Thursday, December 24, 2015

TBT - Memorable Christmas Gifts

On this TBT, I’m throwing it all the way last week.

It’s only Christmas Eve, but I’m pretty sure I’ve already received my most memorable gift of the year. Several fellow homeschooling moms and I enjoy an evening out once in a while. We have been trying to get together for a couple of months with no success. With classes at our homeschool co-op on Christmas vacation, we thought we could use that time that’s normally already scheduled to get together at my house for lunch and a cookie exchange.

We were all sitting around the table cramming our faces with food, talking about the problem one of us, I’ll call her Renee, has with ADD. She chose that moment to hand out her gifts to us. They were journals. That alone makes it a perfect gift for me, but then I opened the journal to read the inscription. “Ruth, Merry…”

I burst out laughing as I learned over to another friend to see what Renee friend had written in her journal. She got, “Tiffany, Merry Christmas. Love ya.” I held up my journal and asked Renee if she was having a moment of ADD when she was signing my book. Everyone thought it was hilarious.
I thought it was one of the most priceless gifts I could ever receive. Not only was it something I would enjoy using, it was truly reflective of Renee. I didn’t want her to finish what she had starting writing because now, every time I open that journal to write in it, I will think of her and smile. Her friendship is dear to me and I love her just the way she is.

God loves us just the way we are, quirks and all. I’ve often said the world would be a boring place if we were all the same. I sure am glad that God blessed me with such wonderful friends that make my world anything but boring.

Now, it’s Christmas Eve, so it seems appropriate to end with, “Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

Monday, December 21, 2015

Song of the Week - "O Holy Night"

The song of the week this week was my mom’s favorite.  As I sit here to write, I seem to be at a loss for words. Maybe that’s how it should be these few days before Christmas. Maybe we need to do a little less talking and a little more reflecting on what a holy night it was. 

Monday, December 14, 2015

Song of the Week - "Going Home For Christmas"

This is the sappy song of the Christmas season for me. When I first heard it, I was driving down the road. I had to pull over until the tears stopped because I couldn’t see to drive. I heard this after my mom had passed away and my feelings were still raw. I am always jealous of those who still have all their loved ones with them. I know I shouldn’t be, but I can’t seem to help it.

I have had to rethink things and envision what Christmas is like in heaven, wonder how those who have gone before us celebrate, wonder if they celebrate. I know there is worship both in heaven and on earth.

The song this week is in honor of all of those who have gone on to heaven before us. While they may not be with us physically, they still live on in our hearts. 

Thursday, December 10, 2015

TBT Post ~ Christmas Blessings

I know that according to the calendar, the season of Thanksgiving has already passed. But should it ever really pass? Shouldn’t we be thankful all year, for all of God’s blessings? It’s so easy to get caught up in all the “things” (and I use that word in the truest sense) we don’t have, that we miss all that is sitting right before us. Finding contentment is such an issue in our society.

This year, as I was putting up our Christmas tree, I could not help but think of all the blessing in my life, and many of those blessings are represented by ornaments I’ve been given over the years. All of these are treasures to me, just like the ones they remind me of.

My husband is one of the greatest blessings in my life. It was God who brought us together –there’s no other explanation. Maybe that’s a story I’ll share on some other TBT post. He gave me this little writing mouse.

The first Christmas we were married, my mom sent me all these homemade, stuffed ornaments. You see I was pregnant at that point and she said that little ones like to touch and if I put these around the bottom of the tree, the curious baby would not get hurt. This little stocking once fit my foot, but its mate was lost to sock never never land.

This little doll always reminds me of my Grandma. I was trying to sell these to raise money for a class trip to Mexico. She bought two of the dolls and then gave them to me for Christmas that year. I never made it to Mexico.

My sisters are my best friends in all the world. No one could ever replace them. My sister, Martha, gave me this purple (my favorite color) ornament when she came back from a trip to Aruba. My sister, Sarah, gave me this little hedgehog that just makes me smile.

This lantern is among the oldest ornaments on my tree. My cousins, Marji and Debbie, painted it for me and gave it to me as a gift. Miraculously it has never broken.

My friend, Sonya knows that I miss the snow of NY that I grew up with. One year she gave me this little snowman in an ornament exchange.

Kathleen is the creator of this little lady holding a basket of fabric. While we don’t get together often now, we were once berry-picking and quilting buddies.

This little pasta angel came from one of my students in my writing classes at the homeschool co-op. She is sweet inside and out.

Ornaments that belong to my kids cover the tree. Each year I have bought them one to add to a collection they can take with them when they move out. That way they will have a good start on their own trees.

These things are all precious to me, not because of what they are necessarily, but because of who they remind me of. After my mom passed away, use kids asked (begged) my dad if we could throw away all the ornaments we had made over the years that my mom saw as treasures. I’m glad Dad agreed to throw away everything that was glued and glittered to death, but I also believe my mom was on to something. I’m not sure it was the actual ornament she treasured, but the people that gave them to her.

This Christmas, as you decorate your home and wrap gifts, think about what is truly important. Pray for friends and family, give a simple gift to someone who least suspects it.

Make it a truly blessed Christmas. 

Monday, December 7, 2015

Song of the Week - "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel"

When I first heard this song years ago, I didn’t like it. I think it was a combination of the arrangement and the singer that I didn’t like. However, when I heard this arrangement, my mind was forever changed. This is now one of my favorite Christmas songs. I can listen to it over and over again without getting tired of it. This is one of those songs that really lends itself for private worship, at least for me. It stirs me in ways that other songs can’t.

As you listen to the song this week, focus on the Baby in a manger who came to give you life.