Sunday, January 18, 2015

Encouragement for Discouragement

God shields us from most of the things we fear,
but when He chooses not to shield us,
He unfailingly allots grace in the measure needed.
It is for us to choose to receive or refuse it.
Our joy or our misery will depend on that choice.
Elisabeth Elliot

We are hard-pressed on every side,
yet not crushed;
we are perplexed,
 but not in despair;
but not forsaken;
struck down,
but not destroyed
2 Corinthians 4:8-9

Have a blessed day my friends.  

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Beyond Common Hope

HOPE ~ To look forward to with confidence or expectation, according to the dictionary. It’s also one of the most common inspirational words we see.

It’s lettered on rocks, featured in wall art, and I've even seen a face cream that is called Hope. Beyond the commonness, it’s a word people cling to that are in chronic pain, that have cancer, that are in desperate financial circumstances, and the countless other tragedies that come into our lives. I heard in the news, a victimized woman held captive said – “I never let hope disappear”. 

As Christians, our ultimate hope is not in this present life, but in the world unseen, our final destination of Heaven. If we choose to “hope in the Lord” as this scripture says, He will give us the strength to get through it, no matter our situation.

Be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen your heart,
all ye that hope in the Lord.

Psalm 31:24

Have a blessed day friends, and never give up hope.

Friday, January 2, 2015

A New Year with a Faithful God

Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:22-23

I think these two verses from Lamentations are in my top ten favorite passages from the Bible.  It's not a coincidence that I paired them up with a beautiful coffee cup.  That's one of they ways my morning starts, with a cup of coffee - a brand new day - with God's promise He will help me through this day.

Let's face it, there are very few of us who can actually say, life is easy.  In fact, life for most of us is downright hard.  Join me in 2015 as I strive to:

take each day as it comes
seek God for help through each particular day
pray more
complain less
read at least a chapter/day in my Bible
appreciate the small things
look for God in nature
spend more time with family
be physically active
be more respectful of my husband

This past year has brought tears of joy and tears of sadness.  We rejoiced at the birth of 2 new grandbabies born in 2014, and were saddened to lose my husband's sister very suddenly in December from a brain aneurysm.

We don't know what each day will bring, but we can be assured of who holds our day. . . a loving God who promises He will never fail us.

Many things about tomorrow. 
I don't seem to understand. 
But I know who holds tomorrow. 
And I know who holds my hand.
Ira Stanphill, 1989

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Luke 2:7-14

Merry Christmas my friends.  I hope you have a wonderful day, and take time to remember that Jesus is the reason for the season.

Below are links to previous Christmas posts here on this blog.  Praying God's blessings on all of you.  Love Abby

Christmas Hymn ~ Our Day of Joy

The Peace of Christmas ~ Hymn Story

The Christmas Letter

A Handmade Christmas

The Faith of Mary

One Solitary Life

Last, but certainly not least:
Eternal Destination

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Love Came Down at Christmas

Love came down at Christmas,
Love all lovely, love divine;
Love was born at Christmas,
Star and angels gave the sign.

Worship we the Godhead,
Love incarnate, love divine;
Worship we our Jesus:
But wherewith for sacred sign?

Love shall be our token,
Love shall be yours and love be mine,
Love to God and to all men,
Love for plea and gift and sign.
~ Christina Georgina Rossetti  ~ 

Christina Rossetti

This was originally published as a Christmas poem without a title in the book Time Flies: A Reading Diary in 1885.  It was later published in 1893 with the title, Christmastide.   Christina was an English Poet who wrote a variety of romantic, devotional, and children's poems.  This particular poem was set to music by a variety of composers.  

And we have known and believed 
the love that God hath to us. 
God is love; 
and he that dwelleth in love 
dwelleth in God, and God in him.
1 John 4:16

A simple poem, with a huge message.  
Love Came Down at Christmas
God IS Love 
He is the Perfect Definition of Love

Here is a link to a video of a beautiful rendition of this Christmas Carol.  I could listen to it over and over and never tire of it.  Very moving!  

Thanks for visiting today.  I hope you have been encouraged as much as I have by the message in this song.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Celebration of Advent

The Advent season is here!  In our church, we celebrate this by lighting a candle on the Advent wreath each Sunday until Christmas Eve.  I have so many fond memories of this which started when I was 7 years old.  As a child, when the Advent wreath came out at church, it meant Christmas was so close.  As an adult, I still get excited, but not for the same reasons.  Christmas is my favorite time of year and I love to reflect on the birth of my Savior.  

The first Sunday of Advent and the first candle we light on the wreath represents Hope.  

The Advent wreath is a circle of evergreen branches representing eternity.   On the wreath, five candles are arranged.   Each candle represents an aspect of the spiritual preparation for the coming of the Lord, Jesus Christ. 

Set on the branches of the wreath are four candles: three purple candles and one pink candle. In the center of the wreath sits a white candle. Together, these candles represent the coming of the light of Christ into the world. 

On the first Sunday of Advent, the first purple candle is lit. This candle is usually called the "Prophecy Candle" in remembrance of the prophets, primarily Isaiah, who foretold the birth of Christ. This candle represents hope or expectation in anticipation of the coming Messiah.

compliments of the Graphics Fairy

Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; 
Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, 
and shall call his name Immanuel.
Isaiah 7:14

Week 2 ~ A   candle symbolizing God’s LOVE ~ This is sometimes called the Bethlehem Candle, symbolic of the manger.  God sent His only Son to earth to save us, He loved us that much. 
(see John 3:16-17)

Week 3 ~ A   candle is lit, symbolizing JOY  ~ This is sometimes called the Shepherds candle.  When Jesus was born, the angels brought “good tidings of great joy”.  
(see Luke 2:7-11)

Week 4 ~ A   candle symbolizing PEACE, sometimes called the Angels candle.  Jesus is the Prince of Peace and through Him, peace is found.  
(see Isaiah 9:6)

Christmas Eve – The center candle, called the Christ Candle.  The color white represents Jesus, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God, sent to take away our sins. Those who receive Him as their Savior are washed of their sins and made whiter than snow.  

Behold the Lamb of God,
which taketh away the sin of the world.
John 1:29

Here are a couple resources in regards to the Advent Season.

Ann Voskamp has a lovely devotional series for Advent.
You can find it **here**

Sunday comments are closed.  I hope you have a blessed Advent season.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Gratitude Beyond Circumstances

Perhaps this day will offer you
a bouquet of beauteous bounty.
Perhaps this day will cause you grief or worry.
Your hands may be empty or full.
Your heart may be singing or low.
Still, perhaps, if willing, you cast your eyes on Him
who provides and guides,
you'll discover in secret heart chambers -
gratitude beyond your circumstances.

~ Donna Munro ~
Donna is a friend of mine who is a gifted writer. Writing is just one of her many gifts. She understands about gratitude beyond circumstances and writes from her heart. She gave me permission to use these lovely words with all of you.

Fanny Crosby, blind hymn-writer had gratitude beyond her circumstances.   Born in 1820, she was blinded as a baby.  Her mother and grandmother read the Bible to her and she committed large passages to memory.  She went on to write over 9,000 hymns, many which we still use today.  If Fanny had turned bitter about her blindness, millions of people would most likely have missed the blessing of her writings.  Fanny had gratitude beyond her circumstances and said this about her blindness:

Oh, what a happy child I am, 
Although I cannot see! 
I am resolved that in this world 
Contented I will be!
How many blessings I enjoy 
That other people don't!
To weep or sigh because I'm blind,
I cannot and I won't.

~ Fanny Crosby ~ 

I have heard countless stories recently about people who have gratitude beyond their circumstances. The one that stands out the most is a young mother from my home state of Maine.  Her daughter Addilyn is three years old, has never spoken a word and suffers from a rare neurological disease. They were recently told "Prepare for the worst, but hope for the best".

Addilyn's mother has a facebook page to raise awareness of this disease.  Every day she posts to the 100,000+ followers, of their gratitude beyond circumstances.  It amazes me the strength she has and what an encouragement she is to so many people.  You can find Addilyn's Journey of Hope here:

She recently wrote this:

I can't express the joy, love or gratitude I have in my heart writing this post. I honestly didn't expect her to come this far, but all the while I had faith and hope that she somehow would. I'm so proud of her. I'm grateful for the example, the shining light, that she continues to be, brightly for myself and many others.

I'm so thankful for your prayers. I'm so grateful for the Lord's tender mercies. I know He hears and answers our prayers. I feel so humbled and blessed to have had not only another day but another blessed weekend with Addilyn.  

We will remain with HOPE for a cure, PRAYER for a miracle and THANKFUL for this moment! 

Linda, who blogs at Grandmalay's Daydreams has gratitude beyond her circumstances as you'll see from any of her posts as she battles breast cancer, chemotherapy and all the challenges it brings.

These are just a few examples of those living with gratitude beyond their circumstances.  I'm sure you know many people who are, perhaps you are yourself.  I'll close with these words from Max Lucado:

Gratitude gets us through the hard stuff. To reflect on your blessings is to rehearse God’s accomplishments. To rehearse God’s accomplishments is to discover his heart. To discover his heart is to discover not just good gifts but the Good Giver. Gratitude always leaves us looking at God and away from dread. It does to anxiety what the morning sun does to valley mist. It burns it up.

For those celebrating Thanksgiving this week, I pray you have a blessed holiday.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Thankful for the Small Things

I asked for bread and got a stone;
I used the stone to grind the grain
That made the flour to form the bread
That I could not obtain.

Instead of asking Him to give
The things for which we pray,
All that we need to ask from God
Is this: show us the way.
~ James A. Bowman ~

This dear graphic is compliments of Dawn at The Feathered Nest.  I think this is one of my all time favorite graphics and it fits perfectly with this poem.   Here are a few Thanksgiving vintage images for you.  

Have a blessed day my friends.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

All the Blessings of the Year

For all the blessings of the year,
For all the friends we hold so dear,
For peace on earth, both far and near,
We thank Thee, Lord.

For life and health, those common things,
Which every day and hour brings,
For home, where our affection clings,
We thank Thee, Lord.

For love of Thine, which never tires,
Which all our better thought inspires,
And warms our lives with heavenly fires,
We thank Thee, Lord.

For All the Blessings of the Year
Albert Hutchinson, 1913

Have a blessed day friends.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Sew a Needle Pulling Thread

compliments of the graphics fairy

Hello friends.  Awhile ago I posted a few pictures of my sewing room **here**.  Some of you asked to see things I had made.  I thought I'd show you some recent projects I've been working on.

One of the things I've made is Bible Bands.  I got the idea from Patter who blogs at Triple the Scraps. You can find her tutorial **here**.

The images below are Bible bands that I've made.  Of course if  you make one for a friend and another friend sees it, guess what?  You make another and another and another.....

I like small quick projects when it comes to sewing.  Another fun thing I started making over the summer is key fobs.  Pictured below is a basket of them I made as favors for my daughter's baby shower.  

Needle books are another thing I started making this year.  They are easy to make and are a nice gift to give.  You could even thread the needles in advance so they are ready to go.   I think this would make a nice gift to give at a bridal shower.  Something always needs to be tucked, pinned or stitched up quick on a wedding day.  

I like to re-purpose things and have made simple tote bags using clothing, shower curtains, pillow shams and placemats to name a few.  I am a bit of a fabric hoarder collector and am the go to girl in my family when a certain color of fabric is needed.

A lot of my sewing inspiration comes from pinterest.  You can see my boards **here**.

I hope you've enjoyed some of my projects.  Have a wonderful weekend.