Reflections

First Coming

He did not wait till the world was ready,
till men and nations were at peace.
He came when the heavens were unsteady,
and prisoners cried out for release.

He did not wait for the perfect time.
He came when the need was deep and great.
He dined with sinners in all their grime,
turned water into wine. He did not wait

till hearts were pure. In joy he came
to a tarnished world of sin and doubt.
To a world like ours, of anguished shame
He came, and his Light would not go out.

He came to a world which did not mesh,
to heal its tangles, shield its scorn.
In the mystery of the Word made Flesh
the Maker of the stars was born.

We cannot wait till the world is sane
to raise our songs with joyful voice,
for to share our grief, to touch our pain
He came with Love: Rejoice! Rejoice!

–Madeleine L’Engle

I am sitting in my living room – the tree is sparkling next to me. Under the tree, there are so many presents we had to move the end table.  The stockings – hung on the staircase, are already filled with some surprises.  The house is filled with Christmas treasures and the anticipation of what is to come.

I have just chewed the boys out for not doing their morning chores.

UGH.

It’s a time when we should all be humming songs of peace and joy in our minds all day long and I am overwhelmed by the little things, like honey left out on the counters.  We are blessed beyond measure and I am looking at the faults.  We are saved, redeemed, children of The Almighty King – and I am frowning.

What will I do?

I will break through today. I will bust through the fog and REJOICE.  I will sing at the top of my lungs about the One who was sent to this Earth for me -for ME.  I will reflect on His goodness and mercy in my life. I will hug those boys a little tighter and nitpick less.  I will repent.

~Janna

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Winner, winner – Chicken dinner.

This morning, after I awakened, I rolled over and turned my cellphone setting to “normal” and checked my emails and texts.  This is how I normally start my day. Lo and behold, (don’t you just love that phrase?) I had an email from a company called Six Seeds. Last week, I entered a contest to win tickets to the movie Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Well, the email told me I won!  I was so excited!  We had already decided to see the movie this weekend – and pay the extra $$ to see it in 3D. This is big for us because we don’t normally see the movies at the regular theater. Our thinking is this – we could spend a buck fifty each to see the same movie at the dollar theater (I know, it needs a new name now that it costs more) and still get movie popcorn.  Movie popcorn is vital to the total experience for my Man.  Like I said, we had already decided to spend some $$ on the whole 3D experience. The dollar doesn’t do 3D.  I agreed because of this one thing. I have mad, crazy love for the Narnia movies. AND Voyage of the Dawn Treader is my favorite of the Narnia books. We have the entire series on CD and listen to it on car trips (sometimes, we listen to it just driving around town!) We own the book series (they were mine when I was young). I am a fan. It’s serious.

Here’s what makes this so cool: It’s not the first thing I have won this month. Or even the second. I have been so blessed by some special little wins lately. It really has been remarkable. On Thanksgiving weekend, I was having a really hard time. I was missing our families in a seriously bad way. I was missing my Mother In Love most of all. I was crying. Then I got an email from a blog I read (Cyndi Spivey) telling me I won a Gift Certificate to Dayspring. It was so nice. It felt like a love letter from God.

In October, I won a book I was quite interested in. It’s called the Reluctant Entertainer. It is such a good book. Although we have entertained since we were newlyweds, there were so many things in this book that helped me. I even printed off tips from her website and posted them on the inside door of my pantry to refer to. So helpful. I needed to read what she had written. Even at this stage in life, I was feeling insecure as far as what we had to offer to guests. It was so good!

So, what’s next in my winnings? I don’t know. My sister says this means she gets to win the Hoover vacuum and steamer we both are trying to win! All I know is that I am thankful. I needed this. Don’t laugh – even though I am smiling as I write this. I needed it. I needed to feel like I was the special one. There have been other wonderful blessings that I can’t write about here, but it’s just all made me feel so set apart and unique and, well…noticed.

By the way, my dryer is now working. That’s a story all by itself. A total God-thing. Seriously. A picture in my mind of what to do that seemed completely nonsensical – but it worked. I am thankful. I was seriously behind in the laundry and lo and behold, (see-there it is again!) wouldn’t you know it? We had a freak cold snap down here in the sub-tropics. That will slow down your line drying. I left the clothesline up, though. I still like it. I will be honest with you, though. I like the dryer even more.

Oh, and I totally found the deal of the century at TJMaxx when I supposed to be Christmas shopping.  A HUGE Le Creuset utensil crock – for…….(are you ready for this?) 3 dollars. I hugged it like I would never part with it. It’s French Blue. (Or should I say, bleu?) Did I mention the 3 dollars part? I went back later on and bought the smaller one for my sister (she already knows about it). We’ll be almost twins. A happy thing, this Le Creuset find. I just like saying, “Le Creuset.”

That’s it for now – unless I win something else in the next few days. And you never know, I just might!

 

~janna

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Ta Da! (And other worthless sayings)

I don’t know if you know this or not, but I make my own laundry soap. It’s true, I am quite the granola.

I truly have a desire to have my own little tiny farm (without chickens because they scare me – childhood thing) and even have a backyard homesteading book on my Amazon wishlist.  When Mom and I made jam a while ago, it was one of the happiest days of my year. This is how I roll. I don’t know if it’s from the childhood of moving every 3 years (but always visiting my Grandparents on their farm in Montana), but I think it might be.

I have used an outhouse, pumped water from the well, stepped in many a cowpie, had my finger stuck in an old-fashioned washer-wringer, churned butter, milked cows, drank real warm milk, weeded gardens, butchered chickens (gizzards, anyone?) driven trucks before I had could reach the pedals, gone to the root cellar to get canned goods, been pecked nearly to death my chickens (see the connection now?) and much more. It’s in my blood, I guess.  I am glad it is.  This city girl has had some real country experiences on a fairly regular basis and it made me who I am today.

I like making granola. I like it all. Don’t tell Mr Wonderful, but I’d pack in the suburbs for a mini-farm in a heartbeat. He thinks that’s a really bad idea. He just doesn’t know how cool we’d feel.  But it isn’t happening right now. 🙂

Here’s what is: Our dryer broke the other day.  I started to get bummed – but then I saw opportunity. I mean, I already make our laundry soap! I hung that load on hangars with clothespins and dried them overnight. It worked. I don’t know why I was surprised.  I did it yesterday, too.  Today, I bumped it up a notch. I hung a clothesline. I mean, we live in the subtropics. It doesn’t freeze here. We get warm, breezy weather pretty much year round. I am so excited I can hardly stand it. I have a load in the washer right now and I am counting down the minutes until I can hang the clothes outside. Mr W thinks we need to call a repair person. I am asking him to wait. I am getting back to my roots. I could spin this and say how environmentally friendly we are.  That’s just a side effect.  I just want to get back to simple. I’m on my way.  Come join me.

~Janna