Sunday, December 28, 2008


I hope each of you had a wonderful, beautiful Christmas! My family and I did. Though we can't pinpoint why, Jason and I agree that this Christmas was different and extra special. Of course, we got awesome gifts from each other and our family, but we all know that is not what Christmas is about. There seemed to be a sense of magical serenity, and I felt it not only in our family, but almost everywhere we went. We had lots of food, fun and family, and we made some really special memories this year. One of my favorite traditions happens every year on Christmas Eve. Our church always has a very meaningful, special ceremony that I so much look forward to. The church is filled with soft candlelight, and families come and go as they choose, and they are free to observe the Lord's Supper. My family and I always go. I LOVE IT! As we kneel at the altar, I am given the opportunity to focus on Christ and Christmas, and I am overcome by such a peace... I am overwhelmed by our precious Father's love for me, and am so thankful that He sent His Son. However, the quiet moment is truly only a moment, and then we're off to be consumed by the busyness. I must admit, I love that part of Christmas too. The hustle and bustle of the last minute gifts, dashing from family to family, and forcing myself to stay awake after my husband to put all of his goodies in his stocking! Christmas morning we always wake up early and go to my parents to see what "Santa" has brought. (He always comes as long as you believe!) Then we go to Jason's parents for breakfast. We open presents, and then usually go to Aunt Sandra's. This year, my parents and Jason's parents, as well as his brother came to my house at lunch. We had finger foods and watched "White Christmas." Then we went outside and played Tailgate Golf. (FUN) At dinner, we went to Aunt Sandra's, and had YUMMY food. We relaxed and played with my baby Jack, and then we all played Family Feud. (We missed Ben of course, but we are glad he feels up to going back to work!) Christmas is not over for me, as this weekend I am visiting with some of my favorite family members that I don't get to see a lot. (Many of you know Alan and my Aunt Pam...) As usual, I have really enjoyed visiting with them, and I always hate to see them go. (Bradley, I missed you, and can't wait to meet Erika and your beautiful baby girl.) So, to sum it up, I'll say again Christmas was/is amazing!

Now, here comes 2009. I can not believe it. "They" always told me that time passed more quickly as the years passed. How true it is! I, of course, have several resolutions that this year I intend to keep. I actually feel pretty good at the possibility of success, because I have actually already begun to take the necessary steps to achieve my goals. (Ex. 21 pounds since July...!)
My prayer is that this year be filled with health and happiness for my family and yours. I pray that my family grows closer together, and that we are able to serve the Lord with complete surrender, faith, and boldness, and that we make so many choices and memories that will impact the Kingdom. As simple as it is, one of my dreams is for my family to be well. I just think how beautiful it would be for my whole family to be able to go on a mission trip together. Who knows what the Lord has planned for us? I do know that He says he loves to give good gifts to His children, and that He works all things together for our good to glorify him. Jeremiah 29:11 has come to mean a lot to me over the years. A very special lady who has been a major influence in my life shared this verse with me at a time in my life when I was consumed by questions and confusion. Ever since then, I have faced many decisions about jobs and family, as well as the future. So many times I just want the Lord to write the answers in the sky. But, of course, that doesn't happen, which means I have to constantly seek his face. Well, with the promise of the new year peeking around the corner, I can't help but be excited. I just feel like the year to come will be full of hope and peace and trust and happiness and friendship. I pray that our families will take advantage of new opportunities and that we can all find meaning in purpose as we look to Jesus. Take care. Much love and happy New Year! Phillipians 1:3

P.S. HAHA Lori! I tricked you. You are always around and you ALWAYS know when I blog. I'm smarter! Just kidding. But I DID surprise you didn't I?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

I am aware. . .it has been a while. I know. Believe me, I have wanted to catch up but, again, broken computer and busy, busy days. I can't believe Christmas is almost here! I have felt down, discouraged, and defeated most of the month, and it does make sense that satan is working over time to steal the joy from this beautiful time. Yet, the past couple of days, the Lord's merciful grace is completely abundant, and my cup runneth over yet again.

It has been a fun weekend! Friday night was filled with friends and fun, as we had our Sunday School party at church. "Dirty Santa" brought me a much needed set of knives (thanks, April!) and my husband a tool set, which he chose to unwrap because he recognized our Christmas paper. (Hey, you never know with "Dirty Santa", right Lou?) Saturday morning was our Christmas party for all the kids at church. We had an awesome turnout, and I think everybody had a good time. Me and Brooke (Stokes/Clark) complement each other, and somehow we get things done. I thank the Lord for Godly friends and helpers. (Also, a big thanks to Misty and Michelle.) Saturday afternoon was shopping in Greenville with my sweet mother-in-law (FUN), then we went to dinner with Tara and Timmy. It's funny how children and changes make dinner with friends less often, but more appreciated. Saturday night, we went to Lori and Ben's. Let the record show I came prepared to blog last night, but the computer was occupied. But finally here I am! I have several people I need to respond to, (HEY KAREN!) and I intend to. Again, time is limited, and I have to fight Ben and Jason for the computer! (Recruiting is always in season, whether football is or not!)

Well, in the spirit of the season, I have a couple of thing I would like to share. The first is a story that my boss recently shared with me, (I am not sure who it is written by, but it is not me) and it could not be more appropriate, as it pertains to Christians (ME). (I know this is a lot of reading, but please stay with me. . .I think you will be glad you did.) The second regards weight loss, (received from a coworker) words that cause us to shudder with disgust and fear this time of year. I have been dedicated and committed, however I am taking a small time out until January. Read on. These are definitely rules to follow! (LOL)

I hope to post again soon, but we all know how that goes. I wish each of you a merry Christmas filled with Jesus and joy. Much love.

" Satan called a world wide conventionof demons. In his opening address he said:
"We can't keep Christians from going to church. We can't keep them from reading their Bibles, and knowing the truth. We can't even keep them from forming an intimate relationship with their Savior. Once they gain their connection with Jesus, our power over them is broken. So let them go to their churches; let them have their covered dish dinners, but steal their time, so they don't have time to develop a relationship with Jesus Christ. This is what I want you to do", said the devil. "Distract them from gaining hold of their Savior and maintaining that vital connection throughout their day." "How shall we do this?" his demons shouted. "Keep them busy in the nonessentials of life and invent innumerable schemes to occupy their minds", he answered. "Tempt them to spend, spend, spend, and borrow, borrow, borrow. Persuade the wives to go to work for long hours, and the husbands to work 6 or 7 days each week, 10-12 hours a day so they can afford their empty lifestyles. Keep them from spending time with their children. As their families fragment, soon their homes will offer no escape from the pressures of work! Overstimulate their minds so they can not hear that still, small voice. Entice them to play the radio whenever they drive. . .to keep the TV, VCR, CDs and their PCs going constantly in their home, and see to it that every store and restaurant in the world plays non-biblical music constantly. This will jam their minds and break their union with Christ. Fill the coffee tables with magazines and newspapers. Pound their minds with the news 24 hours a day. Invade their driving moments with billboards. Flood their mailboxes with junk mail, catalogs, sweepstakes and every kind of newsletter and promotional offerering free products, services, and false hopes. Keep skinny beautiful models on the magazines and TV so their husbands will believe that outward beauty is what's important, and they'll become dissatisfied with their wives. Keep their wives too tired to love their husbands at night. Give them headaches too! If they don't give their husbands the love they need, they will begin to look elsewhere. That will fragment their families quickly! Give them Santa Claus to distract them from teaching their children the real meaning of Christmas. Give them an Easter bunny so they won't even talk about His resurrection and power over sin and death. Even in their reactions, let them be excessive. Have them return from their recreation exhausted. Keep them too busy to go out in nature, and reflect on God's creation. Send them to amusement parks, sporting events, plays, concerts, and movies instead. Keep them busy, busy, busy! And when they meet for spiritual fellowship, leave with troubled consciences. Crowd their lives with so many good causes, they have no time to seek power from Jesus. Soon they will be working in their own strength sacrificing their health and family for the good of the cause. It will work! It will work! It was quite a plan. The demons went eagerly to their assignments causing Christians everywhere have little time fortheir God or their families, having no time to tell others about the power of Jesus to change lives."
I guess the question is has the devil been successful at his scheme? You be the judge! Does "busy" mean: Being Under Satan's Yoke

Holiday Eating Tips
1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the holiday spirit. in fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they are serving rum balls.

2. Drink as much eggnog as you can and quickly. It's rare. You can not find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going to turn into an eggnog-aholic or something. It's a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It's later than you think.

3. If something comes with gravy , use it. That's the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.

4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they are made with skim or whole milk. If its skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.

5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a holiday party is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it. Hello?

6. Under no circumstances should you excercise between now and New Year's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you will need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10 pound plate of food, and that vat of eggnog.

7. If you come across something really good at the buffet table, like frosted cookies in the shape and size of a steering wheel, position yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They're like a new pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you're never going to see them again.

8. Same for pies. Apple, Pumpkin, Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day?

9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. i mean, have some standards.

10. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention. Re-read tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner. Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways , chocolate in one hand, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!"