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Year In Review

Here is a very short Year in Review.  I am so thankful for you and our visits together at Life Images. Your kind words and support have made my life richer, and shown me that the words that roll around in my mind and on the pages of my life can bless others.  Your words and blogs have blessed me as well.   I am looking forward to getting to know you better in 2012.

1 Corinthians 1:4
 I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus.
 Happy New Year to you and your family!         

 One year Birthday Party

                                   Awards won!            
       New York!                  String of Pearls hits the Market!

 Memorial 5K run

Dad’s 80th birthday trip –   The Grand Canyon! 

Hay Ride!

 2 Corinthians 2:14
But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him.


My Heart Opens

It’s Friday and I’m once again with Gypsy Mama and friends  doing the five minute Friday.
Gypsy will prompt us with a word and we write for 5 minutes.  Today’s word is OPEN.  Here I go!
Rain has cleared out revealing blue skies, that are always there.  The three mile walk clears my mind of worries and returns my soul to a more peaceful state.

The rhythm of my life song sets the pace for my feet.

 “As a deer, pants for the water, so my soul longs for Thee.  You alone are my hearts desire and I long to worship Thee.  You alone are my strength, my shield, to you alone may my spirit yield…”

I am quietly listening to the words of the song, when I hear the song of the hawk above my head.  His wings are opened wide as he glides on the wave of the wind, landing in the top of the pine tree.  Again, the hawk sings out. 

My heart opens a little more to the Lord speaking.

“I sing over you.”

The hawk opens it’s massive wingspan,  soaring again overhead, calling out.

Again, I hear the Lord say, 

“I sing over you.”

This thought stays with me the rest of the walk.

Returning home, I pull out my Bible.  

“The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17

To Receive From God

A Princess, I am, the daughter of the most high King.  Yet there are times when everything seems to turn into pumpkins.  Have you ever felt like this?
You pray and study, research and review, then step forward into what you know is God’s will, only to find yourself alone in a pumpkin patch.
Making the right decision does not always come with a happy consequence.  Some decisions are assigned by God to divide, at the least for a season, sometimes for a lifetime.
To receive all that the Lord wants to give requires that I open my hand and release all that I am holding on to.  Things, or people that I hold as treasures, are really broken and in need of His repair as well.  Holding on only insures that no repair will come.
I gave my life to Christ at an early age, though I have not always made the best choices, He has never left me.  Sitting beside me on my bed, holding me as sorrow soaks my pillow, and impairs my breathing.
I want to scream.  Am I a woman who learns and learns and never comes to understanding?
I read a section from the Lord in Ann Voskamp’s book, One Thousand Gifts.

“ God tries to gently drive the words of Caussade from the knowing of my head to the bleeding of my heart: 

You would be very ashamed if you knew what the experiences you call setbacks, upheavals, pointless disturbances, and tedious annoyances really are.  You would realize that your complaints about them are nothing more nor less than blasphemies – though that never occurs to you.  

Nothing happens to you except by the will of God, and yet [God’s] beloved children curse it because they do not know it for what it is.”

Blasphemy?… defines blasphemy as, “­the crime of assuming to oneself the rights or qualities of God.”
Is that what I’m doing when I complain and think everything has turned into pumpkins? And when I complain that I can’t see, and question God about His Holy location?
Job and his life come galloping to the front of my mind, “Though He slay me, yet I will trust Him” (Job 13:15)– frightening words that cut into the already torn tissues that drive my life.
Yet isn’t that the life we are called to live?  A life laid at the cross, dying so that His power can be perfected in us, Not I who lives but Christ in me.
He lives His life with complete abandon to the will of the Father, and we are instruction to be like Him.  He never cried out, It isn’t fair, or, Your not making others do all of this!  Instead, the Word, that created all things by speaking, gave life and healed, never uttered a word, and obeyed the Father’s will, trusting the promised given.
He continued in doing what the Father did, by forgiving and giving while hanging in the place between God and man.
A layer has come off the verse, “Count it all joy” and an deeper meaning is revealed.  (James 1:2)

Why is it easier and first reflex to believe the bad about me or anyone, before I believe the good?  Believe in the good that is in His image, fashioned in everyone.  To trust in the one who created all, and see how He will use all things to His glory. That is a gift.  Today, I choose to trust, this is how I receive from God. It is a gift.  Today I choose Joy, that too is a gift I receive from God.
I am still a princess of the all mighty King, and what I considered pumpkins are really jewels, given by God, camouflaged by human eyes. 

Christmas Memory-Jesus on the tree

             Silent morning, rain on the roof.  Holding the youngest 
           child in my arms, Images of past
          Christmas’ waltz gracefully past my mind’s eye, loved
          ones no longer here,  loved
          ones who are there, friends near
          and those so far away.

The Christmas tree in the living room, and I am ten years old again.  I blow, and my breath causes the icicles to gently dance and sway.  I lay at the foot of the tree.  The fragrance of pine reminds me of citrus.  From the floor, the lights on the tree gently lift to the ceiling creating a kaleidoscope of color, no two twinkles of combined color is ever the same.
The colors almost seem alive.  I imagine small angels dancing.
The tree is small when we buy it, reminding me of the Charlie Brown tree. I am a little disappointed in its appearance.  It is all they can afford.  But placed on a low table it attains its full share of awe.  Once decorated and lit, a sense of royalty entered the in the room, as though the tree suddenly realized who it was. 
Perhaps it was my eyes not fully seeing what was always there.
Presents are gathering, some wrapped in the newspaper funny pages, some in brown paper from the grocery store, some in paper saved from last year.  I see my name written on a present.  Seeing my name in writing gives a feeling of butterflies in my tummy.
My mother tiptoes in and snuggles beside me on the floor.  We are silent for several minutes watching the lights dance on the ceiling.  She challenges me to think of ways a Christmas trees reminds me of Jesus. 
Evergreen, Everlasting; Red balls, Blood; Blue, Royalty; Light of the World, gift from God.
“See your name of that gift?”
You are a gift from God to the world too.  Inside of you is a treasure, created by God wrapped carefully in pretty colors.  It may not look like much now, but soon you will see…all that is in you, the good and the not so good, all of it, God calls perfectly made.  You are created for a purpose; you have a destiny to fulfill at this particular time in history.
The good that you see, is from the Father, you were created in His image.  The Father allows the not so good, so that you will always need Him. It is part of the world that is not so good, but God can use it for good when you allow Him to do so.  

 You will be independent from me one day, but you will always need to be dependent on Him.  Jesus is how you stay connected to Him. 
The lights you see are always around us, but when it’s on the tree we notice them the most.  God is always with you, but it is through Jesus that we see Him. 

Christmas Verse

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.

We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Merry Christmas From the Baileys

Sunday Morning Verse Ecclesiastes 3:1

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:

Christmas Project!

I want to show you a project some friends and I are working on;  Well, they are working on it more than I am.  They are more driven and talented in this area than I am.  But I am learning so much about art from them.

It began almost a year ago when we got together to have some fun.  One woman brought an art project of decorating plates.  The idea took off.

Now they are making plates and selling them with the proceeds going to help repair a school in Uganda.

I have made several plates, but mine are not in the same league as these women.  When people see their plates there is a gasp, and wallets come out of purses.

My reviews are more like…”Oh, that looks like you had fun”… and I did.

But being the competitive person that I am, and  wanting to do something well, I have tried again.  This time my plates were good enough to give as Christmas presents.

We are thinking about putting the plates on the web and selling them to increase our giving to Uganda. I’ll let you know if we accomplish that goal.

Thank you for being a part of my life.  I love hearing from each of you so much.  You are my sisters in Christ!

Merry Christmas!