Google+ peggy aplSEEDS: 2013

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Blessings!

"Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son and they shall name him Emmanuel which means "God is with us."  Matthew 1:23

May you experience "God with you"...

...may your life be filled with all things bright and beautiful...

and may the blessings of this Christmas season be yours throughout the coming New Year...

even in the midst of life's messiness and challenges!

Greeting to all my blog visitors and friends from WOYWW, Word Art Wednesday and Inspire Me Monday!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

WOYWW: Finding Meaning in the Mess

What's on Your Work Desk Wednesday finds my desk in a state of disarray (so what else is new!) with some gifts waiting for their gift cards...

And in the midst of trying to get at least some of my Christmas list done, I remind myself that in this challenging time, when we are caring for my Mom, Christmas is not really about having my gifts ready on time for December 25 (the Christmas season lasts until Epiphany in January).  It really is all about Jesus who came to save us.

As the Advent reflection from Online Ministries states, "The powerful advantage of Advent is that it offers us light in the midst of darkness, hope in the midst of despair, liberty in the midst of captivity, and peace in the midst of war or conflict. The key to a grace-filled Advent is to begin by identifying where I am experiencing darkness, despair, captivity and war. Recognizing our own unique version of these struggles is the first grace of Advent. We can’t say “Come, Lord Jesus” with any real meaning unless we have a felt experience of what it is we need. Once we experience our need, then the desire can formulate in our heart to ask for what we need."

This Advent and Christmas season is specially meaningful for me because in the midst of my Mom's suffering, I can truly say we need a savior and I am so thankful for Him.  Come, Lord Jesus!

I'm also sharing my prayer journal illustration with Word Art Wednesday.  In spite of the busyness of the season, may we all have a meaningful Advent and Christmas!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

WOYWW: Christmas, Finally

Everyone seems to have decorated their homes and finished their Christmas cards and I have only today decided to start wrapping some token gifts.  No creativity here since I did not make these ecobags, just my way of encouraging my friends to use less plastic when shopping.  But they do come in nice colors and patterns, don't you think?

And speaking of colors and patterns, here's a scarf I couldn't resist buying because of it's colors and pattern!

Last Sunday, we went to a wedding and they had a photo booth where you can have souvenir photos taken.  It's popular for weddings and other big parties here in the Philippines.  I wonder, is this popular in your country?

And lastly, a page from my prayer journal about God's great love for his children.  After all, I think that is what Christmas is really all about...

Sharing this in What's on your Workdesk Wednesday and Word Art Wednesday.  Be blessed!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

WOYWW: Advent

The year has flown by so, so quickly and now, it is Advent once again, a season we celebrate as a time of waiting and preparation for Christmas.  Last Sunday was the First Sunday of Advent and we had a big "Catchfire" prayer rally.  I designed the theme for the event and on my desk for What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday is a ticket and t-shirt that I designed for the event.  

Every Christmas, I plan to buy an Advent wreath but when Advent "suddenly" arrives and I haven't bought one yet, I turn to my makeshift one made out of a wooden/wire fruit bowl, a wreath and some candles. Turn the bowl over and voila...

my Advent wreath!

All year round my Advent project is displayed on our wall but every Advent, it has special meaning for me.  It is made up of twenty five ATCs which have Advent symbols to make an Advent Calendar.

For me, Christmas is all about God's love and this verse from Romans 8:38 is one of my favorites.

Sharing this in Word Art Wednesday and Inspire Me Monday.  Be blessed, dear blog friends!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

WOYWW: My Prayer Desk

It's that time of the week again and for What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday, I'm showing you the desk that I use for my early morning quiet time.  First thing in the morning, I sit at this desk to pray and read the bible and make a journal page.  I have started on today's page...

My regular desk is filled with stuff from my closet.  I spent the weekend looking through my closet for clothes to donate to Typhoon Haiyan survivors and didn't finish putting stuff away. Every little bit of help is much appreciated.

My cook, who went to her hometown which was totally destroyed by that typhoon is back with us, with stories of the devastation and great need there.  And so, we who live in comfort, always have to try to do more.  

And as always, I like to leave you with an illustration from my journal for Word Art Wednesday. This verse from Psalm 62 is a reminder to trust in God at all times. "I shall not be disturbed", it says.  Hmm, I'm still working on that.

Thank you for visiting!  Be blessed!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

WOYWW: A Mystery

A great big thank you to all of you who visited and accompanied us through this challenging time in our lives.  Your support, prayers and words of encouragement are much appreciated.  I'm sorry that I did not find time to visit back.  On my desk for What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday is today's journal page in progress...

Making a journal page, I start out with a blank page, make a rough sketch and then go on to complete it.  Looking at the blank page, it is a mystery to me what my final work will look like.

So it is with life.  We never know what will happen in our lives.  It is a mystery.

Sometimes, suffering comes to visit.  It has come to visit the thousands in Eastern Philippines who lost their homes and loved ones because of Typhoon Haiyan.  We can only try our best to help them through this time.  Here is what a corner in our living room looks like, with clothes waiting to be dropped off for donation.  

Suffering is another mystery.  I believe in God's great, great love for mankind and yet He allows so much suffering in our lives.  Suffering has come to visit my Mom, too.  She was in the hospital for a week, but praise God, although still in need of much prayer, she is back home.

But as I reflected on these past days, I realized that I can always find some good in the situation. The great need of our countrymen has encouraged so many to be more generous so that we are no longer like the rich man in Jesus' parable (Luke 16:19-31) who just looked on as Lazarus starved.  As a priest once asked us, "Who is your Lazarus?"

This time with my Mom has given us an opportunity to care for her and show her our love.  It has given me a greater understanding of the value of life, a reminder of how precious our time with our loved ones is.  And always, I turn to God's word for the truth that I proclaim...

and I share this also in Word Art Wednesday with hopes that it will encourage you, whatever your suffering is at this time.

If you would like to donate even just a little bit to help the victims of Typhoon Haiyan, here are some ways you can.  Be blessed, my dear blog friends.  Thank you again for your encouragement.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

WOYWW: A State of Calamity

My desk is still in a mess today for What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday but it is nothing compared to the state of calamity that Typhoon Haiyan, said to be the strongest storm ever to hit land, left the eastern part of the Philippines in.  In the words of a CNN report, "The stories coming out of the Philippines are unimaginable. Rushing water and wind tearing children away from their parents' arms. A death toll that may reach 10,000. A city of 200,000 in which no buildings appear to have survived intact."
From the time the typhoon struck early Friday morning until yesterday, our cook could not get in touch with her family in Leyte.  She saw news of the devastation in her hometown, with all the homes gone, but she had no idea if her family survived.  Yesterday, she finally got the good news that although her family no longer had a home, they were NOT among the thousands who died in the storm.  Thank you, Lord!

Last month, there was a strong earthquake in a another part of the country and we had not even recovered from that calamity when this destructive typhoon hit. The need is just so great and no matter how much we, who are safe and dry, try to help, it just isn't enough. And that is why, even if I don't want to give you bad news, I decided to share with you. If you would like to help, CNN has a report on how to help survivors.  Any amount will help because even just $5 will feed a family for three to four days.

We have also had a rough weekend with my Mom's health and we continue to fervently pray for her. Through all this, I remember the words of Viktor Frankl, a survivor of the Nazi prison camps, “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

And so I choose to say, together with the Psalmist, the words of Psalm 46...

I'm also sharing this illustration in Word Art Wednesday.  Thank you for dropping by!  I'm sorry but it has been extra difficult to find time to go visiting.  I hope your days have been more tranquil than mine.  Be blessed, my dear blog friends!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

WOYWW: Travel Mess

Happy What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday!  I thought I would post my picture for Word Art Wednesday first because my desk is in a very messy state!  Not even my usual push back method would work to clear up the mess in it.  We just got back from a weekend trip to the beach and I haven't put away my travel mess...


But, a nice weekend at the beach, with family and friends, is so worth a messy desk, don't you agree?

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

WOYWW: Beads and a Tabby!

Nothing much except some beads that I was organizing! And so I will share with you some pictures of our furry baby named Truffles...

 and an illustration from my prayer journal for Word Art Wednesday...

Be blessed, my dear blog friends!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

WOYWW: Pearls

A clear desk for What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday, with pearls I am considering for a necklace, 

and other bits and pieces... like a favorite bag from Vietnam...

and for Word Art Wednesday, my prayer journal illustration...

and speaking of pearls,  I am reminded of the Parable of the Pearl of Great Price...

O that Pearl of great price!  have you found it? 
Is the Savior supreme in your love? 
O consider it well, ere you answer,
As you hope for a welcome above.
Have you given up all for this Treasure? 
Have you counted past gains as but loss? 
Has your trust in yourself and your merits 
Come to naught before Christ and His cross?
- Swedish hymn Den Kos­tli­ga Pärlan
(O That Pearl of Great Price!)

Happy WOYWW and WAW!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

WOYWW: Desk Space!

Hold on to your seats if you aren't used to seeing space in my desk for What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday!  I did a tidy up to make space for a new Canon Slephy Compact Photo Printer my hubby gave me!  And in the process, found some treasures that were hidden away...

some flea market/antique shop finds from Budapest (the two ornaments on top) in a book box that I made by cutting off a niche in the middle of a book that I only liked for the pretty cover...

a hand carved mother-of-pearl cross from Bethlehem that a shopkeeper gave to my husband to give to me as a surprise as a thank you for inviting some of my tourmates to visit his shop the day after we bought from him!

And for Word Art Wednesday, illustration form my prayer journal, still the only art I've been able to get done...

Happy WOYWW and Word Art Wednesday!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

WOYWW: Beads, a Book and a Blessing

It's time for the weekly show and tell called What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday and on my desk is a bag that I used last weekend and haven't put away.  The bag is upcycled from a pair of old denim pants (no, I didn't make it), painted and beaded with a design...

There is also a book I am starting to read...

and a page from my prayer journal for Word Art Wednesday...

Yes, I want to live "in a manner worthy of the Lord."  Almost every Friday, my husband and I visit the city jail and he gives a teaching to the inmates about the following Sunday's gospel.  Afterwards, I also share a little with them.  Last Friday, we were going to share about the verse in Luke 17 where the disciples said, "Increase our faith."  Before we went, I was thinking of sharing the verse from Hebrews 11, "Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see."

But then, when we arrived, the inmates started singing this song...

Kay buti-buti mo, Panginoon
Sa lahat ng oras
Sa bawat araw
Ika'y laging tapat kung magmahal
Ang iyong kawa'ay

It means something like this, "You are so, so good, Lord, all the time, every day. You are always faithful in your love, your mercy has no limit."

This brought tears to my eyes.  It is easy to say that God is so, so good when we have a roof over our heads, clothes to wear, food on our table and all is well.  But for these inmates, who live with so, so little, to sing this means they live,"Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see."  I thought I was going to teach them about faith, but instead, they taught me.  What a blessing they are to me!

Be blessed, my dear blog visitors!

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