Monday, December 21, 2015

The Goal of Greatness

What is true greatness?
 
If we are to strive towards greatness, we need to understand what the word "greatness" truly means.  Greatness is not based on personal achievement that results in fame, fortune, or position.  Rather, true greatness is what God does in and through us.
"And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe,
according to the working of his mighty power," (Ephesians 1:19)
 
Peter did not have money, but he had the power of God working through him to carry out great works.
“. . . Silver and gold have I none, but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk” (Acts 3:6)
 
 
What great works does God want to accomplish in and through us?
 
First of all, He wants to transform our souls to be conformed to His thoughts, desires, and goals.  Jesus said,
“What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36)
 
 
When we are in a right relationship with God, the Holy Spirit is able to do mighty works through us.  We can become aware of some of the works that God wants to do through us by reading and studying His Word.  Human efforts become great works when they are directed by God and accomplished for His glory.
 
 
"Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is Thine;
Thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and Thou art exalted as head above all."
- 1 Chronicles 29:11
 
 

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Pregnancy Update // 24 Weeks

Hello dears!
 
I know my posts have been a little sporadic lately, and I do apologize for that.  Life has been pretty crazy lately . . . with married life, pregnancy, and the holidays coming and going.  These months have been going by so fast, it's insane.  I can't believe we're in the month of December already!  Where oh where does the time go?
 
I haven't posted a whole lot these past few months, though I have noticed that I've posted several "Thankful Thursday" posts and updates more than anything.  However, my Bible studies have kind of tampered down for a bit.  I'm currently struggling with ideas for posts, as this pregnancy leaves me absent minded quite often.  Just when I get an idea for a post I forget what I'm writing about not even a paragraph in.  So please do forgive me for that.  I assure you that I will post a new study as soon as this baby allows me to return to my former apperception. ;)
 
 
And just for a little pregnancy update . . .
 
How far along?  As of today I am 24 weeks and 3 days pregnant, with an approximate due date of March 22nd.
 
Total weight gain:  13 pounds!  Supposedly I am gaining steady baby weight and no extra fat from over-eating, so that's pleasing to know. :)
 
Maternity clothes?  Yes.  As of recent, I have officially begun donning the traditional maternity clothing.  I am able to fit into a few select items that I owned previous to the pregnancy, but they have to be larger fitting.  I went through my closet about a month back and literally removed over half of the items due to most of the clothing being too small!
 
Stretch marks?  Thankfully these horrid markings haven't made their appearance yet.  I'm currently using an organic belly balm daily, so hopefully the stretch marks will continue to hold out for a while.
 
Sleep:  Sleeping has been rather difficult for me lately, due to a constant full bladder and the struggle to get into a comfortable sleeping position.  I do end up getting quite a bit of sleep at night, which I am thankful for.  However it can often times take me a while to enter a deep slumber.
 
Best moment this week:  Every time my baby girl kicks. <3
 
Miss anything?  Having a lot of energy and the motivation to get things done.
 
Symptoms:  Absent-mindedness, heartburn, bleeding gums, the occasional back pain, and exhaustion from standing up for long bouts of time.
 
Movement:  Quite a lot.  This little girl is pretty active and has developed quite the routine now!
 
Food cravings:  Not currently having any.
 
Anything making you queasy or sick?  Motion.
 
Gender:  Girl!
 
Looking forward to:  Hearing my baby girl's heartbeat again today. <3
 
 
I'll try to update again soon, friends. :)
 
 
Warmest blessings,
 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Overflowing With Thankfulness


So thankful for the health of this precious little bundle . . . and overjoyed with the fact that God has blessed our growing family with a precious little girl.  We honestly couldn't be happier! ♡
(cannot wait to meet this little angel!)
 
 
"O give thanks unto the LORD, for He is good: for His mercy endureth for ever."
- Psalm 107:1

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Thankful Thursday

 
 
Today I am thankful for. . .
 
- These first small, yet strong kicks!
- Pomegranates
- Maternity tops
- Afternoon naps
- My hubby's breakfasts
- Reaffirming scripture
 
 
"And because of this I rejoice. And will continue to rejoice."
- Philippians 1:18
 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Onward

❦❦❦
As Andy and I surpass seven months of marriage I am forced to look upon each new day spent together as a divine and joyous blessing.  I'm beyond blessed to spend each day with the man of my life; waking up to see him beside me every morning, studying the Word together, relishing in the simplest of everyday moments, and perfectly ending the day falling asleep in each other's arms . . .
Each new moment is pure joy on its own, yet now it seems all the more precious with the fact that our love created such an amazing miracle that continues to reside within me until the time has come.  The love that I have for Andy since that very first day only continues to grow stronger and deeper.  I love him even more now than ever, and less than I will tomorrow.  I know he's going to make an amazing daddy, and I'm looking forward to every second we'll have together preparing to be parents for our unborn child.
 
. . . Seven months passed, an eternity to go.  I love you, babe! ♡
 
 
 
 
"Therefore what God hath joined together, let no man put asunder."
- Mark 10:9
 
For those of you who'd like to follow our journey through life & pregnancy more closely, feel free to visit & follow my instagram profile.
 

Friday, October 30, 2015

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

 O soul are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There's light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face;
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace.

His word shall not fail you He promised;
Believe Him and all will be well.
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell.
 
 
 
 Many times, weighed down by our struggles, we tend to grow tired and weary in our moral walk with ChristWe begin to doubt and grow faint under the afflictions we endure.  However, we need to understand that doubt drains and distresses us, and that with faith we can rise up from the pit that doubt places us in. 
 
Believing in God gives us the affirmation that we are under the care of a wise and gracious Father.
Fixating our eyes on God allows us to be rooted and grounded in Him; being firmly persuaded of Him, knowing that nothing can separate us from His grace. 
 We have been taught that we can depend on the faithfulness of God and rely on His righteousness for our justification and atonement.  He will supply all of our needs, bear all of our sorrows, and comfort all of our burdens.  He is our preservation and confidant.  We can always depend on Him for protection and defense.
 
Christ wants to be accepted to live in and through you as you focus your eyes and life on Him.  As believers, it is absolutely essential that we try our utmost to set aside the things of the world that would distract us and focus on God instead.  This requires personal, spiritual focus –  it is something for which each of us must strive.  It is only through our Heavenly Father that we are able to have a clear picture of God.  Only lives that are focused on Christ can truly know God.  To know the Son is to know the Father.
 
We should make it our point to focus our eyes, attention, and desires on God.  He is the only one that can bring us into fellowship with Him and restore us to the rightful place where we will reside with God for eternity.
 
"Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;
who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross,
despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of
the throne of God."
- Hebrews 12:2
 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Tea Cup Exchange // My Lovelies

I recently participated in the lovely Tea Cup Exchange hosted by Stephanie over at The Enchanting Rose.  This was the first exchange I had ever participated in and must say that it was delightfully fun!
 
I was paired with Skyeler at Beautiful Mess, so I sent her a package with a tea cup, tea, and other goodies (I forgot to take pictures of the lovelies I sent, so I do apologize for that).
 
About a week or so later I received a package at my door from a sweet lady from Oklahoma.  She included a darling tea cup amongst some simplistic autumnal décor and Mango Passionfruit flavored tea.

Isn't this tea cup darling?
 
I thoroughly enjoyed participating in the Tea Cup Challenge.  It's a great way to make friends, as well as exciting to receive something in the mail that isn't a bill . . . ;-)
I'm looking forward to the next exchange!
 
Warmest blessings on your day, dear friends!
 


Thursday, October 01, 2015

Thankful Thursday // Come Thou Fount

"Thankful Thursday"
 
Today I am thankful for . . .
 
- All Natural Decaf Coffee
- Cheese!
- Cozy blankets
- Candles
- Home-made elaborate dinners
- My hubby's never-ending love
- The Bible
 

Hymn of the Day //

"Come Thou Fount"

Come, Thou fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace,
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
While the hope of endless glory
Fills my heart with joy and love,
Teach me ever to adore Thee,
May I still Thy goodness prove.
 
Oh, to grace how great a debtor
Daily I'm constrained to be,
Let that grace now like a fetter
Bind my wandering heart to Thee:
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love.
Here's my heart, oh, take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.
 
 


Monday, September 28, 2015

Autumn Welcoming

These ephemeral days of summer came and went by so instantaneously this year.  I hardly noticed when they ended!  Though short, I have had a peaceful and enjoyable summer season.  When we weren't working, the hubby and I spent an excessive amount of time taking walks along the shores of the Mississippi and making numerous visits to spend time with family. 

The joy of family-togetherness has been one of the most precious segments of this year.  Being able to make memories with loved ones and rejoice in new growths has been such a huge blessing for us.  We serve such an incredible, gracious God, don't we? :-)

Although I'm going to miss the balmy days of summer, I'm highly looking forward to the autumnal days ahead.  Autumn has always been one of my favorite seasons, and this year I think I'm going to enjoy it even more so with my incredible husband by my side and a bitty-bundle brewing within me.
The change in weather will give me a chance to focus more on writing my novels, as well as working on Baby Faulkner's nursery.  Sooo many changes need to happen in our spare room for a nursery to happen.  But it's going to be fun. :-)

Sometimes I like to stop and think of what new springs of life have begun or expired at the dawn of each new season.  And aside from one particular incident, this year I can only find positive.  So many changes took place this summer and the fact that the majority were constructive brings me great happiness.  I'm beyond thrilled to welcome the new changes that will transpire in the coming seasons.

My friends, I hope you all have had a blessed summer and are delighting yourselves in the new season.  Winter will be here before long. ❄

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Awesome Food Award

  
Caitlin from Daughter of Destiny has nominated me for the Awesome Food Award.  I've never been nominated for this particular award before, so I'm rather excited to participate in this one! (after all, who doesn't love food?)

The rules:
1). Thank the person who nominated you, as well as link to their blog.
2). Answer the 10 questions provided.
3). Come up with 10 more questions that relate to food.
4). Nominate at least 5 people.
5). Let those people know they've been nominated.

My answers to Caitlin's questions:

1. What are your favorite Soup's?
 
Creamy Broccoli and Cheese, 7-Veggie Minestrone, Momma's Potato Soup, Homemade Chicken Noodle, Tomato & Kale

2. Do you prefer Scones with your Tea or separately?
 
Separately, usually. 

3. What's your favorite kind of Pizza?
 
Chicken Alfredo

4. Do you prefer baking or cooking?
 
Definitely baking, but I do enjoy cooking too.

5. What types of foods do you like making most?
 
Any baked goods.  Cookies, cakes, donuts, cinnamon rolls, brownies, etc.  I also enjoy creating new soups.

6. What exotic food have you tried that most people haven't?
 
I can't say that I've tried very many exotic foods.  I'm partial to the basic Italian, American, and Mexican foods.

7. Do you prefer cookies or cake?
 
Cake usually (at least that's what I've been craving throughout my entire pregnancy so far), but I am really fond of cookies as well.

8. Are you more the chips and salsa type, or just the plain old chip without salsa?
 
Usually chips without salsa.  I'm a huge fan of dipping my potato chips in sour cream & dill.  But salsa is good too. ;-)

9. Do you like Chicken or Hamburger meat better?
 
Definitely chicken.  I'm not a red meat-eater.

10. What's your favorite Dessert? Why? 
 
Anything smothered in cream cheese frosting.  I tell ya, I could eat that stuff by the tub-full (and believe me, I have). ;-) It's just so irresistible.

And now, I would like to nominate:

- Heidi at Along the Brandywine
- Hannah at Bits of Simplicity
- Natalie at Raindrops on Roses and Whiskers on Kittens
- Skyeler at Beautiful Mess
- Hayden at A Singular and Whimsical Problem

My questions for the nominees:

1). Favorite ethnic food?
2). Who normally does the cooking in your home?
3). Do your taste buds prefer sweet or salty?
4). Favorite snack food?
5). Do you eat ice cream throughout the winter?
6). What's your favorite meat?
7). On the side of your meal, do you prefer soup or salad?
8). Chocolate or Vanilla?
9). How do you react to spicy foods?
10). Top favorite meal in the history of ever?


Thanks for the fun questions, Caitlin!

 

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Thankful Thursday // A Darling Equation

"Thankful Thursday"
 
Rejoicing in this granted blessing from above!

 
"For this child I prayed, 
and the LORD has granted me my petition which I asked of Him."
1 Samuel 1:27
 

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Thankful Thursday // It Is Well With My Soul

Since I've recently ascertained that I don't have as much time to focus on detailed and lengthy blog posts like I once was able to, I thought that I might create a little series of posts to (try) to post weekly (I'm hoping to be a bit less lethargic with this series, unlike a few others which I have so terribly neglected . . .)
Over this past year I have been so incredibly blessed, I can't even begin to explain to you what wondrous things I have beheld.  With this series of posts, I'll introduce to you the things I am thankful for on a daily basis.  Doing this will keep me on thankful-track, as well as give me a better perspective in life.
 
"Thankful Thursday"
"Hem your blessings with thankfulness so that they don't unravel." 
 
Today I am thankful for . . .
 
- a cup of rejuvenating and relaxing tea
- granted blessings
- the companionship of my wonderful husband
- an abundance of pickles in the refrigerator
- cozy cardigans for the chilly days
- lemonade
- the book of psalms
- chocolate banana smoothies
 
 
Hymn of the Day //
 
It Is Well With My Soul
 
When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.
 
Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
 
My sin—oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!—
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
 
For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.
 
But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul!

 
And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.



 

Friday, September 04, 2015

Today's Society // From Classy to Trashy


Do you notice today how hard it is to walk into your local Walmart or grocery store without seeing some trashy-R-rated magazine, film, music album, or poster?  Squalid celebrities are pictured all over in the book & music sections... half-nude posters are hung by the clothing... and there awaiting to welcome you at the check out is a shelf full of the latest celebrity gossip and sex-talk, plastered with contemptible individuals.  It's an act designed to demoralize and it only appears to be getting worse.
 
As a maturing adult, I am noticing more and more sinful details in our world today and it bothers me more than ever.  Fashion that once was classy is now trashy in the here and now. 
 
The music album covers from, let's say . . . the 40's . . . were quite simple and classy, right?  Not today.  Now it is as rare as budding crocuses in the late summer to find an acceptable album cover that's not defrauding and revealing.  Today's celebrities are dressed in garments that barely cover the essential areas, revealing a fashion statement that teaches "less is best" and "modesty is old-fashioned".
Sometimes these modern stars don't wear clothing at all on the covers of their albums (is it at all shocking that this is allowed in stores today?)  Well it is only getting worse, folks. 
 
It's sad for me to realize how far our culture has fallen from morality, modesty, and dignity.  Where is the self-respect and decency in today's society?  Has it vanished entirely?  If it hasn't, it sure does seem like it.
 
Another thing that breaks my heart is the fact that so many young girls aren't even aware of the pull these fashion trends have on them.  Young girls want so badly to fit in with society and they will do whatever it takes to feel welcomed and accepted into it.  What starts out to be a slow and subtle transition can quickly turn into a deadly trap. 
It's pretty obvious that a girl wanting to fit in with her school friends is not going to go out and immediately buy the latest Miley Cyrus trends.  No, she's slowly going to lower the bar on her own morality because it's not "the trashiest option".  Yet, this is a common tactic that Satan uses to get us to lower our standards.  He whispers lies into our ears like, "You're no where near as bad as they are . . . just lower the bar a little.  There's nothing wrong with wanting to fit in, is there?  Just relax and loosen up a bit."
And so many of us fall for his deceiving lies. 
 
Society compares and then compromises, and I can assure you, that response is completely wrong.  We need to segregate ourselves from the immorality of this world and let God's Word inform our worldview. 
We need to listen and act wholeheartedly to the teachings of the scripture in Romans;
 
"And be not conformed to this world:
but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind,
that ye may prove what is good, and acceptable,
and perfect, will of God. "
- Romans 12:2
 
 
See also, Why I Chose Modesty 
 

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

The Bookish Tag

To celebrate her new blog's grand opening, fellow writer and blogger Annie Hawthorne has launched a tag for all of her readers to participate in. 
The questions in the tag were too delicious to resist in answering, so I decided to go for it.  Besides, who doesn't love a good ol' book tag?  And it seems that there just aren't enough of them floating around the blogosphere.  So I thought, why not?
 
Annie writes here, at Curious Wren (isn't that such a charming blog title?)  I recommend that you check it out!
To add to the fun, Annie is also celebrating with a giveaway (if that doesn't make you want to check it out all the more I don't know what would. :-)
 
And now. . . for the delightful tag!


- The Bookish Tag -
 
 
1. What was the last book you read, and would you recommend it?
 
The last book I read was the Bible (this one tends to be read and re-read often for me), and yes, I would definitely recommend it!
 
 
2. Describe the perfect reading spot.
 
Underneath a swaying willow tree on a warm, summer's day - at a secluded spot on the beach - or, nestled cozily under a warm quilt next to the crackling fireplace.
 
 
3. Favorite book beverage? Tea? Coffee? Hot chocolate? Tears of your readers?
 
Tea.  Most definitely.
  
 
4. Share favorite quotes from four books.
 
“People laugh at me because I use big words. But if you have big ideas, you have to use big words to express them, haven't you?”  - L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
 
“Now, in Mr. Thornton’s face the straight brows fell over the clear deep-set earnest eyes, which, without being unpleasantly sharp, seemed intent enough to penetrate into the very heart and core of what he was looking at. The lines in the face were few but firm, as if they were carved in marble, and lay principally about the lips, which were slightly compressed over a set of teeth so faultless and beautiful as to give the effect of sudden sunlight when the rare bright smile, coming in an instant and shining out of the eyes, changed the whole look from the severe and resolved expression of a man ready to do and dare everything, to the keen honest enjoyment of the moment, which is seldom shown so fearlessly and instantaneously except by children”  - Elizabeth Gaskell, North & South
 
"The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." - Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey
 
“I had not intended to love him; the reader knows I had wrought hard to extirpate from my soul the germs of love there detected; and now, at the first renewed view of him, they spontaneously revived, great and strong! He made me love him without looking at me.”  - Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
 

 
5. What is your most loved fantasy read? Dystopia? Contemporary? Sci-fi? Classic?
 
I'm not a huge fantasy reader, although I am fond of C.S. Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia.  But my most loved fantasy read would probably be classic.  I do love a good classic novel when I'm taking a break from my non-fictional reads. :-)
 
 
6. List three authors you’ve collected the most books from.
 
Jane Austen, Beverly Lewis, Janette Oke.
 
 
 
7. What are your thoughts on magic in literature?
 
I'm not a huge supporter of magic in literature, but, I must admit that I enjoy reading about it in the classic fairytales (fairytales just wouldn't be the same without it, I think)
 
"If I'm honest I have to tell you, I still read fairytales.  And I like them best of all."
- Audrey Hepburn
 
8. What types of book covers capture your imagination most strongly? Feel free to include images.
 
Old vintage book covers that are slightly worn with gold trimmings along the edges and a captivating title (with eye-popping colors and/or possible illustrations).  I like to imagine the types of people that have had the books in their possession and where they have been transported throughout the years.  Yep.  My imagination can run all day with thoughts and ideas of these.
 
   
 
 (Note: Over the past year I have collected an entire bookshelf's worth of vintage classics -these are actually photos of a few of my copies!-  Aren't they just breathtaking??  I'm quite happy with my achievement of finding such rarities in book designs and classics.)

 
9. Mention the first book character that comes to mind. Elaborate on this.
 
Jane Eyre.  And that's probably because I was just glancing at my 'classics' bookshelf before this question when my eyes happened upon the novel.
 
 
10. Do you lend out your books? Or is that the equivalent to giving away your babies?
 
It's not very often that I do so, but if someone asks I will kindly lend it to them.  I just write my name inside of the front cover and hope that it returns to me safely.
 
 
 
 
(P.S. All photos in this post are property of this blog.  If you're interested in using or sharing my photos, feel free to message me for my permission!)

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

He Leadeth Me

 

"He leadeth me, O blessed thought!
O words with heav’nly comfort fraught!
Whate’er I do, where’er I be
Still ’tis God’s hand that leadeth me.
 
He leadeth me, He leadeth me,
By His own hand He leadeth me;
His faithful foll’wer I would be,
For by His hand He leadeth me.
 
Sometimes ’mid scenes of deepest gloom,
Sometimes where Eden’s bowers bloom,
By waters still, o’er troubled sea,
Still ’tis His hand that leadeth me.
 
Lord, I would place my hand in Thine,
Nor ever murmur nor repine;
Content, whatever lot I see,
Since ’tis my God that leadeth me.
 
And when my task on earth is done,
When by Thy grace the vict’ry’s won,
Even death’s cold wave I will not flee,
   Since God through Jordan leadeth me."
 
 
 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Power of Prayer

Is prayer a top priority in your walk with Christ?

Although I don't claim to be the perfect Christian, prayer has always played a vital role in my Christian walk.  I've always believed that if we claim to be followers of Christ, we as Christians should give our Heavenly Father the place of #1 priority in our lives. 
It is important to keep Him at the head and surrender our all to Him, as well as nourish ourselves daily with His Word. 

 
As Christians, it should come naturally to pray aggressively.  Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians to, "pray without ceasing"
Prayer plays a very important role in our Christian walk with Christ.  By communicating with God directly (i.e. prayer) we are inviting Him to do His work in our everyday lives.  God desires to be close to His children; and with every prayer, He will draw even closer.  It is important that we remember to pray often throughout each day.  Not only does prayer bring us closer to Christ, but it also helps us to fight off enemy attacks.  Satan hates it when you pray; so when you take advantage of that fact and pray consistently, you will be better abled to fight your inner battles with God by your side.  You will then be making the decision to avoid being a panicked worrier, and instead, becoming a Godly prayer warrior.
 
 
You should work daily to become a prayer warrior.  Pray when you rise, throughout the day, and before you go to sleep.  If you have made the conscious decision to put God first in your life, then let the first thing you do every day be to commune with Him.
 
  

Saturday, August 08, 2015

An Occasion of Giving

"Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give;
not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver."
- II Corinthians 9-7
 
photo via pinterest
Sometimes you meet people in your life who leave such an impact on you that you know you'll never forget them. 
Such was an incident the other day when my husband and I were taking one of our afternoon strolls, although this time we were headed to the local pawn store to see if we could sell one of Andy's old swords that he had collected as a child.  Though the sword was worth a pretty penny, we knew the pawn dealer wouldn't give us more than $25 for it, if we were lucky.  But to us it didn't really matter, since it had just been a waste of space for us anyway.  We figured someone else would get a good deal on it.
 
As we headed out on our way we were stopped by an elderly gentleman who asked us where we were off to carrying such a sword as we were, then asked to see it himself.  After allowing him to view the sword, we answered with the truth.  The man was shocked by our answer, realizing that we would probably get gypped out of a good deal.  He told us repeatedly that he wouldn't recommend that we sell it to the pawn dealer and when we finally said that it didn't bother us he stated that he would like to purchase it himself, paying us a deal more than what the pawn dealer would offer.  We agreed to the purchase, however, he would be unable to give us the money until about a week later when he would get his next paycheck.  So he asked us to hold onto it for him and we agreed.  The plan was to sell it to him on the first of the following month.
 
We went along on our business like normal that day discussing the kind offer from the man, however we did not expect him to actually buy the item.  Maybe we doubted him because one doesn't normally meet someone, a stranger at that, who gives an offer like that.
So Andy and I agreed that if he didn't show up like he had promised that we would sell it.
 
Well the first of the month arrived and he didn't show.  It was a Saturday, so I had just assumed that he forgot that his paycheck wouldn't arrive until Monday.  So when Andy was beginning to think that we should just pawn it I told him that perhaps we better wait it out until Monday.
 
Another day rolled by, and that evening we had a knock on our door.  It was pretty late and we rarely have visitors, so when the elderly gentleman was at our front door we were taken by surprise.  He first apologized that he hadn't stopped by to pay us and explained that it was because he wouldn't get his paycheck until Monday, just as I presumed.  Being a Sunday, he still didn't have the money, but announced that he'd return the following morning with the full payment. 
And return he did. 
It took me slightly by surprise, but he showed up with the full payment.  With thankful hearts we accepted it.
 
Now let me back up just a bit. . .
The night before when the elderly gentleman stopped by he asked us if we wanted more for the sword than what he was offering.  Surprised already by his generous offer, we said no.  His offer was more than we expected and we didn't want to gyp him either.  Somehow though, the man sensed that we could use the extra money (how he sensed that I am unsure).  He shocked us immensely when he offered to give us the payment for the sword without taking it so we could sell it to someone else; basically so we could get extra money out of it.  The offer was assuredly generous, yet we could never do that.  After all, we were entirely happy with his first proposal and told him that if he paid us we'd happily give him the sword in return.
So when he showed up on Monday with the payment in return for the item we were both surprised and pleased that the gentleman truly meant what he said.
 
Amongst all of this we ended up being able to get to learn a few things about the man and had several biblical conversations with him, which delighted Andy and myself.  He has such a passion for giving and even more so for his Creator. 
 
Before he left that day he asked us to contact him if ever we were struggling and could use some financial help.  We thanked him for the offer and bid him farewell.
 
Later we discovered that this man has a reputation for giving to those in need.
 
We also discovered that he was homeless.
 
This man took no pleasure in spoiling himself with earthly riches.  He was all about cheerfully giving to others.
 
I learned that he is saving to afford a home of his own, but as of right now, I believe he is currently living with a relative.  We were also told that he had a rough life and went through many difficult and trying situations.  Yet, he continues to help others before himself and live each day like it is a blessing to be alive.
 
While I believe that it is important to be able to support yourself so you will better be able to serve others, I do admire what this man is doing.  His generous and giving spirit has warmed my heart.  He has a good head on his shoulders and I'm sure he's building himself a nice spot in Heaven for it. 
"I'm doing the Lord's work,"   he says.  "You can't go wrong when you do that.  It's what Jesus would do."
 
We are thankful to now call this gentleman our friend.  I smile when I think about his kind and giving spirit.
 

Friday, July 31, 2015

Liebster Award #5


My dear friend Evie over at Letters from Avonlea has tagged me with the Liebster Award (thank you, dear!).  This is the fifth time I have been nominated for a Liebster Award and yet it never gets old answering these questions.  They're so fun. :-)
 
Anyway, without further ado, here are Evie's questions:
 
*drumroll*
 

Pirates or Ninjas?  Why?
 
Definitely pirates.  And it's all thanks to Killian Jones/Captain Hook from Once Upon a Time. ;-)
 
 
Have you ever climbed a tree more than twenty feet off the ground?
 
I think so, although I am not entirely certain.  It's been years since I've climbed a tree, so the last time I did I was probably just a little munchkin who thought that the tree was gargantuan.  You know how everything appears larger and more majestic when you're a wee one. :-)
 
 
Did you like swinging as a child?  Do you still get excited when you see a swing set?
 
Absolutely.  And yes, I still enjoy swinging every now and then.  Quite especially if the swing is one of those old-fashioned wooden types.  Or a tire swing.  They make the environment look quite picturesque, I think.
 
 
If you could have any pet in the world, illegal or not, what would you get?
 
Can I say my pet Chihuahua?  My parents are keeping him since my hubby and I are not allowed pets where we live currently.  And oh how I miss my little peach. . .
 
 
 
What was your favorite cartoon growing up?
 
Disney's The Little Mermaid (my family can attest to that).
 
 
If you had to have a cow or a pig, which would you take?  Why?
 
A cow I guess.  That way we could milk it (although I detest skim milk).  So actually, I have no idea which I would choose.
 
 
If you had to look at one city skyline for the rest of your life, which would it be?
 
The Eiffel Tower.
 
 
Longest plane ride you've ever been on?
 
2.5 hours.  Only because there was a layover.
 
 
The latest you've ever slept.
 
12:30 in the afternoon. . . don't judge!  That only happened like once in my life, and that was when my family and I lived a second shift lifestyle where my dad didn't even get home from work until 3:00 in the morning.  So sleeping in was acceptable for that sort of shift.  Although 12:30 was definitely the latest I've ever slept in.
 
 
Would you buy a sweater covered in kitten pictures?  Would you wear it if someone gave it to you for free?
 
Would I buy it?  Probably not.  But if someone was kind enough to gift it to me, I'd probably wear it if it were warm and comfortable.  It would suit me well during the frigid, winter months.
 
 
Thanks for the fun questions, Evie!
God Bless!
 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

A Beautiful Mindset = A Beautiful Day

Good afternoon, dears!
 
It sure is a lovely day today, isn't it?
 
Here in my little spot of the world the clouds are roaring, the roads are paved with rain, and the overall outdoor sight is positively glum.  
And yet. . . I am delightfully happy!
 
It's a beautiful day,
and I am blessed to be alive.
 
 
A beautiful day begins with a beautiful mindset.
 
 When you wake up, take a second to think about what a privilege it is to simply be alive and healthy!
Rain or shine, I am still grateful for everything that I have been blessed with, today and everyday.
 
Sometimes you meet people in life whose attitudes change depending on their circumstances;
a gloomy day makes for a cheerless mood. . .
 a sunny day brings just the opposite. . .
 
I believe that any day can be beautiful the moment we start acting like life is a blessing.
 
I can assure you that once you begin to have that mindset, it will start to feel like one.
 
 
 
"He has made everything beautiful in its time."
- Ecclesiastes 3:11