October

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“This was one of my favorite books when I was growing up,” my mom told me years ago when she gave me a copy of Anne of Green Gables. It quickly became a favorite of mine, too. I loved reading about the imaginative Anne Shirley and her life on the farm with Marilla and Matthew. It was one of those books I couldn’t put down and didn’t want to end. But of course it did have a wonderful ending with an inspiring quote (“God’s in His heaven, all’s right with the world”). I read and reread the book several times, finding out much later that there were actually sequels to the book! But I always liked the first book best. I still have my copy somewhere and when I saw this quote from the book, it made me want to read it again! :)

I can just imagine what Anne would enjoy about the month of October–the beautiful colors, the cool autumn air, the gently falling leaves. Hope you find many things to enjoy about your October, too!

God has made everything beautiful for its own time. ECCLESIASTES 3:11 (NLT)

Linked to Inspire Me Monday at Create with Joy.

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Living Life with a Passion

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God gives us different passions so everything He wants done in the world will get done.

RICK WARREN, pastor and author, from Daily Hope with Rick Warren

Rick Warren also writes, “God is a passionate God….As you grow closer to Him, He’ll give you a passion for something He cares about deeply so you can be a spokesperson for Him in the world. It may be a passion about a problem, a purpose, a principle, or a group of people. Whatever it is, you’ll feel compelled to speak up about it and do what you can to make a difference.”

What has God given you a passion for?

Linked to Inspire Me Monday.

He Cares

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And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, He will certainly care for you.

LUKE 12:28 (NLT)

It’s comforting to know that God will always provide for us and take care of us. It’s so easy to fall into worry and hopelessness when we’re going through tough times, but He’s always there, always caring for us!

I Will Give Thanks

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This chalkboard art is available on Etsy at Lily & Val.

“I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart….The Lord is gracious and merciful. He provides food for those who fear him; He remembers His covenant forever. He has shown His people the power of His works, in giving them the inheritance of the nations. The works of His hands are faithful and just….” PSALM 111:1, 4-7 (ESV)

Wishing you a happy and blessed Thanksgiving!

Beauty Seen

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Beauty seen is never lost, God’s colors all are fast.

JOHN GREENLEAF WHITTIER, American Writer, 1807-1892

The beautiful colors in God’s creation never cease to amaze me! I took this photo with my little 3GS iPhone…the pansies were much more stunning in real life, but this is a nice remembrance of what they looked like! Do you grow pansies in your yard?

Enjoy your weekend!

Come Alive

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Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.

Howard Thurman (1900-1981), American Theologian and Clergyman

How true that is! Life is too short not to live it fully alive, doing what God created us to do and fulfilling the special purpose and plan He has for each one of us!

I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. JOHN 10:10 KJV

Hope you are enjoying your weekend–to the fullest! :)

A New Day

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When I was visiting my mom recently, I came across a clipping she had of this quote. It challenged me to rethink how I spend my time, so I thought I’d share it with you. It’s a great reminder that each new day is a special gift God gives us. We can choose to use it in a good or productive way or waste it. We can choose to make time for important things or waste time on trivial things that don’t really matter. And the encouraging thing is, when we make mistakes or experience failures, all is not lost–because each day is a day of new beginnings!

This is the beginning of a new day.
God has given me this day to use as I will.
I can waste it or use it for good.
What I do today is important,
because I’m exchanging a day of my life for it.
When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever,
leaving in its place something I have traded for it.
I want it to be gain, not loss;
good, not evil; success, not failure;
in order that I shall not regret the price I paid for it.

Author Unknown

I certainly would like to eliminate some trivial things in my life, one of which is clutter! A goal of mine is to live a simpler, clutter-free life so I have time for more important things. What changes would you make in your life?

The Winter is Past

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See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come….

SONG OF SONGS 2:11-12 (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1994, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.

I’m always glad to see Spring arrive every year, with warmer weather and pretty flowers blooming! It’s a season of new life and new beginnings. All the beauty in nature at springtime reminds me of another verse, Psalm 33:5: The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord. (KJV) 

Hope you are enjoying a beautiful first day of Spring!

New Every Morning

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The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. 

LAMENTATIONS 3:22-23 NRSV

New Revised Standard Version Bible, © 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. 

Christmas Joy

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When I hear or see the word “joy” at Christmas, I’m reminded of the beautiful traditional German carol, HOW GREAT OUR JOY.

While by the sheep we watched at night, 
Glad tidings brought an angel bright.
 
(refrain) 
How great our joy! Great our joy! 
Joy, joy, joy! Joy, joy, joy!
Praise we the Lord in heaven on high! 
Praise we the Lord in heaven on high!
 
There shall be born, so He did say,
In Bethlehem a Child today.
(refrain)
 
There shall the Child lie in a stall,
This Child who shall redeem us all.
(refrain)
 
This gift of God we’ll cherish well,
That ever joy our hearts shall fill.
(refrain)

These simple words echo the prophecy from Micah 5:2: Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for Me One who will be Ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.*

This Christmas, as we celebrate the One who came, may your heart be filled with joy!

How Great Our Joy, translated to English by Theodore Baker, arranged by Hugo Jungst.
*Scripture from New International Version [NIV] Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica.

Seeing Backward

I received this devotional in an email and it encouraged me so much, I thought I’d share it with you. I think it’s something we can all identify with–we all have experienced those times of feeling like we’re in the “valley.” But God is always faithful to guide us through it and on to higher ground!

SEEING BACKWARD by Os Hillman, from Marketplace® Leaders.org

O LORD, when you favored me, you made my mountain stand firm, but when you hid your face, I was dismayed. PSALM 30:7

It is often difficult to recognize the hand of God when we are in the midst of adversity. We often feel God has hidden His face from us. When the Lord takes us through deep valleys, there will be fruit from the deep valley that we cannot see. You must press into Him with all you have during this time.

God uses the deep valley to frame our lives to create a change in our nature, not just a change in habits. The depth and width of our valley is often an indicator of the level of calling and influence we will have on others in the future. Our adversity is not just for us, but others who will be in our future path of influence. This is not very comforting when you are in the middle of the valley, but know this is a truth in the Kingdom.

It is often years later when we discover the wisdom of God and why He intentionally led us through the dark valley. Life is often lived forward, but understood backward. It is not until we are down the road and we stand on the mountain looking back at the valley that we can appreciate the terrain God has allowed us to scale and the spiritual deposits He has made in our life while we were there. “He reveals the deep things of darkness and brings deep shadows into the light” (Job 12:22). When you begin to realize this, you sit back and breathe a sigh of relief because you know that God was in control all along. It didn’t seem like it at the time, but He was.

Do you find yourself in the valley? Now is the time to fully trust Him to guide you to higher ground.

Sweet Friendships

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Flowers brighten up any day, and these were given to me by some thoughtful friends. Friends are such special gifts, aren’t they? I’ve lived in four different states now, but wherever I’ve lived, God has always blessed me with caring friends. I’m so thankful for these sweet friendships He has placed in my life!

A sweet friendship refreshes the soul.

PROVERBS 27:9 (MSG)

The Message (MSG) Copyright© 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson.

Something Special

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God not only loves you very much but also has put His hand on you for something special. 

1 THESSALONIANS 1:2  The Message (MSG)

The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson.

A Light Unto My Path

Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

PSALM 119:105

I’m reading a book called Just Enough Light for the Step I’m On by Stormie Omartian. She shares a prayer at the end of Chapter 5 that really spoke to me, so I thought I’d share it with you…

LORD, shine the light of Your Word on the path of my life today. Make it a lamp for my feet so that I do not stumble. Bring it alive in my spirit so that it illuminates my mind and soul. Let it be a guide for every decision I make, every step I take. Keep me from turning to the right or the left so that I will stay on the narrow path that leads to life. Help me daily to carve out time to be alone with You and to feed on Your Truth. “Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day.” (Psalm 119:97). Open my eyes to see new treasure every time I read or hear it. Speak to me and comfort my heart. Make your Word come alive in me and use it to nourish my soul and spirit like food does for my body. Align my heart with Yours and give me revelation and guidance so that I may know Your will for my life. Shine the lamp of Your truth where I am right now and show me the next step to take.

Isn’t it encouraging to know that God will always light our way when we seek His direction? He may not show us the whole picture, but He’ll give us all we need to take that next step!