Tuesday, December 16, 2008

~Bringing Christmas to the Least of These ~

I know it's hard to see these images.

I'm not trying to put a damper on your Christmas spirit

I'm just asking for you to remember what's going on elsewhere in the world.

We can enjoy decorating our homes, baking with our children and wrapping gifts for loved ones.

But lets remember...

Lets pray for the hurting,

the starving, and the dying.

Lets pray for those that have had to grow up far too fast.

Pray for those who can't help themselves.

But more than that, pray for what YOU can do to help.

If you are currently not sponsoring a child through an organization like World Vision or Compassion. Or if you are currently only sponsoring one child could you, would you, consider reaching a little farther into your pockets for an extra $35 a month to help another?

It's not too late to bless a family or a community through World Visions Christmas catalogue.

The options are endless! There are animals, trees, clothing, and medical supplies you name it. Even a small donation will help incredibly.
Have your children choose with you and make this a family event. Print off a picture of what you have chosen, wrap it up and place it under the Christmas tree for Christmas morning.
This will be a most special present! It will give you a chance to take the time to reflect amongst the hustle and bustle of gift giving that morning. You can stop right there and pray as a family for your donation and the family that it will bless!
Make this a yearly tradition, one that your family will treasure and bless not only you but the ones that need it the most.
Mat 25:40 And the King will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.'

Saturday, December 13, 2008

~ A Mother's Beattitudes ~

Blessed is the mother who understands her child,
for she shall inherit a kingdom of memories.

Blessed is the mother who knows how to comfort,
for she shall possess a child's devotion.

Blessed is the mother who guides by the path of righteousness,
for she shall be proud of her children.

Blessed is the mother who is never shocked,
for she shall receive and know confidence and security.

Blessed is the mother who teaches respect,
for she shall be respected.

Blessed is the mother who emphasizes the good and minimizes the bad,
for her children shall follow her example.

Blessed is the mother who answers questions honestly,
for she shall always be trusted.

Blessed is the mother who treats her children
as she would like to be treated,
for her home shall always be filled with happiness.

By Anonymous

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

~ Idolatry ~

That is not a word we come across too often as Christian mamas in our day to day lives. When you hear the word idolatry the first things that might come to mind are golden calves, and fake gods.
Is it possible that there are other idols that we might be missing?

We bought our 3 yr. old a DVD for his birthday done by "Life on the pond" The story was about a frog and his new job. He had become so obsessed with his occupation that it began to rule his every thought and his entire life. The whole moral of the tale was being aware of idolatry.

I started thinking about idols in my own life. Things that have the ability to sway me from where my primary focus should be. What do I think about the most? Where are my thoughts continuously being drawn too? Is HE always first?

There are so many things that can capture our hearts as women...work, a business, perfect children, a hobby, an immaculate house, the desire to be THE proverbs.31 woman, homeschooling, a cause, our ministry. None of these things are wrong but we need to ask ourselves these questions~
Is God leading in it?
Is He in the middle of it or not?
Are our thoughts continually drawn to Him?
Is He really FIRST?

As Godly women we can't just talk the talk.
Matthew 15:8~ "These people honor me with their lips, but their HEART IS FAR FROM ME."
We should love the Lord our God with all our HEART with all our MIND and with all our SOUL!

In the past when my 3 oldest were little and my house seemed to always be a mess I struggled with wanting to have the perfect looking house always clean and beautiful. (Idol) I would tell God when that happens THEN I will practice hospitality. I wanted to have the time and money to make fancy meals and serve it on nice fancy dishware and entertain like Martha Stewart. (Idol)

God showed me that it didn't matter what my house looked like, it mattered what my heart held.
I needed to step out of my self focus and look at HIM. We started to invite people over and not care that none of my dishes matched that my home was less than stellar. People would drop by and shove the clean laundry piled on the couch over so they could sit down, we would sit among the school books, playdough and toys . None of that mattered because encouraging one another became more important.

When I look back I have been guilty of making my children idols, my marriage an idol.
In becoming so obsessed with the process of raising great children I missed the mark. I forgot Gods heart.
I have put so much pressure on my husband in the past to fill all of my needs completely forgetting that there is only ONE who can truly be our everything.

We should all be passionate about our God given gifts, our marriages, our children, and our homes, but ABOVE ALL be passionate about your Saviour!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

~ A Birthday Photo Shoot ~

It was two of my children's birthdays recently.
I thought it would be neat to start taking pictures of the kids on their birthdays with them holding their age up on a little chalkboard. I am far too unorganized to actually label pictures, place them in albums or scrapbook them into masterpieces like other more normal mothers.
No siree, mine sit in countless shoeboxes until one of my children find them and pull them all out and then for the next 4 months I find them under couches, under beds, in drawers, in toy containers and generally anywhere a child might have been.

I thought this picture was cute and then I noticed he had no pants on. He has a habit of not putting his pants back on after he uses the bathroom. He is like his mother and gets sidetracked easily when he is supposed to be finishing something.
It's amazing I actually have my pants on most days, I said MOST days. Hey, we can't all be perfect!

Getting a normal smile out of him after this became somewhat of a challenge.

Yes, he was totally hamming it up.

I had just said "Be normal buddy" and apparently normal is uncomfortable for him.
Gee, not sure where he gets that from.

Yeah, at last! A cute birthday picture of my little ham, I mean boy.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

" A Crazy Morning and a Decorating Splurge "

So tradesman and I decided to brave the Black Friday shopping this year. We have never done this before and thought we would give it a whirl. As Canadians, we had NO idea what we were in for!
We had perused the flyers online Thursday night and we wrote down what we had hoped to pick up. The buys seemed really great, apparently too great.
We set our alarm for 3:45am and rolled out of bed full of anticipation.
Here's tradesman ready to go. I took a picture of him in front of the microwave so you could see what time it was when we left. Unfortunately, the crazy time is blurred. (4:15)

How this man can so look so incredibly cute at such an ungodly hour...I'll never know.

Getting across the border was painless, a 30 min. wait was about all we had. By the time we crossed at about 5:15am the line ups behind us were huge and stretched out as far as we could see over the bridge.
As we drove by some of the stores, I was completely stunned! Crowds of people were lined up outside in the parking lots... what is wrong with these people? It was freezing outside!
We headed to Walmart first and were not at all prepared for what we found. I have never seen anything like it in my life. People were lined up with FULL carts all the way to the back of the store! The sale had only started at 5:00am!
What we hadn't known was that Walmart had opened at midnight and people had been there since then shopping and waiting to cash out at 5:00.
You could not even maneuver through the store with a cart let alone find anything. We did manage to get a couple of good deals and we saved ourselves hours of waiting in line by getting in line at the jewelry counter. Best $10 I spent all day that watch was!

We decided to just avoid all the other stores as they would all be the same song and dance Walmart was. We did however head to HobbyLobby. Now THAT was really exciting!!
They had ALL their Christmas decorations 50% off. This is unheard of in Canada! No where would anyone put decorations on for 50% off BEFORE Christmas! It would be completely absurd!
We made a beeline for those aisles. It didn't take me long to find a few items that I loved. Tradesman just kept on insisting (casually mentioned) that I should buy them and I tried to argue (not really) that maybe I didn't really NEED them. He can just be so convincing or was that me...details, details.

Anyhow, if you know me well you know I love a good deal AND I absolutely LOVE to decorate for Christmas.
These 3 adorable decorations were $14 in total! Stuff like this cost a small fortune in Canada. So yes I splurged and my girls were just as thrilled as I was when they saw my purchases.

This coming weekend is when we will pull out all our decorations and put a tree up. We are looking forward to making our home cozy, inviting and beautiful for the many friends and family we will have visiting this coming season.

Since I'm sure many of you are doing the same... Happy Decorating!

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