Our Daily Blessings! (:

Hey Everybody! I hope that you’re having a great time preparing for Thanksgiving! It’s hard to believe that it’s so close. It makes me wonder what happened to this year–it’s going so fast. So, here’s a few blessings that I’ve noticed in my life this past week.

 

1) Having the keys for ONE whole year!

Antique keysOne year ago tomorrow (November 18th) we got the keys for this house. One day earlier than we had planned we were able to bring a load or two over and begin the task of moving houses.  We were excited, overwhelmed and exhausted.It took us a lot longer than we had planned (5 days) but it was worth it. We began the task of unpacking and setting up house and got it done and decorated in record time.. It only took a week or two. But looking back over the last year we have often wondered how it is that it’s only been one year–It feels like we’ve been here forever!

2) Decorating for Christmas!! (:

Again, I feel as though I should warn you. If you’re one of those people that doesn’t like to even think about Christmas until the Friday after Thanksgiving you might just want to scroll on down to blessing number 3…

Last Friday, we began the mighty task of decorating for Christmas. In many ways it’s the first time we’ve really decorated this house for Christmas. We kept it very simple last year and just decorated the main rooms of the house. This year we’re planning on decorating the entire house. It’s a bit more challenging to find new homes for each decoration in this house. But, I’m excited to see this house all decked out for the Holidays. It’s going to be all warm and toasty and festive. It makes me very happy. (: And as a little bonus there are now TWO radio stations playing Christmas music!! (: (:

3) The Support of my Church family

I know that I have often in the last year taken the time to thank all of you wonderful readers for the support and encouragement that you have given me. But this week, I’d like to do it once more this time thanking some very special people in my life. My church family.

The Bible says that we are the children of God, therefore as such we are all a family. One of the reasons I love my church is that it really is like a big family. We can laugh, cry, joke, and worship together. I’m beyond blessed and thankful for each and every one of you! Your encouragement and love as I have grown and pursued the dreams that God has laid on my heart have meant so much more than you will ever know. Thank you so much for reading and supporting this little blog of mine. I truly appreciate everything that you all have done for me and my family over the years!

What are some of the blessings that you have noticed in your life this past week? I’d love for you to share them in the comments below!

Until next time,

Bailey Sue

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Preparations…

Cookbooks and BibleThanksgiving is officially ONE week away! Family will be coming into town and we all will be celebrating and visiting and eating a lot of good food. I’m sure that for many of us preparations are underway. Menus are being laid out, Calls are being placed to out of town family, reservations are being made, and last minute grocery store trips are just getting started.

As we all get ready for the big day I’d like to remind you (and myself) that even though life is a little hectic and busy right now we need to remember to prepare our hearts.

Thanksgiving is one day of the 365 days that we have in a year that is set aside for giving thanks. But giving thanks shouldn’t be reserved for just one day of the year. It’s something that we should be doing day in and day out. Regardless of how busy life gets.

We need make sure that our priorities are in order. We need to keep spending time with God each day and thanking Him for our blessings.We need to be asking Him what He wants us to do with the day that He has given us.

Reading and thinking on His Word as well as praying will provide the direction that we so desperately need during this busy season. It will allow us to see beyond our circumstances and what we deem “important”.

This Thanksgiving lets remember to prepare our hearts to give thanks to the One Who gave us everything. Amid the hustle and bustle of the coming season lets make every effort to keep Him first.

Until next time,

Bailey Sue

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Thanksgiving Poetry

Give Thanks Ensemble

Like this picture? Several different products with this image are available for purchase at my shop here.

Hey ya’ll! I’ve got a bit of news to share with you today. Thanksgiving is (at the time of this writing) 8 days, 12 hours, 42 minutes and 28 seconds away! Can you believe it? Where did this year go? It seems to have gone by SO fast. I guess they were right to say that the older you get the faster time goes.

So, with Thanksgiving being so close I’d like to share a bit of Thanksgiving poetry with you today!

The Father up above
H
olds us close
A
nd
N
ever lets us go. He
K
eeps us
S
afe
G
iving us
I
mmeasurable blessings and
V
ictory
I
n Jesus
N
ow we need to
G
o and tell the world!
**Matthew 28:16-20

Until next time,

Bailey Sue

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Showing gratitude or taking for granted?

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.”
~ James 1:17

Winter CoatI’ve noticed that there are SO many blessings in my life that I’ve taken for granted over the years. Simple things that I’ve not realized I was blessed to have.

Take for instance a winter coat (I have 4 thick jackets upstairs hanging in my closet). There’s many many people in my own back yard that don’t even have one!

Warm hats and gloves and scarves are another. We have hats and gloves to match pretty much every outfit combination you can think of. But there’s somebody out there that doesn’t have a warm hat or gloves.

We often complain that we don’t have “snack-y foods” in the house. But, we do have food. Healthy meats and veggies. I don’t have to worry where my next meal is coming from. I just have to go down to the pantry and pick it out. Many people don’t know where there next meal is coming from. And I sit here complaining about a lack of snack foods?!?

My Dad has been working long hours lately (longer than normal). Sometimes by the time he gets home at night we only get to see him for an hour or so before it’s time for bed. But there’s thousands of people that haven’t seen their loved ones in years because they’re off fighting to protect this great county that we call home. But I get to see my Dad every night, every morning and on the weekends. I’m learning to be thankful that he has a job as there are many people who would love to worry about working late or to even work at all.

I guess all I’m trying to say is that yes, there are things that we want and things that we need. God knows what we need and provides that for us. Who am I to complain about that black coat not matching my outfit when I have so much more than so many others this time of the year?

Why is it that we only notice our neighbor’s need when the air gets cold and the holidays are upon us? Why don’t we look to bless them all year long? Why don’t we thank God for all of the things that He has given us everyday instead of just on Thanksgiving?

Until next time,

Bailey Sue

 

 

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Season of Giving

“…And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’
~Acts 20:35b

Food BasketThis time of the year we are encouraged to take note of the blessings that we have and to give thanks to God for all of the things that He has given us.

Giving thanks to God is essential for us as Christians. We are even commanded to give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18). But I think that sometimes amid all the hustle and bustle of the season we forget to give. 

This time of the year we are often reminded of the need of those around us. Those who are less fortunate than ourselves. So, as we give thanks to God for all of the blessings that He has given us why don’t we give a little to those who need it most.

I encourage you to take a look around your local community for ways to give to others this Holiday Season. There are so many service opportunities in our own back yards if we just take the time to look. Start with your local church and see if there is a food pantry, Holiday basket or Holiday meal that you could donate to. Then take a look around your community for a soup kitchen or shelter that may be in need of a few extra volunteers. Donate to a local food pantry, or buy gifts for a local children’s shelter.

Remember that serving and helping those less fortunate doesn’t just involve material things. Sure, those things are important but don’t ever underestimate the gift of a helping hand or a smile.

While your out doing your shopping make sure to greet those around you with a smile. It’s always nice to run into a friendly individual amid the craziness. Let someone that looks a little stressed go through the checkout line first. Hold the door open for a stranger and tell them Happy Thanksgiving or Merry Christmas.

Take some time to go visit someone that’s a little under the weather or elderly. Just sit and chat a while–you’ll be greatly blessed by the stories and insight that they may share. Give someone that looks a little down a hug.

Sometimes it’s the smallest things that make the most difference. Don’t ever think that you don’t have something to offer. You were made by a loving God and He has given you something that can help someone. Find what it is and use it to bless someone this Holiday season!

What are some other ways that you can think of to serve this holiday season? I’d love for you to share them in the comments below.

Until next time,

Bailey Sue

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Our Daily Blessings!(:

Hello everybody and welcome to your Friday! I hope that you’ve had a great start to November. Here’s a few of the blessings I’ve noticed in my life this past week.

1) The beginning of the best time of the year

It’s officially November. That means that we can now start thinking about all of the wonderful things ahead. Get-togethers with family, festive decorations, Christmas baking, Holiday dinners and so much more. This year I am determined to have a good year. I want to embrace the season that I am in and be thankful for what I have been blessed with. I want to keep my eyes open for those people that may need that little extra dose of Holiday cheer and brighten their day. I want to take advantage of every opportunity that comes along my path to spread the love of Jesus and some Christmas cheer. What are some fun ways you’re kicking of the Holiday season? I’d love for you to share them below!

2) CHRISTMAS MUSIC

Christmas CDs_with textIf you’re one of those people that prefers to have Christmas music begin playing the day after Thanksgiving I’m just gonna suggest that you scroll on down to blessing number three… For those of you that don’t mind starting the festive music immediately following Halloween; I’m right there with you! We started playing our massive collection of Christmas music (pictured above) on Wednesday. And I LOVE IT. I love listening to music and Christmas music is no exception. It takes me back to being a child and baking cookies, cleaning the house or working on school work while the festive tunes played in the background. What’s your favorite Christmas CD? I’m always looking to expand our collection… (:

3) Banana Nut Bread in NEW cast iron pans (:

Mom got some new cast iron pans for her birthday including two new bread pans. We are going to be making some homemade banana nut bread to break them in. I’m pretty positive it’s going to be really yummy!

What are some of the blessings that you have noticed in your life this past week? I’d love for you to share them in the comments below! Have a great weekend!

Until next time,

Bailey Sue

 

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The Art of Creation

“To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose
under heaven”
~Ecclesiastes 3:1

Fall Lamp PostOne of my favorite things about this time of the year is the changing of the seasons; watching Summer colorfully fade into Autumn.

Seeing the leaves change once again this year reminds me of the seasons of life that we go through. Ecclesiastes 3:2-8 tells us of the different seasons of life that we go through. Birth and death. War and peace. Sadness and laughter. With each different season that we go through brings it’s own set of joys and trials.

We wonder if some seasons will ever end or if those seasons that we long to experience will ever begin.

Something that I think we so easily forget in the daily grind is that life goes by so fast. “…For what is your life? It is a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.” (James 4:14). The amount of time that we spend here on this earth is so little compared to the amount of time that we will spend in eternity.

The seasons of life that we go through are all temporary. They won’t last long (despite what it feels like some days). That fussy baby that just wants to be held all day long won’t always want to be held and cuddled. In just a few short years that child will want to be off playing with their friends instead of snuggling on the couch with you. The way that your family is functioning right now isn’t how it’s always going to be. Children grow up and move on to lives of their own much more quickly than we’d like.

That’s why it’s SO, SO, SO important to EMBRACE that season of life that you are in right now with all of it’s crazy busy long nights. There is joy to be found in every day if we just take a second to look around and see it.

“In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
~1 Thessalonians 5:18

Giving thanks to God for EVERYTHING, even the trials that we face helps us to be able to see things from His perspective. It reminds us that there is more to this life than the hard times and that we have joy in Him because we know how it’s all going to end. We know that no matter what goes on in this life we have the hope of an eternity with Jesus.

“While we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
~2 Corinthians 4:18

Until next time,

Bailey Sue

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Tricks or Treats!

“…Your word is truth.”
~John 17:17b

Children dressed in costumeI’ve learned over the years the common saying that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. But that’s not always the case when it comes to God. I think that often times we take the wisdom of this world and try to apply it God and most times it just doesn’t fit.

Sure, God has a specific way that He wants things done and if we don’t follow that way we will have to face the consequences. But we so often and easily forget the love of God.

God loves us so much that He sent His ONE AND ONLY SON down to earth to DIE to be the SACRIFICE for OUR SINS. Jesus did NOTHING wrong while He was here on this earth. The only reason that He WILLINGLY went to the cross was because of HIS GREAT LOVE FOR US (John 3:16, 2 Corinthians 5:21, Hebrews 4:15, Psalm 86:15)!

God isn’t sitting up there in Heaven waiting for us to trust Him completely only to let us down in the end. He is lovingly guiding us closer and closer to Him.

The Bible tells us over and over again that God is faithful. He keeps His promises. From the time we are little children we are told of the stories of Abraham and Moses.

“God is not a man that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He not said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?”
~Numbers 23:19

God has proven His faithfulness over and over throughout the pages of Scripture. Even when the Israelites continually failed to obey Him He still loved them and led them to the land that He promised them. When Moses struck the rock instead of speaking to it, God didn’t banish Him and turn away. He didn’t let Moses lead them into the promise land but He allowed Moses to lead them to the border and then God showed Moses the land that they would inherit.

Abraham and Sarah never had a child of their own. God suddenly appeared telling them that they would one day have a child of their own even though they were well past the age of having children. Sarah got impatient with God and made Abraham lie with her servant Hagar. God was disappointed with their actions and they did have some additional issues to work through but He didn’t suddenly change His mind and decide to not give them that child. He kept His word.

The Bible tells us that if we confess our sins He is faithful and will forgive us (1 John 1:9). He tells us that He has removed our sin as far away as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12). Why then do we question His faithfulness in our own lives with our own sin struggles?

If we take a long hard at the Scriptures we will find within it’s pages a big God who can do huge things but who is also present with us in the small and mundane areas of our lives. He is faithful to guide us through this life and is with us every second.

God doesn’t trick His people. He loves them and leads them to himself.

Until next time,

Bailey Sue

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Our Daily Blessings! (:

Hey Ya’ll! I hope that you’ve had a good week. Here’s a few blessings from the past week that I’d like to share with you.

1) The peach trees have arrived

Peach Trees_with textOne of the things that we loved (and the only thing we miss) at the old house is the fruit trees that we had planted. We had five trees in total; three peach and two pear. We worked together to plant them and enjoyed watching them grow and produce fruit.

Live Plants_with textSadly, this house didn’t have any fruit trees on the property when we bought it but it will tomorrow! 🙂 We ordered 5 peach trees and they came today! We plan on planting them tomorrow. I’m a lot more excited than I thought I’d be at the prospect. But, hey, it’ll only be few years and we’ll have some homegrown peaches!!

2) Exciting plans to look forward to in the coming weeks…

With the end of October being upon us (how did that happen?!?!?) that means that the holidays are just around the corner. And you know what that means? It means that there’s all sorts of fun and festive things to do around town. We have already started planning to attend a few free Christmas events in our area and consulting cookbooks for some new holiday recipes. I’m looking forward to enjoying this Holiday season and all of the festivity along the way!

I want to remind you that you don’t always have to spend loads and loads of money to enjoy this time of the year. Look for fun things that are free or low cost. Remember that memories and fun times with family can’t always be bought. Most times it is what you make it. If you determine that you’re going to have a good year and be festive with what you have then you will. (And most times, kids never remember the super expensive things that you do to celebrate. They often times remember the little things..)

3) A fire in the fireplace

fire in the fireplaceI am SO excited to report that we we’re finally able to have our first fire in the fireplace! I know that we’ve only had it for less than a year but I really don’t know how we didn’t have one sooner. The warmth and warm glow that it gives makes the Christmas season just a bit more cozy and the winter just a bit more bearable. I look forward to the time when we are able to have fires everyday! All that wood that we’ve been cutting over the summer has been worth it!!

What are some of the blessings that you have noticed in your life this past week? I’d love for you to share them in the comments below! Have a great weekend!

Until next time,

Bailey Sue

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Dressing Up?

Children's Halloween Costumes

Who knew I’d be a business woman 12 years later?!?

One of my favorite things about Halloween when I was little was deciding what to be. Who did I want to dress up as? Some years it was simple; a cowgirl, a hillbilly, or a witch. Other years it was a bit more complex; Cinderella, a business woman, or a clown.

Although I never really used masks for dress up I know many who did.

As I’ve grown older and more mature in Christ I’ve found that dressing up or putting on a mask isn’t just something little kids do for candy or in play. It’s something we all take with us into adulthood one way or another.

I’ve found that many of us hide behind masks in our everyday lives. Sometimes we are afraid of what others will think or say when we let the quirky or crazy parts of us show. Other times we tell others that we are “fine” even though our worlds may be falling apart. We are afraid of sharing our struggles or telling our story for fear of being labeled weak or judged. We aren’t always open with our faith in Christ because we are afraid of being labeled as something we’re  not or losing friends.

So, how do we get to the point that we can be ourselves in front of anyone we come into contact with? How do we get the boldness to be honest with ourselves and others and share our story? How do we become confident in all the quirky crazy parts of us?

The answers may seem simple but the actions that follow aren’t. It’s something that I’m still learning and working on myself. But here’s a few things we can do to gain the courage to take off the masks.

“So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” ~Genesis 3:27

I think that one of the first things we can do to remove the mask is to realize that we are made in the image of God. He created us just as we are (quirks, struggles, and crazy in all). And He has a plan for us and things that He wants us to do (Jeremiah 29:11, Ephesians 2:10). We need to remind ourselves that He knew us while we were still in the womb (Psalm 139) and that He loved us enough to send His Son down to earth to be the sacrifice for our sins so that we could live our lives close to God (John 3:16).

“Pray without ceasing” ~1 Thessalonians 5:17

Prayer is one of those areas in my life that I long to get better at. But I think that if we actively search for God and are trying to continually honor Him in our everyday actions we will be more readily able to take off our masks. We will gain the confidence in Who He is and who we are in Him. One of the ways that we can do this is through prayer. God is always there and He listens to our prayers (Psalm 66:19). Sometimes taking just a second to utter a quick prayer forces us to refocus and reminds us that God is there, He loves us, and He wants us to show His love to others that need to be reminded that someone loves them.

“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” ~Romans 8:37

If we have put on Christ through baptism we have the Spirit of the Living God living inside of us. He helps us to live life here on earth like God wants us to. He shows us when we are wrong, helps us when we are weak, and helps us pray when we don’t know what to say (2 Timothy 3:16, Romans 8:26). Learning to recognize His voice and listen to His call will help us when we aren’t exactly sure what to do.

If we search for God and strive to act on the promises of His word we will gain the confidence to be who He made us to be quirks and all. It’s not an overnight process and it will be challenging at times; but with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26).

Until next time,

Bailey Sue

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