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Thoughts about 2008

Well, this is it:  the last day of 2007.  I, like many others, have spent time this week thinking about 2007 and how I would like 2008 to be different.  I have been serious about this because I know that only in fulfilling God’s purposes for us do we find true joy.  So, I have earnestly prayed for God’s direction for 2008 so that I would follow His plan.

I guess I have no real profound thoughts, but after much prayer and reflection, here are the things that have stood out to me:

1.  My relationship with Christ needs to be my highest priority.  The whole purpose of life is to know Him, and I want to really focus on that.  I have been convicted lately that I talk so much about the authority of the foundation of God’s Word, yet I don’t spend adequate time each day personally studying it.  If I want to draw nearer to Christ, I must devote more time to listening to Him in His Word.

2. In 2008, I want to refocus my attention on my family.  This time of having my children is so brief.  God has given me each child, and it is my duty to invest my very soul into training them to serve Him.  All other things–including this blog, hobbies, and even my interests in helping others to adopt children–are not nearly as important as raising these dear kids.  I know God has big plans for each one, and I want to be used of Him during these days of preparation.  So, with God’s help, I want to refocus on my parenting and homeschooling responsibilities.

3.  Simplify, simplify, simplify.  This applies to so many areas.  I allow my life to become so busy and scattered.  There is beauty in simplicity.  I want to live with fewer distractions.  Spend less, enjoy life more.  Enough said.

I want 2008 to be the most joyous year ever, and the only way that can happen is that I allow God to direct each day–each step–and follow in obedience.

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My Friend Tamara has a wonderful blog at http://www.traininghearts.com/blog . She is a homeschooling mom who posts entries on many topics. I especially enjoy her craft entries, and, of course, her Blogger Friend School assignments! On December 9, she is celebrating the three year anniversary of her blog, and would like to invite everyone to her Blog Party! As part of her celebration, she is giving away an original Build-a-Bear, and the instructions for entering the drawing are at http://www.traininghearts.com/blog/?p=624 .

Most of all, Tamara has a real heart for families who have lost children. I join her in offering prayers that God will bring comfort to those families–especially during this Christmas season!

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This week’s Blogger Friend School Assignment is entitled “Praying for Needs.”  We are to visit others’ blogs, and spend time praying for each one’s needs individually.  This will be a privilege and blessing to do! We are also supposed to share requests that our fellow blogger friends can pray for us.  I have four petitions items that I would appreciate having lifted before God’s throne:

1.  That I, personally, will be strong in my faith and that God’s Spirit would control my life.  

That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death.”  Philippians 3:10

2. That my family would follow Christ and remain true to His Holy Word.  I pray regularly that each of my kids will be true disciples, and that each of them will commit their entire lives to His service.

3.  That God will bring many orphans home to loving Christian families.  Our own adopted daughter has been such a blessing, and it brings me such joy to see others open their homes and lives to these beautiful children.

Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” James 1:27

4. Our small, country church is currently looking for a full-time pastor.   Please pray that God will bring  just the right man to us–one that will boldly proclaim the Word of God.  We are so thankful for the wonderful interim preacher that He has provided.  It gives us confidence that in His time, God will also provide a permanent pastor for us as well.

To my Blogger Friends–I will be lifting you up in prayer!

Lois

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This week’s Blogger Friend School assignment is a real treat– in fact one that I spent a great deal of time on yesterday before it was ever posted!  God has blessed us so richly this year, and I wanted to make a special Thanksgiving video to thank Him for His goodness.  I worked on that yesterday, and it fits perfectly with today’s lesson–cool!!!

Assignment #9 is entitled Bountiful Blessings, and again there are several parts.  Part A is a place to share at least three blessings that the Lord has abundantly provided.  In Part B we are to share family Thanksgiving traditions, and in Part C we are to share a favorite Thanksgiving verse. 

Part A:  As I mentioned in the beginning of this entry, 2007 has been full of God’s blessings–He has truly abounded in His goodness and grace to us!  I have a favorite song entitled “All Praise Rising” that always draws my heart into thanksgiving, and yesterday I used that song as a backdrop for a pictoral display of my thanks to our Loving Father for 2007.  Please take time to listen to the song in its entirety–it will definitely cause you to lift your heart into thanksgiving as well. 

(By the way, if you have problems viewing the Smilebox, here is a link to the video version:  http://www.godtube.com/view_video.php?viewkey=990d098e0407af747847 )

Click to play Prayer of Thanks 2007
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Part B:  Thanksgiving traditions…..those have changed over the years.  Until I was married, we always had Thanksgiving at my childhood home on the farm.  My mom was always a gracious hostess and even broke out her good china dishes for the occasion.  Now we usually go to my husband’s side of the family’s celebration.  They use Thanksgiving as a time to celebrate Christmas as well, so that has become a new tradition for me!

Part C:  My all-time favorite Thanksgiving verses are Psalm 100.  All of my kids have memorized this great passage, and here is a video of Luke saying it:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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 This week’s assignment for Blogger Friend School is entitled Share Your Dirty Laundry!  It has several parts:  Part A is supposed to be a general description of how laundry is done in our house.  Part B is a place to tell about an area in my personal life that could use some of the Lord’s cleaning up.  Part C is a place to share an appropriate verse.
Part A:  Laundry in our house is a huge job!  With 5 kids, I always have a mountain of laundry to climb!  I taught my kids to help sort the laundry a few years ago, and that has really helped.  We have a tiny laundry chute since my washing machine/dryer are in the basement.  First, the kids gather up the laundry from upstairs, and then they drop it down the chute to be sorted.  The chute is so small that a lot of items have to be pushed down the chute with a “laundry stick” (i.e. a yard stick).  Then the kids all work together to sort the daily laundry for washing.  They do a pretty good job, but sometimes I have to modify their work. 🙂 I have to  wash and fold at least two loads every day just to keep up with our family.  It helps if I squeeze in a third load.  I am fortunate to have a table in our homeschool room where I can fold clothes as I keep going with school.Part B:  There are plenty of areas in my life that need the Lord’s cleansing.  Lately I have been way too slack in the area of personal devotions.  It is so easy to get “too busy” and give myself the excuse of not having enough time in my day.  Lord, forgive me! 

Part C:  “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”  Isaiah 1:18

Click to play Laundry Time!
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For those who are regular readers of my blog, this post will kind of be a rehash of some of my previous posts.  This week’s Blogger Friend School assignment is entitled “Pumpkin Party.”  We are supposed to post anything related to pumpkins.  So, I decided to post my pumpkin cookie recipe and some of my favorite pumpkin pictures from 2007.

The pumpkin cookie recipe is printable if you play that Smilebox.  Just click on the print option in the pop-up menu.  This makes soft, yummy cookies.  We put frosting and sprinkles on some of them, and that worked well too!

My verse for today is 2 Timothy 1:7 “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

Click to play Pumpkin Cookies
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Click to play 2007 Pumpkin Pictures
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This week’s new Blogger Friend School Assignment #6 is entitled, “Precious Past.” I am going to share a piece of my past by posting a picture from my childhood as well as an appropriate Scripture. This has been quite fun, and I hope you will enjoy my creation as much as I have enjoyed making it!

Lois

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