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Monday, December 29, 2014

Winter Bucket Lists




Spending some time evaluating 2014 goals and setting new ones for 2015. One of the goals I had last year was to celebrate the Holidays and Seasons. I started creating these picture Bucket Lists to help simplify that process yet have a visual, tangible way to remember to create some fun yet simple memories.  I love that these lists are not so overwhelming (usually my to do list go on and on).  Some of the ideas are very simple – like put our winter pillows and blankets.  This simple act just invites the cooler weather. There is nothing like cuddling up in a warm, fuzzy blanket.

Here are some links to some of our previous

Picture Bucket Lists.


Autumn Bucket Lists

Thanksgiving Bucket List

Seasonal Bucket Lists

I was able to be faithful on half of the Season lists (Autumn & Winter). I also created lists for most of the holidays and we completed anywhere from 80-90% of the items on these lists.  I was happy with our progress this year and I want to continue with celebrating the holidays, via our Picture Bucket Lists, this coming year.  I will be making the rest of the Season Bucket Lists for 2015 and continuing to update and celebrate with the Holiday Bucket Lists.  Above is our Winter Bucket List and below are our New Years and Valentine Bucket lists. You can click on the pictures and it will enlarge the list so you can see it better.

image          image

I love being able to look back on the progress we have made and the memories we are creating. 

keeping special moments alive~

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Wednesday, December 24, 2014


  For a child has been born—for us!
the gift of a son—for us!
He’ll take over
the running of the world.
His names will be:

Amazing Counselor,
Strong God,
Eternal Father,
Prince of Wholeness.

  the Message


   Today we light the Christ Candle       

It was not suddenly and unannounced that Jesus came into the world. He came into a world that had been prepared for Him.  The whole Old Testament is the story of a special preparation… only when all was ready, only in the fullness of His time,  did Jesus come.    ~Phillips Brooks

Some Bible scholars suggest there are more than 300 prophetic Scriptures completed in the life of Jesus, foretelling of his coming, his life and his redemption.

He did not come into the world as a last ditch effort -

For us – He was born

     For us this gift of life was given.

“If your gifts don’t give relief…   you don’t get real life”     -Ann Voskamp

The gift of wholeness was given<b>Isaiah 9:6</b> – for us…    

and He is called -





Relief  – Redemption – Real Life  given…

           Completeness wrapped up and place before us -


Christmas card 2014 copy



We want to wish all of our family and friends – old and new,

a glorious Christmas and a New Year

filled with moments and memories that bring

hope, peace, joy & love -

    moments that bring life ~ 

It is an honor and a joy to have you in our lives~

David, Kathey, Nick, Brittaney, Alex, Aaron, Jonathan,

Audriona, Angelina & Shekinah


Receiving and Resting in the greatest gift given,

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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Advent–Week 4



      For to us a child is born…

   and His name shall be called,

      Wonderful Counselor,

           Almighty God…

     The Everlasting Father,

    Prince of Peace.   Isaiah 9:6








This week of  as we celebrate the Advent Season,

            we light the 4tht candle –

                                the candle of Love.


It was because of love that the Everlasting Father came to Earth to dwell with his creation. 

                                        To live as one with his handiwork. 

He did not come as the anticipated,  the expected King – but as a newborn baby.

Through the very ones he made – he chose to redeem his family line,

Through  a family lineage marked with cheaters and robbers and harlots and murders.

                     He chose to come -  to dwell  - to live with us,

  all because of love.

The Everlasting Father provided a way for restoration – for wholeness – for reconciliation…

With strife all around us  in this broken, hurting, missed up, confused world – 

                          a world  - speaking accusations

                 - seeking justices  –settling  for the last word.

                       a world   - yearning for a word of hope - 

hope comes…  all because of love -

love is always the politically correct reply – love is always the best word – love is always  best…

We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!   But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.

Because the word became flesh – on Christmas morning…

                                         ultimate, extravagant love was born -  and love is  always the last word.

Screen shot 2013-12-22 at 3.11.38 PM

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

May you receive the Everlasting Fathers gift of love, may you love extravagantly this season~

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Friday, December 19, 2014

Advent–Week 3

<b>Isaiah 9:6</b>  

For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given,

           and the government will be on his shoulder,

         and he will be called,

     Wonderful – Counselor,

   Mighty God,

       Everlasting Father,

  Prince of Peace,     Isaiah 9:6





                           This week we light the 3rd candle –

                                          the candle of Joy.



                 I love of the Jubilee Bible describes the coming of the Messiah as the -

   the Wonderful One, 

The Counselor,

The God,                 The Mighty One,

The Eternal Father,                         The Prince of Peace.

In the midst of a dark world -  The God came to earth

He came not as a king – but as a humble baby – one full of awe and wonder…

We just celebrated our 3rd child’s birthday – he was born 4 days before Christmas.

His due date was January 4th – but I wanted so deeply to have him with us in the flesh at Christmas.

I so anticipated his birth – so yearned to be able to hold him, to experience the Joy of  having  him with us.

And after 2 false labors –

God honored that desire and he was born in time for Christmas.  

There is such an awe and wonder that surrounds the birth of a baby.

     Such a fullness of Joy that comes over you,

When you look into their face – All seems right with the world.

As I reflect upon the birth of Jesus – the promised Messiah I ponder…

how most of the world… clouded by its own expectations,

             hardened  by its own perceptions,

                    darkened by its own preconceived notions – missed him – they did not know he had arrived.

but Mary & Joseph, the Shepherds, the Angels, the Magi all looked into that babies face and saw -

         The Promised One, The One Who Would Save,  The One who who was The Wonderful One…

The One Who would one day Counsel and console many.

  Simeon knew  -

he had been waiting and waiting for the promised one…

Simeon’s overwhelming reply,

when he first saw and held that baby -

“for my eyes have seen your salvation”

Simeon’s soul felt his worth.

This weary old man felt  the thrill of hope,

and for the world he would soon leave behind – he rejoiced,

knowing that a new and glorious time was coming -

for the Wonderful One  had now arrived.



May Joy and gladness overwhelm you as you look into the eyes of your savior~

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Friday, December 12, 2014

Advent–Week 2




    For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given:       

        and his name will be called -                         

              Wonderful  Counselor, 

                             The Mighty God,

                                           The Everlasting Father,

                                                        The Prince of Peace.





  Week two of the Advent Season, we light the 2nd candle –

                       the candle of Peace.

As I reflected upon Advent this week and what it means to have peace. I was reminded of the story of Joseph and the example he set for us.

He learned, while in prison, in the midst of circumstances beyond his control, about a peace that is internal -

       the kind of peace that hushes the voices in ones mind,

              the kind of peace that soothes ones raging emotions,

                      the kind of peace that quiets the doubts and fears of ones choices,

                              the kind of peace that runs deep and quenches the soul,

  He learned that this kind of peace can only come  from a peace that is internal -  from a peace that is in us -

He learned that this kind of peace comes from experiencing and living in the external Prince of Peace

this kind of peace comes from  dwelling and resting in the presence of his very essence.

Jesus said,

    "I am leaving you with a gift-

                                      peace of mind and heart,  and the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give”

…and he shall be called the Prince of Peace.

Resting in Him~ the essence of peace-

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Saturday, December 6, 2014

It’s Christmas Time

During this Christmas season we have been singing some of the traditional Christmas songs, and I am always moved to tears as we sing and reflect upon the birth of Jesus. 
        I love birth stories -  hearing others, telling my own.

Each and every one of the births of our 8 children has a story…

a story of love -  a love at first sight kind of story,

       a love that goes beyond all words…
                    a story of hope and promise -  as each child was held for the first time

                              a story with a new song of it’s own.


the angels sang a song at His birth…    at the birth of Jesus:

Angels we have on heard high
Sweetly singing ore the plains
And the mountains in reply
Echoing their joyous strains

Their song was…
Gloria in excelsis Deo  - Glory to God in the Highest…

As I reflect upon the words of my favorite Christmas song:

In the city on the hill
Hear the bells chime
Peace on earth good will
It’s Christmas time
Glad tidings we will bring
of Christ the new born king
And with the angels sing at Christmas time    
It’s Christmas time.
In exelcis Deo...

I have been reflecting upon what it means to sing Gloria in ecelsis Deo -  to sing Glory to God in the Highest.

   to sing this song of praise… this song that the angels sing,

         this song of new birth -  the celebration of the birth of Christ
              this song that brings glad tidings -  good new  
                     this song that brings good will and peace.

   What it means to be a city on a hill

        that sings Glory to God in the Highest.

           Jesus taught us with His own words:

“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”

He calls our lives to be a song of praise…

         our deeds - our actions to shine forth and be a reflection of our heavenly Father.

He calls it to be “Christmas time” in our heart -
         to  celebrate life -  new birth… 
                    everyday, everywhere,

to reflect “Christmas time” all year round.

City on a Hill: It&#39;s Christmas Time CD  Click on Album to hear Song

This Christmas time I am desiring to  live a life of Christmas Time – won’t you join me.  

Repost from Thursday, December 27, 2012

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Monday, December 1, 2014

Advent–Week 1




    For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given…

            his name shall be called -                         

                    Wonderful Counselor, 

                           The Mighty God,

                                      The  Everlasting Father,

                                               The Prince of Peace.





Each year as I celebrate Christmas – the Advent Season,  I am struck with the beauty of Isaiah 9:6.

    This prophecy – these words spoken by God to Isaiah for all people, told of this time that we celebrate.

                            This time that we remember the birth of Jesus.

Isaiah's ministry occurred at a critical time in Judah's history. These words  were spoken at a time in history were darkness was overshadowing nations –  darkness not unlike today. Yet in the midst of this darkness Isaiah spoke of a bright future –

  one who would bring good news,

          one who would   heal the broken,

                 one who would set the captives free,

                       one who would bring forth hope in the midst of unrest.

   Week one of the Advent Season, we light the 1st candle –

                       the candle of Hope.

Since the beginning  of time –The Mighty God, by the the mention of  a few mere words -

              through the spoken words, “Let there be light” – brought life and light  into existence.

Creation had been given a promise.  A promise  that there would always be light –

       that there would always be Hope. 

A hope that would be needed in times of darkness -

         darkness in the world,

                  darkness in communities,

                               darkness in  homes,

                                          darkness with in ourselves.  

A promise was spoken out-

“Watch for this: A girl who is presently a virgin will get pregnant. She’ll bear a son and name him Immanuel, God-With-Us.      ~ Isaiah 7:14

A promise spoken to all,

        a promise of Hope  -  and His name would be called…

                 God with Us.  

The mighty God would come and enter all those dark places bringing the much needed light of Hope. 

<b>Isaiah 9:6</b>


       This Advent Season, as we prepare our hearts…  

    may we allow places and spaces for the Mighty God -

                       Immanuel - to fill

                                  to dwell

                                          to rest in us.


Hope is a person - Resting in Him~

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