During the twenty years I’ve known Cynthia Howerter, I have witnessed her abiding faith during many challenging situations and have marveled at her closeness to God. She has a willingness and ability to share with others the lessons God ha...
--- Isaiah 40:31
Cynthia Howerter shares her recipe for Eggnog Punch—along with a history of this American holiday tradition—today at Colonial Quills. Come visit!
Click here to go directly to Cynthia’s Colonial Quills article –> Colonial Quills
Photograph by Cynthia Howerter © 2014
To God be the Glory
May this Christmas season bring you and your loved ones joy and blessings as we celebrate the birth of Christ.
Soar With Eagles will be back after New Year’s. See you then!
To God be the Glory
Today I will tackle— I will tackle— what?! Hmm. Let’s see. Half of each of the three bathrooms are clean—that leaves 3 bathtubs and the floors to scrub. And two guest beds need to be made up—but do I use summer cotton or flannel sheets? Here in Virginia, it’s going to be 70 degrees on Sunday (December 22nd). Better hold off on making up the beds until the weather decides which sheets I should use.
All of the presents need to be wrapped, and the tree, while up, still needs to be decorated. Ten pounds of flour and eight pounds of sugar are waiting to be made into cookies. If I make them today, I will eat them. Maybe I better hold off on the baking.
Three days until Justin, our son, arrives, and nine until our daughter, Megan, and new son-in-law, Tyler, and Miss Kitty arrive. One adult child home for Christmas, and two adult children and one grandchild—a shedding German Shepherd that’s supposed to call me Ma-má (French pronunciation) but licks me instead—will come two days after Christmas. I’m not so sure I like this child-being-married stuff.
Tim, my husband, wraps his arms around me and tells me that we’re in a new phase of our lives, that our children are adults who live and work hours away, and that those who are married will have to alternate which family—his or hers—they’ll spend holidays with.
Tim says we need to be grateful now for the time the two of us have together. That means the house will be empty a lot, and there will be no children to help us with chores, no children with whom we can do spontaneous fun things every single day. I’m not sure I’ll like this, but—
Since the kids aren’t here now to help me, I’ll need to pace myself to get everything done in time for Christmas and their arrivals. Today, I’ll roll out the gingerbread dough that’s in our refrigerator and make gingerbread men, and then I’ll mix up a batch of cut-out sugar cookie dough and make stars of Bethlehem and reindeer and church bells. Then,
I’ll eat them I’ll put some of them in a fancy tin and take them next door to the sweet young mother with a house full of little ones—just like my older friends did for me when my children were young and I didn’t have time to get everything done for Christmas. Now I can help the nearby younger moms I know. It’s time to use what I have to pass on what was given to me.
And to everyone to whom much has been given, much shall be required from him. Luke 12:48 (DBT)
To God be the GloryRead More
While sipping coffee in front of our blazing fireplace this morning, I ran through a mental to-do list for Christmas. Except that my list was more of a can’t-possibly-get-it-all-done-in-time list—which caused me to feel overwhelmed. And it was only 7:30 a.m.—not exactly a great start to my day.
This kind of thinking wears us down. It can snowball into dreading the entire Christmas season. And, if you’re honest, it’s happened to you. Maybe as recently as this morning.
So how do we find the positive note in a chorus of heavy, oppressing stanzas? For me, it starts with my Thankful List.
During our unemployment, my family and I faced one difficulty after another, and it was easy to feel overwhelmed and defeated. It occurred to me that the way to counter a negative thought is by deliberately thinking a positive thought. Positive thoughts energize us and can propel us into action while negative thoughts weigh us down and can stop us from accomplishing things.
That was the beginning of my Thankful List. I identified ten things that were going right in my life. Admittedly, there were many days when “I am still breathing” was the first item on my list. I decided that I would not get out of bed until I came up with ten things for which I was sincerely thankful—and in doing so, I recognized that each one was provided not by me but by God. By being aware of the good things in my life, the things that overwhelmed me lost their power.
So, this morning, when I began to feel overwhelmed and discouraged that Christmas is just days away and my to-do list is too-big, I did my mental Thankful List:
I am thankful for:
Take a minute and come up with your own list of ten things that are going right in your life. Then give praise to the Lord for each of these blessings.
There, don’t you feel much better?
Now, let’s both start accomplishing things so our to-do list gets shorter.
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17 (NIV)
To God be the Glory
Alas, the words to one of our favorite Christmas songs – “’tis the season to be jolly” – ring hollow this year. What we all need is a Christmas gift that delivers hope.
Unless you’ve been playing possum, you know how bad things are: people are not only losing their health insurance, but many are unable to afford to purchase new health coverage. Numerous businesses are cutting employee’s work hours in order to comply with the healthcare law and still remain in business. And millions of people are either unemployed or underemployed.
Are you plagued with problems? Are you scared? Worried? Dreading the future? Do you know someone who is unemployed, or who has lost their health insurance? Do you know young college graduates who are underemployed because they can’t find a job in their major or who can’t afford to purchase health insurance?
When adversity enters our lives, our situation can look hopeless, and we wonder if our lives will ever improve and return to normal. We get so caught up in anxiety and fear that we forget there is One who can help us with our every need.
In the anthology book I co-authored with La-Tan Roland Murphy—God’s Provision in Tough Times—the twenty-five true stories were written to help people who are in the midst of struggles. Each story demonstrates how God worked—often in incredible ways—to help the writers successfully get through their crushing situations. Some writers found themselves in circumstances so bad that it would have been easier to give up than to keep going. But rather than quit, they turned to their faith in a God who promises to provide for each believer’s every need.
Do you need a Christmas gift that provides hope and encouragement for someone—or even yourself? This book just may be one of the best gifts you ever give.
God’s Provision in Tough Times is reasonably priced and available in both paperback and Kindle at Amazon, in paperback at Barnes & Noble online, and in paperback at Christianbook.com. You can also ask your local Christian book store to carry it.
Click on one of the links below to go directly to either Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Christianbook.com to purchase copies.
To purchase a paperback copy of God’s Provision in Tough Times at Amazon: Amazon paperback
To purchase a Kindle copy at Amazon: Amazon Kindle
To purchase a paperback copy at Barnes & Noble: Barnes & Noble paperback
To purchase a paperback copy at Christianbook.com: Christianbook.com paperback
I pray this book is a blessing to you.
God’s Provision in Tough Times includes heartfelt stories by Alycia W. Morales, Beth K. Fortune, Carrie Fancett Pagels, Cecil Stokes, Dan Walsh, Deborah Raney, Dee Dee Parker, Eddie Jones, Eva Marie Everson, Felicia Bowen Bridges, James L. Rubart, Ramona Richards, Roger E. Bruner, Tamara D. Fickas, Torry Martin, La-Tan Roland Murphy, and Cynthia Howerter.
And do not neglect doing good and sharing; for with such sacrifices God is pleased. Hebrews 13:16 (NASB)
To God be the Glory