Monday, December 22, 2008
I was sure if I called my husband it to fiddle with it a bit it would go down and we could resume our evening plans of hot chocolate topped with whipped cream, popcorn sprinklied with Dove chocolate dusting powder, and a Christmas movie by the fire.
You can imagine how annoyed I was when two hours later, my husband determined that the problem was far further than just the sink. He didn't have the proper tools to work on it so we couldn't fix it and our night was pretty much shot.
This morning didn't prove to be any better. When we got up, we discovered that the shower in the master bedroom was clogged as well (obviously related to the kitchen sink) putting it out of commission. We spent the morning before going to work surveying the pipes in the basement and assessing whether or not the other bathroom was a problem. What we thought was an isolated problem was becoming something bigger.
On my way to work, I sulked a bit. I was annoyed that this had to happen now. After all, this simply didn't fit into my agenda. I have grocery shopping to do, gifts to wrap, chocolate chips to bake. I don't want to play with pipes and I don't want my husband to have to either!
Then during lunch time I dropped off gifts for the family I adopted through an agency geared toward those who are victimes of domestic violence. The place I had to drop them off at was at a beautiful restored home in our area filled with people whose lives have been broken. There were moms walking around feeding their infants while they waited for counseling and other help. It saddens me to think that these people are enduring such pain and anguish. And what about the babies? Were they abused too or where they subjected to such hostility while still in there mother's womb?
It hardly makes my "kitchen" sink problem seem significant at all. I am just thankful that we have family and friends who are decent to each other and do not inflict such torture on each other. I am happy to have a warm roof over my head with two bathrooms and a kitchen sink to have to worry about.
Compared to those families that I met today, I already have all the Christmas presents that I could ever need.
If you or anyone you know is a victim of domestic abuse, visit the following websites:Helpguide.org; Domestic Violence E-Book; and National Domestic Violence Helpline.
Monday, December 8, 2008
Check out their blog for more information: Chicks Who Click.
Wishing you Blessings from Above,
This isn't exactly the inspiring message I usually like to post on my blog, but hey, it's my blog so I am posting it anyway!
I've written a series of articles for AssociatedContent that suggests gifts to get various types of people in your life. Check them out when you have time. You never know, you must just find a little something on my list.
Christmas Presents for Recreational Vehicle (RV) Lovers
Christmas Gifts for Writers
Christmas Gifts for Stay-at-Home Moms
Christmas Gifts for Animal Lovers
I've also made a few other holiday suggestions on how to wrap Christmas presents:
Unique Ways to Wrap Presents for Your Man
Unique Way to Wrap Presents for Your Woman
And a few other things....
Spruce Up Your Cubicle for the Holidays
Buy Christmas Presents While Helping Charity
Enjoy! Feel free to let me know if you have any helpful Christmas related articles that you'd like to share.
Wishing you "Blessings from Above,"
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
It's mind boggling how just last week at this time I was making preparations for Thanksgiving dinner (when went very well by the way!) and now I am fully focused on Christmas. My house is decorated top to bottom except for the tree. We're still working on that. I've got a list of the things I need to shop for and am all set for Christmas cookie exchance next week. I even have a full itinerary of Christmas-related events that I will doing with my family - New York City here we come!
I am determined though, as the Christmas season rolls on, to remember what is all about - the birth of Jesus - and to not get caught up in all the hoopla. If the scrap booked Christmas cards don't come out perfect, oh well. If someone doesn't like what I am wearing or what I plan to do on Christmas day, I am not addressing it. That's their problem. And as far as shopping goes, I am going to cut back a bit, order what I can online and only go out shopping as part of a social outing. I pledge not to go crazy over materialism. Maybe it's just my age (I am 34 now!) but I totally get it! This isn't important people!
We have so much as it is I can hardly believe that there are crowds of people at Wal-Mart trampeling perfectly kind employees. It's sick. When is all this going to stop? At times I am ashamed to be a human being. And I almost feel like I can't call those at the Wal-mart humans for doing what they did. My heart really goes out to the man's family.
Let's turn our eyes to the reason why we are doing this is the first place. It's because Jesus was born and we should spend the season being thankful for him and all he has done for us. Remember that when you get yourself into a frenzy at the mall. You know the saying, "What Would Jesus Do?" He wouldn't get caught up in this materialism craze I can tell you that. Let's not either!
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Areas in the Word of God where we can be thankful:
We can be thankful because God is a good God. Ps 106:1
We can be thankful for God's unfailing love (so true!) Ps 107:8
We can be thankful knowing God is always near (yes, thank God for that!) Ps 145:18
We can be thankful for the Word of God Ps 119:62
We can be thankful for the eternal home God has given us (yeeah!) Heb 12:28
We can be thankful for the gift of God's own son (wow! just think about it) 2 Cor 9:15
God is good. Let's be thankful today. Happy Thanksgiving!
Wishing you "Blessings from Above,"
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
This past Sunday at church the subject of the message was, of course, Thanksgiving. Our pastor made some good points that made me leave feeling humbled. He reminded us that as a nation, where we have so much, we should be ever so grateful, but often the opposite is true. Instead of waking up in the morning and recognizing all the things that are good in our lives (a warm bed, a roof over our heads, food for breakfast and every other meal, etc.) we tend to focus on the things we are lacking. We perceive these things as needs, but often they aren't. Do we really need an iPod? Um, no. Our Forefathers lived without them and probably would have said an "i" what?! I think we can probably live without them too and a whole lot more.
The pastor then went on to explain a bit about the Pilgrims and reminded us that Thanksgiving came about as a way to stop and give thanks to God for everything. They had a harsh life, battling hunger and the cold elements in New England. Have we ever truly had to deal with that? Most of us, myself included, can honestly say no. I have no idea what it's like to be starving, but that's what they dealt with.
Once Thanksgiving was established, the Pilgrims would start off their meal with five kernels of corn on their plate. These five golden kernels represented all they had to eat during a 24 hours time frame during tough times. I can't even imagine that sustaining me for one meal let alone an entire day. Can you? Each Pilgrim would stand up in front of their family and would take each kernel of corn and say what they were thankful for.
Let me challenge you and your family to do the same thing tomorrow. If you aren't having corn, pick something else - nuts maybe. Or how about string beans? I don't think it really matters, it's the act of being thankful and sharing with others that matters. Spend some time during your dinner and let that be the topic of conversation instead of Black Friday sales. Do we really need that stuff anyway?
If you'd like to hear more of this message, please listen to my pastor at: Sermons Click on "Dates" and then "Be Thankful." Enjoy!
Monday, November 24, 2008
In honor of the holiday this week, I am going to focus on the very topic of thanksgiving. Each day I'll feature or write about something different, leading us right into the holiday.
What am I thankful for today? Connie Arnold and her talent! Connie is a friend that I've been following on Twitter and boy does she have the ability to write poems. That is one thing God did not bless me with - poem writing abilities. Fortunately for you as my reader, I will refrain from blinding you with my hideous poem inabilities and will feature Connie instead!
"Thankful to Give Thanks" written by Connie Arnold in 2008
How can I ever thank you, Lord,
for all that you have done,
for giving us the precious gift
of your most blessed Son?
What a special miracle
that you could love us so,
enough that Christ left heaven
to come to earth below!
We can show our gratitude
by offering our praise
in songs of adoration,
our voices gladly raise.
When someone is in need,
we can lend a helping hand,
with our ears we can listen
and show we understand.
Our feet can be used
to go the extra mile
in helping one another
with a cheerful smile.
Our thankfulness we can show
by what we do and say
and by always striving
to do our best each day.
The best way to give thanks
is by loving and giving
as we follow Christ’s example
in the life we are living.
To read more of Connie's work, please visit her site at: Inspirational Poetry of Connie Arnold.
Wishing you "Blessings from Above,"
Friday, November 14, 2008
My husband sat at the dinner table with a serious expression on his face as he rattled off, "Happy Thanksgiving," "Merry Christmas," "Happy New Year," "So what are we doing for Superbowl?" As my eyes got wider, he continued. "Happy 2010!" Oh, and "Happy 40th Birthday!"
I resisted the urge to slap him - after all, it wouldn't be very Christian like, but give me a break! I am only 34 years old! The purpose of him going through all that way to say, "Time flies." And he's right. I really will be 40 before I know it. Not something I really like to think about.
I think we all need to keep that in mind as we go about our daily lives going through the motions and promising ourselves that we'll do this or that sometime soon. The thing is, if we don't make it a point to do what we want to do, we'll never do it. We'll just keep going on the merry-go-round of monotony thinking it will end some day and then we'll have time to do what we want.
Newsflash! That isn't going to happen. We have to work our lives, and I mean really living, into our everyday routine.
I have some friends and family that I think are afraid of it. They make excuses that they HAVE to stay at the office until late and that they couldn't possibly come out for a night on the town or even a simple cup of coffee. I think they use work and other things as crutches from truly living. It's sad really. When you really stop and think about it, what's going to happen if you leave the office on time and take a night off for yourself? Nothing. I promise. The world will still rotate, the sun will still rise and set, and nothing is going to explode.
I've challenged this in the past in my Make It Happen post and Don't Let Life Pass You By: Make it Happen and now I am challenging you again. Pick something you've been interested in doing for quite a while, whether it be a few weeks, months or your entire life and get to it! Break the cycle of boredom and monotony and live. Really live! Now don't get me wrong, I am not encouraging you to quite your job or anything drastic like that. Please don't do it! I am just encouraging you to work in a little fun every once in a while. It can be done, now do it!
So what are you going to do? God has blessed many of us in America with some of the finest things. Don't miss out on them. Enjoy them to the fullest. Tell me what you plan on doing and I'll post it up on Blessings from Above to share with other readers. Maybe you'l spark some ideas for them.
I am off to make a pedicure appointment. I've had a gift certificate for over a year now and just haven't taken the time to pamper myself. It's about time.
Wishing you "Blessings from Above,"
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Bless a Vet Today! For all you pet lovers, I am not talking about honoring a vetenarian! Today is Veteran's Day and we should honor the noble Veterans in our great country. We're here and enjoying the life we are because of them and all those who have ever served our great country.
Unfortunately being in the military can take a toll on our Veterans so it's important that we truly, from the bottom of our hearts, let them know how much we appreciate them. While we've gone on enjoying our lives (for some just living) Veterans have had their personal lives put on hold. Marriages and relationships come to a hault; children are born in their absence; family members pass on to be with the Lord, and so much more. Lets not take them for granted. Veterans really do sacrifice for us.
9 Ways to Bless a Vet today:
Wishing "Blessings from Above" to our Veteran's. Happy Veterans Day!
Friday, November 7, 2008
Happy Birthday Billy Graham! Today is Billy Graham's 90th birthday! We should thankful for such a wonderful man and all the blessings that he has given our great Country and the World as a whole.
Most of Graham's life has been dedicated to Jesus and helping others get to know him. He's impacted millions of lives through his various Ministries which are aimed at all walks of life includng teenagers, troops, people in physical crisis, those less fortunate in America and other countries, and so many others.
Billy Graham and his ministry produce a magazine, Decision, to help inform you of the positive things they are up to and to educate you on why it's important to accept Jesus. They also have a telephone and television ministry. All which have helped many people around the globe.
Check out the Billy Graham website for more information on how you can help or get help yourself if you need it. Visit: Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
Drop me a line and let me know how you've been blessed by Billy Graham in honor of his 90th Birthday!
This week has been a tough week with the Presidential Election. I am still trying to catch my breath over what took place. As you know from my last post, Obama wasn't exactly my top pick. I am concerned about what he stands for and he even more concerned about what he doesn't. I really hope that the America flags still stays in place and that that wonderful little marketing logo created for Obama doesn't take its place. That would be a disgrace in my opinion.
I think going over and over the reasons I dislike Obama, at this point, is quite useless, so I plan on moving on and encourage all Christian and non-Obama supporters to do the same. I really believe that there is a God (can't see how many think there isn't) and I am confident that he permitted Obama to be in the White House even if it doesn't agree with my opinion. Hmm...God's not working his plans around mine, imagine that. Ha!
God has a plan in place for our Nation and we have stand on that belief and wait on him. As long as God is on our side how could we go wrong?! Just pray, pray, pray!
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Well all, it's down to the last few hours before we find out who will be leading this great country of ours come January '09. Up until now, I've have been quite reluctant to speak my mind about politics.
Most people don't give you the chance to hear you out on why you are voting for a particular person. Often if it doesn't agree with their opinion, you are stamped wrong and pretty much tuned out.
I realized though, that just like everyone else in America, I am entitled to my vote and my opinion even if it doesn't agree with popular opinion.
So to be upfront, here it is: I voted for John McCain. It's not because he is white or a Republican. Those things don't matter to me. And for those that think I am a Christian and therefore I vote Republican by default, you are wrong. I vote for the person that supports biblical principles such as the right to life for starters. I just can't bear to vote for someone that would allow post-birth abortions, allowing doctors to kill perfect human beings and then let them die on a table, alone. Nor can I stand by someone who makes a mockery of marriage by allowing same sex couples to be recognized as a married union. You won't find that in the Bible anywhere, in fact it's seen as a sin. I don't care what our liberal society says about it. God doesn't like it, therefore I don't like it. Don't get me wrong. I am not perfect. If I was I wouldn't be human. I am just trying to be the best person I can be and voting for a candidate other than McCain would be unChristian in my mind.
There are plenty of other reasons why I can't support Obama but I believe 'nuff has been said. Just keep in mind as you go to the polls, that as a country founded on Christian principles, we really should try and uphold those Christian values. Our forefathers would appreciate it and our future as a nation depends on it.
If you want to hear more about voting for biblical principles, listen to this well preached sermon by Pastor Kurt Kinney. Visit Thy Kingdom Come, preached on
November 2nd, 2008.
Thanks for keeping an open mind about my vote.
Wishing you "Blessings from Above,"
Friday, October 31, 2008
A few weeks ago, I was feeling in the dumps about the topic of friends. I've had a lot of friends come and go in my life and for reasons I couldn't control. Some were jealous. Some felt inadequate and didn't think they were living a moral enough life to be friends with a Christian (yep, I really did lose a friend for that reason). Others just moved and our friendship just drifted off into the sunset. Thinking about this left me quite down. I really miss some of those people that helped shape my life.
Then I went to my job at a local university here in Jersey and God reminded me that what's in the past is in the past. When I came into work a good friend of mine who I became friendly with almost as soon as I started there 3 1/2 years ago, gave me a beautiful bracelet that she made. She is a very crafty person and started beading recently. I admired the bracelet she made for herself and asked her to make me one so I could buy it. Within a day she had whipped up a new one and flat out gave it to me. Now that bracelet is probably worth at least $40! Wasn't that nice of her? And let me tell ya, it's gorgeous. Now that is a friend.
That same day I met a husband and wife for lunch at our university restaurant. They are quite a kind couple that I hadn't seen in a while. My husband had him as a professor many years ago when he attended the school as a student. Years later, I met him and his wife on a tour to Europe that we all went on. We had a great time with them and have kept in touch over the years. When we went to lunch we talked about everything under the sun and when it was time to leave, they treated me to lunch. Yet another way that God reminded me that I truly do have some good friends in my life.
It's important to pay attention to these little things and try to realize why they are happening. They don't just happen by coincidence. God is truly behind these things. He wants to make us happy and he really did that day as he reminded me that not only is he my friend, but that I have many Earthly friends as well.
So what's good in your life? Feel free to share with me and my readers all the blessings in your life. Hopefully this will make you stop and think about what those things are. Trust me! They are plenty of things if you think about it for a second.
To share your story in 600 words or less, simply email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
In the mean time we signed up for parenting classes, which was the first step in the adoption process through DYFS. By this time, we had been married a little more than 3 years. The whole process took about 6 months to finally be considered an "open home" for adoption.
On December 21, 2005 we got a call asking if we would take a 10 month old baby boy and his 7 year old sister. Apparently we were the last ones to get the call, as no one else was interested in having new children around for the holiday. In under 5 minutes we were making plans to receive our new additions. Only problem was at this point they were not adoptable and we would probably only have them for a few weeks, if that long. A few weeks went by and there was no sign of them leaving.
One day the 7 year old told me that she had a brother and sister that were somewhere in foster care. She didn't know where they were, but she wondered if I would be able to find out and bring them to my house. I told her that I would do what I could to find out about them, but didn't want to promise her anything. Satisfied with that answer, she also told me that her mom was supposed to be giving birth to twins soon. Later that night I was on the phone and found out that she did indeed have a brother and sister in another foster home, and that foster parent wasn't able to keep them due to the fact that her home wasn't large enough. I asked for the other 2 to come here, and after MANY phone calls to MANY people in DYFS, the other 2 were finally brought here.
Christmas 2006 came and went and although the children weren't adoptable yet, they were still with us. After 15 months or so of living with the same foster parent the chances go up that children will be able to be adopted. My husband and I were, of course, praying to be able to keep the children. The twins had been born and the 4 children that were with me didn't really know them very well, but talked about them often. By the summer of 2007, through a series of unfortunate events for the biological parents, they did give up parental rights and we were asked if we would consider adopting the 4 that we had. Of course we wanted to! About a month later we were asked if we would want the twins. We didn't even have to think about it. After a long battle with DYFS... not all of DYFS thought it would be a good idea for a family this large to stay together...we finally got the twins. Thankfully the judge that was presiding over this case was on our side, and ultimately DYFS had to listen to him. On November 17, 2007, we adopted our 6 children. It was National Adoption Day. We never expected to have such a large family, but this was definitely a blessing from the Lord.
It was very hard to not have children when both my husband and I wanted them so badly. God answered our prayer for children in a way we never could have imagined, but with His help, we're a family, and it really is wonderful.
One last thing I need to say. The adoption process was such a roller coaster ride. One day we were maybe adopting, the next maybe they were going to be reunited... I was still trying to conceive. Finally a doctor told me that since our foster children had been with us so long, the odds were great that they were staying, so I should just be happy with them since it looked like I would probably not be able to conceive. My husband and I are now expecting our new baby in the spring of '09.
So, there are actually two reasons for sharing this story. First of all, God really does hear our prayers and He does know the desire of our hearts, but He DOES choose to answer in His timing, and His way. The second reason I want people to know about this is because there are so many children that need to be adopted, and people don't know that you can go through DYFS and it doesn't cost anything to actually adopt. DYFS covers all of it. Not only that, adoption agency's work with DYFS too. Not that it happens every day, but after the agency's quotas are filled, DYFS is called and there are babies available to be adopted through DYFS. Four of my children, when they came to me, were under 3 years old.
What a blessing! God gives us more than we could have ever hoped for.
If you'd like to share your story to be posted here on Blessings from Above, I'd love to hear from you. It would be an inspiration to me and my readers. Email me at: email@example.com I'll review the posts I receive and post them periodically.
Read "Be Careful" for an example of a blessing in my life. There are many! Remember, this will be posted on Blessings from Above for all to see so if it something very personal please don't write about it. Also, this will be a voluntary, unpaid contribution. Sorry but I am unable to pay!
Wishing you "Blessings from Above,"
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Monday, October 6, 2008
If you'd like your story featured on Blessings from Above to inspire others (and me!) please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org I'll review the posts I receive and post them periodically.
Read "Be Careful" for an example of a blessing in my life. There are many!
Remember, this will be posted on Blessings from Above for all to see so if it something very personal please don't write about it. Also, this will be a voluntary, unpaid contribution. Sorry but I am unable to pay!
Thanks! I look forward to reading your stories.
Wishing you "Blessings from Above" on monetizing your blog!
I'd like to encourage you to identify something that you've been meaning to do - call your grandmother, donate the clothes you know will never fit again, start a new craft project, build a garage, go to church, whatever....think about. What have you been putting off? Once you figure it out, commit to doing it this week no matter what! Make it happen!
And so I won't be accused of being a hypocrite I am going to do it too. My commitments for the week "to make it happen" are to get to Longwood Gardens this Friday (I've wanted to go there during the fall season for years and never did), start creating a present that I want to give to my husband for his birthday at the end of October, and to add more Christian friends to my Facebook account so I can get the word out about this blog.
I wrote about this very topic at the end of August. If you need a refresher, check out: Don't Let Your Life Pass You By. Make it Happen!
Wishing you "Blessings from Above" on monetizing your blog!