Are You Connecting? (Whispers of Hope- Week 8)

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God desires to TAKE our burdens and GIVE His mercy. How many times have we carried a burden we could have daily traded in for His mercies? ~Beth Moore

Picture this scenario:

You and a close friend decide to meet for coffee. This is one who is dear to you, whom you esteem greatly. You look forward to seeing this dear one and long to give your undivided attention completely to whatever their need. More than anything you want to connect with this one to remind them of your great love for them, lest they forget in the busy-ness of the days.

You arrive, and sit at the table anticipating seeing the face you adore. You are brimming with love, and beaming with affirming hope to share with this one precious soul. You wait. And wait.

 

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Join me for Coffee Talk with Jesus – Turbo!

Last month I was blessed and surprised to receive  my very own, signed copy of Coffee Talk with Jesus- Intimate Chats with the Savior by Barbie Swihart. I won a copy during the book launch giveaway she held at her blog-Hooray for giveaways! Having gotten to know Barbie, over the past few years, through blogging and also in her position of Managing Editor at 5 Minutes for Faith, has allowed me to enjoy her friendship, leadership and mentoring all online! Imagine the joy of Jesus, when His own kiddos use the internet resources available to glorify Him in these ways! 
This devotional is a gentle invitation to ease your way into an intimate time of fellowship with Jesus, right now. It is a 31 Day Devotional, but I am proposing that you can read through it at your own pace, or like me- two readings a day, finishing up by the month’s end. I checked Amazon today, and the Kindle version is just 3.99*, while the paperback is 8.09* (If you have Prime, shipping is free).
Well, the best way to enjoy a good book, aside of snuggled up in your comfiest PJ’s and favorite reading spot – with a cup of something hot, is to know that you can share your favorite parts, and reflections with a friend as you go, or when you finish! 
***
On January 31st, we will gather here for a very special time…“Coffee Time with Barbie”! We will share insights, reflections and any thoughts we had about the book, or reading, right here on the blog -via the comments. 

***
This devotional readings are short and grace-filled reminders of God’s presence, faithfulness and love, followed by some questions for you to ponder, pray and reflect upon. Also included are a few lines for your own thoughts, responses, and prayers. Consider it a turbo shot of espresso for your faith this January- deliciously perfect for sipping slowly, and enjoying with a friend.
Oh, and for those who love coffee, there are some wonderful coffee infused recipes for you to try! 
I hope you will grab the book, or if you already have it -join me for two readings a day, or reading as you feel led. Also, there will be a special additional surprise on the 31st. No, I can’t tell you what it is, because it’s a surprise. Silly! 
*Prices subject to change- as you know. I am not an Amazon Affiliate as they do not allow RI residents to be affiliates at this time. Boo! However, I do enjoy Prime membership. Please check your favorite bookseller for availability! 
Love this kind of mail!

Reading List: Cozy Book Hop

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

Two Moms, One Bakery and a Car

I snapped this picture of fresh loaves right before I tried to
 hijack the bakery owner’s car!
Did someone say, coffee?

At the end of my weekly Moms In Touch meeting yesterday, one of the lovely moms in attendance and I decided we would go grab ourselves some coffee and fellowship before coming back to the school to help with the lunch program. As we walked out of the front doors, she gestured to her car which was close by and we quickly departed. Once at the wonderful bakery where fresh loaves were baking and being shaped into Rudolphs and such, we settled down to a table to chat and share all, as women so enjoy doing! Since we had already prayed for our children and shared those concerns during our MIT time, we were ready to discuss our hopes thoughts, ideas and dreams for us. Like, ourselves. You know aside of the Mom role. You remember what that is right? Repeat after me, “I am more than a Mom”. OK, very good! It was a rich time,  as we talked about her involvement in a dance ministry, and school classes, my Inspiring Women Series and blog as well as how we balance the dreams God has put in our hearts with home-life, husbands and responsibilities. The time just flew, people! Well, my friend was going to head out for a walk, as we had about an hour more before we both needed to return to school, and since I was in clogs I would just hang at the coffee shop and return- after some journal writing and a few more swigs of coffee. 
Obviously Oblivious. 

Have you ever actually had a dream where you were awake? I am not sure what side of the bed either my friend or I woke up on yesterday, but that conversation must of dazzled us right into obliviousness. 
Oh, where did the time go, I got up to leave and hop into my blue Honda CRV, sure enough it was where I usually parked, in the front. I opened the door and sat in it. It looked different. Hmm. That was odd. When did I put that Yankee Candle Mistletoe air freshener up? I kind of froze in the seat and peered into the bakery through the windshield. Keys in hand, I knew something was just not right. Realization hit me like a bird-dropping from out of the sky. I jumped out of that black CRV and stared at it in shock and disbelief. What was in that coffee? I ran right back into the bakery where the car owner and I got a laugh (what a relief, she was not calling the police for the loony getting into her car right outside in broad daylight). But that wasn’t the worst part, right? I mean who was more oblivious my friend who left or me? I still had to get to the school in about 10 minutes and it would be a thirty minute walk. The bakery owner’s mom offered me a ride. Initially I refused. Oh, pride is such a silly thing, isn’t it? The three people present at the time were the husband and wife who owned the bakery and one volunteer helper, a mom! The mom’s son owns the bakery. It’s his wife’s car I almost stole. By accident. 
So You Think God Does Not Have A Sense Of Humor?

By now between the amusement of the reality of the morning set in. I had been abandoned at the bakery, had attempted to drive off in a stranger’s car and  had no cell phone number to call my friend. This all struck me as hilarious and caused me to giggle. And panic. Um, I did still have to bundle and serve the hot lunches to the classrooms within 30 minutes. Yes, I did graciously accept the ride from the bakery owner’s kind mom. We had a lovely chat (naturally) as we drove to the school and I was very grateful! My fellow mom friend returned to the school, obviously still oblivious, as she walked by and I waved to her. “Helloooooo, remember me?” The look on her face was priceless. Well, the laughter that we shared was good medicine. The kids got their lunch, just a few minutes late. I could not stop laughing about it and sharing the bizarre story throughout the day. I mean really, who is this oblivious? That’s some serious coffee. 
God’s Smile and Lesson
Later as I pondered where I would file the day in the memory banks of my mind, I wondered what God was up to? What did He want me to see in the circumstances. It seemed so random and silly. I know God often speaks to me and teaches me from the circumstances but really, this was …just ridiculous. Then I realized God was smiling on my life. He was meeting me in the day and He does get a giggle with me. I don’t know if you realize this but God does have a sense of humor. He shares it with me and I assure you He can be very funny. But He is never random. Or sarcastic. But He is in laughter and sometimes uses humor to minister to me. Thankfully I do not mind having a good laugh at myself either. Even if I look like a thief temporarily! 
The lesson: I was in a dilemma yesterday and it was because of someone else’s action. Though at first it seemed like I had been forgotten, God had not forgotten me. He had it all worked out just to send me a memo: 

 Can a mother forget the baby at her breast 

   and have no compassion on the child she has borne? 

Though she may forget, 

   I will not forget you! 
Isaiah 48:15
Plus, he also told me to lighten up in my current circumstances. Don’t tell me God doesn’t have a sense of humor, because I know He does. Indeed!
Maybe you also need to know that God has not forgotten you, in your current circumstances, friend? 

He will yet fill your mouth with laughter 

   and your lips with shouts of joy.

Job 8:21



A joyful heart is good medicine,
   but a crushed spirit<sup class="xref" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; text-align: -webkit-auto; vertical-align: text-top;" value="(B)”> dries up the bones.
Proverbs 17:21

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