Christmas · Hope

Wrapped Up In Christ

Are you all wrapped up on this December day? I’m not referencing your foiled paper and glitter-laden bows, I’m talking about the state of your heart and mind. I’m wondering if you’re wrapped up in hope or fear? Joy or turmoil?

I watch a gal on You Tube that is a very gifted artist, but she often talks about the fear of “something getting ready to happen.” It breaks my heart for her. All that’s going on today keeps the world in a state of panic.

But it doesn’t have to be that way!

I’m happy to say that because I know Christ, I am not afraid My hope is wrapped up in the One who came as a Babe in a manger.

Have you ever wondered what life would be like if Jesus had never come – if He had not humbled Himself to take the form of man?

Without Christ…

  • We would have no hope of heaven, BUT we do!
  • We would be lost in our sin forever, BUT we aren’t!
  • Life would have no purpose BUT it does!
  • There would be no way to know God BUT there is!
  • Sin and suffering would never end BUT it will!

I am sure that list could go on and on. When we consider all we have in Christ, we realize that our very lives each and every day are all that they are because of Christ. Even when we are experiencing the worst day or season in our lives, we know that because of Christ, this is is the worst we will ever experience. This is the only hell a believer will ever know. For one who has not trusted Christ, this is the only heaven they will ever know.

It is our choice to choose what we are wrapped up in –

Hope in Christ

or

Fear and depression

I’m thankful that right now at Christmas we remember that baby Jesus, but more importantly, the Savior who died on the cross and rose from the tomb victoriously! When we feel fear threatening to overwhelm us, we must remember that our hope is not wrapped up in anything in this life, but in the Lord Jesus.

Things are so different for me this year, but my one constancy is Christ. He is my anchor. He is the reason I can press on. He is my hope this Christmas. I pray He is yours, too.

Merry Christmas, my friends.

I posted this last year, in difficult 2020, and I’ll share it again in the midst of all the suffering so many are experiencing today. I pray it will encourage you.

Christmas · Gifts

Unique Gifts from the Kitchen

With the week of Christmas upon us, maybe you’re still wondering about a few last minute gifts to give? My favorite place to conjure up a gift is in my kitchen! Here are a couple of ideas you could consider! I’m also linking several posts from the past that will give you LOTS of ideas to whip up!

If you have no time, but you have homemade jam, find a holiday lid, pop it on the jar, tie on a ribbon and you are good to go! You could include a loaf of bread, either homemade, or baked from a purchased frozen loaf, like the Rhodes bread loaves.You could also purchase a jar of jam and share it with some bread!

This Healthier Granola can be made up and baked within 30 minutes. Let it cool, then pour it into a holiday cellophane bag. Voila! Gift accomplished!

This granola is so good on Greek yogurt!

Here’s a sweet gift made in your kitchen, but it’s food for birds – not food for people! Since my husband had Covid and we have been quarantined and not able to shop much, I had a friend purchase some birdseed for me and I made these as a gift for him because he loves to see the birds at our feeders/trees. (I feel like an old person saying that! I guess it’s true!). Anyway, these turned out so cute, and the birds will have a feast this winter.

Here’s the recipe and instructions:

Birdseed Ornaments

1 Cup Birdseed
1/4 Cup flour
1/4 Cup water
2 Tbl. corn syrup

Mix. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spoon birdseed mixture into metal cookie cutters. Let dry 24 hours. Dangle ornaments from twine looped through a hole made with a skewer.

Tip: I put my tray into the oven that was OFF, but still warm after I had baked something else. This sped up the dry time.

I hope I”ve inspired you a little to head into your kitchen and whip up some gifts that are truly unforgettable! Here are some other suggestions:

Here is a biscotti recipe that makes a terrific gift to bag up and share!

Here is another post of food gifts I shared a few years back.

Here is a post of gift basket ideas for the hardest people on your list!

Tell me, are you still finishing up your gifts? Or are you all done?

Christmas · Hope · Responding to trials · trials

The Thin Ice of Despondency

Just this week I watched Little Women again. Oh, I love that movie! I’m all in with the emotions – especially at moments such as when Amy falls into the frozen lake while ice skating. Her sister, Meg had been angry with her and left her to lag behind while she and Laurie skated. Then hearing her screams, followed by the terrifying silence, she and Laurie race to give her a stick so they might rescue her. Thin ice is risky.

But thin ice isn’t relegated only to winter lakes.

Continue reading “The Thin Ice of Despondency”
Christmas · Comfort · Gifts

Christmas Care Package

I had the blessing this week of spending time with my parents. I go once a month to help out. I run errands, do a little housework, cook and bake and then just get to hang out with the sweetest people on the planet.

One fun thing I got to do was watch them open a care package that Whitney and her sister, Alli sent to them. My parents had received it in the mail last week and were told they could open it then, or they could open it on December 1st. It was sent to help “merry up” the Christmas season. Their thoughtfulness touched my heart, and meant so much to my parents!

Watching them open up each item, I thought about how sweet it would be to find someone near me that could use a similar package. Here’s what they included in this package that was sent from Target:

  • Holiday napkins
  • Balsam Fir candle – Smells amazing!
  • Shortbread cookies – Holiday shapes
  • Hickory Farms Summer Sausage and cheese
  • A chocolate Advent Calendar – They ordered a Lindt Bear calendar, but received a Star Wars one instead! We all got a good laugh out of that!
  • Holiday scented hand soap

Who wouldn’t want to receive such thoughtful items? I’ve been challenged, and I hope this gives you some good ideas of things you could take or send to someone who needs some cheering up this holiday season!

Different suggestions would include:

  • Christmas Candy
  • Homemade Cookies
  • Christmas linens – tea towel or pot holders
  • Christmas mug
  • Peppermint tea, Holiday blend coffee or Hot Chocolate
  • Cozy Christmas Socks
  • Chocolate Covered Pretzels

Who do you know that is experiencing some difficult days? It may be that they are sick, or have been sick. Perhaps they are home bound, or are lonely.

I’m sharing this idea so you can implement it where the Lord would burden your heart to do so. I also love the idea of doing it early in the Christmas season! Get their December started off with a thoughtful gesture that will remind them that they are not forgotten.

It’s a blessing to serve others, isn’t it? Paul acknowledged that the Phiippians at one time weren’t able to provide for him, but how thankful he was for the gift they sent when they could.

But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity.

Philippians 1:10

Do what you are able with what the Lord has entrusted to you. Refresh someone else right now when He puts them on your heart.

Christmas · Family life · memories

What Christmas 2020 Looked Like

Happy New Year, friends! I’ll save my New Year’s post for next week, because I can’t wait to share some favorite pics from Christmas! Instagram has a Top Nine Best Photos of the year. I’m going to share nine favorite Christmas photos from this year instead! There were just so many special moments that I don’t want to forget!

On Christmas Eve in 1980, my boyfriend asked me to marry him, and now we’re celebrating 40 Christmas’s together!

As I mentioned in an earlier post, we were blessed to have ALL of our immediate family together for the holiday. I think we each tried to squeeze everything we could out every minute of being together…getting caught up on conversations, asking questions of things we’d missed out on, and just loving being in person! I love this picture of Dale and Whitney. This was at Christmas brunch, enjoyed at our younger daughter and son-in-law’s.

Sisters, sisters, there were truly never no more devoted sisters!

When you’re decorating cookies and GREEN SPRINKLES are your favorite, a careful peek into the bottom of the container is necessary to ensure you have enough to finish your special cookie design!

We always have a time of Scripture reading and carols before we open gifts. Whitney was our pianist and Alli accompanied on her violin. I snapped this picture of Paul and Whintey while Dale was reading our Bible passage. If you don’t follow Whitney’s blog, you’re missing out on a ton of helpful organization, practical Dollar Tree tips and deep spiritual encouragement!

Meanwhile in the other part of the room, Alli and Andrew were wrangling little boys who were very anxious to get to the PRESENTS!

I kept things less decorated this year, but I definitely still felt all the “warm-cozy” vibes of this time of the year! We enjoy our fireplaces so very much on these dark, cold days, and so does Liza!

One of the best surprises was the SNOW we got on Christmas Eve and again on Christmas Day! How kind of the Lord to give us a white Christmas that just added to the beauty of celebrating our Savior’s birth! This is the front yard…

And here is the backyard…

I look forward to 2021 and all the Lord has in store for me…and you! Thanks for making my blog a part of your day! I truly appreciate those of you who read and refresh me by doing so!

Which of my nine photos is your favorite?

Happiest of New Years!