Romans 12:15 (NIV) – Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.
When I was a little girl, I grew up in a small town where everyone knew everyone. There was no such thing as a stranger. This meant that I couldn’t go to the grocery store, gas station or church on Sunday morning without someone knowing my name. And if by chance they didn’t know my name, they recognized me as so & so’s daughter, granddaughter, niece or cousin. Although there were a few disadvantages to this, it was always so comforting to me, for it generally resulted in a soft smile, gentle wave, warm hug &/or sweet conversation.
One of the greatest things about growing up in an environment like this, at least for me, is that I always felt supported. Whether there was something to celebrate or grieve within our home, I always knew that there were others around that would be there. Even today when I visit, having left the area many years ago, the same things occur. In fact, my family & I were recently in our hometown over the Christmas holiday where we were able to see many friends, family & acquaintances who inquired about Morgan’s health, and the launch of my website having been following us on social media. They were so supportive of both, which absolutely warmed my heart.
That being said, I recognize that things have changed over the years and that we are busier now than we have ever been. But, I do believe that making time to celebrate those that we care about is imperative. Whether we stop by for a visit, make a phone call, or send a card, we must strive to let others know that they are loved & supported. It is the essence of our existence, and the foundation for which blessings arise. Cheers!
(Photo credit- Montana Watson)
1 Corinthians 15:57 (NIV)- But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Good Tuesday morning, my friends! Happy New Year! I hope the events of New Years Eve found you reflecting on 2018 with ease, anticipating 2019 with excitement, and surrounded by those that you love! I know, I, as a wife, mother, daughter & friend, cannot think of a better way to end or began a year, than to be in the presence of those that I hold dear. For it has been these precious people who have walked beside me at my best, carried me at my worst, loved me unconditionally, and supported me through each goal &/or dream that I have set out to pursue in my 44 years of life.
Speaking of goals & dreams, with the new year at hand, I am sure that many of you, like myself , have some that you hope to accomplish this year. Perhaps yours are related to a business, education, employment, finances, health, relationships, etc. Whatever it may be, you have been given a fresh start…..a clean slate….a blank canvas to bring them to fruition. And, with a little planning, action & patience, I am confident that you are capable of doing just that.
But, before you do…may I offer you a little bit of advise? Good! Because I have set out on similar journey’s many times before, and believe that there are 2 crucial things that you must know, before you get started . First, don’t focus all of your attention on the end result that you miss the blessings along the way . To be honest, you achieving your dream has nothing to do with the dream, at all. Instead, it has everything to do with what happens in & through you on the path to achieving the dream. You see, when we push past our comfort zones, and reach for something greater, we begin to change as a result. That is, The Lord begins to change us. The process starts from the inside out. Our vision becomes a little clearer, our hearing more precise , and our hearts expand to the will of God.
Secondly, celebrate the small victories along the way to achieving your goal &/or dream. This is essential! You see, as we celebrate the small victories, we build momentum. This will help to sustain us for the long haul. Most importantly, it will shift our thinking towards gratitude, which is a firm foundation for all that we hope to accomplish in this lifetime. The more grateful we are for what we have & for what we are able to do, the more we will be given.
With this in mind, in 2019, may we look ahead with hope, be aware of the blessings in our midst, and celebrate the small victories along the way!
(Photo credit- Montana Watson)
James 1:2-3 (NLT)- Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.
Hi, my friends! Welcome to my little corner of the web! I am so excited that you stopped by for a visit, for I have been expecting you for quite some time. You see, although I have been preparing to launch this site today for the past several months, my blog, The Faith Filled Traveler has been in evolution for years. You, being here with me on this special day, has been anticipated for the duration of that time. With that in mind, please, make yourself at home. Discover a little about me and my vision for The Faith Filled Traveler, meet my family, and learn about my daughter, Morgan’s story by clicking on the tabs above. While you are at it, get comfortable. Grab a blanket & a cup of coffee. Let’s get started!
Each week, I will be focusing on one topic as I share my thoughts & ideas with you. Monday thru Thursday, we will approach each topic from different angles, with the goal of discovering the blessings that are hidden within them. This week, with the New Year upon us, we will direct our attention to the act of celebrating. I believe that as we dig deeper into this joyous act, we will find blessings that we may not have considered before now. On that note, lets dive into how The Faith Filled Traveler came about.
It was December 2009 following our daughter, Morgan’s original leukemia diagnosis. A member of her healthcare team suggested that we start a CaringBridge website, given the many visitors and phone calls we were receiving. For those of you that may not be familiar with CaringBridge, it is a free website that allows patients to share their healthcare journey with loved ones, without having to repeat updates to each individual. Although I was thankful for the suggestion, I was against the idea given our crazy schedules. I felt sure that it would consume more time than any of us had to give. That said, against my wishes, John & Morgan created the site. Before long, Morgan was blogging about her journey daily with a dedicated following. It was something she looked forward to doing each day that seemed to divert her attention from the grueling treatment she was receiving .
A month into the project, Morgan became very ill and was unable to maintain the site. Considering how much it meant to her, and the people that were depending on the information, I agreed to continue to update everyone, until she was able to do so, again. Before long, days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months, and months turned into years. Some 2 years later, I was still posting updates, and realized that the blog had become a big part of my life, and was an outlet for my soul. The CaringBridge website that I was reluctant to be a part of, had become something that I looked forward to each night and a tool that The Lord was using it to do a work in me. You see, while He used it to share Morgan’ s journey with many, He also used it to bring forth the purpose that He had created me to fulfill in the world…hence, The Faith Filled Traveler.
I share this story with you today to encourage you. Know that if you are faced with challenges that seem much too big for you to bear, The Lord is at work on your behalf. You are not alone. He is there beside you creating something so beautiful and He’s using your current circumstance to do it. His word reminds us that what was meant for our harm, He will use for our good (Genesis 50:20). Take some time today to meditate on these words. Then, reflect on the events of the past 12 months. Dare to celebrate both the good and not so good. For it is through the trials that we endure in this life that our faith is tested, and beautiful blessings abound!