Anxiety or Joy

Ps 94:18-19  “When I said, ‘My foot is slipping,’ your love, O Lord, supported me.  When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.” (NIV)

What supports and upholds you in your day? Sunday morning I had a choice to make from the very start. I woke up with a very poor attitude to start the day. I sat on the edge of my bed wanting nothing more than to complain about everything… including a restless night with my toddler. The day was going to start miserable if I did not do something instantly. So, I decided to pick up the devotional that was sitting by my bed, Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. It was about choosing thankfulness when we want to complain, ugh… Thanking God for everything and every circumstance so that our heart is transformed to be like Jesus instead of stepping through a land of complaining which leads to rebellion and regret.

Oh dear, you cannot read that and then choose to complain. So, I thanked God that my energy could only come from Him today. Thanked God that we are waiting. Thanked God for the projects and work He has provided to LeA’Tev. Thanked God for all of the amazing provision, blessings, and gifts He gives daily. And I thanked God that we are at a point in life where walking by faith seems more tangible then at other moments in life.

Then God provided tangible blessings and evidence of His supportive love from friends and family among three different states. What a joy when you realize God has prompted people to pray for you through their own circumstances, through brief meetings with them and through their dreams.

A good friend sent verses that challenged and encouraged my faith in God, including Psalm 94:18-19. Even when we think we are teetering and liable to fall, God is willing to uphold us with His love and replace our anxiety with joy. I am so thankful for the challenges of the day for without the challenges we sometimes miss seeing the blessings of God. Before we complain we have a choice of anxiety or love and joy.

Today, who can you show God’s love to? Who can you encourage and support? What a blessing it is to be a part of showing God’s supportive love and a joy to receive.

1 Thessalonians 5:18, “In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (NASB)

Fog, Work & a Tree

It is a marvelous thing to have work to do. All day long the fog has hovered outside my window as I have had the privilege of completing another full day of designing drafts for various projects and people. The fog actually brings a comfort to sitting and working all day. I do not feel as if I missed anything by not going outside. Nor, do I feel stuck indoors, I find myself thankful to be cozy inside. In fact, it may be a new record, my son has not even requested to go outside once today. It must be a cozy indoor day.

My workspace is filled with the smell of fresh pine thanks to a beautiful, very thick 8′-4″ Frasier fir standing in the living room. I do not think we have ever had a nicer Christmas tree. I think I work in the best office one could ask for.

So, as orders are filled for Christmas Countdown cards, Christmas cards are designed to bring hope to others, and marketing materials for small businesses are organized to bring information to clients, I am grateful to have such incredible blessings. Lots of work to be done, cozy foggy weather outside, and a beautiful tree (that will one day have decorations) to work beside.

May the goal of December be to remember all the blessings recounted last week at Thanksgiving and turn them into blessing for others. Enjoy the start to another wonderful season of giving!

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Thanksgiving… It is here!!!

I am so excited that Thanksgiving is on Thursday! I can hardly wait to see everyone and celebrate. I found coloring place-mats at Target and thankfully bought the exact number of people coming so far… unless there is someone else who joins in! Want a place to go where the cooking will be done for you! : ) Come on over!  (Don’t worry I’ll come up with additional place-mats for you to color!) Parade, people, food, games, and counting our blessings – I don’t think there can be a better agenda for a day!

Here are some of the things for which I am thankful this year:

  • My family who loves us, encourages, and prays for us
  • My husband who so lovingly deals with me and gently leads me to know Jesus more and who has endured and completed nearly 70 college credits in one calendar year – I am so proud of him
  • My son who is helping me understand how I need to obey God without excuse in the same way that we are trying to teach him to obey us without excuse : )
  • Endurance from God for the long days and hard times that are just a part of life
  • Encouragement from God and others that makes the long days worthwhile
  • The incredible support of some amazing friends who have walked through the crazy with us
  • Those who have encouraged LeA’Tev and allowed us to serve you this year
    • In particular, this past week I have been blessed by the response to the “Jesus is… Christmas” countdown. Your response and support of LeATev is among our many blessings and we have begun to pray daily for those that have received the cards. We are praying that they would truly help each person to focus on Jesus this Christmas and love Him more.

Thank you to those who read and follow this blog. Life is truly a beautiful design crafted by the Master Designer “who works all things together for the good of those who love Him and have been called according to His purpose.” (paraphrase of Romans 8:28)

Thank you for being a part of this sojourner’s journey; I am very thankful.

Thanks

17 days and counting…

Anticipation!! It is such a great gift. It is so much fun to think about good things that are coming and plan for the fun to be had! One of the things that I am so excited about is Thanksgiving!!! I was even more excited when I went in to Target last night and saw Thanksgiving decorations! One more reason to shop at Target. : )

Thanksgiving is so much fun and so relaxing! I really, REALLY like watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and watching football and looking through newspaper ads and cooking turkey. I actually think the whole of weekend of Thanksgiving is a holiday. Thanksgiving is four days of spending time together and remembering all that we have to be thankful for – I love it!

I am a bit behind in my Thanksgiving decorations, but I am hopeful to have everything up and ready to go by the end of the week – complete with a cornucopia. The week gets to conclude with a neighborhood fall block party… there is always a great reason to party and get to know people. How are you preparing for Thanksgiving?

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I hope that you are looking forward to Thanksgiving and counting your blessings… we have so much to be thankful for!

Fall is here!

Fall classroom units are planned, children are back at their desks, gardens are producing harvest, and football is beginning again. Signs that fall is here!

Each season brings new beginnings. I love starting the fall activities at our church and seeing kids start a new grade (which somehow makes them seem older so quickly!). The beauty of the harvest and the leaves. Sweatshirt-weather and high school football games. Brach’s candy corn and mellow pumpkins. And I cannot help but long to spend fall days at Edward’s Apple Orchard in Poplar Grove, IL.

The sadness of saying goodbye to summer still lingers… I want to soak in every ounce of heat I can before the chill and cold settle in for a stay. I want to print the fun pictures of family visiting, summer birthdays, and teacher-friends who once had more time during summer months. I’ll embrace the fall, but oh I love and long for the warmth of summer fun!

Are you ready for fall? Pumpkin cookies and apple cider, trick-or-treat, and football? Fall is a fun season on its own. A delightful season of anticipation. A season that culminates in the holiday of Thanksgiving. A beautiful celebration to help us carry an “attitude of gratitude” all year. I worked on thank-you notes over the past week… an excellent reminder of how many things and people I have to be thankful for. In the midst of today, perhaps one person comes to mind who needs to know that you are thankful for their presence in your life. Write just one thank-you this week.

Fall is here! Celebrate the beauty of the new things, enjoy the harvest that God has given from your garden or grocery store. Start making your list of things to be thankful for… there is always lots no matter what circumstances you find yourself in right now.

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