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Overwhelmed? Hold On!

Anytime we receive news that is unexpected or larger than life, be it good news or bad, we can quickly feel overwhelmed! An unexpected pregnancy, a letter from the IRS, a bad report card or even an IRA that has multiplied like the parable of the fish and loaves. Wow, God! What do we do now? How can I process this information? I’m feeling more than a little overwhelmed.
Step one: Breathe, jump, dance, cry or run!
Find a safe place to let the emotions out. From a sigh, to a tear, to a wail. Whatever it takes to unlock your release valve so you can let some pressure off - in a healthy way, of course!
Step two: Remember that You’re not alone! You’re not alone in your miracles – even when beyond comprehension.You’re not alone in your misery –  because God promises to be with you in the valleys.You’re not alone in your surprise – and soon life won’t seem so out of control.
Step three: Go to God’s Word!
“For this great God is our God forever and ever. He will be our guide until we die. - He is the…

Faith Enough to Walk Through Open Doors

Apparently, I giggle when I'm nervous, when I'm scared and when I'm happy. I've been doing a lot of giggling lately, and it's all because God keeps opening doors that I wasn't totally expecting. Now in each of those circumstances, I was praying for the door to open, and I was hoping the door would open. But, when the door did open wide for one of my prayers, my nervous giggle came bubbling to the surface. I have to wonder if God is grinning a little extra too as He watches me walk in faith – or at least try to.
Here's a little glimpse into what I've been talking to God about lately and how He has responded.
Prayer #1 - Lord, I'd love to have a meaningful connection with someone this week. Guide me to who I can encourage or befriend. Show me who You want me to connect with. (Oh, and, I know you know that in my heart I'd love to sit down and catch up with ___, but I want your will, Lord, not my selfish desires.)
Amazingly, within 15-20 minutes, a gal…

There Is A Time For Everything...

Nesting. It is a strange phenomenon. Often the result of an impending birth. Now, I can assure you that I’m not pregnant, but I’ve definitely been nesting recently. Is it the new year, or am I just finally caught up on sleep? Perhaps my need to sort, declutter and clean is just the reality of life post-Christmas? An inner need to get back to normal. Whatever the cause, not only does my home feel a bit more organized than it has for the past few weeks, but this urge to nest has also resulted in having the brain power and energy to tackle another project - one that both my husband and I had been putting off for way too long.

Like many projects, thinking about doing them often takes a lot more energy than actually getting them done. Which makes me wonder if you and your husband have beaten us in completing one particular task in life and marriage that we all tend to avoid.
What is it?
Well, it’s one thing that many pastors encourage everyone in their church family to take care of. In fact,…

Celebrating Life: 20 Things in 2020!

Friends of ours were married on October 10, 2010. What's so special about that particular day? Well, they decided that the best way to remember their anniversary was to plan their wedding on a special numerical date on the calendar - their date being 10.10.10. And guess what? Their plan has worked!

Just like this couple, we are entering into a new year with a special numerical opportunity for 2020. Wouldn't it be fun to take this unique year and spread around some extra blessings? Now, we could come up with a plan to do 20 special things for our husbands in 2020. Or, perhaps we might dream up ways to bless our church family. But, what if we mixed it all up together and chose 20 things to do in 2020? A simple way to encourage others - and ourselves in the process! A lot of good could come out of this simple strategy for life.
So, in keeping with the 2020 theme, there are a variety of different ways to create unique lists. You could choose one idea and do it 20 times throughout th…

In The Quiet Moments of Celebration

Anticipation is a wonderful thing, and reflection is often a satisfaction to the soul. We work hard putting together special programs, meals and parties to celebrate the birth of our Savior and to share the love we have for our family and friends. Yet, it can be exhausting – even when we’ve tried to simplify. It is easy to let the anticipation, preparation and festivities of our celebrations absorb all of our time and energy, and before we know it we can easily miss out on those precious moments of worship and reflection.
So, today, if you are taking the time to read this, I’m assuming you are taking the time to grab a moment of solitude and a little time for reflection. Hopeful to receive a boost to your spirit or a word of encouragement for your heart. Me too! And, here’s where my thoughts turned tonight as I write to you.
We are all familiar with the Biblical account of Jesus’ birth. The angel’s visits to Mary and Joseph. The miraculous moments between Mary and Elizabeth. The angels’…

Our World Still Needs A Savior

News feeds splash headlines every day about the chaos in our world and the polarization that increases in our country, but I have found a new joy in spite of it all. While listening to a few Christmas carols this year, I have seen the depth of despair that we have in common with all the generations who have come before us. Our world is in no more misery than the eras before us.While that may not seem like a very happy thought to ponder during the Christmas season, it has increased my peace and sense of wonder! 
Why? Because I don't need to get caught up in the hype. My sense of security doesn't need to crumble. God has given us an amazing gift in the birth, life, death and resurrection of His one and only Son. Because of this life-changing gift, we can face the uncertainties of life and the challenges that are all too common to mankind. Listen to the words of these carols...
Free Thine own from Satan’s tyranny From depths of hell Thy people save O come, Messiah, come again, and ri…

Still Christmas Shopping?

Admittedly, I do shop all year long. Oh, don’t be impressed by that, it is mainly because I’m tempted by some ‘impulse’ bargains. It’s those things that are 75%-90% off in January and February. Or, sometimes it is simply the ‘leftovers’ from buying too many birthday items for one person and then realizing I can’t be gifting that much on one holiday! Either way, my Christmas stash begins to grow!

Last week, I got a lot accomplished in the world of Christmas lists and actual purchases. Throughout this week, I should be receiving multiple deliveries from vendors all across the USA. Hopefully! But, until those deliveries arrive, I have one overwhelming project looming over my head.
What is it?
Unearthing my Christmas stash! While it looks like a lot cluttered in one particular corner of my basement, I always wonder, “What did I buy?” “Who did I buy it for?” “Will they really like it – at this point in time?” So, that is my challenging goal for this week. (Oh, and don’t even ask me if my Chri…