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Thursday, January 8, 2015

The Faithful Hand of God

I will be very open and honest here today with you.

A few months ago, I was reading some materials from Joyce Meyer ( a very gifted Bible teacher). I was holding a sheet of declarations to speak over your household. If you don't know what declarations are, they are simply statements that you are making, by faith - things you are declaring over your home, that you are believing for. It may be things you are believing for that, except for God, seem to have no chance of taking place. For instance, you may make a declaration about a child who has drifted away from things you have taught and instilled within them. You may stand in their room and declare over them (when they aren't present), the things you believe over them, such as, "No weapon formed against you shall prosper." Or you may walk around your home and say about an impossible situation, "Not by might, not by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord."  That is just one example. You are stating and declaring God's word over a situation.

Anyway, I was holding this paper full of examples of declarations for my family. For a few days, I stood in my husband's home office, and said these things out loud with all the faith I had. Almost immediately after doing this, I had an appointment to take my youngest son to an ear specialist. He had been having severe drainage in one ear and antibiotics hadn't seemed to help him. I was shocked to the very core of my being when they did a CAT scan and saw a growth in his left ear. This growth was essentially taking out the hearing parts of that ear.

Was I full of faith? Did I go back in my husband's office and continue to make declarations of faith?

No.

My exact words were, "Man alive, I'm not doing that again."

I was just so shell shocked by this turn of events.

I really shouldn't have been.

I still kind of live in a world where if I do good, then good, lovely things will always happen to me. I really tend to believe that.

But what I was saying out loud was having an effect. It's just that my statements weren't going unchallenged. I was being met by a very real opponent.

I was talking with my husband last night. I was so discouraged. I have tried to stand in faith over several issues in our home, and yet, to the outward eye, there is no change. Dave was trying to explain some very basic, biblical principles to me, but he may as well have been discussing the theory for the atomic bomb. I kept thinking, "How does what he is saying relate to my problem?"  It really was good advice-advice I'm trying to put into place this morning. But, I didn't really want advice. I just wanted the problem to be fixed.

I walked around talking with God this morning. The disappointments, the discouragement, the agony of waiting and not really knowing if anything at all will change. There is also this deep disappointment in myself. Faith is kind of exhausting sometimes and I really feel like packing it in today.

I thought back to a time, several years ago, when I was standing in faith for something.

Now I am on the other side of that prayer.

What I was standing for really did happen.

So, I went back to that old verse that I have always loved.

Romans 4:20 says about Abraham that he "staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully persuaded that what He had promised, He was also able to perform."

I can't tell you how many times I would go back to that verse (years ago, when I was about 19 yrs. old), say it over and over to myself and simply believe, even though my outward circumstances didn't seem to change very much.

And then, suddenly, they did change.

Now, all these years later, I look back and can see the faithful hand of God.

I know it is hard going it alone, when you look around and know that there isn't anyone who understands a whole lot about your situation. You may be in a hard situation, too, today.

Let us bear one another's burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.

I am guilty, too. At times, I have tried to share the deepest concerns of my heart, but met with an averting of the eyes, as if they can't connect a Christian with having problems or discussing them.. I should keep searching for a safe listener, rather than giving up. Or if someone else has a problem that seems too big for me to take in, I need to let them simply know that I am there for them, too. I may not know what to do for them, but I can listen and pray. Sometimes, that is all you can do. Sometimes, you can't fix their problem and they can't fix yours. But we can bear each other's burdens.

There really isn't a perfect Christian or a perfect person in this entire world. We all have problems. Some major and some smaller. Unfortunately, some will never show their problems at all. Some will. Some are hurting right now and have no idea what to do and feel they have no where to turn.

If I look around and see seemingly problem-less people, it sends a wrong message. On the other hand, this isn't written so you can unload everything about everyone to someone. Use discretion.

But if you are facing something that seems insurmountable, share it with someone, and then begin the hard part. The very hard part that I wish wasn't hard. But it is.

Believing for the impossible is hard work.

Standing in faith is hard work.

Getting up and going to bed and seeing no change is discouraging.

It isn't all butterflies and sunsets and pretty things. I wish it was!

But now I go back to that verse that I've always loved and begin there again today.

She staggered not at the promise of God, but she was strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully persuaded, that what He had promised, He would also be able to  perform for her." A little paraphrased, but it helps me:)

I stand alongside you today if you too are in the middle of a battle that seems to have no end. Health issues are the worst, aren't they? There is no magic wand to wave them away. They are always right there staring you in the face.

But I stand with you, anyway. I believe that great things will happen in your situation this year.

For some reason, I was thinking about our trip to New York City this morning. I was remembering when my husband and I were walking across the Brooklyn Bridge. It was a beautiful, sunny October day and I was so very happy. But as we were walking with a rather large group of people all around us, I looked out over the majestic buildings and beautiful scenery and suddenly felt God's heart for people of that city. I prayed to myself as we walked (actually I was talking out loud in a low voice, but I don't think anyone noticed) that God would meet every person there right where they were. It is such a vast place, but God was aware of every person living there.

I mention this just to say that God is interested in what you are going through. The world is so big, but He created the world. I don't have answers, but He does. I think He delights when, even in the depths of our turmoil, we simply try and grab hold of what He has said, and just believe. Even in the most shaky and small belief, He will take that and perform what we can't.

I send much love to each one of you today!


Linking up to: impartinggrace.com  strollthrulife.net thediaryofarealhousewife.com myjoyfilledlife.com





Friday, January 2, 2015

January Pin-Spired and a Prayer For You Today:)

I hope this wonderful New Year finds you well!

We packed away our decorations yesterday and although things look bare, I am happy to be back to a simple state of life. Isn't it funny how we sometimes forget how we had things arranged before Christmas? I had to think a minute as to where to place things as they were before. But even in that, I like to change things up a bit.

It's link up time with Sheaffer and Mel for:

And also The Pleated Poppy blog with Lindsey.

Here's a few inspirations pics - the first two are from Old Navy.











Pinterest


Pinterest


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My Pin-Spired re-creations:)

Pin-Spired Pics


The quality of these i-phone pics aren't very clear, but you can get the general idea.

Top left - jacket Kohls, Kimberly necklace from Stella and Dot
All others - Old Navy
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I pray the richest blessings upon this year for all of you reading. This past year held some unexpected and hard things. Our 9 year old had two ear surgeries this year that we were not anticipating at all.  He will have a third surgery later this year. He is doing well and we are hopeful that he will retain hearing in his left ear.

One very good thing this past year was that we took our very first trip to the magical place of New York City for our 25th anniversary. Do you know how sometimes things don't live up to our expectations? This trip not only lived up to but exceeded all my dreams! We are hoping to go back this year in celebration of our daughter's high school graduation. She has also always dreamed of going there. I would love to walk the streets of New York with her!

I pray that your year is full of God's blessing on your life. Sometimes life doesn't go as we had hoped. But God's faithfulness can see you through. He is a friend that sticks closer than a brother. He has you engraved upon the palm of His hand. You are not invisible to Him. You aren't just another face in the crowd.

You are precious. Even if you feel you have never been precious to anyone in this life, you are infinitely precious to Him. He knit you together in your mother's womb and He has a destiny for you.

You are valuable.You are not worthless.

You are worthwhile to know. He knows your thoughts afar off. He has seen you and studied you and loves you.

You matter to Him.

His thoughts are about you. Psalms 139:17 says, "How precious are your thoughts about me." You are on His mind.

If you have felt that God is mad at you or indifferent towards you, would you try something this month? Ask Him to show you, in a very real way, how He feels about you. Be open with your heart and look and listen. I believe He will show you very clearly. It may even be in your dreams at night that He shows you His heart towards you.

The Bible says that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. If you have ever even told one lie, you have sinned. We all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. But He has made a way to bring you back to Him. You matter to Him. No matter where you are or what you have done.

You are infinitely valuable and loved beyond any love that you may have known before.

I will pray, too, that you will know this love.

I bless you today and send you a hug. No matter what you are facing, He is there.

Much love!

Linking up to:  pinteresttoldmeto.blogspot.com  thelarsonlingo.blogspot.com godlifehappywife.blogspot.com




Wednesday, December 31, 2014

I Love Organization

My husband helped me straighten our pantry this past Sunday. Somehow it had become a purgatory for the odds and ends of our life -things  that I was "on the fence" about tossing, somehow found there way into this place of perdition.  There was a bag of VHS Science curriculum tapes...I think they may be from the 90's, but it seemed a shame to just give them to Goodwill. The teacher looks a little dated on them (okay, a lot), but still, a whole year of science just given away? You see my dilemma. Will I use them again?  I doubt it. But it felt wrong to get rid of it AND so I still have them. But we did throw away a lot of things that we no longer need. I keep going into our pantry just because the organization of it all makes me happy. I hope it lasts longer than a week or two.

I was looking around Pinterest for some pantry organizing ideas and saw a few that I really liked. I was at Home Goods recently and loved all these wire baskets that I saw there. I didn't buy any because I wasn't sure what I would use them for. I just thought they were cute. But now I see some ideas.





Love those wire baskets!
www.abowlfulloflemons.net






I need this idea for canned goods.
www.11gables.blogspot.com




Pinterest
I would love to store potatoes in these slide out baskets.




momwithaprep.com






A lazy susan helps you to see what you have.
Pinterest



Pretty jewelry storage



Makeup storage
Pinterest



Pinterest (HGTV)
I love how streamlined everything looks!


There is something about order that I absolutely crave this time of year. Even though it is sad putting away the Christmas things, I love the chance to purge, clean, and reorganize!

Happy New Year to you and may you be blessed beyond measure!

Linking up to:
impartinggrace.com  savvysouthernstyle.net

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Family Christmas Movies

I know that everyone has their favorite Christmas movies, and probably many of the ones I am mentioning are on your rotation, too. But just in case you need a few more....here are some of my favorites.


The Waltons- The Homecoming. This was before the television series. All the kids are played by the same actors and Grandma was played by Ellen Corby, but the Mom, Dad, and Grandpa were played by different people.  Patricia Neal plays Olivia Walton in this movie. It is Christmas Eve and the family is waiting for the arrival of their father, John Walton, who has been working out of town.  They hear of an accident on the radio, and Olivia sends John Boy out in search of his dad.



And because I love Richard Thomas (John Boy of the Waltons), I always watch this movie, too. It was a made for tv movie Hallmark movie (1995). My husband isn't a big fan of this one. He calls it a spooky Christmas movie, but I love it anyway. Of course, you could put Richard Thomas in just about anything and because he's such a good actor, I would watch it. It also stars Maureen O'Hara. She plays an elderly lady who needs a family to live in the house with her as caretakers.  (It really isn't scary!) She carries a secret that the family learns about through a letter found in The Christmas Box.





Saint Maybe is another Hallmark movie from 1998. I haven't been able to find it on dvd, but it comes on Hallmark often during the holidays. I think it is a bit quirky, but the story is endearing. It's a family story about loss and a brother who lays down his own dreams to help raise his brother's children.






I am A Christmas Carol snob. I really only like this version which is from 1938. I think it tells the story of Scrooge the best of all.


Of course, It's A Wonderful Life with Jimmy Stewart cannot be missed. If you have never seen it, watch it as soon as possible. I promise you that you will never forget it.




 Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye are at their best in White Christmas. We always enjoy sitting down and watching this one.


Especially because of this scene.




I love Home Alone. A lot. I actually watch it throughout the year!



And of course, these two animated Christmas shows.



A Charlie Brown Christmas still tells the true meaning of Christmas.



Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. My Christmas isn't complete until I have watched this. I posted on my facebook the other night something my husband said, which was, "Why was Santa such a jerk to Rudolph?" It's a question for the ages, don't you think?

Oops, I almost forgot this one!


 Who doesn't love Buddy the Elf? I have to admit that I have probably watched this a little too much. How do I know this? Because now when I watch it, I wonder about things. I wonder what James Caan (he played Buddy's dad in New York)  thought about starring in this movie? Did he love it or hate it?  Did he wonder if people still remembered he was in The Godfather?  Anyway, I hope he loved it:)


I hope I've given you some new Christmas movies to consider. I'd love to hear some of your favorites, too.


Have a wonderful and blessed Christmas season!

Linking up to:  homestoriesatoz.com  savvysouthernstyle.net  impartinggrace.com astrollthrulife.net  momfessionals.com

Friday, November 21, 2014

Favorite Things Friday

Good Morning!

I'm linking up with Erika, Andrea, and Narci for:




#1.  I just ordered this for my oldest daughter and when it arrived, I tried it on (of course). It is so cute, but it went on to her closet:) I think the furry hood may look best on younger ladies, but I am now thinking I would like a vest, too:)

Old Navy




#2. If you haven't tried this yogurt, you have to give it a try. My favorites are raspberry and coconut. Be sure and stir it well when you open it. I didn't the first time I tried it and I thought it didn't taste very good. But I soon learned the trick of it. It is wonderful - like the best creamy dessert.








#3.  My son surprised me with this Starbucks mug. He works there part time and I had asked him to pick up a red mug for me. He came home that night after I had went to bed and said the red ones were sold out. When I came downstairs the next morning, there was the mug on the counter along with a gift card. He had really pulled one over on me!





#4. And this lotion....I was in Bath and Body Works recently and tried a sample of this lotion. It smells so good! Why didn't I just buy it then? I don't know, but when I'm back at the mall, I am definitely picking this up.



Have a wonderful Friday!! I'd love to hear what some of your favorite things are today:)

Linking up with:  tabanderika.blogspot.com   momfessionals.com  graceandloveblog.wordpress.com

Monday, October 27, 2014

Who Cares That Much About "You've Got Mail"? Umm...Me!

Good Morning!

Two weeks ago today, my husband and I boarded a jet plane for New York City. I have ALWAYS wanted to go, but kind of thought it may not happen. Trips to a far away city like that cost money - plane tickets, hotels, taxis, restaurants, etc. But because of the kindness of my husband and our church family, this dream was realized! It was our big trip for our 25th wedding anniversary.

I'm still excited about it!!!!!

A few days before we left, I thought to myself that maybe, just maybe, I had blown this trip up too big in my mind. Could any trip live up to my very high expectations?

Yes! Yes, it could!

I believe we walked (and rode through) just about every place in NYC that you would want to see. We saw two Broadway shows (by the way, Aladdin was amazing!), ate gelato and pizza in Little Italy, walked around Rockefeller Center, strolled through Central Park, and so much more. I loved it from beginning to end and hope to return there one day.

I even looked into seeing some locations from a movie I particularly like - You've Got Mail starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.

Who does that?

Well, apparently quite a few people. If you look on the internet, there are "walking tours' of the locations where they shot the movie.




We found a couple of the places while walking near Central Park on the Upper West Side.

This scene was at Zabars.








Inside Zabars, I half expected to see Meg Ryan pushing her cart around.








                                                                               






The other place we found that day was Cafe Lalo. If you are a fan of the movie, this is where Joe Fox (Tom Hanks) first discovers that Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan) is the lady he has been emailing.








Inside- where Meg Ryan waited at the table (on the right).




Tom Hanks outside Cafe Lalo











We went inside (of course) and had dessert and coffee. It was so fun! I asked our waitress if other people come there because of the movie. She said it happens all the time.

I don't exactly know why that movie has captured me.I suppose it has to do with the chemistry between Hanks and Ryan and my love for New York.  But every fall, we always sit down and watch that movie together.

We looked around for Riverside Park (last scene of the movie), but couldn't quite find it. There were other locations we could have went to, but finding these two took up one afternoon and we had other places we wanted to see.

But it was all magical.

Have you ever done a movie tour like that?

Have a great week!

I'm also linking up to:

This trip couldn't be under the category of favorite things for under $10, but the movie itself costs about that. If you have never seen it, this is a great time of year to watch it!



Linking up to:  impartinggrace.com  savvysouthernstyle.net  astrollthrulife.net  tabanderika.blogspot.com stonegableblog.com  frenchcountrycottage.net  homestoriesatoz.com  blondeambitionblog.com





Monday, October 20, 2014

Pretty Things

We just returned from our very first trip to New York City. I hope to get some photos up soon. It was magical and wonderful!

But today, I thought I'd share some real "purty" things that I've seen around blog land.

The first few photos are from Nell Hills which is one of my favorite places to visit (Kansas City and Atchison, Kansas).

Nell Hill





Nell Hill



Nell Hill







Nell Hill



Nell Hill




Courtesy of Nell Hill




I loved this idea. This is from a blog called Our Happily Ever Afters. She found this 
  urn from Ballards to hold her Christmas tree. 
Toulon Christmas Tree Urn
Ballarddesigns.com (Toulon Christmas Tree Urn)



And just a few more...

Pinterest

PB Kids

Pinterest

Found on Pinterest (www.simplicityinthesouth.com)
I especially like this idea!



This is a view from my house yesterday.


There is a chill in the air and the leaves are turning, but my flowers are being very brave:)

Happy October!