Ho-No Holidays

I suppose when I began to reach the more mature side of life is when the nostalgia commenced intruding.  You find yourself reminiscing in the strangest times and getting lost in those thoughts.  They can be wonderful, giddy thoughts of a fun time as a child, as well as sad, loathsome times.  So vivid live those pictures at that moment that your entire demeanor can improve or suffer.

Holiday time swirls with a plethora of deep emotions for me, and I know that I am not alone.  Just consider the stressors that accompany all the festivities.  Facing crowds of people in retail stores to try and find perfect gifts, closely followed by a long wait in a check-out line that moves at a snail’s crawl to be greeted by an employee who is all too comfortable with sharing with you and the rest of the world that his job “sucks.”

There are parties with gift exchanges and Dirty Santa games.  There are Chrismas Caroling at the nursing homes and for shut-ins.  The church Christmas program practices and performance, and the special collection for the Pastor.  There are new clothes to buy, Cakes, pies and cookies to bake.  Decorate the house and the yard.  Oh, and don’t forget that you volunteered to help decorate the church and fellowship hall as well.

Be a part of or at least see the local Christmas parade.  Christmas cards to address, Christmas dinner to plan and grocery shopping to do.  House has to be cleaned for houseguests.  Linens all washed and folded for any overnight stays.  I MEAN JUST WRITING IT GIVES ME ANXIETY!

Now in the middle of all this commotion, my mind will seem out of nowhere drift off. A smell, a sound, or the sight of something and I get all choked up.  Tears well up in my eyes and all at once my mood changes.  That sad memory makes me feel things that I now perceive with some deep down emotion that I do not possess the inclination of what I am experiencing.

I am writing this post because it has been a while since I posted. These all-consuming emotions are triggers for depression and anxiety.  I can’t even tell you how many lists I’ve made and they even begin stressing me out.

So, as a beginning to the Christmas Holiday.  I have vowed to make life easier.  I am shopping online.  Even grocery pick-up is so much easier.  And those stresses are off my shoulders.  I am learning one day at a time to try and find one thing to make me feel less stressed.  A walk, a book, Mommy time alone, alone time with God.  And I am discovering that sharing here with you makes me feel stronger too.

I probably will never stop reminiscing, but I pray for strength not to let those memories consume me, and tear me down.

We will get through this!  We will make it.

God Bless,

Michelle

HELLO THERE

“A blog?” My kid asked, “Why a blog?”  He screwed his face up like it was the most ridiculous thing he has ever heard of, However despite what my 16 going on 30 son might think, HERE WE ARE!!!!  I was diagnosed with clinical depression plus anxiety with panic attacks years ago and it has honestly been an uphill battle.  Most of the time if you try and talk about it, people simply don’t understand.  Unless you have experienced it firsthand or have a loved one who battles themselves then you probably are shall we say, in the dark.  Depression is more than being sad.  Anxiety does not have make sense. These are real opponents that do not release you off the mat until you have cried uncle.  There is a stigma on people who admit to the outsiders that they have an illness.   Then you add regular ordinary life to the mix and it gets pretty interesting.  I am a mom of 3 who are trying their best to grow up while mom deals with her issues and attempts to be normal. Whatever the definition of that is!  So, depression will be talked about here but we will not dwell on it.  We will search for reasons to get out of bed and at least put something on besides pajamas.  There are 4 categories here:  Home (blog Page),  D.I.M. (Did It Myself), Your Daily Dose, and Making Food.  Check out the pages. Leave comments.  Share Posts.  Invite friends to do the same.  I will be adding more as we go along.  So be sure not to miss what’s going on!  Again, WELCOME FRIENDS!

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Believe

I place the laptop gingerly in my lap once a sunk into my recliner.  The house is quiet and I am keenly aware of my breathing and my heart beats.  My entire body is riddled with a feeling of overwhelming hopelessness.  

My darling, husband brought the Christmas boxes in from storage.  The moment I lay eyes on them I felt complete panic.  Every year since I have been on my own, I have decorated for Christmas.  Garland, ribbon, and making bows, as well as decorating trees.  Large ones and small ones.  One year we even made a felt one to put in the kitchen.  I left no spot without Christmas cheer.  My kids used to say it looked like Christmas threw up.  (Please excuse the expression.)

I do celebrate Christmas as the birth of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Actually, in our home, it was always more about Jesus than Santa.  I started just being memorized by the different styles of Nativity Scenes and began collecting.  Randomly one day,  my son said something to the effect, “Why do we have so many Nativities?  How Many does one house need?”  CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.  It became my mission to add more and more creche.  

This year I opened the plastic tub that contains my precious accumulation and stood there staring. The thought of unwrapping those individual packages left me with troubling nausea that I have no true way to describe.   Troubled  I fought back the waterworks that pressed behind my eyes.  I reattached the lid and hoped against hope that the feelings of dread would disappear.

My Christmas tree is finally up. Although it took about four days to manage that.  In years past I would have decorations up moving like a cyclone.  This year it is creeping along.  The kids will probably get involved, and that will help my motivation some.  At least I pray it does. 

If you are struggling too, I want you to know you are not alone.  I can not explain why these things are happening, I only believe we will learn from this midnight storm.  I know that a little baby was born to a virgin in a stable over 2000 years ago that we might live and not die.  God’s son came to Earth in the form of man.  John 1:1 reads, In the beginning, the Word was already there. The Word was with God.  The Word was God.

He is the reason for the season and no matter what my emotions say, I believe that.  I pray that you too will trust in Him to get you through this struggle.  So I may not be ready to drape tinsel over everything that stands still, I still believe.  No matter what I feel, I still believe.

Hurricane Preparedness

One of the largest challenges of living in Florida is hurricanes. I always say a little prayer when the weather people begin to announce the beginning of hurricane season. As I am writing this the meteorologists are tracking Hurricane Michael. Our family has carefully watched the weather reports and they are currently watching the track moving slightly west, and then slightly east. We are not sure where it will make landfall, or how much wind and rain our area will get, so we wait. We have prepared and now we wait.

Waiting for a storm to make landfall can be as excruciating as watching for water boil. It seems to be about to happen but the minute you check, it’s scarcely even begun. Hurricane Michael was wide enough to be affecting the entire Florida Gulf Coast, while the eye came ashore at Panama City Beach. There were miles and miles touched by this ferocious storm, inland as well as the coast.

I was thankful that once we heard that a storm was headed to the gulf that we knew just what we needed to do. After all, we learned the hard way back several years ago with Hurricane Ivan. We ran out of things after a few days. We were without power for three weeks. Now we know to be better prepared. We can not depend on the first responders to take care of us. It is up to us to handle the needs of our family.

Often we hear people going a bit crazy and getting so upset that they can’t even make good decisions. I always try and assure them that being prepared, staying informed, and remaining calm and following a plan is the best way to handle the situation.

Funny how this whole situation has a Spiritual side too. Yep leave it to me to find it!

Early on the weather people will begin to tell you that they are tracking a storm and they will keep you up to date. Jesus, our spiritual Weatherman if you will, said: “In this world, you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”(John 16:33 KJV, paraphrased). Tribulation here means adversity, sorrow, misfortune, grief, and many more words. For clear understanding, we will refer to tribulation as a storm.

Storms in the natural world come in all sizes and intensities. Spiritual ones do as well. Depending on the place you are in, your spiritual storms may come often or more sporadic. However, we have been told that we WILL have these squalls and twisters, and yes, maybe even possibly a hurricane or two. Psalms 34:19 The Message, “A righteous person will have many troubles [storms], but the Lord will deliver him out of them all.”

When the storm comes and it will, we must keep our faith. It is not always easy not to be afraid of the howling winds and piercing rain. I am desperate for a change from rage and stormy weather. Psalms 55:8. Debre plummets through the air like horses in a race. Pieces of your shelter may be torn loose, and trickles of water may find their way inside your warm and dry shelter. God will provide a warm, dry place in bad weather, provide a cool place when it is hot. Isaiah 25:4. Uncertainty can grip your heart and cause you to grit your teeth in dread. Just like the disciples so long ago, you begin to wonder if Jesus is asleep in your vessel. Jesus reprimanded them,, “Why are you, such cowards, such faint-hearts?” Then He stood up and told the wind to be silent, the sea quieted down: “Silence!”The sea became smooth as glass.

I have heard people say that God uses storms to get our attention. Maybe so. I will not argue that point. I believe that often times they are brought by principalities and the darkness of this world. Made to discourage you and push you off course. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Ephesians 6:12.

I share with you these verses from 1 Kings. It touches my heart every time I read it. To think the way our God prefers to speak to us. A hurricane wind ripped through the mountains and shattered the rocks before God, but God wasn’t to be found in the wind; after the wind an earthquake, but God wasn’t in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. 1 Kings 19:11-13.

It is time to stop telling God how big your storm is, and begin to tell the storm how big your God is. God has already promised in his word that he will bring us OUT of the storm. Now careful here. He does not say he will save you from the storm but deliver you OUT of the storm. You are going through part of that storm, my friend! Psalms 34:17 says, The righteous cry & the Lord heareth and delivereth them out of all their troubles.
Psalms 46:1. God is our refuge and strength and a very sufficient help in troubles [storms]. This verse clearly says IN troubles [storms]. That is pretty clear about God being there with you IN THE STORM. Praise God! I can’t think of a better partner to be by my side!
Psalm 107:19 talks about God’s people crying out in distress and He delivered them from their troubles. In other words, He removed them from the situation because they cried out to Him for help. So many times we complain to the Lord. Fuss at Him over the storm that we are facing, continually reminding Him how unfair it all seems to us.

All the while God is trying to teach us so many things before, during, and after the misfortune we face. Were we prepared and came through with minimal or no damage? Or did we receive flood damage, downed power lines, and loss of home and saftey? What purpose did this catastrophe serve? And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose, Romans 8:28.

So even if we do receive great storm damage, God will make it come out for good. Wow! Isn’t that amazing! Our God is so completely amazing! In the day and the night. In the storm or the quiet! He is Everything we will ever need in this life and the next. His Word is truth whether spoken or text. He Is God. Savior and King!

In Isaiah 55:8-11 God spoke, “So will the words that come out of my mouth not come back emptyhanded. They’ll do the work I sent them to do, they’ll complete the assignment I gave them.”

Praise the Lord, Hurricane Michael is passed. It is our job to survey our damage and make a new plan for next time. There has been catastrophic damage in some areas that were closer to the eye. Many people are without power. Some have lost everything. First Responders as well as many volunteers are working around the clock to assist those who are in such dire need.

We should apply that to out Spiritual life well. After the storm, regroup. Pray and plan and prepare because as sure as I live in Florida, there’s another storm coming!

Be prepared

Be sure to check back for

Our checklist to help you be prepared for those spiritual storms. It is a simple download. The ideas are simple but necessary to put in place BEFORE the winds and rains begin.

Dear Mom, From Your Daughter In College WARNING: A TEAR JERKER

My Middle Child, Elyssa, is in college.  She is gone quite a lot for classes and studying and tons of homework.  Her times home are so quick it sometimes sadder when she does finally come home.  We call and text as often as humanly possible, and even that becomes hard when life is so busy on both ends.  Today we texted good morning back and forth and chatted for a bit and then she sent me this link and followed it with I love you.  I followed the link and read the post. Once I wiped my eyes clear of all the tears and calmed down I made a decision.   It was so very special I decided to share it here on my blog.  To all the parents raising kids is really hard.  Letting go is even harder.  Yet I must say from personal experience it is rewarding when you see them becoming their own person, and you begin to feel you have contributed in a positive way.

God Bless Everyone.  This link will take you away from our website, but we hope you come back real soon!

 

 

https://www.theodysseyonline.com/dear-mom-college-daughter

 

What do I do about Halloween? A Guide for Christian Understanding

DISCLAIMER: THIS POST IS WRITTEN FROM MY PERSONAL POINT OF VIEW ACCORDING TO THE HOLY BIBLE AND MY UNDERSTANDING OF THE SCRIPTURES AND HISTORY ON THE SUBJECT MATTER. All scripture is from the Amplified Bible for better understanding.

I arrived at the local dollar tree to purchase a few new fall decorations while we are still experiencing 100-degree weather.  I love decorating for each season, and quite honestly I need Fall to kick Summer’s butt out of here!  All our stores are getting beautiful sweaters, long sleeve t-shirts, and hoodies, yet you can hardly breathe from the humidity when you step outside.  Nevertheless, I was determined to get in the mood for Autumn, one way or the other.  I transferred my sweltering body behind where two women stood in deep conversation in front of the fall leaves and pumpkin signs.

I could not help but overhear.  The discussion was Halloween.  One woman celebrated.  The other woman did not.  Now in this wonderful country that we live in where we have many freedoms, the lady who celebrated endeavored to convince the non-celebrator why she should be celebrating.  The conversation ended abruptly, with the non-celebrator responding by saying, “I know what I believe.  And I do not celebrate it.  Love you. Gotta go.”

Now because I overthink things too much that moment, obviously, has not left my mind.  I have my beliefs and I adhere to them.  If someone asks me, I will share with them what I believe.  But I have never been one to demand that others believe like me.  I will explain the reasons why I feel like I do, and allow you to make your own decisions.  1 Corinthians 6:12 is always a good way to begin, Everything is permissible for me, but not all things are beneficial. Everything is permissible for me, but I will not be enslaved by anything [and brought under its power, allowing it to control me].

That being said, I will share my personal views and what the Word of God says about this holiday that is called Halloween.  You know the name is even a bit strange.  The Catholic Church deemed Nov. 1 as All Saints Day, the day before became known as All Hallows Eve, and because humans are lazy it soon became Halloween.  Now, in the other communities lesser known to us, October 31 is called Samhain Eve, (pronounced SOW-in, SAH-in, or SAM-Hayne).  Samhain is the end of Harvest time, celebrating the end of summer and the beginning of the winter, or the darker time of the year.  Samhain is a time to remember those who have passed on or Feast of the dead and even Day of the Dead. The Druids and the Celtics would have made sacrifices to the Celtic gods of death, with both animals and humans thrown into huge firepits as offerings. It is also believed that the ancient Druids ate their firstborn children on Samhain, or collected the blood of their sacrificial humans in cauldrons and drank it.

Samhain is considered the Witch’s New Year. It is said that today feasting and drinking of the harvest/all natural items top the celebration.  It is a night that is believed that the curtain between the afterlife and life is the thinnest, and spirits return.  Most Samhain celebrations come complete with tarot cards, palm reading, and communication with the dead and other forms of divination.

Leviticus 19:31, ‘Do not turn to mediums [who pretend to consult the dead] or to spiritists [who have spirits of divination]; do not seek them out to be defiled by them. I am the Lord your God.

Well, as the old adage goes no matter how you slice it, it is appearing to be a holiday for the dark side.  Today’s witches and warlocks, yes there are real people practicing, are often a part of Wiccan.  It is a group that teaches what they call “white” magic. They claim to only create spells that are good and will not harm someone. They do not believe in heaven, hell, or the like. I like you to note here, Isaiah 5: 20,  “Woe (judgment is coming) to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness;
Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!

2 Corinthians 6:15, What harmony can there be between Christ and Belial (Satan)? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 

Now, I learned a long time ago, the just because someone does or does not believe the truth does not keep the truth from being fact.  It may not be a fact to you, but it still exists as truth.  You may not believe that on a sunny day the sky is blue because you have only been outside on dark, rainy days.  This still does not alter the fact that the beautiful, blue sky is outside waiting to be discovered.  Just because you were ignorant to it, did not change it from being real.  I believe that whether or not to participate in Halloween is the same way.  I have read a bunch of articles, several of them saying that it was a personal decision, and up to the parent. I agree in as much as the scripture says in Philippians 2:12,  “So then, my dear ones, just as you have always obeyed [my instructions with enthusiasm], not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence, continue to work out your salvation [that is, cultivate it, bring it to full effect, actively pursue spiritual maturity] with awe-inspired fear and trembling [using serious caution and critical self-evaluation to avoid anything that might offend God or discredit the name of Christ].” 

With this scripture in our minds let us touch on a few more symbols that were and are pertinent to Halloween.  Let me begin this section by telling a quick story.  I went into my local store looking for some pumpkins.  I have purchased them in years past and wanted them for some arrangements.  I asked the sales lady if she was going to get any in this year, and she assured me that she would have them out the next day.  I go in the next day to find not pumpkins but glittery jack-o-lanterns and skulls.  First and foremost, all jack-o-lanterns are pumpkins, BUT ALL PUMPKINS ARE NOT JACK-O-LANTERNS.

A bit of history here.  As I said before, it was believed that on that night the spirit world would eek over into the regular world.  Food was placed on the porches as offerings to the good spirits, turnips were carved with faces and a candle was placed inside.  This was a place for a spirit that had no place to go could fill the turnip and not harm people. In other words, it was a symbol of or for, if you will, a damned soul. Druid stories are more gruesome claiming that hollowed out pumpkins and turnips would be filled with fat from previous human sacrifices and lit. Today pumpkin jack-o-lanterns are primarily all we see.

Jack-O-Lantern.  Where did that name even come from?  It is from an old Irish folktale about a guy name Stingy Jack.  The short of the story is that Jack tricked the Devil and trapped him inside a tree with a cross on it.  Once he freed the Devil and he died, Hell did not want him because he tricked Satan, and Heaven did not want him because he was such a mean trickster.  The devil gave Jack a lump of burning coal so he could see to wander, and jack hollowed out a turnip and placed the coal inside to light his way.  He became known as Jack of the Lantern, and eventually Jack-O-Lantern.  So we can see that these hollowed-out pumpkins with faces symbolize in many ways a damned soul. My heart just breaks every time I see a small child holding this symbol.  Just seems so horrible for an innocent to cling to that horrible figure.

But test all things carefully [so you can recognize what is good]. Hold firmly to that which is good. Abstain from every form of evil [withdraw and keep away from it],  Thessalonians 5: 21-22.

Costumes originally were worn to protect one’s self from evil spirits.  The people believed that the costumes would confuse the spirit into thinking that the human was one of them and not haunt them. Personally, that is not giving much intelligence to the spirits, but I digress.

Costumes today vary in style and price.  From the very simple to the very elaborate.  The costumes are created for every age and every size.  You may be thinking that if your little man goes to a church party dressed as Captain America you are in a good place, but does it matter WHAT you dress up as, or the fact that you dress up on an evil day?  

Romans 12:2, And do not be conformed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you].

Black cats are a symbol we see this time of year. It was believed that cats had/have magical powers and could/can carry evil spirits.  I have also read of them being used in rituals and blood sacrifices in Satanist circles.  As a matter, of fact, in most major cities a black cat cannot be adopted on Oct. 31.  Even if it is not a written policy in some cases they will still adhere to this as an unspoken policy.  

Skeletons/skulls are seen a lot during the Halloween celebration.  After all, it IS the celebration of the DEAD.  What better way to show that skeletons and skulls?  Our culture uses skulls and skeletons all the time in graphics and decorations.  Why have we accepted a symbol of death so readily?  I wonder if the enemy of our souls just laughs at the way he sneaks in at every turn?

And do not give the devil an opportunity [to lead you into sin by holding a grudge, or nurturing anger, or harboring resentment, or cultivating bitterness], Ephesians 4:27.

Yes, it is hard when this holiday is so widely accepted to separate ourselves. However, it is not impossible.  I believe that when it comes to our souls and eternity it suddenly becomes an easier decision.   I remember the dilemma for how to handle the situation for my children in school.  I went to their teachers early on and explained that we did not celebrate Halloween and that I did not want my children participating in anything having to do with it or it’s symbols.  Most of the time there was no issue.  I simply explained that it was against our religion to participate.  Children are resilient, and I explained the reasons to them from early on.  Hate what is evil [detest all ungodliness, do not tolerate wickedness]; hold on tightly to what is good, Romans 12:9.

I understand that the kids love dressing up.  So have a dress-up birthday party or a block party with a costume theme.  We do not want to deprive the kids of fun, but we DO WANT TO DEPRIVE SATAN of any glory or worship. And we moms are aware of the candy aisle and even know what kind they like!  The kids will get their candy.

Do not participate in the worthless and unproductive deeds of darkness, but instead expose them [by exemplifying personal integrity, moral courage, and godly character], Ephesians 5:11.

James 4: 4, You adulteresses [disloyal sinners–flirting with the world and breaking your vow to God]! Do you not know that being the world’s friend [that is, loving the things of the world] is being God’s enemy? So whoever chooses to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

So I present before you these facts.  You are no longer ignorant of this information. The decision is up to you. Earnestly pray and seek God about your decision.  Comments are welcome.

God Bless!

The Giant that David Killed

 

Towering over nine feet tall, this Philistine champion was quite menacing.  The shear strength of this giant is explained by the massive amount of weight he carried with ease as armor on his body.  He wore a helmet of bronze that was about 150 pounds.  He also donned a coat of mail, overlapped to look like fish scales, that weighed 125 pounds.  He wore bronze leg protection and he harnessed a bronze javelin over his back.  The shaft of his spear was extraordinarily stout made and from hardwood and about 16 feet long, topped with an iron spearhead that weighed fifteen pounds. Altogether he carried way over 500 pounds on his body for protection.

His boisterous voice abounded mockingly across the valley to the Israelites.  “Do you need a whole army to fight for you?  Send me one man.  If he wins we will surrender and be your slaves, but if I win the Israelites will surrender and be our slaves.  I defy the armies of Israel! Send me a man!”

The Israelite army and King Saul was terrified. They could see the size and strength of this giant.  They knew that they could not beat him. They were completely dismayed and grievously afraid.  They did not want to become slaves of the Philistines.  So quietly they sat. Barely moving. Wondering what to do.

 

Now, David’s older brothers were serving in King Saul’s army.  Dad wanted to send a care package to them via little brother.  David woke up early in the morning and headed out.  Just as he reached the edge of the camp, he could hear Goliath shouting out against God’s people.  He began to ask questions of the men in Saul’s army.  “What are you going to do about this fool?”  Most of them responded by going to hide.  “This guy is defying the army of the living God!”  David said as he began to get a bit more zealous, “We can not allow this uncircumcised heathen continue to declare war on God’s people!”

David marched into King Saul and announced that he himself would take on the champion.  Saul was a bit unsure, but happy to have someone finally to accept the herculean’s challenge.  He offered David his own armor which was too cumbersome and heavy for the shepherd boy to use. On the way to meet the giant David picked up 5 smooth stones and placed them in his pocket. So, David went out to face the giant armed with what he had used before. A slingshot and a shepherd’s staff.

David arrived in the monstrous shadow and stopped.  Goliath looked down on the tiny little figure before him that was holding a staff.

“Am I a dog that you come at me with a stick?” Goliath questioned emphatically.  He cursed David by his gods.  The Philistine said, “Come here and I will feed you to the birds and the wild animals.”

Then David spoke, “You come against me with a spear and a sword, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty! Today the Lord will conquer you and I will kill you and cut off your head.  Then I will give the dead bodies of your army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel!  God does not need a weapon to rescue His people! It is His battle, not ours.  The Lord will give you to us!”

The mammoth figure moved forward to attack and David hurridly ran to meet him.  David reached in his shepherd’s bag and retrieved a smooth stone which he hurled from his slingshot and hit Goliath in the forehead. The stone sank in, Goliath stumbled and he fell face first to the ground.  David took Goliath’s sword and cut off the giant’s head.

It was known all over the land and all over the world that God took care of His Chosen People that day.

Now let us look at this situation more carefully. How does this story apply to today? Think about who David was.  A young shepherd boy who loved and served God.  He knew who he was in God.  Do you know who you are in God?

David put all of his faith in God.  Do you have all your faith in God?  What’s that?  You don’t have any faith?  Romans 12:3, “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but think of yourself with sober judgment, according to the measure of faith God has given you.”  You have been given the measure of faith when you became a child of God. Now the scripture doesn’t say how large or small the measuring cup is, but it a measure.  We all receive a measure.  It is important to note that Faith is no good if it is not used.  Like a muscle that never gets used, it gets weak. It will wither away to nothing if it remains not used. However, if it is used regularly it will get stronger and stronger.

Thinking back to the measure of faith. Knowing that we all have the measure of faith.  Let’s read the words of Jesus in Matthew 17:20, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Faith as small as a mustard seed.  A teeny tiny mustard seed sized faith can move a mountain. WOAH!

Do not miss this. Think about that measure of faith, and about that mustard seed faith.

Notice in the picture below: The wood spoon is the measure of faith. We are going to say that the mustard seed IS the faith.  Now Jesus said faith the size of a mustard seed could move a mountain. How many does it take to move a giant?

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   A measure of mustard seeds.

David, when he prepared to go, face Goliath stopped and gathered five smooth stones.  He used one to take down the giant.  4 more remained in his pocket.  Have you ever heard the phrase, you mess with one, you mess with them all? Hopefully, that’s not just a southern saying, but basically, it means that family looks out for each other.  Well, Goliath had four other gigantic family members at home.  This was common knowledge, so David was ready with a stone for each and every one of them.

So was it really the stone that took out the Giant that day?  The answer is no.  That little rock flung from the sling of that small young man did not.  Faith took out Goliath.  David put ALL his faith in God, did his part and God took care of the rest.

Faith can move a mountain and Faith can conquer a defiant giant.  Since this has been proven over and over not only in my own life but in the lives of others, why do I still have so many enormous obstacles taunting me?  I have the measure of faith.  You have the measure of faith.  It only takes a little bit to do great things, then we need to start cutting off some heads and leveling some mountains. Build up your faith. Don’t know how? Romans 10:17,” So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”  Read God’s word.  Share God’s Word. Live God’s Word.

Once you start using your faith you will feel it grow.  You will be able to speak as freely as David did about what God is going to do because you will be more intuned to hie will.  But it all begins with that tiny bit of faith put to good use.  Before long they will be talking about the giants that YOU and faith killed.

 

 

How to Create a Good Understanding Between You and Your Furniture (DIY XL Coasters)

Nothing is better than a tall glass of your favorite beverage on a hot day!   We southerners love sweet tea over ice!  Now almost every container you drink from has a tendency to form condensation and that can make a mess on the table or desk.  Grab a coaster?  Is that what you were thinking?  That does not exactly work well in my house.  People move them and if they should get knocked off onto the floor, the dog thinks it is his toy and will chew them up to nothing.

I have recently created myself a work area including the addition of a small desk.  Now creativity makes me thirsty.  There is always something with me.  Hence my dilemma.  I do not want to wreck my desk area, but I do want a chew marked coaster sitting on my lovely desk.  So I started digging and here’s what I found to work with…

 

stuff
Felt, Adhesive Fur, Trim, ribbon, and a stamp

 

I decided what size to make my coaster.  I used a lid from a 44oz fountain drink, 4.5 inches.  I also located a cardboard.  Something with a bit of plastic on one side is a little tougher, but even an old cereal box will do.  It will not show so color does not matter.

Cut 2 rounds of felt by your pattern.  Then cut 2 rounds of cardboard slightly smaller than the felt.

insideofcoaster
2 cardboard rounds cut slightly smaller than the original pattern.

You will notice right away that my cardboard is NOT straight, because I decided to freehand it so it would just be slightly smaller than the outside.

Nevertheless, I used it because you will not see it anyways. Besides, it is mine and until now I was the only one who knew.  (Gulp)

Well anyway, let us move on to the good part…assembly and decoration.

 

 

fur n bird
Bird stamp and ink pad

Now since my website is while I empty the nest and nest can make you think of birds, I am using a bird.

I pulled out my ink pad and inked up my bird stamp really well.  Then on the adhesive backing of the fur, I made my stamp.

blackbird
Dove stamped in black

I made the executive decision to leave off the olive branch.  Using my Fabric Scissors I slowly and carefully cut out my bird. Once it was cut out I used the scissors and worked with the front a bit.  It is fur, and I needed it to look more feather like.

 

With all that cutting out of the way, we are ready to assemble.

fourcirclesnbird
2 seafoam circles 2 smaller while cardboard circles 1 baby-blue bird

 

Using hot glue- glue the 2 cardboard rounds together.  It is very important that you keep glue smooth.  I placed most of my glue around the outside of the circle.  You do not want a glass tilting over.  

Sandwich the cardboard between the 2 felt rounds.  Be sure you place the cardboard in the center.  Now you may decorate to your heart’s desire.  This is what makes the coaster look finished and customized.

Here is what I did to mine.  I started with some kinda retro looking ribbon. I glued it in a cross pattern and then added ribbon give it a polished look.

 

 

 

 

It’s a hashtag!!!  #CoastersRock #Createyourowncoater #HOWCOOLISTHIS

Oh, sorry, got a bit carried away.  I placed my bird at the center of the hashtag.  ON TO THE TRIM…

Hot glue is your best friend here.  But work slowly here.  You do not want big gobs of glue or strings hanging on at the end.  You want it as nice and neat as you can.

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My finished coaster for my desk: I Love it!

I think it makes a beautiful addition to my desk and everyone knows who it belongs to and dares not take it.  It looked so nice mt Dad wanted one.  You can see his design in the picture at the very top and the very bottom.  Simple but just right.

So to recap here are the things you actually need.

  • Decide what size you desire and cut pattern
  • 1 piece of felt
  • Cardboard for 2 patterns
  • Trim of your liking
  • Hot glue

Remember not to decorate where the glass or cup will sit with anything bulky.  That would be disastrous.

 

I will be making more I am sure of it.  I would love to see yours once you are complete.  Feel free to comment here and also find us on Pinterest!

 

Cheers to you all with my glass of sweet tea and my desk and I now have a great understanding of one another.

lookingdowncoasters
Pretty coasters

 

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Frozen Lemon-Lime Pie

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The summer of 2018 has been a brutal one here on the Florida gulf coast. Heat index can and regularly is even worse actual temperature. On a particular afternoon, I decided to create a cool dessert for everyone.  Of course, you never have exactly what you want when you want it, but here is what I came up with.  They all enjoyed it right away and the next day as well. So, here we go Frozen Lemon-lime Pie.

INGREDIENTS:

1-pkg lemon gelatin, 1-pkg lime gelatin, 2 small containers of whipped topping, 1 premade Graham cracker crust, Sprinkles as desired for garnish.

HOW TO MAKE:

Let whipped toppings sit out on the counter for about 30 minutes to soften.

Mix lemon gelatin with one container of whipped topping.  Mix the lime gelatin with the other container of whipped topping.  Now, in your crust place your lemon mixture into the bottom right on top of the graham cracker.  Smooth gently and place into the freezer for 5 minutes.

Pull out the crust from the freezer and top the lemon with the lime mixture. Make it as pretty as you wish on top with your spreader.  Top the entire thing with sprinkles or as you wish.  Fresh fruit would be beautiful!  I just did not have any that day.

Freeze entire pie for a minimum of 30 minutes before serving.

 

ENJOY!!

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Coolin'

 

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10 Useful Household Products to Make Life Easier

Which is worse? The Craziness of the morning getting kids ready for school, or the afternoons of homework and after-school activities as well as little league games. Oh, and everyone’s favorite part of the day, dinner. Oh, no, did I forget to plan dinner? Okay, I will pick something up on the way home. Only on the way home, half the city decided to do the same thing and traffic is ridiculous! Your annoyance grows as you are standing in line that because of this you are behind on picking up people at the correct time. All you can do is pray that this day will be over soon because tomorrow you get to try again.

Every household needs to function like a well-oiled machine. Matter of fact, the more children and extracurricular activities + the more parents with jobs and social engagements = better functioning machine becomes crucial. Day to day events require us to tick them off the to-do list at lightning speed and without hesitation conquer the following one as well. Anything that happens to cause the wheels to slow down or even stop can cause frustration. There has to be something that can help a parent/guardian keep things rolling smoothly.

Well, Ta-DA. There are useful home products that this writer would venture to say that they are must-haves for every home. Let me first say that I am not trying to sell you these particular products. I am merely placing ideas before you for your consideration. You purchase, test and use at your own discretion which products and brands are right for you.

Add heading (12)
Storage Bags No Copyright Infringement Intended, Display purpose only

STORAGE/FREEZER BAGS

Life in our home would come to a screeching halt without storage bags. We use them for all kinds of things. I will make a list of things we use storage bags (all sizes) for in our house.

  1. Craft supplies
  2. Buttons
  3. Index Cards
  4. Cupcake baking cups
  5. Cake picks
  6. Legos
  7. Pens
  8. Medicine on the go
  9. Storage Blankets

There are probably a dozen more I could find if I just looked, but you get the idea. They are cheap enough to toss out if it gets too dirty, plus all the kids can have identical bags on trips. Do not forget freezer bags. They are great for breaking down those large packages of meat into smaller, into easier to handle bundles. Your garden Veggies keep much better that way too, and you can eat them after the season is over.

ALUMINUM FOIL

aluminum foil
Roll of aluminum foil…no copyright infringement intended. For Display purpose only.

This is an item that will aid cook and dishwasher by becoming a convenient way to cook and clean. Foil can be used to line baking pans or the grill, and also to make a pouch of food for quick and easy cleanup. It works wonders to cover the drip pans beneath the stove burners, to keep things looking pristine, and simple tidying up for sticky messes. Sometimes casseroles or meats must be tinted with foil for part of the cooking time to keep it from overcooking. The foil is very versatile and can be used in many different ways. Craft projects too. I try my best to always keep our kitchen stocked with Aluminum Foil.

CROCK-POT LINERS

crock pot liners
silver crock-pot with black crockery, covered in a clear liner no copyright infringement intended. For display purposes only

Now, these little darlings are some of the greatest inventions that man ever made! Second only to the reason it was needed: the Crock-Pot/Slow Cooker. To use these precious gems, simply place them on the pot like a backward shower cap. Now it is ready to hold all your food and liquids. Cook as usual. The best part is that once the food and liquids are removed unless you have spilled down the side of the pot when you throw the liner away your slow cooker is ready for next time! And your next chicken dish! To understand that click here.

SMALL TRASH CANS FOR EVERY WORK AREA

small garbage cans
Small garbage can NO COPYRIGHT infringement intended. For Display purposes only.

I know that this may sound like a bit overboard, but trust me when I say it will help with frustration. Small trash cans are pretty inexpensive, and as I always say but my nerves are not. I have a can at all work areas, all desks, all sitting areas. The laundry room, and every bedroom and even my dining room. Now, these cans can be decorated to match the decor of the room or space. Or you can keep it simple and stick to one color. The idea is to not to have to run searching for a trash receptacle. Everyone is responsible for dumping their own trash can or assign all or some of them as a weekly chore. No matter the small details these small additions to your home will keep things running more smoothly.

A RECYCLE BIN/AREA

Green Can with white recycle logo on side
Green recycle can with white logo NO COPYRIGHT infringement intended. Photo used for display only.

Recycling is a wonderful way to help the planet as we all know. But do not be fooled, it is a great way to help yourself as well. Once we had our recycling area, the amount of trash we had to deal with reduced significantly. I created some nice, neat containers for inside that everyone uses constantly. They were large grey totes, with green lids, and I created a sticker for the side that said recycle. It took a little while to get everyone into the habit of what to recycle, but now it is just an everyday maintenance.

COLORED GARBAGE BAGS

colored garbage bags
Colored garbage bags No copyright infringement intended. Display purposes only.

Have you ever asked a question like who put this garbage in the big can and were met with complete and utter silence? I mean we are taking tumbleweeds here. Well, we have color-coded our garbage bags so we always know what type of garbage and where it came from. Let me see if I can break it down for you.

WHITE bags, kitchen 13-gallon size, used for kitchen garbage including food trash.

GREEN bags, Large, lawn, and leaf, used for recycling–never used for food.

BLACK bags, Large, lawn, and leaf, used for regular trash–never used for food.

Small Colored Bags-These fit small trash cans-purchased on a roll. Can be designated for a particular room or person. You can recycle plastic store bags for this purpose as well.

PERSONAL BATHROOM KITS

Blue toiletry kit
Personal Bathroom Kit No Copyright Infringement Intended. For Example only.

Hate a messy bathroom? So do I! Bottles cluttering the sides of the shower, razors, and sponges ready to slide off the side. Well, I have an answer for that. Personal Shower Kits. These can be made from zippered pouches like a man’s shaving kit, or a small over nite bag if you need something just a bit bigger. Just make the kit personal to each family member. Then when bathtime arrives everything you need is ready and waiting. once you are clean just toss it back in and take it back to your room. The bathroom stays tidy, and mom keeps her sanity.

Whiteboards

 

 

How in the world did we ever manage life before them? Oh, I know, it is just so much easier and much less mess.

We use them for:

  1. Calendars-month
  2. Calendar-weekly
  3. Chore Chart
  4. Mommy don’t forget

A LARGE BEVERAGE SERVER

clear and teal beverage server with silver spout, latch and handle full of ice and water
Large Beverage Server NO COPYRIGHT infringement intended. For display purposes only.

I am not really sure about other places in the world but here in the south, we love sweet tea. I am partial to mine with some lemon also, but that has nothing to do with this, so I digress. It is really easy to go through a gallon of sweet tea a day here at my house. who has time to stop and make the tea that much? I propose a large beverage server. Now, this bad boy will hold up to 5 gallons of tea at the time. This keeps that precious nectar flowing without mom having to stop every single day and make more drink. After all, it could be lemonade, kool-aid, juice with water, doesn’t matter. Kids can serve themselves and Mom can spend that time on something else, because you know there is always something else.

CLOTHES HANGERS

hanger silver
Silver Metal Hangers NO COPYRIGHT infringement intended. display only

Now you are probably saying about now, duh. Everyone knows we need hangers.

But do not be fooled. All hangers are not created equal. According to HomeStratosophere.com, there are 29 different types of coat hangers. The basic design is about the same as the original one created in the 1800s. Do some research and find a style that you like and whatever you do, do not take a single plastic, “crap” store hanger when you buy clothing. These are cheaply made in bulk and will not hold up well at home. I mean if they break at the store they have a gazillion more and they just replace it, me not so much.

I personally also think that the wire hangers from the dry cleaners are best saved for arts and crafts. These fall into the category of bulk made, and low quality.

Save yourself some trouble. Color code if you want. No matter, but get something sturdy that will not leave your delicates on the floor and your blouses only partially hung. Everyone will have a favorite and a style that they loathe, but good hangers, my friend, are a bare necessity of life. (Disney Reference there. Did You Catch It?)

Now you need a good recipe for dinner.  Try this one on for size: Porcupine Meatballs