Friday, December 19, 2014

Stop the Elf Attacks!

Forgive me if I'm wrong but I have yet to find a blog post or online article that says "If you don't have an Elf on the Shelf then you are a crappy family and you are celebrating Christmas all wrong." But I have seen plenty of Facebook statuses and blog posts insinuating that we "Elf" families have WAY too much time on our hands, or we are making children in other families question why they don't have an elf... or my favorite... that we are using Elf on the Shelf to spy on our kids to make them behave better for Santa.

Let me debunk these myths for you.  Our family has an elf because... shockingly... we think it's super fun to come up with great elf antics and then wait for our excited children to find Elfie in what ever creative predicament we have placed him in.

I don't bake or elaborately decorate my house for Christmas so I guess that frees up some time for elf business.  That being said those of you with an eye for amazing decor that makes you feel magical at Christmas, I love gazing in awe at your Instagram profiles.

As for your children's questions about why you don't have an elf?  Well that's really up to you to answer, but I would guess a simple "Different families have different traditions at Christmas" might suffice.  I do ask that you avoid telling them that only "bad kids" need an elf though.

 On that note I would say please watch what you write on social media.  The words you intended to be funny could be hurtful.

Stop the Elf Attacks!... it's Christmas for goodness sake!

*Note this blog post was edited.  I posted in passionate haste earlier and let my emotions get the best of me.

Thursday, December 18, 2014


My sister Julie's birthday is one of those volatile things in my life.  There have been years when I did not even notice the day until it was gone and there have been years when I have sobbed uncontrollably until my head ached and my body was exhausted.
This year was precious.  I almost felt like I was wrapped in bubble wrap this year.
 Julie's 30th Birthday fundraiser was a huge success for no other reason than I am surrounded by the most generous and kind people a girl could ever imagine.
My kindred spirit friends sent texts and called to "check up" on me.  My mom and I spent the day together having lunch and shopping.
My heart overflows with gratitude at the support and care I received this year.  Thank you.
photo credit: Xamonich via photopin cc

Friday, December 12, 2014

Carry a Flashlight and Don't Play the Trumpet...

Writing this post is a daunting task... I am not looking for a battle.. battles cause wounds and wounds create bitterness and bitterness fights against love... and I really want to be a spreader of love... maybe that's why these two scripture passages stood out to me.

Matthew 5:14-16
14“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Matthew 6:2-4
2“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

These are red letter verses here people... Jesus said both of these things in the same sermon on the mount!  I have heard each of these two points used against each other in arguments.  So which is it?  Let your light shine so that people can see your good deeds or keep it a secret, private, between only you and God?

I'm not a scholar and I tend to do a lot of interpreting scripture with my gut.  Relying on the Holy Spirit whispers that remind me that the word is living and can be relevant to me in different ways as my life evolves and changes.  The advice I take can be different than my brother or sister.  And the lessons I learn may or may not be a hill to die on.  There are few things I hold tight to with a closed fist...

Here's my humble take on maybe why there are two passages of scripture so close together that express very different methods to love your neighbor.  Your eye.  "The Hebrew language uses 'eye' in many idioms that describe a person's attitude toward others." (Walking in the Dust of Rabbi Jesus by Lois Tverberg)

It seems a little too simple to be the be all that ends all answer to this old debate... and maybe it is.  Keeping in mind though that love seems to be really important to Jesus according to quite a few bible verses,  I'd be willing to guess that He cares about your attitude toward those that we give to.  Do we turn up our noses at the guy shivering on the street corner because he obviously doesn't know how to manage money very well, honestly he is smoking a cigarette, does he even know what those things cost?  Then puff out our chests, find the perfect Instagram filter and post all over Facebook and Twitter that photo we took as we tossed a loonie into his paper cup?  The problem, as I see it, is not posting that photo, it's the intention behind it.  

Social media is powerful, but just like money it is neutral until we determine how we will use the tool before us.  Our status updates and the pics we post can be used to so a lot of good.   They can shine light so inviting that people want to join you.  We can encourage others to add to the light, whether it's by joining us on our next "hand out hot chocolate on the street" night, or just tweaking an attitude closer to grace and love for those in need. 

If you get nothing else out of this...take away this lesson... always carry a flashlight and don't play the trumpet!

Chime in here... What are your thoughts?  
Note: This post contains an affiliate link.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thankful Thursday #26

This weeks list of things I am ever so thankful for:
  1. Messy projects with great kids... we are mummifying a chicken... think germy plus gritty and salty, but the group of kids I am working with are stellar!
  2. A pretty fantastic weekend away...  a grandma who kept my kiddos for me. 
  3. New crochet patterns to play with.
  4. My kid's piano teacher.  She is fantastic!  And she comes to my house!
  5. Playing games with my bigger kids. 
  6. Getting crafty for an evening with Meadow. 
  7. When I hit the ditch today my car was able to be driven out.  (Thank you Jesse!)
  8. Jam... I like toast and jam!
  9. Butternut squash soup... mmm 
  10. You guys!  You have blown me away with your support of Julie's 30th Birthday Fundraiser!
What are you thankful for? 

photo credit: symphony of love via photopin cc

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Because Sometimes you Have to do Something.

My family is big on birthdays... or maybe just I am and the rest of my family indulges me... I don't know.

I love my own birthday... send me best wishes?  Yes please!  Come out a celebrate with me? Of Course!  Oh you got me a gift!  Now I know you love me so.

The last birthday I spent with my sister Julie she was turning 20.  One of those milestone birthdays that end in a zero and tend to be bigger celebrations than the rest of the birthday for the next decade.

Well this year, in just over a month Julie would have turned 30.  I need to do something to honor that... to celebrate my little sister.  To reflect... has it really been 10 years since we've celebrated a birthday together?

In true Julie style I am using her birthday to help others.

Friends, family and random strangers who may read my blog... lets work together and carry on Julie's fight to find a cure and celebrate the light she was to others who fought alongside her against Cystic Fibrosis.

Thankful Thursday...#25

Thankful thursday is a long deep breath this week.  Something soothing to do... making a list of what I am thankful for.

  1. Waking up early and feeling like there is a whole extra part of the day ahead of me. 
  2. Helping Delaney clean up Lego and hearing her sweet little voice say "Thank you for helping me mama."
  3. New, soft, patterned leggings.
  4. After Eight Tea... it feels like a guiltless treat in my mug.
  5. "How are you?" checkup calls from my sweet understanding Twyla girl.
  6. Yesterday is gone.
  7. Jam and sourdough bread.
  8. My Craigy who leaves me love letters.
  9. Folks who have helped me raise money for Julie's 30th Birthday CF Fundraiser
  10. Watching my children play with each other.

photo credit: woodleywonderworks via photopin cc

Friday, November 7, 2014

Because This... 22nd edition

Welcome to the weekend... Because this is where I share my favorite photos and links frm the past week.

It’s early November. We don’t have all the time in the world between now and Christmas Day, but we’re a far cry from last minute. Craigslist Christmas

I learned this the hard way (the day a gecko almost touched my lady business), but Blessed doesn't really mean what we think it means, because most of the time when we use the word blessed what we really mean is pleased. #blessed