Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Gratitude... Day 30

GRATITUDE: a feeling of being thankful to somebody for doing something. I cannot live my life by my feelings, but GRATITUDE is one feeling I should be living my life with every day! GRATITUDE shouldn’t be a feeling that comes and goes… it should be a constant way of living… when you feel GRATITUDE in your heart… you must express it through your words and actions.

"Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with GRATITUDE in your hearts." ~ Colossians 3:16

November 2016... the month of thanksgiving... is almost a memory! It has been a month full of mixed emotions, and great & small events in life! 

The month of November, we had a series at church called "Fearless"... what a great & challenging series! I am so grateFUL that Father God keeps showing me more & more of who He is... drawing me closer to Him... teaching me to depend on Him more!

Today I show my humble gratitude for the Lord's provision in my life! Not just monetary, but emotional, spiritual, relational, a husband that never gives up! 

I look back at where I/we were a year ago... I cannot even believe how the Lord has provided a way! (Oh me of little faith!) Luke's business is still in the baby stages, as is our B&B, but just when we need what we need... God hears our prayers & answers! My heart is full, running over & leaking from my eyes! 

Also, I am grateFUL for any of you that stuck with me through these 30 days of gratitude! I don't know who reads these, or if it is speaking to anyone's heart, but that is okay... I write for an audience of One!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Gratitude... Day 29

Over all it was a pretty good day!

My sisters were here for an over night visit, so we had a nice B&B breakfast!

The sun was shining!

I had a migraine start, but after prayer from friends & meds... it didn't get too bad & is gone!

Bible study with some incredible ladies!

Yummy white chicken chili for dinner!

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer on TV!

"Everything you say or do should be done in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him." ~ Colossians 3:17

A pretty good day! Much gratitude for the simple joys of life!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Gratitude... Today and Days Gone By

I was doing so good keeping up with the Days of Gratitude... then we were out of town over
Thanksgiving... and I was unable to get my blogging done! I do have a ton to be grateFUL for, but today I am just going to share one massive thing I have so much gratitude for...

I was reading this morning in Luke 7:36-50... Jesus had been invited to the pharisee's house for dinner. This woman came in to show her sacrifice of love to Jesus. She was not an "upstanding" citizen in society, so the other people at the dinner were judging why Jesus would allow a woman like this near Him. Jesus knew what they were thinking and He proceeded to tell a parable about the 2 people that owed a debt... one owed a big debt and one owed a greater debt.

In verses 41-42 Jesus said... "There was a certain creditor who had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both. Tell Me, which of them will love him more?" And Simon's answer in the next verse, "I suppose the one whom he forgave more."

Sin is sin in God's eyes! Yes, there are bigger consequences on earth for some sins over others. But this woman, that poured all she had out for Jesus, had lived a rough life of sin, but so did the pharisee, Simon... his sins were maybe just more "acceptable" in the world's eyes.

Okay, so you are probably asking... what does this have to do with my gratitude for the day? Well, let me tell you... I am a sinner! "Big" sins... "little" sins... I am way better than I was, but I have a long way to go! My massive gratitude is because it is only by the grace of God... His love & mercy... and Jesus Christ's sacrifice on the cross that sin no longer has a hold on me!

Then He said to her, "Your sins are forgiven."... "Your faith has saved you. Go in peace." ~ Luke 7:48 & 50

I share this boldly and courageously... this is what I know for sure... it is only through Christ shedding His blood... dying for the whole world's sins... and being raised from the dead, that I have eternal life in Heaven some day! I am not saying that I am right & you are wrong if you believe differently... what I am saying is that Christ's righteousness is the only way to make your "debt" right! I know this & I believe this with my whole heart because He has done it for me & He will do it for you too!

"If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him for the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." ~ Romans 10:9-10

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Gratitude... Day 23

HOPE! Hope is what I have gratitude for today!

I was reading something on social media the other day... it was a comment from a man who obviously has had BIG hurt in his life & by his words you can tell that he had lost all hope! That was three days ago that I read that, & it is still sticking in my thoughts! So... so sad!

This morning I was reading in Philippians 2... these verses filled my heart with such HOPE!

"...God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." ~ Philippians 2:9-11

There are those that say "Christianity" is a fairy-tale, perpetuated for those that are feeble-minded & desperate to believe in something. IF HOPE in Christ is a fantasy, then someone has gone to a lot of trouble to perpetuate the grandest lie in history! There is all kinds of proof that proves this Love Story is true... but with a grateFUL HEART I proclaim that I don't need any of that proof... my proof is what I know... what I believe He has done in my life, & this is what I put my HOPE in!

"And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us." ~ Romans 5:5

Today I pray for those that don't believe... that have no HOPE! Lord, help their poor unbelieving hearts! Lord, help my heart when I fail to believe too! In Jesus' name. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Gratitude... Day 21 and 22

I crawled into bed last night & remembered I forgot to post a day of gratitude! So today I am sharing a couple things...

I spent time yesterday working on a video for our inn, Shining Light Inn B&B... so I was grateFUL I finished that up. Here it is to share with you:

Also, today I am so thankFUL for the sunshine! I have so much more energy when the sun shines through the windows!

"I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds." ~ Psalms 9:1

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Gratitude... Day 20

Day 20 of Gratitude is for Sunday morning worshiping with my church family... Much needed time with friends... An afternoon nap with my honey on a chilly, windy day... Hot chocolate & Hallmark!

When life gets harder than you expect... this is what is important!

Like it says on the banner in the pic... grateFUL!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Gratitude... Day 19

I am so grateFUL today that God will never fail me! People will say or do things that hurt, but God has only the best at heart for me! Life does have "bumps" from time to time... that only makes me appreciate & love God more!

"The LORD Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid, do not be discourages." ~ Deuteronomy 31:8

With gratitude I am holding onto what I know is true!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Gratitude... Day 18

What a beautiful day we had today! November 18th and temps in the upper 60's! I am grateFUL for a nice, albeit very windy day, to get our patio furniture & outside decor put away... before the snow flies!

Really cannot ask for a more beautiful Fall than the one we have had... God's beauty at its finest! And for this I show my gratitude today!

"Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever" ~ Psalms 107:1

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Gratitude... Day 17

There is a lot of hurt in the lives of many people I love & hold dear... my heart is saddened for them. I have gratitude that I can always count on God to renew my spirit & take the pain of my heart. His mercies are new every day! (Lamentations 3:22-23)

It's in Your hands, Lord!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Gratitude... Day 16

I can tell you that one of the hardest things of living over 3 hours away from where I grew up is missing my sisters. I am the middle child... squished between a sister that is 2 years older, Renee, & a sister that is 6 years younger, Michele! Over the years we have laughed hard... fought hard... cried hard... screamed pretty hard... but always loved even harder!

Thinking of how grateFUL I am for my sisters! I have so much gratitude for the ups, the downs, & the in betweens! I love you both so much, Na & Chele!
I would hope that if we weren't born into the same family, we would still be friends!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Gratitude... Day 15

My gratitude today is for my new (to me) ride! A few weeks ago I felt like it was time to let go of having 2 vehicles we were making payments on, plus the insurance had gotten to be just ridiculous... so... we put my TrailBlazer up for sale.

It sold last Monday, which was a good thing. We decided to keep on the lookout for a nice, older, inexpensive car we could pay cash for. We looked at & drove a few cars... they were inexpensive alright but not too well taken care of. But since we were in no hurry, we felt no pressure to settle. We prayed for guidance to make the right decision. Then...

Anyway, I tell you all this to introduce you to this little car that found a new home! So far, so good! I luv it!

"Show me Your ways, O Lord; teach me Your paths." ~ Psalms 25:4

Monday, November 14, 2016

Gratitude... Day 14

November is almost half over! It seems like October just started! My Grandma Bessie use to always say, "The older you get, the faster time goes." I never believed that was true when I was younger, but my 52nd year is just zooming by!

So today I am grateFUL for time... it is a precious thing! I don't always use my time well... I run late or behind many times, but I never try to take time for granted!

There was a lady I heard speak at a women's event about how we all have the same amount of time each day to use... that there is enough time to get everything done in that 24 hour period. She went on to say that the secret of that is to only do the things God is asking us to do for that day! Ouch! I am always trying to squeeze just "one more thing" in! How 'bout you?

"So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom." ~ Psalms 90:12

That is my prayer!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Gratitude... Day 12 and 13

Yesterday was a busy day... and... I missed posting! Spent most of the day with my hubby shopping for ??? something ??? maybe I will share that tomorrow! But for today, I get to share 2 things I am grateFUL for...

First, I am in gratitude for the gifts God has given me... I take no credit... no self-pat on the back... it is ALL because of Him! Being creative is so much fun for me... whether you are talking card-making, decorating, writing, or any other crafty thing I dabble in. Here is a little gift I made up for a friend's 50th birthday!
The quote I wrote on it was from C.S. Lewis... "Friendship is born that moment one person says to another, 'What you too? Thought I was the only one.' "

Today, I am showing gratitude for being able to live a life without fear of the unknown! Do I do it? Not always & not well! But I know that no matter what is happening in my life or even in the world around me... I do not have to fear! Many days I don't even know the question, let alone the answer... but I know the One who does!

"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand." ~ Isaiah 41:10

Resting in His faithfulness!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Gratitude... Day 11

Today of all days, I must show my gratitude for the men and women that have given of themselves for our freedom! There is no greater sacrifice!

My precious hubby served many years in the Army Reserves. He was a Captain when he finally got out. He felt it was an honor to serve with these great men and women. He was always ready to go, but I thank God he never had to serve overseas.

My brother-in-law, Rick, my Uncle Brian, my Uncle Bob, my Uncle Jim, my cousins, Les and Ed, all served this country. For this I thank them!
"Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends." ~ John 15:13

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Gratitude... Day 10

My gratitude today is for our fur-babies! They are so precious to us... Schmoo, the old man, is getting on up in years... he is 16 or 17 years old. He sleeps a lot & eats... loves to cuddle with his daddy! Schmoo sleeps with us every night!

And then there is Mimsey... she is the sweetest, 9 year old baby kitty-girl! She loves to be close, but she is not a lap cat! She has the quietest little meow... most of the time you wouldn't even know she was around... except at treat time!
Our fur-kids bring us joy... so grateFUL we get to share our life with them!

"A righteous man has regard for the life of his animal,..." ~ Proverbs 12:10

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Gratitude... Day 9

My gratitude today is that I live in a country where we have freedom! We have the right to vote. We have the right to speak our opinions. We have religious freedom, which also means we have the right to live by our convictions. But along with freedom also comes responsibility. Freedom has never been free!

"... where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." ~ 2 Corinthians 3:17

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Gratitude... Day 8

Things is this life are constantly changing... what is that saying? "The more things change the less they stay the same." Ha!

Today I am sharing my gratitude for the Bible... God's Word is so precious to me! I love in John 1:1 where is says, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." He always was... no beginning... no ending... not changing!

It goes on to say in verses 4 and 5... "In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it." The darker the world seems... the brighter He shines!

"The Word became a man and lived among us. We saw His divine greatness-- the greatness that belongs to the only Son of the Father. The Word was full of grace and truth." ~ John 1:14 (ERV)

No matter what tomorrow brings, I will stand on God's Word (with style)! My faith is in Him, not man.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Gratitude... Day 6

I can hardly believe it is November 6th... the last few days the weather has been so gorgeous! I'm sure we will pay for it soon enough! :)

Took a walk at the Ludington State Park... I am not an expert on state parks, but this is such a nice, clean place to enjoy nature! Our Inn is only 2 miles from the entrance to the park... come stay with us & you too can enjoy this beautiful park. Even in the winter, we spend time out there! We have a room ready for you!

My gratitude today is for this day of rest... you can go, go, go, but then comes the time that we all need a little rest. This is going to be a week of an emotional roller-coaster at times, so I am thankful I was able to go & worship with my church family... put life in perspective... always keeping in mind that no matter what the week brings... I can trust God! He is God after all!

"Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!" ~ Psalms 46:10

To God be the glory!

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Gratitude... Day 5

My hubby & I got some yard work done... it was a beautiful sunny day here in Ludington... don't know how many more days like this we will get! Our hydrangeas were just gorgeous this year... we have multiple varieties. Really all of our plants did great! I luv to have beautiful landscaping... and we are getting there little by little... and by "we" I mean Luke! :)

Here is the last rose of Fall... beautiful long stem red rose with some white speckles in the center... what a beauty God created!

Today my gratitude is for the home God has given us. Three years ago, we were kind of homeless... our house was sold & we had no new place to move. I can hardly believe it has been 3 years! This truly is the home God built... He might have used West Michigan Builders, but He built it for His purpose. I cannot even express how thankFUL I am for the opportunity we have had to host people from all over the world... showing them the love of Christ through hospitality! If is ends tomorrow... I can honestly say... it was worth it & I would do it again!

"And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus." ~ Philippians 4:19

I am grateFUL for God's provision!

Friday, November 4, 2016

Gratitude... Day 4

Took a quick over-night trip to the Thumb. Luke had farmers to visit, I got my hair trimmed (thanks, Chele). The bonus is that we got to stay at my parents & spend a little time with them.

My gratitude today is for great godly parents. Growing up I use to think they were kind of mean at times... very strict! What I realize is that all of their "rules" kept me from so many pitfalls of life. I still got into enough trouble... lol!... but it could have been so much worse.

Anyway, I am grateFUL for the Christian guidance, love, & acceptance of two wonderful parents! And I am so thankFUL that they are still here & in fairly good health! Love you, Mom & Dad!

"Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it." ~ Proverbs 22:6
With a grateFUL HEART, Carin

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Gratitude... Day 3

November is not the only time to be grateFUL, thankFUL, or to show gratitude... a daily time of gratitude is so important for your mental, emotional, & spiritual well-being!

Today I am showing gratitude for the friends & friendships God has placed in my life! Living the first 40 years of my life in the Thumb... only minutes away from my family... I really didn't have many friends because my life was all about family.

Eleven years ago, when we were called to move over 2 hours away from family... it was so hard for me! It took 1 1/2 years to find my place! It was opening my heart up to let real friendships grow. Then again when we moved to Ludington, almost 3 years ago, it was a chance to let the strong friendships grow stronger, even at a distance, & let more people into my life. It was a little easier the second time around! Ha!

Anyway, I say all this to honor those friendships that I am so grateFUL for! I love this "easy to read version" of Proverbs 27:17... "As one piece of iron sharpens another, so friends keep each other sharp." We goof-off, laugh a lot, share words of encouragement... just love on each other! Nothing better!

Here is a card I made awhile back, but it expresses how I feel about my friends!

God is so good!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Gratitude... Day 2

We are doing a message series at our church called, FEARLESS. Learning to live a life for Christ in a fearless way. It's a 6-week series, & each week we have a community group where a video leads us to go deeper into the message. I go to a women's Bible study on Tuesdays, plus my hubby & I are going to a couples one on Wednesday nights for these 6 weeks.

This week it is focusing on the fear of failure... so at yesterday's Bible study a question was raised about what do you see as your greatest success & what do you see as your greatest failure? I shared that I really couldn't think of a "great success." A couple of the ladies spoke up in disagreement of what I said. I know I have had success, but not what I consider "great success." It left me really thinking about that.

After group yesterday, my hubby & I were taking a walk, & I told him about the question posed, "What is your greatest success? And what is your greatest failure?" I told him what I shared about not feeling like I had a great success. This is what he said to me, "Could it be possible that your greatest failure & your greatest success could be a part of each other?"

Wow! I knew immediately what it was... one of my greatest failures was my first marriage, but without that failure, I would have never had my greatest success... my marriage to my wonderful husband, Luke!

This is what John Maxwell calls "failing forward."

So today I have great gratitude for the gift of a wonderful, God-honoring, loving husband. I cannot remember my life without him! He sticks with me through the good, the bad, the ugly, & menopausal ups & downs! He is my superhero! Thankful for him every day!

God is so good!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Gratitude... Day 1

I love FALL! It is a beautiful season of transition... gettin' cozy, snugglin', wearing boots & sweatshirts (not necessarily together) lol.

Fall is probably one of the harder seasons for me as well... there are many dark days, figuratively & physically. The days seem so short & then of course we have the end of Daylight Savings Time that starts this weekend! Rah! Rah! NOT!

I know not too much gratitude so far... I'm getting to it, just let me vent a little! The Inn has slowed down a lot... I miss the busyness of meeting new people & welcoming them into our home! We will be offering some "girls getaway weekends" soon... I will share about this as soon as I can.

"Perfume and incense make the heart glad, but the sweetness of a friend is a fragrant forest." ~ Proverbs 27:9

Now for my Day 1 of Gratitude... I have a very sensitive nose... my mom calls me "the super smeller!" Ha! Scents or odors can really have a big effect on my thinking. There are times I smell something that instantly takes me be back to a memory! It is great when that happens & it relates to a good memory! For instance, when I am in the lumber section at Home Depot or Lowes, it reminds me of my daddy, the best carpenter & daddy in the world! The smell of freshly cut wood... great childhood memories!

Or my favorite scent is probably cinnamon... it is comforting, soothing, & reminds me instantly of the holidays!

I have so much in my life that I am grateFUL for, but today I am in gratitude for the sweet aroma & the love of my Savior!

"Imitate God, since you are the children He loves. Live in love as Christ also loved us. He gave His life for us as an offering and sacrifice, a soothing aroma to God." ~ Ephesians 5:1-2 (GW)

There is nothing sweeter than the love God has shown the world through the sacrifice of His Son.

Thursday, October 6, 2016


What a shame! It has been almost 4 months since I posted on here! Busy... busy summer at the B&B! It was so good with guests from all over the world, including Dubai, Singapore, Italy, Holland, France, Germany, Hungary, Great Britain, Latvia, Belarus, Mexico & multiply US states too! What a thrill it is to meet all these people!

I played around a little in my craft area today & this is what I created... a great reminder to be thankFUL! This is a 4x4 canvas I had in my stash!

Getting ready to go to a women's retreat this weekend... the theme is Increase Your Bloom Ability. The speaker is Cheri Strange. I have never heard her speak, but I am looking forward to it!

"Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!" ~ Psalms 46:10

I have led & spoke at our women's retreat the last 2 years... so this is going to be an interesting, but good time for me to just "BE"! Can't wait!