Wednesday, November 18, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like CHRISTmas!

A few years ago, a friend asked me to join her and 23 other ladies in an ornament exchange intended to prepare our families to celebrate the birth of Jesus.   We used the book The Advent Jesse Tree: Devotions for Children and Adults to  Prepare for the Coming of the Christ Child at Christmas as a guide. 

Following her lead, I decided to host my own group of ladies this year.  I invited ladies from many different circles:  neighborhood, church, school, etc.  We had our first meeting about a month ago and shared a lovely lunch and conversation.  Each lady left with an assignment to make 25 ornaments which symbolize some part of the Christian faith history.  Some examples are:  apple with a snake, sheath of wheat, slingshot, coat of many colors and others.  From the pictures above, you can see that I am the sheep with a shepherd's staff. 

We meet again tomorrow to share our ornaments and exchange.  Each participant will go home with the devotional book and 25 different, wrapped ornaments to open for each day in December. 

My hope is that the ladies and their families will be blessed in many ways by setting aside time each day to go to God's word and focus on Him and his truth during the hectic Christmas season.  May they be reminded of the realities of God's grace and love for us.

I challenged them to host their own group next year with 25 of their friends.  Maybe you would like to host one as well! 

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Move over, Nellie Olsen.

What a sweet picture of Mother (35) and Daughter(7). 
Mama's smile just about breaks my heart in two pieces.  
At her baby shower for my brother, Justin.  

Don't you just envy my outfit?  I am almost positive that Mama made that dress for me.  She sewed many of my clothes when I was younger.  I remember that I loved that dress so much.  It was Laura Ingalls Wilder Chic!  Don't laugh.  I was trendy at the time.

It was June, 1979 in my small Texas hometown.   I had just finished 1st grade and been promoted to Big Sister status.  I was sporting a well-coiffed Dorothy Hamill hairdo and was headed off to a baby shower for Mama and new baby brother, Justin, at the First Baptist Church.  I am sure that my inner dialogue went something like this: 

What to wear?  What to wear?
Oh!!   I know what will be great in this sweltering summer heat:
My black, long-sleeved, floor length, patchwork quilt dress.  
You just never know when Almanzo will show up and whisk me away! 

I remember having a disagreement with Mama about wearing this dress.    I also remember being resolute and determined to wear this dress. "I just HAVE to wear it."  She was probably trying to reason with me telling me that it was too hot.  But, you know as well as I do, that, sometimes, one must sacrifice comfort for style.

I'll bet that you are probably thinking that I sacrificed both. Hey, I was 7 and times were different then.  Give a small town girl a break! 

 Don't you think I'd fit right in On the Banks of Plum Creek ??