Morning Strength

As our feet sweep from the bed and hit the floor, our minds begin racing to deal with our task or worries for the day.

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If we would be still and  quiet just for a moment and and feel His presence,we would also feel His joy.  Nehemiah 8:10 reminds us that “the Joy of the Lord is your strength.” And this strength can help you deal with all of those worries and tasks. Isaiah 42:6 reminds us he is always beside us “I will take hold of your hand”. Remember how comforting it was when your mom or dad held your hand, well our father in heaven always has our hand, we just have to believe it and trust it.

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Sarah Young’s devotion in Jesus Calling today reminds us of the joy of God’s strength. “I, the God of hope, fill you with all Joy and Peace as you trust in Me, so that you may bubble over with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

So, bubble over with joy and happiness today as you feel His strength to carry you through anything you may face.

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Bubbling joy makes you smile, smiling makes you kind, so let your joy spill on others today and be kind.

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The Oldest but Always the First

Our lives are generally setup  by our priorities, our goals and things that move our hearts. For me Christmas moves my heart as I watch people be more loving, more compassionate and overall kinder to each other. So I push it’s envelope a bit by decorating early but I know the average person wants to get through Thanksgiving first before throwing all the Christmas out. I kind of do that as well, but since I have so much stuff that moves my heart over the years, it takes me awhile to get it all up so that the week of Thanksgiving, all lights go on. I have less than 2 weeks and so much still to do as I have added outside features this year.

So this post features old much loved traditions involving how we decorated our (only) tree when the children were very young.

The very first item that got put on the tree, even before lights, is the Christmas Nail.

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The Christmas nail is placed on the tree near the trunk where is really is not seen. It is not meant to be seen. It is meant to be felt, honored and remembered for what it symbolizes…one of the nails that pierced our Lord when he was hung on a tree(cross made of wood). I put it on my large 7.5′ tree.

The hidden nail is lost in the bright lights of the tree, representing that as Christ died for us, His light shines on us and we in turn should reflects his light to anyone needing the light of hope to shine in  their darkness.

The other old but another first is the angel for the bedroom tree.It is an irreplaceable angel made by my oldest child when he was 3 in 1981. This one is a true heart ornament and until he left home to create his own life, he made sure it was the first thing on the tree, after the nail. The nail was always first.

Sometimes the most valuable things we have are made with wooden clothes pins and wrapping paper. As you start off the beginnings of the holiday seasons, remember the reason for the season. After all, its a marvelous birthday party. Spread the love and the cheer to all. And as always, be kind, it more important now than ever as so many people are hurting.

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Footprints in the Snow, SMM

Irene of Heaven’s Sunshine has a fun Monday post of macros which usually in my mind goes to tiny flowers and insects. Today with 3 inches of snow on the ground, I was not going to find that but I did see these on the steps going down to the garage.

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To me they stated, “We know it snowed but we are still here.” Nature has a marvelous way of survival even in hard natural disasters, which of course this is not.

But we can learn from nature in  more ways than this. We are stronger and more resilient that we realize. And as the quote says that I have seen several times… “Sometimes God calms the storms and sometimes he calms us and lets the storm rage.”

So stand strong and be kind. You may just be the hope someone else is looking for and together your are even stronger that alone.

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Christmas Craft Project Done

For some of us, getting ready to decorate for Christmas is almost as fun as the actual decorating, especially if you are into making the decorations or making gifts to give to family and friends.

Today we are in snow #4. While they have not been big snows, its still too early for my liking but we pull up out boot straps and deal with it. I only work 3 days a week now, so I was able to swap out today with tomorrow which allows for me not to have to go out in it.

If you remember I told you about the dog, the tree and the snowman ceramics I bought to paint and that they light up. The snowman turned out the cutest. They are about 7″ tall.

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The biggest Christmas craft project I have ever was done back in 2000. That is when the ceramic houses that you could paint yourself first started being a hot item. My friends and I started a village at the beginning of summer and by Christmas, we both had well over 50 items each. I place it out every year and last year I added a couple of items. I have to  monitor sizes as my houses/business were in the middle of the scale of houses they make today. This year I added a cathedral and an observatory along with some enhancement items like bears in a tree for the mountain cabin and the coffee stand at the tree farm. The new items were already painted so I just got to add them to the collection, but still it is fun.

The layout is broken down into 3 separate sections, one due to the size and one because of it’s theme and location.

First you have “up town” with the government buildings and the large shops. There is the City Hall, the Lawyer office/Police department, the Post Office, the Fire Station, the Bank, the Library, the Theatre and of course a church are located.

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This is an alcove above the fireplace for a TV/Entertainment center

Suburbia is located on an adjacent table next to the fireplace with many favorite shops, homes and added novelties. Throughout the season, I will feature a few of these at the end of each post so you can see the details like the car at the burger stand shaped like a burger.

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Homes, businesses, the mountain house, the Christmas tree farm, Railroad, Antiques, the stream with the covered bridge and the feed store.

The last section is the observatory way out in the country(the other side of the fireplace) on a mountain(a bucket on a snow covered file cabinet) by itself, however there is a hotel and a church close by. And yes, the tree for that room is reflected in the window. Not fully decorated yet though.

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The fun in doing this always brings back good memories, plus that fact that one year I gave some houses away as gifts and still have lots left.

Yes it is a lot of work getting all of this out but I still enjoy it and lay it out different each year.

What are some of your favorite crafts to do at this time of year or some of your favorite decorations. I always enjoy looking at everyone’s as much as I like sharing mine, so share away and lets have fun together.

And in closing you know I always stress the value of kindness. It is a true reflection of Christ and how he wants us to try to always be kind.

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A Morning Giggle

We all need a giggle sometimes and when I saw this picture of facebook, I had to share. There are days when this is a real thing…

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But try to look at the bright side of how very strong you are and the wise old saying we share in the clowning world…”Growing old ain’t fir sissies!”

Have a blessed and pain free day and try to laugh and remember to always be kind.

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This is What Happens as Fun

Sometimes when you don’t get everything picked up as you should…things you don’t think could possibly happen…do.

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A most wonderful toy

The yarn bin did not get picked up out of puppy reach so…no crocheting will be done from this skein.

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It is lite and easy to shake the life out of 

Yes I know it has no life in it but to her….yarn monster must die. The funny things puppies do. She is a toy hoarder and the only toy she was ever given is the white bear behind Mimi, which is her favorite toy. Her other toys were Mimi’s who doesn’t play with them anymore.

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I cant decide which to play with so I will play with both.

They are all my toys, all mine.

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My pillow, my bear, my shoe, my rope, the yarn monster, my bone and currently in my mouth is my tennis ball. All in my playhouse under the chair.

And Mimi just looks at her like “whatever” and goes to lay on the bed. If we could all go through life like a happy puppy wouldn’t that be great.

We tend to get so caught up in the everyday stress of life we forget how to be happy. We let our well being depend on our circumstances and the events of the day instead of closing off the world and being at one with our creator. Try to take time for yourself each day and spend time with God.  He will surround you with his peace and ease the worries of the day off of your shoulders. But it takes purposeful quietness of the day. Find it. I promise it will be worth it. And when  you find that peace, use it to spread kindness…a true reflection of Christ himself.

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The Escapist Coloring Club, Nov. 1

Linda G Hill has a fun prompt for the 1st day of the month, well actually it is a monthly prompt which is a good thing as I am slow on the “draw” some days. Yes, the poor attempt at a pun was intentional.

I felt my page this month fit well with the season as it looks to have a critter hibernating in  the center of a colorful life around him. Now that cold weather is on our doorstop, I felt it would work.

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And as always I remind us all the value of kindness and how it enhances the world.

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Amazing Song by Mercy Me

RuralPastor50 posted this BYU rendition of this song by Mercy Me and it is fabulous. The song itself gives you a true question of what will I do when I first lay eyes on Jesus.

Even if you are not a believer, the song itself is amazing. But if you do believe in Jesus, then this song beings clarity to THAT day, when you come face to face. We all will.

May you be bless to the heart with this song and as always, remember to be kind.

Memory Prompts

Do you have things you see that bring back an instant memory from the past…preferable a good memory. It is a shame that bad ones come around as well but lets focus on the things that make you smile or laugh.

One in particular for me is a bright moon. When my oldest was about 2 1/2, we lived in Asheville N.C. A beautiful place. We had friends who knew rangers who allowed people onto the mountain fire trails to pick up felled trees for firewood. It helps the people and aides in forest cleanup.

So off we go in search of firewood and it was right chilly. I had my son all bundled up like an Eskimo and we got enough wood to last all season. Coming home it was a clear cold cloudless night and my son spotted the moon. He had just started talking so when he pointed at that bright light in the sky and said moon as only a two year old can, it was a precious time for me and a memory shared in the family through many years.

I thought of that night last night with a clear sky after several days of damp dreariness.  As I was walking the dogs, the moon was perfectly framed in my neighbor’s tree and Venus, I think, is located just to the right. So I thought I would share that spot of peace and a memory that makes me smile.

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The world can really be beautiful if you still the madness of the day and try to look through God’s eyes at His creation. I envision God as He was creating all of this for US with him thinking…’Wait until, they see this,” and 90% of the time we miss the gift. I fully believe He knows the trials we are going through and throws little things our way to distract that trial, for a brief moment to bring us a moment of peace. If we can focus on the brief moment of peace, the moment can stretch and become bigger, allowing us extra peace.

May you all find the small gifts of love thrown in your path that make you smile and for a split second forget the pulls of every day life. And as you smile from these tiny gifts, may they grow exponentially allowing you to share you the gift of peace you feel which will bring you more happiness, more memories and more peace.  With the added peace you feel, may you also add kindness in all you do.

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Fan of…Christmas Decorations

 

I am a huge fan of Christmas decorations. Jez Braithwaite encourages us to reflect on the things we are a fan of. His challenge this week is Cacti – while I am not a huge fan of cacti I do enjoy his prompt of Fan of…

Yes, I know it is early but when you have as much to play with as I do, you have to start early so that by Thanksgiving, the switch can flip and the lights come on. This year I am switching things up a bit as the new puppy demands caution. So a plan is in place. This past weekend was shopping weekend to see if there was anything out there we just had to have…not need, we long past that mark. So in celebration of a new puppy, I found these at Michael’s that you paint the color of your dog and they light up.

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I also bought a snowman and a Christmas tree

Since both dogs are black and white, not sure how the light will reflect through. I will go easy on the paint.

The village was added to as well…of course, and will be moved to the sunroom where I can spread it out more. I will also put my big 7′ formal tree there so that I can better protect it from possible mayhem. I will put my short 4.5′ tree which is always decorated in white lights and white, clear or silver ornaments in the living room on a glass top table hopefully keeping it out of harms way as well. The 7′ fun tree will go in the bedroom with the funny quirky ornaments, like S’mores, things the kids made when young and other ornaments that make me giggle.

It takes a while to get all that up so we start early. Since I made new wreaths last year, these light up ceramics may be the only things I “craft” this year. As things go up, I will post my fun and show you much there is. The sad part about it, I inherited this “bug” from my mother and my daughter inherited it from me. She lives in the  basement in-law suite and has almost as much fun as I do.

Why do I love Christmas so? It is the one time of year when almost everyone seems filled with joy and hope. There seems to be more kindness and compassion floating through the air creating a magical moment of tenderness and love of mankind.

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