Friday, June 29, 2012

She's Always God's Beauty

Last weekend I came across a PBS special. As I watched, a young man began singing the song by Billy Joel titled, "She Always a Woman." I got excited because in the past this song was a theme song for me of sorts. As he sang, I was sickened. I had forgotten that in the lyrics the character of this woman is horrible. The camera would scan to ladies in the audience who were smiling and they would have tears shimmering in their eyes. Why did it move them? Why was this my 'theme song' in a life before I was a Christian? Because the world glorifies the 'Bad Girl' and the 'Bridezilla' and the 'Mob Wives.' Somewhere having a bad character has been labeled and lifted up as having a strong character. *Boooooo, Hissssss*

So I fixed the lyrics to reflect a character that pleases God. :) Not saying Mr. Joel would make any money off the changes but this would be a song worth getting tears in your eyes.

She's Always God's Beauty

She can heal with a smile and the love in her eyes,
She can build your faith with her words that are wise,
She lets scripture reveal what God wants her to be.
Her faith's like a child and she's always God's beauty.
She can lead you to love, she can take you and cheer you,
And she'll speak the truth and she'll always forgive you,
Then she takes what 'life' gives her with a cup of tea,
Yeah she holds her belief that she's always God's beauty.

Oh, she takes care of herself, she walks the straight path, she's ahead of her time.
Oh, and she never gives out and she never gives in, she knows God is sublime.

She learned the lessons from the garden of Eden
so she'll carefully remember why Jesus was bleeding,
And she will bring out the best while 'the worst' she will flee
No blame weighs her soul cause she's always God's beauty.

She is frequently kind even if it's uncool
She can do as God pleases, she's nobody's fool,
And she can't be convicted cause His grace sets her free,
And the most she will do is shower Christ's love on you
Since she's always God's beauty.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Man of My Dreams

Last night I dreamed of a man. Funny enough, because this is often how dreams work, he was a combination of three men which I have deeply cared for in my life. In this dream he came over to me, put his arm around me and said he missed me. Then he gave me a stack of encouragement cards and letters about the size of a telephone book! As he walked away, I turned to a mutual friend and asked him how this man of my dreams was doing in his relationship with God. The friend raved about him. I remember fighting off lustful thoughts toward the guy who gave me the encouragement cards even as the friend talked about how great he was doing spiritual. Then a preacher at church wandered up, placed his arm around my shoulders and spoke about how he'd been praying for me. He said he had a guy who had just become a Christian that he'd like me to encourage with a date. After motioning that if the brother and I ate together that I'd need to pay, we turned around and he introduced us. As the 'new brother' reached out his hand to me and smiled, I woke up. This was a weird dream.

I was pondering and praying about this unusual dream. Two of the three men that combined magically into the man of my dreams are not Christians and I dated them before I was a Christian. The third man making up the man of my dreams was a Christian brother I dated a few years ago. I was encouraged that in my dream they were all Christians. I also realized that right now I really crave to be comforted and have someone looking out for me. So you may be thinking..."why are you sharing all this?"

Simple reasons. Because I'm human, because I struggle, because when times get rough I still find myself craving the comfort of a guy, because if I don't open my eyes to stuff like this then satan will tend to find a way to use it. As a friend of mine use to say, "God has the perfect guy for you! And so does Satan." Mostly because if I'm not open to others, especially in this blog, then others might assume that either I've got it all together or that it's okay not to be open.

Be open, my sisters! Even at temptation level? Even about some stupid dream? Yup...why not be a vulnerable disciple of Jesus? If you are unsure, then find a safe person. Safe meaning someone you trust yet someone who will not simply people please you. I'm not scared...I'll tell you that I do struggle, I fight, and I fail. And I get to share my garbage, get back up, brush off, and keep walking my walk with God.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Jehovah-Jireh

Passion flower in my backyard garden
Luke 12:27-29 (NIV)
“Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith!"

It has taken several days to overcome the sleep study. My appointment was at 9pm yet they didn't get me hooked up and down for the night until 11pm! Imagine sleeping tangled in a spider's web with a coffee straw poking out of your mouth and two other ends sticking up your nose and that would provide a small idea of what it was like that night. I had a lot of trouble getting comfortable and woke up several times just because I was tangled and the nurse had to come in to reattach the equipment. She woke me between 4:15-4:30am and had me out the door driving home at 5am. So at least I was able to get a little sleep and hopefully they got what they needed. I've not heard any results yet.

Despite my best efforts, I had to take a sick day at work the next day and have slept the majority of the last three days. However, I'm finally beginning to feel 'caught up' in my sleep. My next study is in 3 days. *sigh* I'm praying they can provide answers and solutions! So what am I learning?



This cute little bird was enjoying the ripening figs on my monsterous fig tree this morning. Tons of birds have been flocking there and this was my signal that the figs were ready. Matthew 6:26 "Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?" As I searched the tree for my own figs, I saw that not only birds but also butterflys were enjoying them too. Jehovah-Jireh means "The Lord will provide" (Genesis 22:14) and this has been echoing in my ears as I pray lately. It is so fitting right now because I have so many questions.

"Lord, what is making me so sick? How can I get healthier? This has been keeping me from church, friends, work and I miss feeling like I use to...why am I going through this? How can I afford all these medical expenses on top of everything else demanding my time and money?" The resounding answer..."My daughter, the Lord will provide."

So today, I'm resting in that fact. This morning as I continued to sit on the back porch, I soaked in the deep truth that the Lord provides...to me and to everything around me!















My homemade FIG milkshake :)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Uplifting Verses: Who God is


Here are some scriptures to encourage you today!

Psalm 34:8 Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the [wo]man who takes refuge in him.

Numbers 14:18 The LORD is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion

2 Samuel 22:2 ...'The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;'
2 Chronicles 15:2 The LORD is with you when you are with him….
Psalm 9:9 The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble...
Psalm 23:1 [A psalm of David.] The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not be in want.

Psalm 34:18 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Psalm 145:18 The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.

2 Thessalonians 3:3 But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.

My response? Gotta be Psalm 116:12-14
“How can I repay the LORD for all his goodness to me? I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD. I will fulfill my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people."
We are so blessed through Him – take refuge! :)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Shed Thy Self

Poem by Patrick Kavanagh

Me, I will throw away. Me - sufficient for the day
The sticky self that clings Adhesions on the wings
To love and adventure. To go on the grand tour
A man must be free From self-necessity
See over there a created splendour
Made by one individual From things residual
With all the various Qualities hilarious...
Throw away thy sloth Self, carry off my wrath
With its self-righteous Satirising blotches.
No self, no self-exposure The weakness of the proser
But undefeatable
By means of the beatable
I will have love, have love From anything made of
And a life with a shapely form With gaiety and charm
And capable of receiving With grace the grace of living
And wild moments too, Self when freed from you...

As I write this, I am a few days away from taking a sleep study that the doctor ordered. Currently, outside of work, I'm only awake for 3-4hrs a day. I have 1-2hrs in the morning before work and 2hrs until I fall asleep once I get home.

Me - sufficient for the day
The sticky self that clings
Adhesions on the wings
To love and adventure,

Me. I've grown tired of how small my life is during this particular season. The season where I'm just sufficient for the day's tasks and trying somehow to stick to wings of love and adventure. The 'me' to throw away in my heart is my weaker, sickly sloth self. Though I'm not reluctant to work or move, I do find that my body and mind seem that way.

No self, no self-exposure
The weakness of the proser

Ah, and am I not a proser, clicking the keyboard on this little blog? His point seeming to be that it is a weakness not to expose your true self? So in taking those words in deep, my strength is to share my weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9) Yet for any discouragement I'm feeling, God breaks open my heart through this poem and reminds me that in Christ I am...

...undefeatable
By means of the beatable
I will have love, have love
From anything made of
And a life with a shapely form
With gaiety and charm
And capable of receiving
With grace the grace of living
And wild moments too
Self when freed from you...

How beautiful! I was talking to a dear coworker just yesterday about how freeing and essential it is as Christians to be REAL. So excuse and embrace my realness, please, as I lay out my discouragement on how I'm feeling and yet rejoice with me also because I know whether I get to shed this 'season' soon or get to shed it when I get to heaven...the fact is that it will be shed! And in that...well...in that today I'm celebrating! :)

Monday, June 18, 2012

DIY Vacation Planning

Are you ready to get out there yet and travel? Well, here are three steps to get you started:

Decide the details: The reason most people don't get from dreaming to doing is because their destination is vague. In December 2009, as more of a mental vacation verses serious planning, I began crafting a DIY Icelandic vacation. By researching where I would stay and what activities I'd do, I realized it was less expensive than I could have ever imagined. So I started praying, started saving and was able to take that trip just 6 months later! You can't budget when you don't know what you are budgeting for so deciding the details gives you smaller, reachable goals.

Travel Group or Travel Solo: Maybe you could use a vacation packed with fellowship or maybe your greatest need is to get away on a vacation with just you and God? Break ground and start asking friends if they would be interested in traveling with you or look into travel groups like all singles groups, women only, or travel groups by age. A single mom I spoke with had a brilliant revelation and realized there is actually an alumni travel group at the college where she graduated. If you are considering a trip alone with God, think about contacting the local church and getting advice about safety, accommodation suggestions or maybe even a little assistance. Vacations with you and God are incredibly special and uniquely fun. Either way, you have options! 

Save: Look at the total cost (lodging, flights/car rentals, food & activities etc.) and come up with a savings plan. Fear not! Most of us can't jet-set across the world in a moments notice however with a little planning you can be at your destination before you know it (especially when you are saving for something that excites your heart). I set up an excel spreadsheet because it calculates everything for me. Pray a bunch during this time. If something comes up that eats into your savings a bit, remember that it is okay if it doesn't happen on your exact time schedule. Try to stay surrendered to God and his timing. He'll help to make things fall into place as he sees fit.

It's amazing to think that with a little DIY planning one day and these three little action steps, that in six months I was in Iceland! That was two years ago...today. What an adventure!










Friday, June 15, 2012

In Silence Today

A group of Christians were together and about to pray. The brother leading the prayer says, "Okay everyone, let's pray" and we all bowed our heads. Then, there was silence. It was the type of silence that stretches out so long that you peek to see if you missed something. Ha. After a long silence he began to pray. So what was this guy doing? It was the basic practice of being in silence before opening his mouth to God. How moving!  

Ecclesiastes 5:1-3 Stand in Awe of God - Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong. Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few. As a dream comes when there are many cares, so the speech of a fool when there are many words.

Habakkuk 2:20 " But the LORD is in his holy temple; let all the earth be silent before him.”
Zephaniah 1:7 "Be silent before the Sovereign LORD, for the day of the LORD is near."
Revelation 8:1 "When he opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour."

Now, I often practice silence before praying too. I have even taken a day of silence from noise and my own voice. I grew tremendously and, as I write this, I'm thinking it's time to have another day of silence to seek a deeper connection with God.

"Soon silence will have passed into legend. Man has turned his back on silence. Day after day he invents machines and devices that increase noise and distract humanity from the essence of life, contemplation, meditations..." ~ Jean Arp
The practice of silence strongly contrasts with our daily lives but if you think this is impossible to do in your busy life, then consider people like Anne D. LeClair. Even as a wife, mom, and career writer, she doesn't speak on the 1st and 3rd Mondays of a month. She carries a sign so that people know why she isn't responding while others wear buttons that read, "In silence today." It's not impossible. I've done it too! I read a quote that said, "Do not speak unless you can improve the silence" and I was rallied. The practice of silence is interesting and humbling so I hope you will examine it. :)

PRACTICALS:
  • Next time you pray consider those scriptures above before you just plow along.
  • Set up a few hours to practice being silent. Hey, why not even try a whole day? :D

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Cozy Times with God

'Coffee and Cozy times' are affectionately what I call my daily times with God. I came up with that a few years ago when I realized that "quiet time" didn't accurately describe my times with Him. I do often have some time of meditation but normally I'm singing, reading out loud, praying and I've been known to dance sometimes too. Each morning I grab my coffee and get cozy with God, thus the name. I say if you're going to "game it" then you've got to "claim it." LOL. 

One thing you'd notice is that my Coffee & Cozy's aren't always pray, read & study then pray again. So what pops into my mind first is don't let it be boring because you are building a relationship here! If you are longing for something new in your personal times with God, below are 22 ideas to try:

 
  1. RELOCATE: find new places all the time to have them! watch the sunrise or sunset, find a hill that overlooks a valley nearby, go to a park, sit under a tree, create a cozy corner in your home
  2. WORSHIP: buy Christian concerts videos or worship songs so that sometimes you can jam out or sit quietly
  3. STUDY: grab an inspiring book to help you (devotional, poetry...)
  4. ENCOURAGE: pick about 5 people, pray for them, then search for verses and encourage them by sending them text messages or making them cards
  5. PARTNER: ask another woman if you can have a time with God together
  6. BOOST: go on a prayer walk or run around you neighborhood and pray specifically for the people and homes you pass by
  7. GROW: pick one verse, meditate on it and memorize it
  8. SHARE: for one week, share what you learn each day with someone new
  9. TEACH: write a short study on an attribute of God's character
  10. RELAX: have a picnic with God during your lunch break, read and pray
  11. FILL: walk through your home and pray in each room
  12. LEARN: listen to an online message and journal
  13. IMAGINE: go out after dark and spend some time reflecting on stories you've read about Jesus
  14. WALK: take a nature walk and meditate on how to continue to grow in your 'walk' with God
  15. FEED: go bird watching or buy some feed and go provide for some birds; reflect of verses like Luke 12:24 or Matthew 6:26-34
  16. RESEARCH: go through some of the post in my 'studies' section. Some interesting ones back in January and early in the blog :)
  17. TALK: lay on the floor or curl up in a chair and simply talk to God about things you are going through right now
  18. DREAM: spend time dreaming about what it will be like when Christ returns then find scriptures!
  19. CARRY: pick one verse, write it down, meditate on it then carry it with you ALL day long - read it whenever you get the chance
  20. DRIVE: get up, get ready and get out the door. take a prayer drive!
  21. RECEIVE: find an app that reads the bible to you and sit quietly to listen
  22. GIVE: pray for all the people on the prayer list from church
No matter what I'm doing, my focus is thinking about God, talking to Him about things, learning about Him and sharing myself with Him. :) I love this simple statement in James 4:8a "Come near to God and he will come near to you." I can say without a doubt...this is very true.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Saturday's Spread

Work has been very challenging! Recently, even after a hard week, I left work on a Friday and went grocery shopping. With list in hand full of never before attempted health recipes, I fought through the crowds and stood in long lines with my items. I don't normally do this but I was on a mission.

My mission was to spend a Saturday cooking with Jesus. HA, HA. I desired some much needed time away from the drama the week had just put me through! I wanted quiet time to slowly cook and really enjoy the texture of the ingredients I was using. I aspired to make something new and healthy. And, I thirsted for time to enjoy my relationship with Christ.

So, how did it go? Great! I was able to spend much of the morning talking to God and worked in my backyard appreciating nature and the special place I now have that I had prayed to have for so many years. Also, I enjoyed the breakfast and lunch I made that day. Below are some photos.

Ham & Swiss Egg Sandwiches   Total time: 10 min
Ingredients:
  • cooking spray
  • thinly sliced deli ham
  • 1 egg
  • 1 English muffin, split and toasted
  • 1 slice Swiss cheese
Heat non-stick skillet over medium heat. Coat pan w/cooking spray and add ham to lightly brown. Remove from pan then recoat pan with cooking spray. Crack egg into pan and cook until it reaches desired doneness then remove from heat. Toast muffin halves (either with toaster/broiler) and add slice of cheese, ham, and egg. Enjoy! (I added baby spinach to mine also). Calories: 344 for one sandwich


Grilled Citrus Halibut (I used Tilapia)
Total Time: 13 min
Ingredients:
  •  1 orange
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 - 4 halibut fillets
  • cooking spray
Preheat grill to medium-high heat (I used the George Foreman). Cut orange in half. Cut one half into about 7-8 slices and leave rind in place. combine lemon just and next 6 ingredients (through pepper) in a large bowl. Add fish and orange slices, toss gently to coat. Place fish and orange slices on grill coated with cooking spray and discard remaining lemon mixture. Grill all until fish reaches desired doneness. Plate the fish with a few orange slices on top. Take other half of orange and squeeze evenly over fish and grilled orange slices. Calories: 231 for fish and orange slices.

Friday, June 8, 2012

love after Love

The time will come when, with elation, you will greet yourself arriving at your own door, in your own mirror and each will smile at the other's welcome, and say, sit here. Eat.

You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart to itself,
to the stranger who has loved you 
all your life, whom you ignored
for another,
who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf, the photographs, the desperate notes, peel your own image from the mirror. Sit. Feast on your life.
Poem 'Love after Love' by
Derek Walcott, Nobel Prize Laureate in Literature

This poem is so moving. It's speaking about being a friend to yourself. How's that going for you? The world beats us down and sometimes we tend to beat ourselves up. When was the last time you:
  • greeted yourself with a smile when you looked in the mirror?
  • enjoyed your own company?
  • feasted on your life?
In Christ, you are enough, so be a friend to yourself. Since it's clear that God loves you...Romans 5:8, Romans 8:37-39, Galatians 2:20, 1 John 3:1... love who God loves. You!

Click here to read God's love letter to you using scriptures :)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Fight Decision Fatigue


"Have you ever made so many decisions in a day that just one more decision, like what’s for dinner, breaks you?

According to Wikipedia, decision fatigue can lead to a reduced ability to make trade-offs, decision paralysis, impulse purchasing, and impaired self-regulation...."

An article I read stated: "If you had all the money you wanted, the only decisions in a supermarket shop would be what you wanted to buy and eat. But those who are on strict budgets must decide what they want, what they can afford, what they need and which versions they can shuffle in and out. High quality, low quality. For every single item. It’s exhausting."

I have a home to oversee, health issues to manage, career to captain and single to boot [plus an adoptive mom now]. So ALL the decisions and the results fall on me. I have hundreds of resolutions to reach during a day and often my mind is looking ahead to decide what to do about life, schedule and finances weeks in advance. To be honest, this has lead me to have a lot of decision fatigue lately. Surely someone out there can relate!

It's not the first time. A few years ago during a stressful time of change and decisions, a friend from church came across me actually sitting in a local bookstore isle surrounded by dictionaries frustrated with tears because I was trying to select the perfect dictionary/thesaurus for my money [decision paralysis]. Recently, I was searching at the store for a new eyeliner pencil when I became overwhelmed by trying to make the best purchase. So I just grabbed one [impulse purchasing] and it wasn't until the other day when I happened to glance down at it that I realized bought lip liner instead and have been using it as my eyeliner. (no wonder it kept smearing - ha)

It's not that a dictionary, eyeliner, or what to have for dinner are huge decisions but that we've been making so many huge decisions that we become mentally burned out. The result is that small decisions just tend to tip the scale over. In an effort to apply a point from the message preached on Sunday, I've sought out advice from a sister in my fellowship, who God put on my heart to talk to, for help with overcoming my own decision fatigue. And, I've also been searching for scriptures to help me.

One that has helped the most is in the book of Job. In Job 42:2 Job states, "I know that you (God) can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted." That might seem an odd verse but this is why it helps me.

I can't mess up God's plans! Wait, do you think that statement's true deep in your heart? I know, it's challenging. I can hear you saying right now..."but I've got free will. I mess things up all the time." Still I don't care what your heart and feelings tell you or what your past choices say...GOD's word says he's got great plans for you and for me (Jer. 29: 11-12) and that no plan of God's can be thwarted. Defined that means that no plan of God's can be opposed successfully, prevented from being accomplished, none of his plans can be frustrated, stopped, hindered, or even defeated. If God wants something to happen it will happen because he will find a way. If he doesn't want something to happen it will not happen. I find the weight simply falls away when I cling to this.

Do you believe? You worship a God that can do ALL things! I get it twisted when I 'think' I have too much control. It's an issue of pride but when I remember that, "In the beginning God..." I, like Job am put in my place. And that's a great place to be! So this verse then helps me to put myself and the decision [huge or small] I'm trying to make in perspective by reminding me that it is God who is working things out in my life and not me.

This or That? Have you ever been stressed out over decisions? In a world full of WAY to many choices for us...if you have not yet felt overwhelmed by the decisions you need to make, you probably will someday. So my hope is that this post will encourage those dealing with it now and equip those who will deal with it someday so that during those times we can all cling to Job 42:2 with all our might.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Prayers of Adoration

Mount Esja: summit of Þverfellshorn

In my "coffee & cozy times" each day with God, I often write in a journal. Last night, I was looking through one of my favorite personal journals written in 2010 and came across at least a week's worth of prayers of adoration. Reading them again I was completely inspired! At the time I read through a psalm then would write one of my own. These prayers are so good for your spirit.

When was the last time you had a prayer FULL of sharing with God how you regard Him with the utmost esteem and love or what a great team you make and how you see His help and thank Him? King David did this a great deal when he composed a psalm. Even when he would share frustration, he still found a way back to a place of adoration when speaking to or about God.

Practical: Write your own prayers of adoration and keep them to read again when you need encouragement and reminders of how awesome God is!

Here is some background to the short prayer of adoration below that I wrote after reading psalm 18. God and I were knocking Iceland off the dream list and I had just climbed Mount Esja to the summit of Þverfellshorn during the midnight sunThe hike had been much more challenging than the guide had said it would be. We had to use hiking poles, I saw several people get injured, some had to descend back down the mountain bleeding (the rocky trails made the hike 'slippery') and the last section of the ascent turned into rock climbing with chains bolted into the mountain. The complete round trip hike took 5 hours of almost straight hiking. I knew this hike was a big deal for me yet later I realized what a huge accomplishment it would be to most people. The next few days when I spoke to several Icelanders and when they found out I had done the hike they each had a look of shock and responded, "Ah, one day I'll climb Mt. Esjan."



A Psalm of Mount Esja ~"I love you Lord, Jesus. You were on the mountain by my side last night. Your Spirit was around me strengthening me and I did not even realize at the time. Now Lord, I see it, for how else could I have made it? We know I'm not so strong alone. But with you. Yes! With you, I take on things that seem too big. Vacations & travel alone, mountains, challenges, temptations! Amen, you are my help. Yes. You are the chain I cling to, fastened securely in the Rock. Dangers & cliffs, slips & falls to my right. If I stepped off your path it would be painful & scary. I begged in my heart for help and strength and, as always, you provided. We dodged falling rocks and even encouraged others. You make me stand VICTORIOUS on the mountain top. (little stick figure drawing of me in victory on the mountain top-lol)

Oh God, let me not forget our moments! Let me see the positive. You truly reached down from on high and pulled me up. You helped me because you love and delight in me and my 'never tap out' spirit. You are so faithful. With your help...I can do anything. I can scale a mountain.

"He makes my feet like the feet of deer; he enables me to stand on the heights." vs 33. Arna from the bed and breakfast said that I will feel even more sore tomorrow. HA. She also says that she really admires me for accomplishing this. Amen, God! That praise is yours."



Monday, June 4, 2012

God gives you....

Sometimes I get overwhelmed by all that God has given me. Instead of praying for the 'things' I need or 'stuff' I'd like to see happen, it's good for my soul simply to reflect or meditate on how much God has blessed me already and how amazing He is! Below are a few verses to think about and I encourage you to spend at least 5 minutes today on the practical at the end. :)

God gives you...

Life
Job 33:4 “The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life.”

 Ability
Deuteronomy 8:18 But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth…”

Sanctuary and relief  
Ezra 9:8 “But now, for a brief moment, the LORD our God has been gracious in leaving us a remnant and giving us a firm place in his sanctuary, and so our God gives light to our eyes and a little relief in our bondage.”

Forgiveness
Micah 7:18-19Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.”

 
Endurance and encouragement
Romans 15:5 “May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus…”

 
Victory
1 Corinthians 15:57 “But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

 
Wisdom
James 1:5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” God gives all He has to you!

Practical: Take a moment and imagine that everything you own, both large and tiny; all the activities you get to do and everyone important in your life suddenly have a gift tag attached to them that reads: ‘From God, with love’

You are immeasurably cared for and blessed - - may you be overwhelmed by this fact!