Thursday, December 29, 2011

My favorites of 2011

These are a few of my favorite things of 2011...

Blog Entry
"I am a works-based assassin trying to kill the me I don’t want to be in the city of my life."
I've been on a journey of grace this year as I re-learned what it means to be covered completely and only in the righteousness of Christ. That is why my favorite quote of the year is...

In Christ, “We have no penalty to pay for sin, including past, present, and future sins... we are not subject to any charge of guilt or condemnation.” (Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology, 724-725)

I blogged about it here:  Looking for Joy 

And that's why one of my favorite sermons of the year was "The Grace Greater Than Your Past" by Pastor Mark Vroegop, November 13th.

"Run, John, run, the law commands,
But gives us neither feet nor hands,
Far greater news the gospel brings,
It bids us fly and gives us wings."

I have loved 1000 Gifts by Ann Voskamp.
Honestly, I haven't finished it yet, but I'm nearing the end. It's a great reminder to live our lives full of thankfulness to God. I love the fresh and unique writing style.

Blessings by Laura Story

Aldi! Really, I don't know how we'd feed our family with out this amazing store. Thank you, Aldi!

Online Store
Shutterfly. Just when I thought they couldn't get any better, they made their photo books even more customizable so that I no longer design my pages in Photoshop! Also this year, I took 6 of my 3" old fashioned photo books and converted them into 2 slim 12x12 albums that fit nicely on the shelf. I love Shutterfly! :)

This is a tie between two things: Lightroom, which is a software that has cut my photo editing time down considerably. Google Calendar, so that Lee & I are always synced.

Easter Sunday. It was my last day with my grandma. It was a rainy day, so we had the egg hunt inside at my parents' house. She sat on a chair and watched, and so we covered her with eggs and hid them all around her. She thought it was a riot! I have a video of me asking her what her favorite thing is, and she said, "All my family, and all the craziness." She was one special lady.

That is why my favorite person of the year goes to Doris Stelzer, GG, my grandma. Jesus brought her home this year, and it is still hard to believe she's not here. Man, I miss her.

Home School Resource
Teaching Textbooks for Math. Abby just wasn't catching on with workbooks and Shiller, so I took a step back and ordered these. So far, so good!

I finished my essays for becoming NANC certified, and now I'm on to the supervised counseling phase. They were a blast to write! If you're interested, I can send you a copy.

TV Show
Once Upon a Time looks promising. I like it so far.

I'll do another post about my favorite verses of the year. So for now, goodnight! :)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

What's Noel?

Sitting in church last week, my niece turned to me and asked, "What's Noel?" We'd just sung it about fifty times in the recent song, and yet I couldn't tell her. I immediately thought of this Animaniac song, though. (Here it is... my Christmas present to you!)

So, back to the church service, I typed it into my phone before the refrain was over and discovered that it means, "Christmas." Oh yeah, I think I learned that sometime, somewhere. She was satisfied with the answer.

It seemed a little funny then to think of singing the word Christmas over and over. "Christmas, Christmas, Christmas, Christmas, born is the King of Israel." It doesn't sound pretty and it doesn't rhyme either.

What's Noel?

That's a good question for everyone to be asking right now. Just about every parent I talk to is looking forward to January, when the business of the season is over. If we are truly celebrating the event that means, "born is the King of Israel," are we supposed to be doing it this way?

What are we reading that inspires us to love Jesus?
What music are we listening to that makes our hearts well up with praise?
What are we buying that shows we want to give our all to him?
How are we praying for others that shows that His love is in us?
What are we watching that motivates us to share His truth with the world?

It's Christmas Eve. Mary is full of the life of God, and yet experiencing all the discomforts that pregnancy brings. Joseph is in a protective mode, looking for how to care for this child and where they should stay. The shepherds are going about their daily jobs, taking the sheep out to pasture for the evening. The angels are staged and ready to burst forth with a loud cry. The wise men are on their way to Herod in Jerusalem, the city of David, to inquire about a star and a king who was born. And Jesus is about to bring His light into the world for all to see.

Let's pause tonight to the wonder of the birth of Christ. God became a man FOR us. As my pastor, Mark Vroegop, said last week:

"Jesus became a man in order to purchase our redemption. Who? Jesus. What? Redeems people. How? Through the humiliation of becoming human. Therefore, the call from this text today is behold the beauty of the incarnation and to celebrate this season not only on the basis of what he did – but to marvel and meditate on how he did it. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us!"  (Sermon Here)


Merry Christmas! And my the light of Christ shine in you this weekend and for eternity.

When Jesus spoke again to the people, He said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” 
John 8:12


Friday, December 16, 2011

Unpacked Boxes

Well, we've officially moved to our sweet little home on a sliver of country. Moving was as big of a chore as I expected it to be, having moved our stuff around seven times in our 13 years of marriage, (as my brother pointed out while carrying a large piece of furniture out our front door), but it's finally over. Or mostly over, as those of you who've moved can understand. There are always the nagging few boxes of stuff you didn't want to deal with at your old house, that you still don't want to deal with at your new house!

We made it with surprisingly few casualties. There are a couple of missing toys and a hard drive cable that hasn't appeared, but having things drop out of  sight along the way or break into bits is par for the course.

This all started happening at the end of October, and since then, my life has been consumed with activity.

Planning, sorting, purging, purging some more, selling, making lists, donating, freecycling, planning some more, waiting...

And now~


Ahh, a nice word. Rest.

I don't want to do this again for a long time! Whew! Time to make a cup of tea and sit back and enjoy the Christmas Season.

You wouldn't know it were Christmas around here. No lights. No tree. Occasionally I play some Christmas music on Pandora when I'm feeling festive. But the simplicity of the time is actually quite refreshing.

It's 8 AM. The house is quiet. Except for my my oldest who doesn't sleep in - ever - all is still.

I sit back and smile, knowing that one day we'll have eternity to rest. To rest from striving. The battle. The fight against sin. Sickness. They'll all be gone.

I sip my tea.


Resting on His promises.

Come quickly, Lord Jesus! And as I wait, help me to rest in You.