Blessed: an inner quality unaffected by outward circumstances
With the new year underway,
Like everyone else, I am compelled to think about things that need to change. Dissatisfaction is usually the driving force when it comes to resolutions. Life didn’t measure up somehow. The ‘if onlys’ try to take center stage, but truth be known, the ‘what is’ in life should be my focus. What did happen this year has brought growth and change that has not disappointed me.
So, instead of listing changes to be made, I am going to recount the blessings of the past year and give credit to God for each of them.
Here are some of the highlights of this year’s happenings—
• I worked with other authors to complete a beautiful devotional journal based on Second Timothy called Legacy. The process was eye-opening, to say the least. Preparing everything to submit for publishing was finally a challenge. So much goes into delivering a product you hope will catch someone’s attention. So far, the right person has not seen it, but it did win an award at last year’s Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. Only time will tell if a publishing house will pick it up, but we’re hopeful.
• I continued to write a food column for Broken but Priceless Magazine. I love food, so this is right up my alley. It has been fun to come up with a theme for each issue, research recipes, prepare the food, and take photos. This has built up my own food blog, The Party’s in the Kitchen. It has brought me another opportunity to write food articles for Southern California Christian Voice and its affiliates.
• I had a great opportunity to write devotions for the 40 Days of Compassion sermon series at my home church. It was an honor to be asked to participate in leading our small group members in discovering what compassion put into action looks like.
• I was invited by a guest writer Katy Kauffman on her Lighthouse Bible Study Blog a couple of times last year. It was an honor to write for her. She has been a great encouragement in my life, and I have gleaned much from her wise words.
• In addition to the opportunities on the Lighthouse Bible study site, I contributed to their online magazine, Refresh. Two of the articles received special recognition. One was chosen as the lead article and the other was the feature article. I have also written a couple of devotions for a Bible study on renovating your heart that will come out in the spring.
•Girl on Adventure has been busy as well, averaging about a post a week. It also won an award at the Blue Ridge Conference in 2017. The blog, leading a women’s Bible study, meeting regularly with a group of local writers, and helping churches build loft houses for families in Mexico (Hands of Mercy), has kept my hands and heart full. I have traveled, spent time with friends, made such great food, knitted a sweater, read some books, lost a little weight, and had lots of fun in the process.
The year 2017 brought a great deal of activity and accomplishment. And best of all, I have been blessed with a great opportunity to shine a light on God, His words, and His ways. I have grown in so many ways through it. My life is overflowing, and I can’t wait to see what the days to come to have in store.
There are some new things I would like to try this coming year.
We’ll see what happens, but 2017 was far from disappointing, and it only encourages me to continue following the course that God has laid out for me. I hope when you look forward to the next year, you look back and see the great things God has already done. His blessings will be my motivator for the days to come. I’m looking forward to the ‘what will be’ in 2018.
Reflect upon your present blessings—of which every man has many—not on your misfortunes, of which all men have some.
A Christmas Carol and Other Writings