Did you make a New Year’s Resolution?

I used to make a resolution every year. My resolutions ranged from working out more, dieting, reading more for fun, and education. Like most people I was successful for a while, but then stumbled and went back to my old ways.

This year I didn’t make a resolution, but want to try to listen more carefully to God’s guidance in what I eat. I need to lower my cholesterol and sugar numbers. I am cutting back on the carbs I eat and keeping a journal with my count for each day. There are many different plans and diets available for any type of way you want to stay healthy. I don’t believe any one plan is meant for everyone. We all have different body types and reactions to the food we eat. Some people can eat a lot and never gain an ounce. We have to figure out what our metabolism is and work with that. We can look at our family and see what traits we have from our parents and grandparents.

Once we have a better handle on what works for our body, then we can work on finding the best type of eating plan we should be on. If you’re like me this can be very frustrating, I have worked at keeping my weight down most of my life. The older I get the harder it is because our metabolism slows down. I work out more and eat less, but still struggle with loosing.

These are some of the different plans you can follow, after talking to your doctor:

You can also check with your doctor for recommendations for you and your health conditions. You should always make sure the plan you want to try is approved by your doctor.

I really want to make it work this time. Where are you in this struggle? Can we work together and help each other? Let me know what you think. Please leave a comment on this blog so others can benefit from your experience.

What is Winter Like For You?

We live in Florida now. Growing up in Michigan is quite different in the weather department. Winter in Michigan can be beautiful with the snow and ice when you are sitting safely in your home by a nice warm fire drinking a cup of hot cocoa. I loved winter as a child and I could only have to worry about playing out in the winter wonderland

As an adult however it is a completely different story. We have to drive on the slippery and icy roads, be concerned for our loved ones in the car with us and those around us. Sometimes the people around us drive like they haven’t a clue as to how to handle the weather conditions. They either, drive too fast or too slow and cause accidents because people around them aren’t sure which way they are going to move.

As a kid even shoveling the snow was fun. We’d see how high we could get the plies along the sidewalk. Then we’d make snow angels and snowmen. Sometimes we’d even build walls. Then stand behind them and have snow ball fights. Those are good memories, but I’m glad that is all in the past.

Now we shovel sunshine during the winter. This winter has been above average in temperatures so far, but I still like it better than trying to handle icy streets and sidewalks. I do miss the pretty sweaters and cuddling up with a soft warm afghan. There is something to be said for floating on a raft, with a drink, and listening to Christmas music on Christmas Eve though.

Having more sunshine in the winter is a definite benefit too. Cloudy days can make it hard to be in a good mood. There are people that suffer from Seasonal affective disorder , this link will take you to a site for the Mayo Clinic. If you feel more down or depressed than you think you should be read this site and call your doctor to see what he thinks. Don’t let it just go on; there are things that can help you.

What state do you live in? What is the weather like for you? What types of activity keep you busy during the winter?

New Year’s 2016

2015 went by faster than 2014 for us. How about you? We had some ups and downs. I flew to Hawaii in April for my cousin Mike’s memorial service. Then in May we went to Michigan for our nephew’s wedding. In June we traveled up to Washington D.C. for Mike’s amazing funeral service at Arlington. Then in October we traveled to Kentucky for Jim’s, my husband’s, 99 year old aunt’s funeral. With all of the traveling we were able to see a lot of family and friends.

None of us know what the New Year will bring for sure, but God has a plan for each of us. Jim had some renovation things he wants to do, as well as playing more golf this year. I will continue writing. My first book in “Bible Characters Through the Ages” should be out in January. This is the latest version of the cover, and I believe the final.The publisher has the first three stories in the series. I have already started on the next three. This is so much fun and exciting to write stories for God’s little ones, and I’m learning and growing in my faith as I write.

Here are some ideas to help you stay close as a family as we begin 2016.

I found a website Entertainment How Stuff Works that has a lot of fun ideas to do together as a family. So often our schedules take us in many different directions. Our oldest daughter, April, Has a large wipe board that has their schedule on it. Their outside activities are all listed. She also has days and evenings blocked for family time. This is an awesome way for everyone in the family to stay focused on what needs to be done as well as a set time to be a family.

Some of the fun ideas on the Entertainment How Stuff Works site are:

  1. Family Movies Night: have a theme and watch a few movies together.
  2. Game Night: There are many games that are fun for the whole family.
  3. Craft Night: Find something that will be fun and challenging for everyone.
  4. Dress Up Night: Have everyone get dressed up and go to a nice restaurant.
  5. Cooking Night: Have the kids pick a menu and then have them help to make it.

In each of these ideas share the decision making with each member of the family.

When you have the Dress Up Night, this is a good opportunity to teach the kids the proper dedicate for using the silverware and the order to use it. The art of social manners is slipping away. I see too many people when we are out that have atrocious table manners. Please help your kids to be very polite and have great table manners.

Give me some of your ideas for family fun.

May God Bless you in 2016.

Happy New Year!!!

Christmas 2015



The Psalm for today is:
Psalm 45

The Old Testament lesson for today is:
Isaiah 59: 1-15a

The Epistle lesson for today is:
Galatians 3:23-4:7

The Gospel lesson for today is:
Matthew 1:18-25

Birth of Christ

18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. 19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. 20 But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

22 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”

24 Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, 25 and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name Jesus.


We made it to Christmas day. Now, take a deep breath, relax and just let the day happen.

After we open our presents, in our family, we all sing happy birthday to Jesus, and remind the kids that His birthday is the real reason that we have a Christmas celebration.

In our family, my Great Grandma Shaw, on my Mom’s side, started what ended up a tradition in 1926. She combined the traditions of Grandpa and Grandma Shaw’s family. On the Galpin side they had a pancake breakfast, and on the Shaw side they had a steak dinner. It ended up a steak and pancake breakfast for the entire family.

Enjoy your Christmas, and when you get a chance please share with us some of your traditions.




1 The New King James Version. (1982). (Mt 1:18–25). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

Advent: Fourth Sunday in Advent

This is the fourth week of Advent. Hopefully by now things are beginning to settle down a bit for you. If not sit down, take a deep breath, close your eyes, and pray with me. “Dear Father, please hold me in your loving arms. Let me feel Your calmness, and love. Please help me to let go of the things that don’t need to be done. Remind me of the real reason we are celebrating Christmas, that all of the other stuff is just stuff. The important thing is to celebrate Jesus and the love of our family, and friends. Amen.”


Now sit there with your eyes stay closed for a few minutes and bask in His love.

The Psalm for today is:
Psalm 29

The Old Testament reading for today is:
Genesis 3:8-15

The Epistle for today is:
Revelations 12:1-10

The Gospel lesson for today is:
John 3:16-21

16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.


  • This is such an amazing gift for us. God’s love shows no bounds.
  • Talk with the children about God’s love.
  • Tell them to think about how they love you. Then say that God loves them even more.
  • Also that the love of God makes it possible for us to come to Him in heaven when we die and live in peace, harmony and healthy.


18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”


  • Help your children to know and feel His love by teaching them to pray, asking for help in making decisions. Such as what type of book to read; Is this book something God would approve of me reading?
  • Also teach them to pray; Dear God how can I help ___, she/he is sad because ___ happened.
  • If they are being bullied help them by praying with them saying: “Dear God, please give me strength to stand up for myself, and not let ___ hurt me or my feelings. Amen.”


I pray this is helpful for you and your family. How has this helped? How else can I help you?




1 The New King James Version. (1982). (Jn 3:16–21). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

Advent: Third Sunday in Advent

It’s the third week of Advent already. How are things going at your home? Are you still frazzled, or have you tried to slow down and take things one at a time?

I’m not frazzled, but a little anxious. My husband has been renovating our guest bathroom. It’s going to be beautiful when it’s done. However, life keeps getting in the way of him working on it. His 99 year old aunt died, which meant a trip to Louisville, KY, to be with family and friends. It was wonderful to see so many of the family. Then he took  three days off to go with me to a conference and book signing event in Daytona. It was a fun time of teaching, sharing, and meeting some really great teachers.

Now he has a cold, poor guy. He’s still working on the bathroom, but at a slower pace. He’ll have the door up by the weekend and we will be able to use the toilet and sink. He just has to do the finish things to the walls then he can paint, and add the trim and accessories.

All of the decorations make our homes look pretty, but they really aren’t absolutely necessary to have Christmas. We can just put a few things out to make it festive in the room we are in most of the time. One of my favorite decorations is a figurine of Santa with his cap off bowing down to Jesus in the Manger. That says it all. That is the only thing we have to remember at Christmas, that we are celebrating the birth of Jesus.

If you haven’t baked all of the cookies you usually do, just pick one or two recipes to make. Most of us really don’t need to eat that many sweets anyway.

Depending on what time of day works best for you to have quiet time with God, find a place to be alone with Him. Take that time to praise Him for all that He has blessed you with. Then ask Him how you can best serve those around you. Then listen quietly for an answer, remember you may need to be still longer than you think. He may be waiting for you to really give Him your full attention. Taking this time with God will give you peace and a new focus for the days ahead.

The Psalm for today is:
Psalm 98

A Song of Praise to the Lord for His Salvation and Judgment
1 Oh, sing to the Lord a new song!
For He has done marvelous things;


  • He has done many marvelous things!
  • Show your children things throughout the day that show the beauty and glory of God.
  • Teach them to say a prayer thanking God for all He has done for them.


His right hand and His holy arm have gained Him the victory.
2 The Lord has made known His salvation;
His righteousness He has revealed in the sight of the nations.
3 He has remembered His mercy and His faithfulness to the house of Israel;
All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.


  • God teaches us that if we listen and follow His directions that we will see the peaceful lives we can live.
  • If you children are fighting, settle them down and pray with them. Ask God to help them to think about what their actions will do to the other person.
  • If Adam and Eve hadn’t disobeyed there never would be any struggle in our world. Talk with the kids about what it would be like if they never fought or hurt someone’s feelings.


4 Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth;
Break forth in song, rejoice, and sing praises.
5 Sing to the Lord with the harp,
With the harp and the sound of a psalm,
6 With trumpets and the sound of a horn;
Shout joyfully before the Lord, the King.
7 Let the sea roar, and all its fullness,
The world and those who dwell in it;
8 Let the rivers clap their hands;
Let the hills be joyful together before the Lord,
9 For He is coming to judge the earth.
With righteousness He shall judge the world,
And the peoples with equity.


  • Find a time to sing praises to God with your kids. Turn on a Christian radio station while you are driving and sing along.
  • Say prayers before meals and bedtime. Make sure they not only ask God to watch over everyone, but to thank Him for keeping them safe and healthy.
  • Teach them to pray asking God to guide them. Then tell the kids they have to listen for God to answer them. To listen for words of love and encouragement in their heart.


The Old Testament reading for today is:
Amos 9:11-15

The Epistle reading for today is:
2 Thessalonians 2:1-3, 13-17

The Gospel reading for today is:
John 5:30-47




1 The Holy Bible: The Contemporary English Version. (1995). (Lk 1:57–68). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

Advent: Second Sunday in Advent

As we go into the second week in Advent we continue to prepare our hearts and homes for the coming of the Christ Child. This is a very busy time of year. We are busy, cooking, cleaning, and baking those wonderful traditional foods that are a part of our families celebrations. However, we also need to “Remember The Reason For The Season.” We wouldn’t be going through all of this if we weren’t celebrating Christmas. There are a lot of people that just use Christmas as a time to gather with family and friends.

How about if this Advent and Christmas season we try to share our love and faith with those around us. Find ways to help someone in need. The obvious would be to give a bag of food and toiletries to someone that is homeless. Or to give toys to Toys for Tots, cook at a soup kitchen, teach a reading class in a homeless shelter.

There are also family and friends that could use some help. If someone is sick take a meal to them or drive them to the doctor. You can clean the house of a frazzled young mom, or take the kids so she can just rest.

If you know someone in the hospital, shut in, or in a nursing home, take them something to read, like Our Daily Bread, or a new Bible. Take time to visit with them, ask if there is something they would like you to pray about with them. Then hold their hand and pray together adding “Father, please give ___ comfort and peace,” and what you feel led to pray for.

Take time each day to talk with God and ask for His guidance for the day. It’s amazing when you really listen for His response, you really can hear that still small voice in your soul. He has graced me with His words many times. I pray that you will feel this as well.

As you put up your Christmas decorations, play Christmas hymns, and tell the children the real meaning of Christmas. Share with them how you learned about this holiday from family and friends at your church. Share the fun memories of making special ornaments or cookies. If you’re like me a lot of the family is now gone. To keep them alive in our hearts I tell stories of things I did as a child with my family, also the teachings I learned at my church home.



The lessons for the second week of Advent are:
The Psalm for the day is:
Psalm 148-150

The Old Testament reading is:
Amos 6:1-14

The Epistle reading is:
2 Thessalonians 1:5-12
Luke 1:57-68

The Gospel reading is:
The Birth of John the Baptist

57 When Elizabeth’s son was born, 58 her neighbors and relatives heard how kind the Lord had been to her, and they too were glad.
59 Eight days later they did for the child what the Law of Moses commands. They were going to name him Zechariah, after his father. 60 But Elizabeth said, “No! His name is John.”
61 The people argued, “No one in your family has ever been named John.” 62 So they motioned to Zechariah to find out what he wanted to name his son.
63 Zechariah asked for a writing tablet. Then he wrote, “His name is John.” Everyone was amazed. 64 Right away, Zechariah started speaking and praising God.
65 All the neighbors were frightened because of what had happened, and everywhere in the hill country people kept talking about these things. 66 Everyone who heard about this wondered what this child would grow up to be. They knew that the Lord was with him.
67 The Holy Spirit came upon Zechariah, and he began to speak:
68 Praise the Lord, the God of Israel! He has come to save his people.


  • Do you have any friends that had children later in life?
  • How did they react?
  • We had a friend that had a baby when her youngest was in high school.
  • The daughter that was born was a joy to all of us
  • Talk with your children about how special every baby is, no matter how old the parents are.
  • Ask them how they feel being an older brother or sister.
  • If they are the first, ask them about other babies of your family or friends. Ask them about their feelings about that baby.


Please share with me your Advent and Christmas Traditions. What is your favorite tradition of Christmas?



1 The Holy Bible: The Contemporary English Version. (1995). (Lk 1:57–68). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

Advent History First Sunday in Advent

Advent is the fourth Sunday before Christmas. It is a time we prepare our hearts for the birth of Jesus. The different denominations have different traditions. In Western Christianity we use the color purple or blue for the different hangings around the church and the vestments or stoles that the clergy wear. The Lutherans chose purple, while the Methodists chose blue.

The different churches also choose different music that is played or sung. Handel’s Messiah, the Magnificat, and O Come, O Come, Emmanuel are just three of the familiar songs that are sung during this period. We all have our favorites depending on what we grew up with. Traditionally these are not Christmas carols, but songs telling of the coming of Jesus.

There are also traditions the churches follow. In England there used to be a tradition where dolls represented Jesus and the Blessed Virgin Mary. If you gave a halfpenny coin to the person taking the dolls by your home you were to have good luck. If you did not give a halfpenny the household would have bad luck.

In Normandy, the farmers had the children run through the fields to set fire to the bundles of straw, thus driving out the evil that could damage their crops.

In Rome, there would be bagpipe players that would play as they come to the manger at Bethlehem. This was to recognize the pipes that the shepherds would have played.

Now our churches use and advent calendar or candles. The calendars usually have a little door to open. There can be a Bible verse and possibly a small gift or piece of chocolate.

The Advent wreath is usually lit at worship with the Bible reading for that day being read first. In 2015 the four Advent Sundays are November 29, December 6, December 13, and December 20.You can read part or all of the lessons with your children. I have the Psalm reading printed here for you this week.

The readings for the “First Sunday in Advent November 29, 2015”

The Psalm for the day is:
Psalm 146

The Happiness of Those Whose Help is the Lord
1 Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord, O my soul!
2 While I live I will praise the Lord;
I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.


  • Teach your children to thank God for everything
  • Sing songs of praise with your local Christian radio station
  • Say prayers with them of thanks when you see a rainbow or the beauty in nature


3 Do not put your trust in princes,
Nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help.
4 His spirit departs, he returns to his earth;
In that very day his plans perish.


  • Teach the children to trust the guidance of God
  • Tell them to pray then to quietly listen for an answer
  • The answer comes in a still small voice you hear in your heart


5 Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help,
Whose hope is in the Lord his God,
6 Who made heaven and earth,
The sea, and all that is in them;
Who keeps truth forever,
7 Who executes justice for the oppressed,
Who gives food to the hungry.
The Lord gives freedom to the prisoners.
8 The Lord opens the eyes of the blind;
The Lord raises those who are bowed down;
The Lord loves the righteous.
9 The Lord watches over the strangers;
He relieves the fatherless and widow;
But the way of the wicked He turns upside down.
10 The Lord shall reign forever—
Your God, O Zion, to all generations.
Praise the Lord!


  • Teach the children that God is with everyone, no matter what their situation in life
  • Pray with them for the homeless on the streets
  • Pray with them for the prisoners, strangers, and those who have lost loved ones.


The other readings you can read as a family for this first week in Advent are:
The Old Testament reading for the day is:
Amos 1:1-5,13-2:8

The Epistle reading for the day is:
1 Thessalonians 5:1-11

The Gospel reading for the day is:
Luke 21:5-19


May God bless you as you prepare your heart for the Coming of the Christ Child. What is your family tradition for this first week of Advent?



1 The New King James Version. (1982). (Ps 146). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.


Psalm 95 (NKJV)
A Call to Worship and Obedience

1 Oh come, let us sing to the Lord!
Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
2 Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving;


Teaching your children to be thankful:
At a young age teach them to pray before meals
Also teach them to say a bedtime prayer
If they tell you about someone that was hurt or sick, stop what you are doing and say a prayer together for that person


Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.
3 For the Lord is the great God,
And the great King above all gods.
4 In His hand are the deep places of the earth;
The heights of the hills are His also.
5 The sea is His, for He made it;
And His hands formed the dry land.
6 Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.


Teach children to see the beauty in the world:
Pray together thanking God for a sunny day or a beautiful rainbow
Show the kids the mountains and the water and tell them that God made all of it



7 For He is our God,
And we are the people of His pasture,
And the sheep of His hand.
Today, if you will hear His voice:
8 “Do not harden your hearts, as in the rebellion,
As in the day of trial in the wilderness,
9 When your fathers tested Me;
They tried Me, though they saw My work.
10 For forty years I was grieved with that generation,
And said, ‘It is a people who go astray in their hearts,
And they do not know My ways.’
11 So I swore in My wrath,
‘They shall not enter My rest.’ ”


When there are trials:
Pray with the children when they are sick, asking God to make them feel better
Pray with them asking for God to help them to do well in school
Pray for fun and safety when playing a sport
Teach your children to take everything to God in prayer. From the big things such as a serious illness, death, (even of a pet) help in school, forgiveness for doing something they shouldn’t have done.

How do you teach your children to be thankful?

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
Thank you my shepherd for providing the things I need
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
Thank you for helping me to stop and rest
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
Thank You for the calm waters still the trouble in my soul
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
Please let Your path be clear so I can see and follow it
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
Thank You for showing me that You will help  me stand up to evil
For You are with me;
I know You are always there, I only need to hold out my hand
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
They give me a sense of peace and love
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
Your preparation makes me strong, and my enemies see I don’t fear them
You anoint my head with oil;
Your anointing shows me I am moving in the right direction
My cup runs over.
Your blessings are so much more than I can hold. I will share them with others
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
I know I am Yours, and if I follow You, I will have peace
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.1
I will someday be in Your heavenly home


The 23rd Psalm is so rich in love, peace and imagery. On a difficult day you can pray this Psalm. You can stop at each phrase and imagine you are enveloped in God’s love in each setting. Even if when you are facing difficult times He will always be there with you.

This past July I was really tested. Jim, my husband, had gone to the hospital for a routine CT scan. He had a pulled muscle in his side and the doctor wanted to make sure it wasn’t torn. The regular scan went well. Then the tech injected him with the dye for the contrast scan. Jim felt warmth going up through his body and a strong urge to sneeze. The scan was done and when he got up he felt light headed. Then he could feel himself swelling, in his throat, eyes and nose. Soon he was fighting to breath. He passed out, and a nurse saw him waver, caught him and assisted him to the floor. Through his fog he heard “man down,” he opened his eyes and looked to see what they were talking about. Then, seeing the ceiling, realized it was him. He told me his first thought was “it’s a good thing I didn’t die, Jann would be pissed.” I have always told him that I get to go first. He would do much better going on without me than I would without him.

I was home doing some cleaning and realized he had been gone much longer than expected. I texted him and waited about 10 minutes. I hadn’t heard back so I called the hospital and was connected with radiology. They proceeded to tell me that he was in the ER, but wouldn’t give me any information. Later, I found out it was because of the Hippa law.

I rushed over to the hospital, praying all the way there. I was strangely calm and felt peace. God told me everything was going to be okay. When I finally was able to go into the ER and to Jim’s bedside the first thing I said was “What did you do now?” He smiled, still breathing with difficulty, and said that he had had a sever reaction to the contrast dye. The doctor told me Jim had anaphylactic shock, and almost died. I kissed him and said a quick prayer thanking God for not taking Jim away from me.

He stayed in the hospital for several tests to make sure there were no problems from the dye, and then returned home the next day. I can’t thank God enough for letting me keep my wonderful husband.

Have you faced something that was very difficult and felt God’s love holding you tight? Write me back and share your experience.

1 The New King James Version. (1982). (Ps 23:1–6). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.