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Barbie

10 In Glimpses

God Help Me // Glimpses Link Up

I want to thank you all for your kind comments and prayers last week (which I know is continuing even now).  I am so very grateful for my little community here.  So many have messaged me to check in and I truly appreciate that.  I apologize the link up was not ready Monday morning, but sometimes you just gotta roll with it and I went to bed and forgot today was Monday.

I don’t have much to say right now. I’m taking one day at a time and trying to stay strong, positive and focused so that my mind is where it needs to be for the upcoming Christmas season.  In many ways I’m so numb and feel as if I’m going through the motions.  Call it adrenaline, but I would rather think it’s God covering me with a blanket of grace so that I can continue to move forward, albeit slowly.

God covers me with a blanket of grace so that I can continue to move forward. #glimpsesofhisbeauty Click To Tweet

I wanted to share a song that has been ministering to my heart these recent weeks.  It’s called God Help Me by Plumb.  I am sharing the video below, but you can find the lyrics here.  Here is just a sampling:

There is a wrestling in my heart and my mind
A disturbance and a tension I cannot seem to drive
And if I’m honest, there’s quite a bit of fear
To sit here in this silence and really hear You
What will you ask of me?
Will I listen to your voice when you speak?

Help me to move
Help me to see
Help me to do whatever you would ask of me
Help me to go
(Or) God help me to stay
I’m feeling so alone here
And I know that You’re faithful But I can barely breathe
God help me

I don’t know the future
It’s one day at a time
But I know I’ll be okay with Your Hand holding mine
So take all my resistance
Oh God I need Your grace
One step and then the other Show me the way
Show me the way

How are you doing? I apologize I haven’t gotten around to answering your comments recently. I’ve read every one and am truly blessed.  I hope to be visiting your blogs soon. Thank you for sticking with me through this season.

Glimpses #741-750

741.  Enjoying the Christmas lights on my nightly drive.
742.  Quiet time for reading.
743.  Hallmark Christmas movies (have I said that already?)
744.  The wonder of His birth.
745.  Looser pants!
746.  Toast with cinnamon sugar.
747.  His presence that surrounds me during worship.
748.  Gift baskets from clients to enjoy at work.
749.  Enjoying Christmas music in the car.
750.  The miracle of creation.

The Glimpses link up will open at 12:01 AM (PST) each Monday, and will remain open through Noon on Saturday. I am looking forward to reading your posts and visiting your blogs this week!

It is time to share the glimpses of beauty found this week.
Words written, gratitude given, photos taken, things created — anything that reflects the beauty of God revealed in your ordinary life.
1. Grab the button to place in your post, or simply link back here.
2. Link up with the post permalink, and not just your blog url.
3. Visit and encourage others who link up. We need each other!
4. Share about the link up on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
5. Use the hashtag #glimpsesofhisbeauty so that we can find each other’s posts.



 

5 In Reviews & Giveaways

One Christmas Bear (a Children’s Book) Review & Giveaway

Christmas is a fun time of year to read stories to the grandkids.  We are busy creating our collection of themed books.  My grandson loves to be read to from a variety of different books.  Recently, I had the opportunity to review a cute little board book called One Christmas Bear by Anne Vittur Kennedy.

About The Book

Follow the merry adventures of a polar bear and the artic animals as they enjoy winter fun! From crunchy candy canes and frosty snowballs to friends to play with and a family to love, your little one will enjoy counting God’s wonderful gifts.

With beautiful illustrations and simple, rhyming text, One Christmas Bear is perfect to help little ones learn to count, and wonderful for families to enjoy together. Count the Blessings of Christmas! Follow the merry adventures of a polar bear and the artic animals as they enjoy winter fun! From crunchy candy canes and frosty snowballs to friends to play with and a family to love, your little one will enjoy counting God’s wonderful gifts. 

Our Thoughts & A Giveaway

This really is a cute book with bright and colorful illustrations.  It kept my two year old grandson’s attention as we learned to count the many blessings God has given to us.

Would you like to win a copy of this book for a child you love? To enter, just follow this link.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the FrontGate Media. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”
20 In Glimpses

Preparing My Heart To Receive Him // Glimpses Link Up

Thanksgiving has come and gone and we have now entered the Holy season of Advent.  It’s a time of much reflection, anticipation and joy as we look forward to Christmas and embrace the hope of the babe who came to save the world.

My heart isn’t quite ready for Advent.  I haven’t been doing much of anything over this last week. It’s all I can do to muster up the strength to get myself to work each day.  Once home I’m too exhausted to even get online and stay connected in community.

Part of the reason I feel so unprepared for this season is that I know that God desires to do a deep work in my heart. He’s already begun it, but you guys, it’s so painful. When we truly take a step back and look at ourselves and the mess that surrounds us, our eyes are open to the ugliness of our own humanity. I don’t like what I see. I’m a complete mess and feel as if I might crack at any moment. I’m fighting hard to stay in control, yet longing to give up control at the same time. But I can’t have it both ways. It’s not true surrender unless I lay it down and am willing to come away empty handed.

It's not true surrender unless I lay it down and am willing to come away empty handed. #glimpsesofhisbeauty Click To Tweet

I have taken a hard look at my own heart this past week and realize how desperately I need Him. I am broken beyond repair and only He can put me back together again. But I have to be willing to do the hard work. Introspection may look as if it’s self-focused, but unless we allow ourselves to take a good, hard look at who we are, we will be unaware of the person God intended us to be. Introspection is a good thing, as long as we don’t dwell there.

Introspection is a good thing, as long as we don't dwell there. #glimpsesofhisbeauty Click To Tweet

This past week I’ve been stuck in that place. I’ve been “me” focused and can feel the downward spiral and it’s frightening.  I’m considering contacting my doctor to discuss my emotional state, but there is a part of me that believes I should just be able to pull myself up and get out of the mess. I’ve been in that place before, where I needed help to get up over the cloud that hovers, but is that the right move? I know that something needs to change and I have to come to a place where I can begin to think rationally again about many things. I need faith to arise in my heart and His truth to consume my mind.

In the meantime, I whispers prayers for God to come closer as I prepare my heart the best I know how to receive the promise of hope, joy and a full life.

How can I pray for you my friend? I don’t have much to give right now, but I know God hears my weak prayers. I would love to lift you up.

And now I continue to list the beauty that I’m finding in my every day life.

Glimpses #731-740

731.  The office decorated for Christmas.
732.  A freshly groomed dog.
733.  Playing trains with the grandson.
734.  Youngest daughter blessing my hearing during worship.
735.  Oldest son debuting another song he wrote.
736.  A smile from a stranger.
737.  Celebrating over 20 years of friendship with my besties.
738.  A new cross-body purse won in the gift exchange.
739.  Trusting my heart with others.
740.  Selling one of our cars – PROVISION!

The Glimpses link up will open at 12:01 AM (PST) each Monday, and will remain open through Noon on Saturday. I am looking forward to reading your posts and visiting your blogs this week!

It is time to share the glimpses of beauty found this week.
Words written, gratitude given, photos taken, things created — anything that reflects the beauty of God revealed in your ordinary life.
1. Grab the button to place in your post, or simply link back here.
2. Link up with the post permalink, and not just your blog url.
3. Visit and encourage others who link up. We need each other!
4. Share about the link up on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
5. Use the hashtag #glimpsesofhisbeauty so that we can find each other’s posts.



 

22 In Glimpses

Giving Thanks IN All Things // Glimpses Link Up

I pray you all had a beautiful Thanksgiving. I miss you and hope to be back to visiting your blogs soon.

Our Thanksgiving was low key this year.  Four out of the seven adults in my home were down with the stomach flu.  Thankfully, two were already on the road to recovery by Thanksgiving, and the other two weren’t hit until later that night.  So we just laid around that evening and never did get out of the house to do out traditional Black Friday shopping the next morning which my daughters and I have done every year for many years.  We did manage to drag ourselves out of the house for our annual trek up the Santa Cruz Mountains to cut down our Christmas Tree.  Even though some were still battling fatigue and we made it a quick trip, it was worth it.

Here’s my beautiful family, including our oldest son’s girlfriend.

This weekend got me thinking about the scripture that talks about giving thanks in all things.

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
(1 Thess. 5:18)

So often I think we misinterpret the scripture and we read it as if God is wanting us to give thanks “for” all things. But that is not the case.  Bad things happen.  We go through hard circumstances.  Grief is a very real part of our lives.  We are not called to thank God “for” those hard things but rather we are to thank God IN the hard things.

Four out of seven adults down with the stomach flu and weekend plans ruined.  I was a little upset at first.  I mean who wouldn’t be.  But once I found something to thank God for in the middle of the hard, my attitude began to change. While I didn’t give God thanks for the flu and how my loved ones were disappointed that our shopping trip was not going to happen, I thanked God that it moved very quickly, and that the other adults (myself included) and my two grandsons were spared.

Although I didn’t thank God that I wasn’t going to be able to spend time with my daughters as is tradition and create fun memories, I did thank Him that He provided a way for us to buy more important things this week, like food and gas. You see I had set aside $100 for our shopping spree and ended up purchasing much needed items for the house instead.  The shopping can wait.

This weekend was just a small glimpse of a bigger lesson God has been trying to teach me.  Life is hard sometimes. Pain is real and healing often takes time.   But when I choose to give thanks in the middle of my  mess, my attitude about my circumstances will change.

When I choose to give thanks in the middle of my mess, my attitude about my circumstances change. #glimpsesofhisbeauty Click To Tweet

God desires that we see Him working in the midst of the hard.  My eyes are open.

How are you thanking God in the middle of your mess?

And now I continue to list the beauty that I’m finding in my every day life.

Glimpses #721-730

721.  A financial gift from a friend in a most desperate time.
722.  A new phone (I went to the dark side, as some would say)
723.  My youngest son who continues to amaze me doing 9th grade independent study.
724.  My youngest daughter who is getting very good grades her senior year.
725.  Fall scents (spiced cider, cinnamon, clove)
726.  Burnt Almond Cake
727.  Spending time with family during Thanksgiving.
728.  The smell of the turkey cooking.
729.  Apple Cider toasts.
730.  Staying in my pajamas all day on Friday.

The Glimpses link up will open at 12:01 AM (PST) each Monday, and will remain open through Noon on Saturday. I am looking forward to reading your posts and visiting your blogs this week!

It is time to share the glimpses of beauty found this week.
Words written, gratitude given, photos taken, things created — anything that reflects the beauty of God revealed in your ordinary life.
1. Grab the button to place in your post, or simply link back here.
2. Link up with the post permalink, and not just your blog url.
3. Visit and encourage others who link up. We need each other!
4. Share about the link up on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
5. Use the hashtag #glimpsesofhisbeauty so that we can find each other’s posts.



5 In Reviews & Giveaways

Kutless “Alpha / Omega” CD Review & Giveaway

Yet again, I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to review a new CD by a group that I have been familiar with for a long time.  Kutless has debut their new album, Alpha / Omega, and I was thrilled for the chance to review it and share my thoughts here.

About Kutless

Since signing to BEC Recordings in 2001, Kutless has transformed from a new rock band to a staple artist in the industry that has multi-format, top-charting hits, sold millions of records and more than eight million streams. Launched by original members Jon Micah Sumrall (lead vocals) and guitarist James Mead, the band formed first as a modern rock/worship band at Warner Pacific College in Portland in 2000. Kutless has two RIAA Gold-selling albums for Strong Tower and Live from Portland. The band has had 12 No. 1 radio singles across all formats including their major hits “Strong Tower,” “What Faith Can Do” and “Carry Me To The Cross.”

After more than 15 years together and reaching fans around the world, Kutless continues to be focused on sharing the Gospel with a younger generation that is searching for answers.

With their upcoming album ALPHA / OMEGA, Kutless has created a collection of rock and worship songs of both original and cover tracks that are true to who the band has been for the last 17 years. They wanted to create a project that would engage the Christian community and have the greatest impact. The songs are true to who the band is at their core – rock and worship. ALPHA / OMEGA features a new version of “Strong Tower” as well as the debut radio single “King of My Heart.”

My Thoughts

I was so excited about this album because many of the songs on it I am very familiar with. Here is a listing of songs on this album:

Your Great Name
Strong Tower (Reprise)
King of My Heart
Cornerstone
You Are Love
Great Are You Lord
Your Love Awakens Me
Shepherd of My Soul
Give It All (I Surrender All)
No Wonder (Roar of the Rugger Cross)

When we first put the CD in the car, my son asked to listen to King of My Heart because we hear it on the radio all of the time and we sing it in church quite often.  It did not disappoint. While the style is different than what we are accustomed to, it was a great break away from the norm.  I am in love with so many of the songs in this album, but two of my favorites that are new to me are Sheperd of My Soul and No Wonder (Roar of the Rugged Cross).

Sheperd of My Soul is a soothing ballet about the Good Shepherd and how He is always with us.

Nothing shall I want, nothing shall I fear
Lord, I know that You are near
You can make me still, You restore my soul
Lord, I know that You are near

Shepherd of my soul
You will never let me go
Because of You
Because of who You are!
In the valley low
There’s no fear that I’m alone
Because of You
Because of who You are!

No Wonder (Roar of the Rugged Cross) is a song that immediately put my thoughts on Christ and the price He paid on the cross for me.  It really is no wonder that we call Him Savoir and sing His praise!

I see my savior
With love in His eyes
His body broken
With no sin to hide

I see my Jesus
Eyes blind with blood
His face is crimson
His cry is love

No wonder we call You Savior
No wonder we sing Your praise
Jesus, our hope forever
You made a way, You made a way

The Giveaway

The good folks over at FlyBy are offering one of my readers a copy of the new album by Kutless, Alpha / Omega.  To enter, just follow the prompts on the giveaway widget below.  This contest is open to readers in the Continental United States only and will end at 9PM (PST) on Sunday, December 3rd.

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

 

Kutless Alpha / Omega CD Giveaway