My friend Sue's blog post this afternoon is a wonderful reminder of our unchanging God, specifically His faithfulness. After a year of many changes, great and small, easy and hard, to know that He is unchanging in His EVERY attribute is a tremendous comfort.

The key is keeping our eyes upon Him in the midst of change. When we take our eyes off of Him, we can become like Peter, sinking into choppy waters. Throw in a difficult change, and diverting our eyes from Christ can feel like a millstone fastened around our neck...sinking, sinking.

But if we can stay focused on Him during changes, and rely on Him for strength to handle what comes our way, the changes might still be difficult but we have a Fortress. A Refuge. A Dwelling Place.

With all the changes that come with each new year, what peace can come from knowing the One who never changes. His love for us never changes.

"For I the Lord do not change;"
Malachi 3:6


Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree

It's come to this...

...our Christmas tree has a set of mugshots...
cause my decorating skills are crime!

This year I wasn't exactly Martha Stewart when it came to decorating the house...in fact I wasn't even close. Our tree ended up with what I like to call "the wind swept effect"...also known as...

 "Hurricane Buddy came through our living room
and our tree was in its path"

Globs of red tinsel thrown here and there. Tree watered once and only once. Strings of lights sagging. Ornaments hung backwards. Forgotten garland still in the box. And droopy limbs. Oh the droopy limbs!

But worst of all, our cute little country star suffered the most humilating offense...shoved up against the popcorn ceiling.

The kids decorated the tree this year and I didn't notice the star right away. But when I finally did, I asked one of the kids to cut the top branch a smidge and fix the star. And unfortunately I asked when they were all in the living room together. And I didn't name a name.

I left that same afternoon to go out of town for a few days and when I came back guess what?

Our cute little country star. Still shoved.

Now the first couple of days I was home, I was too tired to fix the tree. Then a week passed by. And by then I had forgotten about fixing our cute little country star. And as I write these words there he sits on the top of our Charlie Brown 2.0 tree.

Helpless. Scrunched. Humilated.

We'll be putting the tree out of its misery this weekend. And our cute little country star will find its way back to the storage box where it can stretch out and enjoy the company of the little drummer boy ornament I made in the 3rd grade and the bell with Hayden's preschool picture on it. Packed away for another year.

Until the shoving begins again...ta-ta-dum


A Do-Over, Oh How I Love A Do-Over...and Giveaways!

***********We Have A Winner!!!*************

So...it's been awhile.

Wow, glad to get that one off my chest. Took the bedsheet off this thing and saw how dusty it was...not a pretty sight.

Wondering where this thing might take me this time...trying to find the right fit...who's knows if this one will stick...could look alot different tomorrow.

Been a tough year, could be tougher next year, could be sweeter...but either or, I'm still so thankful for my Savior and His steadfast mercy and grace.

So...I was talking with Kaitlin earlier this evening and we were discussing "love languages". You know, what's your love language? How do you receive/give love? Are you a "words of affirmation" type of gal? Physical touch your thing? How about gifts? And then there's quality time...Now I know that some people swear by them, and others think it's all a bunch of hooey...but we took the test anyway and it turns out that Kaitlin and I share the same love language...gifts.

Big surprise. We're all about the presents, baby.

We love to show love by giving gifts and apparently the only thing that can prick our prickly hearts is a big ol' box of something. Doesn't really matter what's in the box...just that there's a box/gift bag/envelope/canister/plastic shopping bag with our name on it.

And actually it's kind of embarassing...this is how I feel loved? If you bring me a bag of pretzel M&M's I'm yours forever? Heaven help me if Mark bought me a new car...

But the other gifts just don't do it for me. If I want to hear words of affirmation I'll go back to Weight Watchers. And physical touch around our place ranges from wrestling over a bag of Oreos (I won the last round...maybe I should go back to Weight Watchers) to getting fist-bumped by Hayden because I bought him some strings for his ukulele.

So I guess I'll stick to my love language of gifts... receiving and giving... which is why I'm kicking the end of 2010 off with a giveaway!

So, here's the giveaway...

(1) $25 Itunes card
(sheesh...I am the worst photographer in the world!)

here's what you need to do...just leave a comment to the question below (just one comment per person please, and if you leave a potty mouth comment a.k.a. something inappropirate, it'll get deleted) and when time is up, a random number will be drawn.

and here's the question...

What was your favorite gift you GAVE this Christmas?
(thought I was gonna ask you what your love language is,
didn't ya? Ha!)
So get those comments in...the giveaway ends at 11:00 p.m. Eastern on Wednesday, December 29, 2010.
And so I leave you with the immortal words of Detective Kojak himself...

"who loves ya baby?"

A simple shopping story...

Her cart was dripping. The grocery cart she was pushing around the produce section of the big box store I had just entered was drippin...