And how did that happen?! Y’all, today marks 8 years of blogging here! It’s a blogiversary or bloggin’ birthday… or just a day that marks 8 fantastically fun years of blogging!😉🎉 8 years, a few name changes, 1,005 posts,photos uploaded, comments[loved receiving each one!!], and a whole lotta randomness. ;) OH! Can’t forget about all the sweet blogging friend made. 💓 Phew!! Over the past 8 years there have been quite a few changes to the blog, my photography, and my life but one thing has remained constant… God is FAITHFUL!!! My one desire for this blog and hope is that all that I post would declare God’s goodness & faithfulness and each picture I snap would “Sing forth the honour of His name”. So, will you join me for another year of blogging bliss?! ;) This post is dedicated to all those who endure my midnight musings, random thoughts, slightly quirky personality😬💓, and grammatical errors. Y’all are fantastic- THANK YOU! Get yourself a cupcake and have a very HAPPY FRIDAY!! ;)
“I will sing of the mercies of the LORD for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations.”
“O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.”
Good afternoon!! Just a quick post to encourage you all to take a few quick minutes and follow these steps. Super easy! Let’s make our voices heard, standing for life + the unborn and against evil. ♥ FOLLOW the below steps ↓↓
The first step to Defund Planned Parenthood is just an email away. Use the email form at AFA.net or CALL YOUR REPRESENTATIVE at 202-224-3121 and simply say “Vote YES on Senate Concurrent Resolution 3!”
“If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and those that are ready to be slain; If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? and he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? and shall not he render to every man according to his works?”
“If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.”
1 Peter 2:3
Have you tasted that the Lord is gracious? If you’re having a hard time tasting the graciousness of our God, open His Word and have a nibble[Jer 15:16]! ;) 1 Peter is the book I’ve been reading this past week! It is packed full of goodness. ♥ Because of HIS abundant mercy we are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, and have been called out of darkness into HIS marvellous light[1 Peter 2:9]. Because of HIM we have a LIVELY/LIVING HOPE[1 Peter 1:3], are kept/held fast by His power[1 Peter 1:5], and have a Joy unspeakable[1 Peter 1:8]. Because of HIM we are called to HOPE to the end[1 Peter 1:13]! And we can do just that because of HIM; Jesus Christ, the Shepherd and Overseer of our souls[1 Pet 2:24-25]. He is the God of ALL grace and is perfecting, establishing, and strengthening us. To Him alone be all glory[1 Peter 5]! Needless to say, I strongly recommend you taking an hour and reading 1 Peter. 😄 Leave me a comment below letting me know which verse or chapter in 1 Peter is YOUR favorite! I would love to hear. ♥ Happy Sunday y’all and keep warm… it’s COLD out there!! ;)
“…be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. 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.”
1 Peter 5:5-11
“Thou crownest the year with thy goodness; and thy paths drop fatness.”
Can y’all believe it?! We are saying goodbye to 2016 👋 tonight! A year crowned with God’s goodness, each day was filled with blessings and benefits that cannot be numbered, and every moment proved His grace was sufficient. From family fun and visits with far-away friends to hard work, beach days, and mountain air…. What a year it has been!!! I started out 2016 with Micah 7:7 as my “verse of the Year”. I have ended it with the combination of 2 verses that have officially been claimed as my “2016 verses of the year” and have proved to be far beyond true:
Therefore I will look unto the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me.[Micah 7:7]» And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in THEE.[Ps 39:7]
So, goodbye 2016 → HELLO 2017!!! 🎊 I can’t wait to seeing what this new year holds and I am reminded that whatever may come for 2017, whether sunny skies or storm clouds arise, there is no safer place to be than in the center of God’s will!! Will you join me for another year via blog posts? 😊💞 May this new year be filled to overflowing with blessings for you as you seek and serve the Lord! He truly is faithful! ♥ What is one of your 2016 highlights and/or favorite verses? Make my year complete by leaving a comment below and letting me know!! ↓↓ 🎉 HAPPY NEW YEAR to YOU!🎉
Highlights and favorites from my 2016
no particular order and I did attempt to stick with just 9 best but it didn’t work out…. ;)
“Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”
Note before reading: Y’all, this got way longer than expected! 🙈 One too many cups of coffee and so much overwhelmedness in the goodness of God I guess. 😉 I’m no writer[worst subject in school=grammar ;] but I pray that through what is written below you would leave encouraged by the Word of God shared and that it would not return void in your hearts. May the Lord use my weakness to show His strength. ♥ Feel free to critique my grammar or any error that may be found! 😁😉
Have you thought about Habakkuk lately? ;) Most likely not! :D I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the choice to rejoice. So today I picked up my bible and turned to Habakkuk☺️! As I read through the short book, I noted Habakkuk found himself in a very discouraging dark time and in great despair. Many of his countrymen had embraced evil and God’s chastening by way of the Chaldeans[described as a ruthless and impetuous people »Hab 1:6] was declared and imminent. At a time when most of us would sink into deep despair and struggle with a downcast spirit + a complaining heart, Habakkuk[even in the midst of sorrow] turned from great fear to faith [But the just shall live by his faith-Hab 2:4] and chose to rejoice in the midst of a very trying time. He said “yet I WILL REJOICE”:
“Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.”
The end of verse 18-19 tells us exactly why Habakkuk could choose to rejoice. He says, “God is my SALVATION. The Lord God is my STRENGTH, And HE will make my feet like hinds’ feet, And HE will make me to walk upon mine high places.” Because God was His Strength and Habakkuk trusted/had faith that God- his Salvation- would set his feet on high places, he could rejoice even in the midst of tempestuous times and great trial. The Hebrew name for Habakkuk means “One who clings to” or “One who Embraces”. At the end of the 3rd chapter we see how fitting Habakkuk’s name was as he chose to Cling firmly to God, his Salvation, in the midst of great tribulation and embrace God’s time of trial with joy/rejoicing.
“Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.”
Just like it was for Habakkuk, rejoicing and giving thanks will often need to be a choice for us [God’s chosen people], an act of obedience and not an instant feeling/emotion as times of sorrow and trials will not be absent from our lives. If any of y’all have ever been in the thick of a deep trial, you know that’s a hard choice and act of obedience. But it’s not impossible! 😉 I am reminded that Jesus was “despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief”[Is 53:3] and yet He possessed full joy[Jn 15:11]. And how about David, the psalmist- a man after God’s own heart?! He very often found himself overwhelmed with heartache and severe chastening + trials. His solution? In the midst of great loss, pain, and sorrow he would cry out to God for help[I guess that’s where “Pray without ceasing” comes in ;] and then immediately direct his thoughts toward the tender mercies and faithfulness of his God, making the choice to rejoice. “I WILL REJOICE” [Ps 74:10-12 » PS 9:2 » Ps 118:24 »PS 35:9-10].
“But I have trusted in thy mercy; My heart shall rejoice in THY salvation.”
“This joy in the Lord which we must aim for is not a superficial happiness based on circumstances or on the absence of trials, but rather is a solid, abiding contentment and hope that is as steady and certain as our faithful God who has given us His promises in His Word.” The command to rejoice doesn’t mean we will never have times of sorrow or grief. We are actually called to “… weep with them that weep“[Rom 12:15] and told in Ecclesiastes that there is “A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn…” [Ecc 3:4] but we are also called to “count it ALL joy“[James1:2] “rejoice always” and “give thanks in all circumstances“[1 Thes 5:16-18] ]. We are promised that “our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” [2 Cor 4:17] and “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ“. [1 Peter 1:6-8] So, rejoicing will at times be a matter of obedience to the Lord and His Word and not an instant feeling as we face small or big trials and times of grief, sorrow, or discouragement! BUT it is a choice we can make as we set our eyes steadfastly on the Lord[Ps 16:8 »Is 50:7], calling to mind the rich promises found in His Word[I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope-Ps 130:5], and faithfulness He has shown us[This I call to mind and therefore I have hope-Lam 3:21]! It is a choice that we can make as we cling to Christ, making Him our hope[Jer 17:7-8], TRUSTING His Word[Ps 119:71], resting in His sovereignty[Ps 37:7], having faith that He knows the path we take[Job 23:10], and knowing that the Lord is our Strength and our Salvation[Hab 3:17-18» Is 12:2» Ps 27:1].
“This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.
It is of the Lord‘s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.”
So, take time to learn from Habakkuk, who chose to rejoice not based on feelings or circumstances but rather based on Truth. :) Prepare your heart for those times when the fig tree may not blossom ;) by meditating on The Lord’s rich promises found in His Word and His faithfulness in your life. For many of you, you are facing some type of trial right now! You may be struggling with hope deferred or broken/strained relationship or family struggles or sickness or just working out your own salvation/striving against sin. Whatever your situation may be, there is reason to rejoice! Jesus Christ- our great Savior who has redeemed us and given us so great a salvation[Eph 1:9], Who loves us with an everlasting love[Jer 31:30, Rom 8:38-39], Who promises that all things work together for our good[Rom 8:28], Who gives grace which is sufficient for any trial[2 Cor 12:9]. We have a High Priest who was in all points tempted yet without sin and knows exactly how we feel and what we need[Heb 4:15]. He himself faced rejection from His closest companions, mocking, false accusations, and death. He has “borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows” and He has promised “I have satisfied the weary soul, and I have replenished every sorrowful soul.“[Jer 31:25]. :) Cling to HIM, know that He is your Strength and Salvation, and rejoice! :) A random [and long🙈] morning turned into afternoon 😉 musing that I pray encourages a heart or two today! ♥ Happy Friday!
“Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory”
1 Peter 1:6-8
Come, Thou long expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel’s Strength and Consolation,
Hope of all the earth Thou art;
Dear Desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.
Well, hasn’t this been a beautiful week?! :) I’m listing to one of my favorite collections of Christmas hymns and just finished a really delicious christmas cookie. Bed is calling but first… I blog! ;) The one verse constantly going through my mind this Christmas has been Ephesians 2:14, “For He is our PEACE, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;” It’s true, isn’t it?!! :) True and lasting fulfillment and peace is found in Christ alone. He is our peace! He is the Joy of every longing heart. Well, this month of December has been filled with festive goodness! As I mentioned to a friend, each Christmas holds its own special “Bests”. And the “bests” tend to spiritually deepen/mature as we grow older in Christ. When we were 5, we most likely would have classified that Christmas as “THE BEST” because we got that Polly Pocket we always wanted. As we grow in the Lord, the reasons for a Christmas being the best change a bit. ;) Each Christmas should really be the “best yet” as it’s another year He has given us to bless and be blessed. Another year to celebrate His great Salvation and declare Him to the nations. This Christmas was the best yet for me for so many reasons I cannot eve begin to describe… and they went a bit deeper than Polly Pocket or the ability to eat a dozen christmas cookies in one sitting ;)! God’s goodness is overwhelming and humbling, isn’t it?! So, Christmas cookie baking and delivery to neighbors and friends, Christmas shopping, gingerbread(errr… graham cracker ;)house decorating, Coffee dates with sisters, gift wrapping, and random bike riding ;) has made this month of December rather splendid! A few pretty packages made their way to our door and were delved into by the recipients with extreme joy and lots of gratitude. Needless to say, I do love surprise mail! :) (: Christmas Eve came as we enjoyed Christmas caroling/Hymn singing around our fire outside after a delicious dinner of chili and Christmas day brought a fun and sweet gift exchange for my family. One of my favorite parts was seeing the amount of sacrifice, extreme thoughtfulness, and love that each one of my siblings poured into the gifts they gave. Each one took on extra jobs and worked extremely hard this month to be able to budget their gifts. It was super sweet to observe!! And I officially have enough chocolate to last me until mid-June! My sweet sisters, extremely thoughtful brothers, best parents, and friends that I do not deserve have all been used to further reveal God’s great goodness and abundant grace!! I am humbled and God truly is good. Thank YOU for being a blessing! “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you“. So… how about a bucket load of photos? :) QUESTIONS!! How was YOUR Christmas? What made it the “Best yet”? And what verse has blessed you this past week? :)
“Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.”
The before happenings of Christmas!
HOVER for very brief description! :) ;)
Christmas Eve Fireside Caroling
“The LORD hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.”
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas! May you be filled with the joy and peace that comes from our Lord and Savior “Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification”[Rom 4:25]. May you rejoice greatly in the knowledge that “when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son” who “gave himself a ransom for all“. He is Emmanuel, God with us…. :) Our Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace!
“Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, your King comes unto you: He is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon a donkey, and upon a colt the foal of a donkey.”
“And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
“Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”
So… are y’all ready to hear what’s been going on in my head today?! ;) I promise, I will keep it as brief as brief can be. Emmanuel, God with us! This has been one of my favorite thought lately! 700 years before Christ’s humble yet magnificent birth, it was prophesied that He would be called Emmanuel, meaning God with us[Is 7:14]. And some of our Savior’s final recorded words here on earth where “lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”[Matt28:20] He is Emmanuel, God with us. Always! He is the Lord and Savior of nations who promises “for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.“[Deut 31:6] And one of the most beautiful truths, which was one of those all-day meditations for me today is that which is found in Isaiah 43 where He promises “When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.” [Is 43:2] He doesn’t promise to just meet us on the other side of those deep waters BUT He promises something much greater. He promises to be right there with us through them, “When thou passest through the waters, I WILL BE WITH THEE“. You see, as children of God, there is no “going around” the deep waters or the fire in life[Heb 12:6]. They are all the trying of our faith[1 Peter 1:6-7], the refining work of our Sovereign Lord, which is much more precious than gold! But as we face the deep waters and the fires there is a promise. The promise is Christ with us… always. :) When we pass through the waters He will be with us. There are no “if” but “when” for those deep waters yet it is followed by the great promise that when we do find ourselves in them, He will be right there at our side. “For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.“[Is 41:13] We can face the deep waters with complete confidence and “counting it all joy” knowing that Emmanuel, Christ our Lord is with us, always!:) That my friends, is my all day very very random meditation! :) It is my prayer that His Word encourages you today as you diligently seek Him!
“And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.”
“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour…”
To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins,
Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us,
To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.
Brrr…. It’s cold outside! For some of you, going outside and building a snowman with real snow is very possible.❄☃ For us here in South-central Texas, we have to improvise when it comes to building snowmen! ;) Something I wanted to do once my Christmas shipping came to an end and my work schedule slowed down a bit was a project with the kiddos. I will be the very first to admit, I am the farthest thing from a natural born crafter and heading up a crafting project is way out of my comfort zone! ;) Buuuut after a bit of prayer for inspiration :), Sunday afternoon called for a festive Christmas craft! And the craft of choice? Felt snowmen. :) ♥ Made from felt, scrap fabric, beads and buttons, the snowmen were carefully constructed. One of my sisters was clever and suggested we lightly stuff the snowmen for an added touch.The end result? Extreme cuteness! :) Each person had the option of making a broach/pin or an ornament and could choose 1 special person to send their snowman to! Well, needless to say, the snowman project looked so incredibly fun that old and young joined in! ;) We all had such a fantastic and uplifting time. Each snowperson was so unique and different and they are now off to friends and family to brighten and bless their day! If you are looking for a super fun and pretty simple project, grab a few siblings or grandchildren or friends and try these felt Snowmen! ☃
- 1 -3inch White Felt Circle
- 1- 2 inch White Felt Circle
- Lots of colorful Thread
- Orange/yellow felt for nose
- beads, buttons, colorful felt pieces, fabric scraps to construct hat, scarf, and eyes
- Bakers Twine or Ribbon for the ornament loops
“He giveth snow like wool: he scattereth the hoarfrost like ashes. He casteth forth his ice like morsels: who can stand before his cold?”
Brrrr… with a sudden gust of excitement, cold weather blew into my tiny Texas town today. It went from 70° with outdoor bike rides + volleyball to 34° and warm fuzzy socks within just an hour or two. When the weather turns cold y’all know a cup of Hot cocoa is a MUST! So, I’ve shared my secret ;) Holiday Hot Cocoa recipe at GranolaGirlBakes.com. Hop over and snatch the recipe! QUESTION!! Who is enjoying a bit of snow today?? Send some my way if you would. ;)
“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David”
It’s true! My Dad’s world-famous Holiday Fudge has officially been made. ;) And this year Joel was in Fudge-making training! With “Taste Testers” eagerly waiting to dip their spoons in the official 2016 batch of Christmas Fudge[when you are the 5th born of 14 you learn that getting your spoon in the dish first may be the best option😬😉], nuts were chopped, chocolate chips melted, and quite a bit of butter used. The result was pure deliciousness! As I nibble on a bit of this chocolatey goodness, I am reminded of one of my absolute favorite verses in Psalm 34. :) “O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in Him.“ Are you tasting & seeing His goodness? If you can’t see and taste the goodness of God, it may be because your view is blinded with self and taste buds have been burnt with ingratitude. We often overlook the delights He offers when we allow ourselves to be blinded by ourselves. That may sound repetitive but it’s true! If we are so consumed with what we want and what we don’t have, we can very easily overlook the daily tender mercies and abundant blessings of our Lord! He is the giver of every good and perfect gift[James 1:17]. We forget to open our mouths WIDE to Taste & See. :) We are very often and sadly like the Isrealites in the desserts when The Lord said to them, “I am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.” [Ps 84:10]The Israelites’ reaction to the Lord’s promise to fill them with goodness? “But my people would not hearken to my voice; and Israel would none of me.” So… raise your hand if you’ve had moments like the Israelites 🙋🏼. The Lord DAILY load us with benefits[Ps 68:19], He promises to fill us with Himself[Ps 107:9 » Col 2:10], to give us that amazing grace which is sufficient[2 cor 12:9], and mercies which are new every single morning[Lam 3:22-26]. All we must do is trust & fear Him[Ps 34:9-10], opening our mouths to taste, setting our eyes steadfastly on HIM alone to see His goodness. So today, take your eyes off yourself and set them on your Lord. Choose a heart of gratitude, open your mouth wide and consume His word[Jer 15:16], soak up His promises, and taste the goodness He has stored up for those who fear Him[Ps 31:19]. “Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men!”
→ QUESTION!!! What is YOUR favorite Christmas treat to bake? Make my day by letting me know in the comment box below↓ and have a very Happy Tuesday y’all! ♥
“O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.
O fear the Lord, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him.
The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing.”
“Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.”
“I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.
O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.
I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.
They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed.”
“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light; Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.”
1 Peter 2:9-10
Ladies and gentlemen, today is a very special day!!💖 It’s true!! :) Today is Micah’s birthday!🎉 Micah did issue me a gag-order in regards to this post but there are some birthday requests that I just can’t fully fulfill.😉💞 Don’t worry Micah! 💁🏼I will refrain from letting everyone know about how your baked goods are sooo beyond delicious that they should be illegal[it’s true!]! Or how when you wanted your baby sister to have a leopard stuffed animal, well… you just made it by hand… from scratch!! 😮 And I definitely wont tell them you’re a professional designer, most beautiful model, and hair-doing expert! I’ve even refrained from putting a marriage proposal application up [that took a lot of refraining!!!] And I’m leaving out the fact that your inner beauty far exceeds your outer beauty which doesn’t seem quite possible! BUT I cannot keep 100% silent. 😜 You see, Micah is my only older sister and that’s a HUGE deal! Have y’all considered the weight and responsibility of being the oldest sister to 1/2 a dozen younger gals who often tend to be overly opinionated and somewhat stubborn[not saying that’s me ;)]? That is pretty big!! Micah has had to be the first to experience, the first to decide, and the first to do! [If you are an older sister, this will make complete sense to you.] She has striven to encourage, uplift, and [yes, when necessary] correct and exhort me and my siblings in a godly fashion and boy are we thankful for that! Nope, as much as she may seem to be, Micah isn’t perfect[just almost ;] but she is allowing the sanctifying work and light of her Savior to shine through her as she follows Him!! And that my friends, has blessed me.💓 Micah has been a godly example, beautiful sister, best friend, and encourager! So thankful for her and today I get to celebrate the life God has so richly blessed her with. Life truly wouldn’t be the same or as exciting or laughable ;) without her!!! Happiest of BIRTHDAYS to you Micah! May this be the best year yet as you continue to trust the Lord and serve Him diligently!! 😘x 1 million😜. Y’all, leave her a little birthday love in the comment section!! ☺️💖
“May He grant you according to your heart’s desire,
And fulfill all your purpose.”
“One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in his temple.”
If the turkey could talk, he’d have quite a bit to say! He’d tell y’all how much pie I put away. ;) Thanksgiving day came with much delight, our turkey was stuffed and he was quite a huge sight! Pudding was mixed and pies were assembled. Cute crafts were created and I truly am thankful!!! It’s been quite a week here with turkey butchering[Grace, Gideon, and Nathanael], girl’s grocery shopping, and tons of baking!! I pitched in with a pecan pie, dinner rolls, and turkey roasting prep. Everyone else prepared some pretty fantastic dishes and made the day so fun! Yes, I ate too much pie but Thanksgiving comes but once a year! ;D With a few dozen photos from our Thanksgiving baking + crafting to share, I will let them tell the story. :) But I will leave you all with this truth that God is good[Ps 136:1]!! He is faithful and full of mercy and truth[Ps 86:15]. He satisfies the longing soul like nothing or no one else can[Ps 107:9]!! He has ransomed my soul unharmed[Ps 55:18], He daily sustains us[Ps 145:16], and He offers His great gift of salvation to all who call upon His name[Rom 10:13]. He is worthy of our praise and continual thanksgiving[Ps 145:3]!! :) How was your thanksgiving? ↓ Leave me a comment to let me know what your favorite part of this Thanksgiving was and what you are thankful for! I would love to hear!! :)
“Only fear the Lord, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you.”
1 Samuel 12:24
“Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.”
♥ The baking begins!
RUTH, Grace, and Lydis!! ❤
↓Abel’s Pie with the help from mom!!
“He hath delivered my soul in peace from the battle that was against me: for there were many with me.”
↓ Traditional Thanksgiving morning Pumpkin Bread!! :)
My first attempted at a decorated pie crust! ♥
↓ Left to right ;) : Custard Pie, Apple Pie, Pumpkin Pie, Cranberry Raisin Pie, and Pecan! Needless to say, we are set on pies for a while! :) What type of pie is your favorite?
“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
1 Thes 5:18
↓ And finally, time to eat! :)
“Thy mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds.“
With a Thankful heart I wish you all a very blessed Thanksgiving! May this day and all those to follow be filled with thanksgiving to the Lord for His marvelous salvation, abundant daily blessings, and steadfast love! He has redeemed our life from destruction[Ps 103:4], shown us His amazing grace[Eph 2:8], and DAILY loads us with benefits[Ps 68:19]. “BLESS THE LORD O my soul”!! May your turkey be plump and pies sweet. Giving thanks for you! HAPPY THANKSGIVING! ♥
“O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy”
“And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.”
Y’all, it’s true. I have the privilege of announcing a birthday for the most HANDSOME and intelligent 19 year old guy I know!!! 😃 You guessed it, today is Gideon’s birthday!!! 🎉Cue confetti🎉 The perfect combination of Brain + Brawn, Gideon has been gifted with both stunning good looks and happens to be a walking encyclopedia[no joke]. From farming to history to politics and everything in-between, he knows just about anything about everything so don’t try to stump him with a trivial question! And just a side note, he makes the best homemade BBQ baked beans. Gideon is 100% muscle but he also has a heart of gold! 😉 Tea parties with little ladies don’t intimidate him though he does occasionally have a Mrs. Nesbitt moment. 😬 And if a few of us gals happen to have to work a late night, he bakes us the MOST delicious moist chocolate cake with extra icing then cleans the entire kitchen.🙈💞 He truly excels at whatever he puts his mind to and has been blessed with quite a brain! Like super man, he has only one weakness… poison oak. 😁 It has been said Gideon looks like the Original Brawny man and has the woodsman skills to match but we have also heard he looks somewhat like Buzz Lightyear. So, today I am going to let y’all decide! ↓Vote below↓! ;D Gideon’s dream is to one day move to the mountains of Montana[or Idaho… which ever is most remote ;] and start a homestead with a lovely little lady by his side and raise a few dozen adorably cute kiddos and a hundred or so chickens. Feel free to APPLY HERE for the part of “little lady”[ 💁🏼As times are tough and my pocket book is a bit empty, a small application fee will apply!💖] 😉Happy HAPPY birthday GIDEON! I am SO blessed by you and thankful to have you as my brother!! May this next year be the best yet as you seek and serve the Lord! Y’all, don’t leave without leaving Gideon a little birthday love in the comment section!!
“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.”
Don’t forget to cast your vote for Gideon’s Look-alike! ;)
“The Lord bless thee, and keep thee:
The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:
The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.”
A surprise package from a sweet friend sailed through the United States Postal Service, from a small town to the big city sorting center and then to my post-office box at the perfect time! It’s contents were delightful and such a fun surprise. The scarf… well, it contains a few of my favorite colors and brings a smile every time I put it on! Have you thought about the providence of a piece of mail?! ;) I have. Very often[I obviously work in the shipping department ;]!! It is really a miracle that a small envelope makes it’s way from a tiny post office to the mail truck, carried sometimes thousands of miles to be dumped with a million other small envelopes on an overcrowded-under-secured conveyor belt in a main USPS hub to be sorted, scanned, and redirected via plain, train[okay, so they don’t send mail via railroad anymore ;], or automobile. THEN sorted by the local post office and stuffed in your mail box. So, the next time you want to give a friend a smile and encourage their heart, send a little letter, say a prayer, and see the Lord deliver. ;) Postal surprises are one of God’s great blessings bound up in a small envelope with your address attached to the front! Thank you! ♥
“As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.”
“As for God, His way is perfect: the word of the Lord is tried: He is a buckler to all those that trust in Him.
For who is God save the Lord? or who is a rock save our God?
It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.”
“I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye”
As children of God, we truly are Supernaturally Sustained & Sufficiently Satisfied! The Lord God opens His hand and satisfies the desires of every living thing[Ps 145:15-16]! He knows what we need and just when we need it[Phil 4:19 ]. He physically and spiritually nourishes us, and fills us full, satisfying us with Himself and His goodness[Ps 107:9]. He holds us by the hand[Is 41:13 » Ps 73:23], sustaining us[Ps 54:4], anchoring us[Heb 6:19], leading us[Is 41:11], sheltering us from life’s storms[Ps 57:1], and keeps us in His faithful grip[1 Thes 5:23-24]. We are Supernaturally Sustained & Sufficiently Satisfied! :) Today’s random musing from a very tired but very blessed Texan! ;) Happy Sunday y’all! ♥
“He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.”
“For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.”
“The eyes of all wait upon thee; and thou givest them their meat in due season.
Thou openest thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing.”
“O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.
O fear the Lord, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him.
The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing.”
When you find its National Pumpkin Day you pull up your sleeves, put on your apron, and make a few dozen Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Rolls! ;) Figuring out a new camera has left me photographically challenged lately, which is a wonderful thing for me! Finding a billion buttons that weren’t on the last camera can be quite intimidating. So, I am pushing myself to practice more and today’s practice was edible. ;) Taste and see that the LORD is good. He truly is! :) And for those who fear + trust Him, there is absolutely no want. “O God, I have tasted Thy goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more”!! Happy National Pumpkin Day y’all. ♥ :)
“For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.”
“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him….”
“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.”
1 Corinthians 2:9-10
“Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils.”
1 Corinthians 10:21
It’s that time of year again! Halloween. A long while back I ran across a wonderful article and blogged it then filed it away. As we near the day many celebrate Halloween, I always take time to share it with y’all! I am going to post a link to the full article instead of the entire article[it’s long ] but really really encourage you to read it! According to the Holy Word of God, where there is light there can be no darkness and where there is darkness there can be no light [1 John 1, 1 Peter 2:9]. We are called to “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” and to Walk as children of light! Halloween glorifies evil not God, delights in darkness instead of light, and celebrates gory death instead of declaring eternal life that is found in Christ. >> Read the full article HERE<<
“This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth”
1 John 1:5-6
“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works
of darkness, but rather reprove them.”
Well, when it’s your favorite day, your sister made and packed you your favorite cookies[soooo good!! Thank you, Micah!!!], and you are enjoying one of your favorite songs, you gotta blog about it!! ☺️💖 Meditating on Psalm 112 today. So blessed by verse 7, “He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: HIS HEART IS FIXED, trusting in the Lord.” So, is your heart fixed on the Lord? Is He your heart’s desire[Ps 107:9], and is your heart set on seeking Him[Ps 27:8]? Have you set your face like a flint on Christ[Is 50:7]? Are you truly trusting the Lord? If so, you are promised PERFECT PEACE! Isaiah 26:3, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” Trust in the Lord with all your heart and seek HIM diligently. Set your gaze/mind/heart steadfastly on Christ who is the Author and Finisher of our faith[Heb 12:1-3]. “And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.” Ps 9:10 “I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.”!! QUESTION!! What song or bible verse are you enjoying the most this week? ↓ Comment below ↓ and let me know! ♡♡
“He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord. His heart is established, he shall not be afraid, until he see his desire upon his enemies.”
“The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.” Psalm 28:7
It’s true!! Today is the greatest day EVER[okay, so it ties with my dad’s birthday!😉] Today is my Mom’s birthday!!!! 🎉🎉🎉 When trying to find words to describe how fantastic a mother my mom had been, I’m truly at a loss! How do you describe a woman who has done everything for you?!!! She’s the woman who has sacrificially given 3.5 decades to raising, teaching, training her children, serving her husband, and lending a helping hand to whoever may need it! Her time and energy and love has been poured out for others and that is a terrific blessing!! She has mastered the perfect double crust apple pie and when it comes to chocolate cake, well y’all need to try my mom’s! 😁💖 Need a closet organized or perhaps your just in need of a good old fashioned sit-down talk? Look no further!! My mom is the go-to lady when you need anything organized… including your brain! ;) My mom is the greatest and TODAY we get to celebrate her. :) Happiest of birthdays to the world’s BEST mom! ♡ :) So thankful to the Lord for you!!
“Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.”
Photo credits // Joel :)
“The Lord bless thee, and keep thee: The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.”
“Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.“
With great anticipation Emmi counted the days! A paper chain hung from our wall and a calendar with tiny “Xs” was scotch-taped to our door. Each morning brought a higher level of excitement and a squeal of delight as she jumped from her bed and ran to tear yet another loop off her perfectly constructed paper chain then mark another day off her calendar! Only on occasion would she become overzealous and mark off 2 days instead of just 1. ;) Finally the last loop was left hanging and there were no more days to mark off. Shivers of delight ran through the her tiny 3.5 foot body and with her backpack in hand it was FINALLY the day she had been ever so patiently waiting for with explosive anticipation! With bags packed, a bus squeaky clean, snacks on board, and a few very sleepy siblings, we were off in the early hours of the morning. Over the Texas hills we went, mile by mile, until snow capped mountains could be seen and “bear crossing” signs were not uncommon. ;) Our destination? Estes Park, Colorado! A trip filled with God’s goodness and such a blessed time with family. Hiking, fishing, moped rides, mountain views, and lots of good food made for a splendid family vacation! We even made a few new friends. Elk tend to be very friendly! ;) As the trip came to an end and we loaded up to head back home, a few of the kiddos got to see snow fall for the first rememberable time. How is that for a perfect end to a great trip?! It was a truly blessed time and I am so thankful for the opportunity to spend it with a dozen of my favorite people. ;) So how about a few photos from our trip?
“God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear,
Even though the earth be removed,
And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
Though its waters roar and be troubled,
Though the mountains shake with its swelling.”
P.S. big thanks to Micah, Grace, & Lydia for sharing their iphone photos with me to post! ;)
A fun afternoon Family hike around Lily Lake was just perfect! Bekah & Emmi LOVED collecting pine cones and golden aspen leaves. When a local duck was spotted, friends were quickly made! ;)
Our Lawn Lake Hike is one of my favorite parts of the trip! A 13 mile hike that is worth every step and the exhaustion you will feel afterward! ;) Challenging but the view from the top is breathtaking. This was Nathanael’s first time doing a big hike and he did a fantastic job! Mom also was a wonderful hike-preper! ;)
Abel’s favorite part by far was fishing! :) He was quite popular with the fish. ;) When not hiking or eating, you could find Nathanael and Abel fishing for hours and hours! Even the little ladies had their fill of fish catching. :)
And there was the “in-between”! Random happenings, moped rides up mountains on frigid days with sisters, standing in line for the world’s best cinnamon roll, making elk friends[as you can see from her photo, Grace became quite attached!! ;], exploring “Hidden Valley”, and even a few haircuts were squeezed in[yep, my dad can cut hair! ;]
“And the heavens shall declare his righteousness: for God is judge himself. Selah.”