Friday, November 30, 2007
So anyway, BK and I were out running errands this morning, when BK yelled excitedly from the backseat, "MOMMY...LOOK! Up in the sky...it's an angel!"
Needless to say, I almost ran off the road. I jerked my head around looking up in the sky where she pointed. Nothing. Then "Mommy...there's another one!"
This time I saw what she saw. The angels were blowing trumpets...hanging on the light posts in the median...the city's Christmas decorations.
I laughed...at myself...at the situation. "Yes baby, I do see the angels."
Did I really expect to see an angel in the sky? Stranger things have happened...angels have appeared to folks for a long, long time. However, I think I'm probably more likely to run into one in the line at the grocery store...or ringing the Salvation Army bell at Wal-Mart...or sitting in a car seat in the backseat of my van, eyes wide open and taking in the wonders around her...bringing blessings to everyone whose lives she touches.
It might just be natural...but it's pretty super too.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Monday, November 26, 2007
Our lesson today involved being thankful to God for the things He gives to us. Our Bible verse came from James 1:17 - Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
Sometimes we just need to be reminded, don't we?
Repeat after me...
God is good...all the time.
All good things come from God.
And from the immortal words of the Madame Blueberry song (Veggie Tales - for those of you without toddlers):
I thank God for this day,
For the sun in the sky,
For my mom and my dad,
For my piece of apple pie!
For our home on the ground,
For His love that's all around,
That's why I say thanks every day!
Because a thankful heart is a happy heart!
I'm glad for what I have,
That's an easy way to start!
For the love that He shares,
'Cause He listens to my prayers,
That's why I say thanks every day!
Friday, November 23, 2007
I braved Wal-Mart this morning. Even though I did not set my clock for four a.m., I still think I got a few good deals. One thing I picked up was a new star for our tree. When I saw it on the highest shelf, it immediately caught my eye. There are no lights or other flashy embellishments. It's just a beautiful red star that looks like it is crafted from the thorns that were used to make the crown for Jesus when he was crucified. How appropriate that it was red...for the blood that He shed. He was born to die...for me. I found the symbolism too appealing to leave it there on the shelf.
So I brought it home to adorn our tree. There was just one problem. It is too heavy for the artificial tree. I thought I would have to return it, but looked around to see if I could use it somewhere else. I decided to see if it would go on top of a plant I have in our den. So now my corn plant is sporting a beautiful red star. Maybe it's happier there anyway.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Depression closes in on many people this time of the year...threatening to lower its cloak of darkness and choke out any semblance of hope and joy. Do I sound like I know what I'm talking about?
I know that I have much for which to be thankful this Thanksgiving Eve. My Savior who loves me no matter what...my family and friends...my little miracle child's arms around my neck, squeezing so tight...my church...my decent computer in my comfy house in my safe neighborhood in my free country...good health...provision...gas in the car and a turkey in the fridge. Life is good.
So what does one do with this feeling of sadness and impending doom?
I have found over the years that reminding myself that I will not feel this way forever...while not beating myself up over getting to this point in the first place...seems to help...at least a little bit.
Some people will say it is a spiritual problem. Some will say it's a chemical imbalance. Some might even say that it is predestined genetic issue. Most will have an opinion...and most are not helpful at all.
I pray that God will help us to be sensitive to those around us who are sad and hurting...for whatever reason...and help us to remember that this is not the season to be jolly for everyone.
Pass along a smile and a hug...and hold the judgement...you never know what a difference it could make.
What would you do if you had to actually use -- or at least enjoy -- everything you own?
Truth be told, most of us would never live long enough to accomplish such an overwhelming task. Instead, we pack it, stack it and pile it away -- even pay rent to store it -- and keep right on accumulating, acquiring and attaining even more. More doesn't add to our joy the way we thought it would. More stuff only dilutes the quality of our lives.
Vilfredo Pareto, an Italian economist, "discovered" the 80/20 principle in 1897 when he observed that 80 percent of the land in England (and every country he subsequently studied) was owned by 20 percent of the population. Pareto's theory of predictable imbalance has since been proven widely and applied to almost every aspect of modern life, including the things we own.
It's difficult to fend off that sick feeling when you calculate clutter's actual cost in hard-earned cash. Of course, there's that original price tag. But then there's the cost to own it.
One woman who finally had it with all her clutter loaded it up (it filled two pickup trucks) and headed for the flea market. Excited that she could possibly net $800 to $1,000 for one weekend of selling, she changed her attitude quickly when she realized her prices were about one-tenth of the price she paid.
Her mind went to the time she'd spent earning the money to buy all the stuff; the time spent shopping, lugging it all home then storing it until moving day. She figured even if she made $1,000 on this effort that meant she'd spent at least $10,000 (probably more!) purchasing it. That day she vowed to never buy anything again unless it was absolutely necessary.
Ask yourself a series of questions to determine what stays and what goes:
Does it work? So much of the clutter in our homes is made up of broken things we plan to fix someday and clothes that don't fit anymore but we hope they might someday.
Do I really need it? The answer will be clear as you imagine the impact of this item disappearing from your life.
Do I enjoy it? If this item brings beauty and joy to your life, it is not clutter. Sentimental belongings should be treated with great care and respect -- not forgotten in the attic.
Am I using it now? If it doesn't fall into the 20 percent of things you use on a regular basis, it is suspect.
Once you've earmarked the stuff that needs to go, move it out. Sell it, give it away or throw it out. Of course, one of the best solutions for "good stuff" is to give it to someone who really wants or needs it.
Decluttering will calm your spirit, clear your mind and increase your ability to enjoy your current situation, your family and relationships -- your life!
Monday, November 12, 2007
Do you know the legend of the Cherokee Indian youth's rite of passage? His father takes him into the forest, blindfolds him and leaves him alone. He is required to sit on a stump the whole night and not remove the blindfold until the rays of the morning sun shine through it. He cannot cry out for help to anyone. Once he survives the night, he is a MAN. He cannot tell the other boys of this experience because each lad must come into manhood on his own. The boy is naturally terrified. He can hear all kinds of noises. Wild beasts must surely be all around him. Maybe evensome human might do him harm. The wind blew the grass and earth and shook his stump, but he sat stoically, never removing the blindfold. It would be the only way he could become a man! Finally, after a horrific night the sun appeared and he removed his blindfold. It was then that he discovered his father sitting on the stump next to him. He had been at watch the entire night, protecting his son from harm. We, too, are never alone. Even when we don't know it, our Heavenly Father is watching over us, sitting on the stump beside us. When trouble comes, all we have to do is reach out to Him. ~Author Unknown~
Sunday, November 11, 2007
What about gas prices? I heard on T.V. last night that the price of gas has risen over 30 cents a gallon in a month! That is just insane. Sometimes I think that I should trade in my mini-van and get a car with better gas mileage. But we really need a van so we can haul all the grandkids and BK around. It seems that it just keeps taking more and more to live these days.
I have discovered something that can take the edge off the aggravations of life...cookies. It's hard to be depressed with a warm, fresh-baked cookie in your hand. I recommend them highly...for medicinal reasons, of course. One of my sisters sent me an email this week with links to many, many cookie recipes. I have never seen such a list of cookie recipes. Look below to find your favorite and whip up a batch...or two...and then pick up the phone and invite me over. Life is better lived with homemade cookies...and the friends who bake them.