Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas Reflection

The Holy Spirit has really been working on me this Christmas season as I've been trying to navigate the holiday with two small children and a world that's focused on the trappings of Christmas instead of Christ Himself.  I've been worrying over if our Christmas is "Christ" enough and how we celebrate this or that.   And right in the middle of that the Holy Spirit quietly nudged me and said:

Christmas is every day - not just December 25th.  Christmas is how I live my life each and every day.  Am I living it looking toward our Savior and relying on Him for all of my needs?  Or am I seeking the fulfillment of those needs elsewhere?

This past year has been a slow, but steady transformation of looking to Christ each and every day.  My life is Christ and there is no difference between December 25th and December 26th - my thoughts, actions, and faith are still the same.

It doesn't matter how many nativity scenes I put up, or if I booted Santa from the house, or if I went to church 7 times that week, or made a cake and sang "Happy Birthday" to Jesus.  Doing is not living.  Living is every moment of every day - and I must live Christ each day.

I hope you all had a very blessed Christmas and pray for God's blessings for you for 2011.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Ho! Ho! Ho!

Oh hello bloggy world!  I've missed you.  Can we go random today?  Cause it's been too long.

1. This weekend we took our Christmas pictures for our card.  I've already been handing them out!  I still need to mail them to out of town folks...this may happen sometime before February if previous years trends hold true. Buying stamps is some how an obstacle for me...  I mean it shouldn't be.  It's as easy as going to HEB (where I go once a week ANYWAY) and saying (when they ASK me without prompting - Do you want ice or stamps?) "Yes, yes I would like stamps".  Why is this so hard??  My automatic reaction is always "NO, no ice or stamps, no!!!!"....

Here is our family shot:

Happy Holidays

2. I employed my own photography skills for our Christmas shots.  I have no money to pay a professional both to do the pictures AND print them.  And everyone's first question is: How did you get everyone to look at the camera??!!

Answer: During this "shoot" I took 140 shots of 4 poses and had 5 good quality, usable shots.  If you'd like to see the outtakes, just go to my flickr page.


3. Last week I successfully transitioned Corbin out of the high chair!  He now eats at the table like a big boy.  We are officially done with high chairs and boosters.  Woohoo!  They are also both drinking out of regular cups at mealtimes, although we keep the sippy cups for carrying around the house.  I'm a big believer in offering mostly water for our boys and I want to make sure they have access to it whenever they want so they get enough in each day.

4. I turned 30 a couple weeks ago.  Yes, the big 3-0.  I'm liking 30 so far.  I think the 30s will be my best decade yet.  Although, everyone still thinks I'm like 24 or younger, so I guess I can pretend I'm younger whenever I'm in the mood too.  This has proved interesting now that I'm moving into the children ministry director role at church and people look at me're kidding me?  You're the team lead?  You probably don't even have kids.  How old are you?  Like 21?

NO PEOPLE, I'M THIRTY!!  I have two kids.  I've been married for 10 years!  I'm a college graduate.  I got skillz people, I swear.  I should get a t-shirt to advertise...

5. I've discovered my blogging time is in direct proportion to my camera time.  In other words, if I'm not taking pictures, I'm not blogging.  Lately, most photos have been from my phone which generally head straight to facebook and aren't blogged.  So I need to get my "big" camera out a bit more apparently.

6. I've made progress on Advent celebrations from previous years.  So there was 3 years ago, where I didn't celebrate Advent at all.  Then there was last year, where I bought a book with ideas for celebrating Advent, but did nothing.  And now we move into this year.  This year, I made an advent wreath with candles and we've (so far) done ONE advent devotional as a family...which went, well, as you might expect with a 2 and 4 year old.

In my mind, it should have looked something like this:

In the holy glow of candlelight - Children listening intently as Daddy reads advent passages from the Bible.  Hayden talking about the nights "discussion" (which was about babies - in reference to Jesus birth) and enjoying looking at his old baby pictures.  And then a family communion with the bread I had made, etc.

The reality:

The ominous glow of candlelight as Hayden "eyes" it like a pyro needing a fire fix.  Corbin banging on his tray for MORE BREAD and throwing his sippy cup.  Hayden offended that he was EVER a baby and NOT wanting to look at baby pictures - not even getting to the point about Jesus being a baby, etc.  "Hayden is a big boy, not a baby!!!" - Hayden.  Hayden fidgeting in his seat and interrupting every two words while Mark tries to make it through the readings in one piece.  As we talk about Jesus birth and the meaning of Christmas, Hayden screaming out - "CHRISTMAS IS ABOUT SANTA!! JESUS IS IN THE BIBLE".   Me yelling - "SIT DOWN!! DON'T TOUCH THE CANDLE.  CHRISTMAS IS ABOUT JESUS!!!".

Yeah, so that pretty much exceeded expectations right?  Merry Christmas.

7. For those that want to enjoy something truly beautiful - come hang out with us at The Oasis (5pm I think) for a Christmas Eve service our church does every year.  A great meal with some of my favorite people and then a wonderful service to celebrate Christ!  We'll be the ones in the back with the wiggly kids screaming "Jesus is in the Bible!"