Saturday, December 31, 2011

Love and Many Blessings in 2012

Christmas is over and it's that time, time to round up the year and plan for the new year ahead.  Before diving into the new year, I like to take time to reflect on this year, to review and look at the big picture of all the small experiences of the past 12 months. 

God has blessed my life in more ways than I could ever think of. Like many of you, my 2011 was filled with ups and downs and many challenges to say the least. But, that is what life is, experiencing it all the good, the not so good, the exciting and sometimes even the things that knock you off your feet for awhile. The thing is that we have to think about what it is that we were suppose to learn from each experience and remember that God is working these experiences, whether it seems like it at the time, for good in our lives.

If you can step back and take a look at the bigger picture you can see that every experience has in one way or another shaped our character, helped us grow, strengthened us, and given us the knowledge that we can now draw from to better manage, in a new and improved way.

Looking back on 2011 and everything that happened, I can honestly say it was a year of tremendous growth and learning for me.  My faith and relationship with God is stronger than ever and I am able to better notice even the smallest of ways He is working in my life.  I know without a doubt that God has great plans for each and everyone of us. 



Thursday, December 22, 2011

Jesus Is The Reason For The Season!!

What is the real meaning of Christmas? Is it the gifts under the tree, the lights in the windows, the cards in the mail, turkey dinners with family and friends, snow in the yard, stockings hanging in the living room, the "Merry Christmas" to those we pass? Is this really Christmas?

Christmas can be a season of of great sorrow for some and great joy for others. I like to think of Christmas as a time of God showing His great love for us, a time of healing and renewed strength. The celebratation of the birth of Christs child, Jesus. 

Mary, a virgin, was living in Galilee of Nazareth and was engaged to be married to Joseph, a Jewish carpenter. An angel, Gabriel visited her and explained to her that she would conceive a son by the power of the Holy Spirit. She would carry and give birth to this child and she would name him Jesus.
While Mary was still engaged to Joseph, she miraculously became pregnant through the Holy Spirit, as foretold to her by the angel.

Although Joseph's initial reaction was to break the engagement, the appropriate thing for a righteous man to do, he treated Mary with extreme kindness. He did not want to cause her further shame, so he decided to act quietly. But God sent an angel to Joseph in a dream to verify Mary's story and reassure him that his marriage to her was God's will. The angel explained that the child within Mary was conceived by the Holy Spirit, that his name would be Jesus and that he was the Messiah, God with us.

When Joseph woke from his dream, he willingly obeyed God and took Mary home to be his wife, in spite of the public humiliation he would face. Perhaps this noble quality is one of the reasons God chose him to be the Messiah's earthly father.  At that time, Caesar Augustus decreed that a census be taken, and every person in the entire Roman world had to go to his own town to register. Joseph, being of the line of David, was required to go to Bethlehem to register with Mary

There were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. Gabriel, an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. Christ sent His son, Jesus to deliver each and evey on of us from our sins. The Bible says that all have sinned. We are all born with a sin nature. We do things that do not please God. Through the sins of Adam and Eve, we have all inherited that sin nature. We need to have that removed. The only way is through Jesus. Jesus came so He could die on the cross for ALL of our sins. If we believe that Jesus died for our sins, we can ask Him to come into our hearts and forgive us. Then, we are clean and made whole. We can know that heaven is a place where we can go to when this life is over.

"This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about." So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart."

When we recieve Christ as our Lord and Savior, we have recieved the best gift ever given, we become a child of Christ.

 I John 1:9
"But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong."

This means we all can truly be happy at Christmas! No matter what may be happening in the world or in our lives.  When we ask Christ into our hearts we become His children.  We recieve the gifts of peace and joy, knowing that He is with us every second of every day while we are on this earth and that one day we will be celebrating for eternity  in our new home, Heaven.

Monday, December 19, 2011

From Old Pallet to Perfectly Practical

Wow...who would of ever thought you could basically furnish a home using old crates and pallets?  From bookshelves, daybeds, side tables to herb stands...even art...the options are endless.  Here are some creative and budget friendly DIY ideas using crates and wooden pallets.  Check out the links below for more great DIY ideas.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Inspiring Christmas Decor from Pinterest

Such fun finding Christmas decorating ideas on Pinterest, I could look all day.  I think the button wreaths and ornaments are the cutest things ever!!  I know...I have a weakness for anything made with vintage buttons...sooo darling and simple.  Another new favorite, mercury glass.  I have been hooked ever since a good friend gave me a votive set, just beautiful to use in any decor.  Also, I love the idea of using epsom salt to decorate for Christmas.  Check out the sites below for some beautiful and simple Christmas DIY decorations.

Source: via Jenn on Pinterest

Source: via Stacy on Pinterest

Source: via Stacy on Pinterest

Source: via Stacy on Pinterest

Source: via Stacy on Pinterest

Source: via Stacy on Pinterest