Wednesday, November 24, 2010

"A Public Day of Thanksgivng"

I am thankful that I live in a country in which its Founding Fathers led the people in the worship and honor of our Creator. Read George Washington's "Proclamation for a National Thanksgiving".... Oh that once again we would experience America's leaders offering unadulterated credence in the One True Christian God. That we would render service to "that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, of that will be".

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

"Then do not grasp the stars, but do life's plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things of life."

~Robert L. Stevenson

I like to grasp for the stars. To aquire beyond myself. To strive after more than just myself. To touch what seems impossible. And yet admittedly....isn't life almost entirely made up of small moments? ordinary tasks, usual routines?

I read the above quote as I was preparing refreshments for our LOV bible study. I thought, "How appropriate!" The smell of pumpkin cookies baking, the creamy texture of the dip, the light of an Autumn colored candle, the sounds of praise coming from a favorite CD, prayers being offered up for the ladies that I would fellowship with later in the evening.
"THIS is the sweetness of life."
What is the common work that you will be laboring at today? the daily duties? Will you be changing dirty diapers? making lunch for your children? ironing shirts for your husband? typing the papers up for your boss? Are you considering the service of those duties as the "sweetness of life"? Content in your moment of NOW?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Words of JOY

Words. They speak to us every which way we look. Shouting announcements of horror, tales of despair, messages of hope and joy. I choose to read the messages of hope and joy.

I love words and their power to transform our minds. That is the reason that I strategically place words in my home- for myself, my family, and visitors. -messages of life and joy. Being a visual person I prefer the words to be placed in a pretty format. When Dayspring offered the attendees at The Relevant conference three of their items if we would only write about them on our blogs, I chose those below.

I am so excited for the month of December; I am poised at the starting lane ready to take off towards the Christmas season as soon as the heralding fire of the day after Thanksgiving blasts! The linens read "Jesus is the gift". How fitting is that? In my kitchen is a shelf on which four baskets sit. Every season I change the tea towels that are covering (the "stuff" in them) with appropriate colored ones. These pretty tea towels and oven mitts will decorate my kitchen perfectly for the Christmas season. My daughter has been writing the scriptures that we are memorizing on the ceramic message board. I love the vintage look and neutral color of it; it will be a permanent fixture in our kitchen.

Dayspring is like-minded in my view of words. They have many more beautiful products with that same intention of bringing beauty and words of joy to you and your home. Visit their store and see for yourself.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Melodic Adulation

Was it just yesterday that I read "the roar of many waters...peals of thunder" praising our God? Last night I had the great pleasure of attending a choir concert performing Handel's "Messiah". The quaint, cozy chapel housing embellished carved wood buttresses and gilded religious embellishments was the perfect setting. I drank in the music like water to a thirsty soul- it was aesthetic, cultural, and spiritual.

Then the melodies, harmonies, and everything in between the weaving notes rose to the apex; it was time for the "Hallelujah" chorus. As per tradition for the last almost 270 years, the audience rose to our feet. The singing parts rolled upon each other as the euphonious sound filled space of the chapel with moving song. It is said that when Handel wrote this chorus heaven itself was opened for his view; I say, "How could it not have been?" That melodic heralding of praise to our Lord invigorates the mind and heart and body; I wanted to shout, "Yes! Kings of Kings and Lord of Lords! And He shall reign forever!".

And this was the sounds from only twenty-five chorus members! I thought of the verse that I read yesterday morning and I imagined throngs of heavenly hosts and throngs of saints gathered around the throne giving adulation as "waves of mighty waters and peals of thunder"! Hallelujah!

These thoughts lift my spirits with hope and expectancy. What a wonderful way for the Christmas season to dawn.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The roar of many waters and peals of thinder....

This morning I read something that stirred my spirit so much I wanted to start shouting and dancing....I want to share it with you too so as you carpool your kids today, wash dirty dishes, and fold clean underwear, your heart and mind will be transpired with lofty dreams of bliss~

"Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out,
'Hallelujah! for the Lord our God the Almighty reigns.
Let us rejoice and exult and give Him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come,
and His Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure'- for the linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.
And the angel said to me, 'Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.' And he said to me, 'These are the true words of God." -Revelation 19:6-9

Have you been invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb? Are you an excited betrothed bride waiting expectantly for our Bridegroom? Imagine, Beloved, the day of the Great Feast when we with the multitudes as vast as the grains of sand raise our voices as the roar of many rushing, crashing waves in exultation of our Lord! Blessed be that day which may come sooner than we think. Let us live purposefully and expectantly today...

Monday, November 8, 2010

Lessons for Life

In lessons with my girls (I use the word "lessons" instead of home-schooling) I have them memorizing verses. I choose the verses that form the foundations of our faith or character issues that we need to work on. Considering the attitudes that have been visiting our home when correction is taking place, I chose this verse for this week.

"My son (daughter) despise not the chastening of the Lord;
neither be weary of His correction:
For whom the Lord loveth He correcteth;
even as a father a son in whom he delighteth."
-Proverbs 3:11-12 KJ

"That's so good!", I thought. My children need to understand that I correct them because I love them. I am not "being mean"; I have their best interest at heart- their characters. Immediately I felt the Holy Spirit whisper, "And you need to know that too."

Oh! How I enjoy thinking that I am beyond needing correction! That I am already spiritually mature. How arrogant. My eyes are not focused on my Most Holy God when I have such-self righteous thoughts. But gently, as a Father with his daughter that he delights in, chastens and corrects me. He points me to the right persective.

I revel in the truth that He delights in me!

Yet again as I teach my children I myself am being taught.

Is there something that you are in the place of being the teacher and the student right now? Share it with me....

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

In the NOW

Hello dear Ladies Of Virtue! The autumn air is cold and crisp. Leaves twirl their last dance to the ground as I am reminded of the fast flipping pages of the calendar. Thanksgiving day is in three short weeks and Christmas- yes, CHRISTMAS- in about seven! (Not soon enough for my girls). With the days whirling by us let us take today and pause in the moment of NOW. Let us therefore live TODAY with purpose of mind and passion of heart. That is the by-line of
Ladies Of Virtue- pursuing biblical femininity with purpose and passion. In the soon future I plan to write more of LOV's heart. For today (I remind myself) focus on the moments, the minutes, the hours, that make today- TODAY- with conscious attention, being present in the now and having the understanding that our most blessed Savior is ever with us. Enjoy your DAY.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Arise from bed

The day after I come home from the Relevant Conference. Can I get out of bed? Can I place my feet on the floor and move towards my life? Why is it so hard for me? "Nicol, people are depending on you. Your family, your children need you to pray the prayers that you utter while everyone else is still asleep."

Faithless thoughts tumble to the forefront of my mind, "But does it matter?"

"Your son drove himself to church yesterday."

"He DID, didn't he?" I have been praying for him and, "Yes!- He went to church yesterday." That is evidence that my Father hears- He really hears! And now that I think of it. Just last week I prayed that God would show me one- just one- sign for good to encourage me. And that was it- a clear sign .

So I do have reason to rise out of bed. I have a necessity to put my feet on the floor. It is imperative that I awaken with purpose in my soul because others are depending on me. Others need my prayers. Others lives are changed because I connect with Holy Spirit on their behalf. And so with these thoughts I push away the warm, cozy covers and rise into the crisp cool air with purpose....


I have been thinking that to be authentic I need more alone time. Time to meditate, ponder, time to create...Oh, if I could just get up early (and not need a nap Later)! Father, show me how and when I can make time to create and write...

Monday, April 5, 2010

New Beginnings

Hello Ladies, Today is a great day for "New Beginnings" because this is the day the Lord has made! He makes all things new and all old things are passed away. (1Corinthians 5:17) Today live- in the moment...stop the busy activity and focus on ONE thing at a time-maybe it is the glass that you are washing, the shirt that you are folding, or looking into the eyes of your child while they excitedly express their thoughts to you.

Concerning "Fit for Life"- forget yesterday...and be filled today with God's Holy Spirit.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

A Glorious Spring morning it is! The Lord could not have given us a more beautiful day to welcome in Spring; the birds are chirping, the air crisp full of sunshine and blue skies. If you read my last entry you would think that this weather is typical for central PA, but that could not be farthest from the truth. Gray days are all too common, so this splendid string of sunshine is like "Miracle Grow" on our souls!

Some of you will be beginning the "Fit for Life" Weight Loss Bible Study Devotional. Great timing to get started. Spring has a way of refreshing and rejuvenating our souls for new beginnnings and change. I wanted to give you a platform where you could comment and share your experiences. Knowing there are others going through a similar journey is great encouragement. So please let us know how you are doing.

If you would like to preview "Fit for Life" link to Scroll down and on the left of the page is the "Fit for Life" link.

~Blessings, Nicol

Sunday, March 7, 2010

I awoke with the sun shining brightly through my bedroom curtains. The long missed rays of light beckoned me to rise and enjoy the new day. They also held a bold promise of soon-coming Spring. So here I am moments later writing in my sun room (what better place for today?) writing sweets thoughts of new beginnings.

If you live most anywhere in the US you have experienced more snow this winter than many winters combined. In PA where I call home we have not seen this much snow lasting this long for a decade, a decade before that, and then when I was a child. From November until today it seems as though we have not seen the earth beneath the white blanket. Now let me assure you that I LOVE WINTER. I love snow. The crisp freezing air makes me enjoy a latte or hot tea even more. I love to bake and bake in the winter warming my kitchen with delicious aromas. I love to snuggle by the fire...BUT, I must say that I am craving Spring. And I did not even realize it until just now. I think that it is the sunshine that I miss and the green. Not having to be concerned with everyone bundling up in layers and also be mindful of the many family's boots lying in the kitchen with snow melting on the floor.

Maybe it is change that I want. I have always admired people who live very consistent ordinary lives with quite content hearts. Not that my life is NOT ordinary or routine, but I always seek change of some kind to flavor up my days. Some people just do not NEED that and I admire that. But I DO. Whether I am changing rugs and curtains to reflect the colors of the seasons or planning a little travel excursion, these small changes keep me quite content.

Thank God- He is both consistent and offers change though He Himself does not change.
Daniel said, "Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are His: and He changeth the time and the seasons..." (Daniel 2:21 KJ)

And another promise: "While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease." (Genesis 8:22) The promise of Spring.

He is so faithful. He washes our sins as white as snow and gives us new life in Him just as the new green sprigs of grass grow from the wet, black earth.

I am enjoying winter now- My girls and I are reading Laura Ingalls Wilder's "The Long Winter" so I want to finish it before Spring! But I am certainly looking forward with hope for Spring. I thank Him for new beginnings, even this morning He has made all things new.

"This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. The Lord's loving kindnesses indeed never cease for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness." Lam.21-23 NAS)

Enjoy what may be the last of the snowflakes and look for the daffodils to burst forth soon!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Year Begins

Well, I did it. I (almost) completely UN-decorated my house yesterday in 10 hours. If you know me (and my home) I LOVE to decorate...Christmas being the most beloved holiday. All knickknacks, pictures, even dish towels are taken down and replaced with themed versions of Christmas bliss...This year my family had a wonderfully full and quiet holiday. Yesterday was one of the days of the year that I dread...The end of the festivities and the time to take everything down. It is not so much I mind that everything looks stark and bare as some people do; I have come to enjoy the bareness of my walls and shelves as a calming break to rejuvenate my mind for the upcoming year. It is simply the work and temporary mess that I dislike. Yesterday I armed myself in body and spirit for the task that lay ahead. Out came the sweeper (to suck up all of those pine needles and Styrofoam pieced that break off from packaging), bucket full of soapy, hot water to wipe down the areas not dusted after swags have been lying on them for a month, turned on some instrumental tunes and pured myself some Diet Coke with lots of ice in an elegant crystal glass. I was ready! Ten hours later, twenty totes and 10 garbage bags all of the decorations are safely packed away until the Christmas season comes next year. Thankfully, I have two strong teenage sons who help with carrying all that to the third floor. I did not get to the wreaths hanging outside on the house windows. The temperature today compares with the Arctic so that will have to wait for a thaw!

I feel wonderful! A task accomplished and accomplished well.
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