This week the car needed new tires and wheel alignment, an oil change and a brake exam. Waiting for our car to undergo this necessary overhaul reminded me of all the time I have spent waiting in repair shops while guys in matching blue shirts installed a new battery, oil filter, water pump, timing belt, or brake pads. Here are a few things I learned while spending time in the auto shop waiting room.

Maintenance is important. Whether in relationships, roles, or reaching our goals, we have to pay attention to what is most important to us. Taking care of small problems early prevents larger problems from developing later.

Name the problem before planning the repair. In life, we can’t fix what we can’t identify. We have to understand what the real problems are before we can choose and apply the correct solutions.

Use waiting time to regroup and rest. We all have periods in life when we have to wait for the right circumstances before moving on, and impatiently pacing won’t make those happen any faster. Wise people use down time to relax and reflect on where they are headed before moving forward.

Make sure all the work is done before returning to the road. Sometimes we have to work on ourselves before we are ready to accept new challenges and assignments. Doing the necessary upgrades before moving on prevents future breakdowns so we don’t end up in the same place we started.

This week our car repairs took little time before we were on the road again. I am grateful for the many ways God reminds me of his presence and keeps me moving in the right direction.

What can you do the next time you find yourself waiting? How will you know when it’s time to move on?

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For those who need some extra inspiration today, I offer a few of my favorite Bible verses.

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ” (Philippians 4:6-7).

Remember that God knows all you need, and he will always act on behalf of your highest good.

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).

Have faith that God is always with you, and let his presence give you peace.

“I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God” (Romans 8:38-39).

Believe he cares for you and has a plan for your well-being.

“For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you’” (Isaiah 41:13).

Trust the Lord holds you in his mighty right hand.

God will wipe away every tear from their eyes . . . ; There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away . . . ‘Behold, I make all things new’” (Revelation 21:4-5).

Know that no matter what happens, God is always in control, and he always promises a new beginning.

Today I pray you know that a loving God cares for you. Be at peace and trust that God is aware, and he knows everything you need.

What is your prayer today? What verses remind you that God has you in his care?

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Years ago I rode the bus to work each morning. I stood outside in the rain and cold, boarded the drafty and creaking bus, clung to my seat and fought off motion sickness throughout the jolting, jarring ride to my office building. The best part of my morning commute was the elderly, smiling bus driver. When we reached our destinations, the driver called after each passenger as we stepped down onto the pavement, “Have a blessed day.”

I carried those words with me throughout those days of gray cubicles, fluorescent lights, and narrow hallways. Have a blessed day. The bus driver’s blessing reminded me that someone cared enough to speak a prayer for my well-being and that blessings can be found in every place and situation we seek to find them.

We all share this jolting, jarring road through life. We sometimes face long and tiring travels, unexpected turns, surprise dead ends.

But God is always at the wheel. He takes us where we need to be and delivers us to each destination for a purpose. No matter what we face each morning; God, our driver, speaks words of protection over us and tells us that he cares for our well-being. He comforts and inspires us, and reminds us his blessings can be found in every place we seek to find them.

This morning I encourage you to speak a blessing over someone you know. Remind them that you care for their well-being and that God is always taking them where they need to be. This morning I pray you have a blessed day.

Where is your journey taking you today? What blessing do you need to hear?

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Know thyself. ~~ Socrates

Sometimes I need to pause and reconsider what I know about the world and my place in it. I need to redefine what I believe and what I still need to figure out before I proceed with a choice or a plan. This week I am endeavoring to know what I know, and here is what I’ve figured out so far.

I value true friendship. I recently reconnected with someone I haven’t talked to in 15 years. For hours, we discussed the news about our children, our careers, our address changes, the death of her stepson. Our lives have changed, but much has remained remarkably the same. That conversation reminded me how much I appreciate true connections with people who care about me despite the time and distance between us. Knowing I have true friends encourages me to share my friendship with others who need my support.

I believe God always has a plan. Spring begins a new season, a time of hope and promise for the future. I am ending a long winter of rest and contemplation; but I know I have been constantly growing, exploring, and expanding my interests to new areas. I am eager to embrace new possibilities. This year we began attending a new church where we’ve been warmly welcomed and invited into a large and extended family. I’m excited about the possibilities that lie ahead, because I know God always has a plan laid out for me, and I can’t wait to see where it leads.

I have learned that I am always learning. Last month I celebrated another birthday and spent an evening enjoying pizza and cake with family, the people who mean the most to me. As I grow older, I realize I still have much to learn about life and what is truly important. As I learn more about what I know, I realize there is still much I don’t understand. I am always questioning, wondering, asking for answers; and I am always grateful to find new leads. I look forward to following new directions from God, finding new places to explore, and discovering new horizons.

Thank you to all who read these words, share my friendship, and help me see that we still have much to learn together. Thank you for teaching me and reminding me that we are not alone on our travels through this world. I pray you are richly blessed in faith and friendship today!

What are you learning today? How have your friendships contributed to the lessons you’ve learned?

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