Where are you heading?

Have you listed your goals for this year? Ways you want to improve? For many of us, this past year was tough. Challenges. Trials. Pain. Grief. And some of you are struggling right now. I always told my children when hard or frustrating things happened that trials build character. One of my daughters, who has had a particularly rough couple of years, asked, “Don’t I have enough character yet?” I know how she feels. For years, I struggled to try harder, live better, do more. My efforts mostly took me down a lot of dead ends. I’ve found the key to really living is not in how hard I work, but in who I am walking with. What I trust. How I am willing to open my heart.

Is 40 27-28 Santa Cruz by Jack H Thompson
Galapagos Islands

I can’t explain the hard stuff, but I think God wants far more for us than we seek. Our eyes looking way higher than our glances take us.

Is 40 25-26 Miami at night by Jack H Thompson
by Jack H Thompson

There is so much more life available with God than we ever reach out for. How do we go from trying hard to trusting much and receiving more?

My path changed when I began to listen to — really hear — the voice telling me I am loved.

Then I learned what we tirelessly teach our little ones – to say thank you.  Giving thanks for what I have, seeing the blessing, however tiny, puts a new lens on my day.

Maui beauty by Jack H Thompson
Maui beauty
Cloud forest fern, Ecuador,  Jack H Thompson
Cloud forest fern, Ecuador
bee in flower, Isabella, Galapagos
bee in flower, Isabella, Galapagos

And the gratitude heart leads me to trust. My hard edges melt when I find the thanksgiving places.

Is 40 29 w bird in flight by Jack H Thompson
Soaring by Jack H Thompson

Then I can relax into hands far stronger than mine, and more loving than any earthly hands could ever be.

Is40 30 Dolphins Jack H Thompson
Dolphin pair by Jack H Thompson

What are you aiming for this year?

 

 

 

My wish for you

rainbow in St Thomas, VI JHT
rainbow in St Thomas, VI

My wish for you . . .As you receive the gift of this new year, one day at a time, one breath at a time, my wish for you is for beauty. Beauty of the soul, where you relax into the shape of who you are, created in the image of God and held by nail-scarred hands.

Sunset in Florida Keys JHT
Sunset in Florida Keys

Beauty of the eye, seeing the splendor of what is above,

 

Bahama sky, JHT
Bahama sky

What is around you, the exquisite very near,

butterfly on flowers, JHT
butterfly on flowers
uplifted coral, Isabella, Galapagos , JHT
uplifted coral, Isabella, Galapagos
Penguin, Fernandina, Galapagos, JHT
Penguin, Fernandina, Galapagos

And far,

sunset at Bartholomew, Galapagos, JHT
sunset at Bartholomew, Galapagos
Storm off Ft Jefferson, Dry Tortugas, JHT
Storm off Ft Jefferson, Dry Tortugas
Swiss Alps, JHT
Swiss Alps

And within,

Even your scars.

scarred tree trunk in Switzlerland© Jack H Thompson
scarred tree trunk in Switzerland

All that you have lived

and suffered

and danced through

wraps up into you,

going forward today,

Sea Lion, Fernandina, Galapagos, JHT
Sea Lion, Fernandina, Galapagos
newborn in NICU
newborn in NICU
J and Jane loading patient into ambulance
J and Jane loading patient into ambulance
a taste of heaven
Mom singing

only this day,

for we have no other.

 

I wish for you beauty of the skin, soft breezes or brisk winds 

Windsurfing in Dry Tortugas
Windsurfing in Dry Tortugas
kiss from Lady Pitkeithly, JHT
kiss from Lady Pitkeithly

gentle rains or strong waves

Jane body surfing in Bahamas, JHT
Jane body surfing in Bahamas

And hugs.

Mommom love
Mommom love

Beauty for your ears, listening to the music of rustling leaves, crunching snow, crackling fire, to the hearts of those God brings to you

school children in Switzerland , JHT
school children in Switzerland
Christmas Eve 2014
Christmas Eve 2014

And to your heart

heart shaped shell, Sanibel Island, FL, JHT
heart-shaped shell, Sanibel Island, FL

And song. Always song.

Praise gives us life.

Where do you find the beauty in your life?

The photos and the video below, “Beautiful”,  are best viewed on the website. (Click the title.)