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Archive for posts tagged with ‘Legacy’

13 Days of Peace and Love

Thoughtfully penned on February 11th, 2010 and generally concerning Blogging News, Family, Grandparents, Legacy, S

On Sunday morning, January 10, as we prepared to leave for church, my Mom called to let me know that my grandmother, Mema, had been hospitalized due to heart attack. At that point no one really had much information except that she was stable and being admitted to the cardiac care unit for tests and observation.

On Monday morning, January 11, I was awakened about 5 a.m. by contractions that steadily grew stronger and closer together. I was 40 weeks 3 days pregnant, so we were anxiously awaiting the arrival of our newest baby girl…

To read more, click here and check out my entry in PAXbaby.com’s 13 Days of Peace and Love.

A few sweet moments

Thoughtfully penned on August 21st, 2008 and generally concerning E, Legacy, Motherhood

There are times when you get glimpses of your children and realize that they might turn out okay.  Such was the time a few nights ago…

We sat in the bathroom floor blow drying her hair after bathtime.  Glancing down I noticed that she sat quietly with hands folded and head bowed.  After a few seconds she said, “Amen,” and looked up at me.  She told me she was praying for her friend and asked for me to pray more.  We prayed as we finished drying her hair, thanking God for her friends, her grandparents, her brother; petitioning God for healing for her great-grandmother; asking God to be with us, watch over us, protect us.

It was a precious moment, a few short minutes of connection with Jesus.  I pray that in 10 years, 20 years, 30 years she still stops in the midst of the everyday to spend time with Jesus.

Tis the season(ing)

Thoughtfully penned on December 8th, 2007 and generally concerning childhood, Christmas Time, Good Eats, Legacy

This time of year brings out the cook or baker in many of us. I enjoy cooking throughout the year (time permitting), but there is something about baking at Christmastime that is special. It is fun to pull out those special recipes that only see the light of day during the holiday season.

I have childhood (and teenage, and college age) memories of making Christmas goodies with my mom. We would drag out all the ingredients, and just about every mixing bowl and spoon in the kitchen, and set up shop at the kitchen table. When I was young we baked cookies and made candy, but as time progressed we moved away from baking and more into candy. There was always fudge for the fridge (2 pans – with pecans for dad & mom and without for my brother & me), and usually some combination of butterscotch haystacks, chocolate and peppermint “bark”, and white and milk chocolate covered pretzels. Other things came and went depending on the year, but these were the usual suspects. I continued to make chocolate chip cookies, and we made the occasional snickerdoodle or sugar cookie.

My own Christmas cooking focuses more on baked goods, although I might make some refrigerator fudge this year. During last week I’ve made two batches of chocolate chip cookies, two loaves of homemade bread (I make this year round), and two batches of Chex Mix. This weekend will see two recipes of homemade biscuits and, possibly, the first of the cranberry bread. The next couple of weeks should produce several batches of cranberry bread, a pound cake with caramel icing, and, hopefully, some homemade cinnamon rolls. Oh, and untold quantities of homemade Chex Mix. Add in the things I’ll make for the Christmas party we’re hosting next Sunday and our own Christmas meals (hmm…guess I better think about what we’ll eat since we’ll be home this year), and I have quite a bit of cooking to do!

There is just something about the holidays that brings out the most flavorful side of me! :-)

It’s the most wonderful time of the year

Thoughtfully penned on November 28th, 2007 and generally concerning Christmas Time, E, Family, Goals, Legacy, Of games and good things

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and are happily gearing up for Christmas.

Christmas is my favorite holiday. I’m not sure exactly why it ranks above Thanksgiving or Easter or even Fourth of July, but I’ve always loved the Christmas season. There is something about the lights and the decorations, the wrapped packages and spirit of giving, the music and the traditions that make me smile.

Matt and I try not to get mired in the stress that the season can bring, and we try to stay focused on the real reason for Christmas instead of focusing on the consumerism that society fosters. Now that Little is getting old enough to participate (although still very limited participation) it is time to begin creating family traditions that she will carry through life just as we carry those of our families. What exactly will this entail? I’m not sure yet.

We started with a decision to stay home this year for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day (we’ve traveled to family every Christmas since Matt and I began dating); we will miss celebrating with our extended family, but this is what we want for the future of our family (and what better time to start than the present?). We will attend a Christmas Eve worship service either at our church or another church in our area. We will try to begin instilling in her from an early age an appreciation that Christmas is a season set aside to reflect on the birth of Jesus and what that means to us as individuals, family, and beyond. We will decorate our Christmas tree and our home. We (or at least Momma) will bake goodies for us to enjoy and to share with our friends and neighbors. We will attend and host Christmas parties. We will give and receive gifts. We will incorporate traditions from my childhood and from Matt’s childhood with new ideas and activities to create a Christmastime that is specific to our family.

This is a new phase we are entering into with the holidays, and it will be fun to see how our ideas, activities, and traditions unfold through the years to come. Now we’ve just gotta get the tree up so the season can truly begin!

I would love to hear some of the special Christmas traditions that your family has created if you would like to share in the comments.

Giving Thanks, Day 21

Thoughtfully penned on November 21st, 2007 and generally concerning Fall Festivities, Giving Thanks, God's at Work in My Life, Legacy

There are so many ways in which I’ve been blessed and so many things for which I am thankful, but in reality, all that I have and all that I am boil down to the fact that I’ve been adopted as a child of God and an heir to the glory of heaven.  This is the one thing for which I am most thankful.

Quite a few years ago I accepted the gift of salvation that God freely offers to us all.  Although I have stumbled over the years, I have never looked back or regretted the decision I made on that day.  The love, mercy, and grace of God have so overwhelmed my life and my family that I can’t even imagine (and don’t really want to) what life would be like without my faith.

I am constantly learning, growing, and being recreated by the gentle hand of the loving Father.  I continue to struggle, I continue to fail, but God in his mercy continues to pick me up, to set me back on my feet, and to allow me to continue.  This year I have been challenged, I have been corrected, I have been told “no”.  I have also seen the hand of God at work in my life in amazing ways and he has used events, people, and circumstances to stretch my faith and to draw me closer to him.

I am thankful that he is sovereign.  I am thankful that he knows how things will work out and what will happen even before I know there is anything going on.  I am thankful that he is unchanging.  I am thankful that no matter what my circumstances might look like that I can trust that God is in control so there is no need for me to worry.  I am thankful that he knows what is best for me.  I am thankful that he grants me peace beyond all understanding.

I am thankful that he is a just God.  He is a God who is perfect and cannot be in the presence of things unholy; he is a God of perfect and righteous judgement and wrath.  I am thankful that he is a God who knew that I would mess up but who deferred my judgement.  I am thankful that he sent his son to walk this earth, to die on the cross becoming my sin so I could be reconciled to him and invited into his presence and his family.  I am thankful for the blood of Christ that covers me.

I hope and pray that you know the God whom I love and serve.  If you are a fellow Christ follower, I am thankful that you are a brother or sister and that we will one day walk the streets of heaven together.  If you are not in that place, I am thankful that the Holy Spirit will continue to pursue you because God desires us all to come to repentence and be reconciled to him.

May you each have a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving holiday.

A trip down memory lane

Thoughtfully penned on September 13th, 2007 and generally concerning childhood, Family, Good Eats, Grandparents, Legacy

This week has been all about comfort foods; I’ve eaten mashed potatoes, homemade mac & cheese, and lots of M&M’s. In fact, I’ve probably ingested more carbs than a person should have in a month.

Earlier in the week I concocted a tuna-noodle casserole for my lunch. I recognize that a lot of people read that and think, “yuck!”, my husband is included in that group which is why I ate it for lunch. But for me, this is one of my favorite comfort foods, one of those foods that brings floods of childhood memories as I cook and eat it.

My Dad and brother don’t like tuna-noodle casserole either, so growing up Mom would make it sometimes when the guys were off camping or both happened to be away from home at dinner time. I always enjoyed it when we ate it at our house, but my most special memories are of eating it with my Ghina and Poppa.

Ghina knew how much I liked the casserole, so every few months when they had it for dinner the phone would ring with an invitation for me to join them. This was a special time because it was just me and my grandparents – no parents, no brother, no cousins – a table set for three.

Entering the house I was greeted by the sound of the timer on their old-fashioned toaster oven clicking away, the smell of the casserole baking, and the sight of Ghina preparing garlic bread to be toasted. I would hang out on the stool in the kitchen, or write on the chalkboard, or play with a few toys until the timer dinged and dinner was ready.

The three of us would take our seats at the table; a family table surrounded by pictures of my Mom and her siblings as children, by mementos of a life lived together for many years. Ghina dished out our dinner. Poppa opened the box of ground black pepper. Slices of garlic toast were passed. A meal was enjoyed.

After dinner was finished and the dishes washed, Ghina and I would sit at the kitchen table and play Chinese checkers. If I was lucky we could get in several games before I had to head home to get ready for bed and school the next day.

There were many, many dinners like this each consisting of a plate of tuna-noodle casserole, a slice of garlic bread, and a special time with my grandparents. Over the years the occurences have lost their individuality and melded into a composite in my mind. Such a special memory, and it all started with a pan of tuna-noodle casserole.

Happy Father’s Day!

Thoughtfully penned on June 17th, 2007 and generally concerning childhood, E, Family, Grandparents, Legacy, Us

I am a Daddy’s girl, through and through; as a child I believed I could do anything as long as Daddy was close by. I had faith that if I slipped, he would catch me; if I was hurt, he would make it better; if I needed him, he would come running. I knew that he loved me in a big way and that nothing would change that.

I believe that Little feels this way about Matt. She can’t yet verbalize it, but you can already see it in her eyes; she knows she can rely on him. She is blessed to have the best kind of Daddy – the kind that fears God and only wants the best for his baby girl.

Happy father’s day and I love you to the two most important men in my life!

A girl and her Daddy, hard at work


Little with my Daddy


Thoughtfully penned on April 18th, 2007 and generally concerning God's at Work in My Life, Legacy

Expectation: a belief that someone will or should achieve something

We all have them: of ourselves, of others, of life. There are certain things that we expect ourselves to achieve; ways that we expect our spouse and children to be; certain events that we expect to transpire in our lives; certain outcomes that we expect God to provide.

I have long known that I expect too much. It’s not that I expect great things; it’s just things like: expecting someone to understand what I’m talking about even if I don’t communicate well; expecting someone to know what I’m thinking without my telling them; expecting high levels of achievement from myself.

I tend to be hard on myself – more so in some areas than others – and set the standard high enough that it is pretty much unattainable. This is very true in what I believe others are expecting of me. For instance, I have been in a place recently where I believed Matt expected the house to be spotless when he came home. I was convinced that toys in the floor, unwashed dishes in the sink, or a pile of unfolded laundry on the couch was a disappointment to him. I mean, I’m home all day now, why shouldn’t I be able to accomplish everything? He never said this was true; he never did anything to make me believe that this was true. It was all in my head. I make myself believe that perfection is expected and if I can’t achieve perfection then I have totally failed.

I also fear failure. You know the old saying, “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again”? It is not my motto. I have long been the type of person that believed I should be good at something the first time I try it. If I’m not good at it, what is the point in trying again? Trying again is just setting myself up for embarrassment and failure. Often, if I convince myself that I can’t do something to my level of expectation then I might as well not do it at all.

Over the last few weeks, God has been teaching me a bit about expectations, especially the things I expect of myself. I have come to realize that this is something that is preventing me from becoming the woman God desires me to be. My expectations are holding me back from living the abundance of life that is mine in Christ. This is an area where I have been held captive; a stronghold that Satan had on my mind and heart. I am in the process of turning it over to God; letting the light of Christ shine in the dark places of my heart.

In Luke 4:18 Christ is reading from the prophecy of Isaiah and says, “He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed.” I claim this promise for myself through Christ, and you can too.

The height of the Christian calendar

Thoughtfully penned on April 8th, 2007 and generally concerning God's at Work in My Life, Legacy, The Glory of God

Today is Easter. For many people today is simply about bunnies, baskets, and egg hunts. For many, today is simply about going to church (many from a sense of obligation) then gathering with family and friends to enjoy good food. For me, as a Christian, today is about the glory of God being revealed, about victory over death and triumph over a fallen world, about the hope I have of one day singing with the angels gathered around the throne of God. Today is the celebration of Christ’s rising from the grave, the miracle of all miracles, the reason we can celebrate throught the year and enjoy the other activities we engage in today.

I hope this morning finds you reflecting on the empty tomb and filled with joy that He is risen. He is risen indeed!

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A weekend with family

Thoughtfully penned on April 3rd, 2007 and generally concerning E, Family, Grandparents, Legacy, Motherhood, Sidetrack'd

Matt’s parents came to visit this weekend. With a 10-hour trip from their house to ours we don’t get to see them as often as we would like. We didn’t really do anything very exciting, but it was nice just to get to spend time together relaxing, talking, enjoying Little. Little lapped up all of the attention and had fun playing with and performing for people other than Mommy and Daddy. It rained most of the day Saturday, but we were able to get out Sunday afternoon to take a walk and enjoy the beautiful Spring weather. I have truly been blessed with wonderful in-laws.

Other than the first few months after our marriage, Matt and I have not lived closer to our family than a 3-hour drive; this is both good and bad. Early on, it was good for the two of us to have to rely on each other and God. We had to figure out the whole marriage/finances (Matt was in grad school and I was working full-time)/church/friends thing on our own. Through that we built a strong relationship, really enjoyed time together, and learned a lot about God and ourselves. I don’t know how our marriage would be different if we had been in the same city with family, but I’m sure it would be.

Now that Little has come along, it would be nice to live closer to family in some ways. Growing up, I lived within a few miles of both sets of my grandparents and most of my extended family. I spent lots of time with my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins; I would love for Little to have the opportunity to have a day-to-day relationship with her extended family as well. It would also be nice to have the close-by babysitting that comes with living near relatives.

For now, we are called to live and work where we are which means being separated from family by many miles. When we have the opportunity to visit with family – either at our house or theirs – we enjoy it while we can; we talk, we laugh, we drink coffee, we linger over meals, we overstimulate Little and she won’t nap (but that’s okay). The physical distance between us makes our gatherings that much sweeter.