In the midst of all the preparation for this Thanksgiving Day and weekend, I pause to give praise and thanks. In this busy world we live in, there are so many distractions to steer us away from the Ultimate Provider of all that we have.
Our Pastor said it best this past Sunday when he referenced that nowadays Thanksgiving is viewed as a ‘speed-bump’ to Black Friday.
So let’s not allow that to be the case, instead pause and Give Praise:
Pray for all those who are less fortunate than us.
Remember those who are serving our country.
Accept the differences in others.
Illuminate God’s Love.
Seek first to understand.
Extend a helping hand and a cheerful heart.
Wishing you and your family a PRAISE-filled Thanksgiving!
With all that “I Am”…
Imagine what the caterpillar must have been thinking as it was crawling around? “I know that there’s more to my life than this! I know I am called to greater things. I have the instinct inside of me telling me that I am designed to be more. I Believe I can fly!” Yet, while still crawling, changing and growing, it knew there was more. After some time it spins a silk button and attaches itself to a leaf and hangs upside-down. It is in this cocoon that change happens. The shedding of the old self to create the new.
It’s been a while since my last blog and as much as my heart wanted to write, my head would not respond. We all go through things; some make us feel more stuck than others. At times we may feel like we are walking in mud and at other times like we are in quick sand. I would say mine most recently has been the latter.
The process seems so long and we can sometimes get weary. So how do we deal with these things? For me, the key is to never lose faith! When we hold on, and keep on believing that God is there right in the midst of it all, hope is restored. Surrendering to Him is allowing God to change and prune us.
Does it hurt? Yes! Will it be worth it? Absolutely! Being open to Him cutting back the things that do not serve us any longer, makes us grow stronger and more vibrant!
His Word is Water to our Soul!
With a new season upon us, I think about gardening! My roots as a farmer’s daughter still resonate loudly for me as the season of planting arrives. It’s preparing the ground, planting the seeds and then watching them grow.
So it is with each of us. The seeds of God’s goodness are planted inside of us. His hope, joy, grace, kindness, love and all the magnificent gifts He places in our spirit are waiting to be watered by Him. Inviting His Holy Spirit into our lives is fresh water for our souls, our gardens.
So yesterday morning, I was feeling a little blue! I was thinking about my dream for speaking and writing and wondering if I was walking on my right path. You know, allowing self doubt, fear, the what-if’s and all that negative ‘self-talk’ come into play.
Well, as I logged onto my computer, my friend Tracy private messaged me the following: “Ang, Did you see you were nominated as “Most Happening” in the People: Author category on the North DelaWHERE 2014 Happening List! Along side Jill Biden and J Alex Shane? Check it out! Best of Luck!!”
WHAT? HOW? WHO? ME?
God Is Always Working!!!
Well, I must say, my mood shifted and pretty quickly at that! I know it’s not about our ‘Likes’ on Facebook, our ‘Re-tweets’ or ‘Shares’ or ‘Comments’ but sometimes a little recognition goes a long way. The old statement that “praises are worth more than raises” rang true for me yesterday! To be honest, it would be nice to have both!
So, what’s the lesson here? For me, it’s to stay true to yourself and always know that God is working behind the scenes. He puts His ‘Extra’ on our ordinary and makes it ‘Extraordinary’ in His perfect timing. It’s up to us to keep taking those steps and trusting Him to bless them so that we give Him the glory. To know who we are…because of all He is!
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:9
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My dear friend Kat shared something with me over the past year that was life-changing! She said that when she would pray, she would ask God to make whatever it was obvious to her, so she would know it was from Him. Hmmm, I thought that was an interesting concept since I can be one of the most stubborn people I know. So I tried it!
I remember the day so vividly, June 14, 2013, ironically Flag Day! I woke up suddenly at 4:30 in the morning, with a strong conviction to pray and to ask God to make His Will obvious to me. It was a week before my book was going to be released and I had just sent a few emails to some friends and family sharing the exciting news.
Well, at 9:00 that morning, an old friend called and was so excited about my book and she pre-ordered 20 copies! I looked up and said, “Thank You, Lord, that was obvious!” I thought, WOW…this is pretty cool. Then, two hours later, I had a call scheduled with work to refine details of my current position and title. Well, the flavor of the call changed, and lo and behold, that day, was my last day! My WOW turned into a POW! I looked up once again and said, “Well, Lord, that’s really obvious!”
Sometimes disappointments in life are disguised as re-appointments for something greater. We think we know the answers and we make our plans and God laughs. Today, I am reminded to again ask God to make it obvious! Show me the path YOU want me to take for Your Glory, to be salt and light for this world.
Think on Purpose: When we allow the eyes of our hearts to see the invisible, God can do the impossible!
Forgiveness is such a powerful thing. It’s a letting go of in order to walk in peace. It’s unclenching our fists and opening our hands in order to receive.
There’s an exercise that I recently learned from a dear friend that has made a difference for me in ‘letting go’. In your quiet time, place your hands palms down on your lap with your eyes closed, and reflect on all the hurts or negative emotions that you wish to bless and release from your life. When you are done, turn your hands palms up, to give praise and receive all the blessings and promises for your life.
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Happy 2014! It’s a New Day…a New Year and a New Perspective!
There is something exhilarating and exciting, yet contemplating and thought-provoking when we complete the end of one year and embrace the beginning of a new one! We reflect and recognize the beauty in the blessings, as well as the treasures in the trials. We gain wisdom and understanding that with each day, there are lessons to learn and gratitude to glean.
As we review our resolutions and create new habits, we ponder the different areas of our lives that we eagerly want to improve. Whether it’s goals for our faith, family, friends, finances, fitness or fun we take the time to think about or write down the new habits we are going to create to accomplish these goals.
Today, I invite you to embrace the word HOPE and make it a habit for not only this day, but as a foundation for the year! To know with confidence, that when we put our hope in the One who knows, our lives will be guided with Truth and Grace.
Wishing you a joyful journey as you embrace Hope as a Habit this year!
With all that ‘I am”
“There is a peace in knowing that Hope will always carry us through.” Angela Jo
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We are all on a journey
No matter how far
With a light set before us
A bright shining Star.
The road may seem weary
As the darkness sets in it
But the light will shine brighter
With each passing minute.
We press on through the night
As we carry our gifts
To the One who is before us
Our eyes do we lift.
It’s not in the world
That we place all our joy
But in the hope of the birth
Of one little boy.
He leads us to peace
As we travel so far
When we keep our eyes focused
On that bright shining Star.
There are obstacles around us
As we walk through the night
Trying to distract us
From that One special Light.
With each step we take
We are closer to see
The Glory set before of
Of His Great Majesty.
A Child is Born
That is a gift for us all
To see God’s true Love
Set before us in straw.
Our lips remain silent
As we gaze in delight
At the One who lays before us
On this holiest of nights.
The joy that we feel
So deep in our heart
Erases our fears
That we had from the start.
For on this journey
As we walk on the earth
We find light, truth and love
From this one special birth.
It is in Jesus our Lord
Who we celebrate today
That will carry us through
When our lives go astray.
For His birth may be humble
Yet mighty and strong
A true symbol of hope
When our path may seem long.
Hold onto His Hope
And His Joy, Peace and Light
As we give honor to Him
On this one Holy Night.
Remember this journey
May seem hard and far
Yet will all be revealed
When we follow that star!
During the Christmas season our ‘normal list’ seems to quadruple and we wonder how will we get it all done? Our minds are so over stimulated with the next thing to do, buy, go to, remember or check off the list. At the end of the day, we exhale for a brief moment, only to re-write the list for tomorrow!
Today I invite you to add one more thing to ‘your list’. I also challenge you to make that one more thing first, on ‘your list’! That thing is a Giving Heart! I know we all have that giving heart, especially during this time of year however I am referencing a different type of giving heart. One of small deeds of kindness, love, light and laughter that may cost you next to nothing but will increase someone’s joy beyond measure!
Be on the lookout from now until the end of the year for someone to bless. Whether it’s paying for their toll on the bridge, their meal order, a $5 gift card from a local store, giving stamps out at the post office or some goody bag to brighten someone’s day. It is a gift that will make a difference and touch someone’s heart in a way that you may never know!
That is what this Season of Christmas is all about! It’s a knowing that through the glitz, the hustle and bustle and the lists…there is someone who is yearning for a helping hand. Someone who is there waiting to be recognized for their quiet need to be fulfilled.
Show Jesus’ light throughout the days ahead during this beautiful season. Brighten someone’s life with His message of hope. Be salt for the earth and a giving heart to those in need. Be on the lookout for someone to bless. When you do, get ready to also receive a sense of Peace that transcends all understanding.
We are blessed to be a blessing!
We see so many posts and comments about gratitude during this Thanksgiving season, and it feels so appropriate to bring the attitude to the forefront. What if, this was a constant in our lives, all day, every day?
When we get dressed each morning, imagine putting on an attitude of gratitude. By being intentional and starting each day with that mindset, we open windows to the heavens. God smiles at us when we come before Him with a grateful heart and we get glimpses of His Glory! Our thankfulness opens our eyes to experiencing hope and trusting in God’s promises.
We all face challenges and no one’s life is perfect. It is through the trials that we need to dig deep and be thankful in all circumstances. It is not a denial of reality but a knowing and understanding that we can relinquish control by surrendering to the One who is the granter of all. Let us on purpose, breathe in His Grace and then breathe out His Praise.
May this season cast a light of gratitude in your life and a true sense of peace that transcends all understanding!
With all that “I am”