Tuesday, April 18, 2017

A Precious Mug Exchange, Filled and Lavished Abuntantly With Grace

"For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ."
Romans 5:17

My Saturday didn't start out in the best of ways.
I had been fighting sickness all week, and finally Saturday morning found me extremely ill.
Imagine the uplift to my spirits when I went to the post office and found a package waiting there!
Not just any package, mind you, but one that was decorated so beautifully, 
with a return name and address that I recognized immediately.
It was from our own dear Stephanie, the one who so faithfully puts this amazing Tea Cup & Mug Exchange together for all of us twice a year!

My joy was full, even before I opened the box!!
The lovely embellishments found on the outside filled my heart with hope and anticipation as to what was waiting when I peeked inside!!!
I could hardly wait to get back home and open it all up with Kevin and Zach!
Imagine the oohs and ahhs, right after Kevin cut through the tape to find all of this!!

Not only were there lots and lots and LOTS of precious gifts, 
but the wrapping!
OH, the wrapping!!
I didn't want to tear into them...they were so beautifully done.
The wrapping alone was a gift all its own!!

My favorite color in the world is lavender, and pink is a close second, so you can just imagine the excitement I felt as I gently lifted each carefully, thoughtfully wrapped gift from the box.

Dear Stephanie!!
You will never know how much you blessed me or how much you made my day!!
How can I ever thank you enough?

This, dear friends, is what I found tucked inside the box.

Two beautifully-scented gifts handmade by Stephanie's own loving hands.
Aren't they the prettiest things?

.An amazing bar of evergreen lavender soap!
(Can I just tell you how much I love soap???  I think I have an obsession....how did you know, sweet friend?)

The sweetest, most dainty, little lavender bowl I have ever seen!

I immediately thought how beautiful the soap would look nesting in it...
just look!

I cannot get enough of this little bowl.
I could sit and swoon over it for hours!

Just look at how pretty it looks grouped together with these lovelies....

I'm telling you, this bowl just calls to me....was made for me....I have no doubt. 
I want to linger, but since there is so much more to share, I must move on...

These are the most darling note cards!
I love sending a card to brighten someone else's day...these are so colorful and perfect!

Then, I found the most adorable journal, with a sweet, little bird on the front.
Isn't he gorgeous?

Don't the journal and the note cards look so pretty sitting side by side?
Like they were sort of made to be friends....

And, some darling sticker embellishments to add brightness and beauty to any crafting project...

And, a precious little card with the most meaningful, kind message from Stephanie written inside...

And, guess what was hiding in yet another card tucked inside the bouquet card?
Oh, my, I am just SO excited!!!

An abundantly generous Starbucks gift card!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Venti Iced Decaf Cafe Americano with extra cream and 2 packs of honey, here I come!!!!
I can't wait!

As I kept unwrapping, (I tell you, it felt like Christmas to me.
I felt SO special, SO loved, SO pampered....
my whole day brightened up in such an amazing way!),
I found this!!!!!!

Saved by grace, indeed!
I LOVE this mug!!!
It is a nice size and will hold a large portion of coffee or my homemade hot cocoa!!
(Milk, cocoa powder, and honey, to taste, heated on the stove in a sauce pan.  It is SO good!!!)
I can just picture steam rising from this beautiful mug, as I ponder on the grace of our Savior!

I kept digging deeper into the box, and just look at what I found!!!!!!!
A beautiful coloring book, chock full of Scripture elements and oh, such lovely, pictures to color!

Here's the back...can you read it?

I love to color!
I find it so therapeutic and stress-relieving.
Oh, the hours dear Zach and I have spent at the kitchen table coloring together in his coloring books!
Then, a few months ago, my dear sister, Sandi, sent me my very first adult coloring book & pencils.
I have SO enjoyed using it...and now, I have another one to choose from!
I am so abundantly blessed.

Sweet Stephanie thought of everything.
She included some beautiful colored pencils, too!

I love the name of the coloring book...a garland of grace!
Isn't that God enshrouds each of us in?

"Grace, grace, God's grace, Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
Grace, grace, God's grace, Grace that is greater than all our sin!"
Written by Julia H. Johnston

Where would be without His grace?
After serving Jesus for many years, I think I am only beginning to catch a glimpse of the true meaning of GRACE.
Oh, I do praise Him!!!!

I will think of God's grace...and dear Stephanie, such a living, breathing example of grace,
 each time I use this book, drink from this mug, and use the many precious gifts she sent to me.

And, now, for a group photo of my amazing, wonderful goodies, sent with so much love (you could FEEL the love while opening the box and gifts) from one of the sweetest ladies I know.

It could not have arrived at a more opportune time.
To God be the glory for such lovely, encouraging, caring friends and for the way He so graciously connects us through this blogging world.
My life is so much richer by being a part of it.

Again, I thank you, dear Stephanie from the bottom of my heart!

To all of you precious readers, if you have never participated in Stephanie's tea cup and mug exchange, you truly do not know what you are missing!
This is my third time participating, and it has just been a huge encouragement to me.
I SO look forward to it, and I cannot even imagine how much energy and time Stephanie pours into it.
Perhaps you have never met Stephanie or visited her blog?
If you haven't, please stop by and say hello to her, 
and while you are there, why not consider following, so you won't miss any of her wonderful posts?
She also has an Etsy Shop called Rose Petal Blessings that is just amazing!!!
I have ordered from her multiple times, and her work is unique and impeccable.
I often tell her that her creations should be sold in stores.
You can see and feel how much love she pours into every, single thing she does.
I hope you will stop by and visit her!!

"Thank You, dear Jesus, for all of your abundant gifts.
Thank You for such amazing friends.
Thank You for suffering such an awful scourging to obtain the stripes needed for our healing.
You, dear Lord, mean everything to me.
In Jesus' name, Amen."

To read about the other two tea cup and mug exchanges I have participated in, click these links:

If video doesn't load, click here.