Saturday, December 28, 2013

Taking a Moment

And's all over.  Gifts, thoughtfully chosen and wrapped to shiny, sparkling perfection, are handed out, oohed and aahed over, proper thanks offered. The Christmas ham, the hors d'oeuvres, the brightly frosted cookies are no more. Family has come, bearing more food and more gifts, and they've gone.  Gift boxes have been flattened, ribbon rolled up and stored until next year. Strange, this whole process of preparation, planning, anticipation, execution...and then exhaustion.

 There have been years when I would un-deck the halls as soon as the hoopla has ended. Not so this time.  Lights still twinkle on the tree. Snowflakes still surround the glittery "Let It Snow" that hangs on the mirror.  A teeny manger scene continues to sit on a bookshelf as a reminder of a night in a stable when Love came down.  I find myself rather pensive and unwilling to let go.  Perhaps I need a few days more to accept the ending, to gather the gumption to face a new beginning.  Already I know there are challenges to overcome, joys to be discovered, plans to make.

What lies ahead, the known and the things we can't possibly imagine, they roll soon. But not today.  Not this moment. Today I am choosing this quiet with my journal, a hot cup of coffee, good music and a little something full of chocolaty comfort. This moment is mine to just be. Quiet. Rest.

The new year?  I'm allowing myself a Scarlett O'Hara moment. I'll think about that tomorrow. After all, tomorrow is another day.

Friday, December 13, 2013


Anyone who knows me knows that crafting ain't my thang.  Really. Just thinking of sewing, knitting, scrapbooking and the like, I start to feel dread. I can spend an entire day in the kitchen chopping and creating wonderfulness, but give me paper, pencil, scissors and glue, and I can promise you disaster. Allow me to share an example of my ineptitude...
The really sad thing here is, I was actually trying to draw Harry Potter. Honestly, I was. When Maddy was younger, she liked to give us family art lessons (how cute is she!?) and this was my project.  With Harry's neck so thick, I decided to rename the book.

 All that to say that, in spite of my decided lack of crafting ability, I created a little something a few days ago. Ok, Kyra helped a bit.  She's marginally better than I when it comes to paper and scissors. As I was reading a post by a favorite blogger, I discovered a link to yet another blog (you know how that goes) with the most wonderful idea, a creative and beautiful way to celebrate Advent.  Take a look at is lovely (she probably actually enjoys crafting.)

Here is our version---photos of some precious people (many are newly-made friends from Kyra's Rwanda trip) hanging at the foot of the stairs to help us remember to pray. Some nights we choose one to pray for as a family, but their beautiful faces are there for us to see many times during the course of every day, a reminder that there is so much more to this world than our little corner of it.  I love it.  Think I'll keep it up after Christmas, changing out and adding to the photos as God puts people on our hearts.

Thanks and blessings to Devi at My Daily Bread and Butter for the beautiful idea!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

What to do with The Ugly

The past.  We all have one. Some of ours may be a bit more "colorful" than others. I have to admit to a bit of a rainbow myself. Yep, I've got a past full of mistakes of all shapes and sizes, bad choices, and seasons of falling flat on my face in a nasty mess of horribly lacking faith.  But...I have a Savior whose sacrifice has covered my past, removing it as far from me as the East is from the West. I choose to walk in that grace, that forgiveness--to believe Him and trust that He keeps His word. I choose to trust that He is enough.

So what do we do with our pasts once we are forgiven, once we have been delivered?  We extend grace, love, and mercy to others, just as it was extended to us. Use the ugly to make your little corner of the world more beautiful. Did you get pregnant in high school?  Go love and support a scared, stressed teen mom. Have you overcome an addiction?  Give real help and mercy to someone in the throes of their own struggles.  Were you guilty of condemning others, mired in graceless judgement? Go be there for those in the fringes, without a place to belong.  Be Jesus...grace, mercy, kindness and true empathy.  

What do we not do with our pasts?  Wallow in them or let them control our present. Don't believe the enemy when he tells you that the hard times are punishment for your shortcomings.  See this for what it is--a big, fat lie. His desire is for you to walk in defeat, but you already have've only to claim it, walking into a new future. 

My heart has been heavy these past few weeks for some of you struggling so and allowing your pasts to affect your present. This quote from Graham Cooke spoke volumes to my heart.  I hope it touches yours as well. 

"Whenever God gives freedom, it is always implicit that the freedom He gives you can be given to other people. You go around setting other people free from the very thing that you were victimized by.  God comes into your life and He turns the areas of abuse into areas of ministry and significance. He gives you a calling in the area where the enemy tried to strip you of your identity or even kill your life. Your testimony is the beginning of your ministry!"

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Best Ever Hair Product...No Jokin'

A quick little post today for those of you with fine hair or (like me) fine hair AND a cowlick on the crown of your head that ALWAYS wants to make a part from the crown of your head and down.  Ugh...freakin' annoying.  Anyway, I have found the solution.

About a year ago, my full-of awesomeness niece, Bobbi (who just happens to be a rock star hair stylist), introduced me to this....

Poor Bobbi, so nicely listening to my lamenting of the cowlick and subsequent lack of height where hair should have some height, says to me, "You just need to get some Big Sexy Hair Powder Play.  Sprinkle it in your roots.  Gives it some grit."  Simple words.  Big life-changing impact. (I'm only sort of exaggerating here.)

I love this stuff, people, in case you can't already tell. If someone were to tell me that it was made of radioactive plutonium, I'd have to give serious thought to whether or not it is worth it to give it up. Kyra has fine hair as well and she would wholeheartedly agree.  On a recent trip to Boston, I introduced my cousins to the wonderful new world of Powder Play, which was followed by a trip to TJ Maxx to buy every bottle they had (it was half price there, just so you know.)

So there ya go. That's all I have for today.

You are welcome.

Bobbi, I love you anyway....but I'm pretty sure I love you more now. :)