Saturday, December 31, 2011

December's Caption Contest Winner

This was such a fun month for the caption contest! I loved the entries but one totally made me crack up...


December's caption contest winner is Joanne.

Email me, Joanne, for your small gift for winning the caption contest...

Stay tuned for the next caption contest.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Control vs. Trust

Joanne said something a couple weeks ago that really encapsulated things going on inside my head. She said that sometimes needing to know what direction to head is really just a form of control.

I was in the midst of “Which way do you want me to go in 2012?” prayers and felt like I was talking into the wind. Each year I like to outline a few goals. Not resolutions. Those simply do not work for me. They anchor me to my failure whereas goals spur me onward. So I was seeking God's direction. And getting nowhere fast. Oh, I know a general direction but the specifics I was seeking were white washed and it was frustrating me.

I wanted a verse for 2012.
I wanted a word for 2012.
All I had was static fuzz and the impression that I simply need to rest and trust God.

In my bull-headedness I was trying to learn what direction God wanted me to go so I could take over. So I could say (or even just think) “Roger that, God. I'll take it from here.” and go on my merry way, plotting, planning, scheming, and doing.

But that's not what God wanted from me or for me.


Wait for the Lord;
be strong and let your heart take courage;
yes, wait for the Lord.
~Psalm 27:14


He wanted me to be still.
He wanted me to hold tight to His hand.
He wanted me to follow His lead on a moment by moment basis. Sensitive to His leading, not racing ahead doing my own thing.

'For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.'
~Jeremiah 29:11

God knows the plan. He knows the direction and He knows what He wants me to do. If I hold tight to Him, He will lead me.


Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
for You are the God of my salvation;
for You I wait all the day. ~Psalm 25:5


And when I'm waiting and all around me is still looking like a white out, then I need to wait and continue to hold on to Him. I don't need to see where I'm going. I need only hold His hand. When it's time, He'll lead me forward, whether I can see or not.

Though it tarries, wait for it; for it will certainly come, it will not delay.
~Habakuk 2:3


Do I know what 2012 is going to hold for me? Absolutely not.
Do I know the direction I'm going? Not really.
But I know that I need to rest in God and trust Him to lead me through the white out. I don't need to be in control. I only need to hold tight.

Trust and obey.
There's no other way.

Dear Heavenly Father, forgive me for trying to take control. I want Your will, in Your way, in Your time. Help me to hold fast to Your hand and be sensitive to Your leading in all things. You can see through the storm and You know the way at all times. Make me know Your ways, O Lord; teach me Your paths. In Your Name I pray, amen.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

It's Vlog Time

One thing about online friendships--you don't get to see what people look like and hear their voices, and that's something that I really miss. One of my a 2 z meme friends, Marji, posted a Christmas vlog and it was so much fun seeing and hearing her and that led to this idea... (and if you don't like the idea, it's Marji's fault. hehe.)

For next week's Tuesday post (1/3/12), we're posting vlogs to introduce ourselves.

The vlog does not have to be long. In fact, just 30 seconds to 2 minutes is plenty with as busy as people are these days. What's a vlog? It's a video blog--a movie clip posted to youtube and then posted on our blogs.

Don't have a web cam on your computer? Not a problem. Neither do I. You can use a video camera or even your digital camera. Many have a video clip option. And if you don't know about all that, ask your kids, or grandkids, or neighbor kids. They know and can give you a quick run down--it's pretty easy.

Please, please join us and post an introduction to yourself!! Participation in a past meme isn't necessary at all. We'd love to meet you! ANYONE and everyone can do this! Invite your friends to vlog with us!

Many of us are... okay, truth be told, we're scared silly. Our knees have been knocking for almost two weeks over this idea. I've heard tell we might have a Lucy/Goldie version, people in hat/huge sunglasses disguise, and a few other... devices or costumes to hide behind. And that's fine!! *grin* Just have fun and let us hear you. And just so you know, I've never done this before so it's all new to me and yes, I've been clinging to the chandelier for dear life. But it's time for some stretching soooo...

hmmmm. Maybe I'll offer a (small) prize because we all know a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down...

Yeah, I will. Post your vlog, link up with us and I'll pick one (or more) winner. No rules, just be you... or Lucy or whomever, LoL.

Hope to see--yes, really see and hear you--on Tuesday!


Lights.
Camera.
Action!


Go here to link with us.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Until It's Done

I've been mulling over a verse for next year, and, to be honest, I haven't settled on one yet. But this verse keeps coming to mind--one I memorized a while ago that I often return to.


It's a great verse to be meditating on as we move into 2012.


Then David said to his son Solomon,
"Be strong and courageous, and act;
do not fear nor be dismayed,
for the Lord God, my God, is with you.
He will not fail you nor forsake you
until all the work of the Lord is finished."
1 Chronicles 28:20 NAS


Be sure to check the Cafe for more links to WFW



Won't you join me memorizing 1 Chronicles 28:20 this week at Living by Grace?



*Photo by courtesy of sxc.hu

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Ready or Not

Ordinary Lives. JollyDaze meme
(...and I was NOT ready.)

Welcome to our last installment of the JollyDaze meme!! (and of course, I'm late posting this week. First time in 30 weeks of meme'ing together. *eye roll* My apologies.)

Between the cotton candy fog I was trapped in after Thanksgiving and then getting the whopper cold and Christmas, I'm having a hard time believing it's the end of the year.

Traditionally, this week between Christmas and New Year's is a quiet week for me. A week for reflecting back, analyzing, and then looking forward. A time when I make it a point to sit and journal. Well, this year things are holding true to form...and this week is not normal. But that's okay. I feel like a runner who had 2.3 seconds to stretch before the announcer called out "Runners, take your marks." I'm so not ready for 2012. But ready or not, 2012 is coming. And ready or not I'll be in that race.

I'll be back later this week with what I'm thinking about for next year...because today caught me not ready. *wink*

This has been a fun meme for me--hope you guys have enjoyed it too!

OH! And who ordered this snow!! waaaaa!
Oh well. It makes for a better and more peaceful day for thinking and reflecting and even for goal setting. Guess what I'll be doing today? (Besides taking down the Christmas tree? LoL)

Stay tuned for information on our cool between memes shindig and also for news and information on our next meme.  Here's a clue for the between meme shindig: it includes SOUND. (climb down off those chandeliers, girls! *wink*)

It's been a blast JollyDazing with you guys!
Hugs all around...

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 23, 2011

The First Christmas Rush

Check it out...

Mary and Joseph had an appointment in Bethlehem so they left home at an uncomfortable time and made it to town in time....

The innkeeper was too busy rushing around and his life was too full to let Jesus in...

The shepherds were working too, conscientiously doing what good shepherds do. But when the angel came and told them about the Messiah, they rushed to see who the angels were singing about. They left their work, dropped what they were doing, so they could see Jesus.

Luke 2:1-20
In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Am I willing to drop my work to see Jesus? To go and kneel before Him, to worship Him as Savior?

Dearest God,
Please never let me crowd my life full to the brim.
So like the keeper of Bethlehem's inn, I find I have no room for Him. Instead, let my heart's door be ever open, ready to welcome the newborn king. Let me offer the best I have to Him who gives me everything. Amen. ~Rosalyn Hart Finch

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Our Tree Sings

Ordinary Lives. JollyDaze meme

Welcome to JollyDaze 4 & me!
A short six week meme to carry us through the end of the year.
A meme for us to enjoy the holidays with.
We'd love to have you join us! Click here for more info.

First! Don't miss this month's Caption Contest.
It's a fun and adorable one!! Scroll down, or click here.


Our church is special.
No, don't roll your eyes at me.
We've been blessed with lots of great musical talent--generations of it. So, for over 25 years our church has done a living Christmas tree. Each August the work begins and by the time the Thanksgiving dishes are put away, we're ready (or not) to set up the enormous Christmas tree structure on the platform and choir loft. It's the 'risers' the choir sings from. There's a million lights on the tree (and I don't think I'm exaggerating much at all!!) and the lights are co-ordinated with the music.
**All of today's pictures are taken by my friend Nancy Clark. Thanks, Nancy!!

The tree is a very snug fit and there are boxes for ladies to stand on so they can see. A couple of my friends (on boxes). *wink*


Like all Christmas programs, the Christmas story is told, sung, and acted out.


This year's addition was telling the story through the first few years of Jesus' life and included the wisemen's gifts. Another church friend made these costumes. From scratch and no patterns. They are stunning!

What's a Christmas program without children? This year they were dressed as children around the world.






Everything about the Living Christmas tree points to the most important thing about Christmas--Jesus. His coming to earth as a baby all the way through to the very reason He came: to die on the cross for our sins. For my sins. It was through His death on that cross and His resurrection from the grave that He offers us salvation. His gift is free to all.

(Okay, so this one picture is mine, but all the rest are Nancy's. *wink*)

After the presentation, it takes time, lots of time, for people to climb down out of the tree. Lots of people. Lots of little stairs. Very narrow spaces. One tremendous message.

So tell me, how does your church celebrate Christmas?

For another post, and more pictures of our living Christmas tree, just a different year, scroll down to the next post: It's the Clothes.

If you're joining us for the JollyDaze 4 u & me meme by posting on your blog this week about Christmas, be sure to add your name and the link to that particular post in the linky gadget here.



On deck for next week, our last week for the JollyDaze meme: New Year’s Celebrations... Traditions... Resolutions (although if you want we can run an extra linky on New Year’s Day for resolution type things)... Starting point... Memories...

Friday, December 16, 2011

It's the Clothes




For over 25 years our church has done the Living Christmas Tree--it's a big production, requiring not just the full (and extended) choir, but drama people and many 'extras', which I've often been one of.









One time, when everyone arrived for dress rehearsal, they wished they had been extras, too. Why? You should have seen our costumes! Wowza, they were beautiful! Never in my life had I been able to wear a Victorian style outfit, but I always admired them, especially the hats. Guess what? I got to wear not only the hat, but the gorgeous dress to go with it!


During the Victorian scene I strolled along a 'street' with a (self-proclaimed) dapper gentleman. (Sorry, Jeff—you are dapper even though you have your shepherd's beard...er, rabbi beard. LoL) Wearing that outfit made me feel like a true lady--except for when it was hiked up to my knees and we were dashing to and from the dressing room. Strolling the aisles on Jeff's arm was quite an experience for me, and it's given me a better understanding of being clothed by God.

I will rejoice greatly in the Lord, my soul will exult in my God; for He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness,  ~Isaiah 61:10

It's made me remember that God has dressed me in His righteousness, so when He looks at me, He sees the robe of righteousness that He has wrapped me in, not my abundant, ugly sin. It's not that I've done anything to deserve that most precious robe, it's a gift from God Most High, and those without that robe are sent away from Him.

But when the king came in to look over the dinner guests, he saw a man there who was not dressed in wedding clothes, and he said to him, 'Friend, how did you come in here without wedding clothes?' And the man was speechless. Then the king said to the servants, 'Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.' For many are called, but few are chosen. 
~Matthew 22:11-14

If wearing a Victorian dress and hat makes me look similar to a Victorian lady, wearing God's robe of righteousness makes me not just look the part, but BE the part.

The wrong clothes got the wedding guest kicked out of the wedding feast, and the right clothes get me into eternity with Christ. But it's not clothes that we can purchase ourselves. They've already been purchased by Jesus when He died on the cross to pay the penalty of our sins. He died and conquered death by rising from the dead. So it's not dressing in style, or out of style, or any particular kind of clothing—it's only through God's grace that we are dressed in God's righteousness.

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. ~Ephesians 2:8-9

How thankful I am that God has given me the robe of righteousness—there is no greater gift He could give me.

So tell me, are you clothed in the robe of righteousness? 

Are you acting accordingly or playing in the mud in your good clothes?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Lately

Photobucket


One of my favorite memes that I don't do often enough is As of Late, hosted by CrittyJoy. This one makes me pause and think about all that's gone on in the past month and look for what's been going on below the surface.

Lately, I've been caught in a bank of cotton candy. It's slowed me down and made me think. And rest.

Lately, letting go has become a good thing. A doable thing.

Lately, evaluating and analyzing has been a daily thing.

Lately, staying away from the computer has been oh-so easy to do. A wonderful change of pace.

Lately, I've been looking back in preparation for looking forward.

Lately, I've been in my cave, recharging.


So tell me, what have you been doing as of late?

Want to join in the As of Late fun? Be sure to join us at CrittyJoy's.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Cooked My...

Ordinary Lives. JollyDaze meme

Welcome to JollyDaze 4 & me!
A short six week meme to carry us through the end of the year.
A meme for us to enjoy the holidays with.
We'd love to have you join us! Click here for more info.

First! Don't miss this month's Caption Contest.
It's a fun and adorable one!! Scroll down, or click here.

Okay, so I have to admit--I'm lost on this one. Sure, I do a LOT of baking around Christmas. I love baking and hate cooking. BUT, this is the ONLY picture of anything we bake for the holidays, so, that kinda cans that idea...


These are the Sweet Rolls I grew up eating. They only made their appearance around the holidays AND whenever we went to the beach, so these puppies have WONderful memories baked into them. And of course, mine aren't as good as Mom's, but they do disappear twice as fast, even though I make a double batch. *wink* It helps that I have twice as many people eating mine than Mom did hers. LoL.

We have to make two kinds--one with nuts and raisins and one without. Oh, the cinnamonie scrumptiousness... Guess what I'll be making very very soon? yumz!

I also wanted to tell you about the year we girls, Mom, me and my two sisters (ages 30-65?) had a flour fight. In my kitchen. For some strange reason I was exhausted and I'm sure I wasn't the only one. One of them started it, probably because I was being a grump. Alas, I have no pictures of it nor the mess they made, but I know there's some out there somewhere. I remember there were cameras  somewhere, but with 20 of us here that year, there's no telling where the pictures are...just that they aren't on my computer. Figures. LoL

BUT, while searching for pictures of the flour fight, I DID find some of Mom (not the angel many think her to be!!) in the hazmat suit my firefighter, germ-o-phobe brother-in-law gave her for Christmas. To go dumpster diving in.

Sssshhhhh. It's one of those dirty family secrets. We love to dumpster dive. ;-) And it horrifies my poor brother-in-law (pictured at left *wink*). Bet'cha he didn't know that when he married my sister. hehe. But, as you can tell, he's a good sport and loves his mother-in-law enough to give her a suit to keep her safe while dumpster diving.
Or something like that. *snicker*

Yup. We have fun.
Huh. I guess I didn't cook myself into a box  this time after all. LoL.

So tell me, what's one of the whackiest gifts you've received? (or someone in your family...or that you've given...or...well, you get the idea!! LoL)


If you're joining us for the JollyDaze 4 u & me meme by posting on your blog this week about Christmas, be sure to add your name and the link to that particular post in the linky gadget here.



On deck for next week: Church Activities/Celebrations... Cantatas... Plays... Readings... Candle light services... Dinners... baskets or gifts to needy... A memorable/meaningful church Christmas event...

Monday, December 12, 2011

Caption Contest: December

In October I got to meet Toby at a friend's house and I couldn't resist a few pictures.

So here's December's Caption Contest picture:


Leave your captions in the comments and I'll post the winner on sometime in the last week of December.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Ambushed by Cotton Candy

Hey, it sounds so much nicer than the truth of the matter...

I feel like I've been becalmed in a fog bank and hypnotized by the fog. I can hear things. I know they're out there, but I only see fog. It's so wrapped around me that it's become what I imagine it would be like to be embalmed in cotton candy. Sticky yet oh-so sweet too.

Does anyone know what I mean?

I don't know if it's simply being rundown by the constantness of life and the different hats I wear or if it's God's way of redirecting me. Whatever it is, it has me holding up my hands to God asking Him to take things off my plate as He wishes, and put things on as He wishes. And even that has me a little nervous because I was comfortable where I was. Really, really comfortable.

Life is so much more comfortable when I'm running full steam ahead. When my goal is fixed in my mind and I know the path to that goal and I'm making progress, even if it's small steps of progress. That forward momentum is important for my mental well-being and with all momentum becalmed and embalmed in cotton candy... well, it's just not pretty and it's certainly not sweet!!

So tell me, what do YOU do when you feel ambushed by cotton candy?

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Decorated

Ordinary Lives. JollyDaze meme

Welcome to JollyDaze 4 & me!
A short six week meme to carry us through the end of the year.
A meme for us to enjoy the holidays with.
We'd love to have you join us! Click here for more info.

Usually, the very first Christmas decorations that come out every year are the Nativity scenes, and quite often they'll be out for a week before our tree gets put up (although it didn't happen that way this year. Bummer.)

I have a small set that I brought back from Ecuador, and it sits on my kitchen window sill--it's probably my favorite simply because it came from home.

Then there's the set that Jim brought home from Kenya, when he was there on a missions trip just a couple weeks before our youngest was born. This set isn't pretty, but it resembles the Masai people who carved it, and that's where the beauty is for me. Yes, the wise men pieces are up, and I understand that they weren't at the manger that night, but I can't bear to not put them up, so they're there, too.

The kids' favorite Nativity set, by far, is the set my parents gave us. They made sure to find a kid-friendly set that will last for years even with constant kid-handling. This one goes on our school cabinet where kids have been know to arrange and re-arrange it.

We seem to have a repeat performance going on here. A few years ago, after setting up the tree, my youngest wasn't feeling well and he and Linus curled up under the tree. Linus napped while my little guy watched the movie. This year, the day after the tree went up, my youngest spent the day on the couch, probably because he's no longer little enough to tuck himself under the tree. Not that we let the kids play or be under the tree, but when you happen to look over and see a sick lil one snuggling your cat under the tree you can't help but melt just a little (and snap a picture, LoL).


One of the favorite Christmas decoration is this train. It doesn't normally sit in front of the fireplace, but the kids were watching a movie (our tv lives in the closet) so we moved it out of the way so they could camp out on the floor and not be scrunched up on the couch.


Some years I try to get out of setting up the Christmas village, but the kids usually veto that. This is another thing they loved when they were younger because they were allowed to arrange it, which naturally resulted in broken pieces. But they glue up well enough and it's worth it for the kids to enjoy it so much. On the window sill is Mr. & Mrs. Snowman, who were some of my very first Christmas decorations.


These little guys are some of my favorites and every year they sit on the sashing of my kitchen windows. They're among the last of the Christmas decorations to be put away, and often hang around until almost Spring.

There you have it--a simple Christmas in the corn fields at the edge of nowhere.
So tell me, what's your favorite Christmas decoration?

If you're joining us for the JollyDaze 4 u & me meme by posting on your blog this week about Christmas, be sure to add your name and the link to that particular post in the linky gadget here.



On deck for next week: Christmas Baking... Recipes... funnies... memories from the kitchen...

Monday, December 05, 2011

Linda Glaz, Published!

Whooping it up with friends and for friends is something I positively LOVE doing!! Last month I celebrated with Lynda Schab for her debut Mind Over Madi. This month I'm doing back flips for my agent, Linda Glaz. So very, very thrilled to share this with you today--the official launch date for Polar Bear Plunge....

First a little about Linda...

I’m a wife and mother of three. I balance being a child of God while also being older than God. Hmmm, scary, but almost true. I’ve been blessed to have had an amazing life so far: Air Force meteorologist during Vietnam era, teaching karate and self-defense along with soccer for 25+ years. I sing and direct in church and community theatre musicals where this little old lady sounds more like the guys than the gals. Also scary, but true. I work in a physical therapy clinic three days a week to earn money to keep my writing afloat. My writing life is a 24/7 proposition. When not writing my own stories, I am an agent for Hartline Literary Agency. I wear so many different hats I’m surprised I wasn’t invited to the Royal wedding. Blessings to everyone, may your writing dreams all come true.

Polar Bear Plunge

Striving to put meaning back into her life after her husband’s death, Aleni Callan immerses herself in hospital work. Angry with God, she finds herself even angrier, when hero, Brice Taylor, author of The Human Shield, arrives in the Emergency Room with a concussion and hypothermia after participating in the Polar Bear Plunge. Aleni wants nothing to do with a man who willingly takes chances with his life.

Brice doesn’t understood how God could bring him through being a captive in Iraq, when he failed his troops so miserably. Writing about his escape brings fame he would rather avoid. And by meeting widow, Aleni Callan, his feelings of failure only increase.

Megan Callan with the help of her three-year-old grandson, Ty, scheme to bring Aleni and Brice together. And while the best laid plans often go awry, Megan isn’t one to accept no.

Congrats, Linda! So very happy you!
If you missed Linda's visit here last summer, check out A Few Apparently Needed Hints and Tips.

You can purchase the ebook of Polar Bear Plunge for 99 cents!
Talk about a Christmas gift! =)

Friday, December 02, 2011

Hurricanes and Christmas

Have you ever tried to tame a hurricane? How about just talk into a hurricane? Does your voice carry very far?  A while ago it was my turn to teach the kids at church. I love these kids greatly—each and every one of them. But that night was a test of my love. Their behavior was horrible. They wouldn't listen for more than five second intervals, and I don't know about you, but I have a hard time communicating in five second bleeps. By the time I left class, I was exhausted and emotionally drained.

I tried complaining to God about it, but He didn't seem too impressed. I reminded Him of how I had planned for the class, how I had put a lot of thought into the lesson. I was so excited about it because it was such a good lesson—a lesson that could really help them. But they were too busy whispering and talking and wiggling around. They were too busy trying to draw attention to themselves.

God's reply to me seemed to saying, 'Have you looked at yourself lately?'

What a sucker punch. I may be 30 years older than those kids, but my behavior is just like theirs. I'm too busy whispering and talking and running around to listen to God's voice. And when I look at what He did to prepare for me--His supreme sacrifice on the cross—I'm ashamed. Ashamed of how little I listen to Him.

And yet He still loves me.

Sometimes God will use drastic measures to get my attention, like a teacher who suddenly slams a book on the desk to shock the students into silence. Sometimes God just stays silent and waits for me to realize He's no longer talking and to quiet down, giving Him a chance to speak. Sometimes He whispers, knowing that I'll draw closer to hear what He's saying. And sometimes He lifts His hands—His nail scarred hands—and says 'Peace. Be Still.'


But the LORD is in His holy temple.
Let all the earth be silent before Him.
~Habakkuk 2:20

Whatever hurricane I'm in today, whatever hurricane this busy month brings, I need to listen to His voice. I need to be still so I can hear Him and what He has to say to me. It's a choice I must make. A choice to be still and listening to God in the midst of all the Christmas rush.

Be still and know that I am God; ~Psalm 46:10

Heavenly Father, help to remember that the hands You raise to calm me and my storms are scarred by the nails that You allowed out of love for me. In the midst of my busyness, let me draw close to You so I can hear Your voice and learn what it is You've prepared for me. Thank You for Your love and patience with me. Thank You for Your living Word.


My soul, wait in silence for God only,
for my hope is from Him.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
my stonghold;
I shall not be shaken.
~Psalm 62:5-6



Let's intentionally take time today, this weekend, this month, to be still before God.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Decking the Halls

Well, I did it. I've wanted to decorate my blog for Christmas from the very beginning, but this is the first time I have. Since I couldn't decide on which decorations to use *wink* I didn't decorate just this place...





I decorated Jewels of Encouragement...




and The Barn Door...


and the Book Loft.

*blush*
I couldn't help it. I just love decorating for Christmas--especially when these decorations will take all of 10 seconds to take down. LoL.

Not only that, but Dee of My Heart's Dee-Light is newly redone and boy-oh-boy, it's my fave layout yet! Swing by and check it out! (She's hosting a giveaway too.)

So tell me, have you started listening to Christmas music yet?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Christmas and Traditions

Ordinary Lives. JollyDaze meme

Welcome to JollyDaze 4 & me!
A short six week meme to carry us through the end of the year.
A meme for us to enjoy the holidays with.
We'd love to have you join us! Click here for more info.

Our Christmas tradition starts Christmas Eve when we put out the gifts. Long ago my sisters and I started shaking the gifts as we loaded the tree. It quickly became a game and Mom got smart. She camouflaged gifts in extra boxes and added things to rattle and shake in the box... LoL, that's something we do here too now. As you can see, I have to because it isn't just my hubs that shakes the gifts here...



Christmas morning starts with stockings, which is one of my favorite parts. Mom puts the best stuff in our stockings--I hope to learn that knack...

After the kids open their stockings, we have a big breakfast, and do the dishes, much to the kids' frustration, LoL.

THEN we move on, beginning with...



A tradition my father started years ago is to read the Luke 2 account of the birth of Jesus. It's one of those things that's near and dear to us and something we've continued on with even when Mom and Dad aren't with us for Christmas.

After Dad or Jim reads Luke 2 and we talk about it some, then comes the gifts. One at a time, taking turns so we can enjoy and savor each gift given and received.

Christmas is a family time we treasure.

So tell me, what's your favorite family Christmas tradition?

If you're joining us for the JollyDaze 4 u & me meme by posting on your blog this week about Christmas, be sure to add your name and the link to that particular post in the linky gadget here.



On deck for next week:  Christmas Decorations... your favorites and what they mean to you... how to make a particular Christmas decoration... decorations you remember... or anything Christmas. Click here for our post idea starter schedule.

Monday, November 28, 2011

November's Caption Contest Winner

You ever have times when you just check out of... life?
LoL. Well, I did. I checked out on Wednesday and stayed underground until Sunday. And it was good. Very good. =) Spent time with the fam, reading, and even Christmas shopping. And miracle of miracles, our shopping is close to being done, which means I get to relax some and enjoy the holiday. Woot! A rare treat and gift all its own.

I hope you guys had a wonderful Thanksgiving, doing whatever it is you did.

Now for November's caption contest winner:


Bev White sent in what her husband would say... and for some reason I can hear Don saying it. Every time I read that line I cracked up. =) (Bev, email me and send along your snail mail addy so I can send a lil gift.)

Stay tuned for December's Caption Contest.

Don't forget tomorrow's JollyDaze 4 u & me post is about Favorite Christmas Traditions... memories of a tradition... We'd love to have you join us!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy...

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Service of Worship

Each week at Living by Grace, a devotional discussion Facebook group, we post a memory verse and this week's is Romans 12:1...


Therefore I urge you brethren,
by the mercies of God,
to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice,
acceptable to God,
which is our spiritual service 
of worship.
~Romans 12:1

Be sure to check the Cafe for more links to WFW



Won't you join me memorizing Romans 12:1 this week at Living by Grace?



*Photo by courtesy of sxc.hu
Blog Widget by LinkWithin

Fonts from:

Fan of kevinandamanda.com! Free Fonts. Recipes. Scrapbooking. Photography. Blog Design. Tutorials. Giveaway. Everything you're into!

  © Blogger template Simple n' Sweet by Ourblogtemplates.com 2009. Design expanded and personalized by PattyWysong.com 2011.

Back to TOP