Blessings and Thanks

For me, people are the most important part of my life.  I love people, do not want to see anyone suffer.  My family and friends are the biggest blessings Christ has given me, after Himself of course.  Whether or not they cause me to be frustrated at times (justifiably or not) I love them.

So, for me, yesterday was pretty perfect.   Nothing big, nothing grand in terms of the world.  But, I was gathered in my grandma’s home with my husband and kiddos, my parents and grandparents, my aunt and uncle and my father in law…all whom I love dearly.  Each one, every one, has been an ENORMOUS blessing in my life.  I am indebted to all of them and I am thankful to God for each moment I get to spend with them.

Yeah, I know this may sound like a cheesy, mushy post, but it is right on.  God has given me an amazing family whom I treasure.  He has blessed us beyond imagination with each other and a safe place to lay our heads at night.

I hope everyone else was able to enjoy Thanksgiving yesterday and remember the true things to be thankful for.

Most of all, we need to remember to give thanks to God each day.  For without Him we are nothing, have nothing, can do nothing.

 

 

Psalm 127:3-5 “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.”

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The Kite Runner and Catching Fire

I finished The Kite Runner.  It took me about a third of the book to “get into it” but then I was hooked.  It was done well.  Khaled Hosseini is a talented author.  It is eye opening.  That is the best way for me to describe it.   My heart breaks for the suffering of people all over the world.  I am not one to pretend that the world is always happy and no one faces pain.  On the contrary, I know that there is more than enough suffering and pain to go around.  But sometimes thinking like that is just as bad as pretending there is none, because we get immune to it.  I like reading books that put it in my face a little bit.  It makes me better aware.  And hopefully the more aware we are, the more help we will be able to provide.  Even if our help is “only to pray,” prayer is an enormous thing we can do, because God can reach across the world.

I also saw Catching Fire this weekend.  I give a lot of credit to everyone that is part of the Hunger Games movies.  I think the movies are an excellent representation of the books in details, characters and settings.  I enjoy the Hunger Games series.  I am not as big of a fan of the second and third books as I am of the first, but I still enjoy them.  The movie was the same for me.  As good as it was, not quite as wonderful as the first.  It is a tough thing to do.  I still think they all did a great job!  And, I loved that Divergent was previewed…cannot wait to see that, too.  🙂

Prayer Warriors

I am a prayer warrior.  I don’t say that to pat myself on the back or to condescend myself that I can’t do it on my own.  I say it because I cannot do anything on my own.  I am nothing without Christ.  And because He loves me, He asks me to pray and bring myself to Him each day; to leave my heartaches, my sorrows, my joys, my triumphs, my everything at the cross.  It is all His already, it is just for me to let go and give back to Him.  

Jesus Himself spent a great deal of time in prayer.  Jesus tells us throughout the Bible to pray, to come to Him, to ask in His name.  

He doesn’t promise us sports cars and diamond rings.  He doesn’t promise us that life will go on the way we want it to simply because we pray.  He does promise He will walk through life with us, share in the joys and carry us through the sorrows.  And, He does promise that if we pray in His name according to His will, our prayers will be answered positively.  My husband and I have been greatly blessed to see Him answer our prayers with a resounding yes in terms of our children’s health before they were born.  We have also been blessed when the answer was not the one we wanted and He carried us through the pain.  

Even if His answer is “no”, “not yet” or  “not in this way” it doesn’t mean His love is any less.  Rather, His love is more.  He knows the final outcome, knows the plan, knows the hurt and lives through all of it with us.  Each time we pray, we come closer to our Lord and Savior.  Even if your prayers begin with one word, just His name, each time you come to His feet, you will grow closer and He will guide you more.   I encourage each of you to ask Him today to help you to pray more and more each day and thank Him for listening, for being and for loving.

 

Psalm 145:18

The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.

Proverbs 15:29

The LORD is far from the wicked but he hears the prayer of the righteous.

Matthew 7:11

If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

Luke 6:12

One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God

Luke 18:1

Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up

Romans 8:26

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.

Philippians 4:6

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Colossians 4:2

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.

1 Thessalonians 5:17

pray continually

James 4:2-3

2 You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

11.23.13

Matthew 7:21-23 ESV

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

Romans 8:1 ESV

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

John 3:16-17 ESV

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

 

The other day I was with a group of people.   The group was a mix of Christians and non – Christians.  One of the Christians in the group is quite outspoken and opinionated.  This person likes to have attention and  isn’t too concerned if anyone is offended.  Another  person in the group quietly takes it all in, as in many other areas of life, but then is quick to make little snide comments about certain situations or people.  They are unheard by most and I am sure there are a number of thoughts for every comment that comes out.  Neither is better than the other.  They are both sinning, one quietly and one outspokenly.  And guess what?  So am I by judging them instead of looking at myself instead of them.

Christians sin.  We are no better than anyone else in the world.  But we love and believe in a Lord and Savior who forgives us; who died for us knowing every horrible thing we would do in our lives.

There are some Christians who come across as judgmental and hopefully their intentions are good.  If you are a Christian and believe in heaven and hell, the last thing you want is for anyone to live in hell for eternity.  So sometimes we try to “help” others come to Christ in a misguided way.  We aren’t perfect.  We love all people, whether or not they sin, because we know we are sinners.  We know we are lost without Christ.  We know we are saved and going to Heaven and just want as many people to come with us as possible.

The Birthday Stretch

My daughter officially turned 7 yesterday.  Cannot believe it!  She was a bit confused that after 2 parties, one with the family and one with friends, that she turned 7 on a day with no celebration.  😉  We did give her our gifts and sang to her with a leftover cupcake from her friend party, but  her actual birthday was definitely much lower key than earlier in the week.  I look at her and see how much she is like me when I was her age.  She is beginning to get into music, loves writing and just got her first diary.   Though it is bittersweet watching her grow up, it is definitely a blessing and a wonderful journey.

A peek at her cupcakes:

 

Weekend Fun

We had a pretty fun weekend  🙂  The kids went to pack Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes at church.  I LOVE OCC!  And I love even more that the church is including the youth to partake in giving to other children all over the world.  The kids had a great time serving and loving from afar!

We also had my daughter’s birthday.  I am not sure if I have ever seen her so excited!  She loved every single second of her day and went to sleep happily engrossed in one of several books she received for her special day.  This is her cake:

I love how frosting can cover up fondant mistakes.  I did run out of frosting, so had to improvise on the back.

I stayed away from the yellow dye of the cake, but was cursed by the crescent rolls!  I never even checked the ingredients on those!  I am currently an itchy mess.  😉

Also found out that vanilla may come from a certain place on a beaver…gross!  (Thanks a lot source of info…you know who you are.  😉  )   http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2013/10/01/beaver-butts-emit-goo-used-for-vanilla-flavoring/

I am choosing to forget that piece of knowledge and hope beyond hope that most still use the good old vanilla bean in making vanilla extract.

My daughter’s friend party is in just a couple days…time to start preparing.

🙂

11.10.13

This came in my inbox the other day.  Not sure of the author, but I had to share:

No OCEAN can hold it back.
No river can overtake it.
No whirlwind can go FASTER.
No army can defeat it. No law can stop it.
No DISTANCE can slow it.
No disease can cripple it.
No force on EARTH is more powerful or effective than the power of PRAYER.

Allegiant

I have been waiting over a year for this book, the third in the series.  I am a HUGE fan of the Divergent and Insurgent books!   After waiting so long, I do not feel it is truly fair to rate this book…there was a long and large build up.  It took me a little longer to get into than the first two, but once in, I was hooked.  Veronica Roth is talented!  I did feel that this book read more like a movie than a book, but let’s face it, it will likely be in movie form before we know it.  I hope so anyway!  I figured out how it would end early on.  She left a little bit of room for the what if and I had my own ending in mind that I knew she wouldn’t do, but I completely understand why she ended it the way she did.  It was the only way to bring the series full circle and make a clean and closed ending to the series.  I applaud Veronica Roth for this series…it is captivating and unique.  I do like the first 2 better than the last, but I still like the last, especially for a 3rd book in a series!  🙂  You should definitely read and enjoy!