I’ve been enjoying our Christmas tree since the day after Thanksgiving. Does it seem like ‘decorating day’ is an endless day?
1. Moving around the furniture in order for everything to fit just right, making sure there is balance.
2. Hauling everything down from the attic, spreading everything out & then living in chaotic organization until the decorations are precisely placed
3. Then the subtractions, additions + the rearranging which always accompanies the many days to follow. It’s never ending, it seems!
What if we were as deliberate with people and with matters of true importance as we are when we decorate for Christmas?
You know… moving around our schedules to make sure others ‘fit’? Taking the pains to ‘haul’ off or help carry the weight/burdens of others? Shifting our mindset from self and the present situation in order to see the bigger picture? Looking to make decisions based on the greater good rather than on our own selfish desires or concerns or feelings? Making those hard decisions even when it is uncomfortable?
“Where jealousy and selfishness are, there will be confusion and every kind of evil.”
👆 This needs no commentary. It states it perfectly…
Selfishness = Confusion+Evil
A dear friend of mine, when I was in a period of complaining, once said to me “Dana, you are you own worst enemy.”
I was focusing on myself too much, concentrating on how I felt I had been wronged or was in a desolate season thinking God was not hearing my cries.
I was waiting & waiting for something to happen, for God to fix the situation, but I was not able to get beyond a victim mentality to see what God was doing in the midst of it all — for the greater good — for His Kingdom. How fitting it is to speak of now as we are in the season of Advent and studying what it means to wait on the arrival of our Savior, don’t ya think?
I never forgot those words of my dear friend & sister in Christ. She and her words helped shape me and turn my way of thinking around many times since then to focus upward rather than on self.
We can either focus inward, on ourself & on our own selfish ambitions & desires and ‘woe is me’ mentality, or we move out of the way and let God do His perfect work THROUGH us, through OTHERS around us, & through each situation in which He has placed us.
It’s not about you (or me).
Stop focusing on your own feelings, how you’ve been wronged, or on what is wrong with the world around you.
Help stop the chaos + confusion. Ask God for wisdom + revelation to know His plan for your life in this situation & how you can make a difference or even grow from it.
It’s been a minute since I’ve had the time to sit down and blog, and boy, how I have missed it so!
Today’s struggle brings me here…. the Mother’s Day perfect gift.
Do you struggle as much as I do with knowing the perfect gift to give? I want my gifts to be thoughtful and to not only be something the receiver loves in the moment but will also know the thought and love behind it.
Well…I looked to Amazon to help me out, so I thought I would share a few of my favorite finds on here! If I love these items, I thought you might too! And there is still time to get it in time for Mother’s Day, especially if you are an Amazon Prime member! So let’s see how Amazon is going to help us out this Mother’s Day…
The Echo Dot — I thought this would be a nice thing to have!
Amazon’s most popular smart speaker, improved for richer and louder sound.
Voice control your music – Stream songs from Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify, Sirius XM, and others. You can also listen to audiobooks from Audible.
Ask Alexa to play music, answer questions, read the news, check the weather, set alarms, control compatible smart home devices, and more.
Connect with others – Call almost anyone hands-free. Instantly drop in on other rooms in your home or make an announcement to every room with a compatible Echo device.
Voice control your smart home – Turn on lights, adjust thermostats, lock doors, and more with compatible connected devices
This bundle contains the Ring Video Doorbell 2 and the Echo Dot (3rd Generation).
Works with Alexa to illuminate and send announcements to Echo devices when your doorbell is pressed or motion is detected. You can also see, hear, and talk to visitors through Echo Show or Echo Spot.
Get next-level security and convenience with the all-new Video Doorbell 2. Armed with motion-activated alerts, 1080HD video and two-way talk, Ring lets you watch over your home and answer the door from anywhere. Day or night, rain or shine – you’re always home.
Monitor your property in HD video, and check-in on your home at anytime with Live View on-demand video and audio.
Echo Dot is a hands-free, voice-controlled device with a small built-in speaker. Dot connects to the Alexa Voice Service to play music, make calls, send and receive messages, provide information, news, sports scores, weather, and more—instantly.
Isn’t this the neatest little thing?? And it’s much less expensive than I would have thought it would be!
Mistro Brushed Aluminum Olive Oil Sprayer – Okay….this may seem like a strange gift, but I saw this the other day and thought it was genius! One thing I’ve been trying to do is eliminate as many toxins from my life as possible, and those non-stick sprays that you can buy at your local grocery are FULL of chemicals! Those chemicals get on your food and then you ingest them! This sprayer is exactly what I need!
MISTO is a reusable oil spray and mister bottle that gives you the convenience and health benefits of typical aerosol sprayers but in a more healthy, economical and environmental way
Fill MISTO with your favorite oils, vinegars, lemon and lime juice and other liquids. Great for dressing salads, breads, or cooking
Easy-to-use pump style cap features a 2-step operation: simply pump the container, then and press the valve on the pressurized sprayer for an even mist
Environmentally friendly, the non-aerosol sprayer doesn’t use chemical propellants, and it’s refillable, so no more throwing cans away to end up in landfills.
MISTO is BPA-free – threading the cap on incorrectly allows air to escape and in turn does not allow the bottle to build up pressure to spray
This is PERFECT for EVERY kitchen!
Lifaith Microfiber Makeup Remover Cloths – Every girl needs one of these in their life! I do not own this exact one, but I remove my makeup with a microfiber cloth every night, and it is AWESOME! Removing your makeup is almost effortless, especially when using the Young Living Mirah Cleansing Oil.
Young Living Mirah Cleansing Oil – This cleansing oil is another good gift choice! I have used nothing else to remove my makeup every single night for the last couple of months! It leaves your skin much more moisturized than using regular makeup removers, and it is non-toxic and great for your skin! (If you order, use enroller/sponsor #16228899).
For when she is washing her face with the Mirah Cleansing Oil and needs to keep her hair dry, or when she is putting on her makeup in the morning, or if she just wants to keep her hair off her face … this is perfect! I use mine daily!
Anne Klein has a TON of gorgeous watches for women that are so affordable, you might could even grab two! Here is a list of just a few of my favorites that I found (and saved on my wish list for future reference for myself!)
This is a great bag for any mom, as we all know that every mom, no matter if you are a mom of littles or a mom of biggies, needs a carry-all bag that fits all the extras in there for the whole fam! (snacks, kleenex, lotion, brush, dental floss, etc. etc.) Ammiright??
Personalized Charm Necklace – Perfect for moms of new littles, older littles or even biggies… this perfect charm necklace will hold the names of her children close to her heart.
Does the mom in your life love the farmhouse decor like I do? Here are a few ideas to help her add to her farmhouse collection!
There has been a video passed around on social media since the recent shootings in Las Vegas by the title of ‘Dear Hate’ by Maren Morris and Vince Gill. So very timely. (Watch it below.) Dear Hate The lyrics made me ponder a bit. From where does this kind of hate come from…the kind of hate that causes one to snap and begin to plot and plan the demise of as many lives as is possible without even a second thought? … The kind of hate that lies in wait to take the life of a God-appointed leader with the bend of a single finger? Where does this kind of hate begin to take root? The line “you whisper down through history and echo through these halls…” Then the one word itself…’whisper’….. This. This is how it starts. A whisper. A whisper in one’s mind, which turns into a thought, which then, when nurtured, becomes a stronghold. ‘Hate’ defined is ‘an intense or passionate dislike‘ and/or ‘hostility‘. There will be those who carry this intense dislike worldwide, but then there will be those whose hate is known only amongst a few; and finally, there may be those who carry their hostility in solitude. Hate comes in many forms.
Hate doesn’t always land in the worldly news or even grace the likes of the local news.
Sometimes, as the song suggests, it is like a snake in the grass……
It hides in secret for only a select few to be privy to. It lies in wait ready to ‘pull the trigger’ but hoping all the same that there are those who don’t find out.
Proverbs 10:18 – “Whoever hides hatred has lying lips, and whoever spreads slander is a fool.”
Psalm 36 2-3a – “For he flatters himself in his own eyes, when he finds out his iniquity and when he hates. The words of his mouth are wickedness and deceit;…”
It may begin with being in discord with someONE over someTHING….because of differences in opinion or culture or religion… so on and so forth.
1 John 2:9 – “Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness.”
When you have something against your brother, scripture tells us to go to him directly rather than seek revenge.
Matthew 18:15 “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother.16 But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’<span class="footnote" data-fn="#fen-NKJV-23744b" data-link="[b]” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>[b]17 And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.”
Those who contradict God’s Word are not right in His eyes. I know. I’ve been there. I’ve been a victim of it, and so have members of my family. But I’ve also, regretfully so, done it. And it’s not pretty on either side of that fence of wrath. These whispers, when watered, start taking root in the heart and turn into some nasty kind of fruit!
So, where does this whisper of hate come from? The enemy….from the wiles of the devil.
In John 8, Jesus speaks of Abraham’s seed and of Satan’s seed. When He speaks of the enemy, of Satan, He says that he does not stand in truth, because there is no truth in him. Jesus goes on to call him not only a liar but the father of lies. “He begins by bombarding our mind with a cleverly devised pattern of little nagging thoughts, suspicions, doubts, fears, wonderings, reasonings and theories” (Battlefield of the Mind).
When these whispers of hate, which come in the form of jealousy, envy, pride, arrogance, discord, division, rage, etc., etc., we MUST know they come from the enemy, the father of lies. These things come from the enemy, and the people who dish out these forms of hate are being used by him to do his work. Scripture tells us “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places (Ephesians 6:12). This is why we must DAILY put on the full armour of God so that we may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil (Eph. 6:11).
We must not get caught up in this way of thinking making sure we bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor. 10:5).
We must also remember Ephesians 6:12 when others show hatred to us in any form, knowing they are just allowing themselves to be pawns of the enemy. LOVE them, and PRAY for those who persecute you (Matthew 5:44).
Can’t we all just all come together and have a Coke and a smile, so the commercial sings….because,
♫ that’s the way it should be
and I’d like to see
the whole world smilin’ with me
….. Have a Coke and a smile! ♫
We are all different. Therefore, we will have differences. But that doesn’t mean we have to hate in the midst of them. Let us embrace our differences and learn from one another by speaking softly of our differences and allowing our gentleness to be made known to all men as we do so. It is our uniqueness that allows one’s weakness to be supportedbyanother’s strength.
After all, we all were perfectly and wonderfully made by our Father who knit us in our mother’s womb.
Let’s just all come together and love one another in the midst of our differences, and be bold enough to not coward away from those differences through acts of hate but rather conquer them boldly together through love; for love DOES conquer all.
Ephesians 4:31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: 32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
Let’s try to change the way we think about others who differ from us by meditating on these things:
“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things” (Philippians 4:8).
“And above all things have fervent love for one another,
The Supreme Court ruling on June 26, 2015 regarding marriage has changed history as we know it…not only for marriage, but possibly for other things that once were not tolerated throughout history. This one ruling, in my opinion, will be the catalyst sparking a plethura of other debates and changes in our government and in our country, and they are quite possibly more near in the future than we think. My heart mourns. However… There is no new thing under the sun. What’s happening today in our world has happened before; just read Genesis 19 and Judges 19. Romans 12 says “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” We must continue daily in The Word, living out the Christian life all the while spreading the Gospel as we meet people where they are in their daily walk. Mark 12:30-31 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” There is no room for hate in spreading truth. Jesus said “forgive them for they know not what they do.” The same applies today. Love DOES win – God’s love. Spread the Gospel.
I saw these words on a wall in a Sunday School class at the youth Super Bowl party Sunday night, and they jumped right out at me and made me ponder.
These words are truth, amen?
We must remember…everyone has a story which is made up of a past, whether good or bad, or both. The Bible proves we ALL fall short of the glory of God. May I always encourage others in love, and may I always help be a positive part of someone’s story.
If you died today, are you confident in knowing where you will be? Have you ever given more than a second’s thought about what the torture of hell would be for you? What about the splendor of heaven?
Do you know where you are going?
I cannot even wrap my brain around what splendor God has in store for those who make Him Lord of their life!! I am looking forward to finding out!
ALL of us need to receive God’s forgiveness and grace for our sin. How can we do that? The only way possible is by accepting God’s gift of salvaiton through faith in Christ (Ephesians 2:8). Jesus died for our sins. He was buried. He rose from the dead to give us salvation, forgiveness from our sins, and eternal life, where we will spend eternal life with Him and our Heavenly Father in spendor!
Living eternally is a given. Where do you want to live? In the eternal torture of firey hell, or in the splendor of God’s glory where you will live in perfect health with no sorrow or pain?
Have you ever received God’s forgiveness and salvation? If not, God eagerly awaits for you to do so. Just draw near to Him and He will draw near to you. (James 4:8)
Roman 10:9-10 says, “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.”
If you’d like to receive God’s gift of salvation, you can. Talk to Him. Tell Him you want to be forgiven of your sins and that you believe Jesus died to save you and rose from the dead to give you eternal life. Invite Him to dwell in your heart and save you. When you do that, He will not only save & forgive you, but He will also send His Holy Spirit to live within you to enable you to live a life that glorifies and pleases Him (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). This means that you don’t have to do ANYTHING in your own strength! You can do ALL things through Christ who gives you the strength! (Phil. 4:13)
Please…Take a minute or two…or two hours to be exact… to watch the following movie giving in explicit detail, as best as the human brain can describe, exactly what God’s love for us and the amazing gift of Jesus’ life for us looks like.
Jesus did this for me. He did this for you. It is very hard to believe that someone loves me enough to go through this much torture for MY sins. He never sinned, but he suffered as though he did. Every stripe he bore, every insult and every betrayal….all of this was for me. And for you. “Amazing Love, how can it be, that You would give Your life for me??”
Salvation: It’s a GIFT. It is FREE. A gift cannot be given, however, if the the receiver doesn’t accept it. You just have to reach out and accept that gift. Watch, and be moved. Move to live a life for Christ today. Please accept God’s gift of salvation to you today. Click on this link to watch: The Passion of the Christ