Sunday, November 28, 2010


I am currently on cloud nine from this fantastic holiday weekend.  I was reminded of a quote this morning by Dr. Suess, "Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened."  I just can't stop smiling. 

The couple days before Thanksgiving I prepped and made most of the dishes I was in charge of and that helped to make this one of the smoothest Thanksgivings we've hosted.  The other biggie is that along with frying the turkey, my wonderful husband made the pumpkin bread pudding dessert and potato gratin dishes.  He was working in the kitchen the night before while I was top stitching my reversible Thanksgiving/Christmas placemats.  I wouldn't be me if I weren't doing something at the last minute *smirk*.

Thanksgiving was a wonderful day filled with friends and family, a ton of food (given) and games!  The younger kids also watched a bit of a veggietales marathon as it began to get toward bedtime.  Just a perfect day. 

After sleeping in on Friday and eating chocolate chip pancakes, we hit a bunch of stores to get some Christmas shopping started.  I've never shopped on 'black friday' and for a first experience it was very mellow.  Busy. Indeed!  But all we ran into was friendly people and some very good deals.  Now we are almost done with shopping!

Saturday had a couple of highlights.  One was the new disney movie Tangled. A bit intense at times for the three year old but all around very fun for the rest of us.  My boy sat on the edge of his seat for most of it!

Then we walked around our little downtown just before dusk in a beautiful snow storm.  Delightfully looking at Christmas lights and ringing the bell in front of our Capitol building.

Follow that up with a relaxing Sunday including a tryptophan nap for mom, (a weekend full of turkey will catch up to you eventually) a daughter rearranging jars of applesauce saying, "I'm shopping for winter" and a Dad allowing a son to watch parts of Empire Strikes Back, what more can one gal ask for.  I am so very grateful for this fairy tale weekend! 

Saturday, November 27, 2010

giving hearts

My kids made their Christmas lists last week and a couple of nights their bedtime conversation has turned to what they are going to 'buy' for each other for Christmas.  They lay there groggily telling the other that they will buy everything they could ever dream of.

Yesterday my son got his wish, he got to pick out two Barbies for his little sister. Just what she's asking for and now he knows she'll get them. In exactly four weeks.

On our way home from the store yesterday he says, "It's really hard to keep a secret." Adam and I glance at each other and I chuckle to myself.  After awhile he says, "sometimes you just HAVE to say it all out."
We all giggled a bit, his sister dazing out the window. 

He didn't, he held onto that secret, so far anyway. But it reminded me of another Christmas when he wasn't able to tighten his lips at all.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Undeserved and freely given

Two days ago my son says to his sister as we are driving home, "When I get to heaven, I'm gonna run and give Jesus a big long hug."  To which his sister replied emphatically, "yeah, me too!"  He looks to me and asks, "Mommy, isn't that gonna be great?"  "Yup" I almost whisper, as I think about it, "in a very long time, when you are very old and wise it IS gonna be great."

I think about this life that we have been gifted.  We can run to Jesus now too.  He is waiting with his arms of grace and mercy to cloak us in.

He is here now and yet how many times do I turn away.  Thinking I can do it alone like my stubborn strong willed three year old, or mistakenly thinking I have to do it by my own accord.  How many times must I learn this very same thing?  How many times must I run away before I listen to the whisper in the deepest part of my soul, "Run to me!" 

He is calling us to run to Him!  The enormity of His grace is constantly boggling to my mind lately.  The vastness of it all, it covers the most horrid of sins when I turn to Him and yet still my broken heart sins again and again.  The most wonderful thing I am learning this year is that when I stumble and turn to run towards him I see just how astronomical His love for all humanity is.  Then I can find praise in the one who sets me free.  I will always have this broken sinful heart on this earth, but one day in the very distant future I will be made whole and yes my son, it will be truly great!

By Your Side -  Tenth Avenue North

Why are you striving these days?
Why are you trying to earn grace?
Why are you crying?
Let me lift up your face
Just don't turn away

Why are you looking for love?
Why are you still searching as if I'm not enough?
To where will you go child?
Tell me where will you run?
To where will you run?

And I'll be by your side
Wherever you fall
In the dead of night
Whenever you call
And please don't fight
These hands that are holding you
My hands are holding you

Look at these hands and my side
They swallowed the grave on that night
When I drank the world's sin
So I could carry you in
And give you life
I want to give you life

And I'll be by your side
Wherever you fall
In the dead of night
Whenever you call
And please don't fight
These hands that are holding you
My hands are holding you

This head knowledge is nothing new most Christians today, I am aware.  What is new to me and showing me the enormity of this grace is trying to extend that grace to those around me.  To show those I love this grace instead of irritability.  When they don't deserve it.  To show them compassion instead of anger.  It is not easy.  To freely give myself to them and love them with no strings attached.  To extend to them that loving act of mercy.

I have been praying for my head knowledge to turn into heart knowledge that pours forth into my life - really applying it.  So here I am like a baby nursing, I work and work and then I fall asleep, let go and let the Holy Spirit wash over and show me how to have mercy and grace.  How much it must break Jesus' heart when I feel like I must try to do, do, do what HE already did.  He did the work already and I bet it only breaks his heart because it causes us undo pain and tumoil.  Instead of just falling asleep and cuddling into the peace of His warmth and goodness.