This is my new favorite book to share at work.

Enjoy!!!

Love, Light and Many Blessings,

Shari 001

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…was the best day!

So here it is the last week of Advent. A Family Advent: Keeping the Savior in the Season by Thomas Nelson Publishers, has guided us through the last few weeks. The themes being Hope, Peace, Love and now Joy – yes this is the time when the merriment of the holiday really starts to hit home. It is hard though when so much is going on. Work, work, work, holiday shopping, bills, errands, parties and where is the peace, the joy, the hope and the LOVE for the holiday that I once cherished as a child.

I swear I can never get Christmas right every year. Its like some year’s I am on – I get the right gifts and everything works out. And other years I am totally off  – I have no idea what to get anyone, I can’t think of a single meaningful thing to make or create. That is this year – I am befuddled, I am stumped, I am JOY-less. I can’t seem to do Christmas right this year. Even my attempt to go through Advent seemed chaotic and forced – I wanted this to be special. I am still trying to figure it out – how I can salvage this last month of ups and downs. In my struggle to find hope, in my struggle to find peace, in my struggle to love and find joy – I know that there is JOY – for the world, for me, for everyone there is joy.

I have to admit I’ve let the commercialism of Christmas get the best of me. And it has gotten me down – totally depressed and stressed :-(. I would be most joyful with my family and friends at the table, sharing time together and talking together. Last Christmas was just that – time together, the memories and the laughter that is what I remember – the gifts are nice and it is wonderful to give gifts and receive. But it’s not the same if you open your gifts alone. The JOY of togetherness is what makes the true gift of this season special. That is my prayer and wish for the Christmas;

May the JOY of the Saviour’s birth bring us together in harmony, hope, peace, love and grace.

Merry Christmas!

PEACE is the second topic or theme in A Family Advent: Keeping the Savior in the Season published by Thomas Nelson. Yes – it is hard to be hopeful and finding peace is often even harder. During Week 1 – I was met with a lot of busyness – hectic schedules, lack of sleep and LOTS to do.

This week there is still a lot going on – many things to tackle and things get accomplished but the fact that each day there is a time to take a respite and rapport with the Savior is so magical. PEACE is due and the HOPE for PEACE is also necessary. I pray for peace in the world, in my home, at my job, between friends, co-workers, loved ones and relationships. I know there may never be (any time soon) peace that exists totally attached to the world we live in – but we can live with the Hope that those small pockets, places and moments of peace still exists. With the peace the Lord gives life is so much easier to tackle and learn from. Those moments of respite and peace give us the hope that recharges us to a new outlook to live in a world that needs God’s love. God’s hope. God’s peace. We need to pray for it, feel it and live it so we can show others how it can be done.

I know that each season, day and month will be filled with challenges. I would be lying if I didn’t say that I struggle. I struggle with being anxious and getting depressed. Worrying about money, bills, my parents, my family, my friends, my relationships and a whole host of other things. Not to mention, feelings of self-doubt, overwhelmed, un-purposeful and sadness. I pray to stay afloat each day – I know the Lord hears my silent cries, he knows my thoughts and what I feel. I know that He has a plan in mind – I can rest in that peace that things will work out even if I cannot see it. I pray, I trust and I believe, even though I know I will wake up tomorrow and the next day and the next day feeling afraid, apprehensive, tired, weary and unsure of what is to come – but I know that I won’t have to do it alone.

I LOVE this passage from The Message – Romans 8:28
26-28Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.

I pray for peace and hope for you and yours this Advent Season! In His Love and Peace,

~Shari~

Ah yes, Friday. Its your favorite day of the week too, isn’t it? 🙂 Yes, I like to say that I am best friends with Friday, Saturday and Sunday! I don’t know why. It’s just something I say.

But lately, Friday has just been another day filled with fiascos, faux pas and freak incidents. You may wonder why am I including this in Sundays’ Sentiments – well I now think I may have a Friday phobia – not just Friday the 13th – just end of the week debacles that seem to be repeating themselves. Why? I don’t know. But I wish it would stop. Seriously.

A few months back, I saw the financial need to take on another job. The fall season was setting in and the hours were getting fewer and fewer. That was even a stressful time as well – there were many many things happening at that time – and interviewing for a new job was the last thing I had the energy for. But I did it anyway – scared at how I was going to do it all (three blogs, kids books, cakes, and three part-time jobs) – I took on even more responsibility. I was hoping that my family and friends would be of support in this time of transition and new experiences.

There were times when I was just so tired that I could do nothing else but just collapse. This schedule took a long time to get used to – early mornings, long – busy days, short nights. The weekends and FRIDAY were my only respite and release and they turned into insane, task filled, (sometimes fun-filled), stressful, angry, rushed fiascos and faux pas. I was becoming so tightly wound that I could feel it building.

After a few Fridays, filled with wasted time, headaches, groggy mornings, computer crashes, and freak accidents I lost it. Yes, last Friday – I lost it, along with all of my computers hard disk information. I was devastated, emotionally drained, tired, and I lost my composure, control and collective attitude. It was building for a while and I had a meltdown. It was too much and time for a fresh start. Sometimes you just have to start over. Sometime you just have to give up the reins and let someone else handle the situations – Let go and let GOD!

"....soar on wings, like eagles...."

It’s hard to know how to handle these intensely stressful situations with a calm, collective and mature attitude. That only comes from God – yes I need fruit – the fruits of the spirit come to mind here. However, it is still draining. It still takes time to recover from these kinds of situations. But it didn’t kill me, it may have made me stronger – and wiser to remember to back up files ;-)! I will get through it and remember to take that time to just “be”. Be still and know that God is near and hear Him calling. I hope and pray that I can enter Friday’s with fresh eyes, full spirit of joy and faith and trust – at least until the next meltdown – I know it will probably happen again ( I know “oh ye, of little faith” but I know me of little faith sometimes) but I know when the time comes I will hear him saying – just “be still and know that I am God.” Just be. Be what? Be you. Be the you that I created you to be! ” For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

I know that when I cannot pray I hold onto certain verses for comfort and healing this past few weeks has been rough and all I could do was read this over and over.

Romans 8:28 The Message
Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.

What is your prayer? What is your plea? What do you do when you lose control? I pray that you look to God and call on His name?

Life is like a beach…caotic and stressful, strewn with litter – emotional baggage, heartache, sin, stress, pride, anger – it is so overwhelming.

With schedules and bills, appointments and jobs, school and careers life seems like it would be fulfilling. But instead is messy and stressful there is too much trying to distract us from finding the purpose that God has planned for us. We get too bogged down with the world’s wants and needs and we struggle to fit God into our lives.

My life was like that beach – strewn with litter after the summer season – I was weary and worn to the core. I needed the comfort of my God, to calm my anxiety and stress. My Redeemer sent His Waves of Grace to cleanse my beach.

And then there was one....

 Well it looks like the farm has closed for the season. The past few months has been so busy and hot! I was called to an ice cream craze earlier this summer and when I woke up this morning I wondered…”Where has the summer gone?” In hindsight I can say at this very moment it has been the worst summer ever. Only now am I feeling inspired and content to just accept it all.  

Things have not turned out the way I had expected at all. Earlier this summer we had a unexpected growth in the yard, which turned into a joyous blossoming pumpkin vine. But now I see things are not at all what I expected.  

The heat has just dried up the vine and the grass and soil will need to be turned if we plan to grow anything else again.  I embraced this vine with open arms and a confused mind. I had visions of having a pumpkin table during the Emmaus Halloween Parade. But that won’t be happening I guess. Maybe next year will bring a better crop.  With a lot on my plate; working two jobs, carrying household expenses and wanting to write and create with my three plus blogs I had little time to tend to this little pumpkin patch. All in all it was quite a learning experience and with our one little pumpkin we will have a delicious pie I just know it!  

Not all was lost on our venture we did yield some yummy tomatoes:  

Topsy turvey. I recommend cherry tomatoes for this...

A pot of tomatoes

Still growing and blooming...

Yummy garden tomatoes 🙂

I am grateful that I can share the smallest of blessing with you all! I am trying hard to keep that positive attitude. I am glad that my one lonely little pumpkin will make a yummy treat for Thanksgiving. And I love tomatoes…there is nothing like a garden tomato. Focusing on what we have is so important. Since I threw that pumpkin in the yard and took it for granted. This coming year maybe I will redo this pumpkin patch the right way, time management needs to become part of a list of priorities, and use this learning experience to an advantage. I am still very blessed and ready to embrace life’s changes and unexpected situations.