Let My Words Be Few

Sthill, er, still sore. But only on one side, so chewing should be somewhat more bearable today. It was so painful yesterday to eat, swallow, even talk, so that I didn’t do much of any of these. I was thinking how during this time I wouldn’t want to speak- if I had to say something, I needed it to count, and to do it in as few words as possible. Now, why I don’t approach life this way all the time, I don’t know. It would bless anyone I came in contact with, to only hear the truth in its beautiful simplicity, without all the fluff and jokes and idle talk. I’m all for kidding around sometimes, but I know I have thrown away a lot of words, when it should be my goal to conserve. Aunt Charley told a story about a talkative little girl being warned that she only had so many words and when she used them all up, she would die. That shut her up. But seriously, we all should be talking (or not talking) that way.
New Year’s Resolution #1: Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few. Ecclesiastes 5:2

This Has To Be The Strangest Injury I Have Ever Had

Last week I had a Christmas gathering with some family members, and we had a cookie exchange. One of the treats on my plate was a bag of hard tack candy. I especially like the cinnamon flavor, and would have a piece each day. I guess I ate too much on Christmas Eve, because yesterday morning when I woke up, my tongue was swollen and sore! I couldn’t enjoy Luke’s Christmas breakfast, or Carol’s Christmas dinner. Today it feels just as bad, and I am brainstorming what I can put in the Magic Bullet for my lunch and supper, to be sucked through a straw. (Smoothie for breakfast.) I’m gargling with salt water- that soothes it some. I know now to avoid sugar, the nasty culprit. This really stinks because Luke and I are going away to Cleveland tomorrow, and part of a getaway is eating, and enjoying, foods you don’t normally get. Serves me right, though. I have spent too much of this season stuffing my mouth. Maybe this is God’s way of getting me back on the right weight management track. I hope I can thtart uthing my tongue again thoon. Otherwithe my ‘t’ and ‘h’ keyth will get worn out.
Photo: Abbie “helping” us decorate cookies before the party. Oh, sorry, was your batch soggy?

Weekend Thoughts

“…Maybe Christmas isn’t easy after all. Maybe it’s as gritty and earthy as the darkest moment on the cross.
But OH, is it ever beautiful. It’s as beautiful as any Easter sunrise, as victorious as a heavy stone pushed away from a tomb…”

Read Shannon’s entire post here.

I’m off to celebrate and remember. Be back in 2008, hopefully reporting from a new blog!

Looky, Looky-

Carol gave me The Apron Book for Christmas. I don’t know the last time I have seen a more beautifully laid out book. The pictures (four-color!) are fantastic. And, it helps that the book is about one of my favorite subjects. Thanks, Carol!

I now have a place for a too-pretty-for-library-books butterfly clip Angela gave me. I’m on Chapter one, but am already fascinated by what I have read. The book not only talks about the history and uses of the apron, it also includes patterns and how-tos to make my own. Since the apron I wanted off of Amazon is gone (sigh), I guess this is a good a time as any to get sewing.

Thorns…Or Chains?

Have you ever heard someone say, “He would be a really great guy if he didn’t struggle with (blank). Or “If she didn’t have trouble with (blank), she could do such great things for God.”

Often, I try to pass my weaknesses off as thorns, as in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10-

To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

But really, I need to get real, and acknowledge them for the chains that they are. I believe people are given thorns in the flesh: difficulties that work out to glorify God, and make grace sufficient in a person’s life. I don’t believe that every single weakness I have is to be considered a thorn. If it were, that would excuse me from trying to change, to continue in becoming more like Christ. There would be no hope for a person who was stuck with her faults, a person enslaved to sin. This is not God’s will for me- He wants me enslaved only to Him, the best master one could have.
The new year is approaching and (call it cliche if you wish) my thoughts turn to new year’s resolutions. I’m planning some posts to talk about the old habits/weaknesses, chains, I hope to loosen (with God’s power) in the coming year. If I am serious about growing and changing, I won’t make any more excuses. I’ll get running.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
Hebrews 12:1

Big Shoes To Fill

Some friends of ours are going through a difficult time. This isn’t the first of the trials they have had to endure, either, so I am starting to feel at a loss in how to encourage them, again and again. I guess I did the right thing in calling tonight- my friend explained how in years past Don (my father-in-law, now in Heaven) would be one they would turn to in hard times to listen and support them. I’m sitting in the same spot as before, when I called Don, and tonight you call.
Hearing this made me feel many feelings at once- surprise, sadness. But mostly inadequacy. I told my friend, those are big shoes to fill.
Don is no longer here. The space he left on this Earth is so vast. I know it is my job to pick up some of where he left off, and continue in the work he started. I’ve got to get as proficient as he was at offering hope.

Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you
to give the reason for the hope that you have…1 Peter 3:15

Christmas Tour Of Homes

Welcome to my home! I’ve taken some pictures of my Christmas decorations, and made them into a Picasa slideshow. Be sure to click on the caption bubble, to read my comments on each photo. Enjoy your stay. I only wish I could send you home with some truffles.

Make It! Monday

Today I’m sharing a recipe for one of my favorite Christmas treats. I’m actually making some later on, for tomorrow there is to be a party and goodie exchange at my house.

Chocolate Truffles
(from Taste of Home)
3 cups (18 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
chopped flake coconut, sprinkles, baking cocoa,
and/or finely chopped nuts, optional

In a microwave-safe bowl, heat chocolate chips and milk at 50 % power until chocolate is melted. Stir in vanilla. Chill for 2 hours or until mixture is easy to handle. Shape into 1 inch balls. Roll in coconut, sprinkles, cocoa, or nuts if desired. Yield: about 4 dozen.

Bah Humbug Programming

The snow, and a sick Noah had us cooped up today, and we wanted to watch a movie. Where can a girl watch a good Christmas flick? Apparently, not on cable this year. Now, if I was on top of things (which I rarely am), I would have tuned in for (and had my mom dvr) the Shrek The Halls debut, but it aired at the end of November! Along with The Grinch, Charlie Brown, and Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer. There went our only chance to see these movies, apart from renting, borrowing or buying them. A favorite part in Home Alone has me looking for a time it might be on, too, but so far I don’t see it listed. I have tried googling “holiday tv schedule 2008”, with no success. The best it gets is It’s A Wonderful Life twice, a marathon of A Christmas Story on Christmas Eve (that is sooo three years ago), and a premiere of The Note on Hallmark, aka The Women’s Channel. What is up with the lack of Christmas movies? Is it too expensive to show The Santa Clause nowadays? How hard is it to put White Christmas on the airwaves? I doubt very. I got my hopes up this afternoon, when I read that A Christmas Carol, the one with George C. Scott, was on. When I turned to that station, it was a strange mystery from the fifties, with Don Knotts in it. I ended up finding ACC in Carol’s collection of videotapes, and we watched it after dinner. Do cable station people assume we own all these classics? Maybe, as this year’s sorry tv lineup attests.
Scott Calvin, Kevin, Cindy Lou Who. I’ll miss you, every one.

Year In Pictures, Part 3

“Do I look like a baby you can mess with?”“What’s that you say about my mom’s housekeeping
skills? Check out my skills.”
Love…
…sweet love.