Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Word Filled Wednesday

Proverbs 31:21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed
in scarlet.

Welcome to the last Wordfilled Wednesday of the year. As I think about this photo and the verse I realize it is fitting to end the year and to start next year.
This is my sweet little house which I love. Which God Blessed us with. Christmas day we had an unexpected snow and I was able to take a photo. You can see I wasn't prepared wagon in the yard, chairs from Goodwill waiting to get stored and the footprints in the snow. If I had been thinking about It I would have gone out the back door. I would have moved the wagon the day before and the chairs. But isn't that they way we usually are? We act or speak without thinking.

I am glad to use this photo because it reminds me that I want to:
. . . Dedicate this blog to God's glory
. . . Make my home a sanctuary
. . . Stop before I act or speak

I hope your New Years is Blessed please come back and visit and leave a comment.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

On writing a book

I thought this was an adorable photo. I am sharing it because it illustrates the post I started to write. It is now sitting awaiting as a draft. I realized it was close to a book. And I realized that you probably didn't want to read a book this morning.

So today I leave you with two verses that will hopefully give you encouragement today.
These are the verses I was writing about. But they really don't need anything added from me.

First. . . Psalms 51:10 Create in me a pure heart, O God and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

And. . . Proverbs 3:5&6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understand; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.

May your day be Blessed by God.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Making your home a Sanctuary Simply

This weekend I started working on some ideas for my blog and how I wanted it to look, what I wanted it to say, and how it is used. I really want it to be an encouragement to you and especially over the last couple of months except for my whinney day I tried to leave something uplifting and thoughtful for you to consider. And so in between Christmas and New Years I started working on a few changes. I work much better when I am organized and so I am working on organizing my thoughts and posts. I hope you’ll enjoy the new look(s) and come by often. I try to post every day. Sometimes it isn’t early in the morning but by mid day there is something up.
Today I want to share with you my inspiration. I love Rachel Anne at Home Sanctuary. Here are her thoughts about preparing our homes for the new year.
"In between the Christmas hustle and bustle, I've been thinking a lot about Home Sanctuary and the Small Things. The days before a new year begins always bring a sense of anticipation to me. I like to set a few goals and get re-organized and agonize over which new planner to go with. Surely there MUST be one that will cure my forgetfulness and distractedness and whip me into shape? It's probably too much to ask, but I can dream.
But there is one thing I always come back to each year. The thing that never falls off my radar. The thing that brings me back here every day.
I want my home to be a sanctuary - a refuge - for my family.
My reality is that I'm a tired mom, living on a shoestring. I'm haphazard in my organization and quite a few of my ideas are half baked, at best.
But I've got this unshakable belief that a home can be wonderful, even if you don't have it all together. I believe that God takes the little bit that you have, and He can make much of it."

We believe that Sanctuary is possible. This was only part of Rachel Anne’s post this morning. I invite you to go over and visit her and join us this New Year and make your Home a Sanctuary.
Please visit me here daily and you can also stop over at My Home Sanctuary for my daily log where I follow Rachel's simple thing challenges.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Send a hug

Over on my messed up sidebar is a button to visit my dear friend Denise I put the title on the button. Always a hug here because everyday Denise visits me and many others and leaves a comment. She is the biggest encouraged I know.
Right now she needs our hugs and encouragement. Her wonderful husband has been in the hospital. And Denise's own health struggles especially with the stress of her "lovebugs" illness.
Please go over and send a hug her way.

Simple Sunday


May your Sunday be simply filled with the presence of Jesus.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Then Sings My Soul . . . New Look

Yes it is me Sherry at My Journey Back. Took down the fun Christmas look and put up snow.

Today I am sharing a song I heard for the first time today.



Yesterday I began a new journal. The lyrics of this song really spoke to me. I am still on that journey to growing closer to our Savior. The reminder that He is here even when I don't feel him. And the reminder that I just need to be still and rest in Him.

Doesn't that just make your day? I hope you enjoy this song today. And go over and visit Amy for more Then Sings My Soul posts.

Have a Blessed Sunday,
Sherry

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wordfilled Wednesday

Believe in the Reason for the season.
For God so loved the world he gave his only son. That whoseover believes in Him will have everlasting life. John 3:16.

Wishing you a wonderfully Merry Christmas

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

thankful Thursday on Tuesday . . .

This seems like De ja vu . . .
I think I wrote a Thankful post last Tuesday or was it the one before. Anyway. I wanted to do a shout out and Praise God for some answers.

And some Praises and it makes me want to . . .


This is a video we shared on Sunday.

Our son in love lost his job the middle of October. He starts training for a new job today! Praise God. Everyone kept telling him not to expect to find anything till the first of the year.
They have been in thier house (a rental) since April so don't have much relationship with the landlord but he told them just before the first to lower the rent by $200.00 this month!

God is so faithful to take care of us and give provision.

My other huge Praise is for our ministry. God continues to Bless.

We began Chapel services in September at a drug and alcohol treatment facility for boys. It is part of our states Juvenile Prison sytem.

Let me tell you friends when you pray that God will use you may be really surprised where he puts you. I don't know anything about this environment. I don't know much about boys.
And I really know nothing about drugs and alcohol.

But, I have never once felt out of my element. We were leaving the facility yesterday and I was suggested that I don't go on Wednesday because I have so much to do. (We will be taking some of the boys to deliver Chirstmas meals) And my Cowboy said to me "They really enjoy you being around." I kind of blew him off. And said something about them just being nice to me. But what he said next got me to thinking. "No really your the only mom/grandmother". . .
Oh thanks this is great. . . I want to be the jammy fun adult and they look at me like a grandmother. What a minute I am not old enough to be thier grandmothers!

But I realized he was right.

I really am the only female that is there regularly. There are a couple of other ladies that come with thier husbands ocassionally and they mentor certain boys. But I am the only one that is there two or three times a week. We work with different groups with each of the programs we provide so we get to know almost all 48 boys.

And I am Blessed. I am Blessed to do Chapel every Sunday. We are beginning to have a regular group of 6 or 8 boys. And usually about 5 or 6 new ones every week.

And I am thankful. I am thankful God is using me and that he is so much smarter than I am because I never would have ever imagined being where I am.

I pray that whoever is reading this will be encouraged to answer God's call. No matter where you are or what season your in God has a place for you to serve him. Your service may be the blog your writing now. You may be encouraging me and others through the words you are writing. Your service may be raising a pre-schooler and teaching him God's ways. But even while raising a pre-schooler God can use you to touch someone elses life. It might only be through a cheerful shopping trip. Believe me grandmothers like myself notice the mommies that are happy with their children during a trip to Walmart or Target. And we all notice the ones that pay no attention to thier children and let them act up or ignore thier needs.

Don't ever think your 'Just a mommy' or 'Just a grandmother' because given the chance
God can use you to be a Jammin' mom or Grandmother.

And when you let him you'll start Stompin' too.

Merry Christmas

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Then Sings My Soul Saturday

Post Updated 8//13/14 . . . Then Sings My Soul Linky is no longer operating.  This is a lovely song.

Welcome to my really late Then Sings My Soul Saturday post. Today was a day of catch up for me in the kitchen and laundry room.
While working on music for chapel service tomorrow I found this and just had to go ahead and post it.
I hope you enjoy.

You may visit Amy Wyatt for more illustrations of God's word and Promises through song.

May your Christmas be filled with God's love.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Great gift idea . . .

I just reveiwed a really great book . . .


Are you looking for a last minute gift idea? This is a wonderful devotional book by
C.D. Baker. 40 loaves includes daily readings to renew a hungry spirit. I enjoyed reading this book so much. It is a great book for mature believers as well as new believers. It is a great book to give to someone searching or asking questions.

Each chapter includes a story backed up with scripture. And ends with Food for thought which include questions for further reflection. And finally a prayer.
Here's a few of the topics:

Here’s a summary:

“Why don’t I have more faith?” I was encouraged by the idea that we shouldn't worry about not having enough faith because we should take comfort that Jesus has all the face we need.
"Why am I so confused about finding God's will?" What a great chapter and great questions to consider. Here's a couple: have I been afraid of missing God's will for my life? What is wisdom? And, how do I know when I've found it?

And in Chapter 32 a question Why am I so easily disappointed in life? This chapter ends with a prayer.

Open my eyes to see as you see;

Open my heart to expect by faith;

Open my hands to hold hope loosely;

And let my disappointments fade away in your love.

The book includes 40 short simple to read chapters based on 40 questions the author asked himself. Readers will be encouraged, challenged and invigorated. And readers will be drawn to explore thier own questions.

So now your thinking I have to have this book. Or, this would be a great gift for _______. Well I checked it out you can get it at Amazon. com.

Here's thier offer . . .

Forty Loaves: Breaking Bread with Our Father Each Day by C. D. Baker (Hardcover - Oct 6, 2009)
Buy new:$10.19
Get it by Friday, Dec 18 if you order in the next 22 hours and choose one-day shipping.
Eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping.
Here's the link: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=40+loaves

It's not too late to order.

It is also available at Barnes and Noble.

You can also purchase from: RandomHouse.com

I really enjoyed reading this book and I would like to thank WaterBrook Multnomah
Publishing Group.



Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas with toddlers

We are enjoying our grandson so much. Last night we let him decorate the Christmas tree with a little help.



This was just after the afternoon nap I didn't notice I should have combed his hair.

Rachel Anne over at Home Sanctuary got me to thinking about Christmas traditions and decorating. I remember when I was a young and actually not so young mom I was a little festidous about how things needed to look.
Actually that is why the kids had trees in thier own rooms. That was when we moved to our dream house and we had a tree in every room. The trees in the living areas needed to look just right.
Actually I think the whole idea of the children having their own trees is a good idea if it is done for the right reasons.

Mine weren't. And that is just one of those things I wish I could do over. I wish I had been a little more relaxed in some areas.

This is the tree that the toddler decorated.


And by the way remember the ornaments that weren't used on the trees in the family and living room well this is part of them. Somehow or another when I went to get ornaments out the only box I could find was my son's box. Hence cats. There were a few random ornaments mixed in with greenery and candles they made thier way onto the tree too.

And if you look really closely some are clumped together. And some spots are empty but that is what happens when a toddler decorates the tree.

Thankfulness

I haven't had a chance to join Sonya for Thankful Thursday in the last few weeks so I thought that I would do a special Tuesday edition of Thankfulness....

First of course I am thankful for Jesus. Even when I am down I can trust that he isn't. He is our comforter. He is our redeemer. He is our counselor. And boy do I need a counselor sometimes!
I am thankful for my family and that I get to enjoy my grandson. At least for now the plan is for him to start pre-school in January. I suspect this expectation is part of my little 'bouts of depression.
That and the fact that I am Dr. Pepper deficient. Cold turkey is un just! But I was praying last night and I came to the realization that since I work with kids that have drug and alcohol problems then I need to have a little bit of an idea of what it is like. That sounds flip but it isn't you don't know how much I love my D.P.
I am thankful for heat. It has been so cold. Hello. . . this is Texas! We aren't supposed to be this cold!
But I am thankful that we did get Christmas lights hung and the outside of the house looks festive. And we did it on a day it wasn't cold! Thank you!
I am thankful that God uses me in this ministry and that even though I am going to be crazy busy the next few days that I am serving him and 25 families and I have no idea how many children will be Blessed, Thankful and Joyful this Christmas.
And so after a day of Whining yesterday...if you didn't read that post Don't it is bad...today I am moving on. And I resolve to be thankful.


Monday, December 14, 2009

On being a whiner . . .


This is what I am whinning about. I need a kick in the _____. I have been writing and posting about the reason for the season. And I have been trying to encourage everyone that stops here to remember the needy, to remember all the things we need to be thankful for. To focus on the meaning of Christmas.
And yet with all those good intentions I find myself a little depressed, annoyed, frustrated. And yes if I were to really think about it I am probably somewhat angry.
The other day I went shopping with my mother who was going to loan me $16.00 for a tree that was on sale at Big Lots. We got there and found it was a 3 foot tree. The 6 foot tree was $20.00.
I became a 52 year old whinner. I told my mother and I quote: "This is the woman that used to have a tree in every room. " Yes a tree in every room. My kids had a 4 foot tree in thier bedrooms. There was a 6 foot in the living room. A 6 foot in the master. A 12 foot in the family room. A 3 foot on the kitchen counter.
That was then. This is now.
And I am whinning. Christmas has always been my favorite holiday. I guess you can tell by the way that I have decorated in the past. But this year it is different. When we moved last year we weren't able to take and keep a lot of things. All my outdoor decorations and trees were left behind because we just flat ran out of time during the move.
Today I have a toddler helping me decorate the tree for our living room. And even though I wish I had a bigger tree. Even though I wish I had more than one. In fact the tree we are decorating is a small tree that I had in the baby's room decorated with horse lights. But this afternoon when he wakes from his nap I am getting out all the decorations and I might end up with most of the ornaments in a clump but. I have a feeling it will be the prettiest tree ever.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Reason for the Season

Today I practically killed myself in my attempt at finishing the decorating. Since I have a tiny house I had to move furniture to make room for a tree. I have some wonderful prints that I hang every year at Christmas so that meant taking the other prints off the wall and storing them. And moving allt he furniture around was good because it gave me a chance to do som major vacuming. And now I am spent.

As I think of all the effort we expend in the decorating, shopping, cooking and parties. I pray that the real reason for this season is not forgotten.

I wish the above photo was larger but I thought it was great.

If your tired and worn out from all the things surrounding this time I pray that you will take a few minutes and rest and remember the real reason for the season.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Merry Merry . . .

Giving you just a little glimpse of my decorating and a family tradition. . .




Totally not done. But you can see a tiny corner of my table set for a meal with the family.
When our daughter was 8 and our son 10 I stumbled onto some sets of Christmas dishes at Sam's Club. Little did I know what I was getting into. They were Spode Christmas Tree. I had no idea what I was buying. If I did I would have bought the entire stock! They were cheap. They were there two years in a row and I bought two sets for each kid so they each have a serving of 8. We used them every year beginning on December 1st. Each year I bought a different serving piece.
Now my daughter in love uses them and they love them.
Now if your on a budget and trying to be frugal I don't advocate buying the spode. I sort of got myself into a pickle with it. I had no idea how expensive they are.
But, there are adorable dishes everywhere now days.
And, I think this is a great tradition.
I hope you enjoy my little glimpse. Keep coming around because next week I will be sharing the entire tablescape and I'll be showing how I got that tree in the pot.
Happy decorating and

Merry Christmas


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Wordfilled Wednesday

Matthew 4:4 Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live by bread alone, but on every
word that comes from the mouth of God."
This post may seem un-Christmasy but it really isn't ...
As I was thinking about gifts and family and baking
I thought of this verse because shouldn't
we be thinking of those that don't know the real
Joy
and
Reason
for the season?
So my Pray for you this season is that Jesus becomes the real reason
for this season for all your friends, family and loved ones.
Posted by PicasaMerry Christmas

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Fa la la la

Thought I would share this cute photo with you today while I finish the decorating and listening to Christmas songs Fa la la la . . .
That is my kind of snow. I have to dig out my snow globes and figure out where they will go but the house is coming together slowly. Bet you can't wait to see photo's! 'til I get it done here's a cute one . . .
Best wishes this day as you prepare for the birthday of our savior.
Merry Christmas

Monday, December 7, 2009

Things don't always go

as planned....
But I got the background changed. Although I loved the water scene and the quiet peacefulness of it I needed something that spoke of Christmas.
I wanted to join the blog Christmas decoration blog tour but had problems that I won't mention getting the decorating done and camera problems.

But today I am taking the day off (at least part of it) from normal things and playing and having fun because it is my Birthday . . .

Happy Birthday to Me!

Ya'll have a good day and I will be back tonight. Maybe with photo's of my day. I can't decide.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Trust anyway . . .

Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.
Psalms 62:8

Do you ever have to just resolve to have faith and trust. To trust anyway. Even when your in a stormy situation.

Do you think of the words to Praise you in the storm? I love that song. We listened to it this morning in worship. Well some listened I sang. I didn't sing loud but I sang. Not because I was Praising in a storm. But because I was simply praising.

The other day I got an email. The subject line read Dear Sherrie. I spell my name Sherry. I ignored it for a couple of days thinking it was spam but I didn't delete it intending to open it on my phone just in case. Today I opened it on my phone. Here's what it said . . .

I'm not sure if you remember me or not, but my name is ______. I worked with you for a while making up community service hours almost three years ago (wow, I'm getting old!). I was thinking about my times at Mission Makeover and really wishing I could be back there helping and volunteering, not on terms of making up community service hours! I wanted to share with you that I have come to Christ, and I am now attending Gateway Church in Southlake. Currently, I am living in Chicago, but I'm moving back home for a semester before I transfer off to Texas State University in the fall. So anyway, I was searching volunteer opportunities on Gateway's website and came across Mission Makeover and was reading through and thinking how familiar it sounded! I had forgotten what your service was called, but then I saw the catch line, "Mending lives one stitch at a time," and it suddenly hit me that it was you! Ha-ha. I kind of forgot how to sew, but I know I could pick it up quickly again. I was just wondering if I could come back and help out every now and then with Mission Makeover when I move home. I'd really love to experience it from the side of truly volunteering.

Thank you so much and God Bless,

Talk about making my day. I opened the email on my phone while we were driving to the boys prison facility where we volunteer. Reading that email was bittersweet. It was a huge blessing to read the words to learn that she has accepted Christ. Bittersweet because we no longer do the ministry that she is referring to.

Our ministry is 6 years old today. It has changed and evolved over the years. Only God knows the why. The how all centers on finances. There is just no funding.

When I read emails like this one it breaks my heart that we no longer have the opportunity to work with local teens. To share God's love and plant seeds. To hopefully help them make better decisions so that we won't be working with them in either of the two prison units where we work now.

So for now because the unit is 10 minutes from our house and because God has opened many doors we worship with 10 or 12 boys every week. We began a few weeks ago with a Bible and a message. The second week were blessed with music provided by a group from a local church. Unfortunately they are not able to come every week. So we began using our lap top and a jam box which btw only had a cassette player. No c.d. But today we were Blessed because we now have our own complete sound system with speakers, mic. and it is so loud the staff asked us to turn it down! It als has a bunch of bells and whistles I don't understand! All because a group of people that volunteer at Texas Motor Speedway took up a donation and bought it for us.

I hope that you are still with me. I know this is a really, really long post but then if your still here you understand. God is blessing.

Sometimes I wonder why we aren't doing what we did before. And I pray almost daily that he will open the doors again. But I know that he has a plan and that; it is like one of the boys asked today... 'that God will show me the road he wants me/us to go down right now. '

And so I will trust him anyway. And I pray that every once in a while he will remind me that it is the way he wants it to be 'right now'.

BTW your wondering about the photo. It is freeeeezinnng here and that photo looked warm!

Merry Christmas

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Worship


May your Sunday be a day of Blessings from the Lord.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Being a light

So glad we got this done yesterday. Got the house done too but can't see it from this photo. It is supposed to be really cold and rainy the rest of the week. I was thinking about hanging the lights and all the Christmas preparations and this is the verse that came to mind.

...let your light shine before men , that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:16

And during this holiday season I hope that our light shines so that the people we meet or the people that we already know see Jesus in us and get the real reason for the season.

So today and this week I challenge you to be a light.