Monday, November 17, 2014

Rethinking Holidays

Ah, the holiday season is upon us... Christmas cards, hot cocoa, Christmas lights, beautiful snow, trees, spending time with loved ones, and the cutest cookies you'll ever see. But if you're like me, then you may feel like we've truly lost the point of most holidays. Through the last year, mainly the last 7 months or so, I have come to see how greedy people can be (including myself!). It's sad when holidays are only about the gifts, when it should be about the time we get to spend with our loved ones, family and friends alike.

Yes, I have most of my Christmas cards addressed already, and will purchase gifts for people. However, we have decided to change our thinking on Christmas, and other holidays a bit. Instead of just giving a gift that people don't need, we will either get them a useful gift that has a purpose, or we will choose to make a memory instead. This can be done in many ways... If someone is getting married, then I would suggest purchasing something for them from their registry as it's very useful. If someone is graduating soon, then I would suggest money that should be put away for their education. Another suggestion, and one we have done a few times already, is making memories by spending time together. This can be done in so many ways, you can go to a sports event, dinner, shopping, coffee, frozen yogurt; the options are endless!

As a mother, it is my goal to show our boys, and soon-to-be daughter, what is truly important in life. I want to have an open and loving relationship with my children, and I am working hard at developing this relationship with them. I don't want them to be so focussed on money and "stuff" that they forget what holidays and people are really about. Why do we HAVE to get people things they don't need? Why can't we just spend time with them to show them they are important to us? This may sound like a way to get out of things, but this year I was taken out to lunch for my birthday by someone special in my life. I can tell you that this meant much more to me that she took the time out of her schedule to make me a priority. It let me know I was important and that she appreciated me and who I am in her life.

If you choose to make memories instead of giving gifts, it can be a bit more challenging as you have to plan and coordinate with other people to make it work. But in the end, it's so much more worth it, trust me. I think it's sad how some people are so focussed on things, and yet we throw our family away and use them like they mean nothing to us. I challenge YOU this season to rethink your holiday; give a memory to at least one person instead of a gift. You'll be amazed at what a little more time and thought can do in a relationship.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


There is so much on my heart these days. I would love to pour my heart out, but some things just aren't appropriate to always share. The feeling of loss is great, but it seems to be greater when the loss is by choice. There are the numbing and painful feelings of worthlessness, unimportance, meaninglessness, and being used. It is unfortunate how as humans we allow selfishness, greed, control, and so many other things, to destroy the lives and relationships of the ones we supposedly love the most.

My poor husband is still new to this whole "dad and husband" thing, and I have to say that he is rocking it. It has come very natural to him and suits him quite perfectly. But there are nights where he doesn't exactly know how to handle the emotional, pregnant, sobbing mess lying beside him. He tries to help the best way he knows how. He knows me well, so he is aware of the fact that my primary love language is words of affirmation, but sometimes that doesn't even seem to help.

I know I am worth something. I am worth something to my husband; I am his help meet, his best friend, the one he tells everything to, the mother of his children, and so much more. I know I am worth something to my children; I am their protector and provider, their nurturer and encourager. I know the mother that I don't want to be, and the mother that I DO want to be. I am working hard to become that mother that I want them to so desperately have.

But more than all of this, I know I am worth something as a child, of Christ. The Bible tells me in Psalm 129:14 that "I am fearfully and wonderfully made;" which means that God took very great delight in making me. How amazing is it to think of that? To think that our Creator was gladdened to make me who I am today is quite a feeling of worthiness. His love for me has been evident in that He continues to provide in amazing ways for me, even when I don't deserve it or when things seem dark.

I have the awesome privilege of volunteering with the youth group at our church. It's funny because I never saw myself working with teenagers, but I absolutely love the time that Jordan and I have serving Christ together with these students. Anyway... At youth group this past Sunday, we were all given plates to wear on our backs and we walked around for several minutes writing things about each other on them. I have a student that is so encouraging to me, so I wanted to make sure that I let her know by writing that on her plate. I was nervous to finally look at my plate at the end of the evening, but when I did I almost cried. Some of the things that they said about me were just what I needed to know people thought; that people do actually value and appreciate me. I love when God uses people in your life just at the right time to show that you not only have value to them, but to HIM.

I hope that if you are experiencing some sadness in your life, that you are able to look to Christ for comfort and encouragement. He is the only true and constant support in our lives, and He took time and great care to make you exactly who you are.