This too shall pass

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As I sat on the couch, my dog began to slowly whimper beside as he subtly attempted to get my attention.  He needed to go outside, and I needed to bundle up due to the cold air that has settled in here.  I layered up while he ran in circles around me, and as I opened the door, I noticed the pink hued sky.  It glowed with the promise of a new day.

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I wasn’t outside more than a couple of minutes, but reveled in the beauty.  I quickly ran inside, gave my dog his “treat” and glanced out the window again… and nothing.  Nada.  Not even a hint  of the colors that captivated my eyes just moments before.

What a simple reminder from Him to seize the moment, find joy, and revel in the beauty of NOW…

before it’s gone.

It is of the Lord‘s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.

They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:22-23IMG_0619

extending hands of grace

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Sunrise on my morning walk

“Judging others makes us blind, whereas love is illuminating. By judging others we blind ourselves to our own evil and to the grace which others are just as entitled to as we are.”- Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship

As I do most mornings, I leashed my dog up and headed out for a walk.  It was sunny and mild- the perfect spring morning.  As I was walking, I took notice of a police car heading in my direction, which I perceived to be going faster than the speed limit.

I immediately defaulted to judging- thinking negative thoughts about him, based on nothing more than the thought that he *may* have been going slightly faster than usual, with no other cars in sight.

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I continued walking and began to cross the street.  I glanced behind me and noticed the cop car had turned around and was driving towards me on my side of the street.  I crossed the street and kept walking.  The cop pulled up beside me and motioned for me to come to his car.

Great!  Immediately my mind wandered to the millions of things he could be stopping me for- and not one of those thoughts was a positive one.

God ever so gently showed me the err of my ways as I saw the cop extend his hand of grace to me-

“Here you go!”  The cop smiled and handed me a larger than normal dog biscuit.  “I just wanted you to have this.  Hope you have a great day!”

And in that instant I realized how guilty I was- of judging him, of thinking he was not there to help me- but to reprimand me for something.  Honestly- I didn’t even know if he had been going above the speed limit, but in my split-second judgement of him, I had already sized him up- stereotyped him as someone who thought he was “above the law”,  looking to pull someone over.

But God wants us to see others through His eyes of Love and Grace. Apart from Him, I fail miserably at doing this.  Instead of thinking the worst about someone, we need to put our hope in Him always and expect Him to show us the good in others.

There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor? James 4:12

And as far as I have come on this walk with Him- in His wonderful, loving way- He shows me just how much further I have to go.

Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.  Psalm 119:18

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My walking buddy and his “treat” from the cop

   

His mercy is new

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intrigued by morning’s glow

of a winter sunrise

I leash up my best friend

to take him out and feast our eyes

on the beautiful light of dawn

as we watch Him paint away-

once again, I am reminded

His mercy is new today 

I have not been sleeping well lately.  I admit that I have complained a little about this because it leaves me feeling tired.  All the time.

I love how God renews, refreshes, and reveals little things to me- when I am paying attention.  Just yesterday, in our women’s small group at church, we watched a short video of a sermon about being hungry.  The pastor said his very favorite part of the day was at 4 am when he woke up and got to spend time alone with God- all by himself.  He said he couldn’t wait for this time every day!

Yep, I had to gulp a little when I heard him say that.  Because lately, I have been so frustrated that I haven’t been able to get a full night’s sleep.  When I see the clock at 2, 3, and 4am…I have been less than thrilled.

He really gave me grace this morning, because I didn’t see the clock until 5am!  And when I woke up, I kept hearing that pastor say that was his favorite time.

Yes- it could be mine, too… if I commit it to Him…

And so this morning- I did.

Imagine my delight when I walked into the living room, and saw the pink glow of the sunrise coming through the window. I leashed up my dog and took him out with me. It was gorgeous.  And I love that the most beautiful part was hidden behind the trees.  You have to intentionally look for it.

Just like we have to intentionally look for Him!

And the EARLIER in the day- the BETTER!

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.  Psalm 143:8