Hello, my friends, how are you today? Do you know that the past three weeks have brought to my neck of the woods, above freezing temperatures? I believe the lowest temperature so far has been 35°, even now, it is 37°, with a high of 42°.  We are in January, people; well technically we are still in December, but this is officially the winter season! It’s like day after day of a heatwave around here.  Well, that does it! I totally believe that I’m special in the Lord’s sight.  I fully accept His love for me, and I surely know now, that He knows me by name. Why else would He do this, just for little ‘ole’ me? He loves me, He really, really loves me! 

This is it; we are finally here; 2019 is coming to an end. I am flabbergasted at the speed of which this year simply flew past.  What happened? Can I even call to mind some of the events and activities of the year? Cheers to 2019! It was a good year.  In it, the Lord allowed some triumphs and a few ‘losses’; but we do know that with the Lord there are really no losses at all.  Today, before I prepare to welcome 2020, as I sit at my window with the Lord, Jazz (she spied a few black birds in her yard and she wants them gone) and a cup of coffee, I fondly reflect on 2019.  Here are five things I’ve learned in that year…

Embrace each new day as a gift from the Lord.  We’ve been granted a brand-new day, filled with much grace and mercy.  Each day arrives with its own opportunities to do better; to set and reach new goals.  It’s a brand-new space rife with ‘do over’ moments. We’re not promised the day, we’re not entitled to it, but we been given the chance to experience its beauty.  Let’s choose to ‘seize the day’! 

Be thankful for my blessings. I need to name them one by one, because I am prone to forget, in my eagerness for the next thing.  I am blessed, I have been blessed and if I am given nothing else, what I have, has far surpassed what I ever thought I would possess.  I have been given much, and before I ask for more, I need to be grateful for things I already have.  

God loves people.  I know, I know, but I thought He just loved me there, for a moment.  I tend to be impatient and short with people.  They needed to prove their worthiness before they were welcomed into my space.  But God… But the Lord showed me, me and it was not a pretty picture, let me tell you.  He allowed me to see my flaws and my failings and I realized although I am special and unique, these attributes apply to all God’s people and not just to select few.  Forgive me, Lord. I love you, God loves you more, but still, you have my love, because He loved me first.

Life is to be lived! I’m sure someone is going, “well, duh”. But I found it’s easy to think we live life, when in reality we simply exist.  We become monotonous in our actions and activities; sleep, wake up, chores/work, (if we work outside the home), set after work activities and repeat.  Day after day, we do the same things, move within our same circle, talk with the same friends; that my friends, is existing.  Life is to be lived! Live life with abundance.  Be uncomfortable for a moment, draw outside the lines.  I dare you, set a goal to do one thing, you’ve never done before.  But of course, please do stay within the precepts of God’s Word.

Surrender is a thing of beauty.  I’ve always wanted to be beautiful, until I realized that I am already beautiful in the Lord’s sight.  But beauty is also an attribute I have to continually work on becoming.  Yes, the Lord created me and said, I am beautiful, but I cultivate that beauty when I anchor myself in the Word of God.  When I surrender to Him and submit to His authority, then and only then, am I truly and adorably beautiful. 

What are some lessons you learned in 2019? What are some of your goals?

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