Dear Blessed Child of the Most High God,

While most are filling their tummies until buttons pop and zippers need loosening, to the point it’s time to put on our stretchy pants, I can’t help but reflect on how much my faith has stretched over the course of this past year. Like most of our pants and belt buckles on this day of bountiful eating are under pressure, life can bring challenges that places our faith under pressure as well.

“Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.” ~ James 1:2-4 MSG


On this day, and every day, I give thanks to the Almighty God for the people, places, and experiences He has brought into my life. There are so many things that I can be thankful for, but most of all I am just thankful for life itself.


The ups as well as the downs. The setups and the setbacks. All in all I know who holds my life in His hands and that no matter who comes or goes in my life, or what changes or stays the same, God’s got it all planned out.


“Before I shaped you in the womb,
   I knew all about you.
Before you saw the light of day,
   I had holy plans for you:
A prophet to the nations—
   that’s what I had in mind for you.”

~ Jeremiah 1:5 MSG


A year ago this time was a seemingly rough season for me. A season full of job and career transitions and even relocation. In that time, despite moving up the career ladder I experienced heartbreak, depression, and health and fitness setbacks.


Nevertheless God is faithful. Twenty-eighteen has brought its share of trials, but it has also brought many blessings along with it. I have learned to find peace and patience in the stretching of my faith, the opening and closing of doors, and the beauty in life-giving relationships and learning to trust again.


So on this Day of Giving Thanks, I thank God for YOU! To those of you who have been a significant part of my life’s journey in some capacity whether good or bad, with everything in me, I am grateful. With a full heart, as full as our stretchy pants after Thanksgiving dinner, I am filled with gratitude for what’s behind me and what’s to come!  Because I know that God is in control and that nothing is wasted (Romans 8:28) #WithEverything


It is my prayer that

“The Lord bless you
   and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you
   and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you
   and give you peace” ~ Numbers 6:24-26 MSG


Until next time…


Write from the Heart,


{Just Being} Candice Maria


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