Friday, December 12, 2008

Seven Christmas Memories

Hi - This is a meme going on over at Greg's General Store, and I thought it would be fun to play along and share seven Christmas memories.

1. Every year at Christmas we would all line up in birth order from youngest (that put me 2nd) to run down the stairs and open our presents. My dad always went down first to "make sure Santa came." He would then yell up "Okay he came, you can come down now." I never realized until after I was an adult, he was turning the Christmas tree on so that when we came down it would be sparkling.

2. Every year my dad would take us kids (4 of us) in the car to see the Christmas lights. He loved it! But now that we kids are all grown, my dad still takes each of us, with our own kids, to go look at all the Christmas lights with him. He still loves it.

3. One year I asked for a Barbie Styling Head for Christmas. On Christmas morning my younger sister guessed it...a Barbie Styling Head. My parents love to tell the story of the look on my face. I still had one wrapped in my stack, I just didn't know they'd gotten her one too.

4. One Christmas I was sure the fellow I was dating was going to give me a ring. We'd been together a long while. After opening all my gifts, I did a good job of hiding my disappointment. No ring. Then he said "I do have one more gift. It's out in the car; I didn't have a chance to wrap it." "That's okay!" I responded (Why wrap a velvet box, right?) I don't remember what the last gift was...maybe a pair of gloves or a scarf or something. But I vividly remember the disappointment. Within the next few months I realized he wasn't serious about the relationship, so I told him I was going to start dating other people and he said that was fine. I started dating another fellow who was really quite wonderful. Within in a couple months, the first boyfriend asked me to marry him. I said no (too little, too late). I now happen to be married to the other fellow, 12 years and counting. Merry Christmas to me!

5. Every year for Christmas my kids get to open 1 gift on Christmas eve. It always just happens to be new PJs. They look so cute in the pictures on Christmas morning in their new PJs.

6. My dad always makes the holiday dinners, including candied yams. One year at Thanksgiving I made a new recipe, Sweet Potato Casserole. Everyone loved it and asked me to bring it for Christmas. I think my dad was miffed that everyone liked the casserole more than his yams. So he always asks me "Are you going to bring that marshmallow thing again this year?" The funny thing is my Casserole doesn't have marshmallows on it and never has. Last year, I put one miniature marshmallow in the middle of it as a joke, since he always says I am bringing that casserole with the marshmallows.

7. My favorite Christmas memory. My husband and I wanted to have children right away in our marriage, but it didn't happen right away. After 2 years, I was very disappointed. The week between Christmas '98 and New Years I found out I was expecting our oldest daughter. That was the best Christmas present I've ever gotten.


I have to say it was SO HARD thinking up 7 memories! So you can share you favorite memory in the comments, or join the meme, or just have yourself a merry little Christmas!

Chatty Kelly

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thankful Thursday - 12/11

Thankful Thursday at Truth 4 the Journey

Today is my husband's birthday! Happy Birthday John! So for today's version of Thankful Thursday, I am going to list 5 things for which I am thankful about my husband.

1. He esteems me. We were at a party recently and the couples were playing a strange game where you say who you would "be with" if you could be with anyone (celebrity). All the guys were listing different women and when they asked my husband, he said I'm the only person he wants to be with. He was "boo'ed" by the other guys, but I am so thankful for a husband who esteems me.

2. He supports my writing. When I mentioned attending "She Speaks" he gave a huge YES and supported me 100%. He knows this is something important to me.

3. He is generous. My husband is never stingy. While we have had times of want and times of plenty in our marriage, his desire is to give me everything I need, and many things I want. I am truly blessed this way.

4. He attends church with me and shares my beliefs. I am so thankful to have a supportive husband in this most important area of my life.

5. His love language is acts of service. While this is not my love language, I am thankful that I have learned to recognize it is how he shows love. So when he fills my car with gas every week for me, or takes our daughter to school (or picks her up) so I don't have to, I know he is showing love. Do you know your husband's love language? (You can take the quiz to determine yours, or have your husband take it to determine his).

So I am thankful today for my husband, on his birthday!

Chatty Kelly

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I Don't Get It

Have you ever received a gift and thought "Why would they buy me this?" Maybe you just don't get it.

I remember one year my sister, My ADHD Me, gave me a fridge magnet with the recipe for Pina Coladas on it. I remember thinking "huh?" I'm not much of a drinker, and I never mix drinks. After my less than enthusiastic thank you, she asked "Don't you get it?" Obviously I didn't. It was a joke. A few weeks prior my other sister, ET, had emailed us with Thanksgiving dinner at her house, asking "What do you like to drink?" Some how her wording made a song come into my head, (imagine that). I had responded in jest "I like pina coladas...and getting caught in the rain." Obviously now the magnet made perfect sense to me!

The ancient Jews were told that a King was coming. They were anxiously waiting for this "king of the Jews" to rule. They had great plans and dreams of what his rule would bring. So when Jesus came and didn't want war, but peace, they didn't understand how he was going to "save" them. They wanted to be saved from Roman rule. They didn't understand he was coming to save them from themselves, their sin.

Even John the Baptist, the baby who had lept for joy in his mother's womb when Mary entered the room with Jesus in her womb; John, the man who baptized Jesus and saw the sky open and hear the voice of God acknowledge his son; John sent his disciples to ask "Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?" (Matt 11:3)

John didn't get it. He was in prison. Where was the new king? John was sent to prophesy about Jesus coming, to prepare the way, and yet he was still confused enough to ask "Are you the one?"

Even as believers it's hard to understand God, especially during tough times. Just like my sister had to explain the magnet to me, the truth is explained to us in the Bible. If you want to understand suffering, read Job. If you want to be able to praise God in good times and bad, read Psalms. If you want to learn more about applying your faith in your life, read James. Just read something.

If you're not spending time in the Word daily, I encourage you to do so while you can. Otherwise, you just might not get it.

Luke 8:10 -- He said, "You've been given insight into God's kingdom—you know how it works. There are others who need stories. But even with stories some of them aren't going to get it: Their eyes are open but don't see a thing, Their ears are open but don't hear a thing." (The Message)

John 12:36 -- Jesus said all this, and then went into hiding. All these God-signs he had given them and they still didn't get it, still wouldn't trust him. This proved that the prophet Isaiah was right: God, who believed what we preached? Who recognized God's arm, outstretched and ready to act? First they wouldn't believe, then they couldn't—again, just as Isaiah said: Their eyes are blinded, their hearts are hardened, So that they wouldn't see with their eyes and perceive with their hearts, And turn to me, God, so I could heal them. (The Message)

Chatty Kelly

Monday, December 8, 2008

Take a Hike!

"Take a Hike!" "You're going Down!" "Don't choke on it." I love this commercial starring Payton Manning.

After each insult, he responds as if it were meant kindly. The Bible says "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." (Proverbs 15:1) These are words I have trouble implementing in my life.

The verse says turns away wrath. The wrath was already there, and you are to give a gentle answer back. I can speak gently...until I get the harsh word. Then I respond harshly, even if the word wasn't directed at me.

Before my husband and I were married, we attended pre-marital classes with the Pastor. One of the "issues" I had was that I felt my husband blew things out of proportion. If we missed an exit while driving on the interstate, he blew up. Then I would blow up at him for acting so dramatically over something so stupid. But the Pastor said, "Maybe it's not stupid to him." He encouraged me to respond gently.

My husband had his secretary make the travel arrangements on our honeymoon (isn't that romantic?). When we arrived to our destination airport, he discovered she booked the rental car off property. That meant we'd have to take a cab or bus to the rental place. My husband was very annoyed, to say the least. I felt like screaming "Who cares?! We just got married, we're together, we have all week, let's just be happy." But instead, I validated him. I said "I can see why you're upset." Remarkable, that was the end of it.

Years have past and I have become woefully inadequate at responding gently. And when I do remember, it doesn't always work as well as it did on our honeymoon. But that doesn't mean I should quit trying.

Because I don't want to be like Payton Manning. I want to be like Jesus.

Proverbs 21:9 -- Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.

Ephesians 5:33 -- However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Proverbs 31:10 -- A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.

Chatty Kelly