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Free to Be in 2014

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Every year at this time I do one of two things: weep at the loss of what was, or breathe a huge sigh of relief knowing that I get to start with a fresh slate.

As the New Year approached, my head began to spin with what I should be doing as far as setting goals for the coming year.  Should I make resolutions?  Pick a One Word or scripture focus?  Start a new diet? Join a Facebook accountability group?  All of these are good and often necessary things that will help to keep one focused throughout the year.  In past years, I would be ridden with guilt and a sense of failure if I didn’t make good on a commitment.  

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My Greatest Blessings

Of all of the blessings in my life, I count my children among the greatest. They bring me so much joy and remind me of His grace on hard days.

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Thank you Lord, for Alyssa, first born, full of compassion with a heart to see the wrong things made right.

Thank you Lord for Anthony, beautiful addition to our family, and a perfect compliment to our daughter.  You are full of life and full of musical talent.

Thank you Lord for Ryan, faithful and gifted first-born son, with an amazing passion to lead others into the throne room of heaven.

Thank you Lord for Kaylie, beautiful teen girl with a warm smile and contagious laughter, she is a dreamer and a creative soul.

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Thankful For Hard Places

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To bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of His splendor.  (Isaiah 61:3 NIV)

It’s taken me a while to admit that I am thankful for the ashes in my life.  I haven’t always seen beauty there, but the Lord is teaching me to see, with eyes wide open, the beauty that can grow out of hard places.

  • Thank You, Lord, that in a season of financial uncertainty, You reveal yourself to me as Jehovah-Jireh, my Provider.
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What Makes You Successful?

Young woman reading bible by river in summer

Are you successful?  What do you feel makes you successful? How do you define it?

The dictionary defines success in this way:

• the attainment of popularity or profit: the success of his play.
• a person or thing that achieves desired aims or attains prosperity: I must make a success of my business.
• archaic the outcome of an undertaking, specified as achieving or failing to achieve its aims: the good or ill success of their maritime enterprises.

Often while praying with friends, these women of wisdom that the Lord has placed in my life, will ask Him to help me to not put unrealistic expectations on myself.  

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Stop, Look and Listen

When I was a little girl, I was not allowed to play in the court where we lived without the watchful eye of an adult or older sibling.  Even though it appeared safe, my parents were afraid a car would come barreling around the corner, putting me in harm’s way.  And they did not want me to attempt to venture over to the other side by myself, risking my safety.

As I grew older, I received the much anticipated lesson on how to cross the street to avoid injury.  This lesson was called, “Stop, look and listen”.  When I would come to the part of the court where it met the street, they first taught me to stop. 

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God’s Comforting Embrace

It was a warm sunny day and my two younger children were playing outside.  I was just getting ready to sit down with a glass of Iced tea and a good book when my 10 year old daughter came in screaming.  I immediately ran to her side to see what had happened.  She told me there was a big splinter in her finger. I tried to look, but she wouldn’t let me.  I wanted to hold her, but she didn’t want me near her.  She turned and ran into the other room.  I wanted to see if I could pull the splinter out, but she yelled at me to go away. 

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Dark But Lovely

I love reading the Song of Solomon in the Bible.  This book has two interpretations.  One interpretation is that of a natural love between King Solomon and his bride, the Shulamite maiden.  It emphasizes biblical principles that honor the beauty of love within marriage.  The other interpretation is symbolic of the spiritual truths in our relationship with Jesus behind the natural love story.  I remember how embarrassed I used to feel when reading this book because I often felt as if I were imposing on the love between this man and woman.

Over the last year, the Lord has began to unlock my heart and give me greater revelation of His love for me. 

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New Every Morning

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My thoughts have been turned inward lately.  Not in a prideful way.  As the Lord brings to light the hurting places in my heart, those things that I have kept behind closed doors, away from his grace and mercy, I get overwhelmed.  I am becoming more aware of my brokenness and of my need of Him and His restoring grace.  I lack.  I want.  I desire.  He alone can fill the cracks, those voids deep inside my heart.

As the Lord brings deep and personal revelation of my constant need of Him, I can tend to focus too much on what I can’t see and I forget to focus on His free gifts of grace and mercy, which allow me to move on into places of freedom.

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