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Just Show Up!

 I could be called an avid walker. Walking to me is more than exercise, it is life! It is joining my heart with nature, moving my body, seeing the glory of God's creation all around me, clearing my mind and reducing stress. Mornings are my favorite time of the day to walk, besides the freshness and newness of the day, it is the window of free time before work and daily tasks.  My walking route and time are consistent each day and so is my neighbor "D". She rides her bicycle each morning faithfully. We pass each other on the road most mornings, regardless of weather, we see one another and know that faithfulness and love of our activity is what drives us.  'D' and I occasionally take time to stop and chat, but usually it's a smile and 'hello'. As she passes by she always says  'you have a blessed day, baby'.  And I smile every time!  Last year, our family took a long vacation. I told "D" we would be gone so she wouldn't
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2020 From the Other Side

  As much as I love New Year's Day and the exhilaration of a fresh new year, the month of January can also be pretty special. As the weeks go by this month, goals pop up in the mind and if we are serious about making a change, the goal goes to paper. But, if the goal or change is to stick, it must be practiced and developed.  As many shared the feeling of being happy to see 2020 leave, I've taken a pause to look at it from the other side. Through the year, a lesson was learned that there is really not much under our own control. The things I loved and faithfully practiced were simply wiped away. Church meetings, my job, relationships, hospitality, even the health I make a priority couldn't stand up to the challenges of the year.   Looking at several months of 2020, grief, sickness, loss, fear, chaos and politics were constantly in front of us. It was through faith that while our world seemed to be falling apart, we trusted that God was still in control. The circumstances ma

Five Minute Friday - Redeeming the Time

Hello Friday and the completion of the first full week of 2021! This post is a writing exercise for Five Minute Friday - an opportunity to receive a writing word prompt and write for 5 minutes your thoughts. Today's word is TIME.  TIME is such an appropriate word as we begin a New Year. There is something about a New Year or a fresh start that opens up an opportunity for change. One of the greatest challenges many people face is with TIME - we struggle with how much we time we have in a day, how to best use that time and how to make the most of it. We are allotted the same amount - 24 hours, but our circumstances and season of life determine the challenges of using time wisely.  One of my favorite New Year's Bible verses is Ephesians 5:15-16 - " See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise,  redeeming the time, because the days are evil." This verse always seems to bring clarity to the importance of time and how to be purposeful in using it to the

Bringing Balance to the New Year

 Early on New Year's Day, I was laying awake, wishing I could sleep in a little later, but pondered in my mind this was the first morning of 2021. The sound of a ping from the other room alerted me that a text had come in to my cell phone. If someone was reaching out this early in the morning, it needed some attention. Grabbing my coffee and my phone, the text was from a dear friend, sharing concern about a loved one who is struggling with illness in the hospital. The text conversation went from her sharing concern, to my giving an update. The loved one is in very serious condition and my friend shared the depth of her prayer of pleading with God for the miracle that is needed. But she also shared the alternative, if God didn't answer the prayer the way we would like, He was still in control. "Does that make sense?" she asked.  Wrapped in a cozy blanket, coffee and Bible in hand, our text conversation continued. Some hard thoughts were shared, thoughts of those criti

Christmas 2020 - Unexpected Grace

Our Christmas traditions have been changed and perfected through the years.  They have seen us through being a family with young children, spending the entire Christmas day visiting our families in a variety of places. That was when we were young and had tons of energy!  As we began to put our own roots down, we spent more time at home but balanced huge meals between sweet hubby's side of the family as well as time with my side of the family. We would overload on food and family, still trying to cram it all into one day. Finally, a Christmas compromise was made which fit us well for many years. Christmas Eve was spent with sweet hubby's family - a large, loud and fun gathering and Christmas Night, I cooked dinner for my side of the family, which is much smaller, but filled with cozy fellowship. This Christmas, due to sickness on both sides of our families, the Christmas gatherings were cancelled. No large annual fellowship with all the in-laws, no warm, intimate dinner with min

Renew, Restore, Refresh our Hearts in 2021

This week - the days that fall right after Christmas and before New Year's Day have always been a special and unique time for me. It is almost like a pause in time mixed in with a dose of anticipation. There is just something special about a new year. It is a perfect time to wipe the slate clean, to get up and try again with the momentum of newness spurring us on. A New Year, a time to ponder things we would like to change, things we would like to do better and breath in the air of opportunity that is around us.   We’re in the practice of resolutions. These prayers for the New Year will move us toward spiritual renewal too. God clearly designed us for internal renewal. The Lord does a spiritual renovation in each person He indwells. Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” As new creations, our hearts, minds, and desires begin to mimic Christ’s. Yet even our new hearts need a dai

Good Tidings, To All People, At All Times

Can you believe it's Christmas Eve? This is a night usually filled with family traditions and time spent with loved ones. It is a night that stirs up childhood memories and spurs us to eagerly make new traditions in our families. For the majority of us, this Christmas Eve will look much different than in the past. Many families have been affected by the pandemic of 2020. There may be grief at a loss in our family, or a sickness that keeps some away from our celebrations. Or simply caution, that keeps our gatherings from being what they once were. Whatever the reason, this Christmas looks and feels much different.  My first thoughts when realizing our family Christmas would be different this year were disappointment and sorrow. If there is anything stable through the year, it is Christmas! With a loved one sick and in the hospital and others staying home to protect themselves, we must adapt to not being together, which is heartbreaking. It just doesn't feel like Christmas when w