Posts Tagged With: Blessings

Recognizing God’s Blessings

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Last May my family and I went to Colorado for a vacation. We were really excited to do some hiking and enjoy the cooler weather. What we didn’t expect was to get 12 inches of snow on the first night. We woke up the first morning and it had started to snow and just kept on snowing. As we watched the weather report and realized that it was going to snow all day and all night, we realized our plans for hiking were slipping away. We were feeling pretty bummed about our plans not going as expected.

However, as we looked out the window at the snow falling, which is something we never see in Houston, we realized it was an unexpected blessing from the Lord. The beauty of watching the snow fall on the mountain scenery was impossible to miss. It was a great reminder of the beauty of God’s creation and a wonderful reminder that His blessings come in unexpected ways sometimes.

When it was snowing, we could have been really bummed and upset that all of the things we had planned to do were now ruined and we weren’t able to do them. Instead, we enjoyed the beauty of the falling snow and made new plans. We enjoyed a day of staying inside, drinking hot chocolate, playing board games and then going outside to build a snowman together. The next day we were driving and saw a nice hill for sledding but had no sleds. So we improvised. We stopped at a grocery store and picked up some metal pizza pans and used them as sleds.

Out trip didn’t turn out the way we had planned, but we were able to see the beauty of God’s creation in a different way than we expected and we realize He blessed us with different adventures. How often do we recognize His blessings when our plans are changed and things don’t work out the way we had planned?

It is easy to become negative, frustrated and angry when things don’t work as we have planned. But, what we need to remember is that God’s plan for our day, vacation or our life is always greater than our own, even when we can’t see it in the moment. His blessings don’t always come in the ways we expect.

It is easy for us to remain negative, frustrated and angry when things don’t go our way. However, God is always at work in our lives and sometimes we just need to adjust our perspective or our vision to see where He is working. Some of the biggest blessings in my life have come from situations that were less than perfect, often they come from the most difficult of times.

Last year I went to take care of my sister-in-law after a foot surgery and was able to spend a lot of fun time with my niece. Because we have always lived 800 miles away and for 4 years we lived more than 7500 miles away. While I was there my sister-in-laws mother who was battling cancer took a turn for the worse. Instead of being able to spend Christmas with my husband and daughters, I went with my sister-in-law to help take care of my niece while she cared for her mom. It was very tough to be away from my family for the holidays, but God is good, all the time.

My relationship with my sister-in-law and her family grew by leaps and bounds and my relationship with my precious niece is stronger and closer than ever. The Lord used this difficult situation to draw my extended family closer together. I never would have had as  much time with my niece without her grandmother becoming very ill and ultimately passing away. But, the blessing was being able to support her, her mom and her mom’s family during this difficult time.

Look at your own circumstances. Are you feeling negative, frustrated or angry? Perhaps you need to look at where God is working and recognize the hidden blessings in even the most difficult of situations. God is good, all the time; all the time, God is good!

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Christmas is Over, Now What?

I love Christmas! I love celebrating the birth of my Lord and Savior and I love everything that goes with it. It is a hectic time of the year, but full of family traditions and time with family and friends. After it is over, there is a little bit of a let down. As I look around my house this morning at all of the decorations I need to take down and put away, I am feeling a little of the after Christmas let down. The gifts have all been opened, Christmas baking finished, wonderful Christmas Eve service over and there seems to be a lull in the calendar.

It seems like the time between Christmas and New Year’s seems to fly by each year. I always remember Christmas and New Year’s Eve, but not much in between. This year I want to make good use of these few days. I am blessed to have my daughter home from college, my high school senior is off of school and my husband off of work so we will be able to spend lots family time together.

 It is a wonderful time to look back over the past year and spend some time recognizing all God has done for us. Some of those things have been wonderful blessings and others have been challenging times. 

Our lives are busy and we go from one event to the next, from one day to the next with barely any thought to what has happened. We get so focused on what is happening tomorrow that we have trouble appreciating what is happening in the moment, let alone taking stock in the blessings over the past year. 

Growing in our faith is one of the things I pray for each year for each member of my family. Spending some time looking back over the past year and seeing how God was with us in the good times and the bad ones is one way to reaffirm our faith in our Lord and to give Him praise for all He has done.

I want to challenge all of my readers to find some way to look back over the past year and see where God was active in your life. Right off the bat, a few things come to my mind. My daughters have had great first semesters of school, I was blessed to speak to women in India and Singapore, had my first book published and my husband and I are part of a new church plant. On the more challenging side, we lost a dear friend to ALS, we survived the college application process for my older daughter, my father had complications from eye surgery and  we left our church of 13 years. In all of those challenging times, I can look back and see where God was working and remember feeling His presence and His peace. What about you? How has God blessed you and comforted you in 2012?

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