Saturday, December 26, 2015

It's a Christmas Miracle

This photo:

Danielle, Ty, Brinn, Marisa, Nathan, Claire, Brady
Christmas Morning, 2015

All SEVEN kids together on Christmas morning. It happened. First year ever. And second time in several years that all 7 of the crew were in the same place at the same time.

A Christmas Miracle.

(and my wish-come-true)

Friday, December 25, 2015

It's an Upside Down Merry Christmas

Christmastime has always stretched me a bit.

Financially, I tend to get caught up and caught behind in purchasing just the right gifts.

Emotionally, I have ALWAYS struggled when it comes to trying to make it to EVERYONE's Christmas celebrations, having to say no to some invites just in order to keep some sanity to the days. But then when I do say no, that sanity turns to feelings of guilt.

Spiritually, I sometimes struggle because when I get caught up in the financial and emotional strain, I lose sight of the true meaning of the season.

So every day this season, I have tried to just flip this scene upside down.

"But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born.'"
Luke 2:10

I'm focusing on the good news.
The great joy.

And it is hard to admit this, but it isn't easy to apply this upside-down Christmas thinking. The joy, the good news, the Jesus still sometimes gets too mixed in with all the other "things" of the season, rather than being the reason.

But it sure has helped.

And when I get wrapped up in the other stuff, feel down about not having the perfect family gathering, bake my own treats, send out "real" christmas cards, or can't bring the exact gifts for the kids....I stop.

And I turn it all on it's head.

And focus on the only true joy. The best news. The perfect gift.


How do you keep Christ in your Christmas? I'd love to hear from you.


And for the purpose of recording it here on the blog, here is our family Christmas card.

Merry Christmas friends and family.  I'm hoping you find true joy and peace wrapped up for you on this Christmas Day.


Thursday, December 3, 2015

A Throwback Post: How I make like Mary in the busyness of all the days:

Thanks for stopping by.

I apologize for my absence over the last couple of months. Life has a way of getting crazy-busy this time of year. Throw in a holiday or two, a foot surgery, and a few kids in sports and suddenly I blink and realize that what seemed like yesterday was really a couple of months worth of yesterdays.


Today's post is a throwback from a year ago. It still seems to fit.

When you're done reading, stop by my new home on the world-wide-web and see what you think:

It's how I make like Mary in the busyness of all the days:

So I am doing this advent-like devotional using my you-version bible app. I love this. These are just short and sweet snippets of bible and devotion that help me get into the right mindset about the Christmas season.

Anyways, today I read a few verses out of Luke chapter 2 where the shepherds had come to see then new baby Jesus (I remind myself of "Ricky Bobby" from Talladega Nights when I say the words baby Jesus out loud.) and then they went out to tell everyone about Him before returning and praising God for everything they had "heard and seen." (See Luke 2:17-20 if you want to read it.)

There was one thing that jumped out at me in the middle of these few verses.
Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.
verse 19

With all the things going on, Mary just quietly treasured it all and reflected on these things in her heart.  

That made me think of why I take pictures. Lots of them. 

First of all, I love it. There is something about capturing the moment and not realizing that it was the moment until I get to go back and ponder and reflect on it.

It is how I like to remember things. Words, yes; but images too. 

Taking pictures is my way of freezing a moment (my superpower) in time that I never want to forget so I can pull it out later and remind myself. Of all the things. Not just the fancy things. The posed for pictures. But the random moments that make up each day.

I wonder if Mary knew in those first moments that she would have to give her baby up to the world. 
If she later went back to those moments she tucked away in her heart for comfort.

I know it's different, but I'm pretty sure I am already getting pretty sentimental about sending my babies out in to the world. 

I'm glad for the moments I took time to treasure up.

How do you take time in your busy life to reflect and treasure up? Do you take pictures? Journal?