40 Day Devotional: Day 22: It’s a beautiful morning!

joyful morning

Psalms 118:24 HCSB

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

Good morning! Here in Holland spring is very near! Exciting times of new life, new growth and opportunity.
I just love the fresh breeze in the air after winter.
I find it also a little easier to get up in the morning with earlier daylight available.

Also finding it a challenge to get up EARLY in the morning?

Zen Habits has a helpful and inspiring blog post on this topic: ‘Most succesful techniques for getting up early’

Enjoy your day and remember what you’re grateful for today.

Peace.

 

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40 Day Devotional: Day 23: Surprised by joy!

baby

Nehemiah 8:10 NLT

“Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!

My baby niece came to visit us for the first time! What a joy it was, being around such a little miracle of creation.
No time to be sad.

from justasmidgen.com
from justasmidgen.com

 

This little bundle of joy catches all the souls that come close to her and touches them with love.

So today, go and spread some JOY too,be contagious and catch some souls

40 Day Devotional: Day 29: Life is like a road trip

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Via Pinterest, source unknown

Matthew 11:28-30 GNB

“Come to me, all of you who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke and put it on you, and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit; and you will find rest. For the yoke I will give you is easy, and the load I will put on you is light.”

Sometimes I get so stuck, trying to carry another person’s load or my own, pretending I am all alone in this universe and I have to solve all the world’s problems on my own. I usually do this until I collapse under the weight of the world on my shoulders, a yoke much too heavy to be carried by me. When I give it to Jesus and take on his, I feel much lighter and I can go on again, travelling light on the road trip of my life.

Happy travels!

40 Day Devotional: Day 38: watch your mouth

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Inspiration
I found this quote on one of my Pinterest boards today, looking for some inspiration.

I really like it! The past week I’ve been in a monastery for a retreat. Although it was not a completely silent one, I have been spending much time in quiet solitude, and tried to practice the motto above during the meals with the other guests.

There is so much superfluity coming out of our mouths naturally. Certainly out of mine!
It requires a lot of effort to watch your tongue, but it is certainly worth it.

To try:
Be conscious of what you’re saying today. Does it add something positive to the world around you? Is it really more beautiful than silence?

40 Day Devotional: Day 39: Love!

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Today is Valentine’s Day, traditionally a day to let our loved ones know what they mean to us, although any other day is perfect for that too!

Inspiration

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 GNB

Love is patient and kind;
it is not jealous or conceited or proud;
love is not ill-mannered or selfish or irritable; love does not keep a record of wrongs;
love is not happy with evil, but is happy with the truth.
Love never gives up; and its faith, hope, and patience never fail.

Love in action
Why not send someone less obvious a note, pay them a visit or call them (today)? Like your elderly neighbor, church member or a lonely or ill family member.

40 Day Devotional starting tomorrow

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40 Day Devotional series

Tomorrow I will be starting a 40 day devotional series for the time leading up to Easter.
Simple, spiritual, inspired/devoted and ‘silent’ living is not something that comes naturally in this hectic day and age.

I want to primarily use these weeks to get a better focus on God, but wherever you are on your spiritual journey or even quest, I believe taking time out of your day to reflect and be still can be beneficial for anyone.  

I also hope to minimize some behaviors that are detrimental to my overall focus and walk with God.
I’m thinking of greatly minimizing my social media presence* to cancel out the static and making more time for things that really matter to me, like creating (writing, painting, taking photos), reading ‘real’ books and of course meditating and praying.
            
So keep an eye out for the first post in the series tomorrow.

Wishing you a fruitful 40 day period or Lent this year.

Let me know your intentions for this time and what you’re considering to ‘fast’ on. (in the comments below.)

Peace,

Ester

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The art of happiness

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This morning I was snoozing a little on the couch, watching my dog next to me chewing her bone. I got so much joy and happiness out of those blissful five minutes that it gave me serenity and acceptance of the fact that I was actually tired.

Over the past year, I have been discovering that for me, happiness is about being home, drinking my coffee, reading, petting my dog and extracting joy from small things.

To me, it’s not the things I buy, not the travels I make, although I sometimes convince myself it is.

So here’s an hommage to all the common little things that make me happy and feeling blessed beyond words.

Coffee

Decaf or caf, always a comforting companion to my morning, with lots of hot milk!

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Kiara, my chihuahua

Just watching her sit, lie, chew, wash herself or lose herself in enthusiasm over our daily reunions makes my heart feel lifted.

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Enjoying lovely food

Nothing beats lovingly made food: my husband’s lasagne or apple pie, a beautiful warm handmade croissant with jam, homemade cinnamon raisin cake or enjoying the juicy goodness of freshly sliced citrus fruits.

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A smile a day keeps the doctor away

Try it: smile and greet your bus driver, mailman or other people you meet. Listen, pay attention, send a birthday card. When I give small things to people it always brightens my day.

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Nature

Leaves, flowers, stone or shell,

The turning of seasons, touch, hear, see or smell.

Be still and make sure to enjoy them as well.

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Reading

British poetry about birds, a biographic novel about Vaslav Nijinsky, an inspiring blog post about writing, they can be a touch of inspiration for my day. Especially when enjoyed in my favorite comfy Ikea Poang chair with a cup of hot brew.

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What are some of the common things that make you happy?

Share them with me if you like via the comments below

and sign up for the e-mail list or via rss. Thanks for supporting me, it means a lot…
love and peace,
Ester
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