Saturday, December 27, 2014

"The Family Daughter", by Sarah Bryant

I've talked about the "King's Blooming Rose Ministries" before. It's my favorite magazine, and they have many other resources as well... challenges to purposefully set aside time to grow in the Lord, online articles, books and other goodies :). Mama ordered me this book, "The Family Daughter", several months ago, and it was no exception, it was so good :)!

Miss Bryant talks about many of the different areas of being a christian daughter serving our family, from following the Lord, to interacting with your siblings, to honoring your parents, and using your time wisely. She writes in a well thought, easy to read tone, including many real-life situations, and opinions from other girls. Each chapter ends with a list of resources that relate to the topic, which I thought really gave this book a nice touch and made it a great "ground work" book for girls who may have been just recently convicted by the Lord to follow the path of investing in the lives of others to share His love with the world. At the end of each chapter is also a short testimony from other daughters who have embraced the calling the Lord has given them.

I especially loved Sarah's chapter on our relationships with siblings, and her thoughts on being humble. And her generous sprinkling of bible verses and quotes by people such as Elizabeth Prentiss made it even more enjoyable :)!

To read a short excerpt from the book, you can go here.

Friday, December 26, 2014

A Little Child Shall Lead Them

Abbi is most definitely a go-getter, and, for being so bouncy, shows great concentration, dedication, and speed at learning new things. I've been teaching her a bit of crocheting the past few months. She has chain stitch down well, and recently I finally took the time to show her single crochet.

As I expected, she picked up the method of making the stitch right away, and even knew how to tell where the next stitch was quickly, which was the one thing I figured she would have issues with. What I didn't expect, and turned out to happen, was that she is having the hardest time remembering which side of her work is the top. I'm not sure how she can know which stitch is next in line when she's not even sure which way is up, but she can ;).

I was so very pleased with her quick progress as to knowing how/where to make the next stitch, but after she continued to constantly try to make that next stitch upside down, my patience started wearing thin. We kept trying for a short time, but it got to the point that I just told her, "I need a break. We'll work on it later. I can't do this any more!" I left to work on other projects, hoping that a bit of a break would ease my frustration before it caused her to get frustrated.

A while later, I came back, and told her we could work on it a bit more. Once again, she wanted to crochet it upside down, and I realized that I wasn't going to be handling it much more patiently this time, either. I fixed her mistake, and then walked her through another stitch, not giving her the chance to hold it upside down, haha. And then I hear her, as she is bent over concentrating so hard, "Bri, you are so gentle with me."

I immediately felt convicted. I was most assuredly not feeling gentle with her, and she was being very forgiving... or maybe a bit oblivious. This is Abbi, haha ;). I sat there thinking of how patient she was being, and how true it is that "even a child shall lead them"... while she makes two perfect little stitches, on the right side. I congratulated her, very very hard, haha!,  and she said, "You know what? I asked Jesus to help me do it right, and he did! Because I prayed and said please help me". Giving me another little nudge in the right direction as I realized that I hadn't taken the time to pray for patience when working with an eternal soul, but she was even asking for help in something so small as to remember which side of her crocheting was right side up.

She still has trouble remembering how to hold it. But we are both learning something as we work on this together... she'll be making washcloths before I know it, and I have realized that the Lord can use anything to bring sins to our attention... even a word of encouragement from a little one that might make you examine your heart and obedience to the Lord a little closer.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry CHRISTmas!

Once in royal David’s city
Stood a lowly cattle shed,
Where a mother laid her Baby
In a manger for His bed:
Mary was that mother mild,
Jesus Christ her little Child

He came down to earth from Heaven,
Who is God and Lord of all,
And His shelter was a stable,
And His cradle was a stall;
With the poor, and mean, and lowly,
Lived on earth our Savior holy.

And, through all His wondrous childhood,
He would honor and obey,
Love and watch the lowly maiden,
In whose gentle arms He lay:
Christian children all must be
Mild, obedient, good as He.

For He is our childhood’s pattern;
Day by day, like us He grew;
He was little, weak and helpless,
Tears and smiles like us He knew;
And He feeleth for our sadness,
And He shareth in our gladness.

And our eyes at last shall see Him,
Through His own redeeming love,
For that Child so dear and gentle
Is our Lord in Heav’n above,
And He leads His children on
To the place where He is gone.

Not in that poor lowly stable,
With the oxen standing by,
We shall see Him; but in Heaven,
Set at God’s right hand on high;
Where like stars His children crowned
All in white shall wait around.

                                             ~"Once in Royal David's City",
                                                       by  Ce­cil F. Al­ex­an­der

 Praise the Lord for His loving kindness in coming as a helpless baby to live a life of complete obedience to God so that he could pay the ransom for our sins! “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God", John 3:16.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

"The Christmas Miracle of Jonathon Toomey", by Susan Wojciechowski

"The Christmas Miracle of Jonathon Toomey" is one of my favorite Christmas children's books! This touching story coupled with beautiful illustrations shares the story of a wood carver so harsh that nobody will try to befriend him, and all of the children call him Mr. Gloomy. Nobody knows about the sorrow in Mr. Toomey's past, or the sentimental items hidden in his drawers. 

But one Christmas, a widow new to the area, with her seven year old son, ask the "best wood carver in the valley" for a very important favor. They have lost some very important items, and Mr Toomey must find out how -and why- to make happy sheep and an extra important angel, as well as a mother and child that "love each other more than anything else in the world"! As the Christmas season goes on, the wood carver is given gifts and lessons from young Thomas and his Mother, and is reminded of all that is important about Christmas. 

When Christmas Eve rolls around, Mr. Toomey is left with his hardest task, and finds joy in the midst of his sadness. And the next morning, a new nativity sits in the house of the widow and her son, and the village people see Mr. Toomey smile!

There is also a movie based off of this book, and it is also one of our favorites :)!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Thankful Thursday, 138 & 139

I missed last week, because I thought that each day was a day earlier than it was. Like, from Tuesday to Friday I lived my life as if it were Monday-Thursday. That is rather pathetic. Haha! But, here are the things I have been especially thankful for the past two weeks :).

~Quilling inspiration.
~Long, flowing skirts :).
~Sitting at a small table creating artwork with and bouncing ideas off Tori :)!
~The word "tantalizing"... haha... 
~The study on Proverbs I finished with my friends last month.
~The sermon series on Matthew 7 our pastor just finished up.
~Playing peek-a-boo with Josiah on the way to church :).
~Banana bread. Mommy made some that was really yummy and healthy a couple weeks ago :)!
~The first day of a month :).
~The book of Philippians and 1 Thessalonians :).
~Toasted coconut cereal :). It was really yummy!
~Our house all decorated for Christmas :). Especially the little "Joy" decoration in the kitchen  (my favorite single piece, I do believe) and Mommy's start and book tree :).
~Rainbows, and that each one reminds us of God's promise in Genesis nine.
~My peppermint candle. I should light it now that it is Christmas time!
~Our St. Nickolas Eve traditions :).
~The smell -and and an early taste- of Tori's yummy cinnamon rolls :). Bethi and Tori and I played a couple games of Uno while enjoying those.
~Homemade caramel sauce. My only disappointment was that Peter didn't really care for it. Where did he come from?! Haha ;).
~Popcorn from Miss Mary. Emmi especially was so very thrilled, and she was so excited to hear that there was caramel corn in it. "What does it taste like? It's going to be so good!", she giggled. I am happy to say it lived up to her expectations :).
~St. Nicholas Day letters (we enjoy the traditions usually given to santa on St. Nickolas day instead and learning about St. Nicholas , and then focus on Jesus on the actual day of Christmas :).). Tori headed it this year, and it, and Daddy's replies back, were certainly entertaining!
~A quiet afternoon with everybody working on one project or another :)...
~Playing the hand bells with Tori and Mommy (to make sure we were prepared to teach the little ones.). And Tori's plea, "Just one more? Come on, it's fun!" Haha!
~Doing hand bells with Mommy and all my siblings... which Tori did not find as fulfilling as the night before, due to our very bad musical talent, but I found hilarious!
~Tori and Josiah going nuts at quiet time. Haha! We were watching Josiah while playing a game, and lets just say... she wasn't very invested in the game, but we sure were laughing, haha!
~Working on Christmas gifts. I am having so much fun :). I can't wait until Christmas :)!!!
~The book "Josie's Gift". This was a sweet story :).
~"The Best Christmas Pageant Ever". I love this book that is a tradition every year at our house :).
~An actually working dishwasher. They are done coming over to fix it, they actually accomplished it for good today, haha!
~Peter's little finger as he points to items he is looking for in a look-and-find book :).
~Memorizing bible verses!

"For it is all for your sake, so that as  
grace extends to more and more people it may 
increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God."
                                         ~2 Corinthians 4:15