The past several weeks have been filled with ups and downs (for many in my little circle of the world) – kinda like a roller coaster! But I have found its TRUE – our joy comes from the Lord! JOY!!! JOY!! JOY! Thinking I may try out that "pick a word for the year" deal and my word for 2014 will be JOY!
Here are some things from the past few weeks that are making me smile (and giving me JOY!) – and a couple that are making me think and taking my focus off of the things of this world and turning it towards Him and the true JOY from heaven!
1) Jen Hatmaker – God love her (and I know He does)! For so many reasons I love this chic – so funny and so real and so in tune with God’s heart for His people. Not only have I (and am in the throws of) tackled her book “7” and have been living it out one week (not month as Jen did) at a time, I just read this blog post from several Christmas’ ago. A friend asked me at church if I was ready to ruin Christmas, and I *think* (AAAAHHHH) I might be leaning in that direction. IF we are to practice what we preach, I feel very strongly about the message she puts out there (in a way that only Jen can do). Lots of prayers will be going up to try to decide what is best for the Yates family – God knows (and I am afraid of where I am being led – is that bad? EEK!).
2) And this jewel of a Blog post from Ann Voskamp's A Holy Experience blog. What a great message for women and one I will hang on to FOR. EVER. As I told a sweet friend who messaged me with reassurance that I should never compare myself to others, I must admit, I, more often than I would like to, am the one trying to build MYSELF up and in my mind, bring others down. That was very hard to write --- but it is sadly the truth and my eyes have been opened and again, am praying that I can remember, if I “Walk through life with a measuring stick – my eyes get so small I never see God.” I certainly don't want to live a life like that.
3) And last Sunday night was such a highlight to be in the presence of such AMAZING talent as the girls (and guy on stand up bass) from HighRoad III. What a blessing for our church! Got the new CD as well as the Christmas one. Kids can’t stop singing Hold me to the Rock and Lamps a Burning has become my new fave, as well as the version of Revelation Song, that only they can pull off! LOVE! IT!
4) Enjoyed an awesome time at Mistletoe Market place, working in the booth of my friends at Ala Carte Alice (we sold lots of soups, y’all)! I also got to see a good friend from college who has a new (to me) jewelry line called Gemily (friends and family can expect goodies!) and a new friend Kristen at Thimblepress in Jackson who went back to her studio to get me her LAST individually wrapped cowbell print! Again, couldn’t resist a few handmade happies! (Trying to only buy handmade and give-back products as Christmas gifts this year!)
5) Also at Mistletoe I pretty much made a spectacle of myself when none other than Sophie Hudson (AKA Boo Mama) who was signing books down the way, walked up to our booth to partake in some Ala Carte Alice dip goodness and I went “Oh my Gosh -- HHHEEEEYYYYYYY!” – just like we were the best of friends like we are in my mind ever since I read her book “A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet” – except I forgot the fact that we aren’t. Anywho, she didn’t report me to the Mistletoe police as a potential stalker, and graciously signed my book as well as two I am giving as Christmas gifts! Love her and we can still be best friends in my mind!
6) During our Thanksgiving service, Becky Smith delivered a beautiful message from Philippians 4:4-8 (which just happens to be my life verse). The verse tells us not to worry but "with Thanksgiving" make our requests to God.
7) Reed lost his first tooth this week (finally) so we are starting the year's of the snaggle toothed look! He and Luke were using a stick horse as a telescope (the imaginations of these two) and Luke pushed the "telescope" right into Reed's mouth and out popped the tooth!
8) Since we were sending out the group message and picture of the said lost tooth, the other two had to have their picture taken as well (hope to write later about the "real" drumsticks Luke is holding!
9) I walked into the living room as Lilly sat down on her bed with a balloon attached to her collar -- not sure how long she had been doing this, but I swear, Luke will be the death of her. But it is sweet and hysterical to watch!
10) My brother-in-law's mom passed away this week and the pastor focused on the verse from Phillipians 1:21 -- "For me, to live is Christ, and to die is Gain." Although I didn't know her extremely well, the times I was around her she was just a breath of fresh air and had such a warm spirit -- always smiling and asking about children and what we were up to." She loved Jesus and lived as Christ in the world. One thing the preacher said that Paul said, was "For me" -- Paul's personal relationship in HIS life -- it must be that way for each individual person -- our personal relationship with Christ. And now that she is healed and is in heaven, I just keep thinking about ALL (that my mind can comprehend--I know there is WAY more than I can fathom) she is seeing and experiencing. But most of all, she is sitting at the feet of Jesus...talk about GAIN!
Excited about the upcoming Thanksgiving week! We have so so so SOOOO much to be Thankful for! Having my family in my home for Thanksgiving will be a first and we are going to have a wonderful time. Then off to Starkville for the Egg Bowl! Hail State! Maybe we can pull it off but I will be thankful to spend time with family and many friends -- win or lose!