Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Good bye 2014...Hello 2015 What will your word be?

Well there's been a lot of activity to take place since my last post.  We celebrated big.  We ate all manner of good food and coconut cake.  We've opened gifts.  We gave gifts.  And I turned, uh um...another year older.

And here we are at the end of 2014 waiting on 2015  to begin. With that in mind, I wonder if you have a word for 2015.  We have all heard of New Year's resolutions right?  Have you ever thought of giving the new year a word?  I hadn't either until a few years ago.  In fact I think the first year I had a word was 2011.  My word was" Praise".  There was another year that the word was "Joy". 

Honestly, up until yesterday,  I hadn't given too much thought to it.  I came across a blog and she was talking about her word.  Let me say that the years that I have chosen a word, I thought it was a decision that I made and a decision/choice I had to make through out the year.  I would choose to praise.  I would choose joy over anything else.  But in the post I read yesterday she pointed out her theory.  That it isn't so much about your commitment as much as it is God's.  She also said that she had looked back over her words and the years that she chose them and she could see how God had used those words in her year. 

It's just an idea that I thought I would throw out there to you.  I have my word.  It is "Happy".  Now let me just explain.  I am not unhappy.  In fact I am in love with life. Everyone is happy & healthy.  We have a roof over our head & a place to sleep.  As I said I turned another year older.  And if you are like me there are just certain things about yourself that you don't really like.  We have a hard time seeing ourselves as "fearfully & wonderfully made".  Well, if you are like me you see the fearfully as "what in the world???"....where God sees the wonderfully.  I have found myself asking at what point do we as women accept the way we look?  At what point do we accept the aging process and all the changes that go with it?  I'm sure men may have "some" of these thoughts too but we just won't go there. 

For a few weeks now a prayer that has been on my lips is this: "Let my happiness be found in you".  We place so much emphasis on things making us happy.  A new purse.  Shoes.  Food.  Prettying up the house.  If I just had... If I just looked.... but how often to we just want what God has to offer?  To accept things just the way they are.  The old saying is contentment is wanting what you have, not having what you want.  I'm not saying I want more.  I'm not saying I am unhappy or that I want to be happy.  I just want all my happiness to be found in Him & to be happy in all circumstances. 

I know of two changes that 2015 will hold for this bunch.  I'm happy for those who will be involved in the changes.  And, honestly, I'm happy to see what those changes will hold for us.  I also know that 2015 will bring some unexpected challenges & changes.  Whatever they are I want to be happy in them and about them. 

With all that said, what will your word be? 
I also want to wish you and yours a very "happy" new year.  I pray that God will show his favor and blessings on all that 2015 may hold for you. 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas calls for coconut cake! An ode to Jim and Mary Bell

I had no intentions of visiting here until well after Christmas day.  But I couldn't help it....
I'm busy in the kitchen last night when my phone tells me I have a message.  I stopped what I was doing and the above picture is what I have. It took me a second to figure out what it was.  It is from my brother.  His message was "Mary Bell & Jim would be proud."  Mary Bell & Jim were our maternal grandparents.  She was famous for her cooking, the big family dinners & coconut cake.  What my brother didn't know was I was finishing up icing my coconut cake for Christmas Eve dinner.
Now fast forward to this morning.  The icing is set.  My coconut is thawed.  (I didn't bust a real coconut.)  I have since found out that he didn't make a coconut cake.  He was just busting the "real" coconut for his mother in law.  She's gonna make a cake.

So here's a portion of my cake.  (It's complete now but I didn't take a pic.)
A couple of years ago my mother in law had surgery to remove a portion of her lung.  She wasn't up to the big Christmas Eve meal so we all pitched in and pulled it off.  It was the first year I tried my hand at the cake.  I haven't made it since.  Until last night.  We are helping her out again this year.  Try to take a load off of her so she can enjoy it.  I said let me try to perfect my skill.. She was gracious and said ok.  (That took guts because she knows my skills are limited.)
Anyway, as I am putting the coconut on my cake, there's Christmas music playing & my mind raced back to a simple time. 
D made the comment to the boys last night that he use to have to go to my house for our family Christmas meal.  He said "And it was in the car port!  With a LOT OF PEOPLE there.  People I didn't know!!"  Well... I can't help it.  We have a big family and my grandmother always felt the need to invite any and everyone that ever held a spot on the family tree.  (or so it seemed) And in doing so, we outgrew her house.
I couldn't help but think how thankful I am that my family is set so steep in traditions. 
I, like, my brother, think that they would be so proud.  She especially.  I don't know if she really liked to cook that much.  I just know when she did it was always a table full of food and there was always a lot of people.  I can see her drop her head and smile when someone complimented her. 
She was a Godly woman.  He was a simple man.  I loved seeing him in his overalls.  That's how I remember him. 
I may not cook a meal big enough to feed "Cox's army" and I may not do a lot of other things,  but the things we have done all my life still remain.  And those things have been passed on to my boys. 
We hold the meaning of Christmas near.  We know it isn't all about Santa.  We know it is all out the baby in the manger.  The gift He gave us. We know it's all about the family.   That is the main thing that was passed on from Jim and Mary Bell.  Their house was small.  But their hearts were huge. 
I don't plan on being back for a while.  So again, until then, enjoy the time with your family.  Sit still a little longer.  Soak it all in. 
Merry Christmas Y'all!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Sunday Reflections

I honesty can't get my mind wrapped around all the thoughts enough to get them typed out.
It's a big week.  Excitement is in the air.  Non stop Christmas music and movies.  This week is the only reason I can handle winter.  After Thursday, well....

And since it is the biggest week of the year I will be busy.  I will be busy trying to savor every moment.
I want to wish you, my faithful reader, a very Merry Christmas.  My prayer for you is that you too, can savor the moments.  The memories.  And in the midst of it all, you will remember the baby in the manger.  The baby that was born to die for you. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Thursday's Thoughts on Fashion

I'm going to talk about some fashion today there just aren't any pictures.

Tuesday morning I was getting ready for a day of shopping with the future daughter in law.  The closet ended up being a small disaster because I couldn't decide on what to wear.  I just really wanted to wear some yoga pants, a big sloppy tee shirt that advertised a favorite restaurant on a beach somewhere & my tennis shoes.  I, however, didn't want to embarrass the future D-I-L so I opted for something a little more presentable. (I should add here that I ended up wearing (I think) a cute raglan tee shirt with the silhouette of a deer on the front with a long cardigan sweater, jeans & boots)  (Said future D-I-L showed up with black leggins, a tee shirt with the silhouette of a deer on the front (only her deer has cute little glasses),  & a cardigan)  (We didn't ask what the other was wearing)  (We even talked about how what we really wanted to wear was yoga pants) Ok back to the point at hand... As I put the sweater on I thought back to how old it was.  My mind is so messed up.  I can't recall a lot of things but when it comes to clothes I can.  How sad!!!

It was at this point in the process that I felt His nudge.  You see, as long as I can remember clothing has been important to me.  Not just as a necessity to cover my body, but as a statement for who I was.  (So to speak.)  I've obviously cared (or maybe not) what people thought because it has always mattered (to me) how I look.  I've always wanted to dress trendy yet not blend in with the crowd and look like everyone else.

And this is when it hit me... Standing in the middle of my bedroom, putting on a sweater that is approximately 13 years old, I've been focused on the wrong wardrobe.  If, 13 years ago, my focus was on growing my relationship with Christ then I wouldn't remember the sweater.  Where I got it and what was going on in my life at the time.  If my focus was on growing my relationship with Christ then that would be all that mattered.  Does that make sense?  I'm not saying that the relationship wasn't important, just that the focus has been a bit wrong all this time.  I should first be concerned with "dressing" myself in Him. In His love.  Not that I'm not or haven't been, but if it is where it should be, then you would see His love & light in me first not my clothing. Right?

How many times have we all been guilty of judging a book by it's cover?  If  had I chosen to wear the yoga pants & sloppy tee and you saw me what would you think? Whether you know me or not, you would have judged by what I had on.  Right?  She's having a bad day... That's about the tackiest thing I've seen all day... I can't believe she's wearing THAT!...   Pajama bottoms have become a big hit in these neck of the woods.  I can go to the grocery store on any given day and I'm almost positive that I will see an adult, in public mind you, wearing pajama bottoms.  It's a small pet peeve of mine.  Would you say I'm quick to judge?  For all I know that mama has been up with a crying baby all night and has no energy to dress.  For all I know her house may have burned last night and that is all she's got today.

Where is our focus?  Don't get me wrong, I'm all about some cute/pretty clothes.  Love them.  I was so distracted several times Tuesday on our shopping trip by cute/pretty clothes.  So much so that I had to say to D-I-L that I needed to FOCUS on the task at hand...  

I guess I say all of that to say this..  We need to cloth ourselves with Christ before we worry about what is on our back and how we look.  So what if we look pretty on the outside.  Remember what the Lord told Samuel in 1 Samuel 16:7 "The Lord doesn't see things the way you see them.  People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."  If our heart isn't clothed right, what difference does it make how we look?  But when the heart is right, the face will glow and so will the rest of you.  Making everything else just as pretty whether it is yoga pants & sloppy tee shirts or cute leggins, tunics & boots.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Sunday Reflections

We made it through the Sunday School hour just fine yesterday.  We were in the sanctuary and just about ready to start our service and the lights went out.  They came back on.  They blink.  They went out and stay out.  We had one song, the offering, and then the preacher got up and began to preach in the dark.  In this modern world that we live in now, the choir sang & I played the piano by the light on a cell phone.  The doors to the sanctuary were opened and enough light came through.

I couldn't help but think as we sat there in the semi darkness that it would have been really easy to just call off the service.  And that is exactly what satan would have had us do.  But even in the semi darkness, God was there.

As I pondered this throughout the afternoon I thought about Christmas.  I don't know if Christ was really born on December 25.  And really, it doesn't make me any difference.  The fact is, He was born.  And regardless of the date,  the circumstances that He was born in remain the same.  It was a dark world.

For a long time I wanted my Christmas' to be  like a Norman Rockwell painting or the movies you would watch on TV. You know the one's where everyone was gathered and always got the exact thing that they wanted.  They sang all the carols and everyone was happy.  And honestly I never had a bad Christmas.  But I'm willing to bet there is someone reading this that can't say that.  Or there is someone reading this that knows someone that can't say that.

We all want our Christmas to be tied up in pretty packages.  We want what is in the package to be the perfect gift.  We stress ourselves to the point that we can't even enjoy it.  And with the stress and all the "wants" we may have, we put ourselves into a dark place. When truth of the matter is this...Christ didn't enter this world in a pretty package.  There was no heat in the room.  In fact there wasn't a room.  Just a "barn".  In a dark world.  But God was there in the dark.  Mary and Joseph made the best of a dark situation.  Talk about stressed.  I would have been panicked.  But they knew their Jesus was coming to bring light to the darkness.  And that's exactly what He did.  He brought light.

So if you are in the midst of some darkness right now whether it be because of Christmas stress, health, fiances, relationship issues, know this, Christ is in the darkness.  He always has been.  He's there to bring you light.  We just have to put forth the effort to see it.

Friday, December 12, 2014

A Friday rambling

If you are not a dog lover then this post will stress you out.
This mess sleeps in the room with us every night.  Some nights he sleeps at the foot of the bed, other nights he sleeps in the floor.  He usually never comes to the head of the unless he wants down. 
There are times when he does venture up but I send him back down or to the floor.  I can't stand for him to be on my pillow.  But this morning before the alarm went off, he crept up to my pillow.  And I let him stay.  I knew it was time to get up.  But just for a few minutes I let my mind wander.  (I've been in a blog fog this week.)  I just couldn't help but think how our Father must feel when we do this.  You know we just linger near by but never really close enough.   Yes we say we sit at His feet and maybe we do.  But what about when we get right up there so close to His heart.  Right up there under His wing.  When Silas crept up and collapsed next to my back, it was kind of comforting.  For him & me.  We both dosed back off.  But before I did I had that thought.  How does it make my Father feel when I do this.  When I climb back in His lap, under His wing, close to His heart.  I have to believe He is as delighted as I was comforted this morning.  Made me think that maybe I shouldn't just linger or hang out so much.  Maybe I should get a bit more comfortable. After all, there is rest there. 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Thursday's Thoughts on Fashion

We made it through Thanksgiving.  We made it through Thanksgiving and black Friday with colds and sinus junk.  But the trees are up.  The outside lights are up.  Christmas season is now underway.  I will say the cold junk almost got the best of me.  I felt like my head was in a barrel Sunday and the world was just swimming around me.  Not a happy place.  Monday there was zero energy.  Well, I did have energy to find some of these scarves on Pinterest.  I even found myself one during the "black Friday" shopping trip with D.  Yay me!!

 I love this look!

And this one too.

I realize that mixing the plaid scarf and the stripes may be too much for some.  And that's ok.  I don't know if I, myself, would be brave enough to try it.

 I have discovered there are may ways to wear the scarf.

 I can handle this mix of plaid and stripe better than the other. 

Love this too.

Happy Weekend to you all!