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Showing posts from 2013

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…

Our Wedding Day

The joyful tone of our beautiful service was set by our children dancing down the aisle to Jamie Grace's song, "It's a Beautiful Day".   Immediately before that, Tommy had walked my mom to her seat as "Let My Life Be the Proof" played.  It was a very sweet moment.



Following that our beautiful Gypsy Princess and favorite guitarist began playing and singing "God Blessed the Broken Road".  It was the song to which I'd make my grand entry.  As I rounded the corner to walk down the aisle, life suddenly existed from inside a bubble.  I saw only my groom, and I floated to his side.

Our pastor, Rev. Jim Mannon, did a beautiful job translating all of our thoughts on love and marriage into the ceremony. 
Tommy's vows to me were the most beautiful words I have ever heard spoken.  As he told of his love for me, tears freely flowed from his eyes.  It was one of the most beautiful moments of my life.  He blew me away so much that I'd completely for…

The Guest List

Perhaps the most stressful part of planning our wedding day has been the guest list.  There are so many people that have made a difference in our lives over the years and it has been our desire to include them all.

We mailed out invitations several weeks ago and have spoken to many others directly.  Our purpose has not been to see how many people we could have in attendance, but to share our joy with those we love.

Responses to our invitations have varied greatly from: 1. I wouldn't miss it for the world.  2.  I have other plans that weekend.  3.  I'll have to wait and see.



I am okay with each response.  Ultimately this vow renewal ceremony is for our family.  We are excited to re-dedicate our family to God as we announce to those who will share in our celebration of all that God has brought us through and done for us over the past sixteen years.  It is each individual to whom an invitation has been extended to choose if this is something they wish to be a part of or not.

The Final Days...

We are just three days away from our wedding.  It is a day that I have been waiting for since I was a little girl.  Everything is coming together just as I always dreamed.  And if the rain holds off, it'll be the grand and wonderful day I've always hoped for.

Having been a wife for sixteen years but being a first time "bride" has given me a different perspective during this journey.  It has given me a deeper understanding of Christ as our bridegroom and how marriage is meant to represent the relationship between Christ and the Church.  In these last few days, however, God's showing me something else.

Over the past couple of weeks, Tommy and I have spent more time together discussing our marriage, our relationship, where we've been and where we're going.  We have enjoyed reading through The Love Dare nightly for the 40 days leading up to our ceremony.  I have amped up my work-outs, drank more water and less coffee.  I have purchased and began using new wh…

Love Believes All Things

We are just fifteen days away from our renewal ceremony which puts us on day 25 of The Love Dare.

As we have gone through this book together one thing that has stood out to me is the fact that every time and to everyone that you say the words, "I love you", you are actually making the promise to that person to be all the things that love is: patient, kind, longsuffering, bearing all things, hoping all things, enduring all things, and never failing them.  What a commitment to live up too.  It should make you think twice before so carelessly letting those words pass through your lips.

All of the details of the wedding have been put together.  We worked with the florist this week to get the exact shades of roses that I've dreamed of for the wedding.  Complete with one which is called "Angel's Love" which I found as ironic since Tommy always refers to me as his angel.  <insert dreamy sigh>

Tommy and the kids worked together last weekend to build an al…

"It's no wonder with all this wedding non-sense.."

Today I am experiencing a total burn out from the previous few weeks running around.  I am wiped out and have only left my bed twice today - both times to go to the bathroom.  No worries - I'm sure I'll be my usual bouncy self once I've rested a bit.

Friday evening I had the pure joy and honor of accompanying my mom to purchase her mother of the bride outfit.  It was one of those experiences that will bring a smile to my face with each memory of it.  When she tried it on, tears came to my eyes.  She looked stunning.  I can't wait for her to wow for our ceremony.

 Then yesterday she accompanied me as...(drumroll please).... I got my ear pierced.  (Yes, the woman at the jewelry counter admitted that I'm the oldest person whose ears she has ever pierced.)

When I was in high school, my earring got caught in the sleeve of a sweater and ripped my lobe.  I loved my earrings like I loved my lipstick back in that day.  It was quite dis-heartening.  So twenty years later, …

Love Cherishes

We are on Day 11 of The Love Dare which means...(drum roll please)...just twenty-nine days until the big day!!

Today's Dare is "Love Cherishes".

Husbands ought also to love their wives as their own bodies.  He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it.  Ephesians 5:28, 29

When we marry, we become one with our spouse.  Pain inflicted on them, is pain inflicted on yourself.  Just as you lovingly nurture and care for your own body, you should nurture and care for your spouse.  Purposely injuring your spouses emotions is the same as self-mutilation.  You are dividing what God has joined together and ultimately fighting against yourself.

Determine to cherish your spouse.  Show them you cherish them with your words and actions.

I feel like a kid at Christmas!

Each day is bringing with it a new anticipation for our special day.  Tuesday we painted mason jars and inadvertently turned me into King Midas before all was said and done.  Yesterday we went and looked at the grounds of the home of a very special lady where our ceremony will be hosted to "pick a tree".  And this morning another package arrived in the mail that contained some special aspects to our day.  Over the past week, God has given me even more ideas of how to include the kids in the service that we hope will bring a smile to our guest and sweet memories for us all.

Last night Tommy and I read Day 10 of The Love Dare - "Love is Unconditional".  It defined the three types of love:  agape (unconditional), phileo (friendship), and eros (sexual).  While the most important love (agape) is offered without conditions, all three form a very important part in the equation of a happy marriage.

1 Corinthians 13:7 says, "Love bears all things, believes all things,…

Greet With a Kiss

Now that, I can do!

Day 9 of The Love Dare is "Love Makes Good Impressions".   The focal verse is from 1 Peter 5:14.  It says, "Greet one another with a kiss of love."

Tommy calls me on his lunch break and as he leaves work each day.  When I answer the phone, his greeting is always the same, "Hi, beautiful."  It makes me look forward to his calls.  If instead of such a lovely greeting, I was bombarded with all of the trials of his day, I'd be much less receptive.

The same is true when he walks through the door daily.  I always meet him with a hug and/or a kiss.  (Or on days like yesterday, I stand on the sidewalk in front of the house bouncing up and down like a three year old as he turns into the driveway.)  It's that excitement that makes him ready to come home.  If instead he was greeted with all of the horrible things the kids had put me through during the day, he'd dread coming home.

Greeting's are important.  They are an insight in…

32 Days 5 Hours 5 Minutes

Most of the details of planning our wedding are moving right along.  We have had SEVERAL bumps in the road but nothing too big for our Almighty God.  We have also made a few adjustments to give our beautiful children more of a role in the celebrations and are so excited about how that is coming along!!  
We are on Day 8 of The Love Dare and our fast.  The Love Dare has highlighted many areas that I need to improve in that I was not aware of prior to beginning this journey.  I'm thankful for God (and Tommy's) patience with me.  I'm a mess!  


Day 8 is titled "Love is not Jealous".  
"Love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave.  It burns like blazing fire."  Song of Solomon 8:6
The author points out that there are two forms of jealousy:  1. Legitimate jealousy based on love, 2. Illegitimate jealousy based on envy.  Legitimate jealousy says, "Hey, that is mine.  Back off, bud!"  Illegitimate jealousy, on the other hand, forms …

Love, Love, Love

Day's six and seven of The Love Dare are "Love is not Irritable" and "Love Believes the Best".

Wow, do I ever fall short on loving when it comes to irritability.  Sleep deprivation, hunger, and monthly cycles seem to bring out the worst in me.  I tend to lash out at those to whom I'm closest.  The first couple of days in this study, and I was thinking, "Gee, I'm pretty good at this business of love," but then they pull out the big guns and I realize how much work I have to do.  Proverbs 16:32 says, "Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.  Lord, strengthen me to love better by not letting my feathers get ruffled as easily.

Love always believes the best is easier for me.  I tend to consider all of the things that Tommy does that makes me still smitten after all these years rather than the million and one reasons he irritates the daylights out of me.  Focusing on the positi…

FIVE WEEKS!!!!

In five short weeks, we will be getting decked out for the big day!  I am glad to see the craziness of planning such an event come to an end, and at the same time, cannot wait for the day itself!

Last night Tommy and I read day five of The Love Dare.  It was titled "Love is not Rude".  Love does not laugh or make jokes at your spouses expense.  Love doesn't roll its eyes.  Love doesn't respond sarcastically.  Love is not rude.

The Golden Rule found in Luke 6:31 says it best, "Treat others the same way you want them to treat you."  

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My boots which complete my wedding attire (along with a few other purchases) came in yesterday.  It was a fun moment since I had literally been stalking this specific pair of boots since March.  They are even more beautiful than they appear online and fit perfectly.  I wore them around the house on and off all day yesterday in an attempt to break them in properly.  I have a feeling I will spend a lot of time doing that betw…

Love is Thoughtful

Day four of The Love Dare is about the thoughtfulness of love.  It's getting your spouse a cup of coffee in the morning or fixing his favorite meal for supper.  One of the things that I do yearly for Tommy as act of love and being thoughtful is to stack up on his favorite candy - chocolate covered cherries - during the Christmas season.  As soon as they start putting them on the shelves, I buy a box or two each time I shop until the store empties out of them again.  It's small, but it says, "I love you and thought of you today."  Roses for me from Tommy seem to have the same effect.

How precious to me are your thoughts, God!  How vast is the sum of them!  Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand - when I awake, I am still with you.  Psalm 139:17-18
Yesterday was a fun day.  We had our cake tasting.  Our cake is being prepared by the good folks at Cake Etc. in Brookhaven.  If the actual wedding cake is half as good as the scrumptious treat we had …