Little Miracles

"Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Our experience in Texas so far…

Our experience in Texas so far...

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10 tips for keeping the stress out of Christmas!

So I know it seems early and you’re probably thinking “Meg, it’s not even Halloween yet, seriously?” But trust me, it’s definately not too early to be thinking about Christmas! So I’ve come up with a list of tips to keep the fun in Christmas and kick some of the stress out.

10 tips for keeping the stress out of Christmas!

1. Don’t wait until the Black Friday deals to start your shopping.

As those of you who live in Asheville or have been in Asheville around Christmas time know, that city is not built at all for the traffic that hits once Black Friday arrives. As an Asheville native, I knew last year that I wanted nothing to do with that traffic so we started our Christmas shopping sometime in October and believe it or not, we were pretty much done by the first week of December!

2. Take advantage of online shopping.

Again with the traffic, we decided to do a lot of our shopping on Amazon and Christianbook.com last year. We’re doing the same again this year.

3. Ask people for ideas.

I like to come up with ideas for Christmas gifts for people but honestly sometimes, it’s best just to ask. I know a lot of people tend to have a list of things they would like but they don’t always offer up the information without being asked. That way you don’t have to completely rack your brain and you know they’ll enjoy their gift.

4. Pay attention

People often drop great gift ideas in everyday conversation without even realizing it! Just pay attention to things they get excited about, it could spark a gift idea.

5. Be creative! (or do what I do and cheat by using the internet)

There are lots of cool, cute, creative, and cheap gift ideas out there. If you’re creative take the time to sit down and think about things you could make or put together as gifts. If you’re like me and you struggle a little more in that department, google it! The internet has lots of good ideas you can tweak and use.

6. Don’t break the piggy bank!

Don’t spend too much money! Make a list of the people you need to give gifts to before you buy any of them anything. That way you’ll know how many people you’re looking at spending money on and you can save at least a little for everyone. If you start early enough, you can buy a little bit at a time and spread the cost out over time instead of taking large chunks of money out of one or two paychecks.

7. Get wrapping! Don’t put it off.

I know a lot of people don’t like wrapping presents, and I don’t particularly enjoy myself. Think of how much easier it is if you just wrap presents each week starting once you put your Christmas tree up! Then it’ll get done and you have a great decoration sitting right under your tree!

8. Write it down!

There’s nothing more frustrating than having the perfect gift idea for someone and forgetting what it was later. Write down gift ideas as you have them so you don’t have that terribly frustrating problem!

9. Make time to have fun!

Don’t let shopping, decorating, and cooking keep you from enjoying your loved ones this Christmas. Make those things something to bond over. And take time out from them to have Christmas parties or to watch a Christmas movie. Don’t let a great chance to spend some great quality time doing awesome Christmas things with the people you love pass you by!

10. Don’t forget why we celebrate Christmas!

I know it’s cliché and not creative, but don’t forget that Christmas isn’t about presents or lights or food. While that stuff is fun, Christmas is about celebrating our Savior’s birth! Stressed out Christians aren’t great witnesses especially around Christmas time.

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Food as Missions

Food as Missions

 I don’t know if you’re like me, but food makes up a big part of my life.  While I think about the food I’m shoveling into my mouth, I also spend a lot of time thinking about food outside of that.  I have to think about food as I plan our meals for each week and as I make our grocery list for the week.  What do we need for each meal?  What staples are we out of?  Do I need more things for lunch or does Ben?  What am I getting at Wal-Mart, Aldi, and Sprouts?  Then there are the day to day thoughts of “tonight we’re not that busy but tomorrow night we’re swamped so I need to save something that won’t take as much time for tomorrow night”.  When we have friends over, I want to make something good.  I want to make something that everyone will enjoy but I have to do it sticking to our budget so that takes some thought as well. 

This article is a great encouragement to use food as a mission tool!  God has blessed us with the chance to use meals as a way of fellowship since we all need to eat.  The article encourages us to use food as a way to build relationships with non-believers as well as to fellowship with our brothers and sisters in Christ.

I encourage you to read the article.  It’s not very long and I really enjoyed the points it made and I want to try and use food as more than food. I want my kitchen and my home to be a place of relationship building, fellowship, and love.

With love,

Meg

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The Proverbial Silver Lining

So Tuesday morning was one of those mornings we’ve all had where technology fails us.  I woke up from a very odd dream to realize it was brighter in my room than it should be.  I proceeded to wake Ben up to see if he had set the alarm and to ask him to see what time it was.  He had set the alarm but it didn’t go off and it was 8:05.  I’m supposed to be at work at 8:00 and I normally get up around 6:30. Needless to say, I very much over slept, though I’d like to think I made pretty good time and was clocked in at work at 8:24.  Over sleeping can cause panic and very rushed mornings and there have been many times before that it has ruined at least my morning, if not my whole day.  But I would like to praise God that I overslept. I have been very tired for the past couple of weeks and haven’t really taken a lot of time to just rest.  In the downtime I have while Ben is working on homework, I clean.  During the week, on the nights that he has class or is doing homework I typically straighten up or do dishes. I blogged a while back about needing to be okay with going to bed with the apartment a wreck, but I haven’t done a good job of that and I’ve started to realize that I need to take some time to rest that doesn’t involve the time I’m asleep or trying to fall asleep in the bed. And while I don’t like the fact that I was late for work Tuesday morning, I did get an hour and a half of extra sleep. I really think my body needed that so I’m thankful that I was able to sleep until I naturally woke up. I’m also thankful that I naturally woke up around 8 and not later since I wasn’t even 30 minutes late.  It could have been a lot worse and I could have been at least an hour late if not more.  I’m not good at it and typically I let the little irritations get under my skin and ruin my day for at least a little bit, but think how much better our days and lives would be if we would look for the proverbial silver lining in those irritations. We wouldn’t get as mad, we would be more empathetic, we would be happier throughout the day, we would be able to fulfill the roles we have in life much better, and we would for sure be better witnesses for Christ!  I am challenging myself this morning to be able to view the frustrations we don’t plan on as little in the grand scheme of life.  I am challenging myself this morning to find what good I can and find a reason to praise and thank God for the irritating situations.  I am challenging myself to try and be an encouragement to those that have had frustrating moments, days, or weeks.  I would like to challenge you to the same and would love to hear your stories as I’ve shared mine!

With love,

Meg

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Fall!!!

Fall!!!

So as you can see, Fall officially arrived at the Little house this weekend! Yesterday was a very cool high of around 70 with rain and thunderstorms on and off all day. It was beautiful and fantastic! It was so cool I actually needed a sweatshirt to be outside. We’ve been burning a great smelling fall candle that my sweet parents sent to us to celebrate fall being here. We were able to drink apple cider they sent us as well with some friends since it was a cool day. And we were finally able to get the super pretty fall wreath my awesome mother bought me last year hung! So no matter how much it warms up from here on out, it is fall in the Little household in Forth Worth, Texas!

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Perpetual Waiting

 

I feel as though I am in a season of life where I am perpetually waiting.  Maybe this is how life works and maybe this is how everyone feels but I feel that after one promise is delivered upon, I find myself waiting on another.  Many of you know that I waited 3 years to be able to follow through on the call God placed on my life to go to Africa.  While I love Weaverville, I did not feel like that was where God wanted us to be long term and I waited for a little over a year until God moved us to Texas.  I am yet again waiting.

My best friend, Shae Lee, got engaged this weekend and I cannot even begin to tell you how happy I am for her!  God has brought a great and godly man into her life that He is allowing her to spend the rest of her life with and I thank Him for that.  In my excitement, I wish I could see her.  I wish I could hug her and I wish we could have a giggle fest over the fact that she is engaged.  I wish that we could talk about wedding plans in person instead of on the phone.  But God’s reminding me to be thankful I have the phone and skype to be able to talk with her on and He’s reminding me to be patient.

Many of you know the country of Uganda stole my heart this summer.  While there, I fell in love with the country and with the district of Palisa.  While I love everyone we worked with, Samuel, Mercy, and the men we ministered with in Palisa hold a special place in my heart.  I ache to be with them again.  I long to fellowship with them, eat dinner with them, minister with them, laugh with them, cry with them, and pray with them.  There are times that I feel as though my heart is bursting with the desire to be with them and with the pain that I cannot be with them right now.  Ben and I have recently realized that I will not be able to take enough days off to allow us to go back this summer.  Every time I think about it, which is daily, the realization hits me like a ton of bricks and brings tears with it.  I would like to say that my trust in God’s plan was strong enough that I didn’t hesitate and that the hurt did not cause me to lose sight of the fact that God’s timing is perfect, however, my first thoughts were why and confusion.  I told God that I don’t want to go to back for vacation; I want to go to come alongside Samuel and Mercy to minister to the people in the district of Palisa.  I want to go take His name to people that need Him!  I then proceeded to talk with Him about the fact that He had me wait three years the last time and before I could finish the thought, I felt the Holy Spirit stop it.  Then it was like He said “But wasn’t it worth the wait?”  That slap was all it took to remind me that while God’s timing is not what I would choose, it is perfect. 

Psalm 130:5-6 says “I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.  I wait for the LORD more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning.”  I am trying to wait for the Lord in this way.  In those moments when I am North Carolina sick, in those moments when I am Uganda sick, in the moments when I miss my family, in the moments  that there is a promise to wait on, I want to wait with my whole being.  I want to trust in my God and be thankful that He has given me people in North Carolina to miss, people in Uganda to miss, and people in Fort Worth that I already know I will miss over Christmas and such breaks.  What a blessing to love people so much and to be loved so much that I can ache to be with people halfway across the United States and people across the world!

I hope that this can encourage you to wait on the Lord and hope in His perfect timing!

With love,

Meg

 

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