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!

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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!

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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)!

Winter Reflections

On a recent afternoon, Lydia and I saw ‘sun dogs’ in the sky after school. It was one of those bitter-cold days and they had been evident all day. But on our way home, this ‘ice halo’ was brilliant! It was a beautiful reflection of the winter sun.

I tried to take a picture, but it was too bright! Later, I noticed someone posted the exact picture of those sun doggies online…click here and look at the second picture down!

Yes, I’m really enjoying this winter season so far. Snowy and blowy, there’s nothing like a good blizzard to make you thankful for a warm, safe house with plenty to eat!

Last year, I only used the snow blower a few times all season. This year, I’ve already used my snow blower several times in the last couple weeks! On the other hand, my back and shoulders are loving this weather because I have not had to shovel as much.

Believe it or not, I actually enjoy snow removal. It gives me a sense of accomplishment!

Plus, I’m often reminded of how God used the crazy long winter we had when Dave was sick. Back then, I often shoveled snow twice a day because the snow blower we had at the time was too large for me to push safely and comfortably. It felt like that winter would never end. And, shoveling foot-high snow drifts brought out many ugly emotions I would have rather ignored!

God loves us just as we are, but He loves us too much to leave us like that. That year, the brutal weather was just one of the tools He used to shape my character. Looking back, I gained some pretty awesome skills and a much better perspective. For that, I am grateful.

Now, I have a joyful attitude as I seek God’s sweet and refreshing grace!

This year, more than ever, I’m thankful for the longer Fargo winters. Not only do I crave the slower pace that winter brings, but I’m also aware that my ‘free time’ with Lydia will be limited as she grows. She has been going through a cuddly, goofy phase lately, so I’ve decided to roll with it. Of course we have good and bad days, but right now Lydia and I can watch movies, play games, and read books together. We can play in the snow, drink hot chocolate, and snuggle. Thank You, Lord.

I’m also thankful for my flexible schedule, where a random ‘snow day’ doesn’t throw us for a loop. Someday soon, that may change. I will likely have to make adjustments down the road. But for now, I am grateful.

I’ve seen a few people counting down the days ’til Spring. I totally understand that Winter can be a doozy. Years ago, I traveled long distances for work. I commuted one hour, one way, each day to a job I loved. It was worth it at the time, but challenging and scary at times. These days, I am grateful for mostly in-town driving.

Once I bust through a few snow drifts, that is!

Perhaps you are one that dislikes Winter. I get it. It’s cold, snowy, and blowy. But, consider taking a different approach. Find the beauty and good in each season…even Winter…because there is a time, season, and purpose for everything.

I am using this current life season to pause and rebuild solid morning habits. My entire day goes much better if I get certain things done before Lydia wakes up (more on this, later).

We have a tendency to want to rush through life and move on to the next event, the next season, the next opportunity or challenge. But let’s pause and experience all God has for us NOW. Each season has it’s own perks and challenges! God knows the plans He has for us, and He will lead us there…in His timing, and if we let Him.

His love never fails!

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God, thank You for Winter. Each season displays Your magnificent glory! Thanks for Your protection and provision. Help us have the right perspective in every season. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

Questions: What is your favorite winter activity? Have you tried any new activities? Is there something God is teaching you in this current life season?

Tasks: Make a list of 5-10 special activities you can do this season. Go do them!

Finding Grace #41

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 has been a really cold, but fun week. I suppose the ‘polar vortex’ has impacted the below zero temperatures and wind chills, but in Fargo, winter is always fairly cold. 😉 Lydia and I were out in the weather three nights for a work meeting, a Pampered Chef party, and a dinner party with friends. I’m thankful for a safe, warm, reliable car!
  • On Thursday, Lydia had her Christmas program at school. All the kids did a good job, and the program was very cute. We dressed up and had cookies afterward. I’m thankful for the flexibility in my schedule so I can be a part of her schooling. It means a lot to Lydia too!
  • We’ve had the pleasure of hosting a dear friend for a few days. We met in Fargo, but she moved away a year or so ago. She came to visit family and friends before Christmas. We’ve had fun entertaining her toddler these last few days!
  • Today is Dave’s 38th birthday. We are thinking of him, of course, but know he’s having the best celebration in Heaven. This year, it’s more sweet than bitter. I have many pleasant thoughts filled with warm memories. Praise God for His healing touch!

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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)!

Where did YOU see or experience God’s grace this week?

Finding Grace #40

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?

  • We welcomed full-blown winter weather this week! We had a blizzard on Tuesday, which meant an unexpected snow day for us. A blizzard on the Great Plains does not necessarily mean tons of snow. It has more to do with the lack of visibility. Because of that, Lydia’s school was closed and I worked from home.  It felt like an ‘extra’ day, so that was fun! Later, I shoveled and used my snow blower to clear the snow drifts!
  • I had several good one-on-ones with people. During one meeting, I received meaningful feedback regarding a personal project. And, then a new friend came over to visit. She and I discovered we were quite alike, so that was so much fun!
  • My neighbor offered to help me put up our large Christmas tree. It has been in the closet for at least 5 years, mainly because it was physically and emotionally challenging to put it up on my own. This year, Christmas feels joyful as I see everything through Lydia’s eyes. So, I am so grateful my neighbor encouraged me and helped me set it up on Thursday! We also ate homemade cheesecake, sot that really ‘helped’!
  • This weekend, Lydia and I have been enjoying holiday traditions, such as watching Christmas movies and listening to seasonal music. Tonight, we attended a Christmas program at church. It was fun to see all the kids use their God-given gifts (singing, dancing, and playing instruments). Maybe Lydia will be up their next year or so!

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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)!

Where did YOU see or experience God’s grace this week?