Snow? Who Knows. 

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I never feel more stereotypically Southern than when the weather forecast includes a winter event. I get a knot in my stomach and pray I can be home and safely inside before anything happens. 

I don’t drive well in wintry conditions and very much prefer to avoid the whole thing. Of course, it doesn’t help that I work about 20 miles from home so there’s always the fear of not being able to make it. 

Larry and I went to the store last night although we didn’t buy milk and bread. We just didn’t have real food in the house. We should be set come what may. 

Tonight, we’ve had freezing rain and snow and are comfortably settled in for a long winter’s nap. Here’s to a safe night and prayers that the power stays on.  

Morning Routine

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I read a blog post several years ago about the importance of establishing and maintaining a morning routine. I have no idea who wrote it or how I found it, but I remember the essence of the idea that a good morning plan helps us prepare for and meet our day. 

I have, over the past few mornings, begun shaping one of my own. It’s a mixture of quiet time with God, Bible reading, coffee drinking, and conversation with Larry. 

As I shape a good start to each day, I am trying to teach my mind to focus on God first. It’s amazing to me how many other things are my first thoughts in the morning: other people, work deadlines, writing needs, or even that thing I meant to add to the grocery list. These aren’t bad things, in and of themselves, but I want to seek first God’s kingdom and righteousness and not get carried away with one thought leading to another and another and another until the day is done. 

Psalm 143:8 says, “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.”

That is my prayer for each day of this year. 

One Good Cup of Coffee

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I went to Atlanta one day and had lunch with a friend. We ate in this garden just a few yards from a busy street, but it felt like another world. Tucked away in this restaurant’s patio, we chatted over tacos and French press coffee. 

I’ve thought about that coffee a lot and was tempted during the Christmas shopping season to get a French press for myself. I managed to refrain. 

Until after Christmas. 

The combination of an Amazon gift card and encouragement from a friend was the push I needed to do something I very much wanted any way. So I ordered it while still at the dinner table that night. 

It wasn’t supposed to arrive until Tuesday, my first day back at work, so I tucked it away as something to do this coming weekend. I was pleasantly surprised on Monday when I got a text that my package had arrived. 

After a trip to Kroger for Kona coffee beans, I unpacked my press and my coffee grinder and proceeded to make the most awful cup of weak coffee ever. The first one went down the drain, but I’ve been improving steadily ever since. 

This morning, as I am writing this, I am sipping on one good cup of coffee. I may still have some tweaking to do, but my French press is safe from being returned (it didn’t look good there for a while).

The French press is like many things in life: that elliptical I lost the battle with last night, the writing that I have such a love/hate relationship with, walking by faith. It takes practice, patience, and perseverance. It takes time. 

In our microwave or dare I say Keurig world, we want everything ready in just a few seconds. It’s easy to be impatient with ourselves, with others, and even with God. But He doesn’t work on our schedule and life isn’t controlled by a few quick pushes of a button. 

Psalm 27:14 tells us to “wait on the Lord and be of good courage.” And just a few pages over, in Psalm 34:8, it says, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.”

That’s better than my coffee. And He’s well worth the wait. 

Living in a Future World

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When I was a kid, there was a song about partying like it was 1999. We figured we’d all be traveling around in space by 2001. Those are distant memories, here in the future world of 2017. 

I marvel sometimes at the things my daddy witnessed in his lifetime: trading radio for tv for the internet, progressing from airplanes to space flight. It’s easy to marvel at the progress of it all, and I’m thankful to have been born in a time of doctors and indoor plumbing. 

But as I turn the corner from 46 headed squarely toward 47, I can’t help but wonder what changes are ahead. We’re heading to the 3-d movie theatre to see the new Star Wars so maybe that counts as research. 

It does make one imagine what wonders there may be out there somewhere beyond the horizon of this new year. 

Auld Lang Syne

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I’ve been looking back through my #366Days challenge and read with interest my posts about the start of 2016. They were filled with goals and visions and optimism for a new year, common to many of us at this time. 

I had writing goals and wellness goals and promised a commitment to spending more time with my family and trying to be kinder to myself. I didn’t keep all of the promises or hit all of the marks I had mapped out in my mind, but looking back in these waning moments of this year I see lots of good that has passed, countless blessings and kindnesses, lots of progress and my fair share of just plain slogging through. 

This is the stuff of life, I think. And some might be tempted to say that ours is but to keep on keeping on. 

But the optimistic part of my heart doesn’t look merely back toward the year receding like waves returning to the dark sea. My mind’s eye turns also to the dawn breaking on the horizon above fresh waves, days that will come with sparkling new mercies from God and with grace and strength to see us through. 

On my good days, my calorie counting app tells me I can reach my goal weight in this coming year if I do the work. My heart tells me there are writing projects and opportunities for me if I am brave enough and strong enough to do the work. 

If. I. Do. The. Work. 

For the past couple of years, I’ve chosen a word that served as a sort of theme for my year. There was Emerge. Then Believe. This year, though it’s more than one word, I am choosing So She Did. 

I love that Internet quote–have even saved it as the wallpaper on my phone: She believed she could so she did.

Time will tell how that theme unfolds, and I will be quick to add that I don’t believe I can do anything in my own strength but that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me and, as the song says, with a little help from my friends (and family).

Here’s to a year of doing the things I find to do and of honoring God with the living of these new days. 

Happy 2017, friends. May God bless us every one.