Thursday, December 30, 2010

Still Shoveling Here in New Jersey

“Snowflakes are one of nature's most fragile things, but just look at what they can do when they stick together.”

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas & 'Heart to Heart with Holley'

                As we all scurry to finish last minute details for our Christmas celebrations I pray that we might all be reminded of God's perfect love for us. I'd like to share a morning devotion I received in my email this morning, written by Holley Gerth a writer for Dayspring...


"Why you don't have to make everything perfect this Christmas...

I curl up on the couch, coffee in one hand and a pen in the other. I feel weary all the way to my bones.

I think of all the ways I fall short...

the corners of the house uncleaned.

the corners of my heart that are the same.

I whisper prayers about feeling too small, about things seeming impossible, of never being able to grasp that word that haunts the Daughters of Eve--perfect.

On the horizon of my heart a half-remembered Scripture slowly appears. I search for it. When I find it, I look in wonder...

The Lord will perfect that which concerns me. Psalm 138:8 NKJV

Twin truths slip from that sentence. First, God alone knows what perfect really means. And let me assure you, it's not the standards we set. Second, only He can make it happen in our lives--and He will.

God's "perfect" may not match what we have in our minds. It may not come when we planned. It may not work out the way we always imagined it would.

But God will perfect that which concerns me, that which concerns you.

Is there any better proof than a baby in a manger born on Christmas morning?

Jesus was unexpected, not-as-planned, didn't-see-that-coming, more-than-we-imagined. In one word: Perfect.

And through Him, we can trust that somehow, inexplicably, God will make everything else in our lives right too.

We are imperfect but His love never, ever is.

That, my friends, is worth celebrating.

I get up from the couch. I set down my pen and coffee.

I find myself humming, "Joy to the world..."

written with love for you by holley"

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Merry Christmas!


“Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love. ”

                                                 Hamilton Wright Mabie (1846-1916);


Monday, December 20, 2010

Delight in the Magic of the Season

Awe is the finest portion of mankind . . .

                                                 in awe one feels profoundly the immense.

                                                    ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe~

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Great You tube Video!

What a beautiful voice reminding us of the true reason for Christmas!

"Where's the line to see Jesus?"

This really touched my heart, reminds me Christmas is not about Santa, presents, fir trees, colored lights, it is about the birth of the Savior of mankind, God's own son, who grew up to sacrifice his life that we may be reconciled unto a loving God who is madly in love with each one of us, yes that includes YOU. God loves you THAT much and more, and He has since BEFORE time (or the "big bang" as the scientists like to call it).

Mankind and the adversary; Satan, have complicated our faith and believing, purposely. (for instance Jesus Christ was actually born on September 11th of 3 BC) It is time to simplify, spend less and give more at Christmas, give love, the love of God, the love of our Savior Jesus Christ. What better present can we give someone than eternal life with a God and His son who are madly in love with us?

I am currently working at the Mall and daily I see long lines for kids to see Santa, after watching this video, I will now wonder every time I walk by: "Where is the line to see Jesus Christ?"

May God pour out His blessings upon you and may you enjoy the true meaning of what we call Christmas: that the creator of the universe, God, loves you so madly that He gave His only son just to have a personal relationship with YOU!

I love you all with Agape (Greek translation from the Bible meaning "the love of God"),

Trying to Remember God Has a Plan

At a certain moment in Nietzsche's life, the idea came to him of what he called 'the love of your fate.' Whatever your fate is, whatever the heck happens, you say, 'This is what I need.' It may look like a wreck, but go at it as though it were an opportunity, a challenge. If you bring love to that moment - not discouragement - you will find the strength is there. Any disaster that you can survive is an improvement in your character, your stature, and your life. What a privilege! This is when the spontaneity of your own nature will have a chance to flow. Then, when looking back at your life, you will see that the moments which seemed to be great failures followed by wreckage were the incidents that shaped the life you have now. You’ll see that this is really true. Nothing can happen to you that is not positive. Even though it looks and feels at the moment like a negative crisis, it is not.

Joseph Campbell, 1904-1987

American Mythology Professor and Author

Some days are hard, really hard, but I know that God will see us through as He has before. I sit here early this morning trying to calm my anxious heart, reminding myself that He always has a plan and that while I might not see it now we are safe in His loving arms. If you are struggling with any hardship this day I pray that knowing One who is greatest of All is in charge will bring you some comfort. Bless you all !

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

My Love of All Things Vintage

...carries over into Christmas!
I love vintage linens, especially Christmas ones!
Maybe they evoke childhood memories...
of simpler times,
maybe it just seemed that way from the eyes of a child.
I found this book on clearance last year,
it is filled with beautiful images.
I believe they still have it available on Amazon.
All of these wonderful images came from one of my
favorite magazines, Country Living. I just love spending
some quiet time reading it over a cup of tea or cocoa.
What will you be doing today to find some peaceful moments
during this busy season?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sharing My Morning Devotional

December 12, 2010

"Do you think you will eat all that?"

Transformational Thought

I was recently on a business trip to Miami. Got in the night before my meeting and decided to have dinner at an outdoor café. It was late and I was the only customer there. I ordered what I thought was an appetizer and dinner, but when the food came, it was apparent that I had enough food for two full dinners. The waiter left and I began picking and choosing the best of the two plates.

Just then, a homeless man quickly came to my tableside and asked in a very polite manner; "Do you think you will eat all that?" The restaurant managercame to shoo the man away...but I told him that I had invited the man as my guest. The homeless man (dirty, a bit scary, and a little drunk) took off his hat, brushed back his hair and took the seat across from me with the pride and excitement of being invited to join a royal feast.

We had a great meal together. I actually had to talk him into coffee and dessert. During dinner, he confessed that alcoholism was the reason he was homeless and gave me an open invitation to ask any questions I'd like. He was a gentle, smart man. It was one of the most interesting conversations I have ever had.

When the meal came to an end, I asked Bill, "If I give you $20, can you promise me that you will use it for food?" After giving the offer some thought, he said that he could not make that commitment to me...and that he didn't want to lie to me...and said he would most likely use it for whiskey. After a few minutes of silence he said; "I'll make you a deal, I'll use half for food and half for booze" and then stuck out his hand to shake on the deal.
As he got up to leave he asked, "Do you think God sent you to me?" His question almost blew my off my chair. Even now, I really don't know who God sent to whom.

Today, instead of judging others and exalting yourself, try to help someone in some way. Remember, we are most like Christ when showing compassion and generosity to someone less fortunate. Before you think that you are the great helper for someone else, ask first, "Did God bring them into my life to help me or show me something I need to know or learn?"


Dear Father God, I come to You with an open heart...I invite You into my life in an ever-increasing way. I pray, Father, that Your over-generous love will flow through me each day and touch those around me. I ask that You show me how to serve others, help others, and to give to others without expecting anything in return. I know, Lord, that there is no way I can out-give You, for You have already given me so much. I pray in the name of my teacher and Your Son, Jesus Christ; and all God's children said - AMEN!

The Truth

'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

Matthew 25:40

Friday, December 10, 2010

My Vacuum Cleaner Died

...seriuosly the thing just coughed up a big dust ball
and quit on me!
So now in the midst of Christmas shopping I find myself
checking out vacuums.
I simply must buy one soon, not only because
I must vacuum daily,
two cats and a dog make that a necessity,
but mostly because
I do not want my family deciding to buy me one
for Christmas!
I have a thing about getting appliances for any
don't ever want one for my birthday, anniversary
and certainly not for Christmas.
Seriously, if anyone ever finds me on the floor looking all
misty eyed over a vacuum
I hope they'll have the decency to put me out of my misery!

(disclaimer: I found this add on google quite some time ago
and had planned on pulling it out for just such an occasion
when of course I found it posted on someone else's blog!
So  I must give credit to 'Cozy Home Chronicles' at
She has posted some great vintage photos today so please
go and pay her a visit. I hope she doesn't mind my using this image.)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

It's Beginning to Look Alot Like Christmas!

When my 'Dickens Village' gets put up in the formal living room
I know that the Christmas season has officially begun!
My husband bought my forst three buildings as a Christmas
gift for me the first year we were married. Each year after that he and
the boys would add a few more pieces until finally I had to tell
them no more. I was simply out of room! I love putting it up,
it's like playing house but it takes me most of the day.

Even if it doesn't snow outside we always have a White Christmas here.
   Can't you just imagine yourself strolling through this town on a snowy evening?
Of course since husband's and children rarely know what to buy Mom,
even when she says she doesn't need anything, they soon latch onto new ideas.

Here are a few of the Santas they have bought for me over the years.
That collection grew and grew until they moved onto something else.
On the opposite wall of the formal living room is the snowman tree.
In the dining room is one small taple top tree in
patriotic 'Red, White & Blue'.
It sits on my server alongside some Longaberger baskets.
My foyer is decorated too of course!
It's hard to see into the curio but if you could you'd see
my 'Lenox Snow White Collection'. Are you beginning
to see a pattern here? If my husband or sons get an idea
I like something they run with it and every holiday
and birthday gift is taken care of for at least two years.
My favorite tree is the one in our family room,
it's where we spend most of our time together,
and each ornament holds special meaning.
I hope you enjoyed visiting my home, I certainly
enjoyed having you!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

It's Been A Very Busy Fall

Our youngest son Alex is in his Senior year of high school now and
that has kept us plenty busy!
We've spent the better part our fall weekends visiting colleges,
there have been applications filled out and mailed, essays written
and despite all of this my darling boy managed to get straight A's...
I am so proud of him!
His first choice is Penn State, it seems that he has been talking about
going to their University Park campus for as  long as I can

It's a beautifil campus in central PA and a very good school.
The home of the Nittany Lion. While we visited the campu we also
went to a game and were thrilled to be at Beaver Stadium
when Joe Paterno (head coach)
had his 400th win!
The stadium seats 110,000 and there were over 107,000
that day.
It was alot of fun visiting Penn State.
We also visited and Alex applied to
Delaware State University,

Towson University in Maryland,
Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove PA,
Bucknell University in Lewisburg PA and
Villanova University in PA.
Now we wait and see and apply for lots of scholarship
and grant money!
Thank goodness this is our last to go to college.
I wonder if they'll be anything left for us to retire on???

Monday, December 6, 2010

Stay Out of the Dog House...

Share this with the men in your life, or at the very least have a great laugh!!!


I have been staring at my computer screen for some time now
trying to figure out where to start, how much information
is too much information?
I would love to share a bit of Christmas decorating or tales of our
last trip to the cabin but it feels wrong to just dive right back in
without at least sharing a bit of what's been happening in my
little corner of the world. If you would rather not hear about the
everyday insanity that seems to have enveloped me of late
then feel free to skip over this post.
As many of you know my sister was diagnosed with lung cancer
a year ago. This summer it spread to her brain, requiring quite a bit
of radiation to her head. We were told by the radiologist and
oncologist that after some time her brain function would return
to some normalcy. I've decided that most of these doctors are
'pollyannas' and would rather just keep the conversation light rather
than discuss the hard truth when dealing with a potentially fatal disease.
I guess they figure by the time you get around to demanding some
 real answers, it'll all be too late for questions anyway.
As my sister's day to day functioning has gotten worse I finally decided
we needed to see a neurologist. I was getting pretty tired of the pat answer
'she's doing fine' when I would bring up concerns about her behavior
and mental state. God bless that neurologist, he finally gave us the truth.
Her brain function will never return to 'normal', she will continue to have
problems with many tasks and should no longer be driving. Why was that so
hard for any of these other doctors to say?
It's been a bit overwhelming but I have taken over doing her banking, paying
her bills and filling her daily pill boxes so she doesn't take the wrong
meds or forget altogether. Getting her to an appoitment still requires a
morning phone call and showing up early to make sure she's dressed.
She forgets from the time I call until I pick her up what she was supposed to do.
It's all very sad really, mostly because she feels bad that she can't and
doesn't remember. I have to keep reminding myself that given enough time
she'll forget that too.
I am grateful for all the time I am spending with her as I am aware that these days
will be over all too soon. When? Only God can say, it may be weeks, months
or even a year or longer. It will be too soon whenever He calls her home.
Please keep her in your prayers!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Whisper of God

Thought for the Day: “What might be our purpose in life? To share our blessings... God has blessed us all in different ways. Take what God has blessed you with and try to find a way to share it with and help others. There is no better feeling than knowing you made a difference somehow in someone else’s life.” I hope you have an absolutely wonderful day today my friends! – Elmer Laydon

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Whisper of God

Thought for the Day: “There are times that we are confronted with obstacles so big that it seems only God could move them out of our way. When that happens rely on Him. He will either move them out of your way or show you another way around. Just keep your eyes, ears, and heart open because His intervention usually comes when and where you might least expect it.” Have an awesome day today my friends!– Elmer Laydon

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

For flowers that bloom about our feet,

For tender grass so fresh and sweet,

For the song of bird and hum of bee,

For all things fair we hear or see,

Father in heaven, we thank Thee.

For blue of stream and blue of sky,

For pleasant shade of branches high,

For fragrant air and cooling breeze,

For beauty of the blooming trees,

Father in heaven we thank Thee.

For this new morning with its light,

For rest and shelter of the night,

For health and food, for love and friends,

For everything Thy goodness sends,

Father in heaven, we thank Thee.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1803-1882

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Whisper of God

Thought for the Day: “It’s easy to live like a child of God for the hour or two that we might attend church services each week. The real challenge is living in His Word 24/7. No one said it would be easy but God did say He would be with us as we tried to walk the narrow path that He has shown us.” I hope you have a miraculous day today my friends! – Elmer Laydon

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Whisper of God

Thought for the Day: “There are times when the stress of daily life can cause anxiety to wash over you like waves over a ship in a stormy sea. Don’t let those waves push you away from God. Place your trust in Him and He will make you as steadfast as a rock in the face of anything.” I hope you have an amazing day today my friends! – Elmer Laydon

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Wisdom Shared

"There is so much about my fate that I cannot control, but other things do fall under my jurisdiction. I can decide how I spend my time, whom I interact with, whom I share my body and life and money and energy with. I can select what I can read and eat and study. I can choose how I'm going to regard unfortunate circumstances in my life - whether I will see them as curses or opportunities. I can choose my words and the tone of voice in which I speak to others. And most of all, I can choose my thoughts."

Elizabeth Gilbert

American Novelist and Short Story Writer

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Every Vote Counts

"I contend that for a nation to try to tax
itself into prosperity is like a man standing
in a bucket and trying to lift himself by
the handle."
Winston Churchill

Friday, October 29, 2010

Thankful for the Beauty of the Season

There's a nip in the air today,
it's crisp and the trees are showing
off their best colors.
The mums have completely opened their
buds as if on cue for Halloween.
Our final farmer's market day of the season
was over flowing with gourds.
The leaves are falling as fast as my husband can blow
them into piles.
(this is not my husband but a google image)
The noise of all the blowers in our suburban
neighborhood creates quite a racket this time
of the year. I know it's not nearly as fast

but I like to do it the old fashioned way.
Where you can actually hear and feel the crunch of
the leaves beneath your feet.
Where you can smell the scents of autumn
wafting from the earth
instead of gas fumes.

My oldest son Josh has always been the expert
carver in our family.
From the time he was 14 or so until he moved
out on his own our front stoop was graced with the most
amazing pumpkins.
Now they sit on his own front stoop.
It requires a great deal of patience and the
right tools.
It's amazing the detail he gets with these tiny saws.
...and last but not least I want to
introduce you to the newest member
of our family,
isn't he the most darling ball of fur
you've ever seen?
I went to the vet's to get medication
for our dog and there was this
cutie pie in a crate asking
for someone to give him a forever home.
I just had to bring him home and now he is my
best little buddy, following me everywhere.
When he's super tired he sits at my feet
waiting to be picked up so he can nap.
My youngest son, Alex, named him
for one of his favorite movies
'The Book of Eli'.
Great movie if you haven't seen it yet.
Hope you are all enjoying this glorious
fall color where you are...
God really does like to show off
this time of year!