. As 2018 draws to a close, I’m considering the events that happened this year and the lessons I have learned.

God sends us the people we need when we need them. I started attending a new church this year and immediately made awesome new friends who have enriched and blessed my life. I’ve taken time to connect with some old friends to strengthen and renew those relationships too. I’ve found that when I remain open and welcoming to new encounters, the people I need to meet find their way into my path.

Prayer has to be consistent and persistent. This year I completed the Let Prayer Change Your Life study by Becky Tirabassi. I learned that God wants me to talk with Him, and when I do, my relationship with Him grows.

I’m not perfect. This year I got two speeding tickets while driving through a particular neighborhood. I learned that though I try to be a generally good and law-abiding citizen, I am not immune to sin. I sometimes break the rules and need a penalty to remind me that I still screw up.

I’m not as smart as I think I am. This year I had an embarrassing experience that involved sending an email to the wrong address and then having to admit my mistake. I felt stupid, and I learned that sometimes I need the experience of public humility to remind me I’m not as extraordinary as I pretend to be.

Mindfulness increases discipline. For a few years I have struggled with food and weight issues, so this year I took positive steps to reverse my bad eating habits. I am learning that behaving mindfully helps me make the decisions I need to reach my goals.

It’s a long walk to the top. “Slow and steady wins the race,” I told my nephew as I held his hand and struggled to hike up the side of Crazy Horse Monument. “Did you ever read The Tortoise and the Hare?” All journeys take time, and I am continuing to learn that when we look upward and keep moving, we will eventually reach our destination.

Appreciate all you have. I have been blessed with a soft bed, a warm fire, people who love me, and a food bowl that’s filled regularly. I am always learning that when I am content and grateful, I feel richly rewarded.

Try something new. In October a friend invited me to an event in a neighborhood where I don’t usually travel. I was a little apprehensive about journeying into an unknown area, but the show was great and we had a good time. I learned that sometimes when we venture into unfamiliar territory, we discover that new experience is its own reward.

I am looking forward to the new experiences and discoveries that lie ahead in 2019. I am expecting many changes and new developments in the next year, and I’m excited about learning all the lessons that 2019 holds. I pray you enjoy a happy new year and many blessings in the year ahead.

What did you learn in 2018? What are you looking forward to as we approach the new year?Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail

The change in weather brings a change in perception. I’m eager to leave behind the activity of summer and settle in for the cozy nesting of fall. Here are a few reasons I love God’s most colorful season.

Returning to a regular schedule. After of summer of spontaneity and adventure, I am happy to return to my well-worn routine. I spent the summer months collecting fresh ideas for projects, and I’m eager to refocus my energy on the work I value most.

Beginning new classes, small groups, church programs. Every fall is an opportunity to meet new people and explore new ideas. I’m happy to reconnect with friends and family after a summer spent doing my own thing, and I’m grateful for the chance to make new connections and forge new relationships.

Cooler morning walks.

Rainy afternoons spent reading on the couch.

Unpacking my collection of warm fleece and cozy pajamas.

A renewed understanding that the seasons of our lives are always changing and that what may seem to be an ending is only the beginning of a new phase in time.

And my favorite reason for loving fall is the constant reminder to be grateful for all I have. Everywhere I look, decorations and banners declare: “Be Thankful” and “Give Thanks.” Fall is the time to contemplate what is most important in my life and appreciate the people who share it. Every day is an opportunity to celebrate each blessing and acknowledge each gift.

In the fall I take the time to thank God for my safe and comfortable home, my family and friends, my work and opportunities. I value the special people I know, and I’m grateful for the moments we share.

This fall I pray you encounter a blessed and fruitful new season. Know God is always with you to keep you in his care.

What do you enjoy about each change of season? What are you looking forward to sharing this fall?Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail

I found this rock with purple painted flowers beside the walking trail in my neighborhood. Someone took the time to decorate this fragment of stone and leave it there for me to discover. I took it home and placed it on my desk – a visible reminder that we often find good and beauty where we least expect it.

Unexpected discoveries add joy and color to our lives. A chance conversation that reconfirms our faith, a sudden opportunity that perfectly meets our need, a moment of joy in an otherwise normal day – all serve as reminders that God hides gifts and bounty where we least expect to find them.

God is always surprising us. He places brightly colored blessings along all the paths we walk. When we remain open to receiving his gifts and take the time to look for the clues he leaves, we find evidence that he is always present, good, and active in our lives.

For now the rock remains on my desk, reminding me to watch for the surprises God sends. Soon I may return the rock to the gravel beside the walking trail, an unexpected and colorful gift for someone else to discover and enjoy.

Today I encourage you to welcome the unexpected moments of color you encounter. Remember God is always giving, we just need to watch and welcome the blessings he sends.

What unexpected blessings have you uncovered recently? What gifts has God left for you to find?Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail