I have been working on this post since January. It's crazy, but everytime I try to finish it, I'm interrupted. The irony is, that's what it's all about. Read on to learn what I'm talking about.
Have you ever heard about choosing a Word of the Year to focus on throughout the year: pray on, think about, or set a goal toward? I have recently been introduced to this through a fellow blogger. 

So what exactly is the concept about? I believe that it's about selecting a word that represents a goal you'd like to achieve or a change you'd like to have in your life (or within your family). 

Every year, millions of people look at the new year as a means to set resolutions and attempt to accomplish them: like going to the gym, or eating better, or getting organized. Whatever they might be, most people do not end up completing their resolution or reaching that goal. Why? Probably because it turns out a little more difficult than thought, or it's impractical, or even illogical. I do not usually set resolutions because I think it's irrational to believe that the drop of a ball or stroke of a clock can actually change a person's attitude about something. However, I am going take this challenge to pick a word that encompasses a few of the things that I've been thinking about changing or modifying in my life.

So how did I choose my word? I asked my daughter, lol. I actually did ask her. . . but after I had thought about it for a while. I had chosen a few words that represented definite areas in my life that need to change (or that I would like to change) and then talked with her about it. She has an incredible insight into many things. Though we tease that she over analyzes everything, she is wonderfully blessed with the ability to think through things, and add an element of innocence with intelligence. 

My word? Simplify. Why did I choose this. Let me start with the definitions and then I will explain:

From Merriam-Webster online:

- to make simple or simpler: as
a: to reduce to basic essentials
b: to diminish in scope or complexity : streamline
c: to make more intelligible : clarify

All 3 of the definitions are relevant to why I chose simplify. 

A. "To reduce to basic essentials". We always have something going on in our family. From work, to school, to music, to dance, to here and there, it seems like our days consist of running, running, running. I would like to see our days more simplified. More of the "basic essentials". How can we accomplish this? There are many ways, I think. And I am praying we find one that works for us.

B. "To diminish in scope or complexity: streamline". Simplifying life doesn't just mean going to the basic essentials, either. It means making things run smoother, streamlining. (Or at least that's my opinion of this definition.) I would like us to work together to find areas that we can "diminish" the complexity of and streamline the flow of things. 

C. "To make more intelligible: clarify". I think this might be the first step we (I) need to take to accomplishing the other 2 definitions. Turn to The Lord for direction. Clarify our goals and where The Lord wants us. Allow Him to lead us through each day and simplify according to His word and His will. Of all of the definitions listed, I believe this is my favorite. It turns my eyes upon Him.
Now that we are well into March and this post is about the word of the year, I can actually add in how it's been going. Though we haven't totally simplified yet, I think we are on the right path. We have found a new church to attend. Church is a vital part of focusing on Him and clarifying our days. The messages heard, the lessons learned, and the fellowship that occurs are all so important to a christian's walk. We are trying to decrease our time away from home, although this hasn't been as successful as I'd hoped. Being home may not always seem relaxing because of the various tasks that must be done, but it is essential to being able to get to the basics. Realizing that all of the extras in life are not as important as what we have been blessed with right in our own home.

The one thing that is happening as a result of me trying to simplify, is that we are drawing closer to each other, as a result of growing closer to Him. I love that. He knows our every need. I am so thankful for my family and that He loves each of us. I am thankful that He has guided us to this point, and will continue to direct us in His path, if we only keep our eyes, and heart, focused on Him.

How about you? Do you have a goal that you are keeping this year? Or is there one you'd like to start working towards?

Thank you for reading : ^ )
"Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
that you all speak the same thing,
and that there be no divisions among you,
but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind
and in the same judgment."

1 Corinthians 1:10 
Living in Central New York has it's ups & downs. One of those is snow. There are many ups to the winter snow.  It's wonderful to see the beautiful falling snow whiten our trees and yards. Those that enjoy winter sports love the snow and kids (and adults) like playing in it, building snowmen, and making snow angels.

But there are definitely downs of snow. It's cold (like right now it's -9f degrees outside) and then there's the storms and lake effect snow. Below are 2 pictures of driving in white out conditions that led to nearly 2 feet of snow in 1/2 a day in my area. There was 3 1/2 ft of snow that fell in a town close by. It was not fun!
Next week I'll post pics of fun things to do in the snow. This week has just been a little crazy with all the snow. 

What are your thoughts on the winter snow? Do you have a fun activity you enjoy during the winter? Leave me a comment and let me know.

Happy Winter Day to you : ^ )
"St Joseph Seeks a Lodging in Bethlehem" by Tissot
So often as we hustle about finishing the last minute tasks before Christmas, we lose sight of the real reason we are celebrating.  

Christmas has become very commercialized over the years, with me falling to some of it, I must admit. The decorations, gifts, cookie making, dinner. . . there is a lot that can get in the way of the primary reason for the season. Even this very expression has been commercialized.

But I ask that you take time to reflect on that reason, Jesus Christ. Though December 25th may not have been His exact birthday, we can still celebrate His joyous birth on this day as it has been for many generations. (actually since the mid-fourth century, biblicalarchaeology.org).

Although details have been added to the story over the years based on historical references, and those details may be unsubstantiated, the fundamental story is true based on The Word of The Lord. I am thankful that we freely have access to His Word, The Bible. There are some countries where people could actually die if they possess one.

Since tonight is December 24th, Christmas Eve, I find myself thinking about Mary & Joseph travelling to Bethlehem to obey the decree from Caesar Augustus (Luke 2:1). Whether she was riding a donkey or not specifically stated in the Bible, but we do know that they went to Bethlehem and that at some point after she arrived she gave birth to Jesus. However, tonight I'm thinking about this long journey they took and how uncomfortable she must have been, being pregnant. I'm also thinking about how she and Joseph may have felt when they learned there was no room for them at the inn (Luke 2:7). Both of my children were born in a hospital, but I have friends that have had home births. Imagine not having a "room" and having to place your newborn child "in a manger".

How difficult was it for her? We will not know, but I am thankful that The Lord God sent His son to us and that we can celebrate His birth in just a few hours. Thank you, Lord, for your love for me.

Merry Christmas to all of you and I pray that you remember the true reason for Christmas and that you will share it will your families and friends. Take care.

Annunciation, Henry Ossawa Tanner, 1898
"Then the angel said to her,
'Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.
And behold, you will conceive in your womb & bring forth a Son,
and shall call His name Jesus.
He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest;
and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.
And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever,
And of His kingdom there will be no end'."
Luke 1:30-33
Imagine being a young teenage girl, full of life and anticipating her marriage to her betrothed. When Gabriel came to her and announced this message, the amount of thoughts and emotions that went through her mind must have been overwhelming. "How could this be?" "Is this real?" "I know the prophecies foretold but is it really possible that I am she?" The questions that swirled in her head must have made her gasp.

But what an incredible moment. She was placed, at that moment, in a reality not experienced by any other, before or since. Her son Jesus would be the Savior for all that accepted Him and sit at the "right hand of God". We may wonder, could she have said "no". I believe that God knew she would not and that she was there, at that time and moment, to have this blessing bestowed upon her, and ultimately us. And though Mary was a mere mortal, God was able to send His Son to us through her. She was not immortalized, but will forever be remembered for her love and commitment to God. She did as she was instructed by God. Would you? Will you?

Just some thoughts as Christmas approaches.
Today's wonders are the beautiful birds that God created! They've been coming to by feeders this week. I love watching them!
How has God's wonders blessed you today?
This is an invitation to all wives, including new wives, old wives, happy wives, sad wives, separated wives, wives-to-be, and any wife in between. An invite to what?

S.H.M.I.L.Y. for 30 Days of Prayer!! DandelionSeeds.com (Amy) started SHMILY in June of 2009. SHMILY (See How Much I Love You) for 30 days of Prayer is a time for all wives to come together and commit one month to daily prayer for their husbands. It is vital for us to pray for our husbands. 
This from Amy: "Continuing every June since, marriages have been changed because women prayed and trusted in God… and quit trying to do things on their own power.  Note: Not only married women have prayer, but also women separated have prayed for reconciliation, as well as single women wanting to pray  for their husband to be!

Covering a husband in prayer is so important, and regardless of where your marriage is right now (great… okay… or falling apart…), “S.H.M.I.L.Y. for 30 days of prayer” is to simply make sure that your man is being prayed for every day for a month… regardless of how YOU feel. (And if things are really bad, that this is a perfect time to do this!)
  • WHAT YOU’LL NEED: “The Power of a Praying Wife” by Stormie OMartian.
  • WHAT YOU’LL DO: Read a chapter a day, which includes a prayer. (Even if you’ve read this book before, you can just do the prayers and skip the reading… the point is for you to PRAY!)
  • THE POINT: To get wives praying for their husbands… that’s it! Doesn’t matter what the background, denomination of faith (or lack there of), or current state your life is in… Let’s get those hubbies covered in prayer and stand back and expect great things to happen to them, our marriages, and even ourselves as we petition God on their behalf!"

Please join all of us in praying. Hurry to sign up, it starts June 1st. To read more & join, click on over toDandelionSeeds.com
I love being a mom. The Lord has blessed me with 2 beautiful children and I am so thankful. I love being a wife and am thankful for that, too. I love that I can share the rest of my with the man I love, the man the Lord created me for. But sometimes it's not easy being a mom and wife. 

Sometimes I just don't know what to say or do. But The Lord is faithful and loving, and provided me, and you, with a way to know. If we use the guidance given to us in Proverbs 31, we will discover it all is possible.

The Lord has provided all of us with godly instructions to live our life & we do not have to go far to find them. We don't have to search the web for hours, or send out questions to forums seeking advice all we need to do is pick up our Bibles, and read. He has given us everything we need!

I want to share with you a free book. Courtney at Women Living Well Ministries is offering The Proverbs 31 Woman ebook free to all that sign up for her email updates. This book will help you to understand Proverbs 31 better.

Table of Contents

Is the Proverbs 31 Woman For Real?

How to be Treasure to Your Husband

Does Your Husband Trust You?

A Woman of Action

Working With Eager Hands

Shop to the Glory of God

The Proverbs 31 Woman Rises Very Early

Do You Have a Dream?

Vigorously Clean Your Home & Get a Bonus Workout

Burning the Midnight Oil

Mundane Tasks Are a Hidden Treasure

P.S. Your Hands Are Beautiful

Are You Prepared for the Weather Changes?

The Proverbs 31 Woman is Classy

Help Your Husband be a Man of Influence

Pursuing Excellence

Let Me Help You Pick Out Your Clothes

Putting Order on Your Tongue

Managing Our Time, Family and Home

What Do Your Children Think of You?

Be the Woman Your Man Needs

The Proverbs 31 Woman’s Beauty Secret

Pity or Praise the Proverbs 31 Woman?

Hurry on over to Women Living Well and get your free Proverbs 31 Woman eBook today.
The photo behind the verse is one I took of some really interesting clouds we had one day this Spring. They were neat.

This verse is one that we all must remember when facing difficulties in our lives. God is always faithful, always present, and will always give you the strength, through Him, to get through it.