Thursday, January 19, 2017

Ezra-God Has Not Forgotten You

Last week I visited a new church and was pulled into the pastor's sermon right away.

I'd like to share a bit of how it affected me. In Ezra, God told the Israelites to return to Judah and rebuild His temple. He said go, and they went.

Tim and I were shocked this fall when we heard God calling us to South Carolina. We were true emptynesters an life was good. After much prayer and discernment, Tim took the job and moved to South Carolina to begin his work.

I'm still in Kentucky at this time waiting on our home to sell.

When God's people got to Judah they struggled to rebuild what had been destroyed. Ezra declared God had not forgotten them.

I needed to hear that because sometimes I feel like God has forgotten me. I know He hasn't though.

Tim has used his time to fully immerse himself into his new job. He's spent time with residents and employees and worked long hours. I've used this time to study for the exam I need to take to become a pharmacist in SC. Last Sunday night I discovered, by the grace of God, I passed. My next hurdle was to meet with the board of pharmacy for an interview. I learned this happens once a month, and last Friday was the day. So I caught a flight and met with them on Friday, January 13. When I left the meeting, I was licensed to practice pharmacy in South Carolina.

During this time, a family has shown interest in our home and looked at it twice. I don't know if they'll buy it, but I do know God has not forgotten me.

If you feel lost or forgotten, please believe me. God has not forgotten you.

I don't know why I'm still in Kentucky, and I don't know what your struggle is. But I believe Romans 8:28. And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Believing God at the Beach

I looked up the word believe in Merriam-Webster and here's what I found.

intransitive verb

to have a firm religious faith
to accept something as true, genuine, or real (ideals we believe in)
to have a firm conviction as to the goodness, efficacy, or ability of something (believe in exercise)
to hold an opinion : think
transitive verb

to consider to be true or honest
to accept the word or evidence of
to hold as an opinion : suppose

(These beach pictures were taken in Maine.)

I believe in God, and I believe God. I think one of the reasons I love the beach is it draws me closer to God. I can sit and watch the ocean. It's easy to see how people used to believe the world was flat. I look out and the water goes on as far as I can see. The waves come crashing onto the shore, and I see God's mighty strength and beauty.

Then as I walk along the shore and pick up shells, I see how much he cares for little sea creatures. He one has a little shell it wears for a time. God didn't have to make the shells so beautiful, but He did.

Maybe because of the wonder of God's awesomeness, I stop and absorb how amazing God is. And I think we all need times and places where we can stop and think about our amazing God.

In chapter one of James we read, "6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind." NIV

Where do you feel closest to God?

Monday, January 2, 2017

Time Management

One of my goals for 2017 is to manage my time better.

Driving back from South Carolina I talked to Scott about time management goals.

I'm most creative in the mornings, so anything I can do the night before when I'm less creative will make better use of my time. I can lay out my clothes the night before. I can also lay out items to make preparing breakfast quicker and even supplies to make my lunch for work.

Scott told me he never hits the snooze button on his alarm and stretching gives him more energy. I'm still trying to come to grips with never hitting the snooze button. Maybe stretching will come.

Scott also shared that if he's in charge of preparing dinner, he washes dishes as he goes along. While the meat is on the grill, he'll wash the dishes he's already gotten dirty. When they finish dinner there's less time wasted cleaning up.

I love to listen to music, but certain songs distract me from my writing. I need to work with no music or play instrumental CDs that won't interrupt my concentration.

Also, if I'm stuck, it's good to move around for a few minutes and come back. This year when I get mentally blocked, I'll take the dog out for a short walk.

What about healthy eating? Are you more productive when you eat healthy foods? I think I work better if I don't eat high fat foods.

What about you? Do you have any tips to share?

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Happy 2017!

Changes are coming in 2017! I'll tell you more soon. Until then, happy new year!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas Traditions by LeAnne Bristow

Christmas Traditions

I admit, when Jackie asked me to write a post on my favorite Christmas traditions, I was a little stumped. After all, I once wrote a blog for my own website about my complete lack of traditions. It’s not that I have anything against them. They are grand and beautiful and I get really jealous when people post about their wonderful traditions. I just needed to rethink my idea about traditions.
The large family I grew up in was rich in traditions and I looked forward to sharing them with my own family. When my children were young, I had preconceived ideas about what my family should do at Christmas. Of course, they were in direct opposition to what my husband thought. So most of my attempts to start something new were met with half-hearted enthusiasm and eventually died. Attending Christmas Eve service. Nope. Conflicted with the hubby’s family plans and I ended up attending alone. I had to settle for reading the Christmas story to the kids before tucking them into bed. Until they decided they were too big to be read to. Another tradition gone bust. It seemed everything I tried failed.
I told myself that it was fine. I didn’t need any fancy traditions each Christmas to feel like a family. Then this year, something marvelous happened. I discovered that the best traditions are the ones that are born, not forced, and that I’d unintentionally started my own unique family traditions.

I got home from work one night and my husband and daughter had bought a Christmas tree and were waiting for me to get home to decorate it. My daughter was eager to share our tradition of decorating the tree with her own daughter. I’m sure everyone has a certain order to put up decorations, but to my kids, these are hard and fast rules. First you put on the lights. Then the garland. Then the store bought ornaments and last the handmade ornaments. Only certain ones made the cut to be put on the tree. Each item was discussed and remembered and placed in certain spots. I never realized that my own pickiness about where to hang an ornament had become a tradition to my children. Last, of course, came the annual argument over star or angel. We have both and each year they argue over which one goes on top. Some years it’s the angel. This year, the star won out, so my angel gets to sit on the shelf.

For years it bothered me that I didn’t have a nativity set. My grandmother had a very old nativity and it was the first thing we put out when we decorated for Christmas. I must have complained about it every year because one year, my oldest daughter bought me one with her allowance. One of the wise men has disappeared, but it is still one of my most treasured decorations.

There are other decorations that my kids remember as fondly as I remember my grandmother’s. My Christmas music box. The wreath my aunt crocheted for me when I went to college. The miniature Santa Claus figurines that hung on my husband’s tiny Christmas tree when he was in the Army and serving in the Gulf War. Each item is full of memories for my family. Isn’t that what really makes a tradition?
Of course, the biggest and most consistent tradition in my home at Christmas is my amazing ability to procrastinate until Christmas Eve. I’ve never been one for shopping all year and you won’t catch me within five miles of any store on Black Friday. More than once my children have unwrapped a box that contained nothing but a picture of the present that would arrive the next week because their mother couldn’t remember to order it on time.
This year my granddaughter is a year and half and I actually bought a few Christmas presents already. And I can’t to snuggle her in my lap and read her the Christmas story. Maybe I can get her to go to Christmas Eve service???

So here’s to traditions, new and old. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas and may the New Year bring many blessings.

**Thanks so much, LeAnne or sharing with us and Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 12, 2016

An American Success Story- Brahms Mount

Brahms Mount is an American success story, and I visited their store in Maine. They started in 1983 weaving their way into peoples homes and hearts. They create "premium cotton, linen and wool blankets, throws and towels."

I saw spools of threads of many beautiful colors.

My grandmother Lutz was a weaver, and I still have a few afghans, placemats, and a rug she wove. When I was young, she taught me how to weave. It was so much fun going back and forth and pulling the paddle forward before starting the next row. It was fascinating to see how she prepared the loom and finished off the projects.

Brahms Mount had a loom that brought back man happy memories.

Brahms Mount has many beautiful products for sale in their peaceful, light-filled store. You can also special order products.

The items at Brahms Mount will make gifts for others more special and will add grace and warmth to any home.

Brahms Mount didn't ask me to promote them, but they are an amazing American company. With Christmas around the corner, I wanted to ask you to consider Brahms Mount.

Friday, December 9, 2016

The First Noel by Chris Young & Brad Paisley

We hear the word Noel around this time every year. I thought it referred to Jesus' birth, but I decided to look the word up and I went to Merriam-Webster dictionary. They said it means a Christmas carol or if it's written with a capital N, it means Christmas. Merriam-Webster goes on to say:

English speakers borrowed the word noel from French. It can be traced further back to the Latin word natalis, which can mean "birthday" as a noun or "of or relating to birth" as an adjective. (The English adjective natal has the same meaning and is also an offspring of natalis.). Noels were being sung in Latin or French for centuries before the word found its way into our language in the 1800s. The earliest known musical use of noel occurred in the text of a Christmas motet called "Nova vobis gaudia," which was written in the 1400s.

I hope you have a moment to enjoy The First Noel performed by Chris Young and Brad Paisley.