Today I’m glad for the chance to introduce Colleen Capes Jackson, director of my local writers group (East Metro Atlanta Christian Writers). Colleen is one of the most even-keel, trusting, generous people I’ve ever known. She’s always helping someone, whether it’s through prayer, teaching, handling more than she ever should, or slipping a couple of dollars to my daughter when she sometimes acts as our “security guard” during meetings. 🙂 Visit Colleen online to learn more about her writing, CDs, and photography.
What’s on your mind when you wake up in the morning? For most of us, it’s an agenda that has little room for the unexpected. Getting to work on time, getting kids where they are supposed to be, house and yard work, bills, errands, community, and church . . . all encompassing, right?
Believers struggle with finding time to pray and worship. We feel overpowered by the demands on our life and waddle in a pool of guilt. I struggled with this too until a friend shared something very special with me. Every morning, as soon as she opens her eyes, she says, “Good morning, Father, good morning, Jesus, good morning, Holy Spirit – I love you.”
I adopted her advice and found such a peace that I have continued it for the past twenty years. By acknowledging the blessed Trinity, it opens up a spirit of worship and conversation that last throughout the day.
I now expect the unexpected from God. I look for miracles in my life. I receive sweet acknowledgements that I am never alone. He often sends a refreshing breeze to sweep over me as I walk to my car at the end of the work day. Before, I would have missed that gift altogether because my mind was too busy. By putting our minds in tune with God at the beginning of the day, a sense of peace follows all day long.
My eyes are aware of people in the grocery store who need prayer or a word of encouragement. God opens conversations that tell me he has walked ahead of me and planted a seed that I have been sent to water. A man of humble means was behind me in the store with only a handful of groceries. I stepped aside and allowed him to go ahead of me. He thanked me and we began to talk. He had accepted Christ six months prior and is living a new life of sobriety. He was having a difficult time that day. I had the pleasure of reminding him God loves us and knows our struggles.
I remember to be thankful for running water that I don’t have to tote or boil; for air that I can breathe without need of a mask; for shelter that isn’t a makeshift bed in the woods or under a bridge.
I indulge in the most precious favor of God as I see his hand in my life in the smallest to the most important detail. A parking space opens up just where I need it; finances fall into place; a newly found wisdom helps me to handle a situation that would have otherwise devastated me. When I feel poured out, God refreshes me and I’m bursting with creativity and understanding that I know could not possibly have come from me.
So here’s the challenge. Give your first thoughts to God; get rid of guilt and replace it with God’s amazing love, forgiveness, friendship and guidance. “Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you.” Psalm 143:8, NLT
Thanks, Colleen, for a wonderful testimony and challenge that can make all our lives better. I’ve started following that line of thinking myself and love how it makes me more aware of God everywhere around me. Anyone else up for giving it a try? If so, we’d love to know about it today and get an update from you down the road about what kind of difference it made in your life. Thanks for joining us today!