I’m honored to have another one of my devotions featured this week over at A Word for Women. If you don’t already subscribe to their weekly email devotions, please consider it. 

Trust is the Bridge


We cross bridges daily
without a second thought
boldly crossing
confident they will support our weight
But what about the bridges in our lives?
Are we confident that God will carry us across each one
that comes our way?
Do we trust him no matter the weight?
When things get really hard
when fear grips
and worry takes hold
when it’s hard to see any light ahead
and the situation seems too big –
this is when it’s hard to trust
but this is when we need to trust

read more here:  A Trust without Borders




Arise Shine

i woke up this morning energized –

that doesn’t happen often in January.

not sure why today was different-

it’s winter’s coldest day so far

and though it’s still dark and easier to stay in bed,

 the sun will be up soon

and i’m anxious to capture some scarce rays of rising light


for the first time i’ve really payed attention to

how the liturgical seasons partner with the seasons of the earth.

 advent comes when days are shortest, nights long

nature is dormant

and darkness pulls us inward.

we search the darkness within and

prepare ourselves for the coming of Light –

waiting with a knowing hope


then much-anticipated Christmas comes

with it’s celebration of wonder

all still and quiet

amidst noise and clutter

we celebrate the coming of the heavenly Light

given when earth is darkest


then as quickly as it comes, it’s gone

with the new year right on it’s heals –

holding open a door to all things new.

with renewed intentions, routine returns

and we slip into rituals of the day

of work and of school

of snow, cold, and shovels

and of slowly ebbing darkness


this is when epiphany comes

a much needed enlightening

a reminder of when the promised Savior was revealed to

wise men who persisted to seek him.

those who followed the light of a star

found the true Light



 the call to rise and shine

to awaken and see God’s glory

seek his grace

it’s everywhere –

in daily rituals

in simple things

even in dark moments


not only to wake up and see,

but to shine and reflect it with joy and gratitude


‘Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.’

Isaiah 60:1


time for some honest reflection:

am i awake to every moment filled with his grace?

am i reflecting his glory with an attitude of thankfulness?

how will i shine today?

how will you?

let’s respond to Isaiah’s exciting call to action together!




Setting Intentions


i still remember my grandmother asking me one New Year’s Eve

what my resolutions were for the new year.

i was in high school

and already then i had a list in my head of ways i wanted to improve

new things i wanted to try


i still make a list every year

but no longer resolutions –

now i set intentions which seem less doomed to failure.

intentions i can easily begin again

when i get sidetracked or completely fall off the wagon

intentions are a more positive approach to making change


here are some tips for setting intentions:

set aside some quiet time, with pen & paper, and a cup of coffee or tea

ask yourself these questions:

what do i want my life to be like this year?

how do i want my life to be different?

which areas of me do i want to improve?


then consider this:

what are my gifts and talents that God has given specifically to me?

am i using them?

am i living out my calling?


now list intentions for specific areas

here are some examples:

physical (how can i take better care of myself?)

emotional (do i need to work on my outlook or attitude? or how i react to challenges?)

spiritual (what can i do to improve my spiritual life?)

relationships (is there a relationship that needs extra time, attention, prayers)

creative (yes, we all are creative – that’s another blog post 🙂  am i setting aside time for what gives me joy and a way to express myself?)

professional (how can i improve at work? am i happy doing what i do? if not, what can i do about it? do i need better balance between work and personal life?) 


another helpful thing is to choose one word to focus on through the year.

some word ideas include . . .

shine, dwell, thrive, become

grow, be, give, content

choose joy, breathe, live boldly

be thankful, be brave, be still, be the good

simplify, embrace, conquer, cultivate

courage, savor, cherish, enjoy

need help choosing a word?

click here


after working through these questions,

you will have the beginnings of a plan for change

but the best of plans can fail if done without God’s help.

‘Commit your actions to the Lordand your plans will succeed. – Proverbs 16:3


ask God to bless your word, your intentions, and the year ahead

as the psalmist says:

‘May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.’ –Psalm 20:4


 here is a simple form to help set your intentions


finally, make your word visible

keep it in front of you

wear it!

i’d love to help you live with your word and make a change

by customizing a cuff with your word on it.

i’ve been wearing my word the last four years

and believe me it helps me stay focused on my intentions

by wrapping it around my wrist every day.

if interested, you can learn more about it here.


blessings on your new year!


One Little Word 2016

one little word text

these days between Christmas and New Years

are some of my favorite of the year –

Christmas still fresh in the heart

and on the brink of a new year

it’s here in the in-between

i spend time reflecting


its a time to look inward

at how we’ve grown over the past year,

how we’ve been made stronger

how we’ve been blessed.


it’s a time to evaluate –

am i living to the fullest?

how am i using my time?

 am i using my gifts?


it’s a time to look back at where the path has brought us

what has happened,

what has been accomplished,

opportunities missed or taken

and when the path took an unexpected turn –

how we have been blessed despite that


it’s a time to look ahead

to a new year full of possibility and potential

a time to dream big

a time to plan – to pray and persist in that plan


the last four Januarys

i have set my intentions

(seems better than resolutions)

and chosen one word that captures those intentions

one word to focus on

to live with for the year


it has been a tremendous tool for me

helping me grow in a specific area

usually the word is simple but has many facets:

one year, my word was ‘dwell

i chose it because i wanted to

dwell in the moment instead of rushing on to the next one,

dwell in the Word

dwell in my home (aka – spend less time at work)


another year i chose the word ‘thrive

and used each letter to represent a certain intention that would help me thrive:

t‘ was using my time wisely

h‘ was to stay hydrated since i have an aversion to drinking water

r‘ was to set aside time to rest and relax

all those intentions were to help me not just survive each day, but thrive!


i’ll admit that it’s easy to forget that one word

but have found it helpful to always have that word in front of me

on the windowsill above the kitchen sink

on the frig

as a desktop background

but the best way i have found to be reminded of my intention for the year

is to wear it


once i began wearing my one little word

it became a way for me to live with it every day if i so chose

a constant reminder


i still benefit from monthly prompts from

the one little word project

and i encourage you to check out Ali Edward’s site

if you are serious about making a change in 2016.

but just wrapping it around my wrist every day has helped me just as much


i hope you’ll consider choosing one or two words that

sum up your intentions for 2016

 i would be honored to help you wear it

just click here to learn more about that

(need help choosing your one little word and setting your intentions? click here for simple questions to ask yourself)


may the new year hold many blessings and possibilities for you




The Giver

Advent dec 23


today’s thought is simple:



you’ve heard of them –

random acts of kindness

maybe you have even experienced one,

being surprised by someone’s unexpected kindness.

there’s joy in being the receiver

but even more joy as the giver


the love of God that manifests itself at Christmas

was not a random act

 the gift of his son was planned long ago

Jesus was born to bring love,

born to save

a world that so desperately needed him

we desperately need him


this gift is truly indescribable

the great Giver has blessed us beyond what we deserve

beyond what we can ever repay

so we simply receive with grateful hearts

and respond with overflowing joy,

to give

random or not,

let’s pass it on!




Advent dec 22


i’ve been thinking about love this week –

Advent’s fourth candle.

capturing God’s love with a few words isn’t easy

a love so vast and deep

constant, unconditional

boundless, selfless


and senseless


senseless because it doesn’t make sense to me –

how the God who created the universe,

the great I am,

can love undeserving, unlovable us?

how can he love us so much that

he gift-wrapped that love

and gave us what he loves the most –

his only son.

why would he, who created all things,

come as a vulnerable, helpless baby,

to live among us, his creation,

to save us from ourselves –

it doesn’t make sense


then he tells us to love one another

and to do an unnatural, difficult thing –

love the unlovable

love those who hurt us

love those who have betrayed us

love those who are hard to love –

that really doesn’t make sense


draw near with the shepherds

peer in the manger

see tiny hands of God

see love come down

and let it warm you –

that senseless, amazing love

that love that gives us hope, and peace and joy

let it fill you and overflow

and love those who are hard to love


who can you show that love to today?





A Gift Just for You

Advent dec 20

Advent dec 21


one of my favorite things about Christmas is time with family

the traditions of singing carols, making eggnog,

reading Luke 2 to the kids . . .

we all have our favorite traditions

but traditions change

because life changes

kids grow up,  move away,

start their own families and begin their own traditions


or maybe life has brought a harder change

one that has dramatically altered the landscape of your family

through a painful loss

leaving a huge hole of emptiness


here’s the good news

that through all the changes

God doesn’t change

He is constant

He has given us the greatest gift of His love

and that love fills every empty place

every crack and crevice

and begins to makes us whole again


so those traditions?

remember them, cherish them, be grateful for them

but to dwell there, in the past

denies the joy that can be found in the present

this is where God is

here in the now.

maybe it’s time to begin a new tradition

or maybe it will take all you have just to get through this Christmas.

wherever you are at in life

 you have a gift that’s yours to open –

the gift of God’s love

it is unchanging, abundant, and knows no bounds

let it fill your empty spaces up




Pushing Back

Advent dec 19


it’s been happening the last week or two already

ads for last-minute shoppers

i still have shopping to do

but i resent being called a procrastinator

when i still have five more days to shop

today is not last minute –

shopping on Christmas Eve – that’s last minute 🙂


it’s not the media and marketing strategies that creates this sense of urgency

it’s the evil one using it as a tool

to make a distraction

telling me to rush and hurry up

to thwart any effort of mine to stay focused on the manger

to push me into feeling stressed


well, i’m pushing back

pushing back with renewed determination to stay focused

to be joyful as Christmas approaches

to not be caught up in the chaos and clutter of Christmas

but to find joy in the anticipation.




Radiant Joy

Advent dec 18.jpg*

‘joy, joy, joy,

praise we the Lord in heaven on high’

i’ve been humming it all week


i’ve also been thinking about Mary

the quiet joy she must have felt holding her son, her savior

and then the joy of the shepherds

that joy that spilled over in praises to God

and the telling to everyone what they had heard and seen


when joy is mentioned in the Word

it usually is preceded  with singing, shouting and celebrating

but joy radiates whether silent or with voice

like a smile, it can be contagious


so much joy this baby brings –

joy in being redeemed, joy in being forgiven

and the promise of eternal joy

sing it quiet in your soul

or give that joy a voice

let it shine!





Everyday Joy

Advent dec 17.jpg*

‘Rejoice! rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to you, O Israel.’

ancient words from the 12th century

yet we still sing it today

some things never get old, i guess

like the promise of Emmanuel


well, he HAS come!

he is here

in the heart

in the every day

in every. single. moment.

Emmanuel, God with us


he sees the pain, the struggles, and the loss

he sees the joys and the laughter

he knows each of us by heart

we never walk alone

God walks every step with us


even on the hard days

this undercurrent of joy runs strong

for no one and nothing can take away the joy he brings


rejoice! rejoice!

Emmanuel is with us!




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