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Resolutions

I used to make resolutions every Jan 1.  When I was younger a few of my resolutions were to study harder in school and to do my chores without complaining. As I got older it changed to dieting, keeping my house cleaned, not grumbling too much or reading my bible more, along with many other goals.  And without fail by February I was back in my normal habits.

So eventually I stopped making New Year resolutions and instead decided to stay focused on God’s Word.  Without a reading plan or study guide I let the Holy Spirit guide me into the different aspects of Spiritual Discipline.

Soon a few minutes reading a 5-min devotional each morning turned into meaningful prayer time.  Eventually my prayer time was expanded and included worship and more in-depth devotions.  Now, I get up earlier just to spend quiet time with God.  The time is spent reading, listening to worship songs, praying and even coloring.

This year again I will not make any resolutions and will continue to walk confidently in faith and being content in my circumstances. Instead of diet plans and goals I choose to pray unceasingly and serve God by being the Light of Christ.

By February I know I will be struggling to get up early on a cold winter morning, instead opting to stay snuggled under the warmth of blankets.  But then an opportunity comes to worship as my alarm goes off and Pandora begins playing praise and worship songs.  What a blessing – I can stay in the warmth of the bed God has provided and worship Him in song.

When spring arrives, the warmer weather and the smell of fresh clean air will bring distractions that will tempt me to stray from my faith journey. Yet, another opportunity will come to praise God when I see the first Robin and watch the squirrels frolicking in the warm breeze. The first crocus to bloom brings hope and a new abundant life as we all rejoice winter is over and spring has arrived. The scripture from Isaiah says it beautifully, I paraphrased, “The (winter and frozen ground) shall be glad; (the bare trees) shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus; it shall blossom abundantly and rejoice with joy and singing.” (Here is the original scripture verse – Isaiah 35:1-2a ESV)

There will be struggles, disappointments, sorrow, and hardships in the New Year.  But each new day will bring the peace of Jesus; beauty and hope; laughter and love.

We do not know what the New Year will bring, so let us honor and worship God our creator wherever we are, whatever our circumstances and whenever the opportunity opens before us.

Let our lives bloom in 2018 wherever God plants us.

Where is God planting to you?

2018-resolutions-e1514828174533.jpg

Pictures from google.com
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One Winter Morning

There is a stillness as I look out my window.  The sound of a gentle rain on the windows breaks the early morning peace.

The neighborhood dogs are quiet, birds are silent, squirrels are still and the daily sound of automobiles rushing here and there, are motionless, creating a unique beauty of a city at rest.

Soothing.

Calming.

Peaceful.

The mountains surrounding our little valley are covered with a mist that seems to settle on everything with tenderness.

As I sip my morning tea I look out the window as day light breaks and noticed colorful leaves still on the trees that glistened in the morning mist.  Bare trees are silhouetted against a gray sky, the streetlights illuminating the droplets of rain on outstretched branches like sparkles of diamonds. The weathered wood fence and an old garage are but shadows in the misty air.

Our Creator has painted a beautiful masterpiece this morning.

Teaching us to be still in His presence.

To delight in this moment.

To prepare for the Light of the World – Jesus Christ

Spring Rain

picture found on google

Spring Rain

Spring rain softly falling
Quiet reflective moments
Peaceful tranquility for a weary soul

Melodious serenade of birds
The sounds of heaven
Softly permeates tender hearts

Gentle breeze rustles through trees
Voice of God tenderly whispering
“Rest my child – be still in Me”

Patty Beggs June 2016

Season of Rest

Season of Rest

When I took my break I did not know what to expect. There were plenty of things that have been neglected and needed done. In my mind I became June Cleaver and Mrs. Brady (forgetting Mrs. Brady had a maid). Not only would my life be all figured out but my home would be organized and clean.

It did not take me long to recognize how busy my life had become. My life was filled with many empty activities to keep me busy and to quiet the many thoughts going through my mind. I found out that it only silenced the voice of God.

The busier I became the more I organized my to-do list, my calendar and my time. It did not take long to discover that it was more time-consuming than it was helpful.

What was causing chaos in my life had to be removed. I had to de-clutter my life along with de-cluttering my never-ending lists.

There you have it, I am a list writer. I have a list for everything. I love buying new calendars because I can create new lists. I download free apps of lists and organization tools. But with all the writing of lists to structure my life I found out I was actually creating disorder. I was being over organized so much so, that my lists were the only things that were organized.

During this season of rest I became still, longing to feel my Lord’s presence and to hear His voice.

God was already there waiting for me let go of the busyness and the never-ending lists to return to Him. He displayed His presence in glorious sunrises and sunsets, and in the winter birds’ songs of joy at the start of the day. His voice was heard in the stillness of the morning and in the solitude of the evenings.

I am once again aware of God’s Presence.

I have finally become a Mary in a Martha world – sitting at the feet of Jesus.

Through each season of my life Jesus was there, is there and will always be there. This season of rest Jesus cleared a path for me to see clearly that God, our Father will always bring organization out of our chaos.

I rediscovered:

God is always with us regardless if our lives are chaotic or well-ordered.

Jesus points the way for us when we have lost our way to free us so we can worship God in every season of our lives.

Each season will bring us closer to an everlasting life with God the Father, Jesus His Son and His Holy Spirit.

There will be times when a season takes us to a place of rest – to our mountain. A place where we will worship God, offering Him our praises, and glorifying His Name in everything we do.

We do not need a to-do list for worship.

 

“LORD, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done wonderful things” Isaiah 25:1
“LORD, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done wonderful things”        Isaiah 25:1
Mount-Zion
“Exalt the LORD our God and worship at His holy mountain, for the LORD our God is holy” (Psalm 99:9)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

{Sunrise picture by Patty Beggs}
{Praise picture and Mt Zion compliments of Google search}

Flu Season

flu1

What can I write about the flu ~
Achiness
Sneezing
Red noses
Coughing
Wheezing
Chills

 

 

Starve a fever
Feed a cold
Or
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
Sneezing
Sniffles
Red noses once again
Puffy eyes among other things

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

The pictures were taken from google.com

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?

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!

Thanksgiving Traditions

Norman-Rockwell-Thanksgiving-thanksgiving-2927689-375-479Here I am getting ready for the second holiday season without Tom. In 35 years of marriage we have only missed two wedding anniversaries, two Christmas’s and one Thanksgiving and one New Year. Not bad for a military wife, but then he only served active duty for part of our marriage before serving the rest of his career in the PA National Guard. Lets face it, although I am proud of the National Guard and all the work they do in their states and across the sea, it is a lot easier being married to a weekend warrior then a full-time soldier.

In that 35 yrs we have made some new traditions while keeping some of the old traditions. When I was growing up we did not have many old family traditions.  Coming from a military family and a grandmother with “itchy” feet my father’s family was thrown to the four corners of the earth. My mother being from Germany never celebrated Thanksgiving so it was a new experience for her. My father was raised in the depression had a very difficult life so I always thought it was his dream to have the traditional Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving.

Dad would always buy the biggest turkey, no matter how tight the household budget. He would cook everything in that turkey including the bone for his turkey soup. To this day I cannot eat stuffing, turkey soup or homemade gravy after I helped him one Thanksgiving – he literally used all the “extra’s” that come with the turkey, for flavor he would say, but that did not encourage me.

Now mom on the other hand was not a turkey connoisseur , I can still hear her say why do we have to eat turkey? But always wanting to become American she adapted. I am sure dad taught her everything she needed to know to make the best roast turkey this side of the Atlantic Ocean. She never did understood the concept of eating turkey only once a year. I always assumed they compromised for Christmas by having ham instead of turkey or the Christmas goose.

There is a clip in a movie “Avalon” which is a movie about Polish Immigrants that reminds me of my mother. Change the accent to German and I can almost hear my mother say “I don’t understand this holiday…we don’t eat turkey all year why do I have it eat now”.

movie clip ~ I will never understand this holiday

So our Thanksgiving holiday was a table filled with all the traditional Thanksgiving Day foods and our family of 5 would eat leftovers it seemed for weeks, although I am sure it was only days afterward.  My sister and I would normally argue over who was to wash or dry the many dishes dad left for us.  Dad would say you can tell a good cook by how many dishes and pots he used…well if that is true, then my dad was a master chef!

Tom comes from a traditional American family, big dinner of turkey and ham, tables filled with food that everyone brought, family gathered around, cousins running all over the place, along with a kids table, I am sure. He was amazed when I told him I was not that fond of turkey. Poor guy did not realize he was not going to have turkey for Christmas, ham would become our  traditional Christmas dinner. He never complained as long as he had his homemade pumpkin pie, his favorite holiday pie. Being newly married and wanting to impress him since he said his mother never made homemade pies I made my Aunt Marty’s pumpkin pie from scratch…from then on I would bake all my pies from scratch using love as my secret ingredient. For 35 yrs, we would have pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years and one year I surprised him and made him one for his birthday!

The only time we did not have turkey was for our first Thanksgiving, we had chicken. This was before you could buy turkey breasts or smaller turkeys. I would start baking my pies the day before and instead of homemade stuffing we had stove top. Although I do remember the first time I made homemade stuffing I burnt it…don’t ask me how, I followed the directions and sticking to my convictions I used store-bought broth instead of making my own.

It is time to make new traditions but keeping the many happy memories of the past Thanksgivings.  I remember my parents, my brother and Tom with tears, laughter, and smiles. My traditions are not like the Norman Rockwell pictures or from what is shown in holiday movies.  But like how all traditions are started, both my old and the new ones my children and I will make together, they all start from the love I have for them.

My children and I will still have turkey with all the trimmings and instead of pumpkin pie this year I am making a pumpkin roll. Instead of football it will be watching all the traditional Christmas movies, “It’s A Wonderful Life”, “White Christmas”, It Happened On Fifth Avenue”, “Christmas in Connecticut” and to keep things silly “A Christmas Story”. 

What is your favorite Thanksgiving tradition? I would enjoy hearing about all the different ways we celebrate, including my Canadian friends.  For my friends across the world, do you also celebrate a thanksgiving holiday?

The Day After Thanksgiving

I dedicate this song to everyone who waits until Thanksgiving to play Christmas music, decorate and start their shopping!

You can thank my son for giving me the CD – now I will think of all of you with smiles as I listen to this song and secretly sing to you “It’s Beginning To Look Like Christmas”!!

You know I love all of you! 😀 

“The Day After Thanksgiving” by Brandon Heath
 
There’s still plenty of leaves
Golden on the trees
Hoodies, blue jeans and football
Bonfires and school nights
Scarecrows and hayrides
It’s fall everywhere except the mall

I don’t want to hear about Santa Claus coming
No silver bells or a dozen drummers drumming
I don’t want to see an inflatable nothing
Till the day after Thanksgiving
(And not a day early)

Don’t plug in those electric candles
Or dangle those stockings from the living room
Those tangled up lights are more than I can handle
Till the day after Thanksgiving

Then oh let it snow
Go and tell everyone you know
That Christmas is here
Every day between now and new year

Don’t deck the halls with the tinsel or the holly
You can make me grumpy but you can’t make me jolly
Elves don’t even make curly haired dollies
Till the day after Thanksgiving

Then oh let it snow
Christmas card, everyone you know
Then pour on the cheer
Every day between now and new year

I want the cookies and the mistletoe kissing
Angel on top of a tall tree glisten
Wrap it all up in a pretty red ribbon
The day after Thanksgiving

(You can put antlers on your car for all I care)
As long as its the day after Thanksgiving