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Friday, January 19, 2018

Are you running on empty? Well stop and fill up!

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled." Matthew 5:6


Sometimes (especially for mommas) it’s easy to get wrapped up in taking care of the people around us ~ we find that we’re always giving, taking care of kids, preparing dinner for family and sometimes not our own, working overtime at the office, or helping that friend who is struggling. And that’s all good but if we're not careful, we will end up feeling rundown and empty. That’s why we have to take time every day to get filled back up. Our first priority should be taking care of our self and above all, make time to get into the presence of God. Throughout scripture, we see that when we are in God’s presence, there is fullness of joy, fullness of peace, and fullness of victory. In His presence, we are refreshed, renewed and restored and that’s why it’s so important to take time every day to spend time with Him.  We have to be diligent to have quiet time with Him so He can fill us back up.
Everyday make it a habit to take time to get alone with God and just say, “God, I love You today. Thank You for my life, for my family, for the opportunities You’ve given me. Lord, I know every good thing comes from You.” When we live like that, with your heart connected to His, we will be refreshed,renewed, restored and filled up for the journey of life ahead!
"Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for filling me with Your strength. Thank You for sending Your Son, Jesus, so that I can be righteous in You. I hunger for Your truth and seek You first. Draw me to You and keep me close to You always in Jesus’ name. Amen."

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Get ready for Valentine's Day with these cute mantel and/or shelf displays. There is always at least 1 area of your home that can use a holiday pick me up, right?!?!

thestoriesofa2z.com decorated her Valentine's Day mantel with her love of tea in mind. She created the heart tags and the heart on the white plate using a die-cutting tool; she painted the tags by hand to give them texture. She cut the Shakespearean quote ("Love comforteth like the sunshine after the rain") using her die-cutting tool and glued the letters to black cardstock. She taped the finished piece to a mirror with a wrought-iron frame. The flowering branches were made by attaching faux greenery to sticks using crafting wire and adding pink tissue-paper blossoms.

When decorating her mantel for Valentine's Day, craftberrybush.blogspot.com wanted to recreate the romance of a French cottage. She made the heart wreath by gluing painted hearts cut from dictionary pages onto a cardboard wreath. The roses on the mantel were made from dyed coffee filters wrapped around florist's wire. For a romantic touch, she made candles a main feature of her mantel, displaying tall cream-color candles in recycled glass jars filled with faux snow.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Be Who God Created You to Be

"God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways; he does great things beyond our understanding. He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth,’ and to the rain shower, ‘Be a mighty downpour.’" Job 37:5-6

What would it look like for you to admit today what you are and are not made for? God says to the snow, "Fall on the earth." That’s it, just do one thing, fall. Then He says to the rain shower, "Be a mighty downpour." Essentially, He’s saying just do the thing I’ve actually created you to do ~ you are rain, so rain. You’re snow, so snow. Do your thing. Do the thing you love to do, what you’ve been created to do. I love the simplicity of that, the tremendous weight it takes off my shoulders. God’s asking me to be the thing He’s already created me to be.

So many of us twist ourselves up in knots trying desperately to be something we're not or someone else ~ trying to fulfill some endless list of qualities and capabilities that we think will make us feel loved, wanted, safe or happy. In reality, that’s an exhausting way to live ... I know because I’ve done it and some days still struggle with it!

We’ve gotten wrapped up in what someone else wanted us to be, what we thought would keep us happy and safe and gain us approval. I’m finding there’s tremendous value in traveling back to our essential selves, the loves and skills and passions God planted inside us long ago. When I look at my life, I see the passions and dreams I’ve carried through my whole life being wife, being a mom, being a teacher, even things as simple as being creative, loving food, travel, reading, golf,etc. These are things I’ve always loved, and they continue to bring me great joy and fulfillment ... these are the desires, passions and dreams that God put right into my heart.

We often fight who God created us to be by creating layers of expectation and pressure that are unattainable. We live in a culture that tries to define what it means to be a woman, what it means to be a success, what it means to live a valuable life, instead be who He created you to be and do what He created you to do! The snow is only meant, created and commanded to fall. The rain only meant, created and commanded to pour down. You were only meant, created and commanded to be who you are!

Dear Heavenly Father, today, please give me the courage to live the life You’ve called me to with the same contentedness and confidence as the falling snow or the pouring rain. Please help me to walk away from roles and expectations that other people have for me, and to live in peace with the exact way You created me! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Christmas Garland and Swag Decorating Ideas

Graceful Christmas bows with long tails dramatically enhance a simple evergreen garland. Cut extra-long strips of wide ribbon or fabric, tie into bows, and attach to the stair railing about 3 feet apart. For a pop of Christmas festivity, try red ribbon.

Craft a simple Christmas garland with a mix of yarns. Make tassels from chunky twisted yarns in colors that match your Christmas scheme, and attach them to a length of yarn. Drape your DIY Christmas garland along a wall, banister, or even your tree.