Happy New Year!

Wow, I can’t believe we are at the start of a new year. Where has the time flown? How did 2021 treat you? And how has it helped you to grow? As I look back, I see where God has nudged me throughout the year, preparing me for something new and I am excited to see what He has in store for me in 2022. So I thought I would share some highlights from 2021. I would love to hear from you if you would like to share insights on what God doing in your life.

2021 Highlights

~I moved my text devotionals that I have been doing for over fourteen years to my blog. Although, I must confess I need to work on that. I’ll go ahead and prepare you by saying, if the devotionals sound like I’m talking to family, I am, because I consider anyone who visits my blog, family. November and December had me fairly busy with painting, creating Christmas cards and such.

~Speaking of painting, I am painting more, focusing on smaller sized paintings and cards. I joined two Patreon channels to get more hands-on teaching. I’m learning a lot through the people I follow, how to shadow, mix colors, and paint things that I never thought I could paint. Animals are the theme right now. We moved from dogs to cats. Now that ought to be fun. 🙂

One of our water color challenges.

~During my vacation back in November (I really took one!), I developed a new devotional method that has me spending more time in His Word. I had to do some readjusting when I started back to work, but it has really helped me to grow closer to the Lord and I am excited to see what He has for me in the coming months.

As we ended our year and started the new year, we took a family trip and went to see my husband’s mom. She was diagnosed with dementia the year before last, still in the early stages so for the most part with medication she knew her family. Recently, however, she took a turn and the doctors have given her three and a half months to live. She doesn’t always remember names and will sometimes ask who someone is. My husband has been traveling more often to see her so when we decided to take the family trip to visit her, he prepared us for what to expect. When we first saw her, it was almost as though she were expecting us. She had moments of clarity where she seemed to recognize my husband, and then confusion would set in. But our trip turned out to be a good visit. She enjoyed seeing all of us. But she really enjoyed seeing Lucy, as did the other residents at the assisted living facility. Lucy, though she isn’t trained, did really well with all of the residents that wanted to touch her. She simply stood patiently next to their chair and let them pet her.

Lucy

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

Jeremiah 29:11

Peace, a future, and a hope. These are the things the Lord has for us and His love is wrapped around it for us. So let’s journey together into 2022 looking for what the Lord has for us. Peace, a future, and a hope. When I think about these things, my heart swells with joy, as I take in the love He has for me and you. God bless!

Today’s Devotional: Philippians 2:3

When I read this verse during my devotional reading, I thought about a totem pole. Crazy right? Like the totem pole with its base or support, we become the support for others when we put them ahead of ourselves. We support them by being there for them. At times that can feel like a daunting task because of things we may be facing ourselves. However, when we humble ourselves and put others first, we may find that our situation isn’t as bad as we originally thought. We experience a peace that makes things seem brighter, cheerful, and even a little less stressful. We are focused on others. But sometimes in the back of our mind, a whispered: What about me? pops up rearing its ugly selfish head. So: what about you? Would you rather it be your way or God’s way? Christ Jesus took on the form of a bondservant, coming in the likeness of men. Jesus humbled Himself and came to earth for us. We should follow His example, humble ourselves and put others first. Have a blessed week! Praying for you.

Devotional ~ He Is There

Do you remember a time when you felt overwhelmed by a situation and you needed someone to talk to but no one was available? Maybe you were facing a life changing situation or just had a bad day, and you wished someone was there in that moment to sit with you and let you talk it out. Oftentimes, our thoughts turn toward people we know that we think, if I could just talk to so and so, they could help me figure this out. There is One we can turn to anytime of day or night. One who is always around and available at any given time. He is never too busy and He doesn’t put you on hold. Jehovah-Shammah, The Lord is There. There is no place on earth that we can go to that the Lord isn’t there. He says in Jeremiah 23:24 do I not fill heaven and earth? Even if we wanted to hide we can’t. So why not turn to the One who is always there? One who will listen to us and give us wise counsel on what we should do. I say wise counsel because even though He tells us what we should do, it is our choice to obey.

As someone who comes from a dysfunctional family, years ago, when I left home I thought I was headed to a better life. Turned out not to be the case. I remember a particular situation where I was feeling overwhelmed and wished I could talk to somebody. Anybody except for the person I was with. There was no one. I wasn’t really on speaking terms with family, at least not to where I could just pick up the phone and call them. I knew who the Lord was, that He had died for my sins, but I wasn’t walking with Him and so I didn’t think to call out to Him. To take my problem to Him and seek His wisdom. Instead, I made a wrong choice, that would take years before finding my way back to Him. I thought I had been alone but I was wrong. I was never been alone. There is no secret place that He isn’t already there.

and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen

Matthew 28:20b

No matter what we face in life, we are never alone. The Lord is always with us ready to help us, all we have to do is turn to Him. God bless!

Devotional ~ Value of Friendships

Have you ever stopped to think about your relationships with others and what they mean to you? The time you spend cultivating those relationships? In order to develop deeply rooted friendships you have to sow into the relationship. These are the kind of friendships where you can trust them with your deepest fears or struggles; where they listen and don’t judge you, and you know they won’t say anything to anyone.

It takes time to develop and nurture our relationships with others. When we make the time to sow into those friendships we reap a bountiful lifetime of friends who will always be there when you need them no matter what. God bless.

A man who has friends must himself be friendly, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Proverbs 18:24

Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.

John 15:13

Devotional ~ Not Your Battle

Ever have one of those days when you think to yourself, I can’t take it anymore. Maybe your day started out good or even great but then something happened and before you know it what started out as a good day snowballed into one issue after another and you just want to throw up your hands and say “I quit”. I’m sure we all have at some point in our lives.

When Jehoshaphat heard the news that a great multitude was coming against him, he was afraid. He could have thrown up his hands and quit. Instead his first order of business was to gather everyone together in the Lord’s house and pray. He sought the Lord for direction. He reminded Him of things that He had done for them in the past. He and the assembly of people looked to the Lord and waited on Him to tell them what to do. And He did. He told them not to be afraid and to stand still and see His salvation. He reminded them the battle wasn’t theirs but His.

When it seems as though roadblock after roadblock pops up, praise God for what He is doing in your life. Those roadblocks mean that the enemy sees God doing a good work in you and he is trying to get your focus off of God and His plans for your life. Instead of stressing about your situation take it to the Father and seek Him. Remind Him of what He has done for you in the past and ask Him for direction. He doesn’t need you to remind Him of what He has done for you, instead speaking it forth reminds you of what He has done for you. Of what He can do. Acknowledge that you are powerless without Him and wait on Him to tell you what He wants from you. And when He reminds you that the battle is His and not yours, and to be still do it. Be still and watch the Lord’s mighty hand at work in your life. God bless!

Father, When the battles we face seem overwhelming, help us to remember to turn them over to You. To remember that they are not ours but Yours and that the battle is already won. May we seek You first, remember the things You have done in our lives, acknowledge our weakness, and wait on You for direction. We thank You and praise You in Jesus name amen. 
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