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Showing posts from December, 2016

A Weekend Of New Creatures

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Scientists recently discovered six new sea creatures never before identified at the bottom of the Indian Ocean. While exploring a section of the ocean floor the size of a football field, the team found crabs, snails and worms unlike anything they had ever seen before. Almost two miles beneath the surface of the water, these new creatures will give scientists something to study and theorize about for years.

A new creature means something completely different in God's dictionary.

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17

For the scientists, the new sea creatures had always been there - they just hadn't been discovered yet. There was nothing miraculous or special about them, other than they were hidden in the deep dark of the ocean. They hadn't been created at just that moment for the experts to find. They were simply stumbled upon at the right moment.

For the believer, the new cr…

My Favorite Photos From 2016

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As 2016 comes to a close, I've been looking back on the year and finding some great memories. It hasn't been the easiest year, but it has been full of God's blessings, grace and love.

Our property is my favorite place to be. We have acres of woods, plenty of places to explore with the dogs and wildlife all over. It's fun to look out the window and see something new every day, just like this group of deer having a morning snack.

Another nice part of living in the country is the lack of lights. When the skies are clear, we can see the moon and stars shine so brightly.

I had fun learning lots of new craft skills this year, and this picket fence succulent planter was one of my favorites. Click here for the instructions. You can also choose the "crafts" category on the left side of this page to see everything I made in 2016, complete with tutorials.

Early in the year we had to put Bailey down after 14 amazing years of her life. She was my very first dog, so it wa…

A Year Of Journaling Through The Bible

For the past several years, we've been reading through the Bible in a year here at Living as a Victorious Christian Woman. Every morning you've been able to follow along in the left hand column and read a 5-minute devotion on a verse from that day's reading.

I've heard from so many of you that this is often a highlight of visiting this site. For that I praise God because I know His word doesn't return void. My words are not truly mine, but His.

And now to shake things up.

Beginning Sunday, I am asking you to make this daily time more interactive. Instead of a full, completely written devotion, you will find find two entries: daily reading and daily writing. The daily reading will walk you through three or four chapters of Scripture each day, working our way from Genesis to Revelation in the next 365 days. This will be the comfortable reading that you're familiar with.

Here's where we shake things up. Instead of three or four paragraphs to read, there will b…

A Year Of Wreath Ideas

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Three years ago I received a plain white wreath as a Christmas present. I love this wreath because it is the perfect neutral background to change themes as often as you'd like. Here are examples of what I've made in the past year.

January: These are the same bows I use on the inside of my explosion boxes. Here they look like New Year's Eve fireworks.

February: red heart garland and pink heart picks, laid out to look like a starlight mint.

March: shamrocks printed off the computer and attached to lollipop sticks and green bead necklaces.

April: three shades of yellow and white flowers for Easter.

May: three sizes of clip-on butterflies.

 June: different sizes and colors of sunflowers.

July: four curly bows, a bow that is designed to wrap around the back of a chair and a USA necklace.

August: back-to-school supplies.
September: A fall leaves garland and one of my favorite Boyds bears - the one walking his sweet little puppy.

October: paper bulletin board borders and a woode…

My Favorite Books From 2016

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This has been a year of change, trust and growth for me. A large part of this has been been the direct result of books that I have read. After my morning Bible study, I have made it a habit to read a chapter or two of a study book. This has been an amazing experience for me, and I would love to share six of my favorite titles with you. Some are old, some are new and all are just plain wonderful.

* Do You Know You're Already Amazing? (2016) After reading Holley Gerth's book You're Already Amazing, I knew I had to have her new devotional. I'd read and passed around the first one to many women, but I wanted this one to be special and private, just for me. In it Holley helps us face the lies we've bought into and how to use God's Word to destroy them all and come out victorious. Love it. Love it. Love it.

* Spurgeon On Praise (1995) The absolute best way to combat fear, depression, discouragement and sorrow is praising God, and Charles Spurgeon frequently preached…

The Morning After The Christmas Day Before

For some reason, society calls the day after Christmas the most depressing day of the year. Their anticipation and happiness are tied into Christmas Day, so much so that once the gifts are opened, the food has been eaten and the family is gone, next Christmas feels like more than a year away.
For Christians, the day after Christmas is just as amazing and joyful as the holiday itself. On Sunday we celebrated the birth of Christ. On Monday we celebrate His life.
If you add up all the verses of Scripture that tell about Christ's birth, there really aren't that many. Only two of the gospel writers describe His birth in detail. More words are written about His death, burial and resurrection than His birth. We read that handful of chapters on Christmas Day, but the rest of the year is spent digging in to the rest of the Bible. The majority of our days are spent learning about how He lived, how He loved, how He died and how He rose again to secure victory over death and the grave.
Th…

Praying You Have A Very Merry Christmas

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New Christmas Eve Traditions

On this very special day before Christmas, I pray you're blessed with family, love and laughter. This precious day of anticipation is the perfect time to continue with traditions that have been handed down through the generations and start some new ones of your own.

If you'd like to do something different this Christmas Eve, something that might turn into a tradition in the years to come, here are a few ideas:

* Attend your church's Christmas Eve service.
* Drive around town to look at the Christmas lights.
* Have a night-before-Christmas campout in the living room, complete with blanket fort.
* Set up a waffle station for the evening with both sweet and savory toppings.
* Make it Movie Night and watch your favorite old holiday movies.
* Hide candy canes all over the house and then team up to find them all.
* Decorate Christmas cookies that you can share at church tomorrow morning.
* Take a family photo by the Christmas tree that you can update every year.
* Make gingerbre…

DIY Framed Artwork Board

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I'm considering this framed art project a Christmas gift to myself. I've wanted to make this for ages, but I hadn't found a frame I liked. When I came across this lightly stained wood frame at the local thrift shop, I knew it would be perfect.

Danny cut a piece of wood three inches wider on every side of the frame.

And I stained it a beautiful dark color.

Then I cut a piece of cardboard just slightly smaller than the frame itself so there would be space to adhere it. 

I covered the cardboard with decorator paper.

And adhered the covered cardboard to the back of the frame with hot glue.

Because there is no glass in the frame, I could use any 3D embellishments that I wanted. It's like being able to decorate a scrapbook page.

Once I was done, I adhered the whole framed art to the board with hot glue. I flipped it upside down and put heavy books on it to make sure the glue set well. I'll put a hanger or two on the back and then find the perfect place to hang it.
If yo…

Happy First Day Of Winter!

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Today is the shortest day of the year - the official first day of winter. It definitely feels like it here, especially after a bitterly cold weekend. Hopefully you were able to stay in warm and dry, too.

It always amazes me to hear people talk about the weather as though snow in Iowa in December is a rare thing. When you live in the Midwest (and many other parts of the world), you should expect to be shoveling snow in the cold.

It's not a new concept.

The day is thine, the night is also thine: thou hast prepared the light and the sun. Thou hast set all the borders of the earth: thou hast made summer and winter. Psalm 74:16-17

Going back to the very first chapter of Genesis, God has had a plan for the sun, the moon and the seasons earth would experience. Spring comes and the land is prepared for crops. Summer comes and the sunshine warms us. Autumn comes and it's time for harvest. Winter comes and everything hibernates before the process begins again.

Our God is the God of orde…

Turning A Thrift Store Frame Into Three Gifts

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While at the local thrift store last week, I found this beautiful, sturdy wood frame. It even had an adorable kitten picture in it. But my plan was not to set this sweet kitten on a shelf, but to turn this $1.99 find into three beautiful upcycled pieces.

So I had a wood frame...

...a matted photo...

...and the heavy cardboard easel part.

I took the picture out of the mat and turned it into a handmade all-occasion card. I think I know the special cat lover in my life who will want this.

Then I turned the easel back of the frame into 3D Christmas art.

All I did was cover it with decorator paper and decorate it like I would a scrapbook page. Now it can stand on its own and be put anywhere during the Christmas season.

My favorite part, though, was turning the wood frame into a larger framed picture. I've wanted to try something like this for weeks - I was just looking for the right frame. On Thursday I'll show you how I made it, so make sure you come back and check it out.

The Words Of Advent - Peace

Since the beginning of human history, there has been a struggle for peace. In every generation and in every century since the Garden of Eden, sin and war and evil have robbed us of peace. Take one look at local, national or international media and you'll see no end of friction and fighting in sight.
But the fourth Advent candle reminds us that peace has already been here.
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6
The Old Testament prophet penned these words that described the coming Messiah. While He would be known by many names and character traits, the one Isaiah closed with was Prince of Peace. In a land ravaged by war and a people in constant battle with enemies physical and spiritual, the Savior of the world was going to come with a message of peace for His believers.
Imagine the men in the synagogue…

Dipped Cookie Spoons

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I always enjoy trying something new in the kitchen, and this Christmas is no different. I had a cookie pan shaped like little spoons that I found in an after-Christmas sale last year and hadn't used yet. It's now one of my new favorites, and I hope it becomes one of yours, too.

The pan has eight textured cavities, so the dough will pick up whatever shape it's pressed into. It's also a good idea to test one before you make several at a time so you'll know if it really is non-stick or if you'll need to spray it with non-stick spray.

Fill each cavity 2/3 of the way full. I discovered with this pan in particular that you need to roll the dough into a ball and then press it in, not adding a little more dough here and there to fill it in. I didn't that for a couple of them, and that was exactly where the spoon handle broke in two pieces. 

Leave them in the pan for a few minutes to lose some of their softness, says my voice of experience. They'll come out muc…