Monday, December 29, 2008

Please pray for Stellan

I am writing this to ask everyone to please pray for baby Stellan. It's a LONG & complicated story, but right now this little guy is having the fight of his life. Please keep him & his family in your prayers.

To read the updates, check out:

Christmas morning

Happy belated Merry Christmas! I hope your day was filled with as much fun & magic as ours was.

In a perfect world, our children would have slept until at LEAST 8:30. It would be a peaceful scene, the kids taking turns opening gifts and thanking after each gift. However, in MY world, they were up at 5:30, paper was flying and voices were screaming in excitement! I wouldn't have it any other way!!! They loved all of their gifts and were VERY surprised at getting a Wii. We saved that one for last. They were quite confused when they opened gifts from family which were Wii games. The look on their faces when they saw the Wii - well, this picture says it all!

Just a little surprised about the Wii

The rest of the day was filled with Wii-ing, creating Miis & just having a good time. Lots of laughs, which warmed my heart. Justin played a little soccer and scored 'Amateur'. He they yelled out 'Oooh... I'm an amputee!'. Too funny!

Justin got a Bakugan battle set

Of course, the rest of our week has been filled with playing for the kids (and Craig) and work for me. Have I mentioned that Christmas brings out the WORST in people when it comes to retail. UGH!! (that's another blog - I don't have the strength right now).

Many blessings,

Monday, December 22, 2008

The secret of Santa

I remember believing in Santa as a kid. Filled with wonder at how he knew exactly what I wanted. Amazed how he managed to bring me presents even though we didn't have a fireplace let alone a chimney. I don't remember how I found out that there was no Santa, not sure if it even really made an impression on me.

Through the years, I forgot all about the Santa fable and just focused on the gifts. You see, I am a gifts girl - love to give them and get them. That's what Christmas is all about, isn't it?

Once I had children, Santa reentered my life. We had to decide whether we were going to let the kids believe in Santa or just tell them the Christmas story (the REAL reason we celebrate). I'll be honest, it was a tough decision. I didn't want to lie to the kids, but then again, I didn't want to be the parent whose child was telling others that Santa wasn't real. So, we managed to weave Santa into the Christmas story. No, he wasn't at the birth of Christ, but his gift giving is to honor Christ's birth.

Except this year (2008). This year, while we are focusing on the birth of Christ, I have also learned that the spirit of Santa is still alive & well. It is giving to others - blessing them the way you have been blessed.

You may have read earlier blogs from me about our surprise Wii system and just yesterday our anonymous angel. THAT is what Christmas is all about!

God blesses each of us - whether we deserve it or not. In turn, we should bless someone else. 2000 years ago, God gave us a precious gift, His only Son. He came into this world just like you & I did - child birth. He could have come by a bolt of lightening, with a thousand horses and angels trumpeting His arrival. Instead, He humbled himself to human birth. And why? All because He loves us. We are to pass that blessing along to someone else - kind of like pay it forward.

Because of the blessings that we received this year, our family was able to bless others. We may not have given expensive toys or a large amount of cash, but we provided what we could. Knowing that we helped someone else only blesses us more.

May Christ continue to bless you and you pass that blessing along.

Many blessings,

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Amazing blessings

God never ceases to amaze me.

Today, while sitting in church waiting for the service to begin, my husband was approached by a volunteer. He was handed an envelope with a note on it saying 'Do not open until you get home'. I'll admit, it was VERY difficult to sit through service wondering what this mystery envelope was all about. Yet, again, the service was wonderful & I was brought to tears.

We got to the van and Craig decided to open the envelope. There, inside, was a letter and a few 'Benjamins'. As Craig read the letter, tears flowed from our eyes.

Dear Friend,

This letter is going to sound a little strange but I promise I am a very reasonable, rational person. I have attended Browns Bridge since the day the doors were open and you have been an inspiration to me for many, many months now. No we don't know each other and no we have never spoken. In fact, I have never even seen your face. Crazy, right? Further, I am a very heterosexual male... so seeing your backside does not exactly inspire me in thouse ways (that's supposed to be funny).

You see, I sit up in the balcony and I love watching people in addition to listening to the service. Virtually every Sunday they will ask us to stand while someone is performing music etc. I have noticed you for some reason and you inspire me! Many, many times as the music starts playing if it is a particularly good song and if you are "into it" your right leg will start tapping keeping beat with the music... then your left arm will go up with one finger pointed up to God. It is not automatic for you... this is very important to me as I watch you... it is not a show and you don't do it every Sunday and you don't do it every song... only the ones that are touching you in a special way. That is just awesome to me! It generally instantly raises me awareness that God is present.

I don't know why exactly but seeing you without shame or embarrassment raise a hand etc is absolutely awesome to me. I think part of it is you're a guy... I k now sounds crazy but women raising their hands out number the guys by about 10 to 1. I often wonder what is going through your mind... is it I surrender Lord.. I love you Lord... Thank you Lord... Forgive me Lord... I praise you Lord? I suspect at different times it is all of these. I have accomplished many things in my life... many that have required great courage... yet I have not yet had the courage to raise a hand like you... I have been a Christian for many years and still can't quite get up the courage.. not sure exactly why?

Thank you so much for your courage to simply raise a hand... it inspires me! Please accept the enclosed money as a very small token of my appreciation. I just don't know how else to show you just how much your Christian witness means to me. It is my strong desire that this money somehow helps you personally with bills, Christmas gifts, a weekend getaway or just in someway brings even a minute of joy to you and your family the way you have brought joy to me. My only regret is that I can't do more... this is a big stretch as it is for me but I really wanted to do something. Please, please, please don't ever, ever stop responding when God is touching you!!!!!!!!!!! I have to believe I am not the only person you are inspiring!

A friend in Christ

P.S. I am remaining anonymous from you for several reasons: 1) I have a strong suspicion you are the type of person who would not accept my gift and I want you to have it. 2) I am not the type of person who could say these things to your face... we're guys! 3) I don't want anything in return... you have already given to me!!!!! May God bless you and your family... that is my sincere prayer! Have a Merry Christmas!

A stranger, someone who has never seen us or even met us, blessed us tremendously. God has blessed this person just by watching Craig worship & in turn this person has turned around and blessed us in such a surprising way.

We are forever grateful to our stranger angel and are humbled that God has used Craig in such a simple way to bring joy to another person.

Now to bless someone else....

Many blessings to you,