Holy Week~ Wednesday

Reading: Matt. 26:14-16, Mark 14:10-11 and Luke 22:3-6

Wednesday of Holy Week was a dark day. There is not much recorded. The only sources I have had me read the short passages listed above. We will look at Luke. 

“Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was of the number of the twelve. He went away and conferred with the chief priests and officers how he might betray him to them. And they were glad, and agreed to give him money. So he consented and sought an opportunity to betray him to them in the absence of a crowd.” Luke 22:3-6 ESV

I have been known to say to myself as well as to others. “sometimes things get worse before they can get better.” Well things are beginning to get worse. Even if behind the scenes at the moment. Jesus rode in on Palm Sunday on a donkey to shouts of Hosanna. He became angry in the temple and drove out the moneychangers, then He had a full day of teaching in the temple. Now one of his followers, one of his own people are about to betray him. For money no less. So where was Jesus? On this day when Judas is meeting with the chief priests to make a deal? We wonder where Jesus was. One of the commentaries I read suggested that He was resting because the day before had been such a full day. Taking a time out so to speak. Passover was coming and with it would come His last meal with His people before He would be betrayed and handed over. And whipped and beaten. And crucified. What a roller coaster of emotions this Holy Week must have been for Him. 

This brings to mind 1 Peter 5:8 “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” Take note of the way Luke is describing this ~ “Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot”. You know Judas was a friend to Jesus. He was there for the miracles. He was there for the camaraderie that must have existed among this group of men who travelled and ministered together. He would have been there when fish and bread multiplied and pigs plunged to their death and when Lazarus walked out of a grave alive when he had been dead for three days already. But still Satan found a way in to him. He let his guard down somewhere and Satan entered into him so that he could betray Jesus, his friend.

 I tend to feel my emotions a little all over the radar during this week and this season. For the past few years I really like to take the time to focus on the week and just think about what was happening in the world at that time and what is happening in my world in the present. What emotions was Jesus having that week? He was spending time with the people closest to him. All the while He knew what was coming. When I think about what was coming for Him AND that He knew, I realize that I probably don’t always need to know. I will think I do. I will drive myself crazy about what is coming next in whatever situation that is at hand. When what I need to do is just keep clinging to the One who knows. The one who is the same yesterday and today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8). I think we are called to be diligent, be sober minded, to realize we have an adversary and he does prowl the earth and he does want to devour us. But God is still in control. He is still here. He is on the throne and even when we can’t see Him. He is working all things out for good for those who love Him. (Romans 8:28].

Holy Week ~ Tuesday

Reading: Matt. 21:23-24:51, Mark 11:20-13:37, Luke 20:1-21:38, John 12:20-38 

On Monday Jesus was running the merchants out of the temple and on Tuesday He was back in the temple teaching. This was Jesus last day to teach in the temple before his death and He packed it full. I was thinking this may be what it’s like for the person who gets the terminal diagnosis who has so many things to tell their people. Jesus taught so many parables on this day. The reading is a bit more extensive but He had so much to tell us on this teaching day. One thing that 3 of the gospels hit was this one. 

“Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: “‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?  Matthew 21:42 ESV

Jesus being the cornerstone is also mentioned in Mark 12:10 and Luke 20:17

Jesus knew that He was about to be rejected and turned over to be crucified. He knew that His days of earthly ministry were coming to a close and this was one of his final messages to the people. To us! They would have known that the cornerstone of a building is the foundation that the entire building is built on. The cornerstone is the rock that the entire structure rests. Jesus is the rock that our entire Christian life should rest. This was the week that all of the rituals and the sacrifices would be fulfilled. Jesus was telling them that even though He would be rejected by them that He is the cornerstone. He is what our faith life, the church and all that is good is built on. He is what I want my life to be built on. My hope is built on nothing less.

I didn’t write as much today. Please choose at least one of the scripture passages and read what the Lord had to say on this day!

Holy Week ~ Monday

Reading: Matthew 21:12-17, Mark 11:15-19, Luke 19:45-48, 

“And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers.” Matthew 21:12-13

I have seen and heard that this event could have happened on Sunday or Monday of Holy Week. The most important thing is it is a significant event that took place during this Holy Week. So it definitely bears studying. When I read the book of Matthew it appeared it happened on Sunday following the Triumphal Entry. However, in Mark it reads as if it was Monday. 

Jesus enters the temple and begins to drive people out of the temple who were buying and selling goods. God intended for the temple to be a place of prayer, a place where we go to cleanse our hearts. The temple of the Old Testament was the place where the people came to get atonement for their sins. Yet somehow over time, it had become a place where people could sell their goods and merchandise. Where was the breakdown? When did things change from the house of prayer to a marketplace. No doubt Jesus knew before He entered the temple that this was taking place, it was no surprise to Him when He stepped foot inside. However, He takes this time to get angry, to point out to the people that this was not the intended use for the temple. Jesus words “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers.” In Mark, the quote of Jesus was more complete and lines up more directly with the reference to Isaiah 56:7. “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations.?” (Mark 11:17) This area of the temple was for all people, Jews and Gentiles alike. And it was as far as the Gentiles could go inside the temple. Because of the activity going on in the temple, there was no way that the people could come in and pray.

It is also important to note that he was just as angry at those who were buying as He was at those who were selling. It matters the state of our hearts when we go to the house of God. Yes, the leaders of our churches as well as the Jewish leaders of the day bear a load of maintaining a holy reverence in our churches. However, Jesus didn’t look at the buyers as innocent. The same goes for today. I have heard someone say to me once that they left a church because they were not being “fed”. And it may have been true, it is not my place to judge. However, it is also our responsibility to be sure that our hearts are in a place to be fed when we enter the church doors. The buyers are just as guilty as the sellers. Let’s examine our hearts today. Let’s look and see the state of our hearts as we study this Holy Week. The cool thing about studying the scriptures is He has a word for each of us that will meet us right where we are. As you read the scriptures use this as a guide but ask Him what He wants to teach you today. What He wants to teach you this week. 

Holy Week – Palm Sunday

Reading: Matthew 21:1-11, Mark 11:1-10, Luke 19:28-40 and John 12:12-14

The Triumphal Entry 

And when he had said these things, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. When he drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount that is called Olivet, he sent two of the disciples, saying, “Go into the village in front of you, where on entering you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever yet sat. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ You shall say this: The Lord has need of it.’” So those who were sent went away and found it just as he had told them. And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?” And they said, “The Lord has need of it.” And they brought it to Jesus, and throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. And as he rode along, they spread their cloaks on the road. As he was drawing near-already on the way down the Mount of Olives-the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher rebuke your disciples.” He answered “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.” Luke 19:28-40

Through most of Jesus earthly ministry we see Him not particularly desiring attention and the drawing of a crowd. He drew crowds but it was because of His teaching and His humble spirit. Not because he desired any pomp and circumstance. Yet this time, He knew would be His last entry into Jerusalem before the cross. He was headed for Jerusalem and as He got closer He sent those disciples ahead to get this donkey for Him to ride into town. Take note here, He got a colt, a young donkey that had never had anyone sit on it before. The disciples threw their cloaks on its back and Jesus climbed on it and rode into town. The multitude of disciples and followers began singing His praises and shouting “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” 

I wonder what Jesus was thinking as He rode into Jerusalem that day. As He was seeing the faces in the crowd was He memorizing them knowing He would see these same faces shouting “crucify Him” in the coming days. Or was He just enjoying the moment, knowing what was coming. I love that Jesus gave us this glimpse of His enjoying the praises of His people. I love that He told those Pharisees “if these were silent, the very stones would cry out!” I love praising Him. I love lifting my hands in worship! I love that I can sing Hosanna and Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! And though I know that I will fail Him in the week ahead. I love that He accepts my praise just like He did His crowd of followers on that day riding into Jerusalem. I won’t let the stones cry out in my place! Praise Him today! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! (v.13)

Keep Smiling!


ON 4/4/2020:

Today I woke up before the sun again. But today my focus was on the sounds of the morning. When I wake up all is still and quiet. And then suddenly I will hear a bird singing a morning song. Then the geese will fly over the lake and then slowly all of nature will begin to sing. I love the songs of morning. I have the advantage to live somewhere that I don’t hear a lot of traffic. My morning sounds are nature sounds. I am amazed at all that I hear when I tune my ear to it. I’m not very good at recognizing the different sounds but they are a symphony when you mix them all together. It reminds me of the verse in Zephaniah. 

“The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”  Zephaniah 3:17 ESV 

I do believe that God is in our midst in all of this we are experiencing. I have heard some say we are in the last days, the end times. I don’t know about that. I’m not a scholar. I’m just a simple minded woman who is trying to hang onto anything I can to make sense of any of this. But I do know this. The world woke up singing again today. So I’m going to hang onto Him. I’m going to ask Him to teach me something today. I’m going to ask Him to show me something beautiful in this day. And I am going to ask Him to show me what He wants me to do today. 


The world is waking up again this morning. I just heard the geese over the lake. We are still here a year later and the world is still turning. Is it crazy? Yes! Is there still a virus? Yes! Is there still evil in the world? Yes, just turn on the news if you don’t believe it. I try not to do that too much. Just enough to be somewhat informed but my own mental health is not good if I absorb too much of it. I choose to keep clinging to the one who keeps waking me up day after day. Some might say that is a bit of a Pollyanna attitude but this I know. The last day of earth will not come until God Himself says and no one knows when that will be. What he has called me to do is to live this life looking to Him, the one who gave me life and breath. If I had a life verse this would be it. 

“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8

I love that verse because it puts it all right there in a nutshell. It breaks it down so easy. What does the Lord want me to do? He wants me to act justly to all people. To treat all people as people, we all bleed red so we are all people, created in His image. He wants me to be kind. That’s not so hard, it’s simple really, you speak kindly to people, you open doors, you say excuse me, You smile at other people. Even if you are wearing a mask people can tell if you are smiling at them or scowling at them by your eyes. And we walk with God. By now if you have been following these devotions for any length of time, you know that they come out of my time spent with Him in the mornings. I spend time with Him daily because I would not be a kind and just person if I didn’t. I want to walk humbly with Him every day. It is what keeps me on task. It is what keeps me smiling, and helps me to be kind to others. It helps me some days to put one foot in front of the other. You see I think sometimes we try to make this Christian walk so hard when really it’s right here tucked away in this one little verse in Micah what to do. 

Soul seeking Hope!

On 4/3/2020: 

Have you ever just sat and watched the world wake up. It’s one of my favorite things to do. I like to get up before the sun comes up. I love to watch the sky go from very dark, almost black to dark gray to silver. Then as the sun begins to come through God will paint some of the most glorious paintings you ever did see, I really love it even more when there are a few clouds in the sky. The color plays and dances more gloriously than on a clear day. This morning while watching the world wake up I was reminded of that verse in Lamentations that says His mercies are new every morning. It was just a couple of years ago that I “woke up” to the verses that preceded that verse. The writer of Lamentations is not in a good place. In chapter 3 he points out In verses 1 – 19 that he has seen affliction, he feels forgotten or worse yet punished by God. He feels like his prayers are not being heard and that he is in a desolate place. He feels like people are laughing and they are taunting him. He has lost all hope. But then. I’m not sure what reminded him. Maybe he watched the world wake up. Maybe just time spent in prayer. But his tune changes. And he calls to mind where his Hope is. 

“My soul continually remembers it and is bowed down within me. But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.”  Lamentations 3:20-26 ESV 

We are in a place right now where we are praying God will not forget us. We want the cure. We long to have normal back. Our lives have been changed and disrupted. We have been told to stay home and we have no other choice but to “wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord”. While we are here. While we wait. Let us not forget where our Hope comes from. And let us cling to His new mercies for this day. 


We are still waiting for life to go completely back to normal or at least more back to normal. We have a vaccine now, although I know there are a lot of people afraid of that. I think the rest of the people are just looking at the lesser of the fears. But I don’t want to live in fear. I want to live in the faithfulness of God and in the promise of His new mercies every morning. There will always be something to fear. Today is an Alert Day with the weather. I have never been a fan of bad weather and yes I have felt fear when it was headed my way or toward my people. But I also want to always remember that nothing can happen to me that doesn’t sift through the fingers of my Father and even if the bad stuff happens He will walk me through it. 

This passage in Lamentations is still one of my favorite passages. I think in some way or another we have all gone through seasons where we felt “forgotten” by God. Whether that season was brought on by our own poor choices or decisions or someone else’s. Or just because we live in a fallen world where there are viruses and other illnesses and job losses and evil in the world that somehow touched us. If you have lived long enough you have felt the ebb and flow of “Life is Good” and “Life is Hard”. That’s what this passage reminds me. That even when you are going through the “Life is Hard” part, and the author of Lamentations chapter 3 was going through some hard stuff, if you have been walking with God for any length of time, you can bring to mind His faithfulness and it will bring hope. Friends that is why it is so important to walk with Him all the time especially in the “Life is Good” parts. It helps to bring to mind His faithfulness when you have experienced His faithfulness. My soul has to seek Him daily even on the good days in order to endure the hard days! 

Take Joy in the Lord

ON 4/1/2020:

“Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s he makes me tread on my high places.” Habakkuk 3:17-19

These are surely uncertain days. Our lifetime has never seen any such thing as this thing that is shutting down the whole world. Am I the only one who feels like I’m losing track of time and not really sure what comes next? What day is it? You would never have made me believe two and a half weeks ago when schools started closing that it would go this long much less the possibility for another month ahead. But God knows. The other day when I was out taking my walk I saw this azalea blooming in the edge of the woods. No house, it did not look like anyone had planted it there but there it was just peeking out at me. I had just asked God to show me something beautiful a few minutes before. And then as walking I looked to my left and there it was. I had to stop and take a picture. You see even in the mess. Even in the scariness of not knowing where and who this virus will hit next. Even among people I know who are losing jobs and worrying where they will get the money to pay their bills. Even with the doctors and the nurses who are on the front lines of this new war we are in, who are worrying about bringing this thing home to their families. Even with the teachers who are figuring out a new way to teach and the students who are figuring out a new way to learn. In all of this. The world is still turning. Spring is here. Flowers are still blooming. A new day will come and THIS WILL PASS. I want to try to find God in every day. I want to take joy in Him even in the scary and the uncertain. I see this azalea and the springtime as Hope. Hope for a new day. I’m grateful for these little reminders. My anxious heart needs them. I heard someone say the other day “nature is not afraid”. I found hope in that…… Ask God to show you something beautiful today.


Well, nature is still not afraid. Here we are a year later. I personally had a lot more than a virus last year to make me feel anxious and like I was on shaky ground and that was sort of scary. When I think of the last year, I think of things that we went though as a country. We went through a hurricane season like no other this past year. My little corner of the world saw many tornadoes not too far away. In fact, a couple of them, came a little too close for my comfort. The economy is trying to recover from the last year but it’s got a long way to go. Turn on the news for a while, they aren’t just talking about the virus but there are lots of things that are threatening our lifestyles and our freedoms. It’s like the whole world has gone crazy. And these things are just the outward things that seem big and scary and threatening to our way of life. I know personally I had things too that made me feel like I was walking on shaky ground and like I may not survive unscathed. I’m sure you did too. But even though this past year while, yes in so many ways has been so very hard and scary, here we are again, with Spring springing forth, the flowers are blooming, the trees are putting on their leaves again, the pollen is thick the world is still turning. Please take hope in that. I am choosing to. I am going to ask God to show me something beautiful again today and even though we are still fighting a virus and storms are still coming; 

“yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength.” (vv18-19a)

Ask Him to show you something beautiful today too! 

Which way are you falling?


There are seven “I am” statements that Jesus makes in the book of John. “I am the bread of life” Jn 6:35; I am the light of the world. Jn 8:12; I am the door Jn 10:9; I am the good shepherd Jn 10:11; I am the resurrection and the life Jn 11:25; I am the way, the truth, and the life Jn 14:6; I am the true vine Jn 15:1. 

But this verse that was in my reading today was what I noticed. “When Jesus said to them, I am he, they drew back and fell to the ground.” John 18:6

Do you see that? There was so much power in His speaking the words that the soldiers fell to the ground when he said “I am”. Wow. I have been pondering that while watching the world wake up this morning. In Romans 14:11 and Isaiah 45:23 it says “every knee will bow”. Jesus knocked those Roman soldiers off their feet just by saying I am. What is it that’s bringing you to your knees today? Is it the virus, fear of it? Or is it something else? I get so consumed with the daily updates and the numbers it sometimes shocks me when I see other news pop in on my news feed. I don’t need to forget that people are still getting sick with cancer or other things, there are still marriages crumbling and wayward children. I’ve heard it said that child abuse has increased because of the stress of everyone staying home. Jesus held so much power in His spoken word and we have that power. Just whisper His name under your breath today when you feel on shaky ground. I’m not saying we will wake up tomorrow and it will all be over. (I wish). But if we bow the knee today or get knocked down on our knees today, whichever the case may be. And whisper or cry out His name, we will be a little more stable in our standing tomorrow. 


And it still blows me away! I also heard it said recently, that we should take notice that when Jesus said “I am” to the soldiers they fell backward, they didn’t fall to their knees. That’s because they weren’t his followers. I had never taken note of that. I hope that anytime I feel like I am falling that I will fall to my knees and not backward. I am His so that should be the case. When I re-read this devotional, I wanted to point that out. When your world is shaking and you feel like things may be falling apart, which way are you falling? Are you falling to your knees or are you falling backward? My friends, if you belong to Him, there is no reason to fall backward. Fall to your knees so that you can be in the posture of worship and kneeling in prayer. He will help you get back up. If you are falling backward it is a lot harder to get back up in the standing position than when you fall to your knees. There is a song (you know there always is) it’s called Touch the Sky, there is a line in it “I touch the sky when my knees hit the ground.“ You can too, you can touch the sky or the heart of Jesus or both when your knees hit the ground! 

I sing because I’m Happy!

ON 3/27/2020:

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” Matthew 6:25-27 NIV

“Why do I feel discouraged, why do the shadows come and why does my heart feel lonely and long for heaven and home. When Jesus is my portion, a constant friend is He. His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me.” 

This song has been in my head and on my heart for days now. We are now on two weeks since this thing really started shutting down our part of the world. I remember when we were getting to the end of our spring break week and I started hearing about schools closing and then announcements came out that ours would be closing too. Then came restaurants and the whole world seemed to be shutting down. I thought it was all crazy. And it is. I tend to like to know what’s coming next. I’m not a big fan of change. Yet here we are. We are working from home or staggering hours, social distancing, sheltering in place. I wish someone would/could tell me, this will last ___ long and everything will be back to normal. But at the same time should things ever go back to “normal”? I’m not so sure you can come out of something like this the same or even if you should. So for now I keep singing this song and reminding myself that worry will do me no good. He’s got this. And I’m also asking the Lord how does He want me to be different when this is over. I don’t know the answer to that yet. But I do know that the one who watches the sparrow, sees me and He sees you too. 


Ohh I think if anyone would have told me last year we would still be worrying about this this year I could not have handled it. I guess sometimes we are better off not knowing some things. 

 I still struggle with being a worrier even a year later. I haven’t been that way all my life. I used to be very good at laying a lot of things down at His feet and not picking them up again. Or maybe I am just remembering it that way. Maybe I really did worry in real time. I think looking back has a way sometimes of us, or at least me, not remembering how bad things felt at the time. I see posts on social media and I hear talk about how we have just lost a year of our life. And yes, it has been a different year for sure but I don’t really feel like it has been lost. My family has had some good things happen in this year and some bad things. We are welcoming a new sweet grand baby in a few weeks. My sons are both in good places in life for the moment. I still have a good job with good people to work with. We still love our life and our community and have made new friends. I survived Covid and my family did not get it from me! 

I can say that today I don’t feel sad or discouraged like maybe I did a year ago when I wrote the original post. I do still love that song and I do still cling to the one who watches over me and I praise Him and thank Him for seeing me through the past year and for not letting me know it would be a year! I still want Covid to go away! I wonder what the future holds for our family. But I do trust the one who saw us through the past year to see us through the next one because I know he watches me! 


On 3/25/21

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

Romans 8:28 ESV

I have had this verse on my mind and heart for the past couple of weeks. I have asked the Lord how He can work this for good! I think we’ve all seen countless ways. The internet is flooded with church services, Sunday School lessons and worship songs. Families are eating dinner together. Life in general has not just slowed down in some ways it’s come to a STOP. In my life personally I have had good time at home. I’m reading and creating more. (I haven’t quite fit in the exercise yet but I’m working on it) I’ve enjoyed, almost to the point of feeling guilty, the slower pace. What can God work for your good in all of this? How can He restore your soul? I’m not saying that God caused this pandemic. But He can surely use it if we lay it at his feet. I miss the people too. I enjoy my people. I love church and gathering with friends and oh how I look forward to that again. But right now, while we must stay home to stop the spread, I’m asking Him to work this out for my good. And if you are His, you can do the same. 


I love this verse.  I have loved it for a long time. Even before I made myself realize the stipulations that go along with this verse. That all things work for good for those who LOVE GOD and are CALLED ACCORDING TO HIS PURPOSE! It’s not  that all things are going to work for good for those who don’t love God. BUT if you LOVE GOD, then you are CALLED to work for God in some way or another. Some are called to vocational ministry, true, but we, who LOVE Him all have some sort of ministry, we all have purposes in the kingdom and therefore we all have purpose! Therefore, yes, all things will work together for good, for the good of His kingdom and for our good. Even the hard things in life, if you lay them at His feet and ask Him to use them, they will work for good. 

So how has this past year worked for good? During the original writing I was still working from home and I was enjoying my time at home, but I went back to the office in June of last year. I have to say that for me, I have been more focused in my time at home since the whole thing hit last year. When I am home, I really am creating more, and/or studying or writing more than I was before. (I still haven’t gotten in sync with the exercise.) I still think that while this has been a hard year, that it seems to me that families in general are more inwardly focused than they were before. More people are coming back to church in the building lately and I can honestly say that it seems more vibrant and lively than before. It feels like there is more of an appreciation for it than before. I know I personally took it for granted. I loved church before, but I really love being in church now. I look around every Sunday and I am just so grateful to be there.

I really do not want this to come off as a simplistic, Pollyanna approach. I have had some hard stuff happen and this has been a hard year for everyone. But I can honestly say to you that I am a more content person, happier and yes in a lot of ways much more productive and feel like the purposes that He has for me have a direction that I didn’t necessarily feel prior to the year we have just had. I can honestly tell you that things that have happened this past year, while they have been hard, have been worked out for my ultimate good. I see His hand on my life, and the lives of the people I love in ways that I have maybe not seen Him before. Not that He wasn’t working before, but I think I recognize His hand more. By now you know I like reflecting. But it’s not meant to be reflecting to stay in the past but to see what direction my future is taking. Reflecting is good when it is meant to see the blessings. It builds faith and trust that He’s got you! When you can see how He has worked things for your good, even the hard stuff of life, it’s easier to place your trust that He will continue to work for your good.