Enormous Thank You

We all feel this is a year that we would like a reboot or rewind on. Even as careful as we tried to be at our church, Covid still got in. It is the world we now live in and we all need to make adjustments and sacrifices to not only protect ourselves but all those around us. We need to be better than careful.

As many of you who read my blog know that I have been smothered since October with crafts for Christmas and I can now say…I AM FINISHED!!! YEA! Dreams were way too big this year but it all got done and it is all up…on trees(there are 4), on walls, on shelves and yes, on my fence. Tonight I will start showing what I did as some of you have seen preliminaries. But since this is Thanksgiving week, being thankful is first and foremost.

I made a sign for my fence that is 4 feet long and about 2 feet high honoring all of you who have been so important to everyone for the last 8 months. It has 3 Christmas trees that I painted ornaments on it to represent those people and professions that have kept us going and safe. It is not a great work of art but it is a great work of heart and I sincerely thank all of you for being the willing essential workers to keep this world going during these horrific times. I sincerely hope all of you know how much you are appreciated. Enjoy my fun, feel the heart of my thanks and have a blessed Thanksgiving.

And always remember, being kind is a gift to be shared even when it may be small. No gift id kindness is ever wasted.

Evening Encouragement, Thankfulness

While we can’t tell by the temps outside, this is the month of November. Iowa has been hit with the craziest bough of Indian summer that I am still in a t-shirt. I had the AC on yesterday and tomorrow its supposed to be in the 30s. Welcome to the midwest.

November is the thankful month and we all try to focus daily on the many blessings we have and make it a point to be thankful for them. That is something we actually need to do throughout the entire year.

Sometimes when life is zooming so fast around us, we get lost in the “goings on” that we lose our focus and forget to be thankful…in all things. So we need to purposely slow down and be deliberately thankful. In bible study we talked about how we do things sometimes not requiring or expecting a thank you, we do it out of love. But man, how a thank you can make us walk a little lighter, smile a little brighter and be all the more willing to do it all again. It’s the same with God. He knows we are thankful, those who love him, but He still likes to hear it. I look forward to His brighter smile.

Having a thankful heart, brings you peace, it gives you courage and fills you with hope; hope will give you the strength to survive whatever ordeal you face, so then you are able to give thanks in all you do creating a continuous circle with God in the middle of it.

I fully understand we have not had Thanksgiving yet but I am ready for the joy and thankfulness of Christmas. So I am decorating early this year, and the very first thing that goes on the big tree(yes there are more than 1) is The Christmas Nail. I don’t know how many of you are familiar with that tree trimming tradition but I have been doing it well over 40 years. The Christmas nail is a nail shaped similar to the nail used to hold Jesus to the cross. The Christmas tree foreshadows the Christ-tree that He decorated for us with nails like these and the lights we put on the tree remind us of His light that shines for us and through us.

The red ribbon represents His blood that was shed for me. I can not think of anything more powerful to be thankful for…daily. The nail is to be hung inside the tree by the trunk where it is only known by the family who hung it there, whose hearts are fully aware of the significance of why it is there. Especially this year with so much stress, anxiety and uneasiness of tomorrow, the nail’s message is ever stronger for us. So I encourage you tonight to reach out to God in thankfulness for all that He has done for you in the past and will do for you in the future.

And in all that you do, do so with kindness. Kindness reflects the light of God, the love of God and the thankfulness we have for what He has done for us.

Our Firm Foundation

Good evening friends. Tonight we are reflecting on this past year and WOW…what a year. Definitely a year for t-shirt recognition…

Or here in the US we had a toilet paper crisis….even now I don’t understand that and now its all paper products are scarce.

Putting aside all joking, this has been a rough year. The isolation had been detrimental to our elderly, people who are social butterflies have not done well, jobs have been lost and the tensions in our homes is high. But on the flip side there has been some good with it all. We have learned that those who are able can in fact work just fine from home. Some people’s stress level has lowered and they have rediscovered themselves, and gotten reconnected with their families and some have reconnected to or just now connected with God. I have always been a believer that God will get your attention one way or another and while, I do not believe God caused this virus, I do believe God will use circumstances around us to help us learn or relearn to refocus on Him. In Paul’s second letter to Timothy, he explained that there would be times of suffering but that the Lord would always rescue us…maybe not how we envision to be rescued but rescued nonetheless.

All through the scriptures, we are reminded of the importance of a firm foundation which allows us to stand firm and that foundation for Christians is Jesus Christ. He is the rock that can not be broken.

So I encourage you tonight to stand on the rock we know is firm and stand tall. We will get through this mess, all of it, together, and hopefully somewhere we will recognize God’s might and love as He pours it out for us. Click on the link below and listen/watch the video of a version of Christ the Solid Rock. The song is beautiful but the videos of nature are amazing. I think you will enjoy it and be encouraged by God’s beautiful creation. And as always, remember to be kind.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCuOW6bdfMU

Evening Encouragement, Come

Good evening friends. I want to share a few words from the devotion I read this morning from My Utmost for His Highest, by Oswald Chambers. It brought me hope.  This year has really been rough for a lot of people and the last few months in the US with all the political nonsense…oh my goodness. I felt like this country was going to implode. And we are not done yet, still fighting. United States of America…not so much.

Oswald reminds us that even in stressful times we have the essential opportunity to act on the truth of God. It is up to each individual to do so. We can’t do it for someone else and no one can do it for us.
It must be our own deliberate act, but the evangelical message should always lead us to that action. Refusing to act leaves a person paralyzed, exactly where he was previously.  Oswald Chambers

Throughout scripture, Christ told people to come to Him and He would show them a better way.  “Come to me” means “to act“. And He will always makes sure we learn His ways with which to act.

Through the learning and the trials we learn the value of His ways and His truths that set us free. But the truths must be shared. The love of God is cyclical. You are given the tenderness and love of Christ and then you act in sharing it with others, which cycles back to Christ, that shares it back to you, then you shares it onward, circling it back to Christ and then back to you…and so on.

When a truth of God is brought home to your soul, never allow it to pass without acting on it.” Oswald Chambers

Yet sometimes, it’s the last thing we want to do. We don’t want to be bothered; we are fearful, or feel unready to act; or think someone else can do it better than us. All excuses, all weak excuses but I love what Oswald says about the weak saints, of which most of us are. He says “The weakest saint who transacts business with Jesus Christ is liberated the second he acts and God’s almighty power is available on his behalf. 

We are created to act.
And everyone who acts can feel the supernatural power of life as Christ fills him. The dominating power of the world, the flesh, and the devil is now paralyzed; not by your act, but because your act has joined you to God and tapped you into His redemptive power. Oswald Chambers

I love that. It is encouraging to know God fills us with what we need when we act accordingly to His will, like he did with the disciples. 
So as tired and discouraged as you may feel right now, relax, rest and look for opportunities to act so that the supernatural power of life in Christ can fill you and lift you to new heights. And always remember to share kindness in all that you do.

The beauty of Autumn

We all know that each season has it own type of beauty but the reds this year seem to be brighter than usual. Maybe its because we need something better to focus on with all the chaos of the pandemic, the violence and basic unhappiness we all seem to be in. So I give you the beauty of the trees here in the Midwest. I am sure the leaves for you area are just as beautiful, so share those and let us focus on the beauty of nature for a while.

And remember, kindness is usually contagious, so spread it around a little as you go about your day.

Escapist Coloring Club Prompt

I am not sure if I am allowed this type of coloring for this month as I used paint instead of pens/pencils. The month of October is the month of getting crafts ready for Christmas. This year I ordered large wooded ornaments (18″ diameter) to hang on my fence outside. There are 11 of them but I thought I would post my favorites as my escapist coloring for the month. I hope you enjoy them. I really enjoyed doing them. Here is what they looked like before painting. I have posted some earlier but now that they are varnished, I thought I would show them finished. When I hang them with the garland, I will show the fence off, but its still early for that. The trees are not finished as I am making an tribute to the local police, fire and ambulance services that keep us safe. I will post those when done. I have someone making me a Merry Christmas text stencil to paint to put under them.

This one is probably my favorite because it is colored like my dogs.

Daisy Mae has a white tipped tail and nose, Mimi is solid black
I cheated a little on this one as I found a picture I liked and traced the outer edges

This next one is my other favorite as it shows the wise men heading to Bethlehem.

Holly is a symbol of Christmas representing the future for the Christ baby with the pointed leaves to represent the crown of thorns and the red berries to represent His blood.

And you got to have reindeer for Christmas and this one has a cardinal on it antlers. The cardinal is called the Christmas bird representing the beauty and warmth of the season. This year more than most, we all need to feel a little warmth and good cheer to surround us and bring us hope.

I hope you don’t mind me not fully following the Coloring Prompt rules and I look forward to getting back into coloring some soon. Thanks to Linda for setting up a prompt that allows us to having fun and sharing it with others on Escapist Coloring Club.

And remember, especially now with the chaos surrounding us all, try to always be kind. It helps us to manage this mess a little easier.

Different Perspective on View

Good evening friends. Hope you are all doing well. I went to the doctor today for just a checkup and I am healthy as a horse…and heavy as one. Not a good thing. No wonder my knees are bothering me. I was so discouraged when I left and then I realized how very lucky and healthy I really am. I am fortunate to not be on any medication at all, a few supplements and that is it. I have always joked that I am not fat – just fluffy. But now it’s real.

Then on K-Love radio an encouragement message came on that gave me a different perspective. Yes I am still overweight and will work on it but the reality of it is our bodies are God’s temples. It’s where He lives. And He loves His homes, all of them regardless of how the exterior looks.

We as people stress a lot on appearance. Sometimes it is for our safety against the elements but sometimes it is judgemental, not only against ourselves but against others or what we think other people may think. But since God lives in us, He knows what our innermost parts look like and that is what he is interested in.  He doesn’t care about our exterior, He wants a beautiful interior.

So while we need a healthy exterior, and interior, the condition of our heart and attitude is what needs to be the most beautiful part of us. It’s hard. There is so much around us that brings up that negative vibe that causes cracks in our beautiful interior. Then we then have to, with God’s help, do some interior renovations to make it beautiful again.

Remember that God loves you, that He will never live where He is not wanted but will thrive in us if we allow it, making us bloom like spring regardless of how it may look.

  With God it is always a matter of the heart. May you feel His love this evening as He brings love, peace and flowers to your heart.  And as your flowers grow, remember to be kind. Kindness is the most beautiful type of flower.

Funny Words, SoCS

You know how some words sound funny when you hear them or when you speak them. Yeah, I know I am from the south and a lot of my words sound funny to those around me now here in the midwest but do you have those words that you over enunciate because they are fun to say. Linda Hill has challenged us to day with Stream of Consciousness Saturday to use a word we had to look up.

For me, one of those is in scripture and while it may sound different, it has a powerful meaning – propitiation. That’s a 5 syllable word, at least it is in the south. It’s a word that has  tripped me up a bit because for a long time I didn’t really understand its significance. A devotion I read the other day with Oswald Chambers spoke about it in 1 John 2:2.

Webster’s defines propitiation “1 – the act of gaining the favor or goodwill for someone or something, something that appeases; 2 – an atoning sacrifice.”

An atoning sacrifice, that is a phrase I fully understand. Jesus sacrificed himself to satisfy the wrath of God so that we would not have to. Wow. Intellectually I understand that but my humanness asks the age old question…“WHY”.

That’s why.  It is a gift of grace. Something we don’t deserve or have the ability to earn.

His love for us can not be shaken, destroyed or matched.

There are some of us who are hurting today in some form or fashion, or we have family or friends who are hurting and scared. I encourage you today to hang on to His outstretched hand. The road you are on is hard, bumpy and filled with holes but God’s love for you is strong, smooth and everlasting. And remember, it’s only temporary and He is always walking right beside you.

So feel His love and surrounding peace today. I promise the Holy Spirit inside of you knows exactly how you feel and He is letting God know even when you can’t tell Him. Take a deep breath of His love and relax in His grace. And as you go along your journey, remember to always be kind. It is a reflection of Christ in your inner being.

Been Busy

I have been so super busy since the end of September that I have not had time to even look at the computer much less get on it to write. In September I finished painting and decorating the kitchen from the grossness of tacky wallpaper…

I show this corner of the kitchen as it goes down to the basement because it shows the most wall. Tiny kitchen…way too busy a wallpaper. Time to get rid of it. So I stripped it off, and repainted and added more interesting décor.

The plants in the hangers are live. I decorated the grapevine wreath on the wall and now the room looks bigger. Then my Christmas project came in…

So since the kitchen was done, I have been getting the wooded decorations painted to hang on the fence with garland and red bows. Here are a few of the 11 balls. They go up 1st week of November. Yes I decorate early. And this year we are looking to get it done and have better things for the coming year.

So now we are varnishing them to protect them. And while the paint is drying, I am posting. As I sit on my couch and watch the feeders, I forget how big the Blue Jays are when I usually just have the Chickadees or sparrows.

It is fun in life sometimes to just stop and watch nature’s beauty that is all around you. So take the time today to see the beauty surroinding you and remember to always be kind.

One all the painting is done, I will get back to my daily words of interesting tid bits. Be safe.