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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

dear santa

letters to santa tonight is the vote
lights on the tree and jammies on
advent calendar read and new ornament on the tree

we talk tonight of Jesus
His birthday is soon ~ it is why we celebrate
but what does the little baby get?
the world talks of gifts ~of the things that make Christmas
what does the baby in the manger get?

so we talk
Jesus is with the poor, the orphaned, the widowed
with the struggling, the hurting 
what do they get?

so we hand out ministry catalogs
and their little eyes glimmer and shine

and silly mommy worries ~ will they understand?
will they want to do this?
will they be okay with a smaller Christmas to give to others?
silly mommy worries vanish
they pick out rabbits and ducks
clean water and building supplies
a Bible {of course they need this mama!}
blankets and fruit trees and seeds
fishing classes so others can feed their families
and countless other things

and we love as a family
and my letter to Santa is already fulfilled

then it's on to pencils, paper, wishes for us
we sit to write of the things we think might be fun
and she turns to look at me 
"mom, this is hard. we have what we need."
and my heart overflows
"yes, sugar love, yes we do."

Monday, December 19, 2011

sweet surprise

a sweet surprise. a kiss from the Lord.  a blessing from our friends and church family.  we walked into church to find a table all decorated with tree and beautifully cut out, decorated ornaments in two shapes ~ one a plane, one a house.  and a framed message about our plans with a heart felt request.  ornaments for sale ~ any price.  choose a plane and please pray for the Lord to make a way for travel plans.  choose a house and please pray for a new home, its furnishing and provision.  and i was undone.  simple God breathed idea. and people stopped.  and chose. and blessings and prayers were written and hung on a tree.  and the total for a day left me amazed at my God and blessed by my friends. 

and then a second sunday arrived and more people came and ornaments continued to decorate a simple tree.  they continued to come off the table.  continued to represent prayers and support and love.  generosity flowed and mixed with love as Heaven opened above our little family and God poured out His blessings.  and through simple, beautiful paper ornaments He spoke to my heart as i read the prayers and the blessings and felt the love and support. oh my heart.  sweet simple tears as He spoke.

of reassurance.  of His commitment to our family.  of His presence.  of the certainty of His plans for us and His provision in the process.  of the love that people have in them.  the love He placed in them that is just waiting to be poured out.  of how He loves us and how He loves the orphaned children across the world.  of how He will bring us together in His perfect way, with His perfect plan, in His perfect timing.  oh how He loves us, loves us all!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

cookie time

sugar cookies.  
oh the tradition and the fun. 
it is messy and crazy.  today we doubled the recipe.  
butter and sugar and flavor go in.  
and we take the separate parts and we put them together
and they become something new, 
something wonderful, 
something better then the ingredients on their own.  

and we snitch the dough.  we find cookie cutters and extra flour.  

we take the dough.  
we knead. 
we roll. 
we work.
we shape.
we think of ourselves in His mighty hands
knead us
shape us

and the cookie cutters come out
some cut
some decorate
some continue to snitch

and i feel a little out numbered
four kids
one mom
and way, way, way too many sprinkles!!

and i breath
it's about them and their memories
not about my perfectionism
the sprinkles will sweep up
the smooshed shapes can be re-rolled
it doesn't matter if we cut out 32 stars in a row

so we roll again
we trade cookie cutters
 we rotate decorating sprinkles
we giggle and laugh
we get covered in flour
and we make cookies
 and we make memories

Sunday, December 11, 2011

snuggled on sunday

it's sunday.  it's cold outside.  sitting here by the twinkling christmas tree lights snuggled in sweatshirts and cozy slippers.  continue to try to convince children that perhaps now that it's dark and cold and snow covers the top, it might be a bit cold to jump on the trampoline.  try.  but seldom succeed. so out they go with snow pants and coats and hats.  or in they stay and cuddle in blankets and beg for christmas movies. 

we have been doing a different kind of advent calendar this year.  it came from here.  oh i love it.  an ornament every day for a special tree.  scripture to teach us.  a prayer as a family.  an activity to focus us all on love and the true meaning of the season. 

and we will pick out christmas gifts for Jesus.  because it is His birthday and what does He get?  in our family He gets us and we give to those who need more then we do.  those who live in poverty.  those who are hungry.  those who need His love too.

listening to words that were spoken over us before we officially began this journey across the world.  pondering them.  praying into them.  believing them.  knowing they are truth and His plan and timing are perfect.  excited that though the bumps in the road are here that only means we are getting closer.  and knowing that He is so much bigger then any bump.

blessed by sweet surprises at church today.  hearts who beat with ours.  a church family that is dear and sweet and loves us so well and tangibly.  ornaments in the shape of planes and houses for a journey that He is planning for us.  listening to the Christmas story today in service with my boys {while my sweet girl sat arm in arm with her friends} and letting happy tears slowly flow down.  for the love of my family, for the love and support of our church family, for His love that came down for us all.  how do you contain that emotion? 

but we aren't to contain it.  pour it out.  pour it over. pass it on. a smile. a hug. a kindness.  encouragement. compliment. a gift for a family on the other side of the world who needs it.  a hat and mittens for the local mitten tree. a toy for the toy drive.  pass it on.  pour it out. share it.  because He did not contain it.  He poured it out. and He poured out His lilfe.