Standing In Grace

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Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access through faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Romans 5:1-5 NIV

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May we find God’s peace today for all our needs.  The world may be swirling around us in all directions, but he is still our hope and his grace is sufficient for all that we need. He stands ready to pour all his love into our hearts.

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Thank You, Heavenly Father, for Your Grace.  We rely on you today to meet our needs and to sustain us.  You are our hope of glory.

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Standing in Grace,

Teresa

Speaking Hope

I am excited!  If you know me at all, or have been a keen observer of things that pop up on my blog, then you have probably figured out that three of my passions in life are family, decorating and writing.

I have always loved decorating my home and even considered majoring in interior design in college.  I have had a dream for years, at least since my teens, that I would one day write a book.  For many years all I wanted to be was a homemaker.  When I never had children, I still wanted to be at home, but I always felt guilty for having that desire to not work public work as if somehow I had to have children to justify staying at home.

No matter what my work was, or where I was those three things remained constant.  I’m probably the only person I know who moves in and has pictures hung the same night, even before all the boxes are unpacked.  I am constantly decorating in my head and moving furniture is a regular occurrence at our house.

Writing is something that I finally embraced on a fairly regular basis when we moved to Louisville and I began writing for our church devotional booklets, started a writers group and eventually started this blog.

A couple of years ago when we moved back home, I was presented with the chance to be at home and I am still adjusting.  I love being home, but it has been harder than I imagined it would be.  I have all this time to decorate, nurture family and write.  Finding a regular rhythm has been difficult, but I am so thankful for the opportunity to have the time to pursue all my passions at the same time.

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So, why am I excited you may ask?  I’ll tell you.  Two of my favorite bloggers and their father along with their families, have started a new internet adventure called Hope*ologie.  For a small monthly fee you have access to the wisdom they have garnered over the years of doing what they do best.  The father focuses on family, the older sister on the home and the younger sister on quieting the soul.

I have said before that the two sisters are like two halves of me, the best of both worlds.  One speaks to the decorator / homemaker in me and the other to the writer / soul encourager.  Add their father to the mix and he speaks to the part of me that wants family to be a top priority.  To be able to go to one place and tap into all my passions is exciting.

It is so exciting that I wanted to share it with you.  I wanted to introduce you to three people who have made an impact on my life in a positive way.  I was privileged to see them in person last November when we went to The Barn Event.  It was everything I imagined it to be.  That is why I am so excited to join them for Hope*ologie.  Every month will be like a Barn Event from the comfort of my own home.

If you don’t think a subscription website is right for you at this time, no worries, they all three have wonderful blogs with lots of good information.  Their blogs will remain free and as always, they will inspire you.

No one affiliated with Hope*ologie, or their personal websites asked me to advertise for them. I just wanted to because I love them that much.

Speaking Hope In Grace,

Teresa

 

Advent I – Hope

Today is the first Sunday of Advent.  Churches and Homes around the world will light the candle of hope.  This begins the season of anticipation of the arrival of the Christ child.  Of course this is symbolic as we know he came long ago.  For believers this also represents the anticipation of his second coming.

The prophet Isaiah foretold his coming.

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Below is a devotional I wrote a few years back for our church Advent devotional book.

Celebrating the “Hope” of Christmas

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1

As a child I loved to plan my wish list for Christmas.   I had every faith that I would get what I hoped for.   I knew my parents would do their best to see that my dreams were fulfilled.  And sure enough they did not disappoint. 

Over 2000 years ago we were all given a wonderful gift at Christmas  – one that had been talked about and hoped for and for those who believed their faith was made sure.

A Sandi Patti song tells us that “…the gift goes on, the gift goes on, the gift goes on and on and on…”  I like that –  a gift that keeps on giving year after year – forever.

Not only can we receive this gift of the Christ Child, but we can also share Him with others so that they too can receive the gift that He so freely gives.   Because of our salvation in Him we have an everlasting hope for the future.

Our faith is made sure in our hope of eternal life.   This Christmas, in addition to the other gifts we share with one another, let us purpose to also share the gift of the baby Jesus and bring others along as we celebrate His birth, His ultimate gift of salvation, and the hope of eternal life for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the believer, the celebration begins with His birth and continues through eternity!

PRAYER

Dear Father, thank you for the gift that “goes on and on”; A gift that is for all who will receive.  During this time of celebrating the Birth of Christ, help us to share His hope with others so that their faith too can be made sure.  Amen

Hoping in Grace,

Teresa 

Linking up for Sacro Speco with All Manner of Inspiration

Simple Christmas

Hope, Peace, Joy and Love – Wrapped in swaddling clothes – a gift for all who will receive.  This is Christmas.  This is the focus.  No need for gaudy adornment, or lots of ribbons and bows.  Just a few simple reminders that we are in a special season of light.

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front of mantel

My fireplace is cast iron with a slate mantel.  The previous owners had painted it white and we thought it was wood, when we discovered that it was cast iron my brother refinished it to it’s original color.  It is beautiful, but due to the inadequacy of my camera and my photography skills, pictures don’t do it justice.

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my large hurricane candle holder full of silver Christmas balls.
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You will notice that there is a candle missing in this picture, the lighting was much better and it shows the fireplace better, so I included it anyway.

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Wreath I made for my front door a few years ago.  I bought a simple green wreath at Michael's and embellished it with Dollar Store ornaments and bead garland.  Used a hot glue gun and just started gluing.  I thin it turned out ok.
Wreath I made for my front door a few years ago. I bought a simple green wreath at Michael’s and embellished it with Dollar Store ornaments and bead garland. Used a hot glue gun and just started gluing. I think it turned out ok.
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The window above my kitchen sink. i just added a string of colored lights.
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Back entry – found this at Hobby Lobby, one of my, if not the, favorite places to shop.
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A few or our “childlike ornaments” Mr Piano got me the Curious George last year, his mother got him the little red fire engine, because the real one like he used to have is way too expensive to buy these days, and we got the Schroeder and Lucy one this year – it is a vintage Hallmark keepsake ornament from 1996. That’s pretty much who we are – he plays I bask.
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please ignore that the window could use some windex. You can catch a glimpse of my neighbors house in the background. I love looking out this window – it feels like we’re in the country even though we aren’t.

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The little dining room off the kitchen. This room was supposed to me my mostly white little french dining room, but due to cramming two houses of stuff into one temporarily it has some elements that weren't meant to be in this room.  The table cloth hides a multitude of boxes that are still unpacked.  I just threw some ribbons and lights on the bookcase and a few ornaments on the table - and put out a crate of Christmas books.
The little dining room off the kitchen. This room was supposed to me my mostly white little french dining room, but due to cramming two houses of stuff into one, temporarily, it has some elements that weren’t meant to be in this room. The table cloth hides a multitude of boxes that are still unpacked. I just threw some ribbons and lights on the bookcase and a few ornaments on the table – and put out a crate of Christmas books.
I have several Children's Christmas stories - I love to put them out at Christmas.  The usually keep the message of Christmas real and simple.
I have several Children’s Christmas stories – I love to put them out at Christmas. They usually keep the message of Christmas real and simple.

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Did you miss the tree?  Me neither.

Simplifying in Grace,

Sadie

Linking up over at the Nester’s Christmas Tour of Homes 2012.  Lots of beautiful Christmas decorating going on – go take a look.

Joy Came Down At Christmas

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him,                          so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”                    Romans 15:13

The joy of Christmas is set against the bitter cold of no room at the inn.  It is reflected in the brightness of the star that shone into the starkness of the stable only to become a mere reflection compared to the great love that was lying in the manger.

Joy catches the light of the Savior’s love and penetrates deep into our soul to fill us with unspeakable majesty.  We cannot fathom it, but even in our deepest despair it is there as the foundation on which all our hope is built, pointing the way to eternity.

An eternity made possible by the darkest hour in all of history, when the love born in the stable was hung on a cross and joy sliced through the sorrow of our sin and brought freedom to our souls.

Joy and sorrow have always resided on opposite sides of the same coin.  You cannot have one without the other.  Joy remembered makes sorrow bearable and sorrow reflected in the pool of joy rides on wings of hope and restores our faith.

Even when the world doesn’t see joy, there is comfort in knowing that it is all around us in the presence of the one who came so long ago for the very purpose of bringing us the gift of joy.  That is why we can shout from the depths of our souls: “Joy to the World”.

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Joy in Grace,

Sadie