This week we have made our annual pilgrimage to Branson for our end of the year vacation.  It is always a great week for us because typically we come after Christmas and stay through the New Year.  But with the way our schedule worked out we have been here during Christmas day. This week has always reminded me I have a blessed life.

For the most part, people have been leaving Branson to go home for the holidays. This means that we have had the roads and activities to ourselves.  We love it, not for the shows (although we did go to Sight and Sound Theater this year) but for the peace and quiet. There are frequent naps, reading, and lots of eating.  It is our time to unwind.  

This year, Christmas has been different for all of the family.  We are learning a new normal.  With all the changes that have happened in the family over the past couple of years, it is inevitable that change will come to our holidays as well.  Some changes we have celebrated, such as Anna and Vincent’s new marriage.  Other changes have been extremely difficult.


Each year during this vacation, I have always taken time to internally reflect on the past and begin preparations for a new year.  Focusing on those things that are a part of my own personal journey that I can direct and leaving the rest to the Lord.  My personal spiritual, physical, emotional, relational, and a host of other areas that I know I can make the decisions that will impact each aspect of my life.

One of those areas of my life that I have been determined to work on for some time is having a right perspective.  A right perspective on life, relationships, work, money, and spiritual priorities is key to health in many areas of my life.  A right perspective can impact my personal journey as well as my interactions and relationships with everyone around me.  

Blessed Past

Thinking back on my life, I must say that I have been blessed.  I cherish the relationships of those who have invested into my life and given me grace beyond measure.  I appreciate their love for me and how it has positively impacted my life.  

My dad, mom, sister, grandparents, and extended family who have shared their life with me are memories that I cherish.   Nyree, Anna, and Miriam who have brought so much love and joy into my life have blessed me beyond measure.  Then there is Nyree’s family, Anna’s husband and family, who have taken me in and considered me one of their own.  This has meant the world to me!

I also consider all the opportunities, relationships, and experiences that have shaped who I am today.  These blessings have not always been easy, but have been a necessity in molding me into who I am today.  I am grateful for all that God has done to sovereignly guide and direct my journey through this life.  

Blessed Present

I have come to discover that a joyful life is not based on the things that you acquire, but the relationships and experiences that you enjoy each day.  As long as I maintain a proper perspective on life and how it plays out in the overall scope of eternity, then my relationships and experiences become far more important than my things.  

Considering all the blessings that God has graciously given me, I must say that I am overwhelmed with his goodness.  While there are times that I lose sight of his blessings when trials and difficulties come my way, I have to constantly remind myself to stay focused.  His love and grace toward me is the foundation that I stand upon each and every day.

Blessed Future

Looking over the totality of my life, I must say that God has been very good to me.  With that in mind, I can rest assured that what God does in my life in the future with also be for my good. The fact that he is constantly molding, guiding, and strengthening me shows that he loves and cares for me.  As he continues to do so in the future, I remind myself that he is always looking for what is yet to come.  

What God has planned for me goes beyond this life and encompasses my eternity.  It is this eternal perspective that he keeps in mind when looking at my life.  It is also the perspective I must keep at the forefront of my mind and life.  I can find his plan at work in my life everywhere I look. The key is to look.

The Bible says…

Ephesians 1 Paul reminds us of the incredible blessings we have been given through Jesus.  These blessings are for all who will believe and come with some incredible key ingredients to a fulfilled life.  Paul says: 

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.

Ephesians 1:3–6 (ESV)

Paul tells believers that God has blessed us in the Beloved (Jesus) and that those blessings have everything to do with our relationship with Him.  Often believers get into the habit of simply talking about their material blessings that God has granted. While these are great, we must prioritize the most important blessings He has given.  In this passage we learn that God has granted grace, care, purpose and hope for all who would believe.

Consequently, these are the keys that each one of us needs to live a fulfilled and blessed life.  Knowing his grace is sufficient, his care is all-encompassing, his purpose is everlasting, and his hope is fulfilling is the foundation for a full and blessed life.  We must not lose sight of what is most important.

My Prayer

My prayer for each of you is that God would allow us to reset our perspective on the most important things in life.  As we realize his true blessings are eternal qualities and not temporary luxuries we will lean toward a happier and fulfilled life.  May God grant each of us the opportunity to open our eyes and hearts to the many things he is doing every day to show us how much he loves and cares for us.  



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