Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Stationery card

Flourishing New Year New Year's Card
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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas 2011

Merry Christmas from our family.
Most years by this time, Christmas cards have been addressed and letter written.  This is not one of those years.
But that's okay.
The plan is a New Year's card.  We'll see if that happens.

Until then, Merry Christmas from our family.  Make every day count and let the people you care for know how much you love and appreciate them.

Monday, December 19, 2011


Digging brownie bites out of the pan.  WHY are they sticking?  After making this recipe for years...hundreds of times...why now?  Piece together what I can to provide some sort of chocolate and cream cheese nourishment to the staff at the middle school as part of the parent thank you lunch for the staff.  They NEED their chocolate and cream cheese.  Darn store brand non-stick spray.  See if I ever use you again.  And WHY did I not just buy something?  I'm a working mom.  There's an excuse.  No.  Must be able to do it.  ALL.

Digging brownie bites out of the pan.  Picture in my mind last Wednesday night: Kate Reddy* masked desserts purchased from the grocery.  I could do that.  Buy them and make them look homemade?  The next day go to store to buy different nonstick spray.  Pass through the bakery section and see the store version of my homemade wonder...grrr.  Resist buying them. Next batch, for the elementary staff, turned out much nicer.  And the batch for the get together with friends.  And the batch for the 3rd grade party three days later.

And homemade teacher gifts?  Yes, time is plentiful here apparently.  They got done and delivered today.  Amazing, incredible teachers deserve some sacrifice from parents sometimes. And face it...they deserve much more than that!

Do those details matter?  To the people affected, lets hope.  To my kids, yes...they enjoy saying they had a part in creating something for their teachers that they hope their teachers will appreciate and enjoy.

But at the same time all of this is going on...
My sister celebrated a birthday...and has a beautiful, 9 year old, non-verbal, autistic son who we pray daily will talk.
Carlos, Sarah's friend whose family was in a horrible car accident earlier in the month, buried his little brother and welcomed his mom home from the hospital.
A friend said goodbye to her Daddy.  The same day my Daddy would have turned 73.
Another friend celebrated her daughter's 10th birthday.  But her beautiful, bright-eyed, sassy-but-sweet daughter is in heaven and is desperately missed here on Earth.
An old friend is caring for her infant daughter going through chemotherapy.
And we know what the man of this house is dealing with...every day.

Where's the hope in that?  Why are my simple frustrations getting to me so when so many around me are dealing with so much more?

The hope, (thank the Lord!) came over 2000 years ago, wrapped up in a baby boy.  So glad I know that.  So glad to be celebrating His hope this season.  Even if we get stuck along the way.

*One of the books on the reading list that was actually completed this year: "I Don't Know How She Does It" by Allison Pearson.  It was becoming a movie, the title was oh so catching, it had to be read.  (A good book.  Not exactly what I was expecting, but true to life, and the movie didn't get good reviews, so it can wait until Netflix.)  The heroine?  Kate Reddy.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Great Expectations

Expectations come in all shapes and sizes, from many different sources.  Some are happy, some anxiety-ridden, some heavy, some light, some temporary, others final. 

For instance, expecting a baby.  Waiting weeks and months to wonder what the baby will look like, how big they will be, and what their cry will sound like.  Those were happy, yet for the NICU nurse in me, anxiety-filled months of expectation.

Expectations from work.  Tasks to be done and completed to the best of your ability.  As we are growing up, expectations from parents and teachers to fulfill our responsibilities in our daily activities, behavior, and actions.

This weekend I watched my now 9-year-old's expectations of her birthday celebrations play out.  And if you know Sarah, you know she is sweeter than Blue Bell, and lets every emotion show on her face as they come to her heart.  Everything was going absolutely perfect until a boy she expected to come to her birthday celebration did not make it.  She had a terrific, super fun time with her friends there...there's no doubt about it...but she was let down in  her expectation of this kiddo's arrival.  (Trust me, she made it a point to find out why on Monday at school)  :)

It's human, I believe, to become disappointed when things don't live up to our expectations.  Why, some of us will even admit that the personal expectations we put on ourselves are the hardest to overcome (even yours truly).

Christmas time is full of expectation! The world is rejoicing in the birth of our Savior, and we are expectant  of His return...similar to how Mary and Joseph were expecting His arrival thousands of years ago.  Can you imagine?  Looking at your newborn, feeling the thrill, excitement, and wonder of what God has planned for you and this baby.  Feeling the expectation God has for you as you mother His child?

Let's face it, I'll admit that I have some expectations for God, Himself.   And I KNOW that my problems are minor compared to others in this world...I am not trying at all to magnify anything my family is dealing with....just sharing.  Anyway, I am expecting...anticipating...complete healing for my husband.  And to add to the expectation...I want it on this side of heaven.  I am expecting Him to heal Chad completely....but I want it on my own terms.  That's not what we are promised, though.  We are promised in His Word that He will take care of us.  He will provide and care for us...never leave us.  And that's what I will cling to.

There is an ornament that was given to me by one of my sisters 12 years ago, the year I was expecting Seth.  Now it means something completely different to us.  We are still expecting a miracle.
"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever, Amen!"--Ephesians 3:20