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Times of testing continue as each day begins. The pinkish-orange hues of a morning sunrise break forth a beautiful new day. 

Each day when new joys and challenges are the norms especially with COVID and WW3 on the horizon, sunrises remind me a new day dawns. The sounds of a rooster crowing, a dog barks, a cat yells to be let outside. Do you need this visual reminder as another day begins?

Being a support to family, friends, and our own children at this time is imperative. However, where do you get your wisdom? Is your wisdom gained from the mindless scrolling of news, social media, or gossip from the smartest person you know?

Or is your truth found when you take time to plug into the source of wisdom, the Bible? It is found in the New Testament, it is the second half of the Christian Bible. It deals with the life and teachings of Jesus along with documented stories and letters from the early Christian church.

James is toward the end of the New Testament. I have loved the book of James because it is so easy to read. It doesn’t matter the generation, it is wise and poignant no matter your station in life. As a single, married, childless, or current mom, friend, or family, or in joy and trial, it is the place to discover wisdom.

James was the biological half-brother of Jesus. He was Mary and Joseph’s son. He hated and misunderstood his big bro, Jesus. He probably was jealous of all the attention Jesus gained until his death on the cross. Then, James had time for introspection and perhaps regret his past relationship with Jesus. He writes to the reader as one who has learned to trust God and put aside his human need to be right.

James 1: 2 - 6  
2 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.
3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.
4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

5 If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.
6 But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.

Our endurance is being grown by our circumstances. Our loyalty must be with God alone, He never wavers or changes. If you struggle with divided loyalty, such as trying to control things on your own over trusting God. You are not alone so did James. A new sunrise, a new day can bring a new response. make it a good one.

Butterfly reflections

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This is not a blog on keeping New Year’s resolutions. I have always broken them within the first week. I wouldn’t stress you out about the need for perfection. It is an unreachable goal for me, so I kick that thought to the curb.

However, I do believe that a new year brings us to a place of reflection. Reflection is good for everyone it can bring new hope, life, and renewal.

Synonyms of reflection: consideration, contemplation, rumination, musing, meditation, brooding

There are a myriad of synonyms for reflection some seem more optimistic and some seem dark and depressing like brooding or rumination. When we brood like a chicken or ruminate in a cyclical way during reflection it seems to tie us in knots or upset the chicken coop.

I have seen the pecking order of our Clucky ladies, the chickens. They get along well for the most part but when one of them is brooding, refusing to get off the egg she lays then she gets cranky and unreasonable. The other chickens leave her be for a while. When days later she still is squawking and refuses to move they act. They see her losing weight and becoming weak their actions start encouraging her by not eating all the grain and making other high-pitched noises at her. That’s what a good chicken sister does.

An example of positive reflection is musing, contemplation, and reviewing the past. Our good choices, faults, and decisions can lead to success or more struggle. This type of reflection is a healing, meaningful process. It gives us a chance to reconsider what we will do in the future year. Change is not something to fear but to embrace. Think of a caterpillar transforming into a beautiful butterfly.

Having friends to speak the truth, encourage us and be our shoulder to cry on increases the likelihood of our sticking to changing behaviors. We can be that person for others and increase our happier days. We cross paths with many people throughout the day that may need a new friend. Coffee shops can be a place to start a conversation. It is stepping out of our comfort zone.

Gratitude and renewal are 2021 words for me. Blogging was way out of my comfort zone. Sharing insight with people across the world was been my reward. Being in the Christian mommas team to write blows me away, I am humbled. Friends in Portugal, Ireland, England, New Zealand, Africa, Isreal, and more countries beyond the United States brings us together. Meeting like-minded people is a double blessing and being out of my cocoon of comfort brings freedom. Thank you to those along this journey!

So let us celebrate 2022! May it be a year of new beginnings, new healthy self-care, encouragement by our friends and family, and transformation.

Dump the old patterns (sometimes it may mean developing new friendships), and get ready for a new life. Be a butterfly: free to fly, roam and soar to new heights. Plant seeds of peace in your life where you can.

James 3:17-18 17 But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace-loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. 18 And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.

Be ready to harvest new righteousness, let your reflections be in Christ. New year, new opportunities abound. Take a chance to bring in the new year with a new or renewed relationship with Jesus.