"…And she smiles at the future." ~Proverbs 31:25

Posts tagged ‘Thanksgiving’

Out with the old

2013 is done and gone. And frankly, I’m glad to see it go. At the risk of sounding overly dramatic, this past year has been one of the worst years of my life. But in addition to making one miserable, having a rotten year can also be an excellent and effective teacher. Here are three lessons I’ve learned:

First, I’ve learned to love the Psalms. They say misery loves company, and there is something very comforting about having someone else pour out his heart in words I can’t seem to find in mine. Just listen to a few of the many verses of the Psalms I’ve relied on this past year:

 When my anxious thoughts multiply within me,
Your consolations delight my soul. (94:19)

The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him,
And rescues them. (34:7)

But as for me, my feet came close to stumbling,
My steps had almost slipped.
Nevertheless I am continually with You;
You have taken hold of my right hand.
With Your counsel You will guide me,
And afterward receive me to glory.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (73:2, 23-24, 26)

Psalm 37:24

Psalm 37:24

I will rejoice and be glad in Your lovingkindness,
Because You have seen my affliction;
You have known the troubles of my soul,
But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord,
I say, “You are my God.”
How great is Your goodness,
Which You have stored up for those who fear You,
Which You have wrought for those who take refuge in You,
Before the sons of men!
Be strong and let your heart take courage,
All you who hope in the Lord. (31:7, 14, 19, 24)

The Psalms have reminded me that this is not my burden to bear. God will fight for me if I allow Him to, rather than trying to control everything myself. I can’t do it; but He can!

When I am afraid,
I will put my trust in You. (56:3)

Psalm 68:19

Psalm 68:19

And I can’t leave out an old favorite from Psalm 55:22,

Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you;
He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.

Second, I’ve learned the necessity of daily focusing on the positive. I’ve been blessed so abundantly, yet it’s easy to look past all the great people and things I’ve been gifted with if I’m focused on the rotten parts.  Spending time every day expressing sincere thanksgiving goes a long way toward helping keep the focus on what’s great about this life.

Four of my many, many blessings

Four of my many, many blessings

Third, I’ve learned to long for heaven. Yes, I’ll admit it: Sometimes my world is SO good, SO easy, SO comfortable, that I lose sight of the fact that we who are Christians are just passing through this world on our way to heaven.

But this year I have looked forward to Christ’s return like never before, and it has kept me going forward. In the words of Psalm 27:13,

I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.

So, maybe it wasn’t such a rotten year after all, since I learned some much-needed lessons.

What about you? I hope 2013 was FANTASTIC for each of you reading this post. But I suspect I’m not the only one who’s had it hard this year. If it’s been a difficult one for you, too, why not take a moment right now to leave me a comment and let me know what YOU are truly thankful for? You may be surprised at how quickly it will put a smile on your face, just acknowledging one of the many ways God has blessed you recently. In fact, even if you’ve just had your best year ever, I still encourage you to share what you’re thankful for here. Maybe, just maybe, it will be the perfect reminder the rest of us need.

Thanks for stopping by!

 

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The haunting question

I’ve had it set as the cover of one of my Pinterest boards for some time now. The question still haunts me. But I guess sometimes it’s good to be haunted by something that really needs to sink in. Have you seen this?

Wow. Wow.

Honestly, I don’t even want to think about the answer to that question.

I decided last night during Bible class that my personal prayer life stinks. My prayers have become repetitive and selfish. I am in need of a major overhaul in this department.

So, this morning I got up and made myself a little book. I used a spiral index card booklet–the perfect size to fit in my purse and travel around with me.

No longer will I tell you that I’ll pray for you and then forget to do it…

I filled it with general categories that I need to be in prayer about, then listed within each category lots of people and situations that I need to remember to pray for continually. (YOU may even be on my list!)

My first category? Thanksgiving! Just making a list of all I’m thankful for was such a positive way to start the day!

So, how would you answer the big question above?

(Yeah, me, too.)

There is so much to be thankful for. Want to overhaul with me? 🙂

Thanks for stopping by!

Ready to give thanks

Yesterday my toddler heard me wishing a stranger a happy Thanksgiving, and looked at me, surprised. “Are they going to thanks give, too?”

“Yes, Sweetie, it’s not just our holiday.”

This morning, all four of the kids got in on the Thanksgiving preparations, with the girls making turkeys to decorate the table and everyone making treats to snack on throughout the day. Well, almost everyone…

Yes, that’s how we kept the toddler busy. She also had the big job of handing whoever needed one a Whopper, or, as she called them, wabbers. She took her job very seriously.

We used those wabbers, along with Oreos, candy corns, and frosting to make these funny little turkey cookies.

(I got the recipe here.)

We also made these cute Pilgrim hat cookies, using the discarded Oreo halves from the previous recipe, along with Reese’s peanut butter mini-cups, Reese’s Pieces for the buckles, and frosting for glue.

These were super easy and fast. Even the toddler could make them. (I got the recipe here.)

Then, we did Peanut Butter Pumpkins, which have no pumpkin in them and taste just like the inside of a Reese’s cup.

We just made the dough, rolled it into balls, and used the side of a toothpick to press the sides to make pumpkin lines. We added green gel frosting for the stems and vines. (I found the recipe here.)

They’re all ready for the trip to Grandma’s house tomorrow.

We also have some cute table decorations ready to go. Our first project was one we started yesterday, when we added a different color of paint to each baggie, threw in some plain golf tees, and let the girls goosh them around until they were covered.

We spread them out and let them dry overnight…

…and then today the girls had fun poking the “feathers” into balls of Play-Doh.

Here’s Addy’s finished turkey:

And here’s little Remi’s:

(I got the idea here.)

Then we moved on to another project, in which we poked holes in our little baby pumpkins (with a nail) and stuck some craft feathers in.

Here’s what Remi came up with:

And here’s Addy’s “fancy” version:

"Sisters"

(I adapted this project from here.)

While Addy was finishing her turkeys, I let Remi use my little scrapbooking hammer to pound the leftover golf tees into a little pumpkin that was past its prime. It was a big hit—pun intended. 🙂

Happy Thanksgiving to each of you!  Forget counting calories, and spend the whole day counting your blessings.

  “His divine power has given us everything we need…”  (II Peter 1:3a)

Thanks for stopping by!

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