Our Journey Home

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Naughty List

When I was a little girl, I remember listening for sleigh bells on Christmas Eve. I just knew that Santa was on his way, carrying a bag filled with toys for every good little boy and girl. I never worried that he would fly past our house, because I was certain I was on the Nice List. I was even pretty confident my name had a few stars doodled beside it. wink.

Today, I cringe at the thought of teaching little children about the Naughty List and the Nice List. In my opinion, this is one TeRrIbLe idea! Who came up with the idea to tell a child, "If you are really nice and good, you'll get what you want because you deserve it! And if you are bad and naughty, then Santa won't give you a gift
; you get nothing."? After much pondering, while I was cooking dinner last night, I have decided that the person who made up the 'List' concept must not have had a relationship with the Lord. That's a pretty bold assumption, huh? But let me explain why...

For years and years, I had an emptiness inside that simply could not be filled. I tried to fill it with accomplishments, but those always faded. I tried to fill it with relationships, but people are not perfect and disappointment lurked. I tried to be good, please others, and simply be a happy person. I quietly watched as some of my friends seemed so content and filled with joy, and I longed for what they had. I didn't know 'what' it was that my friends had and I was lacking, but I sensed it was something I needed desperately. (Sorry, you are probably wondering what this all has to do with Santa's List! I promise I'm getting to that.)

Then I met David, and he had 'it'. That 'something' that I couldn't put my finger on, but I knew it was there. And he explained it to me. (Oh, how I love my husband! He is such a blessing, in so very many ways!) Sure, I'd gone to church all my life, sung hymns, and even knew a few Bible stories, but I never had a relationship with Jesus. That's what it was! Jesus was all I needed to fill that emptiness, because I was created for worship! I was never going to be 'good enough'...and I could never 'earn' my way to heaven through my own efforts. It was then that I really understood, I belong on the Naughty List. Big time.

Yes, if these 'Santa lists' exsisted, my name should have been on the naughty list. And I'm sorry, friend, but your name would have been there, too. We are ALL 'bad'. We ALL fall short, and we ALL sin every day. But here's the joyful news! Yes, we are all pretty stinky, but God's grace can wash us clean as Christmas snow! Praise the Lord for His love, His grace, and His Son. He has saved a wretch (aka Naughty List woman) like me!

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son."- John 3:16-18

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Our Christmas Storyboard

We are so excited for Christmas! This week is filled with Christmas cookie decorating, gift wrapping, packing for traveling, errands, homegroup fellowship, church commitments... the list goes on and on! wink! But our prayer for this joyful week is that our gaze would be heavenward. We are praying that in all our activities and preparations for Christmas, we won't become so busy that we forget why we celebrate. We pray that we will be continually rejoicing in our Savior, not only during the month of December, but every day of the year!

Our kitchen is also our homeschool classroom. Every few weeks, we redecorate our refrigerator with artwork that reflects our current lessons. We have been enjoying the Christmas story in our Bible lessons and we decided to make a storyboard. Emma Grace loved making the illustrations, and it was such a blessing to see this story through her eyes!
(I love Mary's mouth in this picture! We talked about how Mary must have felt surprised and a little scared when an angel appeared!)
(I love Emma Grace's drawing of baby Jesus in Mary's womb! )
We are hoping to add to our storyboard this week, but I wanted to post what we have so far. Wubs actually just walked into our computer room and she was so happy to see that her artwork was going to be on our blog. She wants to be an artist when she grows up!
"For nothing is impossible with God."- Luke 1:37

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

We just found out!

We're having a BOY!

Oh my goodness! We are super excited! I hope to post pictures soon... but for now, we've got to get ready for church tonight!

sO eXcItEd!!!

The 'big day' has arrived... today is the day we go to the doctor for a level 2 ultrasound! We are so excited to find out if we'll be welcoming home a baby boy or a baby girl in May! We love our children so much and we can't wait to enjoy another precious gift from God.

I could barely sleep last night; I laid in bed trying to imagi
ne our family with a little boy, and then I got a little nervous. Me, a mommy of a little boy? (Not that I have it all figured out when it comes to raising little girls- far from it! wink!) I tried not to let my mind wander too much because I know I can trust that the Lord will continue to guide our parenting, whether He's blessing us with a boy or a...girl. *gulp* Another girl? Okay, logically, I know it has to be one or the other. wink. But wow oh wow, three little girls? Whew, I'm so very thankful that the Lord already has everything under control! I knew I needed to rest in that assurance and I decided to try to get some sleep.

I've been up since 5 am and watching the clock with eager anticipation! Our appointment is at 1pm today! Can't wait to share the news this afternoon!The girls got free Shrek ears at Wal-Mart yesterday. I couldn't resist posting this picture of daddy's little Shrek snuggle girls!

"In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps."- Proverbs 16:9

Friday, December 3, 2010

"The Santa Talk" update #2

This morning, we were invited to attend a cookie decorating playdate with some sweet friends. Emma Grace and Bella had a wonderful time, and I enjoyed visiting with the other mothers. On the way home, the girls were both pretty quiet in the backseat. They were tired, after all that running, playing, and cookie eating! Then Wubs spoke up.
"Mommy, I think I know what the real spir
it of Christmas means."
Really? What do you think it means?"

"It means that Christmas isn't about Santa, or Rudolph and reindeer, or playing in the snow. The Christmas spirit is about baby Jesus' birthday and God loves us."
Oh, Wubs... you are right, baby." ( sniff! I felt as
if my heart was going to burst!)

"Mama, are you ka-why-an?" -Bella was wondering what Wubs had said that made me 'cry'.
"Mommy has some tears but I'm not sad. I'm just so hap
py that Wubs understands Christmas. That blesses mommy's heart!"

"Mommy, do all people know about the Christmas spirit?"
Well, no... not everyone understands about Chris
tmas because some people don't know about Jesus. And, some people do know about Jesus but they just forget that it's His birthday."

"Oh, that is sad, Mama. I won't ever forget about Je
sus' birthday!"
"Yeah- me ee-ver. I'm gonna remember Jesus
burday every day!"

Here are a few pictures taken this morning! Have a wonderful weekend!

"The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told."- Luke 2:20