Showing posts from December, 2012


It's just a few hours before the end of another year and the start of yet one more. I'm not here to pause and reflect because there's a lot I'd rather forget from this past year of ups and downs.

I'm recognizing a theme in everyone's new years posts: New beginnings. Fresh starts. Do-overs. It seems at the start of a new year we're all hopeful it will bring the hope of bigger, better, brighter. For some it's health. For others it's wealth. It's love, hope, healing, happiness or any number of things that cause us to have belief in the start of something new representing a turning point in life. Some may resolve to start out with commitments and promises in an attempt to better themselves.

There was no single turning point for me January 1, 2012. But as I recall the events, people, and happenings of the year that Is drawing to a close, there's a lot that's happened in the past that is now woven into the new year that is to come. It's …

The Way It Was

There were 50 years between us. I sat scrolling through my iPad browsing pins and she sat amazed at the technology of the screen responding to my touch. I was showing her recipes she might like for her New Year's Eve gathering. We found one that seemed simple enough, yet appetizing for guests. I was explaining my love for the app called Pinterest and how it has helped me in the kitchen. And then I got schooled.

There were no packages of crescent rolls, she explained. There wasn't a bag of already shredded cheese or frozen bags of microwavable vegetables to steam. There wasn't even a microwave. I heard tales of when bread was started early in the morning and took all day to rise and bake. The vegetables were cleaned and cooked only after they were hand picked from the garden. Chicken certainly didn't come in a can. No, this was another case of being responsible for first catching the chicken then ... Well, you get the picture.

Back then they worked hard for everything…

Especially For You

A thousand times I've failed
Still Your mercy remains
And should I stumble again
I'm caught in Your grace

It's a chorus ringing through my ears. It's a reminder I've needed today. Hope. It's a gift I have to remember to receive.

"No matter what is happening in your life now, your story has an amazingly happy ending. Though the way ahead may look dark to you, there is brilliant, everlasting Light at the end of your earth-journey. My finished work on the cross secured this heavenly hope for you, and it is absolutely assured. Moreover, knowing that your story finishes well can fill your present journey with Joy. The more you put your hope in Me, the more My Love-Light shines upon you - brightening your day." ~ Jesus Calling

Oh yes, that is what I desire! His Love-Light shining upon me to brighten my day.

"Are you sure, Lord? A thousand times I've failed..."

"My mercy remains."

"But what if I stumble again?"

"You are caug…

A Tragic Christmas

I couldn't peel my eyes from the rearview mirror as I watched E walk into school this morning. It helped that he was followed in by a deputy from the Sheriff's department... but I couldn't shake the thought that parents just like me had dropped off their children on Friday never knowing it would be the last time they'd see them.

I sat in church yesterday with tears streaming as the Pastor offered words of solace and a prayer for the grieving families. A senseless act. An unexplainable tragedy.

It hits close to home, knowing I have presents already wrapped waiting to be ripped open on Christmas day. New clothes yet to wear. New toys waiting to be played with. Wish lists fulfilled that have yet to be discovered. Just days before Christmas, it seems even harder to comprehend.

There's a part of the Christmas story that isn't shared a lot yet it's fitting for such a time as this.

"When Herod had realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was fur…

Elf on a Shelf

I've been asked to keep a running post of Jokey's antics for our Elf on a Shelf game. My original post has had more hits than most of my other blogs combined. I am sure this is the result of google searches, but regardless, this will be the post that now keeps up with Jokey. I've posted a few other blogs about our Elf and how he fits into our Christmas Celebration. Here and Here. If you know me you know I am not going to just be a copy cat. I have to put my own Carrie-spin on it, along with the fact that I changed the rules of the game to fit more appropriately with our own celebration of Christmas and Christ's birth. This is the letter Jokey came with:
Dear Elijah,
First off, I have to tell you how special you are. I know how much you are loved by your family. God created you in Sarah’s tummy but He perfectly placed you in family when you were adopted. There are so many people who love you and prayed for you and you need to know that you are an answer to prayer.

End Of The World

I'm not sure what planet I've been living on, but it wasn't until today I heard the news the world will end on December 21, 2012. Oh really? I thought. Why's that?

A simple google search of "End of the world" filled in the blank for me and added 2012. Oh, this isn't good. Now Google even knows...

Sure enough. Link after link. "End of the World in 2012" "2012 Phenomenon" "End of the World: Official Website".

I realized this was no joke (or maybe it was) but the numerous websites were there to confirm the theory.

Thankfully, Google isn't my bible and theories aren't my truth.

But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.
Mark 13:12

Well, that's certainly reassuring, right?! Heaven itself doesn't know. The truth is (biblical, that is) "that day" isn't talking about the end of the world, but rather about Christ's return. In s…

Good morning

"Good morning!" One of my coworkers greeted me as I walked in the door. I wasn't even able to muster up a grin.

"Or not so good..."she added.

I felt bad. I couldn't hide that, in fact, it had not been a good morning. But as I turned the corner to my office, I realized I had a choice to make.

It's not always easy. Doggoneit, I know it's hard. Some days are easier than others. And some days are so darn tough you can't even fake it. I get it. I've been there, too, and I'm not exempt from returning there without a moment's notice. 

It is so easy for me to be consumed by the moment and wrapped up in my emotions that I can't even think straight, let alone realize there are others struggling and worse off than my own situation. And all over again I'm reminded I have a choice to make.

There are some who are too sick to get out of bed and enjoy Christmas. There are some too broke to have to be faced with buying gifts. There are some too…

Just Feel

I was frustrated. Angry, even. I was upset and downright grouchy. The fuse on my temper was lit and I could feel the explosion inching its way ever closer with each new frustration. The thing is, I'm an adult. And I know how to calm myself down, step away from the situation and regain my composure, manage emotions so they don't cause regrettable reactions. But any ounce of maturity had seemingly escaped. I was saying things I didn't mean. Losing my cool. Reacting without thinking. And all of it was compounding to add layer upon layer of growing frustration. 
The only thing I did right was call it day. I had reached the point of no return and there was nothing more to be done than lay my head in my pillow and cry. The wise words of the late Dr. Jerry Falwell offered solace, "Go home in your pillow and cry. There is no shame or sin in that. But one day wake up and realize there is life to be lived, and go and live it to the fullest."
Yes sir. That's exactly wh…

A Child's Christmas

There's a certain wonder about experiencing the Christmas season through the eyes of a 4 year old. Everything has truly come to life for him and it's brought new life to the story for me as well. Of course it's so much more than a story. 
I shared our Elf on a Shelf story last week. I caught some flack for entertaining this silly game and I understand why some people have an issue with this "magic" elf. You can read all about my perspective on magic vs. miracle. The thing is, as with any holiday or event, our human-ness can paganize anything sacred. (Yes, I do realize I just made up a whole bunch of words, but if you know me, then you know this is a common occurrence. Just imaginate with me...) You can read below how I put my own spin on the Elf.

A wide-eyed little boy is enjoying ALL things Christmas. He moves his candy cane each day to count  the days of Christmas (this is also teaching him about the calendar). He searches for his elf Jokey every morning (teachin…