Tag Archive | god

Good Gifts

Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the father above with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. 

-James 1:17

During this Christmas season God has been blessing our family. We’ve been puposeful on keeping watch for His hand at work. It’s fun to be surprised and see Him work through His creation.

Cabin

As I mentioned last week, my coworkers blessed our family with a beautiful mountain cabin for Christmas.  Well, the Guest Services Manager surprised us with four additional days. So, we get to enjoy it for a full week. Awesome! 

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We have been blessed with our Facilities team making sure we are stocked with firewood. Also, we woke up to beautiful poinsettias placed on our porch. Wow!

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Tree

I also mentioned we were given a wonderful fresh cut tree by a coworker.  Another friend lent us some lights and a different frient lent us decorations for it and the cabin.

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Presents

Day after day, we have been given Christmas presents from gift cards, basketball trading cards, clothes, money, cocoa mugs, candy, flowers and even bookmarks for which we had none. We are humbled by our community’s generosity.

Jesus

All of these things are nice. However, the best gift God gave us is His son Jesus.

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And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.
Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

-Luke 2:1-7

May you have a very Merry Christmas!

Blessings, Rebecca

Bonus

A friend invited us to see a train exhibit they were hosting at a their church. It was a colorful winter wonderland.

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Summer Plans

 

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As school is winding down, are you making summer plans?

I sat down recently to think about what we can schedule for the kids; especially on a tight budget. We live in the majestic Santa Cruz mountains and often walk along the beach and hike in the redwoods.

Yet, I prayed to the Lord asking for Him to bless our family with some fun summer activities. He answered my prayer in many ways…

When the kids and I returned home from school recently, the radio DJ announced the 7th caller would win a four pack of tickets to see Monster Jam at Levi Stadium where the San Francisco 49ers play football. It was electric!

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We plan to attend Family Camp at Mount Hermon where I work and at Mission Springs where my husband works as a part of our employee benefits. Also, our kids will attend Frontier Ranch Santa Barbara (FRSB) and Campers In Leadership Training (CILT) with an employee discount.

My sister-in-law invited us to join her annual work picnic at Great America. We can’t wait to ride the roller coasters, eat delicious BBQ and hit the water slides. All compliments of her company.

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My husband and son are gardeners. To our surprise, residents have offered  them side jobs. The extra income will help with fun money and saving up for a car for Austin.

Our neighbor approached us and offered to give us his recyclable bottles and cans. He then dropped off five full lawn and leaf bags.

About a week ago, I entered a local contest on Facebook and we won family tickets for Santa Cruz Beach and Boardwalk and Roaring Camp Railroad. We are looking forward to our next adventure.

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These blessings remind me that:

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights who does not change like shifting shadows. 

– James 1:17

Blessings,  Rebecca

Spring Break 2018

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“Where are we going for Spring Break Mom,” my daughter asked.

“Well, honey your dad and I have to work this week, but we can ask our bosses for a day off.” Thankfully, they granted our requests.

So, all four of us tossed around ideas for a day trip within 150 miles from where we live. In the end, we chose the Oakland Zoo.

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It was our first time. My husband packed a wheelchair in the trunk of our car, because our son is healing from a fractured foot and the east foothills would prove to be too much.

We had fun exploring all the animals and learning about their habitats.

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The zoo recently added a gondola that took us up to the new café and lookout. The view of the city was stunning. We could see the port of Oakland as well as the skyline of San Francisco.

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We were blessed with minimal traffic to and from, no lines at the park and perfect weather. The next day, we had a big spring storm dumping four inches of rain in Santa Cruz mountains.

My son asked me what my favorite animal was and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it as I enjoyed them all. I am amazed at the variety of species God has created for us to enjoy.

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Are you on Spring Break and, if so, what did you do?

Blessings, Rebecca

Benched

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Have you ever broken a bone? Well, my husband and I have not. Thank the Lord! Upon our son’s return from youth winter camp, he complained of a sore right foot. When I looked at it, it was red and swollen.

We took Austin to the doctor and the x-ray showed it is fractured. Ugh! This on the heal of making the high school JV volleyball team (shown above). The podiatrist issued him a boot and crutches (see below) to be worn for 4-6 weeks. All this happened on the first game of the season. I am proud of him that he chose to still support his teammates by watching on the sideline.

20180303_194127.jpgAs a mom, it is extremely difficult to watch your child be “benched” for a period of time. The comfort I have is knowing Austin is in God’s hands and our family/friends are praying for him. Also, I lean on God’s word such as Isaiah 53:5.

But He was pierced for our transgressions,

He was crushed for our iniquities;

the punishment that brought us peace was on Him,

and by His wounds we are healed.

Have you had to watch your child(ren) suffer and/or go through a healing process? Feel free to share with us.

Blessings, Rebecca

One Step Forward Two Steps Back

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Ever felt like you take one step forward and two steps back? That’s how I feel as I write this blog. As you may know, our family has been on an amazing journey learning to trust God day by day, hour by hour and sometime minute by minute since my job loss in the Semiconductor industry a few years ago.

It appeared we were on the road to recovery as I landed an awesome job, Randy was working full-time, and we were offered an affordable cabin near the kids’ school. We were catching up on much-needed items and bills. Then, a few days ago, my husband was notified, due to budget cuts, his hours were being reduced from full-time 40 hours per week to 29 hours.

Had it been a couple of years ago, I would have exploded. However, I’ve learned to lift everything up to God. So, as a family, we prayed that He would take care of us with this impact and guide our steps going forward.

If I feel a tinge of worry or anxiety pop up, I am quick to cast it on to the Lord. I frequently lean on Matthew 6:28-33.

And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these.  But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?  Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’  For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.  But strive first for the kingdom of God[a] and his[b] righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

With that said, I have experienced a deeper sense of peace resting in Him trusting that the Lord will provide for our family’s needs. I am not sure what the duture holds will, but I know God is good and He cares for us.

Have you ever felt like you have taken one step forward and two steps back? I’d love to hear about it and what you learned from it.

Blessings, Rebecca

Happy New Year 2018

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What did your family do for New Year’s Eve 2017? We attended a festive party consisting of three home churches in the area who gathered together.

There was a DJ playing music, Just Dance video game for folks to play and a cameraman to taking pictures of guests with silly hats as shown above with my daughter Alicia (13) and son Austin (15).

The pastors purchased pizza and everyone brought delicious side dishes. I love potlucks, because you get to sample a variety of recipes.

After eating and talking,  we moved to the sanctuary for worship and then prayed for one another. It was night of good food, fun and fellowship.

When we returned home, we watched the ball drop in New York Times Square. It is always a surreal moment to me to say good-bye to one year and usher in another.

My prayer for my family and yours is that in 2018 we would witness God’s goodness in a new and fresh way just like Isaiah prophesied over Israel in 43:19.

See, I am doing a new thing. Now it springs up;

do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the

wilderness and streams in the wasteland. 

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Blessings, Rebecca

Did you make any New Year’s resolutions for 2018? If so, I’d love to hear about them. Please share with us.

Macrame

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Ever see the back of an unfinished rug? It is messy. Kinda like life sometimes. Recently, I watched Pastor Robert Morris preach a sermon on how it parallels our journey. People and events come and go which weave an intricate pattern called life.

At first glance, you may look at it and think that doesn’t look very nice, but then you turn it over and see the final product. The beauty is astonishing.

God sees us and can take the messes of our lives and turn it into something beautiful like a Persian rug shown below. Wow!

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We may not get the answers to all of our questions here on Earth that we’d like, but my hope is when we look back on our journey, we will see how God put all the pieces together that created our unique story.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart

and lean not on your own understanding;

in all your ways submit to Him,

and He will make your paths straight.

– Proverbs 3:5-7

Do you have a story you’d like to tell about how God wove a beautiful story in your life? I’d love to hear it.

Blessings, Rebecca

Working Mom

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Do you ever struggle balancing working with motherhood? I think a lot of moms find it difficult to balance career and parenting.

When I was fresh out of college, a 60 hour work week was the semiconductor industry standard. Initially, I found my manufacturing management position rewarding. Down the road, I dreamed of having a family of my own. Most of my friends were married and had children. In fact, one day a co-worker of plopped in my office chair and said, “Rebecca, why aren’t you married yet?” I sat stunned, “I’m not sure. I just haven’t met the right guy yet.”

Fast forward a few years, my focus became my marriage and family life. Now, I enjoy watching my kids grow. My new challenge is balancing work, taking care of our household, and helping with homework.

One way that helps me balance my day is starting out with some quiet time with the Lord, praying and reading God’s word. Carving this time out of my busy schedule always helps me keep focused and makes my day go smooth.

Can you relate? If so, what tips have you found successful?

Unexpected Company

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From left Aunty Randi, Austin, Uncle Mike, Nephew Christian, Randy, Rebecca and Alicia

Unexpected Company

Have you ever had something unexpected happen in your life? Sometimes surprises can be unwanted such as a loved one saying, “I want a divorce.” Other times, the unexpected can bring us joy. For instance, when your spouse tells you, “I’m pregnant.”

Well, this week I want to share with you about my pleasant surprise I received. My sister-in-law text me saying, “Did you know your brother-in-law and nephew are coming down in a few days?” What? No!

Unbeknownst to us, they were coming down for a visit with family and friends. So, I asked my boss if I could take the day off and we headed to San Francisco which is about one hour and a half north of us. Another surprise awaited us, my husband’s aunt, who we haven’t seen in 12 years, joined us.

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We tried to catch a ferry to Alcatraz, however, it was already sold out by 10am. Instead, we took one of the nostalgic cable cars and toured the city. We walked around Nob Hill, China Town, Market Street and Pier 39. Along the way, we feasted on a variety of foods and drinks. We walked for miles looking at all the beautiful architecture of the buildings. Towards the end of the day, we drove over to Coit tower and looked at the City from a 19 story advantage point. Spectacular!

The next day, we road rides at Santa Cruz Boardwalk, ate seafood on the wharf and boogie boarded at Capitola Beach. We had a blast!

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I love the wisdom of Proverbs. It says in 16:9 that:

The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.

This tells me that I may plan my day. Yet, God may direct me in a different direction filled with delightful unexpected company.

Has life ever caught you off guard and, if so, how did you handle it? I’d like to hear. Feel free to share with us.

Car Trouble

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I think we have all experienced car problems in one way or another. This week, I’d like to share with you a special time when God intervened during mine.

Car Trouble

The Lord will be…a stronghold in times of trouble.

– Psalm 9:9

After eating lunch at a nearby restaurant, I jumped in my car, turned the key , but the engine did not start. Uh oh, I need to get to the library and return to work.

I went back inside and asked if anyone had jumper cables.

“Sorry Ma’am, No.”

I returned outside and noticed a gardener trimming bushes. “Excuse me. Do you have any jumper cables? My car battery died.”

“Yes, they’re at my house. I’ll run home and get them.”

Five minutes later, he returned with a compressor/battery device. I cranked the key and it started immediately. “Thank you so much!”

“No problem,” he said. “Have a good day.”

I called my husband Randy, “Hon, my car died and I had to jump it. Right now, I need to go to the library to get the kids’ books before I head back to work. I’m worried my car won’t start up again.”

“You’re battery terminals are probably corroded,” he said. “Wipe them down and run your errands. You should be fine.” 

I wiped off the corrosion and ran to the library. Afterwards, I tried to start the car, but it was dead again. Argh!

I looked to my left and saw my neighbor at the stop sign. I ran to her van, “Hi Kate! Do you have jumper cables? My car is dead.”

“Yes, I do.”

She tried to jump my car, however, we couldn’t start the engine. So, I called Randy, “Hon, my car died again. Kate offered me a ride to work.”

“Sounds good. I’ll go to the library to fix your car.”

An hour later, Randy informed me he started our Camry, drove it home and repaired the terminals. “I left my truck at the library for you to drive home,” he said.

After my shift ended, a co-worker dropped me off a the library and I drove home.

At the end of the day, I prayed, Thank you Jesus for scheduling today’s divine appointments to help me with my troubled car. If it wasn’t for all the help I received, I wouldn’t have been able to finish my shift or arrive home safely.

Have you ever experienced a typical problem where you saw God’s hand at work to resolve it? If so, please share with us!