Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year and Blessings from Me to You!!!

I wanted to just wish you all , my blogging friends a most Happy and Blessed New Year!

As we look back at 2013, we all probably have different highlights and low times and lots of hopes and dreams for the year ahead! 2013 has for the USA in my opinion been one of the worst for moral degeneration, financial irresponsibility,  and anything BUT peace!    

2013 started off with a jolt at our own home, when on Jan 3 my husband was rushed to the hospital with both lungs full of blood clots.  Five days in ICU, then a regular room,  and we eventually came home!  It wasn't how we were expecting to start off the new year... but it's what we were to face last January.

We have so much to be thankful for!!!  This was a major event and even our own Dr. when he took over the case remarked how lucky he was to pull through this!  We just smiled, because we knew it wasn't luck at all.  It was God's grace and mercy, and answered prayer!  HE chose to pull him through and to give us more time together, for which we are eternally grateful! 

Nov. 2013 Alan's  "self shot" at Gatlinburg, TN


The year has been full with blessings of family, friends, spiritual growth, and deepening love for each other and for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  It's also set our hearts and minds more on the things that really matter in this life!  If nothing else... we learned that this life is indeed short!  We need to be about the Father's business... being salt and light to this dark world!   Our prayer is that our lives will matter!  That we will touch other people's lives with  love and the lasting message of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. 

 His message is so simple. Jesus said  "I am the way, the truth and the life.  No man comes to the Father but by me" (Jn 14:6).  He was the only one who could pay the price for our sin, so The Creator of all things left His throne in glory, came to earth as a little baby, born in the most lowly of circumstances, lived a human life, yet without sin!  Only that perfect life could take the weight of sin upon Himself.  He died in the most humiliating and painful way possible, hated and rejected, beaten and spat upon.  He could have come down off that cross and just said... sorry Father... I just can't do this!  But He didn't!  He said "not my will but yours be done".  He went to the grave to settle a big problem that all humanity has!  It's a SIN problem!  The Bible says "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God"(Rom 3:23).  It also says "The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord"(Rom 6:23).  So only this perfect sacrifice could pay the price for our sin!  However, He did not stay in that grave!  He rose three days later, victorious over death, and He will come again for those who know Him!  We do not need to fear death!  Physical death for the Christian is just the beginning of eternal life with our Savior!!!  Paul said "To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord"!(2 Cor 5:8)  All we need to do to have this gift of eternal life that Jesus bought for us is to place our faith and trust in HIM... we could never do enough good works to pay our way in to heaven!  It's only Jesus who could do that,with His perfect shed blood on Calvary,  and He did!  However, not everyone will receive that gift!  Some will refuse to believe and receive Him as their own Savior!  My heart aches for them!  Our future is secure, our present is joyous and full of meaning... why wouldn't anyone want that for themselves?

Right now, our family is once again facing the loss of a loved one, and yet we are comforted with the knowledge that this is not the end... it's the beginning!  The beginning of an eternity in heaven where there will be no more sickness, no more pain, no more evil!  Even as I write this, my dear Mother in Law is in the final stages of leaving this world, where Alzheimers has ravaged her mind and now it is even shutting down her body. We look at her life with grateful hearts for the life she lived and the many good gifts she is leaving behind.... gifts of love, high standards, and  a Godly example of a wife and mother who took her jobs seriously and did her absolute best to do it as unto the Lord.  We also are so thankful that we know that having accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as her Savior, she is ready to go to meet Him face to face, and we will see her again one day! 

So, it's with sadness that we say goodbye here on this earth... but it's with gladness that we celebrate her life, and know that this is not "goodbye".... it's "see you soon!"  

If you have read through my ramblings this far... thank you!  I felt the need to write this for whatever reason!  I don't know what 2014 holds for any of us... but I do know WHO holds MY future, and I hope YOU know Him too!!!

I thought I would share my prayer for you via this link to a beautiful song of blessings... one of the best gifts we can give to one another!  Happy and Blessed New Year!!!


Happy New Year!  I hope you'll be back tomorrow morning to see the Jan. release from Our Daily Bread designs!

16 comments:

Maxine D said...

Oh Grace - what a year!! I too have had some trials this past year, and without the Lord I am not sure I would have made it. He is so great and full of love and mercy to all of us.
May you and yours know God's blessings of Peace and Joy in the year ahead.
Maxine

Christine Harrop said...

With the Lord's help you have survived a very trying year, and He will help with what is to come! I too, have faced trials this year in the loss of three dear friends and my husband's poor health. I find myself singing "Many things about tomorrow I don't seem to understand, but I know who holds tomorrow and I know He holds my hand." You and your family will be in my prayers.

I look into your blog continually but only comment occasionally. Christine

SarahGeorge said...

Dearest Grace,
My heart is filled with gratitude as I read this post. You've reminded me once again of how much thankful we should be to our Father who holds everything in His hands. May our Lord give you more grace and mercy! Thank you for the wonderful blessing you've shared for us.I pray that it rests upon each one who reads this post. Thank you for that sweet picture :) And wish you too a very very blessed New Year!
Hugs
Sarah

Conniecrafter said...

So sorry that your year started off and is now ending on sad notes but thankful God chose to let you two spend more time together and thankful your mother in law will soon be at peace in God's arms. May the new year only bring happiness!

Irene said...

Thanks for the testimonial! What a powerful reminder of all that we have to be thankful for...and that our journeys regardless of how difficult they seem, will never be as challenging as what our Savior endured for us. A blessed 2014 to you and all of your loved ones!

Becky said...

Grace, this really touched my heart....so glad the Lord chose to give you & your husband more time to spend together to continue working for Him and making memories. You are an inspiration to all of us. Will be praying for peace for your mother-in-law and for the family as well. Have a blessed New Year!

Cheryl (aka CherylQuilts) said...

Happy New Year, Grace and Alan! What a blessing to read your year-end post! God is good indeed, and what comfort to know that He and He alone is in total control of everything…the world and all the big and little details of our lives. I praise God that He has allowed you both more time together here with us! You continue to be such a blessing in your words of encouragement, comfort, and truth from God's Word. And I always love your beautiful work and look forward to seeing what you've created to delight us all! Much love, my sweet and precious friend!

Sherrie Clark said...

Thank you for sharing Grace and it's clear that it is the Lord who has sustained you through the many difficult time. Praise the Lord, He will NEVER leave us or forsake us. Blessings to you and your family in the coming new year.

gltinnola said...

God grant your mother-in-law a peaceful hour in death and a resting place in His kingdom! May He continue to bless you and your family because we know that it is during times like these that we should glorify His holy name as He is always with us!

JD/ Jill said...

Beautiful testimony of your faith...and an inspiration to all who read your blog...
I'm been so touched by your beautiful work...
and now with your words...
thank you for sharing...and also for posting the beautiful song. You and your family will be in my prayers...
May you have blessed New Year!

JoAnn said...

Dear Grace, Thank you so much for sharing this. It has touched my heart. I also, as many, have had my share of trials and sadness this year, but with the Grace of God have made it through to another year. Wishing everyone a Happy and Blessed New Year.

Only By His Grace said...

Dear Grace!
thank you for your wonderful testimony.I read it to my hubby with tears in my eyes. it could have been our words.God has been so gracious to us. we both had our struggles with cancer but have seen the Lord answer our prayers many times.I pray for a wonderful healthy year for you and your hubby. We are believing for the same. God is so faithful. What a blessing to know that your Mother-in-law will be with the Lord.
I enjoyed the singing of the prayer. It sounded like angels singing.
God bless
Maz where today is New Years Day.

Caitiumom said...

Dear Grace, thank you for sharing the words of your testimony. Thank you for sharing the gospel. I will pray for your family during this time.

Kathy Jones said...

Oh Grace, my thoughts and prayers are with you as you say goodbye to your MIL. 2013 has been a very rough year for us also, so I welcome 2014 and pray that it will be a better year for us all! Big Hugs to you!

Sillyfilly said...

God's grace and love is amazing in our lives. Praying for peace for your MIL. I watched my Mother go through that nasty disease so I have some understanding of what you are facing. I agree that this has been a terrible year for our country. The hope we have in Christ will carry us through.
I always enjoy your posts and your talent. You are blessed to be a blessing.
Have a healthy and prosperous New Year.

Tammy J said...

Your work is beautiful. But what I enjoyed most is reading what God has done for you this year and seeing ppl talk of blessing from God. Warms my heart. TFS