Advent – Week 2 Joy

20 Dec

No matter what we are facing today, we can REJOICE He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. JOY unspeakable. May you feel His joy today and tomorrow.

Advent week 2

Oh Come – Let Us Adore Him

18 Dec

oh come

It’s Five Minute Friday and the word today is adore.  Since it’s Christmas well you know the first thing that pops in my brain is the song, “Oh Come Let Us Adore Him”.

So how about you this season? Are you showing your adoration for Him or are you stressed to the max?  I have to admit it seems now that I’ve gotten older, the Christmas season has gotten more stressful and I am retired.  Geesh what’s up.  I’ve planned days to decorate and clean and well you know the phone rings and I need to sub, an email arrives and some of my friends want to meet for lunch, and just this week I kept my grandson two extra days because my daughter-in-law had to go out of town for a funeral due to a car accident.

One thing I’ve learned you can plan, but things change.  We have these moments. We are not promised tomorrow or even the next second.  We should be savoring the moments and adoring Him not just at Christmas, but every single moment of our lives.

Oh come, Let us adore Him now.

Christmas Printables – Stocking Stuffers

15 Dec

 

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Printables - Christmas 2

Each year my family celebrates so many traditions so I made up some cards to start another.  I will be selecting one verse to pray over my family in 2015, and I will be printing out copies for each of them and placing them in our Jesus stocking.  Our Jesus stocking is a stocking I hang by itself on one of our fireplaces and I leave a pad and pen for the kids to write something they are giving or giving up for Jesus in the next year and they place it in the stocking.  I’ll have them take out the verse I will be praying over them, and then place their gifts.

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These could also be used as a party favor, added inside a card, inserted with a gift, used to put on your table for guests on Christmas, etc..  If you have other ideas I would love to hear them.

There’s No Place Like Home For Christmas

14 Dec

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I love the song “There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays”.  Don’t you?  I tend to want to say Christmas instead of holidays and have been throwing out cards that don’t include the word Christmas in them.

I hope that you like me loved going home for Christmas.   I’m so glad my grown-up children do too.  As I got older my Mom and Dad started coming to our homes – mine and my sisters and my aunts.  We rotated.  Since the kids are older mine now we celebrate Christmas Eve with my husband’s family and come back here to spend the night.  We play games and have loads of fun waiting for Christmas morning where I fix breakfast and traditionally it is a breakfast casserole and fruit, but sometimes we add something else to celebrate my son-in-laws birthday which is Christmas.

What was it like going back home for me on Christmas Eve?  Mom and Dad always planned special things and I guess that’s why my husband and I have followed in their footprints.  Dad always wrote a poem and sometimes I do if the whole family is coming here on Christmas Day.  Mom spent lots of time shopping and under the tree was full of presents.  One year when Cabbage Patch Dolls were really the “thing”, she had bought all the grand kids one.  And then there was her dressing which I have not been able to duplicate and I miss it and her chocolate pies.

So how about you?  What Christmas memories do you have going home?

 

Christmas Oatmeal Cookies

9 Dec

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It’s been such a busy time of the year – with subbing in the public school system, being a part of an amazing on-line Bible Study community, taking care of a grandson, shopping, cards, decorating which is still not done and church.  Last Saturday I had to do something quick.  I had grabbed a really neat and new recipe to make some chocolate pine cones.  They looked like a lot of work and my husband said are you going to do that and take it to church for the first time.  I decided I would wait and perhaps the adult kids can do that for fun Christmas Eve.

Saturday I had spent the day driving up to my Mom and Dad’s grave site after going to buy a pretty wreath and flowers.  I just could not move forward with everything I needed to do until that was done and it took much of the day.  I picked up some candies to come home and create something to take to our church reception after our musical performance.

I made my usual oatmeal cookie recipe (my hubby’s favorite) and I took them out of the oven and immediately added either Hershey’s candy kisses or M&M’s peanut candies to make them festive.  They were a hit and my hubby loved them best of all.  He bragged about them in our Sunday School class.  And I took a tin and a jar to neighbors.

Easy, smeasy!

Christmas Memories of Dear Ones

5 Dec

MEMORIES – Memories so precious, memories of dear ones no longer here and building new ones each year with those dear ones in our lives.

Christmas this year has brought back so many memories of Christmas’ past.  Oh my!  For some reason even getting the Thanksgiving preparations done this year made me pause to think of Mom as I was dicing up celery and onions for the dressing.  I was wishing I had taken the time to write down her dressing recipe – instead I found myself searching google for a recipe which turned out great – but it still wasn’t Mom’s.  I swelled up with tears (not from the onions) but from the memories and about that time the phone rang, and it was my husband just in time with his sweet voice.  God is so good!

Then last week I was decorating the tree – my hubby sitting on the sofa watching.  I don’t think in 45 years of marriage he has ever placed an ornament on the tree.  I had to walk out of the room once as the first ornaments I put on the tree were two very old ornaments from my Mom’s tree so many years ago.   I walked in the kitchen, wiped my eyes and came back thinking of all those memories we have made over the years.

My sister, Danna had Mom’s box of ornaments, and wrapped two up for each of us one Christmas.  Hopefully they will persevere and I can give one to my son and one to my daughter someday.

Right smack in the center close to the top of the tree, I always put this picture ornament that she also gave me one Christmas.

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So, so many moments of joy

  • Joy remembering Mom and Dad.
  • Joy thinking back about all the things they did that were special on Christmas.  Dad’s poems he wrote , Mom’s chocolate pies and dressing, little things they did like the Cabbage Patch craze and all the grandkids getting one, and yep standing in long lines to get one that year but Mom and Dad did it, Christmas nights staying the night there and them coming to spend the night here.
  • Mom’s house always had stacks and stacks of presents.  It was awesome.
  • Joy thinking back on that first Christmas without Dad and all the special things like my sister, Delores gathering up old clocks Dad had collected, and she wrote a poem and gave each one of his grand kids a clock.
  •  I think back of nephews we have lost and my hubby playing on the floor with them and our son wrestling on Christmas Eve.

So my friends as you go through the holidays and those tears swell up just for a moment wipe them off, and remember all the fond memories that God has blessed you with then and NOW.  Hold on to them.  Make them now.  Take time this year because we never know if they will be here next year.

Memories of a baby girl in NICU one Christmas almost two months old and not able to come home, and her first stocking hanging on her incubator.

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Memories of a precious little boy wagging these ornaments home from school.

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Memories of a 25th wedding anniversary, and a precious friend giving us this ornament at that celebration.

IMG_0833[1]MAKE THE MOMENTS MATTER TODAY!

Participating today in Kate’s Five Minute Friday – Today’s Word is Dear.

Day 1 – Advent – He is Our Hope, He is Our Light

3 Dec

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He is our “HOPE” in the pain, he is our “LIGHT” in the darkness.

Sunday was the first day of Advent and typically a candle is lit meaning hope.    We spent our day after church putting up lights.  It was the last warm day of November, with a 30 degree drop expected during the night.  Later we went over to my mother-in-laws next door and put up her lights – actually my husband did as he climbed up that tall ladder when we got to the steep, scary part of her roof.

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Stringing up lights – illuminating the neighborhood and reminding us how we are to be lights.  Lights strung up to bring light to the dark.  I looked out last night at all those beautiful lights, and again this morning during my morning time with the Lord and smiled, got up, grabbed the camera and took this picture of my mother-in-laws house.

 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”  Matthew 5:14-16

He is the light in our darkness.  He is our hope.  May His light pour into you and give you hope in those dark times.  May you find that hope that only He can give.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”                         Romans 15:13 (NIV)

Listen to this beautiful song called All My Hope by Hillsong.  “All my hope is in you, all my strength is in you with every breath.  With every breath my soul will rest in you.”

Day 2 – First Monday of Advent – Waiting for You, My Lord

1 Dec

Today I lit a Christmas candle

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moving from a bountiful Thanksgiving week of thankfulness, and all those daily reflections of what I am thankful for to advent – to a season of bountiful joy.

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May you be filled with JOY this Christmas season and every day.

Advent is a time of preparing for the expectant waiting and celebration of the coming of Jesus Christ.  It is a time of rejoicing in His birth.  It is a time we thank Him for the precious gift of Him so long ago – a gift we have to cling to every moment of our lives knowing He is coming again.  He is the greatest gift,

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KING of Kings!!!!!

the greatest illustration of joy, and our greatest source of joy.

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May you be filled with unspeakable joy this year.

 It only took a few minutes to run upstairs and grab a candle as I rushed up from my morning study and read my first Ann Voskamp free no-stress manifestos -  great reminders for each one of us and a gift from Ann for this December.

I am waiting Lord.  This December will not become a production in my home, in my life – it’s all about You!  May I remember that not only this Christmas season, but every day of the year.  May I reflect this day as I decorate for this season only on You.

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“J” is for Jesus born on Christmas day!

  May I look at that candle, that crown, that Jesus candy cane, those joy ornaments and be reminded of You, the Light and know I am the light in my home and everywhere I go.  May I shine for You.

I pray you catch a glimpse of the Light, of His light.

 Remember He is the reason for the season.

You can print out all of Ann’s sticky notes here or find her on Facebook where she started sharing the sticky notes today.  I printed them off on card stock and putting them on a ring.

Photo: Hey Soul? December 1st! Okay -- deep breath -- not only is this month going to be okay --- it's all going to be Beautiful!<br /><br /><br /> No-Stress Holidays this year --  because simply? quietly...<br /><br /><br /> we are hushing the hurry & waiting for you, Lord.<br /><br /><br /> And when we know it's all about Jesus -- there. is. no. stress.<br /><br /><br /> And we whisper it:<br /><br /><br /> I will not let December become about making a production<br /><br /><br /> when it's simply about not. missing. You.<br /><br /><br /> Miracles happen throughout Advent --<br /><br /><br /> whenever I slow.... whenever I still.... whenever I simply look for small and unlikely shoots of Jesus' love everywhere...<br /><br /><br /> because this grows deep in Jesus' love for everyone.<br /><br /><br /> ~ from #TheGreatestGift<br /><br /><br /> www.TheGreatestChristmas.com</p><br /><br /> <p>#Day1 #TheGreatestGift #LookForTheSmall </p><br /><br /> <p>[ yep, free 25 No-Stress Manifestos for every day of December,<br /><br /><br /> like an Advent Calendar for Big People, so we unwrap *Jesus* & not *stress* :) ... free Stress-Free Holiday Sticky Notes for Your Soul, right here: http://bit.ly/NoStressHolidayManifesto ]

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Before Amen – Week 2 – You Are Good, I Need Help

30 Nov

Blog - 1 Peter 57

Before Amen is a Bible study I am currently participating in with Proverbs31.Org.  It’s not too late to join and I promise you will be blessed.  I am learning so much about prayer.

Do you struggle with prayer?  I do, but this simple little prayer Max talks about makes it come to life in such an easy way that anyone can follow.  He told us in a video on Monday about his prayer life and how he struggled with prayer so that is why he wrote the book.

This second week we delved into a bit more of the pocket prayer we learned about last week.  You can read about that here.

Psalm 25:7 says, “You are good, LORD and Psalm 86:5 (NIV) says, “You LORD, are forgiving and good.”

Max Lucado reminded us that the God we know in the Bible cannot be contained, and how He has authority over your world, my world, our sleep patterns, our eating habits, salary, traffic in our commutes, arthritis in our joints, etc..  He reigns.  I just can’t help thinking about the song You Reign by Mercy Me .

One of my favorite quotes this week from Chapter 3 was “Before you face the world, face your Father.”  Ah yes.  What a difference the day is when we start our morning with prayer before anything else.  I have laid in bed each morning this week waking up before 4 and that is really early for me when the earliest I wake up is at 4:45.  This Sunday morning it was 3:30 and I laid there with a little hip pain from a trip this week, and just thinking about my Father and how I could add to that “You are good”.  Here are some things I added to this part of the pocket prayer:

  • You are Mighty
  • You Are
  • You are my Counselor
  • You are my Savior
  • You are my King
  • You are Awesome
  • You are my Lord
  • You are my Abba
  • You are my Healer
  • You are the Prince of Peace

Those are just a few and just so powerful with this short little prayer.

One of my nuggets or take away verses from this chapter was “our toughest challenges are simple oil changes to God.”

Chapter 4 is titled I Need Help and continues the pocket prayer.  In the study guide for Before Amen Max asked what he called a “million-dollar question”.  “Are you willing to utter these three words, “I need help,” even if we have to choke them out?”  This was significant for me.  Have you had a time in your life when you could not choke out a prayer?  I have, and I wish I had this simple prayer at that time.

The photo above was our memory verse for the week.  Can you cast all your anxiety on Him?  I believe I can.  I believe now if there is ever another time I can’t choke out a prayer that I can go to Him and say “Father, you are good, I need help.”  How about you?

 

 

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

27 Nov

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As you gather with your family and friends today, I wish you a safe and HAPPY THANKSGIVING.  Give thanks today for all the blessings in your lives.

Here are a couple of quotes I found I wanted to share with you as you pause to give thanks today:

“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgiving, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.”  William Arthur Ward

“Whatever our individual troubles and challenges may be, it’s important to pause every now and then to appreciate all that we have, on every level. We need to literally “count our blessings,” give thanks for them, allow ourselves to enjoy them, and relish the experience of prosperity we already have.” — Shakti Gawain

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