After the Wedding!

ajr-page-paisley-bgb-29ajr-page-paisley-bgb-28ajr-page-paisley-bgb-32b2Life in the ajr-page-paisley-bgb-32bRobert’s household  has returned to “normal,” AKA busy but manageable!  We had a wonderful time with family and friends, celebrating the marriage of our youngest daughter. The preparations were overwhelming (note: anyone considering an outdoor wedding, they’re wonderful but if you’re setting the location up yourself its about 10 times as much work as a normal wedding!)  There were many tears of joy shared that day.

My girls and I had so much fun that last week.  I took the week off and Jacqui threatened my computer with a hammer if she caught me working on it, LOL!  Being of course an artsy-craftsy family we made all the goodies ourselves — we dressed the bubbles, created dangling “tree mobiles” that we hung all around the site, made the centerpieces and table decorations and wrapped up 190 after dinner mints.  All of it was done together, laughing, talking and sharing our hearts.  It was so much more fun than had we simply ordered things made on the internet.

The digital revolution has made these kinds of activities so much easier and less expensive.  Nine years ago when our older daughter got married we didn’t have nearly as much capability to do the decorations ourselves.

Weddings are such a precious part of life.  Exhausting, but so rewarding.  Preparing for a new wedding made me think back to those we had celebrated in the past including our own.  I remember looking at our wedding album a year or so ago and thinking back to how wonderful were the memories of having most of the people you loved all in one place at one time.  When we look at the pictures now, sadly, more than a few of the people who celebrated that day are no longer with us.

As we’re heading into the season of so many family celebrations, take time to enjoy each person in your life.  Slow down a little and enjoy the preparations instead of being overwhelmed by all the tasks.  As you prepare for Thanksgiving or Christmas, think about how you can make memories — not impress your guests, and you will add a richness that money can’t buy.

SCRIPTURE OF THE DAY: Ps 145:4-7
4 One generation will commend your works to another;
they will tell of your mighty acts.
5 They will speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty,
and I will meditate on your wonderful works.
6 They will tell of the power of your awesome works,
and I will proclaim your great deeds.
7 They will celebrate your abundant goodness
and joyfully sing of your righteousness.
NIV

DEVOTION:  I found 53 references to the word “Celebrate” in the scripture today and most of them were a command.  God tells us to party!  He tells us to rejoice!  He wants us to have joyful celebrations.  When we make him the center of those celebrations rather than partying for no lasting reason, those celebrations have a great and lasting joy to them.

Are you tired and weary?  Is life challenging?  Has there been a loss or a hard time in your past year?  Celebrating can be difficult in those times, but it can also be healing as well.  Celebrate the good things in your life with those you love the most.  Remember your blessings.  Treasure the memories of the past and create new memories to treasure out of th e opportunity the next family celebration affords you.

Honor God’s role in preserving your family, your home, your love and celebrate before Him with all your might and a deep and abiding joy will fill your heart.

PRAYER:  Lord, as I prepare for the seasons of Thanksgiving and Celebration ahead, help me to keep in perspective why I am celebrating and remember that you delight in our celebrating and feasting together as a family.  Help me to enjoy the process, enjoy the people, enjoy the preparations and relax and especially enjoy the relationship I have with you that is at the core of each joy in my life.  Thank you for all you are and all you mean to me.  Help me to have a spirit of celebration with me all this season long.  AMEN

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Deja’ Brew Paper Pack New in Store

ajro1-227-aa-1This paper pack coordinates with my new Deja’ Brew Digital Clip Art Kit, but with its contemporary color palette it can be used for much more than coffee-oriented designs.

There are 12, 12″ digital papers included in this kit for $2.98.  There is a third kit in this series that I will have out in another couple of days (hopefully!)  That kit is “Deja’ Brew Holidays” and has fall and winter art with a coffee theme.  All three kits color coordinate for your use.

ajro1-229-aaAlso, I have a FREEBIE bookmark and gift tag set that is available at this link:  LINK TO FREEBIE IN AIMEE ASHER STORE

LINK TO KIT IN THE STORE

SCRIPTURE OF THE DAY:  1 Thess 5:16-18  Be joyful always; pray continually;  give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.  NIV

COMMENTS:  I’ve been watching people for many years.  I am fascinated by watching how people weather the storms in their lives.  It seems that the same storm that swamps one person and begins to send them underwater elevates another person to a new place in their walk with Christ.  What makes the difference?  What makes one person  bitter and other better?

I’m not sure what the entire answer is but here are a few things I’ve observed over the years.  ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING.  Circumstances come and circumstances go — God’s will as expressed in the scripture above isn’t about the circumstances — it’s about our response to them.

An attitude of gratitude carries us to victory especially over difficult circumstances.  When faced with terrible struggles, those who lead a joyful life find their proper perspective by looking first to God.  They recount what He has done in their lives in the past and begin to expect Him to bring them through the current situation as He has many, many times before.  They express gratitude.  They look for the good that can be brought out of difficulties.  They ask God to use their current circumstances to touch others.  They ARE NOT “ME” CENTERED, but are others and God-centered.

So far in my life, I have not yet met a continually depressed person whose life is characterized by a spirit of gratefulness and thanksgiving.  For those that struggle with depression, I know that it can be a physical issue, a mental issue and a spiritual issue.  Without discounting the physical aspect, there are ways that you can take control of your thoughts and choose to express gratitude for what you have and look up to God to make a way out of the darkness you feel trapped in.  Your focus and attitude can change your feelings.

This scripture is a command.  Notice it doesn’t say “Feel joyful.  Feel prayerful.  Feel grateful?”  Instead it says “Be joyful always.”  What’s the difference?  Choice, pure and simple.  I can choose to be joyful.  I can choose my attitude and usually the feelings follow.  If I wait for the feelings to take the steps toward the action I’m usually waiting and waiting and waiting….

When dreary thoughts come, try this exercise.  Think about what God has done for you in the past week, month, or year and thank Him for His faithfulness.  When you feel overwhelmed and depressed or perhaps feel that no one cares for you — ask God to show you someone who you can make a difference in their life today.  Turn your thoughts outward rather than inward.

If you wish someone would call to cheer you up, find someone to call and cheer up!  Be joyful!  Spread joy!  Be thankful!  Spread thanksgiving to others.  Find someone who is doing a great job and tell them so!  Do you wish someone would take notice about what you are doing for them?  Do you feel unappreciated?  Trust me we ALL have to admit to feeling this on a regular basis, LOL!  Look for someone else that is doing kind things and express your appreciation.  These actions can go a long way to lifting your depression and blahs.

Joy is contagious!  Gratefulness is contagious!  Living in an attitude of thanksgiving produces great joy and satisfaction in our lives — without our circumstances changing one bit and if they do change?!  Whoo hooo hoooo!  IT’S PARTY TIME!

PRAYER:  Lord, sometimes I find my eyes become downcast and I become so focused on my own needs that I can’t break loose of depression and heaviness of heart.  Show me how to be joyful.  Help me to learn that joy is an action not a feeling.  Teach me the attitude of joy and gratefulness.

Remind me of all you’ve done for me in the past that I might express my heart of thanksgiving towards you in a new way.  Let thanksgiving fill my heart and my mouth so that I can be filled with your presence and joy.  Show me others who are in need of the joy of the Lord today and help me to be bring a ray of light to their dark and dreary world.

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