They were popping up at every turn... little gifts in disguise. It was Saturday afternoon and I had unfinished work... the last thing I wanted to do was go for a hike. The day was gray.  The only thing that got me out of my chair was knowing I needed to get my body moving.  Small reason... but it was enough. I tied on my walking shoes and off we went. You know how I love nature... but I wasn't into it. And then I spied a little nest of mushrooms.     And then there were more...     White ones with flat tops and frilly … [Read more...]

  Have you ever thought about your aroma? Did you just tilt your nose down and take a whiff of your shirt?  I'm not talking about your perfume, toilet water, or cologne.  I'm not talking about whether you used deodorant after your shower, though that is probably a good idea. There's another kind of scent that I have in mind. We have a spiritual fragrance.  It's the essence of who we are. You might know someone who has a wonderful essence.  So lovely that you wish that you could wear that same fragrance. You also might know someone who has a less than wonderful essence.  You probably find … [Read more...]

How's your day? I'm hoping that today's been a good day, or at the worst, something we can call normal. Do you mind stopping a second to look back over the past several hours? We've had numerous blessings... A bed to sleep on, a bite to eat, dishes to wash, places to go, people to see... And so much more!  Consider each a blessing. Give thanks for each one.   We often take these common, everyday blessings for granted. Tomorrow, things might change and we may or may not have one or more of these blessings. When that happens... our worlds just might come undone. Or will … [Read more...]

  Everyday, as I walk, I am amazed by the tapestry along the roadside. Today I noticed leaf shapes. Each leaf was the same tone of green.  Yet, from plant to plant and bush to bush, each had its own exquisite shape. Together they created the most beautiful tapestry in green.     A few days ago we took the rowboat out on the lake just before sunset. In the stillness the lily pads and other water plants reflected the setting sun's brilliant light. We were in awe of another tapestry at the water's edge. A mirror formed across the face of the water.  It captured the … [Read more...]

Do you ever feel like you're playing the waiting game? Often we find ourselves waiting in line at the grocery store, the post office, and this time of year at the ice cream shop. We wait for what seems like forever at red lights, or for the man in brown to deliver that package we're expecting. Sometimes our wait is for things much more serious such as watching the hands of the clock move so slowly while a family member or friend undergoes a tricky surgery.     Are tired of playing the waiting game? Yeah...me too. I've been waiting for quite a while for God to move. In fact … [Read more...]

I love the morning....especially the first light of the morning.     A few days ago I awoke very early and looked out the window.  I was greeted with a most beautiful sight.  Imagine the sky as I saw it, still colored in twilight while being gently blushed with a transparent orange cast rising ever so gently from the horizon.   And to my right...a huge brilliant star sparkled.  At that moment, I was in awe and humble adoration of Creator God. In the morning, O Eternal One, listen for my voice; in the day’s first light, I will offer my prayer to You and watch expectantly for Your answer. … [Read more...]

Do you choose a Word for the Year? Lots of people choose a word rather than make resolutions. Last year my Word for the Year was JOY.  You can read about it here.   If you've been following on Facebook you might have picked up that I decided to skip on choosing a Word for the Year and choose a Verse for the Year.   Okay....I changed my mind. Instead.... I decided to do both. Sorta. The verse isn't just a verse...it's several verses...okay....a whole section of scripture. But before we go there let's visit my Word for the Year.     Restore. It isn't what you … [Read more...]

  On this day officially proclaimed as the day to gather together to give thanks to our Great and Holy God... Let us do just that. Let us join with the Psalmist here... Thank God! He deserves your thanks. His love never quits. Thank the God of all gods, His love never quits. Thank the Lord of all lords. His love never quits. Thank the miracle-working God, His love never quits. The God whose skill formed the cosmos, His love never quits. The God who laid out earth on ocean foundations, His love never quits. The God who filled the skies with light, His love never quits. The sun to … [Read more...]

Are you feeling grateful? What about when there's snow on the ground and it messes up your plans? What about when you've been working like crazy, putting in extra time, and someone else gets the promotion? What about when your head hurts, your family is counting on you, and all you want to do is collapse?   Giving thanks with a grateful heart is much easier when the sky is blue, the sun is shining, and you're comfortably sipping your lemonade at the pool on a perfect 75 degree day. Giving thanks with a grateful heart is much easier when everyone notices your hard work and you get an … [Read more...]

If you would enjoy framing this quote, please download the free printable here and save it to your desktop for printing or take it to your favorite photo shop.   Do you have a thankful heart? Have you ever noticed that some people seem to be so blessed regardless of their circumstances? The unthankful heart... discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings! Henry Ward Beecher Isn't this a great quote?   One other thing I've noticed...those with a thankful heart are … [Read more...]

Reading portions of the Book of Psalms in the Bible is something I do almost every day. It's full of wisdom and pain and gratitude and praise and fear. Today's passage included this verse...Psalm 111:10, from the New Living Translation: Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true wisdom.     All who obey his commandments will grow in wisdom. Praise him forever!   I don't know about you...but I want wisdom. People who are wise seem to navigate life more gracefully. They are the ones others seek for advice. People who are wise are more thoughtful, less reactionary, … [Read more...]

November is the gratitude month. With the holidays approaching it's a good thing to get ready by being thankful. We can and should be gracious....encouraging....kind. But...most of all we should be thankful!   This image is available as a 5x7 printable. Download here and save to your desktop for printing at home or via your favorite photo shop.   Seriously... Contentment comes from a thankful heart. Creativity comes from a thankful heart. Generosity comes from a thankful heart. And that's just the beginning of what we need as we approach the holidays. I'm sure you can … [Read more...]

The other day I got up late.  I hadn't slept well, really much at all. My day began without my usual time alone with God. Do I need to tell you that I had a very bad, awful, no good day? You might have guessed.  I couldn't believe the difference in where my mind went with negative thinking.  That was an eye-opener.  It was a huge realization that I cannot make it through a day on my own strength.     The following day, I was back on track and read this verse: Many, Lord my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us. None can compare with you; were I to speak … [Read more...]

  The plan was to meet my friend at one of the botanical gardens at Michigan State University. I Googled for directions and then wrote them all down on a piece of paper, for easy reference as I drove there. The route seemed easy enough, and I had the TracFone so I could call my friend in case we missed each other. Perfect.   The sun was shining and I felt so blessed to be able to get together with one of my dearest friends whom I rarely see as I have been moving from state to state the last too many years. Up ahead, I saw the sign with the name of the road for my first turn. As I … [Read more...]

Have you recently felt like you were up against the wall? Maybe it would be better described as between a rock and a hard place. The Apostle Paul describes it this way in 2 Corinthians 4:8 NIV: We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair. Oh boy!  This week I sure felt like I was hard pressed.     Paul acknowledged that he was hard pressed...on every side.  Do you identify?  Some days, weeks, or months can feel like that.  When there are no answers, when there is no cure, when we have no place to turn, when we feel backed into a corner...we are hard … [Read more...]

  ...and in all of our troubles I have great joy. 2 Corinthians 7:4b New Century Version   When I read this the other day I was again struck with the realization that the Apostle Paul's troubles were many.  Yet, because he trusted God and because the church there cared about him and encouraged him, he was able to choose joy. And not a little. Great joy.   Wouldn't you like to have great joy? By reading scripture, it seems that the only way to have great joy is to live in the midst of trouble. If that is true....than I am in a pretty good spot to experience great joy. Maybe you are … [Read more...]

Hallelujah! I give thanks to God with everything I’ve got— Wherever good people gather, and in the congregation. God’s works are so great, worth A lifetime of study—endless enjoyment! Splendor and beauty mark his craft; His generosity never gives out. His miracles are his memorial— This God of Grace, this God of Love. He gave food to those who fear him, He remembered to keep his ancient promise. He proved to his people that he could do what he said: Hand them the nations on a platter—a gift! He manufactures truth and justice; All his products are guaranteed to last— Never out-of-date, never … [Read more...]