Saturday, December 26, 2009

unconventional but perfect

As I sit inside today, the day after Christmas , while Patrick is out helping people dig their cars out of the 9 + inches of snow we got the past 2-3 days I am reminded of how things are once again not happening as I planned. This is not the way I wanted to spend the past couple of days, but I'm grateful that our Christmas plans didn't get cancelled- unless you count the Christmas Eve Service at church- or rescheduled or postponed. We are lucky enough to have a family of 4-wheel drive trucks or cars. I've heard a lot of people complain though about how plans have changed and how it's just an unconventional Christmas, but recently a friend reminded me of a birth 2009 years ago that was also unconventional. It's not the way we would have planned the birth of a king, in a stable, in a strange land with no one around but the animals but it was God's Perfect Plan! Wow! I was suddenly reminded that if the King of Kings can come into the world in an unconventional way then surely I can't complain about an unconventional celebration of that birth. Truly, what a Blessed event and a wonderful thing to celebrate. It doesn't matter that it doesn't go according to our plans it truly does only matter that it has come and that we celebrate it for the miracle that it was! May the child of the Manger reveal Himself as the all mighty son of God to you this coming year! Blessings to you all this Christmas Season and 2010!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Star of CHRISTmas

And when they saw the star, they were overjoyed! Matthew 2:10

The wise men, the Magi, the "three kings". ... an element in the Christmas Story, an important almost overlooked element in the story...

Contrary to people in this day, me included, the wise men weren't running to open presents under the tree, but instead walked- hundreds of miles just to stand in awe in the presence of the greatest Gift of all! When was the last time you stood in awe of something...anything?

The wise men's response was to worship and adore.They walked and walked miles and miles through deserts and the heat just to come worship a king and a child no less- to worship a child was just unheard of in that time! Wow! They gave gifts, one of which was myrrh. This was used to anoint the dead. What I didn't ever put together was that on this day, Jesus, the child accepted the myrrh, but as a man on the cross he refused it! Again it was used on Him when he was anointed with it and put in the tomb that he would leave 3 days later alive.

Why don't we worship like this? Where is our adoration? These men, these astrologers did what they did just to follow a star, a light in the sky. They didn't know all the details but they went anyways. They went despite selfish desires, despite fear, despite everything else that tends to get in the way to worship The King! They followed the light to the true Christmas Star. They focused on the end of their journey and didn't get distracted by the journey.

How do you respond to THE Christmas Star? Do you get distracted? What distracts you? What keeps you from worshipping the king? Is it fear? Is it complacancy? Is it selfishness? Whatever it is, this Christmas season and new year I challenge you to be on a mission, just like the Magi, to worship Christ, to focus on Him, not the star or other glitz that easily takes our attention but to focus on the Christ Child as the Star that will guide us to the Perfect life in Him! God is not meant to be a part of our lives, but our whole life! Please remember the true reason for the season and have a Merry CHRISTmas!

Monday, December 21, 2009

This is IT!

So, every once in a while the perfect dress just comes along and for Zoe last year this was IT.

I picked it up at the Local Mommy and Me resale shop and I felt it was a little pricey, but hey, Christmas only comes around once a year so I splurged- $14 if I remember right! But it's been well worth it as I've also had it wear it this year too. I'm just going to be so sad to see it go! And go it will have to as she just keeps getting taller and taller no matter how I try to stop it! Here's a picture of Lexi in her little hand me down dress from her cousins Mindy and Stacy- so cute too! So, here's to the perfect dress- may you find yours this Christmas Season too!

And of course it's hard to not take pictures of the girls together and seperate in front of the tree this Christmas, so enjoy!

Friday, December 18, 2009

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree

So, we love picking out our Christmas Tree at a local tree farm! They are soo wonderful and it was such fun and what a great day to do it this year. The day after Thanksgiving was soo warm! It was a little wrong to be picking out trees without coats and hats and gloves, but so much more enjoyable! I love how much the girls love picking it out too! What fun!

How lovely are your branches!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Photo Booth Friday!

PHOTO BOOTH FRIDAY- on Thursday this week : )
Ok, so here is the photo from this week for my very favorite photo of the week!! I think it's because she just looks soo innocent and perfect in this shot! She's just beautiful!

It's Zoe next to Patrick's brand new Moped- we like to call it his "hog"

Have a happy weekend all!

LOL Christmas

Our church does a big Women's ministry outreach every year at Christmas and I've been the food committee chair person for the past couple of years. Last year it was called a Sweet Celebration and was centered around all things Chocolate- including the chocolate fountain! We do an event for about 3 years and then do a new one! So, as our three years is up this year we did our new event. It was called LOL Christmas! Laugh Out Loud Christmas. We brought in a Christian Comedian and did a whole theme around it! Well, let me tell you! It was fun and the whimsical decorating theme was fantastic! So, here are some pictures from last Monday night! The food was a great success, such a success in fact that we ran out about 30 minutes after we opened the doors- which we opened about 15 minutes early. We planned for about 400-500 people and we ended up having about 640 attend! It was soo great that so many women attended and got to hear about God at this time of year! What a blessing to be a part of that! So, here are some of my pictures from it! Here's the food table, we served regular popcorn, M&M's, caramel popcorn, gorp, puppy chow, pretzels, hot tamales, and a white almond bark popcorn mix. It was a great success! The women that served with me were wonderful too! So, I hope all you fellow bloggers and blog readers I wish you all a Merry Christmas and May God Bless you Richly this CHRISTmas Season!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

God's Sovereignty

I'm involved in a mom's group at my church called Mom 2 Mom. It's kinda set up like MOPS but without all the expenses. It's a video series and I've learned so much from it! Today we had a speaker and she was wonderful! Sometimes God puts someone in your life at just the right time and today that was this women and the words of wisdom she had to share. So, please let me share with you some of her wisdom. I started with a 5x7 sheet of paper and by the end of the talk I was wishing I'd had more room to take more notes, she was that good! So, here are some points that I found very invaluable for me as a mom! They aren't in any order, but this time it's more the message then the placement of the points.

"Our God- Sovereign and Superior"
Carol Totten

* Hold a crown over your child's head and help them grow into it!
*Sometimes we spend a lot of our day pointing our fingers at our children when we should be spend that time praying for them.
*God's Sovereignty should teach us contentment. He is in control and He is faithful!
*I don't have to have all the answers, be able to fix everything, see the future.... He Does!
*Don't take too much credit or too much blame for our kids! Remember whose they are!

And the most important I found today was this....
*Matthew:37-38 God calls us to love Him more then our kids and our husband!
"He who loves and takes more pleasure in father or mother then in Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves and takes more pleasure in son or daughter then in me is not worthy of me; and he who does not take up his cross and follow Me [that is to cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and if need be in dying also] is not worthy of Me."
Do we find ourselves honoring our children more then our Lord? What does that look like- honoring our Lord over our kids? Well, an example given was a pastor that told his children that if they married an unbeliever he would not attend their wedding as we are called to honor the Lord by not being unequally yoked. Wow! Now that's a stand, what a way to Honor our Lord! I challenge you to take a stand and honor your Lord in the every day things too! Such as stepping in when your child is being fairly disciplined by your spouse because you feel sorry for the child? Do you give in to those 2 year olds tantrums? this is not honoroing our Lord! We need to honor our Lord in everything in every way!

And as an added bonus here is a list of Shirley Rice's Practical Points of Child-Rearing
1. Depend on the Lord constantly for wisdom (especially prayer)
2. Expect obedience; it is not optoinal
3. Expect what is reasonable of the child (age appropriate)
4. Have only necesary rules
5. Do not Nag (this is both great for children and husbands)
6. Insist on courtesy
7. Teach the child to respect other people's property
8. Teach the child to respect legitimate authority
9. Be consistent
10. Teach the child to endure hardness; and how to work
11. Help them face their faults and failures
12. Do not be pressured into punishing a child unjustly because of the opinion of others
13. Present a united front with your husband
14. If you are losing control, stop and get quiet before the Lord

A few things that were said in our small group were very convicting and my prayer is that I can choose daily to honor my Lord! My other prayer is that maybe God can use this post today to impact other women out there! What a blessing!

"I'm thankful for ...Horses"

So, every year at Thanksgiving we go to my cousins house and we get to ride horses! Zoe LOVES horses!! Now, growing up where I did horses were a way of life so I've found this kinda amusing being a mom of "city kids" where my kids see horses on tv and occasionally in parades or petting zoos! So, this is a real treat for the girls when we get to see my family and get to ride horses. Now Zoe's growing up so fast as the last couple of years she wouldn't get on the horse without me or Patrick and this year we talked about it beforehand and she decided she was going to ride the horse by herself and the amazing thing is she did! Granted it wasn't for long, but a few times she was left on her own without anyone beside her or the horse. It was pretty great! Plus she even trotted on Cowboy which was huge for her! Yeah! I'm soo proud of her and it's been soo fun! So, enjoy the pics and enjoy the video down below of Zoe trotting for the first time!!