12.31.2011

Today and Always



© Dawn Paoletta (please do not copy)
I took this picture at Narragansett Beach
 on December 31, 2010 New Years Eve morning.
One year ago today. 
                                                                   
Today and Always

Some say life is a series of choices...


If I choose to argue

for that "important" cause, 
it might be a good thing,
perhaps 
some would take pause.

If I choose to oppose 
every wicked thing,
and stand shouting hateful words 
in hopes of good to bring.

If I choose to pursue
the many worldly goods,
passing by those shaking their heads
and all accusing shoulds.

If I choose to waste my words on that which 
seems is right,
instead of yield to the brightest 
of all penetrating light.

If I choose to fight the wars 
of those who oppose -
all of the godly people,
what do you suppose?

If I choose to battle in the strength 
of many men,
I would lose my hope and power 
from the one 
in whom I depend.

If I choose to strive for all godliest of gain,
I might lose it all-
that which I have yet to attain.

If I choose to seek those who exclude the least,
I would leave behind 
the one who brings true peace-
excluding none.

If I choose to speak when it has not been led,
by the Spirit through the Son,
my words are lifeless yet, and best remain unsaid. 

If I choose to let these lips impart what's true,
I will have served best 
the One who who makes all things new.

If I choose to share what I have received,
I confirm with my mouth,
that which I believe.

I choose instead of all of these,
 to stay beside my guide,
and cling to his robe-
safely -
that is where I hide.

In doing so I confirm 
my identity-
nothing else I am but His,
a child,
chosen, loved - free. 

Keep your wars, your fame, your fights, your rights and soapbox stands,
I am most content
 clinging to His hand.

I'll leave you to your preaching, your rants, and your tirades,
I will stay close by my King avoiding the charades.

I will live my one life 
praising my Faithful King,
knowing and believing
in the Truth that he brings.

For the life I claim as mine
is truly not my own.

He laid down His life and 
Heaven now,
 is called my home.

Above all else I pray 
that this be my one thing.

I live today and always
to glorify The One True King.


12/31/11
©Dawn Paoletta










12.30.2011

Pieces Of Me: Favorite Blog Posts of 2011

This how I mostly look, on a daily basis.
Hi my name is Dawn.
 This is my camera and constant companion.
Well, it is hard to believe the year is about to end. Thank the Good Lord, for that. Last year at this time I really did not know what a Blog was or that there actually were so many Blogs in the Blogosphere! Who knew?
But here I am to share with you my favorite posts from my short 7 month history of Blogging. I wanted to choose posts that had the most meaning to me as opposed to most popular post, because that's how I roll. Also for the record the two most popular posts currently are my two guest posts for the Inspiring Women Series! Apparently I am the least popular on my own Blog! Ha! Thank you Jenny and Susie

I do not expect you to read all of these gems - That is way too much of me for anyone! I would be encouraged and blessed if you picked one or two, you have not read before and left a comment after you read it! Thank you for joining me on this journey! Purty Puhleeze?

So without further adieu. Drum roll please, here they are in no special order 
(OK, scratch that they are actually in chronological order) :


The River, The Journey and The Guide ~ My hubs and I join our daughter's Girl Scout Troop for a white water rafting trip. Tongue in cheek humor and Dawn perspective, throughout. 

Bloom: The Only Way Out Is Through ~ Disappointment, disillusionment and trusting God.

You Mean I'm Supposed To Rejoice? ~ God's will for the rain and sunshine days is the same. 

Being The Change I Long To See ~ My desire to soar as an eagle despite feet of clay.

The Unlikely Bloom: His Purposes Prevail ~ God's faithfulness to give unexpected blessings. 

The Sacred Rocker ~ How a shower gift became Holy- A mom's nursing story. 

You Have Now Entered Another Dimension... ~ Discovering the Blogosphere.

A Magical Day  ~ A sidetracked mom story involving one wedding dress and three generations.
In one short post (miraculous)!

The Elephant and Me (That's Just Gross) ~ You know how to eat an elephant don't you? 


Sheltered ~ Hurricane Irene, God and birds. Yeah, that. Check it out. 

The Boy, The Man and Grace ~ A salvation story. 

God, Google Earth and The Three O's ~ A casual conversation in the car with my girl goes God.

Bird Bath Blessings ~ God takes pleasure in us.


Don't forget to enter my special New Years Eve Giveaway!
Now that is a post you want to check out! 

Happy Friday before New Years Day! 


12.28.2011

Shredding Bad Memories of 2011 with K-Love!





Yesterday, in my Newsfeeds on Facebook, I saw this post from K-Love Radio about shredding the worst moments of 2011. You know, this morning I asked God to show me the things that happened this year that I perceived as "bad" and to reveal to me during this last week of December, how each of these occurring circumstances had a counter blessing by Him, and will work together ultimately, in His good and perfect will for my life. 

I added a comment: I want to forget the day I got rear ended and my car was totaled, The moment while volunteering at my Daughter's School Field Day that I hurdled my way to a torn hip, AND the day my boss told me that we were no longer professionally compatible- so bye bye. YEAH. ALL THAT! Rough year!



 Well today Amanda shredded all of those comments
 including mine.
Yay. 


The last week of December is the time I usually start looking back on all the hopes, dreams and goals I had the prior year and contemplate the upcoming year with all of it's potential. 
Which leads me to the next quote that caught my eye, sent through those fabulous feeds of love: 

"My life may not be going the way I planned it, but it's going exactly the way God planned it."



Have any moments you would like to shred?
Know this, we can shred them and still know and trust the one who sifts every dreadfully, shred - worthy moment through His Almighty hands. 




Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:2


Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:13






12.26.2011

A Twisted Tongue Tale




The holidays. You prepare, anticipate, agonize the details and hope all will go smoothly on the day all come together to celebrate. Often we see people we may not see all year, but through family or friendship we find ourselves in their company once, may be twice a year. Although we love our family, there may be one or two people who just challenge us. Like nails on a chalkboard, they offer us the opportunity us to smile and not cringe, despite the level of discomfort they bring us. Well, this is a story about one of these. Bear with me if you will, and I will share a bit of holiday pain, which may turn out to provide a lesson for you as it did me. Unless of course you are already so pious. If so, move along, move along. I am here to be authentic, and those of you who know me already know, sometimes it just ain't pretty. But God can work with the mess of me. And you too... if you will allow Him.

As we drove home from visiting family this Christmas, the words I wanted to speak about a certain person were swirling around my mind just waiting for the opportunity to emerge. I knew these words would not have passed the Ephesians (4:29) or Philippians (4:8) litmus test for proper conversation, so I tried to keep my tongue. You know that thing behind the lips that speaks murderously and betrays the heart. Our words reveal our heart AND furthermore, if it is in the mind, it is as good as said aloud. However, this is one of those things that if it's not said you can confess and deal with it discreetly with God before you damage and poison those around you. Unfortunately, I was not wise with my tongue and I went ahead and gushed forth my complaints about the person before my family. I was stopped when my daughter called me out. I knew she was spot on, too, especially after my defensive response was spoken. The fact was, even if what I said had some validity, it was not loving. It was not kind. It certainly was not gracious, to the person spoken of nor to my family, who had to hear it. Oh, I was guilty as charged and I did not like it...I knew I had chosen poorly and sinned. My tongue had turned against me and now I was tangling with my own child over it!

 I was reminded this holiday that God loves those who I might otherwise find rude, annoying, difficult or just plain mean. I know this, already, right? Yet apparently I needed yet another reminder. 
How about you? Can you think of anyone for whom you can relate to what I am saying?

God has called me to a life of prayer, not complaining about the un - lovliness of others. He has called me to kindness, not criticism. Even, if at first glance it appears justifiable. Jesus spoke the truth, in love.The truth should not be spoken, when it is not laced with grace, but instead accusing attitude and critical spirit.

One of the ways I glorify God is by sacrificing my preferences for His, through yielding my will concerning others. There is no greater challenge to the core of my Christian faith than when I say not my will but Yours, Lord. This is the first and final battle in the walk of faith. It does not come easy, but it has already been won, for we who believe.

What is God's will for me concerning this person? First, to recognize that despite my annoyance with the person, that Jesus loves them completely and is pleading for them before the Father. He wills that they should not perish but have everlasting life. Jesus calls me his friend. Friendship requires humility, grace and submission. I must consider that my "friend" Jesus,  laid down His life that I might not only gain eternity but learn to live life with a holy order, rising above petty annoyances which distract me from His divine purposes and  plans. Secondly, I need to pray for this particular family member and ask God to change my heart attitude, which is wrong, and let God deal with it through the intimate time we share in holy conversation. When I do this He may lead me to pray more specifically, once I get beyond the superficial, raw prayers like:
"I confess I can't even stand this person, Lord...but you tell me to pray for others and because I love and esteem your will more than my own - or at least desire to- I confess my lack of love and likeness to you and ask you to allow me to pray with your heart and mind for this person, teach me your ways, Lord."

Yes, I really sometimes start there. I'm honest with God because he already knows my yuckiness. Now you know. Aren't you lucky! If you can't be real with God, dear one, I fear you are not real with anyone. And that is much worse than just being a little rough around the edges. He knows all, friend. Keep it real with Him. He will take care of the rest!

We talk in cliches all through the season.
The fact is that Christ came that lives would be transformed, and that we would be born into a Kingdom of Righteousness, one heart at a time. 
By His Grace, for His Glory.
Amen.

PS: On a side note I apologized and was forgiven by my family! My daughter patted me on the shoulder after I reluctantly admitted my sin and told me so. God is good. 


Linking up for the first time with Shanda from A Pause On The Path!





It's Got To Be The Monday After...


It's got to be the morning after...see my pasty, white complexion,
beady eyes and dazed expression?
Well, if it isn't the morning after Christmas day and of course, this is my favorite day to blog and link up with Carissa at Lowercase Letters! So, hoping you all had a wonderful weekend, grab a cup of Joe and join in my Monday morning madness, will you? We're off!

"Re-calclating" direction...
So last Monday, late afternoon, I got "The Phone Call". Oh, I am so relieved, even though disappointed. I did not get that coveted position and it was confirmed through the lovely voice on my voice mail. They even had an offer ready, but due to a technicality... OK, in reality 6 years experience working with a specific group of people required which I don't have AND a tiny grant stipulation (not so tiny, really) it seems that the light went from green, to yellow to red and that is the end of that. For now. Swallowing hard and trusting Him who knows best. Here is an excerpt form my personal journal (Brave, aren't I?) : So, Lord. Being honest here. It's disappointing. Not so much because they did not "pick me" but because I thought I heard you. . . again. Because I saw possibility and opportunity and because I wonder if I will ever know when you are directing my path.  I want to honor you. I don't understand the things you choose for me. Or withhold from me. - 12/19/2011



A week is not complete without coffee with a friend so I had a lovely coffee chat with a sweet sister at one of my fave places for such ~ Cool Beans Cafe on Wednesday!



Library find of the week:  

I really enjoyed reading this fictional account by Lois Untermeyer  about the holy family
one year later living as refugees in a foreign land with a tiny babe. 

New England Christmastide
Every year I get one  new Christmas CD and this year was a beautiful  instrumental
which both my daughter and I adored! Hub prefers more contemporary stuff!



Christmas Eve service was beautiful and the reading of Isaiah 53 brought me to tears- as it always does. Our  patient Pastor competed with a bleating lamb but she was silent at just the right time! The children loved it very well, and I consider myself as one! When that little lamb was placed before us, it stirred within my heart such deep grief, pain and joy. All of the prophecy came alive within me. It is beyond words to describe. 

The reading of Isaiah over a bleating sheep stirred the heart.

"Flower" safe in the arms of her very own good shepherd!
She is just 10 days old and has made her acting debut to
 glorify the Lord!


A morning visit to a certain special Grandparent brought forth a new family member 
to my future Fashion Designer (?) daughter and much fun ensued. 
Introducing Mary Kate - Barbara!


But more importantly the most precious of all coveted gifts ...
The packaging!



After Christmas Eve service, we had a quiet night together
 which included laughter, and Charades. 
Miraculously, sweet daughter was happy to open one gift 
and we all hunkered down before midnight
for good night's rest. 






Christmas Day we visited family and I had an epiphany which
 I will share in a post later this week.
Did anyone read Daily Bread's perfect portion that day? I really liked that share!
  Now IS the time to worship! Yes! 

Don't forget, there is time to enter for a chance
(Winner  to be drawn New Years Eve!)



Goodbye 2011, Hello 2012!

Now, we prepare for the new year and say goodbye to the old.
What are your hopes and dreams for the New Year, friends? 

               Have a great last week of 2011! 


Miscellany Monday @
lowercase letters

12.23.2011

Jesus Calling Devotional Bible Review AND Giveaway

Merry Christmas Giveaway! 

Well, friends as a very special thank you toYOU, my faithful followers and friends, to celebrate the joy of the season and my first Christmas as a blogger in this wonderful Blogosphere, I am offering the chance to receive this beautiful, Jesus Calling Bible by Thomas Nelson Bibles. You know I was excited to receive it myself, as I shared on an earlier post but in keeping with the season it certainly is more blessed to give than receive! Let me tell you about this Bible and then I will give you details on how one special  person will receive it as a Christmas Gift to start the new year off right!  I know that you are all special, but I only have one Bible to give! 

My Personal Perspective:

This particular Bible is perfect in size. This is a huge deal to me, as I like to tote my bible of choice about with me for coffee shop jaunts, Sunday School, church, chick chats, etc. You get the picture. It is easy to hold and handle.To me this can be a make or break deal. Thumbs up on this detail. Next I love the coloring. When I am considering a devotional Bible for myself, if the color does not appeal to me, that's a potential strike out! But I love the fact that the page quality is good ( I like to write a bit and hi-light), and the colors work nicely; they are similar to the cover colors which you may be familiar with. Warm and inviting colors equal another thumbs up.
Let me back up to say that I use certain Bibles at home to study, prepare and work on lessons, and have a definite BFF Bible  but also enjoy starting the New Year, or various seasons of life, with a devotional Bible for daily quiet times. Thumbs up, naturally for the fact that Sarah Young's writings from Jesus Calling and Jesus Lives are topically served alongside scripture throughout the Bible. 
I also think that the "When Your Heart Longs For Help" section is especially positive for those seeking encouragement and empathy through reading the words of others going through a similar situation in the spiritual realm. These are written prayers to Jesus, from unique perspectives and circumstances expressed alongside scripture and Sarah's devotions. Sometimes reading the prayers of others can help us find our own words to pray to Jesus. So a thumbs up for real life authenticity of shared prayers.


Now here are some things you might need to know if you are considering buying or using this Bible for your personal use. These are not necessarily thumbs down, just depends on your preference- keep that in mind!

OK, so first off, I don't hate the New King James Version, it is just not my favorite. I usually peruse many translations but have somehow gotten comfortable with the New International Standard Version (1984). Now don't get your britches all up in a bunch. I know there are more literal translations etc. This is just the reality. I also am enjoying newer translations, so that is just my two cents. Many people and teachers love the NKJV. I may change my mind sometime. But for now, not doing it, although I am open. If you love it, perfect, you are thrilled that this is the available version!
Next up, in a Devotional I like to see a Reading Plan. For instance starting out with marked days with a specific reading for that day. Not that you can't find a reading plan online or somewhere, BUT if I am going to dish over my cash, I am looking for format with regard to Devotional Bibles. I have a friend who loves her devotional Bible without a format and she uses just prints out an online daily reading schedule. This is straight up Genesis to Revelation format. That is good but you want to know, if you are like me when it comes to checking Bible details. I think it might be nice to have a Reading Plan in the back for a future publication.

Over all I'd say you are a pretty happy camper coming away with this Bible!

* I did receive this book from Thomas Nelson for free, but the opinions expressed are completely MINE!


Here is how to enter the Giveaway:

You must simply enter a comment below this post! 

You can get ONE extra entry to win by "following" Beneath The Surface: Breath of Faith in a new way, ie. Networked Blogs, Facebook Page or Google Friend Connect. Leave another comment so I know you did this!

Please share with friends who you think might be interested.
I will draw the Winner on New Years Eve! 



Publisher's Description :



Jesus Calling Devotional Bible, NKJV, NKJV

Enjoying Peace in His Presence
Multicolor, Padded Hardcover
The Jesus Calling Devotional Bible puts readers in touch with God and His answers for their life situations. Missionary Sarah Young had been journaling her prayers for years when she began "listening" for what Jesus was saying to her within the words of Scripture. In this Bible, 260 scenarios pose life struggles to which Sarah Young gives answers from her Savior—words that Jesus has lovingly laid on her heart—words that have comforted and inspired Sarah and many others around the world.
Features include:
  • 260 scenarios with devotions by Sarah Young
  • Hundreds of inspiring scriptures highlighted throughout the text
  • New King James Version® (NKJV) in paragraph format
  • Index to devotions
  • Two-color text
  • Presentation page
  • Ribbon marker
Part of the Signature Series line of Thomas Nelson Bibles
The New King James Version—More than 60 million copies sold in 30 years



12.22.2011

Coming Back To Mary

Kissing the Face of God by Morgan Weistling

 Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!
Luke 1:45 

 Which character in the Christmas story is speaking to you this year?
                                                                          
The mall was crowded. The lights and glitz assaulted her eyes and mind from every direction. Her heart was heavy. It was almost Christmas. She felt empty as she walked from store to store. She longed for the aching in her heart to stop. She knew about God. She knew about Jesus. Yet, it all seemed long ago and faraway. She knew the story. She knew the birth. Yet, in this moment, in this place, it seemed as distant as a star. She thought about the star. She pondered the story. Yet she had not emerged new. She felt old. She looked through the glass display case. She longed to take hold of something she could not comprehend. But what was it? She had no name for it. There was no place for Hypocrisy and Religion in her life; that couple who had married and conceived lies. She longed for authentic faith. But she couldn't believe. Why, she wondered? But God knew. She continued to look at the sparkling jewels. Shiny, whispers of  light. They were pretty and distracting. She lost herself in the beauty and colors of the stones, gems and trinkets. As she walked around watching everyone busy themselves with shopping, she wondered again in her mind. Mary. Favored by God. The more she knew, the less she understood. With child. Unmarried. Good news? She did not get it at all. It bothered her. It was the stirring of the birth of faith in her heart.
She wondered about Mary's faith. How could she believe? It all seemed scary and unknown. How was it that Mary was able to have faith in the reality of it all? I mean it is so clear in hindsight. But hindsight was not what Mary had, after all. But, faith is what Mary displayed. Quiet confidence and trust in The Everlasting. It was this faith that she could not comprehend that drew her deeper into the query. It consumed her. Even now as she looked for a tiny cross to encourage herself, to gain hope again. A gift for herself from herself, to bring her back to the tiny seed of faith that was planted and crushed so long ago.

But, it was almost Christmas. 

She asked the jewelry salesgirl to see the cross. It was at that moment she saw a medallion with Mary on it. She inquired of the salesgirl who immediately retrieved it. "I would like to have it, please", she said.


She put the medallion on the chain around her neck.
It reminded her of something she remembered from childhood.
Something good but lost.
She left the mall with her mind swirling.
I want to believe, she thought.
In her mind she thought about the young virgin.
How could she believe?
Trust?
Hope?
By outward appearance and reality Mary's world would be turned upside down.
Love did that to Mary.
But what was accomplished through Mary,
because of her faith in God's divine plan,
 is etched out in history forever.

After all we know that "history" is really all His Story. 

Early in my Christian walk, it was Mary's life who God most used to draw me into a deeper, 
trusting relationship of faith with Himself. He used her humility, simple faith, and example to lead me to the feet of the King of Kings, her Son, My Savior and Lord-Jesus Christ to the Glory of God the Father. This Christmas I consider her again and more so now that I am further along in years, and faith; Having had my own life turned upside down due to the Lord's plan or my own sin and foolishness, yet still finding Him faithful and true in it all. This year I am coming back to Mary and the sweet, beautiful, simple faith, that birthed the faith in a manger that I hold in my heart today.

 For my eyes have seen your salvation, 
 which you have prepared in the sight of all people, 
a light for revelation to the Gentiles 
   and for glory to your people Israel.”

Luke 2:30-32

Lord Jesus, I thank you that you have given everything we need for hope and salvation in your perfect plan and wisdom. His name is Jesus and at His name alone, every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that He is Lord of all to your Glory! Amen.

I am blessed and grateful to be linking up for the first time with Bonnie over at Faith Barista


12.20.2011

Who's The Fairest One of All?

Choosing the fairest Christian Devotional
of all can be challenging! 

Magic Mirror, on the wall...
who is the fairest one of all?

Is it Oswald,  Sarah, or Spurgeon pray tell,
You know a New Year is coming as well.

So show me,
lead me,
oh, Mirror I ask-
Show me in your looking glass.


As you can see I have watched one too many Disney Princess movies. Yes, sometimes that Disney stuff just pops right out of my little mind when I sit down to write. Those classics just seem to stay with you. Ah-ha, like a good devotional book. A while back I was going to write a post dedicated to why I am not a big fan of Christian devotional books, due to the fact that sometimes I see people rely on them exclusively and neglect deeper Bible study. However, I realize that God is gracious. He knows his own and is able to make his truth known to those who desire and seek Him with the right heart and attitude. 

And without faith it is impossible to please God, 
because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists 
and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. 
Hebrews 11:6 

For the LORD God is a sun and shield; The LORD gives grace and glory; 
No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.
Psalm 84:11


I do believe a good devotional can be a great supplement to Bible reading and is especially good for tight schedules and keeping a steady pace with the Lord, on a day to day basis. Like fitness, a little bit on a regular basis, is better than a whole bunch sporadically. Finding a devotional book to help meet you where you are at, during the season of life you're in is crucial. Like a good pair of shoes, a good devotional will stand the test of time. It will be comfortable and support you where you need it. It will carry you and sometimes you might even carry it! I carry my current favorite Jesus Calling by Sarah Young in my purse. I actually have it on Kindle and also in a small, handy, leatherette book. One of the most important aspects about using a devotional that can be overlooked, is the actual act of searching the scriptures that the devotional reading is based upon. Sometimes the scripture is listed, often it is not. The point I want to make is, if you are supplementing your Bible Study with devotional reading without actually reading scripture, it is a weak supplement for you. Supplement by definition is something that is done as an accompaniment, not a replacement for the something itself. I think Christians are ill prepared for the battlefield called life when they do not get in the Word, and rely instead on the words of men (or women) to feed them. 

Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
 Matthew 24:35

You see it's His words that do not pass away, not Pastor So and So's. Not mine, not yours and not anyone else's. Yes there is great wisdom in the words that are spirit led and shared but we are to be sustained by God's Word because there is life for Believers in them. That is what we need to eat to be satisfied, sustained and spiritually strong. 

For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, 
it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; 
it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
Hebrews 4:12


There are many good devotionals that are available through the mail as well as online. When I was a new believer I remember receiving devotionals on my computer which were such an encouragement to me. At the time I had an office in a large gym, and trained clients early in the morning. As soon as I could get to that computer I was grateful to have a morning break with God with "God's Minute". These were good for my day, as they included the scripture within the content of the devotion itself. 

When my daughter was about 4 years old and right on until about third grade, we used a wonderful devotional magazine called Keys For Kids, through CBH ministries. We received it through the mail but it is also available online. I really loved it and at one point my sweet girl wrote a letter to them and sure enough, we received one of the sweetest letters back, a first grader and her mom could ever have hoped for! If you have little ones, and want a great devotional, I highly recommend them. 

Two more devotional magazines I like are Our Daily Bread and  Charles Stanley's In Touch Magazine.
Proverbs 31 Ministries is an excellent resource for women.

I think the key to remember here is that we don't want to be in the habit of skimming along the surface when God has riches and sustenance for us beneath the surface! Oh, and this leads me to a wise word given to me by a sweet Christian Sister when I was a new mom. She told me to put Bibles out and have them open - anywhere I might find myself with the baby, so that, while caring and nurturing my needy one I would also receive nourishment and strength for those long days and nights during that season of my life! Those were good words, friend! Thank you Karen F. ! 

Where there's a will - there's a way. And God will meet you there. 

 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, 
and the Word was God. 
John 1:1


 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.
John 1:14

Is there a favorite devotional you like? Is there a devotional you are planning to use for the New Year? 

I will be sharing a list of my favorite Devotionals on a separate post, later in the week in case you are interested in one for the New Year or just enjoy lists!


Linking Up with Courtney below:


12.19.2011

What Do a Clingy Elf and a Praying Mom Have In Common?


48 years and still"clinging". May we do likewise! 

 This lovely and encouraging note was shared with Moms In Touch
group leaders- through New England's Regional Director, 
Sharon Gamble, one of the loveliest ladies 
I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. 
           
Hidden away at the very back of my Christmas tree, hangs a little elf, his pipe cleaner hand clinging to a tree branch. He is a scruffy fellow made of pipe cleaners and felt and he is not in tip-top condition poor guy. You see, I made him myself 48 years ago in kindergarten! I know…why on earth has this guy not been thrown out? My mother admired my work of art years ago and faithfully displayed him each year. When I married, I brought him with me and he has graced each Christmas tree in our home since. He has become a family joke of sorts, but the tree would not be the same without him. ☺
      There are times in my life when I feel a lot like that elf. I am not in tip top condition and I am a bit wobbly, but I know my job and it is to cling faithfully, not to a tree branch, but to my heavenly Father’s hand. At a time of deep distress in my life, I found this verse in my Bible –“I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand…” Isaiah 42:6. These words are spoken to the Messiah, Jesus, if you read the verse in context, but at that moment in my life, the Lord told me He would take hold of my hand, too, if I would cling to Him!!
     I am the blessed recipient of a mother’s prayers. All my life, the mother who saved my elf prayed for me. She is currently in a Moms In Touch grandmother group and she continues to pray for me and my children! Oh! The prayers that have been answered over time as she and I have held on to the Father’s hand...
     This Christmas and into the New Year, dear mom, be faithful to pray for your precious children. Attend your weekly group meetings and cling together to the Father’s hand. There is no better place to go…especially when you feel a bit undone – like my little Christmas elf.
Have a Very Merry Christmas!!
You are loved! 
Sharon


I loved this piece so much, it is so reflective of the faithfulness handed down through God to His praying Moms! And that is what a Clingy Elf and a Praying Mom have in common: A faithful God, answered prayer and a legacy of love remembered in a sweet reminder each Christmas! 
Thank you, Sharon- for allowing me to share your wonderfulness- here on my blog! Can't wait until your next "special" visit! hint, hint... "Inspiring Women Series"! 





Sharon Gamble 

USA Regional Director-New England 

Moms In Touch International