Tuesday, December 31, 2013

December 31, 2013...Prayerfully Looking Back....for the Last Time

I've done a lot of that...looking back.  While some of that looking has been fond and memorable, much of it has not been.  It's been more about "what could have been", "what was not", "what if", etc.  So starting tomorrow, my prayer is for it to be different.  Looking back will only be in preparation for how I got here, what's to come, and what's around the corner.
So here's to 2013 and every year before it....I bid you adieu!

Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came toward Jesus.
- Matthew 14:29 (NRSV)

Philippians 3:12-14
I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.

Encourage One Another, continuing the journey on fresh paths.

Blessings and love to you, xoxo, and happy trails!

Monday, December 30, 2013

A Cozy Swap

Back in November, one of my blogger friends, Jennifer, of Amusing Provincial...


posted a participatory event called a "cozy swap".  Here's how you play...
"To participate you email me your mailing address and favorite Christmas and or cozy things you love (including color scheme).  For example I love hot chocolate, fuzzy socks, chicken flicks, decorating magazines etc,   in about a week I will give your info to another participant and give you someone's info. By the appointed date you will shop for this persons favorite items spending 25-30 dollars. Then you mail them their gift! I like to include a card with a little about myself too. I hope you can join :) "

Generally, I am not comfortable with purchasing gifts for folks who don't literally pick them out first and tell me what they want.  However, I decided to stretch myself and I decided to play...
Here was my list...

Fun or warm socks
Scents amber and patchouli
Horse anything
Cowgirl stuff
Decor=romantic western or country
Colors turquoise or green 
Vintage anything and vintage Christmas things

(Does this sound like me?)
Here's what I received...

Here is what April told me about my gifts..."I wanted to give you a sampling of some of the homemade items up here in northwest Missouri:).  My sister in law does the scentsy tarts.  Her friend does the goat milk soap.  I make the jewelry.  I know you like horses so the bracelet is from old horse tack.  I also make the snowmen I hope he survived ok:)"
She included some white hot chocolate mix and a bright mug to drink it from; some holiday ho ho ho socks; a cute little red bird clothes pin.
April made this adorable snow girl angel...very sweet.
These cranberry/fig items smell phenomenal!  I love goats milk anything...country girl that I am!
This piece April handcrafted.  It says Faith Always and has a precious jeweled cross attached.  It's fabulous.
This piece is my favorite!  It's a piece of horse tack, my guess is part of a bridle, that she made into a cuff.  She stamped "Good Life" on it...the name of my blog.  I will treasure this.  April was amazingly attentive to my favorite things and I could not be happier with my "cozy swap".  That April is a talented gal!

I only hope my "swapee" was as happy with what I sent her and I am with what I received.

Luke 21:4
All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”

Romans 12:6
We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.

Encourage One Another, continuing the journey on fresh paths.

Blessings and love to you, xoxo...Happy Trails.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

It's a Bit of a Sweet Little Dream Come True

My grandboy is all boy.  He's a little bit shaky when it comes to bugs, however, anything else he's all boy.  If a sport's got a ball, he can name it and he can play it.  If a sport's got a helmet, he wants to wear it.  He is a puzzle master and a Lego king.  He's not afraid of the dark and doesn't need a night light.  He's not all lovey dovey.  Although this is a very frequent conversation between us.
Him..."Annie?"  Me..."yes sir".  Him..."I love you!"  Me..."I love you to!"

Seldom to never has he wanted to sit in my lap and watch a show.  Occasionally he will sit beside me to read a book.  However, he is NOT a lap sitter....until last Monday.

His parents had been gone for several days and he had been staying with his other grandmother and I.  Monday morning was a Pajama Christmas birthday party for Jesus at his school, so he wore his pjs to HH.  I picked him up and when he got home to my house that afternoon he just left them on.  Usually on the days I pick him up from school I do not have him take a nap.  This day was no different.  We were busy watching all his Christmas DVDs (you know the ones, Charlie Brown, Frosty the Snow Man, etc., Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer).  At some point he crawled up in my lap and laid in a reclining position to watch.  We initially did this.

Then he curled up sideways and watched...in my lap while I wrapped my arms around him.

He was still and quiet.  He stayed there a long time.  I was not sure that he was not falling asleep.  In fact, I think he would have had his parents not shone up when they did.

It was just so sweet.  I've always wanted to just sit and hold him and snuggle.  It was a special treat for me to cuddle up with my all boy grandboy!  It will be a Christmas memory I will not forget (especially since we did watch Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer three times).

Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.
Prov 22:6.

Love the Lord our god and serve him with all your heart and with all your soul...fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.   Deut 11:13-19

Encourage One Another, continuing the journey on fresh paths.
Blessings and love to you, xoxoxo and Merry Christmas.

Oh My How I Love Those Clydesdales!!

Enjoy these 8 minutes...you'll be glad you did!  If you can't link to it, paste in your browser!




Monday, December 9, 2013

Home Where He Belongs

 Thanks Mom and Dad....again.  And thanks Chad for letting this boy come home!
Encourage One Another, continuing the journey on fresh paths.
Blessings and love and happy holidays to you, xoxo.

Luke 2:10-14

New International Version (NIV)
10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Miracle on County Road 138

I don't believe in coincidences.  I believe in God's timing.  And I believe in miracles, even if they are just small ones.

You know how much I love my horses....well, here's the story.
Forty one years ago my parents commissioned an artist to paint a portrait of the first horse I ever bought with my own money.  They gave it to me for my 18th birthday.  Truthfully, the markings were the same as my horse, but he didn't really look like my guy.  I had this painting for years, much longer actually than I had the horse.  I owned this horse, Gin, all through high school and college and into my married life.  I sold him in about 1982.  About 15 years ago I had a garage sale.  For some stupid reason I put this painting in that garage sale.  As I was closing things down that day, a lady came and bought it.  I reluctantly sold it, really having second thoughts as she walked off, but it had just been sitting in a closet.  Time went on and I sort of forgot about it.
In May of 2003, quite a number of years after that garage sale, my mother passed away.
Shortly after that I had a lady that was cleaning my house.  A particular day I had to take money by to pay her one afternoon.  She was at her mother's house.  When I walked in that house, the first thing I saw was my horse painting on the wall.  I cried.  I expressed to her that I should have never sold the painting, and that now it was even more valuable to me since I had recently lost my mother.  The elderly lady found no sympathy in that, nor did her daughter.  It was her painting and she did not want to part with it.  I was heart broken.
Today, ten years later, I ran into the housekeeper at an estate sale.  The estate sale was for a friend of mine who recently passed away.  I happened to see the signs for it on my way to church and decided to stop by on my way home.  I said hello to the housekeeper and just right off the bat asked if her mother still had my horse painting.  She told me that her mother had passed away in 2007.  She expressed that her mother had left everything to her two nephews (she got nothing).  There apparently was some estrangement in the family about that which was sad to hear.  I asked for and she gave me her sister's name and address.
As soon as I left the sale I went to the address.  A young man in his 30s answered the door.  He said his mother, Faye, was not home.  I told him my story, of how years ago a painting of my horse was sold in a garage sale and how I had found it years later in the home of his grandmother...and how badly I wanted it back due to the death of my mother (and now my father as well) and how adamant his grandmother was about keeping it.  I told him I had heard his grandmother passed away and wondered if they still had the painting.  He took my name and number and said he would give it to his mother and tell her my story.  I left there thinking, surely God would not have lead me down this path if by some miracle I was not to get this painting back.

Matthew 17:20
He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

About an hour later this young man's mother, Faye, called me back.  She told me her son had told her my story. She said her son understood why and how much I wanted this painting back.  She said when her mother died she had given the painting to her son, Chad.  Chad was who I met at the door.  Chad was willing to give the painting back to me.  I cried.  God is truly an awesome God.
Tomorrow morning I am going by her house to pick up the painting of my horse Gin.  Tomorrow, some 41 years after it was painted, and some 15 years after I let it go, I will get my horse painting back.  Tomorrow I'll post a picture of the painting.  Tomorrow will be a good day!

Acts 19:11-12

New International Version (NIV)
11 God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, 12 so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.

Encourage One Another, continuing the journey on fresh paths.
Blessings and Love to you, xoxo.