Posts Tagged ‘devotional’

Are you blessed to “consider it pure” JOY? My #OneWord2019 #TuesdayTea devotional.

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019

But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful. ~~Psalm 68:3 (NIV)

Walking among the mountaintops.

For awhile now, I’ve joined others in contemplating a One Word for the new year….. searching for the exact word which would focus my heart for a whole year. During 2018, my word was APPRECIATE. I did give thanks for most of the experiences I encountered during the year.


However, 2018 was a year of up and down emotions….many beautiful sunlit mountain tops, but some dark valleys for friends and dear ones to travel. With the arrival of wintery gray skies, seasonal affective disorder descended around our place. Bouts of depression hit. God does walk alongside us, but some trails are gloomy. I do appreciate that my life is good, so why did I have ungrateful thoughts? I was weak….humbled….trying to listen to Him. But still I asked.

Why did these things happen? Why do Christians struggle with difficulties? It’s the old question: Why do bad things happen to good people?

As I prayed about my One Word for the year, I desired the return to joy. I wanted contentment for everyone. I wanted to be positive. Optimistic. Our Heavenly Father wants His children to be happy…to rejoice….,but that doesn’t mean life will be the proverbial walk in the park. We will face uphill climbs, but He promises the journey will be worth it.

As I continued to pray for guidance, the word JOY kept touching my heart. Then, I searched for my verse….and found….

Consider it pure joy, my brother’s and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.

~~James 1:2-3 (NIV)

Could these troubles, these rocky paths, have a purpose? Tough experiences teach us empathy for others who face similar challenges. When we walk through a dark time with faith, we realize our strength. Patience must be learned…step by very hard step. Most importantly, we are rewarded if we trust God as we trod through the sadness. He will take us to the Light!

REMEMBER: God is with us, even when we don’t know where the trail ahead is going…..

We don’t always know where the trail leads….

We may not understand “why” we face challenges, but we know He is there. He has a plan for us. We must trust His wisdom…His faithfulness….His grace.

Trust. He is there.

For 2019, I want to focus on JOY! My challenge is to extend JOY to others….speaking with kindness, cheering in celebration, smiling in friendship, and offering a hand for support during the difficult walks….surrounding all with love.

It’s important to thank our Lord for the JOYS which make our hearts sing. I’m grateful for the JOY of family times, such as my husband and I had with our grandchildren over the Christmas holiday.

For our tea treat today, I’m serving birthday cake. We celebrated Jesus’ birthday with a cake decorated by the grandsweeties.

Jesus’ birthday cake decorated by the grandsweeties!

I’m pouring tea into a mug designed by my eight-year-old granddaughter. She painted this design for me….knowing I love mountains and that the title of my first story, written when I was twelve-years-old, was “ The Mystery of the Diamond Mountain Men.”

Didn’t she create a perfect gift? Perfect JOY!

A mountain for Grammy!
Mug designed by my oldest granddaughter.


MY PRAYER FOR YOU:

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.  ~~Romans 15:13 (NIV)

What is your ONE WORD for 2019? Where do you find JOY?

Thank you for joining me for #TuesdayTea. May your 2019 be filled with the treasured blessing of JOY!

Blessings and prayers always,

Sherida

*Comments are appreciated and will appear after moderation. I apologize for delays in posting.

Have you experienced UNEXPECTED blessings? #TuesdayTea December devotional.

Tuesday, December 18th, 2018
Fruit medley and an apple turnover.

Treasuring the unexpected ….

Welcome to my December #TuesdayTea devotional. I have warm mugs of tea, coffee, hot chocolate and spiced cider to sip while eating today’s treat of fresh fruit with apple turnovers as served for breakfast at a charming B & B during an unexpected travel delay a couple of years ago.

Two years ago this December, we found ourselves in a frightening snow and ice storm. We’d traveled to Denver to attend my husband’s PhD graduation ceremony. The day after, we were attempting to drive home to New Mexico on I-25 in the midst of a winter storm. We’d delayed leaving that morning, hoping the weather would improve or the road conditions would get better. Wanting to get back before the holiday traffic began, we decided take a chance and started the eight-hour (usually) trek to home.

With a blizzard swirling across the highway, we crept along for many tense hours. We’d lost count of how many accidents we’d seen and how many cars had slid off the road. With darkness deepening, we finally realized this was not the night to drive the many more icy miles to reach home. For everyone’s safety, it was wise to get off the highway. But would there even be a place to spend the night or would we freeze trying wait it out in our car?

We were not hopeful about finding a hotel as we took the next exit into the tiny town of Walsenburg, Colorado. Even if we found a place, would there be a vacancy?

But the unexpected happened!

My husband inquired at this Art Deco place we stumbled upon just off the main road through town. He was told they had only one room left. We got the last room available that night!

A welcoming sight as we arrived on a snowy evening.
La Plaza Hotel and Restaurant…a B &B Inn

After grabbing our suitcases from the car and entering the lobby, I was delighted to see the unexpected beauty of the Christmas decorations filling the inn.

Elaborate nativity set in an elegant antique curio cabinet.


Fortunately, the restaurant was still serving a delicious prime rib dinner…an unexpected romantic meal after our stressful travels.

Our charming accommodations….the only room available.
Breakfast the next morning was in the library, where a fascinating collection of nutcrackers filled the shelves.



As we left the inn after breakfast the next morning, we found the skies to be clear….so different from the night before. The roads were snowpacked and we still had mountain passes to negotiate on the drive home, but the unexpected blessing of a night spent safe and warm in a welcoming Christmas atmosphere filled our hearts with peace.

THE UNEXPECTED OF THE FIRST CHRISTMAS

As Christmas Day approaches, we reflect on the events leading up to the first Christmas. The unexpected happened. Our Savior’s mother would find herself pregnant. As an author friend, Ruth Logan Herne, posted recently, this pregnancy was not unplanned. God had the plan for the gift of Christ’s arrival all along. But to the young virgin Mary, the message of her place in this event was quite unexpected. It’s hard to know her thoughts as the angel appeared before her with a startling message….certainly an unexpected announcement.

And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus…..Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be? Luke 1:31-34 (KJV)

A nativity ornament painted by my mother.

Yes, we can be blessed by unexpected treasures. May you find many unexpected joys this Christmas season and be surrounded by love and peace.

Blessings and prayers always,

Sherida

*Comments are appreciated and will appear after moderation. I apologize for delays.

HANDS…..What hands have blessed you? #TuesdayTea

Tuesday, November 27th, 2018

Welcome to my #TuedayTea devotional about HANDS. I’m thankful for caring, encouraging and helping hands.

A selection of doughnuts…or donuts….all delicious flavors!

Please grab a treat while I pour a cup of tea for you. When our sons were little, going to pick out donuts with Daddy was a Saturday family tradition. Recently, my grandsweeties were delighted to experience this yummy tradition. Love those little hands! 💖❤️💗

When I was considering a word for the thank-filled month of November, God placed the word HANDS on my heart. As I’m blessed by many hands, this is a perfect thought for my devotional for the month of November.

Hands together at our wedding.

When my husband joined his strong hands with mine during our wedding ceremony, we pledged to love, honor and cherish each other forever. I am thankful for our 47 years of holding hands during our marriage….helping during the tough times, comforting during times of sadness, and celebrating during joyful events….together.

My son’s handprint on a Mother’s Day card.

I’m thankful for little hands….for the children’s hands when I was a teacher, for my babies’ tiny hands as we were blessed by the miracles of their births, and now for my grandsweeties hands as I watch them write, draw and build with LEGO bricks.

Mom and Dad at their sixtieth wedding anniversary celebration.

I’m thankful for my parents’ hands. Their hands provided a loving home, where we learned from their example to follow God’s path and serve others. During this holiday time, I especially think of my mother’s hands. For the Thanksgiving services at church, she decorated the altar with a beautiful cornucopia overflowing with apples, squash and flowers. I recall my mother taking food and gifts she had made to folks who needed some help. She loved to do crafts, so donated countless handmade ornaments to churches for fundraising bazaars. She was the busy person who others called on to get things done. I treasure the memories of her hands decorating our home for Christmas and preparing all those favorite foods for our table…and the baking and packaging of an array of cookies for all our neighbors. Now reunited in heaven, Mom and Dad celebrate their 73rd anniversary this week in the presence of God’s glory.

CROSS OF GRACE

I’m thankful for the hands of Jesus. His hands were pierced on the cross to give us salvation and eternal life. We are all blessed by this greatest gift. As we extend our hands to encourage, comfort and help others, we show our gratefulness for God’s love. Hands placed together in thanksgiving and prayer are powerful.

All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.~~2 Corinthians 4:15 – (NIV)

So many hands have helped me on this journey…..patting my back with encouragement, extending a hand to pull me up during a struggle, throwing confetti during a celebration, and hands lifting me up in prayer. I’m thankful for all those precious hands.

How are HANDS providing treasured blessings to you?

May our hearts be grateful and our hands be helpful as we bless others.

Blessings and prayers always,

Sherida

*Comments are appreciated and will appear after moderation. I apologize for delays.

Are you blessed by IMPERFECTION? October #TuesdayTea devotional

Tuesday, October 30th, 2018

Are you blessed by imperfection? Or are you a perfectionist, waiting for that perfect something, as I am?

While looking through my photos of a recent fall hike, a scarlet leaf captured my attention. It wasn’t perfect. Two holes marred its surface. Despite its imperfection, I’d stopped to take the picture…..as a reminder of the colorful autumn trails we traveled.

That made me consider my desire to be PERFECT. Do you struggle with PERFECTIONISM?

My dream of being an author is stalled as I wait for the PERFECT time to write, the PERFECT system to revise my manuscript, and the PERFECT publishing option to appear. I’m frozen with indecision……waiting for PERFECT.

As I contemplated my perfectionist tendencies, God nudged me to think about certain blessings in my life. I realized treasures don’t require perfection.

Treasured gifts made by small hands.

My grandkids made special presents for me last Christmas. As I unwrapped the potholder my grandson had woven together, he sat beside me and said, “Grammy, I made a mistake here.” He pointed to a place where a loop was missed. Even though some might not considered them PERFECT, I’m sure you can imagine how much I treasure these! Each day, I delight in seeing their precious gifts displayed on my kitchen counter. My heart smiles.

Then there is the imperfection on my husband’s left leg. Twelve years ago, multiple surgeries left a large skin-grafted area of grayish-colored alligator-like skin covering the knotted and damaged muscles beneath. But that scar is beautiful to me! It is a reminder that he didn’t die in the underground coal mine where he was trapped for twenty-two hours. It is a miracle he survived. It is a miracle his leg wasn’t amputated. It is a miracle he is able to hike today while wearing a leg brace. I’m thankful for many miracles!

God reminded me of these things as I thought about being a perfectionist.

TREASURE THE IMPERFECT! WE ARE BLESSED!

Am I seeking perfection? Is my writing progress frozen by requiring perfection? Am I a perfect person? Yes. Yes. No.

I am truly blessed by imperfection, so I want to change my view of this writing journey. Our Father knows we are imperfect, but still He loves us. I believe He doesn’t want us to be frozen with the fear of not being perfect. We should still strive for doing our best by polishing our writing, but then we must move forward with courage. Rather than hiding our light, we want our writing to shine for God’s glory! He has a plan for each of us. We need to step out in faith and trust in the Lord.

SCRIPTURE 

Lord, you are my God: I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done wonderful things, things planned long ago. Isaiah 25:1 (NIV)

TEA TREATS

To celebrate our October #TuesdayTea, I’m serving a trio of autumn inspired treats….creepy-crawly dirt cups, ghoulish salted caramel pudding and miniature pumpkin pie…plus your choice of tea, coffee or warm cider.

 

Do you have strategies to cope with being a perfectionist? Are you blessed by treasures of IMPERFECTION? 

Thank you for joining me for #TuesdayTea. For all of us, I pray we are able to set aside any paralyzing fears, trusting our Lord as we step out in faith to experience the life He has planned for us.

With prayers and blessings,

Sherida 

*Your comments are appreciated and will appear after moderation. I apologize for delays in posting responses.

TUESDAY TEA in the Wilderness

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

We went hiking recently….in a land that looks like wilderness.Wilderness 1

 

The trail starts innocently enough…a dirt path with unnecessary cairns marking the way.Wilderness 2

 

But as we hike further, the trail turns into the stone of old lava flows.Wilderness 3

 

The cairns become vital to showing us the correct direction.Wilderness 4

The black layers of lava are pushed into mounds. Deep crevices split the rough surface.Wilderness 5

 

But here among the rocks of the wilderness,  bright desert flowers grow.Wilderness 6

How perfect an example of God leading us through the wilderness…with a gift of life at the end.

The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them, And the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose; It shall blossom abundantly and rejoice, Even with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, The excellence of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the Lord, The excellency of our God.  Isaiah 35:1-3 (NKJV)

So enjoy a trail bar and sip some iced tea from your water bottle as we marvel at God’s blessings.

MEETING ALONG THE TRAIL…..

Friday, April 26th, 2013

          Show me Your ways, O LORD; 

          Teach me Your paths.                     Psalm 25:4 (NKJV)

 

Blog-trail

I believe God has a purpose when He puts people in our path as we travel our trail in life.

Years ago on a backpacking trip in the Wind River Mountains of Wyoming, we were hiking a trail through a meadow. We hadn’t seen anyone for three hours since we left the trail that circled Green River Lake. We came to a woman  standing right in the middle of the trail–not to the side to let us pass or off the trail a ways where her husband was finishing up dinner at their campsite. She waited for us to reach her and said excitedly that she was SO glad to see someone else out there in the wilderness. She hadn’t camped outside of campgrounds before, so just having someone else in the area was a comfort to her. We talked with the two of them a bit, then went just a few more feet up the trail and put our tent up, just over the slight ridge. The next day on our way out, we passed them as they waved while taking down their camp.  We crossed paths with them a couple of times as we returned to the trail head.

We learn from others who we meet along the way. At times we help others we find crossing our paths.

Two Love Inspired Inspirational Romance books I have read recently mention this same thought, Mending the Doctor’s Heart, by Tina Radcliffe, and Georgia Sweethearts, by Missy Tippens. These are stories of finding love in our lives, but I think the thought also applies to meeting new people as friends or acquaintances.

Sometimes I don’t understand why a person is entering my life, but God has a plan for us. It’s not my path, but God’s path I am following.

It is good to have companionship along the trail. May I be open to learning from this path God has prepared for me. Blessings to you as we meet along the trail.

 

Show me Your ways, O LORD;  Teach me Your paths.           Psalm 25:4  (NKJV)