Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Strength And Courage

 ~ Grace Gift ~
Strength And Courage

You are my strength, I sing praise to you; you, God, are my fortress, my God on whom I can rely. Psalms 59:17
 The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him. Psalms 28:7
 Be strong and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! Psalm 27:14
 The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace. Psalms 29:11
 But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded. 2 Chronicles 15:7

May my children always be strong and courageous in their character and in their actions.
 In Jesus' name, amen.  

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

An Attitude Of Gratitude

 ~ Grace Gift ~
An Attitude Of Gratitude

Every generous act and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights; with Him there is no variation or shadow cast by turning.        James 1:17

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson
I wanted to share with all of you how feeling grateful for the things in my life has changed me.  As I was growing up, I won’t say that I was a negative person, but I certainly focused on what was wrong more than on what was right.  And I really don’t know why I was this way.  My family were happy and positive people, so it’s not like I was surrounded by negativity.  But for some reason, even though I had a happy childhood, I would get angry and upset when things didn’t go the way I thought that they should.
 Anyway, over the last two to three years I have totally changed my focus and have decided to really look on the bright side, find the silver lining, and realize how fortunate I am!   Maybe because I’m older and wiser, or as I look back over my life I’m finding that things really aren’t that bad.  I have decided to CHOOSE to be happier, and to be thankful for each and every blessing that I have received.  I’ve learned that when you focus on all of the great things you have in your life, it helps to shift your focus and get you to see things in a different light.
  “We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.” ― John F. Kennedy
Even though I feel overwhelmed at times, I find that being grateful for challenges changes my perspective.  For example, I have so many fabulous friends, some of whom have recently re-surfaced in my life and I really haven’t been in contact with since high school. Friendship is something to treasure, and old friends are the absolute best!  They know all about the city where you grew up, the house you lived in and the pets you had, your parents and siblings and especially the schools you went to as they were all there with you along the way.  It’s a connection that’s unbreakable, and it’s something that others aren’t able to relate to.   I don’t know where I would be without my friends, both old and new, and I hope that I have been able to sprinkle their lives with as much love and encouragement as they have with mine!
 “Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” ― Marcel Proust

 Another thing I have is a Gratitude Jar  and I’m reminded on a daily basis of new things to add.  The benefits of this have been amazing for me, and I highly recommend this practice for everybody.  I promise that you, too, will be amazed at the difference in your everyday outlook and mood!  The cool thing is that you can focus on a certain subject that you feel grateful for, or you can just randomly write down whatever comes to your mind.  I promise you will never have a shortage of things to write!  I find that once I get going, ideas just keep on coming, and focusing joyfully on all that I’ve written instantly brightens my day.
I hope that you will all take some time to try this practice, and I believe that this can be life-changing for you!

It's good to be alive!
Thank You, Lord.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Happy 4th Birthday, Little Buddy

~ Grace Gift ~

For you created my inmost being;
You knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
Your eyes saw my unformed body.

All the days ordained for me
were written in Your book
before one of them came to be.
~Psalm 139: 13 - 16

We love you all so much!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Strength And Courage

 ~ Grace Gifts ~
Strength and courage

Haven’t I commanded you: be strong and courageous?
Do not be afraid or discouraged,
for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
~Joshua  1:9

For any of you who may be feeling a little heavy hearted at the moment... When all else fails, try and try again. I strongly believe there is a reason, season and a way for things happening in our lives. We are never truly alone. Enjoy ♥
 You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you stop to look fear in the face.~ Eleanor Roosevelt
 You don't have to know HOW it's going to happen, you just have to KNOW it's going to happen!
Sometimes we just need to chill and listen to the sound of the world around us ♥ 
 Life’s gifts. Strength. Beauty. Courage. Compassion. Hope. Joy. We can’t unwrap them like birthday presents. But we can open our hearts to them, and we can add them mindfully to everything that we make and everything that we do.
Live free. Live strong. Be like a weed–a flower that refuses to grow in rows. Bloom your strength, courage, and beauty. Be you.
 A peaceful way of looking at the world ♥
 May you always be aware you are loved beyond measure...

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Chocolate Cupcakes

~ Grace Gift ~
Just something yummy.

A yummy little double-chocolate cupcake plumped with a dollop of strawberry or rasberryjam filling and a spiral of cream cheese  frosting -
 Make some for someone you love.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Through The Smoke And Fog

 ~ Grace Gift ~
His Glory In Nature

May the glory of the LORD endure forever;
may the LORD rejoice in his works,
Who looks on the earth and it trembles,
Who touches the mountains and they smoke!
I will sing to the LORD as long as I live;
I will sing praise to my God while I have being.
May my meditation be pleasing to him,
for I rejoice in the LORD.
Psalm 104:31-34 
When Christ's Light breaks through the smoke and fog in our lives that's when the "works of God" are clearly displayed to His glory.
From Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever. Amen. 
  Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let Your glory be over all the earth!
  Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and the earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and Yours it is to be exalted as Head over all.

 When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.
Ansel Adams
 At dawn on a crisp winter’s day, even the light is cold.
It paints the land a steely, frigid blue; the stain sets quickly and deeply
so that all it covers is held absolutely still.
 The brush strokes are rough, uneven, prickly,
giving a harsh texture to this, nature's canvas.
 This natural work of art is powerful enough
to hold any viewer frozen in its grasp.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

In The Garden Of This Earth

 ~ Grace Gift ~
Another day of *unspeakable gifts*

"Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gifts" II Corinthians 9:15
There is a winter on the earth that mirrors the winter in a heart, and it is helpful to remember that both are seasons. Any season that God has given is good, and it is enlightening to be thankful for His goodness, His gifts, and the goodness in His gifts.
Even winter.
I am thankful for the stark beauty of bare trees and the hidden architecture of nature revealed.
I am thankful for the shortened daylight, the candlelight, the warmth of home, and the hibernation of the soul within the family.
I am thankful for the wind, rain, and snow's pruning of my landscape - outside my window and within my heart.
This week, I will find time to make a winter soup, light all of the candles at dark, and build a fire under a cold, starry sky. I will be thankful for the life force stirring under the ground beneath my feet and understand the privilege of living in the garden of this earth, in all seasons.