Monday, December 29, 2008

The Simple Woman's Daybook - Dec. 29, 2008

FOR TODAY December 29, 2008...
Outside my window...the sky is blue, the sun is shining, the weather is in the 70's. We're supposed to get a weak cold front, but it'll only bring the temps down about 5 degrees.
I am was such a fun Christmas. This is the first time I've gone on the internet in a week, and I didn't miss it.
I am thankful family, friends, neighbors. For the kindness people show this time of year. Oh, and for clearance sales!
From the learning rooms...still working on homework packets, and we'll be playing E's new Scrabble to help with spelling. My sister sent E a pop bottle science experiment kit that he's also excited to try.
From the kitchen...spaghetti & meatballs. Yum!
I am wearing...olive green tank top, beige capris, flip flops.
I am creating...nothing today.
I am take down all the Christmas decorations this week. I'll probably leave the tree up a few more days, though.
I am reading...Exodus for my morning devotions. My son R got me Multiple Blessings by Kate Gosselin, and I read it in 2 days. Very well written.
I am hearing...the TV in the family room. E and I are the only ones awake. I can hear R breathing.
Around the house...taking down all the Christmas decor will take me about 2-3 days.
One of my favorite the 2 weeks my kids get off from school. It's nice to have them at home.
A few plans for the rest of the week: the year will end, and 2009 will begin. I've got a feeling it will be a very important year. Many changes, that's for sure. I might not be on the 'net much this week either. I need to spend as much time as possible with my kids before school starts again next week.
Here is prayer request I am sharing...pray for peace in Israel. Did you know the Bible tells us to? It's in Psalms 122:6 - "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May they prosper who love you."

Happy New Year everyone! Can't wait to see what God has planned for us!
Peggy at Simple Woman's Daybook is on vacation, but I still wanted to share what's going on.

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Simple Woman's Daybook - Dec 21, 2008

FOR TODAY December 21, 2008...
Outside my window...bright & sunny. We're supposed to be getting a cold front in today, but that'll only bring the temps to the 50's in the morning and 70's in the afternoon. Nope, no white Christmas in South Florida.
I am thinking...I hope my hubby's gift gets here this week. I ordered late, and it already shipped, but there's a chance it won't get here by Wednesday.
I am thankful for...Jesus coming to earth as a baby to die for my sins. My family being together for Christmas. My daughter doing an amazing worship session at her youth group.
From the learning rooms...E got some homework packets that we'll be working on.
From the kitchen...meat patties - my kid's favorites.
I am wearing...I'm still in my nightdress - shame on me! I'll be changing into capris and tank top soon.
I am creating...plans for Christmas day.
I am enjoy this week as much as possible.
I am reading...Genesis for my morning devotions, and hopefully I'll get some books I asked for for Christmas so I can have more stuff to read.
I am hoping...that people everywhere will celebrate the birth of our Savior. Christmas isn't about the presents under the tree; it's about the present that hung on a tree.
I am hearing...the TV in the family room and the boys talking. There's a 13 year difference between these brothers, but they love each other so much. Daughter's still sleeping.
Around the house...plenty of cleaning to do today, but I'm going to take it one step at a time.
One of my favorite Christmas of course!!
A few plans for the rest of the week: hispanics celebrate December 24th in a big way. We'll be going to my m-i-l's house for dinner and then open some presents at midnight. Christmas day we'll spend together as a family here at home. Saturday is A and E's birthday - she and her little brother were born exactly 10 years apart!
Here is picture thought I am sharing...I'll save the picture spot for later in the week when we're opening presents.
Merry Christmas to everyone. May you all enjoy this season, remembering the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It's the real reason for the season!!
To join in the fun, visit Peggy at the Simple Woman's Daybook.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas pictures!

Calvary Fellowship, my home church, is giving away pictures with Santa on Sundays before and after services. So, we decided to get some pics taken. My husband and oldest son don't attend church, but there's no reason why my daughter, little boy and I couldn't have our fun picture with Santa. And it was fun!!

Yep, that's the 3 of us. I think we're a fine looking bunch.

My son and I look happy. My daughter...not so much. Don't worry baby girl. Good things come in small packages.

Looks like Pastor John is a bit jealous. My daughter, on the other hand, is overjoyed.

If you live in the Miami Lakes area, come on by, take a pic with Santa and listen to a great message on the real reason for the season. If you're not in Florida, come on down! The weather is perfect!

My New Nativity

Here’s my newest Nativity. My sister sent it to me for my birthday/Christmas. And it’s a good thing too, because I only had 7 Nativities and they were lonely ;-). Actually, I’m very thankful. I’ve seen tons of beautiful Christmas items but haven’t purchased any because our finances call for only buying what we need, and if you’ve seen pictures of my house (in a previous post) you know I don’t NEED Christmas decorations. So God blessed me through my sister and gave me something that gives me much to be thankful for and much to think about.

As I began searching for a place for my new Nativity (it ended up in my dining room, the only spot in the house I could squeeze it into), I thought about the message Pastor Bob gave this Sunday, coincidentally about the Nativity scene. Many times we accept things because it’s what we’ve been told time and time again, therefore it must be true. But if we look closer we find discrepancies, which can ultimately take us away from the true meaning of what we’re looking for.

Take the Nativity, for instance. It’s beautiful, and looks so serene. Except that any woman who has given birth knows there’s nothing serene about it. I can’t imagine it being a “Silent Night” during labor and delivery. Another issue is where Jesus was born. Yes, we know He was born in Bethlehem, Joseph’s hometown. Joseph and Mary had gone to Bethlehem for the census. At that time Mary was 9 months pregnant, ready to burst. The Bible tells us in Luke 2:7 that “there was no room for them in the inn” and that’s why Jesus was placed in a manger at birth. The word here translated “inn” is the Greek word “kataluma”, which means guest room. Remember, Joseph was back in his hometown. He most likely had relatives living there. Yet he and Mary couldn’t find room in the “kataluma”, or guest rooms. His own family turned them away because Mary’s pregnancy was questionable. After all, she became pregnant before her marriage to Joseph. Bad, bad, bad. No one wanted to open their doors to this scandal, so off went Joseph and found them a “barn”. Hmm, was it really a barn? My new nativity looks more like a cathedral, with its gold leaf walls and mirrors. Other nativities include a stable. But the truth is that Jesus was born in a cave. That’s where the animals were kept in Israel – caves in mountainsides. Not the most glamorous setting. Our picture of Jesus’ birth begins to change.

Then there’s the whole three kings story. What does the Bible say concerning this story? Did it really happen?

Yes, it did. Sort of. Not the way we typically hear it told, though. Our story begins in Matthew chapter 2. Verse 1 says, “Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem.” Note first off that there is no number of men. The Bible does not tell us there were 3 of them, nor are they named anywhere. This idea came about 700 years after Jesus’ birth. We know there were 2 or more men because it’s in the plural, but no exact number is mentioned. We also know from this verse that they weren’t “kings”. They were wise men, Magi, Persian priests most likely from Babylon who were astronomers, men who studied the stars (not to be confused with astrologers. This had nothing to do with horoscopes). Magi are spoken of in Daniel 4:8-9, when King Nebuchadnezzar was looking for someone to interpret his dream. Magi were known as magicians, interpreters of dreams and star gazers. These magi were seeking what Daniel had spoken to them about – scriptures that spoke of the coming Messiah. Numbers 24:17 says, “I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near. A star will come out of Jacob; a scepter will rise out of Israel.” The wise men were looking out for this star which would announce the birth of the Christ. When they saw it, they came from the East looking for the King of the Jews (Matthew 2:2). Herod, who wanted no competition, sent the wise men to find “the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also.” The word here for young child is "Paidion", which means toddler. Notice that in verse 11, “when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother.” Jesus was no longer in the manger; He was at home with His family. That’s because from the time the wise men saw the star, to when they were able to travel all the way to Jerusalem, till they actually found Jesus, He was probably about 18 months old. Once again, the picture of our nativity scene is changed.

Pastor Bob suggests that, to make it accurate, the nativity should be split up, with the wise men far off on their way to see Jesus. I don’t do this for 2 reasons: 1) I have no other place to put my wise men, since my house is already jam-packed with Christmas decorations, and 2) I want them there to remind me of something very important. See, the scribes, who were experts in the law, knew where the Messiah was to be born (Micah 5:2). They knew about the star and they should have been looking for Him. So why weren’t they? Because they’d become comfortable. They lived in a land where they were allowed to continue in their religious traditions and live a safe, comfortable life. They knew the law, they knew the prophesies, but they didn’t know God. The wise men were truly wise; they had a desire to know God. They traveled 600 miles through the desert to reach Jesus. They put their entire life on hold to find Him. They weren’t rich, but they were committed. They brought the very best gifts they could find, not leftovers but their very best. We live in a country not very different from what the Jews in Jesus’ time had: we are free to worship as we please, free to speak our minds, free to have the career we choose and live our lives in comfort. We consider this a blessing, and it is. But it can also be a curse, if we let these things take priority over our life instead of making Jesus Lord over all.

I’m sure everyone has made their Christmas lists (or in the case of wives, hinted at our husbands). Have you ever wondered what God wants for Christmas? Thankfully, He has already told us:

“He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
but to do justly,
to love mercy,
and to walk humbly with your God?”
– Micah 6:8.

Simply put: For Christmas, God wants to be First in our lives. Won’t you give God what He wants for Christmas?

PS – Thanks for all the gifts you sent, Sis. I’m hoping it will be cold Christmas morning so my feet won’t sweat when I wear my new penguin socks!

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Simple Woman's Daybook - Dec. 15, 2008

FOR TODAY December 15, 2008...
Outside my window...lots and lots of sunshine. It's 74 degrees and breezy. The weather is more like spring than late fall. My heart goes out to all who are under snow.
I am thinking...this was a really nice weekend.
I am thankful for...another birthday gone by, my daughter home from college, my son E feeling better after a bout with fever and a sore throat, my son R working.
From the learning classes are done, and E finishes up school this week. He's so happy!
From the kitchen...pot roast in the slow cooker.
I am wearing...a brown tank top, brown and white shorts, flip flops. Did I mention it's going to be 80 degrees today?
I am creating...cakes this week, to give to my neighbors for Christmas.
I am finish wrapping some gifts today.
I am reading...Genesis for my morning devotions, the chapter of Proverbs that corresponds with the day (today is the 15th, so I read chapter 15), and 5 Psalms a day.
I am hoping...for a calm, relaxed weekend with my family.
I am daughter singing and playing her guitar. I missed that sound so much!
Around the house...laundry, bathrooms.
One of my favorite hearing my daughter worship the Lord with song. She's very talented, and has chosen to use that talent for God's glory. Praise Him!
A few plans for the rest of the week: Awana and Bible study on Wednesday, though my daughter will be at youth group playing so I'm torn which to go to. My friend LN is taking me to lunch this week for my birthday (which was yesterday, so it's belated). Taking it one day at a time from there.
Here is picture thought I am sharing...E's picture with Santa. Well, I will have it later on. Gotta scan it first. Stay tuned!
To join in the fun, visit Peggy at the Simple Woman's Daybook.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A Bible Verse for Today

As I read this during my devotions this morning, I thought how appropriate it is during our hard economic times, so I wanted to share it.

God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear,
though the earth should change,
though the mountains shake in
the heart of the sea;
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble with its tumult.

- Psalm 46:1-3
Especially now, as we remember Christ's birth, may we remember to seek Him during good times and bad.

The Boy's Room

My sister called me on this one. I'd totally forgotten about posting the pictures of my boy's room. I painted it a couple of months ago and they both love the color, though my oldest son had trouble deciding what he wanted and ultimately his little brother chose the color. I'm satisfied that the room looks cleaner.

The room, previous to it's new paint color, was a sunshiny yellow. My son R had a strong opinion about this color: he "abhorred" it. That's the word he used. Strong, don't you think?

This is the opposite wall. I liked the fact that, since the bedroom furniture is maple with blue accents, and yellow is on the opposite side of the color wheel, it coordinated nicely. Unfortunately none of my boys agreed.

I began painting the room in what I call a charcoal blue. It's similar to the blue on the furniture but with a grey undertone. I would say it's a very masculine color. What I like most is how it looks against the white baseboards and maple floors.
By the end of the day we were done. E came from school and insisted on helping paint his room, and he did pretty well. It was late by the time we were done, so I only took one picture. By then I didn't want to be in that room anymore. It did turn out nice I have to admit, even though I'm not fond of blue (at least for decorating). The boys love it, and that's all that matters.

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Simple Woman's Daybook - Dec. 8, 2008

FOR TODAY December 8, 2008...
Outside my window...the sun is shining brightly, it's a cool 60 degrees and will probably get to 75 degrees max. It's breezy and cool and oh how I love Florida!!!
I am thinking...what a great week this will be, praise God!
I am thankful family, my home, but mostly my relationship with Jesus Christ.
From the learning rooms...we're reading The ADVENTure of Christmas by Lisa Whelchel. It has a different story about Christmas everyday, linking items like the tree and candy canes with Jesus, and activities, though I admit we haven't done any yet. Learning multiplication tables too.
From the kitchen...baked pork chops. Yum!
I am wearing...still in my house dress. I need to get changed.
I am creating...not a whole lot this week, I'm afraid.
I am run to Costco or Wally World for wrapping paper.
I am reading...Genesis for my morning devotions, the chapter of Proverbs that corresponds with the day (today is the 8th, so I read chapter 8), finishing Looking Ahead and The Purpose Driven Life.
I am daughter and son do well on their finals this week.
I am hearing...the whirr of the computer fan. Not much else.
Around the house...I finished laundry yesterday but already there's more to do. Bathrooms on Monday as usual.
One of my favorite watching Christmas movies. Lifetime, ABC Family and Hallmark have had some nice ones, plus we have a video and DVD collection whenever there's nothing better on.
A few plans for the rest of the week: Wednesday will either be Awana or a Christmas activity at my friend's son's school. Haven't decided which yet. My daughter comes home on Friday!! Oh yeah, and my birthday is this week. I'll be turning 29 for the 16th time.

Here is picture thought I am daughter's bedroom. You didn't think I stopped decorating at the bedrooms, did you?

To join in the fun, visit Peggy at the Simple Woman's Daybook.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Learning to be a better shopper

I've always considered myself to be a smart shopper. Look for bargains, check sales, that sort of thing. As of late, though, I'd gotten into the habit of buying just because I felt myself deserving. I worked hard, so a little indulgence wouldn't hurt, right? This was especially true when it came to shopping for clothes.

I love clothes. There, I've said it. The first step to healing is admitting you have a problem, right? Of course, I didn't consider it a problem when I was working. If I spent $200 or more on a shopping spree, so what? I needed clothes for work, for play, for church, for any special occasion that was coming up. There was always an excuse. I'd get upset when the same outfits I'd paid full price for were on sale, but not too upset. I'd gotten them when I needed them, and that's all that mattered.

Times have changed now. I don't have a lot of "dispensible" income. Two kids in college, one in elementary school, with one salary, is not a recipe for overspending. We've purposed to stay out of debt, so I've had to curb my spending. It hasn't been easy, but I saw this week how my heavenly Father is teaching me not only good spending habits, but patience as well.

My very favorite clothing store is New York and Company. I probably buy 95% or more of my outfits there. They have clothes appropriate for women my age, which is nice, since so many stores are geared to a much younger market. Whenever I was in the mall last month (several times doing my Christmas shopping) I'd stop by my favorite store and take a look at what they had. Oh, such lovely blouses, such nice dress pants, even some sales! But try as I may, I couldn't find anything that I liked at a price that would justify purchasing it. I bought a purse for myself and a couple as gifts only because they were on sale for $9.99. Surprisingly, instead of leaving the mall depressed because I hadn't found anything to buy, I'd feel glad that I hadn't spent money unnecessarily. Little did I know that was the lesson my Father was teaching me.

A coupon came in the mail from NY&C due to the whole Black Friday thing, with an additional coupon that would expire December 8. Since my birthday is coming up this month and my hubby had asked what I wanted, I told him I'd like to see if I could get some clothes with the coupon I'd received. He thought it was a good idea and told me to go ahead and pick out my gift. I figured I'd find one outfit and that would be that. I was shocked when I got to the store. EVERYTHING was on sale! All blouses and sweaters were 50% off. Dress pants were insanely reduced. I was in shoppers heaven! I was able to get 2 pairs of dress pants, two blouses and a skirt, 5 pieces, for just over $57.00. Thanks to the sales and the coupon I saved over $129.00!! I realized then that my Father had kept me from buying when prices were higher, and because I obeyed Him, I was able to get what I wanted and more, without spending a fortune.

Now I understand the apostle Paul when he said, "No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it." (Hebrews 12:11). Obedience is worth more than anything to the Lord, and when we obey, we are greatly rewarded . Obedience with money is one of the hardest, because we don't always think God cares about money matters, or we assume it's our money because we earned it. Letting God be in charge of our money has been one of the biggest teachings I've received since I stopped working. But I'm sure He has many more lessons in store for me.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

My Winter Wonderland

Ever wonder what the North Pole looks like? Well, wonder no more! I have a mini replica in my home that takes 2-3 days to set up each year. Why do I put myself through this torture? 'Cause it's fun!!

Our wall unit in the family room is typically filled with the usual: family photos, a few candles, some chachkis. The day after Thanksgiving, these are all put away to make room for my many music boxes and collectibles.

For 10 years I sold Christmas decorations through party plans. The first seven years I sold Christmas Around the World (also known as House of Lloyd), one year I sold North Star, and the last two years were with Kingdom Treasures. None of these companies exist anymore, but during these years I was able to amass a formidable amount of items, both for myself and to give away as gifts. I try to place them in sets. This is the right side of my wall unit. The top shelf has my Santa teapots. Bottom shelf is all about penguins. The middle shelf is more of a hodge podge, the focal point being the mouse musical in the center.

On the left hand side are my water balls on the bottom shelf. There are more penguins on the top shelf (penguins are my favorites!) and the center has snowmen, Santas and an animal music box that my daughter loved as a child. There's a merry-go-round in the middle that is darling. It was one of the last items I got, before Kingdom Treasures folded in 2005.

In the center of the wall unit are 3 plush collectibles that I got from my dear friend DeeAnne who got me started selling party plan. I display these with love.

A view of my kitchen counter. This is only part of all I do in the kitchen. The rabbits on the upper right hand corner are the House of Lloyd family, Floyd, Flossie, Grandpa Lloyd, Grandma Flo, and the kids, Hip & Hop. I bought the chairs at Big Lots and display them together.

This is a view of the first of three villages. All the houses are gingerbread. It's not the clearest pic, since it's in front of the window and the sun is coming in strong in the morning. This is our dining room. Notice the palm trees in the back yard. Kind of throws off the whole "North Pole" theme ;-).

This is my dining room table centerpiece. It actually consists of several pieces that I put together: in the center is a horn covered in jeweled fruits and ribbons which is flanked by two reindeer candleholders. These are surrounded by poinsetta wreaths. A gold colored runner over a dark green tablecloth complete the table. It looks very elegant, even though the furniture itself is more casual.

My other Christmas villages are in the living room, by the tree. These are regular miniatures, somewhat Victorian houses. I don't have any of the Department 56 collectibles; they're gorgeous but just too expensive for me. I have my House of Lloyd houses, Kingdom Treasures houses, and a few I picked up at Walmart for a very good price. They work fine with the other houses which is all I care about.

This is the Cool Family. Aren't they cool?!? There's one for each member of our family: Dad, Mom, big brother, sister, and youngest brother. They're wearing their ski gear, ready to hit the slopes (difficult to do in South Florida). They stand in front of the two villages which are in front of the living room window. Can you see Santa peeking in the corner?

This is the view from the front door. The snowman family under the coffee table is the Freezeman Family from House of Lloyd. There are a few collectibles on the coffee table from my husband's company Christmas parties as well as candlesticks that match the horn in the dining room. The wreath on our front door is also the jeweled fruit theme. You can see the tree in the background (there's a pic of the tree in my previous post, The Simple Woman's Daybook).

Behind the loveseat is a sort of curio cabinet that, just like the wall unit in the family room normally displays photos and collectibles, but at Christmas time displays some of my favorite pieces, like my many Nativity scenes. I have 5 Nativities, some very large, others very small, but all important in reminding us what Christmas is really about.

Here's a better view of the right side of the cabinet. I have a lovely Nativity at the top, some Santa collectibles in the next two shelves, and stuffed penguins at the bottom. I would always put the plush animals at the bottom so my son would play with those and not the ceramic items. He's almost 9 years old now, so I'm not concerned with him breaking anything, but out of habit I still put the stuffed toys at the bottom.

By this time you must be thinking, "No, really, why would anyone go through all that trouble? Packing, unpacking, and repacking again in January is insane!" Yeah, well, maybe I am a bit crazy. Actually, we didn't have Christmas when I was growing up. No, I wasn't born before Christmas was invented (come on people!!). I was raised in a Jehovah's Witness household, and we didn't celebrate Christmas, Thanksgiving, or any of the traditional Christian holidays. We weren't even allowed to watch holiday cartoons. While all the other kids were helping decorate a tree, and having big dinners, and getting presents, we were sitting at home with tv dinners and our same old toys. What was worse, even though we said we understood why we didn't celebrate Christmas, we really didn't. It made no sense not to celebrate the birth of our Savior. When I left that church, I wanted desperately to make up for lost time. Collecting Christmas decorations became obsessive. No matter how much I had, I wanted more. When I became a Christian, I realized Christmas isn't about the presents or the decorations. It's about giving. Jesus gave up His place in heaven to be born into a world that rejected Him. He gave His life to redeem us of our sins. He gives and gives and gives. We need to do the same. Yes, I still decorate like a mad woman, and enjoy doing it. I love having people over to share our collectibles with them. But mostly, I love remembering Jesus' birth and what it means to us. It reminds me that I need to share this with others. Do you know Jesus?

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Simple Woman's Daybook - Dec. 1, 2008

FOR TODAY December 1, 2008...

Outside my window...there is a slight drizzle under grey skies. Thank the Lord for the rain. My allergies were acting up all week from all the dust in the air. As soon as it began raining, my stuffy nose went away. I can breath again!

I am can't really be December already, can it?

I am thankful much that I wrote a post about it (see preceding post).

From the learning rooms...E is having trouble with reading. He's a good reader but a slow one, at least from his teacher's point of view. We'll need to get some more practice.

From the kitchen...honey lime chicken. I make it on a grill pan in the kitchen. Technically we can still barbeque, since the weather's been in the upper 50's to mid 70's, but it's raining.

I am pink "Got Jesus?" t-shirt, jean capris and flip flops.

I am creating...a winter wonderland in my home (pics to follow).

I am going...nowhere today. Too much stuff to do around the house.

I am reading...the last 3 chapters of Revelation, then I'm done with the New Testament. I plan to start all over but I've also got some other reading I need to finish.

I am small group shows up this week. Everyone was out of town or leaving town last week for the holiday.

I am oldest son in the kitchen.

Around the house...clean up the master bath. My hubby put tiled the wall, since we haven't heard from the insurance company and he was tired of seeing the hole in the wall. Finish decorating the house, and of course laundry.

One of my favorite our tradition of decorating the home the day after Thanksgiving. It takes several days to get everything up but we all look forward to it.

A few plans for the rest of the week: our last small group meeting tomorrow, Awana & Bible study on Wednesday.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...the Christmas tree! My daughter did most of the decorating, and I think she did a fabulous job. Love you and miss you my baby girl!

Want to participate? Just follow the link:

My Short List of Thankfulness

I haven't logged on to the internet in what seems like forever, but that doesn't mean I'm not thankful for oh so many things. Here's my short list of thankfulness, 4 days after Thanksgiving but still just as relevant:

1 - I'm thankful for Jesus. He died on the cross for me, and because I've accepted His sacrifice I'm forgiven. I can't think of anything to be more thankful for.

2 - I'm thankful my family was together for Thanksgiving. My daughter came down from college and we spent from Wednesday night till Sunday afternoon with her at home. Since she left for college the house seems incomplete. This weekend it felt just right.

3 - I'm thankful for our financial situation. Despite the fact that I'm not working, my son isn't working and we're living on one income, all our bills are getting paid. There hasn't been a moment when we've had to worry about paying the mortgage, electric bill, food, or anything. God has made sure we have enough to live on, and then some. He has shown me that I'm never alone.

4 - I'm thankful for my church. What a great pastor we have, what great teachings each week, what wonderful friends. It's my home away from home.

5 - I'm thankful for children's ministry. It gives me the opportunity to serve, and watch these young lives transformed as they become friends with Jesus. This to me is the most important of all ministries (after my own family, of course).
6 - I'm thankful for my family, those close by and those far away. No matter where you are, I love you all.
7 - I'm thankful for my friends. Church friends, ex co-workers, cyber friends, all my friends. All of you enrich my life.

8 - I'm thankful that my Christmas shopping is DONE!!! Now I can concentrate on the true reason for the season and not on when the mall will be at its emptiest.

9 - I'm thankful that my home is almost completely decorated. There are still some items that need to come down from the attic but I should be done today. It looks so pretty!

10 - I'm thankful the elections are over. No more political commercials or phone calls! Well, at least till next year.

There's still so much more to be thankful for. We are so tremendously blessed. We have faith, freedom to read God's word, a home to live in filled with more than anyone could ever need. May we never forget to be thankful, and never take anything for granted. Thank you Lord Jesus, for all that I am and all that I have.