Saturday Digest~December 31

…the last Saturday Digest of 2011…Happiest Beginning to your New Year!

~Great Advice for the New Year: Let EVERY SINGLE PIECE OF BRAIN BAGGAGE GO and starting over with fresh hope, fresh faith, an open mind and endless possibilities. Brave Girls’ Club

~20 Words That Will Change Your Day New Year

~Make a Not-to-Do List for 2012Ask God to clarify the things he wants you to do this year, and then ruthlessly move everything else onto your list of things not-to-do. Then, press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called you (Philippians 3:14).

~7 Citrus-Inspired Recipes for Holiday Detox from my friend Jacqui Hatzell who blogs at The Sacred Yes:  

~Friend Brenton’s soul-nourishing, new music, “I Need You” is available for free download 

~Lots of writing/speaking about “finding your passion.” Here is another perspective on passion and the actual meaning of the word passionate.

Video of the Week:

Music by Teri Geisel

:) See you back here next year, Because of Grace!

2011 Annual Clearance Event

annual clearance 2011 filled in

Everything Outdated Must Go! Discounting 100% of confining beliefs, defeating self-talk, negative emotions, and limiting expectations. Full refunds of last season’s energy spent internalizing others’ unfair expectations, controlling perceptions, and general crankiness. Making room to receive new styles of Grace, Praise, Love, and Authenticity in the New Year!

Ok, now it is your turn….fill in your own Annual Clearance Intention:

blank annual clearance 2011

Isaiah 43:19…. And God said, “See, I am doing a new thing!”

What is never out of style: Hebrews 13:8: Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever!

New Years Mid-Week Question to Consider~December 29

the last question of this year…

thsi year, might we compose affirmations instead of resolutions?

Some possible Affirmations to Consider

Last week’s Mid-Week Question

Best Advice for the New Year

grren sprout

Search for the seed of good in every adversity. Master that principle and you will own a precious shield that will guard you well through all the darkest valleys you must traverse. Stars may be seen from the bottom of a deep well, when they cannot be discerned from the mountaintop. So will you learn things in adversity that you would never have discovered without trouble.
There is always a seed of good.
Find it and prosper.

~Og Mandino

Words for the Soul~Amazing You!


sent lovingly by Anne McCrary

The best gift of Christmas is the one you had all along~~~YOU!

Other Words for the Soul

A Word from The Sponsor~December 25 Bonus

John 14:27

I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be  troubled or afraid. -John 14:27


See Additional Words from The Sponsor by gently clicking here!

A Word from the Sponsor~December 25

Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ…Thessalonians 2:1

It’s been 2,000 years, Jesus –
and still You haven’t come.
When You left the first time, You said You’d be back.
But after all this time…
we are waiting.

You haven’t delayed Your coming because of procrastination.
You’re holding back – just a little longer –
Out of Love.
So no one is left out.
Abriged from

Because love is the unseen force that holds us together when we’ve been broken by life. ~Duane Scott

____ Matthew 18:12-14; Matthew 24:23-27; Matthew 24:36-51; Acts 1:7-11; Acts 2:20-21; 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24; 1 Thessalonians 4:11-18; Hebrews 10:35-39; 2 Peter 3:3-9; Revelation 3:11; Revelation 22:7; Revelation 22:12; Revelation 22:20


See Additional Words from The Sponsor by gently clicking here!

Someone’s Christmas Miracle

you can be someone's Christmas miracle

“For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven…”
Isaiah 55:10

Saturday Digest~December 24

You’ve made your list, checked it twice and found out that you forgot something or run out of something. This Week’s digest is here to help.

If you run out of …

Gift Tags: Here are some to print immediately

Tissue Paper: Use dress patterns, parchment paper (the kind you use for baking), Christmas paper napkins.

Christmas Cards: Here are five great ones:
5 Wishes
You Are So Awesome!
You Make Me Smile!
I Dropped a Tear in the Ocean
Celebrate Love Card

Envelopes for Christmas cards: Here is a pattern to use for folding them instead of rushing out to buy them

Stuff to talk about with your relatives

Things to Do

Interesting Facts to Share ala Cliff Clavin: The origin of Christmas gifts

And especially if you need to remember to –>Enjoy the Holidays: A Stress-Free Guide

The good news is you can handle your expectations

If you run out of people to pray for, please pray for our emergency personnel, our soldiers, and those who continue to wait for their Christmas miracle.

Please Remember: This nativity had an object in mind. That object is you and me.

Video of the Week:

Trans-Siberian Orchestra – Christmas Canon via Jim McShane

christmas heart graphicsfairy

Another Christmas Waiting Still

Have yourself a merry little Christmas

Have yourself a merry, little Christmas
Let your heart be light
Next year all our troubles will be out of sight

Have yourself a merry, little Christmas
Make the Yule-tide gay
Next year all our troubles will be miles away

But what if they aren’t? What if the next year you sang hopefully about last year is this year and your troubles are not out of sight or miles away? What if you believed those words last year to get you through the last holiday season? But this holiday they still are here.

The still small voice we listen for may be ours crying to the Lord once again.

Questions in the Stillness…
What if you are still waiting for your child to return home from active service? Others have returned and your child is still deployed.  What if the passing of your loved one to heaven still weighs lonely and heavily on you? What if a job you gratefully thanked the Lord for two years ago is still gone and last year you prayed for its restoration? What if your own mobility or your child’s is still compromised through injury or illness? What if the prodigal covenant spouse or prodigal child you prayed for last year is still absent or absent and still resolutely in denial?

So many Still situations. It is interesting to me that later versions of this song reflected alternative lyrics… A less finite “From Now On” replaced “Next Year.”

Because, for some of us, our Next Year is miles away. Still.
There are few answers that do not resound as platitudes. There is no magic prayer, potion, or petition that obliterates the Stillness of prolonged waiting. There is just you and me and the Stillness of our entreaty. I wish it were not so for you. Or me.

In reassuring lyrics David wrote,

But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the LORD, for he has been good to me ~Psalm 13:5-6

David relies on what God has done for him, not what He has not done.  Yes, returning to gratitude again. Millard Fuller, the founder of Habitat for Humanity International advises that when you have a great pain in your life, you need a greater purpose. Would an appropriate purpose be to pray for others, like you and me, who courageously wait in their time of Stillness?

If you are still waiting for something or someone in your own hopeful Christmas miracle, you are waiting for your breakthrough with God. Your breakthrough may be today. Or it still may be miles away. Still, Because of Grace, He is here. And others, including me, will pray for His quiet Stillness to comfort you during these days.

From Now On, talk, or continue to talk,  with God as your friend; be honest with Him about your hopes and dreams. And, although, in our minds, we are just fine with our own “Right Now” timing needs, it has helped me to affirm my faith and trust in Him to accomplish His purposes in my  life through His timing.

Please know someone is praying for you tonight.

Please share your own quote or verse that brings comfort to you

Other Christmas Songs~~~O, Holy Night

The Soul Felt Its Worth

Did you hear it? Replay if needed…but, please, pause, and hear these lyrics:

The soul felt its worth. Your soul has its worth.
Our souls have worth. Because of Grace…and Love

Jesus came for us! Because we matter to Him!

The soul felt its worth.

We argue against such a love. In the parable of the prodigal son, the son has a speech about his unworthiness.
“Father, I have sinned. I am not worthy to be called your son.” He says it twice.
The father pays no attention to the speech at all. He doesn’t even acknowledge it. He says, “Kill the fatted calf! We must celebrate! My son who was dead is alive!”

Something profound takes place in the soul of a person when they know they matter; when they know they are prized. It changes them; there is no longer any room for fear in the relationship. They know they are loved, and it evokes love in return. Someone who is recued has a deep and profound gratitude to the rescuer. “You would do this for me?”

God cannot be stopped. They must be worth a great deal to him. Inestimable worth. And that is why the soul felt its worth. This nativity had an object in mind. That object is you and me. ~John Eldredge

O holy night! The stars are brightly shining, It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth. Long lay the world in sin and error pining, ‘Til He appear’d and the soul felt its worth. A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices, For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn. Fall on your knees! O, hear the angels’ voices! O night divine, O night when Christ was born; O night divine, O night, O night Divine.

See also, Handling the Holidays with your Ex
Have yourself a merry little Christmas

A Mid-week Question to Consider~December 21

what if

Last week’s question

Handling the Holidays with Your Ex

Holiday manners insist that the only way to survive the holidays is to tolerate our Ex at all times. Well, the purpose of this blog has never been to “survive” but to THRIVE! So to THRIVE during the holidays, you will need to forget any notions of tolerating your Ex.

Our Ex: our Expectations flare most ardently during the holidays. (that is what you assumed I was talking about, right?)

Whenever lots of activities and people crowd together the tinder box of expectations ignites.

Expectations are pre-meditated resentments. We schedule the DVR of our minds to record what we think/what we feel/what we want. These expectations become a way to control and preserve and guarantee what we label as important.
The language of expectation may be directly blatant or subtly menacing:

“This is what we do as a family…”

“I expected more from him/her/them…”

“I expected more from you…”

“I wish you/he/she/they would have…”

“I just think it is proper to….”

 And my favorite, the sinister refrain of  Well, we have always done it this way…” and “I expected more from myself.”

We may be the Expector or the Expectee or, in a sinister chameleon tour de force, we may be both.

It is tempting to go cold turkey on expectations and expunge them with Zorro’s blade. Get rid of every single one of them. Do something completely new and different. Instead of expecting anything, we may deny, preferring a repose under the tree of blessed zen calm wherewehavenowantsorneedsordesires.

Except, when that doesn’t work (and for most of us it will never work), and so we add a healthy scoop of blame to ourselves and the now unattended expectations.

 A life without expectations would be a life without faith or hope. We don’t want that. What we want is a life without agendas that aren’t going to get fulfilled or that don’t match God’s purposes. We want to get rid of wrong, misplaced, distorted, and self-centered expectations. Those are the ones that weigh us down the most.  Chris Tiegreen, Unburdened, page 117

So, Because of Grace, the Spirit nudges us to Acceptance. It gently prompts us to survey the expectations we have of others. An expectation of holiday calm, comfort and joy, although peaceful, may still be based on our own ego’s needs (especially in a house containing the combustible combination of children/grandchildren and cookies, presents, and pets). An expectation of everyone arriving on time and slap-happy may be based on recreating our own version of Walton’s Mountain.

With a scalpel’s precision perhaps we can isolate and excise the expectations based on our ego, our self, our sense of justice, fairness, our woulds/shoulds/coulds/suppostas.

Perhaps we will choose to re-greet acceptance. We may acknowledge that  “Our greatest tests come when we cannot see positive results from our faith and obedience. In such cases we must die to our expectations and entrust them to our Lord.” (Os Hillman)

Perhaps this entrusting would be the greatest gift we could give ourselves.

With regard to the expectations that others have of us, we have to remember that people will place demands on us that God doesn’t. We get our instructions from Him, not them. He tells us to love and serve others, but that doesn’t mean we let them define for us what love and service should look like. When we keep our eyes on Him and let Him direct us, we will not be overburdened. Chris Tiegreen, Unburdened  page 122

We may need to talk back to our Ex. We may need to tell our Ex to take a hike. Sing the carol of expectation on another’s porch. We may want to remember We Are Enough. More than enough.

Just rest in the truth, sweet friend, that you are enough right now. You have done enough today, and you did enough yesterday. You have enough today and you had enough yesterday. There is enough love to go around and there is enough success to go around and there are enough dreams to go around. There are enough ideas to go around. There is enough for everyone. So {please} don’t let the lie of NEVER ENOUGH destroy what should be a beautiful season for you. And since you know the truth, you can let others around you know that they are enough, too. Brave Girls Club

As the power of our Ex subsides, we can wave an eager good-bye, or, depending on it’s power…shoo it right out the door of our thoughts.

Haggai 1:9

Focus Word~Affirm

Affirm  My focus word to begin 2012 is Affirm. I am going to affirm daily what God says about me. Affirmations are declarations of something that is true. Bonnie Gray reminds me that God says I am delightful. Here are Affirmations I know to be true. Would you consider adding yours in a comment box below?

  • I am crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. (Galatians 2:20)
  • The Son has set me free. I am free indeed! (John 8:36)
  • My body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 6:19)
  • I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13)
  • He who began a good work in me will be faithful to complete it. (Philippians 1:6)
  • There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1)
  • Nothing can ever separate me from the love of God in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:38-39)
  • In all things God works for the good of those who love Him. (Romans 8:28)
  • God is faithful. He will not let me be tempted beyond what I can bear.(1 Corinthians 10:13)
  • God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind.   (2 Timothy 1:7)
  • My light and momentary troubles are achieving for me an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. (2 Corinthians 4:17)
  • He is able to do immeasurably more than all I ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within me. (Ephesians 3:20)
  • God is for me! Who can be against me? (Romans 8:31)
  • God knows me. (Psalm 139:15)
  • add yours here!

tree affirmations

Biblical affirmation cards

Monday Words for the Soul~God Is Working

God is working

Other Words for the Soul

Word from The Sponsor~December 18

Deuteronomy 6:5


See Additional Words from The Sponsor by gently clicking here!

Saturday Digest~December 17

God will never say to you, “I’m sorry, I would like to help you, but I can’t.” He is here inviting us to a courage-filled life. Read Five Reasons to be Courageous with a steaming cup of cider.

In her post titled, “There are days,” Jeri portrays the ups and downs of a regular life and gently reminds us,

His grace grips our hearts and we fall to our knees~~humbled and oh, so grateful.  

In the middle of the most hectic time of year and with a focus on the newness of the year ahead, Andrea Olson writes about giving herself permission to quit . Wow! Did I need to read this at the exact moment my eyes met Andrea’s words.  

Life isn’t how you see it; YOU ARE how you see life. Life and our relationship with it is a mirror of ourselves. Look into the mirror with Mastin Kipp in this post.

All this goodness that we strive for everyday starts with one love. A beautiful Christmas message from Amanda at Kind Over Matter

Video of the Week
O, Come All Ye Faithful by Anne Murray

December 16, 1987

‎Twenty-four years ago today, I sat outside Sharp Hospital in San Diego and said, “I ain’t goin’ in there!”

But Amelia had other ideas—-I had convinced myself it must be false labor because I still had two weeks to go until my due date and I had just cashed my pay check and was looking forward to a day(s) at the spa with my mom and sister.

But Amelia was insistent…she pushed me literally out of my comfort zone and she gave me the courage to be strong and go inside and deliver her! Because of Grace, I did not know then that she was frank breach and ready for the world.

Even today, she still gives me courage and love!

Happy Birthday to my girl, Amelia!


Just for tonight…

Perhaps they are not stars in the sky but rather openings where our loved ones shine down to let us know they are happy.



image originally seen on Kind Over Matter)

A Mid-Week Question to Consider~December 14

Where is the best place to Dwell with Him?


Previous question

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