Christmas Tag!  

Posted by Tiffany

My sweet friend, Ana, tagged me. :)

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping paper is the best!

2. Real or fake tree? Fake

3. When do you put up a tree? I don't know, whenever we feel like

4. When do you take it down? When I get around to taking it down. :P

5. Do you like eggnog?

6. Favorite gift received as a child? I have no idea

7. Hardest person to buy for? My dad

8. Easiest person to buy for? My younger siblings

9. Do you have a nativity scene? mmm...a miniature one :D

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? We don't do cards anymore.

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Hmm...not sure

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? It's a Wonderful Life

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Probably after Thanksgiving

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Nope

15. Favourite thing to eat at Christmas? Chocolate :D

16. Lights on the tree? YES! Christmas isn't Christmas without them! ;)

17. Favorite Christmas song? How can I possibly answer such a thing?? I have soo many...umm I'll just write the one that's stuck in my head: I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Stay home!

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's? Rudolf is all I know.

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Star. :)

21. Open presents on Christmas Eve or morning? Morning of course! Isn't that what Christmas day is for? :P ;)

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Too much hustle and bustle.

23. Favorite Ornament theme or color? Silver, white, and navy blue

24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? Chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate! One can never get enough of it! ;)

25. Favorite Decorations? The stockings.

26. What do you want for Christmas this year? Well, since I'm doing this late and Christmas is already over, I'll just say that I got what I wanted :D

And I have to ask why this thing has 26 questions instead of 25? :P ;) Thanks for the tag, Ana!

Never Alone  

Posted by Tiffany

Alone and standing on a tall, solid rock surrounded on all sides by a raging sea.

The waves of worldly desires, the flesh, and temptations crash and roar with their cold, foamy fingers trying to get further up the rock. Clouds, dark and brooding, cackle with hailing laughter. Lightening flashes and thunder rumbles, daring me to give in. The wind pulls and tugs at me with her taunting whispers: “Come, come. I offer you riches, fame, prestige. Come, come. I will give you everything your flesh desires.”

My knees grow weak. Doubt creeps into my heart. I feel myself starting to stumble and fall. One foot starts to slip of the edge, then the other. I grab the edge of the precipice. I'm giving in!

The Elements cheer me on as I continue to fail. Knowing I don’t want to do this, but unable to stop myself, I let one hand go. On the brink of letting go with the other, I remember...He is here.

I cannot feel His nearness, but I know He is here.

The Elements start screaming louder and louder, trying to pull me completely off. But they cannot stop me now-I will not be moved.

I muster every ounce of my remaining strength, and give a loud, piercing cry through the thick, heavy air. “God of Jacob! Hear my cry, and deliver me from this torment!”

At first it seems as though nothing has happened.

The wind keeps chanting, the waves continue to roar, and the thunder still rumbles. But I smirk at them and say, “You can do nothing now! My God has heard my cries, and He will rescue me!” In an instant everything calms. A brilliant light flashes across the sky. He slashes and stabs.
The Elements are bruised and crushed by the fury of the Lord. They scream and curse, fleeing to their lairs.
Then the Lord looks at me still hanging there with my one feeble hand. He comes over and lifts me back up. He renews my strength and fills me with His peace. The bright, blue water below glistens and sparkles from His radiant glory. The sky is alive with hues of the most luminous colors, and the soft wind whispers His comforting promises.

For the time being, I no longer try to stand on my own. I rest in His arms, and let Him fight for me.

Doing God's Will, My Way  

Posted by Tiffany

There it shows its ugly face again. Self. Ugg. Will it never leave me alone?

You know, God is very particular and loving towards His children. He doesn't just say, "Here's my plan for you, do it." No, He says, "Here's my plan for and this is exactly how I want you to fulfill that plan." Of course, it's never that easy, because it isn't like God just goes along with the flow of today's day and age and tells you 'here's your hamburger, drink and fries.' No sirree, love is much more work than that. God give us that homemade bread, and homegrown vegetables, and the purified water, and that, my friends, is no easy path. There is a price to pay for loving, but just like the homemade bread and purified water, it is so much more worth loving than never to love at all. Christ loved us - He gave us His life. I love Him back, and I give Him mine. But you see, what mySelf doesn't understand, is that I have to make a sacrifice too, and that means that Self has to die. I am crucified with Christ that I might live. Still, that dern Self is so stubborn, so the battle rages on. And sometimes, it seems as though Self is making a headway on the battleground; but Christ's love swells within me and squishes puny Self until it runs and hides its face in cowardice-waiting until it can find its courage again.

But the longer it waits, the stronger I grow in Christ. Making it that much easier to defeat Self when it starts peeking its head around the corner once more. Eventually, bit by bit, battle after battle, it starts to realize that it's not really my will, and never was, even in the simple and miniscule things in life (for that's truly where Self gets the most bold). Self starts to see how it always has been, is, and always will be, God's will every single step of the way.

Truly God does love us with the greatest love that has ever been known.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life. ~John 3:16

Prayers for Marriage  

Posted by Tiffany

I stumbled upon these beautiful prayers while looking for some good quotes, and wanted to share them with you. One is written by Ruth Bell Graham, and the other written by Robert J. Morgan, and they really just make you want to do nothing but strive after the Lord, and let Him touch and be a part of every area of our lives- including marriage. ;) :)

Dear God, I pray all unafraid/As girls are wont to be
I do not want a handsome man/ But make him, Lord, like Thee.
I do not need one big and strong/ nor yet so very tall,
Nor need he be some genius/ or wealthy, Lord, at all;
But let his head be high, dear God,/ and let his eye be clear,
His shoulders straight, whate'er his fate/ whate'er his earthly sphere.
And let his face have character,/ a ruggedness of soul,
And let his whole life show, dear God,/ a singleness of goal.
And when he comes/ as he will come
With quiet eyes aglow/ I'll know, dear Lord,
That he's the man / I prayed for long ago.

~Ruth Bell Graham

I stumble, Lord, when I should think/ Of finding one for me.
But to Thy throne I come to claim/ That prudent wife from Thee.
She need not be a beauty, Lord, / The queen crowned at the fair;
Nor need she have a made-up face/ Beneath embellished hair.
But let her eyes contain Thy strength, / Her smile announce Thy grace;
Her body kept within Thy realm,/ Thy sheen upon her face.
Lord, give her hands that make each day/ An innovative art,
And grant her feet to always serve/ The progress of Thy heart.
She need not be a scholar, Lord,/ But warm like Thee, and wise;
And with Thy wit, Thy word prepared/ To teach and empathize.
And when the throbs of life shall come,/ The trials that we shall see,
May she both find in Thee her peace/ And be a strength to me.
So as I wait on Thee, dear Lord,/ And in Thy dictates lean
Make me to be your man, and hers/ And her to be my queen.

~Robert J. Morgan