Monday, December 15, 2014

Gifts of Christmas

The gift of Christmas. I love this time of year. I love to go to church and sing Christmas songs. I love to be reminded of what Christmas really is; the birth of Jesus. It can be so easy to get caught up in the busyness of this season. But my heart feels right when I'm worshiping with other believers.

This Sunday was no different. But what was so special about this church service was ...the stories.

I love to hear people's stories.

My pastor asked people from our congregation to share their stories. It was filmed so we could all watch and listen to their voices. 

One young woman shared how she had a plan for her life and was intent on working her plan. But then she listened to the soft whispers in her heart as she realized that wasn't really God's plan for her. 

A father and son shared how they both got caught up in addiction to alcohol. It wasn't until the son was in jail in Phoenix's tent city that he prayed and asked God for help.

A couple were hopeless as they wanted to have a child. Their story involved a family boy who was taken into child protective services. Would they adopt this one who needed a home?

Another couple lost their jobs with the overturn in the economy. With two little children they traveled with the name of a friend of a friend as the only one they knew in Phoenix. 

Another young man shared how he was homeless living in his car. He attempted to hide this secret each day as he went to work. 

Towards the end of the service, the people who shared their stories in the video came forward and stood behind huge gifts that were labeled: Alcoholic, Homeless, Hopeless, Fearful, Stubborn. Then they opened up the gifts and held up the signs: Addiction-free, Belonging, Joyful, Secure, and Surrendered.

It was a beautiful sight! I was so thankful that these people were willing to be transparent and share their stories. I believe it helps each one of us when we realize we're not alone. We each have our own story. I may not struggle with alcohol but I may be fearful and stubborn at times. 

Are you still holding on to something or someone that you know isn't right? You may think it's too hard to change or that's just the way I am.

"For nothing is impossible with God." Luke 1:37 (NIV)

There isn't any problem that is too hard for God. I encourage you to begin praying and asking God for help. 

Christmas is a time for giving and receiving gifts. But the true gift of Christmas is ...JESUS.

Will you give him your heart?

Blessings and love,

Gifts of ChristmasSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Friday, December 12, 2014

The True Gift of Christmas

Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. No matter where you live or what your background you can't help but feel the festive change that happens in the month of December. The sound of holiday music fills the air. Children are excited as they anticipate what Santa will bring. The newly popular Elf on the Shelf reminds children to be good. Baking cookies and preparing family recipes provides familiar smells in kitchens around the world. Malls become crowded with people shopping for gifts. 

The dictionary defines gift as "something given voluntarily without payment in return, as to show favor toward someone, honor an occasion, or  make a gesture of assistance, present."

Gifts are something we give to people we care about. I used to love to buy gifts throughout the year to set aside for Christmas. Searching for that special gift became an adventure. Wrapping the gifts and including a special note of love was a task that gave me so much pleasure. I longed to see my loved one's reaction as they opened the gift I'd especially chosen for them.

To continue reading, please link to Lisa Shaw Cares for Women Walking with Jesus.

Blessings and love,

The True Gift of ChristmasSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Do You Struggle with Change?

I have a confession to make. I don't like change! I tend to stick with the same because it's comfortable. As I look back over my life, there are times when I knew I needed to do something different but ...I stuck with the same.

You'd think I would have become more accustomed to change with the ups and downs of the last four years of my life.  I transitioned from a very comfortable retirement living in my dream home to returning to full time work in a different profession. Oh and along the way we moved into a much smaller living space; a condo. How's that for change? 

I even changed my profession. Instead of working as a nurse, I switched to education. For the last four and a half school years, I've worked in a preschool classroom with another teacher. 


Heidi and I worked so well as a team.  We laughed, we cried and encouraged one another. She helped me get through those transition years as I adjusted to a different way of life. Besides being co-workers, we became friends. When she decided to leave the job to work with her husband, I was happy for her but sad for me. It had been a great run! 

But then I was teamed up with Mandie. It was a change but I have to say that we've had a great school year and we get along very well. She is so much fun!

But now ...another change. I was asked to be the lead teacher for the Mini-Mustangs beginning in January. Same school but different classroom, different students. Another change!

I am very excited. I know this is a good change. I look forward to teaching these very little ones about school. I realize there will be adjustments like separation anxiety for mommy and child. But I hope to provide a stable loving environment so they will have a great first experience with our school. 

However, I will miss the students in our Pre-K 3 classroom. I will miss the students in my after school class. Of course, I will still get to see them but it won't be the same. 

I think back to years ago when I dreamed about what my life would be like. I used to line my dolls up in the window seat of my bedroom with my little sister Christine wedged right in the middle. I' d pretend I was a teacher. I also dreamed of being married and having several children. Fast forward to today.   I'm married to my honey but we weren't able to have children. 

So beginning in January, I will be teaching little ones in my own classroom. I'll have the opportunity to teach them and spend  the week days with them.  But I then I get to return them to their own mommies and daddies at the end of the school day. It's funny how life turns out. I think God answered my prayers in ways I never imagined.

Maybe change isn't such a bad thing after all. 

So how about you? Do you struggle with change or do you embrace it?

Blessings and love,

Do You Struggle with Change?SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Am I a kid or what?

Am I a kid or what?

I love this place...Carmel, CA

I love this place...Carmel, CA