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.

IN THE NOTICING By Lori A. Alicea

When you least expect it, God reveals himself
in the noticing.

In the obvious, in the subtle, when we’re not looking, and sadly,
When we fail to notice at all,
God is always faithful to
reveal Himself
in the noticing.

In these trying times the world is experiencing together, God is still a personal God and intimately aware of us individually in the smallest of our details, those too minute for even the strongest magnification; yet God sees it all and wants to reveal Himself
in the noticing.

You have searched me, Lord, and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
You perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
You are familiar with all my ways.
Psalms 139:1-3 NIV

Which is why I shouldn’t have been taken off guard by the surprise of God, as I am fully aware that he knows me, perceives my thoughts and is familiar with all my ways, continuing to find me in the back roads, the hidden intersections of my life, and even down the aisles of the grocery store,

revealing Himself in the noticing.

Recently I found myself walking a bit slower than usual down the aisles of the grocery store, a gaper in a fog I suppose, stunned and close to tears at the barrenness of the shelves.

Shelves usually full of food unless a holiday is approaching.
A scarcity I’ve never seen in my lifetime.

Panic didn’t set in, yet I could see the unsettledness written on so many faces of the other shoppers.

As a mother I wanted to reach out and hug each passerby, especially the young parents with children in their cart, parents I imagined were fretting about “tomorrow”.

As a grandmother who has rocked ten grandchildren through their endless sleepless nights, I longed to comfort these moms and dads and remind them that everything is going to be alright.

Yet quite honestly, the barren shelves that afternoon were bothering me too.

In the noticing though,

God scattered “words of encouragement” throughout the store by someone thoughtful, words painted on rocks and left behind on shelves for shoppers to find, a word God knew
I needed in the noticing.

While rock hunting is not a new idea, as I have personally stumbled upon these decorated stones in the town park and rocks our grandchildren have found hidden by next door neighbors.

But this particular day God gave me a “now word”, a “word in due season” on a shelf at the grocery store, just waiting beside the few boxes of mac-n-cheese left behind for me to discover.

A word God gave me in the noticing was BELIEVE.
IMG_7231Lord, in the noticing

You know me….
You perceive my thoughts….
You are familiar with all my ways….
Psalms 139:1-3 NIV

Lord, in the noticing you saw a weak moment of doubt in me, and now you were encouraging me to remember what I BELIEVE.

In this new pandemic storm unlike no other, boats all over the world seem tossed against the rage of the ocean, taking in and overwhelmed by the “waters of the unexpected”, whose compasses seem to have lost direction, leaving some to feel abandoned, stranded and lost at sea.

But in my boat and in the noticing,
God, you are encouraging me to remember what
I BELIEVE.

When boats are calm, it’s easy to say what we BELIEVE when
sailing waters that are sound asleep.

But when the tides wake up with a fierce headache and vessels everywhere are tossed in the sea of its anger, we have to firmly know what we BELIEVE, as our lives depend on it.

What I BELIEVE is God controls the storm.

The disciples experienced this first hand as Jesus calmed the fierce storm that held their boat captive and stirred their fears of drowning.
Witnessing this miracle the disciples in their amazement replied,

“Who is this?
He commands even the winds and the waters,
and they obey him.”
Luke 8:25 NIV

What I BELIEVE during these unexpected times when so many have lost their jobs or successes, the world will come to realize when provisions miraculously continue, that God has been their provider all this time.

I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.
Psalm 37:25 NIV

What I BELIEVE in this great time of sickness, God still heals. God longs for our faith to arise, to reach out for the “hem of Jesus’ garment” as the woman with the issue of blood did for her healing.

“Who touched me? Jesus asked….
But Jesus said, “Someone touched me;
I know that power has gone out from me.”
…..
Then he (Jesus) said to her,
“Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”
Luke 8:45-48 NIV

What I BELIEVE in this great time of lack,
People have revealed themselves full of generosity.

What I BELIEVE during these times mandated to our homes is a gift,
As families preoccupied and disconnected from the distractions of work, school, sports and play, needed to find their way back home and reconnect with those that they love.

What I BELIEVE is prayer is powerful, that prayer is bringing neighborhoods to their balcony’s, prayer is filling hospital parking lots of cars filled with people, all humbling themselves and calling on God to have mercy on them, seeking his face to heal their lands.

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV      

What I BELIEVE that however painful during this great time of grief and sad goodbyes, we still have great HOPE of eternal life with the Lord for those who know Him as Lord, for those who:

…declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and you believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
Romans 10:9-10 NIV

 In the noticing

God knows us….
He perceives our thoughts….
God is familiar with all our ways….
Psalms 139:1-3 NIV

If you feel abandoned,
If you are feeling alone,
If you are worried about tomorrow,

God is noticing.

You are not abandoned,
You are not alone,
God has tomorrow already prepared.

Find calm in the storm,
As the winds and waters obey Him.
(Luke 8:25 NIV)

Determine to BELIEVE.

Find calm
In a loving God
Who Notices.

DARE TO DREAM, DARE TO BELIEVE By Lori A Alicea

“What no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived,
the things God has prepared for those who love him.”
1 Corinthians 2:9 NIV

“Your dreams are free, it doesn’t cost,
So dream the brightest star.
Believe for it¸ you reach for it,
Forget the distance far.
brook and brystol blowing glitter no logoYour dream is not defined by age,
So dare to dream, believe.
ayva no logoThe young, the old, you’re capable,
Don’t run from it or leave.
The Princess Within Rosalee with shoesThere is a dream for every girl,
A dream for every boy.
Group pictureYour dream does not discriminate,
You’re made for this, enjoy.
cova hollis rosalee THIS ONEFor every twinkle in the night,
You name and find your star.
cova hand under chin no logoAnd if your dream you cannot see,
Your dream knows who you are.
brook and brystol no logoWhile though it seems impossible,
This dream that stirs your heart.
Oh dare believe, begin to walk,
Your steps await, just start.
The Princess Within Rosalee with shoes 1The world awaits your star to shine,
To waken up the night.
Be not surprised your dream displayed,
Your shooting stars so bright.
cova standing tall no logoOh dare to dream, oh dare believe,
The world’s your stage they say.
It is your time, stand up for it,
Reach out your dream bouquet.
ayva 5Don’t let your star extinguish out,
Forever shine your light.
If dare to dream your starry sky,
For others, burns at night.
rosalee-2.jpgThere is no dream too big or small,
Believe, I dare you to.
Bring forth the dream that burns inside,
The one God breathed in you.
brook and brystol blowing glitter no logo