Monday, November 30, 2020

weekending and Hello Monday

 


Happy Monday, friends! I missed writing blog posts so much last week that I wrote one Saturday night while my hubby watched football. Check it out, if you haven't already, it's the post right below this one and a link-up I've never participated in before, called Four Somethings. Today I am linking up with Tanya from The Other Side of the Road for this Hello Monday blog post. 

Friends, I have watched ALL THE HALLMARK CHRISTMAS movies lately! I definitely have some favorites, so I thought I'd share them with you. I'll list them below.

Never Kiss a Man in a Christmas Sweater

Christmas with the Darlings

Five Star Christmas

Cranberry Christmas

The Christmas Bow

The Angel Tree

A Godwink Christmas (third movie in the series)

One Royal Holiday

Christmas in Vienna

A Timeless Christmas

In my humble opinion, these are all the best ones, so if you haven't seen them, set your DVR to record them! There are more, but these are the ones I loved the most. I've been watching one or two of these a day and for a few days when I didn't feel good, I watched movies all day long. It made being under the weather more manageable, but now that I feel better I'll probably go back to watching one a day. (I like to eat lunch while watching a movie.)

A week ago, we had our flower beds landscaped—I just never posted on the blog last week, so I thought I'd share this today. I love the variety of flowers and textures our friend picked out for us and I look forward to seeing these grow over the years to come. (The two beds in front of the house are just alike and the one on the right side of the house is lined with hydrangeas.) These are azaleas (the kind that bloom a few times a year), miniature boxwoods, hostas, pansies, some type of monkey grass and some purple-leafed plants along the back of the beds against the house. I don't know a lot about flowers and don't know the real names.


I have been loving where I've been reading lately in the Bible. I'm in 2 Corinthians in my chronological Bible reading plan and I've also been loving where I've been reading for the Scripture writing plan I write from every day. Speaking of that—


The plan for December is up, thanks to Shannon from Sweet Blessings. This is the perfect way to end out a hard year—would you care to join me in this for the month of December? I love the theme of the plan this month. My favorite thing to do at this time of year is to sit in the living room and spend quality time with Jesus by the light of the Christmas tree. 

Just call me Mrs. Christmas. I feel like I spend eleven months of the year looking forward to this last month, my favorite month, and my birth month. All month long I dress neutral so that I can wear Christmas jewelry, like the light up necklace my best friend gave to me last year and all the Christmas earrings I bought off of Amazon last year. I also tend to lean toward red lipstick for the whole season, when all the other months I wear a neutral color for lipstick. 

Our decked out home is also one of my favorite things of all, and I still love our old windows Todd hung for me a couple of weeks ago. 


Every room gets some Christmas attention. My bedroom is my favorite, though, thanks to the lights, the Santa picture my mom and stepdad made for us last year and the plaid blanket my sister Trish gave to us years ago. I'll do a holiday version of Come On In in the next few days to show you all the Christmas decorations I have this year. I love to decorate and to make things pretty, but I also consider myself to be a cozy minimalist (look it up, it's a thing), so I don't want things overdone. I want our home to feel warm and inviting for all who enter, but more than anything, I want people to feel the love of Jesus when they come into our home. That is my prayer for our home and for our family and maybe that's why I love this season so much—to me, all the twinkling lights represent Jesus, the light of the world. 

And also, people are just a lot nicer at this time of year and more at this time of year than any other, those of us who are believers have a real opportunity to minister to someone who doesn't know Jesus. 


I was bored a few nights ago and not interested in the show my husband was watching, so I made these photo collages to show off my handsome sons. They never let me take their picture anymore, so I had to hunt for these. Noah is the only one who will ever let me take his picture and offer to pose with me. 


I came across this the other day and loved it so much—it's so true. We make time or room for everything in life these days, but do we do that same thing for Jesus? It's pretty humbling, when you sit and think about this for a few minutes. 


This was me a couple of days ago, watching a movie on my laptop with these headphones while Todd watched football. Am I a smart girl, or what? I don't know why I haven't done this before now! I took this picture and sent it to my best friend.


Lately, Callie our German Shepherd has been living her best life while lounging on the Christmas pillows. She cracks me up doing this. Isn't she pretty? 

Well, that's about all I've got for this weekending post, though it wasn't just about the weekend. I feel like we're all caught up again. Be sure to come back tomorrow—I'm hosting a link-up to talk about favorite traditions and memories, and I'd love for you to join me.

Thanks for reading my blog! Love to all. 

Saturday, November 28, 2020

four somethings (November) link-up

 


Hello again! I didn't mean to take a break from blogging last week, but sometimes that is just how life goes. I missed writing blog posts last week and connecting with the friends I've met through the blog world. That being said, I thought I'd join in this link-up for the first time. I am linking up with Heather for this weekend blog post.

The four somethings are something loved, something read, something treasured, and something ahead. Here are mine from the month of November.

Something loved:

Even though today is November 28th, I've been listening to Christmas music since the first of November. All of the months ending in 'ber' are my favorite, so I take full advantage of every one of them. Christmas everything is also my favorite, especially the music. There is one song that I love right now, called Heaven Everywhere by Francesca Battistelli. 

Here is a link to the song. Listen to the lyrics—they are profound, especially in a year such as the one we are closing out right now. (If that link doesn't work, just type the name of the song and her name into the search bar on YouTube.) The whole album is my current favorite, even though it's not new. I also love the album Adore by Chris Tomlin, because of how worshipful it is and These Christmas Lights by Matt Redman. Christmas worship music is music that I love the most. If you're on Spotify, you should follow me there. My name is ALLBOYS-US and I just made a new playlist called Christmas 2020. My worship 2020 playlist is also really good. (My profile is public.)

Something read:

I read several books this month, but the ones I loved took me by surprise. I read the Winter Street series by Elin Hilderbrand. This surprised me because even though I want to love her books, I usually don't. She doesn't give chapter breaks in her books, which makes me crazy, but with these delightful books the break occurs when the person telling the story changes. For instance, these books are all about the same family, and each family member has his or her turn in telling the story. They were so good! All of her books are set on Nantucket, and now I want to go there.

I also read Marry Me at Christmas by Susan Mallery.

Something treasured:

My most treasured thing are the boys in this picture above. Left to right are Drew, Noah, Jonah and Graham. This picture was taken about ten years ago, when we had gone to visit Santa Clause, and they were goofing off for my picture taking. Our memories are so wonderful and priceless, gifts from the Lord Jesus, and I won't ever take them for granted. I know so many who have lost loved ones, who now have a part of their heart residing in Heaven, where their children are now—and my heart goes out to them. I never want to seem insensitive to the hurting world around me, so know that when I say this, I mean it—I pray the Lord will comfort them like only He can. 

Nowadays my guys look a little different....


...but they'll always seem like they should be this age. In this picture above left to right are Graham, Noah, Jonah and Drew. Today Graham is 21, Drew is 20, Jonah and Noah are 17 and seniors in high school. Those days of their childhood flew right by. 

Something ahead:



Don't mind me, friends. I'll just be getting all cozy and Christmasy in the days and weeks ahead. My favorite thing to do at this time of year is to sit and spend time with Jesus in the living room, by the light of the Christmas tree. It just seems more special when I sit and have that to look at in the background. Did I mention that this is my favorite time of year? I am here for every second of the Christmas season of 2020. 

Thank you for reading my blog! This was a fun post to write—I hope you enjoyed reading along. Love to all. 

Thursday, November 19, 2020

thankful Thursday, third edition


Happy Thursday, friends! I have much to be thankful for, this week before Thanksgiving. 

I am so thankful for the fact that our church was OPEN for us to attend Bible study on campus this semester. We ended our study of Hosea last night and it was so bittersweet, as it always is when I end one study.

I am so thankful for time with friends, both new and old. I've gotten to know several new friends since August, and I will miss our study time together. Each semester, the small groups never look quite the same. 

I am thankful for answered prayer and that the Lord hears every thing we ask. Just yesterday, I was a little nervous going into a lunch meeting with my friend Amy as we went through suggested edits on my portion of our next Bible study. I am never sure how I am going to take the suggestions the editor makes, so all week long I've been praying that the Lord would give me a soft and teachable heart. I asked my best friend to help me pray for this, so I know she's been doing that. I was so glad that we made it through today pretty effortlessly, and I loved most of what he recommended and we went with almost all of them. We had a question about a couple of things and are waiting to hear back before making a change or deciding to leave it as is.

I am so thankful for my husband. He is such a great man, a wonderful husband and an even better dad to our sons. Show me some good young men and I will always point out their dad.

I am so thankful for the weeks when I have days at HOME. I am such a homebody and when I'm so busy that I don't have one full day at home, know that I'm close to my breaking point. I recharge by being at home, especially when I'm (mostly) alone. I don't remember ever being this introverted before, but the older I get and the more I do, the more I need a day to myself to be at home.

I am also thankful for time with my husband. He's been home and feeling a little sick this week (thanks to Memphis weather and sinus issues), so we've had time together in the daytime to talk and to watch tv shows together. It almost made me miss our time of being quarantined and at home all day/everyday together. (Notice I said one little and very important word—almost.)

I'll wrap this post up with this last one. I love taking the time to be intentional with thanking God. I want to be faithful to Him in the big things in life, and in the small things, like these listed above. He is the giver of every good and perfect gift, His Word tells us in James 1:17, so I always want to give Him the glory.

Thanks for reading, friends. Love to all. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

looking ahead/Wednesday Women in the Word


Happy Wednesday, friends! I thought I'd share about reading the Bible for today's post, especially because we are drawing near to the end of this year. Each year around this time, I start looking ahead to what the next year might bring. I think all of us can say that this time last year, none of us thought we'd be where we are today, am I right? Regardless of what is to come, I always start around this time to make plans for my Bible reading plan for the next year.

Over the years, I've done many plans. I've read through chronologically several times and am finishing that out right now, I've done just the Old Testament, just the New Testament and I've done plans where I just go from month to month, like Proverbs with the 31 chapters for the 31 days. 

The goal in doing this is simple: I have to be in the Word of God every single day. I must, I really cannot let hardly one day go by without reading in the Bible. The purpose for reading the Bible for me is to look more like Jesus with each day that goes by, but it's also my instruction book on how to live my life. For instance, this morning as I was reading in 1 Thessalonians, I read in chapter five some very practical things that I can put into daily practice, things like regarding others highly in love, comforting the discouraged, helping the weak, being patient. I don't know about you, but I could definitely use more advice like that. 

I've already started thinking about what I'll do next year and I'm leaning toward going really slowly through some books in the Bible, one or two chapters a day and then journaling about what I'm learning using the H.E.A.R. method: Highlight something that stands out, Explain what it means in my own words and maybe even study up on it using Blue Letter Bible, Applying it to my life in a practical way, Responding in prayer to the Lord. I love to journal as I read, it helps me pay attention and I love to look back on what the Lord showed me. 

There are several books I want to do this with: Genesis, Joshua, Judges, Nehemiah, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Isaiah...I could go on, but you get the drift. I see myself in the Old Testament more than the new, but I could also change my mind between now and then.

I plan on keeping up with the Scripture writing thing and don't ever see myself stopping with that. I have so many plans saved and printed out, if Shannon from Sweet Blessings ever stops, I'll have those to keep on going. Or I could make my own, which I've done before. I do have several books of the Bible written out, from old Bible studies: James, 1 and 2 Timothy, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, a lot of Hosea and a lot of Philippians. The more I write the Word of God, the more I remember the Word of God. I'll never grow tired of that part of my quiet time each morning.

I'll also continue on with studying the Bible. 


I shared this picture yesterday on Instagram, because I finished going through this Bible study for the second time in about six months, once when we were writing it and editing and again from August until today, as I led small groups of ladies through the study. I shared this yesterday, but while we were studying and writing this, I never dreamed it would be so relevant for this present day in time. It is always bittersweet to finish another Bible study, particularly this "baby" of ours that I studied for and helped labor over. I feel like we prayed and poured over every single word that was written and in the process of all that, we prayed for the women who would study this with us at some point, either now or in the future. 

Our next study is already written and in the process of being edited. I'm happy to tell you that we wrote a study on the book of Philippians. We will start that on Wednesday January 27 and it will go for about nine weeks. We're praying through which book to write on after Philippians, and some ideas have been tossed around between us all, so I'll be glad to hear when a decision has been reached. As we write and study, we'll be digging in really deep to the Word of God and learning as much as we're able to in the time before we write. I love doing this and going through the whole writing process, but it all starts with prayer.

These are things I will always be doing and I pray that I inspire others to consider their own walk with Jesus by making a life with Him look appealing. 

Have you considered what you'll be reading next year yet? More than any self-help or fictional book, this is something worth considering. Reading God's Word is one of the best and most important things we can ever do. And if you're in need of some things to do or resources for your quiet time, join along with me! I'd love to hear about that, if you decide to do so. It helps to know that silly little things I write about are something God uses in the lives of other people, and we all need affirmation every once in a while.

I'd also just love to hear what you'll be doing in 2021. 

Thanks for reading my blog, friends. Love to all. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

a day in the life

 


I haven't done a day in the life type post in ages, so I thought I'd do one now that all my sons are grown up. Life looks WAY different these days, but I'm not complaining. I love their ages right now and of course I love them all, but I genuinely like them all as well. They're really cool guys and I'll keep them around for another few years. 

I was up at six today, drinking coffee and sitting down at 6:30. I turned on the channel 5 news for thirty minutes and checked emails and read blogs. When it's 7:00, I turned the tv to my Spotify and played the JJ Heller Christmas album while I finished reading blogs.

I got up to make lunches and to go coffees for my people, something I do everyday, because my husband needs to not skip lunch. If I don't make him a lunch, he won't stop to eat, but if I do this, he will take the time to eat each day. Since I'm making one, it's not a big deal to make two. They each also take water and coffee to go.


I usually ask Graham if he wants a lunch, because sometimes he wants to go out and pick something up or to meet a friend for lunch if he's in a certain area of town. After I do all of this, I let the dogs out and feed them and then stay close by to give Crash all of his daily medicines/supplements. Then I sit and have quiet time at the kitchen table. 


I'm reading the Bible in a year, in chronological order and today I was in Acts and 1 Thessalonians. Also each day, I do Scripture writing. I spend time here each morning praying, as well and on Monday's I like to write out my weekly plans and dinner/blog ideas. 


I always tell the Lord in my Monday morning prayer that whatever I have planned is His and if He has another thing for me to do to make me willing to go along with His divine plan. I pray according to what Proverbs 16:9 says:

A person's heart plans his way, but the LORD determines his steps.

While I am having my quiet time, I always have the dryer going to fluff up whatever was left from the day before. After this time each day, I go upstairs with the dogs and a basket of laundry to fold. I brush my teeth and put moisturizer on, then make the bed, fold the clothes, do my makeup and get dressed. Sometimes I switch it up and will listen to a podcast, but usually I listen to worship music while I do all of this. I clear off all the clothes from the bed, clean up in the bathroom from makeup dust and go back downstairs. Yesterday I left and went on to Kroger. 


I love our bedroom and bedding, especially this time of year. On days when I walk on the treadmill, I do that after making my bed, then I'll shower afterwards. 

Back to yesterday—I went to Kroger, came home and unloaded and put everything away, then emptied the dishwasher. I had a protein shake for breakfast (filling and low in calories/carbs) and still wasn't hungry, so I sat down to read the last two chapters of the book I was reading. I picked another one to start, then was hungry enough to eat a small lunch, so I warmed up a bowl of roasted red pepper and tomato soup, then came in the living room to watch my movie of the day. (Every day I watch a Hallmark Christmas movie, thanks to 2020.)


(Above is my next read.)

When that was over, I let the dogs out again, got a small bowl of Christmas M&M's and a little glass of milk, played on social media for a few minutes, then sat down again to write this blog post. (If I don't schedule to publish these ahead of time, they won't get written, so I try to do this everyday.) I listened to Michael Buble's Christmas album on Spotify while I did this. The dogs cuddled on the couch beside me and people came and left. (You'll notice I won't mention the boys, because they're all upstairs doing their own thing. Jonah and Noah are responsible for all their own work each week, so they did that in the morning hours, then left to go help Todd with something. Drew works every morning from 7-9 and every afternoon from 3:15-6:15, unless school is out, then he is full time everyday. He is currently paused with his nursing school—but that is a whole other post for another day. Graham leaves everyday around the same time as Todd, depending on where he goes for the day. Some days he leaves sooner if he has to travel a bit more.) 

I got up to start working on dinner and getting things ready to go to my friend Shawn's house for Monday night Bible study at her house for high schoolers. I help out with the dinner each week, and also always shop for this on Monday when I do my own grocery shopping. I've found that way to be so much easier each week. Sometimes the dinners involve me cooking the food here first, but on this night it was tacos and all I had to add to it were lettuce, tomato, cheese and sour cream.

For my own family I made macaroni and cheese, a homemade version that is crazy good and filling enough to be a stand alone dish. During the time it was making, I ran through the downstairs with the swiffer duster and vacuumed the floors. I do these things everyday because of all of our dogs. I never want my house to smell or look like dogs live here, though it does happen occasionally when I let more than a day go between vacuuming. I did the upstairs version of this in the morning after I got dressed. Everyone else is responsible for their own rooms, I only do ours and our bathroom, but someone else usually cleans the bathtub for me.

I left for Shawn's at 5:35 and stayed long enough to get the food out and was home by 9:30, then came home and cleaned up the things that were left out from their dinner, refilled the K cup organizer and wiped off all the counters. I got a glass of chocolate milk and came into the living room for a few minutes to talk to my hubby, then went to bed and watched a show on Netflix. 

Other things I do everyday are mundane and routine, like cleaning all the countertops. Again, with all the dogs, things get hairy, so I do this everyday at least, sometimes multiple times in a day. I always do laundry everyday, otherwise it gets out of hand and I just wash all of our stuff in a big load each day. I get dressed everyday, even if I'm not going anywhere. I don't always do a normal makeup routine, but I do even put on makeup, because people are always in and out of our house. I always respond quickly to emails and texts, and I take the time to pray throughout my day. The Lord is always so sweet to drop a name into my thoughts, which I take as my cue to pray for them. I try to sit and read each day, but when Hallmark Christmas movies are on, I may not make that time. I keep the kitchen clean and things picked up, because I can't stand not to. I hate clutter, just ask my husband. Or Mom, it's her fault I'm like that. (I made myself laugh.) I also try to call someone everyday, so some days it's a parent or a sister, or some days it's a friend. Missy is the only one I talk to almost every single day. 

So that's my day in the life. It's not super exciting, I know, but such is life for the moment. If I haven't bored you to tears and you're still here, thanks for reading along! Love to all. 

Monday, November 16, 2020

weekending

 


Happy Monday, friends! I'm linking up with Tanya from The Other Side of the Road for this blog post.

I got my weekend started out by doing NOTHING. It was glorious. My dad didn't come over since we spent time together earlier in the week, so I caught up on Scripture writing, I did laundry, I took a very long shower and washed my hair and then let it air dry completely, then I watched Christmas movies. It was the perfect day. Missy came and picked me up at five something, then we went and grabbed some Mexican food for dinner and went grocery shopping for our church food drive. One hour and six carts later, we left and she brought me home. I changed clothes and watched a movie, then watched another one in bed. Like I said, it was glorious.

My mom and sisters came and picked me up early on Saturday so we could spend a couple more hours with her before she had to be at the airport. We ate a huge breakfast at West Street Diner in Germantown, went to one shop in the same area—More Than Words, then took her to the airport.

I still hate goodbyes! I got a little teary after she was gone.

After that I came home to find my hubby cleaning up two of our old windows that were taken off the house last year. I'd had an idea about them that I wanted to hang them on our stairwell wall, so after he cleaned them, he hung them for me and I love them! I love that they're our old windows, too. I'll keep them forever.

Todd and six boys raked the yards today. It was our four and two extra. He didn't even ask them, just they volunteered! They all went out for dinner, but he went and got us some sushi from our favorite local restaurant and we enjoyed an at home date night. 

The dogs were supervising. I sat out there for a while, then came in to change and vacuum all the German Shepherds up from the floor. I'm rolling my eyes.

After dinner we sat and watched The Voice, I worked on this week's blog posts, and we sipped on our coffee (him) and hot chocolate (me). The dogs were being all snuggly, the tree was lit, and the kitchen was cleaned. It was a lovely night at home.

I decided to watch church from home on Sunday, because to be honest, a lot of people I know right now have tested positive for Covid. I don't know how much I trust those rapid tests, but still. I've had some moments grappling with this and decided to just stay home and enjoy the service. I'm not scared of getting this, we've all been exposed to this who knows how many times, even by just going into the grocery store. But I've had a few moments this week, because my circle of friends who are healthy is getting a little smaller and smaller each week it seems.

I'm just trying to pray through it all. This is why I hate what the media has done to us—they've turned us into a bunch of paranoid fools. I'm not saying it's not real, I know it is and know several people who have had it and recovered. I'm just suggesting it's no more contagious than anything else going around, but most people recover from this! I know some who've had the long term version of the virus and who still struggle, but those cases are far less than the ones who've had the normal version that lasted a few days and recovered well.

I am just SO OVER IT ALL, and that my friends, is why I put up our Christmas early. I keep on just wanting to stay home. I know I will snap out of this, it's just that at the moment, I am on the struggle bus. It'll pass, it always does. Anyway, this was me summarizing and finishing up the sermon notes from my Pastor's message on Sunday. It was so good! 

Todd wasn't home long after church, because he worked with the sheriff's department. The boys were in and out all day, and I just did things around my house, Bible study homework, read my book and watched Netflix or Hallmark. I have no shame in any of this. 

So how was your weekend? I love it when mine are low key like this one. 

Thanks for reading my blog! Love to all. 

Friday, November 13, 2020

Friday Favorites

 


Happy Friday, friends! I'm linking up with Andrea from Momfessionals for this blog post. 

I thought I'd share some favorites from my busy week that went by lightning fast.

I spent some time here this week, at my favorite place from my childhood: home. My dad still lives here and his pine tree lined driveway is my favovite.

This is one of the best things, and my favorite thing that made me laugh, on the internet all week. My husband has a cousin who posts the best memes I have ever seen, and this was one she shared. I laughed for a very long time over this! Santa=Satan. 😂


I love reliving some of my favorite memories, like these pictures above. My dad, boys and I all used to attend the annual Veteran's day parade in downtown Memphis. One year the boys made these posters and ended up making the evening news. 


I am officially in the Christmas spirit and putting Dad's Christmas lights out on Saturday is one of my favorite ways to get in the mood! It was hard work this time around and it kicked my tail, but I know the result will be well worth the work it took.

One of my favorite cuties ever turned seventeen on Wednesday! He's the one on the right, my bonus son Alex. I love this kid so much.

This was me Wednesday night, waiting on my favorite ride to church to come and pick me up. Missy has been coming to get me each week for church because of car troubles for my twins. 


I found my favorite ice cream in the grocery store this week and bought two of these. I may be the only one who eats it, but it is so good! 


The fall foliage around town is my favorite. I may have mentioned a time or a hundred that fall is my favorite season. 

Other moments from the week that make the favorite list: 

Bible study is almost over! I cannot believe we're in the process of the second Bible study we've written as a team. Hosea was our first study and our next will start at the end of January, and it is on the book of Philippians. I can finally tell people what book it is and we're in the process of praying and deciding on what will come after Philippians in the fall of next year.

I spent a fun day with my mom and sisters on Thursday. Then I came home and started decorating for Christmas! I'll share some pictures after Thanksgiving. It all went up quickly, so I'm not sure how much will stay like it is and how much I'll change tomorrow and the days to come.

Hallmark Christmas movies are still my favorite and I'm still watching one a day. My favorite one from this week was Christmas with the Darlings. It was—well, darling.

I made the best dinner last night, a favorite from years past that I'd forgotten about: creamy chicken over rice with green beans. The chicken was covered in cream of chicken soup and a bottle of Olive Garden Italian dressing. It was so good! I am planning on eating leftovers of it for lunch today and for dinner tonight, I'll eat leftover taco soup. 

Well, I am going to hop off of here. Thanks for reading my blog and thanks for the comment love lately! I love seeing that comment button with numbers behind it. Love to all! 

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Thankful Thursday, second edition


 Happy Thursday, friends! I thought I'd share a few things I am grateful for this week.

First up is family. In six days worth of time, I have seen my in-love's, my dad and stepmom, my mom and stepdad, two of my sisters and one nephew. I will always be grateful for family and that we live so close by them. It's truly an honor to have family around, and I never want to take them for granted.

I have actually had the thought lately that I am thankful that I do NOT have a job. I've been thinking about getting a part time job lately, and while I still think I will do that over the summer or in the fall of next year when I no longer have high school students I'm homeschooling, for now I am free and able to help out wherever help is needed. 


Case in point: twice this week my sister and I have both been able to help our dad and stepmom out. We hung Christmas lights for them on Saturday and took them dinner a few nights this week.

(Please don't think I am boasting about this, I am not...I'm just glad to be able to help out with things like this every once in a while.)

I am also thankful that I am able to serve others in my time of not working outside of my home. For someone who is never busy, I've been keeping pretty busy lately. I am blessed to be a writer of Bible studies on a team  of awesome and godly women at my church, I help lead worship both at Bible study on Wednesdays and on Sundays on a praise team, I am able to pour into ladies who are younger than me for discipleship purposes every month and I help my friend with dinner every Monday night at her house as she hosts Bible study for high school students. She feeds their minds with the Word of God and I help fill their tummies with physical food. I am so glad the Lord gives me such opportunities to serve Him through serving others, the most important being my own family under the same roof as me.


I am thankful for the freedoms that we have in our country and for a chance to say thank you for an entire day. I am also thankful for memories and pictures like these when we attended the Veteran's day parade with my dad every year. 


I am thankful for the friends the Lord has given to each of my sons, for the bonus sons they all then become to me and to my husband. This one on the right in this picture above is Alex, and we've had the privilege of claiming him as our fifth son since he was about three or four years old. He is the best friend to my sons, the additional son I never knew I needed. When I say I love him like my own, I actually mean it—the Lord gave me one of the greatest blessings of my life the day He brought Alex to our neighborhood. I am so proud of him! (Yesterday was his seventeenth birthday.)

I am grateful for Wednesday night church, for small group ladies who are my newest friends that contribute so wonderfully to our discussion on homework each week and for sharing a ride with my best friend that then turns into Lenny's after church. I told her tonight, if we didn't do things like that, we'd never get the chance to catch up! We're both so busy all the time.

Well, I'll wrap it up with that last thought. Thanks for reading my blog! Love to all. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

women in the Word Wednesday

 


I was thinking about what to write for today's post and I immediately thought of the phrase, proceed with caution. You don't need me talking about this time we're living in today to know how things are going, but may I encourage and challenge you for the next few moments? 

Social media has so many great sides, but we all know there is a huge downfall to it right now, because everyone is always so quick to state their opinions. I keep on thinking of something I used to tell my boys when they were young: before you speak, THINK.

Is it True?

Is it Helpful?

Is it Inspiring?

Is it Necessary?

Is it Kind?

I know it's so tempting to always bite back really quickly, but as believers and followers of the Lord Jesus, we are to look differently than those around us who are unbelieving and we are to shine the light of Jesus. 

Do everything without grumbling and arguing, so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God who are faultless in a crooked and perverted generation, among whom you shine like stars in the world, by holding firm to the word of life. Philippians 2:14-16a

That certainly reiterates the fact that we are to point other people to Jesus. Our lives and characteristics should actually provoke people to jealousy to be like we are, to have what we have, as in the peace of Jesus. Isn't that interesting to think about? 

Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God's right hand.  Colossians 3:1

I love the verse above in the New Living Translation, perhaps because it seems to set things in perspective. In light of the reality of heaven, it helps to see what's important and what's not. And if it's not important in light of eternity? Let it go. 

What that looks like in my life is this: I don't really post about controversial things. I talk a lot about Jesus, so maybe that is controversial, but I stay away from current events and politics. Personally, I like for my social media to feel fun and lighthearted, with things thrown in to make people think about where they're going to spend eternity. I know that's just how I am, so I'm not saying that you should do the same thing. But it is worth thinking about what your posts are truly "saying" without actually using your speaking voice.

Right still needs to be stood up for and truth still needs to be spoken, so I'm not saying don't do those things—but just like before I speak sometimes I pray about it, maybe we should all do a little more of that. 

And somehow, in remembering all of this, we are all also to display all the fruits of the Spirit, if we are believers and followers of Jesus. In case you need a refresher, they are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. 

I know that our future is still uncertain and that everyone is losing their minds all over the Instgrams and the Facebooks, but stand firm and resist the temptation to spew off something you'll regret later. So, dear friends, in these rocky times, proceed with caution. I am cautiously optimistic that things will not always look like they look right now at this moment in time. I'm not saying things will look a whole lot better, but I'll take baby steps in that direction. 

In the meantime, I'll be praying as usual. I will pray for the light of Jesus to push back the dark, for strength to face whatever may come, for the love of Jesus to shine through those of us who know Him and that He will use these dark days to draw lost people to Him. If you know Jesus, I encourage you to do the same.

Thanks for reading. Love to all. 

weekending- my favorite moments

  Happy Monday! I hope you had a great weekend—mine was really good. Here are some of my top moments from the weekend. I read. A lot. I fini...