Archives for November 2010

Newlywed Christmas

Anyone else know someone enjoying a newlywed Christmas this year? Don and I were lucky enough this Thanksgiving weekend to spend a few hours with our daughter Kelli and new son-in-law Jake, sharing in their joy as they showed off their first-ever cozy little home all decked out for the holidays. What fun! What newlywed Christmas fun! :)

On this their first Christmas together as a married couple, Kelli and Jake are seeing Christmas with new eyes, experiencing all kinds of holiday firsts together and creating what may become new traditions they observe for years to come. They’ll hang on to certain special traditions from their growing-up years to be sure, but many will have a new twist now. A two-become-one twist.

New twists can be a good thing, can’t they? It’s good to do new things. New experiences and new traditions can add a freshness and excitement to life — and to the holidays. When we do new things, we stretch ourselves. We grow.

Our little newlyweds will be doing plenty of new things this holiday season, but we don’t have to be newlyweds to add a twist to our traditions or to start something new. What will you do to add freshness and excitement to your season? What will you do to grow?

“He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.” Psalm 40:3a

*Christmas Giveaway coming soon! Check back later this week!

Proclaiming Thanksgiving

I’m so thankful that America’s founding fathers were people who worshiped and served our heavenly Father. The following announcement was made 387 years ago by William Bradford, the Governor of Plymouth Colony (1623):

“TO ALL YE PILGRIMS: Inasmuch as the great Father has given us this year an abundant harvest of Indian corn, wheat, beans, squashes, and garden vegetables, and has made the forests to abound with game and the sea with fish and clams, and inasmuch as He has protected us from the ravages of the savages, has spared us from pestilence and disease, has granted us freedom to worship God according to the dictates of our own conscience; now, I, your magistrate, do proclaim that all ye Pilgrims, with your wives and little ones, do gather at ye meeting house, on ye hill, between the hours of 9 and 12 in the day time, on Thursday, November ye 29th of the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred and twenty-three, and the third year since ye Pilgrims landed on ye Pilgrim Rock, there to listen to ye pastor, and render thanksgiving to ye Almighty God for all His blessings.”

Let us, too, be busy proclaiming Thanksgiving this week. Let’s thank God for His provision, His protection, and His many blessings. They are abundant indeed!

A blessed Thanksgiving to all!

“Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.” Psalm 107:8-9

*Flickr photo by John-Morgan, Creative Commons License

*I’ll be skipping my mid-week post since we’ll all be busy preparing for Thanksgiving. What yummy dish are you most looking forward to? I can’t wait to wolf down a few of Grandma’s Rolls again! :)

Gotta Share More Wedding Photos!

Bet you thought I was done talking about Kelli’s wedding, huh? Don’t worry, I’m not going to talk much. Just wanted to finally share some of the photographer’s photos with you. Took awhile before they were posted online, even longer for us to get the discs, and then even longer for me to get them downloaded to my computer to share with others.

The shot above was taken as Kelli and Jake traveled from the church to the reception site. They did so well at the kissing shots that Will wanted to take every other minute :) Hope you enjoy a brief look at the events of the day!

The Mother of the Bride, all smiles, arriving with the bridal gown in hand :)

Kelli getting ready, and her big sissy — and matron of honor — helping her every step of the way.

The Father of the Bride — otherwise known as Paint Man, Roof Man, and various other personas — cleans up pretty good, huh?

A carefully executed “Corner Shot”, taken before the wedding, holding hands without seeing each other and excited for all the day would hold.

First shot outside the chapel after the ceremony. A very happy Mr. & Mrs.!

The bridesmaids blowing the groom kisses. After all, he’s a married man now! :)

The gorgeous and delicious wedding cake. So beautiful!

Yes, this is the groom’s cake! An amazing job! Many people thought they were real books!

Time out during the reception for some fun shots. Love this one :)

Kelli always has enjoyed a good Charlie’s Angels pose :)

Boys will be boys! :)

Jumping for joy — and for a good photo :)

Sad, but true — the FOB entertained with his magic tricks when he was supposed to be giving a toast! :)

Their first dance. Such a sweet couple. But I’m not prejudiced at all :)

And let’s finish it out with this shot of one tired momma at the end of the party. Tired, but happy. So happy that we were able to give our precious Kelli and her loving Jake a wonderful wedding celebration they can treasure forever… And happy to share with you! “…we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.” 1 Thessalonians 2:8b

*I posted lots more wedding photos on my Facebook page the other day. If you’re not one of my FB friends yet, come over and friend me and then see the rest of the photos!

Life-giving Rain

Whew, finally! After watching the leaves on the trees almost choke from thirst, this past Thursday and Friday we got some life-giving autumn rain. I don’t know what it’s been like where you live, but here in the Heartland, we’ve had an unusually dry and milder than normal fall.

I admit I’ve loved the warmer temps and sunshiny days, but dry spells certainly take their toll. When the trees finally got around to treating us to the gorgeous fall colors we all look forward to, many of the leaves had already made their descent, skittering across streets and sidewalks and crackling underfoot.

The leaves still adorning the trees have been giving a valiant effort at filling our lives — however briefly — with shades of orange, red, and gold, but the colors have not been as vibrant, the leaves not as fresh and healthy-looking. The lack of moisture has shown.

So when the rain came this past week, we all eagerly soaked it up — the earth, with a serious thirst to quench, and us, rejoicing in the replenishing work of God going on around us. Even though the days dawned dark and dreary, excitement and gladness filled our spirits as we offered thanks for the life-giving rain.

Dry spells come to our spiritual lives as well, don’t they? Times when God seems far away, times when it seems we’re not hearing from Him or feeling His touch. But just as certainly as dry spells come — whether in the natural world or in our spiritual lives — thankfully, dry spells go. One day when we have a serious thirst to quench and when the lack of refreshment is painfully evident, God sweeps in and does a replenishing work. He sends a life-giving rain.

How does this look in your life? How does God refresh you? Does the Word finally seem to speak to your spirit? Does He give you a special touch that could only come from Him? Maybe you’re rejuvenated by the beauty of God’s creation or the timely fellowship of a friend.

One thing is certain. However God chooses to send us fresh life, we eagerly soak it up, and we rejoice in its coming.

Do you find yourself choking through a dry spell of your own? Hang on, friend. The rain is coming.

“I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.” Jeremiah 31:25

*Flickr photo by lecates, Creative Commons License

*It’s not too late to get the current issue of Life Notes, my inspirational newsletter/ezine. Sign-up is to the right!

Weekend Surprise!

Some things are just too good not to share. This past weekend our daughter Kelli and her husband Jake met us in Missouri to go on a family outing with my parents and sister’s family to the Silver Dollar City Christmas Festival. While there, we got the surprise of our lives.

Not long after we arrived, Kelli got a phone call from our older daughter Kristin, asking how our day was going, where we were right then, etc. What we didn’t know is that she and Shawn (whom we thought had other plans for the weekend) were trying to locate us and position themselves in our path.

The photo above shows what happened next — pure and total shock! We couldn’t believe they changed their plans to join us! They hadn’t seen Kelli and Jake since the wedding in mid-July and knew they wouldn’t get to see them until Christmas so they just up and decided to make the trip and spend the bucks to get into Silver Dollar City to get a quick visit in since Kelli and Jake were a few hours closer to them this past weekend.

Sure made this momma’s heart happy — and proud that Kristin and Shawn would make that kind of sacrifice to be with the rest of us! Thought you might like to see some of the pictures of our special day. Enjoy!

When we finally calmed down, we asked a passerby to take a pic of our jubilant little family :)

Here’s the happy momma with her precious first-born daughter. She’s a sweetheart in every way :)

Here are Kelli and Jake, the newlyweds, in the stocks. Not sure what that says about marriage :)

As darkness fell, they really got silly :)

None of our kids are too old to pass up the chance to become a gingerbread family :)

As the day came to an end, Christmas lights twinkled all over the city, and we were still overjoyed to be standing there together.

This light display summed up our day. We certainly rejoiced at the unexpected opportunity to be together, and I couldn’t help but share my joy with you all. How about you? What are you rejoicing about this week? Tell me about it with a comment. I’d love to rejoice with you!

“Rejoice with those who rejoice…” Romans 12:15

*It’s not too late to get the current issue of Life Notes, my inspirational newsletter/ezine. Sign-up is to the right.