Welcome to Mary Lou's Sitting Room

Hello! You are entering the world of Mary Lou...hope you have fun here! I created this blog to be a place of refuge in the storm, inspiration in the fog, light in the darkness, and hope for your life. I love to encourage people and have fun-I hope you will find this true as you visit me here. I plan on writing about all types of subjects, because I am interested in all the good things God has made, so hang on for the ride~! I love to sew and also cook...hence the name..

Thursday, November 26, 2015

A Thankful Heart is a Happy Heart

Thanksgiving is a Holiday that I believe is important for us all. It is said the pilgrims celebrated with a meal to thank God for His provision after much difficulty and trials.  Governor Bradford proclaimed
a day of thanksgiving in the year 1676. October of 1777 witnessed a time when all the 13 colonies joined in a communal celebration. It also marked the victory over the British.

After a number of events and changes, President Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday in November of thanksgiving in the year 1863. This was due to the continuous efforts of Sarah Hale, a magazine editor.

When we take time to be thankful it gives God glory and it also gets our minds off of ourselves.  People are constantly striving to be happy-I see news stories about it all the time, and the answer is so simple: bless others, consider their plight instead of your own. My grandmother used to say "There is always someone else who is worse off than you."  And she was right...all we have to do is go look for them.

We take so much for granted.  There are people in our own towns and cities that struggle daily for food and heat in their homes.  I've never known that kind of struggle and sometimes I feel guilty about that, but guilt about something I had no control over is counterproductive.  What God desires and even expects from us is to reach out and help those that are less fortunate.  It's not hard to find them..all we have to do is call a local church or a church located in the inner city, a homeless shelter or Salvation Army office - they will have a long list of ways we can bless others, I am sure!

Yes, Thanksgiving is important and I pray we never let go of the tradition of celebrating together as families and neighbors and friends.  True confessions: I didn't look through the whole bible myself, but  there are at least 46 bible verses that speak of giving thanks. Here are a few:

Psalm 100:4  "Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
      And into His courts with praise.
      Be thankful to Him, and bless His name."

1 Chronicles 16:34  "Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever ."

 1 Thessalonians 5:18   "...in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."

Happy Thanksgiving Day!  Enjoy your meal and time with family and friends and if you don't have someone to celebrate with, know that the Lord God is always near.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Christmas from a Woman's Perspective

The birth of Christ is certainly something to celebrate. The Incarnation...God come to earth and became flesh - came to earth to make his dwelling among us.   A miracle!

He allowed Himself to be subject to Mary - a very young, first-time mother, and Joseph a first-time dad.  Risky stuff if you ask me..

Let me ask you a question: Do you stand in the awe a wonder of that? I must admit sadly that mostly I stand in awe & wonder at all I have to do!

We are women and we know how to celebrate a holiday!  Tell me honestly...can you picture what Christmas would be like if all the prep was left up to the men??  (At my house, if there was a tree at all, it would likely be strung with one set of lights stretched sparingly across it, we would have burgers for dinner, and there might be plain, white envelopes under the tree with cash inside..)

 We decorate our homes, we bake special goodies, we send cards with loving sentiments, we host family and friends for delectable meals, we sing in choirs and we shop, and shop and shop! We lavish loved ones with gifts galore!  (I'm exhausted just thinking about it..)

But as much as I enjoy the celebrations of the season, I find myself in the midst of a dilemma:  how do I participate in the wonderful traditions of Christmas without becoming so distracted that I disregard or ignore the very One I am celebrating?  I have lists upon lists of things to accomplish in a very short amount of time!  And after all - it won’t be Christmas if I don’t serve the old favorites to the family, or have the house looking festive, and won’t people be offended if they don’t receive a card from me?  And then there is the shopping...sales on items that I simply must purchase or certain people won’t be satisfied...stores crowded, traffic, rude people to deal with...and deadlines!  I am challenged by all of this every year.

I don’t know that I have ever truly asked the Lord how HE would have me celebrate His birth, but I think it’s a good idea.  The shepherds were so excited after hearing of the birth of the Savior that they hurried off to find Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus.  They didn’t seem to be too concerned with the sheep & other responsibilities.  God took care of them and he will also take care of ours if we be sure to put Him first. “Seek first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33)

A picture just came into my head - In it I am celebrating my husband’s birthday with family & friends, food & gifts, but he is sitting in the back of the room in a corner by himself...

John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning...The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us.  We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and Truth.”

Isaiah 9:6,7 “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the government shall be upon His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.  Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.  The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.”

He is awesome and amazing! He loves us so much! So let’s take time with the One we are celebrating and bless those with whom we celebrate!  For we are WOMEN and we know how to celebrate our Savior and King!

May your Christmas celebrations be filled with joy and may you take time every day with the One you are celebrating!  That's how to have a truly "Merry" Christmas!

I know it's early - but Merry Christmas!!