Sunday, November 29, 2009

Lightened Load

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Matthew 11:28-30

For some (Holy Spirit) reason I have been dwelling on this verse.  Jesus said, "come to me, all you who are weary and burdened"  Let's look at this for a minute.  How many times have I sat down and said Lord, I can't do this, I need You to take it!  Then without waiting for an answer, I take it back and continue my useless efforts?  What a dummy! The Lord says RIGHT HERE to Come to me when you are weary and burdened!!!  In fact, if He said it in his word, it is an act of OBEDIENCE to do what HE has commanded.  And guess what, IF we are obedient, He has a reward for us!!  "I will give you REST!!!:  Imagine that!  By going to Jesus with the things that are weighing us down, we have earned rest!  Thank you Jesus!!

In the next part He says,  "take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls."   Do you know what a yoke is?  There are several definitions but according to Merriam Webster:

1 a : a wooden bar or frame by which two draft animals (as oxen) are joined at the heads or necks for working together b : an arched device formerly laid on the neck of a defeated person c : a frame fitted to a person's shoulders to carry a load in two equal portions d : a bar by which the end of the tongue of a wagon or carriage is suspended from the collars of the harness e (1) : a crosspiece on the head of a boat's rudder (2) : an airplane control operating the elevators and ailerons f : a frame from which a bell is hung g : a clamp or similar piece that embraces two parts to hold or unite them in position

I've highlighted two of the definitions that I believe are relevant to what Jesus is telling us.  1 a tells us that it is a wooden bar or frame that allow the oxen to work together.  Hmmm, so if we take Jesus' yoke upon us, that means we are working side by side with Him?  I imagine if they paired a new ox with an old ox, the new one would follow the lead of the older, more experienced ox.  If not, the old, experienced ox would pull on the yoke to make the younger one go the right way.  Now imagine if you are yoked with Jesus, when you start to pull away, he will gently tug on that yoke and put you back on the right path!

Now look at 1 c.  A yoke is a frame fitted to a person's shoulders to carry a load in two equal portions.  Jesus tells us that if we take His yoke upon us, we will find rest for our souls. When my life is balanced, when I have the right focus on Him, with family and then everything else falling behind that, my soul is rested.  When I follow His plan for my life, my soul is at rest.  Hmmm, when I take His yoke upon me and learn from Him, my soul is rested!  Thank you Jesus for teaching me and giving me rest for my weary soul!!

The last part of the passage says, " for my yoke is easy and my burden is light!" Jesus is a gentle teacher, he does not force us because his yoke is easy, he will gently prod us.  His burden is light, he takes all of our weariness and worldly burdens upon himself.  Thank you Jesus for you gentle prodding and Your willingness to bear my loads!!

Thanks for reading!

Love and Blessings,

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.
 II Corinthians 9:10-12

As you gather with your family and friends this Thanksgiving, take a moment to give thanks to the One who has provided our every need.  While so many are without anything this day, our God has provided us with food, clothing and shelter. He has supplied us with these things so that we can turn around and bless others. I pray that you and your family will celebrate in good health and good company.

Love and Blessings!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Virtual Food Drive

A while ago I started a virtual food drive at the Libby's vegetable site (not to be confused with the Nestle's Libby's items!!)... then forgot about it. I got too busy with life and "important" things. Thank God I was reminded that I was committed to this!  You can see my page here!

Today people are hungry and there is no reason for it.  I don't care if they are on welfare, if they don't have a job, I don't care if they are on drugs, NO ONE SHOULD BE HUNGRY!! 

Did you know that just a $5 donation can provide 35 meals for a family.  That's 35 times that a child will not go to bed hungry, 35 times that a mother can go to sleep knowing that her family had food for today, 35 times that a family will not have to beg for food, 35 times...

Throughout the bible we are commanded to feed the hungry, but Matthew 25:34-41 brings the point home and make it as clear as possible. When Jesus returns, he will not be looking for goats on the left, he will be looking to the right for His sheep:

"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'

"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' 

What a meaningful way to share the love of Jesus with those who may not know Him!!  So again, if you feel so led, please visit my page here Thanks for reading!

Love and Blessings!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Book Review - Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving: The Pilgrims' First Year in America Thanksgiving: The Pilgrims' First Year in America by Glenn Alan Cheney

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Thanksgiving is a book written based on a journal found that describes the first year of life at Plimouth Plantation for the Pilgrims. The book takes you from the origination of the Separatists/Puritans to when the fled to Holland to when they decided to make their way to America. The journey to America was covered in detail as was the hardships and deaths that occurred during the first year.

Overall this was an interesting read. The relationship between the Pilgrims and the "savages" as the natives were referred to, was tenuous but friendly. The fear that the Native Americans felt because of earlier Englishmen was overcome and they formed an odd sort of friendship. Going through this year, it is mentioned how they supported one another against enemies, but more importantly how they each taught the other their ways. I found the English a bit pompous and their sense of entitlement to whatever they "found" was a bit annoying. I was impressed on how the Native Americans opened their arms and taught them how to plant "American" foods and how to use the natural plants for various things. I was encouraged by the seemingly lack of racism during this period (or maybe it just wasn't documented).

Overall the book was an interesting read. My response is lukewarm only because it's not my normal genre and while I often "cross over" to non-fiction, this book did not captivate me. It was full of facts and assumptions based on the known facts. It did give a good picture of what the Pilgrims encountered in thier journey to the new land and beyond. This is a great read for high school students studying the early years of American History and the history buff wanting to know more about the first years at Plimouth.

View all my reviews >>

This book was from my personal library.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Book Review - A Journey Into Prayer

A Journey into Prayer A Journey into Prayer by Evelyn Christensen

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
A Journey into Prayer is a book that is designed to take you step by step into building a better prayer relationship with God. Each devotion, gives a scripture and then an "application" paragraph with a short prayer at the end.

Overall the book was a good guide to understanding why we need to pray, understanding our motives and attitudes when we are praying and how our Christian walk affects how our prayers are received.

I like how she provided the scriptures, the simple prayers at the end and I loved the real life examples.

What I disliked is that the writing was a bit dry. It didnt' engage me as much as I like to be and therefore when I put the book down, I usually forgot and had to read it again before going on to the next day.

Overall I think this would be OK for someone new to the Christian Faith, to give them the basics. But for us "mature" Christians we need more of a kick in the pants!

View all my reviews >>

This book was from my personal collection.

Love and Blessings!

Monday, November 16, 2009

What's that smell?

The other day I was up in my bedroom folding laundry or something. Daughter was down in the family room watching television. Then I started noticing something... hmm, what is that weird smell...

Me: Mimi, what are you doing down there?
Mimi: Playing with my doll, I'm brushing her hair..
Me: I smell something funny, did you put anything IN her hair?
Mimi: Yes, I put some hair grease on it...
Me: Hair grease? Hmmm, can I SEE the hair grease?
Mimi: OK (in she walks with the telltale little blue jar)
Me: (trying very very hard not to laugh) ummm honey?
Mimi: Yes Mommy?
Me: That's not hair grease!
Mimi: It's not?
Me: No honey, that's VICK'S VAPOR RUB!!!! That's the stuff Mommy puts on your chest when you have a cold. I think you need to go wash your dolly's hair! (unspoken request: and hurry because I can't hold this laugh in much longer!)

No dolls or daughters were harmed during this episode of WHAT NEXT!!??!!

Love and Blessings!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Cross Post from Dress My Doll

Hi all,

I don't usually "mix" blogs but I thought I would share. My business now has a Fan Page on Facebook! Woo hoo! If you are interested and would like to fan me the URL is:

Hope you see you there and I WILL fan you back!

Love and Blessings!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

5 Minutes for Mom Giveaway

I love the 5 Minutes for Mom site, they always have great information and articles. Well now they are doing something really special! They are having a Christmas Giveaway which started November 5, and goes until November 26. The best part is while you have a chance to win a gift, each company is also donating a gift to Under the Tree. It's a win win! Check out the Giveaway and find out more about Under the Tree here:

Christmas Giveaway

I hope you win!

Love and Blessings!

There are 44 Days Until Christmas

What are your traditions and is Christ a major part of the holiday for you?

Have you started your shopping? If you have, good for you! If not, WE need to get to it!

My son was easy this year, he's going on a trip with a friend's family the day after Christmas. He's very excited, mommy not so much as he will be travelling alone for part of the trip!

My daughter hasn't even made a list. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing!

This year, I've made a decision to be content with what I have, so the focus is sharing the joy of giving with the children in my family.

I've decided to try something with my kids this year. I want them to MAKE a gift for a member of the family. They can buy for all of the others if they want, but the gift for this particular person will be handmade. I want to do this as well. I know my mom wants a calendar so I'm thinking that will be her handmade gift.

What do you guys think of this idea?

Love and Blessings,

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Big Apple Circus Part II

Wow!  I guess I really enjoyed the circus I had to make two posts! LOL!  *The Tickets were provided to us by the Big Apple Circus so that we could attend and provide an honest review* 

What I wanted to share in my last post was this blurb from the Big Apple Circus website:

Our mission is to invigorate the communities we serve with the joy and wonder of classical circus through a unique shared experience we create in our tent and through dedicated outreach programs in healthcare facilities and the community.

The Big Apple Circus achieved this objective and more.  It was affordable, fun, and we did not take our eyes off the ring!  The Big Apple Circus does a lot for the communities it serves.  You can find more about them at the main website:

The star of the show was of course Bello the Clown. He was Amazing! It seemed like he could do everything, the acrobatics, the humor, just everything! He made us laugh a lot but we also gasped a lot at his antics!

Grandma was a cutie, she did one little skit where she was a popular young singer and she did her moves and everything, it was SO funny!!

The wheel guy had us sitting on the edge of our seat!  He did some extraordinary feats and I covered my eyes a few time!  Like when he was jumping rope on TOP OF THE MOVING WHEEL!

The Asian Acrobats were excellent and were SO limber!  After they finished their act, Bello did a mock version, again it was hilarious!

There were not a lot of animals.  There were horses:

And also dogs (didn't get good pics of them). I like that the dogs were all rescued dogs from around the country.  They were so cute!  There were also trapeze artists, they were nice but not as fun as the clowns and other acts.  The ringmaster was new and he did a very good job as well!

Goodness, I tried to make this shorter but I really could go on and on I took over 200 pictures! LOL!  If you are in the vicinity of NYC, please please please try to go see this circus, the two hours will go by so fast you won't even notice!!  We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves!

Love and Blessings,

The Big Apple Circus!!

I've been trying to write this post for a few days now and finally here it is!!

On Wednesday 10/28, my husband, daughter and myself had the opportunity to go to the Big Apple Circus which was at Damrosch Park at Lincoln Center. *The Tickets were provided to us by the Big Apple Circus so that we could attend and provide an honest review*

To start our journey, we took the train into NYC which always thrills my daughter. Her and her dad were up to their usual antics on the train... SO EMBARRASSING!!
Once we arrived, we took a cab from Penn station to Lincoln Center. Cab fare was about $10 each way which I didn't think was too bad. When we arrived the circus tent, we took a picture with Grandma (the clown). Grandma was very friendly and we loved meeting "her" We didn't purchase the picture so I can't share that with you but I will have pictures of Grandma in this post or the next.

Once inside I was amazed at how clean and organized everything was. Granted it was a Wednesday night but it was so pretty and coordinated. The ladies will appreciate this. The bathrooms were a trailer with actual STALLS and SEAT COVERS!! And they were so so clean! There were some port a potties but you didn't have to use them. Also, there was potpourri sprinkled around the outside of the trailer bathroom and the port a potties. Not only was it pretty, it smelled good too! OK, OK, enough about the bathrooms (even though they were so nice!!).

We found our seats which were fourth row ringside. We were on the right side of the ring. I have to say MOST of the seats were good seats. A few were behind poles so I'm pretty sure those people did not have a good view. The other thing I was concerned about was the type of seats. I don't do theater seats as I am very large. These seats did not have armrest (+1 point!) and they were very comfortable (+5 cajillion points). Here we are under the big tent... aren't we cute! LOL! And yes my daughter already has cotton candy all over her face!!

After we sat down my husband decided we needed a snack (other than my daughter's cotton candy). I asked for a pretzel and he got one as well. They were absolutely the best pretzels I have ever had! They were soft and delicious and definitely fresh! I could have eaten 10!! LOL! (for the record, I only ate ONE... but I wanted 10!!!) I didn't take a picture of the pretzel, it was gone to fast, but you can see a piece of the one my daughter shared with hubby here:

He also got a hot dog and the bun did NOT crack apart!! It was nice and soft and the hot dog was the right color. That tasted yummy too. I do NOT like circus or carnival food but I would eat at the Big Apple Circus anytime! The food prices were very reasonable as well.

Now on with the show!! It opened with fanfare and bright colors as a circus should! The costumes were nice and the performers were engaging. They had us smiling from the beginning!

Hope you are liking our trip so far, I'll be back late to post more!

Love and Blessings,



Psalm 23:3 he restores my soul...

I'm back! My spirits are lifted, God is SO GOOD!!! My sister in law's home going service was BEAUTIFUL (even though the minister messed up her name!!). My husband is doing better, it will be a long time healing. Afterwards, we had a great time at his brother's house, lots of laughing and reminiscing (and good food! LOL!). I'm making the family a slideshow so they are all giving me pictures of their sister and their brother that died NYE last year. I did a small one for the service and they loved it.

Anyway, I'll be back to updating 2 - 3 times a week and I will be checking in on you guys as well!

Love and Blessings!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Trading my Sorrows

Hello all,

I didn't mean to be gone so long. We are still mourning the loss of my sister in law. My husband is at times inconsolable. But I know our strength comes from the Lord. The Lord tells me in Psalm 121 to look to Him for help and that's what I'm doing in this case:

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.

Help for my husband and the rest of her family as they grieve, help for all of us to get through Friday, help for all of us to continue with our lives. It's what she would have wanted.

I thought I would share this video with you today since I've made a decision to trade my sorrow and return to the joy of the Lord!

Trading My Sorrow by Israel Houghton