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"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house." Matthew 5:14-15

"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it." Matthew 13:45-46

Monday, November 29, 2010

Farewell to a Dear Friend

I received news a few moments ago that a dear friend from church died this morning. This dear 90-year-old woman was an inspiration to all who took the time to get to know her. Her battle with cancer ended as she breathed her last moment on this earth, and entered into Jesus' presence the next.

She taught me the importance of being able to laugh at yourself and not to take things so seriously all the time. She found the joy and laughter in life. She had a wonderful love for the Lord, and incredible sense of humor.

She remained at home throughout her last days, keeping her independence. She was the type of woman that I want to grow up emulating. Even though my heart is sorrowful with missing this dear woman, I can't help but rejoice she is no longer suffering. She is walking the streets of heaven and celebrating.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thankful for the Little Things

Yesterday my family spent Thanksgiving in Hershey with my Mom, brother, and his family. We had to eat in shifts since there were so many of us - eight grandchildren and five adults. While the kids were eating my mom asked each of her grandchildren to say what they are thankful for this year.

I have two nieces and a nephew that were adopted from Ethiopia a few years ago. The things they mentioned they were thankful for were things like: family, shelter, water, heat, electricity and clothes. It was a reminder to be grateful for all those little things we often take for granted. What are you thankful for this year?

Thanksgiving

We are on the eve of celebrating Thanksgiving tomorrow. This will be my first time to not prepare the meal for a number of years. We have been vacationing, so my mother offered to have us come to her this time. In about half an hour we’ll be reaching her home in Hershey. We’ve been on the road for over twelve hours, so we are looking forward to soon being able to stop for the night.

With having a week away from home, it has given me some new insight. It’s been a blessing to be away from the normal stresses and strains of life – to relax and have no commitments. I even took a week off from writing, until now. :) I guess I’m finally at the point where I needed to get some things down on paper.

As we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving tomorrow, I find I have many things to be thankful and grateful for in my life. I praise God for my Savior. I’m thankful for my husband, who is especially dear to me. I’m thankful for my sons.

There are many other things as well – like the pleasure in sitting down and reading a good book, enjoying lunch with a dear friend, or the joy in having time away to gain a better perspective of things.

As we celebrate all that God has done for us, I pray that you too will take time to count your blessings. When was the last time you thanked God for all He has done for you?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Two Week Hiatus

The remainder of November will be very busy for me and my family. I have several things to accomplish by the end of the month, so I've decided to take a two week hiatus, taking a break from blogging, email and Facebook. I'm looking forward to the break from technology! :)

Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Prayer Request

I wanted to share a prayer request this time. We have a dear friend from church who is 90 years old and has been suffering with cancer. I heard this evening she was doing poorly. We had been wanting to go see her, but things have been crazy and we put it off. Tonight I knew we needed to go see her, so we did.

It was very hard to see this dear woman so frail and a mere shadow of what she'd been. So if you read this I ask that you pray for her and her daughter who is working a full time job during the day and staying with her Mom in the evenings, taking care of her. I hate to see my friend suffer, but also hate to see her leave too. I know she'll be going to heaven, but death is never easy. Sigh!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Tis the Season

I love everything about Christmas - the cards, music, decorations, gifts, the food, the tree, and most important of all, the celebration of our Savior's birth. Our house usually has a mix of Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations in the month of November. A few Christmas things are beginning to make an appearance in our home. Today and this week my son and I will work at festooning our home with evidence of this winter holiday.

Today we have Christmas music playing and already made a batch of sugar cookies. Orange dreamsicle cookies are the next on the list. I even purchased my Christmas cards last week. Most years I hand stamp my own cards, but this year I am running behind schedule with trying to write and work on my novel and various assignments. (I usually would have them all made by now).

I figured I'll be able to work on my Christmas cards on the long car trip to Maine and back home again. I'll return home with something already accomplished for the holiday. If I get a few minutes, I'll also work on writing our family Christmas newsletter which we include in each of our cards.

For me, the Christmas season is a time for joy and celebration. I love sitting in the living room with all the lights off, except the Christmas tree lights. I huddle under a warm blanket, soft music plays in the background, as I sip a warm beverage. I love having quiet days with my family, basking in their presence, playing games, watching a movie (Lord of the Rings), and celebrating Jesus' birth. It's always wonderful if it snows too. 'Tis the season to prepare for Christmas.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Choosing to Walk in My Daddy's Footsteps

I've been thinking about the choices we make each day. Have you ever experienced a big snowfall where it is difficult to plow your way through the drifts? I remember when our boys were little, they would follow behind and walk in our footsteps, so it wasn't so difficult for their small legs. They were able to walk a further distance since they didn't tire out as easily when the path was already plodded for them.

How much better it would be if we followed this same philosophy. Our Heavenly Father has already provided and walked the path He has for us. We need to choose to walk and follow in His footsteps. We can decide to blaze our own trail, beating through the briers, thorns and weeds, perhaps sometimes straying to a path that may look easier to trod, or we can choose to be like Him. Which path are you choosing?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Joy!

I have been keeping a joy journal since late January. I often include it in my sidebar entitled Simple Joys. Even on the outside of my journal it says JOY. I found it at a craft store last Christmas. It is a reminder to look for how God moves or speaks to me throughout the day. Believe me, He's always there, it's whether or not we choose to be listening or filling our days with so many things, we can't hear Him.


Tonight I'm hosting my ladies Bible study group. We call ourselves Perfect Harmony. Whenever we are together, we experience joy. Even if one, or all of us are going through difficult times in our lives, somehow in the sharing and accountability we experience God's peace and presence. I always leave being blessed by our time in fellowship.

Joy has been a topic on my mind as of late. Perhaps because of experiencing freedom in being who God created me to be. I find myself humming and singing a lot throughout the day. For me that can be a diagnostic reading. The more joy I have, the more I hum and sing. Where are you on the 'joy meter' today?