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Family and Friends @ Christmastime

Praise the Lord, my soul;
all my inmost being,
praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits.
~ Psalm 103:1-2

time-to-unite-with-family-and-friends

     Praying you had a wonderful Christmas and were able to enjoy time with family and friends! I was so very blessed to be with friends, whom I now call family, and my wonderful son, who is growing into a fabulous young man. There were gifts given and received, food enjoyed by all, and sweets galore! The trivia games were a hoot and the laughter was the best gift of the day!! God has been so good. Despite the chaos, despite the storms that have occurred during the past year, and the busyness of life, God has provided a chance to remember what is important in this life! Christmas may be a man-made holiday, but the meaning behind it is precious and a constant reminder that we are forgiven, loved, and free to be what God designed us to be.

     May you rest in the knowledge that God calls you his own and wants to celebrate your life with you, turning even the hardest trials into the most joyous moments. All my love and blessings for a glorious new year filled with peace and grace overflowing! ❤

Christmas Haiku Countdown 2015 ~ my bad!!

Tis the season for laughter and fun, love and blessings, giving and sharing!!  Tis also the season of busyness with family and friends…which is an abundant blessing in its own right.  I apologize for the Haiku countdown not counting down–I have been enjoying time with my quickly growing son, who is now 16, and friends, which has limited my time online.  So rather than trying to create 17 Christmas Haiku’s in one sitting….I am going to pick up where we are today.  May the blessing of life bring you social time away from the computer and phone screen…and face to face with family and friends.

All my love and Merry Christmas Eve! ❤

JesusIsTheReasonAnimated2-vi

Choose!

All of life comes to one ultimate question….darkness or light, evil or good, sinner or saint?  Every decision leans one way or the other.  Every action takes a side, whether you consciously choose it or not.  Every word uttered is a reflection of the heart and reveals which side of the fence the speaker is on.  Even inaction is an action, is a choice, is a decision made that answers the internal question of evil or good.

You battle everyday with choices set before you.  The battles may occur at work, at home, during down time, in the busiest time of the day, with family, friends, or coworkers.  Choices are made in everything at every moment of every day of your life.  The choice you make reflects who you are as a person, your character, your beliefs, and your values.

So, I ask you:  What do your choices reveal about you?  Do they show your faithfulness to God or to yourself and this world?  Do they reflect love and humility towards others, or show pride, arrogance, and a lack of affection?  Is what you say encouraging and renewing, or do your words tear others down?  Or worse yet, do you stand silent, not taking a stand at all?  Remember the choice to do, say, or believe nothing is a choice!

As you approach the new year, take some time to examine your heart, soul, and mind, placing them open before God.  Let him in.  Let him convict you of areas you need to improve.  Let him show you areas where you are strong.  Let God examine you and bring you to a place of light and goodness.  Let him take the sinner that you are and make you a saint in His eyes.

You are God’s child and he can show you the way of righteousness.  He can lead you down the path that is designed for you.  Trust in him, knowing that he will always guide, guard, and keep you in his love.

All my love and may the God of unending peace and wisdom bring you clarity and conviction, leading to eternal life. ❤

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts:
  see if there be any wicked way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.  ~ Psalm 139:23-24

eisakouo.com

eisakouo.com

Put on the full armor of God,
so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood,
but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness,
against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.  Ephesians 6:12

Choose

The devil comes knocking on the door of your heart
Evil coursing through his veins
Polluting your thoughts
Pouring darkness into your heart
Devouring your soul
Torturing your flesh
Stop
Breath
Release

faithcoffeeandbluejeans.blogspot.com

faithcoffeeandbluejeans.blogspot.com

Relinquish control
Give it all to God
There is nothing too ugly
No sin too bad
Darkness cannot hide
God is stronger than all the devil’s tricks and deception
The Lord brings truth to the mind
Showers the heart with His light
Restores the soul
Strengthens the flesh
Stop
Breath
Release

Wow! Versatile blogging award…Thanks.

My appreciative thanks to booklovers1 for nominating me for the Versatile Blogger Award.  I am honored that you thought of my site as inspiring, loving, and encouraging, and I pray that God continues to move through us both to bring His word, His light, and His love into the lives of others around the world.

I love that these awards allow us to branch out, share our sites with others, and help build our community, however, I have it on my heart to make this an award free blog after completing this award so kindly offered by booklovers1!   God has a way of bringing people to the Journey with God blog when he wants them here, so I leave the growth of this site to him.  With that said, if I have nominated you and you are able to participate, that will be wonderful.  If you are not, I totally understand, but wanted to let you know that you have inspired me, bringing joy, peace, and comfort to my heart, and often times convicting me to go the extra mile and be exactly what God calls me to be.  God bless and keep you 🙂

versatile-blogger

** RULES **

–  Display the Award Certificate on your blog.
–  Write a post and link back to the blogger who nominated you.
–  Nominate 15 other bloggers.
–  Inform them of their nomination via comment on their blog.
–  Post 7 interesting things about yourself

** Sites that Inspire and Renew **

Settled in Heaven          Single Focus          A Mike for Christ          The Teen Theme

Christian Poetry          Beauty through Ashes          The River Walk          Life Reference

The Father’s Heart          This Day with God          Prayers and Promises          Kriz Summer

Just Happened Upon This          King of Kings Blog          Finding My Inner Courage

Now 7 interesting things about me…..hmmmmm?!?   Okay, here goes….

#1 I don’t like thinking of things that are interesting about myself or that I am good at.  I feel like I am bragging or being weird 🙂

#2 I so love the singing, especially worship and contemporary Christian songs, as they bring me great joy and enable me to rest at the feet of Jesus!  And, yes I sing in the shower….always sounds better in the shower!

#3 I love reading, but hardly ever finish a book before I start another one.  I must have more unfinished books on my bookshelf; some I only have a few chapters left in, but I get bored and then start a new one, forgetting to go back to the other later.  Sounds like I need to work on completing those before I buy any new ones….wow!

#4 I was saved when I was 16, of my own fruition since my family was not dedicated to any particular church and did not go regularly.  However, it was not until my divorce 12 years ago that I really found out who God was!  That was the most amazing point in my life: to know that God wasn’t just some higher power that orchestrated events in my life and answered my prayers now and again.  No, I came to know God on a very intimate level, learning that he was my lifeline, my help, my comfort, my rock, my provision, my security, my friend, my lover, my husband, my all in all!!  I have so enjoyed growing in his word, learning how to apply it to my life.  It is through my deep-rooted relationship with God that I am able to share his faith, grace, forgiveness, mercy, and love with all who come into my life, including my wonderful 14-year-old son, who is just now beginning to discover who God really is in his own life…no longer riding mom’s idea of God, but developing his own which is so great to watch!  God is sooooo good!

#5 A quick fact, the first thing most people notice about me is my smile and the fact that I am about 5’11” and with heels on I typically stand at 6’1″. Now my 14-year-old son is 6’2″ looking down at me as I now look up at him, even when I have heels on…dang it!!  Gotta love it when your kids outgrow you!  I am still amazed at how fast the time has flown and how quickly he has grown, but I praise God for the honor and privilege of being a parent for there is no greater glorious gift in my eyes!

#6 I am a native Florida girl who is now a California girl, via some travel through Europe along the way…though my roots are still as southern as they get with family in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Kentucky (none in Cali).  Funny fact though….my southern accent only comes out when I am mad or frustrated, hence the reason I think my friends get a kick out of me when I get angry or frustrated!!  At least they don’t aggravate me on purpose so they can hear it…thank God.

#7  I am an RSP teacher, also known as an Education Specialist, who works with students with special needs.  I absolutely love my job…sans the paperwork…and look forward to working with my students everyday!  I learn so much through the eyes of the children I work with, and I have a new appreciation and wonder for life that is found through hopeful innocence of children.  Children are indeed precious to the Lord and I am so blessed to be working with them everyday.  Matthew 18:1-5 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them.  And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.

Whew…I did it!  I told you some interesting (or what I think are interesting) things about me.  If you want to know anything else, I will do my best to answer you if you ask (within reason of course 🙂 )

God bless and keep you and may your Christmas be filled with cheerful family moments and peaceful time with the Lord who gave His all just for you! ❤

The important things…

mrfreeman911.blogspot.com

mrfreeman911.blogspot.com

There are so many things in this world vying for your attention; so many important things that fight for your time. Now is as good a time as any to ask yourself….what is really important in my life? What is it that really needs my time and my attention? What is consuming a major part of my day?

Yes, work is more than likely a big chunk of that time (or at least 6-10 hours of it each day), be it a CEO of a company, a teacher in a classroom, a sales clerk at a department store, a server at a restaurant, a stay at home mom (and yes, stay at home mom is a job title for those of you who were wondering!), or a myriad of other job titles. Work is indeed essential for paying bills, buying food, keeping gas in your car, etc., so for the sake of time (no pun intended!), work is not considered in this list as we all know it is important.

leo0816.blogspot.com

leo0816.blogspot.com

Moving right along: so what else is important in your life? Do you spend time communicating with friends and family via Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, and Instagram, or do you actually take some time to meet with those same family and friends for coffee or lunch, talking face to face, sharing hugs and laughter? I know time is ever fleeting, believe me I get it! After all, I am a single mom of a teenage boy and a teacher for children with special needs. I understand the shortage of time. However, I have come to understand the value or importance of time spent in close proximity with those I love and care about. While a text, instant message, tweet, or whatever social media or technology you use to communicate with friends and family is great, it should never replace time spent in the same room with them, sharing stories, laughter, happiness, sadness, failures, and success. No tweet or IM has ever given me more comfort than a shoulder to cry on or a hug from a friend.

Are you a TV person? Do you spend countless hours watching football, Netflix, Hulu, or just plain old cable television? Those are hours you could spend playing games with friends, reading books with your children (which is crucial to their literacy and communication development), visit with a neighbor who is elderly or alone, or do some kind of family fun time. Now, don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with watching some TV, but when it interferes with more valuable things in your life, like family and friends, then something may be askew in your time management! Maybe incorporate movie night or football games with some family and friends, sharing food, fun, and maybe even a book or game afterward.

Perhaps you are a hobby person, spending hours of time in your garage, shed, or hobby room making great things that in the end only collect dust or become something cool/pretty to look at, but not very practical for everyday use. Are you all alone in that room for hours? I believe in down time! It is necessary to have time for myself, as it is important in keeping me sane and bringing a sense of calm and peace to my life….just as it may do for you. However, if you are spending hours upon hours (meaning more than 2 hours a day in your garage or hobby room alone, all by yourself, solo), maybe, just maybe you may want to try something new. Share your hobby with your children. Encourage a friend to swing by and help you out. Branch out and make one of your projects a family project, making hobby time an opportunity to come together (after you have some alone time, of course!).

Maybe your addicted to blogging or are a gamer, and technology consumes a great deal of your time. How much is enough? How healthy could it be to sit in front of a computer or TV screen for hours on end with no real human interaction…and no, voices on the other end of multiplayer game don’t count as human interaction! Again, it may be time for you to readjust your schedule, allowing a chance for some face to face interaction to occur that does not involve typing or using a game controller. For the record, let me say, in and of itself, blogging and gaming are not bad things, and they can be very healthy outlets for stress and overloaded emotions, however, nothing replaces face to face human interaction.

Are you getting what I am trying to say? The important things in your life are not things at all, they are the relationships you have with your friends and family. Yes, your friends may be weird and your family may drive you nuts sometimes, but when all is said and done, they are all you have in this crazy world. They are the ones who help you when your feeling down, come along side of you during an emotional crisis, jump up and down with you when you are excited about life, celebrate special events with you, grieve when you have lost someone dear, hug you because they just know you need it, and they even listen to you rant and rave about the insanity of life. Yes, friends and family are important in your life! Take time to show them how much you care and love them by putting aside other time stealers, and investing your time in your relationships with them.

nedhardy.com

nedhardy.com

There is no better time like the present, and no better excuse than the Christmas season, to rekindle friendships, rebuild relationships, and renew fellowships with your friends and family!

May God bless you and help you to prioritize what is truly important in your life! Merry Christmas with love ❤

With Thanksgiving….

Rejoice always,
pray without ceasing,
give thanks in all circumstances;
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
~ 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

lookatmyhappyrainbow.com

lookatmyhappyrainbow.com

With Thanksgiving….

Possess an attitude of gratitude
Be thankful always
Sing praises to the God of heaven
Thank him for the sacrifice he gave

See the blessings that surround
Thank God for all he has done
Knowing he has given you life
His blessings have only just begun

Thank him for your very breath
Each one comes from him alone
Thank him for eyes to see
Absorbing colorful beauty shown

Thank him for ears to hear
Listen for his still small voice
Open up your heart and mind
Hear the heavenly hosts rejoice

sodahead.com

sodahead.com

Thank him for your home
A place to lie your head at night
Praise him for running water
Thank him for food and lights

Thank him for your family
Broken though they may be
Thank him for hugs and love
For the blessings of security

halsamt.wordpress.com

halsamt.wordpress.com

Thank him for your freedom
It comes at a heavy price
Remember those who fought and died
Thank them for their sacrifice

Thank God for his only son
Who died upon the cross
Thank him for his grace and mercy
Through him you are no longer lost

thehandcraftedlife.blogspot.com

thehandcraftedlife.blogspot.com

Thank God for the simple things
The ones you take for granted
Thank him for things that bring you joy
For the seeds in the heart that have been planted

Thank him for the beautiful things
Like flowers, rainbows, grass, and trees
Mountains, sunsets, and drifting snowflakes
Birds that sing, and a soft ocean breeze

fineartamerica.com

fineartamerica.com

Thank him for family and friends
For happiness, smiles, hugs, and love
Enjoy the companionship given you
Give thanks to God above

Stop whining and complaining
Readjust your attitude
Know that God blesses you daily
Honor him with your gratitude

God bless and may you truly be thankful this Thanksgiving, despite the circumstances of life. Choose to be lost in the love of God rather than the despair of the world. Make your mind up to be joyful, even when the rains fall. See the silver lining, the glass half full! Love to you and yours ❤