Do you start your day with a spring in your step and a happy expression on your face? Maybe you find yourself plodding through the day with a fake smile awkwardly affixed to cover what you're really feeling? No matter where you are on the spectrum, I sure you want to know... How to Put More Joy in Your Day   Each week here at An Extraordinary Day we have JoyDay! Over the past four years (Yes... I just celebrated my 4th blog anniversary.) I've chatted with you about joy and living a joy-filled life.  But, what I haven't done is put some of those thoughts together in one spot … [Read more...]

  Sometimes we just need a little perspective...   Just as the heavens are higher than the earth, my thoughts and my ways are higher than yours.   Isaiah 55:9 Those days when things aren't going my way... this is a good verse to ponder. It simply reminds me that I don't know the whole story... see the whole picture... or have the wisdom to know what's best for that situation.  What I need to do instead... is trust God. You have looked deep into my heart, Lord,     and you know all about me. You know when I am resting or when I am working,     and from heaven you discover my … [Read more...]

  The Lord’s love never ends; his mercies never stop. They are new every morning; Lord, your loyalty is great. Lamentations 3:22-23 If there is one truth that we can and should remember every single day it's this.... God's love never ends.  This intimate personal love He has for each of us never stops.  So much so that every morning when we awake... God has more love to greet us in the new day. When my husband speaks to children, there is ONE thing he always wants to be sure they know.  "God loves you."  He repeats it often.  When he was growing up his family sat at the front of the church... … [Read more...]

  Lord...  I will exalt you in praise... For you have done extraordinary things. Isaiah 25:1 NET Download this frameable 5x7 graphic for personal use HERE.   3 Ways to Overcome Overwhelm It's a brand-new squeaky-clean week.  Are you excited for what lies ahead? Sometimes we cannot wait to greet the first day of the week!  We're full of joy, ready to zoom off at full speed. Other times, we feel used up and worn out and it's just Sunday.  We look ahead and sigh, already worn down with not-so-positive anticipation. Where are you as we begin a new week?   Not long ago I came … [Read more...]

Something happened on Good Friday. I was preparing my Facebook posts for the An Extraordinary Day page... it wasn't something I wanted to do... I was just going through the motions... and then I found myself going from being detached... to totally desiring to speak and share Truth.  God's Truth.  Jesus' sacrifice. Something happened to my heart in the midst of writing and preparing those posts. Our church had a Good Friday service which we attended.  For several weeks I had struggled to join in the corporate singing.  But that night, I easily sang those songs.  I sang Truth.  And worshiped.  Really … [Read more...]

    Wouldn't you like to have God's blessing? One morning, because frankly, things have not been going as we hoped and prayed, I asked the Lord for a word of encouragement. As I opened my Bible it fell open to Jeremiah.  I'm not sure why, but God has often used passages there to speak to my heart in big ways.  I read a few chapters and came to these verses... But I will bless those who trust me. They will be like trees growing beside a stream— trees with roots that reach down to the water, and with leaves that are always green. They bear fruit every year and are never … [Read more...]

  Is there something going on in your life that you're praying about and seeking God's help to see you through? Maybe you're like me. When I'm facing something big... I pray like crazy... I ask my close friends to pray like crazy... and when things don't seem to be moving along... I enlist others to pray... and possibly even seek advice. You know what my problem is? I lack faith.     Recently I read a story about an elderly woman's exchange with a young man.  He asked her what he should do to get God's help with his need. Her reply might surprise you. She told the … [Read more...]

  When I was in college I traveled to Europe.  I saw and did some amazing things.  One memorable event was to see "Carmen" performed. Don't be jealous.  I watched it from the nose-bleed section of the Vienna Opera House in the standing-only section. Have you ever stood in one small spot to watch an entire opera?  Let's just say it was extremely difficult.  I wanted to sit down.  It was painfully tiring to say the least.  There I was, watching this incredible opera after spending a day of sightseeing, shifting from leg to leg.  I remember the standing to see "Carmen" much more than anything from the … [Read more...]

  Have you been facing many challenges and difficulties in your life? Do you resist them?  Do you get angry and frustrated with God?  Especially when circumstances don't change, no matter how hard you pray? My week was full of small challenges... on top of big ones that are already enough. Maybe you identify? Somewhere in the midst of my troubles I have come to realize that my role is not to wiggle out of these situations... but instead to move gracefully through them in God's strength and power. I'm not saying that there aren't ugly moments.  Because there are. I have my melt-downs.  I … [Read more...]

  Did you step into the new year with a new planner and a new plan to make this the best year ever? The success experts encourage us to set goals, to map our days, our work, even our relationships. As you penned those good intentions into your life planner have you set holiness as one of your goals? What?     Who in this day and age, talks about being holy, let alone list it as a life-goal? That's a good question. Most of us would agree God calls us to holy living, but really, making that a penned-on-paper life-goal... whom among us is that purposeful? As obedient … [Read more...]

Praise God for this incredible, unbelievable, indescribable gift!  2 Corinthians 9:15 The Voice Most days are filled with the common, the ordinary, nothing spectacular happens.  And we just keep rolling along in a field of gray. As I write this on Christmas Eve just a little more than an hour before the 11 p.m. service at church, I'm reminded that incredible moments come in the midst of pain and ordinariness.  Early this morning I awoke with a terrific pain in my stomach.  I am pretty sure it was that glass of egg nog cut with some Vernor's, in addition to the chocolate truffle I enjoyed earlier in the day. … [Read more...]

Jesus taught us a prayer that is filled with power.  It really is the key to learning how to pray in a way that matters.  Today we'll discuss how we should pray as if our lives depend on it. If this is your first time in joining us for this series on prayer... you can jump in right here... or take a moment to scroll down below for a recap of what we have discovered so far on this prayer journey. Matthew 6 where Jesus taught his followers this prayer has been the focus of our prayer journey: “This is how you should pray: Our Father in heaven, let your name be kept holy. Let your kingdom come. Let your … [Read more...]

We've been on a journey of learning how to pray in way that matters. Today we're discussing a hot topic for many of us... how we forgive others.     Jesus packed a lot of power into this prayer he taught us and his followers to pray.  The Lord's prayer is a life-giving prayer.  It teaches us how to pray in a way that makes a difference.  Its concepts are life-changing. At the end of this post there is a recap of what we have discovered so far.  If you like, scroll down and read that first if this is your first time joining us.  Or.... jump in here, now. Our source for this prayer journey has … [Read more...]

We've been on a journey of learning how to pray in way that matters. I am so grateful that some of you have mentioned that this has been a helpful journey. For as long as I can remember, I have been fascinated with prayer.  Especially seeing the results of powerful praying and wondering how I can pray in a way that matters. At the end of this post there is a recap of what we have learned so far.  If you want you can scroll down and read that first if it's your first time joining us.  Or.... just jump in now. Our source for this prayer journey has been Matthew 6 where Jesus taught his followers this … [Read more...]

We've been on a journey of learning how to pray in way that matters. We began by looking at Matthew 6:6-8 NLT and discussed the first steps in learning how to pray in a way that matters. The first is to recognize that our prayer time is something to be treasured, it's a time of intimacy with God, and God rewards us for spending time talking with him. Second is to remember that God already knows what we need before we ask.  Because of this intimate relationship we have with him we don't have to explain things and we can relax and be completely honest. Third is to follow Jesus' very specific guidelines for … [Read more...]

  Prayer is this amazingly simple yet complicated communication we have with God. It's simple because God is always ready and listening... it's complicated because we tend to be rather selfish in our praying.  And yes that includes praying for other people. I'm reminded that a great marriage is one where we adore listening to our partner talk... we want to know their thoughts, their ideas, their hopes, their dreams, and even the crazy little details of their day.  But, sometimes, we have another agenda and we quit listening and we start dwelling on our desires. For most of us... our prayer time is more … [Read more...]

We want to pray in a way that matters. We want God to hear our prayers. And we want our prayers to help make things happen. Last week we looked at Matthew 6:6-8 NLT and discussed the first steps in learning how to pray in a way that matters. The first is to recognize that our prayer time is something to be treasured, it's a time of intimacy with God, and God rewards us for spending time talking with him. The second is to remember that God already knows what we need before we ask.  Because of this intimate relationship we have with him we don't have to explain things and we can relax and be … [Read more...]