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Monday, December 31, 2012


"Today's decisions are tomorrow's realities.  Remember you have three choices: take it, leave it, or change it."                                          --Marsha Petrie Sue

I am not a big fan of New Year's Resolutions.  I don't believe in waiting until the first of the year to make necessary changes.  I believe in making changes no matter the time of year when you feel you need to make changes.  Today's decisions means every day of the year, not just New Year's.    That being said, there are some things I plan to do and it does happen to be New Year's Eve.  I'm so excited about the new LeadHer chapter starting in WaKeeney this month.  I am also preparing for the Ms. Wheelchair Kansas competition this year and my application is due next week.

Also, many devotion books are set up to run a year, so every new year I figure out what new devotions will be in my life for next year.  Well, for 2013, I will be going through Jesus Calling but I also plan to do some in-depth Bible study based on what my heart needs to be studying throughout the year.  I would love to have all of you help me search the Scripture and just go in depth this year.  So, to keep myself motivated and accountable, I will be starting another blog.  I will continue this one with all my memories of all that is going on in my life, but I will be beginning a new one specifically for study of the Scripture.  Please join me in my studies this year and definitely comment and ask questions.  We can all search for answers together and you know, Jesus said, "And when two or three of you are together because of me, you can be sure that I’ll be there.” (Matthew 18:20 MSG) Although it is vital to spend time in quiet searching scripture, praying, and listening for what God wants to tell you, it can also be extremely helpful to study in community and share what God is saying to all of us.  It also helps keep us accountable for what we are learning.  So, join me in this adventure.

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Thanksgiving for today
374.  Family
375.  Nieces and nephews
376.  Kissable chubby baby cheeks
377.  Watching kids use creativity building train tracks and with legos
378.  Softly falling snow
379.  Being able to stay inside and warm on a snowy day
380.  The courage to be obedient
381.  Snack and cookie supper
382.  Unconditional love

383.  Expressive "happy to see you"
384.  Sharing new skills

Friday, December 28, 2012

Every Day

"Do one thing every day that scares you"--Eleanor Roosevelt

I'm trying to have the courage to do this.  When you are obedient to God, this is a part of your life.
I love quotes by Eleanor Roosevelt.  Where do your favorite quotes come from?

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Thanksgiving for today:
368.  CuddleDuds
369.  Lists
370.  Husband who is willing and able to bump my wheelchair up inaccessible front entrances
371.  MP3 Player
372.  Sermons on MP3 or CD
373.  Finding amazing quotes

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Life Is Still Interrupted

Read the beginning of the story: 1 2 3 4

It is now the end of August and I'm going stir crazy counting the days until the boot can come off and life can return to "normal."  I take my shoe along to the appointment just waiting for the freedom to get rid of the boot.

Disappointment strikes.  While my leg is healing, the bone does not yet appear strong enough to bear weight.  So, no shoe for me.  I will be in my boot at least until my next appointment on October 1.  I am devastated.  I am so ready to have this off and be able to live life.  No water aerobics at all for me this summer.  There is good news.  I no longer have to keep the foot plate on and can have my boot off when my foot is still.  No more sleeping with that retched boot on.  I have soldiered through about as long as I can.  I could stay positive and hopeful because I saw the end was near.  Now, I don't know what to do.  Not only do I have to continue to wear the boot, I have to wear it on family vacation.  :(

Life cannot return to "normal" yet, but it can be closer since I don't have the footplate on and don't have to worry about bones shifting anymore.  I just can't put weight on it.  This doesn't really encourage me and my discouragement leads to falling back into some bad eating habits.  I can't exercise so what's the point.  Might as well go completely unhealthy.  Wait--in hindsight I know that is wrong, but at the moment it just seemed to make sense.  If I have to sit around all day, I might as well be eating "bon bons."  I don't even know what those are. (If you know, send me a pic)  My vice is Dr. Pepper.

You would think I would put this time "being still" to good use.  I have been learning how to "be still" or so I thought.  What I was really doing was biding my time until the end of August when I could stop "being still."  When that didn't happen as planned, depression hit hard.  I felt so useless and dependent and I have worked so hard to be useful and independent.  October 1 approaches and I don't take my shoe with me so I don't jinx myself.  YEAH!!!  No more boot!!!  Completely healed leg!!
Maybe it will be easier to "be still" when I am not forced to.


Have you ever been biding your time and then crushed when things didn't happen as planned?
What  have you learned during times of forced stillness?
Have you ever had times of forced stillness that lasted 3 1/2 months?
Have you found your maximum time for being a good patient?

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Thanksgiving for today:
360.  Finishing one chapter of life
361.   Learning to take responsibility to move forward not excuses looking back
362.  Forgiveness
363.  Struggling to understand the Bible with friends
364.  Always learning
365.  Date night
366.  Smell of steak cooking
367.  Candy Cane Chill

Be Kind

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.” ~Philo of Alexandria

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Thanksgiving for today
349.  Family
350.  Safe holiday travels
351.  Hope
352.  Grace
353.  Searching for truth
354.  New babies
355.  Vets willing to listen to pet owners
356.  Wal-mart Christmas
357.  Blessings
358.  Fax machine at home
359.  Cousins

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Happy Birthday!!!

Happy Birthday Jesus!

What does Jesus want for His birthday?
Besides helping those in need check out this blog--it got us to talking about what gifts we can give Jesus all year round.
Jesus' Birthday Cake
Party Decorations
Party Decorations

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Thanksgiving for today
340.  God With Us
341.  Lime Sherbet and 7UP  Punch
342.  Newly decorated movie room
343.  Stair chair
344.  Spending time in the basement
345.  Clean toilet
346.  Kids old enough to make it to the toilet before throwing up
347.  Excitement about the Birthday Party this afternoon
348.  Snow not interrupting Christmas dinner

Monday, December 24, 2012

St. Nick

Santa Claus has been an interesting part of our Christmas celebration always.  We have stockings and they get full Christmas morning.  We leave out milk and cookies on Christmas Eve and sometimes reindeer food.  Our daughter was always terrified of men dressed up like Santa--they were strange and asked kids to sit on their laps.  I remember being scared of a strange man that could get into my house even if it was only to leave gifts--so my Grandma showed me my Grandpa's Santa suit and set my mind at ease.  We never told our children there was a strange man that came into the house, we always told them Eric was Santa.  But, we live in a culture where Santa is so prevalent among friends and on TV shows that they didn't believe us.  But, it certainly made it an easier transition when they did figure it out and easier for them to want to "be Santa" for others.  We still have stockings and enjoy the Santa movies and music, but I think in this house we have a pretty firm grasp on the reality of the situation.  Here is some St. Nick info I found this year.  Enjoy it and maybe it will help you manage the Santa situation at your house.

The Real Story of St. Nick

The real Santa lived a long time ago in a place called Asia Minor. It is now the country of Turkey. His name was Nicholas.
Nicholas' parents died when he was just a teenager. His parents left him a lot of money which made him a rich young man. He went to live with his uncle who was a priest.
Nicholas heard about a man who had lost all his money. He had three daughters who were old enough to get married. But in those days young women had to have money in order to get married. This money was a "dowry" and it was used to help the new family get started. If you didn't have dowry money, you didn't get married.
This family was so poor they had nothing left to eat. The daughters were going to be sold as slaves because they couldn't live at home any longer. They were very sad. They wouldn't be able to have families of their own. And they would have to be slaves—no longer able to decide where they would live or what they would do.
The night before the oldest daughter was to be sold, she washed her stockings and put them in front of the fire to dry. Then all of them went to sleep—the father and the three daughters.
In the morning the daughter saw a lump in her stocking. Reaching in, she found a small, heavy bag. It had gold inside! Enough to provide food for the family and money for her dowry. Oh, how happy they were!
The next morning, another bag with gold was found. Imagine! Two of the daughters would now be saved. Such joy!
And the next night, the father planned to stay awake to find out who was helping his daughters. He dozed off, but heard a small "clink" as another bag landed in the room. Quickly he jumped up and ran out the door. Who did he catch ducking around the corner?
Nicholas, the young man who lived with his uncle. "Nicholas, it is you! Thank you for helping us—I hardly know what to say!" Nicholas said, "Please, do not thank me—thank God that your prayers have been answered. Do not tell others about me."
Nicholas continued helping people. He always tried to help secretly. He didn't want any attention or thanks. Years passed and he was chosen to be a bishop. Bishops look after their people as shepherds look after their sheep. And that is what Nicholas did. When there wasn't any food, he found wheat; so no one went hungry. He always helped people in trouble. All his life Nicholas showed people how to love God and care for each other.
Everyone loved Nicholas. After he died, they told stories of the good and kind things Nicholas had done. Sailors took these stories about Nicholas everywhere they went. Some of the stories were about his special care for children—helping and protecting them when danger threatened. And so more and more people learned about good, kind Nicholas. They wanted to be like him. He is an example of how we should live. And that is why he became a saint.
This is the story of the real Santa Claus, St. Nicholas. To this day people say that St. Nicholas, or Santa, is the special friend of children.
--Carol Myers
Santa Claus and St. Nicholas
Everybody loves Santa Claus. He embodies holiday cheer, happiness, fun, and gifts—warm happy aspects of the Christmas season. How do Santa Claus and St. Nicholas differ?
Santa Claus belongs to childhood;
St. Nicholas models for all of life.
Santa Claus, as we know him, developed to boost Christmas sales—the commercial Christmas message;
St. Nicholas told the story of Christ and peace, goodwill toward all—the hope-filled Christmas message.
Santa Claus encourages consumption;
St. Nicholas encourages compassion.
Santa Claus appears each year to be seen and heard for a short time;
St. Nicholas is part of the communion of saints, surrounding us always with prayer and example.
Santa Claus flies through the air—from the North Pole;
St. Nicholas walked the earth—caring for those in need.
Santa Claus, for some, replaces the Babe of Bethlehem;
St. Nicholas, for all, points to the Babe of Bethlehem.
Santa Claus isn't bad;
St. Nicholas is just better.

J. Rosenthal & C. Myer

How is Santa Claus handled in your house?
How do you explain the true story of St. Nick to your children?
How are you living with the spirit of St. Nick this year?

Guess Who?

Guess Who?
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Thanksgiving for today
332.   Christmas excitement
333.  Santa pancakes
334.  Those who give extra help
335.  Naps
336.  Sleep Number Bed
337.  Extreme Makeover Home Edition
338.  Paying It Forward
339.  Family Traditions 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas Lights at Cedar Bluff

Our only real trip to specifically see Christmas lights was out to Cedar Bluff.   If you're only going to make one trip--this is definitely worth it.  The trees are covered in lights and there are a few other fun lights around to see.  The great thing is you can stay in your warm car (or semi-warm if the windows are rolled down) OR you can brave the cold and take a hay ride.  We chose to stay in our semi-warm vehicle.  Then, the family decided to get out to enjoy roasted marshmallows and hot chocolate and the singing of carols by local singers.  They were even thoughtful enough to bring me some hot chocolate.  :)  I wonder just how long it takes to get all the lights in the trees.  If you happen to know, let me know.

What are your favorite Christmas light experiences?
This made us come home and watch several episodes of Extreme Christmas Lights.  This is what Eric would like to do to our house.  What do you think?  We do live in the Christmas City of the High Plains after all.  :)

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Thanksgiving for today
325.  Working together
326.  Finding the water leaks
327.  Indoor plumbing
328.  Message study Bible devotions that just "fit"
329.  The Under 12 group leading Christmas songs up front in church
330.  Dog learning to use his "bathroom" out the back door
331.  Cookies from neighbors

Saturday, December 22, 2012

God With Us

The concept of Emmanuel or God with Us has been on my heart a lot this season.   And, I seem to be finding it wherever I look, so it must be important to share.  This is not exactly a Christmas song, but it has a powerful message.  And, that is what we are celebrating this season--when God came to Earth to be with us.  It is important to me that we remember this all year long--God loves us so much He came to Earth to be with us and then died on a cross for us to pay for our sins and make it possible for us to spend eternity in Heaven with Him.  Thank you Jesus for your sacrificial love.

What does Emmanuel, God With Us mean to you?
How do you experience God with Us in your every day life?
What name/aspect of Jesus really tugs at your heart right now?

O Come, O Come Emmanuel.  While we celebrate His first coming, may we never stop anticipating His second coming.

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Thanksgiving for today
317.  Presents made with  love at school
318.  Christmas lights at Cedar Bluff
319.  Dinner by Christmas light
320.  Watching a demonstration and learning the name of the martial arts stance of the TMNT McDonald's Toy
321.  Seasonal flavors
322.  YouTube
323.  The nation responding to tragedy with Random Acts of Kindness
324.  Smelling like a candy cane

Friday, December 21, 2012

The End of the World

Well, people have been saying today is the end of the world.  I don't remember anyone saying what time of day though, so maybe we're not there yet.  Anyway, I don't for one second believe it is the end of the world.  The Bible is clear when it says, "But the exact day and hour? No one knows that, not even heaven’s angels, not even the Son. Only the Father knows"  Matthew 24:36  (Message).  When my children asked me if the world was going to end today, I would quote the above scripture and tell them "not the 21st--maybe today, or tomorrow, or the 20th, or the 22nd.  No one knows.  Our job is just to be ready"  But, what exactly does that mean I should be spending my remaining time here on Earth doing?  I am ready--Christ is in my heart.  But, what is my responsibility while I'm still here.  Keep reading in Matthew through chapter 25 and I believe He gives you the answer.  In Matthew 28:19 He says, "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."  

So, what should I be doing with my time here on Earth?  I should be "making disciples" or as the Message says, "Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you."  Everyone we meet.  Not just those in our home or church.  EVERYONE!!  What does that mean to you?  

It is interesting to me that before we are given this command or Great Commission, we are told in Matthew 25 to carefully invest the talents we are given and reach out to those in need.  
"I was hungry and you fed me,
I was thirsty and you gave me a drink,
I was homeless and you gave me a room,
I was shivering and you gave me clothes,
I was sick and you stopped to visit,
I was in prison and you came to me."
Maybe, just maybe, before someone is ready to be "trained in this way of life," we must meet their needs.  We need to be showing not just telling about the love of Christ.

How do we do that?
How do we stay focused on Christ and others?
How do we show His love not just talk about it?
This is what I feel I need to be spending my remaining time here on Earth doing (no matter how long).  None of us is promised tomorrow.   I know that better than most.  I woke up from my car accident still here on Earth and want to make my time left here count.  I am working on having the courage to be obedient and stay in constant conversation with God.  What else should I be doing?  How can we best support each other?

Curtis Flax posted this on his Facebook page today
"Maybe this is what the Mayans predicted. Not an asteroid, or a solar flare, but the end of what we are. We no longer cherish life, or other people, even the earth or the animals and resources put on it. War, genocide, abuse, senseless mass murder, animal cruelty, gluttony, greed, waste and lust... Look around you, the end of the world is already here"

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Thanksgiving for today
311.  Carpet  cleaning specials
312.  Willingness to volunteer to be "on call" over the holidays
313.  Kiddos knowing to avoid "yellow snow"
314.  Inter library Loan
315.  Snowball Fights
316.  Friendly Greetings

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas Song History

Jolly Old Saint Nicholas and  Jingle Bells
“Jolly Old Saint Nicholas” is said to be based on the tune from “Jingle Bells.”  Both are said to be loosely based on Pachabel’s Canon in D.  Fun fact about Jingle Bells.  It was not originally a Christmas song at all.  It was written for Thanksgiving.  And, it was originally titled “One Horse Open Sleigh.“  But, since it is about winter fun and could technically be sung all winter, it has been adopted as a Christmas song.

Joy to the World
“Joy to the World” wasn’t originally written as a Christmas song either.   Isaac Watts originally wrote it to celebrate Christ’s return.    It is thought that the melody was written by George Frederick Handel.

We Three Kings
Finally we come to a song written for Christmas.  “We Three Kings” was written for the General Theological Society of New York for their Christmas program.  Ironically, the wise men were not at the stable.  They were on foot and traveled a great distance.  Jesus was probably between one and two when they finally got to him at his house,

Go Tell It On the Mountain
This next song was actually written for Christmas and actually tells of  Christmas events.  It was a spiritual written by slaves.  Spirituals were often sung acapella as an expression of spiritual devotion, as a way to alleviate boredom, and a way to pass on or teach truths.

Good King Wenceslas
“Good King Wenceslas” is based on a true story about a historical figure.  This is actually written about the Feast of St. Stephen (or Boxing Day) which is held on December 26.  Wenceslas went out to share the feast with a man “gathering fuel.”  When the page with him began complaining of the cold and snow, Wenceslas encouraged him to keep going and follow his tracks.    Perhaps we should follow Good King Wenceslas example and give our abundance to those in our path.

Away In A Manger
Some would say “Away in a Manger” was written by Martin Luther, but this is just a fable.  It may have been written to honor the 400th celebration of his birthday.   There happen to be two melodies to these words.  .

Angels We Have Heard on High
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of heavenly host praising God, and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will to men'" (Luke 2:13-14)
“Angels We Have Heard on High” was translated from a French carol.

Silent Night
“Silent Night” is a Christmas Carol with an interesting history.  It was originally written in Austria (which is my favorite part of Europe BTW)  It has been translated into approximately 140 languages.  It was sung simultaneously in French, English, and German by troops in the Christmas Truce of 1914.
It has been recorded by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Manheim Steamroller, Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Boyz II Men, Christina Agiulera, Cee Lo Green,  Beyonce, Taylor Swift, and Justin Beiber to name a few.  I challenge you to go home and see how many of your Christmas recordings include “Silent Night.”  I have 14 recordings on different CDs.  I haven't checked my cassette tapes yet.  :)

We Wish You a Merry Christmas

“We Wish You a Merry Christmas” has become the traditional last song of many Christmas concerts or caroling events.  It is our last song here tonight.  The original carolers of this song came demanding treats.  “Now bring us some figgy pudding”  They weren’t about to leave until they got their treat. “We won’t go until we get some.”  Legend says that if a house did not have a treat for them, they would just take whatever they wanted.  Today, the song is considered much more innocent and usually only one verse is sung/played.  That is the case today and we don’t have any figgy pudding for you.

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Thanksgiving for today
307.  Ice melt
308.  Snuggling with kiddos
309.  Snow boots
310.  Sock puppet plays

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas Programs

Christmas is the time for great music and great programs!!  This year my kiddos got to be in three--the school program I posted about earlier, a piano recital, and the church program.  Hard to say which was my favorite--they were all great.

The piano recital was definitely the most work for me (and my son says for him too:)  )  It was the recital of my students and they all did amazing.  It was work because although they are few, they each played at least one solo--sometimes more and one duet.  All the duets ended up being with me although they were originally planned with each other.  It was a lot of work for me because I researched every song played so I could give some history before each song.  It was a lot of work, but a lot of fun and I learned things I never knew.  (I'll post what I learned in another post.)  It was the kind of preparation and event that when it is over you just want to CRASH for a couple of days.  Unfortunately, that was not possible for any of us.  The next morning was the church program.

May I just say the church program was AWESOME!!!  (I'm not the least bit prejudice or anything)  :)  I absolutely love hearing the Christmas story as told in Luke and in Matthew.  Both were part of this production with lots of comedy.  Giggles are a necessary part of any children's production, but it is even more FUN when they are supposed to be there.  My wise man did his silent part perfectly and even knew the words to "Silent Night"--the only song he got to sing.  I was also proud to watch him at the end of the performance singing "Just As I Am" and "Family of God" with the congregation.  He must be paying attention to know them by heart.

My daughter was a member of the angel choir and knew all the songs by heart (not to mention everyone's part).  She sang her part of the trio perfectly and remembered her lines (after she got over stage fright).  We're so thankful her voice was back before performance--it was gone during dress rehearsal.  I'm so thankful for a stage FULL of kids willing to share the true meaning of Christmas with others.  I'm thankful even the little ones were allowed to express their joy and wonder at this story.  I'm thankful for everyone's hard work and dedication.  I'm thankful the church was packed enough to cause stage fright.  I'm thankful there were so many people there new tables and chairs had to be brought out for lunch.  I'm thankful for the focus on Christ, the reason for the season.

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Thanksgiving for today
299.  KDOT
300.  God inspiring all who plan Sunday services so it all fits together
301.  Childlike Faith
302.  Hearing downtown Christmas music from our front porch
303.  Weather cancellations early
304.  Day for Christmas baking
305.  Getting cookies delivered before snow hit
306.  Facebook Birthday reminders

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Our Whole World's About to Change

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Thanksgiving for today
291.  Peppermint
292.  Gingerbread
293.  Veggietales
294.  Finding and using items you forgot about because you put them away for "safe keeping"
295.  The Voice (TV Show and Bible)
296.  Sleep Number Bed
297.  Focusing on others
298.  Planning ahead to be able to stay inside during the forecast blizzard

Monday, December 17, 2012

In a Deep Pit

There is no pit so deep, that God’s love is not deeper still.”  Corrie Ten Boom

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Thanksgiving for today
282.  Children's freedom of worshi
283.  My son knowing the words to songs like "Just As I Am" and "Family of God"
284.  Having to add tables at the church dinner
285.  Enough people in the audience to cause stage fright
286.  Healed voices
287.  Instrumental Christmas music
288.  Peppermint Hot Chocolate
289.  Putting cookies in boxes to give away
290.  Finding all necessary ingredients