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Showing posts from December, 2020

Tiptoeing into the New Year

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Each December I sit down and make my plans and goals for the new year. I figure out what I would like to do in the coming year and then move forward with the desire to make it happen.  One thing 2020 has taught me is to not hold onto my plans too tightly. They can change in the blink of an eye and the reality is that we have very little control over anything in our lives.  The only thing I have any real control over is how I react to the things that come my way.  So as I look forward into 2021, I'm treading softly. I know that things can change rapidly when circumstances beyond my control happen. But what I do want to work on is my own attitude and response to situations. I'm trying to take "ME" out of the equation and put "GOD" and "OTHERS" first. My main goal for this coming year is to learn to enjoy each moment that comes my way and to learn to follow God's leading in my life. I would like to wake up each day, spend time in God's word an

2020 Sorrows and Joys

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2020 has been a year full of sorrow, disappointment, new adventures and yes, even some joys. It's not a year that I would like to repeat but it's also one in which I experienced strength of character and growth. I thought I'd share the downside of 2020 but a positive that came out of each thing. πŸ’• It started with a move to a new city, new house, new church, and new jobs. It was difficult to leave people we loved and yet, we knew the time had come to move on. It's been challenging to get to know everyone on a deeper level given the fact we have to maintain social distancing and wear masks. And yet, we are getting more comfortable here. There are many times when I still feel like an outsider, but those times are getting less. πŸ’•In March the pandemic started which created a situation we were thrown into that we've never experienced. How do you lead a church through something like this when you've never been in this predicament before? One day at a time. Fortunatel

Onward and Upward

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The past few days have been wonderful. Candlelight service, special music, special food, snowstorm, sitting by the fire, unwrapping presents and feeling His presence. All the things I love about Christmas. This week between Christmas and New Year's Day is always a nice, slower paced week. This is one in which I will spend reading, sewing, planning for the new year, and spending time reflecting on the past year. I'm heading back down to North Carolina next weekend to start the process of cleaning out the house. It's not a task I'm looking forward to, but I am looking forward to spending time with my sister who is coming too. We are coming to the end of our first year here at our new church and even though it's been much different than we thought, we are thankful. It's been a time of leading a church through an unexpected pandemic and while challenging and stretching, it's been a good year.  I listened to a podcast yesterday by Harvard Business School historia

Merry Christmas

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  I love Christmas and everything about it! 2020 has been a rough year, starting with the passing of my grandmother and ending with the passing of my mom. However, it's still been a year when I have been blessed in different ways.  The past few weeks have been a flurry of activity and our gifts are wrapped and ready to be placed under the tree. Dan left at 7 this morning to go pick up Emily and bring her home. Cookie platters have been delivered to our neighbors. The service for tonight is all set. The only thing I have left to do is cook for later and tomorrow. I'm looking forward to having a few days with my family and the cool thing is we are getting a lake effect snow storm tonight so it will be a very white Christmas! I hope each of you has a wonderful Christmas, no matter what your circumstances. May God grant you His hope, His peace, His joy and His love.

Wednesday Words of Encouragement

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I have a vivid memory from a few years ago of walking in the woods as the snow gently fell around me.   The air was crisp, and all was still.   The only sound was that of my boots crunching through the new fallen snow. I had such a feeling of peace and comfort.   There are so many times when I long for that feeling again. How can you be at peace when things seem to be in turmoil all around you? How can you be peaceful when you have a to-do list a mile long and only so many hours in a day?   What if your world is turned upside down? Or you are dealing with conflict on a daily basis? What about the times when things don't go the way you expect or desire? It can be difficult to find inner peace when your world is in chaos. The verses above in Isaiah certainly give us the answer to this.  Remembering to keep our eyes fixed on the One who is our rock helps us to find that peace. Taking our thoughts off the circumstances and placing them firmly on the Lord and His promises is the key. I

Multitude Monday

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As I sat down to write this today, I realized that I was going to hit the 4,000 mark on my list of blessings. To be honest, it's far more than that since I only started numbering them a year into writing them down weekly. 4,000 reasons to be joyful. 4,000 reasons to be grateful. 4,000 reasons to wake up every day and know that God is watching over me. Some of those blessings weren't happy things, but they were teaching things. They were ways that I've been stretched through trials. And that's the  point of blessings. They don't always come packaged up in a pretty bow and warm your heart. Sometimes they are trials that occur and yet, through the trial, a lesson is learned or I've grown. And that is what makes it a blessing and another reason to be thankful. I'm thankful I started doing this years ago. It's been a good exercise for me. I am blessed. Th is week I'm thankful for blessings #3,991 - 4,000 3991. I have accomplished almost everything on my v

Christmas Menus

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Even in the midst of sadness, I have had moments of joy as I prepare for Christmas. My children all look forward to the different traditions we do each year and even though they aren't spectacular, they are our yearly traditions. And it's what makes up home for us. Family is important to me and I'm thankful for my husband and children and I'm always thankful for these times when we can celebrate together. One of the things on my to-do list was making up menus for both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I was finally able to sit down and get that done. Because we deal with different food allergies I always have to be selective as to what I choose to do, but I came up with something that works for us. I also tried to keep it simpler this year as I don't want to spend two full days in the kitchen. Christmas Eve - Appetizer Buffet Shrimp Platter Cocktail meatballs Pigs in a blanket Veggie Platter Cheese & Crackers Cookie Platter Eggnog Christmas Morning Homemade cinna

Making a List and Checking it Twice

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Time has gotten away from me and I'm finding myself with a very long list of things that need to happen in a short amount of time. I've been busy baking and filling orders, but to be honest, I need to come up with a plan or else I'm going to have nothing done but have piles of cookies sitting around me. The cookies are a part of the preparations for the holiday, but they are not the only thing. Last night I actually sat down and ordered gifts for my children (yes, I waited until the last minute and yes, online shopping just isn't the same). We are close to the Pennsylvania border where we normally shop, but with new restrictions in place by the PA governor, it makes it more difficult. So I shopped from the comfort of my chair. Anyway, I decided to come up with a list so I can make sure I'm not missing anything and can roll up my sleeves and get it done! This list doesn't include my normal district and church work. It's strictly Christmas preparations. 𐄂 Sho

Assurance

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  I woke up from a dream last night where my mother made a miraculous recovery and was up from her death bed and walking around. In my dream we were headed to church to share the good news but had to keep making stops along the way and one of them was at a baseball game. It was such a weird and unsettling dream. I overslept this morning and the knot that it's in my stomach is just indicative of the type of month and year it's been for me. 2020 definitely has been a surreal, science-fiction type of year, but I am thankful that no matter what the circumstances and no matter what is going on in the world that God is still on His throne and that I do have faith that He will see me through. During this busy Christmas season that seems so different this year, I've been focusing on the different themes of advent - hope, peace, joy and love. Even though so many things have changed in my life, those themes remain constant. Last night as I was making dinner I happened to look out my

Bits and Pieces of Memory

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I've been back home since Sunday and have found it hard to have energy to do much of anything. I think a lot of it is just being emotionally drained. However, life goes on, and I do have things that need to get done, so while I've been taking it slow, I have managed to do a few things. One of those things is getting my house back in order after being gone for a month. My houseplants were so sad looking. Dan has even less of a green thumb than I do. lol I brought back a few of my mother's plants with me, including the Christmas cactus. I had started working on perking it back up when I was at Mom's house. The blinds had been drawn much of the time and it got watered sporadically, so with some TLC I managed to bring it back to life and get it to bloom. I'm hoping it does okay up here in the colder climate. Our Christmas decorations are up and we are enjoying the tree lights. Almost every house on the street is lit up with outside lights so our neighbors probably think