Friday, December 23, 2011

The season of JOY!

If I had another whole uninterrupted week, I don't think I'd really be 'ready for Christmas' 
- and frankly I'm tired of being asked.  I've hardly been out of the house for over a week because of our sick Dreamer, but everywhere I've ventured, I've been met with the same question.
Why do we put so much pressure on ourselves and each other? 
I propose we start a new line of questioning polite conversation for Christmastide 
- something along the lines of,
"What is bringing you JOY this Christmas?"

You see, I'd have a long list for you there!

Joy - filling our home with the sounds of Christmas time hymns and carols
Joy -  the truth - Emmanuel - God with US! With US!
Joy - children chatting about our trip to Poppa and Grammy's house
Joy - long days of sewing and baking resulting in sweet little surprises for others
Joy - dropping off packages to dear ones and receiving warm smiles in return
Joy - the Word read and absorbed into the quiet fabric of our lives

 “And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, 
and the glory of the Lord shone round about them:
and they were sore afraid. 
And the angel said unto them,
Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”
Luke 2:8-11 KJV 


I am praying this will be a season of joy for you 
- a season of blessing!
I know there are heartaches and pressures, sorrows that seem magnified by the gaiety around us.
Even in the most difficult and strenuous times, for those who truly know Jesus Christ,
the child of promise, born to a virgin in Bethlehem so long ago,  
there can be abiding JOY!

 Merry Christmas friends!

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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Welcome Company Girls!

Welcome! Will you join me for a cup of tea this morning? If you are popping over from Home Sanctuary today I'd like to give you a special welcome! I'll keep this short simply because Rachel has given you a lot of reading already with Fatigue Fighter
When I wrote out my thoughts on coping with fatigue for Rachel, I prayed that they would somehow be a blessing to some other Mom battling exhaustion. Perhaps it's you! 
I'm honored that she would use my ramblings for our Company Girls Small Thing today.  
My quiet little blog doesn't see much traffic, but Rachel is an encouragement to so many of us.
Thank you Rachel for letting God use you to be a blessing to us!

I love being a Company Girl - don't you? Checking our daily Small Thing and setting that one simple task as a goal to reach for during the day is fun and sometimes challenging. It's good to be s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d a little, isn't it?  Knowing that there are others with the same desire to make our homes a place of sanctuary and blessing for our families, and that we can work together in small steps to make that happen is such a positive motivation for me! We're in this thing together!

Please don't think that because I have my coping strategies settled that I always turn to them when I need to - I needed today's Small Thing perhaps as much as anyone!  Today I am planning to be a blessing to a friend who is sorrowing - I am hoping to bring a little beauty into her day and give her a chance to smile.  Because that's part of my plan for later, I know I have to be organized with the rest of my day and schedule a nap for this afternoon. 
That means planning and starting a simple dinner now and helping the children with their 
school work first thing so that I can do less demanding things as the day progresses. 
So, I'd better get to it!

Thank you for dropping by! Visit any time you'd like! 
I always enjoy getting to know our Company Girls!

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Monday, December 5, 2011

Always a finalist ... but never a winner?

Last week I was so wonderfully surprised to be selected as a finalist
in Family Circle/ Curel Katie Brown contest - but I didn't win! 

 Photo from Family Circle

It was one of those up, up, up and suddenly back down to earth kind of things!  I was so excited and so nervous to be interviewed by phone on Friday.  I didn't get much sleep the night before. My hands were clammy and my mouth felt like it was full of cotton. I couldn't think straight, but that didn't stop my words from spilling out! Too many words. I really hoped I was doing better with that, but apparently not - I need another lesson from my Historian who always engages his brain before speaking!  My interviewers were lovely to talk to though, and overall it was a good experience.

When I didn't get the final confirmation call late Friday afternoon, I was pretty sad because I'd been so very hopeful.  Ah, well - hopefully some other mum in a muddle will benefit from a bunch of wonderful Curel lotion and Katie Brown's expert advice and help!

I think Dreamer and I squealed these - wouldn't they be cute across a mantle?

I'll be honest, I didn't really know much about Katie Brown before the contest. Are you surprised? Don't forget, we don't have t.v. and I don't get out much!  Being a lover of dishes, I have often admired the different collections of Katie Brown home decor items at our Meijer's store. Even though her items are good quality and very reasonable I've done lots of admiring, very little buying! 

 Can't you just see this covered in the kids homemade gingerbread cookies? Yum!

Now I know that she has her own PBS  t.v. show, a blog, some fabulous idea books which include lots of home crafting ideas and some simple but yummy looking recipes.  I have borrowed them from our library for now, but I think I might like to buy them for my own bookshelf. I have also learned that she's an adoptive mom too, which of course is so close to our hearts! I really enjoyed watching some of her segments via YouTube videos - her enthusiasm is contagious and her projects and recipes are simple and inspiring. I guess you could say I am a new 'fan', and my little world has been just slightly expanded in a pleasant way.

All in all it's been a sweet little ripple of excitement in our otherwise pretty ordinary week - I was laughing with Mum on the phone that I'm 'always a finalist, never a winner', but that's not quite true!  I've now been a finalist in three contests that I purposefully entered into since September and have not won one, but over the years we've won some pretty lovely and unexpected items that I'm very thankful for.

Every day we sit down at a solid oak table that my husband won 11 years ago during a Christian radio contest for Pastor appreciation month. A dear friend in our church family entered us in that drawing so it was a complete and wonderful surprise. I look up from my place at the table at a beautiful wall clock that we won a couple of years ago without ever trying.  So, we've been unexpectedly blessed with some lovely stuff - but it's just stuff.

Our real blessings don't need to be maintained, dusted, wound or refinished. 
Our real blessing are eternal - the blessings of God in our lives. 
In those things we are very, very rich!


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