Sunday, January 31, 2016

“One thing you can count on is the way I’ll love you.”

Today, January 31, 2016, the hubby and I celebrate 29 years of marriage!!
It seems so surreal!! It definitely doesn’t seem like we have been together that long! We’ve lived and enjoyed so many blessings, as well as experienced many difficult and challenging years together. But through it all, God has been with us, guiding us, giving us His wisdom and love.
I am so thankful for this man in my life!! He is my best friend, my prayer partner, the one I love and who has loved me through thick and thin. 
Through the years of blogging, I’ve shared posts on our anniversaries. Each year, I found many reasons to celebrate and shared pictures, stories, and videos.

Blog post for our 28th anniversary - 2015

Blog post for our 27th anniversary - 2014

Blog post for our 26th anniversary - 2013
Here is a video of us renewing our vows at for our 25th anniversary - a bit belated, but what an awesome day!!!

Blog post for our 25th anniversary - 2012

Other posts about our love story:
January 25th, 2015 - When God Made You...

January 27th, 2013 - How I Met Your Father....

February 7, 2012 - Tea is Romantic!?!

March 24, 2012 - Relationships Take Work (Emotional Intimacy)

My heart is so full of joy!! God has been good to us!!

I look forward to many more blessed years together with the love of my life!!!

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Thursday, January 28, 2016

With a Grateful Heart!

Today, I am sharing the many gifts God has blessed me with over the past few weeks.
"...if joy is a matter of gratitude, and gratitude is a matter of perspective, then giving thanks changes not only your perspective — but also changes your life."
#1783 - Full moon on a frozen lake.

#1784 - Starting an online Bible Study Group with the book, "Fervent". What a wonderful group of ladies!!

#1785 - Attending church again, after missing several weeks, due to weather issues and family gatherings.

#1786 - A family meeting that could have gone badly, but went well.

#1787 - Celebrating my mom's 79th birthday with ice-cream cake.

#1788 - Laughing at the fact that my hubby left the ice-cream cake out and it melted...but still tasted good! :) 

#1789 - Taking an invigorating, brisk walk on a cold, overcast day!

#1790 - Being able to watch a Bible documentary, with proof of Israel's exodus from Egypt and crossing the Red Sea.

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Sunday, January 24, 2016

God and Happiness

Ever have one of those weeks that goes from bad to good to bad and back to good again? Well, I just had a week like that. I have to say, I'm exhaused and trying to write has been a challenge. So I will probably make this one short.

I recently pulled out an older Bible that I haven't used in several months to get a different version of some verses I was reading. When I opened the Bible, a few sheets of folded paper fell out. The sheets had some study/meditation questions typed up on them. I recognized them coming from a Bible study I had attended close to a year ago. The first sheet said to read and meditate on Psalm 51, followed  by some questions about confession, what we are trying to gain in our lives, and how the Holy Spirit may be prompting us with the truth about what God wants to provide in our lives. Underneath it I wrote "happiness" and also "I'm content, but not very happy a lot of the time."

Wow! Those two responses really struck me! When I filled out that sheet many months ago, I had no idea that I would be choosing the word "happiness" for 2016. Neither did I know about the book "Happiness" (by Randy Alcorn) that I am currently reading. I feel the Lord had been prompting me for quite awhile to seek the happiness that only He can give. 

As I continued to read in the book, Happiness, the Lord has worked through many avenues to help me see how I need to desperately seek happiness through Him!

Why Does Our Happiness Matter?
It’s understandable that people long to be happy. But, if they believe there’s no happiness in Jesus, they won’t turn to Him. Christianity is often perceived to be about tradition and morality and not happiness. Also, some have know professing Christians who go out of their way to promote misery, not gladness. Some Christians also feel morally superior to those who engage with the world and make world-condemning judgements. Because unbelievers understand the happiness in Jesus by whether they see it in His followers, we have a duty to rejoice through the empowering of the Holy Spirit. 

Quotes from the book:
"We cannot passively wait for joy. Rather, we must take action to lay hold of joy in God. The narrower our view of God’s presence in the world – and in our daily lives – the less happiness we’ll experience."(pg.21)

"A different perspective:
 God, who created all things deserves the highest place in our hearts. While we can enjoy the gifts God has given us, in their appropriate time and place, they will never be able to give us the happiness and satisfaction we find in Him."

"Even in a world filled with hardship and suffering, God's presence brings incomparable happiness to all who know Him."(pg. 33)

"God is glorified when we are happy in Him."

"Happiness in Christ is one of our most powerful evangelistic tools."(pg. 28)
God is desiring of our happiness - and in Him, being the Source of it!
Once again, I opened my Bible up to Psalm 51:1, 6, 8, 12, 15:
  1  Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.
  6  Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being,
and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.
  8  Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.

15  O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise.

Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation” is my cry! 
The Christian life that has little joy is a poor testimony to the grace of God. 

This past week has been a challenge for me to be happy, in spite of the ups and downs of life. I realized what I meant when I wrote on that old Bible study sheet  - about being content, but not very often happy - I was saying that I wasn't unhappy in my life as a whole, but while I'm going though the hard days, I often find myself not being a happy/joyful/grateful person. I realize that when I'm unhappy, I can bring others down, too. Happiness is a choice, a decision to remember God's goodness and salvation, rather than my own circumstances.
I pray for God's grace and that He will remind me in those times that I need to find the joy of the Lord. It is the calling of all who believe!!

I will be sharing the blessings and gifts that God gives me in my life in my next post, which will be soon. For now, I just wanted to share from my heart!!
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