January 13, 2019

The Way Out Is Through


As much as we would like to bypass a difficult situation in our lives and be delivered from it altogether, most of the time, we have to go through to come out on the other side.

Eventually, there will be a light at the end of the tunnel and we will make it through.

This picture was taken when Randy and I drove from Dallas to Phoenix to see his family for Christmas a few years ago. Our daughters would be flying out to join us, but the two of us, Randy and I, drove twelve hours on the first day and six hours of driving the second day which was Christmas Eve. Once we were in Arizona we turned off Interstate-10 and took a road less traveled and much more scenic.

In one of the small towns along the way we stopped at a diner for lunch and I remember how festive it felt on Christmas Eve as everyone called out greetings of Merry Christmas! Glittering tinsel, twinkling lights, and bright red and green ball ornaments adorned a small tree perched on the counter top and an oversized coffee mug filled with candy canes sat at its base.

Then, back on the road for the rest of our journey and soon I was drifting off, almost dozing when my eyes opened wide at the scene in front of me, this tunnel carved through the mountain suddenly before us. I grabbed my phone and took the picture above before we entered the tunnel. In just a short time—ahead of us was the bright light of daylight again.


What a visual reminder that the way out is through. And that you will get through. You won’t always be in this difficult place.

Is there a mountain looming in your life right now? A storm you wish would go away but won’t? A trial that is difficult and scary?


I hope you will find comfort and strength as you walk through a difficult season and I hope you know God is always with you each step of the way and He will never let you go. He will take you through and you will come out on the other side.

Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.

Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.


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If you are looking for a good devotional to share with the women in your church or other ministry group, or at work, school, with family and friends, I hope you will consider my new book, First Breath of Morning: Where God Waits For You Every Day – A 90 Day Devotional.

See my Book Info page for details.



January 6, 2019

The Winter Cotton Field


While gazing out my living room window this past week through rain streaked panes and staring at dismal bare trees in the back yard against a dreary sky, I felt about as lively as this cotton field looks.

The winter cotton field is bare though because there was a harvest. The field will come alive again with a new crop and lush plants will be a sea of green in the months to come. And then the cotton bolls will appear followed by the seasonal bountiful harvest.

Yes, I admit, sometimes in winter I feel like this cotton field looks on a cold January day. The cold and gray days can leave me with blank spaces where meaningful words and deep thoughts are hard to engage. I will also admit these negative occasions are when I need to change my perspective.

God made all the seasons, even winter - and He wants me to see and experience the beauty in every season. He wants me to embrace the present and live in the moment of today. 

Look again at the picture of the cotton field under a west Texas sunrise. Isn’t it beautiful? Its beauty caught my eye as we traveled in that area a few winters ago and being captivated by the scene, we slowed and pulled our vehicle over and stopped to take pictures.

When I gaze upon the winter cotton field, I see a demonstration of a significant part of the tapestry of seasons and more fully understand we must endure them all. We cannot have spring and summer without first braving winter.

The wisest way to endure is to make the best of our present season even if it isn’t our favorite. Look for the treasures of beauty like this field and sunrise and let it take your breath away.

Spring will come as it always does and all its wonders to behold. Meanwhile, let winter’s beauty waken us and make us feel alive now. 

You have set all the borders of the earth;
You have made summer and winter.  -Psalm 74:17

January 1, 2019

Beginnings


Behold, I will do a new thing,
Now it shall spring forth;
Shall you not know it?
I will even make a road in the wilderness
 

And rivers in the desert. ~ Isaiah 43:19

In recent weeks and days leading up to 2019 and while waiting for the clock to strike midnight last night with the sound of fireworks in the distance to usher in this new year, I have experienced a mysterious growing excitement springing up inside of me like a fountain reaching to the sky—all about the future. I can imagine a fresh clean slate ready to be filled with new adventures and a horizon full of immeasurable possibilities.

This is what a new year offers us. New Beginnings! Wonderful New Beginnings! I hope the onset of this new year affects you the same way and that you choose hope and great expectations for the weeks and months ahead as 2019 begins and God unfolds and reveals all He has for you.

Several months ago I listened to an excellent podcast by author Emily P. Freeman, which was part of a series that talked about giving ourselves permission to let our dreams change and take us a new direction. Emily shared that we don’t have to keep doing what we have been doing the exact way we have been doing it. She reminds us and encourages us to be open to change instead of resisting it, which is often our natural inclination.

I think this is part of the reason I have a growing excitement. I am giving myself permission to let this year be new and different in every possible way! I also will acknowledge God is actively stirring up new things that may include embracing changemaking the beginning of 2019 the perfect time to open my heart to where the next part of the journey will take me.

What about you? Are you ready for the beginning of a new year and all the adventure 2019 holds and all the new doors God may open to you?

Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.  ~ Hebrews 13:20-21

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If you are looking for a devotional for 2019, see my Book Info page for details on First Breath of Morning: Where God Waits For You Every Day – A 90 Day Devotional.