Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Year Ahead

At this moment, I am living in 2009 and my daughter is living in 2010. If she continues to live "ahead" of me, will she eventually be older than me?

Just wondering.

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 28, 2009

It's The People

A friend of mine at work has a two-year old son who seems to have the blame game figured out pretty well. When he misbehaves and his mom asks him why he did what he did, his answer is simple. "It's the people." Apparently, it makes him sad to have to admit it because he says it softly and with a certain sense of resignation. But that's the bottom's the people.

So it goes something like this. "John, why are you not eating your dinner?" "It's the people." "John, why did you you hit your sister?" "It's the people." Well, you get the picture.

Frankly, I think the child is a genius. Because, come on, it's usually people that get under my skin and make me act the way I do. I mean, really, it is! Okay, sometimes it's the computer, but that's just because I'm a big ZERO when it comes to understanding about computers. And once in a while, it's the sewing machine when I absolutely have to try to sew something because it hates me.

But think about it. More often than not, it's people who make us act in a less than stellar fashion. I mean, they wear on our patience and say and do ridiculous things at times. It's just hard to be around "people" a lot of the time. So, I'm right there with you, John. It IS the people.

The only problem with the whole thing is that I have this inkling that I'M "the people" in other people's lives at times. Darn. That's not as much fun.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Always Room

"There was no room for them in the inn." Luke 2:7

I read this familiar verse the other morning and was overwhelmed with the realization that I never have to worry that I'll hear my Heavenly Father tell me that "there's no room."

Sometimes the enemy tries to convince me that it's too late and I've blown it so badly that God has closed and locked that door. So don't even bother going there.

But God calls to me over those lies. And He tells me that, no matter what I've done or how long I've been away, if I turn to Him in repentance, that door will always swing wide open and He will welcome me in.

What a blessing to know that there is always room when The Father is welcoming home His child.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas, Elizabeth!

"...if only in my dreams."

Merry Christmas, Sweetheart. Know that you are in our hearts and prayers, if not in our home this year.

We love you,
Mom and Dad

Monday, December 21, 2009

Bah Humbug to Potlucks!

Just gotta say that I'm gettin' a little tired of the word "potluck." Not a big fan of them any time of year. I never know what to bring. It's usually a hassle getting the food where it's going and keeping it either hot or cold.

But this Christmas it's been way over the top! And I am even guilty of suggesting the one that's happening tomorrow. What was I thinking?

I'm just saying that there's nothing wrong with a nice catered event where all of us women get to just sit down and be waited on. Nothing wrong at all!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas Angel

Every year when we decorate our Christmas tree, I love to think back on the history of each ornament as I hang it on the tree. Where did it come from? Who gave it to us? What's the story behind it?

Some of them are beautiful, commercially made ornaments. They make the tree sparkle and glitter. Some are handmade and they bring that special warm feeling to the whole tree. I love them all because they tell a story about our family and our years together.

But there is one ornament that makes me smile every year when we put it on the tree. Some people might wonder why we even put it up; why we haven't bought something a little more elegant for this place of honor. You see, on the very top of our tree sits an angel made from a paper plate, aluminum foil and glitter. And she's the most beautiful angel I've ever seen.
Our paper plate angel was crafted by our daughter's tiny hands before she even started school. It was a Sunday school project that she presented to us with such pride! Of course it went on the top of our tree that first year. We certainly didn't know that it would have that place of honor nearly 20 years later. But there she sits, often tilting just a bit on the top of our tree, but as beautiful as ever.

It's not the paper plate or the foil or the glitter that I see. Instead, it's the sweet little hands that crafted her. She is a work of art! And no one else has one just like her. And that goes for the angel too!

Monday, December 14, 2009


"And all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them." Luke 2: 18

Amazed. That's what Luke says the reaction was to the shepherds' news that a little baby had been born. A little baby who just happened to be the long-awaited Messiah. Not skepticism. Not ridicule. But amazement!

As I read these words this morning, I couldn't help thinking how differently the world receives this news today. Rather than amazement, the news that God chose to enter our world on that night so long ago, is often met with total disinterest if not out right rejection.

As I read these words this morning, I couldn't help thinking that too often, I also miss the amazement of God's choice to enter the world as Immanuel, God with us. I can't grasp the selfless love that it took for Him to send His "one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16)

I'll never completely understand that love. But I never want to forget that, without that Baby born so long ago, there was no hope of redemption for my broken and sinful life. It truly was God's amazing grace that "saved a wretch like me." If that's not cause for amazement, then I don't know what is.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Abbreviated Decorating

So this year, I managed to decorate my house for Christmas with only three of my usual eight tubs of decorations. And one tub was strictly tree decorations!

I've been feeling overwhelmed with the whole decorating thing the past few years. And since our daughter, who usually is in our home over the holidays, is in Russia this year, I figured I'd try the "Cliff Notes" version of Christmas decorating.

And I'm delighted to report that, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in my house. In fact, it looks great! The tree is up, the garlands are glittering and it only took me a couple of hours. And I feel less stressed about having to take it all down again in a few weeks.

It's Christmasy and wonderful! So, sometimes, less is definitely more.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Dear Mom,

As I was driving home from work, a song came on the radio that said, "I wonder what Christmas in Heaven is like." I thought of you and smiled because you know the answer to that.

It is hard to believe that it was seventeen years ago today that you left us. It was a glorious sunny, cold day...just like today. I remember thinking that Heaven pulled out all the stops to welcome you home that day. But Christmas has never been the same for me.

All of your girls have carried on your traditions and we are so blessed with wonderful families, but a part of us went with you. You were the heart of our family. And I will always be grateful for your love and example.

Thank you for the sweet memories of you in your apron helping us make Russian Teacakes and Molasses Crinkles. Or of you sitting in the lamplight hemming our matching Christmas dresses so they would be ready to wear for the Christmas program at church. You made Christmas magical for all of us.

Mom, I have heard your whisper in every Christmas since you left us. And with all my heart, I cherish the legacy that you gave us.

I love and miss you,

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Am I Feeling Lucky?

This morning my flat iron wouldn't heat up very hot. So needless to say, today was a bad hair day. Then on top of that, I really, really needed a haircut. So at lunch, I called my hairdresser, and to my delight she was able to fit me in right after work. The only problem with that was I couldn't go to Costco to buy a new flat iron since I had a hair appointment.

As I sat in the chair, my hairdresser told me they were having an open house and that I needed to enter all of their drawings for free stuff before I left. Free stuff? Like what? Like a new flat iron!

The problem is, the drawing isn't until Saturday and today is only Tuesday. My old flat iron still heats up some...and I have a really cheapo one that might help get me by until the big drawing. So the question is, am I feeling lucky? I mean really, how many entrants can there be in this drawing? It's a small salon. My chances have to be pretty good and these flat irons are down right expensive. It's got to be worth suffering through a few questionable hair days, right?

But I don't want to get my hopes up. With my luck, I'll be the winner of the giant candy jar for guessing how many pieces of candy are in it. Really? I just don't need that. Oh, it's tough living on the edge like I do!