Happy July 4th!

Hey all!

I just wanted to take this day to wish you a Happy July 4th and good times with all whom you are spending this day with, from family and friends.

Remember those who sacrificed for us on this day and give thanks always for Him who made it.

God bless and enjoy!

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God Did Something Great When He gave Us Pets…

One of my sweet, sweet kitties!

As I sit here, cuddling my cat in my arms, I think of this.

Most of the world has pets of some kind. Either domestic pets like cats and dogs that live in our house or outdoor animals to care for like horses, cows, chickens, goats, etc.

When God gave us charge of animals in Genesis Chapter 1, He knew exactly what He was doing.

Research has shown what animals do for us: calm us, offer up companionship and love, provide warmth, comfort, and compassion, give us something to cry on, something to hold onto, something to love…

They prolong our life by giving us something to live for. They are loyal. They protect us. They’ll take a bullet for us. Defend us if we need it. Kill mice that enter our home. Purr so the house is not so quiet.

I could go on and on…

Wild animals…

Seeing a bald eagle soar over the skies inbibes me with magic and majesty and a sense that this world is alright despite what you hear on the news.

Animals in nature are splendid. Gorgeous. Perfect. Doing what God created them to do. The perfect example of living for their basic needs in the present moment and no more. How we should live.

Out of all of God’s gifts to mankind, this has to rank near the top. Giving us something to live for outside of ourselves especially when we are old, alone, and sometimes forsaken…

This is why I believe all dogs (and cats) go to heaven…

God is great. God is good. God is omniscient, omnipotent, wonderful.

When you start to doubt anything about God, hug your pet. Guaranteed God is there with you…

What to Expect This Summer…

Hey all!

BSF is over and for many of us that means the accumulation of dust on our Bibles begins!

Hence, I’ve been brainstorming what I can do to keep you and me in the Word (short of a full-blown Bible study as I need a break too!).

Here’s what to expect:

I will continue my devotionals on Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays.  Like last year, these will be short and to the point, meant to be read and digested in a couple of minutes, leaving time for personal prayer and application on your life and circumstances.

My poetry contributor extraordinare, Lissette Trahan, has agreed to share short prayers with us that she has collected over many, many years.  These will appear on Tuesday and Thursday.  For those of you who struggle to know what to pray (I know I do!), I am praying these will give you a starting point!

Saturday will continue to be inspiring quotes on my heart at the moment.

Prayer requests will be on hiatus until the Fall but if you have something, please email it to me (atozmom.wordpress@gmail.com).  If I get enough response, I will post these once a month or so depending on volume.

Book reviews will appear as I get them done and when I find those worthy of recommending.

Finally, I am asking that you please pray about donating to my blog (the donation button is in the sidebar to the right).  I am only working part-time and would like to continue to do so in order to devote time to this forum, which I feel is an important endeavor and calling, and my other writings.  If you’ve been helped this year by my studies and if you’re led to give and are able, please consider doing so.  I would be eternally grateful.  If not, no worries!  I still love you all!!!

God bless, and I hope you have a fun, warm, and God-led summer!

New Year’s Resolutions!

Hey all!

Welcome to 2018!

I wanted to write about something we all think about come January 1st:  New Year’s Resolutions.

For many, it’s lose weight and eat healthier.

For some, it’s find the right career path.

Others, it’s grow closer to God.

Many have multiple goals/resolutions.

Resolution is by definition:  “a firm decision to do or not to do something.”

It is an act of will power.

This explains why so many people fall off the wagon after only 6 weeks and the New Year is long forgotten.

Our will power is limited.  We have to have help.  That’s where God comes in.

You also have to help yourself.

So here’s my suggestions for sticking to your New Year’s Resolutions year-long:

  1. Find an accountability partner.  Someone who will call you out when you cheat or take one step off the wagon.
  2. Enlist God’s help especially if it’s spiritual.  Only He can help you change.
  3. Help yourself i.e. quit sabotaging yourself.  For example, throw away all of your temptation food AND DON’T BUY IT!!!
  4. You have to want it.  You have to crave it.  You have to work towards it.  You have to have micro-goals within your macro-goals.  Every day you take one step towards your goals.  Over time, this will add up to change.
  5. Reward yourself for your progress.  Starbucks, chocolate (a small amount if you’re it’s a diet goal!), a new book, a trip to the mountains or the ocean–somewhere that’s nearby that will inspire you to keep at it.
  6. Don’t give up!  If you fall, pick yourself up the next day.  Don’t beat yourself up either.  Same principle.  We are not perfect.  Allow wiggle-room.

New Year’s Resolutions (like Mother’s Day) should occur more than once a year.  Slow and steady does win the race when it’s a marathon.  And that’s what you’re running.  So breathe.  Prepare.  And take off!  Good luck!!

End-of-Year Giving…

Hey all!

Christmas is such a time of joy and celebration.  It’s a time of reflection and family and quality time together.

However, this is also a depressing time of year for many.  Loss of a loved one or downtrodden financially or health issues amongst other reasons make the end of year hard.

In this time of need, I’d like to encourage you to give to the needy in your community.  We as Americans are so very blessed to live in this country at this time.  All those in the developed world are blessed.  All around us are needs that are often unspoken and unnoticed.

I would just like to encourage you to remember to make the most of your end of year giving.  Whether it’s to the local animal shelter, the homeless, your church, your neighbor, your colleague, your family, etc.  We are all blessed to have breath in our bodies, to have God in our hearts, to have His mission and purpose guiding us, to lead the lives we are leading.

On that note, I would appreciate any donations as well to my blog.  It keeps me doing what I do and helps my family as well.  Just use the donation button on my sidebar.  I thank you in advance.

I know a lot of us do struggle with finances.  But there’s always something we can do.  Everything counts.  Everything matters.  No matter how little.  Consider giving your time and energy instead of money.  Often times a smiling face and a kind word are all someone needs to make it through the day.

God bless you all.  I’m so grateful you are in my life.  I hope you all remain so.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

I Am SO Grateful…

Happy Thanksgiving, one and all!

Wow!  What an amazing year it’s been!

I want to say with all my heart how grateful I am for each and every one of you.  When I started this blog eight years ago, I never dreamed it would become what it has.  I hope it has touched you all in some small way, stimulated your thinking, offered up advice, and enlightened you in your journey on this side of heaven as you prepare for the other side of heaven.

There’s been ups and down but with perseverance as Paul has said comes growth and hope and character. You all have stuck with me and supported me both by visiting my blog and by donating on my sidebar.  I truly can’t thank you enough.  There have been many times I’ve asked myself why I keep doing this and the answer has always come around to you all.  You hold me accountable as much as I hold you accountable.

I’ve finally found what I’ve been seeking:  a home-based business that provides me with the lifestyle I’ve always dreamed of AND given me the freedom to still be there for my kids.  Passions that I can’t live without (BSF, CrossFit, coffee!).  A husband that loves and supports me in everything.  Kids who are good-hearted and kind to others (although not always to each other).  Family that is there in emergencies.  Animals to care for who fill me with love and compassion and restfulness I dearly need.  And God whose hand is always holding mine and leading me every step of every day.

And you all!  Each comment you leave enriches me beyond words.  Thank you for taking time out of your busy-ness to share here and be authentic and open and loving.  Your thoughts, passions, and advice is greatly appreciative as are your corrections as well.  You share a small portion of your life here and in turn I have blossomed because of it.

I’m grateful for Lissette Trahan.  Lissette’s amazing poetry as such a blessing in my life (and I hope yours).  She’s come on as a contributor and shared her heart, and I sincerely hope you are enjoying her words as much as I am.  Check out her work under “Lissette’s Lyrics” either on the top menu or the sidebar.  She has an amazing gift that she’s sharing with all of you.

I’m right where God has placed me (and so are you).  Everything He has done has led to this moment and to the next moment and so forth.  He will continue to lead me.  Everything in my life is for His good.  Everything in your life is for His good.

Beginning next week, I’ll start a new segment entitled “Saturday’s Snippets” where I’ll share little thoughts from what I’m learning in my life.  Sometimes Biblically based.  Sometimes not.  Little nuggets to grasp onto when sometimes that’s what we desperately need.  Similar to my summer devotions, they will be pithy and crisp.

On this amazing and beautiful day of Thanksgiving, my hope and prayer is for you all to live life to the fullest, following God’s plan for your life, living in the present, creating an amazing future, filing the past where it belongs, and living consciously, not unconsciously.  Life is too short to do otherwise.

God bless you on this day of Thanksgiving–a day for Him and by Him.  Grateful for all you have and all you don’t have.  Grateful for all that is coming.  Grateful for Him to be in control.  Grateful for Him to bring us home.