What Do You Celebrate?

At the beginning of this month, we celebrated the Fourth of July with some of our family, and the fireworks display at the end of the night was the perfect ending to a perfect day. It was absolutely beautiful!

We all celebrate things, people and happenings in our lives. We celebrate holidays, birthdays and new beginnings. We celebrate new babies, marriages, graduations and retirements, but I wonder how often we stop and actually ponder those celebrations. I wonder if we actually think about who and what we are celebrating. 

Do we see the person or just simply the event in their life? Do we recognize the growth in the graduate, or do we only see the loss of a child at home? Do we see the joy in the eyes of the new mom and her baby, or do we only see the birth? Do we see the wealth of wisdom in the retiree, or do we only see the age and tired body?

As I was going back through those pictures of the fireworks and reminiscing the day, I smiled as I thought of our family and the celebration. It wasn’t simply a day to celebrate a patriotic holiday and a few beautiful fireworks. We joined together to celebrate the strength of family, the joy of togetherness, and the gratefulness we have to live in this country of the free and the brave. 


Yeah, now THAT’S a celebration. 😉❤️🇺🇸

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Merry Christmas 2016!

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Maybe it’s because we’ve had warmer temperatures this year, or maybe because it seems to have come so quickly, but it still doesn’t quite feel completely like Christmas to me. Today is Christmas Eve! I guess, I better start feeling it, or I’m just gonna miss it this year! Haha. 

So, MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU AND YOURS! We hope you have a wonderful time with family and friends! We pray your Christmas is blessed with making wonderful memories and joyous moments together. 

Ariniel DeviantArt

Happy Mom’s Day

I usually have the Friday’s New Angle and the answer posted here on Fridays and Saturdays; so, I thought it might be appropriate to go ahead and wish all of you a HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY! …and for those who almost forgot, here’s your chance to go get that card and gift! 😉

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I hope you have a WONDERFUL day, and even if you’re not able to spend it with your children or your mom, I hope you are able to spend it with someone you love! My prayer is your day is consumed with good memories, well wishes and lots and of love and joy!

However, for so many, this day is filled with dread, with tears and even a little anger or frustration for the mother or spouse who has already said goodbye in this life. When Mother’s Day rolls around for those in this category, often, the feelings can be so overwhelming they would rather the day simply pass on like any other and not be mentioned. For these, I say, “God bless you, and I pray you find peace today. I pray you find grace for your pain, and I pray you find joy in your place of grief.”

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Losing a mom is like no other loss one can experience. I have heard it described as losing your best friend, losing your right arm, or even losing a piece of your heart you truly realized you had until she’s gone. Probably the best description I have heard was from my mother-in-law, who has become like a second mother to me. She said (my paraphrase), “It’s as if, all of a sudden, I had a great big hole open up in my life. You don’t know what to do with it. You can’t jump over it; you can’t fill it in, and the pain of it is almost unbearable. Sometimes, you contemplate just jumping into the hole, thinking that will make it better…People say time will heal the pain…No, the hole is there for the rest of your life. It never gets filled back in with the passing of time; you just learn how to manage it and begin to walk around it.”

Miss-you-mom-died-cant-stop-crying-tears-smilesCan I encourage you today to take notice of those who may be grieving during this “fun weekend” we call Mother’s Day? Can I urge you to let your heart mourn with them and allow your arms of love to reach out? They need your words of comfort, and they need thoughts of grace. These days are not easy for so many, especially when it is the first (or even second) Mom’s Day they have gone without her…

 

Wednesday’s Ode #47

I love the time of New Years! I know that may sound funny when I just said last week that I love Christmastime, but it’s true. The new year is such a refreshing and exciting time of year. 

Merry Merry Christmas!!

  Merry Christmas to you and yours! We hope you have a wonderful holiday season with family and friends!

I am so thankful for Christ’s birth which makes this holiday possible, and what is the most important part of this holiday season! He loves you, and that’s why He left His Kingship and came as a babe to save you and me. If you don’t know Him, I hope you will believe. He’s the best thing ever to happen to me!! ❤️

…If Christmas isn’t when you and your family celebrate, and you are awaiting another holiday this time of year, we hope you have a wonderful celebration when those days arrive! 

…It doesn’t always matter if we celebrate the same, it only matters that you cherish the time you have with those whom you love! 

We hope your season is Merry and bright! Merry, Merry Christmas!! 😊

Christmas Project

I started last year with a family project at home that I’m starting a few days late this year, but I’m still going to do it:  A Christmas “Thankful Meaningful Jar.” We will each try to write down a mall note everyday of what Christmas means to us or something that we are thankful for at Christmas time. 

Christmas is about laughter, joy, family, coziness, warm fires and hot chocolate. It’s about reading a good book, being thankful, being joyous, being gracious, and being kind. It can also be a time of loneliness, heartbreak and desperate fear. It can be a time of lack, sadness and even anger. In our time of fulfillment, I never want our boys to forget others who don’t have. I never want them to get to a place of entitlement or expectancy and refuse to give what we have to those in need.

This is the reason for our new family tradition. I hope this jar of words of thankfulness, thoughtfulness and appreciation will help us to remember the true meaning of Christmas: Christ, His birth, His life, and His purpose. Remembering the “less fortunate” is exactly what He did; it’s what He’s all about. He left His glory, His beautiful kingdom for ME and for YOU! We didn’t deserve it. We were lost and destined for hell, but He loved us enough to come to help us, to save us, to change us and to give us a better eternity. He promised to be with us always and to, one day, come back to take us to His glorious kingdom. 

I am so thankful He did, and I believe I can serve a God like that. 💗

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:16-17

“Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” Matthew 1:23

It’s Merry Christmas!

*sorry, friends, for being absent during the Christmas week. I was spending time with out of town family, and just didn’t find the time to get online. I’ve been blogging during the time; so, you may get a little overflow the next few days! 😉

Written 2 days before Christmas…

Okay, so, I’m gonna rant for just a moment. If you’d prefer to not read, I completely understand, but if you’ll indulge me, it won’t take but a minute…

IT IS MERRY CHRISTMAS!! It’s not just another holiday. It’s not just Happy Holidays (even though it IS very happy), and I am totally over this politically correct statement. This remark was begun by those who hated Christmas being celebrated by Christians and their desire to push a political agenda to avoid Christianity and anything that might remotely infers it. I don’t see these groups, those who make a big fuss about nativity scenes, Christmas carols and saying “Merry Christmas,” making a big fuss over someone saying Happy Hanukkah or Happy Ramandah. (Only stating two for sale of space and time, no other reason!) They don’t attack the display of candlesticks nor the fasting of certain foods by other religions; yet, most of these who attack state they are trying to achieve “a freedom from religion.” Well, if you were truly trying to achieve this, wouldn’t you attack more religions than simply Christianity? I’d like to say to them, “Either be fair in your assessments, or leave me alone! I don’t care if others want to celebrate their given religious feasts, celebrations and special days; so, why single mine out and attack them alone? I’m not going to be angry with you if you’d like to tell me “Happy Hannukkah, Ramandah” or whatever else “Happy/Merry” you’d like to give! So, why do they have to seem so vindictive toward my chosen celebration?

Yet, then again, I have come to the realization that absolute truth has always been attacked, and my Savior has always been hated by those who disagree with Him. Those who disliked Him when He was here on earth eventually killed Him because of their disdain toward Him. This hatred toward Christianity is nothing new; so, it really ought not surprise me when people are forced on their jobs to tell me, “Happy Holidays.” It should not frustrate me that so many have stopped telling me, “Merry Christmas,” when I leave their stores. I suppose, I should actually smile, even laugh, knowing this agenda is being pushed down our throats and throughout our world today, because the devil hates God, and he always will, because he has already lost! His fury will not last, and the end of the story has already been told: Jesus wins. (Just read the back of the Book!)

So, I will just continue to respond with a smile and say cheerfully, “Merry Christmas!” I will keep my Christmas joyful, regardless of the war being raged upon my religion. I will embrace those around me with the love that He has birthed within my heart, and I will repeat to all those who will hear, MERRY CHRISTMAS to all for Unto us is born a Savior, and His name is called Emmanuel, which means God with us! (Isaiah 9:6-7)

It’s Tradition

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Christmas is my most favorite holiday of the year. There are so many reasons for my loving it. I love the warmth and love I feel while surrounded by family. I love the heightened feelings of joy, generosity and kindness that seems to resonate in most everyone’s heart. I love the wonder of a child who is anxiously awaiting Christmas morn. They can hardly go to sleep on Christmas Eve, as they strain to hear sleigh bells and reindeer hoofs upon the roof, and they run to the living room early the next morning to see if, just maybe, a midnight visitor has nibbled on their gift of milk and cookies. I love to see the twinkle in my sons’ eyes when they receive that special gift from their list which they weren’t quite sure if we’d be able to fulfill.

I love looking forward to the snow that might fall, and I love to wrap up in layers of cozy attire and walk around in the winter wonderland. I love to sit by the warm fire, drinking hot cocoa, while cuddled up with my sweet boys and my love, watching a Christmas special on TV, even though, we’ve seen it every year for the last 10! I love playing endless Christmas carols on the radio and singing till my voice almost disappears. I love making little goodie bags for the boys’ classes at school or for those in our neighborhood that includes a special little note of God’s love and hope for this broken world. I love picking out an “angel” ornament off the tree in our church foyer and supplying Christmas for a child whom, otherwise, might not have gotten anything underneath his tree. I love going in the stores and seeing all the lights, the decorations and hearing all the cheer. I love saying, “Merry Christmas!” when a sales person is required to say, “Happy Holidays,” and watching their eyes light up, because that is what they’d rather be saying to me. I love making someone smile who is feeling weary, doubtful or fearful and reminding them there is a wonderful reason we celebrate this season, and there is hope for their life. I just love Christmas time!

One of the things I look forward to the most at Christmas is putting up our pre-lit tree and taking part in, once again, the family traditions which we began so many years ago. When I was just a babe, my mom began collecting ornaments for me each year, and we have continued the tradition with our boys. We have a little nativity scene, which is presented with a storybook of, “What God wants for Christmas,” with which we commemorate Christ in the season, and this year, we began an “It’s All About Christmas” jar, in which we write a little note of gratefulness or what the season means to us, and we will read on Christmas Eve to celebrate the day. These are the traditions which cause us to remember the importance and the “reason for the season.” These are the traditions that bring us together as a family and remind us that love is at the center of that reason.

Does your family do something special during this time of year? What are YOUR Christmas traditions? I’d love to hear about them! Please feel free to add them in the comments below. 🙂

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