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MOM

So it's been about 15 months since I blogged here.  Most days instead of in depth thoughts, I prefer to post pictures at www.sivilsandgold.wordpress.com .  It doesn't require as much brain activity.  But I chose to share this here because it was entirely too long to fit in a Facebook post.  (I do have have four kids after all.)

This was a lot of fun.  I interviewed each of my four kids separately so each answer was original and not "borrowed".  I gained some insight into my kids and learned a few things I need to work on.  And for some reason they all agree I'm obsessed with my dog.  What's up with that.

Here goes..  (Connor is 8, Isaac 12, Jaden 14, and Dacey is 16.)

MOM 1. What is something mom always says to you? Connor  – “You love me.” Isaac  – “God made you special and He and I love you very much.  Precious monkeys and all that jazz.” Jaden  – “If you keep doing that, you’re face will stick like that.” Dacey  – “Be who you are and say what you mean.  T…
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The Truth of God's Love

This year has started with chaos for many folks - several to whom I am close.  Sickness, relationship woes, financial worries, and more have bred discouragement into their hearts and mine.

Some question, "Why is God allowing this to happen to me?"  or "What did I do to deserve this?"  or "Where's God???"

I love this quote from Loves Comes Softly and think it sums it up best - "The truth of God's love is not that he allows bad things to happen.  It's His promise that He'll be here with us when they do."

Nothing that ever happens in our lives catches God off guard or by surprise.  He's authored the story of our lives from beginning to the end and promises that His plans are to give us hope and a future.  He tells us in Matthew 6 that He even feeds the birds of the air.  You and I are worth far more to Him than the birds.  Your concerns are His concerns.  He cares for you.



Instead of allowing the devil to use these situations…

Get a Life!

In years past as the days of the year dwindled down, I spent time in prayer and meditation asking God what He wanted to show me going into the next year.  Usually He answered my prayers by laying a specific verse on my heart.  That verse served as my anthem going into the next phase of life.  I learned from it and grew from it, and because of this tradition have become more deeply rooted in the things of Christ.  
This year in all of the busy-ness of life, I forgot my yearly ritual.  Thankfully my Heavenly Father did not.  As I laid in bed a couple of nights before New Year's trying to fall asleep, God whispered two verses to my heart.  I immediately knew what they were for and why they'd been given to me.  
The first is found in John 10:10.  It says, 
"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."
God did not send His one and only Son into the world so that we could merely exist.  He sent Jesus so …

2014 - Off to a Good Start?

I had intended to do a 2013 year in review post the days leading up to New Year's Day.  It didn't happen.  I've always said the irony of blogging is that the more there is to blog about, the less time there is to blog about it.  So, let me just say in case you missed any of my 2013 posts - it was a grand and wonderful year that brought with it the most beautiful day of my life.



Our year ended with a fabulous Christmas in which we spent family time together carolling to friends and neighbors, near and far, and our new year began with meaningful family time spent in reflection and anticipation while playing board games together.


And in case you missed the chance to hear the kids carol, you can view them below!




And then for all of my beginnings of 2014 glory?  Well, the first day went well.  We had meatloaf, cabbage, and black-eyed peas per Southern tradition.

Friday and Saturday were spent at the church for a youth conference.  It certainly "sparked" a fire in m…

December Birthday's

I've mentioned before that as a child I felt jipped having a December birthday.  But these days, I just can't get enough of it.  My philosophy now is that all the coolest folks celebrate their birthday's in December (mine is the 8th, my oldest son's is the 15th, and my husband's is the 27th).  Of course, what makes the month especially special is the celebration of the birth of JESUS on the 25th.  (Disclaimer: This does not imply that my other three children that were not born in the month of December are less cool.)  Aside from frigid temperatures, there are just way cooler things to do to celebrate a December birthday than other times of the year.  Three years ago, we spent Jaden's birthday at Disney World.  Two years ago, we spent my birthday in Canton - the city of lights, last year we saw TobyMac in concert along with Chris August, Brandon Heath, Mandisa, Jamie Grace, Britt Nicole, and Group 1 Crew on their Hits Deep Tour.  This year we went to Tylertown t…

Jesus and Santa - The Great Debate

I've seen lots of posts on Facebook this week about whether or not it is okay to allow children to believe in Santa.  While the answer varies family to family, this is what our family believes.

Jesus is the reason for the season.  It is all about Him.  Everything we do - year round - point to Him.  We celebrate Jesus through giving to others, through learning more about Him using our Jesus Tree, and by sharing the joy He has given us to all that we may come in contact with.

When I was a child, I was allowed to believe in Santa.  I remember not believing the truth that he was not real even after being told by my parents.  I was sure their disbelief was based on their age - surely they'd just grown too old to remember.  And I remember the disappointment I felt when I did finally come to the realization that Santa was indeed just a myth.

Hoping to strike a balance in my family between the anti-Santa crowd and the truth that is CHRISTmas, we have always told the story of Santa …

The Jesus Tree

I posted on Facebook last night a tradition that our family had started last year called The Jesus Tree.  I was surprised at the interest in the post so thought I'd share what it's all about right here.

The Christmas season brings with it so much busyness.  For our family it is a fun time but can be exhausting nonetheless.  To help bring us back to the true focus of the season daily, each night before bedtime, we hang a new ornament on the tree that tells of a name of Jesus.  We discuss a corresponding scripture, sing a carol, say a prayer, and head to bed.  (Some nights we also have hot chocolate and story time.)  Each night the children take turns hanging the ornament.  It is a fun, family time centered on learning who Christ is.

I had purchased a white, fiber optic tree from Wal-Mart for $15 but ended up trading trees with our daughter.  She's used this one for several years and was ready for something new.  Since purple represents "royalty", I thought this wa…