Friday, December 23, 2016
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
This year our annual celebration was hosted at the home of my sister who is married to my husband’s brother (seriously-we have been married 51 years, they have been married 48 years). We were joined by my brother and wife (they live in Illinois).
Our celebration always includes the reading of the Christmas story from Luke 2 (Daddy always read it until he passed in 1988; since then, my brother reads it). As is our custom, we sing Christmas carols at their relevant places in the story.
We still draw names and enjoy the gift exchange. I hope we always do this.
We always take “family pictures” by the tree (a tradition in the Wilson family passed down from my Mamo and Grandad Wilson).
Russell and Barbara Ford
David and Janene Ford
Keith and Michele Wilson
After Mother’s death in 2013, we found our childhood stockings (from grandparents’ Christmases) in Mother’s things. They were handmade by our aunts and Mamo Wilson, and they hung over the fireplace at Mamo and Grandad’s all our growing-up years. Now, we take turns being the Stocking Santa and filling the stockings with nostalgic items like pick-up sticks, paddle ball, jacks, and candy like Bit o’Honey and ribbon candy. And, because our Mamo-and-Grandad stockings always included a tangerine or an orange (in the toe), so do ours!
We love traditions, as they remind us of the fabric from which we are made, and it gives us reason to celebrate our bond of family love, for which we thank our Heavenly Father.
#SiblingChristmas2016 #FamilyTies #Traditions #VintageStockings
Monday, December 12, 2016
The Gratitude52 Journal Prompt #49 is “illustrate your gratitude for the holidays.” I am thankful for Christmas for many reasons. I love the spirit of giving that I see more at this time of year.
I am thankful mostly that Christmas is the celebration of the coming to earth of Jesus, who was born as a baby into this world so that he could live, fully as man, while maintaining his Deity, to die as redemption for the sins of mankind, offering the gift of salvation to all those who will accept the gift of grace, by faith.
(Note: I did not sketch this piece. It is a stamp that I painted with watercolor. I applied a digital border to the photo, using Pxlr Express.)
#Gratitude52Journal #Gratitude52Community #G52Prompt49 #PennyBlackStamp #NeoColorIICrayons
Saturday, December 10, 2016
This is Prompt #48 out of 52 for 2016. Only four more to go!
Yes, I am thankful for warmth. I do think about that every winter. I think maybe that is one of those blessings that I do not often take for granted (there are many that I do, sadly).
A year or so ago, I learned of this happening in some city parks: People tie hand-knit scarves around the trees in the park, and anyone who needs a warm scarf can take one. I love the idea. I did an art piece on this about a year ago, and for this prompt on “Warmth,” I decided to create another one. I sketched with pencil and then painted with acrylic paint.
Interestingly, PRIOR to receiving the prompt from Gratitude52 Community for this week, I was thinking about being thankful for warmth, and a couple of weeks ago, I posted this on our Family Wall. My children/grandchildren were fascinated.
#ThankfulTuesday As the weather really does finally turn wintry, I am thankful for a warm house. I can remember the times when the only warm place in the house was right in front of the gas stove. Felt great while there, but when I ventured away from it, it was SO COLD. We would put our PJ's on top of the stove to warm them up before changing, to give us a little added warmth while we ran to our beds and jumped under the covers. True.
#Gratitude52Journal #Gratitude52Community #G52Prompt48 #ThankfulForWarmth #artjournal #acrylicpaint #SweaterTrees
Wednesday, December 7, 2016
I am currently studying the second week of the advent lessons in “God With Us” from Love God Greatly. This Bible study is well-written, inspirational and affirming. I highly recommend the studies from this ministry. They offer ongoing studies that are free, accessible on their blog and on device apps. This time, I purchased the study journal from Amazon, as I wanted the physical book, although I could have printed it at no cost, from the web site. I also like the fact that this is a non-profit group, so when I purchase the journal from Amazon, the proceeds go directly back into the ministry. They provide translations of the study in several languages, and I love that as well.
During the first week of the study, I was reminded of the prophecies of the coming of the Messiah. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in the actual “Christmas story,” the telling of the story of Mary and Joseph, the birth of Jesus, the stable, the shepherds, the angels, the wise men—that I forget how important it is to realize that this baby was the fulfillment of prophecies throughout the Old Testament.
The Love God Greatly studies use the SOAP method: Scripture (write it out), Observations from the passage, Applications from the Scripture, and Prayer over what has been learned that day.
Here are some of my SOAP notes for the first week:
God is in control of His creation, and He had a plan from the beginning (Genesis). The penalty for the sin of man was overcome by the plan of redemption, through the Messiah.
From Isaiah 9:6 (my Bible art passage), I observed a royal birth announcement of One who would be the Messiah; He would be a counselor (how awesome is that!); He would BE God; He would be eternal; He would be the definition of peace.
This Messiah, to be born of a virgin, was predicted 700 years before the birth. In my notes, I paired this part of the study with a quote from a sermon by my son, Mark Ford, December 6, 2015: “Who you believe Jesus to be will determine who you are—and it will determine not only your identity, but your eternity.”
Lastly, at the conclusion of the week, attention was drawn to the adjectives in the listing of the names of the coming Messiah.
Wonderful – He is awe-inspiring.
Mighty – He is all-powerful.
Everlasting – He is eternal.
Prince – He is on the throne.
I love all the Bible passages about the names of Jesus. Simply repeating this verse, “His name shall be called…” gives me a sense of peace and joy.
“For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulders, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
– Isaiah 9:6
#Advent2016 #GodWithUs #LoveGodGreatly #Messiah #NamesofJesus #HisNameShallBeCalled #BibleArtJournaling #ScriptureArt #Illustrated Faith