Tuesday, December 27, 2005

And a great time was had by all!

I love reading small town newspapers! The articles always seem to end with the line contained in this title - I just LOVE it when 'a great time was had by all' - and that describes our family's Christmas of '05! This was our year to be together on December 24-25 to celebrate! Great delight! My parents were here and all the kids! My sister and her family came over for Sunday! We all worshipped together Sunday morning - except poor Jenny who got really sick the night before - boohoo!
This time of year always brings on times of reflection -- so I want to share one of my 'ah-ha' moments with you.
When it finally struck me Christmas was on a Sunday, I moaned out loud. What a crimp it would be to have to rearrange the opening of gifts and the 'big meal' to go to church. (When your husband is the preacher, I felt it would be totally inappropriatae to .. well, you know, just not show up!) I was excited when the announcement was made that we weren't having class. But then the reflection began - is there any place I would rather be to celebrate the Lord's birth than with my family.
This last year has stirred in me a much deeper appreciation for God's idea of 'church family'. You know I have always loved it but now I really, really take delight in it. I am so grateful! So ... it was a perfect year for Christmas to be on a Sunday! So with my physical family surrounding me, I also spent a little time hugging on and laughing with my church family.
I wish Christmas always came on Sunday! The highlight: spending time worshipping the One I love with the people I hold DEAR!
Thank You, Father, for the joy of Your Son. Thank You for binding me with together with others who adore You and claim You as Lord! Thank You for the gift of Sunday; the gift of communion with You and a family; the gift of Your perfect Son - our Lamb, Whose blood links us as blood relatives! Thank You, Father, for my family!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

A Christmas Tag for fun and A Christmas Thought for Real!

Here is a Christmas Tag game my daughter had on her blog and I thought it would be fun to add to mine!
1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Hot Chocolate
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Rick wraps each gift more meticulously than you can even imagine but the gifts Santa leaves hie gifts unwrapped.That's the way we know which gifts he brings on his sleigh and which ones are from us!
3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? Absolutely WHITE which my son-in-law puts up beautifully! (He does the colored ones too but just wanted to give hime a little advertisement for a little business he helps Rusty with during the holidays!)
4. Do you hang mistletoe? No, but I think I will for next year - with a timer!
5. When do you put your decorations up? As soon as possible after Thanksgiving!
6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? Any thing Mexican - oh yeah, that is my favorite all year too!
7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child? waking up to see what Santa brought!
8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? We never discussed it! I have no idea when or how! I was afraid if I admitted anything he would stop coming!
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? As a child, we always opened everything on Christmas Eve and then Santa came Christmas morning but...that's not how Rick's family did it. So, of course, being the ever-submissive wife that I am, we switched and I love the switch! But...this year, we are switching back to eve just because Christmas is on Sunday!
10. What kind of cookies does Santa get set out for him? Usually sugar but we always leave candies too.
11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? LOVE IT
12. Can you ice skate? I tried it once but my friends had to come get me (instead of just skate around me laughing, when the 'big machine' was wanting to clean and smooth the ice - the 'big machine' got tired of waiting on me to move out of the way.
13. Do you remember your favorite gift? Christmas is full of favorites!
14. What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you? Being with my family and taking great delight that we all love the One that we celebrate!
15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? Fudges, candies, etc.
16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Gettting all the lists together; shopping with Jenny and Rick; going to James Avery; buying ornaments; cooking candies
17. What tops your tree? a star
18. Which do you prefer Giving or Receiving? for sure giving
19. What is your favorite Christmas Carol? O Holy Night; MWS's Gloria; Mary Did You Know
20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum? They are ok.

Feel free to join the fun! All you do is Copy and Paste; then change the answers!

Just a thought for real! Yesterday, we met Rick's brother in Waco (he's from Florida and we haven't seen him in forever!) We had a great time! At the table next to us was an older group - as one of the men was leaving, he turned to Malaya and said, "Merry Christmas, honey, none of this 'Happy Holiday' stuff for me!" I said, "Merry Christmas to you too! We believe in Jesus too!"

I have to tell you - I am not one bit sad about the rest of the world changing up their terminology about December 25. I am great with Target or whoever else saying "happy holidays". Whether they say 'Merry Christmas' or not does not mean they love Him or that they choose to serve Him. In my little opinion, Christians must stop fighting for what we want the world to say and concentrate our energy on radiating His Light! Radiating Him - to show that the love of the Lord is the only way out of darkness. A Christian's anger or sarcastic tone is not a light but a great big squelcher to getting out the news that Christ loves us! I'm afraid sometimes people run from Christ because they don't want to develop the spirit of some Christians! May we dedicate ourselves to radiating His love and show people how to really celebrate our risen Lord!

So Merry Christmas, sweet friends, and may these words be the distinguishing mark for believers!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Anna was baptized!

In February, the Decatur Church of Christ invited me to speak at a community ladies' day as a fund raiser for WARM (Wise Area Relief Mission) - that was before they were considering Rick and before he was considering coming here. The WARM representative leading the day was a precious woman, Anna. We really hit it off - I was so impressed with her heart for the poor.
When Decatur called us to consider the preaching job, my fire was so lit to get to know Anna better. I told several people that I was attracted not only to the church family but also to the community.
When I started teaching the Wednesday night ladies' Bible class in September, Anna came! She and Jerry have been coming on Sundays and Wednesdays for a while. We have been so blessed by having them! She even came to our retreat! Two Sundays ago, I began teasing them - when the visitors were asked to stay seated, they stood! They invited us over, along with Jeff and Kelly Jones, to study with them Sunday night. They both have such a heart to know Jesus! Yeah, I didn't make a mistake with the wording - they invited us to study! They fed us royally and we discussed the Lord. Rick left several verses on baptism. Anna is a student! The Jones' went back over Monday night to answer more questions. Tuesday, Kelly called with the news! Anna woke up Tuesday morning wanting to be baptized into the Lord Jesus! Tuesday night, at the Isham's hot tub, Jeff Jones did the honors! ( We love our friends, Jeff and Kelly. What a blessing to share life with them!)
Anna, we love you! and cannot wait to witness how the Lord will use you and mold you in days to come! Welcome to our church family! Welcome to the journey!
I love this church! I love this community!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

A Gift!

I started out for work this morning after listening to the weather report but didn't get far into my trip. A few - a very few - miles out of town it started to sprinkle a little - not a big deal - turn on the old reliable wipers - but they were not working right. Aren't they made to take ice off too?!?!?! The 'rain' was freezing! A rare sight for this little Texas girl. I pulled over for a minute to let my defroster do its thing. But the second time it happened I decided to head for the warmth of my home. My heart began to race - I am soooo excited. I few phone calls with clients to cancel our appointments - then - let the fun begin! I can undo the last of the boxes today! I am cooking for the second time in my new house! Chili, of course. (Yes, I know I have lived here over a month - but...)
Today, I want to have some time catch up but I also want to spend some time with my 'honey'! When I walked in the door last Thursday night from a late night in the office - about 10 - Rick was sitting in his chair watching tv, looking very sad. I kissed him and went to get my supper - I realized he had eaten 1/2 of his supper, waiting for me to finish. He said, "You know, we bought this house so we could enjoy it together. Instead, I am enjoying it all alone."
I realized right then that I have been working way too many late nights. I have been way too busy! It hit me like a ton of bricks. I spend a lot of time in my life helping people understand how to nurture their marriage relationships. I refuse to neglect mine! This was such a wake up call for me!
I am grateful for the gift of today that I can spend time with Rick. I love you, honey, and want to be a very present wife! It really is the desire of my heart.! I love you!

Friday, December 02, 2005

A Mother's Heart

I had a sign that once was taped on my fridge that read, "making the decision to have a child is like making the decision to forever have your heart go walking around outside your body." What do you think? There is something about that mother-child bond that I don't have the verbal skills to say any better than that!
Yesterday, my daughter wrote a blog that has touched many. When she was little and hurt, I had so many choices of ways to make her feel better. She loved to sing, she loved to cuddle, she loved a good snack, she loved to go visiting or have a friend over. But now she is a beautiful young woman - and it not a skinned knee anymore, it is a hurting heart! And I can't 'fix it'! and her dad and I are so frustrated that we can't take away our little girl's hurt!
Please check it out: www.kindermommy.blogspot.com.
Please join our family in praying! Jenny and David are raising our precious Malaya to love the Lord and we all anticipate the day she professes Him as her Lord! We would be delighted for more children to come into their home to join us in bringing praise to the One we serve!

Father God, Giver of all that is good! I have been praising Your name since my head was still on my pillow this morning. I love You and I am learning to trust You! Your history with our family has been rich! Please, Father, please bless Jenny and David with another baby. Please, God, fill her womb with life. We choose to continue to love You no matter what; we choose to worship You no matter what; we will continue to praise Your Name because You are worthy. We know that You are the One we need, that You hold the miracle. Please, Lord, touch us with it! Holy Spirit, thank You, that You will clean up this prayer and make my groanings understandable to the Lord! See me heart, Oh Father - hear the words of my heart!
In the blessed name of Jesus, Amen and amen.