Snow Days, Hot Chocolate, Hot Soup, and Hot Woodstoves

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“I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.” Jeremiah 31:13

The forecast calls for 3-7 inches of snow, runny noses, subzero windchill, and two kids who want to build a snowman. Tomorrow will be a day of which we all seek comfort. We will want a break from the cold and blustery winter.  Seeking shade on a hot, summer day is so far from thought it hardly seems possible to feel warm in shorts and t-shirts while playing outside.

We all experience seasons in our lives when we search for comfort.  At this time in my life, I long for the comfort of quiet mornings when I sit back with a cup of coffee and everyone else sleeps. In thirty years, I may long for noisy chaos of children running through my house.

Our source of comfort, regardless of season or age is always the same. We always find comfort in God, our Father, Jesus, our friend who walked the same Earth, and the Holy Spirit, who speaks to us as we journey through this life.

We may not always feel His presence in a Holy manner. Sometimes His comfort arrives in cups of hot chocolate, a hug from a spouse, or a phone call from a friend.  I belive God uses us to comfort others and allows us to experience His love through others.

What are you doing tomorrow?  Will you bring comfort to anyone? Will you allow God to comfort you?

Stepping Out of Our Synagogues

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“For in Christ Jesus neither circumcism nor uncircumcism counts for anything, but only faith working through love.” (Galatians 5:6)

Want to live like Jesus? Really? Luke 4 shows Jesus teaching in his hometown only to be driven out by an angry mob. Are you willing to step forward and live like Jesus if it means making the friends and family in your life mad?

I struggle all the time to balance daily to-do lists, raising my kids, working, caring for my home and husband, and trying to do something in this world to make a difference. I am the queen of great excuses.

Why do I not volunteer at soup kitchens or pregnancy centers? My family! I have to take care of my kids. Why do we not go on a mission trip? Our jobs don’t allow much time, and who would keep my kids?

I am slowly working my way through a study of Luke. While reading about Luke on goodmornimggirls.com, I found a quote I wanted to share with you.

Whitney writes, “If we want to truly live like Jesus, we need to step out of our “synagogues” of schedules and selfishness and step onto the streets to love the broken in need of a savior.”

That requires living in a bold and courageous way. It means setting your own family aside occasionally to serve others. It means trusting God for enough strength and time to meet everyone’s needs. It means sacrifice.

Do we show love through action?

I don’t know about you, but I have some things to think about today!

Blessings!

Thankfulness Isn’t Just For November

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I bet I am joined by thousands of Virginians tonight as I thank God for a warm home! My kids are safely tucked into beds covered in thick blankets. They each wear toasty pjs, and our wood stove is rolling.

I know it is not November any longer, but we are celebrating our thankfulness tonight. Tonight temperatures will reach crazy lows with even crazier wind chills. I shudder to think of anyone left outside tonight.

As we kick back in our sweatpants and drink hot chocolate, I pray you and your family are warm. I am thankful for you, the readers, and I pray you weather the cold well.

Blessings!

Oh the Easy Life!

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Yeah right! Life isn’t easy!

Are you in a tough spot? How about friends or family? Is life smooth sailing or are facing rough times?

I used to think that all good Christians had easy lives. I thought if you went through life doing what you were supposed to do, life would be easy. Then I realized a few things about this world.

Cancer doesn’t play favorites. Anyone can lose their job. It isn’t always easy to get pregnant,  stay pregnant full term, delivery successfully,  or be survived by your children. Good people are widowed at 30. Good people watch their homes burn. Good people struggle with sin.

Here’s the thing. Even Jesus struggled! He dealt with temptation.  He was frustrated by those who wouldn’t listen. He was sinless, yet tortured and crucified.

God doesn’t promise an easy life. He just promises to help us through. He tells us that all things are possible through Him. He never told us He would make it easy.

Pray for those around you facing struggles. Help when you can. Be the window to Jesus they may need.

Blessings!

Celebrating Successes and Accepting Failures

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January 4th has come and gone. Are you still working on your resolutions? What’s that? Something messed you up?

I get it! Power outages, ice storms, and bitter cold can put a kink in your plans! However, let’s take a few moments this weekend to celebrate our succeses.

I planned my January meals with Pinterest.  I bought groceries according to the plan. The forecast for a storm did not require a trip to the grocery store for this girl. We are set!

My living room still looks great! I didn’t get much done on the bathrooms, but all other housework is caught up.

I still fit in my new jeans!

Reflect upon those items checked off the to – do list.  Be proud. Praise God.

Now look at the areas that aren’t going  well.  Why? Are you going to give up or keep trying?

Have you prayed about it?

God loves making changes in our lives! I always feel like God is closest to me when He is trying to mold me differently.

January is such a crazy month! We try to start our year in a certain way. Then life happens. Does your life need to change before you can?

Good luck to you if you are trying to make changes. I pray your resolutions are strong and new habits are forming.

Blessings!

Living Room Organization

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“By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established.” Proverbs 24:3

How are those New Year’s resolutions coming? Are you sticking in there for the long haul?

Lesson learned so far this week: When I slip, fix it!

I am back at work again.  The holiday break ended. Yesterday was my first day back. I slipped. I came home exhausted, cold after running, hungry, and grumpy. I didn’t do my time of decluttering. 

Today is a new day. Today I have to get back on board. I don’t have many options. My family deserves a house that is under control.

Having said that, here is the living room update.  For the most part, the decluttering is complete.
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This shows the piles of stuff that had overtaken my living room. Here are the afters…

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Now I am moving to my bathrooms. As Fly Lady says, You can’t clean clutter!”

Blessings!

A Study of Luke: Part 1

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“For nothing will be impossible with God.” And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.”  (Luke 1:37-38)

One of the new features of this blog, along with the posts about the organization of my house, will be posts about my own personal study of the Bible.  For starters, I am taking a look at the book of Luke.  

I am currently using a study from the Good Morning Girls.  Their studies are slow moving and designed for busy lives!  Thus the appeal.  I chose their study on Luke because it coincides with my study of Matthew that I am doing with my middle school kids at church.  I think we will spend some time comparing the two men this week.

I am only 1 chapter in, but here are two thoughts so far.

1.  The book of Luke begins as a letter.  Luke thought it was his job to share the story of Jesus with others by writing it out.  Not only was he a physician who gave up his career to follow Jesus, but after Jesus’s death, he continued the ministry.  I also appreciate that more than half of the book is comprised of the words of Jesus.

2.  Now we get to Mary.  She is fresh in our minds after the Christmas season.  What struck me as new was her question to Gabriel.  She asks how she is to conceive a child.  I have heard it before, but never stopped to think that even Mary asked, “How?”  When I feel like God is calling me to do a task, my first question is usually the same.  How will I get it done?  I understand that God can do all things.  I get that I have to have faith in God.  I still wonder how?! 

Of course, after asking Gabriel how she could accomplish such a feat, she quickly agreed to serve.  I aspire to be like Mary.  She received her answer of how God intended to work through her.  It didn’t matter that she probably was filled with more questions.  She simply agreed to serve.  I hope to so quickly agree and allow God to do His work through me.  

As I continue my study of Luke, I hope you will join me by reading the chapters as I do.

Blessings!