Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Word-Filled Wednesday

"And God said, 'Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth.' And it was so."  Genesis 1:14-15

Praise God for his love and care for us in all seasons!

Happy New Year

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Our Grandson's First Christmas

Our grandson liked his gifts, but the boxes, tags, and such, he had the most fun with!  he was such a joy!

Here he is with his mommy on Christmas Day, studying the tag from his new clothes.

Christmas Eve, notice Dad has the stuffed animal that was in the sack.

What a great sound the lovely red tissue makes when shaken!

Oh, but the favorite of all was the red ribbon, which entertained him for quite a long time!

Back to Christmas Day at Larry's sister's.  Our daughter, the aunt, gave baby lots of giggles and fun sliding around in the box we brought our food in.

Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

My Family's New Year's Eve Tradition

When our son and daughter were young, there were a few years that we changed the time on a clock, so that it would turn "midnight" around 9 or so, so we could celebrate, then go to bed at a normal time.   We also started the tradition of having root beer floats, which we enjoyed over the years, and Larry and I have kept doing, even though they rarely join us.  They do come over some time the next day or so and have floats with us.

When our daughter was in the sixth grade, she spent New Year's Eve with a neighbor/school friend.  At one point she asked the friend when they were going to have floats.  She had not realized that was a family thing.  Our son said he had thought others did it, too.

I think we must have watched movies, too, or played board games.  Larry and I sometimes get invited to parties, but we prefer to stay home and watch movies.  Some years we make it to midnight, and other years we don't.

Please feel free to share your traditions here in the comments section.  Have a safe, fun, blessed New Year's Eve and New Year!


After looking for a photo of a root beer float, I tried to put a whole article that I got a code for to embed on a blog, but didn't know how to put it here, so I'm going to try a different way to put it in.  I see it went to my sidebar, even though I had put it in the bottom one, thinking it would go above the posts.  The photo I just added here, is the one that was on the article I put on the side.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Hark the Herald Angels Sing has the wonderful Gospel Message

I love this hymn.  The words, "God and sinners reconciled" show us we receive God's forgiveness before any changes that are made in us that we somehow think will make us more acceptable to him.  Romans 5:8 says, "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."  The whole hymn, though, is packed with the message of who Jesus is, and what he does for us.  Something I thought a bit interesting and sad, is that I noticed several of the sites have "offspring of the chosen one" instead of what I think was the original "virgin's womb."  

Have a blessed Christmas, and pray for God's help forgiving those who hurt us with their words or actions over the holidays with the forgiveness we have received from him.  

Hark the Herald Angel Sing:

Hark the herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!
Peace on earth and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled"
Joyful, all ye nations rise
Join the triumph of the skies
With the angelic host proclaim:
"Christ is born in Bethlehem"
Hark! the herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!"

Christ by highest heav'n adored;
Christ the everlasting Lord
Late in time behold him come,
Offspring of the virgin's womb,
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see
Hail the incarnate Deity
Pleased as man with men to dwell
Jesus, our Emmanuel
Hark! the herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!"

Hail the heav'n born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings
Ris'n with healing in His wings
Mild he lays his glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth
Hark!  the herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King"

(Added Wednesday morning:  I got up too early this morning, so hopefully I'll find time for a nap today.  I'm going to go ahead and make a gluten free pie for our daughter, and then clean our dining room, which has become a catch all space.  I am tickled that I got the kitchen clean yesterday!

Over the last several years, our daughter, son, and daughter in law have come to our house on Christmas eve for soup.  Our son makes gumbo, and I make oyster stew, to carry on the tradition of Larry's dad.  I also make several other kinds of soup.  Tomorrow, we will take leftovers to Larry's sister's house.  My family is joining us tonight, and it will be our grandson's first Christmas. Well, I better get busy!) 

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Something happened to this picture of my son and grandson, which had been the second one until it disappeared.  I don't know if these are limitations of the blog format, or mine, but I can only put a picture at the top of the blog, and not after any words I've typed or after another picture.  Also, I can't cut and paste in the body of the post.  It will cut, but then usually, but not always, it will paste under the post. Does anyone know more about these things?

Our grandson spent the night Friday night, and Saturday, our son came over on his way to work to see him, and they put some decorations on the tree I've written about in the paragraph under this picture.

My husband usually resists decorating for Christmas, and for the last 4 years, we haven't had our tree up due to our dog being a puppy for a prolonged amount of time.  This year, Larry told me we should get a smaller tree to put up for our grandson. His parents are busy with working on the house his mom grew up in so they can move there.  So, we went out and bought a 4.5 foot one, complete with lights!  

We have many of the decorations my husband's family used over the years, and still have the ones we picked up over the years.  We also used some from the basket of decorations I got very cheap at a post Christmas sale that I had planned to use for gifts, but forgot about.  Maybe I'll remember next year.

Mom came after installing some bamboo flooring and the decorating continued.

Yesterday, Larry finished decorating the tree as I sorted through the decorations and put some other things around the room.  He took this picture:

Have a Blessed Christmas!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Friends on the Internet and "in the Flesh"

I have been spending a lot of time with people for holiday gatherings.  It's fun to be around them and catch up, but guess what my favorite thing to talk about is?  I love talking about blogging!  I even talk about it to students I don't know in the media center of the school I work at when they are on the computer next to me.  I think there is at least one student who seemed interested in checking it out.  Whenever I talk about blogging, I say I have a Christian and a gardening blog.  I tell people how I'm meeting people from all over the world.  

I feel blessed that I have friends from different countries, including those I've met in ways other than the internet.  One of my friends is from South Korea.  I met her when she was auditing a class I was taking at UNL.  She keeps having to go back home because her visas expire.  Her goal has been to learn English well enough to get a green card.  I hadn't heard from her in quite awhile, but she emailed me last week to let me know she and her younger son are living in Virginia.  Her older son stayed with an American family the last time she and her younger son had to go back, and is now going to college in New York.  (I haven't noticed any blogs from S. Korea, have you?)

Please pray for my friend so she knows God's will for her life, and if he is willing, that it works out for her to live in the U.S. as she so strongly desires.

I hope you all are enjoying your Christmas season!  We have our grandson tonight for an overnight stay.  It's his third one.  He is asleep in the Pack n Play next to me.  He's going to be one January 4th, and is walking up to 14 steps or so now.  He actually walked back and forth between me in the living room to Larry in the computer room several times.  

God's Blessings,

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

ABCs of the Word, "U"

I thought this would be a good one around Christmas time, because it's good to remember who Jesus is and the reason why he was born.  Yes, he died on the cross, but he did rise and is still working in our lives.  Please click on the icon in my sidebar to see Pam's blog, Grey Like Snuffie, and her list of others participating.

Hebrews 1:1-3:

"In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.  The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.  After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven."

Hi Pam, scroll down to see the "joy" decoration you gave me in your drawing.  We found a good place for it in the hallway between the kitchen and the dining room.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Word-Filled Wednesday

Proverbs 16:1

"To man belong the plans of the heart, but from the Lord comes the reply of the tongue."  

I tried to find a verse that went with this pic, but none seemed to fit.  This verse sort of does. We make plans, and "walk" in them, but the Lord guides us on our way.  Please click on the icon in my sidebar for more WWFs.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmas Joy!

Merry Christmas!  I hope your holidays are joyful and peaceful.

"The ransomed of the Lord will return.  They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their  heads.  Gladness and joy with overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away."  

Isaiah 51:11

Thanks Pam, for the prize you sent me from your drawing.  It's lovely!


Thursday, December 11, 2008

ABCs of the Word, "T"

Psalm 28:7

"The Lord is the strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him and I am helped.  My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song."

Visit Grey Like Snuffie for more ABCs of the Word.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Word-Filled Wednesday

2 Timothy 2:1-4:

"I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.  This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth."

Something I like about this passage is that God does not expect us to be out preaching or doing things only for others all the time.  I love to be at home, and yet find myself on the go a lot.  I need to pray more, and for more people than those I do.  I feel no condemnation from God, though.  I have that knowledge of the truth, and peace with God through faith and trust in him alone for my salvation.

For more Word-Filled Wednesday posts, click on the icon in my sidebar.

Monday, December 8, 2008


It's been busy around here!  I have a post in mind, but am waiting for my husband to help me put some music on here from a CD I bought at a concert at our church Sunday night.  We put it on itunes, now I need to figure out how to get it from there to here.

I put a post on my Corner Garden blog about things I collect if you are interested.

Blessings, Sue

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

ABCs of the Word, "S"

"By day the Lord directs his love at night his song is with me-a prayer to the God of my life."

Psalm 42:8

For more ABCs of the Word, visit Grey Like Snuffie's blog.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Word-Filled Wednesday

"As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."

Isaiah 55:9

Find the button in my sidebar, and it will take you to Word-Filled Wednesday posts by others.

Added 12/3- A Link to AmyDeane's blog

Family Time at Grandma's Funeral

Last night we had a family greeting friends evening at the mortuary.  There weren't a lot of friends there, so the relatives got to visit with each other.  One of my uncles told me a woman who worked with Grandma told them that the last few weeks, Grandma had kept saying she wanted to go home, and it wasn't her own home she was talking about.

Not only had I not seen my grandmother in a long time, it had been as long or longer since I'd seen my cousins, aunts, and uncles.  When we were kids, and up until a few years after we started having children, we got together every Christmas, usually Christmas Eve.  I remember Grandma used to give all her kids and their spouses the same or similar gifts, and the grandchildren would also get similar gifts to each other.

The cousins enjoyed trying to catch up today.  We were the pall bearers.  Most of us rode in the hearse.  It was actually quite pleasant.  

I was pleased when we got the mail, and there was an invitation from one of the cousins for a Christmas gathering the middle of the month.  

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Regrets about not Visiting Grandmother

My 96 year old paternal grandmother died Friday evening.  When my sister called, I experienced anger toward myself more than grief for our grandmother's death.  She had dementia, Alzheimer's, they think, for a number of years.  The last time I saw her was after a stroke about 2 years ago.  They told me she may not know me, but she did.  I enjoyed seeing a language therapist work with her, and determined that I was going to visit her more, and do the things the therapist did with her, like starting a well known rhyme, and having her fill in the last word.  My parents and my dad's siblings and their families did a lot for her.  My cousins, who I rarely see probably went to see her, so they won't have the regrets I do.

This morning in church, our Pastor talked about how we put things off, then have to hurry.  He tied it in to the Word by saying that our waiting, or procrastinating can be part of our sinful side, but God's waiting has a purpose, to draw us to depend on him, or so that events will bring about some other part of his plan.  Anyway, at the beginning of the service, a video was shown about people being busy every day.  At the end it asked if we knew Jesus was coming back today, how would we spend our time.  

As soon as the video started, I knew what it was about, and for the first time since Grandma's death, my tears flowed.  Then, during different parts of the service, the tears would be triggered again.  I was a little embarrassed, but I just let them come, because I needed them to.  I put in a prayer request for our family, so people knew why I was crying.  But were my tears for Grandma's death?  I think she was ready, and really, I lost my grandmother awhile ago.  Still, I could have been a source of comfort for her, and she could have been a blessing to me.  I think the tears were from a feeling of regret of what could or should have been.  I am so thankful for God's forgiveness, and the fact he will not hold a grudge against me for being "too busy" to go see my grandmother.

After church, I told Pastor and some people I know well that this was the first time I had cried since hearing of her death.  Now, I need to be in the Word every day, not just the days I get finished with other things on time.  I need to seek God's help in how I spend my time.  I want to be a better steward of the time God gives me.  I know my parents would like to see us more. Any prayers for me along these lines would be appreciated.


Friday, November 28, 2008

Translation Widget Added

Welcome, anyone who speaks another language!  

I have a more detailed post in my other blog about getting to know people through blogging that you can find by clicking on the link under the "About Me" picture. 


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

ABCs of the Word, "S"

1 Peter 3:15-16 is a good passage for those of us who will see people over the holidays we don't see often, who may not be believers.  For more ABC's of the word, go to Grey Like Snuffie.  After typing the passage, I realized there are two "S" words, but they are both actions people take, one good, one not.  I had looked at several passages, and was thinking this had more "S"s in it.

"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord.  Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.  But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander."

Happy Thanksgiving!

Word-Filled Wednesday

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is noble, whatever is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things."
Philippians 4:8

This is my first Word-Filled Wednesday.  I want to relate this to Thanksgiving by saying that I am thankful God has patiently worked with me to change my thought life.  I have tended to be a worrier, and would let myself stew about problems and people in my life.  He brings me to this verse a lot.  Verse 9 goes on to say that the peace of God will be with us as we put this into practice.  Have a blessed Thanksgiving!   For more Word Filled Wednesdays, click on the logo or on the name here,  Amydeane's blog.  

Edit: (I will need to figure out how to post the logo.  I have obviously done one before, but this morning have not been able to get it to work.)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Giving Thanks, Day 23

Today I am thankful for having clothes to wear, and for being almost caught up with my laundry.  I remember reading somewhere about being thankful for having to keep up with various duties, or having certain kinds of problems, like dirty dishes in the sink, because it means you have that possession, such as food, (and dishes) when others may not.  So, for those things, too, I am thankful.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Giving Thanks, Day 22

Today I am thankful that our grandson is getting over being sick, and that he and Heidi, our yellow lab are becoming such buddies.  These photos were taken this evening.  If you click on the yellow rose, you will get to Joyce's blog.  She is the one who started the 30 thankful days idea.  God Bless!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

ABCs of the Word

Today's letter for ABCs of the Word is "R".  I have chosen 2Corinthians 5:14-21.  It's a longer passage, and I'm not going to have time to put Grey like Snuffie's flower here until after work, but wanted to get the Scripture up.  As I was looking in my concordance for what to use, I saw words like, "rejoice" and "resplendent"  that I thought were pretty cool, but when I saw "reconciliation"  I wanted to use that, because it's a good word to remind us what Jesus did for us, and how we are to forgive each other.  It tells us here that God is not counting our sins against us.  This may be helpful, realizing there may be people we only see at the holidays that need ongoing forgiveness from us.  

"For Christ's love compels us, because he died for all, and therefore all died.  And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.  So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view.  Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer.  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!  All this is from God, who gave us the ministry of reconciliation: That God was reconciling the world to  himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them.  And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.  We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.  We implore you on Christ's behalf:  be reconciled to God.  God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Giving Thanks Day 19

Today I am thankful that my daughter likes the small apartment she is moving into.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Giving Thanks, Day 18

I can't remember whose blog had the hymn, Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing last night, but I am thankful for the message of that song, and the fact that it was going through my head most of the day, and I was humming it up and down the halls, and in the classrooms as I was working with students today.  

Monday, November 17, 2008

Giving Thanks, Days 16 and 17

I missed yesterday.  I have been reading a bunch of Carol's at May Dreams Garden's Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day blogs, and not keeping up with answering my own comments or writing about what I'm thankful for.  

I am up past my bedtime again!  I am thankful God is giving me strength for each day, even though I'm not making myself go to bed on time.

I am also thankful for warm clothes and blankets on cold fall and winter days.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Giving Thanks, Day 15

Today was one of my 4 times a year days to buy the groceries and lead a group in the preparation of supper at a local outreach organization.  There happened to be a training session this morning that I also attended, so it's been a full day.  Our city is in the process of making a beltway to avoid flooding, and the program is needing to find a new home.  I knew they were going to have to move, but found out today, the city is planning on building a parking garage on the site!  They are working to eliminate homelessness, and with the service provided, it would cost the city if they weren't around.  The people who come to eat the meals do not have to apply or show they have needs, but I found out the programs they offer to help people pay bills and stay in their homes do check on their eligibility.  They also teach them skills for healthy living and do health screenings.

So, today, as I was working in the kitchen, I thought of how thankful I am to have a home.  It's not one that people would consider desirable by today's standards, but it will be paid off within a year.  I am thankful that we have no other loans or credit card bills.  We have health insurance and money to pay the high cost of the portion insurance does not cover for health care.  Psalm 145:15: 

"The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time."

Friday, November 14, 2008

Giving Thanks, Day 14

My husband and I had the day off because of a volleyball tournament at our school.  I asked him if he wanted to go to some thrift stores.  Our daughter is moving, and needs some things, but we also like looking around for things we might use.  I wanted him to take me to an estate sale in an area of town that isn't around any of the places we usually go.  

If there is more than one way to get somewhere, DH and I will automatically choose different ways.  I am usually quiet about it, but today, the street we needed to go on goes through to the one we were already on, so I asked him why he turned on the one he did.  He said it was because the bridge (that had been closed for rebuilding) was open.  The next turn he made was a dead end.  Then, a bit further down the road, he turned onto a street going the opposite direction we needed to go, and it took us a few miles out of the way.  Just before he turned, I exclaimed, "Don't turn here!"  I was not feeling very patient, partly because I was hungry.  When I asked him why he turned that way, he said it wasn't a big deal that he made a wrong turn.  (He was thinking there would be a loop to take him the other way, but I read the sign, and it indicated the other way.)

So, after going a few miles in the opposite direction, going even farther that way than our house, where we started from is, adding 15-20 minutes to what would have been less than 20 minutes to get there going the "best" way, he dropped me off at the sale, because it was a busy street, and there was no parking.  Oh, my!  They had nothing at the sale I was interested in!  Then, I stood out in the cold, waiting for DH to come back to get me!  

I prayed, and asked God if I was supposed to stay home and clean like I had originally planned.  We stopped at a nearby Goodwill store after eating a sandwich, and I don't think we bought anything.  I asked DH whether he wanted to go to more stores, and he said he didn't really need anything, but he'd take me around if I wanted him to.  I thought to myself, I could have gone on my own and not had all this exasperation!  I told  him I'd go another time, then, and should get started on housework.  

We decided to drive by the apartment DD is moving into, and when I saw her car, we stopped to see it.  She had to get to work shortly after we got there, but we got to see her place and meet her landlords.  She had looked in the paper like I suggested and found a place privately owned, rather than a company.  God does work for the good in all things, because if we had driven straight to the sale, we may have missed this opportunity.  

Then, we passed a Catholic run thrift store that has always been closed when I've stopped to check it out.  What an awesome store it is!  They had all kinds of cool things DD could use, and we bought some things, too.   I found a cookbook I have been wanting.  I enjoyed the Christian music they had playing.  Then, we came home, and I edited my pics for the Garden Blogger's Bloom Day, hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens, put my post for tomorrow together, and have it saved and ready to go.  

Oh, and I washed the clothes I bought for DD at the sale I went to by myself earlier in the morning.  She has lost over 100 pounds, and I told her I'd get her some she could wear around the house, as I probably couldn't pick out something she'd wear out and about.  

So, I'm thankful for God's forgiveness for my not so great attitude, and realize my problems with things not going my way this morning were very small, but still, I'm thankful for Romans 8:28: "In we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."  

Thursday, November 13, 2008

ABC\   Pam from Grey Like Snuffie is hosting ABCs of the Word on Thursdays.

They are on "Q" already, but I am having such fun joining in on things like this, so I will participate.  There are 9 weeks left, after all!  

Isaiah 32:17 says,  "The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever."  This is another verse I have all marked up with underlines, circles, and lots of dates.  It looks like I've needed reminding of this.  My mind tends to not be quiet.  I'm thankful for this reminder that God is the one who makes me righteous through faith in Jesus, and I can be quiet and confident of his love.

Giving Thanks, Day 13

I am thankful for my Bible Study friends.  One of them usually calls me to remind me to come, as they know I can't always keep track of which is the second Thursday of the month, or which Thursday it is we meet.  Last night, when I got a call asking if I was coming, I was also reminded that I am leading and bringing the snack.  My husband graciously agreed to buy ice cream sandwiches on the way home from work today.  I got home, blogged a little, then did my lesson while eating leftover soup from last night.  I found a nice devotion out of a book, as well.  Then, as I left with my sacks of tea bags, and ice cream sandwiches, I didn't realize I had not picked up my books!

Well, I borrowed a Bible from the hostess, and she shared her study guide with me. I decided I would have each of us as we pray, to thank God for something.  For the devotion, I talked about blogging, and about what a blessing the 30 days of giving thanks has been for me.  I told them that I find myself thinking during the day of things I am thankful for, and find myself thankful for the moments of the day.  It uplifts me, and gives me a good attitude.  Thank you for starting this, Joyce,!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Giving Thanks, Day 12

I am participating in Joyce's Thirty Days of Giving Thanks.  Her blog is  You can also get to her blog by clicking on the yellow rose with 30 days... on it.

I am thankful for my job as a special education paraeducator at a local high school.  There are two students, a boy and a girl, who get very silly and inappropriate when in the same room.  The girl missed several weeks of school because of a serious surgery she had.  I work with the boy on identifying coins and counting them.  Now that she's back, he's had some problems concentrating on what we are doing.  The other day, when she was being silly, and he kept wanting to turn around and look at her and laugh, I told him I knew he could focus on his work, and said, "You've got the power (to ignore her)!"  That has helped, now, when I tell him that.  Today, when we were getting started, I wasn't sure if he remembered what coin and how many I had asked for.  When I asked him if he remembered what I said, he said, "I've got the power!"  LOL  He must have been distracted by her, and I didn't realize it yet.

That made me think of me in my life.  I am thankful for the power of God in my life, and for his forgiveness when I try to get by without it.  I am reminded of Ephesians 1:18-21:

"I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.  That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power, and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come."

Wow!  The same power that raised Jesus from death is at work in us!  The next verses talk about how we are made alive in Christ.  Ephesians 2:8-10 bear repeating:

"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast.  For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."

So, I am thankful for my job, and that I have the power of God working in my life, even when I'm not aware of it.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Giving Thanks, Day 11

Today I am thankful for sleep.  I have been staying up too late, and not getting enough of it.  I am looking forward to going to bed on time tonight, and getting a good night's rest.  
Psalm 4:8: "I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety."

Monday, November 10, 2008

Giving Thanks, Day 10

We had a busy weekend, and since we had a friend coming from out of town, we did some last minute cleaning up.  I have a tendency to have shoes here and there, and our dog likes to carry whichever one she comes across around to greet us or to get our attention.  So, Saturday, I quickly picked up all the shoes, and threw them onto the floor of my closet.  

I stayed up too late last night, trying to figure out how to add a couple songs to my playlist, then this morning, tried something I thought of when I went to bed, but wouldn't let myself get up to try.  It worked!  Of course then, I ran late for work.  Every once in awhile, I go ahead and wear a pair of my gardening shoes to work.  This morning, was one of those days, I was in a hurry and grabbed the first pair I could get to.

In the middle of the day, I happened to look down at my feet, and wondered why my shoes were laced up in different ways.  (I should add here, that my husband's shoe size changed a while back, and he gave me several pairs of shoes, so that would explain the different ways they were laced.)  Then, I realized the shoes weren't the same, either.  I really was in a hurry this morning, because I checked the bottoms to make sure there was no mud, and didn't notice the bottoms are really different.

So, I think I'm thankful today that God loves me no matter what I wear, how late I stay up, how silly I am..., and he enables his children to offer that same kind of love to others.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Giving Thanks, Day 9, more of my story

I keep posting these when the days are almost over.  I was planning to say I'm thankful for each day God blesses me with.  Well, when I was looking for a verse with "day" in it, I found Psalm 118.  We are familiar with verse 24, "This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it."  Verses 13-14 say, "I was pushed back and about to fall, but the Lord helped me.  The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation."  The two verses before 24 say, "The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes."  We do have reasons to rejoice and be glad in each day!

This Psalm in my Bible is marked with several highlights, circles, and dates, indicating times I read it and it helped me in whatever circumstances were going on at the time.  One of the early themes God worked with me on, and continues to, is my freedom in Christ. I used to sometimes go through spells where I felt I had not been faithful enough, and God may not want to  hear my prayers.  God did free me from that, and has reduced my tendency to worry about things even if I've prayed about them, and to be too critical of myself and others.  

Psalm 118:5-9 says, "In my anguish I cried to the Lord, and he answered by setting me free.  The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid.  What can man do to me?  The Lord is with me; he is my helper.  I will look in triumph on my enemies.  It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.  It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes."  We don't have the kind of enemies the Israelites had, but I feel evil is what our main enemy is these days.  (Ephesians 6:12)  

During the time I realized God was working with me on freedom, I went with our youth group to a music festival in Wisconsin.  I was blessed to hear several wonderful Christian musicians, including Stephen Curtis Chapman.  He sang "Free", and it felt like he was singing to me.  I also had the opportunity to buy a t-shirt with Galatians 5:1 on it to remind me, "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.  Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery."  

So, I am also thankful for the days God gives me, and my freedom in Christ.  I am free from self accusation, from having to obey the law in my own strength.  I am free to worship God and seek him, and he will accept me because of Jesus' taking my punishment on the cross.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Giving Thanks, Day 8

Today, I am thankful for the love of my parents for their family, and for their great-grandson, who they adore.  My husband and I watch our grandson most Saturdays, and they frequently request that we take him to their house and leave him while we go eat or run an errand.  I am also thankful that my sister, who does not like to have her picture taken, when she finds out they have GGS's company, will go over so she can love him up, too.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Giving Thanks, Day 7

Today, a coworker asked me to supervise a student at the assembly at the high school I work at as a special education paraeducator, because another coworker was absent.  It was during my lunch, but since the student I help with after my lunch was absent, I was able to delay it.  Since I hadn't paid attention to what the assembly was about, I wouldn't have gone if not for this turn of events.  I'm thankful for the ways God works in our lives, and the ways he guides our steps. 

A group called, Resurrection Dance Theatre, boys from around age 6 to 21ish from Haiti performed for the students and staff. They told of the plight of children in Haiti through spoken word, music, and dance, and of the St. Joseph Family, a group of children's homes.  They did some of the dances to recorded music, and some accompanied by a couple men playing drums.  One of the dancers had had one of his arms amputated.  They were all amazing dancers and story tellers through their dance.  There was an awesome drum duet, as well, and the students were an appreciative audience.  They really got us going!

Afterward, they sold some very nice items, such as crosses with people of different cultures on them.  I bought a calendar and a CD.  On the CD are Christian songs sung by a different group they have at St. Joseph, The Resurrection Singers of Haiti.  I plan to email them to get permission to put a couple songs on my blog.  I was a little disappointed that Islamic holidays are on the calendar as well as Christian and Jewish ones, but then thought that would give me something to pray about when I saw them on the calendar.  

So, today I am thankful for the ways God directs our steps.

Proverbs 16:9 says, "In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps."


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Giving Thanks, Day 6

I am thankful for the forgiveness I have through faith in Jesus.  I am also thankful for the command to forgive others.  Sometimes I am not as quick to forgive as God would have me be, and of course it hurts me more than whoever I'm mad at.  Then I am thankful that God forgives me for that, and guides me into the forgiveness he tells his children to give to others.

cross 13

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Giving Thanks, Day 5

I am thankful to God for the beauty and majesty of creation.  I tried to find where it says something in the Bible about all creation singing God's praise, but it wasn't in my Concordance, evidently.  I did find Psalm 145:8-13, "The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.  The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.  All you have made will praise you, O Lord, your saints will extol you.  They will tell of the glory of your kingdom and speak of your might, so that all men may know of your mighty acts and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.  Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Giving Thanks, Day 4

Joyce, from Brookside Cottage  has started a 30 Days of Giving Thanks on her blog, and invited others to join in.  It is fitting that I am figuring it out after it has already started, and is now on day 4, as that is how I started with Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day (see my other blog).  With September almost gone, I went ahead and found pictures from the middle of the month and put them up.  When it was time for October's pics, I was ready and got them up on time.  I'm glad I participated, because I met some nice people, and discovered their fun blogs.  I am hoping to meet more Christian bloggers this way, too.

So, I think I'll start with being thankful for my discovery of blogging, and for how it will fit in with my faith walk.  Praise God for the abilities he gives us to learn new things and to communicate with each other!


Sunday, November 2, 2008

More of my Story

In my first years of being a Christian, I spent a lot of time reading the Bible and forming a close relationship with God.  I have found he works with me in themes.  One of the early ones, was that God would lift me up.  He made me very aware when I read verses and we sang songs like On Eagle's Wings.  He let me know that I would continue to have ups and downs in life, and that he would always be there for me.

Psalm 40:1-3:

"I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry.  He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set me feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.  He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.  Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord." NIV

Friday, October 31, 2008

Our Evening

I mentioned earlier today, that I am not a Halloween fan, but I realize that I can still have a fun time with my family.  My son and daughter-in-law were excited for their son's first Halloween.  I'm glad they dressed him in something cute.  They came over tonight, and we had a wild, fun evening.

Knowing my son wanted to cook supper at our house, I ate a big, late lunch.  It's a good thing, because it took longer to cut the peeling off the pumpkin than he thought it would, and even with my help, we ended up eating a late supper.  We took turns getting up to hand out candy.  

It was fun cooking with my son.  He really is a great cook, and he even plated our food for us!  What a treat!  He made a Thai pumpkin soup, and Pad Thai.  We also had edamame, green soybeans, that you eat the insides of.  It was worth all the commotion to enjoy the delicious meal!

I'm not a Halloween Fan

I taught fourth grade a couple years at a Catholic school.  I explained to my students the reason I did not want to decorate the room for Halloween.  I told them my own children dress up and go trick or treating, but I don't let them dress up as a witch or the devil.  I said people don't take evil seriously.  The first year, as I was speaking, one of my "talkers" piped up and said about me, "She must be a Christian.  My friend's mom is a christian, and she doesn't like Halloween, either."  I said to her, "Elizabeth, you're a Christian."  She said, "No I'm not, I'm a Catholic!"  I'm glad other students knew, and told her that Catholics are Christians.  LOL

I'm glad this year's Halloween will be over soon, so I can go into thrift and other stores and not run into these kinds of representations of evil.

May the peace of God be with you!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

My Story

I had a busy day, but was able to spend time in the lovely 67 degrees to clean up some plants killed by the freeze.  I also got my veggie garden ready for a compost application.  As I was hoeing weeds, I was thinking of my blog, and got the idea to write some of my testimony.  I was thinking of starting with my childhood, and then was thinking about going back to my parents and their childhoods, but decided to save those for another time.  I thought I'd borrow some photos and scan them to put in a post.

I think I'll start with the fact that I was a Sunday school drop off child.  I went to church with a neighbor friend from the third grade to high school, and was confirmed there in the sixth grade.  My parents went to this church for a few years, as well.  In high school I went with another friend to her church, then in my junior year, went to church with my boyfriend and his family.  I remember reading the Bible and not quite understanding what I was reading, yet I considered myself a believer.

My high school boyfriend and I have been married for 36 years.  We both fell away from God in our twenties.  He was more an agnostic, and I proclaimed myself to be an atheist.  I had always been a "good" child, but considered myself a late bloomer, and did some things that do not bear repeating. 

In 1978, we had a son, then in 1982 a daughter.  We had settled down by then, and I was acting more like an adult than I had been in previous years.  During this time, I started wondering about God.  I could see others believed, but did not know how to.  When our daughter was a couple years old, I started asking friends if they believed in God.  I got a variety of answers.  Those who said they did, were uncomfortable talking about it, and none said anything about Jesus, that I could recall.

When our son was 5, he went to preschool in a nearby church.  Around that time, he decided he wanted to go to church.  I decided that I wanted to take the kids to church so they could learn about God, and maybe something would catch for them that hadn't for me, and they would believe.  Once we started going, I decided that I should read the Bible, since that's what people who go to church do.  I tried getting my husband to go, but he still hasn't.

In July of 1984, I was working in my herb garden, and don't remember what I was thinking about preceding this, but do remember asking "Jesus, is it you?" and immediately I was given the gift of faith.  Oh, my!  What a trip it's been!  I think I'll stop here, and add more next time.


Sunday, October 26, 2008

Hebrews 12:1-6

I was looking for verses that have the cross in them to put with my photo. I decided to put more of the verses that came before and after the one with my cloud photo here.  This chapter came after the one that talks about how God's people acted with faith.  Next, comes how God disciplines those he loves.  My study note says God chastens us in order to correct our faults.  I am not one who believes that every time something bad happens to a Christian, it means they did something wrong that they are being punished for.  John 9:2-3 says, "His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?  'Neither this man nor his parents sinned,' said Jesus, 'but this happened so that the work of god might be displayed in his life."  I'm not even a Bible expert, and with sin in the world, I don't think we can know why every bad thing happens.  We can, however, and I have had to do this, ask God to see us through our difficult times.  He truly is faithful.

Wow, I did not set out to write all this.  I am also reminded that Romans 8:28 says, "And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

Hebrews 12:1-6 "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.  In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.  And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons:  My son, do not make light of the Lord's discipline and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son."

May we all run with perseverance!


My Saturday in the Garden

I was very thankful for God's blessings yesterday, even though I was sad to admit the gardening season is about over.  I was getting ready for the 26 degree low we are supposed to have tonight.  I put pots aside for DH to dump on the compost for  me, so I would have time to do other things.  He also pulled the morning glory and moonflower vines for me.  I pulled most of my pepper and tomato plants, and harvested some fall planted radishes and my sweet potatoes I'd planted in a tub.  I'll need to finish this week.  Our school is closed for fall break, so I  have the week off.  Knowing that, I let myself get sidetracked a lot taking pics of butterflies, and flowers, so I'll remember what they looked like before the freeze.  I saw one butterfly that I'm not sure if I've seen before.  I couldn't identify it from my book, though.

Here is a Painted Lady.  I have seen lots of these this summer.  It looks like this one has had a bird take a bite out of it.  

I don't know what kind of butterfly this is, but it looks like something ate part of its wing, as well.  These two butterflies were fun to watch, and they didn't seem to mind me being around.  I was trying to think of some spiritual tidbit about us moving forward, depending on God, even when life around us is difficult, but nothing that I was writing came out well.  

Here are the pots, and some buckets of pulled plants lined up for DH to dump.  Some of them were ready, others were still going strong, but I know that none of these will survive the freezing temps.  

I looked up in the sky to see if there were any clouds to take pictures of, and look what were the only clouds there, evidently put there by a jet or two.  

Have a blessed day!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Daily Bible Verse

I checked on the "add a gadget" feature to see if I could find a link to a daily Bible verse.  I was not familiar with most of the ministries offering them, and wanted to choose the NIV version.  After narrowing it down a bit,  I decided to try the one from Ron Hutchcraft Ministries.  I used to listen to a daily short radio program he had called, "A Word With You".  I liked the way he applied Bible teachings to every day life.  His doctrine isn't in 100% agreement with the church I'm a part of, because he talks about making a choice to follow Jesus.  

Ephesians 2:8-10 says, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast.  For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."  

So, when we come to faith, it is God who has given us that ability or desire.   In our sinful nature, we do not desire the things of God.  Once we are Christians, God continues to give us the desire and ability to do things out of love for Him, and to further His kingdom.  I  have found this draws me closer to Him, but always know that I am already saved.  It doesn't mean all sinful thought is gone, or that I am always in tune to what God would have me do with the time he gives me.  

I am not about controversies, and do not care for arguing, as that is not Biblical, either.  I just wanted to say these things to get them out there.
I know that when we get to Heaven, we'll find we didn't understand everything of God perfectly.  The end of the "love" chapter, 1Corinthians 13:9-13 says, "For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears.  When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.  Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror: then we shall see face to face.  Now I know in part: then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.  And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love.  But the greatest of these is love."

These verses are a comfort to me, because I don't have to know and understand everything of God in order to be His child.  I don't have to get my life in order before following Jesus, either.  He's in the process of doing that for me.  Praise God!


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Familiar Verse, John 3:16

 I decided to write about a verse that's familiar, and add the verse that comes next, that is not as familiar, but very comforting.

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him."  John 3:16-17, NIV

I like the note in my study bible that talks about the gift of eternal life as a present possession.  One of the songs I want sung at my funeral is Amazing Grace, with the verse that is one of my all time favorites.  Its, "When we've been there, 10,000 years, bright shining as the sun, we've no less days to sing His praise, than when we've first begun."

I find there are periods in my life that I forget this, and don't have a heart of praise, but God is faithful to draw me back to Him.  He fills me with peace and joy so I can enjoy a taste of what is to come.  That gift of eternal life is something I own right now, though!  Praise God!  Thank you, Jesus!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

A New Blog

When I first became a Christian, I was so into reading God's Word, that I couldn't figure out why many people thought they couldn't find the time.  Now that I've been a Christian for over 20 years, I find myself having spells where I don't find or make the time to stay connected to God.  I get so into whatever my interests are, and find myself spending more time on them than I'd planned, and then it's time for bed, and I haven't had my devotional time with God.

What is so cool, is that He is always there, and accepts me when I pray and lets me stay connected to Him.  Well, I had a very busy day working with a group from my church at a local kitchen that provides free meals to whoever comes.  It wasn't my month, but we don't currently have a leader and regular members of this group right now.  I wasn't thrilled to do it, because it was a beautiful day, and I would have preferred to be in my garden.  But even with that, I turned to Jesus for a better attitude, and then needed to help a young teen who decided he didn't want to be there helping have a better attitude, too.

I didn't plan on this being a long post.  Anyway, I have been sleeping well lately, but tonight, my dog and husband have both been snoring, and my bladder has woken me up a couple times, and I'm not sleeping well, even though I was so tired I went to bed on time for a change.  Lying in bed, around 3:00 a.m. I got this idea that I should start a separate blog to write about my life in Christ, and help me be connected to Him.  This way I can be more open about it and not put off anyone just wanting to read about gardening types of things.  I better get back to bed.  It seems like my first post on my other blog was about being up past bed time.  LOL  Now my first post here is started in the middle of the night.  I'll post more about the title of my blog next time.