Wednesday, December 27, 2006

In the Blink of an Eye...

Another Christmas has now come and gone. There is so much anticipation and excitement that builds up to that one special day and before you know it, it is over in the blink of an eye.

We had a great Christmas... Lots of family and great food!!! We go to my mom's house on Christmas Eve, so with that being on Sunday this year, I made all of my pies the day before. That turned out to be a great "new tradition" to start. Usually I am frantic the whole morning of Christmas Eve trying to prepare everything. I am the dessert maker, so I usually make 4 or 5 pies from scratch and it can be very time consuming. This year, doing it a day early was just the blessing I needed. With everything finished, we got up and went to church with all the stress of baking completely behind me. It made my worship so much sweeter and it was the greatest blessing of the day. With all the baking behind me, once we were home I got to relax the rest of the afternoon. It was great!! So from now on, it's the day before for me for baking... way less stress!!

I love Christmas morning and the excitement and anticipation of my kids getting their gifts. It truly is more blessed to give than receive. I love seeing the excitement on their faces. Even though my kids are now 16 and 20, they still get excited. Jeremy set his alarm for 7:00 a.m. so he could be sure to get up early. Ashley and I tried to convince him that 8:00 was early enough, but at 7:00 a.m. he was in her room practically carrying her to our room and telling us all to get up!! We all laid in our bed for about 30 minutes, but that was all he could stand. It was time for everyone to get up! The gift of the year was Ipods. I almost had Jeremy convinced everyone was sold out and I couldn't find them, so the wait to actually find out was killing him :)

The one thing I don't like about Christmas is how fast it is all over. There is so much joy and happiness at this time of year and within an hour, all the gifts are opened and another Christmas has come and gone.

I pray that though the season of Christmas is now past for another year, the spirit in which we live during this time will continue on. Not the stressful part that sometimes comes with it, but the joy and happiness, the love for our fellowman and the discussion everywhere of the birth of our savior Jesus Christ. As I said in an earlier post, Jesus is the reason for Every season. I pray that we and people everywhere will continue to celebrate Him each and every day.

Blessings to all!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

God Knows...

It always amazes me how God knows just what we need and when. He always does, I don't know why it continues to amaze me, but it does. I had just been thinking the last couple of days about how busy everything is trying to get ready for Christmas. I have been baking like crazy, wrapping like crazy and have now started thinking about the salsa and 4 or 5 pies I will be making on Saturday. I go to bed exhausted and I know that I am not giving God my best. In fact, I made a personal commitment tonight to quit letting the holiday activities consume me and give God more of my focus. As much as I love the holidays and Christmas time, I should not get so consumed that God gets my leftovers. Because to be honest, if I'm not careful, I don't even have leftovers to give Him.

As I said before, God always knows just what we need and when. As I have been thinking about how much I need to refocus, I received the following poem through an email ministry tonight and it really opened my eyes as to how out of focus I have become lately.


Quiet My Heart, Lord

Quiet my heart, Lord,
and show me a Christmas
as peaceful and calm as
an old cattle shed...

Slow down my pace, Lord,
and help me seek Jesus,
the Son of Your Love,
in a humble straw bed...

Steady my spirit, Lord,
call me from chaos
in simple surrender
to pray and rejoice...

Breakthrough the busy,
too-bright celebration,
and whisper your message.
"Be still...hear my voice..."

Be still and know that I am God..."
Psalm 46:10

--Author Unknown


Even though I love Christmas and all the excitement it brings, this poem spoke volumes to me about the need for me to be still. I need to seek the Lord in the middle of the chaos, slow down and listen to Him whispering my name.

As the busyness and fun of Christmas creeps in upon us, let's remember to Be Still and listen for God's voice. After all, He does know just what we need.

I hope that everyone has a very Merry Christmas!!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Tis the Season

Christmas is one of my favorite times of year. I love the decorations, the music, the hustle and bustle and the joyous feeling that seems to be everywhere. I especially love the family traditions we have established with our family. My family is so important to me and I love the closeness our family shares.

But this time of year can also be very hectic. We have been so busy lately with choir concerts, school activities, my preschoolers program and Jeremy's daily rehearsals for the upcoming Beauty and the Beast musical. The busyness has caused me to think about a couple of things.

Most of the world celebrates the birth of Jesus at Christmas. If your like me though, the C of C world has not celebrated His birth at Christmas because no one really knows the exact day He was born. And we have sometimes done that to the extreme. At this stage of my life and hopefully much more mature stage of my life, the precise day of Jesus' birth is not my main concern. The fact that He Was born is! I am more concerned, actually very thankful, that at least at Christmas, the rest of the world is acknowledging Christ and talking about His birth. The "day" we celebrate His birth is not as important as making sure we "Are" celebrating His birth and more importantly, His resurrection.

We have sometimes been so concerned with not celebrating His birth on Christmas, that we don't celebrate it at all. We don't celebrate Jesus' birth on Christmas, but are we celebrating it at any other time? I have grown to believe that Christmas is an opportunity. People are more open to Christ at Christmas than perhaps at any other time of the year. We should be celebrating that opportunity. The fact that Jesus was born is reason to celebrate! What day we choose to do it is really irrelevant.

We get so busy with the Christmas rush, that I'm afraid those of us who are Christians may sometimes put Jesus on the back burner while the rest of the world is celebrating His birth. We should take Him off the back burner and get on fire with the rest of the world.

The world offers the saying, "Jesus is the reason for the season". Jesus is the reason for Every Season! So I say, Let's Celebrate!! And Merry Christmas to All!!

Monday, December 04, 2006

When Your Child Hurts

There is really nothing worse than when your child is hurt or is struggling with something. It is such a helpless feeling. Your heart aches and breaks as you try and give advice and as you pray over them. Even though it may be nothing big, your heart aches as you watch them struggle and hopefully prevail victoriously.

I have made a lot of sacrifices for my children over the years, but I have never had to give the life of one of my children for the sake others. As my heart breaks over my own children's struggles, how much more must God's heart break when He watches us struggle. And how much more so when He sees us make the wrong choices. He gave up His Son for us, my sacrifices do not compare to that.

I think about how I would feel if I gave up my son or daughter for everyone else in the world and then watched them squander that gift as we so often do. I honestly don't know how God puts up with some of the "stuff" we do. He has given us so much more than we for sure deserve. I am so thankful that God's heart is not like mine would be if it were my child that had been given for others.

God's grace is so amazing and incomprehensible. When I think about how my heart aches as my children struggle, how much more must God's heart ache as He watches us struggle. I am so thankful for the grace of God and that His grace is more than I can imagine in this feeble mind. As God watches me struggle, I hope I make him proud with choices I make. And for the times I know I don't, I thank you God for the never ending grace and compassion you have for your children. I can hear you cheering me on in the same way I am cheering on my own children. Thank you!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Weekend Humor....Provided by Mike Cope and Randy Harris

I was looking at Mike Cope's blog yesterday and found this. For those who saw it at Tulsa last year, it's a hilarious reminder. For those who haven't seen it yet, enjoy!!! Have a great weekend!!