Monday, January 31, 2011

Thank You, God

Thank You, God for this beautiful day!

Thank You, God for the hope of spring.... it will get me through the remaining winter.

Thank You, God for all of the blessings in my life - including those I do not recognize as such (yet!)

Thank You, God for opportunity, for life, and life eternal.

I am ever grateful!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

On Course?


How did I get here...? I often wonder. I have no clear answer. (Aside from God!)

I look back at the twists and turns, ups and downs, and I think... WOW. I would never have guessed that I would be where I am today. I can only imagine where I will be in the future.

I was thinking, as I walked into work about choices, and about lining up appropriately. If I am a little off in my direction, it may not seem like a big deal now - or tomorrow - but the further down the road of life I go down that same path, the farther off target I am.

It reminded me: Before I move, before I choose, before I decide.... I need to be sure I am headed on course. I need to be sure I am headed toward Him.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Slow and Steady

Slow and steady wins the race, is what I hear.

Well,.... that's what I'm trying to do... one little bit at a time. Climbing my way up the learning curve. Catching up on the "to do" lists.

Poco a Poco.... little by little.... day by day... step by step.

Perseverance and determination. May You stay as a light before me, guiding my next right step.

Friday, January 28, 2011

New Beginnings...

I had my first day - solo! - in my new job. I told my kids I was a little nervous as I was getting ready. Sure, it's something I've done for a while now, but in a completely different environment. I know there are things that will be available to me and the people I serve, that I don't even know about... yet! And I know that there are major differences in the environments.... So, I'm on the steep side of the learning curve.... which is OK... I can already see how it will broaden my knowledge base... which is good.

My son - who is a sweet encourager - said, "Mom, you'll do fine!" And I know he is right.

I asked God to guide my hands and steps and thoughts and insights as I begin this new adventure.

And, I have to confess....

It was a WONDERFUL day!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Postsecret Wisdom

I must admit - I do stop by Postsecret from time to time. Most of the time, I am reminded how blessed I am. Periodically, I find a helpful reminder and great wisdom.

One post-er had written their secret on the cover of Elizabeth Gilbert's "Eat, Pray, Love" book, saying she had gone to India and lost (what was left of ) her faith. In an email someone had replied:

"I came here [India] to be closer to God
and realized that
faith is not something that can be lost or found,
but it's a choice
and it takes work to maintain.

To which I add my whole-hearted "amen!" Faith *IS* a choice and it does take work to maintain. (and so is 'love', I might add, but that is another story for another night).

I "hold tight" to faith. I choose to have it... or not. Yes, on some days it is easier to find than others. Some days God seems closer than others. But, God doesn't move away from me. If He feels farther away, it is I who have moved.

May I always choose to have faith. May I work diligently to maintain it!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

"... This Sermon Brought to You By...."

I interpreted the sermon Sunday at church. It's been a long time since I've done the whole sermon - and many weeks since I've done any of it. But it is a skill that takes practice - partially to weed through the English words to find the concept being expressed, and partially to drown out - or at least ignore - the chatter going on inside my head - so practice, I did.

The baseline chatter is typically stuff like: "Oh! I know that sign, what is it, what is it....?", "What was that verse again?", "I'm sorry, is the pastor still speaking English?", "Yeah, THAT sign? So totally God, I've never learned it!", "Oh! THAT's what that means...."

or perhaps:

"OH! I see why I'm interpreting today, God.... You wanted me RIGHT HERE in front of EVERYONE to teach me this.... thanks so much for that!", "ouch, that hurt." "Yes, Sir, I understood that was for me...", "Yes.... You have my attention...."

But no, not this week. (well, OK, there was some of that.... I was mentally grasping for signs I know - like "man" (c'mon, really?) and "wife".) This week, as I signed "worthy", "important", "faith", "family", and threw a few "dots" out into the virtual map which surrounded my personal space, I thought.... (in a very Sesame Street sort of way):

"Today's sermon is brought to you by the hand shape - F"

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

An Opportunity to Rest

It has been a delightful day, with God's name written all over it....



I am taking the opportunity to rest.

Monday, January 24, 2011

".... where You go, I'll go...."

We sang this song at church today, and it's quickly becoming a favorite.

I had the opportunity to interpret it during band practice. I love that. I get to really think about the songs, play with the meanings, and let God really speak to me.

All afternoon, my brain has been playing it again and again:

"Where You go, I'll go.
Where You stay, I'll stay.
Where You move, I'll move,
I will follow You.

Who You love, I'll love,
How You serve, I'll serve
If this life I lose,
I will follow You.

It's such a fabulous prayer of Christ-likeness and obedience.

May it be so in my life...

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Beginnings are Hard

I found a movie called "A Dog Year". It really wasn't my favorite move every. Actually, it seems the last 3 movies I've chosen to see have been a little odd.

But, there was one line that resonated with me, and has stuck with me since then: "Beginnings are hard".

Yes, the are. Especially - for me - setting a new habit. It's hard. It seems unnatural and awkward.

I am trusting that with continued perseverance, and faith, they become easier. Perhaps one, they will be old hat, and second nature.

Til then... walk with me... or better yet, let me walk with YOU....


I spent some of this beautiful, sunny (but cold!) winter day clearing the ice from the end of my road. The ice that covered the street in front of my house had melted in the direct sun, but the end of the road is a shaded hill that ends with a stop sign before exiting the subdivision onto the secondary road.

Snow shovel over my shoulder, I walked to the end of the street. One car stopped to ask if I was ok and needed help. I explained my need to be at work before dawn. The woman, the passenger, asked incredulously, "So, you're going to shovel the ROAD?" "yes, Ma'am".

They shrugged and drove off, and I continued my walk to the stop sign.

See, the Yankee in me had come forth. Some of the ice had melted into a slushy mess, which was easily pushed to the sides of the road. Some of the ice that was more shaded, needed some encouragement in the form of the shovel breaking it off bit by bit. But, either way, I knew: If it comes off the road now, the road will have traction early tomorrow morning. If it stays, it will refreeze with a smooth - and slippery- top layer.

As I worked, I pondered: "Is "service" done for selfish reasons still service?" I mean, honestly, if I didn't have to be out early in the morning, I'd have spent the time at home, waiting for the warmer temperatures to clear the roads.

God also did some teaching with me. As I worked, people drove up and down the hill. Some of them waived, a few of them looked at me like I'd lost my mind. I'm sure one or two were thinking I was foolish and didn't know that it would likely be cleared by the sun the next day.

I wondered how many times I'd judged peoples actions without knowing the complete story.

Toward the end of my time there, I noticed that the cars had found the patch of cleared road, and lined their tires up in the grooves. I smiled. It had helped someone besides myself...

I'm sure I will be "a little" sore after completing the task, but I am also sure I will rest better knowing my chances of navigating the drive to work will be significantly improved.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Most Beautiful Snow....

There are no other words for what I witnessed this afternoon.

It. Was. Beautiful. The snow was falling in big flakes - FAST. It was a New England snowfall - though thankfully, no where NEAR the accumulation that they have been receiving.

My kids had been picked up by a neighborhood friend, and it was time for me to go get them. I decided I would walk rather than risk the hills with the car. It. Was. Beautiful.

The kids and I walked back to the house, up the hill - checking it out for sled-ability for the morning (I think it'll be a GO!), and as I pulled up to my house, I realized I had left the kitchen lights on.

I pulled my camera out of my pocket and took this shot. I think it is the closest I will ever come to living in a Thomas Kinkade painting.

It reminds me how beautiful my home is, how beautiful my life is, and how beautiful this snow is! Thank You God!

(and please send sun to clean up the roads.... I have to get to work in the next day or so!)

More Snow?

This certainly has been our year, hasn't it... oh wait - we did this last year too!

I have to admit.... I did LOVE our second (unschedule, mother-nature induced) winter break. The week off of school was exactly what I needed. A little down time, a little sleep time, a little sit and converse with God about what He would do (if only I would cooperate, or at least not ignore or rebel against...). It was a good week.

And... when it ended, I was ready to return my kids to school.

And now.... more snow in the forecast. :) I gotta say, I'd be OK with an 'off' day... though I really do miss my prayer group.

So, God, You decide.

Whatever it is, I'm with Ya.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Contagious Momentum

I've been feeling it the past few days.... this contagious momentum that comes from being around motivated (and motivating) people!

It sometimes surprises me how true it is that we are influenced moment by moment by the people we choose to spend time with. Attitudes are contagious. Momentum is contagious. Excitement is contagious.

I am grateful that I am surrounded - on many sides and at many levels - by wonderfully positive, energetic, faith -filled people! I cannot even begin to express in words what I gift that is to me!

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, God!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Big Plans for February!

I have to "speak" it to make it more real.

I was flipping through my Facebook wall, and noticed a picture of a cute little boy belonging to a woman I met a decade or so ago. I commented on the picture, and then, of course, got slews of comments from her other friends - none of which I know. (That, in itself is the fodder for another blog... Facebook...)

BUT, in one of my friend's replies, she commented that her family was having a "spend-free" month. "WOW", I thought..."How interesting would THAT be?"

Since that thought has recurred at least daily since then, I've accepted that challenge for February. (short month and all!!)

"Spend-Free". 28 days. No extraneous expenditures.

I'm very curious to see how my children and I will react....

Start praying for me now....

Monday, January 17, 2011

Delayed Obedience is DIsobedience

Suffice it to say that the phrase "Delayed obedience is disobedience" resonated with me at church.

I have been thinking about that phrase (and using it!) off and on all day....

There will be more processing, I am sure....

Until then...

Sunday, January 16, 2011

This was one of the most beautiful things. Butterflies, mounted in acrylic from The Butterfly People. We saw them at Fontanel Mansion, the previous home of Barbara Mandrell.

We took a tour today. We loved it. The house itself is beautiful, comfortable. But there were two things I loved the most: These butterflies, and the view off of the deck into the snow-covered wooded hills.

It was peaceful, and calm, and awe inspiring... the hills. The mansion, was beautifully tucked into the middle of it.

And still, as I walked back into my home, I found myself grateful that it is my home. Peaceful, and calm ... despite 4 boys and a girl actively involved within it.

Thank You, God for the gifts in my life.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Music City Fun

We spent the afternoon as tourists. A little drive through of some of the farther out sites that appeal to my sports-loving nephews: LP Field, the Bridgestone Arena. And then we did the touristy walk down the strip, in and out of the souvenir shops, ooh-ing and ahh-ing at the boots, hats and Elvises.

Snacks, live music finished off with ice cream and a western belt for the eldest, and it was a day complete. All the kids - including the one who was not one bit excited for the adventure - reported a "super-fun!" day.

Thank You God for a fun - and educational - day with my family!

Friday, January 14, 2011

How Quickly They Grow

My nephews have arrived with their mother, my sister.

It is amazing how quickly they grow. The eldest is now a teenager. I have a picture of him as a baby sitting in my bathroom. It doesn't seem that long ago.

My children are in their last single digit year. Before I know it, they too will be teenagers.

There is much to be said between now and then. There will be many times to listen, and many, many moments to savor.

May I use the opportunities you give me for their intended purpose - listen, talk, or simply enjoy each others' company.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Anticipated Arrival

We are very excited here. We are expecting company!

My sister and her three boys will be arriving this morning - assuming that planes are leaving the Northeast by then. Two of her boys have been here... individually. The eldest has never been to this house. His last trip to Nashville was when I was living in The Womb House.... and he was a toddler.

We are looking forward to some adventures.... and some quiet down time of enjoying the company of family.

Thank You God for family! Watch over them as they travel!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

"If You Want To...."

"If you want to..." was the reply.

Do I *want* to? No. Did I want to ask the question in the first place? No.

Is it the *right* thing to do. Yes? I think so. Maybe.

Considering the options laying before me, and considering the persistence with which the question came to mind, until it poured from my lips, despite my best efforts to contain it.....

Yes. I suppose I want to.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Winter Beauty

I do love the snow.... especially on days that I don't have to get out in it.

I grew up in New England, and enjoyed year after year of feet upon feet of snow. There wasn't a question of IF we would get to go sledding, but WHEN. We'd build forts and slides and tunnels through the snowbank that the plow had piled up on the sidewalks of our neighborhood.

When I was older and not "playing" in the snow, I remember my early morning runs to the high school. The air was, of course, brisk, and most mornings all I could hear was the "crunch", "crunch", "crunch" of my sneakers on the fresh snow. It would glitter in the early dawn, and I found myself deeply connecting with the silence and stillness.

We received a little more than an inch in my neck of the woods. Out of school for the day, we headed to the subdivision hillside. It's a road that we sled down - something I could never do as a child - plows, salt and sand diminished the slidability greatly! The kids had a blast, and I thoroughly enjoyed watching them and catching their grins and laughter on film.

And then, for a moment, after the sledding, and as the kids were playing. I sat quietly by the fire. As I glanced out my french doors, the snow had begun falling again. It was short-lived, but I caught a moment of the silence and stillness.

I love that about winter. Its calling us to silence and stillness. A time to pause, rest and regroup before Life bursts forth again in the spring!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Jar of Hearts

My daughter introduced me to an interesting song this evening. She and her friend were waiting with crossed fingers every time the song on the radio changed. They wouldn't tell me what they were hoping to hear.... but it never played.

So, at bedtime, she asked me if I would play the song for her on Youtube. I did.

WOW is all I can say. *wham*.

There it is, all laid out for me.

Thank You, God for the reminder - sent through my daughter. (not that I was considering, folks.... fear not!)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Looking Forward

Curiously enough, after yesterday's post on looking back, I spent a couple of hours today on Goal setting. It was a workshop by Master Tran, that made it to my radar - and I'm so glad it did!

I have always been a goal setter. Always. I know what works best for me in terms of motivation. I know how to do it. I have been professionally trained to write "Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Reasonable, Time - sensitive" (AKA 'SMART') goals. (We call it a "Nursing Care Plan", but that's another story!). I know HOW to do it. But I learned something VERY important. I learned to look for the "why".

Why is this goal important?

The "why" is what will get me through the mornings that I don't *really* want to get up, and get me to bed on time, when I'd rather follow up on some Facebook statuses.

It gave me a little different perspective for this upcoming year, as I am looking forward.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Looking Back

It is amazing to me how things come to pass.

Because of my "flood" yesterday, the focus of today was putting the bathroom back together. The big bookcase of towels and "stuff" was in the middle of the floor, and the counter was covered with miscellaneous things that got relocated in the process of drying the vents. It was all a mess, but, the bookcase was the biggest challenge to tackle. It needed to go back into it's place because the chaos was causing me a bit of anxiety as I walked into the room.

I scrubbed the floor and the baseboard and dusted the walls - not because they had been wet, but because they had been untouched since I moved that bookcase to it's "spot" nearly 5 years ago. The collection of bottle tops and little marbles that the cat had lost underneath it were swept away, and floor clean, I could move it back.

It needed dusting. I grabbed my cloth and went to work, starting at the top. Each piece in there has a story. As I picked up each on, the memories returned. There was the bear figurine that my friend Karen gave me for my birthday the year she died. And the porcelain gift box that was hers that was given to me after she died. The three brass candlesticks reminded me of my family, and the Trinity, and all I have learned over the years about ropes with three cords being stronger than those with only one or two. The picture of my eldest nephew - first born grandchild - from 13 years ago, some maracas from Peru or Nicaragua, I forget which. A basket from Africa. A shell ornament from a women I worked with in North Carolina, and my treasured Willow Tree Angels - Healing and Love.

Moving down a shelf, I found my cloth up a clay statue of a kneeling women I made my first time in New Mexico, and bits of turquoise from when I returned several years later. I found the turquoise necklace that was a string of turquoise beads that I had put a clasp on. That I placed around my neck. I don't know how long it's been since I've worn it, but when I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror, I said "I remember that girl!"

There was a cross that I had made from twigs of an old pine tree that I sat below and pondered life and my part in it. It stands up on a rock I gathered in my soul-searching trip to Chaco Canyon (NM), but I sat up a similar one beneath that pine tree. Another cross I stumbled upon was my first. I searched for it in the mercado the summer I spent in Mexico. I don't remember exactly WHERE I got it, but I do remember heading there with the intent of buying one.

The rings that say "Wisdom", "Courage" and "Strength" that were in my pocket the day I returned my wedding ring to the altar in front of which I was married, I picked up and wore on my hand for a while as I continued to walk through the journey.

As I think back through it all, it just completely amazes me.

The grace and guidance and love and protection of God I will never completely understand, but I am grateful to have experienced a bit of it.... and for the moments I have keen awareness of His presence in my life.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Following Directions... no matter how odd

Let me preface this by saying that NEVER in a million lifetimes would I ever have thought I would be writing this story. It is, unfortunately, or fortunately, true.

I had been hurried out of my bathroom. From time to time, the toilet runs...needs a little jiggle of the handle,... you know the situation. But, I'd hurried out and gotten distracted in the kitchen.

I ran back to my bedroom to get the charger for my cell phone, so that it would be ready when we had to leave about 30 minutes later. As I step into my bedroom, I hear the toilet running.... so I walk over to jiggle the handle... and step into a puddle.

"No! No! No! No! NO!!"

I was a good four to five feet from the toilet itself. Quick jiggle, and it stops. I grab every towel I own and begin throwing them on the floor - especially around the heat/air vents. The water has moved all the way across my bathroom, and found it's way under the big book shelf that holds the towels, some jewelry and miscellaneous nick-nacks. After damming up the water, I tilted it first in one direction and then another, to place a thick towel beneath it to dry the portion in contact with the ground.

Certainly not what I had planned for the afternoon, but aside from the now wet towels in the tub, disaster averted.... or so I thought.

Walking back into the kitchen, muttering under my breath, I pause at the thermostat.

"Turn it up, dry out your vents"

So I did.

Typically, I'd leave it at that - the two vents that got wet are the two most prolific when it comes to air flow.

"Now check them."

I paused. "Seriously?"

"Check. Them."

So,.... I did.

And then I cussed. Oh yeah. Big and bad.

No, couldn't possibly be! And thus began my opportunity to second guess myself. I placed a tissue over the narrower vent to SEE the airflow that I apparently couldn't feel. No go. I went to two other vents - which were, of course, flowing beautifully.

(I'm pretty sure I cussed again as my brain went into overdrive trying to problem-solve)

"Now what?" I asked aloud.

I stuck my arm down the larger of the two vents, and found standing water that came up over my wrist. *sigh*

I tried to get the fish-tank vacuum to siphon it out. No luck. I wracked my brain

"Stick something down, absorb it and wring it out".

"Seriously??" OK, God, You've given me some pretty odd directions in the past, but this one... I tried to think of all of the cool medical tools I'd have access to at the hospital... heck, I'd have given my eye teeth for one of the contraptions they us to pull fluid off of someones chest... but no. No thoracentesis tray. Absorb it with something, You say... like a sheet?

So, I found a piece of cloth I was willing to throw out if need be, and stuck it down the vent. I removed it soaking wet, and wrung it out into the large trash can. I stuck it in again... and again.... and again.... and again. Gallons of water....

FINALLY... airflow! And no water that I could feel - despite sticking my arm down the vent, all the way up to the armpit! YES!

Now, to the second vent. As I crammed my arm into the smaller vent, pulled out the wet fabric, wrung it out and started again, I began to try to think through the next steps? I've had a tetanus shot, so these scrapes on my arm should be OK with a little soap and water. Air is on, so that will help dry them out. But is there anything else I need to do? (Will it be OK?) Who would I call?

I paused there when I realized, I was considering my options... I had SEVERAL people I could call! What a gift!! But, who would be most beneficial? Do I know anyone who works on HVAC or ductwork? (besides the people who replaced some of it not long ago?)

I was overwhelmed with the realization of exactly how blessed I am. There I am mopping the water out of my air vents, and even though I am the only one sticking the cloth in and wringing it out, I am not alone in this. Thank You God!

But seriously now, who should I call?

"Ask your pastor, he'll know who to ask..."

So, I texted him. He did kn0w someone who works on HVAC. And sent me the number. And I called.... and he walked me through the rest of it.

(One day, I'm sure I will look back and laugh.... one day.....)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Starting the Day

I picked up a DVD the other day at Wal*mart. It is Jillian Michaels of "The Biggest Loser" fame. It caught my eye, and appeared to have just enough variety to keep my going - 3 minutes of strength training, followed by 2 minutes of cardio, finishing off with one minute of abs. (and repeat x 2!)

And, since I recently read an article about morning being the BEST time to exercise, I decided I would make that my morning routine... I set my clock for 5:15, with the intention of waking at 5:30. Twenty minutes of video, a shower and plenty of time to wake my kids for school.

Except for that dang snooze button!

I had rolled over and peeked at the clock at 3:30 (and very honestly, was pleasantly surprised to find I still had 2 hours to sleep!), but then 5:30 came, and it was a struggle.

I did manage to get up about ten minutes "late", and popped the DVD into my laptop, and stood at the end of my bed. There we began. It wasn't all happy and joy - but it did get done!

I also recently heard that it will improve my efforts if I make an "appointment" to schedule the time to work out. So, pull up the calendar and set up a "repeating event". Every morning. 5:30. I have a workout appointment with Jillian. And that's what it says "Jillian".

God willing, the next few days will be easier. Especially because there is a "bedtime" also scheduled.

Crawling out of bed was difficult, but it really set a wonderful pace for the rest of the day!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

"....And Mom and Dad Can Hardly Wait...."

....for school to start again!

It's time too... :)

I enjoy the break, and I enjoy my kids.... but I also enjoy the structure that them being in school provides for us.

So, winter break is officially over, and we begin the Spring Semester!


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Re-entry and Reunion

My kids are home! It's a blessing.... and a bit overwhelming at times.

On the ride home, I am sure I heard, "Mom," about eight zillion times. Fortunately, this time I was prepared. There were no "have to do" 's awaiting me. There was dinner. That was it.

I think the fact that they can text me at will now helps to eliminate some of the "re-entry syndrome"... and perhaps the fact that they are older.

Either way, I'm glad they're home.

Thank You, God for my kids.... they are the greatest blessing!

Monday, January 3, 2011

All Things New...

I was driving home from a visit with a friend when a song by Nichol Sponberg came on the radio. It is one of the ones that recently is "getting me". I love the feel of the chorus within me:

So we watch and we wait and we hope and we pray
You will come and make all things new
And we won't be afraid as we long for the day
You will come and make all things new

It is the second half of it that "gets me". In light of conversations that have been popping in up in my life, stories that have been shared about listening and following instructions and not ignoring the instinct to fly, and comments I have read about "suicide by lifestyle", it was especially powerful that night.

In my search for they correct lyrics, I stumbled upon Nichol's blog entry regarding this song. She mentions that the chorus is a reference to Revelations 21 - Jesus return and the establishment of a New Heaven and New Earth - Nichol's comments about this reference being more of a renewal to what is supposed to be rather than a total recreation reinforced the conviction that hit me on the way home.

As I sang the words, ".. and we won't be afraid, as we long for the day, You will come and make all things new..." there was a resounding unanswered question in the car with me:

"Then why do you resist My instruction and guidance to lead you in that direction NOW...?"


Revelation 21: 1-5

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away and the sea was no more ... I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Behold the dwelling of God is with men ... He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall mourning nor crying, nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away... And he who sat upon the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new."

Sunday, January 2, 2011

First night...

I've started the New Year out with a little treat....

It's something I have been wanting to do for a while.... finally, an opportunity.

Sitting by the fire, quietly soaking my feet in some Rosemary-Mint Fizzee water, and just thinking back on the day, the plans for tomorrow, and just taking it all in.

In this quiet, He will meet me, I am sure of it.

As the Cooling Mask finishes on the feet, I will take a moment for some self care and pampering.

And then, I will call it a night, say my prayers and drift off to sleep.

Funny, the things we long for.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

It is a brand new year! It's funny all the hype and the attention it gets. Yes, we have to change the last number of the year, and it's a time of reflection and looking forward.

For some it is a time of hope. A time to put the old behind and look forward to the new.

And, as I think about this - and don't get me wrong, I LOVE a good sit-down-quiet-introspective-and-reflective time - I think it is important.... but the more and more I think about it, I am aware of all the lost opportunities I have to do so.

His mercies are new EVERY day. They day is new EVERY morning. My hopes and dreams are reborn, and the struggles of the previous day are just a little farther away.

So, as I look forward into this New Year, I wish to remember that I have this opportunity EVERY day. May I make the best of it!

And, may You show me what You would have me do in this new year!

Happy 2011!