Saturday, December 27, 2008

What to Do Next Year for Christmas (Note to Self Part Two)

Next Christmas will be different. Why? Because I will read this entry and listen to my own advice. Hopefully... I want to do what really matters and reject what doesn't. I want to get it right, be a blessing, and not miss opportunities to strengthen relationships with my husband, kids, friends, family, neighbors, and those I have yet to meet. In an attempt to make that happen, this is my brainstorm list of what I'd like to do different, or what I have done that I need to do more. Ok, here goes!

1. Play games with the kids. Board games, card games, silly games.

2. Teach them to give gifts. Include them.

3. Sponsor a local family in need.

4. Sponsor a child or family in need from another country. Write letters to them. (i.e. Comapssion International, etc.)

5. Decorate the house more. We really do enjoy that. Put lights up outside, set up the village, put little Christmas-y things here and there throughout the house. It makes every room cozy and inviting. BTW, we have enough stuff, this does NOT mean buy more decorations, except maybe green garland and white lights for outside. Also, send a Christmas letter, and a picture. Be real.

6. If I don't listen to my own advice and DO bake cookies, give them all away before Christmas. I will not need them for the holidays. There really will be plenty. Let it go...

7. Visit friends and family.

8. Rather than buy gifts for our immediate family, take a vacation. We will not remember what we got a year later, but we remember vacations and so seldom get to take them.

9. Look for opportunities to bless others. Outreach rather than inreach!

10. Finally, remember the one we are celebrating. Spend more time, not less in worship, prayer, and the Word. Cultivate intimacy with Jesus over the holiday, He will definitely make it worth the time.

May God richly bless you with His presence this coming year. Merry Christmas!

What Not to Do Next Year for Christmas (Note to Self)

Ok, I tend to overdo it. Those who really know me are not surprised by this. I did it again this Christmas... I spent too much, I baked too much, I worried too much, I ate too much. Next year will be different, right? Here's what I don't need to do anymore:

1. Feel like my gifts to others need to be their "wow" gift. Something little and thoughtful is enough. I don't need spend a lot.

2. Less is truly more with the kids. They don't need several gifts to be happy. One thing each is enough. Besides, Grandma makes up the difference :-)

3. I think that by the time we get to Christmas morning, they would actually prefer fruit and beef jerky in their stockings rather than loads more candy. Remember all the pie and cookies at Grandma's the night before? Also, pies and cookies Christmas Day... Candy is NOT needed, or appreciated!

4. I don't need to bake Christmas cookies. Again, Grandma makes up for it.

5. I don't need to make lefse, unless I make it with a group of friends and it is a fun event. Otherwise, it is just more fat and sugar I feel compelled to eat.

6. Don't go shopping with only a list of names and no ideas. This is bad. :-(

7. Don't go shopping alone. I need a chaperone!

8. Don't buy wrapping paper. I have enough.

9. Don't assume I have bows, ribbon and tape. I don't.

10. Don't get so busy I forget to spend time with Jesus, my family and friends. They are the point of the whole holiday, right?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Cute Kid Story

John just turned 5 on Dec 1st, but all of a sudden seems so grown up. First of all, let me tell you about his dream. Every night when I tuck him in, I pray that the Lord would reveal himself to him in his dreams. John has always said that he has never had a dream. Wednesday morning, I woke up to hear him laughing out loud in his bed. I asked him why he was laughing and he said, "I had a funny dream!"

"What was your dream John? What happened?" I asked.

"I dreamed I was climbing on a big rock and everytime I climbed up, the rock asked me, 'Do you love me?' "

"John! did you know that one of the names for Jesus is The Rock? I think that the rock in your dream was Jesus and he was asking you if you love him! That's really neat!" I exclaimed.

"No-o-o!" John said while laughing, "It was the Robots video game!"

Arrrgh! I HATE video games!

Then, later that same day we were on our way home from the dentist, following the snow plow. It was spreading sand and salt on our road. Hannah asked what he was doing and I told her that the sand helps you not to slip and the salt melts the snow and ice. When we got home and were getting out of the van, I noticed John crying in the backseat. I asked him why he was crying and he replied, "The snow! I can't go sledding anymore!"
He thought that the snow plow's sand and salt would make ALL of the snow go away! Too cute. He was very relieved when he learned the truth.