December 27, 2007

Peace & Simplicity

I don't usually make New Year's resolutions, because I can never seem to keep them. I have good intentions, but they soon fall by the wayside...trampled under everyday life and soon forgotten. Still, I relish the thought of starting over. Blank calendar pages stretch out before me (though I'm sure they won't stay so pristine for long!). Once the Christmas decorations are put to rest for the next 11 months, the house suddenly seems less me new perspective on my home.

As much as I adore December, I think I love January more. One of my quirks is that I visualize the months. January is always crisp and white...perhaps because I'm praying for snow, but I think it's more because I see the upcoming year as a clean slate. No dashed hopes. No unmet expectations. A fresh start.

Next week's fresh start has been long in the making. I've been waiting, and now it's time to put legs to what I've been learning. I'm dubbing 2008 as the Year of Peace and Simplicity in our home. I'm not making resolutions I won't keep, but I am going to purposefully focus on making life more simple and creating a sense of peace in our home.

I don't know how all of this is going to look yet. I have a vision, but I'm not completely sure it's the Lord's. One thing I do know for certain. I want peace and simplicity to abound in my life and in my home.

I'm about to head out of town for a long weekend with friends. I'll be back in 2008 to share some more thoughts on this quest. I hope you'll join me. I'm sure it's going to be life-changing. I hope it will be at least a little fun, too.

December 25, 2007

Double Vision

(This is a sticky post. Scroll down further for new posts.)

To understand what my Savior means to me
You must look beyond Calvary.
No, I do not deny the impact of the Cross,
For it was there my Beloved paid the cost
Of my sin; my shame and guilt He did bear
So that I could look at my life and see Him here:

In the hug of a child, so precious and dear;
When she says say “I love you”, it’s His voice I hear.
In the love of a friend who holds my hand tight,
I can hear Him whisper, “My child, I’m here. Everything’s alright.”
When I was ready, He made me a wife
To a husband who ministers to me each day of my life.
So many other blessings I can’t begin to count.
I’m afraid if I do, I’ll leave something out.

But it’s this about my Jesus that I most truly love:
That He left His glorious home up above
To come to this world. My heart can’t comprehend
How He could leave His Father for this place of sin.
Born among animals. He died amidst thieves,
Ridiculed and mocked. Oh! Soul can’t you see
That my Jesus left Heaven that night long ago
Because He knew that years later I would be needing Him so!

I ask you to put the manger beside the Cross.
See them together, and realize God’s loss.
How it must have hurt to send His Son away,
Yet He did so, even knowing there would come a day
He would see Jesus again, but covered in blood,
So that all of His children could say “JESUS IS LORD!”
And reconcile with Him in our Heavenly home;
This is the reason Jesus left His Throne.

Don’t focus on one and lose sight of the other.
To know the whole story, you must put them together;
The manger of hay and Calvary’s tree
Unite with the message: MY JESUS LOVES ME.

(*photo credit:

December 13, 2007

We Interrupt this Blogging Break

I know I said I'm taking a break. I am. Really. But I started a new book this morning, and am already enthralled. I can see this will bring much blogging material in 2008.

I'm giving you a taste to whet your appetite.

When we realized that having children isn't about us but is rather about God, then the trials and sacrifices of parenting are more easily borne. We see the purpose behind the difficulty, and we remind ourselves, "This isn't about me; it's about him." The ultimate issue is no longer how proud my children make me, but how faithful I've been to discharge the duties God has given me.
~"Sacred Parenting" by Gary Thomas

I could ponder that thought alone til 2008!

December 10, 2007

The Complaint Jar

CJ's entered into a season of complaining practically non-stop. Twice in the past three days, I've pulled out the Samaritan's Purse Christmas Catalog to demonstrate to her just how blessed she is. As R reminded me this morning, we can't change her heart. But, we have made some changes. For every complaint or "It's not fair!" we hear, she pays a quarter to the Complaint Jar. That money will go to Samaritan's Purse to help families who can truly claim that life's not fair.

I've been so frustrated with her attitude the past few days. Maybe because I see myself in her complaints:

Dear God,

December 10th is the time to sing "Sleigh Ride", "Jingle Bells", "White Christmas" and all those other wintry songs I love so much. But this forecast makes it impossible:

Hi 76 F
Lo 53 F

Partly cloudy skies today with record high temps expected. Highs in the mid to upper 70s. SW 10-15 mph. Cloudy tonight with lows in the low to mid 50s. Partly to mostly cloudy skies tomorrow with highs in the 60s in the metro...cooler north and warmer south.

It's not like you can't do anything about it. So, please do.

And, while I'm thinking of it, could you lighten my load around the house just a little? And stretch the income more than a little. Oh, yeah, and take care of a few messes that I haven't dealt with yet (not to mention that pile of laundry).

Your Loving Daughter


I've been blaming the unseasonable weather, the unending chores, and an ungrateful 9-year old for my foul mood and lack of Christmas cheer. But, the truth is, I'm the problem.

So, I'm letting go of some things for the next couple of weeks. Like many others, I'm going on a blogging sabbatical. I'm going spend time laughing with my family, catching up on laundry, and watching sappy holiday movies. I'm going to bake cookies, wrap presents, and drink eggnog. And I'm going to stand before the Nativity every morning and thank my Jesus for leaving Heaven for my pitiful, sinful soul.

And I'll drop a quarter in the Complaint Jar every time I forget how blessed I am.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe
~Philippians 2:14-15

I'm over here today. It's a "rerun", but something still heavy on my heart.

December 4, 2007

Catching My Breath

I mentioned in my last post that the mailman had been particularly nice to me lately. First, he brought this:

mws banner

In one word...FAN.TAB.U.LOUS! I'm still swooning over the arrangement of instrumental and vocal pieces. CJ's memorized several songs in less than a week (yes, I'm playing it pretty much non-stop) I adore Michael W. And MANDISA?! That's just the whipped cream on the pumpkin spice latte! If you haven't gotten this CD already, make it your holiday musical purchase this season. (And if Brian at Reunion Records wants to send me more free music, I won't object!)


Just a day later, I received this gem from Laura. I've started pouring through it already, and will review it as soon as I'm done. And, in the tradition of this book (which has already traveled far more extensively than I ever will!), I'll announce how you can put your name in the hat to receive this goody at your door!


Pre-lit artificial tree. What took me so long?!


Proverbs isn't the breath of fresh air I was hoping for. It's more like a slap in the face. I'll be sharing soon (I really, really will). But for now, I'll leave you with a verse from today's reading.

For a man's ways are in full view of the LORD,
and he examines all his paths.
The evil deeds of a wicked man ensnare him;
the cords of his sin hold him fast.
He will die for lack of discipline,
led astray by his own great folly.
~Proverbs 5:21-23