Happy Mothers Day Mom!

momThe past few months have been busy ones for me, but as I like to say, it has been a good busy.

So I am happy for my first day back writing to be about my mom.

I want to honor my mom for the remarkable woman she will always be.

My mom was a stay at home mom. She did have an outside job once when dad was unemployed and worked at a family run business, an Italian Bakery. They lovingly called her the token German since she was the only one not related to the owners.

For the most part like many women of her generation she stayed home to raise us children and to give her credit she never ran out of the house screaming! That alone makes her mother of the year.

When dad retired from the Army the recession of the 70’s hit and jobs were scarce so we lived off of his retirement often. But mom could stretch a meal and we always had plenty to eat. She kept house, kept us fed and clothed and kept the family together.

mom 1964 (2)She was a strong woman, stronger than I have had ever imagined. She was also a survivor. Although I was 22 when she died, she taught me how to persevere when all you want to do is give up. She gave to me the best gift I would ever need to get me through my own hurdles – her strength.

Life was not kind to mom, but she did not let it get her down. She kept a stiff upper lip and forged on ahead. I often wonder how she was in private, because if front of us kids she kept a brave front.

Mom was loving, kind and compassionate. She was often serious especially when life was difficult which was often, but she also knew how to laugh and sing. She had a lovely voice and when I hear her favorite songs I can still hear singing along.

Through the ups and downs of my parents marriage, mom taught me the value of being a supportive wife and a loving mother without me knowing it. I was going to be a career woman, marriage and children was not my plan. I am thankful God had other plans for me!

One memory of mom is from when we were living in New Jersey and I would go shopping with her. We would walk to the neighborhood Italian market (when you walked in the smell of all those Italian cheese’s would hit you with an a wonderful aroma!), then the butcher and maybe a few other errands before making a trip to the Jewish Bakery for either Kaiser Rolls or Bagels, eating them on the way home.

When  my son was just born I will never forget seeing my mom visit me at the hospital to see her second grandson. She never thought she would live long enough to see any grandchildren and my sister and I both gave her grandsons she adored. My biggest regret was that my children never had a chance to know her love.

I miss so many things about my mom, her German accent for one; although she swore she did not have one! When Tom passed away I missed her advice and her encouragement.

Mom like dad died way to early – she had heart disease and her big loving heart gave out when her kidneys failed at the age of 57. She once told me she injured her kidney in an accident when she was young and when I would ask her she never elaborated. When I think of the horrors she most likely went through at the hands of the Russians my imagination gets the best of me.  She would often tell me about her younger days, but very seldom talking about her life during the war.

On this Mother’s Day I want to celebrate a woman who lived, who loved, who raised a family and who survived many battles and trials and much heartache.

Happy Mothers Day Mom – I thank God you were my mom if even for a short time.

these lilacs are for you!


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Praise For Our Creator

Flower arrangement in honor of Revs Ken and Christine Woods Henderson

“Praise God from all creatures here below…”
Creator of everything and everyone
There is no beginning of time only You

You filled the Heavens with Your Glory

You Created the Universe displaying Your Power and Greatness

You Created the Angels to reflect Your Beauty

You Created the Earth, the splendor of Your Majesty

You Created the Animals, each one with a purpose You ordained

You Created man and woman in Your image –
An image of Love

You sent Your Son to Light our way back to You –
Restoring the natural order of Your plan

You are present each day and are already in our future
You breathe life into our souls – giving life eternal to those who love You.
You alone we honor and worship
Creator of heaven and earth

Since before time began
We Praise You Father, Son and Holy Spirit

My time spent in Spiritual Direction with my mentor, Christine is coming to close as we both begin a new chapter in our lives. Christine and her husband have retired and will start a new life in a different state. For me, I say good-bye to a friend and take what she has taught me to new heights as I continue to discover God’s plan for me.  Two endings and two beginnings.

I wrote this during my worship time with our Lord – a quiet part of my day that allows me to express my devotion to God through writing, music, stillness, and art. Writing has become my favorite form of spiritual discipline, expressing my praise to God in words.

I dedicate this praise for our Creator to Christine who through the years guided me to finding my true spiritual self, discovering my potential as a disciple and follower of Jesus Christ, Gods own Son and leading me to a fulfilled personal relationship with God – our Father. Christine has become more than a spiritual mentor she has become my friend, my sister in Christ.

Roses in the sanctuary celebrating the service of Revs. Ken and Christine Woods-Henderson

Rev. Dr. Christine Woods-Henderson

Rev. Dr. Christine Woods-Henderson

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Flu Season


What can I write about the flu ~
Red noses



Starve a fever
Feed a cold
Feed a fever
Starve a cold

Is there anything else to say?

Just when you think it is safe to go out once again
The flu bug defeated – so you think
The virus makes its last stand
Taking its hold on you once again
Round two, three strikes and you are out

flu 2Dreaming of spring
Warm weather
Cool evenings
Singing birds fill your days and nights
The fragrance flowers fill your homes
No more thoughts of flu or colds
Noses red no more, coughing a thing of the past

Then ~
flu3Fragrance of Lilacs fill the air
Tulips and Daffodils blooming
Bring Pollen
Red noses once again
Puffy eyes among other things

Welcome spring and ….. Allergies…. {sigh}

The pictures were taken from google.com
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Hope & Light

New Day

Picture courtesy of Google search

A new day dawns
Full of hope and charm

The Son lights our way
Diming the darkness in our souls

The more we resist the Light
The brighter He glows

Worldly desires soon fade away
As our souls reach out

Lifted up out of the darkness
The Son shines bright once again

A new life is born
Full of Hope ~ Full of Light

Written by Patty Beggs January 17, 2015
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New Beginnings

Sunrise Boston

With the start of a new year I recommit my life to God.  This sunrise is a symbol of new beginnings – of a new day dawning in our lives in the next year.

Resolutions – definition ~ a promise that you make to yourself to start doing something good or stop doing something bad on the first day of the year

New Years Resolutions are a tradition that we all grew up with. It is a time to take inventory of our lives and see what we can do to improve our life or the life of others.

So, what is it about the start of the New Year that have us making that promise to ourselves to do something good or stop our bad habits? After all do we make resolutions each Monday at the start of the week or the first of every month?

For years like many of us I would have my list of “resolutions”; lose weight, read more, learn something new, write a book, volunteer more, organize my house, finish sewing projects, etc…. To think these are only a few of New Years resolutions over the years. 

A few years ago I decided not to make any resolutions, after all I have never kept any of them anyway. Have you? Actually I would love to hear from those of you who did keep your resolutions and what the results were.

Instead of resolutions, I recommit my life to God. Sure there are plans to be made and goals to be set, but before any of that, God must be first in our life. Without God there is no success in our plans and goals, no hope for our future.

There is no ceremony or big celebration, it is in the stillness of the morning that I quietly recommit my life to God. I hand over last years disappointments and lay my trials at the foot of the cross leaving the old behind and forging ahead to whatever life has in store for me. Then I embrace the new challenges God sets before me – some challenges I am not so willing to embrace at what may be awaiting me. It is my faith, obedience and trust in the God of Creation that will get me through the ups and downs over the next 12 months.

The New Year is before us. We do not know what will happen. We will make our plans to become better people, letting go of bad habits and striving to do better. Some will succeed. Some will change their plans to adapt to the many obstacles that come their way.

The important thing to remember is this – no matter if we make resolutions or if we do not; if we keep them or break them, we are all given hope for a brighter tomorrow as we plan for our future. 

I can guarantee that in the next 12 months bad things will happen but we must remember that good things will also happen. Through it all our God who loves us will be with us. He sent us His Son to walk with us through the difficult moments and to rejoice with us in our happiness.

Resolutions and improving our lives is always good, after all we are all a work in progress.

My prayer for all of you who made resolutions is for success with all of your plans and for each of you to walk with God in your own way as you face the challenges and the joys of the New year.

As we put our trust in God for an unknown future we will discover that this year will be our best year.

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Hope Blossoming in Love…..

Patty B:

Some of you may already know Anne from Freedomborn, she has a servants heart and has been an encourager to me. Many times when I feel as if I am unable to face another lonely day she posts a bible verse or some encouraging thoughts to bless my day. She had created this beautiful power point for me and I would like to share it with all of you and pray that you find the love, encouragement and blessings from our Lord through the bible verses and soothing pictures of tulips, my favorite flower. Anne is indeed one of my kindred spirits – knowing my heart. I can only pray that I touch her life the way she has touched mine. Thank you Anne for being a friend and a sister in Christ.

Originally posted on Freedomborn ... Aussie Christian Focus:

Red Tulips 1

Today I would like to say Thank you to Patty one of my close Blogging friends, her Blog is called “Thoughts From An American Woman” which do bring back memories (see link below) Patty is also one of my top Commenters and so WordPress Staff in my Annual Report, which they did a great job on, suggested in their kindness for me to personally thank Patty, I had been planning to do this already and was creating a Power point for her on Tulips with Hope as the Theme, both of which she chose herself (see below) I greatly appreciate the Love and encouragement Patty shares in her comments but would also like to say Thank you because she is such a beautiful Christian woman who has greatly blessed me.

I will also thank personally the other top Commenters that WordPress advised me of, over the coming weeks and anyone…

View original 147 more words

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Christmas & New Years Blessings

GE DIGITAL CAMERAAll my best laid plans to do a weekly advent devotion for Christmas were dashed when I came down with a sinus infection and eventually a bad case of the flu.

After starting antibiotics for my sinus infection I was elated when I felt normal and energetic. That lasted for 3 days. When wham – I was hit – bulls-eye, with the flu. So for the past two weeks minus a few days I have been sick. But as I say, “tis the season to be jolly, to be merry and to be sick”!

Alas, we must all take the good with the bad. Yes, I have been sick for nearly 2 weeks and in bed for 4 days, that is the bad, but the good is I have a great family doctor, a job that I can take adequate time off to recuperate, family and friends that care for me and brought me not chicken soup but Christmas cookies – now those are friends! My daughter was even in the kitchen doing most of the Christmas meal preparation while I rested and enjoyed the sounds of Christmas music playing or watching the Hallmark Christmas movies.

GE DIGITAL CAMERAI even had time to put together a puzzle – anyone recognize it?  Yep, I admit it I am a “A Christmas Story” watcher.  We watch it every year on Christmas Eve after church and then again Christmas morning as we open our presents. 

So, at this time I would like to wish all of you and your families, a joyous and wonder-filled Christmas season of the birth of our Savior and a healthy and God inspired New Year.



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Christmas Cookies Anyone?

386741_2668163541909_324005759_nThis is the first Christmas I will not be baking cookies. When my mother was ill my sister and I took over some of the baking and that is when I found my love of baking Christmas cookies.

The year my mother had her first heart attack dad bought the Tastykake Christmas cookies and they eventually became a part of our Christmas cookie tradition growing up, the box they came in right next to moms delicious cookies. My mothers favorite to bake were butter cut out cookies and peanut butter. We were no Martha Stewart or I guess in my day it was the Galloping Gourmet when it came to decorating. But we had fun. We never used icing, instead mom used a egg yolk mixture and then we topped it off with an assortment of sprinkles and candies. There were more types of cookies she would bake and we would always help – eating the broken ones or the ones that were burnt around the edges.

404543_2760139881260_50935956_nAs I got a home of my own I added Butter Drop Ins, Angel Pillows and Santa’s Whiskers to my cookie collection. I would store cookies for weeks until Christmas using all the proven techniques to keep them fresh.

As the children grew they ate them as fast as I could bake them. We would also give away containers full of cookies. One year I took them out to the ambulance company that came and helped me after I passed out. Then there were the years I shipped them to my  husband and son when they were deployed. Over the years my kitchen became a bakery filling my home with aroma of fresh baked cookies.

When our son moved out of the house and life got busy with jobs and other commitments I only baked the families favorites and started to buy German cookies and Scottish shortbread that are now easily available. What is Christmas without the traditional Lebkucken, Christmas Stollen, and Scottish Shortbread that melts in your mouth?

9693_4837674018315_186367325_nOur daughter loves to bake as much as I do, but we are both finding out bakery cookies are just as good! So now we go to Wegmans and stock up on German Lebkucken, buy our favorite cookie – Oreos with the red stuffing and choose a few Christmas cookies at our favorite bakery. We are also blessed with my sister who still loves to bake and will bring over our mothers Butter Cut Out Cookies and friends who will not have me go without cookies.

Although I have never met a cookie I did not like I am at that age where I have to watch what I eat. And with my biggest cookie fan no longer here to enjoy the delicacies I bake, I find it is time to lay aside my baking sheet and wooden spoon – for now. I am sure once grandchildren bless my home I will once again fill my home with the aroma of cookies baking.

405158_3610376136635_1392016750_nSo now what do I do since I am not baking? Glad you asked…now my life is filled with craft and sewing projects. Instead of a messy kitchen table I have a messy craft table. The aroma of baking cookies has been replaced by the aroma of my Scentsy Warmer that fills my home with Christmas Joy.

What is your favorite thing to do for Christmas, is it baking, cooking, or crafts?

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It Is Beginning To Look Like Christmas

Picture unknown artists

Picture unknown artist

It is now the day after Thanksgiving here in America so it is now the official start of the Christmas season and to celebrate it I thought it fitting to post to the song by Bing Cosby,

It Is Beginning To Look Like Christmas

So rejoice everyone – the Christmas season has begun! Whatever you do for the Christmas season celebrate every moment from baking dozens of cookies to shopping for or making that perfect gift.  Don’t let the naysayers get you down, it is time to celebrate the holiday of our Saviors birth. 

What is the first thing you do to kick off this joyous holiday?  For us it has always been decorating the house and putting the tree up.  I worked retail and waited tables for many years, so depending on when I worked we would either put the tree up on Thanksgiving or the first weekend I had off which was usually the first day of advent.  And of coarse you already know, by now I have been listening to Christmas  music!

Let me be the first to wish you all a MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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Giving Tuesday

Giving-Tuesday-BannerWhat is “Giving Tuesday“?  A few weeks ago my denomination, the Presbyterian USA issued a challenge to all of its Synods, Presbyteries and Churches to participate in Giving Tuesday. I had no idea what this was, but the more I read the more excited I became.  It is one day set aside from the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping to donate money for worthy causes.  One day to take the focus off of ourselves and to focus on the needs of our churches and communities.  Isn’t this what the Christmas season is all about?  

Although it is a very worthy day, wouldn’t it be wonderful if we do this all year long?  Imagine how many families, homeless people, abused women and children that we can help not to mention the many people we can feed when the food bank donations around the country go down after the holiday season. 

My challenge to you is to participate in Giving Tuesday on December 2 and then to continue that giving all year long.

The following two quotes are from the #GivingTuesday and the PCUSA Giving Tuesday webpages.  Click on the links for more information.

“We have a day for giving thanks. We have two for getting deals. Now, we have #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back. On Tuesday, December 2, 2014, charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.

It’s a simple idea. Just find a way for your family, your community, your company or your organization to come together to give something more. Then tell everyone you can about how you are giving. Join us and be a part of a global celebration of a new tradition of generosity.” {quote from Giving Tuesday.org}

“How refreshing to start the Advent season with a focus on the blessings we have been
given by God. Your gratitude for God’s blessings can be reflected as a
gift to support our mission.

GIVINGTUESDAY is a global initiative devoting one special day to Giving.
We invite you to make a donation on this special day and don’t stop
there…encourage your family and friends to also make a donation.
Here’s the challenge – On Tuesday, December 2, join us online anytime
during the 24 hours to support your church or the Presbyterian Church by going to PresbyterianMissionExchange/GivingTuesday”  {quote from PCUSA Mission Exchange}

giving tuesday

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