My “Be Still”

I have come to realize and accept that I need my “be still” moments.

Life has been a crazy whirlwind henceforth my quietness here on my blog. It has been filled with work busyness, holiday things, and extra crazy obligations.

This has been a particularly challenging year for me in so many ways. I have been quietly pushing on. Recently, I have had some powerful reflective moments that have caused me to step back and reevaluate my life and priorities.

I didn’t like some of what I saw.

I may have shared this song before but Granted by Josh Groban has been very meaningful to me the past several months.

Granted by Josh Groban

I have come to realize that I need my “be still” moments. I need to catch my breath. I need to have time to sit and be still. I need to be in the Word. I need time to write. (I did do a modified #Nanowrimo this year). I need to be more present and intentional with those whom I love. I need to practice listening even more actively.

At a conference I was recently attending, we were asked what we considered one of our strengths. I immediately chose compassion. I love people deeply. I feel deeply. I care deeply.

Life is all about relationships.

Life is really hard yet really beautiful. I can’t fix everything in my life, but I can step out in faith and follow the direction I feel God is leading me.

“Be still” moments are my saving grace. They refresh me, restore my sanity, and help me to discern the still small voice of God in my life.

In the busyness of life and especially now during the holiday season, I encourage you to pause and find your own “be still” moments. Maybe it’s a certain place like the coffee shop or some early morning moments while the rest of the house is still sleeping or perhaps by the glow of the Christmas tree lights at night… wherever it is-take time to pause and reflect on your life.

You can never have back the time that has slipped away.

How do you reenergize in the chaos of life?

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Showers of Blessings

Today is the day of Thanksgiving in America. It is a day of turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole (my contribution), and pumpkin pie. It is a day of football. It is family and traditions.

It is a time to be reflective on all you have to be grateful for.

This year, my Thanksgiving looks and feels a little different. Our traditions have been altered due to family logistics and other particular issues. Our college age daughter is working. There are other variables in life that just makes this year’s Thanksgiving different.

What about you? Are you trying to move forward with life even though things are different?

God uses those messy situations, those hard times, the devastating moments, the lonely days…all of it to draw us closer to Him.

It may not make things easy, but today I choose gratitude.

This Thanksgiving may be a bit different but wow, do I have so much to be thankful for.

Just a week ago, I was able to observe my college age daughter in all her glory leading a children’s program. This morning, my teenage son is baking just because he loves to cook. My dogs lay peacefully at my feet. I have accomplished a huge feat in my professional goals. My husband and I celebrated 20 years of marriage earlier this year. I have an accountability partner who is encouraging me to write daily for #Nanowrimo. And I sure do have a lot of great friends!

Yup, there’s a lot to be grateful as I reflect today.

Despite it’s been a few weeks since I have had a moment to catch my breath to blog and my back spasms continue and my stomach issues are flared, Thanksgiving is so much more than food and traditions. It is a moment to pause and realize life may be full of challenges, but it is also overflowing with everyday blessings.

Happy Thanksgiving. I am grateful for each and everyone of you. Thank you for taking a moment to pause and read my thoughts. What are you thankful for today?

Gratitude is a choice. Choose it.

#blessedbeyondmeasure

This is Brave.

It’s fall finally, and the leaves are falling. As I walked Quill this morning, the reds, oranges, and yellows lay scattered in a disorganized leaf array making me grateful I have no trees in my yard.

I walked this morning to clear my head. It is my Saturday morning ritual, and one Quill has come to know and expect.

Anxiety is a real thing. If you have ever suffered an anxiety attack, then you know the strength it takes to pull yourself out of one. You must find coping skills.

Walking is my therapy. Music. Quiet time with God in solitude to calm the voices in my mind. These walks are my peace. They recharge me.

This morning, I stopped at a bench. My favorite walking path, an old railroad track transformed to a walking path nestled between trees. Quill calmed, sat obediently beside me as I journalled on my phone note pad app. Then, we walked some more.

I know many people who function with anxiety. They are successful people-professionals, teachers, administrators, mothers, fathers, students. They are thriving, sometimes surviving, but they are brave people. Pulling yourself, pushing yourself, and refusing to give in to anxiety is an act of bravery.

The word fear is in the Bible so many times. God knew we would face fear and anxiety.

As I walked today, I reflected on the leaves. The disorganized chaos they create as they fall. Life with anxiety can feel like that, but I must keep walking and keep pressing on.

My thought for the day-be nice to people. Extend grace everyday in every place. We never know the journey a person may be taking.

Here are some of my favorite verses to help me walk through the anxiety and press on. I hope they bring you hope and peace.

#write31days #grace

Grace like Rain

There’s a song that comforts my weary soul today.

Grace like Rain

I had a moment today where I felt His grace like rain washing over me. Grace was poured out upon me like rain as forgiveness was extended. It had been a challenging situation, the type that wakes me at night. It had been the focus of much prayer last week. And, there, in that moment, His grace like rain was so evident.

So how fitting that Pastor would preach on suffering this week. Not usually a popular subject but one that is real and applicable to life. Of course, I would rather be comfortable, but trials bring me to my knees dependent on His grace. Suffering doesn’t have to be this huge intense trial. Sometimes, the day to day stuff that really bogs us down can be great reminders to trust Him with every detail of our lives. Let His light of grace shine through and His grace fall like rain.

Grace in Broken Places

Scroll through Facebook or Instagram and if you allow yourself, it is easy to fall into the trap (and lies) that everyone else has his or her life together and well, you’re just a hot mess.

I’ve been in this place. I think we all have in one way or another. My life hasn’t exactly followed the trajectory of events I had planned.

I had a rough day recently. Work issues. Family issues. Feeling as though I am getting sick. Those feeling of anxiety, worry, inadequacy, insecurities all wanted to creep in causing my sleep to be restless.

I read a post this morning reminding me to start my day by offering it to God. Read here

It was the reminder I needed to stop and remember who is always in control. Grace is found in those broken places and spaces in our lives. We aren’t called to fix everything when everything feels out of control.

When I think back on my life to those times of struggle and then reflect where I am now, I can see the growth and lessons I learned. Whether it was through life as young parents, illness, financial issues, our son’s adoption, or countless other moments of feeling uncertain, afraid, or broken over the years, God’s grace has seen me through.

Keep trusting. Keep listening. His grace fills all your broken places.

#write31days #grace

Grace in the Storm

As a friend shared his son’s struggles with my husband and myself, he made a comment that has been marinating in my mind. He said that he has never really struggled with much in his life so he couldn’t really reference those struggles to any of his experiences. Then, he looked at us and said, “You guys have struggled so much, but you have always trusted God.”

Have we? Have I?

It has stopped me a bit in my thought pattern in my current situations.

That same Sunday, our pastor reminded us that our situation does not have authority over us. As children of God, we have the power of His love, mercy, and grace through any storm.

As I reflect back over the past twenty years of my life, there have been multiple storms. Some were so intense that I questioned whether I would make it through. Although my fears attempted to scream louder than my faith at times, my friend is right about one thing-I trusted God.

Each struggle has been just that- a struggle. Every struggle has also been an opportunity to cross that threshold between faith and fear and step out into the journey of trusting Him without seeing the end of the path. Oh, that’s hard, but there’s a whole lotta grace along the journey.

Struggles have purpose, and God’s grace is sufficient for us.

Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

Whatever you may be struggling with today, remember to keep His promises close to your heart. His grace is all you need.

#write31days #grace

Seeping Words

The best thing I heard in worship this morning was this…Let the Word of God seep into your soul as a bag of tea seeps in a cup of hot water.

I love a warm cup of tea at night to calm me before bed. (And yes, I love this mug as well…I am a work in progress). The water starts clear and then slowly absorbs the tea as it travels through the tiny holes. The longer it seeps, the stronger the tea.

I want the Word of God to be like that in my life. The longer I meditate on His Words and allow them to seep into my soul, the stronger my understanding of His love, mercy, and grace will become. I desire for my thrist for His Words to become greater so that nothing else will satisfy that thrist.

#write31days #grace