"Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver."
2 Corinthians 9:7
I know I've said it before, but I must say it again.
I am continually blessed and amazed at the number of dear friends God has brought into my life
through this wonderful world of blogging.
I am not sure how I ever came across sweet Stephanie's blog.
It is called The Enchanting Rose, and, truly, the name fits it perfectly.
Each time I go there, I indeed not only find it enchanting, but it is encouraging to me, as well.
One visit there will reveal the heartfelt kindness Stephanie puts into every single post.
I have so enjoyed getting to know her and her sweet mother, Debbie.
We not only visit through our blogs, but also through many, precious email exchanges,
not to mention the times they have so graciously dropped something special in the mail
that has always seemed to make its way and arrive in our mailbox at just the right moment.
These two lovely ladies enrich my life so much, just by being in it.
This was my second time participating in sweet Stephanie's Mug Exchange.
I had SO much fun the last time, I couldn't wait until it happened again,
and, let me just say, my dear friends, that this time around did not in the slightest way disappoint.
(You can read about my first mug exchange experience by clicking here.)
In blogland, do you know how the Lord brings a fellow blogger across your path,
you connect, they are a dear blessing to you, then, without meaning to, the two of you sort of drift apart for awhile, then, one day, the dear Lord somehow reconnects the two of you in the sweetest of ways?
Well, that is what happened through this Tea Cup & Mug Exchange.
I had no idea the dear Lord would pair me up with a sweet friend and sister in the Lord
whom I had "met" online a few years ago, then somehow lost touch with.
But, He did!
Imagine my thrill when I received a box from Amazon
with these goodies tucked inside, along with a note from none other than dear Mary Stephens from The Cotton Apron!!!
I tell you, I was SO excited, and it just made my whole day!
Just look at what was in that box!!!
When I opened it up, I found...
a beautiful apple mug that came in its own special box...
the box alone was a gift in itself!
So pretty and "autumn-like"!!
Then, there was this yummy bag of Decaffeinated Hazelnut Coffee...oh, my!
Can I just tell you how much we have been enjoying it?
Since, Kevin, Zach, and I all love iced coffee, I have started making it in large quantities.
It is so wonderful having it ready to just reach in the fridge and pour out a fresh glass or mug full!
Hazelnut Mocha Iced Coffee
I make a 12-cup pot of Hazelnut Coffee....pure deliciousness!
Then, in a pan, on medium heat, I mix approximately 4-6 cups of milk,
about 4-5 heaping tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa,
about a cup or two of Half & Half,
and several generous dollops of local honey.
I love to use local honey, for two reasons...
it supports our local vendors, and, in my experience, it seems to help build immunity to local allergens.
(Sorry to not be more specific on the recipe quantities...
I sort of just eyeball it, until it is the "right" color.☺
We like our coffee with lots of cream, so you may just want to experiment and adjust quantities,
to your individual taste. )
As I continued pulling sweet, little packages out of my box, I found these...
a musical journal,
the prayer and praise edition of a Bible Promise Book for Women,
and this precious bookmark that says, "Keep Calm, and Pray".
I LOVE that!!
Keep Calm, and Pray!
Such amazing advice, and the best I've seen in the "Keep Calm" series.
Praying IS very calming.
I have been often thinking of Jesus' precious words in Matthew 11:28-30,
"Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart:
and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."
These precious gifts from my dear sister in the Lord just meant the world to me
and made my day so much brighter!
And, now we have reconnected, and I am so enjoying her blog and our communication again.
Kevin and Zach always enjoy the mug exchange almost as much as I do!
They love going shopping with me for the sweet lady I am to send a package to,
and they surely enjoy diving into the goodies I receive!
So, it is a family blessing for us...that keeps on giving...long after the exchange is past.
Stephanie always gives us a choice as to whether or not we would prefer a tea cup or a mug.
Since I personally prefer coffee over tea, I always choose a mug.
What joy it brings to be reminded of that special person each time I see or use the mug!
Tomorrow, (Wednesday, 11/2/2016), Stephanie is hosting a link-up for all of us to share
what we sent to our tea cup/mug partner, and what we received.
I forgot to take photos of what I sent...I am always so eager to get it all wrapped and sent off,
I seem to always forget to do that...but, thankfully, I did remember to take these pictures of the loveliness I received.
I will be linking up this post there, and I would like to invite you to follow me over to our tea party
to check out all of the special, heartwarming posts!
It is always so much fun to see what everyone gave and received!
I want to say a special thank you to dear Stephanie for all she puts into doing this for us!
I can't imagine how much effort and energy and time it requires of you, dear friend,
and I just thank you from the bottom of my heart!
May God bless all of the givers and receivers and special friends I have met along the way,
and may He bless each of you dear readers.
You are all very close to my heart.