Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Reflecting on Christmas - Here & Now & There & Then

In contrast to the chaos just outside in the bustling little town of Bethlehem as the census was underway, I picture the moment that birthed the most wonderful reason since time began to celebrate -  as quiet & quite peaceful in the humble stable where Jesus was born - and the focus of those in His presence on His presence...angels performing live the most beautiful background music ever & a touch of sparkle appropriately placed in the stars above and in the reflection from Mary's eyes as she gazed directly into the face God.

It's not so different here & now as it was there & then as busy-ness, noise and distractions vye for our time & attention - but in so far as our home is concerend, I want it to more closely resemble the stable than the world outside our door as we celebrate Christmas ... to be a sanctuary of sorts. Not necessarily picture perfect ... but picture peaceful music and just enough sparkle, appropriately placed, to shift one's focus now & then.

I picture too how dark, smelly, dirty & cold the stable must've been. How odd it seems that the King of Kings & Lord of Lords would consider such a place to be the perfect place to make His presence known - yet the better I get to know Him,  the more I understand about the why behind where He chose to make His earthly debut - so perhaps it shouldn't surprise me so much that he would choose such a similar place - that being my heart - to make His dwelling place. Nonetheless, I still can't help but wonder ..."Why...!?".  Yet He, as only He can, has transformed my skeptical "Why?!" into the very reason why I celebrate Christmas.

As I imagine the sparkle in Mary's eyes reflecting the light of Christ as she looked Him in the eyes, I wonder if perhaps we might enjoy a similar privilege should we choose to keep our focus on Him this Christmas.

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Common Scents

Click the pic for a Christmas Potpourri recipe using a blend of citrus & common household spices. I wanna try it :) Again - so simple! 

The ADVENTure is about to begin

...& I'm determined to try to keep our family's focus more on Christ & giving (sharing Christ) & less on us & receiving - which theoritcally means I have today & tomorrow to finish up Christmas shopping for our family. Yikes! - I'd hoped to be done before Thanksgiving!

I definitely want to embrace the tradition begun two years ago of celebrating Advent by attempting to bless someone unsuspecting each day w/ a random act of kindness  - & challenging my family to do the same. But this year I want to shift the focus more onto Christ by doing more random acts anonymously &/or spontaneously....not necessarily planning/premeditating each one but rather by praying  for guidance & looking for that unsuspecting one, on any given day, to be revealed, then blessing them in such a way that will honor Christ and give Him glory. If I'm more concerned about why I'm doing this and Who I'm doing it for & less concerned with how much I do, that should make a big difference. 

What more central location in a home is there for an Advent calendar than the refrigerator?! ....which  is why I'm considering the possibilities this clever (magnetic!) calendar contains for keeping our focus on Christ this Christmas season. I thought of tucking into these tiny tins, the names of people - or groups of people - to bless &/or pray for specifically on "that day"  - or a scripture reference to look up daily as a reminder straight from God's Word about Who & why we celebrate Christmas. I'm not crafty but am seriously considering making this because it's so simple & practical .....& I'd love to pass it on down to my grandchildren someday. 

via: http://www.familycircle.com/family-fun/christmas/decorating/countdown-to-christmas/?page=9


These mittens could certainly be used to work the meaningFULL magic of Christmas in a similar fashion  ....

via: http://www.familycircle.com/family-fun/christmas/decorating/countdown-to-christmas/?page=23

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Givingthanks

Wow - what a difference it makes when you wake up and start the day by focusing not on what you want and wish could be different - but rather on all the blessings you have to be thankful for and the fact that there is nothing you really need. It's ironic how shifting our focus this way brings the One to whom we should give thanks into focus more clearly as well.  

My husband & I have been up and at work in the kitchen for a while now. We've always enjoyed preparing the Thanksgiving feast together. The turkey is nicely filling the void left by the  piping hot cinnamon rolls that did a fine job preheating the oven for us.  Spokes is home & has already left for an early morning bike ride w/ a friend (mind you our thermometer said it was 23 degrees outside when he left the house!).  The girls are sleeping in late.

The house is quiet & cozy. Usually we have a house full of guests on this day - but this year it's just our family. All five of us. I love when we're all together in one place. I'm feeling a bit selfish & wrestling with a bit of guilt for not inviting anyone else over, but evenso I'm treasuring this time with the people I love most in the whole entire world & thoroughly reveling in the freedom this low key/stress free day affords to really focus more on all that I have to be grateful for and less on how clean my house is & how comfortable guests are, etc. Even my table, soon to be laden with a bountiful feast, is shaping up to reflect the simplicity of this simply special day. It's different - but so good.

Oh my! Look what my husband just delivered here to the corner of my world...

Please excuse me now. The Macy's Thanksgving Day Parade is about to begin. Hooray! The girls just woke in the nick of time.

Happy Givingthanks!

Monday, November 8, 2010


I'm a bit late postin' these  - kinda playin' catch up today -  but wanted to share my husband's pumpkin pi. And Playmaker took her carving to a new & different level using her daddy's power tools to make a pretty lantern. She and a friend also carved this punkin' pirate.... but you're gonna hafta tilt your head to the right...as I cannot get this pic to rotate...she sent it to me from her phone....mb that has somthing to do w/ it?


a (Sun)day hike

Yesterday we met up w/ friends for a hike in the forest & a picnic w/  an unbe"leaf"able view....meaning the landscape is changing ...still beautiful - just different - as many, if not most, of the leaves are on the ground now and adding a slippery challenge to a familiar hike.  Then - back to our house for hot chocolate, a round of Guesstures (great game!) & chili dogs cooked over the fire. It was great fun to spend the afternoon w/ a group of terrific kids. Enjoyed the energy,  the silliness -  & perhaps most of all.... the laughter :)

A sweet surprise

My husband & I  recently had dinner at Panera and on the way out we peeked at the sweet treats for sale. I must admit tho'...I lingered ....for much more than just a peek once I laid eyes a certain mountain of a muffin.

My husband must've noticed. Hopefully it was the way my eyes locked onto it - and not drool  - that gave him his first clue as to how I longed to be one w/ that mountain!  A few days later he stopped in again to pick up bread to go w/ our dinner & the next morning, after he'd left for work, low & behold - there IT was....or was I dreaming?! No - it was real - and it was sitting right there on OUR kitchen counter! As a token of his love, my husband had given me the mountain!..... All for one (ME!) and one for all (me AGAIN :)! ...and left other pastries for each of the girls too!

Thank you, honey - for making that ordinary day so special by starting it off w/ such a sweet surprise.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Bit o' timely humor

Timing is everything when it comes to humor right?  Well - this is timely.
 One look out my window reveals
 piles of "clothes" that should be picked up today :)