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What is Christmas? Part 1

So, I started making my Christmas cards in August this year.  Praise the Lord!    220 cards just about done.  Not all made.  About 80, I bought.  Necessity!

Lights up, thanks to my wonderful man.

Packages under the tree, thank you free internet shipping the first two weeks of December…caught onto that little trick last year.

Had my December cold, thanks to Thanksgiving with family.

Lost a few needed pounds, thanks to accountability partners who needed me.

Working out…until the head cold, thanks to a free treadmill that I requested be left in this house when we bought it.

House…not totally gross, not totally clean, thanks to all who live here.  🙂

Having family devotions with a lovely pewter candle holder with an engraved symbol that highlights each devotion, thanks to “The Jesse Tree”, and a yard sale earlier this year.

Giving Christmas clothes to kids younger than mine.  Cleaning out closets, by the grace of God.   Washing, delivering.

Getting kids to play practices, rescheduling for snow.  Snow days, school out.  Reschedules.

School parties…today!  Baking!

Finals:  first of the week to study for.

Christmas at my Dad’s this weekend.  Baking!  Finalizing gifts.

On track, for having been sick with a yucky cold.

So…my only regret is that by evening,  I am often short-tempered. Bothered by little things like redundant noises: chewing my ear while I’m on the computer, someone rummaging through a drawer beside me, digging through a cabinet, people munching on needless snacks (did I mention, while standing right behind my ear, while I’m at the computer?  Shopping?  Thinking?  Figuring out computer problems?)

Toilet paper not put on the roll, drawers left open, socks and coats still left all over the house after countless reminders.  Homework not done.

I can’t do it all!  UGH!  I’m feeling it again!!!

Irritability –perhaps due to overload.  Inexcusable.

What needs to be dropped next year to make room for more peace within?  Perhaps it’s not just about “getting ahead”, but doing LESS.


Late packages.

Bad news.

None help.  Still, irritability…inexcusable.

Looking for help, I read “The Love Chapter” again.  I Corinthians 13.  I love to go there when I’m “off”.

I Corinthians 13:4 leaps off the page:

Love endures long and is patient and kind.”

Yes.  This is what I’m looking for.

This is prayer for the rest of my season.

And I begin to pray: Lord, that I may endure long, and have your patience, your kindness.  You are SO patient and kind to me every day, not giving me as I deserve, but according to your love and faithfulness and mercy…you are so kind!

Help me, Lord to deal with all the added interuptions and demands.  Help me to somehow know when to play and enjoy people, to give the the hugs and kisses.  To flush the stresses.

A reminder I received today from a friend said, “This Christmas–STOP. Yes, just stop. Look around. You have a ton to be thankful for.  All the little things that may seem to be so important to get done so that your family can have the “perfect Christmas” really won’t make it so.  Sprinkle each day with love, laughter and lots of hugs. Tell your family you love them. Share the real reason for Christmas–LOVE. You’ll have a perfect one after all.

I heard a TV show say yesterday for the umpteenth time, “Family…being together!  That’s what Christmas is all about, after all!”  WRONG, I say!  I learned that the hard way last year when my Mom and step-Dad where in Iraq, being bombed over the holidays.  Thank God, they were never hurt, through other health emergencies arose shortly thereafter.  A very stressful time.

That’s not what Christmas is all about.

It’s not about traditions.

It’s not about family at all, though that is very important and should be very high on our priority list, because it’s very important to God.  Family is our grounding place, the basis of our makeup.  Family deserves our honor, help, and love.  We build one another up through the years, though others come and go.

But things come up.  Things interfere.  Schedules get whacked.  People get sick.  Feelings get hurt.  It all happens.  It’s not all holly jolly.  Details exist.  Reality happens.

Even in our priorities, it’s easy to forget…

It’s about Jesus, who came to help.

It’s about a baby born as a  Saviour –stepping into the darkest of days, a day no one looked forward to, that day’s “tax day”.  And he wasn’t born into lights, carols, and a decorated tree.  He was born in a hewn-out place of rock called a “barn”, an unsterilized, unprepared, stinky place.  He was born into controversy, uncertainty, “people talking”.  And yet, those looking saw him.

So no.  It’s not about the family gathering.  Not about the food.  Not about the little ones.  Not about the gifts.  Those are our responses to Him, but not “the reason”.  What truly blesses HIM.  Is it the stuffs, or is it our attitude?  Our humble response?

I was at one gathering last week where the host said, “To be honest, I just can’t wait until Christmas is over.”

And I felt like, “Then why did you do it?  I came for you.”

Instead, I said, “Yeah, I know what you mean.”

Do it out of the grace he offers, not out of obligation, or it doesn’t accomplish the intended effect.   None of it does.  It’s just “more stuff” to do.   Some years are just hard.  It’s okay.  He will be there for you, too.

Reading through the Old Testamant last year (only made it about a third of the way through, but hey, I’ll pick up there this year), I realized God is a God of celebration!  In the Old Testamant, he told the people to not forget or neglect their special celebration days.  He loved for them to remember what he’d done for them, and to celebrate!  Because when they didn’t remember, they got into all kinds of trouble, seeking after false gods and idols.

The festivities are important as they help us remember.  Take that time to celebrate.  But, it’s not in the stuff…he should be the reason FOR the stuff.  We get it so backward.

This year, having things as “in place” and “ahead of schedule” as they can be…still facing demands and irritability and “not enough time” feelings…I tend to think we forget the MOST IMPORTANT thing:  preparing our hearts to be giving people, to care for others, to take time to show we appreciate them, to be in “good grace”.   Yesterday, a teacher shared a kind word and a smile when I ran into the classroom looking for a math paper.  On my drive home, it brought warm tears to my eyes as I reflected on her kindnes,s as opposed to the glare I’ve often received for trying.   Undeserved favor and positive regard.  That’s grace.  People who are trying need it, crave it, long for it.  Do we give it?  Do we show them we care?  We love them?  We want them to experience joy?  Care?  Concern?  Take the time.  That’s Christmas.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!  May Christ’s kindness fall on you daily, and may you walk in it, give it, cultivate it, and share it.

December 17, 2010 at 11:12 am 1 comment

Fall Cleaning

Back to school is here.  That means a house that needs “going through”.  It’s the quarterly job that I like having done, but so dislike the mess of the “doing”!

I’ve been taking a new approach this year.  I’m not asking the old quesitons I’ve used.  I’m asking myself, “What do I want in this space?”

That question makes it more irrelevant what is there now, especially if it’s not being used.  Everything else is currently in the floor, destiny yet undetermined.

It’s not really a good time for a friendly visit unless you’d like to break your neck.  Actually, it wasn’t a good time for a friendly visit before that…there’s just too much stuff shoved everywhere. The end result will likely not be the ipitomy of a fashion magazine, but the spaces will be pleasing for their purpose and decluttered.

I’ve been doing this all week.  It’s been tiring work.

This morning, I couldn’t help but wonder how this new approach applies  others aspects of life.  For instance, in my marriage, is what needs to be there in it’s right place?  Is what is “best” there?   It really doesn’t matter what is there now, why or how it got there, or if I like it there.  The question is…what SHOULD be there.

Hopefully, I can do the same this:  dump everything else out on the floor–get rid of it, and start putting things in order where they need to be.

And off I go…

August 14, 2010 at 10:19 am 2 comments

Monday–Just Blogging

Just got finished stringing some green beans my mom brought me for supper.  It’s nostalgic to do it, but man, am I glad for store bought green beans!  I started sitting out in the sun, but it got too hot in about fifteen minutes, so I moved to the breezy porch.  Aaah–what long summer days are for, I suppose!  Getting ready to go see if I have my first garden zucchini for supper!

Feeling very rested today.  Got to sleep in uninterrupted this morning.  Finally!  My sleep has been very interrupted in the mornings lately.  Seems to throw me off all day.  I must be going to bed too late.

Did some Cricut tests today, hope to post those results soon.  Some fonts and doodlefonts print fine, but best to do in advance during chores and have for projects…they take too long for the Cricut to draw them “on the fly”.  In any case, still so unique that I keep buying them.  I like having things different than on the standard Cricut cartridges, and I like paying a lot less for them. A lot quicker to get trendy designs to use fonts than to wait for a cartridge.

Well, off to see what else I need to be tackling!  I hear the buzzer to the drier going off!

July 6, 2009 at 4:17 pm 2 comments

Thursday Christmas Preps!

Let’s just say that getting the new TV room furnishings is probably not the best motivational component going into the holiday schedule.  I had to try it out today in quiet.  I liked it.  I didn’t get nearly enough done.  But, I enjoyed the day.

I spary painted some new-used picture frames I found for $3.00 a piece — THREE THAT MATCHED (Oh! what fortune!) to match the new room better…they were  a lovely white-goldish patina, but they just got lost on the walls, so I painted them a flat black and then sanded the flourish parts so that the metal showed through again.  Otherwise, the photos looked a little list on the black.  I was fairly pleased with the results.  After five holes in the wall, I even managed to get them level!  We have a level tool I bought my husband a few years ago…but who knows how to use the thing?  I really need to learn.

Tonight, I wrapped neice and nephew gifts.

Last night, got the teacher gifts done. 

Moving on to the kid’s gifts soon!  Yeah! 

Can’t resist using some of my scrapbooking supplies for the lettering on the gifts this year.  Staying creative may take a little longer, but it keeps me fresh.

Hope to get some baking done either tonight or in the morning for some etc. gifts with some pretty Martha Steward boxes I found at Wal*Mart. 

Was hoping to get the mud room primed before Christmas–thing I’ve picked a color, but not sure if I’ll have extra time yet or not!   Or that the recliner will release it’s hold on me!

Really valuing some moments of rest and down time today.  But, trying to make up some for it tonight!

How are you guys?  I always miss visits with friends during this season…yet, so much to do!  Hopefully I will get caught up soon and can catch up with some laughter and silliness!  I’ve heard the movie “Mama Mia” is a good chick flick.  Anyone seen it?  Anyone want to?

December 18, 2008 at 10:29 pm 5 comments

My Coupon Binder, The V-log

As to the flowery pants…yeah, ignore them, it was a housecleaning day!  For those of you long distance who have yet to be inspired to have had a good laugh with my southern drawl…this should be an especially rare treat. I’m not sure I complete any sentence either, but it’s all about mind flow…either you can zone in with me, or you are pretty much lost.  Best of luck to you!

I looked up the binders.  They are availabe on sale right now (9-23-08) on the website at for only $4.99 in several styles and colors...though if you are going to be a coupon mom…I’m personally all for the hip pink and leapord look.  LOL!   I personally don’t know if I could swing it without that little added extra oomph.  🙂 I can’t tell if they still have the mesh outer pocket, which I’m dependent on…I’d like to see it up close and personal.  Yes, I am a bit bitter that I did not get the matching pencil case.

September 23, 2008 at 10:50 am 3 comments

Monday: Cooking, Painting, and Grocery Shopping

New squash and zucchini sitting atop Porter Paint buckets…pretty typical for this week!  We bought LOTS of fresh fruit instead of snacks to enjoy.  It is all SO good and well worth the price.  The cantaloupe was tasty!

This was yesterday, plus a trip to the Paint Store, Kroger, and Dollar Store for wasp spray.  And, I got the grates on the three french doors painting (a pain to paint those suckers might I say?)

Lots of food…chicken for my guests Wednesday, two groups.  Pork Loin for BBQ for us all week.  Veggies for a salad on Saturday for a going away party for Larry Pop. 

I also made country ham and bisquits yesterday.  I was hoping if I cooked a lot yesterday afternoon, I could paint harder and get the house back in shape the rest of the week.

There is still much painting is being done.  I’m not going to get it all done, but I hope to get a few piles relocated anyway.

I got the garage floor cleaned up yesterday….my kitchen counters obviously still need some work today! 

So far today:  a second coat on a few areas of the green room that needed another coat, the front caramel colored room sanded and repainted in a few places, and some more work in the garage done.  

I am looking forward to getting cleaned up for the day and getting the multiple layers of paint off my feet.  I am also looking forward to the pork loin sandwich for lunch!  Only my second pork loin, just some salt & pepper generously on the surface and the crock pot for about six hours…two on high, and the rest on low.  Mmmmm.  A keeper.

For the kids last night, I made chicken tenders in a skillet of medium heat olive oil with just salt for flavoring last night.  I honestly think it is one of their favorite meals!  They ate and ate and ate!  Sometimes, the simpler, the better!  I’ll be keeping those as staples more in the future!  SO easy.


I wasn’t sure if I’d like the color of a cardboard box for my living room.  But, now that it’s on the wall, it looks more like caramel.  It’s called Applesauce Cake.  We are really liking it.

June 24, 2008 at 11:06 am 2 comments



Sifting the joy from the mundane:

recording, photographing, learning, creating.

I am married to the love of my life, as we raise three children, learning the ways of grace.


Magnanimity (derived from the Latin roots magn- great, and anima, soul) is the virtue of being great of mind and heart. It encompasses, usually, a refusal to be petty, a willingness to face danger, and actions for noble purposes. Its antithesis is pusillanimity. Both terms were coined by Aristotle, who called magnanimity "the crowning virtue."

Noah Webster's 1828 Dictionary of the American Language defines Magnanimity as such:

MAGNANIM'ITY, n. [L. magnanimitas; magnus, great, and animus, mind.] Greatness of mind; that elevation or dignity of soul, which encounters danger and trouble with tranquillity and firmness, which raises the possessor above revenge, and makes him delight in acts of benevolence, which makes him disdain injustice and meanness, and prompts him to sacrifice personal ease, interest and safety for the accomplishment of useful and noble objects.[1] (Source: Wikipedia)



"We shall not waste our time in looking for extraordinary experiences in our life, but live by pure faith, ever watchful and ready for His coming by doing our day-to-day duties with extraordinary love and devotion." ~Mother Teresa



"Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not come. We have only today. Let us begin." ~Mother Teresa




A kind heart is a fountain of gladness, making everything in it's vicinity freshen into smiles. --Washington Irving




When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn. -Harriet Beecher Stowe


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Please know that I am not posting as an expert, but as a fellow traveler. I recommend that you research and double check things on your own before taking any advice or instruction from this site.  Information is given in good faith for the time period in which it was written. I am also an affiliate of the Sure Cuts A Lot software, for Cricut, which means you don't need Cricut cartridges to cut any font or .jpg on your computer.  I get some pocket change for introducing you if you choose to buy it by clicking on my site.  And we all know I need more cardstock, so I do appreciate it.  I sometimes review other products for a fee, but I am not required to give a positive review, and post honestly as to my experience.  I hope you find this useful.

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