Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A New Beginning

Tomorrow is a new beginning for the Abella household.  Mom (me) starts a new job. 

This is not something spur of the moment, it's been needed for a while.  The Lord waited until my heart was right and ready to submit to authority (still have issues with that) and have the right attitude about leaving home to rejoin the workforce after many years. 

I will be working with adults with developmental disabilities and/or mental health issues in group home type settings.  This is a rewarding work, one I've done before and enjoyed.  As I re-enter this job venue, I have more heart for it.  My own biological child most likely will be entering a supported living facility as he becomes an adult.  I want to be for the people that I will be attending the same type of staff I would want for my child. 

So, today is a day of preparation, with making sure I have plenty of modest, conservative clothing on hand for full time (potentially) work, containers for homemade high caffinated coffees, and a little bible to put in my purse.  I've prepared the children for the coming day, that mom will be leaving early in the morning for the first day of a new adventure.  They are excited, seeing mountains of toys in their future. 

Me, I see it as a potential ministry, a chance to retire the washboard, and ability to make sure the family has what is needed as well as being able to put more toward church ministry. 

All that said...I'll always still be a housewife...just sometimes gotta leave the house. :)

If you are a Christian homemaker/housewife who must work outside the home, what do you find most encouraging?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Veggie Tales Specials--Perfect for Black Friday Shopping!

VeggieTales Official Store

I've personally enjoyed Veggie Tales videos since 2005, when I stumbled across them in a Dollar General store.  I'm partial to Larry and Pa Grape myself.  The kids love Larry Boy and Junior Asparagus, and hubby rolls his eyes when I sing him the Cheeseburger song.  It's not uncommon to hear "The Hairbrush Song" or "God Is Bigger Than The Boogie Man" out of myself or one of the munchkins.  Yes, mom sings Veggie Tales!

In fact, I plan on buying the latest DVD for the munchkins for Christmas! 

The Veggie Tales Store has absolutely wonderful deals going on this season--I'd love to share them with you!

If you haven't been by there yet, stop in the Veggie Tales Official Store for CD's, toys, games, DVD's, and more!

Currently Veggie Tales is offering Free Shipping on orders of $30 or more.  Yes, FREE! 

"Big Idea Entertainment and, the Official Online VeggieTales Store, is pleased to offer FREE SHIPPING on all orders of $30 or more to the 48 contiguous United States. If your order subtotal exceeds $30 at the time of checkout, you will automatically receive a Free "Best Way" Shipping offer. Based on your location, we will determine the best delivery method for your shipment -- which generally speaking, will take 7-12 business days for arrival. This offer is valid for shipping addresses within the United States only, and excludes over-sized packages including rugs."

When you stop by the Veggie Tales Official Store, you'll find downloads for iTunes, as well as their latest DVD's and music, items for church, books, you name it.  Your kids will love it!  You will like the biblical values taught, with backdrops of well known bible stories and movies. 

When you get a moment, stop by the Veggie Tales Official Store for some of your Christmas online shopping!  Your children will be glad you did!

VeggieTales Official Store

Broken World

This is another song that is played a lot on our local country station (101.7 KHST of Lamar/Pittsburg).  The Talleys are a Christian group, so am definitely glad to hear this song!

Shared At:

A Mama's Story

Raising Arrows

The Better Mom

The Modest Mom

Far Above Rubies

Growing Home

Heavenly Homemakers

Thankful Homemaker

Time Warp Wife

That Old King James

I was listening to the radio with Mr. Kevin the other night in the car, and this song played on the local country station.

It's called "Old King James". 

It is refreshing to hear some decent songs on the country channels sometimes.  We're priveleged here in SE KS and SW MO to have 101.7FM, with Dalton Windsor (also known as Pastor Windsor to his church congregation) and Keith Brown who are proud Christians and make sure to play something God glorifying when they can. 

Thank you Dalton and Keith!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Jesus Loves You--Do You Love Him?

Do you love someone?  A spouse?  A son or daughter?  Mom or dad?  Do you love them so much that you'd take all their wrong doings, all their shame, all their sins, take all their burdens, die, and face an almighty God in their place?

Most of us would say yes, we love someone, but stop short of bearing all the sins and burdens and dying, facing an almight God for them. 

We can't do that.  We can't take someone else's burdens.  We can't take someone's sins away.  God won't take sins from someone else's account and put them to ours.  We have to take care of our sin debt ourselves. 

Except---God loves us so much, so so much, that HE did exactly that.  All your sins, all your sorrows, all your pain and suffering, all your hurts and burdens, He provided a way to take them away from you so you don't have to carry them anymore.  God loves you so much, He prepared a way for you to be sinless in His sight. 

You can't make yourself sinless in God's sight.  He is holy, and we are not.  No amount of work, no amount of good works, no amount of prescribed memorized prayers said over and over, will make you sinless in His presence.  No amount of worship, tradition, routine can make you perfect in His sight.

God knows we can't make ourselves clean before Him.  He knows the One who can.  He sent His only begotten Son, named Jesus, born of a virgin, to bear your sin.  Only Jesus has the ability to be your advocate, your lawyer, your sacrifice, before a holy and just God.  Jesus loves you so much that He came to earth born a man unto a virgin girl, in the lowliest of positions, lived and taught and obeyed the Law perfectly, lived a sinless life, and went to a horrible crucifixion death in order that you may live.  He bore your sins and mine when up on that cross, He became the only sacrifice that God will accept for the atonement for our sins. 

You can't do that.  Not for yourself, not for your children, not for anyone you love.

Jesus loves you so much, He did it for you. 

And what's even better--He's still alive!  His tomb is empty, He is risen, and sits at the right hand of God Almighty, advocating and interceing for us. 

He made that sacrifice for you, He died for you, took the payment for your sins.  He did the work for you.  You just have to ask Him now to put your sins on His account.  He has the gift for you, it's up to you to accept it.  He paid your ransom, will you accept the gift of life from Him?

John 3:16"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that
whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life."

Romans 5:8 tells us that God loved us so that "when we were in our sin
Christ Jesus came to die for us."

Romans 3:23
"for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,"

Romans 6:23"For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in
Christ Jesus our Lord."

Second Corinthians 5:21 says, "He who knew no sin became sin for us, that
we may be made the righteousness of God through Him."

Romans 10:9-10"that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart
that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a
person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he
confesses, resulting in salvation."

Romans 10:13
"for Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved."

Will YOU confess and call out for Jesus to save you?  It is so simple, just come to Him with a humble heart, and pray something like this (it doesn't have to be exact, just come from the heart):

"Dear God, I know that I am a sinner, and I am sorry. I need a Savior. I know I cannot save myself. I believe by faith that Jesus, your Son, died on the cross to be my Savior. I believe He arose from the grave to live as my Lord. I turn from my sin. I ask You, Lord Jesus, to forgive my sin and come into my heart. I trust you as my Savior and receive you as my Lord. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me."

Jesus loves YOU! 

Are You Feeling Blessed?

Ok, I'll admit it, I'm not feeling up to par right now.  It's Sunday morning, and 3 of the 5 of us in our home are sick.  Hubby, myself, and one child all have an upper respiratory thing.  Yuck.

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It'd be easy to get all down and out, give in to the sickies.  It's kept us from church today--really don't want to spread it around to the kids and seniors.  It's caused a bit of cost and chaos. 

Instead of being down about it, it is making us appreciate what we have.  We're appreciating breathing.  It's taken for granted most times, until it becomes hard and painful to do.  We appreciate the blessing of medicines available as needed. 

I seem to be coming out of it the quickest.  I've been feasting on homemade chicken bone broth soup with veggies and lots of red chili flakes.  My sinuses are officially open against their will, and feeling great.  Homemade remedy in a stock pot--isn't it great?? <grin>

It's hard to feel blessed when you're hurting and sick, but know that you are.  You have so much available to you, options to use, choices to make, for your individual care.  Take a moment and thank the Lord for His provision this sickies season.

My Lord Is....

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Standing Strong During The Hardest Season of the Year

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"Tree in Town Square," December 4, 1948
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I was reading through my blog roll this morning, and ran across one that brought up some old memories. 

Not Consumed has up some ideas about Christmas from the single parent's view. 

And the memories flood back.

It wasn't overly long ago when I was a single mom raising a special needs child with lots of medical problems.  Looking back it seems like a lifetime ago, another world, different people.  In a sense it is--life has changed, times changed, and so have the people involved.

I remember my first Christmas out on my own with Mr. Kevin.  He hadn't quite yet turned 2.  He didn't adapt well to the new little bitty apartment, mom having to work a lot and him having to go to a babysitter, and not being near his dad.  He didn't understand that dad had abused mom, and there was no way we could ever be a "family" again. 

Our first Christmas on our own, it was most definitely not a picturesque moment.  My tree was a tiny 2 ft or so one, barely decorated, and had few presents under it.  I saved and scrimped to buy a dancing Elmo for Mr. Kevin, he'd loved it so much in the stores that I wanted him to have one. 

I felt so empty that year.  I was a new Christian, but not really into the bible much yet.  I'd seen some miracles happen, and I do mean things that no one man could do, only God could do.  But my heart was empty.  I was alone.  My father had passed 2 years before, my mother had passed just the month before, I had family but didn't want to bother them, and was working trying to keep myself and Mr. Kevin afloat.  Surviving. 

It was coooold that winter as well.  Icy, cold, snowy, and I had to make it across the city to houses to provide in home care, face the icy streets with child in tow to the babysitter's house in order to go to various homes in order to do patient care.  I so deep down wanted to stay at home and snuggle up next to my little toddler. 

We made it through that lonely time, and things got better as the years passed.  I eventually married and have 3 children and a hubby at home to enjoy the Christmas season with.  But those years as a single mom were hard, especially during the holidays, when people chatted about what they were buying for their kids and spouses, holiday parties were going on, and I always felt on the outside, at the edges, looking in. 

This is a hard season for folks struggling with all kinds of issues.  What is supposed to be a season of happiness turns to a season of depression and loneliness. 

It doesn't have to be that way.

If you're a single parent, don't hide away in the house and refrain from family adventures.  Take the kids and go touring the city looking at the lights all over houses and decorations.  Take time and make cookies, even if it's the cold dough ones from the refrigerated section at the grocery store.  Spend time together and read the nativity story in the bible.  Make memories that will last well beyond the season. 

If you have a friend who is a single mom, offer to babysit for a while so she can go to spend time with other adults.  Offer to have her and her children over for a meal and activities.  Make her feel important again, loved, needed.  A night of playing a board game or watching a dvd with others goes farther than one would think.  All it costs is a bowl of popcorn and a little time.

Don't forget the single parents around you this time of year.  God loves the single mom too...just as much as He loves you.

Amazing Grace--My Chains Are Gone!

I absolutely love this song and video, and am sharing it with you!


Dresses from Shabby Apple

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Encouraging Through The Holidays

The holidays are coming up fast--can you believe it's nearly Thanksgiving??!!? 

This is the time of year when the most suicides occur, when depression seems to hit it's zenith, and for all the festivities and joyous feasting and sharing and giving, the downcast heart appears.

I'll admit it, I get like this too during the Thanksgiving and Christmas season.  I personally think it's more due to the days getting shorter and darkness setting in earlier in the day, the coldness of weather and how the chill creeps through the house, and being inside so much of the time. 

Yes, we are supposed to be thankful always.  And we're to rejoice always.  But, let's face it--we're not perfect and it doesn't all work out that way.  We need encouragement.  We need something to lift our spirits when we're snowed in and the kids are wild and it gets dark about a half hour after it gets light.

First and foremost, stay in your bible.  That book should be your best friend, your run to at any time, as God speaks to us through His Word!  Grab a cup of hot tea/coffee/chocolate (or whatever combination of all those you prefer), settle down at the table or in your favorite chair, and read some scripture.  Need encouragement?  Go to Psalms!  David is such an encouragement, and he's not ashamed to spill his heart out to the Lord.  Need some insight and wisdom?  Go to Proverbs and drink in all the wisdom the Lord put there.  Need a good love story?  Song of Solomon is a nice steamy novel just for you! 

After that, maybe do some decorating.  It doesn't have to be fancy.  Try some tea lights in a bowl with epsom or sea salts.  They are beautiful in the evening hours, and if you use scented tea lights, it's even nicer.  Put any other candles you have out and about throughout your house, and when you settle in a room for a while, light one or two for a while.  I love the Jelly Belly and Yankee candles, and despite using them sparingly due to their cost, it makes a nice scent that lingers a while.

Decorate to the way you feel is best.  Put up things you enjoy to see and share.  It's nice to look at things that bring you happiness, fond memories, and a brighter side.

Play music that encourages you.  Do you enjoy hymns?  Play your favorite holiday related ones.  Do you enjoy Christmas secular music?  Crank it up!  Music lifts your mood, play whatever you enjoy.  Me, I like to listen to both secular and sacred Christmas music all year round.  So what if it's the middle of June and I'm singing "Jingle Bells"? :) 

Extend a hand out to your neighbors and friends.  Bake a batch of cookies and take them over to the neighbor who seems to be running frantically from one place to another and doesn't have that time to bake themselves.  Make some bread to take to that elderly couple down the street or over across town.  Try out some new recipes and make goodies to take to shut ins.  Make up a box of goodies to send to some missionaries (things that won't turn green and/or break enroute especially if sending to foreign countries, ideas like candy pretzels, stationery, or whatever you think they'd like that won't spoil enroute).  Giving to others, regardless of the year lifts the spirits.  You don't have to put a lot of money into the gift, just your heart and time. 

This time of year  seems hardest on families who are unemployed, under employed, who have little money to spend on basic necessities, let alone gifts.  If you have the extra in your account, give the struggling mom a gift card to say, Walmart, a grocery store, some place where she'd be able to spend it wisely for her family and personal needs.  If you don't have extra, spend time and make the struggling family a meal or two.  We all know someone who is struggling, whether they'll admit it or not--you can tell--who'd rather not ask for help, but truly does appreciate it when it's given and is thankful.  Let God use you to be a blessing to someone, in doing so, you not only help them, you help yourself feel better. 

I'm sure there's a ton of other ideas out there, and you're welcome to add them to the comments!  Let's make this season a time to point back to Jesus, doing for others and showing them how He loves. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

It's All In How You Look At It

It's been eventful these past couple of weeks.  First the East Coast experienced a super storm, then the much anticipated elections. 

Now, I'm not going to get into politics--there's plenty of that on Facebook and all the various news outlets.  Don't tune me out here! :)

Since that storm that first started out in the warm waters of Cuba, Haiti, and other tropical islands fired up and went north, I've been observing reactions, by both government agencies and the people in the path.

Millions of people were/are without electricity and heat, had their homes flooded out, possessions water logged, and over 100 perished.  The Northeast, especially the locales of New York City and New Jersey was hard hit, there's no doubt.  Then add in many feet of snow to the west of them, and now a current snow storm, you'd expect misery.

Then, throw in looters, people who choose to steal what isn't theirs, people who complain of what they lost and what others are or are not doing for them.  Woe is me.

Add government involvement and/or lack of (take it however you want).

Lots of complaining, moaning, groaning, Eeyore's "woe is me" attitude. 

Sure, it'd be very easy to see the happenings like that.  I can't say that I'd be happy cheery all the way through myself.

On the flip side, I have insight into some family who were affected by Hurricane Sandy, and are rejoicing.

Yes, you read right--rejoicing.

We have family in Cuba.  Hubby and his family are Cuban.  Keep in mind, Cuba is still Communist, still oppressive of Christians and anyone who does not think well of Castro and the government the Castro brothers run.  Freedom there is non-existent the way that we know it.

Cuba was hit by the hurricane.  It was a Category 2 when it hit the island.  Houses are still roofless, electricity is out, many are without food/shelter/adequate water as well.  In that country, there is no rush to fix problems, nor is there real money, as there is no real economy due to lack of free enterprise.  So, many houses stand roofless, possessions are ruined, waterlogged, houses are left open to regular seasonal rains and weather that comes in tropical countries. 

But--we hear that our family there is rejoicing.  Yes, you read right.  Rejoicing.  Not looting, not complaining, not acting the fool.


The family knows of Jesus, they love Him.  Some are new Christians, still young in the faith.  And they rejoice to be worship Him, if it be in a flooded house devoid of possessions, so be it.  They aren't looting, they're not waiting for FEMA to give them money and a house like the trailers that are used here. They are rejoicing that they know Him and He is taking care of their needs!

Compare and contrast stories from the media about the Northeast, how things are being handled, and what people are doing (of course not all are being idiots and acting like a bunch of animals, but the ones that are do take over the headlines).  Read as well what you can about the countries in the Carribean who were hit just as hard if not harder. 

Also, remember your own freedoms.  Appreciate each day when you have opportunity to pick up your Bible and read it.  Think about how many you own.  When is the last time you were arrested for going to church here in the US? 

The family in Cuba, even my own father in law on a visit to Cuba in the 1990's, have been arrested for going to church services.  Papa was a US citizen (naturalized) and held for a few hours for taking family to church to hear the Gospel.  The family that are on the island face that each time they go to services.  Bibles are not exactly well loved by the government as well, and each one is precious to the owner.  It is treated with high regard and respect, well loved and worn from reading.  Christ is not loved by the Cuban government, and His followers are not treated very nicely as well.  We take this for granted.

Two different countries, two different mentalities. 

Complaining in one area.  Worshipping in the floods in another.

It's all in how you look at it.


Joyfully shared at:

Raising Arrows


Growing Home


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Encourage One Another

Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.[Be] of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.  (Romans 12:15-16)

Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do. (I Thessalonians 5:11)

Have you been an encouragement to someone today?  Take a moment to call up a friend, say hi to someone on your Facebook or Twitter, send an email, and tell that person who God is bringing to your heart and mind that you're thinking of them.  Give them a bit of encouragement. 

The devil is working harder and  more intensely as his days become fewer.  The attacks hurt more, and discourage more.  A small word of encouragement to someone you know may be just what they need to get through the rest of the day.

Take a moment tonight and encourage your dear friend!

Thank You

Dear Diary,

Thank you Lord, for loads and mountains of laundry.  Today as I folded mountains of handwashed and line dried laundry, I saw just how much of an abundance we have.  And it's not all washed yet, so there's even more abundance sitting in the laundry baskets dirty. 

Thank you, Lord, for the tons of dirty dishes I faced tonight.  This means we have ample food in which to use the plates in serving.  We may not always like what is on those plates, but it's more than many have.  Thank You for providing us with more than plenty.

Thank you Lord, for a beautiful day outside, 70 degrees on the first of November, great for line drying clothing, airing out the house, allowing the heater and air conditioning to rest. 

Forgive me for wanting more.  Forgive me for not being satisfied with what we have.  I sometimes forget that You've supplied more than I deserve.

Thank You, Lord.