Another GOOD morning 

 “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

~ Psalm 118:24

Recently, I shared a post on how I go about having a GOOD morning. I wrote this after a (mostly) sleepless night. As soon as I hit post, I realized I’d left a few things off. Do you do that? Invariably I see errors as I hit send on emails and texts. Oh well….

The thing is…

God isn’t a needy, insecure diety, demanding my praise and admiration. Oh no! He is Daddy God, King of Kings!! Praising Him is for my benefit. When I thank and praise God, I am reminded how BIG my God is and how small my giants are. I’m reminded of ALL that He is and  ALL that He’s done. When I praise Him I remind myself and my defeated enemy that GOD is:

  • My King
  • My Lord
  • My Savior
  • My Healer
  • My Refuge
  • My Strength 
  • My Source
  • My Provider
  • My Father
  • My Counselor
  • My Friend
  • My Consoler
  • My Peace
  • My Joy
  • My Wisdom
  • My Guide
  • My Teacher
  • My Love
  • My Hope
  • My Protection
  • My Shield
  • My Provision
  • My Hiding Place
  • My Companion
  • My Creator
  • My Purpose
  • My Defender
  • My Everything

When I remind myself of this, I can’t help but have a good day. When I neglect to, I struggle.  I’m a work in progress. I mess up daily, and I get some things wrong. But this…praising and thanking my God…this is something I’m doing right. If you’re facing giants today (and I know you are), remind your problems how BIG our God is. 

As always, I wish you MUCH joy! 

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Beat the Holiday Blues

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year

With the kids jingle belling

And everyone telling you be of good cheer

It’s the most wonderful time of the year

It’s the hap-happiest season of all

With those holiday greetings and gay happy meetings

When friends come to call

It’s the hap-happiest season of all….”  

 ~Edward Pola and George Wyle

Andy Willams is playing on my iPod this very minute.  I love this song. I love this season. 

The truth, however, is sometimes the holidays are not the most wonderful time of the year. 

The endless schmaltzy movies (which I adore-full disclosure), cheerful music blaring (which I, again, adore) in every store, unrealistic expectations (which I’ve fallen prey to)…there are about six weeks from mid-November to Christmas  that will sweep you away.  Will you be caught up in thanking God for our myriad blessings,  in the glory of our Savior being born, in the fun of the season, or in the frustrations, heartache, and disappointments? 

Okay, let’s stop for a moment. 

Thanksgiving. I know, I know  it’s a loaded word. But isn’t it truly supposed to be a time of being mindfully, intentionally, profoundly grateful? Christmas … another loaded word…. Isn’t it really a time to remember that our Savior was born. He lived. He died. He rose again. Y’all, He lives!!  Ummm, that’s miraculous!!! 

When you look at the essence of the words, of the holidays they’re quite wonderful. We have made them hectic, chaotic, and less than holy. 

So many of my friends are facing a different holiday season this year. A son is serving overseas in a dangerous locale, a man is grieving the death of his beloved wife, a woman is spending her holidays in the hospital, a child is recovering from the loss of his daddy, a  woman is grieving the loss of her marriage–too many are learning to cope with the new normal in their lives. 

There are a few things you can do if you’re struggling this year:  

  1. Remember the holy. Deliberately focus on what the holiday is, not what man has made it. 
  2. Seek God. He is the lover of your soul, your maker, your hope, and your salvation. He is the only One who can soothe your soul. 
  3. Practice gratitude. Yeah, you’ve heard of gratitude journals and you know to make a list of 3-5 things you’re grateful for each evening. There’s a reason you’ve heard of it. It works! 
  4. Help others. Get the focus off of yourself and your pain. Actively seek out ways-big and small-to serve and “love on” others. It really helps. 

God is good. He is here. He loves you and He wants a relationship with you. Thanksgiving and Christmas should remind us of these things.  As always, I wish you MUCH joy! 

“In his epistle, James reminds us that this precious gift called life we have been given lasts only about as long as a vapor. Our days on the earth are limited and very precious; we must not waste a moment.” Christine Caine (11/29/15)

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Psalm 23:6, NKJV

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Give Thanks 

“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” ~ Gilbert K. Chesterton


I remember when Oprah introduced me to the idea of a gratitude journal years ago. Honestly, it felt …weird. It was unnatural, forced, almost fake. And then something wonderful happened. It became easier. It didn’t feel phony. Fast forward a few years…I don’t currently keep a gratitude journal, because I’ve trained myself to notice the blessings. Even better, I’ve trained myself to seek them out. You know what? They’re everywhere! Even on bad days, blessings abound! 

Blessings abound. Clouds, laughter, hugs, compliments, private jokes, children, loved ones, sunshine, short lines, lazy mornings, favorite songs, stargazing, picnics, long walks–blessings abound. 

After years of practicing gratitude I can say I’m a changed woman. Try it. It’s free. It’s life changing. And, y’all, it’s obedience. 

“This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:23 (KJV) 

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.” Psalm 136:1 (ESV) 

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (ESV)

As always, I wish you MUCH joy! 

Got TWITTER? Tweet with me! @julielclarke

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