Five Good and Perfect Gifts

This year has been hard. And good. And perfect.

My view in the Jeep

This Christmas season when I have actually had time to reflect, I keep coming back to one of my favorite verses.

Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. ~ James 1:17 NLT

I’ve had some good and perfect gifts come down from heaven this year.

Sometimes you will have a hard season. It could last longer than you expect.

But look up. You may be on the brink of receiving good and perfect gifts in the midst of a life storm.

Don’t miss them.

Here are my five good and perfect gifts of 2013.

5. Self discovery.

Country Roads

In 2013 I was given the opportunity to take some time to figure out who I am. Really. I took the road labeled “spiritual quest to find one’s self”. It was hard, but it was worth it. On this road I gave up trying to live up to what I thought shadows of my past thought I should be, and became very comfortable in my own skin. The process was exhilarating and gut wrenching all at the same time.

It was a bumpy journey but one well worth taking. I would not have gone on it on my own. I was nudged on this path by something completely out of my control. But the trip was well worth it. I thank God for an amazing partner I have in Jeff. His support made all of the difference.

4. Adventure

I didn’t have as many as I would have liked, but the ones I had were amazing.

Climbing Mt. Evans with my friend Bekah.

Mt. Evans Summit


A Jeep trip to The Great Sand Dunes.

Jeff and Julie at the Great Sand Dunes

Flying all over the country for Rocky Mountain Media Group.

Flying Southwest. As always.

A long overdue trip to West Virginia to visit family.

The Abel/Pugh Clan

Moose watching in Rocky Mountain National Park

Moose sighting in Rocky Mountain National Park

By nature I have a restless heart and this year I was blessed to have good and perfect gifts come down in the form of adventures. It made the above mentioned self discovery gift a little more bearable. I am anxious to see what adventure gifts will come in 2014.

3. Puppy love.

Don’t laugh. This was probably one of my biggest surprises of this year. I fell absolutely in love. With a dog.

Monroe the Abel Sheepadoodle

Monroe entered our lives in June from ACC Ranch and honestly I can’t imagine what life was like without him.

Jessa and Monroe the Sheepadoodle

He gives unconditional grace and love. He is a reflection of all that is good in this world.

Monroe the Sheepadoodle in the Jeep

And while he is far from perfect (what puppy is?) he is a good and perfect gift. He gives so much joy to my heart that it is almost embarrassing. Unless you have a pet, you just don’t get it. I didn’t. Until Monroe.

Monroe the Sheepadoodle

2. Family and Friends

I am BLESSED. Last night I was able to catch the very end of It’s a Wonderful Life. I was reminded that just like George Bailey good and perfect gifts are often found in the people God brings into your life. Through my family, work and community I am blessed to have amazing people who have supported me through this very difficult year. I can’t mention all of you, but you know who you are. You are deeply loved.

“Remember, no man is a failure who has friends.” ~Clarence the Angel

The Abel Family


Visiting Freda

Friends new

Thanksgiving with friends

My friend Nancy

1. A faith that has been strengthened.

WVWC Chapel


At times this year I doubted. And pouted.

My faith took a beating. But it’s OK. I think when you live a life where your faith isn’t tested you honestly aren’t living.

God proved Himself again and again faithful in my life this year. Through people, places, circumstances and even through animals! I am grateful for this gift. The gift of faith. 

And that is the most perfect gift of all.




  1. How sweet to see our photo, Julie. Thank you for making time to get together–a highlight of my Christmas season. FYI, the sweater I had on that day was borrowed by my granddaughter for an “ugliest sweater contest!’ Gratefully she didn’t win but I’ll have to rethink wearing it next year. Hugs!

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