Saturday, December 22, 2012

New neighbours and naming 2013?

Oh boy! We have new neighbours. They moved in yesterday.

Last night we became aware that they also have a dog.

The whole night we were aware that they have a dog.

Poor thing. Probably very frightened, in a new home, new sounds and new smells. The house was previously the home to three other dogs. So the poor little thing could probably smell them all over but couldn't quite find them.

At 23h20, I got up and out and down the street. Not counting any gifts at that moment. When I got to their front gate, they removed the door bell. Who does that? Who removes a doorbell??

Grace. I turned around and went back. It was silent. For an hour or so.

This morning it was all quiet. Little one probably catching up on some lost sleep.

Boy oh boy. This is my weak spot. A barking dog.

#55 Thank You Lord for a barking dog the whole night, thanks that he is quietly resting this morning, oh and a BIG thanks that my husband wasn't here last night and I know that tonight the little one will be all quiet and well behaved. 

#56 Thank You for new neighbours (to love)

#57 and thanks that the children slept soundly through it all.

And here's a question for you: Have you ever named a year? Like naming a new baby. 2012 was the year of doing hard things and dreaming bigger dreams.

What will you name 2013? The year of ...


Friday, December 21, 2012

Monday, December 17, 2012

To tree or not...

For years we didn't have a Christmas tree.
For years we tried hard not to celebrate Christmas.
We still did the gift thing, but without the man in the red suit.

We tried to celebrate Jesus without the tree and the lights and glitz and the whole festivity thing of the world, but with little children fascinated by lights and shiny objects hanging from trees everywhere in all the shops and even in church, we started to rethink our thinking.

After watching this musical performed at our church, I realized that we have a good reason to celebrate.

Last year we had a tree again, all because we started to do the Jesse Tree Journey by Ann Voskamp. 

And how the little ones and even the older children enjoyed the lights and the decorations!

So this year, we are having a tree again.

As Christians we can get so caught up in the small nitty gritty of having a tree or whether or not it is an idol (Jeremiah 10:3-5) and this is wrong and that is so and this is not.

I've been there. I know. I cleaned out our house of all possible idols and threw out all but the one eyed monster!

But there was a night, long ago, that angels sang in heaven and if we were there that night, we would have been able to see and hear and it would surely have taken our breath away! How can we not celebrate the birth of this Child. Or sing a song of praise?

How do you celebrate this time of year?


Friday, December 14, 2012

Why after counting to 2793, I'm starting over...

I'm ungrateful. Ondankbaar. Beauty has become ugly and I can find fault (with a flick of my finger) just like that. Its on my face, its in my veins, thumping like sin. Ungratefulness. Unthankful. Sin.

After counting gifts for how long... 2 years maybe... a bad habit formed and ugly stuck its head out and ungratefulness and complaining started to fill my days.

I am a grateful person don't get me wrong but giving thanks in my head here and there and forgetting to pause and really give thanks on paper is were things went wrong. Suddenly I'm misplacing my little booklet, and then a week or two goes by without putting thanks on paper. Before I know it I'm complaining about sea sand on my floor instead of saying thank You Lord for sea sand and wind and out and playing and being together!

Yes yes yes we do give thanks, but there is just something about pausing and giving Thanks to Him in black on white were I can look back and see page after page of His open hands giving gift upon gift upon gift and seeing His faithfulness day after day...

I need to give a thousand thanks again and see one thousand gifts and I need to say Eucharisteo to find charis JOY again.

I've started over

#1 Thank You Lord for a new booklet
#2 Thank You Lord for praying with my daughter about a relationship full of ugly
#3 Thank You Lord for a microwave oven (someone else's) and an easy chocolate cake
#4 Thank You Lord for being able to take care of a feverish child

and counting...

I know God can turn ugly into beautiful again... through Eucharisteo, gift upon gift, miracle upon miracle.

Have you ever counted gifts? Ever counted to one thousand? Please join me as I count again...

Monday, December 10, 2012

How to have a balanced life?

I'm picking up a half eaten piece of brownish apple from underneath the couch, remainders of food and sticky fingers all over, sea sand on the tiled floors and the washing is piling up, and the ever growing heap of ironing waiting... I asked a child to water the plants on the back patio and when I returned there were potting soil spills against walls and water puddles everywhere...

This past week I've seriously wondered if the formula for the circumference of a circle was worth a relationship. In other words: is it worth arguing and fighting and reasoning over mathematics when a relationship suffers because of it. She never likes it when we learn something new. I know this, but when will I learn that harsh words make a child's brain freeze over??? Little minds can't think straight when a mother impatiently raises her voice.

When will I learn that words and attitudes hurt? Didn't I learn this as a child already. I should know better. I remember how the sound of a vacuum cleaner can make you quiver and run for cover. I grew up in a house that was always clean and neat and tidy and never a leaf out of place in the garden. How I also want to have all that. But, at what cost? A clean house, or a relationship? A clear view out of the glass sliding door, or a trip to the park? All the clothes folded and crisp and clean, or dirty wiggly toes and lots of giggles and hugs and hide and seek? Can a spotless house compare to time spent reading a favourite story twice in a row? Three times?

When will I learn that maybe, just maybe, what seems to me a mindless action, can also be about just being together...

Oh how I struggle to keep this balance.

And then there is only just this one thing that stays needful...???  !!!

I am such a slow learner.

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