I had a couple minutes today to just look back at 2009. The internet has sure made it easy to put your heart out for all to see. Between my blog and facebook I am flooded with entries of God at work in my everyday circumstances. Someone special to me made a collection of all the posts I have made on this blog and I was just so touched (again) at how alive and real my Sweet Savior has been in my life this year. There have been times in my life that I just coasted....just went through life....went through the motions-and honestly, felt content. And then there have been times where God has just worked on my heart and I see fruits of Him in my daily, ordinary, mundane circumstances and it just excites me.
My challenge for 2009 is for God to prune me even more. I really want the evidence of the fruits of the spirit in the everyday moments of life.
Lord, I would not even know where to start. Thank you for your grace. Thank you for your mercy that I am so undeserving of. Thank you for the plan that you have for me. Thank you for blessing me with a loving husband that works so hard to provide and lead our household. Thank you for bringing such joy and laughter into my life with my sweet snuggle bug. Thank you for the legacy that our families have set before us to chase after you and to fight for our not only for our relationship with You, but our relationship with each other. Thank you for surrounding us with friends that hold us accountable to Your word. Thank you for giving some really good best girlfriends this year; tears are running down my face as I think of what a blesssing they are to me.
I pray that you continue to "strip away" anything that is not of You. My Ebenezer (1 Samuel 7) this year of all you have done was so eloquently displayed by the words and thoughts you have birthed within me. Thank you for the gift of Your Son and that my life is forever changed by the change You have made in my heart.
Chris and I have the amazing opportunity to serve as facilitators of a small group at our church. This past Sunday we had our COM Christmas party. I laughed so hard I cried...these guys are a hoot! I just love the picture of the boys..they tried to make it look like 5th grade school pictures. Isn't it just so much fun to have friends!
In reading Luke this week to prepare my heart for the celebration of our Savior's birth, I skipped over to chapter 5 and was reminded of the parable of the paralyzed man. I just began to thank God for sending such wonderful friends in our life.
Sometimes I am that paralyzed man-going through something I can't get through on my own and someone comes along, picks me up, and leads me to Jesus. And then sometimes I am the friend-I am the encourager that lifts others up. What a blessing to have a friend. We talk a lot in our group how that we are more than just a small group...we are a group that "does life" together. Thankful today for the blessing of calling you friend.
As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend. Proverbs 27: 17
I have really been searching this year for ways our family can "Be Still" during this busy season long enough to remember why we celebrate Christmas. I have been already been buying ornaments for us to have a Jesse Tree next year.
The Jesse Tree is named from Isaiah 11:1: "A shoot will spring forth from the stump of Jesse, and a branch out of his roots." It is a vehicle to tell the Story of God in the Old Testament, and to connect the Christmas Season with the faithfulness of God across 4,000 years of history.
I can't wait to see how taking the 25 days before Christmas to really piece together the faithfulness, love, and saving grace of our Lord and King will do to our time of remembrance. The basic premise of a Jesse tree is to buy a small separate tree and have a scripture reading each night that accompanies a special ornament to place on the tree.
We are also going to start a Penny Jar tradition. I bought the sweetest children's book called Penny's Christmas Jar Miracle.
Each year after Christmas, our family will decorate a jar that we will use all year to drop change (pennies and such) in. Then, the following Christmas Eve, we will give the jar to a needy family. I can not think of a better way to keep us grounded then to give back what God has blessed us with.
I would love to hear any neat traditions you have or are starting with your family.....
We got out the too cute story of Christopher Pop-In-Kins. Such a cute story to share. We have also been playing with our nativity set that Grammy Bledsoe got us. Last night Kailtyn told me Baby Jesus was sleeping and for me to "shhh!" So excited to share this wonderful season with my sweet Baby K.
In church today we were reminded to have grateful hearts...not just during this season of Thanksgiving...but at all times. My prayer is to not take a single day for granted. I have so enjoyed these past few days of enjoying my family, especially my little snuggle buddy!
I want to be the woman who's husband trusts her, who does him good and not harm all the days of her life, who works with willing hands, who rises before everyone else to take care of needs like clothing and food, a woman who dresses herself with strength physically and spiritually, one who works until the work is done, the one who keeps things steady, who helps the needy, who makes herself appealing for her husband, one who is proud of her husband and lets people know it, who has much dignity, one who overflows with wisdom and has a kind tongue, one who is not lazy, a woman who's children call her blessed and her husband praises her, one who remembers that charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised!(Proverbs 31:10-31)