Forget the past: doing a new thing

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Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness… ~ Isaiah 43:18-19

Recently, I wrote about unpacking #allthefeels. And I still have a more to unpack. I think, in a way, it’s been about…[read more]

The in-between space: how to bridge the gap

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Photo by Tim Swaan on Unsplash.

Prior to the final move to our wooded property in Northern Arizona—both vehicles loaded down with last-minute household items, clothes and the contents of our fridge and freezer—my husband and I spent a week wrapping up loose ends in the Southwest Valley. It proved an ongoing challenge to…[read more]

A call to action: setting the wheels in motion

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Photo by Laura Ockel on Unsplash.

A few weeks ago, I ran across a meme on social media filled with words I needed to hear. Maybe you do, too. Basically, you wouldn’t plant a seed, and then dig it up every few minutes to see if it grew. Right? So why do we insist on second-guessing…[read more]

Leveraging the most of our time: pressing into the wait

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Photo by Artem Maltsev on Unsplash.

We’ve all likely heard the directive to “be patient” at least once in our lives. It might even be a situation that required us to “wait on the Lord.” Waiting is hard stuff. But what if we could…[read more]

Surrendering: the painful process of pruning

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How often do you pray for patience, and then without warning a situation occurs that demands an inner fortitude that a) you never knew you possessed and b) you wouldn’t need to tap into had you not asked for patience? I wrestle with this lately. But not patience so much as seeking to live out my word for the year: growth—which shows up as frequent “pruning” and a daily practice in humility. Merriam-Webster defines pruning as “to cut off or cut back parts of for better shape or more fruitful growth.” As a Christian, this can be a painful process of surrendering in any number of ways, such as letting go of a position, possession, relationship or some other desire to better align oneself to the image of Jesus. In my case: be careful what you pray for. Yet without a season of pruning, we carry around “dead branches” that hinder our ability to grow. And to eventually flourish.

What area of your life could use pruning?

Image courtesy of adamr at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Walking into the new year like: putting on a new identity

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On New Year’s Eve day, I awakened early, my spirit bubbling with anticipation. This is it, ready or not, the new year—the new decade (depending on which “camp” you reside)—begins in T minus 20 hours. And I decided right then—the scent of rich hazelnut coffee permeating my kitchen—I need a new identity to accompany the new year. I’m not talking about the witness protection change of identity but, rather, an identity that I can speak life into. One that I can fix my gaze on and watch unfurl. Not unlike a “word” you might choose (see “20/20 vision…”), it’s who you envision yourself to be. As for me: I’m a Godly woman, a loving and patient wife and mother, joyful worker, kind friend and gentle neighbor. I’m creative, organized and successful. Even when I fall short. Because the truth is: we’re a work in progress, ever evolving. Until we become who we were truly created to be.

What identity do you believe about yourself?

20/20 vision: ring in a new look, new direction

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Anyone else brimming with excitement over the ball dropping in T-minus 19 days? I love a blank slate—revisiting previous goals and dreaming new dreams—366 new beginnings to be exact (yes, it’s a Leap Year). And this year begins a new decade, so I hear—along with my new “word” for 2020: growth. For those of you who have experienced your own growing pains that often accompany progress, you know that growth can manifest itself from the inside out. This undoubtedly requires an exercise in patience when unable to immediately discern external change. Or, it may appear messy on the outside initially but, as you cultivate your goals, the fruit of your efforts begin to blossom. Stay tuned as I grow in tangible ways, including a new direction for Always The Write Time blog. I’m thrilled to share this fresh season with followers of my rhetoric and ramblings—the messy, the colorful and everything in between. Buckle up for an exciting ride ahead.

Happy New Year blessings!

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Quit forcing the issue: a study in contrasts

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During a solo hike on the Sonoran trails last month, I sought—as a matter of course—divine guidance pertaining to my vocation, my relationships and my spiritual, physical and emotional health. Oftentimes, it requires miles of silence, a veritable test in patience, for me to gain any type of clarity. That afternoon proved no different and, while I navigated the ins and outs of a new-to-me trail system, I sensed clear instruction: Quit forcing the issue. Although not quite the message I’d expected or hoped for, I understood the directive. For a planner like me, however, to sit back and go with the flow also illustrates a study in contrasts—not unlike the vibrant desert blooms fixed against a backdrop of rugged terrain. Yet, the moment I quit forcing the issue created space: to either freak out, or to growth within. To wallow in the challenges, or to celebrate the victories. Most important, it allowed the magic to unfurl.

What issue do you need to quit forcing?

No wrapping necessary: the gift of grace

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With the holidays in full swing (wasn’t it just Christmas?), I’ve noticed tempers are quick(er) to flare, smiles are less forthcoming and a pall of malaise feels all too real. In addition, the hours in our days are set to fast forward. I read an article recently about patience suggesting: instead of praying for it, try practicing it. With Christmas and the new year making appearances in a mere few weeks, I have no doubt there will be opportunities galore to practice patience, to extend grace. For example, choose the longest checkout line at the grocery store. Pick the slowest lane of traffic. Yield to other drivers. The more we mindfully practice patience, the more it will become second nature when we don’t have a choice about which line, lane or crisis we’re muddling through. What about the harried pharmacist, receptionist or caller, colleague or spouse, child or stranger? Practice patience, and give the gift of grace this holiday season. No wrapping necessary.

How do you practice patience?

Image courtesy of freebieshutterb at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Your breaking point: recognize the signs

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This past year seems like it’s elapsed in a whirlwind, with my goal to pursue the power of P (peace, patience, purpose and a more passionate prayer life) being usurped by the practice of mindfulness. Which makes sense, because it’s a concept that involves each of these pursuits. This past weekend, the chance to practice mindfulness showed up in a big way: As is often the case, my plans on paper did not translate well into real time, and I quickly recognized the signs that signal my “breaking” point. Close to panic mode when the little piles and pressures in front of me become overwhelming, I turn inward and disengage. Oftentimes, this means a solitary trek into the mountains as a means of avoidance. This weekend, however, I opted to dodge all outside commitments to allow my soul to catch up to my body right where I was at. To let the day unfold with no agenda. And with no regrets.

What does your breaking point look like?

Image courtesy of Graphics Mouse at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

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