A New Year: 2012

Happy New Year to my Faithful Friends! 
First of all I want to announce the winner of the Jesus Calling Devotional Bible:
 Congratulations to Laureen!
I want to thank each and every one of you who took the time to leave a comment, follow, like and connect. Honestly, I was so blessed to receive this Bible, but just felt it needed to be shared, as I have received so much from my blog experience this year and have enjoyed getting to know so many faithful bloggers, and new friends in this wonderful, new world! 
I also wanted to share an excellent resource by Don Whitney from 
the past few years to contemplate the year ahead in a biblical and practical fashion. 

or On Your Birthday

Once, when the people of God had become careless in their relationship with 
Him, the Lord rebuked them through the prophet Haggai.  
“Consider your ways!” (Haggai 1:5) he declared, 
urging them to reflect on some of the things 
happening to them, and to evaluate their slipshod spirituality
 in light of what God had told them.  
Even those most faithful to God occasionally need to pause and think 
about the direction of their lives. 
 It’s so easy to bump along from one busy 
week to another without ever stopping to ponder 
where we’re going and where 
we should be going.  
The beginning of a new year is an ideal time to stop, look up, and get 
our bearings.  To that end, here are some questions to ask prayerfully in the 
presence of God.
1. What’s one thing you could do this year
 to increase your enjoyment of God?

2. What’s the most humanly impossible thing 
you will ask God to do this year?

3. What’s the single most important thing you could 
do to improve the quality of your family life this year?

4. In which spiritual discipline do you most want to make progress this 
year, and what will you do about it?

5. What is the single biggest time-waster in your life, and what will you do 
about it this year?

6. What is the most helpful new way you could strengthen your church?

7. For whose salvation will you pray most fervently this year?

8. What’s the most important way you will, by God’s grace, try to make 
this year different from last year?

9. What one thing could you do to improve your prayer life this year?

10. What single thing that you plan to do this year will matter most in ten 
years?  In eternity?


In addition to these ten questions, 
here are twenty-one more to help you 
“Consider your ways.”  
Think on the entire list at one sitting, or answer one 
question each day for a month.  Just Click Here for more! 







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

Jesus Calling Devotional Bible Review AND Giveaway

Merry Christmas Giveaway! 

Well, friends as a very special thank you toYOU, my faithful followers and friends, to celebrate the joy of the season and my first Christmas as a blogger in this wonderful Blogosphere, I am offering the chance to receive this beautiful, Jesus Calling Bible by Thomas Nelson Bibles. You know I was excited to receive it myself, as I shared on an earlier post but in keeping with the season it certainly is more blessed to give than receive! Let me tell you about this Bible and then I will give you details on how one special  person will receive it as a Christmas Gift to start the new year off right!  I know that you are all special, but I only have one Bible to give! 

My Personal Perspective:

This particular Bible is perfect in size. This is a huge deal to me, as I like to tote my bible of choice about with me for coffee shop jaunts, Sunday School, church, chick chats, etc. You get the picture. It is easy to hold and handle.To me this can be a make or break deal. Thumbs up on this detail. Next I love the coloring. When I am considering a devotional Bible for myself, if the color does not appeal to me, that’s a potential strike out! But I love the fact that the page quality is good ( I like to write a bit and hi-light), and the colors work nicely; they are similar to the cover colors which you may be familiar with. Warm and inviting colors equal another thumbs up.
Let me back up to say that I use certain Bibles at home to study, prepare and work on lessons, and have a definite BFF Bible  but also enjoy starting the New Year, or various seasons of life, with a devotional Bible for daily quiet times. Thumbs up, naturally for the fact that Sarah Young’s writings from Jesus Calling and Jesus Lives are topically served alongside scripture throughout the Bible. 
I also think that the “When Your Heart Longs For Help” section is especially positive for those seeking encouragement and empathy through reading the words of others going through a similar situation in the spiritual realm. These are written prayers to Jesus, from unique perspectives and circumstances expressed alongside scripture and Sarah’s devotions. Sometimes reading the prayers of others can help us find our own words to pray to Jesus. So a thumbs up for real life authenticity of shared prayers.


Now here are some things you might need to know if you are considering buying or using this Bible for your personal use. These are not necessarily thumbs down, just depends on your preference- keep that in mind!

OK, so first off, I don’t hate the New King James Version, it is just not my favorite. I usually peruse many translations but have somehow gotten comfortable with the New International Standard Version (1984). Now don’t get your britches all up in a bunch. I know there are more literal translations etc. This is just the reality. I also am enjoying newer translations, so that is just my two cents. Many people and teachers love the NKJV. I may change my mind sometime. But for now, not doing it, although I am open. If you love it, perfect, you are thrilled that this is the available version!
Next up, in a Devotional I like to see a Reading Plan. For instance starting out with marked days with a specific reading for that day. Not that you can’t find a reading plan online or somewhere, BUT if I am going to dish over my cash, I am looking for format with regard to Devotional Bibles. I have a friend who loves her devotional Bible without a format and she uses just prints out an online daily reading schedule. This is straight up Genesis to Revelation format. That is good but you want to know, if you are like me when it comes to checking Bible details. I think it might be nice to have a Reading Plan in the back for a future publication.

Over all I’d say you are a pretty happy camper coming away with this Bible!

* I did receive this book from Thomas Nelson for free, but the opinions expressed are completely MINE!

Here is how to enter the Giveaway:

You must simply enter a comment below this post! 

You can get ONE extra entry to win by “following” Beneath The Surface: Breath of Faith in a new way, ie. Networked Blogs, Facebook Page or Google Friend Connect. Leave another comment so I know you did this!

Please share with friends who you think might be interested.
I will draw the Winner on New Years Eve! 



Publisher’s Description :

Jesus Calling Devotional Bible, NKJV, NKJV

Enjoying Peace in His Presence
Multicolor, Padded Hardcover
The Jesus Calling Devotional Bible puts readers in touch with God and His answers for their life situations. Missionary Sarah Young had been journaling her prayers for years when she began “listening” for what Jesus was saying to her within the words of Scripture. In this Bible, 260 scenarios pose life struggles to which Sarah Young gives answers from her Savior—words that Jesus has lovingly laid on her heart—words that have comforted and inspired Sarah and many others around the world.
Features include:
  • 260 scenarios with devotions by Sarah Young
  • Hundreds of inspiring scriptures highlighted throughout the text
  • New King James Version® (NKJV) in paragraph format
  • Index to devotions
  • Two-color text
  • Presentation page
  • Ribbon marker
Part of the Signature Series line of Thomas Nelson Bibles
The New King James Version—More than 60 million copies sold in 30 years

Have Yourself A Merry Little Monday



A local neighbor’s yard. I am a hard core, stalking picture taker.
If you display it – I will photograph it. Unless you call the police!
There is no hiding from me and my Canon Elph 300 HS.
If you are within range, you could wind up on my blog, and your little dog, too. 



It is Miscellany Monday! The last Monday before Christmas. Hooray! Guess who is going Christmas shopping this week. And writing out Christmas cards. Guess! Yes, it is I. Am I stressed? No, no. Not at all. The fact is I love writing out and sometimes making Christmas cards. Usually. When I am on my game. But my game, is definitely off! One year I ended up skipping cards. Maybe we should start a Happy New Year card tradition this year. Or heck, if I keep procrastinating, everyone could receive a Happy Valentines Day from our Home to Yours. Inside it could read: Hope you had a Merry Christmas. Due to Procrastination issues we will be sending out our holiday cards at the most convenient time for US. Thanks, Have a great…whatever. Oh, yeah. That would be awkward. I like it. 




Look, my dear daughter adjusted the Christmas countdown thingy that hangs in our living room. Thanks, Sweetie! 
No pressure, right?



A random scrapbook page (picture-less!) inspired from the bag that Panera sent me home with which is the cardinals sharing peace. It’s actually on my Fridge. I am linking up with Jamie at her sweet Blog space  for Make Yourself Monday. Check out her adorably, cute little Cupcake: 




I started to read Be Joyful – Even When Things Go Wrong, You Can Have Joy
 by Warren Wiersbe
I had the book, but someone mentioned it in a blog post and I felt that was my sign to pick it up and actually read it. It was a good sign! Perfect for this week for me!






My hubby has been bringing me home little gifts all week. One of which was this winter themed shower curtain. Working at Lowes when they want to “clear out” items is a bargain lovers blessing. I love it, and winter! My dear daughter hates it. She has a thing about shower curtains and snowmen. Sigh. Can’t please everyone!



 Apparently this Bee did not get the memo that it is December and he needs to just do whatever Bees do for Winter. Well, it has been too warm, and the dandelion did not mind. I got these pics on one of my walks this week, with the dogs.



The High Point of my week came when I attended a Writer’s Group at my very favorite library in the state of Rhode Island in rural, beautiful West Greenwich.  It is called Write Connections and I was blessed, encouraged and inspired to be there this Saturday! The last time I  attended a writing group was probably before I had my daughter! I used to live in Providence, near Brown University and RISD where there was a plethora of opportunities to gather with aspiring writers and creative artists! 




My latest Blog news concerning the Inspiring Women Series is that I have 7 wonderful women lined up waiting to serve up inspiration of all kinds in the upcoming months! I have a few I am waiting to hear back from, but I am overwhelmed by the positive responses I have received! Last but not least, with the understanding that it is better to give than receive, I have an announcement to make about my next Giveaway. Remember, a few Monday’s ago, I was so excited to get the Jesus Calling Devotional Bible through Thomas Nelson? Well, although I love it for a number of reasons I really felt I wanted to give something back to my lovely readers and followers to celebrate Christmas and New Years! So this week I will be posting a review. I have been gently looking it over to share some details, but will be posting Giveaway details with the review. So, if you are interested in this Bible for yourself or a special friend, check back later this week!



My last link up is with Java over at “Never Growing Old”



Questions:
1.Wrapping paper or gift bags? Both. Whatever we have in the closet works.
2.Real or artificial tree? Real!
3.When do you put your tree up? As soon as I can get my hubby to make it so! “Make it so Number 1” Preferably weekend after Thanksgiving.
4.When do you take your tree down? Varies. By the time the needles fall off, for sure. 
5.Do you like eggnog? Yum! 
6.Do you have a nativity scene? Yes.  I also collect Nativity tree ornaments
7.Favorite Christmas Movie? Charlie Brown Christmas, It’s A Wonderful Life, White Christmas, Elf
8.Favorite Christmas cookie? My hubby makes all kinds of Italian cookies. I just eat them all.
9.Where will you eat Christmas dinner? Brother -In -Laws
10.Angel, bow or star on top of your tree? Star
11.Most annoying thing about this time of the year? 
12.Do you like Fruitcake? Gag.
13.What are you most excited about the holidays? 
14.Do you open presents Christmas Eve or Christmas Morning? Both
15.Will you still be wrapping presents on Christmas Eve? Strong possibility, I’d say. HA! If I finish the shopping by then! 




Well, I feel a  like a little Blogosphere floozy, tramping around and linking up to so many sites! But I like it! Thanks to all my gracious new friends in the blogosphere and for the new ones I will meet in the coming weeks and year! Have a wonderful week, friends. May you be blessed with love, joy, peace, and hope as you make your way through your days this week. 






Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters


Photobucket

Miscellany Monday and Me

Downtown Providence, Rhode Island: the street
where my husband and I met.

Monday’s are my absolutely favorite day to blog, all because of lower case letters “Miscellany Monday” link up. As some of you know, it really allows my ADHD gift to completely roam the blank page before clicking “publish”, without excuse. Oh, happy day. Oh, and for those of you who think I am joking I really was diagnosed with ADHD as a child before it was common. Especially for those of the female persuasion. I probably should write about that at some point. But NOT today, dear ones, not today! It has been an exciting week full of drama, anticipation and nonsensical circumstances (?). Shall we bring you up to speed so I can get back to work on my big, giant, lengthy, deep posts? Ha!

My Precious was actually the white version!

It was one full week without my “Precious”. I am trying to think positively about this but I can’t get beyond the insurance deductible and the reality of losing a phone I only had for 3 weeks at most. Not to mention that somebody else IS using my Blackberry white Torch with pink gel cover (OK, maybe said recipient of lost phone got rid of the cover IF the thief is a guy). Not that it should matter AT&T is sending me out a grey replacement. Ak! Who cares, yet , it’s the point – Gollum understands my pain!

On a more positive note, I had a “second”  interview for a job I actually really want, but am awaiting a final answer. Second interview with 3 of the team I potentially would be working with and the program head as well as direct supervisor. I have never been interviewed by 5 people before. Oh, for your amusement it started with me having to confess I had spilled a whole cup of coffee on myself prior to the interview. Um, How am I doing? Luckily, the spill went to my crotch area (black pants) and lower belly (purple and black long shirt). Yeah and I could stop right there and that would be a good sum up of the week! Despite all this the interview was less painful than it sounds. God is good. Prayers welcome. Limbo is so…limbo-ish. You are officially invited to celebrate or wallow with me depending on the outcome.

Our tree is up, it was nice to get it on Wednesday! Later than I like, but I will take it! Beauty, eh?
It is still naked. But I am fine with that since at this rate I will probably keep it up until February. Or ’til the needles fall off, whichever comes first. This is our CHRISTMAS tree, not our HOLIDAY tree, for those who may have heard the latest Rhode Island news involving our good Governor’s views ( I will BLOG it out if I can manage my tongue in a wise manner)

As per usual, life is full of lots of twists. I often get sidetracked in Bible Study. I am working on my “short” post for Psalm 119, and during an authorship query have gotten myself tangled in the life of Ezra. I am sure I will emerge victorious and I just need a few more days to finalize what I want to say about this great psalm!

Once a month Inspiring Women series announced!

Kicking off my Inspiring Women Series is just a wonderful adventure for me and I am so excited to share as the invitees respond and commit to the month that they will be visiting Beneath The Surface: Breath of Faith with their own special portion. I will be conducting (all God willing) a couple of interviews, hosting Guest Posts, and sharing some inspiration & encouragement throughout the new year with some very inspiring women! I am praying this will be a blessing to many!

Stay tuned for more!

Best lesson of the week (possibly lesson of the month): It never hurts to ask! As a matter of fact I am getting pretty bold in this area, with God and people. While corresponding with a representative for a publishing company about an opportunity being offered, I just put out there as a request, to receive for review, the new Jesus Calling Devotional Bible, and guess what is on it’s way to my home this instant?
Thank you Thomas Nelson Publishing! I am looking forward to sharing my opinions with you all as soon as my hot little hands have a chance to touchy!

Last but not least here my hubby and I are in front of the place we met, which is now something else BUT we enjoyed having our girl take our pic in front of this little piece of our personal history! I actually was HIS boss, when we met. Ha and Ha. God has an incredible sense of humor, beyond comprehension, yes?

Happy Monday, Everybody!

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

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