My mother always taught me‚Ķ

My laundry room needs a makeover - maybe at the new house ūüôā

Growing up I was always taught that the New Year should not find me with any unfinished laundry. Now that I have my own home and family, I’m teaching them the same thing. So this morning I am finishing up all my laundry. I started yesterday washing bed linens, chair covers and floor mats. Today I’m washing the kid’s clothes, deep cleaning the carpets, washing the floors and putting away all the Christmas decorations (the most tedious will be taking down our Christmas tree and wrapping all the ornaments individually! Yikes!). Oh and clothes to fold, yeah I’m super busy.

This is good for my family because January 1st starts the Month of Consecration at my local Church and I like to go into this time of prayer and fasting knowing that my house is clean. I know that‚Äôs weird, but the old adage that says ‚Äúcleanliness is next to godliness‚ÄĚ is one of my favorites.

I’m sure you’re busy bringing in the New Year however you do. Stop by tomorrow to see how I feel about resolutions. Happy New Year when it comes and guess what! Tomorrow is my birthday!

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Christ Is Born!

                                                                       
I would like to wish you a Merry Christmas from my family to yours. My prayer  is that we will really KNOW the savior who’s birth we celebrate today, and UNDERSTAND the reason He was born in that stable so many years ago. It was all for me, all for you, all for our children, and our children’s children. He loved us while we were yet sinners, He came to earth when there was no righteousness in us.
 
As we give gifts to our friends and loved ones this wonderful Christmas day, let us not forget to give our hearts to Him. ‚ÄúThen Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.‚ÄĚ ¬†(Acts 2:38)¬†¬†¬†

O holy night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of our dear Saviour’s birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Til He appear’d and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! O hear the angels’ voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born;
O night divine, O night, O night Divine.
Led by the light of Faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming,
Here come the wise men from Orient land.
The King of Kings lay thus in lowly manger;
In all our trials born to be our friend.
He knows our need, to our weakness is no stranger,
Behold your King! Before Him lowly bend!
Behold your King, Before Him lowly bend!
Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother;
And in His name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy name.
Christ is the Lord! O praise His Name forever,
His power and glory evermore proclaim.
His power and glory evermore proclaim.
 

A Little Christmas Craft…

For a few years now I’ve been looking for a nice Christmas¬†center piece for my dining room table. I couldn’t find anything that I liked, so I was inspired to make my own.

I had some dull brown candlesticks I purchased from Restoration Hardware, they were nice but they just blended into my dining room table which is also brown.  My dining chairs are black so when I saw this picture over at Imparting Grace: 

I was inspired to use my Design Master Flat Black spray paint (which I always have on hand because someone is always ordering a black hat) to spray my boring brown candle sticks black. I had some Garland which I purchased from The Dollar Store last year which I just wrapped around the base of the candle sticks (actually one is an urn I just add a candle to it as well).

Well it’s not as nice as the one from Imparting Grace, but it suits me just fine. Now I have a¬†Christmas center¬†piece that I’m really fond of¬†and it didn’t cost me a dime. So my search is over, if the Lord should tarry, I’ll continue to use this festive center piece¬†every Christmas.

Okay, what happened here?

I’m usually very good at doing craft projects, but even the dads did a better job than I did on these Gingerbread Houses.

It was fun though, for the first time EVER, I left Joel (my 9 month old son), with his very capable Ti-Ti (his auntie Farrah) at her house, then drove across town to my daughter‚Äôs school. Her class was having a Christmas breakfast and Gingerbread House building party. One parent was allowed and we were given strict orders by the teachers ‚Äúno siblings‚ÄĚ.

I guess I can understand, it was a rear treat to sit nicely and eat breakfast and have small talk with just my princess Lizzy, without the other boys around. I appreciated the time alone with her very much, I kissed her and hugged her and told her how pretty she was. She held my hand and carried me all around her classroom pointing out everything: her cubby, the play stations, her mailbox, etc. ‚Äď it was lots of fun. I thought I would miss Joel, but honestly, I didn‚Äôt think about him until it was time to go.

So, our Gingerbread House was like the worst in the class, some very nice parents gave sympathetic smiles and said things like ‚ÄúI like how the snow sits on the roof‚ÄĚ. But my¬†Lizzy loved it, I guess that‚Äôs all that matters; my daughter having a great time and feeling very pleased with the finished product. That we did, we had a great time.

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It was a beautiful evening…

It was a beautiful evening. The prayer, the laughter, the Christmas carols, the decorations and¬†the¬†fellowship¬†with the ladies. Our Ladies Ministry had an end of year social on Saturday night to say thank you to all the ladies who have contributed their time, energy and talents to the many offices in which the Ladies Ministry of ORAC serves. There is not much I like to do more¬†than spending time in the company of great women, learning from their experiences and heeding their council. As I looked around the room I saw many over comers: women who have survived the death of a husband, women who have been through major surgeries, women who have fallen ‚Äď and in spite of the tongue wagging they have suffered ‚Äď have refused to stay down and against all odds picked themselves up, and have grown to become role models, prayer warriors and counselors in the kingdom of God.

  

All ages and seasons of womanhood were represented. I watched as the little girls ran and played and enjoyed the ever so fleeting days of childhood. I saw pregnant women walking slowly, carefully protecting the promise God had so miraculously planted in their bodies. I saw the wisdom of the older women characterized by the gray hair that glistened as the lights shone on their well groomed hair. I heard the laughter of the teenagers, oblivious to the challenges that would face them as they grow into wives and mothers. The younger women, of which some were wives and mothers like myself, huddled together talking about trivial things like hair styles and taking pictures of each other.

But most of my time was spent with my dear Sis. Bailey, a woman I admire for her insight and intelligence concerning the things of life. She shared some council with me that I will in turn share with you in a few days when I write a post I’ve been working on for some time. I tried my best to capture the evening with pictures, but truly, I could not capture the love that wrapped the room like a warm shawl on grateful chilly shoulders. Enjoy my feeble attempt.

Here I am thrilled to pieces to spend my evening laughing and chatting with friends

As I drove home with  friends, I felt blessed. Blessed to be a part of something so big, yet so personal: the Church. Where else could so many women gather and experience such genuine love and have a true sense of belonging. No where else, but the Church.

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Christmas Decorations…

Saturday morning I announced to my family ‚Äútoday, after we‚Äôre done cleaning, we‚Äôll start decorating for Christmas‚ÄĚ. What was I thinking? After that it was impossible to get my chores done; the kids in their excitement, asked and pleaded and whined and implored ‚Äúare you done cleaning yet mom?‚ÄĚ I finally gave in and dug into the closet that holds my hat making supplies, craft supplies and Oh yes, the¬† box of Christmas decorations, everyone was excited.

I make no apologies for¬†absolutely and positutely loving this time of year. ‚ÄúAnd the angel answered her, ‚ÄúThe Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy‚Äďthe Son of God.‚ÄĚ (Luke 1:35)

I made this wreath, though it is simple, I'm very fond of it!

In our home Christmas is ALL about Jesus. Period. Because we do not watch television, both the Santa Claus message and the commercialization of Christmas¬†is lost on my kids. They may hear it at school yes, but they know, because we taught them, the real reason for the season is Jesus. I strongly believe that when children‚Äôs lives are filled with love and joy and laughter, when they have the stability of family traditions, and their foundation is in the word of God and consistent prayer; they are more likely to succeed in all their adult endeavors – including, and most importantly,¬†their walk with God. I enjoyed these same activities as a child and still do. It’s now my turn, as a mom, to¬†work hard to make this season¬†special¬†for my own children to¬†enjoy.

So this is the beginning of good times. For my kids, decorating¬†our house is a Christmas favorite, but¬†also there’s:¬†enjoying the¬†beautifully rendered Christmas carols about the birth of our savior, loving the smell of freshly baked cookies as¬†the aroma¬†hugs the air, gingerbread house decorating, Christmas card making,¬†gift wrapping, Sunday school Christmas programs, secular school Christmas programs, more family gatherings, more feastings (sigh and smile) and of course the season would not be complete without sharing Christ and his AWESOME GOODNESS¬†with someone.

Not very glamorous, I know! It's made up of mostly ornaments my kids made at home and in school

As we celebrate this Christmas season, please let us pause to look around for someone to bless; someone who may be less fortunate. Let us be true examples of the christian believer and show this world why Jesus really came to earth. Thank you for reading my blog and have a very Merry, Merry Christmas!

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The Holidays are HERE!