Sunday, November 20, 2016

A Weekend in the Windy City

The beginning of September, I took a whirlwind trip to one of my favorite cities  Chicago. It was a business trip, but I also got to squeeze in some fun as well! I stayed at the lovely historic Warwick Allerton on Michigan Avenue, enjoyed an interesting dinner & Italian hot chocolate at Little Eataly, went to Sunday morning service at historical Moody Church and did over 20 miles of walking. Take a peek at some of the good times that were experienced!

One of the songs we sang during service at Moody was, "Come You Sinners." Such good lyrics! The sermon I heard was equally just as good. (The story he shared at the end had me in tears...)

Monday, November 14, 2016

Forget Not All His Benefits

"Bless the LORD, O my soul, 
and forget not all His benefits, 
who forgives all your iniquity, 
who heals all your diseases, 
who redeems your life from the pit, 
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, 
who satisfies you with good..."
Psalms 103:2-5

As I look back on these last ten months, I am drawn to the remembrance of His goodness and sweet gifts. In January, I left barren & frigid Colorado and spent a week in paradise - namely, the island of Kona, Hawaii. My strength & spirits were lifted as soon as I stepped off the tarmac and smelt the warm air scented with plumeria & sea salt. That night I fell asleep to 80 degree temperatures, open windows & the sound of eucalyptus and palm trees blowing in the tropical wind. Infact, I never closed my window once that whole week!

In June, I had the opportunity to visit Prince Edward Island, Canada! As an Anne of Green Gables and Road to Avonlea fan, it was like a dream come true. I'm so thankful that I got to take a trip like this.

In September, I was invited to join some photography friends on a trip to Ireland! I always expected my first trip to Europe would be to England (my dream destination), but of course, I jumped at this opportunity! (Because honestly, I will travel anywhere if I have good traveling companions and the funds to go.)

I consider myself tremendously blessed to have gotten to travel so much in 2016! When I began the year, and wrote my blog post about "perseverance," never in my wildest dreams would I have guessed that I would be going to 3 far-away places, and I am grateful.

As much fun as these trips were, I came home and slipped into alittle depression, and each time, I had to remind myself that I don't serve Jesus because of His good gifts that He gives, but because of who He is. I can get up every morning and live the "mundane" and glorify Him in that spot because I love Jesus - not for what He gives me. (And that my friends, is the heart challenge.) At the same time,  the Lord's good gifts to me this year reminded me that He is indeed a good Father and delights to give us the desires of our hearts. After going through tremendous seasons of suffering, it can be a temptation to slip into doubt, wondering if God really cares about us. He does, my friends. He truly does. 

Thank Him. And forget not all His benefits!