Saturday, December 15, 2012

Answered prayer

With all the hustle and bustle I've neglected to share some of our greatest news (besides the little one growing bigger by the day), my exceptional hubby has finally escaped the perils of tax season! Matthew is now a part of the Finance team at NAMB (North American Mission Board). This has been a prayer for many years, but he patiently waited and tried to figure out where he best belonged at this stage in life. Not only is his commute better and he has opportunities to grow within the entire Finance sector on a specific leadership path, but he will be using his talent and skill to help missionaries, disaster relief, and church plantation. We are thrilled and thanking God for all of our blessings. We praise Him in the storm, and we praise Him in our peaceful sunshine!

The Maupins took us to a great steak house- Little Alley's- in Roswell Square to celebrate the new job!
 ~Proud Buster

Monday, December 10, 2012

Joy to the World....

My favorite part of National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation occurs when "Sparky" asks everyone for a "drum roll"  (and some of the grandparents can't roll their tongues the right way to make a proper drum sound) and then Clark himself sings: 'Joy to the World' loudly and rolls his own drum before the major let down. I think we should all be so extravagant when preparing for Christmas. :)

In Griswold fashion, Matthew and I opt to cut down our tree every year. This year we seemed to have missed the rush. It was slim pickens!
They also offer already cut and spruced trees for the lazy folk.
A little fuel and concentration for the upcoming task at hand.
Real men carry their trees home 20 miles in the rain, on their backs, wearing nice jeans and a polo sweater.
Real women cut down trees while they are birthing children.
Or we simply pretend we are strong by holding the tree upright.
Matthew did great! We had to get the 10 footer sized down a bit for our small apartment roof.
Kinsey Family Farm looked great at night. Just don't be sawing out there in the dark!
We had a fun start to the Christmas festivities at a church Christmas party. I love competition, so the gingerbread house theme competition was right up my alley. Can you guess what's coming out of Duchess Katherine's mouth... yep it's silly putty.
Out team didn't win, but we should have... I mean we had James Bond flying into the hospital with the Queen of England on his back. How did we lose?!!?
My favorite part of Saturday mornings... Matthew's famous French Toast!
Since I can't sew nor embroider, I came up with a great way to designate stockings! Next year it will probably say Mom instead!
There's something special about the first lighting of our family Christmas tree!
And of course in Griswold fashion (or Elf as it were) our tree barely fits with the star on top. I love its imperfections!


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Food for thought

As I sit home battling with my sinuses and giving thanks each moment I can switch open air pockets from one nostril to the next, I am struck with that deep thinking that often accompanies silent night sick days. Instead of rushing to the DVD player or continuing to try and sleep through the pounding headache, I contemplate...
Have you ever wondered about "those people" that say they realized "what sinners they were" when they came to know God personally? I'm not talking about the prison patrons or once-homeless drug dealers. What about the average sweet Jane or Joe, who just seems to love the Lord? There's no way that they could have ever really been that bad. Are their words merely signs for show, wanting to seem worse than they are? No. Here's how I know. I am one of them...
I have never murdered or stolen anything. I have not been able to lie very well since I got caught in the act at age 5. I've never committed adultery, and I do not intentionally hurt others. Sure I've engaged in the usual and accepted aspects of imperfection: I covet others, I judge, and I am certainly selfish from time to time, but those "7 deadly sins" are far from existing in my personal world. Why, then, do Christians say that they are such "sinners"?
I have come to realize that when you, when I, really want to know truth, when I am open to see my true colors and heart, apart from Christ, is as black as tar. Truly, it is not a matter of being a martyr. It is a recognition of the ugliness that exists inside of me when compared to the glorious purity of God. I should be one (without all those societal "deadly sins") who knows better. Yet, I do not.... It's saddening and maddening all at once.
Then, the truth actually carries wight and meaning: despite this nature, God still chose to send His son and His spirit to dwell among us, and in us if we so desire, because of true love. It is a love story like no other, and it begins to change those colors of our hearts from within. He loves us in spite of ourselves. This fact brings me to my knees in pure gratitude that spills out in tears of humility. It is then that I begin to understand the line: amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.
Unless you want to experience this heartache turned to joy, do not ask to see yourself for who you are. Initially, it is not a pretty picture. Yet, it can be a profound encounter that will never stop changing you if you let it. Others may not understand the word "sin" that you believe exists, but you will certainly agree with the connotations when compared to the Love of your Savior.