feedingchickens

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner! Hooray!

The winner of my give-away from my last blog post has been randomly selected!

Congratulations  to Yochannah!

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Yochannah, I know you’re really going to enjoy the little piggy cutting board, the Farm Fresh Recipes Cookbook and the gorgeous measuring spoons from Anthropology!

I want to thank all of you dear Sugar Pies who entered the giveaway for sharing such sweet and loving sentiments and for telling me what it is about Sugar Pie Farmhouse that keeps you coming back. It was such a blessing for me to read each and every one of them!! Y’all are gifted with the gift of encouragement! I’m so very thankful for you! In fact whenever I’m having a difficult day I’m going to go back and read them all again! Here was Yochannah’s sweet comment:

Yochannah

Dear Aunt Ruthie.

I found your blog a few years back, while looking for pretty fall pictures.
I just fell in love with your “Fall Home Tour.” Left that page up for days on my computer, just looking and looking and reading and reading.
I adore the encouragement for homemakers; the vintage home making, the words on creating a happy home, the tips and encouragement for creating the life we want to live, and the decorating.
The year I found your blog, I, for the first time ever(*blush!~) decided to “create” a happier home, and “cozy nest” for my family for all. I scrubbed and cleaned and sorted; and wonder of wonders,…I decorated! I don’t have a “knack” for those kinds of things. And, I baked; yummy fall goodies. At least three times a week. My family felt loved and spoiled and that made all of it worth it. I love every minute of it!( I’ve never seen apple fritters disappear so fast in my Life! They didn’t even let them Cool!! I’d turn to let it drain on the cardboard, and there would be a proffered plate, with a big grinning face at the end of the arms holding it.)
I “forced” all the kids, ages 46(me!) to 6, to cut out and color leaves; then we added glitter or other stuff and strung ‘em and hung ‘em!
It’s been a couple of years, and they still talk about it.
This year, for the first time in my whole life, we went to a pumpkin patch.
Before I found your blog, I was sure that keeping the house “plain“- free of nick-knacks and almost any decoration, was keeping it clean and easy. That might have been somewhat true, but it was also sterile and very Un-Homey!! My kids are constantly commenting on the changes, and saying they wished we’d done it sooner!- and they are coming up with ideas on their own now!(I can see them planning for their future homes already!)

So, Dear Aunt Ruthie,- thank you. Thank you for putting your words, and pictures, and guiding how-to’s and encouragement out there on the web. Thank you for showing me I CAN bless my family; and thank you for the glow of light and warmth I see in my children’s eyes.
I love the changes in my home, and family.
Thank you, Aunt Ruthie- for being an “Aunt Ruthie” to us all.

many blessings to you and yours,
Yochannah

Thank you darlin’!

How wonderful to see

what a blessing you are to your family!

This is the goal of my blog!

To put the “sweet” back in Home Sweet Home

so our families will have love-filled memories

that they will cherish for a lifetime!! 

1940sChristmasFamilyFeast[1]Well, can you believe Thanksgiving is just a few days away! It’s that time to begin preparing for that special day and to think about all of the many blessings God has so richly given us. A long time ago I heard someone use the term “Thanks-living”, I don’t know who it was, but it rung a bell in my heart. That’s how I want to live every day, being thankful. I know for sure that is one of the keys to filling our life with joy.

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But there are those days, those disappointments and heartbreaks that happen and somehow we forget to be thankful because we are so focused on what’s wrong instead of what’s right. I’ve been there, but I’ll tell you what! I know better now. When I begin to struggle with something that hurts my heart I “nip it in the bud” like Barney Fife would say! I set my mind to become proactive and intentional about guarding my heart.

Here’s what I do:

1. I renew (restore, freshen, reaffirm) my mind with God’s Word (Romans 12:2) I do this by reading His promises for strength and comfort. I also listen to sermons that remind me that Jesus is with me and with Him I have victory over any problem.

2. Count my blessings!  I look around me and take stock of all of the blessings I’ve been given for which I’m thankful for.

3. Replace any negative thinking with positive healthy thoughts (God’s Word and His goodness toward me). So I’ve made a decision not allow myself to dwell on disappointments and hurtful things people do and say. AND it’s a big “no-no” to allow myself to complain. If I start to, I “nip it!”. It is so hard, but that’s where prayer comes in, we have to ask for God’s strength to move passed difficult situations.

4. Sing praise and worship music. I’ll put on uplifting gospel music which always soothes my soul and gives me the strength to move forward and stop looking back. This is one of my favorite collections of worship music.

5. Think of someone who could use some encouragement. When we are helping others we aren’t so focused on our own worries.

That’s how I “Nip it, Nip it in the bud” I tell ya! I just don’t think we can have joy or be happy if we dwell on the negative, and live in constant complaining mode. Look what happened to the Israelites…what should have only taken them 11 days to enter the Promised Land took 40 years! They didn’t trust God and they lived in complaining mode. Joyce Meyers said “If you complain, you remain.”

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It’s amazing how God’s Word can calm our heart. I love Psalm 94:19… “In the multitude of my anxious thoughts within me, Your comforts cheer and delight my soul!”. Wow! I would venture to say that all of us have anxious thoughts…things we’ve worried about…things that makes our heart hurt. But oh my darlin’s! God is here…and in the sweetest most endearing things His comforts cheer and delight our soul if we just look for them! Let’s open our eyes, smell with our nose, listen with our ears the blessings that God and placed all around us.  Let us be quick to thank Him!

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Have you ever thought of the aroma of a Thanksgiving turkey roasting in the oven, or the warmth of a crackling fire or the familiar ticking of the clock at grandma’s house as one of God’s comforts that “cheer and delight our soul”? Or the words spoken with excitement “Time to eat!”…hands held around the table and grace being said…that first bite of mom’s savory stuffing and then Auntie’s creamy pumpkin pie?  Comfort. Cheer. Delight.

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How about the time spent with loved ones, good conversation shared over a hot cup of coffee and fresh baked cookies on a crisp blustery day, where  smiles and laughter warm and revive your heart?  Or cozy slippers… a cuddly hug from a child… Christmas music…  falling leaves twirling in a gust of wind as they fall from the sky. How about stopping to really take in the precious view of your family gathered around the dinner table…the smell of the furnace turning on to warm the house on early frosty mornings…these are God’s comforts to “cheer and delight your soul”. These are the things to be thankful for. Thank you Lord!

one thousand gifts If you haven’t read One Thousand Gifts by Ann VosKamp Oh. My. Goodness! I highly recommend that you do. It ‘s the perfect time to start. To wrap your heart and mind around the concept of “Thanks-living”. It will change your life. You will find joy…the kind of joy that the Bible speaks of…”Joy unspeakable and full of Glory!” (1 Peter 1:7-9). This book will inspire you to hope again. If your heart hungers for joy, this book is a delicious feast for the soul.

 

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I think that life is a lot like pie. What we fill it with will determine how sweet and enjoyable it will be for others and ourselves. What we fill it with determines the course of our life.

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Proverbs 4:23 says “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Our thoughts, the words that we speak, our actions and our choices are the ingredients that we stir into our heart and life. Bitterness, ungratefulness, anger, resentment,  and unforgiveness will make a sour and unhappy life. Think of it this way, we wouldn’t put rotten fruit or contaminated ingredients (ew!) into a pie we’re baking, so why would we allow detrimental, unhealthy thinking into our life? We’ve got to “nip it in the bud”! Can I get an “Amen” or a “YEE HAW”?

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When we fill our heart with the Love of God, His Word, and His will, our life will be filled with His goodness, joy, and peace. When we walk daily in thankfulness and we fully realize how much the Lord loves us and has an abundant life planned for us, it changes everything. “Taste and see that the LORD is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!” -Psalm 34:8

“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives:

love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

There is no law against these things!” –Galatians 5:22-23 NLT

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Following Jesus and being thankful to Him, makes for a sweeter, joyful life…but the key is, we must trust and obey His Word and walk in faith. It doesn’t mean we won’t have troubles that come our way. We will have trials because we live in a fallen world. But Jesus said ““I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”  -John 16:33

We also have this promise to rely on;  “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

Just like the pumpkin pie pictured above, it had to go into a hot oven to become the thing  for which it was created to be. Something sweet and delightful to be shared graciously with others.

“So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while.  These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.” 1 Peter 1:6-7

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Pie. It’s comforting, yummy, heartwarming, and filled with sweet memories. The word “pie” speaks of home, hospitality, and graciousness.  The best kind of pie is filled with fresh, quality ingredients along with time, attention and love. The result is a delicious, party-in-your-mouth, slice of heaven to be shared with others. Just like a pie, life is what you put into it.

“Enter His gates with thanksgiving;
    go into His courts with praise.
    Give thanks to Him and praise His name.”

Psalm 100:4

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 I want so much for my life to become something sweet and delightful to share graciously with others. I know you want that too. So we must be intentional every day to guard our heart and to fill it with the goodness of The Lord; thankfulness, kindness, patience, faithfulness, forgiveness and love through the power of The Holy Spirit.

Thank you darlin’ for stopping by for some Thanksgiving pie!

If you’d like the recipe for the pumpkin pie above,

it’s on the back of the Libby’s canned Pumpkin  or click here.

Have a blessed and wonderful Thanksgiving!

Aunt Ruthie

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