I stared out the window at the daffodils that have blossomed around the mailbox, and turned to my sister and remarked, “Those daffodils don’t fit in, do they?” Despite a few spots of grass beginning to turn green, the world outside still looked like winter.
That’s when I thought about what those daffodils stand for, and how they’re an example for each of us.
We can be daffodils.
We can smile at the winter cold, and stand as a symbol of hope to those who can’t feel it yet. We can be a reminder that joy is coming, and new life is blooming.
Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning. (Psalm 30:5b)
We are the light of the world.
You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden;nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 4:14-16)
How can you be a daffodil today?
Don’t let your lights go down Don’t let your fire burn out ‘Cause somewhere, somebody needs a reason to believe Why don’t you rise up now? Don’t be afraid to stand out That’s how the lost get found
So many thoughts have been running through my mind, and culminating in a headache.
Maybe the headache wasn’t related to all the pondering I’ve been doing. Maybe it was the fact that I need a hair cut and wearing my long hair up might have been giving me the headache (okay, so you probably don’t care about the details). But I do hold to the conviction that God speaks to us in our everyday lives. And He spoke to me through the headache, reminding me that I can’t figure this life out on my own.
I don’t have all the answers.
I don’t know what tomorrow holds.
In fact, tomorrow isn’t even promised. And that leads to some tough questions.
If tomorrow doesn’t come, have I lived a life worth mentioning in the light of eternity?
Have I given all I could?
Or have I held back, not feeling the urgency to live every day fully for the glory of God.
Have I desired the comfort of an easy life, more than the comfort of the God who daily carries our burdens?
Have I even thought seriously about eternity?
All these questions we can ask ourselves. Maybe we have some great answers, or maybe we have some great excuses, but what answers do our lives give to these questions?
I once heard someone say, “You might not live what you confess, but you will live what you believe.”
My life shows what I believe and Who I believe in. And it’s not always the right things. It’s not always solely focused on Him.
But the gospel assures me that redemption has called me His own. My life is no longer mine; it’s crucified with Him. His Holy Spirit will guide me. In His love He will prune me. This isn’t easy, but it’s the truth. And truth always sets people free.
What if tomorrow does come?
Will we live it any differently than today?
His mercies are new every morning.
Let’s embrace each morning as a new start, a gift from above, and an opportunity to share His love with this hurting world.
Of course, I will still be posting on Blog of Joy, but you will also find me posting on Sisters on Our Knees.
Our hope is that Sisters on Our Knees can become a joint effort of sisters in Messiah around the world. If you ever feel led to write a guest post or share a testimony of answered prayer, you can email us at: email@example.com
Quite a few people were interested in coming (even friends who weren’t familiar with the books). We searched the internet and found some great ideas, and then added some of our own to create this one-of-a-kind evening.
Upon arrival, guests were greeted by the lilting melody of “Meryton Townhall” from the Pride & Prejudice soundtrack as they stepped out of their vehicles, I mean, “horseless carriages”. :) We requested that each guest bring a name card for their introduction from the vestibule. Two of our guests came as nobility (a duke and a duchess), and both were introduced with a “red carpet” for them to enter upon.
Everyone attending the party was required to wear a Regency Era costume. Of course, we weren’t strict on how authentic the costumes were. One of my sisters wore a dress that had previously been used for a German costume, and one of the men came as an American patriot (saying he was traveling from America. ha ha!). Some of our guests had homemade costumes, while others pieced together clothes from home or from thrift stores.
Mr. Collins (above far left)
Jane, Elizabeth, and Mrs. Bennet (below)
Mr. Darcy & Miss Georgiana Darcy
Margaret, Elinor, and Marianne Dashwood
Mr. Palmer–He had his phone hidden behind the newspaper so he could check the football scores. (We’re still in the twenty-first century, y’all!)
Miss Catherine Morland
Miss Jane Austen
We had several activities for our guests–some planned and some not! :)
-The “Did You Know?” Game-
Each guest wrote down on index cards at least one unique fact about themselves. My mom (the hostess) mixed the cards and read them one at a time to us all. Everyone would then guess who wrote down each fact.
Here are some examples from the party:
“Did you know…I did karate in a frozen waterfall?”
“Did you know…I weighed 2 lbs. 6 oz. when I was born?”
“Did you know…I can do push ups on my thumbs?”
“Did you know…I played Beethoven on the piano in Paris?”
“Did you know…I have never tasted soda?”
“Did you know…I drove an army truck into the corner of a roof?”
It was quite amusing and surprising, especially because most of our guests had never met before.
Lively dance music from the Pride & Prejudice soundtrack was playing for this game.
The men had their own round of Musical Chairs, since many had such well-bred manners and dare not steal chairs from the ladies.
-Regency Era Trivia-
We found some interesting facts to share about Jane Austen and the time she lived in.
Jane Austen lived to be 41 years old. She published Pride and Prejudice at age 37.
The Regency Era was from 1811 to 1820. England was at war with the United States from 1812 to 1817 (the War of 1812).
Parmesan cheese-flavored ice cream was a favorite!
“Pineapples were very exotic and so expensive that hostesses used them as centerpieces on their dinner tables to show their wealth. They were hardly ever eaten as they were too precious and were often passed from hostess to hostess to use as decoration until they rotted.” (source)
“It cost at least £15 – an average working man’s yearly wage – to light a ballroom with wax candles for one night. Candles were sold in four-hour or six-hour burn lengths, and they dictated the length of the ball.” (source)
-Pianoforte Performances & Singing-
We requested that whoever so desired would grace us by playing the pianoforte. What talent!
The day before the party, we ladies of the household (including a dear friend who was visiting) made the pastries. The leaf details on the jam tartlets brought a seasonal flair to the array (picture taken before the tartlets were baked).
For drinks, we served tea and apple cider (hot or cold). Most everyone requested apple cider.
My brother designed these bookmarks for the ladies and the gentlemen as party favors. Feel free to print and use! (Four bookmarks are printed on each page.)
It was truly an honor to host this party for so many lovely young ladies and gentlemen. Everyone enjoyed it, and one guest said it was the most fun they’d had in a long time. Knowing that it brought so much joy to their hearts was a gift to us.
Thank you to our photographer, Miss Read, for bestowing her talent in capturing this memorable evening.
And thank you to my family and friends who made it happen.
It was a blessed time, for sure!
Which is your favorite Jane Austen book? Have you ever attended a Jane Austen party?
This morning the 22-month-old little girl that I babysit came running up to my doorstep as cheerful as ever. As I swept her up in my arms and greeted her, I thought about how today is election day and how amazing it must be to be a toddler without a care in the world.
As we took a walk around he neighborhood, she swung her arms with her chin held high, exclaiming about the trees and the neighborhood dogs that she saw and singing a song.
I was reminded of Yeshua’s words about having faith like a child.
And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3)
Of course, as adults we have the responsibility to take action in our country, but as children of God we have to remember to trust in Him above all else.
We need childlike faith to trust that we are provided for, cherished, and protected by or heavenly Father.
Whatever the election holds, let’s not lose that childlike faith.
Let’s keep recognizing the beauty in the world, and trusting in our Father to supply all our needs.
Let’s learn from a toddler, and remember that…
“This is the day that Yahweh has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24)
Lately I’ve been pondering my past and my future. Perhaps it’s on my mind even more than usual since I’ll be turning twenty soon. It’s funny how it felt like I’d always be a teen. I’m a little sentimental as this stage slips away, but life isn’t going to feel any different, and I’m excited for whatever the future holds.
The other day an acquaintance shared some wisdom with me. “Time flies,” she said, as her sweet brown eyes smiled at me beneath her white hair, “Cherish each day. Take a moment in the morning just to soak it up and thank God.”
Time isn’t “flying” for me, but I know that one day it’ll feel that way.
I want to make a habit now of cherishing each day and living each year on purpose.
This month I’m joining Kings Blooming Rose in their Give Thanks x7 Challenge. It’s pretty easy. Simply write down seven things each day that you’re thankful for.
Often we don’t realize how deeply we are blessed until we pause and recognize His goodness in our lives.
I haven’t lived long, but still I’ve seen His hand lead me year by year–sheltering my heart from what I thought I wanted, and giving me more than I could have dreamed.
Bless Yahweh, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Yahweh, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. Yahweh works righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed. He made known his ways to Moses, his acts to the people of Israel. Yahweh is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever. He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to his children, so Yahweh shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust. As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; for the wind passes over it, and wit is gone, and its place knows it no more. But the steadfast love of Yahweh is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children, to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments. Yahweh has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all. Bless Yahweh, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, obeying the voice of his word! Bless Yahweh, all his hosts, his ministers, who do his will! Bless Yahweh, all his works, in all places of his dominion. Bless Yahweh, O my soul!
What are seven things that you are thankful for today?
Yesterday I did something that I had gotten out of the practice of doing. I opened up the Intercessors for Israel prayer e-mail and prayed along.
Every time that I pray along with these weekly prayer prompts, I feel so strengthened and connected to the Father. It keeps me up to date on current events in Israel, and also fills me with hope that the Father is hearing our prayers.
If I want to be so committed to this, why don’t I pray along more often?
Any excuse I come up with isn’t good enough.
I’ve always struggled with praying consistently for Israel for years. I’m not proud of that, but it’s the truth.
Distraction is often zapping our time, efforts, and prayer life.
But if we open up the Word of Life, and quiet our soul to hear His still small voice, we will know His heart. We will know His will. We will know how to pray.
Sometimes there are many prayer requests on our hearts. We have family, friends, communities, and worldwide issues to pray for. And we need to focus on these important things. But we also need to remember to always “pray for the peace of Jerusalem” (Psalm 122:6).
That small strip of land, about the size of New Jersey, is unlike anywhere else in the world. All the earth is His, but Israel is His special treasure.
For the YHVH has chosen Zion, he has desired it for his dwelling, saying, “This is my resting place for ever and ever; here I will sit enthroned, for I have desired it. I will bless her with abundant provisions; her poor I will satisfy with food. I will clothe her priests with salvation, and her faithful people will ever sing for joy. “Here I will make a horn grow for David and set up a lamp for my anointed one. I will clothe his enemies with shame, but his head will be adorned with a radiant crown.”
His heart is for Israel.
With so many people in the world standing against Israel today, we must stand up for this Promised Land.
The other day a dear friend of mine reminded me of this conversation from the movie Facing the Giants:
Since I haven’t watched the movie in years, I had forgotten this little story.
It caused me to ask myself some questions.
Do I pray with faith?
Do I take action, knowing that God will supply all my needs?
Faith is trust.
But it’s also the works that are done because of that trust. It’s stepping out on those waves because we see Him walking towards us with His hands outstretched, and that is enough to make us risk the impossible.
“So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, isdead.”
May His Words sink deep.
John 15: 5-17
I am the vine, you are the branches;
he who abides in Me and I in him,
he bears much fruit,
for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.
If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you,
ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this,
that you bear much fruit,
and so prove to be My disciples. Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love.
If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love;
just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you
and that your joy may be made full. This is My commandment,
that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you slaves,
for the slave does not know what his master is doing;
but I have called you friends,
for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me but I chose you,
and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit,
and that your fruit would remain,
so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name
He may give to you. This I command you, that you love one another.
I want to open my heart and let His Word speak truth.
O יהוה, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
You discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O יהוה, you know it altogether.
You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it.
Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me.
If I say “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,”
even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with you.
For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.
How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
I awake, and I am still with you.
May this be our life’s prayer.
Let’s make room for Him.
Make room for Him to interrupt our schedule. Make room for Him to change our dreams for the future. Make room for Him to be our sweetest love.
Let’s not just “go through life,” let’s grow through it, becoming more dependent upon Him, more trusting of His goodness.
It’s a life-long journey–learning to say “Thy will be done.”