Monday, December 31, 2012

New Beginnings

I love this time of year.  It signifies a time of new beginnings.  "Out with the old, in with the new!"  I used to always have a lengthy list of resolutions.  And as the years passed, my list would get shorter.  I finally realized that resolutions did not exactly work for me.  When you have that perfectionism gene in you, one missed day of a resolution meant failure. 

Two years ago I jumped on the One Word bandwagon.  Instead of writing a list of resolutions, I chose a word to focus on throughout the year.  I still find myself trying to commit to a list of things that would definitely make my life better (losing weight, exercising regularly, keeping true to my daily devotional time, and even being kinder to myself).  I don't think anything is wrong with just have to keep everything in perspective and know that one missed day or slip will not destroy your intentions.

My word for 2013...Joy.

My prayer for you is that the year 2013 is filled with an abundance of love, good health and joy beyond your wildest dreams.

Today I Am Thankful For:
1.  Vacation days
2.  Ziploc bags
3.  A new scarf
4.  Warranties
5.  Simple recipes

Monday, December 24, 2012


"Probably the reason we all go so haywire at Christmastime with the endless unrestrained and often silly buying of gifts is that we don't quite know how to put our love into words."  - Harlan Miller

Buying gifts makes me a little crazy!  Don't get me wrong, I love to give gifts, but the commercial madness of the Christmas season makes me uncomfortable.  I find myself trying desperately to find the "right" gift for people who really don't "need" anything. 

The truth is, I want to show the ones closest to me how much I love them and there is no gift able to capture that love.  I do give gifts, but my love is truly shown through the meals I prepare, the surprise SONIC drink I bring home, even by washing and folding clothes.  Sometimes it's just by sitting and listening.

Sacrifice goes hand in hand with Love.

When you get married, you sacrifice things you never dreamed to make a relationship work.

When you have children, you truly sacrifice your needs to meet the needs of your child.

And offering yourself to a friend in need often means sacrificing time, energy and maybe even possessions to help them out.

 The ultimate sacrifice was given for each of us.  And that is what this season is all about.  God sent His Son to earth knowing the pain he would endure in order to save each of us.  His gift was not an wasn't equivalent to a generic gift that can be given to someone at a moment's notice without thought.  It was the gift that keeps on giving.

"Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends."  John 15:13 (NIV)

Today I Am Thankful For:

1.  Dinner by candlelight with the family
2.  Sparkly sweaters
3.  Horseback riding on a cold, clear New Mexico afternoon
4.  Antibiotics
5.  Christmas music via Pandora

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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

My "Bestie"

I believe God is always at work.  Sometimes we see his work pretty clearly and other times it takes years to "get it."

I didn't "get" what was happening to me on December 19, 1992.  Yes, it was my wedding day, one of the biggest days in my life, but I didn't know how big a part God truly played in putting the two of us together.

The first year was rough!  Definitely not a bed full of roses.  We struggled and had our moments, then our first son was born, with hemophilia.  Our lives changed in a way we never imagined.  We've been through the deaths of our parents, loss of relationships, another son with hemophilia and career changes.  We even relocated (a true stepping out in faith).

My life is not what I ever dreamed it would's better.  It's better because 20 years ago I married the love of my life.  Joe is my best friend, my confidant, the one that I want to spend all the days of my life with.

God has blessed me immeasurably.  My children are amazing, my career is thriving, my marriage is fantastic and most importantly I know who my God is.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1.  the smell of candles
2.  time off
3.  fleece
4.  waiting for snow
5.  pancakes
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Tuesday, December 18, 2012


"In the Messiah, in Christ, God leads us from place to place in one perpetual victory parade. Through us, he brings knowledge of Christ. Everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance. Because of Christ, we give off a sweet scent rising to God, which is recognized by those on the way of salvation—an aroma redolent with life. But those on the way to destruction treat us more like the stench from a rotting corpse."
                                                                    2 Corinthians 2:14-16 (The Message)

When was the last time you took a good, deep breath?

  • I went horseback riding this past weekend and stopped to smell the air on the trail.
  • As I was playing my oboe in church, I had to be very exact in my breathing so that the music would make sense.
  • I stopped on the main floor of our home and caught a scent unfamiliar to me...I had been too busy to notice the smell of our Christmas tree.
  • And I even took a moment to take a deep breath outside in the cold as a few snowflakes began to fall.

As "oozers", we should be working to live lives pleasing to Christ.  When our words or actions cause others to experience Christ, not only are we shining the light of Christ through our being, but the fragrance of Christ lingers after our encounter is over.

Let the holiday season take over and fill you with the Spirit of Christ.  The joy that the baby in a manger brought to our world.  Enjoy the reason we celebrate the season...breathe deeply.

Today I Am Thankful For:
1.  Hugs
2.  Play therapy
3.  Ice cream on a cold day
4.  Plastic containers
5.  My iPod dock



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Monday, December 10, 2012


This past weekend was filled with entertaining.  We had a house full on Friday night as we hosted my husband's staff party and then Saturday afternoon we hosted an Open House for members of our church.  It was great fun.  I was extremely proud of the fact that I was able to enjoy myself and not get too caught up in the "hosting" part of everything.  It's part of enjoying the season.

At the end of our hosting duties on Saturday, we took our sons to dinner and a movie.  And let me just say that this is now one of my all time favorite movies ever.

The Rise of the Guardians!  Talk about some great theology!  It is an animated story based off William Joyce's The Guardian's of Childhood book series and a short film The Man in the Moon by Joyce and Real FX.  The evil spirit, Pitch, launches an assault on Earth (all based off children believing in Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and the Sandman) and the Guardians team up to protect the innocence of children around the world.  Jack Frost comes in the picture as the newest Guardian and it tells the story of how he became Jack Frost and his journey to knowing who he is/was.

When Jack Frost is summoned to the North Pole, Santa Claus is explaining to Jack Frost what his "center" is…."wonder."  Wonder is what Santa's focus is and what makes him the person he is meant to be.  Jack was puzzled by the concept (and yes, by the end of the movie Jack has an Ah-ha moment about his center).

I want to take some time during this amazing season to stop and think about my center.  I challenge you to do the same.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1.  Winter arriving!
2.  Tired feet
3.  Horseback riding
4.  Cold toes
5.  Dirty floors

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Monday, December 03, 2012

Hope for the Season

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."  Romans 15:13 (NIV)

The holiday season has barely started and I am already getting stressed out!  I guess spending four days in the hospital last week with my little one did not help me get a jump start on getting into the spirit :)

The laundry has taken over, Thanksgiving decorations are still up, my little one's room is a disaster and I have company coming on Friday night and Saturday afternoon! 

This season is not for stressing out and being the ultimate's about hope. 
Hope that came in the form of a baby that changed the world.

Hope that we never know what is going to come and that it may be the best yet.

Hope that in what seems like a hopeless situation, God is with us always.

I am challenging myself through this season to truly keep Christ at the forefront of everything I do.  Whether it's buying presents, trimming the tree, or hosting a party, I am working hard to keep Christ at the center of the season.  I plan on having a time each day to focus on prayer and reading scripture to keep me grounded.

How are how are you going to keep the season focused on Christ?

Today I Am Thankful For:

1.  Dirty clothes
2.  Freshly groomed dogs
3.  Too many television channels
4.  Catalogs
5.  Nail clippers



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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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