Dear Ones, 
Hope you are keeping warm and snug. We woke up to -28 today and are glad we don’t have to go anywhere today.Emoji We had a fun evening at Ann’s last night! This morning I wrote letters, did a Bible Study and made S.F. cookies and a veggie dish.  
Devotions from Judy’s heart
Al and I came home last night feeling light and joyful as we had been to the lake to celebrate two of our grandson’s birthdays. We had had a delicious lamb dinner, saw the beautiful renovation they had done to our former home, but most important it was our time together in celebration. We had brought balloons, and games and prizes, cake and snacks and enjoyed a fun time. As I woke up this morning, the thought came to me, that is the secret during this stressful time of COVID, is to find ways to give out to others. We read that depression has tripled during this time and people are having trouble coping even to the point of suicide. We know emotional stress affects our bodies, robs us of sleep, affects our hormones and microbiome, increases inflammation and the list goes on and on. We can eat the right foods, exercise, hydrate, but if the body is stressed our life will be shortened when we try to handle it ourselves; we are told to practice yoga, get a pet, exercise, meditate, use humor, eat berries etc. and these may give some relief but our true help is in the Lord. When we lean into Him, He gives us hope and shows us another way of gaining strength, so that what is happening in the world, will not press us down. That’s when the light turned on for me this morning. We have all been given spiritual gifts and they are found in Romans 12:6-8; we have at least one of them that we received when we came into this world. It could be the gift of prophecy, or serving, or teaching, or exhorting, or giving, or leadership, or acts of mercy. But what a perfect time to use these gifts to the fullest, and as Paul goes on to say, put love into action. If you have the gift of mercy, you may find ways to listen and show compassion to a friend who feels like she is sinking. Or if you have the gift of serving, you can double what you are making for your family meal and bring to a mom who is trying to keep it together as she works and helps her kids do school. Or if you have the gift of giving, you might send money to another whose job was terminated because of COVID. There is much we can do as we use the gifts of grace given us, and we will find that our own hearts are renewed, just as my heart was last night. Surprisingly, we may also find we even sleep better, as we come to experience great joy in sharing Christ’s love with others in a myriad of ways.
Challenge for today: Do something special today for someone that needs uplifting.
Blessings on your day and prayers and love, Judy