Twenty-five Days of Christmas Cheer: December 20th

It’s been snowing since a little after 10:00 last night. We have close to ten inches (by my estimate, anyway) and there’s no sign of it stopping. I’m so happy!!! I am, though, praying hard for my dear husband, his dad, his uncle, and the other milk truck drivers on the road. Nate claims he likes driving in snow, which I believe, and he’s good at it, but at the same time, anything can happen.

Also, it’s my sister’s 22nd birthday today, and since I know she reads this…. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, HEIDI!! 🙂

So.

Since shoveling the driveway at this point is a terrible idea — I’d get nowhere — I think it’s time to throw the rest of my apron together and get that Christmas baking done! And, you know, go enjoy the snow at some point. Get all bundled up and run around in it like the five-year-child that I am at heart.

White Christmas “Snow” Song

(Note: I don’t honestly know why I was able to embed a video once and now I can’t. Any suggestions?)

P.S. I really wish I had a camera because my posts would be so much more interesting. I even know exactly what camera I want, but it’s not cheap. Ah well. Soon.

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Sunday Serenade: The Battle Hymn of the Republic

I love when Veteran’s Day actually falls on a Sunday. There is something glorious about being in the presence of God and specifically remembering those who have fought to keep our country free so that we may be in the presence of God and worship Him freely. This morning, our church had a service of a kind that I have never experienced before. (They do this every year for Veteran’s Day, but we didn’t start attending there until last December.) The sanctuary was decorated with American flags, we recognized both those veterans who have fallen and those who are still with us, and we sang some of the patriotic hymns that I adore so much.

One of these hymns is “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” penned by Julia Ward Howe in 1861. Below I have posted the complete lyrics to this gorgeous and emotional hymn, with the verses we sang this morning in bold.

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword;
His truth is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! His truth is marching on.

I have seen Him in the watch fires of a hundred circling camps
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps;
His day is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! His day is marching on.

I have read a fiery Gospel writ in burnished rows of steel;
“As ye deal with My contemners, so with you My grace shall deal”;
Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with His heel,
Since God is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Since God is marching on.

He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment seat;
Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! be jubilant, my feet;
Our God is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Our God is marching on.

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me:
As He died to make men holy, let us live to make men free;
[originally …let us die to make men free]
While God is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! While God is marching on.

He is coming like the glory of the morning on the wave,
He is wisdom to the mighty, He is honor to the brave;
So the world shall be His footstool, and the soul of wrong His slave,
Our God is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Our God is marching on.

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Our country used to be a shining light in this world. I fear that this will no longer be the case for many, many reasons, one of them being our poor excuse for a President. I honestly mean no disrespect to the office of the Presidency, but when the man who is in the position does not respect it nor the country he is supposed to be leading, it is quite hard to respect him. Lord, give me strength.

I pray so hard for America. We don’t necessarily need to be the greatest nation in the world, but the freedom we have is precious and I would not like to see that lost. Not to mention the sad economic status that is going to put everyone in debt. Technically, we are all already in debt. The social issues are terrible, as well, because things like abortion, gay “marriage,” and “women’s rights,” are tearing our country apart. So few people value life and moral living anymore that those who still do get lost in the cries of “ME, ME, ME, IT’S MY BODY, IT’S NOT A CHILD,” etc, etc, etc.

So of course, now you know where I stand. I hope this does not keep you from reading my future posts, nor that you post hateful comments. If you do, I will probably delete the comments. Hate speech is not free speech; and that goes for everyone across the board.

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Finally, let me share with you a recording of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” from YouTube. It is instrumental, played on the King of Instruments, the mighty pipe organ. I hope you enjoy it. This has been Sunday Serenade.

Battle Hymn of the Republic

(Anybody want to help me understand why I can’t get a video to show up in my posts?!?!?! Maybe I should have stuck with Blogger. It was EASIER. Sigh.)

 

friday morning relaxation

What I like best about waking up on a cool, crisp autumn morning is the steaming pot of coffee that my husband has left for me. Coffee is delicious. I don’t even mind it black, and it’s healthier that way, too. Just 2 calories a cup. I love coffee, but sometimes my stomach does not. I don’t really know why. Maybe it’s the drinking a cup on an empty stomach. Maybe it’s too strong. Black tea does the same thing to me, and so does soda, though I always figured I got a stomachache from soda because of all the sugar. Perhaps it’s the caffeine. That doesn’t really make sense to me either because I’ve never been that sensitive to caffeine. All I know is that some mornings, I cannot drink coffee. It’s depressing. I guess it’s a good thing I like tea of all kinds.

Today I decided to switch to green tea when I realized my stomach didn’t want the coffee. Green tea is even better than coffee, for obvious reasons. It’s also really delicious. Though you can’t steep it for too long or it gets quite bitter. This morning I am drinking Yogi Green Tea: Blueberry Slim Life. The stuff is amazing with the blueberry flavor. It also helps suppress one’s appetite, which makes it an ideal morning drink if one is trying to lose weight. I think you have to let it suppress your appetite, though. It’s all too easy for me to ignore.

With my tea I am eating two slices of homemade whole wheat bread, toasted. I put a little bit of real butter on each slice, as well. I love butter. Having married into a family that is in the dairy business (my husband hauls milk to cheese factories!), I can have all the butter, cheese, etc. that I want. I suppose I could never be vegan because of this. Well, and the fact that I seriously love butter. And cheese. But I haven’t eaten butter on my toast all week. I’ve put it in some of the foods I cooked, yes, but I didn’t just slather it on toast. Instead I used Smucker’s Spreadable Fruit. Gosh, that stuff is good! And at only 40 calories a scoop (a small one), I feel pretty good about it. Not to mention the fact that it’s fruit.

Today though, I used butter. Why? Because it’s Friday. I’ve been on my feet all week taking care of the house and cooking and baking and gardening. It’s what I do. Actually, I was more diligent about keeping house this week than I was all summer. (I’m positive the lack of 100 degree temperatures has everything to do with this.) So, today I am relaxing. Nate, my husband, left for work around 6:30, and I slept until about 8:00. After I finish my tea and toast, I am going to do the daily reading out of the Treasury of Daily Prayer, which is a fantastic resource for any Christian looking for a daily prayer routine. I prefer to read it with my husband, but I need some serious focus this morning, and there’s nothing wrong with reading it twice! Then I will practice my yoga routine, which is another fabulous way to get myself centered for the day. And, you know, it’s good exercise.

Granted, I am beginning my day rather later than I would like, but it’s Friday, and I’m going to take some time for myself today while Nate is working. Tonight he doesn’t have to work, so we’ll probably go out for a fish fry at one of our favorite bars. It’s a Wisconsin tradition, after all! In the meantime, I’m waiting for Advance Auto to call and let me know that the parts for our (well, his dad’s, but he told us to have fun with it) 1976 Oldsmobile Cutlass S are in so I can go pick them up and put them in. Both Nate and I hope to take that out tonight.