Christmas · Gifts

Three Things I LOVE That Would Make a Terrific, Inexpensive Gift

It’s post-Thanksgiving! Have you started that huge (overwhelming) task of buying for everyone on your Christmas list? I know some people who just have a knack for buying the perfect gift…I’m not one of those people. I struggle with this so much! If you’re like me, I thought you might appreciate a few suggestions for the women in your life that need an inexpensive little something that is super-special in my book!

  1. Bath & Body Works Bubble BathI’m always on the lookout for a good bubble bath that smells wonderful and makes the best bubbles! I found Bath & Body Works Bubble bath this year during one of their super sales. I love this stuff so much that I probably won’t ever change! There are other fragrances, but I love Rose & Vanilla! If you wanted to bump up this gift, you could include a super-soft, large bath towel.

2. Bath & Body Works Hand and Foot Cream – With all the extra handwashing and sanitizing we’re doing, hands are taking a beating. Also, those rough heels need some TLC, too, right? I apply this cream at bedtime and in the morning it feels like I’ve had a spa treatment! My skin is so much softer after application! It’s super thick so it can really penetrate through that dry skin. If you wanted to bump up this gift, you could include some cozy slippers or plush socks.

3. Hobby Lobby Pillow Slipcovers – If you want to keep your home decor to a minimum, buying slipcovers from Hobby Lobby is the way to go! They have a zipper that allows you to throw your pillow in there. That means you can put the slipcover into the wash, if needed. Aaaaand, you can snag these at 50% off if your watch their sales. I got two of these fuzzy covers for a total of $15! What? You can’t even buy one pillow for that price! I love that it adds a winter touch to my couch, but I’m not stuck with having to store a whole pillow in the warmer months!

Don’t you think these would make great gifts for a woman on your list?

Which of these three items is your favorite?

Happy shopping!

gratitude · Thanksgiving

How Can We Give Thanks in 2020?

This year as we gather around our isolated Thanksgiving tables with fewer guests, goodies and grandeur than Thanksgivings in the past, how will we find it in our hearts to give thanks? Where will the outpouring of gratitude come from when we have experienced a year like 2020?

If you’re asking that question, I’m certain you’re not alone. While this has been a year full of Covid issues like isolation, restrictions, masks, sickness, and death, as well as such political unrest in our nation, we can find the reassurance that we can still have a heart of gratitude – and with really good reasons! The Lord opened my eyes to this Truth as I reviewed Philippians chapter 4 this week…

Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say, rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing, but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

When I remember that Paul was writing this from his prison cell, I look out from the “prison cell” of 2020 and choose to give thanks for the things he listed in this passage…

  1. I will rejoice in the Lord! It’s not my circumstances, my current company or my material things in which I give thanks…it’s CHRIST. When I look at HIM and think on HIM, I can give thanks!
  2. I will realize that HE is HERE in this “cell” of 2020. Verse 5 says, He is at hand! He has never left us during all the hardship we’ve experienced. He is here to comfort, to help, to provide, to love, to supply. My family might not be with me on Thanksgiving, but Christ is! In that I will give thanks.
  3. I will pray and give Him the cares on my heart rather than carrying the burden myself. I can’t do anything about them, but He can. In that I will give thanks!

This passage reminds us that after we do those three things, we will have peace. It’s that peace that an unbeliever shakes his head at and wonders how we can smile and give thanks, even while we’re locked up in the cell. The key to being released from that prison is in giving thanks!!

Let’s lift our hearts in grateful praise even on Thanksgiving Day 2020. We have plenty of reasons!

With a truly grateful heart I wish each of you a wonderful Thanksgiving Day!

hospitality · Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Tithers

It’s hard to fathom that this Thursday is Thanksgiving Day! My husband says I’m “in a tither” with all my plans, maybe I am, but I just know that there’s lots of stuff going on before then and I have to think through all the details! It’s not stressing me, I’m just trying to prepare ahead. I love Thanksgiving and desire that it not be overshadowed by Christmas being pushed in ahead of its time.

Who but Christians have as much to be thankful for? Our hearts overflow with gratitude for all that the Lord has done for us. Every day we see His faithful hand in our lives – providing, protecting, guiding, supplying. How can we not be filled with thanks and look for an opportunity to tell Him thank you and share with others what He has done?

George Herbert put it this way:

Thou hast given so much to me;
Give me one thing more – a grateful heart.
Not thankful when it pleaseth me,
As if thy blessings had spare days,
But such a heart whose pulse may be thy praise.

The psalmist said it like this: Psalm 37:25 I was young, but now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. This is truly a testimony of God’s faithfulness! I can certainly say the same thing.

What can you do to make this a Thanksgiving that will stand out from all the rest and also ease your tithers?

  • Look for someone to invite to your family dinner. A widow, a college student studying in your area, or an elderly couple who can’t travel to their family’s gathering.
  • Make some easy appetizers for folks to snack on while dinner is cooking.  
  • Prepare a basket of food to give to a needy family
  • Instead of football naps, play games together as a family after the meal!
  • When I was a child, my dad always made a “bunny ice cream treat” for Easter. It was a tradition in our home. What about making a Thanksgiving treat for your little ones that can be the traditional treat you serve every year? How about these Turkey Treats? 
    10+ Easy Turkey Treats - Cute Ideas for Turkey Treats
      Or these
    Pilgrim hats?
Pilgrim Hats Peanut Butter Cups Recipe | Hallmark Ideas & Inspiration

They’re adorable and would be yummy too!

Just thought I’d share a few ideas with you, just in case you’re “in a tither” about Thanksgiving too!

With love from my country kitchen,

Child training · Family life · Thanksgiving

Helping Children Give Thanks

I love Thanksgiving for so many reasons, but I want to focus on three of them.

1. To spend quality time recounting my blessings from God is such a joy.

2. Time with family is wonderful.

3. The traditions we share make memories that last a lifetime.

What happens when we take those three joys and bundle them into one? We make Thanksgiving a day that honors and gives thanks to the One to Whom it is due. It’s so easy to get caught up in the food and gobbling turkeys and neglect directing our thoughts to the Lord. I think it’s so important that we include the children in each of these areas on Thanksgiving Day. It’s easy to put the children at their designated table, let Grandpa say the blessing, enjoy our adult family and idle conversation and forget to really focus on the purpose of the day. Here are a few ideas of ways you and your children can make your gratitude, family time and traditions all coincide and point to Christ.

Make a gratitude wall, chalkboard or dry erase board where family members can write down what they are thankful for during the whole week before the big day. Little ones could draw pictures of their gratitude or find magazine pictures to cut out.

Write secret notes to a family member who lives in your house and leave it for them to find. You could also tuck those notes under the plates on the day of your Thanksgiving meal.

Read Psalm 100 as a family and work on memorizing it together. Say it as a family on Thanksgiving Day.

Everyone say a sentence prayer of thanks to God before dinner. Rather than just one person praying, having each person participate makes it a special time of family worship.

Everyone share a their blessings. This a tradition my family does each year. We affectionately call it our “Puff moments.” After the meal is over, we gather in a circle in the living room and take turns sharing blessings from the past year. It always ends up on a time of happy tears. It’s a precious time together )and of course we pass the box of Puffs to dry our tears. Some people use corn kernels at each plate and drop them into a bowl as they share their blessings. I like sharing after the meal because quite frankly, the meal is hot and ready to eat! Well, the food is a huge part of the traditions! Let’s make it as memorable as we can!

These are all things that you can do with your children. Point the praise to God, spend time together doing it, and make some special memories! I pray that your upcoming Thanksgiving is a special day, and one to which you give God the glory for all He’s done for you, yes even in 2020. He has been so gracious to each of us. Give Him praise!

What one blessing could you share from 2020?

Priorities · Work

Don’t Chill! Till!

What is on your agenda for this week? Do you feel like getting after it, or are you feeling more like “chilling” instead? That tendency is always there, isn’t it? We may be tempted to sleep a little longer, take a few more minutes scrolling on our phone, watching television, or reading a captivating book, but then we realize that so much time has passed and the opportunity to accomplish the said task is now either passed by, or is cut short.

Proverbs always motivates me and reminds me of the most practical steps to take each day. It is so applicable in regards to how I spend my time. Here’s what God says,

He that tilleth his land shall be satisfied with bread, but he that followeth vain persons is void of understanding
Proverbs 12:11

I seriously doubt that any of us are hitching up the plow to go till our land today, but when I read this verse recently, the Lord reminded me if we will till that land, we will have bread! There is a blessing of staying at the task at hand! The Lord brought to my mind that we all have “land to till” and it shows itself in many different ways. Consider…

  • Read the Word and you will be nourished.
  • Give out the Word and people will get saved.
  • Disciple someone and there will be spiritual fruit.
  • Pour time into your marriage and it will be rich.
  • Take time with your children and they will flourish.
  • Care for your home and it will be welcoming.
  • Plan for your meals and people will be satisfied.
  • Nurture relationships and your life will be full.
  • Feed your soul and you will grow.
  • Memorize the Word and you will be grounded.
  • Apply the word and you will be wise.

Nothing good ever “just happens.” It takes effort, discipline, planning, and hard work. The good news is that if you know Christ as your Savior, He is your Helper. Proverbs 16:3 Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established. He will prod you and strengthen you, but then it is our responsibility to get after it and actually DO the task or work.

This verse in Proverbs also reminds us that the one who follows vain persons is void of understanding. But when we cave to the temptation to follow vain things – sleep, idle moments, and the like, we again reveal our lack of understanding.

How much wiser it is for us to till, rather than chill. What responsibilities are lacking because you’ve not had the motivation to get moving? Why not stop and ask the Lord for His wisdom as to how to get busy and also the strength to do it?

If you need some motivation, here are some posts about prioritizing your days here, here, and here,

Refresh your life by staying busy at the plow!