A Happy New Year

sfOh, how good it is to be writing…the healing balm that it is!  I haven’t done healing writing since going back to school to work on my bachelor’s degree.  I’m just too exhausted.  No complaints though, I know it is God’s will for me right now and, it’s what I want to be doing as well.

I am looking forward to a good new year this 2017.  2016 was a year full of challenges and changes for me.  Two of which were huge, and taking me in brand new directions in life.  While any variance change requires faith, these two biggies stole the show!  I’m glad to report that unlike times in my past, this time I took the step of faith in both cases, and I am genuinely glad I did.  God is good!

I haven’t shared about these changes with many people.  I was and still am determined to stay positive, hopeful, and optimistic about my future.  The Lord graciously laid out a smooth transition for me, and I knew I needed to be very careful not to invite off the mark opinions or projections from other people’s egotism, anxiety, or jealousy into my hopeful new adventure.  Since I’m viewing these changes from the prospective of a new adventure full of possibilities, I need to protect this transition which involves doing my best to avoid certain situations and conversations.  I don’t want anyone intentionally or unintentionally planting seeds of doubt in my mind.  I keep reciting my paraphrase of Jeremiah 29:11 saying, God has awesome plans for my life! I shared only with a few people I trusted who would keep it in the sacred space between us and cover it in prayer.

For the time being, I’m on Christmas break, and my classes will be starting up again soon. uhI have taken this time to read an awesome book that has inspired and re-kindled the warm glow of the holy spirit within me.  It is An Untroubled Heart, by Micca Campbell.  I decided to include mentioning her book in this post because there is a story in the book about an athlete who had a life changing injury, who similar to me, saw his future as a new adventure.  As I read, I resonated with his attitude.  The cover on this book is just heartwarming to look at, especially since the area where I live was a whopping -24 below zero this morning…brrrrr!  I have so enjoyed reading this book during this Christmas break in my new home.  It has been peaceful and restorative.  He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams…Psalm 23:2 NLT   

On another note, I would like to be a voice for those of us who are quiet and reserved persons. I think being quiet and reserved is misinterpreted by many.  Although I’m so much better than I used to be, I have always been a quiet and reserved person.  The degree of my quietness depends on the environment I’m in and the people I’m around.  Last fall, I was attacked by someone I mistakenly confided in about my classes. It was in a group setting while doing a group activity.  I was trying to be inclusive of everyone in the group by asking how they thought a certain passage would best be summarized.  It wasn’t that I didn’t understand the concept, I was just trying to extend a common courtesy by including everyone’s thoughts, and I will emphasize that I was out of my comfort zone by stepping into my voice to initiate the discussion.  At the time, I couldn’t think of a better way to get over my fear of public speaking than to start in a small group setting.

This person’s response cut like a knife when she used information about my classes I shared with her as ammunition against me in front of the whole group saying more than once, “You’ve written all these analytical papers and you can’t think of a simple sentence.”  Ouch!!!  Not only was my intention of initiating group participation misinterpreted, but she also revealed how she truly saw me.  Cold water was definitely thrown on my personal growth goal to get over public speaking that day!  I know this is due to my quiet shy nature in previous experiences…I haven’t always made my voice known even when I have an accurate answer or something good to share.

On behalf of all the quiet, shy, and reserved persons out there, I would like to say that just because we are not out grandstanding our knowledge or spouting it off like a used car salesman, doesn’t mean we don’t comprehend and treasure God’s word in our hearts and share it in unique ways with others.  Romans 12:6-8 NIV says, “We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.  If your gift is prophesying then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach, if it is to encourage then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.  I’m not losing sleep over this experience, I have since let God heal me up with his love.  I’m bringing it up to serve as a reminder to all on behalf of those out there who are misunderstood.

We’ll here is to an exciting New Year.  May we saturate our changes and struggles with faith and trust in God, and embrace His will and all the new in store.  May His grace and peace be multiplied to you!

sf

ASK FOR PERMISSION Heather Britain and Blessed At All Times, April 2015.Unauthorized use and/or duplication of written material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

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Beautiful Fall

image-20-10-15-02-51-5Well it’s that beautiful time of year again! Fall, autumn, cornucopia of beauty, robustness of season, splendor of God’s canvass, essence of beauty itself, glory of the Lord, all of nature declares God’s glory, hmmm…I can’t think of any more creative ways to describe fall at the moment.

Early-fall started out to be challenging for me. A lot of mud and muck flung at me from a few directions; however, it all seems to be working itself out and the truth seems to be shining its way through more and more thank the Lord! He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn, and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun. Psalm 37:6 NLT

Mid-fall has just been beautiful. I got re-baptized on the 4th of October! I have no words to describe how amazing and different I felt when I came up out of the water, just that it felt sacred and beautiful on a visceral level. I’m so glad I followed through on God’s call to do this.

I’m reading a new book that is nourishing me in all the right ways at this time. Girl Meets Change: Truths to Carry You through Life’s Transitions. The words in this book are marinated in God’s word, and they are simmering in my soul. During my lunch breaks I’ve been walking through Lander City Park praying, speaking scriptures, and saying affirmations over my current circumstances/mountains. I walk along doing this while admiring God’s autumn essences called Mother Nature. It’s the perfect temperature full of colors and natural beauty. You can’t beat that for a prayer sanctuary.  Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy! Psalm 96:12 NIV

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The God based affirmations I wrote for my current circumstances were inspired from reading this book and are helpful in grounding my situation in peace by driving home biblical truths and trusting God has an amazing plan for my life. I just need to keep putting one foot in front of the other and encouraging my heart to keep believing God is working something amazing out for me even though I feel like I’m stuck in neutral spinning my wheels in one place with this situation.

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These fall walks in the park have been reminding me of my mom too. She passed away a few years ago. This was both of our favorite time of year. I remember going home on the weekends and just her presence was a healing balm. Whether I had a good day or a bad day, she was always my number one fan and always in my corner when life started pushing me around. Mom was very creative, crafty, and had a very festive heart. The house was always decorated from fall to Thanksgiving through New Year’s and had a warm loving ambiance. What I would do for one more conversation with her over a cup of apple cider or cocoa.  How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.   James 4:14 NLT

image-20-10-15-03-33God willing, my dad is flying me down where he lives on the coast of Texas near Port Aransas to spend Thanksgiving this year. This will be a real treat since it should be warm no coat weather there and it will still feel like fall instead of winter to me. It will be good to spend time with my dad.

I will end on this note: A few falls ago, I became somewhat fixated with the word gratitude. It strongly rose up on the inside of me and I read everything I could on the subject. I started carrying a pocket sized leaf cut out of some type of metal with gratitude engraved on it.  I guess the Holy Spirit was trying to tell me something. Too bad I wasn’t blogging back then.  The word gratitude makes my insides feel like a kid a Christmastime! I do practice thankfulness year round; however, this time of year it just seems to come alive and take on a life of its own.  How could it not with all this autumn beauty declaring God’s glory! No wonder fall has always been a favorite time of year! I just had to throw this tidbit of info in for good measure.   Seeds of joy burst forth for the lovers of God! So be glad and continue to give Him thanks, for His holiness is seen in everything He does. Psalm 97:11,12 TPT

There are still several weeks of fall left. If anything super amazingly cool happens I will write an update!

The Lord be with you all!

Throwback picture of Britney many falls ago.
Throwback picture of Britney many falls ago.

ASK FOR PERMISSION Heather Britain and Blessed At All Times, April 2015.Unauthorized use and/or duplication of written material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.