Winters in Michigan, where I grew up, were long, cold, and dreary. Gray skies, leafless trees, and a colorless landscape made the winter months feel endless. Occasionally, the sun would peek out in March with a patch of blue sky that gave hope to a frigid existence.

Then came April. As daylight lingered a little longer and snow melted away, the sky became brighter and creation began to wake up.

I love that we celebrate Easter in the spring because it’s a celebration of new life. Just as brown grass turns to green, flowers sprout from the earth, and tree branches blossom with new foliage, the resurrection of Jesus gives new life to those who are spiritually dead. And the new life that Jesus gives to those who believe in him lasts through all eternity.

Even more than the blue skies and colorful flowers, what I loved most about spring was the melody of birds singing praises to their Creator from early morning until evening. This Easter, as we celebrate our new life in Jesus, may we join our feathered friends by praising the One who is worthy of our song.

Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land (Song of Solomon 2:12 NIV).

Crystal Bowman is a bestselling, award-winning author of more than 100 books for children and adults. She is a lyricist for children’s piano music, contributor to Clubhouse Jr. Magazine, and presenter at writers’ conferences. Her latest book is Mothers in Waiting—Healing and Hope for Those with Empty Arms (Harvest House).

Mothers in Waiting

Mothers in Waiting

 

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With Christmas wrapped up and neatly tucked away, we are almost to the end of January. But the hope that a new year brings is still fresh in our hearts and minds.

Maybe this is the year you hope to find a new job, earn a degree, or travel abroad. Maybe this is the year you hope to meet that special someone or start a family.

Hoping for a change, or for something new, is exciting.

But when our hopes and dreams are put on hold, it’s hard to be patient.

Proverbs 13:12 says “hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.”  It’s only human to want things to fall into place quickly. Waiting for God’s perfect timing can be discouraging and painful.

Good things come to those who wait is a saying that’s been used in song lyrics and even a Heinz ketchup ad in the 1980s. But the message comes from the Bible and is woven into the pages of Scripture.

“I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry” (Psalm 40:1).

Here’s another familiar verse. “Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)

And I love this verse. “The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him” (Lamentations 3:25).

When we find ourselves in a season of waiting, we can use this time to draw closer to God, realizing that His ways are not our ways, and that His ways are always best.    

Crystal Bowman

Crystal Bowman

Mothers in Waiting

Mothers in Waiting

Crystal Bowman is a bestselling, award winning author of more than 100 books for children and adults. She is a lyricist for children’s piano music, contributor to Clubhouse Jr. Magazine, and presenter at writers’ conferences. Her latest book is Mothers in Waiting—Healing and Hope for Those with Empty Arms (Harvest House).

 

 

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When one of my publishers asked me to add a Thanksgiving book to my holiday board book series, it took a while for me to decide what to write. The story of the Pilgrims on the Mayflower would be too long to squeeze into twenty-four lines!

I considered what Thanksgiving means to young children and the answer was obvious. Young children celebrate Thanksgiving with family, and it’s a time to thank God for our blessings. The text became a simple prayer, thanking God for food, family, mountains, birds, bumblebees, and more.

Thanksgiving is a day to thank God for his provisions throughout the year. It’s a time to reflect on the past, present, and future with grateful hearts. Having a designated day to express our thanks to God is something to celebrate. But of course, we can remember to say thank you anytime we talk to God.

When we thank God for something specific, it allows us to give God credit for his activity in our everyday lives. Healing a grandchild’s illness, restoring a friend’s marriage, getting an opportunity we were hoping for—the list is endless. I’ve even thanked God for a good parking spot on a rainy afternoon! Being grateful not only honors God but also helps us focus on our blessings rather than our problems.

If God surprises you today with an unexpected blessing, or if you simply make it through another day, spend a moment with him and just say thank you.

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever (1 Chronicles 16:34 ICB).

Crystal Bowman is an award winning, best-selling author of more than 100 books for children. She is a speaker and mentor for MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) and teaches at writers’ conferences throughout the U.S. She is a monthly contributor to Clubhouse Jr. Magazine and writes lyrics for children’s piano music.

 

 

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In 1776 our country was founded by men who believed in God. Nearly two centuries later, “In God We Trust” was written on our currency, and The Pledge of Allegiance added the phrase “one nation under God.”

Though these statements represent a variety of faiths, belief in God is the common denominator.

As we all know, our nation is becoming more and more secular and many people are turning away from God. But there will always be a remnant who remain strong in their faith and in their commitment to God.

We will always have a voice, although it may be more difficult to be heard. Whether we put words on the printed page, blog posts, or Facebook, we can share our faith and commitment to God and our nation.

We can proudly fly the American flag. We can support veterans. We can volunteer at local schools, shelters, and food banks. There are many ways we can remain patriotic while letting our words and actions reflect our love for God and our country.

Most of all, we can be the hands and feet of Jesus to a hurting world. May our lives be a testimony that God is our Creator and we still trust in him.

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he chose for his inheritance” (Psalm 33:12 NIV).

 

Crystal Bowman is an award winning, best-selling author of more than 100 books for children. She’s a speaker and mentor for MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) and teaches at several writers’ conferences throughout the U.S. She is a monthly contributor to Clubhouse Jr. Magazine and writes lyrics for children’s piano music.

 

 

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Almost everyone has a favorite color. Mine is yellow. I love the yellow sun, yellow buttercups, and yellow sweet corn.

But I also like blue. I love going to the beach to see the vast blue sky and various shades of blue in the ocean.

I’m not sure why those colors appeal to me—they just do.

What amazes me is that God is the only One who could think of all the different colors.

What is even more amazing is they have been in existence since the beginning of time. The sun is yellow, the grass is green, and the sky is blue. It’s always been that way and it will always be that way.

I smile when I think how God put orange feet on a duck. And I wonder what He was thinking when He chose brilliant splashes of red, yellow, and blue for the feathers on a macaw.

And what about patterns? Orange and black tiger strips, spotted leopards, and the unique geometric pattern on a tall giraffe—how did He come up with those ideas?

Our human minds will never grasp the magnitude of God’s creative and artistic abilities. The beauty of a rainbow, the majesty of a sunset, and the splendor of a crimson rose reveal God’s greatness. They were created for our pleasure and for His glory. We don’t have to explain it—we just need to enjoy it!

“Lord You are the one who made the sky, the earth, the sea, and everything in the world” (Acts 4:24 ICB).

Crystal Bowman is an award winning, best-selling author of more than 100 books for children. A speaker and mentor for MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers), she teaches at several writers’ conferences throughout the U.S. She’s a monthly contributor to Clubhouse Jr. Magazine and writes lyrics for children’s piano music.

 

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