Thursday, December 29, 2016

I Wish You a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

  So our Christmas celebrations are wrapping up, and we are heading into a  New Year!  2017!!  Amazing!  I think the years are going by faster each year.  I have asked friends that are raising children, and they agree their 
children are getting older faster.  This year my family will be 44 (me), 43 (My Mr. Benson), 15 (Savannah), 12 (Siler), 10 (Sarah), 7 (Sully), and 6 (Sethman).  We will also celebrate our 19th wedding anniversary!!!   I am so excited to see what the Lord is going to bring about this year. 
   But Christmas is just freshly over.  How was it for you this year?  Was it fun with a little of that typical stress?  Was it sad? - you may have lost a loved one or received some not-so-merry news.  Was it completely stressful and you survived?  I think for me this year it was a combination of all of the above.  I have had some sad news as three people I know are dealing with cancer.  I know that the Lord has this in His hands but seeing the families first-hand deal with it is just so very sad!  I, of course, waited until a little late to finish up my shopping.  But, if you are like me, it is challenging to get to have time alone to finish it up.  I think I am going to adopt a genius idea of a friend of mine.  She had a Christmas box and bought a little at a time through the year.  I can aim for that this year!
  At Christmas time I love to hear the holiday music and the Message that Jesus was born and the reminder of why He was born.  A song I love to hear is "That's Why He Came."  It reminds us that He came for all the Lost and Lonely.  He came to mend our hearts and to complete the perfect plan that God had to redeem us to Him.  It is such a lovely time of year for we Christians because we know the end of the story.  Have you given your heart and life to Jesus?  I have, and I am so glad!  I am so thankful that I made that choice long years ago.  
  I am also glad that I am not alone in this journey - my Lord is along with me to carry my burden --Matthew 11:28-30King James Version (KJV)
28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. This set of scripture makes me think of a song that I want to share with you, "Breath of Heaven."  This song reminds me that the Lord has chosen me and you for a specific purpose.  He KNOWS that we are the ones that need to complete the task(s) that He has prepared us for in this life.  He also knows that we need to have a Companion. So, He has given us the sweet Holy Spirit.  Can you sense His spirit?  Even as I type and listen to this sweet song, I feel His presence.  Breath of Heaven, hold me together!  Be forever near me, Breath of Heaven!  
  My dear friends, I hope this has been a time you have been able to receive rest and encouragement!  I pray that this year will be one of joy, love, blessings, peace, prosperity, healing, provision, grace, mercy, hope, and the knowledge of the saving grace of Jesus Christ that is and always will be our greatest gift!  And is the one that keeps on giving!!

Love and blessings and {{Hugs}}!

Monday, November 21, 2016

We are almost to one of my favorite holidays...Thanksgiving!  It is a time 

to fellowship with friends and family.  It is a time to reflect on just what 

the Lord has blessed us with.  I am so thankful for so many things.  As I 

told you in one of my earlier posts, I am going to cheat and put all 30 

things that I am thankful for in one post.

Before I list them, I wanted to share a few scripture verses that I have 

seen that have touched my heart.

Psalm103:1-4, 10-12

1Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:
Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;
Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;
10 He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
11 For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.
12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

This leads me into my list of what I am thankful for.   After reading these 
verses, it is only fitting that I start with this for the first item...
1.   Jesus
2.   Salvation
3.   The Lord's Love to me
4.   The Holy Spirit
5.   My sweet husband, Benson
6.   My 5 sweet, challenging, loving children
7.   My parents!
8.   My in-laws!
9.   My brother!
10. My 5 sister-in-laws
11. My 5 brother-in-laws
12. My sweet Grandparents
13. My wonderful Pastor, his precious wife, and their dear son!
14. My wonderful friends!
15. My awesome church family!
16. Our precious dog, Bear
17. Our fun farm animals
18. Our home up on the mountain
19. God's protection from the forest fires!
20. God's provision for our family!
21. Our suburban
22. The ability to walk
23. The wonderful doctors, nurses, therapists, and aide that help us with Sullivan
24. Coffee!!!
25. Chocolate!!!
26. Hallmark Movies!
27. Christmas Movies
28. Thanksgiving dinner
29. Games with friends and family
30. Pictures and getting to take them

I always end with a song when I do these posts.  I love Hillsong, and this 
song, "Thank You, Lord," is just a blessing!
I hope each one of you has a most blessed, refreshing, and joyous 
Love, {{Hugs}}, and Blessings!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

God's Will

  It is already the second week of November!  Time is flying by this year.  Before you know it, the Christmas decorations will be up and Walmart will start selling everything Christmas...oh, wait!  They had all that coming out before we even got to Halloween. LOL!  Not that I am complaining - I LOVE CHRISTMAS!  But, I think we need to take a little time to reflect on being Thankful.
  On facebook I have some of my friends that are absolutely awesome at posting every day of November things for which they are thankful.  Since I am not that good, I always cheat.  I am going to do it again this year.  So, next week, I will post my "Thirty Things For Which I Am Grateful!"
  This week, I want to remind you about God's will.  So often we pray and things don't happen in the way we want.  In the Bible Joseph of the Old Testament is a prime example of this.  I am most certain he did not want his brothers to be jealous of him, and I know that being thrown in a pit for dead was not something he thought would be fun.  As we read his story, this set of verses pops out.  

Genesis 50:19-21King James Version (KJV)

19 And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God?
20 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.
21 Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them.
  Wow!  I just love it!!  What they meant for evil, God used for good to save a people. Now I know that not all the things that happen to me and to you save a whole people group.  But as I have talked to a lot of people who have dealt with situations that they don't understand, the whole issue of accepting God's will comes into our conversation.  I want to remind us all that although our lives don't always turn out the way we thought they would, we have to trust that the Lord has a plan.  He has a perfect will for us.  As we follow Him, talk to and with Him -- you know, spend time with Him, He will reveal to us why.  Or He may not.  This is where we have to trust.  
  I don't know where you are today in your walk with Him.  I know that I am still trudging on alongside the Lord.  I have to say that I have experienced some major answers to prayer.  The Lord hears us!!  I also know that some of you and some of my friends and family are experiencing some "valley time" right now.  Let us pray for each other.  Let us encourage one another that while we may be going through some stuff right now that is more than we can bear, or we may have just had something happen that we don't understand, God's will has to be trusted!
  I love to end on a song when my entry is through.  This song has just blessed my heart.  Listen and pray as you listen.  Jesus is there -- He is here!  "Thy Will Be Done"
I just love you!  I am praying for you!!
Love, Blessings and {{Hugs}},

Friday, October 28, 2016

Dealing With Hard Times

  As I listened to the radio this morning, I heard some sad news about Scott Hamilton.  He found out he has another tumor.  This is his third tumor.  In the interview he said, "Well, here we go again.  Last round, in 2010, I told Tracie, 'God doesn’t owe me a day. I’m good. Whatever’s next is next.' The blessings keep coming because we allow them and we ask for them," he said. "I’ve been blessed beyond my wildest imagination; I would never even think to dream the stuff that I’ve been able to do." ( site)
  It is incredible to see this man, who is famous and talented, endure all he has.  But what is it that keeps him from being upset and discouraged? Watch this video.  It is a little over ten minutes, but it is inspiring.
  Wow!  Okay - are you tearing up, too?  I am.  What faith this man has. Do you have this faith?  I do.  It is the ONLY thing that is constant in my life.  Jesus is the only one that is going to be there through every single thing that you go through.  Just wow!
  So we watched this video, and now I say to myself -- why do people suffer?  Why do some people suffer and others are just fine.  As a matter of fact some people are more than fine.  It hit me in the car yesterday.  I have heard many pastors share over the years this fact.  The Lord gives us these hard times to show His power and His strength.  He gives us times in our lives that we are like, "What is going on and why?"  Simply, He knocks us down so we are on our knees.  While we are down there, He meets us and helps us to get back up.  And sometimes we are down there for a bit.
  I don't know where you are today in your walk with the Lord.  I do know that there is nothing that He can't do.  I pray today for all of us that we will just increase our faith.  I pray for peace, for provision, love, forgiveness, whatever your need is, stop right now, and breathe a little prayer to Him!  I pray in Jesus' name for you!
  This is the perfect song to end this entry -- I LOVE it!  Blessings by Laura Story.  Have a wonderful day!

Love, Blessings, and {{hugs}},

Matthew 11:28-30King James Version (KJV)

28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Servant's Heart and the Love of Christ

  I have a wonderful love for reading books.  It began back when I was a kid.  My mother loves to read, too.  She actually has a lot of books, so I am able to borrow some great books from her.  One I have just finished is called The Princess by Lori Wick.  It is a Christian fiction story.  I just love it.
  The premise of the story is of a kingdom that has a prince that has lost his wife.  By rule he is to be married by his 26th birthday.  The prince is so distraught over losing his wife that his parents are left with finding his new princess.  A couple has a daughter that when she was born they knew in their own hearts she was destined to do something great.  Who knew it is to marry the prince?  This is one of those arranged marriage stories where they aren't in love and kind of have to get to know each other while they are already married.  Anyway, I won't get into the whole story, but they both grow together and have challenges along the way.  I also won't be a spoiler, so if you want to know how it ends, please read the book.  I am not getting any kind of kick-back on this -- LOL!  I wish!  It is worth the read.
  In reading this book, scripture references popped out at me all along the way.  Along with this one, I have been reading other books.  There is a theme in them all, to me anyway, of having the love and servant's heart of Christ.  One set of verses given in The Princess, in particular way, stood out to me.  It is one of my favorites! Philippians 2:3-4  Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.  Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.  As I have been reading in several books on homemaking and homeschooling, I have been learning to have a servants heart.  Now mind you, I am not saying that I let the family walk on me like a doormat, but I have really been trying to not have a grumpy attitude.  In reading this set of verses, I have really felt in my heart it speaking to me as a mom and wife.  We all get tired of doing what we do every day.  It is hard in our world these days to have the heart of a servant.  For goodness' sake, my 5 year old even requests "Me Time." LOL I am sure I don't know where he heard that!  
  But in all seriousness, this is an area that our families need to strive in doing better.  We need to pray for each other that we will serve others every day with the love of Jesus.  Instead of having the heavy sighing with each request from our families, let us take on the heart of Christ.  Let us not fuss and be selfish.  It is not the popular thing to do, but believe me, if we will apply this to our own lives, it will help us in our walk through this world.  It will also help our children in their future.
  I hope you have been enjoying the fall season.  It is beautiful!  As always, I like to end with a song.  It is titled Servant's Heart.  The video is a little longer than some, but the words, pictures and music are touching.  I hope you are blessed by these words and this song.

Take care, dear friend!
Love, {{hugs}}, and blessings!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Boy! Life is Hard!!

  Well, it is another "Hump Day!"  I hear and see the camel in my mind hollering that phrase.  It always makes me smile.  I know that it is an old thing to laugh at, but I am one of those people who hears something and just holds onto it forever.  You know -- those jingles to all those tv shows and commercials.  I had one lady in tears, laughing so hard, when I sang the entire theme song to "The Love Boat."  So fun!  
  I told my husband a while back that I wish I could recall important information - you know, historical or philosophical information that people nod and think on.  But, no, I remember the theme songs to "Hee Haw" and "The Dukes of Hazard."  I guess as long as my livelihood doesn't depend on that, then I am okay.
  Currently, I am in the midst of starting up a new year of school.  Now everyone is not huge fans of school.  Some people live for going out and buying new school supplies and getting new clothes and new backpacks. Starting fresh and new for the school year.  I used to be that person until this year.  I think the start of this year is starting off with a bit of a slump. I think it is mostly due to the fact that I never, ever, ever stop.  I know there is some sort of rumor or train of thought that moms that stay at home have it made.  On the contrary...we don't.  Now don't get me wrong!  I am blessed and happy, now, to be here.  I think about the alternative and, truth be told, I just can't see it working for us.  I have always said that everyone needs to do what is best for their family.  So, as I entered motherhood and stayed home -- with a little bit of kicking and screaming -- I have learned to like it here.
  Do you ever wish you could have a "do-over?"  Sure!  We all do!  I wish that I could go back in time and tell my former self to enjoy the early years more.  I wish that I could go back and tell her to relax.  Go to the park.  Do the dishes later -- play outside, go for more walks, more hikes.  But I can't.  All I can do for now is what any of us can do.  Learn from my past and try to do better in the present and future.
  It is so nice that in our Christian walk we do get somewhat of a "do-over!"  Isn't it a blessing to know that we can talk to Jesus about our problems and ask for His forgiveness?  I love that!  I even ask my kiddos to forgive me for when I have a meltdown -- which was not too long ago! LOL!  I think that we need to all be more forgiving of ourselves, too.  Be nicer to yourself!  After all, this life is hard!  Which leads me into my song that I want to leave with you today.  It is one of my favorites!  Life is Hard! But God is Good!!

Hope you have a Happy Hump Day!
Blessings, Love and {{Hugs}},

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

  Well, I cannot have any excuses for not writing other than I have been ULTRA busy. We have had a trip to Florida and North Carolina.  We have celebrated our 18th anniversary!!, Father's Day, and birthdays.  I have taken our Sully to several doctor and therapy visits.  The kiddos have all seen the dentist.  Friends and family have been in and out to visit.  Our garden, thanks in a big part to Mr. Benson, takes up some time, too.  General housekeeping, feeding kiddos, and animals (while Savannah is gone), takes up so much of our time.  VBS at our church, fellowship time and regular services are a big part of our lives.  And important news...I have gotten to scrapbook some!!!
  I really enjoy getting on here and putting my goings and doings.  I also like to share what the Lord is teaching me.  Just today, I have thought about our world and where it is going.  I have been thinking of late how the news is filled with so much negativity.  Whether you are a democrat, republican, libertarian, of the green party or whatever party is out there, it is evident that our world is changing.  I am a believer.  I believe that Jesus came years ago as a baby and lived out His life among the people and shared His love.  I believe that He did exactly what the Bible says.  I believe that He suffered and died.  I believe that He rose again.  More importantly, He is coming back to get His people.  I am so glad that I don't have to worry.  But sometimes I do :0(
  As a matter of fact, our pastor tonight has preached on the fact that the world is the way it is because of choices that all of us have made.  He has shared a verse that is one of my favorites.  As he put it tonight, it is God's prescription for what we need to do to help ourselves, our families, our country, and our whole world.  In 2 Chronicles it reads, "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."  The best things that I can do are in this verse!  I am so thankful that I have been at church tonight!  It has given me comfort and hope.  
  So the next time you start to be like me - like any normal human - and worry about the world and the state it is in, remember that God is in control.  I have heard it said from many that none of this has taken Him by surprise!  He is not trembling on that throne!  Oh no!  He is working while on that throne - waiting until just the right time and then BOOM!!!  People will not know what hit them - or maybe they will and it will be too late.  Let us keep on keeping on.  Keep sharing about what the Lord has done. Keep letting people know of your struggles and how even though it was hard, the Lord was there, is there, helping you and me and all of us to get through!  Let the love of Jesus shine through you to all around.  And when you mess up or others hurt you -- forgive and ask to be forgiven.  But that is a whole other entry!
  Sorry this is long, but I have two months to put in here -- LOL!  Like usual, I want to end with a song.  But since this is for two months, I am going to have two songs -- that can never be a bad thing!  The first one is "God is in Control" by Twila Paris, and the second one is "People Get Ready Jesus is Coming" by Crystal Lewis.  I love these two songs, and they go hand in hand in these days!

God continue to bless all of us!  Consider yourself {{hugged.}}

Love, {{hugs}}, and blessings!!!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Busy busy busy!

  So April is gone -- 3 dr. appointments, 5 therapy sessions, homeschooling, Sully in school, etc.  In any case it is now May.  The month of May -- a.ka. something to do almost every single day -- is upon us.  I think that this month is as busy as Christmas!  In our family we have Mother's Day, Girl Scout camping trip and awards day, graduations, homeschool end-of-the-year party, and church activities.  I almost don't want to open to the book in my calendar.  Not to mention I also have one Sully dr. appointment and 4 therapy sessions, along with getting the rest of our schooling in and our check-off.
  Now I know that sounds like I may be complaining, but I am not trying to do that at all.  I am just kind of amused and slightly overwhelmed at what is ahead.  It is like this every year except some years we have kindergarten graduation and out-of-state graduation to attend.  It is such a blessing to be a part of so many activities and other people's lives.  We all stay busy, and if you are like me, we can get out of the Word.  I do read scripture.  I even have gotten to be up in the church here lately with our littlest one, who is 4.  Now, granted, I am coloring or holding a coloring book while attempting to take notes, but I am getting to be fed.
  I am sure there are some of you who have been at smaller churches where the child care is mainly the mom of the children staying downstairs, thinking to yourself, "Why in the world am I here?"  I have asked myself and even my own children that.  I have asked my dear husband.  He has had the best answer in the world -- "You need to be here because it is the right thing to do as a Christian.  You are supposed to be in church.  You are setting an example."  Wow!  So, for the past 13 years, I have been up in the sanctuary sometimes and then in nursery sometimes.  I am still getting fed by the Word -- in the words of Flylady, and I can apply this to a lot of areas -- she relates it to housekeeping, but I relate it to a lot of areas. She says, "Housework done incorrectly still blesses your house." Think in respect of your body as a house and then the Word as the housework.  We may not have 2 hours to dedicate to prayer and Bible study, but we can still be in the spirit of prayer and worship throughout the day.  I guess that is why I have papers and pictures on my walls with scripture.
  I am so thankful for this life that I have.  It is precious.  It may be super busy and crazy at times, but it is given to me by my Heavenly Father to live out.  I hope you have a blessed month.  I know I will, and Lord willing, I will be here next month to tell you how June is going to be or how it was!    I am ending with a favorite song that one of my dearest friends had in her wedding!!  I love it and her -- I think about her every time it comes to mind!  And by the way...Have a happy Mother's Day :0)

{{hugs}}, Love, and Blessings!!


Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Living Through Valleys

  Wow!  I have been away from here too long.  I have been like everyone else -- BUSY!  It is good though.  Since posting we have had several doctors appointments with Sully, homeschool things, and the dreaded three letter word that everyone dreads hearing  F L U!  Yes, our family had it.
  That is the valley that I am referring to in this post.  I want to walk you through what it is like to be in a family with 5 children and have the flu.  First of all, I have to let you remember that Sully has disabilities, so if he gets sick, it can be really bad.
  So it all began on February 22.  Seth, our 4 year old that is usually WIDE open, lies around with a high fever.  He feels terrible.  I begin medicines with him.  The next casualty - and if you are a momma, you know this is not good at all -- ME!  I think to myself when I get sick --- NOOOOOOOOOOO!  I go to the doctor to see what I have. She looks at me and says, "The flu test is positive.  You are not in the window to take the medicine, so it is going to be a few days of feeling rough."
  She is not kidding with me.  I sleep in the living room in a recliner along with the rest of the family.  My hopes are high that no one else gets sick.  I am wrong.  Like soldiers being knocked down one at a time, I see the rest of our family get the flu. We are all SO sick.  Fortunately, dear friends and family come to our aid.  They bring us food, drink, candy, chicken and rice soup, pizza, soda.  
  My husband has been working while the rest of us are sick.  Sadly, he comes in from finishing a job and looks at me.  I see the look.  He too has this awful flu!  He goes to lay down.  Sully, Savannah, Siler, Sarah, Seth, Benson, and myself all have fallen to this dreaded sickness.  I think to myself that I am never going to feel better again.  At one point I am in the kitchen helping get someone a drink or something to eat.  I am at the kitchen sink and look at some of the items that I have on the walls for encouragement.  This is the verse that I saw -   "The Lord is my strength and my shield;  my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped:  therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise Him."  Psalm 28:7  While inside I wanted to cry, the Lord gave me hope that He is going to help me and the rest get through this.   I have many friends that have gone through much, much worse sickness than this, so the valley they have gone through has been much deeper and longer.  However, this bought with the flu has been our valley!  Two weeks of that time of sickness has taught me that I never want to take my health or the family's health for granted!
  I love ending my posts with a song, so I am picking this one -- I Am Not Alone. Blessings to you and hope you have a wonderful rest of March!

Blessings, Love and {{Hugs}},

Friday, January 1, 2016

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

  I have to say that Christmas this year was a busy one for us!  Between parties, shopping, Christmas light-looking, present-wrapping, caroling, driving up and down the mountain more times that I can count, church programs, Christmas cards, Hallmark movies, trips to family and friends...whew -- are you tired?  But in all honesty, I LOVE this time of year.  I thrive on the energy of other people.
  I was able to stop and reflect on the true meaning of Christmas.  I was able to sing a few of my favorite songs at our church and help with directing the choir - it was a blessing!  The programs and preaching that I heard touched my heart - ever-reminding me of the REAL meaning of Christmas!
  We had our family time with opening presents at our own home on Christmas Eve.  That was a first for us.  We usually wait until Christmas morning to open presents, but we had a family get-together, so we had to change it up.  I found that this past year I have had a lot of changing it up.  Being patient and flexible!  Boy -- I have a lot to learn in that area of being patient!  But, in any case, that was so fun to spend time shopping with the children and then wrap the presents.
  We took a trip up to my parents' home in High Point, NC - my hometown!  I LOVE coming up here.  I have so many fun memories of just my own childhood that come flooding back when I am there.  One of my fond memories is of going to the movies over the holiday.  Well, this year a new Star Wars movie was out over the holidays.  We took time to go tonight as a family.
  Many of you know our Sullivan has challenges.  He is not really where he can control the volume of his voice - if he wants to yell, he does.  My mom offered to take him out in the waiting room and watch him while I got to watch the movie - that is the kind of Grandma I want to be -- our children are so blessed to have the two awesome Grandmas they have in their lives!!  In any case I had a blast from the past when I sat in the theater and watched those wonderful yellow words scroll down the black background - hearing that famous Star Wars music as we read of the new story unfolding in this famous saga!  YES -- I LOVE Star Wars! It did not disappoint!  Can't wait until the other ones come out!
  When we were done, Mom, Siler, Seth, and I went to Tanglewood Park to see the lights -- they are so beautiful!  Everyone needs to go to see this at some point in their life!  Although I will have to say at some point if you have young people with you, you will hear the ever-famous phrase -- "Are we done yet?"  My mom and I never tire of seeing the lights.  It isn't just the presents and trees and snowflakes and bells and snowmen, but there is also the Nativity Scene.  It is just another reminder of why we celebrate.  Heaven's Greatest Gift came down to us.
  As this New Year has started - I can't believe that tomorrow will be day 2 of 2016! - let us ever hold dear in our hearts all year the reason that Jesus came to Earth.  He came to live a perfect life, to die a horrible death, to victoriously rise again, to one glorious day COME and take His people home!  That is me and, Lord-willing, you, too!  If you have never taken time to think about Jesus, this is a wonderful time.  Start your year with a fresh, clean heart!  I am so excited to see what this year is going to bring!
  I am ending with one of my favorite Christmas songs (since I didn't get my December entry!) Mary, Did You Know.

Thank you for reading my little thoughts.  It is always meant to bless and lift you up!

Blessings for this New Year and my the Lord keep His hand upon you in all of your comings and goings!

Love, {{hugs}}, and Blessings!