Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Wordle for my blog...so much fun!

Wordle: Advent
If you haven't tried Wordle, it is sooooo much fun! Paste some text or the URL of your website in and, presto! A fun visual. The bigger words are the ones you use over and over...I do this at school. I'll do a Wordle of a common document or well-known text (think the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet, or MLK's I Have a Dream speech) and see if the kids can guess what they are reading. Or, I'll put something else in and see if they can make a prediction about the main idea. I just like the way it looks!

Monday, November 29, 2010

The days are coming...

Jeremiah 23:5-6 says  “The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will raise up for David[a] a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The LORD Our Righteous Savior."

I am NOT good at waiting, and I don't dare pray for patience for fear that God will challenge me to wait through something that is really hard for me. I can't imagine living in wait for a Savior, like the Jews in Jeremiah's time. They were scattered all over and they were waiting, impatiently like I would, for their King to come to restore them to their homeland. They believed the false prophets, followed after teachings that sounded good but weren't true, and walked a fine line that was leading straight toward destruction. Nope, not the life I'd like to lead!

Every Advent season, we prepare our hearts to be renewed with the excitement of the season and the anticipation of His birth. Like children, we wait and watch for signs of his coming. How fortunate for us that the day of the King has already come! He reigns wisely in our hearts and gives shelter, hope, and salvation to those who will accept Him. The wait is over!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Advent begins!

Today is the first Sunday in Advent, the beginning of the Christian year, and the start of our anticipation of the coming of the Christ child. For whatever reason, I am especially excited about the season this year. Our tree has been up since last week, and today, I make our family an Advent wreath that I hope will withstand time. Tonight we did our first family devotion. I'd love for that to become a tradition with us, not just in the Advent season, but always.

Tonight, we read a couple of different verses. First, our "memory verse" for Advent is John 8:12. "When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, 'I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.'" Maybe my favorite part of the devotion tonight was when Jack piped up, " I will follow Him!!!" I pray that my children will walk in the light of the Lord, and love that childlike enthusiasm that he has. (If you were at First United Methodist Church in Frankfort today, you would have heard Jack nearly commandeer the Children's Sermon with his enthusiasm!!!)

Then, we had a brief liturgy and another reading from Isaiah 2:1-5, which was the text for Reverend Sayre's sermon, "We Need Hope!" today. That passage concludes with a similar thought to the memory verse. "Come, descendants of Jacob, let us walk in the light of the LORD."

So, it is my goal, this Advent season, to walk in the light of the Lord, to be an example to my family and friends, and to keep that light ever burning in my heart. I hope to post a brief Advent reflection daily...but you know how that goes. I get a little overwhelmed with the day to day and the light begins to dim. Pray for me and help me persevere! Know that I appreciate you for reading and giving me those virtual hugs in the form of comments. Your support means sooo much! XXOO!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thankful for..

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving day. We're going to Natural Bridge State Resort Park to eat at the Hemlock Lodge with both sets of grandparents, then home with my folks for some spoiling, and then Friday, we'll enjoy our traditional soup and sandwich supper with John's extended family.

I'm thankful for much. So much. Here's a partial list, not really in any order.

1. A fantastic husband and a wonderful marriage.
2. Beautiful and healthy (if not always well behaved) children.
3. An ever blossoming relationship with God and a church for me and my family to grow in.
4. A host of wonderful, supportive friends. You know who you are!
5. A mostly great job. Today, it is super great. I'm not there!
6. Abundance in almost every area of my material life, certainly more than I deserve.
7. My parents and extended family.
8. My health. Two years ago, I couldn't really say that. I was just thankful to be not dead.
9. Gifts and talents and the opportunity to share with others.
10. Glee. I know that is dumb, but it brings me soooo much joy.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Chasing my tail

I've been back in school for two weeks and have totally fallen off the blog-wagon. I was doing so well, too. It isn't that I haven't had some fantastic thoughts I wanted to share. I have. I had this whole post in my head about the difference between the faith of a child and childish faith. It was a doozie. You'll have to just trust me on that, though, since it never made it out of my head.

You see, I've been going in circles the last two weeks. I knew I would be encountering some busy days, but on our first day back to school, we had a faculty meeting that just intensified the stress I was feeling with the beginning of the new quarter. I've been something of a mad woman lately. I work a little on this, a little on that, put out a fire here, cross one item off my to-do list but add four more, and at the end of the day, I'm not sure what I've accomplished at all. I've just been swamped. And, everytime I've seen a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel, it really has turned out to be a train!

To top it all off, I have not been able to shake the sinus infection that I developed last week. I still sound hoarse and sniffly despite finishing a round of antibiotics today.

Anyway, I *think* things are going to slow down this week. Perhaps. I've decided to move forward and stop worrying about whether I've done all the things that needed doing up to this point. I'm starting from scratch, and I aim to keep my head above water through what promises to be a busy Christmas season.

Tonight, I started planning our family's advent activities. I want us to do a nightly devotion and some kind of activity. I'm thinking of a mini-tree with an ornament for each day that corresponds with our devotion. I also hope to blog about the devotions we'll do. That's not an unreasonable goal is it?