Friday, December 9, 2016

December Weekly Encouragement and Snapshots!

Mary pondered and treasured!

This week I have been pondering about the Christmas season. Advent teaches us to prepare, to make room for the Savior, for HIS coming. This month I have been doing just that, taking time to read the true Christmas story with my children with the use of the Jesse tree, and reading a Christmas devotion at bedtime. Decorating our house with beautiful lights, ornaments, trees, and the manager, showing where Jesus was born. Lighting Advent candle (which I so love, new tradition). Taking daily time doing my own personal study of Jesus. There are just so many other things that we also do, we bake, make/buy gifts, give gifts, donate time/money so much more this time of year, which is wonderful! However, what about the rest of the year, are we keeping our daily living focused on Jesus and ready for His return? Shouldn't we be? It should be like brushing our teeth, making a meal, preparing for a day...? Daily! Deuteronomy 6:4-9 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates., which tells us how our faith and obedience should be and Jesus said in Matthew 22:37 "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." I don't have an answer, just thoughts and wanting to do what is right, but then you know that struggle with my old selfish ways. So why I need Jesus and so thankful to serve and love a God that is forgiving, that gives hope and peace, that provides the daily strength I need for the day, and most important is never changing. It always seems in this world something is changing, there are things that try to take our peace, to distract us, but God, He is sooooo good! Come Lord, Jesus...teach me to live as a child of God, to wait patiently, to live in your peace and strength and not my own, to be brave, to share your truth, to pay attention, live in repentance, be humble and loving to all. AMEN!


Encouraging reads: 
We’re all Charlie Browns, right? We’re all trying to love and serve and lead and give and we wind up making a royal mess out of things more often than not. Yes? I know I do. And so I need to receive grace and give grace to all my fellow Charlie Browns out there. http://www.karipatterson.com/look-for-the-heart/ 
Spend time in God's word and let Him love you-- and you love Him back. He came for you. He came to comfort. Let His comfort be yours. You cannot find peace without the Prince of peace. http://sallyclarkson.com/blog/2016/12/1/planning-for-endurance-and-enjoyment-this-december 
Our Advent walk aligns our Advent heart with God’s in a deep inhale of grace for every misstep. Redemption finds us and allows us to exhale praise to our Father. http://passagethroughgrace.com/sabbath-offerings-advent 
The experience of knowing Jesus enriches our hearts and lives completely. In Him, we lack nothing. http://www.foundonbrighton.com/2016/12/advent-day-3.html 
Whatever our current situation, whether stressed, down, or hurting (or anything else!), I love that we are never, never alone. God promises He will never leave us (Hebrews 13:5). And I especially love that God provides for our emotional needs this time of year through His amazing, living word. http://www.juliegillies.com/2016/12/3-verses-to-help-you-walk-in-peace-this.html 
Thankful to serve and be loved by such a loving, patient, life-giving God. Who is, was and will always be there. Jesus is waiting for you too, in the places sometimes we don't think we will be found!  You are never abandoned in a place to be forgotten — you were placed in this place to be found. http://annvoskamp.com/2016/12/the-secret-truth-that-cures-feelings-of-abandonment-what-has-to-be-said-about-advent/

Snapshots of our week:
How was your week readers? We finished up our fall semester of co-op!! We spent family night, Christmas light gawking! Hope we will be able to do it again soon, however the railroad is keeping my hubs working, which is something to be thankful for! Though we miss seeing him! We have been out almost everyday, I am looking forward to not needing to go anywhere today! Tonight, to celebrate Friday, making our own pizzas and watching Charlie Brown Christmas! Here are a few snapshots of our fun this week:
Lego Challenge~Christmas present and Art and Bible lesson day!
Bless this dog he had a really ruff day, tongue half out! 😏
Peace! Jesus is our only continuous hope and peace!
Lego Challenge, Candy Cane!
Painting gingerbread ornament!
Gingerbread train building! Thank goodness for kits!
Gingerbread train decorating!
Gingerbread train decorating and eating decorations!
ChooChoo! Finished train!
Enjoying the fireplace, because it's necessary and it finally works as it should!
Lego Challenge, Snowflake!
We went Christmas light gawking! We love walking around in Grand Rivers, like a magical winter wonderland!
Just a small part of all the lights at Grand Rivers!

Singing with the carolers!
Red!
Black and White!
Sleigh-ride!
Excited boy visiting Santa!
Abigail wasn't to sure at first!
Santaaaaaaaa, I know him!
Loved the pretty trees and love these crazy kids!
Hot chocolate season!!
Lego Challenge, sleigh!
Made these pretties for a sweet friend!
Finally finished our snowflakes! Let it SNOW!

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