Merry Christmas!

As we focus on our Savior, Jesus Christ, may the season be filled with silent wonder

“Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2: 10-11

simple joys

“I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness… For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.” Isaiah 61: 10-11

… and treasured memories.

2018 Calendar Pages!

Before the beginning of every year, it is sort of a Neely girls’ tradition to find the “perfect” calendar pages for our planner notebooks (aka our “brains” ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). For us, the “perfect” one must live up to a pretty high standard, entailing things like practical style, easy-to-use format, and monthly/weekly/daily planning (depending on who you are), along with space for goals, mountainous to-do lists, and random jots. And above all, they must be HAPPY! ๐Ÿ˜‰ For our dear Mama especially, who mananges so many different projects, events, schedules, shopping lists, menus, school plans, household chores, etc., finding “perfect” is no small feat. This year, however, she decided to design them herself, much to our delight! With ideas compiled after over 30 years of wifehood, homemaking, and motherhood, they are masterfully put together… detailed, yet simple, and absolutely fitting the description of “HAPPY.” ๐Ÿ˜€ย 

One of today’s projects for me includes labeling my set of these calendar pages for the new year, so I thought I would pass along this information and let you know that they are available for FREE dowload here! Simply download, print, and cut to fit your planner notebook, and if you feel like getting extra happy with them, rounding the corners and adding colorful tabs to mark the months (along with writing on your pages with happy pens) just adds to the unique delight! Enjoy!ย 

November Summary

The month of November was a full and immensely blessed one! Highlights included trips to VA and NC for the FEW Conference and Thanksgiving, special times with both sides of our families, opportunities to serve on campus together, and just the preciousness of life together with your best friend! <3 Our little man, too, continues to grow and brings much delight to our home! He keeps us laughing with his antics, facial expressions, and new discoveries. ๐Ÿ™‚ We areย humbled by the immense responsibility it is to be parents, and often reminded just how much we need the Lord. Other special blessings from the month included decorating for Christmas, enjoying the soft lighting together at night while sipping hot chocolate, safety in traveling hundreds of miles, having guests in our home, fellowship with likeminded believers, visiting the house Daniel grew up in, time with niblings, and preparing gifts for Christmas! Below are a few pictures!

Everyday Blessings | 11.17.17

A few blessings from our house recently: <3ย 

  • cooler temperatures! Such lovely reminders of our Creator’s mercy!
  • the glow and aroma of fragrant candles (click here to see one of our favorites!)
  • lots of giggles from a precious, growing little man
  • fresh paint
  • times to sing together
  • home organization/decorating ideas that cost next to nothing
  • fancy handwriting
  • FaceTime or phone calls with dear ones far away
  • bulk food ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Post-Conference Encouragement

Oh what a glorious weekend the Lord recently blessed us with at the VA FEW Conference! His grace and mercy were abundantly showered upon it… to Him be glory for His working in our hearts and the many others who attended.ย It was truly a weekend of refreshment for us.

Often though, when coming down from a “mountain top” experience like this, it is easy to yield to the temptation to doubt God’s plan for our lives. This could look like anything… wishing your family was “perfect” like another family you just met (and what a false illusion that is, by the way ๐Ÿ˜‰ )… feeling depressed because life at home seems humdrum and boring… sensing the Lord calling you upward and onward for a deeper relationship with Himself, but not knowing how to get there and only seeing your sin and shortcomings… wishing for the sense of His abiding presence that you felt before… and on and on.ย 

For me, following this conference, it wasn’t so much any of the above scenarios, but simply recognizing my own weakness and feeling incapable for the calling of ministry and service God has placed on our lives (in our home, and to those around us). Even though I didn’t fully realize it at first, in the back of my mind the idea of returning to normal life was daunting. How lovingly kind our Father is, though, to direct our focuses back to His face. Sunday morning at church He gave me a song that was exactly what I needed! So many truths, flooding my heart with precious reminders of Who He is and what He has promised to His children. I pray you are blessed as much by it as I was!

Through the Valley
Margaret F. Powers/Frank Garlock

I have been thru the valley of weeping,
Thru the valley of sorrow and pain;
But the God of all comfort was with me,
By His hand to uphold and sustain.

So I’ll follow wherever God leads me,
In the darkness His Word lights my way;
I have proof that the Lord can give comfort,
And His grace can give strength for each day.

As the earth needs the clouds and the sunshine,
So the soul needs both sorrow and joy;
And when God puts His gold in the furnace,
He intends all its dross to destroy.

As we travel thru life’s shadowed valley,
The fresh springs of His love ever rise;
And we learn that our sorrows and losses
Are all blessings God sent in disguise.

The House by the Side of the Road

Though perhaps not as avid a poetry lover as a couple of our dear sisters, ๐Ÿ˜‰ I do hold an appreciation for well-composed lines that concisely communicate truth in an easy-to-remember format. The other day Daniel and I were discussing hospitality and the commands of Scripture to love one another, and the following poem came to mind. Perhaps a little quaint in it’s style and expression, ๐Ÿ™‚ we were blessed by the spirit of love, compassion, and kindness it portrays, and wanted to share it with you. May each of us understand in a deeper way the love that our Savior bears toward us, so that we may in turn be vessels that convey that love to others!

“This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15: 12-13

“Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.” 1 John 4:10-11

 

The House by the Side of the Road
Sam Walter Foss

There are hermit souls that live withdrawn
In the peace of their self-content;
There are souls, like stars, that dwell apart,
In a fellowless firmament;
There are pioneer souls that blaze their paths
Where highways never ran;
But let me live by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.

Let me live in a house by the side of the road,
Where the race of men go by
The men who are good and the men who are bad,
As good and as bad as I.
I would not sit in the scorner’s seat,
Or hurl the cynic’s ban;
Let me live in a house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.

I see from my house by the side of the road,
By the side of the highways of life,
The men who press with the ardor of hope,
The men who are faint with the strife.
But I turn not away from their smiles nor their tears –ย 
Both parts of an infinite plan;
Let me live in my house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.

I know there are brook-gladdened meadows ahead
And mountains of wearisome height;
And the road passes on through the long afternoon
And stretches away to the night.
But I still rejoice when the travelers rejoice
And weep with the strangers that moan,
Nor have I my house by the side of the road
Like a man who dwells alone.

Let me live in my house by the side of the road
Where the race of men go by –ย 
They are good, they are bad, they are weak, they are strong,
Wise, foolish – so am I.

Then why should I sit in the scorner’s seat
Or hurl the cynic’s ban?
Let me live in my house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.