Friday, December 14, 2012

Less Stress This Christmas

Everywhere you go, the sights, sounds, and smells of Christmas fill the air.  Ringing bells, shoppers with arms loaded down with packages, and Christmas carols to set the mood.  It’s the most joyful season of the year! How wonderful to be able to celebrate the birth of Jesus our Savior.  It’s a time of gathering together with family and friends, fun activities, parties, and of course, shopping. 

With all the joy that Christmas brings, it can also be a season of stress.  If you’re looking for some Christmas peace, I hope you’ll take some time away from the hustle and bustle of the season and remember the real reason for the season.  He’s the one who gives us true peace at Christmas and throughout the year… Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace.  Isaiah 9:6
Merry Christmas!
Copyright © 2012 Martha Hadley. All rights reserved
Click on link below for inspiring video:
Christmas Flash Mob by Journey of Faith at South Bay Galleria

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Grateful vs. Ungrateful

For many generations, children have been taught manners and to say please and thank you - and really mean it.  There’s nothing like hearing AND saying “Thank you!  Thank you very much!” when it’s said with a truly grateful heart.  It puts a smile on the face of both the giver and the receiver! 

So, it’s rather disheartening when you see some kids (and adults) today that seem to feel like they’re owed nice things and have a right to receive them.  Sometimes they even complain when they’re given a gift that’s not exactly what they wanted – and expected. 

Upon reflecting on this, I realized that we, too, sometimes act like spoiled, ungrateful children when it comes to our relationship with God.  Imagine how He must feel when we neglect to thank Him and take what He gives us for granted.  Sometimes we even get mad at Him if He doesn’t give us exactly what we want! 

Just like any good parent teaches their child to have manners and a grateful attitude, God does the same with us.  In fact, He commands us to give thanks!    

So, this Thanksgiving and Christmas and throughout the year, let’s examine our hearts and ask God to forgive any ungratefulness we have and to help us renew our commitment to give Him, and others, our heartfelt gratitude. 

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

Striving for an attitude of gratitude…
With love,
Copyright © 2012 Martha Hadley. All rights reserved 

“Life without thankfulness is devoid of love and passion.  Hope without thankfulness is lacking in fine perception.  Faith without thankfulness lacks strength and fortitude.  Every virtue divorced from thankfulness is maimed and limps along the spiritual road.”  John Henry Jowett, minister of Westminster Chapel, London 1918-1922

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Autumn Leaves

Colorful crunchy leaves underfoot and crisp red apples.  The signs of autumn are all around us.  There’s a cool crispness to the air - and an aroma we’ve missed during the summer months…wood burning in the fireplace.

The leaves on trees are turning from green to vibrant colors of red, yellow, and orange.  With just the slightest breeze, they float softly to the ground.  You’ll notice moms with young children gathering some for decorations or searching for the perfect leaf for a school craft project.   

We’re into the first month of fall and with it comes the anticipation of the festive months ahead.  But, there’ll be plenty of time to enjoy the busy holiday season, so I hope you’ll relax and enjoy this special time we have now.  It’s good to savor each season as it changes.  

I love autumn and all the memories it brings to mind.  When I was a kid, raking up huge piles of leaves and then jumping into the middle of them made outdoor chores fun.  

My sister, Jeanne, was always trying to find new places to hide so she could jump out and say, “BOO!” and scare me.  Well, as you can imagine, a big pile of leaves was a perfect hiding place for her to scrunch down in and pop out just at the right moment with a big “BOO!” 

Without fail, even if I kinda knew she might be in there, she was successful in scaring the daylights out of me, and I’d jump as I let out a big scream.  After I caught my breath, I’d say, “Jeanne!  Don’t DO that!”  Then we’d fall down laughing as we rolled around and played in the leaves.  What fun we had! 

Autumn is also a wonderful time for early evening walks.  The brilliant sunsets seem to be a reflection of the gorgeous fall colors.  I hope you’ll take some time to make wonderful memories with your family and friends as you savor this colorful season. 

With love,

P.S.  I’m hiding from Jeanne in the leaves… shhhh, don’t tell!
Copyright © 2012 Martha Hadley. All rights reserved


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Oh those pesky woodpeckers!

Knock, knock, knock.  Every morning this time of year I’m wakened by woodpeckers pecking away at my house.  One year they pecked holes all the way through into my attic where they were making a nest!

After carefully checking to make sure there were no woodpeckers in the attic, Critter Control patched the holes in my siding.  Then they attached a “Scare Eye” balloon with shiny, reflective, mylar streamers on a string pulley that hangs from my roof. I also added more mylar streamers for added effect.

It's important to only inflate the balloon to about 80% or less for a more realistic look and to move it around every once in a while or the woodpeckers get used to it and realize that scary balloon isn't going to hurt them.  The shiny streamers make a crackly noise when they move in the wind so the reflection and noise help scare them away. The "Scare Eye" balloon and mylar streamers definitely help scare the woodpeckers away.   

But this year, they were more persistent.  I had to outsmart them.  So, I searched the internet and downloaded free sound effects of birds of prey, their mortal enemies. Now when the pecking starts, I scare them away with the sounds of screeching hawks and owls.  Success!  It not only scared them away from my house but from the whole neighborhood.  My neighbors are happy and so am I!

I've also been told that hanging shiny cd's on a string from trees, gutters, or other fixtures are helpful in scaring away pesky birds.  If you've got these same problems, try these tips.  I hope they work for you too.  I'd love to hear some of your solutions also!


Friday, March 23, 2012

Spring Is Finally Here!

We can leave the dark days of winter behind and revel in the sunny pastels of spring flowers and budding trees. Spring also means spring cleaning as we open windows to let in fresh air, and sort through and toss out clutter, cleaning and repairing with renewed energy.

The analogy to our Christian walk is clear. The Bible says that we must get rid of the sin and encumbrances which slow us down. We are to be holy as God is holy. We are to shine as stars in the universe so that our light will glorify God.

I love the fresh start and newness I sense with the arrival of spring. A fresh start with God also revives my spirit and I look forward to the adventure of walking confidently into the rest of the year with Him. May you, too, be encouraged during this time of renewal.

Have a joyful springtime!


The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
His mercies never cease.
Great is his faithfulness;
his mercies begin afresh each morning.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance;
therefore, I will hope in him!”

Lamentations 3:22-24 (NLT)

Copyright © 2012 Martha Hadley. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Counting Our Blessings

What a week we’ve had here in the Seattle area with all the snow, freezing rain, ice, wind, downed trees and power outages! Maybe you’re one of the thousands of people without power during our frigid temperatures and wacky weather. I was without power for 24 hours. As the temperatures dipped down to nearly 40 degrees in my house, I bundled up with layers of clothes. I couldn’t leave home either, because a tree blocked my driveway. So, I lit scented candles and crawled in bed under lots of blankets and read while I snuggled with my kitty cats.

Sometimes we can take things for granted like electricity and heat, but it doesn’t take much time to be without them for us to be thankful for those blessings. Another reason to count our blessings every day…especially in the midst of the storms!


Copyright © 2012 Martha Hadley. All rights reserved.