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DECEMBER GOALS and NOVEMBER UPDATE

15 Dec

december-goals-2

JOY

Joy has to be my favorite word .  I buy ornaments each year with the word joy.

But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.  Luke 2:19 (KJV)

Just as Mary was pondering these things – the birth of her baby boy, I am blessed to be pondering this season and picking up little things for two twin grandsons and a granddaughter all due in March.

As I reflect on Christmas I ponder all the beautiful things about it. I think back on past Christmas’ when I was so stressed and worn out.  Honestly, I may be a tad bit worn out this Christmas, but oh how I am loving everything about the season this year.

You know the older you get the more you realize this could be your last or at least I do.  Perhaps much of that stems from my word that God spoke to me this year – SAVOR and oh how I’ve tried to do that – savor each moment.  I’ve savored decorating, shopping, Christmas programs at church, finishing up my Bible study and anxiously anticipating the next one in the New Year.  I am savoring time with family, cooking for family and most of all my precious Savior’s birthday.

Christmas is more than trees, more than decorations, more than presents – it’s the gift of His presence in all we do not only during this season but every day.  I’m so glad I get that.  How about you?

 FAITH GOALS

Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker;  Psalm 95:6 (KJV)

NOVEMBER  (All Done)

Begin new Bible Study called Wait and See by Wendy Pope.

DECEMBER

Complete Wendy’s Wait and See study.

FAMILY GOALS

NOVEMBER (YES)

Trip to deer lease with our son and daughter-in-love.  We had a whole lot of fun and cooked our Thanksgiving meal there on Saturday and had some friends over too.  Great trip.

DECEMBER

What an awesome month for time to spend with family, and we have so, so many plans.  I’m as excited as a six year old.  Can’t wait for all the food, fellowship and games.

Another trip to the deer lease with our son and daughter-in-law, and maybe a final one for awhile.  She’s pregnant with twins and well we don’t want to be four hours away from a good hospital.

Christmas Eve with my husband’s family for dinner.

Christmas Eve at home with the kids and grandkids.

Christmas morning breakfast and celebration of Jesus’ birthday and also our son-in-laws at home with our kids and grandkids.

Christmas day lunch with my family.

It’s gonna be busy around here, so this girl better get busier.  Menus to make.  House to finish cleaning and decorating and I will be so glad when school is out so that phone quits ringing for substitutes.  Yep I’m headed there today after the yearly mammogram.

HEALTH GOALS

NOVEMBER (Well not so well)

Working out, drinking water, and eating healthy to decrease this waistline.  This is still a hard goal for me although I did make a whole lot of trips upstairs and in the attic (too many to count), and I did walk down to the end of the block several times, and then there were shopping trips and lots of walking at the lease.

FRIEND GOALS

NOVEMBER  (I totally forgot to add friend goals on my November goals, but we did have some precious friends over on the Saturday after Thanksgiving for a Thanksgiving meal.)

DECEMBER

It’s hard to meet up with a friend at this time of the year, but this past week I was honored to meet up with an aunt who lost her husband a few months ago for lunch so I call this one done already.

Call at least one friend on the phone.   (Done.  I have a sweet friend going through a divorce and one day when God laid her on my heart (a heart drop as Karen Ehman calls it), I picked up the phone and called.  We talked, we laughed, we cried and we prayed for a hour and a half.)

The neighborhood tea still has not happened.  If only I could finish decorating, shopping, and cleaning maybe I could have them over next week before Christmas, but it’s looking doubtful this morning.

HOME GOALS 

NOVEMBER

Finish cleaning and organizing master bedroom closet. (Probably not happening this week.  I’m starting the Life-Changing Habit of Tidying Up and seeing where that takes me in they say the next six months, but starting with the clothes in the closet.)  (Not done)

Catch up on filing in office. (Not done)

Buy new mattress for master bedroom and move our old one upstairs to a new king bed frame my mother-in-law gave us.  (We got the new mattress and moved the other one upstairs, but the shopping for the things to go on that oversized bed was a wee bit of stress with all that is going on for Christmas.  It was hard but it’s done.)

Take down Fall decorations. (Done)

Begin Christmas Decorations.  (Done)

DECEMBER

Finish cleaning and organizing master bedroom closet.  ( I hope this can happen but with all the extra cleaning and organizing and the bed and everything else it might not happen.)

Catch up on filing in office.

Finish decorating, shopping, and cleaning.

Plan dishes for all the Christmas meals.

BLOGGING GOALS 

NOVEMBER:

Lesson 2 – Blogging Course. This is the 8th month I’ve had this as a goal. Not sure I can get it done even this month because the school is calling a lot for substitutes, it’s time to Christmas decorate now and who has time to write.  I just would love to be ready and be able to sit down and read a good Karen Kingsbury love love.

This is a big blog lesson, but I am working on the first part and that was going thru all of my old blogs. I cringe thinking it is already the 15th of the month and I’m just getting this blog post up that should have been up on the first, but sure has been a fun month, and I cleaned up a few more blogs with tags, categories, better photos, and rewrote some with better thoughts from now. (Partially Done)

Review and clean-up 15 more blog posts plus 20 I already completed, so it will be 35. (Done)

Delete at least 500 more emails.  (Done)

Linky Page – Work on a few more days of this project with a completion date of  January.  (Accomplished a bit of this, but haven’t had time to blog nor participate in any of the parties)

DECEMBER

Lesson 2 – Blogging Course. This is the 9th month I’ve had this as a goal and it sure is not going to happen this month, but I must keep it here or it will never get done.  I am adding a planned date of March because with Christmas and planning for the 3 new grand babies in March and showers and school it will be at least March, but part of that is the next goal so I am working on it each month, and it is progressing well, but there are over 500 blogs to go back and clean up, tag, and pretty up.

Review and clean-up 15 more blog posts plus 35 I already completed, so it will be 50.

Delete at least 500 more emails.

Linky Page – Work on a few more days of this project with a new completion date of February.

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Favorite Christmas Traditions

9 Dec

christmas-cards
It’s December 8, and it is COLD outside.  Well, for Texas it is.  The high twenties this morning has been our low in the past two years, but hang on it will be in the seventies by Sunday, and that’s what I love about Texas.  We don’t have to freeze too long.

It’s cold.  I’m snuggled up with my cup of coffee and just wanted to  sit here and ponder and savor all the things I can remember that we do or have done in my family over the years, so I’ll start with traditions from my childhood.

Do you have Christmas traditions?  I have so many.  One of my favorites is Christmas cards.  Yes it seems there are fewer and fewer each year with Facebook and iPhones, and let’s face it – it takes time to sit down and address Christmas cards and for many of them to add a sweet note inside, and they are expensive even when we buy them on sale, and then there is the postage.

Why are Christmas cards so special to us?

For many years now as the cards come in they are placed on our kitchen mini-blinds.  They stay up usually for several months into late February or early March.

After Christmas we will pull a card each time we sit down to eat.  If we have company we ask them to pull a card.  We pray over that family.  Last year I added another step to that tradition.  I bought a board and now I pin the cards to that board and it stays on our fire place heart so we can continue to pray for all at once that are on that when we go into that room.  It’s in a back den so we don’t visit it every day.  Here is a picture of that board with our cards from 2015:

 

Other traditions:

Christmas Ornaments – I’ve always given the kids a Christmas ornament  from Hallmark, and now the grandkids and our daughter and son in love.  I may have to change it up a bit because well we are anxiously awaiting the birth of twin boys so that will make three in my son’s family.  Not sure I want to buy three ornaments just alike to go on their tree. I usually stuff their ornaments in their stocking.

Stockings 

I guess today children would look at a stocking filled with nuts and fruits as something not to get, but that is what my middle sister and I got in our stockings.    Today I find myself filling up the little kids stockings with caps, toys, toothbrushes, gum, and any other little thing I can think of. The big kids usually get shaving supplies and gift cards and maybe some kind of fancy candy.

Santa Claus

There is always stuff from Santa at this house even for the adult kids.  Even the married kids get Santa under the tree to this day.  Yes there are wrapped gifts, but Santa brings some nice stuff.

Jesus Birthday Cake

When the kids were smaller we used to have a birthday cake for Jesus, but I only did that a few times.  Usually though there is a birthday cake for our son-in-love because December 25 is also his birthday.

The Lord’s Prayer

Always, always at our Thanksgiving and Christmas tables my side of the family joined hands and recited The Lord’s Prayer.  We still do when we get together.  I can even remember reciting it at seven years old at my Dad’s family tables.

 

A New Dessert Recipe

I usually take a new dessert to my side of the family.  They laugh because I’ll bring that and maybe a new veggie recipe and then I make them make it after that if they want it and they usually do.

Christmas Eve with Husband’s Family

Even since we married 47 years ago we celebrate on Christmas Eve with my husband’s family.  We used to do it at his Mom’s house, but several years ago we started rotating with his two sisters so it’s at our house every three years.

 

Christmas Eve Evening Games – We love this and the adult kids do to, and now the grandsons.  Last year the two year old had a ball and I’m sure the other two year old this year will too.  We have done all sorts of things from scavenger hunts to remote cars.  We have a special surprise this year and I can’t share because it’s always a surprise and always the kids pair up as couples or girls against boys, and we give prizes.

Christmas Morning Breakfast – I usually have a Christmas morning breakfast.  It is a celebration of Jesus’ birthday but also our son-in-laws.  I vary each year, but generally we always have a Breakfast Sausage Casserole my friend Carrie gave me and I’ll add another casserole, cinnamon rolls, fruits or whatever else seems special for the year.

Christmas Lunch With My Family – Most years we do lunch with my family, but seems we always end up one place rather than rotate.

So what are some of you favorite Christmas traditions?  I’d love to hear you share.

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Advent – Week 3 – The Joy of Christmas

18 Dec

joya

I am joining Kate Motaung today, and the word is our choice.  How can I not choose my favorite word – JOY?  It’s the last five-minute Friday of the year. Where did 2015 go?  Now to write for five minutes.

This week of Advent is about the joy we have because Christ entered the world.  That is what Christmas is all about – Jesus’ birth and Jesus in us  -not only at Christmas but every moment.  Jesus is our joy and without Him I am not sure how you hang on to joy.  I know I could not.

How do we smile through tears?  How do we find joy during storms?  How do we keep Christmas joy in the hustle and bustle of the season or in the midst of pain and turmoil, or when there is no money to buy the kids presents?  It’s not about presents, it’s about having Him present in our lives, and walking in joy no matter what season we are in.  As the song goes, He is with us ALWAYS.

Have you lost your joy?  Beth Moore tells us it’s right where we left it – in His presence.  She says to anticipate it, expect it and share it.

Jesus talked about rejoicing to His disciples in John 16:24 that even though He was leaving them and they would be distressed that their joy would be complete when He returned.  Anticipate His return, expect it and share it.

Philippians 4:4 (NLT)  tells us to ALWAYS  be full of joy in the Lord. I and   1 Thess 5:18 says to rejoice ALWAYS give thanks in ALL circumstances.  There is no sometimes, tomorrow, next year when things are better.  The verses tell us to ALWAYS be full of joy and to ALWAYS give thanks no matter what season of life we are in.

Jesus is our JOY!  Seek the joy of knowing Him this Christmas.

JOY to the world because the Lord has come!

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REFLECTING ON A NOT SO BUSY, HURRIED CHRISTMAS’

11 Dec

tree2015

Today has been a time of reflection because well that’s the word we are writing 5 minutes about on Kate Matoung.

I sit here this morning with my 2-year old grandson who spent the night.  As soon as we walked in the dark den, I asked him if he wanted me to turn on the Christmas tree lights.  He did, and I paused to show him a couple of ornaments with Santa kneeling down worshiping Baby Jesus.

This time of the year we can get so burdened – burdened with loss of loved ones and burdened with all that we as women are doing to make our homes and hearts ready for Christmas.  I even get a little teary eyed putting up the tree each year because many of my ornaments were from Mom, and that little gold one up near the top is an ornament my baby sister made me one Christmas with Mom, Dad and us three girls when we were little.  I’ll get teary eyed in a bit when I put that beautiful Avon Christmas nativity set my Mom gave me that fills up the top of our piano.  But God has blessed me with precious memories, and I want to bless my family with memories when I am gone.

I’m not reflecting this morning on busy, hurried, frantic Christmas’.  This year is different.  I’ve slowed down and there is still much to do,BUT I’m savoring it all – taking it in and keeping it about Him.  My husband even commented about the tree and how it reflects Him and as he prayed the other night He asked God to bless others as they come to the house and see it.  I found some beautiful ribbon at Hobby Lobby with the names of Jesus, and have so many ornaments now that say peace, and faith and joy and a couple of crowns and lots of crosses.

As you take some time to worship with Him in the morning while looking at your tree, think on the things that keep Him in Christmas, think of the things you “get” to do, not what you have to do.  We “get” to do Christmas.  We “get” to bless others.  We “get” to wake up each morning.  We “get” to celebrate another year of Jesus’ birth.

Reflect this year on whose you are and spend time with family and friends.  One thing I’ve learned someone we love can be gone in an unexpected moment.  Make some memories this year.  Love like you’ve never loved before.

Merry Christmas as you reflect on what is important.

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Advent – Week 2 – Peace

8 Dec

NamesofJesus

Not only are we in week 2 of Advent, but the calendar continues to count down to Christmas.  I love it.  I love every single thing about it.   I love the cards, the recipes, the decorations, the shopping, the cooking, the Hallmark Christmas movies, the Christmas music, wrapping gifts, and last week watching our two-year old grandson smile when I said Nanna and PaPa bought you presents for Christmas and hear him say Christmas.  Confession – No gifts wrapped yet, but some were put in the mail yesterday for sweet friends.

The older I grow, and the more we lose dear loved one, the more special Christmas becomes.  Actually, every single day becomes more special.  We don’t get do-overs, but oh how I wish we did so I live for each moment, each day to savor with loved ones.

I know this time of the year can be hard for so many.   Trust me I have been there.  The first year my Dad died I so dreaded Christmas and having all my family here and Mom coming in that door without him.  Oh it was tough for a moment, but she brought angel pins for us 3 girls, one of my sister’s wrote a poem (Dad always did) and gave each of the grandchildren one of Dad’s clocks and read the poem.

In reading about Advent this year, I learned that the wreath represents God’s never-ending love for you and me.  The evergreens represent His gift to us of eternal life.  The candles remind us Jesus is the Light of the World.This week of advent represents peace.  I did not know until I started researching that Shalom means peace.  How cool is that?  Jesus came to be the Prince of Peace.

Blog - Isaiah 96

SHALOM!

 

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