Saturday, December 24, 2022

Dropping In For A Moment


Like a vast majority of us, we are in the deep freeze!  Jack Frost has been working overtime.  : )

I just wanted to drop by quickly and wish all of you a Merry Christmas!  Even with all the crazy stuff going on in the world and the sadness we can feel at this time of year, we can be joyful in knowing that Jesus is still on His throne in Heaven and He loves us.  He was willing to come to earth and take on human flesh as a baby, and then die for our sins. He was raised to life again and is now sitting at the right hand of God the Father waiting for the time when the Father will tell him to come back and take us (those who believe) from this crazy world to be with him forever.  If nothing else this weekend, I pray that you will remember that and that it will give you peace and comfort.  One day, the craziness and evil that we now experience will be gone and Jesus will rule and reign over the earth for those who believe in Him.  THAT is good news of great JOY!  : )

Since tomorrow is the first day of Christmas, I wanted to give you 12 ideas (for the 12 days of Christmas) that maybe you can incorporate into your family/friends (or do them on your own!) get-togethers.  I think we all feel like it's Christmas Eve and Day and then it's over, but I love doing the 12 days of Christmas to spread things out and enjoy this time further.

*Do a "chill-out" day - sleep in late, grab your favorite hot beverage, read a book, take a nap.........

*Have a special meal out - with all the cooking and baking and cleaning and........sitting down at a favorite restaurant can be a treat

*Have a fire night - of course not when it's 20 below, but if it's at least freezing temps or above, it can be fun to bundle up and get that fire going!  Roast marshmallows, sip a hot beverage.........

*Go skating or sledding - again, the temperatures have to moderate a bit for this, but take the kids and do this.  If you don't have kids, borrow some!!!  LOL

*Movie night - is there a Christmas movie you forgot to watch or didn't have time to watch?  Do it now.

*Game night - gather some family/friends and play games.  It gets us out of the post-Christmas blues we kind of find ourselves in.

*Hobby day - pull out the painting, the sewing, the stitching, the woodworking, the puzzles......anything that provides joy and do it!  The whole day!

*Leftovers night - take all those leftovers and make a buffet out of them.  Reheat, or make over into something entirely different.  Maybe invite others to bring THEIR leftovers and have a feast!

*Giving to others - go through your pantry and to give to the food shelf.  Remove snow for a neighbor.  Write a check to a favorite charity.  Thinking of others when sad, lonely, depressed can help tremendously.

*Plan for the New Year ahead - I'm not one to make resolutions, but I do love to plan.  Planning those gardens for the Spring/Summer, planning on ways to be more frugal, planning meals and going through cookbooks for new ideas and inspiration, filling out the new calendars, planning any getaways.  All of these are so inspiring and can actually help to make us look forward to things

*Start something new.  Is there anything that you have an interest in but haven't jumped in to do it?  Think of what that might be.  Learn a new hobby?  A new language?

*Have a "quiet time" day - I know this is very hard for some people, but unplugging from the news, the tv, the computer, the phone.....if only for a day!  Spend some time in God's word.  Meditate on it.  Write things down as they come to you.  Begin a daily devotional and journal.

I hope these ideas will inspire and motivate and get you to feel like Christmas is not a "one and done" holiday!!!!  Have fun with this.  Do everything listed or take just a couple that sounds like something you would want to do.  

Again.......I wish you all a VERY Merry Christmas!  God loves you so much.  : )


Sunday, December 18, 2022

Sunday Evening - A Devotion to Begin the Christmas Week


Hello!  I hope this finds all of you doing okay, taking a deep breath, and anticipating your preparations for Christmas.  Personally, preparing my heart for it all is of utmost importance.  I have been thoroughly enjoying my early mornings, in the dark (except for the lights of the tree and a small lamp so I can read) and spending time with the Lord.  Reading the Bible, thanking Him, and praying for others and our little family brings me tidings of great joy!  Even though some of the things that I'm praying are very difficult, I've learned to sit at the feet of God and pour them out.  God Immanuel - knowing that He is in the very room I'm sitting in.  Knowing that He is hearing me and listening brings this weary soul a hope that I cannot find anywhere else. 

This devotion is from the same book that I wrote from last Monday, so I hope it will encourage you and give you something to think about as we begin another week.

"In the monastery Martin Luther had come to the end of himself.  He had despaired of salvation by his own hand.  But by the grace of God he did not give up his longing and his hope.  He directed his attention to the one place he hoped to find help - the Bible.  God prepared Luther to see the true meaning of Christ and accept it, by stirring up a deep and powerful longing in his heart for consolation and redemption that could come only from Christ.  And this is what God does again and again.  He may be doing it for you in this Advent season - graciously and tenderly frustrating you with life that is not centered on Christ and filling you with longings and desires that can't find their satisfaction in what this world offers, but only in the God-man.  What a Christmas gift that might be!  Let all your frustrations with this world throw you onto the Word of God.  It will become sweet - like walking into paradise."

One thing that has been helping me tremendously is listening to music.  Christ-centered music.  If you have not yet seen the Parkside Church Christmas concert, I highly recommend it.  Just go on-line and you'll find it and you will not be disappointed.  I think I've watched it 3 or 4 times already.  Some of the songs they sing makes me cry and I've said this before.........crying is okay!  If something touches your heart, it sometimes comes out in tears.  Tears cleanse and the Holy Spirit uses that to soften us.  I hope you can experience that softening this week when it can be a tiring, expensive, and frustrating week.  May you find a calm and "peace that surpasses all understanding".  

God bless. 


Friday, December 16, 2022

A Few Gift Giving Ideas


A little beauty.  : )

I know that I always appreciate it when someone tells me about gift-giving ideas, so I thought I would share a few with you.  I wouldn't doubt that I have shared these already in past Christmas posts, but I'll post them again!!!

These are gifts that are quick and easy to put together and most of them are food related.  And please know that it's okay to use store-bought food - it doesn't always have to be homemade.  This is also a good way to use things from your pantry (a very good reason to have a pantry is to be able to share!)

Here's what I have for you:

*Gift Basket #1 - Jarred pasta sauce, box of pasta, bottle of sparkling cider, a quick-bread mix, and some dark chocolate

*Gift Basket #2 - Taco shells (hard shells), seasoning packet, jarred salsa, jarred sauce, bag of tortilla chips, fun soda, tin of cookies

*Gift Basket #3 - Bag of coffee, dry coffee creamer, sugar packets, tin of cookies

*Gift Basket #4 - Box of teas, jarred honey, a pretty spoon, tin of cookies

*Gift Basket #5 - Jar of hot cocoa mix, bag of marshmallows, candy canes

*Gift Basket #6 - Box of pancake mix, jar of syrup, jar of preserves, bag of coffee or box of teas

*Gift Basket #7 - Bag of unpopped popcorn, box of raisins, jar of peanuts, package of dried fruit, fun soda

*Gift Basket #8 - Bag of flour, bag of sugar, box of baking powder and soda, vanilla extract along with a favorite recipe and then add any extras like chocolate chips, raisins, molasses, etc........

*Gift Basket #9 - Nice dish soap, pretty dish rag and towel, sponges, scrubber, hand lotion

And then these are Mason jar gifts - very easy, but fun to receive!  In a quart jar add:

*Chex mix

*Pancake/Waffle mix

*Brownie mix

*Homemade Hamburger Helper

*Spiced Nuts

*Variety of teas


*Chocolate covered pretzels

*Cookie mix

*Cocoa mix

*Spiced Tea mix

*Layers of cookies

*Homemade candy

*Craft items - small scissors, thread, needles, floss, etc..........

*Unpopped popcorn

*The ideas are many!!!!!!!!!!!!!

For the mixes that need a recipe, be sure to include the recipe and directions!

There.  That's all I have.  Now that we are definitely in the countdown to Christmas, these kinds of gifts really come in handy.  Have fun with them and show your creativity and love for each gift you make.

God bless!!!!!!!


Monday, December 12, 2022

Monday Evening - A Christmas Devotion


From our house to yours.  : )

What I am about to give you is one of the daily devotions for Advent.  It's something I needed to hear and wanted to share it with you as well.  I'm sorry that I don't know who wrote it.  It was originally a book that I tore pages from years ago and put into individual envelopes to open up daily (one for each day of December).  Here it goes:

"Christ came to prove that God tells the truth, that God keeps his promises.  Christmas means that God can be trusted.  This is part of the blessing that he brings - and that he offers you in this Advent season.  It is a blessing because where it is forsaken, moral and spiritual life disintegrates.  The foundation of moral life is God's truthfulness.  A society that forsakes the centrality of the absolute truthfulness of God forsakes the foundation of truth, the foundation of morality, and the foundation of beauty.  Christmas is the reassertion of the foundation of all truth and goodness and beauty, because Christmas means:  God is truthful.  God's truthfulness is the constant in a universe of flux.  God's truthfulness is the unwavering absolute.  If we forsake God's truthfulness, the anchor is up, the rudder is loose, the keel is broken, and the ship of life (political life, social life, educational life, scientific life, family life) is simply at the mercy of the wind of human wishes.  So I say it with all my heart: demonstrating the truthfulness of God is a great blessing.  Give that blessing to your children.  Say to the next generation time and time again:  God is truthful; God keeps his word; God does not lie; God can be trusted!  That's one blessing of Advent.  Receive it as a wonderful Christmas gift, and give it to as many people as you can."

I don't know about you, but like I said, I needed to read this.  In a world where truth is whatever you want it to be, we have God who is absolute truth and anything that goes against what he says is a lie and we are to flee from it.  Let this sink into your soul.  Let this calm you down.  Let this lift your spirits.  Let this motivate you.  This frees us!  We can be courageous and bold for Jesus and that helps this Christmas season to become personal not commercial.  Jesus was with God in the beginning and he will come back in the end.  All of a sudden we don't look inward and wonder if we're good enough when we feel we don't measure up.  All of a sudden we don't look around us and become fearful of circumstances that seem out of control.  All of a sudden we can look up and KNOW that God is faithful, God is truthful, God can be trusted, and God is with us every moment of the day.  What a comfort.  What a joy.  Our weary world truly can rejoice in this.