Tuesday, November 30, 2010

"Christmas Reflections"


Have had the words, "Christmas reflections" brewing inside of me and truly, I don't even know where to begin.
Sitting quietly, gazing at the Christmas tree, I'm always transported back to my childhood where one of my favorite places to be was lying under the tree and just gazing at the lights, the various ornaments that were special only to our family. It was as if I was on the crest of two different worlds and I loved that feeling...like a bit of heaven on earth and then a bit of heaven itself....the best of both worlds.
And there's the music...music has always been a special part of my life. I grew up with both grandmothers singing old hymns to me... my Father, whose rich baritone voice always thrilled and soothed. I grew up singing! At the age of 2 I went around singing "How Much is that Doggie in the Window?" to anyone who would listen. Music was in our family. My Dad even played the ukulele, singing nonsensical songs while my sisters and I ran around laughing and dancing!
But probably my most favorite music of all is Christmas music. "Away in a Manger", "The Friendly Beasts-Jesus our brother"...all the carols. Today one of my very favorites of all is "God Rest You Merry Gentlemen" but there are so many others that I love hearing and singing. The words of Mark Lowery's "Mary Did You Know" are absolutely gripping! And there's "What Child is This?". Found some new lyrics to this beautiful sweet song from the Trans-Siberian Orchestra that so touched me the other day.
"What Child is this Who is so blessed He changes all tomorrows? Replacing tears with reborn years in hearts once dark and hollow."
Yes! This, this is Christ the King!
Another part of their version are these words..."Tell me how many times can this story be told
After all of these years it should sound so old,
But it somehow rings true in the back of my mind..."
Love, True Love did come down at Christmas. A Savior for all who receive Him. The Word did become Flesh and did dwell among us...God Himself.
And yes! He is real...is alive...forevermore!
Christmas? Christmas is Christ!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

"Twas nearly a month..."

before Christmas and all through our house, the "halls" are all "decked" both inside and out!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

In search of....

"Merry Christmas" lights!

Mike and I are relatively normal people...but when it comes to Christmas lights, we are anything but !
Believe it or not we've been out two nights in search of Christmas lights...ALREADY!
And guess what! We found some! Both nights!
Four homes in our neighborhood are pretty much decorated including ours but we're the only one lit up tonight. We finish ours tomorrow after I find some fresh wreaths to hang and do the bannisters on the porches and the garlands over the doors.
It has been so nice to be able to just sit near the tree, listening to Christmas music and get caught up in the "magic" of it all. Actually it's more like a holiness that engulfs me and I just sit and meditate on the goodness of God and His gift of Jesus to us! Such peace surrounds me and I get that "warm fuzzy' feeling that only He can give. Ahhhh....selah....

So...our "Christmas light adventurings" have begun! It's the "most wonderful time of the year"!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

"Thanksgiving Proclamation"

"The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with blessings and fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God...

We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven; we have grown in numbers, wealth, and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious Hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined in our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us...

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, Who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father Who dwelleth in the Heavens."

Abraham Lincoln 1863

"BLESSED IS THE NATION WHOSE GOD IS THE LORD!"
Psalm 33:12

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

"Grateful Praise!"


"For the beauty of the earth, for the glory of the skies, for the love which from our birth over and around us lies; Lord of all to Thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise!
For Thyself, best Gift Divine! To our race so freely given; for that great, great love of Thine,
peace on earth and joy in heaven:
Lord of all to Thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise!"
Folliott Pierpoint, 1835-1917

Monday, November 22, 2010

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Friday, November 19, 2010

"Now Thank We All Our God"


"Now thank we all our God with heart and hands and voices, Who wondrous things hath done,
In Whom His world rejoices; Who, from our mothers' arms, hath blessed us on our way with countless gifts of love, and still is ours today.
All praise and thanks to God, the Father now be given, the Son and Him Who reigns with them in highest heaven, The One eternal God, Whom earth and heaven adore; For thus it was, is now, and shall be evermore."
I grew up singing this as a child. Matter of fact, I think I knew most of the hymns in the old Methodist hymnal simply because I had grandmothers who sang them to me...over and over through the years. Even today some of those old hymns still have such an anointing on them...
words of life and sometimes they rise up within me and I find myself singing them once more.
Still have that 1939 old black Methodist hymnal, from Wesley Heights Methodist Church. It's one of my treasures.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Lifestyle of Thanksgiving

I so love the Thanksgiving Holiday! Have wonderful childhood memories stored and "bring" them out at times when I count my blessings, which are really too many to count.

But Thanksgiving is more than a single holiday. It's a lifestyle that should be lived 365 days a year...each and every year! We have so much for which to be thankful, even in these challenging times.

I love Abraham Lincoln's Thanksgiving Proclamation which, today, still rings true even though it was written in 1863.
Will share that next week but today and for the next few blogs other "Thanksgiving" thoughts
will appear.

One of my very favorites is Psalm 100, which we recited in elementary school...public school.
Our teacher even read us Bible stories after lunch every day.

Psalm 100...a Psalm of praise or thanksgiving
"Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.
Serve the Lord with gladness: come before His presence with singing.
Know ye that the Lord He is God: it is He that hath made us and not we ourselves;
we are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise: be thankful unto Him and bless His name.
For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting; and His truth endureth to all generations."

Amen and Amen!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

High Def Trekking!

Have seen the most gorgeous trees this year...all in "High Def"! Amazing!
The colors have been absolutely vibrant!
Today my trek took me through Ballantine into Pineville and back again.
Wow!
What an incredible treat! Only God could think up these colors!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Autumn Wonderland!

Have been on a journey this morning through a magical autumn wonderland, from one county to another and back again!
Breathless is the way to describe the majesty that surrounded me! I was practically overcome with such delight and to make it even better I was listening to some excellent teaching of the Word! Wow! It just doesn't get better than that!
I know I just experienced a bit of Heaven on earth! Selah!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Beginning to....

watch Christmas movies! Actually I'm a bit late; usually have watched quite a few by now.
Watched White Christmas in Blueray...oh my! It's vibrant! I saw so much detail that I've never seen before. Wow!

Tomorrow night is Elf with April's family and "Uncle Bill". We'll get pizza and watch. I saw a bit of it in blueray.
Blueray is amazing! It's like being there... in the movie!

Oh there is one Christmas movie that I do watch year round...The Nativity! It's a great one!
Another favorite of ours is The Bishop's Wife with Cary Grant, David Niven and Loretta Young.
Oh and there's Scrooge, the musical, and all the Christmas Carols...hmmm, I could just keep on going! There are quite a few we call "favorites"!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

TWO WEEKS!

Thanksgiving is 2 weeks away...TWO WEEKS....amazing!
A friend told me last night that she had heard a Christmas song on the radio and thought it too early but then she realized Thanksgiving is practically upon us!

Our Indian Summer Thanksgiving is a week from this Saturday and that's the one with which I'm "swamped"!
There is still much...MUCH... to do but it will get done!
How do you entertain 16 kids, ages 11 and under? That's what I'm working on and have been working on and I'm still working on! Trying to get a "Bouncer" but can't get the people to call or e-mail me back. Have something else up my sleeve but I better get moving a bit faster on it.
All these ideas are whirling around and around and I think of them when I go to sleep, when I wake up and all throughout the day. Need to "nail" it down!
I want it to be so special for them.

Like I said, it will come together and it will be fun! It will be so nice having most of my family, 36 of us, enjoying the beautiful Autumn day and just being thankful to be together!

Monday, November 8, 2010

A change of "havens"



Well since it's officially too cold to have my early morning time with the Lord out on the porch, even with the "heater", I've gone to the livingroom and the fireplace. I take my coffee, journal, Bibles, etc. and with comfy pillows at my back, I hibernate there...sometimes for hours when nothing else is pressing. This morning has been one of those "hibernating" moments.

Have had some "deep", heavy thoughts whirring around in my mind and was led to various scriptures that resolved the issues for me. Oh how I love the Word!

The Lord even "spoke" to me concerning some very specific things, even before I had a chance to verbalize them to Him! I love it when He does that!

It's wonderful to share such intimate, holy times with Him. What a way to begin the day!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Clara's Tea Party

Here's Makenna and her friends, from left to right, Lauren, Makenna and Rachel!
We had a great time and oh, so many goodies!
Wonderful fellowship with the girls and their moms!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Weekend Food for Thought

"When God trusts you enough to give you more and more responsibility, it always demands more of you, not less.
...As long as you allow God to develop your character along the way, you will find that you're able to successfully manage anything He puts on your plate!"
Rick Renner


Word to the wise: God never puts sickness or tragedy on people. Jesus reminded us that it's the thief who comes to steal, kill and destroy. (John 10:10)
If it's good, it's God!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Succumbed!!!!

Oh my goodness...I don't know what happened... it was raining and chilly, Andrea Bocelli's Christmas CD playing, the Christmas tree box was just sitting there and I was overcome!

Okay, this is really a "Let Heaven and Nature Sing" Thanksgiving tree!
And no, I'm not doing anything else, yet...well, maybe candles in the windows!

You know...important things first...BUT I'm supposed to be getting ready for Book Club!

CORRECTION!!!!!

Actually it's 26 and 1/2 pounds!
Woohoo!
Okay, I know a half a pound isn't much to some, but hey! ,when you've worked this hard it counts!

(oh and I am aware that McDonald's fries are not healthy...for the record.)

Yippee!

Have now lost a total of 26 pounds!
Still eating healthy and exercising!
I am not denying myself...the other day I even ate a few McDonald's fries...this was a rare treat and I have had some popcorn a couple of times.
Am adding some low carb fruits back into my diet and even a bit of apple!
It has been a v-e-r-y l-o-n-g time since I've been this healthy and this size and I feel great!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

There's just something about kids and...

new winter pajamas!
Yesterday found me shopping with our girls and 5 of our Grands.
We went to purchase a dressy holiday dress and shoes for Makenna so she would be ready for Clara's Tea Party on Saturday.
We found the perfect dress and shoes for her but we also found the perfect Christmas/Winter pajamas for all!
There's just something about buying Christmas PJs...they were all so excited about them! Even the Grand guys that weren't with us loved theirs and after their baths last night, put them on, sat by the fire and did their family devotions. Such a cozy warmth! Ahhhh!
It's bringing out the "Christmas" in me!!!!!
AND today I will put in a Christmas movie and wrap Christmas presents! It's the perfect day for it---cloudy, chilly! YUM!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Our 36th!





Thirty-six years ago on this date we were married at Thrift United Methodist Church in Paw Creek, North Carolina. It was a sweet setting for a wedding, more of a chapel-feeling. Our parents and other family members still go there. It will always be a special place.
As most married couples, we've had some ups and downs but our love for each other has grown and deepened over the years and I have to say...it gets better and better!


Monday, November 1, 2010

November!

How I enjoy this special month of the year!
It's a special time to reflect on how incredibly blessed we truly are...something I find myself doing so much more than just in this season.
It is so easy to get caught up in the "busyness" of life and forget to "count our blessings"--
and we ALL have many blessings that we enjoy daily!

November is "Anniversary" month for my family...my grandparents, my parents-their 61st,
one of my sister's-their 37th and ours-our 36th! There's a richness of unselfish love and commitment in our family and believe it or not, none of us are perfect!
We all work at being and staying together and the love we share grows deeper every day... and the Lord is the "Glue" that hold us together!