Saturday, 11 December 2010

Saturday Thoughts . . .



"Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he as a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father, which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him."

~Matthew 7: 9-11

Prayer is always answered, but we sometimes fail to understand the answer when it is given. How often we pray for stones . . . because we mistake them for bread . . . and how often when God gives us bread . . . do we think we are getting a stone?



I have seen this so clearly manifested in my life over these past 12 months . . . how things that I saw as being horrible and so painful at the time . . . have ended up being miraculous, and only the means to a beautiful end. It's truly amazing to me.

These past few months have seen me working on a project that I could never have thought to accomplish whilst I was working full time at the Manor, and it is a project that is ongoing, so that is a blessing in and of itself. I can tell you a little bit about it, but not all . . . I've been taken on as a designer for a craft company that creates rubber stamp images . . . and I've spent these weeks working on a whole line of new stamps for them. That's all I can tell you for now, but when the time is right, which will be several months from now, then I'll be able to point you in the right direction so that you can find them. I have so enjoyed this work and the act of creating something beautiful and new. Whilst it is not enough to live on at the moment, it has promise, and I am grateful for that.



Those last few years that I was working at the Manor were very hard for me. I saw my boss becoming increasingly difficult to work for. I would pray often for my Heavenly Father to show me a way to get out of the situation we found ourselves in. Todd was content to stay, and I never ever told him the half of what I was experiencing at work . . . and it is not easy to quit a job when your home is involved . . . it takes a lot of courage and I was not that courageous. So I just kept working and suffering in silence . . . but I prayed, and I hoped for answers.

When we were told the job in the Manor was ending, we were in shock . . . and it was hard to take it all in. We found ourselves having to not only find a new place to live, but without any employment or means to live on . . . and then we lost our Jess. It seemed that everything we had was slipping through our fingers.



I can testify though . . . that God does answer prayers and in the most miraculous, and often, most unpredictable ways. In one fell swoop He got me out of that sad work situation . . . and afforded us with the opportunity to live in a nice little home, that, whilst it is not a country cottage . . . it is warm, clean, comfortable and in a safe and secure area. We returned to a community that we were familiar with, and that we felt at home in and a part of. In the whole 7 years I had lived down South, I had not made any friends in our community . . . my only friends being the ones I made at church. Because of work commitments I was not able to attend most church activities, except for Sacrament meeting, nor was I ever actually able to magnify my church callings to the most of my abilities. This has all changed. Not only are we making friends and acquaintances outside of church, but we are both able to apply ourselves to our church work diligently, and with our whole hearts.



The saddest part was losing our Jess, and I don't think I'll ever get completely over that . . . but the truth is that she was not a well dog and it was far better that she not have to make the long journey up here . . . and have to go through all the tumult and turmoil that is encompassed in moving to a new area and home. In those first few days we were here in this house, with packing boxes stacked up to the ceilings and everything in complete and total disarray, it came to me how very distressed she would have been.




There was not even a spot where she could have lay down to rest . . . She was not a dog that adapted well to change . . . she loved the countryside so very much . . . she was free to come and go outside our door there . . . with no fences or boundaries . . . here she would have been closed in and not able to come and go as she pleased. Now she runs the fields in Heaven and is free, whole and well again, so I must be happy for that.



We do have our Mitzie now, and whilst she will never be a Jess, she is sweet and lovable and has gone a long ways towards healing the hole in our hearts that Jess left when she went . . . She has her own endearing qualities and sweet little ways and we love her dearly. She has made the change complete and our new house a real home . . . she is our baby . . . and we are so enjoying bringing her up.

And so what I thought of as stones . . . really were bread . . . and I have learned an important lesson which has been the sweetest slice of bread of all. Prayers are always answered. Never doubt that they will be . . . and always remember that it is only in the dark that we can truly see the stars shine . . .

Just look at all these cute things I found at Allyou.com! If you click on the actual pictures they will take you to the recipes. I have been making things for a kids party at church this morning and I discovered all these wonderful little ideas.



Cute Little Snow Man Cupcakes! Aren't they just adorable! Too cute to eat! (But I think I could manage one anyways!)



Santa and Tree Pretzel Rods! (I had some Chocolate Covered and Caramel Filled pretzel rods in Ketchum, Idaho a few years ago when I was there with Lura and they were wonderful! I'm still dreaming of them!!)



Cute little Santa and Reindeer Truffles! Aren't they just the sweetest! So easy too as they use Ferrero Roche or Lindt Truffles as the tasty base!



These cute little snowmen cookies, made using refrigerated sugar cookie dough! Aren't they just adorable!!!



And here's some I actually made yesterday, Sugar Plums. You can find the recipe over in The English Kitchen! Now I have to dash and make some Jam Sandwiches! Happy Saturday everyone!

12 comments:

Bonnie said...

This is such a comforting post, Marie. Things do always work out for the best but sometimes it is so hard to see the forest for the trees.

That is why faith is so important..God sees the end from the beginning, we don't. I use to tell my kids it is like we can only see through the peep hole of the door but God knows what is on the other side.

Love you, sweet friend, and am so happy things are going better and better for you. The stamping company deal sounds really neat. Good for you!

Love, B

Jeanie said...

I am so very sorry that you had to bear such misery at the Manor. Now you are free to become your own person and diversify too. Well done to you for finding the craft job. Talent will out....always!
Your Jess was the double of my old dog Guy. They could have been brother and sister. I hope they have found each other over the rainbow bridge whilst they wait for us.
Exciting times are coming.
You deserve them.
Hugs
Jeanie xxxx

Angie said...

That hole that Jess made still has raw edges doesn't it? But whatever you do don't let that stop Mitzi making her own crater there. She will never be quite like Jess, never quite the same, but if all your friends were identical what a boring life you would lead!

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

I'm happy that you shared just a little about your big project you are working on. It sounds like a lot of fun and to be able to enjoy what you do is a wonderful thing. We never know from one day to the next what life is going to send our way but our attitude in the way we handle it is what counts. You have done wonderfully with all your changes this past year and have many blessings in your life.

Mid-Atlantic Martha said...

I agree Marie -- looking back we can see times we felt so discouraged, and often those times of trouble have led us to our biggest blessings. God bless you Marie and the ways you touch us with your posts -- Thanks for your sweet visits -- love those pictures of Christmas goodies as well!

StitchinByTheLake said...

Marie several years ago I lost a job through no fault of my own but in a very bad way...I was an educator and making an ethical decision for children made some people very angry. I was devastated to say the least. And then my mother was diagnosed with an incurable brain tumor. I thought my world was ending. Because I lost the job I was able to retire early, go and spend the last year of my mother's life with her (and the last 8 months of my Dad's as it turned out) and I could never, ever replace the blessing that was for me. I had always, always wanted to be able to stay at home, to join the ranks of the Moms who babysat grandchildren or taught Bible study groups or volunteered at the hospital. That's exactly what happened because God answered my prayer in His way and not in mine. Trusting Him is a decision we make. I'm so glad that He is always faithful, that His promises still stand. blessings, marlene

Sybil said...

Marie, you always speak/write such wise words. Thank You. I know how low you got this past year...we have both had our low points for sure..but as you say prayer will always see us through it is just that sometimes we see so many "stones" that we miss the answers..I am almost as excited as you are at the new direction your life is about to take of in and await further news as and when !! always said you woudl win through in the end..
God Bless.
Much Love sybil xx

Elizabeth said...

Wishing you all the best in your new endeavor, Marie!

Tracy said...

Dear Marie...I can feel your heart in this poignant post. I have admired your brave spirit all these months and you & Todd have been dealt with a heavy year to face. And with such courage and faith. I am so very glad that the hardest times are behind you and that you are moving toward a more brighter future. And with sweet Mitzie in tow! Sooo VERY excited about your stamps works--can't wait to see what you've been working on all these weeks behind the scenes there! Very thrilled you've found the creative work that feeds your spirit and your purse. ;o) Sneaking in between lots this busy weekend. Was missing your, so had to stop by! Hope we get to chat this week. LOVE all those festive Christmas sweet treats! Happy Day--LOVE YOU LOTS, dear friend ((BIG HUGS))

Great-Granny Grandma said...

This is such an encouraging and uplifting post it made me smile big time. And another big smile came in reading about your new rubber stamp endeavor. God is so good!!!

She said...

Oh boy, what a very moving post Marie. Firstly I would like to congratulate you on your new venture, I had a feeling it was something to do with rubber stamping and if it based around your lovely paintings? I will be first in the queue to buy them:0)

Secondly, I admire your faith, your belief, your attitude, your writng. Your post today really got me and I am so glad.

THANK YOU

Huge hugs

Sheilagh

Gerushia's New World said...

Marie...

I must admit, this post gave me a good cry...for many reasons. Good and sad.

Although our lives are very different, we have both had some rough times over the years. It is a true comfort to be able to look back and realize that, indeed, the stones were bread. Thank you for making that clear!!

Love you lots:
Kim
Gerushia's New World