He Fills My Cup

Sometimes, it’s a cup of coffee in a cozy local coffee shop amidst the chaos of life and a winter that lingers on forever that fills your soul like a fresh breath of life.

I’ve been quiet on here. Days have felt long, exhausting.

Sometimes, it’s okay to be quiet.

Then, when you least expect it, God fills your empty soul very, very full. He places special people in your life. He allows your soul to be filled at a worship concert with thousands of people.

Sometimes, you just need reminded you are not alone in this world. Your struggles are not unique. He provides those special people who listen, who get your struggles, who just know how to give you the courage to get up and try another day.

This day wasn’t easy. Actually, it was hard. So hard that someone made the comment to me…”You really have had a crappy day.”

“Yeh, I have.”

It didn’t end on that note, though. Another special person poured into my soul.

I step back, see the tapestry of my life. People. They are from all different seasons of my life. Our paths have crossed. Connections.

He fills your cup, your soul. Allows you to connect with those precious safe people who love you for who you are.

May the God of Hope fill you with all Joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

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Not All is Lost

Sometimes, we lose things.

This past weekend has been challenging for me. I dropped my phone for the umpteenth time. Unfortunately, I cracked my internal screen, and the black screen of death stared back at me. I lost pictures, notes, and other odds and ends stored on that phone.

My wedding ring broke. The band came apart. This is likely from excessive hand sanitizer use in my daily job. I have lost the familiarity of having my ring on my finger until it is fixed.

We lost our freedom temporarily the other day when our Jeep stranded us miles from home. We were at the mercy of others to come rescue us.

Over the past several years, I have lost the ability to eat whatever I choose due to chronic stomach issues and an autoimmune disease.

Yet, sometimes, the things we lose aren’t tangible things we can touch.

What do we do when the things we lose are intangible? When we can’t touch them or easily replace them?

Things like patience, hope, peace…

I have been reading the book of Joshua. In chapter 7, Joshua and his people are defeated. Joshua tore his clothes and fell to the ground. He cries out to the Lord…why have You brought us here to destroy us?

God had called them out of their comfort, but He had also just brought them victory over the battle of Jericho. Oh, how easily we forget God’s miracles and blessings in our life when things seem hopeless.

How did God respond to Joshua?

Joshua chapter 7:10… So the Lord said to Joshua: “Get up! Why do you lie on your face?”

The chapter goes on to talk about holding people accountable…they have a second chance at the battle…they win and all praise is to God.

How many times have we felt defeated? Hopeless? Exhausted?

The story doesn’t have to end there.

In loss, there is much to gain. Jesus gave up His life so that we may live and live more abundantly.

God is the God of all our days…the good ones, the bad ones, and the really hard ones.

Sometimes, the greatest blessings are found in the times of loss. Sometimes, we have to die to self-our pride, fears, self reliance- in order to discover the blessings of all He has in store for us. Not all is lost.

May He be the God of all your days.

Freeze Warning

A snowflake icon pops up on my smartphone. A freeze warning. The warning is obviously in regards to sensitive vegetation and crops left unprotected.

I am choosing to take a different perspective on the freeze warning.

This is the final full day of our vacation. We have had two full busy days of hiking, exploring, shopping, and tourist stuff. They have been very good days and a nice way to reconnect on our 20th anniversary getaway.

Today, though, sans four wheel drive with steep mountain roads, we will heed the warning to freeze and stay inside.

Outside the cabin, the snow falls gently and lightly. Nature cares not that it is the second day of spring. The view is gray and hazy. We see trees blanketed in white, but the view of the distant mountain tops is obscured by this overhanging haze.

So, this is what a snow day feels like?

Days of my childhood come flooding back to me. I remember the excitement of hearing the announcement that school has closed. As an adult with a career in long term care, there are no snow days. Waking up to snow means taking a deep breath, hurrying in my morning routine, and praying for safety and protection from the elements as I prepare to make a sometimes treacherous drive into work.

Today’s snow day is a gift. I will gladly accept this freeze warning as an opportunity to be still. The majesty of the white splendor is breathtaking. Reading by the fireplace, journaling, card games and movies…there is no place I must go.

Yes, today is a welcomed reprieve from the busyness of everyday life which will all too soon beckon again.

Today is a day to relish in being still. Sometimes what seems like an annoyance (the snow on the last day of vacation) can be a blessing (a day to relax and be still) depending on our perspective.

Have you ever experienced a blessing in an unlikely experience?

He Knows…

He knows what we need when we need it.

This was a phrase my friend referred to often and rested in the promise of during a difficult time in her life. We would talk about God’s care in our lives. Difficult days are still part of this life, but His care, protection, peace, and love are promises we can rely on. Truly, what else can we consistently rely on?

God definitely knows what I need when I need it. Life has been a whirlwind of non-stop expectations and obligations. Work has been busy. My son was in the musical. Everything was spiraling around me making me wish life had a pause button like the TV.

This morning, I sit quietly on a bed in a cabin. I am not held hostage to an alarm clock. The morning slowly dawns outside. The sky is gray above the mountains. I have permission to be still. This hasn’t happened in a long time.

Last night on a short walk, my husband and I came across a sign sharing the history of how city folk would escape to the mountains to find a short reprieve from busy city life. Many years later, I find myself doing the exact same thing.

Here, I can pause. I can give myself grace for feeling guilty for not being able to be a stage mom for the school musical. We were there to watch our son perform. I can spend time in the Word and meditate on His promises. I can journal. I can reflect over the words of mentors whom God has placed in my life. I can accept the place of mistakes in my life as opportunities to learn from and grow from.

He knows. I need this time away. We are here to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary…rain or shine. We will appreciate this pause in our regular flow of life.

He knows.

He cares.

He grows us.

Trust Him wherever you are, whatever season you are in. God knows what you need when you need it.

It just might not look like you were expecting, but trust Him.

He knows best.

Opportunities

I needed to laugh.

Tonight, after a day of tears and self reflection, I told my son I needed a funny movie. As he scrolled through options on Netflix, I suggested Evan Almighty. J remembered watching it a few years ago at a family movie night at church shortly after he joined our family from the blessings of adoption.

Evan Almighty is a modern day tale of the Biblical account of Noah’s Ark in the book of Genesis.

Hearing my son cackle to the funny parts of the movie was enough alone to bring a smile to my face.

Then, it happened…that serious moment of wisdom you need to hear and hold onto. God can and will use anything and everything to grab our attention if we are open and attentive.

When Morgan Freeman speaks, there is something dignified about the deepness of his voice especially when he is playing the role of God.

Watch this short clip from the movie…Opportunities from God

When we pray for patience, God doesn’t give us patience, He gives us opportunities for patience. You can fill in the blank with another word…hope, peace, forgiveness…

I have been praying for my leadership to be Christlike. Being a leader can feel very, very lonely. In the midst of these challenging moments, I realize God has been providing opportunities for me to be a stronger leader.

Sigh…no one ever said striving to walk the Christian life would be easy.

What are you praying for today? Be open for the opportunities God provides as answers to your prayers. Opportunities create growth in our walk with Christ and build our Christian character.

I would love to hear about the opportunities God has provided you with to grow in your Christian walk.

Keep your eyes on the path ahead.

Right where we Need to Be

Ever feel like your vision is like this?

Blurry? Disorienting? Like yet another snowy drive home…

Defeated. The word I used to describe myself the other night. Exhausted and defeated with a distorted sense of my vision.

God poured sweetness right back into my soul that very next morning. The gift of three women. We call our little monthly gatherings our writing group, but God is doing something more. It was a step of obedience, a response to the nudge, the call to form a writing group. We are small, but we are growing in our comfort with one another. Fellowship, laughter, encouragement. All the defeat washed away by the reminder of His promises.

But yet, here I am again tonight. Exhausted. Defeated. Tomorrow is a new day. Sleep will come. It will restore my soul. Renew me, refresh me.

This vision, becoming clearer, revealed in Holy whispers, sacred moments.

Delight yourself in the Lord and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to Him, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. Psalm 37:4-5

These are His promises, unfolding in His timing.

I heard a sermon that shared some insight… God allows conflict to help us grow closer to Him.

If this is true, I shouldn’t be surprised when hard things come my way. Growth seldom occurs when things are easy. I don’t have all the answers. I certainly don’t know what to do sometimes. I stand confused at times wondering when, why, which way?

Today, I read something beautiful about brokenness. Brokenness reminds us we are not perfect, and that is okay. We don’t have to have it all together despite what the world says.

We need God to guide our way to the desires of our heart. We need to commit and trust.

And He shall bring it to pass.

What is the “it”?

It is unique to us all.

The next time the world reminds you of all the ways you have messed up, and it will, remember God is in the business of using broken people with messy lives. Conflict puts us right where we need to be…in need of Him.

Painful at times, yes, but what better place to be than in the grip of His promises?

Small Things

I am in one of the busiest seasons of my life right now. The work weeks are a whirlwind. The weekends are when I attempt to catch my breath.

It’s a great season of list making to help me stay on top of things. Or at least do my best effort!!

Last weekend, the winter sickness caught hold of my family, and I have been bouncing back with intention. Sleep has become a priority and ensuring my morning quiet time happens consistently has become a renewed mission.

For the fourth time, I am reading Draw the Circle by Mark Batterson. Today, day two…”God is great not just because nothing is too big for Him; God is also great because nothing is too small.” That is so encouraging to me especially right now as I push through my busy days.

Small things matter.

A few nights ago after I left my evening chiropractor appointment, I knew I needed some food with the hour drive home. With my food sensitivities, drive thru options are limited. I decided on Chick Fil-A. I had $5 in cash and that was all I intended to spend. I ordered a kids meal and when I approached the window to pay, I was informed with a big smile by the attendant that my meal was on the house that night.

I was so grateful. Small things matter. As I shared this story with my friend, she responded with, “God knows you are trying to be good stewards with what He has blessed you with.”

If we are faithful in the small things, He will entrust was with the bigger things. He cares about the big and small details in our lives. Nothing is too small for Him.

If you are faithful in the little things, you will be faithful in the large ones. Luke 16:10

Nothing is too small for God.

What do I hope you will take away from this?

1. God cares about even the smallest details of our lives.

2. Be faithful in the small things so you can be trusted with the large ones.

3. Don’t miss the everyday blessings that are right before us even in a $4.15 kids meal.

If you have a prayer need, I would be honored to pray for you.

Blessings for a good day!