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Today is gratitude Friday! Our guest blogger never sent in her post, which opened up the opportunity for me share my thoughts with you on this beautiful Friday morning.

I watched a glorious sunrise over the fields this morning, as our goats and sheep meandered out of the pen to start their day. I didn’t wake up in a terrific mood. I’d gone to bed offended and frustrated, although I’d read my Bible to try to get my head straightened out. Yet, as I made the coffee and watched the sky light up, my attitude changed.

Some days, it’s hard to break out of a funk and we don’t see what’s around us. We don’t realize that we are surrounded with God’s blessings. Today, I saw the blessings. I’ve been thinking a lot about blessings and gratitude lately. I wrote a post for another blog about the hidden blessings, the blessings that don’t seem so pleasant when while we are going through them. You know the ones: the death of a loved one, the serious illness, the financial crisis, or the mental breakdown. Saved people suffer, but did you realize that many of those sufferings can also be blessings? They don’t feel like it at first, but when I look back over the difficulties I’ve had in my life, I realize that God allowed much of it for a purpose. Sometimes, it was because I need to minister to someone else going through something serious and wouldn’t have had the experience if I hadn’t been through it myself. Sometimes, it was to grow my patience. Sometimes it was to bring me closer to God, so I wouldn’t rely so heavily on my flesh and the world.

I guess my point in bringing this topic up again today is to remind myself and my readers that blessings aren’t always the “good” stuff. Life is hard, but God is faithful. Today, my hope and prayer is that I’m able to remember God’s goodness in while dealing with trials and recognize His blessings in their many forms.

A verse keeps coming to mind. I mentioned it on the telephone with a close friend last night. Sometimes dealing with difficult people can be a hidden blessing. It probably won’t feel like it, but God is faithful. Not all rewards are immediately obvious and some won’t be received in the flesh, but that doesn’t negate our responsibility to follow Jesus’ sound advice.

Matthew 5:44
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

Sometimes, people won’t have your best interest at heart, sometimes they will hate you despite all your efforts to help them, but we aren’t to curse them or give up on them, we’re to pray for them and to continue to good. We aren’t to render evil for evil, but instead we are to look to Jesus for guidance, and follow His wisdom. He followed His own advice. Look to His words on the cross.

Luke 23:34
Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

He was gracious then, and He’ll help you and I to be gracious now.

I pray that God will show us the blessings in our hardships and help us to see clearly the numerous blessings He’s bestowed upon us.

Holly's Noel Cover

While we are on the topic of blessings, I’ve been blessed with a new release today! My novella Holly’s Noel was released today, December 1, 2017. Holly receives her share of hidden and obvious blessings. Check out her story.

Holly’s Noel is part of the Under the Mistletoe Anthology of eight novellas – two historical and six contemporary.

Forced to rent out her childhood home next door to make ends meet, Holly Ewing finds herself battling an aggravating new renter.

Best-selling author, Noel Ryan, rents a house on Lake Bethel, a three month escape from the distractions of home. He soon discovers that Holly is a distraction in her own right.

When difficult situations bring them together, will they stop battling long enough to discover the truth before Christmas separates them?

Under the Mistletoe coverUnder the Mistletoe is available for preorder for only .99 at https://www.amazon.com/Under-Mistletoe-Inspirational-stories-Christmas-ebook/dp/B075F7LKCC/.



(All verse references are taken from the Authorized Version of the Bible, commonly referred to as the King James Version.)

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