Friday, December 31, 2010

The New Year

I am doing something different on this New Year's Eve….NO RESOLUTIONS! Every year I have great intentions...I'll exercise regularly, lose weight, eat right, etc.

There is so much I need to do to better myself physically and spiritually, but I refuse to put a timeline on it this year. I "resolve" to take one day at a time and make each day the best I can make it. I mean, the truth is, each day we get is one more than we deserve! I am going to live each day with intention.

I am going to pay extra attention to my husband and children. I am going to look in their eyes each day and treasure the time I have with them.

I am looking forward to today. To spend it with my guys doing a bit of shopping and maybe a movie and then spending the evening with friends.

I am so blessed. I am going to spend my day counting my blessings and enjoying each and every minute of today.

Blessings to you, this New Year's Eve.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. Hot chocolate
2. Cards to be mailed
3. Truly cold weather
4. An unplanned day
5. friends

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Monday, December 27, 2010

The Christmas Spirit

I will admit, I had not been in the Christmas spirit … until Christmas Eve. It's like Christmas just snuck up on me! I went through the motions by decorating and listening to holiday music, wearing my Santa pin...but it just didn't feel like Christmas. But then, it hit me in a huge way.

We had a beautiful Christmas Eve service at church and my husband asked me to help serve communion, like I've done many times before. But it was different this time. As I looked into each person's eyes and said, "The blood of Christ shed for you," I was overwhelmed. I was overwhelmed at how fortunate I was to take part in such a meaningful act. To offer communion to fellow believers. To celebrate the birth of Christ on this special night. To come together as a body of believers united.

It blessed me beyond belief.

The evening continued at home with our traditional homemade meatballs and my "secret sauce" and opening a present of Christmas jammies for the evening. After the kids were in bed, my husband and I began the wrapping! We look forward to this night every year.

The morning was filled with joy! Smiles and laughter filled our house.

That afternoon we were invited to have Christmas lunch with our dear friends B and T and their family. It meant the world to us to be included as part of their family for the day.

I couldn't have asked for anything more.

I hope you and your families had a fantastic Christmas!

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. Broken ornaments
2. Music to be learned
3. Boxes on the porch
4. Doggie doors
5. Envelopes to be stuffed

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Sunday, December 19, 2010

My Best Friend

Eighteen years ago today I became Mrs. Joe MacDonald. I had no idea how much my life would change when I became a married woman. I'll be the first to admit that those first few years of marriage were no picnic. We had dated for four years before and you would think that by the time we were married we would have had a lot of things figured out...not even close!

When our oldest son was born in 1996, I knew life would change and never be the same for us, but when "Lance" was diagnosed with Severe Hemophilia, my world fell apart. Five weeks after he was born my mother died. I did not think I would survive. But my husband held me up. We became closer through the hemophilia, through the deaths of both of my parents, career changes, moving and so many other things that have happened in our lives.

I can't begin to even think what I would do without him.

He's truly my best friend and the most amazing father any child could ever have. Our days are filled with laughter because he is around. He makes me and our sons happier than any people could ever dream of being.

Joe, I adore you. I am so glad you asked me out over 21 years ago on our first date (lunch at Xochitil) and that we continued to find each other after the numerous break ups we encountered.

God had an amazing future laid out for us...I'm glad we listened to Him.

I love you, with all of my heart.

Or, put another way, and 'borrowed' from Pittman:
Why is it that people get married?
Because we need a witness to our lives.
There’s a billion people on the planet.
What does any one life really mean?
But in a marriage, you’re promising to care about everything…
The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things,
All of it… all the time, every day.
You’re saying “Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it.
Your life will not go unwitnessed - because I will be your witness.”
Wife in the movie, "Shall We Dance?" 2004

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. Last minute power shopping
2. Waiting to wrap presents until Christmas Eve
3. Holiday movies on DVD (remember having to wait for them to come on television once a year)
4. The magic of Santa
5. Beads on the Christmas tree

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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Sweet Bux

Back in July, a sweet mutt entered our lives. He wandered into our yard and refused to leave. Bux became part of our family. He was just a puppy and could not have been more than a few months old. Sadly, we woke up this morning and he died in the night. He had been sick and just never recovered.

My oldest is having a hard time losing Bux. They were buddies. Seeing the heart of my son break is so sad. You want to take away the pain, but it is something he has to endure on his own. It is nice to see that he has such a loving spirit. I just hate that he hurts.

It's funny how animals become part of our lives. Part of our families. They bring so much to our every day. They love us without judgement. Without an agenda. Their little hearts are completely open to us. They love us just the way we are. Like God. Despite the junk in our lives, despite the mess we get ourselves into, He loves us like no other.

God loves you.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. a compassionate veterinarian
2. cold floors
3. handmade ornaments
4. shopping
5. holiday specials on television

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Friday, December 10, 2010

The past few months have been very challenging.

It started with me not feeling well. Then the big bullying incident happened at my oldest son's school which prompted us to remove him from public school. And lots of things changed at my work...change is always hard no matter how positive a move it may be.

The one thing I am most grateful for through all of these issues is the happiness which my son is showing. He is starting to be his old self. Funny, outgoing, and being his teenage, goofy self again. I just had no idea how unhappy he was in public school. He is still finding his way in the world of online education, and is doing well. The greatest perk of his school situation is that I get to spend a lot of quality time with him. He shares my office at the church during the day. At 11:15 everyday we leave to pick up my little one from school and take him to daycare, then go home for lunch. Then it's back to finish the day at the office. Then on Tuesday evenings his Dad and I take turns driving him to Albuquerque for boy choir rehearsal. That's a 2 hour, one way drive. And it's always fun!

I never dreamed I would live in a small town and have a son in a school situation other than public school. And that we would drive hours away for his musical enrichment. It's funny how our lives turn out. They may not be what we "signed up for," but when you look at everything you have, do you see how much better some things are?

Yes, I do struggle quite a bit with my depression and health issues, and I wish things in this area were different for me, but when I look into the eyes of my little "Christian" when he grabs my face and starts to kiss me or tickle me, I see God staring right back at me. I know He is present in my life and that I am blessed beyond belief.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. French fries
2. outlets
3. Returned phone calls
4. A good hair day
5. UPS packages

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Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Living Intentionally

Twenty three days from now we will usher in a New Year (I haven't even bought a single Christmas present and I'm talking about the New Year)!

I remember writing about there being 100 days until the New Year. I had so many plans….losing 10 pounds, having Christmas presents bought and wrapped, reading my Bible on a regular basis, watching less television. So much for well laid out plans.

One thing I find myself doing at this time of year is not focusing on the day I have. I am not living intentionally. I am so looking forward to the promise of a New Year with a fresh start that I don't truly live and celebrate what remains in front of me . Enjoying the cold weather, a tree to decorate, the promise of presents yet to be bought, the meals to prepare, the music to hear. I need to focus on what is happening right now. The joys in my life. My husband and sons, and the laughter they bring to me every day.

The truth is, every day we have is one more than we deserve.

What are you doing to make the most of your days?

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. Steak sauce
2. A dry scalp
3. Re-arranging furniture
4. Ornaments from years past
5. Friday's off the rest of the year!

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Recommended Reading

  • Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World, Joanna Weaver
  • Praying the Names of God, Ann Spangler
  • The Shack, William P. Young
  • Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Redeeming Love, Francine Rivers
  • Bad Girls of the Bible, Liz Curtis Higgs
  • The Mark of the Lion Triology, Francine Rivers
  • The Mitford Series, Jan Karon

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