"Do not be anxious about anything but in everything through prayer and petition with thanksgiving present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
Philippians 4:6-7

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Is Christmas Over?

We spent a couple of days with our daughter and her family the day after Christmas. They have two children and it is always interesting to see the world through the eyes of a child.

Anna is four and Rebekah is four months old. Needless to say Rebekah didn't have a clue as to what was going on this year but Anna was enjoying all aspects of the season. She had learned Christmas songs and the children at the church they attend had sung some of those songs one Sunday. She helped bake cookies and a birthday cake for Jesus. She got to see Santa Claus and tell him what she wanted for Christmas. Her list seemed to change each time you would ask her what she wanted. She was even able to experience some snow flurries which are rare at Christmas time in the south.

Then there comes the time that we begin to clean up and put away the Christmas decorations for another year. We helped them take down their tree. Anna said "I don't like what you are doing. Is Christmas over?"

That question really spoke to me. It does seem that we act differently during this particular time of the year. We try to be nicer. We spend more money than we should to make other people happy. I think most adults are glad that Christmas is over because we go at it with all the wrong reasons and expectations. But through the eyes of a child it is exciting, it is fun. My answer to Anna's question was that it didn't have to be over. The tree may not be up any longer but the excitement of Jesus's birth would always be in our hearts and we should try to think about that.

Now I know that answer was way over her head but I needed to be reminded of it myself.

So I will ask you: Is Christmas over?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Cheese Straws and Daddy

I love cheese straws and I love my Daddy and I love my Daddy even more when he makes cheese straws.

We all have special things that we like to do or we have special things that we are good at. My daddy has lots of things that he does well but right up there near the very top of the list is his cheese straws. There are two times of the year that he makes these - if there is a beach trip scheduled, we can count on daddy to bring cheese straws for one of our snacks AND it is his call to fame at Christmas. Most people are busy making sweet stuff but Daddy does his cheese straws and they are well worth the wait.

On my last visit with him he had made some - and no we were not about to go to the beach and no it wasn't time to start baking for Christmas. It was a pleasant surprise. He always talks about what an ordeal it is to get everything together and mix them up and cook them. I really have never been with him during the procedure, I just enjoy the fruit of his labor.

As I got ready to leave I asked him for his recipe and borrowed one of his Super Shooter Electric Food Guns to use. Now, to the point of my story. Today I decided I would make cheese straws. No big deal, right? Well, I am here to tell you that I have decided that my Daddy is being way to generous with his cheese straws. They are a precious commodity.  After squishing all the cheese together and adding the other ingredients and then trying to figure out how to use the Super Shooter Electric Food Gun I was worn out before they ever got in the oven.

Now my master taster, that would be Charlie, said they were good. And in the end all the work was worth the result. But I called my Daddy and told him that I totally understood now why it is a big deal to make cheese straws and that I had much more appreciation for them when I eat them now. And I know that he must really love us to make them. Thank you Daddy!

My Cheese Straws :-)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Be It Unto Me

We recently attended a cantata performed by the combined choirs of Adel UMC and Hahira UMC. It was an absolutely beautiful offering of praise to our Father. We get so caught up in the busyness of the season that we forgive to sit back and soak in exactly what transpired so many years ago.

There were two songs that really spoke to me. One of them was "Be It Unto Me". It comes from Luke 1:38. Let me share the verses preceding this statement: I am sharing from the King James version (sometimes you just have to go back to the original translation for it to penetrate).

35And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.  36And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. 37For with God nothing shall be impossible. 38And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.

"Be it unto me" - it just poured all over me. What an attitude of servanthood, submission, love, respect, honor to the Holy of Holies!

She did question. You know she had to be scared. What would people say? How would they treat her? What would Joseph say?  But ultimately her response was "Be it unto me"  - other translations: "May your word be fulfilled" (NIV); "Let it be with me just as you say" (The Message)

Complete surrender and obedience. What a challenge!

I am reminded of these words today ~  "Be it unto me" - what would you have me do today Father for you?

Friday, December 10, 2010

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree

We recently visited my family and were able to help in the "trimming of the tree" at my daddy's house. It is rare that I am able to be there when my brother and sister go over to daddy's to decorate his tree. So again I have received another early Christmas blessing by being there with my family and participating. My brother and husband put the lights on as my sister and I put some yummy supper on the table - good ole KFC, daddy's potato salad and green bean casserole and a special lemon pie my sister made for dessert. Yum, Yum!

After supper the decorating of the tree began - such sweet and funny memories were exchanged as we placed ornaments on the tree. This will be our fifth Christmas without our mother and that in itself seems hard to believe but she was very much present as we deocrated.

You see, Mama loved to make Christmas decorations. In the 70's she made decorations from styrofoam balls and added all sorts of beads and baubles and ribbon to them. She not only made them for her tree but each one of us would get some too. I still have several of those that I decorate our tree with. She then started making porcelain ornaments. Most of the time she did not paint them but left them with a white glaze and occasionally a little splash of gold or silver color. They are beautiful and elegant and we each have many of her pieces of "art". Mama loved Christmas - and she loved decorating for Christmas!

I am so thankful for the memories and so thankful for the gift she gave me - her love of Christmas - her love of giving and sharing.

I know she is smiling and thinking this is the prettiest tree yet. She always thought that about each tree. I agree too Mama.

Merry Christmas to each of you reading and make sure that you take time to make special memories with your loved ones this year!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Deck The Halls

Yesterday we took on the task of putting our outside Christmas trees up. I really wasn't in the mood but it did not take us near as long as it thought it would and the results were worth the effort.

We line our driveway with the spiral lit trees that are actually a skeletal form of a Christmas tree. When they are up and not lit they are very bare and lonely looking, but when the darkness comes and their lights shine ~ VOILA - they are beautiful, the light helps you see the shape of a what they are suppose to be - a Christmas tree.

They remind me of what God does with us. Without Him we are bare and shapeless; we don't look like much. Sometimes people do not even notice us. With God we take shape. With Him we are full of light. His light helps people see the shape of a what we are suppose to be - a Child of God. We are beautiful.  We are His light in the darkness.

Matthew 5:14-16 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

This little light of mine - I'm gonna let it shine. Let it Shine! Let it Shine! Let it Shine!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

An Early Christmas Present

Christmas is such a special time of year. It is mostly about celebration - celebrating the birth of Christ! And when all is said and done that is what it is all about. Gift giving was done way back then too. The Wise Men brought some very precious gifts to Jesus. Somehow from that we have made Christmas into one of the biggest occasions of the year for our economy. It dictates or is a factor in determining whether our economy is going well.

Most of us grow wiser or the importance of things change as we add years to our life. I am experiencing that. I can remember as a child that Christmas was all about Santa - now don't get me wrong - he is a pretty neat guy! However, I think I could count on one hand the gifts I received from Santa that I would consider being "the best gift ever".

The Wise Men did not spend a lot of money on their gifts to Jesus. Yes, in many aspects they were valuable gifts but I don't imagine they spent a lot of time shopping or asking for a list of things that Jesus needed. These gifts came from the heart and they traveled a very long way to give them and they did not expect anything in return.

I received one of those kinds of gifts today. My sister and daddy drove from Macon to spend the day with me and Charlie. It was so special. We braved the cold weather that set in this morning to take a ride in the golf cart. We were pulling out gloves and scarves and coats to bundle everybody up so we could see some things we had done on our farm.

Then it was back to the house for lunch - chicken salad, pasta salad, pear halves with cheese and banana pudding for dessert and add to that some coffee and sweet conversation around our table.

So I received an early Christmas present - just like the Wise Men they took time out of their day to spend time with us, it didn't cost them anything, it was more precious than gold, it came from the heart and they did not expect anything in return.

I don't think I will forget this gift for a long time.

My Daddy and Sister - Getting ready for the ride!

Here we go! Brrrrr!

Lunch - Mmm, Mmmmm

Sisters :-)

How Special!

Merry Christmas!