Thanks‘giving’ back: appreciation in action

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Photo by Simon Maage on Unsplash.

First, thank you for stopping by my website. I appreciate you! Secondly, if you haven’t already guessed, this month my focus is all about “giving thanks by giving back.” In fact, I will be donating $1 to a local food bank for each new email subscriber in November. If you’d like to sign up…[read more]

No trespassing: guarding our time

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Photo by Michael Dziedzic on Unsplash.

During Bible study, we’ve spent time discussing the importance of—and how to—guard our prayer time. This prompted me to ask the question: What if I take that concept and apply it to other areas of my life, too? Like building relationships, pursuing new passions, developing and/or honing fresh skills and knowledge…[read more]

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 meaning of prayer: breaking it down

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Photo by Benjamin Suter on Unsplash.

During my husband’s and my move from Arizona’s Southwest Valley—to a small town located along the Mogollon Rim that borders the Coconino National Forest—we left our old lives behind to begin a new adventure. At one point, a vehicle passed us with the words “Keep praying!”…[read more]

Choosing the right path: answering the question

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Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash.

In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. ~ Proverbs 3:6

How do you know you’re on the right path? The closed doors—or in our case a power outage—seem obvious. Yet what about when details fall into place, doors open, it looks like a done deal and then…[read more]

Synchronicity at work: trusting the power of prayer

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Photo by Vladimir Fedotov on Unsplash.

syn·chro·nic·i·ty | \ ˌsiŋ-krə-ˈni-sə-tē , ˌsin- \ plural synchronicities: the coincidental occurrence of events and especially psychic events… that seem related but are not explained by conventional mechanisms of causality… ~ Merriam Webster

In my post, “Divine interruptions,” I wrote about a power outage—an incident that occurred summer of 2021 when my husband and I embarked on a new venture, and which involved…[read more]

Morning rituals: finding a sustainable practice that sustains you

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Sunrise

Let’s talk morning rituals. Over the past year, I’ve read tips on making the most of the initial hours in a day—from “eating the frog” to exercising to avoiding social media to praying or fasting. Although I’ve tried all of the above and more, my focus over the past year and a half has included three top priorities: prayer, purpose and performance. During the first hour of my day, I reconnect to my “source” through devotions and Bible readings. Then, I journal for 15-20 minutes before jumping into that day’s creative pursuits. Finally, I hop on my exercise bike, hit the yoga mat and power walk through my neighborhood or head for the mountain trails. And not only has this morning ritual sustained me during an unsettled 2020 and into the new year, but it also proves to be a sustainable practice that I can adjust as needed.

Visit my new home at chrismadayschmidt.com and let me know what type of practice, morning or otherwise, sustains you?

You’re not going that way anyway

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Is there a go-to place you seek for inspiration or insight? The mountains fill that role for me. Before each hike, I ask: What do I need to know? followed by prayer for an open mind and heart to receive. Sometimes, I experience “ah-ha” moments; other times a surprise spotting of deer prompts me to look up and view the world in front of me. One fresh insight aligns with the latest writing adventure on which I embarked (see “My future self…”). Concerned that a few other trekkers chose a similar route as me during a recent outing, I feared disruption of much-needed solitude. Yet these hikers opted for a different trail, leaving me with unfounded worry—a reminder not to waste energy agonizing over choices that others make. This coincides with years of envying fellow writers, while seeking their “maps” to success. And realizing that each of us get to forge a path unique to our own journey.

How do you know you’re on the right path?

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.

If you have to ask yourself if it’s wrong: it’s wrong

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A while back, a friend was wrestling with a right-or-wrong type of decision and praying for discernment. My response: If you have to ask if it’s wrong, then it’s wrong. That same sentiment popped up recently in a Christian women’s group I recently joined. Yet, even those not grounded in Biblical principles know that our intuition—polished over the years through trials and triumphs—offers a decent gauge as far as “gut feelings.” I believe it serves as a warning bell alerting us to booby traps ready to easily derail if we’re not on guard. Or, perhaps we’ve chosen to ignore the flashing lights, only to plunge headfirst into the unknown, regardless. Sure we could end up unscathed. But we also might find ourselves so off track that it takes months—or years—to regain solid ground while we mend the superficial scratches or tend to deeper wounds. Seek that still small voice today. Stay the course. The race has only begun.

What decision are you wrestling with?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

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