A YEAR FOR NEW BEGINNINGS  By Lori A Alicea

After opening my 2022 calendar and glancing over the 365 days of blank pages before me, I’m greatly encouraged as blank pages are opportunities for fresh starts, re-writes, course corrections and re-imagined visions.

While we chart our days though, there’s a continued trust in a wonderful Father, making room and leaving margin for those steps He’s already ordered before the year even approached with an awesome plan for us in mind.

The Lord directs the steps of the godly.
He delights in every detail of their lives.
Psalm 37:23 (NLT)calendar use

This time of year, hideaway places everywhere are painted and blanketed with snow glistening as undiscovered diamonds in the afternoon sun; a winter’s postcard most eyes will never see nor feet ever trod.

snow forest Yet depicts the paths waiting for those with fresh vision to forge;cumbee ethan little snow lawnmower

Leaps of faith to climb new heights;england cova between trees

Daring courage to free fall into the unknown;2018 england winter 3

Fight with tenacity against the opposition which begs to stand in your way.

Belief in yourself enough to leave an irrefutable mark in a undiscovered winter’s postcard.cova little snow angel

Entering through the door of another calendar year, we’re greeted and kissed with opportunities waiting their turn for us to finally say “yes; beckoning those willing to move from their couch of complacency and begin taking those steps of faith God’s voice has been leading into the unknown for years; a place where God’s dreams for them really do come true.

For we walk by faith, not by sight.
2 Corinthians 5:7 (NLT)kizzie walking with sisters

Lassoing a year’s new beginnings and forging a path where feet have never gone before; at least not yours, is not for the faint of heart.

Contending for vision means challenging what’s difficult, resisting the couch of complacency, and standing your ground when it’d be easier as in years passed to surrender to the fear of failure.

I’m preaching to myself as I stare into the blank calendar days of 2022.

I dare not throw away another planner of missed opportunities; opportunities sadly I didn’t prepare for had they dared to cross my path.

Lord, fill my days and mind with your thoughts of me; the encouragement I need to believe in those steps you’ve asked of me, you’ve ordered for me.

Lord, let me see with clarity the secret strategies an army of ideas must possess to win the war against those oppositions of a God given vision.

Lord, you’ve reminded me my tool belt of gifts is adequate and complete for the dreams you’ve asked me to conquer; as the difference maker in all of this is not my abilities, but availability to you.

Even above these dreams you have for me, the paths you’ve asked me to walk are one step at a time.

Lord, it’s remembering to turn over the knotted and hanging strands of my dream’s tapestry, to see the big picture of those hurting, those desperate and without hope for a loving God, to bring you glory through those you’ve sent me to reach and touch with the plans you have on my life.

Lord, it’s never been about me.

It’s never been about success, money or accolades to accumulate; as this all rusts and burns in time.

Lord, keep reminding me and showing me the quick vapor my life is; the short moments I have to bring honor to your name; to make you famous throughout my life.

Lord, fill up my calendar this year with opportunities I can’t bear to miss this time.

Draw me to yourself when distractions dare to take me otherwise.

Lord, let me be a witness to those I’m unaware are watching; those wondering the source of my smile, the fountain spring of my joy.

I’m greatly encouraged for the blank pages of opportunities, fresh starts, re-writes, course corrections and re-imagined visions of my 2022 calendar before me. calendar useI continue to trust in my wonderful Father, making room and leaving margin for those steps He’s already ordered before the year even approached with an awesome plan for me in mind.

I pray for all of you reading and taking in the words an Almighty God has inspired me to write for myself, my children, grandchildren, and you.

May the year of 2022 in your life bring glory to our Lord and Savior who loves you more than you know.

I appreciate those who follow me and SHARE these words when felt led to.
lori use
May you allow God to begin filling up your calendar and feel free to COMMENT what He has laid up your heart.

SMALL BEGINNINGS  By Lori A Alicea

Dreams have to start somewhere.

You enter the race at the starting line like every other runner,
with no fast track to the finish.

Books are written and read one page at a time.

The corporate ladder is climbed one step at a time.

We see ourselves at the mountain peak, yet a “dream come true” takes their first steps at the base.

All leaders share a common story of small beginnings.

Don’t despise your small beginning at the lemonade stand level,
because dreams have to start somewhere,
so why not start with excitement at the beginning.

Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin…”Zechariah 4:10

ayvas lemonade stand

Your dream’s beginning is a perfect place to write and establish your vision as a road sign of encouragement for those to see who are running this race with you.

Small beginnings remind us that dreams are slow in “coming true.”

Runners grow weary when the finish line is further than they prepared for, a mile marker where some contemplate giving up on their dream.

But your vision’s road sign of encouragement will be that needed drink to quench their thirst of weariness along the way.

ayva lemonade party 14

Write the vision; make it plain on tablets,
so he may run who reads it.
For still the vision awaits its appointed time;
it hastens to the end – it will not lie.

If it seems slow, wait for it;
it will surely come; it will not delay.”
Habakkuk 2:2-3 ESV

Small beginnings require confidence.

Small beginnings require a belief that we are qualified in the first place, a belief that God picked the right person for this dream job when the resumes of others scream more qualified.

When God hand selected Moses to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt’s bondage into the Promised Land, Moses drowning in all of his self-doubt responded,

I have never been eloquent….I am slow of speech and tongue.”
Exodus 4:10 NIV

O Lord, please send someone else to do it.”
Exodus 4:13 NIV

Our God, who knows us more intimately than anyone else when He fashioned us in the womb, should raise a confidence from within that we are perfectly called.

A Heavenly Father wants a childlike trust that in our weaknesses,
He will be our strength.

For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:10 NLT

Dreams are a series of small beginnings.

One small beginning crosses paths with another small beginning, with God at times asking you to reach for more, to swim out into the deep, going beyond what feels comfortable.

Author and Motivational Speaker John Maxwell quotes:
To succeed in life, we must stay within our strength zone, but continually move outside our comfort zone.

When you least expect it, your lemonade stand adds a beautifully decorated table for the thirsty,

And additional yummies to the menu.

Small beginnings require faith and obedience for every step of the way that God has called us to take.

God speaks.
We listen.
We obey.
God speaks the next step.

Sometimes in the dream journey though, it seems as if
God has stopped speaking and gone silent, causing us to question the next step.

Pastor Robert Morris of Gateway Church
Asks the same question in his “Frequency Series” on hearing God:

Have you ever been in a place where you felt you weren’t hearing God?
Then go back to the last place God spoke to you, and ask yourself, did you obey?”

This happened to Jonah as recorded in Jonah 1-3.

The Lord instructed Jonah to go to Nineva and preach to the people regarding their wicked ways, yet disobeyed and went to Tarshish instead.

A huge storm arose in the boat he traveled and Jonah found himself thrown overboard, swallowed into the belly of a huge fish and deafened by the silence of God.

When Jonah repented, the Lord caused the fish to release him then spoke again the same request that Jonah disobeyed the first time silencing the voice of God, “Go to Nineva.” This time Jonah obeyed.

Dreams can come true but we must remember:
Small beginnings
can’t go any faster than “one step at a time”.

Welcome small beginnings, and not despise them.

Write and establish the dream’s vision as a road sign of encouragement for those that have chosen to run this race with us.

Be confident in our belief that God has called us to this dream fully and perfectly qualified.

Be expecting our small beginnings to cross paths with other small beginnings.

Be faithful and obedient to God’s voice and direction in every step.

Be in great anticipation beyond what you could have ever imagined.

ayva lemonade party 30

Rejoice, because wild dreams from God do come true,
when we faint “not” in our steps of
small beginnings.