What to do when Life interrupts your Goals and Resolutions

by Tamera Lynn Kraft

Schedule Word Circled on Calendar Appointment ReminderOn January 2nd, I was so pleased with myself. I had made great plans for the new year, scheduled my calendar and time, and made a to do list to get things done. I was on task and feeling great. On Wednesday, January 4th, I’d blocked out the day to take down my tree. On Friday, January 6th, I planned to spend the whole day celebrating my anniversary and had scheduled things so I would get my to do list for the week done on Thursday.

Then Life Happened!

depositphotos_6867023_originalLife for me came in the form of the stomach flu that hit the evening of January 3rd. I don’t normally get sick, and I hadn’t had the stomach flu since I was in my teens. I was unprepared for how hard it would hit. When the worst of it was over three days later, I decided it was a momentary set back. I would get back on track. I was naive to recover so quickly. It was a full week before my fever broke, and I felt up to doing anything or going anywhere. Even now, I’m still weak and a little out of sorts.

Whatever life event happened to mess up your plans this year, I understand. These are things we can’t control no matter how great our plans. But there are lessons to learn during these times of our lives.

Person Holding Sign Spreading Word of GodGod is in control. I’m not. Sometimes I like to pretend I have it all together, but I don’t. Neither does the perfect Christian sitting in front of you in church. The truth is those who have it together are ripe for God humbling them. And that’s okay. Knowing we rely completely on God and can’t do anything on our own is a good place to be.

Blogging conceptDo what you can. When life interrupts your plans, it’s not the end of the world. God will get you through it. If you can’t do everything you planned, do what you can when you can. My tree isn’t down yet. Physically I’m not ready to tackle that, but it should be soon. I am up to working on my blog posts, so that’s what I doing. I’m doing what I can when I can, and not worrying about the rest.

Regroup. After life throws up on your plans and things start to get back to normal, it’s important to prayerfully regroup. If normal has been forever altered, adjust accordingly. You may have to cut some things from you list or you may have to adjust your timelines and due dates. That’s okay. What is not okay is throwing up your hands and giving up.

God is still in control. When life happened, it didn’t throw Him for a loop. It’s time to get back to work and trust God with all of your life.

How has life happened to ruin your plans this year?

A Season to Praise God

by Carole Brown

During this holiday season, when so much of our attention is on the commercialism of the day, let us direct our attention to the real reason we celebrate this time of the year. Let us follow our Lord’s example in word, action and deed by praising our God. Here are a few thoughts, and I’m sure you can add to this list. 

 

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  • With our voices. Sing aloud to our God. Show him we love him by letting the adoration we feel pour from the very depths of our souls. Shout aloud our praises.

 

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  • With our actions.Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” By doing so with a heart full of love for God, we show him our sincerity and love for him. Labor for the church. Witness. Be kind. Turn the other cheek. Pray without ceasing. Do good to those who hurt us. Hard? Yes, but not for God, and if he does indeed live inside us, then we are strong through him. Amen.

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  • For victory! Praise him this year, this season for what he has brought us through in 2016. Praise him that we have yet another opportunity to enjoy this month, to share with others the blessings he’s given us, the lessons we’ve learned, the battles we’ve fought and won, and to rejoice in all that. “Yea, we are more than conquerors!”

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  • For Christianity. Praise God for sending his only begotten Son to earth to be a Savior for mankind. Who else could love humans but a Supreme Being so fully, so deeply, so extensively but the God of heaven?  “For God so loved the world, he gave his only begotten so, that whosoever believes in him, should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16.

 

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  • For a future. Bleak days may be before us, but we have an assurance. We have a hope, an eternal home awaiting for us. We have a captain who is strong and wise and experienced and knowledgeable. What awaits for us in 2017, and even further down the years, whether good or bad, sad or happy, we know without a doubt that God is able and will provide the strength we need to see us through. As the old song goes, “We’re just passing through.” and scripture says, “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you…

Many wonderful seasons of praise wished for you today. Merry Christmas!

A Season to Remember

by Carole Brown

It’s such a pleasure and privilege to remember the past–the good times that encourage us we can move one, keep on, be better, endure again, and make it. Here’s a few thoughts that might give you a smile and urge you to remember your past Christmas good times.

 

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  • The children’s faces. Their smiles, eyes and expressions of wonder.

 

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  • The trees–the good and ugly–the Charlie Brown ones and the big city, breath-taking, eye-popping gorgeous ones.

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  • The meals–simple soups, luscious deserts and finger foods. The lavishly delicious dinners with people being proper and elegant.

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  • The quiet times of devotion, cuddling our children and babies, reading and exchanging of thoughts and ideas.

May you have a special memory to enjoy or share with family and friends.

A Season to Read!

by Carole Brown

Voltaire once said, “Poetry is the music of the soul, and, above all, of great and feeling souls.”

December is here, and Christmas is part and priority of this month. What a beautiful month to share a few favorite stories and poems with readers. Here are five for your enjoyment:

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1.  Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement Moore Clark. Fun, lighthearted poem that thrills the hearts of both adults and children.

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2.  The Three Kings by Henry Wadsworth Longsfellow. An entertaining story of the Three Wisemen. What a gifted poet Longsfellow was!

 

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3. How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss  Who else? The children’s poet with imaginative characters, rhyme and trisyllabic meter. What child doesn’t delight in his books?

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4.  Away in a Manger–unknown, but attributed to Martin Luther, German reformer. Sweet, sweet children’s hymn that is sung world wide. 

 

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5.  ‘Jest Before Christmas by Eugene Field.  This is such a fun, old-fashion poem that I’ve always enjoyed reading. Whether modern boys or those from by-gone, this child’s reasoning give me plenty of smiles, along with fond thoughts of how they look upon life. 

Stop for a bit and take a breather. Hum a hymn or tap your feet with the rhythm of the beats. Read one or more to a child. Play with a child. Kick up your heels. Dream for awhile. Ponder life and the meaning of Christmas. Rejoice in your faith. Enjoy the month. Reflect on your blessings. Give praise. Hope in the impossible. Keep the peace. Love all. 

And wishing you a very Merry Christmas. 

My Thanksgiving Day

thanksgiving_03_ai10-1113vv-vI love Thanksgiving. Aside from the historical and spiritual significance of thanking God for His many blessings, I enjoy just about everything associated with the day.

When I get up tomorrow, I’ll watch the Macy’s Day Parade while getting the capon stuffed and in the oven. We usually cook a couple of capons instead of turkey.

I love the parade. I’ve been watching it since I was a little girl. Of course, I always looked forward to seeing Santa’s sleigh, but my favorite part of the parade has always been watching the Radio City Rockettes dance. I took twenty years of dance lessons, and when I was young, I wanted to be a Rockette.

img_1017After the parade, I finish preparing a feast for my family (husband, daughter, son-in-law, sister, mom, and my daughter’s friend). Not everyone enjoys spending all the effort and time doing this, but I love it. I set the table with a cloth tablecloth and napkins, china and crystal, and a Thanksgiving centerpiece and candle. Here’s the menu for the day.

  • 2 capons
  • Homemade gizzard stuffing
  • Homemade sweet potatoes
  • Homemade mash potatoes
  • Noodles
  • Homemade gravy
  • Cranberry Sauce
  • Asparagus
  • Pumpkin Pie and Chocolate Pie (made from scratch by my husband who enjoys baking)

After supper and dessert, we play cards or board games and end the day with a Christmas movie. Usually we watch It’s a Wonderful Life or Miracle on 34th Street. We’re not big sports fans.

How do you celebrate Thanksgiving?

Just When I Think I’ve Lost Confidence In Man’s Trustworthiness . . .

by Carole Brown

Yeah, trusting folks that we are, cautious and prayerful about major decisions, abundantly wary over people who seem scam-ish–we “got taken” last summer.

Normally, we would have pulled away immediately.

Our antennas would have been quivering with suspicions . . .

Why weren’t they?


They were.

But I ignored mine. It doesn’t matter what those reasons were. The big questions I had were: 

  • Why did I ignore the warning signs? 
  • Was I ignoring God’s gentle touch to be careful here because of false security? 
  • Or was it God’s way of getting my attention for an area in my life that was just a bit too unguarded?

What matters now is:

  • I’ve strengthened my spirit in being more guarded than ever in aimless trusting. 
  • I’ve determined that being a bit more pushy (in a Christ-like manner) can’t hurt–at least me. If the other person wants to be offended, after I’ve listened to that “still small voice” then it’s on them. 
  • I’ve learned to be even more careful to follow God’s leading, and finally . . .
  • I’ve learned that I must keep and cherish the promises I’ve made to God. 
It was a hard lesson to learn, but somehow God saw us through. Since then, I’ve felt God’s presence and comforting touch and his wonderful peace. He’s given me a calmness over the whole matter–that regardless of the deceit and slyness, the “reasons” I gave in at the time, the quickness of the decision, the knowledge I should have seen through the trickery, we will come through. 
Stronger.
Steadier.
Have you ever gone through an experience that, in hinder sight, seemed so foolish? How did you handle it, and how did you come through? 
Blessings to you in the awkward moments!

Forever and Forever!

Then and Now. 

DAN N CAROLE 8 6 1976

Then.

August 6, 1976 

Young. In love. Celebrating Life. Inexperienced. In our own world. Sure that we could conquer all. Foolishly unafraid.

 

Carole & Danny 10 2014 appreciation dinner

Now. 

August 6, 2016

Experienced. Been through many ups and downs. Lots of adventure. Lots of misunderstandings and problems. Parents of two sons. Grandparents of three grandsons. Parents-in-law of one strong and lovely daughter-in-law. Well traveled. Met tons of people from all over. Many friends. Many memories. Much loved and much love given. Listened to many problem-troubled people and counseled. Shared burdens. Cried with the hurting. Laughed with our friends. Faithful to each other,. and loyal. Impatient at times, but always willing to forgive. Still in love . . .

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FOREVER  and  FOREVER. Happy anniversary, sweetheart!