....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 :)
I started reading a new book the other day, "Unexpected" by Christine Caine. I'm about halfway through, but I am really learning a lot already. In the latest chapter, she talks about the battlefield of the mind and taking captive every hopeless thought before it takes us captive.
In Matthew 6:31 Jesus said "Do not be anxious." In her book, Christine says "We don't have to magnify our anxious thoughts with our words. Instead, we can choose thoughts full of hope and faith and peace and speak those."
She also says, "I know that taking captive every thought often requires a ruthless fight, and that sometimes it's a minute-by-minute battle. I have often said I am only one thought away from being overtaken by all I have been freed from. But I daily choose to be a prisoner of hope. I do this by giving hope a voice - in what I think and in what I say."
This resonated with me. It's easy to fall down the rabbit hole of negative thinking and pessimism. A lot harder to stay positive and hope, even when everything looks hopeless. I have found sometimes that means not going on any social media, although, truth be told, I have a lot of positive people on Twitter and Facebook. It does mean getting into God's Word each day, and letting our minds be refreshed by His truth.
Enjoy the wonderful month of October! It's full of fall fun, from picking pumpkins to fall strolls in the woods and baking wonderful comfort foods! I'm already making soups and sweet breads. My pumpkin seed recipe is below 😊
Rinse and salt pumpkin seeds
Saute seeds over medium heat in olive oil for 5 minutes
Bake in a pre-heated 325 degree oven for 15 minutes.
I love fall in the Midwest. I'm excited about the cooler days, trees changing color, pumpkin spice and football coming back (I am a Green Bay Packer fan, I live about twenty minutes away from the stadium). The holidays are right around the corner and, honestly, I have already started to decorate corners of my house for Christmas!
I saw a quote the other day, "Writing is a form of worship. It's taking the talent God has given us and creating with Him". I love this, and need to remind myself of it when I'm writing. Sometimes I get distracted with writing "rules" and forget to pray before I write. The words flow from Him, He is the One Who is ultimately the author. He did write the greatest bestseller of all, the Holy Bible!
As the fall season settles in, and I start attending my Bible study again, I want to keep the Lord Jesus ever before me. Falling in love with Jesus is a process we as believers are continually going through until we meet Him face to face. He is a wonderful Savior, and as the song says, "Every day with Jesus is sweeter than the day before".
I had to glance at the calendar twice today to remind myself it's already August! July flew by. I had a fun day trip to Door County, the picture in this post is from Whitefish Dunes state park.
I was hopeful about my garden this past month, checking it every day. The good news - my tomatoes are doing quite well, the garlic did fine and I believe the carrots will be great. The bad news - someone ate my pepper plant, the cucumber disappeared and my zucchini keeps producing flowers, but no fruit.
Mixed blessings, I guess :) It brought to mind something I read the other day, when God doesn't give you the desire of your heart trust and see if He ends up giving you the heart of your desire. I love that. The Lord loves us and knows what is good for us and what isn't.
Speaking of good, below is a great recipe I found for chocolate zucchini bread. I ended up using zucchinis from the farmer's market :)
CHOCOLATE ZUCCHINI BREAD (makes 2 loaves, I usually half the recipe)
2 C sugar
2 C shredded zucchini
1 C canola or vegetable oil
3 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 C flour
1/2 C cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp baking powder
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients together and pour into two greased loaf pans. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes.
"And the angel said to them, 'Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.'" - Luke 2:10
It's July already, and that brings me great joy! It means summer is in full swing with grill-outs, farmer's markets, a flourishing garden and - my favorite part of July- Christmas in July!
Last Christmas I bought the dress you see in the picture (I did a selfie in front of my foyer mirror with my 20 year old camera. I still haven't bought a phone that can take pics!). Just a spoiler, I am working on a Christmas book that the dress shows up in :)
I love it when QVC air their Christmas in July shows. I love it when the packages start arriving on my doorstep and I tear them open and start anticipating the wonderful season. Last year I stocked up on holiday throws, mercury glass peppermints and wax trees. This year I'm on the hunt for new garland for the fireplace and perhaps a gingerbread house. Hallmark Channel contributes as well with airing Christmas movies for weeks on end. I'm always scanning the decor of those over-the-top decorated houses they feature on the holiday films to get ideas. Truth be told, there is always some sort of Christmas decor up year-round in my house. Right now it's a illuminated bell and a lantern with a snowy scene.
I love to celebrate some of the fun of the Christmas season knowing I still have six months to prepare. Sometimes, when December hits the rush of getting everything done and the pressure to do all the excursions and attend the holiday happenings puts a bit of a damper on enjoying it. Trying to stay focused on the true reason of the season, the gift of salvation through Jesus, gets lost.
Hope you enjoy your July! I am off to bake some Christmas cookie-cuts outs. I bought 3-D cookie cutters this year! Can't wait!
After a long winter and a two-week spring, summer has finally arrived in Wisconsin! We had our first heat wave this weekend, temps in the 90s! My tomato plants will be ever-so happy.
Summer evokes images in my mind of a slowed-down pace and sipping lemonade on the porch. I find the season to be a bit more hectic, though. I'm planning much more road trips than normal (the northwoods in summer is exceptional as long as you have tick spray, anyway), tending to the garden and the never-ending weeds in the yard.
This summer I'm starting a Beth Moore study, The Quest that delves into greater intimacy with God. Isn't that what we all desire? To know God more. It's a never-ending quest, really. It will carry us all through our lives and we still will only know a fraction of His greatness. But with each passing year or season He fills us more. He fills us with the fruits of the Spirit, with His love, His wisdom. It's a glorious journey.
Hoping your summer is filled with God's goodness and blessed times of relaxation :)
Galatians 5:22 "But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.
Last week my sister and I went shopping at a small community that boasted a lot of greenhouses. Her and I both love plants and gardening. We were sitting in her mini-van in the parking lot of one of the greenhouses eating our lunch when I noticed in front of us were a row of fruit trees. There were all sorts of varieties, peaches, plums, apples, cherries and I don't know what else.
I noticed the price tag flapping in the wind. I nudged my sister. "Those fruit trees are only $25." We both looked at each other with excitement in our eyes. Neither one of us were looking to buy a fruit tree, but who can resist such a bargain?
We jumped out of her van and began to peruse the trees. When we got to the cherries, I reminded her that our mom had a cherry tree in her backyard when we were growing up. It was heavenly to be able to walk outside and pick a handful. Cherries tend to get bad fast once they're picked. That fond memory was enough to cause both of us to purchase a Montmorency cherry tree.
. I want my cherry tree to produce ample fruit, enough to feed the birds and myself. That is part of the joy of having a fruit tree, the miracle of stepping outside the comfort of your home and picking fresh, amazing fruit.
The Lord wants the same from me. He has planted me in the fertile soil of His Word and has definitely been pruning me! I have had a lot of trials and tribulations the past couple years. I need to be producing the fruits of the spirit for Him. Planting the cherry tree caused me to look inwardly and take a good look at what kind of fruit I'm producing. Am I showing love to my neighbor? Am I patient when I'm stuck in traffic? Do I have an underlying joy even when my circumstances indicate otherwise?
Thanks to my tree that I have decided to plant in the backyard, I have a reminder every morning when I gaze at it out my kitchen window that I need to stay connected to Jesus to produce the fruits of the spirit. As a bonus, it's a very tasty reminder :)