wrap up

flowers

Once again, I have found some treasures on Tuesday this week. Here are a few highlights for you to peruse. Though I will continue to post and unwrap moments over the next few weeks, the Tuesdays Unwrapped linky will be on vacation until January.

Our Angel, God’s Gift @ Girls to Grow, because she has walked the road of deep despair and still says God is good.

One Moment, of the Well of Life to Taste @ Zizzivivizz, because doing what you love makes the work worth it.

Time With My Sister @ Somewhere Between Serious and Silly, because I’m a softy for anything having to do with sisters.

Hope @ Boy Crazy, because her perspective on the light of hope in the midst of the darkness is breathtaking.

Ours @ The Extraordinary Ordinary, because she puts into words how I felt, too.

I hope you’ll take a few minutes and visit these lovely blogs. As always, thanks for reading and participating in unwrapping and celebrating the everyday gifts.

gifts on a tuesday

home

The shelf in my parents garage holds little pieces of home. I’ve never read any of these books, but their bindings are comforting and familiar. Dad has books everywhere, stacked and organized by an invisible system. Sitting in his home office over Thanksgiving, he pointed to a row of books behind his desk and said those were the ones he couldn’t live without: Understanding and Applying the Bible by Roberston McQuilkin; The Saving Life of Christ by Major Ian Thomas; a well-read copy of the Bible; a few presidential biographies.

As I bent low to read their titles, I thought of how the words in those pages have mentored and taught him. In turn, they have taught me as well. Pieces of home, glimpses of Jesus, stories of truth passed on from author to reader to daughter and more. I couldn’t help but wonder which books I would put on my own life-giving shelf. I also couldn’t stop myself from celebrating those writers, in the quiet of the office, for their work and willingness to receive words and inspiration and for passing them on through the pages of their books.Picture16-11

Do you have a piece of home to share? A glimpse of heaven? A moment to celebrate? I invite you to do so here, either with a new post or one from your archives. Don’t forget to use the permalink and to link back here.

christmas change

ornaments

My home is ready for Christmas. Now what about the rest of me? I’m writing today at Christmas Change, where a season of change brings a life of return. Join me?

christmas tour of homes

4180566934_1f4e7715ae

Welcome and Merry Christmas! It’s time for the annual Christmas Tour of Homes at my sister’s place, the one she so happily inherited from BooMama. I’m so naggy and little sistery to be first on her linky (tee, hee!) I always look forward to walking through other people’s houses for these tours because it satisfies both my creativity and my nosiness. Here’s to hoping no one spots the blanket fort I forgot to clean up before I took the photos.

4179533927_300b768d67_o

4180413430_b074411655_o

4180493806_29aafca329_o

4180627878_fd12b94558_o

4179694832_4a9aa5b5f8_o

4179775769_4fe3ca70d5_o

4180406820_90b487d535_o

4180206202_a8a48d7c51_o

***

4179667049_024d798929_o

Thanks for nosing around my place. You’re always welcome here. Feel free to find out a little more about this space, but I have a feeling you are busy breezing through other people’s houses. I know I am.

***

Christmas Tour of Homes with The Nester

4118104865_c4fc90c13c

Hooked-on-Holiday-House-Tours1

*The mini pre-lit tree, the Jesus sign and the Christmas cards are all from DaySpring. The kids table I got at a yard sale, chairs from TJ Maxx. The color on the walls is Tobacco Road. The fort was free.

holiday things to chat about

There are so many wonderful things going on in the webiverse this season. Let’s take a look at some of them, shall we?

christmas

Check out this sweet community of writers and readers, celebrating a season of change, a life of return @ Christmas Change.

Rachel @ Small Notebook wrote a great post last year called Come As You Are: Christmas Without the Frenzy. Not a new Christmas concept, but one I can’t get enough of. She takes it back to the basics, something she is so good at doing.

A Christmas Card Picture Quiz @ Never Say Never. I got a good chuckle from this one. And for what it’s worth, I scored a 36.

Christmas Tour of Homes with The Nester
Don’t forget to link up with your holiday decor photos for the Christmas Tour of Homes at Nesting Place on Monday. I’ve been taking some photos of my newly open living room.

Here’s something fun: Blog Nosh Magazine is hosting a linky sharing stories of  hope, sponsored by Tide Loads of Hope. It is quite simply a laundromat on wheels, offering laundry services to families affected by disasters. Megan Jordan of Velveteen Mind is the Founder and Editor-in-Cheif of Blog Nosh and lost every.material.thing. in Hurricane Katrina.

She knows that of which she speaks.

Read her amazing story here.

I tell you about this a) because it’s awesome and b) because I know you girls are filled with hope AND you can write. So link up at Blog Nosh with your own stories of hope, either a new post or a previously written one from your archives.

Merry Two Weeks Before Christmas.

to believe

with santa

Growing up, Mom told us Santa was a game everyone played at Christmas. She said It’s okay to pretend, but really Christmas is about Jesus. And that was that. Then she would warn us not to talk about it in front of the other kids because we might ruin the game for them. I kept that secret under lock and key, even as I listened to friends debate his existence on cold, Indiana playgrounds and worn out tire swings.

Still, I watched. And on Christmas Eve, I kinda sorta tried to hear sleigh bells.

We tell our children a similar version of the same thing. But it doesn’t seem to matter what we say. They still kinda sorta think maybe he might be real a little bit. I think that’s okay. I want them to own what they believe in life, even in the small things. So I tell them Bible stories, put out the nativity, answer their questions in truth and love. And I let them watch Rudolph. It’s a hodge-podge of re-living my own childhood Christmas memories as well as learning what it means to make new and meaningful ones for them.

I’m glad for these early introductions to their other-than-me-ness. I’m thankful for this innocent opportunity to talk about faith, choice and belief. In all of this, I learn again that I can’t control my kids. I can’t make them believe or not believe anything just because I say it. I have responsibilites to teach just as they have choices to make. They are little God image-bearers,  created to choose love and life. Because eventhough they are only in kindergarten, their growing choices will have real consequences, more than just staying up too late on Christmas Eve to hear reindeer hooves.