Lessons From Mother

I was visiting Marmee Dear's new website and found the perfect little lesson on the miscellaneous page. However, since I'm not sure how copyrighting works in this instance, I am going to play it safe and provide a link for everyone to click on and pop in for a visit in their own time. Otherwise, I would provide the lesson itself. Know that you will be blessed for taking the time to stop in. It is a "Lesson from Mother" we all can glean from. It seemed especially timely to begin a new year with and for me personally as I clean up sickness from small children. By the way, I want to be a coffee bean. How about you? Here's the link: http://marmeedearandcompany.com/category/miscellanies/ .

P.S. - There are some really cute, inexpensive ideas in the DIY section along with freebies and printables that might be just the thing you have been looking for. I saved several to use throughout the coming day(s).

Homemade Root Beer & Other Sodas

A previous post on homemade soda pop exists here on Abundance. While I personally enjoyed our homemade ginger ale made from a ginger syrup and soda water, noone else at Abundance House did. However, after Colonel Redeemed received a kit for making homemade root beer for Christmas, I began looking for other recipes for him to try. The results? Another post with links to instructions and recipes sure to add some fun and fizz to the new year. Even if Colonel Redeemed isn’t interested in trying any of the recipes and/or techniques, I just might have to do some experimenting myself. What an easy, inexpensive treat to make ourselves! So much fun! Wouldn't red fruit soda be festive for Valentine's Day? A bit of green food coloring added for St. Patrick's? Yes, yes, yes. This has lots of potential for fun. I wonder about adding soda/seltzer water to flavored tea. I'll let you go ahead and visit the links below. The instructions and recipes are excellent, each with their own personality shining through. Enjoy!




Surprise Blessings

A New Year is coming soon. So is a surprise blessing here at Abundance. A sweet little bundle of blessing in the the form of a baby boy is due to arrive March 18. At least that is the official due date. I'm certain he will determine for himself when he comes. Yes, he is a surprise blessing. Believe it or not, I did not know I was pregnant until Thanksgiving weekend. How does a mother of six not know she is pregnant for the first six months of her pregnancy? Well...uhm...were you aware that early menopause and early pregnancy share many of the same symptoms? Just in case you didn't know, they do. That's the only comment I have on this subject:)

Needless to say, 2013 is looking a lot different to me than it did a few weeks ago. I have been forcing myself to concentrate on Christmas and not dig out baby boxes from storage until after the holidays are over. All of that relentless purging we did this summer has me wondering too. Did I get too carried away? Who knew how thankful I would be for the fact that the large pile of giveaway items sitting in my bedroom didn't go when they were intended to. Because they were left behind, I can now dig out little boy items we can put to use in a few years. See? I have proof that God does indeed work out every single little nitty gritty detail for the good of His children, even give away piles that sit on the floor too long.

I can also share that God prepares us for His plan, even when we are unaware of what His plan is. For months now there has been a quickening in my spirit every time I saw a mother holding an infant. I hadn't experienced such a quickening for years. There have also been "random" thoughts enter my mind concerning how much comfort a baby would bring as older children prepare to enter an unknown future of their own, etc. etc. Unbeknownst to me, God was gently, softly preparing my heart to receive a new reward straight from His heart to mine. Another blessing I never knew I needed, or thanks to God's thorough preparation, did my heart know what my mind didn't?

Anyway, it is almost a new year filled with the promise of multiplied blessings, and the boxes are coming out today! As I top my list of counting gifts for the new year with the coming arrival of a baby boy, will you join me in creating your own list of thankful gratitude? What gift will you list at the top? It would be a blessing to all if you would share it in a comment below. Thank you ahead of time for joining in our conversation of thankful gratitude. You are one of the greatest gifts He gives me. In His love and grace, Blessed Mama


Christmas Prayer

by Robert Louis Stevenson

"Loving Father, Help us remember the birth of Jesus,
that we may share in the song of angels,
the gladness of the shepherds,
and the worship of the wise men.
Close the door of hate and open the door of love
all over the world.
Let kindness come with every gift and good desires with every greeting.

Deliver us from evil by the blessing which Christ brings,
and teach us to be merry with clean hearts.
May the Christmas morning make us happy to be Thy children,
and the Christmas evening bring us to our beds with grateful
thoughts, forgiving and forgiven, for Jesus' sake, Amen!"


Living...On Purpose

To get our thoughts flowing towards purposeful, intentional living in the new year, another article from Janice Campbell leads us along. Thank you for sharing in Abundance's journey towards intentional and real. It is an adventure that will long continue. As the path of intentional real living opens up, there is a discovery being made. Grace covers it all. May the words of this beautiful hymn written by Julia H. Johnston bring refreshing and a soothing to all. May they also draw you closer and deeper into the love of God, the giver and provider of Grace.
Grace Greater Than Our Sin
Marvelous grace of our loving Lord,
Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt!
Yonder on Calvary’s mount outpoured,
There where the blood of the Lamb was spilled.
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin.
Sin and despair, like the sea waves cold,
Threaten the soul with infinite loss;
Grace that is greater, yes, grace untold,
Points to the refuge, the mighty cross.
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin.
Dark is the stain that we cannot hide.
What can avail to wash it away?
Look! There is flowing a crimson tide,
Brighter than snow you may be today.
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin.
Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace,
Freely bestowed on all who believe!
You that are longing to see His face,
Will you this moment His grace receive?
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin.


Giving and Receiving With Grace

Ideas, tips, and techniques abound for the giving and wrapping of gifts. Very little, however, is shared about the attitude we maintain when receiving and/or giving. Maybe because it has a lot of emotions behind it and can become a bit touchy. Whatever the reason, it is very very needed. Janice Campbell has presented a beautiful, helpful article that will benefit all. Please visit her and read the article here. Grace, how important it is.


It's a Wrap

Here is your official permission to put on your favorite Christmas tunes, heat up the tea kettle for a hot drink, and have some wrapping fun. I saw this fun, inexpensive gift wrapping idea and had to share. Packages are wrapped with brown craft paper and labeled with letters cut out from printed paper. If you have a die cut machine, this would be a snap. However, letters cut out from stencils or freehand would work just as well. Brown paper sacks and newspapers could provide this look for minimal expense.

Guess what the gifts under our tree are going to look like this year? Maybe not all of them. There are too many fun ideas to limit our wrapping to one style this year. Usually, we go with one look, but not this year. This year we are following our family anthem of "Blessed Randomness" and trying a variety of wrapping techniques. Besides, I'm seeing pinecones hanging from the ends of jute twine embellishing our packages. Pinecones never go out of style at the Abundance house. If I had any red and/or green raffia or cord, I might use that along with the jute and string some tiny brass jingle bells onto the ends of the string/cord just for fun. Hmmm, now that I mention it, I think I do have some colored cord around here someplace and there used to be some jingle bells in that one tote...gotta go! Merry Christmas! I pray you enjoy celebrating Jesus even in the wrapping of gifts.

Hey!!! Empty boxes wrapped up as gifts provide free, or almost free, decorations during the holiday season too! Almost forgot about that. They also serve as a reminder of the gifts given to the Christ child by the Magi and that opens up the opportunity to share the story of Jesus with our children and/or others who spend time in our homes throughout the season. Okay, now I really do have to go. I'm seeing playdough boxes coming out. Intervention needed.