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Showing posts from February, 2015

Let's Have a Party!

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I love planning a party.  I have the gift of hospitality and love having people over.  One of the things I really miss about our last church is the annual New Year's Eve open house that Dan & I hosted.  There was always a good sized crowd, lots of laughter and great fellowship.  There was never anything planned as far as activities but just a group of people enjoying one another.  It wasn't just people from church but local friends and there was always a large group of Nathan's friends from the fire department too.  In this area we moved to there seems to be many more people with family nearby so New Year's Eve is not the best time for this.  So we decided to have one at the end of February and in fact, it's this Saturday.  The winters are long and hard here so it's a good time to get a group of people together.  I'm looking forward to it.  Last year, we had one around the same time and it was well attended. People can stop by any time between 1-5 p

Wednesday Words of Encouragement

Hebrews 10:23 ~  "Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful." Sweat poured from my brow.   Arms and legs trembled uncontrollably.   Fear gripped me as I clung to the face of the cliff.   What had been an enjoyable day of rock climbing for the first time with college friends had turned into a nightmare as I had unwittingly drifted to a part of the cliff that was meant for expert climbers.   At over 100 feet in the air I was terrified of falling. Finally, my body could not hold on any longer and I had to let go.   I fell, but only about a foot because of the rope that was attached to my body and the cliff face.   I was frightened and shaken, but safe.   That rope was my lifeline which kept me from falling and seriously injuring myself, or even plunging to my death. If I had trusted the rope, knowing I wouldn’t fall, I could have rested a bit before it got to the point that it was impossible to hold on.   However, I was afraid an

Colorless

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  I'm trying very hard not to whine about the cold and snow but it's difficult!  My view every day is a blur of white.  No color; no change and no end.   So I'm looking to find color where I can and just pray that at the end of winter, I haven't totally lost my mind and gone batty! :-)   Lightly browned dinner rolls, straight from the oven.  Yes, I realize those aren't that colorful, nor would I want them to be!     Color on my cutting board.     Color from my sewing table.   The rare times I get flowers or can purchase them myself.  My last bunch died and I think it's time to head to Aldi! ;-) I'm dreaming of these days...... But for now, I have this.... It's been nice knowing you all.  (Just joking).  But I did see this little meme the other day which made me burst out laughing. The end will come. (I hope).

Silence is Golden

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Matthew 7:1-5 (TLB) ~ “Don’t criticize, and then you won’t be criticized.   For others will treat you as you treat them.   And why worry about a speck in the eye of a brother when you have a board in your own?   Should you say, ‘Friend, let me help you get that speck out of your eye,’ when you can’t even see because of the board in your own?   Hypocrite! First get rid of the board. Then you can see to help your brother. I have read this passage a thousand times and I always nod and say, "Yes, these are good words."  "People shouldn't judge."  Or to make it more personal, "I shouldn't judge."  Yet, it seems I do that quite a bit more than I think I do. Yesterday, I got my nose knocked out of joint and came home to lick my wounds.  It all started because I made a truthful observation but my timing was terrible and it was not received well.  I didn't think I was being judgmental, but as I've been mulling over this, the Holy Spirit has

My Heart

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Sixteen years ago we were told that our unborn baby might not live past the first year.  A chromosome test came back positive for Trisomy 18.  This chromosome disorder causes babies to be born with deformities of their major organs and most die.  Yet, we chose to trust God and believe that no matter what, He would help us face it.  And God was faithful.  Emily was born a healthy 8 lb., 15 oz. girl.   Her life has been one of overcoming.  Within the first year we discovered she had multiple, life-threatening allergies to both food and environmental things.  Anyone who has dealt with a child in the midst of a full-blown, anaphylactic reaction knows how frightening that can be.  I remember riding in the back of an ambulance with her, watching her face and eyes swell to the point that she looked monstrous and hearing her gasp for breath and praying that she would be okay.   Hard times have been part of her life but rather than let them break her, she has grown and stretched and

The Only Love Letter I Will Ever Need

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I woke with a crushing weight on my chest and a lump in my throat.  Those same old emotions of fear, insecurity, and anxiety threaten to cripple me.  It seems as if I'll never be rid of this burden and struggle.    How many times can I feel inadequate?  How often will I allow others' opinions to shape how I view myself?  How is it that I can have all the head knowledge in the world and yet, still feel not good enough and overwhelmed with insecurity? How many times will I struggle with my own view of myself which gets projected on how I think others view me?   As I opened my Bible to read this morning, this reminder jumped out at me.   Romans 8:31-39 (HCSB) ~   What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? Even if all the world thinks I'm not enough, God is on my side .   He did not even spare His own Son but offered Him up for us all; how will He not also with Him grant us everything? He did this for me.  He allowed His So

The Woven Thread

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I wake each morning and stumble to the kitchen.  I pour a cup of steaming hot coffee, grab my bible and journal and find my favorite spot.  It generally takes me about 10-15 minutes to get myself awake enough to focus on what I'm reading.   The routine is the same most days.  Get up, quiet time, throw in laundry, do dishes, finish chores.  Make meals, take care of correspondence, sew, and whatever else comes my way. And in the midst of this routine there is a thread that runs through each of my days.  The  woven thread is faith.  It's the essence of our lives here.  It's at the core of each heartbeat.  Faith is every breath we take. Faith that people will come to know God's saving love as we minister here.  Faith as my husband spends time in prayer, preparation and keeps in touch with different people. Faith as I pray for family and friends as my hand prepare meals for what feels like the millionth time. That faith trusts that Nathan's life wi

Wednesday Words of Encouragement

Ephesians 5:6-16 (NIV) ~ Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. This is why it is said: “Wake up, sleeper,      rise from the dead,      and Christ will shine on you.” Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Christmas day came and I finally had the big gift in my hands. I had stared at it eagerly as it

Projects

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We have lived here for a little over a year and I have so many projects that have been waiting to get done.  Moving takes so much energy and trying to adjust to a new everything just didn't leave a whole lot of time.  To be honest, I didn't have a whole lot of motivation either. However, this winter I have been able to find my creative decorating gene and started working on them.  The first thing I tackled was the living room.   After a month of thinking about it, planning, arranging and rearranging, I finally got things situated the way I wanted.  The thing I'm happiest about is my front windows.  They were curtain-less until a week ago when I finished the valances.  I didn't realize how bare the room looked until I got the curtains hung and I'm very pleased with how it turned out.  I just need to make something to tie around the sheers to compliment the valance.   Above the windows were some holes in the wall where the previous family had h

When You are Not Enough

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Throughout the years I've heard many things said about me... You are too nice. You are too religious. You are too sensitive. You are too talkative. Too, too, too. In other words, I've been measured against the expectations of another and have been found lacking.  I'm left feeling inadequate, undesirable, unwanted, rejected and not enough.   I struggle with this.  Because all of us want to be loved and appreciated.  We want to feel like we are sufficient just the way we are.  We want to feel like we are worth something in the eyes of another. Which is why I find encouragement from God's word.  I don't have to do or be anything other than what He created me to be.  I am enough because He loves me.  He made me with my personality, my looks, my talents and traits. He has a purpose for my life.   When I get my eyes off my critics and their measuring line and keep them on The Lord, I find peace and fulfillment and contentment.  When I fill my mind with God'

The Heart of My True Love

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My daughter came home from school upset yesterday.   A young man who has been a friend for the past two years pronounced his love for her and she had to tell him that she didn't like him that way.  He is angry at her and told her he wouldn't be speaking with her again.  He has done this before when he is angry and she is hurt that she lost a friend and feeling guilty that she hurt him.  I reassured her that she did the right thing.  That if she only wants to be his friend, she needed to tell him that.  But I also warned her against the type of man who finds the need to say hurtful things when he is angry.  I assured her that some day she would meet a young man who would have the character traits that were desirable. I met my own young man in the fall of 1986.  I was 24 years old and Dan and I both attended seminary and he was a year behind me.  Our first meeting was at a softball game the school had for all the incoming students.  We were on opposite teams and shared a glo

Home Management

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Proverbs 31 is one of my favorite passages of scripture for inspiration in my role as a wife and mother.  I do not believe that it is a step by step guide for women but it was written as a guideline by Solomon's mother in the qualities to look for in a wife.  So if you don't make your own bed coverings, don't despair!  ;-)  The principle is someone who manages her household. Here are ways I managed my household and was able to save money too this week. $ I made valances for my living room windows and as soon as I can get Dan to hang the rods, they are going up. $ I'm surrounded by white and cold and I miss flowers.  I love to sit outside in the spring and summer and take in all the beautiful sights and smells.  So I bought myself some flowers the other day while shopping at Aldi.  I ended up with dozen roses for $8 which is a great price.  Was it a splurge?  Yes.  Was it necessary?  No  But am I happy I did it?  You betcha!     $ I had a small chicken i

True Love

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  Valentine's Day is coming up and I know for many women, it can be depressing.  This Hallmark holiday has been blown so far out of proportion.  If your loved one doesn't come up with some over the top, romantic way to demonstrate his love, then you feel depressed.  You begin to wonder, "What did I ever see in this man?"   Yet, love is not all about ooey-gooey moments and roses and chocolate.  It's in the ordinary moments that the most love is often shown.  Don't get me wrong, I love flowers as much as the next girl.  But don't let a commercial holiday make you doubt your honey's love.   Love is shown in this house in the every day, mundane things.   It's shown in the umpteenth time that my husband and son have to go out and shovel and do snow removal.     It's shown by my daughter who knows how to make me laugh. It's shown by the countless messes I've cleaned up when the kids were sick. It's shown in the c

Wednesday Words of Encouragement

Ephesians 2:8-10 ~ For it is by grace you have been saved through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. I love these verses because they give me hope and a purpose. God saved me because of His great love for me, not because of anything I have done. He saved me because I believed in Him and made a choice to follow Him. It was as simple as that. Then not only did He save me but he gave me a purpose for my life. He thought about me and my life and picked out exactly the things that He wanted for me to do. Isn't that neat? We can often get so down on ourselves because we don't look like the world's ideal of what a woman should be. However, in God's eyes we have a role to play and He created us specifically for a purpose in this world. We have value in His eyes and we are loved! I don&

Joy in the Mundane

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I used to live my life for the big, exciting moments.  Nothing thrilled my heart more than to have an adventure.  I still love new and exciting things.  I still enjoy the unexpected.  But I'm learning to find joy in the small, mundane every day things of life. My blog is a mixture of things in my life.  Sometimes it's something I'm learning from God's word.  Other times it's about family or frugal things.  And sometimes it's on the every day occurrences.  Often, I'll get ready to do a blog post on something routine about my day and then I'll think, "Why am I even posting this?"  "Who really cares about my bread or sewing or every day life?"  But then I remember how inspired I felt by reading the blogs of others who found beauty and joy in every day life. Because that is what much of life is about, isn't it?  It's not one big exciting event after another.  It's not some motivating, inspirational story.  Life is generall