Monday, November 17, 2014


Though we should focus on blessings every month, this one especially is one where we think of all we've been blessed with. Family, friends, food, and more... We will be missing our family - the first time in 24 years I've not been with my family on Thanksgiving day - but we are inviting many of our new friends and neighbors, hoping to have a big feast similar to the first Thanksgiving, where the Pilgrims shared a meal with their neighbors and friends in the new world.

There is so much to be thankful for too, from the big to the small. Top of my list this year is that my dad is free of cancer! After 3 rounds of chemo and surgery 3 weeks ago to remove the bladder and prostate, they found no more sign of cancer! Recovery is slow and there have been some complications so prayer for full recovery is still needed, but we are praising God!

A smaller, but still big blessing, is the provision of clothes for Hadassah. I was planning on stocking up on clothes for Hadassah for the next year at thrift stores while in America in December, but she was growing too fast! I posted on "Shanghai Mama's" forum asking if anyone had clothes to sell, and someone responded, selling close to 50 items for only $32! They're all barely worn, from cute dresses to warm sweaters to practical long sleeve shirts to a swim suit with a built in swim diaper. Wow... God truly provides abundantly more than we could ask! 

So it's fitting that this month I finished the embroidery project I've been working on:

Wanting something meaningful to put on our blank door, and wanting it to be Chinese too, I searched online for a free cross stitch pattern for Chinese characters. This one, with the old-style character for "blessings" seemed fitting, as many people, our neighbors included, put this character on their door. In ancient tradition, it's supposed to scare off a "monster" that comes around during the spring according to legend. It's also usually displayed upside-down, since that way it looks like the character for "arrive" so it's a desire for blessing to arrive on them.

Paired with the beginning of Numbers 6:24, it is a prayer for God to bless us and those we come in contact with here.

 The design is as much Ryan's as mine. I am so blessed with a husband who is interested in my projects and has great ideas to add! I was excited to come across a free online cross stitch word generator and he helped me pick out the font to use. When I was trying to decide on a border to do, wanting to combine red and black, he had the idea to do the simple one I was looking at, but replacing every few stitches with red. It gives a cool effect I never would have thought of!

He also gave me time to do it. I discovered that embroidering while listening to him read really helps me focus and listen better than I do when I'm not doing something with my hands. Mainly because if I'm just sitting and listening, I get drowsy and kind of space out, especially when it's cold and we're sitting down with warm blankets! So, this was a great way to work on something fun and productive and get more out of our devotions too!

Last month, tired of a completely blank door and not done with the project, I'd printed out the "welcome" sign and colored it with crayon. Now it's fun to have something more meaningful to add.

What blessings has the Lord given you lately?

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