dreamstime_4037425Thankfully springtime is here! After a drab gray winter in the 
northwest, spring is a season that we all welcome. It revives 
the beauty of life and nature as colorful flowers begin to 
surface.
In Oregon, where I live, the pink and white buds of soft, fuzzy 
looking trees lift my spirit. With Easter soon to follow, this is
definitely a season to feel refreshed and begin anew.  

Easy to say, but for most of us, we find it can be harder to do 
this each day. The "Yes I Can" contest I challenged readers 
with last month. was an encouragement for me, and I hope for you. 
Your responses are vivid reminders that we are in this life together,
always encouraging one another with our strengths ... and in our
weaknesses. Your comments echoed one another: "I can choose to 
smile and be happy." "Even though my children are grown, I realize 
I can still nurture others." "I can accomplish my goals, piece by 
piece." "I can lose weight." "I can change my attitude and change
my day." "I can forgove." "I can find time for me, even with my 
three young kids." It's been really hard, but I can learn to move
on." I can keep it together when a customer screams at me" ... and more.

Thanks for sharing! I can relate to every one of the comments received.

Pamela Cournoyer's response struck me as a significant example to 
highlight. Something we all strive for, no matter our stage of life, 
circumstance, or job.

To quote Pamela, "I can have calm and peace."    
"Yes, I can finally stop working at 5:00 pm.     
As an entrepreneur and business coach, it seems my business is NEVER done. 
So much to get done and so little time for sleep. After six years of struggle,    
the pressure to get it all done melted, and it has been replaced with an 
overall sense of calm and peace."   

Calm and peace are inner attributes we all long for, and one time or
other, struggle to acheive. Those of us who know Pamela admire her
accomplishments and skills. She is confident and filled with life, but
her example is an ideal reminder that we all are human, with universal
challenges that sometimes keep us from feeling and being our personal
best. 

With Palm Sunday approaching and Easter following, Philippians 4:13
teaches and promises that "we can do all things through Christ Jesus 
who strengthens us." We can't do it alone, but we can desire beyond 
anything else: peace, purpose, positive perspective, and passion for life, 
day-in and day-out.
 
I would like to suggest two ways to be confident that you can recognize
the absolute grace of these four blessings of God in your daily life 
this Easter season:

1. Personal Prayer. Dare I say that we are all too busy? Because of this
it can be hard to see the simple and present blessings of each day unless
we can commit to finding time to spend moments with God in a quiet place.
We often don't feel blessed, but a commitment to reading Fod's word in 
calm stillness, taking the time to listening prayer (not just speaking prayer)
fills us with peace, purpose, positive persepective and passion, no
matter our current state. It's a discipline that builds over time. If
you will start with 1/2 hour, God will soon have you yearning for more.
This time with him is precious, well beyond our own understanding.

2. God's Presence and Personal Relationship. God's spiritual influence
becomes increasingly clear to us in the choices we make, in the work that
we do, and in the way we view the people and world around us. From small
to large, miracles abound each day if we willingly open our eyes and spirit
to recognizing them. We can choose to participate with God. He may stretch
us, but he is forever faithful, and does not disappoint.

For you, today, I pray God's peace, purpose, positive perspective and
passion reveals more grace and spiritual blessing than you ever thought 
possible this Easter season.

"... and let the peace of God rule in your hearts ..." Colossians 3:15

In Him,
Judy Dippel                 
purpose-filled life, ,