Whether you’re watching TV, surfing the internet, or hanging out with friends, chances are you’ve been bombarded with new year’s resolutions, diet commercials, ways to improve yourself in the upcoming year, and goals to set for yourself. I don’t know about you, but it’s all a little overwhelming to me!
That’s not to say that I haven’t made my own personal list of “things to do better in 2012.” We all have those areas in our life we want to improve, right? Whether it’s better communication with our spouse, being more patient with our kids, having a joyful attitude about life, losing a few pounds, reading more books, or increasing our quality time with the Lord.
But then… we have a fight with our husband, irritation comes through our speech with our kids and the check-out lady at the grocery store, we indulge in some ice cream just before bed, forget to read our designated five pages in the latest novel, and rush through a chapter in Psalms before drifting off to sleep at night. (Some, if not all of these may be true of me… I’ll leave you to guess.)
Simply because it’s already the 6th of January, should defeat and doubt overcome us if we haven’t kept our latest resolutions? Of course not! These “be a better person” techniques are doomed to fail when we rely on our own strength. The amazing thing is, all we need to do is look to Jesus! When our focus is on Him, HE will be the One to form us into a better person – a person more life Himself. Thankfully, His faithfulness is great and His mercies are new every morning! (Lam. 3:23)
We don’t need to wait until January first to begin looking to Him for strength – we don’t need to wait until Monday or even tomorrow. We can turn to Him right now! As soon as that argument irrupts with a spouse, the moment we feel frustration rise within us, the instant temptation stares at us from a Blue Bell display (ha, ha!), and certainly when we fail to keep Him our priority. The future is now. And He is here to meet us and lead us onward to something new.
Image Source: Here
Ymmm… can’t you just smell the fresh scent of Christmas? That perfect blend of pine, warm lights hitting the branches of a newly cut tree, a cinnamon candle burning, and hot chocolate on the stove? LOVE IT!
For the fourth year in a row, our family has gone to pick out our own tree, chop it down, then decorate it together in new Christmas pj’s. Here’s some pictures to begin the holiday season on A Godly Heritage:
On the Hay Ride to Go Pick Our Tree!
We’ll Take This One!
Mommy & Aubrey Watching
Abby helping Daddy.
Meeting the goats.
Watching the Donkeys.
Waiting Patiently While Daddy Ties the Tree Up
Making it Snug!
Time to Decorate
This is so fun!
Sister Christmas Love!
New Christmas Pj Pic
Maybe it’s the holidays. Maybe it’s knowing a new year is peering around the next corner. Maybe it’s watching my girls grow. Maybe it’s simply the goodness of the Lord. Or maybe it’s the Christmas letter I’m trying to finish for my Christmas cards.
For whatever reason, my heart has been overflowing the past few days with gratitude for things the Lord has done in my life the past year. May I share some of them with you?
I’m grateful for the gospel…
Because without it, I would be lost, lonely, and miserable.
I’m grateful I need the gospel today…
Because the gospel doesn’t end with salvation. The gospel is what changes me into Christ’s likeness and gives me purpose for each day.
I’m grateful for my husband…
Because without him, life would have little laughter and even less sanity.
I’m grateful for my little home…
Because if I lived somewhere else, I wouldn’t trust in God nearly as much, nor would I understand contentment and the simpleness life can hold.
I’m grateful that God’s ways are not my ways….
Because if life were in my hands, I would not have had another little blessing 15 months after my first. And I wouldn’t have sweet Aubrey to hold. And I would miss the giggles that come from sisters who are best friends.
I’m grateful for health struggles…
Because without them, my husband and I wouldn’t be drawn so close – especially on our knees before the Lord.
I’m grateful for God’s provision…
From family, from anonymous people, from a friend with an encouraging word.
I’m grateful for kisses, hugs, and smiles in the morning…
Because I love my girls.
I’m grateful for ministry…
Because serving others grows me so much!
I’m grateful for friends…
Because life would be boring without them.
I’m grateful for struggles…
Because without them, I would forget my need for the Lord.
I’m grateful for my parents…
Because every day I realize the decisions and sacrifices they made for me to grow into a woman of character. They swam upstream even among Christians.
I’m grateful for those who’ve gone before…
Because dozens of people planted, watered, fertilized, and tended to seeds in my husband’s and my lives. This was hard at times, but I’m grateful for their diligence.
I’m grateful for you…
Because you read this blog!
I know my list could continue for pages. But, I only had a little time this morning to jot down a few things. Take some time today to make a list of things you’re grateful for. You’ll be amazed at how it changes your perspective on life!
Photo Credit: HereRead More
Are you in a rush to get into the Christmas Spirit? Before we start decorating our trees, let’s not forget to take time to be thankful and celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday first. For the next week, I will be posting some ideas to help you remember to stop and take time to be grateful to God and others! This is a repost of a blog I wrote last November. I have started my Thanksgiving notes. Why don’t you take some time today or this weekend to do the same?
On a stormy June day in 2006 I sat with several hundred people at the unexpected funeral of my uncle, Bob Case. At one point during the moving service, my cousin’s husband rose to read several letters written by my cousins to their step father. Each letter shared memories and love to this incredible man. As I sat listening, I thought of my own memories of my uncle and how I never would be able to tell him “thank you” for spending time with me, for taking me fishing, for letting me drive his golf cart, and for many more happy times spent together.
At this moment I decided that I did not want to sit at another funeral for a family member or friend having refused an opportunity to tell that individual what they meant to me. And the Thanksgiving Thank You idea was born.
Each year I try to choose one or more people who have influenced my life and write them a handwritten note expressing my gratefulness. My goal is to share specific examples of how this person encouraged me in some way. Sometimes these letters are quite lengthy as I try to express gratefulness. I usually try to choose someone that I normally might overlook during a holiday or birthday. Meaning, it’s normal for me to communicate with my grandparents to share love and thankfulness, but I rarely pick up the phone to tell my youth pastor from eighth grade how grateful I am that he taught me the Word of God without wavering.
I challenge you to do the same! Pray and ask the Lord to share with you someone who has influenced you to be the person you are today. Write them a personal note, address it, and mail it before Thanksgiving. Sit down with your kids, and ask them who they would like to color a picture for or write a letter to as well. Perhaps choose someone as a family.
Here are some ideas:
- College Professor
- High School Teacher
- Youth Group worker/leader
- Childhood Sunday School Teacher
- Mentor you haven’t talked to in years
- Extended Relative
Remember, our lives are influenced constantly by those around us. Take the time to give back to someone who has molded you into the person you are today. You never know when it will be too late to say “thank you.”Read More
The past week I’ve been extra busy doing all kinds of things including (but not limited to)….
“Cooking” on the living room floor,
Reading more books,
Splashing in the tub,
Lining up rocks,
Finding a new baby cow,
Reading the same book again,
Eating cookies right before dinner in the secret spot in the corner (just once!)
Watching a movie in the middle of the night,
Pushing a laughing girl around the house in an empty laundry basket,
Playing in the clean sheets,
Putting as many bows on the head as possible,
Singing really loud,
Pulling stickers out of feet (because who wants to wear shoes outside?),
& more kisses,
and Reading just one more book.
What have you been doing? Get off the internet and play with your kids.
Or call them just to say “hi.”
Or call your parents.
Or run outside barefoot.
Or sing in the shower.
Just for fun!Read More