Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

I can't believe that is December 31st already! Where did 2010 go??? I guess the phrase, "time flies while you having fun," must apply to 2010! It is very warm here in northern Michigan, by warm I mean in the 40's... all our snow is sinking into the ground or evaporating into the air (it is very foggy). It is kind of yucky out!

This is the time of the year everyone takes a look back at the "highlights" or "low-lights" of the year past... but I am choosing just to glance at the year past.  My devotions was good this morning… it talked about looking in the rear-view mirror to see where you have been and what God brought you through… that is good.  I have always said that if you turn your head to look at what was behind, you will drive yourself off into the ditch, but the idea of glancing in the rear-view mirror... I like that.  You can see God in the rear-view mirror but you can also see Him through the windshield.  “He will never leave me nor forsake me. The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” Hebrews 13:5-6 

Glance behind to remember, but I must be focused on what is ahead to keep moving and growing.  Looking ahead is far more productive.  What is that saying “yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift that's why it’s called the present.”

I have one more picture to share of a gift I made for someone... the giant cup is from Pampered Chef and the decorations are from SU.
Off to do some errands... groceries, post office, and pay taxes (yuck).  Have a blessed New Year!

with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Friday, December 24, 2010

Peace through Christ...

Christmas Eve... I am set I think.  I am content in what I have gotten done and the rest doesn't matter. My devotions this morning was about peace… the peace that Christ came to give us. I was thinking about Mary and how on the night she was to give birth she had no warm, comfortable spot to be in. What would I have said if it were me? “what do you mean there is no room in the inn? Can’t they see that I am about to give birth here? How can they expect me to go to that dirty barn with all of its animal smells and have a baby? No tv and no running water? Do they realize who I am?” But no, she did not take offense. She knew that there were more important things for her to be concerned with. Why would she want to waste her precious moments with offense in her heart??? Why do we so many times let the simplest, mundane, silly things push us over the edge to being offended? I am sure Mary was not thrilled with the idea of giving birth in a stable, but she knew it was going to be alright. She had the Peace living inside her… she knew His peace that passes all understanding even before He was physically in this earth.

You often hear people say, “all I want is world peace.” What is each one of us doing to make that a reality? To be perfectly honest, none of us have any control over “world peace”… all we can control is the peace in our own heart. Don’t let minor things put the scars of offense on your heart. This world can be brutal, but even when the world is raging around us… we can have that peace in our hearts. Do you have IT? I like that little saying, “No God, no peace… know God, know peace.” “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7 … He is so precious to me.

Sharing some baked goodies with you today! My snowflake cutout cookies with edible glitter.
The second pic is cakeballs... my first attempt, but they turned out good and they are sooooo yummy!
Off to two services at church and then heading to my parents for a couple days.
with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Thursday, December 23, 2010

In His Season...

Only 2 more days! Are you all ready for Christmas? I always like to reminisce a little this time of the year... I was always a sneak at Christmas-time… if I got the chance I peeked at gifts my parents had hidden in the house. Even went as far as opening a gift that was under the tree that had been wrapped at the store before Mom brought it home. Yes, it was jean gauchos… I must have been about 11 or 12 years old… gauchos were the rage then! Um, and I wasn’t alone in that one, my older sister, Renee, was also a part of that… we even tried them on before carefully wrapping them up again. I have always been a lil’ nosey, sorry to say, but it is true. I always wanted to know what was next… I am a “planner” so I would use the excuse that I need to prepare and knowing will help me with that… that is just a pile of bologna! The truth is that I wanted to know so I could be in control of the situation… and by doing that I missed so many great moments because I was not living in the moment.

I am finding this way of thinking doesn’t mesh well with my life as a follower of Christ. I am not in control of my life, but I have the choice of whether I am going to let God control it with me going through life kicking and screaming or go through life with peace and trust. Something is always going to control my life… will it be fear or will it be faith???... will it be grateFULness or will it be disappointment???... will it be love or will it be hate??? We all have the choice. And He said to them, “It is not for you (me) to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.” Acts 1:7   May you choose to fill your day with faith, grateFULness, peace, and love.

Wanted to share this paper and canvas project I did for a friend as a gift.  I luv, luv, luv the SU butterfly embosslit folder!  And of course, more SU rub ons from my stash. The saying is, "A small thing done in love is a great thing."

Have a blessed Christmas Eve Eve. with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Monday, December 20, 2010

Let It Be...

So are you all ready for Christmas? Has there ever been a Christmas when you felt totally prepared? I am finally getting my Christmas cards in the mail... yes, I let it go once again until the last minute, but at least I am sending some, unlike last year.

In reading about Mary, Jesus’ mother, when the angel appeared to tell her of her pregnancy… I was thinking of how her mind must have tried to play tricks on her… I realize she must have had incredible faith to begin with because she was chosen by God to carry His precious Son, but she was still human.  In verse 38 of Luke 1, Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.  The words, “let it be to me according to Your word”… am I willing to say that??? Will I humble myself and surrender all always to my Lord, no matter the cost?  This reminds me of the song, “Your Love Never Fails.” The part of that song that says, “You make all things work together for my good”.  His love has always been the same… unbelievable… unimaginable love.  It is so hard sometimes to just let it all go, but I know… I believe Papa has always brought things into my life that were only for my good, even when I couldn’t see it or didn’t want to see it! And I know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Romans   HIS PURPOSE! Surrender is a daily thing with me, just like I am sure it was with Mary too as she saw her belly getting bigger and bigger… and people talking about her, but His promise is the same today with me as it was back then with Mary... I have to surrender it all to allow Papa to make my life significant for Him.

I am sharing my very simple Christmas card with you... consider this my Merry Christmas greeting to you. I am only sending to family that is far away or shut-ins... hope it cheers up their day.

with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Thursday, December 16, 2010

No Hustle and Bustle.

As I was reading Psalm 42, my heart was aching for friends/family. I can see that Satan is really working in places where families are doing good and causing him the most damage.  In verse 9, “I will say unto God my rock, Why have You forgotten me? Why do I mourn because of the oppression of the enemy?”  I can still remember the message I heard, how that Satan’s greatest weapon is discouragement… if he can discourage then he has got us where he wants us.  In those times we may feel so alone, like the verse says, “God, why have You forgotten me?” but it is in those dark times when we have to dig deeper to see His light shining in us.  It is kind of like discouragement pulls the blinds on our heart, those total light-blocking blinds, we need to find something or someone to help pull the blinds up.  When it gets so bad we may not even want to look to God’s Word for the encouragement we need… that is when having great, encouraging people in our lives is so important.  Do I see when someone is discouraged and needs a word of encouragement from me? Am I allowing myself to be led by Holy Spirit to see those moments when my encouragement is needed? Am I willing to do whatever God asks me to do, no matter how uncomfortable I may be?

Christmas prep is still in full motion... it is coming ready or not!!! Spending today with a friend shopping in Traverse City... praying for peace in my heart... no hustle and bustle! Thought I would share a pic of our Christmas tree... it has been up and decorated for almost a week!

with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I am Still Here...

Yes, I am still here... I just have been so busy since we got home from Thanksgiving at my parents'.  Last week I spent everyday getting our church decorated for Christmas and helping to get things ready for the servant/leader Christmas party that was on Friday.  It was a busy but very fun week. Here is a picture of me and my friend, Stacy hanging snowflakes from the atrium area at church... it is a long way up there.

Next Monday is our Night Out For Ladies Christmas event, so this week is spent in preparation for that.  We usually have anywhere from 300-500 women... so there is lots to do again this week.  However, when I woke up Saturday morning I had a scratchy throat which has now turned into a chest cold.  I have too much to do... I don't have time to be sick.

Our Christmas tree is up with lights, star and tree skirt, oh and 3 ornaments but that is it so far!  It will all get done and what doesn't I just have to let it go.

I was reading in II Corinthians 1:3-7 this morning and the thought came to me that my suffering will NEVER outweigh God's comfort... I am so thankful for that.

I just took some cough medicine and now I am gonna cozy in for the evening in my "snuggie".

with a grateFUL HEART, carin