Sunday, November 24, 2013

November 24, 2013

Good morning all-

Baby it's cold outside!  I can't believe we went from being 70 degrees to being 22 in a matter of days but I love it.  My favorite memories are of my mom setting the tables for Thanksgiving, drinking hot chocolate and being bundled up because it was so cold outside.  The house would smell of wonderful things and we knew that soon, she would be baking dozens of cookies, a pan full of fudge and Swedish braids.  (They're still my favorite).

Yesterday was a busy day for me.  I have 22 people coming for Thanksgiving.  My aunt will be coming from New York, a cousin from Austin and 2 foreign exchange students I don't even know.  My house will be full of family from 5 to 75.  Wow!  The only thing missing will be my parents and brother but they will be here right in my heart.

This time of year has always been my favorite.  I love the excitement leading to Christmas and yes, I love to serve and buy gifts.  I love to look in the World Vision catalog to see what I can get and think that at least a few undernourished children will get to eat this year.  As a kid, I just loved the fact that my family would be around, I never thought of anything else actually.  I never thought what it would be like to be the oldest left in a family or being responsible for the traditions to be passed from generation to generation.  I only thought of sitting at the table with the china and the glasses and the beautiful smells of the holidays.

As I was cleaning yesterday all I could think of was how much I missed my parents.  My sister-in-law came over yesterday and helped me set tables, we polished silverware together and laughed about the table cloth that wouldn't smooth out.  I hate wrinkles but this was crazy!  Anyway, we finally got it to a place we both could accept, set the table and we now have 19 of the place settings done.  The last remains for me to do, otherwise, we won't be able to walk in my living room.

There are things I'm very thankful for this year.  I'm thankful that my family is coming.  I'm thankful that I had a mom and dad that made family important and I'm thankful that what they started is moving forward.  I'm also thankful for having a house that can hold so many people, a job that allows me to keep it and to pay for the food and of course, good health so I can continue to do it all.  I am blessed.  My prayer for the coming years will be that we all work to keep those traditions.  Family, friends, giving and serving should be on our watch list of important "to-do's."  We are saved for a purpose and I hope that by building a foundation and a place where Jesus is praised, my family will carry on when I'm gone.

I hope as the days draw nearer to Thanksgiving in the United States we reallywould put our thanks at the feet of Jesus.  The Indians celebrated harvest because it meant survival, we should celebrate because we have life through Jesus.  I know how short life can be so I want to spend my time giving to others, being a good steward and worshiping my God. Miracles still exist, we just have to look for them.

I hope wherever you live, your enjoying the weather and remembering the good moments of your life.  The years fly by, so take each one and embrace it. I'm going to leave you with a prayer that has almost haunted me this week.  In the words, I can hear the raw emotion of a man that loved God's people.

Hear his words:

Ephesians 3:14-21 NIV

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name.  I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.  And I pray that you , being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord's holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.  Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!  AMEN.

This Scripture has been flagged in my Bible App.  If you don't have it, I would encourage you to get it.  It allows you to have your Bible anywhere you go and I love to set bookmarks, now I just need to figure out how to share them between my smart phone and iPad.   I know that many of you may be down during the holidays and that loss and life can make us hate the holidays.  I would encourage you to pray this prayer and to really hear the words.  These were the words prayed thousands of years ago for you and me.  I think that's why I say they haunted me this week, for I know these words have been heard by Christ and carried through the centuries.  Be well my sisters and pray this prayer.  I have prayed it at  least 10 times since I stumbled upon it and although I love to share my prayers with you this one is so powerful, we should all be praying it.  Finally, thank you all for carrying the burden of prayer.  It's a mighty way for us to come together, to love one another and to realize that all of us, no matter where we live, are one with our Father.

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