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“Above all else guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”    Proverbs 4:23

What are you putting into your heart?  Our hearts can be a deep well of precious treasure giving joy, encouragement and delight.  You probably know that drinking plenty of fresh pure water is one of the most important things you can do for your body.  But just as important is the emotional life giving thoughts or garbage you allow to enter your heart from your mind.  Our thoughts either strengthen and nourish our bodies or make us sick.  Every day we make a choice to put into our mind and body good stuff or stuff that will eventually ruin our health and steal our joy.  Why not resolve that this year will be a year of joy because you only allow those thoughts that will illuminate your body, mind and soul to enter your heart.

My Personal Schedule

600 A.M.  Arise, make a big cup of black coffee and have a long talk with God.  I ask God to illuminate my heart and mind to his desires and purposes for my life.  Then I try to quiet my mind and listen (which is very hard sometimes) so then I turn to my Bible for guidance and counsel.

8:00 A.M.  Exercise: ‘Dancing For Joy’ which my daughter calls “doing my la las”.  This has been a part of my life for the last 25 years.  I have an old stereo in the living room that plays the big 33 1/3  records and my favorite exercise record is  ‘Aerobic Celebration Vol II.’

830 A.M.  Walking on the treadmill to Praise songs.  My favorite is Timeless Praise compiled and created by Mike Speck and Stan Whitmire.  As i walk I send up prayers for all those who come to my mind that may need a special blessing of God’s love.

9:00 A.M.  Time for my favorite breakfast of whole wheat toast, orange juice, cheerios and Dannon’s blueberry Greek yogurt which is like a yummy dessert that’s healthy.

9:30 A.M.   Laundry, house cleaning, grocery shopping etc.  I like to get these out of the way early.

10:30 A.M.  Fun Stuff:  This includes craft plans for my grand kids and painting which is my passion along with baking,writing and photography.

Grammy Fun Stuff :

Cousins night at Heirloom Restaurant in Midway, KY

Snowflakes

Cut out some paper snowflakes with your kids or grand kids letting them know that they are each special and one of a kind.  Draw a circle on white paper.  You can use a plate to draw around.  Cut it out.  Snowflakes have six sides so fold it in half, and then in thirds.  Cut the top off straight and then cut notches of different shapes out of the folded sides and top.  Open it out carefully and dot with Elmer’s glue.  Then sprinkle it with sparkles and glitter.  That’s the way God illuminates our lives.  He sprinkles them with the sparkling eyes and smiles of our children and grandchildren.

Catch a Smile

Do something special for someone today and watch their eyes light up with joy.  Say something nice to someone you see or meet or maybe someone you don’t even know and watch them smile.  Smiles are contagious and that’s the best thing you can catch. Soon you too will be smiling and happiness will illuminate your face.  It’s the cheapest face lift you’ll ever receive and before you know it you’ll feel younger and look younger.

Melting Snowman snacks:

Take one graham cracker square, half of a chocolate Hershey bar and a large marshmallow.  Put in your microwave for about 5 seconds until the marshmallow begins to soften and like magic you have a snowman ready to melt in your mouth.  This is sticky delicious so have a wet wipe and some napkins available!

Cooking With Joy

Make some sugar cookies and cut them out like snowmen or decorate them like snowflakes.

I like to use Wilton white sparkling sugar sprinkles for the snow.

This is my favorite recipe for sugar cookies:

1 cup butter or margarine

1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 egg

2 1/2 cups flour

1 tsp. soda

1 tsp. cream of tartar

1 tsp.vanilla

1 tsp.almond

Beat butter and sugar til light and fluffy, then add egg and beat some more.  Stir dry ingredients together and blend into mixture.  Add flavorings and refrigerate for several hours.

Preheat oven to 375.  Roll out dough on lightly floured pastry cloth.  Cut with cooky cutters and place on air bake cooky sheet.  Sprinkle with Wilton edible sprinkles, white and colored sparkling sugar.     Bake 6 to 8 minutes till light golden. Carefully remove form pan to cooling rack.    Enjoy!!

Painting and Photography

My passion for painting has been put on temporary hold since Thanksgiving.  I’m looking forward to beginning work again soon on my series of paintings entitled Reflections of Glory which illustrates some of my favorite Bible verses.  (more about that later)

Another passion of mine is photography.  I love taking pictures with my new Nikon COOLPIX camera which is so tiny it fits in my purse.  I take pictures of sunsets and clouds and storms and of course puppies and my 8 grand kids (when they hold still long enough which is seldom).  Life is filled with so much joy when we look for the ways God illuminates the many blessings in our lives

So just a reminder, “As a man thinks so is he”

Think joyfully!!

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