Talk About Lessons from the Darkness

I had no idea when I wrote my last post what the Lord had in store for us that week.

That night we had a pipe burst under our driveway. We didn't know it was under the driveway at first, but after a week and a half of digging and insanely high estimates from plumbers we figured out that we needed to just replace our waterline in a new place. My wonderful husband and some family and friends were able to run the line into the house via a different route, so that none of the pipe is under concrete now.

So, after staying with friends for a week and a half we have running water again with no leaks. A few things in our lives were delayed due to this, but God was so good to us along the way. Friendships grew and some were reestablished.

Praise the Lord!!

Lessons in the Darkness

"God says there is no darkness in Him, and while I don't know completely what that means, I'm reminded of what Scripture says in Isaiah 45:3, "I will give you the treasures of darkness." Could this be what God means when He says that the darkness is as light? Could it mean that sometimes the lessons we learn in the dark are the truest and the brightest lights of revelation of who Jesus truly is? I do know that the lessons I've learned in the dark this year have enlightened me and have allowed me to know Jesus in a new way."

I read this this morning on a blog and wanted to share it with my friends. It seems like there has been so much darkness in people's lives lately. So much sorrow, grief, disappointment, and the list goes on. I hope that when those things have happened in your life that you have seen The Light of the World shining through.

Pay close attention to the part that is highlighted in red. I think that is very true. I think when we are in our darkest moments Christ's light shines even brighter. Light seems brightest when there is total darkness as its backdrop. In those times we are not trying to fix the problem on our own because we've most likely given up. And it is at those moments we can rest assured that it is truly and purely Christ shining. Step back and stop trying to figure things out on your own. God knows the way.

Jer 29:11-14
'For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.'Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.'You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. 'I will be found by you,' declares the LORD, 'and I will restore your fortunes and will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you,' declares the LORD, 'and I will bring you back to the place from where I sent you into exile.'"

Are you allowing Christ to fully shine in your darkest moments and following that light to greater and better things? Or are you sitting back and cowering in the corners too afraid of what may lie ahead?

Take the hand of the Savior and follow His light. "I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness. " John 12:46

Gingerbread House

Ok, so I thought it would be fun to make a gingerbread house with Emma this year. Keep in mind that she is not quite 3 and not much help. I think in the future I will be waiting until she can be of more assistance. My hand hurt so bad by the end. I think I made my icing too hard, which was good for sticking things, but horrible for my hands. It was the first one I'd ever done, so I am hoping for better results in the future.

However, Emma loved it and keeps showing everyone that comes over 'her house'.

Getting started:

The goodies:

Finished product:

Finished product with Emma (you can tell by her face what she was helping with) =)

All in all it was an exhausting 2 1/2 hours, but well spent. It's a cute little house and I had a great time with my little muncher.

Cookie Day

This year we had our 2nd annual Cookie Day. A friend and I get together and bake for hours upon hours and make containers of cookies to give away to people at our church. This year we baked for approximately 15 hours total. Lots of yummy cookies were made as well as some fond memories. My friend's sister calls us the Julie Rae Show. I look forward to many more years of Cookie Days.

Here are some picture highlights from our day:

My little helper rolling the Snickerdoodles:

(this might be half of what we did that day)

And finally, the finished product:

I hope you've been inspired to make some cookies. They're such a fun, easy gift to give to friends and I haven't met someone who doesn't like Christmas cookies, so they're sure to be a hit!

A Christmas Tour

I can't believe the holidays have been here and gone already. I'm just now finding the time to sit down and share some of our Christmas traditions and decorations with you, so bear with me.

First, here is a little tour of my Christmas decorations:

Starting with the star of the season ~ our tree: (not the best picture of it, but I love it anyway)

The next best part ~ the mantle:

Some of my snowmen friends for you all to meet:

(I love this one, but it came out a little blurry, so I changed it to b&w)

This is one of my new guys this year:

Our new family ornament this year:

Emma's new ornament this year (I painted it for her):

I hope you enjoyed the little tour of my Christmas decorations. On to posts about cookies and gingerbread houses and such. See you soon!