Finding Grace #97

I love giving God a shout out for what He has done. We don’t do that nearly enough!

You may have seen the acronym GRACE as God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense. Grace is also God’s unmerited favor, or God doing for us what we cannot.

I find grace overflowing with God’s love, joy, peace, blessings, mercy, power, provision, protection, and wisdom. Thank You, Jesus!

Where did I find God’s love and favor—His abundant grace—this week?

This was a good week, starting off with my ten year wedding anniversary. This was my fifth one without Dave. I’m thankful for the time we had together, but the fact that it snuck up on me shows how much healing has occurred. Lydia and I enjoyed our day.

At church, we celebrated a week of prayer, which I feel set the tone for the rest of my week! I didn’t know how I was going to squeeze it all in, but by God’s grace, I did. I met deadlines, had fun clients at work, and had enough energy for all our evening activities.

My cousin and I started an online cooking class together. Actually, she lives in Ohio, but we are comparing notes as we go. I made a delicious pineapple-mango salsa and bought myself a new cutting board! It is a six-week course, so I am sure we will make lots of good recipes! For me, it’s about being creative, having fun, and trying new things.

Today, Lydia and I enjoyed spending time with friends. It is too chilly to go sledding or be outside for long… So we went to their house to visit instead! It’s always good to hang out with friends! We enjoyed seeing what God is doing in their lives.

**********

These are only a few examples, but God’s grace never runs out!

There’s grace in every situation—we just need to look for it. God promises if we seek Him, we will find Him (see Jeremiah 29:13)!

Finding Grace #96

I love giving God a shout out for what He has done. We don’t do that nearly enough!

You may have seen the acronym GRACE as God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense. Grace is also God’s unmerited favor, or God doing for us what we cannot.

I find grace overflowing with God’s love, joy, peace, blessings, mercy, power, provision, protection, and wisdom. Thank You, Jesus!

Where did I find God’s love and favor—His abundant grace—this week?

This was a really chilly week, but we still saw an abundance of God’s grace! We jumped back into our normal routine and also added some fun activities. Lydia started a cheerleading program with friends at Upward Sports. They will cheer during youth basketball programs. I hope it will be a good way for Lydia to make more friends, have fun, be active, and learn use to her voice in a new way.

We resumed JBQ on Wednesday and Lydia has learned so much already! It is amazing to see these young kids hide God’s word in their hearts. I believe it’s one of the most important things they can do, so it’s good they are starting young. It makes me glad when Lydia says how much she loves it.

Of course, I went back to work and also tackled my ‘usual’ projects, such as deadlines and housework. I also started a new at-home yoga program which I always enjoy. I’ve been doing ‘Yoga with Adriene‘ on-and-off for awhile and can really notice a difference in how my joint, muscles, back, neck, and shoulders feel. I also notice when I skip it. It’s a good reminder to take care of myself…and remember to breathe!

In the little bit of ‘downtime’ I had this week, I watched a nature show on Netflix called ‘Frozen Planet.’ I love these types of shows! I enjoyed watching polar bears, penguins, caribou, wolves, and other animals prepare for winter. I also watched snowflakes and ice form in slow motion and was in awe of just how amazing our Creator God is! It is a short series, so I will have to watch more of it later!

This week, I started scribing the Gospel of John with some friends around the country. We simply copy down each word in John, going at our own pace. This is a great way to spend time with Jesus, the Living Word, and learn directly from Him. Then, we connect online and discuss our thoughts on each section. It’s been really rewarding both personally and corporately. My friends come from a variety of Christian denominations and backgrounds, so it is really cool to see the larger Body of Christ (that is, the Church) in action. One benefit of doing this is that we can retain the written Word longer than just reading it. Plus, we can share insights and encourage each other along the way. Praise God!

**********

These are only a few examples, but God’s grace never runs out!

There’s grace in every situation—we just need to look for it. God promises if we seek Him, we will find Him (see Jeremiah 29:13)!

Finding Grace #95

I love giving God a shout out for what He has done. We don’t do that nearly enough!

You may have seen the acronym GRACE as God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense. Grace is also God’s unmerited favor, or God doing for us what we cannot.

I find grace overflowing with God’s love, joy, peace, blessings, mercy, power, provision, protection, and wisdom. Thank You, Jesus!

Where did I find God’s love and favor—His abundant grace—this week?

This was an exciting week! We took a snowy road trip to see family in Illinois!  We celebrated Christmas with my parents and sat around the warm wood stove…one of my favorite places. It was so restful. I’m grateful for time with loved ones.

Lydia and I road-tripped it back to Fargo on Wednesday to beat more snow-fall and sub-zero temps. I’m thankful for the Lord’s provision and protection during our trip! The weather is always a factor to consider, and He is so good!

Since Lydia and I arrived back, we have been hanging out at home having fun and preparing for the new year. We have a lot of fun events and activities coming up. So far, we’ve played games, watched movies, and made yummy food. I trimmed Lydia’s hair and have done some cleaning and organizing. I’m excited to see what the Lord has in store in the coming weeks.

Happy New Year!

**********

These are only a few examples, but God’s grace never runs out!

There’s grace in every situation—we just need to look for it. God promises if we seek Him, we will find Him (see Jeremiah 29:13)!

Finding Grace #94

I love giving God a shout out for what He has done. We don’t do that nearly enough!

You may have seen the acronym GRACE as God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense. Grace is also God’s unmerited favor, or God doing for us what we cannot.

I find grace overflowing with God’s love, joy, peace, blessings, mercy, power, provision, protection, and wisdom. Thank You, Jesus!

Where did I find God’s love and favor—His abundant grace—this week?

This was a busy but good week! I worked extra hours this week, in case I want to take some time off next week. Lydia will be out of school, so it is good to have options. I’m thankful to have a flexible schedule and understanding supervisor!

On Sunday, we celebrated Dave’s 39th birthday, his fifth in heaven. We went to church, Blaze Pizza, and the new Ferdinand movie. We think of him often, but I know he would be proud of us! We received several calls and texts throughout the day. I’m so thankful for everyone’s continued prayers, support, and encouragement! I’m also grateful for how far the Lord has brought us and look forward to how He will continue using our story.

On Wednesday evening, we attended a Christmas Eve service at church (early!) to give us more flexibility with our holiday schedule. This year, Lydia has been learning Christmas carols at school and on the radio. It was fun to hear her singing Joy to the World and other songs. I also enjoyed seeing her take it all in and process the lyrics.

At the Christmas Eve event, we also lit candles at the end of the service. It was a leap of faith to give Lydia her own candle. We caught the eye of more than one mom…! Thankfully, nothing (and no one) caught on fire. We did, however, have a good conversation about how Jesus is the Light of the World and how we can share His light with everyone we meet. Thank You, Jesus!

During the Christmas Eve event, a video was shown of kids acting out the first Christmas. Sometimes it is good to see the Bible from a different angle. In one scene, the little shepherds raced to find Jesus. One of the boys fell in the mud with a thud. In that moment, I could envision the real Bible characters in their struggles…and what challenges they might have faced. The shepherds were likely outcasts and the wise men were foreigners (on a lengthy trip in unfamiliar territory). Life wasn’t easy for any of them. I know we can all relate. Yet, they pursued Jesus anyway. What joy each of them must’ve felt when they finally found Him!

We’ve had some snow this week, which is perfect for Christmas. One day, the sun reflected upon the white in the most perfect way. It was so beautiful that Lydia and I felt like we were driving through a winter wonderland! Merry Christmas!

**********

These are only a few examples, but God’s grace never runs out!

There’s grace in every situation—we just need to look for it. God promises if we seek Him, we will find Him (see Jeremiah 29:13)!

Finding Grace #93

I love giving God a shout out for what He has done. We don’t do that nearly enough!

You may have seen the acronym GRACE as God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense. Grace is also God’s unmerited favor, or God doing for us what we cannot.

I find grace overflowing with God’s love, joy, peace, blessings, mercy, power, provision, protection, and wisdom. Thank You, Jesus!

Where did I find God’s love and favor—His abundant grace—this week?

This was an exciting week! We had a layer of ice before it snowed this week, so that made me rethink my daily routine. I don’t like to go out if I don’t have to. Still, a friend flew into town and invited us to a little gathering. Lydia and I decided to brave the weather that night and go. I’m so glad we did! It was great to catch up and eat dinner with a handful of dear friends and meet some new friends too.

In addition to visiting with friends, we have another round of company at our house for the weekend. So far, we’ve had lots of fun and giggles. We’ve made cookies, played games, and drove to see some Christmas lights at night. We have lots of other ideas!

This afternoon, we attended a musical production at our church. It was a modern rendition of “A Christmas Carol.” It was fabulous! The music was an original score and the cast of adults and children seemed professional. I was amazed to see many familiar faces…we have some talented people at our church! It was a free show and was a great blessing to our community. I’m thankful to see so many people using their God-given gifts!

**********

These are only a few examples, but God’s grace never runs out!

There’s grace in every situation—we just need to look for it. God promises if we seek Him, we will find Him (see Jeremiah 29:13)!

Finding Grace #88

I love giving God a shout out for what He has done. We don’t do that nearly enough!

You may have seen the acronym GRACE as God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense. Grace is also God’s unmerited favor, or God doing for us what we cannot.

I find grace overflowing with God’s love, joy, peace, blessings, mercy, power, provision, protection, and wisdom. Thank You, Jesus!

Where did I find God’s love and favor—His abundant grace—this week?

This was a good week! We received a little snow this week, but most of it is gone now. I bought a new snow shovel and snow boots, both of which are a great blessing. Thankfully, the snow was mostly in the evenings. We didn’t have to drive much in the slick weather.

On Thursday, I went to our new Aldi store. It is over in Minnesota, but not too far of a drive. I was trying to hurry, so didn’t spend too much time there. I bought a few items for much cheaper than normal. I’m not sure if the gas money was worth the savings, though. Nonetheless, it was fun to visit a familiar store that reminds me of my family in Illinois!

Lydia had Friday off of school for Veterans Day. We enjoyed a fun day at home and took some time to discuss the meaning of the holiday. Today, we put together puzzles of the United States. We also watched a video about veterans who had suffered major wounds in battle yet were not letting the loss of limbs keep them from living a full life. This prompted a lot of good discussions regarding perseverance, bravery, and gratitude. Thank you, veterans!

**********

These are only a few examples, but God’s grace never runs out!

There’s grace in every situation—we just need to look for it. God promises if we seek Him, we will find Him (see Jeremiah 29:13)!

Birds, Boots, and Blessings

Last weekend, Lydia and I played in the snow with our next-door neighbors. Lydia joined the kids who were building a snowman, while I talked with their mom. I had my back to the wind, but my legs and feet were still cold.

At one point, someone pointed out a bald eagle, flying low and parallel to our property line. It has been awhile since I last saw an eagle, and I’ve never seen one so close to my house. So, it was really exciting!

The next day, Lydia and I were inside and we heard a cute little purple house finch on our deck. He sang his heart out, as we spied through the window. I had just assumed most of the birds had gone south for winter, so it was a nice little surprise!

Then, yesterday, I bought a new snow shovel. My neighbor across the street, Melissa, helped me clear my driveway that morning and recommended it. A great friend, she also recently inspired me to get a heated mattress cover… It’s awesome! So, I happily took her word on the snow shovel too! 🙂

As I drove home from the store, I was in awe. Besides the shovel, I also bought myself a new pair of snow boots. (Ok, Melissa had nothing to do with that!) I have been in search of snow boots since we moved to Fargo in 2010—7+ years ago! Besides snow, we get many days of below zero temperatures and negative wind chills.

Yes, I have hiking boots and dressy boots. But for our super cold winters, I hadn’t found something that would work for me day-to-day. I’ve tried other snow boots, but none have fit just right. They are either too big in the ankle or too tight in the toe—or both. Most boots I’ve seen have lousy traction or make my feet look huge…or are crazy expensive.

Gray, mid-calf, lace-up boots with a rubber bottom, these new boots are rather simple. But God knew what I wanted, and they are exactly what I had been looking for. And, they will go with everything I wear. Bonus!

On my way home with my new shovel and boots, I also had a good laugh. I watched a Canada goose walk out on a snow-covered pond and just sit down. I have no idea why it was sitting there, but it was funny. Technically, we are just south of Canada, but I think most of the geese continue on to warmer weather!

Maybe it was taking a break or waiting for friends?

As I considered the goose, I remembered the bald eagle and the purple house finch. All of them had surprised me in their own way. Each of them provided me with joy and encouragement at just the right moment. Thank You, Jesus!

As I thought about all three birds—each so unique—I praised God for taking care of them. He meets their needs, keeps them warm, and feeds them. Not one bird falls to the ground without Him knowing about it. And, we are worth much more to Him than a simple sparrow or finch… or odd goose…or even a powerful eagle!

Yes, God promises to take care of us too. Each year, I’ve managed to get by when I am outside thanks, in part, to Smart Wool socks. But this season, I will be extra warm with my new boots. What a welcome surprise!

In His own way and timing, God provided the snow boots I had envisioned all those years ago. When writing this, I was also reminded of other things I have prayed for over the years. The boots are both a blessing and a reminder that God faithfully meets my needs.

I can depend on the Lord—and, He also uses me to bless others. This year, Lydia and I donated coats, hats, gloves, and snow pants so local kids can stay warm, too. It’s cool to see the Lord ‘return the favor’ as He also provides for me and answers my prayers in only ways He can. Praise God!

**********

God, You are such a good Provider. Thank You for filling my life with good things! Thank You for being faithful and for blessing me. Help me be a blessing to others. Use me to meet the needs of those around me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

Questions: How has the Lord blessed you recently? How can you bless someone else?

Tasks: Make a list of all you are thankful for; share it with someone. Make a list of prayer requests; update your list as you see how God faithfully answers.

 

Finding Grace #87

I love giving God a shout out for what He has done. We don’t do that nearly enough!

You may have seen the acronym GRACE as God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense. Grace is also God’s unmerited favor, or God doing for us what we cannot.

I find grace overflowing in God’s love, joy, peace, blessings, mercy, power, provision, protection, and wisdom. Thank You, Jesus!

Where did I find God’s love and favor—His abundant grace—this week?

This week was much different than expected! I thought it was going to be really tiring with all we had to do, yet by God’s grace, I felt energized at the end of the week. On Monday, a meeting was rescheduled so I found myself with an hour of ‘free time.’ I put that time to good use with other tasks and lightened my load later in the week.

Of course, this week included Halloween, which always brings me mixed emotions. God knows I’ve dealt with enough fear in my life…even without scary monster costumes! But, I try to make the best of it, anyway. Lydia and I had fun passing out candy. Then, on Wednesday, we enjoyed a party at church with games and candy, too!

Work went well, and I had fun meeting with patients. I felt the Lord’s grace and blessing on me as I worked! I finished my tasks in a timely manner and even brainstormed ideas for some future projects.

I had a fairly productive week overall, crossing many simple tasks off my to-do list. I returned emails, edited some files, mailed some packages, wrote some thank you notes, paid bills, and ran several quick errands. I even added eye hooks to my little free library boxes, to help secure the doors from our crazy winter winds. I’m thankful for how the Lord directed my path and brought me peace of mind as I finished so many things.

We received more snow in the last few days. Most of it has already melted, but I think we are in full-on winter mode. Lydia had fun playing outside with the neighbors today, though their snowman has already fallen over. While Lydia played, some friends returned my snowblower after they fixed it. So that was perfect timing!

With several unexpected changes this week, I found myself enjoying some extra peace and quiet. I used that time to connect with the Lord and express my gratitude to Him. Now today, Lydia and I are relaxing. So far this weekend, we’ve read some books, put together puzzles, caught up with housekeeping tasks, and made some yummy foods.

Tonight, we gain an hour thanks to daylight saving time. I usually stay up an extra hour, thinking I will get more done or watch a show. Maybe I should just go to sleep, haha! Regardless of what you choose, don’t forget to set your clocks BACK one hour.

God is good!

**********

These are only a few examples, but God’s grace never runs out!

There’s grace in every situation—we just need to look for it. God promises if we seek Him, we will find Him (see Jeremiah 29:13)!

Finding Grace #47

I love the concept of giving God a shout out for what He has done.

We don’t do that nearly enough!

You may have seen the acronym GRACE as “God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.” Grace is also God’s unmerited favor, or God doing for us what we cannot. I find grace overflowing in God’s love, joy, peace, blessings, mercy, power, provision, protection, and wisdom. Thank You, Jesus!

Where did I find God’s love and favor—His abundant grace—this week?

This was a full but good week! Thankfully, the ‘extra’ activities were fun. 🙂 I found myself trying to figure out certain decisions this week. I’m taking it easy today, because I am exhausted from all the processing of options. God reminded me that His timing is perfect… some of the decisions are just not ready to be made yet. And, I want to praise God instead of worry about the unknowns. He always takes such good care of us!

Our extra activities this week included getting together with several friends. I’m thankful for friends who listen and pray with me. I’m thankful we can encourage each other despite life’s uncertainties. I’m thankful for wise counsel and laughter!

We’ve had warmer temperatures this week, in the mid-thirties. We still have a fair amount of snow, but most of the ice has melted off my driveway now. Lydia enjoyed helping me clear it all away with her shovel! And, it is nice to see the grass where small sections of snow have melted! Praise God for the changing of seasons!

*******

These are only a few examples, but God’s grace never runs out!

There’s grace in every situation—we just need to look for it. God promises if we seek Him, we will find Him (see Jeremiah 29:13)!

Finding Grace #45

I love the concept of giving God a shout out for what He has done.

We don’t do that nearly enough!

You may have seen the acronym GRACE as “God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.” Grace is also God’s unmerited favor, or God doing for us what we cannot. I find grace overflowing in God’s love, joy, peace, blessings, mercy, power, provision, protection, and wisdom. Thank You, Jesus!

Where did I find God’s love and favor—His abundant grace—this week?

I hope you’ve been staying warm this week! I always appreciate those days where we can stay home when it’s cold, snowy, and blowy. But each day this week, Lydia and I needed to be somewhere (work, school, errands, etc). I’m thankful for my reliable car with all-wheel drive…and for all the years I spent commuting to work during Illinois winters! Praise God for His safety and protection!

I can already tell this is going to be an interesting year. I’m excited for all the possibilities, but know I will need to keep a prayerful attitude. Already this week, I have had to make some small, but impactful decisions. Like always, I’m praying for wisdom and clarity, along with courage to do whatever I need to do (depending on the decision). I’m thankful for God’s input and His provision.  I also appreciate my family and friends who sometimes act as “sounding boards” and help me filter my thoughts! Thanks!

On Thursday evening, I babysat for a family across the street while the parents went to a show. We had a blast! The boys and Lydia were all well-behaved, despite the late night. It was fun to observe their interactions, while playing with stickers, the Light Brite, etc. They even let me play Go Fish and watch their dance party! I was glad to help, and the next evening we were invited for a visit (and dinner!) at their house. I’m thankful for great neighbors!

Today, on our way home from the store, it was about 11 degrees above zero. Heat wave! The sun felt so warm, I nearly had to take off my heavy winter coat while driving. It was wonderful! This next week should be warmer still (in the twenties and lower thirties). I hope to get more time to play in the snow. We have a to-scale version of Mt. Everest just beyond the backyard that keeps calling my name!

*******

These are only a few examples, but God’s grace never runs out!

There’s grace in every situation—we just need to look for it. God promises if we seek Him, we will find Him (see Jeremiah 29:13)!