Musings From A Musical Mind

Posts tagged ‘Prayer’

Courage

enhanced-buzz-7499-1382729142-22We recently saw the movie “Saving Mr. Banks” based on the true events surrounding the making of the movie “Mary Poppins”.  After we saw the movie I googled the author of the book Mary Poppins and was fascinated.  While I’m sure her story is supposed to be the main focus of this movie, I found myself very keyed in to the story of Walt Disney himself.  To wait twenty years to get permission for the rights for this special book, as a promise to his young daughter – takes tenacity, patience and yes, courage.

The author, P.L. Travers was shown as difficult, picky and snobbish.  She insisted on every session being recorded so there would be no misunderstanding of exactly what she wanted.  She blocked many of the creative moves of Disney’s writers and musicians, and it was a very slow process to get her to agree to the movie.

Walt Disney, portrayed by a very talented Tom Hanks – was a man of high ideals, quick mind and tons of creativity.  He was also used to getting his way.  But he knew what he wanted and he could see it completed in his mind years before it was ever a hit musical.

I love dreamers.  It takes courage – real courage to look defeat in the face and hear “NO” said over and over again, yet not falter in either belief or commitment.  Disney was a dreamer.  Not just the kind to dream his life away with nothing to show for it.  But a man of principle and blind faith in dreams coming true.  I want to be that kind of dreamer.  With that kind of courage.  To see beyond my present circumstances in life.  To know that there is something better for all those friends and family of mine who are struggling with health, hopelessness or grief.  Enough faith to never doubt again.

This is my prayer: “Lord shine your light in this dark world and the deep dark crevices of my mind.  Help me to see beyond with childlike faith.  To believe and stand firm.  When life throws me a few curves and I am tempted to doubt, have self-pity and give in to negative – give me YOUR strength to have courage and stand tall.  Even through the storms of life, even when everyone makes light of my dreams or says NO over and over – help me to keep hanging on to the dreams that are from you.  To know when to hold on and when to let go – and the courage to know the difference.”  (with apologies to the serenity prayer)

Amen and God Bless

My Prayer

I trust that you too will feel fresh inspiration well up inside you as you hear Chris Rice sing his prayer.

God Bless

Fresh page, new pen

Where do I begin?

Words fail, tears come

I need someone

To take the thoughts I almost think

And carry them to God for me

Deep breath, exhale

Breathe in deeper still

Long sigh, I’m still numb

Is there anyone

Who can find the things I’m barely feeling

And give them wings beyond my ceiling? 

Right heart, wrong place

It’s too far to outer space

Sorry, I forgot, You’re right here

I cup my hands around Your ear

I feel you smile,

You feel my breath

You listen while I whisper non-sense

Simple exchange Your will,

I’m changed

And now my prayer ends

Thank You,

Amen,

Amen

Words and music by Chris Rice

Thanksgiving Prayer

English: Oven roasted turkey, common fare for ...

English: Oven roasted turkey, common fare for Christmas and Thanksgiving celebrations. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today is Thanksgiving.  The Turkey is in the roaster oven, the stuffing is made and a pie is in the oven.  The house is cleaned and prepared, ready for family to gather, eat, laugh and eat some more.

As I think of this day – I am reminded of so many reasons I have to be thankful.  And like you – I think about them all year-long.  Sometimes the simple things we are thankful for – are hard to express.  So many of our blessings are taken for granted – until something happens.  I have been more thankful this season because of that reason.  Those “things” that happen in our lives only cause us to pause and take a breath.  They make us truly grateful for small blessings.  Here are a few of mine:

1)  I am thankful for health for myself and my family members.  In this season I am reminded of how many of my friends are touched my bad news concerning health – and I know for those people, Thanksgiving has a whole new meaning.

2)  I am thankful for a happy home with laughter and joy, not a whole lot of material things or money – but happiness and contentment just the same.

3)  I am thankful for my wonderful husband of 31 years.  He is without a doubt the best thing that ever happened to me – and the biggest blessing in my life.  He has stood by me and defended me in all and every situation – always believing the best in me – and I am forever grateful.

4)  I am thankful for two wonderful children – who are both grown-up and on their own journey in this life – with its many twist and turns and obstacles that could trip them up and make them turn down a wrong path – if they allowed it.  I am grateful that they had a strong foundation in godly things and know the Lord personally.  I am so proud of both of them and their lives as they continue to bless and inspire others.

5)  I am thankful that both my husband and I were raised in similar Christian homes – full of love and laughter – Christ centered in every way.  It helped to prepare us for many things we would encounter in our long marriage and in church work through the years.  Both sets of our parents have been married to one person for over 50 years.
And so as I reflect on these blessings my prayer for all of you is this:

May you find joy and laughter in the simple things of life as you look around your table today.  And if you are alone this Thanksgiving – I pray you will be reminded of the small blessings of the past – and how it has touched you and made you the person you are today.  May smiles and not tears be your companion today and may you have at least one friend to share this memorable day.  Amen.

 

God Bless

God Is Still Working

I have been enjoying my devotional time with Joyce Meyer Ministries.  The other day Joyce was teaching on “Asking God” – as taken from these scriptures:

Matthew 7:7-11 (NKJV)

7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.

Matthew 21:22 (NKJV)

22 And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.

If you are like me you have heard these scriptures many times.  I had heard them but must admit that I was not really asking.  Somehow it did not seem polite to keep asking for things – like a spoiled child who never thinks about anybody else but themselves.  Me, me, ME!!!!  Mine, mine, MINE!!!  Whah, whah, WHAH!!!!  It just felt WRONG.

So my prayer and communication had taken on a different tone over the years.  Always respectful and thankful, bringing out confessions, my weaknesses and concerns for others, my family and friends.  Walking and talking with God.  But I believe I was missing one important aspect to prayer.  I wasn’t asking.

Not only does God say to ask - but we are told to do so boldly.

Hebrews 4:16

New King James Version (NKJV)

16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

So the other night in my prayer time – I took a bold step and just asked.  And because God already knows what I am thinking about I have to believe that the asking is partly for me.  A step of faith.  It helps me get things out and really deal with them.  Rather than shoving them aside – or pushing them down deep where I don’t have to think about them.

Another thing Joyce said was this:  Even if we don’t see the answer to prayer after asking – we need to tell ourselves that God is still working.  That clear statement of faith with drive doubt and negativity from our minds and hearts when the waiting for answers seems long and hard.  To think that when I boldly ask – and then leave it with Him to work it out in His timing behind the scenes – leaves me feeling peaceful and reassured.

For some circumstances it is easy to believe and have faith in the process of God’s timing.  It is maybe even easy to ask.  But there are situations where it is very difficult to ask.  I have one right now – that has actually made me feel guilty about even asking.  But the other night I asked anyway.  I gave it away, and though I’m sure it won’t automatically just go away from my mind and heart – I took the steps to begin that great ‘behind the scenes’ work that only God can provide.

Have you an issue right now that you’re afraid to even ask about?  You can be reassured that God wants you to ask.  He will work out the details.  He is trustworthy to bring only good for your life, peace for your soul and health for your mind and body.

Ask Him today.  And know that He is still working.

God Bless

That Intangible “Want”

This is a "thought bubble". It is an...

This is a "thought bubble". It is an illustration depicting thought. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do you really want what you think you want?

Yesterday I heard the above quote while listening to a message on the prodigal son.  The kind of quote that puts a different spin on things – that gets right to the heart of the matter – just when I thought I had heard every angle on every story in the Bible after hearing them for years.

I took notes – but for some mysterious reason, this morning I went to look for them on my Bible app and they are gone.  Mostly, I just wanted to get the above quote, right – but maybe there is a reason why I lost them.  The whole of the message was wrapped up in that simple question.

In the middle of the message, when the question flashed on the screen, I remember closing my eyes and shutting out everyone around me.  I thought of the things that I have thought I wanted, only to find out later that they would have not been the best thing – maybe even harmful to me.  And I thought about the many times I insisted on having my way anyway.  I thought about the pain of consequence – the people I have hurt - the things I wish I could do over and it humbled me.

We have all done this.  Whether it’s a relationship, position, or finances we are all guilty of wanting something more.  That intangible thing that’s hanging out there – the proverbial “keeping up with the Jones’s” is that force that drives us constantly upward and onward.  The thing that we know for sure – will make us happy.

I remember asking God for something and arguing with Him – it was a very one-sided conversation, but He let me rant and rave for a while.  I was sure I knew what was best for me.  I can remember the time and place where I was – the confusion and storm going on in my mind and heart.  There was one thing I knew for sure would make me happy – be best for me – would take care of all my problems, etc.  I wanted to be right.  And if I’m honest – at times I still think I am.

Cindy Morgan wrote these lyrics, “sometimes heartaches are just blessings in disguise”  I wonder how many times we pray for something, plead, CRY OUT, stomp, fuss, fight, argue, try to justify, and wear ourselves out – only to find out later (sometimes much later) that it was a blessing NOT to get what we asked for.

Oh there are sometimes that God lets us have what we are asking for.  Sometimes it is the only way He can get our attention and bring us into right relationship with Him. It may be a person, thing, or circumstance but we are sure that this one thing will provide that ultimate happiness and fulfillment.

 “Be careful what you pray and ask for – you just might get it” 

Sometimes the things that we get – through our own insistence to be right – can cause us untold misery and consequence down the road.  Because of the selfish nature in which we ask for them – or even feel justified to have them, might seem good – even exciting and fresh – with the promise of lasting fulfillment, but in the end there may be more rippling effects of negative than we could ever imagine.  

Lord – help me to value your protection and wisdom for my life.  Help me to listen to you when you withhold from me those things I think I want and need.  Help me to be sober enough and have enough sense to think about the long-term consequences for my actions.  Help me NOT to be stupid.  Amen

When was the last time you asked yourself the question:  Do you really want what you think you want?

God Bless

The Colors Of My World

A smiley with glasses.

Image via Wikipedia

I am yellow.

Yellow is the color of my unrealistic optimism.  I wear these to see everything sunny, warm and bright.  You are over exposed and unnatural.  You are shiny and unreal but at the same time, interesting and contagious.  I feel high.

English: Stress in a pair of plastic glasses m...

Image via Wikipedia

I am blue.

Blue is the color of my moodiness.  I put these on and see you through my drama.  I see and hear distrust and disapproval.  I am aware of your mood, your detachment and abstract vagueness.  I feel sad.

Terminal-Rage

Image via Wikipedia

I am red.

Red is the color of my anger.  I put these on and see you through my rage.  You look aggressive, harsh and removed.  Your edges are sharp and restrictive.  I feel out of control.

English: Black and white glasses.

Image via Wikipedia

I am gray.

Gray is the color of my complacency.  I put these on and see you as apathetic and uncaring.  You look uninteresting and dull.  I feel caught in a rut – a never-ending cycle of repetition and  monotony.  I feel hopeless.

Oakley A Wire, light, black iridium glasses.

Image via Wikipedia

I am black.

Black is the color of my sadness.  I put these on and see you as distant and unfeeling.  You are shadows and uncertainty.  You look scary and hostile.  I am afraid of the world.  I am undone.

My photos that have a creative commons license...

Image via Wikipedia

I am pink.

Pink is the color of how I want my world to be.   I put these on and see you as healthy and whole.  I am also healthy and whole.  You are beautiful, created in a unique design.  I feel warm and fulfilled.  I hear joy and laughter in your voice, feel connected and safe with you.  I feel loved.

Dear Lord,

Help me to remove the colored glasses that hinder me from seeing things as they should be – and as they really are.   And wisdom to know the truth.  Amen

Which glasses do you wear most of the time?

God Bless

 

Instant In Season

Last night I was sitting on the love seat in our living room – getting ready to watch the movie “Radio” with Greg, when suddenly my cell phone rang.

I will back up and give you a little history on that phone call.

We are getting a little Bichon Frise puppy from a lady in the Tri-Cities area named Monica.  She and I have developed an email and phone relationship as she has watched over and cared for our little puppy, who was born very tiny, has been bottle fed every hour and a half for the first 3 weeks of her life, and coaxed and coddled into growing and being healthy.  Monica has been careful to allow me to be a part of the process through pictures and phone calls.  She is a loving person who thinks of her three adult Bichon’s and all their puppies, as her children.

We had planned a trip to go see our puppy tomorrow, when Monica called me at the beginning of the week to tell me she was very ill and would have to have surgery to remove her gall bladder.  Surgery was scheduled for yesterday morning.  I texted and told her we would be definitely praying for her and the family – for a fast recovery and strength over the next few weeks.  She thanked me and I anxiously waited to hear something yesterday evening.  I sent off another text and then went to sit on the love seat to watch our movie.

The cell phone rang.  It was Monica.  She didn’t sound like herself.  She apologized and said, “I’m sorry, I feel bad because I don’t know you very well – but…could you please pray for me?  I’m really sick and I’ve been throwing up every 15 minutes since the surgery.”   I acted immediately – and said, “YES.  Let’s pray right now!”  and I did.  I’m not sure what I said – I was a little stunned, because it isn’t every day that someone asks you to do this – but somehow in that moment the Lord helped me and I was able to pray peace on that situation – and that the doctor would be able to get a hold of the situation and figure it out – FAST.

It was an “instant in season” moment.  You know the kind.  When your called upon to do the extraordinary - in a very ordinary time.  To  be “filled up” with God –  so that in these “moments”  responding is done without hesitation.  Sometimes, if I’m honest – I don’t feel like this.  I feel very inadequate.  But in spite of my weakness – He spoke through me and was strong.

Somehow she knew that I was a Christian – we had never discussed it.  But when she had a real emergency – a real life or death need, she knew who to call and that I would pray.

It was after the prayer that I was able to tell her that we are Christians and that we believe and have a faith that God not only understands us – but that He made our bodies and that He cares.  I told her that Greg was a minister and had been for almost 30 years now.  This was amazing to her – but very comforting in her time of need.  Her vomiting sounded very much like an allergic reaction to the pain meds – because something similar had happened years ago to Greg when having his wisdom teeth removed.  I told her about my hunch – and this morning I received a text from her saying that the doctor discovered that she indeed had an allergic reaction to the drugs. And all is well.

It is certain that the bonding moment that we shared in prayer during that crisis will be a pivotal moment for both Monica and her husband who was in the hospital room with her while I prayed for her on the phone.

Never take little “moments” with people for granted – you never know when you are being placed in someone’s life for their moment of crisis.

Stay close to Him.

Stay “instant in season”  and even “out of season”  because – well… you never know.

Turn your ordinary – into the extraordinary.

God Bless

 

How’s Your Garden?

The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring
whose waters never fail.
Isaiah 58:11

This is our garden in our new home.

Ever felt really dry?  I’m so glad to know this:  No matter how dry, sick, diseased, tired, hopeless and out of strength I may be today – He will water me and give me the strength, nourishment and life so that I will flourish.  When all others around me are dry and broken – I will be sustained by that living water to keep me going, bringing health to my bones – and hope for all others around me looking for that water.  It is a spring that never fails.

How’s your garden?  Need some water?

Praying for you today.

God Bless

My Hiding Place…

hiding

Image by Susan NYC via Flickr

The following is an article I posted 2 years ago this monthI was still trying to make sense out of a situation that still makes no sense 2 years later – and at that time I was still thinking that it would.  Instead – 2 years later I now know that time isn’t always an accurate measurement of understanding – nor is it a rite of passage.  It is simply a journey we all must take – and what we do with the lessons along the way determines our joy or sorrow for the future.  If you are like me and have had setbacks in your life – or things happen that you did not fully understand – have ever questioned God or felt like you didn’t deserve things that transpired at the hand of another – then you will know what I felt like when I wrote this article.  My prayer is that it will bless and encourage your heart today. 
Have you ever felt like you needed a “Hiding Place”? 
What event in your past changed the way you look at life now?
 Habakkuk 3:19
The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights. For the director of music. On my stringed instruments.”
 
When I read the above scripture – I was moved.  I am a musician and have the heart and soul of an artist.  I am also told I am a “sanguine” deep and emotional – and while I can be the life of the party, I prefer being alone or being with a close friend – am very sentimental and easily wounded and sensitive.   I have always understood that I view the world a little differently than others do.  I am an “audio” learner – and even more – my friend John recently corrected me – I am a “kinesthetic” learner – which means I not only hear the music – but I get inside of it and breathe it in – and wrap it around me like a blanket and it becomes a part of me.
So the psalms and other scriptures about music and musicians really speak to me.  David was also a musician and I love the poetic way in which he writes – and many of the psalms were set to music back then – and even today we are still doing this.  There is something about the “artist” who is able to put the right spin on words to express and communicate a thought and paint a beautiful picture.  David really felt what he wrote and expressed – was deeply hurt, moved and lived life to the fullest.  I can appreciate his take on his journey through good and bad times – how he cried out to God and how sometimes he was just lost and didn’t know if God really heard - or cared.  I believe that even though he sometimes didn’t understand – he had a habit of going to God and pouring his heart out.  He knew where his safe “hiding place” was – away from the world of betrayal and hurt – away from his enemies who tried to destroy him – away from the prying eyes of those who would later come to judge him for his sin.
I have found a safe place in God’s presence – it is a place where I go to regain my sanity amidst a world gone mad – friends who are not friends anymore – and those who would judge my heart without knowing my heart.  And I find new purpose and resolve after being in this “hiding place” of mine.  And I find that I can make it after all.
Below is a beautiful music video based on a favorite Psalm of mine.  Enjoy – and allow God’s sweet spirit to penetrate into your secret “hiding place”  Allow Him to be that for you today.  He is trustworthy and dependable.  He will keep you safe.
God Bless

Do you want to be Right? Or Be Restored?

This is an article I wrote a couple of years ago and thought I would repost it today.  It is still applicable in my life today – as I am still learning and on a journey of self discovery.

Be kind to one another with a brother’s love, putting others before yourselves in honor    Romans 12:10

That is indeed the question.  Have you ever known anyone like this in your life?  As long as they’re right – and have the last word they are happy.  Well at least they feel like they’re happy.

You see “being right” does not necessarily bring closure and restoration to an unresolved issue.  It can just create a wedge between people.  I’ve had to back down on things myself over the years – even when I knew I was right.  Relationships with people in our lives are way more important than arguing over the finer points – the “he said – she said” games could go on forever – if we allow it.

Being right is an “attitude”.  And when you are in the people restoring business – you sometimes have to put this “attitude” aside.  It can blind you and cause everything from a past or present situation to have a certain “slant” – as you can only see things one way.  The right way.  Your way.

I would submit to you – that there are ALWAYS two sides to a story and situation in life.  Because people are different and rarely look at things the same way.

It comes down to this:  how much do you value relationships in your life?  Do people mean something to you – even if they mess up?  Do you say, “They hurt me – they messed up – I am so disillusioned and can’t forgive them – I know I am RIGHT”  I know I have.  Why?  Because I love to be right.  And so do you.  People hurt me – have hurt me – will continue to hurt me in the future.  What do I do with this???  Bristle and pull in – never allow anyone near me again??  Argue and argue??  Even bring in a few other people to hear my point of view – so they can tell me how right I am too?  That would be silly.  But people do this.  I have been guilty of doing this myself.  It IS easier to be right.  Way easier.   But NO.  I love people.  I have decided that I will not do this anymore.  It means holding my tongue.  It means submitting.  It means MY story may never be told.  And just how “right” I am – will never be known.  My friends are more valuable to me than being “right”.

Being restored is the right thing to do – it’s also the hardest.  Why?  Because we have to humble ourselves – admit that we are not always right.  We have to face the truth about ourselves.  We have to face the ones that hurt us.  We have to come to grips with the “eye ball – to eye ball” encounter from the one that hurt us most.  No burying it under the carpet – no running and hiding – no refusing to revisit it – but really facing it.  Accept that we are not perfect either.  Ouch!!!  Facing something head on that’s very hard – takes a real Man or Woman.

My husband just recently had to face a situation where he could have taken the position of “being right” or “being restored” and he chose the later.  He chose wisely.  And I know that God will bless his life because of this.  He is free because of it.  It’s caused us to really have great discussion.  Being right – or being restored.

Which one are you?  Do you stubbornly “hold on” to your opinion – a never ending “blame game”?  Stunted and bound up by your own “principles” and “ideals” about people?  Is being “right” more important than anything else or anyone else?  Or are you a lover of people?  Do you have grace for people in your life to “mess up”?  Do you “allow” for others to “mess up” – do you have the capacity to understand it?  Do you constantly “cite” examples of how you are so right – and they are so wrong?  Are you free of sin in your own life?  Can you honestly see things from another perspective?  Reach and restore – forgive and don’t care who’s right or wrong?  Can you put your own feelings aside – and prefer other people?  Are you Christ like?  Do you just ooze with love and mercy.  Are your friends that important to you?

Jesus is the great “restorer”.  He desires health and happiness for you today.  He is the only one that can truly bring people together – melt the heart – bring you to your knees and do the deep work in your life.  If you are in a “situation” now that is unresolved – ask the Lord to “melt your heart” – help you to see things another way – ask Him to help you forgive and love the ones that have hurt you so deeply.  Make that step toward reconciliation – don’t wait for them.  Believe that He has a testimony in this “situation” for you some day – health, encouragement and healing for someone else.

Be restored.  Love people.  You will be a more blessed and happier person.

In what ways would you rather be right, then be restored?  Is being right more important than having relationship with others?  Do you know anyone like this?

Praying for you today.

God Bless

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