Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Psalm 91/God Answers Even the Smallest Prayer

Psalm 91:14-16
Because he hath set his love upon Me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him My salvation.

On Sunday, our Pastor preached on Psalm 91. This is one of my favorite Psalms. It reminds me to be faithful so I can stay in (vs. 1) the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. What a wonderful place to be! Our Pastor talked about how this Psalm was written by Moses and the shadow probably refers to the area of the Israelite camp that the shadow of "the cloud by day". It also promises me protection and answered prayer.

God wants us to bring our requests to Him, even ones that may not seem that important. He tells us in James, "ye have not because ye ask not". So often, we try to do things on our own and then wonder why things don't turn out so good. I posted on Monday that I got my hair cut. I know that most people probably don't think too much about a haircut--it's just part of life. I was rather concerned, however that I would end up with a bad haircut--which in my world would mean, not so much that it looked ridiculous, but that I would have to spend time actually "doing" my hair. I prayed that God would give me the right beautician and hair cut that even I could make look decent. (I am missing the hair gene that allows you to know where to put the curling iron to achieve a "cute" hairstyle.) As I was waiting for my turn, both of the beauticians "on the clock" were busy and another one clocked in. Let's just say that we probably wouldn't have spoke quite the same language. I would have said "conservative" and she would have thought I only wanted three inches of my hair to stand on end instead of six inches. Thankfully, there was another lady in front of me and the next beautician that clocked in couldn't have been nicer and did a great job with what she had to work with. My hair cut is such that I can literally shake my head and it is done, or I can pull it back, or curl it if I feel brave! God answered my prayer and I am so thankful!

He has answered many prayers over the last month and even kept my family safe when we didn't know we needed to pray for safety! What a wonderful God we serve!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Garlic Bread Tip

Maybe I am a little slow, but I recently discovered this little shortcut to cleaning up the mess I typically make when making garlic bread. I lay out my aluminum foil on the counter, then cut my bread, butter it, sprinkle it with garlic powder, parmesan cheese, and parsley. The mess is on the aluminum foil instead of my counter and gets wrapped up with the bread!

For more tips and recipes, go to:
P.S. Sorry I didn't leave a topic on Tammy's recipes, apparently I need to learn how to do that, I am rather new at this!

Monday, December 29, 2008

In honor of Patty and Pam

This year one of the nurses I work with and my husband's aunt were diagnosed with cancer and had to under go chemotherapy and both lost their hair. My sister also had cancer as a child and lost her hair. Seeing these ladies lose their hair made me think about how we take simple things in our lives for granted. How often have I complained about my hair? I certainly wouldn't want to be without it, though. I have kept my hair long since college, mainly out of convenience. I decided that six months of longer than usual hair to get to the needed 10 inches and shorter hair for a bit would be a small sacrifice to make for someone to have a nice, real hair prosthesis. Locks of Love provides hair prostheses to children who have lost their hair--free of charge. A hair prosthesis can cost well over $1,000. You need to donate 10 inches in order for it to be used to make a prosthesis. They take hair that is colored or permed, but not if it is bleached. Apparently bleached hair dissolves in the process they put it through to make it into a prostesis. If you hair is shorter, they can sell the hair to offset their costs. To find out more information, you can visit their website at

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Lessons from Simeon and Anna

In Luke 2:25-38, we read the story of Simeon and Anna. They both served the Lord wholeheartedly for their whole life and we see them rewarded by God for their faithfulness in being allowed to see the Messiah before their death. I can't imagine the joy and peace this must have brought to them! They proclaimed to all who would listen of their Messiah's coming.

Simeon's Statement
Luke 2:34 And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against;35 (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.

As I read this statement, my heart was broken at the thought of how God left Heaven to come to earth and die for me and you. Also, can you imagine the pain Mary must have felt as she watched her first born hanging on the cross? She was called, not only to bear the Messiah, but also to watch His death. What joy she must have felt, though when He conquered death, giving us salvation and the way to eternal life!

This passage caused me to remember that God blesses those who serve Him, that I need to be a witness, and reminded me of our Savior's sacrifice to save our hearts from sin.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Snowy Fun...

What a North Carolina dog needs to play outside in Minnesota...

(What are these humans doing to me?--then they wonder why some less tolerant dogs bite them!!!)

WOW!!! What a blast, so that's what my human was up to, she wanted me to be able to PLAY in the cold, white stuff!!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Snow Tubing

My mom, sis, kids and I went snowtubing. It was quite an adventure. There is a rope on a pully system to pull you up the hill, which is WONDERFUL--walking up the hill more than once would have been pretty tough. The rope adds lots of adventure--you see, hanging onto the rope is nearly impossible with the gloves/mittens needed to avoid frostbite. You basically need to lay on the rope so that it is tight against the intertube and as soon as you do, off you go, which makes taking a kid with you a bit of a challenge. Unfortunately, I'm afraid I zoomed up the hill a couple times without the child! "Z" is quite tenacious and was amazingly able to hang on, even if he didn't get on the tube. One time he hung on to my boot, dragging in the snow the whole way up--he thought is was an adventure. My mom also went with us. She accidentally ended up going down the up, which was quite hilarious! I'm ashamed to admit it, but my sister and "K" had the record for the farthest stop coming down! I also learned that going down on my stomach with a child in the middle of my back lends new meaning to the phrase "snap, crackle, pop"! My stomach touched the snow through the middle of the intertube. We all had a great time and many laughs. We even managed to stay warm!

Snowy Fun

On Monday afternoon, my sister and four kids went to get a real Christmas tree. My sister lives in North Carolina, so we had been planning to go chop down our own tree for quite some time. Originally my husband was going to go with, but due to weather, we weren't able to go get it on Sunday when he could go. Not to be deterred, however, my sister and I decided that the two of us could conquer a tree--no problem. We went to the tree farm and there was one lone elderly gentleman there next to the ALREADY cut trees. I told him we wanted to cut our own. He looked at me like I was crazy. (Oh, yeah--it was about 10 below zero with a stiff wind) "Don't you just want to take one of these, it would be much easier, " he said. "No, we want to cut our own, can't we but our own?" "Well," he said, "you can, but it is awfully cold and there's no one to help you this late in the season." I asked the rest of my crew who were appalled that I would even for a second consider taking the easy way out and buying a precut tree. He also offered to let me cut one down right by the shed, but we wanted to trapes through the woods and find the "perfect" tree. I think I won him over though, and he was willing to let us go when he offered me a saw and I told him we had two in the van. He gave us directions to the main area to pick your own tree--about 1 1/2 miles away.

We left the only footprints in the 12+" of snow. My sister and the kids made snow angels. We found the "perfect" tree for us. We managed to get it home safely also!
Things I learned from our adventure:
  1. Trees appear much larger in your living room than they do outdoors!--We had about 1/2 inch to spare!
  2. Digital cameras are only good for about two pictures in subzero weather before they "freeze up"
  3. Bare fingers are only good for about two pictures in subzero weather before they "freeze up"--in the future I am going to put thin gloves under my thick ones!
  4. It is much more of a work out to find your tree in 12+inches of snow than in two inches!
  5. Sled dogs have a tough job--trying to pull something through snow is tougher than it looks!
  6. There is nothing like having a Christmas tree in your living room that you cut down yourself!!!

Lessons from Mary

I've been rereading the Christmas story over this week and noticed Mary's reaction to everything. The thing that struck me was that Mary's life was the Lord's (Luke 1:38) and she sought to glorify the Lord, not herself in being the one chosen to bear the Messiah. (Luke 1:46-55). You never once see her talking about what a great person she was to be chosen and how those around her must not have been as godly and she was. I think that she was truly humbled by the thought that God would choose her for such a special part of His plan of salvation. While others went and made things "known abroad", Luke 2:19 says" But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart."

Reading about Mary this week has challenged me to be more of a ponderer and less of a blabberer! We also need to make sure that we point others to the Lord--He is charge of our lives, rather than taking credit for the good in our lives ourselves. We would be nothing without Him!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Three's Company--Four's a crowd?

What's with the human in our bed??

My sister is in the pic--almost against the wall. Don't the dogs look comfy, though?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

They're HERE!!!!

My mom and sister arrived about 1140pm last night. After a bit of a nerve racking ride through the snow. I'm sure we'll all laugh about it someday. It seems that for most of their the last half of the drive, the snow was hanging out with them. It made a 6.5 hr. drive into a 9 hour drive.:o( --NO snow since they got here. God was watching out for them and they arrived safely. :o) Thank you for all your prayers!

Did you know that dogs can walk on two legs when necessary to keep their paws off the ground in cold snowy, weather. My mom's dog can--poor thing, Northern weather is NOT for her. We now have four dogs in our home for the holidays. Funny-and we don't even own a dog!--Two pugs we are "dog sitting", my mom's dog and sister's dog. It was a bit rambuctious last night as they all got to know each other!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas Break

I will be sporadic in my posts the next week or so. We are almost ready for Christmas. We got our grocery shopping done early this morning so we'd avoid the insanity of later today. "T" said that we didn't miss an isle in the grocery store and "bought the whole store!" I think that if that is the case, I did pretty well--the whole store for a mere $103! :o)

We are mainly awaiting the arrival of my mom and sister. We will go get our tree probably on Monday afternoon--we are going to a tree farm and cutting down our own!!! The kids wanted to wait for my mom and sister to be here, so we've been enjoying a HUGE, gigantic 3ft. tree. :o)

Have a wonderful Christmas--remember to focus on the true meaning of Christmas--what Christ did for us so selflessly!

Friday, December 19, 2008

It is better to give than receive

It is so easy to get caught up in what we will "get" for Christmas and to forget about the blessing of giving. It is so easy to allow Christmas to become a "duty" or burden instead of remembering that we are giving to others because "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."--John 3:16. God gave to us selflessly, knowing that what He would get in return was imperfect humans that ridiculed Him, served Him when it was convenient for us, talked to Him only when we want something from Him, were ashamed to tell others about Him, etc.

We need to keep the true meaning of Christmas--giving to remind us of what Christ did for us in leaving a beautiful, perfect home and coming to an imperfect earth and then dying on the cross for our sins.

Have a wonderful Christmas season!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Praise/Prayer Request

"Ask and it shall be given..."
My mom and sister are planning to spend Christmas with us. My sister's flight is due to come in to Bloomington, IL at 4:05pm on Saturday. This would mean that they would have a 8+ drive ahead of them on a good day and a snow storm set to arrive that night. I've been scheming all week trying to figure out a way to get them here PRESTORM!!! I know it's a little selfish, but I want them HERE, not stuck in a hotel waiting out the storm while we impatiently await their arrival!!! I haven't mastered the driving two cars at once thing, so going to pick them up is not a valid option. I have to drive in winter weather since I live in the frozen tundra and while my sister and mom are perfectly capable drivers, I didn't want to ask them to drive in it!
I called my sister last night about her flights and she told me she gets into the Chicago airport at 1155AM. A glimmer of hope--that is actually CLOSER to us than Bloomington, so I searched for shuttles that could take her and Mandy (her adorable dog) somewhere along the route to my house where my mom could pick her up. With little effort (Thank you, Lord!) I was able to find a bus company that will take her to a truck stop RIGHT OFF THE INTERSTATE on the way here. NO difficult directions! She will arrive there at 2:30 and then they will have about a 6-61/2 hour drive, so will probably arrive ahead of the storm. Please pray that everything goes well --the airplane comes in on time, for their safety--the weather stays good until they arrive safely and the storm at least mostly misses us so we can have our Christmas program and dinner at church!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Yummmmmmmmy Caramel Popcorn

I've tried a lot of different store bought and homemade popcorns, but was never inspired to make my own until a friend made this recipe. I love it! The kids and I made some last night.

I make it mostly for gifts because my waist line says that I don't need a lot of it, especially since I broke my office chair last week at work!!! My boss assures me that it was NOT my fault. I think I should have listened to it the last month when it was wheezing, "One at a time, please; One at a time!" :o) One of my office mates who is NOT getting a Christmas present spent the rest of the day making oinking noises around me and laughing!--it was after I told her about the one at a time thing, though. ;O) I got to go pick out my own new one which is bigger and comfier and even reclines a little. :o)

Oh, yeah the Caramel Popcorn recipe--

1c popcorn, unpopped
1/2 c. corn syrup
2c. brown sugar
1 c. butter
1 tsp. flavoring (I do--1 tsp Maple flavoring, 1/2 tsp. almond extract, 1 tsp vanilla) I am typically not a big fan of Maple, but the Maple flavoring is the key to the yummy popcorn
1/2 tsp. baking soda

1. Pop the popcorn.
2. Mix together corn syrup, brown sugar, butter. Melt in medium saucepan, boil for 5 minutes.
3. Add flavoring and baking soda. ("T" says this is the part with the chemical reaction)
4. Pour over popped and stir well.
5. Put in 250 oven for 15 minutes, stir well. Repeat two more times for a total of 45 minutes in the oven.

1. When I pop the popcorn, I make sure there aren't any unpopped popcorn seeds--it is not pleasant to bite down on one!--the kids enjoy helping with this.
2. I use an air popper because it doesn't use oil which goes rancid after awhile, so your popcorn will get "old" tasting faster.
3. Make sure that the sauce pan you use is larger than you need just for the ingredients, when you add the baking soda (i.e. "T"s chemical reaction) the mixture "grows".

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Parents Most Important Job

This past month or so, my heart has been broken by the selfishness of adults in kids' lives. When did it become okay to put yourself first and kids last and no one seem to think anything of it? How is it okay for a parent to say that they are angry with their spouse because they "made" them have kids and they are tired of being a parent. When did "ME" time become so important that people consider it a badge of courage to say that they just had to have "ME" time and get away from the rest of the family. I'm not trying to say that it is always wrong to have some "ME" time, but isn't that for after the kids are in bed or they are off at a friends house or outside playing? "ME" time should be well after we have spent plenty of "WE" time with our family. This has challenged me to make sure that not only am I around for my kids, but also that I am "there" for them when they need/want to talk to me. It is so easy to get busy in the hustle and bustle of life that we shove those most important to us to the bottom of the "to do" list. We can do most things with our kids.

I try to ask myself, will this matter in eternity or will I look back at the end of my life and be proud that I made this decision? So often, we focus on how we feel at the moment instead of what is right. I know that it is not easy being a parent. We have to rely on God's strength and wisdom! If we don't at least try to do our best, though we will end up with many regrets in our life.

Below are the words of a song that I listen to at times to help me keep things in better perspective. It was written from a dad's perspective, but certainly can apply to either parent.
It was written by Mac Lynch:
"I've Just Got to be Successful"
I may never be as clever as the neighbor down the street;
I may never be as wealthy as some men that I may meet;
I may never have the glory that some other men have had,
But by grace to be succesful as my little fellows' dad.
There are certain dreams I cherish, that I'd like to see come true.
There are things taht I'd accomplish before my working time is through,
But the task my heart is set on, is to guide my little lads,
And by grace to be successful as my little fellows' dad.
I may never come to glory, I may never gather gold;
Men may count me as a failure when my working life is told;
But if they who follow after will ge godly, I'll be glad,
Cause I'll know I've been successful as my little fellows' dad.
It's the one job that I dream of, it's the task I think of most;
For if I fail my little fellows, I'd have nothing else ot boast.
For the wealth and fame I'd gather, all my future would be sad,
If I fail to be successful as my little fellow's dad.
Ps 127--Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward... Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them:

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Blizzard Part 2

Well, the big storm has ended. We ended with about 6 inches of snow. They had predicted "up to 24, " so I guess their prediction was right. Don't you love weather forcasting, though. They predict something vague so they are always right. I could be a weather forcaster--there is a 50% chance of precipitation every day--either it will or it won't. The wind is what makes a blizzard a blizzard and we did get that. It is always amazing to me to look out and see the art forms that are created by the wind. I also love to see everything covered in nice, clean snow.

The kids and I enjoyed being indoors most of yesterday. We were able to get all of our Christmas gifts wrapped and made four different types of fudge--Rocky Road, Chocolate/Peanut Butter, White chocolate/Peppermint, and Chocolate Mint. They really enjoyed crushing the peppermint candies with a hammer! We were going to make caramel popcorn, but I was out of brown sugar--apparently I forgot to add it to the list. The kids didn't mind eating the popcorn I had popped BEFORE I realized I was out of brown sugar! ;o)

The blizzard left behind subzero temperatures, which really is not very kind since now you have to go out and shovel. Hubby and "T" have been out shoveling and are back in already. We kept up with the snow yesterday, so it wasn't so bad this morning. Our neighbor also came down with his snowblower. "T" LOVES to shovel which is a huge blessing since our mechanical snowblower has turned into a take-up-spacer and hasn't blown snow in about 2 years!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Season's first Blizzard!

We are currenly in the midst of our first blizzard this season. We went to church and got back home safely. :o) We now have NO plans of leaving the house any time soon. Living in the North--where many are cold, but few are frozen, we occassionally get these blizzards. They are sort of good for us, we have to stay home for awhile and can't be running about. I'm sure this has put a crimp in some shopping plans, but I'm enjoying the day, relaxing and getting some stuff done. Today is the fun day, tomorrow comes the shoveling. Hubby didn't think I was all that funny when I said my contribution to shoveling was going to be making hot chocolate for everyone. Making hot chocolate is a delicate art that takes much time and precision!

Have any of you complained about moving--how difficult it is--well, we can no longer complain about how tough our move was. We have new neighbors across the street who are moving in AS WE SPEAK!!!! Yes, you read that right, in the middle of a blizzard. I sent my hubby and "T" over to offer coffee and hot chocolate. I can't imagine the mess of having all those snowy feet stomping through your NEW house. It's not like you can say--Hey, you with the BIG, HUGE dresser that weighs 500 lbs, can you please take off those snowy boots?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmas Bell

This was sent to me by a friend. (What would I do for blog posts without friends?) I hope it will help us to remember who we, as Christians are and what we have in Christ. If you do not have Christ in your life, please e-mail me and I would love to share the plan of salvation with you. I can't imagine trying to celebrate Christmas without Christ in my life. He is what makes Christmas Christmas!
Christ Bell
I am God's child (John 1:12)
I am Christ's friend (John 15:15 )
I am united with the Lord (1 Cor. 6:17)
I am bought with a price (1 Cor 6:19-20)
I am a saint (set apart for God). (Eph. 1:1)
I am a personal witness of Christ. (Acts 1:8)
I am the salt & light of the earth (Matt 5:13-14)
I am a member of the body of Christ (1 Cor 12:27)
I am free forever from condemnation ( Rom. 8: 1-2)
I am a citizen of Heaven. I am significant (Phil 3:20)
I am free from any charge against me (Rom. 8:31 -34)
I am a minister of reconciliation for God (2 Cor 5:17-21)
I have access to God through the Holy Spirit (Eph. 2:18)
I am seated with Christ in the heavenly realms (Eph. 2:6)
I cannot be separated from the love of God (Rom 8:35-39)
I am established, anointed, sealed by God (2 Cor 1:21-22 )
I am assured all things work together for good (R om. 8:28 )
I have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit (John 15:16 )
I may approach God with freedom and confidence (Eph. 3: 12 )
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil. 4:13)
I am the branch of the true vine, a channel of His life (John 15: 1-5)
I am God's temple (1 Cor. 3: 16). I am complete in Christ (Col. 2: 10)
I am hidden with Christ in God (Col. 3:3).. I have been justified (Romans 5:1)
I am God's co-worker (1 Cor. 3:9; 2 Cor 6:1). I am God's workmanship (Eph. 2:10)
I am confident that the good works God has begun in me will be perfected. (Phil. 1: 5)
I've been redeemed and forgiven (Col 1:14). I have been adopted as God 's child (Eph 1:5)
I belong to God
Do you know
Who you are?

Friday, December 12, 2008

On a lighter note...

I received this from a friend over a week ago and it continues to make me giggle, I'm not quite sure why, I'm sure there is lots of room for psychoanalysis, but I'll leave that to my friends.

The wife was on my case to get the Christmas lights up for a couple of weeks. They're up now, and for some reason she won't talk to me...

Thursday, December 11, 2008

To Forgive or to Fret, That is the Question...

The story below was sent to me by a friend. I don't know its origins. It made me stop and think. So often we forget the good things that others do for us or even take them for granted. However, if someone wrongs us, we are sure to tell everyone we know and never forget it. What a sad way to live our lives. Holding a grudge really only hurts us and those closest to us, seldom the person we are angry at! It also takes a lot of energy that we could be using for good pursuits. I have seen bitterness literally destroy people's lives.

Let's remember Ephesians 4:31-32--Let all bitterness and wrath , and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

Two friends were walking through the desert.
During some point of the journey, they had an
argument; and one friend slapped the other one in the face.
The one who got slapped was hurt,
but without saying anything, wrote in the sand:

‘Today my best friend slapped me in the face.’

They kept on walking, until they found an oasis,
Where they decided to take a bath, the one who
had been slapped got stuck in the mire!
And started drowning, but the friend saved him.
After he recovered from the near drowning,
He wrote on a stone:

'Today my best friend saved my life.’

The friend who had slapped and saved his
best friend asked him, 'After I hurt you,
you wrote in the sand and now,
You write on a stone, why?'

The friend replied 'When someone hurts us we
should write it in sand, where winds of forgiveness
can erase it away. But, when someone does
something good for us, We must engrave it in
stone where no wind can ever erase it.’

'Learn to write your hurts in the sand
and to carve your blessings in stone.’
It might be a good idea to have a notebook where we write our blessings and reread it when we are upset at another person.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Yummy Cookies

My "new" favorite cookie recipe:
Monster Cookies

6 eggs
2 1/4 c. brown sugar
2c. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 ¾ c. peanut butter
2 sticks butter
9 cups oatmeal
1 c. chocolate chips
1 c. M&Ms
1 tsp. Vanilla

Mix in LARGE bowl in order given.
Place on cookie sheet.
Bake at 350 until just begin to brown. They will not appear done. Let sit on cookie sheet for 5 minutes before moving to cool. *Recipe does not call for flour
* You can use red and green M&M's to make them look more Christmasy.

This is the original recipe cut in half! I did 3/4 of the original recipe on Monday night and made 20 dozen cookies!!! So this should make about 15 dozen. You need a VERY large bowl! I love this recipe because it is delicious, but also because it is a smidge healthier than other cookies that call for white flour.

My husband took 4 dozen to work yesterday and all but four were gone at the end of the day. Did I mention there were 6 people at his work? :o)

Two other hints that keep me sane when making LOTS of cookies:
1. I have a dough scoop that I use to put the cookies on the cookie sheet.
2. Parchment paper. I know this isn't overly frugal, but you can use the same sheet on the cookie sheet for the entire time, you don't have to use Pam or some such cooking spray either. You also don't have the baked on cooking spray that is nearly impossible to get off your cookie sheet! I use scissors to cut the parchment paper, this seems to work better than tearing it. Remember to hang on to the parchment paper when taking your cookies in and out of the oven, so the paper doesn't slide off with your cookies!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Walk Worthy of the Lord

Colossians 1:9-10 tells us that the apostle Paul did not cease to pray for the believers at Colosse that they might be filled with knowledge in all wisdom and spiritual understanding that they might walk worthy of the Lord and be fruitful and increase in knowledge of God. (paraphrased)
I read this passage yesterday and was struck by "walk worthy of the Lord", but today as I reread the passage I was struck with how we walk worthy of the Lord--through prayer and being filled with knowledge and having spiritual understanding. Are you praying for fellow believers and spending time in the Word that you might walk worthy of the Lord? I have been challenged to be better about this!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Be content

It seems that this time of year is tough for a lot of people. It wasn't until I worked in home care with people in poverty that I even thought of Christmas as a difficult time of year. I have always enjoyed Christmas, and as a family, we have strived to keep it simple.

I know that the news tells us that these are difficult times economically for everyone. For many, for sure, but I challenge you to look at your lives and honestly decide if things have truly changed for you, or has the doom and gloom you've been listening to warped your mind. Many people have lost their job and my heart breaks for them. I can't imagine how tough that would be. However, there are many who still have their jobs and really, when you look at gas prices, you could say that life is looking up. :o)

I have been struck this year in particular that we often look at what other people have and moan and groan because they have something that we do not have. How sad that we waste our energy on such things. Then we wonder why we aren't happy. It is impossible to be happy if we are comparing our lives with someone else's. The Bible says to be content with such things as ye have (Hebrews 13:5). God knew our hearts and that we would have a tendency to look at others. We are also to find our happiness in Him, not in stuff. If you think about it, finding happiness in stuff is very short lived. We need to focus on the people God has put in our lives and the blessings He has given us, rather than the stuff!

If you are going through a difficult time, remember that God is in charge. He commands us to "In everything give thanks." He didn't say "for everything give thanks". He meant that in every situation to give thanks. Even in tough situations, we can find things to be thankful for. One of the best things to do to help us be more thankful is to look around and find someone worse off than us, there are millions, and do something for them. It doesn't need to require money. Go to a nursing home or assisted living place and sit and talk to a lonely senior, babysit for a mom, take a child to the library, etc.
God also promises that "everything works together for good." (Romans 8:28) This doesn't mean that the actual event is necessarily good, but rather He can bring good out of even bad situations. We can learn lessons, help others in the future, build character, LEAN MORE HEAVILY ON HIM, learn to trust Him more, etc.
Remember that if your burden is heavy, it is because you haven't given in to the Lord. Matthew 11:30 says that His burden is light. And, oh by the way, after you give it to him DO NOT take it back. :o)--I have a tendency to do this!