THANK YOU CARD OF MY HEART  By Lori A Alicea

Today is all about you.

Week after week, your kindness and patience to pull up a chair and open my journal to the page or chapter I have chosen to bookmark for your viewing has honored me in ways mere words are unable to articulate.

Photo by Wallace Chuck on Pexels.com

You’ve kept me company along the mountain climbs of uncertainty and deep-ocean dives into the matters of my heart, for which a basket is overflowing on this grandmother’s kitchen table of gratefulness.

While the etiquette of Thank You cards may have gone out of style with the art of kneading and rising of homemade bread.

This grandmother still treasures the old fashioned ways from back-in-the-day, and is handwriting this Thank You card personally to you, those loyal and faithful visitors ringing the doorbell of my home at Apples of Gold Encouragement.

Photo by Jessica Lewis on Pexels.com

Fresh out of the oven are warm Christmas cookies made especially for you, a gift of homemade holiday love from my freezer ready to bake on a moment’s notice, no matter the calendar month.

Christmas brings out the little girl inside and memories of mom during the most joyous season of my childhood, which is why I keep the spirit of the season alive to serve the best of me from my home all year long.

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I’ve poured a cup of coffee to savor with your plate of sprinkled sugar cookie Christmas trees and stars, and reserved a seat at the table for you right next to mine for a few words of conversation.

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Here at Apples of Gold Encouragement, our heart is birthed from the scripture…

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.
Proverbs 25:11-13 ESV
Where our words spoken in due season and at just the right moment can foster life and nourishment, as apples made of gold served on a silver platter.

In re-telling the stories from my life as a child, a young mother or seasoned grandmother and wife, I keep a silver platter full of encouragement for those like you who might be walking along a similar street in need of a handful of hope.

My written words have traveled thousands of miles around the world and I never know who might be knocking on my door despondent as I have been in seasons before, in need for a bite of encouragement.

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That they themselves might be nourished walking with me during…

My seasons of loss of my mother, my father or siblings…

My broken season abandoned in marriage…

My weeping season of rejection…

My weeping seasons of failure…

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Or celebrate together during theirs and…

My fruitful season as a mother of young children in all stages of growing up…

My fruitful season and second chance in love and in marriage…

My abundant harvest and greatest joy in grand parenting…

My personal walk with God who is the root of everything wonderful in my life…

So, with every journal entry I’ve made each week, every thought and every sentence is written with you on my mind, ensuring a takeaway, a favor left at your place setting at the table, a silver box of courage, inspiration and of faith for visiting my home.
I can’t thank you enough when I’ve realized you’ve stopped by and left your COMMENTS, your LIKES or your SHARES of my words.

Even just one of you tells the story I’ve impacted and touched someone, somewhere in the world.

I’ve been told my handwriting is a disaster and difficult to read for most. But I pray the love inspired in this Thank You card expresses my deepest appreciation for you.

You will never overstay your welcome at Apples of Gold Encouragement.

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A candle burns bright in the nighttime window as a personal reminder to walk on in as somebody is always home.

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SERVING UNTO HIM  By Lori A Alicea

In serving others through hospitality,

Our kindness is as if we’ve done it unto the Lord.

Truly, I tell you, whatever you did for the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did it for me.”
Matthew 25:40 NIV

It is written how a wealthy woman of great influence prepared and set aside a small room in her house for a “holy man of God” to rest and be refreshed whenever he visited town.

Her kindness was greatly rewarded.

Her offering was as service unto Him.

8One day Elisha went to Shunem. And a well-to-do-woman was there, who urged him to stay for a meal. So whenever he came by, he stopped there to eat. 9She said to her husband, “I know that this man who often comes our way is a holy man of God. 10Let’s make a small room on the roof and put in it a bed and a table, a chair and a lamp for him. Then he can stay there whenever he comes to us.”
2 Kings 4:8-10 NIV

USE small table flowers

Might we show kindness in ways and to those God sends along our path.

We are serving unto Him in these displays of selfless generosity.

SERVING UNTO HIM
By Lori A Alicea

Dear Lord, you came to save our soul,
But first, You washed our feet.
On bended knee with towel in hand,
Your servant’s eye we’d meet.

Example that we do the same,
For those, the least of Mine.
A cup of water in My Name,
You’ve done it unto Thine.USE THIS PINK VASE 2

To serve those neighbors next to us,
And love them as thyself.
In homes where kindness can be felt,
Displayed on every shelf.

Hung from the doorposts of our home,
With open arms receive.
A neighbor’s welcome gathering,
Until it’s time to leave.USE Welcome sign

A table set before these friends,
Our bountiful we share.
No matter if a cup we serve,
See Jesus sitting there.USE Kitchen table

A place of refuge when they come,
Where home is always sweet.
We serve because He served us first,
When Jesus washed our feet.USE table setting

Our gift of hospitality,
A song He hears, a hymn.
When tea is poured and cake is served,
We’re serving unto Him.USE Serving stuff

Refrain to see an empty plate,
When God, a neighbors sent.
Prepare a banquet meal for them,
Of words, encouragement.USE Serving tray

Or give them what’s most valuable,
Which doesn’t cost a dime.
You’re sitting at the Savior’s feet,
When giving of your time.USE Clock

The church walls of the home we live,
Baked in, our memories stay.
Where in the midst of fellowship,
Is God to hear us pray.USE Church

Dear Lord, I’ve saved a room for you,
A lamp, a table, chair.
My Holy God I welcome you,
I long your presence there.USE Welcome signUSE small table flowers

Our gift of hospitality,
A song He hears, a hymn.
When loving neighbors as thyself,
We’re serving unto Him.

USE fireplace