Friday, December 24, 2010

Advent - day 24

Dec. 24 John 1:14 
Now the Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We saw his glory – the glory of the one and only, full of grace and truth, who came from the Father.

Activities: lunch w/the in-laws; Open a present or 2 :) Christmas Eve service;

Prayer focus: family and friends

*Note-Because we sold our house last week and I'll have a lot to do in the next couple of weeks, I'll be taking a break from blogging until the new year.
In the meantime, Merry Christmas, enjoy the day, know the Lord and be humbled at how he came as a baby to show us the way to the Father.
Thanks for reading. I'll be back soon.
Love,
Jessica

PS Happy New Year too

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Advent - day 23

Dec. 23 Matthew 2: 9-12

After listening to the king they left, and once again the star they saw when it rose led them until it stopped above the place where the child was. When they saw the star they shouted joyfully. As they came into the house and saw the child with Mary his mother, they bowed down and worshiped him. They opened their treasure boxes and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. After being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they went back by another route to their own country.

Activities: read Christmas books; play games; visit w/ Auntie Ru

Prayer focus: babies and children especially those that are poor or without a mom/dad at home

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Advent - day 22

Dec. 22 Mathew 2: 7-8
Then Herod privately summoned the wise men and determined from them when the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and look carefully for the child. When you find him, inform me so that I can go and worship him as well.”

Activities today: make tortilla roll-ups; lunch w/a friend; visit; ornament exchange;

Prayer focus: prisoners - those in jail and those imprisoned by their own choices

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Advent - day 21

Dec. 21 Matthew 2: 3-6

When King Herod heard this he was alarmed, and all Jerusalem with him. After assembling all the chief priests and experts in the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. “In Bethlehem of Judea,” they said, “for it is written this way by the prophet:
And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are in no way least among the rulers of Judah,
for out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’”


Activities today: flu booster for Betsy; lunch with a friend; hanging out; watch new Narina movie w/ Andy;

Prayer focus: My parents and in-laws;

Monday, December 20, 2010

Advent - day 20

Dec. 20 Matthew 2: 1-2

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, in the time of King Herod, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem saying, “Where is the one who is born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”

Activities today: coffee with a friend, lunch with Baba; visit new house after home inspection; drive around to look at Christmas lights

Prayer focus:  Ken M. and his recovery;

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Advent - day 18 and 19

Dec. 18 Luke 2: 19-20

But Mary treasured up all these words, pondering in her heart what they might mean. So the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen; everything was just as they had been told.

Dec. 19 Micah 5: 2-5
As for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
seemingly insignificant among the clans of Judah –
from you a king will emerge who will rule over Israel on my behalf,
one whose origins are in the distant past.  
So the Lord will hand the people of Israel over to their enemies
until the time when the woman in labor gives birth.
Then the rest of the king’s countrymen will return
to be reunited with the people of Israel. 
He will assume his post and shepherd the people by the Lord’s strength,
by the sovereign authority of the Lord his God.
They will live securely, for at that time he will be honored
even in the distant regions of  the earth.
He will give us peace.
Should the Assyrians try to invade our land
and attempt to set foot in our fortresses,
we will send against them seven shepherd-rulers,
make that eight commanders.

Activities: watch the Nutcracker In One Act; mail out Christmas cards; deliver presents;

Prayer focus: Mamaw, Nana, Grandma, Grandpa, the elderly.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Advent - day 17

Dec. 17 Luke 2: 15-18

When the angels left them and went back to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, that the Lord has made known to us.”  So they hurried off and located Mary and Joseph, and found the baby lying in a manger. When they saw him,  they related what they had been told about this child, and all who heard it were astonished at what the shepherds said.

Activities for today: deliver clothes/gifts; 

Prayer focus: My dad and other trucker drivers and those that work in the elements;

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Advent - day 16

Dec. 16 Luke 2: 13-14

Suddenly a vast, heavenly army appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among people with whom he is pleased!”

Activities today: wrap some presents, do puzzles;

Prayer focus: Ken M. who is having surgery

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Advent - day 15

Dec. 15 Luke 2: 8-12

Now there were shepherds nearby living out in the field, keeping guard over their flock at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were absolutely terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid! Listen carefully, for I proclaim to you good news that brings great joy to all the people: Today your Savior is born in the city of David.  He is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you: You will find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a manger.”

Activities today: wrap ornaments for "O" day and ornament exchange; fill out Christmas cards

Prayer focus: Missionaries

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Advent - day 14

Dec. 14 Luke 2: 6-7
While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.


I often think that Mary must have been so amazing to deliver this baby out in the barn after traveling on the back of a donkey for days. My prayer when I think of her plight, "Lord, save me from myself."

Activities for today: coloring pages with Mollie, dipping pretzels, date night 

Prayer focus: the homeless

Monday, December 13, 2010

Advent - day 13

Dec. 13 Luke 2: 1-5
Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus to register all the empire for taxes. This was the first registration, taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria. Everyone went to his own town to be registered. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family line of David. He went to be registered with Mary, who was promised in marriage to him, and who was expecting a child.

Activities: make sheep craft; bake cookies;

Prayer focus:  The soldiers especially those stationed overseas.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Advent - day 11 and 12

Dec. 11 Luke 1: 39-45
 In those days  Mary got up and went hurriedly into the hill country, to a town of Judah, and entered Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. When  Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped  in her  womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. She exclaimed with a loud voice, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child  in your womb! And who am I  that the mother of my Lord should come and visit me? For the instant the sound of your greeting reached my ears,  the baby in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that what was spoken to her by  the Lord would be fulfilled.” 


Dec. 12 Luke 1: 46-56
Mary’s Hymn of Praise

And Mary  said,
“My soul exalts the Lord,
and my spirit has begun to rejoice  in God my Savior,
because he has looked upon the humble state of his servant.
For  from now on all generations will call me blessed,
because he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name;
from generation to generation he is merciful  to those who fear him.
 He has demonstrated power with his arm; he has scattered those whose pride wells up from the sheer arrogance of their hearts.
 He has brought down the mighty  from their thrones, and has lifted up those of lowly position; 
he has filled the hungry with good things,  and has sent the rich away empty.
 He has helped his servant Israel, remembering  his mercy, 
 as he promised  to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants  forever.”
 So Mary stayed with Elizabeth about three months and then returned to her home.

Activities: clean the house for showing Sat. afternoon; watch a Christmas movie; make snow cream (if fresh snow falls as predicted)
Prayer focus: selling the house; our pastor and his family;

Friday, December 10, 2010

Advent - day 10

Dec. 10 Matthew 1: 22-25
This all happened so that what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet would be fulfilled:Look! The virgin will conceive and bear a son, and they will call him Emmanuel,” which means God with us.”   When Joseph awoke from sleep he did what the angel of the Lord told him. He took his wife, but did not have marital relations with her until she gave birth to a son, whom he named Jesus.

Activities for today: Introduce Mollie to hot chocolate; shop; church;

Prayer focus: Uncle Estil and other family members who are sick.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Advent - day 9

Dec. 9 Mathew 1:18-21

Now the birth of Jesus Christ happened this way. While his mother Mary was engaged to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit.  Because Joseph, her husband to be,  was a righteous man, and because he did not want to disgrace her, he intended to divorce her  privately. When he had contemplated this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son and you will name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

Activities today: Shapes Angel Craft; shop for stocking stuffers

Prayer focus: Leaders in our country, state and city

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Advent - day 8

Dec. 8 Luke 1:26-38

In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy,  the angel Gabriel  was sent by God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, a descendant of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. The angel  came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled by his words and began to wonder about the meaning of this greeting. So  the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God!  Listen:  You will become pregnant and give birth to  a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of his father   David. He  will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and his kingdom will never end.” Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I have not had sexual relations with a man?”  The angel replied,  “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow  you. Therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called the Son of God. “And look,  your relative   Elizabeth has also become pregnant with   a son in her old age – although she was called barren, she is now in her sixth month! For nothing will be impossible with God.” So  Mary said, “Yes, I am a servant  of the Lord; let this happen to me according to your word.” Then  the angel departed from her.

Activities: Deliver brownies; light candles;
Prayer focus: Missionaries;

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Advent - day 7

Dec. 7 Luke 1: 18-25
Zechariah  said to the angel, “How can I be sure of this?  For I am an old man, and my wife is old as well.” The  angel answered him, “I am Gabriel, who stands  in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring  you this good news. And now, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time,  you will be silent, unable to speak,  until the day these things take place.” 
Now  the people were waiting for Zechariah, and they began to wonder why he was delayed in the holy place. When he came out, he was not able to speak to them. They realized that he had seen a vision  in the holy place, because  he was making signs to them and remained unable to speak.  When his time of service was over,  he went to his home. After some time  his wife Elizabeth became pregnant, and for five months she kept herself in seclusion. She said, “This is what  the Lord has done for me at the time  when he has been gracious to me, to take away my disgrace among people.”

Activities for today: Baking, Angel craft

Prayer focus: Students with upcoming finals

Monday, December 6, 2010

Advent - day 6

Dec. 6 Luke 1: 11-17
An angel of the Lord, standing on the right side of the altar of incense, appeared to him. And Zechariah, visibly shaken when he saw the angel, was seized with fear. But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son; you will name him John. Joy and gladness will come  to you, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the sight of  the Lord. He must never drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even before his birth. He will turn  many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. And he will go as forerunner before the Lord  in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers back to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared for him.”

Activities today: Celebrating Mollie's 2nd birthday;

Prayer focus: The persecuted church

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Advent - day 4 and 5

Dec. 4 Jeremiah 33: 14-16
“I, the Lord, affirm  ‘The time will certainly come when I will fulfill my gracious promise concerning the nations of Israel and Judah In those days and at that time I will raise up for them a righteous descendant of David. “‘He will do what is just and right in the land. Under his rule Judah will enjoy safety and Jerusalem will live in security. At that time Jerusalem will be called “The Lord has provided us with justice.” For I, the Lord, promise: “David will never lack a successor to occupy  the throne over the nation of Israel.

Dec. 5 Luke 1: 5-10
During the reign of Herod king of Judea, there lived a priest named Zechariah who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah and he had a wife named Elizabeth, who was a descendant of Aaron. They were both righteous in the sight of God, following all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blamelessly. But they did not have a child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both very old. Now while Zechariah was serving as priest before God when his division was on duty, he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to enter the holy place of the Lord and burn incense. Now the whole crowd of people were praying outside at the hour of the incense offering.

Activities: Party for Mollie (2); drive around and look at Christmas lights;

Prayer focus: Reaching the lost; 

Friday, December 3, 2010

Advent - Day 3

Dec. 3 Isaiah 11: 1-10
A shoot will grow out of Jesse’s root stock,
a bud will sprout from his roots.
The Lord’s spirit will rest on him
a spirit that gives extraordinary wisdom,
a spirit that provides the ability to execute plans,
a spirit that produces absolute loyalty to the Lord.
He will take delight in obeying the Lord.
He will not judge by mere appearances,
or make decisions on the basis of hearsay. 
He will treat the poor fairly
and make right decisions for the downtrodden of the earth.
He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,
and order the wicked to be executed. 
Justice will be like a belt around his waist,
integrity will be like a belt around his hips.
A wolf will reside with a lamb,
and a leopard will lie down with a young goat;
an ox and a young lion will graze together,
as a small child leads them along. 
A cow and a bear will graze together,
their young will lie down together.
A lion, like an ox, will eat straw. 
A baby will play
over the hole of a snake;
over the nest of a serpent
an infant will put his hand.
They will no longer injure or destroy
on my entire royal mountain.
For there will be universal submission to the Lord’s sovereignty,
just as the waters completely cover the sea.
Israel is Reclaimed and Reunited
At that time a root from Jesse will stand like a signal flag for the nations. Nations will look to him for guidance, and his residence will be majestic.

Activities for today: eat breakfast out; finish shopping for Mollie's party; Dance to Christmas music;

Prayer focus: Eli's continued recovery; the pregnant women that I know;


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Advent - day 2

Dec. 2 Isaiah 9: 2-7
The people walking in darkness
see a bright light; 
light shines on those who live in a land of deep darkness.
You have enlarged the nation;
you give them great joy.
They rejoice in your presence
as harvesters rejoice;
as warriors celebrate when they divide up the plunder.
For their oppressive yoke
and the club that strikes their shoulders,
the cudgel the oppressor uses on them,
you have shattered, as in the day of Midian’s defeat. 
Indeed every boot that marches and shakes the earth
and every garment dragged through blood
is used as fuel for the fire.
For a child has been born to us,
a son has been given to us.
He shoulders responsibility
and is called:
Extraordinary Strategist
Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, 
Prince of Peace.
His dominion will be vast
and he will bring immeasurable prosperity.
He will rule on David’s throne
and over David’s kingdom
establishing it and strengthening it
by promoting justice and fairness,
from this time forward and forevermore.
The Lord’s intense devotion to his people will accomplish this.

Activities for today: Read Christmas books with girls; make paper gingerbread ornaments;

Prayer focus: Eli's quick recovery following a successful surgery: Ms. Rhonda and her family;

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Advent - day 1

Dec. 1 John 1: 1-5
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was fully God. The Word was with God in the beginning. All things were created by him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created. In him was life  and the life was the light of mankind. And the light shines on in the darkness, but the darkness has not mastered it.

 Activities of the day: head to the mall to let the girls look at the Christmas decorations; fill the Advent calendar and let Mollie open door #1; begin ABC advent book tonight;

Prayer focus of the day: Baby Eli is having surgery to remove a lobe of his lung-praying for the surgery, his recovery and for his parents.

*note: If you read this blog on the day it was posted, I copy/pasted 1John 1:1-5, now the text is John 1:1-5 sorry for the editing error (it may happen again :)) Blessings ~ Jessica

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmas symbols

Well the house is decorated, though I didn't put up all that I normally do, not wanting to make it too cluttered for showing or to have to pack it all back up for moving if it comes to that. :)  It looks nice. It will be a challenge for 2 little ones not to touch it (much), but I did leave a basket of Christmasy things for them to play with as part of the decor. I was reading yesterday about all of the symbols of Christmas and how they point to Christ, it is a good way to teach little ones about Jesus and be ever mindful of him.
Tree-evergreen and branches pointing heavenward  = God's constant love/life; look to him
Lights-Jesus = light of the world
Star-star of Bethlehem = God's guidance
Holly-crown of thorns = Jesus suffering
Candy cane-shape of shepherd's crook/J = Jesus caring for us
Even the colors of Christmas remind us of Jesus: red=his blood, white=his purity, green=everlasting life

Monday, November 29, 2010

advent

I did not celebrate advent as a child, but have enjoyed it as an adult very much. I like having a structured time to read the word, pray, and sing each night around the glow of the candle(s) of the advent wreath. It is a time to look forward to celebrate Jesus' coming to the earth and contemplate his return to it as well.  On the blog this year, I will post some verses during Dec. 1-24 to celebrate advent with you here.
Enjoy the day everyone!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

puzzles and cards

One thing that I love about the holidays is doing puzzles and playing cards with family and friends. It is such a nice way to build memories and spend time together. So pull out those board games and roll the dice. It is good for kids to see how to have fun without electronics, how to wait for their turn, and win or lose how to have a good time.

Friday, November 26, 2010

black Friday

I will be headed out shopping in a bit, but I am going to be very considerate about what I bring into my home and into the homes of my family and friends. Knowing that we don't need much and not wanting to clutter up closets, cabinets and shelves.  I do enjoy shopping and have to remind myself that true joy is not in the stuff or the deals but in knowing Jesus and loving others.

John 15:11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope everyone has a happy and blessed holiday. Remember to take time to bless the Lord for his provision in your life as you spend time with family and friends.

Ps. 136.2 Give thanks to the God of gods, for his loyal love endures.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

the brokenhearted

Yesterday, while my friends and I were having lunch, the waitress approached us and was nearly in tears.  Her boyfriend of 6 years had recently broken up with her, and she was hurting. We really wanted to share about the Lord's love with her, so I told her that God was the Lord of the brokenhearted.  She said that is searching for something to fill the void in her life, I pray that she is open to the moving of the Holy Spirit in this time and finds Jesus. Last night, I prayed that Christians would be seated in her section at work. I did give her a card with my number on it, hopefully she will call.

Ps. 34:18 The Lord is near the brokenhearted; he delivers those who are discouraged.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

others centered

 I used to think that I needed to work on my self esteem, but the more I know the Lord, the more I realize that I take plenty of time for my self and I need to work on being others centered.  This self focus starts off at a young age as my not yet 2 yr. old daughter reminds me daily that she is "so cute" and my 9 month old cries if I have to redirect her actions.  Yes, the self has plenty of presence and doesn't need to be esteemed. Now, I want to focus on loving others and teach my daughters that as well. 

Phil. 2:Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Church in the country

There is something to be said about going to church with your extended family. I love visiting the little country church that has been attended by my family for generations. Singing hymns from a hymnal and sharing a meal together all bring back good memories of my family. It is nice to be around folks that knew those that have passed on, and I feel very comforted knowing that I'll worship again with them one day.

Ps. 26:12 My foot stands in an even place; In the congregations I will bless the LORD.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Be still

Early this morning, my almost 2 year old woke up crying for me.  I went in to comfort her, but she was wide awake. She kept telling me things like: "I'm so excited." "I want to play with toys." "I have good ideas." "I want breakfast." "I am so cute." "I want to brush my teeth."  I kept telling her to "be still". This is very atypical, but it did last for a loooong time.  While I was laying in the floor beside her bed, holding her hand, I was thinking this is probably how God feels at times. He wants us to rest in Him, we want to push our ideas on Him.  He wants us to trust his ways, we try to do our own thing.  Today, I'm even more aware of my need to be still before him.

Friday, November 19, 2010

blessed beyond measure

While being more deliberate in finding things to be thankful for this month on facebook and in the blog. I continue to realize just how blessed I am.  I was making out a Christmas list the other day and there is not one thing that is truly a need for my husband, myself or for my girls. We are blessed indeed in the physical as well as spiritual.

Ps. 89:15 How blessed are the people who worship you! O Lord, they experience your favor.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

bathing beauty

With all the hustle and bustle looming before me, I am trying to establish some routines that will bring peace to my life. One thing I am considering is a weekly bath. Not only will it give me some quiet time, but it will provide a way for me to be frugal too. I have a ton of bath supplies that I rarely use, as do most women I know, so I think some tub time is in order to use the facial masks, bubble bath, body scrubs and the like.

Esther 2:12 Before each young woman was taken to the king’s bed, she was given the prescribed twelve months of beauty treatments––six months with oil of myrrh, followed by six months with special perfumes and ointments.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

God is good

I think in parenting and in being a wife I am learning so much about the Lord.  Yesterday I talked about submitting to my husband even when I don't understand. I know we often ask the same thing of our children. Surely it is true of God as well, because His ways are higher than ours.  But let today's verse bring comfort and hope to you in that place where you truly don't understand.

Ps. 119: 68 You are good and do good; teach me your statutes.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

my dear husband

I am thankful for my husband, he is the spiritual leader of our home. I am blessed by his covering. He is a good man, God's man for me. Even when I don't totally understand (NO Christmas music before the day after Thanksgiving) I want to follow his lead. I know that is where my protection is; plus I want to set a good example for my girls.

Eph. 5:24 But as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

Monday, November 15, 2010

child training

I am so thankful for men and women of the faith who've taken time to listen to me, and I want the same for my children ... it is important to have a community of believers involved in your life. Hollywood would like to raise your children. The world wars against parenting as well. Oh Christian, pray, get involved, set God's standards, love your children and train them.

Prov. 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

naps R good

I am so thankful when the girls take their naps at the same time.  Yesterday I took a cat nap too. It really helped the afternoon go a lot smoother than the morning. Mollie and I were butting heads at every turn it seemed. I think we were both tired. I want to show love always, even when I'm tired, but I confess that it is so much easier when I'm rested.

Mt. 11:28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Friday, November 12, 2010

family foundations

I am so thankful for my family. My mom and grandma came for a visit yesterday, it was good to be with them. There is something special about sharing the routine of our daily life with our family. It blesses the girls and myself just to have people who love us doing the everyday things with us. It also blesses me that mom allows me to have time to run a couple of errands while she tends the girls.

2 Tim. 1:5 I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

veteran's day

I am so thankful for our vets past and present who have paid for the freedoms that I enjoy with their time, energy, and sometimes their lives.  May God bless you all. If you know someone who serves or has served, be sure to thank them today.

Ps. 12:7-8 You, Lord, will protect them; you will continually shelter each one from these evil people, for the wicked seem to be everywhere, when people promote evil.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

date night

I am so thankful for my husband, who regularly takes me on dates. It is important to remember that it is the husband/wife relationship that is the key to the health of the family. Kids are great, the house is nice, but they should not become the priority over the marriage. Make the effort to connect with your spouse in meaningful ways on a regular basis, you'll be glad you did when your kids leave home and you still know your mate.

Eph. 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

happy people

I am thankful for the happiness that I see in others. The day is always more pleasant, when the people you are around are exhibiting joy. Oh Lord, let me be that kind of person to my family and friends as well as strangers.

Ps. 34:5 Those who look to him for help are happy; their faces are not ashamed.

Monday, November 8, 2010

fall back

I am always excited for that extra hour of sleep that we get when it is time to go off of daylight savings, but it is hard to get on schedule the next few days, especially for the little ones.  Please be mindful of them and yourself and have an extra measure of grace for yourself and those around you while everyone gets adjusted.

Ps. 4:8 I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety. 

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Constantly pray

Currently, I am with some women from church on a prayer retreat. It is so refreshing to be away from the demands of my home and given to prayer.  I am expectant, hopeful and excited to see how God is going to use this time that we've set apart for Him to change us.
I am so thankful that we can have such access to the Father. Christian, we serve an awesome, mighty, holy God who invites us into His presence.
Pray, constantly.

1Thes. 5:16 Always rejoice, 17 constantly pray, 18 in everything give thanks. For this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 19 Do not extinguish the Spirit.

Friday, November 5, 2010

happy heart

I think veggie tales got it right with this one...a thankful heart is a happy heart.  If I am busy thinking of things that I am thankful for I am much more content in the day. I am thankful that all of my needs are met.

1 Tim. 6: 9-10 Those who long to be rich, however, stumble into temptation and a trap and many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root  of all evils. Some people in reaching for it have strayed from the faith and stabbed themselves with many pains.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

2 dearly loved children

I posed the "what are you thankful for" question to Mollie, my almost 2 yr. old at breakfast yesterday.  Her response, "Betsy" her 8 month old sister.  I tell you, it made me nearly cry.

Eph. 5:1 Therefore, be imitators of God as dearly loved children

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

friends

Whenever November arrives, I begin thinking seriously about the things for which I am thankful.  I asked my husband what he was thankful for, his reply, "our friends". I could not agree more. We have awesome friends.

Phil. 1:3 I thank my God every time I remember you.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

for freedom's sake

Oh blog reader, please don't forget to vote today.  I am so thankful to live in the US and am reminded when I see the news of the war raging in the Middle East that this freedom should not be taken for granted. Get out there and cast your vote today!
I was looking up some stats about voting the other day and the only one I'll share lest you get too bored-- American women didn't get the right to vote until 1920.

1Pet. 2:16 Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God.

Monday, November 1, 2010

vote

We have the privilege in our country to be able to participate in choosing the leaders that govern us.  Please take time today to make arrangements in order to get to the polls tomorrow. Do your homework on the candidates-read about them and the issues they stand for, don't just listen to the ads on tv. Prayerfully consider who you should choose, and cast your vote accordingly.

Rom. 13:1 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except by God’s appointment, and the authorities that exist have been instituted by God.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

enjoy the day

While we don't live for the weekend around here, it sure is nice to have time at home and not feel pressed to get the day started. Hope everyone has a blessed day.

Ps. 118:24 This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Friday, October 29, 2010

welcome mat

One of my favorite birthday presents that I got this year was a welcome mat. It just speaks of hope and promise to me-that the current house will sell and we'll be in the new house soon.  I love gifts that have that deliver that kind of boost.  Well...I love gifts :)

Prov. 3:33 The LORD’s curse is on the house of the wicked, but he blesses the home of the righteous.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

the golden rule

One of the things I'm trying to teach my older daughter these days is to show love to her sister and not be jealous of her when she gets to do fun things first.  It is not as easy as it sounds. We are trying to implement the golden rule at every turn and be examples ourselves. When you have kids, your life is exposed daily and it is so much easier to show them how to live rather than tell them. I'm trying to be ever aware of those little eyes watching my life.

Mt. 7:12 In everything, treat others as you would want them to treat you, for this fulfills the law and the prophets.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

house for sale

Our home has been on the market since early summer. We have a contract on another home, contingent on the sale of our current one. Everything is in place to move, once we sell this house. Today, we have someone coming to look at the house. This has happened several times, and it is exciting each time we have a potential buyer in our home. So far, folks have only looked, maybe today is the day they will buy. While I am no stranger to waiting, I'm ready for the next phase to begin all the while trusting God and knowing that His timing is perfect.

Prov. 13:12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

acts of service

The possibilities here are practically endless, so prayerfully consider how you can bless your loved one today.
Some ideas for acts of service to get you started: packing lunches, doing a chore, making dinner for a sick friend or a new mom or an old one, babysitting, running errands, paying the bills, returning the library books – whatever you find to do, do it lovingly with all your heart.

Acts 9:36 Now in Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (which in translation means Dorcas). She was continually doing good deeds and acts of charity.

Monday, October 25, 2010

gifts

gifts- Not only flowers (store bought or wildflowers) and candy and jewelry but little things too- a special hot chocolate packed in your husband's/child's lunch or a new toys/trinkets/pencil. The point here is not the amount of money that you spend, but considering what the person might like while you were out. Some of my best gifts were picked up at yard sales, flea markets and second hand stores.

Prov. 18:16 Giving a gift works wonders; it may bring you before important people!

A special note.
My friend's sister, Sarah Gardner passed away yesterday, and her passing made me think about how our very lives are a gift. I didn't know Sarah well, but I've been following her fight against cancer via caring bridge. I am praying that her family would find comfort in the sweet memories they've shared and even more solace in baby Caroline. There are no guarantees that we will be here tomorrow, so take time to communicate love to your friends and family each day.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

quality time

The whole point of targeting the area of quality time is to focus on getting to know your loved one better and truly enjoying the things they like to do. Even if a certain activity is not your preference, your child/friend/spouse will be blessed by your time spent with them when done out of love. Again, this list is just a starting point to give you some ideas.

quality time- for kids-special “daddy-daughter dates” / “daddy-son outings” play dates with friends, going to the park, family meals, outings and vacations.
for the guys: camping/fishing/hunting/ hiking/playing sports or going out for a meal,
for the girls: going to the spa w/ a girlfriend (or doing some spa treatments together at one of your homes), walking together, conversations over coffee, tea, ice-cream or lunch
for couples: date night, couch time, trips
Time spent in prayer together is always quality time. 

Gal. 6:10 So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who belong to the family of faith.

Friday, October 22, 2010

encouraging words

Our God is very creative, so please do not think that there aren't other ways to express affirmation for those you love.

words of encouragement- cards and letters are a great way to start. Also consider giving specific verbal praise for jobs well done and complimenting them to others, write a song/poem about them (kids love to hear their names in silly songs), leaving little notes in lunch boxes or random places where they will be found at odd times. Writing out a Bible verse that reminds you of the person or a situation that they are going through can be very encouraging as well.

Prov. 15:23 A person has joy in giving an appropriate answer, and a word at the right time – how good it is!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

touch

This list is by no means exhaustive, but use it as a spring board to get ideas for the people in your life whose primary love language is touch.


touch - games for babies might include: head shoulders knees and toes, naming body parts as you rub lotion on them following bath time, holding them while reading a story, cuddling; for babies and most everyone else: massages, kisses, hugs, tickling, holding hands, high-fives, pats on the back/head/or bottom - if you're in a ball game evidently :) shaking hands, hand squeezes, scratching back, brushing hair, and for your husband/wife: all of the above plus, foreplay, and sex.

2 Cor. 13:12 Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the saints greet you.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

love languages

I read Gary Chapman's The Five Love Languages over the summer and thoroughly enjoyed it.  Now, in light of what is going on with Sarah Gardner, I'm thinking about how to better express love to those around me each day.  It is important to know your own love language and there are links on-line to help you figure it out, but it is critical to show children all five on a regular basis.  Over the next few days, I'll talk about each and give ideas of how to express love in each of the areas: touch, words of encouragement, gifts, acts of service and quality time.

1 Jn. 4:11 Dear friends, if God so loved us, then we also ought to love one another.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

discipline

It takes effort to live in a way that is pleasing to the Lord.  As I am training my daughters not to be self-centered, I am learning more and more how God wants us to live. That discipline is loving and training is beneficial not fun in the midst of it, but the long-term rewards out weigh the pain in the moment.

Heb. 12:11 For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.



Monday, October 18, 2010

clap your hands

Did you enjoy the game last night? Colts over Redskins.  Were you more emotionally involved in the game than you were at church or in your private time of worship? God deserves that kind of emotion, praise, exaltation. He invites you to dance before him.

Ps. 47:1 Clap your hands, all peoples!
Shout to God with loud songs of joy!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

oh happy day

 I am headed to the pumpkin patch/apple orchard today with my husband's family. The weather should be perfect and the day will be great.  I've found that so many great, happy days depends on my attitude not the activity. It is good to decide to be joyful in all things-making the effort to be happy and bring joy to others.

Hab. 3:18 I will rejoice because of  the Lord;
I will be happy because of the God who delivers me!

Friday, October 15, 2010

new creation

When you decided to follow Jesus, what kind of changes did you experience?  Why are you still holding on to the old way of thinking?  These are some tough questions one friend asked another at lunch this week.  It is good to recount that we are no longer bound to our past ways of doing things.  In Christ, we are made new.

2 Cor. 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

win-win

The news for Sarah G. was not good, I'm sorry to say.  But when she was diagnosed, her attitude was that whatever happens is a win-win situation. If she survives the cancer, she gets to be a mom to her daughter and if she does not, she gets to be with Jesus. Oh to have that attitude in all the things we face.
Her survival will take a miracle, but I know that God can heal her. Please pray for this family and the decisions that face them. (For the latest on her situation, click on the CaringBridge link on the right.) 

Rom. 8:28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

being accountable

Well, I'm on a diet. Almost everyone I know needs to lose 5-50 lbs--I'm more on the upper end of things. For the last couple of days, I've been keeping a food journal, it has helped, I'm already down a pound. I think the simple act of writing things down helps me to be more mindful of what I am eating.  So if you have a besetting sin, like gluttony, confess it to the Lord and maybe a close friend or two and be aware of how God wants you to move forward.

1 Jn. 1:9  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

celebrate

Have you ever written a song or psalm to the Lord?  There is no end to His goodness. A prayer can be a celebration of who He is and what He's done.  What can you praise Him for today?

Is.42:10a Sing to the Lord a new song,
his praise from the end of the earth

Monday, October 11, 2010

Good deeds

My family had a chance to attend an out of town party for a beloved aunt. We went, even though the trip was long, even though the kids are little, even though... We had a great time and Aunt E was blessed. It was worth the time and energy to go, and we are so glad that we got to celebrate with her.

Gal. 6:10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

generosity

While at a restaurant not long ago, I was discussing tipping with a friend. She commented about how sad it was that Christians are not the most generous of tippers.  I've been thinking about that a lot since then.  We serve a generous God, and He gives to us abundantly should we not do the same?

Ps 37: 23 The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when he delights in his way; 24 though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the Lord upholds his hand. 25 I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread. 26 He is ever lending generously, and his children become a blessing.

Friday, October 8, 2010

secure in God

 The Lord delights over his children. He is happy when you know Him and follow His ways. He longs to save you, to restore you to sonship. If you are a Christian, your hope is secure in Jesus. If you are not, His gift of love is extended to you, for free.

Zephaniah 3:17 The Lord your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

meditation

Where does your mind go when you are not thinking about anything much?  Are you thinking negative thoughts about your self, or how you've been wronged or hurt?  Do you dwell on how you can be more productive in the day or think about your to do list?  Instead of thinking about last night's tv show or tonight's dinner, focus your thoughts on the things God would have you (and me) dwell.

Phil. 4:Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

in the secret

Are you meeting with God in secret? Seek the Lord and do what he says secretly.  While I know that we are commanded to share our faith publicly, we are also to maintain a secret, sacred relationship with the Lord as well.


Matt.6:1 “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. 2 “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. 5 “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
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