Saturday, January 12, 2013

Serene Sundays #2

Today I would like to share something from my morning devotions on Saturday of this week. Something from the Bible study Book "Captivated by God" (you can click that title to see where you can purchase a copy of the book for yourself.)

I enjoy doing Bible Study Books for my devotions because it helps me to really focus on my studying of God's word and directs my thinking more than just sitting down to read a chapter of the Bible (which I have done in the past, nothing wrong with that, each person is different), I find that if I just read my mind likes to wander off to my to do list so I'm reading but not comprehending what I'm reading. I started through this book for the second time the other day and so far I'm gleaning things that I didn't remember were there the last time. It's neat how when you read your Bible once and then go back and reread it again at another time, how you gain something different from it each time.

Today's Study was on trials and things we go through and how they prove Romans 8:28 "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose." (KJV) One of the questions in the book was this: "Can you see through present or past trials and recognize that all things are working together for your good? Share a particular time of testing that you can say God has worked together for good in your life. Explain how." (Captivated by God 2010, pg. 15 Gospel Light, Ventura, California, USA) I thought about that question and then began to write in my journal about a dark time that happened in my life about 2 years ago, I really didn't know how I was going to make it or if I would. I went through a terrible depression, that I just couldn't seem to get through, I went to a couple counseling  sessions but that only seemed to make it worse so I quit going. I had some awful things go through my head during that time and felt so tormented that at times I wondered where God was in all of it. However today looking back I realize that God was using those experiences to draw me closer to him. If any of you have ever dealt with depression you know how hopeless, alone, and desolate you feel. One night sitting at the dinner table, I had made a new recipe and all I could do was sit at the table and cry, I don't even know why I was I crying I just couldn't help it, I felt terribly sad. After dinner that night I went and got out my Bible and my study materials and I studied and studied my Bible for at this time that's the only things that was getting me through my days was time with God. During that dark time, I learned the power of the blood and the power of prayer and how I should never underestimate those things. Jesus was with me though at times I felt alone, Jesus was with me.

      During this time I was desperate for any kind of solace that I could find, I pulled out a CD that a friend had given me for Christmas a couple years before this and I played it. It was a CD of a family that I knew and had grown up knowing them. One of the songs on the CD was called "I'm not Alone" I sat and wept when the words of that song hit me, then I began praying and praising God. It seemed for that period of time that I could see the light at the end of the tunnel.
      However the depression continued on for awhile longer. But I began to see that the scripture in Ephesians 6:12 that says "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." really had meaning (not that I hadn't thought this before.). I was wrestling with something bigger than myself but not bigger than God. I began to turn my darkness, my depression, my battle over to God and began to watch Him do the fighting. I realized that up until that point I had been trying things on my own to get relief, but it seemed once I started going to God sometimes several times a day reminding Him (not that He needed reminding) that this was HIS battle now not mine, the darkness seemed to start to brighten.
       There are days still when it seems dark and like I'm fighting for all I'm worth, but I've learned that Jesus is my peace and that when I truly abandon myself to Him and turn my struggles, my battles, my darkness over to Him, He'll turn weeping into joy. For weeping may endure for the night but Joy is coming in the morning.
      I think in answer to that question for today was that yes, I believe that God was working all things for my good, because during that time I learned what pleading the blood, and fighting on my knees was about, I realized that God is bigger than any mountain that I'll ever face! I learned that I'm never alone Jesus is always with me, and though I might be weak and I see only one set of footprints, Jesus is carrying me through!
The author to this is unknown but the poem was taken from here

     So maybe that wasn't the story you were looking for today, but I felt like I should share it with you.  If you're going through a depression or a bad spot or darkness in your life maybe it'll help you to remember that the battle is not yours it's God's!

Do you have a devotional post you write for Sundays? Feel free to link up below!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Giveaway Announcement

I'm announcing a GIVEAWAY! As some of you know I started doing some crafting back in the fall and it's grown, I now have a Etsy Store, a Facebook page, and NOW a GIVEAWAY! I started the giveaway to gain likes on my Facebook page and get some traffic to my Etsy store. What better way to have a little fun and make your home a bit more festive than to like our Facebook page and get some really neat and pretty decor for your home. This GIVEAWAY lasts until January 31, 2013
 You have 3 ways to gain entries, 
 1. By liking our Facebook page (no money involved) 
2. By following me on twitter (no money involved) 
3. By going to my Etsy store and making a purchase (there's sale items there!) 
 So what are you waiting for! :) 
 The winner will be chosen on February 1, 2013 and they will receive a set of handpainted pillar candle holders in a design of their choice. What's not to love!

Here's the link for the contest: (it's mobile compatible as well!)

 These are some close up shots of the Christmasy set. These could be made any color they don't have to be just for Christmas. And I can add a different design.

 This is the pumpkin design

 The tone on tone Design (once again these can be done in any colors)
Close up shots of the tone on tone design.
I accept special orders for weddings or special events as well.

Go on over and get entered in the contest and like our page as well! I'm excited about some new things that are coming to the store soon, so liking our Facebook page will keep you informed!

Good luck in the contest! :)

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Heart Warming Wednesdays

Are any of you longing for spring and the warmth and sunshine it brings? As I was trying to think of what to post for Heart Warming Wednesdays this week, I decided to post about things you can do to make it cheery in your home to wait out the dark dreary days of winter till Spring comes you know that Spring is only.....
Ah.... can't wait to see my bulbs pop up this year! I plan to keep adding when we do our landscaping in the spring. Just after we moved in to our new place the landlord had a drive made around the back of the house which is much safer than pulling directly out on the road from the garages because they sit just over a hill. So in the spring I plan to line the drive with a mixture of weeping cherry trees and dog woods along with a split rail fence. I think it will just look beautiful when done! I can't wait! 

But in the mean time while I pour over seed catalogs I have coming in the mail and dream of my spring and summer gardens I decided I would share with you some ways to cheer your home and make it feel a bit more like spring. 

1. Treat yourself to a fresh bouquet of flowers...Flowers seem to cheer a spot up especially if they're bright! I know a lot of us shop at Walmart and they have some really pretty bright colored bouquets over in the produce area. You should really check them out, they're usually inexpensive. I don't think it needs to be a special occasion to treat yourself to flowers! 
(These flowers were from when we lived in the tiny trailer, but they give you the idea)

2. Grow some spring bulbs indoors.... I know that with spring still a little over 2 months away it's easy to get spring fever early especially when the weather is mild and sometimes warm and sunny. Here in Ohio it's not always as sunny as I would like it to be, but who's to say we can't plant a little sunshine in our homes. I found in December that a little pot of mini daffodils my mom had bought me last year was sprouting so I moved it indoors and have been watering it and sitting it where it will get sunshine! I can't wait to see the blooms! 

So there are 2 ways this week of how you can bring a little spring cheer to your home!
So what ways do you use to cheer your home after the decor of the holidays has been packed away for another year? I'd love to see them, be sure to link up below and share ways to make your home Heart Warming! 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Serene Sundays

I've decided to start a new tradition on my blog this year and it's called Serene Sundays, basically I just wanted to be able to post a small devotional thought for Sundays. So I hope you enjoy it and please leave a comment if it helped you in some way. 

This weeks thought: As the Deer Panteth for the Water
Scripture Verse: Psalm 42:1: As the hart (deer) panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. (KJV)
      As I read that the thought came to me, "Does my soul really pant after God and how can I be more aggressive in my seeking after God?" I long that in this new year 2013 that I will show that in my life that I am truly panting after God, I am truly desiring to be more like Him. Some ways that we can pattern our lives after Christ in 2013 are:

  1. Being Kind to others whether they deserve it or not. Jesus was kind even to those who were cruelly beating His back and nailing him to the cross. He cried out to His heavenly Father and said "Father forgive them..." he didn't curse those causing him great pain, he didn't glare at them, he didn't even fight, he willing laid down his life for us and cried Father forgive them for they know not what they do. I don't mean that we have to be doormats for others to walk all over but  heap hot coals on those who do you wrong by giving back kindness in return. In Proverbs 25:21-22 it says "If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirtsy, give him water to drink: For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the Lord shall reward thee." In doing this lets not have a greedy heart thinking all the while that God will reward us anyways but lets do this truly from a heart filled with the Love of Jesus. 
  2. Showing the right attitude when things don't go our way. This strikes me between the eyes because I know that I don't always show the proper Christlike attitude when things are going wrong. My prayer is this year that God will help me with that and draw me ever nearer to Him so that when things do come up I'll yield to Him and let Him handle the situation through me. James 1:2-4 says this: "My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations: (Various trials) Know this, that the trying (testing) of your faith worketh (produces) patience. But let patience have her perfect work, thatye may be perfect and entire(complete), wanting (lacking) nothing." Have you ever had your patience tried? Maybe your child asked one too many questions or dumped something on the floor for the seeminly millionth time that day, or maybe (as in my case) your dog is pacing and driving you nuts or barking at something that isn't there, or has made another mess, (My dog is like my child at this point in life.) or maybe it's your spouse, they've left their dirty socks or dirty clothes on the floor again or haven't taken their dishes to the sink and you are about to explode with words you know you'll regret later, why don't you stop and breathe a prayer to God for patience. I know in the heat of the moment you don't always think that way but I would like to challenge each of you to let Patience work, train your brain to turn to prayer when things start frustrating you. God sees all these things and he knows they frustrate you but what He may be trying to teach you is more patience. Lord help me in the coming year to have more patience to turn to you in times when I can't seem to get a grip. 
Enjoy your Sunday! ~Abby

Friday, January 4, 2013

Festive Fun Fridays

Today is Festive Fun Friday and hopefully will be every week! If you would like to be a guest featured on my blog please comment or send me an email! I'm looking for posts that have to do with seasonal decor ideas, seasonal meal ideas (would also get posted to my Creative Adventures with Food blog), Holiday celebration Ideas.

This week I'm posting about Christmas this past year 2012, I didn't get to do a post in December it got a bit too busy for me so here it is now!
This is our Christmas Tree in the Living room 2012. (I had 6 trees up this year and still do! :) 
We celebrated our Christmas stretched out this year. We opened 1 gift on the 23rd, then 3-4 gifts on the 24 and the rest spread out on the 25th. 
This was the tree in the Dinning Room, I may keep this tree up all year and decorate it for different holidays like Valentine's, Saint Patrick's Day (which is also Hubby's b-day), Easter, and so on. 

 This was one of my favorite spots in the house because I just thought that it turned out so beautifully! I found the idea for the stairs on Pinterest (I love that site!) Below is a photo with just the lights to light it up.

 This was my china cupboard decorated for Christmas. I wanted to put lights through that pine but it never got done. But I still thought it turned out pretty. All the pine you see I picked up at yard sales and things the year that I got married since we had a Christmas Wedding.
 My dinning room table, I was getting ready for our Christmas dinner I think. This was our German year, we've chosen to do different countries each year and celebrate Christmas that way. So we had pork roast and sauerkraut and mashed potatoes and a veggie.
I love the nativity set which was a bridal shower gift, it has scripture relating to Christ's birth on each of the figurines. It always has a special place in my home at Christmas. The past couple Christmases it's been on my piano but I did that a bit different this year and liked it better here since it got seen more! 
 This was the snow we got Last weekend. I thought it was so pretty all over the trees and such. I wanted to get outside with my camera but didn't make it out there. These pics are from the windows and doors of our home.
 This is in our backyard. The deer come up here in the evenings. I throw old apples out there for them to feed on so I think they like that. I'd like to get a salt block for them to put out there so we can get some pics of them.
 This is looking through the living room front door through the wreath to across the road, thought it turned out neat so thought I would share it with you.
This is the barn across the road thought it was a neat picture. I love being in the country! 
Well Hope you enjoyed this Festive Fun Friday and the pictures. Let me know what you're doing fun this Friday. We plan to have game nights starting this Friday every Friday or Every other Friday. So one of these Friday's I may make my post about that! 

I'm linking up to the following Blogs:

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Heart Warming Wednesdays

Today is Heart Warming Wednesdays at the Kuhn household that means I'm going to share an event that Happened 4 years ago, Our wedding! I think that's heartwarming enough! LOL :) Plus this comes just after our 4 year wedding anniversary of course. 

Almost 5 years ago now Bud asked Abby to marry him on Valentine's Day of 2008 and there started a journey which has led us to today! 

Bud in the groom's dressing room, getting ready to get married. 

Abby getting ready for pictures before the ceremony. (I woke with a migraine that morning and it held on till after the wedding So if my eyes look tired it's a mixture of being tired (I was up till midnight helping decorate the reception hall.) and having a bad headache.  

Abby and her bridesmaids and flower girl. From Left to right Kim K (sister in law to be), Alicia R. (Sister-in-law) Andrea H. (Best friend Matron of Honor), Of course Abby, Joanna R.(cousin) Jenny K. (sister in law to be) and Ava (Neice)

Jonathan H. (Bible Bearer) and Ava (Neice, Flower girl/Mini Bride) I though they were so cute! Ava was holding Jon's hand here. Later she told her mom that she got married that day! LOL :) She was 3 years old then. 

The Handsome Groom. 

This was during the song "I loved her first" Scott Heskett did an awesome job. Dad was teary eyed, I kept my eyes on my groom to keep from crying. (Little did I know that 3 years later I would lose my daddy! :( )

During the ceremony! 

Another shot during the ceremony. I thought this shot was unique because it was between the candles. 
Lighting the Unity Candle. ( I kind of wish that I had done a bit more decorating to that table but hey it wasn't the end of the world I did the most decorating at the Reception which was perfectly fine because I thought it was all very pretty!) 
This couple (the people standing) Scott and Susie Heskett (she just passed away from cancer in November 2012) has been an inspiration to us. They sang several songs at our wedding. 
First Kiss! Wahoo! 
Getting Rice (the special kind) Thrown! Surrounded by friend and family! 
Two special Preachers Steve Heskett (He's the one who first introduced us!) And Rev. Stanley Grabill Abby's pastor for several years and still the pastor of the Salem Allegheny Wesleyan Methodist church. 
The whole Bridal Party Left to Right Kim, Jen, Joanna, Alicia, Andrea, the Bride and Groom, Wayne , Patrick, Keith, Kevin, Mark and the flower girl and Bible bearer. 
Bride (I like this with the piano in the background.)  
Kissing at the reception. 
The cake. My friend Shanesta made it for us. I thought is was very beautiful! 

The picture area at the reception. My Aunt Becky did most of the work in this area and I thought it turned out so pretty. My Uncle Roger made the sleigh for the gifts. You can just barely see it. 

I regret that I lost our camera the following year and it had all our pictures from our honeymoon on it so I don't have any of those to post. We went to Gettysburg, PA after spending a few days at a house in Salem that a couple had let us use (no one knew we were there.). It was fun but  very cold! 
So there is my post for Heart Warming Wednesday! 
Do you have a Heartwarming Wednesday post you would like to share? Link Up below! Look for this linky party every Wednesday and link up! 

A blast from the Past......A look toward the Future.

Here's goes with my blast from the past year:

January 2012: January 3, 2012 will forever be etched in my mind. The day began with a start from the shocking phone call that my dad who was 59 had died after a head on collision in a snow storm and suffered a heart attack on the way to the hospital afterwards caused by high blood pressure due to the accident. He was buried in a beautiful cemetery in Rittman, OH called the National Cemetery it was created for Military Veterans. Dad was an Airforce vetran. They said in the summer the place was gorgeous and so carefully manicured. (I wasn't able to make it up there to see it.) 
This was Dad's casket draped with the flag that was presented to my mom at the funeral and again at the cemetery where we had a brief service. I think those days were the hardest I've ever been through! 
Here are some pics of my family taken at the dinner after Dad's funeral service.
 From Left to Right Back to Front: Keith, Grandpa Ritchey, Paislee, Kevin, Bud, (Back Row)
Alicia, Mom, Abby (Middle row) Ava, Grandma Ritchey(Front)
Back to Front Left to Right: Bud, Kevin, Ron (Dad's brother) Keith, Abby, Mom holding Paislee, Donna (Ron's wife) holding Ava, and Alicia. 

February 2012: This month would've marked Dad's 60th Birthday but he got to spend it in Heaven. This marked 4 years since Bud and I were engaged. I honestly don't remember a whole lot about this month everything was still somewhat of a blur and just putting one foot in front of the other. 

March 2012: This month Bud turned 29 so this year is the big 30 and I'm hoping to have a big party for him! And spring started happening which was great! 

April 2012: I started into my last quarter at Hocking College, Bud still had one more to go. And we also helped Bud's Aunt Sharon celebrate her wedding this month. We welcomed into the family Mike. It was lots of fun! Also in April we started filling in at a church just outside Amesville, OH since they were without a pastor. 

May 2012: We celebrated Abby's 27th Birthday. And we began preparations for our graduation from Hocking College. Also my brother announced he would be getting married in July so I would add my 4th sister-in-law! :) We also joined Phi-Theta Kappa in May (it's a national Honor society). Below are some photos from that. Also we got our first peek at our new home!! :)

June 2012: WE GRADUATED!!! With Honors!  Below is a pic of our family minus the cat! LOL :)

   July 2012: We moved into our new home and the very next week we welcomed Jennifer into our family at Kevin and Jennifer's wedding in South Carolina. It was bittersweet without Daddy there to join in the festivities! Plus we were able to go to the beach at Hunting Island State Park. 

August 2012: Was pretty uneventful so not much to report there. 

September 2012: We helped different ones celebrate birthdays such as Mamaw's 75th birthday and Jenny's 30th Birthday. And we became Bobcats as we started our journey at Ohio University in Lancaster Ohio. We also became the full time pastor at Lathrop Mission Church in Amesville, OH on September 2, 2012. This is new for us as we've never served in a full time pastorate position before just youth pastor and assistant pastor, but God is leading and directing us and we hope this year we'll get the chance to broaden the ministry and get out in the community and invite people to church! 

October 2012: We were priveleged to attend a Romney/Ryan Ralley in Lancaster, OH and even got to shake hands but didn't get pics with them. 
(This was Romney and Ryan coming on stage!) 

November 2012: We celebrated Thanksgiving with Bud's family here in Logan, OH. 

December 2012: We completed our first semester at Ohio University and we got to go to North Carolina to celebrate Christmas with both of my brothers and their families! It was so much fun! We got to go to some of my old haunts from my time living there like Fort Macon and the New River Pottery and the Mall and even down town New Bern! 

Now it's on to 2013 and the adventures that await us there. (I was trying to post this on New Year's Eve and my internet went down so here it is finally, I'll apologize now the amount of blogs that will be posted in the next couple days as it is my plan to keep up with my blogging better in 2013.)