Hello and welcome!

This blog is a place for me to share thoughts, recipes, things I learn from my Bible, links and anything else I happen to want to post. It is in essence an extension of The Home Maker's Corner. I hope you enjoy it!
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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Australian Memories – An Unusual Palm

 

I do not know what kind of palm this is, but I thought it was very interesting.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Just for Fun – Random Thoughts

 

 
Photo from Wikimedia Commons

-- Accept that some days you're the pigeon, and some days you're the statue.

-- Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.

-- Drive carefully. It's not only cars that can be recalled by their maker.

-- If you can't be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.

-- Never buy a car you can't push.

-- Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because then you don't have a leg to stand on.

-- The early worm gets eaten by the early bird, so sleep late.

-- When everything's coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.

-- Birthdays are good for you; the more you have, the longer you live.

-- Ever notice that the people who are late are often much jollier than the people who have to wait for them?

-- If ignorance is bliss, why aren't more people happy? 

-- Some mistakes are too much fun to only make once.

-- Don't cry because it's over; smile because it happened!

-- A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.

-- Happiness comes through doors you didn't even know you left open!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

A Sobering Thought

 

1 Corinthians 3:10-15  According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.  If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

This spiritual song is one that my brother used to listen to years ago.  It has stuck with me, and I think you’ll see why.

Don’t Be Left Standing In the Ashes

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Sew Happy Saturday – Some Thoughts On Quilt Labels

 

I have to admit that I have not been good about labeling my quilts – what few I’ve actually finished.  But, I want to make an effort to do so.  I can see the value of it and the reason for it.  My grandmother on my dad’s side had several quilts in her possession none of which were labeled.  We don’t know if some of her relatives made them or if they were given to her from “missionary closets” or by friends.  This is too bad, especially since one of them is a lovely, vintage Dresden plate quilt which my Aussie sister-in-law inherited.  I really wish we knew who made it!  [Pictured above.]

Even if you don’t make quilts, you may want to put labels on other sewing projects, especially items that are likely to last for years to come.  Someday someone may be happy to know who made that lovely item. :-)  And, if you sew items for sale, you might even get another order through a label.  I suggest that you at least put on your URL or an email address when making items for sale.  But – generally it is best to put it in an inconspicuous location.

Labeling Quilts – from The Missouri Star Quilt Company -- Here is a short tutorial explaining the importance of labeling quilts and also giving a few simple ideas for labeling.  Some people object rather strongly to using Sharpies® (permanent markers) for labeling quilts, but Jennie Doan says here that she uses them and I’ve seen quilts that were labeled that way.  Note: Some things are really a matter of choice.  Do a little research if you want to know more about it.  Find out the pros and cons and then make your own decision.  Just because so-and-so says “always” or “never” does not mean that you won’t find some talented quilter, or even a “famous” quilter doing exactly that! :-)

Creating Quilt Labels – from Craftsy -- Here is a blog post from Craftsy explaining a number of methods for making quilt labels.  They also address the information that you may want to put on your label. 
Note: Some people seem to have trouble with fabric home printer generated labels, so use caution with that.  Be sure to do some tests with your printer, washing the test piece several times to see what effect it has on it.  Also, the writer doesn’t clarify it in this post, but my understanding is that you Can Not print fabric in a laser printer.

Quilt Labels – the Cute and Easy Way! -- This tutorial is on making a simple quilt label and how to apply it to your quilt.  I recommend tucking under the raw edges of the fabric before zigzagging it to the quilt back, but that is a matter of preference. :-)  This label will be under the quilting stitches, so it will be more secure.

Creating Quilt Labels for Spoonflower Printing – This tutorial explains how to create your own label on the computer for uploading to Spoonflower fabric printers.  They will print it on yardage and you can then cut and make your own labels.  This is a more expensive method, but it would be handy. [Here is a post by Amy at A Quilting Sheep about her Spoonflower labels which she had printed.  They look very nice.]

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

New Year, New Challenge – Get Rid of 365 Things in 2014

 

As some will remember, I’m not a fan of New Year’s resolutions.  Solomon said,  “Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.”  Ecclesiastes 5:5  So, I try to avoid making commitments to things in that way.

However, this year I have made a goal or challenge – not a promise – to try to get rid of 365 things.  I hope that it is a reasonable goal, and with the pile in our garage it should be feasible.  We’ll see how it goes over the long haul.  If I don’t accomplish the goal, no harm done anyway.

I am not doing this like the “Get Rid of 50 Things” challenge.  If I get rid of some books I may count each one, and if I get rid of more later they will be counted separately.  But, I am combining some things.  The several pounds of beans I got rid of, though not all in the same container, counted as one thing on my list, but the 2 shirts and 2 mugs were each listed as separate items. :-) 

The first week of January – which was less than seven days – I got rid of 7 things.  The second week I got rid of 6 things.  I do want to get ahead on some things so that I can take some weeks off.  But, so far it is easier than you might think.  Because I had already worked on the 50 Things challenge and made my list of questions for getting rid of items, they have become sort of subconscious and it’s not quite as hard now to look at something and honestly tell myself whether I can discard it or not.

This could technically fall under the “Laying Aside Weights” series, but since I did something similar with the 50 Things challenge, I think I’ll keep it separate at this point.

I keep track of my progress in my new daily planner on the weekly pages where I write my weekly goals and “to do” lists.  I may try to give some updates over the course of the year, but we’ll play that as it comes.  No promises on that either. :-)  I would like to give some photo examples of improvements that have come about through this plan.  We’ll see if that ever works out.

Is this something you could do too?  Give it a thought.  If you need to start with a smaller goal try 52 things – one a week.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Believe and Live

 

Believe and Live

When the Saviour said "'Tis finished,"
Everything was fully done;
Done as God himself would have it --
Christ the victory had won.
Vain and futile the endeavor
To improve or add thereto;
God's free grace is thus commended--
To "believe," and not "to do."

All the doing is completed,
Now 'tis "look, believe and live:"
None can purchase his salvation,
Life's a gift that God must give;
Grace, through righteousness, is reigning,
Not of works lest man should boast:
Man must take the mercy freely,
Or eternally be lost.

Albert Midlane, 1862

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Update On Doug Phillips’ Resignation from Vision Forum Ministries

 

Due to further information, it was expedient to update the article on Doug Phillips and his resignation from Vision Forum and the closure of the same.  More things have come to light and more documentation regarding his alleged repentance is now available through at least one man who participated in efforts to bring about restoration.

Please re-read this article, or read if for the first time, HERE.

This information is not being passed on to my readers as idle gossip.  This man, Vision Forum Ministries and Inc., and the Biblical Patriarchy movement have had a considerable amount of influence in home schooling circles, family inclusive churches and many other areas.  The gross hypocrisy of Phillips’ sin in the face of the very things he taught calls into question, yet once again, what value highly legalistic systems of living really offer the Christian community.

Romans 2:21-24  Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal? Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege? Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God? For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written.

Romans 16:17-18  Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Bible Reading Chart

 

In case you haven’t gotten one somewhere else yet this year, here is a very handy Bible reading chart where every chapter of the Bible is listed separately with a check box so that you can mark them off as you make your way through.  Another nice option is to use a high lighter or colored pencil to color in the larger boxed divisions as your finish them so that you can see at a glance how many books you’ve read.  You can use this for reading through the Bible in a year, or you can make it a longer or shorter project.  It’s up to you.

Bible Reading Chart PDF

Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Rich Family In Our Church

 

2 Corinthians 8:9  For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.

The Rich Family In Our Church
By Eddie Ogan

I'll never forget Easter 1946. I was 14, my little sister Ocy, 12, and my
older sister Darlene, 16. We lived at home with our mother, and the four
of us knew what it was to do without many things. My dad had died 5 years before, leaving Mom with seven school kids to raise and no money. By 1946 my older sisters were married, and my brothers had left home.

A month before Easter, the pastor of our church announced that a special
Easter offering would be taken to help a poor family. He asked everyone to save and give sacrificially. When we got home, we talked about what we could do. We decided to buy 50 pounds of potatoes and live on them for a month. This would allow us to save $20 of our grocery money for the offering. Then we thought that if we kept our electric lights turned out as much as possible and didn't listen to the radio, we'd save money on that month's electric bill. Darlene got as many house and yard cleaning jobs as possible, and both of us baby sat for everyone we could. For 15 cents, we could buy enough cotton loops to make three potholders to sell for $1. We made $20 on potholders.

That month was one of the best of our lives. Every day we counted the
money to see how much we had saved. At night we'd sit in the dark and talk about how the poor family was going to enjoy having the money the church would give them. We had about 80 people in church, so we
figured that whatever amount of money we had to give, the offering would surely be 20 times that much. After all, every Sunday the Pastor had reminded everyone to save for the sacrificial offering.

The day before Easter, Ocy and I walked to the grocery store and got the
manager to give us three crisp $20 bills and one $10 bill for all our
change. We ran all the way home to show Mom and Darlene. We had never had so much money before. That night we were so excited we could hardly sleep. We didn't care that we wouldn't have new clothes for Easter; we had $70 for the sacrificial offering. We could hardly wait to get to church!

On Sunday morning, rain was pouring. We didn't own an umbrella, and the church was over a mile from our home, but it didn't seem to matter how wet we got. Darlene had cardboard in her shoes to fill the holes. The
cardboard came apart, and her feet got wet. But we sat in church proudly.
I heard some teenagers talking about the Smith girls having on their old
dresses. I looked at them in their new clothes, and I felt so rich.

When the sacrificial offering was taken, we were sitting on the second row from the front. Mom put in the $10 bill, and each of us girls put in a
$20. As we walked home after church, we sang all the way. At lunch Mom had a surprise for us. She had bought a dozen eggs, and we had boiled Easter eggs with our fried potatoes!

Late that afternoon the minister drove up in his car. Mom went to the
door, talked with him for a moment, and then came back with an envelope in her hand. We asked what it was, but she didn't say a word. She opened the envelope and out fell a bunch of money. There were three crisp $20 bills, one $10 and seventeen $1 bills. Mom put the money back in the envelope. We didn't talk, just sat and stared at the floor. We had gone from feeling like millionaires to feeling like poor white trash.

We kids had had such a happy life that we felt sorry for anyone who didn't
have our mom and dad for parents and a house full of brothers and sisters and other kids visiting constantly. We thought it was fun to share
silverware and see whether we got the fork or the spoon that night. We had two knives which we passed around to whoever needed them. I knew we didn't have a lot of things that other people had, but I'd never thought we were poor. That Easter Day I found out we were.

The minister had brought us the money for the poor family, so we must be
poor. I didn't like being poor. I looked at my dress and worn-out shoes
and felt so ashamed that I didn't want to go back to church. Everyone
there probably already knew we were poor! I thought about school. I was in the ninth grade and at the top of my class of over 100 students. I
wondered if the kids at school knew we were poor. I decided I could quit
school since I had finished the eighth grade. That was all the law
required at that time.

We sat in silence for a long time. Then it got dark, and we went to bed.
All that week, we girls went to school and came home, and no one talked
much. Finally on Saturday, Mom asked us what we wanted to do with the
money. What did poor people do with money? We didn't know.

We'd never known we were poor. We didn't want to go to church on Sunday, but Mom said we had to. Although it was a sunny day, we didn't talk on the way.

Mom started to sing, but no one joined in and she only sang one verse. At
church we had a missionary speaker. He talked about how churches in Africa made buildings out of sun-dried bricks, but they need money to buy roofs. He said $100 would put a roof on a church. The minister said, "Can't we all sacrifice to help these poor people?"

We looked at each other and smiled for the first time in a week. Mom
reached into her purse and pulled out the envelope. She passed it to
Darlene. Darlene gave it to me, and I handed it to Ocy. Ocy put it in the
offering.

When the offering was counted, the minister announced that it was a little
over $100. The missionary was excited. He hadn't expected such a large
offering from our small church. He said, "You must have some rich people
in this church."

Suddenly it struck us! We had given $87 of that "little over $100."
*We* were the rich family in the church!

Hadn't the missionary said so?

From that day on I've never been poor again.

-----------------------------

Mark 12:41-44  And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much.  And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing.  And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Sew Happy Saturday – The Laundry Cart Make-over

 


Photo:  I had tied on the front panel before I remembered that I wanted to take “before” pictures, but I didn’t feel like taking it back off, so I just flipped it out of the way in this picture so that you could see how it was.  :-)

Quite some time ago my husband bought me this laundry cart for our bathroom.  I did not like it, mainly because I’m not into industrial style design.  But, he insisted on putting it together for me and having me “try it out”.  Our master bathroom is at the almost-opposite end of the house from our washer and dryer, so shuttling laundry is some leg work, especially when I am having health issues (which I had more when we first got married).  Our previous holder for dirty laundry was a basket from my pre-marriage days.  It was not big enough for the two, and I had to carry a “dripping” load of dirty clothes from one end of the house to the other (almost).

Well, this new cart has removable fabric sacks with handles on them as you can see from the photo.  With this the laundry is pre-sorted for me since our clothes generally fit quite easily into three color ways – reds, lights and blues/darks.  Also, I can just lift out the sack I want and carry it without any “drops” along the way.  Sometimes it is still too heavy and I have to do things the old way, but that’s my own problem for not washing as often as I maybe should.

Best of all, though, when I’m having back trouble or other health issues that make me weak, I can just push the whole cart down to the laundry area!

So…he won me over. :-)

But, I still didn’t like the look of it.  It was dull, and too industrial.

So, I had a brainwave that I’d sew some little panels and tie them on with ribbons to cover the two sides of the cart that show. 

I had had this fabric for a long time and really liked it, but had never figured out how I wanted to use it.  For this project I had to turn one panel on it’s side, but I’m OK with that.  I’m trying not to be a perfectionist, remember?  And, this is for our private bathroom after all.  So, who cares?  I am still happy with the results. :-)

I also had enough to cut a small valance to go above the window, but I have not gotten that done yet.  The walls are far from being “done” and we’re not likely to finish them soon, so I’m not overly motivated on that one.  (We tore off the surface of the old wallpaper because I couldn’t stand the print in my bathroom.)

Anyway, here is what I did.  I measured the spaces I wanted to cover on the two sides of the cart.  Then I cut the panels about an inch or so larger on each side giving myself at least a 1/2 inch seam allowance.  For the bottom I may have added a bit more.

I cut linings for them from inexpensive white broad cloth. 

I cut the number of pieces of (washable) ribbon I needed in a length that I had measured to be suitable for the way I wanted to tie it – a plain knot, in this case.

To assemble the panels, I placed them right sides together with the lining pieces and pinned them.  If I remember correctly, I think I sewed the sides first, then positioned the ribbons along the top of the panels (if you have one way fabric, make sure you mark the top). 

It’s important to make sure that the ribbons are folded straight in half – not wonky; and that they are perpendicular to the edge of the fabric – not at an angle.  The reason this is important is that crooked ribbons can affect the way your panels hang and could make it look a bit off.

I pinned the ribbons securely in place and then sewed the top.  I left the bottom open for turning it right-side-out.  After turning and ironing it, I folded the bottom edge up twice and topped stitched it to make a narrow hem.

Once they were finished it was a simple matter of tying them on.  And, the nice thing is that they are washable, so whenever they get soiled I can just take them off and toss them in the laundry.

Doesn’t it look SO much better? :-)  I love the pop of color in the room.  With the valances it will be even more cheerful. :-)

Over time the panels have sagged a bit.  I would put more ribbon ties on them if I did it over.  Come to think of it…that’s one cool thing about this – I could make different ones some day to match a different d├ęcor because this cart should last for years.  Also, in thinking about it, I could have put a different print on the opposite sides of the panels so that I could flip them occasionally for a little variety without much hassle or expense.  But, I’m quite happy with it the way it is, and actually, it’s simpler this way. :-)

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Just for Fun – Some Unlikely Product Warnings and Labels

 

I just love it when you can buy a (clear) bottle of peanuts which clearly lists peanuts in the the ingredients and then gives peanuts as the main allergen warning.  :-)  What a glorious age of litigation!  In the 1980s my dad bought a ladder on which he counted no less than 21 warning labels!  Of course, ladders are dangerous if used incorrectly, but it’s ridiculous the amount of warnings people now a days require to “be safe”.

The following are supposed to be actual warnings people found on various products.  Some of them might be hard to believe except that I’ve seen some pretty hilarious things myself.  I wish we’d written them all down over the years!  I have a plastic cup that was made somewhere in Asia, and it came with a sticker on it that said something to the effect, “Do not pour the boiling water in the merchandise.”  (Which presents a rather awkward picture in my mind of someone pouring boiling water into a store display of “merchandise”.) Also, on the treadle sewing machine that I purchased recently there were all the usual electrical warnings that would appear on an electric machine.  There isn’t even a light on the treadle machine that requires power!  :-)   (They obviously just used the outside body of a regular machine and fit it with the treadle capabilities, but….why did they put on the stickers?)

---------------------------

1. On a blanket from Taiwan -
NOT TO BE USED AS PROTECTION FROM A TORNADO. 
(If this one is true, I’d like to hear the back story on that.  It has to be unusual.)

2. On a helmet mounted mirror used by US cyclists -
REMEMBER, OBJECTS IN THE MIRROR ARE ACTUALLY BEHIND YOU.

3. On a Taiwanese shampoo -
USE REPEATEDLY FOR SEVERE DAMAGE.

4. On the bottle-top of a UK-made flavored milk drink - 
AFTER OPENING, KEEP UPRIGHT.

5. On a New Zealand insect spray -
THIS PRODUCT NOT TESTED ON ANIMALS.

6. In a US guide to setting up a new computer -
TO AVOID CONDENSATION FORMING, ALLOW THE BOXES TO WARM UP TO ROOM TEMPERATURE BEFORE OPENING. (Sensible, but the instruction was INSIDE the box.)

7. In some countries, on the bottom of Coke bottles -
OPEN OTHER END.

8. On a packet of Sunmaid raisins -
WHY NOT TRY TOSSING OVER YOUR FAVOURITE BREAKFAST CEREAL?

9. On a Sears hairdryer -
DO NOT USE WHILE SLEEPING.

10. On a bag of Fritos -
YOU COULD BE A WINNER! NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. DETAILS INSIDE.

11. On a bar of Dial soap -
DIRECTIONS - USE LIKE REGULAR SOAP.

12. On Tesco's Tiramisu dessert (printed on bottom of the box) -
DO NOT TURN UPSIDE DOWN.

13. On Marks & Spencer Bread Pudding -
PRODUCT WILL BE HOT AFTER HEATING.

14. On a Korean kitchen knife -
WARNING KEEP OUT OF CHILDREN.
(A good reminder to proofread carefully to see if you any words out.)

15. On a string of Chinese-made Christmas lights -
FOR INDOOR OR OUTDOOR USE ONLY.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

For All the Morrows – A Poem by Annie Johnson Flint

 

For All the Morrows

Has the year brought sadness?
Joy is yet in store.
Has it given gladness?
Next year giveth more.
Let your Father measure
All your pain and care,
Let Him weigh the burden
That your heart must bear,
Sending light or shadow
As He deemeth best,
For in His sure wisdom
You can safely rest.
Peace for all the morrows,
Strength for all the days,
These shall be your portion
Through the New Year's ways.

Annie Johnson Flint

Matthew 6:31-34  Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Thoughts from Hymns - By Thy Grace We Will

 

Hebrews 4:16  Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

By Thy grace we will!

This is a line from an old hymn that stuck in my head some time back and this past year I’ve thought about it quite frequently.  In fact, you might say that it has become a life “motto” of sorts, though I don’t think about it as often as I’d like to.

We had a very busy year in 2013 from my perspective.  There were also some very large challenges.  More than once the Lord reminded me to cast myself upon His grace and go forward.  I knew these were things that were unavoidable or that were clearly His will, so me desire was to rest in His grace to get me through them.  He never let me down!

In January last year my mom had a hip replacement.  This was the first major surgery that anyone in my immediate family had had, so it was rather much of a hurdle for us.  February was focused a lot on helping her recover from that.

In March we began preparing for company and in April my sister and her husband and children paid us a two week visit.  It was a great blessing, but we were sick while they were here.

My in-laws came at the end of May for a few days and in June we had a friend get married, which meant sewing projects and helping out a little with the wedding.

I kept thinking, “After ___________, we’ll be able to rest.”  It didn’t happen – for a long time.

No sooner did I think we were in for a break in July than my husband and I and my parents began to plan a trip to Australia to visit my brother and his family.  This was not a small undertaking and there was a string of different things to do for weeks ahead of time – visas, tickets, special food needs, locating special items for specific needs, making some new clothes, packing, TSA rules, what we could take through customs, etc.  But, the biggest thing for me in some ways was that long overseas flight.  I had not flown since I was six.  I get motion sick fairly easily and I have claustrophobia, fear of heights, and difficulty being in crowds – besides regular anxiety issues.  Well, we knew it was going to be a big challenge, and it was!  The flights were grueling on several levels.  (I think the motion sickness was probably the worst part.)

Added to all this was the fact that I had to get bifocals for the first time just before we left (they made me dizzy for awhile), and I had to have last minute dental work done with the possibility of needing emergency help while in Australia.  Thankfully, the Lord spared me that!

While we were over there we stayed with my brother’s family for 3 1/2 weeks and had a great visit and made some good memories, but 8 people in a smallish house was a bit of a stretch at times.  :-)  Riding and having my husband drive on the “wrong side of the road” was also more nerve-wracking than I at first thought.  Plus, the Pacific flight getting there was such a trial, I dreaded the homeward flight often during our visit – especially when jets flew over the house!  Thank the Lord, the homeward flight was much easier in some ways, but it was more emotional in others.

We got home on October 8th and it took a bit for my parents and me to get back onto Texas time and recover from the trip.  In November, I started making plans for Thanksgiving when my in-laws were supposed to visit again.  I was really looking forward to having them here for that, but the Lord overruled and my husband and I were both sick, so they didn’t come and we spent the holiday resting.

Things calmed down some in December, especially since we are outside of the busy Christmas loop, and we were able to have some quieter time.  I did a lot of reading and research and the colder weather this winter gave a good excuse to stay inside more.  It was very refreshing, and I’m so thankful that the Lord granted my desire for some rest!

Of course, all of this was added to the usual challenges of life that are relatively normal and to be expected, and to the usual duties and activities that we dread or enjoy, and to the burdens and prayer requests for friends and family.

I feel incredibly blessed.  By God’s grace we DID get through a lot – some major challenges included!  It was especially uplifting to face a huge-to-me challenge like flying to Australia and to come through so well – by God’s grace!  (Yes, I did use medication and herbal remedies to help, but I consider that part of the provision from the Lord.)

I want to remember this all.  I want to remember that God did give “grace to help in time of need” – over and over and over again – through big challenges and little ones, through the monotonous things and the hair-raising things, for my own burdens and for the burdens of others.  Because, you see, it is the memories of these great blessings that give “bright hope for the future”!  I don’t even know how many times in a challenging situation the Lord reminded me of His grace, and I told Him in my heart, “By Thy grace we will.”  It really became a prayer, and He answered it exceeding abundantly above all that I could ask or think (Eph. 3:20). 

There is an acknowledgement in that thought also, and that is that if it is not God’s will and within His grace for us to do a thing then we won’t do it; because it is only by His grace that we can.  This was something I had in the back of my mind as well.  Whatever He allows or wills us to face or endure or deal with in life – He WILL give the grace to get through it.

Here is rest.  Here is peace.  Here is confidence for the future.  We don’t have to live in fear of what “might” happen this year.  We don’t have to dread potential challenges or trials.  By God’s grace, we will get through whatever He allows.  And faith is rest – rest in knowing that whatever the future holds, God’s grace is greater.

So, we can face the future with this courage-giving thought – “By Thy grace we will!”

Great Is Thy Faithfulness

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father,
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not
As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.

Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided—
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above,
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

Thomas O. Chisholm

2 Corinthians 12:9  And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

1 Peter 5:10-11  But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.