Aqua door - Facing Mountains in God's Strength -


As we enter this New Year there is no doubt, we will face unexpected challenges, disappointments, and heartaches.  I wish it weren’t so, but the Bible tells us to expect it.

That doesn’t mean that we need to live in fear, looking around every corner, or expecting the “other shoe to drop.”

We need to look forward with great expectation.

God has great things planned for us.  He knows where we’ll be going, what we’ll be facing, and even our opposition.

He will provide us with every ounce of strength we need.

He wants us to walk victoriously, without stumbling or wavering.

The Lord God is my strength.
He makes me like a deer that does not stumble so I can walk on the steep mountains.
Habakkuk 3:19


The Lord God is my strength - Habakkuk 319 -

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Wherever our journey takes us… we will face some big mountains.

God’s word tells us that he makes us like the deer that does not stumble.

Have you ever watched a nature show of a deer bounding up the hillside, sure-footed despite all the  craggy irregularities?

That’s exactly what God will do for us as we walk up and down our personal mountains.

Want to be sure-footed like the deer?

Trust God.


We need to remind ourselves…

The Lord God is my strength. 

The Bible tells us that God goes before us… that he knows everything we will encounter… and best of all he has already made a way for us.


Most of us want to stay on the level ground.  We do all we can to avoid the bumps, the valleys, and the mountains of life.  We want green pastures and still waters, every single day.

Instead of worrying and fretting about what could happen, or even what will happen… we need to rejoice in the Lord and take heart knowing:

He makes me like a deer that does not stumble so I can walk on the steep mountains.

I’ve lived on the flat lands of the Midwest and the mountains of Pennsylvania.  Believe me, waking up in the mountains is far more interesting.  There are more nuances to the weather and vegetation, and then there are the breathtaking views from the higher spots.  During my short time in PA I never tired of walking up those steep roads to see a spectacular view.

A few things happened on those walks.  My legs got stronger and leaner from all that uphill and downhill walking.  My lungs were stronger for it too.  And each time I reached a summit, my spirit soared.

At first it was hard to walk up those mountain roads.  One road in particular I actually walked up backwards for a short while.  Often I pumped my arms to help me make it up to the top.  Sometimes I even had to stop to catch my breath.

We can look at this as good exercise… and it is.


Aqua barn decor The Lord is our Strength -


In the middle of that steep mountain road I sometimes felt like calling it quits.

It was hard.  Yet, I pushed on and pressed forward.  The difficulty was worth it for the health benefits, alone.  But the accomplishment and the view made all the hard work melt away.

I’m reminded of what the Apostle Paul wrote to the people in Corinth:

So we’re not giving up.  How could we!  Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace.  These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us.  There’s far more here than meets the eye.  The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow.  But the things we can’t see now will last forever.     2 Corinthians 4:16-18 MSG

Even better than my mountain view…
God has something truly unimaginable planned for us.

Let’s look forward in this New Year to seeing how God works in our lives… keeping us sure-footed so we can traverse the unexpected mountains with grace.   His grace.


Aqua barn door - JoyDay! God is my Strength -


It’s JoyDay!

We experience God’s grace on the flat lands as well as the slopes of the mountain.  And today we celebrate, count, and remember what God has done and has brought us through.  We count the good and the not-so-good and we give thanks… for we have not journeyed alone.  It’s good to know God’s hand holds us securely. (Psalm 63:8)

Please join me in counting just ‘seven’ from this past week.

God, I’m grateful for…

  1. a new year, a clean slate, and endless possibility.
  2. my wonderful friends!
  3. a beautiful day to walk and NO SNOW!
  4. knowing Your love is everlasting, amazing, and unconditional.
  5. for many cups of my favorite Droste’s cocoa… and the special gifts of two tins (old & new).
  6. this space and how it pushes me spiritually.
  7. Your faithful provisions of our basic needs.

Last week I mentioned the importance of counting gifts and talked about how I pulled back from the practice.  This week, I started a new gratitude journal for the New Year to count the gifts and blessings of daily life.  I wasn’t sure how I would count, but thus far it feels right to sit down at the end of the day and count ten from the day.  I’m sure I might write something down during the day, occasionally as a remembrance, but the bedtime counting just feels so right.

Okay… it’s YOUR turn!

Pop down to the Share Your Extraordinary Thoughts section below and tap in your ‘seven.’  I dare you!!

Thanks for stopping by today.
May your week overflow with God’s strength and joy!


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  1. Gwen says

    Joy Day!
    1. I cried to Jesus. He heard my pleas. And my celebrations were very good. I felt no conflict. Love. Jesus was near.
    2. My hubby is doing better. A trickle of blood in a vessel in his brain means cells can be made new. Doctors are optimistic he will regain his sight. His eyes are healthy. The brain must do its thing. So we pray. My faith is shaky but his is strong.
    3. Blue skies
    4. Fun watching my three year old grandson play with his five year old cousin. Wild joy!!!
    5. My neighbor girl childhood friend is stopping for a visit
    6. I’m tired and I have time to rest
    7 meals provided. Rides being found. A bit of laundry help. God is good.

    • Diane says

      Gwen… there is much joy in your words today.
      May God, the source of hope, fill you with joy and peace through your faith in him. Then you will overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13
      I rejoice with you for all these good things and trust with you for Curt’s healing.
      And pray you are filled with Hope. {{hugs}}

  2. Debbi Saunders says

    Thank you God for:
    1. Spiritual Renewal
    2 . For this down time to re energize
    3. Greater clarity and understanding of your Word
    4.for the new leadership and positive changes at school
    5.the Godly Christian women in my life
    6 . Family and a full time job
    7. A truly Blessed,wonderful Christmas Season

    • Diane says

      Debbi… My heart is filled with gratitude for you and your friendship. 🙂
      Rejoicing with you for all the good things God has done and trusting with you for the big things we have yet to see. [hugs]

  3. Lucy Beliveau says

    God, I am so very grateful for:
    1. My dear husband whose job takes care of our financial needs.
    2. Time spent my sweet Mom who suffers from Alzheimer’s. May God be with her.
    3. A quiet New Year which begins yet another wonderful year for me to learn more about my Lord, God, my Savior
    4. A happy healthy family whose love and serenity glisten with hope and faith.
    5. Guy’s wonderful cooking ability!!! I love the way he spoils me by cooking our meals!
    6. My small, cozy home where we enjoy warmth, safety and well-being.
    7. My puppies, Romeo and Jack who are my constant companions. And since I only get 7 I’ll add #8 on to 7…thanks soooo much for allowing us a budget with which we could afford a new mattress! Yes!

    • Diane says

      Haha!! There’s NO LIMIT to gratitude, Lucy!! Never. Ever. 🙂 I just know you made God smile when you tacked #8 on #7!!!
      I love your grateful heart and for “hearing” you testify to what God is doing in your life and how you’re growing so close to him.
      May your week be filled with extraordinary God moments. [[hugs]]

  4. I am grateful:
    1. Today my heart is overflowing with gratitude for the Pastor of our new church, who is so close to the heart of God that the abundance of that relationship overflows to us, each and every Sunday. Wow!
    2. I’m so thankful for the beautiful time we had at Christmas with both of our girls and son-in-law here in our new home.
    3. I’m thankful that my son-in-law liked SC so much that he went to visit the campus of a local university to see if they have an Italian program where he might teach (that’s what he does in N.Y.). They DO! Continuing to pray as I didn’t hear anything out of my daughter about this idea!
    4. I’m thankful for a new friend I met in church who I made an immediate connection with! We have so much in common . . . blogging, thrifting, DIY, the Lord, LAUGHTER! After 3 months of being kind of lonely I prayed (I know, why did it take me so long, right?) for a friend with common interests. Leslie was the first to greet me at church the very next Sunday!
    5. I’m thankful that God keeps bringing me across great thrifty finds that I’m using to room-by-room furnish this big new house of ours. I really need to write a post called My Thrifted Home because people would be amazed at how God has blessed our “hunting”.
    6. I’m SO thankful for a God who loves me so much that He keeps on revealing more and more of Himself to me. He desires my friendship. He wants me to walk in His Presence every single minute of my day. He is so amazing.
    Thank you dear friend Diane. May God continue to pour out His abundance to you in 2015.
    Love ‘n hugs,

    • Diane says

      Oh Patti… your gratitude list makes my heart sing. This move has done some amazing things to not only grow you in your relationship with God… but to help you see how he daily loves on you so richly. Thank you for sharing your JOYs with us. What a blessing to both of us!
      Praying your week is filled with extraordinary God moments. [[hugs]]

  5. 1. I am thankful for the reminder to spend time each day being grateful.
    2. For the challenging work He has called me to; counseling — helping others to experience emotional healing.
    3. A beautiful, sunny day for going back to work.
    4. My husband who encourages me and supports me in the work God has called me to do.
    5. For bloggers like you who are trying to be real and encouraging at the same time. I appreciate the kindred spirits I find in the blogging world.
    6. For friend in the flesh who care and listen and pray.
    7. For God’s gentle way of humbling me when I have been in the wrong.
    Blessings in your new year! Julie

    • Diane says

      Julie… it’s a joy to meet you! Thank you for stopping by and for taking the time to share your heart of gratitude. 🙂
      Praying this week God meets you in unexpected ways as you minister to the hurting. [hugs]


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