Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas is almost here!

This Christmas has been very different from those in the past. Some things have been much more meaningful and joyful and other things, just darn right depressing. Its no revelation that the economy stinks, and since Todd and I work for a manufacturing company, things are pretty scary. We are a small company, so we don't have many employees to begin with, but when you are down to five employees receiving weekly paychecks, it gives you a big reality check. As of this coming Sunday, Todd may be laid off, which will mean that he will be spending a small part of the holidays filing for unemployment. We know that those checks do not cover much, so that will mean that bills will not be paid, gas will have to be conserved and finding a fun activity to do on Christmas break as a family will have to consist of zero dollars spent. This is the first year that I am not looking forward to the break, mainly for that reason. Its a little stressful.

Then I think about the wonderful things we have experienced this Christmas season. Todd and I bought an Advent book and wreath this year and decided to start a tradition of celebrating Advent together. Every evening after our dinner plates are nearly empty, we light a candle on the wreath and read together. Being that this is the first year, we did not adequately plan for some of the activities, but the ones we did decide to do were really fun. My favorite was volunteering at a Salvation Army camp "Breakfast with Santa" as a family. We did the simple task of serving drinks to the families there, but it really meant a lot to see our kids participating with joy (even with a little competition! lol). I really want Hannah and Caleb to grow up with the idea that Christmas is much more than celebrating the birth of Christ, but also its about finding ways to show God's love to others. I hope this tradition stick with us for a very long time.

Now just to end with a little fun, I posted some Christmas questions that my friend, Amy posted on her blog. Feel free to steal the idea too!

*What is one of the best presents you’ve given someone else?

I think that the gift we just gave someone today might rank up there with one of the best. Todd's family put together some money and we gave an employee at work a gift card for a local grocery store. His wife has been ill for a very long time and they are struggling. At first, I honestly struggled with wanting to participate because I knew we will really need any extra money to make ends meet, but then I was reminded of all of the times that God blessed us when we needed it most. I pray that God would use this gift to really show this couple how much God loves them.

*Let’s talk Santa. Did you believe in him as child? How did you find out he’s not real?

I never believed in Santa. My parents decided not to tell us he was real so I always knew he was pretend. Do I feel robbed? No, not at all. In fact, we didn't tell our kids that Santa was real either and I think they have just as much fun Christmas morning! :)

*Have you ever peeked at your presents before Christmas morning? If so, was it worth it? (And what did you discover?)

Yes I did. One Christmas I found most of my presents in my parents' closet and it was the worst Christmas morning ever. I loved what I got, but I have to pretend to be surprised with every gift I opened! I never did it again.

*What’s your fave Christmas song/Christmas movie/Christmas cookie?

I love "Santa Baby", "A Baby Changes Everything", and "Breath of Heaven". My favorite movie this year is "The Muppets' Christmas Carol". The best Christmas cookies are sugar cookies covered in icing and sprinkles!

*Every time I read the Gospels regarding Jesus’ birth, different things strike me about the absolute beauty of this event. What has struck you about Christ’s birth this year?

I think the thing that sticks out the most is the humanness of it all. That Christ was born as an infant to a young teen girl in a dirty, stinky place. That he chose to do it that way instead of coming from the sky and rescuing us all in a loud voice of thunder. Rather, he came into our world with a small helpless cry and then waited for us to discover the wonder of his birth and what it meant to us.

Bonus Question:: What’s your New Year’s resolution?

Well, since I was just diagnosed as having hypothyroidism and high cholesterol... I guess my resolution will be to find a lifestyle that will enable me to get healthier but not so extreme that I can't keep the lifestyle up after January 2nd.

Have a wonderful Christmas Holiday!

Monday, December 01, 2008

We're Teenagers!

Tomorrow, my husband, Todd, and I will be celebrating our 13th wedding anniversary. Todd was a recent bible school graduate and I was a nineteen year old who had just finished my freshman year in college. It probably seemed pretty crazy to most of our friends that we were getting married so young, but Todd and I both knew it was what we were suppose to do. I have never regretted that decision either! We have both changed tremendously since that beautiful day. Our lives haven't always gone the path that we thought they would, but through God's grace and our determination, we have made the path together and are even more in love than we could ever have imagined. Todd is my best friend, lover and soul mate. He is everything I could have ever wanted in a husband and more than I deserve. I am so excited to see where God takes us in the coming years. No matter what road we are led on, I know that as long as we are together, the journey will be amazing.