Day 148

I don’t have anything against New Year resolutions, I just never make them.  This year however I have been fascinated by the word resolve which is the root word for resolution.

Resolve means to deal with successfully.  To make obsolete, to dissolve.

God is a God of resolve!  In fact, He has already dealt successfully with any issue that needs resolving in our lives.

Jesus came to the earth with a resolution.

John 4:34 My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to finish His work.

His resolution was to finish the work of His father.  To destroy the power of Satan.  To set the captives free.  To satisfy the demands of justice.  To pay our debt in full.  To purchase eternal life for us.  To redeem us from the curse of the law.

And He, unlike so many people who break their resolutions, kept His.

John 19:30 So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.  

He set out to finish the works of His father, and He did.  His last words as He hung from the cross were “It is finished!”   It was a victory cry!  The cry of a winner!  He successfully dealt with the power of Satan, set the captives free, paid our debt, redeemed us from the curse of the law, and secured our eternity!

Jesus resolved everything for us.

If you are into making resolutions, resolve to trust in the finished work of the cross in 2013.  Remember, IT IS FINISHED!

  1. Jesus kept His resolution.
  2. It is finished!
  3. Jesus resolved an annoying health issue I has been dealing with!
  4. He taught me the difference between believing for relief and believing for resolve!
  5. I will never forget 2012.  What a year.  God has done so much in our lives.
  6. Gus slept til 8 a.m. this morning.
  7. The overcast and rainy day.
  8. Me and Beau got to have breakfast, just the two of us.
  9. Making room for increase day.
  10. Cleaned out the guest room closet!!
  11. Josh hung some new shelves in Gus’ closet.
  12. Sent several huge tubs of old toys and clothes up into the attic.
  13. Space saver bags!  Those things are awesome.
  14. The kids played so good while me and Josh worked so hard.
  15. Found Gus laid across a stair playing his new video game.  He fit perfectly.
  16. Found a bag full of diapers Gus never used in Beau’s size.
  17. Josh had the day off!
  18. The boys talked me into one last Whataburger before the 21 day fast.
  19. Beau chanting “Whataburger” and “French Fries” very loudly as we walked in.
  20. Protection!  My niece Maleah noticed smoke coming from the laundry room while everyone else was asleep.  Their dryer was on fire, but they were able to put it out and no harm was done to anything except the dryer.
  21. My sister’s reminder to clean those dryer vents and lint filters!
  22. Brave movie night with the kids.
  23. Josh put both kids to bed so I could take a bath.
  24. My parents always made New Year’s Eve fun for us growing up, with lots of snacks and board games.
  25. Quiet night in with my favorite person.
  26. In bed by 11!  Midnight is not my thing.
  27. Success for the new year will not be determined by what God does.  It will be determined by what you DO with what Jesus already DID. – Ken Blount

Day 147

So I know that Christmas is over, but I read a verse today and it got me thinking about a couple of famous Christmas characters.  You know, Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, Comet and Cupid and Donder and Blitzen and then of course there’s the most famous of all, Rudolph.  Santa’s reindeer.  The animals he depends on to take him all over the world on Christmas Eve.  Have you ever wondered why he chose reindeer?  Why not Polar bears, penguins, or seals that do tricks?  Or beautiful white horses?

I don’t know who came up with the idea, but whoever it was really thought it through.  If you are going to be driving a sleigh and landing on a bunch of roofs with different textures and weather conditions, a team of reindeer is who you want on your side.  Why?  Because of their feet.  God designed the feet of a reindeer like all terrain tires.  The footpads of a reindeer adapt to help them get the best traction in whatever weather situation they find themselves in.  In the winter their foot pads shrink and tighten, and the rim of their hooves cut into the snow and ice to keep them from falling.  In the summer when the ground is damp, their feet turn into sponges to absorb water to keep them from slipping.  Just what Santa was looking for to ensure the safety of himself and his sleigh… 36 all terrain feet.

Maybe he got the idea from David.

Psalm 18:33 He makes my feet like the feet of deer, And sets me on my high places. 

Although David’s not talking about a reindeer, he is talking about a deer.  A sure-footed, swift-footed deer.  An animal that can climb on rocks and mountains safely.  An animal that’s feet are so firm they can walk and even run on the rockiest of all terrains.  An animal that is not afraid of heights, but finds refuge and resources among them.  An animal who can escape it’s predators by ascending to places the predator can’t reach.

God makes our feet like the feet of a deer.  He wants us to be sure-footed no matter what the terrain around us looks like.  He wants us to be able to ascend to high places and share His perspective.  He wants us to be able to swiftly escape attacks from the enemy.  He wants us to come into His courts and seek refuge and resource.  He wants us to be comfortable up high, to walk and run and not be afraid of falling.

I love how the message says it, Now I run like a deer; I’m king of the mountain.  God made you king of the mountain, so don’t be afraid to climb it.  He’s given you the perfect feet for it.

  1. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer!
  2. He sets me on my high places!
  3. I thought Gus would like this post so I read it to him and he said “I thought Santa picked reindeer because they can fly.”  So cute!
  4. I finished my quiet time before the rest of the family was up so I went back to sleep for 15 minutes.
  5. Beau was filling in the blanks of the word declaration they do in her class.  She is the…head!  And not the…tail!
  6. Got a lot done before church this morning.  Folded 2 loads of laundry and made a deposit at the bank.
  7. Gus got to be in my class at church.  I love watching him play.
  8. Gus’ friend Connor was in his class today.
  9. A couple of boys were fighting over who got to sit by Gus.  He’s a pretty likable little guy.
  10. Picnic lunch and Sesame street.
  11. Playing some with Gussy.
  12. Lazy afternoon on the couch and in my PJs.
  13. A lady from church emailed me to let me know how much what Josh shared this week at church helped her and her husband.
  14. Gus discovered an old Toy Story gun he got when he was 2 is also a really fun arcade game.  It was like getting a brand new toy.
  15. Beau let me hold for while she finished waking up from her nap.
  16. Found the recipe to Panera Bread’s mac n cheese.
  17. Cowboys got the Sunday night game, so I get to watch it… and it’s like a playoff game which makes it extra fun.
  18. Good letter “Z” writing practice for Gus.  He didn’t know it was school work since he was writing “Buzz” and “Zurg.”
  19. Cold night outside, cozy by the fireplace inside.
  20. Gus helped Josh leave me the sweetest note on my phone.
  21. Beau tap dancing in her diaper and a pair of my shoes.
  22. I decided to really watch the game with Josh.  No computer, no folding laundry, just sitting next to him fully engaged and I really enjoyed myself.  The first game I’ve watched like that all season… too bad for the Cowboys.
  23. Beau really likes her new Cinderella placemat, plate, and silverware she got for Christmas from Nana & Papa.
  24. Me and Gus set a new record.  17 undropped passes with the Nerf football.  Tomorrow we go for 20!
  25. I have glasses to put on at night after I take out my contacts.
  26. 23 countries have visited 10kreasons since August 2012.
  27. My niece Courtney for sharing her heart and her faith in God.

*For an even 10,000 reasons, my list goes down to 27 reasons a day from now until day 365.. I didn’t just forget one.

Day 146

I woke up today looking forward to getting back to my early morning prayer and study time.  Since a new year will start in just 3 days I decided to spend some time praying about 2013.  As I was praying I felt like I heard the words “wide open.”  That’s usually how God speaks to me.  Just a couple of words like that.  After he gives me a few words I enjoy looking them up in the Bible and getting more insight into what God’s telling me.  So this morning I pulled up my YouVersion app and did a search for “wide open” and after a few minutes I found the scripture I knew God wanted me to find.

Psalm 81:10 …Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it with good things.

My daughter Beau will turn two in March.  She’s just about the sweetest thing I’ve ever laid eyes on, but she’s also very… shall we say… stubborn.  It sort of runs in the family.  She’s especially stubborn about opening her mouth.  Trying to get that girl to take medicine or vitamins is not an easy task.  If I can succeed in prying her mouth open, she spits out whatever I get in, even if it tastes like candy.  I usually end up putting things like that in her milk.  She’s not a big fan of brushing her teeth either.  She wants to do it herself and when I try to help she closes her mouth up nice and tight.  Eating is the same way.  Good luck getting her to try anything new upon your suggestion.  It has to be her idea or her lips are sealed.

The things I try to fill her mouth with are good things.  Vitamins to keep her healthy, medicine to make her feel better, a toothbrush to keep her from getting cavities, and food for her nourishment,  but she doesn’t understand all of that.  She just think I’m messing with her.  She thinks I’m just trying to make her uncomfortable.

God has good things that He wants to fill our lives with, but sometimes we are too stubborn to open wide and we miss out on those good things.  He asks us to do something that wasn’t part of our plan and we sit with our jaw clenched, getting drained instead of fulfilled.

I am entering 2013 with a wide open mouth.  I’m saying to the Lord, I trust you and your plans for my life.  I won’t miss out on the good things you have for me and my family because I don’t want to get uncomfortable.  I know you would never do anything just to mess with me.  I want what you want.  I know that if I open wide you will fill my life with blessing.  I believe 2013 is wide open, if I’ll agree to open wide.

  1. God still speaks.
  2. Back to my early morning prayer and study time.
  3. 2013 is wide open!
  4. I love that God let me know He’s got good things in store for our family next year, we just need to willing to open wide.
  5. Seemed like I was the only person at Target this morning.
  6. Our fridge now has something besides cough syrup in it!  I filled it and my pantry up with lots of healthy food!
  7. Boogie wipes.  Those work so great and Beau doesn’t get mad when I use one like she does with Kleenex.
  8. Enjoyed cooking dinner this afternoon.
  9. Found some Disney Princess ornaments for Beau.
  10. The little bits of left over snow around town.
  11. Gus’ Eagle Talon Castle is not only fun for him, but for me too!
  12. My niece Afton got to come to church with me tonight.
  13. My niece’s dad lives only 15 minutes away from us.
  14. Worship tonight was so good!
  15. I got to hear Josh do some preaching and he did awesome.
  16. He looked so handsome!
  17. Pastor Randy.  So blessed to have such an awesome pastor at the Frisco campus.
  18. An awesome couple at church took time to tell Josh & I thank you for giving them some ideas on how to teach their little girl about Christmas.
  19. Got to catch up with Afton on the drive home.
  20. Beau’s teachers at church told me how smart she is when I picked her up.
  21. Good turkey chili for dinner.
  22. Beau requested “Frosty the Snowman” for her goodnight song.
  23. Beau opened her mouth and ate her dinner so good!
  24. Routine.  I am enjoying getting back into our regular routine.
  25. My sweet friend Nikki posted she couldn’t wait to read my book.  So encouraging!
  26. Got to hear Matt Redman’s story behind 10,000 reasons on the radio on the way home and then the song.  I have never had a song touch my heart like that one.  Gets me every time.
  27. Gus was so sweet trying to show Beau how to play with her Princess castle.  I could tell she was so surprised that her bubba was playing with princesses!
  28. Tucking in my sweet boy in his button up Spider Man PJs.

Day 145

John 15:11 These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.

This verse is talking about two different kinds of joy, mine and yours.

Jesus is the one talking so “my joy” is referring to His joy and “your joy” is referring to the joy of those listening… that’s you and me.  You are listening, right?

“These things” is referring to the words Jesus had just mentioned in the previous verse, keeping His commandments and abiding in His love.

Often times we get so caught up in our joy, we forget that we have a part to play in the joy of Jesus.  Jesus’ joy is subject to change based on the way we live our lives.  His joy does not remain in us if we aren’t keeping His commandments and abiding in His love.  His joy is affected by those things and our joy is affected by His joy.  If we are a source of joy to Him, He will, in return, be a source of joy to us, only a much, much more reliable source than we could ever be.

The joy He wants to fill our lives with is only available through Him.

No amount of money, no miracle wrinkle cream, no T.V. show, no shopping spree, no holiday, no perfect body, no perfect job, no-thing can fill our lives with joy like Jesus.

A few days ago I was supposed to be celebrating Christmas with a 6 week old little boy.  I thought about him a few times as we were opening presents and sitting around the table with our family.  Of course the fact that he’s wasn’t with us pulled on my heart strings, but I was able to walk through the entire holiday season with JOY.  How is that possible?  I am giving God all I’ve got, keeping his commands and abiding in His love, and in return He’s filled my life with joy.

Be a source of joy for Jesus today, and experience the fullness of joy He has for you!

“The joy of Jesus is not the pleasure of a life of ease; it is the exhilaration of being right with God, and consciously walking in His love and care.” (Guzik)

  1. I can be a source of joy for Jesus!
  2. Jesus is my source of joy!
  3. Nicodemus’ “Jesus Is The Joy Of My Heart” song.
  4. The holidays, which may have been hard without Jesus, were wonderful and joyful!
  5. Safe trip home from Tulsa.
  6. Little Praise Party DVDs.  Beau’s favorite today on the drive home.
  7. Talking with my sweet husband for four hours.  I love our drives to and from Tulsa.
  8. Home.  Sweet.  Home.
  9. Our Christmas tree did not disintegrate while we were gone.
  10. We got very motivated and undecorated the whole house… well minus one tree in the kitchen that Gus insisted we leave up for a few more days.
  11. Josh helped me unpack and put away all of the stuff in our suitcases.
  12. Josh found some Christmas tree disposal bags, keeping the needles to a minimum.
  13. Josh took the lights off of the tree for me… and did it outside in the cold.
  14. Josh hauled all of the heavy Christmas decor boxes up into the attic.
  15. Josh got us all caught up on laundry.
  16. Gus had a big time in his Optimus Prime costume.  It was pretty entertaining watching him pretend to be a truck and then transforming into a robot.
  17. Beau was trying to transform just like her brother.
  18. Usually the house feels so empty after we take down the Christmas tree, but this year we got to move our new chair into the spot where the tree was.
  19. Christmas is all boxed up, but my joy remains.
  20. Toe nail clippers.  How did people trim their toe nails before those things?
  21. Got to listen to an awesome message by Lee Cummings.
  22. Refuge by Deluge.
  23. Nice, relaxing bath.
  24. Clean hair!
  25. 20 something years ago today my sweet cousin Lindsay was born!  Love her and her adorable family.
  26. The Next Iron Chef season finale with Josh.  Yay for chef Alex Guarnaschelli!
  27. Found all of the new toys new homes in our home… now to find homes for the old toys.
  28. Josh went to the store to get a few things to tide us over until tomorrow and picked up dinner for us.

Day 144

It takes a lot of work leaving the house with a four year old and an almost two year old.  There’s so much to remember.  I find myself asking Josh questions like “did you remember to pack the double stroller?” or did you grab Beau’s juice cup off the counter?” all of the time as we are pulling out of our garage.  And he always has a great answer for me.  “I’m way ahead of ya.”

It’s so nice to have someone that’s thinking ahead for me.

Isaiah 55:8-9 My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are my ways your ways.  As the heavens are higher than the earth so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. 

In other words, God is saying,  “I’m way ahead of ya.”  No one knows exactly how far ahead of us He is, but I love Mark Batterson’s estimate.

“Astronomers have discovered galaxies 12.3 billion light-years away.  That means it takes light, traveling at 186,000 miles per second, more than twelve billion years to reach the outer edges of the heavens.  And God says that’s about the distance between my thoughts and your thoughts.  We all underestimate God by 12.3 billion light -years.”

Whatever 2013 holds for you, you can rest assured that God is way ahead of ya… like 12.3 billion light years ahead of ya.

When we lost our son Felix in July it took us by surprise, but it didn’t take God by surprise.  He was way ahead of us.  We sought Him and He replaced our thoughts with His thoughts.  He replaced our ways with His ways.  If we would have been stuck in our own ways and our own carnal thinking our hearts would still be broken.  Thank God for His infinite wisdom and His willingness to share it with us.  Thank God He had been where we were and new exactly what we needed, exactly when we needed it.

God is ahead of you.  No matter where you are going or what you are going through, He’s been there.  He knows the way through.  Don’t try to figure it out alone, you’ve got 12.3 billion light years of wisdom on your side.  Seek God and let Him transform your thoughts and way into His thoughts and way.

  1. God is ahead of me… way, way ahead of me.
  2. God’s wisdom and his willingness to share it with us.
  3. Josh for sharing that piece from Mark Batterson with me.
  4. Sleeping in.
  5. Krispy Kreme!
  6. The cuteness of the kids in their Krispy Kreme hats.
  7. Free donuts, hot off the press.
  8. More free donuts, thanks to papa.
  9. Beau is missing Disney World.  She asks if we can go at least once a day.  It makes me so happy to know she had so much fun!
  10. Enjoyed looking through a big box of old pictures of Josh’s family today.
  11. Hearing Josh laugh hysterically looking through the pictures and everyones awesome 80s looks.
  12. My mom and dad watched Gus and Beau for us so we could go on an afternoon date.
  13. Fun movie with a fun date!
  14. The popcorn today was so good.
  15. When we came to pick the kids up we walked in on Beau getting down to the “Hot Dog” song from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.
  16. My mom and dad treated us to some delicious Hideaway pizza.
  17. Gus had a big time giving his favorite puppy Norah a bath.
  18. The Hideaway special.  What a great idea to make a pizza where every piece has a different topping.
  19. Had so much fun in Tulsa on Christmas break!
  20. The car is loaded up and ready to go back to Texas tomorrow with lots and lots of new toys!
  21. Gus told me he wanted to marry me tonight.
  22. Josh got the tires aired up and got the car to stop beeping at us every 2 minutes.
  23. I got to talk and laugh with Gus before he got in bed.
  24. Beau was talking up a storm tonight!
  25. The way Beau looks in her little coat with the hood up.
  26. The cold, cold Christmas weather.  Made this week extra fun.
  27. 10 year anniversary trip planning!!
  28. Enjoyed a week of snacking on candy and Christmas treats.

Day 143

A few weeks ago I wrote about the commandment to observe the sabbath, to set aside one full day every week where you are scheduled to do nothing related to your job.  I have been enjoying my “Sabbath Fridays” complete with no cooking, no cleaning, no writing, and no email checking.  Rest is a good thing, but it’s impossible to rest physically if you aren’t at rest spiritually.

My father in law just showed me this and I thought it was so good.

Hebrews 4 is a chapter all about rest, the promised rest for God’s people.  The rest was first promised to the children of Israel, but because of their unbelief and disobedience they failed to enter it.  That same rest is available for us but we have to be diligent if we want this gift of rest.  Diligent in what?

After 11 verses on rest comes this very popular verse with the answer… God’s word.

Hebrews 4:12 (AMP) For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart.

To be able to rest spiritually we have to be consumed by the word of God from the inside out.  His word is alive and full of power.  His word has the type of precision needed to cut right through the thoughts and fears that try to keep you from entering into that sweet place of rest.  But it’s not enough just to hear God’s Word, you have to believe it and that takes diligence.

Faith is not a passive thing.  Hebrews 4:11 says we must be zealous, exert ourselves, and strive diligently to enter God’s rest.

To rest physically you take your mind off of your work.  To rest spiritually you set your mind on the works of Jesus.

I can take a sabbath every week and not lift a finger, but it won’t do me any good if my spirit is not resting in the promises of God’s active, operative, energizing, and effective word!

  1. God’s word is Active!
  2. God’s word is Operative!
  3. God’s word is Energizing!
  4. God’s word is Effective!
  5. God’s word is sharp and precise!
  6. Jesus promised us rest.
  7. My father in law’s insight into the value of spiritual rest.
  8. God showed me some cool things this morning in prayer.
  9. Kids got up early but I got to go back to sleep while they watched cartoons cuddled up next to me.
  10. After Christmas shopping with my fun little family.
  11. Got all of my wrapping paper, ribbon, and tags for next year.
  12. Gus found a few things to decorate his room with for next year.
  13. Josh got some supplies for hanging lights outside next year!
  14. Christmas dinner leftovers for lunch.
  15. Some quiet down time to myself this afternoon.
  16. Blackberries.
  17. Symphony in B.  One of Gus’ new toys.  It’s so neat and Gus is a very talented composer.
  18. The interest in music that Josh and Gus share.
  19. Date night!
  20. Josh’s parents watched the kids for us.
  21. Bacon Turkey Bravo.
  22. Future planning with my husband.
  23. Got to double date with the Halls.
  24. Enjoyed my Sour Patch Kids and popcorn at The Hobbit.
  25. We purchased Beau’s big girl room furniture today and saved over $500.
  26. Nana had $35 worth of coupons to Pottery Barn Kids that she let us use.
  27. Came home to sweet sleeping kiddos.
  28. Beau asked to watch “Super Friends” all day today.  She’s so girly, yet she’s into Batman and Superman too.

Day 142

As this Christmas season comes to an end I am so thankful to have come across this scripture about giving.

2 Corinthians 9:12 (NIRV) Your gifts meet the needs of God’s people. And that’s not all. Your gifts also cause many people to thank God.

There are ample opportunities to give in December.  You can donate to Saint Judes when you are paying for your purchases at the cash register, there are people ringing bells and collecting donations at all of the grocery stores, angel trees are decorated with the names of children in need, toys for tots collection boxes are easy to spot at all of the toy stores, and schools are collecting coats and canned food items.

Giving is on everyones mind (at least it should be!) this time of year.  But once January rolls around the angel trees get put away, the bell ringers leave their posts and we get focused on the new year.  The spirit of giving goes back into hiding until next Christmas.

God’s people are called to be year round givers!  Of course we tithe and give offerings at church year round, but we should be giving to meet the personal needs of people that come across our paths throughout the year as well.  I’ve never seen this until today… when we give to others we cause them to thank God, and thanking God opens up His gates.  We enter His gates with thanksgiving in our hearts.

What a great “If You Give A Moose A Muffin” moment.

If you give a brother in need a gift, he’s going to be thankful to God.

When he’s thankful to God, he’s going to enter into His gates.

When he enters into His gates, he’s going to obtain the help and favor he needs to get through his day.

When he gets help and favor he’ll be reminded of the gift that you gave him, and chances are he will want to give a gift to someone in his life that has a need. 

Giving is not a seasonal thing.  Look for people to bless all year round and you’ll be giving them an opportunity to thank God and enter into His gates.

  1. The cause and effect of giving.
  2. I heard this song after I wrote this blog.  It goes along great with the idea of giving year round.
  3. My mom gave me a traveling make up bag.  It was exactly what I needed.
  4. I enjoyed washing my hair and taking a long time to get ready this morning.
  5. The Blount’s dress up for Christmas.  Love seeing Papa in his suit picking up all the wrapping paper.
  6. Noel.
  7. Tulsa did not get the white Christmas we were promised, but I’m happy for all my Frisco friends that did!
  8. We got more money to put towards our fridge from Nana & Papa and Brooke & Scott.
  9. 4 plane tickets with our names on them… now to decide where we wanna go and when we wanna go.
  10. Got a stocking full of makeup.
  11. Gus got every accessory to go with his Eagle Talon Castle.
  12. Beau got lots of American Girl accessories to go with her new bitty baby.
  13. MeeMee got Beau her very own musical broom.  Hopefully, it will keep her from stealing mine all the time.
  14. 1 year ago today my sweet little niece Ava was born!
  15. We got to go to Ava’s party and watch her open her gifts and eat her cake.
  16. I got to see lots of my brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, and grandmas at the party today.  It just makes my heart happy to see family on Christmas.
  17. Uncle Scott & Aunt Brookie got Gus a really cool Jake and the Neverland Pirates game.
  18. I don’t think there’s a toy Gus could think of that he wants that he doesn’t have.
  19. Trudi’s ham.  Delicious!
  20. Josh’s sweet potatoes… Ruth Chris’ recipe.  SO good!
  21. Beau looked gorgeous in her little dress and tights and bow and fancy shoes.
  22. Got to see some pictures of my niece Courtney when she was younger.  I love that kind of stuff.
  23. Snuggling with Gus while he recovered from all the Christmas.
  24. Apple Cider Vinegar.  We learned tonight there is nothing it can’t do.
  25. My sweet little nieces Ryan and Liv.  Enjoyed having them around all day.
  26. Beau got an Ariel and Prince Eric carriage to go with her castle.
  27. Singing “Joy To The World” as a family this morning before we opened gifts.  I could hear Gus’ little voice trying to sing along.
  28. The Lord Has Come!!!!

Day 141

I have a very sweet but very disobedient husband.  We purchased a new chair for the living room on Black Friday and we agreed that it would be our Christmas present to each other.  I was more than happy with that plan, but he took it upon himself to get me more.  Everything he got me was very thoughtful and I’m very grateful for all of it, but they weren’t the greatest gifts.

A new pair of Fossil boots.  Super, super cute, but eventually they’ll go out of style.

A new set of knives… serrated knives, so now I don’t have to cut everything with my bread knife.  This will make my cooking life so much easier.  After a while though, they’ll lose their sharp edges and have to be replaced.

Sour Patch Kids in my stocking.  They will be gone tomorrow when I go see the Hobbit.

A denim blouse.  Pretty timeless, but I doubt I’ll have it forever.

Everything I got for Christmas and everything I gave for Christmas were nice, thoughtful gifts but not the greatest gifts.

God gave us the greatest gift 2,000 years ago and no one has topped it since then.  I love how my pastor broke down John 3:16 this weekend at church.

For God – The Greatest Lover
So loved – The Greatest Degree
The world – The Greatest Company
That He gave – The Greatest Act
His only begotten Son – The Greatest Gift
That whoever – The Greatest Opportunity
Believes – The Greatest Simplicity
In Him – The Greatest Attraction
Should not perish – The Greatest Promise
But – The Greatest Difference
Have – The Greatest Certainty
Everlasting life – The Greatest Possession

Jesus is the greatest gift.  He never goes out of style, He never breaks, He never never needs new batteries, He never runs out, and He’s free.  Anyone, anywhere can receive Him.

I’m thankful for the good gifts we exchanged this Christmas, but there is nothing more precious to me than the gift of everlasting life that Jesus gave me.

  1. Jesus!  The greatest gift of all time.  Nothing can even come close to touching that one.
  2. It’s still fun to exchange gifts in honor of the greatest gift.
  3. The “greatest” breakdown of John 3:16 Pastor Robert taught.
  4. I woke up and went to post my blog and discovered I had saved over it with an older version.  Thankfully, I was able to some how find a copy of it on my phone.  It was a Christmas miracle.
  5. Gus got a homemade cocoa from Papa this morning.
  6. We got to have lunch with my niece and nephew before they left town!
  7. Got to exchange gifts with my mom and dad today… and Norah.
  8. Gus loved his Imaginext Battle Arena!
  9. He also loved his Nerf football.  He and Josh enjoyed a game of catch on the cold, cold night.
  10. Beau loved her diaper bag for her new baby doll.
  11. She got the rest of the princesses to go with her castle.
  12. Josh and I got some cash to put towards our new fridge.
  13. My dad is a great Christmas candy treat maker.   I enjoyed all the toffee and chocolate covered graham crackers.
  14. My dad was in the floor playing with Gus all night.
  15. Got to hang out with my little brother and sister in law tonight.
  16. Sausage pie!
  17. My mom’s Christmas tree with all of our homemade ornaments.
  18. The Christmas decorations that have been around since I was little.
  19. My parents only live 15 minutes away from Josh’s parents.
  20. 24 hours of The Christmas Story.
  21. The BLOUNT scripture picture that Courtney made for us.
  22. Beau was telling us “Tigger is funny” on the way home.  “And Pooh too.”
  23. Oh Holy Night by Nat King Cole.  My very favorite Christmas song.
  24. Everyone is healthy for all of the Christmas festivities.
  25. The men and women that are sacrificing Christmas with the families serving our country.
  26. Beau’s niece Olivia gave her her own new toy puppy and Beau loves it.
  27. Getting in bed early in preparation for another round of Christmas!
  28. Gus’ touchdown celebration.  A spike, a point up to give God glory, and a good shake of the booty.

Day 140

A few nights ago my husband and I had the privilege of attending a Christmas celebration with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. We have never been to anything like it before. When I was younger I went to my older brother and sisters orchestra concerts, but it wasn’t like this. No offense, guys.

For two hours we sat fascinated by the sound of all of the instruments and the beautiful voices of the choir accompanying them to some of our favorite Christmas songs.

To close the first half of the program they preformed Handel’s “Messiah.” It was so moving to hear the story of the birth of Jesus told through music.

I must say I have never really been a fan of the Hallelujah Chorus. I think it’s been overused and in really unfitting settings. Like on a commercial where a guy finds a bag of his favorite potato chips and the Hallelujah Chorus kicks in… not how it was intended to be used.  I’m so glad I got to experience it like it was meant to be experienced.

The first time “Messiah” was ever performed in London the King of England was so moved during the Hallelujah Chorus he had to stand. And of course everyone followed. I learned that it’s now custom to stand when that song is being played. As the whole audience rose to their feet at the Meyerson Center on Thursday night, I was amazed at how a group of random people with random beliefs were able to usher in the presence of God just by singing about Him.

If you are having trouble getting into the Christmas spirit or feel like God is far away, spend some time ushering in His presence by singing songs of praise to Him.  Christmas is all about Him, so if you aren’t feeling Christmas you aren’t feeling Him and if you want to feel Him, start singing.  I sound nothing like the singers in the choir sounded that night and I don’t have an amazing orchestra to accompany me, but I have learned there is nothing that will bring me into the presence of God faster than singing praises to Him.

Psalm 147:1 (Buddy the Elf translation) The best way to spread Christmas Cheer, is singing loud for all to hear.
  1. My new found appreciation of the Hallelujah Chorus
  2. How a random group of people with different beliefs were able to fill the room with God’s presence just be singing praise to Him.
  3. Sing, Sing, Sing by Chris Tomlin.
  4. Buddy the Elf.
  5. Christmas party with five year olds at church today.  Love teaching those little guys about the best gift ever.
  6. Josh got to leave church early so we got to hit the road early.
  7. Beau’s teacher at church gave me all the lyrics to the songs they sing in her class so now when she requests one I’ll be able to sing it for her.
  8. Car packed with Christmas presents for our family in Tulsa.
  9. We had a safe trip.
  10. Beau took a nice, long nap.
  11. My four hour uninterrupted talk with Josh on the drive.
  12. Gus & Beau are traveling pros.
  13. The kids looked adorable in their Christmas outfits at church.
  14. MeeMee, Josh’s grandma is in town for Christmas!
  15. Hanging out with the family at my sister in law’s house.
  16. Mazzio’s pizza.
  17. Home made cinnamon rolls thanks to Aunt Brookie.
  18. Beau loves her Aunt Brookie.  I really enjoy hearing her say “Aunt Broopie”
  19. Hearing Gus and Beau talking to each other through the monitor.  Beau was SO excited to sleep in the same room as her big brother.
  20. The deep bath tub at Josh’s parents house.
  21. The beautiful Christmas decorations Nana puts up.
  22. 11 stockings hung by the chimney.
  23. Beau’s stocking has a bag of Cheetos in it.  Perect.
  24. Got to give Nana & Papa a special gift and share a special moment with them.
  25. Pictures of Josh when he was little that I can really see Beau in.
  26. Sitting by the fire, fellowshipping with the family.
  27. I love coming home for Christmas and I love that my kids will love to come home for Christmas when they have families of their own.
  28. The yummy white chocolate popcorn M&M treats Allie made.

Day 139

I was greeted by my four year old at 7:00 a.m. this morning with a very sweet, “Merry Christmas, mom.”  He hung out with me in the bathroom while I put on my makeup and everyone else was still sleeping.  He talked to me the whole time, hardly taking a breath in between sentences.  He was so excited that Christmas was finally here.

He and my daughter both had an awesome morning opening all of their new toys.  It was so fun to watch their little faces light up as they got enough paper off of the gifts to figure out what they were.  Gus got the Eagle Talon Castle he has been talking about for 6 months now.  And Beau got her Disney Princess Fisher Price Castle complete with Snow White and Cinderella.  When we, and by we I mean Josh, got the castles put together and ready to play with they both played with them for a while, while we, and by we I mean me, cleaned up.  But after a few minutes they were both asking, “Mommy, daddy come play with me.”

Here they have all of these new toys that they are so excited about, but what they really want more than anything is for us to play with them.  They desire our company.  They want to be with us!

Did you know that Jesus became God with us because he wanted to be with us. He downsized to the confines of a human womb and put on skin just so He could be with us!

2 Corinthians 5:21 He who knew no sin became sin for us so that we could become the righteousness of God.  

Why would He do that?  Because He wants to be with us.  He wants to spend eternity with us.

Revelation 21:3  I heard a loud shout from the throne saying, ‘Look, the home of God is now among His people! He will live with them, and they will be His people. God himself will be with them.

I love the way Dick Foth says it, “He came to our place. He took our place. And He invites us back to His place.”

My kids had new toys all over the place this morning, yet they wanted to be with us.  Jesus was an all knowing, all powerful God, living in heaven with his Father surrounded by glory and beautiful things, yet what He really wanted was to be with us and He knew the only way that would be possible was to come to earth and live and give His life for us.

Think of all He gave up in hopes of an eternity spent with you.  There isn’t a word to describe the awesomeness of that.  I’m so glad He came to our place, took our place, and we’ve been invited back to His place.

  1. Jesus wanted to be with us so bad He gave everything for us.
  2. He will be with us for eternity.
  3. My morning with my excited little four year old.
  4. Gus told me he cried tears of joy in his bed this morning because he was so excited about Christmas.
  5. Gus told us that God told Him we should take time to be thankful this morning before we opened gifts.
  6. The kids loved all of their gifts.  They were even happy about the socks and undies in their stockings.
  7. We surprised Gus with some Wreck It Ralph toys.  He was so pumped about them!
  8. The huge mess of paper, ribbons, and tags we made today.
  9. Josh surprised me some some new Fossil boots!
  10. I have a husband who can shop for me when I’m not with him and pick out stuff I love.
  11. Josh remembered I mentioned I needed a new make up bag and got me a really nice one.
  12. Beau’s reaction when she saw her bitty baby sleeping in the box.  So glad we got it on video.
  13. Josh put together all of the toys that needed putting together.
  14. Took a little recovery nap this morning.
  15. That our kids want to play “with us.”
  16. I enjoyed playing with them and their new toys.
  17. I wrote 3 blogs this afternoon.
  18. Josh shaved his face all the way clean! Kisses no longer hurt!
  19. Had time to get the kids dinner before church.
  20. Awesome Christmas praise and worship tonight at church.
  21. Pastor Robert’s I believe in Christmas message.  It was the perfect way to end Christmas.
  22. The kids had a great time in their classes too.
  23. I got peppermint bark in my stocking!
  24. Beau had to tell everything she saw “Merry Christmas” before she went to bed tonight.  Diapers, books, bubba, everything.
  25. New books to read to the kids tonight.
  26. The chance of snow on Christmas in Tulsa is looking good!
  27. Got a super sweet text from Josh on his way home from church.
  28. We get to do Christmas all over again on Monday and then again on Tuesday.  We’ve only just begun.