Dec 31, 2009

Reflections, Lessons, and Purpose

January of 2009 marked one year since God led me to quit a job that I had held for 11 years. I had been asking Him for several years if He would allow me a way to stay home and the the time came when I felt Him impressing on me that it was time. As a matter of fact, He impressed in my heart that it was His perfect time. He had prevented it one month earlier, and then would not allow me to hold off even one more week when it was time. Somehow I felt that if I did not take this step on my own, trusting in Him, that He would bring it about anyway in a manner that would not be as pleasant for me. So without any other income lined up, I stepped out into His unseen hand. I emphasize that I only did this because I was fully confident that He was telling me to.

He has provided a variety of ways for me to earn an income in the last two years and has shown me what He designed me to do, the thing I love the most, Graphic Design. I found that I kept looking for and waiting on the big miracle as Terri Tiffany said in her post "A Special Kind of Miracle", but I have learned that the miracle is in His day to day provision like the Israelites experienced when He provided manna in the wilderness. I have experienced so much more freedom as I have learned to become more dependent on Him. I am learning to trust that He is still holding me in His hand and will not let go. My part is to move forward when He says "Go" and stay put when He says "Stop" in the same way that He led the Israelites out of their bondage in Egypt, He has led me and is still leading me to the land that flows with milk and honey.

In April of 2009 God led me to form the Arlington Tea Party to protest the taxation and oppression that was forming in this nation. This was not something I had ever done before and I didn't have a clue how to get started. I was amazed when over 2000 people came out to the protest. Even though this was a political event, my heart was to encourage God's People to rise up our of complacency and apathy and begin to take a stand for Christ and His ways in this nation.

In July I had the opportunity to create a float with the team members of the Arlington Tea Party for the 4th of July Parade here in Arlington, and we won 1st place in the amature catagory. This was another first for me and something that I found I greatly enjoyed.

I have been seeking God's will for the last three years about whether I should look for a different church home and God led me to make a move in November. Everything about this church is perfect for the girls and me and I didn't have to go church hopping to find it. God arranged for me to find this church through their website which provides detailed information about everything including, beliefs, event and class details, and sermon videos. I was able to visit the church during the week and get a tour and the children's ministry director spent two hours with me telling me all about the programs and lessons offered for the kids.

The girls are able to be more involved in church activities now and they are growing more in the knowledge of Christ. It is only ten minutes from my home and located exactly halfway between my house and the girls, and on the route I take to get to their house. This is the first time I have ever felt led to formally place membership at any church which I did after my 4th visit.

This has been a year of new experiences, and of gaining knowledge and skill in areas that I have never been involved in before. In the last few months God has given me a stronger desire to encourage Christians to "come out from among unbelievers, and separate yourselves from them" as it says in 2 Corinthians 6:17. I can no longer sit idly by while unbelievers turn this nation into a secular nation. I don't know exactly what God has in store for me in 2010 but I have a strong sense that all of the events of this year have been to prepare me for the next step.

Is God calling you to step out into unknown territory for His Kingdom, for His Purpose, for His Glory? I encourage you to step off the cliff into His unseen hand in 2010.

Rich Blessings on you and yours for the new year!

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"A girl needs to be so lost in God, that the guy is going to have to seek HIM to find her!" ...Maya Angelou

Dec 26, 2009

Project 365 - December 27, 2009

This is our last Project 365 of the year. Thank you so much Sara for hosting this all year. I'm looking forward to doing this in 2010! If you didn't participate in this in 2009, you are invited to join us in 2010. This is such a fun and meaningful meme.

Sara decided to have a contest for to design a new Project 365 button and said to post it with today's Project 365 so I did. That's it above. I used photos from a few of the bloggers who participated this year, mostly from Sara's posts since she is our wonderful hostess. If you see one of your pictures in there and you want me to remove it please let me know.

Monday - Word Girl and I did a little baking/candy making. She is preparing the cups that will hold the Peanut Butter Fudge. This is a "fight over" kinda food in our house. :D

Tuesday - I found this after Word Girl went home today. It says ...
"Need Info Fast?! Check the Information Station Now!!!!!"
(picture of box of peanut butter fudge and a brochure)
"Get a free box of PB Fudge with every purchase!"
Hahaha! I can't wait til she grows up and goes into marketing. I need a good marketing manager!

Wednesday - Remember *The Pinkster* that I made for Angela's son? Well his little sister wanted one so meet Rosey.

Thursday - Snow!

Friday - Celebrating the Birth

Saturday - I got "The Nativity Story" for Christmas. This is the first time I have seen it and I loved it! It was put together so well, realistic, and very biblical. I was so humbled by the faith and courage that Mary and Joseph had to have had in those circumstances, and so acutely aware of my own fears and lack of faith. That's just one of many observations I had from watching this.

Rich blessings to you for 2010!

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"A girl needs to be so lost in God, that the guy is going to have to seek HIM to find her!" ...Maya Angelou

Christmas Day Photos

Hello bloggy friends! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! Thought I would share a few pictures here.

The girls are acting out the story of Christ's birth with this kids nativity set as I read it. I told them one year we would have them dress in costume and act it out that way. They liked that idea. I think we need a bigger family.

The girls just put their gifts in Jesus' Birthday Cake Box and now they are putting the candles on the cake.

Instead of singing Happy Birthday we sing one of our favorite Christmas songs "Do You See What I See". Here we were singing the part that says "Said the King to the people everywhere..." and they decided to do a little more play acting.

Gift giving had to begin with Tobi. She wouldn't have it any other way. For those of you who don't know, on Tobi's first Christmas she watched as everyone opened their presents and the next thing we knew she was running around ripping up the paper that we had taken off our Christmas gifts. She thought it was great fun and still does. When she got her own Christmas gift she knew what to do and was even more delighted to find a prize inside all that paper. She gets several gifts every year and usually knows which ones are hers when they are under the tree, but she never touches any of them until I tell her it's time. One of these days I have to get this on video. It's really funny to watch.

The girls got an easy bake oven. Word Girl also got a sewing machine. Hmmm I must have been thinking domestic. LOL!

That's it for today. Come back tomorrow for my Project 365 photos of the week. :)

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"A girl needs to be so lost in God, that the guy is going to have to seek HIM to find her!" ...Maya Angelou

Dec 24, 2009

White Christmas! :D

We have SNOW! 
Thank you Jesus! Happy Birthday!

Have a Most Blessed Christmas Bloggy Friends!

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"A girl needs to be so lost in God, that the guy is going to have to seek HIM to find her!" ...Maya Angelou

Dec 23, 2009

New Traditions

What are you doing in your home at Christmas that puts the focus on Jesus Christ? Is Jesus sharing the spotlight with something else or someone else?

Traditions are legacies that are passed down from generation to generation. Those traditions that are most strongly embraced in a family are most likely to be continued by the children and grand children and passed on to future generations. But as our children grow and get married, adjustments have to be made in consideration of the new spouse and extended family. Those traditions that had the least significance will likely be the ones lost. So from generation to generation your family traditions will change, but you can help determine the direction of those changes now by being intentional about choosing and creating your traditions. The more focus there is on Jesus in your celebration, the more likely that will carry into your future generations.

A number of years ago a close relative of mine passed away. She had three adult daughters, two of them Christians. At the funeral, as the pastor delivered the eulogy, I remember him saying that the one thing the girls remembered their mom for the most, was that she never stopped believing in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. This was what was held to be a most precious and valuable thing to this woman, and through her emphasis in her traditions, it is the legacy that is now being passed down to her grand children. What do you want to be remembered for and what kind of legacy do you want to leave for your family? I want to be remembered for always believing in (trusting in) Jesus Christ, not a fantasy.

When we evaluate and prioritize our traditions we setting a course for our future generations to follow. If you're looking for some new Christ centered traditions to start in your Christmas celebration, here are some ideas. Please share your own ideas as you leave a comment, and remember, Christ centered traditions can be fun as well as have meaning.
  1. Jesus birthday cake box - I took a paper mache box and decorated it to look like a birthday cake complete with battery operated candles. Several weeks before Christmas I begin prompting my grand daughters to think about what they want to give Jesus for His birthday. As the day draws near, they will make a little craft or card or something for Jesus. On Christmas day, before we open presents, they will place their gifts in the Jesus birthday cake box and each of them will *light* the candle and place it on the cake. When the box is full I will pass it on to one of the girls and make another one until they each have their own (along with their Jesus gifts) to use with their family's.

  2. Instead of the birthday cake box described above, you can substitute a box decorated like a gift box.

  3. Sarah at God's Not Finished with us Yet said she purchases balloons for each of her kids to release on Christmas day to fly to Jesus as a gift from them for His birthday.

  4. Gather the family together and read the Christmas story from the bible. Talk about the events, what it would have been like for those involved, and the impact it has made on each of your lives.

  5. While I read or tell the Christmas story, the kids act it out with a play nativity set. Before Christmas, I setup the nativity set on a low table where the kids can play with it when they come over. I have a rule that they can't take any of the pieces off of the table where it is setup. That way we don't lose pieces and they can still play with it.

  6. For each ornament on the Christmas tree, find a Scripture verse, print it on a tag, and attach it to the ornament. Choose scriptures that give meaning to the ornament.

  7. If you have a large family gathering, retell the Christmas story with a full cast of volunteers. Dress in costume and make it fun. Get the dog involved. Instead of reindeer antlers or a santa suit, dress him like one of the animals in the nativity.

  8. Find an open basket, a crate and materials that represent hay, something that looks similar such as colored yarn, raffia, strips of paper, etc.  Trim into small pieces if necessary.  Put the “hay” in a separate basket from the one that will be used as the manger.  Each time someone performs an act of selfless service for another, or goes above that which may be expected of them, they have the opportunity to place a piece of hay in the manger.  On Christmas Eve gather as a family to discuss feelings about all the wonderful things that have occurred through the duration of the practice, and place a baby doll representing Jesus into His manger.

  9. Fill your Christmas tree with handmade ornaments with the Names of Christ. Each year add ornaments with the Names that you don't already have.

  10. Every year have each member of the family make an ornament with one of the Names of Jesus. Gather together as a family and let each member tell the Name they chose and the reason why that Name was chosen. Make the ornaments a thank offering to God for the Gift of His precious Son.
We will not hide these truths from our children; we will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord, about his power and his mighty wonders. so the next generation might know them— even the children not yet born— and they in turn will teach their own children. Psalm 78:4,6

Have a most Blessed Christmas!

Join me at Titus 2 in Action today.

Titus 2 in Action

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"A girl needs to be so lost in God, that the guy is going to have to seek HIM to find her!" ...Maya Angelou

Dec 21, 2009

A Rich Gift From a Dear Friend

Yesterday I mentioned receiving a gift in the mail. It was a complete surprise and was from my good friend ADHD-Jo. If you don't know her, by all means go introduce yourself you are sure to be delighted. She's kind, thoughtful, witty, a blast to be around, and did I mention funny? Anyway, I thought I would share my gift with you today.
The package.

A peek inside.

A wrapped gift, a card, and lots of bubble wrap for the girls.

Tobi wanted to help unwrap it.

A Christmas ornament! How cute! It's a little chair with a gift sitting on it. You can't tell from the picture but the heart says "Special Friend" on it. I LOVE IT!

Thank you so much MY ADHD-Jo!

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"A girl needs to be so lost in God, that the guy is going to have to seek HIM to find her!" ...Maya Angelou

Dec 19, 2009

Project 365 - December 20, 2009

Project 365

This is almost our last Project 365 of the year. I have really enjoyed doing this. Sara has decided to host this again in 2010! Yay! Thanks Sara! I hope the rest of you will join us.

Now on to the pictures...

Monday - A gift from a Good Friend. More on this tomorrow.

Tuesday - Christmas shopping. Have I mentioned how much Tobi LOVES Christmas?

Wednesday - Wrapped gifts.

Thursday - Computer Girl's Birthday! Happy Birthday my little Sweet Potato! That is a cake baked in an ice cream cone and decorated to look like an ice cream cone. Don't worry, I baked more than one. ;)

Friday - The girls spent the night. Word Girl, the animal lover, is watching Animal Planet. Miss Personality, is making Christmas gifts. Computer Girl, is playing with the remote control truck (?) I got her for her birthday. She said it was awesome. LOL!

Saturday - Tobi got to open a present from my friend Angela. She is a happy dog!

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"A girl needs to be so lost in God, that the guy is going to have to seek HIM to find her!" ...Maya Angelou

Dec 17, 2009

Prayer Request Please

I received this prayer request from a very good friend of mine this morning.

"Could you please pray for my son R. He's on and off again girlfriend is pregnant and has an appointment early next week to have an abortion. He doesn't want this but feels he has no say. He was so broken last night."

 Would you please pray with me for her son, his girlfriend, and the baby? Please pray that she would not go through with the abortion and that God would work in both of their hearts to draw them to Himself. Thank you all!

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"A girl needs to be so lost in God, that the guy is going to have to seek HIM to find her!" ...Maya Angelou

Dec 16, 2009

Mary Did You Know...

The Baby... The Messiah... The Great I AM

Worship the King!

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"A girl needs to be so lost in God, that the guy is going to have to seek HIM to find her!" ...Maya Angelou

Dec 15, 2009

What's The Difference?

Celebration: Hanukkah also known as the Festival of Lights.
Significance: A Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.
Religious Practice: Jewish
Representation: The Menorah

Celebration: Ramadan
Significance: Islamic month of fasting, to teach the Muslim patience, modesty and spirituality.
Religious Practice: Muslim
Representation: The waxing crescent moon.

Celebration: Kwanzaa
Significance: A celebration held in the United States honoring African heritage and culture.
Religious Practice: Cultural, not religious.
Representation: A kinara

Celebration: christmas, also known as holiday.
Significance: A worldwide celebration that revolves around fantasy and focuses on an imaginary magical man that leaves presents under the christmas tree. The purpose is giving and receiving presents, to participate in the "magic of christmas", and to believe in Santa Claus and receive the "spirit of christmas".
Religious Practice: Cultural, secular, not religious, celebrated by people of many religions.
Representation: Santa Claus

Celebration: Christmas, a Holy Day.
Significance: A Christian celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, the Savior. The focus is the True gift and Wonder of God's love, salvation to all who believe in Jesus Christ, and the promise of the Holy Spirit.
Religious Practice: Christian, Followers of Christ.
Representation: Nativity or Manger scene representing the biblical account of the birth of Jesus Christ.

Much is said about keeping Christ in CHRISTmas but the fact of the matter is, we have been allowing and assisting in removing Christ from CHRISTmas for years by blending our CHRISTmas Holy Day with cultural, secular christmas holiday. Do you see the similarities of the last two celebrations above? They are separate celebrations but they have become so well blended that the differences are barely even noticed, and the push to finalize it is overwhelming now. Our culture (this world) doesn't celebrate Christmas the Holy Day, they celebrate christmas the holiday. When we blend with the culture, we are conforming.

   “...I will live in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they will be my people.  Therefore, come out from among unbelievers, and separate yourselves from them, says the Lord. Don’t touch their filthy things, and I will welcome you." 2 Corinthians 6:16-17

Whether on not we believe there is anything wrong with the cultural, secular "representation" of the celebration is irrelevant. The fact is, it does not represent the Birth of Jesus Christ, it does represent the cultural view of the christmas celebration. It is not our Light.

How will anyone know that you look favorably on me—on me and on your people—if you don’t go with us? For your presence among us sets your people and me apart from all other people on the earth. Exodus 33:16 (emphasis mine)

So set yourselves apart to be holy, for I am the Lord your God. Leviticus 20:7

You must be holy because I, the Lord, am holy. I have set you apart from all other people to be my very own. Leviticus 20:26

You have been set apart as holy to the Lord your God, and he has chosen you from all the nations of the earth to be his own special treasure. Deuteronomy 14:2

Free Scripture Tags & Focus on Christ Awareness Ribbon at Rich Gifts Graphics & Blog Design for Christian Ministry

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"A girl needs to be so lost in God, that the guy is going to have to seek HIM to find her!" ...Maya Angelou

Dec 14, 2009

Call it Christmas

Recently I was having an email discussion with another bloggy friend and in one of her emails she mentioned that she had written a post about "Keeping Christ in Christmas" and someone had left a comment that she wasn't quite sure how to respond to and asked for my thoughts. I read the comment, prayed about it, and asked her permission to respond in her comments section, which she granted.

From this comment my impression of this commenter was that she was a thinker and didn't base her views on feeling but put thought into why she held the views that she held. I also deduced that if she put this much effort into researching it out, there was a chance that she was sincerely looking for the truth of the matter. I visited her blog and confirmed that she was a deep thinker and I also discovered that she was not a Christian. I asked God to give me the words as I was writing the response.

Here is the comment.

Forgive me for being blunt, but if we're going to discuss the true meaning of Christmas, it doesn't necessarily trace back to remembrance of Jesus Christ, either.

Simply put, no one knows the day that Christ was born - from biblical descriptions historians are led to believe that he may have been born sometime in September (approximately 6 months after passover).

Why do people celebrate his birthday has having been December 25th? The answer lies in the fact that the origins of Christmas came from several pagan celebrations that occurred at this time.

Babylonians participated in the Feast of the Son of Isis on Dec. 25th, while Romans celebrated the Winter Solstice (complete with performers who traveled house to house entertaining neighbors - this is the origin of caroling) December through January. In Northern Europe many other traditions that are now considered part of Christian worship were begun long before the participants ever even heard of Christ.

In the year 350, Pope Julius I declared that Christ's birthday would be celebrated on December 25th. Essentially it would make converting pagans to Christianity easier because at least then their feasts and celebrations would not be taken from them. Essentially, the Christmas we celebrate now was good strategizing on behalf of someone who wanted to gain more followers for his religion.

Why, then, would it be a bad thing for the Christmas season to become inclusive of other holidays (Ramadan, Kwanzaa, etc.) when the origins of Christmas itself were to more or less market Christ at around the same time that other festivities were taking place?

What exactly is wrong with saying "Happy Holidays" to include all the possible celebrations people may be participating in? The United States may proclaim itself to mainly be a Christian country, but Christianity is by no means the only religion here - so why is it fair, then, to act as though yours is the only celebration that should be observed?

I'm honestly just curious and hope that I haven't presented myself in a disrespectful or inflammatory way.


My prayerful response.

Dear XXX - You are correct that we don't know the exact day that Christ was born. But does that mean we shouldn't celebrate His birth? Not at all. I have known people who did not know the day they were born so a day was chosen to celebrate their birth each year. They call it their birthday. The date is inconsequential. It's the celebration that is important. It's the celebration of a person. No matter how the date was chosen it's still the celebration of that person's birth and all that they mean to us. How much more would we hold that celebration dear when it is the Birth of Christ. The One and only True God. The Only God who Loves us so much that He chose to be born of a woman and take on the flesh of man so that He could save us from the consequences of sin. CHRISTmas is about the celebration of Christ's birth. That is why is it is called CHRISTmas.

When muslims celebrate Ramadan they don't call it Christmas and they don't say Happy Holidays. When Jews celebrate Hanukkah they don't say Happy Holidays, they say Happy Hanukkah. When Africans celebrate Kwanzaa they don't say Happy Holidays, they say Happy Kwanzaa. The same is true of any celebration. If you are celebrating Christmas then you should say Merry Christmas. If you are celebrating something else then you should say what it is. Christians aren't telling others not to call their celebrations what they are. We only want to keep our celebration what it is and we only ask for that same respect in return.

When a person is celebrating something it is for a reason. There is specific purpose and meaning in it. It is not just a generic day to go have fun for whatever reason you want. Celebrations are by their very nature focused on something. When you celebrate your children's birthdays, are you not celebrating their very lives? Would you want other people who don't know and love your child to tell you that you can't make it about him or her because that isn't inclusive? No, you would not and you should not. That would simply turn it into just another day and NOT the celebration of your child's birth. If we are going to respect all peoples celebrations then we should truly respect ALL of them and call them what they are.

There is so much more I could say but I will end here. I sincerely appreciate that you asked and expressed your views. My relationship with Christ began by my asking God to show me if He was real and by explaining my perspective to Him (as if He didn't already know). He didn't take offense, He answered because He LOVES HIS CREATION. I hope that you know that my answer is also not meant to offend, only to give an answer for what you are asking. I truly hope that you will also choose to take your questions to God and seek out His Truth in all matters.


I left a nice comment on this person's blog and let her know that I had responded to her question. I don't know if she ever read the response because she did not reply. But likely she did read it, it's human nature to wonder, and seeds of thought were planted in her mind. The results are in God's hands. It is His job to tend to the seeds, it is ours to plant them.

The reason that I'm posting this is because this is one portion of the culture that we need to change, the removal of Christ from Christmas. Please notice that in my response I did not dispute any of her well researched points. Whether or not they are true is irrelevant. My purpose was to show that Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ and that means everything to Christians. If we take Christ out of Christmas then you might as well call it something else because it is something else.

Now look back at my last two posts about where the culture change begins. It begins with Christians. I will discuss this more in an upcoming post.

"if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14 (emphasis mine)

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"A girl needs to be so lost in God, that the guy is going to have to seek HIM to find her!" ...Maya Angelou

Dec 13, 2009

Project 365 - December 13, 2009

Project 365

I'm a bit late in posting this today but Project 365 is here again! Click on the button to join Sara and the other participants. Here we go!

Sunday - Prepared Christmas cards for mailing. I still don't have them all out yet but will by tomorrow.

Monday - Check out this cloud cover. It formed a huge circle around the area I live in.

Tuesday - Decorated the Christmas tree.

Wednesday - A little more decorating. This is a hurricane lamp. I tried to get a picture with the candle burning but it didn't turn out.

Thursday - I'm sharing three pictures because it's Miss Personality's birthday. Happy Birthday my little M&M!



Friday - I have a glass top coffee table. I seriously don't like glass top tables. I cleaned the top of the table but the light shining through the window revealed this from the underside. In the words of one of my favorite Christmas songs... "Do you see what I see?" I was actually glad to capture it in a picture.

Saturday - Need I say more?

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"A girl needs to be so lost in God, that the guy is going to have to seek HIM to find her!" ...Maya Angelou