Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Putting up Christmas…outside edition


Oh, she just makes me laugh.  She didn’t want to smile…this is what came out instead.

And it was appropriately cool that day too!  How very considerate of the weather…

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Brother likes goldfish…check out that piece he saved for later.



See, the goldfish is still there…Nate totally digs leaves.  But not as much as he digs moving all-the-time.


The introduction of stick sword-fighting.  I think Nate tried to eat it.  Sounds about right.


We hope that your days have been merry!!!

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Friday, December 9, 2011

Putting up Christmas…inside edition

Let’s start at the very beginning…a delicious yummy to start the day.


Then add in some super cute (and always moving – but I hate the flash – so my son is always blurry!) kiddos…



Introduce the tree.  Oh our tree.  $29.88 purchase at Target when we were first married.  It’s not the prettiest tree by any stretch of the imagination.  But, the memories and smiles that it evokes each time we bring it out – they’re beautiful and priceless.  I’ll never be able to get rid of that tree.  Except when it “stops working” – which may be coming sooner than later…the middle section is currently not lit, and I’m too lazy to find which silly little bulb didn’t get the memo.





I love putting up Christmas.  I love taking treasured items out of boxes once a year and remembering.  Their individual stories, the memories that accompany them.  There is goodness there.


The living water in our own hearts is the fountain from which we shower Christ on those close to us. Our time with God and his preparation of us is a necessary foundation. Without it our Christmas activities will degenerate into hoopla.

But however much we want a significant Christmas celebration, that is not the primary reason for our contemplation and self-examination. Our deeper motivation is the strengthening of our ultimate hope in Jesus, “so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming” (1 John 2:28).

May this time be a reflection of what our lives are—gratitude for the promises that were fulfilled when God gave us the gift of his son and anticipation of and preparation for Christ’s coming again.

-Noel Piper, Desiring God Blog

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Haste Makes Waste – living like an amateur

There are some things about trends that are just silly and make me want to turn and RUN.  Fast.

Yet, there are some “trends” that are rooted in truth, rooted in goodness, and rooted in beauty.  The trend of so many lovely women reading “One Thousand Gifts” and cultivating a spirit of thankfulness in their lives and homes is one of these “trends.”  Truly.  There is something so delightful and amazing about having an intentional community (both near and far!) who are asking God daily to remind and show them of his love, his goodness.


The busyness of your life leaving little room for the source of your life.


On every level of life, from housework to heights of prayer, in all judgment and effort to get things done, hurry and impatience are sure marks of the amateur.


The fine folks who graced our breakfast table this morning, on Abi’s insistence.

The hurry makes us hurt.  Hurry always empties a soul.


Life is not an emergency.  Life is eucharisteo.


As the world tells me and demands that my life should be getting busier right now – as I inwardly struggle to accomplish everything, without treasuring anything – I am asking and craving to throw off the life of an amateur.  To fill my soul.  To rejoice and give thanks.

*All wise and italicized quotes from here.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Sanctification through Motherhood - ‘Sparkle’

I have gained some of my absolute dearest friends in life through mothering.  Our paths may never have crossed before, we might not have found as much in common pre-baby, but now our journeys are similar – thus bringing a beautiful sisterhood with some extraordinary women.

Plus, I can laugh with and be sweetly amazed by some of their littles.

Case in point: Annie.

We just love Annie and her family.  A huge blessing of “family-hood.”  The other night I was dropping off something at their house, and Annie (dressed in full princess garb of course, one of her & abi’s love languages!)  ran to the door and said “Wait!  I have something for Abi.”  She came back with ‘Sparkle.’  “Abi can keep it too, if she wants – I’d like her to have it.”


You should have seen Abi’s face.  A mixture of sweet joy and excitement.  The beauty of receiving a special kindness from someone.  Annie was selfless and it totally made Abi’s night.  What a beautiful encouragement to me from a 4 year old.  To give generously.  To take joy in someone else’s happiness.  To just share some sparkle!

God loves a cheerful giver.
-- 2 Corinthians 9:7