Archive | December, 2013

MERRY CHRISTMAS From Our Home to Yours

25 Dec

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What happened on the cross began in a manger.  May you find joy this Christmas with loved ones and knowing that He is the King of Kings.

Blessings to you in the New Year!

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#ENOUGH

12 Dec

NamesofGoda

This is week 8 of A Confident Heart Bible Study by Renee Swope and our hashtag is #Enough.  Is God enough? The longer I live and the more I delve into the Word, the more I realize that He is ENOUGH!  My El Shaddai! He really is MORE THAN ENOUGH!  As I sit here typing, I was just reminded of that song, “The Longer I Know Him The Sweeter He Grows”.  Oh what a beautiful truth that is.

Others will disappoint me, fail me, hurt me, talk about me, lie about me, make fun of me and that list goes on and on – only Jesus is enough!

Sometimes God puts us in place or places where only He is enough!  He is the one person that we can rely on! In Ps 34:18, we read that God is close to the broken-hearted.  Don’t you need this reminder when life is tough, when life seems hopeless, and in times when all you have is God?

  • When a doctor diagnoses you with a horrible disease and you won’t see you children or grandchildren grow up, God IS enough!
  • When you are told you can not have a child, you lose a precious child, or a child is born with a disability – God IS enough!
  • When you have lost a loved one God IS enough!
  • When you are facing a divorce, a spouse has been unfaithful or a custody battle God IS enough!
  • When you lose a job or have a failing business, God IS enough!
  • When you blow it and feel like a failure, God IS enough!  He can pick us up when we fail, He gives us strength and grace and He can turn those mistakes into blessings if we allow Him.
  • When you can not utter a prayer from the heartbreak you are feeling.

When you have NOTHING, God IS enough!

His names are a promise to us of who He is.  As I look back over this year 2013 and all our family has been through and how He has blessed us through all of it, I am amazed – amazed that He loves us so much.  I’ve found that El Shaddai – God Almighty is MORE THAN ENOUGH!  

I admit there are days I blow it, there are days I question that I truly believe that God is enough – the day when my Mom died wondering how I would make it through these firsts in 2013 – the first Mother’s Day, the first birthday, the first Thanksgiving and now the first Christmas without her.  It’s been hard and some days I lose it for a moment like when I hung ornaments she gave me on the tree, when I put mangers around the house she had given me and so much more that reminds me of her and how she loved Christmas, and how she passed that glorious tradition down to me.  But you know Emmanuel – My God with me has been here every step of these painful months, and I have felt the peace that The God of Peace can bring.

He has been “more than enough” when I need comforting.  He is The God of All Comfort.  He has been my my joy and “more than enough” when I am hurting.  He is the God of my joy.  He has been”more than enough” healing my heart this year and also my grandson – watching all the huge things He has already done in Colt’s life this year – He is the healing God – Jehovah Rapha

He sees how difficult, how traumatic 2013 has been.  He has seen my broken heart, my pain, my disappointments and my trials – He is the God who sees – my El Roi.

He has been “more than enough” in times during my life when I felt unloved – He is love.He has been grace when I blow it.  He is my grace, He is more than enough.  He is the gracious God – he is El-Channun. He has been my peace when I felt I could find no peace – He is the Lord of Peace – He is  Jehoval Shalom.

Whatever we need today – true love, healing, comfort friend,  El Shaddai is more than ready to provide it. Put yourself into His Hands!

God is Enough!  My ABBA Father is patient enough, caring enough, loving enough, satisfying enough, forgiving enough, big enough, strong enough, patient enough, all-knowing enough, satisfying enough.  He is MORE THAN ENOUGH!  He IS!

I love this song.  I just found it yesterday.  Will you listen and worship as you do?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFEOHUbYTIk&feature=youtu.be

Keeping Christ in Christmas – 18 Days Until Christmas

8 Dec

Christmas - O Holy Night

I love the Christmas season and it is my favorite time of the year.  It can be a very busy time of the year, a time where if we are not careful we can get swept up in “all we have to do”or “all we don’t have and can’t do” and miss out on truly celebrating the season.  It can also be a season of sadness when you have lost a loved one like we did my Mom this year, and you really don’t feel like it, but it is with joy I decorate this year like Mom did.  I have two special “really old” ornaments from Mom’s and Dad’s tree placed on top beside a picture of them and my sisters that was a simple, precious homemade gift from one of my sisters a few Christmas’ back.  What a treasure!

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I love all of it, and what I love most is keeping Christ in Christmas.  So how do you do it?  I would love to hear your ideas.  I wanted to share a few ideas of how I do it and looking for some new ones this year so please share. I want Jesus to be the focus, and I want to make memories and continue traditions that my parents taught me, and continue those that my husband and I have started.  Hopefully some of them will be special enough that our children and grandchildren will come to cherish a few and pass them on.

Tip 1 – Some of my tree ornaments reflect Christ like this little ornament that says, “Jesus is the best gift of all.”DSC02721 And there are crosses and mangers.  DSC02771DSC02770

I want to start adding the names of Jesus as ornaments on my tree.  Maybe I can buy some after Christmas.

My tree skirt has angels all over it.DSC02772

Tip  2 – As I ponder on what happened on the cross started in a tiny manger, I am so excited as I pull out each one! I put a manger in every room of the house, and I keep my crosses out and decorate them with red or green beads to make them festive.  Here is a plate with a manger I have in the master bedroom.  DSC02778

I have a large kneeling Santa on my fireplace hearth in one of my dens. christmaskneelingsanta

I put a huge manger my Mom gave me years ago on my piano.  Isn’t it beautiful.  I started to tear up when I put it up yesterday, but I kept pulling it out of the boxes and so thankful that Mom gave me pieces of this for several Christmas’.  DSC02837

And here are just a few more of mangers I have over the house.  Christmas mangers

Tip 3 – My stocking hangers spell out NOEL and JOY!  Did I tell you that JOY is my favorite word?  Perhaps that will change someday like my favorite Bible scriptures do, but for now it’s JOY!DSC02773

Tip 4 – Send Christmas cards that reflect something about the Messiah!

Tip 5 – I have a hanger on one of my fireplaces that says “Savior, Messiah, King.”DSC02776

Tip 6 – Read the Christmas story to your family on Christmas Eve or Day.  Luke 2.

Tip 7– Attend a church candlelight service.

Tip 8 – Give a gift of service to someone you love.

Tip 9 – Give to a special project or to something important.  I have a compassion child that I support throughout the year with a special gift on Christmas.  And I always send that little girl a special scripture each time I write her hoping that someday she will continue to spread God’s love in that country.  Support projects at church and for others.  This year we also gave to several causes one of which is close to our heart.  Our grandson Colt was born with EB (a horrible skin disease).  If you are looking for a project to donate to please consider donating to finding a cure for EB.  Check out the Pray for Baby Colt page on facebook.  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Pray-for-baby-Colt/350863471710362

Tip 10 – Have an advent table or a Jesse tree.  I have not done this because I didn’t learn about it until the kids were grown, but can’t wait to do it with our new grandson.

Tip 11 – Have a birthday cake for Jesus and sing Happy Birthday to Jesus.

Tip 12 – Last year I started a new tradition.  I hung a single stocking for Jesus on one of our fireplaces and a kneeling Santa was underneath.  christmasstocking

I put a pad and a pen on a table and I asked each family member to give something to Jesus, write it on the paper and put it in the stocking.  Make sure it is private and ut I told them it would be private and between them and Jesus.  This could also be a stocking where you kids place coins from Thanksgiving until Christmas Eve and then that money be donated to a needy family or organization.

Tip 13 – Bake treats for neighbors (including those you don’t know – it’s a good way to get to know them), and shut-ins in your church or take some to the staff at a hospital if you are visiting there.  I always  took some type of treats to the staff when I would visit my Mom at the nursing home during any holidays.  Add a ribbon and a special Bible verse to bless them.

Tip 14 – Make a names of Jesus garland and hang it.  Instructions here.  http://thehomespunheart.blogspot.com/2008/12/names-of-jesus-garland-tutorial.html JEsus garland

And here is another with the names of Jesus: http://worthyoftheprize.blogspot.com/2012/12/25-names-of-jesus-day-21-savior.html jesus garland a

And here is a names of Jesus Christmas wreath.  http://www.posedperfection.com/2012/12/names-of-jesus-christmas-wreath.html jesus names wreath

Tip 15 – KEEP your Christmas cards.  I actually hang all my cards on my mini-blinds in my dining area and the letters go in a box on the kitchen counter.  They stay up until about February.  Each day beginning January 1 we pull a card and pray over that family.  We do this every year.  A new tradition I started years ago.  Some years when time permits I will drop a letter, an email, or a facebook message to let that family or person know we lifted them in prayer.  I do this instead of Christmas letters.  Many years I’ll add a letter to the response we send back to them.  (You can also read my blog about how I pray over each card I address here. https://mixwilliams.wordpress.com/2013/12/06/christmas-cards-18-days-until-christmas/ )

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Tip 16 – I have plates in my kitchen and coasters in one of the dens that read “Love, Hope, Joy and Peace from 1Corinthians.DSC02769

Tip 17 – A star.  Place it on top of your tree or somewhere else.  I have one on top of one of my curio cabinets and some on my Christmas tree.  Talk to your children and explain what the star represents and why it is important. And if you begin to feel stress or hurry through this season, stop and remember Christ’s birth every time you see the star.

Tip 18 – Find things that honor the season.  In my bathroom that guests use, I have snowmen, but I wanted something to reflect the season.  I found this snowman plate.  DSC02779

In my laundry room I hung this little sign.  DSC02775

And I also added a chalkboard picture and wrote Come Let Us ADORE Him!

In the kitchen I have this joy sign DSC02777  and I have a chalk board that I change with the season.  Right now it says Joy to the World.

Tip 19:  Keep CHRIST in CHRISTmas.  It isn’t Xmas.  When we put an X in CHRISTmas we take out life’s most precious name.

Tip 20:  When you are out shopping remember to say Merry Christmas – not happy holidays.  When someone says Happy Holidays, tell them thank you and Merry Christmas.

Tip 21: Enjoy good Christian music and books.  I blogged a bit with a few of my favorite Christmas songs.  I recently bought the book “The Women of Christmas” by Liz Curtis Higgs and hope to start reading it tomorrow. Play some music while you are decorating the tree with the family.  How about Come on ring those bells, light the Christmas tree?  While you play that the family is reminded in that song that it is Jesus’ birthday.

Tip 22: Take your pastor and his family out to eat or have them over to eat.  Give them a special gift either homemade, baked or bought.

Tip 23:  Gather the family around your Christmas tree.  Hold hands and pray before you open presents giving thanks to the One who gave us the greatest gift of all!

Tip 24:  Invite a widow, widower or someone alone (like a college student) for Christmas dinner with your family.

Tip 25:  The baby Jesus received three gifts.  Give you children 3 gifts.

Christmas – Tea and Coffee – 19 Days Until Christmas

6 Dec

It is a cold day in December in Texas and a little unusual for us.  It is more like February weather.  It was 27 this afternoon, and dropping down to 17 degrees tonight.  Last night we had thunder sleet and there is a lot on the ground and much on the trees weighing them down

It is like a winter wonderland.  I’ve seen lots of snow some years in Texas, but never this much ice.  Here are a few pictures of the beautiful God handiwork I got to experience today.  My icicle lights are now really icicles.  Shrubs full of ice and even the bird house has icicles.

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So today I’ve been enjoying hot tea, hot cocoa and lots of coffee to stay warm.  Who would of thought when I shopped for that Christmas tea last week that I would be needing it before Christmas.

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This morning it was coffee with Starbuck’s Gingerbread Syrup and Nestle’s Spiced Latte.

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Mid-afternoon it was this.

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Christmas Cards – 20 Days Until Christmas

6 Dec

ChristmasCards

I love Christmas cards.  I love sending and I love receiving.  I love the notes and the pictures and looking at the cards.

It is December 5, 2013 already and I received five cards today so tonight I am working on mine.  Usually I have them done every year by Thanksgiving, but this year I got behind.

I want my cards to be as special as the person I am addressing them to.   In this day of facebook, e-cards, email and high postage rates, cards are declining and I find that a little sad.  I haven’t stopped sending cards and hope I never do. Here are a few ideas I use and some I found on the internet.

Have you sent cards to someone alone, someone in a hospital, a nursing home?  One of my Mom’s most favorite things was the cards she received at the nursing home.  We would hang them all on the wall in front of her bed and she would talk and talk about all the different cards – who sent them, where they came from, what it said, and if it glittered and shined she would talk about how she watched it at night, etc..  She was known in the nursing home by that wall.  After Christmas I would take them down and we would add valentine’s cards, mother’s day, birthday, etc..  It was awesome and one of the precious things I miss this year because we lost Mom.  I have missed going to find her that special card to hang on her wall.  Have a few tears here thinking about that.

First and foremost as I address the cards I pray for each and every individual/family.  I love doing this.  I love thinking about them and I love all the memories with them.  It is an humbling time that I refuse to let myself worry about and get upset about.  And yes I have in years past – getting upset because the labels didn’t work in the computer, they didn’t look right, and on and on.  FINALLY, I decided to continue to hand-write my addresses.  It’s not how beautiful they are but the meaning inside and I find if I use labels it is easy to forget to pray.  If I am writing it gives me time to pause and really think about who is getting that card.

Next as I receive cards, I hang each one up on our mini-blinds in our dining area in the kitchen and they stay there for some time.  Each day after Christmas we begin to pray for each of those families.  We choose a card and re-read it, look at it again and sometimes for my husband it might be the first time he had a chance to see that beautiful card before I hung it up.   We pray and some years I will write a note back to that family depending on what is happening in our lives at the moment.  This has become a tradition for us.  If the kids are my mother in law are over visiting we have them choose a card.

So tonight I am addressing cards.  It will take me a few days, but I am enjoying every moment and thanking God for all our family and friends, that I am able and that we can still afford to do it.

I pulled a few other ideas off the internet and pinterest that you might like for displaying and saving your Christmas card.  I would love for you to share your ideas.

Hang them on a beautifully decorated door.

http://www.bobvila.com/articles/christmas-card-display/

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Make holiday card ornaments from http://www.marthastewart.com/276934/recycled-christmas-card-crafts.christmascardornaments

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/173177548140841823/

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OK time for me to get going.  Feel free to share any ideas you have here.

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Enjoy reading about Christmas.  Read my other ideas and memories about Christmas.

21 Days Until Christmas –   Chrismtas Cookies and Candy – https://mixwilliams.wordpress.com/2013/12/06/christmas-cookies-and-candy-21-days-until-christmas/

23 Days Until Christmas – How to Make Bows – https://mixwilliams.wordpress.com/2013/12/05/christmas-bows-23-days-until-christmas/

24 Days Until Christmas -Tree Memories – https://mixwilliams.wordpress.com/2013/12/04/tree-memories-24-days-until-christmas/

25 Days Until Christmas – Stress-  https://mixwilliams.wordpress.com/2013/12/02/christmas-stress-25-days-until-christmas/

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