Choosing to see the extraordinary of "ordinary"

Monthly Archives: December 2013

Life is chock full of wonderfully good things.  And it’s the good things that fill our days and sometimes drive us to insanity and beyond.  (That needs to be said in a  Buzz Lightyear voice.)  That is why I’ve decided to take a few days off from blogging.

Blessings have not stopped occurring; in fact, that are more abundant than ever.  But between being incredibly busy at work, incredibly overwhelmed at home and incredibly tired of this persistent cold/headache/tiredness, I need a break from a few of the “good things.”

So, adieu ’til next year!

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Christmas is over (but not quite over until the last family get-together on Saturday).  I go home from work and survey the house that has been living in survival mode for the past several weeks.

The receipts and mail and various and sundry papers are piled high just waiting to be gone through, recorded and thrown away.

The dishes from last night are stacked in the sink waiting for the dishwasher to be unloaded and loaded again.

The laundry is sitting half-dry in the dryer and piles more are laying in the hamper, on the dresser, sheesh, on the floor, waiting to be washed.

I walk across the carpet, and my feet crunch on some wayfaring popcorn.

I need to eat but don’t want to cook.  “Hmmm, I wonder what happens to be in the freezer that I can call food?”  That errant, now-smooshed popcorn might have to suffice.

I want coffee to perk me up and motivate me to do something productive.  Alas, there is not one bit of coffee grounds left in the house.  I searched, believe you me, I searched.  I guess I’ll just add that to the ever growing shopping list.

Gifts from Christmas are still lying around the living room and dining room and kitchen, just waiting for their new home (or maybe just waiting for their new owner to pay attention to them).

I look around.  I look.  Caleb is at work, and the house is quiet.  I walk upstairs and change into my pajamas.  (Hey, I gotta be comfy before I start cleaning, ya’ know.)  I look around again.  I heat up some previously frozen food and call it supper.  I drink some tea that had to fill in for much needed coffee.  I manage to resist eating the popcorn on the floor.  I dig through the presents and find a book.  And I sit down and read.  Allllll. evening. long.

Sometimes a girl has just gotta say, “Phooey with it all” and read her a good book.

So I did.

And it was fun.

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The day after Christmas.  (Most of) the gifts are unwrapped; the space under the Christmas tree is bare.  Leftover Christmas candy and desserts and snacks sit on the counter in half-empty, Saran wrapped plates.  The office buzzes with the mad rush of after-holiday vacation and pre-end of the year deadlines.  Life continues on it’s crazy way.

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But then I pop the CD Caleb gave me yesterday morning, and I smile.  Josh Groban sings away, and I listen.  Music fills the car, and I remember just a day ago when we paused to unwrap presents and play games and eat food and spend time with all my lovely loved ones.

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Yes, when I listen to these songs, now and forever I will always think of our very first Christmas morning together.

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Gift giving takes thought.  Will they like it?  Do they need it?  Is it too much?  Is it too little?  Sometimes I spend hours thinking of a “perfect” gift.

Some of the best presents I have received are the ones that someone and bought because they KNEW me.  Sometimes it was elaborate; sometimes it was simple.  What mattered was that it wasn’t a gift of duty.  It was a gift of love.

The first Christmas gift Caleb gave to me when we were dating was a snowflake necklace.  He bought it because I go CRAZY when it snows.  He KNEW I would love it.

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But as much as I love and wear his gift, it’s not the most perfect one I’ve ever received.  The most perfect gift I received was in July, 1997.  I guess you could call it Christmas in July.  You see, that is the moment I actually received (or unwrapped) God’s gift – Jesus Christ.  God had given it thousands of years ago, but it meant diddly squat until I actually “opened” and accepted The Present.

But just like paying cash for Caleb’s gift of love would have been inappropriate, paying with “good works” for God’s gift of Jesus would have been absurd.  How can you put a price on love?  How much is enough?  Would the Giver not be completely insulted at such an offer?

So, when you get right down to it, if you strip away all the blessings that I write about, if they all ended today, I would still have the most amazing blessing and the most perfect gift of all – Jesus Christ and complete security in the fact that He has forgiven all my sins.

Merry Christmas!!!!

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

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Baking.  It is on my top five list of must-do Christmas activities.  Yes, there are a multitude of other Christmassy things I love, but baking is a necessity, absolutely and without a doubt.

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As far as the baking department goes, I’ve only had pieces of time here and there instead of an entire day just to fix little Christmas goodies like I wanted to.  And the trays of pastries and cookies I wanted to deliver to our neighbors?  Yeah, unfortunately, they didn’t happen.  The baking has still been fun though, and most of it’s gotten done.

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So, in those bits and pieces of time, I’ve cranked up the Christmas music, turned on the Christmas lights and heated up the stove.  Smells of cherry turnovers and gingerbread men and cranberry bread fill the kitchen.  I eat an entire day’s worth of calories “testing” each thing and “cleaning” each bowl.  Flour is on my clothes; powdered sugar is on the floor; fudge is on my lips, and icing is on my elbow (how did that get there?); pots and pans and spatulas and spoons fill every flat surface.  I am not a clean baker.  But I’m a happy one!

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So, as I dance around the kitchen, pulling pans out of the oven, singing “Blue Christmas” Elvis-style and squealing that the bread loaves actually came out of the pan without breaking, I wish you a Merry Christmas Eve and hope you are enjoying your many blessings today!

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