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Friday, January 27, 2012

Five Minute Friday- Tender

This week my husband told me that he enjoys my Five Minute Friday posts...which I haven't been very committed to...I'll have to change that! Five minutes of writing*...no editing, no stressing about what looks right or is grammatically or otherwise correct... STRAIGHT FROM THE HEART!   If you think you have the heart for this...click on the link above and join in!

This week Lisa Jo's prompt is:



I used to be tender...when they were little and butterfly touches were all they could take

I used to be tender in my words as well, butterfly whispers on silky soft cheeks

Tender and gentle, kind and sweet...my Saviour is this and more
I long to emulate Him, but I am so weak
Instead I let myself roar

Why is it..they grow and I stop being gentle
Why is it hard to be meek and mild
Spirits of passion arise from ancestors
And all that I do is rant, harsh and wild

Give me your spirit of gentleness Lord
Let me be tender and sweet
Show me the secret, change my heart
Let me show light to all that I meet

Thank you for each little soul in my care
The ones that have grown up
And the ones still here

I give you my heart... to you I surrender
Show me how to be loving and tender!


This was a very interesting topic and so timely for me. I've been doing the Gentleness Challenge over at Women Living Well and 'challenge' is certainly the right word. The Holy Spirit breathed this one into my heart...for a reason! Up it goes on the fridge...hopefully it will inspire me the next time I raise my voice!

By the way...the advice we got from Courtney this week...lower your voice to a whisper when you get angry. If you have a problem with this too...maybe it will help.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

*Writing the poem took five minutes...I took a little longer to do the rest :-)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Thankful For The Past Year

Last week marked the one year anniversary for "This Little Light of Mine". It passed without fanfare and I didn't even do this post which I had planned on doing. I have to admit that I have wondered often in the past couple of months whether I should continue this blog or not. It has been challenging to keep it up with all the other commitments that I have.

This here is a very small blog with a few followers...but as my husband pointed out...it doesn't matter how many people are reading, but WHO is reading. He is right...if I could touch one person, the one person who needs to read what I have written that particular day, then God's work was accomplished that day.

As I look back over the past year, I am grateful to God for how much I have learned and grown as a person. I have met so many wonderful Christian women, and even a couple of men, whose blogs inspire me and who encourage me. Some I have had a connection with that makes us soul sisters...across the ocean and thousands of miles...we connect and we share, we smile and we encourage.

I thank God for each of you who read this blog. I'm still praying for direction on where the Lord wants to take me, but I don't think He brought me this far for me to quit now! His command to be his light is not one that I can set aside because of my own insecurities or sense of failure. I can compare myself to others who started the same time I did and see how their blogs have grown and mine haven't, but God's will is different for each of us. Perhaps this is the year for this little blog to grow and, if so, I know that He will open the doors...in His timing, which is always perfect.

Interestingly enough, the most popular post (or rather the post that got the most hits) was The Legend of the Phoenix... the post I wrote asking for prayer for my brother-in law and his wife's marriage. I know it received the traffic because of google searches on the phoenix or on Phoenix and I contemplated removing it after I realised that, but as my husband so wisely said, you never know who will pray for them even though they didn't go to my site with that intent. So, up it stays and continues to receive hits almost daily!

This post has completely knocked out my Fairytale Part One,  first in a 3 part series, which was the most popular post I'd had before. God does work in mysterious ways!

I've had the privilege of being a part of some wonderful and affirming communities and I want you all to know that I cherish you all! You welcomed me, from a tiny island across the seas, into your midst and I have felt very much at home.  It's been an interesting year. There's been so many fantastic goings-on and I'm amazed at where I've been led sometimes!

Sometimes I've been in a quandary about just what to take part in. There have been times when, as an international blogger, I have had to step back because there have been contests and giveaways which I believe I ought not to participate in. I once, inadvertently, entered a book giveaway because I didn't realise that when I commented on the blog I was entering. I actually won the book! The hostess was gracious enough to send it to my daughter's Florida campus for me, but I felt embarrassed and have been very careful ever since to read all the fine print!

Last year, I stepped out of my comfort zone and started the new year with a new blog. This year, I'm once again stepping out of my comfort zone and beginning this new year in obedience to God's command to "expand my boundaries".  What exactly that means I'm not sure yet...but stay tuned and expect some surprises...God isn't finished with me or my blog as yet!

Linking up with:



We Are God's Heirs!

This week in Ephesians we are learning that, not only are we chosen and anointed people, but we are God's heirs!

Ephesians 1:18-19 "May he enlighten the eyes of your mind so that you can see what hope his call holds for you, how rich is the glory of the heritage he offers among his holy people and how extraordinarily great is the power that he has exercised for us believers; this accords with the strength of his power."

God's heirs...God, almighty and all-powerful is our Father and we are His heirs!

Isn't that mind-boggling? Can you imagine what that means? God, through Jesus' sacrifice, has made us his heirs and, through the Holy Spirit, we can tap into the power of God, we can be conduits of His power...all for His glory of course.

Have you ever been present at a place where the Holy Spirit is at work? Have you ever felt the awesome power of God at work? I have been to worship services and healing services and the Holy Spirit's presence was there, you could feel as if the whole roof would lift off the building because God's power could not be contained!

This Word comes at a particularly appropriate time for me, personally. For some time now, I have felt God's prompting to step out in faith and move out of the comfortable place that I am in. Reading these words moved something in my spirit that seems to confirm the direction that God wants me to move in.

I can tell you, honestly, that when God wants you to do something, two things will happen. Your spirit will never be at rest until you acknowledge Him and the enemy of your soul will do everything that he can to distract you from God's true purpose.

God gives the gifts of the Holy Spirit, not for ourselves, but for others. He gives us these gifts so we can use them to help to build His Kingdom. Sometimes we hold back out of fear or doubt. This Word tells me that God power is "extraordinarily great" and that He exercises this for me, His heir, in accordance "with the strength of his power". 

How can there be fear and doubt in that?  We serve an omnipotent God who promises us that we can do all things through Christ, who promises to be with us always. His call is for all of us...He wants ALL of His children to be with Him forever.

 As His heirs we have a responsibility to help build His Kingdom. We are called in various ways...evangelical and missionary work, healing, counselling, teaching and countless other ways.  The workings of the Spirit are vast and as we are reminded  in 1 Corinthians 12:4-5  "There are many different gifts, but it is always the same Spirit; there are many different ways of serving but it is always the same Lord."

We use these gifts to serve Him... for His glory, not our own.

My friends, I ask you to pray for me as I surrender to the Lord and seek to be obedient to Him. I also pray for each of you that you will discern His will and, as His heir, you too will know what His call is for you in building His Kingdom.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Chosen and Anointed

It's our first link-up for GMG's study of the book of Ephesians. So far, this week we have studied Ephesians 1:1-10. It has been a rather rich piece of Word to chew on and right from the beginning I felt I knew what God wanted to show me in these first few verses.

I have struggled with my self-image all my life...I have never felt good enough in many areas, looks, weight, social skills..perhaps too many if I really dig deep. I have also been timid...afraid of stepping out of my comfort zone, happy to be a little fish swimming in other people's ponds.

This year I feel God calling me to open up more, let go of the things that keep me curled up and reserved. Here's what the Lord showed me these past few days in the Word and at Mass.

Ephesians 1:4 "Thus he chose us in Christ, before the world was made, to be holy and faultless before him in love"

Ephesians 1:5 "marking us out for himself beforehand, to be adopted sons, through Jesus Christ."

We are chosen!
When God instructed Samuel to anoint His chosen one out of the sons of Jesse, Samuel looked at their outward appearances. As each one was brought before him, he thought that because of their strength and size God would choose that particular son. God, however, as we all know, does not look at the outward appearance but at the heart. God chose, instead, David the youngest son, who was delegated the lowly task of  watching the sheep. David was anointed by God's Holy Spirit...David who in the eyes of his brothers and, perhaps others, was weak, puny and unworthy.

Ahh...but David had skills! While all alone minding the sheep, David learned how to defend those sheep against wild animals and we all know the story of what happens when he, a "90 pound weakling",  challenged Goliath. This is one of my five year old daughter's favourite bible stories. Imagine Goliath, this arrogant giant, looking down upon this "little boy" and saying to him that he would feed his flesh to the birds and wild animals and David, bold with his anointing, defending his God and his people. He put his absolute trust in God saying to the giant,  "This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands...and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel" 1 Samuel 17:46, and a slingshot flew and a giant fell and by his own sword Goliath lost his life.  David's God triumphed and the Philistine army retreated.

A huge and courageous heart in the body of a "little boy".   A boy to whom God gave the strength to kill wild animals to save his sheep and the strength to kill a giant!  The picture above seems to have a deeper significance with the boy David risking his life to protect the lamb. In the New Testament it is the Lamb of God who dies to save us.

Have you seen the move "Captain America"? What I love about this movie is that the "90 pound weakling" has a heart full of courage and honour and such a love for his country and friends that he would lay down his life for them. Sound familiar?

Imagine that we are all "90 pound weaklings". WE ARE...until we go through that 'magic machine' that is the anointing of God's Holy Spirit, then we are empowered and transformed. It doesn't matter what we look like on the outside...on the inside we are bold, strong, capable...like David, like Captain America.

We are chosen! We are His anointed. Do we merit this? No, neither did David. He disappointed God and fell from grace, but God forgave him from the depths of His limitless mercy. Ephesians 1:7-8 "in whom, through his blood, we gain our freedom, the forgiveness of our sins. Such is the richness of the grace which he has showered on us in all wisdom and insight."  David remained God's Chosen, His anointed. God chose David's  lineage to bring about the incarnation of Jesus...despite his having fallen in the past.

So it is with us...we do not merit His multitude of graces, but we are chosen and anointed. By Jesus' blood sacrifice we are free...free of the bondage of sin, free to enter Heaven. What an awesome gift! What a great and mighty God we serve!

So the next time I look in the mirror and feel disappointed, or feel like a failure because I don't think I measure up in  some way...I hope I will remember this story of David and the similarities of Captain America. On the inside I can defeat a giant, on the inside I am and will continue to strive to be who God wants me to be because I am chosen and anointed.

I pray, oh Father, that you will help us all to rid ourselves of our insecurities to see ourselves as chosen and anointed. I pray that you will help us to live lives that are pleasing to you, that we will , by our living show that we are your chosen and anointed ones.

May we all shine brightly with the light of Christ and may that light shine in all the dark places so all may come to know Him.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Marriage Monday -This is Who I am

E-Mom has decided that our first post of the new year here at Marriage Monday is going to be on OURSELVES. She's had the brilliant idea of us getting to know each other better and has provided these little prompts for us to complete.

As this week marks the first anniversary of this here little blog, I think its a great opportunity for my readers to know a little something about me.....so here goes!

I am...the first of three daughters, with all the firstborn hangups and the firstborn attitude to responsibility (or is that better known as uptightness?), daughter of the Father for 44 years, wife for 22 years next month and mother to four daughter, ranging in age from almost 21 to 5 years old.

I want... to learn to 'lighten up', to let go and give more grace, do the 'gut thing' more. I want to set aside all those things that make me highly strung and easily stressed. I want to be able to make those around me happy to be in my presence (and I want to lose the unmentionable number of pounds I need to get rid of!)

I have... a lot to be grateful to God for!

I wish...we could get out of debt and that I could find a way to give my family, especially my husband who works so hard, the things that they desire.

I hate...bullies and arrogant, inconsiderate people (this includes road hogs!), injustice, dishonesty and manipulative people. May God give me the grace to not hate them!

I miss...those blissful days when I could curl up with a good book and get lost until I turned the last page.

I fear...nothing but fear itself! (at least that's what I'm working on). Fear cripples one and I don't want to be paralyzed anymore. I trust in God to get me past those little spots that I still need to work on.

I feel...exhausted! But happy in the knowledge that I serve God in the way I serve my family. Something I constantly have to remind myself of when I get frustrated!

I hear...the sounds of my girls' boisterous laughter, tv blaring, littlest one making herself heard above it all! (the only thing I can't hear is... myself think ;-)

I smell...my daughter's birthday cake baking in the oven.

I crave...right now, a 'honeymoon-type' getaway with my husband (I can think of the perfect spot), dark chocolate, maybe a glass of wine and to absorb the perfect ambiance of God's creation.

I search...for that elusive place where I can set aside my insecurities and my perfectionism, where I can just be happy with being who the Lord wants me to be.

I wonder...what this new year has in store for me, where the Lord wants to lead me and where to go with my little blog.

I regret...that I didn't before have the wisdom and knowledge that I do now and the mistakes I've made along the way as a wife, mother and person.

I love...my husband and children, of course! Dark chocolate, red wine, coffee, roses, old movies and old music, historicals, (can you tell I'm into vintage?) lazy days at the beach with my family, baking things from scratch, trying new recipes, reading and, of course, writing.

I ache...whenever something triggers memories that floor me. I know that we have to go through the dark tunnels to get to the light on the other side, but for that moment...I ache.

I care...about making others happy, how others see me and being the best wife and mother (with all that entails!)

I always...want to be on time, make sure I have gas in the car, walk with my cell phone, put my family's needs first.

I am not...comfortable in social situations at times, I'm a little socially awkward. (Maybe that's what growing up in a very sheltered environment does) That's one of the things I'm working on this year.

I believe...that faith can take us through dark places and have us emerge stronger and better for it and that love DOES cover over a multitude of sins!

I dance...seldom anymore. I always loved dancing. I even learned the steps (and made my friends do it too) to rock and roll music so that I could have a 50's style party for my 16th birthday. Hmm...something else to aspire to this year, perhaps?

I sing...because I love to. I sing in church, in the shower sometimes, in the car. I used to sing while doing my chores and I always sang lullabies to my girls when they were little (still singing for the five year old) Singing is praising God twice!

I cry...when I look at movies with heart-tugging scenes and powerful messages of love and forgiveness, overcoming trial etc. (I also cry when I look at movies with animals...since the days of Lassie and Flipper...you can imagine me taking my girls to see Lion King etc?), when my girls do something to make me proud of them or my husband says sweet words, at weddings ( and when those crazy hormones hit...anybody with me on this one?)

I don't always...keep up with everything. I think I'm terrible with organization and time management (or maybe I just don't delegate properly and I bite off more than I can chew). I'm working on this!

I fight...to raise my children with values and a code of ethics that is contrary to the world at large. It. Is. Not. Easy! I praise God that the grounding my older children received will serve them well and pray for the strength to continue the fight for the last two!

I write...from the heart, on things that God places there. Sometimes I share on marriage or parenting or homemaking, but ultimately I write of Him. This blog was born out of a desire to share His love and light with others.

I never...have enough money lol! Seriously though, I never know what to buy for the men and boys in our extended family. I grew up with girls and I have only girls. My husband is NO help at all! (I mean that in the nicest possible way honey ;-)

I listen...for the sound of God's voice of wisdom and instruction when I go before Him, to the rosary playing in the car when I drive or a station that plays a mix of old and tolerable new music.

I need...to have God first in my life. Without Him I'm nothing! He will supply all my other needs (which are too many to mention!)

I am happy...when it is quiet and peaceful, when my family spends time together, when I cuddle with my youngest and read, cuddling with my husband or when we go out alone together, watching God's awesome creation...sunsets, rainbows, the motion of the sea, the breeze moving through the trees.

So, this is me.. in a nutshell ( a rather large one!) Thank you to e-Mom for making me get in touch with the inner me...now I remember what makes me tick...what makes me happy(you do tend to forget when you're up to the neck in chores and the phone keeps ringing and the dog needs to be fed and you skipped breakfast and...)...I'm going to sing while I do my chores and do a little dance with my broom ;-)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Cry from the heart !

Today, I want to share something that another blogger shared which tore my heart to pieces. I will be linking it later this week to other blogs as I try to spread this message. It would be even more powerful if sung in a little child's voice. If we aim to share this with others, how many more babies would be saved?


Mommy keep me safe, Mommy keep me warm,
Handle me with care, Mommy help me to form
I'm 10 weeks old and I know the time will come
when you will give birth to me.

The gift you gave to me are a pair of bright blue eyes
So someday I will see you smile and love me
I've already got my arms and a little podgy nose
And at the end of my feet I've got five little toes

I look forward to my life, ice cream and slimy snails
Teddy bears and little fairy tales
Going for walks in the park
Running home before its dark
And being tucked into bed with a kiss

Where are we going today?
Am I in a boat or bus?
Why are we lying down
Being drawn on four wheels

And we go through the door
And there's people dressed in green
Everything seems so strange and clean

Mommy, if they hurt you just let out a scream
And I know someone will come to help you and me
Mommy what's going on, I'm starting to cry
Come quickly, they're forcing me to die

They're killing me Mommy
They're pulling me apart
My arms and my legs
And now they're at my heart

And I wont see the sky or the grass or the trees
And I wont see the moon or feel the breeze

I love you Mommy dear, you know I really do
But I only wish you could have loved me too!

This pro-life song written by Father Francis Maple has saved at least 20 babies! Their mothers were considering abortion but changed their minds after hearing it.

If this video has touched your heart, please consider passing it on.

If  you or someone you know has had an abortion and requires healing, there are many online resources available, here are links to just two of them:


Friday, January 13, 2012

Five Minute Friday - Awake

Today, I join a whole community of wonderful writers at Lisa Jo's place as we spend 5 minutes of unedited writing straight from the heart to the pen. Please visit The Gypsy Mama to join in the fun.

This week's prompt is:


Awake  Awake! He tells me...rise from you stupor! Clothe yourself in strength! (Isaiah 52:1)

This is a new year...a new beginning...a new chance to be a light that shines in the darkness!

Put on your armour, polish up your weaponry

Expand your boundaries...reach out...

Be my eyes and my ears, my hands and my feet...

Show love and compassion to all that you meet

Do not be afraid...for I am with you always

There is no passivity in building a kingdom

You must be bold, you must be brave, you must be strong

I am your strength and your shield...I am your consoler

Surrender your fears to me and  AWAKE...make a joyful noise...

Awaken all friends and neighbours to my love

Awaken all strangers to my love

Share the peace, the joy, the love

My people are hungry and they thirst.. who shall feed them?

I am AWAKE Lord... here I am... I come to do your will!


My friends, next week, this here little blog will celebrate its first anniversary. I humbly request your prayers as I seek God's guidance on where He wants to take me and 'This Little Light of Mine'  As you can see above, I sense Him asking me to expand my boundaries...just how I'm not sure.  Its a little bit daunting and the balancing act is a test in itself, but as always, I must be obedient. I appreciate your prayers. Thank you!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Gift of Grace and Gentleness

I'm participating in Courtney's Gentleness Challenge, which started last week.  We're now into week two and I'm re-posting excerpts from an article I did when we were studying Sally Clarkson's "The Ministry of Motherhood" last summer.

I have had to dig deep to figure out why its not easy for me to hold my tongue, be patient and extend grace. When I was doing this book study I was brought so low by the reality of how "ungentle" I really can be in my motherhood. I wrote this piece after such reflection and I can honestly say I could use the refresher course right now! When life gets so busy and we slip back into our old skins, its such a help to have the inspiration and accountability that people like Courtney give...thank you Courtney!

I am a product of my upbringing. As Sally points out in this poignant and thought-provoking video, some of us have 'harsh' upbringings. I am one of those. My own parents were the product of their upbringing and an even harsher style of parenting.

 I remember constantly feeling that I couldn't do anything to please my father. He was always uptight, always quarreling about something. I thought he was an ogre and that he must have hated me to pick on me so much. As Sally said, no allowances were made for us being clumsy (we were punished if we broke something by accident), tired or little. Bottom line, I grew up feeling unloved and unlovable, unaccepted and as a teenager, unworthy of trust, stifled and resentful.

Years later I discovered that he had suffered with bad nerves all his life, having had a nervous breakdown as a young man. He did not trust easily, having been betrayed in his early life. He had also cut God from his life, even though he was raised in a Catholic home and his mother was devoted to the faith.  I guess He was angry at God for the things that had happened to him in his younger life. He didn't stop my mother or us children from going to church, though he didn't want us to become involved in anything there.

I discovered that my father wasn't a bad man. Just a man who had never learned to lean on God in his brokenness. It wasn't me he didn't trust, it was the world outside that had taught him it was an evil place. His over-protectiveness was actually born of love and not because he didn't care about my happiness. When I learned all this it became easier to forgive him for his harshness, I could understand his reactions and behavior better and forgiveness came.

Unfortunately,  I learned it as a grown woman and I had already taken into my marriage and parenthood the scars and patterns of behavior that I had been raised on. It wasn't easy to show love and affection to my children, to give them patience. I found that my own nerves became frazzled easily as I seemed to have inherited his nervous condition. I found myself drifting into 'becoming my father'. Reacting with intolerance, impatience, anger. Raising my voice, threatening, dishing out corporal punishment at times.

It took years for God to temper me and His work is not yet done. I still have a lot to learn and a lot of work to do on myself to become the person God intended me to be. Extending grace to others, especially to my children does not come naturally. I can only do it through the Grace He extends to me.

I am happy to say that my father found love and life in Christ before he died. We got a glimpse of what he would have been like with his new heart and mind, but it came at the end of his life. He succumbed to cancer shortly after his transformation and we were left with only the bittersweet joy of knowing that he would one day reach Heaven. Thanks to the Grace of God, years of prayers were answered, not in our time but in His.. perfect as always.

One of the biblical passages that we studied  is 1 Peter 4:8 "Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins"  This is such a beautiful verse and one that speaks truth to me. I can attest to how loving truly as God desires us to love brings forgiveness and healing.

We cannot love truly and deeply unless we are taught to do so by our relationship with God. The beauty in loving this way is that God somehow expands your capacity to love as you open yourself to Him. As you extend the grace of forgiveness to those who trespass against you, He extends Grace to your own heart, building new heights for you to climb.

I thank God for His Grace, a grace that is merciful to me, a sinner. I thank God that  He gives me strength and grace to forgive as well. I pray that I can give my own children this precious gift.

 I pray that I can continue to work on myself and to let God's light shine on all  my dark areas, shadows of my own upbringing, the things that come naturally to me, so that I can be the mother he calls me to be.

I also pray that my children's love for me and mine for them will be so deep that it will cover over my multitude of sins towards them as I have journeyed in this, my own ministry of motherhood and that I can rise to this Gentleness Challenge.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Thankful in the New Year

Its the first Thursday of the New Year and a great day to give God thanks! I've been absent for a long time as I explained in my last blog, but I haven't participated in Thankful Thursdays for a while longer than that due to the hectic nature of life in this particular season.

I have come to realize that being intentional and purposeful about my gratitude to God keeps my heart in the right place. His graces and blessings are being poured out upon me continuously, if I would only look past the things that blind me to His Grace.

Very often, we only see the negative... the trial, the pain, the need, the suffering. If only we could also see the Hand of Grace in those situations, supporting us, encouraging us, comforting us. There are always going to be  circumstances to steal our joy, exhaust us, test our endurance, drain us to the last drop, but always there is His Grace.

Today, I'm thankful that in spite of these things that weigh and burden, I know that He is there with me always.  He is there with YOU always...through every burdensome thing. He tells us to come lay our burdens down , to lie beside the still waters and refresh ourselves in His living water...His Grace.

Christ's Sacred heart drawing image with Cross free download religious drawings and Christian background pictures for desktop
"Come to me all you who labour and are overburdened and I will give you rest"
Matt 11:28
I thank God for another year in which to learn and grow in His Grace. I thank Him for His protection and provision. I thank God for my husband and children, for family and friends scattered all over the globe. I thank Him that under the great canopy of His Grace and mercy we are sheltered and provided for.

Dear friends, some of us begin a new year with hardship and suffering, with illness and disease, with seemingly insurmountable problems...but, even in the midst of these...give Him your thanks and praise for He is there supporting us and alleving that suffering, even if it doesn't feel so at the time. He deserves our praise and our thanks ALWAYS!!

Happy 2012 everyone...may God continue to pour out His blessings upon you!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Happy New Year and what's been keeping me busy!

Dear Friends

Its been a while and I apologize for the silence emanating from this blog for so long. Christmas is an extremely busy time of year for us. We have lots of family and lots of activities and it has been impossible to write. I regret not having at least posted my wishes for you all to have a happy and holy Christmas but I hope that it was such nontheless. I have missed out on so much in my absence and have tons of catch-up reading to do.

Family is always first for me and so my poor little blog suffers... it is as God would want it. Giving love to others and showing care and compassion is ultimate, especially in this Season of goodwill, which I am constantly reminded should be year-long and not just at Christmastime. (The Season officially ends for us on January 6th...The Feast of the Epiphany, so our tree and decorations stay up until then.)

Just a few of the things that transpired since last I wrote:

My dog had pups:

This is Xena...the one we kept. The others got good homes just as I prayed for!

 On Christmas Eve, after Mass, we have dinner and then sit around the tree with our Advent Wreath lit and read about the birth of Jesus. We then open the gifts that we have given to each other. We started this tradition when the children were younger and we realized that Christmas morning was so hectic that they literally tore through the wrappings and had no idea who had given them what. We wanted to make sure that they appreciated each other's lovingly selected gifts and to understand the thought that goes behind gift giving and to keep Jesus central in our Christmas celebrations.

Christmas morning (early..really early!)  we open gifts, head up to my mother's for breakfast and then come back to have a late lunch with my in-laws. Here's Lillie with the Barbie doll she asked for (she also got a telescope to look at the stars per request)

We spent our New Year's Eve and New Year's Day at a beach house with my husband's family...we are a large and rowdy bunch! It was a blessing to do this especially because my mother-in-law has not been well and she was able to enjoy this time with her family all around her.

Here's Lil in the hammock (which she hogged the whole time!) and getting a ride on Daddy's back:

My children are still on vacation until next week...all except my eldest who went back to university today and my second born who went back to work today after the New Years long weekend.  Blogging will still be a bit challenging until they are all back into a routine. I have missed my friends and being a part of the greater communities and the inspiration and encouragement you all provide. Thank you to everyone who has been checking up on me. I appreciate the love and concern.  Being away from the blogging scene has allowed me to reassess my goals and I realize that I need to de-clutter my life a little bit. I have over 800 e-mails in my inbox, would you believe!

Its tough but I realize that I need to step back a bit and decide what I really need to keep on subscribing to. There are so many wonderful blogs to read out there. As I approach my one year anniversary as a blogger, I cannot believe how much I have grown and learnt. I remember actually commenting that I couldn't believe how many blogs some people subscribe to and where did they find the time. Hmm...I wont tell you how many I've subscribed to but you can take a guess by the number of e-mails that have accumulated in the past month (and that doesn't include the ones on my blog feed!).

There are so many exciting things to be a part of here in blogland. I usually just jump right in with the best of intentions and find myself in too deep. I guess I need a healthy dose of discipline. Darlene Schacht at Time Warp Wife has a really great article on that here. Nevertheless, these are just some of the events  that I've encountered ...I think that they are worthy aspirations and, though I will not be able to do them all,  I sure do need this encouragement and accountability. Maybe you'd like to check them out for yourself.



I pray and hope that each of you and your precious families will have all the blessings of God poured out in abundance upon you in this new year. May you all have homes filled with love, peace and joy and may God supply all your needs and comfort you in all your sorrows and afflictions. 

I look forward to catching up and reconnecting with everyone. See you in blogland!