It’s Christmastime!

Christmastime - In all the hustle and bustle, don’t forget to share your Joy with others this Christmas!| https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.com

It’s Christmastime everyone!
Time to deck the halls –
Time to string the lights
‘Round the tree and on the walls.

It’s time to go a-wasselling –
Wasselling? Hooray!
I don’t know what it is
But we’ll have fun anyway.

It’s time to join the bustle,
Time to shop the stores,
Time to wrap the gifts –
Wait! I need just one thing more.

Celebrations everywhere,
Yummy treats to eat,
Old friends to laugh with,
And memories, oh, so sweet.

Families all together,
Loved ones held so close,
Christmas is the time
That we truly love the most!

But the joy of this season
By all is not shared.
There are those burdened
By a heavy load of cares.

There are those who are hurting,
Those who have no hope,
Those who are hungry,
Those who cannot seem to cope.

Christmastime to these dear ones
Is just another day
To struggle all alone,
Not a time to sing and play.

They simply can’t comprehend
The reason that we sing.
Their woes are too great;
They think miracles silly things.

They’re searching for an answer,
Escape from their plight.
They’re holding back tears
As they kiss their kids goodnight.

Oh, it’s time we look around –
Open up our eyes
To a dying world
That thinks no one hears their cries.

Our lives are filled with plenty;
We’ve so much to give.
We’ve a Hope to share
With a world that longs for it.

It’s Christmastime, after all!
Time to spread the news,
Time to tell of Jesus
And His love for me and you.

It’s time to go a-serving!
Serving? Yes, indeed!
Meeting needs of others –
What great joy and love it brings!

So, let’s celebrate this season
Telling of His birth,
Giving unto others,
Spreading Hope and Peace on earth.

 

*Dedicated to my son, Corey, who is spending his Christmas break building houses for those in need in Peru. I am so proud of his choices and the man he is becoming.

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Mirrors, Bags and Dancing Shoes: A Lesson on Desires

Mirrors, Bags and Dancing Shoes: A Lesson on Desires - Are the things you are seeking in life leaving you cold and empty? Maybe it’s time to take a serious look at your heart’s desires... | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.com

In a little village, there lived a man who had three girls.

To you and me they’d look the same – same smile, same eyes, same curls.

But each of these three daughters were as different as could be

And if you took a closer look, the differences were plain to see.

 

Sophia was the drama queen; she loved the finer things

And preferred to have an audience so she could dance and sing.

Sasha loved her mirror and the reflection that she saw.

She primped and brushed and painted – she did not tolerate any flaw.

 

Then there was sweet Sara whom her sisters thought quite odd.

She did not primp; she did not dance; she spent her time with God.

Though these girls were different, their father loved them all the same.

And in return, they shared his love each in their own special way.

 

Sophia entertained her dad – she loved to make him smile.

Sasha decked their entire house with her great sense of style.

Sara hung on every word and learned all her father taught.

These girls loved their father so – a greater love there was not.

 

One sad day, the news was brought that their father had passed on.

An accident out in the field – Oh how the girls did mourn!

But their father had a plan for the lives of these three girls.

He left behind instructions for them to go out in the world.

 

“Take your share of my estate,” his instructions did direct.

“Choose a path to follow – a new life you must erect.

To take along your journey, a bag for each I’ve left.

How you choose to fill it will be the measure of your success.”

 

“Success,” thought Sophia, “I like the sound of this great plan.

I’ll take my scores of music and I’ll take my shoes for dance.

My dream is to be famous and the richest of them all.”

So she packed her bag and set her course to answer glory’s call.

 

Sasha opened up her bag and sighed, “What am I to do?

This bag does not reflect my taste.  I’m not happy with its hue.

Beauty is my talent and I’ll use it to find true love.”

So brushes, make up, mirrors and more in her bag she did stuff.

 

Sara quietly packed her bag though she did not want to leave.

“I do not know your plan, Lord, but I’ll follow where you lead.”

She took along her Bible, some money, some food, some clothes.

She began her journey praying, “Lord, be with me as I go.”

 

Fame and fortune soon became Sophia’s dream come true.

Her shelves were lined with trophies and her name filled the news.

Each night the wealthy and society’s great were found within her home.

But each morning when Sophia woke, she was always all alone.

 

Sasha’s dream to find true love came easy or so she thought.

She used her dazzling beauty to ensnare a young man’s heart.

He doted and he showered his new bride with lots of stuff.

But each gift that he presented, he found was never good enough.

 

The path on which Sara trod was not ordinary by far,

Yet in the eyes of her sisters, Sara was no shining star.

While earning her degree, Sara worked in a little store

Where she never met a stranger – the needy had an open door.

 

Years went by and there came a day when Sophia was forgotten.

No more applause, no more awards, no hype to be caught up in.

Surrounded by great treasures, she found her life empty and cold.

She’d filled her bag to the brim and left no room for what meant the most.

 

Sasha, too, found life and love to be a disappointment.

Her husband left; her beauty waned – hers only for a moment.

Her time was spent reflecting on herself and her desires.

Her bag might not be empty if she had looked a little higher.

 

Now, Sara, she was happy; she found joy with each new day.

She saw no need to hoard and store; she loved to give away.

She helped all who crossed her path without thought of her own life.

As for her bag, she would always find the contents did suffice.

 

Late one night as Sara slept, she saw her father in a dream.

She was sitting at his feet; to him tightly she did cling.

“Oh, I’ve missed you,” Sara said, his hand tightly in her grasp.

“I’ve much to tell but first, I have a question I need to ask.”

 

“At the outset of the journey of my sisters and me,

You gave a bag to each of us to fill as we did please.

Sophia’s riches and Sasha’s matchless beauty I did not gain.

So why was my bag plenteous when theirs did not sustain?”

 

Sara’s father looked down at her face and wiped her tears.

Then he spoke these words that to this day Sara still holds dear:

“My child, the objects in the bag matter not in this life.

It’s the longings of your heart and the goals for which you strive.

 

“Your sisters sought to please themselves; they did not seek the Lord.

While you, my dear, gave all to Him, in you good things He poured.

Fortune, beauty, even love, can leave one empty and chilled

But the one who longs for righteousness, that life will surely be filled. “

Pray Anyway

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Though you can’t see an end to your struggle,

Though your heart stings from familiar hurt,

Though your hope has been crushed and your trust has been broken,

Pray anyway.

 

Though you fear nothing will ever change,

Though you worry your cries won’t be heard,

Though your faith has vanished and you’ve nothing on which to cling,

Pray anyway.

 

Though your world, so dear, has stopped turning,

Though you can’t fathom the reasons why,

Though you feel abandoned and your life is in pieces,

Pray anyway.

 

Prayer is more about Gods presence than it is about our problems.

It’s more about who we become while spending time with Him.

It’s about the spark that is reignited,

The faith that is rekindled,

The hope that is reborn.

The resolve that is strengthened,

The healing that takes place,

The rest that is given,

And the peace that floods our souls.

 

The power of prayer is experiencing of the power of God,

Discovering that He is greater than our problems,

That our problems cannot change His promises,

That His grace is always sufficient,

That His love is never failing and

That we don’t have to do life alone.

 

So no matter your circumstances,

No matter your lack of faith,

Never stop praying.

Never stop seeking His Face.

 

Pray anyway.

 

 

 

Discover the height, depth, width and length of God's great love for you.

Grace

Discover the height, depth, width and length of God's great love for you.

I DO NOT UNDERSTAND what I do.
The things I want to do, the things I know to do, I do not do them.

But WHAT I HATE, that is what I DO.

My heart is DECEITFUL and beyond all cure. My sins have SEPARATED me from God and have hidden his face from me.
You must grow weary of my trampling through your courts of grace with my vain requests for forgiveness.

Oh, God, can you still HEAR me?

Please speak to me.

I am undone.

In my darkness, I hear your voice,

Come now,

And with its sound, I am once again reminded of your TENDER MERCIES.

You are COMPASSIONATE and GRACIOUS, Lord. You are SLOW TO ANGER and ABOUNDING IN LOVE.

You do not deal with me as my sins deserve nor do you repay me according to my offenses.

Instead, you are PATIENT WITH ME. 

For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so GREAT IS YOUR LOVE FOR ME.

You are FAITHFUL TO FORGIVE – when I confess – and to cleanse my heart of its unrighteousness.

As far as the east is from the west, you have removed my transgressions from me.

YOU REMEMBER THEM NO MORE.

From your abundance, Lord, I have received your GRACE UPON GRACE.

Of this my heart will forever sing!

 

 

 

*This expression of praise for God’s love, forgiveness and grace is a compilation and personalization of the following Scriptures: Romans 7:15; Jeremiah 17:9; Isaiah 59:2; Isaiah 1:11-15; Job 11:5; Isaiah 6:5; Isaiah 1:18; Psalm 51:1; Psalm 103:8; Psalm 103:10; 2 Peter 3:9; Psalm 103:11; 1 John 1:9; Psalm 103:12; Isaiah 43:25; John 1:16 and Psalm 89:1

A Very Smiley Christmas (A Year of Smiles – Day 335)

Adobe Spark (46)

There’s only twenty-five days until Christmas. TWENTY-FIVE! Are you ready? I am!… unless we’re talking about having all my presents purchased, wrapped and sitting under the tree! Then, no. No, I am not. But I am ready for the Christmas season. I love this time of year. There are so many wonderful ways to celebrate, so many sights, smells, tastes and sounds that are unique to the Christmas holiday. And, of course, there are so many SMILES to find and share.

So, without further ado…

Let the Christmas SMILES begin! <SQUEAL> I’m so excited! 😉

CHRISTMAS SMILE #1 (Reason to SMILE #335): THE CHRISTMAS TREE

I’ve always thought it strange to sing a ballad to a tree.
You know the one, don’t you, about the fir forever green?

We hear it playing in the stores, while we’re Christmas shopping.
We hum along to its tune in movies that we’re watching.

As it’s sung, sweet voices raise with fervor and great passion
For the object of their joy and holiday affection.

Friends, families, strangers even, the tree they gather ’roundchristmas-tree-1833186_1280
As hand-in-hand, they sway in sync to music’s mellow sound.

I see these scenes and wonder “Who on earth does this so?
It’s a tree, for heaven’s sake, not a sacred shrine — although…’

I do love my Christmas tree. It’s first to bedeck my halls.
I love to see the twinkling lights drape branches stretched so tall.

Its smell wafts through the air and prompts frequent inhalations
Made with eyes closed up tight – Oh, the mem’ries it emblazons!

Its beauty, natural and God-made, is cheerfully adorned
With ribbons, stars of gold and red, and strings of air-popped corn.

Oh, how could I have Christmas if I did not have my tree!
For more than decoration this fir tree is to me.

This evergreen reminds me of a life everlasting.
Hope springs from its branches and the shadows it is casting.

For one day, the One whose birth we joyously celebrate
Did give His life upon a tree for you and me to save.

The precious gift of Christmas gave His life for all the world
So we could live forever in the presence of the Lord.

Yes! I love my Christmas tree; to its sign of hope, I’ll cling.
I’ll praise God for its message and for all the SMILES it brings!

 

Just don’t expect me to hold hands in a circle around the thing and sing to it!

It ain’t happenin’.

Period. 😉

 

A Year of Smiles – Day 296

Reason to SMILE #296: SECOND CHANCES

Adobe Spark (34)

Time and time again,
I know that I will falter.
I know my steps will be misled.
This fate I cannot alter.

I try to choose the way of good;
It is my heart’s desire.
Yet when my will is put to test,
I find it all haywire.

There are times I have been proud.
I’ve stood my ground in battle.
But more than these, I am afraid,
I see resolve unravel.

Oh, but thanks be to our God!
Great mercy He advances
And ev’ry time we’ve fallen short
He’s given second chances.

… and third and fourth and fifth and …

What a loving and merciful God we serve! No matter how many times we fail, He’s there to pick us up and give us a chance to try again. Each new chance is a reason to SMILE and an opportunity to share that same mercy and grace to the world around us.

Have you been given a second chance? Why not give the same to others?

Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.

Colossians 3:13 (NLT)  

A Year of Smiles – Day 276

Reason to SMILE #276: YOU ARE AN OVERCOMER

Adobe Spark (19)

I will not be overcome!

What power in this phrase.
What victory when spoken.

Though tossed about by life’s responsibilities,
I will not be overcome.

Though overwhelmed by fears of failure,
I will not be overcome.

Though attacked by changing circumstances,
I will not be overcome.

Though the enemy tries to steal my courage,
I will not be overcome.

For I am a child of God,
And my God will overcome.

No longer need I worry over threatening tasks.
No longer need I live in the shadows hiding from the unexpected.

I will cower no more under the abilities of others.
I will not live subjected to the expectations of this world.

Though I may be shaken or even set aback,
I will not be overcome.

The promise of my Lord is
He will overcome!

A Year of Smiles – Day 274

Reason to SMILE #274: STEPPING OUT OF THE BOAT

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Because God’s Servant Stepped Out of the Boat

(Click the link to read the story of one who faithfully stepped out of the boat and changed the lives of countless, including the lives of my son and husband!)

Comfort is a good thing. We like it and that’s okay. Comfort, however, tends to beget complacency. And complacency makes it difficult to do the work God calls us to do, especially when the work is something new or somewhere new. Often times, God must wake us up out of our complacency if we are to be of any use to Him.

Just as He called out to Peter to step out of the boat and walk to Him on the water, God also calls out to us to step out of our boats, to step out of comfort zones. At times, the step God wants us to take may be small, such as reaching out to a new neighbor with an invitation to church or sharing the Gospel with a co-worker. Other times, the step God calls us to make is a giant leap of faith, such as packing up your life and moving to a foreign land to serve the Lord as a missionary or pursuing a new opportunity for ministry.

No matter the size of the step, when we heed God’s call to get out of the boat, the result will always be a blessing. If we step out in faith and keep our eyes on the Lord, the SMILES will not only be ours but they will belong to every person whose life we touch along the way.

A Year of Smiles – Day 260

Reason to SMILE #260: A CLEAN SLATE

Adobe Spark (12)
 

Yesterday is behind us.

The night has washed the past away.

The only thing remaining

Is a clean and empty slate.

 

The morning sunlight rises

And with it, hope is born anew.

A precious gift – a promise –

Is this day God made for you.

 

A new week is upon us. A week filled with new opportunities for…

… absolutely anything you can imagine!

But don’t forget to include a whole lotta SMILES!

A Year of Smiles – Day 257

Reason to SMILE #257: READING

Mommy, won’t you read to me?

I love to hear you speak.

Your voice calms me when I’m tired

And helps me drift to sleep.

Mommy, won’t you read to me?

I have so much to learn.

I’ll look at all the pictures

While I take in ev’ry word.

Mommy, won’t you read with me?

This is my favorite book!

I know we’ve read it tons of times –

Please! Just one more look.

Mommy, won’t you read with me?

I’m practicing, you see.

I might miss a word or two

But I know that you’ll help me.

Mommy, let me read to you!

This story is brand new

And I can read ev’ry word.

Daddy’s proud – aren’t you?

Mommy, let me read to you!

I know you’re awfully busy.

I’ll help by reading while you work

To make the time pass quickly.

Mommy, won’t you read with me?

I miss our reading time.

It made me feel so special

To have you by my side.

Mommy, can I read to you?

I know you’re tired and weak.

I’ll read with you and show my love

Just like you did for me.