Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Monday, December 28, 2009
A revolutionary approach to dealing with life's challenges that guides readers in how to face them and to recognize them as gifts from God.
At one time or another everyone finds themselves questioning, "Does God still love me? Is there a purpose for all this pain?" Drs. Meier and Henderson teach readers how to face painful struggles head-on in a way that allows them to grow and mature emotionally and spiritually. In this timely book they explore the seven most common life challenges:
* Injustice * Rejection * Loneliness * Loss * Discipline * Failure * Death
In addition they offer the three reasons we often miss the gifts these challenges can be. This unique approach to an age-old problem will encourage and challenge readers to grow through their struggles instead of wasting energy trying to avoid them altogether.
Friday, December 25, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
I have to admit, I've been more excited this Christmas over the gift to Jesus than to any other gift I have given to any other person. My Christmas gift to Jesus was not my idea. I wish it had been, but since it was my hubby's, I'm extra proud! His idea to make use of our time of little to provide for those who have greater needs has been profoundly meaningful to me. People all over the country have helped to provide as well. I can't help but feel that this is the kind of gift-giving that Jesus wants.
I have been privileged to enter into a family who is also living this idea of gift-giving out this year. I am so excited to be a part of giving to KIVA this year as a family. Instead of fancy gifts for us adults, we are giving as a family to the microloan organization to help others work their way out of poverty. My family is also forgoing adult gifts this year, partly out of necessity, and partly out of a desire for stress-reduction! When did gift giving become obligatory? I have to admit, that there are many in both families that don't feel this way at all. I hope that a year with a renewed focus will allow for gift giving as desired in the future, with no strings attached, no record-keeping, no price-minimum expectations. Giving from the heart. Giving to Jesus.
On a totally non-spiritual note, I finally made the world's best Gluten-Free chocolate chip cookie! I tried a flour mix that is really expensive, but after this experiment, the hubby said it was worth it! I knew you were wondering how I'd fare on the cookie front!
My Christmas decorations are somewhat minimal. I don't go all out on decorating the entire house. Mostly, to be honest, because our home is small and with our gigantic tv that was purchased at a garage sale for $50, I don't have much room. I'm not bitter or anything. I know you'll love the Alaskana Christmas look we don for the season. (Alaskana is not usually a great compliment!) I don't think it's too much, but I did neglect to include the bear skull with the santa hat on it. Some things are best left to the family blog!
As Christmas is fast approaching, and God has been moving in both my husband and my hearts, I have a sense that this may just be the start of something new. I pray that Jesus' birthday will renew a right spirit in all of you and He will stir joy in your hearts this year!
Monday, December 14, 2009
I do feel a bit uplifted, even though its cloudy again today! I just needed that little touch of Light.
My perspective had been a bit cloudy as well. It's time that those that discipline becomes so important. I didn't feel like being joyful, but I chose to find things to think on that honors the One who has complete access to my mind. I was trying to fix my mind on things that are true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and worthy of praise! It's not something that comes easily, but practice make perfect!
God invented flocking, and he is really the only one who does it justice. The fake flocking is just not the same, don't you think?
This is the way Jesus decorates His trees. I heard something today on Christian radio that makes me rethink Christmas gifts. A gal said that she puts up a stocking for Jesus and on Christmas morning they pull out the "gifts" that they have specifically and especially chosen to give to Jesus. I've heard of the birthday cake for Jesus, but do we give Him gifts? Not just the "usual" things we do throughout the year, but something special that He would like just for His birthday? I don't think I have. He's given me so much. I have a couple ideas...!
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
It's been a weird time, these last couple weeks.
The great news, is that our fundraising for my sister's adoption is going well! If you are interested in helping support their adoption expenses and receive a gorgeous piece of iron art made from my extremely talented husband, just leave a comment! He is continually expanding and creating! I'm so incredibly excited to pass this blessing on to my sister and her family.
The very disappointing news, is that their referral has still not come. It has been heartbreaking to see more and more people receive their referral only to have my sister not receive hers. I am thrilled for the other people, and I know that my sister's wait is not nearly as long as others, but that doesn't diminish the difficulty. I don't know exactly how it works, but I think my heart hurts almost as much as hers. It's a bit different, as I want to know who this little boy is, but I also hurt for her. All I do know is that there is a little boy who is very specifically chosen by God to be their son, and it's taking a little longer to connect those dots by those here on earth. We just have to rest in knowing that God is indeed working!
On the positive side, our dog has had her puppies and has 9 healthy little ones! They are almost cute, but you may know, newborn puppies are rarely cute. They tend to be a little rodent-like. In a couple weeks when their eyes are open, they will be much cuter!
On the negative, I have not been getting much sleep. I have been awakened by puppy sounds about every 2-3 hours. Do I need to get up every time? Well, we have lost a puppy due to being laid on, so yes, I do. I do not want to go through that again. It was sad. I felt like I'd let it happen. Oh, and it also smells. Puppies don't always smell good - just like babies. They have the same bodily functions that are apparently quite healthy and regular. They also don't avoid it, so it ends up being all over, well, all over. Yes, icky. I'm doing much laundry. Have I mentioned that having puppies has never been my favorite? Yes, that doesn't help my negative emotions about having to get up multiple times at night, cleaning up poo, and getting all the paperwork ready for the impending sales blitz. Fortunately, they are labs which are so stinking cute, they practically sell themselves.
My fabulous esposo is still not on a regular work schedule, but he is definitely working. God has provided for our daily bread and also provided a way to help others. We have had such a period of growth learning to trust God for our provisions and not rely on our own ways. It has also given us more perspective on what is really ours (roughly nothing) and how we can use what we've been given, to honor Him. What could have been a real negative has become an amazing positive.
On a funny note, last week when my man was out working in another town (on a boat, no less), was when a nasty storm hit. It snowed 6 inches and then began to rain. Not a good combo with overhead power lines and trees. Our electricity went out and long story short, I was without power or heat (wood or electric) all day. The candles against the mirror was my lighting for the evening since our sun sets at 3:30. It was lovely, but chilly. I hadn't been more thankful for electricity! Fascinating that these things happen when "alone!" Fortunately, that was before the puppies came, also when I was alone.
I have to admit, in conjunction with the lack of meaningful sleep, I'm being hit with the "winter blues." It happens up here. The "Land of the Midnight Sun" also is the "land of the mid-day sunset." The latter much less exciting, though less obnoxious than the former! I love winter and the snow and crystallized trees today were breathtaking. Literally. It was too cold to yawn or breathe deeply! It's a tough couple months, December and January, with the lack of sunlight for me. I have a Happy Lite, so I hope it will be an effective tool! That and sleep!
A random up and down post, I know. Just a little opening up, just in case your days aren't all up and cheery either. But I hope to keep remembering all the positives and keep the blessings God has given in the forefront of my "thought closet!"