Sunday, November 10, 2019

Eighth Year Blogiversary and A GIVEAWAY!!! Edited: Prayer Request Added 11/13/2019

"You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, to the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks to You forever."  Psalm 30:11,12

Edited:  11/13/2019 @11:50 PM
To all prayer warriors, will you please pray for my sister, Sharon, and also add her name to your prayer lists and groups?  She didn't get the best news from the cardiologist's office today, and she will be going back for further testing next Wednesday, 11/20.  She also has an aortic aneurysm that is a continual concern.  We would so appreciate your prayers for healing, and thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your faithfulness to share in our prayer requests.
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I can't believe it is now ten days into November!  I'm quite late in acknowledging it here, but we are well into my favorite season, and I couldn't be happier!
Not only are we in my favorite season, but the first day of last month marked the eighth year anniversary of this blog!  


I can't say it doesn't feel like eight years have passed.  It does.  When October 1st passes each year and I think about the birth of Homespun Devotions, my mind always goes back to the circumstances surrounding that time and how God led me to begin blogging.  I look at life then and compare it with life now, and I hardly see any resemblance.  It is near unrecognizable and hard to believe how much has changed.  I am definitely not who I was, and this song that Zach recently introduced me to is one of my new favorite songs.



The saddest difference between life now and life when I first started this blog involves one of my deepest sorrows.  You see, when I first started blogging, my dear, sweet Mom was alongside of me, constantly encouraging me, telling me, "Cheryl, you don't have to be seen to be heard."  Mom didn't understand computers or even what a blog was.  She just knew it was something I was trying to do for God, and she encouraged me every inch of the way.  I miss her and my dear, sweet Dad so much it hurts.  There are no words.

Tonight, I came across this post I wrote shortly after Mom left us.

Sadly, our family has lost others during the life of this blog, too.  AshleyUncle JohnJimmyVictoria, Kevin's Dad, Danny & Vicki (within a few hours of each other - neither knew the other had passed), LDAunt Vaida, and Aunt Cathy.

Life in these past eight years has been chock full of so many other changes, too, and so full of spiritual growth and development.  As I contemplate what caused that growth, it is easy to identify that it has been a steady, ever-increasing surrender to the perfect will of God.  A continual pursuit of endeavoring to align modern-day life to the way Jesus lived His life on earth.  An unprecedented hunger and longing for more of Him and less of me.  (Some of those lessons are documented on our other blog, Biblical Minimalism.)  As my heart steadily yearns for more intimacy with Jesus, His love continually compels me to release every, single thing that is hindering that intimacy.  Though the process has been strewn with self-denial and peppered with so many things that were hard to do, I have been set free from layer after layer of smothering bondage, and today, I walk freer and more happy than I have been in my whole life.

There is such great victory to be found in total surrender to the will of God.  The battle that precedes that victory is intense and hard-fought, but when we are able to reach that place of handing all things over to Him and trusting Him completely and unreservedly, the peace that comes from aligning our will with His is overwhelming and all-encompassing.  It is SO worth the fight.

You know, consecration is an intriguing enigma.  We think we are laying down so much and we are making such extreme sacrifices.  We look at the things God points out in our lives that are hindering our walk with Him, and we think He is asking so much when He tells us to give them up.  The truth is, through it all, we are gaining immeasurably more than we are forfeiting.  In reality, we are trading the bad and the good for the better and His best.  The more we love Jesus, the more the things of this world pale in comparison to Him, and the less we love them.  Loving Him more than we love this world totally transforms our desires and morphs them into His.  Total surrender to God is giving up our life and what we think it should look like and finding a much better life in following Jesus with our whole hearts.  It is taking our hands off and handing Him the reins, allowing Him full control of our every move.  It is saying from the heart, "Not my will, but Thine be done."

This song is my continual testimony and cry of my heart.


This is exactly what Jesus meant in Matthew 10:39 when He said, "He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it."  Oh, the abundant life we find, when we reach the end of our surrender and completely lose ourselves in Him!  Giving God full control absolves us from the responsibility of figuring out what we are to do next, where we are to live, how we will survive, who should remain and who should not remain in our lives, and when we are to walk forward and when we are to rest.  There is amazing, unbelievable freedom in allowing the precious Holy Spirit to live vicariously and completely unhindered in our hearts. 


Sweet Will of God - Amy Grant

"My stubborn will at last hath yielded;
I would be Thine, and Thine alone,
And this the prayer my lips are bringing,
“Lord, let in me Thy will be done.”

  Sweet will of God, still fold me closer,
Till I am wholly lost in Thee;
Sweet will of God, still fold me closer,
  Till I am wholly lost in Thee.

I’m tired of sin, footsore and weary,
The darksome path hath dreary grown,
But now a light has ris’n to cheer me;
I find in Thee my Star, my Sun.

Thy precious will, O conqu’ring Savior,
Doth now embrace and compass me;
All discords hushed, my peace a river,
My soul a prisoned bird set free.

Shut in with Thee, O Lord, forever,
My wayward feet no more to roam;
What pow’r from Thee my soul can sever?
The center of God’s will my home."

Words and Music by Lelia Naylor Morris

During this autumn season as we near Thanksgiving, I thank God for each one of the friends I have met through blogging!  All of you are dear to my heart.  I sometimes think how we would never have met had I not taken that leap of faith and hit the publish button.  God has a perfect plan, and it was His will that our paths intersect and we become a part of each other's lives.
May He bless each one of you in a special way!
As a way of saying "thank you" for being a part of this journey, Kevin, Zach, and I are offering a GIVEAWAY!  Can anyone say Bath and Body Works Christmas scents are BACK????
These are my two long time faves—SOOOOO.......


I thought perhaps they may be your favorites, too!!!

And, who wouldn't love to give this sweet little angel Christmas mug mat doily a home???



And, to sweeten the deal, we are throwing in a few wintry-type tea bags!!!


All you need is your favorite mug!!!


Picture this—you curled up in your favorite chair, placing your favorite steaming mug/cup on this cutesy mug mat/doily, breathing in the scents of vanilla bean or peppermint wafting past as your hands turn the pages of your favorite book!

To enter the giveaway, all you need to do is leave us a comment!
That's it!
On Sunday, 11/24/2019—just two weeks from today—at some point throughout the day, Zach will randomly choose a winner!
Anonymous commenters will not be eligible since we have no way of knowing who you are.
Offer is for US residents only, due to shipping costs.  😢

Many blessings to each one of you!

GOD BLESS OUR AMAZING VETERANS!
A BIG THANK YOU to ALL who currently serve and have served in the past!
We appreciate you, your families, and every sacrifice you have made and are making.
We take what you do very personally and thank you from the bottom of our hearts!!!!

64 comments:

  1. Yes, Cheryl, a life fully surrendered to Jesus is the only life worth having and living. He gives us the absolute best we could ever hope for!
    And aren't you so sweet to offer these wonderful gifts to us! These are sure to make someone very happy.
    Blessings to you and yours!

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    1. Amen, and amen, sweet friend. It IS the only life worth living. What would we do without Him in these troubled, perplexing times? Thank you for your sweet comment, and may the Lord richly bless you!

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  2. Dearest Cheryl, I have been so absent from blogland lately and was blessed to see this today! It’s amazing to see how the Lord orchestrates our lives in order to bring us to others. This post was a blessing, as your posts always are. Sending you warm hugs, lots of love and blessings.
    Noreen

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    1. Thank you for your visit and kind words, Noreen. Sending hugs, love, and blessings back to you today!

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  3. Good Morning Cheryl. This morning as I read and pondered the words you wrote in this post, I thought about my life eight years ago and the journey God has had me on in that time. I never would have guessed the twists and turns that life has had since then. Some things were wonderful, some sad and some puzzling, but through it all, the Lord was there holding my hand.
    Dennis and I were just talking about retirement yesterday and wondering what God has in store for us. We plan, we discuss, we anticipate, but Who knows what the outcome will be? Only God. We have once again decided together to put our trust in Him and try to live our lives in a pleasing way to our Lord.
    Thank you for this post today and congratulations on eight years of blogging. I'm so glad we met this way.
    Blessings always,
    Betsy

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    1. Wow, you are so right! The Lord has really had you on such a journey, too. I trust God will continue to heal you and give you relief and grant much wisdom and discernment to you and Dennis as you look ahead to retirement and all God has for you. It can be so hard to know what to do and when to do it. I think so often of how Joshua told the children of Israel to stay 2000 cubits behind the Ark of the Covenant, so they would know which way to go and when to move and when to stand still. It really takes a concentrated effort to not lag behind to 2001 cubits and to not rush ahead to 1999 cubits, but to stay in that perfect place of surrender to God and His will. Our pastor preached a message about the rustling in the mulberry trees that was so encouraging to me about this very same thing. God lets us know through gentle urges as to when we are to take those forward steps if we stay earnest before Him and pay close attention. I'm so glad we met, too and am sending love and blessings back to you, sweet friend.

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  4. My husband and I have sung Sweet Will of God several times in the last 50 years - it's a favorite. Your posts are always a blessing!

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words! That is so precious that you and your husband have sung that dear, old song so much. The words to that song! To sing them from the heart and allow ourselves to sink deep into the sweet will of God is going to cost us something, but oh, the rewards! Having a close walk with Jesus is worth it all. God bless you!

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  5. I have been blogging since about 2009 as well although I had a few different blogs before I created the blog I use now. I have been able to track quite a few milestones and also some wonderful day to day things that I may have forgotten about if I didn’t blog. Also, some great sorrows. The death of my step-daughter in 2016 changed me. But, I have learned to dance with sorrow. I understand now that I will have many dances in my lifetime and some of them will be with sorrow.

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    1. Yes, I know what you mean about forgetting certain life events and emotions without having documented them here on the blog. I think I may have followed you in the past, and then we moved and our email changed and I have lost track of so many. I am so happy to be reconnected if we were in the past, and freshly acquainted if we weren't! LOL! OH, I am SO sorry to hear about the death of your step-daughter! Bless your dear heart. Such deep sorrow you have walked through. God bless you and hold you close in every moment of missing her and grief.

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  6. No kidding, Cheryl ... I was just thinking last night that it was time for me to pick up my signature winter lotion - Vanilla Bean Noel!

    And then you appeared!

    ;-)

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    1. LOL! Oh, my goodness! That is really something!! I am so happy to meet a fellow Vanilla Bean Noel fan! Is there anything that smells better? Seriously, it is just the best, and I try to stock up every year. My sweet, thoughtful husband may or may not have bought several bottles for me while we were in the store buying for the giveaway the other day. :) Thank you for commenting and entering the giveaway!

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  7. I loved this, especially "trading the bad and the good for the better and His best." Happy 8th blogging anniversary, and Happy Thanksgiving!. Thanks for sharing your heart so beautifully with us.

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    1. Thank you SO much for your sweet visit and kind words, Cher! Happy Thanksgiving to you, too, and may the Lord richly bless you and yours!

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  8. Congratulations on eight years of blogging. I know what you mean by surrendering. I'm reminded of the hymn "I Surrender All" we sing in church sometimes. It's very hard for me to want to give certain areas of my life to God which is something I was praying about yesterday in my quiet time with God. I think it's a daily battle but God is so gracious and gently nudging me and showing me one area at a time to surrender to Him.
    Have a very blessed day!

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    1. I so understand what you mean, Regina. The parts I have the hardest time releasing to Him are my fears and anxieties over the future. The other day, I was praying, and He sweetly whispered, "Do you trust Me?" It was so profound. It hit me that my continual worrying and fretting over things truly proves that I do NOT have the right amount of trust in Him. It is almost like I am suspicious of Him and compare His loyalty and love for me to that of people I have known. It is so unfair of me to view Him that way because He is pure love personified and will never fail His children. I think releasing those types of things are my greatest challenges when it comes to surrender. I think of older saints I have known and how it seemed that nearing the end of a very long life on earth, they had finally gotten to that place, and then the Lord took them to Heaven. It gives me courage and hope that maybe one day I, too, will get it right! You have a very blessed day, too, my friend!

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  9. Happy blogging anniversary dear Cheryl. I am so blessed to have met you through blogging, God’s divine appointment! You encourage me every time you post from your surrendered heart! As life passes so quickly, we sometimes forget the blessings He has graciously bestowed! Thank you for the giveaway! Wishing you, your precious hubby, and son a most blessed Thanksgiving season!

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    1. Oh, I am so blessed to have met you through blogging, too! You are such a dear blessing to me. Yes, God's divine appointment, indeed! I am so grateful for your comments and encouragement.
      Happy Thanksgiving to you and your dear family, too, sweet friend!

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  10. I love your blogs! Thank you so much for sharing your godly wisdom with us!

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    1. Thank you for reading and for your kind words! If you would like to be included in the giveaway, please leave us your email address or some type of contact information, so we will know who to reach out to. If you don't want to disclose it publicly, you can email it to us privately. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. :)

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  11. Congrats on your achievement! Thank you for a nice Giveaway--very thoughtful!

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    1. Thank you so much, Barb! Many blessings to you!

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  12. Dearest Cheryl: This blog post was such an encouragement to me as I go through my health issues. I appreciate all you have shared in these past eight years and, most of all, I cherish our friendship. It's amazing how two people who live so far apart can meet and become such dear friends. You have supported me and loved me so well and I thank you for being there for me! I'm looking forward to your next eight years of blogging!

    Blessings - Julie

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    1. Oh, dear friend. I am praying much for you and trusting Jesus to walk alongside you through this awful ordeal. I cherish our friendship more than I could ever put into words. That love and support has gone both ways, and I will forever thank the Lord for bringing you into my life. I look forward to the next eight years blogging alongside you and sharing all God is doing in our lives. You are a Divine gift to my life, and I send much love and gratitude to you today! And many hugs. :)

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  13. Congratulations on your eight years of blogging! I have so enjoyed it. I'm so thankful for our friendship and it's amazing that two people who would probably never meet become dear friends. I am so thankful for your encouragement and prayers! Most of all I'm thankful for you!

    Blessings - Julie

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    1. And I, my friend, am so very thankful for you! God bless you and hold you extra close today! I am praying for you.

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  14. Congratulations on eight years of blogging! This is such a beautiful and thoughtful way to celebrate.

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    1. Thank you ever so much, Joanne! What a dear, kind comment and such a brightener to my day! May God bless you in a special way. :)

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  15. Happy Blog anniversary dear Cheryl! Oh Cheryl, the Lord has been speaking to me so much about surrender...in different areas of my life. And I know that a life surrendered to Him is the only life to truly have that peace that Only He can give and to truly REST in Him. Your post are always encouraging, thought provoking and so timely for me! What a great giveaway! So sweet of you to do that. I hope you have a great rest of the week. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

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    1. Thank you so much, sweet friend! Oh, it is precious when we realize that the path to peace is surrender! A hard, hard lesson, but so worth the difficulty. I am so grateful for your sweet comments and encouragement. You are a dear blessing to me! Many hugs and blessings back to you today!

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  16. Happy Blogiversary, Cheryl. I've never heard the song "Sweet Will of God" but it resognates with where I am now in my life and what I desire to be true for me.

    Many Blessings to you and yours.

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    1. I'm so glad you liked the song and it was a blessing to you! Thank you for your sweet comment! If you would like to be included in the giveaway, please leave us your email address or some type of contact information, so we will know who to reach out to. If you don't want to disclose it publicly, you can email it to us privately. God bless you in your walk with Him!

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  17. Thank you for your faithfulness and guideness throughout my minamalist journey.

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words! It was such an encouragement to read this today! If you would like to be included in the giveaway, please leave us your email address or some type of contact information, so we will know who to reach out to. If you don't want to disclose it publicly, you can email it to us privately, if you'd like! God bless you.

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  18. Hi Sweet Friend, You just bring tears to my eyes with how precious you are!

    I am so thankful to the Lord that you started blogging too! You are such a dear friend, and I am so blessed to have you in my life. Not to mention all the edification, encouragement, wisdom, insight, gentle example and love I receive when I read each and every one of your posts.

    I didn't know that your mom was there at the start. What a precious memory.

    And your testimony throughout all the losses these past eight years has been a shining light to the hope we have in Jesus.

    This Thanksgiving, I am so thankful for you my dear friend.

    Sending you much love and gratitude!

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    1. Dear friend! Your words mean more to me than I could ever, ever say. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I am so blessed and humbled and eternally grateful for your friendship, encouragement, and prayers. May the Lord richly bless you and reward you for your faithfulness to Him and to me and so many others. Sending much love and gratitude and many blessings back to you!

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  19. Bless your heart and thanks for linking at let’s have coffee!

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    1. Aw, bless you, too, Sue, and thank you so much for your beautiful link-up!

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  20. Happy Bloggiversary, dear Cheryl! Wow, eight years...and I know how much our lives can change in even just one! You are such an inspiration to so many as you share your beautiful heart for the Lord in your posts. It has been such a blessing realizing that we have family members who shared past relationships and just being so amazed at how small the world really is! Now that we are practically neighbors, I am keeping that hope that we will one day be able to meet face to face. Hugs and blessings to you, dear friend!

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    1. Oh, sweet friend! You are so right - one moment can change everything, and you and I both know that feeling so well. Your words meant so, so much to me tonight, and I am SO very grateful for you and your precious friendship. I, too, am so amazed at all we have discovered about each other and how closely our lives are intertwined even though we didn't even realize it! And, now to think there is hope to finally meet face to face is just an amazing blessing! I will keep holding out hope, too, and I believe the dear Lord may just let it be one of these days! Sending much love and many hugs and blessings back to you tonight!

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  21. Life does change so fast, yet it can feel like we're watching it all in slow motion as we live it out. How is it I feel like I'm on a speeding train, yet moving in slow motion at the same time?
    It is amazing to take time to see God's hand in the time that passes. Happy 8th!

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    1. Yes, is it is quite amazing to look back and trace God's hand in our lives and see an explanation to some of the "whys" of yesterday. Thank you for your comment and kind words, Rebecca! God bless you!

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  22. I tried earlier to leave a comment, but it didn't go through, so I will try today hoping that it works this time! Congratulations on your Blog Anniversary!! You have brought encouragement to so many through the years, Cheryl. He is so good to keep bringing us closer to Himself through every step that He takes us. Blessings and love to you!

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    1. I am SO sorry about the comment issue. So many have told me they cannot leave comments on my blog, and I do not know why or how to fix it. Thank you so much for persevering until it went through! It means so much to me. Many blessings and much love to you, sweet friend. I am continuing to pray for you!

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  23. Congratulations on your 8th year of Blogging! Your testimony has touched a lot of people. I've never heard "Sweet Will of God" Beautiful song!

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    1. Thank you so much, Angie! Yes, that is a beautiful song - so full of meaning. Sinking deep into His will is the only path to complete peace. I so appreciate your visit and kind words! If you would like to be included in the giveaway, please leave us your email address or some type of contact information, so we will know who to reach out to. If you don't want to disclose it publicly, you can email it to us privately. I just noticed that your comment has no link to indicate who you are or how to get in touch with you and don't want you to miss out on the giveaway entry!

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  24. Thank you for your words of truth that, like an arrow, always hit their mark! Asking the Lord to be with Sharon and you and yours as the weeks and months roll by...Great is HIS faithfulness! Blessings to you! Ps thank you for the giveaway 😊

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    1. Oh, Becky, thank you SO much for your sweet, encouraging words! Thank you also for your prayers for my dear sister. You have blessed me so much! God bless you richly, in return!

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  25. Hi Cheryl!

    Congratulations on your anniversary! I continue to keep you and your family in my prayers.
    ...it is Su Ann. I hope you still have my email address. Praying for your sister, too. :-)

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    1. Thanks, Su Ann! It was so nice to hear from you today! I so appreciate your prayers, and I am praying for you, too! I just checked to make sure, and I have your email address, so you will be entered in the giveaway! Thank you for praying for my sister. I appreciate it so very much! Many blessings to you!

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  26. Oh man, I'm praying for your dear sister.

    A lot of changes while you've been obediently pursuing your ministry.

    Congratulations and keep up the good work and race, sister.

    Blessings to you and yours. God is smiling on you this season.

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    1. Thank you so much, brother. It was so wonderful to see a comment from you. Thank you so much for your kind words of encouragement and prayers for my sister. Many blessings to you and yours this season, too!

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  27. Hi Cheryl, it's been awhile since I stopped by. Congrats to you on your blogging anniversary. May God continue to strengthen you on your journey.

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    1. Thank you so much, Wanda! So happy to see that you stopped by! May God bless you, too, my friend!

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  28. Cheryl. Congratulations on your 8th year blogging. God has you on n exciting path. You are a refreshing voice to me. Much love to you.

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    1. Thank you so much, Marci! Your sweet comment encouraged my heart and brightened my day! Much love to you, too, sweet friend.

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  29. Dearest Sister. Wanted to post, and say how much I miss you. our tears we cried together , Etc. . coffee times. Need you prayers so desparately need your prayers, this time of year,as it will be two years the day after Christmas, since God Took My dear Husband, the love of my life.Mark &I miss him more than anyone will ever know. We all need each others prayers. Pray for us, that God will show us his will For our lives. May God continue to bless your ministry, May He grant you peace , Good hralth and happiness to You, Kevin and Zachary.Love you dearly, Deb

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    1. Oh, dear sister! I miss you and Mark SO much! I am surely praying for you both as you face this two-year anniversary of dear LD's death. I still can't believe he is gone. I will never forget him and how much he helped me through the years. I take out the concordance he gave me sometimes, and I recall all of the spiritual help and counsel he gave and how he encouraged me so many times when I was so close to giving up. As much as I miss him, I can only imagine how much you and Mark miss him. The sorrow is near-overwhelming, and the only consolation is that he is resting in Jesus' arms, and he is not suffering anymore, and one day we will all be together again in Heaven, Lord willing, and Mom and Dad will be there with us, too. All those happy, family times with LD didn't include Dad, but now they are together in Heaven. Your sweet, precious comment brought me to tears and blessed me so much. I hope the Lord makes a way for us to be together and enjoy more of those dear coffee times. Love you more than I could ever say.

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  30. Oh sweet friend! Truly a blessing and a joy to visit with you tonight! I can't tell you how much I've missed you, and it was so good to see the goodness of the Lord in your life... and yet the sad, I know how much you miss your precious mother, and I didn't realize she was alive when you first started blogging. Such a precious soul she was, and I have been blessed so many times by your stories of your parents and their prayers and what they meant to you. Such a lovely giveaway you are holding, such a sweet generous thing of you to do! Congratulations on eight years of blogging, that is amazing! I enjoyed all your encouraging words, and the music videos. I have never heard the Sweet Will of God by Amy Grant, truly beautiful!!! Will be in prayer for your sister Sharon, and for the family members in your family who are grieving during this holiday season for the loved ones who have gone on to glory. I just read Debby Ray's comment, and I'm thrilled to know the two of you may one day meet, how exciting is that! How I'd love to meet and pray with you in person too :) Much love, prayers and hugs sent to you sweet friend!!!!

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    1. Oh, I have missed you so terribly, too! Thank you for your precious words of encouragement, your unfailing friendship, and your intercessory prayers! I am so thrilled about the possibility of meeting dear Debby, too, and oh, how I would love to orchestrate our meeting, also!! It is wonderful to pray over the phone together, but how amazing it would be to pray together in person! God is so wonderful to have orchestrated so many connections - pastor calls them Kingdom Connections - through our blogging journeys, and I will never be able to thank Him enough. Much, much love and hugs and prayers being sent back to you today, my dear friend!

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  31. Congratulations on your 8 year anniversary. I've recently discovered your blog and have been so very blessed by you and your inspirational words and thought. Prayers and Gods richest blessings to you and your family. :)

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    1. Oh, thank you so much, Angela! Your kind words touched my heart and encouraged me so much today! May God's richest blessings be upon you and your family, also! So happy to meet you. :)

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  32. Those two scents are so heavenly! Happy Thanksgiving!
    Anne

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    1. Aren't they though? They both smell good enough to eat! LOL! I am always so excited when they bring them out each year. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, too, Anne! Thanks for entering the giveaway!

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