With the holiday season approaching – Who am I kidding? It’s here isn’t it? – I’m shaking my head in wonder at how quickly 2022 has passed. Anyway, I digress…
What does Thanksgiving mean to you? I’ve listed 3 things below. Do you agree? Disagree? Have something to add? Hit reply and share your thoughts.
- Words that spin into stories to move the heart and enrich the mind
- Natural Beauty that brings me into the presence of the Creator
- Disruptions that remind me to stop and take time for relationships
The tools of my trade and something I’ve always loved. Perhaps, as I grow older and more mature (!?), I’ve qualified this love a bit. I don’t love ALL words. Many words are painful. Some cause hurt and trigger downward spiraling behaviors and thoughts. These words I dislike and try to avoid/counteract, both for myself and others.
Other words are painful, causing self-reflection and change. These words I dislike also, but for another reason. They dig into the places where stubbornness and pride have rooted. They are meant for my good. I may try to avoid them, too, but in the end, I’m better off confronting them head on, letting them settle in (a painful process), then allowing them to snuff out the bitter seeds and sprouts I’ve ignored.
Humility has been an issue with me for years. I guess, in recognizing my problem, I’ve taken a step forward in dealing with it, but it rears its ugly head when I least expect it. I’m usually in a place where I think I’m right and don’t want to listen to whatever or whoever is telling me I’m not. I’m learning – albeit slowly – that when this happens, I need to back away and pray. God’s Spirit will poke me with the truth. Given time and distance, I can come back and take the offered wisdom with a true desire to let it work to make me better. A better person. A better writer. All of the above.
I crave nature! God’s creative beauty is everywhere – in sunsets, the night sky, geographical diversity, people, animals – everywhere. We must learn to open our eyes and see what awaits. I’m going to let photos explain this point. Hit reply and share photos that inspire you!
While at the time you may think your life is destroyed or difficult, what could be happening is really an intervention – often God-led – into what has become a detached existence. You’re going through the motions and drifting far from where you’re meant to be. Ease and comfort have lulled you into thinking you’re doing what you’re meant to do, when in reality, that is far from the truth.
What I mean by this is when life pushes pause and tosses a roadblock into your previously smooth path. One minute you’re going along in what you think is a peaceful, enjoyable downhill coast, then BAM something happens that causes a detour and usually it’s uphill and rocky.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.James 1:2-3 NIV
I’ve learned I need to stumble to realize I can’t stand on my own or in my own strength. It is only when I’m desperate that I turn to others and most of all, to God, for help as I should have been all along. It wasn’t that I didn’t have troubles before. It was just that they were passing beneath my radar – beneath my cushion of comfort. I didn’t notice how far I’d drifted, which is exactly what my enemy wants.
Prey is more easily devoured when isolated from the source of its strength – people who care, a God whose truth protects, prayer and confession, openness to blessings and power from the Spirit.
Remain in me, as I remain in you. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me.John 15:4 NIV
Once I’m in sufficient distress, I remember the tools I’m lacking and return to the One who provides for His children. Staying connected and abiding in Him are my renewed passion and desire. Lessons learned bring a thankfulness that lasts beyond the holidays and perseveres long after the difficulty has been dealt with and passed. I pray I can remember and not require such trials to remind me what I stand to lose when I loosen my grip on the only One I need to hold onto.
If you need prayer for trials, please hit reply and let me know. I’d be privileged to pray for you.
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Subscribing will also be a boost to my writing journey. My debut novel is set to be published in 2024, but everything about writing it has been a struggle — mostly because of my lack of humility (see above). Please pray for the rest of the journey to be a bit smoother as I break down and dispose of my pride. I appreciate your support in whatever way you wish to help. A huge thanks to all of you!