Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thankful for the Blessings

One of the definitions of blessings is defined as: 

A favor or gift bestowed by God, thereby bringing happiness

Our natural tendency is to focus on our problems and how to solve them rather than focusing on the blessings and giving God our problems to solve.  I have tried to do just that, to shift my focus away from my problems and give thanks and praise to God for my blessings.

We’re told in Psalm 68:19 that God LOADS us DAILY with benefits.

I am all about looking for blessings every day and encouraging others to do the same. It wasn’t always like that for me but life has a way of giving us choices to make. We can let our troubles overcome US or we can choose to overcome THEM.

Life is not easy and problems face us every day
our health

It’s often out of those struggles we find our greatest blessings.

Christian songwriter, Laura Story wrote the song “Blessings” during her husband’s treatment for brain cancer.  She sings “what if trials of this life, are your mercies in disguise”.  

Parapalegic and author Joni Eareckson Tada says: 

To give thanks is not the same as “feeling thankful.” To give thanks in the midst of pain and problems is to take a step of faith based on the command of
1 Thessalonians 5:18: God tells us to give thanks in all circumstances (not just those we can handle or feel on top of). For what things can you give thanks, even while you’re hurting? 

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing,
in everything give thanks;
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

As we approach this Christmas season and our lives are filled with hustle and bustle.  Let's slow down long enough to see the blessings God has given us each day.  Write them down….they are there for you to enjoy.  Train yourself to have a spirit of gratitude by acknowledging God’s abundant blessings in all circumstances. Have a blessed Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 2, 2015

A Sweet Reunion

My friend Vee blogs at A Haven for Vee. I'm not sure exactly when we started corresponding but we became fast friends even though we hadn't met. We had lots in common such as: we both lived in Maine, had grandsons of similar ages, we enjoyed sewing, vintage items, our husband's had similar personalities and we all shared the Christian faith.

We occasionally talked about meeting, but being the procrastinator that I am, it was Vee who actually initiated the contact.  Bear in mind, it is a whole two hours to get here to there or there to here. A date was set to meet. We invited them to our home, the church parsonage for a lobster feed. I didn't realize until later that Vee was a little nervous about the whole lobster experience. John on the other hand was not.

We texted back and forth as they made the trip here, as I prepared to answer one of her texts, they pulled into the driveway.  It was really happening, I was meeting my dear friend face to face for the first time. If you follow Vee's blog at all, you know she's not one to post a lot of selfies of herself, neither am I. It was a sweet reunion. John and my hubby Bill hit it off right away as we knew they would. They had lots to talk about. I think Vee was restraining herself with her camera, while she was here, but the pictures she got were good.

After the lobster feed, tour of our church, impromptu visit by my daughter and her boys, we toured the town and ended up at a local lighthouse. Vee and I collected rocks and shells while the men-folk talked some more. We came back to our house for some dessert and coffee, the day was over, it was time for them to leave. I didn't want them to go, we still had things to talk about. I was sad as they pulled away but so very thankful we had that special time together. Vee and I will get together again along with the men folk. I am very appreciative that God put it on Vee's heart to take the initiative to visit. I'll always treasure that day in August, 2015. You can read all about this day from Vee's perspective here: A Haven for Vee, Meeting Abby & Bill

Thanks for visiting today.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

The Prayers of a Humble Man

Be assured, if you walk with Him 
and look to Him, 
and expect help from Him, 
He will never fail you. 
~George Muller~

"Then you will call on me
and come and pray to me,
and I will listen to you.
You will seek me and find me
when you seek me with all your heart."
Jeremiah 29:12-13 NIV

Just who was this George Muller that spoke the wise words at the top of this post?  One of the greatest prayer warriors, history has known. His complete and total dependence on God not for just his own personal provisions, but for thousands of children he housed and educated over the years.

George Muller: (1805 – 1898), a Christian evangelist and Director of the Ashley Down orphanage in Bristol, England, cared for 10,024 orphans in his life. He was well known for providing an education to the children under his care, to the point where he was accused of raising the poor above their natural station in life. He also established 117 schools which offered Christian education to over 120,000 children, many of them being orphans.

Have a blessed day my friends.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Keep Persevering

Your life is not a boring stretch of highway. It's a straight line to heaven. And just look at the fields ripening along the way. Look at the tenacity and endurance. Look at the grains of righteousness. You'll have quite a crop at harvest . . . so don't give up!   ~ Joni Eareckson Tada

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9

The days can be hard, keep persevering my friends. There is hope.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

51 Things I've Learned

Fifty one years ago I was born. Last year on my big 5-0 birthday, I shared 50 things I'd learned over the years. I'm posting that list again and adding one more to it.   I’m certainly not perfect, but as I age, the things on this list are somewhat easier to accomplish or try to accomplish. In no particular order, here they are:

  1. Less is more, keep it simple
  2. Teach children Bible verses at a young age
  3. Sometimes it's better to listen than to speak
  4. Apologize when appropriate, Forgiveness is mandatory
  5. Don't speak when angry
  6. The gas gauge in my car is there for a reason
  7. Things don't matter, people do
  8. Appreciate every day
  9. Have peace, and rest in the promise that God is in control
  10. Look for the blessings each day has to offer
  11. Be a good mother-in-law
  12. Respect my husband
  13. Giving is better than receiving
  14. Don't panic
  15. Help if I see a need and am able to fulfill it
  16. Teach children to be respectful
  17. Be kind
  18. Read my Bible every day
  19. Pray before I make decisions
  20. Children are people too, be respectful of their feelings
  21. Send real mail more often
  22. Don't be judgmental
  23. Take children to Sunday School & Church as young as possible
  24. Compliment others
  25. Don't think of myself as better than others
  26. Don't use social media as a place to get out frustration
  27. Send thank you notes
  28. Think before I speak
  29. Put the needs of my family ahead of my own
  30. Candid photos are sometimes better than posed
  31. Family doesn't have to be blood relation
  32. Be silly with kids, they love it
  33. If I have nothing nice to say, be silent
  34. If it's not my news, don't tell it, text it, tweet it, or type it
  35. Laughter is good
  36. Be content with what I have, don't be jealous of others
  37. Be sensitive to the needs & feelings of others
  38. Don't leave wet laundry in machine more than a day
  39. Give hugs
  40. Patience is a virtue
  41. Don't worry about tomorrow, God is already there
  42. Be Thankful
  43. Don't be surprised with answered prayer
  44. Trust God's will for my life, wholeheartedly
  45. Accept a compliment or gift with gratitude
  46. Reading a book to a child is more important than dishes
  47. Go outside, breathe in God's creation
  48. Don't sweat the small stuff, it will steal my joy
  49. Prioritize family over obligations
  50. Accept help when needed or offered
  51. No prayer is too small, or too big for God to handle. 

    Thanks for visiting my blog today. I'll leave you with this verse that means so much to me.  

    Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.  Psalm 143:8

    Have a blessed day ~ Abby

Monday, August 24, 2015

Thoughts that Feed our Souls

The things we think
are the things that feed our souls.
 If we think on pure and lovely things, 
we shall grow pure and lovely like them;
 and the converse is equally true. 
~ Hannah Whitall Smith ~ 

The above quote by Hannah Whitall Smith and the verse from Philippians 4:8 are a perfect combination to help us keep our thoughts focused away from negativity that we don't even know to be true. I'm pretty good at creating scenarios in my mind that haven't even happened. This little post has helped me today, and I pray it helps you as well. 

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 NKJV

Many blessings to you on this day.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Dress A Girl Around the World

Some of you may have heard of the charitable organization Dress A Girl Around the World,  you can find them here:

Donna, blogs at Brynwood Needleworks and started the ball rolling as a collection site for people who would like to participate in making these dresses. Her first deadline has passed but I believe she's going to be doing this again. I was inspired to make a dress and send to Donna.

I looked through my stash for the brightest and cheeriest fabric I could find and came up with what you see above. There are little angel faces among the flowers of the fabric, and the bright green pockets have tiny little fish on them. The pattern uses bias tape on the armholes. I've never had a good friendship with bias tape and was apprehensive about using it. I have to say, I think we are going to get along just fine. I added a row of yellow rick rack which I think makes it pop a bit. 

The most important part of making this dress is the little girl who is going to wear it. I prayed for her and thought about her in it, putting her little hands in the pockets. I'm happy that I could participate in this and perhaps will make some more.  The tutorial I used to make this dress was found here: Pillowcase Dress Tutorial  I'm a visual learner and liked the way the instructions and pictures were shown.

If you'd like to participate, visit the site Dress a Girl Around the World for more information. 

Thanks for visiting my blog and/or following by email.  Have a blessed day.


Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.  Matthew 25:40

Friday, August 14, 2015

Bloom Where You're Planted

I'm sure just about every one of us can relate to these words from author Barbara Johnson. 

Just remember, every flower that ever bloomed had to go through a whole lot of dirt to get there. ~ Barbara Johnson

Friends, there is Hope on the other side of the dirt you're in the midst of.  Bloom where you are planted.

For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow,
so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations.
Isaiah 61:11

Have a blessed day.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

A Text a Day

Texting - Either it's a part of your daily groove, or you don't want anything to do with it. My hubby and I are very different in that aspect. He has a plain Jane phone that he flips open to answer when it rings, and closes it when he's done talking. I have taught him that pressing 2 and "send" will automatically call me. He does know how to make a regular call in a pinch.

My cell phone on the other hand is an iphone that does everything except cook dinner. You probably won't be surprised to learn my case has birds on it. 

Some time ago, I had a friend going through a serious trial. I thought it would be encouraging for her if I texted a Bible verse every day. I didn't expect her to respond, I just wanted her to be reminded every day that God was with her. Over time I've added others that I text a verse to.  They range in age from 15 to 70 and when I text, they all get the same verse.

I thought I'd share with you how I do this and perhaps you have someone or someones that you could encourage by texting a verse to each day.

  • The only Bible app I've found that I can copy/paste the verses from is the Olive Tree Bible App. I use the NIV version for the verses I text. I like the simplicity of this app and the ease of finding what I'm looking for.

  • After planning my verses I locate them in the app, copy/paste in a text to myself. I usually do a few days ahead and put the day of the week at the beginning of the verse.

  • I'm not able to do it every day, but do try to at least 4x week. I try to do it in the morning, but sometimes it's later in the day. 
  • Be sure you ask the person you're texting if this is something they want.
  • Don't text late at night or very early in the morning out of respect for the person you're texting. 
  • I do not send it as a group text. Each person gets a personal, individual text from me. I cut/paste the verse to each person. It sounds like a lot, but really doesn't take that much time.
  • By NOT sending it as a group text, I can think/pray for each person by name, and if someone chooses to respond, it doesn't go to everyone in the group.

I know a few of the people I text, take the verse I send them, and text it to someone else, "paying it forward".

I will share in another post some suggestions of verses I've used.  Hope this has given you an idea for using your technology for good.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Sunday Scripture ~ Message in a Buttercup

As a child I would often pick buttercups and hold them under the chins of my friends, and ask them to do the same to me. It was said, if you could see yellow under the chin, you liked butter.  Of course there was yellow every time under our chins, not because we liked butter, but because the petals are reflective of light.  

The buttercup is a delicate flower whose light is always shining, despite being fragile. The light of the petals continues to shine through cloudy days and rainstorms. I'm reminded of  2 Corinthians 12:9-10. Despite any circumstances that cause us to be weak, God's GRACE is enough for us to carry on. He gives us the strength we need to keep our lights from ceasing to shine.  

Of this you can be sure: the loving heart of God is sufficient to meet your needs. Whatever dangers you may face, whatever heartbreaks you must endure, God is with you, and He stands ready to comfort you and to heal you.
~ 100 Days of Grace for Women ~

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Blessings to you today dear ones.