Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas Memories at Home

Grandbaby Kyla opening her doll baby

Giving the doll baby kisses

Kyla's first taste of eggnog: She gulped it down and wanted more! Obviously takes after her papa, not me!

My Peter got me a new camera for Christmas!

Kyla wanted some of Uncle Anthony's Twix bar!

Kyla reading her new Peter Rabbit book with Papa

Kyla playing with Papa

Kyla and her Nana (me)

My daughter Chrystal got me a new toaster oven! She also got me the sweetest Christmas card!

This is the song that was played as I came down the boardwalk to marry my Peter at our beach wedding. It still expresses what we feel.

We Are So Blessed
Gloria Gaither, Greg Nelson, William Gaither

We are so blessed by the gifts from Your hand,
I just can't understand why You love us so much!
We are so blessed, we just can't find a way
Or the words that can say,
Thank You, Lord, for Your touch.

When we're empty, You fill us 'til we overflow!
When we're hungry, You feed us and cause us to know
We are so blessed! Take what we have to bring,
Take it all, everything! Lord, we love You so much!

We are so blessed by the things You have done,
The vict'ries we've won,
And what You've brought us through!
We are so blessed! Take what we have to bring,
Take it all, everything! Lord, we bring it to You.

When we're empty, You will us 'til we overflow!
When we're hungry, You feed us and cause us to know--
We are so blessed! Take what we have to bring,
Take it all, everything! Lord, we love You so much!
Lord, we love You so much!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

My Tea Spot

As promised... here's where I have tea with God--at least at this juncture of life! It frequently changes with the seasons. My red chair is a happy, contented place for me to be!

Across the room is our stereo, and I love having a remote control--so I can be lazy!--to turn on relaxing, instrumental music to quiet my heart before the Lord. It helps me to listen for His voice and be content to stay in my chair until I hear from Him. There are other times when I need a lift, and I play an upbeat Southern Gospel CD.

Next to my chair, I keep a basket with pens and coloured pencils/pencil crayons to mark things in my Bible, a pencil sharpener, missionaries' prayer cards that I've collected through the years, and my prayer notebook.

My prayer notebook is where I write specific prayer requests, things that I am asking God for, with the date requested. When it is answered, I circle it in red and write the date answered.

We know that, based on Scripture (Jeremiah 33:3 and countless others), God always answers, even when He seems silent. He is a loving Father, not an absent or aloof Father. Maybe for a time, His answer is "Wait" because He is teaching me something, or He has something better than what I asked for! It is exciting to keep track of His specific answers and to be able to look back and see how He is working in my life!

Comment below and tell me where your tea spot with God is, or share an exciting answer to prayer you've had recently! I'd love to hear from you!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Sanctuary

"...And let them make me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them."
~ Exodus 25:8

"Veiled in flesh the Godhead see,
Hail the incarnate Deity!"
~ "Hark the Herald Angels Sing"

Do you have a special "sanctuary" in your home for God? I'm not talking about a shrine, idol, image, or crucifix. I'm talking about a special place where you and God meet every day? Where do you and God talk?

We know that we are to pray without ceasing (I Thessalonians 5:17), but the Bible also speaks many times of meeting God in a "secret place."

"He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty." (Psalm 91:1)

"...I answered thee in the secret place of thunder..." (Psalm 81:7)

"For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock." (Psalm 27:5)

"Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues." (Psalm 31:20)

God wants to meet with you and have a personal relationship with you. Do you have a special place for Him? If not, think about where you can create one in your home. It could be a special chair or even a separate room set aside just for your "tea with God." This past summer many of my quiet times with God were spent at the picnic table in the backyard, with a view of the horses' paddock. I greatly enjoyed meeting God there and watching the sun come up over the pines! It seems that when you have a special meeting place, you're more likely to keep your appointments! At least, that's the way it works for me.

Photos of my secret place and some ideas of things to have in your secret place will follow in my next post.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Kitchen Money-saving Tips

"The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil." ~ Proverbs 31:11

I occasionally purchase lettuce in handy square or rectangle plastic containers. These are great to hang onto and reuse when I buy heads of lettuce. I tear the lettuce heads up into the container, which keeps the lettuce fresh and crisp much longer than normal, and the lettuce is easy and quick to use.

Lately I discovered another use for the containers: freezing my Christmas baking in them, between sheets of wax paper!

Speaking of wax paper, a friend gave us some homemade, frosted donuts recently and I noticed that her wax paper was actually cereal bags (the kind from inside cardboard cereal boxes)! She carefully opened them up along the seams to flatten them, wiped them clean, cut them to fit the plastic container, and used them for between her donuts! So now I save all my cereal bags and make use of them the same way! Free wax paper--and much more sturdy! Great idea, Sara!

Another money-saving tip I learned from another friend: save and rinse out your milk bags. These make great freezer bags for garden vegetables in the summer and fall! Thanks, Monique!

More on the Proverbs 31 Woman...

"She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her." ~ Proverbs 31:27-28

December Photo Project: Silent Night

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Baby, It's Cold Outside!

(But I WILL Bless the Lord!)

It's -8C with light snow flurries! Brrr!

Kali has built a fire in the fireplace, and I'm debating whether or not to venture to the grocery store for things I need to continue my Christmas baking! I have more things that need to be baked by Friday.

This morning, it felt delicious to Christmas shop in my bathrobe... online! I hate how late I am! But I am enjoying Christmastime!

My husband preached two great messages this past Sunday on thankfulness, blessing the Lord, and cultivating a heart of gratitude.
Notice in Psalm 34:1, David says, "I will bless the Lord..." It's a choice. Then he says, "His praise shall continually be in my mouth."
The difference between the words "continually" and "continuously" are important. "Continual" is intermittent, yet consistent or regular; "continuous" implies lack of interruption. David acknowledges that he isn't perfect. He will not continuously bless the Lord because he's human. There will be interruptions to his praise. But he will, by choice, continually bless and praise the Lord! That's what I'm seeking to do this week.

How about you? Will you make a conscious decision to bless the Lord for something specific in your life? Comment below and let me know how you are praising God.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

December Photo Project: Praise Him with the Harp!

"Praise the LORD with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings." ~ Psalm 33:2

Participate in the December Photo Project by clicking here:

December Photo Project

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

December Photo Project: Tea Time with God

This looks fun! Every day you post a photo to your blog... then take a trip over to the December Photo Project page to see the featured photos.

Want to join? Click here:

December Photo Project

Here's my photo for December 2:

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

It's Christmas!

I love the ambience of Christmas. My daughter Kali and I decorated the tree last week. The ornament theme is Victorian and music.

Tea with God

This morning I had my quiet time with God with a cup of tea in one of my favourite Christmas mugs and crackers, cheese, and salami on a favourite Christmas plate.

"And the joy we share and we tarry there, none other has ever known!" (...Not merely because of the Christmas dishes and snack!)

A quote I read today: "I have suffered much... from troubles that never came." I was reminded again that there is a rest for the people of God (Hebrews 4:9-10). Are you worried today? Decide now to leave your worries in His hands. Tell Him that you are doing so right now. Enter into His rest. Dr. Lee Roberson said, "Contentment is thought without worry; care without anxiety; rest without apathy."

Repurposing Idea

I have a little Victorian heart-shaped box into which I have placed slips of paper. I take out this box every year, and it sits on my coffee table.

The slips of paper are little reminders of ways you can focus on others during the Christmas season. Things like "Bake some cookies for someone else and deliver them today." Or "Do a job (big or small) for someone else." Do you have a special box or pretty gift sack that you could use for this purpose?

Gift Craft

Today I packaged up my Swiss Mocha Mix gifts. I had made up a batch of the mix last week, and purchased small craft Ziploc bags from the dollar store (about 24 for $1). Today I made up the instructions tags on the computer, printed them out on coloured paper, cut them out with craft scissors, and voila! Swiss Mocha Mix packets that make two cups each! I will put these into Christmas cards as a small token of love.

Later I enjoyed a mug of my own Swiss Mocha. Mmmm!

Thank you for sharing my joy! Comment and let me know how you're enjoying the Christmas season!

*If you're interested in the Swiss Mocha Mix recipe, click here.
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