Archive for the ‘Holidays’ Category

He Lives!

April 4, 2010

“I Serve a Risen Savior”
Alfred H. Ackley

I serve a risen Savior
He’s in the world today.
I know that He is living,
Whatever men may say.
I see His hand of mercy;
I hear His voice of cheer;
And just the time I need Him
He’s always near.

He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and talks with me along life’s narrow way.
He lives, He lives, salvation to impart!
You ask me how I know He lives?
He lives within my heart.

In all the world around me
I see His loving care,
And though my heart grows weary,
I never will despair;
I know that He is leading,
Through all the stormy blast;
The day of His appearing
Will come at last.

He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and talks with me along life’s narrow way.
He lives, He lives, salvation to impart!
You ask me how I know He lives?
He lives within my heart.

Rejoice, rejoice, O Christian,
Lift up your voice and sing
Eternal hallelujahs
To Jesus Christ the King!
The Hope of all who seek Him,
The Help of all who find,
None other is so loving,
So good and kind.

He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and talks with me along life’s narrow way.
He lives, He lives, salvation to impart!
You ask me how I know He lives?
He lives within my heart.

“Because He Lives”
Words and music by William J. Gaither
© 1971

Matthew 28:6
“He is not here: for he is risen, as he said.
Come, see the place where the Lord lay.”

God sent His Son, they called Him, Jesus;
He came to love, heal and forgive;
He lived and died to buy my pardon,
An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives!

Chorus
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living,
Just because He lives!

How sweet to hold a newborn baby,
And feel the pride and joy he gives;
But greater still the calm assurance:
This child can face uncertain days because He Lives!

Chorus
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living,
Just because He lives!

And then one day, I’ll cross the river,
I’ll fight life’s final war with pain;
And then, as death gives way to vict’ry,
I’ll see the lights of glory and I’ll know He lives!

Chorus
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living,
Just because He lives!

Flylady, Martha Stewart and Easter Eggs

March 1, 2010

I have been perusing the fabulous Martha Stewart’s Encyclopedia of Crafts. I love that book. I hope someone gives it to me for Mother’s Day.

One of the crafts involves putting glitter on blown eggs. Those glitter-covered eggs are so beautiful. So, I decided that we needed some. But I wanted a full bowl of eggs, which meant a lot of egg-blowing. In my pre-Flylady days, I would have set aside some inadequate amount of time to blow a zillion eggs, gotten frustrated that I was being interrupted by the needs of small children while trying to blow the eggs, broken a few of them and then been left with a lot of eggs to use immediately in some recipe.

But, now that I’ve been Flywashed, I decided to blow a few eggs each day. I eat two eggs every morning, so I just blow those two eggs and set the clean shells with the rest of my collection in a safe place. I’ll soon have enough to make a charmingly full bowl of beautifully glittered Easter eggs.

Family Fun + Date Night = Lots of Valentine-y Love

February 14, 2010

I have the most amazing children. Last night, Amelia and Stephen prepared a Valentine FEAST for Joey and me. The menu included Artichoke and Parmesan Crostini, Peppered Filet Mignon with Red Wine and Mushroom Sauce, Creamed Spinach, Roasted Tomatoes and the most delicious Bittersweet Chocolate Mousse. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. And every single last morsel was South Beach Diet-friendly. That was a beautiful display of love. In fact, just last weekend, I told Joey that what he and I really needed was someone to take us out for supper and talk about something other than our job situation. But, this was far better because we had a meal that no restaurant around here offers.

And what about the Family Fun component of the evening? Well, Clara and Levi, along with Amelia and Stephen, hosted all of the kids at their house for a Valentine’s Party, complete with pizza, crafts and a movie. It was great to know that they were having fun with their siblings while we were enjoying our delicious meal.

I am so grateful for Amelia and Stephen’s generosity and thoughtfulness in dreaming up and executing this meal. I’m thankful that Clara and Levi were willing partners in the overall scheme. What can I say? I have the most amazing children!

Holiday Clean-up Mission #9

January 7, 2010

I am excited to be right on track with Flylady’s Holiday Clean-up Missions! Yesterday, right after lunch, everyone worked together to efficiently get all of the Christmas decorations down and boxed up. I greatly appreciate it when everyone pitches in. Jobs like this go so much faster when the whole family works together than if I were doing it alone. Joey then immediately took the storage boxes back down to the storage room and I got out our “winter” decorations (snowflakes and snowmen — as if we don’t have enough of the real thing right now) so everything didn’t look so bare.

It’s nice to have that little chore completed.

Flylady’s Holiday Control Journal AFTER Christmas

December 26, 2009

I am very excited about having all of my holiday planning information in one place for next Christmas! I am especially thrilled to have a place to keep a record of gifts given. For example, last year, we gave several people “Journal in a Jar” gifts (based on THIS idea). Our plan was that we would continue to give a similar gift each year as long as we could come up with questions. However, this year, I couldn’t easily find the list of questions we had given people last year (I did eventually find it) in order not to duplicate questions this year. Next year, all I’ll have to do is look in my Holiday Control Journal to find the questions for the two previous years!

Flylady’s Holiday Control Journal is the gift that keeps on giving.

Rejoice!

December 25, 2009

Today, I rejoice! Why? Because:

In the beginning [before all time] was the Word (Christ), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God Himself. He was present originally with God. All things were made and came into existence through Him; and without Him was not even one thing made that has come into being. In Him was Life, and the Life was the Light of men. And the Light shines on in the darkness, for the darkness has never overpowered it [put it out or absorbed it or appropriated it, and is unreceptive to it]. (John 1:1-5, Amplified)

THEN

And the Word (Christ) became flesh (human, incarnate) and tabernacled (fixed His tent of flesh, lived awhile) among us; and we [actually] saw His glory (His honor, His majesty), such glory as an only begotten son receives from his father, full of grace (favor, loving-kindness) and truth. (John 1:14, Amplified)

REJOICE!!!

Love, Joy and Peace for Christmas

December 24, 2009

Well, here we are. This is Christmas Eve! I feel like I’ve already been given my Christmas gift because, due to the storm, I was able to spend all day yesterday with Joey and ALL of the kids. It looks like today might be shaping up to be a repeat of yesterday, too.

How does Flylady fit into this scene? Because of the Holiday Control Journal, I was able to just BE with my family yesterday. Sure, I was attending to some Swishing and Swiping and laundry and Hot Spots. But, I wasn’t in a panic mode that I hadn’t done my Christmas shopping, yet, or that any of the kids still had to do Christmas shopping. All of the groceries were purchased. There was nothing essential for celebrating Christmas that hadn’t already been completed.

I just got to — and get to — experience the love, joy and peace of this celebration of the Word becoming flesh.

Flylady and Last Minute Grocery Shopping

December 23, 2009

Well, despite Flylady’s admonitions to the contrary, I did have to do some last minute grocery shopping yesterday for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Since there was also the threat of a blizzard looming, the grocery store was packed. I mean, packed. Thankfully, all of the shelves were fully stocked. I was thinking the whole time, however, that I had really intended to avoid this last minute grocery shopping.

Ah, well, there’s always next year to tweak my Holiday Control Journal, right?

Flylady and Preparing for a Big Day at Church

December 21, 2009

Yesterday was an activity-filled day. First, we had the children’s Christmas program at church. This meant that we had to arrive at church 1-1/2 hours earlier than usual, festively dressed, with my piano music (because I had my copies marked with changes). After the children’s program, we had a brunch. This meant that we had to bring a tray of fruit, when we arrived at church 1-1/2 hours earlier than usual, festively dressed, with my piano music. Then, Amelia, Clara, Jacob, Tim and Margaret were all playing special music during the regular service. This meant that we had to have three violins, a viola, a cello, their music and four music stands delivered to the church when we arrived 1-1/2 hours earlier than usual, festively dressed, with my piano music and the tray of fruit.

After church, we had a potluck. This meant that we had to have a potato dish prepared when we arrived at church 1-1/2 hours earlier than usual, festively dressed, with my piano music and the tray of fruit and three violins, a viola, a cello, their music and four music stands. After church, because we were going to be attending another church event later in the afternoon and we didn’t want to drive all the way home and back, we decided to take advantage of the free matinee at the movie theater. This meant that we needed to bring changes of clothing for all of the little girls who were wearing the exceptionally festive outfits for the children’s program when we arrived at church 1-1/2 hours earlier than usual, festively dressed, with my piano music and the tray of fruit and three violins, a viola, a cello, their music and four music stands and a potato dish.

After the movie, we were going caroling with our church family and then coming back to the church for a soup supper. This meant that we needed to bring a crock pot full of soup when we arrived at church 1-1/2 hours earlier than usual, festively dressed, with my piano music and the tray of fruit and three violins, a viola, a cello, their music and four music stands and a potato dish and changes of clothing for the little girls. Are you singing along, yet?

Well, a preparation of this magnitude definitely called for some Flylady skills. So, Saturday afternoon, before we went to the Slagles’ house for some Family Fun, we got out all of the festive clothing, down to the tights and shoes, picked out the changes of clothing, gathered the music into one easily located pile, decided what was going on the fruit tray and loaded the instruments and stands into a vehicle that was headed to town so the instruments could be stored overnight at Levi’s house.

On Sunday morning, the only hitches were that the little girls had to shower since we got home late-ish on Saturday night, which kind of pushed our getting out the door right on time, plus Margaret’s music ended up separated from the rest of the music and Stephen volunteered to go all the way out to our house during the brunch to try to locate it, when the whole time it was in the van. But, overall, it was an amazing feat. The kids were cooperative about preparing their clothing ahead of time, I could enjoy being at the Slagle’s without anticipating having to come home and scramble, or, worse, yet, going to bed anticipating having to get up early enough to pull everything together.

Yep, I’ve been thoroughly Flywashed. Hurrah!

More on Flylady and Christmas Busy-ness

December 18, 2009

I know I’m beginning to sound like a broken record, but I seriously appreciate Flylady’s Holiday Control Journal. In fact, I’m tempted to print out a couple of copies to carry around with me to distribute to people who say to me, “I’m SO busy! I’m SO stressed out! I can’t WAIT for Christmas to be over!” I could just hand them the solution to their busy-ness and stress.

I really do think that we all need to keep reinforcing with each other that it is not “cool” or “admirable” to be too busy and stressed out this time of year (or any time of year, for that matter). If we can counteract someone’s expressions of exasperation with hope that it doesn’t have to be that way, maybe it will make them stop for a split second to examine what is going on in their lives: what perfectionism is holding them captive, what associated procrastination is dragging them into panic mode. Then, maybe, they will want to start to work to change things.

Why is this on my mind so much? Well, I think that accepting the general idea that busy-ness and stress is just part of this holiday season detracts from what should be our focus at Christmas. Busy-ness and stress should NOT be the focus.

I really liked what Gary Chapman wrote in his “Love Language Minute” yesterday:

For many, December 24th is a day dedicated to ‘last minute shopping’. I’m often wondered what God was doing the day before Christ was born? Probably guiding each step as Joseph and Mary traveled to Bethlehem. The most profound event of human history was about to happen. The theologians call it the ‘incarnation’: God becoming human in the form of a baby.

God had communicated for hundreds of years through the prophets. But now He sends His own Son. To use the words of John, “The Word became flesh and we observed His glory, the glory as the One and Only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” In the midst of today’s busyness, let’s make time to reflect upon God’s greatest gift.

Merry Christmas! Webster says that ‘merry’ implies uninhibited enjoyment of frolic, festivity, or fun. In addition freshness and buoyancy as manifest in singing, leaping, and dancing. That’s what I wish for you on this Christmas day. That’s what the shepherds did. Luke says, “The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen.”

I hope that in the busyness of this day, you will find a place where you can let your spirit rise in praise to God for what He did on that first Christmas. The babe of Bethlehem was born to die so that we might have eternal life. Yes, the hinge of history is attached to the door of a Bethlehem stable. So, let us sing, leap, and dance for joy in celebration.

If Flylady’s Holiday Control Journal helps me ditch the busy-ness and stress of preparing for celebrating Christmas so I can focus on rejoicing, then, praise the Lord!