Wednesday, January 10, 2018

The Decreasing of Self

 "No grace shines more brightly in a Christian than humility. Wherever self comes in, it mars the beauty of the work we are doing. Seek to do your work quietly. Do not try to draw attention to yourself, to make people know that you did this beautiful thing. Be content to pour your rich life into other wasted, weary lives, and see them blessed and made more beautiful, and then withdraw and let Christ have the honor. Work for God's approval, and even then do not think much about reward. Seek to be a blessing, and never think of self-advancement. Do not worry about credit for your work or about monuments to yourself; be content to do good in Christ's name."

~ J.R. Miller, Discovering the Hidden Essence of...Beautiful Living (emphasis mine)


Oh my...has it been a long and busy time since my last post. So much has happened along with the normal functions of a family and household! On New Year's Eve we attended a gathering at my Aunt and Uncle's house. This was a time with my dad's side of the family (my mom was sick unfortunately and couldn't make it....neither could my sister and her family). A few days later they had a house fire!! My aunt and uncle were both at home. Thankfully, they and their two cats were able to escape the house in time. You can see a little picture/video HERE.

My uncle built that house a long time ago....it has many levels. The bedrooms and bathroom were in the basement. The next level had a game room, walk in closet and sitting room. The next level was the living room and then at the top was the kitchen. Apparently their fire started from an outdoor wood burner near the house. I am not 100% sure on the details but it was so sad to get the call. I had been out and about running errands and getting groceries. I could hardly believe it! We had just been there a few days ago and now....it's burned.

Many fire departments responded to the fire. It was bitterly cold and they had a tough time getting the fire out due to the ceiling having a metal roof and being well insulated. It took hours!!! Many supermarkets and such in the area were so kind to donate coffee, hot dogs, and warm chicken for the firefighters! I didn't go out (as I didn't want to be in the way) but my mom and other aunts did to help them save things from the garage (and just be there for love and moral support).

It's just a house....but oh how sad it is to know that pictures and family mementos were burned or water damaged. It's heartbreaking. They have been working at salvaging some stuff though so that is a blessing. I know they have been talking with their insurance company and are already planning to build again. We praise God that they are safe and well. That is truly the most important thing to us all!


The other day a beloved friend (and sister in Christ) of ours (who is only in her late forties I think) had a stroke! It was such a surprise! Her children and husband were able to get her to the hospital. At first everyone thought it was her heart...but turns out it was actually a stroke. So, so scary!! But God is faithful and she is doing well! She's still at a hospital in Pittsburgh but I think she'll be back home soon to recover (which they expect fully)! It is quite a shock, though, to know a young, healthy woman can have something happen so suddenly like that! We praise God that He always knows though. There is such comfort in knowing that *nothing* takes Him by surprise!


Along with the busyness of life (and the goodness or suffering it brings) I have been praying to the Lord to make much of Himself in me and LESS of me. I feel like I must pray for this often as the Self Monster tends to want to take over a lot. I am in His Word daily and my mom was so right....last night we were talking and she said how she doesn't understand how anyone can truly live a faithful, obedient life to the Lord if they are not reading His Word! You can't just listen to your pastor or others....you have to be in His Word for yourself! What a gift He has given us in the Bible!

If you happen to be someone who reads "Jesus Calling"....I ask you (in love) to please stop and realize it is a *dangerous* read. If you want to know what Jesus says to you...read HIS book. To read some reasons why "Jesus Calling" has some serious problems you can go HERE or HERE.

If you would like some biblically correct and lovely books (sort of a short daily read in each...not chapter books) to go along with your Bible reading I recommend the following...





The quote at the top of this post is from the book by J.R. Miller. He is also the author of one of my favorite books called "Homemaking" (also known as "The Family"). I posted the links for the books above if you are interested in them. They are not affiliate links or anything. Just wanted to make it easier for you if you would like to get them. They are inexpensive and totally worth it! The devotions by Susannah Spurgeon (who was the wife of pastor Charles Spurgeon) also has a biography of her life in it! :) 

Neither of these authors speaks "for" Christ. They don't claim that they are writing the words of Christ (which is only done in the Bible)....Susannah Spurgeon writes lovely prayers to the Lord in her book. Miller writes little one-page snippets of wisdom....pointing us to Christ! 

In other news...

Madelyn loves to bake (I used to love to bake as well....but the temptation to eat what I bake is too great....so now I keep my baking to a minimum!) and she made cinnamon rolls for our guys! :) And no, I didn't eat even one! I am excited to be able to share that since the new year began I am down four pounds! I have been careful with my food intake and exercising daily (I have exercised almost daily anyway for the past 5.5 years but now I am making sure to really get the exercise in every day...except Sunday. That's my rest day!). 


I don't really eat out much....and definitely not fast food....*however* last evening I got a chance to eat for the *first* time ever at Chick-Fil-A! Everyone raves about it and I had never been near one to ever give it a try! Well...last night my mom, Madelyn, Jaxson and I were near one and stopped for supper! A part of me wanted to get the yummy looking waffle fries (it's like a battle in my mind!)....but I opted instead for grilled chicken bites and a grilled chicken wrap. They were both in my calorie range and were delicious!!! I was full after eating and truly enjoyed my first (and maybe only..haha) chance at eating at Chick-Fil-A! I also got to go to my first ever Home Goods. It was neat and I enjoyed looking around! I didn't get much but I was happy to have gotten to actually go to one (as I have heard others who have found some fun things there!).

Today I have kept busy with housework, filling orders for my etsy shop, getting groceries and soon I'll be heading in to the YMCA to exercise. When I get home it will be time for supper and the children and I will go over some of their schoolwork!

I am so thankful the temperatures are in the 20's and 30's now...oh my, the bitter below-zero temps we had for the past weeks were just terrible! Even though it is still technically *cold* and there's lots of snow on the ground....it feels *warm* compared to the other weeks! How is your weather?

Thanks so much for stopping by! I'm sorry for the long, rambling post! I hope your new year is going well. I pray the Lord is glorified in all you do and that you are enjoying your days....no matter your circumstances! I hope you will visit again soon!

Cheerfully,
Katy

8 comments:

  1. Thank you for the book suggestion. I was loaned the Nexus Calling a long time ago and quickly put it down and gave it back. It did not feel right. I enjoy J.R. Miller.

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    1. I'm glad you discerned that too!

      I'm also glad you enjoy JR Miller as well!!! :)

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  2. Hi Katy! I live in Montana and we have had very cold weather lately too. Yesterday, however, it was in the upper 30s and even low 40s and it felt like Spring! It was beautiful. Congrats on your weight loss and thanks to your recommendation, I put Homemaking in my Amazon. Have a great week and thanks for always posting... how do I say this? Your posts are always from the heart and point to Christ. It is like a comforting feeling reading your blog. I appreciate it. Thanks!

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    1. Shasta,

      Thanks so much for your kind comments! They are so encouraging to me!!! I truly appreciate them! I am so glad you will read Homemaking! I really think you will like it!!
      You'll have to let me know!

      :o)

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  3. Thank you for sharing about the books. I am so sorry to hear about your aunt and uncles house fire. I am glad they are ok. Way to go on the weight loss. We were bitter cold here as well but have warmed up this week. God bless.

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    1. Thank you Donna! Have a lovely weekend!

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  4. Glad you family and their pets are safe, objects can be replaced, loved ones can't. Could I ask a small favor? Could you pray for me and my family? We recently lost our beloved pet of many, many years, it is very hard - we miss him so much.
    Blessings,
    Shelby

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    1. I'm so sorry for your loss Shelby! I know losing a pet can be so difficult! I will certainly keep your family in prayer!

      Warmly,
      Katy

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I am always so grateful to read your comments! I thank you for the time you took to visit and share your thoughts with me. :o)
May you enter as a stranger and leave as a friend!
Warmly, Katy