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A Solution for Holiday Stress

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to. Deuteronomy 15:10 (NIV)

Three days before Christmas I’m feeling frantic, quite sure I’m never going to get done all the things that need doing. That present to my goddaughter that has to be mailed; those stocking stuffers I promised to buy; the Christmas cards that still need to be sent; the “Merry Christmas” e-mails I wanted to write; the present for my wife I have to pick up; the music I brought home from choir rehearsal that I must study before Christmas Eve—when will I get to it?

Then I remember this program at church where we volunteer to give Christmas to a family that’s going through hard times. I haven’t gotten those kids presents yet. When am I going to do that?

Just one more thing! I dash out at lunch, pop my goddaughter’s present in the mail, buy some gloves from a street vendor for stocking stuffers, duck into another store for Carol, and finally make it to the toy store. Now, what would a four-year-old, six-year-old, and eight-year-old boy like? Standing in the aisle of cars and trucks, I still feel frantic, but I’m happy-frantic instead of worried-frantic.

Christmas Eve, I’m amazed at how many presents are under the tree. In choir, the piece that had seemed impossible comes together miraculously. Before the service I check my e-mail to see a message from my goddaughter’s mother: “Package just arrived.” Another miracle. How did the post office do it? How did the choir do it? How did any of us do it?

Then I remember: we did it with love. That was the fuel. That’s where we got the energy. Love and joy and happiness. A miracle good enough to last all year long.

I can do all good things with the energy of Your love, Lord.

By Rick Hamlin

This devotion is excerpted from Daily Guideposts 2015.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WINDSONG~ 12/19/2014 3:29AM


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JANIEWWJD 12/18/2014 11:35PM

    Yes, with Love and our Lord's guidance, we can accomplish everything we need to accomplish!!!!
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IAMWINNING 12/18/2014 3:41PM

    Great reminder to us to rely on the Lord and do our 'tasks' with love.

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Trusting Jesus with My Mess

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Answer this question: Does the God who lavishly provides you with His own presence, His Holy Spirit, working things in your lives you could never do for yourselves, does He do these things because of your strenuous moral striving or because you trust Him to do them in you? Galatians 3:5

I spend hour upon hour each week picking up toys, cleaning toilets, and scrubbing mystery stains from the carpet. But you can’t tell I have done anything thanks to the three small people who are constantly working against me.

The truth is, not only is my house messy, my entire life is messy. It is a hodge-podge of kids, family, friends, ministry, bad news, great news, joy, sadness, homework, housework, coffee dates, and rotten apple cores tucked into the corners of the minivan. Try as I might, I have found I am incapable of untangling the threads of my life. Just like I can’t keep my house clean, I can’t make sense of the hardships, the sweet goodness, the questions, the overwhelming blessings—and how they should all fit together.

I want my life to be quiet and neat and clean, but I don’t see that happening anytime in the near future. Uncluttering my life is not something that I can actually do . . . only Jesus can. Do I knock myself out trying to order my own life or do I trust the One Who created me to shape my life in a way that I could never do on my own? My heart’s cry needs to shift from “I want my life to be uncluttered” to “I am trusting You with my mess.” I have a feeling that the One Who ordered the universe is the One Who can bring beauty from chaos. With or without a clean house.

Faith Step: Leave your house messy and use those extra minutes you would spend on cleaning to find a quiet place and pray, “Jesus, I am trusting You with my mess.”

By Susanna Foth Aughtmon

This devotion is excerpted from Mornings with Jesus 2015.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LUNADRAGON 12/15/2014 6:05PM

    Thinking of you. Thank you for being a faithful friend, and posting on my page so frequently. It lifts my heart and spirits.

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WINDSONG~ 12/12/2014 2:46AM


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JANIEWWJD 12/12/2014 12:39AM

    God bless our messes and God bless us! emoticon

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IAMWINNING 12/11/2014 8:37PM

    Ever wonder why we humans insist on trying to order things according to what we think they should be? This is a wonderful reminder to 'let go and let God'. He is the only One who can make order out of chaos, and make all those messes come together to His glory and our good.
Praise the Lord.

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A few pics of the Rocket Launch

Sunday, December 07, 2014

This hawk was sitting on the left side of our street the other morning while we
were waiting for the rocket to launch.

And to the right, was another hawk in this Norfolk pine.
We see a lot of hawks, eagles and osprey, especially in the winter.

This was our first view of the rocket heading into orbit between the clouds.
The cloud cover made it more difficult to see than usual.

A couple moments later the trail left was getting wider and a bit more visible.

The rising sun really made it all stand out just before it all disappeared.

It is nice to live about 60 miles from the coast as we are able to see the launch
from the end of our street. We used to have "launch parties" when the shuttle was
going up. Miss those days for sure.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

INFLATED 12/11/2014 7:42AM

    That's awesome!

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MSLZZY 12/8/2014 10:12PM

    Neat. What a view!

Comment edited on: 12/8/2014 10:13:10 PM

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BETTERNANCY 12/8/2014 9:21AM

    That would be so cool to be able to see!

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WINDSONG~ 12/8/2014 2:02AM

    WOW how wonderful to see this and that you shared it with us.

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WINDSONG~ 12/8/2014 2:01AM

    WOW how wonderful to see this and that you shared it with us.

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JANIEWWJD 12/8/2014 12:45AM

    MAGNIFICENT!!!! emoticon

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CAROL494 12/7/2014 7:56PM


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JUDITHANNIE 12/7/2014 7:35PM

    Awesome pictures Pat, thanks for sharing

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IAMWINNING 12/7/2014 6:52PM

    Oooooo. Great pictures. Thanks for sharing with us. I'd loved to have watch a shuttle launch.

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PHHHISC 12/7/2014 6:51PM


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Christmas Decorations in the Park

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Mr & Mrs Snowman - Vickie & I picked this pair up this fall at a yard sale and thought
they would be a perfect accent in front of our clubhouse.

This huge wreath was found by one lady in the community and another took off all the old
decorations and redid it and we have hung it on the end of the clubhouse

This looks much better at night when it is lit up as the garland has lights in it-this is our
island in front of the clubhouse.

Santa just lounging in front of the swimming pool-our lake is in the background

Santa riding his bike in the garden at the front of the park

You would be greeted by this snowman as you entered the park

Santa in his sleigh with the pelican whispering what he would like for Christmas-a FISH!

Jolly Ole St. Nick holding down things along our garden by our long white fence

More decorations along the fence

This snowman lights up at night and shines along with the other lights in this area
and can be seen from the highway that runs by our entry

This really isn't Christmas decorations, but wanted to share our small cactus garden
to which we have added a small outhouse birdhouse!

Hope you have enjoyed some of the Christmas decorations that we have used
to decorate our community with for the Christmas season

It may not be the politically correct thing to say but Merry Christmas to all,
no Happy Holidays for me!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DADDYS_GIRL6 12/9/2014 10:56AM

    You do a wonderful job!!

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BETTERNANCY 12/8/2014 10:00AM

    Merry Christmas to you too! I love the decorations!

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LUCYCAN7 12/7/2014 2:21PM

  Thanks for sharing great pictures.Awesome job decorating love Santa on the
bike.Hugs and Blessings.Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SRIVERS1 12/7/2014 1:18PM

    Your hard work that the two of you put in shows. It is just beautiful and a wonderful. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas.

You and Vickie always do an amazing job on the Park. emoticon emoticon

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WINDSONG~ 12/7/2014 3:19AM

    Made me SMILE!

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JANIEWWJD 12/7/2014 12:26AM

    That was very beautiful!!! You all have done a fantastic job. It really puts you in the Christmas spirit!!! Merry Christmas to you too, my friend!!!
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    Loved the festive tour. Sure wish I were there. Those wire lighted figures & trees
are so cool. Have always wanted to buy one. Mr & Mrs. Snowman must be so
glad they finally could get "out" to show themselves off. They are darling there. You did a great job around your yard too. Can you come and help me tomorrow?

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LADYVOLSFAN1954 12/6/2014 8:02PM

    Such nice decorations. Have a Merry Christmas.

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BABY_GIRL69 12/6/2014 6:10PM

    Santa's! lovely

God bless,


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IAMWINNING 12/6/2014 5:35PM

    Beautiful, darling, imaginative! Thanks for sharing. You and Vickie have done a SUPER job.

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JUDITHANNIE 12/6/2014 5:05PM

    Wonderful pictures and Merry Christmas to you too!!!!

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More Bowling Ball Yard Art

Friday, December 05, 2014

Bowling ball "art" on the way to the library

The ball and the new sign pointing the way to the library

One of the balls to which we added a bird on the top

One of the balls on a pedestal in the front of the park by a palm tree

Ball in one of the small rose beds

Closeup of the library sign. This was handpainted by one of the residents.

I hope you enjoyed looking at the different bowling ball gazing balls that were
created by several ladies in the park. We had a "party" on two different days
where we worked on them. I still have 3 more balls to do but going to do
something different with them. Will have more for you to view in a few

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DADDYS_GIRL6 12/9/2014 10:55AM

    Great job!! Where did you get the bowling balls to begin with. Love the idea!! ;-)

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BETTERNANCY 12/8/2014 9:54AM

    These are beautiful! Sounds like a fun project.

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    Finished project looking emoticon Nice! Like the different pedestals.
The library sign is really creative and colorful. She did do well.

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IAMWINNING 12/6/2014 10:41AM

    Awesome! They're beautiful and add to the welcoming atmosphere of the park. Thank you for the pictures.

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DOTTIEJANE1 12/6/2014 8:49AM


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WINDSONG~ 12/6/2014 3:09AM


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JANIEWWJD 12/6/2014 12:24AM

    These are absolutely beautiful!!!! I love the one with the bird on it, and the one on a pedestal!!!
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LADYVOLSFAN1954 12/5/2014 10:02PM

    Awesome job.

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MSLZZY 12/5/2014 9:13PM

    How lovely! I think I will see if I still have my bowling ball upstairs.

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JUDITHANNIE 12/5/2014 9:02PM

    Awesome job

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