November 15, 2016

Give Thanks In The Midst of Circumstances

"Be joyful always, pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances,
for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
~ 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
I was looking through my son's old Bible studies this week, the ones I compiled when we first began homeschooling and I read this verse again. I've  always have had trouble wrapping my head around one part of these verses -- "give thanks in all circumstances." So as I was thinking about it, I prayed about it.
So here's how the conversation went in my head:
"God,  help me understand, because I've never been able to give thanks IN all circumstances."
"Notice, Dolores,  it does not say give thanks "for" all circumstances. It just says "in" all circumstances."
Suddenly the light bulb went on and this thought came to mind -- "Oh, so I can give thanks IN THE MIDST of (during) my circumstances, not necessarily FOR THE circumstances. Ah ha! So despite the fact that my beloved PT cruiser 2nd engine that was only a year old blew out a month or so ago and my husband's bank account was hi-jacked by a kid who loves to play computer games this weekend, I don't have to give thanks for those things, but I can still give thanks during this difficult time, right?"
Two years ago when I read Stephanie's ten years of blogging, I saved quotes she liked and things she wrote that spoke to me, I found one she had saved that fit this conversation by Albert Schweitzer who was a missionary in Africa. He said:
". . . our inner happiness depends NOT on what we experience but on the degree of our gratitude to God, whatever the experience."
So as I was coloring today for Kathy Racoosin's 30-Day-Coloring Challenge, I added this quote to the back of one of the four monthly dividers that I was working on as a reminder to  give thanks in all circumstances!

November 06, 2016

Hospitality Unit Study

This month's theme word is HOSPITALITY in Documented Faith and I found a unit study I compiled when we were homeschooling for the month of November. It's a short little study and after it was over,  I was so proud of my son when he remembered to offer his friends or his grandparents  something to drink when they came over and he still does that to this day.
Hospitality Unit Study

"Come and share a pot of tea,
My home is warm and my friendship's free."
~ Emilie Barnes.
I. Adult Study Guides =

  1. The Joy of Hospitality: Recovering a Lost Art. By Dee Brestin. 1993. (This women's Bible study guide can be used for your children's study guide if you reword it a bit.)
  2. If Teacups Could Talk: Sharing a Cup of Kindness with Treasured Friends. By Emilie Barnes. 1994.
  3. The Spirit of Loveliness: Bringing Beauty, Creativity, & Order to Your Life. By Emilie Barnes. 1992.
  4. No More Lone Ranger Moms. By Donna Partow. 1995.

II. Reference Guides = (For practice with and between your children, any book on etiquette and manners in which good host/hostess and guest manners are given.) I have: Vogue's Book of Etiquette and Good Manners. By Conde Nast Publications. 1969, in my home library.

"Friendship by its very nature consists in loving, rather than in being loved. In other words, friendship consists in being a friend, not in having a friend."
~ H. Clay Trumball.

III. Ingredients of Hospitality Vocabulary = befriend, cheerful, communion, disciple, encourage, etiquette, generous, grace, haven, honor, hospitable, inviting, love, minister, modest, nurture, service, thoughtfulness, welcome, wisdom

Sign Outside My House:
"If you came to see me, Come on in!
If you came to see my house,

IV. Models of Hospitality =
A. Biblical Models =Abigail, Abraham, Aquila & Priscilla, Boaz, Elisha, Elizabeth, Jesus, Jonathan, Joseph, Mary & Martha, Queen Esther, Shanammite Woman, Tabitha, etc.

B. Biographies = Dollie Madison, Corrie ten Boom in the Hiding Place
C. Storybook Welcome =

  1. "The Lame Squirrel's Thanksgiving" by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey. The Bumper Book. Edited by Watty Piper, Platt & Munk. 1961.
  2. Wind in the Willows. By Kenneth Grahame.
  3. Little Women or Little Men. By Louisa May Alcott.
  4. The Little House on the Prairie series. By Laura Ingalls Wilder.
  5. Anne of Green Gables series. By Lucy Maud Montgomery.
  6. Anne and the King of Siam. By Magaret Landon.
  7. A Cup of Christmas Tea. By Tom Hegg. 1982.
  8. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. By C. S. Lewis.
  9. The Hobbit. By J. R. R. Tolkien.
  10. A Christmas Carol. By Charles Dickens.
  11. Tara's Healing. By Janice Holt Giles. 1951.
D. Poetry =
  1. The Divine Office of the Kitchen. by Cecily Halleck.
  2. The House By the Side of the Road. By Sam Walter Foss.
  3. I Shall Not Pass This Way Again. By Eva Rose York.
  4. The Great Guest Comes. By Edwin Markham.
"Martha, Martha -- ignore the mess,
and pay attention to your guests!"

V. Creative Hospitality Studies = Hospitality Etiquette around the world, Card Ministry, Caring and Sharing Ministries, Christmas Baskets, Secret Sisters/Pals, Neighborhood Block Parties, Family Celebrations, Round Robin Fellowship Circles, Tea Parties, May Baskets, Support Groups or Co-ops, Creative Cooking, Creative Crafts such as flower arranging, etc.
" A Walmart Welcome"

IV. Discussion Terminology & Conclusion =
Question: What might be meant by these terms in the light of what we have learned about hospitality?

  1. "being a vehicle of grace" or a "blessing" to someone
  2. "putting out the welcome mat" or "rolling out the red carpet"
  3. "breaking bread" or "breaking the ice"
  4. "an act of worship"
  5. "no strings attached"
  6. "a chain reaction" or "domino effect"
  7. "to give your brother (or sister) a hand up, not a hand-out"
  8. "gracious living"
  9. "Good manners must come from the heart."
  10. "Like charity, good manners should begin at home."

Thank You. I bid you adieu.
~~ <> @ <> ~~
Here's my scripture sheet for the month of October.
I'm doodling more and more, but forgot there was a fifth week in the month of October so the scripture that should have gone in that last block is on the back because I filled it in beautiful doodled flowers. I was looking over my scribbles since January and I've come a long way. I'm feeling more confident about it thanks to Stephanie, because I've learned not to discredit my creative style,
but just have fun
with it.

~~ <> @ <> ~~
And last, but certainly not least,
my friend, Karen, crocheted a poncho for me which keeps me warm as toast.
It's a lot easier to throw on when my shoulders and arms are chilly rather than trying to keep a blanket up over my chest as I'm typing here at the computer.
Thank you, Karen!  I've enjoyed wearing it several evenings
since the weather has finally begun turning cool!