Choosing Joy {and free printable}

I was just going through some old blog posts and found this one below that I wrote last year at this time.  The words are especially comforting to me this year as the last couple of months have been a rough road for me.  I’m dealing with sickness and pain in the way of an autoimmune disorder that continually threatens to steal my joy.  I so needed to read this today and maybe you do too.

It's Going to be Okay....for Christmas comes and a baby is born in a manger.  Choosing joy in all circumstances.

On the days I get overwhelmed and stressed, my husband looks over at me and says “it’s all going to be okay”. It immediately stops me in me tracks and calms me down for some reason. It really is amazing how effective it is with me. Too bad he only learned this about me in the last couple of years out of the 25 we’ve been together though, but hey better late than never right? :)

As I been checking blogs and Facebook in the last couple of days, I can see that many are stressed and overwhelmed with all there is to do at this time of the year. Maybe you’ve taken on too much and it’s starting to catch up with you and you are exhausted. Perhaps your financial situation is weighing you down or you are having to deal with demanding families.  Maybe health issues are causing fatigue and discouragement and keeping you from choosing joy.

Deep breath.

It’s going to be okay.

Christmas comes and a little tiny baby is born in a manger.

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

~ Isaiah 9:6~

In fact, the Lord wants to give you His peace! Despite all circumstances, emotions, and even storms of life you may be facing, there is a peace that can carry you through. A peace so deep that it puts a song in your heart. So, how do you get this peace you may ask? It’s simple! This deep sense of peace and joy comes as you draw near to the Prince of Peace Himself, Jesus. Continue reading here.

And with it comes the knowledge that God knows exactly where I am and what I need. His story is so much bigger than how many presents are under the tree or if my hair looks good for the Christmas parties. He wants us to see Him, in all His glory and radiance, in the midst of the activity, the baking and the recitals. In the midst of a drained bank account. He is here. He is EmmanuelGod with us. Continue reading here.

And she’ll remind me to simply rest, and sit at His feet. To choose JOY in all things. Not because circumstances are always easy. But because we have a rescuer in Christ. A babe in a manger who came for the very purpose of taking on the weight of the world so we wouldn’t have to. Continue reading here.

Deep breath.


Download this free printable HERE.

Praying you find hope, love, joy and peace this Christmas season. This song below is one of my absolute favorites and it never fails to relax me when I get anxious and need to center myself on the One who leads my path.

Much love.

Filed under: Holidays, Motivation-Encouragement

Menu Plan Monday ~ Dec 15/14

Menu Plan Monday for the week of Dec 15/14

Hello!  Hope you all had a terrific weekend.  I am in the thick of watching my romantic Christmas movies and watch at least one every day.  I’m talking about the sweet Hallmark type ones that always have a happy ending.  They are so good!  I’m slightly obsessed and my PVR has so many waiting for me.  Anyone else love them as much as I do?

Holiday Menu Planning 101:


I just wanted to remind you about the free holiday menu planner post I have that might help you with your holiday meal preparations.  It includes tips, recipes and free printables!  You can find it HERE.

Other Menu Planning Resources:

I thought you might like these terrific recipe ideas to help you with your holiday entertaining and Christmas menu.

50+ Christmas Desserts

12 Heavenly Peppermint Desserts

12 Heavenly Peppermint Recipes

How about making one of those lovely desserts for a neighbor and writing out the recipe for them on these cute free printable recipe cards from Krafty Cards.

Free Printable Christmas Recipe Card

Hope your week is merry and bright! :)

My Weekly Menu Plan:

Monday:  Pepperoni Pizza Quesadillas

Tuesday:  Crispy Pan Roasted Chicken Thighs served with rice and broccoli

Wednesday: Slow Cooker Autumn Pot Roast (I’ll leave out the sun-dried tomatoes)

Thursday:  Leftover buffet

Friday:  Pan Seared Lemon Pepper Salmon served with asparagus

Saturday: I’m hosting a ladies Christmas fun night at my home.  I’ll be setting out a hot cocoa bar (using this recipe) with various snacks including Turtle Shortbread, Cheesecake Fruit Dip (served with assorted fruit) and Hot Pizza Dip.

Sunday:  YOYO (you’re on your own)


Menu Plan Guidelines, banner selections and recipe helpers are here.

More family favorite recipes here.

Don’t forget to join the growing Menu Plan Monday Facebook Page!!

My favorite menu planning resource:

  Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat

Filed under: Menu Plan Monday

Visual Aid Gift List Tracking

Visual Aid Gift List

The following is a guest post from regular contributor, Rachel at Useful Beautiful Home. For me, this is crunch time to finish any remaining gift purchases. Usually by now, if I have anything left to buy, it’s the little “extras” that have gone unnoticed or weren’t a part of my original gift list. Sometimes I […]

Filed under: Guest Bloggers, Holidays, Rachel

Menu Plan Monday ~ Dec 8/14


Hi friends, happy Monday to you!  I hope you are all doing well.  I’ve now been on the Autoimmune Protocol diet for 3 weeks now and it’s going okay.  I’ve been really stretched in my cooking abilities trying to keep things tasty and interesting. I still can’t get used to eating meat with every meal […]

Filed under: Menu Plan Monday

5 Tips For A More Peaceful Holiday Season

Peaceful Holiday

The following is a guest post from regular contributor, Sharon at Mom of 6. Attention ladies and gentleman….I have something I’d like to share with you. As of now, we are a mere 19 days away from Christmas and 11 days away from the start of Hanukkah. But that doesn’t mean it’s time for your […]

Filed under: Guest Bloggers, Holidays, Sharon

Family Christmas Card Storage

family christmas card storage intro

The following is a guest post from regular contributor, Kristin at The Gold Project. Last Christmas, I was organizing pictures and ran across several family Christmas cards that we had sent out in the past. So, I placed them all to the side and decided to see if I could find every Christmas card that […]

Filed under: Guest Bloggers, Holidays, Kristin

Cherry Snowball Christmas Cookies

Cherry Snowball Christmas Cookies

This post is part of a recipe exchange collaboration with some of my blogger friends. More holiday recipes galore at the end of this post! Every year I prepare the simplest of sweets for the holidays.  Most are no bake or with very few ingredients.  I’m not a baker but I do like to have […]

Filed under: Holidays, Recipes

Menu Plan Monday ~ Dec 1/14


Yay it’s December!! I love that I get to change my banner above to a nice new festive one for the holidays. If there is ever a month to be planning your menus this is it!  With so much going on this month, planning a weekly menu is one of the easiest ways to keep […]

Filed under: Menu Plan Monday