When my youngest daughter was about four years old, I took down the Christmas tree during her nap.

Later in the day, I saw her looking out the window toward the tree, which lay on the curb awaiting the garbage collector. She whispered, “Christmas tree, come back, come back.”

That made me sad, but I often feel blue after the holidays. The world goes from lively carols, flashing lights, and sparkling tinsel to the grayness of January’s cold weather.

Everyone has wrapped and stored the magic. Even the trees extend bare branches to gloomy skies. For weeks, I’ll discover wadded bits of Christmas paper and smashed bows and vacuum up shiny flecks.

However, the angel’s message of good tidings to all people endures even when our holiday decorations sit in the attic.

I am learning to allow the good news to penetrate my soul and realize God loves me even though I’m not perfect.

Absorbing his grace shifts my focus to eternity. Mundane moments can become opportunities to minister as I care about those around me. Because Jesus came to earth, we can share his love.

“How beautiful are the feet of them that bring good news” (Romans 10:15).

Cynthia L Simmons and her husband reside in Atlanta. A Bible teacher and former homeschool mother, she writes a column for Leading Hearts Magazine. She served as past president of Christian Authors Guild, directs Atlanta Christian Writing Conference, and hosts Heart of the Matter Radio. Her author website is www.clsimmons.com.

 

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I have always hated driving in unfamiliar cities because I couldn’t watch the road and my map at the same time.

In the past, I worked hard to memorize directions and search for the next turn while maneuvering through traffic.

Even getting in the right lane to turn can be a challenge when I don’t know the area.

 

Rather than venture out, I often chose cowardice and stayed home. I could imagine myself embroiled in a major accident while floundering through alien streets.

However, I am quite grateful for the GPS on my phone. A holder on the dashboard keeps the map on the phone visible, and a voice tells me where to turn.

Can you imagine groping your way through life? Praise God we don’t have to do that. In Psalm 119 the Psalmist said, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”

The Lord promised if we lean on him and seek his Word, our heavenly Father will reveal the next step. I discovered that to be true many times while raising my five children. God always gave me wisdom when I pleaded for help.

Praise God for his assistance while we walk through life’s bumpy streets.

Cynthia L Simmons and her husband reside in Atlanta. A Bible teacher and former homeschool mother, she writes a column for Leading Hearts Magazine. She served as past president of Christian Authors Guild, directs Atlanta Christian Writing Conference, and hosts Heart of the Matter Radio. Her author website is www.clsimmons.com.

 

 

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By Cynthia Simmons

“Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and beauty are in his sanctuary” ( Psalm 96:6).

I grow cattellya orchids indoors, and I love to watch the fragile buds swell until they pop so the delicate petals can unfurl a little at a time. Breathtaking!

I feel as if I am seeing the hand of God at work. The frilly lip is the last to open, and then a light fragrance tinges the air. The sweet aroma lasts during the day until the flower starts to fade.

My favorite orchid produces a spray of five or six blue-lavender flowers, each the size of a silver dollar. I have a larger plant that bears blooms about four inches in diameter in groups of three or four. Some blossoms sparkle like glitter. Exquisite.

My heart overflows with praise as I care for these plants. I’m reminded of Romans 1:20. “For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.”

What an incredible display of God’s creativity and power graces my home. I think God is beautiful beyond our imagination. Orchids give me a taste of heaven, and I feel his presence as they dazzle me with beauty.

Make a point to look around at God’s handiwork and praise him. Better yet, stay close to him and reflect his majesty.

Cynthia L Simmons and her husband reside in Atlanta. A Bible teacher and former homeschool mother, she writes a column for Leading Hearts Magazine. She served as past president of Christian Authors Guild, directs Atlanta Christian Writing Conference, and hosts Heart of the Matter Radio. Her author website is www.clsimmons.com.

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