Thursday, November 24, 2022

Thanksgiving and thinking outside the box.

 

Thanksgiving is a special time for family and memories.  I can go back into my childhood and remember turkey dinners annually until I turned seventeen and continued the tradition.  There was one year though that didn’t go quite as planned.

We were in Japan and my father was out to sea.  My mother wanted to do something different and planned with a friend to take the trains to Tokyo and eat a fancy meal at one of their fancier restaurants.  So, with all the kids in tow, we went to the train station, boarded the trains, and headed out on our new adventure.  The train ride was approximately 45 minutes and as the stops progressed, so did our appetites.   We were hungry to try the new restaurant.  As a kid, I only cared about the food, not where we were going.  After a lengthy trip we arrived and found our way to the restaurant.  The smells coming from the room was intoxicating.  We were starving by that point.  My mom approached the hostess at the front desk.  The hostess asked if she had a reservation.  That is when things took a turn.

I love my mom.  However, she was not a big planner.   She never thought they would need reservations for this dinner.  The restaurant was booked.  There was no room for us.  So sadly, we turned around and walked out together, still hungry.  The two women gathered the grumpy kids and made their way back to the train station.  They wanted the perfect Thanksgiving meal.  They were trying to find a way to make it happen.  It was not in the cards.  The kids finally got their moms to give in.  Everyone was hungry.  There was no fixing this.  So, on the way back, we found a McDonalds.  I was so excited because I was so hungry!  All the kids ran into McDonalds and eagerly ordered their food.

It was the BEST Thanksgiving burger I EVER had!  I was so thankful for the burger and fries.  My mom was not happy but reluctantly realized everyone needed to eat.  Later in life we laughed about our Thanksgiving burgers.  They were the best burgers that night.  We were together and we were all thankful for any food.  That’s all that counted.

Everything doesn’t need to be the way it has always been.  I am bringing this up because once again I am faced with feeling frustrated about keeping the tradition or stepping outside of the box.  This year has been a very difficult one for our family.  There have been many things out of my husbands and my control.  So, we decided to change the tradition.

My husband and I are going out of town together for Thanksgiving.  We booked a hotel out of the country.  We will be eating a beautiful meal with an amazing couple who will be joining us for dinner.  They are leaving New York and driving to Canada just to join us for dinner. Yes, I made reservations.  We have the hotel booked for the weekend.  Nothing planned except meals and massages.  This is our new Thanksgiving tradition for 2022.  I am thankful for my husband and my Savior!  I have so much to be thankful for...  There are not enough words to describe my thankfulness.

Change is hard.  No family is perfect.  No holiday is perfect.  Sometimes you just need to not just think outside the box – but think like there is no box.  Create new memories with what you have.  You don’t need to do the same thing if the same thing is not working.  You only need to find something to be thankful for and do it.

Change it up.

Join me in stepping outside of the box!

See you on the other side!


Happy Thanksgiving!  I am Thankful for you!



1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV)

give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Hebrews 12:28 (NIV)

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe,

Colossians 4:2 (NIV)

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.

                                              Copyright © 2022 Peggy A. Priest. All Rights Reserved.


Thursday, November 17, 2022

Whiter than snow...

 


We just received our first snowfall in the upstate of New York.  I have to admit it looked beautiful from inside my home.  The first snowfall seems almost magical.  Now I understand, when you step outside, it may not ‘feel’ magical if you are not a winter person.  I get that. I am more of a white sand between my toes person.  But digress with me for a moment.

I can’t help but stop and reflect on how white the snow it when covers the ground. The snow blanketed our yard like a beautiful white blanket covering all the imperfections of the yard. Like a blank slate.  It reminds me of how we are cleaned whiter than snow from Christ’s blood when we become a Christian.  How awesome is our God to use snow as an analogy in Psalm 51?  How great is our God to give us a new beginning by just believing, and asking Jesus into our heart?

I stared outside at the snow reflecting the sun before it melted.  The snow is a vast amount of tiny snowflakes which accumulated on the ground.  Microscopic snowflakes.  Each one unlike the other.



I spoke with a friend recently who shared some pictures on his phone.  He took pictures of snowflakes and had magnified them to see their details.  The pictures were as beautiful as his story about each one of them.  He then proceeded to tell me that he names each of the snowflakes captured on film.  I thought that was silly for a minute.  Then I realized how profound that statement really was.  Each snowflake is unique.  Each one is known by God.  So, each may be named by God.

I marvel often that God knows each of us by name, but never thought so microscopically that He also named the snowflakes.  (please don’t get sidelined by politics here 😊) God named the stars in the Heavens.  It states that fact in Psalm 147.  Each of the hairs on our heads are numbered along with the grains of sand.  So, again, why not the snowflakes?

Wow… Just think about that for a minute.

How amazing is our God that He created snowflakes to accumulate into a blanket of snow?  Each snowflake is completely different from the next.  And He knows all of them.  Just like He knows all of us.  You feel insignificant gazing at the universe at night that lights up our world?  Remember He called you by name.  You were named before you were born. 



He has plans for you that is different from everyone else in the universe.

Each of us is purposely created different because we have distinct callings to help the Kingdom of God.

He is calling you out to do His will.

Will you step out of the pack and join me?

Imagine everyone working in unity towards His goals instead of our own.  We can make a difference, one small snowflake at a time gathered together can make an avalanche. 

 


Psalms 51:7

Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.

Luke 12:7

Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

Psalms 147:4

He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name.

Psalms 139:18

Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand— when I awake, I am still with you.

Psalms 139:7

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?

Copyright © 2022 Peggy A. Priest. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Today I choose Joy!

 


As I stepped out this past week, I asked God to give me a word.  He gave me one word, JOY.  The last seven days have been a roller coaster of feelings.  I needed a word from God to reset my attitude.  Have you ever had one of those weeks?

You might be able to relate to some of what I have shared here.  There has been a lot going on this past week in our country.  Possibly hurt feelings and frustrations or ‘spilled milk’ incidents.  There may have been trials and storms coming from unexpected areas.  The enemy loves to distract when he knows God is about to do something Big.

Tomorrow my husband and I will be presenting for United Marriage Encounter with other team couples.  We are going to give all we have to fill the cups of the couples who are attending.  We don’t leave anything on the table.  Again, the enemy often attempts to cause chaos when God has a plan.  He has a plan for the couples this weekend.

Today, I ask you to choose Joy.

Today choose the Life Giving Joy from our heavenly Father who knows the beginning from the end of everything – including your life.  Fill your cup today with His Joy.

If you are feeling drained, ask God to overflow your cup.  Are you lacking His JOY today?  Ask our heavenly Father to fill your cup so full that it spills onto others.

Imagine for a moment God pulling the curtain back and showing you how He is working in your life!  Hold on to that feeling... Let the Holy Spirit wash over you as you are filled with the Father's JOY today! 

Take that Joy God has given you and fill the cups of someone else.  Remember others in your life may be drained and tired as well.  They need their cups filled with His peace and His presence.

Choose Joy – His Joy.

Also please pray for the couples who are investing in their marriages this weekend. 

Watch the video below and be blessed. 

Remember who is on the Throne and that We Know How the Book Ends!

 

https://youtu.be/lA7n7TwPDmw

 

Galatians 5:22 (NIV)

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

John 15:11 (NIV)

I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.

Philippians 4:4 (NIV)

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!


Copyright © 2022 Peggy A. Priest. All Rights Reserved.





Thursday, November 3, 2022

Peace with those who want conflict


Have you ever been in a
situation - where no matter what you do, someone doesn’t like you? You can bend over backwards, but it is either never enough, or they strike out towards you and like a wasp attack it seems to come out of nowhere.
 

If you haven’t experienced this yet, you will. There will be that person in your life that strikes out when least expected. What you must remember is - it is not always you. They may be angry about something else. The enemy may be getting in their head. Everyone has something going on in their lives. You are just the closest one to them at the time.  They might be dealing with their own demons of envy, guilt, or you just remind them of someone that hurt them. 


Not everyone is going to like you, no matter what you do. We deal with difficult customers every week in our business. What I have noticed is that during 2020, our customers were more patient and understanding. Afterall, everyone was dealing with the effects of covid in one way or another. Then during 2021, I saw an uptick of frustrated customers with less patience. This was normal because there is always a percentage of people you cannot please no matter what you do. It happens. 


However, during this year we have noticed a growing undertone of anger from our customers. Not every customer, but a larger percentage of frustrated ones compared to previous years. What is sad is that we have had to fire more customers this year than ever before. They would call the office and demand service or try to pick a fight before we even came on site to assist with their problem. When that happens, we let them know that we are just not a good fit, and they would be happier if they went to another company. It defuses some, but not all.  


You may never know why the attack occurs. This is between them and God. Our job is just to pray for them and for our situation. It is not your job to ‘get’ everyone to like you. Let God handle them. Let God work in them. You don’t need to resolve every issue that comes up against you. Sometimes you just need to leave the disagreement. 


A quick example is my husband and myself. He had a very difficult marriage before we met. His first reaction was to argue until it became a verbal duel when things were difficult. That is what they did. Was it effective? No, but that is how they handled disagreements. When we started dating and an issue came up, he would go back to old habits and try to fight with me. My first reaction was to jump into the argument. My stubborn nature would take over and I would jump right into the battle.  


After a few verbal battles, I realized it was not healthy for either of us. So, I would walk away when it escalated and refuse to continue the argument until we both calmed down. My husband's first reaction to my change was to get angry. He wanted to fight. However, it is hard to fight with someone who refuses to argue. It is like taking oxygen out of a room that is on fire. The fire dies down. When I changed my behavior and walked away and prayed, God began to work in my husband’s heart. He would then come back, and we would resolve the issue at hand. Most times the problem or disagreement was easily resolved with both of us having level heads. 


That is why God tells us to pray for our enemies. Sometimes we need to have His perspective of those around us. Sometimes my thoughts about the situation are distorted due to my own anger. Stepping away helps me to pray for the person and let God work in me as well. This eternal perspective can change my views and stubborn nature. 



So, the next time a blind attack comes your way, think about what we learned as kids – stop, drop, and roll. Stop what you are doing. Drop to your knees in prayer. And roll with what God tells you to do :) 




 

Matthew 5:44 (NIV) 

But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 

 

Romans 12: 17-21 

Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. 


Copyright © 2022 Peggy A. Priest. All Rights Reserved.

God's Timing

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