Showing posts from December, 2013


I usually look forward not back, but I simply cannot look ahead to 2014 without pausing to reflect on the year that draws to a close. 

As I type we are returning from a family vacation at the most magical place on earth. At least their slogan lives up to its promise. It was lights, parades, memories, Mickey and friends and so much more. This was a trip we won't soon forget. I can't think of a better way to close out the year then spending this time together as a family. 2013 is a year I want to memorialize. In the Old Testament there are references to altars built to stand as reminders for generations to come. 2013 stands as such a year for us. 
At the start of 2013 I was celebrating a quiet New Year's Eve at home while my little man was tucked snuggily into bed. I was a single mom with a house on the market and in the middle of a bitter custody battle. It would be a few months into the new year before some of those things would be finalized. Lots of chapters ended while oth…

Empty House

It's the night before Christmas and all through the house, there's not a creature stirring. All's quiet at home, no sound to be heard. Not even the excitement of a little boy who won't go to bed as he anxiously awaits the dawn of Christmas. That's because he's not here. Not tonight. It's quiet. Too quiet. I'm painfully aware of his absence on this night, moreso than other nights. 
I set out cookies for Santa. I promised him I would. I left Jokey by the plate and I included his photo. Through the power of technology and the blessing of Facetime, I showed him the display and assured him Santa would still bring gifts, along with the rest of the family, even if he wasn't here tonight. There's a certain magic of kids bounding out of bed to race downstairs to see the presents under the tree. Somehow I've come to peace with the fact that our presents will be opened later in the day. They're just as much a surprise in the afternoon as they are in…

Christmas Lessons

It's the most wonderful time of the year! I've got my candycane earrings complemented by my red snowflake accented nails. Of course I'm wearing all my Merry Christmas shirt. And it's all topped off with a new gift I just received. It's one of the most important accessories, and now one of my favorites, a Santa Claus hat complete with a little rhinestone crown. For those of you who know me well you realize why there is not only irony in this gift but also how ridiculously appropriate it is. I've been called the queen, a diva, former pageant has-been, you name it. Either way it somehow seems a little bit fitting that there is a princess crown combined with my Santa hat. Yes I am wearing it all today and I am also wearing a genuine grin comimg from the joy and Christmas cheer that I feel. 
It's going to be an insanely busy day. The traffic yesterday was only a small indication of all of the plans and preparations that are being made for this holiday. I'm no…

Celebrate Christ

To the cashier who checked me out while I busily stood there and never spoke, how rude of me. 
To the kid checking receipts at the door who asked me how I was and I barely responded, I apologize. 
To the woman ringing the bell at the red kettle and singing your heart out in baritone versions of Christmas carols, thank you. 
It's coming on Christmas and I'm usually the one spreading the cheer. Yet I found myself dreadfully overwhelmed, exhausted and truthfully just flat-out stressed! All the good intentions, cards I meant to send, gifts I intended to buy, crafts I'd hoped to make, goodies I wanted to bake and everything that remains undone seemed to be looming over me. It's not like it snuck up on me. It's always December 25. In fact, Christmas keeps coming earlier and earlier based upon when the stores put things out. So why am I not prepared? Why were feelings of weariness and stress taking over where I should be joyful and cheerful and celebrating?
It took a humbling…


Did God disappoint me?

I'm ashamed to admit it. It seems so vulgar to even think. How dare I say such a thing. Worse, how foolish of me to feel this way!

I knew this was one of those requests that seemed "unlikely."  It's not that He can't or won't. It would just mean a near miracle experience would need to happen. But isn't that just like God?! Of course! Which is why I also admit that while tempering thoughts of excitement and anticipation, I was still entertaining the hope that it would be just like God to do this in the back of my mind. 
It was there. Mixed with a dose of reality along with the cruelty I felt in trying to convince myself not to get ahead of myself...or God.
Here is my struggle. You know me - I'm being gut-level honest. How exactly is one supposed to go through the Christian life living on faith? We express our prayers, concerns, hopes and the desire of our hearts to the God who asks us to make our requests known, and yet we must r…

The Heart of Christmas

I love Christmas! I love celebrating! I love the thrill in the air. The magic. The wonder. The excitment and joy. I love all the festivities. Breakfast with Santa, train rides, a visit with Santa, fun times with friends and family, the movie Frozen, Christmas cookies with Nana, Christmas shopping for the family, and a day to just rest and be at home and enjoy our own familiy time. It causes me to pause and give thanks. The blessings abound and my heart is full, and I'm thankful.
There's a certain joy in the air and I wonder about this. The other day someone told me her daughter asked if she believed in Santa. Her response was that she believes Santa is the spirit of Christmas. I understand the wonder from a child's point of view, but her response got me thinking. Is jolly ol' Saint Nick the embodiment of Christmas joy and cheer? Can one man be the cause for peace on earth and goodwill toward men? I believe so...but I don't believe it's Santa.
The truth is I never…

LOST: Elf on a Shelf

LOST: Elf on a Shelf. Pointy Red Hat and Red and White Elf Suit. Stands about 12" tall. Last seen getting into mischief before heading back to the North Pole on December 24, 2012. In our house, he is known by the name "Jokey."
Between selling a house, renting a house, then building a house, moving three times from three different locations along with three storage units, Jokey is lost. I've looked everywhere. We spent 8 hours on Saturday going through every. single. box in the basement (no small task) but he's no where to be found.

Part of me didn't think it would be a big deal. The fun and mystery of the elf to a 4 year old had certainly lost its magic for a more mature and more aware 5 year old... Or had it?!
One of my friends several years into the tradition admitted she's struggling to come up with new ideas each night - sometimes in the morning, because she'd forgotten the night before. I've been guilty of that as well. Just yesterday I saw …