Birthday Cake Overload

appreciation, God, blessingsMy son’s birthday was on a Friday and his family celebrated with a birthday cake that evening. The next day our granddaughters attended a birthday party for a friend and of course there was cake.

We had a birthday dinner for our son that evening. Naturally we ended the meal with a birthday cake. The next day their family went to celebrate the other grandfather’s birthday and more cake was served.

When company dropped into their home the following day, the remaining cake was brought out. The girls looked at it and said, “Not more cake.” These children who normally loved cake had had their fill. It was no longer a treat.

The saying too much of a good thing comes to mind. Even something that normally causes excitement loses its interest when it is always available.

This is true in all life circumstances. I have learned that when something is plentiful there is a tendency to take it for granted. The appreciation I once held is no longer there. God provides many blessings in my life. Instead of grumbling like the Israelites that I want something different, I need to thank him for what I have. He is the one that can satisfy all of my needs.

Yes, he humbled you by letting you go hungry and then feeding you with manna, a food previously unknown to you and your ancestors. He did it to teach you that people do not live by bread alone; rather, we live by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. Deuteronomy 8:3 NLT

Concealed Weapons

attitude, gratitude, God
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My husband and I were going through airport security when the man in front of us caught our attention. What struck us was the force he used when putting items in the scanning bins. Nothing was simply placed in the bins. Everything was noisily thrown in.

When he finally stopped, the official asked if he had still had anything metal with him. Grudgingly he reached into his pockets, extracted some coins and threw them into the tray. Stating he had nothing else, he lifted his shirt to expose the waist of his pants, just to prove his point.

His belt had a large metal buckle, but what the customs official focused on was something strapped to the belt. “What is that,” she asked? He replied, “It’s my knife.”

He saw no issue with boarding the airplane with a knife strapped to his waist and was not happy to have it confiscated.

My first thought when I saw this man was how unhappy he was. His whole demeanor was one that could suck the joy out of those around him. I wondered what had caused this and felt sad for him.

Upon observing the exchange with the knife, I reflected on weapons we carry without realizing the danger we pose to others. Toxic attitudes are high on this list.
If I’m not careful, my bad attitude can infect those around me. Its ripple effect may cause an epidemic of vast proportions.

The best antidote I’ve found for this is to consciously practice and share gratitude. I can’t maintain a poor attitude when I am focusing on the positive and being thankful for what I have. God has provided many blessings in my life. When I think about them, my words will be positive and not weapons.

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Philippians 4:8 NLT

Giving is Receiving

gifts, presentation, God, MentorI have heard it said that giving is receiving. This has proven itself true many times in my life.

In previous years I have given my time as a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters. Due to changes in my life, this is no longer possible. BBBS has a vision that every young person realizes their full potential. This was something I couldn’t easily walk away from.

God showed me a way that I could still support this worthy organization. He had given me the words needed to write a book of short inspirational stories. Two of the stories were based on my mentoring experience with BBBS. While the book was in the publishing stages, I felt a strong desire to use it as a way to give back to my community. After much prayer, I approached BBBS with the idea of giving them $2 from every book I sold. They are a donor supported and volunteer driven organization so didn’t hesitate to accept my offer.

In late June, just four months after ‘Inspirations From The Everyday’ was released, I was able to present them with a cheque for over $500. The joy I received from giving this gift was incredible. I knew that this little book, privately sold, was making an impact on the lives of many who would never come in direct contact with it. I am blessed to be able to honour God by willingly sharing the gifts that he has given me.

Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7 NIV

Grab a Coffee

opportunity, God, blesslingsWhile talking with a friend recently, he told me that he was going to go and grab a coffee. Very quickly he corrected himself and changed that to grabbing a cup of coffee, saying that he had never actually managed to grab coffee. Laughing, I said that it would just slip through his fingers.

With this visual in mind, I started to think of things that I have let slip through my fingers. There have been many opportunities that I have let pass me by because I didn’t have the confidence to just go for them. It didn’t seem to me that I had the skills or abilities needed and I was afraid to fail.

A good friend challenged me on one of these opportunities saying “What if God wants to bless you through this?” That helped me to realize that on my own I may not be able to accomplish what I would like to, but with God guiding me, all things are possible. By letting opportunities slip through my fingers, I am refusing his gifts to me and missing out on the blessings that these gifts may bring. I have a little plaque with a quote from Roy Lessin that says: “God not only knows where He is taking you, but He also knows how to get you there.” If I respond when he calls and trust him to lead me, there is no limit to what he may accomplish through me.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

Changing Seasons

seasons of life, blessings, changeAccording to the calendar it is spring. The season officially changed last week. This morning I woke up to snow and the forecast calls for more over the next few days. In the Vancouver area, where I am from, the flowers are blooming. Here in the Calgary area, we still have winter conditions. It did warm up for a few days and enough snow melted that we could see the grass. People were happy and certain that spring had arrived. Then, a cold front moved in and we are back to winter weather.

The seasons on the calendar change like the seasons of my life. One day I feel the sunshine and warmth of spring and the next day the cold winds of winter blast me. Life, like the weather, is not always predictable. Although these changing conditions are nothing new, they still take me by surprise. One thing I do know from experience, is that life continues to change.

I have just celebrated a birthday and my calendar changed not only to a new year, but also a new decade. This is a time for me to reflect upon my life and the season I am currently experiencing. What I have discovered comes as no surprise. Life is good! I am blessed to be surrounded by loving family and friends. Volunteer roles help me to make a difference in others lives. In the past month, my first book, Inspirations from the Everyday has been released. This has taken me on an exciting path I never could have imagined as I entered the last decade.

As the season of life changes again I look forward to what is ahead. I know that God has great plans for me and I’m excited to see what this new season will bring.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV


stop complaining, inspirationIt had been a tough morning for the aqua fit instructor. The water was cold and there were many complaints from people as they climbed into the pool. A few went directly into the warmer pool beside the one the class was held in. Then they complained that they couldn’t hear the instructions. For some the music was too loud, for others not loud enough. The final straw came when the sound system shut down altogether. The instructor got out of the pool to see what could be done. Frustrated, she said “That’s it, I quit.” After a slight pause the word that followed was “complaining”.

She joked about leaving but what she was really telling the class was that she quit complaining and so should we! All of the complaining was not productive and didn’t change the situation, so we should just quit doing it! Not everyone heard that last word but it stuck in my mind.

How much better would my life be if I just quit complaining? If there is nothing I can do to change the situation, complaining is only going to make me feel worse. When there is something I can do, my energy should be used to focus on my role in the change. As my attitude becomes more positive there is a ripple effect that changes the attitude of those around me.

God has provided me with so much. I can only imagine his disappointment when I ignore all of the good and instead complain about what I think I’m missing. Instead I need to thank him for what he has provided and pray for guidance to move forward.

Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. Philippians 2:14-15 New Living Translation.

Where My Help Comes From

mountains, help, prayer, thankfulnesSitting in the hospital parking lot, I thanked God for the peace that I felt on this morning. What could have been a stressful day, instead felt calm and filled with promise.

The sun was rising as I drove out of the city. Heading west to visit a friend, I glanced in my rear view mirror and saw vibrant shades of pink, purple and orange lighting up the eastern skyline. Another prayer of thanks was spoken. It wasn’t long before the mountains in front of me were glowing as the morning sun reflected off of the snow-capped peaks.

I was tempted to pull over and take a picture, but knew that the beauty I was experiencing was to be captured in my memory alone. It was as if God was embracing me as he surrounded me with the glory of his creation. I knew in that moment that I had nothing to be concerned about. Not only did he have everything under control, he also gave a visual gift to show me how much he cares. My prayers were no longer spoken, now I was singing his praise.

I lift my eyes to the mountains – where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1,2 (NIV)

Bee inspired today!


inspiration, Jesus, lifeThe snow keeps falling and as it blankets outdoor lights and decorations, it truly looks like a winter wonderland outside. While the adults are not enjoying all the shoveling, children are having fun building snowmen and having snowball fights.

Thinking about playing in the snow, I am reminded that a large snowman starts with a single snowball. As the snowball rolls along the ground it picks up more and more snow and keeps growing larger. The size the snowman becomes is determined by how much time is put into rolling that snowball.

This is something that I can relate to my life. When I stay in one place, my life remains static, not growing. If, on the other hand, I am willing to open myself up to new experiences, my life expands as it rolls along. The more I do this, the larger my life becomes.

Jesus has so many plans for my life. It is only by spending time with Him and following his plan that my life will expand to include so much more than I could ever imagine on my own.

May the Lord direct your lives as you show God’s love and Christ’s endurance. 2 Thessalonians 3-5 God’s Word Translation

Be inspired today.


inspiration, blessings,My husband and I had a unique experience on New Year’s Eve. We stood outside in a park watching a fireworks display while snow was falling all around us. The snowfall didn’t deter the large crowd gathered to enjoy the fireworks display. Somehow, it added an almost magical quality to the experience.

The exploding bursts of colour in the sky were lovely to watch. Just as much fun for me, was observing and listening to the children around us. There were many “oohs” and “awes” and a few “oh wows”.

Not everyone was standing outside. Some had arrived early enough to get a good parking place so they could remain in their vehicles and still watch the spectacle. Nearby I heard children excitedly commenting. Turning to see them, I realized that they were not looking at the sky at all, but were leaning out of an open car window, eating snow they were scooping off of the side of the car!

This made me think of the wonders and blessings that God has provided for me. Often they are right before me; all I need to do is turn and look. Instead I busy myself with little pleasures of my own making. I settle for crumbs when God has prepared a feast for me. This year I am going to consciously seek the good things that the Lord longs to provide for me.

Make your ways known to me, O Lord, and teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me because you are God, my savior. I wait all day long for you. Psalm 25:4-5 God’s Word Translation

New Year Prayer

As we end one year and embark upon another I’d like to share with you a poem that was given to me many years ago. Every year I read it and appreciate what it has to say. Unfortunately I don’t know who the author is. My prayer is that each of you will be blessed this way in 2014.


May God make your year a happy one,
Not by shielding you from sorrow and pain,
But by strengthening you to bear it, if it comes.
Not by making your path easy,
But by making you sturdy enough to travel any path.
Not by taking hardships from you,
But by taking all cowardice and fear from your heart.
Not by granting you unbroken sunshine,
But by keeping your face bright, even in the shadows.
Not by making your life always pleasant,
But by showing you where man and his cause need you most,
And by making you anxious to be there, and to help.

Author unknown

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