It's hard to believe it's a new year already. I have been remiss about posting on the blog the past couple months. The flurry of activity in November and December had me putting a lot on the back burner. But, it's a new year, full of possibilities!
I've noticed a theme of having a word for the year. I haven't done that before, but thought this year could be "He is faithful". Twenty-nineteen was a tumultuous year for me, navigating as caregiving became more complex and struggling with my own health issues. But through it all, the Lord has proved faithful.
I am in the midst of a Bible study on the life of Joseph, someone who also saw his fair share of fiery trials. He kept following and obeying God, even when his circumstances looked hopeless. He never lost hope in the Everlasting God, who works all things for our good and His glory. The Lord brought Joseph out unto victory, and he was able to handle the success God gave him because of what he learned in his time of suffering.
Sufferings prove our faith genuine. Even in the midst of your pain God will prosper you, just as He did Joseph. God's commands are to protect us and cause us to prosper, not to harm us or be unfair. So, as I learned throughout 2019, God is good and even if we question our circumstances, we can never question God's goodness. He knows the future, and we trust Him each day, walking with Him day by day.
For those of you following my blog, you might remember my last post I mentioned a big pumpkin party I was throwing for my mom's 90th birthday. Well, I'm happy to say it was a resounding success! There were pumpkins and presents everywhere, and mom was delighted. I even found an old hat of hers that was in storage she's wearing in the picture.
For this month's blog, I thought I would share some of my favorite Scriptures. I find the Word of God brings me so much comfort and encouragement each day. I honestly don't believe I could persevere unless I immersed myself in Scripture promises each and every day. I hope they bring you encouragement and courage as well.
Isaiah 8:13,14 "The Lord of hosts, Him shall you hallow. Let Him be your fear and let Him be your dread. He will be as a sanctuary.."
Eph 3:20 ".to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think.."
Phil 4:19 "My God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus."
Deut 28:1 "If you fully obey God the Lord will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven."
2 Peter 1:3 "His divine power has given us all things that pertain to life...through the knowledge of Him who called us to glory..."
It's hard to believe summer is drawing to a close and fall approaching. Living in the Midwest, I adore the changing of the seasons. I've had my fill of hot and buggy (mosquitos and flies were crazy), bring on the cool, crisp days filled with pumpkin spice, leaves and hot apple cider. I'm already planning my annual trip to the pumpkin patch. This year, to celebrate my mom's 90th birthday in October, I'm throwing her a pumpkin party. There will be pumpkin games (I was inspired by Hallmark Channel's 'Love Of Course' and making a pumpkin bowling course), pumpkin bouquets, pumpkin appetizers, pumpkin beef stew and pumpkin pie. I love that her birthday lands in October, it's always so much fun.
I'm reminded that, even though seasons change, our Lord Jesus remains the same. He is the One Constant in our lives. His loving presence guides us each and every day. I'm so grateful for that. There are some days I feel wiped out, used up and completely spent. But by the next day my strength is renewed, I'm rejuvenated and ready to tackle the day. Walking with the Lord is an adventure, each new day brings something new and different.
As far as writing, I'm plugging away at my Work In Progress, a Christian fiction mystery. I'm hoping it will be finished by early next year, then go through edits. I'll keep you updated.
Enjoy the fall season!
There is something wonderful about sitting on a sandy beach, waves gently lapping the shore, and reading a good beach book. It’s an essential in my picnic basket whenever I plan a day-trip to the lakeshore of Wisconsin. A yummy sub, cold can of Coke, brownies and a novel suitable for the beach.
Don’t get me wrong, I love reading anywhere and anyplace. In front of a cozy fire during a snowstorm, lounging on the porch, draped on the sofa with a good page-turner- all these are terrific. But the combination of a beach and a novel is magical. Here’s my list of reasons why:
No kitty distractions. I cannot tell you how many times I have been at the climax point of a good mystery, about to find out whodunit, when a very cross and persistent meow interrupts me. I try to keep reading, but the meows come in succession and a higher pitch. I relent, set aside the book, and glance at my demanding Ragdoll kitty who paws and meows at me until I give my spot on the couch up to her. Doesn’t matter if I’m in a different chair; she’ll want whatever I’m sitting in. At the beach, this is not a problem. Perhaps a random dog might come across my path, but I don’t have to give my seat to him.
It’s more relaxing and easier to “get into“. Lying on a beach, waves lapping on the shore and a gentle cold breeze invites relaxation. My mind is less distracted, it’s easier to focus on the story and become immersed. It’s freeing not having a schedule and being able to tuck my toes in the sand and my nose in a fabulous read.
No Internet (usually). I realize we live in an age of technology. I am grateful for the friendships I have made online that I would have otherwise never found if not for the easy access to connect with others. I enjoy listening to my Pastor’s sermons streaming when I cannot get to church. But the Internet can be a rabbit hole for me. I can be innocently checking my Facebook, see a post about gardening, click on a link and end up spending forty-five minutes researching local CSAs (Community Share Agriculture aka Farm Box). Don’t even get me started on the time wasted viewing adorable cat videos. So, when I do head to the beach, I purposefully end up at one that is remote, where there is no Internet access. No lure of jumping online to see what the temperature is or whether rain is heading my way. Just the blissful disconnection from the world of technology, even if only for a few hours.
Ambiance. I did some research for this blog by traveling to Point Beach State Park in Two Rivers, Wisconsin. It is a gorgeous park with dense pines (ah the aroma!) and six miles of sandy beach along Lake Michigan. Sitting on the beach, novel in hand (‘The Inn at Hidden Run by Olivia Newport’) the occasional caw of seagulls against the backdrop of the gentle waves lapping the shore was the perfect mix to enhance my reading experience. A glance up here and there to watch the waves and pelicans made the experience complete.
Now you might be wondering, does the book have to be specifically beachy? Set in some nautical town? Not necessarily. I have a few faves set in a beachy setting - ‘The Ebb Tide’ by Beverly Lewis and ‘Cottage by the Sea by Debbie Macomber. But I am constantly reading Christian Living books as well, those work, too.
I hope you enjoyed my blog post and encourage you to get out this summer and enjoy reading on the beach!
Years back, I read a book by Brother Lawrence "The Practice of the Presence of God". It talks about communing with the Lord during every day, mundane tasks.
I have prayed, of course, everyday to the Lord but not so much ongoing communion during the day. Recently, I have begun to talk to him throughout the day, and bring every little concern to Him. He has answered those little prayers in faith-building ways.
Recently I was roaming the baking aisle in the grocery store on the hunt for coconut. I wanted to make a bunny cake for Easter and needed coconut for his fur. I scanned shelf, double checked the laminated directory indicating coconut was indeed in the baking aisle and began to be more and more anxious as I still couldn't find it. Finally, in the middle of the aisle, I prayed. "Lord, I can't find the coconut. Could you please show me where it is?" I looked at the shelf and, lo and behold, there lay bags of coconut. Talk about a fast answer to prayer! I praised the Lord, scooped up a big bag and successfully created a bunny cake.
The second instance of the Lord answering little requests happened the other day when I was on my way to the library. I was on a tight schedule, and didn't have a lot of time to get there and pick up my books on hold. Yes, I am one of those people that always has at least a couple books on hold. I do adore to read. Anyway, this library has a weird parking system, where there are a few precious spots on the street in front of the building to park that are always taken. Otherwise, you drive to the back of the building, go through a long, dank corridor to an elevator that slowly creaks up to take you to the library. It's actually in an old paper mill, which is why the layout is so weird. I prayed for a good spot in front of the building, as I didn't have the time to deal with the long corridor and creaky elevator. You guessed it, I drove up and there was an open parking spot directly in front of the door! I had never been in and out of a library so fast in my life!
The Lord is faithful, seek Him and He will be found. I chastise myself for not asking Him for the little things prior to this. Invite Him in to your daily, mundane life issues and He will abundantly answer and reward!
The calendar tells me spring is merely weeks away, but the enormous snowbanks surrounding my driveway and needing to slip on boots to fill the bird feeders tell me otherwise. I'm trying to keep a positive outlook. Our small-town local drive-in opened for the season March 1st, that's always a good sign. Girl Scout cookies sales are starting as well. I've even started onion seedlings and persimmon seedlings indoors, in anticipation of planting them outdoors in May. I am eagerly awaiting the first sign of life from my crocus bulbs I planted last fall, too.
Spring is always a special time seeing the re-birth of nature. Such a great reminder of the re-birth granted by the mercy of Jesus Christ in our souls. Even if the days are gray, and life gets tough, we can always be thankful everyday for eternal life in Jesus. We know the sorrows of this world are temporary, and there's an eternal weight of glory awaiting those who trust in Jesus for salvation.
On the writing front, I'm plugging away at my Christian fiction mystery. I have published my novella, "Hearts Knit Together" on Amazon. It's also available as an e-book for free if you live in Wisconsin through the online library system, InfoSoup.
May you have a blessed and wonderful spring!
....never changes, His mercies, they never come to an end! I love that hymn. It is a reminder that, although our circumstances in life change - people come into our lives and go, finances fluctuate, even our emotions change with each day, but our Lord's love for us never changes. He will guide us all the days of our life and into eternity.
Hard to believe it's already February! January was an interesting month, I experienced a couple snowstorms and am currently cozied up to the fireplace because of the -50 below wind chills. They closed schools and businesses, even the mail carriers are not delivering!
Every winter seems to bring a stillness and a peace. I tend to gravitate more toward indoor activities, although I do love a good, snowy hike in the woods. Right now I'm attempting to grow radishes indoors under a grow light. So far the seedlings are just sprouting, it's looking good!
I'm hoping to have some good news to post soon. I'm working on a Facebook page and hoping to publish "Hearts knit Together", my Christian fiction romance soon. Stay tuned!
Have a very happy Valentine's Day!
It's hard to believe 2018 is coming to a close. The Lord has guided me through some trials and some victories during the year. The new year is approaching with new opportunities to pursue goals. I hope to finally publish this year, either through a publisher or self-publishing. I also aim to have a decent garden, and even purchased a grow lamp to help my little seeds along. Most importantly, I desire to know Jesus more this year, and better understand the power He gives us to "occupy until I come".
I picked up a devotional "Catch of the Day" for my brother, it's spiritual lessons from the sport of fishing. Here is today's "The last day of the year to me is as exciting as the first as we look back upon what we have been through and to look forward to what is to come.
Many times we feel so close, yet at other times still so far away from Christ. But no matter how we feel, Jesus offered and paid for a relationship with us that will never end. He is always close to us. His direction and His purpose from God the Father was to establish that relationship with you and me. May we never take our precious salvation for granted!"
Have a very blessed New Year!
Luke 2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
Christmastime is finally here! It is hands-down my favorite time of year. The cheerful decorations, yummy treats, the fun of buying gifts and the holiday programming on television all bring joy to the season.
Growing up, my mother always made this time of year special. We had stockings hung by the fireplace, and she made sure St. Nick came in early December and filled them with chocolate stars, candy canes and little toys. She took us to Gimbles department store for breakfast with Santa, which was a full-on breakfast with scrambled eggs and bacon. Visiting Santa was special, because we had to wander through a winter wonderful first to get to him. Bruce the Spruce, the talking Christmas tree, would greet all of us kids at the entrance. Then, on the big day, the presents would be piled high under the tree (I have three other siblings, so there were a lot of gifts.)
As I grow older, and closer to the Lord, the miracle of the true meaning of Christmas becomes more real to me. I can't wrap my mind around the fact that Jesus would be willing to become flesh in order to redeem us to Himself. I can't imagine what Mary and Joseph were thinking, or how people treated them. I gaze at my manger scene and try to imagine that holy night, and the shepherds leaving their flock (which was unheard of) to see the Christ child.
I know the greatest gift of all this Christmas season is God's gift of salvation to us. It brings true joy and peace to our souls. His precious Holy Spirit indwelling and guiding us through the maze of life. I stand in awe of God's love and wisdom. May you all enjoy this blessed season! Have a very merry Christmas and Happy new year!
1 Thessalonians 5:18 - In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
Thankfulness. There are countless Scriptures instructing us to give thanks to God in all things. In our society, it seems there is a bent toward complaining, and comparing ourselves with others. I've been guilty of comparing my life with the lives of those on Facebook, or with co-workers. I forget God has a unique plan and purpose for each one of our lives, and comparing doesn't do anyone any good.
I have been attempting to make a more conscious effort to express thankfulness toward God. Even if everything is going wrong, we can always be thankful for the precious gift of eternal life through Jesus our Lord. I read the other day we should keep a journal of all the wonderful things God has done for us. I like that, of course, being a writer :) So, I am keeping track of all the amazing ways God is working in my life, even if it's small, like a kind word I needed at just the right time. I encourage you to do the same.
Have a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving :)