Sunday, December 21, 2014

When the answer finally comes...




Last April I stood by my kitchen sink and a prayer rose out of my heart to God.  My youngest daughter had just turned 31 and I told God I was tired of asking Him to bring the right guy into her life.  I told Him I was losing hope about it all.  We had walked with our daughter through a broken engagement and through other relationships that she thought might be the one but left her hurt and disappointed.  The older she got people began to pressure her to try online matchmaking services, but it never felt right to her.  She wanted to wait, to pray, to trust God.  She even had people tell her that God would understand if she lowered her moral standards since she had already waited so long!  At times not having someone wore on her.  Holidays, Valentine's day, another birthday ticking by, were reminders that she was still alone.  The heartache I felt for her was familiar, because I'd prayed and cried for my oldest daughter as she endured infertility for 10 years.  There's no hurt like the hurt a mother feels when her child is hurting and there's not a thing you can do about it.  My youngest daughter once voiced to her sister, "there's one difference between what I'm going through and what you went through. If God hadn't given you a miracle and you hadn't had the girls, you would have still had a husband.  But for me, if I don't have a husband, I won't get to have children either."  My heart broke hearing this.  As I stood by the kitchen sink, I let God know I needed His help to keep on believing, to keep on asking Him to send my girl the desire of her heart.  

I was still standing there by the kitchen sink when the phone rang.  It was my youngest daughter.  "Mom, I want to tell you something.  I'm dating someone I met at church."  You can imagine the significance to me this conversation had in light of the mental conversation I'd just had with God.  Well, last week that "guy from church" asked my husband if he had my husband's blessing to ask our daughter to marry him and last night he proposed to her and she said yes.  They will be getting married in May.  

Keep praying, keep asking, keep hoping...and when you lose hope, when your faith falters, be honest about it.  "Lord, I believe, help my unbelief" is not an oxymoron.  It's actually quit a common spiritual condition.  God included this in the Proverbs for a reason, "hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when desire is fulfilled, it is a tree of life".  He knows that waiting is hard.  But He's also the God who promises that if we delight ourselves in Him, He will give us the desires and secret petitions of our heart.  And He does.  He really does.


*********************

Since 2009 I've been counting my blessings thanks to the prompting of Ann Voskamp.
 I continue to count my thanks
piling up gratitude day by day
in my little green journal.
(and capturing some of my blessings via my camera or iPhone)
#5530-#5557

12-15-14-
-a sweet note from my husband
-a pre-Christmas getaway to the beach
-safe travels

12-16-14-
-a beautiful December morning to walk on the beach




-being able to laugh about a really disappointing restaurant lunch
-relaxing and reading

12-17-14-
-our second born's 14th anniversary!
-a safe drive home
-making pom-poms while watching Scrooge

12-18-14-
-the anticipation-Christmas is only a week away!
-writing
-making plans with my girl
-the hubs taking care of me when I started getting sick

12-19-14-
-lying sick in bed and hearing my husband rummaging around in the kitchen,
asking him what he was doing and finding out he removed the microwave vent to clean it,
(so random! but it makes me laugh and love him)
-the hubs bringing me hot pho soup from our favorite Vietnamese restaurant


-catching up on my Advent reading
-these words, "my soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior"

12-20-14-
-feeling well enough to get up and do a bit of laundry
-my girl is engaged!
-answered prayer

12-21-14-
-feeling well enough to go to church
-Christmas carols and communion
-the love of our church family
-lunch afterwards with friends and family
-the two youngest granddaughters in their Christmas dresses


-a great turnout at Hope City's Christmas dinner/outreach
 (our son-in-law's church, our church plant)
-all the people from Truelife that volunteered to help

gratefully yours,


Friday, December 19, 2014

Friday Favs....Knockoff Anthropologie Wool Pom Pom Wreath


I usually post my Friday Favs on Thursday afternoon, 
but instead Thursday morning I woke up with a sore throat, 
and by Thursday afternoon I was in my pajamas in bed.


The day wasn't a total wash, however, as I sat in bed making pom poms and watching Gilmore Girls on netflix.
(Oh, the frustrations of seasons 6 and 7 and the train wreck you know awaits Luke and Lorelai!
Yet, I've watched every episode a shameless number of times.)


The inspiration for my pom pom wreath came from Anthropologie's wool pom pom wreath.
I think it costs upwards of $150, and no matter how fluffy and soft it is, 
there's no way I'm spending that on a wreath.
When Jill Hinson made one herself,  she inspired me to give it a go.
I used the same thick and chunky wool-ease yarn she recommended which worked perfectly.
I chose to place the pom poms randomly on my wreath and I am really pleased with how it turned out.
It's so fluffy!


Getting my wreath done meant that one week before Christmas I changed my Christmas mantel decor.
Sick or not, that's how I roll.
My creative ideas won't let me rest until they're accomplished!
I think the wreath and snowflakes will be appropriate decor through January.


And I made a few extra pom poms to hang on this felted wool ball garland.

I hope these last few days until Christmas find you healthy and well and full of God's peace.
I'm hunkering down again today, chewing on Airborne and chugging down orange juice and hot lemonade.
By tomorrow I hope to be up and around.




Have a HAPPY, HAPPY Friday
and a 
safe and BLESSED weekend!




Also linking to All Things Heart and Home

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Thursday, December 18, 2014

The one thing that is impossible for God...


If there's one thing God has spoken to me repeatedly through all of my Advent devotions, it's this truth from Luke.  Our God is the God of the impossible.  Throughout the Bible, every person that God used in mighty and powerful ways faced an impossibility that they had to trust God about.  In every situation, God kept His Word and His promises.

In two thousand and fourteen, I've seen some big answers to prayers that I've prayed for years and years.  Yet, there remains a couple at the top of my list that I haven't seen answers to yet.  One in particular, the enemy has been taunting and tempting me to give up on.  I've found that my best response to the enemy is to go to God and admit my doubt, admit my unbelief, admit my frustration about praying the same thing day after day, year after year.  "Lord, I believe; help my unbelief" may just be six of the most honest and powerful words in the Bible.  

I'm so thankful that God's Word is a rock beneath my feet that is unshakeable and immovable.  When my emotions say to quit believing, to give up,  I cling to the firm foundation of the truth, of the Word. When it says NOTHING  is impossible, the Word gives one exception. "It is impossible for God to lie", Hebrews 6:18 declares.  In the Amplified Bible it goes on to say that it is impossible for God to ever prove false or to deceive us.  Then it says that we who run to Him for refuge have mighty indwelling strength and strong encouragement to grasp and hold fast the hope appointed for us and set before us.  WOW!  Isn't it amazing that He even provides the hope we need in order to not give up! I'm choosing to grasp and hold fast to hope right now.  I'm choosing to trust in the God who cannot lie and in the unchangeable truth of His Word.  I'm choosing to keep praying for the the things that look impossible to my physical eyes, that seem impossible to my unsteady emotions.  

I know some of you are facing impossibilities, too.   You are weary from years of praying and crying out to God, but not seeing answers.  I pray that these truths from God's Word have been as encouraging to you as they have been to me.  I'm believing  that we will all be filled with God's peace, that we will all grasp firmly to the hope appointed for us by God Himself in our praying and waiting.

still following, 

   



Darling Downs Diaries

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Also happily linking up with the lovely Lisha Epperson.




Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Three Christmas Cookie Recipes for you!





My Favorite Sugar Cookies 
1 1/2 cups butter
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 tablespoons milk
4 cups all purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Cream together butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla until light and fluffy. Stir in milk. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Add to creamed mixture and incorporate well. Wrap and chill 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Bake til edges are just golden on ungreased cookie sheet.




Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Cookies
Cream together:
1/2 cup room temperature butter
1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
2 lightly beaten eggs
1 Tablespoon hot water
1 teaspoon vanilla
Add dry ingredients and combine:
(whisk or sift baking soda into flour first)
1 1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 cups rolled oats
1 12 oz. package white chocolate chips
1 cup dried cranberries
zest of one orange
Chill dough for best results and then bake on greased cookie sheet in preheated 375
degree oven
for approximately 10 minutes.




Ultimate Ginger Cookies (recipe by Ina Garten)
(words in italics are my slight tweaks to the recipe)
• 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
• 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
• 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
• 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
• 1/4 cup vegetable oil
• 1/3 cup unsulfured molasses
• 1 extra-large egg, at room temperature
• 1 1/4 cups chopped crystallized ginger (6 ounces)- (make sure it is the *dry* ginger and not the moist ginger)
• Granulated sugar, for rolling the cookies

Preheat oven to 350° F and line cookie sheets with parchment or Silpat mats. 
In a medium bowl sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the brown sugar, oil, and molasses on medium speed for five minutes. Turn the mixer to low speed, add the egg, and beat for another minute. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and beat for one more minute. With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the bowl and mix on medium speed for two minutes. Add the crystallized ginger and mix until combined.
Using a small cookie scoop or tablespoon,  scoop out walnut sized ball of dough, roll it with your hands into a round ball, lightly roll it in granulated sugar. Place them on parchment covered baking sheet and flatten slightly using the bottom of a drinking glass. Bake for exactly 13 minutes. The cookies will be cracked on the outside and soft on the inside. Leave the on the cookie sheet for a minute or two and then transfer to wire cooling racks. Cool completely before storing.

still following,




Also linking to All Things Heart and Home

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