Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Rethinking Christmas Cards

I love Christmas cards; receiving and sending them! I dropped ours in the mail this afternoon so by the weekend everyone will have received them. What fun to share the joy of the birth of Jesus with others!

But I always feel bad at the end of Christmas just getting rid of them. Besides recycling them into tags or other crafts, a friend of mine from bible study shared her Christmas card tradition.

She told me that as her and her husband receive the beautiful cards in the mail, they pray over the person who sent it. They keep the cards around during the holidays and once the holidays are over, the cards stay out and at the beginning of the year they pray for them again, one card each day.

I can't tell you how excited I am for us to start this tradition too!

"..Pray for one another" -James 5:16a

Saturday, November 26, 2011

'Tis the Season

By golly, Thanksgiving is over and we are now into the Christmas season. How the times does fly! The next few weeks are going to be pretty busy with birthdays, a baby shower and of course Christmas with the family.

Picking out a tree and doing some shopping with Mom and Jerm.

Working on crafts for the shower.

I am looking forward to the start of advent this Sunday and remembering the real reason why we celebrate Christmas - to worship the One who became flesh so we could be saved. Merry Christmas indeed!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thanksgiving Challenge

Every day we should be a day of thanksgiving, where we offer up praise to the Lord for all that He has done, but Thanksgiving day is a time set apart to sit down with friends and family and really reflect on His abundant love toward us.

While Jeremy and I wrote our blessings on leaves for our thanksgiving wreath, I thought of an idea. Instead of just writing down what we are thankful for (Jesus, food, a home, the bible, etc...) we could turn right around and bless someone else with those very things we are thankful for.

Our list of blessings included: Jesus, God's mercy, role models, family, inspiration, good food, good books, hat, guns (Can you guess which ones came from Jeremy?). So while I find role models to be a huge blessing and inspiration, we can in turn be role models to other people in our lives. In fact, just the other day we were told by a family member that she looked up to us as a couple in the way we demonstrate our love towards each other. That was BIG because I didn't even know or think anyone was watching but it turns out she was. What a surprise and honor!

Or we could take Jeremy's blessing, 'good food', and bless a struggling family with the makings for a turkey dinner this week. There are so many possibilities where we can give back and shower other people with the things we are so grateful for. Any ideas how your family can give back some blessings you've received?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Grateful Heart

I don't know about you but there are times when I get discouraged and feel I haven't accomplished the things I wanted to at this point in my life. It's easy to get down on yourself and your situation and start a perpetual pity party. Definitely not a fun place to be! Not only does the situation stay exactly the same but instead of enjoying the moment God has given me, it is thrown away by my own sour attitude.

Last week I was experiencing my own little "party" and nothing was shaking it. Even doing the obligatory thanksgiving craft was not inspiring me to be thankful. But then I came across a family friend who is currently facing some very hard times: health deterioration, searching for a job, losing apartment, etc.. After meeting with him last week I cried. And cried and cried. It's hard to see people suffering in the world especially friends and family members, even if some of them were their own choices.

I called my prayer warriors into action and we have been praying and trying to help with the job search ever since. It is in helping those in need that I am able to see how richly God has blessed us, blessed me, even if I am not where I thought I'd be at this point. God has His perfect timeline for the future and I can rest in that. I am thankful for His presence in my life and being patient with me even when I am incorrigible!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I don't have to be...

... strong enough. I LOVE this song. Lord knows I am not strong enough on my own. I need Him each and every day and I am so blessed to have that relationship. He is my rock and my fortress.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." -Jesus (in Matthew 11:28)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Lessons in Kidland

This past weekend, I taught our AWANA girls. The lesson was on God's love and how He wants us to share that love with others, especially those who don't know Him. They listened carefully to the lesson and read about how we can all be good neighbors to the people in our lives.

Along with the lesson, my girls packed shoe boxes for the Samaritan's Purse Operation Christmas Child program. The girls had a great time filling out the sheets about themselves and sharing a nice message with the little ones who will get their boxes.

I had a moment when I was truly proud of those girls when I asked them a question about a lesson I gave them last holiday season- an object lesson about snowmen and the trinity. I said "Bonus question for anyone who can tell me what the snowman represents" and as soon as I finished the question, almost all the girls raised their hands to tell me "Father, Son and Holy Ghost!" It was an exciting moment to know that my girls are actually listening and retaining this information. I pray for those little munchkins that they come to know the Lord and trust Him throughout their lives. It's a joy to be apart of their lives and be able to share Christ with them!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Fall is Delightful {and Easy Pumpkin Spice Muffins}

Can I just say that I am thoroughly enjoying the sights, sounds and tastes of fall. It really is in the small things that make all the difference. So on either a hard day after work or a during a busy weekend I can take a moment and just enjoy. The sound on the rain pouring outside my window soothes my soul. The leaves falling off the trees and dancing in the streets puts a smile on my face. And anything pumpkin makes my tummy oh so happy (try pumpkin seeds, TJ's Pumpkin Spice Coffee, and these EASY pumpkin spice muffins.)

Pumpkin Spice Muffins (Adapted from Hungry Girl Yum Yum Brownie Muffins)

1 box spice cake mix
1 15 oz can pumpkin

Mix the two ingredients together. Don't add anything else that may be mentioned on the box, such as eggs, oil or water. The mixture will be very thick and you will be tempted to add in other things to make the batter smoother. DO NOT DO THIS! Place batter into muffin tins (or mini muffin tins) lined with paper, or sprayed with non-stick spray. Bake at 400 degrees for 18 minutes for regular muffins or 15 for mini muffins.

Makes 12 regular or 36 mini muffins.

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens" -Ecclesiastes 3:1