MERRY CHRISTMAS!

I am praying that all of you (us?) find the One true Joy of this season and for 2008!

Much Love and…

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Hey’ Y’all!

I’m on a Bloggy Christmas Vacation. I’ll be on and off, checking in with my best girlfriends, but probably not posting.

Merry Christmas and I love you!

The Long Road to Becoming This Girl…

It’s not a done deal. I’m not complete. Not whole. But, I am also not doing it alone.

During my time with David this morning, God reminded me yet again that I am a work in progress. Many of the trials and sufferings I’ve experienced in my life have arisen from my own doing. Exercising my freedom to make my own decisions. Listening to the voice of The World instead of the Voice that indwells within.

I have paid dearly for those choices.

Yet He continued to reach down and pull me back out of the pit I had dug for myself, stumbled into, fell into, was pushed into, jumped headlong into.

And I praise Him for that. I love Him for that.

The lessons are not over. He has not completed the work He has begun in me and won’t until I am on my face before Him, bathed in His glory. Full. Alive. Complete.

As I go through the trials of this world, I often become overwhelmed. I forget that the Holy Spirit is within me. I allow the world to dictate my actions, my thoughts. Robbing me of the blessings that would be mine on this earth if I only waited. Joyfully. Expectantly.

Today, I am weary. Overwhelmed. Heart broken over the sadness around me. Sometimes unable to recognize the Joy surrounding me. My husband. My children. My family. My dear, sweet friends.

Today, I cry out to Him. Come, Lord Jesus. Come. Complete this good work You have begun.

Boyfriend Update/Alert!

So, apparently by the end of first period, the word was out that Philip was going to kick some New Boyfriend bootie. Not quite sure how THAT started…although Philip got a big chuckle out of it. The real story was that he was just asking folks about him. And every single report came back positive! He’s a soccer player. Everyone said he’s really a nice guy.

He came by to pick up Lucy earlier and, of course, we told her that he must come in. Yesterday when I met him for the first time, I just thought he was a friend. So I checked him out with an entirely new eye tonight. He is a real cutie! He actually looks a lot like Caleb, just not as tall as he is. Darn it…forgot to whip out the camera. Hmmm…maybe when he drops her off at 9!

And there is much Joy throughout the land…

Well, at least in our household.

Lucy has a new guy.

PJ

Maybe, when he comes to pick her up tonight for a date (my tummy just did a flip at typing that and then I had to say it aloud and then I had to gulp), I’ll really embarrass her by insisting we must have a picture. For my blog. Cuz nothing happens around here that isn’t blog fodder and they all know it.

Before Philip and Lucy left for school this morning, I pulled him aside and loudly discreetly told him to check this PJ kid out today. Philip gave me the knowing nod, put his pointer and middle fingers together, pointed to my eyes and then his eyes and announced, “I’m on it”.

Surprisingly, there was only a slight squeal from the kitchen where Lucy was putting her make-up on/having a bite to eat, so we’re not really sure if she had just received an interesting text message (tm in teenage lingo), poked herself with the mascara wand or if that was her only response to her big brother’s comment.

I can’t wait to get the full report later today!

The first poor soul guy insane enough to be interested in Lucy dared to have his arm around her in the school hallway in a most grievous-to-her-brother-manner and was promptly jacked up against the lockers and formally introduced to the big brother. That poor kid never would look at or speak to The Man or I.

The most interesting part of all of this to me is that The Man and his sister also attended the same high school and, for a couple of years, the same university. The Man could care less about what his sister was doing or with whom.

But messing with his daughter…now THAT is a totally different thing!

The Siesta’s Asked For it…

You got it! Pictures from Lucy’s trip to NYC.

Lucy in the Raspberry shirt with her friend, Grace and two Abercrombie dudes

Lucy, second from right, and BFF’s on the ferry to Staten Island

This was Lucy’s Christmas present to her Mama, but she couldn’t stand it and had to give it to me early! For all you non-Office-watchers, Dunder Mifflin is the name of the paper company that the NBC show, The Office, is set in. Our favorite show. Ev-her.

Check out the hat…all the girls bought one and Lucy even wore hers to church yesterday.

My Brain is in Overdrive…

Keep up, Siestas, if you can.

I finally finished The Fourth Narnia Book. Yay! On to Prince (Caspian, that is).

I’m craving chocolate…oodles and oodles of chocolate. I never crave chocolate. It bodes very ill for my cycle this month.

There is so much death and dying and illness around me, I’m really questioning my God.

And also in the blogging community…a friend said to me the other day, “Why do you allow yourself to get caught up in it…you don’t even know them.” I know what she meant. She wasn’t being callus…she is actually very compassionate and loving. She was wanting me to spare myself the pain, hurt, sadness and tears. But as I told her, “I HAVE to pray for them…they are my Sisters in Christ.” She readily agreed.

Lucy is in NYC and will be home in a few hours. She went up with her marketing class yesterday morning at Oh Dark Thirty. I hadn’t slept at all during the night (don’t tell my friend, Mary…she’ll yell at me to go see the doctor) and so I was awake when she (and her friend who was sleeping over) got up at 3:45..yes…that is a.m., I heard them moving around, straightening their hair, trying on 30 different outfits (and discarding 29 of them because it makes me look FAT) and promptly fell back asleep right before they left, apparently!

But I’ve had regular check-ins.

Photos of the OMG…the cutest pair of shoes! and

This is the Best Day Ev-Er. I got the cutest dress. This day couldn’t get any bet-ter. I had my picture taken with three…THREE!!!!! Abercrombie Models!! (I’m assuming, from the excitement, that it was THREE!!!!! Male Abercrombie Models!!)

God has been speaking to about a number of things lately.

My computer time…it is, shall we say, excessive. The Man told me the other night, “I’m checking you into rehab…you’re addicted.”

It’s true. So God has um challenged me to put Him and only Him first in the morning (He assured me making my coffee first was okay…lol). And that if I know there is something else I’m supposed to be doing…you know…life…then I have to fore go the computer time. It’s been hard, people. Harder than giving up Starbucks! Which I haven’t successfully done. Yet. Harder than giving up People.com.

Which leads me to the second thing God has been giving me the Word on.

People.com. For the longest time I purchased People Magazine. Then my bff, Jen, told me about people.com. And I was hooked. Obsessed. Couldn’t get enough of it. I suspected, in the deep darkness of my gut, that it was an issue I needed to deal with. On a number of levels. But I, in true That Girl fashion did what I do best…totally ignored it.

Then, as luckGod would have it, one of the first posts I ever read by a bloggy friend was about her struggle with celebrity magazines and websites. And she is one Godly woman, y’all.

And last, but not least is the dreaded Starbucks. Let me tell you what, Siestas, if God gives you a Word about something and you choose to ignore it…He will insist in ways you don’t even want to know about! With me…it’s called Acid Reflux. Now I’ve read all the info about it and there are a ton of things that can cause heartburn and AR. Tons. One of them is coffee. I eat a ton of the others to and guess what? Only coffee bothers me. That’s right…volcanic type AR with coffee. I know, know, know that it is God saying, “See? I told you to give it up!”

It’s all part of my plan for the New Year. (I refuse to use the “R” word for the changes I’m going to make in the New Year.)

One last, most important thing…

Please say a prayer for my bff, Lori’s brother-in-law, Don. His leukemia has returned. He is in a lot of pain. His prognosis is not good. And we have so been praying for that man. He has a sweet wife and two little darlin’ girls. Please include him and his family and my sweet friend, Lori, in your prayers tonight.

You guys are The Best and I adore you!

Question 1. (More of a fill in the blank..) I wish my hair__________.

Actually, at the age of 46, I’m pretty happy with my hair! It is really thick, kinda nice wavy/curly. I always hated it because of all of those things and it gets frizzy, but with all the new amazing hair products out there…it’s pretty doable! Although I have to say that’s kind of frustrating…now it’s doable when I don’t care as much about it!

Question 2. Someone you miss?

I miss my Mamie. My mom’s mom. She passed away several years ago. I was the first grandchild…so we always had a special relationship.

Question 3. What’s your favorite comfort food?

Hungry Man Turkey Dinner. I know, I know.

Question 4. In your opinion what are some of the qualities that make a person a “best” friend?

I always thought that you couldn’t have more than one “best” friend. But I’ve figured out that I now have several. They are all different. They all bring out different things in me, but more importantly, I recognize the difference I make in their lives. (good AND bad, lol.) Each of them accepts me for who I am. Period. And vice-versa. We all have our quirks. We all have things that irk each other at times, but we overlook those things and love each other anyway. And the most important thing, for me, is being a sister in Christ.

Question 5. What is one area that you struggle with in the wife arena?

Respect. No need to go further than that. I recognize it is an issue and I’m working on it. Every single day.

Christmas Mememememememe

Colored lights or white lights?

I love the white, but The Man insists on the colored ones. I try to get away with white lights on the mantel and the banister. Non-blinking is the ONLY way to go. The Man does put up colored lights outside…the big fat C9’s (yup…try to find replacements for those suckers).

Real tree or fake tree?

Real. We go cut it down the day after Thanksgiving. Although, the past few years, because of the severe drought in Virginia, we have traipsed thru the fields and I we finally decide that the fir trees they brought in from their mountain property is the best so I we pick one of those, and YES, they are freshly cut.

What is your least favorite thing about the holidays?

The crowds. I refuse to shop on Black Friday and the day after Christmas. It’s just not worth it to me.

What is the one thing that you would like to see under the tree this year?

A digital video camera. But it won’t be there. Maybe during the after-Christmas sales we’ll find the one we want!

What is your favorite thing to do/build in the snow?

Sit inside the house in Mamie’s chair. The fire is going. I have a nice hot cup of tea. Reading.

What is your favorite holiday drink?

I love Starbuck’s Peppermint Mocha this year. I also like egg nog. Oh and a White Russian is always lovely during the holidays. And of course we pop a bottle of Martini & Rossi Asti Spumanti on New Year’s every year (we also served it (instead of champagne) at our wedding.

What is your favorite holiday smell? All of the yummy Christmas Yankee Candles!

Who is your favorite reindeer? Dancer. I like the image I get in my mind…dancer…dancing.

What is your Christmas Eve ritual?

Dinner out. Then we are captive drive around and see all the Christmas lights. We’ve been known to drive down to D.C. to see the Christmas Tree and things down there. We try to make the kids go to bed early. Then we fill their stockings (and each other’s). We get out the Santa’s Cookies plate and load up the plate with some goodies and a glass of egg nog. Then we nibble on that a bit. Then we get out the carrots and break them up a bit and toss some up on the roof, along the drive and in the yard. Yes, we still do all of this and The Darlings are now 17, 16 & 11. When the youngest finally dared to voice his concerns about Santa, the other two quickly told him that they Believe and if you don’t Believe…you don’t get any presents. After all of that is done, we usually turn off all the lights, save the tree and outside lights and sit down and quietly enjoy the silence and reflect, sometimes silently.

Are you a Friday after Thanksgiving shopper? Ain’t gonna happen. Period.

What is your favorite holiday food? My mom’s Ambrosia Fruit Salad. Nothing better.

How did you find out that Santa wasn’t real? What do you mean, “Santa isn’t real?”????!!!!!!????
Who do you want to be under the mistletoe with? Daniel CraigThe Man.

Have you bought all your presents yet? Yup.

Do you spend Christmas with a lot of family? Depends. Sometimes yes, sometimes no.

Do you still make snowmen and snow angels? Oh, yeah.

Do you still have snow ball fights? Oh, yeah…but the benefit of being the mom is that I can declare, “the next one that hits me with a snowball is going to their room”. And then I can nail them!

What’s your favorite Christmas movie? The Bishop’s Wife.

What do you plan to do for New Year’s Eve? Hopefully, nothing more than pop open a bottle of M&R Asti.

What’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever gotten for Christmas? A new Corvette.

Someday.

How early do you wake up on Christmas morning?

The rule is no one wakes us up before 6:30am. But they are usually down there around 5, the little monkeys. They are allowed to dump out their stockings and go through everything, UNLESS it is wrapped and in their stocking. They cannot unwrap anything.

What do you usually get in your stocking?

My stocking is the best part! Lots of different stuff…from VS body lotion to toothbrushes to jewelry.

What is your favorite religious Christmas carol? Too hard to choose!

What is your favorite non-religious Christmas song? Baby, It’s Cold Outside…The Vanessa Williams version.

How long do you leave up your Christmas decorations? ‘Til I decide the tree has had enough!

Tag…You’re it!

We Interrupt this Regularly Scheduled Programming for a Pity Party.

It’s Day Three with David. Beth Moore’s focus, on Day Three, is with Hannah and Elkanah and the much longed for and prayed for conception and birth of Samuel.

I long for and pray for things, too

Elkanah’s other wife, Penny, had children but Hannah had none.

Yeah, I’ve been there. The other women have it all. Great kids, great husband, big house, fancy car, perfectly manicured nails and an unlimited bank account. I’ve got nothing.

Year after year, Elkanah went to make sacrifices and worship and pray for a child for his beloved (she’s lucky she is beloved) wife. He prays, he sacrifices. He probably does it all at home and waits on her hand and foot, too.

Penny lorded her child-bearing-womb over Hannah’s empty one.

Those women walking around in their designer clothes, blowing past me on the parkway comfy in their leather interior heated seated sports cars, as I plow along in my mini-van (okay, it DOES have leather interior heated seats), walking into Nordstroms while I head for Target.

Penny provoked Hannah until she made Hannah weep and not eat. I’m sure she’s a perfect size 9.

Clearly, my heart was not on 1 Samuel 1 and the study of David.

My heart and my head were focused solely on myself. I read and re-read the scripture passages this morning and the only thing I could pull out of it was…

Hannah is so lucky and I’m so not

I wonder how I got to this place today? Does it just build and build inside of me until I just implode, crumpling to this state of self-pity and even self-loathing?

I can’t seem to get past my own failings lately. I am only able to focus on the lackings and not the blessings.

I hate this place I am in.

I long for it to pass.

I cry out to my God Who is, for the moment, unseen, unheard, unresponsive.

And I go about my day.