A Year to be Thankful

ImageThis year I have much to be thankful for! I have kept thankfulness journals in the past, but this year I was thankful to find Ann Voskamp’s Joy Dare. So today, this first day of 2013, I am thankful for:

  1. Laughter with friends and family. One of good friends came over this evening, and after we had finished some work we needed to do, we played Dutch Blitz and then Ratuki with my eldest. Lots of laughter!
  2. Puppy snorts. We have a little Shi-tzu. He has the funniest little snorts. They are a part of his adorable personality.
  3. I love you’s. There is not much better than hugs from my kids and I love you’s.

I wish you a happy New Year! May you be blessed throughout the year!



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Picture Praises

For the last three days we have had quite a nasty storm come through our area. We were without power at our house for about 11 1/2 hours. I found out today that a friend of mine was without power for 44 hours. This evening I went into town to buy some needed groceries. As I was coming home I saw a beautiful rainbow. By the time I got my stopped and got my phone out to take a picture, the rainbow had faded somewhat, so the picture is not great. However, I was reminded of the beauty of God’s creation, even after such a storm. I was also reminded of the faithfulness of God. That He always keeps His promises. Praise the Lord!

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Birthday Seal for a Birthday Girl

For every birthday I try to make a cake. There have been birthdays where my kids have gotten store bought cakes, but not very many. From the time Grace turned one, I have made their birthday cakes. My skills have improved over the years, and their traditional two layer round cakes have evolved into what my imagination and skills can create.

My Mary turned eight on Sunday. She’s been looking forward to this birthday for months. I wanted to do something special for her birthday, and in her mind, there is nothing more special than the beloved Mr. S.

The saga of Mr. S begins with a VBS. A lovely young lady named Karen taught the class that my girls were in. Karen, I am told, decided as she was about to leave for this VBS that she needed something to keep the kids attention and help teach the lessons. She grabbed a white seal puppet. His name was Mr. S. Good choice. The class of little girls vied for the privilege of bearing Mr. S into the closing ceremony. Each one carefully cradled the seal and gently cared for him when it was her turn. Then the week was over and Mr. S went back home with Karen. She had no idea how beloved this seal became in the heart of at least one of those little girls.

Just a couple of short weeks later, I was out west with my mom and kids. At one place, Mom paid for each of the kids to play a carnival type game where, in this case, the barker tried to guess what month your birthday was in. If he was off by more than three months either way, you got to pick out a prize. When Mary had her turn to get a prize, she went straight for the white seal. She had found her long lost beloved. Do you remember the story of the Velveteen Rabbit? That rabbit has nothing on this seal. Mary loves him so much that her sister and brother have grown to love him as well.

So now it is birthday cake time. I pondered it for a while and figured out how I could make a Mr. S shape out of cake. Then I wouldn’t let Mary into the kitchen until the cake was all done and hidden away. She saw it for the first time after lunch on her birthday. And as her mother, I was pleased with her pleasure over the cake. That’s why I do it. That’s why I try to make creative birthday cakes for my kids. I love seeing their faces light up.


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Picture Praises – Wildflowers

One of the benefits of living in Upper Peninsula of Michigan are the forests surrounding us. In them we find wildlife and wildflowers. There’s always something to find. Last Friday we were able to spend some time with some friends at a local lake. My friend had found several lady’s slippers there at the campsite. I took the opportunity to photograph these beautiful and rare orchids.

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Hospitality chart

Now, I can’t see that I can make a table in this blogger document, but I found a chart on hospitality in my Women’s Study Bible that I thought would be worth passing along. The comparison is between Hospitality and Entertainment. I will give you the lists and know that number one in the first list will compare with number 1 in the second list.

Christian Hospitality

  1. Provides a safe place (Proverbs 31:21)
  2. Seeks to serve others (1 Peter 4:8-10)
  3. Puts people before things (Matthew 10:42)
  4. Makes what is mine yours (Acts 2:44)
  5. Takes no thought for whatever reward or compensation is in it for me (Matthew 6:1-4)
  6. Frames itself according to God’s Word (Matthew 5:43-48)
  7. Offers freedom that liberates, enabling you to exercise your gifts and creativity to the fullest (Romans 8:2)

Worldly Entertaining

  1. Opens a show place
  2. Wants to impress others
  3. Elevates things above people
  4. Claims all as mine and admires it
  5. Expects something in return (praise and reciprocation)
  6. Models itself after the world (television, neighbors, magazines, etc.)
  7. Becomes a taskmater that enslaves, requiring you to meet the expectations of others

What do you think?

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“While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” Genesis 8:22

Spring is finally springing up around here! The sledding hill in the backyard is completely melted, and the kids have found the first buds opening on the trees. I love Spring. I love the promise of new life that Spring brings. I feel renewed and refreshed just by having the ability to spend some time out of doors. I praise the Lord that He created and maintains the seasons.

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Picture Praises

We are back! It’s good to be back in my own bed again after our trip South. Dave posted about the trip on his ministry blog. If you want to read more about it, you can here.

One thing I’ve been thinking about that I want to add to my blog is “picture praises.” I am by no means a professional photographer. I have a small point and shoot Canon PowerShot Elph. There are many times though when I see something that just makes me smile. Some blessing that God has brought along that I’d like to share with you. So, we’ll start!

Although we are still participating in winter weather around here, I am very thankful for the many good gifts that the Lord sees fit to bless us with. He has promised to meet our needs, and I am very thankful that He continues to do just that. I am also so thankful for the ways that He gives us more than what we need. Like that cup of hot chocolate covered with melting mini-marshmallows that you see there in the picture. Just this last week I saw the Lord answer a very specific prayer request that I had. He answered it, not because it was a life or death situation of absolute need. He answered seemingly because He is simply pleased as a Father to give good gifts. Matthew 7:7-11 tells of the generosity of our loving Father. Verse 11 states, “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” I hope you praise the Lord with me today for all the good gifts that He gives us above and beyond our need.


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