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Monday Morning Encouragement - A Bigger and Better Door


They passed through the Phrygian and Galatian region, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia; and after they came to Mysia, they were trying to go into Bithynia, and the Spirit of Jesus did not permit them; and passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas. A vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia was standing and appealing to him, and saying, "Come over to Macedonia and help us." When he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.
Acts 16:6-10

Today's passage from scripture is rich with God's wisdom. Paul and his companions have it in mind to preach the gospel in the Roman Province of Asia Minor, which is modern day Turkey. God says "no" and instead, through a vision, directs them to the region of Macedonia, across the Aegean Sea. Paul wanted to win his local region for Christ, but God had a bigger plan; to send Paul and his missionary team to Europe and win an entire continent. What encouragement we can glean from this for those times when God closes a door. Trust Him and know that His hand is poised to open a bigger and better one.

If you are in a place right now where you are challenged to trust God with a closed door, then I want to encourage you to remind yourself of what is true. God is good. God is kind. God is for you and not against you. As you wait for the door He will open for you, lean into Him and believe what He says about Himself is true.

I pray today's video song I Know by Big Daddy Weave will be an encouragement to you.

I love you, I'm thinking of you, and I'm praying for you.

Monday Morning Encouragement - Pointing to Jesus


"To You I lift up my eyes, O You who are enthroned in the heavens!" 
Psalm 123:1

Not long after I became a Christian I met a woman who lived and worked in a Northern California Christian camp where my husband and I were vacationing. The camp grounds were covered in pine trees. One day the woman took a break from her work and joined me on the porch of the cabin where we were staying. She talked about her life at the camp, about the beauty around us and, especially, of the magnificent tall pines. "I love the pines," she said, "because they all point to their Maker." I never forgot her comment, nor the joy she took in serving Jesus every day. With her actions and words she pointed people to the Lord -- her Maker -- just as the pines did. Now, years later, I live in the foothills of the Colorado Rockies with thousands of pine trees around me. When I see them I can't help but remember what that very special woman told me, and I say to myself, "I love the pines, because they all point to their Maker." I want to be like that woman and those pines. I want to point others to Jesus. How about you?

This morning's song Look to Jesus by Phil Wickham is a praise song to Jesus for all He's done, and reminds us to keep our eyes on Him.

I love you, I'm thinking of you, and I'm praying for you.


Kitchen Cabinet Painting Progress - One Section Complete


Welcome Cottage Friends,

My staycation is nearly over, and I wanted to share the progress I made on my kitchen cabinet painting project. Now don't go thinking I spent all my time working. I certainly did not! I played a lot and rested even more. However, I was so close to having one section of my cabinetry finished (all I had to do was distress and wax the doors and drawers before reinstalling them), that I wanted to go ahead and complete it. I'm so glad I did, because I love the way this part of my kitchen looks now.

Monday Morning Encouragement - Free Indeed!


"So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed." 
John 8:36

We may live in a free country and still be enslaved. Perhaps not politically, but certainly spiritually. Many people are enslaved to sin and its consequences, and don't even realize it. 

DIY Budget-Friendly Wall Decor - How A Discarded Cabinet Door Became A French Country Sign


This week I'm taking some time off from work; a staycation meant to give me a chance to kick back, have some fun, and enjoy the freedom of deciding myself what I want to do with these ten days. Yes! Ten days. One of the things I chose to do was create wall decor for a space between my two living room windows, just above my TV screen. 

Monday Morning Encouragement - Overwhelming Victory



Through the worst of times, Paul could encourage his readers that "in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us." And what were "all these things" of which Paul wrote? We find them in verse 35: tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril, and sword. ("Nakedness" in those times referred to lack of clothing because of poverty. "Sword" meant execution.)

Monday Morning Encouragement - Weary Souls Restored


“He restores my soul.”
Psalm 23:3

There is a beautiful restoration that comes to our weary souls when we cling to Jesus. The same loving arms that stretched out on the cross to save our souls, now stretch out to pull us close. Safe in His arms the clamor and clatter of the world is shut out and we enjoy sweet communion with our Savior.  He whispers our name and reminds us that we belong to Him. When we are weak, He is strong. 

Monday Morning Encouragement - Joyful Worship


"Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth. 
Serve the LORD with gladness; 
Come before Him with joyful singing." 
Psalm 100:1-2

I've often wondered why it is we so easily shout and get excited over our favorite sports team, yet maintain a sober disposition and practically sit on our hands when it comes to worshiping God. 

Monday Morning Encouragement - Seven Principles for Living



"Trust in the LORD and do good;

         Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. 

    Delight yourself in the LORD;

         And He will give you the desires of your heart. 

    Commit your way to the LORD,

         Trust also in Him, and He will do it."

Psalm 37:3-5

When I look at these verses I see seven principles for living a life that pleases God:

First, put all our faith in the Lord and Him alone. He wants to be first in our lives. 

Kitchen Cabinet Painting Progress


Sunday and Monday were extraordinarily pleasant days here. Rain cooled things off, and I was able to open my windows and let the fresh air fill the rooms. The cooler temperatures energized me, and I, once again, felt like painting my kitchen cabinets.

Monday Morning Encouragement - Why Pray When You Can Worry?

Reading the title of today's post, you may think I made a mistake. Shouldn't it read, "Why Worry When You Can Pray?"