Another week is in the  books – seven days to celebrate or seven days to reflect on how we made it through. Another week to look back, pause and give thanks  before looking ahead to what is coming next.

As another school year winds down and the proverbial light can be seen at the end of the tunnel, a time of self-reflection, evaluation and celebration is foremost on my mind.

Self-reflection and evaluation are a daily norm as a teacher as you take the time to tweak lessons, meet students needs and plan accordingly. When applying this to a whole school year, the scope has broadened and the reflection becomes less-focused as you take in the whole picture. Looking at the big picture has it benefits, but spending time digging into small moments provides an understanding of grace-filled minutes that you might have otherwise missed.

Does God call us to look at life as a whole picture or does He want us to zoom in on specific moments – or grace gifts that He has chosen just for us? What lens do you use to look at your life? Is the focus narrow with a sharp image or have you zoomed out to where you see a bigger, out of focus picture?

Does your picture include the small, still frames that are only caught on film when slowing down or is your life a series of blurry snapshots due to your hurry-up life style?


God’s snapshots require us to pause long enough to hear His voice in the everyday and accept the grace gifts that are intertwined throughout the ordinary. This slowing down – this pausing in the midst of rushing to the next thing has blessed me this year! When life was overwhelming and getting out of bed took everything in me, walking in faith was a step forward that was worth exploring.

One of the greatest grace gifts that walked through my classroom door was a nine year old boy, named Micah. His spirit, exuberant joy and his quirky personality lifted me when I needed it most and loved me into life with a smile on his face. He has a way of making me feel better and finding that secret place in me that stirred the depths of my being. You can read more about Micah here!

Another one of my grace gifts this school year came in the form of a woman named, Bea, our school custodian. Her encouraging and positive spirit filled my emptiness with a healing that made my heart happy. As she moves on to retirement, her presence will be a considerable loss but her legacy of encouragement will live on in the hallways of the school. Read more about Bea here!

God blessed me with many grace gifts this year! Counting these gifts occurred because I slowed down long enough to recognize that God had intertwined my ordinary with His blessings.

8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 2 Peter 3:8

There is so much that God wants to teach us and so little time for these lessons to become ingrained in our lives. Slow down, friends and look for your grace gifts today.

Have you paused today? What did you see?  Were you blessed with any grace gifts?



I am still counting to remind myself that I am truly blessed. Linking up this year with Ann Voskamp’s 2014 Joy Dare. Find the link up at A Holy Experience. Counting blessings daily will bless you immeasurably! JoyDare #450 and still counting…

Follow me on Twitter to count my daily blessings with me! @MaryGeisen #JoyDare #1000gifts

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