Welcome to my eclectic journey of my life and delights. This year my theme is surrendering my writing pen to the true author, Jesus Christ, while looking forward to the future, reflecting on the past and dancing through my journey.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Reflecting on 2011

google image
As the end of the year calls, I turn to reflect on the year I just journeyed through.  Did I learn what I was supposed to learn?  Did I grow spiritually, physically and emotionally or did I get stuck?

The year had begun with great expectations as I entered my 50's the first part of January.  I had settled into our new way of life with a new level of contentment which allowed me to start reaching outside myself, along with my word for the year, "bloom where you are planted".  I was anxious to see the seeds I had begun to sow with my neighbors take root and hopefully blossom.  While planting seeds in getting to know and ministering to my neighbors, Benjamin and I planted seeds for a wonderful garden in our backyard.  The year was progressing very gently.

God decided to stir the pot.  In May, while looking forward to a harvest from both our backyard garden and neighbor relationships, we had the unexpected opportunity to move.  Opportunity is the word I use today...then, it was the horrible news of an unplanned move.

What was happening?  I had heard to "bloom where I was planted" and now I was to be transplanted?

Benjamin and I gently transplanted our garden into pots.  This was therapy for both him and me.  I was able to talk to him and help him adjust to our new transplanting.  We closed down his "Batman Cave" closet while making up stories of "what would the walls tell the new renters if they could talk?".  It was fun to imagine the walls telling the new children about a boy that lived in the house who had a Batman Cave in this closet.

Summer brought record heat and drought.  Our carefully transplanted garden died.  I tried to stay encouraged through this unwanted transition by decorating my new dwelling.  The next change - moving another one out of his pot - came as we heard God tell us to put our son in public school.  He would be our first child to enter public school and attend high school through graduation.

Adjustments began for all.

Our pastor began a study on Habakkuk.  I don't know if I have ever heard a complete study on all the verses of Habakkuk, but it was where I was and I soaked in every teaching.

Now I end the year still trying to transplant myself in unfamiliar territory.  A new neighborhood, two new school experiences while adjusting to changes in my adult children's lives among  my own physical changes.

I close out the year reading Kay Arthurs' Learning to Embrace Life's Disappointments: As Silver Refined.  I ask God  questions as I end the year and as I listen, I find myself in a chapter of her book where she is discussing... guess which book of the Bible?  Habakkuk.

Advent reading on hope and waiting tied up the end of the year with bows of encouragement.

As I read my post at the beginning of 2011, I see that what I thought it was going to mean and what the Lord had planned were very different...but His plans are always better.  I feel I learned a lot this year...there was tilling, weeding, planting and I believe some harvest in my life.

  Thanks for joining me on my journey this past year and for ALWAYS giving encouraging words and comments.

My verse for 2011 “Forget the former things; 
   do not dwell on the past. 
19 See, I am doing a new thing! 
   Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? 
I am making a way in the wilderness 
   and streams in the wasteland.
I am still in the middle of Him doing a new thing...and I am continuing to learn to not dwell on the past.

My verse for 2012

He has made my feet like hind's feet, And makes me walk on my high places. Hab. 3: 19

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Non-Photo Shop Christmas

This year, photo-shopped pictures have been on my mind.  You can take a not-so-flattering picture and, with technology, have a whole new look after the talents of photo-shop have gotten hold of you.  In the end, the final results usually aren't anything like the real person or event.  I am just real...no photo shop here...or you would see me looking years younger and pounds lighter.  My family is what it is...with all the ups and downs of life.  Sometimes we could be put on the "America's Top Family" magazine and other times "America's Most Wanted" due to the sin in our life.

Today, I celebrate our strengths in our photos... the times we put hurt feelings, offenses...well, our sins, aside and allow God's grace and mercy to shine through.  Only He sees us as we are.  He sees us through the cross.  I am so glad when He looks down He is pleased with the unfinished work that is before Him.  I am glad He promises that He will complete what He has began.

Christmas was celebrated with the extended family on Friday night.  The winner of the cooking contest was our married son and his wife...well, she did the work...her Turkducken. (Ever had it? AMAZING!!)

Benjamin allowed all of his siblings to sleep later than his siblings ever allowed us to sleep.  So instead of a four or five o'clock wake up, he waited until almost 8:00 before getting them all out of bed to unwrap gifts and celebrate again through food.  Our North Pole drink from Pinterest was a HUGE hit!

I couldn't resist...so I leave you with  my cartoon strip ("For Better or for Worse") which sums it all up.  May you all continue to enjoy your family time during this season as you prepare for a New Year.  May the Lord give you a time to reflect on His faithfulness this past year while giving you vision for the year to come.  I will be reflecting this week.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Yeshua in Hanukkah

One of my greatest joys while home schooling is what I learn.  In my early days of home schooling, I became very interested in the Biblical Feasts and Jewish History.  A home school curriculum has allowed me to further my knowledge while giving practical forms of teaching to my children.

Last night at sunset began the Feast of Hanukkah.  This is one of the seven feasts Jesus celebrated during His life in the Bible.
Each feast points to Christ... either His fulfillment of scripture in His first coming or His fulfillment in His second coming. Those that don't point to Christ are Purim and Hanukkah, as far as fulfillment, which are both based on Jewish historical events - the life of Esther and the Maccabbees.

The history behind Hanukkah is the miracle that took place under the leadership of Judas Maccabee and his followers when they drove out the Syrians and regained control of the Holy Temple.  The altar of the temple had been defiled by the sacrifice of pigs.  After their victory, they cleaned out the temple idols and found one day's supply of oil for the holy lamps.  The miracle that occurred was that the oil burned for eight days. Thus Israel decreed that the re-dedication of the altar be observed each year for eight days.

Many believe that Jesus (the light of the world) could have been conceived during Hanukkah.  The Bible doesn't tell us the exact date. But since the sheep were in the pasture (Luke 2:8), he probably wasn't born in the winter months.  If he was conceived during Hanukkah, then his birth would line up with the Feast of Tabernacles....when Christ came to "tabernacle" with us.

I have tried to bring the feasts into our home.I am not legalistic about this. It is a form of learning more about our Savior.  It has increased my understanding of scripture.  If I am not able to celebrate them to their fullest, I have tried to take time to read with my children the significance of the feasts with the emphasis being that Jesus celebrated them. I want them to understand that Jesus always taught through the feasts to bring the Jews to the understanding that He was the Messiah.
Hanukkah Readings when Lighting a Candle
  • Night One - The Lord is Our Light - Is. 60:19; Ps. 27:1; 2 Sam 21:17
  • Night Two - The Word is Our Light - Ps 119;105; Ps 119:130; Prov. 6:23
  • Night Three - We Should be a Light to Others - Matt 5:16; Luke 11:33; Eph. 5:8; Phil 2:15
  • Night Four - The Light of the Body is the Eye - Luke 11:34; Acts 26:18 
  • Night Five - The Messiah is the Light of the World - John 1:4-5; John 8:12; John 12;35-36
  • Night Six - Paul Saw the Light - Acts 26;12-18
  • Night Seven - If Christ is Your Light, You are No Longer in the Darkness of This World - Eph 5:8-11; I Thess. 5:4-6; I Peter 2:9; Eph 5:11-15; I John 1:5-9
  • We Need to Shine - Phil 2:14-16;

My family and I pray you have a wonderful Christmas/Hanukkah season.  May you meet the Light of the World face to face and allow Him to shine through you.  

I have collected many sources through the years on Biblical Feasts and Jewish history.  Today, I used Biblical Holidays by Robin Scarlata...you can click on her name to find more info on her blog.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

I Bow in Worship

google image...notice no shoes....as she bows she is on Holy Ground!  Her clothes are normal attire....her hair looks as if she has been busy at home, just pulled out of the way.  She acknowledges where her source comes from and worships Him.

On this Sunday evening, my heart just cries out, "Bow and Worship the King".

God has been working very deeply in my heart through this season of Advent.  So much of it can't be put into words at this time.  I can feel the seeds that He has planted and I anticipate the growth He will bring.  As we prepare to celebrate His birth with the miracle of God becoming a human, we must move through the birth to the cross.  Yes, God became man in all sense of the word... but it didn't stop there.  The miracle of His birth... His resurrection....His anticipated 2nd coming when we will go to live with Him forever...the completed story. 
Music is a staple in my life and this new song just seemed to sum up the Advent season for me.  I challenge you to listen to it...take it in...let your heart be stirred.  Then join me as we bow in worship before Emmanuel.

Josh Wilson    Jesus Is Alive Lyrics

Wish that I was there,
On that silent night,
When your tiny heart started beating for mine,

I wish I couldn't seen,
The star in David's town,
When you turned a stable into Holy ground.
I sing along, the angels song.

Noel, Noel, Jesus is alive.
Emanuel, hope is here tonight.
So go, and tell, the world that death has died.
'Cause Jesus is alive. Yea Jesus is alive.

The God who made us all,
With these two little hands,
Is bringing us his kingdom quiet as a lamb.
Oh such Amazing Grace!
A divine conspiracy.
This Savior in a manger changes everything.
That's why we sing.

Sin you have no sting.
Hell you have no power. (Jesus is alive)
Curse you are no more.
This is your final hour. (Jesus is alive)
Because the son of God
Has not left us alone. (Jesus is alive)
He'll live and die and rise again, and then he'll bring us home. (Jesus is alive)
The old will pass away
And we will become new. (Jesus is alive)
This baby boy is making all sad things untrue.

Jesus is Alive!!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Playing with Creative Ideas

Well my "Waiting" post hit our household immediately.  God put me on hold and took my computer to the shop....for 10 days.  Now I just want to post a fun post.  I will give thanks for His faithfulness and continued "waiting" rooms at the bottom of my post.

This year I have enjoyed pinning my ideas from wonderful blogs on my boards at Pinterest.  So below are some of the ideas that I have taken from my boards and brought to life in our home.

1st - Recycle the Thanksgiving Pumpkins
I took my silver-painted-stenciled pumpkins and turned them into snowmen.
The snowmen are gracing our Christmas table and even made a debut at Benjamin's Class Christmas Party.

2nd  Printing on Fabric -  I have been intrigued by printing through your printer onto fabric.  So once again I looked at a few tutorials and pulled out scraps of  drop cloth and went to work.
Graphics are free for downloading from The Graphics Fairy

A wonderful Christmas pillow for a very special lady...I hope she enjoys it.

3rd - Cookies!....well the cookies on Pinterest are just too much fun....so here they are

They were a huge hit at Benjamin's Christmas Party!  Melting Snowman!!!
4th - Left over drop cloth began my Christmas skirt...making it large enough to accompany a live tree also.  Next year I plan to have time to write scriptures that foretell the birth of our King.  This year it stays simple.

I love the idea of script scripture all around the skirt for next year.
That is it for my creative juices this season.

{Thanks to all that prayed for our daughter.  On December 3rd she had a grand-mal seizure.  This was a once in her life unexplained seizure.  All test came back clear.  They feel it was caused from lack of sleep and dehydration. She spent a week recovering and is now venturing into changing her lifestyle ....meaning slowing down!  If God places it on your heart I would love prayers for our son and daughter-in-law who will see another infertility specialist in another city next week.  Again....we are in the waiting room, praying for God's healing touch on both of these situations.}

Have an awesome weekend!  Enjoy the Reason for the Season - Christ

Sunday, December 4, 2011


As I enter this second week of Advent, I look back on a full week of concentrating on Hope.  Everywhere I turned I saw evidence of Hope - either in words, actions or answered prayers.  Last week was truly a week of Hope as God pointed me to His word and His definition of Hope.

Our Advent guide focuses on Waiting this week.  We are a society that does NOT know how to wait.  As I drove down our busy highway, I observed signs of our lack of patience.  Signs announced your waiting time at the Emergency Room of the hospital.  The signs flashed how long it would take to drive from one point to another.  Advertisement boards were selling faster means of obtaining internet services. Fast weight loss solutions were everywhere. Self, check-out lines at the grocery store also give us a false feeling that we are getting out of the store faster.  You watch people get annoyed if the information on their cell phone or Ipad doesn't come up fast enough.  Everything in life screams - HURRY! or you will be left behind!!!

Abraham and Sarah had to wait for their promise.  The Israelites waited decade after decade, generation after generation for the Messiah.  Simeon waited to see the promised Messiah.

Our family is waiting...

  • My son and his wife for a baby - our first grand child
  • Loved ones to come to a relationship with Christ 
  • Unresolved Health Issues
  • A job that would bring income and some sense of stability
  • A future home
So, this Advent season I wait...
I am sure most of you are in a waiting season for something.

from our Advent Guide:
 We know that God uses times of waiting to increase and strengthen our belief, longing and the boldness of our asking.  This was true as the people of Israel waited for the promised Messiah, and it is true for the people of God today.

  1. Are you unsettled in your soul?  Are you longing for righteousness, justice, freedom from shame, peace and security?
  2. Does your waiting, longing and groaning debilitate you, or is it laced with hope?  Romans 8:18-25, I Thess. 4:13-17 and Titus 2:11-14
  3. How does anticipation increase joy?  Like a catchy hook in a song's melody, the building progressions of each note rising slowly until they resolve and repeat... can we find pleasure in the anticipation?
It is difficult to know how Simeon dealt with the rising anticipation, but we know he held fast to the promise.
As we wait, we should rise in agreement, hold our breath, and let out a hopeful cry.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

He is Good

He has already played seven games in two weeks.

Good-bye November you have been good.  Reflecting on the past month I have to stop and say thank-you Lord.  His faithfulness still brings me to my knees...which is where I need to remain in a state of gratefulness.  November brought our son's beginning of his high school basketball season.  It has been a joy to be back on the bleachers after a two year reprieve.  This once resistant sports mom is back in her arena with her cheering voice being heard across the court.  "Go Stepheoooooooooooooooooooooo"  Yes we affectionately call him Stepheooo!

Thanksgiving weekend gave us the opportunity to enjoy the sunshine and warm weather at a wildlife preserve.  We just kept saying, "you are so pretty...how beautiful" as we admired God's handiwork.  We fed and touched some of the most beautiful animals on our trip through the wildlife preserve. Isn't it going to be great when the lion and the lamb lay down beside each other again?

Although all our children weren't with us for Thanksgiving lunch we still kept our traditions in place.  My parents joined us for a wonderful day. After a satisfying meal, afternoon of touch football,  we all  huddled near the television to watch the last football game between The University of Texas and Texas A&M....a 107 year old rivalry came to an end.  Our day ended in a last 2 second win by UT...  younger brothers of past players, McCoy and Shipley brought in our win.

What a precious month of experiencing God's faithfulness even when I wasn't faithful.  Good-bye November you hold some precious memories for 2011.  Welcome December, you are the last month of the year, what memories do you hold?
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