Tag Archives: devotional

Stopping to Enjoy Life!

Yeah, yeah, I know it’s pretty trite saying isn’t it “Stop and smell the roses?!”  But today, that’s what I’m doing.  I’m stopping to think about all that’s right about my world.  Are there troubles?  Of course.  Are there frustrations?  Duuuuhhhh!  But all in all, life is GOOD.

It’s too busy, but a lot of that is my fault and how I choose to prioritize my work.  I’m working on that one.  Working really hard on that one and making some significant progress. Some times you have to work harder and longer in order to work less — but if you have a plan you can get there.

Why is life good?  My family loves me and I adore them.  We have FUN together, not just tolerate each other 🙂  We actually get along with each other.  We love to play together, whether it’s playing a new board game, watching a movie (if we can stay awake long enough to catch the ending).  We like to 4 wheel together, at least those of us with backs strong enough to take the pounding.  We’re going camping together next week in one of the most beautiful places on God’s green earth and it’s in our own backyard so to speak.  I’ll take some pic with my new DROID phone and see if I can figure out how to post them.  Isn’t that the key?  LIFE is really about the PEOPLE we share it with.

I’m just writing to remind each of you.  Stop and think.  What’s GOOD about your life?  Who is good in your life?  Have you told them that?  What’s AMAZING about your life?  What are the things that God is teaching you out of the tough times in your life?  It’s all a matter of perspective, even tough times can be incredible blessings.

Would you please share with us what’s good in your life and share your blessings in the comments section so that we can remind each other about how wonderful life really is?  Remember, there’s one week left in this month’s blog contest.  Each comment is an entry into the contest.  Feel free to post those comments away.  Any day of this month is eligible.  You will win your choice of any of my Etsy store $4.95 digital kits. Notice on the right hand side of the blog is a new “Pocket Shop” provided from the wonderful website “Craftcult.” Thanks to them for making ways for those of us who hand craft to get the word out about what we do.

LIFE IS GOOD!  Take time to remind yourself.  Like the picture below says “RELAX!”  Have a cup of tea with someone you love.  Enjoy the sunset.  Pamper yourself or someone you love.  Enjoy life…

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New Gift Book: As Grandma Says


The cover for my  new gift book “As Grandma Says,” written by Judith Robl and using my illustrations is now being shown at Harvest House Publishers.  I haven’t seen the interior pages yet, but can’t wait!  Harvest House produces some of the best quality, beautiful and thoughtful gift books in the industry.  This one will be available in time for next year’s Mother’s Day gifts.  I will probably order some extras to hand personalize for anyone that would like to purchase it for a special gift.  Perhaps I’ll include a gift tag and a bookmark?  I can think of several things that would be fun to do.  I’ll post anything I plan on doing at release time.

My past experience with Harvest House’s Graphic Design Department has me very excited to see what they’re doing INSIDE the cover, LOL!  When they post a free chapter I’ll let you know.  The picture is a link to take you to their page so that you can read more about it.

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Elegant Easter Egg Favor Boxes and Pillow Box Purse Set

CLICK HERE FOR LINK TO EASTER EGG FAVOR BOXES IN STORE  $4.98

While I’m working on kits I got on a roll this morning!  These Elegant Easter Egg Favor Boxes are just adorable!  They’re the perfect size to fill with a few Hershey’s Kisses or other Easter candies.  The three eggs work beautifully together and can add an elegant touch to place settings at a family dinner, a women’s Easter brunch or other Easter gathering.  Add your own tags to them for place settings or to add all of the children’s names in a classroom.

There are photographic instructions included so it’s very easy to figure out how to put these together and even an older child could do these.  Cutting and scoring are at a medium difficulty skill level.

SCRIPTURE OF THE DAY:  Matt 11:28-30   “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”  NIV

DEVOTIONAL:  Continuing on yesterday’s theme — when we are spiritually dry there are a few common reasons.  Sometimes we are in sin, sometimes we are disappointed with God or our perception of God’s “fairness,” sometimes we are caught up in the world around us and sometimes we’re caught up in worrying.  I’ll go over each of these in successive devotionals, but today I’m going to talk about the most common reason we get spiritually dry and that is we grow weary.

Weary, tired, exhausted, overwhelmed — these are the most common words I hear in my daily life when I ask people how they’re doing.  I bet you hear it/say it too.  We’re all doing too much, in too little time with little or no rest to restore ourselves.

Did you notice the “rest” in “restore.”  There is no restoration of energy without rest and there’s no shortcut to being refreshed.  Unfortunately you can’t plug yourself in like an electric car when you go to sleep at night to recharge in a few hours — it takes many consistent nights of adequate sleep to restore our bodies and with it our souls.

Jesus understands our weariness.  He wants us to come to Him, give him our weariness and burdens and find His rest.  I’ve discovered over time that His rest isn’t a magical formula, it’s a dramatic change about the way we approach all of life.  Are the tasks/assignments that you are stressing over, actually coming from the Lord or have you taken them upon yourself?  If the latter, His rest might come as you let go of the commitment.

Jesus pulled away from the crowds and sought communion with His Heavenly Father — even when it meant leaving the hurting masses.  Do you “leave” your family from time to time to go away and spend time with the Lord?  Most of us can’t physically get away, but we can go into our rooms each day and spend time seeking the Lord AND LEARN FROM HIM HOW TO FIND REST.

Start your time with Him with a simple prayer and ask Him to help you find out the root reason that you are weary and discouraged.  Then ask Him to lead you to the scriptures that will speak to your need.  It can be as simple as looking up “weary” in a good concordance and following the trail of scriptures.  Then I find that “pray-reading” the scripture is a great way to take it into my own heart and give the Lord permission to do the work necessary to change my heart.  The prayer at the end today is an example of how I like to “pray-read” the word.

If you are dry, or maybe you’re even in a long season of drought, you won’t feel restored over night.  You probably won’t feel different at all for quite a while, but I promise you, if you continue seeking His rest you will find it.  And with it you’ll find the refreshing rains of his living waters.  You’ll find the rains that bring forth the spring flowers.

PRAYER: Lord, you have commanded me to come to you when I grow weary and burdened.  I am so weary and dry right now.  I am so exhausted with carrying my burdens that I have come to you to find your rest.  Please show me what I need to do in my life.

You have told me that if I take your yoke upon my shoulders it will be a comforable and restful yoke.  My work will be less painfu, be more easily accomplished and lead to rest.  Help me to learn from you.  Teach me about where my life is out of balance and headed in a wrong direction and teach me what needs to be changed and perhaps more importantly, how to change it.

Thank you that you aren’t angry with my weakness, you understand.  You’re gentle and understanding and have a desire to lead me into your rest.  AMEN.

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Christmas Story #8 (Playing Catch Up!)

Having my grandson here has been totally awesome — but not very productive for working, LOL!  I guess that isn’t the priority though is it?!  He took his very first steps here this morning and is a total joy as a baby.  One of those super easy ones that lure you to #2 and TROUBLE!!!!

It’s really precious to have a baby around the Christmas season.  It helps me to visualize and think about the amazing story that is The Christ Child.

THE CHRISTMAS STORY: Luke 2:21-35
21 On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise him, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he had been conceived.

22 When the time of their purification according to the Law of Moses had been completed, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23(as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”), 24 and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.”

The Prophecy of Simeon

25 Now there was a man named Simeon who lived in Jerusalem. He was a righteous man and very devout. He was filled with the Holy Spirit, and he eagerly expected the Messiah to come and rescue Israel. 26 The Holy Spirit had revealed to him that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 That day the Spirit led him to the Temple. So when Mary and Joseph came to present the baby Jesus to the Lord as the law required, 28 Simeon was there. He took the child in his arms and praised God, saying,

29 “Lord, now I can die in peace!
As you promised me,
30 I have seen the Savior
31 you have given to all people.
32 He is a light to reveal God to the nations,
and he is the glory of your people Israel!”

33 Joseph and Mary were amazed at what was being said about Jesus. 34 Then Simeon blessed them, and he said to Mary, “This child will be rejected by many in Israel, and it will be their undoing. But he will be the greatest joy to many others. 35 Thus, the deepest thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your very soul.” NLT

COMMENTS:  Simeon lived his life in anticipation of seeing God’s word made manifest.  He lived in search of God’s promises and developed such an intimate relationship with Him that God spoke to his heart.  God’s promise, Jesus, was being carried all throughout the temple in his mother’s arms.  There were probably thousands of people that saw him — but they didn’t have eyes to see the things of God.  Do you?  Do you look for what God is doing all around you?  If not, what amazing things might be lurking right there in front of you?  God still speaks to our hearts today.  He’s just as active in our world in 2008 as he was in 0 AD!  He’s still looking for hearts that are atuned to him and are hungry to know and experience his love.

PRAYER:  Lord, I see a story like Simeon’s and think, “Well he was a special man.”  But you see me and think that I’m a special person too.  Help me to realize that you’re just as capable of using me as anyone else — as long as I am seeking you and learning to hear your voice.  Help me focus on what (and who) is important!  Help me to see the miraculous that is happening all around me and help me to be a part of what you are longing to do in my community.  AMEN

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The Christmas Story

Here’s the beginning of my daily reading of the Christmas story for anyone who would like to ponder the reason for this season a little bit each day.

INTRODUCTION:  I will be going through the book of Luke starting at the beginning.  This is the introduction from Luke.  He was not a direct disciple of Christ before his death, but was a contemporary of the other disciples  He gathered his information from interviewing many of those that had been friends and followers of Jesus.  He was a physician and later traveled with the Apostle Paul.  Tradition since early in the church seems to indicate that Luke was a martyr, yet there are a few accounts that mention he died of a natural death.

THE CHRISTMAS STORY:  Luke 1:1-10  Most honorable Theophilus: Many people have written accounts about the events that took place among us. 2 They used as their source material the reports circulating among us from the early disciples and other eyewitnesses of what God has done in fulfillment of his promises. 3 Having carefully investigated all of these accounts from the beginning, I have decided to write a careful summary for you, 4 to reassure you of the truth of all you were taught.

5 It all begins with a Jewish priest, Zechariah, who lived when Herod was king of Judea. Zechariah was a member of the priestly order of Abijah. His wife, Elizabeth, was also from the priestly line of Aaron. 6 Zechariah and Elizabeth were righteous in God’s eyes, careful to obey all of the Lord’s commandments and regulations. 7 They had no children because Elizabeth was barren, and now they were both very old.

8 One day Zechariah was serving God in the Temple, for his order was on duty that week. 9 As was the custom of the priests, he was chosen by lot to enter the sanctuary and burn incense in the Lord’s presence. 10 While the incense was being burned, a great crowd stood outside, praying.

COMMENTS:  These faithful servants of God had lived a life that was often painful.  Being barren in this culture was a terrible thing and it was the woman who was looked upon as the cause of the problem.  Yet through their pain, they continued to love God and each other.  God heard their prayers but held off answering them.  However, he had an amazing reason for not answering them … YET… they were to be part of the greatest story in history and that required God’s perfect timing to occur.

Sometimes we too do not receive the answer to our fervent prayers.  Sometimes it is because God has a different plan, sometimes it is because there is  grander plan whose timing requires us to wait on God.  If you are waiting on God and are feeling that life is passing you by and with it the possibility of God granting you the miracle you desire.  Take courage!

PRAYER:  Lord, there have been many times in my life that I have seen your answers to prayer come quickly.  At times it has even been the experience of “Before you ask He will answer you.”  But there are deep desires of my heart that I have prayed for and you have not chosen to answer them yet.  Help me to not lose hope or grow weary as I wait.  Help me to trust in You, in Your timing and to see Your larger plan.

I ask you, Lord, to make my life truly a part of that amazing and powerful plan.  Open my eyes to see Your plan when it begins to come to pass.  AMEN

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“Be of Good Cheer — Overcoming Fear in Fearful Times”

Wow!  This has been quite a week hasn’t it.  Since I can’t post any pictures yet (still wrestling with my provider to figure out the issue) I thought I would write a nice long post of encouragement to those that are reeling from the events of the week.  With stocks plunging, the world seemingly spinning out of control, fear filling hearts and minds and motivating many to make rash decisions, what are we to do?

“Fear not” is a phrase that is used 63 times in the King James version of the bible.  Perhaps it is mentioned so often because our hearts are so inclined to fear that the Lord knows we need to be reminded frequently! When times are overwhelming and stir fear in our hearts, what are we to do?  Close our eyes tight and repeat to ourselves, “I’m not afraid, I’m not afraid, I’m not afraid?”  Who thinks that would be an effective strategy?

There’s a very simple principle the Lord has taught me that I’ve shared before.  This principle has had a profound impact on my life and my battle at times with being fearful.  I call it the “Red door” principle.  Imagine this:

There’s an adorable little Irish cottage with wonderful whitewashed walls and cute little windows with shutters and flower boxes out front.  There’s a wonderfully intricate thatch roof and a cobblestone path leading up to the door.  You can picture it all in your head can’t you?

Now, what ever you do DO NOT PICTURE A RED DOOR!

You can see the ivy vining up the side of the cottage and over the roof on one side and the sweet climbing red roses or the other but DO NOT PICTURE A RED DOOR.

You can see the giant oak tree in the front yard and the smoke coming out of the rock chimney but DO NOT PICTURE A RED DOOR.

When we try to avoid a thought, our human minds do exactly the opposite.  Our mind naturally obsesses on that which we are trying to avoid.  If I determine not to fear, my mind begins to bring to mind everything that I’m afraid will happen.  So what’s a person to do to avoid fearful thoughts?

Try substitution.  Put in it’s place the opposite of what you are trying to avoid.  Now if you go back and read my word picture and forcefully make yourself “see” A GREEN DOOR instead of trying NOT to see a RED DOOR, you’ll have much better success.  So it is with our thought life!

So the theme for my verse for today is BE OF GOOD CHEER!  Lift up your head, choose to place your trust in the only one who has “overcome the world.”  The only one that can give your heart a true and lasting peace.  A peace that isn’t based on what your 401K account balance is, what the value of your home and your equity in it is or whether or not you can retire when you planned or you’ll have a job next week.  His peace is a perfect peace that is based on His love for you and His foreknowledge and detailed planning of every day of your life… before the foundations of the world were laid.

This week didn’t taken the Lord by surprise and He’s not shaken.  Run to Him with your worries and fears and grab hold of his promises to keep you afloat when the seas roar and fear threatens to overwhelm you and drag you under.  Know that He has a plan for your life, a purpose for every day He gives you and those plans are for good and not for evil.   Sometimes, part of God’s plan is to upset our world.  To upset those things that we place our trust in that are not eternal and that lead us away from His best.

In Israel’s past, at times He allowed them to be taken captive for a season, but never for their permanent destruction, only for their chastening and to cause them to return to Him.  We aren’t much different than Israel are we?  We’re so easily lulled to sleep when things go well and we rarely seek Him when our lives are in wonderful prosperity, but most of us are very quick to seek Him in times of trouble.  God’s word to Israel as they were being led into a “God ordained captivity” were these:

Jer 29:10-14
This is what the LORD says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back to this place. 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”
NIV

We don’t know if our nation is headed into a time of extended financial crisis and captivity or not.  I can’t stand here today and tell you that your life will return to “normal” soon — It is not in my power to see.  But I can tell you that God has a plan and that plan is for good and not for evil.  Trust in His plan.  Trust in His love.  Trust in His goodness because nothing else in this world is trustworthy.

SCRIPTURE OF THE DAY: John 16:33 These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”  NKJV

PRAYER:  Lord, this has been a fearful time.  I’m fearful of what I see and I’m even more fearful of what I can’t see and can’t control about my future.  Please help me to overcome my fear even as you overcame the world.  Help me to trust that you have a plan forward for me and that you know the future and hold it (and me) in your very capable hands.

Lord, give me that “green door” that I can hang onto when fear stirs in my heart.  Give me a promise that is personal and powerful to calm my fears and give me a stable and enduring trust in you.  AMEN

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First Month’s Drawing for a $5 Gift Certificate Will be Held August 1st.

There are now two ways you can win by stopping by my blog.  The first is our twice-monthly blog comments drawing and the second is a drawing that will be held every month from those who have made a purchase in the blog store!

I’m going to make each of those prizes a $5 gift certificate from now on.  This will allow the individual who wins the greatest freedom in what they select.

I can’t believe the store’s been up for almost a full month already!  You have made it such an amazing blessing and success so quickly.  Thanks to each of you!

SCRIPTURE OF THE DAY: Ps 18:28-29  You, O LORD, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.  With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall.  NIV

PRAYER:  Sometimes Lord, my days are so long and exhausting that I’m not sure how I will get through them.  In the days of the scripture, if you ran out of oil you wouldn’t be able to work any longer or see where you were going.  I love this verse’s promise that you will keep my lamp burning and you will help me tackle the challenges that are set before me.

Every wall that gets in my way can be gone over or around if I trust in, listen to and obey your word. Elsewhere your word says that your word is a lamp unto my feet and light unto my path.  Shine your light like a powerful flashlight in front of me to show me the way you want me to go.  Give me victory in every area of my life Lord, that I might bring Glory and Honor to you.  AMEN

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