With Christmas coming in just five days (what, you haven't finished your shopping yet???) I thought I'd do a Thursday 13 on what I want for Christmas. These are all non-material items that can't actually be purchased, and I'm not including 'givens' such as world peace, no more poverty, etc. This is just my personal wish list for myself and those in my life. In no particular order, here goes...
1 - My sister and her boyfriend to be 'cured' of their drug addictions and be able to live as a happily ever after family.
2 - An end to morning sickness for my good friend K - this is her second, she's about 12 weeks along and is on ridiculous amounts of drugs which barely take the edge off according to her. They'd love to have more than two, but she says this will be it because of how sick she gets.
3 - My parents to once and for all deal with all their issues and hurts from the past so there isn't all kinds of tension coming up when the family's together. (This has gotten immeasurably better in the last year, but hey, it's my wish list!)
4 - Six-inch width hardwood floors for my friend's new house - it's not that they can't afford it, just that her husband is set on 1 3/4 inch slats... Or at least a compromise around four inches somewhere!
5 - My friend A's boyfriend to propose to her. They've been dating six years and even though he totally breaks down when she suggests spending time apart if he's not ready...he still can't seem to commit and just ask her to marry him. Apparently his dad took eight years to propose to his mom, so I don't know if that bodes well....
6 - Good roads for all the driving we're doing around Christmas.
7 - Happy kids (my two plus my niece) during those six-hour road trips to my parents' and back!
8 - A relatively easy pregnancy and a safe and natural delivery of this baby.
9 - An extra dose of encouragement and strength for Big G as he deals with so much in his job.
10 - A low tax bill for the friends I help with their bookkeeping - it's not a reflection on me, but it's their first year in business and I don't want them collapsing from the shock of the bill!
11 - Okay, this one is sort of material...a better financial situation for our family. We obviously need to make and be more rigid about a budget because money just seems to disappear out of here and we're starting to get a bit behind. It's frustrating because on paper it doesn't seem like it should be a problem to live within our means.
12 - More work for my friend M's husband who is a welder. We're in oil country up here and things are still booming, just not quite as crazily as they have been, so lots of people are having a pretty slow winter.
13 - Strength and no ongoing health problems for a friend's little baby girl who was born five weeks premature. They just came home from the hospital a few days ago - I think baby's up to five pounds one ounce now.
I know, I'm a little late to the party on this one, but it's been such a timesaver for me, I just have to share - even if you're all rolling your eyes and laughing about how long it took me! ;)
I'd heard about Bloglines on various other blogs several times, and even set up an account one day, but hadn't actually found the time to add all of the blogs I read. It just looked like it would take too much time. Clearly I was not thinking straight as at that time I was spending who-knows-how-long every day checking in on all my 'friends' out there. And I'm a bit obsessive, lol, so this wasn't just a once-a-day quick look. No, I had to check several times a day, because who knows, somebody may have posted something important in the last 47 minutes!
I finally spent the 10 or 15 minutes necessary to add in all the links to my favorite blogs, and I can't believe the time I'm saving! Yes, I still check in at least a few times most days, but instead of individually clicking on each of 30 or so blogs in my 'favorites,' now I just go to my Bloglines homepage and can see at a glance if any of you have posted something! :)
It works for me!
Like most of us, I have wonderful memories of the Christmases of my childhood. The common thread through all of these special memories is a feeling...hard to define, but somehow it just felt like Christmas. Warm and fuzzy, like one of those Hallmark commercials. Everyone was loving and giving and kind, bringing joy to everyone around them.
I often wondered why being with the very same people didn't 'feel' the same at other times of the year. What is it about the Christmas season that causes almost everyone to act so selflessly, and could we make it last all year?
I believe what makes people act as they do at Christmas is the recognition of Christ's love and the miracle of Jesus' birth. Even those who don't yet know Him I believe in some way can feel that there is something special, something real, about this season where nearly the whole world celebrates the coming of a little child sent to save the world from sin and demonstrate love in the ultimate way.
But isn't this true all year long? Christ has still come to save us on February 19th, and June 6th, and October 22nd, has He not? I know I find it easier to do 'special' things for people at Christmas time...and maybe not so much in February and October.
"Christmas is not a time or a season, but a state of mind. To cherish
peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas."
~ Calvin Coolidge, former President of the United States ~
I know a few people who try to make Christmas last all year long with this spirit of goodwill and spreading mercy. They give generous gifts for no reason at all, and somehow that which seems almost common place at Christmas almost shocks the recipient when it comes in the middle of the year with no occasion in mind. But giving so freely and lovingly should be common among Christ's followers, and not just at Christmas.
I'm going to try to carry this 'Christmas spirit' with me all year - will you join me?
I keep looking out the window and startling, wondering why it's almost getting dark and where Little G is. I'm about ready to go to the kitchen and make my usual mid-morning snack (aka second breakfast) of scrambled eggs, but then realize that morning was a long time ago! I think the chances of my being ready on time to go to Youth Bible study tonight are about nil, considering it will feel like about naptime by then. :)
I'm brewing a cup of tea and going to enjoy the silence with tea and a sugar cookie. And try to finish our Christmas letter...what is the politically correct way to say that your niece has been living with you for the past three months because your sister's in drug rehab?
This is the first time I've participated in 'In Other Words' organized by Christian Women Online - I just saw it on someone else's site today and thought it was a wonderful idea. I hope to participate often!
This week's quote is: "I am the one holding the keys to the atmosphere in our home."~ Terry Maxwell ~Author of: Homeschooling with a Meek and Quiet Spirit
This quote really strikes home with me, as it's something that I've been thinking about often as of late. Saying that we as woman, wives and mothers, have this power to control the atmosphere in our homes is not meant as a boast or a way to lord something over others, but as a sombre responsibility. We have all been in other people's homes or had days in our own where the 'atmosphere' was anything but pleasant! Everything becomes miserable and a chore in a home where the atmosphere is not joyful. And to think that we have the ability to determine what the mood of our home will be - what an incredible responsibility and privilege!
I have been quite sick with this pregnancy, much more so than my other two, and there was a span of six weeks or so where Big G would leave for work with me in my PJs on the couch, and come home at lunch to find me in pretty much the same position. Repeat after work. I was changing diapers as they presented themselves, and everyone got fed at times close to mealtimes, but other than basic needs I was just not able to do anything else. The atmosphere in our home was not that great during this time (not really through anyone's fault, but still).
Over the last few weeks I have been feeling much better - not normal, but tons better compared to a month ago. My husband has commented several times lately how much of a difference it has made to him to have me feeling better - not just because he doesn't have to cook as many meals or dress as many babies ;) but he commented that the house just 'feels' different when I'm better. That's atmosphere.
I am ashamed to say there have been too many times when I abused this precious responsibility and chose to start complaining about my day as soon as my husband walked in the door, rather than showing the love I should. Understandably, when he is assaulted by my bad attitude immediately upon entering his home, he reacts in kind and what often results is a downward spiral that I realize too late that I could have prevented.
But there have also been times when, thanks to the Lord's help, I have greeted my husband with joy and asked about his day, and given him time to reenter the home environment before I start dumping the kids or my problems on him. No, this is not about men sitting in their easy chairs all night long while you bring them their pipe, slippers, and drink, lol! But the difference I have found when I consciously choose to set a positive, loving atmosphere in our home is amazing.
The same principle applies to my children as well, of course. And right now I need to get off the computer to be with them and set a good atmosphere, rather than frustrating all of us by insisting they leave me alone while I'm on the computer! :)
Lord, help me to take seriously my responsibility of setting the atmosphere in my home. May my family treasure our home as a place of love, joy, and fun. Forgive me for the times I have failed and caused our home to be a place of complaining, bitterness, or harshness. Amen.
Labels: In Other Words
(our real names are behind that black bar, it's not a design element :))
My little tiny wasn't-she-just-born-last-week baby pooped in the potty this morning! She was in her highchair eating breakfast when she tried to get out of her seat, pointing at her, well, poo-poo parts and saying 'poopoo' - which she has been doing lately after she's done the deed. I got her cleaned up from breakfast and after taking a quick whiff, realized that she hadn't actually gone yet. I asked her if there was more poopoo, and she said and signed back 'more.'
Quickly we ran to the living room, where the potty has been taking up space the last little while (being used by the babies mostly as a stepstool to reach things they shouldn't, of course) and sat her down and told her to put the poopoo in the potty. And lo and behold after a couple of minutes, she did. We whooped and hollered and called daddy to tell him (well, she said 'poopoo' and I explained the rest). Oh, and ate some mini M&Ms.
Now I have a little girl following me around the house saying 'mo, mo, mo' and pulling me over to the counter where the M&Ms are sitting.
And THEN...a little while later I was on the phone and noticed she was by the potty again pulling on her pants. By the time I got there and got her ready, she had nothing to produce, but amazingly enough, her diaper was full and warm, so she had obviously just gone.
Is it really possible that she might train this early? Should I start putting her on the potty at regular intervals? Training pants? I feel like a first-timer! Little G was over 2 1/2 when I trained him, and that just seems so much bigger! But 'they' say there's a potty-training window around 18 months...A will be 17 months this week...