Monday, January 16, 2012

Review: Simply Marvelous cards

We all love words of encouragement right? Especially when they come out of nowhere. If these words come in through the mail that is an added bonus because it just shout "Hey! You are important to me. I care about you and I just had to let you know that.
One of my goals for this year is to communicate more with the people in my life with more than just a quick text saying that I am thinking of them. As Proverbs aptly states
"A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver"  -Proverbs 25:11
That is why I was uber excited when I saw that one of my favorite sites (in)courage was hosting an inspired deal that had to do with Dayspring cards!!! I requested the Simply Marvelous greeting card assortment pack and received the package in the mail last week.

These cards are super cute and quirky and as I looked through them, I could immediately envision dear ones in my life  who would be receiving them in the near future. I like the fact that these cards don't just let the receiver know that they are thought of, more importantly, they will point them to God's Word as they see the verses inscribed in each card. Here is a quick sampling of the cards.

I think this card is my favorite just because there are a couple of people who have come into my life recently and we've just clicked. I can't wait to send this card out to them :)
I don't have a picture of it but I also received this bee-yuuu-tee-ful card organizer from DaySpring! It is perfect for pre-buying cards and inserting them in the correct month slot so that when the month rolls around you already have everything you need for those special people in your life!

When you get a chance, visit (in)courage not only to see what great deals they may have in any given month, but also to receive great encouragement from a godly group of women filled with wisdom.

*Disclaimer: I received these cards in exchange for a review. All thoughts & opinions are totally my own

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

my 2012 resolutions...

...are not to make any resolutions; well at least no unrealistic ones J
Too often I find myself saying that this is the year to do this/that/the other and of course I stick to my goal for the first 2 months and then…..I stop
This year I will strive to do what I am already doing - just aiming to do it better!

1.   Read through the Bible: Some of the Old Testament books are harder for me to understand but with God's help I want to be able to take on these passages as well as the rest of the Bible. I am going with the chronological approach this year and so far it is quite interesting!
2.   Run at least 450 miles: The way I see it, I can run 3 miles, 3 times a week. If I give myself two weeks off (already having used up one of these freebies yikes!), I am left with 50 weeks…I will be so excited to report at the end of this year, Lord willing, that I was able to accomplish this goal!
3.   Take time to craft a letter/email/card to a friend twice a month: I admit that I am a texter. I send out one sentence lines saying “thinking about ya” or “praying for you” or “how YOU doing??” etc. However, I would like to take time to actually organize my thoughts and truly share myself with friends, plus who doesn’t like getting mail? – at least the kind letting you know someone is thinking of you J
4.   Be more intentional in friendships: Along the same lines, I also want to build more enriching friendships. This one is a little harder because it is not measurable. I just know that I want my friendships to be more about encouraging one another, accountability, sharing the hurting heart and iron sharpening iron. In one word, I want to go deeper. All I can do is change myself so I will strive to avail myself more to those around me, and to be an encouragement in their lives.
5.   Memorize verses(hopefully weekly) with MrH: MrH and I realize that we have been slacking when it comes to developing spiritual maturity together. True, life gets busy at times, but that should not be an excuse for not finding time to encourage each other to hide God's Word in our hearts.
6.   Be a better wife and companion to MrH: 2011 was a wonderful year as far as marriage goes. I am constantly thanking God for this amazing guy He has put in my life. However, I catch myself taking MrH for granted which normally results in very silly fights. Even though I know 2012 will have its fair share of disagreements, I want to strive to be fair, open and willing to put MrH's desires above my own - I definitely need God's help because by default, the most important person is me!!

Yesterday at my bible study our leader shared a verse that it perfect for starting the New Year:
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”              -2 Cor. 5:17(NKJV, emphasis mine)
So, as we continue on in this new year, whatever may have happen in the past, I take great comfort when I remember that because I am hidden in Christ, I am new!!!
Well, there you have it! Did any of you make resolutions this year? Have you ever been able to stick to a resolution throughout the whole year?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Christmas What If

Seriously, would you have anything right now? Would you have a place to stay? Would you have a job? Would you be in a relationship? Would you have hair? teeth? Would you even have life???

One of my favorite pastors Bob Coy spoke on Sunday about being thankful. His message confirmed to me yet again that I need to keep refocusing my attention to what is important during this Christmas season. His first question was what I posted above and sadly I know that if God gave me according to my thankful attitude lately, I would be desolate or dead right now!
It is so easy to be caught up in the hustle and bustle of Christmas festivities and giftings to the point of stress and hurt during a time that should be filled with joy, merry making and gratitude.
So, what's a person to do? Well Bob gives us three ways to get us started.
1. To cultivate a thankful heart, appreciate what you have

David in Psalm 23 may not have gotten everything he "wanted" but he did have everything he needed. I don't prefer the Message Bible but I do love how this particular psalm reads. You can find that here
2. To cultivate a thankful heart, invest for a better future (both on Earth and in Heaven)

Offering a helping hand to a coworker/neighbor goes a long way in improving your relationship with these individuals but it also adds stocks and options in your heavenly portfolio. And this is just one example!
"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth not rus destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."  -Matthew 6:19-21
3. To cultivate a thankful heart, give unlimited grace just as you have been given unlimited grace.
"In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace" - Ephesians 1:7
Isn't it wonderful how God confirms how He wants us to live our lives? Here I am trying to become a more thankful person, counting my way to 1000 gifts, learning more about God's grace AND THEN in one sermon I hear the same messages repeated!!! I so love the fact that my heavenly Father cares enough to point me in the right direction over and over and over and over again :)

Thank Pastor Bob for your convicting message this week. If I lived close to your church I would so come there!!!

So dear reader, my encouragement once again to you is focus on what is most important. Be an encourager and when shopping/cooking/partying/gift wrapping threaten to take your joy away, remember Who we are celebrating and thank Him for all He has done for you today.

In Christ, MrsH
Linking to Living Well Wednesdays and A Holy Experience

Monday, December 19, 2011

I heard the Bells on Christmas Day - Origins

One of my favorite Christmas songs is “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” by Casting Crowns. Every time I hear the words I am reminded of the fact that this life is full of sorrow whether my own or of those around me. Yet in the midst of all the sorrow, I know that I know that I know God is always with me!

I looked up the origin of the song and it only served to make this song dearer to me. It was penned by the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) who experienced his fair share of tragedy. His wife died tragically from fire and his son Charles was crippled from war wounds. Christmas at this time in his life was not a happy occasion. Think about it, his countrymen were fighting amongst themselves, his wife was dead and now his son was severely wounded. Here are some excerpts from his journal around Christmas time:
How inexpressibly sad are all holidays.”
"I can make no record of these days. Better to leave them wrapped in silence. Perhaps someday God will give me peace."
Indeed thinking of “peace on earth” while people were fighting everywhere, seemed a little ironic to him. In fact his poem was pretty much against war even though it is very Christmas-y. Three stanzas are omitted from Casting Crowns version, two of which refer to the Civil War.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Cheer in our home

So, I am falling in love with totally smitten with Pinterest. Granted it can become a time waster but I have to say that it is a creative way to figurative things you have always wanted to do or find projects of things you did not know existed but now you simply have to do - ok maybe you don't have to but you want to...

As I have been surfing the Pinterest site and pinning anything and everything that caught my fancy, I decided that I need to start making stuff instead of just adding to a "future list". To date I have made a monogram as a wedding gift which you can see in this post and then this past weekend I made a beautiful wine bottle centerpiece inspired by this pin:

The design and how-to can be found at Cleverly Inspired. When I saw it, I knew that some craftiness would be flowing in our household this Christmas. Here is my version of this centerpiece:

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Can you smell it? I sure can!

That wonderful tingling anticipation
The crispness in the air
The aroma of beautiful inspiring interesting creativity seeping from our pores
Of course we all know it means that Christmas is HERE!!!

It has been aptly named the most wonderful time of the year and can be the most stressful as well right? I mean we have to ensure that the outside lights are hung right after the Thanksgiving meal is cooling in our bellies.
We must find cute Advent calendars to put out so that we can have a tangible Christmas countdown
Of course the perfect Christmas tree has to be found and decorated soonest!
And, how can I forget, we need to start sending out those cute either hand-made Christmas cards or the perfect photocard or that jaw-dropping ecard amiright???

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

It's not about me

Happy Wednesday! The week is already half gone and I still feel like there is so much to do...
I would like to share a quick poem that I carry in my Bible as a reminder that this life is not about me – it really isn’t! But the way I live you would think that it is!! These words are sobering and I truly pray that God helps me to be less about me but more about Him.
When you are forgotten or neglected or purposely set at naught,
and you don't sting or hurt with the insult or oversight,
but your heart is happy, being counted worthy to suffer for Christ
that is dying to self.