BE STILL

Recently I attended a weekend youth retreat as a leader with some of the junior high kids from our church youth group. The weekend was geared toward the words ‘BE STILL’ and served as a reminder to intentionally take time out of our day from this crazy, busy life and ‘be still’ so we can hear from Jesus.

And the kids loved it…as well as the leaders.

I always look forward to the opportunity of attending these youth retreats because I can get as much out of it as the kids, my heart really soaked in this particular topic.

Here’s a list of scripture we read and studied that paired up with our weekend focus:

1 Kings 19:9-15

Exodus 1-6:13, 12:1-28

Psalm 46

John 10:1-18

Mark 4:35-41

John 15:1-18

Our very own youth pastor led one of the afternoon breakout sessions sharing tools to help us connect with God:

  • Start the day with quiet time.
  • Be alone in our quiet time.
  • Read scripture and listen to what God is speaking through His word.
  • Spend time in prayer, also pausing in the midst to hear from the Lord.

He also shared a free app called the One Minute Pause App by John Eldridge (New York Times Best Selling Author of Wild at Heart and Captivating). It encourages stillness and “the simple practice of releasing everything to God, restoring your union with God and inviting him to fill you.”

There’s soothing music, scripture, commentary with words, and beautiful scenery for each meditation.

App example

It’s super simple to navigate and allows you to choose from one of the main pauses offering different lengths of time; or as a huge bonus there’s a 30 days to resilience program “designed to lead us on a path of supernatural resilience—to recover our joy, strengthen our hearts, and thrive through the challenges of modern day life. Each day has two 8 to 10 minute sessions, designed for the morning and evening and grouped into six 5-day modules. Each session is part soul care, part reflection, and part contemplative prayer.”

After downloading the app I have yet to miss a day of connecting to God in this way and wanted to share it with those of you reading this blog.

Main screen app example
Main screen app example
App example

P.S. Our youth kids have really enjoyed the app and right before our small group discussion time starts on Wednesday evenings when we meet, I’ll typically go through a three or five minute pause (using the app) before we get into our lesson questions—they look forward to this time, it helps them settle and connect with God before we start on deep questions and discussions.

Do your heart a favor and download it, tell me what you think, and share it with others. I really hope you love it and I look forward to getting feedback!!

Below is a link that will take you directly to the app and gives the option for Apple or Android devices.

One Minute Pause App and 30 days to resilience

As always sweet weekend blessings!!

Alicia ❤️

Thanksgiving Gratitude

Thanksgiving in the U.S. is right around the corner, and with it comes the tendency to oftentimes jump into overdrive taking inventory of our blessings! I never want it to be the stereotypical thing for me or my family to do so I’ve tried to be better about counting blessings of thankfulness YEAR-ROUND instead.

Research shows that when we concentrate on an attitude of gratitude, giving notice and calling out the things we’re thankful for it leads to:

Growing our relationship with Jesus, overall happiness, better mental health, positive relationships, higher energy levels, improved self-esteem, mercy and grace for ourself and others, creates positive thought patterns, lowers stress and anxiety, plus it causes us to be present in the moment.

Recently I picked up a small, blank notebook from the store to serve as a gratitude journal and have been journaling little notes of thankfulness. I’ve not made it an everyday thing at this point but I aim to. There’s a ton of good resources on Pinterest or Google to spur ideas on gratitude topics, including sentence starters.

Gratitude encourages us to look at the glass half full rather than half empty. It takes practice like any good habit but it is achievable and so worth the effort!!

“Gratitude can boost neurotransmitter serotonin and activate the brain stem to produce dopamine. Dopamine is our brain’s pleasure chemical. The more we think positive, grateful thoughts, the healthier and happier we feel.” Cerebral Cortex

I’m subbing today so my time is short while my class is at music, but wanted to share with you a poem my youngest daughter wrote. I’ll leave you with her words as a Thanksgiving blessing and also share a picture of our planters on our front porch. I couldn’t stand seeing them empty during these cold months so I dressed them up for fall and am already looking forward to changing them up for Christmas! I’ll maybe do a DIY as I decorate them for Christmas!

Until next time, sweet autumn blessings and a Happy Thanksgiving!!!

THANKSGIVING

Leaves fall red, brown, yellow.
In the distance neighbors say hello.

Turkey in hand,
open the door to smells so grand.

Sit down in your place,
and now let’s say grace.


—Mckenzie W.

Autumn Blessings in Photos

I put my little five speed Jeep in reverse, checked that all was clear and pushed down on the gas pedal quickly to back away from the curb after finishing a recent counseling session.

If any staff at the architecture business located next door have ever watched me pull in or out of the hillside parking space each week they’re probably relieved I’m seeking therapy because my skills with driving this Jeep are about as unreliable as my emotions sometimes.

Boy it’s been a year! I started counseling back in January after realizing my childhood trauma had some explaining to do, what I didn’t know was that it actually had A LOT of explanation into the thoughts and choices I’ve made throughout my entire life.

In faith, through Jesus, I might be brave enough to finally say that I’m (really, actually) in the process of truly overcoming!! It’s the most scrutinizing process I’ve ever endured, but my counselor is amazing and God is using her to the fullest. My husband has been a solid encourager, along with my momma. I am so blessed and I can feel God’s presence at work. (Bare with me though as my blog posts may continue to be hit and miss for a while.)

Leaving Monday’s therapy session, I felt a spurring for some guilt-free me-time so I set out to purposely photograph the changing of the fall leaf colors. It felt refreshing to experience awareness in nature’s surroundings. My little iPhone has continued to help capture this week’s beauty, filling an abundance of thankfulness within my heart all the while.

Nebraska may not offer the warm, playful amber hues of the aspens in Colorado during this time of year, but nevertheless, we definitely have some reminders of our own kind of gratifying autumn…

Enjoy the upcoming weekend! Sweet blessings!❤️

-Alicia

Quenching Thirst

Hey there!! I realize my posts have been few and far between this year but right now I have time to write, along with a message of encouragement so I’m gonna take advantage of it!!

In our neck of the woods I am surprised camels haven’t shown up with the drought we’re experiencing! The heat from the sun has poured down heavily and meanwhile rain has been almost nonexistent. Crops, cows, and farmers would quickly attest to that!!

My own front yard which consists of what is typically hardy buffalo grass has even felt the sting of a dry, sweltering summer.

Buffalo grass usually looks after itself and can withstand warm temperatures with little watering required and still maintain a nice, healthy, pale green color. My husband and I noticed recently, however, that even our once strong grass was now fading to golden hues, with curled edges and in some areas there was nothing but large patches of dirt where grass once grew.

We needed to quickly improvise if we were gonna keep up on curb appeal with our yard. A trip to Ace ensued where we purchased a standing, rotation sprinkler and once we were home we set it up and turned it on immediately! No joke within one watering session there was a dramatically, noticeable difference. That ground along with its sprigs of grass was thirsty. Very thirsty. And it soaked up that longing for water while almost simultaneously producing fresh, green nourished results in return.

What a spiritual lesson in the midst…

As Christians we experience seasons of what feels like our own personal or internal drought. Jobs, relationships, health…they don’t always measure up to our expectations and therefore can leave us feeling depleted or dehydrated. At times, rather than reaching for Jesus (the only way we can quench our desperate position) we instead stay dormant much like my buffalo grass.

To overcome, action must take place!! My buffalo grass wouldn’t get better on its own without intervention. The same is true for us…

Bibles:

We must reach for our Bibles. Open them and immerse ourselves in God’s word and believe His truths for our good and His glory.

Prayer:

Just like the sprinkler in my yard is hooked up to its life source to replenish our buffalo grass…we have the greatest life source of all, Jesus has sent the Holy Spirit to dwell within us—to guide, remind, comfort and direct—and to connect us with the Father as we communicate our prayers and praises.

Music:

We have the blessing of music and the ability to saturate our heart, soul, and ears with rich, meaningful worship of our Savior—filling us with amazing, satisfying hope. Let’s tune in!

Fellowship:

We surround ourselves around likeminded Christians…none of that lukewarm stuff, that’s where the weeds have a chance to overtake…we need the fellowship of true, authentic Christ followers to spur us along for encouragement and growth in our faith!

Everyday we should thirst for Jesus’ overflowing goodness.

We are most certainly capable of staying spiritually hydrated when we make a conscious effort to keep inventory of our current condition and then follow up with action that draws hope from Jesus, the source of Living Water!! (Read John ch.4)

Soak Him up sweet friends!! Blessings this weekend!!

❤️❤️❤️

Moab, Utah 2022

Today’s post will be short and sweet on words—I’ll let the pictures do most of the work!

Last week we vacationed to Moab, Utah. Since we live in Nebraska it made sense to do kind of a circle through Colorado, hit up Moab (which is near the western border of Colorado) and then drive the southern highway of Colorado on the way home. By doing this we were able to change up the scenery a bit on the way there and back.

Welcome to our road trip:

Entering the Rocky Mountains (Colorado)
Lake Dillon in Colorado
First scenic stop in Utah
Hiking at Hidden Valley Ranch…
we never did find the bottle of ranch😉
On the drive to some arches
Hiking up to Corona Arch, no worries we just had to cross the tracks, not follow them😅
Bowtie Arch
Bowtie Arch
Corona Arch
Pinto Arch
Arches National Park
Delicate Arch
(this is Moab’s signature arch)
Ice cream break in Moab
Driving back to Colorado
Colorado—cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde

***The cliff dwellings of Mesa Verde are some of the most notable and best preserved in North America. Sometime during the late 1190s, after primarily living on the mesa tops for 600 years, many Ancestral Pueblo people began moving into pueblos they built into natural cliff alcoves. The structures ranged in size from one-room granaries to villages of more than 150 rooms. While still farming the mesa tops, they lived in cliff dwellings, repairing, remodeling, and constructing new rooms for nearly a century. In the mid-1200s, the population began migrating to the south, into present-day New Mexico and Arizona. By the end of the 1200s, most everyone had migrated away. ***Info noted at nps.gov

Cliff Palace
Petroglyphs!!
Square Tower House Overlook A.D. 1200-1300
Oaktree House A.D. 1250
Fire House Cliff
Long House Overlook
Nordenskiold Overlook
On the drive
Treasure Falls in CO
Our cabin in South Fork, CO
The Clay Mine
Creede, CO
Hiking in Creede, Colorado

Looking through these pictures I’m reminded all over again that we have an amazingly, creative God! He didn’t have to bless us with an array of color as he paints the sunrises and sunsets each day, or allow us the challenge of climbing and hiking his self-made obstacle courses through rigid mountains.

Landscapes aren’t in short supply, God has perfectly placed them all over the world and we get the opportunity to explore and praise Him because of this. We can see evidence of Him in the beauty of His creations! Nothing to be taken for granted.

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. —Psalms 19:1

Northeast of Moab, UT

Where is, or has been, one of your favorite places to visit, seeing God’s handprint throughout? Maybe it’s even your own backyard…

Taking Directions From the Holy Spirit

Recently I was invited to a ladies gathering —just a sweet night of worship and fellowship time.

One of the women in our church was hosting at her house and I was unfamiliar with the address but thought I had a pretty good idea of the location. Nevertheless I typed it into Google maps this way I could have some reassurance.

Once I got closer to my destination though I began second guessing the directions my phone was offering. It pointed me to continue driving forward another half-mile but my unreliable self-made navigational skills were urging me to take the next left instead.

Reluctantly I listened and followed the GPS directions rather than my wavering mind. This is rare for me.

But guess what…I made it (without fail, rerouting, or wasted time) right to my destination.

After the evening was finished, and I was on my way home, I couldn’t help but ponder the irony of my “almost-wrong turn” I about made on the drive there.

I thought about how similar to my faith-walk at times…

God guides with perfect accuracy and I second guess, opting for my own curvy path—mindless to yield to the Holy Spirit’s promptings.

It’s interesting how, often times, I’ll ask God for direction or comfort over something I’m struggling with and He readily answers through a Bible verse, the words of a song, time in prayer, or the wise words of a friend and yet I completely miss the ‘spiritual’ road signs.

This is such a work in progress for me.

To help navigate life’s roadblocks, I love the reminder and truth of Jesus’ words spoken to the disciples in John 14:26-27:

“But the advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I will give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

What a great depiction of how the Holy Spirit moves and will never lead us astray.

Allowing Him to speak into us will deter us from getting stuck by the wayside.

When our thoughts and actions align with what God’s word teaches it’s a clear indication that we’re allowing and listening to the Holy Spirit as He pours into our hearts with truth, love, encouragement, healthy thoughts, peace and positivity. When we feel and sense those things we’re surrendering to God’s faithfulness rather than our stubbornness.

The Holy Spirit will always usher us within the guardrails of peace and Jesus’ way—anything other than this just isn’t of Him and must be dismissed from temptation or acceptance. I can’t come up with a better route to take as I journey through this life toward my Heavenly destination.

Weekend blessings to you all.❤️

22 ‘God-Is-For-Me’ Affirmations (backed by scripture)

I’m gonna waste no time and get straight to raw transparency here…I’ve been in a season of life that feels like perpetual nagging in my heart and mind—downward spiraling thoughts of inadequacy, brokenness, and just flat-out self-depreciation. And it’s been tough, so tough.

I’d love to blame Covid, from a week of being cooped up in my room, away from family over the Thanksgiving break, allowing my thoughts to trail…but I’m certain the overwhelming distress would’ve caught up to me at some point regardless of Covid-isolation…Satan and a fallen world are the real culprits.

In this struggle, however, God has lead me to and blessed me with the kindest, most patient, sense-talking therapist one could ever imagine; and (as a result) even though I’m still surrounded by deep waters I can feel God’s strong presence keeping me afloat.

I’m probably 30 years past-due on counseling sessions so the content of discussion with my therapist is wide and harsh. I’m thankful for my husband and mom to debrief with afterwards.

The encouragement is sincere and passionate and for that I am grateful. Though the shoreline is a far distance off yet, my hope is fixed on an anchor of faith.

Friend, maybe you too are facing waves of difficulty in some way, but I pray you’d join me—embracing the calming, reassuring reminders of ‘God-for-us.’ I’ve compiled 22 affirmations of God’s faithfulness backed by scripture, with the intention that the solidity of these words would become more than just simple phrases and all about rich, heartfelt truth and comfort.

Read into them, pray through them, allow every single word to embody you…I’ll be doing the same.

GOD LOVES ME.

For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son so that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life. —John 3:16

God showed His love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us. —Romans 5:8

We love because God first loved us. —1 John 4:19

GOD HAS SAVED ME.

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

For anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. —Romans 10:13

GOD FREES ME FROM FEAR.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. —2 Timothy 1:7

For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, “do not fear; I will help you.” —Isaiah 41:13

GOD PROVIDES ME WITH SAFETY.

In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. —John 16:33

The righteous person may have many troubles but the Lord delivers him from them all. —Psalm 34:19

The Lord will keep you from all harm—He will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore. —Psalm 121:7-8

GOD HEALS ME.

He heals the brokenhearted and binds their wounds. —Psalm 147:3

GOD IS MY HELPER.

My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of Heaven and earth. —Psalm 121:2

So we say with confidence, the Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? —Hebrews 13:6

GOD CARES ABOUT ME.

Give all your worries and your cares to God, for He cares about you. —1 Peter 5:7

GOD EQUIPS ME.

All scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. —2 Timothy 3:16-17

GOD POINTS ME TO TRUST IN HIM.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. —Proverbs 3:5-6

When I am afraid I put my trust in you. —Psalm 56:3

Lord Almighty, blessed is the one who trusts in you. —Psalm 84:12

GOD DESIRES FOR ME TO REST IN HIM.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. —Matthew 11:28

Be still and know that I am God. —Psalm 46:10a

GOD STRENGTHENS ME.

For I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength. —Philippians 4:13

Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power, put on the full armor of God so that you can take a stand against the devil’s scheme. —Ephesians 6:10-11

The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace. —Psalm 29:11

GOD COMFORTS ME.

Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. —Psalm 23:4

GOD FILLS ME WITH JOY AND HOPE.

You make known to me the path of life, you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. —Psalm 16:11

But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. —Isaiah 40:31

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” —Jeremiah 29:11

GOD LEADS ME.

In their heart humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps. —Proverbs 16:9

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. —Psalm 119:105

He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters. —Psalm 23:2

GOD IS WITH ME.

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

The Lord replied, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” —Exodus 33:14

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. —Isaiah 41:10

GOD BLESSES ME.

And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. —2 Corinthians 9:8

Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage. —Psalm 84:5

GOD FORGIVES AND REDEEMS ME.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. —1 John 1:9

As far as the east is from the west, so far does He remove our transgressions from us. —Psalm 103:12

In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that He lavished on us. —Ephesians 1:7-8a

GOD HAS MADE ME NEW.

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. —2 Corinthians 5:17

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. —Galatians 2:20

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. —Isaiah 43:18-19

GOD GIVES ME PEACE.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. —Philippians 4:6-7

In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety. —Psalm 4:8

But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. —Galatians 5:22-23

GOD HAS CHOSEN ME.

For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. Out of all the peoples on the face of the earth, the Lord has chosen you to be His treasured possession. —Deuteronomy 14:2

For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. —Ephesians 1:4

GOD DIRECTS ME TO LOVE OTHERS.

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. —1 John 4:7

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. —John 13:34

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus. —Philippians 2:5

GOD WANTS ME TO LOVE MYSELF.

I will give thanks to you because I have been so amazingly and miraculously made. Your works are miraculous, and my soul is fully aware of this. —Psalm 139:14

To acquire wisdom is to love oneself; people who cherish understanding will prosper. —Proverbs 19:8

For no one has ever hated his own body, but he nourishes and tenderly cares for it, as the Messiah does the church. —Ephesians 5:29

Our Newest Addition…

Happy Friday!

I thought since I’m just getting back into the swing of blogging again, today’s post will be light…but “sharp.”

Some of you may remember last summer, the post about mine and my oldest daughter’s brilliant idea to buy three hermit crabs when we vacationed at South Padre Island.

Wellllll…none of them made it to the new year. We tried. The accessories they required that amounted to well over a hundred dollars proves we tried.

But those things are high maintenance and apparently we weren’t doing something just right.

Sooooo…during January, when I was home and sick with the most ridiculous cold I’ve ever had, I started doing some thinking…about how we had an empty cage just sitting around not being used and how that perfectly fine cage should be getting some good use if it’s going to stay in my home.

Without wasting much time deciding what should occupy that space, I began doing some research on hedgehogs!! Man, Pinterest is not the place to look if you’re just in the beginning stages of entertaining an idea! It’ll leave you with a desperate yearning for whatever it is you may be searching over!!

Needless to say it didn’t take much convincing for myself or the rest of the family to decide this could very well be our next best mistake!!

After learning that the cage we already had would be too small we were too smitten over these little creatures to back out now!

We located six week old babies at a town about an hour from us, the kids evenly pitched in their money…$170 total and then Dad and I bought the newer, larger cage and necessary accessories.

My son named her Pixie.

She’s grown soooo much, probably double the size since we brought her home.

We have a lot of fun watching her explore and even her sassy attitude is quite entertaining. It takes her a bit to warm up when we take her out of her little home but she’s getting more used to us and is pretty motivated by her cat food pebbles! I’m convinced she’d do just about anything for her food.

It’s interesting how animals are so relatable to humans. Food, water, air, sleep, and then there’s also mannerism. The attitudes—humans have them and so do animals, especially hedgehogs!

When Pixie feels threatened those sharp quills standout in every direction; once she realizes we don’t want to harm her she relaxes but it takes some convincing.

And I get it.

I can be quite reluctant even in God’s care, and yet I know His intentions are for good but boy there are times I’m incredibly reserved in my trust.

Being Pixie’s caregiver, I KNOW, without a shadow of a doubt, I’m going to do everything I know is right and good to provide and nurture this prickly pet, but she isn’t always with me on that mindset.

When I compare this to my own relationship (with God as my caregiver) I think how silly I must seem to God when I hold tightly to that lack of trust.

Just like I want the best life for Pixie and I know I’m trustworthy to her, God knows and desires the same when it comes to He and I!

Check out Isaiah 26:3 with me, “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” —Isaiah 26:3

I love the boldness and certainty in those words…no hesitation found there. No lack of trust. This is how I want my faith to align with our Lord and I pray you’d join me! No poking around, just smooth and comfortable trust in Him.❤️

Have a wonderfully blessed weekend friends!

A Cord of Three Strands

This morning my oldest daughter, Paige, had asked if I’d braid her hair. She’s going out for girls’ wrestling this year and has practice today (even though it’s Thanksgiving break) so pulled back hair is her preference.

I found it interesting because at the time she asked, I was reading and studying over Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 which says this:

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

When it comes to my daughter wanting her very long hair braided she always requests the help of either her sister or myself. It takes another set of hands to make it happen. It’s teamwork.

Today as I got the privilege of braiding her hair, with some new and fresh insight, I thought about the last part of the verses I’d just read, ‘a cord of three strands is not quickly broken.’

Interesting given the fact I’d just woven three sections of hair together similar to a cord formation. The weaving and intertwining of the hair strands keeps it stronger and serves the purpose for which it was meant—to hold together.

Keeping these verses in mind we can circle the encouragement found here—there is strength when partnering up.

Last weekend I tested positive for Covid and to say I accepted the circumstances to follow with ease would be a huge falsity. I was not impressed and am still struggling. Plans were tossed and negative feelings pursued.

My “quarantine” time doesn’t end until Sunday evening. There’s nothing normal about being isolated from family over Thanksgiving break especially in my own home.

Out of respect for my husband and kids I’ve tried to stay to my room but I was really “wrestling” with depressive thoughts so I’ve graduated a bit more to the main areas of the house while wearing a mask. I know this probably doesn’t meet CDC recommendations but out of the personal health of my sanity it is what it is.

I admit this isn’t one of my most happy-go-lucky-post. Actually I always aim to just be as transparent as possible. I share all this though because I’ve been able to reflect on how much people matter to me.

God didn’t design us to be alone. In the beginning of His Word we read in Genesis 2:18, “The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” God created woman in effort to reinforce that idea. We know sin ensued shortly after and humanity has suffered the results since. But God didn’t leave us without a Way to overcome…His name is Jesus.

When we include Jesus in our life, and in our relationships, that cord we read about in Ecclesiastes exist with the type of supernatural strength that points to Him.

Life is for us to do together. To lift one another up. To encourage. To cheer one another on. To smile. To hug. To laugh. To cry. To fellowship. To be in communion.

So even though Thanksgiving has definitely looked and felt very different and has not been my first choice of creating memories in this way, I can focus on the fact that I am blessed beyond measure—I know the importance (without a shadow of a doubt) of how beautiful life is when we are fulfilled by relationships. And the best is with Jesus laced right in the middle.

A cord of three strands is not quickly broken…

I pray your Thanksgiving was blessed and (even if it may also look different like mine) that you can turn your focus to the positives with an attitude of gratitude. ❤️

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