Everyday Wonder

I believe when you ask God for a sign and are genuinely seeking His will for your life, He will reveal one.

We have to be attentive, though. Signs don’t always present as we expect but then again, we should expect the unexpected.

A sense of awe, of wonder, of anticipation should carry us, guide us.

Simple moments should capture our attention.

For me…the grateful hug of a newly widowed man expressing appreciation for the care his wife received, moments of a person confiding their fears and sadness because you listen, watching a bedridden resident mouth the words to a Christmas song with her eyes closed, and the thoughtful Christmas gift from my staff signed from “your lovely team.” A supportive husband and family, a leader trying to help me learn better boundaries.

Signs, some subtle, some screaming.

God’s calling on our lives…those things that bring us alive and center us on a purpose greater than ourselves.

It’s easy for me to question my calling when I feel like I made a mistake or things fall apart or someone is upset. I know I too easily become unraveled during these moments.

Yet, in those other moments of everyday wonder, I am reminded He is working, using every detail of my life to shape and mold my unique story.

And for that, I am grateful.

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Journey with Courage

I love as I begin to type in the word “courage” in my title, my phone suggests the word coffee. Yes, these past few weeks and months have been a whirlwind, and coffee definitely has fueled me on my journey!!


Perhaps a little too much lately. My posting has been more sporadic since the Write 31 day challenge ended in October. Life has a way of shifting priorities. 
Ever been there before?

I remember a pastor stating very clearly that sometimes the very thing standing in the way of God’s will in our lives is ourselves.

Living by faith is a daily, moment by moment journey. It is not easy. I know this in my heart, but when life gets crazy then sometimes I just want to say…I can’t do this anymore… it’s just too hard.

I have felt a bit on auto pilot recently. I have the “To Do” lists. I knock the items off one by one. I press on. I am tired. I want to embrace the joy of the season, and I do in captured moments, but they don’t seem to sustain me. 

Enter Joseph. The Christmas story often focuses on Mary and of course, Jesus, as it should, but do we spend enough time thinking about Joseph? The pastor today dedicated his message on Joseph. We talked about the extreme faith, trust, and obedience Joseph demonstrated. He trusted God’s Word. He honored and loved Mary. He protected her and this baby, Jesus.

Joseph journeyed with courage. He was willing to go on an unknown journey to trust the provision of God and His direction.

Which brings me back to my present state of mind and where I am.

Do I have the courage to follow the call of God in my life? 

Do you?

With our finances? With our jobs? With our health? With our families? With those dreams so dear and precious to us that we dare not share out loud?

Are we willing to trust God on the journey He is calling us to take?

Life offers too much to live on autopilot.

When we step in obedience and stay alert listening to His direction, He is faithful and will be with us each step of the way.

May we have courage in our journey as Joseph did so many years ago. 

Life Lessons from Dogs

If there is one word to describe me in this particular season of my life and the season in general, it is exhausted. 

Between work, the things that come with the Christmas season, fibromyalgia, and just life in general, it’s been hard to find time to catch my breath.

My joy lately has been this dog whom we recently welcomed into our family. He is a rescue dog who participated in a training program at a prison. He is my son’s Christmas gift and my son’s dog. He is pretty well behaved. In fact he is currently riding in his crate in the back of our Jeep, and I haven’t heard a peep from him.

There’s just one issue we are working through…

Quill is not sure if he wants to be friends with our geriatric chocolate lab Sadie. As we work through this with patience, love, and firmness in our expectations for behavior, there are some life lessons I can draw from my dogs.

1. Insecurity is a real thing and needs to be responded to with patience, reassurance, and love. I was on the floor petting Sadie the other night and Quill came up behind me and pulled on the bottom of my pants. You can call it jealousy, but I see it as insecurity. I am working with him to realize that I can pet and love them both…at the same time. We making progress in this area.

2. Dogs are so good for children. For children with ADHD. For adopted children. My son and his dog are learning to trust one another. Their bond continues to grow every day.

3. Dogs like people need consistency. People need to know what the expectations are.

4. Everyone wants to belong. Just as Quill is trying to find his place in our home, Sadie is trying to figure him out. She wanted to play tug with him the other day, but Quill wasn’t interested. Sadie and our little Franklin always played tug of war with their rope toy. Right now, we aim for small steps. My hope is that these two will be the best of friends in time. 

My last three dogs have been rescue dogs. While I don’t have any deep theological message in all this, I believe that God has sent these dogs into our lives for a purpose. In the words of a friend, there isn’t anything better than dog kisses after a long day. In some ways as I watch Quill adjust to his new life, I see flashbacks from our days of our son’s adjustment to his new life.

Just as we welcomed Quill and our son into our lives as they are, God welcomes us and loves us where we are. As we grow in our relationship with Him, we grow into the people He created us to be.

What life lessons have you learned from your own pets?

Bright Spots

Ever find yourself in a challenging season of life? 

We all have at some time or another for some reason or another.

I had a conversation with a friend and together, we both realized we are experiencing similar situations that are just really, really hard right now. We talked about looking for the positive moments in our days. I suggested we text each other daily of a bright spot in our day. She thought that was a great idea. 

So today begins our “Bright Spot” text challenge. 

There always something to be grateful for and thank God for. Find an accountability partner to help you keep your eyes focused on those bright spots.

Habakkuk 3:17-19

Though the fig tree should not blossom,

nor fruit be on the vines,

the produce of the olive fail

and the fields yield no food,

the flock be cut off from the fold

and there be no herd in the stalls,

yet I will rejoice in the Lord;

I will take joy in the God of my salvation.

God, the Lord, is my strength;

he makes my feet like the deer’s;

he makes me tread on my high places.

The Moments…

Some things are almost certain as a mom of boys.

  1. You will at some point experience the excruciating pain of stepping barefoot on a Lego.
  2. You will find the most random of things in pants pockets when you do laundry.
  3. You will be caught off guard from an unexpected Nerf gun dart when you least expect it.
  4. You will hear yourself asking…did you put on deodorant… daily in those preteen and even into teen years.
  5. Boys do things to surprise you. Often.

As I sit here and linger for just a few more minutes enjoying the tree, I focus not on the fact that my son will awake in an hour asking where he left his shoes but rather on the moments from the weekend that make me go wow. 

My son went to the basement this weekend and brought up all the Christmas decorations without being asked. He just did it. He started decorating and patiently waited for me to finish what I was doing so I could help. Then, he cleaned up and took it all back downstairs.

His college age sister had to buy a car this weekend. They sat beside each other in the front as my husband and I sat in the back as we drove around to see Christmas lights. My husband leaned over and whispered to me, “Our children are getting along.” Our son later declared he was going to work really hard when he was old enough to get a job so he could buy a nice car like his sister.

My little chef made a double layer cake yesterday. He improvised. Our cake pans were two different sizes. Oops!

As I dropped off a dear 93 year old lady whom I take to church every Sunday, she hugged me tightly and told me to enjoy every moment with my children. “Don’t wish the moments away. Even the hard ones. They go by so quickly.”

As we head into the Christmas season, may we stay focused on the things that matter. Let’s not be so busy that we miss the special things our children do, the whisprered words of our spouses, the wisdom from dear friends, and the greatest Gift of the season…our Savior Jesus Christ.

Don’t wish the moments away, even the hard ones.

What are your favorite things about this time of year?

Familiar Friday

It’s the day after Thanksgiving, and I am home. I decided to take the day off so I could catch my breath before jumping into the busy season of the holiday.

I also decided to spend the morning leisurely getting ready at my own pace. While so many others are out braving the crowds and lines at department stores, I am choosing to stay nestled inside under my favorite blanket with a cup of coffee enjoying the familiar and writing. I am linking up with Five Minute Friday for the first time. Today’s prompt…familiar.

As I think of all that goes with Christmas…the cards, the wish lists, the shopping, the baking…it makes me tired just thinking about it.

For me, I want to embrace the familiar this time of year. I don’t want anything new this year. I long for the familiar-simple time with my family, my favorite coffee cup, my favorite blanket, and the familiar simple Christmas decorations in our living room.

So whether you are braving the Black Friday shopping, enjoying a lazy day, preparing for the Christmas season, or having a normal Friday, leave room for the familiar in this season.

Linking up with Five Minute Friday

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Happy Thanksgiving

Sometimes life weighs us down, but there is always, always something to be grateful for. May we take some time today to reflect on the goodness of His blessings and the promises of His grace.

Enjoy those around you. Be grateful for the everyday blessings admist an imperfect life.

Today, just be thankful for today.

What is one thing you are grateful for today? 

For me, it is the gift of time this weekend with my family.

Happy Thanksgiving!!