VISION 2021

I was reminded today about seeking a vision for the coming months. I have my projects numbered and my non-fiction books lined up on the shelf.  The challenge for me was to re-exam God’s vision for me. He knows me perfectly.

Some of you are single parents and getting through one week at a time is claiming the mountain.  I remember those days and bless you for climbing it each week.

Some of you are struggling with financial pressures. It has been a hard year and still is.  Employment may be sporadic at best or you have to cramp yourself into your bedroom to work from home while the kids are fighting outside the door. Car repairs and rental obligations are still hounding.

Some of you are very lonely. COVID-19 has made this an especially difficult season and depression is a battle. We are struggling with the fear of this pandemic leading to a heavy heart.  Physical touch seems few and far between.

Some of you are struggling with God and how living this life has been placed in your lap.  Yes, life is unfair.  I know that first hand. Life is also fragile. One week goes into another and you stare out the window wondering where He is.

How can we find vision in 2021…God’s vision… in this crazy world? 

YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Let’s do this together!

First: Ask God.  He wants to share it with you.

Second: Begin to look around for opportunities and situations. Have you thought of doing something new or a passion and burden that is on your heart?  

Would you be willing to ask God to reveal and open some doors?  Don’t worry if something doesn’t work out, try something different. Life is also an exciting journey.  Sometimes we think it has to be something big or grand.  Not at all.  Doing what God and you have worked at together is the best. 

The other day I saw someone knitting mittens for an organization. Other’s offer meals to those in need and then drop it off at their doorstep. I see a lady and her husband grocery shopping for seniors every week. Some give their time to help with yard work.  Some have a passion for helping those who are struggling financially…wow…that was a gift for me when I was raising my girls.  What about a phone call to a person who is lonely or needs some encouragement?  What about starting a book you always wanted to write? How about looking into a class that may help you in a job or something to start your own business.  I know of someone taking an online sign language course and she loves it. The list is endless and God made you very exclusive with unique talents and gifts.  He will help you see your vision.

Third: Put a plan into action. Don’t feel pressure if it takes a few months or years to get there. If you don’t know how to start, perhaps chat with someone that can help you see outside the box.  It may mean stepping outside your comfort zone but it might just surprise you.

I wrote a book for single parents because I was one.  I encourage and mentor women because I want them to be all they can be and to be vision-filled as well.  Those were some things I was passionate about and God kept nudging me to do.  For me, what will vision 2021 look like?  Not sure, but I am going to move ahead.  How about you?

I am rooting for you!  Onward to 2021 Dear Ones!

Christmas and the Unassuming

Charlie Brown gives a wonderful rendering of the story of Christmas.  Let’s look a bit deeper to the people that played an important role in that true story.

In the Judean Hills, five miles from Jerusalem, sat an unassuming town called Bethlehem. It wasn’t a place for majestic concerts, political debates, or a vacation package for Club Med. Just an unassuming little town. God loves the unassuming.Mary was engaged to Joseph and traveled with him to Bethlehem. Luke 2:5

There, the Christ-child was born.  Not in a palace, or a house, but a stable where the best mattress was a bed of hay.

Mary and Joseph were also unassuming.  They were people without rank or popularity.  Joseph, was a hard-working carpenter and Mary looked forward to a life with Joseph.  Their obedience, despite what it looked like to other people, had met with angels and been given a phenomenal and miraculous task.  Their humble willingness is a great example.  God loves the unassuming. 

The angel greeted Mary and said, “You are truly blessed! The Lord is with you.” Luke 1:28

While Joseph was thinking about this, an angel from the Lord came to him in a dream. The angel said, “Joseph, the baby that Mary will have is from the Holy Spirit. Go ahead and marry her”. Matthew 1:28

The Shepherds were unassuming.  They were uneducated, stinky, gruff and outdoorsy men (we have sheep and they can be pretty stinky and I do a lot of bleach loads after working with them). These shepherds were hardworking but no one really paid much attention to them.  They were able to see a heavenly choir and meet the Christ Child before anyone did.  God loves the unassuming.

That night in the fields near Bethlehem some shepherds were guarding their sheep.  All at once an angel came down to them from the Lord, and the brightness of the Lord’s glory flashed around them. Luke 2:8-9

After the angels had left and gone back to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see what the Lord has told us about.” They hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and they saw the baby lying on a bed of hay. Luke 2:15-16

God sees what the world cannot. God can still use CEO’s and people in high places too but we mustn’t forget everyone is included in God’s plan.  No status required.

When we begin to feel under valued or that we haven’t done much as the world evaluates, God loves us and never gives up on us.  We are valued. 

The Christmas story proves it.  Unassuming doesn’t mean worthless, it means humble and that is all God wants.  The town of Bethlehem was the place and Mary and Joseph and the shepherds got in on the first act of Jesus’ life.  How awesome is that.

Today, whether we living in a small town or a huge city, whether we are a CEO, parent at home, or a factory worker, student, etc. etc., God is excited to use us if we choose to believe in the humble/ unassuming entrance of Jesus and is sacrifice for us.   

Then after her baby is born, name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21

God loves you and has chosen you as his own special people. So be gentle, kind, humble, meek, and patient. Colossians 3:12

I love this true story of Christmas.  It is for everyone and for all time.

Open Your Best Christmas Present:

  • Read the account in Matthew 1 and Luke 2.
  • Realize that unassuming aka humble is what God loves.
  • Understand that God’s gift to you is the greatest gift of all. Its priceless.
  • God loves you and believes, without a doubt, you are valued. That is why He sent Jesus.

Merry Christmas and see you in the New Year!

Fa la la blah blah blah

The table has been set and extending into the living room.  Favours are at each place setting, and the smell of turkey and hot apple cider fill the home.  Cars are starting to pull in and suddenly the walls are filled with laughter and catching up with family.  A pile of shoes at the door remind me…family is home.

What a sweet memory.

This year, the table won’t be extended and the chatter will be so much less. The group sing songs are postponed.  I know I will look back on this year with pause.  This is the year of the “Bubble”.

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But listen, we can still set the table beautifully, decorate the house, cook a turkey and celebrate the birth of Jesus.  Christmas is upon us and that won’t change.  What I am thankful for  is the bubble I have.  This year, this season, this bubble is our Reality.

We need to embrace it, respect it, and celebrate it for 2020.  Easy, no!  Sad, yes!  But family is also in the heart and we can celebrate in different ways.  This is for a time. 

Exciting new is that Jesus’ birthday hasn’t changed.  He came for one purpose and that will never change.  I am forever grateful for His birth and ultimate sacrifice for us.

So, we need to, as my grocery list topper says, “put your jiggle on”.  Maybe this is the year we will focus on Jesus more instead of all the commercial pressure and appreciate O Little Town of Bethlehem, and Away in a Manager like never before.

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But the angel said, “Don’t be afraid! I have good news for you, which will make everyone happy. This very day in King David’s hometown a Savior was born for you. He is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:10-11

Jesus really is the Reason for this Season.  That gives me cause for Fa la la la la.

Let’s remember to do the 4 “F’s”:

  • Find time to put your jiggle on
  • Find creative ways to connect with friends and family during this Christmas season
  • Focus on Jesus’ Birth and the significance of what He did for us
  • Fa la la la la la la

This Thankful Thing

We just celebrated our Canadian Thanksgiving reminding us of the many things we can be thankful for. For most of us, we are living in a free country, we have a roof over our heads, we have 2.5 children (never could quite understand that), and maybe even a pet fish. We were able to put some gas in the car, and food on the table.  Not so for many in our world.

How often are we thankful in an upside-down type of way.

Covid-19 has changed some of this in drastic ways.  It is hard to be thankful when our loved ones have had the virus and passed away. I am truly sorry.  We can’t see our family like we want, and we wonder what the next few months will bring. Small businesses are in big trouble, and just running to the grocery store means a mask (please wear one) and a line up.  Sometimes the shelves are pretty sparse.  Travel plans are on hold, and we need to make appointments with our financial institutions to tweet our money needs.  Even without the covid-19 pandemic, there are many who struggle financially, are working through a broken relationship, have heartbreak regarding their children, and job loss.  This thankfulness thing isn’t easy.

I think my attitude has been like a couple of things I found around the house lately.  I didn’t even realize how they got moved this way but I think it speaks loud and clear. Thankfulness can be in an upside-down way of thinking this season.

It is hard to understand when God’s word says:  

Whatever happens, keep thanking God because of Jesus Christ. This is what God wants you to do. 1 Thessalonians 5:18

I am far from perfect and I would actually rather skip this verse some days.  Just being honest here. 

This verse is from God’s perspective and can right this thankfulness thing because of Jesus’ all-time sacrifice of His death so we could have eternal life.  Pretty amazing!  With that promise, then when we have things in our life that are painful or tough to live through, we can be thankful for what Jesus Christ as done.  Eternal perspective can make us thankful.

Our world is in an upside-down state right now.  It is easy to have an upside-down thankfulness attitude.  For me, as a Christ-follower, I am trying to focus on what God has given me…a priceless eternal gift…and in turn I can work on my thankful attitude.  Will you join me?

May you have a thankful day.

OPEN YOUR TOOL BOX:

  1. Name 3 things you can be thankful for?
  2. Begin a thankful journal.
  3. Research how you can pass on your thankfulness to those around you in a safe way this season.

HAVE A THANKFUL DAY…YOU CAN DO THIS!

The Splash of Colours

Autumn is my favourite time of year. During these short weeks, I love admiring the colourful artwork God has splashed over creation.

The heavens keep telling the wonders of God, and the skies declare what he has done. Each day informs the following day; each night announces to the next. They don’t speak a word, and there is never the sound of a voice. Yet their message reaches all the earth, and it travels around the world. Psalm 19:1-4 (CEV)

 While a Single mom, I took many walks in the park which helped to relieve stress off my shoulders. Being a multi-tasker, I would grab a coffee, notebook, and head to my destination: PARK.  It was during those times of quiet reflection and writing out my thoughts and new goals made for some treasured moments.

Fall also meant packing up the outside furniture, cleaning out the flowerbeds, and dragging out the winter clothes in preparation for signs of snowflakes.  However, it also meant relishing in the beauty of the season.  God wants us to enjoy the beauty He has splashed.

When the girls were younger, I would get them in their PJ’s, hand them a cup of hot coco, and place them in the backseat of the car surrounded by cozy blankets.  Off we would go on an evening adventure.  I just HAD to show them the beautiful colours!  Over the hills the car would go, soon finding my precious girls sound asleep in the back!  As I carried them to their beds, I was happy for even the short time we had together viewing God’s beautiful artwork.

Think on this! God wants to paint your life in a beautiful pattern too. Everything about you He designed with a beautiful array of personality colours. You have a unique laugh, the way you process life’s issues, what things you have a passion for, and whether you are an introvert or extrovert.

It is the unique and different colourful leaves that make up an amazing scene.  The same is with us.  We are not cookie cutter human beings. My ex-husband left in the month of September. That September was the worst experience in my life.  I wasn’t sure I could make it.  Yet, as the next September rolled around, I realized I was making it with flying colours!  (Pun intended) For me, I had to re-learn how precious I was in God’s eyes as a unique person just like every leaf is designed.  I love September now.

We all need to believe that despite the rugged journey we may be experiencing, God wants us to not only enjoy the beautiful autumn scenery, but rejoice in the colourful personality He has created us to be.  Rejoice in YOU!

Winter is coming with millions of snowflakes, boots and big heavy sweaters. Why not take the time to enjoy God’s handiwork this season? It is on my To Do list!

OPEN YOUR TOOL BOX:

  • During this social distancing, make some time to take your kids for a walk around the neighborhood or in the car to see some pretty colours
  • Make some time alone for you to sit and enjoy this season with a crisp new notebook to write out some goals and thoughts that will bring positive healing
  • With Covid-19, we will never forget this Autumn, but why not do special memory that is safe and fun for your family. Make gingerbread men  cookies (yum), make a pile of leaves and jump in them, drink some apple cider and go buy some pumpkins…the list is endless.  You know how to Google Fall activities. You might find something that interests you all.
  • Enjoy God’s splashes of colour

YOU CAN DO THIS!